Measures Of A Man Quotes

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Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Martin Luther King Jr.
For to know a man's library is, in some measure, to know his mind.
Geraldine Brooks (March)
I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.
Henry David Thoreau
The true measure of a man is not his intelligence or how high he rises in this freak establishment. No, the true measure of a man is this: how quickly can he respond to the needs of others and how much of himself he can give.
Philip K. Dick
The measure of a man is what he does with power.
Plato
Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.
Mitch Albom (The Time Keeper)
The measure of a man is what he does when he has power.
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))
The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor: he took my measure anew every time he saw me, whilst all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected them to fit me.
George Bernard Shaw (Man and Superman)
You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.
Malcolm Forbes
As a man, I instantly became aware of the gold in her hair, her height measured against mine, and how easily she'd fit in my arms. ~Ren
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
To know a man's library is, in some measure, to know a man's mind.
Geraldine Brooks (March)
Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self---in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
The true measure of a man is how he treats you when others are not looking.
Alessandra Torre
A man's dignity isn't measured by the people he has around him when he's at the peak of his success, but by his ability not to forget those who helped him when his need was greatest.
Paulo Coelho (The Winner Stands Alone)
I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom
George S. Patton Jr.
The measure of a man is not how much he suffers in the test, but how he comes out at the end.
Neal Shusterman (UnWholly (Unwind, #2))
Do you know how far the wall is from the mines?” He gave her blank look. She closed her eyes and sighed dramatically. “From my shaft, it was three hundred sixty-three feet. I had someone measure.” “So?” Dorian repeated. “Captain Westfall, how far do slaves make it from the mines when they try to escape?” “Three feet,” he muttered. “Endovier sentries usually shoot a man down before he's moved three feet.” The Crown Prince's silence was not her desired effect. “You knew it was suicide,” he said at last, the amusement gone. Perhaps it had been a bad idea to bring up the wall. “Yes.” ... “I never intended to escape.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple-tree or an oak. Shall he turn his spring into summer?
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
The greatness of the man's power is the measure of his surrender.
William Booth
That's the big picture, your happiness. And health. You should never care what a man thinks of you -- until he demonstrates to you that he cares about making you happy. If he isn't trying to make you happy, then send him back from "whence" he came because winning him over will have no benefit. At the end of the day, happines, joy...and yes...your emotional stability...those comprise the only measuring stick you really need to have.
Sherry Argov (Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl—A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship)
When considering a man's motives, remember you must not measure his wheat with your bushel. He may not be using the same standard at all.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1))
Man is manifestly not the measure of all things. This universe is shot through with mystery. The very fact of its being, and of our own, is a mystery absolute, and the only miracle worthy of the name.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
Sometimes I get depressed about my age. In March I’ll be 26. If man weren’t measured in numbers, but rather letters, I’d be turning Z. And then I’d be dead.
Jarod Kintz (I Should Have Renamed This)
Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.
Mitch Albom (The Time Keeper)
Get to know the right, then you would know the people of right. Right Is not measured by its men, but men are measured by their right.
علي بن أبي طالب
The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.
Thomas Babington Macaulay
What is the destiny of man, but to fill up the measure of his sufferings, and to drink his allotted cup of bitterness?
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
To measure the man, measure his heart.
Malcolm Forbes
Human beings do not live forever, Reuven. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value is there to a human life. There is so much pain in the world. What does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than the blink of an eye? I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life. It is hard work to fill one's life with meaning. That I do not think you understand yet. A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here.
Chaim Potok (The Chosen (Reuven Malther #1))
There's something about first love, isn't there? she said. It's untouchable to those who played no part in it. But it's the measure of all that follows.
Sarah Winman (Tin Man)
A person doesn't have to change who he is to become better.
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.
Henry Beston (The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod)
Right. I look fine. Except I don't,' said Zora, tugging sadly at her man's nightshirt. This was why Kiki had dreaded having girls: she knew she wouldn't be able to protect them from self-disgust. To that end she had tried banning television in the early years, and never had a lipstick or a woman's magazine crossed the threshold of the Belsey home to Kiki's knowledge, but these and other precautionary measures had made no difference. It was in the air, or so it seemed to Kiki, this hatred of women and their bodies-- it seeped in with every draught in the house; people brought it home on their shoes, they breathed it in off their newspapers. There was no way to control it.
Zadie Smith (On Beauty)
The letter had been crumpled up and tossed onto the grate. It had burned all around the edges, so the names at the top and bottom had gone up in smoke. But there was enough of the bold black scrawl to reveal that it had indeed been a love letter. And as Hannah read the singed and half-destroyed parchment, she was forced to turn away to hide the trembling of her hand. —should warn you that this letter will not be eloquent. However, it will be sincere, especially in light of the fact that you will never read it. I have felt these words like a weight in my chest, until I find myself amazed that a heart can go on beating under such a burden. I love you. I love you desperately, violently, tenderly, completely. I want you in ways that I know you would find shocking. My love, you don't belong with a man like me. In the past I've done things you wouldn't approve of, and I've done them ten times over. I have led a life of immoderate sin. As it turns out, I'm just as immoderate in love. Worse, in fact. I want to kiss every soft place of you, make you blush and faint, pleasure you until you weep, and dry every tear with my lips. If you only knew how I crave the taste of you. I want to take you in my hands and mouth and feast on you. I want to drink wine and honey from you. I want you under me. On your back. I'm sorry. You deserve more respect than that. But I can't stop thinking of it. Your arms and legs around me. Your mouth, open for my kisses. I need too much of you. A lifetime of nights spent between your thighs wouldn't be enough. I want to talk with you forever. I remember every word you've ever said to me. If only I could visit you as a foreigner goes into a new country, learn the language of you, wander past all borders into every private and secret place, I would stay forever. I would become a citizen of you. You would say it's too soon to feel this way. You would ask how I could be so certain. But some things can't be measured by time. Ask me an hour from now. Ask me a month from now. A year, ten years, a lifetime. The way I love you will outlast every calendar, clock, and every toll of every bell that will ever be cast. If only you— And there it stopped.
Lisa Kleypas (A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5))
You can measure the true strength of a man by how well he controls others, but you measure his true power by how well he controls himself
Amari Soul (Reflections of a Man)
But man, proud man, Dress'd in a little brief authority, Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd— His glassy essence—like an angry ape Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven As makes the angels weep; who, with our spleens, Would all themselves laugh mortal.
William Shakespeare (Measure for Measure)
Everything man does today to be efficient, to fill the hour? It does not satisfy. It only makes him hungry to do more. Man wants to own his existence. But no one owns time. When you are measuring life, you are not living it.
Mitch Albom (The Time Keeper)
These are the days after. Everything now is measured by after.
Don DeLillo (Falling Man)
Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational dogmas, of a cult without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire: that is MUHAMMAD. As regards all the standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask IS THERE ANY MAN GREATER THAN HE?
Alphonse de Lamartine (History of Turkey)
There are lots of women who are attracted to tyrannical men. Like moths to a flame. And there are some women who do not need a hero or even a stormy lover but a friend. Just remember that when you grow up. Steer clear of the tryant lovers, and try to locate the ones who are looking for a man as a friend, not because they are feeling empty themselves but because they enjoy making you full too. And remember that friendship between a woman and a man is something much more precious and rare than love: love is actually something quite gross and even clumsy compared to friendship. Friendship includes a measure of sensitivity, attentiveness, generosity, and a finely tuned sense of moderation.
Amos Oz (A Tale of Love and Darkness)
How much more infinite a sea is man? Be not so childish as to measure him from head to foot and think you have found his borders.
Mikhail Naimy (The Book of Mirdad: The strange story of a monastery which was once called The Ark)
Tis true my form is something odd But blaming me is blaming God Could I create myself anew I would not fail in pleasing you. If I could reach from pole to pole Or grasp the ocean with a span I would be measured by the soul The mind's the standard of the man.
Isaac Watts
A man who tells secrets or stories must think of who is hearing or reading, for a story has as many versions as it has readers. Everyone takes what he wants or can from it and thus changes it to his measure. Some pick out parts and reject the rest, some strain the story through their mesh of prejudice, some paint it with their own delight. A story must have some points of contact with the reader to make him feel at home in it. Only then can he accept wonders.
John Steinbeck (The Winter of Our Discontent)
As Samuel Johnson purportedly wrote, “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
Adam M. Grant (Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success)
Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden & Civil Disobedience)
As soon as man began considering himself the source of the highest meaning in the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its human dimension, and man began to lose control of it.
Václav Havel (Disturbing the Peace: A Conversation with Karel Hvížďala)
For although a man is judged by his actions, by what he has said and done, a man judges himself by what he is willing to do, by what he might have said, or might have done—a judgment that is necessarily hampered, not only by the scope and limits of his imagination, but by the ever-changing measure of his doubt and self-esteem.
Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries)
Ove stomped forward. The cat stood up. Ove stopped. They stood there measuring each other up for a few moments, like two potential troublemakers in a small-town bar. Ove considered throwing one of his clogs at it. The cat looked as if it regretted not bringing its own clogs to lob back.
Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove)
On the surface, I was calm: in secret, without really admitting it, I was waiting for something. Her return? How could I have been waiting for that? We all know that we are material creatures, subject to the laws of physiology and physics, and not even the power of all our feelings combined can defeat those laws. All we can do is detest them. The age-old faith of lovers and poets in the power of love, stronger than death, that finis vitae sed non amoris, is a lie, useless and not even funny. So must one be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going? Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition? That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox... Must I go on living here then, among the objects we both had touched, in the air she had breathed? In the name of what? In the hope of her return? I hoped for nothing. And yet I lived in expectation. Since she had gone, that was all that remained. I did not know what achievements, what mockery, even what tortures still awaited me. I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone; For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own. Sing, and the hills will answer; Sigh, it is lost on the air; The echoes bound to a joyful sound, But shrink from voicing care. Rejoice, and men will seek you; Grieve, and they turn and go; They want full measure of all your pleasure, But they do not need your woe. Be glad, and your friends are many; Be sad, and you lose them all,— There are none to decline your nectared wine, But alone you must drink life’s gall. Feast, and your halls are crowded; Fast, and the world goes by. Succeed and give, and it helps you live, But no man can help you die. There is room in the halls of pleasure For a large and lordly train, But one by one we must all file on Through the narrow aisles of pain.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
What I'm sure of is that you can't be happy without money. That's all. I don't like superficiality and I don't like romanticism. I like to be conscious. And what I've noticed is that there's a kind of spiritual snobbism in certain 'superior beings' who think that money isn't necessary for happiness. Which is stupid, which is false, and to a certain degree cowardly.... For a man who is well born, being happy is never complicated. It's enough to take up the general fate, only not with the will for renunciation like so many fake great men, but with the will for happiness. Only it takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience. And in almost every case, we use up our lives making money, when we should be using our money to gain time. That's the only problem that's ever interested me.... To have money is to have time. That's my main point. Time can be bought. Everything can be bought. To be or to become rich is to have time to be happy, if you deserve it.... Everything for happiness, against the world which surrounds us with its violence and its stupidity.... All the cruelty of our civilization can be measured by this one axiom: happy nations have no history.
Albert Camus
Shahrzad, I've failed you several times. But there was one moment I failed you beyond measure. It was the day we met. The moment I took your hand and you looked at me, with the glory of hate in your eyes. I should have sent you home to your family. But I didn't. There was honesty in your hatred. Fearlessness in your pain. In your honesty, I saw a reflection of myself. Or rather, of the man I longed to be. So I failed you. I didn't stay away. Then later, I thought if I had answers, it would be enough. I would no longer care. You would not matter. So I continued failing you. Continued wanting more. And now I can't find the words to say what must be said. To convey to you the least of what I owe. When I think of you, I can't find the air to breathe. And now, though you are gone, there is no pain or fear. All I am left with is gratitude. When I was a boy, my mother would tell me that one of the best things in life is the knowledge that your story isn't over yet. Our story may have come to a close, but your story is still yet to be told. Make it a story worthy of you. I failed you in one last thing. Here is my chance to rectify it. It was never because I didn't feel it. It was because I swore I would never say it, and a man is nothing if he can't keep his promises. So I write it in the sky- I love you, a thousand times over. And I will never apologize for it. Khalid
Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1))
Our weaknesses are always evident, both to ourselves and others. But our strengths are hidden until we choose to reveal them--and that is when we are truly tested. When all that we have within is exposed, and we may no longer blame our inadequacies for our failure, but must instead depend upon our strengths to succeed ... that is when the measure of a man is taken, my boy.
James A. Owen (Here, There Be Dragons)
If what's always distinguished bad writing--flat characters, a narrative world that's clichéd and not recognizably human, etc.--is also a description of today's world, then bad writing becomes an ingenious mimesis of a bad world. If readers simply believe the world is stupid and shallow and mean, then [Bret] Ellis can write a mean shallow stupid novel that becomes a mordant deadpan commentary on the badness of everything. Look man, we'd probably most of us agree that these are dark times, and stupid ones, but do we need fiction that does nothing but dramatize how dark and stupid everything is? In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what's human and magical that still live and glow despite the times' darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it'd find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it. Postmodern irony and cynicism's become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what's wrong, because they'll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony's gone from liberating to enslaving. There's some great essay somewhere that has a line about irony being the song of the prisoner who's come to love his cage… The postmodern founders' patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years. We enter a spiritual puberty where we snap to the fact that the great transcendent horror is loneliness, excluded encagement in the self. Once we’ve hit this age, we will now give or take anything, wear any mask, to fit, be part-of, not be Alone, we young. The U.S. arts are our guide to inclusion. A how-to. We are shown how to fashion masks of ennui and jaded irony at a young age where the face is fictile enough to assume the shape of whatever it wears. And then it’s stuck there, the weary cynicism that saves us from gooey sentiment and unsophisticated naïveté. Sentiment equals naïveté on this continent. You burn with hunger for food that does not exist. A U. S. of modern A. where the State is not a team or a code, but a sort of sloppy intersection of desires and fears, where the only public consensus a boy must surrender to is the acknowledged primacy of straight-line pursuing this flat and short-sighted idea of personal happiness.
David Foster Wallace
I’m fucking asking you!” The man stood his ground. From the corner of his eye Adam could see the other man getting up from his chair. It was time to go. Adam head-butted the first man who was blocking his way, and then kneed him in the groin for good measure. As the man doubled up, Adam pushed past him.
Max Nowaz (Get Rich or Get Lucky)
In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care. [DEA Administrative Law Judge - 1988]
Francis Young
A man is not measured by how much he can take and stand but by how fast he regains once fallen.
George S. Patton Jr.
In this respect, our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; in other words, they were humanists: they disbelieved in pestilences. A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away. But it doesn't always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away, and the humanists first of all, because they have taken no precautions.
Albert Camus (La Peste | The Plague)
There can be no progress nor achievement without sacrifice, and a man's worldly success will be by the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts, and fixes his mind on the development of his plans, and the strengthening of his resolution and self-reliance.
James Allen (As a Man Thinketh)
Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then -the glory- so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man's importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.
Arthur C. Clarke
Status ought not to be measured by a woman's ability to attract and snare a man.
Germaine Greer (The Female Eunuch)
Sure, when you're in the midst of your own suffering, it's easy to convince yourself that you're no good—but we are all tested in this life...The measure of a man is not how much he suffers in the test, but how he comes out at the end.
Neal Shusterman (UnWholly (Unwind, #2))
In order to know virtue, we must acquaint ourselves with vice. Only then can we know the true measure of a man.
Marquis de Sade
Forgiveness works two ways, in most instances. People have to forgive themselves too. The powerful have to forgive themselves for their behavior. That should be a sacred process.
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
A man's worth isn't measured by a bank register or diploma... It's about integrity
Richard Paul Evans (The Letter (The Christmas Box, #3))
But change proves that you are still alive. Change often measures our tolerance for folk different from ourselves. Can we accept their languages, their customs, their garments, and their foods into our own lives? If we can, then we form bonds, bonds that make wars less likely. If we cannot, if we believe that we must do things as we have always done them, then we must either fight to remain as we are, or die
Robin Hobb (Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2))
The reason why we have never found measure of wealth. We never sought it.
George S. Clason (The Richest Man in Babylon)
The vulnerability undid him even as the strength brought him pride. And the whole of her brought him love beyond the measuring of it. Of all he'd craved in his life, all he'd dreamed of having, all he'd fought to gain by fair means or foul, he'd never imagined having such such as she as his own. Never imagined himself the man he'd come to be because she was.
J.D. Robb
War educates the senses, calls into action the will, perfects the physical constitution, brings men into such swift and close collision in critical moments that man measures man.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The wonder is, not that the field of stars is so vast, but that man has measured it.
Anatole France
On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, “Is it safe?” Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” And Vanity comes along and asks the question, “Is it popular?” But Conscience asks the question, “Is it right?”... The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge, moments of great crisis and controversy.
Martin Luther King Jr. (The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Okay listen, you think I'm so inconsequential? Then try this on for size. All those who see unworthiness when they look at me and are given thereby to denying me value - to you I say, I'm not talking about being AS GOOD as you. I hereby declare myself BETTER than you.
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
All that was required to measure the planet was a man with a stick and a brain. In other words, couple an intellect with some experimental apparatus and almost anything seems achievable.
Simon Singh (Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe)
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, The proper study of mankind is Man. Placed on this isthmus of a middle state, A being darkly wise and rudely great: With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side, With too much weakness for the Stoic's pride, He hangs between, in doubt to act or rest; In doubt to deem himself a God or Beast; In doubt his mind or body to prefer; Born but to die, and reas'ning but to err; Alike in ignorance, his reason such, Whether he thinks too little or too much; Chaos of thought and passion, all confused; Still by himself abused or disabused; Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl'd; The glory, jest, and riddle of the world! Go, wondrous creature! mount where science guides, Go, measure earth, weigh air, and state the tides; Instruct the planets in what orbs to run, Correct old time, and regulate the sun; Go, soar with Plato to th’ empyreal sphere, To the first good, first perfect, and first fair; Or tread the mazy round his followers trod, And quitting sense call imitating God; As Eastern priests in giddy circles run, And turn their heads to imitate the sun. Go, teach Eternal Wisdom how to rule— Then drop into thyself, and be a fool!
Alexander Pope (An Essay on Man)
The power of a man's virtue should not be measured by his special efforts, but by his ordinary doing.
Blaise Pascal
You are inexperienced. So was I, once. So is every man. The measure of a person is not how much they have lived. . . It's in how they make us of what life has shown them.
Brandon Sanderson (The Alloy of Law (Mistborn, #4))
The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love.
Henry Scougal (The Life of God in the Soul of Man)
Conscience. Conscience is the ultimate measure of a man.
G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen)
We are all dust passing through the air, the difference is, some are flying high in the sky, while others are flying low. But eventually, we all settle on the same ground.
Anthony Liccione
To the barefoot man, happiness is a pair of shoes. To the man with old shoes, it's a pair of new shoes. To the man with new shoes, it's stylish shoes. And of course, the fellow with no feet would be happy to be barefoot. Measure your life by what you have not by what you don't.
Michael Josephson
Women could probably be trained quite easily to see men first as sexual things. If girls never experienced sexual violence; if a girl's only window on male sexuality were a stream of easily available, well-lit, cheap images of boys slightly older than herself, in their late teens, smiling encouragingly and revealing cuddly erect penises the color of roses or mocha, she might well look at, masturbate to, and, as an adult, "need" beauty pornography based on the bodies of men. And if those initiating penises were represented to the girl as pneumatically erectible, swerving neither left nor right, tasting of cinnamon or forest berries, innocent of random hairs, and ever ready; if they were presented alongside their measurements, length, and circumference to the quarter inch; if they seemed to be available to her with no troublesome personality attached; if her sweet pleasure seemed to be the only reason for them to exist--then a real young man would probably approach the young woman's bed with, to say the least, a failing heart.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
The measure of a man’s estimate of your strength,” he finally told them, “is the kind of weapons he feels that he must use in order to hold you fast in a prescribed place.
Isabel Wilkerson (The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration)
You don't have to become something you're not to be better than you were.
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge.
Darren Hardy (The Compound Effect)
To complain that man measures God by his own experience is a waste of time; man measures everything by his own experience; he has no other yardstick.
Dorothy L. Sayers (The Mind of the Maker)
A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought-evolved being. For such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought, and as he develops a right understanding, and sees ever more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect, he ceases to fuss, fume, worry, and grieve. He remains poised, steadfast, serene.
James Allen (As a Man Thinketh)
The true measure of a man is not what he dreams, but what he aspires to be; a dream is nothing without action. Whether one fails or succeeds is irrelevant; all that matters is that there was motion in his life. That alone affects the world.
Mike Norton (White Mountain)
If a man is convinced that he is safe only as long as he uses his power to give others a sense of insecurity, then the measure of their security is in his hands. If security or insecurity is at the mercy of a single individual or group, then control of behavior becomes routine. All imperialism functions in this way.
Howard Thurman
To be white, or straight, or male, or middle class is to be simultaneously ubiquitious and invisible. You’re everywhere you look, you’re the standard against which everyone else is measured. You’re like water, like air. People will tell you they went to see a “woman doctor” or they will say they went to see “the doctor.” People will tell you they have a “gay colleague” or they’ll tell you about a colleague. A white person will be happy to tell you about a “Black friend,” but when that same person simply mentions a “friend,” everyone will assume the person is white. Any college course that doesn’t have the word “woman” or “gay” or “minority” in its title is a course about men, heterosexuals, and white people. But we call those courses “literature,” “history” or “political science.” This invisibility is political.
Michael S. Kimmel (Privilege: A Reader)
Look at those numbers running. Money makes time. It used to be the other way around. Clock time accelerated the rise of capitalism. People stopped thinking about eternity. They began to concentrate on hours, measurable hours, man-hours, using labor more efficiently.
Don DeLillo (Cosmopolis)
I could have sworn that the man's eyes were no longer watching his daughter dying in agony, that instead the gorgeous colors of flames and the sight of a woman suffering in them were giving him joy beyond measure.
Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (Hell Screen)
Although now long estranged, Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed. Dis-graced he may be, yet is not de-throned, and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned: Man, Sub-creator, the refracted Light through whom is splintered from a single White to many hues, and endlessly combined in living shapes that move from mind to mind. Though all the crannies of the world we filled with Elves and Goblins, though we dared to build Gods and their houses out of dark and light, and sowed the seed of dragons- 'twas our right (used or misused). That right has not decayed: we make still by the law in which we're made. Fantasy remains a human right: we make in our measure and in our derivative mode, because we are made: and not only made, but made in the image and likeness of a Maker.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Tolkien On Fairy-stories)
The Full Measure of a man is not to be found in the man himself, but in the colors and textures that come alive in others because of him.
Albert Schweitzer
Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creatures endures. A fear of time running out.
Mitch Albom (The Time Keeper)
Buffett found it 'extraordinary' that academics studied such things. They studied what was measurable, rather than what was meaningful. 'As a friend [Charlie Munger] said, to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Roger Lowenstein (Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist)
The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.
Lee Martin (The Bright Forever)
I must say that, beyond occasionally exposing me to laughter, my constitutional shyness has been no dis-advantage whatever. In fact I can see that, on the contrary, it has been all to my advantage. My hesitancy in speech, which was once an annoyance, is now a pleasure. Its greatest benefit has been that it has taught me the economy of words. I have naturally formed the habit of restraining my thoughts. And I can now give myself the certificate that a thoughtless word hardly ever escapes my tongue or pen. I do not recollect ever having had to regret anything in my speech or writing. I have thus been spared many a mishap and waste of time. Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth. Proneness to exaggerate, to suppress or modify the truth, wittingly or unwittingly, is a natural weakness of man, and silence is necessary in order to surmount it. A man of few words will rarely be thoughtless in his speech; he will measure every word. We find so many people impatient to talk. There is no chairman of a meeting who is not pestered with notes for permission to speak. And whenever the permission is given the speaker generally exceeds the time-limit, asks for more time, and keeps on talking without permission. All this talking can hardly be said to be of any benefit to the world. It is so much waste of time. My shyness has been in reality my shield and buckler. It has allowed me to grow. It has helped me in my discernment of truth.
Mahatma Gandhi
Once more I realized to what an extent earthly happiness is made to the measure of man. It is not a rare bird which we must pursue at one moment in heaven, at the next in our minds. Happiness is a domestic bird found in our own courtyards.
Nikos Kazantzakis (Report to Greco)
Alas! I had not then learned the measure of "man's inhumanity to man," nor to what limitless extent of wickedness he will go for the love of gain
Solomon Northup (Twelve Years a Slave)
But man's capacities have never been measured; nor are we to judge of what he can do by any precedents, so little have been tried.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.
Greg Laurie (Losers and Winners, Saints and Sinners: How to Finish Strong in the Spiritual Race)
Every man must have a philosophy of life, for everyone must have a standard by which to measure his conduct. And philosophy is nothing but a standard by which to measure.
B.R. Ambedkar (Writings And Speeches: A Ready Reference Manual)
I've learned that I must find positive outlets for anger or it will destroy me. There is a certain anger: it reaches such intensity that to express it fully would require homicidal rage--self destructive, destroy the world rage--and its flame burns because the world is so unjust. I have to try to find a way to channel that anger to the positive, and the highest positive is forgiveness.
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
[T]he scale of a man's evil is not entirely to be measured by its practical consequences. Men commit evil within the scope available to them.
Theodore Dalrymple (Our Culture, What's Left of It: The Mandarins and the Masses)
Before our white brothers came to civilize us we had no jails. Therefore we had no criminals. You can't have criminals without a jail. We had no locks or keys, and so we had no thieves. If a an was so poor that he had no horse, tipi or blanket, someone gave him these things. We were to uncivilized to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted to have things only in order to give them away. We had no money, and therefore a man's worth couldn't be measured by it. We had no written law, no attorneys or politicians, therefore we couldn't cheat. We really were in a bad way before the white men came, and I don't know how we managed to get along without these basic things which, we are told, are absolutly necessary to make a civilized society.
John Fire Lame Deer (Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions)
You can buy a man's time, you can buy a man's physical presence at a certain place, you can even buy a measured number of skilled muscular motions per hour or day. But you cannot buy enthusiasm, you cannot buy initiative, you cannot buy loyalty; you cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds, and souls. You have to earn these things.
Clarence Francis
He tasted like sin and heaven, all in one man.
Rebecca Yarros (Full Measures (Flight & Glory, #1))
Real friends are there no matter what. Real friends are people you love and hate in equal measure but who are as much a part of you as yourself.
C.J. Tudor (The Chalk Man)
We're all somewhat courageous, and we're all considerably cowardly. We're all imperfect, and life is simply a perpetual, unending struggle against those imperfections.
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
The measure of a man, she said finally, is not the words that mark his end, but everything he’s done since his beginning.
T.J. Klune (Into This River I Drown)
I KNOW THE WAY YOU CAN GET I know the way you can get When you have not had a drink of Love: Your face hardens, Your sweet muscles cramp. Children become concerned About a strange look that appears in your eyes Which even begins to worry your own mirror And nose. Squirrels and birds sense your sadness And call an important conference in a tall tree. They decide which secret code to chant To help your mind and soul. Even angels fear that brand of madness That arrays itself against the world And throws sharp stones and spears into The innocent And into one's self. O I know the way you can get If you have not been drinking Love: You might rip apart Every sentence your friends and teachers say, Looking for hidden clauses. You might weigh every word on a scale Like a dead fish. You might pull out a ruler to measure From every angle in your darkness The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once Trusted. I know the way you can get If you have not had a drink from Love's Hands. That is why all the Great Ones speak of The vital need To keep remembering God, So you will come to know and see Him As being so Playful And Wanting, Just Wanting to help. That is why Hafiz says: Bring your cup near me. For all I care about Is quenching your thirst for freedom! All a Sane man can ever care about Is giving Love!
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Agreements. Specifically, a treaty ratified by all the orders of whimsical like forms who dwell here that affords a measure of security for mortal caretakers. In a world where mortal man has become the dominant force, most creatures of enchantment have fled to refuges like this one.
Brandon Mull (Fablehaven (Fablehaven, #1))
The true measure of a man is how he behaves when death is close.
Alma Katsu (The Taker (The Taker, #1))
Accept that environment compromises values far more than values do their number on environment.
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
Sometimes it seems especially difficult to submit to "great tribulation" when we look around and see others seemingly much less obedient who triumph even as we weep. But time is measured only unto man, says Alma (see Alma 40:8), and God has a very good memory.
Jeffrey R. Holland (Created for Greater Things)
As I entered this world, I would leave behind the nurturing of my family and my home, but in another sense I would take their protection with me. The lessons I had learned, the feelings of groundedness and belonging that have been woven into my character there, would be my companions on the journey.
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
If much in the world were mystery the limits of that world were not, for it was without measure or bound and there were contained within it creatures more horrible yet and men of other colors and beings which no man has looked upon and yet not alien none of it more than were their own hearts alien in them, whatever wilderness contained there and whatever beasts.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
I have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.' That's T.S. Eliot, in case you were wondering. An oldie but a goodie. When it came to existential exhaustion, the man was one smart cookie.
Justin Cronin (The City of Mirrors (The Passage, #3))
God didn't give man wings; He gave him the brains and the spirit to give himself wings. Just as He gave us the capacity to laugh when we hurt, or to struggle on when we feel like giving up. I've come to believe that how we choose to live with pain, or injustice, or death...is the true measure of the Divine within us.
Alan Brennert
The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently; but he is willing, in great crises, to give even his life--knowing that under certain conditions it is not worth while to live. He is of a disposition to do men service, though he is ashamed to have a service done to him. To confer a kindness is a mark of superiority; to receive one is a mark of subordination... He does not take part in public displays... He is open in his dislikes and preferences; he talks and acts frankly, because of his contempt for men and things... He is never fired with admiration, since there is nothing great in his eyes. He cannot live in complaisance with others, except it be a friend; complaisance is the characteristic of a slave... He never feels malice, and always forgets and passes over injuries... He is not fond of talking... It is no concern of his that he should be praised, or that others should be blamed. He does not speak evil of others, even of his enemies, unless it be to themselves. His carriage is sedate, his voice deep, his speech measured; he is not given to hurry, for he is concerned about only a few things; he is not prone to vehemence, for he thinks nothing very important. A shrill voice and hasty steps come to a man through care... He bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of his circumstances, like a skillful general who marshals his limited forces with the strategy of war... He is his own best friend, and takes delight in privacy whereas the man of no virtue or ability is his own worst enemy, and is afraid of solitude.
Aristotle (Ethics: The Nicomachean Ethics.)
I don't mean to be like some old guy from the olden days who says, "I walked thirty miles to school every morning, so you kids should too." That's a statement born of envy and resentment. What I'm saying is something quite different. What I'm saying is that by having very little, I had it good. Children need a sense of pulling their own weight, of contributing to the family in some way, and some sense of the family's interdependence. They take pride in knowing that they're contributing. They learn responsibility and discipline through meaningful work. The values developed within a family that operates on those principles then extend to the society at large. By not being quite so indulged and "protected" from reality by overflowing abundance, children see the bonds that connect them to others.
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
I will render you as you really were, neither cast in pristine stained glass or unholy fire. I will make you into nothing more than a man, tender and brutal in equal measure, and perhaps in doing so I will justify myself to you. To my own haunted conscience.
S.T. Gibson (A Dowry of Blood (A Dowry of Blood, #1))
But the measure of a man, of a life, of a union of man and wife or even country is not in the falling. It’s in the rising back up again to repair what’s broken, to put right what’s wrong. Your father and I did that. We always did that. He never stopped trying until the day he died. And neither will I.
Stephanie Dray (My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton: Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest for a More Perfect Union)
Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than any man who tries to slide-rule, measure, and equate the universe, which just won't be measured or equated without making man feel bestial and lonely.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Freuchen tells how one day, after coming home hungry from an unsuccessful walrus-hunting expedition, he found one of the successful hunters dropping off several hundred pounds of meat. He thanked him profusely. The man objected indignantly: "Up in our country we are human!" said the hunter. "And since we are human we help each other. We don't like to hear anybody say thanks for that. What I get today you may get tomorrow. Up here we say that by gifts one makes slaves and by whips one makes dogs. ... The refusal to calculate credits and debits can be found throughout the anthropological literature on egalitarian hunting societies. Rather than seeing himself as human because he could make economic calculations, the hunter insisted that being truly human meant refusing to make such calculations, refusing to measure or remember who had given what to whom, for the precise reason that doing so would inevitably create a world where we began "comparing power with power, measuring, calculating" and reducing each other to slaves or dogs through debt. It's not that he, like untold millions of similar egalitarian spirits throughout history, was unaware that humans have a propensity to calculate. If he wasn't aware of it, he could not have said what he did. Of course we have a propensity to calculate. We have all sorts of propensities. In any real-life situation, we have propensities that drive us in several different contradictory directions simultaneously. No one is more real than any other. The real question is which we take as the foundation of our humanity, and therefore, make the basis of our civilization.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
In the whole vast dome of living nature there reigns an open violence. A kind of prescriptive fury which arms all the creatures to their common doom: as soon as you leave the inanimate kingdom you find the decree of violent death inscribed on the very frontiers of life. You feel it already in the vegetable kingdom: from the great catalpa to the humblest herb, how many plants die and how many are killed; but, from the moment you enter the animal kingdom, this law is suddenly in the most dreadful evidence. A Power, a violence, at once hidden and palpable. . . has in each species appointed a certain number of animals to devour the others. . . And who [in this general carnage] exterminates him who will exterminate all others? Himself. It is man who is charged with the slaughter of man. . . The whole earth, perpetually steeped in blood, is nothing but a vast altar upon which all that is living must be sacrificed without end, without measure, without pause, until the consummation of things, until evil is extinct, until the death of death.
Joseph de Maistre (St Petersburg Dialogues: Or Conversations on the Temporal Government of Providence)
The means of production being the collective work of humanity, the product should be the collective property of the race. Individual appropriation is neither just nor serviceable. All belongs to all. All things are for all men, since all men have need of them, since all men have worked in the measure of their strength to produce them, and since it is not possible to evaluate every one's part in the production of the world's wealth. All things are for all. Here is an immense stock of tools and implements; here are all those iron slaves which we call machines, which saw and plane, spin and weave for us, unmaking and remaking, working up raw matter to produce the marvels of our time. But nobody has the right to seize a single one of these machines and say, "This is mine; if you want to use it you must pay me a tax on each of your products," any more than the feudal lord of medieval times had the right to say to the peasant, "This hill, this meadow belong to me, and you must pay me a tax on every sheaf of corn you reap, on every rick you build." All is for all! If the man and the woman bear their fair share of work, they have a right to their fair share of all that is produced by all, and that share is enough to secure them well-being. No more of such vague formulas as "The Right to work," or "To each the whole result of his labour." What we proclaim is The Right to Well-Being: Well-Being for All!
Pyotr Kropotkin (The Conquest of Bread)
Destiny, I feel is also a relationship-a play between grace and willful self-effort. Half of it you have no control over, half of it is absolutely in your hands and your actions will show measurable consequences. Man is neither entirely a puppet of the gods, nor is he entirely the captain of his own destiny; he’s a little of both. We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses-one foot is on the horse called “fate” the other on the horse called “free will”. And the question you have to ask everyday is, Which horse is which? Which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it’s not under my control, and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort?
Elizabeth Gilbert
You made me who I am today, Nanni. Wherever I go, everyone I see and crave is ultimately measured by the glow of your light. If my life were a boat, you were the one who stepped on board, turned on its running lights, and was never heard from again. All this might as well be in my head, and in my head it stays. But I've lived and loved by your light alone. In a bus, on a busy street, in class, in a crowded concert hall, once or twice a year, whether for a man or a woman, my heart still jolts when I spot your look-alike. We love only once in our lives, my father had said, sometimes too early, sometimes too late; the other times are always a touch deliberate.
André Aciman (Enigma Variations)
He had some measure of the infuriating trait that causes a young man to be a nonconformist for its own sake and found that the surest way to shock most people, in those days, was to believe that some kinds of behavior were bad and others good, and that it was reasonable to live one's life accordingly.
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer)
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
Chronological time is what we measure by clocks and calendars; it is always linear, orderly, quantifiable, and mechanical. Kairotic time is organic, rhythmic, bodily, leisurely, and aperiodic; it is the inner cadence that brings fruit to ripeness, a woman to childbirth, a man to change the direction of his life.
Sam Keen
The hours are numerous and the clock seldom measures the time that passes inside us, the real lifetime, and because of this many days can fit into a few hours, and vice versa, and numbers of years can be an imprecise measure of a man's lifetime, he who dies at forty has perhaps actually lived much longer than he who dies at ninety.
Jón Kalman Stefánsson (Himnaríki og helvíti)
I also feared boredom and mediocrity much more than I feared failure. For me, great is better than terrible, and terrible is better than mediocre, because terrible at least gives life flavor. The high school yearbook quote my friends chose for me was from Thoreau: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
I'm not interested in absolute moral judgments. Just think of what it means to be a good man or a bad one. What, after all, is the measure of difference? The good guy may be 65 per cent good and 35 per cent bad—that's a very good guy. The average decent fellow might be 54 per cent good, 46 per cent bad—and the average mean spirit is the reverse. So say I'm 60 per cent bad and 40 per cent good—for that, must I suffer eternal punishment? "Heaven and Hell make no sense if the majority of humans are a complex mixture of good and evil. There's no reason to receive a reward if you're 57/43—why sit around forever in an elevated version of Club Med? That's almost impossible to contemplate.
Norman Mailer (On God: An Uncommon Conversation)
So one must be resigned to being a clock that measures the passage of time, now out of order, now repaired, and whose mechanism generates despair and love as soon as its maker sets it going? Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition? That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should repeat itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox...
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
This light of history is pitiless; it has a strange and divine quality that, luminous as it is, and precisely because it is luminous, often casts a shadow just where we saw a radiance; out of the same man it makes two different phantoms, and the one attacks and punishes the other, the darkness of the despot struggles with the splendor of the captain. Hence a truer measure in the final judgment of the nations. Babylon violated diminishes Alexander; Rome enslaved diminishes Caesar; massacred Jerusalem diminishes Titus. Tyranny follows the tyrant. Woe to the man who leaves behind a shadow that bears his form.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state as we may hope, than the Caucasian and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.
Charles Darwin (The Descent of Man)
The criers of the Mysteries speak again, bidding all men welcome to the House of Light. The great institution of materiality has failed. The false civilization built by man has turned, and like the monster of Frankenstein, is destroying its creator. Religion wanders aimlessly in the maze of theological speculation. Science batters itself impotently against the barriers of the unknown. Only transcendental philosophy knows the path. Only the illumined reason can carry the understanding part of man upward to the light. Only philosophy can teach man to be born well, to live well, to die well, and in perfect measure be born again. Into this band of the elect--those who have chosen the life of knowledge, of virtue, and of utility--the philosophers of the ages invite YOU.
Manly P. Hall (The Secret Teachings of All Ages)
And what do you know, John's hands flew through the positions of ASL in various l-got-this combinations. "Is he deaf" the guy behind the cash register asked in a stage whisper. As if someone using American Sign Language was some kind of freak. "No. Blind." "Oh." As the man kept staring, Qhuinn wanted to pop him. "You going to help us out here or what?" "Oh ... yeah. Hey, you got a tattoo on your face." Mr. Observant moved slowly, like the bar codes on those bags were creating some kind of wind resistance under his laser reader. "Did you know that?" Really. "I wouldn't know." ''Are you blind, too?" No filter on this guy. None. "Yeah, I am." "Oh, so that's why your eyes are all weird." "Yeah. That's right." Qhuinn took out a twenty and didn't wait for change-murder was just a liiiiiittle too tempting. Nodding to John, who was also measuring the dear boy for a shroud, Qhuinn went to walk off. "What about your change ?" the man called out. "I'm deaf, too. I can't hear you." The guy yelled more loudly, "I'll just keep it then, yeah?" "Sounds good," Qhuinn shouted over his shoulder. Idiot was stage-five stupid. Straight up.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
My own father had always said the measure of a man wasn't how many times or how hard he got knocked down, but how fast he got back up. I made a pledge to myself that I would get up and emerge from this debacle better for having gone through it. I would live up to the expectation I had for myself. I would be the kind of man I wanted to be.
Joe Biden (Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics)
Child psychologists have demonstrated that our minds are actually constructed by these thousands of tiny interactions during the first few years of life. We aren't just what we're taught. It's what we experience during those early years - a smile here, a jarring sound there - that creates the pathways and connections of the brain. We put our kids to fifteen years of quick-cut advertising, passive television watching, and sadistic video games, and we expect to see emerge a new generation of calm, compassionate, and engaged human beings?
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
They say a man's inspiration is visual, but for a woman, it's the narrative. Abandon both the narrative and the visual. Close your eyes, measure your breath. Dead weight is sloughed off, dust swept away, forms dissolve into one atmosphere. The rib cage opens, the lungs fill, the breast rises. Waves sweep up the body on their swell, rocking it rhythmically. Feet planted, the back arches, the pelvis reaches forward. Oxygen kindles a flame, sprawling through the belly, and gathering in a warm blaze. The hand reaches to meet the sensation. Calligraphy spills from the inkwell. Open your eyes, sharpen your focus, and exclaim: There are no separations.
Craig Thompson (Habibi)
We live among ruins in a World in which ‘god is dead’ as Nietzsche stated. The ideals of today are comfort, expediency, surface knowledge, disregard for one’s ancestral heritage and traditions, catering to the lowest standards of taste and intelligence, apotheosis of the pathetic, hoarding of material objects and possessions, disrespect for all that is inherently higher and better — in other words a complete inversion of true values and ideals, the raising of the victory flag of ignorance and the banner of degeneracy. In such a time, social decadence is so widespread that it appears as a natural component of all political institutions. The crises that dominate the daily lives of our societies are part of a secret occult war to remove the support of spiritual and traditional values in order to turn man into a passive instrument of dark powers. The common ground of both Capitalism and Socialism is a materialistic view of life and being. Materialism in its war with the Spirit has taken on many forms; some have promoted its goals with great subtlety, whilst others have done so with an alarming lack of subtlety, but all have added, in greater or lesser measure, to the growing misery of Mankind. The forms which have done the most damage in our time may be enumerated as: Freemasonry, Liberalism, Nihilism, Capitalism, Socialism, Marxism, Imperialism, Anarchism, Modernism and the New Age.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr
It appears that I am willing to put with many things for the sake of Jamie Watson . . . I can tell he’s hiding a laugh when he curls his mouth in like he’s eating a lemon. Sometimes I say terrible things just to see him do it . . . He flagellates himself rather a lot, as this narrative shows. He shouldn’t. He is lovely and warm and quite brave and a bit heedless of his own safety and by any measure the best man I’ve ever known. I’ve discovered that I am very clever when it comes to caring about him, and so I will continue to do so. Later today I will ask him to spend the rest of winter break at my family’s home in Sussex . . . Watson will say yes, I’m sure of it. He always says yes to me. – Charlotte
Brittany Cavallaro (A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes, #1))
Sign on, young man, and sail with me. The stature of our homeland is no more than the measure of ourselves. Our job is to keep her free. Our will is to keep the torch of freedom burning for all. To this solemn purpose we call on the young, the brave, the strong, and the free. Heed my call, Come to the sea. Come Sail with me.
John Paul Jones
The value of any commodity, therefore, to the person who possesses it, and who means not to use or consume it himself, but to exchange it for other commodities, is equal to the quantity of labour which it enables him to purchase or command. Labour, therefore, is the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities. The real price of everything, what everything really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.
Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations)
The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding. Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh. We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore. Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another. Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap. They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.
Abraham Joshua Heschel (Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion)
For a moment he said nothing, then he reached over and traced a line down her cheek with his finger. "When a man looks into a woman's eyes, lass, he doesna want to see the horrors he has kent written there. He wants to see joy and warmth and some measure of innocence. Tis the natural duty and desire of a man to protect his woman and children from the world's bitterness.
Pamela Clare (Surrender (MacKinnon’s Rangers, #1))
Now he understood that a man never knows for whom he suffers and hopes. He suffers and hopes and toils for people he will never know, and who, in turn, will suffer and hope and toil for others who will not be happy either, for man always seeks a happiness far beyond that which is meted out to him. But man's greatness consists in the very fact of wanting to be better than he is. In laying duties upon himself. In the Kingdom of Heaven there is no grandeur to be won, inasmuch as there all is an established hierarchy, the unknown is revealed, existence is infinite, there is no possibility of sacrifice, all is rest and joy. For this reason, bowed down by suffering and duties, beautiful in the midst of his misery, capable of loving in the face of afflictions and trials, man finds his greatness, his fullest measure, only in the Kingdom of this World.
Alejo Carpentier (The Kingdom of This World)
Paine suffered then, as now he suffers not so much because of what he wrote as from the misinterpretations of others... He disbelieved the ancient myths and miracles taught by established creeds. But the attacks on those creeds - or on persons devoted to them - have served to darken his memory, casting a shadow across the closing years of his life. When Theodore Roosevelt termed Tom Paine a 'dirty little atheist' he surely spoke from lack of understanding. It was a stricture, an inaccurate charge of the sort that has dimmed the greatness of this eminent American. But the true measure of his stature will yet be appreciated. The torch which he handed on will not be extinguished. If Paine had ceased his writings with 'The Rights of Man' he would have been hailed today as one of the two or three outstanding figures of the Revolution. But 'The Age of Reason' cost him glory at the hands of his countrymen - a greater loss to them than to Tom Paine. I was always interested in Paine the inventor. He conceived and designed the iron bridge and the hollow candle; the principle of the modern central draught burner. The man had a sort of universal genius. He was interested in a diversity of things; but his special creed, his first thought, was liberty. Traducers have said that he spent his last days drinking in pothouses. They have pictured him as a wicked old man coming to a sorry end. But I am persuaded that Paine must have looked with magnanimity and sorrow on the attacks of his countrymen. That those attacks have continued down to our day, with scarcely any abatement, is an indication of how strong prejudice, when once aroused, may become. It has been a custom in some quarters to hold up Paine as an example of everything bad. The memory of Tom Paine will outlive all this. No man who helped to lay the foundations of our liberty - who stepped forth as the champion of so difficult a cause - can be permanently obscured by such attacks. Tom Paine should be read by his countrymen. I commend his fame to their hands. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
Man is manifestly not the measure of all things. This universe is shot through with mystery. The very fact of its being, and of our own, is a mystery absolute, and the only miracle worthy of the name. The consciousness that animates us is itself central to this mystery and ground for any experience we may wish to call “spiritual.” No myth needs to be embraced for us to commune with the profundity of our circumstance. No personal God need be worshipped for us to live in awe at the beauty and immensity of creation. No tribal fictions need be rehearsed for us to realize, one fine day, that we do, in fact, love our neighbors, that our happiness is inextricable from their own, and that our interdependence demands that people everywhere be given the opportunity to flourish. The days of our religious identities are clearly numbered. Whether the days of civilization itself are numbered would seem to depend, rather too much, on how soon we realize this.
Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason)
No one is accountable for existing at all, or for being constituted as he is, or for living in the circumstances and surroundings in which he lives. The fatality of his nature cannot be disentangled from the fatality of all that which has been and will be. He is not the result of a special design, a will, a purpose; he is not the subject of an attempt to attain an 'ideal of man' or an 'ideal of happiness' or an 'ideal of morality'--it is absurd to want to hand over his nature to some purpose or other. We invented the concept 'purpose': in reality purpose is lacking...One is necessary, one is a piece of fate, one belongs to the whole, one is in the whole--there exists nothing which could judge, measure, compare, condemn our being, for that would be to judge, measure, condemn the whole...
Friedrich Nietzsche (A Nietzsche Reader)
The Idols of Tribe have their foundation in human nature itself, and in the tribe or race of men. For it is a false assertion that the sense of man is the measure of things. On the contrary, all perceptions as well of the sense as of the mind are according to the measure of the individual and not according to the measure of the universe. And the human understanding is like a false mirror, which, receiving rays irregularly, distorts and discolors the nature of things by mingling its own nature with it.
Francis Bacon (Novum Organum)
Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen. Perhaps I might say right here that this is a national loss and a deplorable lack of understanding concerning the man who first proposed and first wrote those impressive words, 'the United States of America.' But it is hardly strange. Paine's teachings have been debarred from schools everywhere and his views of life misrepresented until his memory is hidden in shadows, or he is looked upon as of unsound mind. We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. He was the equal of Washington in making American liberty possible. Where Washington performed Paine devised and wrote. The deeds of one in the Weld were matched by the deeds of the other with his pen. Washington himself appreciated Paine at his true worth. Franklin knew him for a great patriot and clear thinker. He was a friend and confidant of Jefferson, and the two must often have debated the academic and practical phases of liberty. I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles. Although the present generation knows little of Paine's writings, and although he has almost no influence upon contemporary thought, Americans of the future will justly appraise his work. I am certain of it. Truth is governed by natural laws and cannot be denied. Paine spoke truth with a peculiarly clear and forceful ring. Therefore time must balance the scales. The Declaration and the Constitution expressed in form Paine's theory of political rights. He worked in Philadelphia at the time that the first document was written, and occupied a position of intimate contact with the nation's leaders when they framed the Constitution. Certainly we may believe that Washington had a considerable voice in the Constitution. We know that Jefferson had much to do with the document. Franklin also had a hand and probably was responsible in even larger measure for the Declaration. But all of these men had communed with Paine. Their views were intimately understood and closely correlated. There is no doubt whatever that the two great documents of American liberty reflect the philosophy of Paine. ...Then Paine wrote 'Common Sense,' an anonymous tract which immediately stirred the fires of liberty. It flashed from hand to hand throughout the Colonies. One copy reached the New York Assembly, in session at Albany, and a night meeting was voted to answer this unknown writer with his clarion call to liberty. The Assembly met, but could find no suitable answer. Tom Paine had inscribed a document which never has been answered adversely, and never can be, so long as man esteems his priceless possession. In 'Common Sense' Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again. It must be remembered that 'Common Sense' preceded the declaration and affirmed the very principles that went into the national doctrine of liberty. But that affirmation was made with more vigor, more of the fire of the patriot and was exactly suited to the hour... Certainly [the Revolution] could not be forestalled, once he had spoken. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
Life is full of crises, we all know that. It's how we learn, how we grow. They help form character, mould the man (or woman), as it were. As an opposite to good times, they even help us appreciate life a little more; and a person without strife is a person without passion, for trauma both tests and strengthens moral fibre, becomes a measure of human depth. There is no adversity on this earth that cannot be overcome with fortitude and positive will.
James Herbert (Creed)
Rage. Sing, O Muse, of the rage of Achilles, of Peleus’ son, murderous, man-killer, fated to die, sing of the rage that cost the Achaeans so many good men and sent so many vital, hearty souls down to the dreary House of Death. And while you’re at it, Muse, sing of the rage of the gods themselves, so petulant and so powerful here on their new Olympos, and of the rage of the post-humans, dead and gone though they might be, and of the rage of those few true humans left, self-absorbed and useless though they have become. While you are singing, O Muse, sing also of the rage of those thoughtful, sentient, serious but not-so-close-to-human beings out there dreaming under the ice of Europa, dying in the sulfur ash of Io, and being born in the cold folds of Ganymede. Oh, and sing of me, O Muse, poor born-against-his-will Hockenberry, dead Thomas Hockenberry, Ph.D., Hockenbush to his friends, to friends long since turned to dust on a world long since left behind. Sing of my rage, yes, of my rage, O Muse, small and insignificant though that rage might be when measured against the anger of the immortal gods, or when compared to the wrath of the god-killer Achilles. On second though, O Muse, sing nothing of me. I know you. I have been bound and servant to you, O Muse, you incomparable bitch. And I do not trust you, O Muse. Not one little bit.
Dan Simmons (Ilium (Ilium, #1))
For Kierkegaard, for Heidegger, for Sartre, the more profound the awareness, the more authentic the existence. They measure honesty and the essence of experience by the degree of awareness. But is our humanity really built on awareness? Doesn't awareness--that forced, extreme awareness--arise among us, not from us, as something created by effort, the mutual perfecting of ourselves in it, the confirming of something that one philosopher forces onto another? Isn't man, therefore, in his private reality, something childish and always beneath his own awareness? And doesn't he feel awareness to be, at the same time, something alien, imposed and unimportant? If this is how it is, this furtive childhood, this concealed degradation are ready to explode your systems sooner or later.
Witold Gombrowicz (Dziennik 1953-1956)
Think about the world. War, violence, natural disasters, man-made disasters, corruption. Things are bad, and it feels like they are getting worse, right? The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer; and the number of poor just keeps increasing; and we will soon run out of resources unless we do something drastic. At least that’s the picture that most Westerners see in the media and carry around in their heads. I call it the overdramatic worldview. It’s stressful and misleading. In fact, the vast majority of the world’s population lives somewhere in the middle of the income scale. Perhaps they are not what we think of as middle class, but they are not living in extreme poverty. Their girls go to school, their children get vaccinated, they live in two-child families, and they want to go abroad on holiday, not as refugees. Step-by-step, year-by-year, the world is improving. Not on every single measure every single year, but as a rule. Though the world faces huge challenges, we have made tremendous progress. This is the fact-based worldview.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World—and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
The Couple Overfloweth We sometimes go on as though people can’t express themselves. In fact they’re always expressing themselves. The sorriest couples are those where the woman can’t be preoccupied or tired without the man saying “What’s wrong? Say something…,” or the man, without the woman saying … and so on. Radio and television have spread this spirit everywhere, and we’re riddled with pointless talk, insane quantities of words and images. Stupidity’s never blind or mute. So it’s not a problem of getting people to express themselves but of providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say. Repressive forces don’t stop people expressing themselves but rather force them to express themselves; What a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and ever rarer, thing that might be worth saying. What we’re plagued by these days isn’t any blocking of communication, but pointless statements. But what we call the meaning of a statement is its point. That’s the only definition of meaning, and it comes to the same thing as a statement’s novelty. You can listen to people for hours, but what’s the point? . . . That’s why arguments are such a strain, why there’s never any point arguing. You can’t just tell someone what they’re saying is pointless. So you tell them it’s wrong. But what someone says is never wrong, the problem isn’t that some things are wrong, but that they’re stupid or irrelevant. That they’ve already been said a thousand times. The notions of relevance, necessity, the point of something, are a thousand times more significant than the notion of truth. Not as substitutes for truth, but as the measure of the truth of what I’m saying. It’s the same in mathematics: Poincaré used to say that many mathematical theories are completely irrelevant, pointless; He didn’t say they were wrong – that wouldn’t have been so bad. (Negotiations)
Gilles Deleuze (Negotiations, 1972-1990)
Rosie: I don't know what you're talking about! I am not waiting for Alex! Ruby: Yes you are, my dear friend. He must be some man because nobody can ever measure up to him. And I know that's what you do every time you meet someone: compare. I'm sure he's a fabulous friend and I'm sure he always says sweet and wonderful thing to you. But he's not here. He's thousands of miles away, working as a doctor in a great big hospital and he lives in a fancy apartment with his fancy doctor fiancee. I don't think he's thinking of leaving that life anytime soon to come back to a single mother who's living in a tiny flat working in a crappy part-time job in a paperclip factory with a crazy friend who emails her every second. So stop waiting and move on. Live your life.
Cecelia Ahern (Where Rainbows End)
Numberless are the world's wonders, but none More wonderful than man; the storm gray sea Yields to his prows, the huge crests bear him high; Earth, holy and inexhaustible, is graven With shining furrows where his plows have gone Year after year, the timeless labor of stallions. The light-boned birds and beasts that cling to cover, The lithe fish lighting their reaches of dim water, All are taken, tamed in the net of his mind; The lion on the hill, the wild horse windy-maned, Resign to him; and his blunt yoke has broken The sultry shoulders of the mountain bull. Words also, and thought as rapid as air, He fashions to his good use; statecraft is his And his the skill that deflects the arrows of snow, The spears of winter rain: from every wind He has made himself secure--from all but one: In the late wind of death he cannot stand. O clear intelligence, force beyond all measure! O fate of man, working both good and evil! When the laws are kept, how proudly his city stands! When the laws are broken, what of his city then? Never may the anarchic man find rest at my hearth, Never be it said that my thoughts are his thoughts.
Sophocles (Antigone (The Theban Plays, #3))
Lines Written In Early Spring I heard a thousand blended notes, While in a grove I sate reclined, In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind. To her fair works did Nature link The human soul that through me ran; And much it grieved my heart to think What man has made of man. Through primrose tufts, in that green bower, The periwinkle trailed its wreaths; And 'tis my faith that every flower Enjoys the air it breathes. The birds around me hopped and played, Their thoughts I cannot measure:-- But the least motion which they made It seemed a thrill of pleasure. The budding twigs spread out their fan, To catch the breezy air; And I must think, do all I can, That there was pleasure there. If this belief from heaven be sent, If such be Nature's holy plan, Have I not reason to lament What man has made of man?
William Wordsworth
Now discontent nibbled at him - not painfully, but constantly. Where does discontent start? You are warm enough, but you shiver. You are fed, yet hunger gnaws you. You have been loved, but your yearning wanders in new fields. And to prod all these there's time, the bastard Time. The end of life is now not so terribly far away - you can see it the way you see the finish line when you come into the stretch - and your mind says, "Have I worked enough? Have I eaten enough? Have I loved enough?" All of these, of course, are the foundation of man's greatest curse, and perhaps his greatest glory. "What has my life meant so far, and what can it mean in the time left to me?" And now we're coming to the wicked, poisoned dart: "What have I contributed in the Great Ledger? What am I worth?" And this isn't vanity or ambition. Men seem to be born with a debt they can never pay no matter how hard they try. It piles up ahead of them. Man owes something to man. If he ignores the debt it poisons him, and if he tries to make payments the debt only increases, and the quality of his gift is the measure of the man.
John Steinbeck (Sweet Thursday (Cannery Row, #2))
It is love. I will have to run or hide. The walls of its prison rise up, as in a twisted dream. The beautiful mask has changed, but as always it is the one. Of what use are my talismans: the literary exercises, the vague erudition, the knowledge of words used by the harsh North to sing its seas and swords, the temperate friendship, the galleries of the Library, the common things, the habits, the young love of my mother, the militant shadow of my dead, the timeless night, the taste of dreams? Being with you or being without you is the measure of my time. Now the pitcher breaks about the spring, now the man arises to the sound of birds, now those that watch at the windows have gone dark, but the darkness has brought no peace. It, I know, is love: the anxiety and the relief at hearing your voice, the expectation and the memory, the horror of living in succession. It is love with its mythologies, with its tiny useless magics. There exists a corner that I dare not cross. Now the armies confine me, the hordes. (This room is unreal; she has not seen it.) The name of a woman gives me away. A woman hurts me in all of my body.
Jorge Luis Borges
Lennie rolled off the bunk and stood up, and the two of them started for the door. Just as they reached it, Curley bounced in. "You seen a girl around here?" he demanded angrily. George said coldly, "'Bout half an hour ago maybe." "Well, what the hell was she doin'?" George stood still, watching the angry little man. He said insultingly, "She said--she was lookin' for you." Curley seemed really to see George for the first time. His eyes flashed over George, took in his height, measured his reach, looked at his trim middle. "Well, which way'd she go?" he demanded at last. "I dunno," said George. "I didn't watch her go." Curley scowled at him, and turning, hurried out the door. George said, "Ya know, Lennie, I'm scared I'm gonna tangle with that bastard myself. I hate his guts. Jesus Christ! Come on. There won't be a damn thing left to eat.
John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men)
I asked a professor of nanotechnology what they use to measure the unthinkable small distances of nanospace? He said it was the nanometre. This didn't help me very much. A nanometre is a billionth of a metre. I understood the idea but couldn't visualise what it meant. I said, "What is it roughly?" He thought for a moment and said, "A nanometre is roughly the distance that a man's beard grows in one second". I had never thought about what beards do in a second but they must do something. It takes them all day to grow about a milllimetre. They don't leap out of your face at eight o'clock in the morning. Beards are slow, languid things and our language reflects this. We do not say "as quick as a beard" or "as fast as a bristle". We now have a way of grasping of how slow they are - about a nanometre a second.
Ken Robinson (Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative)
You're not my matchmaker any longer. But we're still friends, and in the interest of our friendship we need to discuss page thirteen." "Page thirteen ?" "You've accused me of being arrogant. I've always thought of myself as confident, but I'm here to tell you, no more. After studying these pictures... Honey, if this is what you're looking for in a man, I don't think any of us are going to measure up." "I have no idea what you're talking about." "Who knew flexible silicone came in so many colors?" Her sex toy catalog. He'd taken it months ago. She'd hoped he forgotten it by now. " Most of these products are hypoallergenic. That's good, I guess. Some with batteries, some without. I suppose that's a matter of preference. There's a harness on this one. That's pretty kinky. And...Son of a bitch ! It says this one is dishwater safe. I'm sorry but there's just something unappetizing about that.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
Let us dedicate this new era to mothers around the world, and also to the mother of all mothers -- Mother Earth. It is up to us to keep building bridges to bring the world closer together, and not destroy them to divide us further apart. We can pave new roads towards peace simply by understanding other cultures. This can be achieved through traveling, learning other languages, and interacting with others from outside our borders. Only then will one truly discover how we are more alike than different. Never allow language or cultural traditions to come between brothers and sisters. The same way one brother may not like his sister's choice of fashion or hairstyle, he will never hate her for her personal style or music preference. If you judge a man, judge only his heart. And if you should do so, make sure you use the truth in your conscience when weighing one's character. Do not measure anybody strictly based on the bad you see in them and ignore all the good.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air—that progress made under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave. . . .In any dispute between a citizen and the government, it is my instinct to side with the citizen . . . I am against all efforts to make men virtuous by law.
H.L. Mencken
No. Grief and anger doesn’t shock me.” Catherine paused. “Rachel, do you remember that day at the convent when we saw the old biplane? Remember what I said?” Rachel laughed without amusement. “I don’t even remember what I said.” “’Who can doubt the presence of God in the sight of men whom He has given wings.’ I recall that so precisely because I’ve had time to consider my error.” She smiled. “God didn’t give man wings; He gave him the brain and the spirit to give himself wings. Just as He gave us the capacity to laugh when we hurt, or to struggle on when we feel like giving up. I’ve come to believe that how we choose to live with pain, or injustice, or death…is the true measure of the Divine within us. Some, like Crossen, choose to do harm to themselves and others. Others, like Kenji, bear up under their pain and help others to bear it. I used to wonder, why did God give children leprosy? Now I believe: God doesn’t give anyone leprosy. He gives us, if we choose to use it, the spirit to live with leprosy, and with the imminence of death. Because it is in our own mortality that we are most Divine.
Alan Brennert (Moloka'i (Moloka'i, #1))
It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder. The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife — this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He does not wish to Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He wouldn't bleach his Negro blood in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of opportunity closed roughly in his face.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk)
There are people who cannot say good-bye They are born this way/this is how they die They are the keepers of promises/what moves them does not wear out Their loyalty will tear apart your clocks These are the people who can hear the music in songs They are the Vow carriers The grandmothers who always leave the porchlight on No one is lost to the one who sees These are the women widowed by men they never married These are the girls who wait even when you don't come These are the mothers of orphans/They can turn a fake into an original They will hear the prayer in your self-contempt As distance is measured/people do not end It is one of those stories that cannot be written down except across a lifetime of open doors There is a holding on beyond the letting go There is a reunion in everybody's chest This is how we come to make a family from strangers This is how we light candles These are people who will remember you when you meet them These are the people you can always call at night They are humans turned angels by your asking With each separation they go to seed again. These are the men who carried you on their shoulders This is the one your are lonely for the one who begins and ends your hunger This is the man who said "Always" There is something that does not wear out It is the third part of any two people who join It opens and closes There are people who are alone who are not apart This is why we listen to the madman when he speaks People change but they do not stop This is how we learn "Forever" There are people you can count on/They are the keepers of promises They are candles lit from each other They can teach us eternity We can get what we can give/This is the instruction There are people who do not say goodbye As distance is measured You are one of them
Merrit Malloy (The People Who Didn't Say Goodbye)
A particularly significant example of brain against body, or measures against matter, is urban man’s total slavery to clocks. A clock is a convenient device for arranging to meet a friend, or for helping people to do things together, although things of this kind happened long before they were invented. Clocks should not be smashed; they should simply be kept in their place. And they are very much out of place when we try to adapt our biological rhythms of eating, sleeping, evacuation, working, and relaxing to their uniform circular rotation. Our slavery to these mechanical drill masters has gone so far and our whole culture is so involved with it that reform is a forlorn hope; without them civilization would collapse entirely. A less brainy culture would learn to synchronize its body rhythms rather than its clocks.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity)
You call me the unhuman," it might say to him, "and so I really am—for you; but I am so only because you bring me into opposition to the human, and I could despise myself only so long as I let myself be hypnotized into this opposition. I was contemptible because I sought my 'better self' outside me; I was the unhuman because I dreamed of the 'human'; I resembled the pious who hunger for their 'true self' and always remain 'poor sinners'; I thought of myself only in comparison to another; enough, I was not all in all, was not—unique.[102] But now I cease to appear to myself as the unhuman, cease to measure myself and let myself be measured by man, cease to recognize anything above me: consequently—adieu, humane critic! I only have been the unhuman, am it now no longer, but am the unique, yes, to your loathing, the egoistic; yet not the egoistic as it lets itself be measured by the human, humane, and unselfish, but the egoistic as the—unique.
Max Stirner (The Ego and Its Own)
PLANETARIUM Thinking of Caroline Herschel (1750–1848) astronomer, sister of William; and others. A woman in the shape of a monster a monster in the shape of a woman the skies are full of them a woman ‘in the snow among the Clocks and instruments or measuring the ground with poles’ in her 98 years to discover 8 comets she whom the moon ruled like us levitating into the night sky riding the polished lenses Galaxies of women, there doing penance for impetuousness ribs chilled in those spaces of the mind An eye, ‘virile, precise and absolutely certain’ from the mad webs of Uranusborg encountering the NOVA every impulse of light exploding from the core as life flies out of us Tycho whispering at last ‘Let me not seem to have lived in vain’ What we see, we see and seeing is changing the light that shrivels a mountain and leaves a man alive Heartbeat of the pulsar heart sweating through my body The radio impulse pouring in from Taurus I am bombarded yet I stand I have been standing all my life in the direct path of a battery of signals the most accurately transmitted most untranslatable language in the universe I am a galactic cloud so deep so invo- luted that a light wave could take 15 years to travel through me And has taken I am an instrument in the shape of a woman trying to translate pulsations into images for the relief of the body and the reconstruction of the mind.
Adrienne Rich (Collected Early Poems, 1950-1970)
Why do many believers insist on repeatedly pointing to the crimes of 20th century dictators who led officially atheistic societies as some sort of evidence of their god's existence? It makes no sense. If the rivers of blood on Stalin's hands and Mao's hands, for example, are supposed to prove there is a god, then what do the oceans of blood on the hands of several thousand years' worth of religious kings, queens, presidents, popes, priests, generals, Crusadersm jihadists and tribal chiefs prove? It's not, of course, but if bodycount is somehow the measure of a god's likelihood of existence, then believers lose. It is clear that humans are quite capable of killing with or without images of gods bouncing around in their heads. If anything, however, history suggests that the concept of gods makes the idea of massacring your fellow man (and women and children, too, of course) a lot easier to act upon.
Guy P. Harrison
The really hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. “Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.” They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted, still cherish “the illusion of individuality,” but in fact they have been to a great extent deindividualized. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity. But “uniformity and freedom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible too. . . . Man is not made to be an automaton, and if he becomes one, the basis for mental health is destroyed.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
It is really incredible how meaningless and insignificant when seen from without, and how dull and senseless when felt from within, is the course of life of the great majority of men. It is weary longing and worrying, a dreamlike staggering through the four ages of life to death, accompanied by a series of trivial thoughts. They are like clockwork that is wound up and goes without knowing why. Every time a man is begotten and born the clock of human life is wound up anew, to repeat once more its same old tune that has already been played innumerable times, movement by movement and measure by measure, with insignificant variations. Every individual, every human apparition and its course of life, is only one more short dream of the endless spirit of nature, of the persistent will-to-live, is only one more fleeting form, playfully sketched by it on its infinite page, space and time; it is allowed to exist for a short while that is infinitesimal compared with these, and is then effaced, to make new room. Yet, and here is to be found the serious side of life, each of these fleeting forms, these empty fancies, must be paid for by the whole will-to-live in all its intensity with many deep sorrows, and finally with a bitter death, long feared and finally made manifest. It is for this reason that the sight of a corpse suddenly makes us serious.
Arthur Schopenhauer (The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1)
Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal supporter; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question incapacity to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting a justifiable means of self-defense. [5] The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries. In short, to forestall an intending criminal, or to suggest the idea of a crime where it was lacking was equally commended, [6] until even blood became a weaker tie than party, from the superior readiness of those united by the latter to dare everything without reserve; for such associations sought not the blessings derivable from established institutions but were formed by ambition to overthrow them; and the confidence of their members in each other rested less on any religious sanction than upon complicity in crime.
Thucydides (The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War)
Tell me something. Do you believe in God?' Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?' 'It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?' 'What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...' 'No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.' Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks: 'There was Manicheanism...' 'Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...' Snow pondered for a while: 'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.' I kept on: 'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...' 'We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.' 'If you're going to take what I say literally...' ...Snow asked abruptly: 'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?' 'I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
I think of all that is happening elsewhere, as I lie here. Nearby, I can hear the sounds of a road crew. Somewhere else, monkeys chatter in trees. A male seahorse becomes pregnant. A diamond forms, a bee dances out directions, a windshield shatters. Somewhere a mother spreads peanut butter for her son's lunch, a lover sighs, a knitter binds off the edge of a sleeve. Clouds gather to make rain, corn ripens on the stalk, a cancer cell divides, a little league team scores. Somewhere blossoms open, a man pushes a knife in deeper, a painter darkens her blue. A cashier pours new dimes into an outstretched hand, rainbows form and fade, plates in the earth shift and settle. A woman opens a velvet box, male spiders pluck gently on the females' webs, falcons fall from the sky. Abstracts are real and time is a lie, it cannot be measured when one moment can expand to hold everything. You can want to live and end up choosing death; and you can want to die and end up living. What keeps us here, really? A thread that breaks in a breeze. And yet a thread that cannot be broken
Elizabeth Berg (Never Change)
By religion, then, I understand a propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to man which are believed to direct and control the course of nature and of human life. Thus defined, religion consists of two elements, a theoretical and a practical, namely, a belief in powers higher than man and an attempt to propitiate or please them. Of the two, belief clearly comes first, since we must believe in the existence of a divine being before we can attempt to please him. But unless the belief leads to a corresponding practice, it is not a religion but merely a theology; in the language of St. James, “faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” In other words, no man is religious who does not govern his conduct in some measure by the fear or love of God. On the other hand, mere practice, divested of all religious belief, is also not religion. Two men may behave in exactly the same way, and yet one of them may be religious and the other not. If the one acts from the love or fear of God, he is religious; if the other acts from the love or fear of man, he is moral or immoral according as his behaviour comports or conflicts with the general good.
James George Frazer (The Golden Bough)
I am sorry that I cannot make it okay. I am sorry that I cannot save you -- but not that sorry. Part of me thinks that your very vulnerability brings you closer to the meaning of life, just as for others, the quest to believe oneself white divides them from it. The fact is that despite their dreams, their lives are also not inviolable. When their own vulnerability becomes real -- when the police decide that tactics for the ghetto should enjoy wider usage, when their armed society shoots down their children, when nature sends hurricanes against their cities -- they are shocked in a way that those of us who were born and bred to understand cause and effect can never be. And I would not have you like them. You have been cast into a race in which the wind is always at your face and the hounds are always at your heels. And to varying degrees this is true of all life. The difference is that you do not have the privilege of living in ignorance of this essential fact. I am speaking to you as I always have -- as the sober and serious man I have always wanted you to be, who does not apologize for his human feelings, who does not make excuses for his height, his long arms, his beautiful smile. You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable. None of that can change the math anyway. I never wanted you to be twice as good as them, so much as I have always wanted you to attack every day of your brief bright life in struggle. The people who must believe they are white can never be your measuring stick. I would not have you descend into your own dream. I would have you be a conscious citizen of this terrible and beautiful world.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
That's the myth of it, the required lie that allows us to render our judgments. Parasites, criminals, dope fiends, dope peddlers, whores--when we can ride past them at Fayette and Monroe, car doors locked, our field of vision cautiously restricted to the road ahead, then the long journey into darkness is underway. Pale-skinned hillbillies and hard-faced yos, toothless white trash and gold-front gangsters--when we can glide on and feel only fear, we're well on the way. And if, after a time, we can glimpse the spectacle of the corner and manage nothing beyond loathing and contempt, then we've arrived at last at that naked place where a man finally sees the sense in stretching razor wire and building barracks and directing cattle cars into the compound. It's a reckoning of another kind, perhaps, and one that becomes a possibility only through the arrogance and certainty that so easily accompanies a well-planned and well-tended life. We know ourselves, we believe in ourselves; from what we value most, we grant ourselves the illusion that it's not chance in circumstance, that opportunity itself isn't the defining issue. We want the high ground; we want our own worth to be acknowledged. Morality, intelligence, values--we want those things measured and counted. We want it to be about Us. Yes, if we were down there, if we were the damned of the American cities, we would not fail. We would rise above the corner. And when we tell ourselves such things, we unthinkably assume that we would be consigned to places like Fayette Street fully equipped, with all the graces and disciplines, talents and training that we now posses. Our parents would still be our parents, our teachers still our teachers, our broker still our broker. Amid the stench of so much defeat and despair, we would kick fate in the teeth and claim our deserved victory. We would escape to live the life we were supposed to live, the life we are living now. We would be saved, and as it always is in matters of salvation, we know this as a matter of perfect, pristine faith. Why? The truth is plain: We were not born to be niggers.
David Simon (The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood)
How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - thrown from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, and so forth. Every day new sects are created and what Saint Paul says about human trickery comes true, with cunning which tries to draw those into error (cf Ephesians 4, 14). Having a clear Faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and 'swept along by every wind of teaching', looks like the only attitude acceptable to today's standards. We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires. However, we have a different goal: the Son of God, true man. He is the measure of true humanism. Being an 'Adult' means having a faith which does not follow the waves of today's fashions or the latest novelties. A faith which is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ is adult and mature. It is this friendship which opens us up to all that is good and gives us the knowledge to judge true from false, and deceit from truth.
Benedict XVI
(about William Blake) [Blake] said most of us mix up God and Satan. He said that what most people think is God is merely prudence, and the restrainer and inhibitor of energy, which results in fear and passivity and "imaginative death." And what we so often call "reason" and think is so fine, is not intelligence or understanding at all, but just this: it is arguing from our *memory* and the sensations of our body and from the warnings of other people, that if we do such and such a thing we will be uncomfortable. "It won't pay." "People will think it is silly." "No one else does it." "It is immoral." But the only way you can grow in understanding and discover whether a thing is good or bad, Blake says, is to do it. "Sooner strangle an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires." For this "Reason" as Blake calls it (which is really just caution) continually nips and punctures and shrivels the imagination and the ardor and the freedom and the passionate enthusiasm welling up in us. It is Satan, Blake said. It is the only enemy of God. "For nothing is pleasing to God except the invention of beautiful and exalted things." And when a prominent citizen of his time, a logical, opining, erudite, measured, rationalistic, Know-it-all, warned people against "mere enthusiasm," Blake wrote furiously (he was a tender-hearted, violent and fierce red-haired man): "Mere enthusiasm is the All in All!
Brenda Ueland (If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit)
In the whole vast domain of living nature there reigns an open violence, a kind of prescriptive fury which arms all the creatures to their common doom. As soon as you leave the inanimate kingdom, you find the decree of violent death inscribed on the very frontiers of life. You feel it already in the vegetable kingdom: from the great catalpa to the humblest herb, how many plants die, and how many are killed. But from the moment you enter the animal kingdom, this law is suddenly in the most dreadful evidence. A power of violence at once hidden and palpable … has in each species appointed a certain number of animals to devour the others. Thus there are insects of prey, reptiles of prey, birds of prey, fishes of prey, quadrupeds of prey. There is no instant of time when one creature is not being devoured by another. Over all these numerous races of animals man is placed, and his destructive hand spares nothing that lives. He kills to obtain food and he kills to clothe himself. He kills to adorn himself, he kills in order to attack, and he kills in order to defend himself. He kills to instruct himself and he kills to amuse himself. He kills to kill. Proud and terrible king, he wants everything and nothing resists him. From the lamb he tears its guts and makes his harp resound ... from the wolf his most deadly tooth to polish his pretty works of art; from the elephant his tusks to make a toy for his child - his table is covered with corpses ... And who in all of this will exterminate him who exterminates all others? Himself. It is man who is charged with the slaughter of man ... So it is accomplished ... the first law of the violent destruction of living creatures. The whole earth, perpetually steeped in blood, is nothing but a vast altar upon which all that is living must be sacrificed without end, without measure, without pause, until the consummation of things, until evil is extinct, until the death of death.
Joseph de Maistre (St Petersburg Dialogues: Or Conversations on the Temporal Government of Providence)
Are you going to hand me over to him?" "I haven't decided yet," I teased, and he smiled again, erasing his momentary seriousness. "So, where'd you get the suit?" "Believe it or not, that lovely friend of yours, Willa," Loki said. "She brought me a whole slew of clothes last night. When I asked her why she was being so generous, she said it was out of fear that I would run around naked." I smiled. "That does sound like something you would do. Why are you wearing all black, though? Didn't you know you were going to a wedding?" "On the contrary," he said, doing his best to look unhappy. "I'm in mourning over the wedding." "Oh, because it's too late?" I asked. "No, Wendy, it's never too late." His voice was light, but his eyes were solemn. "May I cut in?" the best man asked. "No, you may not," Loki said. I'd started to move away from him, but he held fast. "Loki," I said, and my eyes widened. "I'm still dancing with her," Loki said, turning to look at him. "You can have her when I'm done." "Loki," I said again, but he was already twirling me away. "You can't do that." "I just did." He grinned. "Oh, Wendy, don't look so appalled. I'm already the rebel Prince of thine enemy. I can't do much more to tarnish my image." "You can certainly tarnish mine," I pointed out. "Never," Loki said, and it was his turn to look appalled. "I'm merely showing them how it's done." He began spinning me around the dance floor in grand arcs, my gown swirling around me. He was a brilliant dancer, moving with grace and speed. Everyone had stopped to watch us, but I didn't care. This was the way a Princess was supposed to dance on her wedding day. The song ended, switching to something by Mozart, and he slowed, almost to a stop, but he kept me in his arms. "Thank you." I smiled. My skin felt flushed from dancing, and I was a little out of breath. "That was a wonderful dance." "You're welcome," he said, staring intently at me. "You are so beautiful." "Stop," I said, looking away as my cheeks reddened. "How can you blush?" Loki asked, laughing gently. "People must tell you how beautiful you are a thousand times a day." "It's not the same," I said. "It's not the same?" Loki echoed. "Why? Because you know they don't mean it like I do?" We did stop dancing them, and neither of us said anything. Garrett came up to us. He smiled, but his eyes didn't appear happy. "Can I cut in?" Garrett asked. "Yes," Loki said, shaking off the intensity he'd had a moment ago, and grinned broadly at Garrett. "She's all yours, good sir. Take care of her." He patted Garrett on the arm once for good measure and gave me a quick smile before heading back over to the refreshment table.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
As they walked, Tehol spoke. ‘…the assumption is the foundation stone of Letherii society, perhaps all societies the world over. The notion of inequity, my friends. For from inequity derives the concept of value, whether measured by money or the countless other means of gauging human worth. Simply put, there resides in all of us the unchallenged belief that the poor and the starving are in some way deserving of their fate. In other words, there will always be poor people. A truism to grant structure to the continual task of comparison, the establishment through observation of not our mutual similarities, but our essential differences. ‘I know what you’re thinking, to which I have no choice but to challenge you both. Like this. Imagine walking down this street, doling out coins by the thousands. Until everyone here is in possession of vast wealth. A solution? No, you say, because among these suddenly rich folk there will be perhaps a majority who will prove wasteful, profligate and foolish, and before long they will be poor once again. Besides, if wealth were distributed in such a fashion, the coins themselves would lose all value—they would cease being useful. And without such utility, the entire social structure we love so dearly would collapse. ‘Ah, but to that I say, so what? There are other ways of measuring self-worth. To which you both heatedly reply: with no value applicable to labour, all sense of worth vanishes! And in answer to that I simply smile and shake my head. Labour and its product become the negotiable commodities. But wait, you object, then value sneaks in after all! Because a man who makes bricks cannot be equated with, say, a man who paints portraits. Material is inherently value-laden, on the basis of our need to assert comparison—but ah, was I not challenging the very assumption that one must proceed with such intricate structures of value? ‘And so you ask, what’s your point, Tehol? To which I reply with a shrug. Did I say my discourse was a valuable means of using this time? I did not. No, you assumed it was. Thus proving my point!’ ‘I’m sorry, master,’ Bugg said, ‘but what was that point again?’ ‘I forget. But we’ve arrived. Behold, gentlemen, the poor.
Steven Erikson (Midnight Tides (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #5))
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, “It’s too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings.” And then someone else on board says something like, “But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d’oeuvres.” At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who’d been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can’t get to him soon enough, or they don’t even try, and the yacht’s speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
State philosophy reposes on a double identity: of the thinking subject, and of the concepts it creates and to which it lends its own presumed attributes of sameness and constancy. The subjects, its concepts, and also the objects in the world to which the concepts are applied have a shared, internal essence: the self-resemblance at the basis of identity. Representational thought is analogical; its concern is to establish a correspondence between these symmetrically structured domains. The faculty of judgment is the policeman of analogy, assuring that each of these terms is honestly itself, and that the proper correspondences obtain. In thought its end is truth, in action justice. The weapons it wields in their pursuit are limitive distribution (the determination of the exclusive set of properties possessed by each term in contradistinction to the others: logos, law) and hierarchical ranking (the measurement of the degree of perfection of a term’s self-resemblance in relation to a supreme standard, man, god, or gold: value, morality). The modus operandi is negation: x = x = not y. Identity, resemblance, truth, justice, and negation. The rational foundation for order. The established order, of course: philosophers have traditionally been employees of the State. The collusion between philosophy and the State was most explicitly enacted in the first decade of the nineteenth century with the foundation of the University of Berlin, which was to become the model of higher learning throughout Europe and in the United States. The goal laid out for it by Wilhelm von Humboldt (based on proposals by Fichte and Schleiermacher) was the ‘spiritual and moral training of the nation,’ to be achieved by ‘deriving everything from an original principle’ (truth), by ‘relating everything to an ideal’ (justice), and by ‘unifying this principle and this ideal to a single Idea’ (the State). The end product would be ‘a fully legitimated subject of knowledge and society’ – each mind an analogously organized mini-State morally unified in the supermind of the State. More insidious than the well-known practical cooperation between university and government (the burgeoning military funding of research) is its philosophical role in the propagation of the form of representational thinking itself, that ‘properly spiritual absolute State’ endlessly reproduced and disseminated at every level of the social fabric.
Gilles Deleuze (A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia)
If the wickedness of people arouses indignation and insurmountable grief in you, to the point that you desire to revenge yourself upon the wicked, fear that feeling most of all; go at once and seek torments for yourself, as if you yourself were guilty of their wickedness. Take these torments upon yourself and suffer them, and your heart will be eased, and you will understand that you, too, are guilty, for you might have shone to the wicked, even like the only sinless One, but you did not. If you had shone, your light would have lighted the way for others, and the one who did wickedness would perhaps not have done so in your light. And even if you do shine, but see that people are not saved even with your light, remain steadfast, and do not doubt the power of the heavenly light; believe that if they are not saved now, they will be saved later. And if they are not saved, their sons will be saved, for your light will not die, even when you are dead. The righteous man departs, but his light remains. People are always saved after the death of him who saved them. The generation of men does not welcome its prophets and kills them, but men love their martyrs and venerate those they have tortured to death. Your work is for the whole, your deed is for the future. Never seek a reward, for great is your reward on earth without that: your spiritual joy, which only the righteous obtain. Nor should you fear the noble and powerful, but be wise and ever gracious. Know measure, know the time, learn these things. When you are alone, pray. Love to throw yourself down on the earth and kiss it. Kiss the earth and love it, tirelessly, insatiable, love all men, love all things, seek this rapture and ecstasy. Water the earth with the tears of your joy, and love those tears. Do not be ashamed of this ecstasy, treasure it, for it is a gift from God, a great gift, and it is not given to many, but to those who are chosen.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
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
Over recent years, [there's been] a strong tendency to require assessment of children and teachers so that [teachers] have to teach to tests and the test determines what happens to the child, and what happens to the teacher...that's guaranteed to destroy any meaningful educational process: it means the teacher cannot be creative, imaginative, pay attention to individual students' needs, that a student can't pursue things [...] and the teacher's future depends on it as well as the students'...the people who are sitting in the offices, the bureaucrats designing this - they're not evil people, but they're working within a system of ideology and doctrines, which turns what they're doing into something extremely harmful [...] the assessment itself is completely artificial; it's not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who reach their potential, explore their creative interests and so on [...] you're getting some kind of a 'rank,' but it's a 'rank' that's mostly meaningless, and the very ranking itself is harmful. It's turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank, not into doing things that are valuable and important. It's highly destructive...in, say, elementary education, you're training kids this way [...] I can see it with my own children: when my own kids were in elementary school (at what's called a good school, a good-quality suburban school), by the time they were in third grade, they were dividing up their friends into 'dumb' and 'smart.' You had 'dumb' if you were lower-tracked, and 'smart' if you were upper-tracked [...] it's just extremely harmful and has nothing to do with education. Education is developing your own potential and creativity. Maybe you're not going to do well in school, and you'll do great in art; that's fine. It's another way to live a fulfilling and wonderful life, and one that's significant for other people as well as yourself. The whole idea is wrong in itself; it's creating something that's called 'economic man': the 'economic man' is somebody who rationally calculates how to improve his/her own status, and status means (basically) wealth. So you rationally calculate what kind of choices you should make to increase your wealth - don't pay attention to anything else - or maybe maximize the amount of goods you have. What kind of a human being is that? All of these mechanisms like testing, assessing, evaluating, measuring...they force people to develop those characteristics. The ones who don't do it are considered, maybe, 'behavioral problems' or some other deviance [...] these ideas and concepts have consequences. And it's not just that they're ideas, there are huge industries devoted to trying to instill them...the public relations industry, advertising, marketing, and so on. It's a huge industry, and it's a propaganda industry. It's a propaganda industry designed to create a certain type of human being: the one who can maximize consumption and can disregard his actions on others.
Noam Chomsky
It is a special blessing to belong among those who can and may devote their best energies to the contemplation and exploration of objective and timeless things. How happy and grateful I am for having been granted this blessing, which bestows upon one a large measure of independence from one's personal fate and from the attitude of one's contemporaries. Yet this independence must not inure us to the awareness of the duties that constantly bind us to the past, present and future of humankind at large. Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here, involuntarily and uninvited, for a short stay, without knowing the why and the wherefore. In our daily lives we feel only that man is here for the sake of others, for those whom we love and for many other beings whose fate is connected with our own. I am often troubled by the thought that my life is based to such a large extent on the work of my fellow human beings, and I am aware of my great indebtedness to them. I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer's words: 'Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills,' accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of free will keeps me from taking myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and deciding individuals, and from losing my temper. I have never coveted affluence and luxury and even despise them a good deal. My passion for social justice has often brought me into conflict with people, as has my aversion to any obligation and dependence I did not regard as absolutely necessary. [Part 2] I have a high regard for the individual and an insuperable distaste for violence and fanaticism. All these motives have made me a passionate pacifist and antimilitarist. I am against any chauvinism, even in the guise of mere patriotism. Privileges based on position and property have always seemed to me unjust and pernicious, as does any exaggerated personality cult. I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I know well the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual have always seemed to me the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice keeps me from feeling isolated. The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all there is.
Albert Einstein
My conception of freedom. -- The value of a thing sometimes does not lie in that which one attains by it, but in what one pays for it -- what it costs us. I shall give an example. Liberal institutions cease to be liberal as soon as they are attained: later on, there are no worse and no more thorough injurers of freedom than liberal institutions. Their effects are known well enough: they undermine the will to power; they level mountain and valley, and call that morality; they make men small, cowardly, and hedonistic -- every time it is the herd animal that triumphs with them. Liberalism: in other words, herd-animalization. These same institutions produce quite different effects while they are still being fought for; then they really promote freedom in a powerful way. On closer inspection it is war that produces these effects, the war for liberal institutions, which, as a war, permits illiberal instincts to continue. And war educates for freedom. For what is freedom? That one has the will to assume responsibility for oneself. That one maintains the distance which separates us. That one becomes more indifferent to difficulties, hardships, privation, even to life itself. That one is prepared to sacrifice human beings for one's cause, not excluding oneself. Freedom means that the manly instincts which delight in war and victory dominate over other instincts, for example, over those of "pleasure." The human being who has become free -- and how much more the spirit who has become free -- spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free man is a warrior. How is freedom measured in individuals and peoples? According to the resistance which must be overcome, according to the exertion required, to remain on top. The highest type of free men should be sought where the highest resistance is constantly overcome: five steps from tyranny, close to the threshold of the danger of servitude. This is true psychologically if by "tyrants" are meant inexorable and fearful instincts that provoke the maximum of authority and discipline against themselves; most beautiful type: Julius Caesar. This is true politically too; one need only go through history. The peoples who had some value, who attained some value, never attained it under liberal institutions: it was great danger that made something of them that merits respect. Danger alone acquaints us with our own resources, our virtues, our armor and weapons, our spirit, and forces us to be strong. First principle: one must need to be strong -- otherwise one will never become strong. Those large hothouses for the strong -- for the strongest kind of human being that has so far been known -- the aristocratic commonwealths of the type of Rome or Venice, understood freedom exactly in the sense in which I understand it: as something one has and does not have, something one wants, something one conquers
Friedrich Nietzsche