Modern Family Best Quotes

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I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one...
Henry Ford (My Life And Work (The Autobiography Of Henry Ford))
The peculiar predicament of the present-day self surely came to pass as a consequence of the disappointment of the high expectations of the self as it entered the age of science and technology. Dazzled by the overwhelming credentials of science, the beauty and elegance of the scientific method, the triumph of modern medicine over physical ailments, and the technological transformation of the very world itself, the self finds itself in the end disappointed by the failure of science and technique in those very sectors of life which had been its main source of ordinary satisfaction in past ages. As John Cheever said, the main emotion of the adult Northeastern American who has had all the advantages of wealth, education, and culture is disappointment. Work is disappointing. In spite of all the talk about making work more creative and self-fulfilling, most people hate their jobs, and with good reason. Most work in modern technological societies is intolerably dull and repetitive. Marriage and family life are disappointing. Even among defenders of traditional family values, e.g., Christians and Jews, a certain dreariness must be inferred, if only from the average time of TV viewing. Dreary as TV is, it is evidently not as dreary as Mom talking to Dad or the kids talking to either. School is disappointing. If science is exciting and art is exhilarating, the schools and universities have achieved the not inconsiderable feat of rendering both dull. As every scientist and poet knows, one discovers both vocations in spite of, not because of, school. It takes years to recover from the stupor of being taught Shakespeare in English Lit and Wheatstone's bridge in Physics. Politics is disappointing. Most young people turn their backs on politics, not because of the lack of excitement of politics as it is practiced, but because of the shallowness, venality, and image-making as these are perceived through the media--one of the technology's greatest achievements. The churches are disappointing, even for most believers. If Christ brings us new life, it is all the more remarkable that the church, the bearer of this good news, should be among the most dispirited institutions of the age. The alternatives to the institutional churches are even more grossly disappointing, from TV evangelists with their blown-dry hairdos to California cults led by prosperous gurus ignored in India but embraced in La Jolla. Social life is disappointing. The very franticness of attempts to reestablish community and festival, by partying, by groups, by club, by touristy Mardi Gras, is the best evidence of the loss of true community and festival and of the loneliness of self, stranded as it is as an unspeakable consciousness in a world from which it perceives itself as somehow estranged, stranded even within its own body, with which it sees no clear connection. But there remains the one unquestioned benefit of science: the longer and healthier life made possible by modern medicine, the shorter work-hours made possible by technology, hence what is perceived as the one certain reward of dreary life of home and the marketplace: recreation. Recreation and good physical health appear to be the only ambivalent benefits of the technological revolution.
Walker Percy (Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book)
Are you sure that’s a real spell?’ said the girl. ‘Well, it’s not very good, is it? I’ve tried a few simple spells just for practice and its all worked for me. Nobody in my family’s magic at all. It was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I mean, it’s the very best school of witchcraft there is, I’ve heard – I’ve learnt all our set books off by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough – I’m Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?’ She said all this very fast. Harry looked at Ron, and was relieved to see by his stunned face that he hadn’t learned all the course books by heart either. ‘I’m Ron Weasley,’ Ron muttered. ‘Harry Potter,’ said Harry. ‘Are you really?’ said Hermione. ‘I know all about you, of course – I got a few extra books for background reading, and you’re in Modern Magical History and The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts and Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century.’ ‘Am I?’ said Harry, feeling dazed. ‘Goodness, didn’t you know, I’d have found out everything I could if it was me,’ said Hermione.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. [Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]
John Adams (A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America)
The best part about being a nerd within a community of nerds is the insularity – it’s cozy, familial, come as you are. In a discussion board on the Web site Slashdot.org about Rushmore, a film with a nerdy teen protagonist, one anonymous participant pinpointed the value of taking part in detail-oriented zealotry: Geeks tend to be focused on very narrow fields of endeavor. The modern geek has been generally dismissed by society because their passions are viewed as trivial by those people who ‘see the big picture.’ Geeks understand that the big picture is pixilated and their high level of contribution in small areas grows the picture. They don’t need to see what everyone else is doing to make their part better. Being a nerd, which is to say going to far and caring too much about a subject, is the best way to make friends I know. For me, the spark that turns an acquaintance into a friend has usually been kindled by some shared enthusiasm like detective novels or Ulysses S. Grant.
Sarah Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)
I am grieved for my children—and boy’s in particular—that this modern age is emasculating men under the guise of “the best interest of the children”.
H. Kirk Rainer
But the fantasy kingdom and trappings of success soon lost their luster, as I discovered that the most prestigious and remunerative of my resume's way stations was also the most tedious and unfulfilling I had ever experienced. This paradox only made me more morose about modernity. Why was I going to watch my hairline recede in front of two-thousand-line spreadsheets staring at me from cold, glowing monitors? Why was everyone in my office apparently so happy to be spending so many hours there, when the things they really cared about - people, pets, pastimes - were all relegated to a few photographs on their desks? That seemed to be the formula: spend the best years of your life in an office with photos of what you really care about.
Zack Love (The Doorman)
Though I have started emailing with one of my fellow readers whenever there's something important to say about Modern Family or Friday Night Lights, and with another when I notice her updates on Goodreads.com.
Rachel Bertsche (MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search For A New Best Friend)
When ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) claims that home birth and midwives are unsafe, they imply that the women who choose it and the midwives that provide it are acting irresponsibly and selfishly. They stigmatize normal birth just as the political right has stigmatized abortion. And they stigmatize women. "Our country has created a mythology of women who are irresponsible and don't care," says Paltrow. "We talk about welfare queens, crack moms, and murderous women who have abortions." A culture that allows such language to permeate our national subconscious inevitably dehumanizes all women, including mothers. Lyon argues that this thinking perpetuates a phrase often invoked in exam rooms and delivery rooms: The goal is to have a healthy baby. "This phrase is used over and over and over to shut down women's requests," she says. "The context needs to be that the goal is a healthy mom. Because mothers never make decisions without thinking about that healthy baby. And to suggest otherwise is insulting and degrading and disrespectful." What's best for women is best for babies. ... The goal is to have a healthy family.
Jennifer Block (Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care)
I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one - and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces. - Henry Ford
Bryce G. Hoffman (American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company)
an aristocracy come to power, convinced of its own disinterested quality, believing itself above both petty partisan interest and material greed. The suggestion that this also meant the holding and wielding of power was judged offensive by these same people, who preferred to view their role as service, though in fact this was typical of an era when many of the great rich families withdrew from the new restless grab for money of a modernizing America, and having already made their particular fortunes, turned to the public arena as a means of exercising power. They were viewed as reformers, though the reforms would be aimed more at the newer seekers of wealth than at those who already held it. (“First-generation millionaires,” Garry Wills wrote in Nixon Agonistes, “give us libraries, second-generation millionaires give us themselves.”)
David Halberstam (The Best and the Brightest)
I don’t see why” said the Wing Commander. “The very best of families have mad daughters. It never diminishes their importance. Rather increases it.
Elizabeth Taylor (At Mrs Lippincote's (Virago Modern Classics Book 4))
LOOK, I’M ONLY IN THIS FOR THE PIZZA. The publisher was like, “Oh, you did such a great job writing about the Greek gods last year! We want you to write another book about the Ancient Greek heroes! It’ll be so cool!” And I was like, “Guys, I’m dyslexic. It’s hard enough for me to read books.” Then they promised me a year’s supply of free pepperoni pizza, plus all the blue jelly beans I could eat. I sold out. I guess it’s cool. If you’re looking to fight monsters yourself, these stories might help you avoid some common mistakes—like staring Medusa in the face, or buying a used mattress from any dude named Crusty. But the best reason to read about the old Greek heroes is to make yourself feel better. No matter how much you think your life sucks, these guys and gals had it worse. They totally got the short end of the Celestial stick. By the way, if you don’t know me, my name is Percy Jackson. I’m a modern-day demigod—the son of Poseidon. I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old-school hard-luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. Let’s pick twelve of them. That should be plenty. By the time you finish reading about how miserable their lives were—what with the poisonings, the betrayals, the mutilations, the murders, the psychopathic family members, and the flesh-eating barnyard animals—if that doesn’t make you feel better about your own existence, then I don’t know what will. So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion-skin cape. Polish your shield, and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people. Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful tragic deaths. Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes (A Percy Jackson and the Olympians Guide))
On the Rebbe’s willingness to offer opinions and advice on a large range of issues, including theology, business, family affairs, and even medical questions: “[First] I am not afraid to answer that I don’t know. If I know, then I have no right not to answer. When someone comes to you for help and you can help him to the best of your knowledge, and you refuse him this help, you become a cause of his suffering.
Joseph Telushkin (Rebbe: The Life and Teachings of Menachem M. Schneerson, the Most Influential Rabbi in Modern History)
On behalf of those you killed, imprisoned, tortured, you are not welcome, Erdogan! No, Erdogan, you’re not welcome in Algeria. We are a country which has already paid its price of blood and tears to those who wanted to impose their caliphate on us, those who put their ideas before our bodies, those who took our children hostage and who attempted to kill our hopes for a better future. The notorious family that claims to act in the name of the God and religion—you’re a member of it—you fund it, you support it, you desire to become its international leader. Islamism is your livelihood Islamism, which is your livelihood, is our misfortune. We will not forget about it, and you are a reminder of it today. You offer your shadow and your wings to those who work to make our country kneel down before your “Sublime Door.” You embody and represent what we loathe. You hate freedom, the free spirit. But you love parades. You use religion for business. You dream of a caliphate and hope to return to our lands. But you do it behind the closed doors, by supporting Islamist parties, by offering gifts through your companies, by infiltrating the life of the community, by controlling the mosques. These are the old methods of your “Muslim Brothers” in this country, who used to show us God’s Heaven with one hand while digging our graves with the other. No, Mr. Erdogan, you are not a man of help; you do not fight for freedom or principles; you do not defend the right of peoples to self-determination. You know only how to subject the Kurds to the fires of death; you know only how to subject your opponents to your dictatorship. You cry with the victims in the Middle East, yet sign contracts with their executioners. You do not dream of a dignified future for us, but of a caliphate for yourself. We are aware of your institutionalized persecution, your list of Turks to track down, your sinister prisons filled with the innocent, your dictatorial justice palaces, your insolence and boastful nature. You do not dream of a humanity that shares common values and principles, but are interested only in the remaking of the Ottoman Empire and its bloodthirsty warlords. Islam, for you, is a footstool; God is a business sign; modernity is an enemy; Palestine is a showcase; and local Islamists are your stunned courtesans. Humanity will not remember you with good deeds Humanity will remember you for your machinations, your secret coups d’état, and your manhunts. History will remember you for your bombings, your vengeful wars, and your inability to engage in constructive dialogue with others. The UN vote for Al-Quds is only an instrument in your service. Let us laugh at this with the Palestinians. We know that the Palestinian issue is your political capital, as it is for many others. You know well how to make a political fortune by exploiting others’ emotions. In Algeria, we suffered, and still suffer, from those who pretend to be God and act as takers and givers of life. They applaud your coming, but not us. You are the idol of Algerian Islamists and Populists, those who are unable to imagine a political structure beyond a caliphate for Muslim-majority societies. We aspire to become a country of freedom and dignity. This is not your ambition, nor your virtue. You are an illusion You have made beautiful Turkey an open prison and a bazaar for your business and loved ones. I hope that this beautiful nation rises above your ambitions. I hope that justice will be restored and flourish there once again, at least for those who have been imprisoned, tortured, bombed, and killed. You are an illusion, Erdogan—you know it and we know it. You play on the history of our humiliation, on our emotions, on our beliefs, and introduce yourself as a savior. However, you are a gravedigger, both for your own country and for your neighbors. Turkey is a political miracle, but it owes you nothing. The best thing you can do
Kamel Daoud
We are dealing, then, with an absurdity that is not a quirk or an accident, but is fundamental to our character as people. The split between what we think and what we do is profound. It is not just possible, it is altogether to be expected, that our society would produce conservationists who invest in strip-mining companies, just as it must inevitably produce asthmatic executives whose industries pollute the air and vice-presidents of pesticide corporations whose children are dying of cancer. And these people will tell you that this is the way the "real world" works. The will pride themselves on their sacrifices for "our standard of living." They will call themselves "practical men" and "hardheaded realists." And they will have their justifications in abundance from intellectuals, college professors, clergymen, politicians. The viciousness of a mentality that can look complacently upon disease as "part of the cost" would be obvious to any child. But this is the "realism" of millions of modern adults. There is no use pretending that the contradiction between what we think or say and what we do is a limited phenomenon. There is no group of the extra-intelligent or extra-concerned or extra-virtuous that is exempt. I cannot think of any American whom I know or have heard of, who is not contributing in some way to destruction. The reason is simple: to live undestructively in an economy that is overwhelmingly destructive would require of any one of us, or of any small group of us, a great deal more work than we have yet been able to do. How could we divorce ourselves completely and yet responsibly from the technologies and powers that are destroying our planet? The answer is not yet thinkable, and it will not be thinkable for some time -- even though there are now groups and families and persons everywhere in the country who have begun the labor of thinking it. And so we are by no means divided, or readily divisible, into environmental saints and sinners. But there are legitimate distinctions that need to be made. These are distinctions of degree and of consciousness. Some people are less destructive than others, and some are more conscious of their destructiveness than others. For some, their involvement in pollution, soil depletion, strip-mining, deforestation, industrial and commercial waste is simply a "practical" compromise, a necessary "reality," the price of modern comfort and convenience. For others, this list of involvements is an agenda for thought and work that will produce remedies. People who thus set their lives against destruction have necessarily confronted in themselves the absurdity that they have recognized in their society. They have first observed the tendency of modern organizations to perform in opposition to their stated purposes. They have seen governments that exploit and oppress the people they are sworn to serve and protect, medical procedures that produce ill health, schools that preserve ignorance, methods of transportation that, as Ivan Illich says, have 'created more distances than they... bridge.' And they have seen that these public absurdities are, and can be, no more than the aggregate result of private absurdities; the corruption of community has its source in the corruption of character. This realization has become the typical moral crisis of our time. Once our personal connection to what is wrong becomes clear, then we have to choose: we can go on as before, recognizing our dishonesty and living with it the best we can, or we can begin the effort to change the way we think and live.
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
You know how my first few minutes in a new Minecraft world are usually spent screaming, running for my life, and hiding from scary monsters—sometimes even GIANT ones! Well, not this time! Instead of a giant monster, I was plopped down in front of a giant MANSION! (Yay, Minecraft: Peaceful Paradise floating book!) And the best part was that it wasn’t all dark and creepy like the Haunted House! It was an awesome modern mansion made of white stone and glass. Even better, it was built on a hillside overlooking an ocean! Actually, it reminded me of Tony Stark’s house in one of my favorite movies, Iron Man. I guess you could say it’s a MARVEL-ous mansion! (Heh, heh.)   Anyway,
Minecrafty Family (Wimpy Steve Book 9: Portal Panic! (An Unofficial Minecraft Diary Book) (Minecraft Diary: Wimpy Steve))
The best, most all-encompassing way to describe our world is hyper-novel. As we will show throughout the book, humans are extraordinarily well adapted to, and equipped for, change. But the rate of change itself is so rapid now that our brains, bodies, and social systems are perpetually out of sync. For millions of years we lived among friends and extended family, but today many people don’t even know their neighbors’ names. Some of the most fundamental truths—like the fact of two sexes—are increasingly dismissed as lies. The cognitive dissonance spawned by trying to live in a society that is changing faster than we can accommodate is turning us into people who cannot fend for ourselves. Simply put, it’s killing us.
Heather E. Heying (A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life)
The point, Squire, is that where they used to be confined to State institutions or to the mudrooms and attics of remote country houses they are now abroad everywhere. The government pays them to travel. To procreate, for that matter. I've seen entire families here that can best be explained as hallucinations. Hordes of drooling dolts lurching through the streets. Their inane gibbering. And of course no folly so deranged or pernicious as to escape their advocacy.
Cormac McCarthy (The Passenger (The Passenger, #1))
Unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life are common themes in the American culture today. Folks sometimes mistake my meaning when I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, because they all too often rush to drop everything that is weighing them down. They quit the job, ditch the unhappy marriage, cut out negative friends and family, get out of Dodge, etc. I do not advocate such hastiness; in fact, I believe that rash decision-making leads to more problems further down the road. Another unsatisfying job manifests; another unhappy relationship results. These people want a new environment, yet the same negative energy always seems to occupy it. This is because transformation is all about the internal shift, not the external. Any blame placed on outside sources for our unhappiness will forever perpetuate that unhappiness. Pointing the finger is giving away your power of choice and the ability to create our best life. We choose: “That person is making me unhappy” vs. “I make myself happy.” When you are in unhappy times of lack and feelings of separation – great! Sit there and be with it. Find ways to be content with little. Find ways to be happy with your Self. As we reflect on the lives of mystics past and present, it is not the things they possess or the relationships they share that bring them enlightenment – their light is within. The same light can bring us unwavering happiness (joy). Love, Peace, Joy – these three things all come from within and have an unwavering flame – life source – that is not dependent on the conditions of the outside world. This knowing is the power and wisdom that the mystics teach us that we are all capable of achieving. When I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, I am not referring to external conditions; I am referring to the choice you have to look inward and discover the ability to transform the lead of the soul into gold. Transformation is an inner journey of the soul. Why? Because, as we mentioned above, wherever we go, ourselves go with us. Thus, quitting the job, dumping relationships, etc. will not make us happy because we have forgotten the key factor that makes or breaks our happiness: ourselves. When we find, create, and maintain peace, joy, and love within ourselves, we then gain the ability to embrace the external world with the same emotions, perspective, and vibration. This ability is a form of enlightenment. It is the modern man’s enlightenment that transforms an unsatisfying life into one of fulfillment.
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings For Enriching Life)
These conservative critics call for a return to “family values,” to a world in which prohibition kept us safe from outbreaks of enjoyment. This desire for a return to the past, however, is rarely genuine. Which is to say, such proclamations don’t really want the return to the past that they claim to want. Instead, they want the best of both worlds—the “benefits” of modernity (computers, cars, televisions) without their effects (isolation, enjoyment, narcissism)—and fail to grasp the interdependence of the benefits and the effects
Todd McGowan (The End of Dissatisfaction: Jacques Lacan and the Emerging Society of Enjoyment (Psychoanalysis and Culture))
The difference between a monarch and a dictator is that the monarchical succession is defined by law and the dictatorial succession is defined by power. The effect in the latter is that the fish rots from the head down — lawlessness permeates the state, as in a mafia family, because contending leaders must build informal coalitions. Since another name for a monarchist is a legitimist, we can contrast the legitimist and demotist theories of government. […] Perhaps unsurprisingly, I see legitimism as a sort of proto-formalism. The royal family is a perpetual corporation, the kingdom is the property of this corporation, and the whole thing is a sort of real-estate venture on a grand scale. Why does the family own the corporation and the corporation own the kingdom? Because it does. Property is historically arbitrary. The best way for the monarchies of Old Europe to modernize, in my book, would have been to transition the corporation from family ownership to shareholder ownership, eliminating the hereditary principle which caused so many problems for so many monarchies. However, the trouble with corporate monarchism is that it presents no obvious political formula. “Because it does” cuts no ice with a mob of pitchfork-wielding peasants. […] So the legitimist system went down another path, which led eventually to its destruction: the path of divine-right monarchy. When everyone believes in God, “because God says so” is a much more impressive formula. Perhaps the best way to look at demotism is to see it as the Protestant version of rule by divine right — based on the theory of vox populi, vox dei. If you add divine-right monarchy to a religious system that is shifting from the worship of God to the worship of Man, demotism is pretty much what you’d expect to precipitate in the beaker.
Mencius Moldbug
More recently, Dallas Willard put it this way: Desire is infinite partly because we were made by God, made for God, made to need God, and made to run on God. We can be satisfied only by the one who is infinite, eternal, and able to supply all our needs; we are only at home in God. When we fall away from God, the desire for the infinite remains, but it is displaced upon things that will certainly lead to destruction.5 Ultimately, nothing in this life, apart from God, can satisfy our desires. Tragically, we continue to chase after our desires ad infinitum. The result? A chronic state of restlessness or, worse, angst, anger, anxiety, disillusionment, depression—all of which lead to a life of hurry, a life of busyness, overload, shopping, materialism, careerism, a life of more…which in turn makes us even more restless. And the cycle spirals out of control. To make a bad problem worse, this is exacerbated by our cultural moment of digital marketing from a society built around the twin gods of accumulation and accomplishment. Advertising is literally an attempt to monetize our restlessness. They say we see upward of four thousand ads a day, all designed to stoke the fire of desire in our bellies. Buy this. Do this. Eat this. Drink this. Have this. Watch this. Be this. In his book on the Sabbath, Wayne Muller opined, “It is as if we have inadvertently stumbled into some horrific wonderland.”6 Social media takes this problem to a whole new level as we live under the barrage of images—not just from marketing departments but from the rich and famous as well as our friends and family, all of whom curate the best moments of their lives. This ends up unintentionally playing to a core sin of the human condition that goes all the way back to the garden—envy. The greed for another person’s life and the loss of gratitude, joy, and contentment in our own.
John Mark Comer (The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World)
Arteriosclerosis, removing people from active life when the period of maximum fertility has passed, is of benefit to the young if it relieves them of the care of parents, or brings them an inheritance as they enter adult life. . . . Any attempts to eradicate such a disease from the urban population will be frustrated by natural selection and the survival of more grandchildren in families with few grandparents. Those best fitted to survive in a world growing more urban are those who cease to require support as soon as their roles as parents have been completed. Atherosclerosis and hypertension are now the chief factors in determining that we do not overstay our allotted span of life too long.
Thomas H. Lee (Eugene Braunwald and the Rise of Modern Medicine)
In the savage state every family owns a shelter as good as the best, and sufficient for its coarser and simpler wants; but I think that I speak within bounds when I say that, though the birds of the air have their nests, and the foxes their holes, and the savages their wigwams, in modern civilized society not more than one half the families own a shelter. In the large towns and cities, where civilization especially prevails, the number of those who own a shelter is a very small fraction of the whole. The rest pay an annual tax for this outside garment of all, become indispensable summer and winter, which would buy a village of Indian wigwams, but now helps to keep them poor as long as they live.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Rosemary Klein, Winchester, England: Always keep your knees together, ladies; they are best friends. Sister Rosemary Carroll, R.I.P. Katy Kidd Wright, a friend who described herself as a “non-RC heathen raising RC kids going to Catholic schools” confirmed that ashes on foreheads was still in vogue. “The modern curriculum even has a robotics lesson in Grade 2 where my eldest learned to mechanize Mary and Joseph's walk to Bethlehem.” In my school days, we wrote JMJ on the top of scribbler pages for a Holy Family Jesus, Mary, and Joseph blessing. Other times, we wrote BVM for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was an alphabet acronym heaven. Whenever Dad felt no one was listening to him, he spoke to the Blessed Virgin Mary statue on the living room mantle. They talked a lot.
Rick Prashaw (Father Rick Roamin' Catholic)
It is a good thing for a man to live in a family for the same reason that it is a good thing for a man to be besieged in a city. It is a good thing for a man to live in a family in the same sense that it is a beautiful and delightful thing for a man to be snowed up in a street. They all force him to realise that life is not a thing from outside, but a thing from inside. Above all, they all insist upon the fact that life, if it be a truly stimulating and fascinating life, is a thing which, of its nature, exists in spite of ourselves. The modern writers who have suggested, in a more or less open manner, that the family is a bad institution, have generally confined themselves to suggesting, with much sharpness, bitterness, or, pathos, that perhaps the family is not always very congenial. Of course the family is a good institution because it is uncongenial. It is wholesome precisely because it contains so many divergencies and varieties. It is, as the sentimentalists say, like a little kingdom, and, like most other little kingdoms, is generally in a state of something resembling anarchy. It is exactly because our brother George is not interested in our religious difficulties, but is interested in the Trocadero Restaurant, that the family has some of the bracing qualities of the commonwealth. It is precisely because our uncle Henry does not approve of the theatrical ambitions of our sister Sarah that the family is like humanity. The men and women who, for good reasons and bad, revolt against the family, are, for good reasons and bad, simply revolting against mankind. Aunt Elizabeth is unreasonable, like mankind. Papa is excitable, like mankind. Our youngest brother is mischievous, like mankind. Grandpapa is stupid, like the world; he is old, like the world.
G.K. Chesterton (In Defense Of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton)
In the Middle Ages, marriage was considered a sacrament ordained by God, and God also authorised the father to marry his children according to his wishes and interests. An extramarital affair was accordingly a brazen rebellion against both divine and parental authority. It was a mortal sin, no matter what the lovers felt and thought about it. Today people marry for love, and it is their inner feelings that give value to this bond. Hence, if the very same feelings that once drove you into the arms of one man now drive you into the arms of another, what’s wrong with that? If an extramarital affair provides an outlet for emotional and sexual desires that are not satisfied by your spouse of twenty years, and if your new lover is kind, passionate and sensitive to your needs – why not enjoy it? But wait a minute, you might say. We cannot ignore the feelings of the other concerned parties. The woman and her lover might feel wonderful in each other’s arms, but if their respective spouses find out, everybody will probably feel awful for quite some time. And if it leads to divorce, their children might carry the emotional scars for decades. Even if the affair is never discovered, hiding it involves a lot of tension, and may lead to growing feelings of alienation and resentment. The most interesting discussions in humanist ethics concern situations like extramarital affairs, when human feelings collide. What happens when the same action causes one person to feel good, and another to feel bad? How do we weigh the feelings against each other? Do the good feelings of the two lovers outweigh the bad feelings of their spouses and children? It doesn’t matter what you think about this particular question. It is far more important to understand the kind of arguments both sides deploy. Modern people have differing ideas about extramarital affairs, but no matter what their position is, they tend to justify it in the name of human feelings rather than in the name of holy scriptures and divine commandments. Humanism has taught us that something can be bad only if it causes somebody to feel bad. Murder is wrong not because some god once said, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Rather, murder is wrong because it causes terrible suffering to the victim, to his family members, and to his friends and acquaintances. Theft is wrong not because some ancient text says, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Rather, theft is wrong because when you lose your property, you feel bad about it. And if an action does not cause anyone to feel bad, there can be nothing wrong about it. If the same ancient text says that God commanded us not to make any images of either humans or animals (Exodus 20:4), but I enjoy sculpting such figures, and I don’t harm anyone in the process – then what could possibly be wrong with it? The same logic dominates current debates on homosexuality. If two adult men enjoy having sex with one another, and they don’t harm anyone while doing so, why should it be wrong, and why should we outlaw it? It is a private matter between these two men, and they are free to decide about it according to their inner feelings. In the Middle Ages, if two men confessed to a priest that they were in love with one another, and that they never felt so happy, their good feelings would not have changed the priest’s damning judgement – indeed, their happiness would only have worsened the situation. Today, in contrast, if two men love one another, they are told: ‘If it feels good – do it! Don’t let any priest mess with your mind. Just follow your heart. You know best what’s good for you.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
[A] technological society has to weaken family ties and local communities if it is to function efficiently. In modern society an individual's loyalty must be first to the system and only secondarily to a small-scale community, because if the internal loyalties of small-scale communities were stronger than loyalty to the system, such communities would pursue their own advantage at the expense of the system... Suppose that a public official or a corporation executive appoints his cousin, his friend or his co-religionist to a position rather than appointing the person best qualified for the job. He has permitted personal loyalty to supersede his loyalty to the system, and that is "nepotism" or "discrimination," both of which are terrible sins in modern society. Would-be industrial societies that have done a poor job of subordinating personal or local loyalties to loyalty to the system are usually very inefficient.
Theodore J. Kaczynski (Industrial Society and Its Future)
To be in a romance is to be in uncongenial surroundings. To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance. Of all these great limitations and frameworks which fashion and create the poetry and variety of life, the family is the most definite and important. Hence it is misunderstood by the moderns, who imagine that romance would exist most perfectly in a complete state of what they call liberty. They think that if a man makes a gesture it would be a startling and romantic matter that the sun should fall from the sky. But the startling and romantic thing about the sun is that it does not fall from the sky. They are seeking under every shape and form a world where there are no limitations—that is, a world where there are no outlines; that is, a world where there are no shapes. There is nothing baser than that infinity. They say they wish to be as strong as the universe, but they really wish the whole universe as weak as themselves.
G.K. Chesterton (In Defense Of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton)
Truth is the best shield and safeguard against an array of modern and postmodern objections to Christian faith. Many Christians have skipped over the question of truth, often unwittingly, and they cover its absence with all sorts of genuine but inadequate answers. They believe in God because faith “works for them” or “the family that prays together stays together” and so on. Such faith may be sincere, but it will always be vulnerable. From one side it will be open to doubt, and from the other it will be open to all the accusations of modern skepticism—that faith is only “bad faith,” believed for reasons other than that it is true, and that it fears to face the challenges surrounding truth. There has to be a moment when, as Chesterton puts it, he and millions of Christians with him believe in the Christian faith because the key “fits the lock, because it is like life.” “We are Christians,” he continues, “not because we worship a key, but because we have passed a door; and felt a wind that is the trumpet of liberty blow over the land of the living.”25
Os Guinness (Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion)
As I write this note, it is May 2020, and the world is battling the coronavirus pandemic. My husband’s best friend, Tom, who was one of the earliest of our friends to encourage my writing and who was our son’s godfather, caught the virus last week and has just passed away. We cannot be with his widow, Lori, and his family to mourn. Three years ago, I began writing this novel about hard times in America: the worst environmental disaster in our history; the collapse of the economy; the effect of massive unemployment. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the Great Depression would become so relevant in our modern lives, that I would see so many people out of work, in need, frightened for the future. As we know, there are lessons to be learned from history. Hope to be derived from hardships faced by others. We’ve gone through bad times before and survived, even thrived. History has shown us the strength and durability of the human spirit. In the end, it is our idealism and our courage and our commitment to one another—what we have in common—that will save us. Now, in these dark days, we can look to history, to the legacy of the Greatest Generation and the story of our own past, and take strength from it.
Kristin Hannah (The Four Winds)
Say what you will of religion, but draw applicable conclusions and comparisons to reach a consensus. Religion = Reli = Prefix to Relic, or an ancient item. In days of old, items were novel, and they inspired devotion to the divine, and in the divine. Now, items are hypnotizing the masses into submission. Take Christ for example. When he broke bread in the Bible, people actually ate, it was useful to their bodies. Compare that to the politics, governments and corrupt, bumbling bureacrats and lobbyists in the economic recession of today. When they "broke bread", the economy nearly collapsed, and the benefactors thereof were only a select, decadent few. There was no bread to be had, so they asked the people for more! Breaking bread went from meaning sharing food and knowledge and wealth of mind and character, to meaning break the system, being libelous, being unaccountable, and robbing the earth. So they married people's paychecks to the land for high ransoms, rents and mortgages, effectively making any renter or landowner either a slave or a slave master once more. We have higher class toys to play with, and believe we are free. The difference is, the love of profit has the potential, and has nearly already enslaved all, it isn't restriced by culture anymore. Truth is not religion. Governments are religions. Truth does not encourage you to worship things. Governments are for profit. Truth is for progress. Governments are about process. When profit goes before progress, the latter suffers. The truest measurement of the quality of progress, will be its immediate and effective results without the aid of material profit. Quality is meticulous, it leaves no stone unturned, it is thorough and detail oriented. It takes its time, but the results are always worth the investment. Profit is quick, it is ruthless, it is unforgiving, it seeks to be first, but confuses being first with being the best, it is long scale suicidal, it is illusory, it is temporary, it is vastly unfulfilling. It breaks families, and it turns friends. It is single track minded, and small minded as well. Quality, would never do that, my friends. Ironic how dealing and concerning with money, some of those who make the most money, and break other's monies are the most unaccountable. People open bank accounts, over spend, and then expect to be held "unaccountable" for their actions. They even act innocent and unaccountable. But I tell you, everything can and will be counted, and accounted for. Peace can be had, but people must first annhilate the love of items, over their own kind.
Justin Kyle McFarlane Beau
There was a time when my life seemed so painful to me that reading about the lives of other women writers was one of the few things that could help. I was unhappy, and ashamed of it; I was baffled by my life. For several years in my early thirties, I would sit in my armchair reading books about these other lives. Sometimes when I came to the end, I would sit down and read the book through from the beginning again. I remember an incredible intensity about all this, and also a kind of furtiveness—as if I were afraid that someone might look through the window and find me out. Even now, I feel I should pretend that I was reading only these women's fiction or their poetry—their lives as they chose to present them, alchemized as art. But that would be a lie. It was the private messages I really liked—the journals and letters, and autobiographies and biographies whenever they seemed to be telling the truth. I felt very lonely then, self-absorbed, shut off. I needed all this murmured chorus, this continuum of true-life stories, to pull me through. They were like mothers and sisters to me, these literary women, many of them already dead; more than my own family, they seemed to stretch out a hand. I had come to New York when I was young, as so many come, in order to invent myself. And, like many modern people—modern women, especially—I had catapulted out of my context; in important ways, the life of my mother, in her English village, was not much help. I remember reading in those dark years a review by John Updike in which he smoothly compared the lives of Jean Rhys and Colette. The first was in the end a failure, the second a triumph, he said. I took it personally, felt a stab in the heart. And poor Jane Bowles, said someone else, in the Times—you'd have to admit that hers was a desperate life. The successes gave me hope, of course, yet it was the desperate bits I liked best. I was looking for directions, gathering clues...
Kennedy Fraser (Ornament and Silence: Essays on Women's Lives)
The phone rang. It was a familiar voice. It was Alan Greenspan. Paul O'Neill had tried to stay in touch with people who had served under Gerald Ford, and he'd been reasonably conscientious about it. Alan Greenspan was the exception. In his case, the effort was constant and purposeful. When Greenspan was the chairman of Ford's Council of Economic Advisers, and O'Neill was number two at OMB, they had become a kind of team. Never social so much. They never talked about families or outside interests. It was all about ideas: Medicare financing or block grants - a concept that O'Neill basically invented to balance federal power and local autonomy - or what was really happening in the economy. It became clear that they thought well together. President Ford used to have them talk about various issues while he listened. After a while, each knew how the other's mind worked, the way married couples do. In the past fifteen years, they'd made a point of meeting every few months. It could be in New York, or Washington, or Pittsburgh. They talked about everything, just as always. Greenspan, O'Neill told a friend, "doesn't have many people who don't want something from him, who will talk straight to him. So that's what we do together - straight talk." O'Neill felt some straight talk coming in. "Paul, I'll be blunt. We really need you down here," Greenspan said. "There is a real chance to make lasting changes. We could be a team at the key moment, to do the things we've always talked about." The jocular tone was gone. This was a serious discussion. They digressed into some things they'd "always talked about," especially reforming Medicare and Social Security. For Paul and Alan, the possibility of such bold reinventions bordered on fantasy, but fantasy made real. "We have an extraordinary opportunity," Alan said. Paul noticed that he seemed oddly anxious. "Paul, your presence will be an enormous asset in the creation of sensible policy." Sensible policy. This was akin to prayer from Greenspan. O'Neill, not expecting such conviction from his old friend, said little. After a while, he just thanked Alan. He said he always respected his counsel. He said he was thinking hard about it, and he'd call as soon as he decided what to do. The receiver returned to its cradle. He thought about Greenspan. They were young men together in the capital. Alan stayed, became the most noteworthy Federal Reserve Bank chairman in modern history and, arguably the most powerful public official of the past two decades. O'Neill left, led a corporate army, made a fortune, and learned lessons - about how to think and act, about the importance of outcomes - that you can't ever learn in a government. But, he supposed, he'd missed some things. There were always trade-offs. Talking to Alan reminded him of that. Alan and his wife, Andrea Mitchell, White House correspondent for NBC news, lived a fine life. They weren't wealthy like Paul and Nancy. But Alan led a life of highest purpose, a life guided by inquiry. Paul O'Neill picked up the telephone receiver, punched the keypad. "It's me," he said, always his opening. He started going into the details of his trip to New York from Washington, but he's not much of a phone talker - Nancy knew that - and the small talk trailed off. "I think I'm going to have to do this." She was quiet. "You know what I think," she said. She knew him too well, maybe. How bullheaded he can be, once he decides what's right. How he had loved these last few years as a sovereign, his own man. How badly he was suited to politics, as it was being played. And then there was that other problem: she'd almost always been right about what was best for him. "Whatever, Paul. I'm behind you. If you don't do this, I guess you'll always regret it." But it was clearly about what he wanted, what he needed. Paul thanked her. Though somehow a thank-you didn't seem appropriate. And then he realized she was crying.
Ron Suskind (The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill)
When the time comes, & I hope it comes soon, to bury this era of moral rot & the defiling of our communal, social, & democratic norms, the perfect epitaph for the gravestone of this age of unreason should be Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley's already infamous quote: "I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing... as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” Grassley's vision of America, quite frankly, is one I do not recognize. I thought the heart of this great nation was not limited to the ranks of the plutocrats who are whisked through life in chauffeured cars & private jets, whose often inherited riches are passed along to children, many of whom no sacrifice or service is asked. I do not begrudge wealth, but it must come with a humility that money never is completely free of luck. And more importantly, wealth can never be a measure of worth. I have seen the waitress working the overnight shift at a diner to give her children a better life, & yes maybe even take them to a movie once in awhile - and in her, I see America. I have seen the public school teachers spending extra time with students who need help & who get no extra pay for their efforts, & in them I see America. I have seen parents sitting around kitchen tables with stacks of pressing bills & wondering if they can afford a Christmas gift for their children, & in them I see America. I have seen the young diplomat in a distant foreign capital & the young soldier in a battlefield foxhole, & in them I see America. I have seen the brilliant graduates of the best law schools who forgo the riches of a corporate firm for the often thankless slog of a district attorney or public defender's office, & in them I see America. I have seen the librarian reshelving books, the firefighter, police officer, & paramedic in service in trying times, the social worker helping the elderly & infirm, the youth sports coaches, the PTA presidents, & in them I see America. I have seen the immigrants working a cash register at a gas station or trimming hedges in the frost of an early fall morning, or driving a cab through rush hour traffic to make better lives for their families, & in them I see America. I have seen the science students unlocking the mysteries of life late at night in university laboratories for little or no pay, & in them I see America. I have seen the families struggling with a cancer diagnosis, or dementia in a parent or spouse. Amid the struggles of mortality & dignity, in them I see America. These, & so many other Americans, have every bit as much claim to a government working for them as the lobbyists & moneyed classes. And yet, the power brokers in Washington today seem deaf to these voices. It is a national disgrace of historic proportions. And finally, what is so wrong about those who must worry about the cost of a drink with friends, or a date, or a little entertainment, to rephrase Senator Grassley's demeaning phrasings? Those who can't afford not to worry about food, shelter, healthcare, education for their children, & all the other costs of modern life, surely they too deserve to be able to spend some of their “darn pennies” on the simple joys of life. Never mind that almost every reputable economist has called this tax bill a sham of handouts for the rich at the expense of the vast majority of Americans & the future economic health of this nation. Never mind that it is filled with loopholes written by lobbyists. Never mind that the wealthiest already speak with the loudest voices in Washington, & always have. Grassley’s comments open a window to the soul of the current national Republican Party & it it is not pretty. This is not a view of America that I think President Ronald Reagan let alone President Dwight Eisenhower or Teddy Roosevelt would have recognized. This is unadulterated cynicism & a version of top-down class warfare run amok. ~Facebook 12/4/17
Dan Rather
As I write this note, it is May 2020, and the world is battling the coronavirus pandemic. My husband’s best friend, Tom, who was one of the earliest of our friends to encourage my writing and who was our son’s godfather, caught the virus last week and has just passed away. We cannot be with his widow, Lori, and his family to mourn. Three years ago, I began writing this novel about hard times in America: the worst environmental disaster in our history; the collapse of the economy; the effect of massive unemployment. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the Great Depression would become so relevant in our modern lives, that I would see so many people out of work, in need, frightened for the future. As we know, there are lessons to be learned from history. Hope to be derived from hardships faced by others. We’ve gone through bad times before and survived, even thrived. History has shown us the strength and durability of the human spirit. In the end, it is our idealism and our courage and our commitment to one another—what we have in common—that will save us. Now, in these dark days, we can look to history, to the legacy of the Greatest Generation and the story of our own past, and take strength from it. Although my novel focuses on fictional characters, Elsa Martinelli is representative of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children who went west in the 1930s in search of a better life. Many of them, like the pioneers who went west one hundred years before them, brought nothing more than a will to survive and a hope for a better future. Their strength and courage were remarkable. In writing this story, I tried to present the history as truthfully as possible. The strike that takes place in the novel is fictional, but it is based on strikes that took place in California in the thirties. The town of Welty is fictional as well. Primarily where I diverged from the historical record was in the timeline of events. There are instances in which I chose to manipulate dates to better fit my fictional narrative. I apologize in advance to historians and scholars of the era. For more information about the Dust Bowl years or the migrant experience in California, please go to my website KristinHannah.com for a suggested reading list.
Kristin Hannah (The Four Winds)
Easing Your Worries I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? —MATTHEW 6:25     I don’t know how things are in your world, but I can tell you that in Southern California we live in an age of anxiety. My neighbors and I have it much easier than our parents, but we certainly are much uneasier than our parents were. We seem to be anxious about temporal things, more so than past generations. They never worried about whether they were eating at the new vogue eatery, vacationing at the best island hotel with the largest pool, wearing the most prestigious label, or keeping their abs in shape. I watched the previous generation closely; they wanted a home for their families, a car that ran efficiently, and a job that provided for their basic needs. It seems our main concerns and drives today are physical and earth possessed. A large number of people actually believe that if they have the best food, clothing, education, house, and trainer, they have arrived. What else could one want for a perfect life? Our culture actually places more importance on the body and what we do with it than ever before in modern history. Thus we have created a mind set that causes us as women to be more concerned with life’s accommodations along life’s journey than with our final destination. Many women are going through their lives with a vast vacuum on the inside. In fact, the woman that you might sometimes envy because of her finely dressed family and newly remodeled kitchen is probably spending most of her day anxious and unsatisfied. Maybe that woman is you? This thing called life is more important than food, and the body is more important than what we wear. All the tangible distractions don’t satisfy the soul; they have become cheap substitutes for our spiritual wholeness and well-being. Let Christ help you overcome the anxieties of life. • Stop chasing the temporal things of life. Seek the kingdom of God as it is revealed in Jesus. Cast all your cares on Him. • Take your eyes off yourself and focus them on God first. Much of our anxieties are rooted in our self-centeredness. • Spend most of your prayer time praying for others.
Emilie Barnes (Walk with Me Today, Lord: Inspiring Devotions for Women)
I’m the kind of patriot whom people on the Acela corridor laugh at. I choke up when I hear Lee Greenwood’s cheesy anthem “Proud to Be an American.” When I was sixteen, I vowed that every time I met a veteran, I would go out of my way to shake his or her hand, even if I had to awkwardly interject to do so. To this day, I refuse to watch Saving Private Ryan around anyone but my closest friends, because I can’t stop from crying during the final scene. Mamaw and Papaw taught me that we live in the best and greatest country on earth. This fact gave meaning to my childhood. Whenever times were tough—when I felt overwhelmed by the drama and the tumult of my youth—I knew that better days were ahead because I lived in a country that allowed me to make the good choices that others hadn’t. When I think today about my life and how genuinely incredible it is—a gorgeous, kind, brilliant life partner; the financial security that I dreamed about as a child; great friends and exciting new experiences—I feel overwhelming appreciation for these United States. I know it’s corny, but it’s the way I feel. If Mamaw’s second God was the United States of America, then many people in my community were losing something akin to a religion. The tie that bound them to their neighbors, that inspired them in the way my patriotism had always inspired me, had seemingly vanished. The symptoms are all around us. Significant percentages of white conservative voters—about one-third—believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim. In one poll, 32 percent of conservatives said that they believed Obama was foreign-born and another 19 percent said they were unsure—which means that a majority of white conservatives aren’t certain that Obama is even an American. I regularly hear from acquaintances or distant family members that Obama has ties to Islamic extremists, or is a traitor, or was born in some far-flung corner of the world. Many of my new friends blame racism for this perception of the president. But the president feels like an alien to many Middletonians for reasons that have nothing to do with skin color. Recall that not a single one of my high school classmates attended an Ivy League school. Barack Obama attended two of them and excelled at both. He is brilliant, wealthy, and speaks like a constitutional law professor—which, of course, he is. Nothing about him bears any resemblance to the people I admired growing up: His accent—clean, perfect, neutral—is foreign; his credentials are so impressive that they’re frightening; he made his life in Chicago, a dense metropolis; and he conducts himself with a confidence that comes from knowing that the modern American meritocracy was built for him. Of course, Obama overcame adversity in his own right—adversity familiar to many of us—but that was long before any of us knew him. President Obama came on the scene right as so many people in my community began to believe that the modern American meritocracy was not built for them. We know we’re not doing well. We see it every day: in the obituaries for teenage kids that conspicuously omit the cause of death (reading between the lines: overdose), in the deadbeats we watch our daughters waste their time with. Barack Obama strikes at the heart of our deepest insecurities. He is a good father while many of us aren’t. He wears suits to his job while we wear overalls, if we’re lucky enough to have a job at all. His wife tells us that we shouldn’t be feeding our children certain foods, and we hate her for it—not because we think she’s wrong but because we know she’s right.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
… The most important contribution you can make now is taking pride in your treasured home state. Because nobody else is. Study and cherish her history, even if you have to do it on your own time. I did. Don’t know what they’re teaching today, but when I was a kid, American history was the exact same every year: Christopher Columbus, Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims, Thomas Paine, John Hancock, Sons of Liberty, tea party. I’m thinking, ‘Okay, we have to start somewhere— we’ll get to Florida soon enough.’…Boston Massacre, Crispus Attucks, Paul Revere, the North Church, ‘Redcoats are coming,’ one if by land, two if by sea, three makes a crowd, and I’m sitting in a tiny desk, rolling my eyes at the ceiling. Hello! Did we order the wrong books? Were these supposed to go to Massachusetts?…Then things showed hope, moving south now: Washington crosses the Delaware, down through original colonies, Carolinas, Georgia. Finally! Here we go! Florida’s next! Wait. What’s this? No more pages in the book. School’s out? Then I had to wait all summer, and the first day back the next grade: Christopher Columbus, Plymouth Rock…Know who the first modern Floridians were? Seminoles! Only unconquered group in the country! These are your peeps, the rugged stock you come from. Not genetically descended, but bound by geographical experience like a subtropical Ellis Island. Because who’s really from Florida? Not the flamingos, or even the Seminoles for that matter. They arrived when the government began rounding up tribes, but the Seminoles said, ‘Naw, we prefer waterfront,’ and the white man chased them but got freaked out in the Everglades and let ’em have slot machines…I see you glancing over at the cupcakes and ice cream, so I’ll limit my remaining remarks to distilled wisdom: “Respect your parents. And respect them even more after you find out they were wrong about a bunch of stuff. Their love and hard work got you to the point where you could realize this. “Don’t make fun of people who are different. Unless they have more money and influence. Then you must. “If someone isn’t kind to animals, ignore anything they have to say. “Your best teachers are sacrificing their comfort to ensure yours; show gratitude. Your worst are jealous of your future; rub it in. “Don’t talk to strangers, don’t play with matches, don’t eat the yellow snow, don’t pull your uncle’s finger. “Skip down the street when you’re happy. It’s one of those carefree little things we lose as we get older. If you skip as an adult, people talk, but I don’t mind. “Don’t follow the leader. “Don’t try to be different—that will make you different. “Don’t try to be popular. If you’re already popular, you’ve peaked too soon. “Always walk away from a fight. Then ambush. “Read everything. Doubt everything. Appreciate everything. “When you’re feeling down, make a silly noise. “Go fly a kite—seriously. “Always say ‘thank you,’ don’t forget to floss, put the lime in the coconut. “Each new year of school, look for the kid nobody’s talking to— and talk to him. “Look forward to the wonderment of growing up, raising a family and driving by the gas station where the popular kids now work. “Cherish freedom of religion: Protect it from religion. “Remember that a smile is your umbrella. It’s also your sixteen-in-one reversible ratchet set. “ ‘I am rubber, you are glue’ carries no weight in a knife fight. “Hang on to your dreams with everything you’ve got. Because the best life is when your dreams come true. The second-best is when they don’t but you never stop chasing them. So never let the authority jade your youthful enthusiasm. Stay excited about dinosaurs, keep looking up at the stars, become an archaeologist, classical pianist, police officer or veterinarian. And, above all else, question everything I’ve just said. Now get out there, class of 2020, and take back our state!
Tim Dorsey (Gator A-Go-Go (Serge Storms Mystery, #12))
Liberal democracy and capitalism remain the essential, indeed the only, framework for the political and economic organization of modern societies. Rapid economic modernization is closing the gap between many former Third World countries and the industrialized North. With European integration and North American free trade, the web of economic ties within each region will thicken, and sharp cultural boundaries will become increasingly fuzzy. Implementation of the free trade regime of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) will further erode interregional boundaries. Increased global competition has forced companies across cultural boundaries to try to adopt “best-practice” techniques like lean manufacturing from whatever source they come from. The worldwide recession of the 1990s has put great pressure on Japanese and German companies to scale back their culturally distinctive and paternalistic labor policies in favor of a more purely liberal model. The modern communications revolution abets this convergence by facilitating economic globalization and by propagating the spread of ideas at enormous speed. But in our age, there can be substantial pressures for cultural differentiation even as the world homogenizes in other respects. Modern liberal political and economic institutions not only coexist with religion and other traditional elements of culture but many actually work better in conjunction with them. If many of the most important remaining social problems are essentially cultural in nature and if the chief differences among societies are not political, ideological, or even institutional but rather cultural, it stands to reason that societies will hang on to these areas of cultural distinctiveness and that the latter will become all the more salient and important in the years to come. Awareness of cultural difference will be abetted, paradoxically, by the same communications technology that has made the global village possible. There is a strong liberal faith that people around the world are basically similar under the surface and that greater communications will bring deeper understanding and cooperation. In many instances, unfortunately, that familiarity breeds contempt rather than sympathy. Something like this process has been going on between the United States and Asia in the past decade. Americans have come to realize that Japan is not simply a fellow capitalist democracy but has rather different ways of practicing both capitalism and democracy. One result, among others, is sthe emergence of the revisionist school among specialists on Japan, who are less sympathetic to Tokyo and argue for tougher trade policies. And Asians are made vividly aware through the media of crime, drugs, family breakdown, and other American social problems, and many have decided that the United States is not such an attractive model after all. Lee Kwan Yew, former prime minister of Singapore, has emerged as a spokesman for a kind of Asian revisionism on the United States, which argues that liberal democracy is not an appropriate political model for the Confucian societies.10 The very convergence of major institutions makes peoples all the more intent on preserving those elements of distinctiveness they continue to possess.
Francis Fukuyama (Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity)
Lippman was distressed by the symbolically important behavior of fundamentalists: “In actual practice, this movement has become entangled with all sorts of bizarre and barbarous agitations, with the Ku Klux Klan, with fanatical Prohibition, with the ‘anti-evolution laws,’ and with much persecution and intolerance. This is in itself significant. For it shows that the central truth, which the fundamentalists have grasped, no longer appeals to the best brains and the good sense of a modern community, and that the movement is largely recruited from the isolated, the inexperienced, and the uneducated.”[115]
Andrew Himes (The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family)
There are other problems more closely related to the question of culture. The poor fit between large scale and Korea’s familistic tendencies has probably been a net drag on efficiency. The culture has slowed the introduction of professional managers in situations where, in contrast to small-scale Chinese businesses, they are desperately needed. Further, the relatively low-trust character of Korean culture does not allow Korean chaebol to exploit the same economies of scale and scope in their network organization as do the Japanese keiretsu. That is, the chaebol resembles a traditional American conglomerate more than a keiretsu network: it is burdened with a headquarters staff and a centralized decision-making apparatus for the chaebol as a whole. In the early days of Korean industrialization, there may have been some economic rationale to horizontal expansion of the chaebol into unfamiliar lines of business, since this was a means of bringing modern management techniques to a traditional economy. But as the economy matured, the logic behind linking companies in unrelated businesses with no obvious synergies became increasingly questionable. The chaebol’s scale may have given them certain advantages in raising capital and in cross-subsidizing businesses, but one would have to ask whether this represented a net advantage to the Korean economy once the agency and other costs of a centralized organization were deducted from the balance. (In any event, the bulk of chaebol financing has come from the government at administered interest rates.) Chaebol linkages may actually serve to hold back the more competitive member companies by embroiling them in the affairs of slow-growing partners. For example, of all the varied members of the Samsung conglomerate, only Samsung Electronics is a truly powerful global player. Yet that company has been caught up for several years in the group-wide management reorganization that began with the passing of the conglomerate’s leadership from Samsung’s founder to his son in the late 1980s.72 A different class of problems lies in the political and social realms. Wealth is considerably more concentrated in Korea than in Taiwan, and the tensions caused by disparities in wealth are evident in the uneasy history of Korean labor relations. While aggregate growth in the two countries has been similar over the past four decades, the average Taiwanese worker has a higher standard of living than his Korean counterpart. Government officials were not oblivious to the Taiwanese example, and beginning in about 1981 they began to reverse somewhat their previous emphasis on large-scale companies by reducing their subsidies and redirecting them to small- and medium-sized businesses. By this time, however, large corporations had become so entrenched in their market sectors that they became very difficult to dislodge. The culture itself, which might have preferred small family businesses if left to its own devices, had begun to change in subtle ways; as in Japan, a glamour now attached to working in the large business sector, guaranteed it a continuing inflow of Korea’s best and brightest young people.73
Francis Fukuyama (Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity)
I will build a motorcar for the multitude. It will be large enough for the family but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one—and enjoy with his family the blessings of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.
John C. Maxwell (The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Workbook: Revised and Updated)
Books allow us to escape from the pressures of modern life. By far, the best vehicles of escape are Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy genre allowing us to lose ourselves in worlds far away from the reality we know. This escapism works because we totally immerse ourselves and:- We become the hero or heroine. We are the ones who thwart evil. We laugh as we socialise with characters we have never met but feel they are as close as our family. We cry when we lose a good friend.
Peter Graham
There’s an amazing family of genes, called HOX genes. When they’re mutated in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) the results are incredible phenotypes, such as legs growing out of the head14. There’s a long ncRNA known as HOTAIR, which regulates a region of genes called the HOX-D cluster. Just like the long ncRNAs investigated by Jeannie Lee, HOTAIR binds the PRC2 complex and creates a chromatin region which is marked with repressive histone modifications. But HOTAIR is not transcribed from the HOX-D position on chromosome 12. Instead it is encoded at a different cluster of genes called HOX-C on chromosome 215. No-one knows how or why HOTAIR binds at the HOX-D position. There’s a related mystery around the best studied of all long ncRNAs, Xist. Xist ncRNA spreads out along almost the entire inactive X chromosome but we really don’t know how. Chromosomes don’t normally become smothered with RNA molecules. There’s no obvious reason why Xist RNA should be able to bind like this, but we know it’s nothing to do with the sequence of the chromosome. The experiments described in the last chapter, where Xist could inactivate an entire autosome as long as it contained an X inactivation centre, showed that Xist just keeps on travelling once it’s on a chromosome. Scientists are basically still completely baffled about these fundamental characteristics of this best-studied of all ncRNAs.
Nessa Carey (The Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology is Rewriting our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance)
It is more realistic to think about the spiritual needs of family and self as a starting point for social transformation than to begin thinking we can change Hollywood. The magnet of materialism is keeping people too busy to hear about spiritual change. In addition, the power of the Machine causes people not to hear what we have to say. The Machine is influencing a greater part of our lives than we think. To make Self each person’s own best spiritual project is to avoid the crush of the gigantic modern Machine. Ritual enables us to live a life that is much closer to what our souls aspire to. Industrial
Malidoma Patrice Somé (Ritual: Power, Healing and Community (Compass))
She had chosen the gallery because of its intellectual altitude; because she had heard it whispered that all the best people (in her sense, not in her mother’s) frequented it. She had chosen the gallery as a symbol of emancipation, of rebellion; its very discomfort was a psychological luxury. She had chosen it — most of all — because, if she had descended, in a physical and artistic sense, to her mother’s box, she would have been pursued and devoured all evening by the earnest, amorous, pale- blue eyes of her admirer, Lord Ledwyche (pronounced Ledditch) whom her family and his had decided she was destined to marry. Even in the country a little of Ledwyche went a long way. Against the highly sophisti-cated, intensely modern background of the Russian Ballet his presence was discordant. Not that Helena disapproved of discords. On the contrary, she adored them just as long as they didn’t happen to be generally admired by the wrong people, such as Charlie Ledwyche. If Charlie had been frankly eighteenth-century baroque she could have tolerated him; if he had been Cubistic, like a skyscraper, she could have been proud of him; but his style was all wrong — it belonged neither to the day before yesterday nor to the day after to-morrow; he was just the wrong period. Sham Gothic, like the Houses of Parliament, which he so decorously adorned.
Francis Brett Young (Cage Bird, And Other Stories)
[The] staff of thirty-two men and twenty-five women, with their lavish planning, communications, and computer facilities, were paid for by a hardly detectable pinhead of a pattern within a mighty blizzard of Treasury accountancy-noise. The few very clever chappies who happened to come across this pinhead in their too-clever-by-a-half line of duty, tended to look at their lovely house and glowing family over the breakfast table, and think it might just be even more clever not to reveal their interesting discovery. Perhaps such stout fellows had made even more significant finds than this, and had decided that the night-side of a modern industrialised democratic nation was such an astonishing animal that it was best left to roam in the bush alone, quite invisible and undisturbed, a ghost whose occasional thumps in the night were best well ignored
Colin Bennett (The entertainment bomb)
Sanna measured the apple juice into a large glass beaker and added it to the carboy, swirling a cheery red- like Santa's suit. She wrote down the amount in her notebook and did the same with the next juice, this one a bold sapphire blue, which mixed with the red into a vivid purple. When it came to cider, colors and flavors blended together for her. She knew she had the right blend when it matched the color she had envisioned. It wasn't scientific- and it didn't happen with anything else Sanna tasted- but here, with her beloved trees, it worked. She carefully tracked the blends in her journal. The sun streamed through the window, lighting up the colors in the carboy like Christmas lights. She was close- one more juice should do it. She closed her eyes, calling to mind all the juices in the barn's cooler and their corresponding colors. Every juice she tasted from their apples had a slightly different hue, differing among individual varieties, but even varying slightly from tree to tree. When she was twenty-four, she had stood at the tall kitchen counter tasting freshly pressed juices she had made for the first time with the press she had unearthed from the old barn. Her plan had originally been to sell them in the farm stand, but she wanted to pick the best. As she sipped each one, an unmistakable color came to mind- different for each juice- and she finally understood the watercolor apple portraits above the fireplace. They were proof she wasn't the only family member who could see the colors. After she explained it to her dad, he smiled. "I thought you might have the gift." "You knew about this?" "It's family legend. My dad said Grandpa could taste colors in the apples, but no one in my lifetime has been able to, so I thought it might be myth. When you returned home after college- the way you were drawn to Idun's- I thought you might have it." He had put his hands on the side of her face. "This means something good, Sanna." "Why didn't you say anything? Why didn't I know before?" "Would you have believed me?" "I've had apple juice from the Rundstroms a thousand times. Why can't I see that with theirs?" "I think it has something to do with apples from our land. We're connected to it, and it to us." Sanna had always appreciated the sanctuary of the orchard, and this revelation bonded Sanna like another root digging into the soil, finding nourishment. She'd never leave. After a few years of making and selling apple juice, Sanna strolled through the Looms wondering how these older trees still produced apples, even though they couldn't sell them. They didn't make for good eating or baking- Einars called them spitters. Over the years, the family had stopped paying attention to the sprawling trees since no one would buy their fruit- customers only wanted attractive, sweet produce. Other than the art above the mantel, they had lost track of what varieties they had, but with a bit of research and a lot of comparing and contrasting to the watercolors and online photos, Sanna discovered they had a treasure trove of cider-making apples- Kingston Black, Ashton Bitter, Medaille d'Or, Foxwhelp, her favorite Rambo tree, and so many more. The first Lunds had brought these trees to make cider, but had to stop during Prohibition, packing away the equipment in the back of their barn for Sanna to find so many years later. She spent years experimenting with small batches, understanding the colors, using their existing press and carboys to ferment. Then, last year, Einars surprised her with plans to rebuild the barn, complete with huge fermentation tanks and modern mills and presses. Sanna could use her talent and passion to help move their orchard into a new phase... or so they had hoped.
Amy E. Reichert (The Simplicity of Cider)
This is a story that begins in Summer, because it is the type of thing that can only happen when the sun is too hot, the nights are too long, and your heart rules everything. Just north of the Black Mountains, there exists a town called Hay-on-Wye. It is a town populated by more books then people. Which is, perhaps why, it was the only place that could have fashioned a modern fairytale such as the one that happened on a summer’s night in August. A girl got drunk at a pub. Trying to forget someone. A boy joined her, matching her drink for drink. Trying to forget responsibility. In a flurry of laughter, false bravado, perfume, and charming smiles they found themselves vacationing in the others world for brief respite. They were a rest from the troubles of their own worlds. Where family, money, obligation, and responsibility tormented the bright, young things like a dementor waiting to suck joy at every step. Neither was certain if it was the booze that made them have stars in their eyes, or if the stars came before. But they shared a moment spurred on by Ed Sheeran playing over pub speakers, messy sheets, and tangled limbs as most modern English love stories are. In the morning, they woke up, sobered, and all that was left was a poem scribbled on a pillow by the girl for the boy. It would have all been forgotten, if not for the stars, and that Ed Sheeran music is designed for soulmates and happy endings. The stars saw how the couple shined for each other that night, and knew they’d make the world shine together. So, the stars did what they do best. They shined down on them, starting their journey back to each other knowing they’d need the light through the dark times to come. -Royals and Rebels: Love and War, book 2 only on Dreame
Cambria Covell
Having grown up knowing the formerly-mentioned historical figures on the bus are part of my family lineage, I was interested to learn that at least one, famed American psychic and suffragette, Amanda Theodosia Jones (of Puritan, Quaker and Huguenot heritage), was a self-proclaimed spiritualist. While aware of her inventions and business endeavors, I’d never been informed of her interest in metaphysics. Possessing a rather significant collection of her letters, poetry and other documents, it is perhaps my intimate relationship with this extraordinary individual inspiring my lifelong engagement with the psychic world. Indeed, in a recent dream, the spirit of Amanda T. Jones contacted me for reasons that will later be delineated. It is my ongoing contact with her and other spirit entities (including the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kuan Yin), in fact, inspiring me to pen this manuscript. Having dedicated her 1910 autobiography, A Psychic Autobiography to William James, (known today as the Father of Modern Psychology and who’d encouraged her to author it), Ms. Jones therein described her psychic abilities and subsequent expansion into spiritualism. Her developing interest in mysticism led her to be among those at the forefront of the spiritualist movement that, for a period of time before and after the Civil War, captured the imagination of millions. In her poetry book (Poems, 1854–1906), she detailed a family incident leading to what could be considered as a miracle.
Hope Bradford (The Healing Power of Dreams: The Science of Dream Analysis and Journaling for Your Best Life! (A Wealth of Dreams Interpreted))
A CHANGING SOCIETY What does today’s high incidence of social anxiety tell us about modern society? As we’ve seen, social anxiety is connected to a person’s drive for self-preservation and a feeling of safety. It is natural to withdraw from situations that we expect will lead to pain. Avoidance—while not necessarily healthy—is logical. Because the negative social experience of a growing number of people has caused them emotional pain and suffering, the number of individuals who choose to avoid socializing is increasing at an alarming rate. The sometimes wide distance among family members these days only adds to isolation. And the anonymity of large cities creates a vacuum in which many lonely people co-exist, often leading solitary lives in which they pursue their interests and activities alone. We live in a society in which social fears are perhaps not unjustified. As cities become denser, isolation seems to be the best way to counter urban decay. Consider the dangers of the outside world: Crime rates are soaring. Caution—and its companion, fear—are in the air. As the twentieth century draws to a close, we find ourselves in a society where meeting people can be difficult. These larger forces can combine to create a further sense of distance among people. Particularly significant is the change that has taken place as the social organization of the smaller-scale community gives way to that of the larger, increasingly fragmented city. In a “hometown” setting, the character of daily life is largely composed of face-to-face relations with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members. But in the hustle and bustle of today’s cities, whose urban sprawls extend to what author Joel Garreau has called Edge Cities—creating light industrial suburbs even larger than the cities they surround—the individual can get lost. It is common in these areas for people to focus solely on themselves, seldom getting to know their neighbors, and rarely living close to family. We may call these places home, but they are a far cry from the destination of that word as we knew it when we were children. Today’s cities are hotbeds of competition on all levels, from the professional to the social. It often seems as if only the most sophisticated “win.” To be ready for this constant challenge, you have to be able to manage in a stressful environment, relying on a whole repertoire of social skills just to stay afloat. This competitive environment can be terrifying for the socially anxious person. The 1980s were a consumer decade in which picture-perfect images on television and in magazines caused many of us to cast our lots with either the haves or the have-nots. Pressure to succeed grew to an all-time high. For those who felt they could not measure up, the challenge seemed daunting. I think the escalating crime rate in today’s urban centers—drugs, burglary, rape, and murder—ties into this trend and society’s response to the pressure. In looking at the forces that influence the social context of modern life, it is clear that feelings of frustration at not “making it” socially and financially are a component in many people’s choosing a life of crime. Interactive ability determines success in establishing a rewarding career, in experiencing relationships. Without these prospects, crime can appear to be a quick fix for a lifelong problem.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
River Rafting in Rishikesh is one of the most thrilling water based adventure sports that gives you an up close splatter of untamed nature in a world where the royal river is what you are up adjacent to. Aboard a raft, when the water wave hits your face for the first time; you be familiar with that it will take a little more than a few ounces of bravery to tame the river beast and indeed this duel next to mother nature will enrich your life forever, even if tried only once in a life time…The modern raft is a boat that is inflated comprising of a very durable and thick coated rubberized or vinyl fabric and also has a number of air chambers. The chief apparatus required for rafting are a life jacket ,Safety helmet, Safety Helmet, Paddles, River guide and a Self-Bailing Raft, etc. It is a very daring activity and it may appear a very perilous sport, but once you knowledge it, you will certainly realize the actual thrill of rafting. The best time for water river rafting is spiral summer to February to May and in winter September to November. You probably think that there is completely no way to extreme sports such as rafting can be fun at all. This is false, because all you need for a great sport like this is fun to be an expert to take manages of all rafting. It is a fun place to take part in all the summer sports, when it's nice and warm and all you need is a movement related to the water to take temperatures down. It is also a thrilling sport that many people can participate at the same time. Friends and family can get together and everybody can have a brilliant day of fun. As you begin your boat journey, you will encounter a number of rapids, which you will be necessary to sail over. Uttarakhand adventure is well known rafting company in Rishikesh. This excursion will roughly be two hours long, and will make you use all your power and skill to keep the boat under control. Water will stay splash all over you, and will keep you invigorated and bouncing if you start feeling tired due to the corporeal work that you will do. As an extreme sport, rafting certainly has its drawbacks, but not all make games? The best way to take safety measures so that you can avoid fatal accidents is to acquire a knowledgeable scout who is qualified for the chore and the best gear for rafting. For example, you should always have a life jacket on the obverse rafting, in the unfortunate event that the boat capsize; you'll be able to stay afloat and hope to swim to defense. Also, if you are unsure of your rafting skills, rapids and waterfalls stay away from very high.
uttarakhand adventure
Her pure life and complete devotion influenced me more strongly than it did the other family members. From the time of my earliest memories, she impressed upon me one rule above all others: when I woke from sleep, my first duty was to pray to God for spiritual nourishment and blessings. Only then could I break the night's fast. Sometimes I objected to this rule and insisted on having breakfast first, but my mother would never relent. Usually with coaxing, but when necessary with force, she impressed this rule deep onto my soul: seek God first and only then turn to other things. At the time I was too young to recognize the true value of this education, and I resisted her. Later, however, I came to appreciate her example. Whenever I think back now on her loving guidance, I cannot thank God enough for her. For she planted in me, and tended in my early life, a profound love and fear of God. She carried a light within her, and her heart was the best spiritual training anyone could have: 'You must not be careless and worldly,' she would say. 'Seek peace of soul, and love of God always. Someday you must give yourself fully to the search, you must follow the way of the sadhu.
Sadhu Sundar Singh (Sadhu Sundar Singh: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters Series))
If you will bear in mind that Socrates, the best of the pagans, knew of no higher criterion for men, of no better guide of conduct, than the laws of each country; that Plato, whose sublime doctrine was so near an anticipation of Christianity that celebrated theologians wished his works to be forbidden, lest men should be content with them, and indifferent to any higher dogma —​​​​​​​to whom was granted that prophetic vision of the Just Man, accused, condemned and scourged, and dying on a Cross —​​​​​​​ nevertheless employed the most splendid intellect ever bestowed on man to advocate the abolition of the family and the exposure of infants; that Aristotle, the ablest moralist of antiquity, saw no harm in making raids upon a neighbouring people, for the sake of reducing them to slavery —​​​​​​​ still more, if you will consider that, among the moderns, men of genius equal to these have held political doctrines not less criminal or absurd —​​​​​​​it will be apparent to you how stubborn a phalanx of error blocks the paths of truth
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton (Essays on Freedom and Power)
In your care I will be released from my worries” (CIL 11.137). In a few brief sentences, this man’s colorful life, during which he passed from freedom to slavery to freedom and ultimately to prosperity, is memorialized. An aspect of life that these tombstones bring to light is the strong emotions that tied together spouses, family members, and friends. One grave marker records a husband’s grief for his young wife: “To the eternal memory of Blandina Martiola, a most blameless girl, who lived eighteen years, nine months, five days. Pompeius Catussa, a Sequanian citizen and a plasterer, dedicates this monument to his wife, who was incomparable and very kind to him. She lived with him five years, six months, eighteen days without any shadow of a fault. You who read this, go bathe in the baths of Apollo as I used to do with my wife. I wish I still could” (CIL 1.1983). The affection that some parents felt for their children is also reflected in these inscriptions: “Spirits who live in the underworld, lead innocent Magnilla through the groves and the Elysian Fields directly to your places of rest. She was snatched away in her eighth year by cruel fate while she was still enjoying the tender time of childhood. She was beautiful and sensitive, clever, elegant, sweet, and charming beyond her years. This poor child who was deprived of her life so quickly must be mourned with perpetual lament and tears” (CIL 6.21846). Some Romans seemed more concerned with ensuring that their bodies would lie undisturbed after death than with recording their accomplishments while alive. An inscription of this type states: “Gaius Tullius Hesper had this tomb built for himself, as a place where his bones might be laid. If anyone damages them or removes them from here, may he live in great physical pain for a long time, and when he dies, may the gods of the underworld deny entrance to his spirit” (CIL 6.36467). Some tombstones offer comments that perhaps preserve something of their authors’ temperaments. One terse inscription observes: “I was not. I was. I am not. I care not” (CIL 5.2893). Finally, a man who clearly enjoyed life left a tombstone that included the statement: “Baths, wine, and sex ruin our bodies. But what makes life worth living except baths, wine, and sex?” (CIL 6.15258). Perhaps one of the greatest values of these tombstones is the manner in which they record the actual feelings of individuals, and demonstrate the universality across time, cultures, and geography of basic emotions such as love, hate, jealousy, and pride. They also preserve one of the most complicated yet subtle characteristics of human beings—our enjoyment of humor. Many of the messages were plainly drafted to amuse and entertain the reader, and the fact that some of them can still do so after 2,000 years is one of the best testimonials to the humanity shared by the people of the ancient and the modern worlds.
Gregory S. Aldrete (The Long Shadow of Antiquity: What Have the Greeks and Romans Done for Us?)
relationships in modern society. In our work, we find that the best predictor of your current mental health is your current “relational health,” or connectedness. This connectedness is fueled by two things: the basic capabilities you’ve developed to form and maintain relationships, and the relational “opportunities” you have in your family, neighborhood, school, and so forth.
Bruce D. Perry (What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
Leonhard Euler (pronounced “oiler”, 1707–1783) is judged by all to have been the most productive, and by many to have been the best, mathematician of modern times. He was Swiss, but spent much of his life in Russia because he had a big family and Catherine the Great offered him a lot of money. His paper “The Seven Bridges of Königsberg” (1736), which we will discuss in Chapter 8, is the earliest known work on the theory of graphs. The theorem now known as Euler’s Formula was proved by Euler in 1752. It is one of the classic theorems of elementary mathematics and plays a central role in the next three chapters of this book.
Richard J. Trudeau (Introduction to Graph Theory (Dover Books on Mathematics))
In the following years, Andrew remained at his father’s side, assisting in the farm work and livestock breeding and continuing his experiments with ostensibly labor-saving agricultural contraptions. That phase of his life came to an end with the close of the century. In 1898, the sixty-five-year-old Philip took his third wife, a widow named Frances Murphy Wilder, twenty-five years his junior. Not long afterward, Andrew left home. Despite the best efforts of researchers, little is known about the next eight years of Andrew Kehoe’s life. Census records show that, in 1900, he lived in a boardinghouse in Ann Arbor and worked as a “dairyman.”17 At some point—at least according to his claims—he enrolled at the Michigan State Agricultural College in East Lansing. Founded in 1855 as the nation’s first educational institution devoted to “instruction and practice in agriculture, horticulture and the sciences directly bearing upon successful farming,” the college (which later evolved into Michigan State University) gradually expanded its curriculum to include training in mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering, Kehoe’s alleged major.18 Sometime during this period, he evidently made his way to Iowa and found work as a lineman, stringing electrical wire. He also seems to have spent time in St. Louis, attending an electrical school while employed as an electrician for the city park.19 Family members would later report that, while residing in Missouri, he suffered a serious head injury: “a severe fall” that left him “semi-conscious for nearly two months.”20
Harold Schechter (Maniac: The Bath School Disaster and the Birth of the Modern Mass Killer)
According to Plato, internal strife, class war, fomented by self-interest and especially material or economic self-interest, is the main force of ‘social dynamics’. The Marxian formula ‘The history of all hitherto existing societies is a history of class struggle’8 fits Plato’s historicism nearly as well as that of Marx. The four most conspicuous periods or ‘landmarks in the history of political degeneration’, and, at the same time, ‘the most important … varieties of existing states’, are described by Plato in the following order. First after the perfect state comes ‘timarchy’ or ‘timocracy’, the rule of the noble who seek honour and fame; secondly, oligarchy, the rule of the rich families; ‘next in order, democracy is born’, the rule of liberty which means lawlessness; and last comes ‘tyranny … the fourth and final sickness of the city’. As can be seen from the last remark, Plato looks upon history, which to him is a history of social decay, as if it were the history of an illness: the patient is society; and, as we shall see later, the statesman ought to be a physician (and vice versa)—a healer, a saviour. [...] We see that Plato aimed at setting out a system of historical periods, governed by a law of evolution; in other words, he aimed at a historicist theory of society. This attempt was revived by Rousseau, and was made fashionable by Comte and Mill, and by Hegel and Marx; but considering the historical evidence then available, Plato’s system of historical periods was just as good as that of any of these modern historicists. (The main difference lies in the evaluation of the course taken by history. While the aristocrat Plato condemned the development he described, these modern authors applauded it, believing as they did in a law of historical progress.) [...] It is important to note that Plato explicitly identified this best and oldest among the existing states with the Dorian constitution of Sparta and Crete, and that these two tribal aristocracies did in fact represent the oldest existing forms of political life within Greece. Most of Plato’s excellent description of their institutions is given in certain parts of his description of the best or perfect state, to which timocracy is so similar. (Through his doctrine of the similarity between Sparta and the perfect state, Plato became one of the most successful propagators of what I should like to call ‘the Great Myth of Sparta’—the perennial and influential myth of the supremacy of the Spartan constitution and way of life.)
Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies - Volume One: The Spell of Plato)
According to Plato, internal strife, class war, fomented by self-interest and especially material or economic self-interest, is the main force of ‘social dynamics’. The Marxian formula ‘The history of all hitherto existing societies is a history of class struggle’ fits Plato’s historicism nearly as well as that of Marx. The four most conspicuous periods or ‘landmarks in the history of political degeneration’, and, at the same time, ‘the most important … varieties of existing states’, are described by Plato in the following order. First after the perfect state comes ‘timarchy’ or ‘timocracy’, the rule of the noble who seek honour and fame; secondly, oligarchy, the rule of the rich families; ‘next in order, democracy is born’, the rule of liberty which means lawlessness; and last comes ‘tyranny … the fourth and final sickness of the city’. As can be seen from the last remark, Plato looks upon history, which to him is a history of social decay, as if it were the history of an illness: the patient is society; and, as we shall see later, the statesman ought to be a physician (and vice versa)—a healer, a saviour. [...] We see that Plato aimed at setting out a system of historical periods, governed by a law of evolution; in other words, he aimed at a historicist theory of society. This attempt was revived by Rousseau, and was made fashionable by Comte and Mill, and by Hegel and Marx; but considering the historical evidence then available, Plato’s system of historical periods was just as good as that of any of these modern historicists. (The main difference lies in the evaluation of the course taken by history. While the aristocrat Plato condemned the development he described, these modern authors applauded it, believing as they did in a law of historical progress.) [...] It is important to note that Plato explicitly identified this best and oldest among the existing states with the Dorian constitution of Sparta and Crete, and that these two tribal aristocracies did in fact represent the oldest existing forms of political life within Greece. Most of Plato’s excellent description of their institutions is given in certain parts of his description of the best or perfect state, to which timocracy is so similar. (Through his doctrine of the similarity between Sparta and the perfect state, Plato became one of the most successful propagators of what I should like to call ‘the Great Myth of Sparta’—the perennial and influential myth of the supremacy of the Spartan constitution and way of life.)
Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies - Volume One: The Spell of Plato)
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Circumcision For Adults Has Approval from Medical Experts IIn a few religions like Judaism, circumcision is an essential ritual. It gets performed when the male child is eight days old. During this, the foreskin on the genital gets removed. And almost all Jews follow this without fail. But sometimes, due to unavoidable circumstances, it may not be possible to circumcise baby. Yes, then the mohel may recommend some other auspicious day for circumcision. The family follows all the Jewish rituals during this ceremony. Indeed, there is a belief that doing so has a lot of health benefits for that person. Not all religions follow this custom. So, there is always a debate about whether it is beneficial to perform this ritual. Avoid Infection with Circumcision And research has proved that it is advantageous to do the bris ceremony. There is a reduced risk of contracting infections like STI, UTIs, and cancer of the penis. It has also proved that there is an improvement in the hygiene in the genital area. So, an expert may recommend an adult to undergo circumcision who has not done so in infancy. Yes, but you must get this procedure done through a professional. You can find many an expert mohel who can perform this ritual for children as well as adults. Essential To Hire a Professional This procedure gets performed in a sensitive area that needs a lot of precaution. So, you should engage only an expert in circumcision Los Angeles for this. a novice or an amateur may make mistakes. And you may have to face a lot of trouble because of this. And when a professional gets hired, especially for an adult circumcision, it will avoid post-procedure complications. It is not prudent to take a shortcut concerning health. People who resort to them get into more trouble. So, it is best avoided. Approval From Modern Science Look for a qualified rabbi and get it done as soon as possible. Modern science also approves of this religious ritual. It may seem that people undergo this procedure because of religious beliefs. But anyone who wants to stay safe and not get infected by some diseases should circumscribe themselves. The benefits of doing so are many compared to not undergoing it. And if you contact a mohel who is a professional, it will get done in no time. It is always advisable to stay safe rather than get infected and then for its treatment.
meirsultan
If they divorce, there is a legal apparatus in place to determine custody arrangements, visitation rights, and financial obligations. of course there is often conflict between divorcing couples, but at least they each have legal standing with regard to their children. And in recent decades, family laws have shifted in a more egalitarian direction toward divorce. Courts are now obliged to treat mothers and fathers fairly in determining custody, and the usual legal standard is now the best interests of the child or children. As a result, there has been a dramatic shift toward joint custody arrangements.
Richard Reeves (Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do About It)
The Generous Family “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” -Proverbs 11:25 One of the greatest and most consistent fruits of family-based stewardship of resources is the outpouring of abundant generosity. Living on a fixed income determined by someone else on a fixed work schedule dictated by someone else who works to direct your best energy toward their ends can leave us with a sense of powerlessness with little left over to give to others. Faced with the frustration this can often create, it becomes easier just to give ourselves over to our work identity. When we do, we tend to live a disintegrated life, always needing to guard against additional commitments since we often have to fight to give our family enough of what they need from whatever is left over, which can put a damper on a spirit of abundant generosity. Contrast that with income streams that produce money in ways that aren’t directly connected to how many hours you worked this week. This begins to disentangle the connection between our time and energy and our money.
Jeremy Pryor (Family Revision: How Ancient Wisdom Can Heal the Modern Family)
There are two very different ways to view time with your family. One way is to see it as a compartment of your life to which you allocate time. If you spend time with your family in this way, you will never avoid the constant frustration that your family time is taking away from other important activities or that other important activities are taking away from family time. For working moms and dads, this involves long seasons where the family loses their best time and attention and those times can never be recaptured. We need to seriously consider another way. What if you decide to live in, with and through your family? What if you reject family as one of the compartments of your life and see family instead as the environment in which you experience as much of your life as possible? The more I began to identify myself with my family, the more this felt like the natural way to live. But be aware, virtually all elements of western culture are set up to separate individuals from their families. Rejecting this requires building a very different kind of culture. However, when I consider God’s design for the family and who he has called me to be as a father, I no longer believe treating family like a compartment is an option. Family is not a part of my life. My family is in me and I am in them and so we need to be deeply interconnected. To live like separate individuals is to deny this reality. How is this possible in today’s society? What does this look like? It begins by taking the elements of life that are compartments—work, worship, friendships, hobbies, learning etc.—and doing as many as possible with, in, through and as a family. Perhaps every day should be “take your child to work day.” Maybe it means you don’t separate and go into different groups to worship. You worship together, and even more importantly, you worship as a family in your home. Maybe it means your friends are friends of your family and that when you give your love and loyalty to a friend, you are giving that love and loyalty to their family. Maybe it means you either find ways to enjoy your hobbies with your family or you find new hobbies that your family can enjoy with you. Maybe it means that whenever someone in your family acquires a new skill, you complete the learning experience by sharing it with your family. But whenever possible you learn together.
Jeremy Pryor (Family Revision: How Ancient Wisdom Can Heal the Modern Family)
There is a naive conception of social history that is extremely popular. People with different viewpoints give it different slants, but the basic story is much the same. The leading character is called Technology, or sometimes Science; very sophisticated storytellers have twin leads called Science and Technology. They are the active agents in the drama. In some versions, they are the heroes; in others, the villains. In all, they are endowed with overwhelming power. There are some other characters, too. One of them is called Modern Society, who is more or less the dutiful wife, following where Technology leads her. In some accounts she drags her feet; in others she eggs him on. But it does not make very much difference one way or the other because they are married, for better or for worse. There is one other character, a kind of stepchild called the Individual. His job is to fit into the family as best he can. This requires him to be diligent and skillful. Since the family is changing, getting more scientific, technological, and complex all the time, this can be a hard job.
Randall Collins (The Credential Society: An Historical Sociology of Education and Stratification (Legacy Editions))
Play to your strengths. There are many roads to happiness, but almost all of them are found by pursuing your particular strengths, which are likely to change over time. Change is intimidating for almost everyone, as it requires us to move from the known to the unknown, and hence from the predictable to the unpredictable. For this reason, many people remain too long with jobs or hobbies that once suited them but do not anymore. Just because you once loved something doesn’t mean you are destined to always feel that way. Your changing sources of happiness are probably telling you that your old life doesn’t suit you anymore. Seek the original source. Our modern world provides numerous opportunities for happiness that resemble but do not duplicate the original sources. Some are perfectly fine (e.g., TV and movies), some probably do more harm than good (e.g., alcohol, drugs, and junk food), but none is as good as the ancestral originals. Time with family and friends sits at the top of our species’ checklist and is our best recipe for happiness.
William Von Hippel (The Social Leap: The New Evolutionary Science of Who We Are, Where We Come From, and What Makes Us Happy)
In a traditional society, individuals are aware that they will need children to support them in the future, and so will spend their healthy young years starting a family and investing in giving their children the best life possible. But if long-term investment in general is disincentivized, if saving is likely to be counterproductive as money depreciates, this investment becomes less profitable. Further, as politicians sell people the lie that eternal welfare and retirement benefits are possible through the magic of the monetary printing press, the investment in a family becomes less and less valuable. Over time, the incentive to start a family declines and more and more people end up leading single lives. More marriages are likely to break down as partners are less likely to put in the necessary emotional, moral, and financial investment to make them work, while marriages that do survive will likely produce fewer children. The well-known phenomenon of the modern breakdown of the family cannot be understood without recognizing the role of unsound money allowing the state to appropriate many of the essential roles that the family has played for millennia, and reducing the incentive of all members of a family to invest in long-term familial relations.
Saifedean Ammous (The Bitcoin Standard: The Decentralized Alternative to Central Banking)
To live and strive in modern America is to participate in a series of morally fraught systems. If a family’s entire financial livelihood depends on the value of its home, it’s not hard to understand why that family would oppose anything that could potentially lower its property values, like a proposal to develop an affordable housing complex in the neighborhood. If an aging couple’s nest egg depends on how the stock market performs, it’s not hard to see why that couple would support legislation designed to yield higher returns, even if that means shortchanging workers. Social ills—segregation, exploitation—can be motivated by bigotry and selfishness as well as by the best of intentions, such as protecting our children. Especially protecting our children. These arrangements create what the postwar sociologist C. Wright Mills called “structural immorality” and what the political scientist Jamila Michener more recently labeled exploitation “on a societal level.”[27] We are connected, members of a shared nation and a shared economy, where the advantages of the rich often come at the expense of the poor. But that arrangement is not inevitable or permanent. It was made by human hands and can be unmade by them.
Matthew Desmond (Poverty, by America)
You may even be considering an option that takes you out of the picture for a while, and the problem out of the house. But if you look at the data, and you talk with researchers and successful families, it is clear that the best place to recover is at home, the best daily providers are family, and the best professional supports utilize modern methods backed by research.
Lauren Muhlheim (When Your Teen Has an Eating Disorder: Practical Strategies to Help Your Teen Recover from Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating)
In the field of biology, “superbugs” evolve when a bacterium, fungus, or virus is put in a low-stakes setting where it can both thrive and test itself against a panoply of our best defenses (like antibiotics). Hospitals present one such setting in that they serve as gathering points for already-infected individuals (many of whom are immunocompromised, making them “easy mode” for viruses, fungi, and bacteria) and are packed with antivirals, antifungal, and antibiotic medications. . . . Our modern social landscape has created a similar environment, enabling cultural viruses to evolve. These viruses cannot survive and reproduce independently and must parasitize healthy cultural ecosystems, rewriting healthy cultures' internal machinery to carry out their life cycles.
Malcolm Collins (The Pragmatist's Guide to Governance: From high school cliques to boards, family offices, and nations: A guide to optimizing governance models)
Narcissism appears realistically to represent the best way of coping with the tensions and anxieties of modern life, and the prevailing social conditions therefore tend to bring out narcissist traits that are present, in varying degrees, in everyone. These conditions have also transformed the family, which in turn shapes the underlying structure of personality. A society that fears it has no future, is not likely to give much attention to the needs of the next generation….
Ramani Durvasula ("Don't You Know Who I Am?": How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility)
There are obvious psychological stresses on a person in a group, but there may be even greater stresses on a person in isolation. Most higher primates, including humans, are intensely social, and there are few examples of individuals surviving outside of a group. A modern soldier returning from combat goes from the kind of close-knit situation that humans evolved for into a society where most people work outside the home, children are educated by strangers, families are isolated from wider communities, personal gain almost completely eclipses collective good, and people sleep alone or with a partner. Even if he or she is in a family, that is not the same as belonging to a large, self-sufficient group that shares and experiences almost everything collectively. Whatever the technological advances of modern society—and they’re nearly miraculous—the individual lifestyles that those technologies spawn may be deeply brutalizing to the human spirit.
Jonathan Franzen (The Best American Essays 2016 (The Best American Series))
Their best chance for a happy adulthood lies in discovering and nurturing their strengths, cultivating flexibility in the face of obstacles, and developing the tools to forge lasting relationships. Following
Christine Koh (Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less)
Nowadays it often takes two parents working full-time to secure the same standard of living one wage earner could provide thirty or forty years ago. Deepening social stresses and the growing sense of economic insecurity even in the midst of relative wealth have all combined to create a milieu in which calm, connected parenting is increasingly difficult. Precisely when parents and other adults need to form stronger attachment bonds with their children than ever before, they have less time and energy to do so. Robert Bly notes that “in 1935 the average working man had forty hours a week free, including Saturday. By 1990, it was down to seventeen hours. The twenty-three lost hours of free time a week since 1935 are the very hours in which the father could be a nurturing father, and find some center in himself, and the very hours in which the mother could feel she actually has a husband.” These patterns characterize not only the early years of parenting but entire childhoods. Although many fathers today are more conscientious in taking a share of parenting responsibility, the stresses of modern life and the chronic lack of time subvert their best intentions. It is for economic reasons that parenting does not get the respect it should. That we live where we do rather than where our natural supporting cast is — friends, the extended family, our communities of origin — has come about for economic reasons, often beyond the control of individual parents, as, for example, when whole industries are shut down or relocated. It is for economic reasons that we build schools too large for connection to happen and that we have classes too large for children to receive individual attention.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
In 1925, Gerardo Machado defeated the conservative Mario García Menocal by an overwhelming majority, becoming Cuba's 5th president. A colleague of Alfredo Zayas, he was also a popular Liberal Party member, and a General during the Cuban War of Independence. General Machado was best known for rustling cattle from the Spanish Imperial Army’s livestock herd, with the good intention of feeding the poor during the revolution. This brazen act of kindness won him a great deal of support among the people. As President, he undertook many popular public projects, including the construction of a highway running the entire length of Cuba. During the beginning of his career as president, he had the National Capitol, as well as other government buildings, constructed in Havana. At first, he did much to modernize and industrialize the mostly agrarian nation. Benito Mussolini and his march on Rome impressed Machado. He admired Mussolini for demanding that liberal King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy elevate the Fascists to power, instead of the Socialists. Although Mussolini originally started his political career as a Socialist, with power and wealth he became a staunch anti-communist. When he was elected as the 27th Prime Minister, he turned Italy into a Totalitarian State. Machado’s ambitions and admiration of Mussolini caused him to emulate the dictator and to misread the importance of his own office. Becoming a “legend in his own mind,” he overreached and started down a slope that led to his administration’s failure and earned him the hatred of the Cuban people. From the very beginning, he fought with the labor leaders and anarchists for control of the labor unions, which represented the workers in the sugar industry. This brought him into a serious conflict with the plantation owners who were mostly wealthy Cuban families and Americans. Keeping the cost of labor down became a priority for the Sugar Barons, and Machado used patriotism as a tool to keep the workers in line. His dictatorial, arrogant ways created unrest within the labor force, as well as with the politically active university students.
Hank Bracker