Neighbor Best Friend Quotes

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My dear friend, what is this our life? A boat that swims in the sea, and all one knows for certain about it is that one day it will capsize. Here we are, two good old boats that have been faithful neighbors, and above all your hand has done its best to keep me from "capsizing"! Let us then continue our voyage—each for the other's sake, for a long time yet, a long time! We should miss each other so much! Tolerably calm seas and good winds and above all sun—what I wish for myself, I wish for you, too, and am sorry that my gratitude can find expression only in such a wish and has no influence at all on wind or weather!
Friedrich Nietzsche
You can't always expect people to apply your wisdom when they didn't use wisdom before they found themselves knee deep in their version of justice.
Shannon L. Alder
She needed what most colored girls needed: a chorus of mamas, grandmamas, aunts, cousins, sisters, neighbors, Sunday school teachers, best girl friends, and what all to give her the strength life demanded of her—and the humor with which to live it.
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon: A Novel (Vintage International))
Leave me alone", is not a good news! "Let's be together" is not a bad news. We were made to be each others keepers. Let love lead
Israelmore Ayivor
Because his art is such a difficult one, the writer is not likely to advance in the world as visibly as do his neighbors: while his best friends from high school or college are becoming junior partners in prestigious law firms, or opening their own mortuaries, the writer may be still sweating out his first novel.
John Gardner (On Becoming a Novelist)
This poem is very long So long, in fact, that your attention span May be stretched to its very limits But that’s okay It’s what’s so special about poetry See, poetry takes time We live in a time Call it our culture or society It doesn’t matter to me cause neither one rhymes A time where most people don’t want to listen Our throats wait like matchsticks waiting to catch fire Waiting until we can speak No patience to listen But this poem is long It’s so long, in fact, that during the time of this poem You could’ve done any number of other wonderful things You could’ve called your father Call your father You could be writing a postcard right now Write a postcard When was the last time you wrote a postcard? You could be outside You’re probably not too far away from a sunrise or a sunset Watch the sun rise Maybe you could’ve written your own poem A better poem You could have played a tune or sung a song You could have met your neighbor And memorized their name Memorize the name of your neighbor You could’ve drawn a picture (Or, at least, colored one in) You could’ve started a book Or finished a prayer You could’ve talked to God Pray When was the last time you prayed? Really prayed? This is a long poem So long, in fact, that you’ve already spent a minute with it When was the last time you hugged a friend for a minute? Or told them that you love them? Tell your friends you love them …no, I mean it, tell them Say, I love you Say, you make life worth living Because that, is what friends do Of all of the wonderful things that you could’ve done During this very, very long poem You could have connected Maybe you are connecting Maybe we’re connecting See, I believe that the only things that really matter In the grand scheme of life are God and people And if people are made in the image of God Then when you spend your time with people It’s never wasted And in this very long poem I’m trying to let a poem do what a poem does: Make things simpler We don’t need poems to make things more complicated We have each other for that We need poems to remind ourselves of the things that really matter To take time A long time To be alive for the sake of someone else for a single moment Or for many moments Cause we need each other To hold the hands of a broken person All you have to do is meet a person Shake their hand Look in their eyes They are you We are all broken together But these shattered pieces of our existence don’t have to be a mess We just have to care enough to hold our tongues sometimes To sit and listen to a very long poem A story of a life The joy of a friend and the grief of friend To hold and be held And be quiet So, pray Write a postcard Call your parents and forgive them and then thank them Turn off the TV Create art as best as you can Share as much as possible, especially money Tell someone about a very long poem you once heard And how afterward it brought you to them
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
This is why the Enemy wants you to think you have no song to write, no story to tell, no painting to paint. He wants to quiet you. So sing. Let the Word by which the Creator made you fill your imagination, guide your pen, lead you from note to note until a melody is strung together like a glimmering constellation in the clear sky. Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor, too, by making worlds and works of beauty that blanket the earth like flowers. Let your homesickness keep you always from spiritual slumber. Remember that it is in the fellowship of saints, of friends and family, that your gift will grow best, and will find its best expression. And until the Kingdom comes in its fullness, bend your will to the joyful, tearful telling of its coming. Write about that. Write about that, and never stop.
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
Though it's still not right. I have other best friends, and this is different. Besides, Mike is my absolute best friend." "Yeah, I was going to say..." Mike nodded... "That's right, honey. Felix, you're...something different." "Amen," Mike said. "You're not like a good neighbor or a companion for Saturday shopping, and certainly not like my husband. But you are something more than what the word 'friend' can contain. Mike has my heart, completely, eternally, no second thoughts." She grabbed Mike's hand. "But you have my...say, my liver." Felix frowned, pondering that. "Livers are good. Positively essential, from what I remember of biology. And good eating, if the need arises. Very well. I will be your liver...
Shannon Hale (The Actor and the Housewife)
Will: What do I wanna way outta here for? I'm gonna live here the rest of my fuckin' life. We'll be neighbors, have little kids, take 'em to Little League up at Foley Field. Chuckie: Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way but, in 20 years if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house, watchin' the Patriots games, workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill ya. That's not a threat, that's a fact, I'll fuckin' kill ya. Will: What the fuck you talkin' about? Chuckie: You got somethin' none of us have... Will: Oh, come on! What? Why is it always this? I mean, I fuckin' owe it to myself to do this or that. What if I don't want to? Chuckie: No. No, no no no. Fuck you, you don't owe it to yourself man, you owe it to me. Cuz tomorrow I'm gonna wake up and I'll be 50, and I'll still be doin' this shit. And that's all right. That's fine. I mean, you're sittin' on a winnin' lottery ticket. And you're too much of a pussy to cash it in, and that's bullshit. 'Cause I'd do fuckin' anything to have what you got. So would any of these fuckin' guys. It'd be an insult to us if you're still here in 20 years. Hangin' around here is a fuckin' waste of your time.
Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting)
Story people are a bit like real people––no matter where their humble beginnings may lie, their journeys are shaped by family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and all manner of acquaintances. Some encourage them, some guide them, some offer them unconditional love, some teach them, some challenge them to be their best. This story, like most stories, owes its existence to a village of unique and generous individuals.
Lisa Wingate (Before We Were Yours)
We’ve all encountered those people who out of the corner of our eye, from across the street, at magic hour appear astoundingly attractive, even god or goddess like: the way they move, the way the light hits them, invokes reverence and all, the impression. And then we got a closer look. Damn it. Let down. Good from afar, but far from good. Some people will never be more attractive than in that first impression, from a distance, in that light, at that time, in that way we saw them, when our hopes became highest and our wish fulfillment was fully let it. They will never look better than in that initial fuzzy edge clingups, impressions. The white shot. Some relationships are better in a white shot. More impressive in the impressions. Like in-laws, best to only see an hour a day, like neighbors, its while we have walls and fences, like that long distance romance that fell apart when you moved in together, like that summer fling that only lasted through August, that friend that became a lover that you now miss as a friend, like ourselves when we are a fraud. They are better from a distance, with less frequency, with less intimacy. Sometimes we need more space, it’s romance, it’s imagination. Distance is the flirt in a wing, it is frivolous, its mysterious, a fantasy, a constant honeymoon because we can’t quite see it, we aren’t quite sure about it, we don’t quite know it. It’s a fuck, it’s detachment, it’s separate, it’s public, it’s carefree, it’s painless, it’s for rent. And we like it that way, because sometimes it is better with the lights dimmed.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
The best defense industry is to build good relationships with your neighbors! The best missile, the best tank, the best atomic bomb is to be good friends with other countries! Enmity and its measures belong to the world of stupidity!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and unworthy people, or any qualities people possess. It begins by loving others for their sakes. It is an entirely “neighbor-regarding concern for others,” which discovers the neighbor in every man it meets. Therefore, agape makes no distinction between friend and enemy; it is directed toward both. If one loves an individual merely on account of his friendliness, he loves him for the sake of the benefits to be gained from the friendship, rather than for the friend’s own sake. Consequently, the best way to assure oneself that love is disinterested is to have love for the enemy-neighbor from whom you can expect no good in return, but only hostility and persecution.
Martin Luther King Jr. (The Radical King)
Let me see what I can come up with,' she said, and seemed to take a new satisfaction in it now. Something wrong to do, a law to break, and if she was lucky she might even get to steal, and it must have been then that everything changed between us and each of us didn't just have a neighbor to pass the time with but the closest thing either of us could find to a friend. ("Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls")
Brian Hodge (Best New Horror 22 (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, #22))
Often we imagine that we will work hard until we arrive at some distant goal, and then we will be happy. This is a delusion. Happiness is the result of a life lived with purpose. Happiness is not an objective. It is the movement of life itself, a process, and an activity. It arises from curiosity and discovery. Seek pleasure and you will quickly discover the shortest path to suffering. Other people, friends, brothers, sisters, neighbors, spouses, even your mother and I are not responsible for your happiness. Your life is your responsibility, and you always have the choice to do your best. Doing your best will bring happiness. Do not be overconcerned with avoiding pain or seeking pleasure. If you are concentrating on the results of your actions, you are not dedicated to your task.
Ethan Hawke (Rules for a Knight)
Regularly ask yourself, “How are my thoughts, words, and deeds affecting my friends, my spouse, my neighbor, my child, my employer, my subordinates, my fellow citizens? Am I doing my part to contribute to the spiritual progress of all with whom I come in contact?” Make it your business to draw out the best in others by being an exemplar yourself.
Epictetus (The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness)
Ok, at twenty-five years my senior, and married, and our next door neighbor, and best friends with my parents, it was hardly a feasible match; not by a freaking mile.
Madison Faye (Legal (First Time, #1))
Our prevailing philosophy is “you do you”—be who you were made to be, make your own decisions, and live your best life. We just want you to actually do you—not Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity—based on the experiences that you’re having every day and the values that you want to infuse into your life. And we want you to do you with your friends and neighbors and fellow parishioners and colleagues. Political pundits have become fond of discussing partisan politics as “tribal.” We don’t want your tribe to be your political party. We want it to be the communities in which you live, worship, and work—diverse in thought as they may be.
Sarah Stewart Holland (I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations)
I wonder: why is it noble to help men in the workplace, help orphans, help widows, help your pastor, help the neighbors, or help your parents, but degrading to help your husband—your groom, your lover, and your best friend?
Courtney Joseph (Women Living Well: Find Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Your Home)
I've often been told I have a nice face. People say I remind them of their sister's best friend, or their neighbor. More often than not, though, they never remember meeting me in the first place. Nice equaled forgettable, it seemed.
Cate Price (Going Through the Notions (Deadly Notions Mystery #1))
Choose and create a circle of proper advisors around you. Do not discuss your project with your relatives, neighbor, grandmother, friends’ friends, pastor, or babysitter! Thank God pets can’t talk or you’d probably ask their opinions too!
Dmytro Zaporozhtsev (Outsourcing Tips and Tricks: Getting the Best Bang for Your Buck)
...Agape does not begin by discriminating between worthy and unworthy people, or any qualities people possess. It begins by loving others for their sakes. It is an entirely ‘neighbor-regarding concern for others,’ which discovers the neighbor in every man it meets. Therefore, Agape makes no distinction between friend and enemy; it is directed toward both. If one loves an individual merely on account of his friendliness, he loves him for the sake of the benefits to be gained from the friendship, rather than for the friend’s own sake. Consequently, the best way to assure oneself that love is disinterested is to have love for the enemy-neighbor from whom you can expect no good in return, but only hostility and persecution.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story)
At our one local movie theater, blacks and whites had to sit apart—the blacks in the balcony. My mother and father urged my brother and me to bring home our black playmates, to consider them equals, and to respect the religious views of our friends, whatever they were. My brother’s best friend was black, and when they went to the movies, Neil sat with him in the balcony. My mother always taught us: “Treat thy neighbor as you would want your neighbor to treat you,” and “Judge everyone by how they act, not what they are.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life: The Autobiography)
When introducing someone to another person, use words like acquaintance, wife/husband, fiance/fiancee, half/step-sibling, best friend, schoolmate, flatmate, classmate, In-law, cousin, nephew, neighbor, colleague and client to normalize the situation. Everyone is not your friend.
Genereux Philip
The human ripples of pain are still heartbreaking when made visible to us now. Our friend Agnolo the Fat wrote: “Father abandoned child, wife husband, one brother another; for this illness seemed to strike through the breath and sight. And so they died. And none could be found to bury the dead for money or friendship. Members of a household brought their dead to a ditch as best they could, without priest, without divine offices.” The essence of that account is of an epidemic destroying the very bonds of human society. When was the last time the developed world experienced such a rapid descent into a microbial hell? And if parents abandoning children wasn’t destabilizing enough, other support elements in society were shattered by the justifiable fear of the pestilence. The natural human inclination to seek companionship and support from one’s neighbors was short-circuited. No one wanted to catch whatever was killing everybody. In an era when people congregating together was so much more important than it is in our modern, so-called connected world, people kept their distance from one another, creating one of the silent tragedies of this plague: that they had to suffer virtually alone.
Dan Carlin (The End is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses)
My parents constantly drummed into me the importance of judging people as individuals. There was no more grievous sin at our household than a racial slur or other evidence of religious or racial intolerance. A lot of it, I think, was because my dad had learned what discrimination was like firsthand. He’d grown up in an era when some stores still had signs at their door saying, NO DOGS OR IRISHMEN ALLOWED. When my brother and I were growing up, there were still ugly tumors of racial bigotry in much of America, including the corner of Illinois where we lived. At our one local movie theater, blacks and whites had to sit apart—the blacks in the balcony. My mother and father urged my brother and me to bring home our black playmates, to consider them equals, and to respect the religious views of our friends, whatever they were. My brother’s best friend was black, and when they went to the movies, Neil sat with him in the balcony. My mother always taught us: “Treat thy neighbor as you would want your neighbor to treat you,” and “Judge everyone by how they act, not what they are.” Once my father checked into a hotel during a shoe-selling trip and a clerk told him: “You’ll like it here, Mr. Reagan, we don’t permit a Jew in the place.” My father, who told us the story later, said he looked at the clerk angrily and picked up his suitcase and left. “I’m a Catholic,” he said. “If it’s come to the point where you won’t take Jews, then some day you won’t take me either.” Because it was the only hotel in town, he spent the night in his car during a winter blizzard and I think it may have led to his first heart attack.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life: The Autobiography)
Together we are called to ask, What does it mean to be followers of Christ in our local community? In what ways do our values and beliefs shape how we live out the gospel and its implications in our cultural context? How can we best communicate the hope and truth in Jesus’ Kingdom to our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family?
Ed Stetzer (Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best When the World Is at Its Worst)
In Charleston, the day you become an adult is the day you learn to ignore your neighbor’s drunk driving and focus instead on whether he submitted a paint-color change proposal to the Board of Architectural Review. The day you become an adult is the day you learn that in Charleston, the worse something is, the less attention it receives.
Grady Hendrix (My Best Friend's Exorcism)
Right after Matt died, I was afraid to do basically everything. I couldn’t even bite my nails or sniff my shirt to see if I needed deodorant without feeling like he was watching me. I willed and prayed and begged him to give me a sign that he was watching, that he was with me, so I would know. But he never did. Time moved on. And I stopped being afraid. Until right now, vulnerable and insecure and a little bit drunk. Lying in the sand and falling in crazy love with someone I just met. Matt is watching me. Observing. Possibly judging. And the worst part of it is, I don’t want to wake up under his landslide of sad rocks anymore. I don’t want to taste the marzipan frosting and the clove cigarettes. I don’t want to think about the blue glass necklace or the books he read to me on his bed or the piles of college stuff or some random boy in the grocery store wearing his donated clothes. I don’t want to be the dead boy’s best-friend-turned-something-else. Or the really supportive neighbor friend. Or the lifelong keeper of broken-hearted secrets.
Sarah Ockler (Twenty Boy Summer)
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)
I was never the best friend. I was always second choice, the friend who, somehow, always got left out, even when people didn’t mean to. A small part of me feels, as though, I never truly belonged with any group of friends I’ve had in the past. I’ve always felt like an outsider, doing my damnedest just to fit in and have people there in my life to fill that void inside me.
S.M. Soto (Hate Thy Neighbor)
Bitch!” Rebecca shot back, triggering a verbal duel that he was, unfortunately, all too familiar with. “Whore!” “Tramp!” “Bieber lover!” Melanie growled as she put Rebecca in a headlock and earned a gasp of outrage, because clearly that was crossing the line. “You bitch!” Rebecca snarled, forgoing her attempts to escape so that she could put her best friend in a headlock of her own.
R.L. Mathewson (Fire & Brimstone (Neighbor from Hell, #8))
Your king is dead. Your prince lives. . . My name is Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, and I am the Queen of Terrasen. . . Your prince is in mourning. Until he is ready, this city is mine. . . If you loot, if you riot, if you cause one lick of trouble, I will find you, and I will burn you to ash." She lifted a hand, and flames danced at her fingertips. "If you revolt against your new king, if you try to take his castle, then this wall"--she gestured with her burning hand--"will turn to molten glass and flood your streets, your homes, your throats. . . I killed your king. His empire is over. Your slaves are now free people. If I catch you holding on to your slaves, if I hear of any household keeping them captive, you are dead. If I hear of you whipping a slave, or trying to sell one, you are dead. So I suggest that you tell your friends, and families, and neighbors. I suggest that you act like reasonable, intelligent people. And I suggest that you stay on your best behavior until your king is ready to greet you, at which time I swear on my crown that I will yield control of this city to him. If anyone has a problem with it, you can take it up with my court." She motioned behind her. Rowan, Aedion, and Lysandra--bloodied, battered, filthy--grinning like hellions. "Or," Aelin said, the flames winking out on her hand, "you can take it up with me." Not a word. She wondered whether they were breathing. But Aelin didn't care as she strode off the platform, back through the gate she'd made, and all the way up the barren hillside to the stone castle. She was barely inside the oak doors before she collapsed to her knees and wept.
Sarah J. Maas
When they reached the table, Hannah started to introduce them. “Layla, this is Joe. Joe, this is—” “We’ve already met,” said Joseph, extending his hand and smiling. “Have we?” asked Layla, baffled. “Have you?” said Hannah. This was news to her. “Yeah, we have,” continued Joseph. “A couple of hours ago. On the road into the village. You tried to kill me, remember?” “Kill you?” gasped Layla. “You’re the biker? The one I knocked over?” “You knocked him over?” repeated Hannah in horror. “I didn’t mean to,” explained Layla quickly. “It was an accident. I was going to tell you about it. I just haven’t had the chance yet.” Turning to Joseph, Hannah asked, “Are you okay? Are you hurt at all?” “Well,” he replied somberly, “apart from my right arm, which I’m not sure is going to be of much use to me ever again, I’m fine.” As Layla’s jaw dropped open, he added quickly, “I’m joking. Really, it’s just a joke. I’m fine.” “Right, well, in that case,” Hannah continued, “as I was saying, Layla, this is Joseph Scott. Joe, this is Layla Lewis, your would-be killer, next door neighbor, and my best friend. She’s house-sitting whilst Lenny’s in Scotland.” “Next door neighbor, huh?” replied Joseph, taking a swig from his pint glass. “That could prove interesting.
Shani Struthers (The Runaway Year (The Runaway Series, #1))
Where are these perfect families? Is it yours? Your friend’s, your neighbor’s? I don’t think you can just point one out. The ones we’re most likely to admire are simply the ones with the best-kept secrets. No, the real perfect families, they have warts and bruises and scars. They had to screw up and admit their mistakes. They had to do everything wrong so they could learn how to do a few things right. They had to hate so they could know what to love.
Lisa Gardner (Look For Me (Detective D.D. Warren, #10))
When grown children fall in love and choose someone to marry, we hope that person will be good to them. Sometimes we can see trouble ahead, but the more we find fault in whom they’ve picked, the more likely they are to cling to them. Our eyes are not blinded by infatuation or love, and we can see personality traits that give us cause to worry when we know in our bones that our beloved children may end up with broken hearts and broken marriages. But, again, we keep our mouths shut and hope for the best.
Ann Rule (Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors: Ann Rule's Crime Files Volume 16)
Study how you can best help those who take no interest in religious things. As you visit your friends and neighbors, show an interest in their spiritual as well as in their temporal welfare. Present Christ as a sin-pardoning Saviour. Invite your neighbors to your home, and read with them from the precious Bible and from books that explain its truths. This, united with simple songs and fervent prayers, will touch their hearts. Let church members educate themselves to do this work.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, pp. 275, 276.
Ellen Gould White (The Role of the Church in the Community Ellen White Notes 3Q 2016)
When I first began teaching Religion 101, students would sometimes tell me they were scared to study other religions for fear of losing their own faith. It was an odd concern, on the face of it. Would studying Spanish make them lose their English? Would traveling to Turkey cost them their US passport? I had a stock response to their concern: engaging the faith of others is the best way to grow your own. Now, years down the road, I have greater respect for their unease. To discover that your faith is one among many - that there are hundreds of others that have sustained millions of people for thousands of years, and that some of them make a great deal of sense - that can rock your boat, especially if you thought yours was the only one on the sea. If your faith depends on being God's only child, then the discovery that there are others can lead you to decide that someone must be wrong - or that everybody belongs, which means that no religion, including yours, is the entire ocean. The next time I teach the course I will try to be more honest. 'Engaging the faith of others will almost certainly cause you to lose faith in the old box you kept God in,' I will say. 'The truths you glimpse in other religions are going to crowd up against some of your own. Holy envy may lead you to borrow some things, and you will need a place to put them. You may find spiritual guides outside your box whom you want to make room for, or some neighbors from other faith who have stopped by for a visit. However it happens, your old box will turn out to be too small for who you have become. You will need a bigger one with more windows in it - something more like a home than a box, perhaps - where you can open the door to all kinds of people without fearing their faith will cancel yours out if you let them in. If things go well, they may invite you to visit them in their homes as well, so that your children can make friends.
Barbara Brown Taylor (Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others)
Once more, I needed a part-time caretaker, but no Diana appeared this time. I did find a mature, friendly, experienced sitter from the neighboring town, who came for her interview and called me “Mary” right from the start. “It’s so funny that Diana always called you ‘Mrs. Robertson,’” my husband humorously observed, “And the new sitter and all the repairmen and shopkeepers call you ‘Mary.’” We missed Diana dreadfully! We missed her tenderness and special feeling for Patrick, her gentle disposition, her lovely presence in our home. Having Diana as such an essential part of our life in London had certainly helped to make 1980 one of the best years of my life.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
While it’s important to cultivate discernment, to work as hard as possible to do excellent work, to try really hard to make your song not bad, it’s just as important—perhaps more so, in the beginning—to make something, even if it’s not great. Don’t let your inner critic keep you from writing. Know that your songs aren’t going to be perfect. Then as joyfully as possible, keep writing. The only way to get better at something is to practice. It’s like we all have a quota of bad songs we have to meet before we get to a good one, so it’s best to start chipping away at the quota now. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll learn. Besides, a “bad” song lovingly written for a friend, family member, or neighbor will be a far greater blessing to them than a great song you never wrote at all. In that sense, the world needs more bad songs.
Andrew Peterson (Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making)
It was often like this with her: never stepping out of her quiet comfort zone except for someone else’s perceived need; changing the subject whenever her circle of human friends grew too cruel to one another; thanking a teacher for their lesson if that teacher seemed down; giving up her locker for a more inconvenient location so two best friends could be neighbors; smiling a certain smile that never surfaced for her contented friends, only revealing itself to someone who was hurting. Little things that none of her acquaintances or admirers ever seemed to see. Through all these little things, I was able to add the most important quality to my list, the most revealing of them all, as simple as it was rare. Bella was good. All the other things added up to that whole: Kind and self-effacing and unselfish and brave—she was good through and through.
Stephenie Meyer (Midnight Sun (Twilight, #5))
If you do not believe in what your religion teaches, why continue to support a belief which is contradictory with your feelings. You would never vote for a person or issue you did not believe in, so why cast your ecclesiastical vote for a religion which is not consistent with your convictions? You have no right to complain about a political situation you have voted for or supported in any way - which includes sitting back and complacently agreeing with neighbors who approve the situation, just becaus eyou are too lazy or cowardly to speak your mind. So it is religious balloting. Even if you cannot be aggressively honest about your opinions because of unfavorable consequences from employers, community leaders, ect., you can, at least, be honest with yourself. In the privacy of you own home and with close friends you must support the religion which has YOUR best interests at heart.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Satanic Bible)
LOVING-KINDNESS MEDITATION PLEASE PUT THE ATTENTION on the breath for just a moment to become centered. Take a look into your heart and see whether there is any worry, fear, grief, dislike, resentment, rejection, uneasiness, anxiety. If you find any of those, let them float away like the black clouds that they are… Then let warmth and friendship arise in your heart for yourself, realizing that you have to be your own best friend. Surround yourself with loving thoughts for yourself and a feeling of contentment within you… Now surround the person nearest to you in the room with loving thoughts and fill that person with peace and wish for that person’s happiness… Now surround everyone here with loving thoughts… Let the feeling of peacefulness extend to everyone here, and think of yourself as everyone’s good friend… Think of your parents, whether they are still alive or not. Surround them with love. Fill them with peace and gratitude for what they have done for you, be their good friend… Think of those people who are nearest and dearest to you. Embrace them with love, fill them with peace as a gift from you, without expecting them to return it to you… Think of your friends. Open up your heart to them, to show them your friendship, your concern, your love, giving it to them without expecting anything in return… Think of your neighbors who live near you, the people you meet at work, on the street, in the shops, make them all your friends; let them enter into your heart without any reservation. Show them love… Think of anyone for whom you have dislike or with whom you may have had an argument, who has made difficulties for you, whom you do not consider your friend. Think of that person with gratitude, as your teacher, teaching you about your own reactions. Let your heart go out to that person because he or she too has difficulties. Forgive and forget. Make him or her your friend…
Ayya Khema (Being nobody, going nowhere : meditations on the Buddhist path)
Being customers in our society is dangerous. It alienates us from each other. People will prefer to spend long and lonely hours in front of the TV watching life but never really living. We must honestly ask ourselves this question: Why do we allow ourselves to become a society where neighbors or people in the same neighborhood will only find a reason to talk with each other when their dogs sniff each other by chance? Even then, the talk is just superficial and all about the weather or the pets! Why do we allow ourselves to live in a culture where many people believe that their pets are their best friends because they ‘don’t judge me’ or ‘they love me unconditionally,’ as many like to explain? If we live in a society where the only creature who can understand, love, or support us is our pet, then perhaps we have some serious problems to confront, with all respect to the dogs’ wonderful company and friendship (I have a pet also). Perhaps we need a serious change.
Louis Yako
Mow a neighbor's lawn. • Give your spouse a back rub. • Write a check for a local charity. • Compliment a coworker. • Bake a pie for someone. • Slip a $20 bill into the pocket of a needy friend. • Laugh out loud often and share your smile generously. • Buy gift certificates and give them away anonymously. hildren and gardens go naturally together. Children are observers, and they learn so much more when they can see what they're learning. And when Mom or Grandma and kids work together, gardening is a great way to build relationships. There's something about digging and weeding that makes sharing confidences so much easier. And it's a great lesson for kids that work can be meaningful. That it brings tangible rewards-fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers. Best of all, the children help you learn too. They freshen your wonder. And when they pass on the learning and wonder to their own children, you've helped start a lasting and living legacy. Sur simple ingredients can make a meal memorable. First, the care you take in setting the table establishes the tone or atmosphere. Second is the food. That always
Emilie Barnes (365 Things Every Woman Should Know)
The art department proper I thought much inferior to that of the Tokyo Exhibition of 1890. Fine things there were, but few. Evidence, perhaps, of the eagerness with which the nation is turning all its energies and talents in directions where money is to be made; for in those larger departments where art is combined with industry,—such as ceramics, enamels, inlaid work, embroideries,—no finer and costlier work could ever have been shown. Indeed, the high value of certain articles on display suggested a reply to a Japanese friend who observed, thoughtfully, "If China adopts Western industrial methods, she will be able to underbid us in all the markets of the world." "Perhaps in cheap production," I made answer. "But there is no reason why Japan should depend wholly upon cheapness of production. I think she may rely more securely upon her superiority in art and good taste. The art-genius of a people may have a special value against which all competition by cheap labor is vain. Among Western nations, France offers an example. Her wealth is not due to her ability to underbid her neighbors. Her goods are the dearest in the world: she deals in things of luxury and beauty. But they sell in all civilized countries because they are the best of their kind. Why should not Japan become the France of the Further East?
Lafcadio Hearn (Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life)
Don’t cry Meg. It’s not that bad.” “It’s not that bad? Ha! I’m thirty years old, with two black eyes, a swollen nose, a big, honking, yellow knot on my forehead, and the haircut from hell. As if that isn’t enough, I had a transvestite in my bed this morning, my husband is a lying, cheating, cradle robbing, bastard, who at some point slept with my best friend.” Jack scooted over to the middle of the seat, and stopped listening to his head and wrapped his arms around her. Big mistake! From inside, four faces were pressed to the window. “My last orgasm-with a partner- was…hell I can’t remember when! I frequently knock myself out for entertainment purposes, I have little boobs, big feet, squishy panties, nosy neighbors and demon possessed fish. God hates me!” Jack held her tighter. “I have frequent flyer miles at the hospital. I fed my husband marijuana Ex-lax brownies and shoved a marble up his butt.” Jack pulled away to look at her and she was serious. And crying. Big, sad, alligator tears that made his heart swell. “My mother is a holy rolling, Catholic Dr. Ruth, complete with condoms and Rosary beads. I write about relationships and sex, both of which I suck at and I hired a Private Investigator to pimp me out.” Jack burst out laughing and she pushed him away and swatted his shoulder. “And now you’re laughing at me. Could things get any worse?
Amy Johnson
So, are you going to tell her?” Mark asked. He was, and still is, a persistent person. Good question, I thought as I stared blankly into space. Am I going to march up to Martina Elizabeth and tell her that I love her? I pondered the question carefully as though it was part of some unscheduled final exam. Instead of answers, however, all I could come up with was a series of dilemmas. I noticed that Mark was still staring at me with a quizzical look on his face. “What?” I yelped. “You haven’t answered my question, man,” I looked down, inhaled deeply, looked up and exhaled very slowly. “I, uh, don’t know.” I turned my gaze to my lunch tray, the other tables, and the clock on the wall. Anything to avoid my best friend’s inquisitive gaze. “I’ll take that as a resounding ‘no,’” Mark said. “I didn’t say that.” “No,” Mark said, “but it’s what you meant to say.” “I – I can’t tell her. Not now.” “Why the fuck not?” Mark asked, his voice rising in pitch and volume. A group of student journalists from The Serpent’s Tale – Alan Goode, Francisco Vargas, Juan Calderon and Roger Lawrence – looked at us with bemused expressions from one of the neighboring tables. Mark noticed, cleared his throat and lowered his voice to a half-whisper. “Why don’t you tell her, you dumbass?” “I can’t,” I repeated, shaking my head emphatically. “What are you so afraid of?” Another good question. “Nothing…everything,” I replied. “What, pray tell, do you mean?” Mark asked. “Are you more afraid that she doesn’t like you, or that she does?
Alex Diaz-Granados (Reunion: A Story: A Novella (The Reunion Duology Book 1))
In rallies like those in Johnson’s Ohio tour, friends, neighbors, colleagues and family members who do not conform to the ideology are gradually dehumanized. They are tainted with the despised characteristics inherent in the godless. This attack is waged in highly abstract terms, to negate the reality of concrete, specific and unique human characteristics, to deny the possibility of goodness in those who do not conform. Some human beings, the message goes, are no longer human beings. They are types. This new, exclusive community fosters rigidity, conformity and intolerance. In this new binary world segments of the human race are disqualified from moral and ethical consideration. And because fundamentalist followers live in a binary universe, they are incapable of seeing others as anything more than inverted reflections of themselves. If they seek to destroy nonbelievers to create a Christian America, then nonbelievers must be seeking to destroy them. This belief system negates the possibility of the ethical life. It fails to grasp that goodness must be sought outside the self and that the best defense against evil is to seek it within. When people come to believe that they are immune from evil, that there is no resemblance between themselves and those they define as the enemy, they will inevitably grow to embody the evil they claim to fight. It is only by grasping our own capacity for evil, our own darkness, that we hold our own capacity for evil at bay. When evil is purely external, then moral purification always entails the eradication of others.
Chris Hedges (American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America)
John Doerr, the legendary venture capitalist who backed Netscape, Google, and Amazon, doesn’t remember the exact day anymore; all he remembers is that it was shortly before Steve Jobs took the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco on January 9, 2007, to announce that Apple had reinvented the mobile phone. Doerr will never forget, though, the moment he first laid eyes on that phone. He and Jobs, his friend and neighbor, were watching a soccer match that Jobs’s daughter was playing in at a school near their homes in Palo Alto. As play dragged on, Jobs told Doerr that he wanted to show him something. “Steve reached into the top pocket of his jeans and pulled out the first iPhone,” Doerr recalled for me, “and he said, ‘John, this device nearly broke the company. It is the hardest thing we’ve ever done.’ So I asked for the specs. Steve said that it had five radios in different bands, it had so much processing power, so much RAM [random access memory], and so many gigabits of flash memory. I had never heard of so much flash memory in such a small device. He also said it had no buttons—it would use software to do everything—and that in one device ‘we will have the world’s best media player, world’s best telephone, and world’s best way to get to the Web—all three in one.’” Doerr immediately volunteered to start a fund that would support creation of applications for this device by third-party developers, but Jobs wasn’t interested at the time. He didn’t want outsiders messing with his elegant phone. Apple would do the apps. A year later, though, he changed his mind; that fund was launched, and the mobile phone app industry exploded. The moment that Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone turns out to have been a pivotal junction in the history of technology—and the world.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
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)
A brick could be used as man’s best friend, if you covered it in fur and taught it to bark and shit in your neighbor’s yard. 

Jarod Kintz (The Brick and Blanket Divergence Test)
If we expect perfection from man instead of God, we are indeed in trouble, and our personal problems, with others and with ourselves, are many. Our lives will then be easily soured. Take, for example, a common situation: wedding invitations. More than a few people are annoyed when they get one, because it means a gift, and they "feel cheap" sending just a card, even though only casual friends. However, if they do not get an invitation, they are then hurt or offended. In brief, sinful man will always milk trouble out of any situation. What then do you do? "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes," that is, men at their highest and best are still not to be trusted, for they are sinners. Our trust or dependence must be in the Lord. Thus remember, people are sinners. If they hurt and disappoint you, it is because there is first of all something with you: you have put your trust in the creature rather than the Creator. We can enjoy people, be good friends and neighbors, and live best with them if we know ourselves and them as alike sinners, either saved or lost, but even as saved, still very capable of thoughtlessness and sin. Our trust must be in the Lord.
Rousas John Rushdoony (A Word in Season, Volume 1)
She needed what most colored girls needed: a chorus of mamas, grandmamas, aunts, cousins, sisters, neighbors, Sunday school teachers, best girl friends, and what all to give her strength life demanded of her- and the humor with which to live it.
Toni Morrison
But there were smaller puzzles, too. How do you avoid getting drawn into a pointless argument with your wife, or a servant? How can you reassure a friend who thinks a witch has cast a spell on him? How do you cheer up a weeping neighbor? How do you guard your home? What is the best strategy if you are held up by armed robbers who seem to be uncertain whether to kill you or hold you to ransom? If you overhear your daughter’s governess teaching her something you think is wrong, is it wise to intervene? How do you deal with a bully? What do you say to your dog when he wants to go out and play, while you want to stay at your desk writing your book?
Sarah Bakewell (How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer)
It's rewarding if you have an opportunity to do something or to serve, you always give in your best. The world has changed, yes! But that shouldn't make you behave otherwise to the detriment of yourself or your neighbor. What you sow is what you get, sow good seed into people and you will get the best from them. Also, being honest will not get you a lot of friends, but surely it will get you the right ones.
Chidiebere Prosper Agbugba
Time is different in Rome. Maybe it’s the light, which is languid and delicate. The blue afternoon bleeds into twilight like a watercolor, and I realize we’ve been up on Silvia’s terrace drinking aperitifs for nearly five hours. Donato’s friends in crisp suit jackets, hair slicked back, plumes of smoke climbing into the now golden sky. Hannah and her girlfriends, their boisterous chatter mixing with the city noises below: a car horn, a motorcycle, a police siren, sandals clack-clacking on the narrow cobblestone streets. My niece had been the one to open the door. She tried her best to be nonchalant. Auntie, she cried. But I knew that look. Emily had the same expression when I caught her smoking a joint with the neighbor. Guilty.
Liska Jacobs (The Worst Kind of Want)
One final note: we need to say no to caring only for our friends and say yes to the call of service. I will point out that there are two kinds of social capital: bonding, which happens between the like-minded and which has been the bulk of this chapter; and bridging, which jumps over barriers and connects people separated by economics, ethnicity, age, and the like. My contention here is that sufficient bonding social capital sets us up for valuable bridging social capital-which, in my opinion, our culture desperately needs and which is necessary for our flourishing as human beings. In fact, as a Christian, I believe that God calls us to recognize the divine image in all those who bear it-and that's everyone. We are called to love our neighbor, which is reasonably self-evident. Jesus, in his poignant story about the Good Samaritan, taught that our neighbor is not just the person who is like us but anyone in need. He coached us not to simply to bond with those who are like us but to make bridges.
Greg Cootsona (Say Yes To No: Using The Power Of No To Create The Best In Life, Work, and Love)
You will learn strategies to navigate other difficult people in your life, including coworkers, neighbors, friends, relatives, and yes, even significant others. But the most important thing you will learn is what kind of leader you want to be when it is your turn. Nearly everyone interviewed for this book said their best leadership teacher was their worst boss. The experience may
Mary Abbajay (Managing Up: How to Move up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss)
But as I aged I realized that I did it every day. My schoolmates and neighbors, my family members, my best friend and the boy I had a crush on, they all changed on a day-to-day basis. People changing skin became so normal to me that I no longer felt like change was horrifying. It was good to change what you were into something better. I even wanted that for myself. Like androids, we humans change our bodies. Often, we do it so much that some of us are more machine than human, really? What makes me more worthy of experiencing a blue sky with voluptuous clouds than Meems? She has value. She's more valuable to society than I am at this point. Yet I still enjoy an aspect of society that she does not.
A.L. Davroe (Nexis (Tricksters, #1))
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)
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Anna, did you just indirectly admit to liking me?” She drew in a swift breath and saw from his expression that while he was teasing, he was also… fishing. “Of course I like you. I like you entirely too well, and it is badly done of you to make me admit it.” “Well, let’s go from bad to worse, then, and you can tell me precisely why you like me.” “You are serious?” “I am. If you want, I will return the favor, though we have only several hours, and my list might take much longer than that.” He is flirting with me, Anna thought, incredulous. In his high-handed, serious way, the Earl of Westhaven had just paid her a flirtatious compliment. A lightness spread out from her middle, something of warmth and humor and guilty pleasure in it. “All right.” Anna nodded briskly. “I like that you are shy and honorable in the ways that count. I like that you are kind to Morgan, and to your animals, and old Nanny Fran. You are as patient with His Grace as a human can be, and you adore your brother. You are fierce, too, though, and can be decisive when needs must. You are also, I think, a romantic, and this is no mean feat for a man who spends half his days with commercial documents. Mostly, I like that you are good; you look after those who depend on you, you have gratitude for your blessings, and you don’t think enough of yourself.” Beside her, the earl was again silent. “Shall I go on?” Anna asked, feeling a sudden awkwardness. “You could not possibly pay me any greater series of compliments than you just have,” he said. “The man you describe is a paragon, a fellow I’d very much like to meet.” “See?” Anna nudged him with her shoulder. “You do not think enough of yourself. But I can also tell you the parts of you that irritate me—if that will make you feel better?” “I irritate you?” The earl’s eyebrows rose. “This should be interesting. You gave me the good news first, fortifying me for more burdensome truths, so let fly.” “You are proud,” Anna began, her tone thoughtful. “You don’t think your papa can manage anything correctly, and you won’t ask your brothers nor mother nor sisters even, for help with things directly affecting them. I wonder, in fact, if you have anybody you would call a friend.” “Ouch. A very definite ouch, Anna. Go on.” “You have forgotten how to play,” Anna said, “how to frolic, though I cannot fault you for a lack of appreciation for what’s around you. You appreciate; you just don’t seem to… indulge yourself.” “I see. And in what should I indulge myself?” “That is for you to determine,” she replied. “Marzipan has gone over well, I think, and sweets in general. You have indulged your love of music by having Val underfoot. As to what else brings you pleasure, you would be the best judge of that.” The earl turned down a shady lane lined with towering oaks and an understory of rhododendrons in vigorous bloom. “It was you,” he said. “Before Val moved in, I thought it was a neighbor playing the piano late in the evenings, but it was you. Were you playing for me?” Anna glanced off to the park beyond the trees and nodded.
Grace Burrowes (The Heir (Duke's Obsession, #1; Windham, #1))
I have no idea why one person can be handed a tragic past and become healthy and selfless while another amplifies their pain into the lives of others. Almost without exception the most beautiful, selfless people I’ve met are ones who’ve experienced personal tragedy. They remind me of the trees I occasionally stumble across in the Columbia River Gorge, the ones that got started under boulders and wound slowly around the rock face to find an alternative route to the sun. What’s harder for me to admit, though, is there are also people who’ve become the very rocks that hindered them. And perhaps there is redemption for these people and perhaps there is hope, but this doesn’t change the fact they are not safe. I only say this because a positive evolution happened in my life when I realized healthy relationships happen best between healthy people. I’m not just talking about romance either. I’m talking about friendships, neighbors, and people we agree to do business with. One of the things I admire most about John is his ability to hold compassion in one hand and justice in the other. He offers both liberally and yet they don’t cancel each other out. I remember talking to my friend Ben once about a person who had once lied to me. We’d been working on a project together, and this person lied about some of the finances. Ben is a decade older than me, a cinematographer with a gentle heart, a guy you’d think could easily be taken advantage of. But when I told him about my friend, Ben said, “Don, I’ve learned there are givers and takers in this life. I’ve slowly let the takers go and I’ve had it for the better.” He continued, “God bless them, when they learn to play by the rules they are welcomed back, but my heart is worth protecting.
Donald Miller (Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Acquiring a Taste for True Intimacy)
… The frayed and gritty edges of everyone’s world were being worried away by neighbors you’d never noticed until the air spilled over with the tragedy of their loss. The war had taken them or their children; killed them, lost them, torn off body parts, shipped them back brain-fried…. … Tales fell from hearts in heavy, wet tones of grief and confusion…. … Even when rare moments of relative calm and clarity crept briefly through our days, they crawled in with head hanging through that most familiar of all tunnels, our sense of loss. Each new friend seemed only to step in and announce himself with his last breath. Why hadn’t we loved him earlier when there had been more time? That overriding sense of loss was the dismal cloud through which you viewed the world. Dreading life’s relentless advance, but knowing your locks could never keep it out…. … As the late 60’s gave in and died, and I trudged through my first year as an art student in college, even the old folks were growing up. Their World War II glories clouded over. Someone had shot the president, his brother, and a great civil rights leader, dragging us all out of our warm, snuggly innocence. People seemed infested by life, burdened by the stifling weight of it, until we could only force shallow, labored breaths. Each new day was just an old one playing through again, a dust-laden August, a storm always riding right on top of you that never quite cut loose. It settled into your joints until they grew achy, too heavy to lift; tarring all hearts with a dark, heavy plaque. Days stuck together as walking and breathing grew tedious. Until even my bubbly sister couldn’t offer up a smile without a shadow lurking inside it. We trudged through life as our mighty nation killed our sons and broke our buddies, defending itself from skinny barefoot farmers with sticks, in rice swamps somewhere on the other side of existence, where you couldn’t tell the good guys from the bad. Some lost tiny nowhere that hadn’t even existed when you’d been a kid; when the world had been innocent and untainted. Back when Father Knew Best, Beaver’s mom fed his dad all the answers, and Annie Oakley never had to shoot to kill…. - From “Entertaining Naked People
Edward Fahey (Entertaining Naked People)
Where are these perfect families? Is it yours? Your friend’s, your neighbor’s? I don’t think you can just point one out. The ones we’re most likely to admire are simply the ones with the best-kept secrets. No, the real perfect families, they have warts and bruises and scars. They had to screw up and admit their mistakes. They had to do everything wrong so they could learn how to do a few things right. They had to hate so they could know what to love.
Lisa Gardner (Look for Me (Detective D.D. Warren, #9))
New York is a funny city. You can live there for years and never see your next-door neighbor, and then you can run into your best friend while getting into a subway car on your way to work. Fate versus free will. Maybe it’s both.
Jill Santopolo (The Light We Lost)
Nukes and Peace It takes hundreds of years of hard work to build a civilization, and yet with the press of a button we can destroy it all in a day. Let us not press the button my friend. In fact, if we must destroy something let us destroy the very button of destruction, both from outside and inside. Let us incapacitate every single button of death and destruction, be it technological or psychological, and redirect that energy towards creation and conservation. You see, destroying the nukes mean nothing. Destroy one, another will be built in its place in a matter of months. We have to nuke the hate in us first, so that we no longer feel the need for nukes against our own kind. However, for the sake of investigation, let us forget the common sense of peace, and talk defense strategy for a moment, in a way that might make sense to world leaders. You see, the best defense against a nuke is not another nuke, but a code. It is the best defense because it is exponentially less expensive. In a technologically advanced world, the most powerful nation is not the one with nuclear power, but the one with coding power. So, to the so-called leaders of the world I say - if you're still foolishly worried about your neighbor's nuclear capabilities, don't go about wasting billions of dollars on a nuclear program, just spend a fragment of those funds on post-launch warhead hacking. But then again, it would open up a new realm of problems at a different level, because any nation with exceptional wireless channel manipulation expertise can remotely take over the command of another nation's nuclear warheads. So, at the end of the day, so long as there is animosity among the nations of the world, between mind and mind, sustained by stupid borders and foul ideologies, there is no safe way out. I'll say it to you plainly. Wasting nuclear power on warheads is a barbaric use of a scientific revolution. Let me elaborate with some numbers. A single nuclear warhead contains nearly 4 kilograms of Plutonium-239, which in a nuclear power plant can produce sufficient heat to generate about 32 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, that is, 32 Gigawatt-hours (GWh). 1 GWh of electricity powers about 700,000 households for one hour, hence 32 GWh would power about 22.4 million households for one hour. Now, if we divide that number by the number of hours in a year, that is, 8760, we are confronted with an astounding revelation. It is that, the radioactive material from one nuclear warhead can power over two thousand households for a year (2557 to be exact). And that's just the radioactive material we are talking about. Many more resources are required to set up a nuclear program. The point is, instead of wasting such potent and precious resources on fancy, frivolous and fictitious geopolitical insecurities, let us redirect those resources to alleviate actual, real human suffering from society. Let us use them to empower communities rather than to dominate them - let us use them to elevate the whole of humankind, rather than to downgrade the parts that we do not like. Because by degrading others, we only degrade ourselves, whereas by lifting others, we rise ourselves. Remember, there is no world peace, so long as fear is off the leash.
Abhijit Naskar (Either Reformist or Terrorist: If You Are Terror I Am Your Grandfather)
The best thing about Paris? It’s a city of readers,” our neighbor said. She said that in friends’ homes, books were as important as the furniture. She spent her summers reading in the city’s lush parks, then like the potted palmettos in the Tuileries Garden, sent to the greenhouse at the first sign of frost, she spent winters at the library, curled up near the window with a book in her lap.
Janet Skeslien Charles (The Paris Library)
Lest we conclude this is a fringe movement involving only a small percentage of American Christians, statistics show that nearly two-thirds of mainline Protestants7—members of the supposedly “liberal” Christian denominations—and two-thirds of all Christians taken together8 agree with many of the sentiments, if not the actions, of the thousands who marched on the Capitol on January 6. Many of us have neighbors, friends, and family members who agree at least with the beliefs underlying that violent insurgence. Based on the best research to date, approximately half (52%) of Americans either fully embrace or lean toward the main tenets of Christian nationalism. 9 While this percentage decreased slightly between 2007 and 2017, Christian nationalists have become more visible and vocal since Trump’s election in 2016. The 2001 attack on the World Trade Center (9/ 11) caused an upsurge in nationalistic fervor and a parallel rise in Islamophobia.
Pamela Cooper-White (The Psychology of Christian Nationalism: Why People Are Drawn In and How to Talk Across the Divide)
Consider Pakistan alone. In February 2012, a Muslim mob attacked a sixty-year-old Christian woman named Seema Bibi because, six months after converting to Islam, she reconverted back to Christianity. Angry Muslims “tortured Seema, shaved her head, garlanded her with shoes and paraded her through the village streets.” Afterwards, she received more threats of “dire consequences” from Islamic clerics, prompting her and her family to flee the region.35 Similarly, in July 2012, it was reported that a Christian couple, Imran James and Nazia Masih, have been on the run since they reconverted to Christianity, after embracing Islam back in 2006. Upon learning that the couple had returned to Christianity, neighboring Muslims attacked and persecuted them. One of the husband’s best friends abducted and tortured him and beat his wife. “[One] should have the freedom to choose the religion one wishes to follow,” lamented the husband.36
Raymond Ibrahim (Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians)
I went to see the house. (...) The place was a squat—thirty-five heroin addicts were living there. The chaos was palpable. It smelled like dog shit, cat shit, piss. (...) One floor was literally burned—it was nothing but charred floorboards with a toilet sitting in the middle. This place looked terrible. “How much?” I asked. Forty thousand guilder, they told me. They clearly just wanted to dump this house. But if you bought it, you were also getting the heroin addicts who were squatting in it, and under Dutch law, it was all but impossible to get them out. For any normal human being to buy this place would be like throwing money out the window. So I said, “Okay, I’m interested.” I talked about it with my friends. “You’re nuts,” they said. “It’s not money you have—what the hell are you going to do?” ...A drug dealer [had] bought the place. But he didn’t pay the mortgage. And he didn’t pay and he didn’t pay, and finally he was in such financial trouble that he decided to burn the place down for the insurance. Except that the fire was stopped in time and only the one floor was damaged. And then the insurance investigator found that the drug dealer had done it intentionally, and the bank took the house away from him. And this was how it turned into a squat for heroin addicts. “But where is this guy?” I asked. “He’s still living in the house,” the neighbor told me. This house had two entrances. One went to the first floor and the other to the second. The door with the board across it was the entrance to the first floor, where I’d already been; the drug dealer was living on the second floor. So I went around and knocked on the door, and he answered. “I want to talk to you,” I said. He let me in. There was a table in the middle of the floor, covered with ecstasy, cocaine, hashish, all ready to go into bags. There was a pistol on the table. This guy was bloated—he looked like hell. And suddenly I poured my heart out to him. I told him everything... I said that this house was what I wanted—all I wanted—the only home I could afford with the little money I had. I was weeping. This guy was standing there with his mouth open. He stood there looking at me. Then he said, “Okay. But I have a condition.” “This is my deal. I’ll get everybody out; you’ll get your mortgage. But the moment you sign the contract and get the house, you’re going to sign a contract that I can stay on this floor for the rest of my life. That’s the deal. If you cross me...” He showed me the pistol. It was in a good neighborhood, where a comparable place would sell for forty to fifty times the price. And [now] it was empty—not a heroin addict in sight. I got a mortgage in less than a week. But now, since my bank knew the house was empty, Dutch law gave them the right to buy the house for themselves. So I went back to the drug dealer and said, “Can we get some addicts back into the place? Because it’s too good now.” “How many you want?” he asked. “About twelve,” I said. “No problem,” he said. He got twelve addicts back. I took curtains I found in a dumpster and put them on the windows. Then I scattered some more debris around the place. Now all I had to do was wait. My contract signing was two weeks away—it was the longest two weeks in my life. Finally the day came... and I walked into the bank. The atmosphere was very serious. One of the bankers looked at me and said, “I heard that the unwanted tenants have left the house.” I just looked at him very coolly and said, “Yeah, some left.” He cleared his throat and said, “Sign here.” I signed. “Congratulations,” the banker said. “You’re the owner of the house.” I looked at him and said, “You know what? Actually everybody left the house.” He looked back at me and said, “My dear girl, if this is true, you have just made the best real-estate deal I’ve heard of in my twenty-five-year career.
Marina Abramović
Ask anyone in Pariva, and they would have agreed that Chiara Belmagio was the kindest, warmest girl in town. Her patience, especially, was legendary. Then again, anyone who had grown up with a sister like Ilaria Belmagio---local prima donna in both voice and demeanor---and still considered her to be their best friend had to be nothing short of an angel. Chiara was newly eighteen, having celebrated her birthday a month earlier, in June, and she was the middle child of Anna and Alberto Belmagio, beloved owners of Pariva's only bakery. In short, she had modest ability on the harpsichord, favored blackberry jam over chocolate, and loved to read outside under her family's lemon tree, where she often helped children with their arithmetic homework and nurtured nests of young doves. Like her neighbors, she knew each name and face of the 387 people in Pariva, but unlike most, she took the time to make anyone she encountered smile, even grumpy Mr. Tommaso---who was a challenge. And she took pleasure in it.
Elizabeth Lim (When You Wish Upon a Star)
I wisht we could go back, Ja—" "We can't go back!" shouted the old man, fiercely. "There's no farm any more to go back to. The fields is full of gas-wells and oil-wells and hell-holes generally; the house is tore down, and the barn's goin'—" "The barn!" gasped the old woman. "Oh, my!" "If I was to give all I'm worth this minute, we couldn't go back to the farm, any more than them girls in there could go back and be little children. I don't say we're any better off, for the money. I've got more of it now than I ever had; and there's no end to the luck; it pours in. But I feel like I was tied hand and foot. I don't know which way to move; I don't know what's best to do about anything. The money don't seem to buy anything but more and more care and trouble. We got a big house that we ain't at home in; and we got a lot of hired girls round under our feet that hinder and don't help. Our children don't mind us, and we got no friends or neighbors. But it had to be. I couldn't help but sell the farm, and we can't go back to it, for it ain't there. So don't you say anything more about it, 'Liz'beth.
William Dean Howells (A Hazard of New Fortunes (Modern Library Classics))
Exercise: Why Are You Awesome? You’ll need to work with a trusted friend or family member during this exercise. Ask them to help you make a list of your best qualities. You can do this alone, but it’s often hard to see ourselves as we really are, so getting a second opinion makes the exercise more powerful. Next to each trait, write down three pieces of evidence. For instance, if you regularly help your elderly neighbor with their shopping, that would be strong evidence that you are kind and caring. Read through the list and evidence when you need a boost. To get the most from it, add extra traits and evidence whenever possible.
Olivia Telford (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Simple Techniques to Instantly Be Happier, Find Inner Peace, and Improve Your Life)
Unlike joy, anger, and sorrow, which are relatively simple and clear emotions, subtle emotions that cannot be defined. There have been numerous attempts to define love, such as "sad compassion," "sadness," and "something that can give anything," but none of them fit perfectly. Therefore, this emotion has dominated much of human art, and is mainly sublimated into singing. It is the most common but complex of human emotions, and having this feeling for someone itself makes me so happy just to think good about the object, and on the contrary, I feel very sad when the object leaves. If this emotion goes too far and flows in the wrong direction, it can ruin people. As a result, love has a strange power to laugh and make one cry. In addition, people tend to think of themselves as a good person with a lot of love because they are drunk on the feelings they feel toward their favorite object they like. In addition, it is one of the most complex human emotions because it has a singularity that can be fused with joy and sorrow, and because it can be derived from love, and love can be derived from joy and sorrow. In particular, it seems to be the opposite of hate (hate), but it has the same shape as both sides of a coin, so hate is often derived from love and vice versa.[13] In the case of the opposite, it is also called hatefulness, and ironically, there is a theory that it is the longest-lasting affection among the emotions. In Christianity, faith, hope, and love are the best.[14] In the West, it is said that the first letter to the Corinthians of the Bible, Chapter 13:4-7, is often cited as a phrase related to love.[15][16] Also, this is directly related to the problem of salvation, perhaps because it is an attribute of God beyond doctrine/tradition/faith. According to Erich Fromm, love is the same thing as rice, and if it continues to be unsatisfactory, it can lead to deficiency disorders. The more you love your parents, friendship with friends, and love between lovers, the healthier you can be mentally as if you eat a lot of good food. The rationale is that many felons grew up without the love of their parents or neighbors as children. It is often a person who lives alone without meeting a loved one in reality, or if he is a misdeed, he or she often loves something that is not in reality. Along with hatred, it is one of the emotions that greatly affect the human mind. Since the size of the emotion is very, very huge, it is no exaggeration to say that once you fall in love properly, it paralyzes your reason and makes normal judgment impossible. Let's recall that love causes you to hang on while showing all sorts of dirty looks, or even crimes, including stalking and dating violence
It is the most common but complex of human emotions
He begins to pull the photos, one by one, from their slots. “My best friends,” he says softly. “My partner. Our daughter. My favorite teacher. The neighbor who took me in and gave me home cooked meals when classes got too much. There’s nothing more terrifying than letting your starving heart be loved, and that’s why they’re the heaviest weight I carry.
S.J. Blasko (Growing Things)
Before, we were childhood best friends, constantly playing together in the alley shared by our family’s neighboring businesses. Then, more recently, he started becoming Kai, as in Kai with the infectious laugh and defined arms and delicious buns (I’m talking about the breads he bakes, okay?).
Gloria Chao (When You Wish Upon a Lantern)
My father’s hopes were high for his return to Jaffa when the Swedish nobleman Count Folke Bernadotte was appointed on May 20, 1948 as the UN mediator in Palestine, the first official mediation in the UN’s history. He seemed the best choice for the mission. During the Second World War Bernadotte had helped save many Jews from the Nazis and was committed to bringing justice to the Palestinians. His first proposal of June 28 was unsuccessful, but on September 16 he submitted his second proposal. This included the right of Palestinians to return home and compensation for those who chose not to do so. Any hope was short-lived. Just one day after his submission he was assassinated by the Israeli Stern Gang. Bernadotte’s death was a terrible blow to my father and other Palestinians, who had placed their hopes in the success of his mission. Three months later, on December 11, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194, which states that: refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.
Raja Shehadeh (We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I: A Palestinian Memoir)
Every minute of camp life is poisoned. There is a lot in the camps that a man must not know or see, and if he does see it, he is better off dead. Prisoners in the camps learn to hate labor. That is all they can learn there. They are taught flattery, lying, vileness, petty and serious, and they become egotists. When they are released, they see that not only have they failed to grow while in the camps but that their interests have narrowed and become wretched and coarse. Moral barriers have been pushed aside. You find out that you can do something vile and still live. You can lie and still live. You can make promises and fail to keep them and still live. You can spend a friend's money on drink. You can beg for charity and still live! You can live as a beggar. It turns out that a man who has done something vile doesn't then die. He learns to live a life of idleness, deceit, and resentment against everyone and everything. He overvalues his own sufferings and forgets that everyone has their own grief; he just can't understand it and doesn't want to. Skepticism is all very well, and that is the best you can take away from the camp. The prisoner learns to hate people. He is afraid that he is a coward. He is afraid that he will suffer the same fate again. He is afraid of denunciations, of his neighbors, of everything a human being should not be afraid of. He is morally crushed. His ideas of morality have changed and he hasn't noticed.
Varlam Shalamov (Kolyma Tales)
And I have one more important thing to let go of. "Em?" I ask as we are cleaning up the dinner dishes. "Yeah?" "You mentioned that when you went to look at your apartment that your upstairs neighbor had two puggles?" "Yeah, Flotsam and Jetsam. So freaking cute." "So the place takes dogs." "Yes..." "If you want, if it wouldn't be a pain in your ass, I think maybe you should take Schatzi with you." "But... she's your dog!" "You and I both know that this dog hates me. She is more your dog than mine, and to be honest, she's lost enough this year. She loved Grant, and she lost him. She had doggie friends in that neighborhood, and she's lost them too. She loved Liam..." I don't even want to finish that sentence. "The bottom line is that she adores you and has from the moment you first arrived, and I know you love her too. I think it would be great for both of you." Emily throws her arms around me. "You are the best sister in the world." "I think you are the best sister, I'm just trying to catch up.
Stacey Ballis (Recipe for Disaster)
P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar
reality becomes a part of the story. “The man who sat beside you in the bus becomes the voice of the neighbor. The little girl who disappears at the beginning of the book looks like your best friend’s grandchild. You visualize the towns you’ve visited and the restaurants you’ve eaten in. What you love becomes what you love in the book, and the fears of the characters become your own. It’s immersive, but also transient. It’s like when you watch a movie made from a book. It probably doesn’t look exactly like what you thought it would, because you’re seeing the experience another person had with that book.
A.J. Rivers (The Girl and the Black Christmas (Emma Griffin FBI Mystery, #11))
I encouraged the volunteers at the seminar to go back home and try something different. Don’t try to win an argument, no matter how justified, no matter how compelling. Instead, sit everyone in a circle and ask each person to share a fear and a hope for this country. Bring a notepad and write it all down. Once everyone has had a chance to express themselves, they will often come up to you and thank you for the dialogue. Technically, you haven’t had a dialogue because you haven’t said much, but it feels that way. Then ask them to please do the same with other groups of their friends and neighbors.
Matthew Barzun (The Power of Giving Away Power: How the Best Leaders Learn to Let Go)
There is a world of difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. Just because we forgive someone doesn’t mean we need to be best friends with him. Sometimes a relationship will still be broken, even if forgiveness has been granted. Reconciliation is the hard work of how we go forward together, whereas forgiveness is an attitude of the heart. We should offer everyone forgiveness, but we will not be reconciled with everyone we have wronged or who has wronged us.
Jay Pathak (The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door)
My two best friends keep walking down the sidewalk, unaware of my absence as Violet continues talking to Delilah about her neighbor from hell. “Can you believe he actually told me to go buy earplugs? Like I’m the abnormal one because I don’t want to hear him fucking like a porn star at three a.m. I swear, one of these days I’m going to bring someone home just so he can see how it feels… What do you think—hey!” Violet backtracks.
Lauren Asher (Final Offer (Dreamland Billionaires, #3))
Seed Thought “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is an unqualified statement. It doesn’t say love your good neighbors and your best friends. To love our neighbor is to extend the wish for enlightenment to everyone, including those we might hold in judgment or think of as our enemies.
Joan Borysenko (Pocketful of Miracles: Prayer, Meditations, and Affirmations to Nurture Your Spirit Every Day of the Year)
When you think of me, you must think of me as one who is truly happy. It is true, I want a great many things I haven't got, but I don't want them enough to be discontented and not enjoy the many blessings that are mine. I have my home among the blue mountains, my healthy, well-formed children, my clean, honest husband, my kind, gentle milk cows, my garden which I make myself. I have loads and loads of flowers which I tend myself. There are lots of chickens, turkeys, and pigs which are my own special care. I have some slow old gentle horses and an old wagon. I can load up the kiddies and go where I please any time. I have the best, kindest neighbors and I have my dear absent friends. Do you wonder I am so happy? When I think of it all, I wonder how I can crowd all my joy into one short life.
Elinore Rupert Stewart
I don’t fit in, Rising Hawk. They think I’m odd.” She looked down at her lap. “And maybe I am, but I just…can’t…breathe there. Can you understand that? There are too many people, watching all the time. At least in a white village we don’t have to share a house with the neighbors. Besides, what are we arguing about? I’ve realized over the past few days that you are my best friend in the world, and nothing will change that.” Rising Hawk spoke very quietly. “We’re arguing because I want to make love to you, and I probably shouldn’t.” “It was my fault, Rising Hawk. I’m sorry. I started it. I didn’t realize--” “Livy, stop. You never used to talk at all, and now you talk too much. Listen to me for a moment. There is a medicine ceremony where you must dip water from the water road…the river, you understand? When you dip into the current, you must not dip against it, or the water spirits are disturbed and the medicine will not work. But this is just what you do. You always dip against the current. The medicine works when you accept what life gives you.” “I’m never getting married. To you or anyone. It’s not safe.” Rising Hawk smiled gently and leaned forward, taking hold of the medallion he had given her. “Livy, you are very young and very, very stubborn. But someday, in two, maybe three, years, you will lose this fear you have and you will marry a man, and we will both be very disappointed if that man is not me.” He pulled a little on the necklace, making her lean toward him. “Life is so simple, Livy. We will take care of each other, that’s all.” Livy sat very still. “It’s not that simple,” she said quietly. “If they had caught us, would you have gone against them? Your uncle and father and everyone?” He stared at her. After what seemed an eternity, he averted his eyes and very slowly released the necklace.
Betsy Urban (Waiting for Deliverance)
Nissan Dealer Chicago Continental Nissan is one of the most respected and trustworthy Nissan dealers in Countryside and the surrounding area. We proudly serve the western suburbs and the entire Chicagoland area, including our closest neighbors in Orland Park, Berwyn, and Cicero. In over three decades of service to our friends and your families, we have worked hard to bring an approach to the automotive business that reflects our core values of hard work and honesty. All of the members of the Continental Nissan team are taught from the first day they join us to make every experience a customer has with us the best part of their day. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for genuine Nissan OEM parts or buying a new fleet of cars. We strive to bring the best customer service to every transaction.
Continental Nissan
That cobra-patting Thai monk once stayed several months at our monastery in Australia. We were building our main hall and had several other building projects waiting for approval at our local council’s offices. The mayor of the local council came for a visit to see what we were doing. The mayor was certainly the most influential man in the district. He had grown up in the area and was a successful farmer. He was also a neighbor. He came in a nice suit, befitting his position as mayor. The jacket was unbuttoned, revealing a very large, Australian-size stomach, which strained at the shirt buttons and bulged over the top of his best trousers. The Thai monk, who could speak no English, saw the mayor’s stomach. Before I could stop him, he went over to the mayor and started patting it. “Oh no!” I thought. “You can’t go patting a Lord Mayor on the stomach like that. Our building plans will never be approved now. We’re done! Our monastery is finished.” The more that Thai monk, with a gentle grin, patted and rubbed the mayor’s big stomach, the more the mayor began to smile and giggle. In a few seconds, the dignified mayor was gurgling like a baby. He obviously loved every minute of having his stomach rubbed and patted by this extraordinary Thai monk. All our building plans were approved. And the mayor became one of our best friends and helpers. The most essential part of caring is where we’re coming from.
Ajahn Brahm (Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?: Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life's Difficulties)
Certain people uplift you; others pull you down. Certain people give you strength; others sap your energy. Choose carefully. Good friends, like neighbors, are an endless benefit, a treasure. Bad relationships and bad friends can ruin a lifetime. Following the path of the superior person permits a natural section that will find you only with the best-quality friends.
Wu Wei (I Ching Life: Becoming Your Authentic Self)
Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed, Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant; But over its terrible edge there had slipped A duke, and full many a peasant; So the people said something would have to be done, But their projects did not all tally. Some said, “Put a fence around the edge of the cliff;” Some, “An ambulance down in the valley.” But the cry for the ambulance carried the day, For it spread through the neighboring city, A fence may be useful or not, it is true, But each heart became brimful of pity For those who slipped over that dangerous cliff; And the dwellers in highway and alley Gave pounds or gave pence, not to put up a fence, But an ambulance down in the valley. Then an old sage remarked, “It’s a marvel to me That people give far more attention To repairing the results than to stopping the cause, When they’d much better aim at prevention. Let us stop at its source all this mischief,” cried he. “Come, neighbors and friends let us rally: If the cliff we will fence we might almost dispense With the ambulance down in the valley.” Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old, For the voice of true wisdom is calling: “To rescue the fallen is good, but ‘tis best To prevent other people from falling.” Better close up the source of temptation and crime Than to deliver from dungeon or galley; Better put a strong fence ‘round the top of the cliff, Than an ambulance down in the valley!
Rita Dunaway (Restoring America's Soul)
There are probably no white journalists in America who would say they chose their houses because they were in white neighborhoods, but that, in effect, is what they do. Peter Brown of the Orlando Sentinel looked up the zip codes of 3,400 journalists, and found that they cluster in upscale neighborhoods, far from inner cities. More than one-third of Washington Post reporters live in just four fancy D.C. suburbs. Television personality Chris Matthews routinely promotes integration, and Ted Koppel hectored whites who live apart from blacks. Where do they live? Mr. Matthews in 95-percent white Chevy Case, and Mr. Koppel in Potomac, also in Maryland, which had a black population of 3.9 percent. Perhaps these men thought they lived inside their television sets. Sociologist Charles Gallagher of La Salle University has noted that television advertising is a 'carefully manufactured racial utopia [...] that is far afield of reality,' where everyone has black and Hispanic neighbors with whom they discuss which brand of toothpaste is best. Jerome D. Williams, a professor of advertising and African American studies at the University of Texas at Austin also laughs at advertisers' depictions of American life, adding that 'if you look at the United States in terms of where we live and who our friends are and where we go to church, we live in different worlds.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
For most of my life, I thought that if only I could gain the expressed approval of my parents, my sister, my husband, my friends, my coworkers, my neighbors, etc., I would finally be able to feel good about myself. Eventually, I realized that expressed approval from others didn’t actually do any good; in fact, it kept me in the position of having my worth defined by others. If my worth was defined by others, then the state of my worth—good or bad—was in the hands of others, and as a result, was subjective at best and infinitely precarious at worst.
Aideen T. Finnola (My Exquisite Purple Life: Insights from a Woman Who Never Should Have Made It but Did.)
Where are these perfect families? Is it yours? Your friend's, your neighbor's? I don't think you can just point one out. The ones we're most likely to admire are simply the ones with the best-kept secrets. No, the real perfect families, they have warts and bruises and scars. They had to screw up and admit their mistakes. They had to do everything wrong so they could learn how to do few things right. They had to hate so they could know what to love.
Lisa Gardner (Look For Me (Detective D.D. Warren, #10))
The System The denunciation of a dictatorship’s crimes doesn’t end with a list of the tortured, murdered, and disappeared. The machine gives you lessons in egoism and lies. Solidarity is a crime. To save yourself, the machine teaches, you have to be a hypocrite and a louse. The person who kisses you tonight will sell you tomorrow. Every favor breeds an act of revenge. If you say what you think, they smash you, and nobody deserves the risk. Doesn’t the unemployed worker secretly wish the factory will fire the other guy in order to take his place? Isn’t your neighbor your competition and enemy? Not long ago, in Montevideo, a little boy asked his mother to take him back to the hospital, because he wanted to be unborn. Without a drop of blood, without even a tear, the daily massacre of the best in every person is carried out. Victory for the machine: people are afraid of talking and looking at one another. May nobody meet anybody else. When someone looks at you and keeps looking, you think, “He’s going to screw me.” The manager tells the employee, who was once his friend, “I had to denounce you. They asked for the lists. Some name had to be given. If you can, forgive me.” Out of every thirty Uruguayans, one has the job of watching, hunting down, and punishing others. There is no work outside the garrisons and the police stations, and in any case to keep your job you need a certificate of democratic faith given by the police. Students are required to denounce their fellow students, children are urged to denounce their teachers. In Argentina, television asks, “Do you know what your child is doing right now?” Why isn’t the murder of souls through poisoning written up on the crime page?
Eduardo Galeano (Days and Nights)
Adults often ask me why children in groups are so cruel. I am always astonished by the question. What about groups of adults? What about the Holocaust? What about the Serbs and Croats? How could neighbors who had lived together for hundreds of years suddenly turn on one another and begin to see each other as enemies? Why have Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland been willing to plant bombs in each other’s neighborhoods and kill people only blocks away? What about the Hutus and the Tutsis? During the genocide in Rwanda, a Hutu man beheaded his Tutsi wife and three sons in front of a crowd when the Hutu chief in his town told him that he had to kill all Tutsis. What force could make a person do something like that? Peer pressure. Peer pressure in a horrible group cause.
Michael G. Thompson (Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Understanding the Social Lives of Children)
If you loot, if you riot, if you cause one lick of trouble. I will find you, and I will burn you to ash. If you revolt against your new king, if you try to take his castle, then this wall”—she gestured with her burning hand—"will turn to molten glass and flood your streets, your homes, your throats. If I catch you holding on to your slaves, if I hear of any household keeping them captive, you are dead. So I suggest that you tell your friends, and families, and neighbors. I suggest that you act like reasonable, intelligent people. And I suggest that you stay on your best behavior until your king is ready to greet you, at which time I swear on my crown that I will yield control of this city for him. If anyone has a problem with it, you can take it up with my court.” She motioned behind her. Rowan, Aedion, and Lysandra—bloodied, battered, filthy—grinned like hellions. “Or,” Aelin said, the flames winking out on her hand, “you can take it up with me.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
One The number ONE means so many things in every aspect of our lives. We are born to ONE woman. We are focused on being number ONE in sports, school, politics, etc. We love to be number ONE. As a Christian, we believe that there is ONE Lord, ONE Savior and ONE church. We bond with others in our cities, states, nations and all over the world that call on the name of Jesus. We can use this number to focus our efforts to improve our lives. Instead of looking at life as half-empty and the things you can’t do, try looking at how ONE can make a difference in your life. If you are battling an il ness, acute or chronic, try doing ONE more thing today. Take ONE more step, try ONE more rep in physical therapy, smile ONE more time at those who are helping you. Sometimes even though you are sick, you can make such an impact on others by how you handle your ONE issue. Maybe you are an athlete; try doing ONE more rep at the end of the set. ONE more interval on the bike, track or trail. ONE more sprint if you are in the middle of football practice. The person who has the “just ONE more” mentality will always beat the other person and be number ONE. If you are dieting and trying to get your physical body back where you want it; try eating one LESS dessert, one LESS fast food lunch, one MORE salad, one MORE veggie and one MORE lap around the block after dinner. If you want to draw closer to God, read ONE passage a day if you are out of the habit. It doesn’t matter which one, just spend time listening to the Word of the Creator. Say ONE more prayer than just the one to bless the food. ONE more good deed to help your fel ow man. ONE more smile for your spouse, child, sibling or parent. What if we all did ONE good deed this week for a lonely neighbor or a shut in from church? 2 Thessalonians 3:1 (MSG) One more thing, friends: Pray for us. Be that ONE person who makes a difference in this world by doing ONE more thing to progress the love of God!
Mark K. Fry Sr. (Determined: Encouragement for Living Your Best Life with a Chronic Illness)