Opportunities Not Taken Quotes

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If he'd been a hero, he would have taken the opportunity to say, "That's what I call sorted!" Since he wasn't a hero, he threw up.
Terry Pratchett (Going Postal (Discworld, #33; Moist von Lipwig, #1))
Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.
Aldo Leopold
Perfectly Imperfect We have all heard that no two snowflakes are alike. Each snowflake takes the perfect form for the maximum efficiency and effectiveness for its journey. And while the universal force of gravity gives them a shared destination, the expansive space in the air gives each snowflake the opportunity to take their own path. They are on the same journey, but each takes a different path. Along this gravity-driven journey, some snowflakes collide and damage each other, some collide and join together, some are influenced by wind... there are so many transitions and changes that take place along the journey of the snowflake. But, no matter what the transition, the snowflake always finds itself perfectly shaped for its journey. I find parallels in nature to be a beautiful reflection of grand orchestration. One of these parallels is of snowflakes and us. We, too, are all headed in the same direction. We are being driven by a universal force to the same destination. We are all individuals taking different journeys and along our journey, we sometimes bump into each other, we cross paths, we become altered... we take different physical forms. But at all times we too are 100% perfectly imperfect. At every given moment we are absolutely perfect for what is required for our journey. I’m not perfect for your journey and you’re not perfect for my journey, but I’m perfect for my journey and you’re perfect for your journey. We’re heading to the same place, we’re taking different routes, but we’re both exactly perfect the way we are. Think of what understanding this great orchestration could mean for relationships. Imagine interacting with others knowing that they too each share this parallel with the snowflake. Like you, they are headed to the same place and no matter what they may appear like to you, they have taken the perfect form for their journey. How strong our relationships would be if we could see and respect that we are all perfectly imperfect for our journey.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
I didn’t know that money could make the cell doors swing open. I didn’t know that if a woman was drunk when the violence occurred, she wouldn’t be taken seriously. I didn’t know that if he was drunk when the violence occurred, people would offer him sympathy. I didn’t know that my loss of memory would become his opportunity. I didn’t know that being a victim was synonymous with not being believed.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
I have the courage, I believe, to doubt everything; I have the courage, I believe, to fight with everything; but I have not the courage to know anything; not the courage to possess, to own anything. Most people complain that the world is so prosaic, that life is not like romance, where opportunities are always so favorable. I complain that life is not like romance, where one had hard-hearted parents and nixies and trolls to fight, and enchanted princesses to free. What are all such enemies taken together, compared with the pale, bloodless, tenacious, nocturnal shapes with which I fight, and to whom I give life and substance?
Søren Kierkegaard (Either/Or: A Fragment of Life)
Rosie, I'm returning to Boston tomorrow but before I go I wanted to write this letter to you. All the thoughts and feelings that have been bubbling up inside me are finally overflowing from this pen and I'm leaving this letter for you so that you don't feel that I'm putting you under any great pressure. I understand that you will need to take your time trying to decide on what I am about to say. I no what's going on, Rosie. You're my best friend and I can see the sadness in your eyes. I no that Greg isn't away working for the weekend. You never could lie to me; you were always terrible at it. Your eyes betray you time and time again. Don't pretend that everything is perfect because I see it isn't. I see that Greg is a selfish man who has absolutely no idea just how lucky he is and it makes me sick. He is the luckiest man in the world to have you, Rosie, but he doesn't deserve you and you deserve far better. You deserve someone who loves you with every single beat of his heart, someone who thinks about you constantly, someone who spends every minute of every day just wondering what you're doing, where you are, who you're with and if you're OK. You need someone who can help you reach your dreams and who can protect you from your fears. You need someone who will treat you with respect, love every part of you, especially your flaws. You should be with someone who can make you happy, really happy, dancing-on-air happy. Someone who should have taken the chance to be with you years ago instead of becoming scared and being too afraid to try. I am not scared any more, Rosie. I am not afraid to try. I no what the feeling was at your wedding - it was jealousy. My heart broke when I saw the woman I love turning away from me to walk down the aisle with another man, a man she planned to spend the rest of her life with. It was like a prison sentence for me - years stretching ahead without me being able to tell you how I feel or hold you how I wanted to. Twice we've stood beside each other at the altar, Rosie. Twice. And twice we got it wrong. I needed you to be there for my wedding day but I was too stupid to see that I needed you to be the reason for my wedding day. I should never have let your lips leave mine all those years ago in Boston. I should never have pulled away. I should never have panicked. I should never have wasted all those years without you. Give me a chance to make them up to you. I love you, Rosie, and I want to be with you and Katie and Josh. Always. Please think about it. Don't waste your time on Greg. This is our opportunity. Let's stop being afraid and take the chance. I promise I'll make you happy. All my love, Alex
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
He was the kind of young man whose handsome face has brought him plenty of success in the past and is now ever-ready for a new encounter, a fresh-experience, always eager to set off into the unknown territory of a little adventure, never taken by surprise because he has worked out everything in advance and is waiting to see what happens, a man who will never overlook any erotic opportunity, whose first glance probes every woman's sensuality, and explores it, without discriminating between his friend's wife and the parlour-maid who opens the door to him. Such men are described with a certain facile contempt as lady-killers, but the term has a nugget of truthful observation in it, for in fact all the passionate instincts of the chase are present in their ceaseless vigilance: the stalking of the prey, the excitement and mental cruelty of the kill. They are constantly on the alert, always ready and willing to follow the trail of an adventure to the very edge of the abyss. They are full of passion all the time, but it is the passion of a gambler rather than a lover, cold, calculating and dangerous. Some are so persistent that their whole lives, long after their youth is spent, are made an eternal adventure by this expectation. Each of their days is resolved into hundreds of small sensual experiences - a look exchanged in passing, a fleeting smile, knees brushing together as a couple sit opposite each other - and the year, in its own turn, dissolves into hundreds of such days in which sensuous experience is the constantly flowing, nourishing, inspiring source of life.
Stefan Zweig (The Burning Secret and other stories)
In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. When there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended - there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving anyone too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're so conditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what you ought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulses are allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations to resist. And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your mortality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears - that's what soma is.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
The most common lie you will ever tell God is your opportunity to do the right thing was taken from you.
Shannon L. Alder
Sometimes travel is merely an opportunity taken when you can.
Ian Frazier (Travels in Siberia)
That was the missed moment. I should have put out a hand and taken her arm and said, "Here I am. Ask me. Now. The real question! Tell me. While I'm here. Ask me before it's too late.
J.L. Carr (A Month in the Country)
A chance not taken is an opportunity missed.
Ken Petti
It has taken me a lot of years, but I find silence is sometimes the best answer.
Stephen Richards
I bet a lot of couples have wondered, if they’d met under different circumstances, perhaps they would’ve taken a different path and never ended up together. And in a way, you got that opportunity. You chose me twice. If that’s not meant to be, then I don’t know what is.
Jenn Bennett (Banishing the Dark (Arcadia Bell, #4))
Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. The basis of unfavorable comparisons with elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions--all will be suppressed. There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced.
Friedrich A. Hayek (The Road to Serfdom)
I wonder what life would have been like if I would have taken all that time I spent wondering what life would have been like, and instead used that time to make it what I wanted it to be like.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
I think I have a very good idea why it is that anti-Semitism is so tenacious and so protean and so enduring. Christianity and Islam, theistic though they may claim to be, are both based on the fetishizing of human primates: Jesus in one case and Mohammed in the other. Neither of these figures can be called exactly historical but both have one thing in common even in their quasi-mythical dimension. Both of them were first encountered by the Jews. And the Jews, ravenous as they were for any sign of the long-sought Messiah, were not taken in by either of these two pretenders, or not in large numbers or not for long. If you meet a devout Christian or a believing Muslim, you are meeting someone who would give everything he owned for a personal, face-to-face meeting with the blessed founder or prophet. But in the visage of the Jew, such ardent believers encounter the very figure who did have such a precious moment, and who spurned the opportunity and turned shrugging aside. Do you imagine for a microsecond that such a vile, churlish transgression will ever be forgiven? I myself certainly hope that it will not. The Jews have seen through Jesus and Mohammed. In retrospect, many of them have also seen through the mythical, primitive, and cruel figures of Abraham and Moses. Nearer to our own time, in the bitter combats over the work of Marx and Freud and Einstein, Jewish participants and protagonists have not been the least noticeable. May this always be the case, whenever any human primate sets up, or is set up by others, as a Messiah.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
You have to stay humble, no matter what, as easily as It's given to you, It can be taken away. Always be grateful for the opportunities that come your way.
Kim Kardashian West
Don't cry over the shots you've missed; weep over the ones you've not taken at all. The bitterest regrets are for things planned but left undone!
Israelmore Ayivor (Daily Drive 365)
The cord that tethers ability to success is both loose and elastic. It is easy to see fine qualities in successful books or to see unpublished manuscripts, inexpensive vodkas, or people struggling in any field as somehow lacking. It is easy to believe that ideas that worked were good ideas, that plans that succeeded were well designed, and that ideas and plans that did not were ill conceived. And it is easy to make heroes out of the most successful and to glance with disdain at the least. But ability does not guarantee achievement, nor is achievement proportional to ability. And so it is important to always keep in mind the other term in the equation—the role of chance…What I’ve learned, above all, is to keep marching forward because the best news is that since chance does play a role, one important factor in success is under our control: the number of at bats, the number of chances taken, the number of opportunities seized.
Leonard Mlodinow (The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives)
But have you noticed the slight curl at the end of Sam II's mouth, when he looks at you? It means that he didn't want you to name him Sam II, for one thing, and for two other things it means that he has a sawed-off in his left pants leg, and a baling hook in his right pants leg, and is ready to kill you with either of them, given the opportunity. The father is taken aback. What he usually says, in such a confrontation, is "I changed your diapers for you, little snot." This is not the right thing to say. First, it is not true (mothers change nine diapers out of ten), and second it reminds Sam II of what he is mad about. He is mad about being small when you were big, but no, that's not it, he is mad about being helpless when you were powerful, but no, not that either, he is mad about being contingent when you were necessary, not quite it, he is insane because when he loved you, you didn't notice.
Donald Barthelme (The Dead Father)
And the years came and went, the decades. But now it's no longer possible to put it off any more: either now or never. The one final opportunity must be taken, for the hour is late and nobody will come upon me.
Ivan Bunin
You see, people in the depressive position are often stigmatised as ‘failures' or ‘losers'. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. If these people are in the depressive position, it is most probably because they have tried too hard or taken on too much, so hard and so much that they have made themselves ‘ill with depression'. In other words, if these people are in the depressive position, it is because their world was simply not good enough for them. They wanted more, they wanted better, and they wanted different, not just for themselves, but for all those around them. So if they are failures or losers, this is only because they set the bar far too high. They could have swept everything under the carpet and pretended, as many people do, that all is for the best in the best of possible worlds. But unlike many people, they had the honesty and the strength to admit that something was amiss, that something was not quite right. So rather than being failures or losers, they are just the opposite: they are ambitious, they are truthful, and they are courageous. And that is precisely why they got ‘ill'. To make them believe that they are suffering from some chemical imbalance in the brain and that their recovery depends solely or even mostly on popping pills is to do them a great disfavour: it is to deny them the precious opportunity not only to identify and address important life problems, but also to develop a deeper and more refined appreciation of themselves and of the world around them—and therefore to deny them the opportunity to fulfil their highest potential as human beings.
Neel Burton
God has given you your identity, and that cannot be taken away. God has imbued you with infinite potential, and that cannot be taken away. God has provided you with the opportunity to change your thinking in an instant, and that cannot be taken away. God has given you the capacity to love, and that cannot be taken away. God has entrusted you with the power to live in the light of His abundance in any moment, and that cannot be taken away.
Marianne Williamson (The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles)
precautions are expensive, either in terms of actual costs for safety or opportunity costs for risks that you could have taken but didn’t.
M.E. Thomas (Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight)
the answer is to just let go the betrayal is to the past the cocoon dangles empty the desire outlasts the object the effort lingers the frustration is in how pointless the effort was the ghost does not make itself transparent the heart knows nothing except its own mind the ideas are not enough the jealousy is always there the killing blow is sometimes the softest the life you lead can be detoured the moment you know cannot be taken back the new you will try to bury the old me the opportunity has passed the past is inopportune the questions all grow from why the reality will always be contended the sadness will ebb the trouble is the time it might take the ugly words cannot be erased, only discredited the versions are never the same the wonder is that we make it through the x is the unknown variable the yesterday cannot be repeated the zenith is the point when you look down and realize you’re no longer below
David Levithan (The Realm of Possibility)
Because in [Lenin's] eyes the workers were only workers and not also customers, he believed they were already slaves under capitalism, and that one did not change their status when nationalizing all plants and shops. Socialism substitutes the sovereignty of a dictator, or committee of dictators, for the sovereignty of the consumers. Along with the economic sovereignty of the citizens disappears also their political sovereignty. To the unique production plan that annuls any planning on the part of the consumers corresponds in the constitutional sphere the one party principle that deprives the citizens of any opportunity to plan the course of public affairs. Freedom is indivisible. He who has not the faculty to choose among various brands of canned food or soap, is also deprived of the power to choose between various political parties and programs and to elect the officeholders. He is no longer a man; he becomes a pawn in the hands of the supreme social engineer. Even his freedom to rear progeny will be taken away by eugenics.
Ludwig von Mises
If it is to be taken seriously again, the Left must find its voice. There is much to be angry about: growing inequalities of wealth and opportunity; injustices of class and caste; economic exploitation at home and abroad; corruption and money and privilege occluding the arteries of democracy.
Tony Judt (Ill Fares The Land: A Treatise On Our Present Discontents)
Our star life, yours with mine. As someone said over dinner once, each of us is given at least nine versions of our lives, some we guzzle, others we take tiny, timid sips from, and some our lips never touch.
André Aciman (Enigma Variations)
A woman is always being taken advantage of in so many situations. To add insult to injury, people always try to belittle a woman—as if her opinion doesn’t matter—and people feel that they can manipulate a woman as if she’s naïve and clueless. Other people will steal a woman’s idea as if they came up with it on their own. It makes my skin crawl when a woman is told to step aside and keep quiet as if her voice doesn’t deserve to be heard, and we all know that women don’t receive as many opportunities as their male counterparts. However, opportunities are endless, and when a woman is given a chance, she makes it a personal mission to execute by always being the seeker and observer.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Cancer is a tremendous opportunity to have your face pressed right up against the glass of your mortality.” But what patients see through the glass is not a world outside cancer, but a world taken over by it—cancer reflected endlessly around them like a hall of mirrors.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Emperor of All Maladies)
...civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. Where there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended—there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving any one too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're so conditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what you ought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulses are allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations to resist.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
Taken psychologically, the idea of rebirth is about having multiple opportunities to break the cycle of fear and find meaning, without ‘consuming’ anyone.
Devdutt Pattanaik (My Gita)
An end is only an end because we haven’t taken the time to find the door in the wall.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
I myself was to experience how easily one is taken in by a lying and censored press and radio in a totalitarian state. Though unlike most Germans I had daily access to foreign newspapers, especially those of London, Paris and Zurich, which arrived the day after publication, and though I listened regularly to the BBC and other foreign broadcasts, my job necessitated the spending of many hours a day in combing the German press, checking the German radio, conferring with Nazi officials and going to party meetings. It was surprising and sometimes consternating to find that notwithstanding the opportunities I had to learn the facts and despite one’s inherent distrust of what one learned from Nazi sources, a steady diet over the years of falsifications and distortions made a certain impression on one’s mind and often misled it. No one who has not lived for years in a totalitarian land can possibly conceive how difficult it is to escape the dread consequences of a regime’s calculated and incessant propaganda. Often in a German home or office or sometimes in a casual conversation with a stranger in a restaurant, a beer hall, a café, I would meet with the most outlandish assertions from seemingly educated and intelligent persons. It was obvious that they were parroting some piece of nonsense they had heard on the radio or read in the newspapers. Sometimes one was tempted to say as much, but on such occasions one was met with such a stare of incredulity, such a shock of silence, as if one had blasphemed the Almighty, that one realized how useless it was even to try to make contact with a mind which had become warped and for whom the facts of life had become what Hitler and Goebbels, with their cynical disregard for truth, said they were.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
Language signifies when instead of copying thought it lets itself be taken apart and put together again by thought. Language bears the sense of thought as a footprint signifies the movement and effort of a body. The empirical use of already established language should be distinguished from its creative use. Empirical language can only be the result of creative language. Speech in the sense of empirical language - that is, the opportune recollection of a preestablished sign – is not speech in respect to an authentic language. It is, as Mallarmé said, the worn coin placed silently in my hand. True speech, on the contrary - speech which signifies, which finally renders "l'absente de tous bouquets" present and frees the sense captive in the thing - is only silence in respect to empirical usage, for it does not go so far as to become a common noun. Language is oblique and autonomous, and if it sometimes signifies a thought or a thing directly, that is only a secondary power derived from its inner life. Like the weaver, the writer works on the wrong side of his material. He has only to do with the language, and it is thus that he suddenly finds himself surrounded by sense.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (Signs)
Everything has changed and life has taken a turn for the worse. Side effects are making you sick. Sick of life. Sick of struggling. The side effects take a toll on you. You feel yourself trembling, and it is unbearable to breathe and think about what’s next. You begin to slip into the deep end and feel numb. Your thoughts drift as the side effects get closer and closer to the point that you want to give up. The more and more they pull you underneath you can’t help but think, I do not have any fight left in me. Wake-up call! You have a lot to lose. You have more fight in you than you ever knew. You didn’t give yourself the opportunity to love yourself. You didn’t give yourself the ability to live and love life. You have given so much to others. Imagine, if you gave to yourself what you’ve given to others, what life would be like. Do not get lost in the deep end. You have to live for the now. Believe it or not, everything will fall into place. It doesn’t look like it at the moment, but better days lie ahead.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Do not despise your inner world. That is the first and most general piece of advice I would offer… Our society is very outward-looking, very taken up with the latest new object, the latest piece of gossip, the latest opportunity for self-assertion and status. But we all begin our lives as helpless babies, dependent on others for comfort, food, and survival itself. And even though we develop a degree of mastery and independence, we always remain alarmingly weak and incomplete, dependent on others and on an uncertain world for whatever we are able to achieve. As we grow, we all develop a wide range of emotions responding to this predicament: fear that bad things will happen and that we will be powerless to ward them off; love for those who help and support us; grief when a loved one is lost; hope for good things in the future; anger when someone else damages something we care about. Our emotional life maps our incompleteness: A creature without any needs would never have reasons for fear, or grief, or hope, or anger. But for that very reason we are often ashamed of our emotions, and of the relations of need and dependency bound up with them. Perhaps males, in our society, are especially likely to be ashamed of being incomplete and dependent, because a dominant image of masculinity tells them that they should be self-sufficient and dominant. So people flee from their inner world of feeling, and from articulate mastery of their own emotional experiences. The current psychological literature on the life of boys in America indicates that a large proportion of boys are quite unable to talk about how they feel and how others feel — because they have learned to be ashamed of feelings and needs, and to push them underground. But that means that they don’t know how to deal with their own emotions, or to communicate them to others. When they are frightened, they don’t know how to say it, or even to become fully aware of it. Often they turn their own fear into aggression. Often, too, this lack of a rich inner life catapults them into depression in later life. We are all going to encounter illness, loss, and aging, and we’re not well prepared for these inevitable events by a culture that directs us to think of externals only, and to measure ourselves in terms of our possessions of externals. What is the remedy of these ills? A kind of self-love that does not shrink from the needy and incomplete parts of the self, but accepts those with interest and curiosity, and tries to develop a language with which to talk about needs and feelings. Storytelling plays a big role in the process of development. As we tell stories about the lives of others, we learn how to imagine what another creature might feel in response to various events. At the same time, we identify with the other creature and learn something about ourselves. As we grow older, we encounter more and more complex stories — in literature, film, visual art, music — that give us a richer and more subtle grasp of human emotions and of our own inner world. So my second piece of advice, closely related to the first, is: Read a lot of stories, listen to a lot of music, and think about what the stories you encounter mean for your own life and lives of those you love. In that way, you will not be alone with an empty self; you will have a newly rich life with yourself, and enhanced possibilities of real communication with others.
Martha C. Nussbaum
Miss Elizabeth Mapp might have been forty, and she had taken advantage of this opportunity by being just a year or two older. Her face was of high vivid colour and was corrugated by chronic rage and curiosity; but these vivifying emotions had preserved to her an astonishing activity of mind and body, which fully accounted for the comparative adolescence with which she would have been credited anywhere except in the charming little town which she had inhabited so long. Anger and the gravest suspicions about everybody had kept her young and on the boil.
E.F. Benson (Miss Mapp (Lucia, #2))
Wow. Sumi sat back in total stupor. So no one had ever climbed aboard that giant piece of sexy male and taken him for a ride. Unbelievable. Who in their right mind would bypass that opportunity? She didn’t know who this Dariana was, but the female had to be the dumbest cow ever bred. It
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Fury (The League, #6))
If you want to be taken care and not to worry that’s fine; you can join the rest of the cattle. Cattle are comfortable, that’s how you recognize them. Just don’t complain when they ship you off to the packing plant. They’ve bought and paid for the privilege. Now if you want to be free, then get this: freedom is not about being comfortable. It’s about seizing and using opportunities, and using them responsibly. Freedom is not comfort. It’s commitment. Commitment is the willingness to be uncomfortable.
David Gerrold (A Matter for Men (War Against the Chtorr #1))
I think I have the courage to doubt everything; I think I have the courage to fight everything. But I do not have the courage to know anything, nor to possess, to own anything. Most people complain that the world is so prosaic, that life isn't like a romantic novel where opportunities are always so favourable. What I complain of is that life is not like a novel where there are hard-hearted fathers, and goblins and trolls to fight with, enchanted princesses to free. What are all such enemies taken together compared to the pallid, bloodless, glutinous nocturnal shapes with which I fight and to which I myself give life and being.
Søren Kierkegaard (Either/Or: A Fragment of Life)
Many social justice or social activist movements have been rooted in a position. A position is usually against something. Any position will call up its opposition. If I say up, it generates down. If I say right, it really creates left. If I say good, it creates bad. So a position creates its opposition. A stand is something quite distinct from that. There are synonyms for “stand” such as “declaration” or “commitment,” but let me talk for just a few moments about the power of a stand. A stand comes from the heart, from the soul. A stand is always life affirming. A stand is always trustworthy. A stand is natural to who you are. When we use the phrase “take a stand” I’m really inviting you to un-cover, or “unconceal,” or recognize, or affirm, or claim the stand that you already are. Stand-takers are the people who actually change the course of history and are the source of causing an idea’s time to come. Mahatma Gandhi was a stand-taker. He took a stand so powerful that it mobilized millions of people in a way that the completely unpredictable outcome of the British walking out of India did happen. And India became an independent nation. The stand that he took… or the stand that Martin Luther King, Jr. took or the stand that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony took for women’s rights—those stands changed our lives today. The changes that have taken place in history as a result of the stand-takers are permanent changes, not temporary changes. The women in this room vote because those women took so powerful a stand that it moved the world. And so the opportunity here is for us to claim the stand that we already are, not take a position against the macro economic system, or a position against this administration, although some of you may have those feelings. What’s way more powerful than that is taking a stand, which includes all positions, which allows all positions to be heard and reconsidered, and to begin to dissolve. When you take a stand, it actually does shift the whole universe and unexpected, unpredictable things happen.
Lynne Twist
The minute you supply a person with the answers, by that very action you block them, once and for all, from the opportunity of inventing those same answers for themselves. If you want to go on an ego trip, to show how smart you are, give the answers. But if what you want is action to be taken, then you must refrain from giving the answers.
Eliyahu M. Goldratt (Theory of Constraints)
I have taken the opportunity to update the book and include new theoretical and observational results obtained since the book was first published (on April Fools’ Day, 1988).
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
Miss Elizabeth Mapp might have been forty, and she had taken advantage of this opportunity by being just a year or two older
E.F. Benson (Miss Mapp (Lucia, #2))
Every time you shift a blame on what you could have taken responsibility for, you deny yourself an opportunity to learn and grow.
Gift Gugu Mona
have taken the opportunity to update the book and include new theoretical and observational results obtained since the book was first published (on April Fools’ Day, 1988). I have
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
If I had not try and taken chances, I would have miss many great opportunities in life.
Lailah GiftyAkita
Good executives focus on opportunities rather than problems. Problems have to be taken care of, of course; they must not be swept under the rug. But problem solving, however necessary, does not produce results. It prevents damage. Exploiting opportunities produces results.
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done (Harperbusiness Essentials))
One of the conflicts inherent in having choice is that we all make different ones. There is always an opportunity cost, and I don't know any woman who feels comfortable with all her decisions. As a result, we inadvertently hold that discomfort against those who remind us of the path not taken. Guilt and insecurity make us second-guess ourselves and, in turn, resent one another.'
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
She'd barely stepped in, taken that first breath of cool, clean air, when Summerset, Roarke's majordomo, appeared in the foyer like an unwelcome vision. "Yes, I missed the dinner," she said before he could open his mouth. "Yes, I'm a miserable failure as a wife and a poor example of a human being. I have no class, no courtesy, and no sense of decorum. I should be dragged naked into the streets and stoned for my sins." Summerset raised one steel gray eyebrow. "Well, that seems to cover it." "Good, saves time." She started up the stairs. "Is he back?" "Just." A little annoyed she'd given him no opportunity to criticize, he frowned after her. He'd have to be quicker next time.
J.D. Robb (Purity in Death (In Death, #15))
So far as we know, the tiny fragments of the universe embodied in man are the only centers of thought and responsibility in the visible world. If that be so, the appearance of the human mind has been so far the ultimate stage in the awakening of the world; and all that has gone before, the striving of myriad centers that have taken the risks of living and believing, seem to have all been pursuing, along rival lines, the aim now achieved by us up to this point. They are all akin to us, for all these centers - those which led up to our own existence and the far more numerous others which produced different lines of which many are extinct - may be seen engaged in the same endeavor towards ultimate liberation. We may envisage then a cosmic field which called forth all these centers by offering them a short-lived, limited, hazardous opportunity for making some progress of their own towards an unthinkable consummation. And that is also, I believe, how a Christian is placed when worshiping God.
Michael Polanyi (Personal Knowledge)
It was then that the Boy went through his darkest hell of all: the long ache of his body, acute as it was, was yet forgotten or disposed of in some way, for he was filled with a disembodied pain, an illness so penetrating, so horrible, that had he been given the opportunity to die he would have taken it. No normal sensation could find a way through this overpowering nausea of the soul that filled him.
Mervyn Peake (Boy in Darkness and Other Stories)
Arcadio had seen her many times working in her parents' small food store but he had never taken a good look at her because she had that rare virtue of never existing completely except at the opportune moment.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
Every trauma provides an opportunity for authentic transformation. Trauma amplifies and evokes the expansion and contraction of psyche, body, and soul. It is how we respond to a traumatic event that determines whether trauma will be a cruel and punishing Medusa turning us into stone, or whether it will be a spiritual teacher taking us along vast and uncharted pathways. In the Greek myth, blood from Medusa’s slain body was taken in two vials; one vial had the power to kill, while the other had the power to resurrect. If we let it, trauma has the power to rob our lives of vitality and destroy it. However, we can also use it for powerful self-renewal and transformation. Trauma, resolved, is a blessing from a greater power.
Ann Frederick (Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma)
I suppose there may be a branch president or a high councilor or an elders quorum president or a visiting teacher in the room who wants to know what it is we are to accomplish as Church members when we get together, even if it's only in a home evening group or an opportunity to pray together. Well, this passage indicates that it may have something to do with remembering each other. We all count. Everyone matters. We have a name and it's recorded and we need to remember that here. No one must get lost. "And their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God. . . to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ . . . to fast and to speak with one another concerning the welfare of their souls . . . to observe that there should be no iniquity among them"--what a great thought about meetings and what they are supposed to do, what a Sunday School class can be, what a scriptural discussion in an apartment can be.
Jeffrey R. Holland
That has been the pattern again and again: With the best of intentions, pro-life conservatives have taken some positions in reproductive health that actually hurt those whom they are trying to help—and that result in more abortions.
Nicholas D. Kristof (Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide)
When the world turns and and we operate at our own personal vibration, it is in our power to withhold our dignity and integrity at the highest possible frequency, with this as an active force, we can command our reality in the physical realm. Justly, we shall take all the opportunity that manifests itself in arms reach. To be one, and to have and do what we dream is concurrent only on a high wavelength, and operative to those who seek a higher sense of self. Are you ready to expand to these levels of operation? Have you taken the steps? Step forward and release all your fears.
Will Barnes (The Expansion of The Soul)
Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform? Hiking the AT before joining the workforce was an opportunity not taken. Doing it in retirement would be sensible; doing it at this time in my life is abnormal, and therein lay the appeal. I want to make my life less ordinary.
David Miller (AWOL on the Appalachian Trail)
If the child shows through its conversation that the educational work of the school is being undermined by the attitude taken in his home, he will be sent back to his parents, to teach them thus how to take advantage of their good opportunities.
Maria Montessori (The Montessori Method Scientific Pedagogy as Applied to Child Education in 'The Children's Houses' with Additions and Revisions by the Author)
Because I questioned myself and my sanity and what I was doing wrong in this situation. Because of course I feared that I might be overreacting, overemotional, oversensitive, weak, playing victim, crying wolf, blowing things out of proportion, making things up. Because generations of women have heard that they’re irrational, melodramatic, neurotic, hysterical, hormonal, psycho, fragile, and bossy. Because girls are coached out of the womb to be nonconfrontational, solicitous, deferential, demure, nurturing, to be tuned in to others, and to shrink and shut up. Because speaking up for myself was not how I learned English. Because I’m fluent in Apology, in Question Mark, in Giggle, in Bowing Down, in Self-Sacrifice. Because slightly more than half of the population is regularly told that what happens doesn’t or that it isn’t the big deal we’re making it into. Because your mothers, sisters, and daughters are routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied, harassed, threatened, punished, propositioned, and groped, and challenged on what they say. Because when a woman challenges a man, then the facts are automatically in dispute, as is the speaker, and the speaker’s license to speak. Because as women we are told to view and value ourselves in terms of how men view and value us, which is to say, for our sexuality and agreeability. Because it was drilled in until it turned subconscious and became unbearable need: don’t make it about you; put yourself second or last; disregard your feelings but not another’s; disbelieve your perceptions whenever the opportunity presents itself; run and rerun everything by yourself before verbalizing it—put it in perspective, interrogate it: Do you sound nuts? Does this make you look bad? Are you holding his interest? Are you being considerate? Fair? Sweet? Because stifling trauma is just good manners. Because when others serially talk down to you, assume authority over you, try to talk you out of your own feelings and tell you who you are; when you’re not taken seriously or listened to in countless daily interactions—then you may learn to accept it, to expect it, to agree with the critics and the haters and the beloveds, and to sign off on it with total silence. Because they’re coming from a good place. Because everywhere from late-night TV talk shows to thought-leading periodicals to Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Wall Street to Congress and the current administration, women are drastically underrepresented or absent, missing from the popular imagination and public heart. Because although I questioned myself, I didn’t question who controls the narrative, the show, the engineering, or the fantasy, nor to whom it’s catered. Because to mention certain things, like “patriarchy,” is to be dubbed a “feminazi,” which discourages its mention, and whatever goes unmentioned gets a pass, a pass that condones what it isn’t nice to mention, lest we come off as reactionary or shrill.
Roxane Gay (Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture)
you’re currently living, I’ll say, just remember that as long as you’re attempting to not be a dick and doing your best to do good things, you’re worthy of a good life, one that you’re proud of and that when you wake up every morning makes you stoked to be yourself. And if you don’t wake up stoked to be you, figure out the first step you can take toward that life you want. Once you’ve taken that first step, then figure out the next step, and so on. It might feel like a long journey (it is), but for me, that was the most important part, because once I got to where I wanted to be, I was confident in my ability to grab that opportunity by the balls and make it my bitch.
Karen Kilgariff (Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide)
The fear of missing out (FOMO) motivates many of us to say yes, even when we lack the time, energy, or money to do so with confidence. We cringe at the mere possibility that we might let an opportunity slip through our fingers. So we say yes when we know we should say no.
Damon Zahariades (The Art Of Saying NO: How To Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time And Energy, And Refuse To Be Taken For Granted (Without Feeling Guilty!))
What is the use of whining to me about your difficulties? If you are proceeding on the Enemy’s idea of ‘justice’ and suggesting that your opportunities and intentions should be taken into account, then I am not sure that a charge of heresy does not lie against you. At any rate, you will soon find that the justice of Hell is purely realistic, and concerned only with results. Bring us back food, or be food yourself.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
Doing what you love, with those you love, is an adventurous type of success. The kind that can not be taken away, often discovered by those who have had much taken away, and saw it as an opportunity to re-access their path, and reset from the crucible of shared and beneficial dreams.
Tom Althouse (The frowny face cow)
When his mind turned to look back at the memories of a life gone off the track, everything appeared murky, like looking through a stagnant pond, covered completely with green algae, black beneath with the overabundance of bacteria and rot that made it incapable of supporting any other life besides. Through the murk he saw love, love that wasn't cultivated, love that was left to wither and die on the vine in his vain attempt to find happiness. Happiness that he didn't even know he might have had in his hands, had he done his part. He saw missed opportunities, roads not taken, chances that asked too much of him. And his life, like a beautiful room that slowly emptied of all furnishings until it came down to only himself and the worn soiled carpet beneath him, the walls darkening to make the hell he thought would be his happiness - the hell that was his life.
Jason Huffman-Black (Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open)
Today, I choose not to take my life for granted. I choose not to look upon the fact that I am healthy, have food in my refrigerator and have clean water to drink as givens. They are not givens for so many people in our world. The fact that I am safe and (relatively) sane are not givens. That I was born into a family who loves me and into a country not ravaged by war are not givens. It is impossible to name all of the circumstances in my life I've taken for granted. All of the basic needs I've had met, all of the friendships and job opportunities and financial blessings and the list, truly, is endless. The fact that I am breathing is a miracle, one I too rarely stop to appreciate. I'm stopping, right now, to be grateful for everything I am and everything I've been given. I'm stopping, right now, to be grateful for every pleasure and every pain that has contributed to the me who sits here and writes these words. I am thankful for my life. This moment is a blessing. Each breath a gift. That I've been able to take so much for granted is a gift, too. But it's not how I want to live—not when gratitude is an option, not when wonder and awe are choices. I choose gratitude. I choose wonder. I choose awe. I choose everything that suggests I'm opening myself to the miraculous reality of simply being alive for one moment more.
Scott Stabile
In attempting to determine how Adolf Hitler had taken control, the US Office of Strategic Services commissioned a report in 1943 that explained his strategy: “Never to admit a fault or wrong; never to accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time; blame that enemy for everything that goes wrong; take advantage of every opportunity to raise a political whirlwind.”8 Soon hyperbole, extremism, defamation, and slander become commonplace and acceptable vehicles of power.
Rosemary Sullivan (The Betrayal of Anne Frank: An Investigation)
I am alive, I have my own children and with them I have tried to achieve only one aim: that they shouldn’t be afraid of their father. They aren’t. I know that. When I enter a room, they don’t cringe, they don't look down at the floor, they don’t dart off as soon as they glimpse an opportunity, no, if they look at me, it is not a look of indifference, and if there is anyone I am happy to be ignored by it is them. If there is anyone I am happy to be taken for granted by, it is them. And should they have completely forgotten I was there when they turn forty themselves, I will thank them and take a bow and accept the bouquets.
Karl Ove Knausgård (Min kamp 3 (Min kamp #3))
It's taken me a white to get here, but in a way, it feels more pleasing, because I've had periods that haven't been so good, had so much work or had too many opportunities... or I missed out on them or something; for whatever reason, the train came into the station and passed me by or I was late for it or something. So I feel really proud, I suppose, that it's taken this long and I stuck at it. It's a very competitive business and very uncertain. I mean, you don't know what's around the corner. It could be everything, or it could be nothing. And I sort of stuck at it, and you keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you've climbed a mountain.
Tom Hiddleston
I didn’t know that if a woman was drunk when the violence occurred, she wouldn’t be taken seriously. I didn’t know that if he was drunk when the violence occurred, people would offer him sympathy. I didn’t know that my loss of memory would become his opportunity. I didn’t know that being a victim was synonymous with not being believed.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
ZZ laughed. “I’m fine, baby. It’s worth it, anyway, if it means I’m gonna get what I want.” Me. He wanted me. He’d taken a beating just for the opportunity to ask me out.
Madeline Sheehan (Unbeautifully (Undeniable, #2))
Once his decision had been taken, he waited for the right opportunity. It was not long coming. Old
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Impact Players Wear Opportunity Goggles The approach taken by Impact Players isn’t just marginally different, it is radically different—and
Liz Wiseman (Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact)
So the problem isn’t that we say yes to opportunities. The problem is that we fail to discriminate between the wrong opportunities and the right ones.
Damon Zahariades (The Art Of Saying NO: How To Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time And Energy, And Refuse To Be Taken For Granted (Without Feeling Guilty!))
I have learned that all anyone ever wants is to feel at peace with the sadness and love they have cobbled together into a life, with opportunities missed and those misguidedly taken...
Rebecca Coleman (The Kingdom of Childhood)
Was he a sentiment hanging unspoken or a path not taken or a closed door left unopened? Or was he a deer, glimpsed amongst the trees and then gone, disturbing not a single branch in his departure? The stag is a shot left untaken. An opportunity lost. Stolen like a kiss. In these new forgetful times with their changed ways sometimes the stag will pause a moment longer. He waits though once he never waited, would never dream to wait or wait to dream. He waits now. For someone to take the shot. For someone to pierce his heart. To know he is remembered.
Erin Morgenstern (The Starless Sea)
The U.S. has so many rules and regulations, because of fear of being sued, that kids give up on the opportunity for personal exploration. A pool has to be fenced so that it’s not an ‘attractive nuisance.’ Most New Guineans don’t have pools, but even the rivers that we frequented didn’t have signs saying ‘Jump at your own risk,’ because it’s obvious. Why would I jump unless I’m prepared for the consequences? Responsibility in the U.S. has been taken from the person acting and has been placed on the owner of the land or the builder of the house. Most Americans want to blame someone other than themselves as much as possible. In New Guinea I was able to grow up, play creatively, and explore the outdoors and nature freely, with the obligatory element of risk, however well managed, that is absent from the average risk-averse American childhood. I had the richest upbringing possible, an upbringing inconceivable for Americans.
Jared Diamond (The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?)
What it mainly revealed was that one of the most insidious of the “hidden injuries of class” in North American society was the denial of the right to do good, to be noble, to pursue any form of value other than money – or, at least, to do it and to gain any financial security or rewards for having done. The passionate hatred of the “liberal elite” among right-wing populists came down, in practice, to the utterly justified resentment towards a class that had sequestered, for its own children, every opportunity to pursue love, truth, beauty, honor, decency, and to be afforded the means to exist while doing so. The endless identification with soldiers (“support our troops!) – that is, with individuals who have, over the years, been reduced to little more than high tech mercenaries enforcing of a global regime of financial capital – lay in the fact that these are almost the only individuals of working class origin in the US who have figured out a way to get paid for pursuing some kind of higher ideal, or at least being able to imagine that’s what they’re doing. Obviously most would prefer to pursue higher ideals in way that did not involve the risk of having their legs blown off. The sense of rage, in fact, stems above all from the knowledge that all such jobs are taken by children of the rich.
David Graeber (Revolutions in Reverse: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and Imagination)
The officers knew they had a problem, and it was much worse than the Browns realized. Thirteen months before the massacre, Sheriff’s Investigators John Hicks and Mike Guerra had investigated one of the Browns’ complaints. They’d discovered substantial evidence that Eric was building pipe bombs. Guerra had considered it serious enough to draft an affidavit for a search warrant against the Harris home. For some reason, the warrant was never taken before a judge. Guerra’s affidavit was convincing. It spelled out all the key components: motive, means, and opportunity.
Dave Cullen (Columbine)
But far-fetched things do happen. In fact, many people's entire lives are completely far-fetched. I think we are constantly surrounded by extraordinary possibilities. Whether we are aware of them or not, whether we choose to act on them or not, they are there. What is offered to us that we choose not to act upon falls by the wayside, and the road that is our life is littered with rejected, ignore d and unnoticed opportunities, good and bad. Chance meetings and coincidences become extraordinary only when acted upon. Those that we allow to pass us by are gone forever. We never know where they night have taken us. I think they were never meant to happen. The potiental was there, but only for the briefest moment, before we consciously or unconsciously chose to ignore it.
Linda Olsson (The Kindness of Your Nature)
The most realistic distinction between the investor and the speculator is found in their attitude toward stock-market movements. The speculator’s primary interest lies in anticipating and profiting from market fluctuations. The investor’s primary interest lies in acquiring and holding suitable securities at suitable prices. Market movements are important to him in a practical sense, because they alternately create low price levels at which he would be wise to buy and high price levels at which he certainly should refrain from buying and probably would be wise to sell. It is far from certain that the typical investor should regularly hold off buying until low market levels appear, because this may involve a long wait, very likely the loss of income, and the possible missing of investment opportunities. On the whole it may be better for the investor to do his stock buying whenever he has money to put in stocks, except when the general market level is much higher than can be justified by well-established standards of value. If he wants to be shrewd he can look for the ever-present bargain opportunities in individual securities. Aside from forecasting the movements of the general market, much effort and ability are directed on Wall Street toward selecting stocks or industrial groups that in matter of price will “do better” than the rest over a fairly short period in the future. Logical as this endeavor may seem, we do not believe it is suited to the needs or temperament of the true investor—particularly since he would be competing with a large number of stock-market traders and first-class financial analysts who are trying to do the same thing. As in all other activities that emphasize price movements first and underlying values second, the work of many intelligent minds constantly engaged in this field tends to be self-neutralizing and self-defeating over the years. The investor with a portfolio of sound stocks should expect their prices to fluctuate and should neither be concerned by sizable declines nor become excited by sizable advances. He should always remember that market quotations are there for his convenience, either to be taken advantage of or to be ignored. He should never buy a stock because it has gone up or sell one because it has gone down. He would not be far wrong if this motto read more simply: “Never buy a stock immediately after a substantial rise or sell one immediately after a substantial drop.” An
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
...when we were walking through Angkor War, I found myself wondering about what is lost when one culture is systematically annihilated so another can thrive in the name of progress. Think about it, what might have happened if Cambodia hadn't eventually been taken over by Siam and then France - what the Cambodians could offer the world if they're given the opportunity to follow through with what they're meant to become.
Kim Fay (The Map of Lost Memories)
Precisely because an encounter is ephemeral, it must be taken seriously. Life, after all, is filled with things that happen only once. The realization of the ‘onceness’ of life’s encounters and pleasures provides the foundations for the Japanese conceptualization of ikigai, and is central to the Japanese philosophy of life. When you take notice of the small details of life, nothing is repeated. Every opportunity is special.
Ken Mogi (The Little Book of Ikigai: The essential Japanese way to live a happy and long life)
The Jackal was perfectly aware that in 1963 General de Gaulle was not only the President of France; he was also the most closely and skilfully guarded figure in the Western world. To assassinate him, as was later proved, was considerably more difficult than to kill President John F. Kennedy of the United States. Although the English killer did not know it, French security experts who had through American courtesy been given an opportunity to study the precautions taken to guard the life of President Kennedy had returned somewhat disdainful of those precautions as exercised by the American Secret Service. The French experts rejection of the American methods was later justified when in November 1963 John Kennedy was killed in Dallas by a half-crazed and security-slack amateur while Charles de Gaulle lived on, to retire in peace and eventually to die in his own home.
Frederick Forsyth (The Day of the Jackal)
The "fashion-beauty complex'," representing the corporate interests involved in the fashion and beauty industries, has, Bartky argues, taken over from the family and church as "central producers and regulators of 'femininity'" (1990, p. 39). The fashion-beauty complex promotes itself to women as seeking to, "glorify the female body and to provide opportunities for narcissistic indulgence'' but in fact its aim is to "depreciate woman's body and deal a blow to her narcissism'' so that she will buy more products. The result is that a woman feels constantly deficient and that her body requires "either alteration or else heroic measures merely to conserve it'' (p. 39).
Sheila Jeffreys (Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West)
Game-free intimacy is or should be the most perfect form of human living. Because there is so little opportunity for intimacy in daily life, and because some forms of intimacy (especially if intense) are psychologically impossible for most people, the bulk of time in serious social life is taken up with playing games. Hence games are both necessary and desirable, and the only problem at issue is whether the games played by an individual offer the best yield for him. In this connexion it should be remembered that the essential feature of a game is its culmination, or payoff. The principal function of the preliminary moves is to set up the situation for this payoff, but they are always designed to harvest the maximum permissible satisfaction at each step as a secondary product. Games are passed on from generation to generation. The favoured game of any individual can be traced back to his parents and grandparents, and forward to his children. Raising children is primarily a matter of teaching them what games to play. Different cultures and different social classes favour different types of games. Many games are played most intensely by disturbed people, generally speaking, the more disturbed they are, the harder they play. The attainment of autonomy is manifested by the release or recovery of three capacities: awareness, spontaneity and intimacy. Parents, deliberately or unaware, teach their children from birth how to behave, think and perceive. Liberation from these influences is no easy matter, since they are deeply ingrained. First, the weight of a whole tribal or family historical tradition has to be lifted. The same must be done with the demands of contemporary society at large, and finally advantages derived from one's immediate social circle have to be partly or wholly sacrificed. Following this, the individual must attain personal and social control, so that all the classes of behaviour become free choices subject only to his will. He is then ready for game-free relationships.
Eric Berne
But God's the reason for everything noble and fine and heroic. If you had a God …" "My dear young friend," said Mustapha Mond, "civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. Where there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended–there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving any one too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're so conditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what you ought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulses are allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations to resist. And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears–that's what soma is.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
Clinging to politics is one way of avoiding the confrontation with the devouring logic of civilization, holding instead with the accepted assumptions and definitions. Leaving it all behind is the opposite: a truly qualitative change, a fundamental paradigm shift. This change is not about: • seeking "alternative" energy sources to power all the projects and systems that should never have been started up in the first place; • being vaguely "post-Left", the disguise that some adopt while changing none of their (leftist) orientations; • espousing an "anti-globalization" orientation that's anything but, given activists' near-universal embrace of the totalizing industrial world system; • preserving the technological order, while ignoring the degradation of millions and the systematic destruction of the earth that undergird the existence of every part of the technoculture; • claiming-as anarchists-to oppose the state, while ignoring the fact that this hypercomplex global setup couldn't function for a day without many levels of government. The way is open for radical change. If complex society is itself the issue, if class society began with division of labor in the Neolithic, and if the Brave New World now moving forward was born with the shift to domesticated life, then all we've taken for granted is implicated. We are seeing more deeply, and the explorations must extend to include everyone. A daunting, but exciting opportunity!
John Zerzan (Twilight of the Machines)
It always astounds me that every single human being is blessed with immeasurable potential that is never taken out of the box. But what’s even most astounding is the fact that they don’t even realize that there’s a box to take something out of.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
A book--a real book--is one choice, taken from a pile, opened and entered as its own singular, separate world. Once chosen, you are not holding the constant opportunity to alter or improve your choice, or simply change it just for the sake of restless change. You are there, now, without the relentless pressure of the fact that you could always be, and maybe you should be, maybe you’d be happier or more productive or different, doing something else. It's a choice I hope my kids will decide to make, often.
K.J. Dell'Antonia
Joy is not the satisfied contemplation of an accomplished result, the emotion of victory, the satisfaction of having succeeded. It is the sign of an energy that is deftly deployed, it is a free affirmation: everything comes easy. Joy is an activity: executing with ease something difficult that has taken time to master, asserting the faculties of the mind and the body. Joys of thought when it finds and discovers, joys of the body when it achieves without effort. That is why joy, unlike pleasure, increases with repetition, and is enriched. When you are walking, joy is a basso continuo. Locally, of course, you may run into effort and difficulty. You will also find immediate moments of contentment: a proud gaze backwards to contemplate the long steep plunge of the slope behind you. Those satisfactions, though, too often present an opportunity to reintroduce quantities, scores, figures (which track? how long? what altitude?). And walking becomes a competition. That is why expeditions in high mountain country (conquering peaks, each one a challenge) are always slightly impure: because they give rise to narcissistic gratification. What dominates in walking, away from ostentation and showing off, is the simple joy of feeling your body in the most primitively natural activity.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
When you look through a window you gasp at the beautiful tree in the backyard or the magical sunrise coming over the horizon, No one looks at a window and is taken away by the complexity of the transparency of millions of atoms joined together to form, from our perception of a crystal clear yet structural opening to the exterior, the same is with life, if you spend your whole life being a medium to enable others then you will be nothing but a sheet of glass, overused, underappreciated, and fragile to opportunity
Addison Killebrew
Stop it!“ Newt yelled. Stop it now!“ Thomas has been frozen in place, crouching as he waited for an opportunity to jump in and help Minho. But he twisted around to see that Newt was holding his Launcher in shooting position, his eyes wild with fury. “Stop or I’ll start shooting and not give a buggin’ piece of klunk who gets hit.” ….. Thomas couldn’t believe the sudden turn of events. He looked at Newt with wide eyes, glad he’d done what he had, and happy he hadn’t aimed the Launcher at him or Minho. “I told him to stop,” Newt half whispered. Then he aimed the weapon at Minho, but it was shaking because his arms were. “Now you guys leave. No more discussion. I’m sorry.“ Minho held up his hands. “You’re going to shoot me? Old pal?” “Go,” Newt said. „I asked nicely. Now I’m telling. This is hard enough. Go.“ „Newt, let’s go outside..“ „Go!“ Newt stepped closer and aimed more fiercely. „Get out of here!“ Thomas hated what he was seeing – the complete wilderness that had taken over Newt. His whole body trembled and his eyes had lost any hint of sanity. He was losing it, completely. “Let’s go,” Thomas said, one of the saddest things he’d ever heard himself say. „Come on.” Minho’s gaze snapped to Thomas, and he looked like his heart had been shattered. “You can’t be serious.” Thomas could only nod. Minho’s shoulders slumped, and his eyes fell to the floor. “How did the world get so shucked?” The words barely came out, low and full of pain. “I’m sorry,” Newt said, and there were tears streaming down his face. “I’m .. I’m going to shoot if you don’t go. Now.
James Dashner (The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, #3))
The experience of the Allies who vainly tried to locate one self-confessed and convinced Nazi among the German people, 90 per cent of whom probably had been sincere sympathizers at one time or another, is not to be taken simply as a sign of human weakness or gross opportunism. Nazism as an ideology had been so fully “realized” that its content ceased to exist an an independent set of doctrines, lost its intellectual existence, so to speak; destruction of the reality therefore left almost nothing behind, least of all the fanaticism of believers.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
far in Outliers, we’ve seen that extraordinary achievement is less about talent than it is about opportunity. In this chapter, I want to try to dig deeper into why that’s the case by looking at the outlier in its purest and most distilled form—the genius. For years, we’ve taken our
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
Its' all about uncertainty, life in itself is a great opportunity, an open space from which you do have the different taste and it's free. So my friends just do have the maximum utilization of it. Eventually, anything must be taken as a holistic approach rather than to be biased or personal..!!
Alok Das
When there are no expectations affecting a choice, it should be taken immediately. Overthinking such a choice will only lead to headaches and missed opportunities. Moreover, when this choice is taken, all alternatives should be eliminated immediately to avoid the pitfalls of groundless regrets.
Charbel Tadros
We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way. The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity—even in the most difficult circumstances—to add a deeper meaning to his life.
Susan Jeffers (Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway®: Dynamic techniques for turning Fear, Indecision and Anger into Power, Action and Love)
Here was a population, low-class and mostly foreign, hanging always on the verge of starvation, and dependent for its opportunities of life upon the whim of men every bit as brutal and unscrupulous as the old-time slave drivers; under such circumstances immorality was exactly as inevitable, and as prevalent, as it was under the system of chattel slavery. Things that were quite unspeakable went on there in the packing houses all the time, and were taken for granted by everybody; only they did not show, as in the old slavery times, because there was no difference in color between master and slave.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
Thinking back, ladies, looking back, gentlemen, thinking and looking back on my European tour, I feel a heavy sadness descend upon me. Of course, it is partly nostalgia, looking back at that younger me, bustling around Europe, having adventures and overcoming obstacles that, at the time, seemed so overwhelming, but now seem like just the building blocks of a harmless story. But here is the truth of nostalgia: we don’t feel it for who we were, but who we weren’t. We feel it for all the possibilities that were open to us, but that we didn’t take. Time is like wax, dripping from a candle flame. In the moment, it is molten and falling, with the capability to transform into any shape. Then the moment passes, and the wax hits the table top and solidifies into the shape it will always be. It becomes the past, a solid single record of what happened, still holding in its wild curves and contours the potential of every shape it could have held. It is impossible - no matter how blessed you are by luck or the government or some remote, invisible deity gently steering your life with hands made of moonlight and wind - it is impossible not to feel a little sad, looking at that bit of wax. That bit of the past. It is impossible not to think of all the wild forms that wax now will never take. The village, glimpsed from a train window, beautiful and impossible and impossibly beautiful on a mountaintop, and you wonder what it would be if you stepped off the train and walked up the trail to its quiet streets and lived there for the rest of your life. The beautiful face of that young man from Luftknarp, with his gaping mouth and ashy skin, last seen already half-turned away as you boarded the bus, already turning towards a future without you in it, where this thing between you that seemed so possible now already and forever never was. All variety of lost opportunity spied from the windows of public transportation, really. It can be overwhelming, this splattered, inert wax recording every turn not taken. ‘What’s the point?’ you ask. ’Why bother?’ you say. ’Oh, Cecil,’ you cry. ’Oh, Cecil.’ But then you remember - I remember! - that we are even now in another bit of molten wax. We are in a moment that is still falling, still volatile, and we will never be anywhere else. We will always be in that most dangerous, most exciting, most possible time of all: the Now. Where we never can know what shape the next moment will take. Stay tuned next for, well, let’s just find out together, shall we?
Cecil Baldwin
Everybody must pity Desdemona, but I cannot bring myself to like her. Her determination to marry Othello – it was she who virtually did the proposing – seems the romantic crush of a silly schoolgirl rather than a mature affection; it is Othello’s adventures, so unlike the civilian life she knows, which captivate her rather than Othello as a person. He may not have practiced witchcraft, but, in fact, she is spellbound. Then, she seems more aware than is agreeable of the honor she has done Othello by becoming his wife. […] Before Cassio speaks to her, she has already discussed him with her husband and learned that he is to be reinstated as soon as it is opportune. A sensible wife would have told Cassio this and left matters alone. In continuing to badger Othello, she betrays a desire to prove to herself and to Cassio that she can make her husband do as she pleases. […] Though her relationship with Cassio is perfectly innocent, one cannot but share Iago’s doubts as to the durability of the marriage. It is worth noting that, in the willow-song scene with Emilia, she speaks with admiration of Ludovico and then turns to the topic of adultery. Of course, she discusses this in general terms and is shocked by Emilia’s attitude, but she does discuss the subject and she does listen to what Emilia has to say about husbands and wives. It is as if she had suddenly realized that she had made a mésalliance and that the sort of man she ought to have married was someone of her own class and color like Ludovico. Given a few more years of Othello and of Emilia’s influence and she might well, one feels, have taken a lover.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand)
The unexamined life is surely worth living, but is the unloved life worth examining? It seems a strange question until one realizes how much of our so-called mental life is about the lives we are not living, the lives we are missing out on, the lives we could be leading but for some reason are not. What we fantasize about, what we long for, are the experiences, the things and the people that are absent. It is the absence of what we need that makes us think, that makes us cross and sad. We have to be aware of what is missing in our lives - even if this often obscures both what we already have and what is actually available - because we can survive only if our appetites more or less work for us. Indeed, we have to survive our appetites by making people cooperate with our wanting. We pressurize the world to be there for our benefit. And yet we quickly notice as children - it is, perhaps, the first thing we do notice - that our needs, like our wishes, are always potentially unmet. Because we are always shadowed by the possibility of not getting what we want, we lean, at best, to ironize our wishes - that is, to call our wants wishes: a wish is only a wish until, as we say, it comes true - and, at worst, to hate our needs. But we also learn to live somewhere between the lives we have and the lives we would like.(…) There is always what will turn out to be the life we led, and the life that accompanied it, the parallel life (or lives) that never actually happened, that we lived in our minds, the wished-for life (or lives): the risks untaken and the opportunities avoided or unprovided. We refer to them as our unloved lives because somewhere we believe that they were open to us; but for some reason - and we might spend a great deal of our lived lives trying to find and give the reason - they were not possible. And what was not possible all too easily becomes the story of our lives. Indeed, our lived lives might become a protracted mourning for, or an endless tantrum about, the lives we were unable to live. But the exemptions we suffer, whether forced or chosen, make us who we are. As we know more now than ever before about the kinds of lives it is possible to live - and affluence has allowed more people than ever before to think of their lives in terms of choices and options - we are always haunted by the myth of our potential, of what we might have it in ourselves to be or do. So when we are not thinking, like the character in Randall Jarrell's poem, that "The ways we miss our lives is life", we are grieving or regretting or resenting our failure to be ourselves as we imagine we could be. We share our lives with the people we have failed to be. We discover these unloved lives most obviously in our envy of other people, and in the conscious 9and unconscious) demands we make on our children to become something that was beyond us. And, of course, in our daily frustrations. Our lives become an elegy to needs unmet and desires sacrificed, to possibilities refused, to roads not taken. The myth of our potential can make of our lives a perpetual falling-short, a continual and continuing loss, a sustained and sometimes sustaining rage; though at its best it lures us into the future, but without letting us wonder why such lures are required (we become promising through the promises made to us). The myth of potential makes mourning and complaining feel like the realest things we eve do; and makes of our frustration a secret life of grudges. Even if we set aside the inevitable questions - How would we know if we had realized our potential? If we don't have potential what do we have? - we can't imagine our lives without the unloved lives they contain. We have an abiding sense, however obscure and obscured, that the lives we do lead are informed by the lives that escape us. That our lives are defined by loss, but loss of what might have been; loss, that is, of things never experienced.
Adam Phillips (Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life)
/You’ve been presented with a rare opportunity that,at the moment,remains unresolved. But why is the unknown a burden? It doesn’t have to be. It can just as easily be the opposite - a kind of awakening to feel something. I don’t just mean the Installation. Even before that. This is a chance to be taken out of your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly routine, regardless of the final outcome. Again . . . /This is for both of you. It’s a chance to wake up. How many people live day to day in a kind of haze, moving from one thing to the next without ever feeling anything? Being busy without ever being absorbed or excited or renewed? Most people don’t ever think about the full range of achievable existence; they just don’t./
Iain Reid (Foe)
While white mob violence against African Americans was an obsession in the South, it was not limited to that region. White supremacy was and is an American reality. Whites lynched blacks in nearly every state, including New York, Minnesota, and California. Wherever blacks were present in significant numbers, the threat of being lynched was always real. Blacks had to “watch their step,” no matter where they were in America. A black man could be walking down the road, minding his business, and his life could suddenly change by meeting a white man or a group of white men or boys who on a whim decided to have some fun with a Negro; and this could happen in Mississippi or New York, Arkansas, or Illinois. By the 1890s, lynching fever gripped the South, spreading like cholera, as white communities made blacks their primary target, and torture their focus. Burning the black victim slowly for hours was the chief method of torture. Lynching became a white media spectacle, in which prominent newspapers, like the Atlanta Constitution, announced to the public the place, date, and time of the expected hanging and burning of black victims. Often as many as ten to twenty thousand men, women, and children attended the event. It was a family affair, a ritual celebration of white supremacy, where women and children were often given the first opportunity to torture black victims—burning black flesh and cutting off genitals, fingers, toes, and ears as souvenirs. Postcards were made from the photographs taken of black victims with white lynchers and onlookers smiling as they struck a pose for the camera. They were sold for ten to twenty-five cents to members of the crowd, who then mailed them to relatives and friends, often with a note saying something like this: “This is the barbeque we had last night.”[17]
James H. Cone (The Cross and the Lynching Tree)
Would the behavior of the United States during the war—in military action abroad, in treatment of minorities at home—be in keeping with a “people’s war”? Would the country’s wartime policies respect the rights of ordinary people everywhere to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? And would postwar America, in its policies at home and overseas, exemplify the values for which the war was supposed to have been fought? These questions deserve thought. At the time of World War II, the atmosphere was too dense with war fervor to permit them to be aired. For the United States to step forward as a defender of helpless countries matched its image in American high school history textbooks, but not its record in world affairs. It had opposed the Hatian revolution for independence from France at the start of the nineteenth century. It had instigated a war with Mexico and taken half of that country. It had pretended to help Cuba win freedom from Spain, and then planted itself in Cuba with a military base, investments, and rights of intervention. It had seized Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and fought a brutal war to subjugate the Filipinos. It had “opened” Japan to its trade with gunboats and threats. It had declared an Open Door Policy in China as a means of assuring that the United States would have opportunities equal to other imperial powers in exploiting China. It had sent troops to Peking with other nations, to assert Western supremacy in China, and kept them there for over thirty years.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
One of the conflicts inherent in having choice is that we all make different ones. There is always an opportunity cost, and I don’t know any woman who feels comfortable with all her decisions. As a result, we inadvertently hold that discomfort against those who remind us of the path not taken. Guilt and insecurity make us second-guess ourselves and, in turn, resent one another.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
I thought to do something good by giving an interview to People, which was exceedingly foolish of me. I asked Aaron [Asher] to tell you that the Good Intentions Paving Company had fucked up again. The young interviewer turned my opinions inside out, cut out the praises and made it all sound like disavowal, denunciation and excommunication. Well, we're both used to this kind of thing, and beyond shock. In agreeing to take the call, and make a statement I was simply muddle-headed. But if I had been interviewed by an angel for the Seraphim and Cherubim Weekly I'd have said, as I actually did say to the crooked little slut, that you were one of our very best and most interesting writers. I would have added that I was greatly stimulated and entertained by your last novel, and that of course after three decades I understood perfectly well what you were saying about the writer's trade - how could I not understand, or miss suffering the same pains. Still our diagrams are different, and the briefest description of the differences would be that you seem to have accepted the Freudian explanation: A writer is motivated by his desire for fame, money and sexual opportunities. Whereas I have never taken this trinity of motives seriously. But this is an explanatory note and I don't intend to make a rabbinic occasion of it. Please accept my regrets and apologies, also my best wishes. I'm afraid there's nothing we can do about the journalists; we can only hope that they will die off as the deerflies do towards the end of August.
Saul Bellow
I don’t know, if I have to give some sort of advice here to all you sweet baby angels who want more than how you’re currently living, I’ll say, just remember that as long as you’re attempting to not be a dick and doing your best to do good things, you’re worthy of a good life, one that you’re proud of and that when you wake up every morning makes you stoked to be yourself. And if you don’t wake up stoked to be you, figure out the first step you can take toward that life you want. Once you’ve taken that first step, then figure out the next step, and so on. It might feel like a long journey (it is), but for me, that was the most important part, because once I got to where I wanted to be, I was confident in my ability to grab that opportunity by the balls and make it my bitch.
Karen Kilgariff (Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide)
He had never thought to ask Dumbledore about his past. No doubt it would have felt strange, impertinent even, but after all, it had been common knowledge that Dumbledore had taken part in that legendary duel with Grindelwald, and Harry had not thought to ask Dumbledore what that had been like, nor about any of his other famous achievements. No, they had always discussed Harry, Harry’s past, Harry’s future, Harry’s plans…and it seemed to Harry now, despite the fact that his future was so dangerous and so uncertain, that he had missed irreplaceable opportunities when he had failed to ask Dumbledore more about himself, even though the only personal question he had ever asked his headmaster was also the only one he suspected that Dumbledore had not answered honestly: “What do you see when you look in the mirror?” “I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks.”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Latter-day Saints are far from being the only ones who call Jesus the Savior. I have known people from many denominations who say those words with great feeling and deep emotion. After hearing one such passionate declaration from a devoutly Christian friend, I asked, “From what did Jesus save us?” My friend was taken aback by the question, and struggled to answer. He spoke of having a personal relationship with Jesus and being born again. He spoke of his intense love and endless gratitude for the Savior, but he still never gave a clear answer to the question. I contrast that experience with a visit to an LDS Primary where I asked the same question: “If a Savior saves, from what did Jesus save us?” One child answered, “From the bad guys.” Another said, “He saved us from getting really, really, hurt really, really bad.” Still another added, “He opened up the door so we can live again after we die and go back to heaven.” Then one bright future missionary explained, “Well, it’s like this—there are two deaths, see, physical and spiritual, and Jesus, well, he just beat the pants off both of them.” Although their language was far from refined, these children showed a clear understanding of how their Savior has saved them. Jesus did indeed overcome the two deaths that came in consequence of the Fall of Adam and Eve. Because Jesus Christ “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light” (2 Timothy 1:10), we will all overcome physical death by being resurrected and obtaining immortality. Because Jesus overcame spiritual death caused by sin—Adam’s and our own—we all have the opportunity to repent, be cleansed, and live with our Heavenly Father and other loved ones eternally. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). To Latter-day Saints this knowledge is basic and fundamental—a lesson learned in Primary. We are blessed to have such an understanding. I remember a man in Chile who scoffed, “Who needs a Savior?” Apparently he didn’t yet understand the precariousness and limited duration of his present state. President Ezra Taft Benson wrote: “Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effects upon all mankind” (“Book of Mormon,” 85). Perhaps the man who asked, “Who needs a Savior?” would ask President Benson, “Who believes in Adam and Eve?” Like many who deny significant historical events, perhaps he thinks Adam and Eve are only part of a folktale. Perhaps he has never heard of them before. Regardless of whether or not this man accepts the Fall, he still faces its effects. If this man has not yet felt the sting of death and sin, he will. Sooner or later someone close to him will die, and he will know the awful emptiness and pain of feeling as if part of his soul is being buried right along with the body of his loved one. On that day, he will hurt in a way he has not yet experienced. He will need a Savior. Similarly, sooner or later, he will feel guilt, remorse, and shame for his sins. He will finally run out of escape routes and have to face himself in the mirror knowing full well that his selfish choices have affected others as well as himself. On that day, he will hurt in a profound and desperate way. He will need a Savior. And Christ will be there to save from both the sting of death and the stain of sin.
Brad Wilcox (The Continuous Atonement)
You no longer have to wait for the gods of corporate America, or universities, or media, or investors, to come down from the clouds and choose you for success. In every single industry, the middleman is being taken out of the picture, causing more disruption in employment but also greater efficiencies and more opportunities for unique ideas to generate real wealth. You can develop those ideas, execute on them, and choose yourself for success.
James Altucher (Choose Yourself)
All at once he found his mind drawing a parallel between that destiny and his own existence; all at once questions of life arose before his vision, like owls in an ancient ruin flushed from sleep by a stray ray of sunlight. Somehow he felt pained and grieved at his arrested development, at the check which had taken place in his moral growth, at the weight which appeared to be pressing upon his every faculty. Also gnawing at his heart there was a sense of envy that others should be living a life so full and free, while all the time the narrow, pitiful little pathway of his own existence was being blocked by a great boulder. And in his hesitating soul there arose a torturing consciousness that many sides of his nature had never yet been stirred, that others had never even been touched, and that not one of them had attained complete formation. Yet with this there went an aching suspicion that, buried in his being, as in a tomb, there still remained a moribund element of sweetness and light, and that it was an element which, though hidden in his personality, as a nugget lies lurking in the bowels of the earth, might once have become minted into sterling coin. But the treasure was now overlaid with rubbish--was now thickly littered over with dust. 'Twas as though some one had stolen from him, and besmirched, the store of gifts with which life and the world had dowered him; so that always he would be prevented from entering life's field and sailing across it with the aid of intellect and of will. Yes, at the very start a secret enemy had laid a heavy hand upon him and diverted him from the road of human destiny. And now he seemed to be powerless to leave the swamps and wilds in favour of that road. All around him was a forest, and ever the recesses of his soul were growing dimmer and darker, and the path more and more tangled, while the consciousness of his condition kept awaking within him less and less frequently--to arouse only for a fleeting moment his slumbering faculties. Brain and volition alike had become paralysed, and, to all appearances, irrevocably--the events of his life had become whittled down to microscopical proportions. Yet even with them he was powerless to cope--he was powerless to pass from one of them to another. Consequently they bandied him to and fro like the waves of the ocean. Never was he able to oppose to any event elasticity of will; never was he able to conceive, as the result of any event, a reasoned-out impulse. Yet to confess this, even to himself, always cost him a bitter pang: his fruitless regrets for lost opportunities, coupled with burning reproaches of conscience, always pricked him like needles, and led him to strive to put away such reproaches and to discover a scapegoat.
Ivan Goncharov (Oblomov)
Men like Jack didn't want to go out with a real woman - they wanted the idea they had of what a woman was. That was probably why I intrigued Jack: I wasn't cute and cuddly, and every time there'd been an opportunity to be a 'lady' I hadn't taken it - I'd been nothing like the idea he probably had of womanliness in his head. That presented a challenge. And if there was anything men like Jack craved more than a demure woman, it was a challenging woman to tame.
Dorothy Koomson (The Woman He Loved Before)
Twas the night before Christmas—well, the late afternoon, in fact, but who could tell at the North Pole in the middle of winter—and Matthias the werewolf was knee-deep in reindeer guts. Really, it was the deer’s own fault for having that glowing red nose that had made it ever so easy to pick him out in the gloom. There it had been, like a neon sign saying FAST FOOD and Matt being like Yellow Dog Dingo—always hungry—had taken the opportunity for a quick snack.
Kat Richardson (Wolfsbane and Mistletoe)
In their brief absence a few of the more adventurous or desperate wives would seize the opportunity to hire a sitter and meet another of these boy-men, permanent whiskey-dicks, most of them, out at the Lamplighter Motor Court for a little taste of the road not taken, only to discover that it was pretty much the same shabby, two-lane blacktop they’d been traveling all along, just an unfamiliar stretch of it that nonetheless led to pretty much the same destination anyhow.
Richard Russo (Empire Falls)
Because you do it out of passion, as well as hoping it will bring better opportunity. It's like you're investing in yourself, so although you don't see anything up front there's always the possibility that the kind of compensation that is priceless can come later. For someone who's striving to get where they're meant to be, opportunity over a quick buck is something that will always be taken by the wise. Because they know opportunity is king, and all other benefits will follow...
Rico Lamoureux (Power Of The Pen)
Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1753, “When white persons of either sex have been taken prisoners young by the Indians, and lived awhile among them, tho’ ransomed by their Friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the first good Opportunity of escaping again into the woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them.
Howard Zinn (A Young People's History of the United States)
Motherhood (and fatherhood) is one of the most important, while at the same time being one of the most long-time, unappreciated roles we may ever find ourselves in. Add to that, it seems at times to be taken as much for granted by our society at large, as by the developing young we pour our all into. Quality parenting is also wrought with joy and satisfaction at every turn, being one of the most rewarding, and fulfilling experiences we have the opportunity to know in this thing we call the human condition.
Connie Kerbs
I do not have the courage to know anything, nor to possess, to own anything. Most people complain that the world is so prosaic, that life isn’t like a romantic novel where opportunities are always so favourable. What I complain of is that life is not like a novel where there are hard-hearted fathers, and goblins and trolls to fight with, enchanted princesses to free. What are all such enemies taken together compared to the pallid, bloodless, glutinous nocturnal shapes with which I fight and to which I myself give life and being.
Søren Kierkegaard (Either/Or: A Fragment of Life)
When an Indian Child has been brought up among us, taught our language and habituated to our Customs, yet if he goes to see his relations and make one Indian Ramble with them there is no persuading him ever to return, and that this is not natural merely as Indians, but as men, is plain from this, that when white persons of either sex have been taken prisoner young by the Indians, and lived awhile among them, tho’ ransomed by their Friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the first opportunity of escaping again into the Woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them. One instance I remember to have heard, where the person was to be brought home to possess a good Estate; but finding some care necessary to keep it together, he relinquished it to a younger brother, reserving to himself nothing but a gun and match-Coat, with which he took his way again to the Wilderness.30
David Graeber (The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity)
The thing that impressed me most was that Eddie should have been bitter and he was not. He had used the incident for his own entertainment and mine. Whether he also used it for my edification I do not know. But I thought about this old man then. And his people. Thought about how they’d been slaughtered, almost wiped out, forced to live on settlements that were more like concentration camps, then poked, prodded, measured and taped, had photos of their sacred business printed in colour in heavy academic anthropological texts, had their sacred secret objects stolen and taken to museums, had their potency and integrity drained from them at every opportunity, had been reviled and misunderstood by almost every white in the country, and then finally left to rot with their cheap booze and our diseases and their deaths, and I looked at this marvellous old half-blind codger laughing his socks off as if he had never experienced any of it, never been the butt of a cruel ignorant bigoted contempt, never had a worry in his life, and I thought, OK old man, if you can, me too.
Robyn Davidson (Tracks: One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback)
Hubert tutted his disapproval and wondered how it had taken him until now to make the connection between “the Eastern Europeans” certain newspapers loved to complain about and his own situation all those years ago. It was the same story, only with a different cast of characters. People from one land coming to another because of the lack of opportunities in their own, working all the hours in the sort of backbreaking jobs the natives didn’t want to do. Day after day facing all manner of hostilities, wondering if they’d made a mistake leaving home.
Mike Gayle (All the Lonely People)
To pray in the midst of the mundane is simply and strongly to assert that this dull and tiring day is holy and its simple labors are the stuff of God's saving presence for me now. To pray simply because it is prayer time is no small act of immersion in the God who is willing to wait for us to be conscious, to be ready, to be willing to become new in life. Prayer, Benedictine spirituality demonstrates, is not a matter of mood. To pray only when we feel like it is more to seek consolation than to risk conversion. To pray only when it suits us is to want God on our terms. To pray only when it is convenient is to make the God-life a very low priority in a list of better opportunities. To pray only when it feels good is to court total emptiness when we most need to be filled. The hard fact is that nobody finds time for prayer. The time must be taken. There will always be something more pressing to do, something more important to be about than the apparently fruitless, empty act of prayer. But when that attitude takes over, we have begun the last trip down a very short road because, without prayer, the energy for the rest of life runs down. The fuel runs out. We become our own worst enemies: we call ourselves too tired and too busy to pray when, in reality, we are too tired and too busy not to pray. Eventually, the burdens of the day wear us down and we no longer remember why we decided to do what we're doing: work for this project, marry this woman, have these children, minister in this place. And if I cannot remember why I decided to do this, I cannot figure out how I can go on with it. I am tired and the vision just gets dimmer and dimmer.
Joan D. Chittister
Some people search out solitude without even thinking that they need to do so--it's an innate urge with them, something that they do as a matter of course, without even thinking about the psychological benefits of being alone. These people are very fortunate, for they help themselves in a very important way on a regular basis. Other people are given solitude involuntarily--with me it came from my insecurities and my inability to fit in with others. For me, solitude was very often loneliness, and very often painful. But I know now that I made it painful because of my perspective, and I regret losing so many opportunities that being on my own opened up to me--I'll never be able to get them back. Find or make time for yourself to be with yourself. Spend time thinking about who you are and who you want to be. Examine your strengths and focus on possibilities. Find the friend inside who has accomplished a lot, and learn to love yourself on your own terms. If you can do this, you've taken a very important step towards being able to help others to learn about themselves and to be more content with life.
Tom Walsh
Western society has in the past few decades taken a great step forward, which gives its members a perhaps unparalleled opportunity. This has been due to the final recognition of the way in which people can be (and are) conditioned to believe virtually anything. Although this knowledge existed earlier, it was confined to a few, and was taught to relatively small groups, because it was considered subversive. Once, however, the paradox of change of 'faith' began to disturb Western scientists in the Korean war, they were not long in explaining - even in replicating - the phenomenon. As with so many other discoveries, this one had to wait for its acceptance until there was no other explanation. Hence, work which Western scientists could have done a century or more earlier was delayed. Still, better late than never. What remains to be done is that the general public should absorb the facts of mind-manipulation. Failure to do so has resulted in an almost free field for the cults which are a bane of Western existence. In both East and West, the slowness of absorption of these facts has allowed narrow, political, religious and faddish fanaticism to arise, to grow and to spread without the necessary 'immunization'. In illiberal societies it is forbidden to teach these facts. In liberal ones, few people are interested: but only because mind-manipulation is assumed to be something that happens to someone else, and people are selfish in many ways, though charitable in others. Yet the reality is that most people are touched by one or other of an immense range of conditioned beliefs, fixations, even which take the place of truth and are even respected because 'so-and-so is at least sincere.' Naturally such mental sets are not to be opposed. Indeed they thrive on opposition. They have to be explained and contained. The foregoing remarks will not 'become the property' of the individual or the group on a single reading. An unfamiliar and previously untaught lesson, especially when it claims careful attention and remembering, will always take time to sink in. This presentation, therefore, forms a part of materials which need to be reviewed at intervals. Doing this should enable one to add a little ability and to receive a minute quality of understanding each time.
Idries Shah (Knowing How to Know: A Practical Philosophy in the Sufi Tradition)
Martin Luther. Luther argued: I have brought up a daughter with great expense and effort, care and peril, diligence and labor, and for many years I have ventured my entire life, my person and possessions, in the undertaking. . . . And now she is not to be better protected for me than my cow, lost in the woods, which any wolf may devour? Who would approve of this? Likewise, is my child to stand there free for all, so that any knave, unknown to me, or perhaps even a former enemy of mine, has the power and the unlimited opportunity secretly to steal her from me and take her away without my knowledge and will? There certainly is no one who would want to let his money and goods stand open to the public in this way, so that they may be taken by the first comer. But now the knave takes not only my money and goods, but my child whom I have brought up with painful care; and with my daughter he gets my goods and money besides. And so I must reward him for the grief and harm he has caused me and must let him be the heir of the possessions I have acquired with pains and labor. Surely, this is rewarding wickedness with honor; this is inviting grief and injury.2
Voddie T. Baucham Jr. (What He Must Be: ...If He Wants to Marry My Daughter)
I have taken the opportunity to update the book and include new theoretical and observational results obtained since the book was first published (on April Fools’ Day, 1988). I have included a new chapter on wormholes and time travel. Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity seems to offer the possibility that we could create and maintain wormholes, little tubes that connect different regions of space-time. If so, we might be able to use them for rapid travel around the galaxy or travel back in time. Of course, we have not seen anyone from the future (or have we?) but I discuss a possible explanation for this
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
There are no winners and losers. We seek a win-win. Seeing opportunity in cri- sis. Believe in yourself, and those around. Celebrate each other’s strengths; we do not celebrate when someone fails. It is a shift. With our insights and consciousness comes our vowed responsibility, our vowed compassion, and our vowed unity— with that comes power. The choice to do right. The choice to include. The choice to forgive. The choice to love anyway. This is your power. No matter what has been taken from you, what society has or hasn’t allowed you, what labels or beliefs limit you, your choice, your response, your action is your power.
Emma Mildon (Evolution of Goddess: A Modern Girl's Guide to Activating Your Feminine Superpowers)
The traveling world is parallel to the world of those rooted to one spot; it is the other end of the telescope, so to speak. Things that are taken by most people to have solidity and permanence become relative and subject to time. The church spire, the town hall or courthouse that watches over your days and is an ever-fixed mark to the merchant or the laborer, is to the traveling man only one among many such. The cherished touchstones of your daily life are to him a set of fresh opportunities for passing adventure, a source of profit to be extracted quickly, like gold from a small mountain, before moving on to the next El Dorado.
Tom Piazza
Harshness, gruffness, and sternness are not effective in shaping a child’s will. Likewise, constant whacking and threatening and criticizing are destructive and counterproductive. A parent who is mean and angry most of the time is creating resentment that will be stored and come roaring into the relationship during adolescence or beyond. Therefore, every opportunity should be taken to keep the tenor of the home pleasant, fun, and accepting. At the same time, however, parents should display confident firmness in their demeanor. You, Mom and Dad, are the boss. You are in charge. If you believe it, the tougher child will accept it also.
James C. Dobson (The New Strong-Willed Child)
Success-minded people have no trouble at all following proven instructions. We all would be happy to follow a map if the map came with a guarantee. There is no guarantee, though. There are no maps. They’ve all been taken, and their value is not what it used to be, because your competitors have maps, too. The opportunity lies in pursuing your curiosity instead. Curiosity is not allergic to failure. Curiosity drives us to the haunted house because the thrills lie in what we don’t expect, not in what’s safe. Curiosity can start us down the path to shipping, to bringing things to the world, to examining them, refining them, and repeating the process again (and again).
Seth Godin (Poke the Box)
In the long run, there is no running from your pain. You can try to numb yourself with slow, self-sabotaging methods—excessive eating, drinking, and drugs—or you can end it through suicide. But in the end, these methods don’t heal anything. While I’m reminded here in Spirit that I’m much more than my wounds, being here doesn’t heal the wounds I ran away from. I can gain understanding about how and why the wounds were created, but when I choose another physical body in another physical life, the same wounds will be front and center. Spirited life rejuvenates me, gives me greater perspective and strengthens my power to love myself with the wounds; but I have wounds that can only be worked out in physical form. I’ll strive to remember and bring this fresh perspective back into a new physical life, but I’ll still be subject to the veil of forgetfulness. We choose the physical circumstances that will remind us of what needs to be healed. Everything is orchestrated to provide us with what we need. During my life review, I saw that I’d had countless opportunities to heal the wounds, but because I’d been so afraid of change, I hadn’t even entertained them as possibilities. If I’d acted on the opportunities, I could have taken Physical Bill to his full potential. Instead, I’m now focused on creating another physical life and having to do it over again. Irene: Isn’t reincarnation
Irene Kendig (Conversations with Jerry and Other People I Thought Were Dead: Seven compelling dialogues that will transform the way you think about dying . . . and living)
My family, all these people, the black community…they were both perpetrators and victims. They believed and spread the narrative that Jim Crow segregation was a Republican thing, and that rich white men were the lone and total group Republicans actually cared about. I, along with everyone else I knew, had been robbed of the right to find out what we truly believed. I had been denied that opportunity by my own family, neighbors, friends, teachers, and even pastors. What’s more, we had been encouraged to act in a particular way because of these lies, offering Democrats our votes and support. The Democrats had effectively influenced the black community for decades using this narrative. And they still are.
Gianno Caldwell (Taken for Granted: How Conservatism Can Win Back the Americans That Liberalism Failed)
Bast brightened at the opportunity. Straightening up in his chair he looked thoughtful for a moment then said. “She had perfect ears.” He made a delicate gesture with his hands. “Perfect little ears, like they were carved out of…something.” Chronicler laughed, then looked slightly taken aback, as if he’d surprised himself. “Her ears?” he asked as if he couldn’t be sure if he had heard correctly. “You know how hard it is to find a pretty girl with the right sort of ears,” Bast said matter-of-factly. Chronicler laughed again, seeming to find it easier the second time. “No,” he said. “No, I’m sure I don’t.” Bast gave the story collector a deeply pitying look. “Well then, you’ll just have to take my word for it. They were exceptionally fine.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
That’s the fear of missing out (FOMO for short). It’s the anxiety we feel at the prospect of being unable to take advantage of opportunities. And it’s a common reason many of us say yes even when we realize saying no would be a better decision. For example, at the workplace, we take on new projects because we fear that declining them will impede the advancement of our careers. With our friends, we commit ourselves to activities because we’re afraid to miss out on rewarding experiences. Social media only reinforces this tendency. We’re constantly reading Facebook on our phones and tablets, watching others post about their experiences, and chiding ourselves for not having our own to post. We end up saying yes to things just so we don’t feel left out.
Damon Zahariades (The Art Of Saying NO: How To Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time And Energy, And Refuse To Be Taken For Granted (Without Feeling Guilty!))
Faculty professional development workshops are often top-down, designed and offered by the college’s administration with little input or feedback from the faculty themselves. Workshops are also isolated from the classroom: they provide participants with an opportunity to learn more about a topic or technique, but when or how the technique can be effectively applied in each participant’s own class remains unclear. 44 Furthermore, workshops are typically unaccompanied by additional structures to help faculty sustain and build on their learning across time. Taken together, the top-down, decontextualized, and short-term nature of many faculty development workshops conspire to create an experience that instructors characterize as “painful,” “boring,” and “insulting.” 45
Thomas R. Bailey (Redesigning America's Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success)
The sociologist Robert Merton famously called this phenomenon the “Matthew Effect”after the New Testament verse in the Gospel of Matthew: “For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance. But from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success. It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention. And it’s the biggest nine- and ten-year-olds who get the most coaching and practice. Success is the result of what sociologists like to call “accumulative advantage.”The professional hockey player starts out a little bit better than his peers.
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
float before I could swim. Ellis never believed it was called Dead-Man’s Float, thought I’d made it up. I told him it was a survival position after a long exhausting journey. How apt. All I see below is blue light. Peaceful and eternal. I’m holding my breath until my body throbs as one pulse. I roll over and suck in a deep lungful of warm air. I look up at the starry starry night. The sound of water in and out of my ears, and beyond this human shell, the sound of cicadas fills the night. I dreamt of my mother. It was an image, that’s all, and a fleeting one, at that. She was faded with age, like a discarded offcut on the studio floor. In this dream, she didn’t speak, just stepped out of the shadows, a reminder that we are the same, her and me, cut from the same bruised cloth. I understand how she got up one day and left, how instinctively she trusted the compulsion to flee. The rightness of that action. We are the same, her and me. She walked out when I was eight. Never came back. I remember being collected from school by our neighbour Mrs Deakin, who bought me sweets on the way home and let me play with a dog for as long as I wanted. Inside the house, my father was sitting at the table, drinking. He was holding a sheet of blue writing paper covered in black words, and he said, Your mother’s gone. She said she’s sorry. A sheet of writing paper covered in words and just two for me. How was that possible? Her remnant life was put in bags and stored in the spare room at the earliest opportunity. Stuffed in, not folded – clothes brushes, cosmetics all thrown in together, awaiting collection from the Church. My mother had taken only what she could carry. One rainy afternoon, when my father had gone next door to fix a pipe, I emptied the bags on to the floor and saw my mother in every jumper and blouse and skirt I held up. I used to watch her dress and she let me. Sometimes, she asked my opinion about colours or what suited her more, this blouse or that blouse? And she’d follow my advice and tell me how right I was. I took off my clothes and put on a skirt first, then a blouse, a cardigan, and slowly I became her in miniature. She’d taken her good shoes, so I slipped on a pair of mid-height heels many sizes too big, of course, and placed a handbag on my arm. I stood in front of the mirror, and saw the infinite possibilities of play. I strutted, I
Sarah Winman (Tin Man)
Did he really want to know? That at any given moment I see everyday life as only _this big_, the space between my finger and thumb. The rest of my mind is occupied with five, a dozen, three dozen other potential lives, each representing some opportunity never taken or currently within reach. Without those worlds of possibility, my life immediately begins to seem boring and drab. I'm thirty-three years old, always broke, and merely _existing_ in what, without having been sealed by formal wedding vows, had become a traditional marriage. I had no blues to lament, not really. My only drama was in my daydreams. They reminded me that any day, at any moment, I could change everything, and while many of those alternate lives featured James at my side--the truth was that some of them did not.
Alisa Smith
In my past, there's also an opportunity I could have taken advantage of that I didn't, and that I wish I had. There's a thing I got rid of that I really wish I'd kept. But the train never backs up. Never. I missed those things, and I will never get a second chance. Do yourself a favor, right now, and realize two things: 1. You will keep getting older, and then you will die. 2. Everything that's ever entered your experience has lasted and will continue to last for only a brief moment in the life of the universe. This is game time, champ. You're in. You're in, playing, right now, and the clock is ticking. So stop wondering what it all means and how you'll possibly ever do X and what people will think, and get on with your life already. Stop being a pussy and go do something amazing. *** DO EPIC SHIT.
Johnny B. Truant (The Universe Doesn't Give a Flying Fuck About You)
TCA pretends to be about raising money for charity. That’s true, but only so far. If I had not taken time off from the Penn & Teller show to do The Celebrity Apprentice—if Teller and I had just done our show, gotten usual pay—I could have donated four times the amount of money that Trump had pledged to give my charity if I won the whole damn shooting match. Opportunity Village, “my” charity that helps intellectually disabled adults to enter society, got a lot of attention because I was on The Celebrity Apprentice, and that does count for something. And when I was “fired,” my real bosses at Caesars, who own the Rio and the Penn & Teller Theater, said, “Oh, you wanted a quarter million for Opportunity Village? We don’t have to do some jive TV show; we’ll just write a check.” They wrote the full winning amount to Opportunity Village and everyone was happy.
Penn Jillette (Every Day is an Atheist Holiday!)
He was, indeed, a sublimely bad dancer - bungling and unsure with no conversation. Arsenic did her best to make him comfortable and engage in the requisite pleasantries, searching for any topic that might relax the poor lad. Nothing helped and they parted awkwardly. Arsenic remained under the impression that he either was terrified of her, which was patently absurd, or had taken her in great disdain. She'd seen him talking with the matrons at the tea table, perhaps they had told him horrible things about her mother. That would do it. She hoped she might have an opportunity to prove herself to her new shipmate as a worthy member of staff, then perhaps he'd not dislike her so. He seemed secretly quite kind, ceding to his sister's demands, placing glasses of water near Rue whenever she took a breather, and interceding on Virgil's behalf when the laddie caught Lord Ambrose's eye.
Gail Carriger (Reticence (The Custard Protocol, #4))
The conservatism I shall be defending tells us that we have collectively inherited good things that we must strive to keep. In the situation in which we, the inheritors both of Western civilization and of the English-speaking part of it, find ourselves, we are well aware of what those good things are. The opportunity to live our lives as we will; the security of impartial law, through which our grievances are answered and our hurts restored; the protection of our environment as a shared asset, which cannot be seized or destroyed at the whim of powerful interests; the open and enquiring culture that has shaped our schools and universities; the democratic procedures that enable us to elect our representatives and to pass our own laws – these and many other things are familiar to us and taken for granted. All are under threat. And conservatism is the rational response to that threat.
Roger Scruton (How to Be a Conservative)
In retrospect, it is easy to see that Hitler's successful gamble in the Rhineland brought him a victory more staggering and more fatal in its immense consequences than could be comprehended at the time. At home it fortified his popularity and his power, raising them to heights which no German ruler of the past had ever enjoyed. It assured his ascendancy over his generals, who had hesitated and weakened at a moment of crisis when he had held firm. It taught them that in foreign politics and even in military affairs his judgment was superior to theirs. They had feared that the French would fight; he knew better. And finally, and above all, the Rhineland occupation, small as it was as a military operation, opened the way, as only Hitler (and Churchill, alone, in England) seemed to realize, to vast new opportunities in a Europe which was not only shaken but whose strategic situation was irrevocably changed by the parading of three German battalions across the Rhine bridges. Conversely, it is equally easy to see, in retrospect, that France's failure to repel the Wehrmacht battalions and Britain's failure to back her in what would have been nothing more than a police action was a disaster for the West from which sprang all the later ones of even greater magnitude. In March 1936 the two Western democracies were given their last chance to halt, without the risk of a serious war, the rise of a militarized, aggressive, totalitarian Germany and, in fact - as we have seen Hitler admitting - bring the Nazi dictator and his regime tumbling down. They let the chance slip by. For France, it was the beginning of the end. Her allies in the East, Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Rumania and Yugoslavia, suddenly were faced with the fact that France would not fight against German aggression to preserve the security system which the French government itself had taken the lead in so laboriously building up. But more than that. These Eastern allies began to realize that even if France were not so supine, she would soon not be able to lend them much assistance because of Germany's feverish construction of a West Wall behind the Franco-German border. The erection of this fortress line, they saw, would quickly change the strategic map of Europe, to their detriment. They could scarcely expect a France which did not dare, with her one hundred divisions, to repel three German battalions, to bleed her young manhood against impregnable German fortifications which the Wehrmacht attacked in the East. But even if the unexpected took place, it would be futile. Henceforth the French could tie down in the West only a small part of the growing German Army. The rest would be free for operations against Germany's Eastern neighbors.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
But have you noticed the slight curl at the end of Sam II’s mouth, when he looks at you? It means that he didn’t want you to name him Sam II, for one thing, and for two other things it means that he has a sawed-off in his left pant leg, and a baling hook in his right pant leg, and is ready to kill you with either one of them, given the opportunity. The father is taken aback. What he usually says, in such a confrontation, is “I changed your diapers for you, little snot.” This is not the right thing to say. First, it is not true (mothers change nine diapers out of ten), and second, it instantly reminds Sam II of what he is mad about. He is mad about being small when you were big, but no, that’s not it, he is mad about being helpless when you were powerful, but no, not that either, he is mad about being contingent when you were necessary, not quite it, he is insane because when he loved you, you didn’t notice.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
My dear young friend,' said Mustapha Mond, 'civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. Where there are wars, where there are dividied allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended - there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving anyone too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're so conditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what you ought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulses are allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations to resist.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
A sincere man who sits down at night and pens that which his soul believes to be right, that which his soul tells him will be good for humanity, is exercising a power over the world that is beneficial. We should hail that expression of greatness, of goodness, with thanksgiving. But the insincere man, the man who will sit down at night and distort facts, who will wilfully misrepresent truth, who is a traitor to the divine within him which is calling, nay longing for truth, what shall we say of that man? He is publishing falsehoods to the world, giving poison to young, innocent souls who are longing for truth. Oh, there is no condemnation too strong for the hypocrite, for the betrayer of Christ. We will not condemn him, but God will, in His justice; He must. Too much time is taken up by our young people, and by our older ones, too, in reading useless pamphlets, useless books; "It is worse than useless," says Farrar, in that excellent little work on "Great Books:". . . . Men in Israel, it is time that we take a stand against vile literature. It is poisonous to the soul. It is the duty of a parent to put the poison, that is in the house, on the highest shelf, away from that innocent little child who knows not the danger of it. It is the duty of the parent also to keep the boy's mind from becoming polluted with the vile trash that is sometimes scattered--nay, that is daily distributed among us. There is inconsistency in a man's kneeling down with his family in prayer, and asking God to bless the leader of our Church, and then put into the hands of the boy, who was kneeling there, a paper that calls the leader a hypocrite. It ought not to be done; it is poison to the soul. How can we tell? May be those are the great men who are writing the scurrilous articles, and these whom they attack are not the great men? Some may say: Give the children an opportunity to hear both sides. Yes, that is all well and good; but if a man were to come into your home and say to you that your mother is not a good woman, you would know he lied; wouldn't you? And you wouldn't let your children hear him. If a man came and told you that your brother was dishonest, and you had been with him all your life and knew him to be honest, you would know the man lied. So when they come and tell you the Gospel is a hypocritical doctrine, taught by this organization, when they tell you the men at the head are insincere, you know they lie; and you can take the same firm stand on that, being sincere yourself as you could in regard to your mother and brother. Teach your children, your boys and girls everywhere, to keep away from every bad book and all bad literature, especially that which savors of hatred, or envy, or malice, that which bears upon it the marks of hypocrisy, insincerity, edited by men who have lost their manhood.
David O. McKay
This woman makes sure that I know that there will be no repercussions for anything I say. She lets me know exactly what would happen to the person if we found them. She asks a million questions. “Has anyone ever said anything suspicious to you at work? Has anyone ever been mean to you at work? Have you ever gotten into it with anybody at work? Has anyone ever been inappropriate at work?” She gives me a million opportunities to take a long, hard look at how I am treated at work, and it leads me to one conclusion: I am spoiled to a hilarious degree. She follows up with a phone call later in the week to make sure that I’m sure that I’m sure. I couldn’t believe it. She did such a good job. I’ve certainly been at places where I would’ve killed to have someone like her around. It is so crazy that this woman is the opposite of Lacey’s HR woman. The thought of someone being racist had this lady ready to go off! I loved her. I felt so well taken care of.
Amber Ruffin (You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism)
I didn’t practice, I didn’t bother, I could’ve stopped myself having those dreams, Hermione kept telling me to do it, if I had he’d never have been able to show me where to go, and — Sirius wouldn’t — Sirius wouldn’t —” Something was erupting inside Harry’s head: a need to justify himself, to explain — “I tried to check he’d really taken Sirius, I went to Umbridge’s office, I spoke to Kreacher in the fire, and he said Sirius wasn’t there, he said he’d gone!” “Kreacher lied,” said Dumbledore calmly. “You are not his master, he could lie to you without even needing to punish himself. Kreacher intended you to go to the Ministry of Magic.” “He — he sent me on purpose?” “Oh yes. Kreacher, I am afraid, has been serving more than one master for months.” “How?” said Harry blankly. “He hasn’t been out of Grimmauld Place for years.” “Kreacher seized his opportunity shortly before Christmas,” said Dumbledore, “when Sirius, apparently, shouted at him to ‘get out.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
But as I reflected on what the president could have done or said differently, I also remembered what it felt like in the weeks following 9/11. When, for a few glorious weeks, we were all united as Americans. For a brief time, it didn’t seem to matter if you were black, white, or brown. We were all brothers and sisters because we were Americans. We shared certain values, a certain past, a certain goal. We haven’t really seen that since. Charlottesville, I knew, had the same potential to unite us. But Trump’s response derailed that opportunity. America didn’t need a stock statement. The country was pleading for a serious discussion about race, about our fundamental need to completely stamp out the Klan and neo-Nazis. I couldn’t help but think of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and the Charleston church shooting. Emmett Till and Jimmie Lee Jackson. Black Codes and the Southern Manifesto. Trump, I felt, had betrayed black America. And Jewish America. And American decency.
Gianno Caldwell (Taken for Granted: How Conservatism Can Win Back the Americans That Liberalism Failed)
If government had declined to build racially separate public housing in cities where segregation hadn’t previously taken root, and instead had scattered integrated developments throughout the community, those cities might have developed in a less racially toxic fashion, with fewer desperate ghettos and more diverse suburbs. If the federal government had not urged suburbs to adopt exclusionary zoning laws, white flight would have been minimized because there would have been fewer racially exclusive suburbs to which frightened homeowners could flee. If the government had told developers that they could have FHA guarantees only if the homes they built were open to all, integrated working-class suburbs would likely have matured with both African Americans and whites sharing the benefits. If state courts had not blessed private discrimination by ordering the eviction of African American homeowners in neighborhoods where association rules and restrictive covenants barred their residence, middle-class African Americans would have been able gradually to integrate previously white communities as they developed the financial means to do so. If churches, universities, and hospitals had faced loss of tax-exempt status for their promotion of restrictive covenants, they most likely would have refrained from such activity. If police had arrested, rather than encouraged, leaders of mob violence when African Americans moved into previously white neighborhoods, racial transitions would have been smoother. If state real estate commissions had denied licenses to brokers who claimed an “ethical” obligation to impose segregation, those brokers might have guided the evolution of interracial neighborhoods. If school boards had not placed schools and drawn attendance boundaries to ensure the separation of black and white pupils, families might not have had to relocate to have access to education for their children. If federal and state highway planners had not used urban interstates to demolish African American neighborhoods and force their residents deeper into urban ghettos, black impoverishment would have lessened, and some displaced families might have accumulated the resources to improve their housing and its location. If government had given African Americans the same labor-market rights that other citizens enjoyed, African American working-class families would not have been trapped in lower-income minority communities, from lack of funds to live elsewhere. If the federal government had not exploited the racial boundaries it had created in metropolitan areas, by spending billions on tax breaks for single-family suburban homeowners, while failing to spend adequate funds on transportation networks that could bring African Americans to job opportunities, the inequality on which segregation feeds would have diminished. If federal programs were not, even to this day, reinforcing racial isolation by disproportionately directing low-income African Americans who receive housing assistance into the segregated neighborhoods that government had previously established, we might see many more inclusive communities. Undoing the effects of de jure segregation will be incomparably difficult. To make a start, we will first have to contemplate what we have collectively done and, on behalf of our government, accept responsibility.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
The ducks of Mackinac Island are apparently not easily taken down. “Found a portion of the Lungs as large as a turkey’s egg protruding through the external wound, lacerated and burnt, and below this another protrusion resembling a portion of the Stomach, what at first view I could not believe possible to be that organ in that situation with the subject surviving, but on closer examination I found it to be actually the Stomach, with a puncture in the protruding portion large enough to receive my forefinger, and through which a portion of his food that he had taken for breakfast had come out and lodged among his apparel.” Thus reads Beaumont’s somewhat windy account of the injury. Through that puncture—and in the slop of half-digested meat and bread suddenly visible in the folds of St. Martin’s wool shirt—lay Beaumont’s ticket to the spotlight of national renown. Italian digestion experimenters had pulled food in and out of live animal stomachs, soaked it up in sponges on strings, even regurgitated their own dinners, but St. Martin’s portal presented an unprecedented opportunity to document the human juices and processes in vivo.
Mary Roach (Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal)
Nonconformity is an affront to those in the mainstream. Our impulse is to dismiss this lifestyle, create reasons why it can’t work, why it doesn’t even warrant consideration. Why not? Living outdoors is cheap and can be afforded by a half year of marginal employment. They can’t buy things that most of us have, but what they lose in possessions, they gain in freedom. In Somerset Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, lead character Larry returns from the First World War and declares that he would like to “loaf.”23 The term “loafing” inadequately describes the life he would spend traveling, studying, searching for meaning, and even laboring. Larry meets with the disapproval of peers and would-be mentors: “Common sense assured…that if you wanted to get on in this world, you must accept its conventions, and not to do what everybody else did clearly pointed to instability.” Larry had an inheritance that enabled him to live modestly and pursue his dreams. Larry’s acquaintances didn’t fear the consequences of his failure; they feared his failure to conform. I’m no maverick. Upon leaving college I dove into the workforce, eager to have my own stuff and a job to pay for it. Parents approved, bosses gave raises, and my friends could relate. The approval, the comforts, the commitments wound themselves around me like invisible threads. When my life stayed the course, I wouldn’t even feel them binding. Then I would waiver enough to sense the growing entrapment, the taming of my life in which I had been complicit. Working a nine-to-five job took more energy than I had expected, leaving less time to pursue diverse interests. I grew to detest the statement “I am a…” with the sentence completed by an occupational title. Self-help books emphasize “defining priorities” and “staying focused,” euphemisms for specialization and stifling spontaneity. Our vision becomes so narrow that risk is trying a new brand of cereal, and adventure is watching a new sitcom. Over time I have elevated my opinion of nonconformity nearly to the level of an obligation. We should have a bias toward doing activities that we don’t normally do to keep loose the moorings of society. Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform? Hiking the AT before joining the workforce was an opportunity not taken. Doing it in retirement would be sensible; doing it at this time in my life is abnormal, and therein lay the appeal. I want to make my life less ordinary.
David Miller (AWOL on the Appalachian Trail)
John Bull is ignorant of the States; he is probably ignorant of India; but considering his opportunities, he is far more ignorant of countries nearer his own door. [...] His ignorance of the sister kingdom cannot be described ; it can only be illustrated by anecdote. I once travelled with a man of plausible manners and good intelligence, - a University man, as the phrase goes, - a man, besides, who had taken his degree in life and knew a thing or two about the age we live in. We were deep in talk, whirling between Peterborough and London ; among other things, he began to describe some piece of legal injustice he had recently encountered, and I observed in my innocence that things were not so in Scotland. "I beg your pardon," said he, "this is a matter of law." He had never heard of the Scots law: nor did he choose to be informed. The law was the same for the whole country, he told me roundly; every child knew that. At last, to settle matters, I explained to him that I was a member of a Scottish legal body, and had stood the brunt of an examination in the very law in question. Thereupon he looked me for a moment full in the face and dropped the conversation. This is a monstrous instance, if you like, but it does not stand alone in the experience of Scots.
Robert Louis Stevenson (Across the Plains: With Other Memories and Essays)
Today, I choose not to take my life for granted. I choose not to look upon the fact that I am healthy, have food in my refrigerator and have clean water to drink as givens. They are not givens for so many people in our world. The fact that I am safe and (relatively) sane are not givens. That I was born into a family who loves me and into a country not ravaged by war are not givens. It is impossible to name all of the circumstances in my life I’ve taken for granted. All of the basic needs I’ve had met, all of the friendships and job opportunities and financial blessings and the list, truly, goes on and on. The fact that I am breathing is a miracle, one I too rarely stop to appreciate. I’m stopping, right now, to be grateful for everything I am and everything I’ve been given. I’m stopping, right now, to be grateful for every pleasure and every pain that has contributed to the me who sits here and writes these words. I am thankful for my life. This moment is a blessing. Each breath a gift. That I’ve been able to take so much for granted is a gift, too. But it’s not how I want to live—not when gratitude is an option, now when wonder and awe are choices. I choose gratitude. I choose wonder. I choose awe. I choose everything that suggest I’m opening myself to the miraculous reality of simply being alive for one moment more.
Scott Stabile
Someone else filled in the details of the rape accusation for me. The girl had been very drunk at a house party. She’d ended up in a bedroom, away from the rest of the party, barely conscious. Owen had come into the room and taken advantage of her. She and her family were pressing charges. When I first heard this, I couldn’t stop thinking about the girl Owen had hurt. I pictured her home. I pictured her father. I imagined her hair and her room. I could see her saying confidently, “I didn’t want that,” without shame, without blaming herself. Why hadn’t I developed that skill? I longed to be more like her. I wanted to be able to say, I didn’t want him, to myself and to my friends and to the whole damn world. I told my mother about the girl, what she said Owen did, her parents. “Well…” She trailed off. She seemed displeased, as if I’d brought up something that wasn’t polite or appropriate. I could tell she didn’t know what to say. I remember feeling gruff and tougher than her. I lived in the Wild West, a place where terrible, unspeakable things happened every day, and she was a lady. It felt like my responsibility to protect her from those types of horrors. I didn’t let myself be disappointed that she hadn’t said more. It was better this way, better that she couldn’t offer insight or comfort. The less I needed from her, the less opportunity she had to let me down.
Emily Ratajkowski (My Body)
By the middle of the 17th century in Japan the concept of focus had evolved to a high level of sophistication and had taken on the psychological overtones that we will examine later in this chapter. In his classic on strategy, A Book of Five Rings (1645), the samurai who is best known in the West, Miyamoto Musashi, removed the concept from the physical world entirely by designating the spirit of the opponent as the focus: Do not even consider risking a decision by cold steel until you have defeated the enemy’s will to fight.59 This is a revealing statement by a man reported to have won some sixty bouts, virtually all of which ended in the death of his opponent (not surprising, when you consider that the samurai long sword, the tachi, was a four foot blade of steel, sharp as a modern razor, and strong enough to chop cleanly through a water pipe.) Once you accept Musashi’s dictum as a strategic principle, then you might ask how to carry it out, how to actually defeat the opponent’s spirit. Musashi was no mystic, and he grounded all his methods in real actions his students could take. We will encounter him and his techniques many times in this book. The ability to rapidly shift the focus of one’s efforts is a key element in how a smaller force defeats a larger, since it enables the smaller force to create and exploit opportunities before the larger force can marshal reinforcements.
Chet Richards (Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business)
The biggest adjustment I had to make on moving from New Guinea to the U.S. was my lack of freedom. Children have much more freedom in New Guinea. In the U.S. I was not allowed to climb trees. I was always climbing trees in New Guinea; I still like to climb trees. When my brother and I came back to California and moved into our house there, one of the first things we did was to climb a tree and build a tree house; other families thought that was weird. The U.S. has so many rules and regulations, because of fear of being sued, that kids give up on the opportunity for personal exploration. A pool has to be fenced so that it’s not an ‘attractive nuisance.’ Most New Guineans don’t have pools, but even the rivers that we frequented didn’t have signs saying ‘Jump at your own risk,’ because it’s obvious. Why would I jump unless I’m prepared for the consequences? Responsibility in the U.S. has been taken from the person acting and has been placed on the owner of the land or the builder of the house. Most Americans want to blame someone other than themselves as much as possible. In New Guinea I was able to grow up, play creatively, and explore the outdoors and nature freely, with the obligatory element of risk, however well managed, that is absent from the average risk-averse American childhood. I had the richest upbringing possible, an upbringing inconceivable for Americans.” “A frustration
Jared Diamond (The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?)
Bast fidgeted. Kvothe laughed, a fond expression wiping the irritation from his face. “So is describing a beautiful woman as easy as looking at one for you?” Bast looked down and blushed, and Kvothe laid a gentle hand on his arm, smiling. “My trouble, Bast, is that she is very important. Important to the story. I cannot think of how to describe her without falling short of the mark.” “I…I think I understand, Reshi,” Bast said in conciliatory tones. “I’ve seen her too. Once.” Kvothe sat back in his chair, surprised. “You have, haven’t you? I’d forgotten.” He pressed his hands to his lips. “How would you describe her then?” Bast brightened at the opportunity. Straightening up in his chair he looked thoughtful for a moment then said. “She had perfect ears.” He made a delicate gesture with his hands. “Perfect little ears, like they were carved out of…something.” Chronicler laughed, then looked slightly taken aback, as if he’d surprised himself. “Her ears?” he asked as if he couldn’t be sure if he had heard correctly. “You know how hard it is to find a pretty girl with the right sort of ears,” Bast said matter-of-factly. Chronicler laughed again, seeming to find it easier the second time. “No,” he said. “No, I’m sure I don’t.” Bast gave the story collector a deeply pitying look. “Well then, you’ll just have to take my word for it. They were exceptionally fine.” “I think you’ve struck that chord well enough, Bast,” Kvothe said, amused.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Author Shelby Steele, one of America’s most insightful commentators on race relations, notes that whites have been looking for some time for a black leader who has credibility within the black community and yet can offer whites racial absolution. This should not be taken too cynically. Many whites genuinely espouse an idealism that seeks to move beyond race, and they recognize that it’s going to take a black spokesman to make this case on a national level and help to get us there. Steele notes bluntly that this idealism cannot be divorced from a powerful sense of white racial guilt. We have to get beyond race because America’s past racial history has become such an embarrassment. Now the black leader that whites are looking for does not actually have to issue indulgences in the manner of the medieval papacy; rather, by his words and deeds, he can signal to white America that whites are no longer on the hook for past racism. In Steele’s view, whites have been eagerly, hungrily awaiting the black leader who would give them a chance, through their support of his leadership, not merely to say to others but to feel, in their innermost being, “Whew, I am not a racist.” Steele speculated that whites may be willing to pay heavily both in money and in political support if such a candidate appeared on the horizon. He would truly be the anointed one.11 Obama’s ingenuity was to recognize that this unique opportunity required a black man of a kind not seen in American politics before. Such a man would have to look black but act white.
Dinesh D'Souza (The Roots of Obama's Rage)
What did this Madame Moon tell you?” Her friend frowned slightly. “It was so strange. She said there was a man here tonight who was everything I could ever want, and that if I did not find him, my life would be empty and…tragic.” “Good lord.” Rose dug in her heels. “I’m not going near this woman. It’s all about men.” “We’re women,” Eve needlessly reminded her, giving her a shove toward the tent entrance. “Of course it’s all about men. Now get in th…oh my.” Rose turned her head. Her friend was staring at someone on the other side of the room-a man. A handsome, lean, dangerous-looking man with the grace of a cat. A very predatory cat, and he was staring at Eve as though she was the sweetest, plumpest mouse he’d ever seen. Perhaps there was more to this Madame Moon than she first suspected. One look at Eve’s face and she could tell her friend was just as taken by this man as he by her. “Go,” Rose whispered. And then loudly she said, “Eve, is not that Amanda Ross by the punch bowl? She said she had a recipe for a new face cream. Go get it from her, will you?” Eve shot her a startled glance, because they both knew Amanda Ross was standing not two feet away from Vienna La Rieux, who was conversing with Mr. Dangerous. But as startled as her friend might have been by the encouragement, she also realized that both of their chaperones were in line to have their fortunes told and that she might never have an opportunity like this again. “Of course,” she replied loudly as well. “I will be right back.” And off she went. Alone, and the target of exasperated looks by the ladies waiting their turns, Rose ducked into the tent to face her future.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Brandishing a green mallet, Hannah grinned at John. “We’ll take sides. You and me against Andrew and Theo.” Hannah went first. Theo and I watched her knock her ball through the first two wickets and aim for the third. She missed and stepped back to let Theo take his turn. I leaned on my mallet and waited. It had taken me a while to understand the game, but once I learned the rules, I’d become a pretty good strategist. As soon as I had the opportunity, I planned to knock John’s ball clear off the court, maybe all the way into the poison ivy at the bottom of the hill. In a few minutes, I saw my chance. My ball rolled through a wicket and hit his. To keep mine steady, I put my foot on it and whacked my ball hard enough to drive John’s into the poison ivy. “It’s dead,” I crowed. “I got you!” Hannah gave me one of her vexed looks. Turning to John, she said, “I swear he’s getting more like his old self every day.” At the same moment, Buster went tearing into the poison ivy and emerged with the ball in his mouth. Waging his tail proudly, he ran off with it. He’d lost Mrs. Armiger’s hat, but he wasn’t going to give up the ball. Ignoring our commands to drop it, he dashed under the rose trellis and disappeared behind the hedge. “Drat,” Hannah said. “That stupid dog must have buried a dozen croquet balls by now.” I glanced at John, hoping he’d be a bad sport. Maybe he’d say I cheated. Maybe he’d say it wasn’t fair. Maybe he’d disgrace himself by refusing to play. Instead, he slapped my back and said, “Well, it looks like you’ll win this game, Andrew.” Hannah glowed with admiration. Frank Merriwell himself couldn’t have been a finer gentleman.
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
LEADING LESSONS Pounce on an opportunity--even if you think you’re not ready. Whenever I got a new partner--and I had several over the years--I’d want to rehearse for months before we competed. But Shirley would give us two weeks to get five routines down. She’d throw us out there: “You have to bite the bullet.” Ready or not, we hit the dance floor. Why? Because you’re never ready till you’re doing it. No amount of preparation in the world can prepare you for the actual experience. I tell my Dancing with the Stars partners this all the time. You can rehearse for weeks, months, years, and still never be ready. You have to just go out there and live it--that’s when it will all make sense and come together. You can’t prepare yourself for the actual in-the-moment experience. Leaders take that leap. You can’t let insecurity hold you back. The walls that protect you are also the walls that imprison you. There’s an old Cherokee story about a grandfather who tells his grandson about the two wolves that live inside us all. There’s a battle raging between them. One is evil--he represents fear, doubt, self-pity, regret. The other is good--he stands for joy, peace, confidence, truth, faith. The grandson asks, “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replies: “The one you feed.” There may never be a right time or a right place to take a risk. The right time is right now. In the past, I used to overanalyze everything, and if something landed in my lap, some great chance to be taken, I’d often talk myself out of it. I know now that you have to have confidence in who you are and what you want. You have to seize the opportunity and feed the good wolf.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
Irene: Why would anyone choose to experience illness or disease as part of their spiritual agenda? Jared: The purpose of disease varies with each individual. For most people, disease serves to end physical life when the soul’s agenda has been fulfilled. Irene: An exit strategy. Jared: Yes. Disease also helps people put things in proper perspective and discover what’s really important. Irene: My brother Joe comes to mind. Since suffering a mild heart attack, he’s less judgmental and more accepting. Jared: Precisely. Disease also serves to remind people that control is an illusion and that a greater Power is directing life, providing them with an opportunity to surrender to that Power. Irene: That’s a good example of why it’s impossible to judge a situation as “good,” or “bad.” (Pause) In what other ways do illness and disease serve us? Jared: When people are no longer able to do things the same way they used to, disease can lead to deeper levels of compassion for oneself, as well as for others who are facing similar challenges. Irene: Sometimes we need a wake-up call to open our hearts. Jared: That’s true. As people begin to appreciate what they’d once taken for granted, disease can also assist them in accessing gratitude; maybe they hadn’t stopped to enjoy the changing colors in the evening sky, or maybe it takes being home with an illness to help them appreciate their family. Irene: It’s all for our highest good. Jared: Yes, it is. (Pause) Disease can also provide an opportunity to ask for assistance. People are forced to call on the service of others, who are given the chance to help. Irene: That’s my Achilles heel. I don’t like to impose on others. Anything else? Jared: Yes. People are often more receptive to the wisdom of their soul as a result of disease.
Irene Kendig (Conversations with Jerry and Other People I Thought Were Dead: Seven compelling dialogues that will transform the way you think about dying . . . and living)
You look lovely tonight, my lady,” Kellan said for her ears alone as he took her into his arms-not too close, of course. His flattery pleased her but did not discompose her as Grey’s did. Rose smiled sincerely in response. “Thank you, sir. Might I say that you are in very fine looks as well.” “You always know exactly the right thing to say to woo me, Lady Rose.” He grinned as they moved through a turn. “Have a care, else you’re likely to break my heart.” “If it is so easily broken, perhaps you should hold it a little more dear,” she advised archly. He winced, but it was apparent that he had taken the remark with the humor she intended. “She mocks me.” “You are mistaken, sir. I am merely thinking of your best interests.” They shared a smile and were silent for a turn. “I am surprised that Ryeton allowed you to come tonight.” Rose raised a brow. “The duke does not dictate where I can and cannot go.” Grey might be her benefactor, but he was not her guardian. “That is good to hear,” Kellan replied, ignoring the edge to her tone. “So he cannot prevent you from taking a drive in Hyde Park with me tomorrow afternoon.” She chuckled. “No, I suppose not. But first, you might want to ask me if I care to take a drive with you.” “Do you?” She did. Did that make her awful? Just a few minutes ago she’d been missing Grey and thinking about how much she cared for him, and now here she was flirting with Kellan and fluttering over the prospect of going for a carriage ride. It wasn’t fickleness, she told herself. It was practicality. She was doing what she was supposed to do. Kellan had yet to lay any claim to her feelings or her heart, but she owed him the opportunity to try. She would never get over Grey and find love if she didn’t try as well. And it wouldn’t hurt Grey to see another man take interest in her. Perhaps a little jealousy would do him good.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
I had always been a very physically active person. And I loved my job. I got into the military because of September 11, but I stumbled into a career that I absolutely loved. I was meant to be an infantry soldier. I thought, I will never be physical again and my career in the military is over. One tiny trip wire had taken everything away from me in one explosive moment. I sank into a very dark place. I wallowed in both my physical pain and my mental anguish. One day my parents were sitting by my side in the hospital room--as they did every day--and I turned to my mom and blurted out, “How am I ever gonna be able to tie my shoes again?” Mom rebutted my pity party with, “Well, your father can tie his shoes with one hand. Andy! Show Noah how you can tie your shoes with one hand.” And as I started to protest, Dad cut my whining off at the pass. “Oh my gosh, Noah, I can tie my shoes with one hand.” And he did, as I had seen him do so many times growing up. “I just need a little sympathy,” I said. To which Mom replied, “Well, you’re not getting it today.” A few days after I’d had my shoelace meltdown, after many tears, I found myself drained of emotion, a hollowed-out shell. My mother saw the blank expression on my face and she saw an opportunity to drag me out of the fog. She took it. She came up to my bed, leaned in close--but not so close that the other people in the room couldn’t hear her, and said, “You just had to outdo your dad and lose your arm and your leg.” She smiled, waiting for my reply, but all I could do was laugh. It was funny but it was also at that moment that I think I felt a little spark of excitement and anticipation again. It would take a while to fully ignite the flame but what she said definitely tapped into some important part of me. I have a very competitive side and Mom knew that. She knew just what to say to shake me up, so I could realize, Okay, life will go on from here. I thought to myself, My dad could do a whole lot with just one hand. Imagine how much more impressive it’ll look with two missing limbs. And I smiled the best I could through a wired jaw.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
Dammit, Holly, I'd never have believed you'd do something so harebrained. Do you understand that the building could have collapsed around you and those henwits? I know what condition those places are in, and I wouldn't let a dog of mine venture past the threshold, much less my wife. And the men—good God, when I think of the low-living bastards who were in your vicinity, it makes my blood curdle! Sailors and drunkards on every corner—do you know what would happen if one of them took it into his head to snap up a little treat like you?” As the thought seemed to temporarily render him incapable of speech, Holly took the opportunity to defend herself. “I was with companions, and—” “Ladies,” he said savagely. “Armed with umbrellas, no doubt. Just what do you think they would have been able to do, had you met with bad company?” “The few men we encountered in the neighborhood were harmless,” Holly argued. “In fact, it was the very same place you lived in during your childhood, and those men were no different from you—” “In those days, I'd have played merry hell with you, if I'd managed to get my hands on you,” he said harshly. “Have no illusions, milady… you'd have ended face-to-the wall in Maidenhead Lane with your skirts around your waist. The only wonder is that you didn't meet that fate with some randy sailor yesterday.” “You're exaggerating,” Holly said defensively, but that only roused his temper to a higher pitch. He continued to blister her ears with a lecture that was furious and insulting by turns, naming the various diseases she could have contracted and the vermin she had likely encountered, until Holly couldn't bear another word. “I've heard enough,” she cried hotly. “It's clear to me that I'm not to make a single decision without asking your permission first—I'm to be treated as a child, and you will act as a dictator.” The accusation was unfair, and she knew it, but she was too incensed to care. Suddenly his fury seemed to evaporate, and he stared at her with an inscrutable gaze. A long moment passed before he spoke again. “You wouldn't have taken Rose to such a place, would you?” “Of course not! But she is a little girl, and I'm—” “My life,” he interrupted quietly. “You're my entire life. If anything ever happens to you, Holly, there is nothing left for me.
Lisa Kleypas (Where Dreams Begin)
Every day we have plenty of opportunities to be upset, to be frustrated, and to be offended. Maybe the day’s plans didn’t work out, or somebody was rude at the office, or a job that should have taken one hour took three. Life is full of inconveniences. There will always be interruptions and difficult people. We can’t control all our circumstances, but we can control our reactions. I’ve heard it said that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond. Go into each day positive, hopeful, and expecting God’s favor. But at the same time be realistic, knowing that most days will not go exactly as you planned. If you become stressed because you are off schedule, frustrated because someone offended you, or upset because your child wouldn’t eat breakfast, you are giving away your power. It’s good to have plans, but at the first part of every day submit those plans to God and just say, “God, this is what I would like to accomplish today. But I know You’re in control, so I submit my plans to You. And I’ve decided in advance that no matter what comes my way, I will stay in peace, knowing You are directing my steps and that all things will work together for my good.” But too many people these days have the wrong approach to life. They think they can’t be happy unless they control all their circumstances and everything goes their way. But that’s not realistic. You have to come to the place where you can say, “I don’t have to have my way to have a good day. My plans don’t have to work out for me to be happy. Everybody doesn’t have to treat me right for life to be enjoyable. I have already made up my mind: No matter what does or doesn’t happen, I will stay in peace and enjoy this day.” The Scripture says that “no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22 NIV). No circumstance can take your peace. No interruption can take your enthusiasm. You have to give it away. The next time you’re tempted to be upset and frustrated, ask yourself, Is this worth giving my power away? Or, This man is rude to me on the phone. I don’t even know him. Is it worth giving him my joy? Or, This coworker left me out of a meeting; is it worth giving away my peace? You may not have the victory, not because you can’t, but because you keep giving it away. Life is too short to be upset and offended. If you allow your circumstances to control your joy, there will always be some reason to be discouraged.
Joel Osteen (Every Day a Friday: How to Be Happier 7 Days a Week)
The less said about that morning’s ride, the better. I would have been uncomfortable even if I’d been riding with Branaric, for my leg ached steadily from the jarring of the horse’s pace. To be riding along in the clasp of an enemy just made my spirits feel the worse. We only had one conversation, right at the start, when he apologized for the discomfort of the ride and reminded me that there would be a carriage--and reasonable comfort--before the day was gone. I said, in as surly a tone as possible, “You might have thought of that before we left. I mean, since no one asked my opinion on the matter.” “It was purely an impulse of disinterested benevolence that precipitated our departure,” he responded equably--as if I’d been as polite as one of his simpering Court ladies. “What do you mean by that?” “I mean that it seemed very likely that your brother and his adherents were going to mount another rescue attempt, and this time there was no chance of our being taken by surprise.” He paused, letting me figure that out. He meant the King’s warriors would have killed everyone, or else taken them all prisoner, and he had forestalled such a thing. Why he should want to prevent this opportunity to defeat all our people at once didn’t make sense to me; I kept quiet. He went on after a moment, “Since the King requires a report on our progress, and as it seemed expedient to remove you, I decided to combine the two. It appears to have worked, at least for a time.” Which meant he’d stalled Branaric--with what? Threats against my life if our people tried anything? The thought made me wild with anger, with a determination to escape so strong that for a time it took all my self-control not to fling myself from that horse and run, bad leg or no. For at last I faced the real truth: that by my own carelessness, I might very well have graveled our entire cause. I knew my brother. Branaric would not risk my life--and this man seemed to have figured that much out. The Marquis made a couple other attempts at conversation, but I ignored him. I have to confess that, for a short time, hot tears of rage and self-loathing stung my eyes and dripped down my face. I didn’t trust my voice; the only consolation I had for my eroding self-respect was that my face couldn’t be seen. When the tears had dried at last, and I had taken a surreptitious swipe at my nose and eyes with my sleeve, I gritted my teeth and turned my thoughts back to escape.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
This is a good moment to remember one of Mansfield’s Manly Maxims: “Manly men tend their fields.” It means that we take care of the lives and property entrusted to us. It means that we take responsibility for everything in the “field assigned to us.” We cannot do this without knowledge. We cannot do it if we are ignorant of our times, blind to the trends shaping our lives, and oblivious to the basic knowledge that allows us to do what we are called to do as men. We must know enough about law, health, science, economics, politics, and technology to fulfill our roles. We should also know enough about our faith to stand our ground in a secular age, resist heresies, and teach our families. We also shouldn’t be without the benefits of literature and poetry, of good novels and stirring stories, all of which make us more relevant and more effective. We need all of this, and no one is going to force it upon us. Nor will we acquire what we need from a degree program or a study group alone, as valuable as these can be. The truth is that men who aspire to be genuine men and serve well have no choice: they must devote themselves to an aggressive program of self-education. They have to read books, stay current with websites and periodicals, consult experts, and put themselves in a position to know. It isn’t as hard as it sounds, particularly in our Internet age. Much of what a man needs to know can land in his iPad while he is sleeping, but he has to know enough to value this power in the first place. To ignore this duty can mean disaster. How many men have lost jobs because they did not see massive trends on the horizon? How many men have failed to stay intellectually sharp and so gave up ground in their professions to others with more active minds? How many have lost money through uninformed investments or have not taken opportunities in expanding fields or have missed promotions because they had not bothered to learn about new technologies or what changes social media, for example, would bring to their jobs? I do not want to be negative. Learning is a joy. Reading is one of the great pleasures of life. A man ought to invest in knowledge because it is part of living in this world fully engaged and glorifying God. Yet our times also make it essential. The amount of knowledge in the world is increasing. Technology is transforming our lives. New trends can rise like floodwaters and sweep devastation into our homes. Men committed to tending their fields learn, study, research, dig out facts, and test theories. They know how to safeguard their families. They serve well because they serve as informed men.
Stephen Mansfield (Mansfield's Book of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide to Being Your Most Masculine Self)
The war against ISIS in Iraq was a long, hard slog, and for a time the administration was as guilty of hyping progress as the most imaginative briefers at the old “Five O’Clock Follies” in Saigon had been. In May 2015, an ISIS assault on Ramadi and a sandstorm that grounded U.S. planes sent Iraqi forces and U.S. Special Forces embedded with them fleeing the city. Thanks to growing hostility between the Iraqi government and Iranian-supported militias in the battle, the city wouldn’t be taken until the end of the year. Before it was over we had sent well over five thousand military personnel back to Iraq, including Special Forces operators embedded as advisors with Iraqi and Kurdish units. A Navy SEAL, a native Arizonan whom I had known when he was a boy, was killed in northern Iraq. His name was Charles Keating IV, the grandson of my old benefactor, with whom I had been implicated all those years ago in the scandal his name had branded. He was by all accounts a brave and fine man, and I mourned his loss. Special Forces operators were on the front lines when the liberation of Mosul began in October 2016. At immense cost, Mosul was mostly cleared of ISIS fighters by the end of July 2017, though sporadic fighting continued for months. The city was in ruins, and the traumatized civilian population was desolate. By December ISIS had been defeated everywhere in Iraq. I believe that had U.S. forces retained a modest but effective presence in Iraq after 2011 many of these tragic events might have been avoided or mitigated. Would ISIS nihilists unleashed in the fury and slaughter of the Syrian civil war have extended their dystopian caliphate to Iraq had ten thousand or more Americans been in country? Probably, but with American advisors and airpower already on the scene and embedded with Iraqi security forces, I think their advance would have been blunted before they had seized so much territory and subjected millions to the nightmare of ISIS rule. Would Maliki have concentrated so much power and alienated Sunnis so badly that the insurgency would catch fire again? Would Iran’s influence have been as detrimental as it was? Would Iraqis have collaborated to prevent a full-scale civil war from erupting? No one can answer for certain. But I believe that our presence there would have had positive effects. All we can say for certain is that Iraq still has a difficult road to walk, but another opportunity to progress toward that hopeful vision of a democratic, independent nation that’s learned to accommodate its sectarian differences, which generations of Iraqis have suffered without and hundreds of thousands of Americans risked everything for.
John McCain (The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations)
And by the end of March one of them had already begun his journey. Twenty-two years old, an A.B. and LL.B. of Harvard, Francis Parkman was back from a winter trip to scenes in Pennsylvania and Ohio that would figure in his book and now he started with his cousin, Quincy Adams Shaw, for St. Louis. He was prepared to find it quite as alien to Beacon Hill as the Dakota lands beyond it, whither he was going. He was already an author (a poet and romancer), had already designed the great edifice his books were to build, and already suffered from the mysterious, composite illness that was to make his life a long torture. He hoped, in fact, that a summer on the prairies might relieve or even cure the malady that had impaired his eyes and, he feared, his heart and brain as well. He had done his best to cure it by systematic exercise, hard living in the White Mountains, and a regimen self-imposed in the code of his Puritan ancestors which would excuse no weakness. But more specifically Parkman was going west to study the Indians. He intended to write the history of the conflict between imperial Britain and imperial France, which was in great part a story of Indians. The Conspiracy of Pontiac had already taken shape in his mind; beyond it stretched out the aisles and transepts of what remains the most considerable achievement by an American historian. So he needed to see some uncorrupted Indians in their native state. It was Parkman’s fortune to witness and take part in one of the greatest national experiences, at the moment and site of its occurrence. It is our misfortune that he did not understand the smallest part of it. No other historian, not even Xenophon, has ever had so magnificent an opportunity: Parkman did not even know that it was there, and if his trip to the prairies produced one of the exuberant masterpieces of American literature, it ought instead to have produced a key work of American history. But the other half of his inheritance forbade. It was the Puritan virtues that held him to the ideal of labor and achievement and kept him faithful to his goal in spite of suffering all but unparalleled in literary history. And likewise it was the narrowness, prejudice, and mere snobbery of the Brahmins that insulated him from the coarse, crude folk who were the movement he traveled with, turned him shuddering away from them to rejoice in the ineffabilities of Beacon Hill, and denied our culture a study of the American empire at the moment of its birth. Much may rightly be regretted, therefore. But set it down also that, though the Brahmin was indifferent to Manifest Destiny, the Puritan took with him a quiet valor which has not been outmatched among literary folk or in the history of the West.
Bernard DeVoto (The Year of Decision 1846)
In the light of the evidence it is hard to believe that most crusaders were motivated by crude materialism. Given their knowledge and expectations and the economic climate in which they lived, the disposal of assets to invest in the fairly remote possibility of settlement in the East would have been a stupid gamble. It makes much more sense to suppose, in so far as one can generalize about them, that they were moved by an idealism which must have inspired not only them but their families. Parents, brothers and sisters, wives and children had to face a long absence and must have worried about them: in 1098 Countess Ida of Boulogne made an endowment to the abbey of St Bertin 'for the safety of her sons, Godfrey and Baldwin, who have gone to Jerusalem'.83 And they and more distant relatives — cousins, uncles and nephews - were prepared to endow them out of the patrimonial lands. I have already stressed that no one can treat the phenomenal growth of monasticism in this period without taking into account not only those who entered the communities to be professed, but also the lay men and women who were prepared to endow new religious houses with lands and rents. The same is true of the crusading movement. Behind many crusaders stood a large body of men and women who were prepared to sacrifice interest to help them go. It is hard to avoid concluding that they were fired by the opportunity presented to a relative not only of making a penitential pilgrimage to Jerusalem but also of fighting in a holy cause. For almost a century great lords, castellans and knights had been subjected to abuse by the Church. Wilting under the torrent of invective and responding to the attempts of churchmen to reform their way of life in terms they could understand, they had become perceptibly more pious. Now they were presented by a pope who knew them intimately with the chance of performing a meritorious act which exactly fitted their upbringing and devotional needs and they seized it eagerly. But they responded, of course, in their own way. They were not theologians and were bound to react in ways consonant with their own ideas of right and wrong, ideas that did not always respond to those of senior churchmen. The emphasis that Urban had put on charity - love of Christian brothers under the heel of Islam, love of Christ whose land was subject to the Muslim yoke - could not but arouse in their minds analogies with their own kin and their own lords' patrimonies, and remind them of their obligations to avenge injuries to their relatives and lords. And that put the crusade on the level of a vendetta. Their leaders, writing to Urban in September 1098, informed him that 'The Turks, who inflicted much dishonour on Our Lord Jesus Christ, have been taken and killed and we Jerusalemites have avenged the injury to the supreme God Jesus Christ.
Jonathan Riley-Smith (The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading)
ROUND UP A lot more can be said, but finally, this is your last lesson in this epic 30 -day quest to become a successful conversationalist. For the past 29 days, you’ve been tutored about different techniques to make things happen, and today you’ll kick start a conversation with more confidence and organization, because you are now a professional in the communication world. There are takeaways that you should not forget as you go forth as a small talk professional. You have learnt and practiced many truths about the nature and composition of small talk, but there are certain ones that should be placed next to your heart: Small talk may be seen as a waste of time, but it is actually time well spent; take note of this important point, people might want to convince and confuse you. Small talk with personal meaning orientation will scratch business shop talk off any time. Small talk should now be seen as an effective tool that is available right next to you and can be a gateway to success. You still have the chance to go back to the previous chapters you struggled with, this way, you’ll review and assimilate the important points, no one is an island of knowledge, and so I don’t expect you to have everything registered in your brain already, constant practices will bring out the best in you. Identifying your weakness is just as important as acknowledging your strength. I want to assure you that you’ll definitely excel since you’ve been able to lay hands on this book, and this how you can help others who are still in the position that you were when you started in day one. You’ve been instructed about many secrets of success, as well as the things to exploit and avoid. It’s up to you to make this permanent, and this can only be achieved if you keep following these instructions. You have to make the decision now; whether you would make use of this manual or not, but I would advise that you want it again and again as this is the only way to dedicate your spirit, soul and body to constant improvement. You definitely would have noticed some changes in you, you’re not the same person any more. One important thing is that you shouldn’t give up; try to redouble your efforts and realize that you know everything you’re supposed to know. This shouldn’t end here, endeavour to spread the word to make sure that you impact at least three people per day, this means that you would have impacted about 90 people at the end of the next 30 days and close to about 120 people in just two months. Now, you see how you can make the world a better place? It’s up to you to decide what you want and how you want it to be. Don’t waste this golden opportunity of becoming a professional in communication, you’ll go a long way and definitely be surprised at the rate at which you’ve gone in such a small time. Take time to attend to things that need attention, don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t go too soft on yourself, you’re one vessel that can’t be manipulated, so you have to be careful and sure about your status on communication skills. On the final note, I would like to congratulate you for reading this to the end, you’ve taken this course because you believe in the powers of small talks, so this shouldn’t be the last time I’m hearing from you. I would look forward to seeing your questions about any confusing aspect in the future. Till then, remain the professional that you are!
Jack Steel (Communication: Critical Conversation: 30 Days To Master Small Talk With Anyone: Build Unbreakable Confidence, Eliminate Your Fears And Become A Social Powerhouse – PERMANENTLY)
that everything that had ever happened to me had been a loving step in that process of my progression. every person, every circumstance, and every incident was custom created for me. It was as if the entire universe existed for my higher good and development. I felt so loved, so cherished, and so honored. I realized that not only was I being embraced by deity, but also that I myself was divine, and that we all are. I knew that there are no accidents in this life. That everything happens for a reason. yet we always get to choose how we will experience what happens to us here. I could exercise my will in everything, even in how I felt about the wreck and the death of my family members. God didn't want me to hurt and feel put upon as if my son and wife had been taken from me. He was simply there assisting me to decide how I was going to experience it. He was providing me with the opportunity, in perfect love, to exercise my personal agency in this entire situation. I knew my wife and son were gone. They had died months earlier, but time didn't exist where I was at that moment. rather than having them ripped away from me, I was being given the opportunity to actually hand them over to God. To let them go in peace, love, and gratitude. Everything suddenly made sense. Everything had divine order. I could give my son to God and not have him taken away from me. I felt my power as a creator and cocreator with God to literally let go of all that had happened to me. I held my baby son as God himself held me. I experienced the oneness of all of it. Time did not matter. Only love and order existed. Tamara and Griffin had come into my life as perfect teachers. And in leaving me in such a way, they continued as perfect teachers to bring me to that point of remembering who I was. remembering that I was created in God's image and actually came from Him. I was aware now that I could actually walk with God, empowered by what I was learning in my life. I felt the divine energy of the being behind me inviting me to let it all go and give Griffin to Him. In all that peace and knowledge, I hugged my little boy tightly one last time, kissed him on the cheek, and gently laid him back down in the crib. I willingly gave him up. No one would ever take him away from me again. He was mine. We were one, and I was one with God. As soon as I breathed in all that peace, I awoke, back into the pain and darkness of my hospital bed, but with greater perspective. I marveled at what I had just experienced. It was not just a dream. It felt too real. It was real to me, far more real than the pain, the grief, and my hospital bed. Griffin was alive in a place more real than anything here. And Tamara was there with him. I knew it. As the years have passed, I've often wondered how I could have put my son back in the crib the way I did. Maybe I should have held on and never let go. But in that place, it all made sense. I realized that no one ever really dies. We always live on. I had experienced a God as real and tangible as we are. He knows our every heartache, yet allows us to experience and endure them for our growth. His is the highest form of love; He allows us to become what we will. He watches as we create who we are. He allows us to experience life in a way that makes us more like Him, divine creators of our own destiny. My experience showed me purpose and order. I knew there was a master plan far greater than my limited earthly vision. I also learned that my choices were mine alone to make. I got to decide how I felt, and that made all the difference in the universe. even in this tragedy, I got to determine the outcome. I could choose to be a victim of what had happened or create something far greater.
Jeff Olsen (I Knew Their Hearts: The Amazing True Story of Jeff Olsen's Journey Beyond the Veil to Learn the Silent Language of the Heart)
Many good opportunities are ruined for the dream of slightly better ones. Would you have a more successful career if you had taken that other job or moved cities? Possibly. But your actual career will definitely suffer if you don't commit to doing it to the best of your ability. Would you be 10% happier in a different relationship? Maybe. Maybe not. But you'll definitely be unhappy in the one you have if you spend all day thinking about what else is out there. The surefire way to end up worse off is to agonize over unchosen options and fail to make the most of the one you selected. Every minute spent yearning for your unlived lives is a moment you can't invest in the one you actually have. Choices matter, but so does your level of commitment.
James Clear
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I used to overanalyze everything, and if something landed in my lap, some great chance to be taken, I'd often talk myself out of it. I know now you have to have confidence in who you are and what you want. You have to seize the opportunity and feed the good wolf.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
To be a Black woman, therefore, is not just to be a Black who happens to be a woman, for one discovers one’s sex sometime before one discovers one’s racial classification. For it is immediately within the bosom of one’s family that one learns to be a female and all that the term implies. Although our families may have taken a somewhat different form from that of whites, the socialization that was necessary to maintain the state was carried out. Our family life may be said to parallel our educational opportunities, in that we only need to finish elementary school or high school to get the kinds of jobs which are open to us, and we need only about twelve years of living within some kind of family situation to learn our sexual roles completely. Our first perception of ourselves is of our physical bodies, which we are then forced to compare with the bodies of those with whom we live, mothers, fathers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and whomever. Our clothing and the kinds of play activity we engage in are reflections of the lives of those with whom we live. Treatment at school reinforces our sexuality, so that by the time we reach adolescence, we as Black women have perceived our role, all too clearly. One discovers what it means to be Black, and all that term implies, usually outside the family, although this is probably less so than it was as the need to politicize all Blacks, including children, has become so obvious. But until recently, the child had only dim revelations about her color within the family and it was only when she moved out into the community and the opposition and reaction of whites to her gave her insight into her place, racially. The oppression of Blacks by whites is not softened by the same kind of rationale that the female encounters with the male, and if she has not been taught by her family that to be Black is to be political, she experiences extreme frustration and anger as she wades through the racial experience in an attempt to learn what is going on. Most women, shackled by the limitations imposed on their behavior because of their sex, are afraid to explore their condition much beyond their school years and go on to fulfill their biological destiny as determined by male.
Kay Lindsey
A few years ago, Kobe [Bryant, duh] fractured the fourth metacarpal bone in his right hand. He missed the first fifteen games of the season; he used the opportunity to learn to shoot jump shots with his left, which he has been known to do in games. While it was healing, the ring finger, the one adjacent to the break, spend a lot of time taped to his pinkie. In the end, Kobe discovered, his four fingers were no longer evenly spaced; now they were separated, two and two. As a result, his touch on the ball was different, his shooting percentage went down. Studying the film he noticed that his shots were rotating slightly to the right. To correct the flaw, Kobe went to the gym over the summer and made one hundred thousand shots. that's one hundred thousand made, not taken. He doesn't practice taking shots, he explains. He practices making them. If you're clear on the difference between the two ideas, you can start drawing a bead on Kobe Bryant who may well be one of the most misunderstood figures in sports today. Scito Hoc Super Omnia by Mike Sager for Esquire Magazine Nov 2007
William Nack (The Best American Sports Writing 2008)
Taken as a whole, life gives us more opportunities for grief than celebration, more funeral drinks than wedding toasts.
Frederick Backman
The loss of youth, the faltering of physical powers we have always taken for granted, the fading purpose of stereotyped roles by which we have thus far identified ourselves, the spiritual dilemma of having no absolute answers – any or all of these shocks can give this passage the character of crisis. Such thoughts usher in a decade between 35 and 45 that can be called the Deadline Decade. It is a time of both danger and opportunity. All of us have the chance to rework the narrow identity by which we defined ourselves in the first half of life. And those of us who make the most of the opportunity will have a full-out authenticity crisis.
Gail Sheehy (Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life)
the Man of Fancy preceded the company to another noble saloon, the pillars of which were solid golden sunbeams taken out of the sky in the first hour in the morning. Thus, as they retained all their living lustre, the room was filled with the most cheerful radiance imaginable, yet not too dazzling to be borne with comfort and delight. The windows were beautifully adorned with curtains made of the many-colored clouds of sunrise, all imbued with virgin light, and hanging in magnificent festoons from the ceiling to the floor. Moreover, there were fragments of rainbows scattered through the room; so that the guests, astonished at one another, reciprocally saw their heads made glorious by the seven primary hues; or, if they chose,—as who would not?—they could grasp a rainbow in the air and convert it to their own apparel and adornment. But the morning light and scattered rainbows were only a type and symbol of the real wonders of the apartment. By an influence akin to magic, yet perfectly natural, whatever means and opportunities of joy are neglected in the lower world had been carefully gathered up and deposited in the saloon of morning sunshine. As may well be conceived, therefore, there was material enough to supply, not merely a joyous evening, but also a happy lifetime, to more than as many people as that spacious apartment could contain.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (Mosses from an Old Manse)
If you are able to stay alert and present at that time and watch whatever you feel within, rather than be taken over by it, it affords an opportunity for the most powerful spiritual practice, and a rapid transmutation of all past pain becomes possible.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
Remember, there’s only so much time in the day. You can’t do everything. That means each time you say yes to something, you tacitly say no to something else. In pursuing some opportunities, you miss out on others.
Damon Zahariades (The Art Of Saying NO: How To Stand Your Ground, Reclaim Your Time And Energy, And Refuse To Be Taken For Granted (Without Feeling Guilty!))
There is a fear of catching AIDS , but a fear also of simply catching sex. There is a fear of catching anything whatever which might seem like a passion, a seduction, a responsibility. And, in this sense, it is once again the male who has most deeply fallen victim to the negative obsession with sex. To the point of withdrawing from the sexual game, exhausted by having to bear such a risk, and no doubt also wearied by having historically assumed the role of sexual power for so long. Of which feminism and female liberation have divested him, at least dejure (and, to a large extent, de facto). But things are more complicated than this, because th e male who has been emasculated in this way and stripped of his power, has taken advantage of this situation to fade from the scene, to disappear — doffing th e phallic mask of a power which has, in any event, become increasingly dangerous. This is the paradoxical victory of the movement for feminine emancipation. That movement has succeeded too well and now leaves the female faced with the (more or less tactical and defensive) defaulting of the male. A strange situation ensues, in which women no longer protest against male power, but are resentful of the 'powerlessness' of the male . The defaulting of the male now fuels a deep dissatisfaction generated by disappointment with a sexual liberation which is going wrong for everyone. And this dissatisfaction finds expression, contradictorily, in the phantasm of sexual harassment. This is, then, a very different scenario from traditional feminism. Women are no longer alienated by men, but dispossessed of the masculine, dispossessed of the vital illusion of the other and hence also of their own illusion, their desire and privilege as women. It is this same effect which causes children secretly to hate their parents, who no longer wish to assume the role of parent and seize the opportunity of children's emancipation to liberate themselves as parents and relinquish their role. What we have, then, is no longer violence on the part of children in rebellion against the parental order, but hatred on the part of children dispossessed of their status and illusion as children. The person who liberates himself is never who you though the was. This defaulting o f the male has knock-on effects which extend into the biological order. Recent studies have found a fall in the rate of sperm in the seminal fluid, but, most importantly, a decline of their will to power: they no longer compete to go and fertilize the ovum. There is no competition any more. Are they, too , afraid of responsibility? Should we see this as a phenomenon analogous to what is going on in the visible sexual world, where a reticence to fulfil roles and a dissuasive terror exerted by the female sex currently prevail? Is this an unintended side-effect of the battle against harassment - the assault of sperm being the most elementary form of sexual harassment?
Jean Baudrillard (Screened Out)
Have you ever stopped to think what you might like to do if you didn’t work at the job you presently have?” His eyes brightened. “Sure,” he said. But then his shoulders slumped and the light went out of his eyes. “But that’s only a daydream. Maybe I’ll get to do that in another ten years when I retire.” I felt sorry for this man as I watched him leave. To think of awaking each morning and going through the motions of a job only for the money seems like sheer drudgery. Such a job is a burden, not a blessing.And the greater the burden associated with any responsibility, the greater the tension, frustration, and anxiety. Furthermore, there’s plenty of opportunity for regret to settle in. If this man doesn’t begin to pursue the God-given dreams that reside deep in his heart, he’s going to find himself saying in the future, “I regret I spent my life doing what I did. I wish I had taken a different path.” He
Charles F. Stanley (Finding Peace: God's Promise of a Life Free from Regret, Anxiety, and Fear)
I did not know you were a philosopher, Miss LaSalle,” Adam said. He knew he was being disagreeable, but he could not help himself. “Are not all women, doctor? Else they could never cope with the way men treat them. Now, please stop trying to annoy me and do as I ask. I promise I will give you many more opportunities to vent your bad temper in my direction if you wait but a little.” Adam was defeated. If she persisted in responding with such wit and good humour to his truculence, he might as well give in. Yet he was still sulky enough not to want her to see his change of mood. “Oh, very well,” he said, sighing mightily. “If I must …” “Indeed you must, sir. Now come along and stop behaving like a small boy whose playthings are taken from him. Reassure your dear mother that you are not annoyed with her or I will be angry with you. Like the cat you think I am, I assure you I can bite and scratch with a will, if provoked.” With that, she stood aside to allow him to precede her through the doorway – and to conceal the way she stuck out her tongue at his back, once he had passed.
William Savage (The Code for Killing (Dr Adam Bascom #2))
It’s this contrast that keeps the audience on their toes and paying attention. It’s as though the story works like this: Scene one (+): Our hero really wants something. Scene two (-): But the opportunity to get that something has been taken away. Scene three (+): An opportunity arises that might help the hero get what they want. Scene four (-): But that opportunity falls through.
Donald Miller (Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step StoryBrand Guide for Any Business)
Am I a Progressive Thinker? Checklist A. Do I Think Progressively Toward My Work? 1. Do I appraise my work with the “how can we do it better?” attitude? 2. Do I praise my company, the people in it, and the products it sells at every possible opportunity? 3. Are my personal standards with reference to the quantity and quality of my output higher now than three or six months ago? 4. Am I setting an excellent example for my subordinates, associates, and others I work with? B. Do I Think Progressively Toward My Family? 1. Is my family happier today than it was three or six months ago? 2. Am I following a plan to improve my family’s standard of living? 3. Does my family have an ample variety of stimulating activities outside the home? 4. Do I set an example of “a progressive,” a supporter of progress, for my children? C. Do I Think Progressively Toward Myself? 1. Can I honestly say I am a more valuable person today than three or six months ago? 2. Am I following an organized self-improvement program to increase my value to others? 3. Do I have forward-looking goals for at least five years in the future? 4. Am I a booster in every organization or group to which I belong? D. Do I Think Progressively Toward My Community? 1. Have I done anything in the past six months that I honestly feel has improved my community (neighborhood, churches, schools, etc.)? 2. Do I boost worthwhile community projects rather than object, criticize, or complain? 3. Have I ever taken the lead in bringing about some worthwhile improvement in my community? 4. Do I speak well of my neighbors and fellow citizens?
David J. Schwartz (The Magic of Thinking Big)
Our earth is but a small star in the great universe. Yet, of it we can make, if we choose, a planet unvexed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear, undivided by senseless distinctions of race, color or theory. Grant us that courage and foreseeing to begin this task today that our children and our children’s children may be proud of the name of Man…. Grant us the wisdom and the vision to comprehend the greatness of man’s spirit, that suffers and endures so hugely for a goal beyond his own brief span. “Grant us patience with the deluded and pity for the betrayed. And grant us the skill and valor that shall cleanse the world of oppression and the old base doctrine that the strong must eat the weak because they are strong. “Yet most of all grant us brotherhood, not only for this day but for all our years—a brotherhood not of words but of acts and deeds. We are all of us children of earth—grant us that simple knowledge. If our brothers are oppressed, then we are oppressed. If they hunger, we hunger. If their freedom is taken away, our freedom is not secure. “Grant us a common faith that man shall know bread and peace—that he shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, an equal opportunity and an equal chance to do his best, not only in our own lands but throughout the world. And in that faith let us march toward the clean world our hands can make. AMEN.” The phone rang. It was the local radio station, a CBS affiliate. New York wanted me to go on the air in an hour. Dave rushed me down to the station in his car.
William L. Shirer (End of a Berlin Diary)
don't think about what you lost realize what you've gained an opportunity to be loved instead of taken for granted
R.H. Sin (Rest in the Mourning)
Not everyone who wants a chance like that gets one—so it’s never to be taken lightly, when opportunities to help do come to you.
Melanie Gillman (Stage Dreams)
been eliminated, presumed that equal opportunity had taken over, and figured that since Blacks were still losing the race, the racial disparities and their continued losses must be their fault. Black people must be inferior, and equalizing policies—like eliminating or reducing White seniority, or instituting affirmative action policies—would be unjust and ineffective. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 managed to bring on racial progress and progression of racism at the same time.
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
Why is it so difficult to decide whether to avoid or to confront? Because at some level we know the truth: If we try to avoid the problem, we’ll feel taken advantage of, our feelings will fester, we’ll wonder why we don’t stick up for ourselves, and we’ll rob the other person of the opportunity to improve things.
Douglas Stone (Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most)
Whipple reported seeing as many as six hundred Indians in a single day in his camp. Few spoke Spanish; most communicated with the whites using hand gestures. Whipple noticed “several sad-looking fellows in the crowd” who were slaves taken in an expedition against the Cocopas, but he saw no white girls, and more significantly, was never approached by the Oatmans, who either remained in their village above the campgrounds or socialized with the others, passing as Mohaves. 15 Either scenario is telling. If they were hidden from the Whipple party, this omission from Olive’s biography is glaringly conspicuous: it was not just her first opportunity for escape during her captivity but also one of the more dramatic events of her Mohave life. And if she wasn’t hidden, she was in a situation where she roamed freely with Mohaves of all ages, but never sought help from any of the hundred-odd whites in the area. Three years into their captivity, with no knowledge that their brother had survived the Oatman massacre, seventeen-year-old Olive and twelve-year-old Mary Ann had crossed the threshold of assimilation.
Margot Mifflin (The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman (Women in the West))
Arkhip learned early in his career that a tape recorder was a crutch. Investigators depended on the recording and failed to listen to a witness’s answers. Without listening, there was no hearing; without hearing, one could not ask intelligent follow-up questions. Opportunities not taken were opportunities lost. Arkhip took notes and maximized his intuitive abilities. With years of practice, he could recall almost verbatim what a witness had said.
Robert Dugoni (The Silent Sisters (Charles Jenkins, #3))
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