Optional Person Quotes

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The only person that deserves a special place in your life is someone that never made you feel like you were an option in theirs.
Shannon L. Alder
If loneliness was a choice, what was the other option? To settle for second-best and try to be happy with that? And was that fair to the person you settled for?
Lisa Kleypas (Sugar Daddy (Travises, #1))
Keep in mind, Eragon, that no one thinks himself a villain, and few make decisions they think are wrong. A person may dislike his choice, but he will stand by it because, even in the worst circumstances, he believes that it was the best option available to him at the time.
Christopher Paolini
The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you. Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. "A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses." The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad. Note: Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends. Yes...do love, appreciate and be thankful for your family, for they will always be your family no matter what. Just know that they are human first and though they are family to you, they may be a friend to someone else and will fit somewhere in the criteria above. "In Prosperity Our Friends Know Us. In Adversity We Know Our friends." "Never make someone a priority when you are only an option for them." "If you are going to achieve excellence in big things,you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.."..
Colin Powell
Advice to my younger self: 1 Start where you are with what you have 2 Try not to hurt other people 3 Take more chances 4 If you fail, keep trying
Germany Kent
There are things we never tell anyone. We want to but we can’t. So we write them down. Or we paint them. Or we sing about them. It’s our only option. To remember. To attempt to discover the truth. Sometimes we do it to stay alive. These things, they live inside of us. They are the secrets we stash in our pockets and the weapons we carry like guns across our backs. And in the end we have to decide for ourselves when these things are worth fighting for, and when it’s time to throw in the towel. Sometimes a person has to die in order to live. Deep down, I know you know this. You just can’t seem to do anything about it. I guess it’s a sad fact of life that some of us move on and some of us inevitably stay behind. Only in this case I’m not sure which one of us is doing which. You were right about one thing though. It’s not fate. It’s a choice. And who knows, maybe we’ll meet again someday, somewhere up above all the noise. Until then, when you think of me, try and remember the good stuff. Try and remember the love.
Tiffanie DeBartolo (How to Kill a Rock Star)
A Manifesto for Introverts 1. There's a word for 'people who are in their heads too much': thinkers. 2. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation. 3. The next generation of quiet kids can and must be raised to know their own strengths. 4. Sometimes it helps to be a pretend extrovert. There will always be time to be quiet later. 5. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is key to finding work you love and work that matters. 6. One genuine new relationship is worth a fistful of business cards. 7. It's OK to cross the street to avoid making small talk. 8. 'Quiet leadership' is not an oxymoron. 9. Love is essential; gregariousness is optional. 10. 'In a gentle way, you can shake the world.' -Mahatma Gandhi
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
He’s the kind of man who if you gave him a gun and told him he had two choices—“shoot one of your dogs or shoot yourself in the head”—he’d put the gun to his ear and pull the trigger.” “Hell, Jules, you’d do the same thing if someone did that to you and your goddamned cats,” Blake said in amusement. “No,” Julian murmured with a shake of his head. “No, there’s a third option. People like us, we’re third-option people. We take the gun, stuff it in the person’s mouth, and eliminate the problem. Walk off into the sunset with our kitty.
Abigail Roux (Warrior's Cross)
Paul taught me a person committed to silence can suggest importance, strength. So long as they’re a man, I mean. It’s not an option when you’re a girl, not unless you want people to think you’re a bitch.
Courtney Summers (Sadie)
post-traumatic growth could take five different forms: finding personal strength, gaining appreciation, forming deeper relationships, discovering more meaning in life, and seeing new possibilities.
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
You deserve more of their attention than their phone does. You deserve quality time, not just time. You deserve effort, not just routines. You deserve to be treated as if you are a priority, not the last thing on their checklist. You are special and you deserve to be the only option. If that is too much to ask, you are asking it from the wrong person. If begging ever becomes your last approach to receive those things which ought to be freely given, it’s safe to say, you are out of your dang mind. Begging to be loved is suicide. It’s like going sky diving from the Eiffel Tower naked of proper equipment, and expecting gravity to overturn the outcome.
Pierre Alex Jeanty (To the Women I Once Loved)
It all boils down to this: A person has only two options in life, to do something or to do nothing.
Rodman Philbrick (The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg)
They [Nazi captors]had more liberty, more options to choose from in their environment; but he [Viktor Frankl] had more freedom, more internal power to exercise his options.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
Being a victim is supposed to set you free; it acquits you of any agency, any sense of responsibility to the person who did you harm. It's not your fault, they say. Leave him, they say. Nobody ever tells you what to do if leaving isn't an option. They just call you stupid. A dumb bitch. Sympathy is only meted out if you follow all of society's rules for how a victim is supposed to behave.
Nenia Campbell (Cease and Desist (The IMA, #4))
People never know what they are capable of until all other options run out.
Lance Conrad (The Price of Loyalty (The Historian Tales, #3))
She is exhausting to everyone. She would take a break from herself, too, but she doesn't have that option.
Lauren Groff (Florida)
In his mercy, He sent the storm itself to make us seek help. And then knowing that we’re likely to get the wrong answer, He gives us a multiple choice exam with only one option to choose from: the correct answer. The hardship itself is ease. By taking away all other hand-holds, all other multiple choice options, He has made the test simple. It’s never easy to stand when the storm hits. And that’s exactly the point. By sending the wind, He brings us to our knees: the perfect position to pray
Yasmin Mogahed (Reclaim Your Heart: Personal Insights on Breaking Free from Life's Shackles)
We plant the seeds of resilience in the ways we process negative events. After spending decades studying how people deal with setbacks, psychologist Martin Seligman found that three P’s can stunt recovery: (1) personalization—the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness—the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence—the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever. The three P’s play like the flip side of the pop song “Everything Is Awesome”—“everything is awful.” The loop in your head repeats, “It’s my fault this is awful. My whole life is awful. And it’s always going to be awful.” Hundreds
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
No, Julian murmured with a shake of his head. No, there's a third option. People like us, we're third option people. We take the gun, stuff it in the person's mouth, and eliminate the problem. Walk off into the sunset with our kitty.
Abigail Roux (Warrior's Cross)
The hardest part of letting go is the "uncertainty"--when you are afraid that the moment you let go of someone you will hate yourself when you find out how close you were to winning their affection. Every time you give yourself hope you steal away a part of your time, happiness and future. However, once in a while you wake up to this realization and you have to hold on tightly to this truth because your heart will tear away the foundation of your logic, by making excuses for why this person doesn't try as much as you. The truth is this: Real love is simple. We are the ones that make it complicated. A part of disconnecting is recognizing the difference between being desired and being valued. When someone loves you they will never keep you waiting, give their attention and affection away to others, allow you to continue hurting, or ignore what you have gone through for them. On the other hand, a person that desires you can't see your pain, only what they can get from you with minimal effort in return. They let you risk everything, while they guard their heart and reap the benefits of your feelings. We make so many excuses for the people we fall in love with and they make up even more to remain one foot in the door. However, the truth is God didn't create you to be treated as an option or to be disrespected repeatedly. He wants you to close the door. If someone loves you and wants to be in your life no obstacle will keep them from you. Remember, you are royalty, not a beggar.
Shannon L. Alder
A person may dislike his choice, but he will stand by it because, even in the worst circumstances, he believes that it was the best option available to him at the time.
Christopher Paolini (Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle, #2))
He said, “I know somebody you could kiss.” “Who?” She realized his eyes were amused. “Oh, wait.” He shrugged. He was maybe the only person Blue knew who could preserve the integrity of a shrug while lying down. “It’s not like you’re going to kill me. I mean, if you were curious.” She hadn’t thought she was curious. It hadn’t been an option, after all. Not being able to kiss someone was a lot like being poor. She tried not to dwell on the things she couldn’t have. But now— “Okay,” she said. “What?” “I said okay.” He blushed. Or rather, because he was dead, he became normal colored. “Uh.” He propped himself on an elbow. “Well.” She unburied her face from the pillow. “Just, like—” He leaned toward her. Blue felt a thrill for a half a second. No, more like a quarter second. Because after that she felt the too-firm pucker of his tense lips. His mouth mashed her lips until it met teeth. The entire thing was at once slimy and ticklish and hilarious. They both gasped an embarrassed laugh. Noah said, “Bah!” Blue considered wiping her mouth, but felt that would be rude. It was all fairly underwhelming. She said, “Well.” “Wait,” Noah replied, “waitwaitwait.” He pulled one of Blue’s hairs out of his mouth. “I wasn’t ready.” He shook out his hands as if Blue’s lips were a sporting event and cramping was a very real possibility. “Go,” Blue said. This time they only got within a breath of each other’s lips when they both began to laugh. She closed the distance and was rewarded with another kiss that felt a lot like kissing a dishwasher. “I’m doing something wrong?” she suggested. “Sometimes it’s better with tongue,” he replied dubiously. They regarded each other. Blue squinted, “Are you sure you’ve done this before?” “Hey!” he protested. “It’s weird for me, ‘cause it’s you.” “Well, it’s weird for me because it’s you.” “We can stop.” “Maybe we should.” Noah pushed himself up farther on his elbow and gazed at the ceiling vaguely. Finally, he dropped his eyes back to her. “You’ve seen, like, movies. Of kisses, right? Your lips need to be, like, wanting to be kissed.” Blue touched her mouth. “What are they doing now?” “Like, bracing themselves.” She pursed and unpursed her lips. She saw his point. “So imagine one of those,” Noah suggested. She sighed and sifted through her memories until she found one that would do. It wasn’t a movie kiss, however. It was the kiss the dreaming tree had showed her in Cabeswater. Her first and only kiss with Gansey, right before he died. She thought about his nice mouth when he smiled. About his pleasant eyes when he laughed. She closed her eyes. Placing an elbow on the other side of her head, Noah leaned close and kissed her once more. This time, it was more of a thought than a feeling, a soft heat that began at her mouth and unfurled through the rest of her. One of his cold hands slid behind her neck and he kissed her again, lips parted. It was not just a touch, an action. It was a simplification of both of them: They were no longer Noah Czerny and Blue Sargent. They were now just him and her. Not even that. They were only the time that they held between them.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
The WWII generation shares so many common values: duty, honor, country, personal responsibility and the marriage vow " For better or for worse--it was the last generation in which, broadly speaking, marriage was a commitment and divorce was not an option
Tom Brokaw
Of course, I couldn’t explain this vector calculus concept and so, slightly embarrassed in front of Rahul and the other Bengali students, I told Sanjit just that; he had cornered me, and honesty emerged as my only option. Simultaneous to my humiliating disclosure of the truth, Sanjit gradually inched toward where I was sitting. After hearing my reply, he slowly returned to his teacher stool and whiteboard, his back turned away from the class, the suspense building and his words impending, before turning around and breaking into speech, “Don’t trust your interior monologue. If you are asked something and you know it, then express or demonstrate it. Don’t just nod or say yes because then you are lying to yourself. Any ass can say yes, but not all asses can express it.” I modified my first impression: Sanjit was full of explicit aphorisms. Humbled, those words encouragingly rang between my ears for quite some time.
Colin Phelan (The Local School)
When companies fail, it’s usually for reasons that almost everyone knows but almost no one has voiced. When someone isn’t making good decisions, few have the guts to tell that person, especially if that person is the boss. One
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
A goal is a specific objective that you either achieve or don't sometime in the future. A system is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of happiness in the long run. If you do something every day, its a system. If you're waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it's a goal. If you achieve your goal, you celebrate and feel terrific, but only until you realize you just lost the thing that gave you purpose and direction. Your options are to feel empty and useless, perhaps enjoying the spoils of your success until they bore you, or set new goals and reenter the cycle of permanent presuccess failure. All I'm suggesting is that thinking of goals and systems as very different concepts has power. Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous presuccess failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good everytime they apply their system. That's a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.
Scott Adams (How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life)
The options available to a creative person are ever limited by the choices offered by a philosopher.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier)
Most of us become so rigidly fixed in the ruts carved out by genetic programming and social conditioning that we ignore the options of choosing any other course of action. Living exclusively by genetic and social instructions is fine as long as everything goes well. But the moment biological or social goals are frustrated- which in the long run is inevitable - a person must formulate new goals, and create a new flow activity for himself, or else he will always waste his energies in inner turmoil.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
Even when he was barely conscious, his strong personality came through. At one point the pulmonologist tried to put a mask over his face when he was sedated. Jobs ripped it off and mumbled that he hated the design and refused to wear it. He ordered them to bring five different options and he would pick the one he liked.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Often, when you’re out in the single world meeting people, you meet someone you like, get their number, and put it right in your phone, transforming them into an ‘option’ that lives in your device. Sometimes you and that option engage in some phone-based interaction and you meet up in person. But sometimes that exchange never happens. That potentially cool, exciting person dies there, buried in your phone.
Aziz Ansari (Modern Romance)
You're not a priority if you're an option, you are a percentage. A percentage of that other person's time and effort. The size of the pie never changes, the slices do.
Tyconis D. Allison Ty
Focus on Options, not issues, and you’ll be able to handle any situation life throws at you.
Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business)
My mother wasn't a fool," I say. "She just understood something you didn't. That it's not sacrifice if it's someone else's life you're giving away, it's just evil." I back up another step and say, "She taught me all about real sacrifice. That it should be done from love, not misplaced disgust for another person's genetics. That it should be done from necessity, not without exhausting all other options. That it should be done for people who need your strength because they don't have enough of their own. ...
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Options are often an overlooked form of value—flexibility is one of the Three Universal Currencies (discussed later). Find a way to give people more flexibility, and you may discover a viable business model.
Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business)
Strength comes from giving yourself to another. It comes from deep in your heart, the very thing you share with that other person. It comes from knowing that fear isn’t an option where a future is so certain.
Emma Hart (Call Series Box Set (Call, #1-2.5))
When success is your only option, positivity has to be your only choice.
Germany Kent
Running is the easiest solution to every problem. The capability of choosing this option on the basis of problem defines your personality.
David Barik
Empowered Women 101: If they made you an option you will always be an option vs. the person they really wanted. Don't ever settle for someone that makes you go through hell only to stay with you because they don't have the confidence to go get what they really want. Fear will always follow your rules when they know they don't have options that make them stay comfortable. You won't grow real love in this type of a relationship. You will water weeds and call it a garden.
Shannon L. Alder
You deserve quality time, not just time. You deserve effort, not just routines. You deserve to be treated as if you are a priority, not the last thing on their checklist. You are special and you deserve to be the only option. If that is too much to ask, you are asking it from the wrong person.
Pierre Alex Jeanty (To the Women I Once Loved)
Professing not to care is a primordial defense mechanism. Whenever a person finds oneself mired in failure and despondency, rebelling is a viable option to preserve false personal pride.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is not an “extra” that a person might grow into after he comes to faith. It is not simply a way to “enhance” your walk with the Lord. Until your heart has hit upon this pursuit, your “faith” cannot please God. It is not saving faith. Saving faith is the confidence that if you sell all you have and forsake all sinful pleasures, the hidden treasure of holy joy will satisfy your deepest desires. Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction not only that Christ is reliable, but also that He is desirable. It is the confidence that He will come through with His promises and that what He promises is more to be desired than all the world.
John Piper (Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist)
There were only two options—something was wrong with everyone else, or something was wrong with me. Because either they were tricking themselves into thinking there was a tomorrow together, or I was the only person who was leaving.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
Sometimes all you need is one person with a guilty conscience to come forward and do the right thing. Often, the miracle you need resides inside of yourself, when you humbly ask for forgiveness.
Shannon L. Alder
It’s true that if your religion failed to deliver a miracle, that a human sacrifice would certainly follow." "Ah...quite. You are a man of acute insight." "That’s not insight. That’s a personal guarantee.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Borders of Infinity (Vorkosigan Saga [Publication] #5.1-5.3))
In situations like this - when you meet somebody who isn't an ordinary human - people like me have two choices. One: to exhibit plain and obvious hostility towards that person; or two: to feel a strong affinity for that person. I always choose the latter option. I never hesitate to thank them just for existing; it's almost like it's my sworn duty.
Torii Nagomu (境界の彼方 [Kyoukai no Kanata] (Beyond the Boundary, #1))
There’s something uniquely valuable in everyone, and we’ll be much happier and better off if we invest the time and energy it takes to find it. But seriously, if the person doesn’t clip their toenails or wear clean socks, look elsewhere. There are plenty of options.
Aziz Ansari (Modern Romance: An Investigation)
Always take failure as an opinion; never as an option.
Johnnie Dent Jr.
These aren’t personal questions. They are human questions,
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
You're going to find the people that make it work NEVER quit, quitting is NOT an option.
Bob Proctor
Boredom or discontent is useful to me when I acknowledge it and see clearly my assumption that there's something else I would rather be doing. In this way boredom can act as an invitation to freedom by opening me to new options and thoughts. For example, if I can't change the activity, can I look at it more honestly?
Hugh Prather (Notes to Myself: My Struggle to Become a Person)
Sax had always been so uninterested in [power and gain] that it was hard for him to understand why anyone else would be. What was personal gain but the freedom to do what you wanted to do? And what was power but the freedom to do what you wanted to do? And once you had that freedom, any more wealth or power actually began to restrict one's options, and reduce one's freedom. One became a servant of one's wealth or power, constrained to spend all one's time protecting it.
Kim Stanley Robinson (Green Mars (Mars Trilogy, #2))
And the person who says that the only way to please them is to restrict options for others is, if you ask me, the one who deserves it least. And that’s my opinion, expressed as politely as possible.
David Gaider
Imagine yourself near the end of your life. You are relaxing in a rocking chair reflecting on the decision you presently want to make. As the older, wiser you thinks about the outcome of your choice, ask yourself three simple questions. 1. Did it cause harm? 2. Did it bring about good? 3. How did it shape the person I became? The Rocking Chair Test helps you to take a long view of your options. After imagining your answers to those questions, you should know better which way to go.
Steve Goodier
I believe that if one person is watching a huge calamity, let’s say a conflagration, a fire, there are always three principle options. 1. Run away, as far away and as fast as you can and let those who cannot run burn. 2. Write a very angry letter to the editor of your paper demanding that the responsible people be removed from office with disgrace. Or, for that matter, launch a demonstration. 3. Bring a bucket of water and throw it on the fire, and if you don’t have a bucket, bring a glass, and if you don’t have a glass, use a teaspoon, everyone has a teaspoon. And yes, I know a teaspoon is little and the fire is huge but there are millions of us and each one of us has a teaspoon. Now I would like to establish the Order of the Teaspoon. People who share my attitude, not the run away attitude, or the letter attitude, but the teaspoon attitude – I would like them to walk around wearing a little teaspoon on the lapel of their jackets, so that we know that we are in the same movement, in the same brotherhood, in the same order, The Order of the Teaspoon.
Amos Oz
with parenting there’s a long game and a short game. The aim of the short game is to make your children bearable to live with. Easy to transport. Well behaved in public places. In other words, to make your own life easier. And, yes, you can achieve that with punishments, with discipline, with a clip here and there. But the aim of the long game is to produce a good human being. And personally, I don’t believe that you need to play the short game in order to win the long game. I genuinely believe you can skip it. That it’s optional.
Lisa Jewell (The Girls in the Garden)
Every organized religion holds that certain behaviors, rituals, personalities, places, and/or books are sacred. These organized teachings are proper in their own place, but they are mere options for the one infused with devotion. To such a one, God is direct and spontaneous, providing him with an immediate source of guidance and direction. His relationship with God is not mediated through anyone or anything. (104)
Prem Prakash (The Yoga of Spiritual Devotion A Modern Translation of the Narada Bhakti Sutras (Transformational Book Circle))
The only option for a creative person was constant motion—a lifetime of busy whirligigging in a generally forward direction, until you couldn’t do it any longer.
Meg Wolitzer (The Interestings)
So you have two basic options: deny the unpredictability of life and create your own false sense of security, or accept the vagaries of life and learn to live with them.
Steve Pavlina (Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth)
Police intentionally murdering a mentally unstable person will always be unacceptable when there are numerous other non-lethal options available to them.
Steven Magee
You need a personal definition of success. Looking around you to see if you’re succeeding is no longer a realistic option.
Eric Barker (Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong)
She was a forgive-and-forget kind of person. I, on the other hand, always believed there was another option on the table. Forgive, forget, or fucking never let it go.
Jeneva Rose (One of Us Is Dead)
no one thinks of himself as a villain, and few make decisions they think are wrong. A person may dislike his choice, but he will stand by it because, even in the worst circumstances, he believes that it was the best option available to him at the time.
Christopher Paolini (Inheritance Cycle Omnibus: Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle))
When you redefine something, you stretch your perception and open your mind to new ideas. You discover new meanings and get to see your previous style, behaviors, or beliefs from an expanded vantage point. Consider new options which would make your life more meaningful, bring more fulfilment, and encourage you to shine.
Susan C. Young
We would take our chances, and if we failed, there would be no more options. I would murder the only person I’d ever loved and who had ever loved me. I’d dive back into battle wearing his bones.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
I had wanted Melissa to take an interest in me and I was't even sure I liked her. I didn't have the option not to take her seriously, because she had published a book, which proved that lots of other people took her seriously even if I didn't. At twenty-one, I had no achievements or possessions that proved I was a serious person.
Sally Rooney (Conversations with Friends)
There are two occasions when complaining is least appreciated in the world: (1) Whenever you tell someone else that you are tired. (2) Whenever you tell someone else that you don’t feel well. If you are tired, you can exercise several options, but complaining to even one poor soul, let alone a loved one, is abusing that person. And it won’t make you less tired. The same kind of logic applies to your “not feeling well.
Wayne W. Dyer (Your Erroneous Zones)
If you are in a big city or on an online dating site, you are flooded with options. Seeing all these options, like the people in the job example, are we now comparing our potential partners not to other potential partners but rather to an idealized person whom no one could measure up to?
Aziz Ansari (Modern Romance: An Investigation)
Enforcing silence is easy. All you have to do is make it feel like the safest option. You can, for example, make speaking as unpleasant as possible, by creating an anonymous social media account to flood women with virulent personal criticism, sexual harassment, and threats. You can talk over women, or talk down to them, until they begin to doubt that they have anything worthwhile to say. You can encourage men's speech, and ignore women's, so that women will get the message that they are taking up too much room, and contributing too little value. You can nitpick a woman's actual voice—the way she writes, her grammar, her tone, her register, her accent—until she honestly believes she's bad at talking, and spends more time trying to sound 'better' than thinking about what she wants to say. And if a woman somehow makes it past all this, you can humiliate her anyway.
Jude Ellison S. Doyle (Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear... and Why)
Your personal thoughts carry so much power. It’s important to be mindful of what you spend your time thinking about. Make sure that your thoughts aren’t defeating you or your purpose in life. Fear, doubt, and a negative attitude will continually hold you back. Your journey may be a bumpy one, but I encourage you to never give up! Giving up only does one thing: It keeps you from ever knowing what could have been. Don’t allow your uncertain attitude to be the reason why you don’t succeed. It’s a very sad thing to live your life with regrets. So therefore, giving up is NOT an option for you. Don’t even entertain those thoughts. KEEP MOVING FORWARD, no matter what!
Stephanie Lahart
Now I think of breaking up as moving. Imagine you have your own house, full of your own boxes. A person you meet has his own house, full of his own boxes. When you have a relationship with that person, you shack up in a third house, into which you can each put any number of your boxes. You shouldn't move them all in at once, or else you will seem too eager. And don't dawdle too much either, or you will seem skittish about commitment. You kind of aim to match each other's pace, so that the power balance feels fair and equal. Happy marriage--at least ideally--would be the situation in which both parties enthusiastically choose to keep all of their boxes in their shared house. Conversely, when someone starts to doubt the relationship, he might move a box or two back into his own house, just in case. While he's weighing his options, he may transport a few more boxes to the safety of his own home. When he's ready to take back his final few boxes, he breaks up with you. If you were too infatuated to see it coming, there you are, with all of your boxes in the shared house, and none in the security of your own home.
Tyler Oakley (Binge)
Dear Daniel, How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"? Lily Charlotte, NC Dear Lily, The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this. And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does." You think about them all the time. Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall. Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain. Love, Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler
When animals make a stupid mistake, you laugh at them. A cat misjudges a leap. A dog looks overly quizzical about a simple object. These are funny things. But when a person doesn’t understand something, if they miscalculate and hit the brakes too late, blame is assigned. They are stupid. They are wrong. Teachers and cops are there to sort it out, with a trail of paperwork to illustrate the stupidity. The faults. The evidence and incidents of these things. We have entire systems in place to help decide who is what. Sometimes the systems don’t work. Families spend their weekend afternoons at animal shelters, even when they’re not looking for a pet. They come to see the unwanted and unloved. The cats and dogs who don’t understand why they are these things. They are petted and combed, walked and fed, cooed over and kissed. Then they go back in their cages and sometimes tears are shed. Fuzzy faces peering through bars can be unbearable for many. Change the face to a human one and the reaction changes. The reason why is because people should know better. But our logic is skewed in this respect. A dog that bites is a dead dog. First day at the shelter and I already saw one put to sleep, which in itself is a misleading phrase. Sleep implies that you have the option of waking up. Once their bodies pass unconsciousness to something deeper where systems start to fail, they revolt a little bit, put up a fight on a molecular level. They kick. They cry. They don’t want to go. And this happens because their jaws closed over a human hand, ever so briefly. Maybe even just the once. But people, they get chances. They get the benefit of the doubt. Even though they have the higher logic functioning and they knew when they did it THEY KNEW it was a bad thing.
Mindy McGinnis (The Female of the Species)
What do you want to be, free or happy? How about if they really are mutually exclusive options? What is freedom anyway? How does humanity govern itself when each person can have anything they want? How does humanity govern itself when nothing is natural?
Jo Walton (What Makes This Book So Great)
Your Fight With Someone Over An Issue Doesn't Change That Person...It Only Gets You Burnt Out...People Change When They Make-up Their Minds To Change! Never Forget That...
Jaachynma N.E. Agu (My Heritage)
Words are directed to your personalities namely; - God, your hearers, devil and yourself.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu (The Prince and the Pauper)
Everyone that enters through Him is secured and the person shall find pastures for himself. Jesus really cares!
Jaachynma N.E. Agu (The Prince and the Pauper)
Wealth gives you options, and your decisions about what to do with your options say much about your character.
Beau Sides (Unseen Tears: The Challenges of Orphans and Orphanages in China)
Vagabonding is about using the prosperity and possibility of the information age to increase your personal options instead of your personal possessions.
Rolf Potts (Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel)
It doesn't really matter what a person decides to do, or how radically a person plays with gender. What matters, I think, is how aware a person is of the options.
Kate Bornstein (Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us)
On the road to liberation, learn to press Next. Even if there is no such an option.
Talismanist Giebra (Talismanist: Fragments of the Ancient Fire. Philosophy of Fragmentism Series.)
Part of what makes a revolution such a fascinating subject to study is the arrival of the moment when neutrality is no longer an option. Like it or not, a person has to choose.
Nathaniel Philbrick (Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution)
Steve Jobs chafed at not being in control, and he sometimes hallucinated or became angry. Even when he was barely conscious, his strong personality came through. At one point the pulmonologist tried to put a mask over his face when he was deeply sedated. Jobs ripped it off and mumbled that he hated the design and refused to wear it. Though barely able to speak, he ordered them to bring five different options for the mask and he would pick a design he liked.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Something horrible may have happened to you, but you always have a choice in how you respond to it. You have the “Why does bad stuff always happen to me? I’m never going to find happiness” option, and the “This sucks but I’m going to learn and evolve from it, examine what role I played in it, and ultimately it will help me become the person I’m supposed to be” option.
Jillian Michaels (Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life)
From early childhood, I had been told how smart I was, and throughout my life various people had tried so hard to teach me everything there was to know. But it occurred to me then how negligent they had been in teaching me how to love. I had two example of love in life - my mother's, absolute and over- burdened, the trial of love; and my father's, the cold and ambitious pursuit of meaning in love, the desire to turn it into a product with a worth that could be measured. Of the two options, I had skewed towards the former, disappointed with my father's method, and so I had bestowed a sort of unconditional love on Carly without really understanding what it meant. I wished that just one person had taught me a way to love her less. If I had loved her less, maybe I wouldn't have hated her so much. And maybe then I could have forgiven her.
Anna Jarzab (All Unquiet Things)
Most of the world’s problems are caused by people who made education compulsory, but personal development optional. Because of them, we have many intelligent people who lack good characters.
Israelmore Ayivor (Leaders' Frontpage: Leadership Insights from 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Thoughts)
A "breakdown" is when you've exhausted every option and have no choice but to accept the fact that you are powerless to create the outcome you want. A "breakthrough" has the same definition.
Paul Colaianni
The goodness of a person is normally judged based upon how they act towards those whom they consider to be less fortunate than themselves. This has become the standard for measuring the goodness of a person. But this is erroneous. It is in fact very easy to be good to those whom you consider to be less fortunate than yourself. You know what's difficult? Being good to those you envy! That is what's difficult to do! People believe themselves to practice equality because they are good to those who are lesser than they are, but this is not equality if they do not show the same amount of goodness to the people who happen to be more than they are. I always look at how a person treats those who are more than they are, and that is how I determine the goodness in a person. Because the other option is just too easy. The other option comes with all benefit and no loss.
C. JoyBell C.
What if I didn’t want to have babies because I loved my job too much to compromise it, or because serious travel makes me feel in relation to the world in an utterly essential way? What if I’ve always liked the looks of my own life much better than those of the ones I saw around me? What if, given the option, I would prefer to accept an assignment to go trekking for a month in the kingdom of Bhutan than spend that same month folding onesies? What if I simply like dogs a whole lot better than babies? What if I have become sure that personal freedom is the thing I hold most dear?
Pam Houston (Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on The Decision Not To Have Kids)
You deserve quality time, not just time. You deserve effort, not just routines. You deserve to be treated as if you are a priority, not the last thing on their checklist. You are special and you deserve to be the only option. If that is too much to ask, you are asking it from the wrong person. If begging ever becomes your last approach to receive those things which ought to be freely given, it’s safe to say, you are out of your dang mind. Begging to be loved is suicide. It’s like going sky diving from the Eiffel Tower naked of proper equipment, and expecting gravity to overturn the outcome.
Pierre Alex Jeanty (To the Women I Once Loved)
At this point, a faerie woman came twirling through. She had leaves in her updo and was swathed in ribbons and ivy and not much else. She tripped on a trailing line of ivy and Alec caught her. “Good reflexes!” she said brightly. “Also great arms. Would you be interested in a night of tumultuous forbidden passion, with an option to extend to seven years?” “Um, I am gay,” Alec said. He was not used to saying that casually, to any random person. It was strange to say it, and feel both relief and a shadow of his old fear, twined together. Of course, the declaration might not mean much to faeries. The faerie woman accepted it with a shrug, then looked over at Raphael and lit up. Something about the leather jacket or the scowl seemed to appeal to her strongly. “How about you, Vampire Without a Cause?” “I’m not gay,” said Raphael. “I’m not straight. I’m not interested.” “Your sexuality is ‘not interested’?” Alec asked curiously. Raphael said, “That’s right.” The faerie thought for a moment, then ventured, “I can also assume the appearance of a tree!” “I didn’t say, ‘not interested unless you’re a tree.’ ” “Wait,” said the faerie suddenly. “I recognize you. You’re Raphael Santiago! I’ve heard of you.” Raphael made a gesture of dismissal. “Have you heard I like it when people go away?” “You were one of the heroes in the Downworlder victory over Valentine.” “He was one of the heroes of the Downworlder and Shadowhunter alliance, which led to the victory,” Alec said. Raphael stopped looking annoyed and began to look nastily amused. “Oh, did the Shadowhunters help a little?” he asked. “You were there!” said Alec. “Can I have your autograph, Raphael?” asked the faerie lady. She produced a large, shiny green leaf and a quill. Raphael wrote LEAVE ME ALONE on the leaf. “I’ll cherish it,” said the faerie. She ran away, clutching the leaf to her bosom. “Don’t,” Raphael yelled after her.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
The overweight person diets not to punish him- or herself for being heavy but to become healthier. The athlete works out not because he feels guilty for sitting around watching TV but to train his body for competition. So it is with monks and their asceticism—and so it must be with us lay Christians.
Rod Dreher (The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation)
Everywhere, at each moment, you have the option: • to accept this event with humility • to treat this person as he should be treated • to approach this thought with care, so that nothing irrational creeps in.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
I know he's not stupid," Julian whispered in a stricken voice. "He's not...he's not one of us, just like you said. he's the kind of man who if you gave him a gun and two choices--shoot one of your dogs or shoot yourself in the head--he'd put the gun to his ear and pull the trigger." "Hell, Jules, you'd do the same thing if someone did that to your and your goddamned cats," Blake said in amusement. "No," Julian murmured with a shake of his head. "No there's a third option. People like us, we're third-option people. We take the gun, stuff it in the person's mouth, and eliminate the problem. Walk off into the sunset with our kitty.
Abigail Roux (Warrior's Cross)
Extreme anxiety, fear, exhaustion, and lack of other viable options are what cause a person to surrender everything. Desperation is also the raw material of drastic change. Crisis spurs critical, dramatic shifts in a person’s psyche. Only a person who is willing to lose everything will transform himself or herself. Only by moving outside our comfort zone of the past – letting go of a former being – will a person expand their state of conscious awareness. Now that I am desperate, I am dangerous. I am also ripe for transformation.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Insecurity can be solved the hard way or the easy way—and by giving people the easy option, dogmatic tribes remove the pressure to do the hard work of evolving into a more independent person with a more internally-defined identity.
Tim Urban (The Elon Musk Blog Series: Wait But Why)
Look. I'm your expert consultant for a rather pathetic monetary wage, and under that agreement I have the option of selecting a technical assistant. He's mine." She blew out a breath, paced to the window. Paced back. "Not just yours. It makes him mine, too. I don't know how to deal with a teenaged type person." "Ah, well, I'd say you'd deal with him as you deal with everyone else. You order him around, and if he argues or doesn't jump quickly enough you freeze his blood with one of those vicious looks you're so good at and verbally abuse him. It always works so well for you." "You think so?" "There, see." He cupped her chin. "There it is now. I can actually feel my blood running cold.
J.D. Robb (Purity in Death (In Death, #15))
Everywhere, at each moment, you have the option: to accept this event with humility [will]; to treat this person as he should be treated [action]; to approach this thought with care, so that nothing irrational creeps in [perception].
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
After spending decades studying how people deal with setbacks, psychologist Martin Seligman found that three P's can stunt recovery: (1) personalization - the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness - the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence - the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever.
Adam Grant (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
Out in the real world, in which actual human beings live, it’s hard to come up with a more stupid example than 'ditching the daily latte'. Want to get your finances in order? Great! All you have to do is wean yourself off an addictive, stimulatory drug, which you’ve been using all your adult life, will cause withdrawal symptoms and impair your performance when you try to quit, is universally available, woven into the very fabric of social life, is the only addiction that carries no stigma whatsoever, and helped bring about the Enlightenment. Oh, and it’s also really frickin’ delicious.
Richard Meadows (Optionality: How to Survive and Thrive in a Volatile World)
Individualism says, You have to love yourself first before you can love others. But the second-mountain ethos says, You have to be loved first so you can understand love, and you have to see yourself actively loving others so that you know you are worthy of love. On the first mountain, a person makes individual choices and keeps their options open. The second mountain is a vale of promise making. It is about making commitments, tying oneself down, and giving oneself away.
David Brooks (The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life)
Dr. Deveaux stopped and looked at me hard. He leaned in and whispered, 'The rest is all bullshit, Miss Drake. It's as simple as that. Your purpose here in life is to discern the real thing from the bullshit, and then to choose the non-bullshit. Think of the opportunity that God has given you to study as the means by which to attain your own personal bullshit detector. Sometimes that will be particularly difficult, because those who proclaim to know the truth, well intentioned or not, are spewing the most bullshit. But you will know when you have been properly ravished. And then you'll see, how the entire world is eyeball deep in it and that we choose it, and that we choose it every day. But the good news is that, although we struggle with it, there is a way out. Yes, there is a very worthy antidote and option to all the bullshit.
Carolyn Weber (Surprised by Oxford)
three P’s can stunt recovery: (1) personalization—the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness—the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence—the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever.
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
I fantasize about killing people all the time. I think about how easy it would be. What if I just started showing up to Kitan rallies with an I-beam? Knock down the capitol building, force them to pass Universal Health Care, stuff aevery Ayn Rand fanatic into a big mason jar and hurl them into the sun. I could do it, you know. I really could. And then there's these people with their fucking sneers going 'You're a monster! You're a thug! You kill people!' No fucking shit I kill people!! I put holes in mountains! I break shit constantly without even trying! I saved the world on no less than seven fucking occasions, and guess what, super-accuracy is not one of my anomalies! Am I supposed to be impressed that you've never killed anybody? What a bold moral choice from a person who's terrified of violence and scared shitless of going to jail! It's like, have you ever had the option of murdering a bunch of people!? Okay, then why the fuck am I listening to your opinion on the matter!? Every day I don't kill a thousand fucking people, they should throw me a god-damned tickertape parade!
Brennan Lee Mulligan (Strong Female Protagonist: Book One)
That’s the thing about deciding that we want to make a difference for other – our work becomes incredibly personal. Ordinary is no longer an option because we are bringing our own history and know-how to the work itself. It reflects a piece of us.
David Sturt (Great Work: How to Make a Difference People Love)
Two hours later he was ready to kill her. Even his outraged mind, however, recognized that murder was not a viable option, and so he contented himself with devising various plans to make her suffer. Torture was probably too trite, he decided, and he didn't have the stomach to use it on a female. Although ... He looked over at the person in the baggy breeches. She appeared to be smiling as she lugged the stones. She was no ordinary female. He shook his head. There were other ways to make her miserable. A snake in her bed perhaps? No, the blasted woman probably liked snakes. A spider? Didn't everyone hate spiders?
Julia Quinn (Minx (The Splendid Trilogy, #3))
Life never ceases to throw us googlies. It is how we handle them that makes all the difference. Sometimes you have to take control of it and, at other times, it is best to let go. And the wisest of persons is the one who knows which option to choose.
Preeti Shenoy (The One You Cannot Have)
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, “It’s too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings.” And then someone else on board says something like, “But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d’oeuvres.” At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who’d been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can’t get to him soon enough, or they don’t even try, and the yacht’s speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
KEYS TO WARFARE The world is full of people looking for a secret formula for success and power. They do not want to think on their own; they just want a recipe to follow. They are attracted to the idea of strategy for that very reason. In their minds strategy is a series of steps to be followed toward a goal. They want these steps spelled out for them by an expert or a guru. Believing in the power of imitation, they want to know exactly what some great person has done before. Their maneuvers in life are as mechanical as their thinking. To separate yourself from such a crowd, you need to get rid of a common misconception: the essence of strategy is not to carry out a brilliant plan that proceeds in steps; it is to put yourself in situations where you have more options than the enemy does. Instead of grasping at Option A as the single right answer, true strategy is positioning yourself to be able to do A, B, or C depending on the circumstances. That is strategic depth of thinking, as opposed to formulaic thinking.
Robert Greene (The 33 Strategies Of War (The Robert Greene Collection))
Insane asylum' - among the great narrative options, that'd be one step short of 'and then she woke up', right? Or is that what you're planning next episode as we push the tandem-story envelope? Cool nude-hairbrushing scene, by the way. I assume it's her butt that the pillow's caressing? She's a thoughtful one, isn't she? Shame about the hair knot. That could wreck a person's whole day. - Joel
Rebecca Sparrow (Joel and Cat Set the Story Straight)
If you think that the gospel is all about what we can do, that the practice of it is optional, and that conversion is simply something that anyone can choose at any time, then I'm concerned that you'll think of evangelism as nothing more than a sales job where the prospect is to be won over to sign on the dotted line by praying a prayer, followed by an assurance that he is the proud owner of salvation.
Mark Dever (The Gospel and Personal Evangelism)
Can you feel that in the air? That urgency? For there is an urgency There is no time to waste! Let the trumpet sound throughout the land! A clarion call for a new way of being. Head toward the light, and only the light. Destroy your options. Cross your personal Rubicon. Burn your ships. Ride your horse as it can go, then dismount and carry on. Forward! Never settle! Dregs settle. Lead! Lead! And never follow again!
Zan Perrion (The Alabaster Girl)
When someone becomes hostile, if you respond by viewing the argument as a war, you can either attack or retreat. If instead you treat it as a dance, you have another option—you can sidestep. Having a conversation about the conversation shifts attention away from the substance of the disagreement and toward the process for having a dialogue. The more anger and hostility the other person expresses, the more curiosity and interest you show. When someone is losing control, your tranquility is a sign of strength. It takes the wind out of their emotional sails.
Adam M. Grant (Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know)
For them, the last option was to have brain surgery, which involved removing parts of the skull and exposing the brain. (Since the brain has no pain sensors, a person can be conscious during this entire procedure, so Dr. Penfield used only a local anesthetic during the operation.)
Michio Kaku (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind)
Don't use proxies when you give tough feedbacks. Be direct! Rather than saying 'some people don't even know how to pick the right tie'. Pull aside the person who needs your feedback, and tell him/her in his/her face: 'Your tie doesn't match with the event', and offer some options.
Assegid Habtewold (The 9 Cardinal Building Blocks: For continued success in leadership)
This ritual brought us face-to-face with the reality of losing those we love. Letting go is a difficult skill to acquire, and yet we are offered no option but to practice. Every loss, personal or shared, prepares us for our own time of leaving. Letting go is not a passive state of acceptance but a recognition of the brevity of all things. This realization invites us to love fully now, in this moment, when what we love is here.
Francis Weller (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief)
George says that if you look at the person someone chooses to have "a relationship" with, you'll see what they think of themselves. So Harrison is what I think of myself. It's hardly a relationship, but nevertheless he is a choice. I examined all the options and chose the most likely to leave. No emotional investments. Never love for me—only obsession. Someone has to stand still for you to love them—my choices are always on the run.
Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist)
Authors, artists, and even philosophers are much better off having a very small number of fanatics behind them than a large number of people who appreciate their work. The number of persons who dislike the work don’t count—there is no such thing as the opposite of buying your book, or the equivalent of losing points in a soccer game, and this absence of negative domain for book sales provides the author with a measure of optionality.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder)
How could someone feel that being beaten does not justify leaving? Being struck and forced not to resist is a particularly damaging form of abuse because it trains out of the victim the instinctive reaction to protect the self. To override that most natural and central instinct, a person must come to believe that he or she is not worth protecting. Being beaten by a “loved one” sets up a conflict between two instincts that should never compete: the instinct to stay in a secure environment (the family) and the instinct to flee a dangerous environment. As if on a see-saw, the instinct to stay prevails in the absence of concrete options on the other side. Getting that lop-sided see-saw off the ground takes more energy than many victims have. No
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
1. Watch—What’s happening? What’s working and what’s not? 2. Ideate—What could you improve? What are your options? 3. Guess—Based on what you’ve learned so far, which of your ideas do you think will make the biggest impact? 4. Which?—Decide which change to make. 5. Act—Actually make the change. 6. Measure—What happened? Was the change positive or negative? Should you keep the change, or go back to how things were before this iteration? Iteration is a cycle—
Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business)
After dinner, I went upstairs and found Ren standing on the veranda again, looking at the sunset. I approached him shyly and stood behind him. “Hello, Ren.” He turned and openly studied my appearance. His gaze drifted ever so slowly down my body. The longer he looked, the wider his smile got. Eventually, his eyes worked their way back up to my bright red face. He sighed and bowed deeply. “Sundari. I was standing here thinking nothing could be more beautiful than this sunset tonight, but I was mistaken. You standing here in the setting sun with your hair and skin aglow is almost more than a man can…fully appreciate.” I tried to change the subject. “What does sundari mean?” “It means ‘most beautiful.’” I blushed again, which made him laugh. He took my hand, tucked it under his arm, and led me to the patio chairs. Just then, the sun dipped below the trees leaving its tangerine glow in the sky for just a few more moments. We sat again, but this time he sat next to me on the swinging patio seat and kept my hand in his. I ventured shyly, “I hope you don’t mind, but I explored your house today, including your room.” “I don’t mind. I’m sure you found my room the least interesting.” “Actually, I was curious about the note I found. Did you write it?” “A note? Ah, yes. I just scribbled a few notes to help me remember what Phet had said. It just says seek Durga’s prophecy, the Cave of Kanheri, Kelsey is Durga’s favored one, that sort of thing.” “Oh. I…also noticed a ribbon. Is it mine?” “Yes. If you’d like it back, you can take it.” “Why would you want it?” He shrugged, looking embarrassed. “I wanted a memento, a token from the girl who saved my life.” “A token? Like a fair maiden giving her handkerchief to a knight in shining armor?” He grinned. “Exactly.” I jested wryly, “Too bad you didn’t wait for Cathleen to get a little older. She’s going to be very pretty.” He frowned. “Cathleen from the circus?” He shook his head. “You were the chosen one, Kelsey. And if I had the option of choosing the girl to save me, I still would have picked you.” “Why?” “A number of reasons. I liked you. You are interesting. I enjoyed listening to your voice. I felt like you saw through the tiger skin to the person underneath. When you spoke, it felt like you were saying exactly the things I needed to hear. You’re smart. You like poetry, and you’re very pretty.” I laughed at his statement. Me, pretty? He can’t be serious. I was average in so many ways. I didn’t really concern myself with current makeup, hairstyles, or fashionable, but uncomfortable, clothes like other teenagers. My complexion was pale, and my eyes were so brown that they were almost black. By far, my best feature was my smile, which my parents paid dearly for and so did I-with three years of metal braces. Still, I was flattered. “Okay, Prince Charming, you can keep your memento.” I hesitated, and then said softly, “I wear those ribbons in memory of my mom. She used to brush out my hair and braid ribbons through it while we talked.” Ren smiled understandingly. “Then it means even more to me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
You need a personal definition of success. Looking around you to see if you’re succeeding is no longer a realistic option. Trying to be a relative success compared to others is dangerous. This means your level of effort and investment is determined by theirs, which keeps you running full speed all the time to keep up.
Eric Barker (Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong)
[L]iberals insist that children should be given the right to remain part of their particular community, but on condition that they are given a choice. But for, say, Amish children to really have a free choice of which way of life to choose, either their parents’ life or that of the “English,” they would have to be properly informed on all the options, educated in them, and the only way to do what would be to extract them from their embeddedness in the Amish community, in other words, to effectively render them “English.” This also clearly demonstrates the limitations of the standard liberal attitude towards Muslim women wearing a veil: it is deemed acceptable if it is their free choice and not an option imposed on them by their husbands or family. However, the moment a woman wears a veil as the result of her free individual choice, the meaning of her act changes completely: it is no longer a sign of her direct substantial belongingness to the Muslim community, but an expression of her idiosyncratic individuality, of her spiritual quest and her protest against the vulgarity of the commodification of sexuality, or else a political gesture of protest against the West. A choice is always a meta-choice, a choice of the modality of choice itself: it is one thing to wear a veil because of one’s immediate immersion in a tradition; it is quite another to refuse to wear a veil; and yet another to wear one not out of a sense of belonging, but as an ethico-political choice. This is why, in our secular societies based on “choice,” people who maintain a substantial religious belonging are in a subordinate position: even if they are allowed to practice their beliefs, these beliefs are “tolerated” as their idiosyncratic personal choice or opinion; they moment they present them publicly as what they really are for them, they are accused of “fundamentalism.” What this means is that the “subject of free choice” (in the Western “tolerant” multicultural sense) can only emerge as the result of an extremely violent process of being torn away from one’s particular lifeworld, of being cut off from one’s roots.
Slavoj Žižek (Living in the End Times)
We are all limited by the choices we make, and once we make even one of them, we become hard-wired to choose similar options. No wonder why these web search engines keep track of our search history. No wonder why every person gets a different search result for the same term. It’s because we all develop a taste, a proclivity. And these social media giants and search engines all know that, for we humans see only what we want to see. So why not give them what they are most likely to want?
Abhaidev (The World's Most Frustrated Man)
Self-compassion often coexists with remorse. It does not mean shirking responsibility for our past. It’s about making sure that we don’t beat ourselves up so badly that we damage our future. It helps us realize that doing a bad thing does not necessarily make us a bad person. Instead of thinking “if only I weren’t,” we can think “if only I hadn’t.” This is why confession in the Catholic religion begins with “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned,” not “Forgive me, Father, for I am a sinner.
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
In our hurry-up, multiple-option, online society, we can always leave someone or something we find difficult—a person, a place, a church, a friendship. There is always another option. But real community, long-term friendship, and marriage are precious gifts only to be kept by a commitment to remain in the circle of love they create.
Sally Clarkson (Girls' Club: Cultivating Lasting Friendship in a Lonely World)
But how was one to be an adult? Was couplehood truly the only appropriate option? (But then, a sole option was no option at all.) “Thousands of years of evolutionary and social development and this is our only choice?” he’d asked Harold when they were up in Truro this past summer, and Harold had laughed. “Look, Willem,” he said, “I think you’re doing just fine. I know I give you a hard time about settling down, and I agree with Malcolm’s dad that couplehood is wonderful, but all you really have to do is just be a good person, which you already are, and enjoy your life. You’re young. You have years and years to figure out what you want to do and how you want to live.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Time is the greatest weapon you have. Patiently keep in mind a long-term goal and neither person nor army can resist you. And charm is the best way of playing for time, of widening your options in any situation. Through charm you can seduce your enemy into backing off, giving you the psychological space to plot an effective counterstrategy.
Robert Greene (The Art of Seduction)
The only time you have is the where and when of right now. There will always be good times, bad times, hard times, and complete disasters. However, there is no other option but to be where you are, when you are. That is a universal truth for everyone. The important thing is how you respond, what you decide to do, and when you decide to do it.
Chris Murray (The Extremely Successful Salesman's Club)
They had come into her store, and this Nick McCall person seemed to think she should jump just because he said so. So instead, she held her ground. “You’re going to have to do better than that, Agent McCall. You sought me out in the middle of a blizzard, which means you want something from me. Without giving me more, you’re not going to get it.” He appeared to consider his options. Jordan got the distinct impression that one of those options involved throwing her over his shoulder and hauling her ass right out of the store. He seemed the type.
Julie James (A Lot like Love (FBI/US Attorney, #2))
This is something you learn when you have taken hundreds of tests: The person who wrote the test has selected one answer as truth. If you don’t choose that answer, you are marked as having chosen wrong. And yet, as the test taker, you still get to select which answer you believe is correct. It is your option, always, to see the answer differently from anyone else.
Arwen Elys Dayton (Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful)
It’s just this pain, this unbearable mental pain – often it’s your body too, and every part of you hurts. But you don’t really care about your body, it’s your mind. Every thought hurts like hell. Everything you see is awful, twisted, pointless. And the worst – the worst of it is yourself. You realize you are the most ghastly person in the world, the most hideous, inside and out. And you just want to escape, you just want to get rid of yourself, of your suffering, of the pain inside your head. You want to shut out the world and yourself, for ever. A-and death is the only option left because you’ve been through this time and time again, thought and thought about trying to change yourself, the way you think, the way you behave, the way you live. Yet it always comes back to this – the fact that you just d-don’t want to be alive—
Tabitha Suzuma (A Voice in the Distance (Flynn Laukonen, #2))
True choice requires that a person have the ability to choose an option and not be prevented from choosing it by any external force, meaning that a system tending too far toward either extreme will limit People’s opportunities. Also, both extremes can produce additional problems in practice. Aside from the fact that a lack of “freedom to” can lead to privation, suffering, and death for those who can’t provide for themselves, it can also lead to a de facto plutocracy. The extremely wealthy can come to wield disproportionate power, enabling them to avoid punishment for illegal practices or to change the law itself in ways that perpetuate their advantages at the cost of others, a charge often levied against the “robber baron” industrialists of the late nineteenth century. A lack of “freedom from,” on the other hand, can encourage people to do less work than they’re capable of since they know their needs will be met, and it may stifle innovation and entrepreneurship because people receive few or no additional material benefits for exerting additional effort. Moreover, a government must have extensive power over its people to implement such a system, and as can be seen in the actions of the majority of communist governments in the past, power corrupts.
Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
Many feel that the church (if it’s necessary at all) is primarily intended to serve our individual spiritual needs or to group us together with like-minded people—a kind of holy fraternity. If we believe that church is merely a voluntary society of people with shared values, then it is entirely optional. If the church helps you with your personal relationship with God, great; if not, I know a great brunch place that’s open on Sunday.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
What do you think people should say to someone who’s just lost a loved one? I don’t think there are many options.” Petra thought for a moment. “If you knew the person who died, I think you should share a memory, something you don’t think they’d know about. The wilder the better.” “And if you didn’t know the person who died?” “Then you should ask for a good memory that best describes him or her. Let the grieving person have a moment with that person again.
Loretta Nyhan (Digging In)
The first question we must address deals with optimism, the possibility of achieving our goal. Are we in a position where we can actually hope to effect change? Assuming we become convinced that there are reasons for optimism, we move to the next question. Are we cetain that we want change? The stories about EHMs, jackals, and suffering around the globe strike raw nerves, but now we demand absolute proof that our grievances justify the efforts change will demand. Third: Is there a unifying principle that will validate our efforts? We look to ascertain that we are not merely seeking to impose our moral, religious, or philosophical values on others but instead are intent on creating something of true and lasting universal benefit. And finally: What can we each do? You and I personally need to evaluate our talents and passions. What are our individual options and desires? How do they fit into the bigger picture?
John Perkins (The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals & the Truth about Global Corruption)
I don’t remember when I stopped noticing—stopped noticing every mirror, every window, every scale, every fast-food restaurant, every diet ad, every horrifying model. And I don’t remember when I stopped counting, or when I stopped caring what size my pants were, or when I started ordering what I wanted to eat and not what seemed “safe,” or when I could sit comfortably reading a book in my kitchen without noticing I was in my kitchen until I got hungry—or when I started just eating when I got hungry, instead of questioning it, obsessing about it, dithering and freaking out, as I’d done for nearly my whole life. I don’t remember exactly when recovery took hold, and went from being something I both fought and wanted, to being simply a way of life. A way of life that is, let me tell you, infinitely more peaceful, infinitely happier, and infinitely more free than life with an eating disorder. And I wouldn’t give up this life of freedom for the world. What I know is this: I chose recovery. It was a conscious decision, and not an easy one. That’s the common denominator among people I know who have recovered: they chose recovery, and they worked like hell for it, and they didn’t give up. Recovery isn’t easy, at first. It takes time. It takes more work, sometimes, than you think you’re willing to do. But it is worth every hard day, every tear, every terrified moment. It’s worth it, because the trade-off is this: you let go of your eating disorder, and you get back your life. There are a couple of things I had to keep in mind in early recovery. One was that I was going to recover, even though I didn’t feel “ready.” I realized I was never going to feel ready—I was just going to jump in and do it, ready or not, and I am deeply glad that I did. Another was that symptoms were not an option. Symptoms, as critically necessary and automatic as they feel, are ultimately a choice. You can choose to let the fallacy that you must use symptoms kill you, or you can choose not to use symptoms. Easier said than done? Of course. But it can be done. I had to keep at the forefront of my mind the reasons I wanted to recover so badly, and the biggest one was this: I couldn’t believe in what I was doing anymore. I couldn’t justify committing my life to self-destruction, to appearance, to size, to weight, to food, to obsession, to self-harm. And that was what I had been doing for so long—dedicating all my strength, passion, energy, and intelligence to the pursuit of a warped and vanishing ideal. I just couldn’t believe in it anymore. As scared as I was to recover, to recover fully, to let go of every last symptom, to rid myself of the familiar and comforting compulsions, I wanted to know who I was without the demon of my eating disorder inhabiting my body and mind. And it turned out that I was all right. It turned out it was all right with me to be human, to have hungers, to have needs, to take space. It turned out that I had a self, a voice, a whole range of values and beliefs and passions and goals beyond what I had allowed myself to see when I was sick. There was a person in there, under the thick ice of the illness, a person I found I could respect. Recovery takes time, patience, enormous effort, and strength. We all have those things. It’s a matter of choosing to use them to save our own lives—to survive—but beyond that, to thrive. If you are still teetering on the brink of illness, I invite you to step firmly onto the solid ground of health. Walk back toward the world. Gather strength as you go. Listen to your own inner voice, not the voice of the eating disorder—as you recover, your voice will get clearer and louder, and eventually the voice of the eating disorder will recede. Give it time. Don’t give up. Love yourself absolutely. Take back your life. The value of freedom cannot be overestimated. It’s there for the taking. Find your way toward it, and set yourself free.
Marya Hornbacher
How else could we identify another weirdo or outlier? These symbols intimated a belief system, a way of thinking not just about music but about school and friends and politics and society. It was also a way to separate yourself, to feel bold or try on boldness without yet possessing it. A little inkling of the nonconformist person you could be—you wanted to be—but weren’t quite ready to commit to. I papered my walls with band posters and what little I could find in mainstream magazines about alternative and punk, maybe a picture of Babes in Toyland from Spin or Fugazi from Option. The iconoclast images and iconography covered my room, a jarring contrast to the preppy blue-and-white-striped wallpaper I’d insisted on in elementary school. I resented the parts of myself that were late to adopt coolness, late to learn—I wanted to have always possessed a savviness and sophistication, even though I clearly had neither.
Carrie Brownstein (Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir)
What is spreading today is repressive kleptocracy, led by rulers motivated by greed rather than by the deranged idealism of Hitler or Stalin or Mao. Such rulers rely less on terror and more on rule twisting, the manipulation of information, and the co-option of elites. Their goal is self-enrichment; the corrosion of the rule of law is the necessary means. As a shrewd local observer explained to me on a visit to Hungary in early 2016, “The main benefit of controlling a modern bureaucratic state is not the power to persecute the innocent. It is the power to protect the guilty.” No president in history has burned more public money to sustain his personal lifestyle than Donald Trump. Three-quarters of the way through his first year in office, President Trump was on track to spend more on travel in one year of his presidency than Barack Obama in eight—even though Trump only rarely ventured west of the Mississippi or across any ocean.
David Frum (Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic)
A DOZEN PHALLACIES WOMEN BUY Phallacy 4. Men love it when you tell the truth about your relationship. Truth They hate it. Their truth and your truth are, anyway, different. Their truth is about their priorities (conquest, winning, fucking). Our truth is about our priorities (nurturing, creativity, love). Our priorities make life possible. Their priorities make their winning possible. They see our priorities as trivial, but they couldn't live without them. They are in denial about their human dependencies, and our priorities enable them to keep up their denial. How can you talk about this? It's like one person talking Greek and the other Swahili. Cross-babble. Don't talk about the relationship -- do something. Love it or leave it. Make your needs clear. Seize legitimate power. Always speak of how you feel, or what you need, and never accuse. Be gentile but firm. Know what you want and ask for it. If he says no once too often, then consider what your options are. If you are masochistic, get straight with yourself. This world is too cruel for you to compound the felony by being cruel to yourself. Love yourself. Men are mimics. If you love yourself, they love you too.
Erica Jong (Fear of Fifty: A Midlife Memoir)
The average person walks into their doctor's office ready to accept whatever is said and handed to them. Without taking time to research or gain more insight, they accept pills and treatment without looking into other options. Our nation overeats. We put toxic fake food into our bodies, but wonder why we're sick. We continue a vicious cycle of consuming the wrong foods and drinks along with a stressful lifestyle, yet question why cancer is so rampant. Most of our society live in fear and believe they have no control. My positive message is that we do have control. We need to take back ownership of our bodies and minds. Don't blindly fill prescriptions without first checking into potential side effects, adverse reactions, and long-term damage to your body and mind. Be conscious of what you are consuming. Be informed. Take the initiative to gain more knowledge. Understand your options so you may be in a better position to make an informed choice.
Dana Arcuri (Harvest of Hope: Living Victoriously Through Adversity)
The sense of separateness that our culture foists on us is, in Einstein’s words, ‘a kind of optical delusion of consciousness … a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us’. This delusion of consciousness is not, however, our only available option. ‘Our task,’ he continues, ‘must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Jeremy Lent (The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe)
When I decided to retire from the gender binary, the narrative that I had about being a man stuck in a woman's body didn't make sense anymore, unless I was a gender-neutral person who'd been stuck in a man's body stuck in a woman's body all along. I started to consider that I was not essentially a gender, and that bodies should not be gendered based on the rigid binary system. I decided that my gender and sexuality had been a fluid narrative that I had constructed based on the options that I was given. I had not been a man or a woman for any reason other than that I had believed that I was one. Now that I had the option of opting out of the binary, the story could expand and evolve to include that identification as part of my history.
Rae Spoon (Gender Failure)
It’s impossible to attain much success in politics if you’re the sort of person who can’t abide disingenuousness. This isn’t to say politics is full of lies and liars; it has no more liars than other fields do. Actually one hears very few proper lies in politics. Using vague, slippery, or just meaningless language is not the same as lying: it’s not intended to deceive so much as to preserve options, buy time, distance oneself from others, or just to sound like you’re saying something instead of nothing.
Barton Swaim (The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics)
I believe the reason why people are so sad, is because we live in a world constantly telling us that we have a million options: a millions options of shoes, soda, burgers, television shows, friends, lovers... we are all filled with empty air! Why? Because options are things that float around in the air but we don't really have them. They're not ours, and we don't really want them, anyway! A million options of lovers and most people don't even have one person to hold at night! That is how empty we all are.
C. JoyBell C.
I don’t fundamentally understand why people give a shit about what other people put up their noses or what other people put in their veins or what other people breathe into their lungs. I mean I sort of care like if somebodies an addict it’s very destructive to people around that addict. It’s destructive to themselves. I’d like to get them help. I certainly support that which is to get that person help but, I don’t understand how people wake up and say I have to eradicate drug use across the land. “I gotta stick my nose into the business of what other people stick up their nose.” I just find that incomprehensible. I mean, is your life so vacant and so hysterical, so empty, so void of love, care and affection? I can go play with my daughter or I can go and obsessively try and get politicians to throw people in jail for doing things I don’t like. I can’t imagine why people would be choosing option “B” but, only because they don’t have anyone who loves them or, anyone they care about. They don’t have any rich, significant, important, hobbies, relationships, artistic pursuits or anything rich enough to keep them from obsessing about what other people do or bossing and bulling what other people do. This “stick your nose in other people’s business” Is so compulsive and epidemic to human society.
Stefan Molyneux
SUMMARY—START WITH HEART Here’s how people who are skilled at dialogue stay focused on their goals—particularly when the going gets tough. Work on Me First, Us Second • Remember that the only person you can directly control is yourself. Focus on What You Really Want • When you find yourself moving toward silence or violence, stop and pay attention to your motives. • Ask yourself: “What does my behavior tell me about what my motives are?” • Then, clarify what you really want. Ask yourself: “What do I want for myself? For others? For the relationship?” • And finally, ask: “How would I behave if this were what I really wanted?” Refuse the Fool’s Choice • As you consider what you want, notice when you start talking yourself into a Fool’s Choice. • Watch to see if you’re telling yourself that you must choose between peace and honesty, between winning and losing, and so on. • Break free of these Fool’s Choices by searching for the and. • Clarify what you don’t want, add it to what you do want, and ask your brain to start searching for healthy options to bring you to dialogue.
Kerry Patterson (Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High)
Look, people need to conform the external reality they face daily with this subjective feeling they likewise experience constantly. To do this they have two options. First, they can achieve what passes for great things. Now the external reality matches their feeling; they really are better than the rest and maybe they'll even be remembered as such. These are the ambitious people, the overachievers. These are also, however, the people who go on these abominable talk shows where they can trade their psychoses for exposure on that box, modernity's ultimate achievement. Not that this tact, being ambitious, is not the preferred course of action. The reason is it's the equivalent of sticking your neck out which we all know is dangerous. Instead many act like they have no ambition whatsoever. Their necks come back in and they're safe. Only problem is now they're at everyone else's level, which we've seen is untenable. The remedy of course is that everyone else needs to be sunk. This helps explain racism's enduring popularity. If I myself don't appear to be markedly superior to everyone else at least I'm part of the better race, country, religion et cetera. This in turn reflects well on my individual worth. There are other options, of course. For example, you can constantly bemoan others' lack of moral worth by extension elevating yourself. Think of the average person's reaction to our clients. Do these people strike you as so truly righteous that they are viscerally pained by our clients' misdeeds or are they similarly flawed people looking for anything to hang their hat on? The latter obviously, they're vermin.
Sergio de la Pava (A Naked Singularity)
You know, there's this bullshit idea that you just magically know when you like someone romantically or sexually. But that's all it is - bullshit. Emotions are messy. People are messy. I imagine that magic makes it all just messier. And anything that isn't a clear-cut heterosexual romance out of a Disney film or a Hollywood romcom is constantly being put into doubt and questioned, because we are so used to seeing the same simple story repeated over and over again. That being straight or gay are the only options, that one person is right for you your entire life, that you just know you're meant to be, that couples have to be exclusive to be real relationships, that couples need to be couples, that romance always comes with sex. Life is not that easy. People and attraction are way more complicated than that.
Anna Kirchner (Little Black Bird)
But when the Bible speaks of love, it measures it primarily not by how much you want to receive but by how much you are willing to give of yourself to someone. How much are you willing to lose for the sake of this person? How much of your freedom are you willing to forsake? How much of your precious time, emotion, and resources are you willing to invest in this person? And for that, the marriage vow is not just helpful but it is even a test. In so many cases, when one person says to another, “I love you, but let’s not ruin it by getting married,” that person really means, “I don’t love you enough to close off all my options. I don’t love you enough to give myself to you that thoroughly.” To say, “I don’t need a piece of paper to love you” is basically to say, “My love for you has not reached the marriage level.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
I think that church membership is a huge consideration, precisely because there is no such thing as a perfect church, and in our day and age in the West, we have so many options to choose from. Churches are full of sinners, so there will always be some messiness in a church. Churches are like families that way. So when a person stays in a church for a long period of time, there is evidence that she has been able to see that everything’s not perfect, but she nevertheless said, “I’m going to stay. I’m going to try to make this work. My commitment is more important than my desire to run away.
Matt Chandler (The Mingling of Souls: God's Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption)
You wouldn’t happen to know...” (This throws down a challenge, which makes people want to prove you wrong.) “... just one person...” (Just one, because it’s reasonable and seems a simple ask, and they’re more likely to think of someone by name.) “... someone who, ust like you...” (This has the person narrowing down the options and gives you more of the right prospects, plus it pays a subtle compliment.) “... would benefit from...” And then emphasize the specific benefit or positive experience they have just thanked you for. Then... shut up! People say thank you when they feel they owe you something.
Phil M. Jones (Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact)
I woke up dead. Not only dead...but in hell. I had always been somewhat sketchy on what the afterlife - were there actually such a thing - would be like for a person such as I. From all accounts and all my imaginings, I figured it would be one of two things. Either I would be surrounded by great, burning masses that were endlessly immolating souls in torment... or else I would find myself trapped within my own mind as a helpless bystander, condemned to watching me live out my life over and over again and powerless to do anything to change any of it. When idle speculation prompted me to dwell on these two options, I would find myself drawn invariably to the former, since the later was just too hideous to contemplate. ... I was almost afraid to open my eyes, because once I did, I would know one way or the other. Perhaps I could have just lain there forever. Perhaps I was supposed to. Perhaps that was my true condemnation: to simply reside in hell with my eyes closed afraid of opening them lest matters deteriorate even further than they already had. This, in turn, made me dwell on the fact that every time I had believed things couldn’t get worse, they promptly had done so with almost gleeful enthusiasm .
Peter David (The Woad to Wuin (Sir Apropos of Nothing, #2))
The cure is to become a curer. In being healed he is also becoming a healer. In becoming one the option is whether he will succumb to the encroachment of death subsequent to soul loss, or whether he will allow the sickness-causing trauma and the healer's ministrations to reweave the creative forces in his personality and life experience into a force that bestows life upon himself and upon others through that bestowal. In the journey undertaken by the healer and the sick man into an underworld and up into the mountains across the sacred landscape of space and time, it is this option that is being traversed.
Michael Taussig (Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing)
Faced with the prospect of a black depression, Highsmith once again retreated into fantasy, dreaming about an affair with the actress Anne Meacham, whose picture she had seen in a magazine publicising her role in the Tennessee Williams' play, In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel. After the disasters of recent years, she reckoned that the safest option was to escape into romantic imagination. She reviewed her failures over the past five years and concluded that 'the moral is: stay alone. Any idea of any close relationship should be imaginary, like any story I am writing. This way no harm is done to me or to any other person'.
Andrew Wilson (Patricia Highsmith, ζωή στο σκοτάδι)
If Clinton had a likability problems, Trump had an unlikable epidemic--but it didn't matter. Likability is optional for men, but it's mandated for women: if a women isn't nice she is a bad person. A man can be unlikable and still be seen as a man to be reckoned with. Trump was a real man. Clinton? A nasty woman.
Joan C. Williams (White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America)
Nash’s equilibrium, when it exists, is that point where neither player can do any better, or have no regrets, given what the opponent has done. Neither can have regrets because of how the other person played the game. It may not be the best option for either player, but it’s the best under the circumstances. There isn’t always an equilibrium in a game, or a Nash equilibrium in a game theory matrix. However, if it exists, in many cases the Nash equilibrium is a far better outcome for both players than the von Neumann saddle point. In the Kelley apartment cleaning game-theory matrices above, the Nash equilibrium is for them both to clean. Consider his payoffs. He does much better if he cleans no matter what she decides to do (because 5.7 is much greater than -2.2). Now consider her payoffs. She also does better if she cleans no matter what he does (because 8.5 is much greater than -6.6). So they have a stable Nash equilibrium at the joint strategy = (Male Cleans, Female Cleans). Then neither of them can have regrets about that choice because with that choice neither of them can do any better, regardless of what the partner does. With the Nash equilibrium their strategy is to maximize one’s own gains even if it means maximizing the partner’s gains (as well as one’s own).
John M. Gottman (The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples)
It was a difficult time to be Irish, a difficult time to be twenty-one years of age and a difficult time to be a man who was attracted to other men. To be all three simultaneously required a level of subterfuge and guile that felt contrary to my nature. I had never considered myself to be a dishonest person, hating the idea that I was capable of such mendacity and deceit, but the more I examined the architecture of my life, the more I realized how fraudulent were its foundations. The belief that I would spend the rest of my time on earth lying to people weighed heavily on me and at such times I gave serious consideration to taking my own life. Knives frightened me, nooses horrified me and guns alarmed me, but I knew that I was not a strong swimmer. Were I to head out to Howth, for example, and throw myself into the sea, the current would quickly pull me under and there would be nothing I could do to save myself. It was an option that was always at the back of my mind
John Boyne (The Heart's Invisible Furies)
Empowered Women 101: Only an insecure woman with control issues will look outside her relationship and say other people are to blame for her husband's lack of focus, love and respect. A real woman knows that the problem isn't other people; it is her man. If he truly loved you he wouldn't have ever made you an option and went looking for what he felt you didn't have. Don't waste your time trying to convince someone to see your worth by destroying others. There will always be someone prettier, smarter, more spiritual and more accomplished than you to distract this person. A real woman knows her worth and will never have to train anyone to recognize it.
Shannon L. Alder
Our flesh is like silly putty that distorts when it is ignored. We are constantly obliged to actively participate in its formation, or else it will droop of its own weight and plasticity. This incessant formation we cannot stop. We can only make the choice to let it go its own way - directed by genetics, gravity, appetites, habits, the accidentals of our surroundings, and so on - or the choice to let our sensory awareness penetrate its processes, to be personally present in the midst of those processes with the full measure of our subjective, internal observations and responses, and to some degree direct the course of that formation. We do not have the option of remaining passively unchanged, and to believe for a moment in this illusion is to invite distortions and dysfunctions. Like putty, we are either shaping ourselves or we are drooping; like clay, we either keep ourselves moist and malleable or we are drying and hardening. We must do one or the other; we may not passively avoid the issue.
Deane Juhan (Job's Body)
My colleague Maxine Williams, head of diversity at Facebook, told me that she believes many people succumb to the mum effect around race. 'Even after an unarmed black person is killed for reaching over to show a cop his license, white people who have seen the news, who live in these communities, and who sit at the desk next to us at work will often say nothing,' Maxine said. 'For the victim of racism, like the victim of loss, the silence is crippling. The two things we want to know when we're in pain are that we're not crazy to feel the way we do and that we have support. Acting like nothing significant is happening to people who look like us denies us all of that.
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
As for my own answers to any of this? I have none. I'm far more confused than before I first went. I've had no great epiphanies, no profound realisations, but since returning home I've resigned myself to this one thing: that, putting the economics and politics of it all aside - naive as that may be - what it all boils down to is individuals. It's a simple interaction between just two people: one, a person with opportunities and choices, and who could get a flight out tomorrow should they choose; the other, a person with few options - if any. If nothing else, it's a gesture. An attempt. Food and a tent for Toto. Burns dressing for Jose. A little operating theatre with car batteries and boiled instruments, where Roberto can ply his trade. Free HIV treatment for Elizabeth, who'll never be cured and will always live in a hut anyway, but who'll have a longer, healthier life because of it. And sometimes it's little more than a bed in which to die peacefully, attended to by family and health workers... but hey, that's no small thing in some parts. My head says it's futile. My heart knows differently.
Damien Brown (Band-Aid for a Broken Leg)
This is the thing: if you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that's how you know you're on board the ship that serves hors d'oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who've never even heard of the words hors d'oeuvres of fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause and undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefather. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
Or if he takes whatever dull job he's stuck with -- and they are all, sooner or later, dull -- and, just to keep himself amused, starts to look for options of Quality, and secretly pursues these options, just for their own sake, thus making an art out of what he is doing, he's likely to discover that he becomes a much more interesting person and much less of an object to the people around him because his Quality decisions change him too. And not only the job and him, but others too because the Quality tends to fan out like waves. The Quality job he didn't think anyone was going to see is seen, and the person who sees it feels a little better because of it, and is likely to pass that feeling on to others, and in that way the Quality tends to keep on going.
Robert Prisig
But the past months have taught me that there is no starting over. As the narrator of Martin in Space says, "I can't unsee what I've seen, I can't unlearn what I know. Each place, each decision, each experience, has become a part of me, no more than my head, no less than my heart." Life is a series of decisions, forks in the road, this or that, yes or no, left or right. We make our choices, we select our path. When I was young, the options seemed unlimited, so many paths to travel. But here's what I didn't understand: Every path is a one-way street. There is no turning back, no changing your mind, no trying both options. There is only forward motion. With time, your decisions pile up, compounding, interweaving, slowly turning you into the person you are.
Michelle Richmond (The Wonder Test)
You’re unhappy and you feel like a failure. PERFECT! Use that sad/angry/disappointed energy. Channel it into what you know, deep down in your heart, you love. Spend the next six months in a state of total obsession. Get up two hours earlier than usual and write before you go to work. Come home and exercise (not optional, sorry), then write for another hour. Read or watch the kind of comedy you love before bed. Don’t waste all your time socializing. Do a little socializing on weekends, but focus. Focus! Save your money. Research part-time work you could do for your company; use your slackness as a way to sell a new position where your boss would get your best from you every hour that you’re there. Pitch it as a win-win. Or pitch working from home half the time to cure your blahs and jack up your productivity. Then overproduce at work, but fit all of your work into a part-time schedule, and fill your prime working hours with writing/comedy. Almost any capable human with a not-that-taxing job can pull this off if they put their mind to it. If you’re a manager, investigate other roles or sell your boss on the fact that you’re managing via e-mail most of the time anyway.
Heather Havrilesky (How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly's Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life)
Time is the greatest weapon you have. Patiently keep in mind a long-term goal and neither person nor army can resist you. And charm is the best way of playing for time, of widening your options in any situation. Through charm you can seduce your enemy into backing off, giving you the psychological space to plot an effective counterstrategy. The key is to make other people emotional while you remain detached. They may feel grateful, happy, moved, arrogant—it doesn’t matter, as long as they feel. An emotional person is a distracted person. Give them what they want, appeal to their self-interest, make them feel superior to you. When a baby has grabbed a sharp knife, do not try to grab it back; instead, stay calm, offer candy, and the baby will drop the knife to pick up the tempting morsel you offer.
Robert Greene (The Art of Seduction)
To the matter at hand: though English has traditionally been a largish department, you will find there are very few viable candidates capable of assuming the mantle of DGS. In fact, if I were a betting man, I’d wager that only 10 percent of the English instruction list will answer your call for nominations. Why? First, because more than a third of our faculty now consists of temporary (adjunct) instructors who creep into the building under cover of darkness to teach their graveyard shifts of freshman comp; they are not eligible to vote or to serve. Second, because the remaining two-thirds of the faculty, bearing the scars of disenfranchisement and long-term abuse, are busy tending to personal grudges like scraps of carrion on which they gnaw in the gloom of their offices. Long story short: your options aren’t pretty.
Julie Schumacher (Dear Committee Members)
In other words, for your personal reality to be created purposefully, rather than haphazardly, you must understand your mind. But the kind of understanding required isn’t just intellectual, which is ineffective by itself. Like a naturalist studying an organism in its habitat, we need to develop an intuitive understanding of our mind. This only comes from direct observation and experience. For life to become a consciously created work of art and beauty, we must first realize our innate capacity to become a more fully conscious being. Then, through appropriately directed conscious activity, we can develop an intuitive understanding of the true nature of reality. It’s only through this kind of Insight that you can accomplish the highest purpose of meditative practice: Awakening. This should be the goal of your practice. When life is lived in a fully conscious way, with wisdom, we can eventually overcome all harmful emotions and behavior. We won’t experience greed, even in the face of lack. Nor will we have ill will, even when confronted by aggression and hostility. When our speech and action comes from a place of wisdom and compassion, they will always produce better results than when driven by greed and anger. All this is possible because true happiness comes from within, which means we can always find joy, in both good times and bad. Although pain and pleasure are an inevitable part of human life, suffering and happiness are entirely optional. The choice is ours. A fully Awake, fully conscious human being has the love, compassion, and energy to make change for the better whenever it’s possible, the equanimity to accept what can’t be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference. Therefore, make the aim of your meditation the cultivation of a mind capable of this type of Awakening.
Culadasa (John Yates) (The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness)
At a point in my life where achieving goals are not options but a necessity. Where dreams are fulfilled by working hard. Where mistakes I've made and challenges I've come across are a story to empower others. Where the choices I currently make is for my best interest. Where my circle has become smaller and includes only persons who can build me and I can do the same for them. Where success is priority and life is worth living with God being my guide.
Hopal Green
I do not know how much money Britney Spears earned last year.. However, I do know that it's not enough for me to want her life, were I given the option to have it. Every day, random people use Britney's existence as currency; they talk about her public failures and her lack of talent as a way to fill the emptiness of their own normalcy. She — alone with Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton and all those androids from The Hills — are the unifying entities within this meta era. In a splintered society, they are the means through which people devoid of creativity communicate with each other. THey allow Americans to understand who they are and who they are not; they allow Americans to unilaterally agree on something they never needed to consciously consider. A person like Britney Spears surrenders her privacy and her integrity and the rights to her own persona, and in exchange we give her huge sums of money. But she still doesn't earn a fraction of what she warrants in free-trade economy. If Britney Spears were paid $1 every time a self-loathing stranger used her as a surrogate for his own failure, she would out earn Warren Buffet in three months. This is why entertainers (and athletes) make so much revenue but are still wildly underpaid: We use them for things that are worth more than money. It's a new kind of dehumanizing slavery — not as awful as the literal variety, but dehumanizing nonetheless.
Chuck Klosterman (Bending Spoons with Britney Spears: An Essay from Chuck Klosterman IV)
You have a better option?” He didn’t. Neither did Sage. I borrowed Larry Steczynski’s cell phone to call Rayna. Personally, I never answer the phone if I won’t recognize the number. Rayna doesn’t feel the same way; she sees an unknown caller as a doorway to a possible romance. “Hello?” she answered seductively. “Hey, it’s me.” “Clea! Are you okay? I’ve been phone-stalking you for days. What happened? Where have you been?” “Sorry, I lost my cell. Everything’s okay.” Wow-that was easily the biggest lie I’d ever told anyone in my life. “How okay?” she asked playfully. “Did you meet someone amazing at Carnival and get swept off your feet?” I loved that those were the only two options for Rayna: Either something had gone horribly wrong, or I’d gotten wrapped up in a wild, whirlwind romance. I glanced at Sage. “I did meet someone…” “I knew it! I want to know everything.” “It’s kind of a long story.” “I’ve got nothing but time. Details!
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
A brave man acknowledges the strengths of others, a brave man never surrenders--the honorable kind and the ruthless kind." "and is it selfish of me to crave victory, or is it brave?" "human reason can excuse any evil; that's why it's so important that we don't rely on it." "you're not coward just because you don't want to hurt people. if he is coward, it isn't because he doesn't enjoy pain. it is because he refuses tk act." "what good is a prepared body if you have a scattered mind?" "i think it's important to protect people. to stand up for people. like you did for me. that's what courage is. not... hurting people for no reason." "sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now." "i believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another." "my heart beats so hard it hurts, and i can't scream and i can't breathe, but i also feel everything, every vein and every fiber, every bone and every nerve, all awake and buzzing in my body as if charged with electricity . i am pure adrenaline." "learning how to think in the midst of fear is a lesson that everyone needs to learn." "but becoming fearless isn't the point. that's impossible. it's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it, that's the point." "why do you say vague things if you don't want to be asked about them?" "it's really fascinating how it all works. it's basically a struggle between your thalamus, which is producing the fear, and your frontal lobe, which makes decisions. but the simulation is all in your head, so even though you feel like someone is doing it to you, it's just you, doing it to yourself." "maybe. maybe there's more we all could have done, but we just have to let the guilt remind us to do better next time." "you can't be fearless, remember? because you still care about things. about your life.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Scout," said Atticus, "When summer comes you'll you'll have to keep your head about far worse things....it's not fair for you and Jem, I know that, but sometimes we have to make the best of things, and the way we conduct ourselves when the chips are down - well, all I can say is when you and Jem are grown, maybe you'll look back on this with some compassion and some feeling that I didn't let you down. This case, Tom Robinson's case, is something that goes to the essence of a man's conscience - Scout, I couldn't go to church and worship God if I didn't try to help that man." "Atticus, you must be wrong...." "How's that?" "Well, most folks seem to think that, they're right and you're wrong...." "They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their options," said Atticus, "but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Many researchers have sought the secret of successful education by identifying the most successful schools in the hope of discovering what distinguishes them from others. One of the conclusions of this research is that the most successful schools, on average, are small. In a survey of 1,662 schools in Pennsylvania, for instance, 6 of the top 50 were small, which is an overrepresentation by a factor of 4. These data encouraged the Gates Foundation to make a substantial investment in the creation of small schools, sometimes by splitting large schools into smaller units. At least half a dozen other prominent institutions, such as the Annenberg Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trust, joined the effort, as did the U.S. Department of Education’s Smaller Learning Communities Program. This probably makes intuitive sense to you. It is easy to construct a causal story that explains how small schools are able to provide superior education and thus produce high-achieving scholars by giving them more personal attention and encouragement than they could get in larger schools. Unfortunately, the causal analysis is pointless because the facts are wrong. If the statisticians who reported to the Gates Foundation had asked about the characteristics of the worst schools, they would have found that bad schools also tend to be smaller than average. The truth is that small schools are not better on average; they are simply more variable. If anything, say Wainer and Zwerling, large schools tend to produce better results, especially in higher grades where a variety of curricular options is valuable. Thanks to recent advances in cognitive psychology,
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
calmer and more content when being worn14 than when they are left alone, though there is always that unique baby who likes his or her own space. Babywearing, as with all other options for parenting gently, needs to be adapted to suit a little one’s own personality and needs. Some high-needs babies may do better taking naps during the day while being worn, giving mama a hands-free break while still meeting her baby’s needs. Other babies do well being worn after nursing to aid in digestion, reducing gassiness and the incidence of reflux.22 Babywearing also aids in hip health when using a properly designed carrier. The International Hip Dysplasia Institute has warned against excessive amounts of time in car seats, walkers, swings, and other devices that keep babies’ legs extended and pushed together. Their recommendation is for a baby’s legs to be in the ‘frog’ position, with their thighs supported and their knees bent.23 This is the positioning you should look for when shopping for a carrier to wear your little one. (Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages) Wearing your baby against your heart, where the slightest tilt of your head brings your smile into focus for your tiny one, is not only one of the most beautiful and bonding experiences
L.R. Knost (Jesus, the Gentle Parent: Gentle Christian Parenting (Little Hearts Handbooks))
1. Where in your life or your work are you currently pursuing comfort, when what’s called for is a little discomfort? Pursuing the life projects that matter to you the most will almost always entail not feeling fully in control of your time, immune to the painful assaults of reality, or confident about the future. It means embarking on ventures that might fail, perhaps because you’ll find you lacked sufficient talent; it means risking embarrassment, holding difficult conversations, disappointing others, and getting so deep into relationships that additional suffering—when bad things happen to those you care about—is all but guaranteed. And so we naturally tend to make decisions about our daily use of time that prioritize anxiety-avoidance instead. Procrastination, distraction, commitment-phobia, clearing the decks, and taking on too many projects at once are all ways of trying to maintain the illusion that you’re in charge of things. In a subtler way, so too is compulsive worrying, which offers its own gloomy but comforting sense that you’re doing something constructive to try to stay in control. James Hollis recommends asking of every significant decision in life: “Does this choice diminish me, or enlarge me?” The question circumvents the urge to make decisions in the service of alleviating anxiety and instead helps you make contact with your deeper intentions for your time. If you’re trying to decide whether to leave a given job or relationship, say, or to redouble your commitment to it, asking what would make you happiest is likely to lure you toward the most comfortable option, or else leave you paralyzed by indecision. But you usually know, intuitively, whether remaining in a relationship or job would present the kind of challenges that will help you grow as a person (enlargement) or the kind that will cause your soul to shrivel with every passing week (diminishment). Choose uncomfortable enlargement over comfortable diminishment whenever you can.
Oliver Burkeman (Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals)
But it was while discussing SpaceX’s grandest missions that Shotwell really came into her own and seemed to inspire the interns. Some of them clearly dreamed of becoming astronauts, and Shotwell said that working at SpaceX was almost certainly their best chance to get to space now that NASA’s astronaut corps had dwindled. Musk had made designing cool-looking, “non–Stay Puft” spacesuits a personal priority. “They can’t be clunky and nasty,” Shotwell said. “You have to do better than that.” As for where the astronauts would go: well, there were the space habitats, the moon, and, of course, Mars as options. SpaceX has already started testing a giant rocket, called the Falcon Heavy, that will take it much farther into space than the Falcon 9, and it has another, even larger spaceship on the way. “Our Falcon Heavy rocket will not take a busload of people to Mars,” she said. “So, there’s something after Heavy. We’re working on it.” To make something like that vehicle happen, she said, the SpaceX employees needed to be effective and pushy. “Make sure your output is high,” Shotwell said. “If we’re throwing a bunch of shit in your way, you need to be mouthy about it. That’s not a quality that’s widely accepted elsewhere, but it is at SpaceX.” And, if that sounded harsh, so be it. As Shotwell saw it, the commercial space race was coming down to SpaceX and China and that’s it. And in the bigger picture, the race was on to ensure man’s survival. “If you hate people and think human extinction is okay, then fuck it,” Shotwell said. “Don’t go to space. If you think it is worth humans doing some risk management and finding a second place to go live, then you should be focused on this issue and willing to spend some money. I am pretty sure we will be selected by NASA to drop landers and rovers off on Mars. Then the first SpaceX mission will be to drop off a bunch of supplies, so that once people get there, there will be places to live and food to eat and stuff for them to do.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: Inventing the Future)
That is, “Yes” is nothing without “How.” Asking “How,” knowing “How,” and defining “How” are all part of the effective negotiator’s arsenal. He would be unarmed without them.         ■    Ask calibrated “How” questions, and ask them again and again. Asking “How” keeps your counterparts engaged but off balance. Answering the questions will give them the illusion of control. It will also lead them to contemplate your problems when making their demands.         ■    Use “How” questions to shape the negotiating environment. You do this by using “How can I do that?” as a gentle version of “No.” This will subtly push your counterpart to search for other solutions—your solutions. And very often it will get them to bid against themselves.         ■    Don’t just pay attention to the people you’re negotiating with directly; always identify the motivations of the players “behind the table.” You can do so by asking how a deal will affect everybody else and how on board they are.         ■    Follow the 7-38-55 Percent Rule by paying close attention to tone of voice and body language. Incongruence between the words and nonverbal signs will show when your counterpart is lying or uncomfortable with a deal.         ■    Is the “Yes” real or counterfeit? Test it with the Rule of Three: use calibrated questions, summaries, and labels to get your counterpart to reaffirm their agreement at least three times. It’s really hard to repeatedly lie or fake conviction.         ■    A person’s use of pronouns offers deep insights into his or her relative authority. If you’re hearing a lot of “I,” “me,” and “my,” the real power to decide probably lies elsewhere. Picking up a lot of “we,” “they,” and “them,” it’s more likely you’re dealing directly with a savvy decision maker keeping his options open.         ■    Use your own name to make yourself a real person to the other side and even get your own personal discount. Humor and humanity are the best ways to break the ice and remove roadblocks.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
The limitation of the standard liberal attitude towards Muslim women wearing a veil is visible here, too. Women are permitted to wear the veil if this is their free choice and not an option imposed on them by their husbands or family. However, the moment women wear a veil to exercise a free individual choice, the meaning of wearing a veil changes completely. It is no longer a sign of belonging to the Muslim community, but an expression of their idiosyncratic individuality. The difference is the same one between a Chinese farmer eating Chinese food because his village has been doing so since time immemorial, and a citizen of a Western megalopolis deciding to go and have dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. This is why, in our secular, choice-based societies, people who maintain a substantial religious belonging are in a subordinate position. Even if they are allowed to maintain their belief, their belief is "tolerated" as their idiosyncratic personal choice or opinion. The moment they present it publicly as what it is for them, say a matter of substantial belonging, they are accused of "fundamentalism." What this means is that the "subject of free choice" in the Western "tolerant" multicultural sense can emerge only as the result of extremely violent process of being torn out of a particular life world, of being cut off from one's roots.
Slavoj Žižek (Violence: Six Sideways Reflections)
In the New Testament, God's steadfast love and faithfulness are seen, not in an act of deliverance from foreign enemies, but in sending the Son and raising Him from the dead to enact a global rescue mission (Romans 8:3.) Jesus is God's supreme, grand, climactic act of faithfulness. Not only that, but "faithful" also describes Jesus. Paul writes, "We know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but in faith in Jesus Christ" (Galations 2:16...). A better reading is "faithfulness of Jesus Christ" -- which is found in footnotes of many Bibles -- and the two readings couldn't be more different... Paul isn't saying, "You are not justified by your efforts but by your faith." The contrast he's making isn't between two options we have; the contrast is between your efforts and Jesus' faithfulness to you, shown in His obedient death on a Roman cross. Paul is interested in telling readers what Jesus did, Jesus' faithfulness, not what we do. God's grand act of faithfulness is giving His son for our sake. God is all in. Jesus' grand act of faithfulness is going through with it for our sake. Jesus is all in. Now it's our move, which really is the point of all this. Like God the Father and God the Son, we are also called to be faithful. On one level, we are faithful to God when we trust God, but faith (pistis) doesn't stop there. It extends, as we've seen, in faithfulness toward each other, in humility and self-sacrificial love. And here is the real kick in the pants: When we are faithful to each other like this, we are more than simply being nice and kind -- though there's that. Far more important, when we are faithful to each other, we are, at that moment, acting like the faithful God and the faithful Son. Being like God. That's the goal. And we are most like God, not when we are certain we are right about God, or when we tell others how right we are, but when we are acting toward one another like the faithful Father and Son. Humility, love, and kindness are our grand acts of faithfulness and how we show that we are all in.
Peter Enns (The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs)
The complexity and freedom that have been thrust upon us, and that our ancestors had fought so hard to achieve, are a challenge we must find ways to master. If we do, the lives of our descendants will be infinitely more enriched than anything previously experienced on this planet. If we do not, we run the risk of frittering away our energies on contradictory, meaningless goals. But in the meantime how do we know where to invest psychic energy? There is no one out there to tell us, “Here is a goal worth spending your life on.” Because there is no absolute certainty to which to turn, each person must discover ultimate purpose on his or her own. Through trial and error, through intense cultivation, we can straighten out the tangled skein of conflicting goals, and choose the one that will give purpose to action. Self-knowledge—an ancient remedy so old that its value is easily forgotten—is the process through which one may organize conflicting options. “Know thyself” was carved over the entrance to the Delphic oracle, and ever since untold pious epigrams have extolled its virtue. The reason the advice is so often repeated is that it works. We need, however, to rediscover afresh every generation what these words mean, what the advice actually implies for each individual. And to do that it is useful to express it in terms of current knowledge, and envision a contemporary method for its application.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
Warren,still staring at the splendid black eye and several cuts on his face, remarked, "Hate to see what the other fellow looks like," which James supposed was a compliment of sorts, since Warren had personal experience of his fists from numerous occasions himself. "Like to congratulate the other fellow myself," Nicholas said with a smirk, which got him a kick under the table from his wife. James nodded to Reggie. "Appreciate it, m'dear. My feet wouldn't reach." To which she blushed that her kick had been noticed. And Nicholas, still wincing, managed a scowl,which turned out rather comical looking, considering the two expressions didn't mix all that well. "Is Uncle Toony still among the living?" Amy asked, probably because neither James nor his brother had returned back downstairs last night. "Give me a few more days to figure that out,puss, 'cause I bloody well ain't sure just now," Anthony said as he came slowly into the room,an arm tucked to his side as if he were protecting some broken ribs. A melodramatic groan escaped as he took the seat across from his brother. James rolled his eyes hearing it. "Give over,you ass," he sneered. "Your ife ain't here to witness your theatrics." "She's not?" Anthony glanced down the table, then made a moue and sat back in his chair-minus groaning this time. However, he did complain to James, "You did break my ribs,you know." "Devil I did, though I'll admit I considered it. And by the by, the option is still open." Anthony glared at him. "We're too bloody old to be beating on each other." "Speak for yourself, old man. One is never too old for a spot of exercise." "Ah,so that's what we were doing?" Anthony shot back dryly, as he gently fingered his own black eye. "Exercising, was it?" James raised a brow. "And that's not what you do weekly at Knighton's Hall? But I understand your confusion in the matter, since you're used to doling out the damage, rather than receiving any. Tends to give one a skewed perspective. Glad to have cleared that up for you." It was at that point that Jason walked in, took one look at his two younger brothers' battered faces, and remarked, "Good God, and at this time of the year,no less? I'll see you both in my study.
Johanna Lindsey (The Holiday Present)
Faith is not a meritorious cause of election, but it is constantly attested as the sole condition of salvation. Faith merely receives the merit of atoning grace, instead of asserting its own merit. God places the life-death option before each person, requiring each to choose. The ekletos are those who by grace freely believe. God does not compel or necessitate their choosing. Even after the initial choice of faith is made, they may grieve and quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Faith is the condition under which God primordially wills the reception of salvation by all. “He chooses us, not because we believe, but that we may believe; lest we should say that we first chose Him” (Augustine). Faith receives the electing love of God not as if it had already become efficacious without faith, but aware that God’s prescience foreknows faith like all else. In accord with ancient ecumenical consent, predestination was carefully defined in centrist Protestant orthodoxy as: 'The eternal, divine decree, by which God, from His immense mercy, determined to give His Son as Mediator, and through universal preaching , to offer Him for reception to all men who from eternity He foresaw would fall into sin; also through the Word and Sacraments to confer faith upon all who would not resist; to justify all believers, and besides to renew those using the means of grace; to preserve faith in them until the end of life, and in a word, to save those believing to the end' (Melanchthon).
Thomas C. Oden (The Transforming Power of Grace)
We have considered the problem of mental fragmentation and arbitrariness that results when our contact with the world is mediated by representations: representations collapse the basic axis of proximity and distance by which an embodied being orients in the world and draws a horizon of relevance around itself. We noted the prominence of a design philosophy that severs the bonds between action and perception, as in contemporary automobiles that insulate us from the sensorimotor contingencies by which an embodied being normally grasps reality. The case of machine gambling gave us a heightened example of this kind of abstraction, and made clear how such a design philosophy can be turned to especially disturbing purposes in the darker precincts of “affective capitalism,” where our experiences are manufactured for us. We saw that the point of these experiences is often to provide a quasi-autistic escape from the frustrations of life, and that they are especially attractive in a world that lacks a basic intelligibility because it seems to be ordered by “vast impersonal forces” that are difficult to bring within view on a first-person, human scale. I argued that all of this tends to sculpt a certain kind of contemporary self, a fragile one whose freedom and dignity depend on its being insulated from contingency, and who tends to view technology as magic for accomplishing this. For such a self, choosing from a menu of options replaces the kind of adult agency that grapples with things in an unfiltered way.
Matthew B. Crawford (The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction)
I do not wish to dwell on my analysis of the existential problem posed by Nietzsche in any detail. After all, if Nietzsche's definition of the problem is clear, the solutions he suggested are both hazy and dangerous — particularly in the case of his theory of the Übermensch and the will to power, and his naturalistic, almost physical praise of 'life'. To 'be oneself' and to follow one's own law as an absolute law can certainly be a positive and legitimate option — or, rather, the only remaining option: but this is true only in the case of the human type I addressed in Ride the Tiger: an individual possessing two natures, one 'personal' and one transcendent. The idea of 'being oneself', therefore — of achieving self-realization and of severing all bonds — will have a different meaning according to what nature it is that expresses it. Transcendence ('that which is more than life’), understood as a central and conscious element present within immanence ('life'), provides the foundation for the existential path I outlined — a path that includes elements such as: 'Apollonian Dionysism' (i.e., an opening towards the most intense and diverse aspects of life, here experienced through the lucid inebriation brought about by the presence of a superior principle), impersonal activism (pure action that transcends good and evil, prospects of success or failure, happiness and unhappiness) and the challenging of oneself without any fear that the 'I' might suffer (internal invulnerability). The origin of some of these ideas should be self-evident to those who have followed my discussion so far.
Julius Evola (The Path of Cinnabar)
Only those who have lost as much as we have see the particularly nasty slice of smile on someone who thinks they’re winning when they say “Get over it.” This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, “It’s too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings.” And then someone else on board says something like, “But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d’oeuvres.” At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who’d been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can’t get to him soon enough, or they don’t even try, and the yacht’s speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered. If you were fortunate enough to be born into a family whose ancestors directly benefited from genocide and/or slavery, maybe you think the more you don’t know, the more innocent you can stay, which is a good incentive to not find out, to not look too deep, to walk carefully around the sleeping tiger. Look no further than your last name. Follow it back and you might find your line paved with gold, or beset with traps.
Tommy Orange (There There)
To be ridiculously sweeping: baby boomers and their offspring have shifted emphasis from the communal to the individual, from the future to the present, from virtue to personal satisfaction. Increasingly secular, we pledge allegiance to lowercase gods of our private devising. We are concerned with leading less a good life than the good life. In contrast to our predecessors, we seldom ask ourselves whether we serve a greater social purpose; we are more likely to ask ourselves if we are happy. We shun self-sacrifice and duty as the soft spots of suckers. We give little thought to the perpetuation of lineage, culture or nation; we take our heritage for granted. We are ahistorical. We measure the value of our lives within the brackets of our own births and deaths, and we’re not especially bothered by what happens once we’re dead. As we age—oh, so reluctantly!—we are apt to look back on our pasts and question not did I serve family, God and country, but did I ever get to Cuba, or run a marathon? Did I take up landscape painting? Was I fat? We will assess the success of our lives in accordance not with whether they were righteous, but with whether they were interesting and fun. If that package sounds like one big moral step backward, the Be Here Now mentality that has converted from sixties catchphrase to entrenched gestalt has its upsides. There has to be some value in living for today, since at any given time today is all you’ve got. We justly cherish characters capable of living “in the moment.”…We admire go-getters determined to pack their lives with as much various experience as time and money provide, who never stop learning, engaging, and savoring what every day offers—in contrast to the dour killjoys who are bitter and begrudging in the ceaseless fulfillment of obligation. For the role of humble server, helpmate, and facilitator no longer to constitute the sole model of womanhood surely represents progress for which I am personally grateful. Furthermore, prosperity may naturally lead any well-off citizenry to the final frontier: the self, whose borders are as narrow or infinite as we make them. Yet the biggest social casualty of Be Here Now is children, who have converted from requirement to option, like heated seats for your car. In deciding what in times past never used to be a choice, we don’t consider the importance of raising another generation of our own people, however we might choose to define them. The question is whether kids will make us happy.
Lionel Shriver
The male staff all wore gorgeous colored loin cloths that always seem to be about to fall off they’re wonderful hips. Their upper bodies were tanned sculpted and naked. The female staff wore short shorts and silky flowing tops that almost but didn’t expose their young easy breasts. I noticed we only ever encountered male staff, and the men walking through the lobby were always greeted by the female staff. Very ingenious, as Rebecca said later - if we had ticked Lesbians on the form I wonder what would have happened? -There was a place to tick for Lesbians, I said ? -Sexual Persuasion- it was on all the forms -Really. And, how many options were there? -You’re getting the picture, said Jillian. This was not your basic check in procedure as at say a Best Western. Our Doormen/Security Guards , held out our chairs for us to let us sit at the elegant ornate table. Then they poured us tea, and placed before each of us a small bowl of tropical fruit, cut into bite size pieces. Wonderful! Almost immediately a check in person came and sat opposite us at the desk. Again a wonderful example of Island Male talent. (in my mind anyway) We signed some papers, and were each handed an immense wallet of information passes, electronic keys, electronic ID’s we would wear to allow us to move through the park and its ‘worlds’ and a small flash drive I looked at it as he handed it to me, and given the mindset of the Hotel and the murals and the whole ambiance of the place, I was thinking it might be a very small dildo for, some exotic move I was unaware of. -What’s this? I asked him -Your Hotel and Theme Park Guide I looked at it again, huh, so not a dildo.
Germaine Gibson (Theme Park Erotica)
Start releasing the American dream. In The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook uses parameters like healthcare, options, living space per person and mobility to conclude that we who live middle-class lives in North America or Europe are living a lifestyle that is, materially speaking, "better than 99 percent of all the people who have ever lived in human history." 2 He goes on to show the great paradox of our material wealth. As our lives have grown more comfortable, more affluent and filled with more possessions, "depression in the Western nations has increased ten times."3 Why? Easterbook cites Martin Seligman, past president of the American Psychological Association, who identifies rampant individualism (viewing everything through the "I," which inevitably leads to loneliness) and runaway consumerism (thinking that owning more will make us happy and then being disappointed when it fails to deliver) .4 Like the rich farmer in Luke's parable, excessive individualism and rampant consumerism distracts us from the care of our souls. We enlarge on the outside and shrivel on the inside, and we find ourselves spiritually bankrupt. If any characteristic of North American society might disqualify us from effective involvement in mission in our globalized world, it is the relentless pursuit of the so-called American dream. (I think it affects Canadians too.) The belief that each successive generation will do better economically than the preceding one leads to exaggerated expectations of life and feelings of entitlement. If my worldview dictates that a happy and successful life is my right, I will run away from the sacrifices needed to be a genuine participant in the global mission of God.
Paul Borthwick (Western Christians in Global Mission: What's the Role of the North American Church?)
Does God get what God wants? That’s a good question. An interesting question. And it’s an important question that has given us much to discuss. But there’s a better question. One that we actually can answer. One that takes all of the speculation about the future, which no one has been to and returned with hard empirical evidence, and brings it back to one absolute we can depend on in the midst of all of this which turns out to be another question. It’s not, “Does God get what God wants?” but “Do we get what we want?” and the answer to that is a resounding, affirming, sure and certain yes. Yes, we get what we want, God is that loving. If we want isolation, despair, and the right to be our own god, God graciously grants us that option. If we insist on using our God-given power and strength to make the world in our own image, God allows us that freedom and we have that kind of license to do that. If we want nothing to do with light, love, hope, grace, and peace God respects that desire on our part and we are given a life free from any of those realities. The more we want nothing to do with what God is, the more distance and space is created. If we want nothing to do with love, we are given a reality free from love. If, however, we crave light, we’re drawn to truth, we’re desperate for grace, we’ve come to the end of our plots and schemes and we want someone else’s path, God gives us what we want. If we have this sense that we have wandered far from home and we want to return, God is there standing in the driveway arms open, ready to invite us in. If we thirst for Shalom and we long for the peace that transcends all understanding, God doesn’t just give, they are poured out on us lavishly, heaped until we are overwhelmed. It’s like a feast where the food and wine do not run out. These desires can start with the planting of an infinitesimally small seed in our heart, or a yearning for life to be better, or a gnawing sense that we are missing out, or an awareness that beyond the routine and grind of life there is something more, or the quiet hunch that this isn’t all there is. It often has it’s birth in the most unexpected ways, arising out of our need for something we know we do not have, for someone we know we are not. And to that, that impulse, craving, yearning, longing, desire God says, “Yes!”. Yes there is water for that thirst, food for that hunger, light for that darkness, relief for that burden. If we want hell, if we want heaven then they are ours. that’s how love works, it can’t be forced, manipulated, or coerced. It always leaves room for the other to decide. God says, “yes”, we can have what we want because love wins.
Rob Bell (Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived)
...I shall let [Anne] Wallace put the case herself, at what I think is necessary length: 'As travel in general becomes physically easier, faster, and less expensive, more people want and are able to arrive at more destinations with less unpleasant awareness of their travel process. At the same time the availability of an increasing range of options in conveyance, speed, price, and so forth actually encouraged comparisons of these different modes...and so an increasingly positive awareness of process that even permitted semi-nostalgic glances back at the bad old days...Then, too, although local insularity was more and more threatened...people also quite literally became more accustomed to travel and travellers, less fearful of 'foreign' ways, so that they gradually became able to regard travel as an acceptable recreation. Finally, as speeds increased and costs decreased, it simply ceased to be true that the mass of people were confined to that circle of a day's walk: they could afford both the time and the money to travel by various means and for purely recreational purposes...And as walking became a matter of choice, it became a possible positive choice: since the common person need not necessarily be poor. Thus, as awareness of process became regarded as advantageous, 'economic necessity' became only one possible reading (although still sometimes a correct one) in a field of peripatetic meanings that included 'aesthetic choice'.' It sounds a persuasive case. It is certainly possible that something like the shift in consciousness that Wallace describes may have taken place by the 'end' (as conventionally conceived) of the Romantic period, and influenced the spread of pedestrianism in the 1820s and 1830s; even more likely that such a shift was instrumental in shaping the attitudes of Victorian writing in the railway age, and helped generate the apostolic fervour with which writers like Leslie Stephen and Robert Louis Stevenson treated the walking tour. But it fails to account for the rise of pedestrianism as I have narrated it.
Robin Jarvis (Romantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel)
Through the fall, the president’s anger seemed difficult to contain. He threatened North Korea with “fire and fury,” then followed up with a threat to “totally destroy” the country. When neo-Nazis and white supremacists held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and one of them killed a protester and injured a score of others, he made a brutally offensive statement condemning violence “on many sides … on many sides”—as if there was moral equivalence between those who were fomenting racial hatred and violence and those who were opposing it. He retweeted anti-Muslim propaganda that had been posted by a convicted criminal leader of a British far-right organization. Then as now, the president’s heedless bullying and intolerance of variance—intolerance of any perception not his own—has been nurturing a strain of insanity in public dialogue that has been long in development, a pathology that became only more virulent when it migrated to the internet. A person such as the president can on impulse and with minimal effort inject any sort of falsehood into public conversation through digital media and call his own lie a correction of “fake news.” There are so many news outlets now, and the competition for clicks is so intense, that any sufficiently outrageous statement made online by anyone with even the faintest patina of authority, and sometimes even without it, will be talked about, shared, and reported on, regardless of whether it has a basis in fact. How do you progress as a culture if you set out to destroy any common agreement as to what constitutes a fact? You can’t have conversations. You can’t have debates. You can’t come to conclusions. At the same time, calling out the transgressor has a way of giving more oxygen to the lie. Now it’s a news story, and the lie is being mentioned not just in some website that publishes unattributable gossip but in every reputable newspaper in the country. I have not been looking to start a personal fight with the president. When somebody insults your wife, your instinctive reaction is to want to lash out in response. When you are the acting director, or deputy director, of the FBI, and the person doing the insulting is the chief executive of the United States, your options have guardrails. I read the president’s tweets, but I had an organization to run. A country to help protect. I had to remain independent, neutral, professional, positive, on target. I had to compartmentalize my emotions. Crises taught me how to compartmentalize. Example: the Boston Marathon bombing—watching the video evidence, reviewing videos again and again of people dying, people being mutilated and maimed. I had the primal human response that anyone would have. But I know how to build walls around that response and had to build them then in order to stay focused on finding the bombers. Compared to experiences like that one, getting tweeted about by Donald Trump does not count as a crisis. I do not even know how to think about the fact that the person with time on his hands to tweet about me and my wife is the president of the United States.
Andrew G. McCabe (The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump)
I can hardly believe that our nation’s policy is to seek peace by going to war. It seems that President Donald J. Trump has done everything in his power to divert our attention away from the fact that the FBI is investigating his association with Russia during his campaign for office. For several weeks now he has been sabre rattling and taking an extremely controversial stance, first with Syria and Afghanistan and now with North Korea. The rhetoric has been the same, accusing others for our failed policy and threatening to take autonomous military action to attain peace in our time. This gunboat diplomacy is wrong. There is no doubt that Secretaries Kelly, Mattis, and other retired military personnel in the Trump Administration are personally tough. However, most people who have served in the military are not eager to send our young men and women to fight, if it is not necessary. Despite what may have been said to the contrary, our military leaders, active or retired, are most often the ones most respectful of international law. Although the military is the tip of the spear for our country, and the forces of civilization, it should not be the first tool to be used. Bloodshed should only be considered as a last resort and definitely never used as the first option. As the leader of the free world, we should stand our ground but be prepared to seek peace through restraint. This is not the time to exercise false pride! Unfortunately the Trump administration informed four top State Department management officials that their services were no longer needed as part of an effort to "clean house." Patrick Kennedy, served for nine years as the “Undersecretary for Management,” “Assistant Secretaries for Administration and Consular Affairs” Joyce Anne Barr and Michele Bond, as well as “Ambassador” Gentry Smith, director of the Office for Foreign Missions. Most of the United States Ambassadors to foreign countries have also been dismissed, including the ones to South Korea and Japan. This leaves the United States without the means of exercising diplomacy rapidly, when needed. These positions are political appointments, and require the President’s nomination and the Senate’s confirmation. This has not happened! Moreover, diplomatically our country is severely handicapped at a time when tensions are as hot as any time since the Cold War. Without following expert advice or consent and the necessary input from the Unites States Congress, the decisions are all being made by a man who claims to know more than the generals do, yet he has only the military experience of a cadet at “New York Military Academy.” A private school he attended as a high school student, from 1959 to 1964. At that time, he received educational and medical deferments from the Vietnam War draft. Trump said that the school provided him with “more training than a lot of the guys that go into the military.” His counterpart the unhinged Kim Jong-un has played with what he considers his country’s military toys, since April 11th of 2012. To think that these are the two world leaders, protecting the planet from a nuclear holocaust….
Hank Bracker
One of the things that I’ve always felt missing from funerals and services is the voice of the man or woman who was the deceased’s partner in life. I’ve always wanted to hear from the person who’d loved them more than anyone. Biblically, the two become one flesh--the spouse is their other half. It has always seemed to me that his or her voice was critical to truly understanding who the deceased was in life. I also felt that American Sniper had told only part of Chris’s story--an angry part in much of it. There was so much more to him that I wanted the world to know. People said Chris was blessed that I hung in there during his service to our country; in fact, I was the one who was blessed. I wanted everyone to hear me say that. Beforehand, a friend suggested I have a backup in case I couldn’t finish reading my speech--a “highway option,” as Chris used to call it: the way out if things didn’t go as planned. I refused. I didn’t want a way out. It wasn’t supposed to be easy. Knowing that I had to go through with it, that I had to finish--that was my motivator. That was my guarantee that I would finish, that I would keep moving into the future, as painful as it surely would be. When you think you cannot do something, think again. Chris always said, “The body will do whatever the mind tells it to.” I am counting on that now. I stand before you a broken woman, but I am now and always will be the wife of a man who is a warrior both on the battlefield and off. Some people along the way told Chris that through it all, he was lucky I stayed with him. I am standing before you now to set the record straight. Remember this: I am the one who is literally, in every sense of the word, blessed that Chris stayed with me. I feel compelled to tell you that I am not a fan of people romanticizing their loved ones in death. I don’t need to romanticize Chris, because our reality is messy, passionate, full of every extreme emotion known to man, including fear, compassion, anger, pain, laughing so hard we doubled over and hugged it out, laughing when we were irritated with each other and laughing when we were so in love it felt like someone hung the moon for only us… I looked at the kids as I neared the end, talking to them and only them. Tears ran from their faces. Bubba’s head hung down. It broke my heart. I kept reading. Then I was done.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
Ordinary unconsciousness is always linked in some way with denial of the Now. The Now, of course, also implies the here. Are you resisting your here and now? Some people would always rather be somewhere else. Their “here” is never good enough. Through self-observation, find out if that is the case in your life. Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences. No excuses. No negativity. No psychic pollution. Keep your inner space clear. If you take any action — leaving or changing your situation — drop the negativity first, if at all possible. Action arising out of insight into what is required is more effective than action arising out of negativity. Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it’s no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing. Is fear preventing you from taking action? Acknowledge the fear, watch it, take your attention into it, be fully present with it. Doing so cuts the link between the fear and your thinking. Don’t let the fear rise up into your mind. Use the power of the Now. Fear cannot prevail against it. If there is truly nothing that you can do to change your here and now, and you can’t remove yourself from the situation, then accept your here and now totally by dropping all inner resistance. The false, unhappy self that loves feeling miserable, resentful, or sorry for itself can then no longer survive. This is called surrender. Surrender is not weakness. There is great strength in it. Only a surrendered person has spiritual power. Through surrender, you will be free internally of the situation. You may then find that the situation changes without any effort on your part. In any case, you are free. Or is there something that you “should” be doing but are not doing it? Get up and do it now. Alternatively, completely accept your inactivity, laziness, or passivity at this moment, if that is your choice. Go into it fully. Enjoy it. Be as lazy or inactive as you can. If you go into it fully and consciously, you will soon come out of it. Or maybe you won’t. Either way, there is no inner conflict, no resistance, no negativity.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
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Elite Shower
No one acts in a void. We all take cues from cultural norms, shaped by the law. For the law affects our ideas of what is reasonable and appropriate. It does so by what it prohibits--you might think less of drinking if it were banned, or more of marijuana use if it were allowed--but also by what it approves. . . . Revisionists agree that it matters what California or the United States calls a marriage, because this affects how Californians or Americans come to think of marriage. Prominent Oxford philosopher Joseph Raz, no friend of the conjugal view, agrees: "[O]ne thing can be said with certainty [about recent changes in marriage law]. They will not be confined to adding new options to the familiar heterosexual monogamous family. They will change the character of that family. If these changes take root in our culture then the familiar marriage relations will disappear. They will not disappear suddenly. Rather they will be transformed into a somewhat different social form, which responds to the fact that it is one of several forms of bonding, and that bonding itself is much more easily and commonly dissoluble. All these factors are already working their way into the constitutive conventions which determine what is appropriate and expected within a conventional marriage and transforming its significance." Redefining civil marriage would change its meaning for everyone. Legally wedded opposite-sex unions would increasingly be defined by what they had in common with same-sex relationships. This wouldn't just shift opinion polls and tax burdens. Marriage, the human good, would be harder to achieve. For you can realize marriage only by choosing it, for which you need at least a rough, intuitive idea of what it really is. By warping people's view of marriage, revisionist policy would make them less able to realize this basic way of thriving--much as a man confused about what friendship requires will have trouble being a friend. . . . Redefining marriage will also harm the material interests of couples and children. As more people absorb the new law's lesson that marriage is fundamentally about emotions, marriages will increasingly take on emotion's tyrannical inconstancy. Because there is no reason that emotional unions--any more than the emotions that define them, or friendships generally--should be permanent or limited to two, these norms of marriage would make less sense. People would thus feel less bound to live by them whenever they simply preferred to live otherwise. . . . As we document below, even leading revisionists now argue that if sexual complementarity is optional, so are permanence and exclusivity. This is not because the slope from same-sex unions to expressly temporary and polyamorous ones is slippery, but because most revisionist arguments level the ground between them: If marriage is primarily about emotional union, why privilege two-person unions, or permanently committed ones? What is it about emotional union, valuable as it can be, that requires these limits? As these norms weaken, so will the emotional and material security that marriage gives spouses. Because children fare best on most indicators of health and well-being when reared by their wedded biological parents, the same erosion of marital norms would adversely affect children's health, education, and general formation. The poorest and most vulnerable among us would likely be hit the hardest. And the state would balloon: to adjudicate breakup and custody issues, to meet the needs of spouses and children affected by divorce, and to contain and feebly correct the challenges these children face.
Sherif Girgis
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aadanadrian
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Rositob