People Who Are Threatened By You Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to People Who Are Threatened By You. Here they are! All 100 of them:

When you fight for what you believe in, you come across a lot of obstacles. People who don't agree with you, people who agree with you but only some bits, people who delight in ripping you down, people who are threatened by the strength of your belief. But I was beginning to realise, the biggest hurdle to overcome was the hurdle of yourself.
Holly Bourne (What's a Girl Gotta Do? (The Spinster Club, #3))
I, Gavin MacKenzie, sexy cowboy man of Baker City, Oregon … being of sound mind and hot body … do hereby declare that I love you, Andie Marks, lawyer extraordinaire, and want to be married to you until I’m so old, I either die or my pecker falls off.I will have sex with you whenever you want, and I will always give you the option to be on top if that’s what will make you happy. Blowjobs will always be optional but appreciated.I will change diapers when called for, both for our children and for you when you’re old and decrepit. I will never spit in public or burp too loudly or say mean things about your friends.I promise never to raise my hand against you in anger or tell you that you’re useless or threaten to hurt people who you love. Ten-four, over and out, happily ever after. Those are my vows.
Elle Casey (Shine Not Burn (Shine Not Burn, #1))
Things people say to depressives that they don’t say in other life-threatening situations: ‘Come on, I know you’ve got tuberculosis, but it could be worse. At least no one’s died.’ 'Why do you think you got cancer of the stomach?’ ‘Yes, I know, colon cancer is hard, but you want to try living with someone who has got it. Sheesh. Nightmare.’ ‘Oh, Alzheimer’s you say? Oh, tell me about it, I get that all the time.’ ‘Ah, meningitis. Come on, mind over matter.’ ‘Yes, yes, your leg is on fire, but talking about it all the time isn’t going to help things, is it?’ ‘Okay. Yes. Yes. Maybe your parachute has failed. But chin up.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
Admire other people's beauty and talent without questioning your own. Let people live their truth without it threatening yours. Be truly happy when others are blessed. Learn from everyone, but compare yourself to no-one. Stop striving to be better than others and just work toward being better than who you were yesterday. Don't waste time pointing out other people's flaws or you won't have enough time to focus on all of yours.
Brooke Hampton
Socrates himself said, 'One thing only I know, and this is that I know nothing.' Remember this statement, because it is an admission that is rare, even among philosophers. Moreover, it can be so dangerous to say in public that it can cost you your life. The most subversive people are those who ask questions. Giving answers is not nearly as threatening. Any one question can be more explosive than a thousand answers.
Jostein Gaarder (Sophie’s World)
It’s loneliness. Even though I’m surrounded by loved ones who care about me and want only the best, it’s possible they try to help only because they feel the same thing—loneliness—and why, in a gesture of solidarity, you’ll find the phrase “I am useful, even if alone” carved in stone. Though the brain says all is well, the soul is lost, confused, doesn’t know why life is being unfair to it. But we still wake up in the morning and take care of our children, our husband, our lover, our boss, our employees, our students, those dozens of people who make an ordinary day come to life. And we often have a smile on our face and a word of encouragement, because no one can explain their loneliness to others, especially when we are always in good company. But this loneliness exists and eats away at the best parts of us because we must use all our energy to appear happy, even though we will never be able to deceive ourselves. But we insist, every morning, on showing only the rose that blooms, and keep the thorny stem that hurts us and makes us bleed hidden within. Even knowing that everyone, at some point, has felt completely and utterly alone, it is humiliating to say, “I’m lonely, I need company. I need to kill this monster that everyone thinks is as imaginary as a fairy-tale dragon, but isn’t.” But it isn’t. I wait for a pure and virtuous knight, in all his glory, to come defeat it and push it into the abyss for good, but that knight never comes. Yet we cannot lose hope. We start doing things we don’t usually do, daring to go beyond what is fair and necessary. The thorns inside us will grow larger and more overwhelming, yet we cannot give up halfway. Everyone is looking to see the final outcome, as though life were a huge game of chess. We pretend it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose, the important thing is to compete. We root for our true feelings to stay opaque and hidden, but then … … instead of looking for companionship, we isolate ourselves even more in order to lick our wounds in silence. Or we go out for dinner or lunch with people who have nothing to do with our lives and spend the whole time talking about things that are of no importance. We even manage to distract ourselves for a while with drink and celebration, but the dragon lives on until the people who are close to us see that something is wrong and begin to blame themselves for not making us happy. They ask what the problem is. We say that everything is fine, but it’s not … Everything is awful. Please, leave me alone, because I have no more tears to cry or heart left to suffer. All I have is insomnia, emptiness, and apathy, and, if you just ask yourselves, you’re feeling the same thing. But they insist that this is just a rough patch or depression because they are afraid to use the real and damning word: loneliness. Meanwhile, we continue to relentlessly pursue the only thing that would make us happy: the knight in shining armor who will slay the dragon, pick the rose, and clip the thorns. Many claim that life is unfair. Others are happy because they believe that this is exactly what we deserve: loneliness, unhappiness. Because we have everything and they don’t. But one day those who are blind begin to see. Those who are sad are comforted. Those who suffer are saved. The knight arrives to rescue us, and life is vindicated once again. Still, you have to lie and cheat, because this time the circumstances are different. Who hasn’t felt the urge to drop everything and go in search of their dream? A dream is always risky, for there is a price to pay. That price is death by stoning in some countries, and in others it could be social ostracism or indifference. But there is always a price to pay. You keep lying and people pretend they still believe, but secretly they are jealous, make comments behind your back, say you’re the very worst, most threatening thing there is. You are not an adulterous man, tolerated and often even admired, but an adulterous woman, one who is ...
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
Sex is an attachment behavior, reinforcing the social bond between adults. Sometimes it takes the form of passionate, joyful sex between people who are falling in love with each other. Sometimes it takes the form of desperate, grasping sex between people whose attachment is threatened.
Emily Nagoski (Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life)
When we go against the grain and put ourselves and our work out in the world, some people will feel threatened and they will go after what hurts the most—our appearance, our lovability, and even our parenting.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
Remember: the greatest danger you face in the world today is that you are replaceable. As you get older, people who are younger, cheaper and more in tune with trends are rising up and threatening your position. Your only salvation is to mine your uniqueness, to combine various skills that set you apart. No one can do what you do. That is your endgame.
Robert Greene (Interviews with the Masters: A Companion to Robert Greene's Mastery)
You're Nash's brother. And a grim reaper?" She blinked again, and I readied myself for hysterics, or fear, or laughter. But knowing emma, I should have known better. "So you, what? Kill people? Did you kill me that day in the gym?" She clenched the headrest, her expression an odd mix of anger, awe, and confusion. But there was no disbelief. She'd seen and heard enough of the bizarre following her own temporary death that Tod's admission obviously didn't come as that much of a surprise. Or maybe Nash's Influence was still affecting her a little. "No," Tod shook his head firmly, but the corners of his mouth turned up in amusement. "I had nothing to do with that. I do kill people, then I reap their souls and take them to be recycled. But only people who are on my list." "So, you're not...dangerous?" His pouty grin deepened into something almost predatory, like the Tod I'd first met two months earlier. "Oh, I'm dangerous...." "Tod..." I warned, as Nash punched his brother in the arm, hard enough to actually hurt. "Just not to you," the reaper finished, shrugging at Emma. "I see you all the time, but you've never seen me, because Kaylee said if I got too close to you, I'd suffer eternity without my balls." "Jeez, Tod!" I shouted, my anger threatening to boil over and scald us all. The reaper leaned closer to Emma and spoke in a stage whisper. "She's not as scary as she thinks she is, but I respect her intent.
Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2))
If you have the power to hit people over the head whenever you want, you don’t have to trouble yourself too much figuring out what they think is going on, and therefore, generally speaking, you don’t. Hence the sure-fire way to simplify social arrangements, to ignore the incredibly complex play of perspectives, passions, insights, desires, and mutual understandings that human life is really made of, is to make a rule and threaten to attack anyone who breaks it. This is why violence has always been the favored recourse of the stupid: it is the one form of stupidity to which it is almost impossible to come up with an intelligent response. It is also of course the basis of the state.
David Graeber (Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (Paradigm))
Don't fall in love with me. Not unless you're ready for a God damn fight. I don't do fragility, or friction and fairy tales. I want you to be irrational because I'm irrational. Be bold. Speak your mind. I want your wildfires and obscenities. I want your passion and priorities. Protect what's yours. I'll defend what's ours. Let us fight against routines and bad habits, and anything typical. And don't you dare quit. Not on us, not on yourself. God help the person who threatens us. Forgive me when I let you down, but don't overlook it, or allow it. We're all insecure about something. Show me yours. We're all terrified sometimes. Turn to me. People come in and out of my life so often and easily that I just look for a love that stays. I don't mind your blemishes or scars, I have a few of my own. Don't be another flash in the pan. Falling for me will be easy. Staying with me will be impossible. But you deserve a love that most people don't believe in anymore.
J. Raymond
Q: What can people do to defend their civil liberties? Phillips: I'm a pacifist, but the most American thing you can do is to dissent, and the most un-American thing you can do is to stifle dissent. When you feel threatened by the suppression of your liberties, you exercise them to the nth degree, you scream your head off every chance you get. You talk to people you don't agree with. Really good advice: Every day, talk to at least two people who don't agree with you. It's the only way it is going to get done.
Utah Phillips
Always choose to be smart There are two types of people in the world, the seekers of riches and the wise thinkers, those who believe that the important thing is money, and those who know that knowledge is the true treasure. I, for my part, choose the second option, Though I could have everything I want I prefer to be an intelligent person, and never live in a game of vain appearances. Knowledge can take you far far beyond what you imagine, It can open doors and opportunities for you. and make you see the world with different eyes. But in this eagerness to be "wise", There is a task that is a great challenge. It is facing the fear of the unknown, and see the horrors around every corner. It's easy to be brave when you're sure, away from dangers and imminent risks, but when death threatens you close, "wisdom" is not enough to protect you. Because, even if you are smart and cunning, death sometimes comes without mercy, lurking in the darkest shadows, and there is no way to escape. That is why the Greek philosophers, They told us about the moment I died, an idea we should still take, to understand that death is a reality. Wealth can't save you of the inevitable arrival of the end, and just as a hoarder loses his treasures, we also lose what we have gained. So, if we have to choose between two things, that is between being cunning or rich, Always choose the second option because while the money disappears, wisdom helps us face dangers. Do not fear death, my friend, but embrace your intelligence, learn all you can in this life, and maybe you can beat time and death for that simple reason always choose to be smart. Maybe death is inevitable But that doesn't mean you should be afraid because intelligence and knowledge They will help you face any situation and know what to do. No matter what fate has in store, wisdom will always be your best ally, to live a life full of satisfaction, and bravely face any situation. So don't settle for what you have and always look for ways to learn more, because in the end, true wealth It is not in material goods, but in knowledge. Always choose to be smart, Well, that will be the best investment. that will lead you on the right path, and it will make you a better version of yourself.
Marcos Orowitz (THE MAELSTROM OF EMOTIONS: A selection of poems and thoughts About us humans and their nature)
And, indeed, this is the odd thing that is continually happening: there are continually turning up in life moral and rational persons, sages and lovers of humanity who make it their object to live all their lives as morally and rationally as possible, to be, so to speak, a light to their neighbours simply in order to show them that it is possible to live morally and rationally in this world. And yet we all know that those very people sooner or later have been false to themselves, playing some queer trick, often a most unseemly one. Now I ask you: what can be expected of man since he is a being endowed with strange qualities? Shower upon him every earthly blessing, drown him in a sea of happiness, so that nothing but bubbles of bliss can be seen on the surface; give him economic prosperity, such that he should have nothing else to do but sleep, eat cakes and busy himself with the continuation of his species, and even then out of sheer ingratitude, sheer spite, man would play you some nasty trick. He would even risk his cakes and would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneconomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive good sense his fatal fantastic element. It is just his fantastic dreams, his vulgar folly that he will desire to retain, simply in order to prove to himself--as though that were so necessary-- that men still are men and not the keys of a piano, which the laws of nature threaten to control so completely that soon one will be able to desire nothing but by the calendar. And that is not all: even if man really were nothing but a piano-key, even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematics, even then he would not become reasonable, but would purposely do something perverse out of simple ingratitude, simply to gain his point. And if he does not find means he will contrive destruction and chaos, will contrive sufferings of all sorts, only to gain his point!
Fyodor Dostoevsky
You were the one who threatened us with an Inquisitor," the Bishop reminded him. With a smile. The Speaker's smile was just as chilly. "And you're the one who told the people I was Satan and they shouldn't talk to me.
Orson Scott Card (Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2))
People are only mean when they're threatened… and that's what our culture does. That's what our economy does. Even people who have jobs in our economy are threatened, because they worry about losing them. And when you get threatened, you start looking out only for yourself. You start making money a god. It is all part of this culture.
Morrie Schwartz
External life being so mighty, the instruments so huge and terrible, the performances so great, the thoughts so great and threatening, you produce a someone who can exist before it. You invent a man who can stand before the terrible appearances. This way he can't get justice and he can't give justice, but he can live. And this is what mere humanity always does. It's made up of these inventors or artists, millions and millions of them, each in his own way trying to recruit other people to play a supporting role and sustain him in his make-believe... That's the struggle of humanity, to recruit others to your version of what's real.
Saul Bellow (The Adventures of Augie March)
Then tell me this: How do I outthink an enemy I know is smarter than I am?' ... I face some of the most crafty people who have ever lived. My current foe understands the minds of others in a way that I cannot hope to match. So how do I defeat her? She will vanish the moment I threaten her, running to one of a dozen other refuges that she is sure to have set up. ... I have to peer into her eyes, see into her soul, and know that it's her that I face and not some decoy. I have to do that without frightening her into running. How?' *** The question remains,' he said, voice soft but tense. 'How would you fight her, Nynaeve?' I don't care to play your games, Rand al'Thor,' Nynaeve replied with a huff. 'You've obviously already decided what you intend to do. Why ask me?' Because what I'm about to do should frighten me,' he said. 'It doesn't.
Brandon Sanderson (The Gathering Storm (The Wheel of Time, #12))
No one who threatens to kill people as often as you do would be dumb enough to actually kill someone.
Sherry D. Ficklin (Losing Logan (Losing Logan, #1))
Behold, the Spring has come; the earth has received the embraces of the sun and we shall soon see the results of that love! Every seed is awakened and so has all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we therefore yield to our neighbors, even our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land. Yet, hear me, people, we have now to deal with another race – small and feeble when our fathers first met them but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possession is a disease with them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break but the poor may not. They take their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule. They claim this mother of ours, the earth, for their own and fence their neighbors away; they deface her with their buildings and their refuse. The nation is like a spring freshet that overruns its banks and destroys all that are in its path. We cannot dwell side by side. Only seven years ago we made a treaty by which we were assured that the buffalo country should be left to us forever. Now they threaten to take that away from us. My brothers, shall we submit or shall we say to them: 'First kill me before you take possession of my land
Sitting Bull
Tell me how you prove coercion? How you prove the difference between being hit on and hunted? How you prove your arms were held down? Your body was touched? Your life was threatened if you ever told anyone? For people who have suffered violent sexual crimes, proof—the very act of proving—is more than just a burden. It is boundless bearing. An eternity of futility.
Amber Tamblyn (Any Man)
I remember clearly the deaths of three men. One was the richest man of the century, who, having clawed his way to wealth through the souls and bodies of men, spent many years trying to buy back the love he had forfeited and by that process performed great service to the world and, perhaps, had much more than balanced the evils of his rise. I was on a ship when he died. The news was posted on the bulletin board, and nearly everyone recieved the news with pleasure. Several said, "Thank God that son of a bitch is dead." Then there was a man, smart as Satan, who, lacking some perception of human dignity and knowing all too well every aspect of human weakness and wickedness, used his special knowledge to warp men, to buy men, to bribe and threaten and seduce until he found himself in a position of great power. He clothed his motives in the names of virtue, and I have wondered whether he ever knew that no gift will ever buy back a man's love when you have removed his self-love. A bribed man can only hate his briber. When this man died the nation rang with praise... There was a third man, who perhaps made many errors in performance but whose effective life was devoted to making men brave and dignified and good in a time when they were poor and frightened and when ugly forces were loose in the world to utilize their fears. This man was hated by few. When he died the people burst into tears in the streets and their minds wailed, "What can we do now?" How can we go on without him?" In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, mo matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror....we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
It seems that a whole lot of people, both Christians and non-Christians, are under the impression that you can’t be a Christian and vote for a Democrat, you can’t be a Christian and believe in evolution, you can’t be a Christian and be gay, you can’t be a Christian and have questions about the Bible, you can’t be a Christian and be tolerant of other religions, you can’t be a Christian and be a feminist, you can’t be a Christian and drink or smoke, you can’t be a Christian and read the New York Times, you can’t be a Christian and support gay rights, you can’t be a Christian and get depressed, you can’t be a Christian and doubt. In fact, I am convinced that what drives most people away from Christianity is not the cost of discipleship but rather the cost of false fundamentals. False fundamentals make it impossible for faith to adapt to change. The longer the list of requirements and contingencies and prerequisites, the more vulnerable faith becomes to shifting environments and the more likely it is to fade slowly into extinction. When the gospel gets all entangled with extras, dangerous ultimatums threaten to take it down with them. The yoke gets too heavy and we stumble beneath it.
Rachel Held Evans (Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions)
September 29 I will fear no evil: for thou art with me . . . — Psalm 23:4 No matter what is happening in your relationships, fear nothing and no one. When you walk with the consciousness of the Creator, there is nothing to fear. Do not fear that people will harm you or leave you. Do not fear people who threaten you. Do not fear obstacles that confront you. Have no fear of harm to your body or possessions, you are walking with the strong arm of the law. Do not fear disapproval. Do not fear criticism. Do not fear judgment. Know that the only energy that has any power in your life is the gift of breath from God. Do not fear places. Do not fear darkness. Do not fear separation or divorce. Do not fear being alone. Do not fear being east aside. When you walk with the Master, you are in the best company available.
Iyanla Vanzant (Acts of Faith: Meditations For People of Color)
You are so fierce," she whispered. Yet for her. hebled. He, who'd sworn he wouldn't cross Noir, had done so. Not just because Noir had threatened him. She didn't believe that. From the very beginning, he'd protected her in a way few people had. Jericho hated the world, yet he'd been her self-appointed guardian.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dream Warrior (Dream-Hunter, #4; Dark-Hunter, #17))
So what you need is not those more radical remedies which we have now finished with – blocking yourself here, being angry with yourself there, threatening yourself sternly somewhere else – but the final treatment, confidence in yourself and the belief that you are on the right path, and not led astray by the many tracks which cross yours of people who are hopelessly lost, though some are wandering not far from the true path.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
The religious leaders of the day had written the script for the Messiah. When Jesus announced he was the Messiah, the Pharisees and others screamed at him, "There is no Jesus in the Messiah script. Messiahs do not hang out with losers. Our Messiah does not break all the rules, Our Messiah does not question our leadership or threaten our religion or act so irresponsibly. Our Messiah does not disregard his reputation, befriend riffraff, or frequent the haunts of questionable people." Jesus' reply? "This Messiah does"! Do you see why Christianity is called "good news"? Christianity proclaims that it is an equal-opportunity faith, open to all, in spite of the abundance of playwrights in the church who are more than anxious to announce, "There is no place for you in Christianity if you [wear an earring/have a tattoo/drink wine/have too many questions/look weird/smoke/dance/haven't been filled with the Spirit/aren't baptized/swear/have pink hair/are in the wrong ethnic group/have a nose ring/have had an abortion/are gay or lesbian/are too conservative or too liberal].
Mike Yaconelli
The amount of time people who have just met are supposed to look directly at each other, particularly without talking, is a unit that’s both very short and very precise. When you exceed it, you get suspicious, or you get threatened, or you get this flicker of accidental
Linda Holmes (Evvie Drake Starts Over)
…but I don’t think I’m the only person who is tired of books and movies full of paper-doll characters you don’t care about, who have no self-respect and no respect for anybody or any institution…..And I don’t want to sound preachy or Victorian, but I’m tired of amorality in fiction and in real life. Immorality is a fascinating human dilemma that creates suspense for the readers and tension for the characters, but where is the tension in an amoral situation? When people have no personal code, nothing is threatening and nothing is meaningful.
Olive Ann Burns
I always thought strength came from within you, that it started there and ended there. It was of your own making. I was wrong. Strength is a gift placed inside you, built up by the people who love you. Fortified by the people who hate or threaten you. These are the things I will teach my son.
Lauren Nicolle Taylor (The Wall (The Woodlands, #2))
You might make people uncomfortable, even those you love them most and it will hurt. The masses will likely misunderstand you and as a result they will judge you and even lash out at you and you may have to walk alone sometimes. Your joy, your freedom and your magic will infuriate those who feel trapped in a life they secretly hate. When your truth threatens someones belief system, they will come at you like a storm and you will have to stand and let them roar all around you. If you're creating change, the people benefiting from the current system will likely try to stop you. Be brave. Stand. Hold space for change. Keep writing. Keep dancing. Keep singing. Keep shining your light on the world. We need your beauty and your truth. We need you- the real you!
Brooke Hampton
[When asked about his thoughts on gods] I think it's like a movie that was way too popular. It's a story that's been told too many times and just doesn't mean anything. Man lived on the planet — [placing his fingers an inch apart], this is 5000 years of semi-recorded history. And God and the Bible, that came in somewhere around the middle, maybe 2000. This is the last 2000, this is what we're about to celebrate [indicating about an 1/8th of an inch with his fingers]. Now, humans, in some shape or form, have been on the earth for three million years [pointing across the room to indicate the distance]. So, all this time, from there [gesturing toward the other side of the room], to here [indicating the 1/8th of an inch], there was no God, there was no story, there was no myth and people lived on this planet and they wandered and they gathered and they did all these things. The planet was never threatened. How did they survive for all this time without this belief in God? I'd like to ask this to someone who knows about Christianity and maybe you do. That just seems funny to me.
Eddie Vedder
The people at home,” I said. “A lot of them call me an apple.” Do they think you’re a fruit or something?” he asked. No, no,” I said. “They call me an apple because they think I’m red on the outside and white on the inside.” Ah, so they think you’re a traitor.” Yep.” Well, life is a constant struggle between being an individual and being a member of the community.” Can you believe there is a kid who talks like that? Like he’s already a college professor impressed with the sound of his own voice? Gordy,” I said. “I don’t understand what you’re trying to say to me.” Well, in the early days of humans, the community was our only protection against predators, and against starvation. We survived because we trusted one another.” So?” So, back in the day, weird people threatened the strength of the tribe. If you weren’t good for making food, shelter, or babies, then you were tossed out on your own.” But we’re not primitive like that anymore.” Oh, yes, we are. Weird people still get banished.” You mean weird people like me,” I said. And me,” Gordy said. All right, then,” I said. “So we have a tribe of two.” I had the sudden urge to hug Gordy, and he had the sudden urge to prevent me from hugging him. Don’t get sentimental,” he said. Yep, even the weird boys are afraid of their emotions.
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
Paul. Look at me. You need to understand this. The worst thing that could have happened to me already happened." He looks up. She swallows, knowing that these are the words that stall; that may simply refuse to emerge. "Four years ago David and I went to bed like it was any other night, brushing our teeth reading our books, chatting about a restaurant we were going to the next day...and when I woke up the next morning he was there beside me, cold. Blue. I didn't...I didn't feel him go. I didn't even get to say..." There is a short silence. "Can you imagine knowing you slept through the person you love most dying next to you ? Knowing that there might have been something you could have done to help him ? To save him ? Not knowing if he was looking at you, silently begging you to..." The words fail, her breath catches, a familiar tide threatens to wash over her He reaches out his hands slowly, enfolds hers within them until she can speak again. "I thought the world had actually ended. I thought nothing good could ever happen again. I thought any thing might happen if I wasn't vigilant. I didn't eat. I didn't go out. I didn't want to see anyone. But I survived, Paul. Much to my own surprise, I got through it. And life...well, life gradually became liveable again." She leans closer to him. "So this...the painting, the house...It hit me when I heard what happened to Sophie. It's just stuff. They could take all of it, frankly. the only thing that matters is people." She looks down at his hands, and her voice cracks. "All that really matters is who you love.
Jojo Moyes (The Girl You Left Behind)
At the end of that class Demian said to me thoughtfully: "There’s something I don’t like about this story, Sinclair. Why don’t you read it once more and give it the acid test? There’s something about it that doesn’t taste right. I mean the business with the two thieves. The three crosses standing next to each other on the hill are almost impressive, to be sure. But now comes this sentimental little treatise about the good thief. At first he was a thorough scoundrel, had committed all those awful things and God knows what else, and now he dissolves in tears and celebrates such a tearful feast of self-improvement and remorse! What’s the sense of repenting if you’re two steps from the grave? I ask you. Once again, it’s nothing but a priest’s fairy tale, saccharine and dishonest, touched up with sentimentality and given a high edifying background. If you had to pick a friend from between the two thieves or decide which one you’d rather trust, you most certainly wouldn’t choose the sniveling convert. No, the other fellow, he’s a man of character. He doesn’t give a hoot for ‘conversion’, which to a man in his position can’t be anything but a pretty speech. He follows his destiny to it’s appointed end and does not turn coward and forswear the devil, who has aided and abetted him until then. He has character, and people with character tend to receive the short end of the stick in biblical stories. Perhaps he’s even a descendant of Cain. Don’t you agree?" I was dismayed. Until now I had felt completely at home in the story of the Crucifixion. Now I saw for the first time with how little individuality, with how little power of imagination I had listened to it and read it. Still, Demian’s new concept seemed vaguely sinister and threatened to topple beliefs on whose continued existence I felt I simply had to insist. No, one could not make light of everything, especially not of the most Sacred matters. As usual he noticed my resistance even before I had said anything. "I know," he said in a resigned tone of voice, "it’s the same old story: don’t take these stories seriously! But I have to tell you something: this is one of the very places that reveals the poverty of this religion most distinctly. The point is that this God of both Old and New Testaments is certainly an extraordinary figure but not what he purports to represent. He is all that is good, noble, fatherly, beautiful, elevated, sentimental—true! But the world consists of something else besides. And what is left over is ascribed to the devil, this entire slice of world, this entire half is hushed up. In exactly the same way they praise God as the father of all life but simply refuse to say a word about our sexual life on which it’s all based, describing it whenever possible as sinful, the work of the devil. I have no objection to worshiping this God Jehovah, far from it. But I mean we ought to consider everything sacred, the entire world, not merely this artificially separated half! Thus alongside the divine service we should also have a service for the devil. I feel that would be right. Otherwise you must create for yourself a God that contains the devil too and in front of which you needn’t close your eyes when the most natural things in the world take place.
Hermann Hesse (Demian. Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)
People complained of being tired, exhaustion, not realizing that this was put in them so they wouldn't do as many things. Such people railed against their fatigue-the ones who were determined to fix things. In order to stop them, the gods tired them out. The weariest people are being the most prevented. They are the most dangerous ones, who would change the world if they could. We know which people are threatening to the gods by how exhausted they feel all the time. Those who would not make as many fixes are not given as much fatigue. You know the gods consider you dangerous if you are tired all the time.
Sheila Heti (Pure Colour)
But when I tell my sons that they should be feminists, I don’t try to sell it to them based on the benefits they will reap. I tell them what I also tell white people who are looking for reasons to be antiracist: Yes, it will offer some real benefits for you. Your life will be better in many ways when we work to end oppression. But it will not always benefit you. Sometimes it may seem like justice is disadvantaging you when the privileges you’ve routinely enjoyed are threatened. But you have to do it anyway, because you believe that women and people of color are human beings and that we deserve to be free from oppression, even when that means you personally have to give some things up.
Ijeoma Oluo (Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America)
She loved sinking into her bed on evenings like this, but apparently she shouldn't, because it worried her aunts, who thought she ought to be out dancing. It worried her a little bit, too, because what if they were right, and because sometimes a great loneliness welled up in her and threatened all the dams she built to hold it back. You couldn't cure loneliness by wallowing in it, up above the world, on an island removed from everything. She knew that. But she had such a hard time with all the cures. They seemed rough and brusque and brutal, as if they abused her skin with a pot scrubber . . . forcing herself into a mass of people, a stranger among strangers. . . . But it was much more tempting to curl up with a book under her thick white comforter. Still, sometimes after she curled up, she regretted her lack of courage and felt bleakly lonely. It was important to have a really good book.
Laura Florand (The Chocolate Kiss (Amour et Chocolat, #2))
When someone threatens suicide, when they tell somebody they're going to do it beforehand they're reaching out, hoping someone will stop them. The problem is that people who aren't depressed don't always understand that and have a hard time believing it. To them, the idea of killing yourself to end pain is inconceivable. They think it's nothing but drama or a bid for attention and if they ignore it or reason with them, they'll come to their senses and life will go back to normal. [...] Most times it doesn't happen that way. The ones who don't tell anyone beforehand...They've already made their decision and planned it all out to make sure they succeed. We find them after the fact, when it's too late.
Laura Wiess (Me Since You)
The devils reared the poor so-called Negroes for 400 years and put fear in them when they were babies. They (the devils) kept them apart from their own kind coming in from abroad, so as to deprive them of any knowledge other than what he (the devil) has taught them. As soon as they hear of a so-called Negro learning and teaching his own people that which they (the devils) would not teach them, the devils then seek to kill that one or trail him wherever he goes, threatening those who would listen to him, believe him and follow him. Knowing that their very presence and inquiries might frighten or scare Negroes they. ask, “What is this you are listening to and believing in?” This will frighten most of them away from accepting his or her own salvation and keep them from returning to their own God, religion and people.
Elijah Muhammad (Message To The Blackman In America)
People are only mean when they’re threatened and that’s what our culture does. That’s what our economy does. Even people who have jobs in our economy are threatened, because they worry about loosing them. And when you get threatened, you start looking out only for yourself. You start making money a god. It is all part of this culture.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
Whom to Invite to Your Table As you bring people to your table to share ideas, be selective about whom you pick. Choose people who Understand the value of questions Desire the success of others Add value to others’ thoughts Are not threatened by others’ strengths Can emotionally handle quick changes in the conversation Understand their place of value at the table Bring out the best thinking in the people around them Have experienced success in the area under discussion Leave the table with a “we” attitude, not a “me” attitude
John C. Maxwell (Good Leaders Ask Great Questions: Your Foundation for Successful Leadership)
Morrie believed in the inherent good of people. But he also saw what they could become. “People are only mean when they’re threatened,” he said later that day, “and that’s what our culture does. That’s what our economy does. Even people who have jobs in our economy are threatened, because they worry about losing them. And when you get threatened, you start looking out only for yourself. You start making money a god. It is all part of this culture.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
Let us be just, my friends! What a splendid destiny for a nation to be the Empire of such an Emperor, when that nation is France and when it adds its own genius to the genius of that man! To appear and to reign, to march and to triumph, to have for halting-places all capitals, to take his grenadiers and to make kings of them, to decree the falls of dynasties, and to transfigure Europe at the pace of a charge; to make you feel that when you threaten you lay your hand on the hilt of the sword of God; to follow in a single man, Hannibal, Caesar, Charlemagne; to be the people of some one who mingles with your dawns the startling announcement of a battle won, to have the cannon of the Invalides to rouse you in the morning, to hurl into abysses of light prodigious words which flame forever, Marengo, Arcola, Austerlitz, Jena, Wagram! To cause constellations of victories to flash forth at each instant from the zenith of the centuries, to make the French Empire a pendant to the Roman Empire, to be the great nation and to give birth to the grand army, to make its legions fly forth over all the earth, as a mountain sends out its eagles on all sides to conquer, to dominate, to strike with lightning, to be in Europe a sort of nation gilded through glory, to sound athwart the centuries a trumpet-blast of Titans, to conquer the world twice, by conquest and by dazzling, that is sublime; and what greater thing is there?" "To be free," said Combeferre.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
When I started everything, and by everything, I mean life, suicide was a joke. If I have to ride in that car with you, I'll slash my wrists with a butter knife. It was as real as a unicorn. No, less than that. It was as real as the explosion around an animated coyote. A hundred thousand people threaten to kill themselves every day and make a hundred thousand other people laugh, because like a cartoon, it's funny and meaningless. Gone even before you turn off the TV. Then it was a disease. Something other people got, if they lived someplace dirty enough to get the infection under their nails. It was not a pleasant dinner table conversation, Cole, and like the flu, it only killed the weak. If you'd been exposed, you didn't talk about it. Wouldn't want to put other people off their feed. It wasn't until high school that it became a possibility. Not an immediate one, not like It is a possibility I will download this album because the guitar is so sick it makes me want to dance, but possibility in the way that some people said when they grew up, they might be a fireman or an astronaut or a CPA who works late every single weekend while his wife has an affair with the guy who drives the DHL truck. It became a possibility like Maybe when I grow up, I will be dead.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
Avoiding awareness of our own reality is often an attempt to deny thoughts, desires, or intentions that we feel will threaten or contradict the needs of those with whom we feel strong attachment. We instinctively hide feelings and thoughts we assume would be threatening to other people, and might cause them to leave us. . . People who learned early in life to adapt to parental needs to an extent that we were unable to focus on our own developmental tasks and needs will often continue to play out this working mode” of conditional attachment. “You will attach to me as long as I meet your needs.
Mary Crocker Cook (Afraid to Let Go. For Parents of Adult Addicts and Alcoholics)
No honking the horn or flashing the lights because you get bored,” she warned Irma. “Dweezil’s threatened to blow up the car if you throw a tantrum out here. He said you freak out the customers when you do that.” “The man who looks like an olive claims I freak people out?” She gestured to a troll that exited the office. “Oh yes, I’m the odd one here.” Jazz swallowed her laughter. The last thing she needed to do was encourage the irascible ghost.
Linda Wisdom (50 Ways to Hex Your Lover (Hex, #1))
We have one collective hope: the Earth And yet, uncounted people remain hopeless, famine and calamity abound Sufferers hurl themselves into the arms of war; people kill and get killed in the name of someone else’s concept of God Do we admit that our thoughts & behaviors spring from a belief that the world revolves around us? Each fabricated conflict, self-murdering bomb, vanished airplane, every fictionalized dictator, biased or partisan, and wayward son, are part of the curtains of society’s racial, ethnic, religious, national, and cultural conflicts, and you find the human ego turning the knobs and pulling the levers When I track the orbits of asteroids, comets, and planets, each one a pirouetting dancer in a cosmic ballet, choreographed by the forces of gravity, I see beyond the plight of humans I see a universe ever-expanding, with its galaxies embedded within the ever-stretching four-dimensional fabric of space and time However big our world is, our hearts, our minds, our outsize atlases, the universe is even bigger There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on the world’s beaches, more stars in the universe than seconds of time that have passed since Earth formed, more stars than words & sounds ever uttered by all humans who have ever lived The day we cease the exploration of the cosmos is the day we threaten the continuing of our species In that bleak world, arms-bearing, resource-hungry people & nations would be prone to act on their low-contracted prejudices, and would have seen the last gasp of human enlightenment Until the rise of a visionary new culture that once again embraces the cosmic perspective; a perspective in which we are one, fitting neither above nor below, but within
Neil deGrasse Tyson
The so-called “black magician” is a “new brain” hominid fear-merchant who has somewhere learned that there are more powerful intimidations than physical assault. The dimensions of horror, terror and mindwarp are discovered. You can scare more people, and acquire greater power, by the exploitation of psychic assault. When a human’s “mind” or reality-construct is threatened, the person virtually ceases to exist as human, and regresses to the status of a terrorized mammal in a trap. Just as the physical bully feeds on fear and is thrown off stride by the appearance of real courage, the psychic terrorist feeds on gullibility and is baffled by intelligence. When the bully confronts true courage, he automatically ceases to attack. Instead, he seeks to make the maverick into an ally, and often offers the position of second-in-command. If that is declined in a respectful (not churlish) manner, he will probably agree to recognize the other as a separate sovereign with a private turf. The psychic terrorist, similarly, is only accustomed to bamboozling the credulous. Confronted with a self-disciplined independent mind, he hesitates. Eventually, like the physical bully, he laughs and offers comradeship. “You and me, we’re smart. We’re not like these other jerks.” A nudge and a conspiratorial wink.
Robert Anton Wilson
Why are Muslims being “preserved” in some time capsule of centuries gone by? Why is it okay that we continue to live in a world where our women are compared to candy waiting to be consumed? Why is it okay for women of the rest of the world to fight for freedom and equality while we are told to cover our shameful bodies? Can’t you see that we are being held back from joining this elite club known as the 21st century? Noble liberals like yourself always stand up for the misrepresented Muslims and stand against the Islamophobes, which is great but who stands in my corner and for the others who feel oppressed by the religion? Every time we raise our voices, one of us is killed or threatened. . . . What you did by screaming “racist!” was shut down a conversation that many of us have been waiting to have. You helped those who wish to deny there are issues, deny them. What is so wrong with wanting to step into the current century? There should be no shame. There is no denying that violence, misogyny and homophobia exist in all religious texts, but Islam is the only religion that is adhered to so literally, to this day. In your culture you have the luxury of calling such literalists “crazies.” . . . In my culture, such values are upheld by more people than we realise. Many will try to deny it, but please hear me when I say that these are not fringe values. It is apparent in the lacking numbers of Muslims willing to speak out against the archaic Shariah law. The punishment for blasphemy and apostasy, etc, are tools of oppression. Why are they not addressed even by the peaceful folk who aren’t fanatical, who just want to have some sandwiches and pray five times a day? Where are the Muslim protestors against blasphemy laws/apostasy? Where are the Muslims who take a stand against harsh interpretation of Shariah?7
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now)
While my parents had long given up coaxing and pushing me out the door, Tony never stopped telling me I was full of greatness. People didn’t really do that back then, encourage and support. You were threatened into being who you were supposed to be.
Anne Griffin (When All Is Said)
This is why the betrayals of body and mind that threaten to erase our character and memory remain among our most awful tortures. The battle of being mortal is the battle to maintain the integrity of one’s life—to avoid becoming so diminished or dissipated or subjugated that who you are becomes disconnected from who you were or who you want to be. Sickness and old age make the struggle hard enough. The professionals and institutions we turn to should not make it worse. But we have at last entered an era in which an increasing number of them believe their job is not to confine people’s choices, in the name of safety, but to expand them, in the name of living a worthwhile life.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
serves as prevention. Gives physical healing in the body. No matter what name is given to any problem; it will be solved, when the Blood of Jesus is brought in. If you keep pleading the Blood of Jesus, no matter how terrible an infirmity is, it will disappear by the power in the Blood of Jesus. If your life is pure and you lay your hands on any sickness, pleading the Blood of Jesus, it will vanish. You might wonder if it is really as simple as that but that is the Power in the Blood of Jesus. The Power in pleading the Blood of Jesus is yet to be understood by Man. Some people criticise those pleading the Blood of Jesus. It is because they have not passed through the valley, so they cannot know what it means. Someone who has never been tortured by a terminal disease cannot know what it means to be threatened by death, so he or she cannot understand why a cancer patient is praying fervently for healing, or why the person is jubilating after he or she has been miraculously healed. The preachers, who discourage people from praying fire prayers or pleading the Blood of Jesus, do so, because they have not experienced such things. The Blood of Jesus cannot dry up; neither can it lose its power. Therefore you can plead it a million times, if you want to. The more you plead the Blood of Jesus, the more the chance of totally submerging the disease, in the pool of the Blood
D.K. Olukoya (Praying by the Blood of Jesus)
Very low. It’s going to be one of the cast or crew, one of the people who worked with her, one of the people she pushed, insulted, threatened.” “Who pushed back.” He got to his feet. “Celebrity murders,” he muttered. “They’ll probably make another goddamn vid.” At Eve’s stunned, slightly horrified expression, he smiled. “You could make book on it,” he said. “Keep me updated. And don’t be late for the media conference.” “Shit,” Eve said when he’d gone out. “Shit. He could be right.” “Who’d play me in this one? I mean, it’s really wild, isn’t it? Somebody playing me investigating the murder of somebody who was playing me. And then there’s—” “Don’t. You’re giving me a headache. Get those runs done.
J.D. Robb (Celebrity in Death (In Death, #34))
Sometimes the most remarkable things seem commonplace. I mean, when you think about it, jet travel is pretty freaking remarkable. You get in a plane, it defies the gravity of an entire planet by exploiting a loophole with air pressure, and it flies across distances that would take months or years to cross by any means of travel that has been significant for more than a century or three. You hurtle above the earth at enough speed to kill you instantly should you bump into something, and you can only breathe because someone built you a really good tin can that has seams tight enough to hold in a decent amount of air. Hundreds of millions of man-hours of work and struggle and research, blood, sweat, tears, and lives have gone into the history of air travel, and it has totally revolutionized the face of our planet and societies. But get on any flight in the country, and I absolutely promise you that you will find someone who, in the face of all that incredible achievement, will be willing to complain about the drinks. The drinks, people. That was me on the staircase to Chicago-Over-Chicago. Yes, I was standing on nothing but congealed starlight. Yes, I was walking up through a savage storm, the wind threatening to tear me off and throw me into the freezing waters of Lake Michigan far below. Yes, I was using a legendary and enchanted means of travel to transcend the border between one dimension and the next, and on my way to an epic struggle between ancient and elemental forces. But all I could think to say, between panting breaths, was, 'Yeah. Sure. They couldn’t possibly have made this an escalator.
Jim Butcher (Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4))
It even reached a point of such confusion that men and women were imprisoned in the same cells and used the latrine bucket in each other's presence—who cared about those niceties? Give up your gold, vipers! The interrogators did not write up charge sheets because no one needed their papers. And whether or not a sentence would be pasted on was of very little interest. Only one thing was important: Give up your gold, viper! The state needs gold and you don't. The interrogators had neither voice nor strength left to threaten and torture; they had one universal method: feed the prisoners nothing but salty food and give them no water. Whoever coughed up gold got water! One gold piece for a cup of fresh water! People perish for cold metal.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago)
Saying no to people who want you to say yes, and upholding your boundaries with people who were used to having none, will at first feel terrible. Like a death. And it is a death of sorts. The death of the part of you that thinks you have to violate yourself to make it in life or be valued. You most likely will surrounded by people who are used to being accommodating or passive. At first, they feel threatened by you asserting your boundaries. This is ok. And in time they will get used to it. Just like in time you'll get used to understanding, that when people act like assholes when you say now, isn't about you. It's about them.
Holly Whitaker (Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol)
When you’re a girl, you never let on that you are proud, or that you know you’re better at history, or biology, or French, than the girl who sits beside you and is eighteen months older. Instead you gush about how good she is at putting on nail polish or at talking to boys, and you roll your eyes at the vaunted difficulty of the history/​biology/​French test and say, “Oh my God, it’s going to be such a disaster! I’m so scared!” and you put yourself down whenever you can so that people won’t feel threatened by you, so they’ll like you, because you wouldn’t want them to know that in your heart, you are proud, and maybe even haughty, and are riven by thoughts the revelation of which would show everyone how deeply Not Nice you are. You learn a whole other polite way of speaking to the people who mustn’t see you clearly, and you know—you get told by others—that they think you’re really sweet, and you feel a thrill of triumph: “Yes, I’m good at history/​biology/​French, and I’m good at this, too.” It doesn’t ever occur to you, as you fashion your mask so carefully, that it will grow into your skin and graft itself, come to seem irremovable.
Claire Messud (The Woman Upstairs)
One day a young fugitive, trying to hide himself from the enemy, entered a small village. The people were kind to him and offered him a place to stay. But when the soldiers who sought the fugitive asked where he was hiding, everyone became very fearful. The soldiers threatened to burn the village and kill every man in it unless the young man were handed over to them before dawn. The people went to the minister and asked him what to do. The minister, torn between handing over the boy to the enemy or having his people killed, withdrew to his room and read his Bible, hoping to find an answer before dawn. After many hours, in the early morning his eyes fell on these words: “It is better that one man dies than that the whole people be lost.” Then the minister closed the Bible, called the soldiers and told them where the boy was hidden. And after the soldiers led the fugitive away to be killed, there was a feast in the village because the minister had saved the lives of the people. But the minister did not celebrate. Overcome with a deep sadness, he remained in his room. That night an angel came to him, and asked, “What have you done?” He said: “I handed over the fugitive to the enemy.” Then the angel said: “But don’t you know that you have handed over the Messiah?” “How could I know?” the minister replied anxiously. Then the angel said: “If, instead of reading your Bible, you had visited this young man just once and looked into his eyes, you would have known.” While versions of this story are very old, it seems the most modern of tales. Like that minister, who might have recognized the Messiah if he had raised his eyes from his Bible to look into the youth’s eyes, we are challenged to look into the eyes of the young men and women of today, who are running away from our cruel ways. Perhaps that will be enough to prevent us from handing them over to the enemy and enable us to lead them out of their hidden places into the middle of their people where they can redeem us from our fears.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society (Doubleday Image Book. an Image Book))
Frame the spiritual journey as a stark good-vs.-evil battle of warring sides long enough and you’ll eventually see the Church and those around you in the same way too. You’ll begin to filter the world through the lens of conflict. Everything becomes a threat to the family; everyone becomes a potential enemy. Fear becomes the engine that drives the whole thing. When this happens, your default response to people who are different or who challenge you can turn from compassion to contempt. You become less like God and more like the Godfather. In those times, instead of being a tool to fit your heart for invitation, faith can become a weapon to defend yourself against the encroaching sinners threatening God’s people—whom we conveniently always consider ourselves among. Religion becomes a cold, cruel distance maker, pushing from the table people who aren’t part of the brotherhood and don’t march in lockstep with the others.
John Pavlovitz (A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community)
I was so ashamed for a mistake I made unknowingly when I was completely out of control and lost my mind for some reasons. I thought about to end my life next day at some point. I was struggling to cope with my pain, shame and thinking about others who I had hurt unintentionally. The worst moment came when people who I loved most had pulled out their support and threatens me to end relationships. Lesson learns hard way that people who are not with you at worst time of your life have no right to stand beside you when you are at best. Life goes on...........
Sammy Toora Powerlifter
Claiming to be a victim gives people perverse authority. Subjective experience becomes key: 'I am a sexual abuse victim. I am allowed to speak on this. You are not because you have never experienced what it is like to be...'. Victim status can buy special privileges and gives the green light to brand opposing views or even mild criticisms as tantamount to hate speech. So councils, who have become chief cheerleaders for policing subjective complaints, define hate speech as including 'any behavior, verbal abuse or insults, offensive leaflets, posters, gestures as perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by hostility, prejudice or hatred'. This effectively incites 'victims' to shout offense and expect a clamp-down. Equally chilling, if a victim aggressively accuses you of offense, it is dangerous to argue back, or even to request that they should stop being so hostile, should you be accused of 'tone policing', a new rule that dictates: '[Y]ou can never question the efficacy of anger ... when voiced by a person from a marginalized background'. No wonder people are queueing up to self-identify into any number of victim camps: you can get your voice heard loudly, close down debate and threaten critics.
Claire Fox (‘I Find That Offensive!’)
Don’t invest in other people’s opinion of you. You can change yourself a hundred different ways to get other people to approve of you and there will still be those who don’t. Your beauty will please some and threaten others. Your intelligence will impress one person and offend another. You will be too tall, too short, too smart, too attractive, too nice, not nice enough, too talented, too poor, and not educated enough for people who are determined to not like you. You must decide that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you. Their opinions don’t make your bed, pay your bills, or fill your stomach, so stop investing your focus and energy into them.
Emily Maroutian (In Case Nobody Told You: Passages of Wisdom and Encouragement)
One of the worst things about being a motivational speaker, or any other kind of advocate for the power of positive thinking, must be the constant pressure to seem upbeat: if anyone ever catches you scowling, or stressed, or feeling sorry for yourself – all very normal occurrences for anybody, of course – it threatens to undermine everything you stand for. Becoming an advocate for the power of negative thinking, as I gradually did, holds no such hazard. Bad moods are permitted.
Oliver Burkeman (The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking)
[T]he old stories of human relationships with animals can't be discounted. They are not primitive; they are primal. They reflect insights that came from considerable and elaborate systems of knowledge, intellectual traditions and ways of living that were tried, tested, and found true over many thousands of years and on all continents. But perhaps the truest story is with the animals themselves because we have found our exemplary ways through them, both in the older world and in the present time, both physically and spiritually. According to the traditions of the Seneca animal society, there were medicine animals in ancient times that entered into relationships with people. The animals themselves taught ceremonies that were to be performed in their names, saying they would provide help for humans if this relationship was kept. We have followed them, not only in the way the early European voyagers and prenavigators did, by following the migrations of whales in order to know their location, or by releasing birds from cages on their sailing vessels and following them towards land, but in ways more subtle and even more sustaining. In a discussion of the Wolf Dance of the Northwest, artists Bill Holm and William Reid said that 'It is often done by a woman or a group of women. The dance is supposed to come from the wolves. There are different versions of its origin and different songs, but the words say something like, 'Your name is widely known among the wolves. You are honored by the wolves.' In another recent account, a Northern Cheyenne ceremonialist said that after years spent recovering from removals and genocide, indigenous peoples are learning their lost songs back from the wolves who retained them during the grief-filled times, as thought the wolves, even though threatened in their own numbers, have had compassion for the people.... It seems we have always found our way across unknown lands, physical and spiritual, with the assistance of the animals. Our cultures are shaped around them and we are judged by the ways in which we treat them. For us, the animals are understood to be our equals. They are still our teachers. They are our helpers and healers. They have been our guardians and we have been theirs. We have asked for, and sometimes been given, if we've lived well enough, carefully enough, their extraordinary powers of endurance and vision, which we have added to our own knowledge, powers and gifts when we are not strong enough for the tasks required of us. We have deep obligations to them. Without other animals, we are made less. (from her essay "First People")
Linda Hogan (Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals)
Be fair, my friends! To be the empire of such an emperor, what a splendid destiny for a nation, when that nation is France, and when it adds its genius to the genius of such a man ! To appear and to reign, to march and to triumph, to have every capital for a staging area, to take his grenadiers and make kings of them, to decree the downfall of dynasties, to transfigure Europe at a double quickstep, so men feel, when you threaten, that you are laying your hand on the hilt of God’s sword, to follow in one man Hannibal , Caesar, and Charlemagne, to be the people of a man who mingles with your every dawn the glorious announcement of a battle won, to be wakened in the morning by the cannon of the Invalides, to hurl into the vault of day mighty words that blaze forever, Marengo, Arcola, Austerlitz, lena, Wagram ! To repeatedly call forth constellations of victories at the zenith of the centuries, to make the French Empire the successor of the Roman Empire, to be the grand nation and to bring forth the Grand Army, to send your legions flying across the whole earth as a mountain sends out its eagles, to vanquish, to rule, to strike thunder, to be for Europe a kind of golden people through glory, to sound through history a Titan’s fanfare, to conquer the world twice, by conquest and by resplendence, that is sublime. What could be greater?" "To be free," said Combeferre.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
When I learned my mom was going to die of cancer at the age of forty-five, I felt the same way. I didn’t even believe in God, but I still felt that he owed me something. I had the gall to think How dare he? I couldn’t help myself. I’m a selfish brute. I wanted what I wanted and I expected it to be given to me by a God in whom I had no faith. Because mercy had always more or less been granted me, I assumed it always would be. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t granted to my friend whose eighteen-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver either. Nor was it granted to my other friend who learned her baby is going to die of a genetic disorder in the not-distant future. Nor was it granted to my former student whose mother was murdered by her father before he killed himself. It was not granted to all those people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time when they came up against the wrong virus or military operation or famine or carcinogenic or genetic mutation or natural disaster or maniac. Countless people have been devastated for reasons that cannot be explained or justified in spiritual terms. To do as you are doing in asking If there were a God, why would he let my little girl have to have possibly life-threatening surgery?— understandable as that question is—creates a false hierarchy of the blessed and the damned. To use our individual good or bad luck as a litmus test to determine whether or not God exists constructs an illogical dichotomy that reduces our capacity for true compassion. It implies a pious quid pro quo that defies history, reality, ethics, and reason. It fails to acknowledge that the other half of rising—the very half that makes rising necessary— is having first been nailed to the cross. That
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Someone Who's Been There)
If you expose what it is that we’re doing, if you inform your fellow citizens about all the things that we’re doing in the dark, we will destroy you. This is what their spate of prosecutions of whistleblowers have [sic] been about. It’s what trying to threaten journalists, to criminalize what they do, is about. It’s to create a climate of fear, so that nobody will bring accountability to them. It’s not going to work. I think it’s starting to backfire, because it shows their true character and exactly why they can’t be trusted to operate with power in secret. And we’re certainly not going to be deterred by it in any way. The people who are going to be investigated are not the people reporting on this, but are people like Dianne Feinstein and her friends in the National Security Agency, who need investigation and transparency for all the things that they’ve been doing.
Glenn Greenwald
The essence of cool, after all, is not giving a fuck. And let’s face it: I most definitely give a fuck now. I give a huge fuck. The hugest. Everything else—everything—pales. To pretend otherwise, by word or deed, would be a monstrous lie. There will be no more Dead Boys T-shirts. Whom would I be kidding? Their charmingly nihilistic worldview in no way mirrors my own. If Stiv Bators were still alive and put his filthy hands anywhere near my baby, I’d snap his neck—then thoroughly cleanse the area with baby wipes. There is no hope of hipness. As my friend A. A. Gill points out, after your daughter reaches a certain age—like five—the most excruciating and embarrassing thing she could possibly imagine is seeing her dad in any way threatening to rock. Your record collection may indeed be cooler than your daughter’s will ever be, but this is a meaningless distinction now. She doesn’t care. And nobody else will. If you’re lucky, long after you’re gone, a grandchild will rediscover your old copy of Fun House. But it will be way too late for you to bask in the glory of past coolness. There is nothing cool about “used to be cool.” All of this, I think, is only right and appropriate.
Anthony Bourdain (Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook)
Physiological stress, then, is the link between personality traits and disease. Certain traits — otherwise known as coping styles — magnify the risk for illness by increasing the likelihood of chronic stress. Common to them all is a diminished capacity for emotional communication. Emotional experiences are translated into potentially damaging biological events when human beings are prevented from learning how to express their feelings effectively. That learning occurs — or fails to occur — during childhood. The way people grow up shapes their relationship with their own bodies and psyches. The emotional contexts of childhood interact with inborn temperament to give rise to personality traits. Much of what we call personality is not a fixed set of traits, only coping mechanisms a person acquired in childhood. There is an important distinction between an inherent characteristic, rooted in an individual without regard to his environment, and a response to the environment, a pattern of behaviours developed to ensure survival. What we see as indelible traits may be no more than habitual defensive techniques, unconsciously adopted. People often identify with these habituated patterns, believing them to be an indispensable part of the self. They may even harbour self-loathing for certain traits — for example, when a person describes herself as “a control freak.” In reality, there is no innate human inclination to be controlling. What there is in a “controlling” personality is deep anxiety. The infant and child who perceives that his needs are unmet may develop an obsessive coping style, anxious about each detail. When such a person fears that he is unable to control events, he experiences great stress. Unconsciously he believes that only by controlling every aspect of his life and environment will he be able to ensure the satisfaction of his needs. As he grows older, others will resent him and he will come to dislike himself for what was originally a desperate response to emotional deprivation. The drive to control is not an innate trait but a coping style. Emotional repression is also a coping style rather than a personality trait set in stone. Not one of the many adults interviewed for this book could answer in the affirmative when asked the following: When, as a child, you felt sad, upset or angry, was there anyone you could talk to — even when he or she was the one who had triggered your negative emotions? In a quarter century of clinical practice, including a decade of palliative work, I have never heard anyone with cancer or with any chronic illness or condition say yes to that question. Many children are conditioned in this manner not because of any intended harm or abuse, but because the parents themselves are too threatened by the anxiety, anger or sadness they sense in their child — or are simply too busy or too harassed themselves to pay attention. “My mother or father needed me to be happy” is the simple formula that trained many a child — later a stressed and depressed or physically ill adult — into lifelong patterns of repression.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
There may be wrong actions in the sense of actions contrary to the rules of human communication. But the way you feel towards other people: loving, hating, et cetera, et cetera; there aren’t any wrong feelings. And so, to try and force one’s feelings to be other than what they are is absurd. And furthermore: dishonest. But you see: the idea that there are no wrong feelings is an immensely threatening one to people who are afraid to feel. This is one of the peculiar problems of our culture: we are terrified of our feelings. We think that if we give them any scope and if we don’t immediately beat them down, they will lead us down into all kinds of chaotic and destructive actions. But if, for a change, we would allow our feelings and look upon their comings and goings as something as beautiful and necessary as changes in the weather, the going of night and day and the four seasons, we would be at peace with ourselves.
Alan W. Watts
But speaking of decisions and choices, I want to turn to a question that baffles so many of us. Why is it that people who are victims of trauma are so often drawn to abusive relationships? Let me broaden the question, because it is so important in understanding not just abuse but all behavior. The key point is that all of us tend to gravitate to the familiar, even when the familiar is unhealthy or destructive. We are drawn to what we were raised with. As I’ve said before, when we are young and our brain is beginning to make sense of our experiences, it creates our ‘working model’ of the world. The brain organizes around the tone and tension of our first experiences. So if, early on, you have safe, nurturing care, you think that people are essentially good….But if a child experienced chaos, threat, or trauma, your brain organizes according to a view that the world is not safe and people cannot be trusted. Think about James. He didn’t feel ‘safe’ when he was close to people. Intimacy made him feel threatened. Here is the confusing part: James felt most comfortable when the world was in line with his worldview. Being rejected or treated poorly validated this view. The most destabilizing thing for anyone is to have their core beliefs challenged….Good or bad, we are attracted to things that are familiar.
Bruce D. Perry (What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
The one universal balm for the trauma of war was tea. It was the thing that helped people cope. People made tea during air raids and after air raids, and on breaks between retrieving bodies from shattered buildings. Tea bolstered the network of thirty thousand observers who watched for German aircraft over England, operating from one thousand observation posts, all stocked with tea and kettles. Mobile canteens dispensed gallons of it, steaming, from spigots. In propaganda films, the making of tea became a visual metaphor for carrying on. “Tea acquired almost a magical importance in London life,” according to one study of London during the war. “And the reassuring cup of tea actually did seem to help cheer people up in a crisis.” Tea ran through Mass-Observation diaries like a river. “That’s one trouble about the raids,” a female diarist complained. “People do nothing but make tea and expect you to drink it.” Tea anchored the day—though at teatime, Churchill himself did not actually drink it, despite reputedly having said that tea was more important than ammunition. He preferred whiskey and water. Tea was comfort and history; above all, it was English. As long as there was tea, there was England. But now the war and the strict rationing that came with it threatened to shake even this most prosaic of pillars.
Erik Larson (The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz)
You have not tasted servitude. There is no land beyond us and even the sea is no safe refuge when we are threatened by the Roman fleet. We are the last people on earth, and the last to be free: our very remoteness in a land known only to rumour has protected us up till this day. Today the furthest bounds of Britain lie open—and everything unknown is given an inflated worth. But now there is no people beyond us, nothing but tides and rocks and, more deadly than these, the Romans. It is no use trying to escape their arrogance by submission or good behaviour. They have pillaged the world: when the land has nothing left for men who ravage everything, they scour the sea. If an enemy is rich, they are greedy, if he is poor, they crave glory. Neither East nor West can sate their appetite. They are the only people on earth to covet wealth and poverty with equal craving. They plunder, they butcher, they ravish, and call it by the lying name of 'empire'. They make a desolation and call it 'peace
Tacitus
Dogs don’t know what they look like. Dogs don’t even know what size they are. No doubt it’s our fault, for breeding them into such weird shapes and sizes. My brother’s dachshund, standing tall at eight inches, would attack a Great Dane in the full conviction that she could tear it apart. When a little dog is assaulting its ankles the big dog often stands there looking confused — “Should I eat it? Will it eat me? I am bigger than it, aren’t I?” But then the Great Dane will come and try to sit in your lap and mash you flat, under the impression that it is a Peke-a-poo… Cats know exactly where they begin and end. When they walk slowly out the door that you are holding open for them, and pause, leaving their tail just an inch or two inside the door, they know it. They know you have to keep holding the door open. That is why their tail is there. It is a cat’s way of maintaining a relationship. Housecats know that they are small, and that it matters. When a cat meets a threatening dog and can’t make either a horizontal or a vertical escape, it’ll suddenly triple its size, inflating itself into a sort of weird fur blowfish, and it may work, because the dog gets confused again — “I thought that was a cat. Aren’t I bigger than cats? Will it eat me?” … A lot of us humans are like dogs: we really don’t know what size we are, how we’re shaped, what we look like. The most extreme example of this ignorance must be the people who design the seats on airplanes. At the other extreme, the people who have the most accurate, vivid sense of their own appearance may be dancers. What dancers look like is, after all, what they do.” — Ursula Le Guin, in The Wave in the Mind (via fortooate)
Ursula K. Le Guin
Such impulses have displayed themselves very widely across left and liberal opinion in recent months. Why? For some, because what the US government and its allies do, whatever they do, has to be opposed—and opposed however thuggish and benighted the forces which this threatens to put your anti-war critic into close company with. For some, because of an uncontrollable animus towards George Bush and his administration. For some, because of a one-eyed perspective on international legality and its relation to issues of international justice and morality. Whatever the case or the combination, it has produced a calamitous compromise of the core values of socialism, or liberalism or both, on the part of thousands of people who claim attachment to them. You have to go back to the apologias for, and fellow-travelling with, the crimes of Stalinism to find as shameful a moral failure of liberal and left opinion as in the wrong-headed—and too often, in the circumstances, sickeningly smug—opposition to the freeing of the Iraqi people from one of the foulest regimes on the planet.
Norman Geras (A Matter of Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq)
A week ago," Ishmael said, "when we were talking about laws, you said that there's only one kind of law about how people should live--the kind that can be changed by a vote. What do you think now? Can the laws that govern competition in the community be changed by a vote?" "No. But they're not absolutes, like the laws of aerodynamics. They can be broken." "Can't the laws of aerodynamics be broken?" "No. If your plane isn't built according to the law, it doesn't fly." "But if you push it off a cliff, it stays in the air, doesn't it?" "For a while." "The same is true of a civilization that isn't built in accordance with the law of limited competition... Any species that, as a matter of policy, exempts itself from the law of limited competition will end by destroying the community..." "Yes." "Then what have we discovered here?" "We've discovered a piece of certain knowledge about how people ought to live. Must live in fact." "The law we've outlined here enables species to live--enables species to survive, including the human. It won't tell you whether mood-altering drugs should be legalized or not. It won't tell you whether premarital sex is good or bad. It won't tell you if capital punishment is right or wrong. It *will* tell you how you have to live if you want to avoid extinction, and that's the first and most fundamental knowledge anyone needs... You might say that this is one of the law's basic operations: Those who threaten the stability of the community by defying the law automatically eliminate themselves.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
You smell of other people's blood, ma petite." I smiled at him, sweetly. "It was no one you knew." His voice when it came was low and dark, full of a quiet rage. It slithered across my skin, like a cold wind. "Have you been killing vampires, my little animator?" "No." I whispered it, my voice suddenly hoarse. I had never heard his voice like that. "They call you The Executioner, did you know that?" "Yes." He had done nothing to threaten me, yet nothing at that moment would have forced me to pass him. They might as well have barred the door. "How many kills do you have to your credit?" I didn't like this conversation. It wasn't going to end anywhere I wanted to be. I knew one master vampire who could smell lies. I didn't understand Jean-Claude's mood, but I wasn't about to lie to him. "Fourteen." "And you call us murderers." I just stared at him, not sure what he wanted me to say.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1))
I turn on my heel, which is no easy feat in a gravel parking lot. Not losing eye contact with Galen, I stare him down until I get to the door he's opened for me. He seems unconcerned. In fact, he seems downright emotionless. "This better be good," I tell him as I plop down. "You should have returned my calls. Or my texts," he says, his voice tight. As he backs out of the parking space, I yank my cell out of my purse, perusing the texts. "Well, doesn't look like anyone died, so why the hell did you ruin my date?" It's the first time I've ever cursed at royalty and it's liberating. "Or is this a kidnapping? Is Grom in the trunk? Are you taking us on our honeymoon?" You're supposed to be hurting him, not yourself, moron. My lip trembles like the traitor it is. Even though I'm looking away, I can tell Galen's impassive expression has softened because of the way he says, "Emma." "Leave me alone, Galen." He pulls my chin to face him. I knock his hand away. "You can't go forty miles an hour on the interstate, Galen. You need to speed up.” He sighs and presses the gas. By the time we reach a less-embarrassing speed, I’ve abandoned my hurt for rage-o-plenty, struck by the realization that I’ve turned into “that girl.” Not the one who exchanges her doctorate for some kids and a three-bedroom two-bath, but the other kind. That girl who exchanges her dignity and chances for happiness for some possessive loser who beats her when she makes eye contact with some random guy working the hot dog stand. Not that Galen beats me, but after his little show, what will people think? He acted like a lunatic tonight, stalking me to Atlantic City, blowing up my phone, and threatening my date with physical violence. He made serial-killer eyes, for crying out loud. That might be acceptable in the watery grave, but by dry-land standards, it’s the ingredients for a restraining order. And why are we getting off the interstate? “Where are you taking me? I told you I want to go home.” “We need to talk,” he says quietly, taking a dark road just off the exit. “I’ll take you home after I feel you understand.” “I don’t want to talk. You might have realized that when I didn’t answer your calls.” He pulls over on the shoulder of Where-Freaking-Are-We Street. Shutting off the engine, he turns to me, putting his arm around the back of my seat. “I don’t want to break up.” One Mississippi…two Mississippi…”You followed me like a crazy person to tell me that? You ruined my date for that? Mark is a nice guy. I deserve a nice guy, don’t I, Galen?” “Absolutely. But I happen to be a nice guy, too.” Three Mississippi…four Mississippi…”Don’t you mean Grom? And you’re not a nice guy. You threatened Mark with physical pain.” “You threw Rayna through a window. Call it even?” “When are you going to get over that? Besides, she provoked me!” “Mark provoked me, too. He put his hand on your leg. We won’t even talk about the kiss on your cheek. Don’t think I didn’t hear you give him permission either.” “Oh, now that’s rich,” I snort, getting out of the car. Slamming the door, I scream at him. “Now you’re acting jealous on behalf of your brother,” I say, spinning in place. “Can Grom do anything without the almighty Galen helping him?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
If the population is dissatisfied with the condition of society, then the leaders will invariably find a symbolic issue to channel the people’s focus away from any action that threatens the powerful. 'You’re poor? That’s a real shame. Well, look at that rich NFL player who won’t kneel for the national anthem! Doesn’t that disgust you? Aren’t you pissed off about that? Pay no attention to the system that keeps you in poverty, even though you work 40 hours a week and so does your spouse. Instead, focus on Colin Kaepernick not respecting our national theme song and refusing to grovel before our national rag! Don’t be disobedient in your own interest, instead turn on someone being disobedient in his own interest! That’s the American way!' Make no mistake, for the people upset at Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, that fight is a moral issue. They’re genuinely incensed that someone doesn’t show proper respect for the very same country that’s fucking them over, especially when it’s someone who has it better than them. 'What does he have to complain about? He makes 20 million a year! I’m stuck in a shitty job! Fuck him!' No. Fuck the corporation who doesn’t compensate you fairly for your shitty job. Fuck the country that lets them get away with it. And most of all, fuck you for being so easily distracted by symbols and pageantry that you don’t stop to take a look at who your real enemies are.
T.J. Kirk
Why does the theory of evolution provoke such objections, whereas nobody seems to care about the theory of relativity or quantum mechanics? How come politicians don’t ask that kids be exposed to alternative theories about matter, energy, space and time? After all, Darwin’s ideas seem at first sight far less threatening than the monstrosities of Einstein and Werner Heisenberg. The theory of evolution rests on the principle of the survival of the fittest, which is a clear and simple – not to say humdrum – idea. In contrast, the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics argue that you can twist time and space, that something can appear out of nothing, and that a cat can be both alive and dead at the same time. This makes a mockery of our common sense, yet nobody seeks to protect innocent schoolchildren from these scandalous ideas. Why? The theory of relativity makes nobody angry, because it doesn’t contradict any of our cherished beliefs. Most people don’t care an iota whether space and time are absolute or relative. If you think it is possible to bend space and time, well, be my guest. Go ahead and bend them. What do I care? In contrast, Darwin has deprived us of our souls. If you really understand the theory of evolution, you understand that there is no soul. This is a terrifying thought not only to devout Christians and Muslims, but also to many secular people who don’t hold any clear religious dogma, but nevertheless want to believe that each human possesses an eternal individual essence that remains unchanged throughout life, and can survive even death intact.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
So, a leader doesn’t have to possess all the virtuous qualities I’ve mentioned, but it’s absolutely imperative that he seem to possess them. I’ll go so far as to say this: if he had those qualities and observed them all the time, he’d be putting himself at risk. It’s seeming to be virtuous that helps; as, for example, seeming to be compassionate, loyal, humane, honest and religious. And you can even be those things, so long as you’re always mentally prepared to change as soon as your interests are threatened. What you have to understand is that a ruler, especially a ruler new to power, can’t always behave in ways that would make people think a man good, because to stay in power he’s frequently obliged to act against loyalty, against charity, against humanity and against religion. What matters is that he has the sort of character that can change tack as luck and circumstances demand, and, as I’ve already said, stick to the good if he can but know how to be bad when the occasion demands. So a ruler must be extremely careful not to say anything that doesn’t appear to be inspired by the five virtues listed above; he must seem and sound wholly compassionate, wholly loyal, wholly humane, wholly honest and wholly religious. There is nothing more important than appearing to be religious. In general people judge more by appearances than first-hand experience, because everyone gets to see you but hardly anyone deals with you directly. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few have experience of who you really are, and those few won’t have the courage to stand up to majority opinion underwritten by the authority of state
Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
Transcendental generosity is generally misunderstood in the study of the Buddhist scriptures as meaning being kind to someone who is lower than you.  Someone has this pain and suffering and you are in a superior position and can save them—which is a very simple-minded way of looking down on someone.  But in the case of the bodhisattva, generosity is not so callous.  It is something very strong and powerful; it is communication.   Communication must transcend irritation, otherwise it will be like trying to make a comfortable bed in a briar patch.  The penetrating qualities of external color, energy, and light will come toward us, penetrating our attempts to communicate like a thorn pricking our skin.  We will wish to subdue this intense irritation and our communication will be blocked.   Communication must be radiation and receiving and exchange.  Whenever irritation is involved, then we are not able to see properly and fully and clearly the spacious quality of that which is coming toward us, that which is presenting itself as communication.  The external world is immediately rejected by our irritation which says, “no, no, this irritates me, go away.”  Such an attitude is the complete opposite of transcendental generosity.   So the bodhisattva must experience the complete communication of generosity, transcending irritation and self-defensiveness.  Otherwise, when thorns threaten to prick us, we feel that we are being attacked, that we must defend ourselves.  We run away from the tremendous opportunity for communication that has been given to us, and we have not been brave enough even to look to the other shore of the river.  We are looking back and trying to run away.   Generosity is a willingness to give, to open without philosophical or pious or religious motives, just simply doing what is required at any moment in any situation, not being afraid to receive anything.  Opening could take place in the middle of a highway.  We are not afraid that smog and dust or people’s hatreds and passions will overwhelm us; we simply open, completely surrender, give.  This means that we do not judge, do not evaluate.  If we attempt to judge or evaluate our experience, if we try to decide to what extent we should open, to what extent we should remain closed, the openness will have no meaning at all and the idea of paramita, of transcendental generosity, will be in vain.  Our action will not transcend anything, will cease to be the act of a bodhisattva.   The whole implication of the idea of transcendence is that we see through the limited notions, the limited conceptions, the warfare mentality of this as opposed to that. Generally, when we look at an object, we do not allow ourselves to see it properly.  Automatically we see our version of the object instead of actually seeing the object as it is.  Then we are quite satisfied, because we have manufactured or own version of the thing within ourselves.   Then we comment on it, we judge, we take or reject; but there is on real communication going on at all.   Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, p.167, Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche
Chögyam Trungpa
The idea of “taking on” the baseline cultural narratives of late-modern secularism may sound intimidating. Those who promote the wisdom of this age, who disdain Christians as being “on the wrong side of history,” seem supremely confident. However, Christian preachers and teachers should not be abashed or threatened. Try to remember that you are at odds with a system of beliefs far more than you are at war with a group of people. Contemporary people are the victims of the late-modern mind far more than they are its perpetrators. Seen in this light the Christian gospel is more of a prison break than a battle. Paul cries out, “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20). In his day the cross and the atonement made no sense within any of the reigning worldviews. The philosophers treated Paul with disdain on Mars Hill in Acts 17, and hardly anyone believed his message. But answer the question. Where now is the wisdom of that world? It’s over, gone. No one believes those worldviews anymore. Such will always be the case. The philosophies of the world will come and go, rise and fall, but the wisdom we preach—the Word of God—will still be here.
Timothy J. Keller (Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Scepticism)
You may well ask: when the bubble finally burst, why did we not let the bankers crash and burn? Why weren't they held accountable for their absurd debts? For two reasons. First because the payment system - the simple means of transferring money from one account to another and on which every transaction relies - is monopolised by the very same bankers who were making the bets. Imagine having gifted your arteries and veins to a gambler. The moment he loses big at the casino, he can blackmail you for anything you have simply by threatening to cut off your circulation. Second, because the financiers' gambles contained deep inside the title deeds to the houses of the majority. A full-scale financial market collapse could therefore lead to mass homelessness and a complete breakdown in the social contract. Don't be surprised that the high and mighty financiers of Wall Street would bother financialising the modest homes of poor people. Having borrowed as much as they could off banks and rich clients in order to place their crazy bets, they craved more since the more they bet, the more they made. So they created more debt from scratch to use as raw materials for more bets. How? By lending to impecunious blue collar worker who dreamed of the security of one day owning their own home. What if these little people could not actually afford their mortgage in the medium term? In contrast to bankers of old, the Jills and the Jacks who actually leant them the money did not care if the repayments were made because they never intended to collect. Instead, having granted the mortgage, they put it into their computerised grinder, chopped it up literally into tiny pieces of debt and repackaged them into one of their labyrinthine derivatives which they would then sell at a profit. By the time the poor homeowner had defaulted and their home was repossessed, the financier who granted the loan in the first place had long since moved on.
Yanis Varoufakis (Technofeudalism: What Killed Capitalism)
Do the people in this country approve of this war?" [...]. "Approve? You don't think we'd lie down and let the damned Thuvians walk all over us? Our status as a world power is at stake!" "But I mean the people, not the government. The... the people who must fight." "What's it to them? They're used to mass conscriptions. It's what they're for, my dear fellow! To fight for their country. And let me tell you, there's no better soldier on earth than the Ioti man of the ranks, once he's broken in to taking orders. In peacetime he may spout sentimental pacifism, but the grit's there, underneath. The common soldier hs always been our greatest resource as a nation. It's how we became the leader we are." "By climbing up on a pile of dead children?" [...]. "No,"[...] "you'll find the soul of the people true as steel, when the country's threatened. A few rabble-rousers in Nio and the mill towns make a big noise between wars, but it's grand to see how people close ranks when the flag's in danger. You're unwilling to believe that, I know. The trouble with Odonianism, [...], is that it's womanish. It simply doesn't include the virile side of life. 'Blood and steel, battle's brightness,' as the old poet says. It doesn't understand courage--love of the flag." [...] "That may be true, in part. At least, we have no flags.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia)
I'm going to throw some suggestions at you now in rapid succession, assuming you are a father of one or more boys. Here we go: If you speak disparagingly of the opposite sex, or if you refer to females as sex objects, those attitudes will translate directly into dating and marital relationships later on. Remember that your goal is to prepare a boy to lead a family when he's grown and to show him how to earn the respect of those he serves. Tell him it is great to laugh and have fun with his friends, but advise him not to be "goofy." Guys who are goofy are not respected, and people, especially girls and women, do not follow boys and men whom they disrespect. Also, tell your son that he is never to hit a girl under any circumstances. Remind him that she is not as strong as he is and that she is deserving of his respect. Not only should he not hurt her, but he should protect her if she is threatened. When he is strolling along with a girl on the street, he should walk on the outside, nearer the cars. That is symbolic of his responsibility to take care of her. When he is on a date, he should pay for her food and entertainment. Also (and this is simply my opinion), girls should not call boys on the telephone-at least not until a committed relationship has developed. Guys must be the initiators, planning the dates and asking for the girl's company. Teach your son to open doors for girls and to help them with their coats or their chairs in a restaurant. When a guy goes to her house to pick up his date, tell him to get out of the car and knock on the door. Never honk. Teach him to stand, in formal situations, when a woman leaves the room or a table or when she returns. This is a way of showing respect for her. If he treats her like a lady, she will treat him like a man. It's a great plan. Make a concerted effort to teach sexual abstinence to your teenagers, just as you teach them to abstain from drug and alcohol usage and other harmful behavior. Of course you can do it! Young people are fully capable of understanding that irresponsible sex is not in their best interest and that it leads to disease, unwanted pregnancy, rejection, etc. In many cases today, no one is sharing this truth with teenagers. Parents are embarrassed to talk about sex, and, it disturbs me to say, churches are often unwilling to address the issue. That creates a vacuum into which liberal sex counselors have intruded to say, "We know you're going to have sex anyway, so why not do it right?" What a damning message that is. It is why herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases are spreading exponentially through the population and why unwanted pregnancies stalk school campuses. Despite these terrible social consequences, very little support is provided even for young people who are desperately looking for a valid reason to say no. They're told that "safe sex" is fine if they just use the right equipment. You as a father must counterbalance those messages at home. Tell your sons that there is no safety-no place to hide-when one lives in contradiction to the laws of God! Remind them repeatedly and emphatically of the biblical teaching about sexual immorality-and why someone who violates those laws not only hurts himself, but also wounds the girl and cheats the man she will eventually marry. Tell them not to take anything that doesn't belong to them-especially the moral purity of a woman.
James C. Dobson (Bringing Up Boys: Practical Advice and Encouragement for Those Shaping the Next Generation of Men)
So how, you might ask, do I exclude generously? This issue comes up a lot when I’m organizing large, complicated meetings for clients. These are some of the questions I ask them: Who not only fits but also helps fulfill the gathering’s purpose? Who threatens the purpose? Who, despite being irrelevant to the purpose, do you feel obliged to invite? When my clients answer the first two questions, they begin to grasp their gathering’s true purpose. Obviously people who fit and fulfill your gathering’s purpose need to be there. And, though this one is harder, people who manifestly threaten the purpose are easy to justify excluding. (That doesn’t mean they always end up being excluded. Politeness and habit often defeat the facilitator. But the hosts still know deep down who shouldn’t be there.) It is the third question where purpose begins to be tested. Someone threatens a gathering’s purpose? You can see why to keep him out. But what’s wrong with someone who’s irrelevant to the purpose? What’s wrong with inviting Bob? Every gathering has its Bobs. Bob in marketing. Bob your friend’s girlfriend’s brother. Bob your visiting aunt. Bob is perfectly pleasant and doesn’t actively sabotage your gathering. Most Bobs are grateful to be included. They sometimes bring extra effort or an extra bottle of wine. You’ve probably been a Bob. I certainly have. The crux of excluding thoughtfully and intentionally is mustering the courage to keep away your Bobs. It is to shift your perception so that you understand that people who aren’t fulfilling the purpose of your gathering are detracting from it, even if they do nothing to detract from it. This is because once they are actually in your presence, you (and other considerate guests) will want to welcome and include them, which takes time and attention away from what (and who) you’re actually there for. Particularly in smaller gatherings, every single person affects the dynamics of a group. Excluding well and purposefully is reframing who and what you are being generous to—your guests and your purpose.
Priya Parker (The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters)
Thought Control * Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth * Adopt the group’s “map of reality” as reality * Instill black and white thinking * Decide between good versus evil * Organize people into us versus them (insiders versus outsiders) * Change a person’s name and identity * Use loaded language and clichés to constrict knowledge, stop critical thoughts, and reduce complexities into platitudinous buzzwords * Encourage only “good and proper” thoughts * Use hypnotic techniques to alter mental states, undermine critical thinking, and even to age-regress the member to childhood states * Manipulate memories to create false ones * Teach thought stopping techniques that shut down reality testing by stopping negative thoughts and allowing only positive thoughts. These techniques include: * Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking * Chanting * Meditating * Praying * Speaking in tongues * Singing or humming * Reject rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism * Forbid critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy * Label alternative belief systems as illegitimate, evil, or not useful * Instill new “map of reality” Emotional Control * Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings—some emotions and/or needs are deemed as evil, wrong, or selfish * Teach emotion stopping techniques to block feelings of hopelessness, anger, or doubt * Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault * Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness, such as: * Identity guilt * You are not living up to your potential * Your family is deficient * Your past is suspect * Your affiliations are unwise * Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish * Social guilt * Historical guilt * Instill fear, such as fear of: * Thinking independently * The outside world * Enemies * Losing one’s salvation * Leaving * Orchestrate emotional highs and lows through love bombing and by offering praise one moment, and then declaring a person is a horrible sinner * Ritualistic and sometimes public confession of sins * Phobia indoctrination: inculcate irrational fears about leaving the group or questioning the leader’s authority * No happiness or fulfillment possible outside the group * Terrible consequences if you leave: hell, demon possession, incurable diseases, accidents, suicide, insanity, 10,000 reincarnations, etc. * Shun those who leave and inspire fear of being rejected by friends and family * Never a legitimate reason to leave; those who leave are weak, undisciplined, unspiritual, worldly, brainwashed by family or counselor, or seduced by money, sex, or rock and roll * Threaten harm to ex-member and family (threats of cutting off friends/family)
Steven Hassan
I am often filled with wonder when I see some men demanding the time of others and those from whom they ask it most indulgent. Both of them fix their eyes on the object of the request for time, neither of them on the time itself; just as if what is asked were nothing, what is given, nothing. Men trifle with the most precious thing in the world; but they are blind to it because it is an incorporeal thing, because it does not come beneath the sight of the eyes, and for this reason it is counted a very cheap thing—nay, of almost no value at all. Men set very great store by pensions and doles, and for these they hire out their labour or service or effort. But no one sets a value on time; all use it lavishly as if it cost nothing. But see how these same people clasp the knees of physicians if they fall ill and the danger of death draws nearer, see how ready they are, if threatened with capital punishment, to spend all their possessions in order to live! So great is the inconsistency of their feelings. But if each one could have the number of his future years set before him as is possible in the case of the years that have passed, how alarmed those would be who saw only a few remaining, how sparing of them would they be! And yet it is easy to dispense an amount that is assured, no matter how small it may be; but that must be guarded more carefully which will fail you know not when.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It (Penguin Great Ideas))
It's only second period, and the whole school knows Emma broke up with him. So far, he's collected eight phone numbers, one kiss on the cheek, and one pinch to the back of his jeans. His attempts to talk to Emma between classes are thwarted by a hurricane of teenage females whose main goal seems to be keeping him and his ex-girlfriend separated. When the third period bell rings, Emma has already chosen a seat where she'll be barricaded from him by other students. Throughout class, she pays attention as if the teacher were giving instructions on how to survive a life-threatening catastrophe in the next twenty-four hours. About midway through class, he receives a text from a number he doesn't recognize. If you let me, I can do things to u to make u forget her. As soon as he clears it, another one pops up from a different number. Hit me back if u want to chat. I'll treat u better than E. How did they get my number? Tucking his phone back into his pocket, he hovers over his notebook protectively, as if it's the only thing left that hasn't been invaded. Then he notices the foreign handwriting scribbled on it by a girl named Shena who encircled her name and phone number with a heart. Not throwing it across the room takes almost as much effort as not kissing Emma. At lunch, Emma once again blocks his access to her by sitting between people at a full picnic table outside. He chooses the table directly across from her, but she seems oblivious, absently soaking up the grease from the pizza on her plate until she's got at least fifteen orange napkins in front of her. She won't acknowledge that he's staring at her, waiting to wave her over as soon as she looks up. Ignoring the text message explosion in his vibrating pocket, he opens the contain of tuna fish Rachel packed for him. Forking it violently, he heaves a mound into his mouth, chewing without savoring it. Mark with the Teeth is telling Emma something she thinks is funny, because she covers her mouth with a napkin and giggles. Galen almost launches from his bench when Mark brushes a strand of hair from her face. Now he knows what Rachel meant when she told him to mark his territory early on. But what can he do if his territory is unmarking herself? News of their breakup has spread like an oil spill, and it seems as though Emma is making a huge effort to help it along. With his thumb and index finger, Galen snaps his plastic fork in half as Emma gently wipes Mark's mouth with her napkin. He rolls his eyes as Mark "accidentally" gets another splotch of JELL-O on the corner of his lips. Emma wipes that clean too, smiling like she's tending to a child. It doesn't help that Galen's table is filling up with more of his admirers-touching him, giggling at him, smiling at him for no reason, and distracting him from his fantasy of breaking Mark's pretty jaw. But that would only give Emma a genuine reason to assist the idiot in managing his JELL-O.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
To come back to the question, the wise man, self-sufficient as he is, still desires to have a friend if only for the purpose of practising friendship and ensuring that those talents are not idle. Not, as Epicurus put it in the same letter, ‘for the purpose of having someone to come and sit beside his bed when he is ill or come to his rescue when he is hard up or thrown into chains’, but so that on the contrary he may have someone by whose sickbed he himself may sit or whom he may himself release when that person is held prisoner by hostile hands. Anyone thinking of his own interests and seeking out friendship with this in view is making a great mistake. Things will end as they began; he has secured a friend who is going to come to his aid if captivity threatens: at the first clank of a chain that friend will disappear. These are what are commonly called fair-weather friendships. A person adopted as a friend for the sake of his usefulness will be cultivated only for so long as he is useful. This explains the crowd of friends that clusters about successful men and the lonely atmosphere about the ruined – their friends running away when it comes to the testing point; it explains the countless scandalous instances of people deserting or betraying others out of fear for themselves. The ending inevitably matches the beginning: a person who starts being friends with you because it pays him will similarly cease to be friends because it pays him to do so. If there is anything in a particular friendship that attracts a man other than the friendship itself, the attraction of some reward or other will counterbalance that of the friendship. What is my object in making a friend? To have someone to be able to die for, someone I may follow into exile, someone for whose life I may put myself up as security and pay the price as well. The thing you describe is not friendship but a business deal, looking to the likely consequences, with advantage as its goal. There can be no doubt that the desire lovers have for each other is not so very different from friendship – you might say it was friendship gone mad. Well, then, does anyone ever fall in love with a view to a profit, or advancement, or celebrity? Actual love in itself, heedless of all other considerations, inflames people’s hearts with a passion for the beautiful object, not without the hope, too, that the affection will be mutual. How then can the nobler stimulus of friendship be associated with any ignoble desire?
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
Besides, if you wouldn’t duel with Lord Everly when he called you a cheat, you certainly wouldn’t harm poor Lord Howard merely for touching my arm.” “Wouldn’t I?” he asked softly. “Those are two very different issues.” Not for the first time, Elizabeth found herself at a loss to understand him. Suddenly his presence was vaguely threatening again; whenever he stopped playing the amusing gallant he became a dark, mysterious stranger. Raking her hair off her forehead, she glanced out the window. “It must be after three already. I really must leave.” She surged to her feet, smoothing her skirts. “Thank you for a lovely afternoon. I don’t know why I remained. I shouldn’t have, but I am glad I did…” She ran out of words and watched in wary alarm as he stood up. “Don’t you?” he asked softly. “Don’t I what?” “Know why you’re still here with me?” “I don’t even know who you are?” she cried. “I know about places you’ve been, but not your family, your people. I know you gamble great sums of money at cards, and I disapprove of that-“ “I also gamble great sums of money on ships and cargo-will that improve my character in your eyes?” “And I know,” she continued desperately, watching his gaze turn warm and sensual, “I absolutely know you make me excessively uneasy when you look at me the way you’re doing now!” “Elizabeth,” he said in a tone of tender finality, “you’re here because we’re already half in love with each other.” “Whaaat? she gasped. “And as to needing to know who I am, that’s very simple to answer.” His hand lifted, grazing her pale cheek, then smoothing backward, cupping her head. Gently he explained, “I am the man you’re going to marry.” “Oh, my God!” “I think it’s too late to start praying,” he teased huskily. “You-you must be mad,” she said, her voice quavering. “My thoughts exactly,” he whispered, and, bending his head, he pressed his lips to her forehead, drawing her against his chest, holding her as if he knew she would struggle if he tried to do more than that. “You were not in my plans, Miss Cameron.” “Oh, please,” Elizabeth implored helplessly, “don’t do this to me. I don’t understand any of this. I don’t know what you want.” “I want you.” He took her chin between his thumb and forefinger and lifted it, forcing her to meet his steady gaze as he quietly added, “And you want me.” Elizabeth’s entire body started to tremble as his lips began descending to hers, and she sought to forestall what her heart knew was inevitable by reasoning with him. “A gently bred Englishwomen,” she shakily quoted Lucinda’s lecture, “feels nothing stronger than affection. We do not fall in love.” His warm lips covered hers. “I’m a Scot,” he murmured huskily. “We do.” “A Scot!” she uttered when he lifted his mouth from hers. He laughed at her appalled expression. “I said ‘Scot,’ not ‘ax murderer.” A Scot who was a gambler to boot! Havenhurst would land on the auction block, the servants turned off, and the world would fall apart. “I cannot, cannot marry you.” “Yes, Elizabeth,” he whispered as his lips trailed a hot path over her cheek to her ear, “you can.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
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)
According to H.G. Wells, you either adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative. It is not necessary to change, after all survival is not mandatory This generation might seem arrogant to the older generation due to some reasons. The older generation believes an older person or someone of higher authority is always right and being sceptical is an insult, lol Our generation is full of people who are so skeptical, they wanna know why this is this and that is that, they don't just hear and believe, they hear, hear from other sides, look at it critically and express their opinions based on their conviction. This generation is full of people who are somewhat confident cos they study, they observe and due to these, they are equipped with better information and like you know, knowledge is power. You know right from wrong, you know truth from lies. When you are with those in authority and have this knowledge, an ignorant person of higher authority would be scared of you, feel threatened and might resort to maltreating and frustrating you, defaming your character etc The older generation and the younger generation are usually having misunderstanding because the older generation are being deceived by pride, the younger generation due to their advanced education do not wanna give merit to whom it isn't due. While the older generation postulates that respect is not earned but compulsory for them to be accorded, the younger generation believes respect must be earned. lol The older generation rules by fiction but the younger generation lives by facts. The older generation uses age to oppress, the younger generation uses their knowledge to defend. The older generation believes they can never be wrong, the younger generation wants fair hearing, demands for it, if denied, they take it by force due to the confidence they've built around themselves. The older generation is unfair to the younger generation, there was once a time they were listened to without doubts and opposition, this is the time for the younger generation to be listened to due to advancement in education and exposure. The younger generation, due to their quest for higher knowledge through research, etc, they have realized the consequences of being ignorant and with their power of conviction, they are not letting the older generation have their autocratic ways affect them. To the younger generation, one should be able to prove whatever he says, no more latent heresies and this is what the older generation don't wanna hear of. The older generation wants to continue enslaving the younger generation but the younger generation is more equipped than the older generation and as such, not letting that happen. Technology advances every day, the younger generation are ever ready to adapt to the changes but the older generation is not ready for that, they wanna remain stagnant and still have the say of the day. Like George Bernard Shaw once said, the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man
OMOSOHWOFA CASEY
[There is] no direct relationship between IQ and economic opportunity. In the supposed interests of fairness and “social justice”, the natural relationship has been all but obliterated. Consider the first necessity of employment, filling out a job application. A generic job application does not ask for information on IQ. If such information is volunteered, this is likely to be interpreted as boastful exaggeration, narcissism, excessive entitlement, exceptionalism [...] and/or a lack of team spirit. None of these interpretations is likely to get you hired. Instead, the application contains questions about job experience and educational background, neither of which necessarily has anything to do with IQ. Universities are in business for profit; they are run like companies, seek as many paying clients as they can get, and therefore routinely accept people with lukewarm IQ’s, especially if they fill a slot in some quota system (in which case they will often be allowed to stay despite substandard performance). Regarding the quotas themselves, these may in fact turn the tables, advantaging members of groups with lower mean IQ’s than other groups [...] sometimes, people with lower IQ’s are expressly advantaged in more ways than one. These days, most decent jobs require a college education. Academia has worked relentlessly to bring this about, as it gains money and power by monopolizing the employment market across the spectrum. Because there is a glut of college-educated applicants for high-paying jobs, there is usually no need for an employer to deviate from general policy and hire an applicant with no degree. What about the civil service? While the civil service was once mostly open to people without college educations, this is no longer the case, and quotas make a very big difference in who gets hired. Back when I was in the New York job market, “minorities” (actually, worldwide majorities) were being spotted 30 (thirty) points on the civil service exam; for example, a Black person with a score as low as 70 was hired ahead of a White person with a score of 100. Obviously, any prior positive correlation between IQ and civil service employment has been reversed. Add to this the fact that many people, including employers, resent or feel threatened by intelligent people [...] and the IQ-parameterized employment function is no longer what it was once cracked up to be. If you doubt it, just look at the people running things these days. They may run a little above average, but you’d better not be expecting to find any Aristotles or Newtons among them. Intelligence has been replaced in the job market with an increasingly poor substitute, possession of a college degree, and given that education has steadily given way to indoctrination and socialization as academic priorities, it would be naive to suppose that this is not dragging down the overall efficiency of society. In short, there are presently many highly intelligent people working very “dumb” jobs, and conversely, many less intelligent people working jobs that would once have been filled by their intellectual superiors. Those sad stories about physics PhD’s flipping burgers at McDonald's are no longer so exceptional. Sorry, folks, but this is not your grandfather’s meritocracy any more.
Christopher Michael Langan
Mr. Haverstrom closes the door, leaving Patrick and me alone in the hallway. Pat smiles slickly, leaning in toward me. I step back until I press against the wall. It’s uncomfortable—but not threatening. Mostly because in addition to racquetball I’ve practiced aikido for years. So if Patrick tries anything funny, he’s in for a very painful surprise. “Let’s be honest, Sarah: you know and I know the last thing you want to do is give a presentation in front of hundreds of people—your colleagues.” My heart tries to crawl into my throat. “So, how about this? You do the research portion, slides and such that I don’t really have time for, and I’ll take care of the presentation, giving you half the credit of course.” Of course. I’ve heard this song before—in school “group projects” where I, the quiet girl, did all the work, but the smoothest, loudest talker took all the glory. “I’ll get Haverstrom to agree on Saturday—I’m like a son to him,” Pat explains before leaning close enough that I can smell the garlic on his breath. “Let Big Pat take care of it. What do you say?” I say there’s a special place in hell for people who refer to themselves in the third person. But before I can respond, Willard’s firm, sure voice travels down the hall. “I think you should back off, Nolan. Sarah’s not just ‘up for it,’ she’ll be fantastic at it.” Pat waves his hand. “Quiet, midge—the adults are talking.” And the adrenaline comes rushing back, but this time it’s not anxiety-induced—it’s anger. Indignation. I push off the wall. “Don’t call him that.” “He doesn’t mind.” “I mind.” He stares at me with something akin to surprise. Then scoffs and turns to Willard. “You always let a woman fight your battles?” I take another step forward, forcing him to move back. “You think I can’t fight a battle because I’m a woman?” “No, I think you can’t fight a battle because you’re a woman who can barely string three words together if more than two people are in the room.” I’m not hurt by the observation. For the most part, it’s true. But not this time. I smile slowly, devilishly. Suddenly, I’m Cathy Linton come to life—headstrong and proud. “There are more than two people standing here right now. And I’ve got more than three words for you: fuck off, you arrogant, self-righteous swamp donkey.” His expression is almost funny. Like he can’t decide if he’s more shocked that I know the word fuck or that I said it out loud to him—and not in the good way. Then his face hardens and he points at me. “That’s what I get for trying to help your mute arse? Have fun making a fool of yourself.” I don’t blink until he’s down the stairs and gone. Willard slow-claps as he walks down the hall to me. “Swamp donkey?” I shrug. “It just came to me.” “Impressive.” Then he bows and kisses the back of my hand. “You were magnificent.” “Not half bad, right? It felt good.” “And you didn’t blush once.” I push my dark hair out of my face, laughing self-consciously. “Seems like I forget all about being nervous when I’m defending someone else.” Willard nods. “Good. And though I hate to be the twat who points it out, there’s something else you should probably start thinking about straight away.” “What’s that?” “The presentation in front of hundreds of people.” And just like that, the tight, sickly feeling washes back over me. So this is what doomed feels like. I lean against the wall. “Oh, broccoli balls.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
While these tactics were aggressive and crude, they confirmed that our legislation had touched a nerve. I wasn’t the only one who recognized this. Many other victims of human rights abuses in Russia saw the same thing. After the bill was introduced they came to Washington or wrote letters to the Magnitsky Act’s cosponsors with the same basic message: “You have found the Achilles’ heel of the Putin regime.” Then, one by one, they would ask, “Can you add the people who killed my brother to the Magnitsky Act?” “Can you add the people who tortured my mother?” “How about the people who kidnapped my husband?” And on and on. The senators quickly realized that they’d stumbled onto something much bigger than one horrific case. They had inadvertently discovered a new method for fighting human rights abuses in authoritarian regimes in the twenty-first century: targeted visa sanctions and asset freezes. After a dozen or so of these visits and letters, Senator Cardin and his cosponsors conferred and decided to expand the law, adding sixty-five words to the Magnitsky Act. Those new words said that in addition to sanctioning Sergei’s tormentors, the Magnitsky Act would sanction all other gross human rights abusers in Russia. With those extra sixty-five words, my personal fight for justice had become everyone’s fight. The revised bill was officially introduced on May 19, 2011, less than a month after we posted the Olga Stepanova YouTube video. Following its introduction, a small army of Russian activists descended on Capitol Hill, pushing for the bill’s passage. They pressed every senator who would talk to them to sign on. There was Garry Kasparov, the famous chess grand master and human rights activist; there was Alexei Navalny, the most popular Russian opposition leader; and there was Evgenia Chirikova, a well-known Russian environmental activist. I didn’t have to recruit any of these people. They just showed up by themselves. This uncoordinated initiative worked beautifully. The number of Senate cosponsors grew quickly, with three or four new senators signing on every month. It was an easy sell. There wasn’t a pro-Russian-torture-and-murder lobby in Washington to oppose it. No senator, whether the most liberal Democrat or the most conservative Republican, would lose a single vote for banning Russian torturers and murderers from coming to America. The Magnitsky Act was gathering so much momentum that it appeared it might be unstoppable. From the day that Kyle Scott at the State Department stonewalled me, I knew that the administration was dead set against this, but now they were in a tough spot. If they openly opposed the law, it would look as if they were siding with the Russians. However, if they publicly supported it, it would threaten Obama’s “reset” with Russia. They needed to come up with some other solution. On July 20, 2011, the State Department showed its cards. They sent a memo to the Senate entitled “Administration Comments on S.1039 Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law.” Though not meant to be made public, within a day it was leaked.
Bill Browder (Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice)