Poor Life Quotes

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Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Really, the combination of the scabs and the ointment looks hideous. I can't help enjoying his distress. "Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life you haven't looked pretty?" I say. "It must be. The sensation's completely new. How have you managed it all these years?" he asks. "Just avoid mirrors. You'll forget about it," I say. "Not if I keep looking at you," he says.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
William Shakespeare (Macbeth)
It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
Don't confuse poor decision-making with destiny. Own your mistakes. It’s ok; we all make them. Learn from them so they can empower you!
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.
Jack London
There were people who went to sleep last night, poor and rich and white and black, but they will never wake again. And those dead folks would give anything at all for just five minutes of this weather or ten minutes of plowing. So you watch yourself about complaining. What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it.
Maya Angelou
If I am to be fallen into love, I will. And if as a result I will appear to be stupid, disillusioned, and of poor judgment, I will. And I would be damned if I cared what other people think. For I would rather be thought of as all of these things, than not love. If in loving, I become the naked woman on the horse, I will ride that horse with my head held high. This is my spirit. I am unbreakable.
C. JoyBell C.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt (Strenuous Life)
Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
William Shakespeare (Macbeth)
However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Good works is giving to the poor and the helpless, but divine works is showing them their worth to the One who matters.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
MT [Mother Teresa] was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction.
Christopher Hitchens
See, the poor dream all their lives of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of?? Losing weight and looking like the poor.
Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger)
Every life deserves a certain amount of dignity, no matter how poor or damaged the shell that carries it.
Rick Bragg (All Over But the Shoutin')
You may be poor, but the one thing nobody can take away from you is the freedom to fuck up your life whatever way you want to.
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
Spike (to Giles) : Oh, poor Watcher. Did your life pass before your eyes — 'Cuppa tea, cuppa tea... almost got shagged... cuppa tea'?
Marti Noxon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
A dog doesn't care if you're rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.
John Grogan (Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog)
O Me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish; Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?) Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the struggle ever renew’d; Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me; Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me intertwined; The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here—that life exists, and identity; That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Everyday is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor, we've got 24 hours each.
Christopher Rice
In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn't read all the time -- none, zero. You'd be amazed at how much Warren reads--and at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I'm a book with a couple of legs sticking out.
Charles T. Munger (Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger)
I realized it for the first time in my life: there is nothing but mystery in the world, how it hides behind the fabric of our poor, browbeat days, shining brightly, and we don't even know it.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
Poor creatures. What did we do to you? With all our schemes and plans?
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
Poor fellow! I think he is in love with you.' I am not aware of it. And to me it is one of the most odious things in a girl's life, that there must always be some supposition of falling in love coming between her and any man who is kind to her... I have no ground for the nonsensical vanity of fancying everybody who comes near me is in love with me.
George Eliot
Somewhere between love and hate lies confusion, misunderstanding and desperate hope.
Shannon L. Alder
Out of my thoughts! You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since – on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to displace with your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation I associate you only with the good, and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may. O God bless you, God forgive you!
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
We are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose - just as a poor hand can win - but we must all play the cards the fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.
Brigid Kemmerer (A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1))
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
William Shakespeare (Macbeth)
Envy is the religion of the mediocre. It comforts them, it soothes their worries, and finally it rots their souls, allowing them to justify their meanness and their greed until they believe these to be virtues. Such people are convinced that the doors of heaven will be opened only to poor wretches like themselves who go through life without leaving any trace but their threadbare attempts to belittle others and to exclude - and destroy if possible - those who, by the simple fact of their existence, show up their own poorness of spirit, mind, and guts. Blessed be the one at whom the fools bark, because his soul will never belong to them.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2))
Taking on too much of other people's drama is just a poor excuse for not taking ownership and control over your own life.
José N. Harris (Mi Vida)
If you’re the kind of person who has no guts, you just give up every time life pushes you. If you’re that kind of person, you’ll live all your life playing it safe, doing the right things, saving yourself for something that never happens. Then, you die a boring old man.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
Fuck you," said Czernobog. "Fuck you and fuck your mother and fuck the fucking horse you fucking rode in on. You will not even die in battle. No warrior will taste your blood. No one alive will take your life. You will die a soft, poor death. You will die with a kiss on your lips and a lie in your heart.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don't think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, 'I'm probably no better than you, but I'm certainly your equal.
Harper Lee
Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Day by day, and at the end of the day-if you live long enough-like most people, you will get out of life what you deserve.
Charles T. Munger (Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger)
As I said, I wish I could say it was easy. It wasn't, but it wasn't hard either. But without a strong reason or purpose, anything in life is hard.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose... ...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.
Rainer Maria Rilke
If you set yourself to it, you can live the same life, rich or poor. You can keep on with your books and your ideas. You just got to say to yourself, "I'm a free man in here" - he tapped his forehead - "and you're all right.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
Life… For some it is battle for others its dance...For rich it is party for poor it is chance!
Nino Varsimashvili
Some of the most beautiful things we have in life comes from our mistakes.
Surgeo Bell
He had looked at Jude, then, and had felt that same sensation he sometimes did when he thought, really thought of Jude and what his life had been: a sadness, he might have called it, but it wasn't a pitying sadness; it was a larger sadness, one that seemed to encompass all the poor striving people, the billions he didn't know, all living their lives, a sadness that mingled with a wonder and awe at how hard humans everywhere tried to live, even when their days were so very difficult, even when their circumstances were so wretched. Life is so sad, he would think in those moments. It's so sad, and yet we all do it.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Clearly, America has no shortage of metaphorical opportunities for the poor.
Stephen Colbert (I Am America (And So Can You!))
Casting aside other things, hold to the precious few; and besides bear in mind that every man lives only the present, which is an indivisible point, and that all the rest of his life is either past or is uncertain. Brief is man's life and small the nook of the earth where he lives; brief, too, is the longest posthumous fame, buoyed only by a succession of poor human beings who will very soon die and who know little of themselves, much less of someone who died long ago.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
It is very important that you only do what you love to do. you may be poor, you may go hungry, you may lose your car, you may have to move into a shabby place to live, but you will totally live. And at the end of your days you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do. Otherwise, you will live your life as a prostitute, you will do things only for a reason, to please other people, and you will never have lived. and you will not have a pleasant death.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Poor soul, you will never know anything of real importance. You will not uncover even one of life's secrets. Although all religions promise paradise, take care to create your own paradise here and now on earth.
Omar Khayyám (The Ruba'iyat of Omar Khayyam)
When you live your life by poor standards, you inflict damage on everyone who crosses your path, especially those you love.
Jordan Belfort
Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.
Sholom Aleichem
Poor animals, how jealously they guard their bodies, for to us is merely an evening’s meal, but to them is life itself.
T. Casey Brennan
The story of a poor man's life is written on his body, in a sharp pen.
Aravind Adiga (The White Tiger)
How to find a good spouse? -the best single way is to deserve a good spouse.
Charles T. Munger (Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger)
We think we can make honey without sharing in the fate of bees, but we are in truth nothing but poor bees, destined to accomplish our task and then die.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
The poor man shuddered, overflowed with an angelic joy; he declared in his transport that this would last through life; he said to himself that he really had not suffered enough to deserve such radiant happiness, and he thanked God, in the depths of his soul, for having permitted that he, a miserable man, should be so loved by this innocent being.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
There is no better teacher than history in determining the future... There are answers worth billions of dollars in 30$ history book.
Charles T. Munger (Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger)
Hebrew word for "charity" tzedakah, simply means "justice" and as this suggests, for Jews, giving to the poor is no optional extra but an essential part of living a just life.
Peter Singer (The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty)
I figured I could get a job at a filling station somewhere, putting gas and oil in people's cars. I didn't care what kind of job it was, though. Just so people didn't know me and I didn't know anybody. I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having conversations for the rest of my life. Everybody'd think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard and they'd leave me alone.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
However mean your life is, meet and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man’s abode; the snow melts before its doors as early in the spring. Cultivate property like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Turn the old; return to them. Things do not change; we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts… Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
It is a common condition of being poor... you are always afraid that the good things in your life are temporary, that someone can take them away, because you have no power beyond your own brute strength to stop them.
Rick Bragg
Oh, Will," she said, "What can we do? Whatever can we do? I want to live with you forever. I want to kiss you and lie down with you and wake up with you every day of my life till I die, years and years and years away. I don't want a memory, just a memory..." "No," he said. "Memory's a poor thing to have. It's your own real hair and mouth and arms and eyes and hands I want. I didn't know I could ever love anything so much. Oh, Lyra, I wish this night would never end! If only we could stay here like this, and the world could stop turning, and everyone else could fall into a sleep..." "Everyone except us! And you and I could live here forever and just love each other." "I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I'll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again..." "I'll be looking for you, Will, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we'll cling together so tight that nothing and no one'll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you...We'll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pin trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams...And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won't just be able to take one, they'll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we'll be joined so tight..." They lay side by side, hand in hand, looking at the sky.
Philip Pullman (The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3))
The truth is, almost everything we do is done poorly when we first start doing it – that’s how we learn.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
When she does not find love, she may find poetry. Because she does not act, she observes, she feels, she records; a color, a smile awakens profound echoes within her; her destiny is outside her, scattered in cities already built, on the faces of men already marked by life, she makes contact, she relishes with passion and yet in a manner more detached, more free, than that of a young man. Being poorly integrated in the universe of humanity and hardly able to adapt herself therein, she, like the child, is able to see it objectively; instead of being interested solely in her grasp on things, she looks for their significance; she catches their special outlines, their unexpected metamorphoses. She rarely feels a bold creativeness, and usually she lacks the technique of self-expression; but in her conversation, her letters, her literary essays, her sketches, she manifests an original sensitivity. The young girl throws herself into things with ardor, because she is not yet deprived of her transcendence; and the fact that she accomplishes nothing, that she is nothing, will make her impulses only the more passionate. Empty and unlimited, she seeks from within her nothingness to attain All.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
Simon whispered to me, “But is everything okay?” “No,” Tori said. “I kidnapped her and forced her to escape with me. I’ve been using her as a human shield against those guys with guns, and I was just about to strangle her and leave her body here to throw them off my trail. But then you showed up and foiled my evil plans. Lucky for you, though. You get to rescue poor little Chloe again and win her undying gratitude.” “Undying gratitude?” Simon looked at me. “Cool. Does that come with eternal servitude? If so, I like my eggs sunnyside up.” I smiled. “I’ll remember that.” *** “Oh, right. You must be starving.” Simon reached into his pockets. “I can offer one bruised apple and one brown banana. Convenience stores aren’t the place to buy fruit, as I keep telling someone.” “Better than these. For you, anyway, Simon.” Derek passed a bar to Tori. “Because you aren’t supposed to have those, are you?” I said. “Which reminds me…” I took out the insulin. “Derek said it’s your backup.” “So my dark secret is out.” “I didn’t know it was a secret.” “Not really. Just not something I advertise.” ... “Backup?” Tori said. “You mean he didn’t need that?” “Apparently not,” I murmured. Simon looked from her to me, confused, then understanding. “You guys thought…” “That if you didn’t get your medicine in the next twenty-four hours, you’d be dead?” I said. “Not exactly, but close. You know, the old ‘upping the ante with a fatal disease that needs medication’ twist. Apparently, it still works.” “Kind of a letdown, then, huh?” “No kidding. Here we were, expecting to find you minutes from death. Look at you, not even gasping.” “All right, then. Emergency medical situation, take two.” He leaped to his feet, staggered, keeled over, then lifted his head weakly. “Chloe? Is that you?” He coughed. “Do you have my insulin?” I placed it in his outstretched hand. “You saved my life,” he said. “How can I ever repay you?” “Undying servitude sounds good. I like my eggs scrambled.” He held up a piece of fruit. “Would you settle for a bruised apple?” I laughed.
Kelley Armstrong (The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2))
Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life you haven't looked pretty?" "It must be. The sensation's completely new. How have you managed it all these years?
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
There seems to be a requirement for just so many people to be in the poor class, just as the need for a middle class exists. One class actually supports the other. The only way to get out of that cycle is to fight your way out. Never pass up an opportunity, and stick your foot into every open door, even if it’s just to see what’s inside. If there’s a possibility of seeing something you never have seen to experiencing something new. Do it. 
Gaylan D. Wright (Slave to the Dream: Everyone’s Dream)
Nobody's going to do your life for you. You have to do it yourself, whether you're rich or poor, out of money or raking it in, the beneficiary of ridiculous fortune or terrible injustice. And you have to do it no matter what is true. No matter what is hard. No matter what unjust, sad, sucky things befall you. Self-pity is a dead-end road. You make the choice to drive down it. It's up to you to decide to stay parked there or to turn around and drive out.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
When shit becomes valuable, the poor will be born without assholes.
Henry Miller
You all have your own distinct personal backgrounds. Of course some of you come from rich families, some from poor families. But circumstances beyond your control like that shouldn’t determine who you are. You must all realize what you’re worth on your own.
Koushun Takami (Battle Royale)
If you have no one, you are poor; if you have an acquaintance, you are fortunate; if you have a friend, you are privileged; if you have a lover, you are rich; if you have a soulmate, you are wealthy.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere. In freedom it gives itself unreservedly, abundantly, completely. All the laws on the statutes, all the courts in the universe, cannot tear it from the soil, once love has taken root.
Emma Goldman (Marriage and Love)
I thought climbing the Devil's Thumb would fix all that was wrong with my life. In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
She was still hugging the cat. "Poor slob," she said, tickling his head, "poor slob without a name. It's a little inconvenient, his not having a name. But I haven't any right to give him one: he'll have to wait until he belongs to somebody. We just sort of took up by the river one day, we don't belong to each other: he's an independent, and so am I. I don't want to own anything until I know I've found the place where me and things belong together. I'm not quite sure where that is just yet. But I know what it's like." She smiled, and let the cat drop to the floor. "It's like Tiffany's," she said. [...] It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there, not with those kind men in their nice suits, and that lovely smell of silver and alligator wallets. If I could find a real-life place that made me feel like Tiffany's, then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name.
Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany's and Three Stories)
Making mistakes is part of learning to choose well. No way around it. Choices are thrust upon us, and we don't always get things right. Even postponing or avoiding a decision can become a choice that carries heavy consequences. Mistakes can be painful-sometimes they cause irrevocable harm-but welcome to Earth. Poor choices are part of growing up, and part of life. You will make bad choices, and you will be affected by the poor choices of others. We must rise above such things.
Brandon Mull (Keys to the Demon Prison (Fablehaven, #5))
What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows. No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass. No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night. No time to turn at Beauty's glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance. No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began. A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. - Leisure
W.H. Davies (Common Joys and Other Poems)
[F]or when you get in love you are made all over again. The person who loves you has picked you out of the great mass of uncreated clay which is humanity to make something out of, and the poor lumpish clay which is you wants to find out what it has been made into. But at the same time, you, in the act of loving somebody, become real, cease to be a part of the continuum of the uncreated clay and get the breath of life in you and rise up. So you create yourself by creating another person, who, however, has also created you, picked up the you-chunk of clay out of the mass. So there are two you's, the one you create by loving and the one the beloved creates by loving you. The farther those two you's are apart the more the world grinds and grudges on its axis. But if you loved and were loved perfectly then there wouldn't be any difference between the two you's or any distance between them. They would coincide perfectly, there would be perfect focus, as when a stereoscope gets the twin images on the card into perfect alignment.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life you haven't looked pretty?" I say. "It must be. The sensation is completely new. How have you managed it all these years?" he asks. "Just avoid mirrors. You'll forget about it," I say.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
If you have one parent who loves you, even if they can't buy you clothes, they're so poor and they make all kinds of mistakes and maybe sometimes they even give you awful advice, but never for one moment do you doubt their love for you--if you have this, you have incredibly good fortune. If you have two parents who love you? You have won life's Lotto. If you do not have parents, or if the parents you have are so broken and so, frankly, terrible that they are no improvement over nothing, this is fine. It's not ideal because it's harder without adults who love you more than they love themselves. But harder is just harder, that's all.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan)
Most people fail to realize that in life, it’s not how much money you make, it’s how much money you keep.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
It's ok to be a fool once or twice but never let it be a third time. Be smart and pretend to be a fool and at the end of the hunt make sure you're the one that has the gun.
Surgeo Bell
the poor dog, in life the firmest friend, the first to welcome, the foremost to defend.
Lord Byron
We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition
William James
Poor you, you have two cute girls vying for your love. Your life is hard.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Growing up, I never felt deprived. I was always happy. It seems only lately I've started seeing everything I didn't have.
Kasie West (The Distance Between Us (Old Town Shops, #1))
Dear Sir, poor sir, brave sir." he read, "You are an experiment by the Creator of the Universe. You are the only creature in the entire Universe who has free will. You are the only one who has to figure out what to do next - and why. Everybody else is a robot, a machine. Some persons seem to like you, and others seem to hate you, and you must wonder why. They are simply liking machines and hating machines. You are pooped and demoralized, " read Dwayne. "Why wouldn't you be? Of course it is exhausting, having to reason all the time in a universe which wasn't meant to be reasonable.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
Why am I compelled to write?... Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and anger... To become more intimate with myself and you. To discover myself, to preserve myself, to make myself, to achieve self-autonomy. To dispell the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit... Finally I write because I'm scared of writing, but I'm more scared of not writing.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa
Of course, everyone's going to freak out when you show up at school." "Freak out? Why?" "Because you're so much hotter now than when you left." She shrugged. "It's true. Must be a vampire thing." Simon looked baffled. "I'm hotter now?" "Sure you are. I mean, look at those two. They're both totally into you." She pointed to a few feet in front of them, where Isabelle and Maia had moved to walk side by side, their head bent together. Simon looked up ahead at the girls. Clary could almost swear he was blushing. "Are they? Sometimes they get together and whisper and stare at me. I have no idea what it's about." "Sure you don't." Clary grinned. "Poor you, you have two cute girls vying for your love. Your life is hard.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
It's a shame you left without a word, you know. She was just beginning to trust you before that. Before you got angry. Before you ran off. Just like every other man in her life. Lusting after her, full of sweet words, then just walking away. Leaving her alone. Good thing she's used to it by now, isn't it? Otherwise you might have hurt her. Otherwise you just might have broken that poor girl's heart
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
Believe me, I know all about bottle acoustics. I spent much of the sixth century in an old sesame oil jar, corked with wax, bobbing about in the Red Sea. No one heard my hollers. In the end an old fisherman set me free, by which time I was desperate enough to grant him several wishes. I erupted in the form of a smoking giant, did a few lightning bolts, and bent to ask him his desire. Poor old boy had dropped dead of a heart attack. There should be a moral there, but for the life of me I can't see one.
Jonathan Stroud
The poor are sad they're poor, Adam had once mused, and turns out the rich are sad they're rich.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
A beautiful day might bring disaster, while a day that begins trapped inside an ancient toom, might be the best one of your life. If you don´t abandon hope on pleasent days, why do so on those that begin poorly?
Michael J. Sullivan (Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations, #5-6))
But most critically, sweet, never try to change the narrative structure of someone else's story, though you will certainly be tempted to, as you watch those poor souls in school, in life, heading unwittingly down dangerous tangents, fatal digressions from which they will unlikely be able to emerge. Resist the temptation. Spend your energies on your story. Reworking it. Making it better.
Marisha Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
he saw that all the struggles of life were incessant, laborious, painful, that nothing was done quickly, without labor, that it had to undergo a thousand fondlings, revisings, moldings, addings, removings, graftings, tearings, correctings, smoothings, rebuildings, reconsiderings, nailings, tackings, chippings, hammerings, hoistings, connectings — all the poor fumbling uncertain incompletions of human endeavor. They went on forever and were forever incomplete, far from perfect, refined, or smooth, full of terrible memories of failure and fears of failure, yet, in the way of things, somehow noble, complete, and shining in the end.
Jack Kerouac
Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes playing a poor hand well.
Jack London (To Build A Fire)
Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that.
Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard's Almanack)
It’s all circling around the same problem of personal liberties,” Walter said. “People came to this country for either money or freedom. If you don’t have money, you cling to your freedoms all the more angrily. Even if smoking kills you, even if you can’t afford to feed your kids, even if your kids are getting shot down by maniacs with assault rifles. You may be poor, but the one thing nobody can take away from you is the freedom to fuck up your life whatever way you want to.
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
I blame my mother for my poor sex life. All she told me was 'the man goes on top and the woman underneath.' For three years my husband and I slept in bunk beds.
Joan Rivers
More girls were killed in the last 50 years, precisely because they were girls, than men killed in all the wars in the 20th century. More girls are killed in this routine gendercide in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the 20th century. The equivalent of 5 jumbo jets worth of women die in labor each day... life time risk of maternal death is 1,000x higher in a poor country than in the west. That should be an international scandal.
Nicholas D. Kristof (Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide)
I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having conversations for the rest of my life. Everybody'd think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard and they'd leave me alone . . . I'd cook all my own food, and later on, if I wanted to get married or something, I'd meet this beautiful girl that was also a deaf-mute and we'd get married. She'd come and live in my cabin with me, and if she wanted to say anything to me, she'd have to write it on a piece of paper, like everybody else
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
Art is amoral; so is life. For me there are no obscene pictures or books; there are only poorly conceived and poorly executed ones.
Irving Stone (Lust for Life)
Isn't it true that you start your life a sweet child believing in everything under your father's roof? Then comes the day of the Laodiceans, when you know you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, and with the visage of a gruesome grieving ghost you go shuddering through nightmare life.
Jack Kerouac
At times I feel as if I had lived all this before and that I have already written these very words, but I know it was not I: it was another woman, who kept her notebooks so that one day I could use them. I write, she wrote, that memory is fragile and the space of a single life is brief, passing so quickly that we never get a chance to see the relationship between events; we cannot gauge the consequences of our acts, and we believe in the fiction of past, present, and future, but it may also be true that everything happens simultaneously. ... That's why my Grandmother Clara wrote in her notebooks, in order to see things in their true dimension and to defy her own poor memory.
Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits)
That would be a glorious life, to addict oneself to perfection; to follow the curve of the sentence wherever it might lead, into deserts, under drifts of sand, regardless of lures, of seductions; to be poor always and unkempt; to be ridiculous in Piccadilly.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
I once saw a spindly man carrying a stone larger than his head upon his back. He stumbled beneath the weight, shirtless under the sun, wearing only a loincloth. He tottered down a busy thoroughfare. People made way for him. Not because they sympathized with him, but because they feared the momentum of his steps. You dare not impede one such as this. The monarch is like this man, stumbling along, the weight of a kingdom on his shoulders. Many give way before him, but so few are willing to step in and help carry the stone. They do not wish to attach themselves to the work, lest they condemn themselves to a life full of extra burdens. I left my carriage that day and took up the stone, lifting it for the man. I believe my guards were embarrassed. One can ignore a poor shirtless wretch doing such labor, but none ignore a king sharing the load. Perhaps we should switch places more often. If a king is seen to assume the burden of the poorest of men, perhaps there will be those who will help him with his own load, so invisible, yet so daunting.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poor-house. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the alms-house as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough , it is your God-given right to have it...I was a raw youth who mistook passion for insight and acted according to an obscure, gap-ridden logic. I thought climbing the Devils Thumb would fix all that was wrong with my life. In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams. And I lived to tell my tale.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Those who fail to exhibit positive attitudes, no matter the external reality, are seen as maladjusted and in need of assistance. Their attitudes need correction. Once we adopt an upbeat vision of reality, positive things will happen. This belief encourages us to flee from reality when reality does not elicit positive feelings. These specialists in "happiness" have formulated something they call the "Law of Attraction." It argues that we attract those things in life, whether it is money, relationships or employment, which we focus on. Suddenly, abused and battered wives or children, the unemployed, the depressed and mentally ill, the illiterate, the lonely, those grieving for lost loved ones, those crushed by poverty, the terminally ill, those fighting with addictions, those suffering from trauma, those trapped in menial and poorly paid jobs, those whose homes are in foreclosure or who are filing for bankruptcy because they cannot pay their medical bills, are to blame for their negativity. The ideology justifies the cruelty of unfettered capitalism, shifting the blame from the power elite to those they oppress. And many of us have internalized this pernicious message, which in times of difficulty leads to personal despair, passivity and disillusionment.
Chris Hedges
Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet. And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more. This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it. Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought. Er, excuse me, who am I? Hello? Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach. Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet? No. Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation … Or is it the wind? There really is a lot of that now isn’t it? And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me? And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence. Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
I know that I shall die struggling for breath, and I know that I shall be horribly afraid. I know that I shall not be able to keep myself from regretting bitterly the life that has brought me to such a pass; but I disown that regret. I now, weak, old, diseased, poor, dying, hold still my soul in my hands, and I regret nothing.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
If we don’t want life to treat us like poor clodhoppers or bland hang-abouts, we have to turn ‘surviving’ into ‘living’, readjust our course and propel pointedly a precise track, without being deterred by fear and apprehension. ("Camera obscura of the mind" )
Erik Pevernagie
In Our Woods, Sometimes a Rare Music Every spring I hear the thrush singing in the glowing woods he is only passing through. His voice is deep, then he lifts it until it seems to fall from the sky. I am thrilled. I am grateful. Then, by the end of morning, he's gone, nothing but silence out of the tree where he rested for a night. And this I find acceptable. Not enough is a poor life. But too much is, well, too much. Imagine Verdi or Mahler every day, all day. It would exhaust anyone.
Mary Oliver (A Thousand Mornings)
Oh, what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made personal, merely personal feeling. This is what is the matter with us: we are bleeding at the roots because we are cut off from the earth and sun and stars. Love has become a grinning mockery because, poor blossom, we plucked it from its stem on the Tree of Life and expected it to keep on blooming in our civilized vase on the table.
D.H. Lawrence
If you've treated your girlfriend without respect, taken advantage of her, or cheated on her, your actions have taught her that she has no value. Needless to say, this is a serious, serious injury. If you don't try to make it right, she might start to believe the lie you've told her and spend the rest of her life thinking she deserves poor treatment.
Josh Shipp (The Teen's Guide to World Domination: Advice on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Awesomeness)
Most of the luxuries, and many of the so called comforts of life, are not only indispensable, but positive hinderances to the elevation of mankind. With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have ever lived a more simple and meagre life than the poor.
Henry David Thoreau
Poor people have few choices in life, and most of the time you don't think too much about it. You get the best you can and do without when necessary, and hope to God you won't be wiped out by something you can't control. But there are moments it hurts, where there is something you want in the very marrow of your bones and you know there is no way you can have it.
Lisa Kleypas (Sugar Daddy (Travises, #1))
Don't let yourself be victimized by the age you live in. It's not the times that will bring us down, any more than it's society. When you put the blame on society, then you end up turning to society for the solution. Just like those poor neurotics at the Care Fest. There's a tendency today to absolve individuals of moral responsiblity and treat them as victims of social circumstance. You buy that, you pay with your soul. It's not men who limit women, it's not straights who limit gays, it's not whites who limit black. what limits people is lack of character. What limites people is that they don't have the fucking nerve or imagination to star in their own movie, let alone direct it. Yuck....It's a wonderful time to be alive. As long as one has enough dynamite. --pg. 116-117
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
Tell me this--if you knew you would be poor as a church mouse all your life--if you knew you'd never have a line published--would you still go on writing--would you?' 'Of course I would,' said Emily disdainfully. 'Why, I have to write--I can't help it at times--I've just got to.
L.M. Montgomery (Emily of New Moon (Emily, #1))
I know you, I know you. You're the only serious person in the room, aren't you, the only one who understands, and you can prove it by the fact that you've never finished a single thing in your life. You're the only well-educated person, because you never went to college, and you resent education, you resent social ease, you resent good manners, you resent success, you resent any kind of success, you resent God, you resent Christ, you resent thousand-dollar bills, you resent Christmas, by God, you resent happiness, you resent happiness itself, because none of that's real. What is real, then? Nothing's real to you that isn't part of your own past, real life, a swamp of failures, of social, sexual, financial, personal...spiritual failure. Real life. You poor bastard. You don't know what real life is, you've never been near it. All you have is a thousand intellectualized ideas about life. But life? Have you ever measured yourself against anything but your own lousy past? Have you ever faced anything outside yourself? Life! You poor bastard.
William Gaddis (The Recognitions)
The prisons in the United States had long been an extreme reflection of the American system itself: the stark life differences between rich and poor, the racism, the use of victims against one another, the lack of resources of the underclass to speak out, the endless "reforms" that changed little. Dostoevski once said: "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." It had long been true, and prisoners knew this better than anyone, that the poorer you were the more likely you were to end up in jail. This was not just because the poor committed more crimes. In fact, they did. The rich did not have to commit crimes to get what they wanted; the laws were on their side. But when the rich did commit crimes, they often were not prosecuted, and if they were they could get out on bail, hire clever lawyers, get better treatment from judges. Somehow, the jails ended up full of poor black people.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
Through the present moment, you have access to the power of life itself, that which has traditionally been called "God." As soon as you turn away from it, God ceases to be a reality in your life, and all you are left with is the mental concept of God, which some people believe in and others deny. Even belief in God is only a poor substitute for the living reality of God manifesting every moment of your life.
Eckhart Tolle
When people love each other, they are content with very little. When we have light and joy in our hearts, we don't need material wealth. The most loving communities are often the poorest. If our own life is luxurious and wasteful, we can't approach poor people. If we love people, we want to identify with them and share with them.
Jean Vanier (Community And Growth)
So in our own poor hides and from our miserable comrades we learn the nature of satiety. Satiety depends not at all on how much we eat, but on how we eat. It's the same with happiness, the very same...happiness doesn't depend on how many external blessings we have snatched from life. It depends only on our attitude toward them. There's a saying about it in the Taoist ethic: 'Whoever is capable of contentment will always be satisfied.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The First Circle)
Once upon a time, there was Candy and Dan. Things were very hot that year. All the wax was melting in the trees. He would climb balconies, climb everywhere, do anything for her, oh Danny boy. Thousands of birds, the tiniest birds, adorned her hair. Everything was gold. One night the bed caught fire. He was handsome and a very good criminal. We lived on sunlight and chocolate bars. It was the afternoon of extravagant delight. Danny the daredevil. Candy went missing. The days last rays of sunshine cruise like sharks. I want to try it your way this time. You came into my life really fast and I liked it. We squelched in the mud of our joy. I was wet-thighed with surrender. Then there was a gap in things and the whole earth tilted. This is the business. This, is what we're after. With you inside me comes the hatch of death. And perhaps I'll simply never sleep again. The monster in the pool. We are a proper family now with cats and chickens and runner beans. Everywhere I looked. And sometimes I hate you. Friday -- I didn't mean that, mother of the blueness. Angel of the storm. Remember me in my opaqueness. You pointed at the sky, that one called Sirius or dog star, but on here on earth. Fly away sun. Ha ha fucking ha you are so funny Dan. A vase of flowers by the bed. My bare blue knees at dawn. These ruffled sheets and you are gone and I am going to. I broke your head on the back of the bed but the baby he died in the morning. I gave him a name. His name was Thomas. Poor little god. His heart pounds like a voodoo drum.
Luke Davies (Candy)
Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry... no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Thomas Hobbes
Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved. As we remember that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God,” (Mosiah 2:17) we will not find ourselves in the unenviable position of Jacob Marley’s ghost, who spoke to Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’s immortal "Christmas Carol." Marley spoke sadly of opportunities lost. Said he: 'Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!' Marley added: 'Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode? Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!' Fortunately, as we know, Ebenezer Scrooge changed his life for the better. I love his line, 'I am not the man I was.' Why is Dickens’ "Christmas Carol" so popular? Why is it ever new? I personally feel it is inspired of God. It brings out the best within human nature. It gives hope. It motivates change. We can turn from the paths which would lead us down and, with a song in our hearts, follow a star and walk toward the light. We can quicken our step, bolster our courage, and bask in the sunlight of truth. We can hear more clearly the laughter of little children. We can dry the tear of the weeping. We can comfort the dying by sharing the promise of eternal life. If we lift one weary hand which hangs down, if we bring peace to one struggling soul, if we give as did the Master, we can—by showing the way—become a guiding star for some lost mariner.
Thomas S. Monson
Wealth File 1. Rich people believe "I create my life." Poor people believe "Life happens to me." 2. Rich people play the money game to win. Poor people play the money game to not lose. 3. Rich people are committed to being rich. Poor people want to be rich. 4. Rich people think big. Poor people think small. 5. Rich people focus on opportunities. Poor people focus on obstacles. 6. Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and successful people. 7. Rich people associate with positive, successful people. Poor people associate with negative or unsuccessful people. 8. Rich people are willing to promote themselves and their value. Poor people think negatively about selling and promotion. 9. Rich people are bigger than their problems. Poor people are smaller than their problems. 10. Rich people are excellent receivers. Poor people are poor receivers. 11. Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time. 12. Rich people think "both". Poor people think "either/or". 13. Rich people focus on their net worth. Poor people focus on their working income. 14. Rich people manage their money well. Poor people mismanage their money well. 15. Rich people have their money work hard for them. Poor people work hard for their money. 16. Rich people act in spite of fear. Poor people let fear stop them. 17. Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.
T. Harv Eker (Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth)
For a witch stands on the very edge of everything, between the light and the dark, between life and death, making choices, making decisions so that others may pretend no decisions have even been needed. Sometimes they need to help some poor soul through the final hours, help them to find the door, not to get lost in the dark.
Terry Pratchett (The Shepherd's Crown (Discworld, #41; Tiffany Aching, #5))
There is often talk of human rights, but it is also necessary to talk of the rights of humanity. Why should some people walk barefoot, so that others can travel in luxurious cars? Why should some live for thirty-five years, so that others can live for seventy years? Why should some be miserably poor, so that others can be hugely rich? I speak on behalf of the children in the world who do not have a piece of bread. I speak on the behalf of the sick who have no medicine, of those whose rights to life and human dignity have been denied.
Fidel Castro
Dear me! how long is art! And short is our life! I often know amid the scholar's strife A sinking feeling in my mind and heart. How difficult the means are to be found By which the primal sources may be breached; And long before the halfway point is reached, They bury a poor devil in the ground.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust, First Part)
There's a wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, "Dear saint-please, please, please...give me the grace to win the lottery." This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated staue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, "My son-please, please, please...buy a ticket." Prayer is a realtionship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I'm ainming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. If you don't have this, all your pleas and desires are boneless, floppy, inert; they swirl at your feet in a cold fog and never lift.
Elizabeth Gilbert
I know there is poor and hideous suffering, and I've seen the hungry and the guns that go to war. I have lived pain, and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye. I like to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter their lives, and no one would ever know or disapprove. Sometimes, in my mind, I followed them to their apartments on the corners of hidden streets, and they turned and smiled back at me before they faded through a door into warm darkness. At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others—poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner—young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
Millions of books written on every conceivable subject by all these great minds and in the end, none of them knows anything more about the big questions of life than I do … I read Socrates. This guy knocked off little Greek boys. What the Hell’s he got to teach me? And Nietzsche, with his theory of eternal recurrence. He said that the life we lived we’re gonna live over again the exact same way for eternity. Great. That means I’ll have to sit through the Ice Capades again. It’s not worth it. And Freud, another great pessimist. I was in analysis for years and nothing happened. My poor analyst got so frustrated, the guy finally put in a salad bar. Maybe the poets are right. Maybe love is the only answer.
Woody Allen
If peace comes from seeing the whole, then misery stems from a loss of perspective. We begin so aware and grateful. The sun somehow hangs there in the sky. The little bird sings. The miracle of life just happens. Then we stub our toe, and in that moment of pain, the whole world is reduced to our poor little toe. Now, for a day or two, it is difficult to walk. With every step, we are reminded of our poor little toe. Our vigilance becomes: Which defines our day—the pinch we feel in walking on a bruised toe, or the miracle still happening? It is the giving over to smallness that opens us to misery. In truth, we begin taking nothing for granted, grateful that we have enough to eat, that we are well enough to eat. But somehow, through the living of our days, our focus narrows like a camera that shutters down, cropping out the horizon, and one day we’re miffed at a diner because the eggs are runny or the hash isn’t seasoned just the way we like. When we narrow our focus, the problem seems everything. We forget when we were lonely, dreaming of a partner. We forget first beholding the beauty of another. We forget the comfort of first being seen and held and heard. When our view shuts down, we’re up in the night annoyed by the way our lover pulls the covers or leaves the dishes in the sink without soaking them first. In actuality, misery is a moment of suffering allowed to become everything. So, when feeling miserable, we must look wider than what hurts. When feeling a splinter, we must, while trying to remove it, remember there is a body that is not splinter, and a spirit that is not splinter, and a world that is not splinter.
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)
Suicide is just a moment, Lexy told me. This is how she described it to me. For just a moment, it doesn't matter that you've got people who love you and the sun is shining and there's a movie coming out this weekend that you've been dying to see. It hits you all of a sudden that nothing is ever going to be okay, ever, and you kind of dare yourself. You pick up a knife and press it gently to your skin, you look out a nineteenth-story window and you think, I could just do it. I could just do it. And most of the time, you look at the height and you get scared, or you think about the poor people on the sidewalk below - what if there are kids coming home from school and they have to spend the rest of their lives trying to forget this terrible thing you're going to make them see? And the moment's over. You think about how sad it would've been if you never got to see that movie, and you look at your dog and wonder who would've taken care of her if you had gone. And you go back to normal. But you keep it there in your mind. Even if you never take yourself up on it, it gives you a kind of comfort to know that the day is yours to choose. You tuck it away in your brain like sour candy tucked in your cheek, and the puckering memory it leaves behind, the rough pleasure of running your tongue over its strange terrain, is exactly the same.... The day was hers to choose, and perhaps in that treetop moment when she looked down and saw the yard, the world, her life, spread out below her, perhaps she chose to plunge toward it headlong. Perhaps she saw before her a lifetime of walking on the ruined earth and chose instead a single moment in the air
Carolyn Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel)
Life is the muse which perfectly rhymes, Plays with the words and fills empty lines. For some, life is battle for others, it’s dance For rich it is a party for the poor it is chance. For lovers, it’s dizziness, it’s a dream, it’s romance For Artist it’s drop of the rain on his hands. For a writer, it’s a story for an actor it’s stage For painter it’s a canvas for thief, it’s the cage. For you it might be the money you blew For someone the entire life could be you!
Nino Varsimashvili
Sunja-ya, a woman’s life is endless work and suffering. There is suffering and then more suffering. It’s better to expect it, you know. You’re becoming a woman now, so you should be told this. For a woman, the man you marry will determine the quality of your life completely. A good man is a decent life, and a bad man is a cursed life—but no matter what, always expect suffering, and just keep working hard. No one will take care of a poor woman—just ourselves.
Min Jin Lee (Pachinko)
Why are...poor people more ready to share their goods than rich people? The answer is easy: The poor have little to lose; the rich have more to lose and they are more attached to their possessions. Poverty provides a deeper motivation for understanding your neighbors, welcoming others and attending to those who are suffering. I would go so far as to say that poverty helps you understand what happiness is, what serenity is in life.
Piero Gheddo
When someone works for less pay than she can live on — when, for example, she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently — then she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made you a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life. The 'working poor,' as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America)
Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils. The unhappy man who has been treated as a brute animal, too frequently sinks beneath the common standard of the human species. The galling chains, that bind his body, do also fetter his intellectual faculties, and impair the social affections of his heart… To instruct, to advise, to qualify those, who have been restored to freedom, for the exercise and enjoyment of civil liberty… and to procure for their children an education calculated for their future situation in life; these are the great outlines of the annexed plan, which we have adopted. [For the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, 1789]
Benjamin Franklin (Writings: The Autobiography / Poor Richard’s Almanack / Bagatelles, Pamphlets, Essays & Letters)
Two Kinds of People There are two kinds of people on earth today, Two kinds of people no more I say. Not the good or the bad, for it's well understood, The good are half bad, the bad are half good. Not the happy or sad, for in the swift-flying years, Bring each man his laughter, each man his tears. Not the rich or the poor, for to count a man's wealth, You must know the state of his conscience and health. Not the humble and proud, for in life's busy span, Who puts on vain airs is not counted a man. No! the two kinds of people on earth I mean, Are the people who lift, the people who lean. Wherever you go you'll find the world's masses Are ever divided into these two classes. And, strangely enough, you will find, too, I mean, There is only one lifter to twenty who lean. In which class are you? Are you easing the load Of the overtaxed lifters who toiled down the road? Or are you a leaner who lets others bear, Your portion of worry and labor and care?
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Love the creatures for the sake of God and not for themselves. You will never become angry or impatient if you love them for the sake of God. Humanity is not perfect. There are imperfections in every human being, and you will always become unhappy if you look toward the people themselves. But if you look toward God, you will love them and be kind to them, for the world of God is the world of perfection and complete mercy. Therefore, do not look at the shortcomings of anybody; see with the sight of forgiveness. The imperfect eye beholds imperfections. The eye that covers faults looks toward the Creator of souls. He created them, trains and provides for them, endows them with capacity and life, sight and hearing; therefore, they are the signs of His grandeur. You must love and be kind to everybody, care for the poor, protect the weak, heal the sick, teach and educate the ignorant.
Abdu'l-Bahá
This is the oath of a Knight of King Arthur's Round Table and should be for all of us to take to heart. I will develop my life for the greater good. I will place character above riches, and concern for others above personal wealth, I will never boast, but cherish humility instead, I will speak the truth at all times, and forever keep my word, I will defend those who cannot defend themselves, I will honor and respect women, and refute sexism in all its guises, I will uphold justice by being fair to all, I will be faithful in love and loyal in friendship, I will abhor scandals and gossip-neither partake nor delight in them, I will be generous to the poor and to those who need help, I will forgive when asked, that my own mistakes will be forgiven, I will live my life with courtesy and honor from this day forward.
Joseph D. Jacques (Chivalry-Now: The Code of Male Ethics)
I handed them a script and they turned it down. It was too controversial. It talked about concepts like, 'Who is God?' The Enterprise meets God in space; God is a life form, and I wanted to suggest that there may have been, at one time in the human beginning, an alien entity that early man believed was God, and kept those legends. But I also wanted to suggest that it might have been as much the Devil as it was God. After all, what kind of god would throw humans out of Paradise for eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. One of the Vulcans on board, in a very logical way, says, 'If this is your God, he's not very impressive. He's got so many psychological problems; he's so insecure. He demands worship every seven days. He goes out and creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes. He's a pretty poor excuse for a supreme being.
Gene Roddenberry
Any nation that expects to be ignorant and free," Jefferson said, "expects what never was and never will be." And if the gap between the educated and the uneducated in America continues to grow as it is in our time, as fast as or faster than the gap between the rich and the poor, the gap between the educated and the uneducated is going to be of greater consequence and the more serious threat to our way of life. We must not, by any means, misunderstand that.
David McCullough
An Irish Airman foresees his Death I Know that I shall meet my fate Somewhere among the clouds above; Those that I fight I do not hate Those that I guard I do not love, My country is Kiltartan Cross, My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor, No likely end could bring them loss Or leave them happier than before. Nor law, nor duty bade me fight, Nor public man, nor cheering crowds, A lonely impulse of delight Drove to this tumult in the clouds; I balanced all, brought all to mind, The years to come seemed waste of breath, A waste of breath the years behind In balance with this life, this death.
W.B. Yeats (The Wild Swans At Coole)
I am not poor, I am not rich; nihil est, nihil deest, I have little, I want nothing: all my treasure is in Minerva’s tower...I live still a collegiate student...and lead a monastic life, ipse mihi theatrum [sufficient entertainment to myself], sequestered from those tumults and troubles of the world...aulae vanitatem, fori ambitionem, ridere mecum soleo [I laugh to myself at the vanities of the court, the intrigues of public life], I laugh at all.
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.
Bahá'u'lláh
I love the stillness of the wood; I love the music of the rill: I love the couch in pensive mod Upon some silent hill. Scarce heard, beneath yon arching trees, The silver-crested ripples pass; and, like a mimic brook, the breeze Whispers among the grass. Here from the world I win release, Nor scorn of men, nor footstep rude, Break into mar the holy peace Of this great solitude. Here may the silent tears I weep Lull the vested spirit into rest, As infants sob themselves to sleep Upon a mothers breast. But when the bitter hour is gone, And the keen throbbing pangs are still, Oh, sweetest then to couch alone Upon some silent hill! To live in joys that once have been, To put the cold world out of sight, And deck life's drear and barren scene With hues of rainbow-light. For what to man the gift of breath, If sorrow be his lot below; If all the day that ends in death Be dark with clouds of woe? Shall the poor transport of an hour Repay long years of sore distress- The fragrance of a lonely flower Make glad the wilderness? Ye golden house of life's young spring, Of innocence, of love and truth! Bright, beyond all imagining, Thou fairy-dream of youth! I'd give all wealth that years have piled, The slow result of Life's decay, To be once more a little child For on bright summers day.
Lewis Carroll
Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or fascist dictorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace makers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Hermann Goering
I don't believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one's hostess starts in with self-deprecations such as "Oh, I don't know how to cook...," or "Poor little me...," or "This may taste awful...," it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. Besides, such admissions only draw attention to one's shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, "Yes, you're right, this really is an awful meal!" Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed -- eh bien, tant pis! Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, as my ersatz eggs Florentine surely were, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile -- and learn from her mistakes.
Julia Child (My Life in France)
I, being born a woman and distressed By all the needs and notions of my kind, Am urged by your propinquity to find Your person fair, and feel a certain zest To bear your body's weight upon my breast; So subtly is the fume of life designed, To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind, And leave me once again undone, possessed. Think not for this, however, the poor treason Of my stout blood against my staggering brain, I shall remember you with love, or season My scorn with pity, - let me make it plain: I find this frenzy insufficient reason For conversation when we meet again.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
You cannot trade the courage needed to live every moment for immunity from life's sorrows. We may say we know this but ours is the culture of the deal-making mind. From infancy, we have breathed in the belief that there is always a deal to be made, a bargain to be struck. Eventually, we believe, if we do the right thing, if we are good enough, clever enough, sincere enough, work hard enough, we will be rewarded. There are different verses to this song - if you are sorry for your sins and try hard not to sin again, you will go to heaven; if you do your daily practise, clean up your diet, heal your inner child, ferret out all your emotional issue's, focus your intent, come into alignment with the world around you, hone your affirmations, find and listen to the voice of your higher self, you will be rewarded with vibrant health, abundant prosperity, loving relations and inner peace - in other words, heaven! We know that what we do and how we think affects the quality of our lives. Many things are clearly up to us. And many others are not. I can see no evidence that the universe works on a simple meritocratic system of cause and effect. Bad things happen to good people - all the time. Monetary success does come to some who do not do what they love, as well as to some who are unwilling or unable to see the harm they do to the planet or others. Illness and misfortune come to some who follow their soul's desire. Many great artist's have been poor. Great teachers have lived in obscurity. My invitation, my challenge to you here, is to journey into a deeper intimacy with the world and your life without any promise of safety or guarantee of reward beyond the intrinsic value of full participation.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer (The Invitation)
Anne walked home very slowly in the moonlight. The evening had changed something for her. Life held a different meaning, a deeper purpose. On the surface it would go on just the same; but the deeps had been stirred. It must not be the same with her as with poor butterfly Ruby. When she came to the end of one life it must not be to face the next with the shrinking terror of something wholly different--something for which accustomed thought and ideal and aspiration had unfitted her. The little things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be the things lived for; the highest must be sought and followed; the life of heaven must begin here on earth. That goodnight in the garden was for all time. Anne never saw Ruby in life again.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables, #3))
Ithaka As you set out for Ithaka hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them: you’ll never find things like that on your way as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, as long as a rare excitement stirs your spirit and your body. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them unless you bring them along inside your soul, unless your soul sets them up in front of you. Hope the voyage is a long one. May there be many a summer morning when, with what pleasure, what joy, you come into harbors seen for the first time; may you stop at Phoenician trading stations to buy fine things, mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, sensual perfume of every kind— as many sensual perfumes as you can; and may you visit many Egyptian cities to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars. Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you are destined for. But do not hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you are old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you have gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you would not have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
Constantinos P. Cavafy (C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems)
Heterosexual relationships seem to lead only to marriage, and for most poor dumb brainwashed women marriage is the climactic experience. For men, marriage is a matter of efficient logistics: the male gets his food, bed, laundry, TV, pussy, offspring and creature comforts all under one roof, where he doesn't have to dissipate his psychic energy thinking about them too much - then he is free to go out and fight the battles of life, which is what existence is all about. But for a woman, marriage is surrender. Marriage is when a girl gives up the fight, walks off the battlefield and from then on leaves the truly interesting and significant action to her husband, who has bargained to 'take care' of her. What a sad bum deal. Women live longer than men because they really haven't been living. Better blue-in-the-face dead of a heart attack at fifty than a healthy seventy-year old widow who hasn't had a piece of life's action since girlhood.
Tom Robbins (Even Cowgirls Get the Blues)
love. she liberated me to life, she continued to do that. and when she was in her final sickness i went out to san francisco and the doctor said she had 3 weeks to live, i asked her "would you come to north carolina?" she said yes. she had emphysema and lung cancer, i brought her to my home. she lived for a year and a half ..and when she was finally in extemis, she was on oxygen and fighting cancer for her life and i remembered her liberating me, and i said i hoped i would be able to liberate her, she deserved that from me. she deserved a great daughter and she got one. so in her last days, i said "i understand some people need permission to go… as i understand it you may have done what god put you here to do. you were a great worker, you must've been a great lover cause a lot of men and if I'm not wrong maybe a couple of woman risked their lives to love you. you were a piss poor mother of small children but a you were great mother of young adults, and if you need permission to go, i liberate you". and i went back to my house, and something said go back- i was in my pajamas, i jumped in my car and ran and the nurse said "she just gone". you see love liberates. it doesn't bind, love says i love you. i love you if you're in china, i love you if you're across town, i love you if you're in harlem, i love you. i would like to be near you, i would like to have your arms around me i would like to have your voice in my ear but thats not possible now, i love you so go. love liberates it doesn't hold. thats ego. love liberates.
Maya Angelou
Imagine how a man’s life would be if he trusted that he was loved by God. How could he interact with the poor and not show partiality, he could love his wife easily and not expect her to redeem him, he would be slow to anger because redemption was no longer at stake, he could be wise and giving with his money because money no longer represented points, he could give up on formulaic religion, knowing that checking stuff off a spiritual to-do list was a worthless pursuit, he would have confidence and the ability to laugh at himself, and he could love people without expecting anything in return. It would be quite beautiful, really.
Donald Miller (Searching for God Knows What)
WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT Work at it, if necessary, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now. The old proverb is full of truth and meaning, "Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well." Many a man acquires a fortune by doing his business thoroughly, while his neighbor remains poor for life, because he only half does it. Ambition, energy, industry, perseverance, are indispensable requisites for success in business. Fortune always favors the brave, and never helps a man who does not help himself.
P.T. Barnum (The Art of Money Getting: Golden Rules for Making Money)
No longer mourn for me when I am dead than you shall hear the surly sullen bell give warning to the world that I am fled from this vile world with vilest worms to dwell: nay, if you read this line, remember not the hand that writ it, for I love you so, that I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot, if thinking on me then should make you woe. O! if, I say, you look upon this verse when I perhaps compounded am with clay, do not so much as my poor name rehearse; but let your love even with my life decay; lest the wise world should look into your moan, and mock you with me after I am gone.
William Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Sonnets)
If there is a state where the soul can find a resting-place secure enough to establish itself and concentrate its entire being there, with no need to remember the past or reach into the future, where time is nothing to it, where the present runs on indefinitely but this duration goes unnoticed, with no sign of the passing of time, and no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than the simple feeling of existence, a feeling that fills our soul entirely, as long as this state lasts, we can call ourselves happy, not with a poor, incomplete and relative happiness such as we find in the pleasures of life, but with a sufficient, complete and perfect happiness which leaves no emptiness to be filled in the soul.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
We will go out into the world and plant gardens and orchards to the horizons, we will build roads through the mountains and across the deserts, and terrace the mountains and irrigate the deserts until there will be garden everywhere, and plenty for all, and there will be no more empires or kingdoms, no more caliphs, sultans, emirs, khans, or zamindars, no more kings or queens or princes, no more quadis or mullahs or ulema, no more slavery and no more usury, no more property and no more taxes, no more rich and no more poor, no killing or maiming or torture or execution, no more jailers and no more prisoners, no more generals, soldiers, armies or navies, no more patriarchy, no more caste, no more hunger, no more suffering than what life brings us for being born and having to die, and then we will see for the first time what kind of creatures we really are.
Kim Stanley Robinson (The Years of Rice and Salt)
We are all born and someday we’ll all die. Most likely to some degree alone.What if our aloneness isn’t a tragedy? What if our aloneness is what allows us to speak the truth without being afraid? What if our aloneness is what allows us to adventure – to experience the world as a dynamic presence – as a changeable, interactive thing? If I lived in Bosnia or Rwanda or who knows where else, needless death wouldn’t be a distant symbol to me, it wouldn’t be a metaphor, it would be a reality. And I have no right to this metaphor. But I use it to console myself. To give a fraction of meaning to something enormous and needless. This realization. This realization that I will live my life in this world where I have privileges. I can’t cool boiling waters in Russia. I can’t be Picasso. I can’t be Jesus. I can’t save the planet single-handedly. I can wash dishes.
Rachel Corrie
The status of celebrity offers the promise of being showered with ‘all good things’ that capitalism has to offer. The grotesque display of celebrity lives (and deaths) is the contemporary form of the cult of personality; those ‘famous for being famous’ hold out the spectacular promise of the complete erosion of a autonomously lived life in return for an apotheosis as an image. The ideological function of celebrity (and lottery systems) is clear - like a modern ‘wheel of fortune’ the message is ‘all is luck; some are rich, some are poor, that is the way the world is...it could be you!
Martin Jenkins
It has seemed to me sometimes as though the Lord breathes on this poor gray ember of Creation and it turns to radiance - for a moment or a year or the span of a life. And then it sinks back into itself again, and to look at it no one would know it had anything to do with fire, or light .... Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don't have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see. Only, who could have the courage to see it? .... Theologians talk about a prevenient grace that precedes grace itself and allows us to accept it. I think there must also be a prevenient courage that allows us to be brave - that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm.
Marilynne Robinson (Gilead)
If you keep silent, keep silent by love: if you speak, speak by love; if you correct, correct by love; if you pardon, pardon by love; let love be rooted in you, and from the root nothing but good can grow. Love and do what you will. Love endures in adversity, is moderate in prosperity; brave under harsh sufferings, cheerful in good works; utterly reliable in temptation, utterly open-handed in hospitality; as happy as can be among true brothers and sisters, as patient as you can get among the false one's. The soul of the scriptures, the force of prophecy, the saving power of the sacraments, the fruit of faith, the wealth of the poor, the life of the dying. Love is all.
Augustine of Hippo
Neither agreeable nor disagreeable," I answered. "It just is." Istigkeit — wasn't that the word Meister Eckhart liked to use? "Is-ness." The Being of Platonic philosophy — except that Plato seems to have made the enormous, the grotesque mistake of separating Being from becoming and identifying it with the mathematical abstraction of the Idea. He could never, poor fellow, have seen a bunch of flowers shining with their own inner light and all but quivering under the pressure of the significance with which they were charged; could never have perceived that what rose and iris and carnation so intensely signified was nothing more, and nothing less, than what they were — a transience that was yet eternal life, a perpetual perishing that was at the same time pure Being, a bundle of minute, unique particulars in which, by some unspeakable and yet self-evident paradox, was to be seen the divine source of all existence.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception)
when I was four years old they tried to test my I.Q. they showed me a picture of 3 oranges and a pear they said, which one is different? it does not belong they taught me different is wrong but when I was 13 years old I woke up one morning thighs covered in blood like a war like a warning that I live in a breakable takeable body an ever-increasingly valuable body that a woman had come in the night to replace me deface me see, my body is borrowed yeah, I got it on loan for the time in between my mom and some maggots I don't need anyone to hold me I can hold my own I got highways for stretchmarks see where I've grown I sing sometimes like my life is at stake 'cause you're only as loud as the noises you make I'm learning to laugh as hard as I can listen 'cause silence is violence in women and poor people if more people were screaming then I could relax but a good brain ain't diddley if you don't have the facts we live in a breakable takeable world an ever available possible world and we can make music like we can make do genius is in a back beat backseat to nothing if you're dancing especially something stupid like I.Q. for every lie I unlearn I learn something new I sing sometimes for the war that I fight 'cause every tool is a weapon - if you hold it right.
Ani DiFranco
Now I must give one smirk, and then we may be rational again." Catherine turned away her head, not knowing whether she might venture to laugh. "I see what you think of me," said he gravely -- "I shall make but a poor figure in your journal tomorrow." My journal!" Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Lower Rooms; wore my sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings -- plain black shoes -- appeared to much advantage; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me dance with him, and distressed me by his nonsense." Indeed I shall say no such thing." Shall I tell you what you ought to say?" If you please." I danced with a very agreeable young man, introduced by Mr. King; had a great deal of conversation with him -- seems a most extraordinary genius -- hope I may know more of him. That, madam, is what I wish you to say." But, perhaps, I keep no journal." Perhaps you are not sitting in this room, and I am not sitting by you. These are points in which a doubt is equally possible. Not keep a journal! How are your absent cousins to understand the tenour of your life in Bath without one? How are the civilities and compliments of every day to be related as they ought to be, unless noted down every evening in a journal? How are your various dresses to be remembered, and the particular state of your complexion, and curl of your hair to be described in all their diversities, without having constant recourse to a journal? My dear madam, I am not so ignorant of young ladies' ways as you wish to believe me; it is this delightful habit of journaling which largely contributes to form the easy style of writing for which ladies are so generally celebrated. Everybody allows that the talent of writing agreeable letters is peculiarly female. Nature may have done something, but I am sure it must be essentially assisted by the practice of keeping a journal.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
I'm hip to their game, hip to the science of war Propoganda makes me fight but what am I fightin for? My way of life? Beans and rice? Give and take, less or more? See through the eyes of the poor, plus I'm black to the core Ignorance is on tour bookin stadiums and more The days of hitler painted pictures patriotic before You raise your flag on a land snatched from bald eagles claw, and stamp the symbol on your currency to finance your war. I'm sayin no. Not in my name. Not in my life. Not by my hands. That ain't my fight. Not in my name. You wage your war against terrorists and violence, and try to wave your guns and fear us all into silence. NO.
Saul Williams
No, you're not free," he said. "The string you're tied to is perhaps no longer than other people's. That's all. You're on a long piece of string, boss; you come and go, and think you're free, but you never cut the string in two. And when people don't cut that string . . ." "I'll cut it some day!" I said defiantly, because Zorba's words had touched an open wound in me and hurt. "It's difficult, boss, very difficult. You need a touch of folly to do that; folly, d'you see? You have to risk everything! But you've got such a strong head, it'll always get the better of you. A man's head is like a grocer; it keeps accounts: I've paid so much and earned so much and that means a profit of this much or a loss of that much! The head's a careful little shopkeeper; it never risks all it has, always keeps something in reserve. It never breaks the string. Ah no! It hangs on tight to it, the bastard! If the string slips out of its grasp, the head, poor devil, is lost, finished! But if a man doesn't break the string, tell me, what flavor is left in life? The flavor of camomile, weak camomile tea! Nothing like rum-that makes you see life inside out!
Nikos Kazantzakis (Zorba the Greek)
There are moments in every relationship that define when two people start to fall in love. A first glance A first smile A first kiss A first fall… (I remove the Darth Vader house shoes from my satchel and look down at them.) You were wearing these during one of those moments. One of the moments I first started to fall in love with you. The way you gave me butterflies that morning Had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else, and everything to do with you. I was falling in love with you that morning because of you. (I take the next item out of the satchel. When I pull it out and look up, she brings her hands to her mouth in shock.) This ugly little gnome With his smug little grin… He's the reason I had an excuse to invite you into my house. Into my life. You took a lot of aggression out on him over those next few months. I would watch from my window as you would kick him over every time you walked by him. Poor little guy. You were so tenacious. That feisty, aggressive, strong-willed side of you…. The side of you that refused to take crap from this concrete gnome? The side of you that refused to take crap from me? I fell in love with that side of you because of you. (I set the gnome down on the stage and grab the CD) This is your favorite CD ‘Layken’s shit.’ Although now I know you intended for shit to be possessive, rather than descriptive. The banjo started playing through the speakers of your car and I immediately recognized my favorite band. Then when I realized it was your favorite band, too? The fact that these same lyrics inspired both of us? I fell in love with that about you. That had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. I fell in love with that about you because of you. (I take a slip of paper out of the satchel and hold it up. When I look at her, I see Eddie slide her a napkin. I can’t tell from up here, but that can only mean she’s crying.) This is a receipt I kept. Only because the item I purchased that night was on the verge of ridiculous. Chocolate milk on the rocks? Who orders that? You were different, and you didn’t care. You were being you. A piece of me fell in love with you at that moment, because of you. This? (I hold up another sheet of paper.) This I didn’t really like so much. It’s the poem you wrote about me. The one you titled 'mean?' I don’t think I ever told you… but you made a zero. And then I kept it to remind myself of all the things I never want to be to you. (I pull her shirt from my bag. When I hold it into the light, I sigh into the microphone.) This is that ugly shirt you wear. It doesn’t really have anything to do with why I fell in love with you. I just saw it at your house and thought I’d steal it.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
I remembered what Morrie said during our visit: “The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.” "Morrie true to these words, had developed his own culture – long before he got sick. Discussion groups, walks with friends, dancing to his music in the Harvard Square church. He started a project called Greenhouse, where poor people could receive mental health services. He read books to find new ideas for his classes, visited with colleagues, kept up with old students, wrote letters to distant friends. He took more time eating and looking at nature and wasted not time in front of TV sitcoms or “Movies of the Week.” He had created a cocoon of human activities– conversations, interaction, affection–and it filled his life like an overflowing soup bowl.
Mitch Albom
The extreme inequality of our ways of life, the excess of idleness among some and the excess of toil among others, the ease of stimulating and gratifying our appetites and our senses, the over-elaborate foods of the rich, which inflame and overwhelm them with indigestion, the bad food of the poor, which they often go withotu altogether, so hat they over-eat greedily when they have the opportunity; those late nights, excesses of all kinds, immoderate transports of every passion, fatigue, exhaustion of mind, the innumerable sorrows and anxieties that people in all classes suffer, and by which the human soul is constantly tormented: these are the fatal proofs that most of our ills are of our own making, and that we might have avoided nearly all of them if only we had adhered to the simple, unchanging and solitary way of life that nature ordained for us.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality)
That the native does not like the tourist is not hard to explain. For every native of every place is a potential tourist, and every tourist is a native of somewhere. Every native everywhere lives a life of overwhelming and crushing banality and boredom and desperation and depression, and every deed, good and bad, is an attempt to forget this. Every native would like to find a way out, every native would like a rest, every native would like a tour. But some natives—most natives in the world—cannot go anywhere. They are too poor. They are too poor to go anywhere. They are too poor to escape the reality of their lives; and they are too poor to live properly in the place they live, which is the very place you, the tourist, want to go—so when the natives see you, the tourist, they envy you, they envy your ability to leave your own banality and boredom, they envy your ability to turn their own banality and boredom into a source of pleasure for yourself.
Jamaica Kincaid (A Small Place)
In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption. It may be pure tragedy, if it is high tragedy, and it may be pity and irony, and it may be the raucous laughter of the strong man. But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor -- by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world. I do not care much about his private life; he is neither a eunuch nor a satyr; I think he might seduce a duchess and I am quite sure he would not spoil a virgin; if he is a man of honor in one thing, he is that in all things. He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. He will take no man's money dishonestly and no man's insolence without due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him. He talks as the man of his age talks -- that is, with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness. The story is the man's adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. He has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.
Raymond Chandler (The Simple Art of Murder)
All my life I have been a poor go-to-sleeper. People in trains, who lay their newspaper aside, fold their silly arms, and immediately, with an offensive familiarity of demeanour, start snoring, amaze me as much as the uninhibited chap who cozily defecates in the presence of a chatty tubber, or participates in huge demonstrations, or joins some union in order to dissolve in it. Sleep is the most moronic fraternity in the world, with the heaviest dues and the crudest rituals. It is a mental torture I find debasing. The strain and drain of composition often force me, alas, to swallow a strong pill that gives me an hour or two of frightful nightmares or even to accept the comic relief of a midday snooze, the way a senile rake might totter to the nearest euthanasium; but I simply cannot get used to the nightly betrayal of reason, humanity, genius. No matter how great my weariness, the wrench of parting with consciousness is unspeakably repulsive to me.
Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)
But what about human nature? Can it be changed? And if not, will it endure under Anarchism? Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature. Yet, how can any one speak of it today, with every soul in a prison, with every heart fettered, wounded, and maimed? John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities? Freedom, expansion, opportunity, and, above all, peace and repose, alone can teach us the real dominant factors of human nature and all its wonderful possibilities. Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations. This is not a wild fancy or an aberration of the mind. It is the conclusion arrived at by hosts of intellectual men and women the world over; a conclusion resulting from the close and studious observation of the tendencies of modern society: individual liberty and economic equality, the twin forces for the birth of what is fine and true in man.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
For many years I have been asking myself why intelligent children act unintelligently at school. The simple answer is, "Because they're scared." I used to suspect that children's defeatism had something to do with their bad work in school, but I thought I could clear it away with hearty cries of "Onward! You can do it!" What I now see for the first time is the mechanism by which fear destroys intelligence, the way it affects a child's whole way of looking at, thinking about, and dealing with life. So we have two problems, not one: to stop children from being afraid, and then to break them of the bad thinking habits into which their fears have driven them. What is most surprising of all is how much fear there is in school. Why is so little said about it. Perhaps most people do not recognize fear in children when they see it. They can read the grossest signs of fear; they know what the trouble is when a child clings howling to his mother; but the subtler signs of fear escaping them. It is these signs, in children's faces, voices, and gestures, in their movements and ways of working, that tell me plainly that most children in school are scared most of the time, many of them very scared. Like good soldiers, they control their fears, live with them, and adjust themselves to them. But the trouble is, and here is a vital difference between school and war, that the adjustments children make to their fears are almost wholly bad, destructive of their intelligence and capacity. The scared fighter may be the best fighter, but the scared learner is always a poor learner.
John C. Holt (How Children Fail)
Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstaining from flesh? For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of soul or mind the first man did so, touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, he who set forth tables of dead, stale bodies and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had a little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with the sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds? … It is certainly not lions and wolves that we eat out of self-defense; on the contrary, we ignore these and slaughter harmless, tame creatures without stings or teeth to harm us, creatures that, I swear, Nature appears to have produced for the sake of their beauty and grace. But nothing abashed us, not the flower-like tinting of the flesh, not the persuasiveness of the harmonious voice, not the cleanliness of their habits or the unusual intelligence that may be found in the poor wretches. No, for the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being.
Plutarch (Moralia)
you make me laugh, with your metaphysical anguish, its just that you're scared silly, frightened of life, of men of action, of action itself, of lack of order. But everything is disorder, dear boy. Vegetable, mineral and animal, all disorder, and so is the multitude of human races, the life of man, thought, history, wars, inventions, business and the arts, and all theories, passions and systems. Its always been that way. Why are you trying to make something out of it? And what will you make? what are you looking for? There is no Truth. There's only action, action obeying a million different impulses, ephemeral action, action subjected to every possible and imaginable contingency and contradiction, Life. Life is crime, theft, jealousy, hunger, lies, disgust, stupidity, sickness, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, piles of corpses. what can you do about it, my poor friend?
Blaise Cendrars
There may be humane masters, as there certainly are inhuman ones - there may be slaves well-clothed, well-fed, and happy, as there surely are those half-clad, half-starved and miserable; nevertheless, the institution that tolerates such wrong and inhumanity as I have witnessed, is a cruel, unjust, and barbarous one. Men may write fictions portraying lowly life as it is, or as it is not - may expatiate with owlish gravity upon the bliss of ignorance - discourse flippantly from arm chairs of the pleasures of slave life; but let them toil with him in the field - sleep with him in the cabin - feed with him on husks; let them behold him scourged, hunted, trampled on, and they will come back with another story in their mouths. Let them know the heart of the poor slave - learn his secret thoughts - thoughts he dare not utter in the hearing of the white man; let them sit by him in the silent watches of the night - converse with him in trustful confidence, of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," and they will find that ninety-nine out of every hundred are intelligent enough to understand their situation, and to cherish in their bosoms the love of freedom, as passionately as themselves.
Solomon Northup (Twelve Years a Slave)
I understand that you are an accomplished swords-man,” she finally said. He eyed her curiously. Where was she going with this? “I like to fence, yes,” he replied. “I have always wanted to learn.” “Good God,” Gregory grunted. “I would be quite good at it,” she protested. “I’m sure you would,” her brother replied, “which is why you should never be allowed within thirty feet of a sword.” He turned to Gareth. “She’s quite diabolical.” “Yes, I’d noticed,” Gareth murmured, deciding that maybe there might be a bit more to Hyacinth’s brother than he had thought. Gregory shrugged, reaching for a piece of shortbread. “It’s probably why we can’t seem to get her married off.” “Gregory!” This came from Hyacinth, but that was only because Lady Bridgerton had excused herself and followed one of the footmen into the hall. “It’s a compliment!” Gregory protested. “Haven’t you waited your entire life for me to agree that you’re smarter than any of the poor fools who have attempted to court you?” “You might find it difficult to believe,” Hyacinth shot back, “but I haven’t been going to bed each night thinking to myself—Oh, I do wish my brother would offer me something that passes for a compliment in his twisted mind.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed. The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.
Charles Darwin (The Descent of Man)
Have mercy on me, my Soul. You have shown me Beauty, But then concealed her. You and Beauty live in the light; Ignorance and I are bound together in the dark. Will e'er the light invade darkness? Your delight comes with the Ending, And you revel now in anticipation; But this body suffers with the life While in life. This, my Soul, is perplexing. You are hastening toward Eternity, But this body goes slowly toward perishment. You do not wait for him, And he cannot go quickly. This, my Soul, is sadness. You ascend high, though heaven's attraction, But this body falls by earth's gravity. You do not console him, And he does not appreciate you. This, my Soul, is misery. You are rich in wisdom, But this body is poor in understanding. You do not compromise, And he does not obey. This, my Soul, is extreme suffering. In the silence of the night you visit The Beloved And enjoy the sweetness of His presence. This body ever remains, The bitter victim of hope and separation. This, my Soul, is agonizing torture. Have mercy on me, my Soul!
Kahlil Gibran (The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran)
Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act: Is it good Is it fair Is it just Is it right Will it help bring about a better society or a better world Those used to be the political questions even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them. The materialistic and selfish quality of contemporary life is not inherent in the human condition. Much of what appears “natural” today dates from the 1980s: the obsession with wealth creation the cult of privatization and the private sector the growing disparities of rich and poor. And above all the rhetoric that accompanies these: uncritical admiration for unfettered markets disdain for the public sector the delusion of endless growth. We cannot go on living like this. The little crash of 2008 was a reminder that unregulated capitalism is its own worst enemy: sooner or later it must fall prey to its own excesses and turn again to the state for rescue. But if we do no more than pick up the pieces and carry on as before we can look forward to greater upheavals in years to come.
Tony Judt (Ill Fares the Land)
You are not you--you have no body, no blood, no bones, you are but a thought. I myself have no existence; I am but a dream--your dream, a creature of your imagination. In a moment you will have realized this, then you will banish me from your visions and I shall dissolve into the nothingness out of which you made me. I am perishing already, I am failing, I am passing away. In a little while you will be alone in shoreless space, to wander its limitless solitudes without friend or comrade forever—for you will remain a thought, the only existent thought, and by your nature inextinguishable, indestructible. But I, your poor servant, have revealed you to yourself and set you free. Dream other dreams, and better! Strange! that you should not have suspected years ago—centuries, ages, eons, ago!—for you have existed, companionless, through all the eternities. Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane—like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell—mouths mercy and invented hell—mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him! You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream. You perceive that they are pure and puerile insanities, the silly creations of an imagination that is not conscious of its freaks—in a word, that they are a dream, and you the maker of it. The dream-marks are all present; you should have recognized them earlier. "It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream—a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought—a vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn among the empty eternities!
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)
Strange! that you should not have suspected years ago--centuries, ages, eons, ago!--for you have existed, companionless, through all the eternities. Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane--like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell--mouths mercy and invented hell--mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!
Mark Twain
A mother's body remembers her babies--the folds of soft flesh, the softly furred scalp against her nose. Each child has its own entreaties to body and soul. It's the last one, though, that overtakes you. I can't dare say I loved the others less, but my first three were all babies at once, and motherhood dismayed me entirely. . . . That's how it is with the firstborn, no matter what kind of mother you are--rich, poor, frazzled half to death or sweetly content. A first child is your own best food forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world. But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after--oh, that's love by a different name. She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she's gone to sleep. If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away. So instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams. Your heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks. She's the one you can't put down.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
Maria, lonely prostitute on a street of pain, You, at least, hail me and speak to me While a thousand others ignore my face. You offer me an hour of love, And your fees are not as costly as most. You are the madonna of the lonely, The first-born daughter in a world of pain. You do not turn fat men aside, Or trample on the stuttering, shy ones, You are the meadow where desperate men Can find a moment's comfort. Men have paid more to their wives To know a bit of peace And could not walk away without the guilt That masquerades as love. You do not bind them, lovely Maria, you comfort them And bid them return. Your body is more Christian than the Bishop's Whose gloved hand cannot feel the dropping of my blood. Your passion is as genuine as most, Your caring as real! But you, Maria, sacred whore on the endless pavement of pain, You, whose virginity each man may make his own Without paying ought but your fee, You who know nothing of virgin births and immaculate conceptions, You who touch man's flesh and caress a stranger, Who warm his bed to bring his aching skin alive, You make more sense than stock markets and football games Where sad men beg for virility. You offer yourself for a fee--and who offers himself for less? At times you are cruel and demanding--harsh and insensitive, At times you are shrewd and deceptive--grasping and hollow. The wonder is that at times you are gentle and concerned, Warm and loving. You deserve more respect than nuns who hide their sex for eternal love; Your fees are not so high, nor your prejudice so virtuous. You deserve more laurels than the self-pitying mother of many children, And your fee is not as costly as most. Man comes to you when his bed is filled with brass and emptiness, When liquor has dulled his sense enough To know his need of you. He will come in fantasy and despair, Maria, And leave without apologies. He will come in loneliness--and perhaps Leave in loneliness as well. But you give him more than soldiers who win medals and pensions, More than priests who offer absolution And sweet-smelling ritual, More than friends who anticipate his death Or challenge his life, And your fee is not as costly as most. You admit that your love is for a fee, Few women can be as honest. There are monuments to statesmen who gave nothing to anyone Except their hungry ego, Monuments to mothers who turned their children Into starving, anxious bodies, Monuments to Lady Liberty who makes poor men prisoners. I would erect a monument for you-- who give more than most-- And for a meager fee. Among the lonely, you are perhaps the loneliest of all, You come so close to love But it eludes you While proper women march to church and fantasize In the silence of their rooms, While lonely women take their husbands' arms To hold them on life's surface, While chattering women fill their closets with clothes and Their lips with lies, You offer love for a fee--which is not as costly as most-- And remain a lonely prostitute on a street of pain. You are not immoral, little Maria, only tired and afraid, But you are not as hollow as the police who pursue you, The politicians who jail you, the pharisees who scorn you. You give what you promise--take your paltry fee--and Wander on the endless, aching pavements of pain. You know more of universal love than the nations who thrive on war, More than the churches whose dogmas are private vendettas made sacred, More than the tall buildings and sprawling factories Where men wear chains. You are a lonely prostitute who speaks to me as I pass, And I smile at you because I am a lonely man.
James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)
In any case, there was only one tunnel, dark and lonely, mine, the tunnel in which I had spent my childhood, my youth, my whole life. And in one of those transparent lengths of the stone wall I had seen this girl and had gullibly believed that she was traveling another tunnel parallel to mine, when in reality she belonged to the broad world, to the world without confines of those who do not live in tunnels; and perhaps she had peeped into one of my strange windows out of curiosity and had caught a glimpse of my doomed loneliness, or her fancy had been intrigued by the mute language, the clue of my painting. And then, while I advanced always along my corridor, she lived her normal life outside, the exciting life of those people who live outside, that strange, absurd life in which there are dances and parties and gaiety and frivolity. And it happened at times that when I walked by one of my windows she was waiting for me, silent and longing (why was she waiting for me? why silent and longing?); but other times she did not get there on time, or she forgot about this poor creature hemmed in, and then I, with my face pressed against the glass wall, could see her in the distance, smiling or dancing carefree, or, what was worse, I could not see her at all and I imagined her in inaccessible or vile places. And then I felt my destiny a far lonelier one than I had imagined.
Ernesto Sabato (El túnel)
On Generosity On our own, we conclude: there is not enough to go around we are going to run short of money of love of grades of publications of sex of beer of members of years of life we should seize the day seize our goods seize our neighbours goods because there is not enough to go around and in the midst of our perceived deficit you come you come giving bread in the wilderness you come giving children at the 11th hour you come giving homes to exiles you come giving futures to the shut down you come giving easter joy to the dead you come – fleshed in Jesus. and we watch while the blind receive their sight the lame walk the lepers are cleansed the deaf hear the dead are raised the poor dance and sing we watch and we take food we did not grow and life we did not invent and future that is gift and gift and gift and families and neighbours who sustain us when we did not deserve it. It dawns on us – late rather than soon- that you “give food in due season you open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” By your giving, break our cycles of imagined scarcity override our presumed deficits quiet our anxieties of lack transform our perceptual field to see the abundance………mercy upon mercy blessing upon blessing. Sink your generosity deep into our lives that your muchness may expose our false lack that endlessly receiving we may endlessly give so that the world may be made Easter new, without greedy lack, but only wonder, without coercive need but only love, without destructive greed but only praise without aggression and invasiveness…. all things Easter new….. all around us, toward us and by us all things Easter new. Finish your creation, in wonder, love and praise. Amen.
Walter Brueggemann
This life is a hospital in which each patient is possessed by the desire to change beds. One wants to suffer in front of the stove and another believes that he will get well near the window. It always seems to me that I will be better off there where I am not, and this question of moving about is one that I discuss endlessly with my soul "Tell me, my soul, my poor chilled soul, what would you think about going to live in Lisbon? It must be warm there, and you'll be able to soak up the sun like a lizard there. That city is on the shore; they say that it is built all out of marble, and that the people there have such a hatred of the vegetable, that they tear down all the trees. There's a country after your own heart -- a landscape made out of light and mineral, and liquid to reflect them!" My soul does not reply. "Because you love rest so much, combined with the spectacle of movement, do you want to come and live in Holland, that beatifying land? Perhaps you will be entertained in that country whose image you have so often admired in museums. What do you think of Rotterdam, you who love forests of masts and ships anchored at the foot of houses?" My soul remains mute. "Does Batavia please you more, perhaps? There we would find, after all, the European spirit married to tropical beauty." Not a word. -- Is my soul dead? Have you then reached such a degree of torpor that you are only happy with your illness? If that's the case, let us flee toward lands that are the analogies of Death. -- I've got it, poor soul! We'll pack our bags for Torneo. Let's go even further, to the far end of the Baltic. Even further from life if that is possible: let's go live at the pole. There the sun only grazes the earth obliquely, and the slow alternation of light and darkness suppresses variety and augments monotony, that half of nothingness. There we could take long baths in the shadows, while, to entertain us, the aurora borealis send us from time to time its pink sheaf of sparkling light, like the reflection of fireworks in Hell!" Finally, my soul explodes, and wisely she shrieks at me: "It doesn't matter where! It doesn't matter where! As long as it's out of this world!
Charles Baudelaire (Paris Spleen)
October Fullness” Little by little, and also in great leaps, life happened to me, and how insignificant this business is. These veins carried my blood, which I scarcely ever saw, I breathed the air of so many places without keeping a sample of any. In the end, everyone is aware of this: nobody keeps any of what he has, and life is only a borrowing of bones. The best thing was learning not to have too much either of sorrow or of joy, to hope for the chance of a last drop, to ask more from honey and from twilight. Perhaps it was my punishment. Perhaps I was condemned to be happy. Let it be known that nobody crossed my path without sharing my being. I plunged up to the neck into adversities that were not mine, into all the sufferings of others. It wasn’t a question of applause or profit. Much less. It was not being able to live or breathe in this shadow, the shadow of others like towers, like bitter trees that bury you, like cobblestones on the knees. Our own wounds heal with weeping, our own wounds heal with singing, but in our own doorway lie bleeding widows, Indians, poor men, fishermen. The miner’s child doesn’t know his father amidst all that suffering. So be it, but my business was the fullness of the spirit: a cry of pleasure choking you, a sigh from an uprooted plant, the sum of all action. It pleased me to grow with the morning, to bathe in the sun, in the great joy of sun, salt, sea-light and wave, and in that unwinding of the foam my heart began to move, growing in that essential spasm, and dying away as it seeped into the sand.
Pablo Neruda (The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems)
In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems. If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve? The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you're going to make mistakes. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success. Achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures. But in spite of that, they persevere. The average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business. When achievers fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic. Procrastination is too high a price to pay for fear of failure. To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway. Forget motivation. Just do it. Act your way into feeling, not wait for positive emotions to carry you forward. Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience. Life is playing a poor hand well. The greatest battle you wage against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside. Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you? Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. If you are continually experiencing trouble or facing obstacles, then you should check to make sure that you are not the problem. Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living. Embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you're not failing, you're probably not really moving forward. Everything in life brings risk. It's true that you risk failure if you try something bold because you might miss it. But you also risk failure if you stand still and don't try anything new. The less you venture out, the greater your risk of failure. Ironically the more you risk failure — and actually fail — the greater your chances of success. If you are succeeding in everything you do, then you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough. And that means you're not taking enough risks. You risk because you have something of value you want to achieve. The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get. Determining what went wrong in a situation has value. But taking that analysis another step and figuring out how to use it to your benefit is the real difference maker when it comes to failing forward. Don't let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action. The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because you stopped trying? Commitment makes you capable of failing forward until you reach your goals. Cutting corners is really a sign of impatience and poor self-discipline. Successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally. Nothing worth achieving comes easily. The only way to fail forward and achieve your dreams is to cultivate tenacity and persistence. Never say die. Never be satisfied. Be stubborn. Be persistent. Integrity is a must. Anything worth having is worth striving for with all your might. If we look long enough for what we want in life we are almost sure to find it. Success is in the journey, the continual process. And no matter how hard you work, you will not create the perfect plan or execute it without error. You will never get to the point that you no longer make mistakes, that you no longer fail. The next time you find yourself envying what successful people have achieved, recognize that they have probably gone through many negative experiences that you cannot see on the surface. Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.
John C. Maxwell (Failing Forward)
There is lovemaking that is bad for a person, just as there is eating that is bad. That boysenberry cream pie from the Thrift-E Mart may appear inviting, may, in fact, cause all nine hundred taste buds to carol from the tongue, but in the end, the sugars, the additives, the empty calories clog arteries, disrupt cells, generate fat, and rot teeth. Even potentially nourishing foods can be improperly prepared. There are wrong combinations and improper preparations in sex as well. Yes, one must prepare for a fuck--the way an enlightened priest prepares to celebrate mass, the way a great matador prepares for the ring: with intensification, with purification, with a conscious summoning of sacred power. And even that won't work if the ingredients are poorly matched: oysters are delectable, so are strawberries, but mashed together ... (?!) Every nutritious sexual recipe calls for at least a pinch of love, and the fucks that rate four-star rankings from both gourmets and health-food nuts use cupfuls. Not that sex should be regarded as therapeutic or to be taken for medicinal purposes--only a dullard would hang such a millstone around the nibbled neck of a lay--but to approach sex carelessly, shallowly, with detachment and without warmth is to dine night after night in erotic greasy spoons. In time, one's palate will become insensitive, one will suffer (without knowing it) emotional malnutrition, the skin of the soul will fester with scurvy, the teeth of the heart will decay. Neither duration nor proclamation of commitment is necessarily the measure--there are ephemeral explosions of passion between strangers that make more erotic sense than lengthy marriages, there are one-night stands in Jersey City more glorious than six-months affairs in Paris--but finally there is a commitment, however brief; a purity, however threatened; a vulnerability, however concealed; a generosity of spirit, however marbled with need; and honest caring, however singled by lust, that must be present if couplings are to be salubrious and not slow poison.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
There is an old Eastern fable about a traveler who is taken unawares on the steppes by a ferocious wild animal. In order to escape the beast the traveler hides in an empty well, but at the bottom of the well he sees a dragon with its jaws open, ready to devour him. The poor fellow does not dare to climb out because he is afraid of being eaten by the rapacious beast, neither does he dare drop to the bottom of the well for fear of being eaten by the dragon. So he seizes hold of a branch of a bush that is growing in the crevices of the well and clings on to it. His arms grow weak and he knows that he will soon have to resign himself to the death that awaits him on either side. Yet he still clings on, and while he is holding on to the branch he looks around and sees that two mice, one black and one white, are steadily working their way round the bush he is hanging from, gnawing away at it. Sooner or later they will eat through it and the branch will snap, and he will fall into the jaws of the dragon. The traveler sees this and knows that he will inevitably perish. But while he is still hanging there he sees some drops of honey on the leaves of the bush, stretches out his tongue and licks them. In the same way I am clinging to the tree of life, knowing full well that the dragon of death inevitably awaits me, ready to tear me to pieces, and I cannot understand how I have fallen into this torment. And I try licking the honey that once consoled me, but it no longer gives me pleasure. The white mouse and the black mouse – day and night – are gnawing at the branch from which I am hanging. I can see the dragon clearly and the honey no longer tastes sweet. I can see only one thing; the inescapable dragon and the mice, and I cannot tear my eyes away from them. And this is no fable but the truth, the truth that is irrefutable and intelligible to everyone. The delusion of the joys of life that had formerly stifled my fear of the dragon no longer deceived me. No matter how many times I am told: you cannot understand the meaning of life, do not thinking about it but live, I cannot do so because I have already done it for too long. Now I cannot help seeing day and night chasing me and leading me to my death. This is all I can see because it is the only truth. All the rest is a lie. Those two drops of honey, which more than all else had diverted my eyes from the cruel truth, my love for my family and for my writing, which I called art – I no longer found sweet.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession and Other Religious Writings)
Happy the writer who, passing by characters that are boring, disgusting, shocking in their mournful reality, approaches characters that manifest the lofty dignity of man, who from the great pool of daily whirling images has chosen only the rare exceptions, who has never once betrayed the exalted turning of his lyre, nor descended from his height to his poor, insignificant brethren, and, without touching the ground, has given the whole of himself to his elevated images so far removed from it. Twice enviable is his beautiful lot: he is among them as in his own family; and meanwhile his fame spreads loud and far. With entrancing smoke he has clouded people's eyes; he has flattered them wondrously, concealing what is mournful in life, showing them a beautiful man. Everything rushes after him, applauding, and flies off following his triumphal chariot. Great world poet they name him, soaring high above all other geniuses in the world, as the eagle soars above the other high fliers. At the mere mention of his name, young ardent hearts are filled with trembling, responsive tears shine in all eyes...No one equals him in power--he is God! But such is not the lot, and other is the destiny of the writer who has dared to call forth all that is before our eyes every moment and which our indifferent eyes do not see--all the stupendous mire of trivia in which our life in entangled, the whole depth of cold, fragmented, everyday characters that swarm over our often bitter and boring earthly path, and with the firm strength of his implacable chisel dares to present them roundly and vividly before the eyes of all people! It is not for him to win people's applause, not for him to behold the grateful tears and unanimous rapture of the souls he has stirred; no sixteen-year-old girl will come flying to meet him with her head in a whirl and heroic enthusiasm; it is not for him to forget himself in the sweet enchantment of sounds he himself has evoked; it is not for him, finally, to escape contemporary judgment, hypocritically callous contemporary judgment, which will call insignificant and mean the creations he has fostered, will allot him a contemptible corner in the ranks of writers who insult mankind, will ascribe to him the quality of the heroes he has portrayed, will deny him heart, and soul, and the divine flame of talent. For contemporary judgment does not recognize that equally wondrous are the glasses that observe the sun and those that look at the movement of inconspicuous insect; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that lofty ecstatic laughter is worthy to stand beside the lofty lyrical impulse, and that a whole abyss separates it from the antics of the street-fair clown! This contemporary judgment does not recognize; and will turn it all into a reproach and abuse of the unrecognized writer; with no sharing, no response, no sympathy, like a familyless wayfarer, he will be left alone in the middle of the road. Grim is his path, and bitterly he will feel his solitude.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
Sometimes during the night I'd look at my poor sleeping mother cruelly crucified there in the American night because of no-money, no-hope-of-money, no family, no nothing, just myself the stupid son of plans all of them compacted of eventual darkness. God how right Hemingway was when he said there was no remedy for life - and to think that negative little paper-shuffling prissies should write condescending obituaries about a man who told the truth, nay who drew breath in pain to tell a tale like that! ... No remedy but in my mind I raise a fist to High Heaven promising that I shall bull whip the first bastard who makes fun of human hopelessness anyway - I know it's ridiculous to pray to my father that hunk of dung in a grave yet I pray to him anyway, what else shall I do? sneer? shuffle paper on a desk and burp rationality? Ah thank God for all the Rationalists the worms and vermin got. Thank God for all the hate mongering political pamphleteers with no left or right to yell about in the Grave of Space. I say that we shall all be reborn with the Only One, and that's what makes me go on, and my mother too. She has her rosary in the bus, don't deny her that, that's her way of stating the fact. If there can't be love among men let there be love at least between men and God. Human courage is an opiate but opiates are human too. If God is an opiate so am I. Thefore eat me. Eat the night, the long desolate American between Sanford and Shlamford and Blamford and Crapford, eat the hematodes that hang parasitically from dreary southern trees, eat the blood in the ground, the dead Indians, the dead pioneers, the dead Fords and Pontiacs, the dead Mississippis, the dead arms of forlorn hopelessness washing underneath - Who are men, that they can insult men? Who are these people who wear pants and dresses and sneer? What am I talking about? I'm talking about human helplessness and unbelievable loneliness in the darkness of birth and death and asking 'What is there to laugh about in that?' 'How can you be clever in a meatgrinder?' 'Who makes fun of misery?' There's my mother a hunk of flesh that didn't ask to be born, sleeping restlessly, dreaming hopefully, beside her son who also didn't ask to be born, thinking desperately, praying hopelessly, in a bouncing earthly vehicle going from nowhere to nowhere, all in the night, worst of all for that matter all in noonday glare of bestial Gulf Coast roads - Where is the rock that will sustain us? Why are we here? What kind of crazy college would feature a seminar where people talk about hopelessness, forever?
Jack Kerouac (Desolation Angels)
When once more alone, I reviewed the information I had got; looked into my heart, examined its thoughts and feelings, and endeavoured to bring back with a strict hand such as had been straying through imagination's boundless and trackless waste, into the safe fold of common sense. Arraigned to my own bar, Memory having given her evidence of the hopes, wishes, sentiments I had been cherishing since last night--of the general state of mind in which I had indulged for nearly a fortnight past; Reason having come forward and told, in her quiet way a plain, unvarnished tale, showing how I had rejected the real, and rapidly devoured the ideal--I pronounced judgement to this effect-- That a greater fool than Jane Eyre had never breathed the breath of life; that a more fantastic idiot had never surfeited herself on sweet lies, and swallowed poison as if it were nectar. "You," I said, "a favourite with Mr. Rochester? You're gifted with the power of pleasing him? You're of importance to him in any way? Go!--your folly sickens me. And you have derived pleasure from occasional tokens of preference--equivocal tokens shown by a gentleman of family and a man of the world to dependent and novice. How dared you? Poor stupid dupe! Could not even self-interest make you wiser? You repeated to yourself this morning the brief scene of last night? Cover your face and be ashamed! He said something in praise of your eyes, did he? Blind puppy! Open their bleared lids and look on your own accursed senselessness! It does no good to no woman to be flattered by her superior, who cannot possibly intend to marry her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it; and if discovered and responded to, must lead into miry wilds whence there is no extrication. "Listen, then, Jane Eyre, to your sentence: tomorrow, place the glass before you, and draw in chalk your own pictures, faithfully, without softening on defect; omit no harsh line, smooth away no displeasing irregularity; write under it, 'Portrait of a Governess, disconnected, poor, and plain.' "Afterwards, take a piece of smooth ivory--you have one prepared in your drawing-box: take your palette, mix your freshest, finest, clearest tints; choose your most delicate camel-hair pencils; delineate carefully the loveliest face you can imageine; paint it in your softest shades and sweetest lines, according to the description given by Mrs. Fairfax of Blanche Ingram; remember the raven ringlets, the oriental eye--What! you revert to Mr. Rochester as a model! Order! No snivel!--no sentiment!--no regret! I will endure only sense and resolution... "Whenever, in the future, you should chance to fancy Mr. Rochester thinks well of you, take out these two pictures and compare them--say, "Mr. Rochester might probably win that noble lady's love, if he chose to strive for it; is it likely he would waste a serious thought on this indignent and insignifican plebian?" "I'll do it," I resolved; and having framed this determination, I grew calm, and fell asleep.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Hi there, cutie." Ash turned his head to find an extremely attractive college student by his side. With black curly hair, she was dressed in jeans and a tight green top that displayed her curves to perfection. "Hi." "You want to go inside for a drink? It's on me." Ash paused as he saw her past, present, and future simultaneously in his mind. Her name was Tracy Phillips. A political science major, she was going to end up at Harvard Med School and then be one of the leading researchers to help isolate a mutated genome that the human race didn't even know existed yet. The discovery of that genome would save the life of her youngest daughter and cause her daughter to go on to medical school herself. That daughter, with the help and guidance of her mother, would one day lobby for medical reforms that would change the way the medical world and governments treated health care. The two of them would shape generations of doctors and save thousands of lives by allowing people to have groundbreaking medical treatments that they wouldn't have otherwise been able to afford. And right now, all Tracy could think about was how cute his ass was in leather pants, and how much she'd like to peel them off him. In a few seconds, she'd head into the coffee shop and meet a waitress named Gina Torres. Gina's dream was to go to college herself to be a doctor and save the lives of the working poor who couldn't afford health care, but because of family problems she wasn't able to take classes this year. Still Gina would tell Tracy how she planned to go next year on a scholarship. Late tonight, after most of the college students were headed off, the two of them would be chatting about Gina's plans and dreams. And a month from now, Gina would be dead from a freak car accident that Tracy would see on the news. That one tragic event combined with the happenstance meeting tonight would lead Tracy to her destiny. In one instant, she'd realize how shallow her life had been, and she'd seek to change that and be more aware of the people around her and of their needs. Her youngest daughter would be named Gina Tory in honor of the Gina who was currently busy wiping down tables while she imagined a better life for everyone. So in effect, Gina would achieve her dream. By dying she'd save thousands of lives and she'd bring health care to those who couldn't afford it... The human race was an amazing thing. So few people ever realized just how many lives they inadvertently touched. How the right or wrong word spoken casually could empower or destroy another's life. If Ash were to accept Tracy's invitation for coffee, her destiny would be changed and she would end up working as a well-paid bank officer. She'd decide that marriage wasn't for her and go on to live her life with a partner and never have children. Everything would change. All the lives that would have been saved would be lost. And knowing the nuance of every word spoken and every gesture made was the heaviest of all the burdens Ash carried. Smiling gently, he shook his head. "Thanks for asking, but I have to head off. You have a good night." She gave him a hot once-over. "Okay, but if you change your mind, I'll be in here studying for the next few hours." Ash watched as she left him and entered the shop. She set her backpack down at a table and started unpacking her books. Sighing from exhaustion, Gina grabbed a glass of water and made her way over to her... And as he observed them through the painted glass, the two women struck up a conversation and set their destined futures into motion. His heart heavy, he glanced in the direction Cael had vanished and hated the future that awaited his friend. But it was Cael's destiny. His fate... "Imora thea mi savur," Ash whispered under his breath in Atlantean. God save me from love.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Side of the Moon (Dark-Hunter, #9; Were-Hunter, #3))