Practice Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Practice. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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Do you remember me telling you we are practicing non-verbal spells, Potter?" "Yes," said Harry stiffly. "Yes, sir." "There's no need to call me "sir" Professor." The words had escaped him before he knew what he was saying.
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J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
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Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.
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Maya Angelou
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We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.
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Rainer Maria Rilke (Translations from the Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke)
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It's hard to enjoy practical jokes when your whole life feels like one.
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Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
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It's funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to.
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J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
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We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.
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William Faulkner (Essays, Speeches & Public Letters)
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You can go through life and make new friends every year - every month practically - but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.
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Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1))
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No matter how careful you are, there's going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn't experience it all. There's that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should've been paying attention. Well, get used to that feeling. That's how your whole life will feel some day. This is all practice.
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Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
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Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it.
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Richard P. Feynman
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If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
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Flirting is a woman’s trade, one must keep in practice.
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Charlotte BrontΓ« (Jane Eyre)
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I gave up practically the whole world for you,” I tell him, walking through the front door of my own love story. β€œThe sun, stars, ocean, trees, everything, I gave it all up for you.
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Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
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An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. "Can they be brought together?" This is a practical question. We must get down to it. "I despise intelligence" really means: "I cannot bear my doubts.
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Albert Camus
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Sometimes the right thing feels all wrong until it is over and done with.
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Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
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Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.
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Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
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Oh, what a tangled web we weave...when first we practice to deceive.
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Walter Scott (Marmion)
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Just because something isn't practical doesn't mean it's not worth creating. Sometimes beauty and real-life magic are enough.
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Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
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Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
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Maya Angelou
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Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said. 'One can't believe impossible things.' I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!
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Lewis Carroll
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Okay. I’m ready to move onto something else, like practicing with knives or defense against the dark arts. Cool things.” β€œDid you just quote Harry Potter?
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Jennifer L. Armentrout (Half-Blood (Covenant, #1))
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If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
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Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
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Love isn't something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn't a feeling, it is a practice.
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Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
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You can either practice being right or practice being kind.
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Anne Lamott
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If you think anyone is sane you just don't know enough about them.
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Christopher Moore (Practical Demonkeeping (Pine Cove, #1))
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What was up with class today? It was watered-down porn. He practically had you and Patch on top of your lab table, horizontal, minus your clothes, doing the Big Deed.
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Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
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A gun. I had been brought down by a gun. It was practically comical. Cheaters, I thought.
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Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
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Practice makes perfect, but nobody's perfect, so why practice?
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Kurt Cobain
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Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.
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Ludwig van Beethoven
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Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do β€œpractice”?
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George Carlin
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I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.
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Bruce Lee
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Anyone who is observant, who discovers the person they have always dreamed of, knows that sexual energy comes into play before sex even takes place. The greatest pleasure isn't sex, but the passion with which it is practiced. When the passion is intense, then sex joins in to complete the dance, but it is never the principal aim.
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Paulo Coelho
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Believing takes practice.
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Madeleine L'Engle (A Wrinkle in Time: With Related Readings (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet #1))
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Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.
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G.K. Chesterton
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I will have you know I practiced that speech. In front of a mirror before you got here." "So what do you think it meant?" "I'm not sure," Jace admitted, "but I know I look damn good delivering it.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
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These are the few ways we can practice humility: To speak as little as possible of one's self. To mind one's own business. Not to want to manage other people's affairs. To avoid curiosity. To accept contradictions and correction cheerfully. To pass over the mistakes of others. To accept insults and injuries. To accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked. To be kind and gentle even under provocation. Never to stand on one's dignity. To choose always the hardest.
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Mother Teresa (The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living)
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I am practicing being kind over being right.
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Matthew Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook)
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The Four Agreements 1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Don’t take anything personally. 3. Don’t make assumptions. 4. Always do your best.
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Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
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every mouth you’ve ever kissed was just practice all the bodies you’ve ever undressed and ploughed in to were preparing you for me. i don’t mind tasting them in the memory of your mouth they were a long hall way a door half open a single suit case still on the conveyor belt was it a long journey? did it take you long to find me? you’re here now, welcome home.
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Warsan Shire
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Forgiveness is not a single act, but a matter of constant practice.
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Diana Gabaldon (Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4))
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Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.
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Henri J.M. Nouwen
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Whatever happens around you, don't take it personally... Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.
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Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
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One man practicing kindness in the wilderness is worth all the temples this world pulls.
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Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
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If there's one thing I learned from Rodrick, it's to set people's expectations real low so you end up surprising them by practically doing nothing at all.
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Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #1))
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The practice of art isn't to make a living. It's to make your soul grow.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.
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Marianne Williamson
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Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.
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Thich Nhat Hanh (Stepping into Freedom: Rules of Monastic Practice for Novices)
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When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams β€” this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness β€” and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!
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Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
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All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable." REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE. "Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Littleβ€”" YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES. "So we can believe the big ones?" YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING. "They're not the same at all!" YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YETβ€”Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED. "Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the pointβ€”" MY POINT EXACTLY.
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Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
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Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable. - Wizard
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Noel Langley (The Wizard of Oz)
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Sex, whatever else it is, is an athletic skill. The more you practice, the more you can, the more you want to, the more you enjoy it, the less it tires you.
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Robert A. Heinlein (The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (The World As Myth))
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Lack of originality, everywhere, all over the world, from time immemorial, has always been considered the foremost quality and the recommendation of the active, efficient and practical man.
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Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot)
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Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.
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Lao Tzu
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Where do you think the money went?” he repeated. β€œGuns?” asked Jesper. β€œShips?” queried Inej. β€œBombs?” suggested Wylan. β€œPolitical bribes?” offered Nina. They all looked at Matthias. β€œThis is where you tell us how awful we are,” she whispered. He shrugged. β€œThey all seem like practical choices.
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Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
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In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.
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Mark Twain (Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World)
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Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.
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Mary Anne Radmacher
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I have no objection to anyone’s sex life as long as they don’t practice it in the street and frighten the horses.
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Oscar Wilde
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I do not love; I do not love anybody except myself. That is a rather shocking thing to admit. I have none of the selfless love of my mother. I have none of the plodding, practical love. . . . . I am, to be blunt and concise, in love only with myself, my puny being with its small inadequate breasts and meager, thin talents. I am capable of affection for those who reflect my own world.
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Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
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I was full of a hot, powerful sadness and would have loved to burst into the comfort of tears, but tried hard not to, remembering something my Guru once said -- that you should never give yourself a chance to fall apart because, when you do, it becomes a tendency and it happens over and over again. You must practice staying strong, instead.
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Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
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We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.
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John Lennon
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There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.
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Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
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I have the feeling we just made a deal with the devil, and he's going to come back and want our first-born child or something." Daemon waggled his brows. "You want kids? Because you know, practice makes--" "Shut up." I shook my head and started walking.
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Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opal (Lux, #3))
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First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice.
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Octavia E. Butler (Bloodchild and Other Stories)
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We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.
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Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
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My meditation is simple. It does not require any complex practices. It is simple. It is singing. It is dancing. It is sitting silently
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Osho
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There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.
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Herman Melville (Moby-Dick)
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I'm such a good lover because I practice a lot on my own.
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Woody Allen
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Do you want a cookie? - What? - A cookie. Like an Oreo. Do you want one? - No. - How can you not want a cookie? - I just don't. - Okay, fine,let's say you did want a cookie. Let's say you were dying for a cookie, and there were cookies in the cupboard. What would you do? - I'd eat a cookie? - Exactly. That's all I'm saying. - What are you saying? - That if people want cookies, they should get a cookie. It's what people do. - Let me guess. Dad won't let you have a cookie? - No. Even though I'm practically starving to death, he won't even consider it. He says I have to have a sandwich first. - And you don't think that's fair. - You just said you'd get a cookie if you wanted one. So why can't I? I'm not a little kid. I can make my own decisions. - Hmm. I can see why this bothers you so much. - It's not fair. If he wants a cookie, he can have one. If you want a cookie, you can have one. But if I want a cookie, the rules don't count. Like you said, it's not fair. - So what are you going to do? - I'm going to eat a sandwich. Because I have to. Because the world isn't fair to ten-year-olds.
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Nicholas Sparks (The Last Song)
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Crying is one of the highest devotional songs. One who knows crying, knows spiritual practice. If you can cry with a pure heart, nothing else compares to such a prayer. Crying includes all the principles of Yoga.
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Kripalvanandji
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Don't try to solve serious matters in the middle of the night.
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Philip K. Dick
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Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice.
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E.M. Forster (A Room With A View)
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What are you going to do with your life?" In one way or another it seemed that people had been asking her this forever; teachers, her parents, friends at three in the morning, but the question had never seemed this pressing and still she was no nearer an answer... "Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to be good and courageous and bold and to make difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.
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David Nicholls (One Day)
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Only years of practice will teach you the mysteries and bold certainty of a real gardener, who treads at random, yet tramples on nothing.
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Karel Čapek
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Rage β€” whether in reaction to social injustice, or to our leaders’ insanity, or to those who threaten or harm us β€” is a powerful energy that, with diligent practice, can be transformed into fierce compassion.
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Bonnie Myotai Treace
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Do you know how hard it is to say nothing? When every atom of you strains to do the opposite? I had practiced not saying anything the whole way from the airport, and it was still nearly killing me.
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Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
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My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Aunt Frances
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Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
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People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times.
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Isaac Bashevis Singer
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Good men are often more practical than pretty " said Mother. "Andrius just happens to be both.
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Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
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Sometimes I really think people ought to have to pass a proper exam before they're allowed to be parents. Not just the practical, I mean.
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Terry Pratchett (Thief of Time (Discworld, #26; Death, #5))
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A towel, [The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
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Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
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He seemed very pleased with himself for surviving a near-death experience. I could practically hear him chanting to himself: I overcame. I conquered. I’m a man etc etc.
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Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
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The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.
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Leon Trotsky (Their Morals and Ours: The Class Foundations of Moral Practice)
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If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats.
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Richard Bach (Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah)
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It doesn't matter what people tell you. It doesn't matter what they might say. Sometimes you have to leave home. Sometimes, running away means you're headed in the exact right direction.
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Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
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Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past, and is therefore the means for correcting our misperceptions.
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Gerald G. Jampolsky (Love Is Letting Go of Fear)
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To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
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The wood nymph instructors left me in the dust. They told me not to worry about it. They'd had centuries of practice running away from lovesick gods. But still, it was a little humiliating to be slower than a tree.
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Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
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Talent is a pursued interest. Anything that you're willing to practice, you can do.
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Bob Ross
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I will no longer allow anyone to manipulate my mind and control my life in the name of love.
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Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
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People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a childβ€”our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
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Thich Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation)
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Excellence" is not a gift, but a skill that takes practice. We do not act "rightly" because we are "excellent", in fact we achieve "excellence" by acting "rightly".
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Plato
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The practice of love offers no place of safety. We risk loss, hurt, pain. We risk being acted upon by forces outside our control.
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bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
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Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.
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William Arthur Ward
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Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.
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Richard Shaull (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
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You don't need to justify your love, you don't need to explain your love, you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.
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Miguel Ruiz (The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship)
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Wisdom comes through suffering. Trouble, with its memories of pain, Drips in our hearts as we try to sleep, So men against their will Learn to practice moderation. Favours come to us from gods.
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Aeschylus (Agamemnon (Oresteia, #1))
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Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.
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Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
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Calvin: I used to hate writing assignments, but now I enjoy them. I realized that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog! Want to see my book report? Hobbes: (Reading Calvin's paper) "The Dynamics of Interbeing and Monological Imperatives in Dick and Jane: A Study in Psychic Transrelational Gender modes." Calvin: Academia, here I come!
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Bill Watterson (Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat (Calvin and Hobbes #9))
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I've been in love with you since the very beginning. You asked why there isn't anyone else in my life, and the reason... is you.
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Julie James (Practice Makes Perfect)
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Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.
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Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
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I never gossip. I observe. And then relay my observations to practically everyone.
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Gail Carriger (Timeless (Parasol Protectorate, #5))
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In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.
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Dalai Lama XIV
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I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives. I’m not talking about the short-term gratification of pleasures like sex, drugs or gambling (though I’m not knocking them), but something that will bring true and lasting happiness. The kind that sticks.
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Dalai Lama XIV
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It is by the goodness of god that in our country we have those 3 unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.
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Mark Twain
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For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
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Aristotle (The Nicomachean Ethics)
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That sounds almost practiced, James Carstairs. How many girls have you made swoon with that observation?" "There is only one girl I care to make swoon," he said. "The question is, does she?" She smiled at him. "She does.
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Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
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If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn't walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don't need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.
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Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
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The moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep.
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Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
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All right, so give me some idea of what you can do," says Haymitch. I can’t do anything," says Peeta, "unless you count baking bread." Sorry, I don’t. Katniss. I already know you’re handy with a knife,” says Haymitch. Not really. But I can hunt,” I say. β€œWith a bow and arrow.” And you’re good?” asks Haymitch. I have to think about it. I’ve been putting food on the table for four years. That’s no small task. I’m not as good as my father was, but he’d had more practice. I’ve better aim than Gale, but I’ve had more practice. He’s a genius with traps and snares. β€œI’m all right,” I say.
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Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
β€œ
speak quietly to yourself & promise there will be better days. whisper gently to yourself and provide assurance that you really are extending your best effort. console your bruised and tender spirit with reminders of many other successes. offer comfort in practical and tangible ways - as if you were encouraging your dearest friend. recognize that on certain days the greatest grace is that the day is over and you get to close your eyes. tomorrow comes more brightly...
”
”
Mary Anne Radmacher
β€œ
I really wish you hadn't worn that sweater,'he muttered into her ear. 'It's good practice for you,' she replied,her lips moving against his skin. 'Tomorrow,fishnets.' Against her side,warm and familiar,she felt him laugh.
”
”
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
β€œ
As they moved through the old barn, Adam felt Ronan’s eyes glance off him and away, his disinterest practiced but incomplete. Adam wondered if anyone else noticed. Part of him wished they did and immediately felt bad, because it was vanity, really: See, Adam Parrish is wantable, worthy of a crush, not just by anyone, someone like Ronan, who could want Gansey or anyone else and chose Adam for his hungry eyes.
”
”
Maggie Stiefvater (Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3))
β€œ
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.
”
”
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
β€œ
We all have two lives: The true, the one we dreamed of in childhood And go on dreaming of as adults in a substratum of mist; the false, the one we love when we live with others, the practical, the useful, the one we end up by being put in a coffin.
”
”
Fernando Pessoa
β€œ
Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else.
”
”
Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice)
β€œ
But it is not what I am saying that is hurting you; it is that you have wounds that I touch by what I have said. You are hurting yourself. There is no way I can take this personally.
”
”
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
β€œ
The mind is just like a muscle - the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.
”
”
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
β€œ
There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.
”
”
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
β€œ
Love without sacrifice is like theft
”
”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms)
β€œ
If I had my life to live over... Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind. If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored. I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television ... and more while watching real life. I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted. I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream. I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day. I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn't show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime. When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more I love yous ... more I'm sorrys ... more I'm listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
”
”
Erma Bombeck (Eat Less Cottage Cheese and More Ice Cream: Thoughts on Life from Erma Bombeck)
β€œ
Whenever I am in a difficult situation where there seems to be no way out, I think about all the times I have been in such situations and say to myself, "I did it before, so I can do it again.
”
”
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
β€œ
You can have many great ideas in your head, but what makes the difference is the action. Without action upon an idea, there will be no manifestation, no results, and no reward
”
”
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
β€œ
Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.
”
”
John Muir (My First Summer in the Sierra)
β€œ
Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at...something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.
”
”
David Nicholls (One Day)
β€œ
People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it's impossible to count them accurately.
”
”
Oscar Wilde
β€œ
1. Accept everything just the way it is. 2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake. 3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling. 4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world. 5. Be detached from desire your whole life long. 6. Do not regret what you have done. 7. Never be jealous. 8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation. 9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others. 10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love. 11. In all things have no preferences. 12. Be indifferent to where you live. 13. Do not pursue the taste of good food. 14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need. 15. Do not act following customary beliefs. 16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful. 17. Do not fear death. 18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age. 19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help. 20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour. 21. Never stray from the Way.
”
”
Miyamoto Musashi
β€œ
I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit. Unfortunately an only son (for many years an only child), I was spoilt by my parents, who, though good themselves (my father, particularly, all that was benevolent and amiable), allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing; to care for none beyond my own family circle; to think meanly of all the rest of the world; to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own. Such I was, from eight to eight and twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.
”
”
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
β€œ
For there are two kinds of forgiveness in the world: the one you practice because everything really is all right, and what went before is mended. The other kind of forgiveness you practice because someone needs desperately to be forgiven, or because you need just as badly to forgive them, for a heart can grab hold of old wounds and go sour as milk over them.
”
”
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2))
β€œ
Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.
”
”
BrenΓ© Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
β€œ
Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.
”
”
Immanuel Kant (Critique of Practical Reason)
β€œ
The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear.
”
”
Deepak Chopra (The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams)
β€œ
Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.
”
”
Dalai Lama XIV
β€œ
I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one's being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.
”
”
Martha Graham
β€œ
You have to be very fond of men. Very, very fond. You have to be very fond of them to love them. Otherwise they're simply unbearable.
”
”
Marguerite Duras (Practicalities)
β€œ
Music is a proud, temperamental mistress. Give her the time and attention she deserves, and she is yours. Slight her and there will come a day when you call and she will not answer. So I began sleeping less to give her the time she needed.
”
”
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
β€œ
When you work on something that only has the capacity to make you 5 dollars, it does not matter how much harder you work – the most you will make is 5 dollars.
”
”
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
β€œ
Maybe you think you’ll be entitled to more happiness later by forgoing all of it now, but it doesn’t work that way. Happiness takes as much practice as unhappiness does. It’s by living that you live more. By waiting you wait more. Every waiting day makes your life a little less. Every lonely day makes you a little smaller. Every day you put off your life makes you less capable of living it.
”
”
Ann Brashares (Sisterhood Everlasting (Sisterhood, #5))
β€œ
Five,' she said. Her lips and cheeks were flushed, but her gaze was steady. 'Five?' Gabriel echoed blankly. 'My rating,' she said, and smiled at him. 'Your skill and technique may, perhaps, require work, but the native talent is certainly there. What you require is practice.' 'And you are willing to be my tutor?' 'I should be very insulted if you chose another,' Cecily said, and leaned up to kiss him again.
”
”
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
β€œ
Seniors get to do all the jolly things," Owen complained as they walked to archery practice that first day. Neal glared at the chubby second-year with all the royal disdain of a vexed lion. He was limping from a staff blow to the knee. "You are a bloody minded-savage," he informed Owen sternly. "I hope you are kidnapped by centaurs.
”
”
Tamora Pierce (Page (Protector of the Small, #2))
β€œ
All problems are illusions of the mind.
”
”
Eckhart Tolle (Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from the Power of Now)
β€œ
Letting go is the lesson. Letting go is always the lesson. Have you ever noticed how much of our agony is all tied up with craving and loss?
”
”
Susan Gordon Lydon (The Knitting Sutra: Craft as a Spiritual Practice)
β€œ
But one type of book that practically no one likes to read is a book about the law. Books about the law are notorious for being very long, very dull, and very difficult to read. This is one reason many lawyers make heaps of money. The money is an incentive - the word "incentive" here means "an offered reward to persuade you to do something you don't want to do - to read long, dull, and difficult books.
”
”
Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1))
β€œ
You have the skills,” Chaol said, β€œbut some of your moves are still undisciplined.” β€œThat’s never stopped me from killing before,” she spat. Chaol chuckled at her agitation and pointed his sword at the rack, allowing her to get to her feet. β€œPick anotherβ€”something different. Make it interesting, too. Something that will make me sweat, please.” β€œYou’ll be sweating when I skin you alive and squish your eyeballs beneath my feet,” she muttered, picking up the rapier. β€œThat’s the spirit.” She practically threw the rapier into place, and drew the hunting knives without hesitation. My dear old friends. A wicked smile spread across her face.
”
”
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
β€œ
Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos β€” the trees, the clouds, everything.
”
”
Thich Nhat Hanh (Touching Peace: Practicing the Art of Mindful Living (Being Peace, #2))
β€œ
If others tell us something we make assumptions, and if they don't tell us something we make assumptions to fulfill our need to know and to replace the need to communicate. Even if we hear something and we don't understand we make assumptions about what it means and then believe the assumptions. We make all sorts of assumptions because we don't have the courage to ask questions.
”
”
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
β€œ
I know in the spy movies it always looks really cool when the operative goes from a maid's uniform to a slinky, sexy, ballgown in the amount of time it takes an elevator to climb three floors. Well, I don't know how it is for TV spies, but I can tell you that even with Velcro, the art of the quick change is one that must take a lot of practice (not to mention better lighting than one is likely to find in a tunnel that was once part of the underground railroad).
”
”
Ally Carter (I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1))
β€œ
It is those who are successful, in other words, who are most likely to be given the kinds of special opportunities that lead to further success. It’s the rich who get the biggest tax breaks. It’s the best students who get the best teaching and most attention. And it’s the biggest nine- and ten-year-olds who get the most coaching and practice. Success is the result of what sociologists like to call β€œaccumulative advantage.
”
”
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
β€œ
It might be a good idea if, like the White Queen, we practiced believing six impossible things every morning before breakfast, for we are called on to believe what to many people is impossible. Instead of rejoicing in this glorious "impossible" which gives meaning and dignity to our lives, we try to domesticate God, to make his might actions comprehensible to our finite minds.
”
”
Madeleine L'Engle
β€œ
What in hell is that?” She kept going toward the bathroom, refusing to apologize or look down at the pink, delicate, very short lace nightgown. When she emerged, face washed and clean, Rowan was sitting up, arms crossed over his bare chest. β€œYou forgot the bottom part.” She merely blew out the candles in the room one by one. His eyes tracked her the entire time. β€œThere is no bottom part,” she said, flinging back the covers on her side. β€œIt’s starting to get so hot, and I hate sweating when I sleep. Plus, you’re practically a furnace. So it’s either this or I sleep naked. You can sleep in the bathtub if you have a problem with it.
”
”
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
β€œ
Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best.
”
”
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
β€œ
Trouble is just like love, after all; it comes in unannounced and takes over before you've had a chance to reconsider, or even to think.
”
”
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
β€œ
I should go," I said thickly. "Let me know when you want to start practice again. And thanks for...talking." I started to turn; then I heard him say abruptly, "No." I glanced back. "What?" He held my gaze, and something warm and wonderful and powerful shot between us. "No," he repeated. "I told her no." "I..." I shut my mouth before my jaw hit the floor. "But...why? That was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You could have had a baby. And she...she was, you know, into you..." The ghost of a smile flickered on his face. "Yes, she was. Is. And that's why I had to say no. I couldn't return that...couldn't give her what she wanted. Not when..." He took a few steps toward me. "Not when my heart is somewhere else.
”
”
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
β€œ
But if you forgive someone for something they did to you, it doesn’t mean you agree with what they did or believe it was right. Forgiving that person means you have chosen not to dwell on the matter anymore; you have moved on with your life.
”
”
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
β€œ
Oh, are you doing magic? Let’s see it, then.” She sat down. Ron looked taken aback. β€œEr β€” all right.” He cleared his throat. β€œSunshine, daisies, butter mellow, Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.” He waved his wand, but nothing happened. Scabbers stayed gray and fast asleep. β€œAre you sure that’s a real spell?” said the girl. β€œWell, it’s not very good, is it? I’ve tried a few simple spells just for practice and it’s all worked for me. I’ve learned all our course books by heart, of course.
”
”
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
β€œ
A man once asked me ... how I managed in my books to write such natural conversation between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had practically never seen or spoken to any men of my own age till I was about twenty-five. "Well," said the man, "I shouldn't have expected a woman (meaning me) to have been able to make it so convincing." I replied that I had coped with this difficult problem by making my men talk, as far as possible, like ordinary human beings. This aspect of the matter seemed to surprise the other speaker; he said no more, but took it away to chew it over. One of these days it may quite likely occur to him that women, as well as men, when left to themselves, talk very much like human beings also.
”
”
Dorothy L. Sayers (Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society)
β€œ
When you're young - when I was young - you want your emotions to be like the ones you read about in books. You want them to overturn your life, create and define a new reality. Later, I think, you want them to do something milder, something more practical: you want them to support your life as it is and has become. You want them to tell you that things are OK. And is there anything wrong with that?
”
”
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
β€œ
By late afternoon I lie with my head in Peeta’s lap making a crown of flowers while he fiddles with my hair claiming he is practicing knots. After awhile his hands go still. β€œWhat?” I ask. β€œI wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now, and live in it forever,” he says. Usually this sort of comment, the kind that hints his undying love for me, makes me feel guilty and awful. But I’m so relaxed and beyond worrying about a future I’ll never have, I just let the word slip out. β€œOkay,” I say. I can hear the smile in his voice. β€œThen you’ll allow it?” β€œI’ll allow it.
”
”
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
β€œ
Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college. And I realize some of you may be having trouble deciding whether I am kidding or not. So from now on I will tell you when I'm kidding. For instance, join the National Guard or the Marines and teach democracy. I'm kidding. We are about to be attacked by Al Qaeda. Wave flags if you have them. That always seems to scare them away. I'm kidding. If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.
”
”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
β€œ
Jessica. For god's sake," he said. "Allow me to do at least one common courtesy for you. In spite ow what 'women's lib' teaches you, chivalry does not imply that women are powerless. On the contrary, chivalry is an admission of women's superiority. An acknowledgment of your power over us. This is the only form of servitude a Vladescu ever practices, and I perform it gladly for you. You, in turn, are obligated to accept graciously.
”
”
Beth Fantaskey (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side (Jessica, #1))
β€œ
If you live in a past dream, you don't enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self pity, suffering and tears.
”
”
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
β€œ
God is life. God is life in action. The best way to say, "I love you, God," is to live your life doing your best. The best way to say, "Thank you, God," is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now. Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.
”
”
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
β€œ
As a nation, we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it 'all men are created equal, except negroes.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read 'all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.' When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
”
”
Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln Letters)
β€œ
He felt as though he were failing in practically every area of his life. Lately, happiness seemed as distant and unattainable to him as space travel. He hadn't always felt this way. There had been a long period of time during which he remembered being very happy. But things change. People change. Change was one of the inevitable laws of nature, exacting its toll on people's lives. Mistakes are made, regrets form, and all that was left were repercussions that made something as simple as rising from the bed seem almost laborious.
”
”
Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
β€œ
The art of losing isn't hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster. Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn't hard to master. Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster. I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went. The art of losing isn't hard to master. I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster. ---Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident the art of losing's not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
”
”
Elizabeth Bishop (One Art)
β€œ
It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.
”
”
George Orwell (1984)
β€œ
From this experience, I understood the danger of focusing only on what isn't there. What if I came to the end of my life and realized that I'd spent every day watching for a man who would never come to me? What an unbearable sorrow it would be, to realize I'd never really tasted the things I'd eaten, or seen the places I'd been, because I'd thought of nothing but the Chairman even while my life was drifting away from me. And yet if I drew my thoughts back from him, what life would I have? I would be like a dancer who had practiced since childhood for a performance she would never give.
”
”
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
β€œ
Wherever you go you will find people lying to you, and as your awareness grows, you will notice that you also lie to yourself. Do not expect people to tell you the truth because they also lie to themselves. You have to trust yourself and choose to believe or not to believe what someone says to you.
”
”
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
β€œ
Many of us are slaves to our minds. Our own mind is our worst enemy. We try to focus, and our mind wanders off. We try to keep stress at bay, but anxiety keeps us awake at night. We try to be good to the people we love, but then we forget them and put ourselves first. And when we want to change our life, we dive into spiritual practice and expect quick results, only to lose focus after the honeymoon has worn off. We return to our state of bewilderment. We're left feeling helpless and discouraged. It seems we all agree that training the body through exercise, diet, and relaxation is a good idea, but why don't we think about training our minds?
”
”
Sakyong Mipham
β€œ
These... things, householder, are welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world: Long life is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Beauty is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Happiness is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Status is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. ...Now, I tell you, these... things are not to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes. If they were to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes, who here would lack them? It's not fitting for the disciple of the noble ones who desires long life to pray for it or to delight in doing so. Instead, the disciple of the noble ones who desires long life should follow the path of practice leading to long life. In so doing, he will attain long life... [Ittha Sutta, AN 5.43]
”
”
Gautama Buddha
β€œ
Hopefully as you get older, you start to learn how to live with your demon. It’s hard at first. Some people give their demon so much room that there is no space in their head or bed for love. They feed their demon and it gets really strong and then it makes them stay in abusive relationships or starve their beautiful bodies. But sometimes, you get a little older and get a little bored of the demon. Through good therapy and friends and self-love you can practice treating the demon like a hacky, annoying cousin. Maybe a day even comes when you are getting dressed for a fancy event and it whispers, β€œYou aren’t pretty,” and you go, β€œI know, I know, now let me find my earrings.” Sometimes you say, β€œDemon, I promise you I will let you remind me of my ugliness, but right now I am having hot sex so I will check in later.
”
”
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
β€œ
We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come.
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Thich Nhat Hanh (Living Buddha, Living Christ)
β€œ
There was a thing called Heaven; but all the same they used to drink enormous quantities of alcohol." ... "There was a thing called the soul and a thing called immortality." ... "But they used to take morphia and cocaine." ... "Two thousand pharmacologists and biochemists were subsidized in A.F. 178." ... "Six years later it was being produced commercially. The perfect drug." ... "Euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant." ... "All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects." ... "Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, and come back without so much as a headache or a mythology." ... "Stability was practically assured.
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Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
β€œ
I agree with yours of the 22d that a professorship of Theology should have no place in our institution. but we cannot always do what is absolutely best. those with whom we act, entertaining different views, have the power and the right of carrying them into practice. truth advances, & error recedes step by step only; and to do to our fellow-men the most good in our power, we must lead where we can, follow where we cannot, and still go with them, watching always the favorable moment for helping them to another step. [Comment on establishing Jefferson's University of Virginia, a secular college, in a letter to Thomas Cooper 7 October 1814]
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Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
β€œ
We do not get to choose how we start out in life. We do not get to choose the day we are born or the family we are born into, what we are named at birth, what country we are born in, and we do not get to choose our ancestry. All these things are predetermined by a higher power. By the time you are old enough to start making decisions for yourself, a lot of things in your life are already in place. It’s important, therefore, that you focus on the future, the only thing that you can change.
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Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
β€œ
Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or less important than you are. Some people are slow to take offense, which may make you misjudge the thickness of their skin, and fail to worry about insulting them. But should you offend their honor and their pride, they will overwhelm you with a violence that seems sudden and extreme given their slowness to anger. If you want to turn people down, it is best to do so politely and respectfully, even if you feel their request is impudent or their offer ridiculous.
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Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
β€œ
Hale, this life . . .' she started slowly, still practically speechless. 'This . . . what we do--what my family does--it looks a lot more glamorous when you choose it.' 'So choose it.' He handed her another envelope. Smaller this time. Thinner. 'What's this?' she asked. 'That, darling, is my full confession. Dates. Times.' Hale leaned against the antique table. 'I thought the crane rental receipt was a particularly nice touch.' Kat looked at him, speechless. 'It's your ticket back into Colgan. If you want it.' 'Hale, I . . .' But Hale was still moving, shrinking the distance between them. He seemed impossibly close as he whispered. 'And I didn't choose it, Kat. I chose you.
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Ally Carter (Heist Society (Heist Society, #1))
β€œ
Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. I do not seek or conjecture either of them as if they were veiled obscurities or extravagances beyond the horizon of my vision; I see them before me and connect them immediately with the consciousness of my existence.
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Immanuel Kant (Critique of Practical Reason)
β€œ
Dr. Watson's summary list of Sherlock Holmes's strengths and weaknesses: "1. Knowledge of Literature: Nil. 2. Knowledge of Philosophy: Nil. 3. Knowledge of Astronomy: Nil. 4. Knowledge of Politics: Feeble. 5. Knowledge of Botany: Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium, and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening. 6. Knowledge of Geology: Practical but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them. 7. Knowledge of Chemistry: Profound. 8. Knowledge of Anatomy: Accurate but unsystematic. 9. Knowledge of Sensational Literature: Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century. 10. Plays the violin well. 11. Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman. 12. Has a good practical knowledge of British law.
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Arthur Conan Doyle (A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1))
β€œ
Is it time for your period, or something?" With unerring instinct, he'd found a great big red button, and pushed it. Wyatt fights to win, which means he fights dirty. I understand the concept because that's how I fight, too, but understanding it didn't stop me from reacting. I could practically feel my blood bubbling with steam. "What?" He turned around, all controlled aggression, and damned if he didn't push the button again. "What is it about having a period that makes women so bitchy?" ... It was an effort, but I said as sweetly as possible, "It isn't that we're bitchier, it's that having a period makes us feel all tired and achy, so we have less tolerance for all the bullshit we normally SUFFER IN SILENCE." By the time the sentence ended the sweetness was long gone, my jaw was clenched, and I think my eyes were bugging out. Wyatt took a step back, belatedly looking alarmed.
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Linda Howard (Drop Dead Gorgeous (Blair Mallory, #2))
β€œ
Difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. Let us reflect that it is inhabited by a thousand millions of people. That these profess probably a thousand different systems of religion. That ours is but one of that thousand. That if there be but one right, and ours that one, we should wish to see the 999 wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But against such a majority we cannot effect this by force. Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free enquiry must be indulged; and how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse it ourselves.
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Thomas Jefferson (Notes on the State of Virginia)
β€œ
It sounds like a fairy-tale, but not only that; this story of what man by his science and practical inventions has achieved on this earth, where he first appeared as a weakly member of the animal kingdom, and on which each individual of his species must ever again appear as a helpless infant... is a direct fulfilment of all, or of most, of the dearest wishes in his fairy-tales. All these possessions he has acquired through culture. Long ago he formed an ideal conception of omnipotence and omniscience which he embodied in his gods. Whatever seemed unattainable to his desires - or forbidden to him - he attributed to these gods. One may say, therefore, that these gods were the ideals of his culture. Now he has himself approached very near to realizing this ideal, he has nearly become a god himself. But only, it is true, in the way that ideals are usually realized in the general experience of humanity. Not completely; in some respects not at all, in others only by halves. Man has become a god by means of artificial limbs, so to speak, quite magnificent when equipped with all his accessory organs; but they do not grow on him and they still give him trouble at times... Future ages will produce further great advances in this realm of culture, probably inconceivable now, and will increase man's likeness to a god still more.
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Sigmund Freud (Civilization and Its Discontents)
β€œ
Come on, Hathaway," he said, taking my arm. "You can be my partner. Let’s see what you’ve been doing all this time." An hour later, he had his answer. "Not practicing, huh?" "Ow,” I groaned, momentarily incapable of normal speech. He extended a hand and helped me up from the mat he’d knocked me down onβ€”about fifty times. "I hate you,” I told him, rubbing a spot on my thigh that was going to have a wicked bruise tomorrow. "You’d hate me more if I held back." "Yeah, that’s true," I agreed, staggering along as the class put the equipment back. "You actually did okay." "What? I just had my ass handed to me." "Well, of course you did. It’s been two years. But hey, you’re still walking. That’s something." He grinned mockingly. "Did I mention I hate you?” He flashed me another smile, which quickly faded to something more serious. "Don’t take this the wrong way…I mean, you really are a scrapper, but there’s no way you’ll be able to take your trials in the springβ€”" "They’re making me take extra practice sessions," I explained. Not that it mattered. I planned on getting Lissa and me out of here before those practices really became an issue. "Extra sessions with who?" "That tall guy. Dimitri." Mason stopped walking and stared at me. "You’re putting in extra time with Belikov?" "Yeah, so what?" "So the man is a god." "Exaggerate much?" I asked. "No, I’m serious. I mean, he’s all quiet and antisocial usually but when he fights...wow. If you think you’re hurting now, you’re going to be dead when he’s done with you." Great. Something else to improve my day.
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Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
β€œ
We all know that any emotional bias -- irrespective of truth or falsity -- can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value.... If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction.
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H.P. Lovecraft (Against Religion: The Atheist Writings of H.P. Lovecraft)
β€œ
Whereas it appeareth that however certain forms of government are better calculated than others to protect individuals in the free exercise of their natural rights, and are at the same time themselves better guarded against degeneracy, yet experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny; and it is believed that the most effectual means of preventing this would be, to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, ....whence it becomes expedient for promoting the publick happiness that those persons, whom nature hath endowed with genius and virtue, should be rendered by liberal education worthy to receive, and able to guard the sacred deposit of the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens, and that they should be called to that charge without regard to wealth, birth or accidental condition of circumstance.
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Thomas Jefferson (Writings: Autobiography / Notes on the State of Virginia / Public and Private Papers / Addresses / Letters)
β€œ
Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.
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Thich Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation)
β€œ
So many words get lost. They leave the mouth and lose their courage, wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves. On rainy days, you can hear their chorus rushing past: IwasabeautifulgirlPleasedon’tgoItoobelievemybodyismadeofglass-I’veneverlovedanyoneIthinkofmyselfasfunnyForgiveme…. There was a time when it wasn’t uncommon to use a piece of string to guide words that otherwise might falter on the way to their destinations. Shy people carried a little bunch of string in their pockets, but people considered loudmouths had no less need for it, since those used to being overheard by everyone were often at a loss for how to make themselves heard by someone. The physical distance between two people using a string was often small; sometimes the smaller the distance, the greater the need for the string. The practice of attaching cups to the ends of string came much later. Some say it is related to the irrepressible urge to press shells to our ears, to hear the still-surviving echo of the world’s first expression. Others say it was started by a man who held the end of a string that was unraveled across the ocean by a girl who left for America. When the world grew bigger, and there wasn’t enough string to keep the things people wanted to say from disappearing into the vastness, the telephone was invented. Sometimes no length of string is long enough to say the thing that needs to be said. In such cases all the string can do, in whatever its form, is conduct a person’s silence.
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Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
β€œ
According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction. Due to this pursuit, the mind is never satisfied. Even when experiencing pleasure, it is not content, because it fears this feeling might soon disappear, and craves that this feeling should stay and intensify. People are liberated from suffering not when they experience this or that fleeting pleasure, but rather when they understand the impermanent nature of all their feelings, and stop craving them. This is the aim of Buddhist meditation practices. In meditation, you are supposed to closely observe your mind and body, witness the ceaseless arising and passing of all your feelings, and realise how pointless it is to pursue them. When the pursuit stops, the mind becomes very relaxed, clear and satisfied. All kinds of feelings go on arising and passing – joy, anger, boredom, lust – but once you stop craving particular feelings, you can just accept them for what they are. You live in the present moment instead of fantasising about what might have been. The resulting serenity is so profound that those who spend their lives in the frenzied pursuit of pleasant feelings can hardly imagine it. It is like a man standing for decades on the seashore, embracing certain β€˜good’ waves and trying to prevent them from disintegrating, while simultaneously pushing back β€˜bad’ waves to prevent them from getting near him. Day in, day out, the man stands on the beach, driving himself crazy with this fruitless exercise. Eventually, he sits down on the sand and just allows the waves to come and go as they please. How peaceful!
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Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
β€œ
In a society in which nearly everybody is dominated by somebody else's mind or by a disembodied mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn the truth about the activities of governments and corporations, about the quality or value of products, or about the health of one's own place and economy. In such a society, also, our private economies will depend less and less upon the private ownership of real, usable property, and more and more upon property that is institutional and abstract, beyond individual control, such as money, insurance policies, certificates of deposit, stocks, and shares. And as our private economies become more abstract, the mutual, free helps and pleasures of family and community life will be supplanted by a kind of displaced or placeless citizenship and by commerce with impersonal and self-interested suppliers... Thus, although we are not slaves in name, and cannot be carried to market and sold as somebody else's legal chattels, we are free only within narrow limits. For all our talk about liberation and personal autonomy, there are few choices that we are free to make. What would be the point, for example, if a majority of our people decided to be self-employed? The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth - that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community - and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.
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Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
β€œ
Today is a new day and it brings with it a new set of opportunities for me to act on. I am attentive to the opportunities and I seize them as they arise. I have full confidence in myself and my abilities. I can do all things that I commit myself to. No obstacle is too big or too difficult for me to handle because what lies inside me is greater than what lies ahead of me. I am committed to improving myself and I am getting better daily. I am not held back by regret or mistakes from the past. I am moving forward daily. Absolutely nothing is impossible for me.
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Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
β€œ
Let me tell you about love, that silly word you believe is about whether you like somebody or whether somebody likes you or whether you can put up with somebody in order to get something or someplace you want or you believe it has to do with how your body responds to another body like robins or bison or maybe you believe love is how forces or nature or luck is benign to you in particular not maiming or killing you but if so doing it for your own good. Love is none of that. There is nothing in nature like it. Not in robins or bison or in the banging tails of your hunting dogs and not in blossoms or suckling foal. Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind. It is a learned application without reason or motive except that it is God. You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured. You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong. You do not deserve love just because you want it. You can only earn - by practice and careful contemplations - the right to express it and you have to learn how to accept it. Which is to say you have to earn God. You have to practice God. You have to think God-carefully. And if you are a good and diligent student you may secure the right to show love. Love is not a gift. It is a diploma. A diploma conferring certain privileges: the privilege of expressing love and the privilege of receiving it. How do you know you have graduated? You don't. What you do know is that you are human and therefore educable, and therefore capable of learning how to learn, and therefore interesting to God, who is interested only in Himself which is to say He is interested only in love. Do you understand me? God is not interested in you. He is interested in love and the bliss it brings to those who understand and share the interest. Couples that enter the sacrament of marriage and are not prepared to go the distance or are not willing to get right with the real love of God cannot thrive. They may cleave together like robins or gulls or anything else that mates for life. But if they eschew this mighty course, at the moment when all are judged for the disposition of their eternal lives, their cleaving won't mean a thing. God bless the pure and holy. Amen.
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Toni Morrison (Paradise (Beloved Trilogy, #3))
β€œ
Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer. When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know. So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. Denounce the government and embrace the flag. Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands. Give your approval to all you cannot understand. Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed. Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest. Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years. Listen to carrion β€” put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men. Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth? Go with your love to the fields. Lie down in the shade. Rest your head in her lap. Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts. As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn’t go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.
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Wendell Berry
β€œ
But the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. . . . As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. . . . The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.
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G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
β€œ
Prayer for Love Thank You, Creator of the Universe for the gift of Life you have given me, Thank You for giving me everything that I have ever needed, Thank You for the opportunity to experience this beautiful body and this wonderful mind, Thank You for living inside me with all Your Love and Your pure and boundless Spirit, with Your warm and radiating Light. Thank You for using my words, for using my eyes, for using my heart to share your love wherever I go. I love You just the way you are and because I am your creation, I love myself just the way I am. Help me to keep the Love and the Peace in my Heart and to make that Love a new way of life, that I may live in Love the rest of my life. Amen.
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Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
β€œ
There is probably no better or more reliable measure of whether a woman has spent time in ugly duckling status at some point or all throughout her life than her inability to digest a sincere compliment. Although it could be a matter of modesty, or could be attributed to shyness- although too many serious wounds are carelessly written off as "nothing but shyness"- more often a compliment is stuttered around about because it sets up an automatic and unpleasant dialogue in the woman's mind. If you say how lovely she is, or how beautiful her art is, or compliment anything else her soul took part in, inspired, or suffused, something in her mind says she is undeserving and you, the complimentor, are an idiot for thinking such a thing to begin with. Rather than understand that the beauty of her soul shines through when she is being herself, the woman changes the subject and effectively snatches nourishment away from the soul-self, which thrives on being acknowledged." "I must admit, I sometimes find it useful in my practice to delineate the various typologies of personality as cats and hens and ducks and swans and so forth. If warranted, I might ask my client to assume for a moment that she is a swan who does not realzie it. Assume also for a moment that she has been brought up by or is currently surrounded by ducks. There is nothing wrong with ducks, I assure them, or with swans. But ducks are ducks and swans are swans. Sometimes to make the point I have to move to other animal metaphors. I like to use mice. What if you were raised by the mice people? But what if you're, say, a swan. Swans and mice hate each other's food for the most part. They each think the other smells funny. They are not interested in spending time together, and if they did, one would be constantly harassing the other. But what if you, being a swan, had to pretend you were a mouse? What if you had to pretend to be gray and furry and tiny? What you had no long snaky tail to carry in the air on tail-carrying day? What if wherever you went you tried to walk like a mouse, but you waddled instead? What if you tried to talk like a mouse, but insteade out came a honk every time? Wouldn't you be the most miserable creature in the world? The answer is an inequivocal yes. So why, if this is all so and too true, do women keep trying to bend and fold themselves into shapes that are not theirs? I must say, from years of clinical observation of this problem, that most of the time it is not because of deep-seated masochism or a malignant dedication to self-destruction or anything of that nature. More often it is because the woman simply doesn't know any better. She is unmothered.
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Clarissa Pinkola EstΓ©s (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
β€œ
What's that you're holding?" he asked, noticing the pamphlet, still rolled up in her left hand. "Oh, this?" She held it up. "How to Come Out to Your Parents." He widened his eyes. "Something you want to tell me?" "It's not for me. It's for you." She handed it to him. "I don't have to come out to my mother," said Simon. "She already thinks I'm gay because I'm not interested in sports and I haven't had a serious girlfriend yet. Not that she knows of, anyway." "But you have to come out as a vampire," Clary pointed out. "Luke thought you could, you know, use one of the suggested speeches in the pamphlet, except use the word 'undead' instead of--" "I get it, I get it." Simon spread the pamplet open. "Here, I'll practice on you." He cleared his throat. "Mom. I have something to tell you. I'm undead. Now, I know you may have some preconceived notions about the undead. I know you may not be comfortable with the idea of me being undead. But I'm here to tell you that the undead are just like you and me." Simon paused. "Well, okay. Possibly more like me than you." "SIMON." "All right, all right." He went on. "The first thing you need to understand is that I'm the same person I always was. Being undead isn't the most important thing about me. It's just part of who I am. The second thing you should know is that it isn't a choice. I was born this way." Simon squinted at her over the pamphlet. "Sorry, reborn this way.
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Cassandra Clare
β€œ
That is the idea -- that we should all be wicked if we did not hold to the Christian religion. It seems to me that the people who have held to it have been for the most part extremely wicked. You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. In the so-called ages of faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all its completeness, there was the Inquisition, with all its tortures; there were millions of unfortunate women burned as witches; and there was every kind of cruelty practiced upon all sorts of people in the name of religion. You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world. You may think that I am going too far when I say that that is still so. I do not think that I am. Take one fact. You will bear with me if I mention it. It is not a pleasant fact, but the churches compel one to mention facts that are not pleasant. Supposing that in this world that we live in today an inexperienced girl is married to a syphilitic man; in that case the Catholic Church says, 'This is an indissoluble sacrament. You must endure celibacy or stay together. And if you stay together, you must not use birth control to prevent the birth of syphilitic children.' Nobody whose natural sympathies have not been warped by dogma, or whose moral nature was not absolutely dead to all sense of suffering, could maintain that it is right and proper that that state of things should continue. That is only an example. There are a great many ways in which, at the present moment, the church, by its insistence upon what it chooses to call morality, inflicts upon all sorts of people undeserved and unnecessary suffering. And of course, as we know, it is in its major part an opponent still of progress and improvement in all the ways that diminish suffering in the world, because it has chosen to label as morality a certain narrow set of rules of conduct which have nothing to do with human happiness; and when you say that this or that ought to be done because it would make for human happiness, they think that has nothing to do with the matter at all. 'What has human happiness to do with morals? The object of morals is not to make people happy.
”
”
Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects)
β€œ
But depression wasn't the word. This was a plunge encompassing sorrow and revulsion far beyond the personal: a sick, drenching nausea at all humanity and human endeavor from the dawn of time. The writhing loathsomeness of the biological order. Old age, sickness, death. No escape for anyone. Even the beautiful ones were like soft fruit about to spoil. And yet somehow people still kept fucking and breeding and popping out new fodder for the grave, producing more and more new beings to suffer like this was some kind of redemptive, or good, or even somehow morally admirable thing: dragging more innocent creatures into the lose-lose game. Squirming babies and plodding, complacent, hormone-drugged moms. Oh, isn't he cute? Awww. Kids shouting and skidding in the playground with no idea what future Hells await them: boring jobs and ruinous mortgages and bad marriages and hair loss and hip replacements and lonely cups of coffee in an empty house and a colostomy bag at the hospital. Most people seemed satisfied with the thin decorative glaze and the artful stage lighting that sometimes, made the bedrock atrocity of the human predicament look somewhat more mysterious or less abhorrent. People gambled and golfed and planted gardens and traded stocks and had sex and bought new cars and practiced yoga and worked and prayed and redecorated their homes and got worked up over the news and fussed over their children and gossiped about their neighbors and pored over restaurant reviews and founded charitable organizations and supported political candidates and attended the U.S. Open and dined and travelled and distracted themselves with all kinds of gadgets and devices, flooding themselves incessantly with information and texts and communication and entertainment from every direction to try to make themselves forget it: where we were, what we were. But in a strong light there was no good spin you could put on it. It was rotten from top to bottom.
”
”
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
β€œ
Liam cleared his throat again and turned to fully face me. β€œSo, it’s the summer and you’re in Salem, suffering through another boring, hot July, and working part-time at an ice cream parlor. Naturally, you’re completely oblivious to the fact that all of the boys from your high school who visit daily are more interested in you than the thirty-one flavors. You’re focused on school and all your dozens of clubs, because you want to go to a good college and save the world. And just when you think you’re going to die if you have to take another practice SAT, your dad asks if you want to go visit your grandmother in Virginia Beach.” β€œYeah?” I leaned my forehead against his chest. β€œWhat about you?” β€œMe?” Liam said, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. β€œI’m in Wilmington, suffering through another boring, hot summer, working one last time in Harry’s repair shop before going off to some fancy universityβ€”where, I might add, my roommate will be a stuck-up-know-it-all-with-a-heart-of-gold named Charles Carrington Meriwether IVβ€”but he’s not part of this story, not yet.” His fingers curled around my hip, and I could feel him trembling, even as his voice was steady. β€œTo celebrate, Mom decides to take us up to Virginia Beach for a week. We’re only there for a day when I start catching glimpses of this girl with dark hair walking around town, her nose stuck in a book, earbuds in and blasting music. But no matter how hard I try, I never get to talk to her. β€œThen, as our friend Fate would have it, on our very last day at the beach I spot her. You. I’m in the middle of playing a volleyball game with Harry, but it feels like everyone else disappears. You’re walking toward me, big sunglasses on, wearing this light green dress, and I somehow know that it matches your eyes. And then, because, let’s face it, I’m basically an Olympic god when it comes to sports, I manage to volley the ball right into your face.” β€œOuch,” I said with a light laugh. β€œSounds painful.” β€œWell, you can probably guess how I’d react to that situation. I offer to carry you to the lifeguard station, but you look like you want to murder me at just the suggestion. Eventually, thanks to my sparkling charm and witβ€”and because I’m so pathetic you take pity on meβ€”you let me buy you ice cream. And then you start telling me how you work in an ice cream shop in Salem, and how frustrated you feel that you still have two years before college. And somehow, somehow, I get your e-mail or screen name or maybe, if I’m really lucky, your phone number. Then we talk. I go to college and you go back to Salem, but we talk all the time, about everything, and sometimes we do that stupid thing where we run out of things to say and just stop talking and listen to one another breathing until one of us falls asleep—” β€œβ€”and Chubs makes fun of you for it,” I added. β€œOh, ruthlessly,” he agreed. β€œAnd your dad hates me because he thinks I’m corrupting his beautiful, sweet daughter, but still lets me visit from time to time. That’s when you tell me about tutoring a girl named Suzume, who lives a few cities away—” β€œβ€”but who’s the coolest little girl on the planet,” I manage to squeeze out.
”
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Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
β€œ
The Type Everyone needs a place. It shouldn't be inside of someone else. -Richard Siken If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at, you can let them look at you. But do not mistake eyes for hands. Or windows. Or mirrors. Let them see what a woman looks like. They may not have ever seen one before. If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch, you can let them touch you. Sometimes it is not you they are reaching for. Sometimes it is a bottle. A door. A sandwich. A Pulitzer. Another woman. But their hands found you first. Do not mistake yourself for a guardian. Or a muse. Or a promise. Or a victim. Or a snack. You are a woman. Skin and bones. Veins and nerves. Hair and sweat. You are not made of metaphors. Not apologies. Not excuses. If you grow up the type of woman men want to hold, you can let them hold you. All day they practice keeping their bodies upright-- even after all this evolving, it still feels unnatural, still strains the muscles, holds firm the arms and spine. Only some men will want to learn what it feels like to curl themselves into a question mark around you, admit they do not have the answers they thought they would have by now; some men will want to hold you like The Answer. You are not The Answer. You are not the problem. You are not the poem or the punchline or the riddle or the joke. Woman. If you grow up the type men want to love, You can let them love you. Being loved is not the same thing as loving. When you fall in love, it is discovering the ocean after years of puddle jumping. It is realizing you have hands. It is reaching for the tightrope when the crowds have all gone home. Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman men will hurt. If he leaves you with a car alarm heart, you learn to sing along. It is hard to stop loving the ocean. Even after it has left you gasping, salty. Forgive yourself for the decisions you have made, the ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night. And know this: Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours. Let the statues crumble. You have always been the place. You are a woman who can build it yourself. You were born to build.
”
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Sarah Kay
β€œ
believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without ever realizing it. I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting. The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it. I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look. Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted. Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is. You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones. You are spirit and power and image of God. And you have been given Today.
”
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Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
β€œ
I sprang toward him with the stake, hoping to catch him by surprise. But Dimitri was hard to catch by surprise. And he was fast. Oh, so fast. It was like he knew what I was going to do before I did it. He halted my attack with a glancing blow to the side of my head. I knew it would hurt later, but my adrenaline was running too strong for me to pay attention to it now. Distantly, I realized some other people had come to watch us. Dimitri and I were celebrities in different ways around here, and our mentoring relationship added to the drama. This was prime-time entertainment. My eyes were only on Dimitri, though. As we tested each other, attacking and blocking, I tried to remember everything he'd taught me. I also tried to remember everything I knew about him. I'd practiced with him for months. I knew him, knew his moves, just as he knew mine. I could anticipate him the same way. Once I started using that knowledge, the fight grew tricky. We were too well matched, both of us too fast. My heart thumped in my chest, and sweat coated my skin. Then Dimitri finally got through. He moved in for an attack, coming at me with the full force of his body. I blocked the worst of it, but he was so strong that I was the one who stumbled from the impact. He didn't waste the opportunity and dragged me to the ground, trying to pin me. Being trapped like that by a Strigoi would likely result in the neck being bitten or broken. I couldn't let that happen. So, although he held most of me to the ground, I managed to shove my elbow up and nail him in the face. He flinched and that was all I needed. I rolled him over and held him down. He fought to push me off, and I pushed right back while also trying to maneuver my stake. He was so strong, though. I was certain I wouldn't be able to hold him. Then, just as I thought I'd lose my hold, I got a good grip on the stake. And like that, the stake came down over his heart. It was done. Behind me, people were clapping but all I noticed was Dimitri. Our gazes were locked. I was still straddling him, my hands pressed against his chest. Both of us were sweaty and breathing heavily. His eyes looked at me with prideβ€”and hell of a lot more. He was so close and my body yearned for him, again thinking he was a piece of me I needed in order to be complete. The air between us seemed warm and heady, and I would have given anything in that moment to lie down with him and have his arms wrap around me. His expression showed that he was thinking the same thing. The fight was finished, but remnants of the adrenaline and animal intensity remained.
”
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Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))