Presents Gifts Quotes

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

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.
Bil Keane
Presents are made for the pleasure of who gives them, not the merits of who receives them.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
Even when you’d lost everything you thought there was to lose, somebody came along and gave you something for free.
Jenny Valentine (Broken Soup)
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift... that's why they call it present
Master Oogway
Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love. This is something else I've discovered for myself very recently. I present it to you as a hypothesis: Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis. And I say that the mind absorbed in and involved in itself as a self-centered end, to the exclusion of human relationships, can only lead to violence and pain.
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.
Alice Morse Earle
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Self-Reliance)
Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
READING SHOULD NOT BE PRESENTED TO CHILDREN AS A CHORE OR A DUTY. IT SHOULD BE OFFERED TO THEM AS A PRECIOUS GIFT.
Kate DiCamillo
If I were given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation, it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at himself.
Charles M. Schulz
You don’t need to be perfect in your life, but always be present in it. The present is the most perfect gift you can have.
Alison G. Bailey (Present Perfect (Perfect, #1))
Today is a gift from God - that is why it is called the present.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Celebrating Silence: Excerpts from Five Years of Weekly Knowledge 1995-2000)
Love is a wonderful gift. It's a present so precious words can barely begin to describe it. Love is a feeling, the deepest and sweetest of all. It's incredibly strong and amazingly gentle at the very same time. It is a blessing that should be counted every day. It is nourishment for the soul. It is devotion, constantly letting each person know how supportive it's certainty can be. Love is a heart filled with affection for the most important person in your life. Love is looking at the special someone who makes your world go around and absolutely loving what you see. Love gives meaning to one's world and magic to a million hopes and dreams. It makes the morning shine more brightly and each season seem like it's the nicest one anyone ever had. Love is an invaluable bond that enriches every good thing in life. It gives each hug a tenderness, each heart a happiness, each spirit a steady lift. Love is an invisible connection that is exquisitely felt by those who know the joy, feel the warmth, share the sweetness, and celebrate the gift!
Douglas Pagels
I personally believe this: We have only today; yesterday's gone and tomorrow is uncertain. That's why they call it the present. And sobriety really is a gift... for those who are willing to receive it.
Ace Frehley (No Regrets: A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir)
Pakistan not only means freedom and independence but the Muslim Ideology which has to be preserved, which has come to us as a precious gift and treasure and which, we hope other will share with us.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Link says if a girl says not to get her a birthday present that means get me a birthday present and make sure it’s jewelry.
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
The present is our own. The right-this-second, the here-and-now, this moment before the next, is ours for the taking. It’s the only free gift the universe has to offer. The past doesn’t belong to us anymore, and the future is just a fantasy, never guaranteed. But the present is ours to own. The only way we can realize that fantasy is if we embrace the now.
Renee Carlino (Before We Were Strangers)
The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.
Thomas Aquinas
When confronted with a birthday in a week I will remember that a book can be a really good present, too.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much)
My parents always said that knowledge was the best gift they could give me, probably because they were too cheap to buy me Christmas or Birthday presents.
Jarod Kintz (There are Two Typos of People in This World: Those Who Can Edit and Those Who Can't)
The world of literature has everything in it, and it refuses to leave anything out. I have read like a man on fire my whole life because the genius of English teachers touched me with the dazzling beauty of language. Because of them I rode with Don Quixote and danced with Anna Karenina at a ball in St. Petersburg and lassoed a steer in "Lonesome Dove" and had nightmares about slavery in "Beloved" and walked the streets of Dublin in "Ulysses" and made up a hundred stories in the Arabian nights and saw my mother killed by a baseball in "A Prayer for Owen Meany." I've been in ten thousand cities and have introduced myself to a hundred thousand strangers in my exuberant reading career, all because I listened to my fabulous English teachers and soaked up every single thing those magnificent men and women had to give. I cherish and praise them and thank them for finding me when I was a boy and presenting me with the precious gift of the English language.
Pat Conroy
I love my mom so much. I don't care if that's corny to say. I think on my next birthday, I'm going to buy her a present. I think that should be a tradition. The kid gets gifts from everybody, and he buys one present for his mom since she was there, too. It think that would be nice.
Stephen Chbosky
Without realizing that the past is constantly determining their present actions, they avoid learning anything about their history. They continue to live in their repressed childhood situation, ignoring the fact that is no longer exists, continuing to fear and avoid dangers that, although once real, have not been real for a long time.
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
I want to reach in my pants, pull out my virginity, wrap it up and put a bow on it. Or maybe stick it in a gift bag from Target and give it to him like a present with a nice card that says, "Thank you for being you! Just a little virginity to show you may gratitude!
Tara Sivec
I didn't expect to recover from my second operation but since I did, I consider that I'm living on borrowed time. Every day that dawns is a gift to me and I take it in that way. I accept it gratefully without looking beyond it. I completely forget my physical suffering and all the unpleasantness of my present condition and I think only of the joy of seeing the sun rise once more and of being able to work a little bit, even under difficult conditions.
Henri Matisse
There's no time like the present, No present like time. And life can be over in the space of a rhyme. There's no gift like friendship And no love like mine. Give me your love to treasure through time.
Georgia Byng (Molly Moon's Hypnotic Time Travel Adventure (Molly Moon, #3))
Love can be a natural endowment, a present, or a gift. If it is not just a donation, it can be a divine talent. Since love is a silver bullet, it can make the unimaginable possible through the power of its inspiration. ("Love as dizzy as a cathedral")
Erik Pevernagie
I think on my next birthday, I'm going to buy her a present. I think that should be the tradition. The kid gets gifts from everybody, and he buys one present for his mom since she was there, too. I think that would be nice.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
If, from time to time, you give up expectation, you will be able to perceive what it is you are getting.
Idries Shah (Reflections)
Open the damn present, Sky. I know you hate getting gifts, but I love giving them, so stop being a depressing bitch and open it and love it and hug me and thank me.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
We become free by transforming ourselves from unaware victims of the past into responsible individuals in the present, who are aware of our past and are thus able to live with it.
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can't see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us...
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
Its really hard to recall the day you became friends with special people.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Did you get Mom a birthday present?" Helen asked. "Yes," Gansey replied. "Myself." "The gift that keeps on giving." "I don't think that minor children are required to get gifts for their parents. I'm a dependent. That's the definition of dependent, is it not?" "You, a dependent!" his sister said, and laughed. "You haven't been a dependent since you were four. You went straight from kindergarten to old man with a studio apartment.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
Giving presents is one of the most possessive things we do, did you realize that? It's the way we keep a hold on other people. Plant ourselves in their lives.
Penelope Lively (Moon Tiger)
...stories that rise from deep suffering can provide the most potent remedies for past, present, and even future ills.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (The Gift of Story: A Wise Tale About What is Enough)
God i've missed you. I can't wait to give you your present. He kisses me hotter this time, and beneath me, through his denim and mine. I can feel the promise of his Christmas gift soon to come.
Ellen Hopkins (Glass (Crank, #2))
Knowing that everything comes to an end is a gift of experience, a consolation gift for knowing that we ourselves are coming to an end. Before we get it we live in a continuous present, and imagine the future as more of that present. Happiness is endless happiness, innocent of its own sure passing. Pain is endless pain.
Tobias Wolff (This Boy's Life)
You will never get everything in life but you will get enough.
Sanhita Baruah
Giving anyone anything takes courage, since so many presents backfire. A gift conspicuously at odds with your tastes serves only to betray that the benefactor has no earthly clue who you are.
Lionel Shriver (The Post-Birthday World)
Po: Maybe I should just quit and go back to making noodles. Oogway: Quit, don't quit? Noodles, don't noodles? You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present.
Kung Fu Panda
The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called ‘the present’.
Deepak Chopra (The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams)
Rhysand, the male who had always presented me with a choice not as a gift, but as my own gods-given right.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.
Eleanor Roosevelt
The present convergence of crises––in money, energy, education, health, water, soil, climate, politics, the environment, and more––is a birth crisis, expelling us from the old world into a new.
Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition)
When we refuse to work with our disappointment, we break the Precepts: rather than experience the disappointment, we resort to anger, greed, gossip, criticism. Yet it's the moment of being that disappointment which is fruitful; and, if we are not willing to do that, at least we should notice that we are not willing. The moment of disappointment in life is an incomparable gift that we receive many times a day if we're alert. This gift is always present in anyone's life, that moment when 'It's not the way I want it!
Charlotte Joko Beck
The master-economist must possess a rare combination of gifts .... He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopher—in some degree. He must understand symbols and speak in words. He must contemplate the particular, in terms of the general, and touch abstract and concrete in the same flight of thought. He must study the present in the light of the past for the purposes of the future. No part of man's nature or his institutions must be entirely outside his regard. He must be purposeful and disinterested in a simultaneous mood, as aloof and incorruptible as an artist, yet sometimes as near to earth as a politician.
John Maynard Keynes
Hey, great idea: if you have kids, give your partner reading vouchers next Christmas. Each voucher entitles the bearer to two hours' reading time *while the kids are awake*. It might look like a cheapskate present, but parents will appreciate that it costs more in real terms than a Lamborghini.
Nick Hornby (The Polysyllabic Spree)
Gifts of grace come to all of us. But we must be ready to see and willing to receive these gifts. It will require a kind of sacrifice, the sacrifice of believing that, however painful our losses, life can still be good — good in a different way then before, but nevertheless good. I will never recover from my loss and I will never got over missing the ones I lost. But I still cherish life. . . . I will always want the ones I lost back again. I long for them with all my soul. But I still celebrate the life I have found because they are gone. I have lost, but I have also gained. I lost the world I loved, but I gained a deeper awareness of grace. That grace has enabled me to clarify my purpose in life and rediscover the wonder of the present moment.
Gerald L. Sittser (A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss)
Be a light unto the world, and hurt it not. Seek to build not destroy. Bring My people home. How? By your shining example. Seek only Godliness. Speak only in truthfulness. Act only in love. Live the Law of Love now and forever more. Give everything require nothing. Avoid the mundane. Do not accept the unacceptable. Teach all who seek to learn of Me. Make every moment of your life an outpouring of love. Use every moment to think the highest thought, say the highest word, do the highest deed. In this, glorify your Holy Self, and thus too, glorify Me. Bring peace to the Earth by bringing peace to all those whose lives you touch. Be peace. Feel and express in every moment your Divine Connection with the All, and with every person, place, and thing. Embrace every circumstance, own every fault, share every joy, contemplate every mystery, walk in every man’s shoes, forgive every offense (including your own), heal every heart, honor every person’s truth, adore every person’s God, protect every person’s rights, preserve every person’s dignity, promote every person’s interests, provide every person’s needs, presume every person’s holiness, present every person’s greatest gifts, produce every person’s blessing, pronounce every person’s future secure in the assured love of God. Be a living, breathing example of the Highest Truth that resides within you. Speak humbly of yourself, lest someone mistake your Highest Truth for boast. Speak softly, lest someone think you are merely calling for attention. Speak gently, that all might know of Love. Speak openly, lest someone think you have something to hide. Speak candidly, so you cannot be mistaken. Speak often, so that your word may truly go forth. Speak respectfully, that no one be dishonored. Speak lovingly, that every syllable may heal. Speak of Me with every utterance. Make of your life a gift. Remember always, you are the gift! Be a gift to everyone who enters your life, and to everyone whose life you enter. Be careful not to enter another’s life if you cannot be a gift. (You can always be a gift, because you always are the gift—yet sometimes you don’t let yourself know that.) When someone enters your life unexpectedly, look for the gift that person has come to receive from you…I HAVE SENT YOU NOTHING BUT ANGELS.
Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2)
Wherever you are, be all there." I have lived the runner, panting ahead in worry, pounding back in regrets, terrified to live in the present, because here-time asks me to do the hardest of all: just open wide and receive.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
And then . . . we’re going to get in my car.” I waited for him to elaborate on a destination. “And?” He gently kissed the nape of my neck. “What do you think?” I couldn’t help a small gasp of delight. “Oh, wow.” “I know, right? I was racking my brain for the best present ever, and then I realized that nothing was going to rock your world more than you and me in your favorite place in the entire world.” I swallowed. “I’m kind of embarrassed at how excited I am about that.” Never had I guessed my love of cars would play a role in my sex life. Eddie was right. Something had happened to me. “It’s okay, Sage. We’ve all got our turn-ons.” “You kind of ruined the surprise, though.” “Nah. It’s part of the gift: you getting to think about it for the next three days.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
You gave me Christopher Robin, and then You breathed new life in Pooh. Whatever of each has left my pen Goes homing back to you. My book is ready, and comes to greet The mother it longs to see -- It would be my present to you, my sweet, If it weren't your gift to me.
A.A. Milne
A broke man’s lover doesn’t feel ‘loved’ on her Birthday, Christmas, and, on Valentine’s Day.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
The present is our own. The right-this-second, the here-and-now, this moment before the next, is ours for the taking. It’s the only free gift the universe has to offer.
Renee Carlino (Before We Were Strangers)
Past and future is determined by what is now…right now! This is why the present is a gift; the only one that ultimately matters most.
T.F. Hodge (From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with "The Divine Presence")
Though many non-Native Americans have learned very little about us, over time we have had to learn everything about them. We watch their films, read their literature, worship in their churches, and attend their schools. Every third-grade student in the United States is presented with the concept of Europeans discovering America as a "New World" with fertile soil, abundant gifts of nature, and glorious mountains and rivers. Only the most enlightened teachers will explain that this world certainly wasn't new to the millions of indigenous people who already lived here when Columbus arrived.
Wilma Mankiller (Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women)
Be willing to give, but only when you aren't expecting anything in return.
Criss Jami (Healology)
Darius didn't have any trouble finding the Street Cats building. It was a cozy-looking square brick building with big front windows crowded with cat stuff. I made a mental note to pick up a little something for Nala from their gift shop. My cat was grumpy enough without her thinking that I'd been cheating on her (translation: I would smell like a zillion other cats) and hadn't even brought her a present.
Kristin Cast (Untamed (House of Night, #4))
Under the present conditions, everything conspires to obscure the basic movement that tends to restore wealth to its function, to gift-giving, to squandering without reciprocation.
Georges Bataille (The Accursed Share: An Essay on General Economy, Volume I: Consumption)
Wherever the Holy Ghost has right of way, the gifts of the Spirit will be in manifestation; and where these gifts are never in manifestation, I question whether He is present.
Smith Wigglesworth (Ever Increasing Faith (with linked TOC))
As long as life continues, the creative challenge is to tussle, play, and make love with the present moment while giving your unique gift.
David Deida (The Way Of The Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Woman, Work, and Sexual Desire)
Opening a present from a live person was scary enough. There was always the chance that the gift might be so wrong, so completely not the kind of thing you liked, that you'd realize they didn't really know you at all.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
I'm convinced that a lot of people run ultramarathons for the same reason they take mood-altering drugs. I don't mean to minimize the gifts of friendship, achievement, and closeness to nature that I've received in my running carer. But the longer and farther I ran, the more I realized that what I was often chasing was a state of mind - a place where worries that seemed monumental melted away, where the beauty and timelessness of the universe, of the present moment, came into sharp focus.
Scott Jurek (Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness)
Live. And Live Well. BREATHE. Breathe in and Breathe deeply. Be PRESENT. Do not be past. Do not be future. Be now. On a crystal clear, breezy 70 degree day, roll down the windows and FEEL the wind against your skin. Feel the warmth of the sun. If you run, then allow those first few breaths on a cool Autumn day to FREEZE your lungs and do not just be alarmed, be ALIVE. Get knee-deep in a novel and LOSE track of time. If you bike, pedal HARDER and if you crash then crash well. Feel the SATISFACTION of a job well done-a paper well-written, a project thoroughly completed, a play well-performed. If you must wipe the snot from your 3-year old's nose, don't be disgusted if the Kleenex didn't catch it all because soon he'll be wiping his own. If you've recently experienced loss, then GRIEVE. And Grieve well. At the table with friends and family, LAUGH. If you're eating and laughing at the same time, then might as well laugh until you puke. And if you eat, then SMELL. The aromas are not impediments to your day. Steak on the grill, coffee beans freshly ground, cookies in the oven. And TASTE. Taste every ounce of flavor. Taste every ounce of friendship. Taste every ounce of Life. Because-it-is-most-definitely-a-Gift.
Kyle Lake
The greatest gift you can give (yourself or anyone else) is just being present
Rasheed Ogunlaru
The past is history. The future is a mystery. The present is a gift.
Lisa Unger (Fragile)
But remember, there's no greater gift than the present.
Dan Santat (Are We There Yet?)
This story is about people,secrets and time.About people who, not unlike parcels,hide secrets,who cover themselves with layers until they present themselves to the right ones who can unwrap them and see inside.
Cecelia Ahern (The Gift)
Life is a fragile and awesome gift.
Steve Goodier
How can you regret never having found true love? That's like saying you regret not being born a genius. People don't have control over such things. It either happens or it doesn't. It's a gift - a present that most never get. It's more like a miracle, really, when you think of it. I mean, first you have to find that person, and then you have to get to know them to realize just what they mean to you - that right there is ridiculously difficult. Then... then that person has to feel the same way about you. It's like searching for a specific snowflake, and even if you manage to find it, that's not good enough. You still have to find its matching pair. What are the odds?
Michael J. Sullivan (Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations, #5-6))
Don’t live in the past – you’ve already been there. And don’t live in the future, either. Tomorrow will be here soon enough. Live in this moment now – it is sacred and unrepeatable. This moment alone holds valuable gifts that should not be missed.
Steve Goodier
We must learn and then teach our children that niceness does not equal goodness. Niceness is a decision, a strategy of social interaction; it is not a character trait. People seeking to control others almost always present the image of a nice person in the beginning. Like rapport-building, charm and the deceptive smile, unsolicited niceness often has a discoverable motive.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mistery. Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Simon Furman (Kung Fu Panda Vol 1: Daze of Thunder)
yesterday's the past tomorrow's the future but today is a gift that's why it's called the present.
Bil Keane
Christmas Amnesty. You can fall out of contact with a friend, fail to return calls, ignore e-mails, avoid eye contact at the Thrifty-Mart, forget birthdays, anniversaries, and reunions, and if you show up at their house during the holidays (with a gift) they are socially bound to forgive you—act like nothing happened. Decorum dictates that the friendship move forward from that point, without guilt or recrimination. If you started a chess game ten years ago in October, you need only remember whose move it is—or why you sold the chessboard and bought an Xbox in the interim. (Look, Christmas Amnesty is a wonderful thing, but it’s not a dimensional shift. The laws of time and space continue to apply, even if you have been avoiding your friends. But don’t try using the expansion of the universe an as excuse—like you kept meaning to stop by, but their house kept getting farther away. That crap won’t wash. Just say, “Sorry I haven’t called. Merry Christmas” Then show the present. Christmas Amnesty protocol dictates that your friend say, “That’s okay,” and let you in without further comment. This is the way it has always been done.)
Christopher Moore (The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror (Pine Cove, #3))
One Valentine's Day I woke up to find that my husband had laid a trail of red hearts from the bed and halfway around the house to my present. The gift was small because we didn't have much money but I was touched to the heart by the effort he had made to surprise and please me.
Lynne Graham
My job as a writer is simple. Write a book I’m proud of, and present it as a gift to the world. Some will love it. Some will hate it. That’s the nature of art.
Kathleen Baldwin
The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.
O. Henry (The Gift of the Magi)
they signaled my eternal gratitude to the boy sitting silently in the dark. The boy as gifted at photography as I was at music. He was my heart. The heart freely given to me as a child. The heart that made up one half of my own. The boy who, though breaking inside, loved me so deeply that he gave me this farewell. Gave me, in the present, the dream that my future never could. My soul mate who captured moments.
Tillie Cole (A Thousand Boy Kisses)
I love bookshelves, and stacks of books, spines, typography, and the feel of pages between my fingertips. I love bookmarks, and old bindings, and stars in margins next to beautiful passages. I love exuberant underlinings that recall to me a swoon of language-love from a long-ago reading, something I hoped to remember. I love book plates, and inscriptions in gifts from loved ones, I love author signatures, and I love books sitting around reminding me of them, being present in my life, being. I love books. Not just for what they contain. I love them as objects too, as ever-present reminders of what they contain, and because they are beautiful. They are one of my favorite things in life, really at the tiptop of the list, easily my favorite inanimate things in existence, and ... I am just not cottoning on to this idea of making them ... not exist anymore. Making them cease to take up space in the world, in my life? No, please do not take away the physical reality of my books.
Laini Taylor
Each day is a gift To embrace and welcome
Karen Hackel (The Whisper of Your Soul)
Today is a gift. Today is all I have. I be fully awake in today.
Lailah Gifty Akita
I glanced at my mate- the male who had always presented me with a choice not as a gift, but as my own gods-given right.
Sarah J. Maas
Emeralds,' said the rabbit. 'Emeralds make a lovely gift.
Maurice Sendak (Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present)
Memory offers up its gifts only when jogged by something in the present. It isn't a storehouse of fixed images and words, but a dynamic associative network in the brain that is never quiet and is subject to revision each time we retrieve an old picture or old words.
Siri Hustvedt (The Sorrows of an American)
Children are grateful when Santa Claus puts in their stockings gifts of toys or sweets. Could I not be grateful to Santa Claus when he put in my stockings the gift of two miraculous legs? We thank people for birthday presents of cigars and slippers. Can I thank no one for the birthday present of birth?
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Dear Aunt Patty, Thank you for coming to be part of what definitely ranks in the top five worst days of my life. While your generosity is appreciated, I am returning this gift, as forced bachelorhood necessitates total abstinence from bamboo placemats and matching napkin rings in my daily life. Sincerely, Emory Too much?
Cary Attwell (The Other Guy)
a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present.
C.S. Lewis
This was the gift of recovery, he thought. The ability to be here in this moment with the female he loved and be fully aware, fully awake, fully present. Undiluted.
J.R. Ward (Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6))
Tomorrow is a mystery. Yesterday is history. Live today, it’s a gift, that’s why they call it “present.
Aleatha Romig (Consequences (Consequences, #1))
Past, I am letting you go; future, I will see you tomorrow; present, I love you, live in you, use you and never let you go.
Debasish Mridha
Yesterday was the past. Tomorrow is the future. Today is a gift, that why it's called the present.
Bil Keane
Gmorning. This feeling will pass. This workload will pass. These people will pass. But look at you, with the gift of memory. You can time travel to the good stuff just by closing your eyes & breathing. Then come right back to now, eyes up for the good stuff ahead. You magic thing. Gnight. This moment will pass. This fatigue will pass. Tonight will pass. But look at you, with the gift of imagination. You can teleport to where you're happiest just by closing your eyes and breathing. Then come right back to now, check in with the present. You magic thing, you.
Lin-Manuel Miranda ({(Gmorning, Gnight)}[Gmorning, Gnight])
You need nothing more than the experience you are having right now. It is enough. It is plenty. It is perfect just as it is. It was designed for you, given to you for your experience. All you have to do, and all you have ever had to do is accept this gift. Take it and let it in. Let yourself experience the present moment just as it is. It doesn't get any better than this. This is the simple truth the ego refuses to accept, and it will suffer as long as that is the case.
Gina Lake (What About Now?: Reminders for Being in the Moment)
Gift giving is a true art. 1. You need to understand the person to whom you intend to give the gift. 2. You need to know what they truly want. 3. You must be able to give it to them. Anything less is a symptom of varying degrees, on your part, of ignorance, distance, or insult. But if you cannot afford the right gift, telling the person what you would do if you could, justifies everything—as you present that not-so-perfect substitute.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
Lowering his voice, he said, "In America we have a custom. When you're given presents for your birthday, you're supposed to open them and say thank you." Tatiana nervously looked down at the present. "Thank you." Gifts were not something she was used to. Wrapped gifts? Unheard of, even when they came wrapped only in plain brown paper. "No. Open first. Then say thank you." She smiled. "What do I do? Do I take the paper off?" "Yes. You tear it off." "And then what?" "And then you throw it away." "The whole present or just the paper?" Slowly he said, "Just the paper." "But you wrapped it so nicely. Why would I throw it away?" "It's just paper." "If it's just paper, why did you wrap it?" "Will you please just open my present?" said Alexander
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
Presents are not “things” but a means for conveying someone’s feelings. When viewed from this perspective, you don’t need to feel guilty for parting with a gift. Just thank it for the joy it gave you when you first received it.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
The kid gets gifts from everybody, and he buys one present for his mom since she was there , too. I think that would be nice.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Time is a gift, a treasure not to be put aside for the future but to be used wisely in the present.
Thomas S. Monson
Did you get Mom a birthday present?' Helen asked. 'Yes,' Gansey replied. 'Myself.' Helen said, 'The gift that keeps on giving.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
Being In The Present Means Tuning Out Distractions And Paying Attention To What Is Important, Now. You Create Your Own Present By What You Give Your Attention To Today.
Spencer Johnson (The Present: The Gift That Makes You Happy And Successful At Work And In Life)
The more I write stories for young people, and the more young readers I meet, the more I'm struck by how much kids long to see themselves in stories. To see their identities and perspectives—their avatars—on the page. Not as issues to be addressed or as icons for social commentary, but simply as people who get to do cool things in amazing worlds. Yes, all the “issue” books are great and have a place in literature, but it's a different and wildly joyous gift to find yourself on the pages of an entertainment, experiencing the thrills and chills of a world more adventurous than our own. And when you see that as a writer, you quickly realize that you don't want to be the jerk who says to a young reader, “Sorry, kid. You don't get to exist in story; you're too different.” You don't want to be part of our present dystopia that tells kids that if they just stopped being who they are they could have a story written about them, too. That's the role of the bad guy in the dystopian stories, right? Given a choice, I'd rather be the storyteller who says every kid can have a chance to star.
Paolo Bacigalupi
Imagine a speck of dust next to a planet a billion times the size of the earth. The speck of dust represents the odds in favor of your being born; the huge planet would be the odds against it. So stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t be like the ingrate who got a castle as a present and worried about the mildew in the bathroom. Stop looking the gift horse in the mouth—remember that you are a Black Swan.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
In the end, therefore, money will be the one thing people will desire, which is moreover only representative, an abstraction. Nowadays a young man hardly envies anyone his gifts, his art, the love of a beautiful girl, or his fame; he only envies him his money. Give me money, he will say, and I am saved...He would die with nothing to reproach himself with, and under the impression that if only he had had the money he might really have lived and might even have achieved something great.
Søren Kierkegaard (Present Age & Of the Difference Between a Genius & an Apostle)
Narcissistic cathexis of the child by the mother does not exclude emotional devotion. On the contrary, she loves the child as her self-object, excessively, though not in the manner that he needs, and always on the condition that he presents his "false self." This is no obstacle to the development of intellectual abilities, but it is one to the unfolding of an authentic emotional life.
Alice Miller (The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self)
The biggest gift you can give is to be absolutely present, and when you're worrying about whether you're hopeful or hopeless or pessimistic or optimistic, who cares? The main thing is that you're showing up, that you're here and that you're finding ever more capacity to love this world because it will not be healed without that. That was what is going to unleash our intelligence and our ingenuity and our solidarity for the healing of our world.
Joanna Macy
Life doesn't happen to you, it happens FROM you.
Gregg Korrol (The Gifted Storyteller: The Power is in the Story You Tell)
My past takes no hostages, no prisoners. I've let go of yesterday and am free to receive the beautiful gift of the present.
Jaeda DeWalt
The seeds of life inside my womb were present at my birth; a gift from mother's mother, on back to Mother Earth.
Patricia Robin Woodruff
You Cannot Change The Past, But You Can Learn From It. When The Same Situation Arises, You Can Do Things Differently And Become Happier And More Effective and Successful Today.
Spencer Johnson (The Present: The Gift That Makes You Happy And Successful At Work And In Life)
YESTERDAY IS HISTORY. TOMORROW IS A MYSTERY. TODAY IS A GIFT. THAT’S WHY IT’S CALLED THE PRESENT. WORK HARD, BE HAPPY, AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE IN WAYWARD PINES!
Blake Crouch (Wayward (Wayward Pines, #2))
To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let's not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Music forecasts the past, recalls the future. Now and then the difference falls away, and in one simple gift of circling sound, the ear solves the scrambled cryptogram. One abiding rhythm, present and always, and you’re free.
Richard Powers (Orfeo)
The funny thing about almost-dying is that afterward everyone expects you to jump on the happy train and take time to chase butterflies through grassy fields or see rainbows in puddles of oil on the highway. It’s a miracle, they’ll say with an expectant look, as if you’ve been given a big old gift and you better not disappoint Grandma by pulling a face when you unwrap the box and find a lumpy, misshapen sweater. That’s what life is, pretty much: full of holes and tangles and ways to get stuck. Uncomfortable and itchy. A present you never asked for, never wanted, never chose. A present you’re supposed to be excited to wear, day after day, even when you’d rather stay in bed and do nothing. The truth is this: it doesn’t take any skill to almost-die, or to almost-live, either.
Lauren Oliver (Vanishing Girls)
As a mother I see the future in the present. Every little thing she does or says makes me form a hypothesis of how she will see life and treat others in 20 years. So I plan for how amazing she will be now. Instead of living my life I have to live hers. Some may not understand how important it is to be a parent. How present, efficient, selfless, and imaginative you must be. But I do. I only pray that this little face is stronger than I am and more successful for this world and the next. I chase her butterflies. She was created from scratch and presented as a gift from God. She will never roam free, unattended and unloved.
Kimberley Alecia Smith
Never looking back, or too far in front of me. The present is a gift, and I just wanna to be.
Common
Your Temporary Santa, "He says presents aren't important, but I think they are- not because of how much they cost, but for the opportunity they provide to say 'I understand you.
David Levithan (My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories)
Many an injustice is presented as solution and gift.
Bryant McGill (Voice of Reason)
Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”3
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
Music forecasts the past, recalls the future. Now and then the difference falls away, and in one simple gift of circling sound, the ear solves the scrambled cryptogram. One abiding rhythm, present and always, and you're free. But a few measures more, and the cloak of time closes back around you.
Richard Powers (Orfeo)
Hannah leaned her face against his chest, and he felt the curve of her smile. “What is it?” he asked. “Our first night together. And our first morning will be Christmas.” Rafe patted her naked hip. “And I’ve already unwrapped my present.” “You’re rather easy to shop for,” she said, making him laugh. “Always. Because Hannah, my love, the only gift I’ll ever want”—he paused to kiss her smiling lips—“is you.
Lisa Kleypas (A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5))
We were never promised precision in this life... With the gift of agency to mankind, life cannot possibly present a perfectly tidy picture. The ambiguities of circumstances are partly, if not largely, the cumulative result of our varied use of our moral agency, but also of the structure of life itself.
Neal A. Maxwell (Not My Will, but Thine)
A true and safe leader is likely to be one who has no desire to lead, but is forced into a position of leadership by the inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and the press of the external situation. Such were Moses and David and the Old Testament prophets. I think there was hardly a great leader from Paul to the present day but that was drafted by the Holy Spirit for the task, and commissioned by the Lord of the Church to fill a position he had little heart for. I believe it might be accepted as a fairly reliable rule of thumb that the man who is ambitious to lead is disqualified as a leader. The true leader will have no desire to lord it over God's heritage, but will be humble, gentle, self-sacrificing, and altogether as ready to follow as to lead, when the Spirit makes it clear that a wiser and more gifted man than himself has appeared.
A.W. Tozer
In that moment I understand that I have the power to create the situation right here, right now. I could walk past and say nothing, I could stop and talk, I could do whatever, and create a moment. Every moment is my moment to create.
Gregg Korrol (The Gifted Storyteller: The Power is in the Story You Tell)
A poet is simply an artist whose medium is human emotions.  A poet chisels away at our own sensibilities, shaping our vision while molding our hearts.  A poet wraps words around our own feelings and presents them as fresh gifts to humanity.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
Never forget, Each day that we have together is a precious gift. In the web of daily living, we are creating character. Let's take the time to create memories, listen and observe. Time flees, and it does not return. If we lose today, it is gone forever. Let's live for the present, and be prepared for the future. Let's grow strong, let's grow bigger, let's grow TOGETHER!
Lina Cuartas (Come Into My World)
The Christmas after Mom & Dad split up, they both went crazy buying us presents. Matt, Jonny, and I were showered with gifts at home and at Dads apartment. I thought that was great. I was all in favor of my love being paid for with presents. This year all I got was a diary and a secondhand watch. Okay, I know this is corny, but this really is what Christmas is all about.
Susan Beth Pfeffer (Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1))
I took a steadying breath. “Listen, I know we have a full night ahead of us, but I wanted to give you your birthday present.” “Oh, darling, you didn’t need to get me anything. Every day with you is a gift.” He leaned in and kissed me. “Well, I hadn’t planned on getting you a gift, but then something presented itself, so here we are.” “All right then,” he said, placing his glass on the ground. “I’m ready. Where is it?” “That’s the only problem,” I started. I felt my hands begin to shake. “It won’t actually arrive for another seven or eight months.” He smiled but squinted. “Eight months? What in the world could take . . .” As his words drifted away, so did his eyes, leaving my face and making their way to my stomach. He seemed to expect me to look different, for me to be as big as a house already. But I’d done my best to hide everything: the tiredness, the nausea, the sudden distaste for foods. He stared on and on, and I waited for him to smile or laugh or jump up and down. But he sat there, frozen to the point that it started to frighten me. “Maxon?” I reached out and touched his leg. “Maxon, are you all right?” He nodded, still watching my stomach.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
I have always been interested in this man. My father had a set of Tom Paine's books on the shelf at home. I must have opened the covers about the time I was 13. And I can still remember the flash of enlightenment which shone from his pages. It was a revelation, indeed, to encounter his views on political and religious matters, so different from the views of many people around us. Of course I did not understand him very well, but his sincerity and ardor made an impression upon me that nothing has ever served to lessen. I have heard it said that Paine borrowed from Montesquieu and Rousseau. Maybe he had read them both and learned something from each. I do not know. But I doubt that Paine ever borrowed a line from any man... Many a person who could not comprehend Rousseau, and would be puzzled by Montesquieu, could understand Paine as an open book. He wrote with a clarity, a sharpness of outline and exactness of speech that even a schoolboy should be able to grasp. There is nothing false, little that is subtle, and an impressive lack of the negative in Paine. He literally cried to his reader for a comprehending hour, and then filled that hour with such sagacious reasoning as we find surpassed nowhere else in American letters - seldom in any school of writing. Paine would have been the last to look upon himself as a man of letters. Liberty was the dear companion of his heart; truth in all things his object. ...we, perhaps, remember him best for his declaration: 'The world is my country; to do good my religion.' Again we see the spontaneous genius at work in 'The Rights of Man', and that genius busy at his favorite task - liberty. Written hurriedly and in the heat of controversy, 'The Rights of Man' yet compares favorably with classical models, and in some places rises to vaulting heights. Its appearance outmatched events attending Burke's effort in his 'Reflections'. Instantly the English public caught hold of this new contribution. It was more than a defense of liberty; it was a world declaration of what Paine had declared before in the Colonies. His reasoning was so cogent, his command of the subject so broad, that his legion of enemies found it hard to answer him. 'Tom Paine is quite right,' said Pitt, the Prime Minister, 'but if I were to encourage his views we should have a bloody revolution.' Here we see the progressive quality of Paine's genius at its best. 'The Rights of Man' amplified and reasserted what already had been said in 'Common Sense', with now a greater force and the power of a maturing mind. Just when Paine was at the height of his renown, an indictment for treason confronted him. About the same time he was elected a member of the Revolutionary Assembly and escaped to France. So little did he know of the French tongue that addresses to his constituents had to be translated by an interpreter. But he sat in the assembly. Shrinking from the guillotine, he encountered Robespierre's enmity, and presently found himself in prison, facing that dread instrument. But his imprisonment was fertile. Already he had written the first part of 'The Age of Reason' and now turned his time to the latter part. Presently his second escape cheated Robespierre of vengeance, and in the course of events 'The Age of Reason' appeared. Instantly it became a source of contention which still endures. Paine returned to the United States a little broken, and went to live at his home in New Rochelle - a public gift. Many of his old companions in the struggle for liberty avoided him, and he was publicly condemned by the unthinking. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
The best I offer the world is the truth—my highest gift. What the world does with it is not up to me. I am not in charge of outcomes, opinions, assessments. I am not in the business of damage control. When I present a fabricated version of myself—the self who knows all, is ever certain, always steps strong—we all lose, because I cannot keep up with that lie and neither can you.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
Every November of my boyhood, we put on red poppies and attended highly patriotic services in remembrance of those who had 'given' their lives. But on what assurance did we know that these gifts had really been made? Only the survivors—the living—could attest to it. In order to know that a person had truly laid down his life for his friends, or comrades, one would have to hear it from his own lips, or at least have heard it promised in advance. And that presented another difficulty. Many brave and now dead soldiers had nonetheless been conscripts. The known martyrs—those who actually, voluntarily sought death and rejoiced in the fact—had been the kamikaze pilots, immolating themselves to propitiate a 'divine' emperor who looked (as Orwell once phrased it) like a monkey on a stick. Their Christian predecessors had endured torture and death (as well as inflicted it) in order to set up a theocracy. Their modern equivalents would be the suicide murderers, who mostly have the same aim in mind. About people who set out to lose their lives, then, there seems to hang an air of fanaticism: a gigantic sense of self-importance unattractively fused with a masochistic tendency to self-abnegation. Not wholesome. The better and more realistic test would therefore seem to be: In what cause, or on what principle, would you risk your life?
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
For remember, that it is altogether your world now. You and all the rest. We have delivered you from evil, but the evil that is inside men is at the last a matter for men to control. The responsibility and the hope and the promise are in your hands-your hands and the hands of all men on this earth. The future can not blame the present, just as the present can not blame the past. The hope is always here, always alive, but only your fierce caring can fan it into a fire to warm the world. For Drake is no longer in his hammock, children, nor is Arthur somewhere sleeping, and you may not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now, because the world is yours and it is up to you. Now especially since man has the strength to destroy the world, it is the responsibility of man to keep it alive, in all its beauty and marvelous joy. And the world will still be imperfect, because men are imperfect. Good men will still be killed by bad, or sometimes by other good men, and there will still be pain and disease and famine, anger and hate. But if you work and care and are watchful, as we have tried to be for you, then in the long run the worse will never, ever, triumph over the better. And the gifts put into some men, that shine as bright as Eirias the sword, shall light the dark corners of life for all the rest, in so brave a world.
Susan Cooper (Silver on the Tree (The Dark is Rising, #5))
Be more than ready. Be present in your discipline. Remember your gift. Be grateful for your gift and treat it like a gift. Cherish it, take care of it, and pass it on. Use your time to bathe yourself in that gift. Move your hand across the canvas. Go to museums. Make this into an obsession… What you are will show, ultimately. Start now, every day, becoming, in your actions, your regular actions, what you would like to become in the bigger scheme of things.
Anna Deavere Smith
If you live each moment in heart, love, will fill your world. It cannot be seen, only felt and, is by far the greatest gift. So, dance as if no one is watching. Love, as if it were your last day. Be comfortably immersed in the stillness, so you can always be authentic. Smile and be kind. The world will unfold in presents that reach to touch the depth of other's souls. lls
Lori L. Spencer (7 Best Kept Secrets to Painless Aging)
When I consider how my light is spent Ere half my days in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest he returning chide, "Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?" I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need Either man's work or his own gifts: who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed And post o'er land and ocean without rest: They also serve who only stand and wait.
John Milton (The Sonnets of John Milton)
To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: HAPPY CHRISTMAS Have you gotten used to the time difference? Bloody hell,I can't sleep. I'd call,but I don't know if you're awake or doing the family thing or what. The bay fog is so thick that I can't see out my window.But if I could, I am quite certain I'd discover that I'm the only person alive in San Francisco. To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: I forgot to tell you. Yesterday I saw a guy wearing an Atlanta Film Festival shirt at the hospital.I asked if he knew you,but he didn't.I also met an enormous,hair man in a cheeky Mrs. Claus getup. he was handing out gifts to the cancer patients.Mum took the attached picture. Do I always look so startled? To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Are you awake yet? Wake up.Wake up wake up wake up. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: re: Are you awake yet? I'm awake! Seany started jumping on my bed,like,three hours ago. We've been opening presents and eating sugar cookies for breakfast. Dad gave me a gold ring shaped like a heart. "For Daddy's sweetheart," he said. As if I'm the type of girl who'd wear a heart-shaped ring. FROM HER FATHER. He gave Seany tons of Star Wars stuff and a rock polishing kit,and I'd much rather have those.I can't beleive Mom invited him here for Christmas. She says it's because their divorce is amicable (um,no) and Seany and I need a father figure in our lives,but all they ever do is fight.This morning it was about my hair.Dad wants me to dye it back, because he thinks I look like a "common prostitute," and Mom wants to re-bleach it.Like either of them has a say. Oops,gotta run.My grandparents just arrived,and Granddad is bellowing for his bonnie lass.That would be me. P.S. Love the picture.Mrs. Claus is totally checking out your butt. And it's Merry Christmas, weirdo. To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: [email protected] Was it a PROMISE RING? Did your father give you a PROMISE RING? To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: Re: HAHAHA! I am so not responding to that.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
LOTION have you ever received a gift that was placed inside of a box that was recycled from another, much more intriguing present? like, you pull back the pretty paper and you see iPad packaging, but then you open the lid, and inside is a lotion set? i meet a lot of people like that. exciting outside, disappointing inside. don’t be lotion.
Gabbie Hanna (Adultolescence)
Intuition is a wonderful gift but it can be both a blessing and a curse. If you can easily tune in to the grief of another, it is very easy to lose your way if you have not yet resolved your own present or past trauma and grief. If you have not healed from your own grief and you turn around and give all you have to give, you will find yourself drowning. Soon there will be nothing left of you.
Kate McGahan (Only Gone From Your Sight: Jack McAfghan's Little Guide to Pet Loss and Grief)
The only sure rule is to remember that the Bible is indeed God's gift to the church, to equip that church for its work in the world, and that serious study of it can and should become one of the places where, and the means by which, heaven and earth interlock and God's future purposes arrive in the present.
N.T. Wright (Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense)
The feminine always seems chaotic and complicated from the perspective of the masculine. The next time you notice yourself trying to fix your woman so that she will no longer _____ (fill in the blank), relax and give her love by touching her and telling her that you love her when she is this way (whatever you filled in the blank with). Embrace her, or wrestle with her, or scream and yell for the heck of it, but make no effort to bring an end to that which pisses you off. Practice love instead of trying to bring an end to the quality that bothers you. You can’t escape the tussle with the feminine. Learn to find humor in the unending emotional drama the feminine seems to enjoy so much. The love that you magnify may realign her behavior, but your effort to fix her and your frustration never will. The world and your woman will always present you with unforeseen challenges. You are either living fully, giving your gift in the midst of those challenges, even today, or you are waiting for an imaginary future which will never come.
David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man)
If this is so, then the distinction between scientists, poets, painters, and writers is not clear. In fact, it is possible that scientists, poets, painters, and writers are all members of the same family of people whose gift it is by nature to take those things which we call commonplace and to re-present them to us in such ways that our self-imposed limitations are expanded. Those people in whom this gift is especially pronounced, we call geniuses.
Gary Zukav (Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (Perennial Classics))
Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, which is why it is called the present. What the caterpillar perceives is the end, to the butterfly is just the beginning. Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.
Buddhist saying
I want to give you a present.” Pandora’s dark winged brows drew together. “A literal present?” Gabriel responded with a puzzled smile. “Yes. How could it be otherwise?” “I thought ‘give you a present’ might be a metaphor.” Her gaze flicked in the direction of the bedroom. “For that.” He began to laugh. “I wouldn’t presume to flatter myself quite so extravagantly. You’ll have to inform me later if my lovemaking is a gift or not.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
It would take her thousands of steps to get anywhere, but she would get there easily, and when she arrived, in the present, it would seem like it had been a single movement that brought her there. Did existence ever seem worked for? One seemed simply to be here, less an accumulation of moments than a single arrangement continuously gifted from some inaccessible future.
Tao Lin (Taipei)
If what it takes for you this year to be present in this sacred, thin place, to feel the breath and presence of a Holy God, is to forgo the cookies and the cards and the rushing and the lists, then we’ll be all right with cookies from the store and a few less gifts. It would be a great loss for you to miss this season, the soul of it, because you’re too busy pushing and rushing. And it would be a great loss if the people in your life receive your perfectly wrapped gifts, but not your love or your full attention or your spirit. This is my prayer for us, that we would give and receive the most important gifts this season—the palpable presence of a Holy God, the kindness of well-chosen words, the generosity of spirit and soul. My prayer is that what you’ve lost, and what I’ve lost this year, will fade a little bit in the beauty of this season, that for a few moments at least, what is right and good and worth believing will outshine all the darkness, within us and around us. And I hope that someone who loves you gives you a really cute scarf. Merry Christmas.
Shauna Niequist (Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)
Your words, thoughts, intentions and actions today are your best hope, comfort, building blocks and insurance for tomorrow. But it is now alone that is guaranteed – tomorrow is a dream, a maybe a potential gift. It’s now - not tomorrow - where happiness and fulfilment live...awaiting your discovery. It’s all this that will make each extra day that may arrive extra special and rich.
Rasheed Ogunlaru
[Adapted and condensed Valedictorian speech:] I'm going to ask that you seriously consider modeling your life, not in the manner of the Dalai Lama or Jesus - though I'm sure they're helpful - but something a bit more hands-on, Carassius auratus auratus, commonly known as the domestic goldfish. People make fun of the goldfish. People don't think twice about swallowing it. Jonas Ornata III, Princeton class of '42, appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for swallowing the greatest number of goldfish in a fifteen-minute interval, a cruel total of thirty-nine. In his defense, though, I don't think Jonas understood the glory of the goldfish, that they have magnificent lessons to teach us. If you live like a goldfish, you can survive the harshest, most thwarting of circumstances. You can live through hardships that make your cohorts - the guppy, the neon tetra - go belly-up at the first sign of trouble. There was an infamous incident described in a journal published by the Goldfish Society of America - a sadistic five-year-old girl threw hers to the carpet, stepped on it, not once but twice - luckily she'd done it on a shag carpet and thus her heel didn't quite come down fully on the fish. After thirty harrowing seconds she tossed it back into its tank. It went on to live another forty-seven years. They can live in ice-covered ponds in the dead of winter. Bowls that haven't seen soap in a year. And they don't die from neglect, not immediately. They hold on for three, sometimes four months if they're abandoned. If you live like a goldfish, you adapt, not across hundreds of thousands of years like most species, having to go through the red tape of natural selection, but within mere months, weeks even. You give them a little tank? They give you a little body. Big tank? Big body. Indoor. Outdoor. Fish tanks, bowls. Cloudy water, clear water. Social or alone. The most incredible thing about goldfish, however, is their memory. Everyone pities them for only remembering their last three seconds, but in fact, to be so forcibly tied to the present - it's a gift. They are free. No moping over missteps, slip-ups, faux pas or disturbing childhoods. No inner demons. Their closets are light filled and skeleton free. And what could be more exhilarating than seeing the world for the very first time, in all of its beauty, almost thirty thousand times a day? How glorious to know that your Golden Age wasn't forty years ago when you still had all you hair, but only three seconds ago, and thus, very possibly it's still going on, this very moment." I counted three Mississippis in my head, though I might have rushed it, being nervous. "And this moment, too." Another three seconds. "And this moment, too." Another. "And this moment, too.
Marisha Pessl
I am sometimes taken aback by how people can have a miserable day or get angry because they feel cheated by a bad meal, cold coffee, a social rebuff or a rude reception. We are quick to forget that just being alive is an extraordinary piece of good luck, a remote event, a chance of occurrence of monstrous proportions. Imagine a speck of dust next to a planet a billion times the size of earth. The speck of dust represents the odds in favor of your being born; the huge planet would be the odds against it. So stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t be like the ingrate who got a castle as a present and worried about the mildew in the bathroom. Stop looking at the gift horse in the mouth – remember you are a Black Swan.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
We should resist such inertial thinking; indeed, we should urge its opposite – deep time as a radical perspective, provoking us to action not apathy. For to think in deep time can be a means not of escaping our troubled present, but rather of re-imagining it; countermanding its quick greeds and furies with older, slower stories of making and unmaking. At its best, a deep time awareness might help us see ourselves as part of a web of gift, inheritance and legacy stretching over millions of years past and millions to come, bringing us to consider what we are leaving behind for the epochs and beings that will follow us.
Robert Macfarlane (Underland: A Deep Time Journey)
Rain watched as his five best warriors squeezed into the tiny parlor, picked their way through the jungle of wedding gifts as if tiptoeing through a nest of Drogan sand vipers, and settled down with stone-faced stoicism to proceed with the humiliating un-warrior-like task of opening presents.... Five lethal glances speared him. For the first time in a thousand years, Rain Tairen Soul threw back his head and laughed.
C.L. Wilson (Lord of the Fading Lands (Tairen Soul, #1))
That's the thing about choices. They're an act of knowledge, of faith, of love. It's how we make them that sets us apart, because every single day, worlds are colliding, and our choices shape so much more than just our own story. And if we want to change this world for the better, then we must be the best possible version of ourselves, because who we are in each moment is a gift to the universe. This is what the present is: when the sum of one person's past meets a world's collective future.
Sarah Ayoub (The Yearbook Committee)
Opening a present from a live person was scary enough. There was always the chance that the gift might be so wrong, so completely not the kind of thing you liked, that you’d realize they didn’t really know you at all. I knew it wouldn’t be like that with this present from Finn. What was scary about this was that I knew it would be perfect —completely, totally perfect. What if nobody ever knew me like that again? What if I went through my whole life getting mediocre gifts — bath sets and boxes of chocolate and bed socks — and never ever found someone who knew me the way Finn did?
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
Knowledge is our gift. Understanding is our blessing. Wisdom is our fortune. Enlightenment is our reward. Art is our gift. Science is our blessing. Technology is our fortune. God is our reward. Time is our gift. Light is our blessing. Fate is our fortune. Nature is our reward. Land is our gift. Water is our blessing. Air is our fortune. Life is our reward. Mothers are our gift. Youth are our blessing. Elders are our fortune. Children are our reward. The past is our gift. The present is our blessing. The future is our fortune. Eternity is our reward. The mind is our gift. The heart is our blessing. The body is our fortune. The soul is our reward. Faith is our gift. Joy is our blessing. Virtue is our fortune. Love is our reward.
Matshona Dhliwayo
(On a personal note, even though I have a professional interest in hazard and risk, I never watch the local television news and haven’t for years. Try this and you’ll likely find better things to do before going to sleep than looking at thirty minutes of disturbing images presented with artificial urgency and the usually false implication that it’s critical for you to see it.)
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
it is all clearer now than it was then. Rhea would say it is the vivid fabrications of an ageing mind. More likely, though, it is the clarity that comes from ageing - from the natural process of releasing the mind from imagined futures, and allow the present and paste to take their rightful place at the centre of our attention. The past is palpable to Sheldon now, in the way the future is to the young. It is either a brief curse or a gift before oblivion.
Derek B. Miller (Norwegian by Night (Sigrid Ødegård #1))
According to my previous belief system, being a Christian and homosexual was not only incompatible; like heaven and hell, they were in absolute opposition. The constant conflict of being one person inside but presenting another on the outside for twenty-two years eventually took its toll. The messages I got were loud and clear. Never ever admit to yourself or anyone who you are. Hide it, kill it, eradicate it, heal it, deliver it, break it, suppress it, deny it, marry it to a woman, heterosexualize it, therapy it, anything and everything, but whatever you do don’t stand up one day and say “I am gay” because that will mean the end. I spent most of my life trying to destroy the real me, doing all I could to ensure he never found expression. A suicide of the soul, identity and meaning. When you finally embrace the gift of your sexual orientation it IS the end; the end of shame, fear and oppression. You leave the darkness of the closet and begin a life of honesty, authenticity and freedom.
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth)
No matter who we are, where we live, what we look like, the circumstances of our birth or the situations we face; each of us has gifts within us. Strength, beauty, courage, compassion, hope, joy, talent, imagination, reverence, wisdom, love and faith are among them. They are not like material presents we unwrap and hold in our hands. We can’t see these gifts with our eyes. But they are real and powerful. When we open ourselves to them, they can enrich every aspect of our lives. They can help us transform challenges into opportunities and tragedies into triumphs. They can help us make a difference in the world.
Charlene Costanzo (The Twelve Gifts for Healing)
The years lay spread out before her, spacious untouched canvases on which she was presently going to paint the picture of her life. It was to be a very beautiful picture, she said to herself with an extraordinary feeling of proud confidence; not beautiful because of any gifts or skill of hers, for never was a woman more giftless, but because of all the untiring little touches, the ceaseless care for detail, the patient painting out of mistakes; and every touch and every detail was going to be aglow with the bright colours of happiness.
Elizabeth von Arnim (The Pastor's Wife)
Submission means that a wife acknowledges her husband’s headship as spiritual leader and guide for the family. It has nothing whatsoever to do with her denying or suppressing her will, her spirit, her intellect, her gifts, or her personality. To submit means to recognize, affirm, and support her husband’s God-given responsibility of overall family leadership. Biblical submission of a wife to her husband is a submission of position, not personhood. It is the free and willing subordination of an equal to an equal for the sake of order, stability, and obedience to God’s design. As a man, a husband will fulfill his destiny and his manhood as he exercises his headship in prayerful and humble submission to Christ and gives himself in sacrificial love to his wife. As a woman, a wife will realize her womanhood as she submits to her husband in honor of the Lord, receiving his love and accepting his leadership. When a proper relationship of mutual submission is present and active, a wife will be released and empowered to become the woman God always intended her to be.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
Henri Nouwen wrote of the spiritual work of gratitude: To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections—that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.2
Brennan Manning (Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God)
Education is like Christmas. We’re all just opening our gifts, one at a time. And it is a fact that each and every child has a bright shiny present with her name on it, waiting there underneath the tree. God wrapped it up, and he’ll let us know when it’s time to unwrap it. In the meantime, we must believe that our children are okay. Every last one of them. The straight-A ones and the ones with autism and the naughty ones and the chunky ones and the shy ones and the loud ones and the so-far-behind ones.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed)
You can’t let your past define your future. Once you get that figured out, you begin to understand the joy of living in the present. And the present is full of tiny gifts that we can only see when we stop looking behind and ahead of us. Sometimes, these gifts land right at our feet. Sometimes, it’s our feet that carry us toward them, running at full-speed until our hearts nearly give out. Either way, never stop noticing them, and never stop wishing.
Cassia Leo (Abandon (Shattered Hearts, #5))
Some say freedom is a gift placed in our hands by our forefathers. Some say freedom is a human right that none should be denied. Some say freedom is a privilege that can and will be seized if taken for granted. Some say freedom is the key that opens doors otherwise meant to imprison. Some say freedom is power to do, to be, to say, and to accomplish what the oppressed cannot. Some say freedom is a responsibility—a weight to be carried and shared by those willing to protect it. Perhaps freedom is all these things. But in my eyes, I see freedom as a treasure. It is a gem so rare and precious the fiercest battles rage over it. The blood of thousands is spilled for it—past, present, and future. Where true and unblemished freedom exists, it shines with perfect clarity, drawing the greedy masses, both those who desire a portion of the spoils and those who would rob the possessor of the treasure, hoping to bury it away. Without freedom I am a slave in shackles on a ship lost at sea. With freedom I am a captain; I am a pirate; I am an admiral; I am a scout; I am the eagle souring overhead; I am the north star guiding a crew; I am the ship itself; I am whatever I choose to be.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
Relationships, like all human experiences, are transient; they change every day and are meant to be enjoyed in the present. When I hear people say you need to "work" at a relationship, what that often really means is just seeing through the day-to-day; listening to another person, listening to yourself, not getting stuck on hurts from the past, and not getting lost in what might come. To be in a relationship with someone you respect, care about and value is a gift, and when you take that in the day-to-day, you honor yourself and your partner each day. Eating is no different in that you can honor yourself at each meal. So much time in relationships is spent hashing the past, and arguing about things that haven't yet happened. A relationship cannot be "hoarded", just like a meal cannot be prolonged by taking home the leftovers.
Ramani Durvasula (You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life)
A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay and swift and free, like a country dance of Mozart's. To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endlessly changing beauty of its unfolding. There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand, only the barest touch in passing. Now arm in arm, now face to face, now back to back -- it does not matter which because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it. The joy of such a pattern is...the joy of living in the moment. Lightness of touch and living in the moment are intertwined. One cannot dance well unless one is completely in time with the music, not leaning back to the last step or pressing forward to the next one, but poised directly on the present step as it comes... But how does one learn this technique of the dance? Why is it so difficult? What makes us hesitate and stumble? It is fear, I think, that makes one cling nostalgically to the last moment or clutch greedily toward the next. [And fear] can only be exorcised by its opposite: love.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
Gmorning. This feeling will pass. This workload will pass. These people will pass. But look at you, with the gift of memory. You can time travel to the good stuff just by closing your eyes & breathing. Then come right back to now, eyes up for the good stuff ahead. You magic thing. Gnight. This moment will pass. This fatigue will pass. Tonight will pass. But look at you, with the gift of imagination. You can teleport to where you're happiest just by closing your eyes and breathing. Then come right back to now, check in with the present. You magic thing, you.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You)
Gift cards?” Hi’s complaining brought me back to the present. “Why not just hand me a note that says: I don’t care enough to make an effort.” April 7. Hiram Stolowitski’s sixteenth birthday. “When exactly were we supposed to shop?” Shelton was scrolling Rex Gable emails on his laptop. “It’s been a hectic week, bro.” “I bought you Assassin’s Creed six weeks before your birthday,” Hi shot back. “Waited in line all afternoon. The guy behind me smelled like fish tacos, but I stuck it out.” Ben clapped Hi’s shoulder. “If it helps, I didn’t remember to get you any gift. Tory and Shelton picked that up. I signed the card though. See? Ben. Right there.” “These are the memories that scar,” Hi huffed. “I’m gonna be so complicated when I grow up. I’ll probably film documentaries.
Kathy Reichs (Exposure (Virals, #4))
Driven across many nations, across many oceans I am here, my brother, for this final parting, to offer at last those gifts which the dead are given and to speak in vain to your unspeaking ashes, since bitter fortune forbids you to hear me or answer, O my wretched brother, so abruptly taken! But now I must celebrate grief with funeral tributes offered the dead in the ancient way of the fathers; accept these presents, wet with my brotherly tears, and now and forever, my brother, hail and farewell.
Catullus Gaius Valerius
Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. For relationships too must be like islands. One must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits -- islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, continually visited and abandoned by the tides. One must accept the security of the winged life, of ebb and flow, of intermittency.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
When I first met Cara, she was twelve and angry at the world. Her parents had split up, her brother was gone, and her mom was infatuated with some guy who was missing vowels in his unpronounceable last name. So I did what any other man in that situation would do: I came armed with gifts. I bought her things that I thought a twelve-year-old would love: a poster of Taylor Lautner, a Miley Cyrus CD, nail polish that glowed in the dark. "I can't wait for the next Twilight movie," I babbled, when I presented her with the gifts in front of Georgie. "My favorite song on the CD is 'If We Were a Movie.' And I almost went with glitter nail polish, but the salesperson said this is much cooler, especially with Halloween coming up." Cara looked at her mother and said, without any judgment, "I think your boyfriend is gay.
Jodi Picoult (Lone Wolf)
But let’s consider this more carefully. Most of these gifts remain unopened or have been used only once. Admit it. They simply don’t suit your taste. The true purpose of a present is to be received. Presents are not “things” but a means for conveying someone’s feelings. When viewed from this perspective, you don’t need to feel guilty for parting with a gift. Just thank it for the joy it gave you when you first received it. Of course, it would be ideal if you could use it with joy. But surely the person who gave it to you doesn’t want you to use it out of a sense of obligation, or to put it away without using it, only to feel guilty every time you see it. When you discard or donate it, you do so for the sake of the giver, too.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
Is there anyone who has ever written so much as a love letter in which he felt that he had said exactly what he intended? A writer falsifies himself both intentionally and unintentionally. Intentionally, because the accidental qualities of words constantly tempt and frighten him away from his true meaning. He gets an idea, begins trying to express it, and then, in the frightful mess of words that generally results, a pattern begins to form itself more or less accidentally. It is not by any means the pattern he wants, but it is at any rate not vulgar or disagreeable; it is good art. He takes it because good art is a more or less mysterious gift from heaven, and it seems a pity to waste it when it presents itself.
George Orwell
We could just chill if you want." Emma raises a brow at Rachel. Rachel shrugs her innocence. "Nuh-uh. Don't look at me. I didn't teach him that." "Picked it up all on my own," he says, retrieving his pencil from the floor. "Figures," Emma sneers. "Aww, don't hate on me, boo." "Okay, I'm drawing the line at 'boo.' And don't call me 'shorty' either," Emma says. He laughs. "That was next." "No doubt. So, did anyone explain how you chill?" Galen shrugs. "As far as I can tell, chillin' is the equivalent of being in a coma, only awake." "That's about right." "Yeah. Doesn't sound that appealing. Are all humans lazy?" "Don't push it, Highness." But she's smirking. "If I'm Highness, then you're 'boo.' Period." Emma growls, but it doesn't sound as fierce as she intends. In fact, it's adorable. "Jeez! I won't call you Majesty either. And you Will. Not. Ever Call me 'boo' again." His grin feels like it reaches all the way to his ears as he nods. "Did...did I just win an argument?" She rolls her eyes. "Don't be stupid. We tied." He laughs. "If you say I won, I'll let you open your present." She glances at the gift bag and bites her lip-also adorable. She looks back at him. "Maybe I don't care about the present." "Oh, you definitely care," he says, confident. "No. I definitely do NOT," she says, crossing her arms. He runs a hand through his hair. If she makes it any more difficult, he'll have to tell her where they're going. He gives his best nonchalant shrug. "That changes everything. I just figured since you like history...Anyway, just forget it. I won't bother you about it anymore." He stands and walks over to the bag, fingering the polka-dot tissue paper Rachel engorged it with. "Even if I say you win, it's still a lie, you know." Emma huffs. Galen won't take the bait. Not today. "Fine. It's a lie. I just want to hear you say it." With an expression mixing surprise and suspicion in equal parts, she says it. And it sounds so sweet coming from those lips. "You won.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The first time the word worship appears in the King James Version of the Old Testament, it appears with appalling import. 'Abide ye here,' Abraham tells his servant, while 'I and the lad go yonder and worship.' The terrible offering of his son's life is what the Bible's first instance of 'worship' portends. In the New Testament, the word worship first appears again in conjunction with a costly offering. It is used in reference to the wise men, who 'worshipped' the Christ child by 'open[ing] their treasure' and 'present[ing] unto him gifts.' Worship, then, is about what we are prepared to relinquish--what we give up at personal cost.
Terryl L. Givens (The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections On the Quest for Faith)
Our understanding of who we are, where we came from, how the world works, and what matters in life depends on partaking of the vast and ever-expanding store of knowledge. Though unlettered hunters, herders, and peasants are fully human, anthropologists often comment on their orientation to the present, the local, the physical. To be aware of one's country and its history, of the diversity of customs and beliefs across the globe and through the ages, of the blunders and triumphs of past civilizations, of the microcosms of cells and atoms and the macrocosms of planets and galaxies, of the ethereal reality of number and logic and pattern—such awareness truly lifts us to a higher plane of consciousness. It is a gift of belonging to a brainy species with a long history.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
At present, however, science, spurred on by its powerful delusion, is hurrying unstoppably to its limits, where the optimism hidden in the essence of logic will founder and break up. For there is an infinite number of points on the periphery of the circle of science, and while we have no way of foreseeing how the circle could ever be completed, a noble and gifted man inevitably encounters, before the mid-point of his existence, boundary points on the periphery like this, where he stares into that which cannot be illuminated. When, to his horror, he sees how logic curls up around itself at these limits and finally bites its own tail, then a new form of knowledge breaks through, tragic knowledge, which, simply to be endured, needs art for protection and as medicine.” Friedrich Nietzsche, “Foreword to Richard Wagner” in The Birth of Tragedy, ed. R. Geuss & R. Speirs, Cambridge, 2007, 163. (p.114)
Friedrich Nietzsche
By what judgment am I judged? What is the accusation against me? Am I to be accused of my own betrayal? Am I to blame because you are my enemies? Yours is the responsibility, the knowledge, the power. I trusted you, you played with me as a cat plays with a mouse, and now you accuse me. I had no weapon against you, not realizing that there was need for weapons until too late. This is your place; you are at home here. I came as a stranger, alone, without a gun in my hand, bringing only a present that I wanted to give you. Am I to blame because the gift was unwelcome? Am I accused of the untranslated indictment against myself? Is it my fault that a charge has been laid against me in a different language? Is my offense that I stood too long on your threshold, holding a present that was unsuitable? Am I accused because you, wanting a victim and not a friend, threw away the only thing which I had to give?
Anna Kavan (Sleep Has His House)
To My Wife You are like a young white hen. Her feathers ruffle in the wind, her neck curves down to drink, and she rummages in the earth: but, in walking, she has your slow, queenly step, haughty and proud. She is better than the male. She is like the females of all the serene animals who draw near to God. Here, if my eye, if my judgment doesn’t deceive me, among these, you find your equals, and in no other woman. When evening lulls the little hens to sleep, they make sounds that call to mind those mild, sweet voices with which you argue with your pains, and don’t know that your voice has the soft, sad music of the henyard. You are like a pregnant heifer, still free, and without heaviness, merry, in fact; who, if someone strokes her, turns her neck, where a tender pink tinges her flesh. If you meet up with her, and hear her bellow, so mournful is this sound that you tear at the earth to give her a present. In the same way, I offer my gift to you when you are sad. You are like a tall, thin female dog, that always has so much sweetness in her eyes and ferociousness in her heart. At your feet, she seems a saint who burns with an indomitable fervor and in this way looks at you as her God and Lord. When you are at home, or going down the street, to anyone who tries, uninvited, to approach you, she uncovers her shining white teeth. And her love suffers from jealousy. You are like the fearful rabbit. Within her narrow cage, she stands upright to look at you, and extends her long, still ear; she deprives herself of the husks and roots that you bring her, and cowers, seeking the darkest corners. Who might take away this food? Who might take away the fur which she tears from her back to add to the nest where she will give birth? Who would ever make you suffer? You are like the swallow which returns in the spring. But each autumn will depart— you don’t have this art. You have this of the swallow: the light movements; that which, to me, seemed and was old, you proclaim another spring. You are like the provident ant. She whom the grandmother speaks of to the child as they go out in the countryside. And thus I find you in the bumble bee and in all the females of all the serene animals who draw near to God. And in no other woman.
Umberto Saba
His ideal is a man who, having worked all day for the good of posterity (if that is his vocation), washes his mind of the whole subject, commits the issue to Heaven, and returns at once to the patience or gratitude demanded by the moment that is passing over him. But we want a man hag-ridden by the Future—haunted by visions of an imminent heaven or hell upon earth—ready to break the Enemy’s commands in the present if by so doing we make him think he can attain the one or avert the other—dependent for his faith on the success or failure of schemes whose end he will not live to see. We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
Andy: Andrew Makepeace Ladd, the Third, accepts with pleasure the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Channing Gardner for a birthday party in honor of their daughter Melissa on April 19th, 1937 at half past three o'clock. Melissa: Dear Andy: Thank you for the birthday present. I have a lot of Oz books, but not 'The Lost Princess of Oz.' What made you give me that one? Sincerely yours, Melissa. Andy: I'm answering your letter about the book. When you came into second grade with that stuck-up nurse, you looked like a lost princess. Melissa: I don't believe what you wrote. I think my mother told your mother to get that book. I like the pictures more than the words. Now let's stop writing letters.
A.R. Gurney (Love Letters)
...and also celebrate the Skill of the Scythians in that Art, who sent once to Darius King of Persia an Embassador that made him a present of a Bird, a Frog, a Mouse, and five Arrows, without speaking one word; and being ask'd what those Presents meant, and if he had Commission to say any thing, answer'd that he had not; Which puzzl'd and gravell'd Darius very much; till Gobrias, one of the seven Captains that had kil'd the Magi explain'd it, saying to Darius, By these Gifts and Offerings the Scythians silently tell you, that except the Persians like Birds fly up to Heaven, like Mice hide themselves near the Centre of the Earth, or like Frogs dive to the very bottom of Ponds and Lakes, they shall be destroyed by the Power and Arrows of the Scythians.
François Rabelais
We're meant to stay connected to our hearts, you see. Feeling our feelings, present in the moments we're given. But we don't do that. And that's when we get in trouble. ... We mature and take responsibility for ourselves and others, and that's a good thing. But we're never meant to lose that alive quality, to get cut off from our true hearts. Growing up isn't the same thing as shutting down. ... We can fight it. We have to fight it. Because when our hearts shut down, we become mere shells of who we once were. We don't laugh—not honestly, not from the heart. We don't dream. We don't feel our feelings or use our gifts. We end up trying to just survive instead of live. It's like we've handed our hearts over to the enemy of our souls and said, 'Here you can have it. I'm giving up.
Denise Hildreth Jones (Secrets Over Sweet Tea)
More importantly, I didn’t know then that one day I would genuinely be free. That freedom came out of a thousand small steps of obedience, most of which I took during the waiting or limbo time. The more I learned to lean into Him on a daily basis and simply live out my faith in the everyday elements, the more I was prepared for the bigger steps when they arrived. Not only that, I was given the gift of living my life fully in the present, rather than being fixated and frustrated over some distant time or hope. In the crossroads called limbo, you do arrive at mile markers. You become more mature. More healed. Less surprised by or resistant to or unprepared for the good things God is giving you in the ordinary. Your challenge is to begin to embrace the waiting times as part of the overall journey. Limbo is a key part of the healing process! As you are faithful daily, He is working in you powerfully, and it all counts. Every single moment!
Suzanne Eller (The Mended Heart: God's Healing for Your Broken Places)
I want gifts and Christmas music. I don’t care how many Draziri are out there. They won’t take Christmas from me.” “Yes, but we don’t have a suitable male,” Orro said. “And only one dog.” I looked at him. “What is this Christmas?” Wing asked. Orro turned from the stove. “It’s the rite of passage during which the young males of the human species learn to display aggression and use weapons.” Sean stopped what he was doing and looked at Orro. “The young men go out in small packs,” Orro continued. “They brave the cold and come into conflict with other packs and they have to prove their dominance through physical combat. Their fathers teach them lessons in the proper use of swear words, and the young men have to undergo tests of endurance, like holding soap in their mouths and licking cold metal objects.” Sean made a strangled noise. “At the end of their trials, they go to see a wise elder in a red suit to prove their worth. If they are judged worthy, the family erects a ceremonial tree and presents them with gifts of weapons.” Sean was clearly struggling, because his head was shaking. “Also,” Orro added, “a sacrificial poultry is prepared and then given to the wild animals, probably to appease the nature spirits.” Sean roared with laughter.
Ilona Andrews (One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3))
The motives behind scientism are culturally significant. They have been mixed, as usual: genuine curiosity in search of truth; the rage for certainty and for unity; and the snobbish desire to earn the label scientist when that became a high social and intellectual rank. But these efforts, even though vain, have not been without harm, to the inventors and to the world at large. The "findings" have inspired policies affecting daily life that were enforced with the same absolute assurance as earlier ones based on religion. At the same time, the workers in the realm of intuition, the gifted finessers - artists, moralists, philosophers, historians, political theorists, and theologians - were either diverted from their proper task, while others were looking on them with disdain as dabblers in the suburbs of Truth.
Jacques Barzun (From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present)
When he was finished, he set his plate down, looked at me, and raised an eyebrow. I leaned forward and whispered angrily, “I am not going to sit on your lap, so don’t get your hopes up, Mister.” He still waited until I picked up a fork and took a few bites. I speared a bite of macadamia nut crusted ruby snapper and said, “Whew. Time’s up. Isn’t it? The clock is ticking. You must be sweating it, huh? I mean, you could turn any second.” He just took a bite of curried lamb and then some saffron rice and sat there chewing as cool as a cucumber. I watched him closely for a full two minutes and then folded up my napkin. “Okay, I give. Why are you acting so smug and confident? When are you going to tell me what’s going on?” He wiped his mouth carefully and took a sip of water. “What’s going on, my prema, is that the curse has been lifted.” My mouth dropped open. “What? If it was lifted, why were you a tiger for the last two days?” “Well, to be clear, the curse is not completely gone. I seem to have been granted a partial removal of the curse.” “Partial? Partial meaning what, exactly?” “Partial, meaning a certain number of hours per day. Six hours to be exact.” I recited the prophecy in my mind and remembered that there were four sides to the monolith, and four times six was…”Twenty-four.” He paused. “Twenty-four what?” “Well, six hours makes sense because there are four gifts to obtain for Durga and four sides of the monolith. We’ve only completed one of the tasks, so you only get six hours.” He smiled. “I guess I get to keep you around then, at least until the other tasks are finished.” I snorted. “Don’t hold your breath, Tarzan. I might not need to be present for the other tasks. Now that you’re a man part of the time, you and Kishan can resolve this problem yourselves, I’m sure.” He cocked his head and narrowed his eyes at me. “Don’t underestimate your level of…involvement, Kelsey. Even if you weren’t needed anymore to break the curse, do you think I’d simply let you go? Let you walk out of my life without a backward glance?” I nervously began toying with my food and decided to say nothing. That was exactly what I’d been planning to do. Something had changed. The hurt and confused Ren that made me feel guilty for rejecting him in Kishkindha was gone. He was now supremely confident, almost arrogant, and very sure of himself.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Something as simple and ordinary as drinking a cup of tea can bring us great joy and help us feel our connection to the Earth. The way we drink our tea can transform our lives if we truly devote our attention to it. Sometimes we hurry through our daily tasks, looking forward to the time when we can stop and have a cup of tea. But then when we’re finally sitting with the cup in our hands, our mind is still running off into the future and we can’t enjoy what we’re doing; we lose the pleasure of drinking our tea. We need to keep our awareness alive and value each moment of our daily life. We may think our other tasks are less pleasant than drinking tea. But if we do them with awareness, we may find that they’re actually very enjoyable. Drinking a cup of tea is a pleasure we can give ourselves every day. To enjoy our tea, we have to be fully present and know clearly and deeply that we are drinking tea. When you lift your cup, you may like to breathe in the aroma. Looking deeply into your tea, you see that you are drinking fragrant plants that are the gift of Mother Earth. You see the labor of the tea pickers; you see the luscious tea fields and plantations in Sri Lanka, China, and Vietnam. You know that you are drinking a cloud; you are drinking the rain. The tea contains the whole universe.
Thich Nhat Hanh (How to Eat (Mindfulness Essentials, #2))
1. Success is a choice. -Rick Pitino 2. Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well. -Warren Lester 3. I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment; it takes place every day. -Albert Camus 4. If you're not fired up with enthusiasm, you'll be fired with enthusiasm. -Vince Lombardi 5. There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity. -Douglas MacArthur 6. Yesterday's the past and tomorrow's the future. Today is a gift, which is why they call it the present. -Bill Keane 7. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure. -Thomas Edison 8. When you get to the end of your rope tie a knot and hang on. -Franklin D. Roosevelt 9. The best way to predict your future is to create it. -Author unknown 10. I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says, "Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest." I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have. -Harry S Truman 11. Triumph? Try Umph! -Author unknown 12. You hit home runs not by chance but by preparation. -Roger Maris 13. If you don't have enough pride, you're going to get your butt beat every play. -Gale Sayers 14. My mother taught me very early to believe I could achieve any accomplishment I wanted to. The first was to walk without braces. -Wilma Rudolph 15. You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. -Margaret Thatcher
Samuel D. Deep (Close the Deal: 120 Checklists for Sales Success)
A kind of northing is what I wish to accomplish, a single-minded trek towards that place where any shutter left open to the zenith at night will record the wheeling of all the sky’s stars as a pattern of perfect, concentric circles. I seek a reduction, a shedding, a sloughing off. At the seashore you often see a shell, or fragment of a shell, that sharp sands and surf have thinned to a wisp. There is no way you can tell what kind of shell it had been, what creature it had housed; it could have been a whelk or a scallop, a cowrie, limpet, or conch. The animal is long since dissolved, and its blood spread and thinned in the general sea. All you hold in your hand is a cool shred of shell, an inch long, pared so thin that it passes a faint pink light. It is an essence, a smooth condensation of the air, a curve. I long for the North where unimpeded winds would hone me to such a pure slip of bone. But I’ll not go northing this year. I’ll stalk that floating pole and frigid air by waiting here. I wait on bridges; I wait, struck, on forest paths and meadow’s fringes, hilltops and banksides, day in and day out, and I receive a southing as a gift. The North washes down the mountains like a waterfall, like a tidal wave, and pours across the valley; it comes to me. It sweetens the persimmons and numbs the last of the crickets and hornets; it fans the flames of the forest maples, bows the meadow’s seeded grasses and pokes it chilling fingers under the leaf litter, thrusting the springtails and the earthworms deeper into the earth. The sun heaves to the south by day, and at night wild Orion emerges looming like the Specter over Dead Man Mountain. Something is already here, and more is coming.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
As the leader of the international Human Genome Project, which had labored mightily over more than a decade to reveal this DNA sequence, I stood beside President Bill Clinton in the East Room of the White House... Clinton's speech began by comparing this human sequence map to the map that Meriwether Lewis had unfolded in front of President Thomas Jefferson in that very room nearly two hundred years earlier. Clinton said, "Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind." But the part of his speech that most attracted public attention jumped from the scientific perspective to the spiritual. "Today," he said, "we are learning the language in which God created life. We are gaining ever more awe for the complexity, the beauty, and the wonder of God's most divine and sacred gift." Was I, a rigorously trained scientist, taken aback at such a blatantly religious reference by the leader of the free world at a moment such as this? Was I tempted to scowl or look at the floor in embarrassment? No, not at all. In fact I had worked closely with the president's speechwriter in the frantic days just prior to this announcement, and had strongly endorsed the inclusion of this paragraph. When it came time for me to add a few words of my own, I echoed this sentiment: "It's a happy day for the world. It is humbling for me, and awe-inspiring, to realize that we have caught the first glimpse of our own instruction book, previously known only to God." What was going on here? Why would a president and a scientist, charged with announcing a milestone in biology and medicine, feel compelled to invoke a connection with God? Aren't the scientific and spiritual worldviews antithetical, or shouldn't they at least avoid appearing in the East Room together? What were the reasons for invoking God in these two speeches? Was this poetry? Hypocrisy? A cynical attempt to curry favor from believers, or to disarm those who might criticize this study of the human genome as reducing humankind to machinery? No. Not for me. Quite the contrary, for me the experience of sequencing the human genome, and uncovering this most remarkable of all texts, was both a stunning scientific achievement and an occasion of worship.
Francis S. Collins (The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief)
The “rising tide” theory rested on a notion of separate but equal class ladders. And so there was a class of black poor and an equivalent class of white poor, a black middle class and a white middle class, a black elite and a white elite. From this angle, the race problem was merely the result of too many blacks being found at the bottom of their ladder—too many who were poor and too few who were able to make their way to the next rung. If one could simply alter the distribution, the old problem of “race” could be solved. But any investigation into the actual details revealed that the ladders themselves were not equal—that to be a member of the “black race” in America had specific, quantifiable consequences. Not only did poor blacks tend to be much less likely to advance up their ladder, but those who did stood a much greater likelihood of tumbling back. That was because the middle-class rung of the black ladder lacked the financial stability enjoyed by the white ladder. Whites in the middle class often brought with them generational wealth—the home of a deceased parent, a modest inheritance, a gift from a favorite uncle. Blacks in the middle class often brought with them generational debt—an incarcerated father, an evicted niece, a mother forced to take in her sister’s kids. And these conditions, themselves, could not be separated out from the specific injury of racism, one that was not addressed by simply moving up a rung. Racism was not a singular one-dimensional vector but a pandemic, afflicting black communities at every level, regardless of what rung they occupied. From that point forward the case for reparations seemed obvious and the case against it thin. The sins of slavery did not stop with slavery. On the contrary, slavery was but the initial crime in a long tradition of crimes, of plunder even, that could be traced into the present day. And whereas a claim for reparations for slavery rested in the ancestral past, it was now clear that one could make a claim on behalf of those who were very much alive.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
I’d dreamed once of a forest of gold, and Jesse had done what he could to give it to me. His bedroom had been transformed into a wonderland of leaves and flowers, pinecones and branches of birch and oak, all of it glimmering, all of it singing. The bed was covered, his chest of drawers, the sill. Much of it was jumbled together, beautiful for what it was if not its presentation. Jesse had last left this room on the night of his death, right after he’d called to me, right before he’d gone to the castle. So he would have been scattering his final gift in haste, knowing he worked against the clock. Knowing, somehow, what was to come. Which meant he’d been making gold for weeks. When I’d seen him so tired, when he’d told me all those nights that we should rest apart…he had been doing this. For me. A folded note had been set upon the bed. My name had been scrawled upon it. I love you was all it said inside. I sank to the floor. I looked up and all around as the sun danced through the window and turned Jesse’s room into an ambered heaven of song and shimmer and sparks. That was how Armand found me, hours later. That was what he saw, as well, what he heard, as he walked slowly into the chamber and eased down beside me to rest his back against the bed. We sat there together, listening, marveling. In time, his hand reached out and took firm hold of mine.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Peter, Adam's Son," said Father Christmas. "Here, sir," said Peter. "These are your presents," was the answer, "and they are tools, not toys. The time to use them is perhaps near at hand. Bear them well." With these words he handed to Peter a shield and a sword. The shield was the color of silver and across it there ramped a red lion, as bright as a ripe strawberry at the moment when you pick it. The hilt of the sword was of gold and it had a sheath and a sword belt and everything it needed, and it was just the right size and weight for Peter to use. Peter was silent and solemn as he received these gifts, for he felt they were a very serious kind of present. "Susan, Eve's Daughter," said Father Christmas. "These are for you," and he handed her a bow and a quiver full of arrows and a little ivory horn. "You must use the bow only in great need," he said, "for I do not mean you to fight in the battle. It does not easily miss. And when you put this horn to your lips and blow it, then, wherever you are, I think help of some kind will come to you." Last of all he said, "Lucy, Eve's Daughter," and Lucy came forward. He gave her a little bottle of what looked like glass (but people said afterwards that it was made of diamond) and a small dagger. "In this bottle," he said, "there is a cordial made of the juice of one of the fire-flowers that grow on the mountains of the sun. If you or any of your friends is hurt, a few drops of this will restore them. And the dagger is to defend yourself at great need. For you also are not to be in the battle." "Why, sir?" said Lucy. "I think- I don't know- but I think I could be brave enough." "That is not the point," he said. "But battles are ugly when women fight.
C.S. Lewis (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1))
[T]he old stories of human relationships with animals can't be discounted. They are not primitive; they are primal. They reflect insights that came from considerable and elaborate systems of knowledge, intellectual traditions and ways of living that were tried, tested, and found true over many thousands of years and on all continents. But perhaps the truest story is with the animals themselves because we have found our exemplary ways through them, both in the older world and in the present time, both physically and spiritually. According to the traditions of the Seneca animal society, there were medicine animals in ancient times that entered into relationships with people. The animals themselves taught ceremonies that were to be performed in their names, saying they would provide help for humans if this relationship was kept. We have followed them, not only in the way the early European voyagers and prenavigators did, by following the migrations of whales in order to know their location, or by releasing birds from cages on their sailing vessels and following them towards land, but in ways more subtle and even more sustaining. In a discussion of the Wolf Dance of the Northwest, artists Bill Holm and William Reid said that 'It is often done by a woman or a group of women. The dance is supposed to come from the wolves. There are different versions of its origin and different songs, but the words say something like, 'Your name is widely known among the wolves. You are honored by the wolves.' In another recent account, a Northern Cheyenne ceremonialist said that after years spent recovering from removals and genocide, indigenous peoples are learning their lost songs back from the wolves who retained them during the grief-filled times, as thought the wolves, even though threatened in their own numbers, have had compassion for the people.... It seems we have always found our way across unknown lands, physical and spiritual, with the assistance of the animals. Our cultures are shaped around them and we are judged by the ways in which we treat them. For us, the animals are understood to be our equals. They are still our teachers. They are our helpers and healers. They have been our guardians and we have been theirs. We have asked for, and sometimes been given, if we've lived well enough, carefully enough, their extraordinary powers of endurance and vision, which we have added to our own knowledge, powers and gifts when we are not strong enough for the tasks required of us. We have deep obligations to them. Without other animals, we are made less. (from her essay "First People")
Linda Hogan (Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals)
At Chicago I read again 'Philip Van Artevelde,' and certain passages in it will always be in my mind associated with the deep sound of the lake, as heard in the night. I used to read a short time at night, and then open the blind to look out. The moon would be full upon the lake, and the calm breath, pure light, and the deep voice, harmonized well with the thought of the Flemish hero. When will this country have such a man ? It is what she needs — no thin Idealist, no coarse Realist, but a man whose eye reads the heavens while his feet step firmly on the ground and his hands are strong and dextrous in the use of human instruments. A man, religious, virtuous and — sagacious; a man of universal sympathies, but self-possessed; a man who knows the region of emotion, though he is not its slave; a man to whom this world is no mere spectacle or fleeting shadow, but a great, solemn game, to be played with good heed, for its stakes are of eternal value, yet who, if his own play be true, heeds not what he loses by the falsehood of others. A man who lives from the past, yet knows that its honey can but moderately avail him; whose comprehensive eye scans the present, neither infatuated by its golden lures nor chilled by its many ventures; who possesses prescience, as the wise man must, but not so far as to be driven mad to-day by the gift which discerns to-morrow. When there is such a man for America, the thought which urges her on will be expressed.
Margaret Fuller
And so when the generation, which itself desired to level and to be emancipated, to destroy authority and at the same time itself, has, through the scepticism of the principle association, started the hopeless forest fire of abstraction; when as a result of levelling with this scepticism, the generation has rid itself of the individual and of everything organic and concrete, and put in its place 'humanity' and the numerical equality of man and man: when the generation has, for a moment, delighted in this unlimited panorama of abstract infinity, unrelieved by even the smallest eminence, undisturbed by even the slightest interest, a sea of desert; then the time has come for work to begin, for every individual must work for himself, each for himself. No longer can the individual, as in former times, turn to the great for help when he grows confused. That is past; he is either lost in the dizziness of unending abstraction or saved for ever in the reality of religion. Perhaps very many will cry out in despair, but it will not help them--already it is too late...Nor shall any of the unrecognizable presume to help directly or to speak directly or to teach directly at the head of the masses, in order to direct their decisions, instead of giving his negative support and so helping the individual to make the decision which he himself has reached; any other course would be the end of him, because he would be indulging in the short-sighted compassion of man, instead of obeying the order of divinity, of an angry, yet so merciful, divinity. For the development is, in spite of everything, a progress because all the individuals who are saved will receive the specific weight of religion, its essence at first hand, from God himself. Then it will be said: 'behold, all is in readiness, see how the cruelty of abstraction makes the true form of worldliness only too evident, the abyss of eternity opens before you, the sharp scythe of the leveller makes it possible for every one individually to leap over the blade--and behold, it is God who waits. Leap, then, into the arms of God'. But the 'unrecognizable' neither can nor dares help man, not even his most faithful disciple, his mother, or the girl for whom he would gladly give his life: they must make the leap themselves, for God's love is not a second-hand gift. And yet the 'unrecognizable' neither can nor dares help man, not even his most faithful disciple, his mother, or the girl for whom he would gladly give his life: they must make the leap themselves, for God's love is not a second-hand gift. And yet the 'unrecognizable' (according to his degree) will have a double work compared with the 'outstanding' man (of the same degree), because he will not only have to work continuously, but at the same time labour to conceal his work.
Søren Kierkegaard (The Present Age)
A Christian people doesn't mean a lot of goody-goodies. The Church has plenty of stamina, and isn't afraid of sin. On the contrary, she can look it in the face calmly and even take it upon herself, assume it at times, as Our Lord did. When a good workman's been at it for a whole week, surely he's due for a booze on Saturday night. Look: I'll define you a Christian people by the opposite. The opposite of a Christian people is a people grown sad and old. You'll be saying that isn't a very theological definition. I agree... Why does our earliest childhood always seem so soft and full of light? A kid's got plenty of troubles, like everybody else, and he's really so very helpless, quite unarmed against pain and illness. Childhood and old age should be the two greatest trials of mankind. But that very sense of powerlessness is the mainspring of a child's joy. He just leaves it all to his mother, you see. Present, past, future -- his whole life is caught up in one look, and that look is a smile. Well, lad, if only they'd let us have our way, the Church might have given men that supreme comfort. Of course they'd each have their own worries to grapple with, just the same. Hunger, thirst, poverty, jealousy -- we'd never be able to pocket the devil once and for all, you may be sure. But man would have known he was the son of God; and therein lies your miracle. He'd have lived, he'd have died with that idea in his noddle -- and not just a notion picked up in books either -- oh, no! Because we'd have made that idea the basis of everything: habits and customs, relaxation and pleasure, down to the very simplest needs. That wouldn't have stopped the labourer ploughing, or the scientist swotting at his logarithms, or even the engineer making his playthings for grown-up people. What we would have got rid of, what we would have torn from the very heart of Adam, is that sense of his own loneliness... God has entrusted the Church to keep [the soul of childhood] alive, to safeguard our candour and freshness... Joy is the gift of the Church, whatever joy is possible for this sad world to share... What would it profit you even to create life itself, when you have lost all sense of what life really is?
Georges Bernanos (The Diary of a Country Priest)
What we feel and how we feel is far more important than what we think and how we think. Feeling is the stuff of which our consciousness is made, the atmosphere in which all our thinking and all our conduct is bathed. All the motives which govern and drive our lives are emotional. Love and hate, anger and fear, curiosity and joy are the springs of all that is most noble and most detestable in the history of men and nations. The opening sentence of a sermon is an opportunity. A good introduction arrests me. It handcuffs me and drags me before the sermon, where I stand and hear a Word that makes me both tremble and rejoice. The best sermon introductions also engage the listener immediately. It’s a rare sermon, however, that suffers because of a good introduction. Mysteries beg for answers. People’s natural curiosity will entice them to stay tuned until the puzzle is solved. Any sentence that points out incongruity, contradiction, paradox, or irony will do. Talk about what people care about. Begin writing an introduction by asking, “Will my listeners care about this?” (Not, “Why should they care about this?”) Stepping into the pulpit calmly and scanning the congregation to the count of five can have a remarkable effect on preacher and congregation alike. It is as if you are saying, “I’m about to preach the Word of God. I want all of you settled. I’m not going to begin, in fact, until I have your complete attention.” No sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as crystal. The getting of that sentence is the hardest, most exacting, and most fruitful labor of study. We tend to use generalities for compelling reasons. Specifics often take research and extra thought, precious commodities to a pastor. Generalities are safe. We can’t help but use generalities when we can’t remember details of a story or when we want anonymity for someone. Still, the more specific their language, the better speakers communicate. I used to balk at spending a large amount of time on a story, because I wanted to get to the point. Now I realize the story gets the point across better than my declarative statements. Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell. Limits—that is, form—challenge the mind, forcing creativity. Needless words weaken our offense. Listening to some speakers, you have to sift hundreds of gallons of water to get one speck of gold. If the sermon is so complicated that it needs a summary, its problems run deeper than the conclusion. The last sentence of a sermon already has authority; when the last sentence is Scripture, this is even more true. No matter what our tone or approach, we are wise to craft the conclusion carefully. In fact, given the crisis and opportunity that the conclusion presents—remember, it will likely be people’s lasting memory of the message—it’s probably a good practice to write out the conclusion, regardless of how much of the rest of the sermon is written. It is you who preaches Christ. And you will preach Christ a little differently than any other preacher. Not to do so is to deny your God-given uniqueness. Aim for clarity first. Beauty and eloquence should be added to make things even more clear, not more impressive. I’ll have not praise nor time for those who suppose that writing comes by some divine gift, some madness, some overflow of feeling. I’m especially grim on Christians who enter the field blithely unprepared and literarily innocent of any hard work—as though the substance of their message forgives the failure of its form.
Mark Galli (Preaching That Connects: Using Techniques of Journalists to Add Impact)