Pursuit Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Pursuit. Here they are! All 100 of them:

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The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.
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Albert Einstein
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I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.
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Edgar Allan Poe
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We have to allow ourselves to be loved by the people who really love us, the people who really matter. Too much of the time, we are blinded by our own pursuits of people to love us, people that don't even matter, while all that time we waste and the people who do love us have to stand on the sidewalk and watch us beg in the streets! It's time to put an end to this. It's time for us to let ourselves be loved.
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C. JoyBell C.
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Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.
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Guillaume Apollinaire
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Trust is a careless pursuit at best. At worst, it's a good way to get yourself killed.
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Lauren Kate (Fallen (Fallen, #1))
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Anyone in pursuit of art is responding to a desire to make visible that which is not, to offer the unknown self to others.
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Hettie Jones
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
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Albert Einstein
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We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering... these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love... these are what we stay alive for.
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Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
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Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.
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Aldous Huxley
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All suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their own happiness or satisfaction
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Dalai Lama XIV
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When people are protecting something truly special to them, they truly can become...as strong as they can be.
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Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto, Vol. 21: Pursuit (Naruto, #21))
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Love is simply the name for the desire and pursuit of the whole.
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Plato (The Symposium)
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The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.
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Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
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If the words 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' don't include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn't worth the hemp it was written on.
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Terence McKenna
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Some things are worth pursuit regardless of the cost.
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Stephanie Garber (Caraval (Caraval, #1))
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God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which He must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves.
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A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine)
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Hate to sound sleazy, but tease me, I don't want it if it's that easy
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Tupac Shakur
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To new beginnings. To the pursuit of...somethingness.
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Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)
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To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love.
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A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine)
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We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
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N.H. Kleinbaum (Dead Poets Society)
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Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.
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Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
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Love is the pursuit of the whole.
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Plato
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I want someone to sit beside after the day's pursuit and all its anguish, after its listening, and its waitings, and its suspicions. After quarrelling and reconciliation I need privacy - to be alone with you, to set this hubbub in order. For I am as neat as a cat in my habits.
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Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
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We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.
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Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
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Why can't I write something that would awake the dead? That pursuit is what burns most deeply.
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Patti Smith (Just Kids)
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Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen. Few in pursuit of the goal.
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Friedrich Nietzsche
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Everything you want in life is a relationship away.
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Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
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Love is the name for our pursuit of wholeness, for our desire to be complete.
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Plato (The Symposium)
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I’ve been thinking.” β€œA dangerous pursuit.” β€œIndeed.
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V.E. Schwab (The Archived (The Archived, #1))
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It is proved by surveys that happiness does not come from love, wealth, or power but the pursuit of attainable goals.
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Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones’s Diary (Bridget Jones, #1))
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This wise man observed that wealth is a tool of freedom. But the pursuit of wealth is the way to slavery.
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Frank Herbert (God Emperor of Dune (Dune #4))
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I am running after you, and life, in desperate pursuit. My dream is that someday you will both turn and let me catch you. That dream carries me through every night... I have enclosed a hundred kisses in this letter. You must count them out carefully and not lose any.
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Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
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And medecine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love: these are what we stay alive for.
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Tom Schulman (Dead Poets Society)
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A man wants to earn money in order to be happy, and his whole effort and the best of a life are devoted to the earning of that money. Happiness is forgotten; the means are taken for the end.
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Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
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We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts
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A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine)
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Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek.
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Mario Andretti
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I had such plans for this evening. The pursuit of blind drunkenness and wayward women was my goal. But alas, it was not to be. No sooner had I consumed my third drink in the Devil than I was accosted by a delightful small flower selling child who asked me for twopence for a daisy. The price seemed steep, so I refused. When I told the girl as much, she proceeded to rob me.” β€œA little girl robbed you?” Tessa said. β€œActually, she wasn’t a little girl at all, as it turns out, but a midget in a dress with a penchant for violence, who goes by the name of Six-Fingered Nigel.
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Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
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There is in fact something obscene and sinister about photography, a desire to imprison, to incorporate, a sexual intensity of pursuit.
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William S. Burroughs
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Jesus calls us to his rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort.
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A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
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In your pursuit of your passions, always be young. In your relationship with others, always be grown-up.
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Tom Brokaw
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The only time you truly become an adult is when you finally forgive your parents for being just as flawed as everyone else.
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Douglas Kennedy (The Pursuit of Happiness)
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In an age of madness, to expect to be untouched by madness is a form of madness. But the pursuit of sanity can be a form of madness, too
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Saul Bellow
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Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace.
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Jerry Bridges (The Discipline of Grace: God's Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness)
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Faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God.
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A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
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How many cities have revealed themselves to me in the marches I undertook in the pursuit of books!
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Walter Benjamin (Illuminations: Essays and Reflections)
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Do you always focus on what you're giving up, rather than what you'll be gaining? Some things are worth pursuit regardless of the cost.
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Stephanie Garber (Caraval (Caraval, #1))
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I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led.
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Thomas Jefferson
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Bear in mind, people with eating disorders tend to be both competitive and intelligent. We are incredibly perfectionistic. We often excel in school,athletics,artistic pursuits. We also tend to quit without warning. Refuse to go to school,drop out,quit jobs,leave lovers,move,lose all our money. We get sick of being impressive. Rather,we tire of having to seem impressive. As a rule,most of us never really believed we were any good in the first place.
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Marya Hornbacher
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The pursuit of happiness is a matter of choice...it is a positive attitude we choose to express. It is not a gift delivered to our door each morning, nor does it come through the window. And it is certain that our circumstances are not the things that make us joyful. If we wait for them to get just right, we will never laugh again.
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Charles R. Swindoll
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Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.
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Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
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Once upon a time in the dead of winter in the Dakota Territory, Theodore Roosevelt took off in a makeshift boat down the Little Missouri River in pursuit of a couple of thieves who had stolen his prized rowboat. After several days on the river, he caught up and got the draw on them with his trusty Winchester, at which point they surrendered. Then Roosevelt set off in a borrowed wagon to haul the thieves cross-country to justice. They headed across the snow-covered wastes of the Badlands to the railhead at Dickinson, and Roosevelt walked the whole way, the entire 40 miles. It was an astonishing feat, what might be called a defining moment in Roosevelt’s eventful life. But what makes it especially memorable is that during that time, he managed to read all of Anna Karenina. I often think of that when I hear people say they haven’t time to read.
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David McCullough
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Chasing a person doesn’t give you value or build values in you. You earn your value by chasing morality and practicing dignity.
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Shannon L. Alder
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Love assumes expectation and hope. All actors of the hazardous pursuit of love eagerly look forward to passing a significant cape without injuries or aching scratches: "the Cape of good Hope". ( " Those journeys of love" )
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Erik Pevernagie
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Well, I mean, yes idealism, yes the dignity of pure research, yes the pursuit of truth in all its forms, but there comes a point I'm afraid where you begin to suspect that the entire multidimensional infinity of the Universe is almost certainly being run by a bunch of maniacs. And if it comes to a choice between spending yet another ten million years finding that out, and on the other hand just taking the money and running, then I for one could do with the exercise.
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Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
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Stay away from the normals, the small-minded people who fill their brains with small-minded pursuits, who blend in and keep up with the Joneses. Those people will tear you down and make you boring. Instead, surround yourself with the weirds. With the misfits, oddballs, and outcasts. Because the normals, bless their hearts, have no idea how to have fun.
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Penny Reid (Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3))
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It comes from history. It comes from the record of the Inquisition, persecuting heretics and torturing Jews and all that sort of stuff; and it comes from the other side, too, from the Protestants burning the Catholics. It comes from the insensate pursuit of innocent and crazy old women, and from the Puritans in America burning and hanging the witches β€” and it comes not only from the Christian church but also from the Taliban. Every single religion that has a monotheistic god ends up by persecuting other people and killing them because they don't accept him. Wherever you look in history, you find that. It’s still going on.
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Philip Pullman
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We are on strike, we, the men of the mind. We are on strike against self-immolation. We are on strike against the creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. We are on strike against the dogma that the pursuit of one's happiness is evil. We are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt.
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Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
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It contributes greatly towards a man's moral and intellectual health, to be brought into habits of companionship with individuals unlike himself, who care little for his pursuits, and whose sphere and abilities he must go out of himself to appreciate.
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Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
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It now lately sometimes seemed a black miracle to me that people could actually care deeply about a subject or pursuit, and could go on caring this way for years on end. Could dedicate their entire lives to it. It seemed admirable and at the same time pathetic. We are all dying to give our lives away to something, maybe.
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David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
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Too many scholars think of research as purely a cerebral pursuit. If we do nothing with the knowledge we gain, then we have wasted our study. Books can store information better than we can--what we we do that books cannot is interpret. So if one is not going to draw conclusions, then one might as well just leave the information in the texts.
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Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
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Dive deep. Drown willingly
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Ted Dekker (White: The Great Pursuit (The Circle, #3))
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To love someone with all of your heart requires reaching them where they are with the only words they can understand.
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Shannon L. Alder
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Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government-- in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost come in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.
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Milton Friedman
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But these were days of self-fulfillment, where settling for something that was not quite your first choice of a life seemed weak-willed and ignoble. Somewhere, surrendering to what seemed to be your fate had changed from being dignified to being a sign of your own cowardice. There were times when the pressure to achieve happiness felt almost oppressive, as if happiness were something that everyone should and could attain, and that any sort of compromise in its pursuit was somehow your fault.
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Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
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No matter what happened yesterday it is insignificant when compared to what lies within the core of your being today.
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Sandy Brewer (Pursuit of Light: An Extraordinary Journey)
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I've decided that it's possible to love someone for entirely selfless reasons, for all of their flaws and weaknesses, and still not succeed in having them love you back. It's sad, perhaps, but not tragic, unless you dwell forever in the pursuit of their elusive affections.
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Cammie McGovern (Say What You Will)
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If I were asked to define the Hindu creed, I should simply say: Search after truth through non-violent means. A man may not believe in God and still call himself a Hindu. Hinduism is a relentless pursuit after truth... Hinduism is the religion of truth. Truth is God. Denial of God we have known. Denial of truth we have not known.
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Mahatma Gandhi
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In their quest for the "real moment" some expect to grab hold of the singular instant that feels like a journey between the past and the future, between the land they know and a land they don't know. In their pursuit they hope to encounter that 'genuine' moment, that frail child of the fleeting time that leaves a scar in the memory.
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Erik Pevernagie
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Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.
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Philip Slater
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According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction. Due to this pursuit, the mind is never satisfied. Even when experiencing pleasure, it is not content, because it fears this feeling might soon disappear, and craves that this feeling should stay and intensify. People are liberated from suffering not when they experience this or that fleeting pleasure, but rather when they understand the impermanent nature of all their feelings, and stop craving them. This is the aim of Buddhist meditation practices. In meditation, you are supposed to closely observe your mind and body, witness the ceaseless arising and passing of all your feelings, and realise how pointless it is to pursue them. When the pursuit stops, the mind becomes very relaxed, clear and satisfied. All kinds of feelings go on arising and passing – joy, anger, boredom, lust – but once you stop craving particular feelings, you can just accept them for what they are. You live in the present moment instead of fantasising about what might have been. The resulting serenity is so profound that those who spend their lives in the frenzied pursuit of pleasant feelings can hardly imagine it. It is like a man standing for decades on the seashore, embracing certain β€˜good’ waves and trying to prevent them from disintegrating, while simultaneously pushing back β€˜bad’ waves to prevent them from getting near him. Day in, day out, the man stands on the beach, driving himself crazy with this fruitless exercise. Eventually, he sits down on the sand and just allows the waves to come and go as they please. How peaceful!
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Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
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Jem grinned. β€œWhere have you been? The Blue Dragon? The Mermaid?” β€œThe Devil Tavern if you must know.” Will sighed and leaned against one of the posts of the bed. β€œI had such plans for the evening. The pursuit of blind drunkenness and wayward women was my goal. But alas, it was not to be. No sooner had I consumed my third drink in the Devil than I was accosted by a delightful small flower-selling child who asked me for two-pence for a daisy. The price seemed steep, so I refused. When I told the girl as much, she proceeded to rob me.” β€œA little girl robbed you?” Tessa said. β€œActually, she wasn’t a little girl at all, as it turns out, but a midget in a dress who goes by the name of Six-Fingered Nigel.” β€œEasy mistake to make,” Jem said.
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Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
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Remember that there is only one important time and it is Now. The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion. The most important person is always the person with whom you are, who is right before you, for who knows if you will have dealings with any other person in the future? The most important pursuit is making that person, the one standing at your side, happy, for that alone is the pursuit of life.
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Leo Tolstoy (The Emperor's Three Questions)
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I look at the blanked-out faces of the other passengers--hoisting their briefcases, their backpacks, shuffling to disembark--and I think of what Hobie said: beauty alters the grain of reality. And I keep thinking too of the more conventional wisdom: namely, that the pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow, that beauty has to be wedded to something more meaningful. Only what is that thing? Why am I made the way I am? Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet--for me, anyway--all that's worth living for lies in that charm? A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don't get to choose our own hearts. We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are. Because--isn't it drilled into us constantly, from childhood on, an unquestioned platitude in the culture--? From William Blake to Lady Gaga, from Rousseau to Rumi to Tosca to Mister Rogers, it's a curiously uniform message, accepted from high to low: when in doubt, what to do? How do we know what's right for us? Every shrink, every career counselor, every Disney princess knows the answer: "Be yourself." "Follow your heart." Only here's what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted--? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?...If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or...is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?
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Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
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Don't let them drag you down by rumors just go with what you believe in.
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Michael Jordan (I Can't Accept Not Trying: Michael Jordan on the Pursuit of Excellence)
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You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.
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Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
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Christian morality (so called) has all the characters of a reaction; it is, in great part, a protest against Paganism. Its ideal is negative rather than positive; passive rather than action; innocence rather than Nobleness; Abstinence from Evil, rather than energetic Pursuit of Good: in its precepts (as has been well said) 'thou shalt not' predominates unduly over 'thou shalt.
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John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
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Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become 'unity' conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.
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A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine)
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To Cassidy, the panopticon wasn't a metaphor. It was the greatest failing on everything she was, a prison she had built for herself out of an inability to appear anything less than perfect. And so she ghosted on, in relentless pursuit of escape, not from society, but from herself. She would always be confined by what everyone expected of her because she was too afraid and too unwilling to correct our imperfect imaginings.
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Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything)
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I must talk, and you must listen, for we are engaged here in the most important pursuit in history: the search for meaning. What is the nature of being a person? What is the best way to go about being a person? How did we come to be, and what will become of us when we are no longer? In short: What are the rules of this game, and how might we best play it?
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John Green (Looking for Alaska)
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God must do everything for us. Our part is to yield and trust
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A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine)
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Let every man abide in the calling wherein he is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry. It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.
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A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine)
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Every life has a soundtrack. There is a tune that makes me think of the summer I spent rubbing baby oil on my stomach in pursuit of the perfect tan. There's another that reminds me of tagging along with my father on Sunday morning to pick up the New York Times. There's the song that reminds me of using fake ID to get into a nightclub; and the one that brings back my cousin Isobel's sweet sixteen, where I played Seven Minutes in Heaven with a boy whose breath smelled like tomato soup. If you ask me, music is the language of memory.
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Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home)
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The future was uncertain, absolutely, and there were many hurdles, twists, and turns to come, but as long as I kept moving forward, one foot in front of the other, the voices of fear and shame, the messages from those who wanted me to believe that I wasn't good enough, would be stilled.
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Chris Gardner (The Pursuit of Happyness)
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What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance? What if instead we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?
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Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
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And here is the point, about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake.
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Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
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Should happiness and success be hidden, in view of the misery and poverty around. Would it be a sign of selfishness and un-intellectual behavior, if we admit to a pursuit of happiness? Could it, on the contrary, not work out as a motivation and an incentive? When giving voice to our happiness, could it not be perceived as a positive challenge? Could happiness not be contagious and become a salutary infectious syndrome? A beneficial infection. ( "Happy days are back again" )
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Erik Pevernagie
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More than a decade ago, a Supreme Court decision literally wiped off the books of fifty states statutes protecting the rights of unborn children. Abortion on demand now takes the lives of up to 1.5 million unborn children a year. Human life legislation ending this tragedy will some day pass the Congress, and you and I must never rest until it does. Unless and until it can be proven that the unborn child is not a living entity, then its right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness must be protected.
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Ronald Reagan
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There is a Beautiful Creature Living in a hole you have dug. So at night I set fruit and grains And little pots of wine and milk Besides your soft earthen mounds, And I often sing. But still, my dear, You do not come out. I have fallen in love with Someone Who hides inside you. We should talk about this problem-- Otherwise, I will never leave you alone.
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I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy
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Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.
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Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
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To the European, it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to 'be happy.' But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to 'be happy.' Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically. As we see, a human being is not one in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to become happy, last but not least, through actualizing the potential meaning inherent and dormant in a given situation.
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Viktor E. Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning)
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A human being in perfection ought always to preserve a calm and peaceful mind and never to allow passion or a transitory desire to disturb his tranquility. I do not think that the pursuit of knowledge is an exception to this rule. If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasures in which no alloy can possibly mix, then that study is certainly unlawful, that is to say, not befitting the human mind. If this rule were always observed; if no man allowed any pursuit whatsoever to interfere with the tranquillity of his domestic affections, Greece had not been enslaved, Caesar would have spared his country, America would have been discovered more gradually, and the empires of Mexico and Peru had not been destroyed.
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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
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[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil] Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet, When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet; He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how We are working to completion, working on from then to now. Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete, Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet, And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true, And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you. But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn, You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn, What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles; What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles. You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late, But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate. Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight; You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night. I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known. You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'? Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow, There has been a something wanting in my nature until now; I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind, Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind. I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,-- Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life; But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still To the service of our science: you will further it? you will! There are certain calculations I should like to make with you, To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true; And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage, Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age. I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap; But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name; See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame. I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak; Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak: It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,-- God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
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Sarah Williams (Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse)
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Dominator culture teaches all of us that the core of our identity is defined by the will to dominate and control others. We are taught that this will to dominate is more biologically hardwired in males than in females. In actuality, dominator culture teaches us that we are all natural-born killers but that males are more able to realize the predator role. In the dominator model the pursuit of external power, the ability to manipulate and control others, is what matters most. When culture is based on a dominator model, not only will it be violent but it will frame all relationships as power struggles.
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bell hooks
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I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that - I don’t mind people being happy - but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying β€œwrite down 3 things that made you happy today before you go to sleep”, and β€œcheer up” and β€œhappiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position - it’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say β€œQuick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word β€œhappiness” and to replace it with the word β€œwholeness”. Ask yourself β€œis this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.
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Hugh Mackay
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Some things are in our control and others not. Things in our control are opinion, pursuit, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever are our own actions. Things not in our control are body, property, reputation, command, and, in one word, whatever are not our actions. The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free, and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you not be harmed.
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Epictetus (Enchiridion and Selections from the Discourses)
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Pursuing happiness, and I did, and still do, is not at all the same as being happy- which I think is fleeting, dependent on circumstances, and a bit bovine. If the sun is shining, stand in it- yes, yes, yes. Happy times are great, but happy times pass- they have to- because time passes. The pursuit of happiness is more elusive; it is lifelong, and it is not goal-centred. What you are pursuing is meaning- a meaningful life. There's the hap- the fate, the draw that is yours, and it isn't fixed, but changing the course of the stream, or dealing new cards, whatever metaphor you want to use- that's going to take a lot of energy. There are times when it will go so wrong that you will barely be alive, and times when you realize that being barely alive, on your own terms, is better than living a bloated half-life on someone else's terms.
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Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
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Those only are happy (I thought) who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way. The enjoyments of life (such was now my theory) are sufficient to make it a pleasant thing, when they are taken en passant, without being made a principal object. Once make them so, and they are immediately felt to be insufficient. They will not bear a scrutinizing examination. Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so. The only chance is to treat, not happiness, but some end external to it, as the purpose of life. Let your self-consciousness, your scrutiny, your self-interrogation, exhaust themselves on that; and if otherwise fortunately circumstanced you will inhale happiness with the air you breathe, without dwelling on it or thinking about it, without either forestalling it in imagination, or putting it to flight by fatal questioning.
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John Stuart Mill (Autobiography)
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The contemporary proliferation of bullshit also has deeper sources, in various forms of skepticism which deny that we can have any reliable access to an objective reality and which therefore reject the possibility of knowing how things truly are. These "anti-realist" doctrines undermine confidence in the value of disinterested efforts to determine what is true and what is false, and even in the intelligibility of the notion of objective inquiry. One response to this loss of confidence has been a retreat from the discipline required by dedication to the ideal of correctness to a quite different sort of discipline, which is imposed by pursuit of an alternative ideal of sincerity. Rather than seeking primarily to arrive at accurate representations of a common world, the individual turns toward trying to provide honest representations of himself. Convinced that reality has no inherent nature, which he might hope to identify as the truth about things, he devotes himself to being true to his own nature. It is as though he decides that since it makes no sense to try to be true to the facts, he must therefore try instead to be true to himself. But it is preposterous to imagine that we ourselves are determinate, and hence susceptible both to correct and to incorrect descriptions, while supposing that the ascription of determinacy to anything else has been exposed as a mistake. As conscious beings, we exist only in response to other things, and we cannot know ourselves at all without knowing them. Moreover, there is nothing in theory, and certainly nothing in experience, to support the extraordinary judgment that it is the truth about himself that is the easiest for a person to know. Facts about ourselves are not peculiarly solid and resistant to skeptical dissolution. Our natures are, indeed, elusively insubstantial -- notoriously less stable and less inherent than the natures of other things. And insofar as this is the case, sincerity itself is bullshit.
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Harry G. Frankfurt (On Bullshit)
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Others may question your credentials, your papers, your degrees. Others may look for all kinds of ways to diminish your worth. But what is inside you no one can take from you or tarnish. This is your worth, who you really are, your degree that can go with you wherever you go, that you bring with you the moment you come into a room, that can't be manipulated or shaken. Without that sense of self, no amount of paper, no pedigree, and no credentials can make you legit. No matter what, you have to feel legit inside first.
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Chris Gardner (The Pursuit of Happyness)
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I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty. I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master. I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living. I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs. I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order. I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man's word should be as good as his bond, that characterβ€”not wealth or power or positionβ€”is of supreme worth. I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free. I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual's highest fulfillment, greatest happiness and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will. I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.
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John D. Rockefeller