Recycling Quotes

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

This book was written using 100% recycled words.
Terry Pratchett (Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches, #2))
I still think that maybe the "afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe we are just matter, and matter gets recycled
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
History is nothing. It can be recycled or thrown away completely. It isn’t this sacred treasure chest I mistook it to be. We were something, but history isn’t enough to keep something alive forever.
Adam Silvera (History Is All You Left Me)
There is no universe per se. Nor is there a beginning, Big Bang or otherwise. We live in an energy field that recycles quarks, which format with given configurations, because they've done that before.
Kyle Keyes (Matching Configurations (Quantum Roots, #3))
You have to keep recycling yourself.
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.
Pete Seeger
Recycling and speed limits are bullshit. They're like someone who quits smoking on his deathbed.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
Memory is a funny thing. It tricks you into believing that you've forgotten important moments, and then when you're raking your brain for a bit of information that might make sense of something else, it taps you on the head and says, "Remember when you told me to put that memory in the green rubbish bin? Well, I didn't, I put it in the black recycling tub, and it's coming your way again.
Melina Marchetta (Saving Francesca)
Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you. Sing. Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss. Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. Stretch. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's. Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. Read the directions, even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out. Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.
Mary Schmich (Wear Sunscreen: A Primer for Real Life)
But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
I really look at my childhood as being one giant rusty tuna can that I continue to recycle in many different shapes.
Augusten Burroughs
[T]his readiness to assume the guilt for the threats to our environment is deceptively reassuring: We like to be guilty since, if we are guilty, it all depends on us. We pull the strings of the catastrophe, so we can also save ourselves simply by changing our lives. What is really hard for us (at least in the West) to accept is that we are reduced to the role of a passive observer who sits and watches what our fate will be. To avoid this impotence, we engage in frantic, obsessive activities. We recycle old paper, we buy organic food, we install long-lasting light bulbs—whatever—just so we can be sure that we are doing something. We make our individual contribution like the soccer fan who supports his team in front of a TV screen at home, shouting and jumping from his seat, in the belief that this will somehow influence the game's outcome.
Slavoj Žižek
Do you not find consciousness alone to be the most exhilarating thing? Here we are, in this incomprehensibly large universe, on this one tiny moon around this one incidental planet, and in all the time this entire scenario has existed, every component has been recycled over and over and over again into infinitely incredible configurations, and sometimes, those configurations are special enough to be able to see the world around them. You and I—we’re just atoms that arranged themselves the right way, and we can understand that about ourselves. Is that not amazing?
Becky Chambers (A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot, #1))
Gansey appeared beside Blue in the doorway. He shook his empty bottle at her. "Fair trade," he told her in a way that indicated he had selected a fair-trade coffee beverage entirely so that he could tell Blue that he had selected a fair-trade coffee beverage so that she could tell him well done with your carbon footprint and all that jazz. Blue said, "Better recycle that bottle.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Once, I was a master at recycling leftovers. Now I cultivate the art of simmering memories.
Jean-Dominique Bauby (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
I'm a good citizen. I'm a good father. I recycle and I masturbate.
Louis C.K.
Everything is recycled in India, even dreams.
Shashi Tharoor
What if people knew they were recycled? Would that change anything?
Ann Brashares (My Name Is Memory)
The patterns are simple, but followed together, they make for a whole that is wiser than the sum of its parts. Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle; reinvent. Build a tangled bank.
Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation)
Memories are not recycled like atoms and particles in quantum physics; they can be lost forever.
Lady Gaga
we can't afford to do anyone harm because we owe them our lives each breath is recycled from someone else's lungs our enemies are the very air in disguise you can talk a great philosophy but if you can't be kind to people every day it doesn't mean that much to me it's the little things you do the little things you say it's the love you give along the way
Ani DiFranco
Thanks to my mother, not a single cardboard box has found its way back into society. We receive gifts in boxes from stores that went out of business twenty years ago.
Erma Bombeck
But not like this: not with the house just an afterimage, and my mom a spirit, and my dad...recycled." "Carter Kane, Chapter 41
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1))
In the weeks that followed, we amazed ourselves. Our habits slid apart easily...And our very few intimacies were simply discontinued. Where did they go, those things we did? Were they recycled? Did some new couple in China do them? Were a Swedish man and woman foot to foot at this very moment?
Miranda July (No One Belongs Here More Than You)
In the permaculture economy, recycling isn't good enough. It's more about upcycling - because as resources cycle through the system, they should continue to add greater value to the system.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
They wouldn’t even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
Imagination can't create anything new, can it? It only recycles bits and pieces from the world and reassembles them into visions... So when we thing we've escaped the unbearable ordinariness and, well, untruthfulness of our lives, it's really only the same old ordinariness and falseness rearranged into the appearance of novelty and truth. Nothing unknown is knowable. Don't you think it's depressing?
Tony Kushner (Millennium Approaches (Angels in America #1))
Unlike a fountain that circulates the same water in an enclosed, perpetually recycling system, a human being circulates thoughts in an unlimited reservoir of self. Don't limit yourself to being a mere fountain when you contain an ocean.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
These are the attributes of Bullshit people; they will...blur your imagination, take your endowments for a piece of debris, make you ridiculous, and most importantly, you got to send them to the recycle bin.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Life is like a recycling center, where all the concerns and dramas of humankind get recycled back and forth across the universe. But what you have to offer is your own sensibility, maybe your own sense of humor or insider pathos or meaning. All of us can sing the same song, and there will still be four billion different renditions.
Anne Lamott
That's really eco-friendly of you," Vee told Marcie. "Recycling Nora's old trash.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2))
If you mail a rare stamp it becomes worthless. If you drink a rare bottle of wine, you're left with some recycling. But if you read a rare book it's still there, it's still valuable, and it's achieved the full measure of it's being. A book is to read, whether it's worth five pounds or five thousand pounds
Charlie Lovett (First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen)
Leave the dishes. Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor. Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster. Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup. Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins. Don't even sew on a button. Let the wind have its way, then the earth that invades as dust and then the dead foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch. Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome. Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry who uses whose toothbrush or if anything matches, at all. Except one word to another. Or a thought. Pursue the authentic-decide first what is authentic, then go after it with all your heart. Your heart, that place you don't even think of cleaning out. That closet stuffed with savage mementos. Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner again. Don't answer the telephone, ever, or weep over anything at all that breaks. Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life and talk to the dead who drift in though the screened windows, who collect patiently on the tops of food jars and books. Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything except what destroys the insulation between yourself and your experience or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters this ruse you call necessity.
Louise Erdrich (Original Fire)
What’s your business, Sir?” “Jus’ call me Gord. Labour relations.” “What’s that?” “I’m a broker, kid. Middlemen need workers an’ wagons t’ bring their recyclings south. I’m the one who supplies ‘em.” “Where are they now?” “Over there, you can just see the wagons under the tubes. The men sleep under ‘em.” “They’re shackled.” “Yup.” “Prisoners?” “Nope. Indentured labour.
Brian Van Norman (Against the Machine: Evolution)
Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.
Bill Graham
Memory is often our only connection to who we used to be. Memories are fossils, the bones left by dead versions of ourselves. More potently, our minds are a hungry audience, craving only the peaks and valleys of experience. The bland erodes, leaving behind the distinctive bits to be remembered again and again. Painful or passionate, surreal or sublime, we cherish those little rocks of peak experience, polishing them with the ever-smoothing touch of recycled proxy living. In so doing—like pagans praying to a sculpted mud figure—we make of our memories the gods which judge our current lives.
Brandon Sanderson (Tress of the Emerald Sea)
Where is the stupid bus? And why did my dad have to be so big on mass transit, anyhow? Why couldn't I I own a car, like practically every other senior? But no, i had to 'share the ride' to save the environment. When I'm abducted by the menacing guy under the tree, Dad will probably insist my face only appear on recycled milk cartons....
Beth Fantaskey
After thirty years of intensive research, we can now answer many of the questions posed earlier. The recycle rate of a human being is around sixteen hours. After sixteen hours of being awake, the brain begins to fail. Humans need more than seven hours of sleep each night to maintain cognitive performance. After ten days of just seven hours of sleep, the brain is as dysfunctional as it would be after going without sleep for twenty-four hours. Three full nights of recovery sleep (i.e., more nights than a weekend) are insufficient to restore performance back to normal levels after a week of short sleeping. Finally, the human mind cannot accurately sense how sleep-deprived it is when sleep-deprived.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams)
Atoms, in short, are very abundant. They are also fantastically durable. Because they are so long lived, atoms really get around. Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms-- up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested-- probably once belonged to Shakespeare.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Good brands reflect the histories of the time and the group of people that made them. They can not be copied. They can not be recycled.
Richard Branson (Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur)
Too much of my life feels like this already- trying to recycle something old into something new and better, disguising someone else's trash as some fresh, shiny thing.
Jennifer Niven (Holding Up the Universe)
How had she become one of those people who wears yoga pants all day? She used to make fun of those people. With their happiness maps and their gratitude journals and their bags made out of recycled tire treads. But now it seems possible that the truth about getting older is that there are fewer and fewer things to make fun of until finally there is nothing you are sure you will never be.
Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation)
This lunge at moral fastidiousness was something she'd noticed a lot in people around here. They were not good people. They were not kind. But they recycled their newspapers!
Lorrie Moore (Birds of America: Stories)
I didn't think past the first step of anything, that was the key. I drank a Coke and didn't worry about how to recycle the can or about the acid puddling in my belly, acid so powerful it could strip clean a penny. We went to a dumb movie and I didn't worry about the offensive sexism or the lack of minorities in meaningful roles. I didn't even worry about anything that came next. Nothing had consequence, I was living in the moment, and I could feel myself getting shallower and dumber. But also happy.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
I’m as big a fan of recycling as the next man, but if you turn a used condom inside out and put it back on for round two, it’s probably not going to be that effective.
Adam Kay (This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor)
One of the problems with being a writer is that all of your idiocies are still in print somewhere. I strongly support paper recycling.
P.J. O'Rourke
All stories are recycled and all stories are unfair. Many get luck, and many get misery. Many are born to homes with books, many grow up in the swamps of war. In the end, all becomes dust. All stories conclude with a fade to black.
Shehan Karunatilaka (The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida)
The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.
Billy Graham
Clinical psychology tells us arguably that trauma is the ultimate killer.Memories r not recycled like atoms and particles in quantum physics. they can be lost forever. It’s sort of like my past is an unfinished painting and as the artist of that painting,I must fill in all the ugly holes and make it beautiful again.
Lady Gaga
All the human and animal manure which the world wastes, if returned to the land, instead of being thrown into the sea, would suffice to nourish the world.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Iron Sisters also badass at recycling!
Cassandra Clare (The Shadowhunter's Codex)
Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life. And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends. When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her. Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know: I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Richard Dawkins and his followers have recycled the theory of evolution not as a biological theory but as a theory of everything – of what the human being is, what human communities are, what our problems are and how they’re not really our problems, but the problems of our genes: we’re simply answers that our genes have come up with, and it’s rather awful to be the answer to someone else’s question, especially when that thing is not a person at all. Nevertheless people swallow that.
Roger Scruton (The Soul of the World)
Marathon tidying produces a heap of garbage. At this stage, the one disaster that can wreak more havoc than an earthquake is the entrance of that recycling expert who goes by the alias of "mother.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing)
He met his day in the shower, washing his hair with shampoo that was guaranteed to have never been put in a bunny's eyes and from which ten percent of the profits went to save the whales. He lathered his face with shaving cream free of chlorofluorocarbons, thereby saving the ozone layer. He breakfasted on fertile eggs laid by sexually satisfied chickens that were allowed to range while listening to Brahms, and muffins made with pesticide-free grain, so no eagle-egg shells were weakened by his thoughtless consumption. He scrambled the eggs in margarine free of tropical oils, thus preserving the rain forest, and he added milk from a cartn made of recycled paper and shipped from a small family farm. By the time he finished his second cup of coffee, which would presumably help to educate the children of a poor peasant farmer named Juan Valdez, Sam was on the verge of congratulating himself for single-handedly preserving the planet just by getting up in the morning.
Christopher Moore
Where recyling takes place only in response to political pressures and exhortations, it need not meet the test of being incrementally worth its incremental costs. Accordingly, studies of government-imposed recycling programs in the United States have shown that what they salvage is usually worth less than the cost of salvaging it.
Thomas Sowell (Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One)
The worst job in the whole world must be recycling toilet paper.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
refuse what you do not need; reduce what you do need; reuse what you consume; recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse; and rot (compost) the rest.
Bea Johnson (Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life)
When it’s my turn, don’t do this. Recycle the parts, burn the rest.
J.D. Robb (Ceremony In Death (In Death, #5))
Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms - up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested - probably once belonged to Shakespeare. A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name. So we are all reincarnations - though short-lived ones. When we die, our atoms will disassemble and move off to find new uses elsewhere - as part of a leaf or other human being or drop of dew.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
The soul is the immortal part of us. It recycles, over and over again from what I've seen, but it never dies. We're meant to strive beyond the physical world, not... not settle for it and only it...
Alyson Noel
Knowing one was comprised of recycled matter only and that selfhood was a delusion did not take away the aching of the heart.
Sebastian Faulks (A Possible Life)
You’d think people would be wary of spilling to a writer. You’d think they’d know that we’re essentially birds of carrion, picking over the corpses of dead affairs and forgotten arguments to recycle them in our work—zombie reincarnations of their former selves, stitched into a macabre new patchwork of our own devising. Tom,
Ruth Ware (In a Dark, Dark Wood)
We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. I desperately wanted mercy for Jimmy Dill and would have done anything to create justice for him, but I couldn’t pretend that his struggle was disconnected from my own. The ways in which I have been hurt—and have hurt others—are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us. Paul Farmer, the renowned physician who has spent his life trying to cure the world’s sickest and poorest people, once quoted me something that the writer Thomas Merton said: We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I’d always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity. I thought of the guards strapping Jimmy Dill to the gurney that very hour. I thought of the people who would cheer his death and see it as some kind of victory. I realized they were broken people, too, even if they would never admit it. So many of us have become afraid and angry. We’ve become so fearful and vengeful that we’ve thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and the weak—not because they are a threat to public safety or beyond rehabilitation but because we think it makes us seem tough, less broken. I thought of the victims of violent crime and the survivors of murdered loved ones, and how we’ve pressured them to recycle their pain and anguish and give it back to the offenders we prosecute. I thought of the many ways we’ve legalized vengeful and cruel punishments, how we’ve allowed our victimization to justify the victimization of others. We’ve submitted to the harsh instinct to crush those among us whose brokenness is most visible. But simply punishing the broken—walking away from them or hiding them from sight—only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her alot like that, like someone's meal. What was her - green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs - would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would heat their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes, I think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make the time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was just matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
You're Nash's brother. And a grim reaper?" She blinked again, and I readied myself for hysterics, or fear, or laughter. But knowing emma, I should have known better. "So you, what? Kill people? Did you kill me that day in the gym?" She clenched the headrest, her expression an odd mix of anger, awe, and confusion. But there was no disbelief. She'd seen and heard enough of the bizarre following her own temporary death that Tod's admission obviously didn't come as that much of a surprise. Or maybe Nash's Influence was still affecting her a little. "No," Tod shook his head firmly, but the corners of his mouth turned up in amusement. "I had nothing to do with that. I do kill people, then I reap their souls and take them to be recycled. But only people who are on my list." "So, you're not...dangerous?" His pouty grin deepened into something almost predatory, like the Tod I'd first met two months earlier. "Oh, I'm dangerous...." "Tod..." I warned, as Nash punched his brother in the arm, hard enough to actually hurt. "Just not to you," the reaper finished, shrugging at Emma. "I see you all the time, but you've never seen me, because Kaylee said if I got too close to you, I'd suffer eternity without my balls." "Jeez, Tod!" I shouted, my anger threatening to boil over and scald us all. The reaper leaned closer to Emma and spoke in a stage whisper. "She's not as scary as she thinks she is, but I respect her intent.
Rachel Vincent (My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2))
You may not be the first to say it, write it, create it, or believe it—but you saying it may be the first time someone finally hears. Yes, someone else can say it better, but that doesn’t mean you can’t say it too. Throw out your inhibitions and spin around in this crazy world of recycled ideas. There is nothing new to say. Say it anyway.
Emily P. Freeman (A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live)
I think one of the most important differences between us is that you are excellent at living in a way that is commensurate with your values, whereas I am not. For instance, I didn’t recycle until I watched An Inconvenient Truth and I’m still sort of iffy on it. And also, I didn’t vote in 2000, even though I could have voted in Florida *hits self on head repeatedly* Ahh George Bush! It’s all my fault! God! So stupid! *sigh* Let’s change the subject. Also, we have vastly different happy dances.
John Green
A mind that is racing over worries about the future or recycling resentments from the past is ill equipped to handle the challenges of the moment. By slowing down, we can train the mind to focus completely in the present. Then we will find that we can function well whatever the difficulties. That is what it means to be stress-proof: not avoiding stress but being at our best under pressure, calm, cool, and creative in the midst of the storm.
Eknath Easwaran (Take Your Time: The Wisdom of Slowing Down)
Perhaps the most chaotic of Divisions Ke Hui Feng 第一 Ψ visited was Recycling. First, it was mammoth, so big most of her tour was spent aboard a drone. Thousands of Dazhong used the 401 thoroughfares from both east and west, the 427 from the south and the 400 from the north to bring their loads of recyclables from the MASS to the enormous MEG Recycling Centre. The roadways might be in ruins outside the MEG boundaries, jagged fragments of pavement between cavernous potholes and trails made by traders, but within the MEG the wide lanes had been cleared and covered with recycled rubber. They were smooth and divided, one lane in—one lane out, between hundred-metre high foamstone walls on either side. No one from the MASS would ever get into the MEG illegally; at least, that was how it seemed. Only those with proper credentials could enter the massive gates: MASS traders, or trading companies, who specialized as middlemen between the gatherers and the Recycling Centre. Not far outside the gates the MASS traders had rebuilt ancient warehouses in which they received goods, stored, and sorted them, then brought them, usually by land freighters, down the ingress roads to meet MEG approved Di sān overseers and, of course, decontaminated Dazhong who further sorted the goods.
Brian Van Norman (Against the Machine: Evolution)
The endless, agonizing recycling of what might have been, soon followed by a litany of rationalizations and self-deceptions as you struggle to reconcile the void between the person you want to be and the person you fear you are..
Jon Krakauer
Lily appeared, wearing her nightclothes, in the doorway. She gave an impatient sigh. 'This is certainly a very LONG private conversation,' she said. 'And there are certain people waiting for their comfort object.' Lily,' her mother said fondly, 'you're very close to being an Eight, and when you're an Eight, your comfort object will be taken away. It will be recycled to the younger children. You should be starting to go off to sleep without it.' But her father had already gone to the shelf and taken down the stuffed elephant which was kept there. Many of the comfort objects, like Lily's, were soft, stuffed, imaginary creatures. Jonas's had been called a bear. Here you are, Lily-billy,' he said. 'I'll come help you remove your hair ribbons.
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
Our priorities are most visible in how we use our time. Someone has said, “Three things never come back—the spent arrow, the spoken word, and the lost opportunity.” We cannot recycle or save the time allotted to us each day. With time, we have only one opportunity for choice, and then it is gone forever.
Dallin H. Oaks
A field trip. You interested in doing something dangerous, and possibly illegal?" Does it involve underage girls, broken curfews and soorte4d fruit toppings?" I dropped the empty can into the recycling bin and leaned against the kitchen peninsula, grinning like an idiot. "Two of the three. And I could probably scrounge up some strawberry jam, if you're desperate." "I'm never desperate," Tod said, only his voice hadn't come from my phone. I whirled around to see the reaper standing behind me, still holding his cell. "But for the record, I prefer apricot." "Yuck. Nobody likes apricot jam.
Rachel Vincent
So what did Conroy say to you this arvo, after I left?' He said, Rachel Watts is hot stuff, and I'd like to ask her out. Got any tips?' 'Mycroft, don't be juvenile.' 'I am a juvenile.' 'Then don't be grotesque. Are you going to tell me or not?' Mycroft fiddles with the cigarette pack, loose in his long fingers. 'Nothing to tell,' he says. 'Conroy uses the same material in every speech. The we can't put up with this behaviour forever line, and the one more stunt like this line. I can't figure out why he keeps recycling.' 'Maybe he thinks constant repetition will make it sink in.' 'See, that's Einstein's definition of insanity right there - doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result.
Ellie Marney (Every Breath (Every, #1))
Ah, the problem is that you didn’t DTR,” said Holly wisely. Kami stared. “What?” “D. T. R.,” Holly spelled out, slowly and helpfully. “Do try rollerblading?” Kami guessed. “Dump the recycling. Don’t taste reptiles. No, that doesn’t make any sense at all.” Holly wrinkled her nose. “Because the others made perfect sense?” Kami shrugged, and Holly grinned.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3))
Was there ever a true great love? Anyone who became the object of my obsession and not simply my affections? I honestly don't think so. In part, this was my fault. It was my nature, I suppose. I could not let myself be that unmindful. Isn't that what love is-losing your mind? You don't care what people think. You don't see your beloved's fault, the slight stinginess, the bit of carelessness, the occasional streak of meanness. You don't mind that he's beneath you socially, educationally, financially, and morally-that's the worst I think, deficient morals. I always minded. I was always cautious of what could go wrong, what was already "not ideal". I paid attention to divorce rates. I ask you this: What's the chance of finding a lasting marriage? Twenty percent? Ten? Did I know any woman who escaped having her heart crushed like a recyclable can? Not a one. From what I have observed, when the anesthesia of love wears off, there is always the pain of consequences. You don't have to be stupid to marry the wrong man.
Amy Tan (Saving Fish from Drowning)
Do one thing every day that scares you...Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own...Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
Mary Schmich
Plastic should be a high value material... [It] should be in products that last a long time, and at the end of the life, you recycle it. To take oil or natural gas that took millions of years to produce and then to make a disposable product that last minutes or seconds, and then to just discard it--I think that's not a good way of using this resource. (Robert Haley)
Susan Freinkel (Plastic: A Toxic Love Story)
The urge to leap across feminism to "human liberation" is a tragic and dangerous mistake. It deflects us from our real sources of vision, recycles us back into old definitions and structures, and continues to serve the purposes of the patriarchy, which will use "women's lib," as it contemptuously phrases it, only to buy more time for itself—as both capitalism and socialism are now doing. Feminism is a criticism and subversion of all patriarchal thought and institutions—not merely those currently seen as reactionary and tyrannical.
Adrienne Rich (On Lies, Secrets, and Silence. Selected Prose 1966-1978)
Some are filled with a compelling urge, a temptation that recycles in the mind, perhaps to become a habit, then an addiction. We are prone to some transgression and sin and also a rationalization that we have no guilt because we were born that way. We become trapped, and hence comes the pain and torment that only the Savior can heal. You have the power to stop and to be redeemed.
Boyd K. Packer
Hours are long. Wages are pitiful. But sweatshops are the symptom, not the cause, of shocking global poverty. Workers go there voluntarily, which means—hard as it is to believe—that whatever their alternatives are, they are worse. They stay there, too; turnover rates of multinational-owned factories are low, because conditions and pay, while bad, are better than those in factories run by local firms. And even a local company is likely to pay better than trying to earn money without a job: running an illegal street stall, working as a prostitute, or combing reeking landfills in cities like Manila to find recyclable goods.
Tim Harford (The Undercover Economist)
But it’s tempting to be Cool Girl. For someone like me, who likes to win, it’s tempting to want to be the girl every guy wants. When I met Nick, I knew immediately that was what he wanted, and for him, I guess I was willing to try. I will accept my portion of blame. The thing is, I was crazy about him at first. I found him perversely exotic, a good ole Missouri boy. He was so damn nice to be around. He teased things out in me that I didn’t know existed: a lightness, a humor, an ease. It was as if he hollowed me out and filled me with feathers. He helped me be Cool Girl – I couldn’t have been Cool Girl with anyone else. I wouldn’t have wanted to. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy some of it: I ate a MoonPie, I walked barefoot, I stopped worrying. I watched dumb movies and ate chemically laced foods. I didn’t think past the first step of anything, that was the key. I drank a Coke and didn’t worry about how to recycle the can or about the acid puddling in my belly, acid so powerful it could strip clean a penny. We went to a dumb movie and I didn’t worry about the offensive sexism or the lack of minorities in meaningful roles. I didn’t even worry whether the movie made sense. I didn’t worry about anything that came next. Nothing had consequence, I was living in the moment, and I could feel myself getting shallower and dumber. But also happy.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Tell the world what scares you the most” says Brandy. She gives us each an Aubergine Dreams eyebrow pencil and says “Save the world with some advice from the future” Seth writes on the back of a card and hands the card to Brandy for her to read. On game shows, Brandy reads, some people will take the trip to France, but most people will take the washer dryer pair.” Brandy puts a big Plumbago kiss in the little square for the stamp and lets the wind lift and card and sail it off toward the towers of downtown Seattle. Seth hands her another, and Brandy reads: Game shows are designed to make us feel better about the random useless facts that are all we have left from our education” A kiss and the card’s on it’s way toward Lake Washington. From Seth: When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?” A kiss and it’s off on the wind toward Ballard. Only when we eat up this planet will God give us another. We’ll be remembered more for what we destroy than what we create.” Interstate 5 snakes by in the distance. From high atop the Space Needle, the southbound lanes are red chase lights, and the northbound lanes are white chase lights. I take a card and write: I love Seth Thomas so much I have to destroy him. I overcompensate by worshipping the queen supreme. Seth will never love me. No one will ever love me ever again. Beandy is waiting to rake the card and read it out loud. Brandy’s waiting to read my worst fears to the world, but I don’t give her the card. I kiss it myself with the lips I don’t have and let the wind take it out of my hand. The card flies up, up, up to the stars and then falls down to land in the suicide net. While I watch my future trapped in the suicide net Brandy reads another card from Seth. We are all self-composting” I write another card from the future and Brandy reads it: When we don’t know who to hate, we hate ourselves” An updraft lifts up my worst fears from the suicide net and lifts them away. Seth writes and Brandy reads. You have to keep recycling yourself”. I write and Brandy reads. Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.” I write and Brandy reads. The one you love and the one who loves you are never ever the same person.
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
The way we live our lives is not sustainable. I don’t just mean recycling and turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. I mean the way we treat each other. The way we pick and choose whose lives are important – who we actually treat as human. There is nobody on this earth whose life is not of value. And that includes those of us who have been left behind. Maybe they did go to some Christian heaven. But what I’m saying is, we’re good people too. We’re worthwhile people. I’d vouch for every last one of you.
Katie Coyle (Vivian Apple at the End of the World (Vivian Apple, #1))
I love memories. They are our ballads, our personal foundation myths. But I must acknowledge that memory can be cruel if left unchallenged. Memory is often our only connection to who we used to be. Memories are fossils, the bones left by dead versions of ourselves. More potently, our minds are a hungry audience, craving only the peaks and valleys of experience. The bland erodes, leaving behind the distinctive bits to be remembered again and again. Painful or passionate, surreal or sublime, we cherish those little rocks of peak experience, polishing them with the ever-smoothing touch of recycled proxy living. In so doing—like pagans praying to a sculpted mud figure—we make of our memories the gods which judge our current lives. I love this. Memory may not be the heart of what makes us human, but it’s at least a vital organ.
Brandon Sanderson (Tress of the Emerald Sea)
The calcium in your bones came from a star. We are all made from recycled bits and pieces of the universe. This matters because origins matter. For example, if you were born to a reigning monarch but kidnapped by the black market baby underground shortly after birth and sent to America where you were raised by common, unremarkable people from Ohio, and when you were in your thirties working as a humble UPS driver, dignitaries landed their helicopter on the roof of your crummy apartment building and informed you of their thirty-plus year search for you, His Royal Highness, the course of your life might change. You know? Our familial genetic origins -medical histories- inform us of medical conditions which exist in our families and when we know about these specific conditions, we can sometimes take certain actions to prevent them. Which is why I think it’s important to consider that billions of years before we were students and mothers and dog trainers and priests, we were particles that would form into star after star after star until forever passed, and instead of a star what formed was life; simplistic, crude, miraculous. And after another infinity, there we were. And this is why for you, anything is possible. Because you are made out of everything.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
The experience of childhood sexual abuse leaves some survivors with a high tolerance for pain. Dysfunctional environments require endurance and thick skin. Child survivors sometimes have to commit to sticking things out in order to survive. This pattern of tolerance follows you into adulthood. Instead of using pain as a signal to evaluate and change direction, you may use pain as a signal to try harder. Try harder to please someone. Try harder to control your children. Try harder to be a good friend. Try harder to be successful at a job that you hate. You remain in survival mode that you picked up as a child. Your high tolerance for pain keeps you committed to dysfunctional experiences and relationships that recycle pain from the past. Sometimes, the only way out of this cycle is time in isolation to learn what peace feels like. Sometimes you have to be willing to let go of everything in order to learn how to hold onto anything.
Rosenna Bakari
Our evolution depends on our memory. If we keep forgetting the mistakes of the past, only to keep repeating them, then we will never change. And if we keep recycling through the exact same kind of leaders— the kind who do not propel us forward, but only hold us back—then perhaps what we really need now is a completely different style of leadership altogether. We need heart-driven leaders, not strictly mind-driven ones. We need compassionate humanitarians, not greedy businessmen. Peacemakers, not war instigators. We need unity, not division. Angels, not devils.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
ALONE One of my new housemates, Stacy, wants to write a story about an astronaut. In his story the astronaut is wearing a suit that keeps him alive by recycling his fluids. In the story the astronaut is working on a space station when an accident takes place, and he is cast into space to orbit the earth, to spend the rest of his life circling the globe. Stacy says this story is how he imagines hell, a place where a person is completely alone, without others and without God. After Stacy told me about his story, I kept seeing it in my mind. I thought about it before I went to sleep at night. I imagined myself looking out my little bubble helmet at blue earth, reaching toward it, closing it between my puffy white space-suit fingers, wondering if my friends were still there. In my imagination I would call to them, yell for them, but the sound would only come back loud within my helmet. Through the years my hair would grow long in my helmet and gather around my forehead and fall across my eyes. Because of my helmet I would not be able to touch my face with my hands to move my hair out of my eyes, so my view of earth, slowly, over the first two years, would dim to only a thin light through a curtain of thatch and beard. I would lay there in bed thinking about Stacy's story, putting myself out there in the black. And there came a time, in space, when I could not tell whether I was awake or asleep. All my thoughts mingled together because I had no people to remind me what was real and what was not real. I would punch myself in the side to feel pain, and this way I could be relatively sure I was not dreaming. Within ten years I was beginning to breathe heavy through my hair and my beard as they were pressing tough against my face and had begun to curl into my mouth and up my nose. In space, I forgot that I was human. I did not know whether I was a ghost or an apparition or a demon thing. After I thought about Stacy's story, I lay there in bed and wanted to be touched, wanted to be talked to. I had the terrifying thought that something like that might happen to me. I thought it was just a terrible story, a painful and ugly story. Stacy had delivered as accurate a description of a hell as could be calculated. And what is sad, what is very sad, is that we are proud people, and because we have sensitive egos and so many of us live our lives in front of our televisions, not having to deal with real people who might hurt us or offend us, we float along on our couches like astronauts moving aimlessly through the Milky Way, hardly interacting with other human beings at all.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality (Paperback))
We sat in silence for a while. I gazed through the window at the night sky, wondering idly at all that space, all that blackness, all that nothing, and as I sat there looking up at the emptiness I began thinking about the creek, the hills, the woods, the water... how everything goes around and around and never really changes. How life recycles everything it uses. How the end product of one process becomes the starting point of another, how each generation of living things depends on the chemicals released by the generations that have proceeded it... I don't know why I was thinking about it. It just seemed to occur to me.
Kevin Brooks (Lucas)
Why was fabulousness important? The world was a scary, sad place and adornment was one of the only ways she knew to make herself and the people around her forget their troubles. That was why she had opened her store almost five years ago. Everyone who entered the little square white house with miniature Corinthian columns, cherub statues, and French windows seemed to leave carrying armloads of newly handmade and well spruced-up recycled vintage clothing, humming sixties girl-group songs, seventies glam and punk, eighties New Wave one-hit wonders, or nineties grunge, doing silly dances, and not caring what anyone thought. Weetzie loved the old dresses she found and sold, because they had their own secret histories. She always wondered where, when, and how they had been worn. What they had seen. Old dresses were like old ladies.
Francesca Lia Block (Necklace of Kisses (Weetzie Bat, #6))
We line up and make a lot of noise about big environmental problems like incinerators, waste dumps, acid rain, global warming and pollution. But we don't understand that when we add up all the tiny environmental problems each of us creates, we end up with those big environmental dilemmas. Humans are content to blame someone else, like government or corporations, for the messes we create, and yet we each continue doing the same things, day in and day out, that have created the problems. Sure, corporations create pollution. If they do, don't buy their products. If you have to buy their products (gasoline for example), keep it to a minimum. Sure, municipal waste incinerators pollute the air. Stop throwing trash away. Minimize your production of waste. Recycle. Buy food in bulk and avoid packaging waste. Simplify. Turn off your TV. Grow your own food. Make compost. Plant a garden. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. If you don't, who will?
Joseph C. Jenkins (The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure)
The chief causes of the environmental destruction that faces us today are not biological, or the product of individual human choice. They are social and historical, rooted in the productive relations, technological imperatives, and historically conditioned demographic trends that characterize the dominant social system. Hence, what is ignored or downplayed in most proposals to remedy the environmental crisis is the most critical challenge of all: the need to transform the major social bases of environmental degradation, and not simply to tinker with its minor technical bases. As long as prevailing social relations remain unquestioned, those who are concerned about what is happening are left with few visible avenues for environmental action other than purely personal commitments to recycling and green shopping, socially untenable choices between jobs and the environment, or broad appeals to corporations, political policy-makers, and the scientific establishment--the very interests most responsible for the current ecological mess.
John Bellamy Foster (The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment (Cornerstone Books))
When I was little, my brother drew an image for me on the train ride home from the academy. It was a map of Internment, only instead of the real city, he'd drawn a castle for the clock tower. And the buildings were all different somehow. Mysterious. And right at the edge he drew a ladder that went down and disappeared into the clouds. It was the most spectacular thing I'd ever seen, and getting ready for my bath that night, I discovered it had fallen from a hole on my skirt pocket. I wanted to go out and look for it, but my mother told me the sweepers had already come. The paper would be collected with all the other forgotten-about things and it would be compressed and recycled into something new. I looked for it the next day, anyway, to no avail. I couldn't believe such a wonderful thing could be destroyed so simply. I learned that it could. Anything could be destroyed.
Lauren DeStefano (Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles, #1))
Americans make more trash than anyone else on the planet, throwing away about 7.1 pounds per person per day, 365 days a year. Across a lifetime that rate means, on average, we are each on track to generate 102 tons of trash. Each of our bodies may occupy only one cemetery plot when we’re done with this world, but a single person’s 102-ton trash legacy will require the equivalent of 1,100 graves. Much of that refuse will outlast any grave marker, pharaoh’s pyramid or modern skyscraper: One of the few relics of our civilization guaranteed to be recognizable twenty thousand years from now is the potato chip bag.
Edward Humes (Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash)
It’s just how it is. Not everybody was born to be inherently ‘good’. The world is going to be filled with different characters, different flavours, different levels of respectability and whatnot, and Louis just so happens to be on the lower ranks. He’s not good, he’s not brave, and he’s not out to save anyone except himself. Even fairytales have their villains — it’s a part of life. And it’s always been that way. Louis’ always been a bit harsher around the edges. He certainly isn’t going to be winning any “Humanitarian of the Year” awards, that’s for sure. And he doesn’t mind it so much, being thoroughly unaffected by anything and everything and totally removed from his peers and their very trivial lives. Because he’s not like the rest of them. That’s the thing. They’re all the fucking same. With their money and their uppity attitudes and twattiness and their preconceived notions and recycled sentences that disappear as quickly as they come. The same.
Velvetoscar
Why do we need so many people on Earth? I ask you. What are they good for? They live out ludicrous lives of pointless desperation. Ninety-nine percent of the human population is so much wasted resources. Stubborn vermin, we humans are. Granted, in the past, the unwashed masses were necessary. We needed them to till our fields and fight our wars. We needed them to labor in our factories making consumer crap that we flipped back at them at a handsome profit. Alas, those days are gone. We live in a boutique economy now. Energy is abundant and cheap. Mentars and robotic labor make and manage everything. So who needs people? People are so much dead white. They eat up our profits. They produce nothing but pollution and social unrest. They drive us crazy with their pissing and moaning. I think we can all agree that Corporation Earth is in need of a serious downsizing. ... The boutique economy has no need of the masses, so let's get rid of them. But how, you ask? Not with wars, surely, or disease, famine, or mass murder. Despots have tried all these methods through the millennia, and they're never a permanent solution. No, all we need to do is buy up the ground from under their feet -- and evict them. We're buying up the planet, Bishop, fair and square. We're turning it into the most exclusive gated community in history. Now, the question is, in two hundred years, will you be a member of the landowners club, or will you be living in some tin can in outer space drinking recycled piss?
David Marusek (Mind Over Ship)
I thought at first that she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something’s meal. What was her—green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs—would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would heat their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe ‘the afterlife’ is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska’s genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirely. There is a part of her greater than the sum of her knowable parts. And that part has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, one thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself—those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say, ‘Teenagers think they are invincible’ with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
My years of struggling against inequality, abusive power, poverty, oppression, and injustice had finally revealed something to me about myself. Being close to suffering, death, executions, and cruel punishments didn't just illuminate the brokenness of others; in a moment of anguish and heartbreak, it also exposed my own brokenness. You can't effectively fight abusive power, poverty, inequality, illness, oppression, or injustice and not be broken by it. We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. The ways in which I have been hurt - and have hurt others - are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us. Thomas Merton said: We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I'd always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we're fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we're shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity. I thought of the guards strapping Jimmy Dill to the gurney that very hour. I thought of the people who would cheer his death and see it as some kind of victory. I realized they were broken people, too, even if they would never admit it. So many of us have become afraid and angry. We've become so fearful and vengeful that we've thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and the weak - not because they are a threat to public safety or beyond rehabilitation but because we think it makes us seem tough, less broken. I thought of the victims of violent crime and the survivors of murdered loved ones, and how we've pressured them to recycle their pain and anguish and give it back to the offenders we prosecute. I thought of the many ways we've legalized vengeful and cruel punishments, how we've allowed our victimization to justify the victimization of others. We've submitted to the harsh instinct to crush those among us whose brokenness is most visible. But simply punishing the broken - walking away from them or hiding them from sight - only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity. I frequently had difficult conversations with clients who were struggling and despairing over their situations - over the things they'd done, or had been done to them, that had led them to painful moments. Whenever things got really bad, and they were questioning the value of their lives, I would remind them that each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done. I told them that if someone tells a lie, that person is not just a liar. If you take something that doesn't belong to you, you are not just a thief. Even if you kill someone, you're not just a killer. I told myself that evening what I had been telling my clients for years. I am more than broken. In fact, there is a strength, a power even, in understanding brokenness, because embracing our brokenness creates a need and desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy. When you experience mercy, you learn things that are hard to learn otherwise. You see things that you can't otherwise see; you hear things you can't otherwise hear. You begin to recognize the humanity that resides in each of us.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy)