Reflect On Life Quotes

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Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Søren Kierkegaard
The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The outer world is a reflection of the inner world. Other people’s perception of you is a reflection of them; your response to them is an awareness of you.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
When in a relationship, a real man doesn't make his woman jealous of others, he makes others jealous of his woman.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I will not try to convince you to love me, to respect me, to commit to me. I deserve better than that; I AM BETTER THAN THAT...Goodbye.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Friends are the family you choose (~ Nin/Ithilnin, Elven rogue).
Jess C. Scott (The Other Side of Life)
We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
If you hang out with chickens, you're going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you're going to fly.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I find the best way to love someone is not to change them, but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Where did feelings go when they disappeared? Did they leave a chemical trace somewhere in our minds, so that if we could look inside ourselves we would see via the patterns of neurons some of the important things that had happened to us in our lifetimes?
Evelyn Lau (Inside Out: Reflections on a life so far)
Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I want to live my life in such a way that when I get out of bed in the morning, the devil says, "aw shit, he's up!
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #9))
When you hold a grudge, you want someone else’s sorrow to reflect your level of hurt but the two rarely meet.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it - then I can achieve it.
Muhammad Ali (The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life's Journey)
My past has not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me, or defeated me; it has only strengthened me.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.
Joseph Campbell (A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living)
Don’t worry if people think you’re crazy. You are crazy. You have that kind of intoxicating insanity that lets other people dream outside of the lines and become who they’re destined to be.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
The reason many people in our society are miserable, sick, and highly stressed is because of an unhealthy attachment to things they have no control over.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth diminishing your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves. Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
One of the saddest things in life, is the things one remembers.
Agatha Christie
I'm not crying because of you; you're not worth it. I'm crying because my delusion of who you were was shattered by the truth of who you are.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I believe in the immeasurable power of love; that true love can endure any circumstance and reach across any distance.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
You carry away with you a reflection of me, a part of me. I dreamed you; I wished for your existence. You will always be a part of my life. If I love you, it must be because we shared, at some moment, the same imaginings, the same madness, the same stage.
Anaïs Nin
I want to be the best version of myself for anyone who is going to someday walk into my life and need someone to love them beyond reason.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Melody Beattie
People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Love is forgiving, accepting, moving on, embracing, and all encompassing. And if you’re not doing that for yourself, you cannot do that with anyone else.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The type of person you are is usually reflected in your business. To improve your business, first improve yourself.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring, forgiving, laughing, hugging, helping, dancing, wondering, healing, and even more loving. I choose to live life this way. I want to live my life in such a way that when I get out of bed in the morning, the devil says, 'aw shit, he's up!
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person's sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions. Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves. No matter what corruption they're taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which they cannot perform for any motive but their own enjoyment - just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! - an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exultation, only on the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces them to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and accept their real ego as their standard of value. They will always be attracted to the person who reflects their deepest vision of themselves, the person whose surrender permits them to experience - or to fake - a sense of self-esteem .. Love is our response to our highest values - and can be nothing else.
Ayn Rand
It's funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope. This is a design of God that I appreciate and cherish.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Self-talk reflects your innermost feelings.
Asa Don Brown
If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal - you have a wish.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Mathematics expresses values that reflect the cosmos, including orderliness, balance, harmony, logic, and abstract beauty.
Deepak Chopra
That’s sad. How plastic and artificial life has become. It gets harder and harder to find something…real.” Nin interlocked his fingers, and stretched out his arms. “Real love, real friends, real body parts…
Jess C. Scott (The Other Side of Life)
A beautiful thing happens when we start paying attention to each other. It is by participating more in your relationship that you breathe life into it.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience.
John Dewey
Beauty is not who you are on the outside, it is the wisdom and time you gave away to save another struggling soul like you.
Shannon L. Alder
If you are not the hero of your own story, then you're missing the whole point of your humanity.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Each star is a mirror reflecting the truth inside you.
Aberjhani (Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry)
You are not a victim. No matter what you have been through, you're still here. You may have been challenged, hurt, betrayed, beaten, and discouraged, but nothing has defeated you. You are still here! You have been delayed but not denied. You are not a victim, you are a victor. You have a history of victory.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Doubt as sin. — Christianity has done its utmost to close the circle and declared even doubt to be sin. One is supposed to be cast into belief without reason, by a miracle, and from then on to swim in it as in the brightest and least ambiguous of elements: even a glance towards land, even the thought that one perhaps exists for something else as well as swimming, even the slightest impulse of our amphibious nature — is sin! And notice that all this means that the foundation of belief and all reflection on its origin is likewise excluded as sinful. What is wanted are blindness and intoxication and an eternal song over the waves in which reason has drowned.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality)
I love the dark hours of my being. My mind deepens into them. There I can find, as in old letters, the days of my life, already lived, and held like a legend, and understood.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God)
When forever becomes a place...when forever ceases to be just a word… when it ceases to be just a measurement of time…but instead becomes a place where soul mates can dance to the song in their hearts... that is a reflection of true love.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
It's up to you today to start making healthy choices. Not choices that are just healthy for your body, but healthy for your mind.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
People will walk in and walk out of your life, but the one whose footstep made a long lasting impression is the one you should never allow to walk out.
Michael Bassey Johnson
When you're too religious, you tend to point your finger to judge instead of extending your hand to help.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Stop trying to 'fix' yourself; you're NOT broken! You are perfectly imperfect and powerful beyond measure.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Sin, he reflected, is not what it is usually thought to be; it is not to steal and tell lies. Sin is for one man to walk brutally over the life of another and to be quite oblivious of the wounds he has left behind.
Shūsaku Endō (Silence)
The problem that we have with a victim mentality is that we forget to see the blessings of the day. Because of this, our spirit is poisoned instead of nourished.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Most haters are stuck in a poisonous mental prison of jealousy and self-doubt that blinds them to their own potentiality.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
It’s time to care; it’s time to take responsibility; it’s time to lead; it’s time for a change; it’s time to be true to our greatest self; it’s time to stop blaming others.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The greatest love stories are not those in which love is only spoken, but those in which it is acted upon.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Stop trying to be less of who you are. Let this time in your life cut you open and drain all of the things that are holding you back.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
There are not enough days in forever to allow me to fully express the depth of my love for you.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
You attend the funeral, you bid the dead farewell. You grieve. Then you continue with your life. And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on. She is dead. You are alive. So live.
Neil Gaiman (Fables & Reflections (The Sandman, #6))
Sometimes it's the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I met a boy whose eyes showed me that the past, present and future were all the same thing.
Jennifer Elisabeth
There is great change to be experienced once you learn the power of letting go. Stop allowing anyone or anything to control, limit, repress, or discourage you from being your true self! Today is YOURS to shape - own it - break free from people and things that poison or dilute your spirit.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I can do this… I can start over. I can save my own life and I’m never going to be alone as long as I have stars to wish on and people to still love.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
Get Off The Scale! You are beautiful. Your beauty, just like your capacity for life, happiness, and success, is immeasurable. Day after day, countless people across the globe get on a scale in search of validation of beauty and social acceptance. Get off the scale! I have yet to see a scale that can tell you how enchanting your eyes are. I have yet to see a scale that can show you how wonderful your hair looks when the sun shines its glorious rays on it. I have yet to see a scale that can thank you for your compassion, sense of humor, and contagious smile. Get off the scale because I have yet to see one that can admire you for your perseverance when challenged in life. It’s true, the scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful!
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
If you fuel your journey on the opinions of others, you are going to run out of gas.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
A lot of the conflict you have in your life exists simply because you're not living in alignment; you're not be being true to yourself.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Set the standard! Stop expecting others to show you love, acceptance, commitment, & respect when you don't even show that to yourself.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Sometimes letting go is simply changing the labels you place on an event. Looking at the same event with fresh eyes.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Your complaints, your drama, your victim mentality, your whining, your blaming, and all of your excuses have NEVER gotten you even a single step closer to your goals or dreams. Let go of your nonsense. Let go of the delusion that you DESERVE better and go EARN it! Today is a new day!
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be –the mythologized epitome of a savage ruthless killer – which is, in reality, no more than a reflected image of ourself.
Farley Mowat (Never Cry Wolf: The Amazing True Story of Life Among Arctic Wolves)
There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity and fear of others. Never decide to do nothing just because you can only do little. Do what you can. You would be surprised at what "little" acts have done for our world.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
God knows far more about living a life of joy and blessings than we do.
Randy Loubier (Slow Brewing Tea)
Do not sabotage your new relationship with your last relationship’s poison.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
You’re frustrated because you keep waiting for the blooming of flowers of which you have yet to sow the seeds.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
You are beautiful. Know this. Anyone who tells you otherwise is simply lying. You are beautiful.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The more I understand the mind and the human experience, the more I begin to suspect there is no such thing as unhappiness; there is only ungratefulness.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Discipline yourself and others won't need to.
John Wooden (Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court)
Don't give up! It's not over. The universe is balanced. Every set-back bears with it the seeds of a come-back.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I once read the sentence 'I lay awake all night with a toothache, thinking about the toothache an about lying awake.' That's true to life. Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
Your opinion is not my reality.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best versions of themselves.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The only real conflict you will ever have in your life won’t be with others, but with yourself.
Shannon L. Alder
I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life. They seek position, marriage, reputation, outward success of money, and remain unhappy and neurotic even when they have attained what they were seeking. Such people are usually confined within too narrow a spiritual horizon. Their life has not sufficient content, sufficient meaning. If they are enabled to develop into more spacious personalities, the neurosis generally disappears.
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
I want you too much. I want you with me, in my life, in my bed. If i can have that, nothing else matters.
Sylvia Day (Reflected in You (Crossfire, #2))
We all are so deeply interconnected; we have no option but to love all. Be kind and do good for any one and that will be reflected. The ripples of the kind heart are the highest blessings of the Universe.
Amit Ray (Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style)
My whole being was seeking for something still unknown which might confer meaning upon the banality of life.
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
The days aren't discarded or collected, they are bees that burned with sweetness or maddened the sting: the struggle continues, the journeys go and come between honey and pain. No, the net of years doesn't unweave: there is no net. They don't fall drop by drop from a river: there is no river. Sleep doesn't divide life into halves, or action, or silence, or honor: life is like a stone, a single motion, a lonesome bonfire reflected on the leaves, an arrow, only one, slow or swift, a metal that climbs or descends burning in your bones.
Pablo Neruda (Still Another Day)
I feel keeping a promise to yourself is a direct reflection of the love you have for yourself. I used to make promises to myself and find them easy to break. Today, I love myself enough to not only make a promise to myself, but I love myself enough to keep that promise
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.
Kahlil Gibran (The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul)
I am not a victim. No matter what I have been through, I'm still here. I have a history of victory.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Become the leader of your life. Lead yourself to where you want to be. Breathe life back into your ambitions, your desires, your goals, your relationships.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The strength of a man isn't seen in the power of his arms. It's seen in the love with which he EMBRACES you.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
When you grow up as a girl, it is like there are faint chalk lines traced approximately three inches around your entire body at all times, drawn by society and often religion and family and particularly other women, who somehow feel invested in how you behave, as if your actions reflect directly on all womanhood.
M.E. Thomas (Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight)
Happiness is a state of mind, a choice, a way of living; it is not something to be achieved, it is something to be experienced.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
You didn't just cheat on me; you cheated on us. You didn't just break my heart; you broke our future.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
In your own life it's important to know how spectacular you are.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
You will walk differently alone, dear, through a thicker atmosphere, forcing your way through the shadows of chairs, through the dripping smoke of the funnels. You will feel your own reflection sliding along the eyes of those who look at you. You are no longer insulated; but I suppose you must touch life in order to spring from it.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tender Is the Night)
You become mature when you become the authority of your own life.
Joseph Campbell (A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living)
The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Love is a passion for life shared with another person. You fall in love with a person who you think is wonderful. It's your deepest appreciation of the value of that individual, and that individual is a reflection of what you value most in life. Love, for sound reasons, can be one of life's greatest rewards.
Terry Goodkind (Chainfire (Sword of Truth, #9))
Life itself is simple...it's just not easy.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Stop blaming outside circumstances for your inside chaos.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ -- all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself -- that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness -- that I myself am the enemy who must be loved -- what then? As a rule, the Christian's attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering; we say to the brother within us "Raca," and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
Just imagine living in a world without mirrors. You'd dream about your face and imagine it as an outer reflection of what is inside you. And then, when you reached forty, someone put a mirror before you for the first time in your life. Imagine your fright! You'd see the face of a stranger. And you'd know quite clearly what you are unable to grasp: your face is not you.
Milan Kundera (Immortality)
You have a unique gift to offer this world. Be true to yourself, be kind to yourself, read and learn about everything that interests you and keep away from people who bring you down. When you treat yourself kindly and respect the uniqueness of those around you, you will be giving this world an amazing gift... YOU!
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Holding a grudge & harboring anger/resentment is poison to the soul. Get even with people...but not those who have hurt us, forget them, instead get even with those who have helped us.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
He who does not reflect his life back to God in gratitude does not know himself.
Albert Schweitzer (Reverence for Life: The Words of Albert Schweitzer)
I will be generous with my love today. I will sprinkle compliments and uplifting words everywhere I go. I will do this knowing that my words are like seeds and when they fall on fertile soil, a reflection of those seeds will grow into something greater.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
When was the last time you woke up and realized that today could be the best day of your life?
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Don't let making a living prevent you from making a life.
John Wooden (Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court)
It is when you lose sight of yourself, that you lose your way. To keep your truth in sight you must keep yourself in sight and the world to you should be a mirror to reflect to you your image; the world should be a mirror that you reflect upon.
C. JoyBell C.
For so many years, I couldn’t understand why every time I thought that someone finally loved me, like… for real, they would eventually turn to vapor. Every person whom I’ve ever loved is trapped inside of my chest. I’ve breathed all of them in so deeply that I’ve nearly choked and died on every soul that I’ve ever given myself to.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
Free yourself from the burden of feeling the need to hold on to anything. Let go… you are a part of everything.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I am so grateful for my troubles. As I reflect back on my life, I have come to realize that my greatest triumphs have been born of my greatest troubles.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
But he'd learned long ago that a life lived without risks pretty much wasn't worth living. Life rewarded courage, even when that first step was taken neck-deep in fear.
Tamera Alexander (Within My Heart (Timber Ridge Reflections, #3))
We have become, by the power of a glorious evolutionary accident called intelligence, the stewards of life's continuity on earth. We did not ask for this role, but we cannot abjure it. We may not be suited to it, but here we are.
Stephen Jay Gould (The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural History)
Only insecure boys will belittle a woman. The greatest way to "man-up" is to empower women.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
We look into each other's eyes as we shake. His are still full of death and horror, but in them I see my face reflected, and inside my tiny eyes inside his, I think I see some hope.
Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating...too often fathers neglect it because they get so caught up in making a living they forget to make a life.
John Wooden (Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court)
Sometimes problems don’t require a solution to solve them; instead they require maturity to outgrow them.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Think of the patience God has had for you and let it resonate to others. If you want a more patient world, let patience be your motto
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of the state of your mind.
Wayne W. Dyer
He felt as though he were failing in practically every area of his life. Lately, happiness seemed as distant and unattainable to him as space travel. He hadn't always felt this way. There had been a long period of time during which he remembered being very happy. But things change. People change. Change was one of the inevitable laws of nature, exacting its toll on people's lives. Mistakes are made, regrets form, and all that was left were repercussions that made something as simple as rising from the bed seem almost laborious.
Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
Just because your pain is understandable, doesn't mean your behavior is acceptable.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
A grateful mindset can set you free from the prison of disempowerment and the shackles of misery.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Never stop. Never stop fighting. Never stop dreaming. And don’t be afraid of wearing your heart on your sleeve - in declaring the films that you love, the films that you want to make, the life that you’ve had, and the lives you can help reflect in cinema. For myself, for a long time… maybe I felt inauthentic or something, I felt like my voice wasn’t worth hearing, and I think everyone’s voice is worth hearing. So if you’ve got something to say, say it from the rooftops.
Tom Hiddleston
A new day: Be open enough to see opportunities. Be wise enough to be grateful. Be courageous enough to be happy.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I feel a resurgence of my 6-year-old self… that little warrior, goddess of a girl reminding me of who I was when I was little, before the world got its hands on me.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
By choosing healthy over skinny you are choosing self-love over self-judgment. You are beautiful!
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The strong-minded rise to the challenge of their goals and dreams. The weak-minded become haters.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
A man must find time for himself. Time is what we spend our lives with. If we are not careful we find others spending it for us. . . . It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, 'Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?' . . . If one is not careful, one allows diversions to take up one's time—the stuff of life.
Carl Sandburg
When we replace a sense of service and gratitude with a sense of entitlement and expectation, we quickly see the demise of our relationships, society, and economy.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
There is nothing stronger than gentleness.
John Wooden (Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court)
Cheaters are cowards that are tempted to chase the fantasy of what could be… instead of courageously addressing their own self-destructive behavior and cultivating what is.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
When you want to attract something into your life, make sure your actions don’t contradict your desires.. Think about what you have asked for, and make sure that your actions are mirroring what you expect to receive, and that they’re not contradicting what you‘ve asked for. Act as if you are receiving it. Do exactly what you would do if you were receiving it today, and take actions in your life to reflect that powerful expectation. Make room to receive your desires, and as you do, you are sending out that powerful signal of expectation.
Rhonda Byrne (The Secret (The Secret, #1))
A very small percentage of the people in this world will actually experience and live today. So many people will be stuck on another day, another time that traumatized them and caused them to spiritually stutter so they miss out on this day.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I look out into the water and up deep into the stars. I beg the sparkling lanterns of light to cure me of myself — my past and the kaleidoscope of mistakes, failures and wrong turns that have stacked unbearable regret upon my shoulders.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
Literature not only illuminated another’s experience, it provided, I believed, the richest material for moral reflection. My brief forays into the formal ethics of analytic philosophy felt dry as a bone, missing the messiness and weight of real human life.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
I’ve always seen this in you, ever since you were a little girl — this hunger to love other people into their highest selves and it’s what has made me irreversibly and just so forever in love with you.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
Actors in any capacity, artists of any stripe, are inspired by their curiosity, by their desire to explore all quarters of life, in light and in dark, and reflect what they find in their work. Artists instinctively want to reflect humanity, their own and each other's, in all its intermittent virtue and vitality, frailty and fallibility.
Tom Hiddleston
The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day. On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest. What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him? No, thank you,' he will think. 'Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
O Deep Thought computer," he said, "the task we have designed you to perform is this. We want you to tell us...." he paused, "The Answer." "The Answer?" said Deep Thought. "The Answer to what?" "Life!" urged Fook. "The Universe!" said Lunkwill. "Everything!" they said in chorus. Deep Thought paused for a moment's reflection. "Tricky," he said finally. "But can you do it?" Again, a significant pause. "Yes," said Deep Thought, "I can do it." "There is an answer?" said Fook with breathless excitement. "Yes," said Deep Thought. "Life, the Universe, and Everything. There is an answer. But, I'll have to think about it." ... Fook glanced impatiently at his watch. “How long?” he said. “Seven and a half million years,” said Deep Thought. Lunkwill and Fook blinked at each other. “Seven and a half million years...!” they cried in chorus. “Yes,” declaimed Deep Thought, “I said I’d have to think about it, didn’t I?" [Seven and a half million years later.... Fook and Lunkwill are long gone, but their descendents continue what they started] "We are the ones who will hear," said Phouchg, "the answer to the great question of Life....!" "The Universe...!" said Loonquawl. "And Everything...!" "Shhh," said Loonquawl with a slight gesture. "I think Deep Thought is preparing to speak!" There was a moment's expectant pause while panels slowly came to life on the front of the console. Lights flashed on and off experimentally and settled down into a businesslike pattern. A soft low hum came from the communication channel. "Good Morning," said Deep Thought at last. "Er..good morning, O Deep Thought" said Loonquawl nervously, "do you have...er, that is..." "An Answer for you?" interrupted Deep Thought majestically. "Yes, I have." The two men shivered with expectancy. Their waiting had not been in vain. "There really is one?" breathed Phouchg. "There really is one," confirmed Deep Thought. "To Everything? To the great Question of Life, the Universe and everything?" "Yes." Both of the men had been trained for this moment, their lives had been a preparation for it, they had been selected at birth as those who would witness the answer, but even so they found themselves gasping and squirming like excited children. "And you're ready to give it to us?" urged Loonsuawl. "I am." "Now?" "Now," said Deep Thought. They both licked their dry lips. "Though I don't think," added Deep Thought. "that you're going to like it." "Doesn't matter!" said Phouchg. "We must know it! Now!" "Now?" inquired Deep Thought. "Yes! Now..." "All right," said the computer, and settled into silence again. The two men fidgeted. The tension was unbearable. "You're really not going to like it," observed Deep Thought. "Tell us!" "All right," said Deep Thought. "The Answer to the Great Question..." "Yes..!" "Of Life, the Universe and Everything..." said Deep Thought. "Yes...!" "Is..." said Deep Thought, and paused. "Yes...!" "Is..." "Yes...!!!...?" "Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
I have often reflected upon the new vistas that reading has opened to me. I knew right there in prison that reading had changed forever the course of my life. As I see it today, the ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.
Malcolm X
The Waking I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I feel my fate in what I cannot fear. I learn by going where I have to go. We think by feeling. What is there to know? I hear my being dance from ear to ear. I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. Of those so close beside me, which are you? God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there, And learn by going where I have to go. Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how? The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair; I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. Great Nature has another thing to do To you and me, so take the lively air, And, lovely, learn by going where to go. This shaking keeps me steady. I should know. What falls away is always. And is near. I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow. I learn by going where I have to go.
Theodore Roethke (The Collected Poems)
‎Today is a new day. It's a day you have never seen before and will never see again. Stop telling yourself the 'same crap, different day' lie! How many days has that lie stolen from you? Seize the wonder and uniqueness of today! Recognize that throughout this beautiful day, you have an incredible amount of opportunities to move your life into the direction you want it to go.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
However mean your life is, meet and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man’s abode; the snow melts before its doors as early in the spring. Cultivate property like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Turn the old; return to them. Things do not change; we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts… Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
COMING FORTH INTO THE LIGHT I was born the day I thought: What is? What was? And What if? I was transformed the day My ego shattered, And all the superficial, material Things that mattered To me before, Suddenly ceased To matter. I really came into being The day I no longer cared about What the world thought of me, Only on my thoughts for Changing the world.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Sober, gainfully employed, and physically secure once again, Kevin began to relax. His confidence slowly returned. For the first time since the onset of his blindness, he let his guard down and a crack in his carefully constructed veneer formed. Light flooded in. And with it, hope.
Traci Medford-Rosow (Unblinded: One Man's Courageous Journey Through Darkness to Sight)
What counts, in the long run, is not what you read; it is what you sift through your own mind; it is the ideas and impressions that are aroused in you by your reading. It is the ideas stirred in your own mind, the ideas which are a reflection of your own thinking, which make you an interesting person
Eleanor Roosevelt (You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life)
Do not dilute the truth of your potential. We often convince ourselves that we cannot change, that we cannot overcome the circumstances of our lives. That is simply not true. You have been blessed with immeasurable power to make positive changes in your life. But you can't just wish it, you can't just hope it, you can't just want it... you have to LIVE it, BE it, DO it.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on earth - the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars- the high mass ones among them- went unstable in their later years- they collapsed and then exploded- scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy- guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems- stars with orbiting planets. And those planets now have the ingredients for life itself. So that when I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up- many people feel small, cause their small and the universe is big. But I feel big because my atoms came from those stars.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you. Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don't follow anyone who's not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. "A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses." The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad. Note: Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends. Yes...do love, appreciate and be thankful for your family, for they will always be your family no matter what. Just know that they are human first and though they are family to you, they may be a friend to someone else and will fit somewhere in the criteria above. "In Prosperity Our Friends Know Us. In Adversity We Know Our friends." "Never make someone a priority when you are only an option for them." "If you are going to achieve excellence in big things,you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.."..
Colin Powell
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word home means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bedroom when you were eight. See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate, and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms or would leave your snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name, and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old beating up little boys at school. If you were walking by a chemical plant where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud or would you whisper “That cloud looks like a fish, and that cloud looks like a fairy!” Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me — how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? See, I wanna know if you believe in any god or if you believe in many gods or better yet what gods believe in you. And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you asked come true? And if they didn’t, did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? Would you think less of me if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key? And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me who have learned the wisdom of silence. Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence? And if you do — I want you to tell me of a meadow where my skateboard will soar. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving, and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes from other people’s wounds, and if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon — that if you wanted to, you could pop, but you never would ‘cause you’d never want it to stop. If a tree fell in the forest and you were the only one there to hear — if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound, would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist, or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness? And lastly, let me ask you this: If you and I went for a walk and the entire walk, we didn’t talk — do you think eventually, we’d… kiss? No, wait. That’s asking too much — after all, this is only our first date.
Andrea Gibson
Perfectly Imperfect We have all heard that no two snowflakes are alike. Each snowflake takes the perfect form for the maximum efficiency and effectiveness for its journey. And while the universal force of gravity gives them a shared destination, the expansive space in the air gives each snowflake the opportunity to take their own path. They are on the same journey, but each takes a different path. Along this gravity-driven journey, some snowflakes collide and damage each other, some collide and join together, some are influenced by wind... there are so many transitions and changes that take place along the journey of the snowflake. But, no matter what the transition, the snowflake always finds itself perfectly shaped for its journey. I find parallels in nature to be a beautiful reflection of grand orchestration. One of these parallels is of snowflakes and us. We, too, are all headed in the same direction. We are being driven by a universal force to the same destination. We are all individuals taking different journeys and along our journey, we sometimes bump into each other, we cross paths, we become altered... we take different physical forms. But at all times we too are 100% perfectly imperfect. At every given moment we are absolutely perfect for what is required for our journey. I’m not perfect for your journey and you’re not perfect for my journey, but I’m perfect for my journey and you’re perfect for your journey. We’re heading to the same place, we’re taking different routes, but we’re both exactly perfect the way we are. Think of what understanding this great orchestration could mean for relationships. Imagine interacting with others knowing that they too each share this parallel with the snowflake. Like you, they are headed to the same place and no matter what they may appear like to you, they have taken the perfect form for their journey. How strong our relationships would be if we could see and respect that we are all perfectly imperfect for our journey.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
She was a very pretty woman. She had dark red hair and her eyes -- her eyes are just like mine, Harry thought, edging a little closer to the glass. Bright green -- exactly the same shape, but then he noticed that she was crying; smiling, but crying at the same time. The tall, thin, black-haired man standing next to her put his arm around her. He wore glasses, and his hair was very untidy. It stuck up at the back, just like Harry's did. Harry was so close to the mirror now that his nose was nearly touching that of his reflection. "Mum?" he whispered. "Dad?" They just looked at him, smiling. And slowly, Harry looked into the faces of the other people in the mirror and saw other pairs of green eyes like his, other noses like his, even a little old man who looked as though he had Harry's knobbly knees -- Harry was looking at his family, for the first time in his life. The Potters smiled and waved at Harry and he stared hungrily back at them, his hands pressed flat against the glass as though he was hoping to fall right through it and reach them. He had a powerful kind of ache inside of him, half joy, half terrible sadness.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
THE FOUR HEAVENLY FOUNTAINS Laugh, I tell you And you will turn back The hands of time. Smile, I tell you And you will reflect The face of the divine. Sing, I tell you And all the angels will sing with you! Cry, I tell you And the reflections found in your pool of tears - Will remind you of the lessons of today and yesterday To guide you through the fears of tomorrow.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Even a stone, and more easily a flower or a bird, could show you the way back to God, to the Source, to yourself. When you look at it or hold it & let it be without imposing a word of mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
There are times in my life when I have been medicine for some while poison for others. I used to think I was a victim of my story until I realized the truth; that I am the creator of my story. I choose what type of person I will be and what type of impact I will leave on others. I will never choose the destructive path of self and outward victimization again.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
What does one person give to another? He gives of himself, of the most precious he has, he gives of his life. This does not necessarily mean that he sacrifices his life for the other—but that he gives him of that which is alive in him; he gives him of his joy, of his interest, of his understanding, of his knowledge, of his humor, of his sadness—of all expressions and manifestations of that which is alive in him. In thus giving of his life, he enriches the other person, he enhances the other's sense of aliveness by enhancing his own sense of aliveness. He does not give in order to receive; giving is in itself exquisite joy. But in giving he cannot help bringing something to life in the other person, and this which is brought to life reflects back to him.
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
A poet once said, 'The whole universe is in a glass of wine.' We will probably never know in what sense he meant it, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflection in the glass; and our imagination adds atoms. The glass is a distillation of the earth's rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe's age, and the evolution of stars. What strange array of chemicals are in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization; all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts -- physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on -- remember that nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure; drink it and forget it all!
Richard P. Feynman
So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together. In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page: I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page. Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND… I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.
Elizabeth Gilbert
A Litany for Survival For those of us who live at the shoreline standing upon the constant edges of decision crucial and alone for those of us who cannot indulge the passing dreams of choice who love in doorways coming and going in the hours between dawns looking inward and outward at once before and after seeking a now that can breed futures like bread in our children's mouths so their dreams will not reflect the death of ours: For those of us who were imprinted with fear like a faint line in the center of our foreheads learning to be afraid with our mother's milk for by this weapon this illusion of some safety to be found the heavy-footed hoped to silence us For all of us this instant and this triumph We were never meant to survive. And when the sun rises we are afraid it might not remain when the sun sets we are afraid it might not rise in the morning when our stomachs are full we are afraid of indigestion when our stomachs are empty we are afraid we may never eat again when we are loved we are afraid love will vanish when we are alone we are afraid love will never return and when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed but when we are silent we are still afraid So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.
Audre Lorde (The Black Unicorn: Poems)
Only those are happy who never think or, rather, who only think about life's bare necessities, and to think about such things means not to think at all. True thinking resembles a demon who muddies the spring of life or a sickness which corrupts its roots. To think all the time, to raise questions, to doubt your own destiny, to feel the weariness of living, to be worn out to the point of exhaustion by thoughts and life, to leave behind you, as symbols of your life's drama, a trail of smoke and blood - all this means you are so unhappy that reflection and thinking appear as a curse causing a violent revulsion in you.
Emil M. Cioran (On the Heights of Despair)
The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life. Only if we know that the thing which truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interests upon futilities, and upon all kinds of goals which are not of real importance. Thus we demand that the world grant us recognition for qualities which we regard as personal possessions: our talent or our beauty. The more a man lays stress on false possessions, and the less sensitivity he has for what is essential, the less satisfying is his life. He feels limited because he has limited aims, and the result is envy and jealousy. If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change.
C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential — as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them. To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.
Bill Watterson
You say that my way of thinking cannot be tolerated? What of it? The man who alters his way of thinking to suit othere is a fool. My way of thinking is the result of my reflections. It is part of my inner being,the way I am made. I do not contradict them, and would not even if I wished to. For my system, which you disapprove of is also my greatest comfort in life, the source of all my happiness -it means more to me than my life itself.
Marquis de Sade
Most of us have learned to be dispassionate about evil, to look it in the face and find, as often as not, our own grinning reflections with which we do not argue, but good is another matter. Few have stared at that long enough to accept that its face too is grotesque, that in us the good is something under construction. The modes of evil usually receive worthy expression. The modes of good have to be satisfied with a cliche or a smoothing down that will soften their real look.
Flannery O'Connor
The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poor-house. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the alms-house as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
You’re like a lighthouse shining beside the sea of humanity, motionless: all you can see is your own reflection in the water. You’re alone, so you think it’s a vast, magnificent panorama. You haven’t sounded the depths. You simply believe in the beauty of God’s creation. But I have spent all this time in the water, diving deep into the howling ocean of life, deeper than anyone. While you were admiring the surface, I saw the shipwrecks, the drowned bodies, the monsters of the deep
Alfred de Musset (Lorenzaccio)
A faith without some doubts is like a human body with no antobodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask the hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person's faith can collapse almost overnight if she failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection.
Timothy J. Keller
The suspense: the fearful, acute suspense: of standing idly by while the life of one we dearly love, is trembling in the balance; the racking thoughts that crowd upon the mind, and make the heart beat violently, and the breath come thick, by the force of the images they conjure up before it; the desperate anxiety to be doing something to relieve the pain, or lessen the danger, which we have no power to alleviate; the sinking of soul and spirit, which the sad remembrance of our helplessness produces; what tortures can equal these; what reflections of endeavours can, in the full tide and fever of the time, allay them!
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
Bountiful is your life, full and complete. Or so you think, until someone comes along and makes you realize what you have been missing all this time. Like a mirror that reflects what is absent rather than present, he shows you the void in your soul—the void you have resisted seeing. That person can be a lover, a friend, or a spiritual master. Sometimes it can be a child to look after. What matters is to find the soul that will complete yours. All the prophets have given the same advice: Find the one who will be your mirror!".
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
There is something profoundly cynical, my friends, in the notion of paradise after death. The lure is evasion. The promise is excusative. One need not accept responsibility for the world as it is, and by extension, one need do nothing about it. To strive for change, for true goodness in this mortal world, one must acknowledge and accept, within one's own soul, that this mortal reality has purpose in itself, that its greatest value is not for us, but for our children and their children. To view life as but a quick passage alone a foul, tortured path – made foul and tortured by our own indifference – is to excuse all manner of misery and depravity, and to exact cruel punishment upon the innocent lives to come. I defy this notion of paradise beyond the gates of bone. If the soul truly survives the passage, then it behooves us – each of us, my friends – to nurture a faith in similitude: what awaits us is a reflection of what we leave behind, and in the squandering of our mortal existence, we surrender the opportunity to learn the ways of goodness, the practice of sympathy, empathy, compassion and healing – all passed by in our rush to arrive at a place of glory and beauty, a place we did not earn, and most certainly do not deserve.
Steven Erikson (The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6))
Shahrzad, I've failed you several times. But there was one moment I failed you beyond measure. It was the day we met. The moment I took your hand and you looked at me, with the glory of hate in your eyes. I should have sent you home to your family. But I didn't. There was honesty in your hatred. Fearlessness in your pain. In your honesty, I saw a reflection of myself. Or rather, of the man I longed to be. So I failed you. I didn't stay away. Then later, I thought if I had answers, it would be enough. I would no longer care. You would not matter. So I continued failing you. Continued wanting more. And now I can't find the words to say what must be said. To convey to you the least of what I owe. When I think of you, I can't find the air to breathe. And now, though you are gone, there is no pain or fear. All I am left with is gratitude. When I was a boy, my mother would tell me that one of the best things in life is the knowledge that your story isn't over yet. Our story may have come to a close, but your story is still yet to be told. Make it a story worthy of you. I failed you in one last thing. Here is my chance to rectify it. It was never because I didn't feel it. It was because I swore I would never say it, and a man is nothing if he can't keep his promises. So I write it in the sky- I love you, a thousand times over. And I will never apologize for it. Khalid
Renée Ahdieh (The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1))
What did I know of life, I who had lived so carefully? Who had neither won nor lost, but just let life happen to him? Who had the usual ambitions and settled all too quickly for them not being realised? Who avoided being hurt and called it a capacity for survival? Who paid his bills, stayed on good terms with everyone as far as possible, for whom ecstasy and despair soon became just words once read in novels? One whose self-rebukes never really inflicted pain? Well, there was all this to reflect upon, while I endured a special kind of remorse: a hurt inflicted at long last on one who always thought he knew how to avoid being hurt—and inflicted for precisely that reason.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
A woman or man of value doesn’t love you because of what he or she wants you to be or do for them. He or she loves you because your combined souls understand one another, complements each other, and make sense above any other person in this world. You each share a part of their soul's mirror and see each other’s light reflected in it clearly. You can easily speak from the heart and feel safe doing so. Both of you have been traveling a parallel road your entire life. Without each other's presence, you feel like an old friend or family member was lost. It bothers you, not because you have given it too much meaning, but because God did. This is the type of person you don't have to fight for because you can't get rid of them and your heart doesn't want them to leave anyways.
Shannon L. Alder
I want you to tell me about every person you've ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn't think you’d live through. Tell me what the word “home” means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mothers name just by the way you describe your bed room when you were 8. See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name. And if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mothers joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you tell me all the ways you've been unkind. Tell me all the ways you've been cruel.Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me, how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? And for all the times you've knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you've asked come true? And if they didn't did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who[m]? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see in the mirror on a day a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who ever taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment, will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving. And if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes through other people’s wounds. And if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon that if you wanted to you could pop—but you never would because you’d never want it to stop.
Andrea Gibson
The prisons in the United States had long been an extreme reflection of the American system itself: the stark life differences between rich and poor, the racism, the use of victims against one another, the lack of resources of the underclass to speak out, the endless "reforms" that changed little. Dostoevski once said: "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." It had long been true, and prisoners knew this better than anyone, that the poorer you were the more likely you were to end up in jail. This was not just because the poor committed more crimes. In fact, they did. The rich did not have to commit crimes to get what they wanted; the laws were on their side. But when the rich did commit crimes, they often were not prosecuted, and if they were they could get out on bail, hire clever lawyers, get better treatment from judges. Somehow, the jails ended up full of poor black people.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures--solitude, books and imagination--outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life)
I think falling in love should come with a warning label: CAUTION—side effects may include breaking up, accompanied by heartache, severe mood swings, withdrawal from people and life itself, wasted hours obsessing over bitter reflections, a need to destroy something (preferably something expensive that shatters), uncontrollable tear ducts, stress, a loss of appetite (Cheetos and Dr. Pepper exempt), a bleak and narrow outlook on the future, and an overall hatred of everyone and everything (especially all the happy couples you see strolling hand-in-hand, placed on your path only to exacerbate your isolation and misery). All above reactions will be intensified with the consumption of one or more alcoholic beverages.
Katie Kacvinsky (Second Chance (First Comes Love, #2))
Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape. The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do. At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves - that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestice setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, but who may not be who we essentially are. If we find poetry in the service station and motel, if we are drawn to the airport or train carriage, it is perhaps because, in spite of their architectural compromises and discomforts, in spite of their garish colours and harsh lighting, we implicitly feel that these isolated places offer us a material setting for an alternative to the selfish ease, the habits and confinement of the ordinary, rooted world.
Alain de Botton (The Art of Travel)
In My Daughter's Eyes Lyrics In my daughter's eyes I am a hero I am strong and wise and I know no fear But the truth is plain to see She was sent to rescue me I see who I want to be In my daughter's eyes In my daughter's eyes Everyone is equal Darkness turns to light And the world is at peace This miracle God gave to me Gives me strength when I'm weak I find reason to believe In my daughter's eyes And when she wraps her hand around my finger Oh it puts a smile in my heart Everything becomes a little clearer I realize what life is all about It's hangin' on when your heart Is had enough It's givin' more when you feel like givin' up I've seen the light It's in my daughter's eyes In my daughter's eyes I can see the future A reflection of who I am And what we'll be And though she'll grow and someday leave Maybe raise a family When I'm gone I hope you'll see How happy she made me For I'll be there In my daughter's eyes
Martina McBride
Where there was nature and earth, life and water, I saw a desert landscape that was unending, resembling some sort of crater, so devoid of reason and light and spirit that the mind could not grasp it on any sort of conscious level and if you came close the mind would reel backward, unable to take it in. It was a vision so clear and real and vital to me that in its purity it was almost abstract. This was what I could understand, this was how I lived my life, what I constructed my movement around, how I dealt with the tangible. This was the geography around which my reality revolved: it did not occur to me, ever, that people were good or that a man was capable of change or that the world could be a better place through one’s own taking pleasure in a feeling or a look or a gesture, of receiving another person’s love or kindness. Nothing was affirmative, the term “generosity of spirit” applied to nothing, was a cliche, was some kind of bad joke. Sex is mathematics. Individuality no longer an issue. What does intelligence signify? Define reason. Desire- meaningless. Intellect is not a cure. Justice is dead. Fear, recrimination, innocence, sympathy, guilt, waste, failure, grief, were things, emotions, that no one really felt anymore. Reflection is useless, the world is senseless. Evil is its only permanence. God is not alive. Love cannot be trusted. Surface, surface, surface, was all that anyone found meaning in…this was civilization as I saw it, colossal and jagged…
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried treasure and other things submerged. It was appointed that the book should shut with a a spring, for ever and for ever, when I had read but a page. It was appointed that the water should be locked in an eternal frost, when the light was playing on its surface, and I stood in ignorance on the shore. My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead; it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to my life's end. In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
Since childhood, I’d believed it was important to speak out against bullies while also not stooping to their level. And to be clear, we were now up against a bully, a man who among other things demeaned minorities and expressed contempt for prisoners of war, challenging the dignity of our country with practically his every utterance. I wanted Americans to understand that words matter—that the hateful language they heard coming from their TVs did not reflect the true spirit of our country and that we could vote against it. It was dignity I wanted to make an appeal for—the idea that as a nation we might hold on to the core thing that had sustained my family, going back generations. Dignity had always gotten us through. It was a choice, and not always the easy one, but the people I respected most in life made it again and again, every single day. There was a motto Barack and I tried to live by, and I offered it that night from the stage: When they go low, we go high.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
In all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. You call this a Paradox, and demand my Reasons. They are these: 1. Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stor’d with Observations, their Conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreable. 2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their Influence over Men, they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman. 3. Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produc’d may be attended with much Inconvenience. 4. Because thro’ more Experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be rather inclin’d to excuse an old Woman who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes. 5. Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement. 6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy. 7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy. 8thly and Lastly They are so grateful!!
Benjamin Franklin
Religion is, in reality, living. Our religion is not what we profess, or what we say, or what we proclaim; our religion is what we do, what we desire, what we seek, what we dream about, what we fantasize, what we think - all these things - twenty-four hours a day. One's religion, then, is ones life, not merely the ideal life but the life as it is actually lived. Religion is not prayer, it is not a church, it is not theistic, it is not atheistic, it has little to do with what white people call "religion." It is our every act. If we tromp on a bug, that is our religion; if we experiment on living animals, that is our religion; if we cheat at cards, that is our religion; if we dream of being famous, that is our religion; if we gossip maliciously, that is our religion; if we are rude and aggressive, that is our religion. All that we do, and are, is our religion.
Jack D. Forbes (Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wetiko Disease of Imperialism, Exploitation and Terrorism)
Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we've utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy. So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
I began my studies with eagerness. Before me I saw a new world opening in beauty and light, and I felt within me the capacity to know all things. In the wonderland of Mind I should be as free as another [with sight and hearing]. Its people, scenery, manners, joys, and tragedies should be living tangible interpreters of the real world. The lecture halls seemed filled with the spirit of the great and wise, and I thought the professors were the embodiment of wisdom... But I soon discovered that college was not quite the romantic lyceum I had imagined. Many of the dreams that had delighted my young inexperience became beautifully less and "faded into the light of common day." Gradually I began to find that there were disadvantages in going to college. The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures – solitude, books and imagination – outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life: With Her Letters (1887 1901) and a Supplementary Account of Her Education Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan by John Albert Macy)
Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen. Perhaps I might say right here that this is a national loss and a deplorable lack of understanding concerning the man who first proposed and first wrote those impressive words, 'the United States of America.' But it is hardly strange. Paine's teachings have been debarred from schools everywhere and his views of life misrepresented until his memory is hidden in shadows, or he is looked upon as of unsound mind. We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. He was the equal of Washington in making American liberty possible. Where Washington performed Paine devised and wrote. The deeds of one in the Weld were matched by the deeds of the other with his pen. Washington himself appreciated Paine at his true worth. Franklin knew him for a great patriot and clear thinker. He was a friend and confidant of Jefferson, and the two must often have debated the academic and practical phases of liberty. I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles. Although the present generation knows little of Paine's writings, and although he has almost no influence upon contemporary thought, Americans of the future will justly appraise his work. I am certain of it. Truth is governed by natural laws and cannot be denied. Paine spoke truth with a peculiarly clear and forceful ring. Therefore time must balance the scales. The Declaration and the Constitution expressed in form Paine's theory of political rights. He worked in Philadelphia at the time that the first document was written, and occupied a position of intimate contact with the nation's leaders when they framed the Constitution. Certainly we may believe that Washington had a considerable voice in the Constitution. We know that Jefferson had much to do with the document. Franklin also had a hand and probably was responsible in even larger measure for the Declaration. But all of these men had communed with Paine. Their views were intimately understood and closely correlated. There is no doubt whatever that the two great documents of American liberty reflect the philosophy of Paine. ...Then Paine wrote 'Common Sense,' an anonymous tract which immediately stirred the fires of liberty. It flashed from hand to hand throughout the Colonies. One copy reached the New York Assembly, in session at Albany, and a night meeting was voted to answer this unknown writer with his clarion call to liberty. The Assembly met, but could find no suitable answer. Tom Paine had inscribed a document which never has been answered adversely, and never can be, so long as man esteems his priceless possession. In 'Common Sense' Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again. It must be remembered that 'Common Sense' preceded the declaration and affirmed the very principles that went into the national doctrine of liberty. But that affirmation was made with more vigor, more of the fire of the patriot and was exactly suited to the hour... Certainly [the Revolution] could not be forestalled, once he had spoken. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
I saw a banner hanging next to city hall in downtown Philadelphia that read, "Kill them all, and let God sort them out." A bumper sticker read, "God will judge evildoers; we just have to get them to him." I saw a T-shirt on a soldier that said, "US Air Force... we don't die; we just go to hell to regroup." Others were less dramatic- red, white, and blue billboards saying, "God bless our troops." "God Bless America" became a marketing strategy. One store hung an ad in their window that said, "God bless America--$1 burgers." Patriotism was everywhere, including in our altars and church buildings. In the aftermath of September 11th, most Christian bookstores had a section with books on the event, calendars, devotionals, buttons, all decorated in the colors of America, draped in stars and stripes, and sprinkled with golden eagles. This burst of nationalism reveals the deep longing we all have for community, a natural thirst for intimacy... September 11th shattered the self-sufficient, autonomous individual, and we saw a country of broken fragile people who longed for community- for people to cry with, be angry with, to suffer with. People did not want to be alone in their sorrow, rage, and fear. But what happened after September 11th broke my heart. Conservative Christians rallies around the drums of war. Liberal Christian took to the streets. The cross was smothered by the flag and trampled under the feet of angry protesters. The church community was lost, so the many hungry seekers found community in the civic religion of American patriotism. People were hurting and crying out for healing, for salvation in the best sense of the word, as in the salve with which you dress a wound. A people longing for a savior placed their faith in the fragile hands of human logic and military strength, which have always let us down. They have always fallen short of the glory of God. ...The tragedy of the church's reaction to September 11th is not that we rallied around the families in New York and D.C. but that our love simply reflected the borders and allegiances of the world. We mourned the deaths of each soldier, as we should, but we did not feel the same anger and pain for each Iraqi death, or for the folks abused in the Abu Ghraib prison incident. We got farther and farther from Jesus' vision, which extends beyond our rational love and the boundaries we have established. There is no doubt that we must mourn those lives on September 11th. We must mourn the lives of the soldiers. But with the same passion and outrage, we must mourn the lives of every Iraqi who is lost. They are just as precious, no more, no less. In our rebirth, every life lost in Iraq is just as tragic as a life lost in New York or D.C. And the lives of the thirty thousand children who die of starvation each day is like six September 11ths every single day, a silent tsunami that happens every week.
Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)