Reflect On Past Year Quotes

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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)
To all those who care, You can't forever. Time steals the years, And your reflection in the mirror. But I can still see the story in your eyes, And your timeless passion that’s never died. While your skin became tired, Your heart became strong, The present became the past, And your memories like a song. And though the moment at hand is all that we have, You’ve taught me to live it like it is our last. Since two words don't say ‘thank you’ the way they are meant to, I'll try all my life to be something like you.
Crystal Woods (Write like no one is reading 2)
As the year comes to a close, it is a time for reflection – a time to release old thoughts and beliefs and forgive old hurts. Whatever has happened in the past year, the New Year brings fresh beginnings. Exciting new experiences and relationships await. Let us be thankful for the blessings of the past and the promise of the future.
Peggy Toney Horton
It all comes back. Perhaps it is difficult to see the value in having one's self back in that kind of mood, but I do see it; I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind's door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were. I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be; one of them, a seventeen-year-old, presents little threat, although it would be of some interest to me to know again what it feels like to sit on a river levee drinking vodka-and-orange-juice and listening to Les Paul and Mary Ford and their echoes sing "How High the Moon" on the car radio. (You see I still have the scenes, but I no longer perceive myself among those present, no longer could ever improvise the dialogue.) The other one, a twenty-three-year-old, bothers me more. She was always a good deal of trouble, and I suspect she will reappear when I least want to see her, skirts too long, shy to the point of aggravation, always the injured party, full of recriminations and little hurts and stories I do not want to hear again, at once saddening me and angering me with her vulnerability and ignorance, an apparition all the more insistent for being so long banished. It is a good idea, then, to keep in touch, and I suppose that keeping in touch is what notebooks are all about. And we are all on our own when it comes to keeping those lines open to ourselves: your notebook will never help me, nor mine you.
Joan Didion (Slouching Towards Bethlehem)
Third-level, life-long relationships are generally few because “their existence implies that those involved have reached a stage simultaneously in which the teaching-learning balance is actually perfect.” That doesn’t mean, however, that we necessarily recognize our third-level assignments; in fact, generally we don’t. We may even feel hostility toward these particular people. Someone with whom we have a lifetime’s worth of lessons to learn is someone whose presence in our lives forces us to grow. Sometimes it represents someone with whom we participate lovingly all our lives, and sometimes it represents someone who we experience as a thorn in our side for years, or even forever. Just because someone has a lot to teach us, doesn’t mean we like them. People who have the most to teach us are often the ones who reflect back to us the limits to our own capacity to love, those who consciously or unconsciously challenge our fearful positions. They show us our walls. Our walls are our wounds—the places where we feel we can’t love any more, can’t connect any more deeply, can’t forgive past a certain point. We are in each other’s lives in order to help us see where we most need healing, and in order to help us heal.
Marianne Williamson (Return to Love)
Great beauty and youth capture our attention, excite a deep pleasure; however, why shouldn't our souls gaze at a countenance over which the years have passed? Isn't there a story there, one unknown, full of pain or beauty, which pours its reflection into the features, a story we can read with some compassion or at least get a slight hint of its meaning? The young point toward the future; the old tell of a past.
Adalbert Stifter (Indian Summer)
MOTHER TIME: Life goes by so very fast, my dears, and taking the time to reflect, even once a year, slows things down. We zoom past so many seconds, minutes, hours, killing them with the frantic way we live that it's important we take at least this one collective sigh and stop, take stock, and acknowledge our place in time before diving back into the melee. Midnight on New Year's Eve is a unique kind of magic where, just for a moment, the past and the future exist at once in the present. Whether we're aware of it or not, as we countdown together to it, we're sharing the burden of our history and committing to the promise of tomorrow.
Hillary DePiano (New Year's Thieve)
Ten times a day I am compelled to reflect on my past life ... and I can never justify to myself the spending of four years on dramatic criticism. I have sworn an oath to endure no more of it. Never again will I cross the threshold of a theatre. The subject is exhausted; and so am I. I am off duty forever, and am going to sleep.
George Bernard Shaw (Dramatic Opinions and Essays, volume 2)
I am alone. I am here. No one is watching me. In these hours of silence that I cherish, I talk to myself and reflect. That past, entrenched in time, motionless and infinite, has vanished onto thin air. None of it remains. Why, therefore, am I hurting so much? Why did I bring back with me this nameless pain? I followed the path I set for myself, and I have forgiven. I do not want to be chained to hatred or resentment. I want to have the right to live in peace.
Ingrid Betancourt (Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle)
Love interrupts the past and opens the future to new probabilities.
Marianne Williamson (A Year of Miracles: Daily Devotions and Reflections)
No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with itshideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? . . . You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius-- is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it.You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile. . . . People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial.That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders.It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. . . . Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you.But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully.When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats.Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days,listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure,or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals,of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing. . . . A new Hedonism-- that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol.With your personality there is nothing you could not do.The world belongs to you for a season. . . . The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself.I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time.The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again.The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now.In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The first day of January always presents to my mind a train of very solemn and important reflections and a question more easily asked than answered frequently occurs viz: How have I improved the past year and with [what] good intentions do I view the dawn of its successor?
Charlotte Brontë (Lettere)
It's ridiculous. Here I sit in my little room, I, Brigge, who have got to be twenty-eight years old and about whom no one knows. I sit here and am nothing. And yet this nothing begins to think and thinks, up five flights of stairs, these thoughts on a gray Paris afternoon: Is it possible, this nothing thinks, that one has not yet seen, recognized, and said anything real and important? Is it possible that one has had thousands of years of time to look, reflect, and write down, and that one has let the millennia pass away like a school recess in which one eats one's sandwich and an apple? Yes, it is possible. ...Is it possible that in spite of inventions and progress, in spite of culture, religion, and worldly wisdom, that one has remained on the surface of life? Is it possible that one has even covered this surface, which would at least have been something, with an incredibly dull slipcover, so that it looks like living-room furniture during the summer vacation? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible that the whole history of the world has been misunderstood? Is it possible that the past is false because one has always spoken of its masses, as if one was telling about a coming together of many people, instead of telling about the one person they were standing around, because he was alien and died? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible that one believed one has to make up for everything that happened before one was born? Is it possible one would have to remind every single person that he arose from all earlier people so that he would know it, and not let himself be talked out of it by the others, who see it differently? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible that all these people know very precisely a past that never was? Is it possible that everything real is nothing to them; that their life takes its course, connected to nothing, like a clock in an empty room? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible that one knows nothing about girls, who are nevertheless alive? Is it possible that one says "the women", "the children", "the boys", and doesn't suspect (in spite of all one's education doesn't suspect) that for the longest time these words have no longer had a plural, but only innumerable singulars? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible that there are people who say "God" and think it is something they have in common? Just look at two schoolboys: one buys himself a knife, and the same day his neighbor buys one just like it. And after a week they show each other their knives and it turns out that they bear only the remotest resemblance to each other-so differently have they developed in different hands (Well, the mother of one of them says, if you boys always have to wear everything out right away). Ah, so: is it possible to believe that one could have a God without using him? Yes, it is possible. But, if all this is possible, has even an appearance of possibility-then for heaven's sake something has to happen. The first person who comes along, the one who has had this disquieting thought, must begin to accomplish some of what has been missed; even if he is just anyone, not the most suitable person: there is simply no one else there. This young, irrelevant foreigner, Brigge, will have to sit himself down five flights up and write, day and night, he will just have to write, and that will be that.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)
When you look at it only from your own perspective, it’s easy to think that only you have suffered harm. But if you change your thinking... you can approach the other person first and say, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.
Ilchi Lee (I've Decided to Live 120 Years: The Ancient Secret to Longevity, Vitality, and Life Transformation)
Daemon pulled the bright, deep-red sweater over his head and adjusted the collar of the gold-and-white-checked shirt. Satisfied, he studied his reflection. His eyes were butter melted by humor and good spirits, his face subtly altered by the relaxed, boyish grin. The change in his appearance startled him, but after a moment he just shook his head and brushed his hair. The difference was Jaenelle and the incalculable ways she worried, intrigued, fascinated, incensed, and delighted him. More than that, now, when he was so long past it, she was giving him—the bored, jaded Sadist—a childhood. She colored the days with magic and wonder, and all the things he’d ceased to pay attention to he saw again new. He grinned at his reflection. He felt like a twelve-year-old. No, not twelve. He was at least a sophisticated fourteen. Still young enough to play with a girl as a friend, yet old enough to contemplate the day he might sneak his first kiss. Daemon shrugged into his coat, went into the kitchen, pinched a couple of apples from the basket, sent Cook a broad wink, and gave himself up to a morning with Jaenelle.
Anne Bishop (Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels, #1))
The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify(by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling. Taip būna miškuose, jie visada atrodo pažįstami, kadai prarasti, išblukę lyg seniai mirusio giminaičio veidas, tartum sena svajonė, tarsi nuotrupa pamirštos dainos, plaukiančios virš vandens, o labiau už viską - tarsi auksinės praėjusios vaikystės amžinybės ar preėjusios brandos, ir visa, kas gyva, visa, kas mirę, visa širdgėla, ištikusi prieš milijoną metų, ir debesys, plaukiantys tau virš galvos, liudija savo vienišu artimumu šį jausmą.
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
Verb conjugation has become muddled, as well. Which is correct: “I am a neurosurgeon,” “I was a neurosurgeon,” or “I had been a neurosurgeon before and will be again”? Graham Greene once said that life was lived in the first twenty years and the remainder was just reflection. So what tense am I living in now? Have I proceeded beyond the present tense and into the past perfect? The future tense seems vacant and, on others’ lips, jarring.
Paul Kalanithi
When The Matrix debuted in 1999, it was a huge box-office success. It was also well received by critics, most of whom focused on one of two qualities—the technological (it mainstreamed the digital technique of three-dimensional “bullet time,” where the on-screen action would freeze while the camera continued to revolve around the participants) or the philosophical (it served as a trippy entry point for the notion that we already live in a simulated world, directly quoting philosopher Jean Baudrillard’s 1981 reality-rejecting book Simulacra and Simulation). If you talk about The Matrix right now, these are still the two things you likely discuss. But what will still be interesting about this film once the technology becomes ancient and the philosophy becomes standard? I suspect it might be this: The Matrix was written and directed by “the Wachowski siblings.” In 1999, this designation meant two brothers; as I write today, it means two sisters. In the years following the release of The Matrix, the older Wachowski (Larry, now Lana) completed her transition from male to female. The younger Wachowski (Andy, now Lilly) publicly announced her transition in the spring of 2016. These events occurred during a period when the social view of transgender issues radically evolved, more rapidly than any other component of modern society. In 1999, it was almost impossible to find any example of a trans person within any realm of popular culture; by 2014, a TV series devoted exclusively to the notion won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series. In the fifteen-year window from 1999 to 2014, no aspect of interpersonal civilization changed more, to the point where Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner attracted more Twitter followers than the president (and the importance of this shift will amplify as the decades pass—soon, the notion of a transgender US president will not seem remotely implausible). So think how this might alter the memory of The Matrix: In some protracted reality, film historians will reinvestigate an extremely commercial action movie made by people who (unbeknownst to the audience) would eventually transition from male to female. Suddenly, the symbolic meaning of a universe with two worlds—one false and constructed, the other genuine and hidden—takes on an entirely new meaning. The idea of a character choosing between swallowing a blue pill that allows him to remain a false placeholder and a red pill that forces him to confront who he truly is becomes a much different metaphor. Considered from this speculative vantage point, The Matrix may seem like a breakthrough of a far different kind. It would feel more reflective than entertaining, which is precisely why certain things get remembered while certain others get lost.
Chuck Klosterman (But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past)
A man who under the influence of mental pain or unbearably oppressive suffering sends a bullet through his own head is called a suicide; but for those who give freedom to their pitiful, soul-debasing passions in the holy days of spring and youth there is no name in man's vocabulary. After the bullet follows the peace of the grave: ruined youth is followed by years of grief and painful recollections. He who has profaned his spring will understand the present condition of my soul. I am not yet old, or grey, but I no longer live. Psychiaters tell us that a solider, who was wounded at Waterloo, went mad, and afterwards assured everybody - and believed it himself - that he had died at Waterloo, and that what was now considered to be him was only his shadow, a reflection of the past. I am now experiencing something resembling this semi-death..
Anton Chekhov (The Shooting Party)
The entrance to the natural EM senses is now guarded by artificially monstrous EM waves carrying every kind of pattern irrelevant to nature, from TV sitcoms to defense radar broadcasts. It is as though we have covered the whole surface of the globe with a slum of slovenly, impalpable constructions during the past eighty years or so since Marconi. They are literally skyscrapers in as much as they touch the ionosphere and are reflected from it. They are tenements full of the disorderly displays of sitcoms and the sterile reflections of military radar.
Peter Redgrove (The Black Goddess and the Unseen Real: Our Uncommon Senses and Their Common Sense)
I surrender my focus on the past that I might dwell fully in the present. May my mind not wander into the darkness of before, but rather be filled with the light of now. May my heart be open to the knowing that anything is possible in any moment, and God Himself is not held back by the fears or mistakes of yesterday. I forgive what has been, and embrace what is. I am at peace in the holiness of this instant, and release all else.
Marianne Williamson (A Year of Miracles: Daily Devotions and Reflections)
Contemporary writers use animal-transformation themes to explore issues of gender, sexuality, race, culture, and the process of transformation...just as storytellers have done, all over the world, for many centuries past. One distinct change marks modern retellings, however, reflecting our changed relationship to animals and nature. In a society in which most of us will never encounter true danger in the woods, the big white bear who comes knocking at the door [in fairy tales] is not such a frightening prospective husband now; instead, he's exotic, almost appealing. Whereas once wilderness was threatening to civilization, now it's been tamed and cultivated; the dangers of the animal world have a nostalgic quality, removed as they are from our daily existence. This removal gives "the wild" a different kind of power; it's something we long for rather than fear. The shape-shifter, the were-creature, the stag-headed god from the heart of the woods--they come from a place we'd almost forgotten: the untracked forests of the past; the primeval forests of the mythic imagination; the forests of our childhood fantasies: untouched, unspoiled, limitless. Likewise, tales of Animal Brides and Bridegrooms are steeped in an ancient magic and yet powerfully relevant to our lives today. They remind us of the wild within us...and also within our lovers and spouses, the part of them we can never quite know. They represent the Others who live beside us--cat and mouse and coyote and owl--and the Others who live only in the dreams and nightmares of our imaginations. For thousands of years, their tales have emerged from the place where we draw the boundary lines between animals and human beings, the natural world and civilization, women and men, magic and illusion, fiction and the lives we live.
Terri Windling (The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People)
A few years ago, Ed and I were exploring the dunes on Cumberland Island, one of the barrier islands between the Atlantic Ocean and the mainland of south Georgia. He was looking for the fossilized teeth of long-dead sharks. I was looking for sand spurs so that I did not step on one. This meant that neither of us was looking very far past our own feet, so the huge loggerhead turtle took us both by surprise. She was still alive but just barely, her shell hot to the touch from the noonday sun. We both knew what had happened. She had come ashore during the night to lay her eggs, and when she had finished, she had looked around for the brightest horizon to lead her back to the sea. Mistaking the distant lights on the mainland for the sky reflected on the ocean, she went the wrong way. Judging by her tracks, she had dragged herself through the sand until her flippers were buried and she could go no farther. We found her where she had given up, half cooked by the sun but still able to turn one eye up to look at us when we bent over her. I buried her in cool sand while Ed ran to the ranger station. An hour later she was on her back with tire chains around her front legs, being dragged behind a park service Jeep back toward the ocean. The dunes were so deep that her mouth filled with sand as she went. Her head bent so far underneath her that I feared her neck would break. Finally the Jeep stopped at the edge of the water. Ed and I helped the ranger unchain her and flip her back over. Then all three of us watched as she lay motionless in the surf. Every wave brought her life back to her, washing the sand from her eyes and making her shell shine again. When a particularly large one broke over her, she lifted her head and tried her back legs. The next wave made her light enough to find a foothold, and she pushed off, back into the water that was her home. Watching her swim slowly away after her nightmare ride through the dunes, I noted that it is sometimes hard to tell whether you are being killed or saved by the hands that turn your life upside down.
Barbara Brown Taylor (Learning to Walk in the Dark)
On the Promise of the Present The eternal self dwells in eternity, and eternity intersects linear time at only one point: the present. Who you are in this moment, therefore, is who you truly are. And who you are is love itself. From that essential point of perfect being, created anew by God in every instant, miracles flow naturally. Love interrupts the past and opens the future to new probabilities. No matter who you are, no matter how young or old you are, in the present, all things are possible.
Marianne Williamson (A Year of Miracles: Daily Devotions and Reflections)
In our marriage—in every marriage?—no annoyed glance holds only the displeasure of the moment. Each one reflects all the irritated glances he’s ever shot at me for all of my transgressions: for lacking discipline, for being brittle and sharp, for overreacting, for swearing all the time, even in front of Hannah, for letting my worst self porcupine out before I retract my quills. Every exasperated look Chris gives me—and there have been plenty—carries the sediment of all the displeasure that has accumulated over the past fifteen years.
Lauren Fox (Days of Awe)
What I have observed over the past twenty years has increased my sense of urgency about the need for spiritual practice among us. If we do not learn to honor and strengthen the inner life of spirit, all the external changes in the world cannot save us. New laws, regulations, and technological fixes are all susceptible to human corruption and self-interest. If we do not know ourselves as beings created to reflect the divine image, we will lose the immense opportunity for transformation God has offered us in the gift of life itself. And if the love of God embodied in Christ cannot turn us, how shall we be turned?
Marjorie, J. Thompson (Soul Feast, Newly Revised Edition: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life)
The theory is that immersion in the history of one's own group will overcome feelings of racial inferiority both by instilling pride in past ethnic accomplishments and by providing ethnic role models to inspire future performance. Telling black children how marvelous old Africa was will make them work harder and do better. But does study of the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome improve the academic record of Greek-American and Italian-American children? Not so that anyone has noticed. Why is it likely to help black children, who are removed from their geographical origins not by 50 years but by 300?
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society)
When you have a past, Vovonne, you'll realize what an odd thing it is. In the first place, there's whole chunks of it that have caved in: absolutely nothing left. Elsewhere, there's weeds that've grown haphazard, and you can't recognize anything there either. And then there's places that you think are so beautiful that you give them a fresh coat of paint every year, sometimes in one color, sometimes in another, and they end up not looking in the least like what they were. Not counting the things we thought very simple and unmysterious when they happened, but which years later we discover aren't so obvious, like sometimes you pass a thing every day and don't notice it and then all of a sudden you see it.
Raymond Queneau (Pierrot Mon Ami)
While making money was good, having meaningful work and meaningful relationships was far better. To me, meaningful work is being on a mission I become engrossed in, and meaningful relationships are those I have with people I care deeply about and who care deeply about me. Think about it: It’s senseless to have making money as your goal as money has no intrinsic value—its value comes from what it can buy, and it can’t buy everything. It’s smarter to start with what you really want, which are your real goals, and then work back to what you need to attain them. Money will be one of the things you need, but it’s not the only one and certainly not the most important one once you get past having the amount you need to get what you really want. When thinking about the things you really want, it pays to think of their relative values so you weigh them properly. In my case, I wanted meaningful work and meaningful relationships equally, and I valued money less—as long as I had enough to take care of my basic needs. In thinking about the relative importance of great relationships and money, it was clear that relationships were more important because there is no amount of money I would take in exchange for a meaningful relationship, because there is nothing I could buy with that money that would be more valuable. So, for me, meaningful work and meaningful relationships were and still are my primary goals and everything I did was for them. Making money was an incidental consequence of that. In the late 1970s, I began sending my observations about the markets to clients via telex. The genesis of these Daily Observations (“ Grains and Oilseeds,” “Livestock and Meats,” “Economy and Financial Markets”) was pretty simple: While our primary business was in managing risk exposures, our clients also called to pick my brain about the markets. Taking those calls became time-consuming, so I decided it would be more efficient to write down my thoughts every day so others could understand my logic and help improve it. It was a good discipline since it forced me to research and reflect every day. It also became a key channel of communication for our business. Today, almost forty years and ten thousand publications later, our Daily Observations are read, reflected on, and argued about by clients and policymakers around the world. I’m still writing them, along with others at Bridgewater, and expect to continue to write them until people don’t care to read them or I die.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
He had a swift and utterly lucid vision of himself in this position in thirty-odd years. Loathsome tea, hot steam, silver spoon, and fifty-year-old Chloe seated opposite him talking about clothing, because to her it was categorically, absolutely, the most fascinating topic on the planet. Besides, of course, herself. For an unflinching instant, Armand wished with his whole heart that he were dead. Then, at the very edge of his perception, something changed. He glanced up. She was passing by the doorway, walking with that fluid, nearly animal grace that no one else seemed to capture or even notice. He was given four steps of her. One: She moved from the hallway shadows into the light cast from the parlor. He saw her illuminated, drab colors gone bright; her skin alabaster, reflective; her hair tinted pink and gold and pink again. Two: Her gaze met his, finding him past all the other people crowded inside the stuffy mirrored room, dying by inches and taking their tea. Three: He was paralyzed. He couldn’t move, couldn’t smile, couldn’t nod. He was pinned in the gray of her eyes, a prisoner to their piercing clarity. For an unflinching instant, Armand felt his heart explode like a firework, and the future seemed unwritten. Then four: Eleanore looked away and passed the doorway. He was stuck with tea and dresses once more.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Bakunin's warnings about the "Red bureaucracy" that would institute "the worst of all despotic governments" were long before Lenin, and were directed against the followers of Mr. Marx. There were, in fact, followers of many different kinds; Pannekoek, Luxemburg, Mattick and others are very far from Lenin, and their views often converge with elements of anarcho-syndicaIism. Korsch and others wrote sympathetically of the anarchist revolution in Spain, in fact. There are continuities from Marx to Lenin, but there are also continuities to Marxists who were harshly critical of Lenin and Bolshevism. Teodor Shanin's work in the past years on Marx's later attitudes towards peasant revolution is also relevant here. I'm far from being a Marx scholar, and wouldn't venture any serious judgement on which of these continuities reflects the "real Marx," if there even can be an answer to that question.
Noam Chomsky (Chomsky On Anarchism)
We live with illusion daily, he reflected. When the first bard rattled off the first epic of a sometime battle, illusion entered our lives; the Iliad is as much a “fake” as those robant children trading postage stamps on the porch of the building. Humans have always striven to retain the past, to keep it convincing; there’s nothing wicked in that. Without it we have no continuity; we have only the moment. And, deprived of the past, the moment—the present—has little meaning, if any.
Philip K. Dick (Now Wait for Last Year)
This is what working in what amounts to a rat’s nest for the past decade has done to us, I think, looking at our reflections in the mirror. Ten years in a piece-of-crap studio in the armpit of Bushwick with full view-and-sound of the JMZ train, giving ourselves humpbacks craning over our drafting tables, Camels drooping from our mouths, passing expired packages of Peeps back and forth in the dark. The work has made me forget how to act like a person. We’re not fit to go out and socialize with the fancy people, all Cheetos-stained hands and dilated pupils.
Kayla Rae Whitaker (The Animators)
Dreaming is impossible without myths. If we ll latch onto those of others -- even if don't have enough myths of our own, we'll latch onto those of others -- even if those myths make us believe terrible or false things about ourselves... Call it superego, call it common sense, call it pragmatism, call it learned helplessness, but the mind craves boundaries. Depending on the myths we believe in, those boundaries can be magnificently vast or crushingly tight. Throughout my life as I've sought to become a published writer of speculative fiction, my strongest detractors and discouragers have been other African Americans... Having swallowed these ideas, people regurgitate them at me at nearly every turn. And for a time, I swallowed them, too... Myths tell us what those like us have done, can do, should do. Without myths to lead the way, we hesitate to leap forward. Listen to the wrong myths, and we might even go back a few steps... Because Star Trek takes place five hundred years from now, supposedly long after humanity has transcended racism, sexism, etc. But there's still only one black person on the crew, and she's the receptionist. This is disingenuous. I know now what I did not understand then: That most science fiction doesn't realistically depict the future; it reflects the present in which it is written. So for the 1960s, Uhura's presence was groundbreaking - and her marginalization was to be expected. But I wasn't watching the show in the 1960s. I was watching it in the 1980s... I was watching it as a tween/teen girl who'd grown up being told that she could do anything if she only put her mind to it, and I looked to science fiction to provide me with useful myths about my future: who I might become, what was possible, how far I and my descendants might go... In the future, as in the present, as in the past, black people will build many new worlds. This is true. I will make it so. And you will help me.
Glory Edim (Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves)
A reflection on Robert Lowell Robert Lowell knew I was not one of his devotees. I attended his famous “office hours” salon only a few times. Life Studies was not a book of central importance for me, though I respected it. I admired his writing, but not the way many of my Boston friends did. Among poets in his generation, poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Alan Dugan, and Allen Ginsberg meant more to me than Lowell’s. I think he probably sensed some of that. To his credit, Lowell nevertheless was generous to me (as he was to many other young poets) just the same. In that generosity, and a kind of open, omnivorous curiosity, he was different from my dear teacher at Stanford, Yvor Winters. Like Lowell, Winters attracted followers—but Lowell seemed almost dismayed or a little bewildered by imitators; Winters seemed to want disciples: “Wintersians,” they were called. A few years before I met Lowell, when I was still in California, I read his review of Winters’s Selected Poems. Lowell wrote that, for him, Winters’s poetry passed A. E. Housman’s test: he felt that if he recited it while he was shaving, he would cut himself. One thing Lowell and Winters shared, that I still revere in both of them, was a fiery devotion to the vocal essence of poetry: the work and interplay of sentences and lines, rhythm and pitch. The poetry in the sounds of the poetry, in a reader’s voice: neither page nor stage. Winters criticizing the violence of Lowell’s enjambments, or Lowell admiring a poem in pentameter for its “drill-sergeant quality”: they shared that way of thinking, not matters of opinion but the matter itself, passionately engaged in the art and its vocal—call it “technical”—materials. Lowell loved to talk about poetry and poems. His appetite for that kind of conversation seemed inexhaustible. It tended to be about historical poetry, mixed in with his contemporaries. When he asked you, what was Pope’s best work, it was as though he was talking about a living colleague . . . which in a way he was. He could be amusing about that same sort of thing. He described Julius Caesar’s entourage waiting in the street outside Cicero’s house while Caesar chatted up Cicero about writers. “They talked about poetry,” said Lowell in his peculiar drawl. “Caesar asked Cicero what he thought of Jim Dickey.” His considerable comic gift had to do with a humor of self and incongruity, rather than wit. More surreal than donnish. He had a memorable conversation with my daughter Caroline when she was six years old. A tall, bespectacled man with a fringe of long gray hair came into her living room, with a certain air. “You look like somebody famous,” she said to him, “but I can’t remember who.” “Do I?” “Yes . . . now I remember!— Benjamin Franklin.” “He was a terrible man, just awful.” “Or no, I don’t mean Benjamin Franklin. I mean you look like a Christmas ornament my friend Heather made out of Play-Doh, that looked like Benjamin Franklin.” That left Robert Lowell with nothing to do but repeat himself: “Well, he was a terrible man.” That silly conversation suggests the kind of social static or weirdness the man generated. It also happens to exemplify his peculiar largeness of mind . . . even, in a way, his engagement with the past. When he died, I realized that a large vacuum had appeared at the center of the world I knew.
Robert Pinsky
Our hominid ancestors evolved during a period of general planetary cooling, and humans themselves evolved in a glacial climate colder than the one we live in today. Civilization as we understand it developed during what has been an unusually long and mild interglacial period, beginning around 10,000 BCE and continuing into the recent past. After the icy millennia of the late Pliocene, the Holocene was a kind of Eden, and being the clever, adaptable animals that we are, we took advantage of it. Human civilization has thrived in what has been the most stable climate interval in 650,000 years.40 Thanks to carbon-fueled industrial civilization, that interval is over.
Roy Scranton (Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization (City Lights Open Media))
The hardest part was coming to terms with the constant dispiriting discovery that there is always more hill. The thing about being on a hill, as opposed to standing back from it, is that you can almost never see exactly what’s to come. Between the curtain of trees at every side, the ever-receding contour of rising slope before you, and your own plodding weariness, you gradually lose track of how far you have come. Each time you haul yourself up to what you think must surely be the crest, you find that there is in fact more hill beyond, sloped at an angle that kept it from view before, and that beyond that slope there is another, and beyond that another and another, and beyond each of those more still, until it seems impossible that any hill could run on this long. Eventually you reach a height where you can see the tops of the topmost trees, with nothing but clear sky beyond, and your faltering spirit stirs—nearly there now!—but this is a pitiless deception. The elusive summit continually retreats by whatever distance you press forward, so that each time the canopy parts enough to give a view you are dismayed to see that the topmost trees are as remote, as unattainable, as before. Still you stagger on. What else can you do? When, after ages and ages, you finally reach the telltale world of truly high ground, where the chilled air smells of pine sap and the vegetation is gnarled and tough and wind bent, and push through to the mountain’s open pinnacle, you are, alas, past caring. You sprawl face down on a sloping pavement of gneiss, pressed to the rock by the weight of your pack, and lie there for some minutes, reflecting in a distant, out-of-body way that you have never before looked this closely at lichen, not in fact looked this closely at anything in the natural world since you were four years old and had your first magnifying glass. Finally, with a weary puff, you roll over, unhook yourself from your pack, struggle to your feet, and realize—again in a remote, light-headed, curiously not-there way—that the view is sensational: a boundless vista of wooded mountains, unmarked by human hand, marching off in every direction. This really could be heaven.
Bill Bryson
There are many ways of attaining the various levels of human bliss. But one of the highest states of mental, spiritual and physical happiness is readily reached by way of a good meal, pleasant company, and easy seats by a good log fire. (Preferably there should be a vague impression of cold weather in the night outside your cosy room) The cares of the world are lost . There is a magical presence . You feel love for all humanity. Every remark made by your friend is a precious pearl of wisdom, and everything you say , encouraged by the warm smiles of your companion, is the essence of all your years of struggle and experience. You can suddenly recall incidents of the past, vivid-ly, and they take on a meaning which they never had before.
John Wyatt (Shining Levels)
Newt Gingrich, Reagan reflected, had never in his life fit properly into a suit. He still looked like the fat, despised, teacher’s-pet, suck-up junior debating whiz who was going to fall apart in his senior year, except he was now fifty years past it. Back when I was alive, he had that same querulous expression of a guy who didn’t understand two big things:
 1. being smart doesn’t make you popular, and 2. even if it did, he isn’t smart enough for it to work for him. He remembered trying to explain it to Nancy, who had told him that, “Ronnie, granted that Newt is sometimes irritating, you have to admit he’s brighter than most Congressmen—” “So is every horse out at Rancho del Cielo, Mommy, and half the rocks for that matter,” he’d said.
John Barnes (Raise the Gipper!)
The Montreux Palace Hotel was built in an age when it was thought that things would last. It is on the very shores of Switzerland's Lake Geneva, its balconies and iron railings look across the water, its yellow-ocher awnings are a touch of color in the winter light. It is like a great sanitarium or museum. There are Bechstein pianos in the public rooms, a private silver collection, a Salon de Bridge. This is the hotel where the novelist Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov and his wife, Véra, live. They have been here for 14 years. One imagines his large and brooding reflection in the polished glass of bookcases near the reception desk where there are bound volumes of the Illustrated London News from the year 1849 to 1887, copies of Great Expectations, The Chess Games of Greco and a book called Things Past, by the Duchess of Sermoneta. Though old, the hotel is marvelously kept up and, in certain portions, even modernized. Its business now is mainly conventions and, in the summer, tours, but there is still a thin migration of old clients, ancient couples and remnants of families who ask for certain rooms when they come and sometimes certain maids. For Nabokov, a man who rode as a child on the great European express trains, who had private tutors, estates, and inherited millions which disappeared in the Russian revolution, this is a return to his sources. It is a place to retire to, with Visconti's Mahler and the long-dead figures of La Belle Epoque, Edward VII, d'Annunzio, the munitions kings, where all stroll by the lake and play miniature golf, home at last.
James Salter
The facts that so impressed Newton-that the planets all orbit in roughly the same plane (the ecliptic) and in the same direction-reflect their role as repositories of angular momentum, spun off as the original gas cloud condensed. Other features reflect the long influence of history, wearing down the rough edges, so to speak. The fact that the same side of our Moon always faces Earth is one such feature: rotation of the Moon would raise powerful tides, which act as friction. Presumably, in the distant past, there was such a rotation, but it has been damped out. (For similar reasons, the length of Earth days is increasing. Geological records, which show daily fluctuations in tidal deposits, indicate that during the Cambrian era, 650 million years ago, days were roughly twenty-one hours long.)
Frank Wilczek (A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design)
One of the most surprisingly controversial presidential decisions I made was to return the Crown of Saint Stephen to the people of Hungary. It was said to have been given by the Pope in the year 1000 to Stephen, the first king of Hungary, as a symbol of political and religious authority and was worn by more than fifty kings when they were vested with power. A distinctive feature was that the cross on top was bent. As Soviet troops invaded Hungary, toward the end of the Second World War, some Hungarians delivered to American troops the crown and other royal regalia, which were subsequently stored in Fort Knox alongside our nation’s gold. The Soviets still dominated Hungary when I announced my decision to return the crown. There was a furor among Hungarian-Americans and others, and I was denounced as accepting the subservience of the occupied nation. I considered the crown to be a symbol of the freedom and sovereignty of the Hungarian people. I returned it in January 1978, stipulating that the crown and insignia must be controlled by Hungarians, carefully protected, and made available for public display as soon as practicable. A duplicate of the crown was brought to The Carter Center as a gift for me in March 1998 and is on display in our presidential museum. Rosalynn and I led volunteers to build Habitat houses in Vác, Hungary, in 1996, and we were treated as honored guests of the government and escorted to the Hungarian National Museum to see the crown and the stream of citizens who were going past it, many of them reciting a prayer as they did so. We were told that more than 3 million people pay homage to the crown each year. A few years later it was moved to its permanent home, in the Hungarian Parliament Building.
Jimmy Carter (A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety)
In sum, the fruition of 50 years of research, and several hundred million dollars in government funds, has given us the following picture of sub-atomic matter. All matter consists of quarks and leptons, which interact by exchanging different types of quanta, described by the Maxwell and Yang-Mills fields. In one sentence, we have captured the essence of the past century of frustrating investigation into the subatomic realm, From this simple picture one can derive, from pure mathematics alone, all the myriad and baffling properties of matter. (Although it all seems so easy now, Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, one of the creators of the Standard Model, once reflected on how tortuous the 50-year journey to discover the model had been. He wrote, "There's a long tradition of theoretical physics, which by no means affected everyone but certainly affected me, that said the strong interactions [were] too complicated for the human mind.")
Michio Kaku (Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension)
Within twenty years at the most, he reflected, the huge and simple question, “Was life better before the Revolution than it is now?” would have ceased once and for all to be answerable. But in effect it was unanswerable even now, since the few scattered survivors from the ancient world were incapable of comparing one age with another. They remembered a million useless things, a quarrel with a workmate, a hunt for a lost bicycle pump, the expression on a long-dead sister’s face, the swirls of dust on a windy morning seventy years ago; but all the relevant facts were outside the range of their vision. They were like the ant, which can see small objects but not large ones. And when memory failed and written records were falsified—when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested.
George Orwell (1984)
By 2030, says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, fish farming will dominate fish supplies. Given how wrong the FAO has been in the past--saying catches were going up when, in fact, they were going down--this statement is worth examining carefully. When you do, you find it to be an observation of previous trends, not a reflection of what could happen or what people might want--in the same way as Red Delicious was once far and away the most popular apple in the United States because it was basically the only apple you could get. The FAO is simply observing that fish farming is the fastest growing form of food production in the world--growing at 9 percent a year and by 12-13 percent in the United States. Nobody is asking us whether we want this. It is just happening. The continued destruction of mangrove swamps in poor countries to provide shrimp for people living in rich countries is simply the market operating in a vacuum untroubled by ethics. It is a reflection of what will go on happening if we do not find ways of exercising any choice in the matter.
Charles Clover (The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World and What We Eat)
During the hostage crisis we sent a number of secret delegations into Iran, which was fairly easy to do because the Iranian leaders wanted to maintain as normal an environment as possible and relished all the favorable publicity that resulted from visits by foreign news media. Even the Ayatollah Khomeini gave personal interviews to American journalists. On one occasion we had a few CIA agents in Tehran who were traveling with false German passports, since many Iranian leaders had been educated in Germany. As our people were leaving, one of them had his credentials checked and was waved past by the customs officials. He was called back, however, and the official said, “Something is wrong with your passport. I’ve been here more than twenty years and this is the first time I’ve seen a German document that used a middle initial instead of a full name. Your name is given as Josef H. Schmidt and I don’t understand it.” The quick-thinking agent said, “Well, when I was born my given middle name was Hitler, and I have received special permission not to use it.” The official smiled, nodded, and approved his departure.
Jimmy Carter (A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety)
Already it is twilight down in the Laredito. Bats fly forth from their roostings in courthouse and tower and circle the quarter. The air is full of the smell of burning charcoal. Children and dogs squat by the mud stoops and gamecocks flap and settle in the branches of the fruit trees. They go afoot, these comrades, down along a bare adobe wall. Band music carries dimly from the square. They pass a watercart in the street and they pass a hole in the wall where by the light of a small forgefire an old man beats out shapes of metal. They pass in a doorway a young girl whose beauty becomes the flowers about. They arrive at last before a wooden door. It is hinged into a larger door or gate and all must step over the foot-high sill where a thousand boots have scuffled away the wood, where fools in their hundreds have tripped or fallen or tottered drunkenly into the street. They pass along a ramada in a courtyard by an old grape arbor where small fowl nod in the dusk among the gnarled and barren vines and they enter a cantina where the lamps are lit and they cross stooping under a low beam to a bar and belly up one two three. There is an old disordered Mennonite in this place and he turns to study them. A thin man in a leather weskit, a black and straightbrim hat set square on his head, a thin rim of whiskers. The recruits order glasses of whiskey and drink them down and order more. There are monte games at tables by the wall and there are whores at another table who look the recruits over. The recruits stand sideways along the bar with their thumbs in their belts and watch the room. They talk among themselves of the expedition in loud voices and the old Mennonite shakes a rueful head and sips his drink and mutters. They'll stop you at the river, he says. The second corporal looks past his comrades. Are you talking to me? At the river. Be told. They'll jail you to a man. Who will? The United States Army. General Worth. They hell they will. Pray that they will. He looks at his comrades. He leans toward the Mennonite. What does that mean, old man? Do ye cross that river with yon filibuster armed ye'll not cross it back. Don't aim to cross it back. We goin to Sonora. What's it to you, old man? The Mennonite watches the enshadowed dark before them as it is reflected to him in the mirror over the bar. He turns to them. His eyes are wet, he speaks slowly. The wrath of God lies sleeping. It was hid a million years before men were and only men have power to wake it. Hell aint half full. Hear me. Ye carry war of a madman's making into a foreign land. Ye'll wake more than the dogs. But they berated the old man and swore at him until he moved off down the bar muttering, and how else could it be? How these things end. In confusion and curses and blood. They drank on and the wind blew in the streets and the stars that had been overhead lay low in the west and these young men fell afoul of others and words were said that could not be put right again and in the dawn the kid and the second corporal knelt over the boy from Missouri who had been named Earl and they spoke his name but he never spoke back. He lay on his side in the dust of the courtyard. The men were gone, the whores were gone. An old man swept the clay floor within the cantina. The boy lay with his skull broken in a pool of blood, none knew by whom. A third one came to be with them in the courtyard. It was the Mennonite. A warm wind was blowing and the east held a gray light. The fowls roosting among the grapevines had begun to stir and call. There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto, said the Mennonite. He had been holding his hat in his hands and now he set it upon his head again and turned and went out the gate.
Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West)
Melinda Pratt rides city bus number twelve to her cello lesson, wearing her mother's jean jacket and only one sock. Hallo, world, says Minna. Minna often addresses the world, sometimes silently, sometimes out loud. Bus number twelve is her favorite place for watching, inside and out. The bus passes cars and bicycles and people walking dogs. It passes store windows, and every so often Minna sees her face reflection, two dark eyes in a face as pale as a winter dawn. There are fourteen people on the bus today. Minna stands up to count them. She likes to count people, telephone poles, hats, umbrellas, and, lately, earrings. One girl, sitting directly in front of Minna, has seven earrings, five in one ear. She has wisps of dyed green hair that lie like forsythia buds against her neck. There are, Minna knows, a king, a past president of the United States, and a beauty queen on the bus. Minna can tell by looking. The king yawns and scratches his ear with his little finger. Scratches, not picks. The beauty queen sleeps, her mouth open, her hair the color of tomatoes not yet ripe. The past preside of the United States reads Teen Love and Body Builder's Annual. Next to Minna, leaning against the seat, is her cello in its zippered canvas case. Next to her cello is her younger brother, McGrew, who is humming. McGrew always hums. Sometimes he hums sentences, though most often it comes out like singing. McGrew's teachers do not enjoy McGrew answering questions in hums or song. Neither does the school principal, Mr. Ripley. McGrew spends lots of time sitting on the bench outside Mr. Ripley's office, humming. Today McGrew is humming the newspaper. First the headlines, then the sports section, then the comics. McGrew only laughs at the headlines. Minna smiles at her brother. He is small and stocky and compact like a suitcase. Minna loves him. McGrew always tells the truth, even when he shouldn't. He is kind. And he lends Minna money from the coffee jar he keeps beneath his mattress. Minna looks out the bus window and thinks about her life. Her one life. She likes artichokes and blue fingernail polish and Mozart played too fast. She loves baseball, and the month of March because no one else much likes March, and every shade of brown she has ever seen. But this is only one life. Someday, she knows, she will have another life. A better one. McGrew knows this, too. McGrew is ten years old. He knows nearly everything. He knows, for instance, that his older sister, Minna Pratt, age eleven, is sitting patiently next to her cello waiting to be a woman.
Patricia MacLachlan (The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt)
Patriotism comes from the same Latin word as father. Blind patriotism is collective transference. In it the state becomes a parent and we citizens submit our loyalty to ensure its protection. We may have been encouraged to make that bargain from our public school education, our family home, religion, or culture in general. We associate safety with obedience to authority, for example, going along with government policies. We then make duty, as it is defined by the nation, our unquestioned course. Our motivation is usually not love of country but fear of being without a country that will defend us and our property. Connection is all-important to us; excommunication is the equivalent of death, the finality we can’t dispute. Healthy adult loyalty is a virtue that does not become blind obedience for fear of losing connection, nor total devotion so that we lose our boundaries. Our civil obedience can be so firm that it may take precedence over our concern for those we love, even our children. Here is an example: A young mother is told by the doctor that her toddler is allergic to peanuts and peanut oil. She lets the school know of her son’s allergy when he goes to kindergarten. Throughout his childhood, she is vigilant and makes sure he is safe from peanuts in any form. Eighteen years later, there is a war and he is drafted. The same mother, who was so scrupulously careful about her child’s safety, now waves goodbye to him with a tear but without protest. Mother’s own training in public school and throughout her life has made her believe that her son’s life is expendable whether or not the war in question is just. “Patriotism” is so deeply ingrained in her that she does not even imagine an alternative, even when her son’s life is at stake. It is of course also true that, biologically, parents are ready to let children go just as the state is ready to draft them. What a cunning synchronic-ity. In addition, old men who decide on war take advantage of the timing too. The warrior archetype is lively in eighteen-year-olds, who are willing to fight. Those in their mid-thirties, whose archetype is being a householder and making a mark in their chosen field, will not show an interest in battlefields of blood. The chiefs count on the fact that young braves will take the warrior myth literally rather than as a metaphor for interior battles. They will be willing to put their lives on the line to live out the collective myth of societies that have not found the path of nonviolence. Our collective nature thus seems geared to making war a workable enterprise. In some people, peacemaking is the archetype most in evidence. Nature seems to have made that population smaller, unfortunately. Our culture has trained us to endure and tolerate, not to protest and rebel. Every cell of our bodies learned that lesson. It may not be virtue; it may be fear. We may believe that showing anger is dangerous, because it opposes the authority we are obliged to appease and placate if we are to survive. This explains why we so admire someone who dares to say no and to stand up or even to die for what he believes. That person did not fall prey to the collective seduction. Watching Jeopardy on television, I notice that the audience applauds with special force when a contestant risks everything on a double-jeopardy question. The healthy part of us ardently admires daring. In our positive shadow, our admiration reflects our own disavowed or hidden potential. We, too, have it in us to dare. We can stand up for our truth, putting every comfort on the line, if only we can calm our long-scared ego and open to the part of us that wants to live free. Joseph Campbell says encouragingly, “The part of us that wants to become is fearless.” Religion and Transference Transference is not simply horizontal, from person to person, but vertical from person to a higher power, usually personified as God. When
David Richo (When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds That Sabotage Our Relationships)
And beauty is a form of genius--is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it. You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile.... People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial. That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.... Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you. But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats. Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals, of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.... A new Hedonism--that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol. With your personality there is nothing you could not do. The world belongs to you for a season.... The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time. The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
If your firm gives you a choice of departments, think carefully about which practice area will best suit your personality. Keep in mind that your specialty will affect not only the type of legal services you’ll perform, but also the skills and knowledge you’ll develop. And it’s important to remember that at a large firm, you’ll likely only get one choice. There are very few attorneys at large firms who have more than one specialty, or change specialties down the road. As a result, the first choice you make is likely to affect the work you do for years to come. If, for some reason, you get stuck with a specialty you don’t like, make a change as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it is to jump to another specialty. For one thing, as lawyers gain seniority, their firms may resist the change for fear of a loss of expertise that took the firm years to nurture and develop. Even if your firm does let you change specialties down the road, it may reduce your seniority or salary to reflect your newly acquired inexperience in your new practice area. Changing specialties further on in your career can also impair your marketability in the legal community. After all, if you make a change when your salary has reached a high level, other firms who culd hire you might choose not to, feeling they can get attorneys more experienced in the specialty for less money. Because your future potential in your new specialty is less valuable to a new employer than your past experience in your old specialty, it’s very easy to get “pigeon-holed” in a particular practice area after just a few years in practice.
WIlliam R. Keates (Proceed with Caution: A Diary of the First Year at One of America's Largest, Most Prestigious Law Firms)
Ottawa, Ontario July 1, 2017 The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Canada Day: Today, we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation. We come together as Canadians to celebrate the achievements of our great country, reflect on our past and present, and look boldly toward our future. Canada’s story stretches back long before Confederation, to the first people who worked, loved, and built their lives here, and to those who came here centuries later in search of a better life for their families. In 1867, the vision of Sir George-Étienne Cartier and Sir John A. Macdonald, among others, gave rise to Confederation – an early union, and one of the moments that have come to define Canada. In the 150 years since, we have continued to grow and define ourselves as a country. We fought valiantly in two world wars, built the infrastructure that would connect us, and enshrined our dearest values – equality, diversity, freedom of the individual, and two official languages – in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These moments, and many others, shaped Canada into the extraordinary country it is today – prosperous, generous, and proud. At the heart of Canada’s story are millions of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. They exemplify what it means to be Canadian: ambitious aspirations, leadership driven by compassion, and the courage to dream boldly. Whether we were born here or have chosen Canada as our home, this is who we are. Ours is a land of Indigenous Peoples, settlers, and newcomers, and our diversity has always been at the core of our success. Canada’s history is built on countless instances of people uniting across their differences to work and thrive together. We express ourselves in French, English, and hundreds of other languages, we practice many faiths, we experience life through different cultures, and yet we are one country. Today, as has been the case for centuries, we are strong not in spite of our differences, but because of them. As we mark Canada 150, we also recognize that for many, today is not an occasion for celebration. Indigenous Peoples in this country have faced oppression for centuries. As a society, we must acknowledge and apologize for past wrongs, and chart a path forward for the next 150 years – one in which we continue to build our nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationship with the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation. Our efforts toward reconciliation reflect a deep Canadian tradition – the belief that better is always possible. Our job now is to ensure every Canadian has a real and fair chance at success. We must create the right conditions so that the middle class, and those working hard to join it, can build a better life for themselves and their families. Great promise and responsibility await Canada. As we look ahead to the next 150 years, we will continue to rise to the most pressing challenges we face, climate change among the first ones. We will meet these challenges the way we always have – with hard work, determination, and hope. On the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we celebrate the millions of Canadians who have come together to make our country the strong, prosperous, and open place it is today. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy Canada Day.
Justin Trudeau
Not long ago I stood with a friend next to an art work made of four wood beams laid in a long rectangle, with a mirror set behind each corner so as to reflect the others. My friend, a conceptual artist, and I talked about the minimalist basis of such work: its reception by critics then, its elaboration by artists later, its significance to practitioners today, all of which are concerns of this book as well. Taken by our talk, we hardly noticed his little girl as she played on the beams. But then, signaled by her mother, we looked up to see her pass through the looking glass. Into the hall of mirrors, the mise-en-abîme of beams, she moved farther and farther from us, and as she passed into the distance, she passed into the past as well. Yet suddenly there she was right behind us: all she had done was skip along the beams around the room. And there we were, a critic and an artist informed in contemporary art, taken to school by a six-year-old, our theory no match for her practice. For her playing of the piece conveyed not only specific concerns of minimalist work - the tensions among the spaces we feel, the images we see, and the forms we know - but also general shifts in art over the last three decades - new interventions into space, different construction of viewing, and expanded definitions of art. Her performance became allegorical as well, for she described a paradoxical figure in space, a recession that is also a return, that evoked for me the paradoxical figure in time described by the avant-garde. For even as the avant-garde recedes into the past, it also returns from the future, repositioned by innovative art in the present. This strange temporality, lost in stories of twentieth-century art, is a principal subject of this book.
Hal Foster
Information or allegations reflecting negatively on individuals or groups seen less sympathetically by the intelligentsia pass rapidly into the public domain with little scrutiny and much publicity. Two of the biggest proven hoaxes of our time have involved allegations of white men gang-raping a black woman-- first the Tawana Brawley hoax of 1987 and later the false rape charges against three Duke University students in 2006. In both cases, editorial indignation rang out across the land, without a speck of evidence to substantiate either of these charges. Moreover, the denunciations were not limited to the particular men accused, but were often extended to society at large, of whom these men were deemed to be symptoms or 'the tip of the iceberg.' In both cases, the charges fit a pre-existing vision, and that apparently made mundane facts unnecessary. Another widely publicized hoax-- one to which the President of the United States added his sub-hoax-- was a 1996 story appearing in USA Today under the headline, 'Arson at Black Churches Echoes Bigotry of the Past.' There was, according to USA Today, 'an epidemic of church burning,' targeting black churches. Like the gang-rape hoaxes, this story spread rapidly through the media. The Chicago Tribune referred to 'an epidemic of criminal and cowardly arson' leaving black churches in ruins. As with the gang-rape hoaxes, comments on the church fire stories went beyond those who were supposed to have set these fires to blame forces at work in society at large. Jesse Jackson was quoted was quoted in the New York Times as calling these arsons part of a 'cultural conspiracy' against blacks, which 'reflected the heightened racial tensions in the south that have been exacerbated by the assault on affirmative action and the populist oratory of Republican politicians like Pat Buchanan.' Time magazine writer Jack White likewise blamed 'the coded phrases' of Republican leaders for 'encouraging the arsonists.' Columnist Barbara Reynolds of USA Today said that the fires were 'an attempt to murder the spirit of black America.' New York Times columnist Bob Herbert said, "The fuel for these fires can be traced to a carefully crafted environment of bigotry and hatred that was developed over the last century.' As with the gang-rape hoaxes, the charges publicized were taken as reflecting on the whole society, not just those supposedly involved in what was widely presumed to be arson, rather than fires that break out for a variety of other reasons. Washington Post columnist Dorothy Gilliam said that society in effect was 'giving these arsonists permission to commit these horrible crimes.' The climax of these comments came when President Bill Clinton, in his weekly radio address, said that these church burnings recalled similar burnings of black churches in Arkansas when he was a boy. There were more that 2,000 media stories done on the subject after the President's address. This story began to unravel when factual research showed that (1) no black churches were burned in Arkansas when Bill Clinton was growing up, (2) there had been no increase in fires at black churches, but an actual decrease over the previous 15 years, (3) the incidence of fires at white churches was similar to the incidence of fires at black churches, and (4) where there was arson, one-third of the suspects were black. However, retractions of the original story-- where there were retractions at all-- typically were given far less prominence than the original banner headlines and heated editorial comments.
Thomas Sowell (Intellectuals and Society)
Wild animals enjoying one another and taking pleasure in their world is so immediate and so real, yet this reality is utterly absent from textbooks and academic papers about animals and ecology. There is a truth revealed here, absurd in its simplicity. This insight is not that science is wrong or bad. On the contrary: science, done well, deepens our intimacy with the world. But there is a danger in an exclusively scientific way of thinking. The forest is turned into a diagram; animals become mere mechanisms; nature's workings become clever graphs. Today's conviviality of squirrels seems a refutation of such narrowness. Nature is not a machine. These animals feel. They are alive; they are our cousins, with the shared experience kinship implies. And they appear to enjoy the sun, a phenomenon that occurs nowhere in the curriculum of modern biology. Sadly, modern science is too often unable or unwilling to visualize or feel what others experience. Certainly science's "objective" gambit can be helpful in understanding parts of nature and in freeing us from some cultural preconceptions. Our modern scientific taste for dispassion when analyzing animal behaviour formed in reaction to the Victorian naturalists and their predecessors who saw all nature as an allegory confirming their cultural values. But a gambit is just an opening move, not a coherent vision of the whole game. Science's objectivity sheds some assumptions but takes on others that, dressed up in academic rigor, can produce hubris and callousness about the world. The danger comes when we confuse the limited scope of our scientific methods with the true scope of the world. It may be useful or expedient to describe nature as a flow diagram or an animal as a machine, but such utility should not be confused with a confirmation that our limited assumptions reflect the shape of the world. Not coincidentally, the hubris of narrowly applied science serves the needs of the industrial economy. Machines are bought, sold, and discarded; joyful cousins are not. Two days ago, on Christmas Eve, the U.S. Forest Service opened to commercial logging three hundred thousand acres of old growth in the Tongass National Forest, more than a billion square-meter mandalas. Arrows moved on a flowchart, graphs of quantified timber shifted. Modern forest science integrated seamlessly with global commodity markets—language and values needed no translation. Scientific models and metaphors of machines are helpful but limited. They cannot tell us all that we need to know. What lies beyond the theories we impose on nature? This year I have tried to put down scientific tools and to listen: to come to nature without a hypothesis, without a scheme for data extraction, without a lesson plan to convey answers to students, without machines or probes. I have glimpsed how rich science is but simultaneously how limited in scope and in spirit. It is unfortunate that the practice of listening generally has no place in the formal training of scientists. In this absence science needlessly fails. We are poorer for this, and possibly more hurtful. What Christmas Eve gifts might a listening culture give its forests? What was the insight that brushed past me as the squirrels basked? It was not to turn away from science. My experience of animals is richer for knowing their stories, and science is a powerful way to deepen this understanding. Rather, I realized that all stories are partly wrapped in fiction—the fiction of simplifying assumptions, of cultural myopia and of storytellers' pride. I learned to revel in the stories but not to mistake them for the bright, ineffable nature of the world.
David George Haskell (The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature)
Let us go and sit in the shade," said Lord Henry. "Parker has brought out the drinks, and if you stay any longer in this glare, you will be quite spoiled, and Basil will never paint you again. You really must not allow yourself to become sunburnt. It would be unbecoming." "What can it matter?" cried Dorian Gray, laughing, as he sat down on the seat at the end of the garden. "It should matter everything to you, Mr. Gray." "Why?" "Because you have the most marvellous youth, and youth is the one thing worth having." "I don't feel that, Lord Henry." "No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly. Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? ... You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius--is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it. You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile.... People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial. That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.... Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you. But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats. Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals, of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.... A new Hedonism--that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol. With your personality there is nothing you could not do. The world belongs to you for a season.... The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time. The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
I DON'T WANT to talk about me, of course, but it seems as though far too much attention has been lavished on you lately-that your greed and vanities and quest for self-fulfillment have been catered to far too much. You just want and want and want. You believe in yourself excessively. You don't believe in Nature anymore. It's too isolated from you. You've abstracted it. It's so messy and damaged and sad. Your eyes glaze as you travel life's highway past all the crushed animals and the Big Gulp cups. You don't even take pleasure in looking at nature photographs these days. Oh, they can be just as pretty as always, but don't they make you feel increasingly ... anxious? Filled with more trepidation than peace? So what's the point? You see the picture of the baby condor or the panda munching on a bamboo shoot, and your heart just sinks, doesn't it? A picture of a poor old sea turtle with barnacles on her back, all ancient and exhausted, depositing her five gallons of doomed eggs in the sand hardly fills you with joy, because you realize, quite rightly, that just outside the frame falls the shadow of the condo. What's cropped from the shot of ocean waves crashing on a pristine shore is the plastics plant, and just beyond the dunes lies a parking lot. Hidden from immediate view in the butterfly-bright meadow, in the dusky thicket, in the oak and holly wood, are the surveyors' stakes, for someone wants to build a mall exactly there-some gas stations and supermarkets, some pizza and video shops, a health club, maybe a bulimia treatment center. Those lovely pictures of leopards and herons and wild rivers-well, you just know they're going to be accompanied by a text that will serve only to bring you down. You don't want to think about it! It's all so uncool. And you don't want to feel guilty either. Guilt is uncool. Regret maybe you'll consider. Maybe. Regret is a possibility, but don't push me, you say. Nature photographs have become something of a problem, along with almost everything else. Even though they leave the bad stuff out-maybe because you know they're leaving all the bad stuff out-such pictures are making you increasingly aware that you're a little too late for Nature. Do you feel that? Twenty years too late? Maybe only ten? Not way too late, just a little too late? Well, it appears that you are. And since you are, you've decided you're just not going to attend this particular party.
Joy Williams (Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals)
Since my visit to the Hermitage, I had become more aware of the four figures, two women and two men, who stood around the luminous space where the father welcomed his returning son. Their way of looking leaves you wondering how they think or feel about what they are watching. These bystanders, or observers, allow for all sorts of interpretations. As I reflect on my own journey, I become more and more aware of how long I have played the role of observer. For years I had instructed students on the different aspects of the spiritual life, trying to help them see the importance of living it. But had I, myself, really ever dared to step into the center, kneel down, and let myself be held by a forgiving God? The simple fact of being able to express an opinion, to set up an argument, to defend a position, and to clarify a vision has given me, and gives me still, a sense of control. And, generally, I feel much safer in experiencing a sense of control over an undefinable situation than in taking the risk of letting that situation control me. Certainly there were many hours of prayer, many days and months of retreat, and countless conversations with spiritual directors, but I had never fully given up the role of bystander. Even though there has been in me a lifelong desire to be an insider looking out, I nevertheless kept choosing over and over again the position of the outsider looking in. Sometimes this looking-in was a curious looking-in, sometimes a jealous looking-in, sometimes an anxious looking-in, and, once in a while, even a loving looking-in. But giving up the somewhat safe position of the critical observer seemed like a great leap into totally unknown territory. I so much wanted to keep some control over my spiritual journey, to be able to predict at least a part of the outcome, that relinquishing the security of the observer for the vulnerability of the returning son seemed close to impossible. Teaching students, passing on the many explanations given over the centuries to the words and actions of Jesus, and showing them the many spiritual journeys that people have chosen in the past seemed very much like taking the position of one of the four figures surrounding the divine embrace. The two women standing behind the father at different distances the seated man staring into space and looking at no one in particular, and the tall man standing erect and looking critically at the event on the platform in front of him--they all represent different ways of not getting involved. There is indifference, curiosity, daydreaming, and attentive observation; there is staring, gazing, watching, and looking; there is standing in the background, leaning against an arch, sitting with arms crossed, and standing with hands gripping each other. Every one of these inner and outward postures are all too familiar with me. Some are more comfortable than others, but all of them are ways of not getting directly involved," (pp. 12-13).
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming)
1. Plush greed There are so many mechanical hypocritical toys (people) in this two-faced world of hypocritical egoism. They are cute and obedient from the outside, programmed to serve, but at the same time completely soulless from the inside. 2. Order and chaos Order is a blank canvas, and chaos is the bright colors of despair. They depict suffering, unless of course suffering can be called beautiful knowledge that gives the catharsis of awareness from experience. 3. Nature leads us to death. Nature is a great manager with an organizer of instincts in his hands, where all human vices and internal shortcomings are. It controls the cyclical nature of the universal calendar leading us to death, the same thing happened with previous races living on our earth. Evolution leading to a logical conclusion from our madness and despair, to the decline of mankind. But nature cannot destroy a civilization that has abandoned the great self-deception of egoism, which will be the main cause of human death. Only that race that will abandon its own egoism will absorb the humanism of selfless nobleness where literally every life will be appreciated, can deceive nature itself and experience the new dawn of awareness, namely immortality in eternity. It must be understood that death is the best helper of nature; it is just a gardener who does not allow the Garden of Eden to overgrow. But thanks to the unity of mankind, we also know other gardens in other worlds. 4. Humor is a very funny depression, bright, colorful pessimism. 5. Fear is the younger brother of death. Fear is constantly trying to surpass his older brother. 7. Good and love is an interdimensional multidimensional spatial form of philosophy outside of time; it is a state of harmony in eternity, the key to all worlds and inner worlds of people, both external and hidden. With this vision of thinking, you see everything at once, simultaneously deeply and from above, you see all the forms of time in one palm. 8. Lips and tongue are three drills. A smile from a drill grinds any evil face. 9. Techno world Any madness can be called progress. Meat, blood and bones are mixed with high technology, the spirit of humanity will dissolve in cold metal. The imagination of people is becoming more and more terrible, bodymodification shows our ugly entities turned inside out, good with evil, how difficult the interweaving of DNA from which people slowly and painfully go crazy, self-destruction is only an indifference to eternity that destroys this complex chain. The ranks of restless souls wandering the earth will replenish. Choose the side of goodness and light, selfless nobleness, true love and sincere friendship and you will thank yourself for all eternity, only conscience will lead you to paradise. 10. Love outside the dimension Love is peace and tenderness of the light of souls, the unity of tenderness. From love you fall into a gap in space and time, love outside the dimension is a very special space for two lovers in ordinary reality. 11. Time is chess. Time and space is a chessboard, here pawns are your enemies, more important pieces are your internal flaws and vices. There are millions of options for the moves of your will that show completely different forms of the future. Remember that each of your moves reflects your form of the future in life, but also after death. Make your fate check and checkmate. 12. Pseudo-science All of these politicized pseudo-theories and hypotheses, pseudo-facts that brazenly lie, starting their speech with the words: few people know. They turn science into an absurdity, and they thereby erase your memory in this confusion, constantly correcting it, they rob you of the past, plunging it into a false future. 13. On the body of pessimism, the sound dynamics of truth are everywhere. 14. Take care of children. Children are eggs on their backs that hatch and fall to the ground only twenty years later. An adult comes out of an egg and becomes a new parent.
Musin Almat Zhumabekovich
In 1980, Stanford University internist and epidemiologist James Fries recognized that modern medicine was not extending the human lifespan, and yet survival curves were changing. More people were living vitally until eighty-five or ninety, and then dying quickly, like the wonderful one-hoss shay in Oliver Wendell Holmes’s poem, which ran perfectly for a hundred years and then fell apart all at once.2 Fries called this phenomenon “compression of morbidity.”3 In 1900, because most deaths were premature, the human survival “curve” was a diagonal line; now it is more of a rectangle—especially if you have no risk factors (Figure 7.1). In 2040 there will be ten times as many eighty-five-year-olds as there were in 1990. This is not because the normal human lifespan is any longer than it was, but because fewer people will die before eighty. After eighty the lifespan will reflect little increase. Medical advances like antibiotics, new cancer treatments, and kidney transplants all serve to decrease premature death. But they do not alter the fact that the bodies of most of us, like the one-hoss shay, have not evolved to live past one hundred.
George E. Vaillant (Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study)
Jeremiah thought that underneath that fidgeting, restless man was someone he could look up to. He had seen his friend go through many transitions in his lifetime, but the last one seemed to be the most difficult of all for him to understand. He saw Paul’s countenance change this past year since he found faith in God. But it was more than a mere belief in God, for Jeremiah himself believed the existence of a god. He almost felt his presence on a clear summer’s day up on the tall mountains. No, what Paul and Amelia had was different. They seemed to actually know God. And their lives reflected the sincerity of their convictions. Jeremiah decided that what they had was real. He respected them and even envied them. They were so happy. It was as if their faith in God made them more complete human beings.  Through their steadfastness in the face of many dangers and hardships, he had become acutely aware of his own inadequacies to cope with some of life’s most difficult problems. And he also became aware of the emptiness in his heart. Even though he had lived a basically good life, he knew he wasn’t perfect. He knew he was a sinner and didn’t deserve to be in the same room with his two wonderful, Christian friends. Paul and he had basically lived the same life, yet his friend was free of bitterness and anger. He had no emptiness inside, despite the harshness of the trials that befell him this past year.
Jeanne Marie Leach (Angel In The Saloon (Brides of Glory Gulch #1))
They say fate is written in the stars, but the irony is that stars don't project the future, they reflect the past. If you think about it, every time you look at a star, you're looking back in time. The North Star is four hundred thirty light-years away, so when you see it shining, the light hitting your eyes is already four hundred thirty years old.
Francesca Serritella (Ghosts of Harvard)
The Prophet was reported to have said that God makes the path to Heaven easier for whoever treads the path in search of knowledge. For Muslim scientists just a few hundred years removed from the life of the Prophet, seeking God’s pleasure seems to have been the main reason for their research and studies. Scientific literature from the Golden Age commonly begins with Quranic verses that encourage seekers of knowledge and call on Muslims to reflect on the world around them. These three motivating factors for scientific endeavors were unique to the Muslim world, and could not
Firas Alkhateeb (Lost Islamic History: Reclaiming Muslim Civilisation from the Past)
Most active-minded practitioners would prefer to venture into wider channels. Their natural hunting grounds would be the entire field of securities that they felt (a) were certainly not overvalued by conservative measures, and (b) appeared decidedly more attractive—because of their prospects or past record, or both—than the average common stock. In such choices they would do well to apply various tests of quality and price-reasonableness along the lines we have proposed for the defensive investor. But they should be less inflexible, permitting a considerable plus in one factor to offset a small black mark in another. For example, he might not rule out a company which had shown a deficit in a year such as 1970, if large average earnings and other important attributes made the stock look cheap. The enterprising investor may confine his choice to industries and companies about which he holds an optimistic view, but we counsel strongly against paying a high price for a stock (in relation to earnings and assets) because of such enthusiasm. If he followed our philosophy in this field he would more likely be the buyer of important cyclical enterprises—such as steel shares perhaps—when the current situation is unfavorable, the near-term prospects are poor, and the low price fully reflects the current pessimism.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
River searched the world for her girls. She dug up every anthill she could find. The army ants were too frightened to tell her what they'd done, but they did tell her that the ant god had gone to live among the humans. River searched for Ant. She dug through entire lineages trying to find him. When, after three hundred years, the sky god dared to mention the neglected waters of the world, she dried up entire countries out of spite. This is our River, one god reminded the other, our sweet River. Let us help, not hinder. And so they sent emissaries from every spirit realm, second daughters and minor spirits of similar powers, godlings all, promising their aid for a hundred years. But River's grief became their own. They forgot their mothers and their brothers and the lovers they'd promised to return to; they forgot that they'd had a past before this grief removed everything form inside of them. How, they wondered, can a body feel full to bursting with grief but also hollow? These godlings of land and air and memory resisted this loss of themselves, but River's sorrow drowned them. Their husbands, their children, their homes became like reflections in a rough stream, fractured beyond recognition. They tore the world apart. Unprecedented rains. Earthquakes that ravaged every region. One godling who had come from the house of flames sent an entire cite on fire trying to find River's girls. It was a dark century for humankind and godkind alike. Then the female godlings got craftier in their search. They made themselves visible to human eyes, tempting men and women, threatening men and women, building a network of spies across the globe who lit candles and prayed to them and passed this new religion on to their children. Every new convert was a new set of eyes in the world, a new set of ears to catch whispers of men who didn't seem to fit in, or men who rose to ungodly success but never seemed to pray. Many a good man was lost to angry godlings who peeled his skin away, searching for the god that might be hidden inside. But after seven hundred fruitless years and countless human believers in her service, it dawned on River that she might never see her twins again. She collapsed where she stood, and every emissary lay down as well. Dust settled on them, then grime and so much debris that they became part of the earth, hills of hips and buttocks and woe. All but one. That only one who felt the rage of River, multiplied by that most powerful feeling that won't let a person rest: guilt. River's sister, not quite goddess. The guilt turned in her belly like a ship in a storm. She'd slept while her sister's children were taken. Blame, so like a god itself, shadowed her, occupied her bed like a lover, whispered to her like a dearest friend. Her name was eventually forgotten.
Lesley Nneka Arimah (What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky)
an attractive middle-aged school teacher who was taking time out after a few hours gardening and who, even in these relaxed, unguarded moments was never far from that school-marmish neatness which she carried from her classroom and which, in the early years of our marriage, we made good use of when she would play the role of the prim schoolteacher taking it from the rough-hewn but sensitive laggard at the back of the class, bent over the table, in the hallway, wherever – neither of us claiming there was anything original about the fantasy but both of us stepping into our roles with such gusto that our energies carried us into a place where we found ourselves overtaken with a greedy appetite for each other, sometimes so intense that Mairead said she thought there was something cosmic about it and that she felt capable of fucking the world into redemption her own words fucking our way past the pettiness and desperation which sometimes overcame us in our day-to-day lives, so that twisted together in the act of love we found our way towards that one molten moment in which only that which was true and unsullied in us would survive, everything else burned away, leaving us truly naked with all our senses open to giving the best of ourselves to each other and to the world we had created around us, something which thankfully, happened often enough back then to allow us now, in middle age to sit across the table from each other and reflect that we’d had our proper share of such passion, we had not short-changed that part of ourselves while all this comes to me now in such an unbroken torrent sitting here at this table
Mike McCormack (Solar Bones)
deflected his suggestion that I write a biography of him, I heard from him every now and then. At one point I emailed to ask if it was true, as my daughter had told me, that the Apple logo was an homage to Alan Turing, the British computer pioneer who broke the German wartime codes and then committed suicide by biting into a cyanide-laced apple. He replied that he wished he had thought of that, but hadn’t. That started an exchange about the early history of Apple, and I found myself gathering string on the subject, just in case I ever decided to do such a book. When my Einstein biography came out, he came to a book event in Palo Alto and pulled me aside to suggest, again, that he would make a good subject. His persistence baffled me. He was known to guard his privacy, and I had no reason to believe he’d ever read any of my books. Maybe someday, I continued to say. But in 2009 his wife, Laurene Powell, said bluntly, “If you’re ever going to do a book on Steve, you’d better do it now.” He had just taken a second medical leave. I confessed to her that when he had first raised the idea, I hadn’t known he was sick. Almost nobody knew, she said. He had called me right before he was going to be operated on for cancer, and he was still keeping it a secret, she explained. I decided then to write this book. Jobs surprised me by readily acknowledging that he would have no control over it or even the right to see it in advance. “It’s your book,” he said. “I won’t even read it.” But later that fall he seemed to have second thoughts about cooperating and, though I didn’t know it, was hit by another round of cancer complications. He stopped returning my calls, and I put the project aside for a while. Then, unexpectedly, he phoned me late on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2009. He was at home in Palo Alto with only his sister, the writer Mona Simpson. His wife and their three children had taken a quick trip to go skiing, but he was not healthy enough to join them. He was in a reflective mood, and we talked for more than an hour. He began by recalling that he had wanted to build a frequency counter when he was twelve, and he was able to look up Bill Hewlett, the founder of HP, in the phone book and call him to get parts. Jobs said that the past twelve years of his life, since his return to Apple, had been his most productive in terms of creating new products. But his more important goal, he said, was to do what Hewlett and his friend David Packard had done, which was create a company that was so imbued with innovative creativity that it would outlive
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Our current education system was created in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and was modeled after the new factories of the industrial revolution. Public schools, set up to supply the factories with a skilled labor force, crammed education into a relatively small number of years. We have tried to pack more and more in while extending schooling up to age 24 or 25, for some segments of the population. In general, such an approach still reflects factory thinking—get your education now and get it efficiently, in classrooms in lockstep fashion. Unfortunately, most people learn in those classrooms to hate education for the rest of their lives. The factory system doesn't work in the modern world, because two years after graduation, whatever you learned is out of date. We need education spread over a lifetime, not jammed into the early years—except for such basics as reading, writing, and perhaps citizenship. Past puberty, education needs to be combined in interesting and creative ways with work. The factory school system no longer makes sense.
Robert Epstein
At the time, I thought my colleague’s views sounded absurdly legalistic: if Christianity had lost all its living and breathing followers in Tunisia (say), what did it matter if the institutional minutiae survived? But on reflection, I think he was making a worthwhile point about the time span of human history. The scriptures of many religions remind us that the divine does not necessarily work according to our concepts of time. As the Psalmist declares, “[A] thousand years in your sight are just like yesterday when it is past, like a watch in the night.” Perhaps only our limited awareness of time leads us to think that the ruin of a church has happened “forever,” when all we mean is that, by our mortal standards, we can see no chance of it being reversed. In fact, religions are like biological organisms, which do not become extinct just because they are driven from a particular environment. Provided they continue to exist elsewhere, they might well return someday to recolonize. And often, in the human context, memories of that historical precedent help shape the new settlement.
Philip Jenkins (The Lost History of Christianity)
Then, unexpectedly, he phoned me late on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2009. He was at home in Palo Alto with only his sister, the writer Mona Simpson. His wife and their three children had taken a quick trip to go skiing, but he was not healthy enough to join them. He was in a reflective mood, and we talked for more than an hour. He began by recalling that he had wanted to build a frequency counter when he was twelve, and he was able to look up Bill Hewlett, the founder of HP, in the phone book and call him to get parts. Jobs said that the past twelve years of his life, since his return to Apple, had been his most productive in terms of creating new products. But his more important goal, he said, was to do what Hewlett and his friend David Packard had done, which was create a company that was so imbued with innovative creativity that it would outlive them.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
If we direct our intention toward doing (when possible) that which seems meaningful right now and noticing that any outcome is enough, we might discover a terribly obvious yet effective strategy for perpetual contentment. Of course to do this—to open ourselves up to changing and living according to the meaning of the present month or moment—is a frightening proposition. If we do, we will surely witness our tastes and whims recycle and transform. We will watch as our personalities modify in subtle ways. And although a small number of passions might stay with us throughout our lives, many more will certainly fall away or be replaced. In other words, to admit that in this second I am not a static being is to admit that I will be something different tomorrow, something unknown a year from now, and possibly something unrecognizable to myself in a decade. This notion is uncomfortable because it forces us to countenance the passing of time, the fading of past selves, our eventual physical death. To change is to vacate the past and move ever-closer to the end of our story. It’s no wonder that we bury our proverbial talons in the interests, attributes, memories, and tendencies of our past selves and insist that “who we are” has long been established. But what might we become if we accept that, in the grammar of the universe, our nature is verb-like, transitory, ever-moving? We might become anything. The possibilities are endless and exciting. It seems natural to hold tightly onto the past. We tend to feel that if don’t have the past, we don’t have anything. Our pasts provide all of the context with which we are equipped to navigate the present. Without our memories and stories, we would indeed be directionless and alone. But it seems that we often overcompensate, desperately clinging to the “good old days”, trying to relive them in our minds, and simultaneously attempting to freeze the present moment, to capture the past before it becomes the past. This latter point can be plainly observed in our modern tendency to photograph even the most mundane of moments and to record hours of video that we’ll never revisit. But if we spend significant amounts of time trying to immortalize and live vicariously through the past, we may relinquish a measure of ability to see the possibilities of the present and future. We may cease to fully capitalize on the surrounding opportunities for novel experience, reflection, and appreciation. We may eschew the potential to become a marvelously different-yet-somehow-still-the-same version of ourselves.
Jordan Bates
Three years ago, when this book first appeared, some people thought it was worth while to dispute the authorship! Some asserted that it was an English book, and others that it was an American book. What a singular mania there is for seeking the origin of matters at a great distance; trying to trace from the source of the Nile, the streamlet which washes one’s street. Alas! this work is neither English, neither American nor Chinese. The author found the idea of The Last Day of a Condemned, not in a book, for he is not accustomed to seek his ideas so far afield, but where you all might find it, where perhaps you may all have found it, (for who is there that has not reflected and had reveries of The Last Day of a Condemned,) there, on the public walk, on the Place de Grève. It was there, while passing casually during an execution, that this forcible idea occurred to him; and, since then, after those funereal Thursdays of the Court of Cassation, which send forth through Paris the intelligence of an approaching execution, the hoarse voices of the spectators going to the Grève, as they hurried past his windows, filled his mind with the prolonged misery of the person about to suffer, which he pictured to himself from hour to hour, according to what he conceived was its actual progress. It was a torture which commenced from daybreak and
Victor Hugo (Complete Works of Victor Hugo)
It would be logical for any group whose only sense of identity is the negative one of wickedness and oppression to dilute its wickedness by mixing with more virtuous groups. This is, upon reflection, exactly what celebrating diversity implies. James Carignan, a city councilor in Lewiston, Maine, encouraged the city to welcome refugees from the West African country of Togo, writing, “We are too homogeneous at present. We desperately need diversity.” He said the Togolese—of whom it was not known whether they were literate, spoke English, or were employable—“will bring us the diversity that is essential to our quest for excellence.” Likewise in Maine, long-serving state’s attorney James Tierney wrote of racial diversity in the state: “This is not a burden. This is essential.” An overly white population is a handicap. Gwynne Dyer, a London-based Canadian journalist, also believes whites must be leavened with non-whites in a process he calls “ethnic diversification.” He noted, however, that when Canada and Australia opened their borders to non-white immigration, they had to “do good by stealth” and not explain openly that the process would reduce whites to a minority: “Let the magic do its work, but don’t talk about it in front of the children. They’ll just get cross and spoil it all.” Mr. Dyer looked forward to the day when politicians could be more open about their intentions of thinning out whites. President Bill Clinton was open about it. In his 2000 State of the Union speech, he welcomed predictions that whites would become a minority by mid-century, saying, “this diversity can be our greatest strength.” In 2009, before a gathering of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, he again brought up forecasts that whites will become a minority, adding that “this is a very positive thing.” [...] Harvard University professor Robert Putnam says immigrants should not assimilate. “What we shouldn’t do is to say that they should be more like us,” he says. “We should construct a new us.” When Marty Markowitz became the new Brooklyn borough president in 2002, he took down the portrait of George Washington that had hung in the president’s office for many years. He said he would hang a picture of a black or a woman because Washington was an “old white man.” [...] In 2000, John Sharp, a former Texas comptroller and senator told the state Democratic Hispanic Caucus that whites must step aside and let Hispanics govern, “and if that means that some of us gringos are going to have to give up some life-long dreams, then we’ve got to do that.” When Robert Dornan of California was still in Congress, he welcomed the changing demographics of his Orange County district. “I want to see America stay a nation of immigrants,” he said. “And if we lose our Northern European stock—your coloring and mine, blue eyes and fair hair—tough!” Frank Rich, columnist for the New York Times, appears happy to become a minority. He wrote this about Sonya Sotomayor’s Senate confirmation hearings: “[T]his particular wise Latina, with the richness of her experiences, would far more often than not reach a better [judicial] conclusion than the individual white males she faced in that Senate hearing room. Even those viewers who watched the Sotomayor show for only a few minutes could see that her America is our future and theirs is the rapidly receding past.” It is impossible to imagine people of any other race speaking of themselves this way.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
But ancient DNA discoveries have rendered the serial founder model untenable. We now know that the present-day structure of populations does not reflect the one that existed many thousands of years ago.34
David Reich (Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past)
He that in the latter part of his life too strictly enquires what he has done can very seldom receive from his own heart such an account as will give him satisfaction. We do not indeed so often disappoint others as ourselves. We not only think more highly than others of our own abilities, but allow ourselves to form hopes which we never communicate, and please our thoughts with employments which none ever will allot us, and with elevations to which we are never expected to rise; and when our days and years have passed away in common business or common amusements, and we find at last that we have suffered our purposes to sleep till the time of action is past, we are reproached only by our own reflections; neither our friends nor our enemies wonder that we live and die like the rest of mankind, that we live without notice and die without memorial; they know not what task we had proposed, and therefore cannot discern whether it is finished. He that compares what he has done with what he has left undone will feel the effect which must always follow the comparison of imagination with reality; he will look with contempt on his own unimportance, and wonder to what purpose he came into the world; he will repine that he shall leave behind him no evidence of his having been, that he has added nothing to the system of life, but has glided from youth to age among the crowd, without any effort for distinction.
Samuel Johnson
In the following ten years, Trisolaran reflection culture became popular on Earth, and began to displace the decadent native human culture that had lost its vitality.
Liu Cixin (Death's End (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #3))
Self-knowledge enables a person to grasp what future decisions will define their final formation. The human mind habitually hits the rewind button and replays past events. Can looking back over the rim of time and engaging in thoughtful criticism of the precursor events of my formative years be of any possible assistance to expose the indurate truth of factual reality? Can I employ the tools of memory and imagination along with the techniques of logos – reasoned discourse – to escape strife and pathos? Does it make sense to write the story of my life so that I can ascertain who I am? With these unsettling thoughts and these maieutic questions in mind, I began writing an enantiomorphism-like scroll. The crystal molecules that comprise this text construct a mirror that replicates the multiple dimensions of a risky adventure into self-psychology. I harbor no expectation regarding the outcome of this reflective venture. Regardless of the consequences, all I can do is follow the psychic flow generated by this writing enterprise. I do not know where this positional analysis will take me or how this psychodynamic field study will end. I am simply dedicating all remaining personal energy reserves to capitulating to a tornado-like process of self-study, a turbulent procedure with an unpredictable outcome. Perhaps something sensible will result from deploying a series of narrative personal essays to deconstruct the parasitic evolution of an egocentric self.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Although after many years of living we often feel more lonely, hostile and filled with illusions than when we had hardly a past to reflect upon, we also know better than before that all these pains have deepened and sharpened our urge to reach out to a solitary, hospitable and prayerful mode of existence.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life)
The back door was hanging limply open on one hinge, with half a sign still visible on it. The faded red letters spelled out GENCY EX quite clearly. I paused at the side of the doorway, pistol ready. I didn’t really think anyone would be hiding inside among the old mirrors. It was too much of a cliché, and surely even cannibals have some pride. And in any case, the mirrors had not really fooled anyone when they were in good condition. After so many years of neglect they were almost certainly no more reflective than the bottom of my shoe. But I took no chances; I moved past the door in a crouch with my pistol ready and aimed at the inside of the funhouse. Nothing lurked, nothing moved. I went on by to the next puddle of shadow. At
Jeff Lindsay (Dexter is Delicious (Dexter, #5))
I once had a foreign exchange trader who worked for me who was an unabashed chartist. He truly believed that all the information you needed was reflected in the past history of a currency. Now it's true there can be less to consider in trading currencies than individual equities, since at least for developed country currencies it's typically not necessary to pore over their financial statements every quarter. And in my experience, currencies do exhibit sustainable trends more reliably than, say, bonds or commodities. Imbalances caused by, for example, interest rate differentials that favor one currency over another (by making it more profitable to invest in the higher-yielding one) can persist for years. Of course, another appeal of charting can be that it provides a convenient excuse to avoid having to analyze financial statements or other fundamental data. Technical analysts take their work seriously and apply themselves to it diligently, but it's also possible for a part-time technician to do his market analysis in ten minutes over coffee and a bagel. This can create the false illusion of being a very efficient worker. The FX trader I mentioned was quite happy to engage in an experiment whereby he did the trades recommended by our in-house market technician. Both shared the same commitment to charts as an under-appreciated path to market success, a belief clearly at odds with the in-house technician's avoidance of trading any actual positions so as to provide empirical proof of his insights with trading profits. When challenged, he invariably countered that managing trading positions would challenge his objectivity, as if holding a losing position would induce him to continue recommending it in spite of the chart's contrary insight. But then, why hold a losing position if it's not what the chart said? I always found debating such tortured logic a brief but entertaining use of time when lining up to get lunch in the trader's cafeteria. To the surprise of my FX trader if not to me, the technical analysis trading account was unprofitable. In explaining the result, my Kool-Aid drinking trader even accepted partial responsibility for at times misinterpreting the very information he was analyzing. It was along the lines of that he ought to have recognized the type of pattern that was evolving but stupidly interpreted the wrong shape. It was almost as if the results were not the result of the faulty religion but of the less than completely faithful practice of one of its adherents. So what use to a profit-oriented trading room is a fully committed chartist who can't be trusted even to follow the charts? At this stage I must confess that we had found ourselves in this position as a last-ditch effort on my part to salvage some profitability out of a trader I'd hired who had to this point been consistently losing money. His own market views expressed in the form of trading positions had been singularly unprofitable, so all that remained was to see how he did with somebody else's views. The experiment wasn't just intended to provide a “live ammunition” record of our in-house technician's market insights, it was my last best effort to prove that my recent hiring decision hadn't been a bad one. Sadly, his failure confirmed my earlier one and I had to fire him. All was not lost though, because he was able to transfer his unsuccessful experience as a proprietary trader into a new business advising clients on their hedge fund investments.
Simon A. Lack (Wall Street Potholes: Insights from Top Money Managers on Avoiding Dangerous Products)
Simply following the herd is not going to work. In a way that past generations simply didn’t have to do, each one of us will need to think about who we are and how we construct our life and how this reflects our identity and values.
Lynda Gratton (The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity)
Amelia went to the parlor windows and watched the two distant figures proceed through the orchard toward the forest. The apple trees, frosted with light green buds and white blossoms, soon conspired to hide the pair from view. She puzzled over the way Beatrix had behaved with the stern-faced soldier, pecking and chirping at him, almost as if she were trying to remind him of something he’d forgotten. Cam joined her at the window, standing behind her. She leaned back against him, taking comfort in her husband’s steady, strong presence. One of his hands glided along her front. She shivered in pleasure at the casual sensuality of his touch. “Poor man,” Amelia murmured, thinking of Phelan’s haunting eyes. “I didn’t recognize him at first. I wonder if he knows how much he has changed?” Cam’s lips played lightly at her temple as he replied. “I suspect he is realizing it now that he’s home.” “He was very charming before. Now he seems so austere. And the way he stares sometimes, as if he’s looking right through one…” “He’s spent two years burying his friends,” Cam replied quietly. “And he’s taken part in the kind of close combat that makes a man as hard as nails.” He paused reflectively. “Some of it you can’t leave behind. The faces of the men you kill stay with you forever.” Knowing that he was remembering a particular episode of his own past, Amelia turned and hugged herself close to him. “The Rom don’t believe in war,” Cam said against her hair. “Conflict, arguing, fighting, yes. But not in taking the life of a man with whom one has no personal grievance. Which is one of many reasons why I would not make a good soldier.” “But for those same reasons, you make a very good husband.” Cam’s arms tightened around her, and he whispered something in Romany. Although she didn’t understand the words, the rough-soft sound of them caused her nerves to tingle. Amelia nestled closer. With her cheek against his chest, she reflected aloud, “It’s obvious that Beatrix is fascinated by Captain Phelan.” “She’s always been drawn to wounded creatures.” “The wounded ones are often the most dangerous.” His hand moved in a soothing stroke along her spine. “We’ll keep a close watch on her, monisha.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Who today reflects that in the Battle of the Somme alone, where every man was an eager volunteer of ‘Kitchener’s Army’, more British lives were lost than in the whole of the Second World War? Or that in the first day’s fighting of any major attack on the Western Front, more men were killed than the Americans lost in eight years fighting in Vietnam?—31,000 at the time these words are written. The average man and woman of today is not interested in such profitless comparisons. Modern life does not want to hear about these inconceivable calamities of the past.
Arthur Gould Lee (Open Cockpit)
Then, unexpectedly, he phoned me late on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2009. He was at home in Palo Alto with only his sister, the writer Mona Simpson. His wife and their three children had taken a quick trip to go skiing, but he was not healthy enough to join them. He was in a reflective mood, and we talked for more than an hour. He began by recalling that he had wanted to build a frequency counter when he was twelve, and he was able to look up Bill Hewlett, the founder of HP, in the phone book and call him to get parts. Jobs said that the past twelve years of his life, since his return to Apple, had been his most productive in terms of creating new products. But his more important goal, he said, was to do what Hewlett and his friend David Packard had done, which was create a company that was so imbued with innovative creativity that it would outlive them. “I
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
briefly how she had managed to unlock the back door and why she should have seemed so resentful of him. She had, he decided, been musing and had made her way to this particular room for that purpose. Her pose over there by the window had betrayed as much and his sudden appearance breaking into her reflections, had startled her, so that, in a sense, her anger had been counterfeit. He remained standing where she had stood, wondering if she would circle the west wing and appear at the crest of the drive, but when he heard or saw something of her he fell to thinking about women in general and his relations with them in the past. His experience with women had been limited but although technically still a virgin he was not altogether innocent. There had been a very forward fourteen-year-old called Cherry, who had lived in an adjoining house in Croydon, when he came home for school holidays and Cherry had succeeded in bewitching but ultimately terrifying him, for one day when they were larking about in the stable behind her house, she had hinted at the mysterious differences between the sexes and when, blushing, he had encouraged her to elaborate, she had promptly hoisted her skirt and pulled down her long cotton drawers, whereupon he had fled as though the Devil was after him and had never sought her company again, although he watched her closely in church on successive Sundays, expecting any moment to see forked lightning descend on her in the middle of ‘For all the Saints’. Then there had been a little clumsy cuddling at Christmas parties, and after that a flaxen-haired girl called Daphne whom he had mooned over as an adolescent and had thought of a good deal in the Transvaal but now he had almost forgotten what Daphne looked like and had not recalled her name until now. Finally there had been an abortive foray
R.F. Delderfield (A Horseman Riding By: Three Novels)
Empirical logic achieved a signal triumph in the Old Testament, where survivals from the early proto-logical stage are very few and far between. With it man reached a point where his best judgments about his relation to God, his fellow men and the world, were in most respects not appreciably inferior to ours. In fundamental ethical and spiritual matters we have not progressed at all beyond the empirico-logical world of the Old Testament or the unrivalled fusion of proto-logical intuition, 64 [see Coomaraswamy, Review of Religion, 1942, p. 138, paragraph 3] empirico-logical wisdom and logical deduction which we find in the New Testament. In fact a very large section of modern religion, literature and art actually represents a pronounced retrogression when compared with the Old Testament. For example, astrology, spiritism and kindred divagations, which have become religion to tens of millions of Europeans and Americans, are only the outgrowth of proto-logical interpretation of nature, fed by empirico-logical data and covered with a spurious shell of Aristotelian logic and scientific induction. Plastic and graphic art has swung violently away from logical perspective and perceptual accuracy, and has plunged into primordial depths of conceptual drawing and intuitive imagery. While it cannot be denied that this swing from classical art to conceptual and impressionistic art has yielded some valuable results, it is also true that it represents a very extreme retrogression into the proto-logical past. Much of the poetry, drama and fiction which has been written during the past half-century is also a reversion from classical and logical standards of morality and beauty into primitive savagery or pathological abnormality. Some of it has reached such paralogical levels of sophistication that it has lost all power to furnish any standards at all to a generation which has deliberately tried to abandon its entire heritage from the past. All systematic attempts to discredit inherited sexual morality, to substitute dream-states for reflection, and to replace logical writing by jargon, are retreats into the jungle from which man emerged through long and painful millennia of disillusionment. With the same brains and affective reactions as those which our ancestors possessed two thousand years ago, increasing sophistication has not been able to teach us any sounder fundamental principles of life than were known at that time. . . . Unless we can continue along the pathway of personal morality and spiritual growth which was marked out for civilized man by the founders of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, more than two thousand years ago, our superior skill in modifying and even in transforming the material world about us can lead only to repeated disasters, each more terrible than its predecessor. (Archaeology and the Religion of Israel, 5th Ed. New York: Doubleday Anchor, 31-33.)
William Foxwell Albright
90 percent of all the information that exists in the world today was created in the past two years. Not much time for editing, testing, and serious reflection.
David J. Helfand (A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age: Scientific Habits of Mind)
Dreaming is impossible without myths. If we ll latch onto those of others -- even if don't have enough myths of our own, we'll latch onto those of others -- even if those myths make us believe terrible or false things about ourselves... Call it superego, call it common sense, call it pragmatism, call it learned helplessness, but the mind craves boundaries. Depending on the myths we believe in, those boundaries can be magnificently vast or crushingly tight. Throughout my life as I've sought to become a published writer of speculative fiction, my strongest detractors and discouragers have been other African Americans... Having swallowed these ideas, people regurgitate them at me at nearly every turn. And for a time, I swallowed them, too... Myths tell us what those like us have done, can do, should do. Without myths to lead the way, we hesitate to leap forward. Listen to the wrong myths, and we might even go back a few steps... Because Star Trek takes place five hundred years from now, supposedly long after humanity has transcended racism, sexism, etc. But there's still only one black person on the crew, and she's the receptionist. This is disingenuous. I know now what I did not understand then: That most science fiction doesn't realistically depict the future; it reflects the present in which it is written. So for the 1960s, Uhura's presence was groundbreaking - and her marginalization was to be expected. But I wasn't watching the show in the 1960s. I was watching it in the 1980s... I was watching it as a tween/teen girl who'd grown up being told that she could do anything if she only put her mind to it, and I looked to science fiction to provide me with useful myths about my future: who I might become, what was possible, how far I and my descendants might go... In the future, as in the present, as in the past, black people will build many new worlds. This is true. I will make it so. And you will help me. -- "Dreaming Awake" by N.K. Jemisin
Glory Edim (Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves)
designed her clothes, and then thought of her environment and the people around her, and finally placed her in that environment and had her move about and speak, letting her live. But this soon turned tedious, and he told Bai Rong about the difficulties he had encountered: “She’s like a puppet on a string. Every word and action arises from the design but lacks the spark of life.” She said, “Your approach is wrong. You’re writing an essay rather than creating a literary figure. What a literary character does in ten minutes might be a reflection of ten years’ experience. You can’t be limited to the plot of a novel—you’ve got to imagine her entire life, and what actually gets put into words is just the tip of the iceberg.
Liu Cixin (The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #2))
sedimentary time. The lowest stratum, or the layer immediately above the Deterrence Center, had probably been deposited four billion years ago. The Earth had been born only five hundred million years before that. The turbid ocean was in its infancy, and nonstop flashes of lightning struck its surface; the Sun was a fuzzy ball of light in a haze-veiled sky, casting a crimson reflection over the sea. At short intervals, other bright balls of light streaked across the sky, crashing into the sea and trailing long tails of fire; these meteor strikes caused tsunamis that propelled gigantic waves to smash onto continents still laced with rivers of lava, raising clouds of vapor generated by fire and water that dimmed the Sun.… In contrast to this hellish but magnificent sight, the turbid water brewed a microscopic tale. Here, organic molecules were born from lightning flashes and cosmic rays, and they collided, fused, broke apart again—a long-lasting game played with building blocks for five hundred million years. Finally, a chain of organic molecules, trembling, split into two strands. The strands attracted other molecules around them until two identical copies of the original were made, and these split apart again and replicated themselves.… In this game of building blocks, the probability of producing such a self-replicating chain of organic molecules was so minuscule that it was as if a tornado had picked up a pile of metallic trash and deposited it as a fully-assembled Mercedes-Benz. But it happened, and so, a breathtaking history of 3.5 billion years had begun.
Liu Cixin (Remembrance of Earth's Past: The Three-Body Trilogy (Remembrance of Earth's Past #1-3))
To decide how great the danger was that this oldest civilized continent in the world would be overrun this winter will be left to later historical research. The unfading credit that this danger is over now goes to those soldiers whom we are commemorating today. Only a glance at Bolshevism’s gigantic preparations for the destruction of our world is sufficient to let us realize with horror what might have become of Germany and the rest of the Continent, had not the National Socialist movement taken power in this state ten years ago, and had it not begun the rebuilding of the German Wehrmacht with the determination that is so peculiar to it, following many fruitless efforts for disarmament. After all, the Germany of Weimar with its Centrist-Marxist democratic party politics would have been swept away by this Central Asian invasion as a straw would be by a hurricane. We realize with increasing clarity that the confrontation that has taken place in Europe since the First World War is slowly beginning to look like a struggle which can only be compared with the greatest historic events of the past. Eternal Jewry forced on us a pitiless and merciless war. Should we not be able to stop the elements of destruction at Europe’s borders, then this continent will be transformed into a single field of ruins. The gravest consequences of this war would then be not only the burned cities and destroyed cultural monuments, but also the bestially murdered multitudes, which would become the victim of this Central Asian flood, just as with the invasions by the Huns and Mongols. What the German and allied soldiers today protect in the east is not the stony face of this continent or its social and intellectual character, but its eternal human substance, whence all values originated ages and ages ago and which gave expression to all human civilizations today, not only to those in Europe and America. In addition to this world of barbarity threatening from the east, we are witnessing the satanic destructive frenzy of its ally, the so-called West. We know about our enemies’ war objectives from countless publications, speeches, and open demands. The babble of the Atlantic Charter is worth as much as Wilson’s Fourteen Points in contrast with the implemented actual design of the Diktat of Versailles. Just as in the English parliamentary democracy the warmonger Churchill pointed the way for later developments with his claim in 1936, when he was not yet the responsible leader of Great Britain, that Germany had to be destroyed again, so the elements behind the present demands for peace in the same democracies today are already planning the state to which they seek to reduce Europe after the war. And their objectives totally correspond with the manifestations of their Bolshevik allies, which we have not only known about but also witnessed: the extermination of all continental people proudly conscious of their nationality and, at their head, the extermination of our own German people. It makes no difference whether English or American papers, parliamentarians, stump orators, or men of letters demand the destruction of the Reich, the abduction of the children of our Volk, the sterilization of our male youth, and so on, as the primary war objective, or whether Bolshevism implements the slaughter of whole groups of people, men, women, and children, in practice. After all, the driving force behind this remains the eternal hatred of that cursed race which, as a true scourge of God, chastised the nations for many thousands of years, until they began to defend themselves against their tormentors in times of reflection. Speech in Lichthof of the Zeughaus for the Heroes’ Memorial Day Berlin, March 21, 1943
Adolf Hitler (Collection of Speeches: 1922-1945)
She went alone to the vast room where the second-hand clothes were kept. Later, she thought it the happiest hour of her life. There were silks and brocades by the yard, and pile upon pile of hats, wigs, cloaks, and masks. After two years in wretched rags, even the linen shifts felt as soft as thistledown. She whirled from one delight to another- clutching lace, burying her nose in furs, holding flashy paste jewels next to her new-bleached skin. Catching her reflected eye in the mirror she laughed out loud, her red mouth wide and knowing. She put aside a few carefully-chosen costumes and elbow-length mittens. Then, finally, she chose a few costumes of a particular nature: shiny satin, ebony black. Lastly, she gathered the garments she would wear for her journey: a grass-green woolen gown and a lace cap and apron. The effect was somewhat grand for a domestic servant. Her auburn locks were pinned tightly, her figure flattered by a frilled muslin kerchief, crisscrossed in an 'X' over her breast. Pulling out a few auburn tendrils from her cap, she adjusted her bodice to show a little more flesh. Then she grew very still, and smiled slowly into the empty space before her. "How do you do, sir," she said with a graceful curtsy. "Now, what pretty dish might you care for tonight?
Martine Bailey (A Taste for Nightshade)
Every experience that you go through is part of the process of the unfolding of your myth. If you sit back and reflect on your own 2019, on how Life dealt with you this year, you will see how every upheaval, every scar in your Life, is precious in its own way. You will realize how you have emerged stronger and wiser from each experience you have been through. You will be amazed at how you have learnt to cope, how you have moved on this year too, just as you have done, all your Life. This is why it is pointless to label a year as good or bad (or ugly). A set of events simply happened to you this past year. And another set will happen in the year coming up. So, instead of over-analyzing and labeling the year gone by, embrace what is, and train your mind to be non-worrying, non-frustrated and non-suffering. This holds the key to your Happiness.
AVIS Viswanathan
Michael’s story He sat down to think of how much his life has crumbled after losing his job and his wife filing for a divorce for a twelve years marriage. Everyone had thought he was at the top of his game and he was having a fulfilled lifetime and he believed them. When things came crumbling, he decided to give therapy a chance before he finally went insane with the happenings around him. Thinking deep down, he realized he had been living a major part of his life to please people. He endured a marriage that lacked love and saw the whole thing crumbling and then he felt like a failure contrary to what he had thought initially.  As he reflected on his past, he could boldly say, ‘I am glad all the setback occurred, they are my source of inspiration’. When he was asked about his next pursuit on success, he responded ‘success can wait. Firstly, I have to know me’.
Theresa J. Covert (Emotionally Immature Parents: Overcoming Childhood Emotional Neglect due to Absent and Self involved Parents)
There is no reason at all for thinking that the average intelligent investor, even with much devoted effort, can derive better results over the years from the purchase of growth stocks than the investment companies specializing in this area. Surely these organizations have more brains and better research facilities at their disposal than you do. Consequently we should advise against the usual type of growth-stock commitment for the enterprising investor.* This is one in which the excellent prospects are fully recognized in the market and already reflected in a current price-earnings ratio of, say, higher than 20. (For the defensive investor we suggested an upper limit of purchase price at 25 times average earnings of the past seven years. The two criteria would be about equivalent in most cases.)† The striking thing about growth stocks as a class is their tendency toward wide swings in market price. This is true of the largest and longest-established companies—such as General Electric and International Business Machines—and even more so of newer and smaller successful companies. They illustrate our thesis that the main characteristic of the stock market since 1949 has been the injection of a highly speculative element into the shares of companies which have scored the most brilliant successes, and which themselves would be entitled to a high investment rating. (Their credit standing is of the best, and they pay the lowest interest rates on their borrowings.) The investment caliber of such a company may not change over a long span of years, but the risk characteristics of its stock will depend on what happens to it in the stock market. The more enthusiastic the public grows about it, and the faster its advance as compared with the actual growth in its earnings, the riskier a proposition it becomes.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
The frightening thing, he reflected for the ten thousandth time as he forced his shoulders painfully backward (with hands on hips, they were gyrating their bodies from the waist, an exercise that was supposed to be good for the back muscles)—the frightening thing was that it might all be true. If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death. The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present controls the
George Orwell (1984)
No, you don't feel it now. Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly. Now, wherever you go, you charm the world. Will it always be so? ... You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray. Don't frown. You have. And beauty is a form of genius--is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. It cannot be questioned. It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it. You smile? Ah! when you have lost it you won't smile.... People say sometimes that beauty is only superficial. That may be so, but at least it is not so superficial as thought is. To me, beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.... Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you. But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which to live really, perfectly, and fully. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, or have to content yourself with those mean triumphs that the memory of your past will make more bitter than defeats. Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollow-cheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.... Ah! realize your youth while you have it. Don't squander the gold of your days, listening to the tedious, trying to improve the hopeless failure, or giving away your life to the ignorant, the common, and the vulgar. These are the sickly aims, the false ideals, of our age. Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.... A new Hedonism--that is what our century wants. You might be its visible symbol. With your personality there is nothing you could not do. The world belongs to you for a season.... The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. For there is such a little time that your youth will last--such a little time. The common hill-flowers wither, but they blossom again. The laburnum will be as yellow next June as it is now. In a month there will be purple stars on the clematis, and year after year the green night of its leaves will hold its purple stars. But we never get back our youth. The pulse of joy that beats in us at twenty becomes sluggish. Our limbs fail, our senses rot. We degenerate into hideous puppets, haunted by the memory of the passions of which we were too much afraid, and the exquisite temptations that we had not the courage to yield to. Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
And the main thing that was wrong was that everything seemed to have gotten just a little worse, or at best remained the same. You would have predicted that at least a few facets of everyday life would improve markedly in twenty-two years. Her father contended the War was behind it all: any person who showed a shred of talent was sucked up by UNEF; the very best fell to the Elite Conscription Act and wound up being cannon fodder. It was hard not to agree with him. Wars in the past often accelerated social reform, provided technological benefits, even sparked artistic activity. This one, however, seemed tailor-made to provide none of these positive by-products. Such improvements as had been made on late-twentieth-century technology were—like tachyon bombs and warships two kilometers long—at best, interesting developments of things that only required the synergy of money and existing engineering techniques. Social reform? The world was technically under martial law. As for art, I’m not sure I know good from bad. But artists to some extent have to reflect the temper of the times. Paintings and sculpture were full of torture and dark brooding; movies seemed static and plotless; music was dominated by nostalgic revivals of earlier forms; architecture was mainly concerned with finding someplace to put everybody; literature was damn near incomprehensible. Most people seemed to spend most of their time trying to find ways to outwit the government, trying to scrounge a few extra K’s or ration tickets without putting their lives in too much danger. And in the past, people whose country was at war were constantly in contact with the war. The newspapers would be full of reports, veterans would return from the front; sometimes the front would move right into town, invaders marching down Main Street or bombs whistling through the night air—but always the sense of either working toward victory or at least delaying defeat. The enemy was a tangible thing, a propagandist’s monster whom you could understand, whom you could hate. But this war...the enemy was a curious organism only vaguely understood, more often the subject of cartoons than nightmares. The main effect of the war on the home front was economic, unemotional-more taxes but more jobs as well. After twenty-two years, only twenty-seven returned veterans; not enough to make a decent parade. The most important fact about the war to most people was that if it ended suddenly, Earth’s economy would collapse.
Joe Haldeman (The Forever War (The Forever War, #1))
Die Freunde, an die ich denke, sind in der Zeit gefangen wie in einem Film. Sie (viele von ihnen sind tot, verschollen) sind in dem Alter, in dem ich sie zuletzt gesehen habe; ich bezweifle, dass sie mich jetzt wiedererkennen würden.
Alberto Manguel (A Reading Diary: A Passionate Reader's Reflections on a Year of Books)
Singing a New Song He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD. PSALM 40:3 NLT For many, the New Year is a good time to reflect on the events of the past year, to review what God has done, to praise Him for deliverance and safety, and to thank Him for His provision—both individually and corporately. Some of the social networks online have software that will look at the posts and pictures an individual has made and put together a year in review, hitting the highlights and major events. But those “reviews” don’t always pick up on the praise and thanksgiving to God that should result from such an accounting. Take a moment to reflect on all that God has done in the previous months. Then proclaim the works of the Lord, be amazed at His outpouring of love, grace, and mercy. Break out in song, spontaneous and free. Praise God in hymns, praise songs, and scripture songs. Even those who can’t “carry a tune in a bucket,” as the saying goes, can praise God with a joyful noise. If God’s people don’t proclaim the glorious works of their God, how can they expect the world to ever have a right view of Him? Sing a new song of praise to God for His many and varied works, and renew your trust in Him for the new year ahead. Father, thank You for the new song of praise You have placed in my heart.
Various (Daily Wisdom for Women 2015 Devotional Collection - January)
heritage a secret. This secrecy is probably a matter of protection for her and for Mordecai. As Ahasuerus is preparing for a new wife, as Mordecai is preparing Esther for a new life, Esther is preparing to be come a queen. It is important to notice that Esther is obedient and faithful without being certain of the outcome of this year. She has no guarantee of ever returning to her own life, she has no guarantee that she will become queen, so we must assume that she is not motivated by results in her service to the Lord. Esther is obedient without any promise other than the knowledge inside her that she will not be abandoned by the Lord at any time. She will be faithful regardless of foreseeable consequences, and the example that this kind of faithfulness sets for us is fantastic. Once evaluated by Hegai worthy of the expense of the preparations, each young woman must undergo Ahasuerus’ scrutiny as well. After a year, Esther is prepared to face the king, and is now awaiting her turn to enter his chambers. Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace.In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who kept the concubines. Esther 2:12-13 After their period of preparation, the women go, one at a time, in to the king’s palace. They leave the women’s quarters in the evening and return in the morning… and their life’s course is determined within a period of 24 hours or less. Imagine the scene: these women were taken from their families and everything familiar to them a year or so before they are sent into the king. For a year, they are in the custody of Hegai the custodian of the women. Each step that these women take toward the palace is a step toward one of two things: either the beginning of a new life or the death of every possible dream that each one might have had for her life. A step toward becoming Ahasuerus’ wife and queen of Persia — tremendous honor and riches; or a step toward becoming one of the king’s concubines — a life devoid of true love or passion. Each candidate completed these twelve months and went into the king as a potential queen. The next morning, each woman left the king’s chambers as one of a countless number of mistresses in his harem. The history does not indicate that they were rejected and returned to their own homes. They were returned to Shaashgaz, the keeper of the king’s concubines. The finality and sadness of the conclusion of this year must have been excruciating. “She would not go into the king again unless the king delighted in her and called for her by name.” Esther 2:14 Like a splash of ice water, that sentence feels cold. A rush of emptiness and loneliness all of a sudden, they have been used and, for all practical purposes, thrown away. When they returned the next morning, they did not even go to the court that has been their home for the past year. These women went into the custody of Shaashgaz, the eunuch custodian of the concubines. That is quite a demotion for these young women — their future has just been decided, and they had no say in it. Hopes of marriage to anyone for one of these rejected women is completely over. “She would not go into the king again...” These women must have felt a tremendous loss and sorrow. Whether or not they had actually wanted to be queen (remember that they had no choice in the matter — they had to come to the palace either way), they had been preparing for this moment for a year. Perhaps they had waited even longer
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
I reflected over many years of trials and triumphs and I realized that the times that I succeeded were the times that I didn’t give up when things looked bad. I stuck with it and I pushed past the pain. Sowing and reaping is like that. We get past the stages of clearing clutter from our hearts and sowing the Word just fine, but then we get weary during the waiting stage, and by the time the germination stage comes, so much doubt and disappointment has built up that we give up—we stop believing. We begin to doubt and we lose faith. We never see our promise come to pass because we give up during the most critical stage of the process—the breaking stage. We’re so close, but because we feel so beat up we break down. The enemy wins.
Lynn R. Davis (Sow Much More, A Personal Testimony (An Inspirational True Short Story))
past year, reflecting not just the city’s strong economy but also the impossibility of building on its edges. The insistence on big minimum lot sizes in some American suburbs and rural areas has much the same effect. Cities that try to prevent growth through green belts often end up weakening themselves, as Seoul has done. A wiser policy would be to plan for huge expansion. Acquire strips of land for roads and railways, and chunks for parks, before the city sprawls into them. New York’s 19th-century governors decided where Central Park was going to go long before the city reached it. New York went on to develop in a way that they could not have imagined, but the park is still there. This is not the dirigisme of the new-town planner—that confident soul who believes he knows where people will want to live and work, and how they will get from one
Anonymous
Lillian Meecham was a stunningly beautiful woman of thirty-seven. Time had encircled her softly, enriched and deepened her beauty as the years tiptoed past her. Her hair was long, a dark luxuriant red, swept to one side of her head and half covering her right eye, a haughty, insouciant mane that added a touch of ingenuous naughtiness to a face that otherwise had the innocence of a Madonna. Her face was a reflection of many things; a sum of many transfiguring, even violent events. Her smile was joyous, but the joy was fringed with grief. Her lips were full and passionate, her nose, mischievous and arrogant. In her face, hardening experiences were registered in soft places. Pain was exiled to the nearly invisible lines shooting out from the eyes. Grief radiated in tight stars from both sides of her mouth. These wrinkles were the only indications that the face had suffered and that time had left at least a few footprints in passage. It was a kind face; a face that sons could love, husbands worship, and daughters envy. Her body was firm, ripe, and full. It had rich curves that invited the secret scholarship of men’s eyes. She had borne four children and suffered three miscarriages, but her stomach was as hard and flat as her hand.
Pat Conroy (The Great Santini)
Love interrupts the past and opens the future to new probabilities. No matter who you are, no matter how young or old you are, in the present, all things are possible.
Marianne Williamson (A Year of Miracles: Daily Devotions and Reflections)
You feel so overwritten you're like a palimpsest; the original girl almost lost under years of scrawling yet you nurture an illusion of beauty, brush your hair in the dark so when your reflection finally catches up with you you stare straight past that older woman to the skateboard dancers behind hitting the frosty air with exuberant grace. On the loose in the morning city reminds you of lovers, catching the tram to work in last night's laddered stockings, the sharp-edged day already intruding like a hangover. It's not the sex you miss or the hotel mornings but the reassurance of strangers and that wild card. Now everything's played out the same, no surprises in the pack except those dealt by disaster. Early this morning such certainty dragged on your thoughts they stumbled flat-footed through the breakfast silence and you knew neither the apples orchard fresh, crisp as snow nor the blue bowl they posed in were enough. People disappear all the time, emerge like summer snakes newly marked and glittering into a clean desert. Without the photo of a child you carry in your wallet which reminds you who you have become you'd catch a train to Musk or Mollymook, some place your fingers have strayed over. Even thinking that, you turn your face into the wind, keep walking that same old line in your new flamboyant shoes. Oh my treacherous heart.
Catherine Bateson (The Vigilant Heart)
Most people imagine that the explosion in the U.S. prison population during the past twenty-five years reflects changes in crime rates. Few would guess that our prison population leaped from approximately 350,000 to 2.3 million in such a short period of time due to changes in laws and policies, not changes in crime rates. Yet it has been changes in our laws—particularly the dramatic increases in the length of our prison sentences—that have been responsible for the growth of our prison system, not increases in crime. One study suggests that the entire increase in the prison population from 1980 to 2001 can be explained by sentencing policy changes.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
He had always assumed that a time would come in adulthood, a kind of plateau, when he would have learned all the tricks of managing, of simply being. All mail and e-mails answered, all papers in order, books alphabetically on the shelves, clothes and shoes in good repair in the wardrobes, and all his stuff where he could find it, with the past, including its letters and photographs, sorted into boxes and files, the private life settled and serene, accommodation and finances likewise. In all these years this settlement, the calm plateau, had never appeared, and yet he had continued to assume, without reflecting on the matter, that it was just around the next turn, when he would exert himself and reach it, that moment when his life became clear and his mind free, when his grown-up existence could properly begin. But not long after Catriona's birth, about the time he met Darlene, he thought he saw it for the first time: on the day he died he would be wearing unmatching socks, there would be unanswered e-mails, and in the hovel he called home there would still be shirts missing cuff buttons, a malfunctioning light in the hall, and unpaid bills, uncleared attics, dead flies, friends waiting for a reply, and lovers he had not owned up to. Oblivion, the last word in organization, would be his only consolation.
Ian McEwan (Solar)
Later, after Rule became famous, she stopped writing those kind of books and started writing about a different kind of true-crime case. She started writing about real-life gothic soap operas, dream-come-true husbands who turn out to have a dark past and crap. I don’t have any interest in those crimes or those books, which I think are written for women, and I haven’t been able to read anything she’s written in 25 years, although I keep trying.
Bill James (Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence)
her that when he had first raised the idea, I hadn’t known he was sick. Almost nobody knew, she said. He had called me right before he was going to be operated on for cancer, and he was still keeping it a secret, she explained. I decided then to write this book. Jobs surprised me by readily acknowledging that he would have no control over it or even the right to see it in advance. “It’s your book,” he said. “I won’t even read it.” But later that fall he seemed to have second thoughts about cooperating and, though I didn’t know it, was hit by another round of cancer complications. He stopped returning my calls, and I put the project aside for a while. Then, unexpectedly, he phoned me late on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2009. He was at home in Palo Alto with only his sister, the writer Mona Simpson. His wife and their three children had taken a quick trip to go skiing, but he was not healthy enough to join them. He was in a reflective mood, and we talked for more than an hour. He began by recalling that he had wanted to build a frequency counter when he was twelve, and he was able to look up Bill Hewlett, the founder of HP, in the phone book and call him to get parts. Jobs said that the past twelve years of his life, since his return to Apple, had been his most productive in terms of creating new products. But his more important goal, he said, was to do what Hewlett and his friend David Packard had done, which was create a company that was so imbued with innovative creativity that it would outlive them. “I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics,” he said. “Then I read something that one of my heroes, Edwin Land of Polaroid, said about the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of humanities and sciences, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do.” It was as if he were suggesting themes for his biography (and in this instance, at least, the theme turned out to be valid). The creativity that can occur when a feel for both the humanities and the sciences combine in one strong personality was the topic that most interested me in my biographies of Franklin and Einstein, and I believe that it will be a key to creating innovative economies in the twenty-first century. I asked Jobs why he wanted me to be the one to write his biography. “I think you’re good at getting people to talk,” he replied. That was an unexpected answer. I knew that I would have to interview scores of people he had fired, abused, abandoned, or otherwise infuriated, and I feared he would not be comfortable with my getting them to talk. And indeed he did turn out to be skittish when word trickled back to him of people that I was interviewing. But after a couple of months,
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
There used to be a time when neighbors took care of one another, he remembered. [Put “he remembered”first to establish reflective tone.] It no longer seemed to happen that way, however. [The contrast supplied by “however”must come first. Start with “But.”Also establish America locale.] He wondered if it was because everyone in the modern world was so busy. [All these sentences are the same length and have the same soporific rhythm; turn this one into a question?] It occurred to him that people today have so many things to do that they don’t have time for old-fashioned friendship. [Sentence essentially repeats previous sentence; kill it or warm it up with specific detail.] Things didn’t work that way in America in previous eras. [Reader is still in the present; reverse the sentence to tell him he’s now in the past. “America”no longer needed if inserted earlier.] And he knew that the situation was very different in other countries, as he recalled from the years when he lived in villages in Spain and Italy. [Reader is still in America. Use a negative transition word to get him to Europe. Sentence is also too flabby. Break it into two sentences?] It almost seemed to him that as people got richer and built their houses farther apart they isolated themselves from the essentials of life. [Irony deferred too long. Plant irony early. Sharpen the paradox about richness.] And there was another thought that troubled him. [This is the real point of the paragraph; signal the reader that it’s important. Avoid weak “there was”construction.] His friends had deserted him when he needed them most during his recent illness. [Reshape to end with “most”; the last word is the one that stays in the reader’s ear and gives the sentence its punch. Hold sickness for next sentence; it’s a separate thought.] It was almost as if they found him guilty of doing something shameful. [Introduce sickness here as the reason for the shame. Omit “guilty”; it’s implicit.] He recalled reading somewhere about societies in primitive parts of the world in which sick people were shunned, though he had never heard of any such ritual in America. [Sentence starts slowly and stays sluggish and dull. Break it into shorter units. Snap off the ironic point.]
William Zinsser (On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction)
At the time of this writing, our knowledge of East Asian population history is relatively limited compared to that of West Eurasia because less than 5 percent of published ancient DNA data comes from East Asia. The difference reflects the fact that ancient DNA technology was invented in Europe, and it is nearly impossible for researchers to export samples from China and Japan because of government restrictions or a preference that studies be led by local scientists. This has meant that these regions have missed out on the first few years of the ancient DNA revolution.
David Reich (Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past)
My hope is that our leaders will capitalize on our country's most admirable qualities. When people in other nations face a challenge or a problem, it would be good for them to look to Washington for assistance or as a sterling example. Our government should be known to be opposed to war, dedicated to the resolution of disputes by peaceful means and whenever possible, eager to accomplish this goal. We should be seen as the unswerving champion of human rights both among our own citizens and within the global community. America should be the focal point around which other nations can rally against threats to the quality of our common environment. We should be willing to lead by example in sharing our great wealth with those in need. Our own society should provide equal opportunity for all citizens and assure that they are provided the basic necessities of life. It would be no sacrifice in exemplifying these traits. Instead, our nation's well being would be enhanced by restoring the trust, admiration and friendship that our nation formerly enjoyed among other peoples. At the same time, all Americans could be united in a common commitment to revive and nourish the political and moral values that we have espoused and sought during the past 240 years.
Jimmy Carter (A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety)
Bakke recounts an earlier anecdote that explains how his view on work was shaped from early childhood—one of a strand of many experiences that would determine his vocation to create organizations that make work fun and fulfilling: On this particular day, my mother had organized the evening work in her usual style. The kitchen was abuzz with activity. I was 16 years old and charged with cooking creamed peas for supper. My younger brother was carrying wood from the shed to the storage area next to the kitchen. Kenny’s older sisters [Kenny and his sisters were foster children at the Bakke home] were clearing dirty cooking dishes and setting the table with dinner ware. …. No one was paying attention to Kenny. …. Suddenly the two-year-old … picked up the spoon on his tray. “I want jobs, I want jobs, I want jobs,” he chanted as he pounded his spoon. I think this little guy with a crooked smile and troubled past was saying, “I want to contribute. I can make a difference. I want to be part of the team. I’m somebody. I want to have fun working, too!” Over the years, I have reflected on that moment and come to believe that it captures the early and substantial influence Mom had on my concept of fun in the workplace. Somehow, she created an environment in which everyone was energized, not from fear of punishment or promise of reward, but from a desire to accomplish something positive. She had unbridled confidence in our ability to accomplish the tasks at hand. … She gave us enormous freedom to work and make decisions. Somehow she made work so attractive that even an abused two-year-old wanted desperately to pitch in for the sheer joy and excitement of it.41
Frederic Laloux (Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness)
The Binding of Isaac and the Binding of You and Me With Rosh Hashanah coming in a few weeks, it is a good time to think about some of its important lessons. The High Holy Days are a time to evaluate our relationship with important people in our lives. We ask their forgiveness, they ask ours, and if there is regret for past faults and insensitive acts (Tradition calls them “sins”), we lend forgiveness to others, and they to us. Rosh Hashanah is also a time to think about our relation with our Tradition, with Judaism. It is the Jewish New Year, and a time to reexamine where we stand with regard to the faith/culture/civilization we call Judaism. Those hearing these words have already taken significant steps toward solidifying their Jewish connections by joining a synagogue, coming to religious worship, and doing many other Jewish things in our lives. Take a few moments—even a few hours—to think about and discuss your Jewish values and priorities with your loved ones and intellectual sparring partners. How can you deepen and strengthen your Jewish ties and commitments in the coming year? Perhaps that is why we are bidden to hear the sound of the Shofar each morning for thirty days during the month of Elul, before Rosh Hashanah, as well as on the New Year itself. The Talmud, in tractate “Rosh Hashanah” (16a), tells us: “Rabbi Abahu said: Why do we use the horn of a ram on Rosh Hashanah? Because the Blessed Holy One is saying to us: If you blow a horn from a ram before Me on Rosh Hashanah, I will be reminded of the act of ultimate faith performed by Avraham when he was ready to carry out my demand, even though a ram was eventually sacrificed in place of Yitzhak. The merit of Avraham will reflect merit on you, his descendants. In fact, when you blow the Shofar, and I remember the Binding (Hebrew: Akedah) of Yitzhak I will attribute to you the merit of having bound (Hebrew: akad-tem) yourselves to me. As we begin to blow the Shofar each morning, from the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul, let’s begin to think about how we bind ourselves to God. About our Jewish boundaries, the ties that bind us to our Jewish past. Let’s think of how our ritual lives can be enriched and enhanced with more song, custom, prayer and ceremony. Let’s think of how we can give ourselves to more Jewish causes (Israel, Jewish education, the synagogue), and how being Jewish can help bind and tie us to the needs of humanity (the environment, the needs of our community, the eradication of poverty and injustice). Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins
Dov Peretz Elkins (Rosh Hashanah Readings: Inspiration, Information and Contemplation)
Here are fifteen types of questions you should ask: 1. Is this item useful? Can it save me time, energy or money? Does it fulfill a need or purpose? If not, let it go. 2. Do I like it? If not, let it go. 3. Does it make my life easier in some way? If not, let it go. 4. Have I worn it, used it, found pleasure in it or looked at it in the last year? If not, let it go. 5. Does it energize me or drain me? If it drains you, let it go. 6. Is it broken beyond repair or damaged in some way? If so, let it go. 7. Is the information it provides outdated (e.g., old books, magazines, videos, etc.)? If so, let it go. 8. Am I holding on to it out of guilt? If so, let it go. 9. Have I finished using it and see no reason to use it again? If so, let it go. 10. Does it reflect the person I am today or a past version of me? If it reflects the past, let it go. 11. Do I already own something similar? If so, let it go. 12. Will I complete this (e.g., a knitting project, an unfinished book)? If not, let it go. 13. Am I spending too much time weighing the pros and cons? If so, let it go. 14. If I had to downsize to a much smaller house, would this go with me? If not, let it go. 15. Does this have any historical or potential financial value (e.g., an item passed down for several generations)? If not, let it go.
S.J. Scott (10-Minute Declutter: The Stress-Free Habit for Simplifying Your Home)
So the indigenous–immigrant relationship was carefully developed over hundreds of years and largely in good faith. What followed from the 1870s on was quite different. Increasingly, non-Aboriginals did not act in good faith. And each of these betrayals we undertook in order to help them disappear. For their own good. Most of us believe that we are now free of these attitudes. We condemn them. But it isn’t as simple as that. To free ourselves, two things must happen. We must reinstall a national narrative built upon the centrality of the Aboriginal peoples’ past, present and future. And the policies of the country must reflect that centrality, both conceptually and financially.
John Ralston Saul (The Comeback)
But whatever the exact psychology of the process {receiving recognition or literary success}, the present has a way of contaminating the past. And the writing will change accordingly. Turmoil and dilemma once experienced with a certain desperation may be seen more complacently as the writer reflects that through expressing them he has realized his inevitable and well-deserved triumph. The lean years of patient toil when no one paid attention may even begin to seem preferable to the present. The very thing you created in the heat of fierce concentration has destroyed the circumstances that made it possible. The writer is devoured along with his books.
Tim Parks
won’t even read it.” But later that fall he seemed to have second thoughts about cooperating and, though I didn’t know it, was hit by another round of cancer complications. He stopped returning my calls, and I put the project aside for a while. Then, unexpectedly, he phoned me late on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2009. He was at home in Palo Alto with only his sister, the writer Mona Simpson. His wife and their three children had taken a quick trip to go skiing, but he was not healthy enough to join them. He was in a reflective mood, and we talked for more than an hour. He began by recalling that he had wanted to build a frequency counter when he was twelve, and he was able to look up Bill Hewlett, the founder of HP, in the phone book and call him to get parts. Jobs said that the past twelve years of his life, since his return to Apple, had been his most productive in terms of creating new products. But his more important goal, he said, was to do what Hewlett and his friend David Packard had done, which was create a company that was so imbued with innovative creativity that it would outlive them. “I always thought
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
My eyes fix on my reflection in the mirror as the water warms up for my shower. I'm not sure if it's just my perception, but I look older than my thirty-eight years. I certainly feel older, too. I feel like I've lived more than one lifetime, each of them lasting an eternity. An eternity of rage, and resentment, and wrongdoing… it takes its toll on a man, that's for certain. But none of it had half as much effect on me as this past year. Something I learned was sentiment can take it out of you. I used to have no regard for myself—or anybody, for that matter. I had no reason to live anymore. But now that I care about what happens to her—and for her sake, me—I'm growing exhausted from the constant worry. Worry my past will catch up to us. Worry that she'll be the one to pay for those sins. It's the consequence, I think, of loving me. The consequence of being with someone who lived so carelessly.
J.M. Darhower (Target on Our Backs (Monster in His Eyes, #3))
The violent injunctions of the Quran and the violent precedents set by Muhammad set the tone for the Islamic view of politics and of world history. Islamic scholarship divides the world into two spheres of influence, the House of Islam (dar al-Islam) and the House of War (dar al-harb). Islam means submission, and so the House of Islam includes those nations that have submitted to Islamic rule, which is to say those nations ruled by Sharia law. The rest of the world, which has not accepted Sharia law and so is not in a state of submission, exists in a state of rebellion or war with the will of Allah. It is incumbent on dar al-Islam to make war upon dar al-harb until such time that all nations submit to the will of Allah and accept Sharia law. Islam's message to the non-Muslim world is the same now as it was in the time of Muhammad and throughout history: submit or be conquered. The only times since Muhammad when dar al-Islam was not actively at war with dar alharb were when the Muslim world was too weak or divided to make war effectively. But the lulls in the ongoing war that the House of Islam has declared against the House of War do not indicate a forsaking of jihad as a principle but reflect a change in strategic factors. It is acceptable for Muslim nations to declare hudna, or truce, at times when the infidel nations are too powerful for open warfare to make sense. Jihad is not a collective suicide pact even while "killing and being killed" (Sura 9:111) is encouraged on an individual level. For the past few hundred years, the Muslim world has been too politically fragmented and technologically inferior to pose a major threat to the West. But that is changing.
Jake Neuman (Islam: Evil in the Name of God)
Of the laws we can deduce from the external world, one stands above all: the Law of Transience. Nothing is intended to last. The trees fall year by year, the mountains tumble, the galaxies burn out like tall tallow candles. Nothing is intended to last — except time. The blanket of the universe wears thin, but time endures. Time is a tower, an endless mine; time is monstrous. Time is the hero. Human and inhuman characters are pinned to time like butterflies to a card; yes, though the wings stay bright, flight is forgotten. Time, like an element which can be solid, liquid or gas, has three states. In the present, it is a flux we cannot seize. In the future, it is a veiling mist. In the past, it has solidified and become glazed; then we call it history. Then it can show us nothing but our own solemn faces; it is a treacherous mirror, reflecting only our limited truths. So much is it a part of man that objectivity is impossible; so neutral is it that it appears hostile.
Brian W. Aldiss (Galaxies Like Grains of Sand)
She said, “Your approach is wrong. You’re writing an essay rather than creating a literary figure. What a literary character does in ten minutes might be a reflection of ten years’ experience. You can’t be limited to the plot of a novel—you’ve got to imagine her entire life, and what actually gets put into words is just the tip of the iceberg.” So
Liu Cixin (The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #2))
After the humiliation of a public head-shaving, the tondues - the shorn women - were often paraded through the streets on the back of a lorry, occasionally to the sound of a drum as if it were a tumbril and France was reliving the revolution of 1789. Some were daubed with tar, some stripped half naked, some marked with swastikas in paint or lipstick. In Bayeux, Churchill's private secretary Jock Colville recorded his reactions to one such scene. "I watched an open lorry drive past, to the accompaniment of boos and catcalls from the French populace, with a dozen miserable women in the back, every hair on their heads shaved off. They were in tears, hanging their heads in shame. While disgusted by this cruelty, I reflected that we British had known no invasion or occupation for some 900 years. So we were not the best judges.
Antony Beevor
Alexandre Dumas wrote those lines when he had just turned forty-five and had decided it was time to reflect on his life. He never got past chronicling his thirty-first year—which was well before he had published a word as a novelist—yet he spent more than the first two hundred pages on a story that is as fantastic as any of his novels: the life of his father, General Alexandre—Alex—Dumas, a black man from the colonies who narrowly survived the French Revolution and rose to command fifty thousand men. The chapters about General Dumas are drawn from reminiscences of his mother and his father’s friends, and from official documents and letters he obtained from his mother and the French Ministry of War. It is a raw and poignant attempt at biography, full of gaps, omissions, and re-creations of scenes and dialogue. But it is sincere. The story of his father ends with this scene of his death, the point at which the novelist begins his own life story.
Tom Reiss (The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo)
What this means is that today’s societies are very different from the societies of the past, when growth was close to zero, or barely 0.1 percent per year, as in the eighteenth century. A society in which growth is 0.1–0.2 percent per year reproduces itself with little or no change from one generation to the next: the occupational structure is the same, as is the property structure. A society that grows at 1 percent per year, as the most advanced societies have done since the turn of the nineteenth century, is a society that undergoes deep and permanent change. This has important consequences for the structure of social inequalities and the dynamics of the wealth distribution. Growth can create new forms of inequality: for example, fortunes can be amassed very quickly in new sectors of economic activity. At the same time, however, growth makes inequalities of wealth inherited from the past less apparent, so that inherited wealth becomes less decisive. To be sure, the transformations entailed by a growth rate of 1 percent are far less sweeping than those required by a rate of 3–4 percent, so that the risk of disillusionment is considerable—a reflection of the hope invested in a more just social order, especially since the Enlightenment. Economic growth is quite simply incapable of satisfying this democratic and meritocratic hope, which must create specific institutions for the purpose and not rely solely on market forces or technological progress.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
Pair 3: American Home Products Co. (drugs, cosmetics, household products, candy) and American Hospital Supply Co. (distributor and manufacturer of hospital supplies and equipment) These were two “billion-dollar good-will” companies at the end of 1969, representing different segments of the rapidly growing and immensely profitable “health industry.” We shall refer to them as Home and Hospital, respectively. Selected data on both are presented in Table 18-3. They had the following favorable points in common: excellent growth, with no setbacks since 1958 (i.e., 100% earnings stability); and strong financial condition. The growth rate of Hospital up to the end of 1969 was considerably higher than Home’s. On the other hand, Home enjoyed substantially better profitability on both sales and capital.† (In fact, the relatively low rate of Hospital’s earnings on its capital in 1969—only 9.7%—raises the intriguing question whether the business then was in fact a highly profitable one, despite its remarkable past growth rate in sales and earnings.) When comparative price is taken into account, Home offered much more for the money in terms of current (or past) earnings and dividends. The very low book value of Home illustrates a basic ambiguity or contradiction in common-stock analysis. On the one hand, it means that the company is earning a high return on its capital—which in general is a sign of strength and prosperity. On the other, it means that the investor at the current price would be especially vulnerable to any important adverse change in the company’s earnings situation. Since Hospital was selling at over four times its book value in 1969, this cautionary remark must be applied to both companies. TABLE 18-3. Pair 3. CONCLUSIONS: Our clear-cut view would be that both companies were too “rich” at their current prices to be considered by the investor who decides to follow our ideas of conservative selection. This does not mean that the companies were lacking in promise. The trouble is, rather, that their price contained too much “promise” and not enough actual performance. For the two enterprises combined, the 1969 price reflected almost $5 billion of good-will valuation. How many years of excellent future earnings would it take to “realize” that good-will factor in the form of dividends or tangible assets? SHORT-TERM SEQUEL: At the end of 1969 the market evidently thought more highly of the earnings prospects of Hospital than of Home, since it gave the former almost twice the multiplier of the latter. As it happened the favored issue showed a microscopic decline in earnings in 1970, while Home turned in a respectable 8% gain. The market price of Hospital reacted significantly to this one-year disappointment. It sold at 32 in February 1971—a loss of about 30% from its 1969 close—while Home was quoted slightly above its corresponding level.*
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
Writing down Tasks serves a dual purpose. First, having a record of an open task makes it easier to remember even when you’re away from your journal, partly due to a phenomenon known as the Zeigarnik effect. Russian psychiatrist and psychologist Bluma Wulfovna Zeigarnik observed that the staff at her local restaurant was able to remember complex unfilled orders until they were filled, at which point they forgot the details. The friction of an unfinished Task actively engages your mind. Second, by logging Tasks and their state, you’ll also automatically create an archive of your actions. This becomes immensely valuable during Reflection (this page), or when you review your notebook days, months, or years from now. You’ll always know what you were working toward.
Ryder Carroll (The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future)
Stiglitz addresses the growth of inequality over the past thirty years. He takes on the neoclassical view that wages and salaries reflect the marginal productivity of workers, showing that the very high incomes of corporate executives in fact reveal a form of ‘rent-seeking’, in which rewards are extracted without relation to productivity or economic desert. Moreover he points out—again contrary to the orthodox view—that such inequality is not the price that has to be paid for greater economic prosperity, but actually retards growth.
Michael Jacobs (Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth (Political Quarterly Monograph Series))
4. Be ready to handle the subject of salary. If the subject of salary comes up during the interview, the general rule is to try and avoid it until an offer has been made. This is because the greatest leverage you have is after the job offer but before acceptance. However, you may have no choice but to discuss salary when asked about your salary requirements or salary history. You must know, in advance, the salary range for the job you are seeking and then provide a realistic range; “I would expect the job to pay between $30,000 and $40,000, and I believe, based on my value to your company, we can agree to an amicable number.” Or “Over the past five years, my salary has been between $80,000 and $93,000. I plan to make a significant contribution to your sales efforts, so my starting salary is less important than the ability to demonstrate to you that I can produce results. And I am sure when you see the results I can produce, my salary will reflect those contributions.” Once again, I emphasize that if you know your value and how you can contribute in a notable way, you’ll feel in control when negotiating a win-win compensation arrangement.
Jay A. Block (101 Best Ways to Land a Job in Troubled Times)
To retrieve a vision of the world as whole—through sustained attention to the underlying unity that connects all beings to one another and to the root causes in our thought and practice that contribute to the deepening fragmentation of self, community, and world—is necessary to the work of healing that is at the heart of any sustained ecological renewal. We are now facing the very real possibility that such a vision of the whole has been rendered unimaginable and unrealizable by the sheer range and extent of the ecological degradation we have visited upon the world. One of the most potent and enduring images of our precarious condition to have emerged from the literature of ecology during the past twenty-five years—of the world as an archipelago of ecologically impoverished islands—suggests that fragmentation is a fundamental reality with which we must now contend.6 This image of widespread ecological fragmentation—one that reflects the increasingly evident loss of biodiversity and ecological integrity throughout the world—raises serious questions about whether it is still meaningful to speak of cultivating a vision of the whole, and whether any spiritual practice can help to mend this torn fabric.
Douglas E. Christie (The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology)
1. Recognize the Power of Your Beliefs “Our thoughts determine our lives,” as the Serbian monk Thaddeus of Vitovnica said. Both positively and negatively, your beliefs have tremendous impact on your experience of life. Recognizing that fact is the first stage in experiencing your best year ever. 2. Confront Your Limiting Beliefs We all have limiting beliefs about the world, others, and ourselves. Four indicators you’re trapped in a limiting belief are whether your opinion is formed by: ​‣ ​Black-and-white thinking ​‣ ​Personalizing ​‣ ​Catastrophizing ​‣ ​Universalizing It’s also important to identify the source of your limiting beliefs, whether it’s past experience, the news media, social media, or negative relationships. 3. Upgrade Your Beliefs Get a notebook or a pad of paper and draw a line down the middle of the page so you have two columns. Now use this six-step process to swap your limiting beliefs for liberating truths. ​‣ ​Recognize your limiting belief. Upgrading your thinking starts with awareness, so take a minute to reflect on what beliefs are holding you back. ​‣ ​Record the belief. In the left-hand column, jot down the belief. Writing it down helps you externalize it. ​‣ ​Review the belief. Evaluate how the belief is serving you. Is it empowering? Is it helping you reach your goals? ​‣ ​Reject/reframe the belief. Sometimes you can simply contradict a limiting belief. Other times, you might need to build a case against it or look at your obstacles from a better angle. ​‣ ​Revise the belief. In the right-hand column write down a new liberating truth that corresponds to the old limiting belief. ​‣ ​Reorient yourself to the new belief. Commit to living as if it’s true.
Michael Hyatt (Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals)
In the way of a reflection of my family and friends I mused at the number of people that I encountered during the past 85 years. Everyone here has played an important part but there have been others, many of whom have now passed across the horizon of life, however the purpose of my reminiscing is to share happy thoughts while at the same time take a peek into the future. I can look back to those first few glimpses of my life and find my grandmother Ohme, Gertrude Thieme standing at what I perceived to be a high kitchen counter making sandwiches using a slice of almost not eatable German black bread they called schwartsbrod. With great care she laden it with lard, blootwurst or sometimes liberwurst, topped with the half of a crusty Keiser roll. I always got the heel of the roll, with a quarter lengthwise slice of a crunchy dill pickle. It was the first and last time I remember seeing her before she returned to Germany and the war. My sister Trudy had died a few years prior leaving a collective hole in my family. Her short life and subsequent death was devastating to my mother and father and I constantly felt the sorrow it brought into our home. My father unsuccessfully tried to make a success of a small delicatessen at 11 Nelson Avenue in Jersey City and we moved to 25 Nelson Avenue when my father started working as a chef at Lindy’s Restaurant on Broadway in Manhattan. At home we exclusively spoke German which was a hindrance during World War II. My mother and father never lost their German accent and the only one of my family that made a real effort to speak English without an accent was my Onkle Willie. My parents refused to associate with my Onkle Walter and his wife Tante Wilma although they always treated me kindly and I sometimes talked with my cousins Klein Walter und Norma. The neighborhood treated us as NAZI outcasts until Italy entered the war on the Axis side and suddenly we all had to prove that we were patriotic. Eventually I joined the tin can army and learned enough English to be accepted. As my accent faded I truly became an American.
Hank Bracker
Interviewer: In church on Sunday we sang a two hundred year old hymn with some contemporary words and the words go God you spin the whirling planets, fill the Seas and spread the plain, mould the mountains fashion blossoms call for the sunshine wind and rain. Now the scientist wouldn’t put it that way. The scientist would have said that there is a an explanation for why the planets were, for why the rain falls, for why the seas rise, for why the mountains form, but knowledge isn’t enough for us, it’s not enough to know why these things happen , we need the poetry, don’t we? Are we hardwired to seeks that kind of meaning in life that only poetry religion and writing can give us? Atwood: Probably so. Because we are a symbol making creature. We seem to need create and exist within structures of symbolism. We seem to have always done that as human beings, we usually date humanness from the point at which we discover some form of art. Art is always symbolic. … Interviewer: This God is a God of radical unpredictability and terrifying moral ambivalence. The God of the Old Testament. …. Interviewer: I heard what you said that human nature hasn’t changed in thousands of years. Atwood: Yes. Interviewer: How do we know? Atwood: Oh…because we’ve read the myths. And the myths show pretty clearly what we want, what we fear, what we would like to have, what we very much would not like to have. Heaven and hell. We always wanted to fly, in the myths Gods fly. We don’t. And now everything that we do, every piece of technology we make is an extension of a fear or desire. And those human fears and desires really have not changed and they are reflected in the myths that have been with us for a long time. Interviewer: Are they true? Atwood: What is true? True means more than one thing. True means prove it, it has to be proven and in a very materialistic society that’s all it means. Another type of truth is it true about human nature? Is it true about who we are? Is it true about how we behave? People have a divided opinion about why myths continue and why they are important, and what they are… some people say they are maps of prehistory, some people say they are maps of the human mind and psyche, and some people say they are language-dependent. Interviewer: What do you mean by that? Atwood: It’s one of the characteristics of human beings that they have very elaborate languages. And these languages all have grammars and the grammars all contain past tenses and future tenses. Now dogs have languages too but we don’t think any dog has ever said to any other dog, where do dogs come from, what is the origin of dogs, and what about before that , what about before where any dogs. But because we have the kinds of languages we do, we go back in time as far as we can get, in our imagination, we want a beginning of the story and we go as far ahead in the future as we can. We want an end to the story. And it’s just not gonna be us getting born and us dying we want to place ourselves within a larger story. Here’s where we came form, here’s where we are going. And when you die this is what happens and some of those stories are happier than other but there’s always more, there’s always an and then. And then what happened… and then and then and then. Once we had that language we had to postulate either a God entity or an unknown.
Margaret Atwood
History shows us we need labels to help define our place. For hundreds of years, people have categorized others as less so they could feel like more. Color, gender, class, religion, physical handicaps, sexual orientation, and pedigree are just a few ways in which one group is divided from another. For every person who stands superior, another must be inferior. But what does it say of us as a human race when we push others down for our own needs? Does it accomplish the intended goal or simply give rise to a pattern of behavior that can never be broken? What if we all stood equal in one another’s eyes and felt pride at our reflection? I speak of utopia and chance being ridiculed, but sitting in a village thousands of miles from everything, I will roll the dice. For one day only, maybe we could put aside our differences and come together in our sameness. For one day, we could see that past all the variations, we are all the same with similar hopes, dreams, fears, strengths, and weaknesses. For one day, we could stand together, not apart, and treat others as we would hope to be treated.
Sejal Badani (The Storyteller's Secret)
They say fate is written in the stars, but the irony is that stars don’t project the future, they reflect the past. If you think about it, every time you look at a star, you’re looking back in time. The North Star is four hundred thirty light-years away, so when you see it shining, the light hitting your eyes is already four hundred thirty years old.
Francesca Serritella (Ghosts of Harvard: A Novel)
THE HORROR OF THE UNPROFESSIONAL I was surprised to learn that when Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter wanted to scold Russia for its campaign of airstrikes in Syria in the fall of 2015, the word he chose to apply was “unprofessional.” Given the magnitude of the provocation, it seemed a little strange—as though he thought there were an International Association of Smartbomb Deployment Executives that might, once alerted by American officials, hold an inquiry into Russia’s behavior and hand down a stern reprimand. On reflection, slighting foes for their lack of professionalism was something of a theme of the Obama years. An Iowa Democrat became notorious in 2014, for example, when he tried to insult an Iowa Republican by calling him “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.” Similarly, it was “unprofessionalism” (in the description of Thomas Friedman) that embarrassed the insubordinate Afghan-war General Stanley McChrystal, who made ill-considered remarks about the president to Rolling Stone magazine. And in the summer of 2013, when National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposed his employer’s mass surveillance of email and phone calls, the aspect of his past that his detractors chose to emphasize was … his failure to graduate from high school. How could such a no-account person challenge this intensely social-science-oriented administration?
Thomas Frank (Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People)
You do this often, don’t you?” he asked, his smooth voice rumbling against the stillness. “Steal people’s drinks?” “No, get up before everyone else. Just to enjoy the quiet.” She paused, wondering why he’d be asking such a question. “I do,” she admitted. “More so this time of year. There’s something different about it. An electricity, maybe. It’s magical.” “As if nature itself is reflecting on the year past,” he offered.
Kate M. North (A Snowed-In Christmas)
Imagine being given the opportunity to take time out of your life, for five whole years. Free of social obligations, free of work commitments. Think how well you would get to know yourself, all that time to consider your past and the choices you had made, to focus on your personal development, to know yourself through and through, to work out your goals in life, your true ambitions. None of this happened, not to me. Perhaps for someone else it would have been different. Any insight I have gained has been the result of later reflection. Solitude did not breed introspection, quite the reverse. My days were spent outside, immersed in nature, watching.
Neil Ansell (Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills)
Another good time to reflect is at the end of major periods such as a week, a month, or a year. At the end of the week take a few hours for reflection to ponder the events of the past seven days. At the end of a month take a day. And at the end of a year take a week
Jim Rohn (7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness: Power Ideas from America's Foremost Business Philosopher)
No chance of a ceremony inside the church,” he reported to Kev and Cam as they gathered in the main parlor. “It’s a sodding mess.” “We’ll get married on the church steps, then,” Kev said. “Impossible, I’m afraid.” Leo looked rueful. “According to the rubric of the church, it has to be inside a church or chapel that has been officially licensed. And neither the vicar nor the rector dare go against the laws. The consequences are so severe that they might receive three years’ suspension. When I asked where the nearest licensed chapel was, they looked in the records. As it happens, about fifty years ago our estate chapel was licensed for a family wedding, but it ran out since then.” “Can we renew it?” Cam asked. “Today?” “I asked that. The rector seemed to think it was an acceptable solution, and he agreed as long as Merripen and Win promised to privately solemnize the marriage at the church as soon as the roof is repaired.” “But the marriage would be legal starting today?” Kev demanded. “Yes, legal and registered, as long as it’s held before noon. The church won’t recognize a wedding if it’s held even one minute after twelve.” “Good,” Kev said curtly. “We’ll marry this morning at the estate chapel. Pay the rector whatever he demands.” “There’s only one problem with this plan,” Cam said. “We don’t have an estate chapel. At least, I’ve never seen one.” Leo looked blank. “What the bloody hell happened to it?” They both glanced at Kev, who had been in charge of the estate restoration for the past two years. He had taken down walls, razed small buildings, and made new additions to the original manor house. “What did you do with the chapel, phral?” Cam asked apprehensively. A scowl settled on Kev’s face. “No one was using it except some nesting birds. So we turned it into a granary and attached it to the barn.” In the face of their silence, he said defensively, “It still counts.” “You want to be married in a granary?” Leo asked incredulously. “Among bins of animal feed?” “I want to be married anywhere,” Kev said. “The granary’s as good a place as any.” Leo looked sardonic. “Someone may want to ask Win if she is willing to be married in a former chapel that now amounts to a shed attached to the barn. Forbearing as my sister is, even she has standards.” “I’m willing!” came Win’s voice from the stairs. Cam smothered a grin. Leo shook his head and spoke in his sister’s direction. “It’s a barn, Win.” “If our Lord didn’t mind being born in a stable,” she replied cheerfully, “I certainly have no objection to being married in a barn.” Briefly lifting his gaze heavenward, Leo muttered, “I’ll go take care of the renewal fee. I can hardly wait to see the vicar’s expression when I tell him we’ve turned the chapel into a granary. It doesn’t reflect well on this family’s piety, let me tell you.” “You’re concerned about appearing pious?” Kev asked. “Not yet. I’m still in the process of being led astray. But when I finally get around to repenting, I’ll have no damned chapel for it.” “You can repent in our officially licensed granary,” Cam said, shrugging into his coat. 
Lisa Kleypas (A Hathaway Wedding (The Hathaways, #2.5))
Don't let a bad day ruin your week, a bad week ruin your month, a bad month ruin your year, or a bad year ruin your life. Your future doesn't have to be a reflection of your past. Make new choices, take risks and pursue what sets your heart on fire. "My past does NOT equal my future" repeat that when you feel like giving up. There is always a tomorrow.
Eder Holguin (Dreaming of Hope Street)
Dear diary, I'm afraid I'm gravely ill. It is perhaps times like these that one reflects on things past. An article of clothing from when I was young. A green jacket. I walk with my father. A game we once played. Pretend we're faeries. I'm a girl faerie. My name is Laura Lee. And you're a boy faerie. Your name is Tita Lee. Pretend, when we're faeries we fight each other, and I say "Stop hitting me I'll die!" And you hit me again and I say, "Now I have to die." And then you say, "But I'll miss you." And I say, "But I have to. And you'll have to wait a million years to see me again. And I'll be put in a box, and all I'll need is a tiny glass of water and lots of tiny pieces of pizza and the box will have wings like an airplane." And you'll ask, "Where will it take you?" "Home." I say. — Sadie Goldstein [Olive] Synecdoche, New York (2008)
Jeannette Rupert (Synecdoche, New York: Screenplay)
Dear diary, I'm afraid I'm gravely ill. It is perhaps times like these that one reflects on things past. An article of clothing from when I was young. A green jacket. I walk with my father. A game we once played. Pretend we're faeries. I'm a girl faerie. My name is Laura Lee. And you're a boy faerie. Your name is Tita Lee. Pretend, when we're faeries we fight each other, and I say "Stop hitting me I'll die!" And you hit me again and I say, "Now I have to die." And then you say, "But I'll miss you." And I say, "But I have to. And you'll have to wait a million years to see me again. And I'll be put in a box, and all I'll need is a tiny glass of water and lots of tiny pieces of pizza and the box will have wings like an airplane." And you'll ask, "Where will it take you?" "Home." I say. — Sadie Goldstein [Olive] Synecdoche, New York (2008)
Charlie Kaufman (Synecdoche, New York: The Shooting Script)
From Alan Thein Durning: The extreme disruption of ecosystems will end. The question is whether people will end it voluntarily and creatively, or whether nature will end it for them, savagely and catastrophically... Humanity’s failure to act in defense of the Earth is conventionally explained as a problem of knowledge: not enough people yet understand the dangers or know what to do about them. An alternative explanation is that this failure reflects a fundamental problem of motivation. People know enough, but they don’t care enough. They do not care enough because they do not identify themselves with the world as a whole. The Earth is such a big place that it might as well be no place at all. If places motivate but the planet does not, a curious paradox emerges. The wrenching global problems that the world’s leading thinks so earnestly warn about- crises such as deforestation, hunger, population growth, climate change, loss of cultural and biological diversity- may submit to solutions only obliquely. The only cures possible may be local and motivated by a sentiment- the love of home- that global thinkers often regarded as divisive and or provincial. Thus, it may be possible to diagnose problems globally, but impossible to solve them globally. There may not be any ways to save to world that are not, first and foremost, ways for people to say their own places. Here is the hope: that this generation becomes the next wave of natives, first in this place on Earth and then in others. This newfound permanence allows the quiet murmur of localities to become audible again. And that not long thereafter, perhaps very soon, the places of this Earth will be healed and whole again. ...AJ Auden said, “We have spent thee past 250 years in restless movement, recklessly skimming off the cream of superabundant resources, but we have not used the land in the true sense of the word, not have we done ourselves much permanent good. It’s high times that we settled down, not for a hundred years, but for a thousand, forever.
David Landis Barnhill (At Home on the Earth: Becoming Native to Our Place: A Multicultural Anthology)