Refusal To Change Quotes

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I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it. (Popular misquote of "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.")
Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)
If people refuse to look at you in a new light and they can only see you for what you were, only see you for the mistakes you've made, if they don't realize that you are not your mistakes, then they have to go.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century: Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others; Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected; Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it; Refusing to set aside trivial preferences; Neglecting development and refinement of the mind; Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
I will not be "famous," "great." I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one's self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.
Virginia Woolf (A Writer's Diary)
One must always be careful of books,' said Tessa, 'and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.' 'I'm not sure a book has ever changed me,' said Will. 'Well there is one volume that promises to teach one how to turn oneself into an entire flock of sheep-' 'Only the very weak minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry,' said Tessa, determined not to let him run wildly off with the conversation.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
You can’t crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them. By refusing to think, refusing to change.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia)
If I should have a daughter…“Instead of “Mom”, she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.” She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried. And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.” But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it. I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away. You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life. And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it. “Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.” Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining. Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.
Sarah Kay
I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Ethical veganism results in a profound revolution within the individual; a complete rejection of the paradigm of oppression and violence that she has been taught from childhood to accept as the natural order. It changes her life and the lives of those with whom she shares this vision of nonviolence. Ethical veganism is anything but passive; on the contrary, it is the active refusal to cooperate with injustice
Gary L. Francione
I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.
Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)
Will grinned. “Some of these books are dangerous,” he said. “It’s wise to be careful.”“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”“I’m not sure a book has ever changed me,” said Will. “Well, there is one volume that promises to teach one how to turn oneself into an entire flock of sheep—”“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry,” said Tessa
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
Once upon a time, we were cynics facing the world alone. Our story changed into two warrior cynics facing the world together. Now, we own the happily ever after and we refuse to let that bitch go.
Monica Murphy (Second Chance Boyfriend (One Week Girlfriend, #2))
Chemistry is change and change is the core of your belief system. Which is good because that’s what we need more of—people who refuse to accept the status quo, who aren’t afraid to take on the unacceptable.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
I threw myself against the bars, so rapidly that even Mikhail flinched. "But I love you!" I hissed. "And I know you love me too. Do you really think you can spend the rest of your life ignoring that when you're around me?" [...] "...All my feelings...my emotions for you...they changed. I don't feel the way I used to. I might be a dhampir again, but after what I went through...well, it's scarred me. It altered my soul. I can't love anyone now. I can't—I don't—love you. There's nothing more between you and me. My blood turned cold. I refused to believe his words, not after the way he'd looked at me earlier. "No! That's not true! I love you and you—" "Guards!
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
The mistake you make, don't you see,is in thinking one can live in a corrupt society without being corrupt oneself. After all, what do you achieve by refusing to make money? You're trying to behave as though one could stand right outside our economic system. But one can't. One's got to change the system, or one changes nothing. One can't put things right in a hole-and-corner way, if you take my meaning.
George Orwell (Keep the Aspidistra Flying)
Only idiots refuse to change their minds.
Brigitte Bardot
It’s bad for your business to refuse change when the technology is changing, but it’s worse for your business to fight the technology.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
Life is an obstacle course. You succeed at one thing and then you move on to the next. When an obstacle is tough, you try harder. When an obstacle is insurmountable, you change course. But you never sit down and refuse to finish.
Bethenny Frankel (A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life)
Adrian looked over at me again. “Who knows more about male weakness: you or me?” “Go on.” I refused to directly answer the question. “Get a new dress. One that shows a lot of skin. Short. Strapless. Maybe a push-up bra too.” He actually had the audacity to do a quick assessment of my chest. “Eh, maybe not. But definitely some high heels.” “Adrian,” I exclaimed. “You’ve seen how Alchemists dress. Do you think I can really wear something like that?” He was unconcerned. “You’ll make it work. You’ll change clothes or something. But I’m telling you, if you want to get a guy to do something that might be difficult, then the best way is to distract him so that he can’t devote his full brainpower to the consequences.” “You don’t have a lot of faith in your own gender.” “Hey, I’m telling you the truth. I’ve been distracted by sexy dresses a lot.” I didn’t really know if that was a valid argument, seeing as Adrian was distracted by a lot of things. Fondue. T-shirts. Kittens. “And so, what then? I show some skin, and the world is mine?” “That’ll help.” Amazingly, I could tell he was dead serious. “And you’ve gotta act confident the whole time, like it’s already a done deal. Then make sure when you’re actually asking for what you want that you tell him you’d be ‘so, so grateful.’ But don’t elaborate. His imagination will do half the work for you. ” I shook my head, glad we’d almost reached our destination. I didn’t know how much more I could listen to. “This is the most ridiculous advice I’ve ever heard. It’s also kind of sexist too, but I can’t decide who it offends more, men or women.” “Look, Sage. I don’t know much about chemistry or computer hacking or photosynthery, but this is something I’ve got a lot of experience with.” I think he meant photosynthesis, but I didn’t correct him. “Use my knowledge. Don’t let it go to waste.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
I understand perfectly. Darquesse isn't a separate entity. She isn't another person. She's you. If you make the wrong choices, if you stop loving the people who love you, if you allow the world to twist and turn and change you, then yes, the future we've seen will come to pass. But if you fight, and if you kick, and struggle, and refuse to give in to the apathy, or the anger, or the hopelessness, then you'll change the future, and you'll walk your own path. And I'll be right there beside you, Valkyrie. I'll always be beside you.
Derek Landy (Mortal Coil (Skulduggery Pleasant, #5))
It was more work than it seemed, looking through a telescope, as the Earth was continually moving and you had to move along with it. You don't realize how fast this acutally happens, and it's kind of both creepy and wonderful when you stop to think about it. And it makes you realize there's absolutely no way to avoid change. You can sit there and cross your arms and refuse it, but underneath you, things are still spinning away.
Deb Caletti (Wild Roses)
Your love for her belongs to you. It's yours. Even if she refuses it, she cannot change it. She isn't benefiting from it, thats all. What you give, Momo, is yours forever. What you keep is lost for all time!"-Monsieur Ibrahim
Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt
I'm going to ask you to remember the prostituted, the homeless, the battered, the raped, the tortured, the murdered, the raped-then-murdered, the murdered-then-raped; and I am going to ask you to remember the photographed, the ones that any or all of the above happened to and it was photographed and now the photographs are for sale in our free countries. I want you to think about those who have been hurt for the fun, the entertainment, the so-called speech of others; those who have been hurt for profit, for the financial benefit of pimps and entrepreneurs. I want you to remember the perpetrator and I am going to ask you to remember the victims: not just tonight but tomorrow and the next day. I want you to find a way to include them -- the perpetrators and the victims -- in what you do, how you think, how you act, what you care about, what your life means to you. Now, I know, in this room, some of you are the women I have been talking about. I know that. People around you may not. I am going to ask you to use every single thing you can remember about what was done to you -- how it was done, where, by whom, when, and, if you know -- why -- to begin to tear male dominance to pieces, to pull it apart, to vandalize it, to destabilize it, to mess it up, to get in its way, to fuck it up. I have to ask you to resist, not to comply, to destroy the power men have over women, to refuse to accept it, to abhor it and to do whatever is necessary despite its cost to you to change it.
Andrea Dworkin
The world won’t end with a bang. The world won’t end with a whimper. In fact, the world won’t end at all. But it will change and if we refuse to change with it… It will be us that ends.
Madeline Sheehan (The Soul Mate (The Holy Trinity, #1))
Okay, you’re older. Not much, really. And considering you love staying in shape and I refuse to run, we’ll probably get all old and crippled at the same time. If not, then I’ll learn to use a cane, and I’ll get to beat on your ass for a change.
Cherise Sinclair (Make Me, Sir (Masters of the Shadowlands, #5))
Rage is love...twisted in on itself. Rage reaches into the world when we can no longer contain the hurt of being treated as if our life and loves do not matter. Rage, and its consequences, are what we get when the world refuses to change for anything less.
Evan Winter (The Fires of Vengeance (The Burning, #2))
People who care, act, and refuse to give up may not change THE world, but they can change many individual worlds.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
By refusing to risk its way of life, by rejecting the idea that the powerful might have to sacrifice for the common good, it clings to a set of social arrangements that allow it to monopolize progress and then give symbolic scraps to the forsaken—many of whom wouldn’t need the scraps if the society were working right.
Anand Giridharadas (Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World)
There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one--on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful--as usual--will shout for the war. The pulpit will--warily and cautiously--object--at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, 'It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.' Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers--as earlier--but do not dare say so. And now the whole nation--pulpit and all--will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories)
I see how it is,” I snapped. “You were all in favor of me breaking the tattoo and thinking on my own—but that’s only okay if it’s convenient for you, huh? Just like your ‘loving from afar’ only works if you don’t have an opportunity to get your hands all over me. And your lips. And . . . stuff.” Adrian rarely got mad, and I wouldn’t quite say he was now. But he was definitely exasperated. “Are you seriously in this much self-denial, Sydney? Like do you actually believe yourself when you say you don’t feel anything? Especially after what’s been happening between us?” “Nothing’s happening between us,” I said automatically. “Physical attraction isn’t the same as love. You of all people should know that.” “Ouch,” he said. His expression hadn’t changed, but I saw hurt in his eyes. I’d wounded him. “Is that what bothers you? My past? That maybe I’m an expert in an area you aren’t?” “One I’m sure you’d just love to educate me in. One more girl to add to your list of conquests.” He was speechless for a few moments and then held up one finger. “First, I don’t have a list.” Another finger, “Second, if I did have a list, I could find someone a hell of lot less frustrating to add to it.” For the third finger, he leaned toward me. “And finally, I know that you know you’re no conquest, so don’t act like you seriously think that. You and I have been through too much together. We’re too close, too connected. I wasn’t that crazy on spirit when I said you’re my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don’t matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too. Running away and fleeing all your problems isn’t going to change that. You’re just going to end up scared and confused.” “I already feel that way,” I said quietly. Adrian moved back and leaned into his seat, looking tired. “Well, that’s the most accurate thing you’ve said so far.” I grabbed the basket and jerked open the car door. Without another word, I stormed off, refusing to look back in case he saw the tears that had inexplicably appeared in my eyes. Only, I wasn’t sure exactly which part of our conversation I was most upset about.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
We all have a past. We all have a future. But all we really have is right now. You can change your destiny in one moment, if only you refuse to do what you once did.
Bonnie Hearn Hill (Taurus Eyes (Star Crossed, #2))
Terrorism isn't a crime against people or property. It's a crime against our minds, using the death of innocents and destruction of property to make us fearful. Terrorists use the media to magnify their actions and further spread fear. And when we react out of fear, when we change our policy to make our country less open, the terrorists succeed -- even if their attacks fail. But when we refuse to be terrorized, when we're indomitable in the face of terror, the terrorists fail -- even if their attacks succeed.
Bruce Schneier
No. I refuse to believe that this is the end of us. Not if you still love me. Because you're going to get through this and I will be waiting for you when you're ready. I'm not going anywhere. There won't be another person for me. You're the only one I've ever wanted and that's never going to change.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Being a hero was much easier than being a coward. To be a hero, you only had to be brave for a moment - when you took out the gun, threw the bomb, pressed the detonator, did away with the tyrant, and away with yourself as well. But to be a coward was to embark on a career that lasted a lifetime. You couldn't ever relax. You had to anticipate the next occasion when you would have to make excuses for yourself, dither, cringe, reacquaint yourself with the taste of rubber boots and the state of your own fallen, abject character. Being a coward required pertinacity, persistence, a refusal to change - which made it, in a way, a kind of courage.
Julian Barnes (The Noise of Time)
I have gotten where I am today by refusing to stay where I was. Change is something I have done over and over again.
Danielle Bernock (Emerging With Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, And The LOVE that Heals)
His heart thrashed like a bobcat in a trap. When he refused to run for governor, they begged him to run for lieutenant governor. Augusta was all for it, since she’d taken up with the Pioneer Ladies Society, serving punch in the back of the ballroom. Felt good to have her on his side for a change.
Rebecca Rosenberg (Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor)
Michael Pollan likens consumer choices to pulling single threads out of a garment. We pull a thread from the garment when we refuse to purchase eggs or meat from birds who were raised in confinement, whose beaks were clipped so they could never once taste their natural diet of worms and insects. We pull out a thread when we refuse to bring home a hormone-fattened turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. We pull a thread when we refuse to buy meat or dairy products from cows who were never allowed to chew grass, or breathe fresh air, or feel the warm sun on their backs. The more threads we pull, the more difficult it is for the industry to stay intact. You demand eggs and meat without hormones, and the industry will have to figure out how it can raise farm animals without them. Let the animals graze outside and it slows production. Eventually the whole thing will have to unravel. If the factory farm does indeed unravel - and it must - then there is hope that we can, gradually, reverse the environmental damage it has caused. Once the animal feed operations have gone and livestock are once again able to graze, there will be a massive reduction in the agricultural chemicals currently used to grow grain for animals. And eventually, the horrendous contamination caused by animal waste can be cleaned up. None of this will be easy. The hardest part of returning to a truly healthy environment may be changing the current totally unsustainable heavy-meat-eating culture of increasing numbers of people around the world. But we must try. We must make a start, one by one.
Jane Goodall (Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating)
Basic Principles: 1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy. 2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life -- including ourselves. 3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator's creativity within us and our lives. 4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves. 5. Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God. 6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature. 7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God: good orderly direction. 8. As we open our creative channel to the creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected. 9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity. 10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.
Julia Cameron
This is a patriarchal truism that most people in our society want to deny. Whenever women thinkers, especially advocates of feminism, speak about the widespread problem of male violence, folks are eager to stand up and make the point that most men are not violent. They refuse to acknowledge that masses of boys and men have been programmed from birth on to believe that at some point they must be violent, whether psychologically or physically, to prove that they are men.
bell hooks (The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love)
I find so many opportunities to fall, to falter, and fail when I refuse to surrender to change. Change will come into my room and rearrange my tidy world. Then like dominoes, one things changed falls upon another until it feels like the world is collapsing around me. But when I yield, when I surrender to the necessary change, I can stand back and look at the beautiful picture created by what seemed to be my world falling apart.
Stella Payton
If one wishes to be instructed--not that anyone does--concerning the treacherous role that memory plays in a human life, consider how relentlessly the water of memory refuses to break, how it impedes that journey into the air of time. Time: the whisper beneath that word is death. With this unanswerable weight hanging heavier and heavier over one's head, the vision becomes cloudy, nothing is what it seems... How then, can I trust my memory concerning that particular Sunday afternoon?...Beneath the face of anyone you ever loved for true--anyone you love, you will always love, love is not at the mercy of time and it does not recognize death, they are strangers to each other--beneath the face of the beloved, however ancient, ruined, and scarred, is the face of the baby your love once was, and will always be, for you. Love serves, then, if memory doesn't, and passion, apart from its tense relation to agony, labors beneath the shadow of death. Passion is terrifying, it can rock you, change you, bring your head under, as when a wind rises from the bottom of the sea, and you're out there in the craft of your mortality, alone.
James Baldwin (Just Above My Head)
I refused to change the way I practiced my faith or to let fear stop me from carrying out what I believed in.
Shelina Zahra Janmohamed (Love in a Headscarf)
It still would be years before I understood the seriousness of my change of view. Much later, I recognized it in "Revolution," the essay of Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, who describes the moment when a man on the edge of a crowd looks back defiantly at a policeman — and when that policeman senses a sudden refusal to accept his defining gaze — as the imperceptible moment in which rebellion is born. "All books about all revolutions begin with a chapter that describes the decay of tottering authority or the misery and sufferings of the people," Kapuscinski writes. "They should begin with a psychological chapter — one that shows how a harassed, terrified man suddenly breaks his terror, stops being afraid. This unusual process — sometimes accomplished in an instant, like a shock — demands to be illustrated. Man gets rid of fear and feel free. Without that, there would be no revolution.
Gloria Steinem (Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem)
Remember that our Heavenly Father knows us perfectly and knows what's best for us . . . . Surely, His knowledge is greater than ours. We just have to have faith in Him. If we don't, well, that doesn't change what happened, it just makes us more miserable because we refuse to trust His will. Our Heavenly Father wants us to have joy. And happiness. But we need to look for those opportunities that give us joy. If we don't, what would be the purpose for existing?
Jeri Gilchrist (Out of Nowhere)
I hate the assumption that you can’t write about something because you haven’t experienced it, and not just because it assumes a limit on the human imagination, which is basically limitless. It also suggests that some leaps of identification are impossible. I refuse to accept that, because it leads to the conclusion that real change is beyond us, and so is empathy. The idea is false on the evidence. Like shit, change happens.
Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams)
For a few seconds, I remembered that the most abusive parts of our nation obsessively neglect yesterday while peddling in possibility. I remembered that we got here by refusing to honestly remember together. I remember that it was easier to promise than it was to reckon or change.
Kiese Laymon (Heavy)
Don’t forget what he means to me, Poppy. I’ve known him my whole damn life,” he said. “We shared the same crib more times than not. We took our first steps together. Sat at the same table most nights, refusing to eat the same vegetables We explored tunnels and lakes, pretended that fields were new, undiscovered kingdoms. We were inseparable. And that didn’t change as we grew older.” His voice roughened, and he dropped his forehead to mind. “He was and still is a part of me.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The War of Two Queens (Blood and Ash, #4))
Dear Son, I would call you by name, but I’m waiting for your mother to decide. I only hope she is joking when she calls you Albert Dalbert. For weeks now I have watched your mother zealously gather her tokens for this box. She’s so afraid of you not knowing anything about her, and it bothers me greatly that you’ll never know her strength firsthand. I’m sure by the time you read this, you’ll know everything I do about her. But you’ll never know her for yourself and that pains me most of all. I wish you could see the look on her face whenever she talks to you. The sadness she tries so hard to hide. Every time I see it, it cuts through me. She love you so much. You’re all she talks about. I have so many orders from her for you. I’m not allowed to make you crazy the way I do your Uncle Chris. I’m not allowed to call the doctors every time you sneeze and you are to be allowed to tussle with your friends without me having a conniption that someone might bruise you. Nor am I to bully you about getting married or having kids. Ever. Most of all, you are allowed to pick your own car at sixteen. I’m not supposed to put you in a tank. We’ll see about that one. I refuse to promise her this last item until I know more about you. Not to mention, I’ve seen how other people drive on the roads. So if you have a tank, sorry. There’s only so much changing man my age can do. I don’t know what our futures will hold. I only hope that when all is said and done, you are more like your mother than you are like me. She’s a good woman. A kind woman. Full of love and compassion even though her life has been hard and full of grief. She bears her scars with a grace, dignity, and humor that I lack. Most of all, she has courage the likes of which I haven’t witnessed in centuries. I hope with every part of me that you inherit all her best traits and none of my bad ones. I don’t really know what more to say. I just thought you should have something of me in here too. Love, Your father (Wulf)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
O gods, \ If any gods will listen, I deserve \ Punishment surely, I do not refuse it, \ But lest, in living, I offend the living, Offend the dead in death, drive me away \ From either realm, change me somehow, refuse me \ Both life and death! -- Myrrha, before being transformed into a tree
Ovid
You told me once, long ago, to look into a mirror and see your face. I refused to then. But now Mnimi has forced me to look at my own reflection. I’ve seen it through my eyes and I’ve seen it through yours. I wish to the gods that I could change what happened between us. If I could go back, I would never deny you. But I can’t. We both know that. Now I just want the chance to know you as I should have known you all those centuries ago. (Styxx)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Second Chances (Dark-Hunter #7.1))
The man who no longer expects miraculous changes either from a revolution or from an economic plan is not obliged to resign himself to the unjustifiable. It is because he likes individual human beings, participates in communities, and respects the truth, that he refuses to surrender his soul to an abstract ideal of humanity, a tyrannical party, and an absurd scholasticism. . . . If tolerance is born of doubt, let us teach everyone to doubt all the models and utopias, to challenge all the prophets of redemption and the heralds of catastrophe. If they can abolish fanaticism, let us pray for the advent of the sceptics.
Raymond Aron (The Opium of the Intellectuals)
Change of scene is the thing. I head of a man. Girl refused him. Man went abroad. Two months later girl wired him "Come back, Muriel." Man started to write out a reply; suddenly found that he couldn't remember girl's surname; so never answered at all, and lived happily ever after.
P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves (Jeeves, #3))
You have to let the water run awhile and even though it remains icy, part of you still refuses to believe it won´t change, especially if you wait a little longer or open up the valve a little more. So you wait but no matter how many minutes run by, you still see no steam, you still feel no heat.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
It seems like it’s all just remembering and forgetting. Things happen so fast, and then they’re gone before you notice them. Events ambush you from out of nowhere, blindside you, and then you have to spend the time afterward trying to remember or forget what the hell it all was to begin with. The more you think about it, the more the events crumble, crack, breakdown, or refuse to change at all. They’re either pieces of ice in your hand, changing shape and melting away until they’re nothing like what they were to begin with, or pieces of glass. Sharp and irritating, unchanging reminders of pain and unpleasantness - or happiness.
Gregory Galloway (As Simple as Snow)
I’m not capable of turning you down,” he said on a pained laugh, gaze devouring her breasts. “I’m going to take you to my bed and pleasure the fuck out of you. But the panties stay on. It’s nonnegotiable.” Her entire system rebelled against his words. How could he touch her, kiss her like this, and refuse to take it all the way? It didn't make sense. Men didn't have that kind of willpower, did they? She certainly didn’t have that kind of willpower. “W-what? Is it too late to give a different answer about why I changed my mind?” “Yes. But don’t worry, baby.” Before she could register his intention, he’d swung her up into his arms. “Even with your panties on, it’ll still be the best sex of your life.
Tessa Bailey (His Risk to Take (Line of Duty, #2))
I used to send my characters into a fire that necessarily consumed them, but I have learned, a little, how to send them through the fire to a new place. The characters who do not change — most notably Nakota in Cipher, Bibi in Skin, and Lena in Kink — are motivated by an essential selfishness or self-centeredness, an unwillingness to relinquish control to the process, a refusal to become.
Kathe Koja
James sat forward and kissed him. It was all so familiar now. They had moved beyond the clumsy petting and munching. Mungo would stop frequently to apologize, he felt so inept, and James would cradle his face and guide Mungo’s lips back to his. Now their kisses were soft and tender and offered without the fear of refusal. A kiss lasted hours. They lay with their mouths together and Mungo cupped his nose in the divot of James’s cheek, and then they led each other in a silent ramble, one would change the direction and the other would follow, over and over until an arm went dead, or the microwave pinged. A hand might slip under a T-shirt but it never dared to do anything else. Mungo knew he wanted to spend his life doing this, just kissing this one boy. There was no need to rush.
Douglas Stuart (Young Mungo)
In spite of the string of magazine covers announcing the contrary, we all know that ten simple things will not save the earth. There are, rather, three thousand impossible things that all of us must do, and changing our light bulbs, while necessary, is the barest beginning. We are being called upon to act against a prevailing culture, to undermine our own entrenched tendency to accumulate and to consume, and to refuse to define our individuality by our presumed ability to do whatever we want.
Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness)
Going back to the basis, the phrase ‘Fight Like A Girl’, and we’ve all heard that growing up. And by that they mean that you’re some kind of weakling and have no skills as a male. It’s said to little boys when they can’t fight yet, and it ridicules us. By the time we were born, the most of us hear things which program you to accept and know that you are less than your male counter part. It comes apparent in the way you’re paid for your job, it comes apparent when yóu are not allowed to go outside after a certain hour because you stand a good chance of getting raped while no one says that to your boyfriend. While women, anywhere, live in some kind of fear, there is no equality and that is mathematically impossible. We cannot see that change or solved in our lifetimes, but we have to do everything that we can. We should remind ourselves that we are fifty-one percent. Everyone should know that fighting like a girl is a positive thing and that there is not inherently anything wrong with us by the fact that we are born like ladies. That is a beautiful thing that we should never be put down because of. Being compared to a woman should only make a man feel stronger. It should be a compliment. In this world we’re creating it actually is. I remember this one guy who came to our show in Texas or something and he had painted his shirt “real men fight like a girl”, and I cried, because he was going away in the army next day. He bought my book because he wanted something he could read over there. I just hoped that this men, fully straight and fully male can maintain and retain all of those things that make him understand us, and what makes him so beautiful. A lot of military training is step one: you take all those guys and put them in front of bunch of hardcore videogames where you kill a bunch of people and become desensitised. But that is NOT power! I will not do that. I will not become less of a human being and I refuse to give up my femininity because that’s bullshit. I’m not going to have to shave my head and become all buff and all that to be able to say “now I’m powerful” because that’s bullshit. All of this, all of us, we are power. You don’t have to change anything to be strong.
Emilie Autumn
What - what - what are you doing?" he demanded. "I am almost six hundred years old," Magnus claimed, and Ragnor snorted, since Magnus changed his age to suit himself every few weeks. Magnus swept on. "It does seem about time to learn a musical instrument." He flourished his new prize, a little stringed instrument that looked like a cousin of the lute that the lute was embarrassed to be related to. "It's called a charango. I am planning to become a charanguista!" "I wouldn't call that an instrument of music," Ragnor observed sourly. "An instrument of torture, perhaps." Magnus cradled the charango in his arms as if it were an easily offended baby. "It's a beautiful and very unique instrument! The sound box is made from an armadillo. Well, a dried armadillo shell." "That explains the sound you're making," said Ragnor. "Like a lost, hungry armadillo." "You are just jealous," Magnus remarked calmly. "Because you do not have the soul of a true artiste like myself." "Oh, I am positively green with envy," Ragnor snapped. "Come now, Ragnor. That's not fair," said Magnus. "You know I love it when you make jokes about your complexion." Magnus refused to be affected by Ragnor's cruel judgments. He regarded his fellow warlock with a lofty stare of superb indifference, raised his charango, and began to play again his defiant, beautiful tune. They both heard the staccato thump of frantically running feet from within the house, the swish of skirts, and then Catarina came rushing out into the courtyard. Her white hair was falling loose about her shoulders, and her face was the picture of alarm. "Magnus, Ragnor, I heard a cat making a most unearthly noise," she exclaimed. "From the sound of it, the poor creature must be direly sick. You have to help me find it!" Ragnor immediately collapsed with hysterical laughter on his windowsill. Magnus stared at Catarina for a moment, until he saw her lips twitch. "You are conspiring against me and my art," he declared. "You are a pack of conspirators." He began to play again. Catarina stopped him by putting a hand on his arm. "No, but seriously, Magnus," she said. "That noise is appalling." Magnus sighed. "Every warlock's a critic." "Why are you doing this?" "I have already explained myself to Ragnor. I wish to become proficient with a musical instrument. I have decided to devote myself to the art of the charanguista, and I wish to hear no more petty objections." "If we are all making lists of things we wish to hear no more . . . ," Ragnor murmured. Catarina, however, was smiling. "I see," she said. "Madam, you do not see." "I do. I see it all most clearly," Catarina assured him. "What is her name?" "I resent your implication," Magnus said. "There is no woman in the case. I am married to my music!" "Oh, all right," Catarina said. "What's his name, then?" His name was Imasu Morales, and he was gorgeous.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
There is no such thing as a nonpolitical Christianity. To refuse to critique the system or the status quo is to fully support it—which is a political act well disguised. Like Pilate, many Christians choose to wash their hands in front of the crowd and declare themselves innocent, saying with him, “It is your concern” (Matthew 27: 25). Pilate maintains his purity and Jesus pays the price. Going somewhere good means having to go through and with the bad, and being unable to hold ourselves above it or apart from it. There is no pedestal of perfect purity to stand on, and striving for it is an ego game anyway.
Richard Rohr (The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For and Believe)
Saint Bartleby's School for Young Gentlemen Annual Report Student: Artemis Fowl II Year: First Fees: Paid Tutor: Dr Po Language Arts As far as I can tell, Artemis has made absolutely no progress since the beginning of the year. This is because his abilities are beyond the scope of my experience. He memorizes and understands Shakespeare after a single reading. He finds mistakes in every exercise I administer, and has taken to chuckling gently when I attempt to explain some of the more complex texts. Next year I intend to grant his request and give him a library pass during my class. Mathematics Artemis is an infuriating boy. One day he answers all my questions correctly, and the next every answer is wrong. He calls this an example of the chaos theory, and says that he is only trying to prepare me for the real world. He says the notion of infinity is ridiculous. Frankly, I am not trained to deal with a boy like Artemis. Most of my pupils have trouble counting without the aid of their fingers. I am sorry to say, there is nothing I can teach Artemis about mathematics, but someone should teach him some manners. Social Studies Artemis distrusts all history texts, because he says history was written by the victors. He prefers living history, where survivors of certain events can actually be interviewed. Obviously this makes studying the Middle Ages somewhat difficult. Artemis has asked for permission to build a time machine next year during double periods so that the entire class may view Medieval Ireland for ourselves. I have granted his wish and would not be at all surprised if he succeeded in his goal. Science Artemis does not see himself as a student, rather as a foil for the theories of science. He insists that the periodic table is a few elements short and that the theory of relativity is all very well on paper but would not hold up in the real world, because space will disintegrate before lime. I made the mistake of arguing once, and young Artemis reduced me to near tears in seconds. Artemis has asked for permission to conduct failure analysis tests on the school next term. I must grant his request, as I fear there is nothing he can learn from me. Social & Personal Development Artemis is quite perceptive and extremely intellectual. He can answer the questions on any psychological profile perfectly, but this is only because he knows the perfect answer. I fear that Artemis feels that the other boys are too childish. He refuses to socialize, preferring to work on his various projects during free periods. The more he works alone, the more isolated he becomes, and if he does not change his habits soon, he may isolate himself completely from anyone wishing to be his friend, and, ultimately, his family. Must try harder.
Eoin Colfer
Yet in another way, calculus is fundamentally naive, almost childish in its optimism. Experience teaches us that change can be sudden, discontinuous, and wrenching. Calculus draws its power by refusing to see that. It insists on a world without accidents, where one thing leads logically to another. Give me the initial conditions and the law of motion, and with calculus I can predict the future -- or better yet, reconstruct the past. I wish I could do that now.
Steven H. Strogatz (The Calculus of Friendship: What a Teacher and a Student Learned about Life while Corresponding about Math)
Mother. Father. I am sorry. I have failed you both. I made a promise to protect our people, Mother. I thought if I could stop the Templars, If I could keep the revolution free from their influence, then those I supported would do what was right. They did, I suppose, do what was right - what was right for them. As for you, Father, I thought I might unite us, that we would forget the past and forge a better future. In time, I believed you could be made to see the world as I do - to understand. But it was just a dream. This, too, I should have known. Were we not meant to live in peace, then? Is that it? Are we born to argue? To fight? So many voices - each demanding something else. "It has been hard at times, but never harder than today. To see all I worked for perverted, discarded, forgotten. You would say I have described the whole of history, Father. Are you smiling, then? Hoping I might speak the words you long to hear? To validate you? To say that all along you were right? I will not. Even now, faced as I am with the truth of your cold words, I refuse. Because I believe things can still change. "I may never succeed. The Assassins may struggle another thousand years in vain. But we will not stop." "Compromise. That's what everyone has insisted on. And so I have learnt it. But differently than most, I think. I realize now that it will take time, that the road ahead is long and shrouded in darkness. It is a road which will not always take me where I wish to go - and I doubt I will live to see it end. But I will travel down it nonetheless." "For at my side walks hope. In the face of all that insists I turn back, I carry on: this, this is my compromise.
Oliver Bowden (Forsaken (Assassin's Creed, #5))
I am successful because I refused to take no for an answer. I am successful because I have never once believed my dreams were someone else’s to manage. That’s the incredible part about your dreams: nobody gets to tell you how big they can be. When it comes to your dreams, no is not an answer. The word no is not a reason to stop. Instead, think of it as a detour or a yield sign. No means merge with caution. No reminds you to slow down—to re-evaluate where you are and to judge how the new position you’re in can better prepare you for your destination. In other words, if you can’t get through the front door, try the side window. If the window is locked, maybe you slide down the chimney. No doesn’t mean that you stop; it simply means that you change course in order to make it to your destination.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be (Girl, Wash Your Face Series))
Of course, the truth is that no one likes change. People in hell not only refuse to leave it, they invite you in, too. Even people who have blasted the other lives that touched their own blasted lives proudly declare in old age that they would not change a thing -- all that cursing and screaming was their life, by God, and it is not possible to imagine any other. Change introduces unpredictability, uncertainty, a universe of disorder. Right before an amoeba splits in two, it says to itself, uh uh, no way, I ain't gonna do that, nope.
Peter Straub (The Sandman, Vol. 7: Brief Lives)
Sweet Grace amazes me The way that she can see Beyond the man I am To the man that I could be She's bringing out my best While she covers all the rest Some say her love is blind But I say her love forgets She don't like it when I try so hard to impress her ‘Cause when I do that, it's a lie that makes her love look the lesser The truth is I know I'll never be, I'll never be good enough I'll never deserve her love I'll never be, I'll never be good enough for Grace But she takes me anyway I am the cheatin' kind But she's changing my mind The way she takes me back Though I fail her every time She's got friends who tell her that she Is much too good for me Well, I've told her that myself But she refuses to leave I'd like to think my strength won her affection But the truth is it was my weakness that caught her attention I'm grateful to know When my tears fall down like rain She wipes them from my face She tells me that I'm lovely And if I am, it's all because of Grace This love turns my inside out And my world upside down Grace is changing me
Jason Gray
Look for some peace organization to join. It will look small at first, and pitiful and helpless, but that’s how movements start. That’s how the movement against the Vietnam War started. It started with handfuls of people who thought they were helpless, thought they were powerless. But remember, this power of the people on top depends on the obedience of the people below. When people stop obeying, they have no power. When workers go on strike, huge corporations lose their power. When consumers boycott, huge business establishments have to give in. When soldiers refuse to fight, as so many soldiers did in Vietnam, so many deserters, so many fraggings, acts of violence by enlisted men against officers in Vietnam, B-52 pilots refusing to fly bombing missions anymore, war can’t go on. When enough soldiers refuse, the government has to decide we can’t continue. So, yes, people have the power. If they begin to organize, if they protest, if they create a strong enough movement, they can change things.
Howard Zinn
When I give, it does not come with strings. I’m not keeping track of what you owe me. When I give, I choose to do so without ulterior motives. I give because I know what it’s like to be without. To long for and be ignored; to speak and not be heard; to care for and have nothing returned. When I give it’s because I know the value in what I have in my heart. And I refuse to let the world stop me from sharing that, But when things start being taken for granted, When you no longer appreciate my sincerity, I won’t switch, I won’t get angry, and I won’t be spiteful. I’ll just get smart, and change your role in my life. Because when I give, I’m all in. But when I’m done, there’s no turning back.
Rob Hill
But the paradox of their success is that most modern readers are unaware of the overwhelming obstacles both women had to overcome. Without knowing the history of the era, the difficulties Wollstonecraft and Shelley faced are largely invisible, their bravery incomprehensible. Both women were what Wollstonecraft termed “outlaws.” Not only did they write world-changing books, they broke from the strictures that governed women’s conduct, not once but time and again, profoundly challenging the moral code of the day. Their refusal to bow down, to subside and surrender, to be quiet and subservient, to apologize and hide, makes their lives as memorable as the words they left behind. They asserted their right to determine their own destinies, starting a revolution that has yet to end.
Charlotte Gordon (Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley)
The world tried to crush you, and you refused to be shattered. You've recovered from every setback a stronger person, rising form the ashes only to astonish everyone around you. And you will continue to surprise and confuse those who underestimate you. It is an inevitability. A forgone conclusion. But you should know now that being a leader is a thankless occupation. Few will ever be grateful for what you do or for the changes you implement. Their memories will be short, convenient. Your every success will be scruntinized. Your accomplishments will be brushed aside, breeding only greater expectations from those around you. Your power will push you further away from your friends. You will be made to feel lonely. Lost. You will long for validation from those you once admired, agonizing between pleasing old friends and doing what is right. But you must never, ever let the idiots into your head. They will only lead you astray.
Tahereh Mafi (Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4))
Cosmic insignificance therapy is an invitation to face the truth about your irrelevance in the grand scheme of things. To embrace it, to whatever extent you can. (Isn’t it hilarious, in hindsight, that you ever imagined things might be otherwise?) Truly doing justice to the astonishing gift of a few thousand weeks isn’t a matter of resolving to “do something remarkable” with them. In fact, it entails precisely the opposite: refusing to hold them to an abstract and overdemanding standard of remarkableness, against which they can only ever be found wanting, and taking them instead on their own terms, dropping back down from godlike fantasies of cosmic significance into the experience of life as it concretely, finitely—and often enough, marvelously—really is.
Oliver Burkeman (Four Thousand Weeks: The smash-hit bestseller that will change your life)
SIMONE: I was getting a lot of phone calls from Daisy at all hours of the day. I’d say, “Let me come get you.” And she’d refuse. I thought about trying to force her into rehab. But you can’t do that. You can’t control another person. It doesn’t matter how much you love them. You can’t love someone back to health and you can’t hate someone back to health and no matter how right you are about something, it doesn’t mean they will change their mind. I used to rehearse speeches and interventions and consider flying to where she was and dragging her off that stage—as if, if I could just get the words right, I could convince her to get sober. You drive yourself crazy, trying to put words in some magical order that will unlock their sanity. And when it doesn’t work, you think, I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t talk to her clearly enough. But at some point, you have to recognize that you have no control over anybody and you have to step back and be ready to catch them when they fall and that’s all you can do. It feels like throwing yourself to sea. Or, maybe not that. Maybe it’s more like throwing someone you love out to sea and then praying they float on their own, knowing they might well drown and you’ll have to watch.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
But I thought we might get naked, just like Adam and Eve, so natural...” I gasped. I'd forgotten all about that part of my conversation with Scott! Utter humiliation. I curled into a tighter ball. “Oh, come on. You haven't even thanked me yet.” “For what?” I asked, still not looking. “For saving you from snogging that plonker. You didn't really fancy him, did you?” My cheeks burned, and I was glad to be turned away from him. I kept my mouth shut. “So that's it, then?” he asked. I ignored him. “I always wondered what it would feel like.” That made me curious enough to turn to him. “What what would feel like?” I asked. “Rejection.” He seemed in the midst of a revelation. “What are you saying? That no girl has ever told you no?” “Not one.” Well, that explained a lot. “And what about you?” I asked. "Haven't you ever stopped or said no to a girl?” He laughed as if I'd said something ridiculous. "Why would I do that?” “Lots of reasons,” I said. “Never mind, just go to sleep. We have a long day tomorrow.” I turned away from him again, punching the thick pillow and laying my head down. “I suppose I did refuse one, but she doesn't count,” he said. “Why not?” “Because she was Neph.” Discomfort gnawed at me. “This must be the part where I take a cold shower?” he asked. “Good idea.” When he was in the bathroom with the water running, I jumped down and changed into my pajamas. Then I leaped back into bed and chanted to myself, Don't think about the kiss. Don't think about the kiss. Impossible.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
We live in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, but that reality means little because almost all of that wealth is controlled by a tiny handful of individuals. There is something profoundly wrong when the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns almost as much as the bottom 90 percent, and when 99 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent. There is something profoundly wrong when one family owns more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans. This type of immoral, unsustainable economy is not what America is supposed to be about. This has got to change, and together we will change it. The change begins when we say to the billionaire class: “You can’t have it all. You can’t get huge tax breaks while children in this country go hungry. You can’t continue sending our jobs to China while millions are looking for work. You can’t hide your profits in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens, while there are massive unmet needs in every corner of this nation. Your greed has got to end. You cannot take advantage of all the benefits of America if you refuse to accept your responsibilities as Americans.
Bernie Sanders (Outsider in the White House)
She raised the long glass and peered back down at the harbor, at the passengers disembarking, but the image was blurry. Reluctantly, she released his hand. It felt like a promise, and she didn’t want to let go. She adjusted the lens, and her gaze caught on two figures moving down the gangplank. Their steps were graceful, their posture straight as knife blades. They moved like Suli acrobats. She drew in a sharp breath. Everything in her focused like the lens of the long glass. Her mind refused the image before her. This could not be real. It was an illusion, a false reflection, a lie made in rainbow-hued glass. She would breathe again and it would shatter. She reached for Kaz’s sleeve. She was going to fall. He had his arm around her, holding her up. Her mind split. Half of her was aware of his bare fingers on her sleeve, his dilated pupils, the brace of his body around hers. The other half was still trying to understand what she was seeing. His dark brows knitted together. “I wasn’t sure. Should I not have—” She could barely hear him over the clamor in her heart. “How?” she said, her voice raw and strange with unshed tears. “How did you find them?” “A favor, from Sturmhond. He sent out scouts. As part of our deal. If it was a mistake—” “No,” she said as the tears spilled over at last. “It was not a mistake.” “Of course, if something had gone wrong during the job, they’d be coming to retrieve your corpse.” Inej choked out a laugh. “Just let me have this.” She righted herself, her balance returning. Had she really thought the world didn’t change? She was a fool. The world was made of miracles, unexpected earthquakes, storms that came from nowhere and might reshape a continent. The boy beside her. The future before her. Anything was possible. Now Inej was shaking, her hands pressed to her mouth, watching them move up the dock toward the quay. She started forward, then turned back to Kaz. “Come with me,” she said. “Come meet them.” Kaz nodded as if steeling himself, flexed his fingers once more. “Wait,” he said. The burn of his voice was rougher than usual. “Is my tie straight?” Inej laughed, her hood falling back from her hair. “That’s the laugh,” he murmured, but she was already setting off down the quay, her feet barely touching the ground. “Mama!” she called out. “Papa!” Inej saw them turn, saw her mother grip her father’s arm. They were running toward her. Her heart was a river that carried her to the sea.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
HUMAN BILL OF RIGHTS [GUIDELINES FOR FAIRNESS AND INTIMACY] I have the right to be treated with respect. I have the right to say no. I have the right to make mistakes. I have the right to reject unsolicited advice or feedback. I have the right to negotiate for change. I have the right to change my mind or my plans. I have a right to change my circumstances or course of action. I have the right to have my own feelings, beliefs, opinions, preferences, etc. I have the right to protest sarcasm, destructive criticism, or unfair treatment. I have a right to feel angry and to express it non-abusively. I have a right to refuse to take responsibility for anyone else’s problems. I have a right to refuse to take responsibility for anyone’s bad behavior. I have a right to feel ambivalent and to occasionally be inconsistent. I have a right to play, waste time and not always be productive. I have a right to occasionally be childlike and immature. I have a right to complain about life’s unfairness and injustices. I have a right to occasionally be irrational in safe ways. I have a right to seek healthy and mutually supportive relationships. I have a right to ask friends for a modicum of help and emotional support. I have a right to complain and verbally ventilate in moderation. I have a right to grow, evolve and prosper.
Pete Walker (Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving)
She sits and listens with crossed legs under the batik house-wrap she wears, with her heavy three-way-piled hair and cigarette at her mouth and refuses me - for the time being, anyway - the most important things I ask of her. It's really kind of tremendous how it all takes place. You'd never guess how much labor goes into it. Only some time ago it occurred to me how great an amount. She came back from the studio and went to take a bath, and from the bath she called out to me, "Darling, please bring me a towel." I took one of those towel robes that I had bought at the Bon Marche' department store and came along with it. The little bathroom was in twilight. In the auffe-eua machine, the brass box with teeth of gas burning, the green metal dropped crumbs inside from the thousand-candle blaze. Her body with its warm woman's smell was covered with water starting in a calm line over her breasts. The glass of the medicine chest shone (like a deep blue place in the wall, as if a window to the evening sea and not the ashy fog of Paris. I sat down with the robe over my; shoulder and felt very much at peace. For a change the apartment seemed clean and was warm; the abominations were gone into the background, the stoves drew well and they shone. Jacqueline was cooking dinner and it smelled of gravy. I felt settled and easy, my chest free and my fingers comfortable and open. And now here's the thing. It takes a time like this for you to find out how sore your heart has been, and, moreover, all the while you thought you were going around idle terribly hard work was taking place. Hard, hard work, excavation and digging, mining, moiling through tunnels, heaving, pushing, moving rock, working, working, working, working, panting, hauling, hoisting. And none of this work is seen from the outside. It's internally done. It happens because you are powerless and unable to get anywhere, to obtain justice or have requital, and therefore in yourself you labor, you wage and combat, settle scores, remember insults, fight, reply, deny, blab, denounce, triumph, outwit, overcome, vindicate, cry, persist, absolve, die and rise again. All by yourself? Where is everybody? Inside your breast and skin, the entire cast.
Saul Bellow (All Marbles Accounted for)
For sure we live in a youth-obsessed culture that is constantly trying to tell us that if we’re not young and glowing and “hot,” we don’t matter. But I refuse to buy into such a distorted view of reality. And I would never lie about or deny my age. To do so is to contribute to a sickness pervading our society—the sickness of wanting to be what you’re not. I know for sure that only by owning who and what you are can you step into the fullness of life. I feel sorry for anyone who buys into the myth that you can be what you once were. The way to your best life isn’t denial. It’s owning every moment and staking a claim to the here and now. You’re not the same woman you were a decade ago; if you’re lucky, you’re not the same woman you were last year. The whole point of aging, as I see it, is change. If we let them, our experiences can keep teaching us about ourselves. I celebrate that. Honor it. Hold it in reverence. And I’m grateful for every age I’m blessed to become.
Oprah Winfrey (What I Know for Sure)
His vulnerability allowed me to let my guard down, and gently and methodically, he tore apart my well-constructed dam. Waves of tender feelings were lapping over the top and slipping through the cracks. The feelings flooded through and spilled into me. It was frightening opening myself up to feel love for someone again. My heart pounded hard and thudded audibly in my chest. I was sure he could hear it. Ren’s expression changed as he watched my face. His look of sadness was replaced by one of concern for me. What was the next step? What should I do? What do I say? How do I share what I’m feeling? I remembered watching romance movies with my mom, and our favorite saying was “shut up and kiss her already!” We’d both get frustrated when the hero or heroine wouldn’t do what was so obvious to the two of us, and as soon as a tense, romantic moment occurred, we’d both repeat our mantra. I could hear my mom’s humor-filled voice in my mind giving me the same advice: “Kells, shut up and kiss him already!” So, I got a grip on myself, and before I changed my mind, I leaned over and kissed him. He froze. He didn’t kiss me back. He didn’t push me away. He just stopped…moving. I pulled back, saw the shock on his face, and instantly regretted my boldness. I stood up and walked away, embarrassed. I wanted to put some distance between us as I frantically tried to rebuild the walls around my heart. I heard him move. He slid his hand under my elbow and turned me around. I couldn’t look at him. I just stared at his bare feet. He put a finger under my chin and tried to nudge my head up, but I still refused to meet his gaze. “Kelsey. Look at me.” Lifting my eyes, they traveled from his feet to a white button in the middle of his shirt. “Look at me.” My eyes continued their journey. They drifted past the golden-bronze skin of his chest, his throat, and then settled on his beautiful face. His cobalt blue eyes searched mine, questioning. He took a step closer. My breath hitched in my throat. Reaching out a hand, he slid it around my waist slowly. His other hand cupped my chin. Still watching my face, he placed his palm lightly on my cheek and traced the arch of my cheekbone with his thumb. The touch was sweet, hesitant, and careful, the way you might try to touch a frightened doe. His face was full of wonder and awareness. I quivered. He paused just a moment more, then smiled tenderly, dipped is head, and brushed his lips lightly against mine. He kissed me softly, tentatively, just a mere whisper of a kiss. His other hand slid down to my waist too. I timidly touched his arms with my fingertips. He was warm, and his skin was smooth. He gently pulled me closer and pressed me lightly against his chest. I gripped his arms. He sighed with pleasure, and deepened the kiss. I melted into him. How was I breathing? His summery sandalwood scent surrounded me. Everywhere he touched me, I felt tingly and alive. I clutched his arms fervently. His lips never leaving mine, Ren took both of my arms and wrapped them, one by one, around his neck. Then he trailed one of his hands down my bare arm to my waist while the other slid into my hair. Before I realized what he was planning to do, he picked me up with one arm and crushed me to his chest. I have no idea how long we kissed. It felt like a mere second, and it also felt like forever. My bare feet were dangling several inches from the floor. He was holding all my body weight easily with one arm. I buried my fingers into his hair and felt a rumble in his chest. It was similar to the purring sound he made as a tiger. After that, all coherent thought fled and time stopped.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
It isn't only political power that grows out of the barrel of a gun. So does a whole definition of reality. A set. And the action that has to happen on that particular set and on none other." "Don't be so bloody patronizing," I objected.... "That's just Marx: the ideology of the ruling class becomes the ideology of the whole society." "Not the ideology. The Reality." He lowered his handkerchief. "This was a public park until they changed the definition. Now, the guns have changed the Reality. It isn't a public park. There's more than one kind of magic." "Just like the Enclosure Acts," I said hollowly. "One day the land belonged to the people. The next day it belonged to the landlords." "And like the Narcotics Acts," he added. "A hundred thousand harmless junkies became criminals overnight, by Act of Congress, in nineteen twenty-seven. Ten years later, in thirty-seven, all the pot-heads in the country became criminals overnight, by Act of Congress. And they really were criminals, when the papers were signed. The guns prove it. Walk away from those guns, waving a joint, and refuse to halt when they tell you. Their Imagination will become your Reality in a second.
Robert Anton Wilson (The Eye in the Pyramid (Illuminatus, #1))
I have blogged previously about the dangerous and deadly effects of science denialism, from the innocent babies unnecessarily exposed to deadly diseases by other kids whose parents are anti-vaxxers, to the frequent examples of how acceptance of evolution helps us stop diseases and pests (and in the case of Baby Fae, rejection of evolution was fatal), to the long-term effects of climate denial to the future of the planet we all depend upon. But one of the strangest forms of denialism is the weird coalition of people who refuse to accept the medical fact that the HIV virus causes AIDS. What the heck? Didn’t we resolve this issue in the 1980s when the AIDS condition first became epidemic and the HIV virus was discovered and linked to AIDS? Yes, we did—but for people who want to deny scientific reality, it doesn’t matter how many studies have been done, or how strong the scientific consensus is. There are a significant number of people out there (especially among countries and communities with high rates of AIDS infections) that refuse to accept medical reality. I described all of these at greater length in my new book Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten our Future.
Donald R. Prothero
I went back in and grabbed my running clothes, then changed in the bathroom. I opened the door to the bathroom, stopping when I saw Kaidan's toiletry bag on the sink. I was overcome with curiosity about his cologne or aftershave, because I'd never smelled it on anyone else before. Feeling sneaky, I prodded one finger into the bag and peeked. No cologne bottle. Only a razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. I picked up the deodorant, pulled off the lid, and smelled it. Nope, that wasn't it. The sound of Kaidan's deep chuckle close to the doorway made me scream and drop the deodorant into the sink with a clatter. I smacked one hand to my chest and grabbed the edge of the sink with the other. He laughed out loud now. “Okay, that must have looked really bad.” I spoke to his reflection in the mirror, then fumbled to pick up the deodorant. I put the lid on and dropped it in his bag. “But I was just trying to figure out what cologne you wear.” My face was on fire as Kaidan stepped into the small bathroom and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. I stepped away. He seemed entertained by my predicament. “I haven't been wearing any cologne.” “Oh.” I cleared my throat. “Well, I didn't see any, so I thought it might be your deodorant, but that's not it either. Maybe it's your laundry detergent or something. Let's just forget about it.” “What is it you smell, exactly?” His voice took on a husky quality, and it felt like he was taking up a lot of room. I couldn't bring myself to look at him. Something strange was going on here. I stepped back, hitting the tub with my heel as I tried to put the scent into words. “I don't know. It's like citrus and the forest or something...leaves and tree sap. I can't explain it.” His eyes bored into mine while he wore that trademark sexy smirk, arms still crossed. “Citrus?” he asked. “Like lemons?” “Oranges mostly. And a little lime, too.” He nodded and flicked his head to the side to get hair out of his eyes. Then his smile disappeared and his badge throbbed. “What you smell are my pheromones, Anna.” A small, nervous laugh burst from my throat. “Oh, okay, then. Well...” I eyed the small space that was available to pass through the door. I made an awkward move toward it, but he shifted his body and I stepped back again. “People can't usually smell pheromones,” he told me. “You must be using your extra senses without realizing it. I've heard of Neph losing control of their senses with certain emotions. Fear, surprise...lust.” I rubbed my hands up and down my upper arms, wanting nothing more than to veer this conversation out of the danger zone. “Yeah, I do have a hard time reining in the scent sometimes,” I babbled. “It even gets away from me while I sleep now and then. I wake up thinking Patti's making cinnamon rolls and it ends up being from someone else's apartment. Then I'm just stuck with cereal. Anyway...” “Would you like to know your own scent?” he asked me. My heart swelled up big in my chest and squeezed small again. This whole scent thing was way too sensual to be discussed in this small space. Any second now my traitorous body would be emitting some of those pheromones and there'd be red in my aura. “Uh, not really,” I said, keeping my eyes averted. “I think I should probably go.” He made no attempt to move out of the doorway. “You smell like pears with freesia undertones.” “Wow, okay.” I cleared my throat, still refusing eye contact. I had to get out of there. “I think I'll just...” I pointed to the door and began to shuffle past him, doing my best not to brush up against him. He finally took a step back and put his hands up by his sides to show that he wouldn't touch me. I broke out of the confined bathroom and took a deep breath.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
...Communism, it's a reactive formation derived from capitalism. For this reason it's less flexible and has a lower survival potential. The days of laissez-faire capitalism are completely dead, and the assumptions of nineteenth-century Communism are equally dead, because they were based on laissez-faire capitalism. While there's hardly a trace of it left in capitalist countries, Communism is still reacting to something that's been dead for over a hundred years. And present-day Communism clings to this outmoded concepts, refusing to acknowledge the contradictions and failures of the Marxist system. Communism doesn't have any capacity to change. Capitalism is flexible, and it's changing all the time, and it's changed immeasurably. Communism apparently are still asserting that they are not changing, they're following the same Marxist principles. We don't have any principles. It's an advantage.
William S. Burroughs
A person does not reach the pinnacle of self-realization without relentlessly exploring the parameters of the self, exhausting their psychic energy coming to know oneself. Without society to rebel against and to sail away from, there would be no advances in civilization; there would be no need for healers and mystics, priests and artist, or shaman and writers. It is our curiosity and refusal to be satisfied with the status quo that compels us to challenge ourselves to learn and continue to grow. We only establish inner peace of mind with acceptance of the world, with the recognition of our connection to the entirety of the universe, and understanding that chaos and change are inevitable. We must also love because without love there are no acts of creation. Without love, humankind is a spasmodic pool of brutality and suffering. Love is a balm. It cures human aches and pains; it unites couples, families, and cultures. Love is a creative force, without love there is no art or religion. Art expresses thought and feelings, an articulation of adore and reverence.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
I stood as she straightened and snaked my arms around her, pulling her close to me, savoring the feel of every delicate curve. For three weeks, I spent my time convincing myself that our breakup was the right choice. But being this close to her, hearing her laugh, listening to her voice, I knew I had been telling myself lies. Her eyes widened when I lowered my head to hers. “It doesn’t have to be this way. We can find a way to make us work.” She tilted her head and licked her lips, whispering through shallow breaths, “You’re not playing fair.” “No, I’m not.” Echo thought too much. I threaded my fingers into her hair and kissed her, leaving her no opportunity to think about what we were doing. I wanted her to feel what I felt. To revel in the pull, the attraction. Dammit, I wanted her to undeniably love me. Her pack hit the floor with a resounding thud and her magical fingers explored my back, neck and head. Echo’s tongue danced manically with mine, hungry and excited. Her muscles stiffened when her mind caught up. I held her tighter to me, refusing to let her leave so easily again. Echo pulled her lips away, but was unable to step back from my body. “We can’t, Noah.” “Why not?” I shook her without meaning to, but if it snapped something into place, I’d shake her again. “Because everything has changed. Because nothing has changed. You have a family to save. I …” She looked away, shaking her head. “I can’t live here anymore. When I leave town, I can sleep. Do you understand what I’m saying?” I did. I understood all too well, as much as I hated it. This was why we ignored each other. When she walked away the first time, my damn heart ruptured and I swore I’d never let it happen again. Like an idiot, here I was setting off explosives. Both of my hands wove into her hair again and clutched at the soft curls. No matter how I tightened my grip, the strands kept falling from my fingers, a shower of water from the sky. I rested my forehead against hers. “I want you to be happy.” “You, too,” she whispered. I let go of her and left the main office. When I first connected with Echo, I’d promised her I would help her find her answers. I was a man of my word and Echo would soon know that.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Dear Mama, I am most certainly not dead. Thank you for your tender concern. I will try to write more often so you don’t have to worry so between letters. (Because a week’s silence surely means I have fallen prey to a wasting illness or been murdered in these boring, gray streets.) School is going well. I am excelling in all of my classes. (Apparently, some things never change, and girls are not challenged in Albion in the same way they weren’t on Melei.) My professors are all intelligent and kind. (Kind of horrible.) None stand out. (I refuse to mention him by name, no matter how many obviously “subtle” questions you ask.) The other students are also quite focused on their schooling, and none of us has much time for socializing. Boys and girls attend separate classes as well, so no, I have not met many interesting young men. (I am neither courting nor being courted. Please stop hoping.) Tell Aunt Li’ne thank you for the mittens. They are very much appreciated in this cold, damp climate I am so unused to. And please tell the sun hello and I miss her very much! I also miss you, of course. (I do. Very much.) All my love, Jessamin
Kiersten White (Illusions of Fate)
NOW this is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back — For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack. Wash daily from nose-tip to tail-tip; drink deeply, but never too deep; And remember the night is for hunting, and forget not the day is for sleep. The Jackal may follow the Tiger, but, Cub, when thy whiskers are grown, Remember the Wolf is a Hunter — go forth and get food of thine own. Keep peace withe Lords of the Jungle — the Tiger, the Panther, and Bear. And trouble not Hathi the Silent, and mock not the Boar in his lair. When Pack meets with Pack in the Jungle, and neither will go from the trail, Lie down till the leaders have spoken — it may be fair words shall prevail. When ye fight with a Wolf of the Pack, ye must fight him alone and afar, Lest others take part in the quarrel, and the Pack be diminished by war. The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, and where he has made him his home, Not even the Head Wolf may enter, not even the Council may come. The Lair of the Wolf is his refuge, but where he has digged it too plain, The Council shall send him a message, and so he shall change it again. If ye kill before midnight, be silent, and wake not the woods with your bay, Lest ye frighten the deer from the crop, and your brothers go empty away. Ye may kill for yourselves, and your mates, and your cubs as they need, and ye can; But kill not for pleasure of killing, and seven times never kill Man! If ye plunder his Kill from a weaker, devour not all in thy pride; Pack-Right is the right of the meanest; so leave him the head and the hide. The Kill of the Pack is the meat of the Pack. Ye must eat where it lies; And no one may carry away of that meat to his lair, or he dies. The Kill of the Wolf is the meat of the Wolf. He may do what he will; But, till he has given permission, the Pack may not eat of that Kill. Cub-Right is the right of the Yearling. From all of his Pack he may claim Full-gorge when the killer has eaten; and none may refuse him the same. Lair-Right is the right of the Mother. From all of her year she may claim One haunch of each kill for her litter, and none may deny her the same. Cave-Right is the right of the Father — to hunt by himself for his own: He is freed of all calls to the Pack; he is judged by the Council alone. Because of his age and his cunning, because of his gripe and his paw, In all that the Law leaveth open, the word of your Head Wolf is Law. Now these are the Laws of the Jungle, and many and mighty are they; But the head and the hoof of the Law and the haunch and the hump is — Obey!
Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book)
My birth certificate says: Female Negro Mother: Mary Anne Irby, 22, Negro Father: Jack Austin Woodson, 25, Negro In Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King Jr. is planning a march on Washington, where John F. Kennedy is president. In Harlem, Malcolm X is standing on a soapbox talking about a revolution. Outside the window of University Hospital, snow is slowly falling. So much already covers this vast Ohio ground. In Montgomery, only seven years have passed since Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus. I am born brown-skinned, black-haired and wide-eyed. I am born Negro here and Colored there and somewhere else, the Freedom Singers have linked arms, their protests rising into song: Deep in my heart, I do believe that we shall overcome someday. and somewhere else, James Baldwin is writing about injustice, each novel, each essay, changing the world. I do not yet know who I’ll be what I’ll say how I’ll say it . . . Not even three years have passed since a brown girl named Ruby Bridges walked into an all-white school. Armed guards surrounded her while hundreds of white people spat and called her names. She was six years old. I do not know if I’ll be strong like Ruby. I do not know what the world will look like when I am finally able to walk, speak, write . . . Another Buckeye! the nurse says to my mother. Already, I am being named for this place. Ohio. The Buckeye State. My fingers curl into fists, automatically This is the way, my mother said, of every baby’s hand. I do not know if these hands will become Malcolm’s—raised and fisted or Martin’s—open and asking or James’s—curled around a pen. I do not know if these hands will be Rosa’s or Ruby’s gently gloved and fiercely folded calmly in a lap, on a desk, around a book, ready to change the world . . .
Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming)
Re-vision--the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction--is for women more than a chapter in cultural history: it is an act of survival. Until we can understand the assumptions in which we are drenched we cannot know ourselves. And this drive to self-knowledge, for women, is more than a search for identity: it is part of our refusal of the self-destructiveness of male-dominated society. A radical critique of literature, feminist in its impulse, would take the work first of all as a clue to how we live, how we have been living, how we have been led to imagine ourselves, how our language has trapped as well as liberated us, how the very act of naming has been till now a male prerogative, and how we can begin to see and name--and therefore live--afresh. A change in the concept of sexual identity is essential if we are not going to see the old political order reassert itself in every new revolution. We need to know the writing of the past, and know it differently than we have ever known it; not to pass on a tradition but to break its hold over us.
Adrienne Rich (On Lies, Secrets, and Silence. Selected Prose 1966-1978)
[L]iberals insist that children should be given the right to remain part of their particular community, but on condition that they are given a choice. But for, say, Amish children to really have a free choice of which way of life to choose, either their parents’ life or that of the “English,” they would have to be properly informed on all the options, educated in them, and the only way to do what would be to extract them from their embeddedness in the Amish community, in other words, to effectively render them “English.” This also clearly demonstrates the limitations of the standard liberal attitude towards Muslim women wearing a veil: it is deemed acceptable if it is their free choice and not an option imposed on them by their husbands or family. However, the moment a woman wears a veil as the result of her free individual choice, the meaning of her act changes completely: it is no longer a sign of her direct substantial belongingness to the Muslim community, but an expression of her idiosyncratic individuality, of her spiritual quest and her protest against the vulgarity of the commodification of sexuality, or else a political gesture of protest against the West. A choice is always a meta-choice, a choice of the modality of choice itself: it is one thing to wear a veil because of one’s immediate immersion in a tradition; it is quite another to refuse to wear a veil; and yet another to wear one not out of a sense of belonging, but as an ethico-political choice. This is why, in our secular societies based on “choice,” people who maintain a substantial religious belonging are in a subordinate position: even if they are allowed to practice their beliefs, these beliefs are “tolerated” as their idiosyncratic personal choice or opinion; they moment they present them publicly as what they really are for them, they are accused of “fundamentalism.” What this means is that the “subject of free choice” (in the Western “tolerant” multicultural sense) can only emerge as the result of an extremely violent process of being torn away from one’s particular lifeworld, of being cut off from one’s roots.
Slavoj Žižek (Living in the End Times)
Her partner now drew near, and said, "That gentleman would have put me out of patience, had he stayed with you half a minute longer. He has no business to withdraw the attention of my partner from me. We have entered into a contract of mutual agreeableness for the space of an evening, and all our agreeableness belongs solely to each other for that time. Nobody can fasten themselves on the notice of one, without injuring the rights of the other. I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principal duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or marry themselves, have no business with the partners or wives of their neighbours." But they are such very different things!" -- That you think they cannot be compared together." To be sure not. People that marry can never part, but must go and keep house together. People that dance only stand opposite each other in a long room for half an hour." And such is your definition of matrimony and dancing. Taken in that light certainly, their resemblance is not striking; but I think I could place them in such a view. You will allow, that in both, man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal; that in both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution; that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with anyone else. You will allow all this?" Yes, to be sure, as you state it, all this sounds very well; but still they are so very different. I cannot look upon them at all in the same light, nor think the same duties belong to them." In one respect, there certainly is a difference. In marriage, the man is supposed to provide for the support of the woman, the woman to make the home agreeable to the man; he is to purvey, and she is to smile. But in dancing, their duties are exactly changed; the agreeableness, the compliance are expected from him, while she furnishes the fan and the lavender water. That, I suppose, was the difference of duties which struck you, as rendering the conditions incapable of comparison." No, indeed, I never thought of that." Then I am quite at a loss. One thing, however, I must observe. This disposition on your side is rather alarming. You totally disallow any similarity in the obligations; and may I not thence infer that your notions of the duties of the dancing state are not so strict as your partner might wish? Have I not reason to fear that if the gentleman who spoke to you just now were to return, or if any other gentleman were to address you, there would be nothing to restrain you from conversing with him as long as you chose?" Mr. Thorpe is such a very particular friend of my brother's, that if he talks to me, I must talk to him again; but there are hardly three young men in the room besides him that I have any acquaintance with." And is that to be my only security? Alas, alas!" Nay, I am sure you cannot have a better; for if I do not know anybody, it is impossible for me to talk to them; and, besides, I do not want to talk to anybody." Now you have given me a security worth having; and I shall proceed with courage.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
The nine in our list are based on a longer list in Robert Leahy, Stephen Holland, and Lata McGinn’s book, Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders. For more on CBT—how it works, and how to practice it—please see Appendix 1.) EMOTIONAL REASONING: Letting your feelings guide your interpretation of reality. “I feel depressed; therefore, my marriage is not working out.” CATASTROPHIZING: Focusing on the worst possible outcome and seeing it as most likely. “It would be terrible if I failed.” OVERGENERALIZING: Perceiving a global pattern of negatives on the basis of a single incident. “This generally happens to me. I seem to fail at a lot of things.” DICHOTOMOUS THINKING (also known variously as “black-and-white thinking,” “all-or-nothing thinking,” and “binary thinking”): Viewing events or people in all-or-nothing terms. “I get rejected by everyone,” or “It was a complete waste of time.” MIND READING: Assuming that you know what people think without having sufficient evidence of their thoughts. “He thinks I’m a loser.” LABELING: Assigning global negative traits to yourself or others (often in the service of dichotomous thinking). “I’m undesirable,” or “He’s a rotten person.” NEGATIVE FILTERING: You focus almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notice the positives. “Look at all of the people who don’t like me.” DISCOUNTING POSITIVES: Claiming that the positive things you or others do are trivial, so that you can maintain a negative judgment. “That’s what wives are supposed to do—so it doesn’t count when she’s nice to me,” or “Those successes were easy, so they don’t matter.” BLAMING: Focusing on the other person as the source of your negative feelings; you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself. “She’s to blame for the way I feel now,” or “My parents caused all my problems.”11
Greg Lukianoff (The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure)
Later, at the sink in our van, Mama rinsed the blue stain and the odd spiders, caterpillars, and stems from the bucket. "Not what we usually start with, but we can go again tomorrow. And this will set up nicely in about six, eight jars." The berries were beginning to simmer in the big pot on the back burner. Mama pushed her dark wooden spoon into the foaming berries and cicrcled the wall of the pot slowly. I leaned my hot arms on the table and said, "Iphy better not go tomorrow. She got tired today." I was smelling the berries and Mamaa's sweat, and watching the flex of the blue veins behind her knees. "Does them good. The twins always loved picking berries, even more than eating them. Though Elly likes her jam." "Elly doesn't like anything anymore." The knees stiffened and I looked up. The spoon was motionless. Mama stared at the pot. "Mama, Elly isn't there anymore. Iphy's changed. Everything's changed. This whole berry business, cooking big meals that nobody comes for, birthday cakes for Arty. It's dumb, Mama. Stop pretending. There isn't any family anymore, Mama." Then she cracked me with the big spoon. It smacked wet and hard across my ear, and the purple-black juice spayed across the table. She started at me, terrified, her mouth and eyes gaping with fear. I stared gaping at her. I broke and ran. I went to the generator truck and climbed up to sit by Grandpa. That's the only time Mama ever hit me and I knew I deserved it. I also knew that Mama was too far gone to understand why I deserved it. She'd swung that spoon in a tigerish reflex at blasphemy. But I believed that Arty had turned his back on us, that the twins were broken, that the Chick was lost, that Papa was weak and scared, that Mama was spinning fog, and that I was an adolescent crone sitting in the ruins, watching the beams crumble, and warming myself in the smoke from the funeral pyre. That was how I felt, and I wanted company. I hated Mama for refusing to see enough to be miserable with me. Maybe, too, enough of my child heart was still with me to think that if she would only open her eyes she could fix it all back up like a busted toy.
Katherine Dunn (Geek Love)
Still, it is true, lamb," said Satan. "Look at you in war—what mutton you are, and how ridiculous!" "In war? How?" "There has never been a just one, never an honorable one—on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful—as usual—will shout for the war. The pulpit will—warily and cautiously—object—at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, "It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it." Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers—as earlier—but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation—pulpit and all—will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)
All peoples think they are forever," he growled softly. "They do not believe they will ever not be. The Sinnissippi were that way. They did not think they would be eradicated. But that is what happened. Your people, Nest, believe this of themselves. They will survive forever, they think. Nothing can destroy them, can wipe them so completely from the earth and from history that all that will remain is their name and not even that will be known with certainty. They have such faith in their invulnerability. Yet already their destruction begins. It comes upon them gradually, in little ways. Bit by bit their belief in themselves erodes. A growing cynicism pervades their lives. Small acts of kindness and charity are abandoned as pointless and somehow indicative of weakness. Little failures of behavior lead to bigger ones. It is not enough to ignore the discourtesies of others; discourtesies must be repaid in kind. Men are intolerant and judgmental . They are without grace. If one man proclaims that God has spoken to him, another quickly proclaims that his God is false. If the homeless cannot find shelter, then surely they are to blame for their condition. If the poor do not have jobs, then surely it is because they will not work. If sickness strikes down those whose lifestyle differs from our own, then surely they have brought it on themselves. Look at your people, Nest Freemark. They abandon their old. They shun their sick. They cast off their children. They decry any who are different. They commit acts of unfaithfulness, betrayal, and depravity every day. They foster lies that undermine beliefs. Each small darkness breeds another. Each small incident of anger, bitterness, pettiness, and greed breeds others. A sense of futility consumes them. They feel helpless to effect even the smallest change. Their madness is of their own making, and yet they are powerless against it because they refuse to acknowledge its source. They are at war with themselves, but they do not begin to understand the nature of the battle being fought." -pages 96-97
Terry Brooks (Running with the Demon (Word & Void, #1))
With the best of intentions, the generation before mine worked diligently to prepare their children to make an intelligent case for Christianity. We were constantly reminded of the superiority of our own worldview and the shortcomings of all others. We learned that as Christians, we alone had access to absolute truth and could win any argument. The appropriate Bible verses were picked out for us, the opposing positions summarized for us, and the best responses articulated for us, so that we wouldn’t have to struggle through two thousand years of theological deliberations and debates but could get right to the bottom line on the important stuff: the deity of Christ, the nature of the Trinity, the role and interpretation of Scripture, and the fundamentals of Christianity. As a result, many of us entered the world with both an unparalleled level of conviction and a crippling lack of curiosity. So ready with the answers, we didn’t know what the questions were anymore. So prepared to defend the faith, we missed the thrill of discovering it for ourselves. So convinced we had God right, it never occurred to us that we might be wrong. In short, we never learned to doubt. Doubt is a difficult animal to master because it requires that we learn the difference between doubting God and doubting what we believe about God. The former has the potential to destroy faith; the latter has the power to enrich and refine it. The former is a vice; the latter a virtue. Where would we be if the apostle Peter had not doubted the necessity of food laws, or if Martin Luther had not doubted the notion that salvation can be purchased? What if Galileo had simply accepted church-instituted cosmology paradigms, or William Wilberforce the condition of slavery? We do an injustice to the intricacies and shadings of Christian history when we gloss over the struggles, when we read Paul’s epistles or Saint Augustine’s Confessions without acknowledging the difficult questions that these believers asked and the agony with which they often asked them. If I’ve learned anything over the past five years, it’s that doubt is the mechanism by which faith evolves. It helps us cast off false fundamentals so that we can recover what has been lost or embrace what is new. It is a refining fire, a hot flame that keeps our faith alive and moving and bubbling about, where certainty would only freeze it on the spot. I would argue that healthy doubt (questioning one’s beliefs) is perhaps the best defense against unhealthy doubt (questioning God). When we know how to make a distinction between our ideas about God and God himself, our faith remains safe when one of those ideas is seriously challenged. When we recognize that our theology is not the moon but rather a finger pointing at the moon, we enjoy the freedom of questioning it from time to time. We can say, as Tennyson said, Our little systems have their day; They have their day and cease to be; They are but broken lights of thee, And thou, O Lord, art more than they.15 I sometimes wonder if I might have spent fewer nights in angry, resentful prayer if only I’d known that my little systems — my theology, my presuppositions, my beliefs, even my fundamentals — were but broken lights of a holy, transcendent God. I wish I had known to question them, not him. What my generation is learning the hard way is that faith is not about defending conquered ground but about discovering new territory. Faith isn’t about being right, or settling down, or refusing to change. Faith is a journey, and every generation contributes its own sketches to the map. I’ve got miles and miles to go on this journey, but I think I can see Jesus up ahead.
Rachel Held Evans (Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions)
[The Christian story] amounts to a refusal to affirm life. In the biblical tradition we have inherited, life is corrupt, and every natural impulse is sinful unless it has been circumcised or baptized. The serpent was the one who brought sin into the wold. And the woman was the one who handed the apple to man. This identification of the woman with sin, of the serpent with sin, and thus of life with sin, is the twist the has been given to the whole story in the biblical myth and doctrine of the Fall.... I don't know of it [the idea of woman as sinner...in other mythologies] elsewhere. The closest thing to it would be perhaps Pandora with Pandora's box, but that's not sin, that's just trouble. The idea in the biblical tradition of the all is that nature as we know it is corrupt, sex in itself is corrupt, and the female as the epitome of sex is a corrupter. Why was the knowledge of good and evil forbidden to Adam and Eve? Without that knowledge, we'd all be a bunch of babies still Eden, without any participation in life. Woman brings life into the world. Eve is the mother o this temporal wold. Formerly you had a dreamtime paradise there in the Garden of Eden – no time, no birth, no death – no life. The serpent, who dies and is resurrected, shedding its skin and renewing its life, is the lord of the central tree, where time and eternity come together. He is the primary god, actually, in the Garden of Eden. Yahweh, the one who walks there in the cool of the evening, is just a visitor. The Garden is the serpent's place. It is an old, old story. We have Sumerian seals from as early as 3500 B.C. showing the serpent and the tree and the goddess, with the goddess giving the fruit of life to a visiting male. The old mythology of he goddess is right there.... There is actually a historical explanation [of the change of this image of the serpent and the snake in Genesis] based on the coming of the Hebrews into Canaan. The principal divinity of the people of Canaan was the Goddess and associated with the Goddess is the serpent. This is the symbol of the mystery of life. The male-god-oriented groups rejected it. In other words, there is a historical rejection of the Mother Goddess implied in the story of the Garden of Eden. Moyers: It does seem that this story has done women a great disservice by casting Eve as responsible for the Fall. Why...? Campbell: They represent life. Man doesn't enter life except by woman, and so it is woman who brings us into this wold of pairs of opposites and suffering.... Male and female is one opposition. Another opposition is the human and God. Good and evil is a third opposition. The primary oppositions are the sexual and that between human beings and God. Then comes the idea of good and evil in the world. And so Adm and Eve have thrown themselves out of the Garden of Timeless Unity, you might say, just by that act of recognizing duality. To move out into the world, you have to act in terms of pairs of opposites.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
At the heart of God is the desire to give and to forgive. Because of this, he set into motion the entire redemptive process that culminated in the cross and was confirmed in the resurrection. The usual notion of what Jesus did on the cross was something like this: people were so bad and so mean and God was so angry with them that he could not forgive them unless somebody big enough took the rap for the whole lot of them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Love, not anger, brought Jesus to the cross. Golgotha came as a result of God’s great desire to forgive, not his reluctance. Jesus knew that by his vicarious suffering he could actually absorb all the evil of humanity and so heal it, forgive it, redeem it. This is why Jesus refused the customary painkiller when it was offered him. He wanted to be completely alert for this greatest work of redemption. In a deep and mysterious way he was preparing to take on the collective sin of the human race. Since Jesus lives in the eternal now, this work was not just for those around him, but he took in all the violence, all the fear, all the sin of all the past, all the present, and all the future. This was his highest and most holy work, the work that makes confession and the forgiveness of sins possible…Some seem to think that when Jesus shouted “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” it was a moment of weakness (Mark 15:34). Not at all. This was his moment of greatest triumph. Jesus, who had walked in constant communion with the Father, now became so totally identified with humankind that he was the actual embodiment of sin. As Paul writes, “he made him to be sin who knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus succeeded in taking into himself all of the dark powers of this present evil age and defeated every one of them by the light of his presence. He accomplished such a total identification with the sin of the race that he experienced the abandonment of God. Only in that way could he redeem sin. It was indeed his moment of greatest triumph. Having accomplished this greatest of all his works, Jesus then took refreshment. “It is finished,” he announced. That is, this great work of redemption was completed. He could feel the last dregs of the misery of humankind flow through him and into the care of the Father. The last twinges of evil, hostility, anger, and fear drained out of him, and he was able to turn again into the light of God’s presence. “It is finished.” The task is complete. Soon after, he was free to give up his spirit to the father. …Without the cross the Discipline of confession would be only psychologically therapeutic. But it is so much more. It involves and objective change in our relationship with God and a subjective change in us. It is a means of healing and transforming the inner spirit.
Richard J. Foster (Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth)
Over the years I have read many, many books about the future, my ‘we’re all doomed’ books, as Connie liked to call them. ‘All the books you read are either about how grim the past was or how gruesome the future will be. It might not be that way, Douglas. Things might turn out all right.’ But these were well-researched, plausible studies, their conclusions highly persuasive, and I could become quite voluble on the subject. Take, for instance, the fate of the middle-class, into which Albie and I were born and to which Connie now belongs, albeit with some protest. In book after book I read that the middle-class are doomed. Globalisation and technology have already cut a swathe through previously secure professions, and 3D printing technology will soon wipe out the last of the manufacturing industries. The internet won’t replace those jobs, and what place for the middle-classes if twelve people can run a giant corporation? I’m no communist firebrand, but even the most rabid free-marketeer would concede that market-forces capitalism, instead of spreading wealth and security throughout the population, has grotesquely magnified the gulf between rich and poor, forcing a global workforce into dangerous, unregulated, insecure low-paid labour while rewarding only a tiny elite of businessmen and technocrats. So-called ‘secure’ professions seem less and less so; first it was the miners and the ship- and steel-workers, soon it will be the bank clerks, the librarians, the teachers, the shop-owners, the supermarket check-out staff. The scientists might survive if it’s the right type of science, but where do all the taxi-drivers in the world go when the taxis drive themselves? How do they feed their children or heat their homes and what happens when frustration turns to anger? Throw in terrorism, the seemingly insoluble problem of religious fundamentalism, the rise of the extreme right-wing, under-employed youth and the under-pensioned elderly, fragile and corrupt banking systems, the inadequacy of the health and care systems to cope with vast numbers of the sick and old, the environmental repercussions of unprecedented factory-farming, the battle for finite resources of food, water, gas and oil, the changing course of the Gulf Stream, destruction of the biosphere and the statistical probability of a global pandemic, and there really is no reason why anyone should sleep soundly ever again. By the time Albie is my age I will be long gone, or, best-case scenario, barricaded into my living module with enough rations to see out my days. But outside, I imagine vast, unregulated factories where workers count themselves lucky to toil through eighteen-hour days for less than a living wage before pulling on their gas masks to fight their way through the unemployed masses who are bartering with the mutated chickens and old tin-cans that they use for currency, those lucky workers returning to tiny, overcrowded shacks in a vast megalopolis where a tree is never seen, the air is thick with police drones, where car-bomb explosions, typhoons and freak hailstorms are so commonplace as to barely be remarked upon. Meanwhile, in literally gilded towers miles above the carcinogenic smog, the privileged 1 per cent of businessmen, celebrities and entrepreneurs look down through bullet-proof windows, accept cocktails in strange glasses from the robot waiters hovering nearby and laugh their tinkling laughs and somewhere, down there in that hellish, stewing mess of violence, poverty and desperation, is my son, Albie Petersen, a wandering minstrel with his guitar and his keen interest in photography, still refusing to wear a decent coat.
David Nicholls (Us)