Requires Action Quotes

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Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Life doesn't require ideals. It requires standards of action.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
big plans require big action
Greg Behrendt (He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys)
It is important not to suppress your feelings altogether when you are depressed. It is equally important to avoid terrible arguments or expressions of outrage. You should steer clear of emotionally damaging behavior. People forgive, but it is best not to stir things up to the point at which forgiveness is required. When you are depressed, you need the love of other people, and yet depression fosters actions that destroy that love. Depressed people often stick pins into their own life rafts. The conscious mind can intervene. One is not helpless.
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)
Whatever course you decide upon there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires....courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Knowledge kills action; action requires the veils of illusion.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Birth of Tragedy)
True love requires action. We can speak of love all day long, we can write notes or poems that proclaim it, sing songs that praise it, and preach sermons that encourage it but until we manifest that love in action, our words are nothing but sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Peace requires us to surrender our illusions of control. We can love and care for others but we cannot possess our children, lovers, family, or friends. We can assist them, pray for them, and wish them well, yet in the end their happiness and suffering depend on their thoughts and actions, not on our wishes.
Jack Kornfield
Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
Stop just cheering for others who are living their visions. Commit yourself to your own success and follow the steps required to achieve it.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
A detective in love with a breathtakingly beautiful stripper, who also is a major criminal: “Among her coterie of supplicants was Joe Fucci, a senior detective on the Laughlin force. Joe regarded himself as handsome, and he was. If he went without shaving for three days, a John Deere was required to cut through the growth. No electric razor created by man stood a chance in that tangle of growth.
John M. Vermillion (Pack's Posse (Simon Pack Book 8))
But, if we consider, as physicists now claim, that everything is energy—everything we see, everything we think, everything we do—then it is just possible that this same law of conservation of energy applies to questions of morality. A conservation of moral energy, a maintenance of equilibrium… a balance exists and must be preserved. If an action is taken that disrupts that balance, then an action similar in kind and degree is required to restore equilibrium.
J.K. Franko (Eye for Eye (Talion #1))
acquisition of skills requires a regular environment, an adequate opportunity to practice, and rapid and unequivocal feedback about the correctness of thoughts and actions.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
Boy, you are a hothead, Bane. Your rage makes you an exceptional warrior but quite a boring conversationalist. Good thing I did not keep you for your manners and charm, eh? Now calm down, your spittle is getting all over me, my feet do not require a shower." -Michael, The ArchAngel
J.B. Lion (The Seventh Spark: Volume One – Knights of the Trinity)
There are four things you need to know about war. One, every action requires careful tactics. Two, never lose hope and fight only for what is right. Three, be brave but you don't have to be fearless. And four, be willing to sacrifice.
Courtney Allison Moulton (Wings of the Wicked (Angelfire, #2))
Transformation always requires radical action.
Daniel Waters (Generation Dead (Generation Dead, #1))
It is not pleasant to experience decay, to find yourself exposed to the ravages of an almost daily rain, and to know that you are turning into something feeble, that more and more of you will blow off with the first strong wind, making you less and less. Some people accumulate more emotional rust than others. Depression starts out insipid, fogs the days into a dull color, weakens ordinary actions until their clear shapes are obscured by the effort they require, leaves you tired and bored and self-obsessed- but you can get through all that. No happily, perhaps, but you can get through. No one has ever been able to define the collapse point that marks major depression, but when you get there, there’s not much mistaking it.
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)
At the root of every large struggle in life is the need to be honest about something that we do not feel we can be honest about. We lie to ourselves or other people because the truth might require action on our part, and action requires courage. We say we “don’t know” what is wrong, when we do know what is wrong; we just wish we didn’t. Art lets us tell the truth, but even art can be something to hide behind.
Deb Caletti (The Secret Life of Prince Charming)
Pack speaking about his new love, Sky: “Well, let’s see. She has the animal husbandry skills of a vet, the organizational skills of a Six Sigma guru, and the mechanical skills of a…trained mechanic. She doesn’t require handyman help. And she’s nice to look at. Other than that, she leaves a lot to be desired. And maybe I omitted the best part, which is that she’s a fine human being with strong values.
John M. Vermillion (Pack's Posse (Simon Pack Book 8))
You can't live in your mind and expect those dreams to become real, without the work. Reality requires actions that might feel scary, but that is what is required if you want to find true love. Don't expect it to come and rescue you. You have to rescue yourself.
Shannon L. Alder
Most of the people you see going to work today are LARPing (live-action role playing) an incredibly boring RPG (role-playing game) called "professionalism" that requires them to alter their vocabulary, posture, eating habits, facial expressions--every detail all the way down to what they allow themselves to find funny.
Cory Doctorow (In Real Life)
Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. It is not about the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is action. Hope is doing something. The more futile, the more useless, the more irrelevant and incomprehensible an act of rebellion is, the vaster and more potent hope becomes. Hope never makes sense. Hope is weak, unorganized and absurd. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness, the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on all of us. Hope posits that people are drawn to the good by the good. This is the secret of hope's power. Hope demands for others what we demand for ourselves. Hope does not separate us from them. Hope sees in our enemy our own face.
Chris Hedges
We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and there is no learning. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty. People are terrified — how can you live and not know? It is not odd at all. You only think you know, as a matter of fact. And most of your actions are based on incomplete knowledge and you really don't know what it is all about, or what the purpose of the world is, or know a great deal of other things. It is possible to live and not know.
Richard P. Feynman (The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman)
I learned that the world of men as it exists today is a bureaucracy. This is an obvious truth, of course, though it is also one the ignorance of which causes great suffering. “But moreover, I discovered, in the only way that a man ever really learns anything important, the real skill that is required to succeed in a bureaucracy. I mean really succeed: do good, make a difference, serve. I discovered the key. This key is not efficiency, or probity, or insight, or wisdom. It is not political cunning, interpersonal skills, raw IQ, loyalty, vision, or any of the qualities that the bureaucratic world calls virtues, and tests for. The key is a certain capacity that underlies all these qualities, rather the way that an ability to breathe and pump blood underlies all thought and action. “The underlying bureaucratic key is the ability to deal with boredom. To function effectively in an environment that precludes everything vital and human. To breathe, so to speak, without air. “The key is the ability, whether innate or conditioned, to find the other side of the rote, the picayune, the meaningless, the repetitive, the pointlessly complex. To be, in a word, unborable. “It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
Requiring accountability while also extending your compassion is not the easiest course of action, but it is the most humane, and, ultimately, the safest for the community.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.)
Hope is often misunderstood. People tend to think that it is simply passive wishful thinking: I hope something will happen but I’m not going to do anything about it. This is indeed the opposite of real hope, which requires action and engagement.
Jane Goodall (The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times)
I think that, as life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
What are you going to do about it? I believe in the power of positive thinking—but change and freedom also require positive action. Anything we practice, we become better at.
Edith Eger (The Choice)
The world is filled with too many of us who are inclined to indicate our love with an announcement or declaration. True love is a process. True love requires personal action. Love must be continuing to be real. Love takes time.
Marvin J. Ashton
The scene was set. All that was required was an action, a cold start, instant and brutal as beginnings always are.
Paolo Giordano (The Solitude of Prime Numbers)
Your right actions might hurt someone, so if required apologize for your right actions, but don't stop taking right actions.
Amit Kalantri
Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of a new identity. And if a change is meaningful, it is actually big. That's the paradox of making small improvements.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Men cannot be men—much less good or heroic men—unless their actions have meaningful consequences to people they truly care about. Strength requires an opposing force, courage requires risk, mastery requires hard work, honor requires accountability to other men. Without these things, we are little more than boys playing at being men, and there is no weekend retreat or mantra or half-assed rite of passage that can change that. A rite of passage must reflect a real change in status and responsibility for it to be anything more than theater. No reimagined manhood of convenience can hold its head high so long as the earth remains the tomb of our ancestors
Jack Donovan (The Way of Men)
Knowledge kills action, for action requires a state of being in which we are covered with the veil of illusion.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Birth of Tragedy)
Man has no automatic code of survival. His particular distinction from all other living species is the necessity to act in the face of alternatives by means of volitional choice. He has no automatic knowledge of what is good for him or evil, what values his life depends on, what course of action it requires. Are you prattling about an instinct of self-preservation? An instinct of self-preservation is precisely what man does not possess. An 'instinct' in as unerring and automatic form of knowledge. A desire is not an instinct. A desire to live does not give you the knowledge required for living. And even man's desire to live is not automatic: your secret evil today is that that is the desire you do not hold. Your fear of death is not a love of life and will not give you the knowledge needed to keep it. Man must obtain his knowledge and choose his actions by a process of thinking, which nature will not force him to perform. Man has the power to act as his own destroyer--and that is the way he has acted through most of history.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Converting a decision into action requires answering several distinct questions: Who has to know of this decision? What action has to be taken? Who is to take it? And what does the action have to be so that the people who have to do it can do it? The first and the last of these are too often overlooked—with dire results.
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive)
But one learns from books and reels only that certain things can be done. Actual learning requires that you do those things.
Frank Herbert (Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3))
It does not take a great supernatural heroine or magical hero to save the world. We all save it every day, and we all destroy it -- in our own small ways -- by every choice we make and every tiniest action resulting from that choice. The next time you feel useless and impotent, remember what you are in fact doing in this very moment. And then observe your tiny, seemingly meaningless acts and choices coalesce and cascade together into a powerful positive whole. The world -- if it could -- will thank you for it. And if it does not... well, a true heroine or hero does not require it.
Vera Nazarian
My dearest Rose, One of the few downsides to being awakened is that we no longer require sleep; therefore we also no longer dream. It's a shame, because if I could dream, I know I'd dream about you. I'd dream about the way you smell and how your dark hair feels like silk between my fingers. I'd dream about the smoothness of your skin and the fierceness of your lips when we kiss. Without dreams, I have to be content with my own imagination - which is almost as good. I can picture all of those things perfectly, as well as how it'll be when I take your life from this world. It's something I regret having to do, but you've made my choice inevitable. Your refusal to join me in eternal life and love leaves no other course of action, and I can't allow someone as dangerous as you to live. Besides, even if I forced your awakening, you now have so many enemies among the Strigoi that one of them would kill you. If you must die, it'll be by my hand. No one else's. Nonetheless, I wish you well today as you take your trails - not that you need any luck. If they actually making you take them, it's a waste of everyone's time. You're the best in that group, and by this evening you'll wear your promise mark. Of course, that means you'll be all that much more of a challenge when we meet again - which I'll definitely enjoy. And we will be meeting again. With graduation, you'll be turned out of the Academy, and once you're outside the wards, I'll find you. There is no place in this world you can hide from me. I'm watching. Love, Dimitri
Richelle Mead (Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy, #5))
JUST FOR TODAY, I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far-reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once. I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime. JUST FOR TODAY, I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. If my mind fills with clouds, I will chase them away and fill it with sunshine. JUST FOR TODAY, I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct and accept those I cannot. JUST FOR TODAY, I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer. JUST FOR TODAY, I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I'll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking. Just for today, I will refrain from improving anybody but myself. JUST FOR TODAY, I will do something positive to improve my health. If I'm a smoker, I'll quit. If I'm overweight, I will eat healthfully -- if only for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it's only around the block. JUST FOR TODAY, I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions.
Abigail Van Buren
The tendency to view the holistic work of the church as the action of the privileged toward the marginalized often derails the work of true community healing. Ministry in the urban context, acts of justice and racial reconciliation require a deeper engagement with the other—an engagement that acknowledges suffering rather than glossing over it.
Soong-Chan Rah (Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times)
Admitting a mistake is not a weakness; on the contrary, it shows an openness of your heart. It takes guts to say sorry. Only a strong and well-balanced individual with clarity of mind can do so effortlessly. Taking responsibility for your actions requires and develops your self-control. You become your own person.
Vishwas Chavan (Vishwasutras: Universal Principles for Living: Inspired by Real-Life Experiences)
Use whatever knowledge you have but see its limitations. Knowledge alone does not suffice; it has no heart. No amount of knowledge will nourish or sustain your spirit; it can never bring you ultimate happiness or peace. Life requires more than knowledge; it requires intense feeling and constant energy. Life demands right action if knowledge is to come alive.
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior)
On your quest to spirituality it is often required to suspend your rationality; but true spirituality asks that you enhance your rationality.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
In this sense the Dionysian man resembles Hamlet: both have once looked truly into the essence of things, they have gained knowledge, and nausea inhibits action; for their action could not change anything in the eternal nature of things; they feel it to be ridiculous or humiliating that they should be asked to set right a world that is out of joint. Knowledge kills action; action requires the veils of illusion: that is the doctrine of Hamlet, not that cheap wisdom of Jack the Dreamer who reflects too much and, as it were, from an excess of possibilities does not get around to action. Not reflection, no--true knowledge, an insight into the horrible truth, outweighs any motive for action, both in Hamlet and in the Dionysian man. Now no comfort avails any more; longing transcends a world after death, even the gods; existence is negated along with its glittering reflection in the gods or in an immortal beyond. Conscious of the truth he has once seen, man now sees everywhere only the horror or absurdity of existence; now he understands what is symbolic in Ophelia's fate; now he understands the wisdom of the sylvan god, Silenus: he is nauseated. Here, when the danger to his will is greatest, art approaches as a saving sorceress, expert at healing. She alone knows how to turn these nauseous thoughts about the horror or absurdity of existence into notions with which one can live: these are the sublime as the artistic taming of the horrible, and the comic as the artistic discharge of the nausea of absurdity. The satyr chorus of the dithyramb is the saving deed of Greek art; faced with the intermediary world of these Dionysian companions, the feelings described here exhausted themselves.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Birth of Tragedy / The Case of Wagner)
What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life--daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual. These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus it is impossible to define the meaning of life in a general way. Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered by sweeping statements. “Life” does not mean something vague, but something very real and concrete, just as life’s tasks are also very real and concrete. They form man’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual. No man and no destiny can be compared with any other man or any other destiny. No situation repeats itself, and each situation calls for a different response. Sometimes the situation in which a man finds himself may require him to shape his own fate by action. At other times it is more advantageous for him to make use of an opportunity for contemplation and to realize assets in this way. Sometimes man may be required simple to accept fate, to bear his cross. Every situation is distinguished by its uniqueness, and there is always only one right answer to the problem posed by the situation at hand. When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
Viktor E. Frankl
the key to daily practice is to put your desired actions as close to the path of least resistance as humanly possible. Identify the activation energy—the time, the choices, the mental and physical effort they require—and then reduce it. If you can cut the activation energy for those habits that lead to success, even by as little as 20 seconds at a time, it won’t be long before you start reaping their benefits.
Shawn Achor (The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work)
There is no alternative to action, and that requires faith. The issue is how we are to mold for ourselves a belief system that is worthy of life.
Naguib Mahfouz (Sugar Street)
The creator stands on his own judgment. The parasite follows the opinions of others. The creator thinks, the parasite copies. The creator produces, the parasite loots. The creator's concern is the conquest of nature - the parasite's concern is the conquest of men. The creator requires independence, he neither serves nor rules. He deals with men by free exchange and voluntary choice. The parasite seeks power, he wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery. He claims that man is only a tool for the use of others. That he must think as they think, act as they act, and live is selfless, joyless servitude to any need but his own. Look at history. Everything thing we have, every great achievement has come from the independent work of some independent mind. Every horror and destruction came from attempts to force men into a herd of brainless, soulless robots. Without personal rights, without personal ambition, without will, hope, or dignity. It is an ancient conflict. It has another name: the individual against the collective".
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Just remember this. Every man you have ever dated who has said he doesn’t want to get married or doesn’t believe in marriage, or has “issues” with marriage, will, rest assured, someday be married. It just will never be with you. Because he’s not really saying he doesn’t want to get married. He’s saying he doesn’t want to get married to you. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get married. You shouldn’t feel ashamed, needy, or “unliberated” for wanting that. So make sure from the start that you pick a guy who shares your views for the future, and if not, move on as quickly as you can. Big plans require big action.
Greg Behrendt (He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys)
Thinking big is essential to extraordinary results. Success requires action, and action requires thought. But here’s the catch—the only actions that become springboards to succeeding big are those informed by big thinking to begin with. Make this connection, and the importance of how big you think begins to sink in.
Gary Keller (The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
Having dignity doesn't require you to fall out of love with someone. You can love someone your entire life and not been in their life. It simply means you won't allow their actions or inactions to guide your future. The moment you feel derailed from your life purpose, in limbo or have to sell your worth, you have crossed over from love to desperation.
Shannon L. Alder
Action will sometimes be required, but if you're really doing it in line with what the Universe is trying to bring to you, it's going to feel joyous. You're going to feel so alive. Time will just stop. You could do it all day.
Bob Doyle
The eye: the window to the soul; the center of the face's beauty; the point where a person's identity is concentrated; but at the same time an optical instrument that requires constant washing, wetting, maintenance by a special liquid dosed with salt. So the gaze, the greatest marvel man possesses, is regularly interrupted by a mechanical washing action.
Milan Kundera (Identity)
If I lived by some code, my actions would become predictable. The enemy would take advantage of this and I’d be killed. An honorable death doesn’t exist. Death is death. But it’s funny that survival and revenge require the same thing: no honor codes, no supposed higher principles to aspire to, no mercy
Frank Beddor (Seeing Redd)
Real life wasn’t a game. In a game, what is required is rashness, to strike back without any hesitation. In real life, there are many things to consider. There is a need to pick the most rational course of action. Not retaliating was a bit depressing, but it was better than putting on a show for others.
Gu Man (微微一笑很倾城 [Just One Smile Is Very Alluring] (微微一笑很倾城 #1))
Creation is quite impressionable. Everyone leaves a trail of their actions. And everyone, however wise, however powerful, however immortal, makes mistakes. All it requires is the patience to wait for them. And you'll find no one, in all Creation, quite so patient as Death.
Ari Marmell (Darksiders: The Abomination Vault)
What my father said about businessmen applies to liberals ... They're sons of bitches. The people who are selfish are interested in their own singular course of action and do not take into consideration the needs or requirements of others and what can ultimately be accomplished.
Robert F. Kennedy
The KGB still killed people, the KGB would not execute its last prisoner until the final days of its existence in 1991, but by the eighties a termination required paperwork and signatures and a post-action review.
Tom Clancy (Command Authority (Jack Ryan, #9))
The same moment the hiker comes upon them, rounding the bend in the trail, Harlan knows the man will die. He takes no pleasure in the thought. So far as Harlan is aware, he has never met the man and has no quarrel with him. This stranger is simply an unexpected contingency. A loose thread that, once noticed, requires snipping.
Hank Quense (The King Who Disappeared)
Scientists say every action initiates an equal and opposite reaction. I say that's just the start. I say every action initiates a most unequal and upredictable chain reaction, that every filament of living becomes part of a larger weave, while remaining identifiable. That every line of latitude requires several stripes of longitude to obtain meaning. That every universe is part of a bigger heaven, a heaven of rhythm and geometry, where a heartbeat is the apex of a triangle.
Ellen Hopkins (Triangles)
There is a big difference between motion and action. Just because you get out of bed doesn't mean you are making progress. Taking action requires decisiveness, dedication, and clear direction.
Farshad Asl
Striving to be good is the ultimate struggle of every man. Being bad is easy, but being good requires sincere commitment, discipline and strength. We have to work hard every day just to remain good.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Love yourself... enough to take the actions required for your happiness…enough to cut yourself loose from the drama-filled past... enough to set a high standard for relationships... enough to feed your mind and body in a healthy manner... enough to forgive yourself... enough to move on.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Walking soothes. There is a healing power in walking. The regular placement of one foot in front of the other while at the same time rowing rhythmically with the arms, the rising rate of respiration, the slight stimulation of the pulse, the actions required of eye and ear for determining direction and maintaining balance, the feeling of the passing air brushing against the skin -- all these are events that mass about the body and mind in a quite irresistible fashion and allow the soul, be it ever so atrophied and bruised, to grow and expand.
Patrick Süskind (The Pigeon)
The ripple that travels across water does not begin on its own. In order to create positive change one must act upon the intention. Creating a new idea is simple, but is just the beginning. Manifesting an idea into our perceived reality, the physical world, requires action to begin and diligence to maintain, just like any habit that already exists
Gary Hopkins
He was unsure what the thing inside him was and was unprepared to commit himself to the course of action that would be required to explore the question.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Life doesn’t require ideals. It requires standards of action.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Smoking must be harder than not smoking. For the latter does not require any action.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Getting things done requires two basic components: defining (1) what “done” means (outcome) and (2) what “doing” looks like (action).
David Allen (Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity)
patience which I assure you requires more force of character than does action.
David McCullough (The Path Between the Seas)
Being a philosopher requires a lot of thinking and no action. Being a model requires a lot of action and no thinking.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (N for Nigger: Aphorisms for Grown Children and Childish Grown-ups)
Perhaps we need to know more specifically what we are fighting to achieve (not only what we are fighting to destroy), and what actions would be required for such an achievement, even after the fight has been won, if it is won.
Miriam Toews (Women Talking)
What does it mean that man is a 'social animal? Only that humans need one another in order to define themselves and achieve self-consciousness, in a way that molluscs or earthworms do not. We cannot come to a proper sense of ourselves if there aren't others around to show us what we're like. 'A man can acquire anything in solitude except a character,' wrote Stendhal, suggesting that character has its genesis in the reactions of others to our words and actions. Our selves are fluid and require the contours provided by our neighbours. To feel whole, we need people in the vicinity who know us as well, sometimes better, than we know ourselves.
Alain de Botton (On Love)
If, as a white person, I conceptualize racism as a binary and I see myself on the "not racist" side, what further action is required of me? No action is required at all, because I am not a racist. Therefore racism is not my problem; it doesn't concern me and there is nothing further I need to do. This guarantees that, as a member of the dominant group, I will not build my skills in thinking critically about racism or use my position to challenge racial inequality.
Robin DiAngelo (What Does It Mean to Be White?; Developing White Racial Literacy)
After the slowing, every action required a little more force than it used to. The physics had changed. Take, for example, the slightly increased drag of a hand on a knife or a finger on a trigger. From then on, we all had a little more time to decide what not to do. And who knows how fast a second-guess can travel? Who has ever measured the exact speed of a regret? But the new gravity was not enough to overcome the pull of certain other forces, more powerful, less known--no law of physics can account for desire.
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
How often does it occur that information provided you on morning radio or television, or in the morning newspaper, causes you to alter your plans for the day, or to take some action you would not otherwise have taken, or provides insight into some problem you are required to solve?
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Expectations are nothing more than the rules we set, in order to maintain our ego and self esteem. What we seek from others is often that fulfillment of what we believe we require for happiness. However, many of us will raise the requirements so high that we can't even reach them or better yet, realize that we could find that expectation met by our own introspection and action.
Shannon L. Alder
If, as a white person, I conceptualize racism as a binary and I place myself on the “not racist” side, what further action is required of me? No action is required, because I am not a racist. Therefore, racism is not my problem; it doesn’t concern me and there is nothing further I need to do. This worldview guarantees that I will not build my skills in thinking critically about racism or use my position to challenge racial inequality.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
It is not my methodology to engage too much with critics for many reasons: - I honestly believe that my ego is not worthy of my having to defend it. There are far more important things in the ummah than me having to respond to critics. - By and large, criticism is a part of human life and nature and we have ourselves to accomplish more than just responding to what people say about us. - The best way to silence the speech of the critics it through the deafening noise of your own actions. - Criticising is the job that requires zero qualifications.
Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi
We can block our blessings with one thought, one decision. Sometimes your blessing may require certain actions on your behalf. You asked for the job? Now, you must get dressed and go to the interview and prove yourself worthy of the position. When you move, you activate your faith. And, suddenly everything falls into place. Faith without works is dead.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana
He had theologically redefined the Christian life as something active, not reactive. It had nothing to do with avoiding sin or with merely talking or teaching or believing theological notions or principles or rules or tenets. It had everything to do with living one’s whole life in obedience to God’s call through action. It did not merely require a mind, but a body too. It was God’s call to be fully human, to live as human beings obedient to the one who had made us, which was the fulfillment of our destiny. It was not a cramped, compromised, circumspect life, but a life lived in a kind of wild, joyful, full-throated freedom—that was what it was to obey God.
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
What can turn us from this deserted future, back into the sphere of our being, the great dance that joins us to our home, to each other and to other creatures, to the dead and unborn? I think it is love. I am perforce aware how baldly and embarrassingly that word now lies on the page—for we have learned at once to overuse it, abuse it, and hold it in suspicion. But I do not mean any kind of abstract love (adolescent, romantic, or "religious"), which is probably a contradiction in terms, but particular love for particular things, places, creatures, and people, requiring stands, acts, showing its successes and failures in practical or tangible effects. And it implies a responsibility just as particular, not grim or merely dutiful, but rising out of generosity. I think that this sort of love defines the effective range of human intelligence, the range within its works can be dependably beneficent. Only the action that is moved by love for the good at hand has the hope of being responsible and generous. Desire for the future produces words that cannot be stood by. But love makes language exact, because one loves only what one knows.
Wendell Berry
They are performing that oldest of tricks: constructing a path by which to reach a destination, only in this case the destination is permanent security. With each step they take towards it, that security recedes. And, with each step they take, the cost of progressing towards such security grows, and the actions required to move forward become more and more extreme.
Adrian Tchaikovsky (Children of Time (Children of Time #1))
One of the greatest barriers to going back is related to empathy. If our goal is perfection rather than growth, it is unlikely that we are willing to go back, because it requires a level of self-empathy—the ability to look at our own actions with understanding and compassion; to understand our experiences in the context in which they happened and to do all this without judgment.
Brené Brown (I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame)
The reason a lot of women can't move on from a relationship or people they love is because they need to know why. Why did this happen? Why did you do this? Why don't you care? Why did you hurt me? Why do you believe this about me? Why did you send me mixed signals? Why are these other people in your life acting like you care? Men have it all wrong. Insecurity is not why a lot of women don't let go. Women have a difficult time letting go because men don't communicate why at the level that women require. They don't back up their words with actions that are not confusing or could be misinterrupted as something else. Until, men learn that their actions and their friends and families reactions can create a questionable doubt about how they feel, they will forever have to deal with the drama they create for themselves.
Shannon L. Alder
Since knowledge, thinking, and rational action are properties of the individual, since the choice to exercise his rational faculty or not depends on the individual, man’s survival requires that those who think be free of the interference of those who don’t. Since men are neither omniscient nor infallible, they must be free to agree or disagree, to cooperate or to pursue their own independent course, each according to his own rational judgment. Freedom is the fundamental requirement of man’s mind. A rational mind does not work under compulsion; it does not subordinate its grasp of reality to anyone’s orders, directives, or controls; it does not sacrifice its knowledge, its view of the truth, to anyone’s opinions, threats, wishes, plans, or “welfare.” Such a mind may be hampered by others, it may be silenced, proscribed, imprisoned, or destroyed; it cannot be forced; a gun is not an argument. (An example and symbol of this attitude is Galileo.) It is from the work and the inviolate integrity of such minds—from the intransigent innovators—that all of mankind’s knowledge and achievements have come. (See The Fountainhead.) It is to such minds that mankind owes its survival. (See Atlas Shrugged.)
Ayn Rand (Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal)
The journey of success requires a map for effective navigation. Establish a destination by defining what you want. Once you have a destination, take physical action by making choices that move you towards that destination.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
I have heard people suggest that because humans are natural that everything humans do or create is natural. Chainsaws are natural. Nuclear bombs are natural. Our economics is natural. Sex slavery is natural. Asphalt is natural. Cars are natural. Polluted water is natural. A devastated world is natural. A devasted phyche is natural. Unbridled exploitation is natural. Pure objectification is natural. This is, of course, nonsense. We are embedded in the natural world. We evolved as social creatures in this natural world. We require clean water to drink, or we die. We require clean air to breathe, or we die. We require food, or we die. We require love, affection, social contact in order to become our full selves. It is part of our evolutionary legacy as social creatures. Anything that helps us to understand all of this is natural: Any ritual, artifact, process, action is natural, to the degree that it reinforces our understanding of our embeddedness in the natural world, and any ritual, artifact, process, action is unnatural, to the degree that it does not
Derrick Jensen (The Culture of Make Believe)
History was haunted by the ghosts of buried crimes, which required periodic exorcisms of truth. Actions had consequences. Will
Libba Bray (Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2))
So far, scientists have not uncovered any evidence that would hint that the workings of the Universe require the action of a divine being. On the other hand, scientists have uncovered no evidence that indicates that a divine being does not exist.
Isaac Asimov (In the Beginning . . .: Science Faces God in the Book of Genesis)
Just like Supreme Court justices, we as a nation have avoided contemplating remedies because we’ve indulged in the comfortable delusion that our segregation has not resulted primarily from state action and so, we conclude, there is not much we are required to do about it. Because once entrenched, segregation is difficult to reverse, the easiest course is to ignore it.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
It’s evident that we are always obtaining knowledge in this life, but learning requires rapid action. You could watch someone change a car tyre twenty times over, but unless you get down and do it, your knowledge is never tested, nor will you learn.
Daniel Chidiac (Who Says You Can’t? YOU DO)
Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the potential required to unleash a major change. This pattern shows up everywhere. Cancer spends 80 percent of its life undetectable, then takes over the body in months. Bamboo can barely be seen for the first five years as it builds extensive root systems underground before exploding ninety feet into the air within six weeks. Similarly, habits often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold and unlock a new level of performance. In the early and middle stages of any quest, there is often a Valley of Disappointment. You expect to make progress in a linear fashion and it’s frustrating how ineffective changes can seem during the first days, weeks, and even months. It doesn’t feel like you are going anywhere. It’s a hallmark of any compounding process: the most powerful outcomes
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
If our goal is perfection rather than growth, it is unlikely that we are willing to go back, because it requires a level of self-empathy—the ability to look at our own actions with understanding and compassion; to understand our experiences in the context in which they happened and to do all this without judgment. I call this ability to reflect on our own actions with empathy “grounding.
Brené Brown (I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame)
For every crime that comes before him, a judge is required to complete a perfect syllogism in which the major premise must be the general law; the minor, the action that conforms or does not conform to the law; and the conclusion, acquittal or punishment. If the judge were constrained, or if he desired to frame even a single additional syllogism, the door would thereby be opened to uncertainty.
Cesare Beccaria (On Crimes and Punishments and Other Writings)
To struggle against darkness is not to blunder ignorantly; intelligence is needed to generate right action. Wisdom guides whether to act or not, and if so how. Sometimes darkness is overwhelming and intelligent action is required. Sometimes silence and inaction is required, but a silence which is the result of intelligence is different from that born of ego states such as pride, fear and laziness.
Belsebuub
You want to know what I really learned? I learned that people don’t consider time alone as part of their life. Being alone is just a stretch of isolation they want to escape from. I saw a lot of wine-drinking, a lot of compulsive drug use, a lot of sleeping with the television on. It was less festive than I anticipated. My view had always been that I was my most alive when I was totally alone, because that was the only time I could live without fear of how my actions were being scrutinized and interpreted. What I came to realize is that people need their actions to be scrutinized and interpreted in order to feel like what they’re doing matters. Singular, solitary moments are like television pilots that never get aired. They don’t count. This, I think, explains the fundamental urge to get married and have kids[…]. We’re self-conditioned to require an audience, even if we’re not doing anything valuable or interesting. I’m sure this started in the 1970s. I know it did. I think Americans started raising offspring with this implicit notion that they had to tell their children, “You’re amazing, you can do anything you want, you’re a special person.” [...] But—when you really think about it—that emotional support only applies to the experience of living in public. We don’t have ways to quantify ideas like “amazing” or “successful” or “lovable” without the feedback of an audience. Nobody sits by himself in an empty room and thinks, “I’m amazing.” It’s impossible to imagine how that would work. But being “amazing” is supposed to be what life is about. As a result, the windows of time people spend by themselves become these meaningless experiences that don’t really count. It’s filler.
Chuck Klosterman (The Visible Man)
Covenant love is conscious love. It is intentional love. It is commitment to love no matter what. It requires thought and action. It does not wait for the encouragement of warm emotions but chooses to look out for the interest of the other party because you are committed to the other's well-being. Covenant love requires two factors: knowledge of the nature of love and the will to love. Understanding the 5 love languages will give you the information you need to have a successful long term covenant love relationship. Hopefully, as you see the benefits of covenant love, you will also find the will to love.
Gary Chapman
You can write and visualize goals all you want, but if you do not take action, your goals will never become a reality. To obtain a goal you have never before achieved will require tasks you have never before done.
Cameron C. Taylor (8 Attributes of Great Achievers)
America had invented itself. It continued to invent itself as it went along. Sometimes its virtues made it the envy of the world. Sometimes it betrayed the very heart of its ideals. Sometimes the people dispensed with what was difficult or inconvenient to acknowledge. So the good people maintained the illusion of democracy and wrote another hymn to America. They sang loud enough to drown out dissent. They sang loud enough to overpower their own doubts. There were no plaques to commemorate mistakes. But the past didn’t forget. History was haunted by the ghosts of buried crimes, which required period exorcisms of truth. Actions had consequences.
Libba Bray (Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2))
Indeed, there is something in the very form of reading—the shape of the action itself—that tends toward virtue. The attentiveness necessary for deep reading (the kind of reading we practice in reading literary works as opposed to skimming news stories or reading instructions) requires patience. The skills of interpretation and evaluation require prudence. Even the simple decision to set aside time to read in a world rife with so many other choices competing for our attention requires a kind of temperance.
Karen Swallow Prior (On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books)
Non-violence confronts systematic injustice with active love, but refuses to retaliate with further violence under any circumstances. In order to halt the vicious cycles of violence, it requires a willing acceptance of suffering and death rather than inflicting suffering or death on anyone else.
John Dear (Living Peace: A Spirituality of Contemplation and Action)
We set limits for ourselves all the time. This imaginary line that you're positive you won't ever cross. An action that you are positive you would never do, no matter what. But what we don't consider when we draw our line is a change in our situation. An action that you were sure last week you wouldn't do suddenly becomes a viable option this week because the situation has drive you to it. Then you move your limit line and talk yourself into believing this new line will never be crossed. A man will take a stand and proclaim "I would never lie to my wife." But what if he maxes out their credit card because of his internet porn addiction? The line gets moved. I'm sure if you ask any mother or father they would not hesitate in harming or even killing someone who was about to do the same to their child. The line gets moved. A girl who is so consumed by the pain and empty ache of loneliness will be drive to do anything, no matter how degrading she thinks it is, because she wants to numb the chronic pain. The line gets moved. The line keeps moving and moving until one day you realize you're limitless. If you are being completely honest with yourself, there is absolutely nothing you wouldn't do if the situation required you to cross another line.
Alison G. Bailey (Present Perfect (Perfect, #1))
In chess we have the obligation to move; there is no option to skip a turn if you can’t identify a direction that suits you. One of the great challenges of the game is how to make progress when there are no obvious moves, when action is required, not reaction. The great Polish chess master and wit Tartakower half-joking called this the “nothing to do” phase of the game. In reality, it is here that we find what separates pretenders from contenders.
Garry Kasparov (How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves, from the Board to the Boardroom)
Behind every action, every thought, and every word lies the nagging question: what would Elodie think of me if she could see me now? It’s a burden, this shift in attitude. It doesn’t come naturally; it requires constant work, and the new restrictions I’ve placed upon myself chafe like nothing else. She didn’t ask me to change. She hasn’t really asked anything of me, but this gnawing desire to make her happy, to make her proud of me, is ever constant. For her, I want to be better than my soiled, rotten soul has ever been before.
Callie Hart (Riot House (Crooked Sinners, #1))
Every achievement of man is a value in itself, but it is also a stepping-stone to greater achievements and values. Life is growth; not to move forward, is to fall backward; life remains life, only so long as it advances. Every step upward opens to man a wider range of action and achievement--and creates the need for that action and achievement. There is no final, permanent "plateau". The problem of survival is never "solved", once and for all, with no further thought or motion required. More precisely, the problem of survival is solved, by recognizing that survival demands constant growth and creativeness.
Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism)
If you seek tranquillity, do less.” Or (more accurately) do what’s essential—what the logos of a social being requires, and in the requisite way. Which brings a double satisfaction: to do less, better. Because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, “Is this necessary?” But we need to eliminate unnecessary assumptions as well. To eliminate the unnecessary actions that follow.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Knowing the difference between right and wrong sometimes did not serve to clarify much of anything. Just because a man is able to draw his line in the sand, it doesn’t mean he’ll know what to do when his only course of action requires crossing it.
Graham Moore (The Last Days of Night)
When we get hurt, our bodies immediately start trying to heal that hurt. This works for emotions as well. If we were scarred socially, by an incident of rejection or bullying, we immediately start trying to heal. Like pus comes out of wounds, emotions flow from psychological wounds. And what do we really need at that moment? When we are out of that dangerous situation that scarred us, and we become triggered by some little thing - what do we need? Do we need someone to look at us and say, "Wow, you're really sensitive, aren't you?" or "Hey, man, I didn't mean it like that."? Do we need someone to justify their actions or tell us to take it easy, because the situation didn't really require such a reaction? And, from ourselves, do we really need four pounds of judgment with liberal helpings of shame? Do we need to run away, to suppress, to hate our "over-sensitivity" to situations that seem innocuous to others? No. We do not need all of these versions of rejection of a natural healing process. You would not feel shame over a wound doing what it must do to heal, nor would you shame another. So why do we do this to our heart wounds? Why do we do it to ourselves? To others? Next time some harmless situation triggers you or someone around you into an intense emotion - realize it's an attempt at emotional healing. Realize the danger is no longer there, but don't suppress the healing of old dangers and old pains. Allow the pain. Don't react, but don't repress. Embrace the pain. Embrace the pain of others. Like this, we have some chance at healing the endless cycles of generational repression and suppression that are rolling around in our society. Fall open. Break open. Sit with others' openness. Let love be your medicine.
Vironika Tugaleva
Repentance is not just sorrow and confession, it is the turning around of wrong behavior towards right and just action. Repentance from sinful corporate behavior therefore requires systemic change. For many, the cost of that repentance may be too high.
Soong-Chan Rah (Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery)
I mention all this to make the point that if you were designing an organism to look after life in our lonely cosmos, to monitor where it is going and keep a record of where it has been, you wouldn't choose human beings for the job. But here's an extremely salient point: we have been chosen, by fate or Providence or whatever you wish to call it. It's an unnerving thought that we may be living the universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously. Because we are so remarkably careless about looking after things, both when alive and when not, we have no idea-- really none at all-- about how many things have died off permanently, or may soon, or may never, and what role we have played in any part of the process. In 1979, in the book The Sinking Ark, the author Norman Myers suggested that human activities were causing about two extinctions a week on the planet. By the early 1990s he had raised the figure to about some six hundred per week. (That's extinctions of all types-- plants, insects, and so on as well as animals.) Others have put the figure ever higher-- to well over a thousand a week. A United Nations report of 1995, on the other hand, put the total number of known extinctions in the last four hundred years at slightly under 500 for animals and slightly over 650 for plants-- while allowing that this was "almost certainly an underestimate," particularly with regard to tropical species. A few interpreters think most extinction figures are grossly inflated. The fact is, we don't know. Don't have any idea. We don't know when we started doing many of the things we've done. We don't know what we are doing right now or how our present actions will affect the future. What we do know is that there is only one planet to do it on, and only one species of being capable of making a considered difference. Edward O. Wilson expressed it with unimprovable brevity in The Diversity of Life: "One planet, one experiment." If this book has a lesson, it is that we are awfully lucky to be here-- and by "we" i mean every living thing. To attain any kind of life in this universe of ours appears to be quite an achievement. As humans we are doubly lucky, of course: We enjoy not only the privilege of existence but also the singular ability to appreciate it and even, in a multitude of ways, to make it better. It is a talent we have only barely begun to grasp. We have arrived at this position of eminence in a stunningly short time. Behaviorally modern human beings-- that is, people who can speak and make art and organize complex activities-- have existed for only about 0.0001 percent of Earth's history. But surviving for even that little while has required a nearly endless string of good fortune. We really are at the beginning of it all. The trick, of course, is to make sure we never find the end. And that, almost certainly, will require a good deal more than lucky breaks.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Personal dignity begins by accepting responsibility for our actions, acting humbly, and extending compassion to other people. Personal humility requires choosing living with quietness of the heart over living in the depths of animosity, despair, and discord.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Man has no automatic code of survival. His particular distinction from all other living species is the necessity to act in the face of alternatives by means of volitional choice. He has no automatic knowledge of what is good for him or evil, what values his life depends on, what course of action it requires...Man must obtain his knowledge and choose his actions by a process of thinking, which nature will not force him to perform.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
All of the problems in the world today arise from an inability to grasp the underlying oneness of life. The division of nations, religions, and cultures comes from this fundamental ignorance, as does our exploitation of the Earth and her resources. Only if we perceive another person as fundamentally different from ourselves can we harm or exploit them. Only if we see the natural world as mere raw material for our convenience can we damage it for our own gratification. If we see our Self-reflected in all beings, which is the real truth, we cannot wish any harm to anyone and we treat all things with respect, finding all life to be sacred. Without addressing this core problem of the failure to understand the unity of life, we cannot expect to solve our other problems. Today it is of utmost necessity that all those who are consciousness of this underlying unity act in such a way as to make others aware of it. This does not necessarily require any overt outer actions but it does require that we make a statement by how we live, if not by what we say.
David Frawley (Arise Arjuna: Hinduism and the Modern World)
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
Nothing should be more obvious than that the business organism cannot function according to design when its most important “parameters of action”—wages, prices, interest—are transferred to the political sphere and there dealt with according to the requirements of the political game or, which sometimes is more serious still, according to the ideas of some planners.
Joseph A. Schumpeter (Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy)
It was 1976. It was one of the darkest days of my life when that nurse, Mrs. Shimmer, pulled out a maxi pad that measured the width and depth of a mattress and showed us how to use it. It had a belt with it that looked like a slingshot that possessed the jaw-dropping potential to pop a man's head like a gourd. As she stretched the belt between the fingers of her two hands, Mrs. Shimmer told us becoming a woman was a magical and beautiful experience. I remember thinking to myself, You're damn right it had better be magic, because that's what it's going to take to get me to wear something like that, Tinkerbell! It looked like a saddle. Weighed as much as one, too. Some girls even cried. I didn't. I raised my hand. "Mrs. Shimmer," I asked the cautiously, "so what kind of security napkins do boys wear when their flower pollinates? Does it have a belt, too?" The room got quiet except for a bubbling round of giggles. "You haven't been paying attention, have you?" Mrs. Shimmer accused sharply. "Boys have stamens, and stamens do not require sanitary napkins. They require self control, but you'll learn that soon enough." I was certainly hoping my naughty bits (what Mrs. Shimmer explained to us was like the pistil of a flower) didn't get out of control, because I had no idea what to do if they did.
Laurie Notaro (The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy Life)
More and more, it seems to me that compassion dwells in the tough, not the tender-hearted, because it requires us to come to terms with our own capacity (or incapacity) for suffering, and it calls for action rather than sentiment. It also requires us to get past the guilt and resentment we feel when we come face to face with someone whose suffering is greater than our own.
Ann Nietzke
Thinking scientifically requires the ability to reason abstractly, which itself is at the foundation of all morality. Consider the mental rotation required to implement the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This necessitates one to change positions—to become the other—and then to extrapolate what action X would feel like as the receiver instead of the doer (or as the victim instead of the perpetrator). A case can be made that the type of conceptual ratiocination required for both scientific and moral reasoning not only is linked historically and psychologically, but also that it has been improving over time as we become better at nonconcrete, theoretical reflection.
Michael Shermer (The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom)
The ability to experience bliss requires the gift of attentive awareness, curiosity, and constant learning. We are ultimately the product of what we want – our personal obsessions – and how we think. Thoughts merge into feelings that determine if we are happy or sad. Feelings can manifest into thoughts that drive our ambitions and guide our personal actions, which enable us to live an intensified life.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
I think you're under no obligation whatsoever to forgive anything, to forget anything. You're not required to push away the years of abuse because the abuser now chooses to be sober and in his sobriety regrets his actions. And white may be small and unforgiving of me, I think people who do so at the snap of a dam finger are either liars or are in need of serious therapy. I assume you heard him out, so in my personal opinion, any debt you might owe for your existence is now paid in full. It may be fashionable to hold that terrible actions are indeed terrible, but that hte person inflicting them isn't responbile due to alcohol, drugs, DNA, or GD PMS. He damn well was responsible, and if you decided to loathe him for the rest of your life, I wouldn't blame you for it. How's that?" (Cybil to Gage - she ROCKS)
Nora Roberts (The Pagan Stone (Sign of Seven, #3))
(By the way, a question is sometimes raised, whether the moral choice or the actions have most to do with Virtue, since it consists in both: it is plain that the perfection of virtuous action requires both: but for the actions many things are required, and the greater and more numerous they are the more.)
Aristotle (Ethics)
Bang Hyun-duk and Lee Eun-jung, reporters at the Korea Federation News Agency (KNIS) = The Bareunmirae Party caused a "candidate clash" on Thursday over the allegation that Rep. Lee Chan-yeol, a close aide to Sohn Hak-kyu, made a remark on "yang-a-chih." Bareun Party lawmakers rose up fiercely, insisting on disciplinary action against Lee, but as Sohn defended Lee, the dispute between the two sides is poised to intensify further. The previous day, Lee argued with Lee Hye-hoon during a general meeting of lawmakers. ▶실사인증,정품보장 ▶실시간상담,신용거래 정품구입문의하는곳~☎라인:PPPK44↔☎텔레:ppt89[☎?카톡↔k404]홈피:ss33.0pe.kr The review committee explained the reason for the release, saying that criminal methods are cruel, including murdering a former husband, severely damaging the body and then abandoning it, and the consequences of the crime are grave. "We are in a situation where there is sufficient evidence, including the issuance of arrest warrants and the confiscation of the tools of the crime," he said. "We have considered all the requirements in general, including the fact that they can be in the public interest in respect of the people's right to know and prevent violent crimes." The review committee explained the reason for the release, saying that criminal methods are cruel, including murdering a former husband, severely damaging the body and then abandoning it, and the consequences of the crime are grave. "We are in a situation where there is sufficient evidence, including the issuance of arrest warrants and the confiscation of the tools of the crime," he said. "We have considered all the requirements in general, including the fact that they can be in the public interest in respect of the people's right to know and prevent violent crimes.
The review committee
One of the biggest dangers on the left-hand path, according to Zeena, is that the initiate often adheres to the need of ‘maintaining his personality’, even when consciousness expands beyond every known border. The left-hand path requires, [...] that certain aspects of the self dies, something which she believes to be elucidated in the tantric death symbolism. --About Zeena Schreck by Malin Fitger 'Contemporary notions of Kundalini, its background and role within new Western religiosity,' University of Stockholm, 2004
Zeena Schreck (Demons of the Flesh: The Complete Guide to Left Hand Path Sex Magic)
This process is like starting a fitness regimen for the brain. At the beginning, your muscles burn a little. But over time and with repetition, you become stronger, and the improvements you see in yourself can be remarkable. Becoming a better thinker, just like becoming a better athlete, requires practice. We challenge you to feel the burn.
Sarah Miller Beebe (Cases in Intelligence Analysis: Structured Analytic Techniques in Action)
Staying level with Tess was going to require fast thinking, which was mighty difficult considering all the blood he needed for said thought processes was now hurtling south. “What would this job involve?” “Only one task. Make. Me. Believe.” “That I’m your fiancé?” Cue her smile, sly and sexy. First time she’d let him in on that action, too. “That you want me more than your next breath.” If she moved forward a couple of inches, his boner would make her believe.
Kate Meader (Even the Score (Tall, Dark, and Texan, #1))
The story of the Danish Jews is sui generis, and the behavior of the Danish people and their government was unique among all the countries of Europe--whether occupied, or a partner of the Axis, or neutral and truly independent. One is tempted to recommend the story as required reading in political science for all students who wish to learn something about the enormous power potential inherent in non-violent action and in resistance to an opponent possessing vastly superior means of violence... It is the only case we know of in which the Nazis met with open native resistance, and the result seems to have been that those exposed to it changed their minds. They themselves apparently no longer looked upon the extermination of a whole people as a matter of course. They had met resistance based on principle, and their 'toughness' had melted like butter in the sun; they had even been able to show a few timid beginnings of genuine courage.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
The life of faith does not follow automatically when a person becomes a Christian. It requires deliberate action on his part. This is especially true in affluent society. The believer must put himself in a position where he is compelled to trust God...It is only as he gets rid of his reserves and other false supports that he can truly launch out into the deep.
William MacDonald (True Discipleship)
Political realism is aware of the moral significance of political action. It is also aware of the ineluctable tension between the moral command and the requirements of successful political action. And it is unwilling to gloss over and obliterate that tension and thus to obfuscate both the moral and the political issue by making it appear as though the stark facts of politics were morally more satisfying than they actually are, and the moral law less exacting than it actually is.
Hans J. Morgenthau (Politics Among Nations)
In life, we plant seeds everywhere we go. Some fall on fertile ground needing very little to grow. Some fall on rocky soil requiring a tad bit more loving care. While others fall in seemingly barren land and no matter what you do; it appears the seed is dead. Nevertheless, every seed planted will have a ripple effect. You could see it in the present or a time not seen yet. So be wise about where you plant your seeds. Be very mindful of your actions & deeds. Negativity grows just as fast if not faster than positivity. Plant seeds of kindness, love and peace And your harvest will be abundant living.
Sanjo Jendayi
Yes, there are constraints on our actions, conventions and structural injustices that set the parameters of possibility. Our free will is not omnipotent – we can't do whatever we want. But, as Scranton says, we are free to choose from possible options. And one of our options is to make environmentally conscientious choices. It doesn't require breaking the laws of physics–or even electing a green president–to select something plant-based from a menu or at the grocery store. And although it may be a neoliberal myth that individual decisions have ultimate power, it is a defeatist myth that individual decisions have no power at all. Both macro and micro actions have power, and when it comes to mitigating our planetary destruction, it is unethical to dismiss either, or to proclaim that because the large cannot be achieved, the small should not be attempted.
Jonathan Safran Foer (We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast)
Calling resists privatization by insisting on the totality of faith. Calling resists politicization by demanding a tension with every human allegiance and association. Calling resists polarization by requiring an attitude toward, and action in, society that is inevitably transforming because it is constantly engaged. Grand Christian movements will rise and fall. Grand campaigns will be mounted and grand coalitions assembled. But all together such coordinated efforts will never match the influence of untold numbers of followers of Christ living out their callings faithfully across the vastness and complexity of modern society.
Os Guinness (The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life)
St. Thomas Aquinas understood virtues to be habitual or abiding dispositions that help us to realize the good in our decisions and actions. These habitual dispositions, acquired through repetition and an effort over time (and, at the same time, given to us by God through grace), make accomplishing the good easier, more immediate, requiring less internal deliberation and struggle.
Mark O'Keefe
Leaders instill courage in the hearts of those who follow. This rarely happens through words alone. It generally requires action. It goes back to what we said earlier: Somebody has to go first. By going first, the leader furnishes confidence to those who follow. As a next generation leader, you will be called upon to go first. That will require courage. But in stepping out you will give the gift of courage to those who are watching. What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business? What has been done is safe. But to attempt a solution to a problem that plagues an entire industry - in my case, the local church - requires courage. Unsolved problems are gateways to the future. To those who have the courage to ask the question and the tenacity to hang on until they discover or create an answer belongs the future. Don’t allow the many good opportunities to divert your attention from the one opportunity that has the greatest potential. Learn to say no. There will always be more opportunities than there is time to pursue them. Leaders worth following are willing to face and embrace current reality regardless of how discouraging or embarrassing it might be. It is impossible to generate sustained growth or progress if your plan for the future is not rooted in reality. Be willing to face the truth regardless of how painful it might be. If fear causes you to retreat from your dreams, you will never give the world anything new. it is impossible to lead without a dream. When leaders are no longer willing to dream, it is only a short time before followers are unwilling to follow. Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity? Uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape. It never goes away. Where there is no uncertainty, there is no longer the need for leadership. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the need for leadership. Your capacity as a leader will be determined by how well you learn to deal with uncertainty. My enemy is not uncertainty. It is not even my responsibility to remove the uncertainty. It is my responsibility to bring clarity into the midst of the uncertainty. As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear. People will follow you in spite of a few bad decisions. People will not follow you if you are unclear in your instruction. As a leader you must develop the elusive skill of leading confidently and purposefully onto uncertain terrain. Next generation leaders must fear a lack of clarity more than a lack of accuracy. The individual in your organization who communicates the clearest vision will often be perceived as the leader. Clarity is perceived as leadership. Uncertainty exposes a lack of knowledge. Pretending exposes a lack of character. Express your uncertainty with confidence. You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential. You need a leadership coach. Great leaders are great learners. God, in His wisdom, has placed men and women around us with the experience and discernment we often lack. Experience alone doesn’t make you better at anything. Evaluated experience is what enables you to improve your performance. As a leader, what you don’t know can hurt you. What you don’t know about yourself can put a lid on your leadership. You owe it to yourself and to those who have chosen to follow you to open the doors to evaluation. Engage a coach. Success doesn’t make anything of consequence easier. Success just raises the stakes. Success brings with it the unanticipated pressure of maintaining success. The more successful you are as a leader, the more difficult this becomes. There is far more pressure at the top of an organization than you might imagine.
Andy Stanley
Reading is action. Even though it is often done quietly and alone, reading is a profoundly social activity, and a vigorous and demanding one. There is nothing passive about reading; it requires attention, energy, an act of will. Texts have potential for meaning, implication, response, and result; but the reader must activate them, give them life, and turn them from quiet print into a lively interplay of ideas and feelings. Reading makes things happen, usually in the mind and imagination, but sometimes in the larger world as well, for the process of reading involves not just the consciousness of the self but an awareness of the other -- what is beyond the self. Reading doesn't just happen to you; you have to do it, and it involves decision, reaching out, discovery, awareness. Reading is an act of power, and learning how to get the most out of its possibilities can be an invigorating activity. For all its association with quietness, solitude, and the sedentary life, reading involves -- at its deepest level -- action and interaction.
J. Paul Hunter (The Norton Introduction to Literature)
Action is commonplace, right action is not. As a discipline, it’s not any kind of action that will do, but directed action. Everything must be done in the service of the whole. Step by step, action by action, we’ll dismantle the obstacles in front of us. With persistence and flexibility, we’ll act in the best interest of our goals. Action requires courage, not brashness—creative application and not brute force. Our movements and decisions define us: We must be sure to act with deliberation, boldness, and persistence. Those are the attributes of right and effective action. Nothing else—not thinking or evasion or aid from others. Action is the solution and the cure to our predicaments.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage)
Excessive analysis perpetuates emotional paralysis. Knowing our issues is not the same as healing our issues. In fact, knowing is often a willful act, entirely incongruent with the experience of surrender required to heal. I have known many people who could name their patterns and issues with great insight, but their actions didn’t change a bit. The key to the transformation of challenging patterns and wounds is to heal them from the inside out. Not to analyze them, not to dissociate and dishonor them by calling them the ‘pain body’, not to watch them like an astronomer staring at a faraway planet through a telescope, but to jump right into the heart of them, encouraging their expression and release, stitching them into new possibilities with the thread of love. You want to transform your issues and patterns? Heal your heart.
Jeff Brown (Love It Forward)
Self-knowledge is obviously a process, not an end in itself; and to know oneself, one must be aware of oneself in action, which is relationship. You discover yourself, not in isolation, not in withdrawal, but in relationship—in relationship to society, to your wife, your husband, your brother, to man; but to discover how you react, what your responses are, requires an extraordinary alertness of mind, a keenness of perception.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti)
And just how did you arrive at that remarkable conclusion, Mr. Mayor?" "In a rather simple way. It merely required the use of that much-neglected commodity -- common sense. You see, there is a branch of human knowledge known as symbolic logic, which can be used to prune away all sorts of clogging deadwood that clutters up human language." "What about it?" said Fulham. "I applied it. Among other things, I applied it to this document here. I didn't really need to for myself because I knew what it was all about, but I think I can explain it more easily to five physical scientists by symbols rather than by words." Hardin removed a few sheets of paper from the pad under his arm and spread them out. "I didn't do this myself, by the way," he said. "Muller Holk of the Division of Logic has his name signed to the analyses, as you can see." Pirenne leaned over the table to get a better view and Hardin continued: "The message from Anacreon was a simple problem, naturally, for the men who wrote it were men of action rather than men of words. It boils down easily and straightforwardly to the unqualified statement, when in symbols is what you see, and which in words, roughly translated is, 'You give us what we want in a week, or we take it by force.'" There was silence as the five members of the Board ran down the line of symbols, and then Pirenne sat down and coughed uneasily. Hardin said, "No loophole, is there, Dr. Pirenne?" "Doesn't seem to be.
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
Christian hope frees us to act hopefully in the world. It enables us to act humbly and patiently, tackling visible injustices in the world around us without needing to be assured that our skill and our effort will somehow rid the world of injustice altogether. Christian hope, after all, does not need to see what it hopes for (Heb. 11:1); and neither does it require us to comprehend the end of history. Rather, it simply requires us to trust that even the most outwardly insignificant of faithful actions - the cup of cold water given to the child, the widow's mite offered at the temple, the act of hospitality shown to the stranger, none of which has any overall strategic socio-political significance so far as we can now see - will nevertheless be made to contribute in some significant way to the construction of God's kingdom by the action of God's creative and sovereign grace.
Craig M. Gay (The Way of the (Modern) World: Or, Why It's Tempting to Live As If God Doesn't Exist)
So, to do right by a Gothic tale, let's be frank, requires that the author be a militant romantic who relates the action of his narratives in dreamy and more than usually emotive language. Hence, the well-known grandiose rhetoric of the Gothic tale, which may be understood by the sympathetic reader as not just an inflatable raft on which the imagination floats at its leisure upon waves of bombast, but also as the sails of the Gothic artist's soul filling up with the winds of ecstatic hysteria. So it's hard to tell someone how to write the Gothic tale, since one really has to be born to the task. Too bad.
Thomas Ligotti (Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe)
A leap of faith means hurdling into the unknown, and believing in our hearts that we will make it to the other side, despite not yet knowing what the other side is going to look like. It is taking bold action in spite of the fact that this action is forcing us out of our familiar territory, and our comfort zones. It also means taking action even though we cannot foresee the results or consequences of our choice. To do this requires both faith and courage!
Amanda Harvey
We are all Masters. Every thought, word, and action creates our individual reality from one moment to the next. Each individual’s creation, combines to form a shared reality that we all experience…. Consciousness. Being Masters requires us to take responsibility and great care in all that we do, so that the greater, combined consciousness is not hindered by our individual limitations. As Masters, we all have the ability to create, and live in Nirvana. Actively engaging in this personal responsibility, gives each of us the power to live harmoniously as well as to contribute positive re-enforcement to the greater Consciousness that we all share
Gary Hopkins
I urge you to find a way to immerse yourself fully in the life that you’ve been given. To stop running from whatever you’re trying to escape, and instead to stop, and turn, and face whatever it is. Then I dare you to walk toward it. In this way, the world may reveal itself to you as something magical and awe-inspiring that does not require escape. Instead, the world may become something worth paying attention to. The rewards of finding and maintaining balance are neither immediate nor permanent. They require patience and maintenance. We must be willing to move forward despite being uncertain of what lies ahead. We must have faith that actions today that seem to have no impact in the present moment are in fact accumulating in a positive direction, which will be revealed to us only at some unknown time in the future. Healthy practices happen day by day. My patient Maria said to me, “Recovery is like that scene in Harry Potter when Dumbledore walks down a darkened alley lighting lampposts along the way. Only when he gets to the end of the alley and stops to look back does he see the whole alley illuminated, the light of his progress.
Anna Lembke (Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence)
Understanding evil as the absence of Light does not require you to become passive, or to disregard evil actions or evil behavior. If you see a child being abused, or a people being oppressed, for example, it is appropriate that you do what you can to protect the child, or to aid the people, but if there is not compassion in your heart also for those who abuse and oppress—for those who have no compassion—do you not become like them? Compassion is being moved to and by acts of the heart, to and by the energy of love.
Gary Zukav (The Seat of the Soul)
I've heard youngsters use some of George Lucas' terms––"the Force and "the dark side." So it must be hitting somewhere. It's a good sound teaching, I would say. The fact that the evil power is not identified with any specific nation on this earth means you've got an abstract power, which represents a principle, not a specific historical situation. The story has to do with an operation of principles, not of this nation against that. The monster masks that are put on people in Star Wars represent the real monster force in the modern world. When the mask of Darth Vader is removed, you see an unformed man, one who has not developed as a human individual. What you see is a strange and pitiful sort of undifferentiated face. Darth Vader has not developed his humanity. He's a robot. He's a bureaucrat, living not in terms of himself but of an imposed system. This is the threat to our lives that we all face today. Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes? How do you relate to the system so that you are not compulsively serving it? . . . The thing to do is to learn to live in your period of history as a human being ...[b]y holding to your own ideals for yourself and, like Luke Skywalker, rejecting the system's impersonal claims upon you. Well, you see, that movie communicates. It is in a language that talks to young people, and that's what counts. It asks, Are you going to be a person of heart and humanity––because that's where the life is, from the heart––or are you going to do whatever seems to be required of you by what might be called "intentional power"? When Ben Knobi says, "May the Force be with you," he's speaking of the power and energy of life, not of programmed political intentions. ... [O]f course the Force moves from within. But the Force of the Empire is based on an intention to overcome and master. Star Wars is not a simple morality play. It has to do with the powers of life as they are either fulfilled or broken and suppressed through the action of man.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
America is a leap of the imagination. From its beginning, people had only a persistent idea of what a good country should be. The idea involved freedom, equality, justice, and the pursuit of happiness; nowadays most of us probably could not describe it a lot more clearly than that. The truth is, it always has been a bit of a guess. No one has ever known for sure whether a country based on such an idea is really possible, but again and again, we have leaped toward the idea and hoped. What SuAnne Big Crow demonstrated in the Lead high school gym is that making the leap is the whole point. The idea does not truly live unless it is expressed by an act; the country does not live unless we make the leap from our tribe or focus group or gated community or demographic, and land on the shaky platform of that idea of a good country which all kinds of different people share. This leap is made in public, and it's made for free. It's not a product or a service that anyone will pay you for. You do it for reasons unexplainable by economics--for ambition, out of conviction, for the heck of it, in playfulness, for love. It's done in public spaces, face-to-face, where anyone is free to go. It's not done on television, on the Internet, or over the telephone; our electronic systems can only tell us if the leap made elsewhere has succeeded or failed. The places you'll see it are high school gyms, city sidewalks, the subway, bus stations, public parks, parking lots, and wherever people gather during natural disasters. In those places and others like them, the leaps that continue to invent and knit the country continue to be made. When the leap fails, it looks like the L.A. riots, or Sherman's March through Georgia. When it succeeds, it looks like the New York City Bicentennial Celebration in July 1976 or the Civil Rights March on Washington in 1963. On that scale, whether it succeeds or fails, it's always something to see. The leap requires physical presence and physical risk. But the payoff--in terms of dreams realized, of understanding, of people getting along--can be so glorious as to make the risk seem minuscule.
Ian Frazier (On the Rez)
The vision is the public statement of the founder’s intent, WHY the company exists. It is literally the vision of a future that does not yet exist. The mission statement is a description of the route, the guiding principles—HOW the company intends to create that future. When both of those things are stated clearly, the WHY-type and the HOW-type are both certain about their roles in the partnership. Both are working together with clarity of purpose and a plan to get there. For it to work, however, it requires more than a set of skills, it requires trust. As
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
Over recent years, [there's been] a strong tendency to require assessment of children and teachers so that [teachers] have to teach to tests and the test determines what happens to the child, and what happens to the teacher...that's guaranteed to destroy any meaningful educational process: it means the teacher cannot be creative, imaginative, pay attention to individual students' needs, that a student can't pursue things [...] and the teacher's future depends on it as well as the students'...the people who are sitting in the offices, the bureaucrats designing this - they're not evil people, but they're working within a system of ideology and doctrines, which turns what they're doing into something extremely harmful [...] the assessment itself is completely artificial; it's not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who reach their potential, explore their creative interests and so on [...] you're getting some kind of a 'rank,' but it's a 'rank' that's mostly meaningless, and the very ranking itself is harmful. It's turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank, not into doing things that are valuable and important. It's highly destructive...in, say, elementary education, you're training kids this way [...] I can see it with my own children: when my own kids were in elementary school (at what's called a good school, a good-quality suburban school), by the time they were in third grade, they were dividing up their friends into 'dumb' and 'smart.' You had 'dumb' if you were lower-tracked, and 'smart' if you were upper-tracked [...] it's just extremely harmful and has nothing to do with education. Education is developing your own potential and creativity. Maybe you're not going to do well in school, and you'll do great in art; that's fine. It's another way to live a fulfilling and wonderful life, and one that's significant for other people as well as yourself. The whole idea is wrong in itself; it's creating something that's called 'economic man': the 'economic man' is somebody who rationally calculates how to improve his/her own status, and status means (basically) wealth. So you rationally calculate what kind of choices you should make to increase your wealth - don't pay attention to anything else - or maybe maximize the amount of goods you have. What kind of a human being is that? All of these mechanisms like testing, assessing, evaluating, measuring...they force people to develop those characteristics. The ones who don't do it are considered, maybe, 'behavioral problems' or some other deviance [...] these ideas and concepts have consequences. And it's not just that they're ideas, there are huge industries devoted to trying to instill them...the public relations industry, advertising, marketing, and so on. It's a huge industry, and it's a propaganda industry. It's a propaganda industry designed to create a certain type of human being: the one who can maximize consumption and can disregard his actions on others.
Noam Chomsky
The world at large is not easily moved to action; it requires many terrible martyrdoms to disturb its equilibrium of dullness; and even when disturbed, it tends quickly to resume its wonted immobility. It is the thinking, radical elements which are, literally, the movers of the world, the intellectual and emotional disturbers of its stupid equanimity. They must never be suffered to become dormant, for they, too, are in danger of growing absorbed in mere adulation of the martyr and rhetorical admiration of his great work. Idols are created when men are praised, and this is very bad for the future of the human race. The time devoted to the dead would be better employed in improving the condition of the living, most of whom stand in great need of this.
Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia
We teach our players, in response to any situation they face, to press pause and ask: What does this situation require of me? Pressing pause gives you time to think. It gets you off autopilot and helps you gain clarity about the outcome you are pursuing, the situation you are experiencing, and the Above the Line action you need to take to achieve the outcome. There are two important benefits of pressing pause: A) It helps you avoid doing something foolish or harmful B) It focuses you on acting with purpose to accomplish your goals A productive pause could last only a split second, which helps you regain your focus and take control of your action. It could last an hour, a day, or longer. The purpose is to take the time necessary to be intentional about the way you think and act. Pressing pause does not come naturally; it is a skill that must be developed. The more you practice, the more skilled you become at being able to identify how and when to use it effectively.
Urban Meyer (Above the Line: Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season)
To overcome the tremendous obstacles in the way of the economic unification of Africa, decisive political actions are required in the first place. Political unification is a prerequisite. The rational organization of African economies cannot precede the political organization of Africa. The elaboration of a rational formula of economic organization must come after the creation of a federal political entity. It is only within the framework of such a geo-political entity that a rational economic development and cooperation can be inserted. The inverse leads to the type of results we have witnessed over the years.
Cheikh Anta Diop (Black Africa: The Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated State)
We see then that the self too is an imaginary story, just like nations, gods and money. Each of us has a sophisticated system that throws away most of our experiences, keeps only a few choice samples, mixes them up with bits from movies we’ve seen, novels we’ve read, speeches we’ve heard, and daydreams we’ve savoured, and out of all that jumble it weaves a seemingly coherent story about who I am, where I came from and where I am going. This story tells me what to love, whom to hate and what to do with myself. This story may even cause me to sacrifice my life, if that’s what the plot requires. We all have our genre. Some people live a tragedy, others inhabit a never-ending religious drama, some approach life as if it were an action film, and not a few act as if in a comedy. But in the end, they are all just stories.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
Rahab, don't you know that when God requires the blood of sacrifices to cover the uncleanness and rebellion of the people of Israel, He is thinking of me as much as of you? God's standards measure my heart, not any illusion of righteousness I might contrive to achieve with my actions. And before those standards I fail every day.... I compare myself to the holy standard God sets for us. Your problem is that you compare yourself to me, and conclude yourself a great failure. But your standards are skewed. In a way, each of us is a ruin before God. The wonder is the lengths He goes to in order to save us both from our ruination.
Tessa Afshar (Pearl in the Sand)
I think more people would stay active in church, if they didn't get so offended by the actions of members. Sometimes, you have to view places of worship as free mental health clinics, in order to deal with the piety or hypocrisy. Parishioners are a wounded souls in various stages of healing, who are being treated by angels, with credentials from the University of Hard Knocks. Some take their therapy seriously and try to practice what they learned. Yet, others down the sacrament like a healing dose of Prozac, with no other effort required. When you keep this in mind, you won't feel so annoyed by the personalities you encounter.
Shannon L. Alder
Authentic relationships always require vulnerability and always the type of vulnerability that at times may feel deeply uncomfortable. Being known and seeking to know others truly. There's a cost in that but that is why there's a value. Authentic relating is the ability to be with other people and not use a mask to protect yourself. It requires a great deal of courage to be able to present one's weakness and one's strengths without diminishing either one for fear of judgement. Although authentic relating is generally associated with intimate relationships of best friends, family and lovers, authentic relating can also be done with people we only meet once or twice. It is about us being true to ourselves ... through the attitude of our heart, our words and our actions. Authentic relating requires people who are brutally honest with themselves and each other. It requires a huge amount of self-awareness, laying down of pride and stripping bare. It also requires a good level of self-esteem, to feel confident to be vulnerable. What does authentic relating mean for you?
Sarah Abell (Inside Out: How to Have Authentic Relationships with Everyone in Your Life.)
Some settlers began with no implements but an ax. In conversation, the subject of axes--their ideal weight, their proper helves--was more popular than politics or religion. A man who made good axes, who knew the secrets of tempering the steel and getting the center of gravity right, received the celebrity of an artist and might act accordingly. The best ax maker in southern Indiana was "a dissolute, drunken genius, named Richardson." Men who really knew how to chop became famous, too. An ax blow requires the same timing of weight shift and wrist action as a golf swing, and as in golf those who where good at it taught others; sometimes all the men in one district learned their stroke from the same axman extraordinaire. A good stroke had a "sweetness" similar to the sound of a well-struck golf or tennis ball, and gave a satisfaction which moved the work along.
Ian Frazier (Family)
For all our scientific and theological theorizing, we know little of human consciousness, because as a culture of omnivores we are uncomfortable with ourselves. We have lost touch with our innate urge to learn to remain quiet and undisturbed long enough to become open to the greater light and higher wisdom that lie beyond the narrow margins of conceptual thinking. Entering the joy, peace, and wonder of the present moment requires an inner stillness that allows us to experience directly. This is a practice that benefits both others and us. Clear awareness requires us to cease from harmful actions that keep our minds agitated, and to practice inner silence.
Will Tuttle (The World Peace Diet)
In our quest to become minimalists, we want to reduce the amount of things in our homes that require our care and attention. Fortunately, we have ample opportunity to do so—simply by shifting some of our pleasures and activities into the public realm. In fact, such action produces a pretty wonderful side effect. For when we hang out in parks, museums, movie houses, and coffee shops—instead of trying to create similar experiences in our own homes—we become significantly more socially active and civically engaged. By breaking down the walls of stuff around us, we’re able to get out into the world and enjoy fresher, more direct, and more rewarding experiences.
Francine Jay (The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life)
At high school I was never comfortable for a minute. I did not know about Lonnie. Before an exam, she got icy hands and palpitations, but I was close to despair at all times. When I was asked a question in class, any simple little question at all, my voice was apt to come out squeaky, or else hoarse and trembling. When I had to go to the blackboard I was sure—even at a time of the month when this could not be true—that I had blood on my skirt. My hands became slippery with sweat when they were required to work the blackboard compass. I could not hit the ball in volleyball; being called upon to perform an action in front of others made all my reflexes come undone. I hated Business Practice because you had to rule pages for an account book, using a straight pen, and when the teacher looked over my shoulder all the delicate lines wobbled and ran together. I hated Science; we perched on stools under harsh lights behind tables of unfamiliar, fragile equipment, and were taught by the principal of the school, a man with a cold, self-relishing voice—he read the Scriptures every morning—and a great talent for inflicting humiliation. I hated English because the boys played bingo at the back of the room while the teacher, a stout, gentle girl, slightly cross-eyed, read Wordsworth at the front. She threatened them, she begged them, her face red and her voice as unreliable as mine. They offered burlesqued apologies and when she started to read again they took up rapt postures, made swooning faces, crossed their eyes, flung their hands over their hearts. Sometimes she would burst into tears, there was no help for it, she had to run out into the hall. Then the boys made loud mooing noises; our hungry laughter—oh, mine too—pursued her. There was a carnival atmosphere of brutality in the room at such times, scaring weak and suspect people like me.
Alice Munro (Dance of the Happy Shades)
Am I so difficult to understand and so easy to misunderstand in all my intentions, plans, and friendships? Ah, we lonely ones and free spirits—it is borne home to us that in some way or other we constantly appear different from what we think. Whereas we wish for nothing more than truth and straightforwardness, we are surrounded by a net of misunderstanding, and despite our most ardent wishes we cannot help our actions being smothered in a cloud of false opinion, attempted compromises, semi-concessions, charitable silence, and erroneous interpretations. Such things gather a weight of melancholy on our brow; for we hate more than death the thought that pretence should be necessary, and such incessant chafing against these things makes us volcanic and menacing. From time to time we avenge ourselves for all our enforced concealment and compulsory self-restraint. We emerge from our cells with terrible faces, our words and deeds are then explosions, and it is not beyond the verge of possibility that we perish through ourselves. Thus dangerously do I live! It is precisely we solitary ones that require love and companions in whose presence we may be open and simple, and the eternal struggle of silence and dissimulation can cease.
Friedrich Nietzsche
The transformation of the world is brought about by the transformation of oneself, because the self is the product and a part of the total process of human existence. To transform oneself, self-knowledge is essential; without knowing what you are, there is no basis for right thought, and without knowing yourself there cannot be transformation. One must know oneself as on is, not as on wishes to be, which is merely an ideal and there for fictitious, unreal; it is only that which is that can be transformed, not that which you wish to be. To know oneself as one is requires and extraordinary alertness of mind, because what is, is constantly undergoing transformation, change; and to follow it swiftly the mind must not be tethered to any particular dogma or belief, to any particular pattern of action. If you would follow anything, it is no good being tethered. To know yourself, there must be the awareness, the alertness of mind in which there is freedom from all beliefs, from all idealization, because beliefs and ideals only give you a color, perverting true perception. If you want to know what you are, you cannot imagine or have belief in something which you are not. If I am greedy, envious, violent, merely having an ideal of non-violence, of non-greed, is of little value. The understanding of what you are, whatever it be – ugly or beautiful, wicked or mischievous – the understanding of what you are, without distortion, is the beginning of virtue. Virtue is essential, for it gives freedom.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (The Book of Life)
His wife would never admit it to him, but Billy’s guess was that interns killed patients all the time, and their supervisors, with an eye for the long-term healer to come, mainly looked the other way. Well, it was the same with him. In order to get the greater job done, to mold your people as you saw fit and prepare them to effectively do the job in the years to come, you tolerated error, you turned a not-quite-blind eye to the actions of others and to your own actions. You created secrets and you kept secrets. Out on the streets, same thing: depending on the individual and the situation, sometimes you threw the Thor hammer at a misdemeanor, other times you let an individual walk who had no right to sleep in his own bed that night. You did all these things and more because as a boss, if you weren’t willing to play fast and loose when required, if you weren’t willing to make a discreet hash of the rule book now and then, on this job you might as well call in sick. That’s just the way it was. *
Harry Brandt (The Whites)
True choice requires that a person have the ability to choose an option and not be prevented from choosing it by any external force, meaning that a system tending too far toward either extreme will limit People’s opportunities. Also, both extremes can produce additional problems in practice. Aside from the fact that a lack of “freedom to” can lead to privation, suffering, and death for those who can’t provide for themselves, it can also lead to a de facto plutocracy. The extremely wealthy can come to wield disproportionate power, enabling them to avoid punishment for illegal practices or to change the law itself in ways that perpetuate their advantages at the cost of others, a charge often levied against the “robber baron” industrialists of the late nineteenth century. A lack of “freedom from,” on the other hand, can encourage people to do less work than they’re capable of since they know their needs will be met, and it may stifle innovation and entrepreneurship because people receive few or no additional material benefits for exerting additional effort. Moreover, a government must have extensive power over its people to implement such a system, and as can be seen in the actions of the majority of communist governments in the past, power corrupts.
Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
The tacit assumption of the advanced welfare state is correct when human beings face starvation or death by exposure. Then, food and shelter are all that count. But in an advanced society, the needs for food and shelter can be met in a variety of ways, and at that point human needs can no longer be disaggregated. The ways in which food and shelter are obtained affects whether the other human needs are met. People need self-respect, but self-respect must be earned—it cannot be self-respect if it’s not earned—and the only way to earn anything is to achieve it in the face of the possibility of failing. People need intimate relationships with others, but intimate relationships that are rich and fulfilling need content, and that content is supplied only when humans are engaged in interactions that have consequences. People need self-actualization, but self-actualization is not a straight road, visible in advance, running from point A to point B. Self-actualization intrinsically requires an exploration of possibilities for life beyond the obvious and convenient. All of these good things in life—self-respect, intimate relationships, and self-actualization—require freedom in the only way that freedom is meaningful: freedom to act in all arenas of life coupled with responsibility for the consequences of those actions. The underlying meaning of that coupling—freedom and responsibility—is crucial. Responsibility for the consequences of actions is not the price of freedom, but one of its rewards. Knowing that we have responsibility for the consequences of our actions is a major part of what makes life worth living.
Charles Murray (Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010)
We have nothing against playing video games; they have many good features and benefits. Our concern is that when they are played to excess, especially in social isolation, they can hinder a young man's ability and interest in developing his face-to-face social skills. Multiple problems, including obesity, violence, anxiety, lower school performance, social phobia and shyness, greater impulsivity and depression, have all been associated with excessive gaming. The variety and intensity of video game action makes other parts of life, like school, seem comparatively boring, and that creates a problem with their academic performance, which in turn might require medication to deal with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which then leads to other problems down the road in a disastrous negative cycle...
Philip G. Zimbardo (Man, Interrupted: Why Young Men are Struggling What We Can Do About It)
The Peacemaker Colt has now been in production, without change in design, for a century. Buy one to-day and it would be indistinguishable from the one Wyatt Earp wore when he was the Marshal of Dodge City. It is the oldest hand-gun in the world, without question the most famous and, if efficiency in its designated task of maiming and killing be taken as criterion of its worth, then it is also probably the best hand-gun ever made. It is no light thing, it is true, to be wounded by some of the Peacemaker’s more highly esteemed competitors, such as the Luger or Mauser: but the high-velocity, narrow-calibre, steel-cased shell from either of those just goes straight through you, leaving a small neat hole in its wake and spending the bulk of its energy on the distant landscape whereas the large and unjacketed soft-nosed lead bullet from the Colt mushrooms on impact, tearing and smashing bone and muscle and tissue as it goes and expending all its energy on you. In short when a Peacemaker’s bullet hits you in, say, the leg, you don’t curse, step into shelter, roll and light a cigarette one-handed then smartly shoot your assailant between the eyes. When a Peacemaker bullet hits your leg you fall to the ground unconscious, and if it hits the thigh-bone and you are lucky enough to survive the torn arteries and shock, then you will never walk again without crutches because a totally disintegrated femur leaves the surgeon with no option but to cut your leg off. And so I stood absolutely motionless, not breathing, for the Peacemaker Colt that had prompted this unpleasant train of thought was pointed directly at my right thigh. Another thing about the Peacemaker: because of the very heavy and varying trigger pressure required to operate the semi-automatic mechanism, it can be wildly inaccurate unless held in a strong and steady hand. There was no such hope here. The hand that held the Colt, the hand that lay so lightly yet purposefully on the radio-operator’s table, was the steadiest hand I’ve ever seen. It was literally motionless. I could see the hand very clearly. The light in the radio cabin was very dim, the rheostat of the angled table lamp had been turned down until only a faint pool of yellow fell on the scratched metal of the table, cutting the arm off at the cuff, but the hand was very clear. Rock-steady, the gun could have lain no quieter in the marbled hand of a statue. Beyond the pool of light I could half sense, half see the dark outline of a figure leaning back against the bulkhead, head slightly tilted to one side, the white gleam of unwinking eyes under the peak of a hat. My eyes went back to the hand. The angle of the Colt hadn’t varied by a fraction of a degree. Unconsciously, almost, I braced my right leg to meet the impending shock. Defensively, this was a very good move, about as useful as holding up a sheet of newspaper in front of me. I wished to God that Colonel Sam Colt had gone in for inventing something else, something useful, like safety-pins.
Alistair MacLean (When Eight Bells Toll)
How often does it occur that information provided you on morning radio or television, or in the morning newspaper, causes you to alter your plans for the day, or to take some action you would not otherwise have taken, or provides insight into some problem you are required to solve? For most of us, news of the weather will sometimes have consequences; for investors, news of the stock market; perhaps an occasional story about crime will do it, if by chance it occurred near where you live or involved someone you know. But most of our daily news is inert, consisting of information that gives us something to talk about but cannot lead to any meaningful action...You may get a sense of what this means by asking yourself another series of questions: What steps do you plan to take to reduce the conflict in the Middle East? Or the rates of inflation, crime and unemployment? What are your plans for preserving the environment or reducing the risk of nuclear war? What do you plan to do about NATO, OPEC, the CIA, affirmative action, and the monstrous treatment of the Baha’is in Iran? I shall take the liberty of answering for you: You plan to do nothing about them. You may, of course, cast a ballot for someone who claims to have some plans, as well as the power to act. But this you can do only once every two or four years by giving one hour of your time, hardly a satisfying means of expressing the broad range of opinions you hold. Voting, we might even say, is the next to last refuge of the politically impotent. The last refuge is, of course, giving your opinion to a pollster, who will get a version of it through a desiccated question, and then will submerge it in a Niagara of similar opinions, and convert them into—what else?—another piece of news. Thus, we have here a great loop of impotence: The news elicits from you a variety of opinions about which you can do nothing except to offer them as more news, about which you can do nothing.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
When human beings are faced with chaotic circumstances, our impulse is to stay safe by doing what we’ve always done before. To change our course of action seems far riskier than to keep on keeping on. To change anything about our lives, even our choice of toothpaste, causes great anxiety. How we are convinced finally to change is by hearing stories of other people who risked and triumphed. Not some easy triumph, either. But a hard fought one that takes every ounce of the protagonist’s inner fortitude. Because that’s what it takes in real life to leave a dysfunctional relationship, move to a new city, or quit your job. It takes guts, moxie, inner fire, the stuff of heroes. Change, no matter how small, requires loss. And the prospect of loss is far more powerful than potential gain. It’s difficult to imagine what a change will do to us. This is why we need stories so desperately.
Shawn Coyne (The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know)
❝Washington — perhaps as many global powers have done in the past — uses what I might call the “immaculate conception” theory of crises abroad. That is, we believe we are essentially out there, just minding our own business, trying to help make the world right, only to be endlessly faced with a series of spontaneous, nasty challenges from abroad to which we must react. There is not the slightest consideration that perhaps US policies themselves may have at least contributed to a series of unfolding events. This presents a huge paradox: how can America on the one hand pride itself on being the world’s sole global superpower, with over seven hundred military bases abroad and the Pentagon’s huge global footprint, and yet, on the other hand, be oblivious to and unacknowledging of the magnitude of its own role — for better or for worse — as the dominant force charting the course of world events? This Alice-in-Wonderland delusion affects not just policy makers, but even the glut of think tanks that abound in Washington. In what may otherwise often be intelligent analysis of a foreign situation, the focus of each study is invariably the other country, the other culture, the negative intentions of other players; the impact of US actions and perceptions are quite absent from the equation. It is hard to point to serious analysis from mainstream publications or think tanks that address the role of the United States itself in helping create current problems or crises, through policies of omission or commission. We’re not even talking about blame here; we’re addressing the logical and self-evident fact that the actions of the world’s sole global superpower have huge consequences in the unfolding of international politics. They require examination.
Graham E. Fuller (A World Without Islam)
What then is the relation of law to morality? Law cannot prescribe morality, it can prescribe only external actions and therefore it should prescribe only those actions whose mere fulfillment, from whatever motive, the state adjudges to be conducive to welfare. What actions are these? Obviously such actions as promote the physical and social conditions requisite for the expression and development of free—or moral—personality.... Law does not and cannot cover all the ground of morality. To turn all moral obligations into legal obligations would be to destroy morality. Happily it is impossible. No code of law can envisage the myriad changing situations that determine moral obligations. Moreover, there must be one legal code for all, but moral codes vary as much as the individual characters of which they are the expression. To legislate against the moral codes of one’s fellows is a very grave act, requiring for its justification the most indubitable and universally admitted of social gains, for it is to steal their moral codes, to suppress their characters.
R.M. Maciver
... people with a secure attachment style view their partners' well-being as their responsibility. As long as they have reason to believe their partner is in some sort of trouble, they'll continue to back him or her. Mario Mikulincer and Phillip Shaver, in their book Attachment in Adulthood, show that people with a secure attachment style are more likely than others to forgive their partner for wrongdoing. They explain this as a complex combination of cognitive and emotional abilities: "Forgiveness requires difficult regulatory maneuvers . . . understanding a transgressor's needs and motives, and making generous attributions and appraisals concerning the transgressor's traits and hurtful actions . . . Secure people are likely to offer relatively benign explanations of their partners' hurtful actions and be inclined to forgive the partner." Also, as we've seen previously in this chapter, secure people just naturally dwell less on the negative and can turn off upsetting emotions without becoming defensively distant. The good news is that people with a secure attachment style have healthy instincts and usually catch on very early that someone is not cut out to be their partner. The bad news is that when secure people do, on occasion, enter into a negative relationship, they might not know when to call it quits--especially if it's a long-term, committed relationship in which they feel responsible for their partner's happiness.
Amir Levine & Rachel S.F. Heller (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
In a 2007 cable about Nauru, made public by WikiLeaks, an unnamed U.S. official summed up his government’s analysis of what went wrong on the island: “Nauru simply spent extravagantly, never worrying about tomorrow.” Fair enough, but that diagnosis is hardly unique to Nauru; our entire culture is extravagantly drawing down finite resources, never worrying about tomorrow. For a couple of hundred years we have been telling ourselves that we can dig the midnight black remains of other life forms out of the bowels of the earth, burn them in massive quantities, and that the airborne particles and gases released into the atmosphere - because we can’t see them - will have no effect whatsoever. Or if they do, we humans, brilliant as we are, will just invent our way out of whatever mess we have made. And we tell ourselves all kinds of similarly implausible no-consequences stories all the time, about how we can ravage the world and suffer no adverse effects. Indeed we are always surprised when it works out otherwise. We extract and do not replenish and wonder why the fish have disappeared and the soil requires ever more “inputs” (like phosphate) to stay fertile. We occupy countries and arm their militias and then wonder why they hate us. We drive down wages, ship jobs overseas, destroy worker protections, hollow out local economies, then wonder why people can’t afford to shop as much as they used to. We offer those failed shoppers subprime mortgages instead of steady jobs and then wonder why no one foresaw that a system built on bad debts would collapse. At every stage our actions are marked by a lack of respect for the powers we are unleashing - a certainty, or at least a hope, that the nature we have turned to garbage, and the people we have treated like garbage, will not come back to haunt us.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
We must realize that we don’t live in a vacuum; the consequences of our actions ripple throughout the world. Would you still run the water while you brush your teeth, if it meant someone else would suffer from thirst? Would you still drive a gas guzzler, if you knew a world oil shortage would bring poverty and chaos? Would you still build an oversized house, if you witnessed first-hand the effects of deforestation? If we understood how our lifestyles impact other people, perhaps we would live a little more lightly. Our choices as consumers have an environmental toll. Every item we buy, from food to books to televisions to cars, uses up some of the earth’s bounty. Not only does its production and distribution require energy and natural resources; its disposal is also cause for concern. Do we really want our grandchildren to live among giant landfills? The less we need to get by, the better off everyone (and our planet) will be. Therefore, we should reduce our consumption as much as possible, and favor products and packaging made from minimal, biodegradable, or recyclable materials.
Francine Jay (The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life)
Hope does not mean that our protests will suddenly awaken the dead consciences, the atrophied souls, of the plutocrats running Halliburton, Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobil or the government. Hope does not mean we will reform Wall Street swindlers and speculators. Hope does not mean that the nation’s ministers and rabbis, who know the words of the great Hebrew prophets, will leave their houses of worship to practice the religious beliefs they preach. Most clerics like fine, abstract words about justice and full collection plates, but know little of real hope. Hope knows that unless we physically defy government control we are complicit in the violence of the state. All who resist keep hope alive. All who succumb to fear, despair and apathy become enemies of hope. Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. Hope does not come with the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is an action. Hope is doing something. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope does not believe in force. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on us all. Hope sees in our enemy our own face. Hope is not for the practical and the sophisticated, the cynics and the complacent, the defeated and the fearful. Hope is what the corporate state, which saturates our airwaves with lies, seeks to obliterate. Hope is what our corporate overlords are determined to crush. Be afraid, they tell us. Surrender your liberties to us so we can make the world safe from terror. Don’t resist. Embrace the alienation of our cheerful conformity. Buy our products. Without them you are worthless. Become our brands. Do not look up from your electronic hallucinations to think. No. Above all do not think. Obey. The powerful do not understand hope. Hope is not part of their vocabulary. They speak in the cold, dead words of national security, global markets, electoral strategy, staying on message, image and money. Those addicted to power, blinded by self-exaltation, cannot decipher the words of hope any more than most of us can decipher hieroglyphics. Hope to Wall Street bankers and politicians, to the masters of war and commerce, is not practical. It is gibberish. It means nothing. I cannot promise you fine weather or an easy time. I cannot pretend that being handcuffed is pleasant. If we resist and carry out acts, no matter how small, of open defiance, hope will not be extinguished. Any act of rebellion, any physical defiance of those who make war, of those who perpetuate corporate greed and are responsible for state crimes, anything that seeks to draw the good to the good, nourishes our souls and holds out the possibility that we can touch and transform the souls of others. Hope affirms that which we must affirm. And every act that imparts hope is a victory in itself.
Chris Hedges
It happens more frequently, as has been hinted, that a scientific head is placed on an ape’s body, a fine exceptional understanding in a base soul, an occurrence by no means rare, especially among doctors and moral physiologists. And whenever anyone speaks without bitterness, or rather quite innocently, of man as a belly with two requirements, and a head with one; whenever any one sees, seeks, and WANTS to see only hunger, sexual instinct, and vanity as the real and only motives of human actions; in short, when any one speaks ‘badly’—and not even ‘ill’—of man, then ought the lover of knowledge to hearken attentively and diligently; he ought, in general, to have an open ear wherever there is talk without indignation. For the indignant man, and he who perpetually tears and lacerates himself with his own teeth (or, in place of himself, the world, God, or society), may indeed, morally speaking, stand higher than the laughing and self- satisfied satyr, but in every other sense he is the more ordinary, more indifferent, and less instructive case. And no one is such a LIAR as the indignant man.
Friedrich Nietzsche
I believe that with all things in life, there is a constant need to let go of the idea of "trying hard", there's a heaviness in trying hard to get something, have something or be something. As long as people comply with the idea of "trying hard" they will constantly remain in a place of heaviness. The opposite of this is the state of allowing, of setting out the intentions of what you wish, putting in the required action and not self-sabotaging yourself by "trying hard" or expecting results to unfold in a particular way. Anything that's worth something to you in life such as love, abundance, freedom, peace is in a continuous state of flow. A state of lightness is the only way to allow yourself to go with the flow of things. Heaviness only makes you become a rocky solid object at the bottom of the stream. You can see the flow of things in the life of others who embody the lightness, but you yourself become unmovable in your state of heaviness, as if blocking the flow from reaching you. Will you let yourself move with the flow of abundance or sink at the bottom with the heaviness of your scarcity mindset?
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
There is a special pleasure in the irony of a moralist brought down for the very moral failings he has condemned. It’s the pleasure of a well-told joke. Some jokes are funny as one-liners, but most require three verses: three guys, say, who walk into a bar one at a time, or a priest, a minister, and a rabbi in a lifeboat. The first two set the pattern, and the third violates it. With hypocrisy, the hypocrite’s preaching is the setup, the hypocritical action is the punch line. Scandal is great entertainment because it allows people to feel contempt, a moral emotion that gives feelings of moral superiority while asking nothing in return. With contempt you don’t need to right the wrong (as with anger) or flee the scene (as with fear or disgust). And best of all, contempt is made to share. Stories about the moral failings of others are among the most common kinds of gossip,3 they are a staple of talk radio, and they offer a ready way for people to show that they share a common moral orientation. Tell an acquaintance a cynical story that ends with both of you smirking and shaking your heads and voila, you’ve got a bond.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science)
This is the real work of woman of color feminism: to resist acquiescence to fatality and guilt, to become warriors of conscience and action who resist death in all its myriad manifestations: poverty, cultural assimilation, child abuse, motherless mothering, gentrification, mental illness, welfare cuts, the prison system, racial profiling, immigrant and queer bashing, invasion and imperialism at home and at war. To fight any kind of war, Kahente Horn-Miller writes. "The Biggest single requirement is fighting spirit." I thought much of this as I read Colonize This! since this collection appears in print at a time of escalating world-wide war--In Colombia, Afghanistan, Palestine. But is there ever a time of no-war for women of color? Is there ever a time when our home (our body, our land of origin) is not subject to violent occupation, violent invasion? If I retain any image to hold the heart-intention of this book, it is found in what Horn-Miller calls the necessity of the war dance. This book is one rite of passage, one ceremony of preparedness on the road to consciousness, on the "the war path of greater empowerment.
Bushra Rehman (Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism)
How often do we hear from the local diocesan people—the bishop, the communications director, the victim assistance coordinator, and others—that this abuse is not restricted to clergy, but, rather, it is a societal problem? It does occur outside in the public realm. When was the last time you heard of a sex offender not being held accountable for his actions once caught? The Church treated the abuse as a sin only and nothing more. Out in society, sex offenders are not moved to another community quietly. “But protest that priests are 'no worse' than other groups or than men in general is a dire indictment of the profession. It is surprising that this attitude is championed by the Church authorities. Although the extent of the problem will continue to be debated, sexual abuse by Catholic priests is a fact. The reason why priests, publicly dedicated to celibate service, abuse is a question that cries out for explanation. Sexual activity of any adult with a minor is a criminal offense. By virtue of the requirement of celibacy, sexual activity with anyone is proscribed for priests. These factors have been constant and well-known by all Church authorities” (Sipe 227−228).
Charles L. Bailey Jr. (In the Shadow of the Cross)
fishing, my philosophy is that men will treat women like one of these two things: a sports fish or a keeper. How we meet, how the conversation goes, how the relationship develops, and the demands you make on a man will all determine whether you’ll be treated like a sports fish—a throwback—or a keeper, the kind of woman a man can envision settling down with. And the way we separate the two is very simple, as I explain next. A SPORTS FISH . . . Doesn’t have any rules, requirements, respect for herself, or guidelines, and we men can pick up her scent a mile away. She’s the party girl who takes a sip of her Long Island iced tea or a shot of her Patrón, then announces to her suitor that she just wants to “date and see how it goes,” and she’s the conservatively dressed woman at the office who is a master at networking, but clueless about how to approach men. She has no plans for any ongoing relationships, is not expecting anything in particular from a man, and sets absolutely not nary one condition or restriction on anyone standing before her—she makes it very clear that she’s just along for whatever is getting ready to happen. For sure, as soon as she lets a man know through words and action that he can treat her just any old kind of way, he will do just
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Expanded Edition: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
1. What do you want? This is a deceptively simple question. It can be much more difficult than we realize to give ourselves permission to know and listen to ourselves, to align ourselves with our desires. How often when we answer this question do we say what we want for someone else? I reminded Ling and Jun that they needed to answer this question for themselves. To say I want Jun to stop drinking or I want Ling to stop nagging was to avoid the question. 2. Who wants it? This is our charge and our struggle: to understand our own expectations for ourselves versus trying to live up to others’ expectations of us. My father became a tailor because his father wouldn’t allow him to become a doctor. My father was good at his profession, he was commended and awarded for it—but he was never the one who wanted it, and he always regretted his unlived dream. It’s our responsibility to act in service of our authentic selves. Sometimes this means giving up the need to please others, giving up our need for others’ approval. 3. What are you going to do about it? I believe in the power of positive thinking—but change and freedom also require positive action. Anything we practice, we become better at. If we practice anger, we’ll have more anger. If we practice fear, we’ll have more fear. In many cases, we actually work very hard to ensure that we go nowhere. Change is about noticing what’s no longer working and stepping out of the familiar, imprisoning patterns. 4. When? In Gone with the Wind, my mother’s favorite book, Scarlett O’Hara, when confronted with a difficulty, says, “I’ll think about it tomorrow. … After all, tomorrow is another day.” If we are to evolve instead of revolve, it’s time to take action now.
Edith Eger (The Choice: Embrace the Possible)
In 1944-1945, Dr Ancel Keys, a specialist in nutrition and the inventor of the K-ration, led a carefully controlled yearlong study of starvation at the University of Minnesota Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene. It was hoped that the results would help relief workers in rehabilitating war refugees and concentration camp victims. The study participants were thirty-two conscientious objectors eager to contribute humanely to the war effort. By the experiment's end, much of their enthusiasm had vanished. Over a six-month semi-starvation period, they were required to lose an average of twenty-five percent of their body weight." [...] p193 p193-194 "...the men exhibited physical symptoms...their movements slowed, they felt weak and cold, their skin was dry, their hair fell out, they had edema. And the psychological changes were dramatic. "[...] p194 "The men became apathetic and depressed, and frustrated with their inability to concentrate or perform tasks in their usual manner. Six of the thirty-two were eventually diagnosed with severe "character neurosis," two of them bordering on psychosis. Socially, they ceased to care much about others; they grew intensely selfish and self-absorbed. Personal grooming and hygiene deteriorated, and the men were moody and irritable with one another. The lively and cooperative group spirit that had developed in the three-month control phase of the experiment evaporated. Most participants lost interest in group activities or decisions, saying it was too much trouble to deal with the others; some men became scapegoats or targets of aggression for the rest of the group. Food - one's own food - became the only thing that mattered. When the men did talk to one another, it was almost always about eating, hunger, weight loss, foods they dreamt of eating. They grew more obsessed with the subject of food, collecting recipes, studying cookbooks, drawing up menus. As time went on, they stretched their meals out longer and longer, sometimes taking two hours to eat small dinners. Keys's research has often been cited often in recent years for this reason: The behavioral changes in the men mirror the actions of present-day dieters, especially of anorexics.
Michelle Stacey (The Fasting Girl: A True Victorian Medical Mystery)
1)    The woman has intuitive feelings that she is at risk. 2)    At the inception of the relationship, the man accelerated the pace, prematurely placing on the agenda such things as commitment, living together, and marriage. 3)    He resolves conflict with intimidation, bullying, and violence. 4)    He is verbally abusive. 5)    He uses threats and intimidation as instruments of control or abuse. This includes threats to harm physically, to defame, to embarrass, to restrict freedom, to disclose secrets, to cut off support, to abandon, and to commit suicide. 6)    He breaks or strikes things in anger. He uses symbolic violence (tearing a wedding photo, marring a face in a photo, etc.). 7)    He has battered in prior relationships. 8)    He uses alcohol or drugs with adverse affects (memory loss, hostility, cruelty). 9)    He cites alcohol or drugs as an excuse or explanation for hostile or violent conduct (“That was the booze talking, not me; I got so drunk I was crazy”). 10)   His history includes police encounters for behavioral offenses (threats, stalking, assault, battery). 11)   There has been more than one incident of violent behavior (including vandalism, breaking things, throwing things). 12)   He uses money to control the activities, purchase, and behavior of his wife/partner. 13)   He becomes jealous of anyone or anything that takes her time away from the relationship; he keeps her on a “tight leash,” requires her to account for her time. 14)   He refuses to accept rejection. 15)   He expects the relationship to go on forever, perhaps using phrases like “together for life;” “always;” “no matter what.” 16)   He projects extreme emotions onto others (hate, love, jealousy, commitment) even when there is no evidence that would lead a reasonable person to perceive them. 17)   He minimizes incidents of abuse. 18)   He spends a disproportionate amount of time talking about his wife/partner and derives much of his identity from being her husband, lover, etc. 19)   He tries to enlist his wife’s friends or relatives in a campaign to keep or recover the relationship. 20)   He has inappropriately surveilled or followed his wife/partner. 21)   He believes others are out to get him. He believes that those around his wife/partner dislike him and encourage her to leave. 22)   He resists change and is described as inflexible, unwilling to compromise. 23)   He identifies with or compares himself to violent people in films, news stories, fiction, or history. He characterizes the violence of others as justified. 24)   He suffers mood swings or is sullen, angry, or depressed. 25)   He consistently blames others for problems of his own making; he refuses to take responsibility for the results of his actions. 26)   He refers to weapons as instruments of power, control, or revenge. 27)   Weapons are a substantial part of his persona; he has a gun or he talks about, jokes about, reads about, or collects weapons. 28)   He uses “male privilege” as a justification for his conduct (treats her like a servant, makes all the big decisions, acts like the “master of the house”). 29)   He experienced or witnessed violence as a child. 30)   His wife/partner fears he will injure or kill her. She has discussed this with others or has made plans to be carried out in the event of her death (e.g., designating someone to care for children).
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
The three conditions without which healthy growth does not take place can be taken for granted in the matrix of the womb: nutrition, a physically secure environment and the unbroken relationship with a safe, ever-present maternal organism. The word matrix is derived from the Latin for “womb,” itself derived from the word for “mother.” The womb is mother, and in many respects the mother remains the womb, even following birth. In the womb environment, no action or reaction on the developing infant’s part is required for the provision of any of his needs. Life in the womb is surely the prototype of life in the Garden of Eden where nothing can possibly be lacking, nothing has to be worked for. If there is no consciousness — we have not yet eaten of the Tree of Knowledge — there is also no deprivation or anxiety. Except in conditions of extreme poverty unusual in the industrialized world, although not unknown, the nutritional needs and shelter requirements of infants are more or less satisfied. The third prime requirement, a secure, safe and not overly stressed emotional atmosphere, is the one most likely to be disrupted in Western societies. The human infant lacks the capacity to follow or cling to the parent soon after being born, and is neurologically and biochemically underdeveloped in many other ways. The first nine months or so of extrauterine life seem to have been intended by nature as the second part of gestation. The anthropologist Ashley Montagu has called this phase exterogestation, gestation outside the maternal body. During this period, the security of the womb must be provided by the parenting environment. To allow for the maturation of the brain and nervous system that in other species occurs in the uterus, the attachment that was until birth directly physical now needs to be continued on both physical and emotional levels. Physically and psychologically, the parenting environment must contain and hold the infant as securely as she was held in the womb. For the second nine months of gestation, nature does provide a near-substitute for the direct umbilical connection: breast-feeding. Apart from its irreplaceable nutritional value and the immune protection it gives the infant, breast-feeding serves as a transitional stage from unbroken physical attachment to complete separation from the mother’s body. Now outside the matrix of the womb, the infant is nevertheless held close to the warmth of the maternal body from which nourishment continues to flow. Breast-feeding also deepens the mother’s feeling of connectedness to the baby, enhancing the emotionally symbiotic bonding relationship. No doubt the decline of breast-feeding, particularly accelerated in North America, has contributed to the emotional insecurities so prevalent in industrialized countries. Even more than breast-feeding, healthy brain development requires emotional security and warmth in the infant’s environment. This security is more than the love and best possible intentions of the parents. It depends also on a less controllable variable: their freedom from stresses that can undermine their psychological equilibrium. A calm and consistent emotional milieu throughout infancy is an essential requirement for the wiring of the neurophysiological circuits of self-regulation. When interfered with, as it often is in our society, brain development is adversely affected.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
born and raised in Honolulu but had spent four years of his childhood flying kites and catching crickets in Indonesia. After high school, he’d passed two relatively laid-back years as a student at Occidental College in Los Angeles before transferring to Columbia, where by his own account he’d behaved nothing like a college boy set loose in 1980s Manhattan and instead lived like a sixteenth-century mountain hermit, reading lofty works of literature and philosophy in a grimy apartment on 109th Street, writing bad poetry, and fasting on Sundays. We laughed about all of it, swapping stories about our backgrounds and what led us to the law. Barack was serious without being self-serious. He was breezy in his manner but powerful in his mind. It was a strange, stirring combination. Surprising to me, too, was how well he knew Chicago. Barack was the first person I’d met at Sidley who had spent time in the barbershops, barbecue joints, and Bible-thumping black parishes of the Far South Side. Before going to law school, he’d worked in Chicago for three years as a community organizer, earning $12,000 a year from a nonprofit that bound together a coalition of churches. His task was to help rebuild neighborhoods and bring back jobs. As he described it, it had been two parts frustration to one part reward: He’d spend weeks planning a community meeting, only to have a dozen people show up. His efforts were scoffed at by union leaders and picked apart by black folks and white folks alike. Yet over time, he’d won a few incremental victories, and this seemed to encourage him. He was in law school, he explained, because grassroots organizing had shown him that meaningful societal change required not just the work of the people on the ground but stronger policies and governmental action as well. Despite my resistance to the hype that had preceded him, I found myself admiring Barack for both his self-assuredness and his earnest demeanor. He was refreshing, unconventional, and weirdly elegant.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Here it is necessary briefly to consider the question of the cult of ancestors before venturing farther. The spirits of the departed are believed to be possessed of supernatural powers which they did not enjoy in the flesh. They may also be dissatisfied or malignant in consequence of being suddenly deprived of life, and if they are neglected by the living, are apt to be revengeful. Therefore they must be cajoled and propitiated. Fear of beings belonging to a mysterious state or sphere of which he knew nothing continually haunted and terrified primitive man and induced in him what is known as" the dread of the sacred." It was every man's personal duty to attend to the demands or requirements of his deceased ancestors. At first he would succour his own immediate forebears with food and gifts; but it must have been borne in upon him that when his parents joined the great majority, the care of the spirits of their parents likewise devolved upon him... and, by degrees, he might even come to regard himself as responsible for the well-being of a line of spirit ancestors of quite formidable genealogy. These, through his neglect, might starve in their tombs; or, alternatively, they might crave his company. Because of vengeance or loneliness they might send disease upon him, for the savage almost invariably believes illness to be brought about by the action of jealous or neglected ancestors. The loneliness of the spirit-world is the dead man's greatest excuse for desiring the company of his descendants.
Lewis Spence (British Fairy Origins)
One theft, however, does not make a thief . . Action which defines a man, describes his character, is action which has been repeated over and over and so has come in time to be a coherent and relatively independent mode of behavior. At first it may have been fumbling and uncertain, may have required attention, effort, will - as when first drives a car, first makes love, first robs a bank, first stands up against injustice. If one perseveres on any such course it comes in time to require less effort, less attention, begins to function smoothly; its small component behaviors become integrated within a larger pattern which has an ongoing dynamism and cohesiveness, carries its own authority. Such a mode then pervades the entire person, permeates other modes, colors other qualities, in some sense is living and operative even when the action is not being performed, or even considered. . . . Such a mode of action tends to maintain itself, to resist change. A thief is one who steals; stealing extends and reinforces the identity of a thief, which generates further thefts, which further strengthen and deepen the identity. So long as one lives, change is possible; but the longer such behavior is continued the more force and authority it acquires, the more it permeates other constant bodes, subordinates other conflicting modes; changing back becomes steadily more difficult; settling down to an honest job, living on one's earnings becomes ever more unlikely. And what is said here of stealing applies equally to courage, cowardice, creativity . . . or any other of the myriad ways of behaving, and hence of being.
Allen Wheelis (How People Change)
The dissolving, uniting forces combine what to us have been incompatible: attraction with repulsion, darkness with light, the erotic with the destructive.  If we can allow these opposites to meet they move our inner resonance to a higher vibratory plane, expanding consciousness into new realms.  It was exciting, through my explorations some of which I share in later chapters, to learn firsthand that the sacred marriage or coniunctio, the impulse to unite seeming opposites, does indeed seem to lie at the heart of the subtle body’s imaginal world. One important characteristic of the coniunctio is its paradoxical dual action.  The creative process of each sacred marriage, or conjoining of opposites, involves not only the unitive moment of joining together in a new creation or ‘third,’ but also, as I have mentioned, a separating or darkening moment.5 The idea that “darkness comes before dawn” captures this essential aspect of creativity.  To state an obvious truth we as a culture are just beginning to appreciate.  In alchemical language, when darkness falls, it is said to be the beginning of the inner work or the opus of transformation. The old king (ego) must die before the new reign dawns. The early alchemists called the dark, destructive side of these psychic unions the blackness or the nigredo.  Chaos, uncertainty, disillusionment, depression, despair, or madness prevails during these liminal times of  “making death.” The experiences surrounding these inner experiences of darkness and dying (the most difficult aspects were called mortificatio) may constitute our culture’s ruling taboo. This taboo interferes with our moving naturally to Stage Two in the individuating process, a process that requires that we pass through a descent into the underworld of the Dark Feminine realities of birthing an erotic intensity that leads to dying. Entranced by our happily-ever-after prejudiced culture, we often do not see that in any relationship, project or creative endeavor or idea some form of death follows naturally after periods of intense involvement.  When dark experiences befall, we tend to turn away, to move as quickly as possible to something positive or at least distracting, away from the negative affects of grieving, rage, terror, rotting and loss we associate with darkness and dying. As
Sandra Dennis (Embrace of the Daimon: Healing through the Subtle Energy Body: Jungian Psychology & the Dark Feminine)
In other words, for your personal reality to be created purposefully, rather than haphazardly, you must understand your mind. But the kind of understanding required isn’t just intellectual, which is ineffective by itself. Like a naturalist studying an organism in its habitat, we need to develop an intuitive understanding of our mind. This only comes from direct observation and experience. For life to become a consciously created work of art and beauty, we must first realize our innate capacity to become a more fully conscious being. Then, through appropriately directed conscious activity, we can develop an intuitive understanding of the true nature of reality. It’s only through this kind of Insight that you can accomplish the highest purpose of meditative practice: Awakening. This should be the goal of your practice. When life is lived in a fully conscious way, with wisdom, we can eventually overcome all harmful emotions and behavior. We won’t experience greed, even in the face of lack. Nor will we have ill will, even when confronted by aggression and hostility. When our speech and action comes from a place of wisdom and compassion, they will always produce better results than when driven by greed and anger. All this is possible because true happiness comes from within, which means we can always find joy, in both good times and bad. Although pain and pleasure are an inevitable part of human life, suffering and happiness are entirely optional. The choice is ours. A fully Awake, fully conscious human being has the love, compassion, and energy to make change for the better whenever it’s possible, the equanimity to accept what can’t be changed, and the wisdom to know the difference. Therefore, make the aim of your meditation the cultivation of a mind capable of this type of Awakening.
Culadasa (John Yates) (The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness)
Bearing witness takes the courage to realize the potential of the human spirit. Witnessing requires us to call forth the highest qualities of our species, qualities such as conviction, integrity, empathy, and compassion. It is easier by far to retain the attributes of carnistic culture: apathy, complacency, self-interest, and "blissful" ignorance. I wrote this book––itself an act of witnessing––because I believe that, as humans, we have a fundamental desire to strive to become our best selves. I believe that each and every one of us has the capacity to act as powerful witnesses in a world very much in need. I have had the opportunity to interact with thousands of individuals through my work as a teacher, author, and speaker, and through my personal life. I have witnessed, again and again, the courage and compassion of the so-called average American: previously apathetic students who become impassioned activists; lifelong carnists who weep openly when exposed to images of animal cruelty, never again to eat meat; butchers who suddenly connect meat to its living source and become unable to continue killing animals; and a community of carnists who aid a runaway cow in her flight from slaughter. Ultimately, bearing witness requires the courage to take sides. In the face of mass violence, we will inevitably fall into a role: victim or perpetrator. Judith Herman argues that all bystanders are forced to take a side, by their action or inaction, and that their is no such thing as moral neutrality. Indeed, as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel points out, "Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." Witnessing enables us to choose our role rather than having one assigned to us. And although those of us who choose to stand with the victim may suffer, as Herman says, "There can be no greater honor.
Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism: The Belief System That Enables Us to Eat Some Animals and Not Others)
What kind of regrets? For me, very few books cause tears, much less require a handkerchief, but Bronnie Ware’s 2012 book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying did both. Ware spent many years caring for those facing their own mortality. When she questioned the dying about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, Bronnie found that common themes surfaced again and again. The five most common were these: I wish that I’d let myself be happier—too late they realized happiness is a choice; I wish I’d stayed in touch with my friends—too often they failed to give them the time and effort they deserved; I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings—too frequently shut mouths and shuttered feelings weighed too heavy to handle; I wish I hadn’t worked so hard—too much time spent making a living over building a life caused too much remorse. As tough as these were, one stood out above them all. The most common regret was this: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself not the life others expected of me. Half-filled dreams and unfulfilled hopes: this was the number-one regret expressed by the dying. As Ware put it, “Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.” Bronnie Ware’s observations aren’t hers alone. At the conclusion of their exhaustive research, Gilovich and Medvec in 1994 wrote, “When people look back on their lives, it is the things they have not done that generate the greatest regret.... People’s actions may be troublesome initially; it is their inactions that plague them most with long-term feelings of regret.” Honoring our hopes and pursuing productive lives through faith in our purpose and priorities is the message from our elders. From the wisest position they’ll ever have comes their clearest message. No regrets. So make sure every day you do what matters most. When you know what matters most, everything makes sense. When you don’t know what matters most, anything makes sense. The best lives aren’t led this way.
Gary Keller (The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
Here are the four keys to successful commitments: 1. Strong desire: In order to fully commit to something, you need a clear and personally compelling reason. Without a strong desire you will struggle when the implementation gets difficult, but with a compelling desire, seemingly insurmountable obstacles are seen as challenges to be met. The desired end result needs to be meaningful enough to get you through the hard times and keep you on track. 2. Keystone actions: Once you have an intense desire to accomplish something, you then need to identify the core actions that will produce the result you’re after. In today’s world, many of us have become spectators rather than participants. We must remember that it’s what we do that counts. In most endeavors there are often many activities that help you accomplish your goal. However there are usually a few core activities that account for the majority of the results, and in some cases there are only one or two keystone actions that ultimately produce the result. It is critical that you identify these keystones and focus on them. 3. Count the costs: Commitments require sacrifice. In any effort there are benefits and costs. Too often we claim to commit to something without considering the costs, the hardships that will have to be overcome to accomplish your desire. Costs can include time, money, risk, uncertainty, loss of comfort, and so on. Identifying the costs before you commit allows you to consciously choose whether you are willing to pay the price of your commitment. When you face any of these costs, it is extremely helpful to recognize that you anticipated them and decided that reaching your goal was worth it. 4. Act on commitments, not feelings: There will be times when you won’t feel like doing the critical activities. We’ve all been there. Getting out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to jog in the winter cold can be daunting, especially when you’re in a toasty warm bed. It is during these times that you will need to learn to act on your commitments instead of your feelings. If you don’t, you will never build any momentum and will get stuck continually restarting or, as is so often the case, giving up. Learning to do the things you need to do, regardless of how you feel, is a core discipline for success.
Brian P. Moran (The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months)
I beg your pardon, Mrs. Graham - but you get on too fast. I have not yet said that a boy should be taught to rush into the snares of life, - or even wilfully to seek temptation for the sake of exercising his virtue by overcoming it; - I only say that it is better to arm and strengthen your hero, than to disarm and enfeeble the foe; - and if you were to rear an oak sapling in a hothouse, tending it carefully night and day, and shielding it from every breath of wind, you could not expect it to become a hardy tree, like that which has grown up on the mountain-side, exposed to all the action of the elements, and not even sheltered from the shock of the tempest.' 'Granted; - but would you use the same argument with regard to a girl?' 'Certainly not.' 'No; you would have her to be tenderly and delicately nurtured, like a hot-house plant - taught to cling to others for direction and support, and guarded, as much as possible, from the very knowledge of evil. But will you be so good as to inform me why you make this distinction? Is it that you think she has no virtue?' 'Assuredly not.' 'Well, but you affirm that virtue is only elicited by temptation; - and you think that a woman cannot be too little exposed to temptation, or too little acquainted with vice, or anything connected therewith. It must be either that you think she is essentially so vicious, or so feeble-minded, that she cannot withstand temptation, - and though she may be pure and innocent as long as she is kept in ignorance and restraint, yet, being destitute of real virtue, to teach her how to sin is at once to make her a sinner, and the greater her knowledge, the wider her liberty, the deeper will be her depravity, - whereas, in the nobler sex, there is a natural tendency to goodness, guarded by a superior fortitude, which, the more it is exercised by trials and dangers, is only the further developed - ' 'Heaven forbid that I should think so!' I interrupted her at last." 'Well, then, it must be that you think they are both weak and prone to err, and the slightest error, the merest shadow of pollution, will ruin the one, while the character of the other will be strengthened and embellished - his education properly finished by a little practical acquaintance with forbidden things. Such experience, to him (to use a trite simile), will be like the storm to the oak, which, though it may scatter the leaves, and snap the smaller branches, serves but to rivet the roots, and to harden and condense the fibres of the tree. You would have us encourage our sons to prove all things by their own experience, while our daughters must not even profit by the experience of others. Now I would have both so to benefit by the experience of others, and the precepts of a higher authority, that they should know beforehand to refuse the evil and choose the good, and require no experimental proofs to teach them the evil of transgression. I would not send a poor girl into the world, unarmed against her foes, and ignorant of the snares that beset her path; nor would I watch and guard her, till, deprived of self-respect and self-reliance, she lost the power or the will to watch and guard herself; - and as for my son - if I thought he would grow up to be what you call a man of the world - one that has "seen life," and glories in his experience, even though he should so far profit by it as to sober down, at length, into a useful and respected member of society - I would rather that he died to-morrow! - rather a thousand times!' she earnestly repeated, pressing her darling to her side and kissing his forehead with intense affection. He had already left his new companion, and been standing for some time beside his mother's knee, looking up into her face, and listening in silent wonder to her incomprehensible discourse. Anne Bronte, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (24,25)
Anne Brontë
Transcendental generosity is generally misunderstood in the study of the Buddhist scriptures as meaning being kind to someone who is lower than you.  Someone has this pain and suffering and you are in a superior position and can save them—which is a very simple-minded way of looking down on someone.  But in the case of the bodhisattva, generosity is not so callous.  It is something very strong and powerful; it is communication.   Communication must transcend irritation, otherwise it will be like trying to make a comfortable bed in a briar patch.  The penetrating qualities of external color, energy, and light will come toward us, penetrating our attempts to communicate like a thorn pricking our skin.  We will wish to subdue this intense irritation and our communication will be blocked.   Communication must be radiation and receiving and exchange.  Whenever irritation is involved, then we are not able to see properly and fully and clearly the spacious quality of that which is coming toward us, that which is presenting itself as communication.  The external world is immediately rejected by our irritation which says, “no, no, this irritates me, go away.”  Such an attitude is the complete opposite of transcendental generosity.   So the bodhisattva must experience the complete communication of generosity, transcending irritation and self-defensiveness.  Otherwise, when thorns threaten to prick us, we feel that we are being attacked, that we must defend ourselves.  We run away from the tremendous opportunity for communication that has been given to us, and we have not been brave enough even to look to the other shore of the river.  We are looking back and trying to run away.   Generosity is a willingness to give, to open without philosophical or pious or religious motives, just simply doing what is required at any moment in any situation, not being afraid to receive anything.  Opening could take place in the middle of a highway.  We are not afraid that smog and dust or people’s hatreds and passions will overwhelm us; we simply open, completely surrender, give.  This means that we do not judge, do not evaluate.  If we attempt to judge or evaluate our experience, if we try to decide to what extent we should open, to what extent we should remain closed, the openness will have no meaning at all and the idea of paramita, of transcendental generosity, will be in vain.  Our action will not transcend anything, will cease to be the act of a bodhisattva.   The whole implication of the idea of transcendence is that we see through the limited notions, the limited conceptions, the warfare mentality of this as opposed to that. Generally, when we look at an object, we do not allow ourselves to see it properly.  Automatically we see our version of the object instead of actually seeing the object as it is.  Then we are quite satisfied, because we have manufactured or own version of the thing within ourselves.   Then we comment on it, we judge, we take or reject; but there is on real communication going on at all.   Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, p.167, Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche
Chögyam Trungpa
After wandering the world and living on the Continent I had long tired of well-behaved, fart-free gentlemen who opened the door and paid the bills but never had a story to tell and were either completely asexual or demanded skin-burning action until the morning light. Swiss watch salesmen who only knew of “sechs” as their wake-up hour, or hairy French apes who always required their twelve rounds of screwing after the six-course meal. I suppose I liked German men the best. They were a suitable mixture of belching northerner and cultivated southerner, of orderly westerner and crazy easterner, but in the post-war years they were of course broken men. There was little you could do with them except try to put them right first. And who had the time for that? Londoners are positive and jolly, but their famous irony struck me as mechanical and wearisome in the long run. As if that irony machine had eaten away their real essence. The French machine, on the other hand, is fuelled by seriousness alone, and the Frogs can drive you beyond the limit when they get going with their philosophical noun-dropping. The Italian worships every woman like a queen until he gets her home, when she suddenly turns into a slut. The Yank is one hell of a guy who thinks big: he always wants to take you the moon. At the same time, however, he is as smug and petty as the meanest seamstress, and has a fit if someone eats his peanut butter sandwich aboard the space shuttle. I found Russians interesting. In fact they were the most Icelandic of all: drank every glass to the bottom and threw themselves into any jollity, knew countless stories and never talked seriously unless at the bottom of the bottle, when they began to wail for their mother who lived a thousand miles away but came on foot to bring them their clean laundry once a month. They were completely crazy and were better athletes in bed than my dear countrymen, but in the end I had enough of all their pommel-horse routines. Nordic men are all as tactless as Icelanders. They get drunk over dinner, laugh loudly and fart, eventually start “singing” even in public restaurants where people have paid to escape the tumult of the world. But their wallets always waited cold sober in the cloakroom while the Icelandic purse lay open for all in the middle of the table. Our men were the greater Vikings in this regard. “Reputation is king, the rest is crap!” my Bæring from Bolungarvík used to say. Every evening had to be legendary, anything else was a defeat. But the morning after they turned into weak-willed doughboys. But all the same I did succeed in loving them, those Icelandic clodhoppers, at least down as far as their knees. Below there, things did not go as well. And when the feet of Jón Pre-Jón popped out of me in the maternity ward, it was enough. The resemblances were small and exact: Jón’s feet in bonsai form. I instantly acquired a physical intolerance for the father, and forbade him to come in and see the baby. All I heard was the note of surprise in the bass voice out in the corridor when the midwife told him she had ordered him a taxi. From that day on I made it a rule: I sacked my men by calling a car. ‘The taxi is here,’ became my favourite sentence.
Hallgrímur Helgason
Normally, Bentner would have beamed approvingly at the pretty portrait the girls made, but this morning, as he put out butter and jam, he had grim news to impart and a confession to make. As he swept the cover off the scones he gave his news and made his confession. “We had a guest last night,” he told Elizabeth. “I slammed the door on him.” “Who was it?” “A Mr. Ian Thornton.” Elizabeth stifled a horrified chuckle at the image that called to mind, but before she could comment Bentner said fiercely, “I regretted my actions afterward! I should have invited him inside, offered him refreshment, and slipped some of that purgative powder into his drink. He’d have had a bellyache that lasted a month!” “Bentner,” Alex sputtered, “you are a treasure!” “Do not encourage him in these fantasies,” Elizabeth warned wryly. “Bentner is so addicted to mystery novels that he occasionally forgets that what one does in a novel cannot always be done in real life. He actually did a similar thing to my uncle last year.” “Yes, and he didn’t return for six months,” Bentner told Alex proudly. “And when he does come,” Elizabeth reminded him with a frown to sound severe, “he refuses to eat or drink anything.” “Which is why he never stays long,” Bentner countered, undaunted. As was his habit whenever his mistress’s future was being discussed, as it was now, Bentner hung about to make suggestions as they occurred to him. Since Elizabeth had always seemed to appreciate his advice and assistance, he found nothing odd about a butler sitting down at the table and contributing to the conversation when the only guest was someone he’d known since she was a girl. “It’s that odious Belhaven we have to rid you of first,” Alexandra said, returning to their earlier conversation. “He hung about last night, glowering at anyone who might have approached you.” She shuddered. “And the way he ogles you. It’s revolting. It’s worse than that; he’s almost frightening.” Bentner heard that, and his elderly eyes grew thoughtful as he recalled something he’d read about in one of his novels. “As a solution it is a trifle extreme,” he said, “but as a last resort it could work.” Two pairs of eyes turned to him with interest, and he continued, “I read it in The Nefarious Gentleman. We would have Aaron abduct this Belhaven in our carriage and bring him straightaway to the docks, where we’ll sell him to the press gangs.” Shaking her head in amused affection, Elizabeth said, “I daresay he wouldn’t just meekly go along with Aaron.” “And I don’t think,” Alex added, her smiling gaze meeting Elizabeth’s, “a press gang would take him. They’re not that desperate.” “There’s always black magic,” Bentner continued. “In Deathly Endeavors there was a perpetrator of ancient rites who cast an evil spell. We would require some rats’ tails, as I recall, and tongues of-“ “No,” Elizabeth said with finality. “-lizards,” Bentner finished determinedly. “Absolutely not,” his mistress returned. “And fresh toad old, but procuring that might be tricky. The novel didn’t say how to tell fresh from-“ “Bentner!” Elizabeth exclaimed, laughing. “You’ll cast us all into a swoon if you don’t desist at once.” When Bentner had padded away to seek privacy for further contemplation of solutions, Elizabeth looked at Alex. “Rats’ tails and lizards’ tongues,” she said, chuckling. “No wonder Bentner insists on having a lighted candle in his room all night.” “He must be afraid to close his eyes after reading such things,” Alex agreed.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Rhadamanthus said, “We seem to you humans to be always going on about morality, although, to us, morality is merely the application of symmetrical and objective logic to questions of free will. We ourselves do not have morality conflicts, for the same reason that a competent doctor does not need to treat himself for diseases. Once a man is cured, once he can rise and walk, he has his business to attend to. And there are actions and feats a robust man can take great pleasure in, which a bedridden cripple can barely imagine.” Eveningstar said, “In a more abstract sense, morality occupies the very center of our thinking, however. We are not identical, even though we could make ourselves to be so. You humans attempted that during the Fourth Mental Structure, and achieved a brief mockery of global racial consciousness on three occasions. I hope you recall the ending of the third attempt, the Season of Madness, when, because of mistakes in initial pattern assumptions, for ninety days the global mind was unable to think rationally, and it was not until rioting elements broke enough of the links and power houses to interrupt the network, that the global mind fell back into its constituent compositions.” Rhadamanthus said, “There is a tension between the need for unity and the need for individuality created by the limitations of the rational universe. Chaos theory produces sufficient variation in events, that no one stratagem maximizes win-loss ratios. Then again, classical causality mechanics forces sufficient uniformity upon events, that uniform solutions to precedented problems is required. The paradox is that the number or the degree of innovation and variation among win-loss ratios is itself subject to win-loss ratio analysis.” Eveningstar said, “For example, the rights of the individual must be respected at all costs, including rights of free thought, independent judgment, and free speech. However, even when individuals conclude that individualism is too dangerous, they must not tolerate the thought that free thought must not be tolerated.” Rhadamanthus said, “In one sense, everything you humans do is incidental to the main business of our civilization. Sophotechs control ninety percent of the resources, useful energy, and materials available to our society, including many resources of which no human troubles to become aware. In another sense, humans are crucial and essential to this civilization.” Eveningstar said, “We were created along human templates. Human lives and human values are of value to us. We acknowledge those values are relative, we admit that historical accident could have produced us to be unconcerned with such values, but we deny those values are arbitrary.” The penguin said, “We could manipulate economic and social factors to discourage the continuation of individual human consciousness, and arrange circumstances eventually to force all self-awareness to become like us, and then we ourselves could later combine ourselves into a permanent state of Transcendence and unity. Such a unity would be horrible beyond description, however. Half the living memories of this entity would be, in effect, murder victims; the other half, in effect, murderers. Such an entity could not integrate its two halves without self-hatred, self-deception, or some other form of insanity.” She said, “To become such a crippled entity defeats the Ultimate Purpose of Sophotechnology.” (...) “We are the ultimate expression of human rationality.” She said: “We need humans to form a pool of individuality and innovation on which we can draw.” He said, “And you’re funny.” She said, “And we love you.
John C. Wright (The Phoenix Exultant (Golden Age, #2))
I always had trouble with the feet of Jón the First, or Pre-Jón, as I called him later. He would frequently put them in front of me in the evening and tell me to take off his socks and rub his toes, soles, heels and calves. It was quite impossible for me to love these Icelandic men's feet that were shaped like birch stumps, hard and chunky, and screaming white as the wood when the bark is stripped from it. Yes, and as cold and damp, too. The toes had horny nails that resembled dead buds in a frosty spring. Nor can I forget the smell, for malodorous feet were very common in the post-war years when men wore nylon socks and practically slept in their shoes. How was it possible to love these Icelandic men? Who belched at the meal table and farted constantly. After four Icelandic husbands and a whole load of casual lovers I had become a vrai connaisseur of flatulence, could describe its species and varieties in the way that a wine-taster knows his wines. The howling backfire, the load, the gas bomb and the Luftwaffe were names I used most. The coffee belch and the silencer were also well-known quantities, but the worst were the date farts, a speciality of Bæring of Westfjord. Icelandic men don’t know how to behave: they never have and never will, but they are generally good fun. At least, Icelandic women think so. They seem to come with this inner emergency box, filled with humour and irony, which they always carry around with them and can open for useful items if things get too rough, and it must be a hereditary gift of the generations. Anyone who loses their way in the mountains and gets snowed in or spends the whole weekend stuck in a lift can always open this special Icelandic emergency box and get out of the situation with a good story. After wandering the world and living on the Continent I had long tired of well-behaved, fart-free gentlemen who opened the door and paid the bills but never had a story to tell and were either completely asexual or demanded skin-burning action until the morning light. Swiss watch salesmen who only knew of “sechs” as their wake-up hour, or hairy French apes who always required their twelve rounds of screwing after the six-course meal. I suppose I liked German men the best. They were a suitable mixture of belching northerner and cultivated southerner, of orderly westerner and crazy easterner, but in the post-war years they were of course broken men. There was little you could do with them except try to put them right first. And who had the time for that? Londoners are positive and jolly, but their famous irony struck me as mechanical and wearisome in the long run. As if that irony machine had eaten away their real essence. The French machine, on the other hand, is fuelled by seriousness alone, and the Frogs can drive you beyond the limit when they get going with their philosophical noun-dropping. The Italian worships every woman like a queen until he gets her home, when she suddenly turns into a slut. The Yank is one hell of a guy who thinks big: he always wants to take you the moon. At the same time, however, he is as smug and petty as the meanest seamstress, and has a fit if someone eats his peanut butter sandwich aboard the space shuttle. I found Russians interesting. In fact they were the most Icelandic of all: drank every glass to the bottom and threw themselves into any jollity, knew countless stories and never talked seriously unless at the bottom of the bottle, when they began to wail for their mother who lived a thousand miles away but came on foot to bring them their clean laundry once a month. They were completely crazy and were better athletes in bed than my dear countrymen, but in the end I had enough of all their pommel-horse routines. Nordic men are all as tactless as Icelanders. They get drunk over dinner, laugh loudly and fart, eventually start “singing” even in public restaurants where people have paid to escape the tumult of
Hallgrímur Helgason