Responsibility Quotes

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

Take responsibility of your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.
Philip K. Dick (VALIS)
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.
William Shakespeare (Julius Caesar)
It's not my responsibility to be beautiful. I'm not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.
Warsan Shire
Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.
Albert Einstein
People have forgotten this truth," the fox said. "But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.
Sigmund Freud (Civilization and Its Discontents)
You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It's their mistake, not my failing.
Richard P. Feynman (Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character)
The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility.
Václav Havel
You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.
Mary Oliver (Wild Geese)
People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is 'you're safe with me'- that's intimacy.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
I am only responsible for my own heart, you offered yours up for the smashing my darling. Only a fool would give out such a vital organ
Anaïs Nin
Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.
Anne Frank
If there's a thing I've learned in my life it's to not be afraid of the responsibility that comes with caring for other people. What we do for love: those things endure. Even if the people you do them for don't
Cassandra Clare
There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.
J.K. Rowling
There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2))
The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
There is something infantile in the presumption that somebody else has a responsibility to give your life meaning and point… The truly adult view, by contrast, is that our life is as meaningful, as full and as wonderful as we choose to make it.
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
The price of greatness is responsibility.
Winston S. Churchill
The outer world is a reflection of the inner world. Other people’s perception of you is a reflection of them; your response to them is an awareness of you.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.
Jean-Paul Sartre
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein
People like to say love is unconditional, but it's not, and even if it was unconditional, it's still never free. There's always an expectation attached. They always want something in return. Like they want you to be happy or whatever and that makes you automatically responsible for their happiness because they won't be happy unless you are ... I just don't want that responsibility.
Katja Millay (The Sea of Tranquility)
To say you have no choice is to relieve yourself of responsibility.
Patrick Ness (Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3))
Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.
Noam Chomsky
You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.
Martin Luther King Jr.
In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
Eleanor Roosevelt
You are unique. You have different talents and abilities. You don’t have to always follow in the footsteps of others. And most important, you should always remind yourself that you don't have to do what everyone else is doing and have a responsibility to develop the talents you have been given.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.
Joan Didion (On Self-Respect)
It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.
Benjamin Franklin
Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society.
Alan W. Watts
The ability to dream is all I have to give. That is my responsibility; that is my burden. And even I grow tired.
Harlan Ellison (Stalking the Nightmare)
It's one thing to fall in love. It's another to feel someone else fall in love with you, and to feel a responsibility toward that love.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.
Kahlil Gibran (Kahlil Gibran, The Collected Works)
I'm on a roller coaster that only goes up," he said. "And it is my privilege and my responsibility to ride all the way up with you," I said.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
We write in response to what we read and learn; and in the end we write out of our deepest selves.
Andrea Barrett
If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.
Stephen Fry
Even if it's not your fault, it's your responsibility.
Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32; Tiffany Aching, #2))
In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!
Woody Allen
To pretend, I actually do the thing: I have therefore only pretended to pretend.
Jacques Derrida
It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies.
Noam Chomsky
I will take responsibility for what I have done,” Dalinar whispered. “If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.
Brandon Sanderson (Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3))
If you hang out with chickens, you're going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you're going to fly.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
When God knows you're ready for the responsibility of commitment, He'll reveal the right person under the right circumstances.
Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye)
Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you've done will have mattered as much.
Lisa Wingate
Now, now my good man, this is no time to be making enemies." (Voltaire on his deathbed in response to a priest asking him that he renounce Satan.)
Voltaire
I'm not much but I'm all I have.
Philip K. Dick (Martian Time-Slip)
Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.
Adrienne Rich
When we face pain in relationships our first response is often to sever bonds rather than to maintain commitment.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.
Confucius
When we're incomplete, we're always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we're still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on--series polygamy--until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.
Tom Robbins
We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say "It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem." Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.
Fred Rogers
I don't want to lose you.' His voice almost a whisper. Seeing his haggard expression, she took his hand and squeezed it, then reluctantly let it go. She could feel the tears again, and she fought them back. 'But you don't want to keep me, either, do you?' To that, he had no response.
Nicholas Sparks (The Rescue)
good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws
Plato
The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating …and you finish off as an orgasm.
George Carlin
Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
John F. Kennedy
You save yourself or you remain unsaved.
Alice Sebold
Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning)
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.
Theodore Roosevelt
Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
Jean-Paul Sartre
Everyone’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s really an easy way: Stop participating in it.
Noam Chomsky
People believe, thought Shadow. It's what people do. They believe, and then they do not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjuration. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe; and it is that rock solid belief, that makes things happen.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Since mankind's dawn, a handful of oppressors have accepted the responsibility over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We've seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse.
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
I steeled myself for the next response. I knew it was going to be one of the Zen life lessons. [...] Instead he kissed me.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that's what maturity is all about.
Osho
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Leon C. Megginson
Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.
Andrew Boyd (Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe)
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.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning)
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
Viktor E. Frankl
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.
Nelson Mandela
I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend ... if you have one." — George Bernard Shaw, playwright (to Winston Churchill) "Cannot possibly attend first night; will attend second, if there is one." — Churchill's response
George Bernard Shaw
Fresh is better. But you've never drunk fresh blood. Have you?" Simon raised his eyebrow in response. "Well, aside from mine of course," Jace said. "And I'm pretty sure my blood is fan-tastic.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.
Barbara De Angelis
There are people who are generic. They make generic responses and they expect generic answers. They live inside a box and they think people who don't fit into their box are weird. But I'll tell you what, generic people are the weird people. They are like genetically-manipulated plants growing inside a laboratory, like indistinguishable faces, like droids. Like ignorance.
C. JoyBell C.
I think it's perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it, but I don't know everything, and there may well be a God somewhere, hiding away. Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it's because he's ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they're responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I'd want nothing to do with them.
Philip Pullman
In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each of us responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel. It hurt when I lost each of the various men I fell in love with. Now, though, I am convinced that no one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it.
Paulo Coelho
Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
Passion makes a person stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling at peace. A lot of people are frightened because, when it appears, it demolishes all the old things it finds in its path. No one wants their life thrown into chaos. That is why a lot of people keep that threat under control, and are somehow capable of sustaining a house or a structure that is already rotten. They are the engineers of the superseded. Other people think exactly the opposite: they surrender themselves without a second thought, hoping to find in passion the solutions to all their problems. They make the other person responsible for their happiness and blame them for their possible unhappiness. They are either euphoric because something marvelous has happened or depressed because something unexpected has just ruined everything. Keeping passion at bay or surrendering blindly to it - which of these two attitudes is the least destructive? I don't know.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
The person in life that you will always be with the most, is yourself. Because even when you are with others, you are still with yourself, too! When you wake up in the morning, you are with yourself, laying in bed at night you are with yourself, walking down the street in the sunlight you are with yourself.What kind of person do you want to walk down the street with? What kind of person do you want to wake up in the morning with? What kind of person do you want to see at the end of the day before you fall asleep? Because that person is yourself, and it's your responsibility to be that person you want to be with. I know I want to spend my life with a person who knows how to let things go, who's not full of hate, who's able to smile and be carefree. So that's who I have to be.
C. JoyBell C.
All too often women believe it is a sign of commitment, an expression of love, to endure unkindness or cruelty, to forgive and forget. In actuality, when we love rightly we know that the healthy, loving response to cruelty and abuse is putting ourselves out of harm's way.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
Now, should we treat women as independent agents, responsible for themselves? Of course. But being responsible has nothing to do with being raped. Women don’t get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because someone raped them.
Jessica Valenti (The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women)
Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person's sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions. Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves. No matter what corruption they're taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which they cannot perform for any motive but their own enjoyment - just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! - an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exultation, only on the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces them to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and accept their real ego as their standard of value. They will always be attracted to the person who reflects their deepest vision of themselves, the person whose surrender permits them to experience - or to fake - a sense of self-esteem .. Love is our response to our highest values - and can be nothing else.
Ayn Rand
CALVIN: Isn't it strange that evolution would give us a sense of humor? When you think about it, it's weird that we have a physiological response to absurdity. We laugh at nonsense. We like it. We think it's funny. Don't you think it's odd that we appreciate absurdity? Why would we develop that way? How does it benefit us? HOBBES: I suppose if we couldn't laugh at the things that don't make sense, we couldn't react to a lot of life.
Bill Watterson
If I had my life to live over... Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind. If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored. I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television ... and more while watching real life. I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted. I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream. I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day. I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn't show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime. When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more I love yous ... more I'm sorrys ... more I'm listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
Erma Bombeck (Eat Less Cottage Cheese And More Ice Cream Thoughts On Life From Erma Bombeck)
I’ll be your family now,” he says. “I love you,” I say. I said that once, before I went to Erudite headquarters, but he was asleep then. I don’t know why I didn’t say it when he could hear it. Maybe I was afraid to trust him with something so personal as my devotion. Or afraid that I did not know what it was to love someone. But now I think the scary thing was not saying it before it was almost too late. Not saying it before it was almost too late for me. I am his, and he is mine, and it has been that way all along. He stares at me. I wait with my hands clutching his arms for stability as he considers his response. He frowns at me. “Say it again.” “Tobias,” I say, “I love you.” His skin is slippery with water and he smells like sweat and my shirt sticks to his arms when he slides them around me. He presses his face to my neck and kisses me right above the collarbone, kisses my cheek, kisses my lips. “I love you, too,” he says.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you...it means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: "I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give. Responsibility to yourself means that you don't fall for shallow and easy solutions--predigested books and ideas...marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short...and this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be "different"...The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.
Adrienne Rich
Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death--ought to decide, indeed, to earn one's death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
You’ve got a lot of responsibility now,” Jace said to Julian. “You’ll have to make sure Emma winds up with a guy who deserves her.” Julian was strangely white-faced. Maybe he was feeling the effects of the ceremony, Emma thought. It had been strong magic; she still felt it sizzling through her blood like champagne bubbles. But Jules looked as if he’d been slapped. “What about me?” Emma said, quickly. “Don’t I have to make sure Jules winds up with someone who deserves him?” “Absolutely. I did it for Alec, Alec did it for me — well, actually, he hated Clary at first, but he came around.” “I BET you didn’t like Magnus much, either,” said Julian, still with the same odd, stiff look on his face. “Maybe not,” said Jace, “but I never would have said so.” “Because it would have hurt Alec’s feelings?” Emma asked. “No,” said Jace, “because Magnus would have turned me into a hat rack.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world. Reality is an absolute, existence is an absolute, a speck of dust is an absolute and so is a human life. Whether you live or die is an absolute. Whether you have a piece of bread or not, is an absolute. Whether you eat your bread or see it vanish into a looter's stomach, is an absolute. There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who solves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromise is the transmitting rubber tube.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Ronan's bedroom door burst open. Hanging on the door frame, Ronan leaned out to peer past Gansey. He was doing that thing where he looked like both the dangerous Ronan he was now and the cheerier Ronan he had been when Gansey first met him. "Hold on," Gansey told Adam. Then, to Ronan: "Why would he be?" "No reason. Just no reason." Ronan slammed his door. Gansey asked Adam, "Sorry. You still have that suit for the party?" Adam's response was buried in the sound of the second-story door falling open. Noah slouched in. In a wounded tone, he said, "He threw me out the window!" Ronan's voice sang out from behind his closed door: "You're already dead!
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Is there any point asking what you're going to make me do on Sunday?' 'Not really.' Okay. 'Is there any point asking what you're going to do to me?' He grinned wickedly. 'Not really.' Fabulous. 'Does it involve the use of a safe word?' 'That will depend entirely on you.' Noah moved impossibly closer, just inches away. A few freckles disappeared into the scruff on his jaw. 'I'll be gentle,' Noah added. My breath caught in my throat as he looked at me from beneath those lashes, ruining me. I narrowed my eyes at him. 'You're evil.' In response, Noah smiled, and raised his finger to gently tap the tip of my nose. 'And you're mine,' he said, then walked away.
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
I look at the blanked-out faces of the other passengers--hoisting their briefcases, their backpacks, shuffling to disembark--and I think of what Hobie said: beauty alters the grain of reality. And I keep thinking too of the more conventional wisdom: namely, that the pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow, that beauty has to be wedded to something more meaningful. Only what is that thing? Why am I made the way I am? Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet--for me, anyway--all that's worth living for lies in that charm? A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don't get to choose our own hearts. We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are. Because--isn't it drilled into us constantly, from childhood on, an unquestioned platitude in the culture--? From William Blake to Lady Gaga, from Rousseau to Rumi to Tosca to Mister Rogers, it's a curiously uniform message, accepted from high to low: when in doubt, what to do? How do we know what's right for us? Every shrink, every career counselor, every Disney princess knows the answer: "Be yourself." "Follow your heart." Only here's what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted--? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?...If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or...is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Some catastrophic moments invite clarity, explode in split moments: You smash your hand through a windowpane and then there is blood and shattered glass stained with red all over the place; you fall out a window and break some bones and scrape some skin. Stitches and casts and bandages and antiseptic solve and salve the wounds. But depression is not a sudden disaster. It is more like a cancer: At first its tumorous mass is not even noticeable to the careful eye, and then one day -- wham! -- there is a huge, deadly seven-pound lump lodged in your brain or your stomach or your shoulder blade, and this thing that your own body has produced is actually trying to kill you. Depression is a lot like that: Slowly, over the years, the data will accumulate in your heart and mind, a computer program for total negativity will build into your system, making life feel more and more unbearable. But you won't even notice it coming on, thinking that it is somehow normal, something about getting older, about turning eight or turning twelve or turning fifteen, and then one day you realize that your entire life is just awful, not worth living, a horror and a black blot on the white terrain of human existence. One morning you wake up afraid you are going to live. In my case, I was not frightened in the least bit at the thought that I might live because I was certain, quite certain, that I was already dead. The actual dying part, the withering away of my physical body, was a mere formality. My spirit, my emotional being, whatever you want to call all that inner turmoil that has nothing to do with physical existence, were long gone, dead and gone, and only a mass of the most fucking god-awful excruciating pain like a pair of boiling hot tongs clamped tight around my spine and pressing on all my nerves was left in its wake. That's the thing I want to make clear about depression: It's got nothing at all to do with life. In the course of life, there is sadness and pain and sorrow, all of which, in their right time and season, are normal -- unpleasant, but normal. Depression is an altogether different zone because it involves a complete absence: absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest. The pain you feel in the course of a major clinical depression is an attempt on nature's part (nature, after all, abhors a vacuum) to fill up the empty space. But for all intents and purposes, the deeply depressed are just the walking, waking dead. And the scariest part is that if you ask anyone in the throes of depression how he got there, to pin down the turning point, he'll never know. There is a classic moment in The Sun Also Rises when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt, and all he can say in response is, 'Gradually and then suddenly.' When someone asks how I love my mind, that is all I can say too
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together. In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page: I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page. Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND… I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.
Elizabeth Gilbert
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens. These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert McCammon (Boy's Life)