Seldom Understand Quotes

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Juliet's version of cleanliness was next to godliness, which was to say it was erratic, past all understanding and was seldom seen.
Terry Pratchett (Unseen Academicals (Discworld, #37; Rincewind #8))
Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don't know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them - we can love completely without complete understanding.
Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through it and Other Stories)
We so seldom understand each other. But if understanding is neither here nor there, and the universe is infinite, then understand that no matter where we go we will always be smack dab in the middle of nowhere. All we can do is share some piece of ourselves, and hope that it’s remembered. Hope that we meant something to someone
Shane L. Koyczan
Answers were always important, but they were seldom easy.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2.5))
To be happy with a man you must understand him a lot and love him a little. To be happy with a woman you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History)
Memory is slippery. It bends to our understanding of the world, twists to accommodate our prejudices. It is unreliable. Witnesses seldom remember the same things. They identify the wrong people. They give us the details of events that never happened. Memory is slippery, but my memories suddenly feel slipperier.
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Often, love is a tangled web of lies that only a broken heart would weave. Seldom is dishonesty the whole person, rather it's the pain.
Shannon L. Alder
He that reads and grows no wiser seldom suspects his own deficiency, but complains of hard words and obscure sentences, and asks why books are written which cannot be understood.
Samuel Johnson (The Idler; Poems)
Do you understand what I'm saying?" shouted Moist. "You can't just go around killing people!" "Why Not? You Do." The golem lowered his arm. "What?" snapped Moist. "I do not! Who told you that?" "I Worked It Out. You Have Killed Two Point Three Three Eight People," said the golem calmly. "I have never laid a finger on anyone in my life, Mr Pump. I may be–– all the things you know I am, but I am not a killer! I have never so much as drawn a sword!" "No, You Have Not. But You Have Stolen, Embezzled, Defrauded And Swindled Without Discrimination, Mr Lipvig. You Have Ruined Businesses And Destroyed Jobs. When Banks Fail, It Is Seldom Bankers Who Starve. Your Actions Have Taken Money From Those Who Had Little Enough To Begin With. In A Myriad Small Ways You Have Hastened The Deaths Of Many. You Do Not Know Them. You Did Not See Them Bleed. But You Snatched Bread From Their Mouths And Tore Clothes From Their Backs. For Sport, Mr Lipvig. For Sport. For The Joy Of The Game.
Terry Pratchett (Going Postal (Discworld, #33; Moist von Lipwig, #1))
unaccountably we are alone forever alone and it was meant to be that way, it was never meant to be any other way– and when the death struggle begins the last thing I wish to see is a ring of human faces hovering over me– better just my old friends, the walls of my self, let only them be there. I have been alone but seldom lonely. I have satisfied my thirst at the well of my self and that wine was good, the best I ever had, and tonight sitting staring into the dark I now finally understand the dark and the light and everything in between. peace of mind and heart arrives when we accept what is: having been born into this strange life we must accept the wasted gamble of our days and take some satisfaction in the pleasure of leaving it all behind. cry not for me. grieve not for me. read what I’ve written then forget it all. drink from the well of your self and begin again. Mind and Heart
Charles Bukowski (Come On In!: New Poems)
We seldom consider how much of our lives we must render in return for some object we barely want, seldom need, buy only because it was put before us...And this is understandable given the workings of our system where without a job we perish, where if we don't want a job and are happy to get by we are labeled irresponsible, non-contributing leeches on society. But if we hire a fleet of bulldozers, tear up half the countryside and build some monstrous factory, casino or mall, we are called entrepreneurs, job-creators, stalwarts of the community. Maybe we should all be shut away on some planet for the insane. Then again, maybe that is where we are.
Ferenc Máté (A Reasonable Life: Toward a Simpler, Secure, More Humane Existence)
To be chosen as the Beloved of God is something radically different. Instead of excluding others, it includes others. Instead of rejecting others as less valuable, it accepts others in their own uniqueness. It is not a competitive, but a compassionate choice. Our minds have great difficulty in coming to grips with such a reality. Maybe our minds will never understand it. Perhaps it is only our hearts that can accomplish this. Every time we hear about 'chosen people', 'chosen talents', or 'chosen friends', we almost automatically start thinking about elites and find ourselves not far from feelings of jealousy, anger, or resentment. Not seldom has the perception of others as being chosen led to aggression, violence, and war.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World)
We love men because they can never fake orgasms, even if they wanted to. Because they write poems, songs, and books in our honor. Because they never understand us, but they never give up. Because they can see beauty in women when women have long ceased to see any beauty in themselves. Because they come from little boys. Because they can churn out long, intricate, Machiavellian, or incredibly complex mathematics and physics equations, but they can be comparably clueless when it comes to women. Because they are incredible lovers and never rest until we’re happy. Because they elevate sports to religion. Because they’re never afraid of the dark. Because they don’t care how they look or if they age. Because they persevere in making and repairing things beyond their abilities, with the naïve self-assurance of the teenage boy who knew everything. Because they never wear or dream of wearing high heels. Because they’re always ready for sex. Because they’re like pomegranates: lots of inedible parts, but the juicy seeds are incredibly tasty and succulent and usually exceed your expectations. Because they’re afraid to go bald. Because you always know what they think and they always mean what they say. Because they love machines, tools, and implements with the same ferocity women love jewelry. Because they go to great lengths to hide, unsuccessfully, that they are frail and human. Because they either speak too much or not at all to that end. Because they always finish the food on their plate. Because they are brave in front of insects and mice. Because a well-spoken four-year old girl can reduce them to silence, and a beautiful 25-year old can reduce them to slobbering idiots. Because they want to be either omnivorous or ascetic, warriors or lovers, artists or generals, but nothing in-between. Because for them there’s no such thing as too much adrenaline. Because when all is said and done, they can’t live without us, no matter how hard they try. Because they’re truly as simple as they claim to be. Because they love extremes and when they go to extremes, we’re there to catch them. Because they are tender they when they cry, and how seldom they do it. Because what they lack in talk, they tend to make up for in action. Because they make excellent companions when driving through rough neighborhoods or walking past dark alleys. Because they really love their moms, and they remind us of our dads. Because they never care what their horoscope, their mother-in-law, nor the neighbors say. Because they don’t lie about their age, their weight, or their clothing size. Because they have an uncanny ability to look deeply into our eyes and connect with our heart, even when we don’t want them to. Because when we say “I love you” they ask for an explanation.
Paulo Coelho
... a country where we seldom understand that we must be prepared to fight for issues bigger than an umpire's decision at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Peter Carey (My Life as a Fake)
Tonight I love you in a way that you have not known in me: I am neither worn down by travels nor wrapped up in the desire for your presence. I am mastering my love for you and turning it inwards as a constituent element of myself. This happens much more often than I admit to you, but seldom when I’m writing to you. Try to understand me: I love you while paying attention to external things. At Toulouse I simply loved you. Tonight I love you on a spring evening. I love you with the window open. You are mine, and things are mine, and my love alters the things around me and the things around me alter my love.
Jean-Paul Sartre
Out of the welter of life, a few people are selected for us by the accident of temporary confinement in the same circle. We never would have chosen these neighbors; life chose them for us. But thrown together on this island of living, we stretch to understand each other and are invigorated by the stretching. The difficulty with big city environment is that if we select—and we must in order to live and breathe and work in such crowded conditions—we tend to select people like ourselves, a very monotonous diet. All hors d’oeuvres and no meat; or all sweets and no vegetables, depending on the kind of people we are. But however much the diet may differ between us, one thing is fairly certain: we usually select the known, seldom the strange. We tend not to choose the unknown which might be a shock or a disappointment or simply a little difficult to cope with. And yet it is the unknown with all its disappointments and surprises that is the most enriching.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
[...] But this will not do. No, this will never do. There are continents and shores which beseech our understanding. Seldom have we been so slow. Seldom have we been so far. My only wish is to see Far Arden again.
Jim Morrison
Man is made of dirt - I saw him made. I am not made of dirt. Man is a museum of diseases, a home of impurities; he comes to-day and is gone tomorrow; he begins as dirt and departs as stench; I am of the aristocracy of the Imperishables. And man has the Moral Sense. You understand? He has the Moral Sense. That would seem to be difference enough between us, all by itself." "I know your race. It is made up of sheep. It is governed by minorities, seldom or never by majorities. It suppresses its feelings and its beliefs and follows the handful that makes the most noise. Sometimes the noisy handful is right, sometimes wrong; but no matter, the crowd follows it.
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories)
What you of the CHOAM directorate seem unable to understand is that you seldom find real loyalties in commerce ... Men must want to do things of their own innermost drives. People, not commercial organisations or chains of command, are what make great civilizations work, every civilization depends upon the quality of the individuals it produces. If you overorganize humans, over-legalize them, suppress their urge to greatness — they cannot work and their civilization collapses.
Frank Herbert (Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3))
Those who do not feel pain seldom think that it is felt.
Samuel Johnson
People expect that they should be understood by you but seldom put in an effort to understand you.
Amit Abraham
Seldom can one hate a person if one understand that person.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3))
The moral is, never be sorry for a waiter. Sometimes when you sit in a restaurant, still stuffing yourself half an hour after closing time, you feel that the tired waiter at your side must surely be despising you. But he is not. He is not thinking as he looks at you, 'What an overfed lout'; he is thinking, 'One day, when I have saved enough money, I shall be able to imitate that man.' He is ministering to a kind of pleasure he thoroughly understands and admires. And that is why waiters are seldom Socialists, have no effective trade union, and will work twelve hours a day--they work fifteen hours, seven days a week, in many cafés. They are snobs, and they find the servile nature of their work rather congenial.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
You can make all the plans you want in your head but things seldom turn out the way you imagined, never mind trying to understand where someone's heart really lies, or the thoughts that are hidden there.
Rau le Creuset
I have always been interested in this man. My father had a set of Tom Paine's books on the shelf at home. I must have opened the covers about the time I was 13. And I can still remember the flash of enlightenment which shone from his pages. It was a revelation, indeed, to encounter his views on political and religious matters, so different from the views of many people around us. Of course I did not understand him very well, but his sincerity and ardor made an impression upon me that nothing has ever served to lessen. I have heard it said that Paine borrowed from Montesquieu and Rousseau. Maybe he had read them both and learned something from each. I do not know. But I doubt that Paine ever borrowed a line from any man... Many a person who could not comprehend Rousseau, and would be puzzled by Montesquieu, could understand Paine as an open book. He wrote with a clarity, a sharpness of outline and exactness of speech that even a schoolboy should be able to grasp. There is nothing false, little that is subtle, and an impressive lack of the negative in Paine. He literally cried to his reader for a comprehending hour, and then filled that hour with such sagacious reasoning as we find surpassed nowhere else in American letters - seldom in any school of writing. Paine would have been the last to look upon himself as a man of letters. Liberty was the dear companion of his heart; truth in all things his object. ...we, perhaps, remember him best for his declaration: 'The world is my country; to do good my religion.' Again we see the spontaneous genius at work in 'The Rights of Man', and that genius busy at his favorite task - liberty. Written hurriedly and in the heat of controversy, 'The Rights of Man' yet compares favorably with classical models, and in some places rises to vaulting heights. Its appearance outmatched events attending Burke's effort in his 'Reflections'. Instantly the English public caught hold of this new contribution. It was more than a defense of liberty; it was a world declaration of what Paine had declared before in the Colonies. His reasoning was so cogent, his command of the subject so broad, that his legion of enemies found it hard to answer him. 'Tom Paine is quite right,' said Pitt, the Prime Minister, 'but if I were to encourage his views we should have a bloody revolution.' Here we see the progressive quality of Paine's genius at its best. 'The Rights of Man' amplified and reasserted what already had been said in 'Common Sense', with now a greater force and the power of a maturing mind. Just when Paine was at the height of his renown, an indictment for treason confronted him. About the same time he was elected a member of the Revolutionary Assembly and escaped to France. So little did he know of the French tongue that addresses to his constituents had to be translated by an interpreter. But he sat in the assembly. Shrinking from the guillotine, he encountered Robespierre's enmity, and presently found himself in prison, facing that dread instrument. But his imprisonment was fertile. Already he had written the first part of 'The Age of Reason' and now turned his time to the latter part. Presently his second escape cheated Robespierre of vengeance, and in the course of events 'The Age of Reason' appeared. Instantly it became a source of contention which still endures. Paine returned to the United States a little broken, and went to live at his home in New Rochelle - a public gift. Many of his old companions in the struggle for liberty avoided him, and he was publicly condemned by the unthinking. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
If you are the intuitive, you need to observe the following rules: First, say explicitly, at the start, what you are talking about. (Otherwise, you are requiring your sensing listeners to hold what you say in mind until they can figure out what you are referring to, which they seldom think is worth doing.) Second, finish your sentences; you know what the rest of the sentence is, but your listeners do not. Third, give notice when changing the subject. And last, don’t switch back and forth between subjects. Your listeners cannot see the parentheses. Finish one point and move explicitly to the next.
Isabel Briggs Myers (Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type)
They look upon fraud as a greater crime than theft, and therefore seldom fail to punish it with death; for they allege, that care and vigilance, with a very common understanding, may preserve a man's goods from thieves, but honesty has no defence against superior cunning; and, since it is necessary that there should be a perpetual intercourse of buying and selling, and dealing upon credit, where fraud is permitted and connived at, or has no law to punish it, the honest dealer is always undone, and the knave gets the advantage.
Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels)
We are the puzzle pieces who seldom fit with other puzzle pieces. We inhabit singledom as our natural resting state...Secretly, we are romantics, romantics of the highest order. We want a miracle. Out of millions we have to find the one who will understand. For the quirkyalone, there is no patience for dating just for the sake of not being alone. On a fine but by no means transcendent date, we dream of going home to watch television. We would prfer to be alone with our own thoughts than with a less than perfect fit...but when the quirkyalone collides with another, ooh la la. The earth quakes.
Sasha Cagen
Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. He was simple, calm and courageous. He seldom lost his poise; pondered his problems slowly, made his decisions clearly and firmly; never yielded to ostentation nor coyly refrained from holding his rightful place with dignity. He was the son of a serf but stood calmly before the great without hesitation or nerves. But also - and this was the highest proof of his greatness - he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate. Stalin was not a man of conventional learning; he was much more than that: he was a man who thought deeply, read understandingly and listened to wisdom, no matter whence it came. He was attacked and slandered as few men of power have been; yet he seldom lost his courtesy and balance; nor did he let attack drive him from his convictions nor induce him to surrender positions which he knew were correct.
W.E.B. Du Bois
Cruelty is seldom forgotten. You feel it as a child. Somebody takes away your toy or thoughtlessly kicks over your sand castle. A beautiful boy walks into your life, sees something he doesn’t like or doesn’t understand, and painstakingly endeavours to make you feel how much he hates you, to be constantly aware of the flaws that provoke that hatred. And then you grow older and wiser, but you don’t forget the cruelty. You can’t forget it, because there is nothing stronger, nothing more palpable in the human brain than the memory of mistreatment.
L.H. Cosway (The Nature of Cruelty)
It doesn't matter what the manifest problem was in our childhood family. In a home where a child is emotionally deprived for one reason or another that child will take some personal emotional confusion into his or her adult life. We may spin our spiritual wheels in trying to make up for childhood's personal losses, looking for compensation in the wrong places and despairing that we can find it. But the significance of spiritual rebirth through Jesus Christ is that we can mature spiritually under His parenting and receive healing compensation for these childhood deprivations. Three emotions that often grow all out of proportion in the emotionally deprived child are fear, guilt, and anger. The fear grows out of the child's awareness of the uncontrollable nature of her fearful environment, of overwhelming negative forces around her. Her guilt, her profound feelings of inadequacy, intensify when she is unable to put right what is wrong, either in the environment or in another person, no matter how hard she tries to be good. If only she could try harder or be better, she could correct what is wrong, she thinks. She may carry this guilt all her life, not knowing where it comes from, but just always feeling guilty. She often feels too sorry for something she has done that was really not all that serious. Her anger comes from her frustration, perceived deprivation, and the resultant self-pity. She has picked up an anger habit and doesn't know how much trouble it is causing her. A fourth problem often follows in the wake of the big three: the need to control others and manipulate events in order to feel secure in her own world, to hold her world together- to make happen what she wants to happen. She thinks she has to run everything. She may enter adulthood with an illusion of power and a sense of authority to put other people right, though she has had little success with it. She thinks that all she has to do is try harder, be worthier, and then she can change, perfect, and save other people. But she is in the dark about what really needs changing."I thought I would drown in guilt and wanted to fix all the people that I had affected so negatively. But I learned that I had to focus on getting well and leave off trying to cure anyone around me." Many of those around - might indeed get better too, since we seldom see how much we are a key part of a negative relationship pattern. I have learned it is a true principle that I need to fix myself before I can begin to be truly helpful to anyone else. I used to think that if I were worthy enough and worked hard enough, and exercised enough anxiety (which is not the same thing as faith), I could change anything. My power and my control are illusions. To survive emotionally, I have to turn my life over to the care of that tender Heavenly Father who was really in charge. It is my own spiritual superficiality that makes me sick, and that only profound repentance, that real change of heart, would ultimately heal me. My Savior is much closer than I imagine and is willing to take over the direction of my life: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me, ye can do nothing." (John 15:5). As old foundations crumble, we feel terribly vulnerable. Humility, prayer and flexibility are the keys to passing through this corridor of healthy change while we experiment with truer ways of dealing with life. Godly knowledge, lovingly imparted, begins deep healing, gives tools to live by and new ways to understand the gospel.
M. Catherine Thomas
I don’t know that they always fell in love, exactly. Paris seldom let them spend that much time alone. But they were always drawn together. It was obvious, every time he put them in the same room, they were like”—Delalieu claps his hands—“magnets.” “You don’t understand, you don’t understand, you don’t understand,” he cries, shaking his head. “You think these recent events are everything. You think Aaron fell in love with your friend of several months, a rebel girl named Juliette. You don’t know. You don’t know. You don’t know that Aaron has been in love with Ella for the better part of his entire life. They’ve known each other since childhood.
Tahereh Mafi (Defy Me (Shatter Me, #5))
It is seldom that we know anything accurately on any subject that we have not made matter of careful study," said Mr. Monk, "and very often do not do so even then. We are very apt to think that we men and women understand one another; but most probably you know nothing even of the modes of thought of the man who lives next door to you.
Anthony Trollope (Phineas Finn)
Talk is only a pretext for other, subtler forms of communication. When the latter are inoperative speech becomes dead. If two people are intent upon communicating with one another it doesn’t matter in the least how bewildering the talk becomes. People who insist upon clarity and logic often fail in making themselves understood. They are always-searching for a more perfect transmitter, deluded by the supposition that the mind is the only instrument for the exchange of thought. When one really begin to talk one delivers himself. Words are thrown about recklessly, not counted like pennies. One doesn’t care about grammatical or factual errors, contradictions, lies and so on. One talks. If you are talking to some one who knows how to listen he understands perfectly, even though the words make no sense. When this kind of talk gets under way a marriage takes place, no matter whether you are talking to a man or a woman. Men talking with other men have as much need of this sort of marriage as women talking with women have. Married couples seldom enjoy this kind of talk, for reasons which are only too obvious.
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
That was the kind of life she’d had as a child, and it was the kind she wanted as an adult. But it hadn’t worked out that way. Things in life seldom did, she’d come to understand
Nicholas Sparks (A Bend in the Road)
...Then dreams burst like bubbles in the wind. But change takes time.When people fall in love and lose the overwhelming desire for it to last a lifetime,they think something is wrong with them.Only now,when every other marriage ends in divorce,have people begun to understand that falling in love seldom grows into love,and that not even love can free a person from loneliness.And that sexual enjoyment does not make life meaningful.
Marianne Fredriksson (Hanna's Daughters)
Catholics have seldom had the difficulties and embarrassments many Protestants have had about creation vs. evolution. Ever since Augustine, they have interpreted Genesis‘ “days” non-literally.
Peter Kreeft (You Can Understand The Bible: A Practical Guide to Each Book in the Bible)
I know that most men—not only those considered clever, but even those who are very clever, and capable of understanding most difficult scientific, mathematical, or philosophic problems—can very seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as to oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed, perhaps with much difficulty—conclusions of which they are proud, which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives.
Leo Tolstoy (What Is Art?)
We must not make exaggerated demand on critics, and particularly we must not expect that criticism can function as an exact science. Art is not scientific; why should criticism be? The main complaint against some critics--and a certain type of criticism--is that too seldom do they speak about cinema as such. The scenario of a film is the film; all films are not psychological. Every critic should take to heart Jean Renoir's remark, "All great art is abstract." He should learn to be aware of form, and to understand that certain artists, for example Dreyer or Von Sternberg, never sought to make a picture that resembled reality.
François Truffaut (The Films in My Life)
I have sometimes thought that the mere hearing of those songs would do more to impress some minds with the horrible character of slavery, than the reading of whole volumes of philosophy on the subject could do. I did not, when a slave, understand the deep meaning of those rude and apparently incoherent songs. I was myself within the circle; so that I neither saw nor heard as those without might see and hear. They told a tale of woe which was then altogether beyond my feeble comprehension; they were tones loud, long, and deep; they breathed the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with bitterest anguish. Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains. The hearing of those wild notes always depressed my spirit, and filled me with ineffable sadness. I have frequently found myself in tears while hearing them. The mere recurrence to those songs, even now, afflicts me; and while I am writing these lines, an expression of feeling has already found its way down my cheek. To those songs I trace my first glimmering conception of the dehumanizing character of slavery. I can never get rid of that conception. Those songs still follow me, to deepen my hatred of slavery, and quicken my sympathies for my brethren in bonds. If any one wishes to be impressed with the soul-killing effects of slavery, let him go to Colonel Lloyd's plantation, and, on allowance-day, place himself in the deep pine woods, and there let him, in silence, analyze the sounds that shall pass through the chambers of his soul, - and if he is not thus impressed, it will only be because "there is no flesh in his obdurate heart." I have often been utterly astonished, since I came to the north, to find persons who could speak of the singing, among slaves, as evidence of their contentment and happiness. It is impossible to conceive of a greater mistake. Slaves sing most when they are most unhappy. The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart; and he is relieved by them, only as an aching heart is relieved by its tears. At least, such is my experience. I have often sung to drown my sorrow, but seldom to express my happiness. Crying for joy, and singing for joy, were alike uncommon to me while in the jaws of slavery. The singing of a man cast away upon a desolate island might be as appropriately considered as evidence of contentment and happiness, as the singing of a slave; the songs of the one and of the other are prompted by the same emotion.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
You know someone is special to you when you're literally captivated by them in even the little moments. The slightest thing they say or do, is like watching the universe unfold. And nothing else matters in those moments. Where you go about your day, & the most capricious of things send you into a whirlwind of thoughts connected to them. And a plethora of thoughts flood into your mind, for no apparent reason other than its them. Or perhaps, you randomly see a picture of them in your news feed & you just pause & look, & the world melts away & all time seems to stop, & there's a radiance that illuminates your life. And you focus on the little details, & wish you could just capture every single detail vividly. And you see their eyes, & though they're merely a moment in time, their eyes are so beautiful, that they transcend the medium & are as if they're there looking back. And all you can do it look into them. Knowing those eyes are what you could look into endlessly. And you know that it's all you could ever want, if for just a single moment in time. Or they share their thoughts, & you rack your brain around how they think. An you just want to understand & know more of their thoughts, simply because they're theirs. They, to you, are a more elegant work of art than even the finest painting, songs or poems of the great artists. And you know that even the most renowned artist couldn't conceive of a more perfect image of beauty. Leonardo, Van Gough, Rembrandt, Picasso, the most renowned artist of time would go mad in attempts to capture even a fraction of such a beautiful sight. That even Shakespeare couldn't put such a person into words. Though there's no doubt they're worthy of being the subject of a Shakespearean sonnet. But it could do no justice to their reality, that because there are no words that truly could ever describe them, even such an attempt would be like trying to describe the complex, wondrous & marvelous nature of the universe in but a single word. That no words, paintings, pictures, or thought could describe them & encapsulate the essence of their grace. And that though no one is truly perfect, they as a person through your eyes, reach a state as near perfect as you could imagine. And even dreams couldn't conceive of a greater wonder of life. It's as if the sum of all the beauty in the world can be found within this one person. It's wonderful, inspiring, breathtaking. Or rather, it's a whirlwind of emotions. Where the wonder & awe bleed into & merge with the disheartening longing, utter belief that you could not for a second touch that with you so desperately struggle & grasp for & an inability to even breath in the moments you're interacting with them. But it's all the more maddening because with all the wanting of your heart, you know it's wanting for something it could never have. That for all your wanting, you know such things are simply & purely unobtainable. And all you can do is hold to adoration & hopes. Hopes that you in your heart know fully are hopeless, but which you can't help but maintain. I think few things are more maddening than that feelings. Most people, when face with such a situation, might despair & grow cynical. But so seldom do we ever meet someone who so maddeningly captivates us, so seldom someone who's very existence throws your world upside down. In a time in which genuine emotion is a scarcity. And pseudo-emotions, frivolous & quick to fade, are rampant. The genuine article is something I cherish. When something makes you feel anything, it's something amazing. Regardless if it's a fervent concoction of the greatest good & the saddest sad. The experience of meeting such a person, who can spark such thoughts & feeling, is a genuine rarity. One in which a given person could go a lifetime without experiencing, but which is worth experiencing. And something that, though ultimately heartbreaking, I wouldn't give up experiencing.
Trevor Driggers
I have begun in old age to understand just how oddly we all are put together. We are so proud of our autonomy that we seldom if ever realize how generous we are to ourselves, and just how stingy with others. One of the booby traps of freedom--which is bordered on all sides by isolation--is that we think so well of ourselves. I now see that I have helped myself to the best cuts at life's banquet.
Saul Bellow
In my experience, the universe falls in with worthy plans and most especially with festive and expansive ones. I have seldom conceived a delicious plan without being given the means to accomplish it. Understand that the what must come before the how. First choose what you would do. The how usually falls into place of itself.
Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity)
We seldom make logical mistakes, but often have mistaken logics.
Raheel Farooq
Juliet’s version of cleanliness was next to godliness, which was to say it was erratic, past all understanding and was seldom seen.
Terry Pratchett (Unseen Academicals (Discworld, #37))
The ability to feel 'with' rather than 'for' is the essential difference between consciousness and emotion. When we feel for things we are emotionally moved. Pity, sympathy, and kindred feelings stir us, and yet they seldom give any definite impulse that is of value in the adjustment of any chain of circumstances. When we feel with things we are so much a part of them that we understand the innermost elements of their being. Thus understanding comes with consciousness, and knowledge with intellectual comprehension. According to the ancient doctrines, perfect consciousness — the ability to feel with everything as part of everything — was regarded as the ultimate state of so-called human unfoldment, and he who had achieved this had attained to godhood in his own right. The gods are simply emblematic of varying degrees of consciousness in that vast interval between ignorance and realization.
Manly P. Hall (The Illumined Mind: The Universal Savior)
We have the power of the pen to write the next chapter, and the privilege to author the page in whatever fashion we choose. Yet, seldom do we understand the power of the pen and the privilege of the page.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
If the Apostle justly prohibits the use of unknown tongues in the church, much less would he have tolerated these artificial musical performances, which are addressed to the ear only, and seldom strike the understanding, even of the performers themselves.
Theodore Beza
When depression sufferers fight, recover, and go into remission we seldom even know, simply because so many suffer in the dark … ashamed to admit something they see as a personal weakness … afraid that people will worry, and more afraid that they won’t. We find ourselves unable to do anything but cling to the couch and force ourselves to breathe. When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again, and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work, everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker … but as survivors. Survivors who don’t get pats on the back from coworkers who congratulate them on making it. Survivors who wake to more work than before because their friends and family are exhausted from helping them fight a battle they may not even understand. I hope to one day see a sea of people all wearing silver ribbons as a sign that they understand the secret battle, and as a celebration of the victories made each day as we individually pull ourselves up out of our foxholes to see our scars heal, and to remember what the sun looks like.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
While teachers often complain that their students seem to do very little thinking, teachers who simply follow the manual should understand that they are actually contributing to the problem. Students seldom learn to think under the tutelage of teachers who do not think either.
Donovan L. Graham
As I traveled the country promoting my book, I was asked by many people, ‘What are you trying to prove here? Lyndon Johnson is dead. He can’t be prosecuted. What is the point of this other than an academic exercise?’ Here is the point: The government does not always tell us the truth. In fact, the government seldom tells us the truth. If ONE citizen understands by reading my book that everything the government says must be regarded with a healthy dose of skepticism, then I will have achieved my goal. Perhaps the best analysis comes from former federal prosecutor and US Attorney David Marston, who wrote to me, “You have viewed the JFK assassination through the prism of a murder investigator’s first question, cui bono (who benefits)? The shocking answer is that the primary suspect has been hiding in plain sight for fifty years: LBJ.
Roger Stone (The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ)
I think of the beauty in the obvious, the way it forces us to admit how it exists, the way it insists on being pointed out like a bloody nose, or how every time it snows there is always someone around to say, “It’s snowing.” But the obvious isn’t showing off, it’s only reminding us that time passes, and that somewhere along the way we grow up. Not perfect, but up and out. It teaches us something about time, that we are all ticking and tocking, walking the fine line between days and weeks, as if each second speaks of years, and each month has years listening to forever but never hearing anything beyond centuries swallowed up by millenniums, as if time was calculating the sums needed to fill the empty belly of eternity. We so seldom understand each other. But if understanding is neither here nor there, and the universe is infinite, then understand that no matter where we go, we will always be smack dab in the middle of nowhere. All we can do is share some piece of ourselves and hope that it’s remembered. Hope that we meant something to someone. My chest is a cannon that I have used to take aim and shoot my heart upon this world. I love the way an uncurled fist becomes a hand again, because when I take notes, I need it to underline the important parts of you: happy, sad, lovely. Battle cry ballistic like a disaster or a lipstick earthquaking and taking out the monuments of all my hollow yesterdays. We’ll always have the obvious. It reminds us who, and where we are, it lives like a heart shape, like a jar that we hand to others and ask, “Can you open this for me?” We always get the same answer: “Not without breaking it.” More often than sometimes, I say go for it.
Shane L. Koyczan (Remembrance Year)
Dogs can never speak the language of humans, and humans can never speak the language of dogs. But many dogs can understand almost every word humans say, while humans seldom learn to recognize more than half a dozen barks, if that. And barks are only a small part of the dog language. A wagging tail can mean so many things. Humans know that it means a dog is pleased, but not what a dog is saying about his pleasedness. (Really, it is very clever of humans to understand a wagging tail at all, as they have no tails of their own.) Then there are the snufflings and sniffings, the pricking of ears—all meaning different things. And many, many words are expressed by a dog’s eyes.
Dodie Smith (The 101 Dalmatians)
They loved her because she was an independent spirit, unafraid to speak her mind, passionate, impetuous, and brave. Seldom lauded for her beauty, Mary Ryan had something else to offer, something women could grab ahold of and understand. She had a powerful sense of self, and this proved more magnetic and more relatable than any other single quality.
Kate Mulgrew (Born with Teeth)
But William Stoner knew of the world in a way that few of his younger colleagues could understand. Deep in him, beneath his memory, was the knowledge of hardship and hunger and endurance and pain. Though he seldom thought of his early years on the Booneville farm, there was always near his consciousness the blood knowledge of his inheritance, given him by forefathers whose lives were obscure and hard and stoical and whose common ethic was to present to an oppressive world face that were expressionless and hard and bleak.
John Williams (Stoner)
Very few women understand how great is the hunger in a man to be near femininity...(b)ut if a woman wishes to give a most precious gift to a man, if she would truly feed this masculine hunger (a hunger that he will seldom show but that is always there), she will be very, very feminine when her man is in a mood, so he can get his bearings and be a man again.
Robert A. Johnson (She: Understanding Feminine Psychology)
God seldom gives us all we need in order to understand, but He always gives us all we need to obey.
Wayne Stiles (Going Places With God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible)
Understanding how or why is seldom as useful as understanding that things are.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Assassin (The Fitz and the Fool, #1))
My Dearest, Can you forgive me? In a world that I seldom understand, there are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them. Sometimes they gust with the fury of a hurricane, sometimes they barely fan one’s cheek. But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore. You, my darling, are the wind that I did not anticipate, the wind that has gusted more strongly than I ever imagined possible. You are my destiny. I was wrong, so wrong, to ignore what was obvious, and I beg your forgiveness. Like a cautious traveler, I tried to protect myself from the wind and lost my soul instead. I was a fool to ignore my destiny, but even fools have feelings, and I’ve come to realize that you are the most important thing that I have in this world. I know I am not perfect. I’ve made more mistakes in the past few months than some make in a lifetime. I was wrong to deny what was obvious in my heart: that I can’t go on without you. You were right about everything. I tried to deny the things you were saying, even though I knew they were true. Like one who gazes only backward on a trip across the country, I ignored what lay ahead. I missed the beauty of a coming sunrise, the wonder of anticipation that makes life worthwhile. It was wrong of me to do that, a product of my confusion, and I wish I had come to understand that sooner. Now, though, with my gaze fixed toward the future, I see your face and hear your voice, certain that this is the path I must follow. It is my deepest wish that you give me one more chance. For the first few days after you left, I wanted to believe that I could go on as I always had. But I couldn’t. I knew in my heart that my life would never be the same again. I wanted you back, more than I imagined possible, yet whenever I conjured you up, I kept hearing your words in our last conversation. No matter how much I loved you, I knew it wasn’t going to be possible unless we—both of us—were sure I would devote myself fully to the path that lay ahead. I continued to be troubled by these thoughts until late last night when the answer finally came to me. Oh, I am sorry, so very sorry, that I ever hurt you. Maybe I’m too late now. I don’t know. I love you and always will. I am tired of being alone. I see children crying and laughing as they play in the sand, and I realize I want to have children with you. I am sick and sad without you. As I sit here in the kitchen, I am praying that you will let me come back to you, this time forever.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
The sensing person has faith in the actual, the intuitive in the possible. As each concentrates accordingly, they seldom look at anything from the same angle. The difference in viewpoint becomes acute, often exasperating, when the person with sensing has authority over the intuitive and the intuitive comes up with a blazing idea. The intuitive tends to present the idea in rough form—suitable for another intuitive—and expects the sensing listener to concentrate on the main point and ignore the sketchy details. The sensing person’s natural reaction is to concentrate on what is missing, decide that the idea cannot work (and of course it cannot in that form), and flatly turn it down. One idea is wasted, one intuitive is frustrated, and one sensing executive has to deal with a resentful subordinate.
Isabel Briggs Myers (Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type)
This is a story about understanding overcoming compulsion, love overcoming revulsion; and oneness overcoming abuse. About the rare sort of kind-geniality, and brave-morality; which we all possess but seldom use. A story about detractors who will be defeated, challenges which will be completed; and principles which will be proclaimed. About acts of persecution, and threats of execution; which will all be constrained. This is the beginning of Alfred Freeman's story, the beginning of a life full of glory; and the beginning of Alfred himself. Because Alfred is being born, in his human form; with peaceful-eyes and perfect-health.
Joss Sheldon ('Involution & Evolution': A rhyming anti-war novel)
A scientist strives to understand the work of Nature. But with our insufficient talents as scientists, we do not hit upon the truth all at once. We must content ourselves with tracking it down, enveloped in considerable darkness, which leads us to make new mistakes and errors. By diligent examination, we may at length little by little peel off the thickest layers, but we seldom get the core quite free, so that finally we have to be satisfied with a little incomplete knowledge.
Torbern Olof Bergman
African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino Americans were second-class-status Americans. They were seldom welcomed and were told to stay in their place and not allowed into the mainstream culture of the privileged even when fully acculturated.
Derald Wing Sue (Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race)
Some who are fortunate enough to have communities still do fight to keep them, but they have seldom prevailed. While people possess a community, they usually understand that they can't afford to lose it; but after it is lost, gradually even the memory of what was lost is lost.
Jane Jacobs (Dark Age Ahead)
students need only two well-taught courses—How to Value a Business, and How to Think About Market Prices. Your goal as an investor should simply be to purchase, at a rational price, a part interest in an easily-understandable business whose earnings are virtually certain to be materially higher five, ten and twenty years from now. Over time, you will find only a few companies that meet these standards—so when you see one that qualifies, you should buy a meaningful amount of stock. You must also resist the temptation to stray from your guidelines: If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes. Put together a portfolio of companies whose aggregate earnings march upward over the years, and so also will the portfolio’s market value. Though it’s seldom recognized, this is the exact approach
Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders)
If, by the virtue of charity or the funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts. You will find out that once MA’s Department of Social Services has taken a mother’s children away for any period of time, they can always take them away again, D.S.S ., like at will, empowered by nothing more than a certain signature-stamped form. I.e. once deemed Unfit— no matter why or when, or what’s transpired in the meantime— there’s nothing a mother can do.(...)That a little-mentioned paradox of Substance addiction is: that once you are sufficiently enslaved by a Substance to need to quit the Substance in order to save your life, the enslaving Substance has become so deeply important to you that you will all but lose your mind when it is taken away from you. Or that sometime after your Substance of choice has just been taken away from you in order to save your life, as you hunker down for required A.M. and P.M. prayers , you will find yourself beginning to pray to be allowed literally to lose your mind, to be able to wrap your mind in an old newspaper or something and leave it in an alley to shift for itself, without you.(...)That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. Then that most nonaddicted adult civilians have already absorbed and accepted this fact, often rather early on.(...)That evil people never believe they are evil, but rather that everyone else is evil. That it is possible to learn valuable things from a stupid person. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds.(...)That it is statistically easier for low-IQ people to kick an addiction than it is for high-IQ people.(...)That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.(...)That most Substance -addicted people are also addicted to thinking, meaning they have a compulsive and unhealthy relationship with their own thinking. That the cute Boston AA term for addictive -type thinking is: Analysis-Paralysis. That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good.(...)That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid.(...)That certain sincerely devout and spiritually advanced people believe that the God of their understanding helps them find parking places and gives them advice on Mass. Lottery numbers.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
If Americans had to discriminate directly against other people’s children, I believe most citizens would find this morally abhorrent. Denial, in an active sense, of other people’s children is, however, rarely necessary in this nation. Inequality is mediated for us by a taxing system that most people do not fully understand and seldom scrutinize.
Jonathan Kozol (Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools)
We have allowed ourselves very little space for not-knowing. Very seldom do we have the wisdom not-to-know, to lay the mind open to deeper understanding. When confusion occurs in the mind, we identify with it and say we are confused…Confusion arises because we fight against our not-knowing, which experiences each moment afresh without preconceptions or expectations.
Stephen Levine
Those people who prefer intuition are so engrossed in pursuing the possibilities it presents that they seldom look very intently at the actualities. For instance, readers who prefer sensing will tend to confine their attention to what is said here on the page. Readers who prefer intuition are likely to read between and beyond the lines to the possibilities that come to mind.
Isabel Briggs Myers (Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type)
As the years go by, he returns to this invisible world rather than to earth for peace and solace. There also he finds a profound enchantment, although he can seldom describe it. He can discuss it with others of his kind, and because they too know and feel its power they understand. But his attempts to communicate his feelings to his wife or other earthly confidants invariably end in failure. Flying is hypnotic and all pilots are willing victims to the spell. Their world is like a magic island in which the factors of life and death assume their proper values. Thinking becomes clear because there are no earthly foibles or embellishments to confuse it. Professional pilots are, of necessity, uncomplicated, simple men. Their thinking must remain straightforward, or they die—violently.
Ernest K. Gann (Island in the Sky)
The personality is seldom, in the beginning, what it will be later on. For this reason the possibility of enlarging it exists, at least during the first half of life. The enlargement may be effected through an accretion from without, by new vital contents finding their way into the personality from outside and being assimilated. In this way a considerable increase of personality may be experienced. We therefore tend to assume that this increase comes only from without, thus justifying the prejudice that one becomes a personality by stuffing into oneself as much as possible from outside. But the more assiduously we follow this recipe, and the more stubbornly we believe that all increase has to come from without, the greater becomes our inner poverty. Therefore, if some great idea takes hold of us from outside, we must understand that it takes hold of us only because something in us responds to it and goes out to meet it. Richness of mind consists in mental receptivity, not in the accumulation of possessions. What comes to us from outside, and, for that matter, everything that rises up from within, can only be made our own if we are capable of an inner amplitude equal to that of the incoming content. Real increase of personality means consciousness of an enlargement that flows from inner sources. Without psychic depth we can never be adequately related to the magnitude of our object. It has therefore been said quite truly that a man grows with the greatness of his task. But he must have within himself the capacity to grow; otherwise even the most difficult task is of no benefit to him. More likely he will be shattered by it…
C.G. Jung
It isn’t surprising if, as adults, when we first start to form relationships, we should devotedly go off in search of someone who can give us the all-encompassing, selfless love that we may once have known in childhood. Nor would it be surprising if we were to feel frustrated and in the end extremely bitter at how difficult it seems to be to find; at how seldom people understand what we need or care to help us properly.
Alain de Botton (The Course of Love)
We look at other people's lives, & we see what looks like a beautiful, adventurous, wonderful or tragic life. But so seldom do we see or even understand that what we see isn't their lives. Especially nowadays with news feeds, & statuses, we see only the surface, with not hint at the inner workings. To me, it's like a movie. We see the culmination of ones efforts, work, hardships, difficulties, progress, & pains. On a big screen that is life, but so rare & seldom, do we every acknowledge nor see the directorial point of view. The metaphorical behind the screens. So while we view others lives with a romantic envy, sweet longing, disheartened sympathy, or joyous reverence. We are so oblivious to the fact that their lives take the same trials, hardships, wonders, difficulties, & joys as we, it's merely manifested in a different on screen production. My longing, is to see that which is off screen. The inner workings, mundane & trivial, as well as the intense & breathtaking because without it, the picture it culminated in would not be. If we only take things at face value, we'll miss the wonders of the inner working. That which lies beyond sight, hidden away within. While it is what appears without that we all see, that which lies within makes what we see make sense. And it's in understanding someone's life & situation, that you can come to value their life & them.
Trevor Driggers
In summary, the typical educated Roman of this age was orderly, conservative, loyal, sober, reverent, tenacious, severe, practical. He enjoyed discipline, and would have no nonsense about liberty. He obeyed as a training for command. He took it for granted that the government had a right to inquire into his morals as well as his income, and to value him purely according to his services to the state. He distrusted individuality and genius. He had none of the charm, vivacity, and unstable fluency of the Attic Greek. He admired character and will as the Greek admired freedom and intellect; and organization was his forte. He lacked imagination, even to make a mythology of his own. He could with some effort love beauty, but he could seldom create it. He had no use for pure science, and was suspicious of philosophy as a devilish dissolvent of ancient beliefs and ways. He could not, for the life of him, understand Plato, or Archimedes, or Christ. He could only rule the world.
Will Durant (Caesar and Christ (Story of Civilization, #3))
Eloquence, when at its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection; but addressing itself entirely to the fancy or the affections, captivates the willing hearers, and subdues their understanding. Happily, this pitch it seldom attains. But what a Tully or a Demosthenes could scarcely effect over a Roman or Athenian audience, every Capuchin, every itinerant or stationary teacher can perform over the generality of mankind, and in a higher degree, by touching such gross and vulgar passions.
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever)
The talk of sin is of course to many a big turn-off; to others, an even bigger myth - because in reality, sin is like the spiritual equivalent of a microscopic parasite, or a virus, or better yet even, an infectious disease. And just as one might never know of, until visiting a competent doctor, the tiny pathogens progressively eroding one's body, so we might never know that in sin we are eroding our being and losing direction until hearing the Word of God rightfully applied. Therefore I ask, which of the doctors would then be the more competent: the one who finds the problem and gives the solution, or the one who willfully ignores the problem (or rather finds the problem when it is much too late)? Seldom does anyone write off the knowledge of medicine for the physical body as primitive practice, so neither must the knowledge of the Word of God for one's spiritual well-being remain written off as primitive practice - quite the opposite really. As it is written thus: 'Lean not on your own understanding.
Criss Jami (Healology)
There is a deeper reason why the café was so precious to this town. And this deeper reason has to do with a certain pride that had not hitherto been known in these parts. To understand this new pride the cheapness of human life must be kept in mind. There were always plenty of people clustered around a mill – but it was seldom that every family had enough meal, garments, and fat back to go the rounds. Life could become one long dim scramble just to get the things needed to keep alive. And the confusing point is this: All useful things have a price, and are bought only with money, as that is the way the world is run. You know without having to reason about it the price of a bale of cotton, or a quart of molasses. But no value has been put on human life; it is given to us free and taken without being paid for. What is it worth? If you look around, at times the value may seem to be little or nothing at all. Often after you have sweated and tried and things are not better for you, there comes a feeling deep down in the soul that you are not worth much.
Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories)
Both defenders and opponents of the Inquisition have often accepted without question the image of an omniscient, omnipotent tribunal whose fingers reached into every corner of the land. The extravagant rhetoric on both sides has been one of the major obstacles to understanding. For the Inquisition to have been as powerful as suggested, the fifty or so inquisitors in Spain would need to have had an extensive bureaucracy, a reliable system of informers, regular income and the cooperation of the secular and ecclesiastical authorities. Seldom if ever did they have any of these.
Henry Kamen (The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision)
How is he made? Oftentimes bitter, sometimes sweet, seldom even wide-awake, architectural criticism of "the modern" wholly lacks inspiration or any qualification because it lacks the appreciation that is love: the flame essential to profound understanding. Only as criticism is the fruit of such experience will it ever be able truly to appraise anything. Else the spirit of true criteria is lacking. That spirit is love and love alone can understand. So art criticism is usually sour and superficial today because it would seem to know all about everything but understand nothing. Usually the public prints afford no more than a kind of irresponsible journalese wholly dependent upon some form of comparison, commercialization or pseudo-personal opinion made public. Critics may have minds of their own, but what chance have they to use them when experience in creating the art they write about is rarely theirs? So whatever they may happen to learn, and you learn from them, is very likely to put over on both of you as it was put over on them. Truth is seldom in the critic; and either good or bad, what comes from him is seldom his. Current criticism is something to take always on suspicion, if taken at all.
Frank Lloyd Wright (A Testament)
There is a principle to be learned by studying the biological origins of moral reasoning. It is that outside the clearest ethical precepts, such as the condemnation of slavery, child abuse, and genocide, which all will agree should be opposed everywhere without exception, there is a larger gray domain inherently difficult to navigate. The declaration of ethical precepts and judgments made from them requires a full understanding of why we care about the matter one way or the other, and that includes the biological history of the emotions engaged. This inquiry has not been done. In fact, it is seldom even imagined. With deepened self-understanding, how will we feel about morality and honor? I have no doubt that in many cases, perhaps the great majority, the precepts shared by most societies today will stand the test of biology-based realism. Others, such as the ban on artificial conception, condemnation of homosexual preference and forced marriages of adolescent girls, will not. Whatever the outcome, it seems clear that ethical philosophy will benefit from a reconstruction of its precepts based on both science and culture. If such greater understanding amounts to the “moral relativism” so fervently despised by the doctrinally righteous, so be it.
Edward O. Wilson (The Social Conquest of Earth)
We seldom stop to think—and we certainly should do so more often—that in taking the words of our sages as a description of mere fact, we may miss the deeper meanings which they meant to convey. As a rule, aggadah should not be taken literally; rather, it must be interpreted with the understanding that a higher truth is being alluded to—a truth that is beyond historical perspective, philological expression, or the dimensions of scientific observations. Agaddah speaks to that part of us that understands but cannot articulate what it understands. It allows us to go beyond the realms of the definable, perceivable, and demonstrable. In this sense, aggadah is a form of religious metaphor, a mirror that enables us to form mental images of the indescribable.
Nathan Lopes Cardozo (Foreword to A Damaged Mirror: A story of memory and redemption: Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo discusses prophecy and memory)
and confused if someone does not appreciate their niceness. Others often sense this and avoid giving them feedback not only, effectively blocking the nice person’s emotional growth, but preventing risks from being taken. You never know with a nice person if the relationship would survive a conflict or angry confrontation. This greatly limits the depths of intimacy. And would you really trust a nice person to back you up if confrontation were needed? 3. With nice people you never know where you really stand. The nice person allows others to accidentally oppress him. The “nice” person might be resenting you just for talking to him, because really he is needing to pee. But instead of saying so he stands there nodding and smiling, with legs tightly crossed, pretending to listen. 4. Often people in relationship with nice people turn their irritation toward themselves, because they are puzzled as to how they could be so upset with someone so nice. In intimate relationships this leads to guilt, self-hate and depression. 5. Nice people frequently keep all their anger inside until they find a safe place to dump it. This might be by screaming at a child, blowing up a federal building, or hitting a helpless, dependent mate. (Timothy McVeigh, executed for the Oklahoma City bombing, was described by acquaintances as a very, very nice guy, one who would give you the shirt off his back.) Success in keeping the anger in will often manifest as psychosomatic illnesses, including arthritis, ulcers, back problems, and heart disease. Proper Peachy Parents In my work as a psychotherapist, I have found that those who had peachy keen “Nice Parents” or proper “Rigidly Religious Parents” (as opposed to spiritual parents), are often the most stuck in chronic, lowgrade depression. They have a difficult time accessing or expressing any negative feelings towards their parents. They sometimes say to me “After all my parents did for me, seldom saying a harsh word to me, I would feel terribly guilty complaining. Besides, it would break their hearts.” Psychologist Rollo May suggested that it is less crazy-making to a child to cope with overt withdrawal or harshness than to try to understand the facade of the always-nice parent. When everyone agrees that your parents are so nice and giving, and you still feel dissatisfied, then a child may conclude that there must be something wrong with his or her ability to receive love. -§ Emotionally starving children are easier to control, well fed children don’t need to be. -§ I remember a family of fundamentalists who came to my office to help little Matthew with his anger problem. The parents wanted me to teach little Matthew how to “express his anger nicely.” Now if that is not a formula making someone crazy I do not know what would be. Another woman told me that after her stinking drunk husband tore the house up after a Christmas party, breaking most of the dishes in the kitchen, she meekly told him, “Dear, I think you need a breath mint.” Many families I work with go through great anxiety around the holidays because they are going to be forced to be with each other and are scared of resuming their covert war. They are scared that they might not keep the nice garbage can lid on, and all the rotting resentments and hopeless hurts will be exposed. In the words to the following song, artist David Wilcox explains to his parents why he will not be coming home this Thanksgiving: Covert War by David Wilcox
Kelly Bryson (Don't Be Nice, Be Real)
It follows that a tender heart that reaches for love and understanding is often the easiest to break. Hearts that are open and trusting are usually the ones that are wounded the most. This world is filed with men and woman who have rejected the love offered to them from a heart that is gentle and tender. Those strong, hard-shelled hearts that trust no one, hearts that give so little, hearts that demand love be constantly proved, hearts that are always calculating hearts that are always manipulating and self-serving, hearts that are afraid to risk are the ones that seldom get broken. They don't get wounded, because there is nothing to wound. They are too proud and self-centered to allow anyone else to make them suffer in any way. They go about breaking other hearts and trampling on the fragile souls who touch their lives, simply because they are so thick and dull at heart themselves, and they think everyone should be just as they are.
David Wilkerson
But what about women who have contributed directly to culture? There aren't many. And in those cases where individual women have participated in male culture, they have had to do so on male terms. And it shows. Because they have had to compete as men, in a male game - while still be pressured to prove themselves in the old female roles, a role at odds with their self-appointed ambitions - it is not surprising that they are seldom as skilled as men at the game of culture. Women have no means of coming to an understanding of what their experience is, or even that it is different from male experience. The tool for representing, for objectifying one's experience in order to deal with it, culture, is so saturated with male bias that women almost never have a chance to see themselves culturally through their own eyes. So that finally, signals from their direct experience that conflict with the prevailing (male) culture are denied and repressed.
Shulamith Firestone (The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution)
He cannot understand what a liar means, or he would know that he is one himself." "A man seldom has such knowledge as that." "Is it not so when he stigmatizes me in this way merely as an excuse to himself? He wants to be rid of me,—probably because I did not sit and hear him read the sermons. Let that pass. I may have been wrong in that, and he may be justified; but because of that he cannot believe really that I have been a liar,—a liar in such a determined way as to make me unfit to be his heir." "He is a fool, Harry! That is the worst of him." "I don't think it is the worst." "You cannot have worse. It is dreadful to have to depend on a fool,—to have to trust to a man who cannot tell wrong from right. Your uncle intends to be a good man. If it were brought home to him that he were doing a wrong he would not do it. He would not rob; he would not steal; he must not commit murder, and the rest of it. But he is a fool, and he does not know when he is doing these things.
Anthony Trollope (Mr Scarborough's Family)
[M]rs. Miniver was beginning to feel more than a little weary of exchanging ideas (especially political ones) and of hearing other people exchange theirs. It's all very well, she reflected, when the ideas have had time to flower, or at least to bud, so that we can pick them judiciously, present them with a bow, and watch them unfold in the warmth of each other's understanding: but there is far too much nowadays of pulling up the wretched little things just to see how they are growing. Half the verbal sprigs we hand each other are nothing but up-ended rootlets, earthy and immature: left longer in the ground they might have come to something, but once they are exposed we seldom manage to replant them. It is largely the fault, no doubt, of the times we live in. Things happen too quickly, crisis follows crisis, the soil of our minds is perpetually disturbed. Each of us, to relieve his feels, broadcasts his own running commentary on the preposterous and bewildering events of the hour: and this, nowadays, is what passes for conversation.
Jan Struther (Mrs. Miniver)
The lives of scientists, considered as Lives, almost always make dull reading. For one thing, the careers of the famous and the merely ordinary fall into much the same pattern, give or take an honorary degree or two, or (in European countries) an honorific order. It could be hardly otherwise. Academics can only seldom lead lives that are spacious or exciting in a worldly sense. They need laboratories or libraries and the company of other academics. Their work is in no way made deeper or more cogent by privation, distress or worldly buffetings. Their private lives may be unhappy, strangely mixed up or comic, but not in ways that tell us anything special about the nature or direction of their work. Academics lie outside the devastation area of the literary convention according to which the lives of artists and men of letters are intrinsically interesting, a source of cultural insight in themselves. If a scientist were to cut his ear off, no one would take it as evidence of a heightened sensibility; if a historian were to fail (as Ruskin did) to consummate his marriage, we should not suppose that our understanding of historical scholarship had somehow been enriched.
Peter Medawar
I don’t understand,” she said at last. She understood very well, but she no longer wished to be absolutely truthful. “How are you going to stop him talking about it?” “I have a feeling that talk is a thing he will never do.” “I, too, intend to judge him charitably. But unfortunately I have met the type before. They seldom keep their exploits to themselves.” “Exploits?” cried Lucy, wincing under the horrible plural. “My poor dear, did you suppose that this was his first? Come here and listen to me. I am only gathering it from his own remarks. Do you remember that day at lunch when he argued with Miss Alan that liking one person is an extra reason for liking another?” “Yes,” said Lucy, whom at the time the argument had pleased. “Well, I am no prude. There is no need to call him a wicked young man, but obviously he is thoroughly unrefined. Let us put it down to his deplorable antecedents and education, if you wish. But we are no farther on with our question. What do you propose to do?” An idea rushed across Lucy’s brain, which, had she thought of it sooner and made it part of her, might have proved victorious. “I propose to speak to him,” said she. Miss Bartlett uttered a cry of genuine alarm.
E.M. Forster (A Room with a View)
Life is seldom simple. Growth in God’s grace is a process and not an event. Tough things are not going to turn around overnight because you have entrusted them to the Lord. The Bible is honest in its description of how grave and comprehensive our war with sin is. Individuals, friendships, churches, marriages, and neighborhoods don’t turn around in a moment. The Bible describes the Christian life as a journey that often takes us through the wilderness. You will get tired and confused. You will have moments when you wonder where God is. You will struggle to see God’s promises at work in your life. You will feel that following God has brought you more suffering than blessing. You will go through moments when it seems as if the principles of Scripture don’t work. It will sometimes seem as if the wrong side wins. There will be moments when you feel alone and misunderstood. There will be times when you feel like quitting. This passage is meant to encourage you to be full of hope in the midst of things you don’t fully understand. You don’t have to figure everything out. You do need to know and trust the One who does understand, and who knows exactly what he is doing. Do you look at your life as Paul looked at the
Timothy S. Lane (How People Change)
In short, there is still life in the tradition which the Middle Ages inaugurated. But the maintenance of that life depends, in part, on knowing that the knightly character is art not nature—something that needs to be achieved, not something that can be relied upon to happen. And this knowledge is specially necessary as we grow more democratic. In previous centuries the vestiges of chivalry were kept alive by a specialized class, from whom they spread to other classes partly by imitation and partly by coercion. Now, it seems, the people must either be chivalrous on its own resources, or else choose between the two remaining alternatives of brutality and softness. This is, indeed, part of the general problem of a classless society, which is too seldom mentioned. Will its ethos be a synthesis of what was best in all the classes, or a mere “pool” with the sediment of all and the virtues of none? But that is too large a subject for the fag-end of an article. My theme is chivalry. I have tried to show that this old tradition is practical and vital. The ideal embodied in Launcelot is “escapism” in a sense never dreamed of by those who use that word; it offers the only possible escape from a world divided between wolves who do not understand, and sheep who cannot defend, the things which make life desirable. There was, to be sure, a rumour in the last century that wolves would gradually become extinct by some natural process; but this seems to have been an exaggeration.
C.S. Lewis (Present Concerns)
Let us begin, then, with the mad-house; from this evil and fantastic inn let us set forth on our intellectual journey. Now, if we are to glance at the philosophy of sanity, the first thing to do in the matter is to blot out one big and common mistake. There is a notion adrift everywhere that imagination, especially mystical imagination, is dangerous to man’s mental balance. Poets are commonly spoken of as psychologically unreliable; and generally there is a vague association between wreathing laurels in your hair and sticking straws in it. Facts and history utterly contradict this view. Most of the very great poets have been not only sane, but extremely business-like; and if Shakespeare ever really held horses, it was because he was much the safest man to hold them. Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination. Artistic paternity is as wholesome as physical paternity. Moreover, it is worthy of remark that when a poet really was morbid it was commonly because he had some weak spot of rationality on his brain. Poe, for instance, really was morbid; not because he was poetical, but because he was specially analytical. Even chess was too poetical for him; he disliked chess because it was full of knights and castles, like a poem. He avowedly preferred the black discs of draughts, because they were more like the mere black dots on a diagram. Perhaps the strongest case of all is this: that only one great English poet went mad, Cowper. And he was definitely driven mad by logic, by the ugly and alien logic of predestination. Poetry was not the disease, but the medicine; poetry partly kept him in health. He could sometimes forget the red and thirsty hell to which his hideous necessitarianism dragged him among the wide waters and the white flat lilies of the Ouse. He was damned by John Calvin; he was almost saved by John Gilpin. Everywhere we see that men do not go mad by dreaming. Critics are much madder than poets. Homer is complete and calm enough; it is his critics who tear him into extravagant tatters. Shakespeare is quite himself; it is only some of his critics who have discovered that he was somebody else. And though St. John the Evangelist saw many strange monsters in his vision, he saw no creature so wild as one of his own commentators. The general fact is simple. Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion, like the physical exhaustion of Mr. Holbein. To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.
G.K. Chesterton (The G.K. Chesterton Collection [34 Books])
Interactions with the world program our physiological and psychological development. Emotional contact is as important as physical contact. The two are quite analogous, as we recognize when we speak of the emotional experience of feeling touched. Our sensory organs and brains provide the interface through which relationships shape our evolution from infancy to adulthood. Social-emotional interactions decisively influence the development of the human brain. From the moment of birth, they regulate the tone, activity and development of the psychoneuroimmunoendocrine (PNI) super-system. Our characteristic modes of handling psychic and physical stress are set in our earliest years. Neuroscientists at Harvard University studied the cortisol levels of orphans who were raised in the dreadfully neglected child-care institutions established in Romania during the Ceausescu regime. In these facilities the caregiver/child ratio was one to twenty. Except for the rudiments of care, the children were seldom physically picked up or touched. They displayed the self-hugging motions and depressed demeanour typical of abandoned young, human or primate. On saliva tests, their cortisol levels were abnormal, indicating that their hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axes were already impaired. As we have seen, disruptions of the HPA axis have been noted in autoimmune disease, cancer and other conditions. It is intuitively easy to understand why abuse, trauma or extreme neglect in childhood would have negative consequences. But why do many people develop stress-related illness without having been abused or traumatized? These persons suffer not because something negative was inflicted on them but because something positive was withheld.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother, her own person and disposition, were all equally against her. Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was Richard — and he had never been handsome. He had a considerable independence besides two good livings — and he was not in the least addicted to locking up his daughters. Her mother was a woman of useful plain sense, with a good temper, and, what is more remarkable, with a good constitution. She had three sons before Catherine was born; and instead of dying in bringing the latter into the world, as anybody might expect, she still lived on — lived to have six children more — to see them growing up around her, and to enjoy excellent health herself. A family of ten children will be always called a fine family, where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the number; but the Morlands had little other right to the word, for they were in general very plain, and Catherine, for many years of her life, as plain as any. She had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features — so much for her person; and not less unpropitious for heroism seemed her mind. She was fond of all boy's plays, and greatly preferred cricket not merely to dolls, but to the more heroic enjoyments of infancy, nursing a dormouse, feeding a canary-bird, or watering a rose-bush. Indeed she had no taste for a garden; and if she gathered flowers at all, it was chiefly for the pleasure of mischief — at least so it was conjectured from her always preferring those which she was forbidden to take. Such were her propensities — her abilities were quite as extraordinary. She never could learn or understand anything before she was taught; and sometimes not even then, for she was often inattentive, and occasionally stupid. Her mother was three months in teaching her only to repeat the "Beggar's Petition"; and after all, her next sister, Sally, could say it better than she did. Not that Catherine was always stupid — by no means; she learnt the fable of "The Hare and Many Friends" as quickly as any girl in England. Her mother wished her to learn music; and Catherine was sure she should like it, for she was very fond of tinkling the keys of the old forlorn spinner; so, at eight years old she began. She learnt a year, and could not bear it; and Mrs. Morland, who did not insist on her daughters being accomplished in spite of incapacity or distaste, allowed her to leave off. The day which dismissed the music-master was one of the happiest of Catherine's life. Her taste for drawing was not superior; though whenever she could obtain the outside of a letter from her mother or seize upon any other odd piece of paper, she did what she could in that way, by drawing houses and trees, hens and chickens, all very much like one another. Writing and accounts she was taught by her father; French by her mother: her proficiency in either was not remarkable, and she shirked her lessons in both whenever she could. What a strange, unaccountable character! — for with all these symptoms of profligacy at ten years old, she had neither a bad heart nor a bad temper, was seldom stubborn, scarcely ever quarrelsome, and very kind to the little ones, with few interruptions of tyranny; she was moreover noisy and wild, hated confinement and cleanliness, and loved nothing so well in the world as rolling down the green slope at the back of the house.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
If you talk to these extraordinary people, you find that they all understand this at one level or another. They may be unfamiliar with the concept of cognitive adaptability, but they seldom buy into the idea that they have reached the peak of their fields because they were the lucky winners of some genetic lottery. They know what is required to develop the extraordinary skills that they possess because they have experienced it firsthand. One of my favorite testimonies on this topic came from Ray Allen, a ten-time All-Star in the National Basketball Association and the greatest three-point shooter in the history of that league. Some years back, ESPN columnist Jackie MacMullan wrote an article about Allen as he was approaching his record for most three-point shots made. In talking with Allen for that story, MacMullan mentioned that another basketball commentator had said that Allen was born with a shooting touch—in other words, an innate gift for three-pointers. Allen did not agree. “I’ve argued this with a lot of people in my life,” he told MacMullan. “When people say God blessed me with a beautiful jump shot, it really pisses me off. I tell those people, ‘Don’t undermine the work I’ve put in every day.’ Not some days. Every day. Ask anyone who has been on a team with me who shoots the most. Go back to Seattle and Milwaukee, and ask them. The answer is me.” And, indeed, as MacMullan noted, if you talk to Allen’s high school basketball coach you will find that Allen’s jump shot was not noticeably better than his teammates’ jump shots back then; in fact, it was poor. But Allen took control, and over time, with hard work and dedication, he transformed his jump shot into one so graceful and natural that people assumed he was born with it. He took advantage of his gift—his real gift.   ABOUT
K. Anders Ericsson (Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise)
He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. The person who really wants to do something finds a way; the other person finds an excuse. If you strip away all the excuses we dish up to God day after day, you’ll find they all come down to this: laziness. If you’re serious about making your one-on-one time with God a priority, you’ve got to be willing to tackle that ugly D word: discipline. Discipline is an integral part of being committed to some form of daily, routine encounter with God. Will you willingly ignore His invitation, throwing your alarm clock across the room, opting for more sleep? Will your good intentions get lost in a flurry of other important tasks? Or will you plan ahead, making sure you don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime — make that eternity — and give your appointed time with your Heavenly Father the priority it deserves? Do you sincerely desire a personal, intimate relationship with your Lord?When we say we love God, yet make no time for Him in our lives, well—what kind of love is that? I ask myself if there’s anything more important than spending a few moments with my Jesus. The answer is always the same: nothing. Nothing is more important. I’m responsible for my own spiritual growth. Tragedy will always be a part of life on earth. We may not understand why God allows such things to happen. But we have a choice. Either we can turn our backs on God, even blame Him for these unspeakable heartaches, or we can hold on. We can refuse to let go, even against all odds. Even when our faith is tested beyond our human abilities. Even when nothing makes sense any more. We can hold on because God is our only hope. To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” What will it take for you to go deep with God? All those silly excuses aside, what’s stopping you?
Diane Moody (Confessions of a Prayer Slacker)
Treating Abuse Today 3(4) pp. 26-33 TAT: I see the agenda. But let's go back: one of the contentions the therapeutic community has about the Foundation's professed scientific credibility is your use of the term "syndrome." It seems to us that what's happening here is that based solely on anecdotal, unverified reports, the Foundation has started a public relations campaign rather than a bonafide research effort and simply announced to the world that an epidemic of this syndrome exists. The established scientific and clinical organizations are taking you on about this and it's that kind of thing that makes us feel like this effort is not really based on science. Do you have a response to that? Freyd: The response I would make regarding the name of the Foundation is that it will certainly be one of the issues brought up during our scientific meeting this weekend. But let me add that the term, "syndrome," in terms of it being a psychological syndrome, parallels, say, the rape trauma syndrome. Given that and the fact that there are seldom complaints over the use of the term "syndrome" for that, I think that it isn't "syndrome" that's bothering people as much as the term "false." TAT: No. Frankly it's not. It is the term "syndrome." The term false memory is almost 100 years old. It's nothing new, but false memory syndrome is newly coined. Here's our issue with your use of the word "syndrome." The rape trauma syndrome is a good example because it has a very well defined list of signs and symptoms. Having read your literature, we are still at a loss to know what the signs and symptoms of "false memory syndrome" are. Can you tell us succinctly? Freyd: The person with whom I would like to have you discuss that to quote is Dr. Paul McHugh on our advisory board, because he is a clinician. TAT: I would be happy to do that. But if I may, let me take you on a little bit further about this. Freyd: Sure, sure that's fair. TAT: You're the Executive Director of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation - a foundation that says it wants to disseminate scientific information to the community regarding this syndrome but you can't, or won't, give me its signs and symptoms. That is confusing to me. I don't understand why there isn't a list.
David L. Calof
IF, O most illustrious Knight, I had driven a plough, pastured a herd, tended a garden, tailored a garment: none would regard me, few observe me, seldom a one reprove me; and I could easily satisfy all men. But since I would survey the field of Nature, care for the nourishment of the soul, foster the cultivation of talent, become expert as Daedalus concerning the ways of the intellect; lo, one doth threaten upon beholding me, another doth assail me at sight, another doth bite upon reaching me, yet another who hath caught me would devour me; not one, nor few, they are many, indeed almost all. If you would know why, it is because I hate the mob, I loathe the vulgar herd and in the multitude I find no joy. It is Unity that doth enchant me. By her power I am free though thrall, happy in sorrow, rich in poverty, and quick even in death. Through her virtue I envy not those who are bond though free, who grieve in the midst of pleasures, who endure poverty in their wealth, and a living death. They carry their chains within them; their spirit containeth her own hell that bringeth them low; within their soul is the disease that wasteth, and within their mind the lethargy that bringeth death. They are without the generosity that would enfranchise, the long suffering that exalteth, the splendour that doth illumine, knowledge that bestoweth life. Therefore I do not in weariness shun the arduous path, nor idly refrain my arm from the present task, nor retreat in despair from the enemy that confronteth me, nor do I turn my dazzled eyes from the divine end. Yet I am aware that I am mostly held to be a sophist, seeking rather to appear subtle than to reveal the truth; an ambitious fellow diligent rather to support a new and false sect than to establish the ancient and true; a snarer of birds who pursueth the splendour of fame, by spreading ahead the darkness of error; an unquiet spirit that would undermine the edifice of good discipline to establish the frame of perversity. Wherefore, my lord, may the heavenly powers scatter before me all those who unjustly hate me; may my God be ever gracious unto me; may all the rulers of our world be favourable to me; may the stars yield me seed for the field and soil for the seed, that the harvest of my labour may appear to the world useful and glorious, that souls may be awakened and the understanding of those in darkness be illumined. For assuredly I do not feign; and if I err, I do so unwittingly; nor do I in speech or writing contend merely for victory, for I hold worldly repute and hollow success without truth to be hateful to God, most vile and dishonourable. But I thus exhaust, vex and torment myself for love of true wisdom and zeal for true contemplation. This I shall make manifest by conclusive arguments, dependent on lively reasonings derived from regulated sensation, instructed by true phenomena; for these as trustworthy ambassadors emerge from objects of Nature, rendering themselves present to those who seek them, obvious to those who gaze attentively on them, clear to those who apprehend, certain and sure to those who understand. Thus I present to you my contemplation concerning the infinite universe and innumerable worlds.
Giordano Bruno (On the Infinite, the Universe and the Worlds: Five Cosmological Dialogues (Collected Works of Giordano Bruno Book 2))
Dr. Sherman VanMeter has made a career of unpacking the densest areas of scientific endeavor in accessible—if not polite—terms. You’ve written books on everything from astrophysics to zoology. How are you able to achieve expertise in so many disparate fields? There’s a perception that scientific disciplines are separate countries, when in fact science is a universal passport. It’s about exploring and thinking critically, not memorization. A question mark, not a period. Can you give me an example? Sure. Kids learn about the solar system by memorizing the names of planets. That’s a period. It’s also scientifically useless, because names have no value. The question mark would be to say instead, “There are hundreds of thousands of sizable bodies orbiting the sun. Which ones are exceptional? What makes them so? Are there similarities? What do they reveal?” But how do you teach a child to grasp that complexity? You teach them to grasp the style of thinking. There are no answers, only questions that shape your understanding, and which in turn reveal more questions. Sounds more like mysticism than science. How do you draw the line? That’s where the critical thinking comes in. I can see how that applies to the categorization of solar objects. But what about more abstract questions? It works there too. Take love, for example. Artists would tell you that love is a mysterious force. Priests claim it’s a manifestation of the divine. Biochemists, on the other hand, will tell you that love is a feedback loop of dopamine, testosterone, phenylethylamine, norepinephrine, and feel-my-pee-pee. The difference is, we can show our work. So you’re not a romantic, then? We’re who we are as a species because of evolution. And at the essence, evolution is the steady production of increasingly efficient killing machines. Isn’t it more accurate to say “surviving machines”? The two go hand in hand. But the killing is the prime mover; without that, the surviving doesn’t come into play. Kind of a cold way to look at the world, isn’t it? No, it’s actually an optimistic one. There’s a quote I love from the anthropologist Robert Ardrey: “We were born of risen apes, not fallen angels, and the apes were armed killers besides. And so what shall we wonder at? Our murders and massacres and missiles, and our irreconcilable regiments? Or our treaties whatever they may be worth; our symphonies however seldom they may be played; our peaceful acres, however frequently they may be converted to battlefields; our dreams however rarely they may be accomplished. The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk but how magnificently he has risen.” You used that as the epigraph to your new book, God Is an Abnorm. But I noticed you left out the last line, “We are known among the stars by our poems, not our corpses.” Why? That’s where Ardrey’s poetic license gets the better of his science, which is a perilous mistake. We aren’t “known among the stars” at all. The sun isn’t pondering human nature, the galaxy isn’t sitting in judgment. The universe doesn’t care about us. We’ve evolved into what we are because humanity’s current model survived and previous iterations didn’t. Simple as that. Why is a little artistic enthusiasm a perilous mistake? Because artists are more dangerous than murderers. The most prolific serial killer might have dozens of victims, but poets can lay low entire generations.
Marcus Sakey (Written in Fire (Brilliance Saga, #3))
Men are not content with a simple life: they are acquisitive, ambitious, competitive, and jealous; they soon tire of what they have, and pine for what they have not; and they seldom desire anything unless it belongs to others. The result is the encroachment of one group upon the territory of another, the rivalry of groups for the resources of the soil, and then war. Trade and finance develop, and bring new class-divisions. "Any ordinary city is in fact two cities, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich, each at war with the other; and in either division there are smaller ones - you would make a great mistake if you treated them as single states". A mercantile bourgeoisie arises, whose members seek social position through wealth and conspicuous consumption: "they will spend large sums of money on their wives". These changes in the distribution of wealth produce political changes: as the wealth of the merchant over-reaches that of the land-owner, aristocracy gives way to a plutocratic oligarchy - wealthy traders and bankers rule the state. Then statesmanship, which is the coordination of social forces and the adjustment of policy to growth, is replaced by politics, which is the strategy of parts and the lust of the spoils of office. Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principle. Aristocracy ruins itself by limiting too narrowly the circle within which power is confined; oligarchy ruins itself by the incautious scramble for immediate wealth. In rather case the end is revolution. When revolution comes it may seem to arise from little causes and petty whims, but though it may spring from slight occasions it is the precipitate result of grave and accumulated wrongs; when a body is weakened by neglected ills, the merest exposure may bring serious disease. Then democracy comes: the poor overcome their opponents, slaughtering some and banishing the rest; and give to the people an equal share of freedom and power. But even democracy ruins itself by excess – of democracy. Its basic principle is the equal right of all to hold office and determine public policy. This is at first glance a delightful arrangement; it becomes disastrous because the people are not properly equipped by education to select the best rulers and the wisest courses. As to the people they have no understanding, and only repeat what their rulers are pleased to tell them; to get a doctrine accepted or rejected it is only necessary to have it praised or ridiculed in a popular play (a hit, no doubt, at Aristophanes, whose comedies attacked almost every new idea). Mob-rule is a rough sea for the ship of state to ride; every wind of oratory stirs up the waters and deflects the course. The upshot of such a democracy is tyranny or autocracy; the crowd so loves flattery, it is so “hungry for honey” that at last the wiliest and most unscrupulous flatterer, calling himself the “protected of the people” rises to supreme power. (Consider the history of Rome). The more Plato thinks of it, the more astounded he is at the folly of leaving to mob caprice and gullibility the selection of political officials – not to speak of leaving it to those shady and wealth-serving strategists who pull the oligarchic wires behind the democratic stage. Plato complains that whereas in simpler matters – like shoe-making – we think only a specially-trained person will server our purpose, in politics we presume that every one who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state.
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers)
Can you forgive me? In a world that I seldom understand, there are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them. Sometimes they gust with the fury of a hurricane, sometimes they barely fan one's cheek. But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore. You, my darling, are the wind that I did not anticipate, the wind that has gusted more strongly than I ever imagined possible. You are my destiny.
Nicholas Sparks
Whatever science has done to destroy the world, it has unquestionably saved the lives of women and their babies. Nature is not gentle with us when left to her own devices. Now we survive childbirth and face the dilemma turning fifty. Mary Wollstonecraft never trod this path. Greedy for more and more life, we seldom appreciate what we have. Many of my friends have become mothers in their forties and their babies are beautiful and smart. We have extended the limits of life, yet we dare to rage at growing old. It seems damned ungrateful. But then we baby boomers are a damned ungrateful bunch. Nobody gave us limits. So we are good at squandering and complaining, bad at gratitude. And when we discover life has limits, we try to wreck ourselves in anger before we learn the importance of surrender. We are the AA kids, the qualification generation. We have to be hurled to the bottom again and again before we come to understand that life is about surrender. And if the bottom doesn't rise to meet us, we dive into it, carrying our loved ones with us. Only a lucky few swim back up to air and light.
Erica Jong (Fear of Fifty: A Midlife Memoir)
If preachers would speak only to men's fancies or understandings, and not meddle too smartly with their hearts, and lives, and carnal interests, the world would bear them, and hear them as they do stage-players, or at least as lecturers in philosophy or physic. A sermon that hath nothing but some general toothless notions in a handsome dress of words, doth seldom procure offence or persecution: it is rare that such men's preaching is distasted by carnal hearers, or their persons hated for it. "It is a pleasant thing for the eyes to behold the sun," Eccles. xi. 7; but not to be scorched by its heat.
George Virtue (A Christian Directory (Volume 1 of 4) Christian Ethics)
Curmudgeons speak up because they have to, because it’s become critically important for them to tell the truth as they see it. Telling the truth is as natural to them now as when they were children. The fact that no one cares to listen is inconsequential. What curmudgeons don’t realize, however, is that most people can’t handle the truth they force on everyone within earshot–not when it comes from others. For the truth is something we need to discover for ourselves, each in our own heart, each in our own time, each in our own way. The truth–your truth, my truth–is something we need to hear directly from God, preferably on long walks by the sea." But curmudgeons don’t care. Most annoying of all, they don’t understand that no one appreciates the absurdities of the human condition flung in their faces–reason enough for them to bite their tongues, but they seldom do.
Lionel Fisher
Those who complain that Catholicism cannot say anything new, seldom think it necessary to say anything new about Catholicism. As a matter of fact, a real study of history will show it to be curiously contrary to the fact. In so far as the ideas really are ideas, and in so far as any such ideas can be new, Catholics have continually suffered through supporting them when they were really new; when they were much too new to find any other support. The Catholic was not only first in the field but alone in the field; and there was as yet nobody to understand what he had found there....Nine out of ten of what we call new ideas are simply old mistakes. The Catholic Church has for one of her chief duties that of preventing people from making those old mistakes; from making them over and over again forever, as people always do if they are left to themselves.
G.K. Chesterton
If our lives and ministries are expressions of what we actually believe, and if what we believe is off center and yet so pervasive that it is seldom even brought to conscious discussion, much less debated, then this explains why our impact on the world is so paltry compared to our numbers. I cannot overemphasize the fact that this modern understanding of Christianity is neither biblical nor consistent with the bulk of church history.
J.P. Moreland (Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul)
It was not an easy discipline to master, for it involved surrendering my own needs and interests to subservience to his. “Watch a mother with an infant, any kind of a mother, human or beast. There you will see this done on the simplest and most instinctive level. If one is willing to work at it, one can extend that same sort of perception to others. It is a worthwhile thing to do, for it conveys a level of understanding of one another that makes hate almost impossible. Seldom can one hate a person if one understands that person.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3))
Understanding how or why is very seldom as useful as understanding that things are. I am.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Assassin (The Fitz and The Fool Trilogy, #1))
Much of the theology of the Bible is what we could call “task theology.” It is theological truth brought to bear on specific life situations. Since biblical authors seldom deal comprehensively with a particular topic, we must be cautious before assuming that we have the whole truth or the last word in any particular passage.
Mark L. Strauss (How to Read the Bible in Changing Times: Understanding and Applying God's Word Today)
Civilians seldom understand that soldiers, once impressed into war, will forever take it for the ordinary state of the world, with all else illusion. The former soldier assumes that when time weakens the dream of civilian life and its supports pull away, he will revert to the one state that will always hold his heart. He dreams of war and remembers it in quiet times when he might otherwise devote himself to different things, and he is ruined for the peace. What he has seen is as powerful and mysterious as death itself, and yet he has not died, and he wonders why.
Mark Helprin (A Soldier of the Great War)
CONFUSION 5: HOW TO DEAL WITH CUSTOMER DISSATISFACTION If you have hit each step to this point, customer dissatisfaction will be rare. But dissatisfactions will happen. Here’s what to do about them: 1. Always listen to what your Customers are saying. And never interrupt while they’re saying it! 2. After you’re sure you’ve heard all of your Customer’s complaint, make absolutely certain you understand what he or she said. You could ask, “Can I repeat what you’ve just told me, Mrs. Jones, to make absolutely certain I understand you?” 3. Secure your Customer’s acknowledgment that you have heard his or her complaint accurately. 4. Apologize for whatever your Customer thinks you did that dissatisfied him or her even if you didn’t do it! 5. After your Customer has acknowledged your apology, ask exactly what would make him or her happy. 6. Repeat what your Customer told you would make him or her happy, and get his or her acknowledgment that you heard it correctly. 7. If at all possible, give your Customer exactly what he or she asked for! But what if your Customer wants something completely unreasonable? If you’ve followed my recommendations to the letter, what your Customer asks will seldom seem unreasonable. That’s assuming you’ve got the right Customer.
Michael E. Gerber (The E-Myth Contractor: Why Most Contractors' Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It)
CONFUSION 5: HOW TO DEAL WITH CUSTOMER DISSATISFACTION If you have hit each step to this point, customer dissatisfaction will be rare. But dissatisfactions will happen. Here’s what to do about them: 1. Always listen to what your Customers are saying. And never interrupt while they’re saying it! 2. After you’re sure you’ve heard all of your Customer’s complaint, make absolutely certain you understand what he or she said. You could ask, “Can I repeat what you’ve just told me, Mrs. Jones, to make absolutely certain I understand you?” 3. Secure your Customer’s acknowledgment that you have heard his or her complaint accurately. 4. Apologize for whatever your Customer thinks you did that dissatisfied him or her even if you didn’t do it! 5. After your Customer has acknowledged your apology, ask exactly what would make him or her happy. 6. Repeat what your Customer told you would make him or her happy, and get his or her acknowledgment that you heard it correctly. 7. If at all possible, give your Customer exactly what he or she asked for! But what if your Customer wants something completely unreasonable? If you’ve followed my recommendations to the letter, what your Customer asks will seldom seem unreasonable. That’s assuming you’ve got the right Customer. CONFUSION 6: WHO TO CALL A CUSTOMER At this stage, it’s important to ask some questions: Which types of Customers would you most like to do business with? Where do you see your real market opportunities? Who would you like to work with, provide service for, and position your business for? A Tactile Customer for whom people is most important? A Neutral Customer for whom the mechanics of how you do business is most important? An Experimental Customer for whom cutting-edge innovation is important? A Traditional Customer for whom low cost and certainty of delivery are absolutely essential? In short, it’s all up to you. No mystery. No magic. Just a systematic process for shaping your business’s future. But you must have the passion to pursue the process. And you must be absolutely clear about every aspect of it. Until you know your Customers as well as you know yourself. Until all your complaints about Customers are a thing of the past. Until you accept the undeniable fact that Customer Acquisition and Customer Satisfaction are more science than art. But unless you’re willing to grow your business, you better not follow any of the above recommendations. Because it will definitely grow.
Michael E. Gerber (The E-Myth Contractor: Why Most Contractors' Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It)
T-TESTS FOR INDEPENDENT SAMPLES T-tests are used to test whether the means of a continuous variable differ across two different groups. For example, do men and women differ in their levels of income, when measured as a continuous variable? Does crime vary between two parts of town? Do rich people live longer than poor people? Do high-performing students commit fewer acts of violence than do low-performing students? The t-test approach is shown graphically in Figure 12.1, which illustrates the incomes of men and women as boxplots (the lines in the middle of the boxes indicate the means rather than the medians).2 When the two groups are independent samples, the t-test is called the independent-samples t-test. Sometimes the continuous variable is called a “test variable” and the dichotomous variable is called a “grouping variable.” The t-test tests whether the difference of the means is significantly different from zero, that is, whether men and women have different incomes. The following hypotheses are posited: Key Point The independent-samples t-test is used when one variable is dichotomous and the other is continuous. H0: Men and women do not have different mean incomes (in the population). HA: Men and women do have different mean incomes (in the population). Alternatively, using the Greek letter m to refer to differences in the population, H0: μm = μf, and HA: μm ≠ μf. The formula for calculating the t-test test statistic (a tongue twister?) is As always, the computer calculates the test statistic and reports at what level it is significant. Such calculations are seldom done by hand. To further conceptual understanding of this formula, it is useful to relate it to the discussion of hypothesis testing in Chapter 10. First, note that the difference of means, appears in the numerator: the larger the difference of means, the larger the t-test test statistic, and the more likely we might reject the null hypothesis. Second, sp is the pooled variance of the two groups, that is, the weighted average of the variances of each group.3 Increases in the standard deviation decrease the test statistic. Thus, it is easier to reject the null hypotheses when two populations are clustered narrowly around their means than when they are spread widely around them. Finally, more observations (that is, increased information or larger n1 and n2) increase the size of the test statistic, making it easier to reject the null hypothesis. Figure 12.1 The T-Test: Mean Incomes by Gender
Evan M. Berman (Essential Statistics for Public Managers and Policy Analysts)
Who the fuck are you?” said the manager in a voice that was both metallic and gun-shaped. He was a man in his mid-fifties, balding, with thick eyebrows and a large square mouth set in a permanent sneer like a lopsided Ikea catalog. This would never happen back home, Tooley thought. Guns were seldom used except by the hardened career-criminal. There was a kind of understanding in the poorer parts of Glasgow that if you couldn't use your hands to get what you want you were a bit of a namby-pamby. Weapons were a sign of weakness.
Sean O'Neill (Muscle for Hire)
The manager who understands what her employees want and need must seldom resort to the authority of the org chart or the paycheck. Taking a third-level approach, the smart manager doesn’t scream the truth, but whispers messages that make others feel strong and successful. Only then are great change and real leadership possible.
Peter S. Temes (The Power of Purpose: Living Well by Doing Good)
Ah, my dear,” Princess Elestra said to me in her fluting voice--that very same voice I remembered so well from my escape from Athanarel the year before. “How delighted we are to have you join us here. Delighted! I understand there will be a ball in your honor tomorrow, hosted by my nephew Russav.” She nodded toward the other side of the room, where the newly arrived Duke of Savona stood in the center of a small group. “He seldom bestirs himself this way, so you must take it as a compliment to you!” “Thank you,” I murmured, my heart now drumming. I was glad to move aside and let Branaric take my place. I didn’t hear what he said, but he made them both laugh; then he too moved aside, and the Prince and Princess presented us to the red-haired woman, who was indeed the Marquise of Merindar. She nodded politely but did not speak, nor did she betray the slightest sign of interest in us. We were then introduced to the ambassadors from Denlieff, Hundruith, and Charas al Kherval. This last one, of course, drew my interest, though I did my best to observe her covertly. A tall woman of middle age, her manner was polite, gracious, and utterly opaque. “Family party, you say?” Branaric’s voice caught at my attention. He rubbed his hands. “Well, you’re related one way or another to half the Court, Danric, so if we’ve enough people to hand, how about some music?” “If you like,” said Shevraeth. He’d appeared quietly, without causing any stir. “It can be arranged.” The Marquis was dressed in sober colors, his hair braided and gemmed for a formal occasion; though as tall as the flamboyantly dressed Duke of Savona, he was slender next to his cousin. He remained very much in the background, talking quietly with this or that person. The focus of the reception was on the Prince and Princess, and on Bran and me, and, in a strange way, on the ambassador from Charas al Kherval. I sensed that something important was going on below the surface of the polite chitchat, but I couldn’t discern what--and then suddenly it was time to go in to dinner. With a graceful bow, the Prince held out his arm to me, moving with slow deliberation. If it hurt him to walk, he showed no sign, and his back was straight and his manner attentive. The Princess went in with Branaric, Shevraeth with the Marquise, Savona with the Empress’s ambassador, and Nimiar with the southern ambassador. The others trailed in order of rank. I managed all right with the chairs and the high table. After we were served, I stole a few glances at Shevraeth and the Marquise of Merindar. They conversed in what appeared to be amity. It was equally true of all the others. Perfectly controlled, from their fingertips to their serene brows, none of them betrayed any emotion but polite attentiveness. Only my brother stood out, his face changing as he talked, his laugh real when he dropped his fork, his shrug careless. It seemed to me that the others found him a relief, for the smiles he caused were quicker, the glances brighter--not that he noticed.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
Moderately wise a man should be— don’t wish for too much wisdom; a man’s heart is seldom happy if he is truly wise. Moderately wise a man should be— don’t wish for too much wisdom; if you can’t see far into the future, you can live free from care.32
Paul Rhys Mountfort (Nordic Runes: Understanding, Casting, and Interpreting the Ancient Viking Oracle)
Winnie glowered at the young man. “Mr. Sharif, you don’t understand the purpose of the stacks. You don’t go into the stacks expecting the precise answer to your burning-question-of-the-moment. It doesn’t work that way. In all the thousands of times that I’ve gone hunting in the stacks, I’ve seldom found exactly what I was looking for. You know what I did find? I found the books on close-by topics. I found answers to questions that I had never thought to ask. Those answers took me in new directions and were almost always more valuable than whatever I originally had in mind.
Vernor Vinge
A house can have integrity, just like a person," said Roark, "and just as seldom." "In what way?" "Well, look at it. Every piece of it is there because the house needs it - and for no other reason. You see it from here as it is inside. The rooms in which you'll live made the shape. The relation of masses was determined by the distribution of space within. The ornament was determined by the method of construction, an emphasis on the principle that makes it stand. You can see each stress, each support that meets it. Your own eyes go through a structural process when you look at the house, you can follow each step, you see it rise, you know what made it and why it stands. But you've seen buildings with columns that support nothing, with purposeless cornices, with pilasters, mouldings, false arches, false windows. You've seen buildings that look as if they contained a single large hall, they have solid columns and single, solid windows six floors high. But you enter and find six stories inside. Or buildings that contain a single hall, but with a facade cut up into floor lines, band courses, tiers of windows. Do you understand the difference? Your house is made by its own needs. Those others are made by the need to impress. The determining motive of your house is in the house. The determining motive of the other is in the audience." "Do you know that that's what I've felt in a way? I've felt that when I move into this house, I'll have a new sort of existence, and even my simple daily routine will have a kind of honesty or dignity that I can't quite define. Don't be astonished if I tell you that I feel as if I'll have to live up to that house." "I intended that," said Roark. "And, incidentally, thank you for all the thought you seem to have taken about my comfort. There are so many things I notice that had never occurred to me before, but you've planned them as if you knew all my needs. For instance, my study is the room I'll need most and you've given it the dominant spot - and, incidentally, I see where you've made it the dominant mass from the outside, too. And then the way it connects with the library, and the living room well out of my way, and the guest rooms where I won't hear too much of them - and all that. You were very considerate of me." "You know," said Roark, "I haven't thought of you at all. I thought of the house." He added: "Perhaps that's why I knew how to be considerate of you.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
The knowledge needed to evaluate certain of these ancient artifacts was not available until very recently. Even today there may be numerous articles that we will not understand until we further develop our own technology. We cannot fathom technology that is unknown to us, and we seldom consider things that seem impossible to us. Petrie, though knowledgeable in engineering and surveying, could not be expected to know anything about ultrasonic machining; hence his amazement at the machining abilities of the ancient Egyptians. Even if he had been aware of this technology, the intellectual climate of his time may have precluded his considering the possibility that these methods were known to the ancient Egyptians. Quite simply, the greatest barrier to our understanding may not necessarily be knowledge. It may be attitude.
Christopher Dunn (The Giza Power Plant: Technologies of Ancient Egypt)
For some reason that he had never been able to understand, Mandrake was a man in whom his fellow-creatures confided. He was by no means obviously sympathetic and he seldom asked for confidences but, perhaps because of these very omissions, they came his way.
Ngaio Marsh (Death and the Dancing Footman (Roderick Alleyn, #11))
It was first introduced into philosophy by Mr. Charles Peirce in 1878. In an article entitled 'How to Make Our Ideas Clear,' in the 'Popular Science Monthly' for January of that year [Footnote: Translated in the Revue Philosophique for January, 1879 (vol. vii).] Mr. Peirce, after pointing out that our beliefs are really rules for action, said that to develope a thought's meaning, we need only determine what conduct it is fitted to produce: that conduct is for us its sole significance. And the tangible fact at the root of all our thought-distinctions, however subtle, is that there is no one of them so fine as to consist in anything but a possible difference of practice. To attain perfect clearness in our thoughts of an object, then, we need only consider what conceivable effects of a practical kind the object may involve—what sensations we are to expect from it, and what reactions we must prepare. Our conception of these effects, whether immediate or remote, is then for us the whole of our conception of the object, so far as that conception has positive significance at all. This is the principle of Peirce, the principle of pragmatism. It lay entirely unnoticed by anyone for twenty years, until I, in an address before Professor Howison's philosophical union at the university of California, brought it forward again and made a special application of it to religion. By that date (1898) the times seemed ripe for its reception. The word 'pragmatism' spread, and at present it fairly spots the pages of the philosophic journals. On all hands we find the 'pragmatic movement' spoken of, sometimes with respect, sometimes with contumely, seldom with clear understanding. It is evident that the term applies itself conveniently to a number of tendencies that hitherto have lacked a collective name, and that it has 'come to stay.
William James
At her work, Judy gives her staff a passage from Wendy Lustbader, the mental health counselor and writer, to help them understand the pitfalls of caregiving relationships. Lustbader writes: Receiving is much harder than giving, but this fact is seldom recognized in mainstream American society. Dependent people are often deprived of chances to give, finding that they must endure a state of almost constant relinquishment and passivity. Consequently, the person receiving help accumulates a debt to the other and must bear the weight of feeling beholden day in and day out. There are few means through which the person can pay back a caregiver for rides to the doctor, help with medical bill paperwork, handling loads of laundry, and check-up telephone calls—the list of favors owed can be immense. The dependent person may yearn for something useful to do, only to be admonished, “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of everything.” For family caregivers, Lustbader notes the hidden resentments that arise from the relationship’s asymmetry. Caring is mutual; caregiving can be all one way, a drain on both parties. But acknowledging the underlying dynamic can take away its sting. “The reward for recognizing resentment,” Lustbader writes, “is enjoying the ill person’s company again.
John Leland (Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old)
The way we imagine ourselves is seldom the way others interpret us.
Wayne Gerard Trotman
One of the things that Christians and occidentals in general seldom understand is this mighty effort, this jihad, waged to prevent any element of earthly life from escaping and taking on a separate existence of its own, or flying off, as though gripped by centrifugal force, into the empty space which we call the secular or profane realm. The Muslim who sits quietly in the mosque facing the qiblah and invoking his Lord has not left the world to go its own way; he is not only a contemplative, he is also a warrior, and the world is his prisoner of war. From the corner of his eye he watches to see that it does not evade him.
Charles Le Gai Eaton (Islam and the Destiny of Man)
But William Stoner knew of the world in a way that few of his younger colleagues could understand. Deep in him, beneath his memory, was the knowledge of hardship and hunger and endurance and pain. Though he seldom thought of his early years on the Booneville farm, there was always near his consciousness the blood knowledge of his inheritance, given him by forefathers whose lives were obscure and hard and stoical and whose common ethic was to present to an oppressive world faces that were expressionless and hard and bleak.
John Williams (Stoner)
Each story teaches him new tricks . . . brings him new tools, new techniques. Insight continually grows in him, and so does understanding. So, he improves as he goes along . . . seldom falls into the same trap twice.
Dwight V. Swain (Techniques of the Selling Writer)
Most businessmen are not, contrary to popular belief, ‘natural’ liberals. Their inclination is towards order and peace. They tend to be anxious and feel vulnerable, understandably so since they seldom know what is going to happen next.
Donald Sassoon (The Anxious Triumph: A Global History of Capitalism, 1860-1914)
Language ​A mangle and an earthly remnant that the poet leans on more heavily than all others, is language.  At times he can rightly hate, accuse, and curse it—or rather himself, that he is born to work with this wretched tool.  With envy he thinks of the painter, whose language—the colors—speaks just as understandably to all mankind, from the North Pole down to Africa, or the musician, whose tones speak every human language as well, and which from the single-voiced melody to the polyphonic orchestra, from the horn to the clarinet, from the fiddle to the harp, must obey like many new, singular, fine, and differing languages.  ​But for one thing especially he envies the musician deeply and daily: that the musician has his language for himself alone, only for making music!  But for his activity the poet must use the same language in which you hold school and do business, in which you telegraph and hold court.  How poor he is, that for his art he owns no private organ, no personal abode, no private garden, no personal window to look out onto the moon—all and all he must partake in everyday life!  He says “heart” and means the pulsing core of life in man, his innermost capability and weakness; but then the word at the same time signifies a muscle.  He says “power”, then he must fight for the sense of his word with engineers and electricians; he says “bliss”, then something from theology gazes onto his imagination’s expression.  He can use no private word that doesn’t leer at once to another side, that doesn’t with a breath recall foreign, disturbed, hostile imaginations, that isn’t deceive by scruples and shortenings, and broken by narrow walls, from which a voice turns back unsounded and smothered. ​If a knave is someone who gives more than he has, then a poet can never be a knave.  There is not a tenth, not a hundredth of what he would like to give; he is satisfied if the hearer understands him from totally above him, then entirely from far, then completely incidentally, most importantly at least not grossly misunderstands.  He seldom reaches more.  And overall, where a poet reaps praise or criticism, where he makes effects or gets mocked, where someone loves him or rejects him, one speaks not from his thoughts and dreams alone, but only a hundredth that could squeeze through the narrow canal of language and through the no wider comprehension of reading.
Hermann Hesse (Herman Hesse Three Essays)
Chinese family businesses instinctively thought of ways of hiding income from the tax collector. The situation is quite different in Japan, where the family is weaker and individuals are pulled in different directions by the various vertical authority structures standing above them. The entire Japanese nation, with the emperor at the top, is, in a sense, the ie of all ies, and calls forth a degree of moral obligation and emotional attachment that the Chinese emperor never enjoyed. Unlike the Japanese, the Chinese have had less of a we-against-them attitude toward outsiders and are much more likely to identify with family, lineage, or region as with nation. The dark side to the Japanese sense of nationalism and proclivity to trust one another is their lack of trust for people who are not Japanese. The problems faced by non-Japanese living in Japan, such as the sizable Korean community, have been widely noted. Distrust of non-Japanese is also evident in the practices of many Japanese multinationals operating in other countries. While aspects of the Japanese lean manufacturing system have been imported with great success into the United States, Japanese transplants have been much less successful integrating into local American supplier networks. Japanese auto companies building assembly plants in the United States, for example, have tended to bring over with them the suppliers in their network organizations from Japan. According to one study, some ninety percent of the parts for Japanese cars assembled in America come from Japan or from subsidiaries of Japanese companies in America.43 This is perhaps predictable given the cultural differences between the Japanese assembler and the American subcontractor but has understandably led to hard feelings between the two. To take another example, while Japanese multinationals have hired a great number of native executives to run their overseas businesses, these people are seldom treated like executives at the same level in Japan. An American working for a subdivision of a Japanese company in the United States might aspire to rise within that organization but is very unlikely to be asked to move to Tokyo or even to a higher post outside the United States.44 There are exceptions. Sony America, for example, with its largely American staff, is highly autonomous and often influences its parent in Japan. But by and large, the Japanese radius of trust can be fully extended only to other Japanese.
Francis Fukuyama (Trust: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order)
Aggressive law enforcement is absolutely integral to authoritarianism. The way it is instituted in a free society is simple. The free man cheers on the strong police force when it vows to capture and punish the criminal. What the free man seldom understands is that the free man is one simple act away from becoming the criminal and the acts that force this transformation are not in the hands of the free.
M.B. Watson
Aggressive law enforcement is absolutely integral to authoritarianism. The way it is instituted in a free society is simple. The free man cheers on the strong police force when it vows to capture and punish the criminal. What the free man seldom understands is that he is but one simple act away from becoming the criminal and the acts and laws that force this transformation are not in the hands of the free.
M.B. Watson
Alignment within and between the systems is lost. We find ourselves working harder than ever, yet we benefit less and less from our efforts. As tension mounts, we look for someone to blame. The real problem, however, is embedded in the underlying organizational systems that have shifted out of alignment-with each other and sometimes with the external environment. When an organization discovers that its systems need realignment, I am often asked to make a diagnosis. Senior executives seldom argue with my diagnosis, but they almost always argue with my recommendations. I am told, "What you don't understand is that we don't have the time to make the deep change you are recommending." This statement is accurate.
Robert E. Quinn (Deep Change: Discovering the Leader Within)
Skills are keys to the lock of success, as the time passes the effort in opening the lock becomes more intense, we start blaming the lock, but we seldom realize that the keys also need polishing, we keep checking the lock but fail to understand that the rust can form on keys as well.
Adam: Adam was a young man whose anxiety turned into a monster. Where Shelly had a very mild case of social anxiety, Adam’s case could only be called severe. Over a period of several years, his underlying social fears developed into a full-blown school phobia. A quiet, unassuming person, Adam had never stood out in the classroom. Through elementary school and on into high school, he neither excelled nor failed his subjects. By no means a discipline problem, the “shy” Adam kept to himself and seldom talked in class, whether to answer a teacher’s question or chat with his buddies. In fact, he really had no friends, and the only peers he socialized with were his cousins, whom he saw at weekly family gatherings. Though he watched the other kids working together on projects or playing sports together, Adam never approached them to join in. Maybe they wouldn’t let him, he thought. Maybe he wasn’t good enough. Being rejected was not a chance he was willing to take. Adam never tried hard in school either. If he didn’t understand something, he kept quiet, fearful that raising his hand would bring ridicule. When he did poorly on an exam or paper, it only confirmed to him what he was sure was true: He didn’t measure up. He became so apprehensive about his tests that he began to feel physically ill at the thought of each approaching reminder of his inadequacy. Even though he had studied hard for a math test, for example, he could barely bring himself to get out of bed on the morning it was to take place. His parents, who thought of their child as a reserved but obedient boy who would eventually grow out of this awkward adolescent stage, did not pressure him. Adam was defensive and withdrawn, overwrought by the looming possibility that he would fail. For the two class periods preceding the math test, Adam’s mind was awash with geometry theorems, and his stomach churning. As waves of nausea washed over him, he began to salivate and swallowed hard. His eyes burned and he closed them, wishing he could block the test from his mind. When his head started to feel heavy and he became short of breath, he asked for a hall pass and headed for the bathroom. Alone, he let his anxiety overtake him as he stared into the mirror, letting the cool water flow from the faucet and onto his sweaty palms. He would feel better, he thought, if he could just throw up. But even when he forced his finger down his throat, there was no relief. His dry heaves made him feel even weaker. He slumped to the cold tile and began to cry. Adam never went back to math class that day; instead, he got a pass from the nurse and went straight home. Of course, the pressure Adam was feeling was not just related to the math test. The roots of his anxiety went much deeper. Still, the physical symptoms of anxiety became so debilitating that he eventually quit going to school altogether. Naturally, his parents were extremely concerned but also uncertain what to do. It took almost a year before Adam was sufficiently in control of his symptoms to return to school.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
Our weak understanding of our needs is aggravated by what Epicurus termed 'idle opinions' of those around us, which do not reflect the natural hierarchy of our needs, emphasizing luxury and riches, seldom friendship, freedom and thought. The prevalence of idle opinion is no coincidence. It is in the interest of commercial enterprises to slew the hierarchy of our needs, to promote a material vision of good and downplay an unsaleable one.
Alain de Botton
Pete sat up, wild-eyed and glowering, the back of him covered with snow. 'The f*ck are you laughing about? That as**ole almost got us killed! I'm gonna strangle the son of a bitch!' 'Not her son but the bitch herself,' Henry said. He was laughing harder than ever and thought it quite likely that Pete didn't understand what he was saying - especially with the wind thrown in - but he didn't care. Seldom had he felt so delicious.
Stephen King (Dreamcatcher)
End June 2012 In response to Dr. Arius’ questions for his research, I wrote: Dr. A.S., As always it is a delight to receive your emails. I’ll be more than happy to answer your questions. I’ll respond to them one at a time. Please bear with me if my answers are lengthy at times. If I veer off into a tangent, please feel free to eliminate or edit my response. I’m eager to find out the results your research will yield when you are done with the survey. I’m ready to begin. Question one: * In “Initiation,” you said that as far as you can remember, even as a baby, you disliked your father. What was it that you didn’t like about the man? Did he have a certain smell that repelled you or something conscious or subconscious that blocked your connection towards him? Answers: Although I cannot provide you with definitive answers, I’ll do my best to remember how I felt when I was with my dad. a) Mr. S.S. Foong was a heavy smoker since the day I was born. I presume as a baby, the cigarette smell on his person repelled me. His aggressively loud booming voice did nothing to my gentle ears, either. Although he never shouted at me when I was a child, his stern demeanor deterred me from wanting to be near him. Moreover, his angry reprimands toward his subordinates when they had done nothing wrong challenged my respect for the man I called Father. b) Maybe unconsciously I was imbued with a glamorized portrayal of the “ideal” family from western magazines, movies, and periodicals of the mid-20th century. I wanted a father whom I could look up to: a strong, kind man who understands the needs of his family and children. But this was a Hollywood invention. It doesn’t exist, or it exists empirically in a small sector of the global population. c) Since my dad was seldom at home (he was with his mistress and their children), it was difficult to have a loving relationship with the man, especially when he roared and rebuked me for my effeminate behavior over which I had no control. I was simply being who I was. His negative criticisms damaged my ego badly. d) I could not relate to his air of superiority toward my mother. I resented that aspect of my father. I swore to myself that I would not grow up to be like my old man.
Young (Unbridled (A Harem Boy's Saga, #2))
They seemed contented and happy there, alone, with their fire in the chimney. Fire itself is a companion. It is like youth in a room. There was between them a feeling of comradeship and understanding which seldom lives where youth stands on one hand, age on the other.
George W. Ogden (The George W. Ogden Western MEGAPACK TM: 8 Classic Novels and Stories)
By this time, no matter how hard he tried to understand, Nicolò’s eyes had begun to glaze, but Alessandro had no fear of bending green cane, because he knew it seldom broke. “Remember this, then—even if
Mark Helprin (A Soldier of the Great War)
So we find magistrates in the Tyrol excusing the mildness of which their savage lord accused them, and writing to him—“for two years there has seldom been a day that Anabaptist matters have not come before our court, and more than 700 men and women in the Duchy of Tyrol, in different places, have been condemned to death, others have been banished from the country, and still more have fled, in misery, leaving their goods behind them and sometimes even forsaking their children…. We cannot conceal from your Majesty the folly generally found in these people, for they are not only not terrified by the punishment of others, but they go to the prisoners and acknowledge them as their brothers and sisters, and when on this account the magistrates accuse them, they acknowledge it willingly, without having to be put to the torture. They will listen to no instruction and it is seldom that one allows himself to be converted from his unbelief, for the most part they only wish that they may soon die…. we trust that your Royal Majesty will graciously understand from this our faithful report that we have not in any way been lacking in industry.
E.H. Broadbent (The Pilgrim Church)
What are the conditions under which this kind of reading—reading for understanding—takes place? There are two. First, there is initial inequality in understanding. The writer must be “superior” to the reader in understanding, and his book must convey in readable form the insights he possesses and his potential readers lack. Second, the reader must be able to overcome this inequality in some degree, seldom perhaps fully, but always approaching equality with the writer. To the extent that equality is approached, clarity of communication is achieved.
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book)
Whites do not realize that possessing unchecked power and control over others often results in the dimming of their own perceptiveness and leads to a distorted reality. This is because their high status and power means they (a) seldom have to worry or even think about people of color, (b) use only one another to validate their sense of a false racial reality, and (c) inaccurately define people of color from a stereotypical template.
Derald Wing Sue (Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race)
Foreigners seldom have enough local knowledge to understand how to construct durable states. When their efforts at institution building are halfhearted and underresourced, they often do more damage than good.
Francis Fukuyama (Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy)
Austen, I think I got it this time. Let me try to see if this fits. Here are some words for what you are describing. First, you are motivated to clean your bathroom because it does need it. You can even understand your mother’s demand that you clean it, because it is a pit! And it is your responsibility, right?” Austen nods approval. “And you feel a sense of urgency to get your laptop back, too. Right?” Austen nods in the affirmative again. “In fact, you would do almost anything to get your laptop back. Right?” One more time Austen is tracking my logic. “It’s just that you can’t connect cleaning your bathroom and getting the laptop back, because they aren’t related. Right?” “Sure,” Austen says. “It is so obvious that these things aren’t related, and Mother is always trying this stuff. It never works, so why does she bother?” I smile with Austen’s realization. “Actually, this type of approach is used by lots of parents, and it seldom works with teenagers. We parents think that if we withhold a privilege or a favorite item, we’ll get our kids to mind and do things like clean a bathroom. It doesn’t work, and all that happens is a power struggle. But let’s give Mom some slack here and work out your dilemma.” Austen is ready. I explain, “I think the problem is that we need to connect up your motivation to clean your bathroom to your responsibility to clean your bathroom with a call to action to actually clean your bathroom. That will satisfy the urgency you feel to get back your laptop. You’ll get a clean bathroom. You can please your mother. She will be motivated to give you back your laptop even though the laptop has nothing to do with a clean bathroom. This is a win-win solution Austen. You already have motivation, a sense of responsibility, and a feeling of urgency. The only thing that is missing for you is a call to action. That’s the missing piece you keep calling the “not doing it” part. Are you ready to connect the dots?” Austen’s eyes widen, and he smiles. “Yes that’s it!” he says. “I am missing the call to action part.
Kathy J. Marshack (Out of Mind - Out of Sight : Parenting with a Partner with Asperger Syndrome (ASD))
Why is race talk difficult between and among people of color? Why are some people of color hesitant to address interracial/interethnic differences? These are questions often asked privately by groups of color, but seldom publicly discussed for fear of negative consequences and the destruction of political unity (Orbe et al., 2013; Sue & Sue, 2013).
Derald Wing Sue (Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race)
groups and classes for adults we often try to give them an understanding of the Christian faith by teaching the basic beliefs—the theological system—of our church. We lead them in discussing how Christians should respond to life situations and issues, but seldom do we tell them the faith story.
Catherine Stonehouse (Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey: Nurturing a Life of Faith (Bridgepoint Books))
most people seldom think about the air that surrounds them, and how it provides an essential life-giving ingredient, oxygen. We take it for granted because it is plentiful in our everyday lives; only when we are deprived of it, does it suddenly become frighteningly apparent. Whiteness is transparent precisely because of its everyday occurrence, its institutionalized normative features in U.S. culture, and because Whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, average, and ideal.
Derald Wing Sue (Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race)
He seldom gives us all we need in order to understand, but He always gives us all we need to obey.
Wayne Stiles (Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible)
But why Mr. Darcy came so often to the Parsonage, it was more difficult to understand. It could not be for society, as he frequently sat there ten minutes together without opening his lips; and when he did speak, it seemed the effect of necessity rather than of choice—a sacrifice to propriety, not a pleasure to himself. He seldom appeared really animated. Mrs. Collins knew not what to make of him. Colonel Fitzwilliam's occasionally laughing at his stupidity, proved that he was generally different, which her own knowledge of him could not have told her; and as she would liked to have believed this change the effect of love, and the object of that love her friend Eliza, she set herself seriously to work to find it out. She
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
There is something in the pose of sleeping women. Something soft and slight and slenderly surreal. He understands why painters are so often challenged to attempt them, and why so seldom they succeed. It must exceed the scope of canvas - the implausibility of rendering motion within rest. She is deeply asleep, immovably asleep - and yet she moves. Tiny spasms quiver her legs and tug at her fingers. Lips purse to open, part, then softly close again. Dreaming eyes agitate the surface of their lids. Hands resting on the stomach, rise and fall in rhythm with the pulse that ticks along the valleys of her neck. Even bespeckled with bites like this, there is a beauty to this girl and in this pose well beyond the scope of two dimensions.
Scott Gardiner
Minsky was an ardent supporter of the Cyc project, the most notorious failure in the history of AI. The goal of Cyc was to solve AI by entering into a computer all the necessary knowledge. When the project began in the 1980s, its leader, Doug Lenat, confidently predicted success within a decade. Thirty years later, Cyc continues to grow without end in sight, and commonsense reasoning still eludes it. Ironically, Lenat has belatedly embraced populating Cyc by mining the web, not because Cyc can read, but because there’s no other way. Even if by some miracle we managed to finish coding up all the necessary pieces, our troubles would be just beginning. Over the years, a number of research groups have attempted to build complete intelligent agents by putting together algorithms for vision, speech recognition, language understanding, reasoning, planning, navigation, manipulation, and so on. Without a unifying framework, these attempts soon hit an insurmountable wall of complexity: too many moving parts, too many interactions, too many bugs for poor human software engineers to cope with. Knowledge engineers believe AI is just an engineering problem, but we have not yet reached the point where engineering can take us the rest of the way. In 1962, when Kennedy gave his famous moon-shot speech, going to the moon was an engineering problem. In 1662, it wasn’t, and that’s closer to where AI is today. In industry, there’s no sign that knowledge engineering will ever be able to compete with machine learning outside of a few niche areas. Why pay experts to slowly and painfully encode knowledge into a form computers can understand, when you can extract it from data at a fraction of the cost? What about all the things the experts don’t know but you can discover from data? And when data is not available, the cost of knowledge engineering seldom exceeds the benefit. Imagine if farmers had to engineer each cornstalk in turn, instead of sowing the seeds and letting them grow: we would all starve.
Pedro Domingos (The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World)
Narcissistic Superstars seldom become beloved leaders. The reason is that they don’t understand their followers well enough to inspire trust and loyalty. In the world of Superstars, other people come in two distinct types: those who have something the vampires want, and those who are beneath notice. Superstars can seldom resist the temptation to point out to little people just how little they are.
Albert J. Bernstein (Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People Who Drain You Dry)
It was not an easy discipline to master, for it involved surrendering my own needs and interests to subservience to his. ‘Watch a mother with an infant, any kind of a mother, human or beast. There you will see this done on the simplest and most instinctive level. If one is willing to work at it, one can extend that same sort of perception to others. It is a worthwhile thing to do, for it conveys a level of understanding of one another that makes hate almost impossible. Seldom can one hate a person if one understands that person.
Robin Hobb (The Tawny Man Trilogy Books 2 & 3: The Golden Fool / Fool's Fate)
…we seek an enlargement of our being. We want to be more than ourselves. … We want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own. … One of the things we feel after reading a great work is ‘I have got out’. Or from another point of view, ‘I have got in’; pierced the shell of some other monad and discovered what it is like inside. Good reading, therefore, though it is not essentially an affectional or moral or intellectual activity, has something in common with all three. In love we escape from our self into one other. In the moral sphere, every act of justice or charity involves putting ourselves in the other person’s place and thus transcending our own competitive particularity. In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favour of the facts as they are. The primary impulse of each is to maintain and aggrandise himself. The secondary impulse is to go out of the self, to correct its provincialism and heal its loneliness. In love, in virtue, in the pursuit of knowledge, and in the reception of the arts, we are doing this. Obviously this process can be described either as an enlargement or as a temporary annihilation of the self. But that is an old paradox; ‘he that loseth his life shall save it’. … Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realise the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realise it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented. Even the eyes of all humanity are not enough. I regret that the brutes cannot write books. … Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality. There are mass emotions which heal the wound; but they destroy the privilege. In them our separate selves are pooled and we sink back into sub-individuality. But in reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.
C.S. Lewis (An Experiment in Criticism)
circumstances in which you should have been lovingly touched, held, or nurtured, but were not. Neglect also constitutes a violation. Once you find the source violation, it is important to forgive yourself for “allowing” the energetic injury to occur and recur. Under stress, we unconsciously do anything necessary to survive. The initial strategy seldom works long term, but we hold onto the pattern because it seemed to help, at least once. Forgiving ourselves for reacting in a way that hurts us, or perhaps others, isn’t about accepting blame. It’s about understanding our motive for establishing an energetic pattern. Once we forgive ourselves, the pattern dissipates. Then, when we’re ready to also forgive the others involved, our job is done. The pattern usually disappears or can be treated.
Cyndi Dale (Energetic Boundaries: How to Stay Protected and Connected in Work, Love, and Life)
Did you really think that the world was made for your sake ? You need to understand that in my works, in my ordinances , and in my operations ,with very few exceptions ,I always had and still have in mind something quite other than the happiness or unhappiness of men. When I hurt you in any way or by any means , I am not aware of it , except very seldom; just as usually , if I please you or benefit you , I do not know of it ; and I have not as you believe ,made certain things , nor do I perform certain actions to please you or to help you . And finally ,even if I happened to exterminate your whole race , I would not be aware of it. Obviously you have given no thought to the fact that the life of this universe is a perpetual circle of production and destruction , the two connected in such a way that each continually serves the other, to ensure the conservation of the world , which as soon as one or the other of them ceased to be would likewise disintegrate. So the world itself would be harmed if anything in it was free from suffering. From 'dialogue between nature and an icelander ' Reproduced from 'the soul of the marionette' John N. Gray
Giacomo Leopardi (Essays And Dialogues Of Giacomo Leopardi: With Biographical Sketch (1882))
John, come back to me for this one evening. It will be late for Mrs. Hale. But that is not it. To-morrow, you will—— Come back to-night, John!” She had seldom pleaded with her son at all—she was too proud for that; but she had never pleaded in vain. “I will return straight here after I have done my business. You will be sure to enquire after them?—after her?” Mrs. Thornton was by no means a talkative companion to Fanny, nor yet a good listener while her son was absent. But on his return, her eyes and ears were keen to see and to listen to all the details which he could give, as to the steps he had taken to secure himself, and those whom he chose to employ, from any repetition of the day’s outrages. He clearly saw his object. Punishment and suffering, were the natural consequences to those who had taken part in the riot. All that was necessary, in order that property should be protected, and that the will of the proprietor might cut to his end, clean and sharp as a sword. “Mother! You know what I have got to say to Miss Hale, to-morrow?{149}” The question came upon her suddenly, during a pause in which she, at least, had forgotten Margaret. She looked up at him. “Yes! I do. You can hardly do otherwise.” “Do otherwise! I don’t understand you.” “I mean that, after allowing her feelings so to overcome her, I consider you bound in honour—” “Bound in honour,” said he scornfully. “I’m afraid honour has nothing to do with it. ‘Her feelings overcome her!’ What feelings do you mean?” “Nay, John, there is no need to be angry. Did she not rush down and cling to you to save you from danger?” “She did!” said he. “But, mother,” continued he, stopping short in his walk right in front of her. “I dare not hope. I never was faint-hearted before; but I cannot believe such a creature cares for me.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
Besides, Mrs. Miniver was beginning to feel more than a little weary of exchanging ideas (especially political ones) and of hearing other people exchange theirs. It’s all very well, she reflected, when the ideas have had time to flower, or at least to bud, so that we can pick them judiciously, present them with a bow, and watch them unfold in the warmth of each other’s understanding: but there is far too much nowadays of pulling up the wretched little things just to see how they are growing. Half the verbal sprigs we hand each other are nothing but up-ended rootlets, earthy and immature: left longer in the ground they might have come to something, but once they are exposed we seldom manage to replant them. It is largely the fault, no doubt, of the times we live in. Things happen too quickly, crisis follows crisis, the soil of our minds is perpetually disturbed. Each of us, to relieve his feelings, broadcasts his own running commentary on the preposterous and bewildering events of the hour: and this, nowadays, is what passes for conversation.
Jan Struther (Mrs. Miniver)
Flat paintings are so commonplace that we seldom ask why flat representations work so well. If we really experience the world as 3D, an image seen in a flat picture would distort jarringly when we move in front of it. But it does not do so as long as it is flat. A folded picture, in contrast, distorts as we move around it. Our ability to interpret representations that are less than 3D indicates that we do not experience the visual world as truly 3D, and has allowed flat pictures (and movies) to dominate our visual environment as an economical and convenient substitute for 3D representations. This tolerance of flat representations is found in all cultures, infants, and in other species, so it cannot result from learning a convention of representation. Imagine how different our culture would be if we could not make sense of flat representations.
Eric R. Kandel (The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain from Vienna 1900 to the Present)
The inventory of your scars, in particular the ones on your face, which are visible to you each morning when you look into the bathroom mirror to shave or comb you hair. You seldom think about them, but whenever you do, you understand that they are marks of life, that the assorted jagged lines etched into the skin of your face are letters from the secret alphabet that tells the story of who you are, for each scar is the trace of a healed wound, and each wound was caused by an unexpected collision with the world – that is to say, an accident, or something that need not have happened, since by definition an accident is something that need not to happen.
Paul Auster (Winter Journal)