Serve The Purpose Quotes

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He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
For you will certainly carry out God's purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose
Eckhart Tolle
Find a purpose to serve, not a lifestyle to live.
Criss Jami (Venus in Arms)
Girls are like slugs—they probably serve some purpose, but it's hard to imagine what.
Bill Watterson (The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury)
The only really happy people are those who have learned how to serve.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind.
Pearl S. Buck
I felt after I finished Slaughterhouse-Five that I didn’t have to write at all anymore if I didn’t want to. It was the end of some sort of career. I don’t know why, exactly. I suppose that flowers, when they’re through blooming, have some sort of awareness of some purpose having been served. Flowers didn’t ask to be flowers and I didn’t ask to be me. At the end of Slaughterhouse-Five…I had a shutting-off feeling…that I had done what I was supposed to do and everything was OK .
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut)
A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.
Sophia Loren
The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of like is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give.
William Arthur Ward
The taste for books was an early one. As a child he was sometimes found at midnight by a page still reading. They took his taper away, and he bred glow-worms to serve his purpose. They took the glow-worms away and he almost burnt the house down with a tinder.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
Giving up something that no longer serves a purpose, or protects you, or helps you, isn’t giving up at all, it’s growing up.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Incubus Dreams (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #12))
Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Humility is thinking more of others. Humble people are so focused on serving others, they don't think of themselves.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
Be above it! Make the world serve your purpose, but do not serve it!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
We are much too much inclined in these days to divide people into permanent categories, forgetting that a category only exists for its special purpose and must be forgotten as soon as that purpose is served.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society)
Everyone in life has a purpose, even if it's to serve as a bad example
Carroll Bryant
You also know you’re surrendered when you don’t react to criticism and rush to defend yourself. Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships. You don’t edge others out, you don’t demand your rights, and you aren’t self-serving when you’re surrendered.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for?)
I often find that a novel, even a well-written and compelling novel, can become a blur to me soon after I've finished reading it. I recollect perfectly the feeling of reading it, the mood I occupied, but I am less sure about the narrative details. It is almost as if the book were, as Wittgenstein said of his propositions, a ladder to be climbed and then discarded after it has served its purpose.
Sven Birkerts (The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age)
Like black, do you? (Cassandra) It serves its purpose. It’s hard to look intimidating in pastels. (Wulf)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
I've never heard a man's cock described as a fang before...." "Fang, cock.... It's all sexual to a vampire." "But not to an angel. My cock serves a highly specific purpose.
Nalini Singh (Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1))
But even the worst earthly pain and heartache doesn't last into the heavenly realm. And it all serves a higher purpose.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible.
Marcel Proust
The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others.
Albert Schweitzer
It is a luxury to do something that serves no practical purpose: the luxury of civilization.
M.L. Stedman (The Light Between Oceans)
Life is a balanced system of learning and evolution. Whether pleasure or pain; every situation in your life serves a purpose. It is up to us to recognize what that purpose could be.
Steve Maraboli
The overall purpose of human communication is - or should be - reconciliation. It should ultimately serve to lower or remove the walls of misunderstanding which unduly separate us human beings, one from another.
M. Scott Peck (The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace)
It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.
Ashleigh Brilliant
A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.
Kenneth B. Elliott
The best kind of happiness is a habit you're passionate about.
Shannon L. Alder
Pain serves a purpose. Without it you are in danger. What you cannot feel you cannot take care of.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
We're all liars when it serves our purpose.
Cornelia Funke
Release and detach from every person, every circumstance, every condition, and every situation that no longer serves a divine purpose in your life. All things have a season, and all seasons must come to an end. Choose a new season, filled with purposeful thoughts and activities.
Iyanla Vanzant
From an evolutionary point of view, most emotions - fear, desire, anger - serve some practical purpose, but nostalgia is a useless, futile thing because it is a longing for something that is permanently lost . . . .
David Nicholls (Us)
When you really thought about it crying was a rather bizarre thing for any creature to be capable of. What purpose did it serve other than revealing too much?
Kitty Thomas (The Auction)
You can't go through life striking out at people who hurt or scare you. All that does is show them that you're weak. It tells them that they've wounded you, and a strong woman never shows her wounds unless it serves a purpose.
Lisa Cach (Great-Aunt Sophia's Lessons for Bombshells)
When the deepest part of you becomes engaged in what you are doing, when your activities and actions become gratifying and purposeful, when what you do serves both yourself and others, when you do not tire within but seek the sweet satisfaction of your life and your work, you are doing what you were meant to be doing.
Gary Zukav
Kell wore a very peculiar coat. It had neither one side, which would be conventional, nor two, which would be unexpected, but several, which was, of course, impossible. The first thing he did whenever he stepped out of one London and into another was take off the coat and turn it inside out once or twice (or even three times) until he found the side he needed. Not all of them were fashionable, but they each served a purpose. There were ones that blended in and ones that stood out, and one that served no purpose but of which he was just particularly fond.
V.E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1))
Shout out to everyone transcending a mindset, mentality, desire, belief, emotion, habit, behavior or vibration, that no longer serves them.
Lalah Delia
All power is the same. Magic. Physical strength. Economic strength. Political strength. It all serves a single purpose-it gives its possessor a broader spectrum of choices. It creates alternative courses of action.
Jim Butcher (Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, #8))
We are healed to help others. We are blessed to be a blessing. We are saved to serve, not to sit around and wait for heaven.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid or produces only atheists or fanatics. As an engine of power, it serves the purpose of despotism, and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests, but so far as respects the good of man in general it leads to nothing here or hereafter.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
To live without love for others is to live in aridity, to be self-serving and fruitless. To live without understanding is to live without sense or purpose. To live without awareness is to live as the deaf, blind and dumb in a world of vibrant light and sound.
Belsebuub (Gazing into the Eternal: Reflections upon a Deeper Purpose to Living)
Despicable creatures, vultures: without a doubt the most disgusting birds ever. I suppose they served their purpose, but did they have to be so greasy and ugly? Couldn't we have cute fuzzy rabbits that cleaned up roadkill instead?
Rick Riordan (The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles, #2))
Examine every word you put on paper. You'll find a surprising number that don't serve any purpose.
William Zinsser (On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction)
A Student is the most important person ever in this school...in person, on the telephone, or by mail. A Student is not dependent on us...we are dependent on the Student. A Student is not an interruption of our work..the Studenti s the purpose of it. We are not doing a favor by serving the Student...the Student is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so. A Student is a person who brings us his or her desire to learn. It is our job to handle each Student in a manner which is beneficial to the Student and ourselves.
William W. Purkey (Becoming an Invitational Leader)
You people always hold onto old identities, old faces and masks, long after they've served their purpose. But you've got to learn to throw things away eventually.
Neil Gaiman (Dream Country (The Sandman, #3))
The individual does actually carry on a double existence: one designed to serve his own purposes and another as a link in a chain, in which he serves against, or at any rate without, any volition of his own.
Sigmund Freud
Knowing serves no real purpose, but then, neither does not knowing. Myself, I always prefer knowing to not.
Robert Jordan (The Great Hunt (The Wheel of Time, #2))
I think music is the greatest art form that exists, and I think people listen to music for different reasons, and it serves different purposes. The best songs are the ones that make you feel something
Eddie Vedder
I am a handmaiden of Death. I walk in His dark shadow and do His bidding. Serving Him is my only purpose in this life...
R.L. LaFevers (Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1))
SOMETIMES I WONDER IF THE PURPOSE OF MY LIFE IS TO SERVE AS A CAUTIONARY TALE TO OTHERS. —T-SHIRT
Darynda Jones (Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8))
I want the loved person to grow and unfold for his own sake, and in his own ways, and not for the purpose of serving me. If
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
They came to know the incorrigible sorrow of all prisoners and exiles, which is to live in company with a memory that serves no purpose.
Albert Camus
Morality is neither rational nor absolute nor natural. World has known many moral systems, each of which advances claims universality; all moral systems are therefore particular, serving a specific purpose for their propagators or creators, and enforcing a certain regime that disciplines human beings for social life by narrowing our perspectives and limiting our horizons.
Friedrich Nietzsche
It is important to ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing and what purpose it serves in the big picture.
Miley Cyrus (Miles to Go)
Contrary to his infallibly "honest" image, Abe wasn't above lying so long as it served a noble purpose.
Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, #1))
It is mental slavery to cling to things that have stopped serving it’s purpose in your life.
Chinonye J. Chidolue
Eventually, you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is. The journey may take many lifetimes, but you will complete it. It is impossible not to complete it. It is not a question of if but of when. Every situation you create serves this purpose. Every experience you encounter serves this purpose.
Gary Zukav
He explained to Atro that he now understood why the army was organized as it was. It was indeed quite necessary. No rational form of organization would serve the purpose. He simply had not understood that the purpose was to enable men with machine guns to kill unarmed men and women easily and in great quantities when told to do so. Only he still could not see where courage, or manliness, or fitness entered in.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle, #6))
Enchantment and seduction were fine means of persuasion, but when time is short, an awkward but quick concussion could better serve a girl's purpose.
Christopher Moore (Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d Art)
Let's all keep quiet, there are times when words serve no purpose, if only I, too, could weep, say everything with tears, not have to speak in order to be understood.
José Saramago (Blindness)
Everyone must work to live, but the purpose of life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others. Only then have we ourselves become true human beings.
Albert Schweitzer
Truth is a risky proposition. It's the nature of mediocre human beings to believe that lies are necessary, that they serve a purpose, that truth is subversive, that candor is dangerous, that the very scaffold of communal life is supported by lies.
Anne Rice (The Wolf Gift (The Wolf Gift Chronicles, #1))
Get this into your head: if violence were only a thing of the future, if exploitation and oppression never existed on earth, perhaps displays of nonviolence might relieve the conflict. But if the entire regime, even your nonviolent thoughts, is governed by a thousand-year old oppression, your passiveness serves no other purpose but to put you on the side of the oppressors.
Jean-Paul Sartre (The Wretched of the Earth)
Stories are there to entertain, preserve history, or serve a societal purpose of some kind.
Sylvain Neuvel (Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1))
We are here to become great men and women, and with that purpose in view, we must eliminate everything in our religion and philosophy that tends to make the human mind a dependent weakling. If you would serve God and be truly religious, do not kneel before God, but learn to walk with God, and do something tangible every day to increase the happiness of mankind. This is religion that is worth while, and it is such religion alone that can please the Infinite.
Christian D. Larson (Your Forces and How to Use Them)
You want to kill me, don't you? And here I thought you and your friends were so righteous. You are just as capable of evil as anyone. Perhaps more so. Yet you believe your brand of evil is justified, so long as it serves your own misguided purposes." --Saint Dane
D.J. MacHale (The Rivers of Zadaa (Pendragon, #6))
Come on, Megeara. Walk on the wild side with me. Let’s get naked and ruin Solin’s upholstery. It serves two purposes. We’re happy and he’s pissed. (Arik)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (The Dream Hunter (Dark-Hunter, #10; Dream-Hunter, #1))
The thing about hope is that it doesn't go away even when it serves no purpose.
Lauren DeStefano (Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2))
Individuals are not stable things, they are fleeting. Chromosomes too are shuffled into oblivion, like hands of cards soon after they are dealt. But the cards themselves survive the shuffling. The cards are the genes. The genes are not destroyed by crossing-over, they merely change partners and march on. Of course they march on. That is their business. They are the replicators and we are their survival machines. When we have served our purpose we are cast aside. But genes are denizens of geological time: genes are forever.
Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene)
If you are unclear about what attitudes you adhere to, you will have a difficult time evaluation which ones are not serving your highest good.
Deborah Day
Yes, thought the Count, the world does spin. In fact, it spins on its axis even as it revolves around the sun. And the galaxy turns as well, a wheel within a greater wheel, producing a chime of an entirely different nature than that of a tiny hammer in a clock. And when that celestial chime sounds, perhaps a mirror will suddenly serve its truer purpose - revealing to a man not who he imagines himself to be, but who he has become.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
God freely created us so that we might know, love, and serve him in this life and be happy with him forever. God's purpose in creating us is to draw forth from us a response of love and service here on earth, so that we may attain our goal of everlasting happiness with him in heaven. All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully. As a result, we ought to appreciate and use these gifts of God insofar as they help us toward our goal of loving service and union with God. But insofar as any created things hinder our progress toward our goal, we ought to let them go.
Ignatius of Loyola
Perhaps it is becoming clearer why I felt no romance when you told me that you carried my last letter with you, everywhere you went, for months on end, unopened. This may have served some purpose for you, but whatever it was, surely it bore little resemblance to mine. I never aimed to give you a talisman, an empty vessel to flood with whatever longing, dread, or sorrow happened to be the day's mood. I wrote it because I had something to say to you.
Maggie Nelson (Bluets)
Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we've utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy. So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
I know in my life there have been breaches, but I also know that I am very good at blocking out the memories that serve me no purpose.
Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1))
Without a future, the present serves no purpose,
José Saramago (Blindness)
Your dream is to feel good; God’s dream is for you to do good.
Shannon L. Alder
Do you know why Satan is so angry all the time? Because whenever he works a particularly clever bit of mischief God uses it to serve his own Rigteous purposes." "So God uses wicked people as his tools?" "God gives us the freedom to to do great evil, if we choose, then He uses his own freedom to create goodness out of that evil, for that is what He chooses." "So, in the long run, God always wins?" "Yes, in the short run though it can be uncomfortable.
Orson Scott Card (Ender's Shadow (The Shadow Series, #1))
I shall stay and tell my tale, hope that it may serve some purpose, that eyes shall see it and learn, that the future will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That is my prayer, but what use is prayer to a god that has abandoned all things . . .
John Gwynne (Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen, #1))
She’s my mate; that makes her mine. Forgetting that will see your neck no longer serving its purpose.” “I love it when you talk dirty,” she purred. “Give my regards to Lindsay.
Sylvia Day (A Hunger So Wild (Renegade Angels, #2))
We came to this world with nothing but love and blessing. The purpose of our life is to be happy by loving and serving.
Debasish Mridha
There is only one purpose in life, which is happiness. We attain happiness by serving others with love and kindness.
Debasish Mridha
If you would reflect well and wisely, you would realize that those events you regard as personal misfortunes have served a useful purpose even in this worldly life, and indeed have worked for your betterment.
Christine de Pizan
Fireflies out on a warm summer's night, seeing the urgent, flashing, yellow-white phosphorescence below them, go crazy with desire; moths cast to the winds an enchantment potion that draws the opposite sex, wings beating hurriedly, from kilometers away; peacocks display a devastating corona of blue and green and the peahens are all aflutter; competing pollen grains extrude tiny tubes that race each other down the female flower's orifice to the waiting egg below; luminescent squid present rhapsodic light shows, altering the pattern, brightness and color radiated from their heads, tentacles, and eyeballs; a tapeworm diligently lays a hundred thousand fertilized eggs in a single day; a great whale rumbles through the ocean depths uttering plaintive cries that are understood hundreds of thousands of kilometers away, where another lonely behemoth is attentively listening; bacteria sidle up to one another and merge; cicadas chorus in a collective serenade of love; honeybee couples soar on matrimonial flights from which only one partner returns; male fish spray their spunk over a slimy clutch of eggs laid by God-knows-who; dogs, out cruising, sniff each other's nether parts, seeking erotic stimuli; flowers exude sultry perfumes and decorate their petals with garish ultraviolet advertisements for passing insects, birds, and bats; and men and women sing, dance, dress, adorn, paint, posture, self-mutilate, demand, coerce, dissemble, plead, succumb, and risk their lives. To say that love makes the world go around is to go too far. The Earth spins because it did so as it was formed and there has been nothing to stop it since. But the nearly maniacal devotion to sex and love by most of the plants, animals, and microbes with which we are familiar is a pervasive and striking aspect of life on Earth. It cries out for explanation. What is all this in aid of? What is the torrent of passion and obsession about? Why will organisms go without sleep, without food, gladly put themselves in mortal danger for sex? ... For more than half the history of life on Earth organisms seem to have done perfectly well without it. What good is sex?... Through 4 billion years of natural selection, instructions have been honed and fine-tuned...sequences of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts, manuals written out in the alphabet of life in competition with other similar manuals published by other firms. The organisms become the means through which the instructions flow and copy themselves, by which new instructions are tried out, on which selection operates. 'The hen,' said Samuel Butler, 'is the egg's way of making another egg.' It is on this level that we must understand what sex is for. ... The sockeye salmon exhaust themselves swimming up the mighty Columbia River to spawn, heroically hurdling cataracts, in a single-minded effort that works to propagate their DNA sequences into future generation. The moment their work is done, they fall to pieces. Scales flake off, fins drop, and soon--often within hours of spawning--they are dead and becoming distinctly aromatic. They've served their purpose. Nature is unsentimental. Death is built in.
Carl Sagan (Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search For Who We Are)
Though why should we expect age to mellow us? If it isn't life's business to reward merit, why should it be life's business to give us warm comfortable feelings towards its end? What possible evolutionary purpose could nostalgia serve?
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
The crux of the matter is whether total war in its present form is justifiable, even when it serves a just purpose. Does it not have material and spiritual evil as its consequences which far exceed whatever good might result? When will our moralists give us an answer to this question?
John Hersey (Hiroshima)
Mockingbirds are the true artists of the bird kingdom. Which is to say, although they're born with a song of their own, an innate riff that happens to be one of the most versatile of all ornithological expressions, mocking birds aren't content to merely play the hand that is dealt them. Like all artists, they are out to rearrange reality. Innovative, willful, daring, not bound by the rules to which others may blindly adhere, the mockingbird collects snatches of birdsong from this tree and that field, appropriates them, places them in new and unexpected contexts, recreates the world from the world. For example, a mockingbird in South Carolina was heard to blend the songs of thirty-two different kinds of birds into a ten-minute performance, a virtuoso display that serve no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
It is a popular fact that nine-tenths of the brain is not used and, like most popular facts, it is wrong. Not even the most stupid Creator would go to the trouble of making the human head carry around several pounds of unnecessary gray goo if its only real purpose was, for example, to serve as a delicacy for certain remote tribesmen in unexplored valleys.
Terry Pratchett (Small Gods (Discworld, #13))
Because the beauty of the human body is that it hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Dreamers like your wife are limited, little Helldiver.” She makes sure I don’t speak. “Understand that. The only power they have is in death. The harder they die, the louder their voice, the deeper the echoes. But your wife served her purpose.
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))
In an average day, you may well be confronted with some species of bullying or bigotry, or some ill-phrased appeal to the general will, or some petty abuse of authority. If you have a political loyalty, you may be offered a shady reason for agreeing to a lie or a half-truth that serves some short-term purpose. Everybody devises tactics for getting through such moments; try behaving "as if" they need not be tolerated and are not inevitable.
Christopher Hitchens (Letters to a Young Contrarian)
Ultimately, totalitarianism is the only sort of politics that can truly serve the sky-god's purpose. Any movement of a liberal nature endangers his authority and that of his delegates on earth. One God, one King, one Pope, one master in the factory, one father-leader in the family at home.
Gore Vidal
American coffee can be a pale solution served at a temperature of 100 degrees centigrade in plastic thermos cups, usually obligatory in railroad stations for purposes of genocide, whereas coffee made with an American percolator, such as you find in private houses or in humble luncheonettes, served with eggs and bacon, is delicious, fragrant, goes down like pure spring water, and afterwards causes severe palpitations, because one cup contains more caffeine than four espressos.
Umberto Eco (How to Travel with a Salmon and Other Essays)
Now take a human body. Why wouldn't you like to see a human body with a curling tail with a crest of ostrich feathers at the end? And with ears shaped like acanthus leaves? It would be ornamental, you know, instead of the stark, bare ugliness we have now. Well, why don't you like the idea? Because it would be useless and pointless. Because the beauty of the human body is that is hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
The church exists primarily for two closely correlated purposes: to worship God and to work for his kingdom in the world ... The church also exists for a third purpose, which serves the other two: to encourage one another, to build one another up in faith, to pray with and for one another, to learn from one another and teach one another, and to set one another examples to follow, challenges to take up, and urgent tasks to perform. This is all part of what is known loosely as fellowship.
N.T. Wright (Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense)
I started to wonder, and felt relieved that there might be truth to the idea of intellectuals all being frauds. I knew that I certainly was.
Marie Calloway (What Purpose Did I Serve in Your Life)
I’m sorry, Silvertongue, but the fact is I don’t believe anyone. You ought to know that by now. We’re all liars when it serves our purpose.
Cornelia Funke (Inkheart (Inkworld, #1))
I no longer follow the voices of the sane. I follow the ill because they see farther, feel much more and change what the sane will not. This is the paradox of philosophers---trying to understand mass delusion among great people that have faith and knowledge, yet they can’t graduate from their institutions of religious theology to apply the knowledge they have gained for the shifting of Zion---- from words to action; from comfort to uncomfortable; from self serving to self giving; from competition to supporting; to tradition to unity; from bias to acceptance; from me to us.
Shannon L. Alder
Granpa said if there was less words, there wouldn't be as much trouble in the world. He said privately to me that there was always some damn fool making up a word that served no purpose except to cause trouble.
Forrest Carter (The Education of Little Tree)
See, it’s like I’ve always told you, you’re a waste of human life and you would be better off as a grain of sand. If you were a grain of sand, you would serve a purpose in this life. The dirt that holds me up from touching something lower than you. Now you know where you stand in this world. Right below me.
Charles Lee (The Way To Dawn)
It's the same with the wound in our hearts. We need to give them our attention so that they can heal. Otherwise the wounds continue to cause us pain. Sometimes for a very long time. We're all going to get hurt. But here's the trick - they also serve an amazing purpose. When our hearts are wounded that's when they open. We grow through pain. We grow through difficult situations. That's why you have to embrace each and every difficult thing in your life.
James R. Doty (Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart)
Instead of working too hard, if the person had taken good care of his health and lived a long life, he would certainly have served his purpose better.
Prem Jagyasi
The most often repeated commandment in the Bible is 'Do not fear.' It's in there over two hundred times. That means a couple of things, if you think about it. It means we are going to be afraid, and it means we shouldn't let fear boss us around. Before I realized we were supposed to fight fear, I thought of fear as a subtle suggestion in our subconscious designed to keep us safe, or more important, keep us from getting humiliated. And I guess it serves that purpose. But fear isn't only a guide to keep us safe; it's also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
Every person we assassinate dies to serve a greater purpose." "I'm sure they would be happy if they knew it," Ileni said sarcastically, but her voice sounded weak even to her. "If you would explain it to them, perhaps they would volunteer for your knives.
Leah Cypess (Death Sworn (Death Sworn, #1))
Was I being groomed for some special mission? What possible purpose could an existence like mine serve? When I wasn’t drinking in crappy bars, I was home by myself reading: a life that was achingly lonely, and yet perversely designed to prevent anybody from ever getting close enough to really know me.
Heather King (Parched)
Gaea. The planet is an organism. All of us are cells with different purposes. And yet we are intertwined. Serving each other. Serving the whole.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
No story has a beginning, and no story has an end. Beginnings and endings may be conceived to serve a purpose, to serve a momentary and transient intent, but they are, in their fundamental nature, arbitrary and exist solely as a convenient construct in the minds of man. Lives are messy, and when we set out to relate them, or parts of them, we cannot ever discern precise and objective moments when any given event began. All beginnings are arbitrary.
Caitlín R. Kiernan (The Drowning Girl)
But why do some people support [the heretics]?" "Because it serves their purposes, which concern the faith rarely, and more often the conquest of power." "Is that why the church of Rome accuses all its adversaries of heresy?" "That is why, and that is also why it recognizes as orthodoxy any heresy it can bring back under its own control or must accept because the heresy has become too strong.
Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose)
Rules?" said Roark. "Here are my rules: what can be done with one substance must never be done with another. No two materials are alike. No two sites on earth are alike. No two buildings have the same purpose. The purpose, the site, the material determine the shape. Nothing can be reasonable or beautiful unless it's made by one central idea, and the idea sets every detail. A building is alive, like a man. Its integrity is to follow its own truth, its one single theme, and to serve its own single purpose. A man doesn't borrow pieces of his body. A building doesn't borrow hunks of its soul. Its maker gives it the soul and every wall, window and stairway to express it.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
If we've deluded ourselves into thinking that our angry mass emails or conversation-stopping talking points serve as a ministry or carry out the purposes of God, we need to slow down and take a breath.
David Dark
Dictatorship, by whatever name, is founded on the doctrine that the individual amounts to nothing; that the State is the only one that counts; and that men and women and children were put on earth solely for the purpose of serving the state.
Harry Truman
I marvel again at the nakedness of men's lives: the showers right out in the open, the body exposed for inspection and comparison, the public display of privates. What is it for? What purposes of reassurance does it serve? The flashing of a badge, look, everyone, all is in order, I belong here. Why don't women have to prove to one another that they are women? Some form of unbuttoning, some split-crotch routine, just as casual. A doglike sniffing.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
There is no word in our language which has been so much misused and prostituted as the word love. It has been preached by those who were ready to condone every cruelty if it served their purpose; it has been used as a disguise under which to force people into sacrificing their own happiness, into submitting their whole self to those who profited from this surrender. [...] It has been made so empty that for many people love may mean no more than that two people have lived together for twenty years just without fighting more often than once a week.
Erich Fromm (Love, Sexuality and Matriarchy: About Gender)
In some literature, I’ve read, weather is used as a metaphor. The darker and stormier the weather outside the more diabolical the deeds done. When the clouds roll away, however, the rain has washed away all the blood in the streets and the world is clean and new again, as if all the violence and destruction of the storm served a divine purpose.
Benjamin R. Smith (Atlas)
Every woman is never enough; she's always too much. We angered someone, somewhere, for our too muchness. If to be too much is to be a witch, then I am a witch, and we are all witches. I told this to the other girls, and I heard them all whisper back yes, because to be a witch means our too muchness serves a purpose: it gives us power.
Elizabeth May (Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft)
In a much quoted passage in his inaugural address, President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country." It is a striking sign of the temper of our times that the controversy about this passage centered on its origin and not on its content. Neither half of the statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. The paternalistic "what your country can do for you" implies that government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man's belief in his own responsibility for his own destiny. The organismic, "what you can do for your country" implies that government is the master or the deity, the citizen, the servant or the votary. To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them. He is proud of a common heritage and loyal to common traditions. But he regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favors and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshiped and served. He recognizes no national goal except as it is the consensus of the goals that the citizens severally serve. He recognizes no national purpose except as it is the consensus of the purposes for which the citizens severally strive.
Milton Friedman (Capitalism and Freedom)
Enthusiasm needs to be effective enthusiasm. We must distinguish between the contribution and enthusiasm of the cheerleader and the enthusiasm of the player. While cheerleaders serve an important purpose, the real contest involves players on the field or on the court of life. We must not go through life acting only as enthusiastic cheerleaders available for hire; we must be anxiously and personally engaged.
Neal A. Maxwell (Deposition of a Disciple)
The desert seems to be a brown wasteland of dry, prickly scrub whose only purpose is to serve as a setting for the majestic saguaros. Then, little by little, the plants of the desert begin to identify themselves: the porcupiny yucca, the beaver tail and prickly pear and barrel cacti, buckhorn and staghorn and devil's fingers, the tall, sky-reaching tendrils of the ocotillo.
Jerry Spinelli (Stargirl (Stargirl, #1))
And what is true education? It is awakening a love for truth; giving a just sense of duty; opening the eyes of the soul to the great purpose and end of life. It is not so much giving words, as thoughts; or mere maxims, as living principles. It is not teaching to be honest, because 'honesty is the best policy'; but because it is right. It is teaching the individual to love the good, for the sake of the good; to be virtuous in action because one is so in heart; to love and serve God supremely, not from fear, but from delight in his perfect character.
David O. McKay (Gospel Ideals)
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, "It's too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings." And then someone else on board says something like, "But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d'oeuvres." At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who'd been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can't get to him soon enough, or they don't even try, and the yacht's speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
My "heart". Does that pitiful organ still represent anything? It lies motionless in my chest, pumping no blood, serving no purpose, and yet my feelings still seem to originate inside its cold walls. My muted sadness, my vague longing, my rare flickers of joy. They pool in the center of my chest and seep out of there, diluted and faint, but real.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
But the truth is it’s hard for me to know what I really think about any of the stuff I’ve written. It’s always tempting to sit back and make finger-steeples and invent impressive sounding theoretical justifications for what one does, but in my case most of it’d be horseshit. As time passes I get less and less nuts about anything I’ve published, and it gets harder to know for sure when its antagonistic elements are in there because they serve a useful purpose and when their just covert manifestations of this "look-at-me-please-love-me-I-hate you" syndrome I still sometimes catch myself falling into. Anyway, but what I think I meant by "antagonize" or "aggravate" has to do with the stuff in the TV essay about the younger writer trying to struggle against the cultural hegemony of TV. One thing TV does is help us deny that we’re lonely. With televised images, we can have the facsimile of a relationship without the work of a real relationship. It’s an anesthesia of "form." The interesting thing is why we’re so desperate for this anesthetic against loneliness. You don’t have to think very hard to realize that our dread of both relationships and loneliness, both of which are like sub-dreads of our dread of being trapped inside a self (a psychic self, not just a physical self), has to do with angst about death, the recognition that I’m going to die, and die very much alone, and the rest of the world is going to go merrily on without me. I’m not sure I could give you a steeple-fingered theoretical justification, but I strongly suspect a big part of real art fiction’s job is to aggravate this sense of entrapment and loneliness and death in people, to move people to countenance it, since any possible human redemption requires us first to face what’s dreadful, what we want to deny.
David Foster Wallace
An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
The urge to leap across feminism to "human liberation" is a tragic and dangerous mistake. It deflects us from our real sources of vision, recycles us back into old definitions and structures, and continues to serve the purposes of the patriarchy, which will use "women's lib," as it contemptuously phrases it, only to buy more time for itself—as both capitalism and socialism are now doing. Feminism is a criticism and subversion of all patriarchal thought and institutions—not merely those currently seen as reactionary and tyrannical.
Adrienne Rich (On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978)
Love makes us wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose and a flow of creative ideas. Love floods our nervous system with positive energy, making us far more attractive to prospective employers, clients, and creative partners. Love fills us with powerful charisma, enabling us to produce new ideas and new projects, even within circumstances that seem to be limited. Love leads us to atone for our errors and clean up the mess when we've made mistakes. Love leads us to act with impeccability, integrity, and excellence. Love leads us to serve, to forgive, and to hope. Those things are the opposite of a poverty consciousness; they're the stuff of spiritual wealth creation.
Marianne Williamson (The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles)
There is is again, that slight stinging sensation of the cheeks. It's our body's light speed response to the world showing us up. And it's one of life's most unpleasant feelings, leaving one to wonder what evolutionary purpose it could possible serve.
Amor Towles (Rules of Civility)
Why do I covet metafiction so much? Why do I nurture a style that David Foster Wallace purportedly exploded in the late 1980s, that is derided by most literary theorists as passé, that people tend to agree serves no worldly, moral purpose other than to draw attention to the writer’s own navel? Because, dammit, metafiction is relevant to today.
M.J. Nicholls
[T]he useful idiots, the leftists who are idealistically believing in the beauty of the Soviet socialist or Communist or whatever system, when they get disillusioned, they become the worst enemies. That’s why my KGB instructors specifically made the point: never bother with leftists. Forget about these political prostitutes. Aim higher. [...] They serve a purpose only at the stage of destabilization of a nation. For example, your leftists in the United States: all these professors and all these beautiful civil rights defenders. They are instrumental in the process of the subversion only to destabilize a nation. When their job is completed, they are not needed any more. They know too much. Some of them, when they get disillusioned, when they see that Marxist-Leninists come to power—obviously they get offended—they think that they will come to power. That will never happen, of course. They will be lined up against the wall and shot.
Tomas Schuman
You flesh bodies are so obsessed with goodness, yet no other form of life on earth is capable of such cruelty. You need only convince yourselves your transgressions serve some 'purpose.' Even if it is only greed, or lust, or the raw desire for power that drives you. You will spill the blood of your kinsmen, lay waste to the earth itself, wreak havoc, and cause unspeakable suffering---any and all sins are justified, as long as they are a means to your precous, righteous 'purpose'.
Maryrose Wood (The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries, #1))
Faith aside, witchcraft served an eminently useful purpose. The aggravating, the confounding, the humiliating all dissolved in its cauldron. It made sense of the unfortunate and the eerie, the sick child and the rancid butter along with the killer cat. What else, shrugged one husband, could have caused the black and blue marks on his wife’s arm?
Stacy Schiff (The Witches: Salem, 1692)
USE SELECTIVE HONESTY AND GENEROSITY TO DISARM YOUR VICTIM JUDGMENT One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A timely gift—a Trojan horse—will serve the same purpose.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
The New testament commanded to love each other, pray for each other, encourage each other, admonish each other, greet each other, serve each other, teach each other, accept each other, honor each other, bear each other's burdens, forgive each other, submit to each other, be devoted each other, and many other mutual tasks. This is biblical membership!
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
Imperialism creates the illusion of wealth as far as the masses are concerned. It usually serves to hide the fact that the ruling classes are gobbling up the natural resources of the home territory in an improvident manner and are otherwise utilizing the national wealth largely for their own purposes. Eventually the general public is called upon to pay for all of this, frequently after the military machine can no longer maintain external aggression.
Jack D. Forbes (Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wetiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism, and Terrorism)
I know the truth, and I will tell you now: He was admired, loved, cheered, honored, respected. In life as well as in death. A great man, he is. A great man, he was. A great man he will be. He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave. And I knew, as Denny sped me toward the doctor who would fix me, that if I had already accomplished what I set out to accomplish here on earth, if I had already learned what I was meant to learn, I would have left the curb one second later than I had, and I would have been killed instantly by that car. But I was not killed. Because I was not finished. I still had work to do.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
Governments are deemed to succeed or fail by how well they make money go round, regardless of whether it serves any useful purpose. They regard it as a sacred duty to encourage the country’s most revolting spectacle: the annual feeding frenzy in which shoppers queue all night, then stampede into the shops, elbow, trample and sometimes fight to be the first to carry off some designer junk which will go into landfill before the sales next year. The madder the orgy, the greater the triumph of economic management.
George Monbiot
Spiritual literature can be a great aid to an aspirant, or it can be a terrible hindrance. If it is used to inspire practice, motivate compassion, ad nourish devotion, it serves a very valuable purpose. If scriptural study is used for mere intellectual understanding, for pride of accomplishment, or as a substitute for actual practice, then one is taking in too much mental food, which is sure to result in intellectual indigestion. (152)
Prem Prakash (The Yoga of Spiritual Devotion A Modern Translation of the Narada Bhakti Sutras (Transformational Book Circle))
The Titans looked on humans the way we might look on gerbils. Some Titans thought humans were kind of cute, though they died awfully quick and didn't serve any purpose. Other Titans thought they were repulsive rodents. Some Titans didn't pay them any attention at all. As for the humans, they mostly just cowered in their caves and scurried around trying not to get stepped on.
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Gods)
Isn't language loss a good thing, because fewer languages mean easier communication among the world's people? Perhaps, but it's a bad thing in other respects. Languages differ in structure and vocabulary, in how they express causation and feelings and personal responsibility, hence in how they shape our thoughts. There's no single purpose "best" language; instead, different languages are better suited for different purposes. For instance, it may not have been an accident that Plato and Aristotle wrote in Greek, while Kant wrote in German. The grammatical particles of those two languages, plus their ease in forming compound words, may have helped make them the preeminent languages of western philosophy. Another example, familiar to all of us who studied Latin, is that highly inflected languages (ones in which word endings suffice to indicate sentence structure) can use variations of word order to convey nuances impossible with English. Our English word order is severely constrained by having to serve as the main clue to sentence structure. If English becomes a world language, that won't be because English was necessarily the best language for diplomacy.
Jared Diamond (The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal)
This paper will serve instead of a confidential friend into whose ear I might pour forth the overflowings of my heart. It will not sympathize with my distresses, but then, it will not laugh at them, and, if I keep it close, it cannot tell again; so it is, perhaps, the best friend I could have for the purpose.
Anne Brontë (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
The recognition of the fact that Congress has no resources of its own forces us to acknowledge that the only way Congress can give one American one dollar is to first, through intimidation, threats, and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American. If a private citizen did the same thing that Congress does, we would call it an immoral act—namely theft. Acts such as theft that are immoral when done privately do not become moral when done collectively. The moral tragedy that has befallen Americans is our belief that it is okay for government to forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another
Walter E. Williams (American Contempt for Liberty (Hoover Institution Press Publication))
Oxytocin, a hormone and neuropeptide ... plays a major role in attachment processes and serves several purposes: It causes women to go into labor, strengthens attachment, and ... [increases] trust and cooperation. We get a boost of oxytocin in our brain during orgasm and even when we cuddle -- which is why it's been tagged the "cuddle hormone." How is oxytocin related to conflict reduction? Sometimes we spend less quality time with our partner -- especially when other demands on us are pressing. However, neuroscience findings suggest that we should change our priorities. By forgoing closeness with our partners, we are also missing our oxytocin boost -- making us less agreeable to the world around us and more vulnerable to conflict.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
The stark, pedestrian images used by filmmakers (probably out of financial necessity) expressed nothing, symbolically or metaphorically. The only purpose they served was to remind me that a huge chunk of my life is completely over, even though I will probably live 60 more years. There are so many things that will never happen to me again, and I never even noticed when those things stopped occurring. And this does not mean I wish I had my old life back, because I like my new life better; I was just shocked to discover how much of what used to be central to my existence doesn't even matter to me anymore.
Chuck Klosterman (Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story)
Why do you keep saying that " he asked in response "Apples and oranges aren't that different really. I mean they're both fruit. Their weight is extremely similar. They both contain acidic elements. They're both roughly spherical. They serve the same social purpose. With the possible exception of a tangerine I can't think of anything more similar to an orange than an apple. If I was having lunch with a man who was eating an apple and-while I was looking away-he replaced that apple with an orange I doubt I'd even notice. So how is this a metaphor for difference I could understand if you said 'That's like comparing apples and uranium ' or 'That's like comparing apples with baby wolverines ' or 'That's like comparing apples with the early work of Raymond Carver ' or 'That's like comparing apples with hermaphroditic ground sloths.' Those would all be valid examples of profound disparity.
Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto)
The purpose of all of this (left hemisphere's way of choosing denial or repression over considering an anomaly) is to impose stability on behavior and to prevent vacillation because indecisiveness doesn't serve any purpose. Any decision, so long as it is probably correct, is better than no decision at all. A perpetually fickle general will never win a war.
V.S. Ramachandran (Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind)
Once upon a time on Tralfamadore there were creatures who weren’t anything like machines. They weren’t dependable. They weren’t efficient. They weren’t predictable. They weren’t durable. And these poor creatures were obsessed by the idea that everything that existed had to have a purpose, and that some purposes were higher than others. These creatures spent most of their time trying to find out what their purpose was. And every time they found out what seemed to be a purpose of themselves, the purpose seemed so low that the creatures were filled with disgust and shame. And, rather than serve such a low purpose, the creatures would make a machine to serve it. This left the creatures free to serve higher purposes. But whenever they found a higher purpose, the purpose still wasn’t high enough. So machines were made to serve higher purposes, too. And the machines did everything so expertly that they were finally given the job of finding out what the highest purpose of the creatures could be. The machines reported in all honesty that the creatures couldn’t really be said to have any purpose at all. The creatures thereupon began slaying each other, because they hated purposeless things above all else. And they discovered that they weren’t even very good at slaying. So they turned that job over to the machines, too. And the machines finished up the job in less time than it takes to say, “Tralfamadore.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (The Sirens of Titan)
Say to a blind man, you’re free, open the door that was separating him from the world, Go, you are free, we tell him once more, and he does not go, he has remained motionless there in the middle of the road, he and the others, they are terrified, they do not know where to go, the fact is that there is no comparison between living in a rational labyrinth, which is, by definition, a mental asylum and venturing forth, without a guiding hand or a dog-leash, into the demented labyrinth of the city, where memory will serve no purpose, for it will merely be able to recall the images of places but not the paths whereby we might get there.
José Saramago
Stories serve multiple purposes. At a basic level they are great entertainment, which is essential for living a happy and healthy life, but on a deeper level stories help us explore issues that are otherwise difficult to address. On one hand a good book helps us escape our troubles, and on the other hand it can help us face up to those troubles by bringing real issues to the fore, often in a more manageable way, since the problems are experienced vicariously through the eyes of another.
Dean F. Wilson
I was born free, and that I might live in freedom I chose the solitude of the fields; in the trees of the mountains I find society, the clear waters of the brooks are my mirrors, and to the trees and waters I make known my thoughts and charms. I am a fire afar off, a sword laid aside. Those whom I have inspired with love by letting them see me, I have by words undeceived, and if their longings live on hope—and I have given none to Chrysostom or to any other—it cannot justly be said that the death of any is my doing, for it was rather his own obstinacy than my cruelty that killed him; and if it be made a charge against me that his wishes were honourable, and that therefore I was bound to yield to them, I answer that when on this very spot where now his grave is made he declared to me his purity of purpose, I told him that mine was to live in perpetual solitude, and that the earth alone should enjoy the fruits of my retirement and the spoils of my beauty; and if, after this open avowal, he chose to persist against hope and steer against the wind, what wonder is it that he should sink in the depths of his infatuation? If I had encouraged him, I should be false; if I had gratified him, I should have acted against my own better resolution and purpose. He was persistent in spite of warning, he despaired without being hated. Bethink you now if it be reasonable that his suffering should be laid to my charge. Let him who has been deceived complain, let him give way to despair whose encouraged hopes have proved vain, let him flatter himself whom I shall entice, let him boast whom I shall receive; but let not him call me cruel or homicide to whom I make no promise, upon whom I practise no deception, whom I neither entice nor receive. It has not been so far the will of Heaven that I should love by fate, and to expect me to love by choice is idle. Let this general declaration serve for each of my suitors on his own account, and let it be understood from this time forth that if anyone dies for me it is not of jealousy or misery he dies, for she who loves no one can give no cause for jealousy to any, and candour is not to be confounded with scorn. Let him who calls me wild beast and basilisk, leave me alone as something noxious and evil; let him who calls me ungrateful, withhold his service; who calls me wayward, seek not my acquaintance; who calls me cruel, pursue me not; for this wild beast, this basilisk, this ungrateful, cruel, wayward being has no kind of desire to seek, serve, know, or follow them. If Chrysostom's impatience and violent passion killed him, why should my modest behaviour and circumspection be blamed? If I preserve my purity in the society of the trees, why should he who would have me preserve it among men, seek to rob me of it? I have, as you know, wealth of my own, and I covet not that of others; my taste is for freedom, and I have no relish for constraint; I neither love nor hate anyone; I do not deceive this one or court that, or trifle with one or play with another. The modest converse of the shepherd girls of these hamlets and the care of my goats are my recreations; my desires are bounded by these mountains, and if they ever wander hence it is to contemplate the beauty of the heavens, steps by which the soul travels to its primeval abode.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
Some say," Scytale said, "that people cling to Imperial leadership because space is infinite. They feel lonely without a unifying symbol. For a lonely people, the Emperor is a definite place. They can turn toward him and say: 'See, there He is. He makes us one.' Perhaps religion serves the same purpose, m'Lord.
Frank Herbert (Dune Messiah (Dune #2))
He has no doubts, there is nothing you can say to sway him, to give him hope or trust. He is a miserable animal whose body decays, who will die, who will pass into dust and oblivion, disappear forever not only in this world but in all the possible dimensions of the universe, whose life serves no conceivable purpose, who may as well not have been born, and so on and so forth.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Marriage includes a spouse, and often children. But the goal, center, and purpose of marriage is not self, spouse, or children. The ultimate goal of marriage and family is the glory of God. Only when marriage and family exist for God's glory - and not to serve as replacement idols - are we able to truly love and be loved. Remember, neither your child nor your husband (or wife) should be who you worship, but instead who you worship with.
Mark Driscoll (Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together)
Every creature was designed to serve a purpose. Learn from animals for they are there to teach you the way of life. There is a wealth of knowledge that is openly accessible in nature. Our ancestors knew this and embraced the natural cures found in the bosoms of the earth. Their classroom was nature. They studied the lessons to be learned from animals. Much of human behavior can be explained by watching the wild beasts around us. They are constantly teaching us things about ourselves and the way of the universe, but most people are too blind to watch and listen.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
At the core of every addiction is an emptiness based in abject fear. The addict dreads and abhors the present moment; she bends feverishly only toward the next time, the moment when her brain, infused with her drug of choice, will briefly experience itself as liberated from the burden of the past and the fear of the future—the two elements that make the present intolerable. Many of us resemble the drug addict in our ineffectual efforts to fill in the spiritual black hole, the void at the center, where we have lost touch with our souls, our spirit—with those sources of meaning and value that are not contingent or fleeting. Our consumerist, acquisition-, action-, and image-mad culture only serves to deepen the hole, leaving us emptier than before. The constant, intrusive, and meaningless mind-whirl that characterizes the way so many of us experience our silent moments is, itself, a form of addiction—and it serves the same purpose. “One of the main tasks of the mind is to fight or remove the emotional pain, which is one of the reasons for its incessant activity, but all it can ever achieve is to cover it up temporarily. In fact, the harder the mind struggles to get rid of the pain, the greater the pain.”14 So writes Eckhart Tolle. Even our 24/7 self-exposure to noise, e-mails, cell phones, TV, Internet chats, media outlets, music downloads, videogames, and nonstop internal and external chatter cannot succeed in drowning out the fearful voices within.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
There is a difference between Catholic and Protestant attitudes to painting," he explained as he worked, "but it is not necessarily as great as you may think. Paintings may serve a spiritual purpose for Catholics, but remember too that Protestants see God everywhere, in everything. By painting everyday things-tables and chairs, bowls and pitchers, soldiers and maids-are they not celebrating God's creation as well?
Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring)
We may know that the work we continue to put off doing will be bad. Worse, however, is the work we never do. A work that’s finished is at least finished. It may be poor, but it exists, like the miserable plant in the lone flowerpot of my neighbour who’s crippled. That plant is her happiness, and sometimes it’s even mine. What I write, bad as it is, may provide some hurt or sad soul a few moments of distraction from something worse. That’s enough for me, or it isn’t enough, but it serves some purpose, and so it is with all of life.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
No one likes sarcasm, Miss Cain. I’ve merely delayed my exit to promise you something. You took my straight razor, li’l darlin’. That I view as an unforgivable offense. So when the time comes, when you have served your purpose, I swear to you I’m gonna kill you for free.” And with that, Billy-Ray Sanguine disappeared into the ground. Then he popped his head back up. “Or at least half price.” And he was gone again.
Derek Landy (Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2))
Right at this moment, I only want silence. I believe that the end of life is silence in the love people have for you. I've actually been running through what people have said about the end. Religion says that the end is one thing, because it serves their purpose. But great thinkers alike haven't always agreed. Shakespeare knew how to say it better than anyone else. Hamlet says 'The rest is silence.' And when you think of the noises of everyday life, you realize how particularly desirable that is. Silence.
Vincent Price
Evil is not just a theory of paradox, but an actual entity that exists only for itself. From its ether of manifestation that is garlanded in perpetual darkness, it not only influences and seeks the ruination and destruction of everything that resides in our universe, but rushes to embrace its own oblivion as well. To accomplish this, however, it must hide within the shroud of lies and deceit it spins to manipulate the weak-minded as well as those who choose to ally themselves with it for their own personal gain. For evil must rely on the self-serving interests of the arrogant, the lustful, the power-hungry, the hateful, and the greedy to feed and proliferate. This then becomes the condition of evil’s existence: the baneful ideologies of those who wantonly chose to ignore the needs and rights of others, inducing oppression, fear, pain, and even death throughout the cosmos. And by these means, evil seeks to supplant the balance of the universe with its perverse nature. And once all that was good has been extinguished by corruption or annihilation, evil will then turn upon and consume what remains: particularly its immoral servants who have assisted its purpose so well … along with itself. And within that terrible instant of unimaginable exploding quantum fury, it will burn brighter than a trillion galaxies to herald its moment of ultimate triumph. But a moment is all that it shall be. And a micro-second later when the last amber burns and flickers out to the demise of dissolving ash, evil will leave its legacy of a totally devoid universe as its everlasting monument to eternal death.
R.G. Risch (Beyond Mars: Crimson Fleet)
We bend. I bend to sweep crumbs and I bend to wipe vomit and I bend to pick up little ones and wipe away tears... And at the end of these days I bend next to the bed and I ask only that I could bend more, bend lower. Because I serve a Savior who came to be a servant. He lived bent low. And bent down here is where I see His face. He lived, only to die. Could I? Die to self and just break open for love. This Savior, His one purpose to spend Himself on behalf of messy us. Will I spend myself on behalf of those in front of me? And people say, “Don’t you get tired?” and yes, I do. But I’m face to face with Jesus in the dirt, and the more I bend the harder and better and fuller this life gets. And sure, we are tired, but oh we are happy. Because bent down low is where we find fullness of Joy.
Katie Davis
We must surrender our skepticism only in the face of rock-solid evidence. Science demands a tolerance for ambiguity. Where we are ignorant, we withhold belief. Whatever annoyance the uncertainty engenders serves a higher purpose: It drives us to accumulate better data. This attitude is the difference between science and so much else. Science offers little in the way of cheap thrills. The standards of evidence are strict. But when followed they allow us to see far, illuminating even a great darkness.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
The devil can quote Scripture for his purpose; and the text of Scripture which he now most commonly quotes is, “The Kingdom of heaven is within you.” That text has been the stay and support of more Pharisees and prigs and self-righteous spiritual bullies than all the dogmas in creation; it has served to identify self-satisfaction with the peace that passes all understanding. And the text to be quoted in answer to it is that which declares that no man can receive the kingdom except as a little child. What we are to have inside is a childlike spirit; but the childlike spirit is not entirely concerned about what is inside. It is the first mark of possessing it that one is interested in what is outside. The most childlike thing about a child is his curiosity and his appetite and his power of wonder at the world. We might almost say that the whole advantage of having the kingdom within is that we look for it somewhere else.
G.K. Chesterton (What I Saw in America)
Fast rather than slow, more rather than less--this flashy "development" is linked directly to society's impending collapse. It has only served to separate man from nature. Humanity must stop indulging the desire for material possessions and personal gain and move instead toward spiritual awareness. Agriculture must change from large mechanical operations to small farms attached only to life itself. Material life and diet should be given a simple place. If this is done, work becomes pleasant, and spiritual breathing space becomes plentiful.
Masanobu Fukuoka (The One-Straw Revolution)
Maybe that's the way to tell the dangerous men from the good ones. A dreamer of the day is dangerous when he believes that others are less: less than their own best selves and certainly less than he is. They exist to follow and flatter him, and to serve his purposes. A true prophet, I suppose, is like a good parent. A true prophet sees others, not himself. He helps them define their own half-formed dreams, and puts himself at their service. He is not diminished as they become more. He offers courage in one hand and generosity in the other.
Mary Doria Russell (Dreamers of the Day)
I don't think God is so jealous about our worship of Him that He will want to separate those who serve His purposes, serve His goodness, because they have read a book, even one written by an atheist, and have been moved, or because they have wanted to be fair all their lives, but have never stepped in a church, from those who have heard God's words in church or read His words in the Bible and become convinced by them.
Dorothy Day
No matter how clear things might become in the forest of story, there was never a clear-cut solution, as there was in math. The role of a story was, in the broadest terms, to transpose a problem into another form. Depending on the nature and the direction of the problem, a solution might be suggested in the narrative. Tengo would return to the real world with that solution in hand. It was like a piece of paper bearing the indecipherable text of a magic spell. It served no immediate practical purpose, but it contained a possibility.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3))
Public education does not serve a public. It creates a public. And in creating the right kind of public, the schools contribute toward strengthening the spiritual basis of the American Creed. That is how Jefferson understood it, how Horace Mann understood it, how John Dewey understood it, and in fact, there is no other way to understand it. The question is not, Does or doesn't public schooling create a public? The question is, What kind of public does it create? A conglomerate of self-indulgent consumers? Angry, soulless, directionless masses? Indifferent, confused citizens? Or a public imbued with confidence, a sense of purpose, a respect for learning, and tolerance? The answer to this question has nothing whatever to do with computers, with testing, with teacher accountability, with class size, and with the other details of managing schools. The right answer depends on two things, and two things alone: the existence of shared narratives and the capacity of such narratives to provide an inspired reason for schooling.
Neil Postman (The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School)
This isn't how it should be, God. Thousands of graves marking thousands of lives--so much focus on death. Did the gravediggers spend their lives just serving the dead? How many Numbers ticked away for the sake of carving headstones no one would read? As I stare at this scene, I decide I don't want a headstone when I die. I don't even want to be buried. I want to disappear--save that chunk of earth for people to live on. This land I stand on is worthless now. No one can build a house here. No one can plant gardens or start a new village. Is that what the people buried beneath me would have wanted? Earth wasn't intended to hold only dead bodies. I stand. God, I need to live.
Nadine Brandes (A Time to Die (Out of Time, #1))
To generate exuberant diversity in a city's streets and districts four conditions are indispensable: 1. The district, and indeed as many of its internal parts as possible, must serve more than one primary function; preferably more than two... 2. Most blocks must be short; that is, streets and opportunities to turn corners must be frequent. 3. The district must mingle buildings that vary in age and condition, including a good proportion of old ones so that they vary in the economic yield they must produce. This mingling must be fairly close-grained. 4. There must be a sufficiently dense concentration of people, for whatever purposes they may be there...
Jane Jacobs (The Death and Life of Great American Cities)
THE ONE THING YOU MUST DO There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there's nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life. It's as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human being come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don't do it, it's as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It's a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It's like a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on. You say, "But look, I'm using the dagger. It's not lying idle." Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny an iron nail could be bought to serve for that. You say, "But I spend my energies on lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and astronomy and medicine and the rest." But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself. Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord. Give yourself to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don't, you will be like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall for a peg to hold his dipper gourd. You'll be wasting valuable keenness and forgetting your dignity and purpose.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Thirty years later he could not come to any other conclusion: women were indisputably better than men. They were gentler, more affectionate, more loving and more compassionate, they were rarely violent, selfish, cruel or self-centred. Moreover, they were more rational, more intelligent and more hardworking. What on earth were men for? Michael wondered as he watched sunlight play across the closed curtains. In earlier times, when bears were more common, perhaps masculinity served a particular function, but for centuries now, men served no useful purpose. For the most part, they assuaged their boredom playing squash, which was a lesser evil; but from time to time they felt the need to change history - which expressed itself in leading a revolution or starting a war somewhere. Aside from the senseless suffering they caused, revolutions and war destroyed the achievements of the past, forcing societies to build again. Without the notion of continuous progress, human evolution took random, irregular and violent turns for which men (with their predilection for risk and danger, their repulsive egotism, their volatile nature and their violent tendencies) were directly to blame. A society of women would be immeasurably superior, tracing a slow, unwavering progression, with no U-turns and no chaotic insecurity, towards a general happiness.
Michel Houellebecq (The Elementary Particles)
Abandonment is at the core of addictions. Abandonment causes deep shame. Abandonment by betrayal is worse than mindless neglect. Betrayal is purposeful and self-serving. If severe enough, it is traumatic. What moves betrayal into the realm of trauma is fear and terror. If the wound is deep enough, and the terror big enough, your bodily systems shift to an alarm state. You never feel safe. You’re always on full-alert, just waiting for the hurt to begin again. In that state of readiness, you’re unaware that part of you has died. You are grieving. Like everyone who has loss, you have shock and disbelief, fear, loneliness and sadness. Yet you are unaware of these feelings because your guard is up. In your readiness, you abandon yourself. Yes, another abandonment.
Patrick J. Carnes (The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships)
When even despair ceases to serve any creative purpose, then surely we are justified in suicide. For what better grounds for suicide can there be than to go on making the same series of false moves which invariably lead to the same disaster and to repeat a pattern without knowing why it is false or wherein lies the flaw? And yet to percieve that in ourselves revolves a cycle of activity which is certain to end in paralysis of the will, desertion, panic and despair - always to go on loving those who have ceased to love us, and who have quite lost all resemblance to the selves who we loved! Suicide is infectious; what if the agonies which suicide endure before they are driven to take their own life, the emotion of 'all is lost' - are infectious too?
Cyril Connolly (The Unquiet Grave: A Word Cycle by Palinurus)
Bohr's standpoint, that a space-time description is impossible, I reject a limine. Physics does not consist only of atomic research, science does not consist only of physics, and life does not consist only of science. The aim of atomic research is to fit our empirical knowledge concerning it into our other thinking. All of this other thinking, so far as it concerns the outer world, is active in space and time. If it cannot be fitted into space and time, then it fails in its whole aim and one does not know what purpose it really serves.
Erwin Schrödinger
To be a living sacrifice will involve all my time. God wants me to live every minute for Him in accordance with His will and purpose, sixty minutes of every hour, twenty-four hours of every day, being available to Him. No time can be considered as my own, or as "off-duty" or "free." I cannot barter with God about how much time I can give to serve Him. Whatever I am doing, be it a routine salaried job, or housework at home, be it holiday time and free, or after-work Christian youth activities, all should be undertaken for Him, to reveal His indwelling presence to those around me. The example of my life must be as telling as my preaching if He is to be honored.
Helen Roseveare (Living Sacrifice: Willing to Be Whittled as an Arrow)
If you don't make a conscious effort to visualize, who you are and what you want to become in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape your journey by default. Your silence makes you reactive vs. proactive. God will bring people in your life that can take you on many different journeys that will bring about different outcomes to your life mission. However, if you are not proactive and define your dreams you will never know where “you” need to be and who needs to be with you to fulfill what God is asking you to do. Your life is your own. You must define your dreams, not live someone else’s vision of a good life. What is it that God is asking you to do with the talents and hobbies you enjoy? What were you blessed with a desire for? A good life is one spent in the service of helping others. Find a life partner that will help you reach God’s highest potential—service to humanity, service to his Kingdom, service to building others up. Also, begin any choice with the end in mind. This means to begin each day with a clear vision of your desired direction. It is not enough to live a passive life of religious devotion. God asked you to do more than worship. He has called you to serve, not to be a servant to other people’s dreams. You and only you know where your heart must travel. God brings you storms in life to wake you up. Don’t see it as his disappointment, but as his parental love for you. Life was not meant to stay the same. If someone truly loves you they will never take you away from God’s plan, they will only magnify it.
Shannon L. Alder
Of course, reading novels was just another form of escape. As soon as he closed their pages he had to come back to the real world. But at some point Tengo noticed that returning to reality from the world of a novel was not as devastating a blow as returning from the world of mathematics. Why should that have been? After much deep thought, he reached a conclusion. No matter how clear the relationships of things might become in the forest of story, there was never a clear-cut solution. That was how it differed from math. The role of a story was, in the broadest terms, to transpose a single problem into another form. Depending on the nature and direction of the problem, a solution could be suggested in the narrative. Tengo would return to the real world with that suggestion in hand. It was like a piece of paper bearing the indecipherable text of a magic spell. At times it lacked coherence and served no immediate practical purpose. But it would contain a possibility. Someday he might be able to decipher the spell. That possibility would gently warm his heart from within.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3))
Walking to the subway, Aomame kept thinking about the strangeness of the world. If, as the dowager had said, we were nothing but gene carriers, why do so many of us have to lead such strangely shaped lives? Wouldn’t our genetic purpose – to transmit DNA – be served just as well if we lived simple lives, not bothering our heads with a lot of extraneous thoughts, devoted entirely to preserving life and procreating? Did it benefit the genes in any way for us to lead such intricately warped, even bizarre, lives? … how could it possibly profit the genes to have such people existing in this world? Did the genes merely enjoy such deformed episodes as colorful entertainment, or were these episodes utilized by them for some greater purpose?
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1))
In the end, people don’t view their life as merely the average of all of its moments—which, after all, is mostly nothing much plus some sleep. For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story. A story has a sense of a whole, and its arc is determined by the significant moments, the ones where something happens. Measurements of people’s minute-by-minute levels of pleasure and pain miss this fundamental aspect of human existence. A seemingly happy life may be empty. A seemingly difficult life may be devoted to a great cause. We have purposes larger than ourselves. Unlike your experiencing self—which is absorbed in the moment—your remembering self is attempting to recognize not only the peaks of joy and valleys of misery but also how the story works out as a whole. That is profoundly affected by how things ultimately turn out. Why would a football fan let a few flubbed minutes at the end of the game ruin three hours of bliss? Because a football game is a story. And in stories, endings matter. Yet we also recognize that the experiencing self should not be ignored. The peak and the ending are not the only things that count. In favoring the moment of intense joy over steady happiness, the remembering self is hardly always wise. “An inconsistency is built into the design of our minds,” Kahneman observes. “We have strong preferences about the duration of our experiences of pain and pleasure. We want pain to be brief and pleasure to last. But our memory … has evolved to represent the most intense moment of an episode of pain or pleasure (the peak) and the feelings when the episode was at its end. A memory that neglects duration will not serve our preference for long pleasure and short pains.” When our time is limited and we are uncertain about how best to serve our priorities, we are forced to deal with the fact that both the experiencing self and the remembering self matter. We do not want to endure long pain and short pleasure. Yet certain pleasures can make enduring suffering worthwhile. The peaks are important, and so is the ending.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
An active life serves the purpose of giving man the opportunity to realize values in creative work, while a passive life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature. But there is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man's attitude to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces. A creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him. But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
THE ONE THING YOU MUST DO There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there's nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life. It's as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human being come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don't do it, it's as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It's a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It's like a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on. You say, "But look, I'm using the dagger. It's not lying idle." Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny an iron nail could be bought to serve for that. You say, "But I spend my energies on lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and astronomy and medicine and the rest." But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself. Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord. Give yourself to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don't, you will be like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall for a peg to hold his dipper gourd. You'll be wasting valuable keenness and forgetting your dignity and purpose.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
How old are you?' The question startled him. 'Earth and Air. There are times you are no more comfortable a companion than I am. The answer to that serves no conceivable purpose, and I refuse to give it to you.' When I was a kid I read Black Beauty. There were horse-drawn cabs in that. Are you that old?' Older, older, older. I shall not tell you, so you may as well leave off, my primrose.' She snorted. 'I think that means I should give up. You've started sweet-talking.' I am torn,' the phouka said, grinning, 'between responding, 'Oh, absolutely!' and 'What do you mean, started?'' He grabbed her hand, dropped a kiss on the knuckles, and loped across the street. Eddi felt the touch of his mouth on her hand for an inexplicably long time.
Emma Bull (War for the Oaks)
a spider and a fly i heard a spider and a fly arguing wait said the fly do not eat me i serve a great purpose in the world you will have to show me said the spider i scurry around gutters and sewers and garbage cans said the fly and gather up the germs of typhoid influenza and pneumonia on my feet and wings then i carry these germs into households of men and give them diseases all the people who have lived the right sort of life recover from the diseases and the old soaks who have weakened their systems with liquor and iniquity succumb it is my mission to help rid the world of these wicked persons i am a vessel of righteousness scattering seeds of justice and serving the noblest uses it is true said the spider that you are more useful in a plodding material sort of way than i am but i do not serve the utilitarian deities i serve the gods of beauty look at the gossamer webs i weave they float in the sun like filaments of song if you get what i mean i do not work at anything i play all the time i am busy with the stuff of enchantment and the materials of fairyland my works transcend utility i am the artist a creator and demi god it is ridiculous to suppose that i should be denied the food i need in order to continue to create beauty i tell you plainly mister fly it is all damned nonsense for that food to rear up on its hind legs and say it should not be eaten you have convinced me said the fly say no more and shutting all his eyes he prepared himself for dinner and yet he said i could have made out a case for myself too if i had had a better line of talk of course you could said the spider clutching a sirloin from him but the end would have been just the same if neither of us had spoken at all boss i am afraid that what the spider said is true and it gives me to think furiously upon the futility of literature archy
Don Marquis (Archy and Mehitabel)
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better. The debased language that I have been discussing is in some ways very convenient. Phrases like a not unjustifiable assumption, leaves much to be desired, would serve no good purpose, a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind, are a continuous temptation, a packet of aspirins always at one's elbow. Look back through this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against. By this morning's post I have received a pamphlet dealing with conditions in Germany. The author tells me that he "felt impelled" to write it. I open it at random, and here is almost the first sentence I see: "[The Allies] have an opportunity not only of achieving a radical transformation of Germany's social and political structure in such a way as to avoid a nationalistic reaction in Germany itself, but at the same time of laying the foundations of a co-operative and unified Europe." You see, he "feels impelled" to write -- feels, presumably, that he has something new to say -- and yet his words, like cavalry horses answering the bugle, group themselves automatically into the familiar dreary pattern. This invasion of one's mind by ready-made phrases (lay the foundations, achieve a radical transformation) can only be prevented if one is constantly on guard against them, and every such phrase anaesthetizes a portion of one's brain.
George Orwell (Politics and the English Language)
And Iluvatar spoke to Ulmo, and said: 'Seest thou not how here in this little realm in the Deeps of Time Melkor hath made war upon thy province? He hath bethought him of bitter cold immoderate, and yet hath not destroyed the beauty of thy fountains, nor of my clear pools. Behold the snow, and the cunning work of frost! Melkor hath devised heats and fire without restraint, and hath not dried up thy desire nor utterly quelled the music of the sea. Behold rather the height and glory of the clouds, and the ever changing mists; and listen to the fall of rain upon the Earth! And in these clouds thou art drawn nearer to Manwe, thy friend, whom thou lovest.' Then Ulmo answered: 'Truly, Water is become now fairer than my heart imagined, neither had my secret thought conceived the snowflake, nor in all my music was contained the falling of the rain. I will seek Manwe, that he and I may make melodies for ever to my delight!' And Manwe and Ulmo have from the beginning been allied, and in all things have served most faithfully the purpose of Iluvatar.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Silmarillion)
A propaganda model has a certain initial plausibility on guided free-market assumptions that are not particularly controversial. In essence, the private media are major corporations selling a product (readers and audiences) to other businesses (advertisers). The national media typically target and serve elite opinion, groups that, on the one hand, provide an optimal “profile” for advertising purposes, and, on the other, play a role in decision-making in the private and public spheres. The national media would be failing to meet their elite audience’s needs if they did not present a tolerably realistic portrayal of the world. But their “societal purpose” also requires that the media’s interpretation of the world reflect the interests and concerns of the sellers, the buyers, and the governmental and private institutions dominated by these groups.
Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media)
In seeking to understand this gendered difference in the perception of prisoners, it should be kept in mind that as the prison emerged and evolved as the major form of public punishment, women continued to be routinely subjected to forms of punishment that have not been acknowledged as such. For example, women have been incarcerated in psychiatric institutions in greater proportions than in prisons. 79 Studies indicating that women have been even more likely to end up in mental facilities than men suggest that while jails and prisons have been dominant institutions for the control of men, mental institutions have served a similar purpose for women. That deviant men have been constructed as criminal, while deviant women have been constructed as insane. Regimes that reflect this assumption continue to inform the women’s prison. Psychiatric drugs continue to be distributed far more extensively to imprisoned women than to their male counterparts.
Angela Y. Davis
Tell me something. Do you believe in God?' Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?' 'It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?' 'What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...' 'No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.' Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks: 'There was Manicheanism...' 'Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...' Snow pondered for a while: 'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.' I kept on: 'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...' 'We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.' 'If you're going to take what I say literally...' ...Snow asked abruptly: 'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?' 'I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
Civil war... What did the words mean? Was there any such thing as 'foreign war'? Was not all warfare between men warfare between brothers? Wars could only be defined by their aims. There were no 'foreign' or 'civil' wars, only wars that were just or unjust. Until the great universal concord could be arrived at, warfare, at least when it was the battle between the urgent future and the dragging past, might be unavoidable. How could such a war be condemned? War is not shameful, nor the sword-thrust a stab in the back, except when it serves to kill right and progress, reason, civilization, and truth. When this is war's purpose it maeks no difference whether it is civil or foreign war - it is a crime. Outside the sacred cause for justice, what grounds has one kind of war for denigrating another? By what right does the sword of Washington despise the pike of Camille Desmoulins? Which is the greater - Leonidas fighting the foreign enemy or Timoleon slaying the tyrant who was his brother? One was a defender, the other a liberator. Are we to condemn every resort to arms that takes place within the citadel, without concerning ourselves with its aim?
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Pundits, opponents, and disillusioned supporters would blame Obama for squandering the promise of his administration. Certainly he and his administration made their share of mistakes. But it is hard to think of another president who had to face the kind of guerrilla warfare waged against him almost as soon as he took office. A small number of people with massive resources orchestrated, manipulated, and exploited the economic unrest for their own purposes. They used tax-deductible donations to fund a movement to slash taxes on the rich and cut regulations on their own businesses. While they paid focus groups and seasoned operatives to frame these self-serving policies as matters of dire public interest, they hid their roles behind laws meant to protect the anonymity of philanthropists, leaving more folksy figures like Santelli to carry the message.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
There are two powerful fuels, two forces; motivation and inspiration. To be motivated you need to know what your motives are. Over time - and to sustain you through it - your motivation must become an inner energy; a 'motor' driving you forward, passionately, purposefully, wisely and compassionately... come what may, every day. Inspiration is an outer - worldly - energy that you breathe and draw in. It may come from many places, faces, spaces and stages - right across the ages. It is where nature, spirit, science, mind and time meet, dance, play and speak. It keeps you outward facing and life embracing. But you must be open-minded and open-hearted to first let it in and then let it out again. Together - blended, combined and re-entwined - motivation and inspiration bring connectivity, productivity, creativity and boundless possibilities that is not just 'self' serving but enriching to all humanity and societies...just as it should be.
Rasheed Ogunlaru
Now I see things differently. It took me some time, but I know the secret now. Freedman Town serves a good purpose -- not for the people who live there, Lord knows; people stuck there by poverty, by prejudice, by laws that keep them from moving or working. Freedman Town's purpose is for the rest of the world. The world that sits, like Martha, with dark glasses on, staring from a distance, scared but safe. Create a pen like that, give people no choice but to live like animals, and then people get to point at them and say 'Will you look at those animals? That's what kind of people those people are.' And that idea drifts up and out of Freedman Town like chimney smoke, black gets to mean poor and poor to mean dangerous and all the words get murked together and become one dark idea, a cloud of smoke, the smokestack fumes drifting like filthy air across the rest of the nation.
Ben H. Winters (Underground Airlines)
The theory of phlogiston was an inversion of the true nature of combustion. Removing phlogiston was in reality adding oxygen, while adding phlogiston was actually removing oxygen. The theory was a total misrepresentation of reality. Phlogiston did not even exist, and yet its existence was firmly believed and the theory adhered to rigidly for nearly one hundred years throughout the eighteenth century. ... As experimentation continued the properties of phlogiston became more bizarre and contradictory. But instead of questioning the existence of this mysterious substance it was made to serve more comprehensive purposes. ... For the skeptic or indeed to anyone prepared to step out of the circle of Darwinian belief, it is not hard to find inversions of common sense in modern evolutionary thought which are strikingly reminiscent of the mental gymnastics of the phlogiston chemists or the medieval astronomers. To the skeptic, the proposition that the genetic programmes of higher organisms, consisting of something close to a thousand million bits of information, equivalent to the sequence of letters in a small library of one thousand volumes, containing in encoded form countless thousands of intricate algorithms controlling, specifying and ordering the growth and development of billions and billions of cells into the form of a complex organism, were composed by a purely random process is simply an affront to reason. But to the Darwinist the idea is accepted without a ripple of doubt - the paradigm takes precedence!
Michael Denton (Evolution: A Theory In Crisis)
Once I ventured the guess that men worked in response to a vague inner urge for self-expression. But that was probably a shaky theory, for some men who work the hardest have nothing to express. A hypothesis with rather more plausibility in it now suggests itself. It is that men work simply in order to escape the depressing agony of contemplating life – that their work, like their play, is a mumbo-jumbo that serves them by permitting them to escape from reality. Both work and play, ordinarily, are illusions. Neither serves any solid or permanent purpose. But life, stripped of such illusions, instantly becomes unbearable. Man cannot sit still, contemplating his destiny in this world, without going frantic. So he invents ways to take his mind off the horror. He works. He plays. He accumulates the preposterous nothing called property. He strives for the coy eyewink called fame. He founds a family, and spends his curse over others. All the while the thing that moves him is simply the yearning to lose himself, to forget himself, to escape the tragic-comedy that is himself. Life, fundamentally, is not worth living. So he confects artificialities to make it so. So he erects a gaudy structure to conceal the fact that it is not so.
H.L. Mencken
This is the thing: If you have the option to not think about or even consider history, whether you learned it right or not, or whether it even deserves consideration, that’s how you know you’re on board the ship that serves hors d’oeuvres and fluffs your pillows, while others are out at sea, swimming or drowning, or clinging to little inflatable rafts that they have to take turns keeping inflated, people short of breath, who’ve never even heard of the words hors d’oeuvres or fluff. Then someone from up on the yacht says, “It’s too bad those people down there are lazy, and not as smart and able as we are up here, we who have built these strong, large, stylish boats ourselves, we who float the seven seas like kings.” And then someone else on board says something like, “But your father gave you this yacht, and these are his servants who brought the hors d’oeuvres.” At which point that person gets tossed overboard by a group of hired thugs who’d been hired by the father who owned the yacht, hired for the express purpose of removing any and all agitators on the yacht to keep them from making unnecessary waves, or even referencing the father or the yacht itself. Meanwhile, the man thrown overboard begs for his life, and the people on the small inflatable rafts can’t get to him soon enough, or they don’t even try, and the yacht’s speed and weight cause an undertow. Then in whispers, while the agitator gets sucked under the yacht, private agreements are made, precautions are measured out, and everyone quietly agrees to keep on quietly agreeing to the implied rule of law and to not think about what just happened. Soon, the father, who put these things in place, is only spoken of in the form of lore, stories told to children at night, under the stars, at which point there are suddenly several fathers, noble, wise forefathers. And the boat sails on unfettered.
Tommy Orange (There There)
In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it." This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.
G.K. Chesterton
Like the sun's rays that cause the seed to stir within its husk, love's radiant energy penetrates the facade of the false self, calling forth resources hidden deep within us. Its warmth wakes up the life inside us, making us want to uncurl, to give birth, to grow and reach for the light. It calls on us to break out of our shell, the personality-husk surrounding the seed potential of all that we could be. The purpose of a seed husk is to protect the tender life within until the time and conditions are right for it to burst forth. Our personality structure serves a similar function. It provides a semblance of security, as a kind of compensation for the loss of our larger being. But when love's warming rays start to wake us up, our ego-shell becomes a barrier restricting our expansion. As the germ of life swells within us, we feel our imprisonment more acutely.....The brighter love's radiance, the darker the shadows we encounter; the more we feel life stirring within us, the more we also feel our dead spots; the more conscious we become, the more clearly we see where we remain unconscious. None of this need dishearten us. For in facing our darkness, we bring to light forgotten parts of our being. In recognizing exactly where we have been unconscious, we become more conscious. And in seeing and feeling the ways we've gone dead, we start to revive and kindle our desire to live more expansively.
John Welwood
Work, the gospel of work, the sanctity of work, laborare est orare - all that tripe and nonsense. 'Work!' he once broke out contemptuously against the reasonable expostulations of Philip Quarles, 'work is no more respectable than alcohol, and it serves exactly the same purpose: it just distracts the mind, makes a man forget himself. Work's simply a drug, that's all. It's humiliating that men shouldn't be able to live without drugs, soberly; it's humiliating that they shouldn't have the courage to see the world and themselves as they really are. They must intoxicate themselves with work. It's stupid. The gospel of work's just a gospel of stupidity and funk. Work may be prayer; but it's also hiding one's head in the sand, it's also making such a din and a dust that a man can't hear himself speak or see his own hand before his face. It's hiding yourself from yourself. No wonder the Samuel Smileses and the big business men are such enthusiasts for work. Work gives them the comforting illusion of existing, even of being important. If they stopped working, they'd realize that they simply weren't there at all, most of them. Just holes in the air, that's all. Holes with perhaps a rather nasty smell in them. Most Smilesian souls must smell rather nasty, I should think. No wonder they daren't stop working. They might find out what they really are, or rather aren't. It's a risk they haven't the courage to take.
Aldous Huxley (Point Counter Point)
I've heard youngsters use some of George Lucas' terms––"the Force and "the dark side." So it must be hitting somewhere. It's a good sound teaching, I would say. The fact that the evil power is not identified with any specific nation on this earth means you've got an abstract power, which represents a principle, not a specific historical situation. The story has to do with an operation of principles, not of this nation against that. The monster masks that are put on people in Star Wars represent the real monster force in the modern world. When the mask of Darth Vader is removed, you see an unformed man, one who has not developed as a human individual. What you see is a strange and pitiful sort of undifferentiated face. Darth Vader has not developed his humanity. He's a robot. He's a bureaucrat, living not in terms of himself but of an imposed system. This is the threat to our lives that we all face today. Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes? How do you relate to the system so that you are not compulsively serving it? . . . The thing to do is to learn to live in your period of history as a human being ...[b]y holding to your own ideals for yourself and, like Luke Skywalker, rejecting the system's impersonal claims upon you. Well, you see, that movie communicates. It is in a language that talks to young people, and that's what counts. It asks, Are you going to be a person of heart and humanity––because that's where the life is, from the heart––or are you going to do whatever seems to be required of you by what might be called "intentional power"? When Ben Knobi says, "May the Force be with you," he's speaking of the power and energy of life, not of programmed political intentions. ... [O]f course the Force moves from within. But the Force of the Empire is based on an intention to overcome and master. Star Wars is not a simple morality play. It has to do with the powers of life as they are either fulfilled or broken and suppressed through the action of man.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
As Christians we face two tasks in our evangelism: saving the soul and saving the mind, that is to say, not only converting people spiritually, but converting them intellectually as well. And the Church is lagging dangerously behind with regard to this second task. If the church loses the intellectual battle in one generation, then evangelism will become immeasurably more difficult in the next. The war is not yet lost, and it is one which we must not lose: souls of men and women hang in the balance. For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ Himself, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence. Thinking about your faith is indeed a virtue, for it helps you to better understand and defend your faith. But thinking about your faith is not equivalent to doubting your faith. Doubt is never a purely intellectual problem. There is a spiritual dimension to the problem that must be recognized. Never lose sight of the fact that you are involved in spiritual warfare and there is an enemy of your soul who hates you intensely, whose goal is your destruction, and who will stop at nothing to destroy you. Reason can be used to defend our faith by formulating arguments for the existence of God or by refuting objections. But though the arguments so developed serve to confirm the truth of our faith, they are not properly the basis of our faith, for that is supplied by the witness of the Holy Spirit Himself. Even if there were no arguments in defense of the faith, our faith would still have its firm foundation. The more I learn, the more desperately ignorant I feel. Further study only serves to open up to one's consciousness all the endless vistas of knowledge, even in one's own field, about which one knows absolutely nothing. Don't let your doubts just sit there: pursue them and keep after them until you drive them into the ground. We should be cautious, indeed, about thinking that we have come upon the decisive disproof of our faith. It is pretty unlikely that we have found the irrefutable objection. The history of philosophy is littered with the wrecks of such objections. Given the confidence that the Holy Spirit inspires, we should esteem lightly the arguments and objections that generate our doubts. These, then, are some of the obstacles to answered prayer: sin in our lives, wrong motives, lack of faith, lack of earnestness, lack of perseverance, lack of accordance with God’s will. If any of those obstacles hinders our prayers, then we cannot claim with confidence Jesus’ promise, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it”. And so I was led to what was for me a radical new insight into the will of God, namely, that God’s will for our lives can include failure. In other words, God’s will may be that you fail, and He may lead you into failure! For there are things that God has to teach you through failure that He could never teach you through success. So many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, is and always will be the true priority for every human being — that is, learning to know God in Christ. My greatest fear is that I should some day stand before the Lord and see all my works go up in smoke like so much “wood, hay, and stubble”. The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God. People tend naturally to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this life. God’s role is to provide a comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view, this is false. We are not God’s pets, and the goal of human life is not happiness per se, but the knowledge of God—which in the end will bring true and everlasting human fulfilment. Many evils occur in life which may be utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness; but they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper knowledge of God.
William Lane Craig (Hard Questions, Real Answers)