Short Inspirational Quotes

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Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy.
Roy T. Bennett
I was smiling yesterday,I am smiling today and I will smile tomorrow.Simply because life is too short to cry for anything.
Santosh Kalwar (Quote Me Everyday)
Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around. Life is too short to waste your time on people who don’t respect, appreciate, and value you. Spend your life with people who make you smile, laugh, and feel loved.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt
She seems so cool, so focused, so quiet, yet her eyes remain fixed upon the horizon. You think you know all there is to know about her immediately upon meeting her, but everything you think you know is wrong. Passion flows through her like a river of blood. She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrows start here.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Life is too short to waste any amount of time on wondering what other people think about you. In the first place, if they had better things going on in their lives, they wouldn't have the time to sit around and talk about you. What's important to me is not others' opinions of me, but what's important to me is my opinion of myself.
C. JoyBell C.
Aim higher in case you fall short.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory! I wish I'd invented it, because it is very true.
Audrey Hepburn
Life is short. Focus on what really matters most. You have to change your priorities over time.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles, able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minute, and scarcely falter along the way. Even dreams, the most delicate and intangible of things, can prove remarkably difficult to kill.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Life is short. If you doubt me, ask a butterfly. Their average life span is a mere five to fourteen days.
Ellen DeGeneres (The Funny Thing Is...)
There comes a time when we realize that our parents cannot save themselves or save us, that everyone who wades through time eventually gets dragged out to sea by the undertow- that, in short, we are all going.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
The life given us, by nature is short; but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
My only regrets are the moments when i doubted myself and took the safe route. Life is too short to waste time being unhappy.
Daniel Howell
Choose your battles wisely. After all, life isn't measured by how many times you stood up to fight. It's not winning battles that makes you happy, but it's how many times you turned away and chose to look into a better direction. Life is too short to spend it on warring. Fight only the most, most, most important ones, let the rest go.
C. JoyBell C.
We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.
Alan Turing (Computing machinery and intelligence)
Life is short. Focus on what really matters most; you should change your priorities over time.
Roy T. Bennett
Life is very short, and there's no time for fussing and fighting my friends
John Lennon
Hang in there. It is astonishing how short a time it can take for very wonderful things to happen.
Frances Hodgson Burnett
May the fleas of a thousand camels invade the crotch of the person that ruins your day. And may their arms be to short too scratch
Kaida Ashia
Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you...it means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: "I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give. Responsibility to yourself means that you don't fall for shallow and easy solutions--predigested books and ideas...marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short...and this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be "different"...The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.
Adrienne Rich
If freedom is short of weapons, we must compensate with willpower.
Adolf Hitler
When the poet Paul Valery once asked Albert Einstein if he kept a notebook to record his ideas, Einstein looked at him with mild but genuine surprise. "Oh, that's not necessary," he replied . "It's so seldom I have one.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Life is too short to waste time on people who don't lift you up, who don't inspire you-they'll eventually drain you.
Katie Kacvinsky (First Comes Love (First Comes Love, #1))
Ô, Wanderess, Wanderess When did you feel your most euphoric kiss? Was I the source of your greatest bliss?
Roman Payne
Go all the way with it. Do not back off. For once, go all the goddamn way with what matters.
Ernest Hemingway (The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway)
Life is short. Kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly
Paulo Coelho
When I was little and running on the race track at school, I always stopped and waited for all the other kids so we could run together even though I knew (and everybody else knew) that I could run much faster than all of them! I pretended to read slowly so I could "wait" for everyone else who couldn't read as fast as I could! When my friends were short I pretended that I was short too and if my friend was sad I pretended to be unhappy. I could go on and on about all the ways I have limited myself, my whole life, by "waiting" for people. And the only thing that I've ever received in return is people thinking that they are faster than me, people thinking that they can make me feel bad about myself just because I let them and people thinking that I have to do whatever they say I should do. My mother used to teach me "Cinderella is a perfect example to be" but I have learned that Cinderella can go fuck herself, I'm not waiting for anybody, anymore! I'm going to run as fast as I can, fly as high as I can, I am going to soar and if you want you can come with me! But I'm not waiting for you anymore.
C. JoyBell C.
We’re on this planet for too short a time. And at the end of the day, what’s more important? Knowing that a few meaningless figures balanced—or knowing that you were the person you wanted to be?
Sophie Kinsella
Friendship isn't a science mudboy. Just do what you think is right.
Eoin Colfer (The Opal Deception (Artemis Fowl #4))
She liked being reminded of butterflies. She remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short didn't mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her, see, they have a beautiful life. Alice liked remembering that.
Lisa Genova (Still Alice)
... just because [butterflies'] lives were short didn't mean they were tragic... See, they have a beautiful life.
Lisa Genova (Still Alice)
Failing sucks. But it's better than the alternative." "Which is?" "Not even trying." Now he did look at me, straight on. "Life's short, you know?
Sarah Dessen (Along for the Ride)
Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men - above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.
Albert Einstein
It is more civilized to make fun of life than to bewail it.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
You never know, life is short but it’s wide
Wendy Mass (Every Soul a Star)
Once for all, then, a short precept is given thee: Love, and do what thou wilt: whether thou hold thy peace, through love hold thy peace; whether thou cry out, through love cry out; whether thou correct, through love correct; whether thou spare, through love do thou spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.
Augustine of Hippo (Homilies on the First Epistle of John (Works of Saint Augustine))
Is life too short to be taking this shit, or is life too short to be minding it?
Violet Weingarten
Life is short..Live to the fullest..
John Grisham (The Runaway Jury)
Difference between motivation and inspiration - Motivation is external and short lived. Inspiration is internal and lifelong
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Margarita was never short of money. She could buy whatever she liked. Her husband had plenty of interesting friends. Margarita never had to cook. Margarita knew nothing of the horrors of living in a shared flat. In short... was she happy? Not for a moment.
Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita)
Better to have flamed in the darkness, to have inspired others, to have lived, than to have sat in the darkness, cursing the people who borrowed, but did not return, your candle.
Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances)
This is your life. Do what you want and do it often. If you don't like something, change it. If you don't like your job, quit. If you don't have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love. Stop over-analysing, life is simple. All emotions are beautiful. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Life is simple. Open your heart, mind and arms to new things and people, we are united in our differences. Ask the next person you see what their passion is and share your inspiring dream with them. Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities only come once, seize them. Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating. Life is short, live your dream and wear your passion.
Holstee Manifesto (The Wedding Day)
The death of a dream can in fact serve as the vehicle that endows it with new form, with reinvigorated substance, a fresh flow of ideas, and splendidly revitalized color. In short, the power of a certain kind of dream is such that death need not indicate finality at all but rather signify a metaphysical and metaphorical leap forward.
Aberjhani (The River of Winged Dreams)
Helen Keller became deaf, dumb, and blind shortly after birth. Despite her greatest misfortune, she has written her name indelibly in the pages of the history of the great. Her entire life has served as evidence that no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as reality.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century)
Our lips were for each other and our eyes were full of dreams. We knew nothing of travel and we knew nothing of loss. Ours was a world of eternal spring, until the summer came.
Roman Payne (Hope and Despair)
Why think separately of this life than the next, when one is born from the last? Time is always too short for those who need it, but for those who love, it lasts forever.
Dracula Untold
Actually, writers have no business writing about their own works. They either wax conceited, saying things like: 'My brilliance is possibly most apparent in my dazzling short story, "The Cookiepants Hypotenuse."' Or else they get unbearably cutesy: 'My cat Ootsywootums has given me all my best ideas, hasn't oo, squeezums?
Connie Willis (The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories)
Life was so short; so many beautiful things slipped away.
Kate DiCamillo (The Magician's Elephant)
I spent all night weaving a poem for you to wear. You look so beautiful when you wear my light.
Kamand Kojouri
Her essay about the wedding ring was short. Kerr wrote: "Things are just things - they have no power to hurt or to heal. Only people can do that. And we can all choose whether to be hurt or healed by the people who love us." That was all. And that was everything.
Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II)
When [what you are deeply passionate about, what you can be best in the world at and what drives your economic engine] come together, not only does your work move toward greatness, but so does your life. For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. Perhaps, then, you might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered.
James C. Collins (Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't)
Why do they not teach you that time is a finger snap and an eye blink, and that you should not allow a moment to pass you by without taking joyous, ecstatic note of it, not wasting a single moment of its swift, breakneck circuit?
Pat Conroy
Words can wound, and wounds can heal.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Life is not short or long, it lies in a moment, for a moment and by the moment.
Santosh Kalwar
Don't ever forget the words on a postcard that my father sent me last year: "If you win the rat race, you're still a rat.
Anna Quindlen (A Short Guide to a Happy Life)
A boy said,“Everybody is my friend.”Beloved said,“No, not everybody can be your friend.” Boy said, “Each one of them is gifted to teach me something new in my life.” Beloved said, “I still don’t agree.” Boy again smilingly said, “Don’t divide human, ...divide your soul, you will have everybody as friend. In short, Friends are your own soul divided from you, who will guide you when you will move away from your path.
Santosh Kalwar (Quote Me Everyday)
Always worth it to have tried, even if you fail, even if you fall like a meteor forever. Better to have flamed in the darkness, to have inspired others, to have lived, than to have sat in the darkness, cursing the people who borrowed, but did not return, your candle.
Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances)
Harry, despite your privileged insight into Voldemort’s world (which, incidentally, is a gift any Death Eater would kill to have), you have never been seduced by the Dark Arts, never, even for a second, shown the slightest desire to become one of Voldemort’s followers!” “Of course I haven’t!” said Harry indignantly. “He killed my mum and dad!” “You are protected, in short, by your ability to love!” said Dumbledore loudly.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
There are four kinds of people in this world: cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics…Cretins don’t even talk; they sort of slobber and stumble…Fools are in great demand, especially on social occasions. They embarrass everyone but provide material for conversation…Fools don’t claim that cats bark, but they talk about cats when everyone else is talking about dogs. They offend all the rules of conversation, and when they really offend, they’re magnificent…Morons never do the wrong thing. They get their reasoning wrong. Like the fellow who says that all dogs are pets and all dogs bark, and cats are pets, too, therefore cats bark…Morons will occasionally say something that’s right, but they say it for the wrong reason…A lunatic is easily recognized. He is a moron who doesn’t know the ropes. The moron proves his thesis; he has logic, however twisted it may be. The lunatic on the other hand, doesn’t concern himself at all with logic; he works by short circuits. For him, everything proves everything else. The lunatic is all idée fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars…There are lunatics who don’t bring up the Templars, but those who do are the most insidious. At first they seem normal, then all of a sudden…
Umberto Eco (Foucault's Pendulum)
Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved. As we remember that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God,” (Mosiah 2:17) we will not find ourselves in the unenviable position of Jacob Marley’s ghost, who spoke to Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’s immortal "Christmas Carol." Marley spoke sadly of opportunities lost. Said he: 'Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!' Marley added: 'Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode? Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!' Fortunately, as we know, Ebenezer Scrooge changed his life for the better. I love his line, 'I am not the man I was.' Why is Dickens’ "Christmas Carol" so popular? Why is it ever new? I personally feel it is inspired of God. It brings out the best within human nature. It gives hope. It motivates change. We can turn from the paths which would lead us down and, with a song in our hearts, follow a star and walk toward the light. We can quicken our step, bolster our courage, and bask in the sunlight of truth. We can hear more clearly the laughter of little children. We can dry the tear of the weeping. We can comfort the dying by sharing the promise of eternal life. If we lift one weary hand which hangs down, if we bring peace to one struggling soul, if we give as did the Master, we can—by showing the way—become a guiding star for some lost mariner.
Thomas S. Monson
Anger gets you into trouble, ego keeps you in trouble.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
One night a friend lent me a book of short stories by Franz Kafka. I went back to the pension where I was staying and began to read The Metamorphosis. The first line almost knocked me off the bed. I was so surprised. The first line reads, “As Gregor Samsa awoke that morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. . . .” When I read the line I thought to myself that I didn’t know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago. So I immediately started writing short stories.
Gabriel García Márquez
People are beautiful. All people, of all shapes and sizes. The fact that we are living, breathing organisms that happen to have opposable thumbs, allowing us to pick up our phones and be on it for the entire damn day, is nothing short of brilliant. What makes us even more magnificent as a species is that we are lucky enough to be uniquely different - and it's THAT individuality we must each harness and celebrate.
Connor Franta (A Work in Progress)
Mercy Falls was all about rumors, and the rumor on Jack was that he got his short fuse from his dad. I didn't know about that. It seemed like you ought to pick the sort of person you would be, no matter what your parents were like.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
Love will be an impulse that will inspire and ruin in equal measure.
Neil Gaiman (Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fiction and Illusions)
Managing your emotions doesn't mean you don't express yourself; it means you stop short of hurting others and sabotaging yourself.
Sue Fitzmaurice
So many misconceptions surround the notion of heroism. Far too many categorize a hero as a champion on the battlefield, a commander of legions, a master of rare talent or ability. Granted, there have been heroes who fit those descriptions. But many men of great evil as well. Heed me. A hero sacrifices for the greater good. A hero is true to his or her conscience. In short, heroism means doing the right thing regardless of the consequences. Although any person could fit that description, very few do. Choose this day to be one of them." (Beyonders - A World Without Heroes)
Brandon Mull
The poorer your self-esteem and the lower your self-confidence, the more easily negative feelings can overwhelm ordinary good sense.
Julian Short (A Model for Living)
My circumstances of unrelieved responsibility and permanent distraction necessitated the short story form.
Raymond Carver
The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years. All business and politics is personal in the Philippines. If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump. They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on. I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged. I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy. You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn. Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race. After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself. It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up. He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather. The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up. You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points] Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse. You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow. In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil. There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country. Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us. The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys. The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time. I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality. The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent. Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins. Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it. Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds. Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising. A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't. Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill. It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most. Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold. Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink? She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
John Richard Spencer
We are all hungry for love, acceptance and belonging. Rejection can still feel like death.
Julian Short (A Model for Living)
The gift of the Holy Ghost...quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands, and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates, and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form, and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.
Parley P. Pratt
I create beautiful art, so I can look back on the life my body fell short of in such a way that it brings me peace.
Nikki Rowe
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))
Life is too short to be anything but real with the cast of characters God has placed in the story of your life. Love well, laugh often, and find your life in Christ. Don't hide away or be a follower. Be the wonderful unique person God made you to be, and know that your purpose will always be best when defined by your faith in him
Karen Kingsbury (Unlocked)
Here are young women with more opportunities, more liberties than almost any women in history and at that moment we tell them they’re short-changed silenced victims of a patriarchy? It’s defeatist and demoralising.
Christina Hoff Sommers
And because the world is too big and time is too short and you only have one life to live, read!
A.A. Patawaran (Write Here Write Now: Standing at Attention Before My Imaginary Style Dictator)
Time is too short in this one life, to be able to do everything, but it definitely is long enough at least to be able to develop the will to do anything & everything...
Sujit Lalwani (Life Simplified!)
It seems impossible that you could get something from nothing, but the fact that once there was nothing and now there is a universe is evident proof that you can.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
The sooner, the better!
Franklin W. Dixon (Hardy Boys Complete Series Set Books 1-66 (The Hardy Boys, #1-66))
A novel is achieved with hard work, the short story with inspiration.
Isabel Allende (Paula)
Life is too short not to start something stupid.
Richie Norton (The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret)
I have tried to protect myself against men, to react against their madness to discern its source; I have listened and I have seen--and I have been afraid of acting for the same motives or for any motive whatever, of believing in the same ghosts or in any other ghost, of letting myself be engulfed by the same intoxications or by some other... afraid, in short, of raving in common and of expiring in a horde of ecstasies.
Emil M. Cioran
It's ever so important to believe in what you do, trust your ability to create and show yourself worthy. Never sell yourself short.
Simon Zingerman (We All Need Heroes: Stories of the Brave and Foolish)
Enjoy life while you can. It can be taken in a heart beat.
Jasmin Morin
Our lives are nothing but a short span of time. And if we spend tons of time earning money that we simply throw away, then we're throwing away part of our potential.
Shmuley Boteach (10 Conversations You Need to Have with Your Children)
This town of churches and dreams; this town I thought I would lose myself in, with its backward ways and winding roads leading to nowhere; but, I found myself instead. -Magic in the Backyard (excerpt from American Honey)
Kellie Elmore
Love without truth and honor is licentious in nature. Love without commitment is promiscuous and fleeting. Love without virtue and understanding is savage and selfish. Love without respect is short-lived. Love without these conditions is without God.
David W. Stevens
(the whole world is at the throat of the world, everybody feels angry, short-changed, cheated, everybody is despondent, disillusioned.) I welcomed shots of peace, tattered shards of happiness.
Charles Bukowski (Betting on the Muse: Poems and Stories)
Because, life's too short, my friends. Let's squeeze in as many laughs as we can get.
Neil Pasricha (The Book of Awesome)
Happiness requires a balance. If you feel rejected, you need to pursue love with dignity. If you feel put down you need to restore your dignity in an attractive fashion.
Julian Short (A Model for Living)
A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
How many of us stop short of success on purpose? How many of us sabotage our own happiness because failure, while miserable, is a fear we're familiar with? Success, however, dreams come true, are a whole new kind of terrifying, an entire new species of responsibilities and disillusions, requiring a new way to think, act and become. Why do we REALLY quit? Because it's hopeless? Or because it's possible...
Jennifer DeLucy
Life is so transient and ephemeral; we will not be here after a breath. So think better, think deeply, think with kindness, and write it with love so that it may live a little longer.
Debasish Mridha
I remember Icarus. He flew too close to the sun. In the stories, though, it’s worth it. Always worth it to have tried, even if you fail, even if you fall like a meteor forever. Better to have flamed in the darkness, to have inspired others, to have lived, than to have sat in the darkness, cursing the people who borrowed, but did not return, your candle.
Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances)
I wish I wasn't an imperial highness or an ex-grand duchess. I'm sick of people doing things to me because of what I am. Girl-in-white-dress. Short-one-with-fringe. Daughter-of-the-tsar. Child-of-the-ex-tyrant. I want people to look and see me, Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, not the caboose on a train of grand duchesses. Someday, I promise myself, no one will be able to hear my name or look at my picture and suppose they know all about me. Someday I will do something bigger than what I am.
Sarah Miller (The Lost Crown)
Yes?’ he asked, looking at me over the sheet. ‘I’m a writer temporarily down on my inspirations.’ ‘Oh, a writer, eh?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Are you sure?’ ‘No, I’m not.’ ‘What do you write?’ ‘Short stories mostly. And I’m halfway through a novel.’ ‘A novel, eh?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘What’s the name of it?’ ‘”The Leaky Faucet of My Doom.”‘ ‘Oh, I like that. What’s it about?’ ‘Everything.’ ‘Everything? You mean, for instance, it’s about cancer?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘How about my wife?’ ‘She’s in there too.
Charles Bukowski (Factotum)
Ô, Muse of the Heart’s Passion, let me relive my Love’s memory, to remember her body, so brave and so free, and the sound of my Dreameress singing to me, and the scent of my Dreameress sleeping by me, Ô, sing, sweet Muse, my soliloquy!
Roman Payne
You might think, 'I've got time to follow my dreams.' You don't have time. Life is short. The current life expectancy is 24,869 days. While some of us will live more days and some fewer, either way you have only a precious number of days to live this life, and so you do not have time to put off your dreams. It is now or never. If you don't do it now, you will keep putting it off, and you'll never do it. The time is now!
Rhonda Byrne (Hero (The Secret, #4))
Life is too short to be anything but happy. So kiss slowly. Love deeply. Forgive quickly. Take chances and never have regrets. Forget the past but remember what it taught you.
Abhysheq Shukla (KISS Life "Life is what you make it")
Life is way too short, so try to enjoy every minute of it with a sense of humor!
Christina Scalise (Are We Normal? Funny True Stories from an Everyday Family)
Life's too short to live someone else's
Nathan W. Morris
Tomorrow is promised to no one. Prioritize today accordingly.
Gina Greenlee (Postcards and Pearls: Life Lessons from Solo Moments on the Road)
Jonahtan Seagull discovered that boredom and fear and anger are the reasons that a gull's life is so short,and with these gone from his thought,he lived a long life indeed.
Richard Bach (Jonathan Livingston Seagull)
Look around. It's almost gone. If only someone had told me that before. About life. If only I had understood.
Marisha Pessl (Neverworld Wake)
The sharp knife of a short life, well I've had, just enough time.
Kimberly Perry
Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, So ... Love the people who treat you right and pray for the ones who don't. Life is 10% what you make it 90% how you take it.
Abhysheq Shukla (Feelings Undefined: The Charm of the Unsaid Vol. 1)
My name," I tell Wilbur in the most dignified voice I can find, "Was inspired by Harriet Quimby, the first female American pilot and the first woman ever to cross the Channel in an aeroplane. My mother chose it to represent freedom and bravery and independence, and she gave it to me just before she died." There's a short pause while Wilbur looks appropriately moved. Then Dad says, "Who told you that?" "Annabel did." "Well, it's not true at all. You were named after Harriet the tortoise, the second longest living tortoise in the world." There's a silence while I stare at Dad and Annabel puts her head in her hands so abruptly that the pen starts to leak into her collar. "Richard," she moans quietly. "A tortoise?" I repeat in dismay. "I'm named after a tortoise? What the hell is a tortoise supposed to represent?" "Longevity?
Holly Smale (Geek Girl (Geek Girl, #1))
Letting go is never easy. There is no short-cut or trick to it. You must be committed enough to your future to let go of your past. It's not easy and it's likely to hurt, but it is for the best.
Steve Maraboli
Deciding to commit yourself to long term results rather than short term fixes is as important as any decision you'll make in your lifetime.
Anthony Robbins
Life is too short to give a fuck. Jump in the pool butt ass naked and do it up.
Richard P. Denney
Feelings can have a life of their own and you have very little direct control over them, except perhaps to make them worse.
Julian Short (A Model for Living)
I will dive into my chaos, and my Abyss will turn it into an art scene.
Talismanist Giebra (Talismanist: Fragments of the Ancient Fire. Philosophy of Fragmentism Series.)
• Just love me the way I am!
Israelmore Ayivor (Six Words Inspiration)
Better to have a short life that is full of what you life doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.
Allan Watts
What I am in the eyes of most people - a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person - somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then - even if that were absolutely true, then I should like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart.
Vincent van Gogh
Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms - up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested - probably once belonged to Shakespeare. A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name. So we are all reincarnations - though short-lived ones. When we die, our atoms will disassemble and move off to find new uses elsewhere - as part of a leaf or other human being or drop of dew.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
We knew that it would soon be over, and so we put it all into a poem, to tell the universe who we were, and why we were here, and what we said and did and thought and dreamed and yearned for. We wrapped our dreams into words and patterned the words so that they would live forever, unforgettable.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
1My father says a hunch is your brain’s way of taking a short cut to the truth,’ replied Max. ‘He’s a wise man, your father. What else does he say?’ ‘That the more you try to hide from the truth, the quicker it finds you.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Prince of Mist (Niebla, #1))
Life is short and precious and we never know what is around the corner. So you live for now, seize every moment that comes your way and if you're going to look back on your life with regret, it's easier to regret the things that you did do, rather than the things you didn't
Holly Martin (Fairytale Beginnings)
Apalah gunanya impian bila tidak diwujudkan?
Fredrik Nael (Fantasy Fiesta 2011: Antologi Cerita Fantasi Terbaik 2011)
Life is nasty, brutish, and short. Death is easy.
Jacob M. Appel (The Biology of Luck)
It's not whether your love is temporary or has infinity. It's about the feeling of infinity when you're in love.
Talismanist Giebra (Talismanist: Fragments of the Ancient Fire. Philosophy of Fragmentism Series.)
It‘s not about your wildest dreams coming true but being able to dream the wildest side of you.
Talismanist Giebra
Sometimes the best way to find your road is to get lost. Sometimes the only way to find a way is to get lost.
Talismanist Giebra (Talismanist: Fragments of the Ancient Fire. Philosophy of Fragmentism Series.)
When you have some skills but don't fully understand your environment, there is no way you can be plus one. At best, you can be a zero. But a zero isn't a bad thing to be. You're competent enough not to create problems or make more work for everyone else. And you have to be competent, and prove to others that you are, before you can be extraordinary. There are no short-cuts, unfortunately.
Chris Hadfield (An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth)
Then the cow asked: "What is a mirror?" "It is a hole in the wall," said the cat. "You look in it, and there you see the picture, and it is so dainty and charming and ethereal and inspiring in its unimaginable beauty that your head turns round and round, and you almost swoon with ecstasy.
Mark Twain (Short Stories)
When you fall short of your goals and dreams ask yourself is it your mindset, perspective, expectations, effort, approach, acceptance, company or a blend of these that needs to change.
Rasheed Ogunlaru
Listen to them again: ‘I love you.’ Subject, verb, object: the unadorned, impregnable sentence. The subject is a short word, implying the self-effacement of the lover. The verb is longer but unambiguous, a demonstrative moment as the tongue flicks anxiously away from the palate to release the vowel. The object, like the subject, has no consonants, and is attained by pushing the lips forward as if for a kiss. ‘I love you.’ How serious, how weighted, how freighted it sounds.
Julian Barnes (A History of the World in 10½ Chapters)
In short, superheroes balance the forces of light and dark, rage and serenity, and the sacred and the profane within themselves and from it forge an identity that is powerful and purposeful.
Deepak Chopra (The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes: Harnessing Our Power to Change the World)
Our job is to provide an environment that unlocks women’s potential – one that protects their dignity and femininity, helps them create the necessary balance in their lives, and values their talents and potential. Given this environment, I am confident that women will perform nothing short of miracles.
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Flashes of Thought)
Let the Lord your God be your hope – seek for nothing else from him, but let him himself be your hope. There are people who hope from him riches or perishable and transitory honours, in short they hope to get from God things which are not God himself.
Augustine of Hippo (Daily Readings with St. Augustine)
Short stories can be like photographs, catching people at some moment in their lives and trapping the memory for ever . There they are, smiling or frowning, looking sad, happy, serious, surprised ... And behind those smiles and those frowns lie all the experience of life, the fears and delights, the hopes and the dreams
Katherine Mansfield
We all take a different path to the same place. Why we took the path we did will always be a mystery.
Michael R. Krozer (Diary of a Short Life)
Morning Short List 1. Woke up ✓ 2. Air to breath ✓ 3. Food to eat ✓ 4. Roof over head ✓ ...yep, it's a Good day!
Russell Kyle (Awakened Living: A Practical Guide to the Spiritual Life)
Life is too short to follow the speed limit
Paula Antonia Purpera
Life is short but heartache is shorter
Tyler Perry
To get out of depression, you need to find your exotic connection.
Talismanist Giebra (Talismanist: Fragments of the Ancient Fire. Philosophy of Fragmentism Series.)
12   Life is short. Buy the shoes. —INSPIRATIONAL POSTER
Darynda Jones (Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5))
Let not thy heart cling to the things which for so short a time deck out thy life. Let him who has, learn to lose, and him who is happy, familiarise himself with what may give pain.
Friedrich Schiller
Life is short, and that's why, I don't test people; because we all fail tests sometimes, but that is supposed to be okay! I don't play games with people; because people aren't toys. And I don't risk what I don't want to lose; because if I do lose it, it's definitely my loss and not theirs! How short is life, you ask me. Well, life is as short as one drop in eternity. I swim in a single drop in this basin of eternal waters, and after that drop evaporates, it's gone! But then you could argue that if life is just a drop, then why even bother? Well, yes it is a drop, but it's a meaningful drop, an unforgettable drop, and a beautiful one! It's so unforgettable, that when you come back again, if you choose to, you will remember it in your dreams at night! So you see, I don't test people, I don't play games, and I don't risk who and what I don't want to lose.
C. JoyBell C.
Life is so short, and love is so big. Too big for life! That's why, when you love someone, they'd better know it. You'd better tell them. Love is meant for that, love is not meant to be hidden.
C. JoyBell C.
Within you is a fountain of wisdom. And you sell yourself short every time you allow some authority to define your limitations and cage your potential. Even if that authority lives in your head.
Vironika Tugaleva (The Art of Talking to Yourself)
We are in charge of our own lives and how we spend our time. You should never do something you don’t want to do. Lives are incredibly short. If it doesn’t feel right to do something then you have permission to not do it. Who cares what other people will think?
Shannon Kaiser (Find Your Happy: An Inspirational Guide to Loving Life to Its Fullest)
...We always look for Christ amid magnificence. But ... Christ has a history of showing up amide the unlovely. Born in a dirty stall. Crowned with thorns. Died gasping on a shameful cross atop a jagged rise. We don't need to be beautiful for Christ to take us in. He is equally at home when we're broken-down and dirty. It's like George Herbert wrote: 'And here in dust and dirt, O here, The lilies of God's love appear.' We think magnificence is in short supply, that dust and dirt choke out the lilies. But that's not true and never was. Lilies may root in dirt, but they reach for heaven—and in the reaching, reveal their magnificence. —chapter 24
Philip Gulley (Home to Harmony (Harmony, #1))
Nothing living should ever be treated with contempt. Whatever it is that lives, a man, a tree, or a bird, should be touched gently, because the time is short. Civilization is another word for respect for life.
Elizabeth Goudge
A mountain is the best medicine for a troubled mind. Seldom does man ponder his own insignificance. He thinks he is master of all things. He thinks the world is his without bonds. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Only when he tramps the mountains alone, communing with nature, observing other insignificant creatures about him, to come and go as he will, does he awaken to his own short-lived presence on earth.
Finis Mitchell
Twelve dead?” I said. “Jesus.
Dennis Lehane (A Drink Before the War (Kenzie & Gennaro, #1))
(On her son) I've met writer's block. He is short, diapered and keeps unplugging my laptop. Good news: he can be conquered with a bottle and a nap.
Cyrese Covelli
How to be happy in life? The short and simple answer is to SMILE more often!
Al Munoz
As an inmate of a concentration camp, Corrie Ten Boom heard a commotion, and saw a short distance away a prison guard mercilessly beating a female prisoner. “What can we do for these people?” Corrie whispered. “Show them that love is greater,” Betsie replied. In that moment, Corrie realized her sister’s focus was on the prison guard, not the victim she was watching. Betsie saw the world through a different lens. She considered the actions of greatest moral gravity to be the ones we originate, not the ones we suffer.
Terryl L. Givens (The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life)
Whether they realized it or not, they were doubting possibility, and the unknown. They believed I would fail. And when we only believe what has been said before, what has been done before, we give our own power away. Possibility evaporates; potential melts and seeps away deep into the earth below us. We cut ourselves short by thinking this way. I have always felt that it is from what we believe that our lives are created, not the other way around.
Shreve Stockton (The Daily Coyote: Story of Love, Survival, and Trust In the Wilds of Wyoming)
You next," he said. "Out of those clothes and into bed." She nodded but didn't move from Sally's side. The thought of undressing exhausted her. Where would she find the strength such a task would require? "I'm filthy. I'll ruin the new bed." "I'll bring you some fresh water." "I've no clothes to change into." His grin was downright wicked. "I know." A short laugh escaped her.
Deeanne Gist (A Bride Most Begrudging)
...maybe strength in the 21st century isn't about dominance....it's about the capacity to evoke....the ability to spark the enduring bonds of shared values, intrinsic motivation, and mutually committed perseverance. It is, in short, not the power merely to command, subordinate, demean, insult — and then crow about it with impunity. It's the power to inspire, animate, infuse, spark, evoke — and then connect, link, and collaborate, to be a force multiplier.
Umair Haque
Nor do we merely feel these essences for one short hour no, even as these trees that whisper round a temple become soon dear as the temples self, so does the moon, the passion posey, glories infinite, Haunt us till they become a cheering light unto our souls and bound to us so fast, that wheather there be shine, or gloom o'er cast, They always must be with us, or we die.
John Keats
I mean it wasn’t an empty hole, there was al­ways some­thing in it, but it was never right. It never fit. I went to col­lege for a short time, until I sat back one day and said to my­self: An­drew, what the fuck are you doing here? And it clicked in my head that I wasn’t there be­cause it’s what I wanted, I was there be­cause it’s what peo­ple ex­pected, even peo­ple I don’t know, so­ci­ety. It’s what peo­ple do.
J.A. Redmerski
Often, people build stories in their mind which have no basis in the contours of reality. Those which build these images, are building such images which are based on their relatively limited sense of understanding about the particular subject or person. This is a "fill in the blank" reality, which often manifests itself into the hearts and the minds of those who have a "fill in the blank" mindset, not the person with the here said reality. The universe is designed in a way that reflects itself, just like a mirror, showing you exactly who you are to yourself, not who others are. Your largest and most concealed insecurities have their way of presenting themselves to you in a fashion that is relative to your self designed way of communication. This short writing is a reminder that your preconceived notions on a particular subject or person, are a construct of your inner mind and emotional-relational well being and not of others. This is one of the largest fundamental truths in which you must have large insight to carefully watch who and what you massacre with your personal thoughts. Having a keen sense of control on this subject will lead you to enlightenment in many platforms of life.
Will Barnes (The Expansion of The Soul)
Live a life abundant in love and rich in spirit, these are the seeds of a fulfilling existence. Be the safe harbor you seek in the world. Follow your dreams, not your fear. Go into the New Year with an open mind and hopeful heart. Don't let the chains of unforgiveness weigh you down. Life is too short to live in a prison of past hurts. The futures is yours for the taking and creating. Life is bittersweet, when we can let darkness and light co-exist as illumination, we can live in true happiness. When we live life at its best, it is a symphony of feelings, of high and low notes, of tragedy and comedy, love and loss, magic and the sublime. It can be quite a spectacular journey when we fully embrace and accept it.
Jaeda DeWalt
Jen smiled at them, a wicked gleam in her eyes. "Do you hear that, Desdemona, last of the witches? I have so named you! Hear me now," Jen yelled into the dark forest, the wind and thunder still rolling around her. "Your time is drawing near! We are coming. Throw back your head in your tiny victory, laugh at our short-lived defeat, but we are coming. The night will be filled with our howls, the ground will shake with the stomping of our feet! We are coming. We are coming for you, Desdemona, and death follows!" Jen lifted her head and let out a howl worthy of an Alpha female. The others joined. And as their howls died down, for a brief moment before the silence took over, they heard howls beyond the earthly realm, howls filled with grief and triumph, pain and fear, anger and love-howls from those caught in the jaws of the In Between. They had heard their females' cries and they had answered.
Quinn Loftis (Beyond the Veil (The Grey Wolves, #5))
There is a very real danger present when we suppress our feelings to act on inspiration in exchange for the “safety” of the status quo. We risk sacrificing the opportunity to live a more fulfilling and purpose driven life. We risk sacrificing the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. We risk sacrificing the beautiful blessing of finding a greater sense of meaning in our own lives. In short, we run the very real risk living a life of regret.
Richie Norton
Perhaps creativity’s greatest mercy is this: By completely absorbing our attention for a short and magical spell, it can relieve us temporarily from the dreadful burden of being who we are. Best of all, at the end of your creative adventure, you have a souvenir—something that you made, something to remind you forever of your brief but transformative encounter with inspiration
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
Life is short, but I never thought my life would end this way. I have myself to blame for that. I saw all of the red flags, but I ignored them one at a time. Every time I ignored them, I was buying more time, I received more time, and I gambled with the time that I was given. It shows you that buying time is temporary because sooner or later time runs out.” ~Love is respect ♥~
Charlena E. Jackson (In Love With Blindfolds On)
We may not know what lies ahead of us in the future years, nor even in the days or hours immediately beyond. But for a few yards, or possibly only a few feet, the track is clear, our duty is plain, our course is illumined. For that short distance, for the next step, lighted by the inspiration of God, go on! ("Three Parables—The Unwise Bee, the Owl Express, and Two Lamps", Ensign, Feb. 2003, 8 - https://new.lds.org/ensign/2003/02/th...)
James E. Talmage
This is our one and only chance at mortal life-here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by. As you plan for that illusive, nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find you in the journey now.
Thomas S. Monson
My respiration and inspiration...the beating of my heart...the passing of blood and air through my lungs, the sniff of green leaves and dry leaves and of the short and dark colored sea-rocks and of hay in the barn...the delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hillsides, the feeling of health...the full moon trill...the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
The great ones do not set up offices, charge fees, give lectures, or write books. Wisdom is silent, and the most effective propaganda for truth is the force of personal example. The great ones attract disciples, lesser figures whose mission is to preach and to teach. These are gospelers who, unequal to the highest task, spend their lives in converting others. The great ones are indifferent, in the profoundest sense. They don’t ask you to believe: they electrify you by their behavior. They are the awakeners. What you do with your petty life is of no concern to them. What you do with your life is only of concern to you, they seem to say. In short, their only purpose here on earth is to inspire. And what more can one ask of a human being than that?
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
I decided to choose: No more sadness because of how someone else will feel. No more hiding my feelings. No more avoiding the truth of how I felt. No more unresolved situations. No more letting people rob me of my happiness and joy and letting life pass me by. No more misery and selling myself short. No more letting people take and steal my inner peace. No more giving a shit about what other people think of me—they are going to form their opinion anyway—and the question is, who cares? Not me. That’s the least of my worries. No more giving everyone the best of me. It is time for me to fall in love with myself and give myself ALL of me!
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
I thought Beatrice Keedsler had joined hands with other old-fashioned storytellers to make people believe that life had leading characters, minor characters, significant details, insignificant details, that it had lessons to be learned, tests to be passed, and a beginning, a middle, and an end. As I approached my fiftieth birthday, I had become more and more enraged and mystified by the idiot decisions made by my countrymen. And then I had come suddenly to pity them, for I understood how innocent and natural it was for them to behave so abominably, and with such abominable results: They were doing their best to live like people invented in story books. This was the reason Americans shot each other so often: It was a convenient literary device for ending short stories and books. Why were so many Americans treated by their government as though their lives were as disposable as paper facial tissues? Because that was the way authors customarily treated bit-part players in their madeup tales. And so on. Once I understood what was making America such a dangerous, unhappy nation of people who had nothing to do with real life, I resolved to shun storytelling. I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done. If all writers would do that, then perhaps citizens not in the literary trades will understand that there is no order in the world around us, that we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead. It is hard to adapt to chaos, but it can be done. I am living proof of that: It can be done.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my mortality, and of what I wished and wanted for my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light and what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had I ever been afraid? To question or to speak as I believed could have meant pain, or death. But we are all hurt in so many different ways, all the time, and pain will either change or end. Death on the other hand, is the final silence. And that might be coming quietly now, without regard for whether I had ever spoken what needed to be said or had only betrayed myself into small silences, while I planned someday to speak, or waited for someone Else's words....I was going to die, if not sooner then later whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me.
Audre Lorde
Forcing a child into adult pursuits is one of the subtlest varieties of soul murder. Very often we find that the narcissist was deprived of his childhood. Consider the gifted child, the Wunderkind: the answer to his mother's prayers and the salve to her frustrations… The Wunderkind narcissist refuses to grow up. In his mind, his tender age formed an integral part of the precocious miracle that he once was. One looks much less phenomenal and one's exploits and achievements are much less awe-inspiring at the age of 40 than the age of 4. Better stay young forever and thus secure an interminable stream of Narcissistic Supply. So, the narcissist abjures all adult skills and chores: he never takes out a driver's license; he does not have children; he rarely has sex; he never settles down in one place; he rejects intimacy. In short, he renounces adulthood. Absent adult skills he assumes no adult responsibilities. He expects indulgence from others.
Sam Vaknin (Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited)
God, thank you for waking me up this morning. I want to embrace every day, however limited my day may be, as a gift from God. I want to live this day to its fullest. I know there are things I can no longer do. I know I am facing daily limitations. But I want to focus on what I can do, not on what I cannot do. So help me God. I know this day will never be repeated. I know I cannot live it over again. Help me to live it to its fullest.
Ed Dobson (Prayers and Promises When Facing a Life-Threatening Illness: 30 Short Morning and Evening Reflections)
♔ Writing is my passion. I never want to let it go. It may be short, Fan-Fiction or purely my own work. But it is my kingdom, I am the princess. For all the noble readers in the kingdom, I bring them joy with tales. My knights that protect me, are my fellow writers. The dragon would be the inspiration for my writing. The fortune teller would be my best friend, giving me hope. The castle would be Wattpad, it keeps everything protected. ♔
BritHoran
She knew her duty inside and out. The prosperity of the cash drawer brought happiness to husband and wife. Not that Madame Puta was bad looking, not at all, she could even, like so many others, have been rather pretty, but she was so careful, so distrustful that she stopped short of beauty just as she stopped short of life—her hair was a little too well dressed, her smile a little too facile and sudden, and her gestures a bit too abrupt or too furtive. You racked your brains trying to figure out what was too calculated about her and why you always felt uneasy when she came near you. This instinctive revulsion that shopkeepers inspire in anyone who goes near them who knows what's what, is one of the few consolations for being as down at heel as people who don't sell anything to anybody tend to be.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
A few years after I gave some lectures for the freshmen at Caltech (which were published as the Feynman Lectures on Physics), I received a long letter from a feminist group. I was accused of being anti-women because of two stories: the first was a discussion of the subtleties of velocity, and involved a woman driver being stopped by a cop. There's a discussion about how fast she was going, and I had her raise valid objections to the cop's definitions of velocity. The letter said I was making the women look stupid. The other story they objected to was told by the great astronomer Arthur Eddington, who had just figured out that the stars get their power from burning hydrogen in a nuclear reaction producing helium. He recounted how, on the night after his discovery, he was sitting on a bench with his girlfriend. She said, "Look how pretty the stars shine!" To which he replied, "Yes, and right now, I'm the only man in the world who knows how they shine." He was describing a kind of wonderful loneliness you have when you make a discovery. The letter claimed that I was saying a women is incapable of understanding nuclear reactions. I figured there was no point in trying to answer their accusations in detail, so I wrote a short letter back to them: "Don't bug me, Man!
Richard P. Feynman
That’s the key, you know, confidence. I know for a fact that if you genuinely like your body, so can others. It doesn’t really matter if it’s short, tall, fat or thin, it just matters that you can find some things to like about it. Even if that means having a good laugh at the bits of it that wobble independently, occasionally, that’s all right. It might take you a while to believe me on this one, lots of people don’t because they seem to suffer from self-hatred that precludes them from imagining that a big woman could ever love herself because they don’t. But I do. I know what I’ve got is a bit strange and difficult to love but those are the very aspects that I love the most! It’s a bit like people. I’ve never been particularly attracted to the uniform of conventional beauty. I’m always a bit suspicious of people who feel compelled to conform. I personally like the adventure of difference. And what’s beauty, anyway?
Dawn French (Dear Fatty)
And more even than the painter, the writer, in order to achieve volume and substance, in order to attain to generality and, so far as literature can, to reality, needs to have seen many churches in order to paint one church and for the portrayal of a single sentiment requires many individuals. For if art is long and life is short, we may on the other hand say that, if inspiration is short, the sentiments which it has to portray are not of much longer duration. It is our passions which draw the outline of our books, the ensuing intervals of repose which write them.
Marcel Proust (Time Regained)
The people you choose must (a) make you think smarter and (b) put lots of solutions on the table in a short amount of time. I don’t care who it is, the janitor or the intern or one of your most trusted lieutenants: If they can help you do that, they should be at the table.” Believe me, you don’t want to be at a company where there is more candor in the hallways than in the rooms where fundamental ideas or matters of policy are being hashed out. The best inoculation against this fate? Seek out people who are willing to level with you, and when you find them, hold them close.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
Life is too short to hold grudges, plan vengeance, and be angry for too long. And people say things like that all the time, but words like that only take on their meaning when you experience someone close to you passing away. There are truly not enough minutes, hours, days, months, years, to spend any amount of time on being and doing anything other than going into the direction of your happiness. Acceptance is better than correction and joy is better than revenge. Innocent laughter is better than anger.
C. JoyBell C.
I believe that life is all about perception and timing. That good things come to those who act and that life’s about more than collecting a paycheck. I believe that the only person you’re destined to become is the one that you decide to be. That if you try hard enough you can convince yourself of anything. That having patience doesn’t make you a hero nor does it make you a doormat. I believe that not showing love proves you’re weak and belittling others doesn’t make you strong. That you are never as far away from people as the miles may suggest. That life’s too short to read awful books, listen to terrible music, or be around uninspiring people. I believe that where you start has little impact on where you finish. That sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away. That you can never be overdressed or overeducated. I believe that the cure for anything is salt water; sweat, tears, or the sea. That you should never let your memories be greater than your dreams. And that you should always choose adventure.
Todd Smidt
Earthborn animals do this thing, inside their brains—a sort of firing-off of synapses, controlled insanity. While they’re asleep. The part of their brain that records sight or sound, it’s firing off every hour or two while they sleep; even when all the sights and sounds are complete random nonsense, their brains just keep on trying to assemble it into something sensible. They try to make stories out of it. It’s complete random nonsense with no possible correlation to the real world, and yet they turn it into these crazy stories. And then they forget them. All that work, coming up with these stories, and when they wake up they forget almost all of them. But when they do remember, then they try to make stories about those crazy stories, trying to fit them into their real lives. …They change what their stories mean. They transform things so that the same memory can mean a thousand different things. Even from their dreams, sometimes they make up out of that randomness something that illuminates everything. …Even if the vast majority of them are wrong, even if ninety-nine of every hundred is stupid and wrong, out of those thousands of ideas that still leaves them with a hundred good ones. That’s how they make up for being so stupid and having such short lives and small memories.
Orson Scott Card (Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3))
We would be in each other's lives again. No, he hadn't been the best father, but he was my father, and we loved each other. We needed each other. Though he'd disappointed me countless times through the years, life had already proven too short for me to hold on to that. So I let go of my hurt. I let go years of frustration between us. Most of all, I let go of any desire to change my father and I accepted him for who he was. I took all of my anguish and released it like a fistful of helium balloons to the sky, and I chose to forgive him.
Liz Murray (Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard)
There are gigantic trees that have grown tall into the winds and the clouds over the thousands of years of their lives, their tops are rustled and tossed by the mists of the atmosphere! Then there are the short trees that don't live for long, they are young with no deep roots and only a few annual rings to tell their stories.The tall, ancient trees sway in the realm of freedom while the short young trees cannot even raise their branches into that direction of the sky! Now, you are the bird who needs a tree to live in; if you choose to live in the tree which thrives in the realm of freedom, that doesn't mean you are not committed to that tree. You are still committed to your tree, but together you and your tree live in freedom. Freedom is not the absence of commitment. If you are the bird who chooses to fly around amongst the short trees and live in them, that's because your wings are too short to make it any higher and your vision too near to see any further into the clouds. And if you move from one short tree to the next short tree, that doesn't mean you are free, you are still down there below, freedom is still nowhere near you.
C. JoyBell C.
Right now, we are in a peak cycle. There’s tremendous energy out there, directed against the state. It’s not all focused, but it’s there, and it’s building. Maybe this will be sufficient to accomplish what we must accomplish over the fairly short run. We’ll see, and we can certainly hope that this is the case. But perhaps not. We must be prepared to wage a long struggle. If this is the case then we’ll probably see a different cycle, one in which the revolutionary energy of the people seems to have dispersed, run out of steam. But – and this is important- such cycles are deceptive. Things appear to be at low ebb, but actually what’s happening is a period of regroupment, a period in which we step back and learn from the mistakes made during the preceding cycle.
George L. Jackson
A lesson in bringing about true changes of mind and heart comes from a Japanese functionary. By day, he crunched numbers that showed his country was approaching imminent energy crisis and helped to craft policy. By night, he weaved a novel in which a bureaucrat-hero helps see the country through to new energy sources. When the crisis came faster than he expected, he actually put the novel away because he did not want to make the burden of his countrymen worse. When the short-term crisis passed, he published his novel. It's phenomenal and well-timed success fueled the vision that inspired difficult change and maintained a sense of urgency.
Daniel Yergin (The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World)
So far as we know, the tiny fragments of the universe embodied in man are the only centers of thought and responsibility in the visible world. If that be so, the appearance of the human mind has been so far the ultimate stage in the awakening of the world; and all that has gone before, the striving of myriad centers that have taken the risks of living and believing, seem to have all been pursuing, along rival lines, the aim now achieved by us up to this point. They are all akin to us, for all these centers - those which led up to our own existence and the far more numerous others which produced different lines of which many are extinct - may be seen engaged in the same endeavor towards ultimate liberation. We may envisage then a cosmic field which called forth all these centers by offering them a short-lived, limited, hazardous opportunity for making some progress of their own towards an unthinkable consummation. And that is also, I believe, how a Christian is placed when worshiping God.
Michael Polanyi (Personal Knowledge)
You’re with a girl. She’s brown-haired and side-swept. I imagine that she’s the kind of girl who can easily shop for jean shorts, and speaks kindly more often than not. She seems like the kind of girl who hates New York City because it wreaks havoc on her shoes (really she just thinks it’s a big and scary place), but once had the time of her life in Spain on a backpacking trip when she was 23. Her gaze is focused on the embracing couple as near strangers capable of judgement. She stands bolted next to you like you’re her anchor in the social storm. You two seem finely matched… but what do I know? (Nothing at all.) I accidentally saw a picture of you and it reminded me that I was dating a man rightfully shaking his fist at God, while trying to hold my hand with the other. I was reminded of how fiercely we tried to hold our relationship together, and how devastated and relieved we were in its destruction. There’s water under that bridge. I accidentally saw a picture of you. No big deal. I wrote about it.
Joy Wilson
God, how I wish I could relive the whole thing. Short of that, I'd like to share the experience, the ups and downs, so some young man or woman, somewhere, going through the same trials and ordeals, might be inspired or comforted. Or warned. Some young entrepreneur, maybe, some athlete or painter or novelist, might press on. It's all the same drive. The same dream. It would be nice to help them avoid the typical discouragements. I'd tell them to hit pause, think long and hard about how they want to spend their time, and with whom they want to spend it for the next forty years. I'd tell men and women in their midtwenties not to settle for a job or a profession or even a career. Seek a calling. Even if you don't know what that means, seek it. If you're following your calling, the fatigue will be easier to bear, the disappointments will be fuel, the highs will be like nothing you've ever felt. I'd like to warn the best of them, the iconoclasts, the innovators, the rebels, that they will always have a bull's-eye on their backs. The better they get, the bigger the bull's-eye. It's not one man's opinion; it's a law of nature.
Phil Knight (Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike)
Shortly after I started hitting some notable milestones on my Spiritual journey, I went into a thrift store that benefits veterans, My eyes were quickly drawn to a dusty and tattered image of Christ laying mixed in with some other things on a shelf. I picked it up, And on it was written these words: "If you accept it... I would give you the gift of seeing yourself as I see you..." The truth and love of that image and simple words stopped me in my tracks and opened my heart. Since then I have received a wonderful gift, to know myself as an Eternal Spiritual Being, a Child of our Loving Father in Heaven. ...And no I didn't buy it, I received the message loud and clear, So I left it there, in hopes that the image and words would speak to someone else's Soul in the same way they had spoken to mine.
Raymond D. Longoria Jr.
You go out into your world, and try and find the things that will be useful to you. Your weapons. Your tools. Your charms. You find a record, or a poem, or a picture of a girl that you pin to the wall and go, "Her. I'll try and be her. I'll try and be her - but here." You observe the way others walk, and talk, and you steal little bits of them - you collage yourself out of whatever you can get your hands on. You are like the robot Johnny 5 in Short Circuit, crying, "More input! More input for Johnny 5! as you rifle through books and watch films and sit in front of the television, trying to guess which of these things that you are watching - Alexis Carrington Colby walking down a marble staircase; Anne of Green Gables holding her shoddy suitcase; Cathy wailing on the moors; Courtney Love wailing in her petticoat; Dorothy Parker gunning people down; Grace Jones singing "Slave to the Rhythm" - you will need when you get out there. What will be useful. What will be, eventually, you? And you will be quite on your own when you do all this. There is no academy where you can learn to be yourself; there is no line manager slowly urging you toward the correct answer. You are midwife to yourself, and will give birth to yourself, over and over, in dark rooms, alone. And some versions of you will end in dismal failure - many prototypes won't even get out the front door, as you suddenly realize that no, you can't style-out an all-in-one gold bodysuit and a massive attitude problem in Wolverhampton. Others will achieve temporary success - hitting new land-speed records, and amazing all around you, and then suddenly, unexpectedly exploding, like the Bluebird on Coniston Water. But one day you'll find a version of you that will get you kissed, or befriended, or inspired, and you will make your notes accordingly, staying up all night to hone and improvise upon a tiny snatch of melody that worked. Until - slowly, slowly - you make a viable version of you, one you can hum every day. You'll find the tiny, right piece of grit you can pearl around, until nature kicks in, and your shell will just quietly fill with magic, even while you're busy doing other things. What your nature began, nature will take over, and start completing, until you stop having to think about who you'll be entirely - as you're too busy doing, now. And ten years will pass without you even noticing. And later, over a glass of wine - because you drink wine now, because you are grown - you will marvel over what you did. Marvel that, at the time, you kept so many secrets. Tried to keep the secret of yourself. Tried to metamorphose in the dark. The loud, drunken, fucking, eyeliner-smeared, laughing, cutting, panicking, unbearably present secret of yourself. When really you were about as secret as the moon. And as luminous, under all those clothes.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
Gate C22 At gate C22 in the Portland airport a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed a woman arriving from Orange County. They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after the other passengers clicked the handles of their carry-ons and wheeled briskly toward short-term parking, the couple stood there, arms wrapped around each other like he’d just staggered off the boat at Ellis Island, like she’d been released at last from ICU, snapped out of a coma, survived bone cancer, made it down from Annapurna in only the clothes she was wearing. Neither of them was young. His beard was gray. She carried a few extra pounds you could imagine her saying she had to lose. But they kissed lavish kisses like the ocean in the early morning, the way it gathers and swells, sucking each rock under, swallowing it again and again. We were all watching– passengers waiting for the delayed flight to San Jose, the stewardesses, the pilots, the aproned woman icing Cinnabons, the man selling sunglasses. We couldn’t look away. We could taste the kisses crushed in our mouths. But the best part was his face. When he drew back and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost as though he were a mother still open from giving birth, as your mother must have looked at you, no matter what happened after–if she beat you or left you or you’re lonely now–you once lay there, the vernix not yet wiped off, and someone gazed at you as if you were the first sunrise seen from the Earth. The whole wing of the airport hushed, all of us trying to slip into that woman’s middle-aged body, her plaid Bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, glasses, little gold hoop earrings, tilting our heads up.
Ellen Bass (The Human Line)
There was an old Taoist who lived in a village in ancient China, named Master Hu. Hu loved God and God loved Hu, and whatever God did was fine with Hu, and whatever Hu did was fine with God. They were friends. They were such good friends that they kidded around. Hu would do stuff to God like call him "The Great Clod." That's how he kidded. That was fine with God. God would turn around and do stuff to Hu like give him warts on his face, wens on his head, arthritis in his hands, a hunch in his back, canker sores in his mouth and gout in his feet. That's how He kidded. That God. What a kidder! But it was fine with Hu. Master Hu grew lumpy as a toad; he grew crooked as cherry wood; he became a human pretzel. "You Clod!" he'd shout at God, laughing. That was fine with God. He'd send Hu a right leg ten inches shorter than the left to show He was listening. And Hu would laugh some more and walk around in little circles, showing off his short leg, saying to the villagers, "Haha! See how the Great Clod listens! How lumpy and crookedy and ugly He is making me! He makes me laugh and laugh! That's what a Friend is for!" And the people of the village would look at him and wag their heads: sure enough, old Hu looked like an owl's nest; he looked like a swamp; he looked like something the dog rolled in. And he winked at his people and looked up at God and shouted, "Hey Clod! What next?" And splot! Out popped a fresh wart. The people wagged their heads till their tongues wagged too. They said, "Poor Master Hu has gone crazy." And maybe he had. Maybe God sent down craziness along with the warts and wens and hunch and gout. What did Hu care? It was fine with him. He loved God and God loved Hu, and Hu was the crookedest, ugliest, happiest old man in all the empire till the day he whispered, Hey Clod! What now? and God took his line in hand and drew him right into Himself. That was fine with Hu. That's what a Friend is for.
David James Duncan (The River Why)
The truth is - people won't believe you, they won't care for you, they won't give you time or attention, but once you do something that is 'big' in their eyes, you will get it all. Then suddenly you become everyone's friend, everyone seems to have time for you. The people who ignored you earlier will tag you in their posts to gain publicity. And all of a sudden, you become the 'new' inspiration. But the ones who always support you will still call you by your pet name, tease you by those old names and will be there for you like before. The 'key' to life is - knowing who is permanent and who is temporary. The people who are with you in your struggle, are the people who deserve to eat a slice of your success, and the people who are there right after your success, are the ones who should be kept at a distance, for those people would be the first ones to run away if you are in any problem. This life is too short to be lived in any fake fame or publicity. Know your real friends, and know their worth, because if they're lost, the meaning of your life is lost...
Mehek Bassi
The Louis XIII style in perfumery, composed of the elements dear to that period - orris-powder, musk, civet and myrtle-water, already known by the name of angel-water - was scarcely adequate to express the cavalierish graces, the rather crude colours of the time which certain sonnets by Saint-Amand have preserved for us. Later on, with the aid of myrrh and frankincense, the potent and austere scents of religion, it became almost possible to render the stately pomp of the age of Louis XIV, the pleonastic artifices of classical oratory, the ample, sustained, wordy style of Bossuet and the other masters of the pulpit. Later still, the blase, sophisticated graces of French society under Louis XV found their interpreters more easily in frangipane and marechale, which offered in a way the very synthesis of the period. And then, after the indifference and incuriosity of the First Empire, which used eau-de-Cologne and rosemary to excess, perfumery followed Victor Hugo and Gautier and went for inspiration to the lands of the sun; it composed its own Oriental verses, its own highly spiced salaams, discovered intonations and audacious antitheses, sorted out and revived forgotten nuances which it complicated, subtilized and paired off, and in short resolutely repudiated the voluntary decrepitude to which it had been reduced by its Malesherbes, its Boileaus, its Andrieux, its Baour-Lormians, the vulgar distillers of its poems.
Joris-Karl Huysmans (Against Nature (À Rebours))
She has been unkind to you, no doubt; because you see, she dislikes your cast of character, as Miss Scatcherd does mine; but how minutely you remember all she has done and said to you! What a singularly deep impression her injustice seems to have made on your heart! No ill-usage so brands its record on my feelings. Would you not be happier if you tried to forget her severity, together with the passionate emotions it excited? Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs. We are, and must be, one and all, burdened with faults in this world: but the time will soon come when, I trust, we shall put them off in putting off our corruptible bodies; when debasement and sin will fall from us with this cumbrous frame of flesh, and only the spark of the spirit will remain, - the impalpable principle of light and thought, pure as when it left the Creator to inspire the creature: whence it came it will return; perhaps again to be communicated to some being higher than man - perhaps to pass through gradations of glory, from the pale human soul to brighten to the seraph! ...
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs. We are, and must be, one and all, burdened with faults in this world: but the time will soon come when, I trust, we shall put them off in putting off our corruptible bodies; when debasement and sin will fall from us with this cumbrous frame of flesh, and only the spark of the spirit will remain,—the impalpable principle of light and thought, pure as when it left the Creator to inspire the creature: whence it came it will return; perhaps again to be communicated to some being higher than man—perhaps to pass through gradations of glory, from the pale human soul to brighten to the seraph! Surely it will never, on the contrary, be suffered to degenerate from man to fiend? No; I cannot believe that: I hold another creed: which no one ever taught me, and which I seldom mention; but in which I delight, and to which I cling: for it extends hope to all: it makes Eternity a rest—a mighty home, not a terror and an abyss. Besides, with this creed, I can so clearly distinguish between the criminal and his crime; I can so sincerely forgive the first while I abhor the last: with this creed revenge never worries my heart, degradation never too deeply disgusts me, injustice never crushes me too low: I live in calm, looking to the end.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Another kind of transcendence myth has been dramatization of human life in terms of conflict and vindication. This focuses upon the situation of oppression and the struggle for liberation. It is a short-circuited transcendence when the struggle against oppression becomes an end in itself, the focal point of all meaning. There is an inherent contradiction in the idea that those devoted to a cause have found their whole meaning in the struggle, so that the desired victory becomes implicitly an undesirable meaninglessness. Such a truncated vision is one of the pitfalls of theologies of the oppressed. Sometimes black theology, for example that of James Cone, resounds with a cry for vengeance and is fiercely biblical and patriarchal. It transcends religion as a crutch (the separation and return of much old-fashioned Negro spirituality) but tends to settle for being religion as a gun. Tailored to fit only the situation of racial oppression, it inspires a will to vindication but leaves unexplored other dimensions of liberation. It does not get beyond the sexist models internalized by the self and controlling society — models that are at the root of racism and that perpetuate it. The Black God and the Black Messiah apparently are merely the same patriarchs after a pigmentation operation — their behavior unaltered.
Mary Daly (Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Women's Liberation)
...Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march. He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. ...He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low. He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life-or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to "square-away" those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. ...Just as did his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over two hundred years. He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to war when our nation calls us to do so. As you go to bed tonight, remember this. A short lull, a little shade, and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.
Sarah Palin (America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag)
It is the simplest phrase you can imagine,” Favreau said, “three monosyllabic words that people say to each other every day.” But the speech etched itself in rhetorical lore. It inspired music videos and memes and the full range of reactions that any blockbuster receives online today, from praise to out-of-context humor to arch mockery. Obama’s “Yes, we can” refrain is an example of a rhetorical device known as epistrophe, or the repetition of words at the end of a sentence. It’s one of many famous rhetorical types, most with Greek names, based on some form of repetition. There is anaphora, which is repetition at the beginning of a sentence (Winston Churchill: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields”). There is tricolon, which is repetition in short triplicate (Abraham Lincoln: “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people”). There is epizeuxis, which is the same word repeated over and over (Nancy Pelosi: “Just remember these four words for what this legislation means: jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs”). There is diacope, which is the repetition of a word or phrase with a brief interruption (Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”) or, most simply, an A-B-A structure (Sarah Palin: “Drill baby drill!”). There is antithesis, which is repetition of clause structures to juxtapose contrasting ideas (Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”). There is parallelism, which is repetition of sentence structure (the paragraph you just read). Finally, there is the king of all modern speech-making tricks, antimetabole, which is rhetorical inversion: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” There are several reasons why antimetabole is so popular. First, it’s just complex enough to disguise the fact that it’s formulaic. Second, it’s useful for highlighting an argument by drawing a clear contrast. Third, it’s quite poppy, in the Swedish songwriting sense, building a hook around two elements—A and B—and inverting them to give listeners immediate gratification and meaning. The classic structure of antimetabole is AB;BA, which is easy to remember since it spells out the name of a certain Swedish band.18 Famous ABBA examples in politics include: “Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men.” —Benjamin Disraeli “East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we mistrust each other.” —Ronald Reagan “The world faces a very different Russia than it did in 1991. Like all countries, Russia also faces a very different world.” —Bill Clinton “Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.” —George W. Bush “Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.” —Hillary Clinton In particular, President John F. Kennedy made ABBA famous (and ABBA made John F. Kennedy famous). “Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind,” he said, and “Each increase of tension has produced an increase of arms; each increase of arms has produced an increase of tension,” and most famously, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Antimetabole is like the C–G–Am–F chord progression in Western pop music: When you learn it somewhere, you hear it everywhere.19 Difficult and even controversial ideas are transformed, through ABBA, into something like musical hooks.
Derek Thompson (Hit Makers: Why Things Become Popular)