Small Differences Quotes

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No relationship is perfect, ever. There are always some ways you have to bend, to compromise, to give something up in order to gain something greater...The love we have for each other is bigger than these small differences. And that's the key. It's like a big pie chart, and the love in a relationship has to be the biggest piece. Love can make up for a lot.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.
Dalai Lama XIV
The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightening, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the Queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.
John Green (Paper Towns)
It's funny the decisions you make because you like someone, he says, and then your whole life is different. I think we're at that weird age where life can change a lot from small decisions.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
Howard Zinn
Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert F. Kennedy
Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. […] If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.
Gene Roddenberry
I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced they are about to change the world. I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference.
Ellen Goodman
No Difference Small as a peanut, Big as a giant, We're all the same size When we turn off the light. Rich as a sultan, Poor as a mite, We're all worth the same When we turn off the light. Red, black or orange, Yellow or white, We all look the same When we turn off the light. So maybe the way, To make everything right Is for god to just reach out And turn off the light!
Shel Silverstein
You will have to make up for the smallness of your size by your courage and selfless devotion to duty, for it is not life that matters, but the courage, fortitude and determination you bring to it.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal. [Commencement Address at American University, June 10 1963]
John F. Kennedy
Equality is treating everyone the same. But equity is taking differences into account, so everyone has a chance to succeed.
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
The merest accident of microgeography had meant that the first man to hear the voice of Om, and who gave Om his view of humans, was a shepherd and not a goatherd. They have quite different ways of looking at the world, and the whole of history might have been different. For sheep are stupid, and have to be driven. But goats are intelligent, and need to be led.
Terry Pratchett (Small Gods (Discworld, #13))
I'm small, I'm young - and I'm so different. You've always respected that difference, and you've always trusted it. Trust me now. There's a reason I am the way I am, and there's a reason I was born to you. There's always a reason. We belong together.
Dean Koontz (Relentless)
That is the paradox of the epidemic: that in order to create one contagious movement, you often have to create many small movements first.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
We are not here to fit in, be well balanced, or provide exempla for others. We are here to be eccentric, different, perhaps strange, perhaps merely to add our small piece, our little clunky, chunky selves, to the great mosaic of being. As the gods intended, we are here to become more and more ourselves.
James Hollis (What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life)
One ought not to judge her: all children are Heartless. They have not grown a heart yet, which is why they can climb high trees and say shocking things and leap so very high grown-up hearts flutter in terror. Hearts weigh quite a lot. That is why it takes so long to grow one. But, as in their reading and arithmetic and drawing, different children proceed at different speeds. (It is well known that reading quickens the growth of a heart like nothing else.) Some small ones are terrible and fey, Utterly Heartless. Some are dear and sweet and Hardly Heartless At All. September stood very generally in the middle on the day the Green Wind took her, Somewhat Heartless, and Somewhat Grown.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
I know that I am birdlike, made narrow and small as if for taking flight, built straight-waisted and fragile. But when he touches me like he can't bear to take his hand away, I don't wish I was any different.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
A faerie heart is different from a human heart. Human hearts are elastic. They have room for all sorts of passions, and they can break and heal and love again and again. Faerie hearts are evolutionarily less sophisticated. They are small and hard, like tiny grains of sand. Our hearts are too small to love more than one person in a lifetime.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily)
Writers imagine that they cull stories from the world. I'm beginning to believe that vanity makes them think so. That it's actually the other way around. Stories cull writers from the world. Stories reveal themselves to us. The public narrative, the private narrative - they colonize us. They commission us. They insist on being told. Fiction and nonfiction are only different techniques of story telling. For reasons that I don't fully understand, fiction dances out of me, and nonfiction is wrenched out by the aching, broken world I wake up to every morning.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
Develop the winning edge; small differences in your performance can lead to large differences in your results.
Brian Tracy
Tolerance is not a Sapiens trademark. In modern times, a small difference in skin colour, dialect or religion has been enough to prompt one group of Sapiens to set about exterminating another group. Would ancient Sapiens have been more tolerant towards an entirely different human species? It may well be that when Sapiens encountered Neanderthals, the result was the first and most significant ethnic-cleansing campaign in history.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Nothing, no one, is too small to matter. What you do is going to make a difference.
Madeleine L'Engle (A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Time Quintet, #3))
***A SMALL THEORY*** People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and its ends, but to me it's quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations, with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spat blues. Murky darknesses. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
What if the puzzle of the world was a shape you didn't fit into? And the only way to survive was to mutilate yourself, carve away your corners, sand yourself down, modify yourself to fit? How come we haven't been able to change the puzzle instead?
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
If you are a member of a small group or class, I urge you to make a group covenant that includes the nine characteristics of biblical fellowship: We will share our true feelings (authenticity), forgive each other (mercy), speak the truth in love (honesty), admit our weaknesses (humility), respect our differences (courtesy), not gossip (confidentiality), and make group a priority (frequency).
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
Isabel and Alma Trumbo are the sisters who reside in the brick rambler on Church Street. They are a bit, uh, different and unorthodox. Borderline eccentric, some of the townies say, especially Alma.” “What do the borderline eccentric sisters Isabel and Alma know about solving a murder case?” Dwight gave it a moment’s reflection. “They could probably write a book about it.
Ed Lynskey (Fowl Play)
Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE
Darren Hardy (The Compound Effect)
But what is the sense in forever speculating what might have happened had such and such a moment turned out differently? One could presumably drive oneself to distraction in this way. In any case, while it is all very well to talk of 'turning points', one can surely only recognize such moments in retrospect. Naturally, when one looks back to such instances today, they may indeed take the appearance of being crucial, precious moments in one's life; but of course, at the time, this was not the impression one had. Rather, it was as though one had available a never-ending number of days, months, years in which to sort out the vagaries of one's relationship with Miss Kenton; an infinite number of further opportunities in which to remedy the effect of this or that misunderstanding. There was surely nothing to indicate at the time that such evidently small incidents would render whole dreams forever irredeemable.
Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day)
You differ from a great man in only one respect: the great man was once a very little man, but he developed one important quality: he recognized the smallness and narrowness of his thoughts and actions. Under the pressure of some task that meant a great deal to him, he learned to see how his smallness, his pettiness endangered his happiness. In other words, a great man knows when and in what way he is a little man. A little man does not know he is little and is afraid to know. He hides his pettiness and narrowness behind illusions of strength and greatness, someone else's strength and greatness. He's proud of his great generals but not of himself. He admires an idea he has not had, not one he has had. The less he understands something, the more firmly he believes in it. And the better he understands an idea, the less he believes in it.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
It's hard to explain," said Brutha. "But I think it's got something to do with how people should behave... you should do things because they're right. Not because gods say so. They might say something different another time.
Terry Pratchett (Small Gods (Discworld, #13))
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?" The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean." "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man. To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die." Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!" At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one.
Loren Eiseley
Small changes can make huge destination differences.
Sean Covey (The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens)
People fear anyone who differs from what is considered normal, and in a small town the idea of normal can be as narrow as the streets.
Elizabeth Chandler (The Back Door of Midnight (Dark Secrets, #5))
You see!" said a strained voice. Tonks was glaring at Lupin. "She still wants to marry him, even though he's been bitten! She doesn't care!" "It's different," said Lupin, barely moving his lips and looking suddenly tense. "Bill will not be a full werewolf. The cases are completely-" "But I don't care either, I don't care!" said Tonks, seizing the front of Lupin's robes and shaking them. "I've told you a million times...." And the meaning of Tonk's Patronus and her mouse-colored hair, and the reason she had come running to find Dumbledore when she had heard a rumor someone had been attacked by Greyback, all suddenly became clear to Harry; it had not been Sirius that Tonks had fallen in love with after all. "And I've told you a million times," said Lupin, refusing to meet her eyes, staring at the floor, "that I am too old for you, too poor....too dangerous...." "I've said all along you're taking a ridiculous line on this, Remus," said Mrs. Weasley over Fleur's shoulder as she patted her on the back. "I am not being ridiculous," said Lupin steadily. "Tonks deserves somebody young and whole." "But she wants you," said Mr. Weasley, with a small smile. "And after all, Remus, young and whole men do not necessarily remain so." He gestured sadly at his son, lying between them. "This is....not the moment to discuss it," said Lupin, avoiding everybody's eyes as he looked around distractedly. "Dumbledore is dead...." "Dumbledore would have been happier than anybody to think that there was a little more love in the world," said Professor McGonagall curtly...
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
I believe in work. If somebody doesn't create something, however small it may be, he gets sick. An awful lot of people feel that they're treading water -- that if they vanished in smoke, it wouldn't mean anything at all in this world. And that's a despairing and destructive feeling. It'll kill you.
Arthur Miller
What do your crazy speciests do?” Kizzy asked. Sissix shrugged. “Live on gated farms and have private orgies.” “How is that any different than what the rest of you do?” “We don’t have gates and anybody can come to our orgies.
Becky Chambers (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1))
Most things, even the greatest movements on earth, have their beginnings in something small. An earthquake that shatters a city with a tremor, a tremble, a breath. Music begins with a vibration. The flood that rushed into Portland twenty years ago after nearly two months of straight rain, that hurtled up beyond the labs and damaged more than a thousand houses, swept up tire and trash bags and old, smelly shoes and floated them through the streets like prizes, that left a thin film of green mold behind, a stench of rotting and decay that didn't go away for months, began with a trickle of water, no wider than a finger, lapping up onto the docks. And God created the whole universe from an atom no bigger than a thought. Grace's life fell apart because of a single word: sympathizer. My world exploded because of a different word: suicide. Correction: That was the first time my world exploded. The second time my world exploded, it was also because of a word. A word that worked its way out of my throat and danced onto and out of my lips before I could think about it, or stop it. The question was: Will you meet me tomorrow? And the word was: Yes.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
I felt no shame in these activities, because I understood what almost no one else seemed to grasp: that there was only an infinitesimal difference, a difference so small that it barely existed except as a figment of the human imagination, between working in a tall green glass building on Park Avenue and collecting litter in a park. In fact, there may have been no difference at all.
Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
The ethics of plagiarism have turned into the narcissism of small differences: because journalism cannot own up to its heavily derivative nature, it must enforce originality on the level of the sentence.
Malcolm Gladwell (What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures)
Just as I suspected, my room does look different, post-eclipse. It looks smalled, like it can't contain me anymore. After all, I've got a whole new world to see.
Wendy Mass (Every Soul a Star)
The past doesn't change no matter how much time you spend thinking about it. Good and bad all add up to the whole. Take away one piece, no matter how small, and the whole changes. Whether it's optimism, pessimism or fatalism, I don't spend my time wishing for the past to be different so present would be different, too. I control my future with what I choose now.
Megan Hart (Tempted (Alex Kennedy, #1))
A poet is different. A poet transforms the world with Such small hands.
Caroline Kepnes (You (You, #1))
We all owe everyone for everything that happens in our lives. But it's not owing like a debt to one person--it's really that we owe everyone for everything. Our whole lives can change in an instant--so each person that keeps that from happening, no matter how small a role they play, is also responsible for all of it. Just by giving friendship and love, you keep the people around you from giving up--and each expression of friendship or love may be the one that makes all the difference.
Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club)
So I try to be mindful, at all times, of what a difference a small human gesture can make to people in need. What does it really cost to take a moment to look someone in the eye, to give him a hug, to let her know, I get it. You’re not alone?
Joe Biden (Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose)
It all depends on you. If you want it to be different,it will be different. Don't look at the world with your eyes but with your heart.
Avi (The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant))
We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.
Marian Wright Edelman
In a lot of ways, having a teenager isn't all that different from having a newborn. You learn to read the reactions, because they're incapable of saying exactly what it is that's causing pain.
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
Small numbers make no difference to God. There is nothing small if God is in it.
Dwight L. Moody
Homo Sapiens have not yet failed. Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this. We still have everything in our own hands.
Greta Thunberg (No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference)
People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.
Beth Clark (Kisses from Katie)
Promise me we'll stay together, okay?" His eyes are once again the clear blue of a perfectly transparent pool. They are eyes to swim in, to float in, forever. "You and me." "I promise," I say. Behind us the door creaks open, and I turn around, expecting Raven, just as a voice cuts through the air: "Don't believe her." The whole world closes around me, like an eyelid: For a moment, everything goes dark. I am falling. My ears are full of rushing; I have been sucked into a tunnel, a place of pleasure and chaos. My head is about to explode. He looks different. He is much thinner, and a scar runs from his eyebrow all the way down to his jaw. On his neck, just behind his left ear, a small tattooed number curves around the three-pronged scar that fooled me, for so long, into believing he was cured. His eyes-once a sweet, melted brown, like syrup-have hardened. Now they are stony, impenetrable. Only his hair is the same: that auburn crown, like leaves in autumn. Impossible. I close my eyes and reopen them: the boy from a dream, from a different lifetime. A boy brought back from the dead. Alex.
Lauren Oliver (Pandemonium (Delirium, #2))
I know there's no way I can convince you this is not one of their tricks, but I don't care, I am me. My name is Valerie, I don't think I'll live much longer and I wanted to tell someone about my life. This is the only autobiography ill ever write, and god, I'm writing it on toilet paper. I was born in Nottingham in 1985, I don't remember much of those early years, but I do remember the rain. My grandmother owned a farm in Tuttlebrook, and she use to tell me that god was in the rain. I passed my 11th lesson into girl's grammar; it was at school that I met my first girlfriend, her name was Sara. It was her wrists. They were beautiful. I thought we would love each other forever. I remember our teacher telling us that is was an adolescent phase people outgrew. Sara did, I didn't. In 2002 I fell in love with a girl named Christina. That year I came out to my parents. I couldn't have done it without Chris holding my hand. My father wouldn't look at me, he told me to go and never come back. My mother said nothing. But I had only told them the truth, was that so selfish? Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch, we are free. I'd always known what I wanted to do with my life, and in 2015 I starred in my first film, "The Salt Flats". It was the most important role of my life, not because of my career, but because that was how I met Ruth. The first time we kissed, I knew I never wanted to kiss any other lips but hers again. We moved to a small flat in London together. She grew Scarlet Carsons for me in our window box, and our place always smelled of roses. Those were there best years of my life. But America's war grew worse, and worse. And eventually came to London. After that there were no roses anymore. Not for anyone. I remember how the meaning of words began to change. How unfamiliar words like collateral and rendition became frightening. While things like Norse Fire and The Articles of Allegiance became powerful, I remember how different became dangerous. I still don't understand it, why they hate us so much. They took Ruth while she was out buying food. I've never cried so hard in my life. It wasn't long till they came for me.It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years, I had roses, and apologized to no one. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch, but one. An Inch, it is small and it is fragile, but it is the only thing the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away. We must never let them take it from us. I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you. I love you. With all my heart, I love you. -Valerie
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
Teccam explains there are two types of secrets. There are secrets of the mouth and secrets of the heart. Most secrets are secrets of the mouth. Gossip shared and small scandals whispered. There secrets long to be let loose upon the world. A secret of the mouth is like a stone in your boot. At first you’re barely aware of it. Then it grows irritating, then intolerable. Secrets of the mouth grow larger the longer you keep them, swelling until they press against your lips. They fight to be let free. Secrets of the heart are different. They are private and painful, and we want nothing more than to hide them from the world. They do not swell and press against the mouth. They live in the heart, and the longer they are kept, the heavier they become. Teccam claims it is better to have a mouthful of poison than a secret of the heart. Any fool will spit out poison, he says, but we hoard these painful treasures. We swallow hard against them every day, forcing them deep inside us. They they sit, growing heavier, festering. Given enough time, they cannot help but crush the heart that holds them.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
Hey!" I turned, crossing my arms and glaring. "I was talking to him!" Tybalt eyed me with amusement, which just made me glare harder. "No, you were inciting him to stab you with a toothpick. Again, the difference is small, but I think it matters.
Seanan McGuire (A Local Habitation (October Daye, #2))
The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is living fully and just existing.
Michael E. Gerber (The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It)
There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, "Business as usual." But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening. These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defense, not God's, that the self-righteous should rush.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
Man has no individual i. But there are, instead, hundreds and thousands of separate small "i"s, very often entirely unknown to one another, never coming into contact, or, on the contrary, hostile to each other, mutually exclusive and incompatible. Each minute, each moment, man is saying or thinking, "i". And each time his i is different. just now it was a thought, now it is a desire, now a sensation, now another thought, and so on, endlessly. Man is a plurality. Man's name is legion.
G.I. Gurdjieff
HELPED are those who are content to be themselves; they will never lack mystery in their lives and the joys of self-discovery will be constant. HELPED are those who love the entire cosmos rather than their own tiny country, city, or farm, for to them will be shown the unbroken web of life and the meaning of infinity. HELPED are those who live in quietness, knowing neither brand name nor fad; they shall live every day as if in eternity, and each moment shall be as full as it is long. HELPED are those who love others unsplit off from their faults; to them will be given clarity of vision. HELPED are those who create anything at all, for they shall relive the thrill of their own conception, and realize an partnership in the creation of the Universe that keeps them responsible and cheerful. HELPED are those who love the Earth, their mother, and who willingly suffer that she may not die; in their grief over her pain they will weep rivers of blood, and in their joy in her lively response to love, they will converse with the trees. HELPED are those whose ever act is a prayer for harmony in the Universe, for they are the restorers of balance to our planet. To them will be given the insight that every good act done anywhere in the cosmos welcomes the life of an animal or a child. HELPED are those who risk themselves for others' sakes; to them will be given increasing opportunities for ever greater risks. Theirs will be a vision of the word in which no one's gift is despised or lost. HELPED are those who strive to give up their anger; their reward will be that in any confrontation their first thoughts will never be of violence or of war. HELPED are those whose every act is a prayer for peace; on them depends the future of the world. HELPED are those who forgive; their reward shall be forgiveness of every evil done to them. It will be in their power, therefore, to envision the new Earth. HELPED are those who are shown the existence of the Creator's magic in the Universe; they shall experience delight and astonishment without ceasing. HELPED are those who laugh with a pure heart; theirs will be the company of the jolly righteous. HELPED are those who love all the colors of all the human beings, as they love all the colors of the animals and plants; none of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them. HELPED are those who love the lesbian, the gay, and the straight, as they love the sun, the moon, and the stars. None of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them. HELPED are those who love the broken and the whole; none of their children, nor any of their ancestors, nor any parts of themselves, shall be hidden from them. HELPED are those who do not join mobs; theirs shall be the understanding that to attack in anger is to murder in confusion. HELPED are those who find the courage to do at least one small thing each day to help the existence of another--plant, animal, river, or human being. They shall be joined by a multitude of the timid. HELPED are those who lose their fear of death; theirs is the power to envision the future in a blade of grass. HELPED are those who love and actively support the diversity of life; they shall be secure in their differences. HELPED are those who KNOW.
Alice Walker
a small amount of kindness can make a large amount of difference
Jane Yates
A study at the University of Utah found that if you ask someone why he is friendly with someone else, he’ll say it is because he and his friend share similar attitudes. But if you actually quiz the two of them on their attitudes, you’ll find out that what they actually share is similar activities. We’re friends with the people we do things with, as much as we are with the people we resemble. We don’t seek out friends, in other words. We associate with the people who occupy the same small, physical spaces that we do.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
Our lives are stories, and the stories we have to give to each other are the most important. No one has a story too small and all are of equal stature. We each tell them in different ways, through different mediums—and if we care about each other, we'll take the time to listen.
Charles de Lint
Understand and be confident that each of us can make a difference by caring and acting in small as well as big ways.
Marian Wright Edelman
You see, I have never felt the need to invent a world beyond this world, for this world has always seemed large and beautiful enough for me. I have wondered why it is not large and beautiful enough for others-- why they must dream up new and marvelous spheres, or long to live elsewhere, beyond this dominion... but that is not my business. We are all different, I suppose. All I ever wanted was to know this world. I can say now, as I reach my end, that I know quite a bit more of it than I knew when I arrived. Moreover, my little bit of knowledge has been added to all the other accumulated knowledge of history-- added to the great library, as it were. That is no small feat, sir. Anyone who can say such a thing has lived a fortunate life.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Signature of All Things)
To persons standing alone on a hill during a clear midnight such as this, the roll of the world is almost a palpable movement. To enjoy the epic form of that gratification it is necessary to stand on a hill at a small hour of the night, and, having first expanded with a sense of difference from the mass of civilized mankind, who are diregardful of all such proceedings at this time, long and quietly watch your stately progress through the stars.
Thomas Hardy (Far From the Madding Crowd)
For one brief, never-ending second, an entirely different path expanded behind the lids of my tear-wet eyes. As if I were looking through the filter of Jacob's thoughts, I could see exactly what I was going to give up, exactly what this new self-knowledge would not save me from losing. I could see Charlie and Renée mixed into a strange collage with Billy and Sam and La Push. I could see years passing, and meaning something as they passed, changing me. I could see the enormous red-brown wolf that I loved, always standing as protector if I needed him. For the tiniest fragment of a second, I saw the bobbing heads of two small, black-haired children, running away from me into the familiar forest. When they disappeared, they took the rest of the vision with them.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
She doesn't know I cry for the changing times. That just as I reread favourite books, some small part of me hoping for a different ending, I find myself hoping against hope that the war will never come. That this time, somehow, it will leave us be.
Kate Morton (The House at Riverton)
A small change can make a big difference. You are the only one who can make our world a better place to inhabit. So, don’t be afraid to take a stand .
Ankita Singhal
Oftentimes the thing that makes the difference between a good student and a poor one, a good learner or a bored human being, is just a little curiosity. If you have it, cultivate it, feed it. Never let it go. If you do not have it - get it. Wonder, watch, ask questions, be alive. It's just that simple
Marjorie Pay Hinckley (Small and Simple Things)
Some things come with their own punishments. Like bedrooms with built-in cupboards. They would all learn more about punishments soon. That they came in different sizes. That some were so big they were like cupboards with built-in bedrooms. You could spend your whole life in them, wandering through dark shelving.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
Every life contains many millions of decisions. Some big, some small. But every time one decision is taken over another, the outcomes differ. An irreversible variation occurs, which in turn leads to further variations
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity. This is one reason why meaningful change does not require radical change. Small habits can make a meaningful difference by providing evidence of a new identity. And if a change is meaningful, it is actually big. That's the paradox of making small improvements.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Look, if you say that science will eventually prove there is no God, on that I must differ. No matter how small they take it back, to a tadpole, to an atom, there is always something they can’t explain, something that created it all at the end of the search. “And no matter how far they try to go the other way – to extend life, play around with the genes, clone this, clone that, live to one hundred and fifty – at some point, life is over. And then what happens? When the life comes to an end?” I shrugged. “You see?” He leaned back. He smiled. “When you come to the end, that’s where God begins.
Mitch Albom (Have a Little Faith: a True Story)
I'm not here to be small, to compare, to judge (myself or you), to fit in or to be perfect. I'm here to grow, to learn, to love, to be human.
Sue Fitzmaurice
I am a tale, I am a book, written in different languages and styles I can’t be read, can’t be understood, neither by me nor the greatest of minds I am too big, I am too small, to be processed or seen by the naked eye I am too dim, I am too bright, to appear in the shadows or the sunshine.
Sanober Khan
I began to feel again something that I had been only dimly aware of before. It was a small, surprising sense of disappointment even as he was kissing me, but the violins were so loud at the time I could hear nothing else. Now the disappointment was returning and with it the realization that the magic had come only from the moment, not from him. It was different with you. In the eyes and ears of my heart, you and the magic are one and the same. The setting never mattered. On the sidewalk in front of my house, at the enchanted place in the desert, walking the halls at school- where I was with you, I heard violins.
Jerry Spinelli (Love, Stargirl (Stargirl, #2))
Sir Isaac Newton, renowned inventor of the milled-edge coin and the catflap!" "The what?" said Richard. "The catflap! A device of the utmost cunning, perspicuity and invention. It is a door within a door, you see, a ..." "Yes," said Richard, "there was also the small matter of gravity." "Gravity," said Dirk with a slightly dismissed shrug, "yes, there was that as well, I suppose. Though that, of course, was merely a discovery. It was there to be discovered." ... "You see?" he said dropping his cigarette butt, "They even keep it on at weekends. Someone was bound to notice sooner or later. But the catflap ... ah, there is a very different matter. Invention, pure creative invention. It is a door within a door, you see.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
Some people say that the climate crisis is something we have all created. But that is just another convenient lie. Because if everyone is guilty then no one is to blame.
Greta Thunberg (No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference)
so here i sit. a sum of the parts. about a third way down this wonderful path, so to speak. and i've been thinking lately about a friendship that fell apart with time, with distance, and with the misunderstanding of youth. i'm trying not to confuse sadness with regret. not the easiest thing at times. i dont regret that certain things happened. i understand that perhaps i had a choice in the matter, or perhaps i believe in fate. probably not, but so far actions as small as the quickest glance to events as monumental as death have pushed me slowly along to right here, right now. there was no other way to get here. the meandering and erratic path was actually the straightest of lines. take away a handful of angry words, things once thought of as mistakes or regrets, and i'm suddenly a different person with a different history, a different future. that, i would regret. so here i sit. thinking about a person i once called my best friends. a man who might be full of sadness and regret, who might not give a damn, or who might, just might, remember the future and realize that's where its at.
Chris Wright
It makes no difference to me whether I shoot you or you fall to your death.” “It does make a difference,” I said, my voice small but confident. “You and I share the same blood.” I lifted my hand precariously, showing him my birthmark. “I’m your descendant. If I sacrifice my blood, Patch will become human and you’ll die. It’s written in The Book of Enoch.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
We must change almost everything in our current societies. The bigger your carbon footprint - the bigger your moral duty. The bigger your platform - the bigger your responsibility. Adults keep saying: 'We owe it to the young people to given them hope.' But I don't want your hope. I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.
Greta Thunberg (No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference)
The problem is knowing when what you are about to do will make a difference. I’m not only speaking of the small actions that, cumulatively, over time, or in great numbers, alter the course of events in ways too chaotic or subtle to trace ... if everyone were to consider all the possible consequences of all one’s possible choices, no one would move a millimetre, or even dare to breathe for fear of the ultimate results.
Ann Leckie (Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1))
He nodded. "I think you're good for him, Meghan," he said, smiling in a small, sad way that was completely different from the Puck I knew. "I see the way he looks at you, something I haven't seen in him since the day we lost Ariella. And...I know you love him in a way that you can't love me." He looked away, just for a moment, and took a deep breath. "Jealousy isn't something that we deal with well," he admitted. "But some of us have been around long enough to know when to let go, and what is most important. The happiness of my two best friends should be more important than some ancient feud.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
So, let us not be blind to our differences--but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.
John F. Kennedy
I knew that he would use that gun, because that is what small, scared men did: they used things more powerful than themselves to make up the difference. They hid behind weapons of mass destruction: big guns and bigger bombs.
Katrina Leno (Summer of Salt)
Once upon a time,” I began. “There was a little boy born in a little town. He was perfect, or so his mother thought. But one thing was different about him. He had a gold screw in his belly button. Just the head of it peeping out. “Now his mother was simply glad he had all his fingers and toes to count with. But as the boy grew up he realized not everyone had screws in their belly buttons, let alone gold ones. He asked his mother what it was for, but she didn’t know. Next he asked his father, but his father didn’t know. He asked his grandparents, but they didn’t know either. “That settled it for a while, but it kept nagging him. Finally, when he was old enough, he packed a bag and set out, hoping he could find someone who knew the truth of it. “He went from place to place, asking everyone who claimed to know something about anything. He asked midwives and physickers, but they couldn’t make heads or tails of it. The boy asked arcanists, tinkers, and old hermits living in the woods, but no one had ever seen anything like it. “He went to ask the Cealdim merchants, thinking if anyone would know about gold, it would be them. But the Cealdim merchants didn’t know. He went to the arcanists at the University, thinking if anyone would know about screws and their workings, they would. But the arcanists didn’t know. The boy followed the road over the Stormwal to ask the witch women of the Tahl, but none of them could give him an answer. “Eventually he went to the King of Vint, the richest king in the world. But the king didn’t know. He went to the Emperor of Atur, but even with all his power, the emperor didn’t know. He went to each of the small kingdoms, one by one, but no one could tell him anything. “Finally the boy went to the High King of Modeg, the wisest of all the kings in the world. The high king looked closely at the head of the golden screw peeping from the boy’s belly button. Then the high king made a gesture, and his seneschal brought out a pillow of golden silk. On that pillow was a golden box. The high king took a golden key from around his neck, opened the box, and inside was a golden screwdriver. “The high king took the screwdriver and motioned the boy to come closer. Trembling with excitement, the boy did. Then the high king took the golden screwdriver and put it in the boy’s belly button.” I paused to take a long drink of water. I could feel my small audience leaning toward me. “Then the high king carefully turned the golden screw. Once: Nothing. Twice: Nothing. Then he turned it the third time, and the boy’s ass fell off.” There was a moment of stunned silence. “What?” Hespe asked incredulously. “His ass fell off.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
Women without men, I realized then, are totally different creatures.
Shashi Deshpande (Small Remedies)
Maybe in a different form, under a different name, but in some small way, our souls will always recognize each other.
Julie Kagawa (Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox, #3))
It’s the difference between dancing along the eggshell crust of acquaintance and diving into the messy center of a relationship. It’s not always perfect; it’s not always pleasant—but because it is rooted in respect, it is unshakable.
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate. Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader. That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations. Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb Iron Dragon's Daughter gives the lie to that. But given that the pleasure of fantasy is supposed to be in its limitless creativity, why not try to come up with some different themes, as well as unconventional monsters? Why not use fantasy to challenge social and aesthetic lies? Thankfully, the alternative tradition of fantasy has never died. And it's getting stronger. Chris Wooding, Michael Swanwick, Mary Gentle, Paul di Filippo, Jeff VanderMeer, and many others, are all producing works based on fantasy's radicalism. Where traditional fantasy has been rural and bucolic, this is often urban, and frequently brutal. Characters are more than cardboard cutouts, and they're not defined by race or sex. Things are gritty and tricky, just as in real life. This is fantasy not as comfort-food, but as challenge. The critic Gabe Chouinard has said that we're entering a new period, a renaissance in the creative radicalism of fantasy that hasn't been seen since the New Wave of the sixties and seventies, and in echo of which he has christened the Next Wave. I don't know if he's right, but I'm excited. This is a radical literature. It's the literature we most deserve.
China Miéville
One small changed family doesn't calculate into a world that has been spinning for a billion years. But one small change makes the world spin differently in a billion ways for one family.
Mary E. Pearson (The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #1))
Aubade I work all day, and get half-drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain-edges will grow light. Till then I see what’s really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how And where and when I shall myself die. Arid interrogation: yet the dread Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify. The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse —The good not done, the love not given, time Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because An only life can take so long to climb Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never; But at the total emptiness for ever, The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always. Not to be here, Not to be anywhere, And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true. This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels. Religion used to try, That vast moth-eaten musical brocade Created to pretend we never die, And specious stuff that says No rational being Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound, No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, Nothing to love or link with, The anaesthetic from which none come round. And so it stays just on the edge of vision, A small unfocused blur, a standing chill That slows each impulse down to indecision. Most things may never happen: this one will, And realisation of it rages out In furnace-fear when we are caught without People or drink. Courage is no good: It means not scaring others. Being brave Lets no one off the grave. Death is no different whined at than withstood. Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape. It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know, Have always known, know that we can’t escape, Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring Intricate rented world begins to rouse. The sky is white as clay, with no sun. Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
Philip Larkin (Collected Poems)
Our eyes connect on a different level. The world becomes small. No Scott. No shower. No rush of water or nakedness. Just me. Just him. Just us." - Rose
Krista Ritchie (Kiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters #1))
Anyone who thinks he's too small to make a difference has never been bit by a mosquito
Jeannette Walls
If you don’t come back to the Keep, then I’ll be right. And every time you see me, I’ll be insufferably smug.” “And how’s that different from now?” He laughed and I could see the young carefree boy he had been in his eyes. “You’ve only had a small glimpse of how insufferable and annoying I can be. As the older brother, it’s my birthright.
Maria V. Snyder (Magic Study (Study, #2))
Six degrees of separation doesn't mean that everyone is linked to everyone else in just six steps. It means that a very small number of people are linked to everyone else in a few steps, and the rest of us are linked to the world through those special few.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
He shook his head. You're asking that I make myself vulnerable and that I can never do. I have only one way to live. It doesn't allow for special cases. A coin toss perhaps. In this case to small purpose. Most people don't believe that there can be such a person. You see what a problem that must be for them. How to prevail over that which you refuse to acknowledge the existence of. Do you understand? When I came into your life your life was over. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is the end. You can say that things could have turned out differently. That there could have been some other way. But what does that mean? They are not some other way. They are this way. You're asking that I second say the world. Do you see? Yes, she said sobbing. I do. I truly do. Good, he said. That's good. Then he shot her.
Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men)
I wish we lived like children. Run till you are out of breath, flop on the grass, stare at clouds, jump up again, chase a squirrel around every tree in the park, walk on your hands because the world looks different upside down, climb little hills and roll down the other side, do somersaults . . . just because you can. What do we do instead? We surround ourselves with all these big and small blinking screens, while our bodies and minds slowly forget how to tumble, how to wonder, how to live.
Twinkle Khanna (Mrs Funnybones: She's just like You and a lot like Me)
The emotions of men, however, were of a different order. They were pesky annoyances, small dust devils at her feet. Her knack for causing heartbreak was innate, but her vitality often made people forgive her romantic misdeeds.
Steve Martin (An Object of Beauty)
I wish I could trust you, Reed, but I know I can’t.” His brow furrows in confusion, but there is a wry tilt to his lips, “Why?” I give him a small smile of my own, “You think you’re different from men like Caleb. You see everything in black and white, you don’t care about the whole story; you don’t care about the gray. Some stories aren’t black and white, Agent Reed.
C.J. Roberts (Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #2))
This was a factory, a sorting house. We were no different from dogs and pigs and cows: all of us were allowed to play when we were small, but then, just before reaching maturity, we were sorted and classified. Being a high school student was the first step toward becoming a domestic animal.
Ryū Murakami (69)
I Keep Six Honest Serving Men ..." I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who. I send them over land and sea, I send them east and west; But after they have worked for me, I give them all a rest. I let them rest from nine till five, For I am busy then, As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea, For they are hungry men. But different folk have different views; I know a person small— She keeps ten million serving-men, Who get no rest at all! She sends'em abroad on her own affairs, From the second she opens her eyes— One million Hows, two million Wheres, And seven million Whys!
Rudyard Kipling (The Elephant's Child (Just So Stories))
It's sad that in a world of billions, people can still feel isolated and alone. Sometimes all it takes to brighten up someone's day is a smile or kind word, or the generous actions of a complete stranger. Small things, the tiny details, these are the things that matter in life — the little glint in the eye, curve of a lip, nod of a head, wave of a hand — such minuscule movements have huge ripple effects.
Shaun Hick
[..]Although personally, I think cyberspace means the end of our species." Yes? Why is that?" Because it means the end of innovation," Malcolm said. "This idea that the whole world is wired together is mass death. Every biologist knows that small groups in isolation evolve fastest. You put a thousand birds on an ocean island and they'll evolve very fast. You put ten thousand on a big continent, and their evolution slows down. Now, for our own species, evolution occurs mostly through our behaviour. We innovate new behaviour to adapt. And everybody on earth knows that innovation only occurs in small groups. Put three people on a committee and they may get something done. Ten people, and it gets harder. Thirty people, and nothing happens. Thirty million, it becomes impossible. That's the effect of mass media - it keeps anything from happening. Mass media swamps diversity. It makes every place the same. Bangkok or Tokyo or London: there's a McDonald's on one corner, a Benetton on another, a Gap across the street. Regional differences vanish. All differences vanish. In a mass-media world, there's less of everything except the top ten books, records, movies, ideas. People worry about losing species diversity in the rain forest. But what about intellectual diversity - our most necessary resource? That's disappearing faster than trees. But we haven't figured that out, so now we're planning to put five billion people together in cyberspace. And it'll freeze the entire species. Everything will stop dead in its tracks. Everyone will think the same thing at the same time. Global uniformity. [..]
Michael Crichton (The Lost World (Jurassic Park, #2))
He felt safe with her. He'd never been safe with another human being, not since he'd been taken as a child from his home. He'd never been able to trust. He could never give that last small piece - all that was left of his humanity - into someone else's keeping. And now there was Rikki. She let him be whatever he had to be to survive. She didn't ask anything of him. There was no hidden motive. No agenda. Just acceptance. She was different - imperfect, or so she thought - and she knew what it was like to fight to carve out a space for herself. She was willing for him to do thar.
Christine Feehan (Water Bound (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart, #1))
Old England is an imaginary place, a landscape built from words, woodcuts, films, paintings, picturesque engravings. It is a place imagined by people, and people do not live very long or look very hard. We are very bad at scale. The things that live in the soil are too small to care about; climate change too large to imagine. We are bad at time too. We cannot remember what lived here before we did; we cannot love what is not. Nor can we imagine what will be different when we are dead. We live out our three score and ten, and tie our knots and lines only to ourselves. We take solace in pictures, and we wipe the hills of history.
Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk)
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
I am Andrew Ryan, and I'm here to ask you a question. Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? 'No!' says the man in Washington, 'It belongs to the poor.' 'No!' says the man in the Vatican, 'It belongs to God.' 'No!' says the man in Moscow, 'It belongs to everyone.' I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose... Rapture, a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, Where the great would not be constrained by the small! And with the sweat of your brow, Rapture can become your city as well.
Andrew Ryan
It always comes back to our insecurities, as we say, "Oh, I'm not as good as you." So instead of accepting that perhaps I am not as good as someone else in some ways and being comfortable with who I am as I am, I spend all my time denigrating you, trying to cut you down to my self-perceived size. The sad problem is that we see ourselves as being quite terribly small. Instead of spending my time being envious, I need to celebrate your and my different gifts, even if mine are perhaps less spectacular than yours.
Desmond Tutu (God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time)
In spite of her desire for a contained universe, her life felt scattered, full of many small moments, without great purpose. That is what she thought, though what is most untrustworthy about our natures and self-worth is how we differe in our own realities from the way we are seen by others.
Michael Ondaatje (Divisadero)
Chyerti—that’s us, demons and devils, small and big—are compulsive. We obsess. It’s our nature. We turn on a track, around and around; we march in step; we act out the same tales, over and over, the same sets of motions, while time piles up like yarn under a wheel. We like patterns. They’re comforting. Sometimes little things change—a car instead of a house, a girl not named Yelena. But it’s no different, not really. Not ever.
Catherynne M. Valente (Deathless)
I guess I work in small ways. It's kind of like this story someone told me, about a guy on the beach in Mexico throwing starfish in the sea. Thousands had washed ashore. Someone asked him why - 'Why are you wasting your time, when there are so many? You can't possibly make a difference.'" "I know that story! The man threw another one back, and said -" "'Made a difference to that one!'" Rowan finishes.
Kirsten Hubbard (Wanderlove)
Things had gotten -- what's the word? Dry. Things had gotten sort of dry for me. I was working as a city janitor in a neighborhood elementary school and, in summers, collecting litter in the park alongside the East River near the WIlliamsburg Bridge. I felt no shame whatsoever in these activities, because I understood what almost no one else seemed to grasp: that there was only an infinitesimal difference, a difference so small that it barely existed except as a figment of the human imagination, between working in a tall green glass building on Park Avenue and collecting litter in a park. In fact, there may have been no difference at all.
Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
Class never runs scared. It is sure-footed and confident. It can handle anything that comes along. Class has a sense of humor. It knows a good laugh is the best lubricant for oiling the machinery of human relations. Class never makes excuses. It takes its lumps and learns from past mistakes. Class knows that good manners are nothing more than a series of small, inconsequential sacrifices. Class bespeaks an aristocracy that has nothing to do with ancestors or money. Some wealthy “blue bloods” have no class, while individuals who are struggling to make ends meet are loaded with it. Class is real. It can’t be faked. Class never tried to build itself by tearing others down. Class is already up and need not strive to look better by making others look worse. Class can “walk with kings and keep it’s virtue and talk with crowds and keep the common touch.” Everyone is comfortable with the person who has class because that person is comfortable with himself. If you have class, you’ve got it made. If you don’t have class, no matter what else you have, it doesn’t make any difference.
Ann Landers
A typical weeknight when he was home like this: 1. Sit down and try to do homework. 2. Get interrupted by Jeffrey: “Please play with me!” 3. Ignore brother, try to do homework. 4. Get interrupted by Jeffrey: “Come ON, Steven! I’m BORED!” 5. Beg Jeffrey for five minutes of peace. 6. Get begged for five minutes of play: “Steven, you never, ever play with me—ever!” 7. Move entire homework operations center to different room. 8. Repeat steps #1-7 as directed by small drugged maniac.
Jordan Sonnenblick (Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie)
There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt — until recently … and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.
Gore Vidal
*The disc's greatest lovers were undoubtedly Mellius and Gretelina, whose pure, passionate and soul-searing affair would have scorched the pages of History if they had not, because of some unexplained quirk of fate, been born two hundred years apart on different continents. However, the gods took pity on them and turned him into an ironing board** and her into a small brass bollard. **When you're a god, you don't have to have reasons.
Terry Pratchett (Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1))
They were not friends, Comdrade Pillai and Inspector Thomas Matthew, and they didn't trust each other. But they understood each other perfectly. They were both men whom childhood had abandoned without a trace. Men without curiosity. Without doubt. Both in their own way truly, terrifyingly, adult. They looked out into the world and never wondered how it worked, because they knew. They worked it. They were mechanics who serviced different parts of the same machine.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
My first female lover was a Jewish woman. She was butch, but not in a swaggering macho way- she could pass as a yeshiva boy, pale and intense. Small, almost fragile, she exuded a powerful sense of herself. She had not been to a synagogue in years, but kept the law of kashrut, and taught me my first prayers in Hebrew. She cooked, she read, she ironed her dress shirts and polished her boots meticulously, and admired femme women enormously. She was also the first person ever- including myself- to bring me to multiple orgasms. She taught me to ask for what I wanted in bed, then encouraged me to expect it from her and future lovers. She taught me to get her off with fingers, tongue, lips, sex toys, and my voice. She showed me how to masturbate in different positions, and fisted me during my menstrual cramps to provide an internal massage- and to demonstrate that a sexual act without orgasm was also an acceptable, intimate act. She never separated sexuality from the rest of her life; it was as integral to her as her Judaism. This was how I wanted to be. Not just sexually, although certainly that way too. This is how I wanted to move through the world. -- Karen Taylor (from "Daughters of Zelophehad")
Lawrence Schimel (First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far))
Life is made of moments. and choices. Not all of them matter, or have any lasting impact. Skipping class in favor of a taste of freedom, picking a prom dress because of the way it transforms you into a princess in the mirror. Even the nights you steal away from an open window, tiptoe silent to the end of the driveway, where darkened headlights and the pull of something unknown beckon. These are all small choices, really. Insignificant as soon as they’re made. Innocent. But then. Then there’s a different kind of moment. One when things are irrevocably changed by a choice we make. A moment we will play endlessly in our minds on lonely nights and empty days. One we’ll search repeatedly for some indication that what we chose was right, some small sign that tells us the truth isn’t nearly as awful as it feels. Or as awful as anyone would think if they knew. So we explain it to ourselves, justify it enough to sleep. And then we bury it deep, so deep we can almost pretend it never happened. But as much as we wish it were different, the truth is, our worlds are sometimes balanced on choices we make and the secrets we keep.
Jessi Kirby (Golden)
Wherever the early Christians entered a town the power structure got disturbed and immediately sought to convict them for being 'disturbers of the peace' and 'outside agitators.' But they went on with the conviction that they were a 'colony of heaven' and had to obey God rather than man. They were small in number but big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be 'astronomically intimidated.' They brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contest. Things are different now. The contemporary Church is so often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. It is so often the archsupporter of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the Church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the Church’s silent and often vocal sanction of things as they are.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Letter from the Birmingham Jail)
Thomas was frowning. “My aunt Tatiana is mad. My father has often said so, that his sister was driven to madness by what happened to her father and her husband. She blames our parents for their deaths.” “But James has never done anything to her,” said Christopher, his eyebrows knitting together. “He’s a Herondale,” said Thomas. “That’s enough.” “That’s ridiculous,” Christopher said. “It is as if one was bitten by a duck and years later one shot a completely different duck and ate it for dinner, and called that revenge.” “Please do not use metaphors, Christopher,” said Matthew. “It gives me the pip.” “This is bad enough without mentioning ducks,” said James. He had never fancied ducks since one had bitten him in Hyde Park as a small child.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
Your love is different from mine. What I mean is, when you close your eyes, for that moment, the center of the universe comes to reside within you. And you become a small figure within that vastness, which spreads without limit behind you, and continues to expand at tremendous speed, to engulf all of my past, even before I was born, and every word I've ever written, and each view I've seen, and all the constellations, and the darkness of outer space that surrounds the small blue ball that is earth. Then, when you open your eyes, all that disappears. I anticipate the next time you are troubled and must close your eyes again. The way we think may be completely different, but you and I are an ancient, archetypal couple, the original man and woman. We are the model for Adam and Eve. For all couples in love, there comes a moment when a man gazes at a woman with the very same kind of realization. It is an infinite helix, the dance of two souls resonating, like the twist of DNA, like the vast universe. Oddly, at that moment, she looked over at me and smiled. As if in response to what I'd been thinking, she said, "That was beautiful. I'll never forget it.
Banana Yoshimoto (Lizard)
I suppose the fundamental distinction between Shakespeare and myself is one of treatment. We get our effects differently. Take the familiar farcical situation of someone who suddenly discovers that something unpleasant is standing behind them. Here is how Shakespeare handles it in "The Winter's Tale," Act 3, Scene 3: ANTIGONUS: Farewell! A lullaby too rough. I never saw the heavens so dim by day. A savage clamour! Well may I get aboard! This is the chase: I am gone for ever. And then comes literature's most famous stage direction, "Exit pursued by a bear." All well and good, but here's the way I would handle it: BERTIE: Touch of indigestion, Jeeves? JEEVES: No, Sir. BERTIE: Then why is your tummy rumbling? JEEVES: Pardon me, Sir, the noise to which you allude does not emanate from my interior but from that of that animal that has just joined us. BERTIE: Animal? What animal? JEEVES: A bear, Sir. If you will turn your head, you will observe that a bear is standing in your immediate rear inspecting you in a somewhat menacing manner. BERTIE (as narrator): I pivoted the loaf. The honest fellow was perfectly correct. It was a bear. And not a small bear, either. One of the large economy size. Its eye was bleak and it gnashed a tooth or two, and I could see at a g. that it was going to be difficult for me to find a formula. "Advise me, Jeeves," I yipped. "What do I do for the best?" JEEVES: I fancy it might be judicious if you were to make an exit, Sir. BERTIE (narrator): No sooner s. than d. I streaked for the horizon, closely followed across country by the dumb chum. And that, boys and girls, is how your grandfather clipped six seconds off Roger Bannister's mile. Who can say which method is superior?" (As reproduced in Plum, Shakespeare and the Cat Chap )
P.G. Wodehouse (Over Seventy: An Autobiography with Digressions)
The shared meal is no small thing. It is a foundation of family life, the place where our children learn the art of conversation and acquire the habits of civilization: sharing, listening, taking turns, navigating differences, arguing without offending. What have been called the “cultural contradictions of capitalism”—its tendency to undermine the stabilizing social forms it depends on—are on vivid display today at the modern American dinner table, along with all the brightly colored packages that the food industry has managed to plant there.
Michael Pollan (Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation)
Discovery is a child’s privilege. I mean the small child, the child who is not afraid to be wrong, to look silly, to not be serious, and to act differently from everyone else. He is also not afraid that the things he is interested in are in bad taste or turn out to be different from his expectations, from what they should be, or rather he is not afraid of what they actually are. He ignores the silent and flawless consensus that is part of the air we breathe – the consensus of all the people who are, or are reputed to be, reasonable.
Alexandre Grothendieck
You know," he said with unusual somberness, "I asked my father once why kenders were little, why we weren't big like humans and elves. I really wanted to be big," he said softly and for a moment he was quiet. "What did your father say?" asked Fizban gently. "He said kenders were small because we were meant to do small things. 'If you look at all the big things in the world closely,' he said, 'you'll see that they're really made up of small things all joined together.' That big dragon down there comes to nothing but tiny drops of blood, maybe. It's the small things that make the difference.
Margaret Weis (Dragons of Autumn Twilight (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #1))
The feel of her hand has never left me. It was different from any other hand I'd ever held, different from any touch I've ever known. It was merely the small, warm hand of a twelve-year-old girl, yet those five fingers and that palm were like a display case crammed full of everything I wanted to know--and everything I had to know. By taking my hand, she showed me what these things were. That within the real world, a place like this existed. In the space of those ten seconds I became a tiny bird, fluttering into the air, the wind rushing by. From high in the sky I could see a scene far away. It was so far off I couldn't make it out clearly, yet something was there, and I knew that someday I would travel to that place.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
The tribe is whatever we believe it is. If we say the tribe is all the Little Ones in the forest, and all the trees, then that is what the tribe is. Even though some of the oldest trees here came from warriors of two different tribes, fallen in battle. We become one tribe because we say we're one tribe." Ender marveled at his mind, this small raman [member of another sentient species]. How few humans were able to grasp this idea, or let it extend beyond the narrow confines of their tribe, their family, their nation.
Orson Scott Card (Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2))
After examining the philosophies, the theories, and the practiced methods of influencing human behavior, I was shocked to learn the simplicity of that one small fact: You will become what you think about most; your success or failure in anything, large or small, will depend on your programming - what you accept from others, and what you say when you talk to yourself. It is no longer a success theory; it is a simple but powerful fact. Neither luck nor desire has the slightest thing to do with it. It makes no difference whether we believe it or not. The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about you, it will create. It has no choice.
Shad Helmstetter (What to Say When You Talk to Yourself)
(a) Are the skies you sleep under likely to open up for weeks on end? (b) Is the ground you walk on likely to tremble and split? (c) Is there a chance (and please check the box, no matter how small that chance seems) that the ominous mountain casting a midday shadow over your home might one day erupt with no rhyme or reason? Because if the answer is yes to one or all of these questions, then the life you lead is a midnight thing, always a hair's breadth from the witching hour; it is volatile, it is threadbare; it is carefree in the true sense of that term; it is light, losable like a key or a hair clip. And it is lethargy: why not sit all morning, all day, all year, under the same cypress tree drawing the figure eight in the dust? More than that, it is disaster, it is chaos: why not overthrow a government on a whim, why not blind the man you hate, why not go mad, go gibbering through the town like a loon, waving your hands, tearing your hair? There's nothing to stop you---or rather anything could stop you, any hour, any minute. That feeling. That's the real difference in a life.
Zadie Smith
The stakes involved in Washington policy debates are often so high-- whether we send our young men and women to war; whether we allow stem cell research to go forward-- that even small differences in perspective are magnified. The demands of party loyalty, the imperative of campaigns, and the amplification of conflict by the media all contribute to an atmosphere of suspicion. Moreover, most people who serve in Washington have been trained either as lawyers or as political operatives-- professions that tend to place a premium on winning arguments rather than solving problems. I can see how, after a certain amount of time in the capital, it becomes tempting to assume that those who disagree with you have fundamentally different values-- indeed, that they are motivated by bad faith, and perhaps are bad people.
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)
I would not have done anything differently. All of the moments in my life, everyone I have met, every trip I have taken, every success I have enjoyed, every blunder I have made, every loss I have endured has been just right. I am not saying that they were all good or that they happened for a reason...but they have been right. They have been okay. As far as revelations go its pretty lame, I know. Okay is not bliss or even happiness. Okay is not the basis for a new religion or self help movement. Okay won't get me on Oprah, but okay is a start and for that I am grateful. Can I thank Bhutan for this breakthrough? It's hard to say […] It is a strange place, peculiar in ways large and small. You lose your bearings here and when that happens a crack forms in your armor. A crack large enough, if you're lucky, to let in a few shafts of light.
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World)
Nina turned her face to the water, looking out at the narrow houses that lined the Geldcanal. Jesper saw that the residents had filled their windows with candles, as if these small gestures might somehow push back the dark. “I’m pretending those lights are for him,” she said. She plucked a stray red petal from Matthias’ chest, sighed, and released his hand, rising slowly. “I know it’s time.” Jesper put his arm around her. “He loved you so much, Nina. Loving you made him better.” “Did it make a difference in the end?” “Of course it did,” said Inej. “Matthias and I didn’t pray to the same god, but we knew there was something beyond this life. He went easier to the next world knowing he’d done good in this one.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
In the great cities we see so little of the world, we drift into our minority. In the little towns and villages there are no minorities; people are not numerous enough. You must see the world there, perforce. Every man is himself a class; every hour carries its new challenge. When you pass the inn at the end of the village you leave your favourite whimsy behind you; for you will meet no one who can share it. We listen to eloquent speaking, read books and write them, settle all the affairs of the universe. The dumb village multitudes pass on unchanging; the feel of the spade in the hand is no different for all our talk: good seasons and bad follow each other as of old. The dumb multitudes are no more concerned with us than is the old horse peering through the rusty gate of the village pound. The ancient map-makers wrote across unexplored regions, 'Here are lions.' Across the villages of fishermen and turners of the earth, so different are these from us, we can write but one line that is certain, 'Here are ghosts.' ("Village Ghosts")
W.B. Yeats (The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore)
Well, I'm glad you're so amused," I said, running my fingers across the railing. Maxon hopped up to sit on the railing, looking very relaxed. "You're always amusing. Get used to it." Hmm. He was almost being funny. "So...about what you said...," he started tentatively. "Which part? The part about me calling you names or fighting with my mom or saying food was my motivation?" I rolled my eyes. He laughed once. "The part about me being good..." "Oh. What about it?" Those few sentences suddenly seemed more embarrassing than anything else I'd said. I ducked my head down and twisted a piece of my dress. "I appreciate you making things look authentic, but you didn't need to go that far." My head snapped up. How could he think that? "Maxon, that wasn't for the sake of the show. If you had asked me a month ago what my honest opinion of you was, it would have been very different. But now I know you, and I know the truth, and you are everything I said you were. And more." He was quiet, but there was a small smile on his face. "Thank you," he finally said. "Anytime." Maxon cleared his throat. "He'll be lucky, too." He got down from his makeshift seat and walked to my side of the balcony. "Huh?" "Your boyfriend. When he comes to his senses and begs you to take him back," Maxon said matter-of-factly. I had to laugh. No such thing would happen in y world. "he's not my boyfriend anymore. And he made it pretty clear he was gone with me." Even I could hear the tiny bit of hope in my voice. "Not possible. He'll have seen you on TV by now and fallen for you all over again. Though, in my opinion, you're still much too good for the dog." Maxon spoke almost as if he was bored, like he'd seen this happen a million times. "Speaking of which!" he said a bit louder. "If you don't want me to be in love with you, you're going to have to stop looking so lovely. First thing tomorrow I'm having your maids sew some potato sacks together for you." I hit his arm. "Shut up, Maxon." "I'm not kidding. You're too beautiful for your own good. Once you leave, we'll have to send some of the guards with you. You'll never survive on your own, poor thing." He said all this with mock pity. "I can't help it." I sighed. "One can never help being born into perfection." I fanned my face as if being so pretty was exhausting. "No, I don't suppose you can help it.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Dan, this is crazy!" Amy quavered. "You can't drive a boat!" "Say's who? It's no different from Xbox!" Wham! The port-side rubber bumper at the launch's bow slammed into the end of an ancient cobblestone wharf. The small craft spun like a top, pitching Amy to the deck. Only an iron grip on the wheel saved Dan from a similar spill. He hung on for dear life. "Okay, scratch Xbox–think bumper cars! I rock at those! Remember the carnival?
Gordon Korman (One False Note (The 39 Clues, #2))
You can feel people staring: it's like heat that rise from the pavement during summer, like a poker in the small of your back. You don’t have to hear a whisper, either, to know that it’s about you. I use to stand in front of the mirror in the bathroom to see what they are staring at. I wanted to know what made their heads turn, what it was about me that was so incredibly different. At first I couldn’t tell. I mean, I was just me. Then one day. When I looked in the mirror, I understood. I looked into my own eyes and I hated myself, maybe as much as all of them did. That was the day I started to believe they might be right. jodi picoult
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
To persons standing alone on a hill during a clear midnight such as this, the roll of the world eastward is almost a palpable movement. The sensation may be caused by the panoramic glide of the stars past earthly objects, which is perceptible in a few minutes of stillness, or by the better outlook upon space that a hill affords, or by the wind, or by the solitude; but whatever be its origin the impression of riding along is vivid and abiding. The poetry of motion is a phrase much in use, and to enjoy the epic form of that gratification it is necessary to stand on a hill at a small hour of the night, and, having first expanded with a sense of difference from the mass of civilized mankind, who are dreamwrapt and disregardful of all such proceedings at this time, long and quietly watch your stately progress through the stars. After such a nocturnal reconnoitre it is hard to get back to earth, and to believe that the consciousness of such majestic speeding is derived from a tiny human frame.
Thomas Hardy (Far From the Madding Crowd)
But Gemma, you could change the world." "That should take far more than my power," I say. "True. But change needn't happen all at once. It can be small gestures." "Moments. Do you understand?" He's looking at me differently now, though I cannot say how. I only know I need to look away... We pass by the pools, where the mud larks sift. And for only a few seconds, I let the magic loose again. "Oi! By all the saints!" a boy cries from the river. "Gone off the dock?" an old woman calls. The mud larks break into cackles. "'S not a rock!" he shouts. He races out of the fog, cradling something in his palm. Curiosity gets the better of the others. They crowd about trying to see. In his palm is a smattering of rubies. "We're rich mates! It's a hot bath and a full belly for every one of us!" Kartik eyes me suspiciously. "That was a strange stroke of good fortune." "Yes it was." "I don't suppose that was your doing." "I'm not sure I don't know what you mean," I say. And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principal. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don't believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you'll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin's truly democratic constitution and Stalin's dictatorship. You chose Stalin's dictatorship. You had your choice between Freud's elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air. You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus' mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx's insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state. You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine. In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson. You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo's truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. … Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. 'Why so tragic?' you ask. 'Do you feel responsible for all evil?' With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn't perish, struck down by your smallness.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
The world is a mysterious place. On the one hand, its size can be measured and recorded and verified. Its marvels and oddities captured in complex, empirical detail. On the other hand, its size is relative to our mind’s perception of it. Its marvels and oddities only extending to how far our vision goes. For some of us, this means the world is small, including only those we see as belonging to it. People related to us, people who look like us, dress like us, think like us. For others, it’s medium-size and includes those we connect to through some similarity, some trait that pings familiarity within, which then allows us to overlook the differences between us and them. And then there are those who see the world as huge, as the actual size it measurably is. Huge enough to include vast differences, people with nothing in common with one another except a beating heart and a feeling soul, these two—heart, soul—being the strongest connection between us all.
S.K. Ali (Love From A to Z)
Though good and bad men suffer alike, we must not suppose that there is no difference between the men themselves, because there is no difference in what they both suffer. For even in the likeness of the sufferings, there remains an unlikeness in the sufferers; and though exposed to the same anguish, virtue and vice are not the same thing. For as the same fire causes gold to glow brightly, and chaff to smoke; and under the same flail the straw is beaten small, while the grain is cleansed; and as the lees are not mixed with the oil, though squeezed out of the vat by the same pressure, so the same violence of affliction proves, purges, clarifies the good, but damns, ruins, exterminates the wicked.
Augustine of Hippo (City of God)
Star friendship.— We were friends and have become estranged. But this was right, and we do not want to conceal and obscure it from ourselves as if we had reason to feel ashamed. We are two ships each of which has its goal and course; our paths may cross and we may celebrate a feast together, as we did—and then the good ships rested so quietly in one harbor and one sunshine that it may have looked as if they had reached their goal and as if they had one goal. But then the almighty force of our tasks drove us apart again into different seas and sunny zones, and perhaps we shall never see one another again,—perhaps we shall meet again but fail to recognize each other: our exposure to different seas and suns has changed us! That we have to become estranged is the law above us: by the same token we should also become more venerable for each other! And thus the memory of our former friendship should become more sacred! There is probably a tremendous but invisible stellar orbit in which our very different ways and goals may be included as small parts of this path,—let us rise up to this thought! But our life is too short and our power of vision too small for us to be more than friends in the sense of this sublime possibility.— Let us then believe in our star friendship even if we should be compelled to be earth enemies.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
Meanwhile, improving by 1 percent isn’t particularly notable—sometimes it isn’t even noticeable—but it can be far more meaningful, especially in the long run. The difference a tiny improvement can make over time is astounding. Here’s how the math works out: if you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done. Conversely, if you get 1 percent worse each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero. What starts as a small win or a minor setback accumulates into something much more.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Words are small things. No one means any harm by them, they keep saying that. Everyone is just doing their job. The police say it all the time. 'I'm just doing my job here.' That's why no one asks what the boy did; as soon as the girl starts to talk they interrupt her instead with questions about what she did. Did she go up the stairs ahead of him or behind him? Did she lie down on the bed voluntarily or was she forced? Did she unbutton her own blouse? Did she kiss him? No? Did she kiss him back, then? Had she been drinking alcohol? Had she smoked marijuana? Did she say no? Was she clear about that? Did she scream loudly enough? Did she struggle hard enough? Why didn't she take photographs of her bruises right away? Why did she run from the party instead of saying anything to the other guests? They have to gather all the information, they say, when they ask the same question ten times in different ways in order to see if she changes her answer. This is a serious allegation, they remind her, as if it's the allegation that's the problem. She is told all the things she shouldn't have done: She shouldn't have waited so long before going to the police. She shouldn't have gotten rid of the clothes she was wearing. Shouldn't have showered. Shouldn't have drunk alcohol. Shouldn't have put herself in that situation. Shouldn't have gone into the room, up the stairs, given him the impression. If only she hadn't existed, then none of this would have happened, why didn't she think of that? She's fifteen, above the age of consent, and he's seventeen, but he's still 'the boy' in every conversation. She's 'the young woman.' Words are not small things.
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
In his imagination he had thought that all the huts were full of happy families, some of whom sat outside on rocking chairs in the evening and told stories about how things were so much better when they were children and they'd had respect for their elders, not like the children nowadays. He thought that all the boys and girls who lived here would be in different groups, playing tennis or football, skipping and drawing out squares for hopscotch on the ground. He had thought that there would be a shop in the centre, and maybe a small café like the ones he had known in Berlin; he had wondered whether there would be a fruit and vegetable stalls. As it turned out, all the things that he thought might be there - weren't.
John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas)
I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men. It is a sound admirably suited to swamps and twilight woods which no day illustrates, suggesting a vast and undeveloped nature which men have not recognized. They represent the stark twilight and unsatisfied thoughts which all have. All day the sun has shown on the surface of some savage swamp, where the double spruce stands hung with usnea lichens, and small hawks circulate above, and the chickadee lisps amid the evergreens, and the partridge and rabbit skulk beneath; and now a more dismal and fitting day dawns, and a different race of creatures awakes to express the meaning of Nature there.
Henry David Thoreau
Still there was so much to say. How the rain never stopped. How the cold worked into your bones. Sometimes the bravest thing on earth was to sit through the night and feel the cold in your bones. Courage was not always a matter of yes or no. Sometimes it came in degrees, like the cold; sometimes you were very brave up to a point and then beyond that point you were not so brave. In certain situations you could do incredible things, you could advance toward enemy fire, but in other situations, which were not nearly so bad, you had trouble keeping your eyes open. Sometimes, like that night in the shit field, the difference between courage and cowardice was something small and stupid.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
Since this often seems to come up in discussions of the radical style, I'll mention one other gleaning from my voyages. Beware of Identity politics. I'll rephrase that: have nothing to do with identity politics. I remember very well the first time I heard the saying "The Personal Is Political." It began as a sort of reaction to defeats and downturns that followed 1968: a consolation prize, as you might say, for people who had missed that year. I knew in my bones that a truly Bad Idea had entered the discourse. Nor was I wrong. People began to stand up at meetings and orate about how they 'felt', not about what or how they thought, and about who they were rather than what (if anything) they had done or stood for. It became the replication in even less interesting form of the narcissism of the small difference, because each identity group begat its sub-groups and "specificities." This tendency has often been satirised—the overweight caucus of the Cherokee transgender disabled lesbian faction demands a hearing on its needs—but never satirised enough. You have to have seen it really happen. From a way of being radical it very swiftly became a way of being reactionary; the Clarence Thomas hearings demonstrated this to all but the most dense and boring and selfish, but then, it was the dense and boring and selfish who had always seen identity politics as their big chance. Anyway, what you swiftly realise if you peek over the wall of your own immediate neighbourhood or environment, and travel beyond it, is, first, that we have a huge surplus of people who wouldn't change anything about the way they were born, or the group they were born into, but second that "humanity" (and the idea of change) is best represented by those who have the wit not to think, or should I say feel, in this way.
Christopher Hitchens (Letters to a Young Contrarian)
I like how you call homosexuality an abomination." "I don't say homosexuality's an abomination, Mr. President, the bible does." "Yes it does. Leviticus-" "18:22" "Chapter in verse. I wanted to ask you a couple questions while I had you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that can I ask another? My chief of staff, Leo Mcgary,insists on working on the sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it ok to call the police? Here's one that's really important, cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Red Skins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?
Aaron Sorkin
Shopping for clothes is a Boyfriend Thing. You stand around and look blankly at a bunch of pieces of fabric and you look at the price tags and you wonder how something that'd barely cover your right nut can cost the price of a kidney and you watch the shop assistants check you out and wonder what you're doing with her because she's cute and you're kind of funny-looking and she tries clothes on and you look at her ass in a dozen different items that all look exactly the same and let's face it you're just looking at her ass anyway and it all blurs together and then someone sticks a vacuum cleaner in your wallet and vacuums out all the cash and you leave the store with one bag so small that mice couldn't fuck in it. Repeat a dozen times or until the front of your brain dies.
Warren Ellis (Crooked Little Vein)
All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
George Washington
It is a well-known established fact throughout the many-dimensional worlds of the multiverse that most really great discoveries are owed to one brief moment of inspiration. There's a lot of spadework first, of course, but what clinches the whole thing is the sight of, say, a falling apple or a boiling kettle or the water slipping over the edge of the bath. Something goes click inside the observer's head and then everything falls into place. The shape of DNA, it is popularly said, owes its discovery to the chance sight of a spiral staircase when the scientist=s mind was just at the right receptive temperature. Had he used the elevator, the whole science of genetics might have been a good deal different. This is thought of as somehow wonderful. It isn't. It is tragic. Little particles of inspiration sleet through the universe all the time traveling through the densest matter in the same way that a neutrino passes through a candyfloss haystack, and most of them miss. Even worse, most of the ones that hit the exact cerebral target, hit the wrong one. For example, the weird dream about a lead doughnut on a mile-high gantry, which in the right mind would have been the catalyst for the invention of repressed-gravitational electricity generation (a cheap and inexhaustible and totally non-polluting form of power which the world in question had been seeking for centuries, and for the lack of which it was plunged into a terrible and pointless war) was in fact had by a small and bewildered duck. By another stroke of bad luck, the sight of a herd of wild horses galloping through a field of wild hyacinths would have led a struggling composer to write the famous Flying God Suite, bringing succor and balm to the souls of millions, had he not been at home in bed with shingles. The inspiration thereby fell to a nearby frog, who was not in much of a position to make a startling contributing to the field of tone poetry. Many civilizations have recognized this shocking waste and tried various methods to prevent it, most of them involving enjoyable but illegal attempts to tune the mind into the right wavelength by the use of exotic herbage or yeast products. It never works properly.
Terry Pratchett (Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind, #3))
They were looking after themselves, living with rigid economy; and there was no greater proof of their friendship than the way their harmony withstood their very grave differences in domestic behaviour. In Jack's opinion Stephen was little better than a slut: his papers, odd bits of dry, garlic'd bread, his razors and small-clothes lay on and about his private table in a miserable squalor; and from the appearance of the grizzled wig that was now acting as a tea-cosy for his milk-saucepan, it was clear that he had breakfasted on marmalade. Jack took off his coat, covered his waistcoat and breeches with an apron, and carried the dishes into the scullery. 'My plate and saucer will serve again,' said Stephen. 'I have blown upon them. I do wish, Jack,' he cried, 'that you would leave that milk-saucepan alone. It is perfectly clean. What more sanitary, what more wholesome, than scalded milk?
Patrick O'Brian (Post Captain (Aubrey & Maturin, #2))
The single most important human insight to be gained from this way of comparing societies is perhaps the realization that everything could have been different in our own society – that the way we live is only one among innumerable ways of life which humans have adopted. If we glance sideways and backwards, we will quickly discover that modern society, with its many possibilities and seducing offers, its dizzying complexity and its impressive technological advances, is a way of life which has not been tried out for long. Perhaps, psychologically speaking, we have just left the cave: in terms of the history of our species, we have but spent a moment in modern societies. (..) Anthropology may not provide the answer to the question of the meaning of life, but at least it can tell us that there are many ways in which to make a life meaningful.
Thomas Hylland Eriksen (Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology (Anthropology, Culture and Society))
Human history can be viewed as a slowly dawning awareness that we are members of a larger group. Initially our loyalties were to ourselves and our immediate family, next, to bands of wandering hunter-gatherers, then to tribes, small settlements, city-states, nations. We have broadened the circle of those we love. We have now organized what are modestly described as super-powers, which include groups of people from divergent ethnic and cultural backgrounds working in some sense together — surely a humanizing and character building experience. If we are to survive, our loyalties must be broadened further, to include the whole human community, the entire planet Earth. Many of those who run the nations will find this idea unpleasant. They will fear the loss of power. We will hear much about treason and disloyalty. Rich nation-states will have to share their wealth with poor ones. But the choice, as H. G. Wells once said in a different context, is clearly the universe or nothing.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
One thing which even the most seasoned and discerning masters of the art of choice do not and cannot choose, is the society to be born into - and so we are all in travel, whether we like it or not. We have not been asked about our feelings anyway. Thrown into a vast open sea with no navigation charts and all the marker buoys sunk and barely visible, we have only two choices left: we may rejoice in the breath-taking vistas of new discoveries - or we may tremble out of fear of drowning. One option not really realistic is to claim sanctuary in a safe harbour; one could bet that what seems to be a tranquil haven today will be soon modernized, and a theme park, amusement promenade or crowded marina will replace the sedate boat sheds. The third option not thus being available, which of the two other options will be chosen or become the lot of the sailor depends in no small measure on the ship's quality and the navigation skills of the sailors. Not all ships are seaworthy, however. And so the larger the expanse of free sailing, the more the sailor's fate tends to be polarized and the deeper the chasm between the poles. A pleasurable adventure for the well-equipped yacht may prove a dangerous trap for a tattered dinghy. In the last account, the difference between the two is that between life and death.
Zygmunt Bauman (Globalization: The Human Consequences)
A racist cop pulls over a black driver for little reason other than the fact that the driver is black and a recent robbery was committed by a couple of young black guys in a white community. The cop quickly realizes the driver is not one of the robbery suspects. He sees a man with a wife and two small children. They are not a couple of young punks. Still,he persists. Why? “He asks to see the driver’s license and registration. While locating the appropriate documents, the black driver respectfully volunteers that he is legally carrying a handgun. The cop panics—is it the image of a black man with a gun? He barks out conflicting orders and then shoots the man to death, in front of his family. Why? “Is it because the cop is an insensitive racist? Maybe he wasn’t trained or taught any better? Perhaps he lived a completely different life in a completely different world than that of the black man. In this cop’s world, were all black men potential criminals, people to be watched, people to be feared?
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal In Black (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #4))
Naturally—and why should I not admit this—I have occasionally wondered to myself how things might have turned out in the long run.... I only speculate this now because in the light of subsequent events, it could well be argued that in making my decision...I was perhaps not entirely aware of the full implications of what I was doing. Indeed, it might even be said that this small decision of mine constituted something of a key turning point; that that decision set things on an inevitable course towards what eventually happened. But then, I suppose, when with the benefit of hindsight one begins to search one's past for such 'turning points', one is apt to start seeing them everywhere.... What would have transpired, one may ask, had one responded slightly differently...? And perhaps—occurring as it did around the same time as these events?
Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day)
WONDERLAND It is a person's unquenchable thirst for wonder That sets them on their initial quest for truth. The more doors you open, the smaller you become. The more places you see and the more people you meet, The greater your curiosity grows. The greater your curiosity, the more you will wander. The more you wander, the greater the wonder. The more you quench your thirst for wonder, The more you drink from the cup of life. The more you see and experience, the closer to truth you become. The more languages you learn, the more truths you can unravel. And the more countries you travel, the greater your understanding. And the greater your understanding, the less you see differences. And the more knowledge you gain, the wider your perspective, And the wider your perspective, the lesser your ignorance. Hence, the more wisdom you gain, the smaller you feel. And the smaller you feel, the greater you become. The more you see, the more you love -- The more you love, the less walls you see. The more doors you are willing to open, The less close-minded you will be. The more open-minded you are, The more open your heart. And the more open your heart, The more you will be able to Send and receive -- Truth and TRUE Unconditional LOVE.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
You'll get over it...' It's the cliches that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don't get over it because 'it' is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to greive over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to? I've thought a lot about death recently, the finality of it, the argument ending in mid-air. One of us hadn't finished, why did the other one go? And why without warning? Even death after long illness is without warning. The moment you had prepared for so carefully took you by storm. The troops broke through the window and snatched the body and the body is gone. The day before the Wednesday last, this time a year ago, you were here and now you're not. Why not? Death reduces us to the baffled logic of a small child. If yesterday why not today? And where are you? Fragile creatures of a small blue planet, surrounded by light years of silent space. Do the dead find peace beyond the rattle of the world? What peace is there for us whose best love cannot return them even for a day? I raise my head to the door and think I will see you in the frame. I know it is your voice in the corridor but when I run outside the corridor is empty. There is nothing I can do that will make any difference. The last word was yours. The fluttering in the stomach goes away and the dull waking pain. Sometimes I think of you and I feel giddy. Memory makes me lightheaded, drunk on champagne. All the things we did. And if anyone had said this was the price I would have agreed to pay it. That surprises me; that with the hurt and the mess comes a shaft of recognition. It was worth it. Love is worth it.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
I am sorry for your girl, Ned. Truly. About the wolf, I mean. My son was lying, I’d stake my soul on it. My son … you love your children, don’t you?” “With all my heart,” Ned said. “Let me tell you a secret, Ned. More than once, I have dreamed of giving up the crown. Take ship for the Free Cities with my horse and my hammer, spend my time warring and whoring, that’s what I was made for. The sellsword king, how the singers would love me. You know what stops me? The thought of Joffrey on the throne, with Cersei standing behind him whispering in his ear. My son. How could I have made a son like that, Ned?” “He’s only a boy,” Ned said awkwardly. He had small liking for Prince Joffrey, but he could hear the pain in Robert’s voice. “Have you forgotten how wild you were at his age?” “It would not trouble me if the boy was wild, Ned. You don’t know him as I do.” He sighed and shook his head. “Ah, perhaps you are right. Jon despaired of me often enough, yet I grew into a good king.” Robert looked at Ned and scowled at his silence. “You might speak up and agree now, you know.” “Your Grace …” Ned began, carefully. Robert slapped Ned on the back. “Ah, say that I’m a better king than Aerys and be done with it. You never could lie for love nor honor, Ned Stark. I’m still young, and now that you’re here with me, things will be different. We’ll make this a reign to sing of, and damn the Lannisters to seven hells.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
I laughed when she said “utilize” and she said “what?” and I said “just utilize, it’s a meaningless word” and then she tried to tell me that it “communicated” something different from the word “use” and the way she looked at me, chuckling, glancing over at James like “oh, how sweet, it tried to talk,” made me so mad that I might have said, maybe, something along the lines of “yeah, it communicates something, it’s a real first-gen-college-grad kind of word, like your parents are small-town conservative Christians who didn’t have any books in the house, and you’re self-conscious about your upbringing so you want to stand out by using elitist intellectual language, but you don’t actually know any long words, so you just truss up the word ‘use’ for no fucking reason other than to try to make people feel like you’re the one with the big mental dick, even though ‘utilize’ is basically just administrative jargon and completely déclassé to them that knows.
Halle Butler (The New Me)
As we age and plasticity declines, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to change in response to the world, even if we want to. We find familiar types of stimulation pleasurable; we seek out like-minded individuals to associate with, and research shows we tend to ignore or forget, or attempt to discredit, information that does not match our beliefs, or perception of the world, because it is very distressing and difficult to think and perceive in unfamiliar ways. Increasingly the aging individual acts to preserve the structures within, and when there is a mismatch between his internal neurocognitive structures and the world, he seek to change the world. In small ways he begins to micromanage his environment, to control it, and make it familiar. But this process, writ large, often leads whole cultural groups to try to impose their view of the world on other cultures, and they often become violent, especially in the modern world, where globalization has brought different cultures closer together, exacerbating the problem. Wexler's point, then, is that much of the cross-cultural conflict we see is a product of the relative decrease in plasticity. One could add that totalitarian regimes seem to have an intuitive awareness that it becomes hard for people to change after a certain age, which is why so much effort is made to indoctrinate the young from an early age.
Norman Doidge (The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science)
On my way to the living room, where my family was gathered, I stopped to look at the photo in the foyer. As always, my eyes were drawn to my own face first, then those of my sisters, and finally my mother, looking so small between us. But I saw it differently now. When that picture was taken, we were all gathered around my mother, sheltering her. But that was just one day, one shot. In the time since, we had arranged and rearranged ourselves so many times. We’d all gathered around Whitney, even when she didn’t want us to, and Kirsten and I had gotten closer when she pushed us both away. We were still in flux, as had been clear at the table that night as I watched my mother and sisters come together again. Then, I’d been convinced I was on the outside, but really, I’d always been within arm’s reach. All I had to do was ask, and I, too, would be easily brought back, surrounded and immersed, finding myself safe, somewhere in between.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
But I knew the way the people in the town thought about things. They always had some time left over from their life to bother about other people and what they did. They thought they had to get together to help other people out, like the time they got together about the woman who let a colored man borrow her car and told her the best place for her was up north with all the other nigger lovers, and the time they got the veterans with overseas wives out. If you were different from anybody in town, you had to get out. That's why everybody was so much alike. The way they talked, what they did, what they liked, what they hated. If somebody got to hate something and he was the right person, everybody had to hate it too, or people began to hate the ones who didn't hate it. They used to tell us in school to think for yourself, but you couldn't do that in the town. You had to think what your father thought all his life, and that was what everybody thought.
John Kennedy Toole (The Neon Bible)
He smiled without his teeth. Small, shyly. I found myself smiling back. Like an impulse Then he ruined it by saying… "You're not like other girls, are you?" And I activated. Every single emotion I'd been squashing into my guts exploded like a burst appendix. I jumped off the bed and turned to him with a scowl I was sure he'd need permanent therapy to recover from. "Are you kidding me Harry?" "Woah Audrey. Hey, hey, hey. It's a compliment." I felt like screaming. "It's NOT a compliment. I threw my arms up, any motion to get rid of the rage pulsing through me. It's an insult to every single woman on this PLANET. Don't you DARE try and pull that shit on me. "What shit?!" Harry was stupid enough to ask. "I was saying something nice…" I shook my head so hard. "No, you were saying something clichéd and UNTRUE. I AM like other girls, Harry. Don't misinterpret my hatred of romance as some kooky, laid-back, manic pixie NONSENSE. I am DAMAGED. I am not CUTE. I am emotionally-fucking-traumatised right now, okay? I am screaming on the inside. I am too angry and messed up to contain all the stuff girls spend every day containing. That's why I seem different. That is NOT sexy.
Holly Bourne (It Only Happens in the Movies)
From the vast, invisible ocean of moonlight overhead fell, here and here, a slender, broken stream that seemed to plash against the intercepting branches and trickle to earth, forming small white pools among the clumps of laurel. But these leaks were few and served only to accentuate the blackness of his environment, which his imagination found it easy to people with all manner of unfamiliar shapes, menacing, uncanny, or merely grotesque. He to whom the portentous conspiracy of night and solitude and silence in the heart of a great forest is not an unknown experience needs not to be told what another world it all is - how even the most commonplace and familiar objects take on another character. The trees group themselves differently; they draw closer together, as if in fear. The very silence has another quality than the silence of the day. And it is full of half-heard whispers, whispers that startle - ghosts of sounds long dead. There are living sounds, too, such as are never heard under other conditions: notes of strange night birds, the cries of small animals in sudden encounters with stealthy foes, or in their dreams, a rustling in the dead leaves - it may be the leap of a wood rat, it may be the footstep of a panther. What caused the breaking of that twig? What the low, alarmed twittering in that bushful of birds? There are sounds without a name, forms without substance, translations in space of objects which have not been seen to move, movements wherein nothing is observed to change its place. Ah, children of the sunlight and the gaslight, how little you know of the world in which you live! ("A Tough Tussle")
Ambrose Bierce (Ghost Stories (Haunting Ghost Stories))
Does rough weather choose men over women? Does the sun beat on men, leaving women nice and cool?' Nyawira asked rather sharply. 'Women bear the brunt of poverty. What choices does a woman have in life, especially in times of misery? She can marry or live with a man. She can bear children and bring them up, and be abused by her man. Have you read Buchi Emecheta of Nigeria, Joys of Motherhood? Tsitsi Dangarembga of Zimbabwe, say, Nervous Conditions? Miriama Ba of Senegal, So Long A Letter? Three women from different parts of Africa, giving words to similar thoughts about the condition of women in Africa.' 'I am not much of a reader of fiction,' Kamiti said. 'Especially novels by African women. In India such books are hard to find.' 'Surely even in India there are women writers? Indian women writers?' Nyawira pressed. 'Arundhati Roy, for instance, The God of Small Things? Meena Alexander, Fault Lines? Susie Tharu. Read Women Writing in India. Or her other book, We Were Making History, about women in the struggle!' 'I have sampled the epics of Indian literature,' Kamiti said, trying to redeem himself. 'Mahabharata, Ramayana, and mostly Bhagavad Gita. There are a few others, what they call Purana, Rig-Veda, Upanishads … Not that I read everything, but …' 'I am sure that those epics and Puranas, even the Gita, were all written by men,' Nyawira said. 'The same men who invented the caste system. When will you learn to listen to the voices of women?
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (Wizard of the Crow)
How shall I put it? Beauty-yes, beauty is like a decayed tooth. It rubs against one's tongue, it hangs there, hurting one, insisting on its own existence, finally it gets so that one cannot stand the pain and one goes to the dentist to have the tooth extracted, Then, as one looks at the small, dirty, brown, blood-stained tooth lying in one's hand, one's thoughts are likely to be as follows: ‘Is this it? Is this all it was? That thing which caused me so much pain, which made me constantly fret about its existence, which was stubbornly rooted within me, is now merely a dead object. But is this thing really the,same as that thing? If this originally belonged to my outer existence, why-through what sort of providence-did it become attached to my inner existence and succeed in causing me so much pain? What was the basis of this creature's existence? Was the basis within me? Or was it within this creature itself? Yet this creature which has been pulled out of my mouth and which now lies in my hand is something utterly different. Surely it cannot be that?
Yukio Mishima (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion)
The more doors you open to the mysteries, or sacred knowledge, the smaller you feel. And because you begin to feel smaller and smaller until your ego disappears, the more humble you become. Therefore, any man who behaves arrogantly with what little he knows, or claims to know all, only reveals to all that he really knows nothing. Real greatness does not reside inside those who feel large. The truly wise are meek. Yet being small and meek do not make one weak. Arming oneself with true knowledge generates strong confidence and a bold spirit that makes you a lion of God. The Creator does not want you to suffer, yet we are being conditioned by society to accept suffering, weak and passive dispositions under the belief that such conditions are favorable by God. Weakness is not a virtue praised by God. How could he desire for you to be weak if he tells us to stand by our conscience? Doing so requires strength. However, there is a difference between arrogance when inflating your ego, and confidence when one truly gets closer to God. One feels large, while the other feels small. Why? Because a man of wisdom understands that he is just a small pea in a sea of infinite atoms, and that in the end — we are all connected. And did you not know that the smaller a creature is, the bolder its spirit?
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
History cannot be explained deterministically and it cannot be predicted because it is chaotic. So many forces are at work and their interactions are so complex that extremely small variations in the strength of the forces and the way they interact produce huge differences in outcomes. Not only that, but history is what is called a ‘level two’ chaotic system. Chaotic systems come in two shapes. Level one chaos is chaos that does not react to predictions about it. The weather, for example, is a level one chaotic system. Though it is influenced by myriad factors, we can build computer models that take more and more of them into consideration, and produce better and better weather forecasts. Level two chaos is chaos that reacts to predictions about it, and therefore can never be predicted accurately. Markets, for example, are a level two chaotic system. What will happen if we develop a computer program that forecasts with 100 per cent accuracy the price of oil tomorrow? The price of oil will immediately react to the forecast, which would consequently fail to materialise. If the current price of oil is $90 a barrel, and the infallible computer program predicts that tomorrow it will be $100, traders will rush to buy oil so that they can profit from the predicted price rise. As a result, the price will shoot up to $100 a barrel today rather than tomorrow. Then what will happen tomorrow? Nobody knows.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
What does it mean to love somebody? It is always to seize that person in a mass, extract him or her from a group, however small, in which he or she participates, whether it be through the family only or through something else; then to find that person's own packs, the multiplicities he or she encloses within himself or herself which may be of an entirely different nature. To join them to mine, to make them penetrate mine, and for me to penetrate the other person's. Heavenly nuptials, multiplicities of multiplicities. Every love is an exercise in depersonalization on a body without organs yet to be formed, and it is at the highest point of this depersonalization that some- one can be named, receives his or her family name or first name, acquires the most intense discernibility in the instantaneous apprehension of the multiplicities belonging to him or her, and to which he or she belongs. A pack of freckles on a face, a pack of boys speaking through the voice of a woman, a clutch of girls in Charlus's voice, a horde of wolves in somebody's throat, a multiplicity of anuses in the anus, mouth, or eye one is intent upon. We each go through so many bodies in each other.
Gilles Deleuze (A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia)
But the resurrection of a dead person from the grave, and his ascension through the air, is a thing very different, as to the evidence it admits of, to the invisible conception of a child in the womb. The resurrection and ascension, supposing them to have taken place, admitted of public and ocular demonstration, like that of the ascension of a balloon, or the sun at noon day, to all Jerusalem at least. A thing which everybody is required to believe, requires that the proof and evidence of it should be equal to all, and universal; and as the public visibility of this last related act was the only evidence that could give sanction to the former part, the whole of it falls to the ground, because that evidence never was given. Instead of this, a small number of persons, not more than eight or nine, are introduced as proxies for the whole world, to say they saw it, and all the rest of the world are called upon to believe it. But it appears that Thomas did not believe the resurrection; and, as they say, would not believe without having ocular and manual demonstration himself. So neither will I; and the reason is equally as good for me, and for every other person, as for Thomas.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
Here’s a quick overview of what happens when groups of passionate believers start to define themselves in opposition to others: A simple message seems obvious to a large population, and those people can’t understand what the opposition could possibly be thinking. They never or almost never engage with someone who holds those different beliefs, and if they do, it’s in the context of the discussion, not in the context of, like, also being a human. The vast majority of those people nod appreciatively and then change the channel and watch NCIS and eat the tacos that they made. It’s their own recipe. They’ve developed it over years, and they like it better than any taco you could get at even a super fancy restaurant. They go to bed at 10: 30 and worry a bit about whether their son is adjusting well to college. A very small percentage get really riled up. They’re angry, but they’re mostly worried or even scared and want to cause some kind of action. They call their representatives and do a little organizing. They’re usually motivated not just by agreement in the message but by a hatred of the people trying to fight the message. A tiny percentage of that percentage just go way the fuck overboard. They get so frightened and angry that they need to make something happen. How? Well, that’s simple, right? You eliminate the people who are actively trying to destroy the world. If we’re all really unlucky, and if there are enough of them, those people find each other and they confirm and exacerbate their own extremism.
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
Mac Rebennack, better known as Dr. John, once told me that when a brass band plays at a small club back up in one of the neighborhoods, it's as if the audience--dancing, singing to the refrains, laughing--is part of the band. They are two parts of the same thing. The dancers interpret, or it might be better to say literally embody, the sounds of the band, answering the instruments. Since everyone is listening to different parts of the music--she to the trumpet melody, he to the bass drum, she to the trombone--the audience is a working model in three dimensions of the music, a synesthesic transformation of materials. And of course the band is also watching the dancers, and getting ideas from the dancers' gestures. The relationship between band and audience is in that sense like the relationship between two lovers making love, where cause and effect becomes very hard to see, even impossible to call by its right name; one is literally getting down, as in particle physics, to some root stratum where one is freed from the lockstop of time itself, where time might even run backward, or sideways, and something eternal and transcendent is accessed.
Tom Piazza (Why New Orleans Matters)
It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own. You may not appreciate them at first. You may pine for your novel of crude and unadulterated adventure. You may, and will, give it the preference when you can. But the dull days come, and the rainy days come, and always you are driven to fill up the chinks of your reading with the worthy books which wait so patiently for your notice. And then suddenly, on a day which marks an epoch in your life, you understand the difference. You see, like a flash, how the one stands for nothing, and the other for literature. From that day onwards you may return to your crudities, but at least you do so with some standard of comparison in your mind. You can never be the same as you were before. Then gradually the good thing becomes more dear to you; it builds itself up with your growing mind; it becomes a part of your better self, and so, at last, you can look, as I do now, at the old covers and love them for all that they have meant in the past.
Arthur Conan Doyle (Through The Magic Door)
Yeah? How's this?" Claire, in one smooth, fast motion, pulled an arrow from the bag on her shoulder, slotted it home on the string, and pulled the compound bow back to full extension. She was aiming the arrow straight at Morley's crossed hands, over his heart. He laughed. "You aren't serious--" She fired. The arrow went through both of Morley's hands, pinning them to his chest with the fletching at the end. He stared down in shock at the wood piercing his chest, stumbled, and went down to his knees. Then just down, face forward. The arrow stuck up out of his back, like an exclamation point. "I will," Claire said softly, and let the bow rock forward as she reached one-handed for another arrow and notched it home. "I'm not a really good shot, but this is a really small room, so let me make this very clear: the first vampire who tries to lay a hand on either of my friends gets a new piercing, just like Morley. Now, if you need food, I will figure it out. But you don't get to use my friends like vending machines. Are we clear?" Around the room, vampires nodded, casting disbelieving looks at Morley. Even Oliver was staring at her as if he'd never really seen her before. She didn't know why; he'd known she could do it--hadn't he? Or was she different, somehow?
Rachel Caine (Kiss of Death (The Morganville Vampires, #8))
You know," he said with unusual somberness, "I asked my father once why kenders were little, why we weren't big like humans and elves. I really wanted to be big," he said softly and for a moment he was quiet. "What did your father say?" asked Fizban gently. "He said kenders were small because we were meant to do small things. 'If you look at all the big things in the world closely,' he said, 'you'll see that they're really made up of small things all joined together.' That big dragon down there comes to nothing but tiny drops of blood, maybe. It's the small things that make the difference." "Very wise, your father." "Yes." Tas brushed his hand across his eyes. "I haven't seen him in a long time." The kender's pointed chin jutted forward, his lips tightened. His father, if he had seen him, would not have known this small, resolute person for his son. "We'll leave the big things to others," Tas announced finally. "They've got Tanis and Sturm and Goldmoon. They'll manage. We'll do the small thing, even if it doesn't seem very important. We're going to rescue Sestun.
Margaret Weis
Guess what? The Nazis didn't lose the war after all. They won it and flourished. They took over the world and wiped out every last Jew, every last Gypsy, black, East Indian, and American Indian. Then, when they were finished with that, they wiped out the Russians and the Poles and the Bohemians and the Moravians and the Bulgarians and the Serbians and the Croatians--all the Slavs. Then they started in on the Polynesians and the Koreans and the Chinese and the Japanese--all the peoples of Asia. This took a long, long time, but when it was all over, everyone in the world was one hundred percent Aryan, and they were all very, very happy. Naturally the textbooks used in the schools no longer mentioned any race but the Aryan or any language but German or any religion but Hitlerism or any political system but National Socialism. There would have been no point. After a few generations of that, no one could have put anything different into the textbooks even if they'd wanted to, because they didn't know anything different. But one day, two young students were conversing at the University of New Heidelberg in Tokyo. Both were handsome in the usual Aryan way, but one of them looked vaguely worried and unhappy. That was Kurt. His friend said, "What's wrong, Kurt? Why are you always moping around like this?" Kurt said, "I'll tell you, Hans. There is something that's troubling me--and troubling me deeply." His friend asked what it was. "It's this," Kurt said. "I cannot shake the crazy feeling that there is some small thing that we're being lied to about." And that's how the paper ended.' Ishmael nodded thoughtfully. 'And what did your teacher think of that?' 'He wanted to know if I had the same crazy feeling as Kurt. When I said I did, he wanted to know what I thought we were being lied to about. I said, 'How could I know? I'm no better off than Kurt.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
Forest air is the epitome of healthy air. People who want to take a deep breath of fresh air or engage in physical activity in a particularly agreeable atmosphere step out into the forest. There's every reason to do so. The air truly is considerably cleaner under the trees, because the trees act as huge air filters. Their leaves and needles hang in a steady breeze, catching large and small particles as they float by. Per year and square mile this can amount to 20,000 tons of material. Trees trap so much because their canopy presents such a large surface area. In comparison with a meadow of a similar size, the surface area of the forest is hundreds of times larger, mostly because of the size difference between trees and grass. The filtered particles contain not only pollutants such as soot but also pollen and dust blown up from the ground. It is the filtered particles from human activity, however, that are particularly harmful. Acids, toxic hydrocarbons, and nitrogen compounds accumulate in the trees like fat in the filter of an exhaust fan above a kitchen stove. But not only do trees filter materials out of the air, they also pump substances into it. They exchange scent-mails and, of course, pump out phytoncides, both of which I have already mentioned.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World)
A hedgehog flies from the safety of a bush, startling me. It darts past us in a terrible hurry. Kartik nods toward the furry little thing. "Don't mind him. He's off to meet his lady friend." "How can you be sure?" "He has on his best hedgehog suit." "Ah, I should have noticed." I say, happy to be playing this game-any game-with him. I put my hand on the tree's trunk and swing myself around it slowly, letting my body feel gravity's pull. "And why has he worn his best?" "He's been away in London, you see, and now he has returned to her," Kartik continues. "And what if she is angry with him for being away so long?" Kartik circles just behind me. "She will forgive him." "Will she?" I say pointedly. "It is his hope that she will, for he didn't mean to upset her." Kartik answers, and I am no longer sure we speak of the hedgehog. "And is he happy to see her again?" "Yes," Kartik says. "He should like to stay longer, but he cannot." The bark chafes against my hand. "Why is that?" "He has his reasons, and hopes his lady will understand them one day." Kartik has changed direction. He comes around the other side of the tree. We are face to face. A palm of moonglow reaches through the branches to caress his face. "Oh," I say, heart beating fast. "And what would the lady hedgehog say to that?" he asks. His voice soft and low. "She would say..." I swallow hard. Kartik steps closer. "Yes?" "She would say," I whisper, "'If you please, I am not a hedgehog. I am a woodchuck.'" A small smile plays at Kartik's lips. "He is fortunate to have so witty a lady friend," he says, and I wish I could have the moment back again to play differently.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
An attachment grew up. What is an attachment? It is the most difficult of all the human interrelationships to explain, because it is the vaguest, the most impalpable. It has all the good points of love, and none of its drawbacks. No jealousy, no quarrels, no greed to possess, no fear of losing possession, no hatred (which is very much a part of love), no surge of passion and no hangover afterward. It never reaches the heights, and it never reaches the depths. As a rule it comes on subtly. As theirs did. As a rule the two involved are not even aware of it at first. As they were not. As a rule it only becomes noticeable when it is interrupted in some way, or broken off by circumstances. As theirs was. In other words, its presence only becomes known in its absence. It is only missed after it stops. While it is still going on, little thought is given to it, because little thought needs to be. It is pleasant to meet, it is pleasant to be together. To put your shopping packages down on a little wire-backed chair at a little table at a sidewalk cafe, and sit down and have a vermouth with someone who has been waiting there for you. And will be waiting there again tomorrow afternoon. Same time, same table, same sidewalk cafe. Or to watch Italian youth going through the gyrations of the latest dance craze in some inexpensive indigenous night-place-while you, who come from the country where the dance originated, only get up to do a sedate fox trot. It is even pleasant to part, because this simply means preparing the way for the next meeting. One long continuous being-together, even in a love affair, might make the thing wilt. In an attachment it would surely kill the thing off altogether. But to meet, to part, then to meet again in a few days, keeps the thing going, encourages it to flower. And yet it requires a certain amount of vanity, as love does; a desire to please, to look one's best, to elicit compliments. It inspires a certain amount of flirtation, for the two are of opposite sex. A wink of understanding over the rim of a raised glass, a low-voiced confidential aside about something and the smile of intimacy that answers it, a small impromptu gift - a necktie on the one part because of an accidental spill on the one he was wearing, or of a small bunch of flowers on the other part because of the color of the dress she has on. So it goes. And suddenly they part, and suddenly there's a void, and suddenly they discover they have had an attachment. Rome passed into the past, and became New York. Now, if they had never come together again, or only after a long time and in different circumstances, then the attachment would have faded and died. But if they suddenly do come together again - while the sharp sting of missing one another is still smarting - then the attachment will revive full force, full strength. But never again as merely an attachment. It has to go on from there, it has to build, to pick up speed. And sometimes it is so glad to be brought back again that it makes the mistake of thinking it is love. ("For The Rest Of Her Life")
Cornell Woolrich (Angels of Darkness)
A Persian, a Turk, an Arab, and a Greek were traveling to a distant land when they began arguing over how to spend the single coin they possessed among themselves. All four craved food, but the Persian wanted to spend the coin on angur; the Turk, on uzum; the Arab, on inab; and the Greek, on stafil. The argument became heated as each man insisted on having what he desired. A linguist passing by overheard their quarrel. “Give the coin to me,” he said. “I undertake to satisfy the desires of all of you.” Taking the coin, the linguist went to a nearby shop and bought four small bunches of grapes. He then returned to the men and gave them each a bunch. “This is my angur!” cried the Persian. “But this is what I call uzum,” replied the Turk. “You have brought me my inab,” the Arab said. “No! This in my language is stafil,” said the Greek. All of a sudden, the men realized that what each of them had desired was in fact the same thing, only they did not know how to express themselves to each other. The four travelers represent humanity in its search for an inner spiritual need it cannot define and which it expresses in different ways. The linguist is the Sufi, who enlightens humanity to the fact that what it seeks (its religions), though called by different names, are in reality one identical thing. However—and this is the most important aspect of the parable—the linguist can offer the travelers only the grapes and nothing more. He cannot offer them wine, which is the essence of the fruit. In other words, human beings cannot be given the secret of ultimate reality, for such knowledge cannot be shared, but must be experienced through an arduous inner journey toward self-annihilation. As the transcendent Iranian poet, Saadi of Shiraz, wrote, I am a dreamer who is mute, And the people are deaf. I am unable to say, And they are unable to hear.
Reza Aslan (No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam)
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))
There are many, many types of books in the world, which makes good sense, because there are many, many types of people, and everybody wants to read something diferent. For instance, people who hate stories in which terrible things happen to small children should put this book down immediately. But one type of book that practically no one likes to read is a book about the law. Books about the law are notorious for being very long, very dull, and very difficult to read. This is one reason many lawyers make heaps of money. The money is an incentive - the word "incentive" here means "an offered reward to persuade you to do something you don't want to do" - to read long, dull, and difficult books. The Baudelaire children had a slightly different incentive for reading these books, of course. Their incentive was not heaps of money, but preventing Count Olaf from doing something horrible to them in order to get heaps of money. But even with this incentive, getting through the law books in Justice Strauss's private library was a very, very, very hard task. "Goodness," Justice Strauss said, when she came into the library and saw what they were reading. [...] "I thought you were interested in mechanical engineering, animals of North America, and teeth. Are you sure you want to read those enormous law books? Even I don't like reading them, and I work in law.
Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1))
Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God. Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life. The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked. God does not answer vague prayers. The more specific your prayers are, the more glory God receives. Most of us don’t get what we want because we quit praying. We give up too easily. We give up too soon. We quit praying right before the miracle happens. If you don’t take the risk, you forfeit the miracle. Take a step of faith when God gives you a vision because you trust that the One who gave you the vision is going to make provision. And for the record, if the vision is from God, it will most definitely be beyond your means. We shouldn’t seek answers as much as we should seek God. If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you. If your plans aren’t birthed in prayer and bathed in prayer, they won’t succeed. Are your problems bigger than God, or is God bigger than your problems? Our biggest problem is our small view of God. That is the cause of all lesser evils. And it’s a high view of God that is the solution to all other problems. Because you know He can, you can pray with holy confidence. Persistence is the magic bullet. The only way you can fail is if you stop praying. 100 percent of the prayers I don’t pray won’t get answered. Where are you most proficient, most sufficient? Maybe that is precisely where God wants you to trust Him to do something beyond your ability. What we perceive as unanswered prayers are often the greatest answers. Our heavenly Father is far too wise and loves us far too much to give us everything we ask for. Someday we’ll thank God for the prayers He didn’t answer as much or more than the ones He did. You can’t pray for open doors if you aren’t willing accept closed doors, because one leads to the other. Just as our greatest successes often come on the heels of our greatest failures, our greatest answers often come on the heels of our longest and most boring prayers. The biggest difference between success and failure, both spiritually and occupationally, is your waking-up time on your alarm clock. We won’t remember the things that came easy; we’ll remember the things that came hard. It’s not just where you end up that’s important; it’s how you get there. Goal setting begins and ends with prayer. The more you have to circle something in prayer, the more satisfying it is spiritually. And, often, the more glory God gets. I don’t want easy answers or quick answers because I have a tendency to mishandle the blessings that come too easily or too quickly. I take the credit or take them for granted. So now I pray that it will take long enough and be hard enough for God to receive all of the glory. Change your prayer approach from as soon as possible to as long as it takes. Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.
Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears)
The all-powerful Zahir seemed to be born with every human being and to gain full strength in childhood, imposing rules that would thereafter always be respected: People who are different are dangerous; they belong to another tribe; they want our lands and our women. We must marry, have children, reproduce the species. Love is only a small thing, enough for one person, and any suggestion that the heart might be larger than this may seem perverse. When we are married we are authorised to take possession of the other person, body and soul. We must do jobs we detest because we are part of an organised society, and if everyone did what they wanted to do, the world would come to a standstill. We must buy jewelry; it identifies us with our tribe. We must be amusing at all times and sneer at those who express their real feelings; it's dangerous for a tribe to allow its members to show their feelings. We must at all costs avoid saying no because people prefer those who always say yes, and this allows us to survive in hostile territory. What other people think is more important than what we feel. Never make a fuss--it might attract the attention of an enemy tribe. If you behave differently you will be expelled from the tribe because you could infect others and destroy something that was extremely difficult to organise in the first place. We must always consider the look of our new cave, and if we don't have a clear idea of our own, then we must call a decorator who will do his best to show others what good taste we have. We must eat three meals a day, even if we're not hungry, and when we fail to fit the current ideal of beauty we must fast, even if we're starving. We must dress according to the dictates of fashion, make love whether we feel like it or not, kill in the name of our country, wish time away so that retirement comes more quickly, elect politicians, complain about the cost of living, change our hair-style, criticise anyone who is different, go to a religious service on Sunday, Saturday or Friday, depending on our religion, and there beg forgiveness for our sins and puff ourselves up with pride because we know the truth and despise he other tribe, who worship false gods. Our children must follow in our footsteps; after all we are older and know more about the world. We must have a university degree even if we never get a job in the area of knowledge we were forced to study. We must never make our parents sad, even if this means giving up everything that makes us happy. We must play music quietly, talk quietly, weep in private, because I am the all-powerful Zahir, who lays down the rules and determines the meaning of success, the best way to love, the importance of rewards.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
How many winds of doctrine we have known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - thrown from one extreme to the other: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism, and so forth. Every day new sects are created and what Saint Paul says about human trickery comes true, with cunning which tries to draw those into error (cf Ephesians 4, 14). Having a clear Faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas, relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and 'swept along by every wind of teaching', looks like the only attitude acceptable to today's standards. We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires. However, we have a different goal: the Son of God, true man. He is the measure of true humanism. Being an 'Adult' means having a faith which does not follow the waves of today's fashions or the latest novelties. A faith which is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ is adult and mature. It is this friendship which opens us up to all that is good and gives us the knowledge to judge true from false, and deceit from truth.
Benedict XVI
Coddly slammed a fist on the table. “No one will take you seriously if you do not act decisively.” There was a beat of silence after his voice stopped echoing around the room, and the entire table sat motionless. “Fine,” I responded calmly. “You’re fired.” Coddly laughed, looking at the other gentlemen at the table. “You can’t fire me, Your Highness.” I tilted my head, staring at him. “I assure you, I can. There’s no one here who outranks me at the moment, and you are easily replaceable.” Though she tried to be discreet, I saw Lady Brice purse her lips together, clearly determined not to laugh. Yes, I definitely had an ally in her. “You need to fight!” he insisted. “No,” I answered firmly. “A war would add unnecessary strain to an already stressful moment and would cause an upheaval between us and the country we are now bound to by marriage. We will not fight.” Coddly lowered his chin and squinted. “Don’t you think you’re being too emotional about this?” I stood, my chair screeching behind me as I moved. “I’m going to assume that you aren’t implying by that statement that I’m actually being too female about this. Because, yes, I am emotional.” I strode around the opposite side of the table, my eyes trained on Coddly. “My mother is in a bed with tubes down her throat, my twin is now on a different continent, and my father is holding himself together by a thread.” Stopping across from him, I continued. “I have two younger brothers to keep calm in the wake of all this, a country to run, and six boys downstairs waiting for me to offer one of them my hand.” Coddly swallowed, and I felt only the tiniest bit of guilt for the satisfaction it brought me. “So, yes, I am emotional right now. Anyone in my position with a soul would be. And you, sir, are an idiot. How dare you try to force my hand on something so monumental on the grounds of something so small? For all intents and purposes, I am queen, and you will not coerce me into anything.” I walked back to the head of the table. “Officer Leger?” “Yes, Your Highness?” “Is there anything on this agenda that can’t wait until tomorrow?” “No, Your Highness.” “Good. You’re all dismissed. And I suggest you all remember who’s in charge here before we meet again.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
Imagination is not, as some poets have thought, simply synonymous with good. It may be either good or evil. As long as art remained primarily mimetic, the evil which imagination could do was limited by nature. Again, as long as it was treated as an amusement, the evil which it could do was limited in scope. But in an age when the connection between imagination and figuration is beginning to be dimly realized, when the fact of the directionally creator relation is beginning to break through into consciousness, both the good and the evil latent in the working of imagination begin to appear unlimited. We have seen in the Romantic movement an instance of the way in which the making of images may react upon the collective representations. It is a fairly rudimentary instance, but even so it has already gone beyond the dreams and responses of a leisured few. The economic and social structure of Switzerland is noticeably affected by its tourist industry, and that is due only in part to increased facilities of travel. It is due not less to the condition that (whatever may be said about their ‘particles’) the mountains which twentieth-century man sees are not the mountains which eighteenth-century man saw. It may be objected that this is a very small matter, and that it will be a long time before the imagination of man substantially alters those appearances of nature with which his figuration supplies him. But then I am taking the long view. Even so, we need not be too confident. Even if the pace of change remained the same, one who is really sensitive to (for example) the difference between the medieval collective representations and our own will be aware that, without traveling any greater distance than we have come since the fourteenth century, we could very well move forward into a chaotically empty or fantastically hideous world. But the pace of change has not remained the same. It has accelerated and is accelerating. We should remember this, when appraising the aberrations of the formally representational arts. Of course, in so far as these are due to affectation, they are of no importance. But in so far as they are genuine, they are genuine because the artist has in some way or other experienced the world he represents. And in so far as they are appreciated, they are appreciated by those who are themselves willing to make a move towards seeing the world in that way, and, ultimately therefore, seeing that kind of world. We should remember this, when we see pictures of a dog with six legs emerging from a vegetable marrow or a woman with a motorbicycle substituted for her left breast.
Owen Barfield
You don’t know,” I say, exasperated. “That’s why you don’t understand. You don’t know what I used to be like. You don’t know what it was like in my head. I lived in a really dark place,” I say to him. “I wasn’t safe in my own mind. I woke up every morning hoping to die and then spent the rest of the day wondering if maybe I was already dead because I couldn’t even tell the difference,” I say, more harshly than I mean to. “I had a small thread of hope and I clung to it, but the majority of my life was spent waiting around to see if someone would take pity on me.” Kenji is just staring at me, his eyes tight. “Don’t you think I’ve realized,” I say to him, angrier now, “that if I’d allowed myself to get mad a long time ago, I would’ve discovered I had the strength to break through that asylum with my own two hands?” Kenji flinches. “Don’t you think that I think about that, all the time?” I ask him, my voice shaking. “Don’t you think it kills me to know that it was my own unwillingness to recognize myself as a human being that kept me trapped for so long? For two hundred and sixty-four days, Kenji,” I say, swallowing hard. “Two hundred and sixty-four days I was in there and the whole time, I had the power to break myself out and I didn’t, because I had no idea I could. Because I never even tried. Because I let the world teach me to hate myself. I was a coward,” I say, “who needed someone else to tell me I was worth something before I took any steps to save myself. “This isn’t about Adam or Warner,” I tell him. “This is about me and what I want. This is about me finally understanding where I want to be in ten years. Because I’m going to be alive, Kenji. I will be alive in ten years, and I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be strong. And I don’t need anyone to tell me that anymore. I am enough, and I always will be.
Tahereh Mafi
In front of the group was a legless man on a small wheeled trolley, who was singing at the top of his voice and banging two saucepans together. His name was Arnold Sideways. Pushing him along was Coffin Henry, whose croaking progress through an entirely different song was punctuated by bouts of off-the-beat coughing. He was accompanied by a perfectly ordinary-looking manin torn, dirty and yet expensive looking clothing, whose pleasant tenor voice was drowned out by the quaking of a duck on his head. He answered to the name of Duck Man, although he never seemed to understand why, or why he was always surrounded by people who seemed to see ducks where no ducks could be. And finally, being towed along by a small grey dog on a string, was Foul Ole Ron, generally regarded in Ankh-Morpork as the deranged beggars' deranged beggar. He was probably incapable of singing, but at least he was attempting to swear in time to the beat, or beats. The wassailers stopped and watched them in horror. People have always had the urge to sing and clang things at the dark stub of the year, when all sorts of psychic nastiness has taken advantage of the long grey days and the deep shadows to lurk and breed. Lately people had taken to singing harmoniously, which rather lost the affect. Those who really understood just clanged something and shouted. The beggars were not in fact this well versed in folkloric practice. They were just making a din in the well-founded hope that people would give them money to stop. It was just possible to make out consensus song in there somewhere. "Hogswatch is coming, The pig is getting fat, Please put a dollar in the old man's hat If you ain't got a dollar a penny will do-" "And if you ain't got a penny," Foul Ole Ron yodeled, solo, 'Then- fghfgh yffg mfmfmf..." The Duck man had, with great Presence of mind, clamped a hand over Ron's mouth.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
My time in camp with Kaden had become awkward several times, or perhaps I was just more self-conscious now. I had known he cared about me. It was hardly a secret. It was the reason I was still alive, but I hadn’t quite grasped how much he cared. And in spite of myself, I knew in my own way, I cared about him too. Not Kaden the assassin, but the Kaden I had known back in Terravin, the one who had caught my attention the minute he walked through the tavern door. The one who was calm and had mysterious, but kind, eyes. I remembered dancing with him at the festival, his arms pulling me closer, and the way he struggled with his thoughts, holding them back. He didn’t hold back the night he was drunk. The fireshine had loosened his lips and he laid it all out quite blatantly. Slurred and sloshy but clear. He loved me. This from a barbarian who was sent to kill me. I lay back, staring into the cloudless sky, a shade bluer and brighter than yesterday. Did he even know what love was? For that matter, did I? Even my parents didn’t seem to know. I crossed my arms behind my head as a pillow. Maybe there was no one way to define it. Maybe there were as many shades of love as the blues of the sky. I wondered if his interest had begun when I tended his shoulder. I remembered his odd look of surprise when I touched him, as if no one had ever shown him a kindness before. If Griz, Finch, and Malich were any indication of his past, maybe no one had. They showed a certain steely devotion to one another, but it in no way resembled kindness. And then there were those scars on his chest and back. Only cruel savage could have delivered those. Yet somewhere along the way, Kaden had learned kindness. Tenderness, even. It surfaced in small actions. He seemed like he was two separate people, the intensely loyal Vendan assassin and someone else far different, someone he had locked away, a prisoner just like me.
Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
‪‎This‬ letter, is what I needed to read today. Let's share ‪‎Hope‬. We trust you. “Dear Future Me, I hope that today you are the person you always set out to be. I hope you accomplished everything that they said you could never do. How many lives do you change in a day? Do you speak out for what is right, or sit there regretting your silence? I hope you are what I’m not. I hope you speak out with such a voice that everyone around you can hear it even when you aren’t speaking. I want you to have power in the way you speak- giving light into someone’s world filled with darkness. I hope you live as if you are the only one capable of making a difference, and embracing that ability in the best way possible. You don’t need to have your name written in the text of a history book, but you need to live to make your words give life to the ones who thought they didn’t deserve one. When you read this letter, I hope you are somewhere where all of you previous goals can be made accomplishments. I hope you still remember your past, and pass on your story to those who need to hear it most- to show them that they are not alone. I hope you achieved that brighter, happier life you used to daydream about when you were younger. I hope all of your dreams became your reality, and I hope that eventually your nightmares dissolved into the depths of your past- never haunting you again. I hope that you one day took off the mask that hid the truth. That you broke down the barriers you built, and learned to trust someone- really trust them- somewhere along your journey. I hope that you look in the mirror with a small, true smile and be proud of what you see. I hope that you learned to break through the surface of the water drowning you- anxiety. I hope that you now see the world from a whole new perspective, and learned to enjoy the sun more than the rain.. Most of all, I hope you learned to speak. To speak in such a voice that must be heard; a voice that embroiders your words onto a heart that needed them most. I hope you are happy, and teach ones who are like the old you to be happy as well. I hope that today you are the person you always set out to be. Sincerely, Your Past
wnq writers
In the statistical gargon used in psychology, p refers to the probability that the difference you see between two groups (of introverts and extroverts, say, or males and females) could have occurred by chance. As a general rule, psychologists report a difference between two groups as 'significant' if the probability that it could have occurred by chance is 1 in 20, or less. The possibility of getting significant results by chance is a problem in any area of research, but it's particularly acute for sex differences research. Supppose, for example, you're a neuroscientist interested in what parts of the brain are involved in mind reading. You get fifteen participants into a scanner and ask them to guess the emotion of people in photographs. Since you have both males and females in your group, you rin a quick check to ensure that the two groups' brains respond in the same way. They do. What do you do next? Most likely, you publish your results without mentioning gender at all in your report (except to note the number of male and female participants). What you don't do is publish your findings with the title "No Sex Differences in Neural Circuitry Involved in Understanding Others' Minds." This is perfectly reasonable. After all, you weren't looking for gender difference and there were only small numbers of each sex in your study. But remember that even if males and females, overall, respond the same way on a task, five percent of studies investigating this question will throw up a "significant" difference between the sexes by chance. As Hines has explained, sex is "easily assessed, routinely evaluated, and not always reported. Because it is more interesting to find a difference than to find no difference, the 19 failures to observe a difference between men and women go unreported, whereas the 1 in 20 finding of a difference is likely to be published." This contributes to the so-called file-drawer phenomenon, whereby studies that do find sex differences get published, but those that don't languish unpublished and unseen in a researcher's file drawer.
Cordelia Fine (Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference)
I’m also really sorry that I’ve been so rude to you. I’m not normally. I don’t know where all the sarcasm comes from.” Ren raised an eyebrow. “Okay. I have a cynical, evil side that is normally hidden. But when I’m under great stress or extremely desperate, it comes out.” He set down my foot, picked up the other one, and began massaging it with his thumbs. He didn’t say anything, so I continued, “Being cold-hearted and nasty was the only thing I could do to push you away. It was kind of a dense mechanism.” “So you admit you were trying to push me away.” “Yes. Of course.” “And it’s because you’re a radish.” Frustrated, I said, “Yes! Now that you’re a man again, you’ll find someone better for you, someone who complements you. It’s not your fault. I mean, you’ve been a tiger so long that you just don’t know how the world works.” “Right. And how does the world work, Kelsey?” I could hear the frustration in his voice but pressed on. “Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but you could be going out with some supermodel-turned-actress. Haven’t you been paying attention?” Angrily, he shouted, “Oh, yes, indeed I am paying attention! What you are saying is that I should be a stuck-up, rich, shallow, libertine who cares only about wealth, power, and bettering my status. That I should date superficial, fickle, pretentious, brainless women who care more about my connections than they do about me. And that I am not wise enough, or up-to-date enough, to know who I want or what I want in life! Does that sum it up?” I squeaked out a small, “Yes.” “You truly feel this way?” I flinched. “Yes.” Ren leaned forward. “Well, you’re wrong, Kelsey. Wrong about yourself and wrong about me!” He was livid. I shifted uncomfortably while he went on. “I know what I want. I’m not operating under any delusions. I’ve studied people from a cage for centuries, and that’s given me ample time to figure out my priorities. From the first moment I saw you, the first time I heard your voice, I knew you were different. You were special. The first time you reached your hand into my cage and touched me, you made me feel alive in a way I’ve never felt before.” “Maybe it’s all just a part of the curse. Did you ever think of that? Maybe these aren’t your true feelings. Maybe you sensed that I was the one to help you, and you’ve somehow misinterpreted your emotions.” “I highly doubt it. I’ve never felt this way about anyone, even before the curse.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
My conception of freedom. -- The value of a thing sometimes does not lie in that which one attains by it, but in what one pays for it -- what it costs us. I shall give an example. Liberal institutions cease to be liberal as soon as they are attained: later on, there are no worse and no more thorough injurers of freedom than liberal institutions. Their effects are known well enough: they undermine the will to power; they level mountain and valley, and call that morality; they make men small, cowardly, and hedonistic -- every time it is the herd animal that triumphs with them. Liberalism: in other words, herd-animalization. These same institutions produce quite different effects while they are still being fought for; then they really promote freedom in a powerful way. On closer inspection it is war that produces these effects, the war for liberal institutions, which, as a war, permits illiberal instincts to continue. And war educates for freedom. For what is freedom? That one has the will to assume responsibility for oneself. That one maintains the distance which separates us. That one becomes more indifferent to difficulties, hardships, privation, even to life itself. That one is prepared to sacrifice human beings for one's cause, not excluding oneself. Freedom means that the manly instincts which delight in war and victory dominate over other instincts, for example, over those of "pleasure." The human being who has become free -- and how much more the spirit who has become free -- spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free man is a warrior. How is freedom measured in individuals and peoples? According to the resistance which must be overcome, according to the exertion required, to remain on top. The highest type of free men should be sought where the highest resistance is constantly overcome: five steps from tyranny, close to the threshold of the danger of servitude. This is true psychologically if by "tyrants" are meant inexorable and fearful instincts that provoke the maximum of authority and discipline against themselves; most beautiful type: Julius Caesar. This is true politically too; one need only go through history. The peoples who had some value, who attained some value, never attained it under liberal institutions: it was great danger that made something of them that merits respect. Danger alone acquaints us with our own resources, our virtues, our armor and weapons, our spirit, and forces us to be strong. First principle: one must need to be strong -- otherwise one will never become strong. Those large hothouses for the strong -- for the strongest kind of human being that has so far been known -- the aristocratic commonwealths of the type of Rome or Venice, understood freedom exactly in the sense in which I understand it: as something one has and does not have, something one wants, something one conquers
Friedrich Nietzsche
Devaluation of the Earth, hostility towards the Earth, fear of the Earth: these are all from the psychological point of view the expression of a weak patriarchal consciousness that knows no other way to help itself than to withdraw violently from the fascinating and overwhelming domain of the Earthly. For we know that the archetypal projection of the Masculine experiences, not without justice, the Earth as the unconscious-making, instinct-entangling, and therefore dangerous Feminine. At the same time the projection of the masculine anima is mingled with the living image of the Earth archetype in the unconscious of man; and the more one-sidedly masculine man's conscious mind is the more primitive, unreliable, and therefore dangerous his anima will be. However, the Earth archetype, in compensation to the divinity of the archetype of Heaven and the Father, that determined the consciousness of medieval man, is fused together with the archaic image of the Mother Goddess. Yet in its struggle against this Mother Goddess, the conscious mind, in its historical development, has had great difficulty in asserting itself so as to reach its – patriarchal - independence. The insecurity of this conscious mind-and we have profound experience of how insecure the position of the conscious mind still is in modern man-is always bound up with fear of the unconscious, and no well-meaning theory "against fear" will be able to rid the world of this deeply rooted anxiety, which at different times has been projected on different objects. Whether this anxiety expresses itself in a religious form as the medieval fear of demons or witches, or politically as the modern fear of war with the State beyond the Iron Curtain, in every case we are dealing with a projection, though at the same time the anxiety is justified. In reality, our small ego-consciousness is justifiably afraid of the superior power of the collective forces, both without and within. In the history of the development of the conscious mind, for reasons which we cannot pursue here, the archetype of the Masculine Heaven is connected positively with the conscious mind, and the collective powers that threaten and devour the conscious mind both from without and within, are regarded as Feminine. A negative evaluation of the Earth archetype is therefore necessary and inevitable for a masculine, patriarchal conscious mind that is still weak. But this validity only applies in relation to a specific type of conscious mind; it alters as the integration of the human personality advances, and the conscious mind is strengthened and extended. A one-sided conscious mind, such as prevailed in the medieval patriarchal order, is certainly radical, even fanatical, but in a psychological sense it is by no means strong. As a result of the one-sidedness of the conscious mind, the human personality becomes involved in an equally one-sided opposition to its own unconscious, so that actually a split occurs. Even if, for example, the Masculine principle identifies itself with the world of Heaven, and projects the evil world of Earth outwards on the alien Feminine principle, both worlds are still parts of the personality, and the repressing masculine spiritual world of Heaven and of the values of the conscious mind is continually undermined and threatened by the repressed but constantly attacking opposite side. That is why the religious fanaticism of the representatives of the patriarchal World of Heaven reached its climax in the Inquisition and the witch trials, at the very moment when the influence of the archetype of Heaven, which had ruled the Middle Ages and the previous period, began to wane, and the opposite image of the Feminine Earth archetype began to emerge.
Erich Neumann (The Fear of the Feminine and Other Essays on Feminine Psychology)