Social Gathering Quotes

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Standing there on display was painful enough. Now came the truly unfortunate task of socializing.
V.E. Schwab (A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2))
Ah, Sir, a novel is a mirror carried along a high road. At one moment it reflects to your vision the azure skies, at another the mire of the puddles at your feet. And the man who carries this mirror in his pack will be accused by you of being immoral! His mirror shews the mire, and you blame the mirror! Rather blame that high road upon which the puddle lies, still more the inspector of roads who allows the water to gather and the puddle to form.
Stendhal (The Red and the Black)
For our physiology to calm down, heal, and grow we need a visceral feeling of safety. No doctor can write a prescription for friendship and love: These are complex and hard-earned capacities. You don't need a history of trauma to feel self-conscious and even panicked at a party with strangers – but trauma can turn the whole world into a gathering of aliens.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
A capitalist society requires a culture based on images. It needs to furnish vast amounts of entertainment in order to stimulate buying and anesthetise the injuries of class, race, and sex. And it needs to gather unlimited amounts of information, the better to exploit natural resources, increase productivity, keep order, make war, give jobs to bureaucrats. The camera's twin capacities, to subjectivise reality and to objectify it, ideally serve these needs as strengthen them. Cameras define reality in the two ways essential to the workings of an advanced industrial society: as a spectacle (for masses) and as an object of surveillance (for rulers). The production of images also furnishes a ruling ideology. Social change is replaced by a change in images. The freedom to consume a plurality of images and goods is equated with freedom itself. The narrowing of free political choice to free economic consumption requires the unlimited production and consumption of images.
Susan Sontag (On Photography)
A few years ago I heard Jerome Kagan, a distinguished emeritus professor of child psychology at Harvard, say to the Dalai Lama that for every act of cruelty in this world there are hundreds of small acts of kindness and connection. His conclusion: "To be benevolent rather than malevolent is probably a true feature of our species." Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives. Numerous studies of disaster response around the globe have shown that social support is the most powerful protection against becoming overwhelmed by stress and trauma. Social support is not the same as merely being in the presence of others. The critical issue is reciprocity: being truly heard and seen by the people around us, feeling that we are held in someone else's mind and heart. For our physiology to calm down, heal, and grow we need a visceral feeling of safety. No doctor can write a prescription for friendship and love: These are complex and hard-earned capacities. You don't need a history of trauma to feel self-conscious and even panicked at a party with strangers - but trauma can turn the whole world into a gathering of aliens.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Time. Time was and always has been the door. The time that school, work, and social gatherings couldn’t take after the Apocalypse. Distractions ended. Thoughts began. Then thoughts stopped, too, and the universe entered. The true power came during the long nights. Sometimes while watching the stars, sometimes, fearing the lightning and thunder. Sometimes, accepting the energy the universe pushed through their navel when their stomach growled. Soon, no religion or ritual told them to fast, yet they were fasting. Deliberately. The door opened. Secrets came as they inhaled the cosmos, the prana, and not just the air.
Misba (The High Auction (Wisdom Revolution, #1))
The real act of, say, building a friendship or creating a community involves performing a series of small, concrete social actions well: disagreeing without poisoning the relationship; revealing vulnerability at the appropriate pace; being a good listener; knowing how to end a conversation gracefully; knowing how to ask for and offer forgiveness; knowing how to let someone down without breaking their heart; knowing how to sit with someone who is suffering; knowing how to host a gathering where everyone feels embraced; knowing how to see things from another’s point of view.
David Brooks (How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen)
When you are a solitary wolf, you are forced to get directly in touch with the larger reality that doesn’t care about what a society thinks. You must find water and shelter, or you will perish. You have to scavenge and hunt for yourself. Your personality shifts; you must solve problems on the basis of evidence you gather on your own, instead of by paying attention to group perception. You take on the qualities of a scientist or an artist.
Jaron Lanier (Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now)
Putin was a former KGB intelligence officer who’d been stationed in East Germany at the Dresden headquarters of the Soviet secret service. Putin has said in interviews that he dreamed as a child of becoming a spy for the communist party in foreign lands, and his time in Dresden exceeded his imagination. Not only was he living out his boyhood fantasy, he and his then-wife also enjoyed the perks of a borderline-European existence. Even in communist East Germany, the standard of living was far more comfortable than life in Russia, and the young Putins were climbing KGB social circles, making influential connections, networking a power base. The present was bright, and the future looked downright luminous. Then, the Berlin wall fell, and down with it crashed Putin’s world. A few days after the fall, a group of East German protestors gathered at the door of the secret service headquarters building. Putin, fearing the headquarters would be overrun, dialed up a Red Army tank unit stationed nearby to ask for protection. A voice on the other end of the line told him the unit could not do anything without orders from Moscow. And, “Moscow is silent,” the man told Putin. Putin’s boyhood dream was dissolving before his eyes, and his country was impotent or unwilling to stop it. Putin despised his government’s weakness in the face of threat. It taught him a lesson that would inform his own rule: Power is easily lost when those in power allow it to be taken away. In Putin’s mind, the Soviet Union’s fatal flaw was not that its authoritarianism was unsustainable but that its leaders were not strong enough or brutal enough to maintain their authority. The lesson Putin learned was that power must be guarded with vigilance and maintained by any means necessary.
Matt Szajer (The Trump-Russia Hustle: The Truth about Russia's attack on America & how Donald Trump turned Republicans into Putin's puppets)
As long as she lived Stephen never forgot her first impressions of the bar known as Alec's—that meeting-place of the most miserable of all those who comprised the miserable army. That merciless, drug-dealing, death-dealing haunt to which flocked the battered remnants of men whom their fellow-men had at last stamped under; who, despised of the world, must despise themselves beyond all hope, it seemed, of salvation. There they sat, closely herded together at the tables, creatures shabby yet tawdry, timid yet defiant—and their eyes, Stephen never forgot their eyes, those haunted, tormented eyes of the invert. Of all ages, all degrees of despondency, all grades of mental and physical ill-being, they must yet laugh shrilly from time to time, must yet tap their feet to the rhythm of music, must yet dance together in response to the band—and that dance seemed the Dance of Death to Stephen. On more than one hand was a large, ornate ring, on more than one wrist a conspicuous bracelet; they wore jewellery that might only be worn by these men when they thus gathered together. At Alec's they could dare to give way to such tastes—what was left of themselves they became at Alec's. Bereft of all social dignity, of all social charts contrived for man's guidance, of the fellowship that by right divine should belong to each breathing, living creature; abhorred, spat upon, from their earliest days the prey to a ceaseless persecution, they were now even lower than their enemies knew, and more hopeless than the veriest dregs of creation. For since all that to many of them had seemed fine, a fine selfless and at times even noble emotion, had been covered with shame, called unholy and vile, so gradually they themselves had sunk down to the level upon which the world placed their emotions. And looking with abhorrence upon these men, drink-sodden, doped as were only too many, Stephen yet felt that some terrifying thing stalked abroad in that unhappy room at Alec's; terrifying because if there were a God His anger must rise at such vast injustice. More pitiful even than her lot was theirs, and because of them mighty should be the world's reckoning.
Radclyffe Hall (The Well of Loneliness)
After gathering the behavioral data and activities of 700,000 supporters of Stop the Steal, Facebook mapped out the connections among them and began dividing them into ringleaders (those who created content and strategy), amplifiers (prominent accounts that spread those messages), bridgers (activists with a foot in multiple communities, such as anti-vax and QAnon), and finally “susceptible users” (those whose social circles seemed to be “gateways” to radicalism).
Jeff Horwitz (Broken Code: Inside Facebook and the Fight to Expose Its Harmful Secrets)
Yet even before agriculture was fully organized, people across the world – from Japan to Finland and the Americas – were raising monumental structures that were both sacred and social. The temples acted as calendars linked to celestial bodies, and people possibly just gathered there to celebrate successful harvests, then returned to their hunting-foraging life. In south-east Türkiye, at Göbekli Tepe, structures that looked like temples, pillars topped with sculpted foxes, snakes and scorpions, were built by hunter-gatherers who did not yet farm yet already shared religious rites.
Simon Sebag Montefiore (The World: A Family History of Humanity)
In America today, anyone over fifty lives in dread of the Big A—Alzheimer’s disease. Small social gatherings (dinner, cocktail parties, etc.) take on the atmosphere of a segment from NPR’s weekly quiz show “Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me.” That’s the one where guests vie with each other in intense competitions to be the first to come up with the names of such things as the actor playing a role in the latest mini-series everybody is binging on. Almost inevitably, someone will pull out a cellphone to check the accuracy of the person who responded first. Quick, quicker, quickest lest others suspect you of coming down with the initial symptoms of the Big A. Although Alzheimer’s disease is not nearly as common as many people fear, nevertheless worries about perceived memory lapses are increasingly expressed to friends. They are also the most common complaint that persons over fifty-five years of age bring to their doctors. Such memory concerns are often unjustified and arouse needless anxiety. This widespread anxiety has helped create a national pre-occupation with memory and signs of memory failure. One of the reasons for this panic is the confusion in many people’s minds about how we form memories.
Richard Restak (The Complete Guide to Memory: The Science of Strengthening Your Mind)
The 8 Play Personalities The Collector loves to gather and organise, enjoying activities like searching for rare plants, or rummaging around in archives or garage sales. The Competitor enjoys games and sports, and takes pleasure in trying their best and winning. The Explorer likes to wander, discovering new places and things they’ve never seen, through hiking, road tripping and other adventures. The Creator finds joy in making things, and can spend hours every day drawing, painting, making music, gardening and more. The Storyteller has an active imagination and uses their imagination to entertain others. They’re drawn to activities like writing, dance, theatre and role-playing games. The Joker endeavours to make people laugh, and may play by performing stand-up, doing improv, or just pulling a lot of pranks to make you smile. The Director likes to plan, organise and lead others, and can fit into many different roles and activities, from directing stage performances to running a company, to working in political or social advocacy. The Kinesthete finds play in physical activities like acrobatics, gymnastics and free running.
Ali Abdaal (Feel-Good Productivity: How to Do More of What Matters to You)