Straightforward Quotes

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If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.
Stephen Fry
Sonnet XVII I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Pablo Neruda
I love you.” His voice was straightforward, affectionate. “You make me remember who I used to be. You make me want to be that man again. Right now, holding you, I feel like we have a shot at beating all odds and making it together. I’m yours, if you’ll have me.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Silence (Hush, Hush, #3))
The more stupid one is, the closer one is to reality. The more stupid one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence squirms and hides itself. Intelligence is unprincipled, but stupidity is honest and straightforward.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Whereas story is processed in the mind in a straightforward manner, poetry bypasses rational thought and goes straight to the limbic system and lights it up like a brushfire. It's the crack cocaine of the literary world.
Jasper Fforde (First Among Sequels (Thursday Next, #5))
God's definition of what matters is pretty straightforward. He measures our lives by how we love.
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
Love isn’t always smooth or straightforward. It can be messy and painful … Doesn’t mean it isn’t still the most incredible thing that can ever happen to you.
Kylie Scott (Lick (Stage Dive, #1))
Hypocrites get offended by the truth.
Jess C. Scott (Bad Romance: Seven Deadly Sins Anthology)
Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost.
Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy)
When I was young I asked more of people than they could give: everlasting friendship, endless feeling. Now I know to ask less of them than they can give: a straightforward companionship. And their feelings, their friendship, their generous actions seem in my eyes to be wholly miraculous: a consequence of grace alone.
Albert Camus (The First Man)
Pritkin kissed like he did everything else, straightforward, accepting no prisoners and with an intensity that left me breathless. It was hot and hard and desperate, like he was starving for it, and I opened my mouth and took it, because, God.
Karen Chance (Embrace the Night (Cassandra Palmer, #3))
No journey out of grief was straightforward. There would be good days and bad days.
Jojo Moyes (After You (Me Before You, #2))
But my heart isn't simple or straightforward. It's a complicated mess of wants and needs, boys and girls: soft, rough, and everything in between, an ever-shifting precipice from which to fall.
Tess Sharpe (Far From You)
It is a much more straightforward thing to be a dog, and a dog's love, once given, is not reconsidered.
Robin McKinley (Deerskin)
I'm not mean, I'm honest. Nobody is ever straightforward. But sometimes people need to hear the truth.
Jessica Warman (Breathless)
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Pablo Neruda (100 Love Sonnets)
If you are feeling more yourself, there is a problem best addressed immediately," said the queen. "In my nightshirt?" The king wriggled, as ever, out of straightforward obedience. "Your attendants. I have spoken to them. You will speak to them as well." "Ah. They have seen me in my nightshirt." He looked down at his sleeve, embroidered with white flowers. "Not in your nightshirt, though.
Megan Whalen Turner (The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3))
I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgement bar of God that I declared to the world, in the most straightforward language I could summon, that the Book of Mormon is true.
Jeffrey R. Holland
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
Pablo Neruda (100 Love Sonnets)
It's Nathaniel Hawthorne Month in English. Poor Nathaniel. Does he know what they've done to him? We're reading The Scarlet Letter one sentence at a time, tearing it up and chewing on its bones. It's all about SYMBOLISM, says Hairwoman. Every word chosen by Nathaniel, every comma, every paragraph break -- these were all done on purpose. To get a decent grade in her class, we have to figure out what he was really trying to say. Why couldn't he just say what he meant? Would they pin scarlet letters on his chest? B for blunt, S for straightforward?
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
That was our mistake, I think. One of many mistakes. To believe that boys were acting with a logic that we could someday understand. To believe that their actions had any meaning beyond thoughtless impulse. We were like conspiracy theorists, seeing portent and intention in every detail, wishing desperately that we mattered enough to be the object of planning and speculation. But they were just boys. Silly and young and straightforward; they weren't hiding anything.
Emma Cline (The Girls)
It is straightforward—and never mind, for now, about plagues and famines: if God existed, and if he cared for humankind, he would never have given us religion.
Martin Amis (The Second Plane: 14 Responses to September 11)
It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..." "You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?" "No," said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people." "Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy." "I did," said Ford. "It is." "So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't people get rid of the lizards?" "It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want." "You mean they actually vote for the lizards?" "Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course." "But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?" "Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?" "What?" "I said," said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, "have you got any gin?" "I'll look. Tell me about the lizards." Ford shrugged again. "Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happenned to them," he said. "They're completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone's got to say it." "But that's terrible," said Arthur. "Listen, bud," said Ford, "if I had one Altairian dollar for every time I heard one bit of the Universe look at another bit of the Universe and say 'That's terrible' I wouldn't be sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.
Douglas Adams (So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4))
Love isn't always smooth or straightforward. It can be messy and painful," he said. "Doesn't mean it isn't still the most incredible thing that can ever happen to you. Doesn't mean I'm not crazy about you.
Kylie Scott (Lick (Stage Dive, #1))
Nell," the Constable continued, indicating through his tone of voice that the lesson was concluding, "the difference between ignorant and educated people is that the latter know more facts. But that has nothing to do with whether they are stupid or intelligent. The difference between stupid and intelligent people—and this is true whether or not they are well-educated—is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. They are not baffled by ambiguous or even contradictory situations—in fact, they expect them and are apt to become suspicious when things seem overly straightforward.
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer)
I’m staring into chocolate eyes. although my brain is clouded and I’m dizzy, I know enough to register that chocolate is the opposite of blue. I don’t want blue. Blue confuses me too much. Chocolate is straight-forward, easier to deal with.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
There was once a man who lost his shadow. I forget what happened to him, but it was dreadful. As for me, I've lost my own image. I did not look at it often; but it was there, in the background, just as Maurice had drawn it for me. A straightforward, genuine, "authentic" woman, with out mean-mindedness, uncompromising, but at the same time understanding, indulgent, sensitive, deeply feeling, intensely aware of things and of people, passionately devoted to those she loved and creating happiness for them. A fine life, serene, full, "harmonious." It is dark: I cannot see myself anymore. And what do the others see? Maybe something hideous.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Woman Destroyed)
I sometimes think that shame, mere awkward, senseless shame, does as much towards preventing good acts and straightforward happiness as any of our vices can do.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
Can you not see, […] that fairy tales in their essence are quite solid and straightforward; but that this everlasting fiction about modern life is in its nature essentially incredible? Folk-lore means that the soul is sane, but that the universe is wild and full of marvels. Realism means that the world is dull and full of routine, but that the soul is sick and screaming. The problem of the fairy tale is-what will a healthy man do with a fantastic world? The problem of the modern novel is-what will a madman do with a dull world? In the fairy tales the cosmos goes mad; but the hero does not go mad. In the modern novels the hero is mad before the book begins, and suffers from the harsh steadiness and cruel sanity of the cosmos.
G.K. Chesterton
I think my love for books sprang from my need to escape the world I was born into, to slide into another where words were straightforward and honest, where there was clearly delineated good and evil, where I found girls who were strong and smart and creative and foolish enough to fight dragons, to run away from home to live in museums, to become child spies, to make new friends and build secret gardens.
Jesmyn Ward (Men We Reaped)
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; So I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Pablo Neruda (100 Love Sonnets)
Life isn't a straightforward climb up the ladder. It can take a few slips to really gain perspective.
Kate Jacobs
You said a bad driver was only safe until she met another bad driver? Well, I met another bad driver, didn't I? I mean it was careless of me to makes such a wrong guess. I thought you were rather an honest, straightforward person I thought it was your secret pride." "I'm thirty," I said. "I'm five years too old to lie to myself and call it honor." She didn't answer. Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
MY STYLE of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after.
Donald J. Trump (Trump: The Art of the Deal)
I've discovered as I've grown up that life is far more complicated than you think it is when you're a kid. It isn't just a straightforward fairytale.
Rachel McAdams
…there is no straightforward negotiation with a four year old…
John Irving (A Widow for One Year)
For a time I would feel I belonged still to a world of straightforward facts; but the feeling would not last long. Something would turn up to scare it away.
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
-You're simple, straightforward and honest, a little bit on the primitive side, I should think. To interest you a woman would have to... -To lay her cards out on the table.
Tennessee Williams (A Streetcar Named Desire)
When we come to face the entangled vagaries on the chessboard of our life, let us not shrink from using the queen’s gambit to disentwine predictable hassles or diffuse incendiary plots if we want to take control of our being and make our dreams come true, transparent, and straightforward. (”Life with a sea view”)
Erik Pevernagie
There are moments when we resort to senseless formulations and advance absurd claims to hide straightforward feelings.
Elena Ferrante (The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels, #2))
I believe in grey...Some things aren't straightforward. Not everything is true or false, real or imaginary, black or white. It's not that simple.
Em Bailey (Shift)
And what he meant was that maths wasn't like life because in life there are no straightforward answers in the end
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
The art of rap is deceptive. It seems so straightforward and personal and real that people read it completely literally, as raw testimony or autobiography. And sometimes the words we use, nigga, bitch, motherfucker, and the violence of the images overwhelms some listeners. It's all white noise to them till they hear a bitch or a nigga and then they run off yelling "See!" and feel vindicated in their narrow conception of what the music is about.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds; we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretence; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical. Are we still of any use? What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, and straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honesty with ourselves remorseless enough, for us to find our way back to simplicity and straightforwardness?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Letters and Papers from Prison)
When I work, I'm just translating the world around me in what seems to be straightforward terms. For my readers, this is sometimes a vision that's not familiar. But I'm not trying to manipulate reality. This is just what I see and hear.
Don DeLillo
The difference between stupid and intelligent people -- and this is true whether or not they are well-educated -- is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. They are not baffled by ambigous or even contradictory situations -- in fact, they expect them and are apt to become suspicious when things seem overly straightforward.
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer)
They had always fitted together like pieces of an unsolved (and perhaps unsolvable) puzzle- the smoke of her into the solidness of him, the solitariness of her into the gathering of him, the strangeness of her into the straightforwardness of him, the insouciance of her into the restraint of him. The quietness of her into the quietness of him.
Arundhati Roy (The Ministry of Utmost Happiness)
If you are a warrior, decency means that you are not cheating anybody at all. You are not even about to cheat anybody. There is a sense of straightforwardness and simplicity. With setting-sun vision, or vision based on cowardice, straightforwardness is always a problem. If people have some story or news to tell somebody else, first of all they are either excited or disappointed. Then they begin to figure out how to tell their news. They develop a plan, which leads them completely away from simply telling it. By the time a person hears the news, it is not news at all, but opinion. It becomes a message of some kind, rather than fresh, straightforward news. Decency is the absence of strategy. It is of utmost importance to realize that the warrior’s approach should be simple-minded sometimes, very simple and straightforward. That makes it very beautiful: you having nothing up your sleeve; therefore a sense of genuineness comes through. That is decency.
Chögyam Trungpa
Straightforwardness intimidates people. They prefer the veneer, despite what they claim.
Donna Lynn Hope
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way.
Pablo Neruda
Evie," Lillian interupted impatiently, "men expect to be deceived in these matters. They're happiest that way. If one were straightforward with them the whole prospect of marriage would be too alarming, and none of them would ever do it.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
The message of "The Winner Takes It All" is straightforward: It argues that the concept of relationships ending on mutual terms is an emotional fallacy. One person is inevitably okay and the other is inevitably devastated.
Chuck Klosterman (Eating the Dinosaur)
My understanding of magic is fairly straightforward. Hit enemies with a sword until they’re dead. If they rise again, hit them again. Repeat as necessary. It worked against Set.
Rick Riordan
Even the most straightforward of paths could turn out to be more complicated than it seemd at first.
Cameron Dokey
I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, “Kiss me harder,” and “You’re a good person,” and, “You brighten my day.” I live my life as straight-forward as possible.
Rachel C. Lewis
Truth is as straight as an arrow, while a lie swivels like a snake.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The fundamental claim of intelligent design is straightforward and easily intelligible: namely, there are natural systems that cannot be adequately explained in terms of undirected natural forces and that exhibit features which in any other circumstance we would attribute to intelligence.
William A. Dembski (The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent Design)
Dealing with the Hippie is generally straightforward. His childlike nature will usually respond positively to drugs, sex, and/or rock and roll, although in which order these are to be deployed must depend on conditions specific to the moment.
Thomas Pynchon (Inherent Vice)
The people of Ankh-Morpork had a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to entertainment, and while they were looking forward to seeing a dragon slain, they'd be happy to settle instead for seeing someone being baked alive in his own armour. You didn't get the chance every day to see someone baked alive in their own armour. It would be something for the children to remember.
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch #1))
I'm not insane. This is very simple, very straightforward. Provided he doesn't kill me, it's foolproof.
Josh Lanyon (Death of a Pirate King (The Adrien English Mysteries, #4))
Time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible, then one must try to wriggle through by subtle manoeuvres.
Franz Kafka
The cards give you images and symbols to focus your vague intentions and transform them into action. Your will is the magic. In other words, you are the magic. If you can create something in your heart and then act on it to make it happen, that is magic. Very simple, very straightforward—no witches, no spells, and no broomsticks.
Theresa Cheung (Teen Tarot: What the Cards Reveal About You and Your Future)
In spite of myself, I gave a snort. "Just once, I'd like to hear a simple, straightforward prophecy.
Cameron Dokey (Sunlight and Shadow: A Retelling of The Magic Flute)
No journey out of grief was straightforward. There would be good days and bad days. Today was just a bad day, a kink in the road, to be traversed and survived.
Jojo Moyes (After You (Me Before You, #2))
And I found Jesus very disturbing, very straightforward. He wasn't diplomatic, and yet I felt like if I met Him, He would really like me. Don, I can't explain how freeing that was, to realize that if I met Jesus, He would like me. I never felt like that about some of the Christians on the radio. I always thought if I met those people they would yell at me. But it wasn't like that with Jesus.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
Although human beings are incapable of talking about themselves with total honesty, it is much harder to avoid the truth while pretending to be other people. They often reveal much about themselves in a very straightforward way. I am certain that I did. There is nothing that says more about its creator than the work itself.
Akira Kurosawa (Something Like an Autobiography)
I would far prefer to be told simply to go and die. It's straightforward. But people almost never say, "Die!" Paltry, prudent hypocrites!
Osamu Dazai (The Setting Sun)
So, apart from casting runes, what other hobbies do you have? Forbidden rituals, human sacrifices, torturing? –
Simona Panova (Nightmarish Sacrifice)
Nowadays, as before, the public declaration and confession of Orthodoxy is usually encountered among dull-witted, cruel and immoral people who tend to consider themselves very important. Whereas intelligence, honesty, straightforwardness, good-naturedness and morality are qualities usually found among people who claim to be non-believers.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession)
The cure for hatred is straightforward. One should pray for the person toward whom he feels hatred; make specific supplication mentioning this person by name, asking God to give this person good things in this life and the next. When one does this with sincerity, hearts mend. If one truly wants to purify his or her heart and root out disease, there must be total sincerity and conviction that these cures are effective..
Hamza Yusuf (Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart)
From what I could see, the hardwood was just fine. Then again, I'd just see a windmill and an open sky, too, never feeling the need to conquer either. You think it's all obvious and straightforward, this world. But really, it's all in who is doing the looking.
Sarah Dessen (The Moon and More)
Boxing’s not that straightforward,” said Eldric. “You can practice and practice, but the real experience will always be different. Lots of things are like that, actually.
Franny Billingsley (Chime)
Leave it to women to be cryptic rather than straightforward
Kaye Dacus (Ransome's Honor (The Ransome Trilogy, #1))
I appreciate a straightforward apology the way a tone-deaf person enjoys a fine piece of music.
Gillian Flynn (Dark Places)
Money’s supposed to fix problems, not give you more, but I guess life ain’t that straightforward.
Erin Bowman (Vengeance Road (Vengeance Road, #1))
Clothes can suggest, persuade, connote, insinuate, or indeed lie, and apply subtle pressure while their wearer is speaking frankly and straightforwardly of other matters.
Anne Hollander
Things don't just happen, they have reasons. And the reasons have reasons. And the reasons for the reasons have reasons. And then the things that happen make other things happen, so they become reasons themselves. Nothing moves forward in a straight line, nothing is straightforward.
Kevin Brooks (Martyn Pig)
To knot a sentence up properly, it has to be thought out carefully, and revised. New phrases have to be put in; sudden changes of subject must be introducted; verbs must be shifted to unsuspected localities; short words must be excised with ruthless hand; archaisms must be sprinkled like sugar-plums upon the concoction; the fatal human tendency to say things straightforwardly must be detected and defeated by adroit reversals; and, if a glimmer of meaning yet remain under close scrutiny, it must be removed by replacing all the principal verbs by paraphrases in some dead language.
Aleister Crowley (Moonchild (The Dennis Wheatley Library of the Occult))
Not really. My understanding of magic is fairly straightforward. Hit enemies with a sword until they’re dead. If they rise again, hit them again. Repeat as necessary. It worked against Set.
Rick Riordan (The Kane Chronicles (The Kane Chronicles #1-3))
He had imagined Constantinople, had wanted it for Mehmed. It had been simple and straightforward. But now he knew the true cost of things, the murky horrors of the distance between wanting something and getting it.
Kiersten White (Now I Rise (And I Darken Series, #2))
Here’s a straightforward initial idea: rules should not be multiplied beyond necessity. Alternatively stated, bad laws drive out respect for good laws. This is the ethical—even legal—equivalent of Occam’s razor, the scientist’s conceptual guillotine, which states that the simplest possible hypothesis is preferable.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Is it a war we are fighting, a war against health, against life and love? My condition is a torn condition. Every day, the dispensing of existence. I see the face of suffering. Its face is fierce and distant and ancient. There's probably a straightforward explanation for the impossible weariness I feel. A perfectly straightforward explanation. It is a mortal weariness. Maybe I'm tired of being human, if human is what I am. I'm tired of being human.
Martin Amis (Time's Arrow)
Entrepreneurs are always taking feedback, especially from their customers, bankers, workers, and sales force. Without straightforward feedback, entrepreneurs cannot make sound decisions.
Donald J. Trump (Midas Touch)
You better not turn out to be an asshole,” she says quietly. “And you better be done with that guy in Italy,” I reply.
Colleen Hoover (Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5))
The cottage pie was about as wholesome and straightforward as you could get. It was food for winter evenings and happy days. And the salad was rich, complicated, a little bit sweet, and seemed to be trying way too hard to be impressive. We'd both served each other a metaphor.
Alexis Hall (Glitterland (Spires, #1))
He impressed people. Unconsciously. Some people are like that. I'm not. There's something in those people that breaks down all the barriers, because they act completely the way they are, have nothing to hide, never shelter behind anything, are just themselves, straightforward.
Arnaldur Indriðason (Silence of the Grave (Inspector Erlendur #4))
The only education in grief that any of us ever gets is a crash course. Until Caroline had died I had belonged to that other world, the place of innocence, and linear expectations, where I thught grief was a simple, wrenching realm of sadness and longing that graduallu receded. What that definition left out was the body blow that loss inflicts, as well as the temporary madness, and a range of less straightforward emotions shocking in their intensity.
Gail Caldwell (Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship)
A straightforward answer to a straightforward question will move you that much more forward in this world, that much faster.
Loren Weisman
Healing can be a long and winding road or a straightforward march to the finish line.
Alice McCall
Something as straightforward as a difference could lead to something as complex as a breakdown.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
Research has shown that creativity is enhanced when performing straightforward mechanical tasks such as jogging, cooking and driving. Unobstructed thinking time is always useful.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
I’m a straightforward person. I’m going to knock on the door.
Cassandra Clare (Ghosts of the Shadow Market)
There's always more than one interpretation," Orion said from the doorway. Everyone turned to look at him as he came back into the library. "Face it. The Fates speak in riddles because they don't know what the hell they're talking about. If they did, they'd say something straightforward like, 'Orion is the Tyrant and he wants to eat your brains for breakfast' or whatever." Hector's shoulders started bouncing up and down with silent laughter. Lucas turned his head away and tried to stuff down a laugh of his own, but he made the mistake of catching Jason's eye. "Zombie Tyrant," Jason whispered to Lucas, his face turning red with a repressed laugh. "Huzzah death," Lucas whispered back, cracking up. Apparently, that was some kind of inside joke between the Delos boys because all three of them busted out laughing.
Josephine Angelini (Goddess (Starcrossed, #3))
To be pleasant, gentle, calm and self-possessed: this is the basis of good taste and charm in a woman. No matter how amorous or passionate you may be, as long as you are straightforward and refrain from causing others embarrassment, no one will mind. But women who are too vain and act pretentiously, to the extent that they make others feel uncomfortable, will themselves become the object of attention; and once that happens, people will find fault with whatever they say or do; whether it be how they enter a room, how they sit down, how they stand up or how they take their leave. Those who end up contradicting themselves and those who disparage their companions are also carefully watched and listened to all the more. As long as you are free from such faults, people will surely refrain from listening to tittle-tattle and will want to show you sympathy, if only for the sake of politeness. I am of the opinion that when you intentionally cause hurt to another, or indeed if you do ill through mere thoughtless behavior, you fully deserve to be censured in public. Some people are so good-natured that they can still care for those who despise them, but I myself find it very difficult. Did the Buddha himself in all his compassion ever preach that one should simply ignore those who slander the Three Treasures? How in this sullied world of ours can those who are hard done by be expected to reciprocate in kind?
Murasaki Shikibu (The Diary of Lady Murasaki)
It occurred to him that the reason he liked Wednesday and Mr. Nancy and the rest of them better than their opposition was pretty straightforward: they might be dirty, and cheap, and their food might taste like shit, but at least they didn’t speak in clichés. And he guessed he would take a roadside attraction, no matter how cheap, how crooked, or how sad, over a shopping mall any day.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Not that I was obsessive or anything. Au contraire, mon frere. For the record, I would like to point out that it is NOT obsessive to memorize a boy's schedule so that you can accidentally bump into him. It is called being efficient. Why waste time and energy running around town trying to guess where a guy's going to be, when instead, you can actually know? And then you can actually be there. Pretty straightforward stuff, I tend to think.
Jess Rothenberg (The Catastrophic History of You and Me)
I always knew that he would never fall in love again after Mom. In that way, my dad was always easy to understand. He was straightforward and quiet: he walked quietly, spoke quietly; even his anger was quiet. It was his love that was booming. His love was a roaring, vociferous bellow. And after he loved Mom with the strength of the sun, and after the cancer killed her with a gentle gasp, I figured he would be hoarse for the rest of his life and wouldn’t ever want another woman the way he’d wanted her.
Christina Lauren (Love and Other Words)
All the mega corporations on the planet make their obscene profits off the labor and suffering of others, with complete disregard for the effects on the workers, environment, and future generations. As with the banking sector, they play games with the lives of millions, hysterically reject any kind of government intervention when the profits are rolling in, but are quick to pass the bill for the cleanup and the far-reaching consequences of these avoidable tragedies to the public when things go wrong. We have a straightforward proposal: if they want public money, we want public control. It's that simple.
Michael Hureaux-Perez
You think it's all obvious and straightforward, this world. But really, it's all in who is doing the looking.
Sarah Dessen (The Moon and More)
Stupidity is honest and straightforward.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
True communication depends upon our being straightforward with one another... But the best way to communicate may be just to sit without saying anything.
Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice)
Naturally men are drowned in a storm, but it is a perfectly straightforward affair, and the depths of the sea are only water after all.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Does what happened keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self-control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness?
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage)
The rook is my favorite piece," she said. "It's the one that you think you don't have to watch out for. It is straightforward. You keep your eye on the queen, and the knights, and the bishop, because they are the sneaky ones.But it's the rook that often gets you. The straightforward is never quite what it seems.
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
Good manners without sincerity are like a beautiful dead lady,” he remarked on suitable occasion. “Straightforwardness without civility is like a surgeon’s knife, effective but unpleasant. Candor with courtesy is helpful and admirable.
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi (Complete Edition))
Any beautiful mind, full of ideas, would always express itself in the most natural, simple and straightforward way, anxious to communicate its thoughts to others (if this is at all possible) and thus relieve the solitude that he must experience in a world such as this: but conversely, intellectual poverty, confusion and wrong-headedness, clothe themselves in the most laboured expressions and obscure turns of phrase in order to conceal petty, trivial, bland or trite thoughts in difficult and pompous expressions.
Arthur Schopenhauer (The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1)
Seek a man that doesn't ask you to prove your love. Seek a man that will prove God's love.
Shannon L. Alder
To prevent becoming overwhelmed by the world around us, we must, as the ancients practiced, learn how to limit our passions and their control over our lives. It takes skill and discipline to bat away the pests of bad perceptions, to separate reliable signals from deceptive ones, to filter out prejudice, expectation, and fear. But it’s worth it, for what’s left is truth. While others are excited or afraid, we will remain calm and imperturbable. We will see things simply and straightforwardly, as they truly are—neither good nor bad.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage)
He'd assumed that you went to school because you had to learn things, starting off with the easy stuff and moving on to the bigger issues, and once you'd learned them that was it, the way ahead opened up and thereafter life was simple and straightforward. What a joke. The older he got, the more complicated and obscure everything became.
Mary Lawson
It's why I get miffed at all the dashing around in recent zombie films. It completely misses the point; transforms the threat to a straightforward physical danger from the zombies themselves, rather than our own inability to avoid them and these films are about us, not them. There's far more meat on the bones of the latter, far more juicy interpretation to get our teeth into. The first zombie is by comparison thin and one dimensional and ironically, it is down to all the exercise.
Simon Pegg (Nerd Do Well)
I know, brother, that you are a straightforward man, and that you pride yourself on it. But put one question to yourself: why in fact should one tell the truth? What obliges us to do it? And why do we consider telling the truth a virtue? Imagine that you meet a madman, who claims that he is a fish and that we are all fish. Are you going to argue with him? Are you going to undress in front of him and show him that you don't have fins? Are you going to say to his face what you think? Well, tell me!' His brother was silent and Edward went on: 'If you told him the whole truth and nothing but the truth, only what you really thought, you would enter into a serious conversation with a madman and you yourself would become mad. And it is the same way with the world that surrounds us. If I obstinately told a man the truth to his face, it would mean I was taking him seriously. And to take something so unimportant seriously means to become less than serious oneself. I, you see, must lie, if I don't want to take madmen seriously and become one of them myself.
Milan Kundera (Laughable Loves)
I think what's happened, Marlee, is that you've realized the world isn't an addition problem. We tell kids that sometimes. We pretend the world is straightforward, simple, easy. You do this, you get that. You're a good person and try your best, and nothing bad will happen. But the truth is, the world is much more like an algebraic equation. With variables and changes, complicated and messy. Sometimes there's more than one answer, and sometimes there is none. Sometimes we don't even know how to solve the problem. But usually, if we take things step by step, we can figure things out. You just have to remember to factor the equation, break it down into smaller parts.
Kristin Levine (The Lions of Little Rock)
In the long years to come, not only will the people of this island but of the world, wherever the bird of freedom chirps in human hearts, look back to what we've done, and they will say 'do not despair, do not yield...march straightforward.
Winston S. Churchill
So you see, people are rarely the straightforward things we think they are. Even the villains in a story can turn round and surprise us.
Rachel Joyce (The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (Harold Fry, #2))
Sometimes it's not always straightforward, but it's not always confusing either. You just have to respect a person's decisions without disrespecting them.
Temitayo Olami
nothing is straightforward in the world of literary taste.
Lynne Truss (Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation)
[I]n adult literary fiction, stories are there on sufferance. Other things are felt to be more important: technique, style, literary knowingness. Adult readers who do deal in straightforward stories find themselves sidelined into a genre such as crime or science fiction, where no one expects literary craftsmanship. But stories are vital. Stories never fail us, because, as Isaac Bashevis Singer says, "events never grow stale." There's more wisdom in a story than in volumes of philosophy. [Contemporary writers, however,] take up their stories as with a pair of tongs. They're embarrassed by them. If they could write novels without stories in them, they would. Sometimes they do.
Philip Pullman
Science,' said Mr Anders Anders. 'Science, not magic. I told you before: when things are not as they appear to be, it's because they're actually simpler than you think them to be. Things are never as difficult and complicated as folk believe. You'd be surprised just how straightforward and obvious things really are. The secret is in knowing how to look at them the right way.
Robert Rankin (The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse)
This is me knowing that I have to let you go. That no matter how much I love you or how hard we work at this or how badly we both want each other to be happy, we are never going to be the right partners for each other. This is my acceptance that the best things are never straightforward and that I want you to take whatever crooked, twisted path you need to take if it will lead you towards your dreams. This is me knowing that I have to do what’s right. That sometimes the best thing you can do for someone you love is to let them go – to do more, feel more, be more than the person they ever could ever have become by your side.
Heidi Priebe (This Is Me Letting You Go)
It’s just recognizing the fact that we control our thoughts and our thoughts control our lives. This is an extremely simple, totally straightforward concept, but for a lot of people, it’s so alien that it might as well be magic.
Sophia Amoruso (#GIRLBOSS)
The Metropolitan Police has a very straightforward approach to murder investigations, not for them the detective’s gut instinct or the intricate logical deductions of the sleuth savant. No, what the Met likes to do is throw a shitload of manpower at the problem and run down every single lead until it is exhausted, the murderer is caught or the senior investigating officer dies of old age.
Ben Aaronovitch (Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, #3))
Who are you?” Mal asked furiously. “That’s a complicated question.” “Actually, it’s pretty straightforward,” I said, springing to my feet. “But it does require telling the truth. Something you seem thoroughly incapable of.” “Oh, I can do it,” Sturmhond said, shaking water from one of his boots. “I’m just not very good at it.
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
And Cracknut Whirrun?’ asked Drofd. ‘Straightforward. An old man up near Ustred taught me the trick of cracking a walnut in my fist. What you do is—’ Wonderful snorted. ‘That ain’t why they call you Cracknut.’ ‘Eh?’ ‘No,’ said Yon. ‘It ain’t.’ ‘They call you Cracknut for the same reason they gave Cracknut Leef the name,’ and Wonderful tapped at the side of her shaved head. ‘Because it’s widely assumed your nut’s cracked.’ ‘They do?’ Whirrun frowned. ‘Oh, that’s less complimentary, the fuckers. I’ll have to have words next time I hear that. You’ve completely bloody spoiled it for me!
Joe Abercrombie (The Heroes (First Law World, #5))
The cure for hatred is straightforward. One should pray for the person toward whom he feels hatred, making specific supplications that mention this person by name, asking God to give this person good things in this life and the next.
Hamza Yusuf (Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart)
Your mind can grasp intellectual ideas, but it is in the FEELING where the transformation takes place.
Stephen Richards (Ask and the Universe Will Provide: A Straightforward Guide to Manifesting Your Dreams)
At times, the solution to a maze is to reduce it to embers ans walk straight through the ashes." ― Mary Doria Russell, Children of God
Mary Doria Russell
Sometimes hearing the truth takes more courage than speaking the truth.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
There's something very satisfying about numbers. Numbers are what they are. They're very straightforward. Unlike people.
Joy Fielding (Lost)
Rugged and straightforward as he was, there was something in his nature that was purely feminine in its tenderness
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Seven Ways To Get Ahead in Business: 1. Be forward thinking 2. Be inventive, and daring 3. Do the right thing 4. Be honest and straight forward 5. Be willing to change, to learn, to grow 6. Work hard and be yourself 7. Lead by example
Germany Kent
My aim here was much more straightforward and objective — just to see whether I could match income to expenses, as the truly poor attempt to do every day. Besides, I've had enough unchosen encounters with poverty in my lifetime to know it's not a place you would want to visit for touristic purposes; it just smells too much like fear.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America)
And suddenly I rejoiced in the great security of the sea as compared with the unrest of the land, in my choice of that untempted life presenting no disquieting problems, invested with an elementary moral beauty by the absolute straightforwardness of its appeal and by the singleness of its purpose.
Joseph Conrad (The Secret Sharer and Other Great Stories)
America was exhausted. The libertarians had made freedom unbearable, the evangelicals had made faith unbearable, the social justice movement had made equality unbearable, the lawyers had made justice unbearable, loud people in Uncle Sam hats had made patriotism unbearable, and the entirety of capitalism over the last two centuries had made industry unbearable. Americans were sick of all the virtues and ready for a straightforward, no-nonsense villain.
Scott Alexander (Unsong)
My father had the spirit and integrity of a scientist, but he was a salesman. I remember asking him the question "How can a man of integrity be a salesman?" He said to me, "Frankly, many salesmen in the business are not straightforward--they think it's a better way to sell. But I've tried being straightforward, and I find it has its advantages. In fact, I wouldn't do it any other way. If the customer thinks at all, he'll realize he has had some bad experience with another salesman, but hasn't had that kind of experience with you. So in the end, several customers will stay with you for a long time and appreciate it.
Richard P. Feynman
These days my sole desire is that our lives should be simple and straightforward, that all around us there should be peace and cheerfulness, that our way of life should be unostentatious and full of bounty, that our needs should be small and our aims high and our efforts unselfish and our work for others more important than our work for ourselves.
Rabindranath Tagore
Thus it has come about that our theoretical and critical literature, instead of giving plain, straightforward arguments in which the author at least always knows what he is saying and the reader what he is reading, is crammed with jargon, ending at obscure crossroads where the author loses its readers. Sometimes these books are even worse: they are just hollow shells. The author himself no longer knows just what he is thinking and soothes himself with obscure ideas which would not satisfy him if expressed in plain speech.
Carl von Clausewitz
As a rule, we don't like to feel to sad or lonely or depressed. So why do we like music (or books or movies) that evoke in us those same negative emotions? Why do we choose to experience in art the very feelings we avoid in real life? Aristotle deals with a similar question in his analysis of tragedy. Tragedy, after all, is pretty gruesome. […] There's Sophocles's Oedipus, who blinds himself after learning that he has killed his father and slept with his mother. Why would anyone watch this stuff? Wouldn't it be sick to enjoy watching it? […] Tragedy's pleasure doesn't make us feel "good" in any straightforward sense. On the contrary, Aristotle says, the real goal of tragedy is to evoke pity and fear in the audience. Now, to speak of the pleasure of pity and fear is almost oxymoronic. But the point of bringing about these emotions is to achieve catharsis of them - a cleansing, a purification, a purging, or release. Catharsis is at the core of tragedy's appeal.
Brandon W. Forbes (Radiohead and Philosophy: Fitter Happier More Deductive)
We each cope differently with the specter of our deaths. Some people deny it. Some pray. Some numb themselves with tequila. I was tempted to do a little of each of those things. But I think we are supposed to try to face it straightforwardly, armed with nothing but courage.
Lance Armstrong (It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)
Addiction to alcohol is also a neurological phenomenon, the result of a complex set of molecular alterations that take place in the brain when it’s excessively and repeatedly exposed to the drug. The science of addiction is complicated, but the basic idea is fairly straightforward: alcohol appears to wreak havoc on the brain’s natural systems of craving and reward, compromising the functioning of the various neurotransmitters and proteins that create feelings of well-being.
Caroline Knapp (Drinking: A Love Story)
Margaret's attention was thus called to her host; his whole manner as master of the house, and entertainer of his friends, was so straightforward, yet simple and modest, as to be thoroughly dignified. Margaret thought she had never seen him to so much advantage. When he had come to their house, there had been always something, either of over-eagerness or of that kind of vexed annoyance which seemed ready to pre-suppose that he was unjustly judged, and yet felt too proud to try and make himself better understood. But now, among his fellows, there was no uncertainty as to his position. He was regarded by them as a man of great force of character; of power in many ways. There was no need to struggle for their respect. He had it, and he knew it; and the security of this gave a fine grand quietness to his voice and ways, which Margaret had missed before.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
You will never be able to see clearly when people around you distort your view of truth with their own clouded version. You will begin to read into everything incorrectly and find yourself lost in a delusional story stitched together from the crumbs of over analyzed words once spoken, misunderstandings or speculation. Life should not be wasted by collecting clues or piecing together a puzzle about how someone feels. Love is straightforward and it is clearly seen on the cloudiest days of your life. If someone loves you it will be obvious. They won't let you go, until you ask them to.
Shannon L. Alder
But then what do you do?" "I pray for strength." The words were simple, straightforward. Josef pushed against the floor with one foot and the swing moved back and forth, cradling us. "And then you're not afraid anymore?" "No," he replied. "Then I am still afraid. But then I know that God knows I'm afraid, and that is what makes the difference.
Ann Tatlock (I'll Watch the Moon)
You may use a thousand words for a single lie, but the  truth has no twin.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Being the soothsayer of the tribe is a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
Anthon St. Maarten
In my defense, I love the book in a postmodern kind of way where I've always sensed that it contains something that I relate to. I think it's the kind of book that echoes my beliefs and my sentiments and I've always related well to people who have read the book and I've written about the book. You know, I majored in comp lit and it's possible, it's very possible to read a book without reading it in the traditional straightforward manner. You can read about a book, Joe. Do you know what I mean? Do you understand?
Caroline Kepnes (You (You, #1))
Beside her, she can feel each breath he draws. How is it possible to be so close to a person and still not know what you are to each other? With baseball, it's simple. There's no mystery to what happens on the field because everything has a label -- full count, earned run, perfect game -- and there's a certain amount of comfort in this terminology. There's no room for confusion and Ryan wishes now that everything could be so straightforward. But then Nick pulls her closer, and she rests her head on his chest, and nothing seems more important that this right here.
Jennifer E. Smith (The Comeback Season)
I wasn’t reading poetry because my aim was to work my way through English Literature in Prose A–Z. But this was different. I read [in, Murder in the Cathedral by T.S. Eliot]: This is one moment, / But know that another / Shall pierce you with a sudden painful joy. I started to cry. (…)The unfamiliar and beautiful play made things bearable that day, and the things it made bearable were another failed family—the first one was not my fault, but all adopted children blame themselves. The second failure was definitely my fault. I was confused about sex and sexuality, and upset about the straightforward practical problems of where to live, what to eat, and how to do my A levels. I had no one to help me, but the T.S. Eliot helped me. So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language—and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers—a language powerful enough to say how it is. It isn’t a hiding place. It is a finding place.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
I don’t mean to offend, but . . . how did you die? I mean what happened that made Raphael turn you?” Duncan smiled at her. Cyn thought it was the only time she’d really seen him smile. “You’re very straightforward, Ms. Leighton. I admire that. As to your question, I was dying, struck down with so many others during the war.” He caught her eye. “That would be the War of Northern Aggression, the Civil War I believe you call it.
D.B. Reynolds (Raphael (Vampires in America, #1))
While the noble man lives in trust and openness with himself (gennaios 'of noble descent' underlines the nuance 'upright' and probably also 'naïve'), the man of ressentiment is neither upright nor naive nor honest and straightforward with himself. His soul squints; his spirit loves hiding places, secret paths and back doors, everything covert entices him as his world, his security, his refreshment; he understands how to keep silent, how not to forget, how to wait, how to be provisionally self-deprecating and humble. A race of such men of ressentiment is bound to become eventually cleverer than any noble race; it will also honor cleverness to a far greater degree: namely, as a condition of existence of the first importance; while with noble men cleverness can easily acquire a subtle flavor of luxury and subtlety—for here it is far less essential than the perfect functioning of the regulating unconscious instincts or even than a certain imprudence, perhaps a bold recklessness whether in the face of danger or of the enemy, or that enthusiastic impulsiveness in anger, love, reverence, gratitude, and revenge by which noble souls have at all times recognized one another. Ressentiment itself, if it should appear in the noble man, consummates and exhausts itself in an immediate reaction, and therefore does not poison: on the other hand, it fails to appear at all on countless occasions on which it inevitably appears in the weak and impotent.
Friedrich Nietzsche (On the Genealogy of Morals / Ecce Homo)
God's will for your life is not very complicated. Obviously, living a Christlike life is hard work, and what following Jesus entails is not clear in every situation. But as an overarching principle, the will of God for your life is pretty straightforward: Be holy like Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of God.
Kevin DeYoung (Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will)
The United States has 250 Billion tons of recoverable coal reserves - enough to last 100 years even at double the current rate of consumption.' We humans have inhabited the earth for many thousands of years, and now we can look forward to surviving for another hundred by doubling our consumption of coal? This is national security? The world-ending fire of industrial fundamentalism may already be burning in our furnaces and engines, but if it will burn for a hundred more years, that will be fine. Surely it would be better to intend straightforwardly to contain the fire and eventually put it out! But once greed has been made an honorable motive, then you have an economy without limits. It has no place for temperance or thrift or the ecological law of return. It will do anything. It is monstrous by definition.
Wendell Berry
Tibb has admonished me to be careful which road I walked, but in truth no road was simple, straightforward, or, indeed, what it appeared to be at first glimpse. Every path was tricksy, full of turns and twists and blind corners with God-only-knew-what dangers lurching round the bend.
Mary Sharratt (Daughters of the Witching Hill)
A philosopher might have deplored this lack of mental ambition, but only if he was really certain about where his next meal was coming from. In fact Lancre's position and climate bred a hard-headed and straightforward people who often excelled in the world down below. it had supplied the planins with many of their greatest wizards and witches and, once again, the philospher might have marveled that such a four-square people could give the world so many successful magical practitioners, being quite unaware that only those with their feet on rock can build castles in the air.
Terry Pratchett (Carpe Jugulum (Discworld #23; Witches #6))
The straightforward manner is seldom equal to the complications of the good subject. There may never be anything new to say, but there is always a new way to say it, and since, in art, the way of saying a thing becomes a part of what is said, every work of art is unique and requires fresh attention.
Flannery O'Connor
If anything, people without conscience tend to believe their way of being in the world is superior to ours. They often speak of the naïveté of other people and their ridiculous scruples, or of their curiosity about why so many people are unwilling to manipulate others, even in the service of their most important ambitions. Or they theorize that all people are the same—unscrupulous, like them—but are dishonestly playacting something mythical called “conscience.” By this latter proposition, the only straightforward and honest people in the world are they themselves. They are being “real” in a society of phonies.
Martha Stout (The Sociopath Next Door)
This much is already known: for every sensible line of straightforward statement, there are leagues of senseless cacophonies, verbal jumbles and incoherences. (I know of an uncouth region whose librarians repudiate the vain and superstitious custom of finding a meaning in books and equate it with that of finding a meaning in dreams or in the chaotic lines of one's palm . . . They admit that the inventors of this writing imitated the twenty-five natural symbols, but maintain that this application is accidental and that the books signify nothing in themselves. This dictum, we shall see, is not entirely fallacious.)
Jorge Luis Borges (Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings)
MR JEAVONS SAID THAT I liked maths because it was safe. He said I liked maths because it meant solving problems, and these problems were difficult and interesting, but there was always a straightforward answer at the end. And what he meant was that maths wasn’t like life because in life there are no straightforward answers at the end. I know he meant this because this is what he said. This is because Mr Jeavons doesn’t understand numbers. Here
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
Newton Pulsifer had never...as far as he knew, ever believed in anything. It had been embarrassing, because he quite wanted to believe in something, since he recognized that belief was the lifebelt that got most people through the choppy waters of Life. He'd have liked to believe in a supreme God, although he'd have preferred a half-hour's chat with Him before committing himself, to clear up one or two points. He'd sat in all sorts of churches, waiting for that single flash of blue light, and it hadn't come. And then he'd tried to become an official Atheist and hadn't got the rock-hard, self-satisfied strength of belief even for that. And every single political party had seemed to him equally dishonest. .... Then he'd tried believing in the Universe, which seemed sound enough until he'd innocently started reading new books with words like Chaos and Time and Quantum in the titles. He'd found that even the people whose job of work was, so to speak, the Universe, didn't really believe in it and were actually quite proud of not knowing what it really was or even if it could theoretically exist. To Newt's straightforward mind this was intolerable.
Neil Gaiman (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Information about time cannot be imparted in a straightforward way. Like furniture, it has to be tipped and tilted to get it through the door. If the past is a solid oak buffet whose legs must be unscrewed and whose drawers must be removed before, in an altered state, it can be upended into the entryway of our minds, then the future is a king-size waterbed that hardly stands a chance, especially if it needs to be brought up in an elevator. Those billions who persist in perceiving time as the pursuit of the future are continually buying waterbeds that will never make it beyond the front porch or the lobby. And if man's mission is to reside in the fullness of the present, then he's got no space for the waterbed, anyhow, not even if he could lower it through a skylight.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
What did you do?’ I whisper to Aithinne. Aithinne pushes to her feet, dusting off her clothes.‘I redirected its blast away from us so it used its weapon on itself. ’ She scans the destruction.‘Easy.’ ‘Ah, yes,’ I murmur, trying to quell the emotions that rush through me at seeing my childhood home destroyed. ‘Simple’s sibling, Easy. I don’t even want to imagine the levels of chaos that would prompt visits from their cousins Straightforward and Uncomplicated.
Elizabeth May (The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer, #2))
When we look at the undiluted, radical message of Jesus, we see that it was never about wearing a theological label, subscribing to a particular theological structure, or even about becoming a Christian. The undiluted message of Jesus is, and always has been, a straightforward invitation to follow him, and to learn to be like him.
Benjamin L. Corey (Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus)
Our purpose in this life is to live in higher consciousness and to teach others to live in higher consciousness. But the best test to that consciousness is humility, selflessness, and sweetness. When you teach, teach with honesty, truthfulness, and straightforwardness. As a teacher, never compromise. As a man, always compromise. The teacher who compromises is an idiot; a person who does not compromise is an idiot. Because the teacher does not teach for himself, but for the higher consciousness. And higher consciousness will never compromise with lower consciousness. This is a straight law and that has to be considered as a law; that has to be observed as a law.
Yogi Bhajan
If you are not from a particular place the history of that particular place will dwell inside you differently to how it dwells within those people who are from that particular place. Your connection to certain events that define the history of a particular place is not straightforward because none of your ancestors were in any way involved or affected by those events. You have no stories to relate and compare, you have no narrative to inherit and run with, and all the names are strange one that mean nothing to you at all. And it's as if the history of a particular place knows all about this blankness you contain. Consequently if you are not from a particular place you will always be vulnerable for the reason that it doesn't matter how many years you have lived there you will never have a side of the story; nothing with which you can hold the full force of the history of a particular place at bay. And so it comes at you directly, right through the softly padding soles of your feet, battering up throughout your body, before unpacking its clamouring store of images in the clear open spaces of your mind. Opening out at last; out, out, out And shimmered across the pale expanse of a flat defenceless sky. All the names mean nothing to you, and your name means nothing to them.
Claire-Louise Bennett (Pond)
Buffett's methodology was straightforward, and in that sense 'simple.' It was not simple in the sense of being easy to execute. Valuing companies such as Coca-Cola took a wisdom forged by years of experience; even then, there was a highly subjective element. A Berkshire stockholder once complained that there were no more franchises like Coca-Cola left. Munger tartly rebuked him. 'Why should it be easy to do something that, if done well two or three times, will make your family rich for life?
Roger Lowenstein (Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist)
It's amazing what sometimes gets accomplished via an initially jarring but ultimately harmless shift in thinking. Is cutting the organs out of a dead man and stitching them into someone else barbaric and disrespectful, or is it a straightforward operation to save multiple lives? Does crapping into a Baggie while sitting 6 inches away from your crewmate represent a collapse of human dignity or a unique and comic form of intimacy?
Mary Roach (Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void)
She hardly ever began conversations with strangers just to talk. It was not a matter of shyness. For her, a conversation had a straightforward function. How do I get to the pharmacy? or How much does the hotel room cost? Conversation also had a professional function. [...] When she worked as a researcher [...], she had never minded having a long conversation if it was to ferret out facts. On the other hand, she disliked personal discussions, which always led to snooping around in areas she considered private.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2))
Polyamory can feel threatening because it upsets our fairy-tale assumption that the right partner will keep us safe from change. Polyamory introduces the prospect of chaos and uncertainty into what's supposed to be a straightforward progression to bliss. But a healthy relationship must first of all be resilient, able to respond to the changes and complexity life brings. Nor is happiness actually a state of being. It is a process, a side effect of doing other things. The fairy tale tells us that with the right partner, happiness just happens. But happiness is something we re-create every day. And it comes more from our outlook than from the things around us.
Franklin Veaux (More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory)
I write weird stories. I don't know why I like weirdness so much. Myself, I'm a very realistic person. I don't trust anything New Age -- or reincarnation, dreams, Tarot, horoscopes. I don't trust anything like that at all. I wake up at 6 in the morning and go to bed at 10, jogging every day and swimming, eating healthy food. I'm very realistic. But when I write, I write weird. That's very strange. When I'm getting more and more serious, I'm getting more and more weird. When I want to write about the reality of society and the world, it gets weird. Many people ask me why, and I can't answer that. But I recognized when I was interviewing those 63 ordinary people -- they were very straightforward, very simple, very ordinary, but their stories were sometimes very weird. That was interesting.
Haruki Murakami
I'll tell you a secret about fear: it's an absolutist. With fear, it's all or nothing. Either, like any bullying tyrant, it rules your life with stupid blinding omnipotence, or else you overthrow it, and its power vanishes in a puff of smoke. And another secret: the revolution against fear, the engendering of that tawdry despot's fall, has more or less nothing to do with 'courage'. It is driven by something much more straightforward: the simple need to get on with your life.
Salman Rushdie (The Moor's Last Sigh)
The difference between ignorant and educated people is that the latter know more facts. But that has nothing to do with whether they are stupid or intelligent. The difference between stupid and intelligent people—and this is true whether or not they are well-educated—is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. They are not baffled by ambiguous or even contradictory situations—in fact, they expect them and are apt to become suspicious when things seem overly straightforward.
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer)
Sensuality, as long as it is straightforward did not repel him, but this derived sensuality - the sort that classes a mistress among motor-cars if she is beautiful, and among eye-flies if she isn't - was alien to his own emotions . . . It was, in a new form, the old, old trouble that eats the heart out of every civilization: snobbery, the desire for possessions, creditable appendages; and it is to escape this rather than the lusts of the flesh that the saints retreat into the Himalayas.
E.M. Forster (A Passage to India)
An enemy will almost never be anything except an enemy. All one can do with an enemy is defeat him. But and adversary can sometimes become an ally. There is a cost, of course. In all things in life there is a cost. In dealing with an adversary, sometimes the cost paid in power or position. Sometimes the cost is greater. Sometimes the risk is one's future, or even one's life. But in all such situations, the calculation is straightforward: whether or not the potential gain is worth the potential loss. And the warrior must never forget that he and his adversary are not the only ones in that equation. Sometimes, all the universe may hang in the balance.
Timothy Zahn, Star Wars: Thrawn
ABNER Marsh had a mind that was not unlike his body. It was big all around, ample in size and capacity, and he crammed all sorts of things into it. It was strong as well; when Abner Marsh took something in his hand it did not easily slip away, and when he took something in his head it was not easily forgotten. He was a powerful man with a powerful brain, but body and mind shared one other trait as well: they were deliberate. Some might even say slow. Marsh did not run, he did not dance, he did not scamper or slide along; he walked with a straightforward dignified gait that nonetheless got him where he wanted to go. So it was with his mind. Abner Marsh was not quick in word or thought, but he was far from stupid; he chewed over things thoroughly, but at his own pace.
George R.R. Martin (Fevre Dream)
Your choices of which clothes to wear or which soda to drink, where you live, which school to attend and what to study, and of course your profession all say something about you, and it’s your job to make sure that they are an accurate reflection of who you really are. But who are you, really? The imperative “Just be yourself!” seems straightforward enough. (What could be easier than being who you already are?) Yet we often end up blinking in its headlights, perhaps frozen in place by the concomitant notion that we might, if we are not careful, turn into someone else. It’s difficult to move forward when each step could move us further away from the “authentic” self, and so we dither.
Sheena Iyengar (The Art of Choosing)
We have trouble estimating dramatic, exponential change. We cannot conceive that a piece of paper folded over 50 times could reach the sun. There are abrupt limits to the number of cognitive categories we can make and the number of people we can truly love and the number of acquaintances we can truly know. We throw up our hands at a problem phrased in an abstract way, but have no difficulty at all solving the same problem rephrased as a social dilemma. All of these things are expressions of the peculiarities of the human mind and heart, a refutation of the notion that the way we function and communicate and process information is straightforward and transparent. It is not. It is messy and opaque.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
Talking so much you horrify yourself and those around you; talking so little that you almost refuse your own existence: a demonstrates that speech is by no means a straightforward route to connection. If loneliness is to be defined as a desire for intimacy, then included within that is the need to express oneself and to be heard, to share thoughts, experiences and feelings. Intimacy can’t exist if the participants aren’t willing to make themselves known, to be revealed. But gauging the levels is tricky. Either you don’t communicate enough and remain concealed from other people, or you risk rejection by exposing too much altogether: the minor and major hurts, the tedious obsessions, the abscesses and cataracts of need and shame and longing.
Olivia Laing (The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone)
It's too hard to explain,' he said in a petulant mutter. 'If you want a new direction for your life,' she said, 'then for heaven's sake, just pick something out and do it. The world is your oyster, Colin. You're young, wealthy, and you're a *man*.' Penelope's voice turned bitter, resentful. 'You can do anything you want.' He scowled, which didn't surprise her. When people were convinced they had problems, the last thing they wanted to hear was a simple, straightforward solution. 'It's not that simple,' he said. 'It's exactly that simple.' ... She stood, smoothing out her skirts in an awkward, defensive gesture. 'Next time you want to complain about the trials and tribulations of universal adoration, try being an on-the-shelf spinster for a day. See how that feels and then let me know what you want to complain about.' And then, while Colin was still sprawled on the sofa, gaping at her as if she were some bizarre creature with three heads, twelve fingers, and a tail, she swept out of the room. It was, she thought as she descended the outer steps to Bruton Street, quite the most splendid exit of her existence.
Julia Quinn (Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4))
The young man was sincerely but placidly in love. He delighted in the radiant good looks of his betrothed, in her health, her horsemanship, her grace and quickness at games, and the shy interest in books and ideas that she was beginning to develop under his guidance. She was straightforward, loyal, and brave; she had a sense of humour (chiefly proved by her laughing at his jokes); and he suspected, in the depths of her innocently-gazing soul, a glow of feeling that it would be a joy to waken. But when he had gone the brief round of her he returned discouraged by the thought that all this frankness and innocence were only an artificial product. Untrained human nature was not frank and innocent; it was full of the twists and defences of an instinctive guile. And he felt himself oppressed by this creation of factitious purity, so cunningly manufactured by a conspiracy of mothers and aunts and grandmothers and long-dead ancestresses, because it was supposed to be what he wanted, what he had a right to, in order that he might exercise his lordly pleasure in smashing it like an image made of snow.
Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence)
Love is a holy mystery and ought to be hidden from all other eyes, whatever happens. That makes it holier and better. They respect one another more, and much is built on respect. And if once there has been love, if they have been married for love, why should love pass away? Surely one can keep it! It is rare that one cannot keep it. And if the husband is kind and straightforward, why should not love last? The first phase of married love will pass, it is true, but then there will come a love that is better still. Then there will be the union of souls, they will have everything in common, there will be no secrets between them. And once they have children, the most difficult times will seem to them happy, so long as there is love and courage. Even toil will be a joy, you may deny yourself bread for your children and even that will be a joy, They will love you for it afterwards; so you are laying by for your future. As the children grow up you feel that you are an example, a support for them; that even after you die your children will always keep your thoughts and feelings, because they have received them from you, they will take on your semblance and likeness. So you see this is a great duty.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, Kiss me harder, and You’re a good person, and, You brighten my day. I live my life as straight-forward as possible. Because one day, I might get hit by a bus. Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands. But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate. And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care. We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans. We never know when the bus is coming.
Rachel C. Lewis
So what exactly would an ecological detective set loose in an American supermarket discover, were he to trace the items in his shopping cart all the way back to the soil? The notion began to occupy me a few years ago, after I realized that the straightforward question 'What should I eat?' could no longer be answered without first addressing two other even more straightforward questions: 'What am I eating? And where in the world did it come from?' Not very long ago an eater didn't need a journalist to answer these questions. The fact that today one so often does suggests a pretty good start on a working definition of industrial food: Any food whose provenance is so complex or obscure that it requires expert help to ascertain.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
The reason a lot of women can't move on from a relationship or people they love is because they need to know why. Why did this happen? Why did you do this? Why don't you care? Why did you hurt me? Why do you believe this about me? Why did you send me mixed signals? Why are these other people in your life acting like you care? Men have it all wrong. Insecurity is not why a lot of women don't let go. Women have a difficult time letting go because men don't communicate why at the level that women require. They don't back up their words with actions that are not confusing or could be misinterrupted as something else. Until, men learn that their actions and their friends and families reactions can create a questionable doubt about how they feel, they will forever have to deal with the drama they create for themselves.
Shannon L. Alder
So close. He'd get there. Not today, but soon. He had a task to accomplish here, and the sooner he completed it, the sooner he could rejoin his regiment. He wasn't stopping for anything. Except sheep. Blast it. It would seem they were stopping for sheep. A rough voice said, "I'll take care of them." Thorne joined their group. Bram flicked his gaze to the side and spied his hulking mountain of a corporal shouldering a flintlock rifle. "We can't simply shoot them, Thorne." Obedient as ever, Thorne lowered his gun. "Then I've a cutlass. Just sharpened the blade last night." "We can't butcher them, either." Thorne shrugged. "I'm hungry." Yes, that was Thorne--straightforward, practical. Ruthless.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
As Kelly Rae so beautifully demonstrated, boundaries are simply our lists of what’s okay and what’s not okay. In fact, this is the working definition I use for boundaries today. It’s so straightforward and it makes sense for all ages in all situations. When we combine the courage to make clear what works for us and what doesn’t with the compassion to assume people are doing their best, our lives change. Yes, there will be people who violate our boundaries, and this will require that we continue to hold those people accountable. But when we’re living in our integrity, we’re strengthened by the self-respect that comes from the honoring of our boundaries, rather than being flattened by disappointment and resentment.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
You’re absolutely right. You’re absolutely right. It’s staggering how you jump straight the hell into the heart of a matter. I’m goosebumps all over… By God, you inspire me. You inflame me, Bessie. You know what you’ve done? Do you realize what you’ve done? You’ve given this whole goddam issue a fresh, new, Biblical slant. I wrote four papers in college on the Crucifixion—five, really—and every one of them worried me half crazy because I thought something was missing. Now I know what it was. Now it’s clear to me. I see Christ in an entirely different light. His unhealthy fanaticism. His rudeness to those nice, sane, conservative, tax-paying Pharisees. Oh, this is exciting! In your simple, straightforward bigoted way, Bessie, you’ve sounded the missing keynote of the whole New Testament. Improper diet. Christ lived on cheeseburgers and Cokes. For all we know he probably fed the mult—
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
The most dangerous thing of all, and something he wanted to warn me about above all else, the one thing that had consigned whole regiments of unfortunate young people to the twilight world of insanity, was reading books. This objectionable practice had increased among the younger generation, and Dad was more pleased than the could say to not that I had not yet displayed any such tendencies. Lunatic asylums were overflowing with folk who'd been reading too much. Once upon a time they'd been just like you and me, physically strong, straightforward, cheerful, and well balanced. Then they'd started reading. Most often by chance. A bout of flu perhaps, with a few days in bed. An attractive book cover that had aroused some curiosity. And suddenly the bad habit had taken hold. The first book had led to another. Then another, and another, all links in a chain that led straight down into the eternal night of mental illness. It was impossible to stop. It was worse than drugs. It might just be possible, if you were very careful, to look at the occasional book that could teach you something, such as encyclopedias or repair manuals. The most dangerous kind of book was fiction-- that's where all the brooding was sparked and encouraged. Damnit all! Addictive and risky products like that should only be available in state-regulated monopoly stores, rationed and sold only to those with a license, and mature in age.
Mikael Niemi (Popular Music from Vittula)
But you don't come right out there and let somebody hear you say you think they're OK. When it's a girl you're just trying to X it's a different thing, straightforwarder; but like for instance where do you look with your eyes when you tell somebody you like them and mean what you say? You can't look right at them, because then what if their eyes look at you as your eyes look at them and you lock eyes as you're saying it, and then there'd be some awful like voltage or energy there, hanging between you. But you can't look away like you're nervous, like some nervous kid asking for a date or something. You can't go around giving that kind of thing of yourself away. Plus the knowing that the whole fucking thing's not worth this kind of wince and stress: the whole thing's enraging.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
What kind of shit was I? I could certainly play some nasty, unreal games. What was my motive? Was I trying to get even for something? Could I keep on telling myself that it was merely a matter of research, a simple study of the female? I was simply letting things happen without thinking about them. I wasn't considering anything but my own selfish, cheap pleasure. I was like a spoiled high school kid. I was worse than any whore; a whore took your money and nothing more. I tinkered with lives and souls as if they were playthings. How could I call myself a man? How could I write poems? What did I consist of? I was a bush-league de Sade, without his intellect. A murderer was more straightforward and honest than I was. Or a rapist. I didn't want my soul played with, mocked, pissed on; I knew that much at any rate. I was truly no good. I could feel it as I walked up and down on the rug. No good. The worst part of it was that I passed myself off for exactly what I wasn't - a good man. I was able to enter people's lives because of their trust in me. I was doing my dirty work the easy way. I was writing The Love Tale of the Hyena.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
Sometimes we let them treat us badly because we yearn to feel loved and accepted so much that we are willing to do anything to get it. It's very painful to realize that no matter how much you try, you feel like it, do not even want to accept you as you are. When they finally understand you, I regret all that time you've spent pleasing others and you wonder what that is so horrible in you that prevents them even pretend to want.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Play (Dark-Hunter, #5; Were-Hunter, #1))
And just how did you arrive at that remarkable conclusion, Mr. Mayor?" "In a rather simple way. It merely required the use of that much-neglected commodity -- common sense. You see, there is a branch of human knowledge known as symbolic logic, which can be used to prune away all sorts of clogging deadwood that clutters up human language." "What about it?" said Fulham. "I applied it. Among other things, I applied it to this document here. I didn't really need to for myself because I knew what it was all about, but I think I can explain it more easily to five physical scientists by symbols rather than by words." Hardin removed a few sheets of paper from the pad under his arm and spread them out. "I didn't do this myself, by the way," he said. "Muller Holk of the Division of Logic has his name signed to the analyses, as you can see." Pirenne leaned over the table to get a better view and Hardin continued: "The message from Anacreon was a simple problem, naturally, for the men who wrote it were men of action rather than men of words. It boils down easily and straightforwardly to the unqualified statement, when in symbols is what you see, and which in words, roughly translated is, 'You give us what we want in a week, or we take it by force.'" There was silence as the five members of the Board ran down the line of symbols, and then Pirenne sat down and coughed uneasily. Hardin said, "No loophole, is there, Dr. Pirenne?" "Doesn't seem to be.
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
There are two moments in the course of education where a lot of kids fall off the math train. The first comes in the elementary grades, when fractions are introduced. Until that moment, a number is a natural number, one of the figures 0, 1, 2, 3 . . . It is the answer to a question of the form “how many.”* To go from this notion, so primitive that many animals are said to understand it, to the radically broader idea that a number can mean “what portion of,” is a drastic philosophical shift. (“God made the natural numbers,” the nineteenth-century algebraist Leopold Kronecker famously said, “and all the rest is the work of man.”) The second dangerous twist in the track is algebra. Why is it so hard? Because, until algebra shows up, you’re doing numerical computations in a straightforwardly algorithmic way. You dump some numbers into the addition box, or the multiplication box, or even, in traditionally minded schools, the long-division box, you turn the crank, and you report what comes out the other side. Algebra is different. It’s computation backward. When you’re asked to solve
Jordan Ellenberg (How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking)
Women, for their part, are always complaining that we raise them only to be vain and coquettish, that we keep them amused with trifles so that we may more easily remain their masters; they blame us for the faults we attribute to them. What stupidity! And since when is it men who concern themselves with the education of girls? Who is preventing the mothers from raising them as they please? There are no schools for girls—what a tragedy! Would God, there were none for boys! They would be raised more sensibly and more straightforwardly. Is anyone forcing your daughters to waste their time on foolish trifles? Are they forced against their will to spend half their lives on their appearance, following your example? Are you prevented from instructing them, or having them instructed according to your wishes? Is it our fault if they please us when they are beautiful, if their airs and graces seduce us, if the art they learn from you attracts and flatters us, if we like to see them tastefully attired, if we let them display at leisure the weapons with which they subjugate us? Well then, decide to raise them like men; the men will gladly agree; the more women want to resemble them, the less women will govern them, and then men will truly be the masters.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Emile, or On Education)
The problem is that moderates of all faiths are committed to reinterpreting, or ignoring outright, the most dangerous and absurd parts of their scripture—and this commitment is precisely what makes them moderates. But it also requires some degree of intellectual dishonesty, because moderates can’t acknowledge that their moderation comes from outside the faith. The doors leading out of the prison of scriptural literalism simply do not open from the inside. In the twenty-first century, the moderate’s commitment to scientific rationality, human rights, gender equality, and every other modern value—values that, as you say, are potentially universal for human beings—comes from the past thousand years of human progress, much of which was accomplished in spite of religion, not because of it. So when moderates claim to find their modern, ethical commitments within scripture, it looks like an exercise in self-deception. The truth is that most of our modern values are antithetical to the specific teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And where we do find these values expressed in our holy books, they are almost never best expressed there. Moderates seem unwilling to grapple with the fact that all scriptures contain an extraordinary amount of stupidity and barbarism that can always be rediscovered and made holy anew by fundamentalists—and there’s no principle of moderation internal to the faith that prevents this. These fundamentalist readings are, almost by definition, more complete and consistent—and, therefore, more honest. The fundamentalist picks up the book and says, “Okay, I’m just going to read every word of this and do my best to understand what God wants from me. I’ll leave my personal biases completely out of it.” Conversely, every moderate seems to believe that his interpretation and selective reading of scripture is more accurate than God’s literal words. Presumably, God could have written these books any way He wanted. And if He wanted them to be understood in the spirit of twenty-first-century secular rationality, He could have left out all those bits about stoning people to death for adultery or witchcraft. It really isn’t hard to write a book that prohibits sexual slavery—you just put in a few lines like “Don’t take sex slaves!” and “When you fight a war and take prisoners, as you inevitably will, don’t rape any of them!” And yet God couldn’t seem to manage it. This is why the approach of a group like the Islamic State holds a certain intellectual appeal (which, admittedly, sounds strange to say) because the most straightforward reading of scripture suggests that Allah advises jihadists to take sex slaves from among the conquered, decapitate their enemies, and so forth.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
Sophie.” He said her name softly. If her life depended on it, she could not have looked anywhere but into the flat, silver depths of his eyes. She didn’t think it was possible to be more aware of him than she already was, but the next moment proved her wrong. “Darling. I must turn down your offer. I am as astonished as you. But this is a subject upon which I’ve had months to think. You’re intelligent. You suspected my first offer of marriage was based upon my conviction that you would never consent to an affair with me and that it was desperation only for your person that drove me to offer for you.” “And the second upon a need to rescue me.” He nodded. “Far more straightforward, darling, yet hopelessly complex.” She ignored the shiver in her belly. “Meaning?” “I love you.” He reached for the wine and filled the two glasses, though he left them on the table. “I’ve become like you. A hopeless fool who cannot break his vows. And I did make vows to you today.
Carolyn Jewel (Scandal)
Conscious experience is at once the most familiar thing in the world and the most mysterious. There is nothing we know about more directly than consciousness, but it is far from clear how to reconcile it with everything else we know. Why does it exist? What does it do? How could it possibly arise from lumpy gray matter? We know consciousness far more intimately than we know the rest of the world, but we understand the rest of the world far better than we understand consciousness. Consciousness can be startlingly intense. It is the most vivid of phenomena; nothing is more real to us. But it can be frustratingly diaphanous: in talking about conscious experience, it is notoriously difficult to pin down the subject matter. The International Dictionary of Psychology does not even try to give a straightforward characterization: Consciousness: The having of perceptions, thoughts, and feelings; awareness. The term is impossible to define except in terms that are unintelligible without a grasp of what consciousness means. Many fall into the trap of confusing consciousness with self-consciousness—to be conscious it is only necessary to be aware of the external world. Consciousness is a fascinating but elusive phenomenon: it is impossible to specify what it is, what it does, or why it evolved. Nothing worth reading has been written about it. (Sutherland 1989)
David J. Chalmers (The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory (Philosophy of Mind))
The first school shooting that attracted the attention of a horrified nation occurred on March 24, 1998, in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Two boys opened fire on a schoolyard full of girls, killing four and one female teacher. In the wake of what came to be called the Jonesboro massacre, violence experts in media and academia sought to explain what others called “inexplicable.” For example, in a front-page Boston Globe story three days after the tragedy, David Kennedy from Harvard University was quoted as saying that these were “peculiar, horrible acts that can’t easily be explained.” Perhaps not. But there is a framework of explanation that goes much further than most of those routinely offered. It does not involve some incomprehensible, mysterious force. It is so straightforward that some might (incorrectly) dismiss it as unworthy of mention. Even after a string of school shootings by (mostly white) boys over the past decade, few Americans seem willing to face the fact that interpersonal violence—whether the victims are female or male—is a deeply gendered phenomenon. Obviously both sexes are victimized. But one sex is the perpetrator in the overwhelming majority of cases. So while the mainstream media provided us with tortured explanations for the Jonesboro tragedy that ranged from supernatural “evil” to the presence of guns in the southern tradition, arguably the most important story was overlooked. The Jonesboro massacre was in fact a gender crime. The shooters were boys, the victims girls. With the exception of a handful of op-ed pieces and a smattering of quotes from feminist academics in mainstream publications, most of the coverage of Jonesboro omitted in-depth discussion of one of the crucial facts of the tragedy. The older of the two boys reportedly acknowledged that the killings were an act of revenge he had dreamed up after having been rejected by a girl. This is the prototypical reason why adult men murder their wives. If a woman is going to be murdered by her male partner, the time she is most vulnerable is after she leaves him. Why wasn’t all of this widely discussed on television and in print in the days and weeks after the horrific shooting? The gender crime aspect of the Jonesboro tragedy was discussed in feminist publications and on the Internet, but was largely absent from mainstream media conversation. If it had been part of the discussion, average Americans might have been forced to acknowledge what people in the battered women’s movement have known for years—that our high rates of domestic and sexual violence are caused not by something in the water (or the gene pool), but by some of the contradictory and dysfunctional ways our culture defines “manhood.” For decades, battered women’s advocates and people who work with men who batter have warned us about the alarming number of boys who continue to use controlling and abusive behaviors in their relations with girls and women. Jonesboro was not so much a radical deviation from the norm—although the shooters were very young—as it was melodramatic evidence of the depth of the problem. It was not something about being kids in today’s society that caused a couple of young teenagers to put on camouflage outfits, go into the woods with loaded .22 rifles, pull a fire alarm, and then open fire on a crowd of helpless girls (and a few boys) who came running out into the playground. This was an act of premeditated mass murder. Kids didn’t do it. Boys did.
Jackson Katz (Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help)
It's like Romeo & Juliet,' I say. 'You can't separate them. Otherwise, there would be no Shakespeare.' Silence. I decide to be more straightforward. I tell him, 'Nothing frightens me anymore. I am not even afraid to die.' Bussey's eyes, already wide open, grow even wider. My death is the last thing he needs. I have the strange feeling that there are two of me. One observes the conversation while the other does the talking. Everything is abnormal, especially this extreme calm that has taken me over. I try to explain to Bussey that if I decide to die, it will be without bitterness. I know I did everything I possibly could, so it will be respectful farewell. I will bow to life like an actor, who, having delivered his lines, bends deeply to his audience & retires. I tell Bussey that this decision has nothing to do with him, that it is entirely mine. I will choose either to live or to die, but I cannot allow myself to live in the in-between. I do not want to go through life like a ghost. 'Do you think you'll find Danny this way?' Bussey asks. My mind sifts through all available theories on the afterlife. It is as if this metaphysical question has become as real as the air we breathe. Buddhism teaches that life is an eternal cycle without beginning or end. I recall the metaphor: "Our individual lives are like waves produced from the great ocean that is the universe. The emergence of a wave is life, and its abatement is death. This rhythm repeats eternally." Finally I answer Bussey, 'No, I don't think so.' Bussey seems relieved, but I'm more panicky, because I had never thought that I could wind up alone. In my mind, whatever the odds, Danny & I were & would be together forever.
Mariane Pearl (A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Danny Pearl)
There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children's book. The reason for that is that in adult literary fiction, stories are there on sufferance. Other things are felt to be more important: technique, style, literary knowingness. Adult writers who deal in straightforward stories find themselves sidelined into a genre such as crime or science fiction, where no one expects literary craftsmanship. But stories are vital. Stories never fail us because, as Isaac Bashevis Singer says, "events never grow stale." There's more wisdom in a story than in volumes of philosophy. And by a story I mean not only Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk but also the great novels of the nineteenth century, Jane Eyre, Middlemarch, Bleak House and many others: novels where the story is at the center of the writer's attention, where the plot actually matters. The present-day would-be George Eliots take up their stories as if with a pair of tongs. They're embarrassed by them. If they could write novels without stories in them, they would. Sometimes they do. But what characterizes the best of children's authors is that they're not embarrassed to tell stories. They know how important stories are, and they know, too, that if you start telling a story you've got to carry on till you get to the end. And you can't provide two ends, either, and invite the reader to choose between them. Or as in a highly praised recent adult novel I'm about to stop reading, three different beginnings. In a book for children you can't put the plot on hold while you cut artistic capers for the amusement of your sophisticated readers, because, thank God, your readers are not sophisticated. They've got more important things in mind than your dazzling skill with wordplay. They want to know what happens next.
Philip Pullman
Still lying on the ground, half tingly, half stunned, I held my left hand in front of my face and lightly spread my fingers, examining what Marlboro Man had given me that morning. I couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful ring, or a ring that was a more fitting symbol of my relationship with Marlboro Man. It was unadorned, uncontrived, consisting only of a delicate gold band and a lovely diamond that stood up high--almost proudly--on its supportive prongs. It was a ring chosen by a man who, from day one, had always let me know exactly how he felt. The ring was a perfect extension of that: strong, straightforward, solid, direct. I liked seeing it on my finger. I felt good knowing it was there. My stomach, though, was in knots. I was engaged. Engaged. I was ill-prepared for how weird it felt. Why hadn’t I ever heard of this strange sensation before? Why hadn’t anyone told me? I felt simultaneously grown up, excited, shocked, scared, matronly, weird, and happy--a strange combination for a weekday morning. I was engaged--holy moly. My other hand picked up the receiver of the phone, and without thinking, I dialed my little sister. “Hi,” I said when Betsy picked up the phone. It hadn’t been ten minutes since we’d hung up from our last conversation. “Hey,” she replied. “Uh, I just wanted to tell you”--my heart began to race--“that I’m, like…engaged.” What seemed like hours of silence passed. “Bullcrap,” Betsy finally exclaimed. Then she repeated: “Bullcrap.” “Not bullcrap,” I answered. “He just asked me to marry him. I’m engaged, Bets!” “What?” Betsy shrieked. “Oh my God…” Her voice began to crack. Seconds later, she was crying. A lump formed in my throat, too. I immediately understood where her tears were coming from. I felt it all, too. It was bittersweet. Things would change. Tears welled up in my eyes. My nose began to sting. “Don’t cry, you butthead.” I laughed through my tears. She laughed it off, too, sobbing harder, totally unable to suppress the tears. “Can I be your maid of honor?” This was too much for me. “I can’t talk anymore,” I managed to squeak through my lips. I hung up on Betsy and lay there, blubbering on my floor.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
People try to get away from it all—to the country, to the beach, to the mountains. You always wish that you could too. Which is idiotic: you can get away from it anytime you like. By going within. Nowhere you can go is more peaceful—more free of interruptions—than your own soul. Especially if you have other things to rely on. An instant’s recollection and there it is: complete tranquillity. And by tranquillity I mean a kind of harmony. So keep getting away from it all—like that. Renew yourself. But keep it brief and basic. A quick visit should be enough to ward off all < . . . > and send you back ready to face what awaits you. What’s there to complain about? People’s misbehavior? But take into consideration: • that rational beings exist for one another; • that doing what’s right sometimes requires patience; • that no one does the wrong thing deliberately; • and the number of people who have feuded and envied and hated and fought and died and been buried. . . . and keep your mouth shut. Or are you complaining about the things the world assigns you? But consider the two options: Providence or atoms. And all the arguments for seeing the world as a city. Or is it your body? Keep in mind that when the mind detaches itself and realizes its own nature, it no longer has anything to do with ordinary life—the rough and the smooth, either one. And remember all you’ve been taught—and accepted—about pain and pleasure. Or is it your reputation that’s bothering you? But look at how soon we’re all forgotten. The abyss of endless time that swallows it all. The emptiness of all those applauding hands. The people who praise us—how capricious they are, how arbitrary. And the tiny region in which it all takes place. The whole earth a point in space—and most of it uninhabited. How many people there will be to admire you, and who they are. So keep this refuge in mind: the back roads of your self. Above all, no strain and no stress. Be straightforward. Look at things like a man, like a human being, like a citizen, like a mortal. And among the things you turn to, these two: i. That things have no hold on the soul. They stand there unmoving, outside it. Disturbance comes only from within—from our own perceptions. ii. That everything you see will soon alter and cease to exist. Think of how many changes you’ve already seen. “The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)