Strangers Support You More Quotes

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. . . children should draw [a husband & wife] nearer than ever, not separate you, as if they were all yours, and [your husband] had nothing to do but support them. . . . don't neglect husaband for children, don't shut him out of the nursery, but teach him how to help in it. His place is there as well as yours, and the children need him; let him feel that he has his part to do, and he will do it gladly and faithfully, and it will be better for you all. . . . That is the secret of our home happiness: he does not let business wean him from the little cares and duties that affect us all, and I try not to let domestic worries destroy my interest in his pursuits. Each do our part alone in many things, but at home we work together, always. . . . no time is so beautiful and precious to parents as the first years of the little lives given them to train. Don't let [your husband] be a stranger to the babies, for they will do more to keep him safe and happy in this world of trial and temptation than anything else, and through them you will learn to know and love one another as you should.
Louisa May Alcott (Good Wives. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: Being a Sequel to 'Little Women'. With Illustrations by Jessie T. Mitchell)
We read off the ancient Hebrew words, with no idea of what they might mean, and the congregation responds with more words that they don't understand either. We are gathered together on a Saturday morning to speak gibberish to each other, and you would think, in these godless times, that the experience would be empty, but somehow it isn't. The five of us, huddled together shoulder to shoulder over the bima, read the words aloud slowly, and the congregation, these old friends and acquaintances and strangers, all respond, and for reasons I can't begin to articulate, it feels like something is actually happening. It's got nothing to do with God or souls, just the palpable sense of goodwill and support emanating in waves from the pews around us, and I can't help but be moved by it. When we reach the end of the page, and the last "amen" has been said, I'm sorry that' it's over. I could stay up here a while longer. And as we step down to make our way back to the pews, a quick survey of the sadness in my family's wet eyes tells me that I'm not the only one who feels that way. I don't feel any closer to my father than I did before, but for a moment there I was comforted, and that's more than I expected.
Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You)
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite. When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison? Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune. But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born, And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life, And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret. But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written. You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary. And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge, And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge, And all knowledge is vain save when there is work, And all work is empty save when there is love; And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God. And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit, And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching. Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, "He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil. And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet." But I say, not in sleep but in the overwakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass; And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving. Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger. And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine. And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
Jubal shrugged. "Abstract design is all right-for wall paper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation. . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce- render emotional-his audience, each time. These ladies who won't deign to do that- and perhaps can't- of course lost the public. If they hadn't lobbied for endless subsidies, they would have starved or been forced to go to work long ago. Because the ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for 'art' that leaves him unmoved- if he does pay for it, the money has to be conned out of him, by taxes or such." "You know, Jubal, I've always wondered why i didn't give a hoot for paintings or statues- but I thought it was something missing in me, like color blindness." "Mmm, one does have to learn to look at art, just as you must know French to read a story printed in French. But in general terms it's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code like Pepys and his diary. Most of these jokers don't even want to use language you and I know or can learn. . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything- obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence. Ben, would you call me an artists?” “Huh? Well, I’ve never thought about it. You write a pretty good stick.” “Thank you. ‘Artist’ is a word I avoid for the same reasons I hate to be called ‘Doctor.’ But I am an artist, albeit a minor one. Admittedly most of my stuff is fit to read only once… and not even once for a busy person who already knows the little I have to say. But I am an honest artist, because what I write is consciously intended to reach the customer… reach him and affect him, if possible with pity and terror… or, if not, at least to divert the tedium of his hours with a chuckle or an odd idea. But I am never trying to hide it from him in a private language, nor am I seeking the praise of other writers for ‘technique’ or other balderdash. I want the praise of the cash customer, given in cash because I’ve reached him- or I don’t want anything. Support for the arts- merde! A government-supported artist is an incompetent whore! Damn it, you punched one of my buttons. Let me fill your glass and you tell me what is on your mind.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
I know you are more feminine than the other boys. I know you love dresses and flowers and playing with your grandmother’s jewelry. And I love that about you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with who you are, and I will support you no matter what. But I also want to help you understand the world you’re growing up in. You are growing up in a world where many people—your brother, your father, your classmates, your peers, random strangers on the street, you name it—are going to be hostile toward you because of your femininity. People are going to spend most of your life making you feel less than. Knowing that, I want to help you make an informed decision. Would you rather go as a more socially acceptable costume, like a pumpkin or some equally stupid vegetable, thereby avoiding the torment of your peers? Or are you ready to put on a dress and bravely face the world? Whatever you choose, I will support you and love you and hug you when it feels like too much. Okay?”*
Jacob Tobia (Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story)
One day I mentioned to him the desire I had always felt of finding a friend who might sympathize with me, and direct me by his counsel. I said, I did not belong to that class of men who are offended by advice. “I am selfeducated, and perhaps I hardly rely sufficiently upon my own powers. I wish therefore that my companion should be wiser and more experienced than myself, to confirm and support me; nor have I believed it impossible to find a true friend.” “ I agree with you,” replied the stranger, “in believing that friendship is not only a desirable, but a possible acquisition.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (Annotated): The original 1818 version with new introduction and footnote annotations (Austi Classics))
This is textbook Bad Idea. We're driving with a stranger, no one knows where we are, and we have no way of getting in touch with anyone. This is exactly how people become statistics." "Exactly?" I asked, thinking of all the bizarre twists and turns that had led us to this place. Ben ceded the point with a sideways shrug. "Maybe not exactly. But still..." He let it go, and the cab eventually stopped at the edge of a remote, forested area. Sage got out and paid. "Everybody out!" Ben looked at me, one eyebrow raised. He was leaving the choice to me. I gave his knee a quick squeeze before I opened the door and we piled out of the car. Sage waited for the cab to drive away, then ducked onto a forest path, clearly assuming we'd follow. The path through the thick foliage was stunning in the moonlight, and I automatically released my camera from its bag. "I wish you wouldn't," Sage said without turning around. "You know I'm not one for visitors." "I'll refrain from selling the pictures to Travel and Leisure, then," I said, already snapping away. "Besides, I need something to take my mind off my feet." My shoes were still on the beach, where I'd kicked them off to dance. "Hey, I offered to carry you," Sage offered. "No, thank you." I suppose I should have been able to move swiftly and silently without my shoes, but I only managed to stab myself on something with every other footfall, giving me a sideways, hopping gait. Every few minutes Sage would hold out his arms, offering to carry me again. I grimaced and denied him each time. After what felt like about ten miles, even the photos weren't distracting enough. "How much farther?" I asked. "We're here." There was nothing in front of us but more trees. "Wow," Ben said, and I followed his eyes upward to see that several of the tree trunks were actually stilts supporting a beautifully hidden wood-and-glass cabin, set high among the branches. I was immediately charmed. "You live in a tree house," I said. I aimed my camera the façade, answering Sage's objection before he even said it. "For me, not for Architectural Digest." "Thank you," Sage said.
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
Group Therapy Group therapy has been very successful for treating social anxiety, and there are many benefits to it. Members are a source of support for each other and the group allows you to address your fears in a safe environment. Listening to others’ experiences helps you realize the ways in which social anxiety affects you. Group therapy also helps you become more comfortable speaking in front of people and sharing your thoughts. Moreover, it is typically less expensive than one-on-one therapy because group members share the cost. There are also disadvantages to group therapy. You’ll spend less time talking about your own problems than in one-on-one therapy. You might also worry about confidentiality. It is often difficult to trust that strangers aren’t going to talk about your problems outside of the group. If you have this fear, it can be difficult to open up, thus lessening the effectiveness of group therapy.
Heather Moehn (Social Anxiety (Coping With Series))
Montgomery, Alabama. December 1, 1955. Early evening. A public bus pulls to a stop and a sensibly dressed woman in her forties gets on. She carries herself erectly, despite having spent the day bent over an ironing board in a dingy basement tailor shop at the Montgomery Fair department store. Her feet are swollen, her shoulders ache. She sits in the first row of the Colored section and watches quietly as the bus fills with riders. Until the driver orders her to give her seat to a white passenger. The woman utters a single word that ignites one of the most important civil rights protests of the twentieth century, one word that helps America find its better self. The word is “No.” The driver threatens to have her arrested. “You may do that,” says Rosa Parks. A police officer arrives. He asks Parks why she won’t move. “Why do you all push us around?” she answers simply. “I don’t know,” he says. “But the law is the law, and you’re under arrest.” On the afternoon of her trial and conviction for disorderly conduct, the Montgomery Improvement Association holds a rally for Parks at the Holt Street Baptist Church, in the poorest section of town. Five thousand gather to support Parks’s lonely act of courage. They squeeze inside the church until its pews can hold no more. The rest wait patiently outside, listening through loudspeakers. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd. “There comes a time that people get tired of being trampled over by the iron feet of oppression,” he tells them. “There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amidst the piercing chill of an Alpine November.” He praises Parks’s bravery and hugs her. She stands silently, her mere presence enough to galvanize the crowd. The association launches a citywide bus boycott that lasts 381 days. The people trudge miles to work. They carpool with strangers. They change the course of American history.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
tried to go to a counselor, but it was just too weird. Talking to some stranger about my feelings made me want to vomit. I did go to the library, and I learned that behavior I considered commonplace was the subject of pretty intense academic study. Psychologists call the everyday occurrences of my and Lindsay’s life “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs. ACEs are traumatic childhood events, and their consequences reach far into adulthood. The trauma need not be physical. The following events or feelings are some of the most common ACEs: •​being sworn at, insulted, or humiliated by parents •​being pushed, grabbed, or having something thrown at you •​feeling that your family didn’t support each other •​having parents who were separated or divorced •​living with an alcoholic or a drug user •​living with someone who was depressed or attempted suicide •​watching a loved one be physically abused. ACEs happen everywhere, in every community. But studies have shown that ACEs are far more common in my corner of the demographic world. A report by the Wisconsin Children’s Trust Fund showed that among those with a college degree or more (the non–working class), fewer than half had experienced an ACE. Among the working class, well over half had at least one ACE, while about 40 percent had multiple ACEs. This is really striking—four in every ten working-class people had faced multiple instances of childhood trauma. For the non–working class, that number was 29 percent. I gave a quiz to Aunt Wee, Uncle Dan, Lindsay, and Usha that psychologists use to measure the number of ACEs a person has faced. Aunt Wee scored a seven—higher even than Lindsay and me, who each scored a six. Dan and Usha—the two people whose families seemed nice to the point of oddity—each scored a zero. The weird people were the ones who hadn’t faced any childhood trauma. Children with multiple ACEs are more likely to struggle with anxiety and depression, to suffer from heart disease and obesity, and to contract certain types of cancers. They’re also more likely to underperform in school and suffer from relationship instability as adults. Even excessive shouting can damage a kid’s sense of security and contribute to mental health and behavioral issues down the road. Harvard pediatricians have studied the effect that childhood trauma has on the mind. In addition to later negative
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
As we came off, you were moving at the dawdling speed of a small child. A white woman pushed you and said, “Come on!” Many things now happened at once. There was the reaction of any parent when a stranger lays a hand on the body of his or her child. And there was my own insecurity in my ability to protect your black body. And more: There was my sense that this woman was pulling rank. I knew, for instance, that she would not have pushed a black child out on my part of Flatbush, because she would be afraid there and would sense, if not know, that there would be a penalty for such an action. But I was not out on my part of Flatbush. And I was not in West Baltimore. And I was far from The Mecca. I forgot all of that. I was only aware that someone had invoked their right over the body of my son. I turned and spoke to this woman, and my words were hot with all of the moment and all of my history. She shrunk back, shocked. A white man standing nearby spoke up in her defense. I experienced this as his attempt to rescue the damsel from the beast. He had made no such attempt on behalf of my son. And he was now supported by other white people in the assembling crowd. The man came closer. He grew louder. I pushed him away. He said, “I could have you arrested!” I did not care. I told him this, and the desire to do much more was hot in my throat. This desire was only controllable because I remembered someone standing off to the side there, bearing witness to
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
So you hook up with strangers?" Liam asked in a hushed whisper as the cashier rang up their order. "Were you with someone last night?" "Yes. His name is Max." She pulled out her phone. "I have a selfie of us together." She held it up for the cashier to see, keeping the screen away from Liam's line of vision. "Oh, he's gorgeous," the cashier said. "He's got the nicest eyes." "Let me see." Liam felt his protective instincts rise. "Who is he? Max who?" "He doesn't have a last name." "Jesus Christ, Daisy," he spluttered. "Does Sanjay know you do this? What about your dad?" "They know all about Max," Daisy said. "In fact, my dad took a picture of us cuddled together in bed the night before he left on his trip, and the cutest one of Max on my pillow. I bought some pajamas but he refused to wear them. He likes to sleep au naturel." Bile rose in Liam's throat. "And your dad took... pictures?" "Photography is his new hobby. He took some great shots when I was giving Max a bath..." "Stop." Liam held up a hand. "Just... I can't. I don't know what's happened to you, but it ends now. We're engaged and that means no more random hookups, no pornographic pictures, and no flashing pictures of strangers in the nude." "Amina doesn't mind. She's my second cousin." Daisy introduced them before turning her phone around. "And this is Max." Liam was a heartbeat away from shutting his eyes when his brain registered the picture of a fluffy white dog on a pink duvet. His tension left him in a rush. "Max is a dog." "He's a Westie. Layla got him for me as an emotional support dog at a bad time in my life." Liam bit back the urge to ask Daisy about a time so bad she'd needed extra love. It was her business, and he could only hope she would tell him when she was ready so he could offer his support. "That wasn't funny." "Amina and I were amused." "I heard you were engaged." Amina's gaze flicked to Liam and she blushed. "He's almost as cute as Max.
Sara Desai (The Dating Plan (Marriage Game, #2))
Sophie!” Val spotted her first and abandoned all ceremony to wrap his arms around her. “Sophie Windham, I have missed you and missed you.” He held her tightly, so tightly Sophie could hide her face against his shoulder and swallow back the lump abruptly forming in her throat. “I have a new étude for you to listen to. It’s based on parallel sixths and contrary motion—it’s quite good fun.” He stepped back, his smile so dear Sophie wanted to hug him all over again, but St. Just elbowed Val aside. “Long lost sister, where have you been?” His hug was gentler but no less welcome. “I’ve traveled half the length of England to see you, you know.” He kissed her cheek, and Sophie felt a blush creeping up her neck. “You did not. You’ve come south because Emmie said you must, and you want to check on your ladies out in Surrey.” Westhaven waited until St. Just had released her. “I wanted to check on you.” His hug was the gentlest of all. “But you were not where you were supposed to be, Sophie. You have some explaining to do if we’re to get the story straight before we face Her Grace.” The simple fact of his support undid her. Sophie pressed her face to his shoulder and felt a tear leak from her eye. “I have missed you so, missed all of you so much.” Westhaven patted her back while Valentine stuffed a cold, wrinkled handkerchief into her hand. “We’ve made her cry.” St. Just did not sound happy. “I’m just…” Sophie stepped away from Westhaven and dabbed at her eyes. “I’m a little fatigued is all. I’ve been doing some baking, and the holidays are never without some challenges, and then there’s the baby—” “What baby?” All three men spoke—shouted, more nearly—as one. “Keep your voices down, please,” Sophie hissed. “Kit isn’t used to strangers, and if he’s overset, I’ll be all night dealing with him.” “And behold, a virgin shall conceive,” Val muttered as Sophie passed him back his handkerchief. St. Just shoved him on the shoulder. “That isn’t helping.” Westhaven went to the stove and took the kettle from the hob. “What baby, Sophie? And perhaps you might share some of this baking you’ve been doing. The day was long and cold, and our brothers grow testy if denied their victuals too long.” He sent her a smile, an it-will-be-all-right smile that had comforted her on many an occasion. Westhaven was sensible. It was his surpassing gift to be sensible, but Sophie found no solace from it now. She had not been sensible, and worse yet, she did not regret the lapse. She would, however, regret very much if the lapse did not remain private. “The tweenie was anticipating an interesting event, wasn’t she?” Westhaven asked as he assembled a tea tray. While Sophie took a seat at the table, St. Just hiked himself onto a counter, and Val took the other bench. “Joleen,” Sophie said. “Her interesting event is six months old, a thriving healthy child named… Westhaven, what are you doing?” “He’s making sure he gets something to eat under the guise of looking after his siblings,” St. Just said, pushing off the counter. “Next, he’ll fetch the cream from the window box while I make us some sandwiches. Valentine find us a cloth for the table.” “At once, Colonel.” Val snapped a salute and sauntered off in the direction of the butler’s pantry, while Westhaven headed for the colder reaches of the back hallway. “You
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
Growing up I had been ambivalent about being Chinese, occasionally taking pride in my ancestry but more often ignoring it because I disliked the way that Caucasians reacted to my Chineseness. It bothered me that my almond-shaped eyes and straight black hair struck people as “cute” when I was a toddler and that as I grew older I was always being asked, even by strangers, “What is your nationality?”—as if only Caucasians or immigrants from Europe could be Americans. So I would put them in their place by telling them that I was born in the United States and therefore my nationality is U.S. Then I would add, “If you want to know my ethnicity, my parents immigrated from southern China.” Whereupon they would exclaim, “But you speak English so well!” knowing full well that I had lived in the United States and had gone to American schools all my life. I hated being viewed as “exotic.” When I was a kid, it meant being identified with Fu Manchu, the sinister movie character created by Sax Rohmer who in the popular imagination represented the “yellow peril” threatening Western culture. When I was in college, I wanted to scream when people came up to me and said I reminded them of Madame Chiang Kai-shek, a Wellesley College graduate from a wealthy Chinese family, who was constantly touring the country seeking support for her dictator husband in the Kuomintang’s struggles against the Japanese and the Chinese Communists. Even though I was too ignorant and politically unaware to take sides in the civil war in China, I knew enough to recognize that I was being stereotyped. When I was asked to wear Chinese dress and speak about China at a meeting or a social function, I would decline because of my ignorance of things Chinese and also because the only Chinese outfit I owned was the one my mother wore on her arrival in this country.
Grace Lee Boggs (Living for Change: An Autobiography)
PARTIES, CONFERENCES AND NETWORKING EVENTS. You’ve got to be honest with yourself; this was the actual lesson you’ve been dreading, only if you are a natural extrovert, there are some things that are more stressful than going to parties and other networking activities. Today is going to be a bit tough, so you are going to have to be tougher. This is where all the lessons you’ve learnt so far will pay off. When you’re in a party, a conference or networking event, you are likely to hold one of four possible roles. How you react to the event will depend on this role. The possibilities include: Host/Greeter. Guest. Networker. Support. People will definitely come to you if you’re in the first category, making introduction moderately easy and opportunities for small talk plentiful. You may be in charge of giving a presentation or attending to a table at a convention or any similar event. Make sure to create eye contact and smile at strangers to acknowledge them, someone will approach you in no time. Topics that may outstand may include how successful the turnout was or other positive factors that craved out of the event. If you happen to be a guest or a visitor, the challenge is on you to approach and kick start conversations. The golden rule for breaking ice at events and starting small talks ate networking arena are remarkably the same. You have to keep one thing in mind; everyone attends a party with the intention of meeting a new person and talking with them. So, if you find out that your introduction is not so much an imposition as making it up to meet new people, you will find it much compelling and easy. Your best topics in this case are basically probing enquires about what brings your other party to the event and if you have mutual acquaintances. Your own work as a networker is a little bit different from being a host or guest. As a networker, you have to join groups, or even groups of groups in a cohesive way. You may need to go in to many conversations in the middle. The best way to go about this is to smile or enthusiastically go with something that was just said. When this is done, be careful not to shoehorn your conversation topics in to small talks, but try to carefully merge in to each of them as if you’re approaching from a highway on- ramp. Support is the final role, and the sad part about this is that you might find yourself at the end catering an event or working as a neutral staff. Even with that, you may still create opportunities for personal networking or even very revealing small talks during the course of the event. Conversation with other staff, special guests or even the host can turn out to invaluable connections that you can make use of later. With this at the back of your mind, always prepare for short conversations when you’re working an event just as seriously as if you were attending the event as a special guest. Maybe you’re not that kind of person that can withstand large crowd, take a break to regain who you are and review the topical assessments you prepared in the previous lessons. Don’t forget to excuse yourself so you can move around in the event centre on a regular basis, perhaps going for another role you think you’re capable of. This particular aspect does not have any other way to go about it. In fact, it might take the next 5 days before you put the whole concept together, and you may need to combine the zeal with tomorrow’s lesson. Now, you should go for a party or be the host to one yourself so you can utilize all these principles you learnt today. There’s no way to wave this, you have to learn it and be perfect. Bring your partner who has been your support all this while along to tackle the four roles and many more within the time frame. Until then, maintain the free flow with ease.
Jack Steel (Communication: Critical Conversation: 30 Days To Master Small Talk With Anyone: Build Unbreakable Confidence, Eliminate Your Fears And Become A Social Powerhouse – PERMANENTLY)
I raised the very general topic of relations with the royal family, based on what I’d been reading in the English newspapers since I’d arrived. Diana said that the widely held belief that the Queen Mother had guided her during the period of her engagement was “completely untrue.” She’d received virtually no support or advice from the royal family, ever. I laughed when Diana good-naturedly referred to the royal family as “that lot.” She went on, “They never praise you when you do something right, but they certainly let you know when you’ve done something wrong. Diana proceeded to say that she had “little use for the upper classes.” This comment intrigued me, since she’d been born and raised among the aristocracy. Her attitude marked a true departure from her past. Diana found “ordinary people so much more real.” She loved her contact with people and related two incidents as examples. She had recently been driving her own car in London and had stopped for a traffic light. A total stranger recognized her, walked over, and immediately told her how worried he was about his wife’s illness. Diana was sympathetic to his anxiety and touched by his need. To me, this story demonstrated how sincerely her compassion for others came across. A complete stranger felt comfortable speaking to her about his deepest worry and she responded with natural concern.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
he asked them. “Too long. Don’t be such a stranger. Stop by if you’re in our neighborhood. We would love to sit and chat. We can talk about the good old days and we got lots of pictures and stories from Tuscany.” “Will do. Enjoy the evening.” Jack turned and was face to face with their daughter, Patti. “Hi, Jack,” she whispered. “Great to see you again,” she said and kissed him on the cheek. “It was so good to talk with you the other day. It meant a lot to see you.” He watched her as she started to walk away and turned to him and say, “I wanted to let you know that after we talked I gave my husband a phone call. Eric and I decided to get back together. We’ve shared a lot of history, and we’re at least going to give it one last try to see if we can make it work. Thanks for everything, Jack. Bye.” She kissed him on the cheek. Jack saw Hope walking across the floor. “She’s pretty. Who was that?” glancing at Patti walk away. “An old and dear friend. Both Charley and I had a crush on her when we were younger. I’ll introduce you to her and her mom and dad later. You’ll like her.” More people filed inside to an already full hall. Soon it was standing room only. Jack turned to Hope and whispered, “I can’t believe this. We’ve had over twenty businesses make donations to the veterans’ fund to help support job training and for overseas servicemen’s wives and families. We also got money from the Yankee Bookshop, the Woodstock Inn, the Billings Farm Museum, the bank, and Bentleys Restaurant. They all donated money.” “That’s great,” she said excitedly. “And we’ve received over thirty new membership requests for the Veterans Post and that’s just yesterday. This is better than I ever expected. And four companies have committed to hiring more vets locally, including King Arthur Flour Company. They’re planning to build a new distribution center just west of town. I can’t believe all of this is happening.” “You should,” Hope said. “I remember you sat down right over there at that table and laid out what you wanted to see happen and you kept working on it until it did. I’m so proud of you.” He hugged her close and kissed her. He never wanted to let her go. The distinct fragrance of fresh balsam, pine, and holly filled
Bryan Mooney (Christmas in Vermont: A Very White Christmas)
Jeremy, wait!” she called, bending over to catch her breath. When Jeremy saw her, he picked up his pace and hurried toward the crosswalk. Madison threw her head back and moaned, “I can’t keep up! Please stop.” At the intersection, he had to stop to wait for the traffic light, and she stumbled off the curb and stood in front of him, clutching her side. “Please listen for one minute,” she gasped. “I know that the Homecoming disaster wasn’t your fault. I know you didn’t put up those awful photos. And I am so ashamed for jumping to conclusions about you, and not ever giving you a chance to explain.” Jeremy opened his mouth to speak, and she help up her palm. “Just a minute. I’m not finished.” She bent over once more and took a couple of deep breaths. “I know you’ll never accept my apology because you think I’m heartless and self-centered. But just to prove to you that I’m sincere, I’m withdrawing from the race and throwing all my support behind you.” Madison waited for Jeremy to respond. As she looked into his eyes, he continued to say nothing. She felt her throat tighten painfully. Tears pooled in her eyes. Madison turned to leave before she embarrassed herself any further. But as she stepped into the crosswalk, Jeremy caught her by the arm. “Now hold it a minute, will you?” he said, gently pulling her back onto the curb. “You just dropped an awful lot of information in my lap. The least you can do is give me a moment to process it.” Madison put a hand over her mouth, trying to hold herself together. Then she looked up into his pale blue eyes. They were no longer ice cold but filled with compassion. “I guess I’ll begin by accepting your apology,” Jeremy said slowly. “And offer my own apology in return.” Madison laughed. “You apologize to me? Whatever for?” “Excuse me,” a man interrupted from behind them. He and a woman were walking with their tenspeeds. “This is a crosswalk. If you want to talk, there are plenty of places to do it over there.” He pointed back to the park, by the lake. They shared an embarrassed laugh.
Jahnna N. Malcolm (Perfect Strangers (Love Letters, #1))
How is it that strangers sometimes support you more than your friends? No, that is not wholly true--no one could be more loyal than Tonin. Maybe it is simply that you rely so heavily on old friends that their voices in your head begin to sound like your own, and when you hear a new friend's words, they fall like fresh rain. [Édouard Manet]
Maureen Gibbon (The Lost Notebook of Édouard Manet)
My stuttering surfaced midway through third grade in my second year in Brazil, Indiana. By the time I was in fifth, I couldn’t say three words without stammering. It was especially bad around grown-ups and strangers and at its absolute worst when public speaking was involved. I’ll never forget the school play. Everyone knew I stuttered, but since participation was mandatory, my teacher mercifully assigned me a role with just one line. I practiced it at home a hundred times. Sometimes, I’d stumble. Usually, it came out smooth and wrinkle-free, but under those stage lights, I locked up. The silence was intolerable. There were fifteen, twenty people in attendance at most, all of them were parents, and you couldn’t ask for a more supportive audience. Everyone waited patiently, almost willing me to speak. A few of my classmates snickered, but most were rooting for me. My teacher watched with wide, sensitive eyes as my lower lip trembled. I knew it was hopeless, so I turned and left the stage without even trying.
David Goggins (Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within)
What has put that look on your face, Sophie?” “What look?” She laid the child in the cradle where Vim had set it near the hearth. “Like you just lost your best friend.” “I was thinking of fostering Kit.” And just like that, she was blinking back tears. She tugged the blankets up around the baby, who immediately set about kicking them away. “Naughty baby,” she whispered. “You’ll catch a chill.” “Sophie?” A large male hand landed on her shoulder. “Sophie, look at me.” She shook her head and tried again to secure Kit’s blankets. “My dear, you are crying.” Another hand settled on the opposite shoulder, and now the kindness was palpable in his voice. Vim turned her gently into his embrace and wrapped both arms around her. It wasn’t a careful, tentative hug. It was a secure embrace. He wasn’t offering her a fleeting little squeeze to buck her up, he was holding her, his chin propped on her crown, the entire solid length of his body available to her for warmth and support. Which had the disastrous effect of turning a trickle of tears into a deluge. “I can’t keep him.” She managed four words around the lump in her throat. “To think of him being passed again into the keeping of strangers… I can’t…” “Hush.” He held a hanky up to her nose, one laden with the bergamot scent she already associated with him. For long minutes, Sophie struggled to regain her equilibrium while Vim stroked his hand slowly over her back. “Babies do this,” Vim said quietly. “They wear you out physically and pluck at your heartstrings and coo and babble and wend their way into your heart, and there’s nothing you can do stop it. Nobody is asking you to give the child up now.” “They won’t have to ask. In my position, I can’t be keeping somebody else’s castoff—” She stopped, hating the hysterical note that had crept into her voice and hating that she might have just prompted the man to whom she was clinging to ask her what exactly her position was. “Kit is not a castoff. He’s yours, and you’re keeping him. Maybe you will foster him elsewhere for a time, but he’ll always be yours too.” She didn’t quite follow the words rumbling out of him. She focused instead on the feel of his arms around her, offering support and security while she parted company temporarily with her dignity. “You are tired, and that baby has knocked you off your pins, Sophie Windham. You’re borrowing trouble if you try to sort out anything more complicated right now than what you’ll serve him for dinner.” She’d grown up with five brothers, and she’d watched her papa in action any number of times. She knew exactly what Vim was up to, but she took the bait anyway. “He loved the apples.” This time when Vim offered her his handkerchief, she took it, stepping back even as a final sigh shuddered through her. “He
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
The Scriptures talk a lot about the “head of the corner” or the “chief cornerstone.” God uses the illustration of cornerstones to draw our attention to the Cornerstone He has chosen to build His house. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Isaiah 28:16 Typically, a cornerstone is the first stone to be set in place whenever a structure is built, and all other stones in the building are aligned to it. Cornerstones mark the beginning point of construction, unite walls at intersections, and determine the positioning of the building. They support and set the reference point for how an entire framework comes together. Cornerstones often represent “the nominal starting place in the construction of a monumental building, usually carved with the date and laid in place with appropriate ceremonies.”20 You may have seen the famous picture of George Washington laying the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol building. These stones can be symbolic or ceremonial in nature, and many times, they are inscribed with information about the building’s importance and why it was built. Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: Ephesians 2:19-21
Mark Cahill (Ten Questions from the King)
Mainstream Muslims are in a bind. The Islamic State professes that there is one God, and that Muhammad is his last and greatest prophet. Denying the Islamic State's faith and its supporters' status as Muslims, excommunicating them because you disagree with their version of Islam, is to concede the match. After all, takfir is the official sport of the Islamic State, and if you practice it, you become one of them. For Muslims who hate the group, the Islamic State's claim that there is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet is a statement of faith that forces a painful admission: the Islamic State is a Muslim phenomenon. Wicked, perhaps. Ultra-violent, certainly. But Muslim, by definition. No one wants the most well-known practitioners of his religion also to be its most fanatical and blood thirsty. Most religions have zealots that the mainstream would prefer to make disappear, and the Muslim bind is not unique [. . .] The Islamic State is as Islamic as the above are Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist or Catholic, which is to say it is thoroughly Islamic, even though it is, by its own proud admission, a minority sect. Whether it is "legitimate" is a question other believers answer for themselves, overwhelmingly in the negative. But these questions of legitimacy are a matter of opinion and dogma. The fact the majority believes the Islamic State to be deviant does not make them objectively deviant, any more than many Christians' view of Mormonism as deviant makes Mormonism illegitimate or a perversion of Christianity [. . .] Being in a minority, violent or not, does not equate to being illegitimate [. . .] It takes astonishing levels of denial to claim, as uncountable Muslims and non-Muslims have, that the Islamic State has "nothing to do with Islam", merely because the group's heinous behavior clashes with mainstream or liberal Muslim interpretation.
Graeme Wood (The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State)
Listen to me.” Before Miranda could take another step, Etienne blocked her path and caught her firmly by the shoulders. “I already told you, I saw what it did to Jonas. And I’m not gonna let that happen to you.” There was cold, hard truth in his eyes. And a determination so strong, it nearly overpowered her. “Miranda?” Ashley’s concern broke the tension. “Please?” Etienne released her. As Miranda reluctantly faced the group around the table, she could see every intent expression waiting for her response. “We really can help you,” Ashley said softly. “Please let us.” Miranda turned back to Etienne. His gaze was sure and steady. “You need friends, cher. And we’re your friends.” Seconds dragged by while she tried to think. She was hurt and confused; she was flattered and touched and even strangely relieved. The reality of her life was crowding in on her, much too close, much too quick. “It wouldn’t be so scary with us around.” Roo said philosophically. Tipping his cup, Parker shook more ice into his mouth and slanted Roo a look. “Not true. It’s always scary with you around.” “Give us some credit.” Gage winked at Miranda. “We might surprise you if you give us a chance.” “You don’t have to be in this alone,” Ashley insisted. Yet despite the positive support, Miranda couldn’t shake her bewilderment or her doubts. “Why are you doing this?” she asked them. You’re already friends, and people like you don’t let strangers into your exclusive little group. Besides that, how could you possibly understand what you’re getting into, when I don’t even understand it myself? “You don’t even know me.” “Etienne threatened us.” Yawning loudly, Parker gave a long stretch, then wheezed as Ashley punched him in the ribs. “I’m kidding! Hey, I’m kidding, okay? Damn, Ashley!” “You might as well say yes, Miranda,” Ashley persisted as if Parker weren’t there. “Because we’re going to help you find out about poor Nathan one way or another.” “How?” Miranda challenged. “How are you doing to do that?” “Well…we…don’t know yet. We’re still…still…” “Trying to decide if I’m as crazy as my grandpa was?” To Miranda, the uneasy silence spoke volumes. It lasted only a second, but that was long enough for her heart to drop. “Look, you guys.” Her tone came out harsher than she’d intended. What was I thinking? I should have just kept on walking. “This is private, okay? And I don’t need any help, and it really doesn’t matter if you believe me, so--” “I believe you,” Gage said quietly. “You know I do,” Roo echoed. “And me.” Ashley’s head bobbed up and down. Scowling, Parker glanced at each of them. Then he folded his arms across his chest, leaned back, and scowled harder. “Well, I don’t believe her. I don’t believe any of y’all, and I think you’re all crazy. But…what the hell.” “Well, cher.” Etienne faced Miranda. “The sooner we start, the better, yeah?
Richie Tankersley Cusick (Walk of the Spirits (Walk, #1))