Suspicious People Quotes

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Two things you should know about me; The first is that I am deeply suspicious of people in general. It is my nature to expect the worst of them. And the second is that I am unexpectedly good with computers.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
I am suspicious of all the things that the average people believes.
H.L. Mencken
I'm suspicious of people who don't like dogs, but I trust a dog when it doesn't like a person.
Bill Murray
Some people think they have discernment when actually they are just suspicious.. Suspicion comes out of the unrenewed mind; discernment comes out of the renewed spirit.
Joyce Meyer (Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind)
When people are suspicious with you, you start being suspicious with them.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
Hide your intentions not by closing up (with the risk of appearing secretive, and making people suspicious) but by talking endlessly about your desires and goals-just not the real ones.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.
Robert A. Heinlein
The intelligent poor individual was a much finer observer than the intelligent rich one. The poor individual looks around him at every step, listens suspiciously to every word he hears from the people he meets; thus, every step he takes presents a problem, a task, for his thoughts and feelings. He is alert and sensitive, he is experienced, his soul has been burned...
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)
Your life story is a novel; and people, though they love novels wound between two yellow paper covers, are oddly suspicious of those which come to them in living vellum.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
There’s lots of people will help you with alcohol business, but there’s no one out there arranging little meetings where you can stand up and say, ‘My name is Sam Vimes and I’m a really suspicious bastard.
Terry Pratchett (Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19; City Watch, #3))
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)
A lot of the stories were highly suspicious, in her opinion. There was the one that ended when the two good children pushed the wicked witch into her own oven...Stories like this stopped people thinking properly, she was sure. She'd read that one and thought, Excuse me? No one has an oven big enough to get a whole person in, and what made the children think they could just walk around eating people's houses in any case? And why does some boy too stupid to know a cow is worth a lot more than five beans have the right to murder a giant and steal all his gold? Not to mention commit an act of ecological vandalism? And some girl who can't tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother must either have been as dense as teak or come from an extremely ugly family.
Terry Pratchett
Wilem snorted."That doesn't sound suspicious at all," he said. "And you wonder why people talk about you." "I don't wonder why they talk," I said "I wonder what they say.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
People being nice for no apparent reason always made me suspicious. People being nice to me with no apparent reason made me even more suspicious.
Maggie Stiefvater (Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie (Books of Faerie, #2))
People are suspicious of single men on vacation, after they get to a certain age: they assume that they're selfish, and probably a bit pervy. I can't say they're wrong.
Michel Houellebecq (Platform)
Halt waited a minute or two but there was no sound except for the jingling of harness and the creaking of leather from their saddles. Finally, the former Ranger could bear it no longer. What?” The question seemed to explode out of him, with a greater degree of violence than he had intended. Taken by surprise, Horace’s bay shied in fright and danced several paces away. Horace turned an aggrieved look on his mentor as he calmed the horse and brought it back under control. What?” he asked Halt, and the smaller man made a gesture of exasperation. That’s what I want to know,” he said irritably. “What?” Horace peered at him. The look was too obviously the sort of look that you give someone who seems to have taken leave of his senses. It did little to improve Halt’s rapidly growing temper. What?” said Horace, now totally puzzled. Don’t keep parroting at me!” Halt fumed. “Stop repeating what I say! I asked you ‘what,’ so don’t ask me ‘what’ back, understand?” Horace considered the question for a second or two, then, in his deliberate way, he replied: “No.” Halt took a deep breath, his eyebrows contracted into a deep V, and beneath them his eyes with anger but before he could speak, Horace forestalled him. What ‘what’ are you asking me?” he said. Then, thinking how to make the question clearer, he added, “Or to put it another way, why are you asking ‘what’?” Controlling himself with enormous restraint, and making no secret of the fact, Halt said, very precisely: “You were about to ask me a question.” Horace frowned. “I was?” Halt nodded. “You were. I saw you take a breath to ask it.” I see,” Horace said. “And what was it about?” For just a second or two, Halt was speechless. He opened his mouth, closed it again, then finally found the strength to speak. That is what I was asking you,” he said. “When I said ‘what,’ I was asking you what you were about to ask me.” I wasn’t about to ask you ‘what,’” Horace replied, and Halt glared at him suspiciously. It occurred to him that Horace could be indulging himself in a gigantic leg pull, that he was secretly laughing at Halt. This, Halt could have told him, was not a good career move. Rangers were not people who took kindly to being laughed at. He studied the boy’s open face and guileless blue eyes and decided that his suspicion was ill-founded. Then what, if I may use that word once more, were you about to ask me?” Horace drew a breath once more, then hesitated. “I forget,” he said. “What were we talking about?
John Flanagan (The Battle for Skandia (Ranger's Apprentice, #4))
USE SELECTIVE HONESTY AND GENEROSITY TO DISARM YOUR VICTIM JUDGMENT One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A timely gift—a Trojan horse—will serve the same purpose.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
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)
I’m suspicious of people who are certain.
Josiah Bancroft (Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel, #1))
Often the narcissist believes that other people are "faking it", leveraging emotional displays to achieve a goal. He is convinced that their ostensible "feelings" are grounded in ulterior, non-emotional motives. Faced with other people's genuine emotions, the narcissist becomes suspicious and embarrassed. He feels compelled to avoid emotion-tinged situations, or worse, experiences surges of almost uncontrollable aggression in the presence of expressed sentiments. They remind him how imperfect he is and how poorly equipped.
Sam Vaknin (Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited)
It's most dangerous nowadays for a husband to pay any attention to his wife in public. It always makes people think that he beats her when they are alone. The world has grown so suspicious of anything that looks like a happy married life.
Oscar Wilde (Lady Windermere's Fan)
We doubt in others, what is in fact in ourselves. The skeletons in your own closet are the things that scare you the most about others; people who come from a background of lying are suspicious of lying in others and so on and so forth. The most trusting of people, are not people who have never been betrayed or who have never felt pain; but the most trusting of people are those who in themselves do not find those things worthy of that blame. We see the world through the eyes of the condition of our own souls.
C. JoyBell C.
Q: Do you feel concerned that after all this work, people won't treat [Starship Titanic] with the gravity of, say, a movie or a book? That they won't treat it as an art form? D.A.: I hope that's the case, yes. I get very worried about this idea of art. Having been an English literary graduate, I've been trying to avoid the idea of doing art ever since. I think the idea of art kills creativity. ... [I]f somebody wants to come along and say, "Oh, it's art," that's as may be. I don't really mind that much. But I think that's for other people to decide after the fact. It isn't what you should be aiming to do. There's nothing worse than sitting down to write a novel and saying, "Well, okay, I'm going to do something of high artistic worth." ... I think you get most of the most interesting work done in fields where people don't think they're doing art, but merely practicing a craft, and working as good craftsmen. ... I tend to get very suspicious of anything that thinks it's art while it's being created.
Douglas Adams
You hated the Shadow Market in London,” Kit said. “It really bothered you. The noises, and the crowd —“ Ty’s gaze flicked down to Kit. “I’ll wear my headphones. I’ll be all right.” “…and I don’t know if we should go again so soon,” Kit added. “What if Helen and Aline get suspicious?” Ty’s gaze darkened. “Julian told me once,” he said, “that when people keep coming up with reasons not do something, it’s because they don’t want to do it. Do you not want to do this?” Ty’s voice sounded tight. The thrumming wire again, sharp with tension. Under the cotton of his shirt, his too-thin shoulders had tightened as well. The neck of his shirt was loose, the delicate line of his collarbones just visible. Kit felt a rush of tenderness toward Ty, mixed with near-panic. In other circumstances, he thought, he would just have lied. But he couldn’t lie to Ty.
Cassandra Clare (Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3))
You don't need to be special or significant to have value. You're just important, always, and people either see that or they don't.
Talia Hibbert (Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute)
The air seemed poisoned with fear and hatred. People eyed on another suspiciously, and the streets smelled of a silence that knotted your stomach.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
Suspicious people should be terrible lie catchers, prone to disbelieving-the-truth
Paul Ekman (Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage)
I'm fine," I told him tersely. "Of course you are. You're one of the strongest people I know." It took me a second to process that, because he'd said it so casually. Like he was talking about the weather or what time it was. Only Pritkin didn't say things like that. His idea of a compliment was a nod and to tell me to do whatever it was I'd just done over again. Like that was usually possible. But that had sounded suspiciously like a compliment to me.
Karen Chance (Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5))
Authoritarianism appeals, simply, to people who cannot tolerate complexity: there is nothing intrinsically “left-wing” or “right-wing” about this instinct at all. It is anti-pluralist. It is suspicious of people with different ideas. It is allergic to fierce debates. Whether those who have it ultimately derive their politics from Marxism or nationalism is irrelevant. It is a frame of mind, not a set of ideas.
Anne Applebaum (Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism)
I know many people who are suspicious of diagnoses—they think of them as labels that reduce or stigmatize. I knew, already, that a diagnosis was not going to answer all my questions. But I craved a diagnosis because it is a form of understanding.
Meghan O'Rourke (The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness)
You know, when people say ‘nothing’, that always means it’s something. If people would just say something other than nothing, people wouldn’t be as suspicious. 
Chelsea M. Cameron (Deeper We Fall (Fall and Rise, #1))
I guess he's used to suspicious people with crappy tempers. Or maybe I've never seemed as normal as I thought.
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
The people who visit the [Lincoln] memorial always look like an advertisement for democracy, so bizarrely, suspiciously diverse that one time I actually saw a man in a cowboy hat standing there reading the Gettysburg Address next to a Hasidic Jew. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had linked arms with a woman in a burka and a Masai warrior, to belt out ‘It’s a Small World After All,’ flanked by a chorus line of nuns and field-tripping, rainbow-skinned schoolchildren
Sarah Vowell (Assassination Vacation)
I am highly suspicious of attempts to brightside human suffering, especially suffering that—as in the case of almost all infectious diseases—is unjustly distributed. I’m not here to criticize other people’s hope, but personally, whenever I hear someone waxing poetic about the silver linings to all these clouds, I think about a wonderful poem by Clint Smith called “When people say, ‘we have made it through worse before.’” The poem begins, “all I hear is the wind slapping against the gravestones / of those who did not make it.” As in Ibn Battuta’s Damascus, the only path forward is true solidarity—not only in hope, but also in lamentation.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet)
Protracted loneliness causes you to shut down socially, and to be more suspicious of any social contact, he found. You become hypervigilant. You start to be more likely to take offense where none was intended, and to be afraid of strangers. You start to be afraid of the very thing you need most. John calls this a “snowball” effect, as disconnection spirals into more disconnection. Lonely people are scanning for threats because they unconsciously know that nobody is looking out for them, so no one will help them if they are hurt. This snowball effect, he learned, can be reversed—but to help a depressed or severely anxious person out of it, they need more love, and more reassurance, than they would have needed in the first place. The tragedy, John realized, is that many depressed and anxious people receive less love, as they become harder to be around. Indeed, they receive judgment, and criticism, and this accelerates their retreat from the world. They snowball into an ever colder place.
Johann Hari (Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions)
People who were too outgoing made her suspicious. She couldn't help but presume that all the loud noise was created to hide quiet lies.
Chris Pavone (The Expats (Kate Moore, #1))
Most people are average, neither black nor white, but grey. A dirty shade of grey. To the best of my ability I tried to write about these people, about their completely average, commonplace dreams and hopes, and about their suspicious tendency towards murder.
Dmitri Shostakovich
People break down into two groups. When they experience something lucky, group number one sees it as more than luck, more than coincidence. They see it as a sign, evidence, that there is someone up there, watching out for them. Group number two sees it as just pure luck. Just a happy turn of chance. I'm sure the people in group number two are looking at those fourteen lights in a very suspicious way. For them, the situation is a fifty-fifty. Could be bad, could be good. But deep down, they feel that whatever happens, they're on their own. And that fills them with fear. Yeah, there are those people. But there's a whole lot of people in group number one. When they see those fourteen lights, they're looking at a miracle. And deep down, they feel that whatever's going to happen, there will be someone there to help them. And that fills them with hope. See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, that sees miracles? Or do you believe that people just get lucky? Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?
M. Night Shyamalan
Everybody looked at Sully suspiciously. A rumor that he had burned up in the blaze had been circulating, and people had quickly adjusted to the idea of profound human tragedy. They were reluctant to give it up, Sully could tell. He smiled apologetically at the crowd.
Richard Russo (Nobody's Fool (Sully #1))
It was the way he wore the place. You expected him any moment to break into the kind of song that has suspicious rhymes and phrases like "my kind of town" and "I wanna be a part of it" in it; the kind of song where people dance in the street and give the singer apples and join in and a dozen lowly matchgirls suddenly show amazing choreographical ability and everyone acts like cheery lovable citizens instead of the murderous, evil-minded, self-centered people they suspect themselves to be. But the point was that if Carrot had erupted into a song, people WOULD have joined in. Carrot could have jollied up a circle of standing stones to form up behind him and do a rumba.
Terry Pratchett (Men at Arms: The Play)
The library is full of stories of supposed triumphs which makes me very suspicious of it. It's misleading for people to read about great successes, since even for middle-class and upper-class white people, in my experience, failure is the norm
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Hocus Pocus)
The category of Other is as original as consciousness itself. The duality between Self and Other can be found in the most primitive societies, in the most ancient mythologies; the division did not always fall into the category of the division of the sexes (...) No group ever defines itself as One without immediately setting up the Other opposite itself. It only takes three travelers brought together by chance in the same train compartment for the rest of the travellers to become vaguely hostile 'others'. Village people view anyone not belonging to the village as suspicious 'others'. For the native of a country, inhabitants of other countries are viewed as 'foreigners'; Jews are the 'others' for anti-Semites, blacks for racist Americans, indigenous people for colonists, proletarians for the propertied classes.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
Eternity is with us, inviting our contemplation perpetually, but we are too frightened, lazy, and suspicious to respond; too arrogant to still our thought, and let divine sensation have its way. It needs industry and goodwill if we would make that transition; for the process involves a veritable spring-cleaning of the soul, a turning-out and rearrangement of our mental furniture, a wide opening of closed windows, that the notes of the wild birds beyond our garden may come to us fully charged with wonder and freshness, and drown with their music the noise of the gramaphone within. Those who do this, discover that they have lived in a stuffy world, whilst their inheritance was a world of morning-glory:where every tit-mouse is a celestial messenger, and every thrusting bud is charged with the full significance of life.
Evelyn Underhill (Practical Mysticism: A Little Book for Normal People)
What do you mean, the police were suspicious because you weren’t wearing enough clothes?” Ash demanded, staring coldly at Jared. “Where were your clothes?" "He was doing some—Zen jogging,” she claimed. Jared flicked her an incredulous glance. “Yes,” he said slowly. “Zen jogging. I wasn’t wearing that many clothes because—that’s part of the process. You’re meant to commune with the elements. Normally, I wouldn’t have worn my jeans, but I put them on because I know the English are a modest people.
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1))
Oh, good grief," said Vimes. "Look, it's quite simple, man. I was expected to go "At last, alcohol!", and chugalug the lot without thinking. Then some respectable pillars of the community" - he removed the cigar from his mouth and spat - "were going to find me, in your presence, too - which was a nice touch - with the evidence of my crime neatly hidden but not so well hidden that they couldn't find it." He shook his head sadly. "The trouble is, you know, that once the taste's got you it never lets go." "But you've been very good, sir," said Carrot. "I've not seen you touch a drop for -" "Oh, that," said Vimes. "I was talking about policing, not alcohol. There's lots of people will help you with the alcohol business, but there's no one out there arranging little meetings where you can stand up and say, "My name is Sam and I'm a really suspicious bastard.
Terry Pratchett (Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19; City Watch, #3))
It seems to be a law of human nature that those who live by the sea are suspicious of swimmers, just as those who live in the mountains are suspicious of mountain climbers.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
People eyed one another suspiciously, and the streets smelled of a silence that knotted your stomach.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
[G]ood people are rarely suspicious: they cannot imagine others doing the things they themselves are incapable of doing; usually they accept the undramatic solution as the correct one, and let matters rest there.
Robert D. Hare (Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us)
Spiders are anti-social, keep pests under control, and mostly mind their own business, but they somehow summon fear in humans who are far more dangerous, deceitful and have hurt more people. Of the two I'm more suspicious about the latter.
Donna Lynn Hope
Horst passed him a bottle he had picked up in his rapid trip from there to here. Remarkably, it's contents had survived the transit. "Drink this," he said, unmoved by Cabal's anger. "You need to save your voice for your next session." Cabal took the bottle testily and swigged from it. there was a moments pause, just long enough for Cabal's expression to change from testy to horrified revulsion. He spat the liquid violently onto the grass like a man who has got absent-minded with the concentrated nitric acid and a mouth pipette. He glared at Horst as he took off his spectacles and wiped his suddenly weeping eyes "Disinfectant? You give me disinfectant to drink?" Horst's surprise was replaced with mild amusement. "It's root beer, Johannes. Have you never had root beer?" Cabal looked suspiciously at him, then at the bottle "People drink this?" "Yes." "For non-medical reasons?" "That's right." Cabal shook his head in open disbelief. "They must be insane.
Jonathan L. Howard (Johannes Cabal the Necromancer (Johannes Cabal, #1))
Royce took out his dagger and drove it into the table, where it stood upright. “Look at the blade. Is it bright or dark?” Hadrian narrowed his eyes suspiciously. The brilliant surface of Alverstone was dazzling as it reflected the candlelight. “Bright.” Royce nodded. “Now move your head over here and look from my perspective.” Hadrian leaned over, putting his head on the opposite side of the blade, where the shadow made it black as chimney soot. “It’s the same dagger,” Royce explained, “but from where you sat it was light while I saw it as dark. So who is right?” “Neither of us,” Hadrian said. “No,” Royce said. “That’s the mistake people always make, and they make it because they can’t grasp the truth.” “Which is?” “That we’re both right. One truth doesn’t refute another. Truth doesn’t lie in the object, but in how we see it.
Michael J. Sullivan (Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations, #3-4))
If you've ever read one of those articles that asks notable people to list their favorite books, you may have been impressed or daunted to see them pick Proust or Thomas Mann or James Joyce. You might even feel sheepish about the fact that you reread Pride and Prejudice or The Lord of the Rings, or The Catcher in the Rye or Gone With the Wind every couple of years with some much pleasure. Perhaps, like me, you're even a little suspicious of their claims, because we all know that the books we've loved best are seldom the ones we esteem the most highly - or the ones we'd most like other people to think we read over and over again.
Laura Miller (The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia)
You can't drive them around in the getaway van.' 'How about we don't call it the getaway van? People might get suspicious.' 'So what should we call it?' 'How about the van?' 'It doesn't change what it is and that it's a shitty thing to do. Someone might see them in it.
Cath Crowley (Graffiti Moon)
You look less suspicious when you're willing to meet people.
Nic Pizzolatto
The Imperial forces must keep their hands off, but they find that they can do much even so. Each sector is encouraged to be suspicious of its neighbors. Within each sector, economic and social classes are encouraged to wage a kind of war with each other. The result is that all over Trantor it is impossible for the people to take united action. Everywhere, the people would rather fight each other than make a common stand against the central tyranny and the Empire rules without having to exert force.
Isaac Asimov (Prelude to Foundation)
In the first place, good people are rarely suspicious; they cannot imagine others doing the things they themselves are incapable of doing; usually they accept the undramatic conclusion as the correct one, and let matters rest there. Then, too, the normal are inclined to view the multiple killer as the as the one who’s as monstrous in appearance as he is in mind, which is about as far from the truth as one could well get. He paused and then said that these monsters of real life usually looked and behaved in a more normal manner than their actually normal brothers and sisters: they presented a more convincing picture of virtue than virtue presented of itself—just as the wax rosebud or the plastic peach seemed more perfect to the eye, more what the mind thought a rosebud or a peach should be than the imperfect original from which it had been modeled.
William March
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)
Even if neither of us ever did anything interesting in our entire lives, it wouldn’t matter. You don’t need to be special or significant to have value. You’re just important, always, and people either see that or they don’t. They either love you, or they don’t.
Talia Hibbert (Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute)
But to reject, marginalize, trivialize, or be suspicious of the sacraments (and quasi-sacramental acts such as lighting a candle, bowing, washing feet, raising hands in the air, crossing oneself and so forth) on the grounds that such things CAN be superstitious or idolatrous or that some people might suppose they are putting God in their debt, is like rejecting sexual relations in marriage on the grounds that it's the same act that in other circumstances constitutes immorality.
N.T. Wright (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)
The amount of time people who have just met are supposed to look directly at each other, particularly without talking, is a unit that’s both very short and very precise. When you exceed it, you get suspicious, or you get threatened, or you get this flicker of accidental
Linda Holmes (Evvie Drake Starts Over)
I still don't know which way I would teach you. I was once so free and innocent. I too laughed for no reason. But later I threw away my foolish innocence to protect myself. And then I taught my daughter, your mother, to shed her innocence so she would not be hurt as well. Hwai dungsyi, was this kind of thinking wrong? If I now recognize evil in other people, is it not because I have become evil too? If I see someone has a suspicious nose, have I not smelled the same bad things?...Then you must teach my daughter this same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever.
Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club)
We should affirm the great value of reading just for the fun of it. . . . In my experience, Christians are strangely reluctant to take this advice. We tend to be earnest people, always striving for self-improvement, and can be suspicious of mere recreation. But God doesn’t just create, he takes delight in his creation, and expects us to delight in it too; and since he has given us the desire to make things ourselves—has allowed us to be “sub-creators,” as J. R. R. Tolkien says--we may rightly take delight in the things that we (and others) make. Reading for the sheer delight of it—reading at whim—is therefore one of the most important kinds of reading there is.
Alan Jacobs (The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction)
Absolutely pathetic.” I make a Jeopardy! buzzer sound. “Who is Joshua Templeman?” “Lucinda flirting with couriers. Pathetic.” Joshua is hammering away on his keyboard. He certainly is an impressive touch typist. I stroll past his desk and am gratified by his frustrated backspacing. “I’m nice to him.” “You? Nice?” I’m surprised by how hurt I feel. “I’m lovely. Ask anyone.” “Okay. Josh, is she lovely?” he asks himself aloud. “Hmm, let me think.” He picks up his tin of mints, opens the lid, checks them, closes it, and looks at me. I open my mouth and lift my tongue like a mental patient at the medication window. “She’s got a few lovely things about her, I suppose.” I raise a finger and enunciate the words crisply: “Human resources.” He sits up straighter but the corner of his mouth moves. I wish I could use my thumbs to pull his mouth into a huge deranged grin. As the police drag me out in handcuffs I’ll be screeching, Smile, goddamn you. We need to get even, because it’s not fair. He’s gotten one of my smiles, and seen me smile at countless other people. I have never seen him smile, nor have I seen his face look anything but blank, bored, surly, suspicious, watchful, resentful. Occasionally he has another look on his face, after we’ve been arguing. His Serial Killer expression.
Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
The first - the most obvious (test of a true social entrepreneur) - is are they possessed, really possessed by an idea... The idea - making it happen across society - is something they are married to in the full sense of the word. One key test of that is this: Is this an idea that you see growing out of their whole life? I get very, very suspicious when I see someone who had an idea two years ago. It just doesn't ring true. Because with the typical entrepreneur you can see the roots of the interest when they're very young. There's a real coherence to people's lives.
Bill Drayton
The maid told him that a girl and a child had come looking for him, but since she didn't know them, she hadn't cared to ask them in, and had told them to go on to Mers. "Why didn't you let them in?" asked Germain angrily. "People must be very suspicious in this part of the world, if they won't open the front door to a neighbor." "Well, naturally!" replied the maid. "In a house as rich as this, you have to keep a close watch on things. While the master's away I'm responsible for everything, and I can't just open the door to anyone at all." "That's a mean way to live," said Germain; "I'd rather be poor than live in fear like that. Good-bye to you, miss, and good-bye to this horrible country of yours!
George Sand (La mare au diable)
…Obviously, I have always wished I could remember what happened in that wood. The very few people who know about the whole Knocknaree thing invariably suggest, sooner or later, that I should try hypnotic regression, but for some reason I find the idea distasteful. I’m deeply suspicious of anything with a whiff of the New Age about it—not because of the practices themselves, which as far as I can tell from a safe distance may well have a lot to them, but because of the people who get involved who always seem to be the kind who corner you at parties to explain how they discovered that they are survivors and deserve to be happy. I worry that I might come out of hypnosis with that sugar-high glaze of self-satisfied enlightenment, like a seventeen-year-old who’s just discovered Kerouak, and start proselytizing strangers in pubs…
Tana French (In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, #1))
Some people, however, say that they do not eat eggs because they do no like them. This is suspicious. Eggs are tremendously flexible and can be prepared in a variety of ways, all of which are different experiences in one's mouth. If you say you do not like eggs, it is like saying you do not like books or light or wearing a ball gown. It means you simply have not found the right kind.
Lemony Snicket (Poison for Breakfast)
And it was never but once a year that they were brought together anyway, and that was on the neutral, dereligionized ground of Thanksgiving, when everybody gets to eat the same thing, nobody sneaking off to eat funny stuff--no kugel, no gefilte fish, no bitter herbs, just one colossal turkey for two hundred and fifty million people--one colossal turkey feeds all. A moratorium on the three-thousand-year-old nostalgia of the Jews, a moratorium on Christ and the cross and the crucifixion of the Christians, when everyone in New Jersey and elsewhere can be more passive about their irrationalities than they are the rest of the year. A moratorium on all the grievances and resentments, and not only for the Dwyers and the Levovs but for everyone in America who is suspicious of everyone else. It is the American pastoral par excellence and it lasts twenty-four hours.
Philip Roth (American Pastoral)
And are you suspicious of me? (Maggie) Woman, I’m suspicious of anyone who acts altruistically. I’ve only known a handful of people in my entire life who were actually kind. The vast majority of people only help others when they know it’ll benefit them in some manner. (Sin)
Kinley MacGregor (Claiming the Highlander (Brotherhood of the Sword, #2; MacAllister, #1))
Two features in his personality make-up stand out as particularly pathological. The first is his ‘paranoid’ orientation toward the world. He is suspicious and distrustful of others, tends to feel that others discriminate against him, and feels that others are unfair to him and do not understand him. He is overly sensitive to criticism that others make of him, and cannot tolerate being made fun of. He is quick to sense slight or insult in things others say, and frequently may misinterpret well-meant communications. He feels the great need of friendship and understanding, but he is reluctant to confide in others, and when he does, expects to be misunderstood or even betrayed. In evaluating the intentions and feelings of others, his ability to separate the real situation from his own mental projections is very poor. He not infrequently groups all people together as being hypocritical, hostile, and deserving of whatever he is able to do to them. Akin to this first trait is the second, an ever -present, poorly controlled rage--- easily triggered by any feelings of being tricked, slighted, or labeled inferior by others. For the most part, his rages in the past have been directed at authority figures (297).
Truman Capote (In Cold Blood)
That’s the key, you know, confidence. I know for a fact that if you genuinely like your body, so can others. It doesn’t really matter if it’s short, tall, fat or thin, it just matters that you can find some things to like about it. Even if that means having a good laugh at the bits of it that wobble independently, occasionally, that’s all right. It might take you a while to believe me on this one, lots of people don’t because they seem to suffer from self-hatred that precludes them from imagining that a big woman could ever love herself because they don’t. But I do. I know what I’ve got is a bit strange and difficult to love but those are the very aspects that I love the most! It’s a bit like people. I’ve never been particularly attracted to the uniform of conventional beauty. I’m always a bit suspicious of people who feel compelled to conform. I personally like the adventure of difference. And what’s beauty, anyway?
Dawn French (Dear Fatty)
Some survivors can be wary of most people, yet blinded by compassion toward fellow survivors or others who suffer — or who pretend to suffer, or exaggerate their sufferings, in order to take advantage of the survivor. Some survivors overidentify with other survivors, not realizing that even if someone was traumatized or suffers in a similar way, it doesn’t necessarily mean that person is honest. Being either overly suspicious or overly trusting can create problems with a partner who is able to judge the sincerity of others more realistically.
Aphrodite Matsakis (Loving Someone with PTSD: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Connecting with Your Partner after Trauma (The New Harbinger Loving Someone Series))
A lot of the stories were highly suspicious, in her opinion. There was the one that ended when the two good children pushed the wicked witch into her own oven. Tiffany had worried about that after all that trouble with Mrs. Snapperly. Stories like this stopped people thinking properly, she was sure. She’d read that one and thought, Excuse me? No one has an oven big enough to get a whole person in, and what made the children think they could just walk around eating people’s houses in any case? And why does some boy too stupid to know a cow is worth a lot more than five beans have the right to murder a giant and steal all his gold? Not to mention commit an act of ecological vandalism? And some girl who can’t tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother must either have been as dense as teak or come from an extremely ugly family. The stories weren’t real.
Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30))
Liza had a finely developed sense of sin Idleness was a sin, and card playing, which was a kind of idleness to her. She was suspicious of fun whether it involved dancing or singing or even laughter. She felt that people having a good time were wide open to the devil. And this was a shame, for Samuel was a laughing man, but I guess Samuel was wide open to the devil. His wife protected him whenever she could.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
If he's a poet, why's he in jail?" demanded a suspicious voice. Madam Chairwoman shrugged velvet shoulders. "Perhaps he writes free verse," she suggested cunningly. A stir of approval answered her. Mice are all for people being free, so that they too can be freed form their eternal task of cheering prisoners--so that they can stay snug at home, nibbling the family cheese, instead of sleeping out in damp straw on a diet of stale bread.
Margery Sharp (The Rescuers (The Rescuers, #1))
I was in my favorite seat in the library, but it wasn’t helping me like the book any better. It was a book people kept putting in my hands and telling me I was going to love, the way the doctor tells you the needle won’t hurt a bit. The book began the way it always began before I gave up on it: with a man carrying around a drawing or a snake that had just eaten, and asking people what they thought of it. I thought it was no way to start up a conversation.
Lemony Snicket (File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents (All the Wrong Questions, #2.5))
The feature that makes people look at her twice, sometimes with suspicious glances, is her eyes. They are too large, wide-set, slanted a bit. And they judge, those eyes do, they watch and they take note and they judge all that they see, and lots of folks do not like that much. To the innocent, her eyes are arresting. To a person with something on his conscience, they seem too knowing.
Michael Grant (Front Lines (Front Lines, #1))
Yes. A few weeks with people closer to his own age will do him good. After all, folk do say I can be a little grim from time to time." "You, Halt? Grim? Who could say such a thing?" Gilan said. Halt glanced at him suspiciously. Gilan was, all too obviously, just managing to keep a straight face. "You know, Gilan," He said, "sarcasm isn't the lowest form of wit. It's not even wit at all.
John Flanagan
But you can't just leave it at that!" said Anathema, pushing forward. "Think of all things you could do! Good things." "Like what?" said Adam suspiciously. "Well... you could bring all the whales back, to start with." He put his head on one side. "An' that'd stop people killing them?" She hesitated. It would have been nice to say yes. "An' if people do start killing 'em, what would you ask me to do about 'em?" said Adam. "No. I reckon I'm getting the hang of this now. Once I start messing around like that, there'd be no stoppin' it. Seems to me, the only sensible thing is for people to know if they kill a whale, they've got a dead whale.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
It's a bit like sympathetic magic in a way: the usual Western presumption that 'primitive' rituals mimic what they desire to achieve--that phallic objects might be believed to increase male potency and playacting rainfall might somehow bring it about. I am suspicious of such obvious connections and I suspect that the connections among things, people, and processes can be equally irrational. I sense the world might be more dreamlike, metaphorical, and poetic than we currently believe--but just as irrational as sympathetic magic when looked at in a typically scientific way. I wouldn't be surprised if poetry--poetry in the broadest sense, in the sense of a world filled with metaphor, rhyme, and recurring patterns, shapes, and designs--is how the world works. The world isn't logical, it's a song.
David Byrne (Bicycle Diaries)
these were paranoid times. These were knife-edge times, primal times, with everybody suspicious of everybody. You could have a nice wee conversation with someone here, then go away and think, that was a nice, wee unguarded conversation I just had there – least until you start playing it back in your head later on. At that point you start to worry that you said 'this' or 'that', not because “this' or 'that' were contentious. It was that people were quick to point fingers, to judge, to add on even in peaceful times, so it would be hard to fathom fingers not getting pointed and words not being added.
Anna Burns (Milkman)
The Lonely Leader. Powerful people are not necessarily different from everyone else, but they are treated differently, and this has a big effect on their personalities. Everyone around them tends to be fawning and courtierlike, to have an angle, to want something from them. This makes them suspicious and distrustful, and a little hard around the edges, but do not mistake the appearance for the reality. Lonely Leaders long to be seduced, to have someone break through their isolation and overwhelm them.
Robert Greene (The Art of Seduction)
When reading the history of the Jewish people, of their flight from slavery to death, of their exchange of tyrants, I must confess that my sympathies are all aroused in their behalf. They were cheated, deceived and abused. Their god was quick-tempered unreasonable, cruel, revengeful and dishonest. He was always promising but never performed. He wasted time in ceremony and childish detail, and in the exaggeration of what he had done. It is impossible for me to conceive of a character more utterly detestable than that of the Hebrew god. He had solemnly promised the Jews that he would take them from Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey. He had led them to believe that in a little while their troubles would be over, and that they would soon in the land of Canaan, surrounded by their wives and little ones, forget the stripes and tears of Egypt. After promising the poor wanderers again and again that he would lead them in safety to the promised land of joy and plenty, this God, forgetting every promise, said to the wretches in his power:—'Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness and your children shall wander until your carcasses be wasted.' This curse was the conclusion of the whole matter. Into this dust of death and night faded all the promises of God. Into this rottenness of wandering despair fell all the dreams of liberty and home. Millions of corpses were left to rot in the desert, and each one certified to the dishonesty of Jehovah. I cannot believe these things. They are so cruel and heartless, that my blood is chilled and my sense of justice shocked. A book that is equally abhorrent to my head and heart, cannot be accepted as a revelation from God. When we think of the poor Jews, destroyed, murdered, bitten by serpents, visited by plagues, decimated by famine, butchered by each, other, swallowed by the earth, frightened, cursed, starved, deceived, robbed and outraged, how thankful we should be that we are not the chosen people of God. No wonder that they longed for the slavery of Egypt, and remembered with sorrow the unhappy day when they exchanged masters. Compared with Jehovah, Pharaoh was a benefactor, and the tyranny of Egypt was freedom to those who suffered the liberty of God. While reading the Pentateuch, I am filled with indignation, pity and horror. Nothing can be sadder than the history of the starved and frightened wretches who wandered over the desolate crags and sands of wilderness and desert, the prey of famine, sword, and plague. Ignorant and superstitious to the last degree, governed by falsehood, plundered by hypocrisy, they were the sport of priests, and the food of fear. God was their greatest enemy, and death their only friend. It is impossible to conceive of a more thoroughly despicable, hateful, and arrogant being, than the Jewish god. He is without a redeeming feature. In the mythology of the world he has no parallel. He, only, is never touched by agony and tears. He delights only in blood and pain. Human affections are naught to him. He cares neither for love nor music, beauty nor joy. A false friend, an unjust judge, a braggart, hypocrite, and tyrant, sincere in hatred, jealous, vain, and revengeful, false in promise, honest in curse, suspicious, ignorant, and changeable, infamous and hideous:—such is the God of the Pentateuch.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
One may discover integrity in the companionship of others, but one does not ever discover integrity by bowing to the demands of peer pressure. The heavier the pressure is toward conformity— no matter how lofty the proposed final goal— the more one must be suspicious of it and antagonistic to it. History has one consistent lesson in it: one by one, people give up what they know to be right and true for the sake of something loftier that they do not quite understand but should want in order to be good; soon, people are the tools of despots and atrocities are committed on a grand scale. And then, it is too late. There is no going back. Women are especially given to giving up what we know and feel to be right and true for the sake of others or for the sake of something more important than ourselves. This is because the condition in which women live is a colonized condition. Women are colonized by men, in body, in mind. Defined everywhere as evil when we act in our own self-interest, we strive to be good by renouncing self-interest altogether.
Andrea Dworkin (Letters from a War Zone)
In many ways the effect of the crash on embezzlement was more significant than on suicide. To the economist embezzlement is the most interesting of crimes. Alone among the various forms of larceny it has a time parameter. Weeks, months, or years may elapse between the commission of the crime and its discovery. (This is a period, incidentally, when the embezzler has his gain and the man who has been embezzled, oddly enough, feels no loss. There is a net increase in psychic wealth.) At any given time there exists an inventory of undiscovered embezzlement in — or more precisely not in — the country’s businesses and banks. This inventory — it should perhaps be called the bezzle — amounts at any moment to many millions of dollars. It also varies in size with the business cycle. In good times people are relaxed, trusting, and money is plentiful. But even though money is plentiful, there are always many people who need more. Under these circumstances the rate of embezzlement grows, the rate of discovery falls off, and the bezzle increases rapidly. In depression all this is reversed. Money is watched with a narrow, suspicious eye. The man who handles it is assumed to be dishonest until he proves himself otherwise. Audits are penetrating and meticulous. Commercial morality is enormously improved. The bezzle shrinks. … Just as the boom accelerated the rate of growth, so the crash enormously advanced the rate of discovery. Within a few days, something close to a universal trust turned into something akin to universal suspicion. Audits were ordered. Strained or preoccupied behavior was noticed. Most important, the collapse in stock values made irredeemable the position of the employee who had embezzled to play the market. He now confessed.
John Kenneth Galbraith (The Great Crash 1929)
A note on language. Be even more suspicious than I was just telling you to be, of all those who employ the term "we" or "us" without your permission. This is another form of surreptitious conscription, designed to suggest that "we" are all agreed on "our" interests and identity. Populist authoritarians try to slip it past you; so do some kinds of literary critics ("our sensibilities are enraged...") Always ask who this "we" is; as often as not it's an attempt to smuggle tribalism through the customs. An absurd but sinister figure named Ron "Maulana" Karenga—the man who gave us Ebonics and Kwanzaa and much folkloric nationalist piffle—once ran a political cult called "US." Its slogan—oddly catchy as well as illiterate—was "Wherever US is, We are." It turned out to be covertly financed by the FBI, though that's not the whole point of the story. Joseph Heller knew how the need to belong, and the need for security, can make people accept lethal and stupid conditions, and then act as if they had imposed them on themselves.
Christopher Hitchens (Letters to a Young Contrarian)
There’s something profoundly intense and intoxicating about friendship found en route. It’s the bond that arises from being thrust into uncomfortable circumstances, and the vulnerability of trusting others to navigate those situations. It’s the exhilaration of meeting someone when we are our most alive selves, breathing new air, high on life-altering moments. It’s the discovery of the commonality of the world’s people and the attendant rejection of prejudices. It’s the humbling experience of being suspicious of a stranger who then extends a great kindness. It’s the astonishment of learning from those we set out to teach. It’s the intimacy of sharing small spaces, the recognition of a kindred spirit across the globe. It’s the travel relationship, and it can only call itself family.
Lavinia Spalding (The Best Women's Travel Writing, Volume 8: True Stories from Around the World (Best Women's Travel Writing, 8))
Oh," he said again and picked up two petals of cherry blossom which he folded together like a sandwich and ate slowly. "Supposing," he said, staring past her at the wall of the house, "you saw a little man, about as tall as a pencil, with a blue patch in his trousers, halfway up a window curtain, carrying a doll's tea cup-would you say it was a fairy?" "No," said Arrietty, "I'd say it was my father." "Oh," said the boy, thinking this out, "does your father have a blue patch on his trousers?" "Not on his best trousers. He does on his borrowing ones." 'Oh," said the boy again. He seemed to find it a safe sound, as lawyers do. "Are there many people like you?" "No," said Arrietty. "None. We're all different." "I mean as small as you?" Arrietty laughed. "Oh, don't be silly!" she said. "Surely you don't think there are many people in the world your size?" "There are more my size than yours," he retorted. "Honestly-" began Arrietty helplessly and laughed again. "Do you really think-I mean, whatever sort of a world would it be? Those great chairs . . . I've seen them. Fancy if you had to make chairs that size for everyone? And the stuff for their clothes . . . miles and miles of it . . . tents of it ... and the sewing! And their great houses, reaching up so you can hardly see the ceilings . . . their great beds ... the food they eat ... great, smoking mountains of it, huge bogs of stew and soup and stuff." "Don't you eat soup?" asked the boy. "Of course we do," laughed Arrietty. "My father had an uncle who had a little boat which he rowed round in the stock-pot picking up flotsam and jetsam. He did bottom-fishing too for bits of marrow until the cook got suspicious through finding bent pins in the soup. Once he was nearly shipwrecked on a chunk of submerged shinbone. He lost his oars and the boat sprang a leak but he flung a line over the pot handle and pulled himself alongside the rim. But all that stock-fathoms of it! And the size of the stockpot! I mean, there wouldn't be enough stuff in the world to go round after a bit! That's why my father says it's a good thing they're dying out . . . just a few, my father says, that's all we need-to keep us. Otherwise, he says, the whole thing gets"-Arrietty hesitated, trying to remember the word-"exaggerated, he says-" "What do you mean," asked the boy, " 'to keep us'?
Mary Norton (The Borrowers (The Borrowers, #1))
When Vivian describes how it felt to be at the mercy of strangers, Molly nods. She knows full well what it’s like to tamp down your natural inclinations, to force a smile when you feel numb. After a while you don’t know what your own needs are anymore. You’re grateful for the slightest hint of kindness, and then, as you get older, suspicious. Why would anyone do anything for you without expecting something in return? And anyway—most of the time they don’t. More often than not, you see the worst of people. You learn that most adults lie. That most people only look out for themselves. That you are only as interesting as you are useful to someone. And so your personality is shaped. You know too much, and this knowledge makes you wary. You grow fearful and mistrustful. The expression of emotion does not come naturally, so you learn to fake it. To pretend. To display an empathy you don’t actually feel. And so it is that you learn how to pass, if you’re lucky, to look like everyone else, even though you’re broken inside.
Christina Baker Kline (Orphan Train)
With a century and change between the 1880 convention and now, I’ll admit I rolled my eyes at the ideological hairsplitting, wondering how a group of people who more or less agreed with one another about most issues could summon forth such stark animosity. Thankfully, we Americans have evolved, our hearts made larger, our minds more open, welcoming the negligible differences among our fellows with compassion and respect. As a Democrat who voted for Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, an election suspiciously tipped to tragic Republican victory because of a handful of contested ballots in the state of Florida, I, for one, would never dream of complaining about the votes siphoned in that state by my fellow liberal Ralph Nader, who convinced citizens whose hopes for the country differ little from my own to vote for him, even though had those votes gone to Gore, perhaps those citizens might have spent their free time in the years to come more pleasurably pursuing leisure activities, such as researching the sacrifice of Family Garfield, instead of attending rallies and protests against wars they find objectionable, not to mention the money saved on aspirin alone considering they’ll have to pop a couple every time they read the newspaper, wondering if the tap water with which they wash down the pills is safe enough to drink considering the corporate polluter lobbyists now employed at the EPA.
Sarah Vowell (Assassination Vacation)
Birthdays are a time when one stock takes, which means, I suppose, a good spineless mope: I scan my horizon and can discern no sail of hope along my own particular ambition. I tell you what it is: I'm quite in accord with the people who enquire 'What is the matter with the man?' because I don't seem to be producing anything as the years pass but rank self indulgence. You know that my sole ambition, officially at any rate, was to write poems & novels, an activity I never found any difficulty fulfilling between the (dangerous) ages of 17-24: I can't very well ignore the fact that this seems to have died a natural death. On the other hand I feel regretful that what talents I have in this direction are not being used. Then again, if I am not going to produce anything in the literary line, the justification for my selfish life is removed - but since I go on living it, the suspicion arises that the writing existed to produce the life, & not vice versa. And as a life it has very little to recommend it: I spend my days footling in a job I care nothing about, a curate among lady-clerks; I evade all responsibility, familial, professional, emotional, social, not even saving much money or helping my mother. I look around me & I see people getting on, or doing things, or bringing up children - and here I am in a kind of vacuum. If I were writing, I would even risk the fearful old age of the Henry-James hero: not fearful in circumstance but in realisation: because to me to catch, render, preserve, pickle, distil or otherwise secure life-as-it-seemed for the future seems to me infinitely worth doing; but as I'm not the entire morality of it collapses. And when I ask why I'm not, well, I'm not because I don't want to: every novel I attempt stops at a point where I awake from the impulse as one might awake from a particularly-sickening nightmare - I don't want to 'create character', I don't want to be vivid or memorable or precise, I neither wish to bathe each scene in the lambency of the 'love that accepts' or be excoriatingly cruel, smart, vicious, 'penetrating' (ugh), or any of the other recoil qualities. In fact, like the man in St Mawr, I want nothing. Nothing, I want. And so it becomes quite impossible for me to carry on. This failure of impulse seems to me suspiciously like a failure of sexual impulse: people conceive novels and dash away at them & finish them in the same way as they fall in love & will not be satisfied till they're married - another point on which I seem to be out of step. There's something cold & heavy sitting on me somewhere, & until something budges it I am no good.
Philip Larkin (Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica)
Evan stares at me. I try to hug him. He takes a step back. I pause, my heart in my throat. I’ve got to reach out to him, let myself be vulnerable. I find the courage, but he backs up again. “You can’t go to Iraq anymore.” “I know.” He looks up at Deanna, then back to me. “Did you fight bad guys? You told me you weren’t.” His voice is suspicious, full of accusation. He doesn’t trust me, and I don’t blame him for that. “No, Evan. I didn’t fight bad guys.” I can’t bring myself to tell him the complete truth. I want so desperately to go back into this fight. I miss it every day. I always felt I could change the world with a rifle in my hands and our flag on my shoulder. “Did you get shot?” he looks me over, apparently searching for bullet wounds. I grin a little. “No, Bud, I didn’t get shot.” “People get shot in Iraq.” “Yes, they do.” It strikes me then that Evan for the first time has a grasp on the dangers that are faced over there. He’s six now, and the world is coming into focus for him. “People get shot, Daddy. They die. Bad guys kill them.” I think of Edward Iwan and Sean Sims. “Yeah, I know they do, Evan.
David Bellavia (House to House: An Epic Memoir of War)
Want to know who I am? Your responses indicate that you have a normal desire to share yourself with others. However, this need is not being adequately fulfilled at present. As a result, you unconsciously attempt to treat this emptiness with momentary interests and temporary passions. If left unaddressed, this imbalance leads to impulsive behavior and unnecessary risks. Past betrayals have left you generally suspicious of others’ behavior, particularly regarding romantic relationships. You fear you may be exploited if you open yourself too fully. Consequently, you often seek some proof of a new friend’s or lover’s sincerity before you decide to trust them. Further complicating your relationships is the anxiety you have about your unfulfilled personal and professional goals. You fear that you’ve made decisions that weren’t in your own best interest, or failed to take advantage of opportunities when they presented themselves. The desire to overcome these challenges sometimes lead you to seem pushy or even arrogant. Because this competitive urge is not always apparent to others, they are often surprised by it. However, the passion that underlies your desire for success is unique. This makes you unlike others. You cannot simply accept what life has to offer; you aspire for more. Between each inhale and exhale we die and are reborn.
Micheal Tsarion
Is there a reason you are here?" he finally demanded. With complete nonchalance she replied, "Well,I've brought my trunks. I do believe I'm moving in." "The hell you are!" "Nice of you to welcome me in your usual boorish manner" was all she said to that. A muscle ticked in his jaw. It made not a jot of difference that he'd just gone to Norford and back this morning to bring her here himself. That had been his idea.Her coming here on her own was her idea,and it make him suspicious. "Don't start your manipulations already," he warned her. "Answer my question." "Why am I still here? Shall we start with the obvious reason? Because I really am pregnant and once my pregnancy starts to show,I do not want to be in a position to have people ask me who my husband is and not believe me when I tell them that it's you." "And the not-so-obvious answer?" "Because you make me so furious that I spite myself to spite you!
Johanna Lindsey (A Rogue of My Own (Reid Family, #3))
More recently, Karen Stenner, a behavioral economist who began researching personality traits two decades ago, has argued that about a third of the population in any country has what she calls an authoritarian predisposition, a word that is more useful than personality, because it is less rigid. An authoritarian predisposition, one that favors homogeneity and order, can be present without necessarily manifesting itself; its opposite, a “libertarian” predisposition, one that favors diversity and difference, can be silently present too. Stenner’s definition of authoritarianism isn’t political, and it isn’t the same thing as conservatism. Authoritarianism appeals, simply, to people who cannot tolerate complexity: there is nothing intrinsically “left-wing” or “right-wing” about this instinct at all. It is anti-pluralist. It is suspicious of people with different ideas. It is allergic to fierce debates. Whether those who have it ultimately derive their politics from Marxism or nationalism is irrelevant. It is a frame of mind, not a set of ideas.
Anne Applebaum (Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism)
But this is something quite new!" said Mrs. Munt, who collected new ideas as a squirrel collects nuts, and was especially attracted by those that are portable. "New for me; sensible people have acknowledged it for years. You and I and the Wilcoxes stand upon money as upon islands. It is so firm beneath our feet that we forget its very existence. It's only when we see someone near us tottering that we realize all that an independent income means. Last night, when we were talking up here round the fire, I began to think that the very soul of the world is economic, and that the lowest abyss is not the absence of love, but the absence of coin." "I call that rather cynical." "So do I. But Helen and I, we ought to remember, when we are tempted to criticize others, that we are standing on these islands, and that most of the others are down below the surface of the sea. The poor cannot always reach those whom they want to love, and they can hardly ever escape from those whom they love no longer. We rich can. Imagine the tragedy last June if Helen and Paul Wilcox had been poor people and could not invoke railways and motor-cars to part them." "That's more like Socialism," said Mrs. Munt suspiciously. "Call it what you like. I call it going through life with one's hand spread open on the table. I'm tired of these rich people who pretend to be poor, and think it shows a nice mind to ignore the piles of money that keep their feet above the waves. I stand each year upon six hundred pounds, and Helen upon the same, and Tibby will stand upon eight, and as fast as our pounds crumble away into the sea they are renewed—from the sea, yes, from the sea. And all our thoughts are the thoughts of six-hundred-pounders, and all our speeches; and because we don't want to steal umbrellas ourselves, we forget that below the sea people do want to steal them, and do steal them sometimes, and that what's a joke up here is down there reality—
E.M. Forster (Howards End)
We are committed to involving as many people as possible, as young as possible, as soon as possible. Sometimes too young and too soon! But we intentionally err on the side of too fast rather than too slow. We don’t wait until people feel “prepared” or “fully equipped.” Seriously, when is anyone ever completely prepared for ministry? Ministry makes people’s faith bigger. If you want to increase someone’s confidence in God, put him in a ministry position before he feels fully equipped. The messages your environments communicate have the potential to trump your primary message. If you don’t see a mess, if you aren’t bothered by clutter, you need to make sure there is someone around you who does see it and is bothered by it. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins. The sermon begins in the parking lot. Assign responsibility, not tasks. At the end of the day, it’s application that makes all the difference. Truth isn’t helpful if no one understands or remembers it. If you want a church full of biblically educated believers, just teach what the Bible says. If you want to make a difference in your community and possibly the world, give people handles, next steps, and specific applications. Challenge them to do something. As we’ve all seen, it’s not safe to assume that people automatically know what to do with what they’ve been taught. They need specific direction. This is hard. This requires an extra step in preparation. But this is how you grow people. Your current template is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently getting. We must remove every possible obstacle from the path of the disinterested, suspicious, here-against-my-will, would-rather-be-somewhere-else, unchurched guests. The parking lot, hallways, auditorium, and stage must be obstacle-free zones. As a preacher, it’s my responsibility to offend people with the gospel. That’s one reason we work so hard not to offend them in the parking lot, the hallway, at check-in, or in the early portions of our service. We want people to come back the following week for another round of offending! Present the gospel in uncompromising terms, preach hard against sin, and tackle the most emotionally charged topics in culture, while providing an environment where unchurched people feel comfortable. The approach a church chooses trumps its purpose every time. Nothing says hypocrite faster than Christians expecting non-Christians to behave like Christians when half the Christians don’t act like it half the time. When you give non-Christians an out, they respond by leaning in. Especially if you invite them rather than expect them. There’s a big difference between being expected to do something and being invited to try something. There is an inexorable link between an organization’s vision and its appetite for improvement. Vision exposes what has yet to be accomplished. In this way, vision has the power to create a healthy sense of organizational discontent. A leader who continually keeps the vision out in front of his or her staff creates a thirst for improvement. Vision-centric churches expect change. Change is a means to an end. Change is critical to making what could and should be a reality. Write your vision in ink; everything else should be penciled in. Plans change. Vision remains the same. It is natural to assume that what worked in the past will always work. But, of course, that way of thinking is lethal. And the longer it goes unchallenged, the more difficult it is to identify and eradicate. Every innovation has an expiration date. The primary reason churches cling to outdated models and programs is that they lack leadership.
Andy Stanley (Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend)
Lost in the stormy kiss, Elizabeth felt her legs gliding down his as he gently lowered her against him until her feet touched the floor. But when his fingers pulled at the ribbon that held her gown in place at her shoulder, she jerked free of his kiss, automatically clamping her hand over his. “What are you doing?” she asked in a quaking whisper. His fingers stilled, and Ian lifted his heavy-lidded gaze to hers. The question took him by surprise, but as he stared into her green eyes Ian saw her apprehension, and he had a good idea what was causing it. “What do you think I’m doing?” he countered cautiously. She hesitated, as if unwilling even to accuse him of such an unspeakable act, and then she admitted in a small, reluctant voice, “Disrobing me.” “And that surprises you?” “Surprises me? Of course it does. Why wouldn’t it?” Elizabeth asked, more suspicious than ever of what Lucinda had told her. Quietly he said, “What exactly do you know about what takes place between a husband and wife in bed?” “You-you mean ‘as it pertains to the creation of children’?” she said, quoting his words to her the day she agreed to become betrothed to him. He smiled with tender amusement at her phrasing. “I suppose you can call it that-for now.” “Only what Lucinda told me.” He waited to hear an explanation, and Elizabeth reluctantly added, “She said a husband kisses his wife in bed and that it hurts the first time, and that is how it is done.” Ian hesitated, angry with himself for not having followed his own instincts and questioned her further when she seemed fully informed and without maidenly qualms about lovemaking. As gently as he could, he said, “You’re a very intelligent young woman, love, not an overly fastidious spinster like your former duenna. Now, do you honestly believe the rules of nature would be completely set aside for people?
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
So where is it?” Harry asked suspiciously. “Unfortunately,” said Scrimgeour, “that sword was not Dumbledore’s to give away. The sword of Godric Gryffindor is an important historical artifact, and as such, belongs—” “It belongs to Harry!” said Hermione hotly. “It chose him, he was the one who found it, it came to him out of the Sorting Hat—” “According to reliable historical sources, the sword may present itself to any worthy Gryffindor,” said Scrimgeour. “That does not make it the exclusive property of Mr. Potter, whatever Dumbledore may have decided.” Scrimgeour scratched his badly shaven cheek, scrutinizing Harry. “Why do you think—?” “—Dumbledore wanted to give me the sword?” said Harry, struggling to keep his temper. “Maybe he thought it would look nice on my wall.” “This is not a joke, Potter!” growled Scrimgeour. “Was it because Dumbledore believed that only the sword of Godric Gryffindor could defeat the Heir of Slytherin? Did he wish to give you that sword, Potter, because he believed, as do many, that you are the one destined to destroy He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?” “Interesting theory,” said Harry. “Has anyone ever tried sticking a sword in Voldemort? Maybe the Ministry should put some people onto that, instead of wasting their time stripping down Deluminators or covering up breakouts from Azakaban. So is this what you’ve been doing, Minister, shut up in your office, trying to break open a Snitch? People are dying—I was nearly one of them—Voldemort chased me across three counties, he killed Mad-Eye Moody, but there’s been no word about any of that from the Ministry, has there? And you still expect us to cooperate with you?” “You go too far!” shouted Scrimgeour, standing up; Harry jumped to his feet too. Scrimgeour limped toward Harry and jabbed him hard in the chest with the point of his wand: It singed a hole in Harry’s T-shirt like a lit cigarette. “Oi!” said Ron, jumping up and raising his own wand, but Harry said, “No! D’you want to give him an excuse to arrest us?” “Remembered you’re not at school, have you?” said Scrimgeour, breathing hard into Harry’s face. “Remembered that I am not Dumbledore, who forgave your insolence and insubordination? You may wear that scar like a crown, Potter, but it is not up to a seventeen-year-old boy to tell me how to do my job! It’s time you learned some respect!” “It’s time you earned it,” said Harry.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
I fancy my father thought me an odd child, and had little fondness for me; though he was very careful in fulfilling what he regarded as a parent's duties. But he was already past the middle of life, and I was not his only son. My mother had been his second wife, and he was five-and-forty when he married her. He was a firm, unbending, intensely orderly man, in root and stem a banker, but with a flourishing graft of the active landholder, aspiring to county influence: one of those people who are always like themselves from day to day, who are uninfluenced by the weather, and neither know melancholy nor high spirits. I held him in great awe, and appeared more timid and sensitive in his presence than at other times; a circumstance which, perhaps, helped to confirm him in the intention to educate me on a different plan from the prescriptive one with which he had complied in the case of my elder brother, already a tall youth at Eton. My brother was to be his representative and successor; he must go to Eton and Oxford, for the sake of making connexions, of course: my father was not a man to underrate the bearing of Latin satirists or Greek dramatists on the attainment of an aristocratic position. But intrinsically, he had slight esteem for "those dead but sceptred spirits"; having qualified himself for forming an independent opinion by reading Potter's Aeschylus, and dipping into Francis's Horace. To this negative view he added a positive one, derived from a recent connexion with mining speculations; namely, that scientific education was the really useful training for a younger son. Moreover, it was clear that a shy, sensitive boy like me was not fit to encounter the rough experience of a public school. Mr. Letherall had said so very decidedly. Mr. Letherall was a large man in spectacles, who one day took my small head between his large hands, and pressed it here and there in an exploratory, suspicious manner - then placed each of his great thumbs on my temples, and pushed me a little way from him, and stared at me with glittering spectacles. The contemplation appeared to displease him, for he frowned sternly, and said to my father, drawing his thumbs across my eyebrows - 'The deficiency is there, sir-there; and here,' he added, touching the upper sides of my head, 'here is the excess. That must be brought out, sir, and this must be laid to sleep.' I was in a state of tremor, partly at the vague idea that I was the object of reprobation, partly in the agitation of my first hatred - hatred of this big, spectacled man, who pulled my head about as if he wanted to buy and cheapen it. ("The Lifted Veil")
George Eliot (The Lifted Veil (Fantasy and Horror Classics))