Sympathy Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Sympathy. Here they are! All 100 of them:

If you're looking for sympathy you'll find it between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.
David Sedaris (Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays)
I'm coming back into focus when Caesar asks him if he has a girlfriend back home. Peeta hesitates, then gives an unconvincing shake of his head. Handsome lad like you. There must be some special girl. Come on, what’s her name?" says Caesar. Peeta sighs. "Well, there is this one girl. I’ve had a crush on her ever since I can remember. But I’m pretty sure she didn’t know I was alive until the reaping." Sounds of sympathy from the crowd. Unrequited love they can relate to. She have another fellow?" asks Caesar. I don’t know, but a lot of boys like her," says Peeta. So, here’s what you do. You win, you go home. She can’t turn you down then, eh?" says Caesar encouragingly. I don’t think it’s going to work out. Winning...won’t help in my case," says Peeta. Why ever not?" says Caesar, mystified. Peeta blushes beet red and stammers out. "Because...because...she came here with me.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride...and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well...maybe chalk it up to forced consciousness expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind; In the primal sympathy Which having been must ever be...
William Wordsworth
And the more I drink the more I feel it. That's why I drink too. I try to find sympathy and feeling in drink.... I drink so that I may suffer twice as much!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
You can’t save others from themselves because those who make a perpetual muddle of their lives don’t appreciate your interfering with the drama they’ve created. They want your poor-sweet-baby sympathy, but they don’t want to change.
Sue Grafton (T is for Trespass (Kinsey Millhone, #20))
Like crying wolf, if you keep looking for sympathy as a justification for your actions, you will someday be left standing alone when you really need help.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
I did not know how to reach him, how to catch up with him... The land of tears is so mysterious.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
When you're cold, don't expect sympathy from someone who's warm.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (One Day in Life of Ivan Denisovich (SparkNotes Literature Guide))
Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.
Joseph Fort Newton
No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
Theodore Roosevelt
It is terribly rude to tell people that their troubles are boring.
Lemony Snicket (The Blank Book (A Series of Unfortunate Events))
If children were brought into the world by an act of pure reason alone, would the human race continue to exist? Would not a man rather have so much sympathy with the coming generation as to spare it the burden of existence, or at any rate not take it upon himself to impose that burden upon it in cold blood?
Arthur Schopenhauer (Studies in Pessimism: The Essays)
From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other - above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.
Albert Einstein
A parabatai. Like he was. And Jace knew, too, what that faded rune meant: a parabatai whose other half was dead. He felt his sympathy leap toward Brother Zachariah, as he imagined himself without Alec, with only that faded rune to remind him where once he had been bonded to someone who knew all the best and worst parts of his soul.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
For in spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody.
Aldous Huxley
Though sympathy alone can't alter facts, it can help to make them more bearable.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
You know all that sympathy that you feel for an abused child who suffers without a good mom or dad to love and care for them? Well, they don't stay children forever. No one magically becomes an adult the day they turn eighteen. Some people grow up sooner, many grow up later. Some never really do. But just remember that some people in this world are older versions of those same kids we cry for.
Ashly Lorenzana
When good people consider you the bad guy, you develop a heart to help the bad ones. You actually understand them.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Racism is not merely a simplistic hatred. It is, more often, broad sympathy toward some and broader skepticism toward others.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy)
You killed my Dad." Any trace of kindness or sympathy vanished from Rixon's eyes. "Well this is awkward.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2))
Most people are on the world, not in it — have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them — undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate.
John Muir (John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir)
Human sympathy has its limits.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
So I sent Halt to straighten matters out. Thought it might be a good idea to give him something to keep him busy." So what's Digby got to complain about?" Rodney asked. It was obvious from his tone that he felt no sympathy for the recalcitrant commander of Barga Hold. The Baron gestured for Lady Pauline to explain. Apparently," she said,"Halt threw him into the moat.
John Flanagan (The Burning Bridge (Ranger's Apprentice, #2))
None of us can choose where we shall love...
Susan Kay (Phantom)
Are you looking for sympathy? You'll find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis
Thomas Harris (Hannibal Rising (Hannibal Lecter, #4))
She wanted—what some people want throughout life—a grief that should deeply touch her, and thus humanize and make her capable of sympathy.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
Sympathy, Love, Fortune... We all have these qualities but still tend to not use them!
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
Good works is giving to the poor and the helpless, but divine works is showing them their worth to the One who matters.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now for ever taken from my sight, Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind; In the primal sympathy Which having been must ever be; In the soothing thoughts that spring Out of human suffering; In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind.
William Wordsworth
In a weird way I must have loved my little collection of hurts and wounds. They provided me with some real nice sympathy, with the feeling I was exceptional...What a special case I was.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
My belief is that art should not be comforting; for comfort, we have mass entertainment and one another. Art should provoke, disturb, arouse our emotions, expand our sympathies in directions we may not anticipate and may not even wish.
Joyce Carol Oates
In spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody. The essential substance of every thought and feeling remains incommunicable, locked up in the impenetrable strong-room of the individual soul and body. Our life is a sentence of perpetual solitary confinement.
Aldous Huxley
The writer must be universal in sympathy and an outcast by nature: only then can he see clearly.
Julian Barnes (Flaubert's Parrot)
If your understanding of the divine made you kinder, more empathetic, and impelled you to express sympathy in concrete acts of loving-kindness, this was good theology. But if your notion of God made you unkind, belligerent, cruel, of self-righteous, or if it led you to kill in God's name, it was bad theology.
Karen Armstrong (The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness)
He shook his head in mock sympathy. "I tell you, Sage. Sometimes I think I am the one who needs to take out the restraining order on you.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
As your mother, I can appreciate that maybe this isn’t your fault, but as the president, all I want is to have the CIA fake your death and ride the dead-kid sympathy into a second term.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.
Justin Timberlake
I think a lot of psychopaths are just geniuses who drove so fast that they lost control.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
What happens if your choice is misguided?' I ask, softly. Miss Moore takes a pear from the bowl and offers us the grapes to devour. 'You must try to correct it.' 'But what if it’s too late? What if you can’t?' There's a sad sympathy in Miss Moore's catlike eyes as she regards my painting again. She paints the thinnest sliver of shadow along the bottom of the apple, bringing it fully to life. 'Then you must find a way to live with it.
Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1))
Curiosity is a gateway drug to sympathy.
V.E. Schwab (The Archived (The Archived, #1))
Do you like to slide?" His voice was eager. Stair rails! Did he suspect me? I forced a sigh. "No, Majesty. I'm terrified of heights." "Oh." His polite tone had returned. "I wish I could enjoy it. This fear of heights is an affliction." He nodded, a show of sympathy but not much interest. I was losing him. "Especially," I added, "as I've grown taller.
Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted (Ella Enchanted, #1))
Horror was rooted in sympathy . . . in understanding what it would be like to suffer the worst.
Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box)
There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.
Booker T. Washington
The possibility of physical and mental collapse is now very real. No sympathy for the Devil, keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Sympathy is common. Knowing the exact shape of the hole someone’s loss leaves in your heart is rare.
Cassandra Clare (Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3))
Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities connected with the social instincts which in us would be called moral.
Charles Darwin
Birchfall lapped at his wound "You're not very sympathetic for a medicine cat" "I'm here to HEAL you. If you want sympathy, go to the nursery" Jaypaw mewed
Erin Hunter (Dark River (Warriors: Power of Three, #2))
Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. “To know all is to forgive all.
Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends and Influence People)
Ancient eyes had stared at me, filled with ancient grief. And something more. Something so alien and unexpected that I'd almost burst into tears. I'd seen many things in his eyes in the time that I'd known him: lust, amusement, sympathy, mockery, caution, fury. But I had never seen this. Hope. Jericho Barrons had hope, and I was the reason for it. I would never forget his smile. It had illuminated him from the inside out.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
when pain is to be born, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
one thing I don’t need is any more apologies i got sorry greetin me at my front door you can keep yrs i don’t know what to do wit em they don’t open doors or bring the sun back they don’t make me happy or get a mornin paper didn’t nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars cuz a sorry.
Ntozake Shange (For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf)
No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness, and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.
Emma Goldman
That love is reverence, and worship, and glory, and the upward glance. Not a bandage for dirty sores. But they don’t know it. Those who speak of love most promiscuously are the ones who’ve never felt it. They make some sort of feeble stew out of sympathy, compassion, contempt, and general indifference, and they call it love. Once you’ve felt what it means to love as you and I know it – the total passion for the total height – you’re incapable of anything less.
Ayn Rand
It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere... Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
Albert Einstein
It is easy to tell the toiler How best he can carry his pack But no one can rate a burden's weight Until it has been on his back
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it, even with the best right, but without being OBLIGED to do so, proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring beyond measure. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life in itself already brings with it; not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, becomes isolated, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience. Supposing such a one comes to grief, it is so far from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it, nor sympathize with it. And he cannot any longer go back! He cannot even go back again to the sympathy of men!
Friedrich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil)
Love is reverence, and worship, and glory, and the upward glance. Not a bandage for dirty sores. But they don't know it. Those who speak of love most promiscuously are the ones who've never felt it. They make some sort of feeble stew out of sympathy, compassion, contempt and general indifference, and they call it love. Once you've felt what it means to love as you and I know it - total passion for the total height - you're incapable of anything less.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Each person you meet is an aspect of yourself, clamoring for love.
Eric Micha'el Leventhal
Playing the victim role: Manipulator portrays him- or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else's behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.
George K. Simon Jr. (In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing With Manipulative People)
The funny thing about the heart is a soft heart is a strong heart, and a hard heart is a weak heart.
Criss Jami (Healology)
-BDB on the board- Knitter's Anonimous May 8, 2006 Rhage (in his bedroom posting in V's room on the board) Hi, my name is V. ("Hi, V") I've been knitting for 125 years now. (*gasping noises*) It's begun to impact my personal relationships: my brothers think I'm a nancy. It's begun to affect my health: I'm getting a callus on my forefinger and I find bits of yarn in all my pockets and I'm starting to smell like wool. I can't concentrate at work: I keep picturing all these lessers in Irish sweaters and thick socks. (*sounds of sympathy*) I've come seeking a community of people who, like me, are trying not to knit. Can you help me? (*We're with you*) Thank you (*takes out hand-knitted hankie in pink*) (*sniffles*) ("We embrace you, V") Vishous (in the pit): Oh hell no...you did not just put that up. And nice spelling in the title. Man...you just have to roll up on me, don't you. I got four words for you, my brother. Rhage: Four words? Okay...lemme see... Rhage, you're so sexy. hmmm.... Rhage, you're SO smart. No wait! Rhage, you're SO right! That's it, isn't it...g'head. You can tell me. Vishous: First one starts with a "P" Use your head for the other three. Bastard. Rhage: P? Hmm... Please pass the yarn Vishous: Payback is a bitch! Rhage: Ohhhhhhhhhhhh I'm so scuuuuuurred. Can you whip me up a blanket to hide under?
J.R. Ward (The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide (Black Dagger Brotherhood))
What else did he say?” She screwed up her face. “Oh, some weird thing about telling you that he still feels the same way about that tent, and he promises to say it to you in person next time he sees you.” I gave a bark of laughter that was more of a sob. “That asshat,” I blubbered. Elodie nodded in sympathy. “Such an asshat.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
If you’re telling a non-black person about something racist that happened to you, make sure you are not bitter. Don’t complain. Be forgiving. If possible, make it funny. Most of all, do not be angry. Black people are not supposed to be angry about racism. Otherwise you get no sympathy. This applies only for white liberals, by the way. Don’t even bother telling a white conservative about anything racist that happened to you. Because the conservative will tell you that YOU are the real racist and your mouth will hang open in confusion.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
Your mother sounds like a formidable woman," Valek said into the silence. "You have no idea," Leif replied with a sigh. "Well, if she's anything like Yelena, my deepest sympathies," Valek teased. "Hey!" Leif laughed and the tense moment dissipated. Valek handed Leif his machete. "Do you know how to use it?" "Of course. I chopped Yelena's bow into firewood," Leif joked.
Maria V. Snyder (Magic Study (Study, #2))
When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the facts that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom: the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other. This feeling should make men and women use their best efforts to help their fellow travelers on the road, to make the path brighter and easier as we journey on. It should bring a closer kinship, a better understanding, and a deeper sympathy for the wayfarers who must live a common life and die a common death.
Clarence Darrow (The Essential Words and Writings of Clarence Darrow (Modern Library Classics))
When people injure you, ask yourself what good or harm they thought would come of it. If you understand that, you'll feel sympathy rather than outrage or anger. Your sense of good and evil may be the same as theirs, or near it, in which case you have to excuse them. Or your sense of good and evil may differ from theirs. In which case they're misguided and deserve your compassion. Is that so hard?
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
Sassenach, I've been stabbed, bitten, slapped, and whipped since supper - which I didna get to finish. I dinna like to scare children an I dinna like to flog men, and I've had to do both. I've two hundred English camped three miles away, and no idea what to do about them. I'm tired, I'm hungry, and I'm sore. If you've anything like womanly sympathy about ye, I could use a bit!
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
He was a man who would never ask for sympathy. He was a man who sought only to do what was right. Such people appear in the world, every world, now and then, like a single refrain of some blessed song, a fragment caught on the spur of an otherwise raging cacophony. Imagine a world without such souls. Yes, it should have been harder to do.
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
For with my intuition I knew that this man was repeating a pattern over and over again: courting a woman with his intelligence and sympathy, claiming her emotionally; then, when she began to claim in return, running away. And the better a woman was, the sooner he would begin to run. I knew this with my intuition, and yet I sat there in my dark room, looking at the hazed wet brilliance of the purple London night sky, longing with my whole being.
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
Love is a fire that burns unseen, a wound that aches yet isn’t felt, an always discontent contentment, a pain that rages without hurting, a longing for nothing but to long, a loneliness in the midst of people, a never feeling pleased when pleased, a passion that gains when lost in thought. It’s being enslaved of your own free will; it’s counting your defeat a victory; it’s staying loyal to your killer. But if it’s so self-contradictory, how can Love, when Love chooses, bring human hearts into sympathy?
Luís de Camões (Sonetos de Camões)
Cry your grief to God. Howl to the heavens. Tear your shirt. Your hair. Your flesh. Gouge out your eyes. Carve out your heart. And what will you get from Him? Only silence. Indifference. But merely stand looking at the playbills, sighing because your name is not on them, and the devil himself appears at your elbow full of sympathy and suggestions. And that's why I did it....Because God loves us, but the devil takes an interest.
Jennifer Donnelly (Revolution)
As man advances in civilization, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races.
Charles Darwin (The Descent of Man)
There is something profoundly cynical, my friends, in the notion of paradise after death. The lure is evasion. The promise is excusative. One need not accept responsibility for the world as it is, and by extension, one need do nothing about it. To strive for change, for true goodness in this mortal world, one must acknowledge and accept, within one's own soul, that this mortal reality has purpose in itself, that its greatest value is not for us, but for our children and their children. To view life as but a quick passage alone a foul, tortured path – made foul and tortured by our own indifference – is to excuse all manner of misery and depravity, and to exact cruel punishment upon the innocent lives to come. I defy this notion of paradise beyond the gates of bone. If the soul truly survives the passage, then it behooves us – each of us, my friends – to nurture a faith in similitude: what awaits us is a reflection of what we leave behind, and in the squandering of our mortal existence, we surrender the opportunity to learn the ways of goodness, the practice of sympathy, empathy, compassion and healing – all passed by in our rush to arrive at a place of glory and beauty, a place we did not earn, and most certainly do not deserve.
Steven Erikson (The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6))
As a citizen of the world, it’s my instinct to keep the fallen and the suffering in my thoughts. The human brain fascinates me; its limitless bounds of empathy. You see, in my mind there is logic to it: do no harm, prevent harm, help, support, care for the harmed, face the harmer. My stupid idealist conscience considers sympathy, not pity, at its worst, the most basic and the least negotiable civil duty. Of course as a citizen of the world, I should strive to do more. That said, I am only a man and so I often do the least.
Asaad Almohammad (An Ishmael of Syria)
There were people who called themselves Satanists who made Crowley squirm. It wasn't just the things they did, it was the way they blamed it all on Hell. They'd come up with some stomach-churning idea that no demon could have thought of in a thousand years, some dark and mindless unpleasantness that only a fully-functioning human brain could conceive, then shout "The Devil Made Me Do It" and get the sympathy of the court when the whole point was that the Devil hardly ever made anyone do anything. He didn't have to. That was what some humans found hard to understand. Hell wasn't a major reservoir of evil, any more than Heaven, in Crowley's opinion, was a fountain of goodness; they were just sides in the great cosmic chess game. Where you found the real McCoy, the real grace and the real heart-stopping evil, was right inside the human mind.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
...the Confederacy of the Humbled is a close-knit brotherhood whose members travel with no outward markings, but who know each other at a glance. For having fallen suddenly from grace, those in the Confederacy share a certain perspective. Knowing beauty, influence, fame, and privilege to be borrowed rather than bestowed, they are not easily impressed. They are not quick to envy or take offense. They certainly do not scour the papers in search of their own names. They remain committed to living among their peers, but they greet adulation with caution, ambition with sympathy, and condescension with an inward smile.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of other men —above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received and am still receiving.
Albert Einstein (Living Philosophies)
Then listen to me,' he said and cleared his throat. 'It's true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy in its mother's hut. A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland. Your mother is there to protect you. She is buried there. And that is why we say that mother is supreme. Is it right that you, Okonkwo, should bring your mother a heavy face and refuse to be comforted? Be careful or you may displease the dead. Your duty is to comfort your wives and children and take them back to your fatherland after seven years. But if you allow sorrow to weigh you down and kill you, they will all die in exile.
Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1))
When they reached a maintenance closet, Iko ushered the escort-droid inside. “I want you to know that I hold nothing against you,” she said, by way of introduction. “I understand that it isn’t your fault your programmer had so little imagination.” The escort-droid held her gaze with empty eyes. “In another life, we could have been sisters, and I feel it’s important to acknowledge that.” A blank stare. A blink, every six seconds. “But as it stands, I’m a part of an important mission right now, and I cannot be swayed from my goal by my sympathy for androids who are less advanced than myself.” Nothing. “All right then.” Iko held out her hands. “I need your clothes.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
I want pancakes.” “What? Right now?” “No. For breakfast.” “Oh.” He yawned. “You’d better get up early then.” “Me? I’m not going to make them.” “Yeah?” His sleepy voice carried mock sympathy. “Who’s going to make them for you then?” “You are.” “Am I? You think I’m going to make you pancakes? Is that how you think it’s going to be?" "You’re so good at,” I whined. “Besides, if you do, I’ll sit on the counter in a short robe while you cook.” His soft laughter segued into another yawn. “Oh. Well then.” He kissed my ear again. “Maybe I’ll make you pancakes.
Richelle Mead (Succubus on Top (Georgina Kincaid, #2))
I've learned that it helps to talk about [anxiety]. Unfortunately I think most people would still get more sympathy from their colleagues and bosses at work if they show up looking rough one morning and say 'I'm hungover' than if they say 'I'm suffering from anxiety.' But I think we pass people in the street every day who feel the same as you and I, many of them just don't know what it is. Men and women going around for months having trouble breathing and seeing doctor after doctor because they think there's something wrong with their lungs. All because it's so damn difficult to admit that something else is...broken. That it's an ache in our soul, invisible lead weights in our blood, an indescribable pressure in our chest. Our brains are lying to us, telling us we're going to die. But there's nothing wrong with our lungs, Zara.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
Sometimes we think that to develop an open heart, to be truly loving and compassionate, means that we need to be passive, to allow others to abuse us, to smile and let anyone do what they want with us. Yet this is not what is meant by compassion. Quite the contrary. Compassion is not at all weak. It is the strength that arises out of seeing the true nature of suffering in the world. Compassion allows us to bear witness to that suffering, whether it is in ourselves or others, without fear; it allows us to name injustice without hesitation, and to act strongly, with all the skill at our disposal. To develop this mind state of compassion...is to learn to live, as the Buddha put it, with sympathy for all living beings, without exception.
Sharon Salzberg (Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Shambhala Library))
As for the Republicans -- how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical 'American heritage'...) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.
H.P. Lovecraft
That is the idea -- that we should all be wicked if we did not hold to the Christian religion. It seems to me that the people who have held to it have been for the most part extremely wicked. You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. In the so-called ages of faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all its completeness, there was the Inquisition, with all its tortures; there were millions of unfortunate women burned as witches; and there was every kind of cruelty practiced upon all sorts of people in the name of religion. You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world. You may think that I am going too far when I say that that is still so. I do not think that I am. Take one fact. You will bear with me if I mention it. It is not a pleasant fact, but the churches compel one to mention facts that are not pleasant. Supposing that in this world that we live in today an inexperienced girl is married to a syphilitic man; in that case the Catholic Church says, 'This is an indissoluble sacrament. You must endure celibacy or stay together. And if you stay together, you must not use birth control to prevent the birth of syphilitic children.' Nobody whose natural sympathies have not been warped by dogma, or whose moral nature was not absolutely dead to all sense of suffering, could maintain that it is right and proper that that state of things should continue. That is only an example. There are a great many ways in which, at the present moment, the church, by its insistence upon what it chooses to call morality, inflicts upon all sorts of people undeserved and unnecessary suffering. And of course, as we know, it is in its major part an opponent still of progress and improvement in all the ways that diminish suffering in the world, because it has chosen to label as morality a certain narrow set of rules of conduct which have nothing to do with human happiness; and when you say that this or that ought to be done because it would make for human happiness, they think that has nothing to do with the matter at all. 'What has human happiness to do with morals? The object of morals is not to make people happy.
Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects)
On the whole, we're a murderous race. According to Genesis, it took as few as four people to make the planet too crowded to stand, and the first murder was a fratricide. Genesis says that in a fit of jealous rage, the very first child born to mortal parents, Cain, snapped and popped the first metaphorical cap in another human being. The attack was a bloody, brutal, violent, reprehensible killing. Cain's brother Abel probably never saw it coming. As I opened the door to my apartment, I was filled with a sense of empathic sympathy and intuitive understanding. For freaking Cain.
Jim Butcher (Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7))
His habit of reading isolated him: it became such a need that after being in company for some time he grew tired and restless; he was vain of the wider knowledge he had acquired from the perusal of so many books, his mind was alert, and he had not the skill to hide his contempt for his companions' stupidity. They complained that he was conceited; and, since he excelled only in matters which to them were unimportant, they asked satirically what he had to be conceited about. He was developing a sense of humour, and found that he had a knack of saying bitter things, which caught people on the raw; he said them because they amused him, hardly realising how much they hurt, and was much offended when he found that his victims regarded him with active dislike. The humiliations he suffered when he first went to school had caused in him a shrinking from his fellows which he could never entirely overcome; he remained shy and silent. But though he did everything to alienate the sympathy of other boys he longed with all his heart for the popularity which to some was so easily accorded. These from his distance he admired extravagantly; and though he was inclined to be more sarcastic with them than with others, though he made little jokes at their expense, he would have given anything to change places with them.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria: 1) They respect human beings as individuals and are therefore always tolerant, gentle, courteous and amenable ... They do not create scenes over a hammer or a mislaid eraser; they do not make you feel they are conferring a great benefit on you when they live with you, and they don't make a scandal when they leave. (...) 2) They have compassion for other people besides beggars and cats. Their hearts suffer the pain of what is hidden to the naked eye. (...) 3) They respect other people's property, and therefore pay their debts. 4) They are not devious, and they fear lies as they fear fire. They don't tell lies even in the most trivial matters. To lie to someone is to insult them, and the liar is diminished in the eyes of the person he lies to. Civilized people don't put on airs; they behave in the street as they would at home, they don't show off to impress their juniors. (...) 5) They don't run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others. They don't play on other people's heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted ... that sort of thing is just cheap striving for effects, it's vulgar, old hat and false. (...) 6) They are not vain. They don't waste time with the fake jewellery of hobnobbing with celebrities, being permitted to shake the hand of a drunken [judicial orator], the exaggerated bonhomie of the first person they meet at the Salon, being the life and soul of the bar ... They regard prases like 'I am a representative of the Press!!' -- the sort of thing one only hears from [very minor journalists] -- as absurd. If they have done a brass farthing's work they don't pass it off as if it were 100 roubles' by swanking about with their portfolios, and they don't boast of being able to gain admission to places other people aren't allowed in (...) True talent always sits in the shade, mingles with the crowd, avoids the limelight ... As Krylov said, the empty barrel makes more noise than the full one. (...) 7) If they do possess talent, they value it ... They take pride in it ... they know they have a responsibility to exert a civilizing influence on [others] rather than aimlessly hanging out with them. And they are fastidious in their habits. (...) 8) They work at developing their aesthetic sensibility ... Civilized people don't simply obey their baser instincts ... they require mens sana in corpore sano. And so on. That's what civilized people are like ... Reading Pickwick and learning a speech from Faust by heart is not enough if your aim is to become a truly civilized person and not to sink below the level of your surroundings. [From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886]
Anton Chekhov (A Life in Letters)
Where there was nature and earth, life and water, I saw a desert landscape that was unending, resembling some sort of crater, so devoid of reason and light and spirit that the mind could not grasp it on any sort of conscious level and if you came close the mind would reel backward, unable to take it in. It was a vision so clear and real and vital to me that in its purity it was almost abstract. This was what I could understand, this was how I lived my life, what I constructed my movement around, how I dealt with the tangible. This was the geography around which my reality revolved: it did not occur to me, ever, that people were good or that a man was capable of change or that the world could be a better place through one’s own taking pleasure in a feeling or a look or a gesture, of receiving another person’s love or kindness. Nothing was affirmative, the term “generosity of spirit” applied to nothing, was a cliche, was some kind of bad joke. Sex is mathematics. Individuality no longer an issue. What does intelligence signify? Define reason. Desire- meaningless. Intellect is not a cure. Justice is dead. Fear, recrimination, innocence, sympathy, guilt, waste, failure, grief, were things, emotions, that no one really felt anymore. Reflection is useless, the world is senseless. Evil is its only permanence. God is not alive. Love cannot be trusted. Surface, surface, surface, was all that anyone found meaning in…this was civilization as I saw it, colossal and jagged…
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
So far as we feel sympathy, we feel we are not accomplices to what caused the suffering. Our sympathy proclaims our innocence as well as our impotence. To that extent, it can be (for all our good intentions) an impertinent- if not inappropriate- response. To set aside the sympathy we extend to others beset by war and murderous politics for a reflection on how our privileges are located on the same map as their suffering, and may- in ways we might prefer not to imagine- be linked to their suffering, as the wealth as some may imply the destitution of others, is a task for which the painful, stirring images supply only an initial spark.
Susan Sontag (Regarding the Pain of Others)
The gift of the Holy Ghost...quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands, and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates, and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form, and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.
Parley P. Pratt
You must know,’ said Estella, condescending to me as a beautiful and brilliant woman might, ‘that I have no heart—if that has anything to do with my memory.’ I got through some jargon to the effect that I took the liberty of doubting that. That I knew better. That there could be no such beauty without it. ‘Oh! I have a heart to be stabbed in or shot in, I have no doubt,’ said Estella, ‘and, of course, if it ceased to beat I should cease to be. But you know what I mean. I have no softness there, no—sympathy—sentiment—nonsense.’ … ‘I am serious,’ said Estella, not so much with a frown (for her brow was smooth) as with a darkening of her face; ‘If we are to be thrown much together, you had better believe it at once. No!’ imperiously stopping me as I opened my lips. ‘I have not bestowed my tenderness anywhere. I have never had any such thing.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
The exaggerated dopamine sensitivity of the introvert leads one to believe that when in public, introverts, regardless of its validity, often feel to be the center of (unwanted) attention hence rarely craving attention. Extroverts, on the other hand, seem to never get enough attention. So on the flip side it seems as though the introvert is in a sense very external and the extrovert is in a sense very internal - the introvert constantly feels too much 'outerness' while the extrovert doesn't feel enough 'outerness'.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
-We need more love, to supersede hatred, -We need more strength, to resist our weaknesses, -We need more inspiration, to lighten up our innermind. -We need more learning, to erase our ignorance, -We need more wisdom, to live longer and happier, -We need more truths, to suppress deceptions, -We need more health, to enjoy our wealth, -We need more peace, to stay in harmony with our brethren -We need more smiles, to brighten up our day, -We need more hero's, and not zero's, -We need more change of ourselves, to change the lives of others, -We need more understanding, to tackle our misunderstanding, -We need more sympathy, not apathy, -We need more forgiveness, not vengeance, -We need more humility to be lifted up, -We need more patience and not undue eagerness, -We need more focus, to avoid distraction, -We need more optimism, not pessimism -We need more justice, not injustice, -We need more facts, not fiction, -We need more education, to curb illiteracy, -We need more skills, not incompetence, -We need more challenges, to make attempts, -We need more talents, to create the extraordinary, -We need more helping hands, not stingy folks, -We need more efforts, not laziness, -We need more jokes, to forget our worries, -We need more spirituality, not mean religion, -We need more freedom, not enslavement, -We need more peacemakers, not revolutionaries...with these, we create an heaven on earth.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits in the classic formulation. Now, it's long been understood very well that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist with whatever suffering and injustice it entails as long as it's possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited: that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage-can. At this stage of history, either one of two things is possible: either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community-interests, guided by values of solidarity and sympathy and concern for others; or, alternatively, there will be no destiny for anyone to control. As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole and, by now, that means the global community. The question is whether privileged elites should dominate mass-communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely, to impose necessary illusions, manipulate and deceive the stupid majority, and remove them from the public arena. The question, in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may well be essential to survival.
Noam Chomsky
Beati bellicosi. Blessed are the warriors.” “Good organization,” said Magnus. “I knew the man who founded it, back in the 1800s. Woolsey Scott. Respectable old werewolf family.” Alec made an ugly sound in the back of his throat. “Did you sleep with him, too?” Magnus’s cat eyes widened. “Alexander!” “Well, I don’t know anything about your past, do I?” Alec demanded. “You won’t tell me anything; you just say it doesn’t matter.” Magnus’s face was expressionless, but there was a dark tinge of anger to his voice. “Does this mean every time I mention anyone I’ve ever met, you’re going to ask me if I had an affair with them?” Alec’s expression was stubborn, but Simon couldn’t help having a flash of sympathy; the hurt behind his blue eyes was clear. “Maybe.” “I met Napoleon once,” said Magnus. “We didn’t have an affair, though. He was shockingly prudish for a Frenchman.” “You met Napoleon?” Jordan, who appeared to be missing most of the conversation, looked impressed. “So it’s true what they said about warlocks, then?” Alec gave him a very unpleasant look. “What’s true?” “Alexander,” said Magnus coldly, and Clary met Simon’s eyes across the table. Hers were wide, green, and full of an expression that said Uh-oh. “You can’t be rude to everyone who talks to me.” Alec made a wide, sweeping gesture. “And why not? Cramping your style, am I? I mean, maybe you were hoping to flirt with werewolf boy here. He’s pretty attractive, if you like the messy-haired, broad-shouldered, chiseled-good looks type.” “Hey, now,” said Jordan mildly. Magnus put his head in his hands. “Or there are plenty of pretty girls here, since apparently your taste goes both ways. Is there anything you aren’t into?” “Mermaids,” said Magnus into his fingers. “They always smell like seaweed.” “It’s not funny,” Alec said savagely, and kicking back his chair, he got up from the table and stalked off into the crowd.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
The growing number of gated communities in our nation is but one example of the obsession with safety. With guards at the gate, individuals still have bars and elaborate internal security systems. Americans spend more than thirty billion dollars a year on security. When I have stayed with friends in these communities and inquired as to whether all the security is in response to an actual danger I am told “not really," that it is the fear of threat rather than a real threat that is the catalyst for an obsession with safety that borders on madness. Culturally we bear witness to this madness every day. We can all tell endless stories of how it makes itself known in everyday life. For example, an adult white male answers the door when a young Asian male rings the bell. We live in a culture where without responding to any gesture of aggression or hostility on the part of the stranger, who is simply lost and trying to find the correct address, the white male shoots him, believing he is protecting his life and his property. This is an everyday example of madness. The person who is really the threat here is the home owner who has been so well socialized by the thinking of white supremacy, of capitalism, of patriarchy that he can no longer respond rationally. White supremacy has taught him that all people of color are threats irrespective of their behavior. Capitalism has taught him that, at all costs, his property can and must be protected. Patriarchy has taught him that his masculinity has to be proved by the willingness to conquer fear through aggression; that it would be unmanly to ask questions before taking action. Mass media then brings us the news of this in a newspeak manner that sounds almost jocular and celebratory, as though no tragedy has happened, as though the sacrifice of a young life was necessary to uphold property values and white patriarchal honor. Viewers are encouraged feel sympathy for the white male home owner who made a mistake. The fact that this mistake led to the violent death of an innocent young man does not register; the narrative is worded in a manner that encourages viewers to identify with the one who made the mistake by doing what we are led to feel we might all do to “protect our property at all costs from any sense of perceived threat. " This is what the worship of death looks like.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed. The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.
Charles Darwin (The Descent of Man)