Uncertainties In Life Quotes

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I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.
Gilda Radner
We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4))
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Max Ehrmann (Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life)
...what matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
But I have my life, I’m living it. It’s twisted, exhausting, uncertain, and full of guilt, but nonetheless, there’s something there.
Banana Yoshimoto (The Lake)
I really don't see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I'll certainly try to forget the fact.
Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest)
Risk means 'shit happens' or 'good luck
Toba Beta (Betelgeuse Incident: Insiden Bait Al-Jauza)
Life isn’t meant to be lived perfectly…but merely to be LIVED. Boldly, wildly, beautifully, uncertainly, imperfectly, magically LIVED.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
For what matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Belief, like fear or love, is a force to be understood as we understand the theory of relativity and principals of uncertainty. Phenomena that determine the course of our lives. Yesterday, my life was headed in one direction. Today, it is headed in another. Yesterday, I believe I would never have done what I did today. These forces that often remake time and space, that can shape and alter who we imagine ourselves to be, begin long before we are born and continue after we perish. Our lives and our choices, like quantum trajectories, are understood moment to moment. That each point of intersection, each encounter, suggest a new potential direction. Proposition, I have fallen in love with Luisa Rey. Is this possible? I just met her and yet, I feel like something important has happened to me.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
He had said that our lives are steered by uncertainties, many of which are disruptive or even daunting; but that if we persevere and remain generous of heart, we may be granted a moment of lucidity—a moment in which all that has happened to us suddenly comes into focus as a necessary course of events, even as we find ourselves on the threshold of the life we had been meant to lead all along.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow, and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune's control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.
Seneca
The more you go with the flow of life and surrender the outcome to God, and the less you seek constant clarity, the more you will find that fabulous things start to show up in your life.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
He who becomes the slave of habit, who follows the same routes every day, who never changes pace, who does not risk and change the color of his clothes, who does not speak and does not experience, dies slowly. He or she who shuns passion, who prefers black on white, dotting ones "it’s" rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer, that turn a yawn into a smile, that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings, dies slowly. He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy, who is unhappy at work, who does not risk certainty for uncertainty, to thus follow a dream, those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives, die slowly. He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly. He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem, who does not allow himself to be helped, who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops, dies slowly. He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn't know, he or she who don't reply when they are asked something they do know, die slowly. Let's try and avoid death in small doses, reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing. Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
Martha Medeiros
I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts. Its easy to talk oneself into a decision that has no permanence – easier sometimes than to wait patiently.
Elisabeth Elliot (Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control)
Its important to be comfortable with uncertainty.
Xiaolu Guo
There are a few times in life when you leap up and the past that you'd been standing on falls away behind you, and the future you mean to land on is not yet in place, and for a moment you're suspended knowing nothing and no one, not even yourself.
Ann Patchett (The Dutch House)
Conversation between a princess and an outlaw: "If I stand for fairy-tale balls and dragon bait--dragon bait--what do you stand for?" "Me? I stand for uncertainty, insecurity, bad taste, fun, and things that go boom in the night." "Franky, it seems to me that you've turned yourself into a stereotype." "You may be right. I don't care. As any car freak will tell you, the old models are the most beautiful, even if they aren't the most efficient. People who sacrifice beauty for efficiency get what they deserve." "Well, you may get off on being a beautiful stereotype, regardless of the social consequences, but my conscience won't allow it." "And I goddamn refuse to be dragon bait. I'm as capable of rescuing you as you are of rescuing me." "I'm an outlaw, not a hero. I never intended to rescue you. We're our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
Embrace relational uncertainty. It's called romance. Embrace spiritual uncertainty. It's called mystery. Embrace occupational uncertainty. It's called destiny. Embrace emotional uncertainty. It's called joy. Embrace intellectual uncertainty. It's called revelation.
Mark Batterson (In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars)
Whether it is good or evil, whether life in itself is pain or pleasure, whether it is uncertain-that it may perhaps be this is not important-but the unity of the world, the coherence of all events, the embracing of the big and the small from the same stream, from the same law of cause, of becoming and dying.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
But nothing is solid and permanent. Our lives are raised on the shakiest foundations. You don't need to read history books to know that. You only have to know the history of your own life.
Ron Rash (One Foot in Eden)
It was the promise of maybe, maybe one day.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
What makes us leave what we love best? What is it inside us that keeps erasing itself When we need it most, That sends us into uncertainty for its own sake And holds us flush there until we begin to love it And have to begin again? What is it within our own lives we decline to live Whenever we find it, making our days unendurable, And nights almost visionless? I still don't know yet, but I do it.
Charles Wright (Littlefoot: A Poem)
if something does go wrong, here is my advice... KEEP CALM and CARRY ON.
Maira Kalman (The Principles of Uncertainty)
All I could think about was you. I wanted you in the apartment. I wanted your arms around me, your face close to mine. I wanted your smell. And I knew I couldn’t - shouldn’t - have it. That’s what I hated most. The uncertainty of you. You’d kidnapped me, put my life in danger . . . but I loved you, too.
Lucy Christopher (Stolen: A Letter to My Captor)
Sometimes the clouds weren't weightless. Sometimes their bellies got dark and full. It was life. It happened. It didn't mean it wasn't scary, or that I wasn't still afraid, but now I knew that as long as I was standing under it with Braden beside me when those clouds broke, I'd be alright. We'd get rained on together. Knowing Braden he'd have a big ass umbrela to shelter us from the worst of it. That there was an uncertain future I could handle.
Samantha Young (On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1))
If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
We have a choice. We can spend our whole life suffering because we can't relax with how things really are, or we can relax and embrace the open-endedness of the human situation, which is fresh, unfixated, unbiased.
Pema Chödrön (Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change)
She turned back to the cards and tapped the Ace of Cups. "You're on the verge of a new beginning, a rebirth of great power and emotion. Your life will change, but it will be change that takes you in the direction that, while difficult, will ultimatley illuminate the world." "Whoa," I said. Rhonda then pointed to the Empress. "Power and leadership lie ahead of you, which you will handle with grace and intelligence. The seeds are already in place, though there's an edge of uncertainty-an enigmatic set of influences that hang around you like a mist." Her attention was on the Moon as she said those words. "But my overall impression is that those unknown factors won't deter you from your destiny." Lissa's eyes were wide. "You can teel that just from the cards?" ... After several moments of heavy silence, she said, "You will destroy that which is undead." i waited about thirty seconds for her to continue, but she didn't. "Wait, that's it?" ... Her eyes flickered over the cards, looked at Dimitri, then looked back at the cards. Her expression was blank. "You will lose what you value most, so treasure it while you can." She pointed to the Wheel of Fortune card. "The wheel is turning, always turning.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
How very paltry and limited the normal human intellect is, and how little lucidity there is in the human consciousness, may be judged from the fact that, despite the ephemeral brevity of human life, the uncertainty of our existence and the countless enigmas which press upon us from all sides, everyone does not continually and ceaselessly philosophize, but that only the rarest of exceptions do.
Arthur Schopenhauer
I know absolutely nothing about where I'm going. I'm fine with that. I'm happy about it. Before, I had nothing. I had no life, no friends, and no family really, and I didn't really care. I had nothing, and nothing to lose, and then I knew loss. What I cared about was gone; it was all lost. Now I have everything to gain; everything is a clean slate. It's all blank pages waiting to be written on. It's all about going forward. It's all about uncertainty and possibilities.
Gregory Galloway (As Simple as Snow)
All around, everywhere you look, is dullness and uncertainty. Even something born of beauty soon leads to boredom and banality, commonplace, the human ritual, the tedious rhythm of life.
Andrzej Sapkowski (The Last Wish (The Witcher, #0.5))
The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered forms, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation, distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away; all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life and his relations with his kind.
Karl Marx (The Communist Manifesto)
Life is full of uncertainties, perhanps one day some unforeseen circumstance would bring her into his life once more
Murasaki Shikibu (The Tale of Genji)
Each of us chooses the tone for telling his or her own story. I would like to choose the durable clarity of a platinum print, but nothing in my destiny possesses the luminosity. I live among diffuse shadings, veiled mysteries, uncertainties; the tone of telling my life is closer to that of a portrait in sepia.
Isabel Allende (Portrait in Sepia)
In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try to live so that our death brings no pleasure to the world.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
A woman who had fallen out of love with her life
Jhumpa Lahiri (Interpreter of Maladies)
Yes. There's really only one question that can be answered, Genry, and we already know the answer....The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4))
In this new year, may you have a deep understanding of your true value and worth, an absolute faith in your unlimited potential, peace of mind in the midst of uncertainty, the confidence to let go when you need to, acceptance to replace your resistance, gratitude to open your heart, the strength to meet your challenges, great love to replace your fear, forgiveness and compassion for those who offend you, clear sight to see your best and true path, hope to dispel obscurity, the conviction to make your dreams come true, meaningful and rewarding synchronicities, dear friends who truly know and love you, a childlike trust in the benevolence of the universe, the humility to remain teachable, the wisdom to fully embrace your life exactly as it is, the understanding that every soul has its own course to follow, the discernment to recognize your own unique inner voice of truth, and the courage to learn to be still.
Janet Rebhan
Who's to say that once I run, I'll find that isn't enough? Who's to say I won't end up feeling exactly the way I do right now-not safe, but stifled? Maybe I'll want to run again, and again, and eventually I'll end up back on those old tracks, because there's nowhere left to go. Maybe. Maybe not. You have to take the risk, don't you
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
Adversity is a natural part of being human. It is the height of arrogance to prescribe a moral code or health regime or spiritual practice as an amulet to keep things from falling apart. Things do fall apart. It is in their nature to do so. When we try to protect ourselves from the inevitability of change, we are not listening to the soul. We are listening to our fear of life and death, our lack of faith, our smaller ego's will to prevail. To listen to your soul is to stop fighting with life--to stop fighting when things fall apart; when they don't go our away, when we get sick, when we are betrayed or mistreated or misunderstood. To listen to the soul is to slow down, to feel deeply, to see ourselves clearly, to surrender to discomfort and uncertainty and to wait.
Elizabeth Lesser
The best way to verify that you are alive is by checking if you like variations. Remember that food would not have a taste if it weren’t for hunger; results are meaningless without effort, joy without sadness, convictions without uncertainty, and an ethical life isn’t so when stripped of personal risks.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder)
You don't know how to live. You live.
Marty Rubin
His whole life was now summed up in two words: absolute uncertainty within an impenetrable fog.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible
Mandy Hale
When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.
Eckhart Tolle
I am a world of uncertainties disguised as a girl.
Nicole Lyons
Die slowly He who becomes the slave of habit, who follows the same routes every day, who never changes pace, who does not risk and change the color of his clothes, who does not speak and does not experience, dies slowly. He or she who shuns passion, who prefers black on white, dotting ones "it’s" rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer, that turn a yawn into a smile, that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings, dies slowly. He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy, who is unhappy at work, who does not risk certainty for uncertainty, to thus follow a dream, those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives, die slowly. He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly. He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem, who does not allow himself to be helped, who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops, dies slowly. He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn't know, he or she who don't reply when they are asked something they do know, die slowly. Let's try and avoid death in small doses, reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing. Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
Martha Medeiros
I hate it, all of this," I screamed, my voice breaking. "I even hate him, even him." A huge sob came up from my chest. And I did, right then. I hated you for everything; for making me feel so helpless everywhere I went, for making me lose control. I hated you for all the emotions in my head, for the confusion... for the way I was suddenly doubting everything. I hated you for turning my life upside down and then smashing it into shards. I hated you for making me stand with a whirring fan in my hand, screaming at my mum. But I hated you for something else, too. Right then, and at every moment since you'd left me, all I could think about was you. I wanted you in that apartment. I wanted your arms around me, your face close to mine. I wanted your smell. And I knew I couldn't-shouldn't-have it. That's what I hated most. The uncertainty of you. You'd kidnapped me, put my life in danger... but I loved you, too. Or thought I did. None of it made sense.
Lucy Christopher (Stolen: A Letter to My Captor)
Life is like molten glass. It flows, it's flexible, it can be molded and shaped and...what do you say? Ah, yes. It holds vast potential. You have a number of uncertainties in your melt right now. But they will always be there in one form or another. Always. Unlike molten glass, life can't be fixed or frozen into a pretty vase and placed on a shelf to gather dust.
Maria V. Snyder (Storm Glass (Glass, #1))
The uncertainties in life are so uncertain for us to determine the kind woe we shall be entangled in in the next future. When you stay dormant, your life is at risk; when you dare to take a step, you take a step to take a risk. We have a choice. Yes! a choice to choose to dare to get to our real reasons on earth or to choose to live in mediocrity and conformity, but, we ought to note that, it is riskier to risk nothing when the life we live is always at risk.
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
The most fulfilling adventures happen when you start your journey without knowing where you’re going, because only then are you free to experience the unexpected detours you’re meant to take.
A.J. Darkholme (Rise of the Morningstar (The Morningstar Chronicles, #1))
Naturally, we are inclined to be so mathematical and calculating that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing...Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should rather be an expression of breathless expectation.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
I step out of my second life the same way I stepped out of my first, holding too few things and with great uncertainty about what will happen next.
Holly Black (The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1))
All things that are still to come lie in uncertainty; live straightway!
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
That is one thing I am sure of amid my many uncertainties regarding the literary vocation: deep inside, a writer feels that writing is the best thing that ever happened to him, or could ever happen to him, because as far as he is concerned, writing is the best possible way of life, never mind the social, political, or financial rewards of what he might achieve through it.
Mario Vargas Llosa (Letters to a Young Novelist)
No person in a transaction should have certainty about the outcome while the other one has uncertainty.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life)
You could study the connections for years and never work it out-it was all about things coming together,things falling apart,time warp, my mother standing out in front of the museum when time flickered and the light went funny, uncertainties hovering on the edge of a vast brightness. the stray chance that might, or might not, change everything.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Your cold mornings are filled with the heartache about the fact that although we are not at ease in this world, it is all we have, that it is ours but that it is full of strife, so that all we can call our own is strife; but even that is better than nothing at all, isn't it? And as you split the frost-laced wood with numb hands, rejoice that your uncertainty is God's will and His grace toward you that that is beautiful, and a part of a greater certainty, as your own father always said in his sermons and to you at home. And as the ax bites into the wood, be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it. And when you resent the ache in your heart, remember: You will be dead and buried soon enough.
P. Harding
He tried to think of all the people in his life as chemicals, the uncertainty of mixing them together, the potential for explosions and scarring.
Kevin Wilson (The Family Fang)
People read books to escape the uncertainties of life.
Barbara Kingsolver
Life is beautiful and life is stupid. This is, in fact, widely regarded as a universal rule not less inviolable than the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Uncertainty Principle, and No Post on Sundays. As long as you keep that in mind, and never give more weight to one than the other, the history of the galaxy is a simple tune with lyrics flashed on-screen and a helpful, friendly bouncing disco ball of all-annihilating flames to help you follow along.
Catherynne M. Valente (Space Opera (Space Opera, #1))
The unknown," said Faxe's soft voice in the forest, "the unforetold, the unproven, that is what life is based on. Ignorance is the ground of thought. Unproof is the ground of action. If it were proven that there is no God there would be no religion. No Handdara, no Yomesh, no hearthgods, nothing. But also if it were proven that there is a God, there would be no religion. ... Tell me, Genry, what is known? What is sure, unpredictable, inevitable -- the one certain thing you know concerning your future, and mine?" That we shall die." Yes, There's really only one question that can be answered, Genry, and we already know the answer. ... The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty: not knowing what comes next.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4))
Soon enough it will be me struggling (valiantly?) to walk - lugging my stuff around. How are we all so brave as to take step after step? Day after day? How are we so optimistic, so careful not to trip and yet do trip, and then get up and say O.K. Why do I feel so sorry for everyone and so proud?
Maira Kalman (The Principles of Uncertainty)
There is a time in the life of every boy when he for the first time takes the backward view of life. Perhaps that is the moment when he crosses the line into manhood. The boy is walking through the street of his town. He is thinking of the future and of the figure he will cut in the world. Ambitions and regrets awake within him. Suddenly something happens; he stops under a tree and waits as for a voice calling his name. Ghosts of old things creep into his consciousness; the voices outside of himself whisper a message concerning the limitations of life. From being quite sure of himself and his future he becomes not at all sure. If he be an imaginative boy a door is torn open and for the first time he looks out upon the world, seeing, as though they marched in procession before him, the countless figures of men who before his time have come out of nothingness into the world, lived their lives and again disappeared into nothingness. The sadness of sophistication has come to the boy. With a little gasp he sees himself as merely a leaf blown by the wind through the streets of his village. He knows that in spite of all the stout talk of his fellows he must live and die in uncertainty, a thing blown by the winds, a thing destined like corn to wilt in the sun.
Sherwood Anderson (Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small Town Life)
Planning can't save you from everything. Change is inevitable and uncertainty is a given. And if you plan so much that you can't function without one, life's no fun. All the calendars, journals, and lists in the world won't save you when the sky falls.
Jenn Bennett (Starry Eyes)
Never perceive anything as being inevitable or predestined. The only absolute is uncertainty.
Lionel Suggs
If man were never to fade away... but lingered on forever in the world, how things would lose their power to move us. The most precious thing in life is its uncertainty.
Yoshida Kenkō
It is not hopeless,” he said with surety. “It is uncertain, and this is the cross God always gives us in life, uncertainty. But it is not hopeless.
Patti Callahan (Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis)
When you are in your twenties, even if you're confused and uncertain about your aims and purposes, you have a strong sense of what life itself is, and of what you in life are, and might become. Later.. later there is more uncertainty, more overlapping, more backtracking, more false memories. Back then, you can remember your short life in its entirety. Later, the memory becomes a thing of shreds and patches.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
If your mind is expansive and unfettered, you will find yourself in a more accommodating world, a place that's endlessly interesting and alive. That quality isn't inherent in the place but in your state of mind.
Pema Chödrön (Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change)
Everything in life is uncertain. That is how you know you are existing in the world, the uncertainty. Of course, this is why we sometimes want to return to the past, because we know it, or think we do. It's a song we've heard.
Matt Haig (How to Stop Time)
But just as we can all agree on what is red, even if we will never know if we each see it in the same way, so we can all agree - can’t we? - that no matter how confident we may appear to others, inside we are all sobbing, scared and uncertain for much of the time. Or perhaps it’s just me. Oh God, perhaps it really is just me. Actually it doesn’t really matter, when you come to think of it. If it is just me, then you are reading the story of some weird freak. You are free to treat this book like science fiction, fantasy or exotic travel literature. Are there really men like Stephen Fry on this planet? Goodness, how alien some people are. And if I am not alone, then neither are you, and hand in hand we can marvel together at the strangeness of the human condition.
Stephen Fry (The Fry Chronicles)
Age makes you notice certain things. For example, I now know that a man’s life is broadly divided into three periods. During the first, it doesn’t even occur to us that one day we will grow old, we don’t think that time passes or that from the day we are born we’re all walking toward a common end. After the first years of youth comes the second period, in which a person becomes aware of the fragility of life and what begins like a simple niggling doubt rises inside you like a flood of uncertainties that will stay with you for the rest of your days. Finally, toward the end of life, the period of acceptance begins, and, consequently, of resignation, a time of waiting.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Prince of Mist (Niebla, #1))
When you lose your path, you get an opportunity to discover a world you have never known! And better worlds are often found this way! Darkness and uncertainty hide presents in itself!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Where was it ever promised us that life on this earth can ever be easy, free from conflict and uncertainty, devoid of anguish and wonder and pain? … The purpose of life is to matter, to be productive, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.
Leo Rosten
My confidence is in the idea that I may be wrong on this or that. No man in this life should ever have to bear the burden of perfection.
Criss Jami (Healology)
Maybe the point of life is to give up certainty and to embrace life’s beautiful uncertainty.
Matt Haig (Notes on a Nervous Planet)
I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let's think about love. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can't ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment's notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow- that's vulnerability. Love is uncertain. It's incredibly risky. And loving someone leaves us emotionally exposed. Yes, it's scary, and yes, we're open to being hurt, but can you imagine your life without loving or being loved?
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Even if it were possible to cast my horoscope in this one life, and to make an accurate prediction about my future, it would not be possible to 'show' it to me because as soon as I saw it my future would change by definition. This is why Werner Heisenberg's adaptation of the Hays Office—the so-called principle of uncertainty whereby the act of measuring something has the effect of altering the measurement—is of such importance. In my case the difference is often made by publicity. For example, and to boast of one of my few virtues, I used to derive pleasure from giving my time to bright young people who showed promise as writers and who asked for my help. Then some profile of me quoted someone who disclosed that I liked to do this. Then it became something widely said of me, whereupon it became almost impossible for me to go on doing it, because I started to receive far more requests than I could respond to, let alone satisfy. Perception modifies reality: when I abandoned the smoking habit of more than three decades I was given a supposedly helpful pill called Wellbutrin. But as soon as I discovered that this was the brand name for an antidepressant, I tossed the bottle away. There may be successful methods for overcoming the blues but for me they cannot include a capsule that says: 'Fool yourself into happiness, while pretending not to do so.' I should actually want my mind to be strong enough to circumvent such a trick.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Because I was dying.   And Warner could’ve let me die. He was angry and hurt and had every reason to be bitter. I’d just ripped his heart out; I’d let him believe something would come of our relationship. I let him confess the depth of his feelings to me; I let him touch me in ways even Adam hadn't. I didn't ask him to stop.   Every inch of me was saying yes.   And then I took it all back. Because I was scared, and confused, and conflicted. Because of Adam.   Warner told me he loved me, and in return I insulted him and lied to him and yelled at him and pushed him away. And when he had the chance to stand back and watch me die, he didn’t.   He found a way to save my life.   With no demands. No expectations. Believing full well that I was in love with someone else, and that saving my life meant making me whole again only to give me back to another guy.   And right now, I can’t say I know what Adam would do if I were dying in front of him. I’m not sure if he would save my life. And that uncertainty alone makes me certain that something wasn't right between us.
Tahereh Mafi
I would prefer to live with bleeding heart where desire see darkness of uncertainty because I need to know the existence of love
Seema Gupta
the world is full of pain, uncertainty, and injustice. But in this vulnerable human life, every loss is an opportunity either to shut out the world or to stand up with dignity and let the heart respond.
Jack Kornfield (The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology)
Life is a misery, death an uncertainty. Suppose it steals suddenly upon me, in what state shall I leave this world? When can I learn what I have here neglected to learn? Or is it true that death will cut off and put an end to all care and all feeling? This is something to be inquired into. But no, this cannot be true. It is not for nothing, it is not meaningless that all over the world is displayed the high and towering authority of the Christian faith. Such great and wonderful things would never have been done for us by God, if the life of the soul were to end with the death of the body. Why then do I delay? Why do I not abandon my hopes of this world and devote myself entirely to the search for God and for the happy life?
Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
This is life. It's messy and unpredictable, full of wonderful surprises and mind.numbing disappointment. the uncertainty of it all is why I hide, trying to avoid all the pain and the heartache.
Denise Grover Swank (After Math (Off the Subject, #1))
We're not obsessed by anything, you see," insisted Ford. "..." "And that's the deciding factor. We can't win against obsession. They care, we don't. They win." "I care about lots of things," said Slartibartfast, his voice trembling partly with annoyance, but partly also with uncertainty. "Such as?" "Well," said the old man, "life, the Universe. Everything, really. Fjords." "Would you die for them?" "Fjords?" blinked Slartibartfast in surprise. "No." "Well then." "Wouldn't see the point, to be honest.
Douglas Adams
The only thing I’m certain of is that uncertainty is the hardest thing in life to endure.
Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)
Don't pray for better days, pray for a better attitude to withstand uncertain days
Mac Duke The Strategist
The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
If you knew all the answers, there'd be no need for trust, little one.
Patti Callahan (Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis)
The biologist and intellectual E. O. Wilson was once asked what represented the most hindrance to the development of children; his answer was the soccer mom. He did not use the notion of the Procrustean bed, but he outlined it perfectly. His argument is that they repress children's natural biophilia, their love of living things. But the problem is more general; soccer moms try to eliminate the trial and error, the antifragility, from children's lives, move them away from the ecological and transform them into nerds working on preexisting (soccer-mom-compatible) maps of reality. Good students, but nerds--that is, they are like computers except slower. Further, they are now totally untrained to handle ambiguity. As a child of civil war, I disbelieve in structured learning . . . . Provided we have the right type of rigor, we need randomness, mess, adventures, uncertainty, self-discovery, near-traumatic episodes, all those things that make life worth living, compared to the structured, fake, and ineffective life of an empty-suit CEO with a preset schedule and an alarm clock.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder)
I will be the answer at the end of the line. I will be there for you. Why take the time? In the burning of uncertainty, I will be your solid ground. I, I will hold the balance if you can't look down. If it takes my whole life, I won't break. I won't bend. It will all be worth it, worth it in the end because I can only tell you what I know, that I need you in my life. When the stars have all gone out you'll still be burning so bright.
Sarah McLachlan
Life is infinite energy coupled with limitless creative imagination. It is the invisible essence and substance of every visible form. Its nature is goodness, truth, wisdom and beauty, as well as energy and imagination. Our highest satisfaction comes from a sense of conscious union with this invisible Life. All human endeavor is an attempt to get back to first principles, to find such an inward wholeness that all sense of fear, doubt and uncertainty vanishes.
Ernest Shurtleff Holmes (The Art of Life)
And yet she hadn't the air of a woman whose life had been touched by uncertainty or suffering. Pain, fear, and grief were things that left their mark on people. Even love, that exquisite torturing emotion, left its subtle traces on the countenance.
Nella Larsen (Passing)
My language limitations here are real. My vocabulary is adequate for writing notes and keeping journals but absolutely useless for an active moral life. If I really knew this language, there would surely be in my head, as there is in Webster's or the Dictionary of American Slang, that unreducible verb designed to tell a person like me what to do next.
Grace Paley (Enormous Changes at the Last Minute)
In moments of uncertainty, when you must chose between two paths, allowing yourself to be overcome by either the fear of failure or the dimly lit light of possibility, immerse yourself in the life you would be most proud to live.
Adam Braun (The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change)
I, personally, have resolved never to display weakness, to be always strong and firm and forthright, to show neither fear nor uncertainty-- no matter how fearful and uncertain I may be inside; I see no other way to survive this ordeal.
Jim Fergus (One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd (One Thousand White Women, #1))
The hardest part of letting go is the "uncertainty"--when you are afraid that the moment you let go of someone you will hate yourself when you find out how close you were to winning their affection. Every time you give yourself hope you steal away a part of your time, happiness and future. However, once in a while you wake up to this realization and you have to hold on tightly to this truth because your heart will tear away the foundation of your logic, by making excuses for why this person doesn't try as much as you. The truth is this: Real love is simple. We are the ones that make it complicated. A part of disconnecting is recognizing the difference between being desired and being valued. When someone loves you they will never keep you waiting, give their attention and affection away to others, allow you to continue hurting, or ignore what you have gone through for them. On the other hand, a person that desires you can't see your pain, only what they can get from you with minimal effort in return. They let you risk everything, while they guard their heart and reap the benefits of your feelings. We make so many excuses for the people we fall in love with and they make up even more to remain one foot in the door. However, the truth is God didn't create you to be treated as an option or to be disrespected repeatedly. He wants you to close the door. If someone loves you and wants to be in your life no obstacle will keep them from you. Remember, you are royalty, not a beggar.
Shannon L. Alder
There was something else that Hall used to say–that life itself was uncertainty, and the only remedy to its madness was to act boldly.
Alexandra Bracken (Wayfarer (Passenger, #2))
In the grand scheme of life, nobody grows old keeping their soul unblemished.
A.J. Darkholme (Rise of the Morningstar (The Morningstar Chronicles, #1))
If you think you know what your purpose is, but can never seem to gain satisfaction from it, then it’s probably not the purpose you’re destined for.
A.J. Darkholme (Rise of the Morningstar (The Morningstar Chronicles, #1))
Our biggest successes are born out of discomfort, uncertainty, and risk.
Gary John Bishop (Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life)
The person who offends, and the person who has been offended and awaiting for a revenge have one thing in common: the real uncertainties of tomorrow is truly uncertain to both of them.
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
A hero is also someone who, in their day to day interactions with the world, despite all the pain, uncertainty and doubt that can plague us, is resiliently and unashamedly themselves. If you can wake up every day and be emotionally open and honest regardless of what you get back from the world then you can be the hero of your own story. Each and every person who can say that despite life’s various buffetings that they are proud to be the person they are is a hero. Now I do have to mention the real heroes of The Trevor Project, the men and women volunteers, all of whom stand up day after day answering the calls of desperate teens whose circumstances have pushed them to the edge of the abyss. To take that call, and say yes, I will be the one who saves this life takes such courage and compassion. Hemingway’s definition of ‘grace under pressure’ seems fitting as the job they do is every bit as important, and every bit as delicate as a soldier defusing a bomb.
Daniel Radcliffe
Bullish or bearish are terms used by people who do not engage in practicing uncertainty, like the television commentators, or those who have no experience in handling risk. Alas, investors and businesses are not paid in probabilities; they are paid in dollars. Accordingly, it is not how likely an event is to happen that matters, it is how much is made when it happens that should be the consideration.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets)
He had the feeling that he must make a decision, and though he was used to making many decisions every day, this time he was beset with uncertainty; in fact he had no idea what was being asked of him
Amos Oz (Scenes from Village Life)
Uncertainty is everywhere. But I am living in the midst of the uncertainty and risk, amid things that can and do bring physical destruction, because I am running from things that can destroy my soul, complacency, comfort and ignorance. I am much more terrified of living a comfortable life in a self serving society and failing to follow Jesus than I am of any illness or tragedy.
Katie Davis (Kisses from Katie)
Uncertainty is the refuge of hope.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel
My life would never contain a convenient, pain-saving plan when it could stretch a problem out into an endless agony of uncertainty and torture.
James Patterson
Uncertainty and change are life's constraints. And that's the fun part.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
May you always have extraordinary grace and faith to cope with the uncertainties of life.
Lailah Gifty Akita
I don't know Who is cranking; I'm pleased He doesn't stop.
Robert A. Heinlein (The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress)
There's a thin line between an uncertain 'Yes' and a certain 'No' known as 'lame indecisiveness'.
Aniruddha Sastikar
The changes we make in life often happen when we have a degree of certainty. However, the pain of our past failures and the fears of our peers often fuel our uncertainty. This inability to predict the future is why people find themselves stuck and unable to move forward. They don't want to feel the emotions of failure. They prefer to talk themselves into settling for an "okay" life, rather than the life they really want. However, failure is a matter of perspective! Is it not failure when you don't take a chance on the one thing you need? There is no happiness in regret, staying safe or settling for anything less than what you can have through action.
Shannon L. Alder
In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted shortcuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world. We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly re-spawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
We could speak about the meaning of life vis-a-vis non-consequential/deontological theories, apodictic transformation schemata, the incoherence of exemplification, metaphysical realism, Cartesian interactive dualism, revised non reductive dualism, postmodernist grammatology and dicey dichotomies. But we would still be left with Nietzsche's preposterous mustache which instills great anguish and skepticism in the brain, which leads (as it did in his case) to utter madness. I suggest we go to Paris instead.
Maira Kalman (The Principles of Uncertainty)
Life shouldn’t be about constantly trying to prove that we’re safe from getting hurt. Life should be about living with uncertainty while we watch beautiful sunsets with the people we love.
Vi Keeland (Rebel Heart (Rush Duet, #2))
We tend to think of dangers and uncertainties as anomalies in the continuum of life, or irruptions of unpredictable forces into a largely predictable world. I suggest the contrary: that dangers and uncertainties are an inescapable dimension of life. In fact, as we shall come to understand, they make life matter. They define what it means to be human.
Arthur Kleinman
Uncertainty is the root of all progress and all growth. As the old adage goes, the man who believes he knows everything learns nothing. We cannot learn anything without first not knowing something. The more we admit we do not know, the more opportunities we gain to learn.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Metta sees truly that our integrity is inviolate, no matter what our life situation may be. We do not need to fear anything. We are whole: our deepest happiness is intrinsic to the nature of our minds, and it is not damaged through uncertainty and change.
Sharon Salzberg (Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness)
She didn’t know how long they stood on that roof, tangled up in each other, mouths and hands roving until she moaned and dragged him through the greenhouse, down the stairs, and into the carriage waiting outside. And then there was the ride home, where he did things to her neck and ear that made her forget her own name. They managed to straighten themselves out as they reached the castle gates, and kept a respectable distance as they walked back to her room, though every inch of her felt so alive and burning that it was a miracle she made it back to her door without pulling him into a closet.But then they were inside her rooms, and then at her bedroom door, and he paused as she took his hand to lead him in. “Are you sure?” She lifted a hand to his face, exploring every curve and freckle that had become so impossibly precious to her. She had waited once before—waited with Sam, and then it had been too late. But now, there was no doubt, no shred of fear or uncertainty, as if every moment between her and Chaol had been a step in a dance that had led to this threshold. “I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life,” she told him. His eyes blazed with hunger that matched her own, and she kissed him again, tugging him into her bedroom. He let her pull him, not breaking the kiss as he kicked the door shut behind them.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
Life is beautiful and life is stupid. This is, in fact, widely regarded as a universal rule not less inviolable than the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Uncertainty Principle, and No Post on Sundays.
Catherynne M. Valente (Space Opera (Space Opera, #1))
Indeed, the capacity to tolerate uncertainty is a prerequisite for the profession. Though the public may believe that therapists guide patients systematically and sure-handedly through predictable stages of therapy to a foreknown goal, such is rarely the case: instead, as these stories bear witness, therapists frequently wobble, improvise, and grope for direction. The powerful temptation to achieve certainty through embracing an ideological school and a tight therapeutic system is treacherous: such belief may block the uncertain and spontaneous encounter necessary for effective therapy. This encounter, the very heart of psychotherapy, is a caring, deeply human meeting between two people, one (generally, but not always, the patient) more troubled than the other. Therapists have a dual role: they must both observe and participate in the lives of their patients. As observer, one must be sufficiently objective to provide necessary rudimentary guidance to the patient. As participant, one enters into the life of the patient and is affected and sometimes changed by the encounter.
Irvin D. Yalom (Love's Executioner)
Why do we resist the mystery that change brings? When we get too rigid and inflexible, rigor mortis of the soul sets in. For proof of this, we need look no further than to those who choose to stay in a relationship or job long after the soul, or life force, that originally brought it passion and joy has vacated the premises.
Dennis Merritt Jones (The Art of Uncertainty: How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It)
We spend all our energy and waste our lives trying to re-create these zones of safety, which are always falling apart. That's the essence of samsara - the cycle of suffering that comes from continuing to seek happiness in all the wrong places.
Pema Chödrön (Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion)
The particulars of new places grabbed me and held me, the sweep of new coasts, cold, lovely, dawns. The world was incomprehensibly large, and there was still so much to see. Yes, I got sick sometimes of being an expatriate, always ignorant, on the outside of things, but I didn't feel ready for domestic life, for seeing the same people, the same places, thinking more or less the same thoughts, each day. I liked surrendering to the onrush, the uncertainty, the serendipity of the road.
William Finnegan (Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life)
Five hundred years before Christ was born, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus told his students that "everything changes except the law of change". He said: "You cannot step in the same river twice." The river changes every second; and so does the man who stepped in it. Life is a ceaseless change. The only certainty is today. Why mar the beauty of living today by trying to solve the problems of a future that is shrouded in ceaseless change and uncertainty-a future that no one can possibly foretell?
Dale Carnegie
Why is music capable of inflicting such pain? Because it works on our feelings directly. No ideas interfere with its emotions. This is why "all art aspires to the condition of music." The symphony gives us the thrill of uncertainty--the pleasurable anxiety of searching for a pattern--but without the risks of real life. When we listen to music, we are moved by an abstraction. We feel, but we don't know why.
Jonah Lehrer (Proust Was a Neuroscientist)
I would not want to be a child again, for a child exists in uncertainty and danger. Our flesh and blood, we cannot help but fear for them, as we hope for them to make their way in this life.
Keith Donohue (The Stolen Child)
Remember that every person who you come into contact to on any given day has a story that is probably far more amazing than you will imagine and no one is going to just offer up their entire life's worth of experiences to you because you want them to. It takes time to draw someone's story out from within them. It takes trust. It takes sincerity and dedication. Keep in mind that each and every interaction you have with all those people on a daily basis is a unique opportunity to develop any kind of relationship with that person that the two of you might want to be a part of. It doesn't matter how you meet them or what it is that you do with them. It can be as mundane as waving to them in the morning as they leave their driveway, or it can be as huge as saving someone's life in a moment of uncertainty and sacrifice. Each person has the potential to become a friend or a lover or to simply teach you something important and then slip back into the endless rush of other bodies moving about the planet around us. Don't pass these chances up too often, or you'll get lost in the tide yourself.
Ashly Lorenzana
...a flood of reality. I get an odd feeling that this is a crucial moment in my life and I'm startled by the suddenness of what I guess passes for an epiphany. There is nothing of value I can offer her. For the first time I see her as uninhibited; she seems stronger, less controllable, wanting to take me into a new and unfamiliar land - the dreaded uncertainty of a totally different world. I sense she wants to rearrange my life in a significant way - her eyes tell me this and though I see truth in them, I also know that one day, sometime very soon, she too will be locked in the rhythm of my insanity. All I have to do is keep silent about this and not bring it up - yet she weakens me, it's almost as if she's making the decision about who I am, and in my own stubborn, willful way I can admit to feeling a pang, something tightening inside, and before I can stop it I find myself almost dazzled and moved that I might have the capacity to accept, though not return, her love. I wonder if even now, right here in Nowheres, she can see the darkening clouds behind my eyes lifting. And though the coldness I have always felt leaves me, the numbness doesn't and probably never will.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
His Presbyterian minster father had believed in a divine design, and Mozasu believed that life was like this game where the player could adjust the dials yet also expect the uncertainty of factors he couldn't control. He understood why his customers wanted to play something that looked fixed but which also left room for randomness and hope.
Min Jin Lee (Pachinko)
We must content ourselves with the mystery, the absurdity, the contradictions, the hostility, but also the generosity that our environment offers us. It's not much, but it's always better than the deadly, defeatist certainty of the paranoid.
Philip K. Dick (Philip K. Dick: The Last Interview and Other Conversations)
There was once a lady who was arrogant and proud. Determined to attain enlightenment, she asked all the authorities how to go about it. She was told, "Well, if you climb to the top of this very high mountain, you'll find a cave there. Sitting inside that cave is a wise old woman. She will tell you." Having endured great hardships, the lady finally found this cave. Sure enough, sitting there was a gentle spiritual-looking old woman in white clothing, who smiled beatifically. Overcome with awe and respect, the lady prostrated at the feet of this woman and said, "I want to attain enlightenment. Show me how." This wise woman looked at her and asked sweetly, "Are you sure you want to attain enlightenment?" And the woman said, "Of course I'm sure." Whereupon the smiling woman turned into a demon, stood up brandishing a great big stick, and started chasing her, saying, "Now! Now! Now!" For the rest of her life, that lady could never get away from the demon who was always saying, Now! Now--that's the key. Mindfulness trains us to be awake and alive, fully curious, about now.
Pema Chödrön (Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion)
Emergencies are crucibles that contain and reveal the daily, slower-burning problems of medicine and beyond—our vulnerabilities; our trouble grappling with uncertainty, how we die, how we prioritize and divide what is most precious and vital and limited; even our biases and blindnesses.
Sheri Fink (Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital)
You always want one more day. You always want one more picture as the old ones begin to fade. You always want that one final hug to have lasted just a tad longer. You always want the fondness of the remember-whens to outnumber the might-have-beens. You want more years, more months, more weeks, more days, more minutes, and more seconds. You want the happily ever after you always thought you deserved, but the only thing actually promised in this life is uncertainty.
Alicia Cook (Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately)
...it pointed to an alternative approach, a ‘negative path’ to happiness, that entailed taking a radically different stance towards those things that most of us spend our lives trying to avoid. It involved learning to enjoy uncertainty, embracing insecurity, stopping trying to think positively, becoming familiar with failure, even learning to value death. In short, all these people seemed to agree that in order to be truly happy, we might actually need to be willing to experience more negative emotions—or, at the very least to learn to stop running quite so hard from them.
Oliver Burkeman (The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking)
I think it is wrong to expect certainties in this world, where all else but God that is Truth is an uncertainty. All that appears and happens about and around us is uncertain, transient. But there is a Supreme Being hidden therein as a Certainty, and one would be blessed if one could catch a glimpse of that Certainty and hitch one's waggon to it. The quest for that Truth is the summum bonum of life.
Mahatma Gandhi (An Autobiography - The Story of My Experiments with Truth)
It is a great adventure to contemplate the universe, beyond man, to contemplate what it would be like without man, as it was in a great part of its long history and as it is in a great majority of places. When this objective view is finally attained, and the mystery and majesty of matter are fully appreciated, to then turn the objective eye back on man viewed as matter, to view life as part of this universal mystery of greatest depth, is to sense an experience which is very rare, and very exciting. It usually ends in laughter and a delight in the futility of trying to understand what this atom in the universe is, this thing—atoms with curiosity—that looks at itself and wonders why it wonders. Well, these scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so impressive that the theory that it is all arranged as a stage for God to watch man's struggle for good and evil seems inadequate. Some will tell me that I have just described a religious experience. Very well, you may call it what you will. Then, in that language I would say that the young man's religious experience is of such a kind that he finds the religion of his church inadequate to describe, to encompass that kind of experience. The God of the church isn't big enough.
Richard P. Feynman (The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist)
Jared,” I whispered. I held his hand, and then placed the ring around the tip of his finger. “I choose you as my best friend, and my love for life. I promise you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, my most tender care…through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you. It wasn’t until just now that I recognize that this wasn’t coincidence, or a battle. We were always meant for each other. Our love is heaven sent, and I promise to honor that forever and always. From this day forward, you won’t walk alone. My heart will be your shelter and my arms will be your home.
Jamie McGuire (Eden (Providence, #3))
I'm living in this world. I'm what, a slacker? A "twentysomething"? I'm in the margins. I'm not building a wall but making a brick. Okay, here I am, a tired inheritor of the Me generation, floating from school to street to bookstore to movie theater with a certain uncertainty. I'm in that white space where consumer terror meets irony and pessimism, where Scooby Doo and Dr. Faustus hold equal sway over the mind, where the Butthole Surfers provide the background volume, where we choose what is not obvious over what is easy. It goes on...like TV channel-cruising, no plot, no tragic flaws, no resolution, just mastering the moment, pushing forward, full of sound and fury, full of life signifying everything on any given day...
Richard Linklater (Slacker)
The most famous lenders in nature are vampire bats. These bats congregate in the thousands inside caves, and every night fly out to look for prey. When they find a sleeping bird or careless mammal, they make a small incision in its skin, and suck its blood. But not all vampire bats find a victim every night. In order to cope with the uncertainty of their life, the vampires loan blood to each other. A vampire that fails to find prey will come home and ask a more fortunate friend to regurgitate some stolen blood. Vampires remember very well to whom they loaned blood, so at a later date if the friend returns home hungry, he will approach his debtor, who will reciprocate the favour. However, unlike human bankers, vampires never charge interest.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
These five values are both unconventional and uncomfortable. But, to me, they are life-changing. The first, which we’ll look at in the next chapter, is a radical form of responsibility: taking responsibility for everything that occurs in your life, regardless of who’s at fault. The second is uncertainty: the acknowledgement of your own ignorance and the cultivation of constant doubt in your own beliefs. The next is failure: the willingness to discover your own flaws and mistakes so that they may be improved upon. The fourth is rejection: the ability to both say and hear no, thus clearly defining what you will and will not accept in your life. The final value is the contemplation of one’s own mortality; this one is crucial, because paying vigilant attention to one’s own death is perhaps the only thing capable of helping us keep all our other values in proper perspective.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who run triathlons and have chiseled abs and can bench-press a small house. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who fly to the top of it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainties of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it. This is not about willpower or grit. This is not another admonishment of “no pain, no gain.” This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
To be a good human is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertainty, and on a willingness to be exposed. It's based on being more like a plant than a jewel: something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from that fragility.
Martha C. Nussbaum
Visions haunt the mind of unforeseen things of the future. Action is of no possibility, but meandering doubts of a stoic nature made real by the mind are persuasive enough to destroy hope. It's the overly-broad confusion, but not knowing what to be confused about that is the most perplexing. Whether it is the future, the present or the past, all of the answers will never come. The uncertainty lies not in the answer, but not knowing what question to ask. Life must have meaning, but God -if there is such a thing- is having too much fun not telling me what that is.
Brian Krans (A Constant Suicide)
He looked around. The room, a few suitcases, some belongings, a handful of well-read books— a man needed few things to live. And it was good not to get used to many things when life was unsettled. Again and again one had to abandon them or they were taken away. One should be ready to leave every day. That was the reason he had lived alone— when one was on the move one should not have anything that could bind one. Nothing that could stir the heart. The adventure— but nothing more.
Erich Maria Remarque (Arch of Triumph: A Novel of a Man Without a Country)
She lifted her hands and closed them around his head... and it seemed to Catriana in that moment as if that newborn trialla in her soul began to sing. Of trials endured and trials to come, of doubt and dark and all the deep uncertainties that defined the outer boundaries of mortal life, but with love now present at the base of it all, like light, like the first stone of a rising tower.
Guy Gavriel Kay (Tigana)
Right then, and at every moment since you’d left me, all I could think about was you. I wanted you in that apartment. I wanted your arms around me, your face close to mine. I wanted your smell. And I knew I couldn’t—shouldn’t—have it. That’s what I hated most. The uncertainty of you. You’d kidnapped me, put my life in danger … but I loved you, too.
Lucy Christopher (Stolen: A Letter to My Captor)
On an impulse he went into the room and stood before the window, pushing aside the sheer curtain to watch the snow, now nearly eight inches high on the lampposts and the fences and the roofs. It was the sort of storm that rarely happened in Lexington, and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the soft white layers. Tomorrow would be quiet, the world subdued and fragile, until the neighborhood children came out to break the stillness with their tracks and shouts and joy. He remembered such days from his own childhood in the mountains, rare moments of escape when he went into the woods, his breathing amplified and his voice somehow muffled by the heavy snow that bent branches low, drifted over paths. The world, for a few short hours, transformed.
Kim Edwards (The Memory Keeper's Daughter)
Writing about the spiritual life is like making prints from negatives...Often it is the dark forest that makes us speak about the open field. Frequently prison makes us think about freedom, hunger helps us to appreciate food, and war gives us words for peace. Not seldom are our vision of the future born out of the sufferings of the present and our hope for others out of our own despair. Only few "happy endings" make us happy but often someone's careful ad honest articulation of the ambiguities, uncertainties, and painful conditions of life gives us new hope. The paradox is indeed that new life is born out of the pains of the old.
Robert Durback (Seeds of Hope: A Henri Nouwen Reader)
The Seven Da Vincian Principles are: Curiosità—An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning. Dimostrazione—A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. Sensazione—The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience. Sfumato (literally “Going up in Smoke”)—A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty. Arte/Scienza—The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination. “Whole-brain” thinking. Corporalità—The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise. Connessione—A recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena. Systems thinking.
Michael J. Gelb (How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day)
There exists a great uncertainty that comes with life. It is like a tree, its roots formed below the surface, its body penetrating a layer of top soil, its roots spreading outward, and affecting the domain it inhabits. With this natural uncertainty one feels lost, almost incapable of discovering his or her own true purpose. With all of this, one begins to search for that true purpose, always unsure if it is the right path. These feelings come from within, fueled by a catalyst that instills these doubts. However, with its great power, the catalyst is undefinable and unyielding. It is then within question if one can truly move away from the catalyst or really understand how one should feel when affected by it.
Aubrey Williams
My mother's suffering grew into a symbol in my mind, gathering to itself all the poverty, the ignorance, the helplessness; the painful, baffling, hunger-ridden days and hours; the restless moving, the futile seeking, the uncertainty, the fear, the dread; the meaningless pain and the endless suffering. Her life set the emotional tone of my life, colored the men and women I was to meet in the future, conditioned my relation to events that had not yet happened, determined my attitude to situations and circumstances I had yet to face. A somberness of spirit that I was never to lose settled over me during the slow years of my mother's unrelieved suffering, a somberness that was to make me stand apart and look upon excessive joy with suspicion, that was to make me keep forever on the move, as though to escape a nameless fate seeking to overtake me. At the age of twelve, before I had one year of formal schooling, I had a conception of life that no experience would ever erase, a predilection for what was real that no argument could ever gainsay, a sense of the world that was mine and mine alone, a notion as to what life meant that no education could ever alter, a conviction that the meaning of living came only when one was struggling to wring a meaning out of meaningless suffering. At the age of twelve I had an attitude toward life that was to endure, that was to make me seek those areas of living that would keep it alive, that was to make me skeptical of everything while seeking everything, tolerant of all and yet critical. The spirit I had caught gave me insight into the sufferings of others, made me gravitate toward those whose feelings were like my own, made me sit for hours while others told me of their lives, made me strangely tender and cruel, violent and peaceful. It made me want to drive coldly to the heart of every question and it open to the core of suffering I knew I would find there. It made me love burrowing into psychology, into realistic and naturalistic fiction and art, into those whirlpools of politics that had the power to claim the whole of men's souls. It directed my loyalties to the side of men in rebellion; it made me love talk that sought answers to questions that could help nobody, that could only keep alive in me that enthralling sense of wonder and awe in the face of the drama of human feeling which is hidden by the external drama of life.
Richard Wright (Black Boy (American Hunger))
There were intervals in which she could sit perfectly still, enjoying the outer stillness and the subdued light. The red fire with its gently audible movement seemed like a solemn existence calmly independent of the petty passions, the imbecile desires, the straining after worthless uncertainties, which were daily moving her contempt. Mary was fond of her own thoughts, and could amuse herself well sitting in the twilight with her hands in her lap; for, having early had strong reason to believe that things were not likely to be arranged for her peculiar satisfaction, she wasted no time in astonishment and annoyance at that fact. And she had already come to take life very much as a comedy in which she had a proud, nay, a generous resolution not to act the mean or treacherous part. Mary might have become cynical if she had not had parents whom she honoured, and a well of affectionate gratitude within her, which was all the fuller because she had learned to make no unreasonable claims. She sat to-night revolving, as she was wont, the scenes of the day, her lips often curling with amusement at the oddities to which her fancy added fresh drollery: people were so ridiculous with their illusions, carrying their fools' caps unawares, thinking their own lies opaque while everybody else's were transparent, making themselves exceptions to everything, as if when all the world looked yellow under a lamp they alone were rosy.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
Uncertainty removes our judgments of others; it preempts the unnecessary stereotyping and biases that we otherwise feel when we see somebody on TV, in the office, or on the street. Uncertainty also relieves us of our judgment of ourselves. We don’t know if we’re lovable or not; we don’t know how attractive we are; we don’t know how successful we could potentially become. The only way to achieve these things is to remain uncertain of them and be open to finding them out through experience. Uncertainty
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
I remember clearly the deaths of three men. One was the richest man of the century, who, having clawed his way to wealth through the souls and bodies of men, spent many years trying to buy back the love he had forfeited and by that process performed great service to the world and, perhaps, had much more than balanced the evils of his rise. I was on a ship when he died. The news was posted on the bulletin board, and nearly everyone recieved the news with pleasure. Several said, "Thank God that son of a bitch is dead." Then there was a man, smart as Satan, who, lacking some perception of human dignity and knowing all too well every aspect of human weakness and wickedness, used his special knowledge to warp men, to buy men, to bribe and threaten and seduce until he found himself in a position of great power. He clothed his motives in the names of virtue, and I have wondered whether he ever knew that no gift will ever buy back a man's love when you have removed his self-love. A bribed man can only hate his briber. When this man died the nation rang with praise... There was a third man, who perhaps made many errors in performance but whose effective life was devoted to making men brave and dignified and good in a time when they were poor and frightened and when ugly forces were loose in the world to utilize their fears. This man was hated by few. When he died the people burst into tears in the streets and their minds wailed, "What can we do now?" How can we go on without him?" In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, mo matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror....we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
It wasn’t that big a deal.” Raziel sat up. He stared hard at Keira until she had no choice but to meet his eyes. He could still see doubt and uncertainty there. “Stop that. If you did what you say you did, you pulled off a hell of a thing. Several hells of things. Or something like that. I’m not sure how to make that plural. The point is...” Raziel had to stop for a moment to figure out what his point was. She was looking at him with curiosity now, the self consciousness somewhat faded. “The point is thank you.” “Thank… you?” “Yeah. You got me away from Alban. You came to help Kusa. You risked your life to keep me and my friends alive. Thank you.” “You… you…” She struggled for words. “You are so weird.
Rick Fox (Fate's Pawn)
Learning to navigate the unpredictable terrain of life is an essential skill to develop. We can't live a happy life if we are unwilling to pave the path that will lead to our personal fulfillment and destiny. Learning to sit comfortably in the seat of uncertainty is challenging, but equally rewarding, because discovery is what waits just underneath the surface of that uncertainty and that gives us the chance to become fearless explorers, of our own lives.
Jaeda DeWalt
I think that we may safely trust a good deal more than we do. We may waive just so much care of ourselves as we honestly bestow elsewhere. Nature is well adapted to our weakness as our strength. The incessant anxiety and strain of some is a well nigh incurable form of disease. We are made to exaggerate the importance of what work we do; and yet how much is not done by us! or, what if we had been taken sick? How vigilant we are! determined not to live by faith if we can avoid it; all the day long on the alert, at night we unwillingly say our prayers and commit ourselves to uncertainties. So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change. This is the only way, we say; but there are as many ways as there can be drawn radii from one centre. All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant. Confucius said, “To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.” When one man has reduced a fact of the imagination to be a fact to his understanding, I foresee that all men will at length establish their lives on that basis.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
The fact is, parents and schools and cultures can and do shape people. The most important influence in my life, outside of my family, was my high school journalism teacher, Hattie M. Steinberg. She pounded the fundamentals of journalism into her students -- not simply how to write a lead or accurately transcribe a quote but, more important, how to comport yourself in a professional way. She was nearing sixty at the time I had her as my teacher and high school newspaper adviser in the late 1960s. She was the polar opposite of "cool," but we hung around her classroom like it was the malt shop and she was Wolfman Jack. None of us could have articulated it then, but it was because we enjoyed being harangued by her, disciplined by her, and taught by her. She was a woman of clarity and principles in an age of uncertainty. I sit up straight just thinking about her!
Thomas L. Friedman (The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century)
Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It’s a very tender, nonaggressive, open-ended state of affairs. To stay with that shakiness—to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge—that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.
Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics))
Solitude is never where you are; it is always where you are not, and is only possible with a stranger present; whatever the place or whoever the person, it must be one that is wholly ignorant concerning you, and concerning which or whom you are equally ignorant, so that will and sensation remain suspended and confused in an anxious uncertainty, while with the ceasing of all affirmation on your part, your own inner consciousness ceases at the same time. True solitude is to be found in a place that lives a life of its own, but which for you holds no familiar footprint, speaks in no known voice, and where accordingly the stranger is yourself.
Luigi Pirandello (One, No One and One Hundred Thousand)
magine a trust in yourself, or another person, or in life itself, that doesn’t need to be proved or demonstrated, that is able to contain uncertainty. People sometimes put their trust in a spiritual leader and are terribly betrayed if that person then fails to live up to ideals. But a real trust of faith would be to decide whether to trust someone, knowing that betrayal is inevitable because life and personality are never without shadow. The vulnerability that faith demands could be matched by an equal trust in oneself, the feeling that one can survive the pain of betrayal.
Thomas Moore (Care of the Soul in Medicine)
We are all so afraid of uncertainty that we want a guarantee before we even try. We want evidence that if we take a risk we will "get the girl" Its a numbers game. To play any game, you have to start. To win, you need to keep going. If you want to make your dreams come true, get ready for the long game. Life is not a one and done sort of deal. You've got to work for what you want. Picasso created nearly 100 masterpieces in his lifetime. But what most people don't know is that he created a total of more then 50,000 works of art. .. Thats two pieces of art a day. Success is a numbers game. You are not going to win if you keep telling yourself to wait. The more often that you choose courage, the more likely you'll succeed.
Mel Robbins (The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage)
Polyamory can feel threatening because it upsets our fairy-tale assumption that the right partner will keep us safe from change. Polyamory introduces the prospect of chaos and uncertainty into what's supposed to be a straightforward progression to bliss. But a healthy relationship must first of all be resilient, able to respond to the changes and complexity life brings. Nor is happiness actually a state of being. It is a process, a side effect of doing other things. The fairy tale tells us that with the right partner, happiness just happens. But happiness is something we re-create every day. And it comes more from our outlook than from the things around us.
Franklin Veaux (More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory)
... In your twenties you're becoming who you're going to be and so you might as well not be an asshole. Also, because it's harder to be magnanimous when you're in your twenties, I think, and so that's why I'd like to remind you of it. You're generally less humble in that decade than you'll ever be and this lack of humility is oddly mixed with insecurity and uncertainty and fear. You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
In their new personal development the girl and the woman will only be for a short time imitations of the good and bad manners of man and reiterations of man's professions. After the uncertainty of this transition it will appear that women have passed through those many, often ridiculous, changes of disguise, only to free themselves from the disturbing influence of the other sex. For women, in whom life tarries and dwells in a more incommunicable, fruitful and confident form, must at bottom have become richer beings, more ideally human beings than fundamentally easy-going man, who is not drawn down beneath the surface of life by the difficulty of bearing bodily fruit, and who arrogantly and hastily undervalues what he means to love. When this humanity of woman, borne to the full in pain and humiliation, has stripped off in the course of the changes of its outward position the old convention of simple feminine weakness, it will come to light, and man, who cannot yet feel it coming, will be surprised and smitten by it. One day—a day of which trustworthy signs are already speaking and shining forth especially in northern lands—one day that girl and woman will exist, whose name will no longer mean simply a contrast to what is masculine, but something for itself, something that will not make one think of any supplement or limit, but only of life and existence—the feminine human beings. This advance, at first very much against the will of man who has been overtaken—will alter the experience of love, which is now full of error, will change it radically and form it into a relationship, no longer between man and woman, but between human being and human being. And this more human love, which will be carried out with infinite consideration and gentleness and will be good and clean in its tyings and untyings, will be like that love which we are straining and toiling to prepare, the love which consists in this, that two lonely beings protect one another, border upon one another and greet one another.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
Memories particularly of when they weren’t being what parents are nine-tenths of the time, the taskmasters, the examples, the moral authorities, the nags of pick-that-up and you’re-going-to-be-late, keepers of the diary of her duties and routines, memories, rather, of when they found one another afresh, beyond the tensions between parental mastery and inept childish uncertainty, of those moments of respite in a family’s life when they could reach one another in calm
Philip Roth (American Pastoral (The American Trilogy, #1))
Many of life's decisions are hard. What kind of career should you pursue? Does your ailing mother need to be put in a nursing home? You and your spouse already have two kids; should you have a third? such decisions are hard for a number of reasons. For one the stakes are high. There's also a great deal of uncertainty involved. Above all, decisions like these are rare, which means you don't get much practice making them. You've probably gotten good at buying groceries, since you do it so often, but buying your first house is another thing entirely.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
Do you want to be in your own story or on the outside writing about it? Everyone battles fear and uncertainty every day. However, the only failure in life is believing that your value relies on other people's approval or resources. The reality is this: When you are living your authentic self and not how people want you to act, then you are free to use the full spectrum of your creativity and gifts. People don't need resources to get out of any life situation. They need creativity to create resources. When you realize that, becoming stuck is impossible.
Shannon L. Alder
When you are in your twenties, even if you're confused and uncertain about your aims and purposes, you have a strong sense of what life itself is, and of what you in life are, and might become. Later...later there is more uncertainty, more overlapping, more backtracking, more false memories. Back then, you can remember your short life in its entirety. Later, the memory becomes a thing of shreds and patches. It's a bit like the black box aeroplanes carry to record what happens in a crash. If nothing goes wrong, the tape erases itself. So if you do crash, it's obvious why you did; if you don't, then the log of your journey is much less clear.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
Go now, and live. Experience. Dream. Risk. Close your eyes and jump. Enjoy the freefall. Choose exhilaration over comfort. Choose magic over predictability. Choose potential over safety. Wake up to the magic of everyday life. Make friends with your intuition. Trust your gut. Discover the beauty of uncertainty. Know yourself fully before you make promises to another. Make millions of mistakes so that you will know how to choose what you really need. Know when to hold on and when to let go. Love hard and often and without reservation. Seek knowledge. Open yourself to possibility. Keep your heart open, your head high and your spirit free. Embrace your darkness along with your light. Be wrong everyday once in a while, and don't be afraid to admit it. Awaken to the brilliance in ordinary moments. Tell the truth about yourself no matter what the cost. Own your reality without apology. See goodness in the world. Be Bold. Be Fierce. Be Grateful. Be Wild, Crazy and Gloriously Free. Be You. Go now, and live.
Jeanette LeBlanc
Dorothea, with all her eagerness to know the truths of life, retained very childlike ideas about marriage. She felt sure that she would have accepted the judicious Hooker, if she had been born in time to save him from that wretched mistake he made in matrimony; or John Milton when his blindness had come on; or any of the other great men whose odd habits it would have been glorious piety to endure; but an amiable handsome baronet, who said "Exactly" to her remarks even when she expressed uncertainty,--how could he affect her as a lover? The really delightful marriage must be that where your husband was a sort of father, and could teach you even Hebrew, if you wished it.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
You won’t stop until you have all of me, will you? My body, my blood, my trust…and still you want more.” He knew of what I spoke and his reply was immediate. “I want your heart the most. Above all else. You’re exactly right, I won’t stop until I have it.” Tears began to slide down my cheeks, because I couldn’t hold the truth back anymore. I didn’t know how I’d managed to hold it back this long. “You have it already. So now you can stop.” His whole body stilled. “You mean that?” Uncertainty but also growing emotion filled his eyes as they bore into mine. I nodded, mouth too dry to speak. “Say it. I need to hear the words. Tell me.” I licked my lips and cleared my throat. It took three times, but finally my voice returned. “I love you, Bones.” A weight seemed to lift from me I hadn’t known was there. Funny how much I’d feared something that shouldn’t have frightened me at all. “Again.” He started to smile, and a beautiful, pure joy filled up the emptiness I’d carried my entire life. “I love you.” He kissed my forehead, cheeks, eyelids, and chin, feather-soft brushes that had the impact of a locomotive. “Once more.” The request was muffled by his mouth on mine and I breathed the words into him. “I love you.” Bones kissed me until my head reeled and everything tilted even though I was lying flat. He only paused long enough to whisper onto my lips, “It was well worth the wait.
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
Because life is robust, Because life is bigger than equations, stronger than money, stronger than guns and poison and bad zoning policy, stronger than capitalism, Because Mother Nature bats last, and Mother Ocean is strong, and we live inside our mothers forever, and Life is tenacious and you can never kill it, you can never buy it, So Life is going to dive down into your dark pools, Life is going to explode the enclosures and bring back the commons, O you dark pools of money and law and quantitudinal stupidity, you oversimple algorithms of greed, you desperate simpletons hoping for a story you can understand, Hoping for safety, hoping for cessation of uncertainty, hoping for ownership of volatility, O you poor fearful jerks, Life! Life! Life! Life is going to kick your ass.
Kim Stanley Robinson (New York 2140)
Like the body craves oxygen, the mind is desperate for certainty. It believes that without a safe foothold on reality, it will die. But the fascinating thing is that the illusion of certainty is exactly the opposite of safety because it hardens and narrows the vision to make everything fit its own scope. Then when new information arrives which would be its ally, the mind pushes it away in favor of the leaky life raft to which it clings, sinking all the while beneath the waves of change. In fact, the only antidote for this is to embrace 'I don’t know' so deeply that a powerful, dynamic safety emerges. This is like learning to surf so well that a tsunami wave shows up as a challenge to test our mastery.
Jacob Nordby
Life was about to take her away from here. Fro the place where she'd become herself. This sold little village that never changed but helped its inhabitants to change. She's arrived straight from art college full of avant-garde ideas, wearing shades of gray and seeing the world in black and white. So sure of herself. But here, in the middle of nowhere, she'd discovered color. And nuance. She'd learned this from the villagers, who'd been generous enough to lend her their souls to paint. Not as perfect human beings, but as flawed, struggling men and women. Filled with fear and uncertainty and, in at least one case, martinis.
Louise Penny (The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5))
Planning can't save you from everything. Change is inevitable and uncertainty is a given. And if you plan so much that you can't function without one, life's no fun. All the calendars, journals, and lists in the world won't save you when the sky falls. And maybe, just maybe, I've been using planning less as a coping mechanism and more as an excuse to avoid anything I couldn't control. But that doesn't mean preparation is altogether bad. Planning can be useful when you've come out on the wrong side of a cave and need to figure out a new way to get back on route. When all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and push forward.
Jenn Bennett (Starry Eyes)
Ages of prolonged uncertainty, while they are compatible with the highest degree of saintliness in a few, are inimical to the prosaic every-day virtues of respectable citizens. There seems no use in thrift, when tomorrow all your savings may be dissipated; no advantage in honesty, when the man towards whom you practise it is pretty sure to swindle you; no point in steadfast adherence to the cause, when no cause is important or has a chance of stable victory; no argument in favour of truthfulness, when only supple tergiversation makes the preservation of life and fortune possible. The man whose virtue has no source except a purely terrestrial prudence will in such a world, become an adventurer if he has the courage, and, if not, will seek obscurity as a timid time-server.
Bertrand Russell (A History of Western Philosophy)
When the Time Is Right: December 7 There are times when we simply do not know what to do, or where to go, next. Sometimes these periods are brief, sometimes lingering. We can get through these times. We can rely on our program and the disciplines of recovery. We can cope by using our faith, other people, and our resources. Accept uncertainty. We do not always have to know what to do or where to go next. We do not always have clear direction. Refusing to accept the inaction and limbo makes things worse. It is okay to temporarily be without direction. Say “I don’t know,” and be comfortable with that. We do not have to try to force wisdom, knowledge, or clarity when there is none. While waiting for direction, we do not have to put our life on hold. Let go of anxiety and enjoy life. Relax. Do something fun. Enjoy the love and beauty in your life. Accomplish small tasks. They may have nothing to do with solving the problem, or finding direction, but this is what we can do in the interim. Clarity will come. The next step will present itself. Indecision, inactivity, and lack of direction will not last forever. Today, I will accept my circumstances even if I lack direction and insight. I will remember to do things that make myself and others feel good during those times. I will trust that clarity will come of its own accord.
Melody Beattie (The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series)
When writers who are just starting out ask me when it gets easier, my answer is never. It never gets easier. I don’t want to scare them, so I rarely say more than that, but the truth is that, if anything, it gets harder. The writing life isn’t just filled with predictable uncertainties but with the awareness that we are always starting over again. That everything we ever write will be flawed. We may have written one book, or many, but all we know — if we know anything at all — is how to write the book we’re writing. All novels are failures. Perfection itself would be a failure. All we can hope is that we will fail better. That we won’t succumb to fear of the unknown. That we will not fall prey to the easy enchantments of repeating what may have worked in the past. I try to remember that the job — as well as the plight, and the unexpected joy — of the artist is to embrace uncertainty, to be sharpened and honed by it. To be birthed by it. Each time we come to the end of a piece of work, we have failed as we have leapt—spectacularly, brazenly — into the unknown.
Dani Shapiro (Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life)
I was told that the disorder was not really in my eyes, but in my central nervous system. I might or might not experience symptoms of neural damage all my life. These symptoms, which might or might not appear, might or might not involve my eyes. They might or might not involve my arms or legs, they might or might not be disabling. Their effects might be lessened by cortisone injections, or they might not. It could not be predicted. The condition had a name, the kind of name usually associated with telethons, but the name meant nothing and the neurologist did not like to use it. The name was multiple sclerosis, but the name had no meaning. This was, the neurologist said, an exclusionary diagnosis, and meant nothing. I had, at this time, a sharp apprehension not of what it was like to be old but of what it was like to open the door to the stranger and find that the stranger did indeed have the knife. In a few lines of dialogue in a neurologist’s office in Beverly Hills, the improbable had become the probable, the norm: things which happened only to other people could in fact happen to me. I could be struck by lightning, could dare to eat a peach and be poisoned by the cyanide in the stone. The startling fact was this: my body was offering a precise physiological equivalent to what had been going on in my mind.
Joan Didion (The White Album)
Love often doesn’t make any sense at all. It likes to creep up on you when you’re least expecting it, with the person you’re least expecting it to be with. It climbs walls and crosses oceans to find you. When it’s your time, love will track you down. Love isn’t possession, it isn’t codependency, it isn’t jealousy, and it isn’t neediness or clinginess. It’s not meant to complete you, but to complement you. If it’s toxic, it isn’t love. Love isn’t finding a “better half,” but an “equal match.” Love is letting go when you want to hold on. Love will never require you to sacrifice your dreams or your dignity. Love isn’t uncertainty. It isn’t a “maybe” thing. It isn’t a question. It’s always an answer. Love is beautiful. It is magical. It is life-changing. It is breathtaking.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
The philosopher Odo Marquard has noted a correlation in the German language between the word zwei, which means 'two,' and the word zweifel, which means 'doubt' - suggesting that two of anything brings the automatic possibility of uncertainty to our lives. Now imagine a life in which every day a person is presented with not two or even three but dozens of choices, and you can begin to grasp why the modern world has become, even with all its advantages, a neurosis-generating machine of the highest order. In a world of such abundant possibility, many of us simply go limp from indecision. Or we derail our life's journey again and again, backing up to try the doors we neglected on the first round, desperate to get it right this time. Or we become compulsive comparers - always measuring our lives against some other person's life, secretly wondering if we should have taken her path instead.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage)
But that can't work, can it?" Said Richard. "If we do that, then this won't have happened. Don't we generate all sorts of paradoxes?" Reg stirred himself from thought. "No worse than many that exist already," he said. "If the universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don't. It's like a human body, you see. A few cuts and bruises here and there don't hurt it. Not even major surgery if its done properly. Paradoxes are just the scar tissue. Time and space heal themselves up around them and people simply remember a version of events which makes as much sense as they require it to make. That isn't to say if you get involved in a paradox a few things won't strike you as being very odd, but if you've got through life without that already happening to you, then I don't know which universe you've been living in, but it isn't this one
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
The travails of being an employee include not only uncertainty about the duration of one's employment, but also the humiliation of many working practices and dynamics. With most businesses shaped like pyramids, in which a wide base of employees gives way to a narrow tip of managers, the question of who will be rewarded - and who left behind - typically develops into one of the most oppressive of the workplace, and one which, like all anxieties, feeds off uncertainty. Because achievement in most fields is difficult to monitor reliably, the path to promotion or its oppositie can acquire an apparently haphazard connection to results. The succesful alpinist of organizational pyramids may not be the best at their jobs, but those who have best mastered a range of dark political arts in which civilized life does not usually offer instruction.
Alain de Botton (Status Anxiety)
[…] I began to see Algiers as one of the most fascinating and dramatic places on earth. In the small space of this beautiful but congested city intersected two great conflicts of the contemporary world. The first was the one between Christianity and Islam (expressed here in the clash between colonizing France and colonized Algeria). The second, which acquired a sharpness of focus immediately after the independence and departure of the French, was a conflict at the very heart of Islam, between its open, dialectical — I would even say “Mediterranean” — current and its other, inward-looking one, born of a sense of uncertainty and confusion vis-à-vis the contemporary world, guided by fundamentalists who take advantage of modern technology and organizational principles yet at the same time deem the defense of faith and custom against modernity as the condition of their own existence, their sole identity. […] In Algiers one speaks simply of the existence of two varieties of Islam — one, which is called the Islam of the desert, and a second, which is defined as the Islam of the river (or of the sea). The first is the religion practiced by warlike nomadic tribes struggling to survive in one of the world's most hostile environments, the Sahara. The second Islam is the faith of merchants, itinerant peddlers, people of the road and of the bazaar, for whom openness, compromise, and exchange are not only beneficial to trade, but necessary to life itself.
Ryszard Kapuściński (Travels with Herodotus)
Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable. The obstacles preventing the realization of both these extreme states are of the same nature: they derive from our human condition which is opposed to everything infinite. Our ever-insufficient knowledge of the future opposes it: and this is called, in the one instance, hope, and in the other, uncertainty of the following day. The certainty of death opposes it: for it places a limit on every joy, but also on every grief. The inevitable material cares oppose it: for as they poison every lasting happiness, they equally assiduously distract us from our misfortunes and make our consciousness of them intermittent and hence supportable. Similar to the way we are led along in life by the endless pursuits of pleasures, we are led along, even saved by the endless revelation of pain. This in itself may not be a happy thought, but it is a reminder of how relative, always, are our perceptions of misery and joy.
Primo Levi
Here’s the stark truth about the person who is right for you: They want the same lifestyle that you do. How do I know this? Because that is, by definition, what makes them right for you. To be with someone whose eyes light up when yours do, whose heart races when your blood also pounds, who is enticed and inspired by the same forces that drive you forward, is a gift many of us never truly get to experience. Because we settle. We settle for the person we love over the person who could push us – to be bigger, stronger, greater versions of ourselves. We tell ourselves that love is enough. That it conquers everything. But we forget that love shouldn’t be the thing that conquers our lives – we should be. And we should do it deliberately, triumphantly, by the side of somebody who shares all of our joys and successes. So how do we meet such a person? That’s simple – we do more of what we love. We give ourselves up to uncertainty, to searching, to pursuing what we want out of life without the certainty of having someone beside us while we do it. We throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the things that we love and we consequently attract the people who love what we love. Who value what we prioritize. Who appreciate all that we are. We throw ourselves into the heart of possibility instead of staying comfortably settled inside of certainty. Because we owe it to ourselves to do so. We owe it to ourselves to live the greatest life that we’re capable of living, even if that means that we have to be alone for a very long time. At the end of the day, love is wonderful but it isn’t enough to make up for an entire lifetime of compromising your core values. You don’t want to spend forever gazing into somebody’s eyes expecting to find all of the answers you need inside of them. Wait for the person who is gazing outward in the same direction as you are. It’s going to make all of the difference in the world
Heidi Priebe
As a physician, I was trained to deal with uncertainty as aggressively as I dealt with disease itself. The unknown was the enemy. Within this worldview, having a question feels like an emergency; it means that something is out of control and needs to be made known as rapidly, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible. But death has taken me to the edge of certainty, to the place of questions. After years of trading mystery for mastery, it was hard and even frightening to stop offering myself reasonable explanations for some of the things that I observed and that others told me, and simply take them as they are. "I don't know" had long been a statement of shame, of personal and professional failing. In all of my training I do not recall hearing it said aloud even once. But as I listened to more and more people with life-threatening illnesses tell their stories, not knowing simply became a matter of integrity. Things happened. And the explanations I offered myself became increasingly hollow, like a child whistling in the dark. The truth was that very often I didn't know and couldn't explain, and finally, weighed down by the many, many instances of the mysterious which are such an integral part of illness and healing, I surrendered. It was a moment of awakening. For the first time, I became curious about the things I had been unwilling to see before, more sensitive to inconsistencies I had glibly explained or successfully ignored, more willing to ask people questions and draw them out about stories I would have otherwise dismissed. What I have found in the end was that the life I had defended as a doctor as precious was also Holy. I no longer feel that life is ordinary. Everyday life is filled with mystery. The things we know are only a small part of the things we cannot know but can only glimpse. Yet even the smallest of glimpses can sustain us. Mystery seems to have the power to comfort, to offer hope, and to lend meaning in times of loss and pain. In surprising ways it is the mysterious that strengthens us at such times. I used to try to offer people certainty in times that were not at all certain and could not be made certain. I now just offer my companionship and share my sense of mystery, of the possible, of wonder. After twenty years of working with people with cancer, I find it possible to neither doubt nor accept the unprovable but simply to remain open and wait. I accept that I may never know where truth lies in such matters. The most important questions don't seem to have ready answers. But the questions themselves have a healing power when they are shared. An answer is an invitation to stop thinking about something, to stop wondering. Life has no such stopping places, life is a process whose every event is connected to the moment that just went by. An unanswered question is a fine traveling companion. It sharpens your eye for the road.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal)
Don’t strive to be a well-rounded leader. Instead, discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else. Admitting a weakness is a sign of strength. Acknowledging weakness doesn’t make a leader less effective. Everybody in your organization benefits when you delegate responsibilities that fall outside your core competency. Thoughtful delegation will allow someone else in your organization to shine. Your weakness is someone’s opportunity. Leadership is not always about getting things done “right.” Leadership is about getting things done through other people. The people who follow us are exactly where we have led them. If there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is our own fault. As a leader, gifted by God to do a few things well, it is not right for you to attempt to do everything. Upgrade your performance by playing to your strengths and delegating your weaknesses. There are many things I can do, but I have to narrow it down to the one thing I must do. The secret of concentration is elimination. Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing. My competence in these areas defines my success as a pastor. A sixty-hour workweek will not compensate for a poorly delivered sermon. People don’t show up on Sunday morning because I am a good pastor (leader, shepherd, counselor). In my world, it is my communication skills that make the difference. So that is where I focus my time. To develop a competent team, help the leaders in your organization discover their leadership competencies and delegate accordingly. Once you step outside your zone, don’t attempt to lead. Follow. The less you do, the more you will accomplish. Only those leaders who act boldly in times of crisis and change are willingly followed. Accepting the status quo is the equivalent of accepting a death sentence. Where there’s no progress, there’s no growth. If there’s no growth, there’s no life. Environments void of change are eventually void of life. So leaders find themselves in the precarious and often career-jeopardizing position of being the one to draw attention to the need for change. Consequently, courage is a nonnegotiable quality for the next generation leader. The leader is the one who has the courage to act on what he sees. A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. It is not his insight that sets the leader apart from the crowd. It is his courage to act on what he sees, to speak up when everyone else is silent. Next generation leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside. The first person to step out in a new direction is viewed as the leader. And being the first to step out requires courage. In this way, courage establishes leadership. Leadership requires the courage to walk in the dark. The darkness is the uncertainty that always accompanies change. The mystery of whether or not a new enterprise will pan out. The reservation everyone initially feels when a new idea is introduced. The risk of being wrong. Many who lack the courage to forge ahead alone yearn for someone to take the first step, to go first, to show the way. It could be argued that the dark provides the optimal context for leadership. After all, if the pathway to the future were well lit, it would be crowded. Fear has kept many would-be leaders on the sidelines, while good opportunities paraded by. They didn’t lack insight. They lacked courage. Leaders are not always the first to see the need for change, but they are the first to act. Leadership is about moving boldly into the future in spite of uncertainty and risk. You can’t lead without taking risk. You won’t take risk without courage. Courage is essential to leadership.
Andy Stanley (Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future)
When you are in your twenties, even if you're confused and uncertain about your aims and purposes, you have a strong sense of what life itself is, and of what you in life are, and might become. Later ... later there is more uncertainty, more overlapping, more back-tracking, more false memories. Back then, you can remember your short life in its entirety. Later, the memory becomes a thing of shreds and patches. It's a bit like the black box aeroplanes carry to record what happens in a crash. So if you do crash, it's obvious why you did; if you don't, the the log of your journey is much less clear. Or, to put it another way. Someone once said that his favourite times in history were when things were collapsing, because that means something new is being born. Does this makes any sense if we apply it to our individual lives? Even if that something new is our very own self? Because just as all political and historical change sooner or later disappoints, so does adulthood. So does life. Sometimes I think the purpose of life is to reconcile us to its eventual loss by wearing us down, by proving, however long it takes, that life isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
Uncertainty and failure might look like the end of the road to you. But uncertainty is a part of life. Facing uncertainty and failure doesn’t always make people weaker and weaker until they give up. Sometimes it wakes them up, and it’s like they can see the beauty around them for the first time. Sometimes losing everything makes you realize how little you actually need. Sometimes losing everything sends you out into the world to breathe in the air, to pick some flowery weeds, to take in a new day. Because this life is full of promise, always. It’s full of beads and dolls and chipped plates; it’s full of twinklings and twinges. It is possible to admit that life is a struggle and also embrace the fact that small things—like sons who call you and beloved dogs in framed pictures and birds that tell you to drink your fucking tea—matter. They matter a lot. Stop trying to make sense of things. You can’t think your way through this. Open your heart and drink in this glorious day. You are young, and you will find little things that will make you grateful to be alive. Believe in what you love now, with all of your heart, and you will love more and more until everything around you is love. Love yourself now, exactly as sad and scared and flawed as you are, and you will grow up and live a rich life and show up for other people, and you’ll know exactly how big that is. Let’s celebrate this moment together. There are twinklings and twinges, right here, in this moment. It is enough. Let’s find the eastern towhee.
Heather Havrilesky (How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly's Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life)
A predator’s intention…… It is my intention to cause you fear such as you have never known. It is my desire to take your fear to a whole new level of terror. I can smell your fear as its sweet scent flows through my universe. This small universe that I have created and am permitting you to exist in. I say these things because you only exist right now because I have allowed it, for if I should choose, I could snuff you out as if extinguishing a candle flame. I will make you thank me later for allowing you to breathe. I will mix you a concoction of fear, pain, uncertainty, and arousal, such as you have never known. You see my curious little prey these all create very similar physical reactions. My little prey… they have common traits on the emotional side too. Curious prey, curious prey, let me growl my intentions into your curious ear. I will keep you in a constant state of fear, pain, uncertainty, and arousal. I know exactly what I am doing; I am a skilled and professional predator. It is my full intention to own you! I will keep you in a constant emotional whirlpool. This is the universe of my making, and you exist in it by my power, and by my choice. I want you in a constant state of fear, physical discomfort, pain, uncertainty, and arousal. I am purposely blurring the lines between your emotions, and your physical sensations. As I do this… I am creating a desire and a craving within you to be man handled and taken by me. I am intentionally working you into a state of intense arousal, and desperation. I am conditioning you to crave your new life as my prey…
Suzanne Steele (The Executioner)
Ecclesiastes This is a book of the Old Testament. I don't believe I've ever read this section of the Bible - I know my Genesis pretty well and my Ten Commandments (I like lists), but I'm hazy on a lot of the other parts. Here, the Britannica provides a handy Cliff Notes version of Ecclesiastes: [the author's] observations on life convinced him that 'the race is not swift, nor the battle strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all' (9:11). Man's fate, the author maintains, does not depend on righteous or wicked conduct but is an inscrutable mystery that remains hidden in God (9:1). All attempts to penetrate this mystery and thereby gain the wisdom necessary to secure one's fate are 'vanity' or futile. In the face of such uncertainty, the author's counsel is to enjoy the good things that God provides while one has them to enjoy. This is great. I've accumulated hundreds of facts in the last seven thousand pages, but i've been craving profundity and perspective. Yes, there was that Dyer poem, but that was just cynical. This is the real thing: the deepest paragraph I've read so far in the encyclopedia. Instant wisdom. It couldn't be more true: the race does not go to the swift. How else to explain the mouth-breathing cretins I knew in high school who now have multimillion-dollar salaries? How else to explain my brilliant friends who are stuck selling wheatgrass juice at health food stores? How else to explain Vin Diesel's show business career? Yes, life is desperately, insanely, absurdly unfair. But Ecclesiastes offers exactly the correct reaction to that fact. There's nothing to be done about it, so enjoy what you can. Take pleasure in the small things - like, for me, Julie's laugh, some nice onion dip, the insanely comfortable beat-up leather chair in our living room. I keep thinking about Ecclesiastes in the days that follow. What if this is the best the encyclopedia has to offer? What if I found the meaning of life on page 347 of the E volume? The Britannica is not a traditional book, so there's no reason why the big revelation should be at the end.
A.J. Jacobs
The repugnance to what must ensue almost immediately, and the uncertainty, were dreadful, he said; but worst of all was the idea, 'What should I do if I were not to die now? What if I were to return to life again? What an eternity of days, and all mine! How I should grudge and count up every minute of it, so as to waste not a single instant!' He said that this thought weighed so upon him and became such a terrible burden upon his brain that he could not bear it, and wished they would shoot him quickly and have done with it." The prince paused and all waited, expecting him to go on again and finish the story. "Is that all?" asked Aglaya. "All? Yes," said the prince, emerging from a momentary reverie. "And why did you tell us this?" "Oh, I happened to recall it, that's all! It fitted into the conversation—" "You probably wish to deduce, prince," said Alexandra, "that moments of time cannot be reckoned by money value, and that sometimes five minutes are worth priceless treasures. All this is very praiseworthy; but may I ask about this friend of yours, who told you the terrible experience of his life? He was reprieved, you say; in other words, they did restore to him that 'eternity of days.' What did he do with these riches of time? Did he keep careful account of his minutes?" "Oh no, he didn't! I asked him myself. He said that he had not lived a bit as he had intended, and had wasted many, and many a minute." "Very well, then there's an experiment, and the thing is proved; one cannot live and count each moment; say what you like, but one cannot." "That is true," said the prince, "I have thought so myself. And yet, why shouldn't one do it?" "You think, then, that you could live more wisely than other people?" said Aglaya. "I have had that idea." "And you have it still?" "Yes — I have it still," the prince replied.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot)
Girls and women, in their new, particular unfolding, will only in passing imitate men's behavior and misbehavior and follow in male professions. Once the uncertainty of such transitions is over it will emerge that women have only passed through the spectrum and the variety of those (often laughable) disguises in order to purify their truest natures from the distorting influences of the other sex. Women, in whom life abides and dwells more immediately, more fruitfully and more trustingly, are bound to have ripened more thoroughly, become more human human beings, than a man, who is all too light and has not been pulled down beneath the surface of life by the weight of a bodily fruit and who, in his arrogance and impatience, undervalues what he thinks he loves. This humanity which inhabits woman, brought to term in pain and humiliation, will, once she has shrugged off the conventions of mere femininity through the transformations of her outward status, come clearly to light, and men, who today do not yet feel it approaching, will be taken by surprise and struck down by it. One day (there are already reliable signs which speak for it and which begin to spread their light, especially in the northern countries), one day there will be girls and women whose name will no longer just signify the opposite of the male but something in their own right, something which does not make one think of any supplement or limit but only of life and existence: the female human being. This step forward (at first right against the will of the men who are left behind) will transform the experience of love, which is now full of error, alter its root and branch, reshape it into a relation between two human beings and no longer between man and woman. And this more human form of love (which will be performed in infinitely gentle and considerate fashion, true and clear in its creating of bonds and dissolving of them) will resemble the one we are struggling and toiling to prepare the way for, the love that consists in two solitudes protecting, defining and welcoming one another.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)