Uncertainties Quotes

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The very essence of romance is uncertainty.
Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays)
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
Education: the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.
Mark Twain
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))
Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. ...live in the question.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
I can give you my loneliness, my darkness, the hunger of my heart, I am trying to bribe you with uncertainty, with danger, with defeat.
Jorge Luis Borges
The mistake is thinking that there can be an antidote to the uncertainty.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
I took a test in Existentialism. I left all the answers blank and got 100.
Woody Allen
I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.
Beryl Markham (West with the Night)
Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
...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)
Maturity, one discovers, has everything to do with the acceptance of ‘not knowing.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
Let go of certainty. The opposite isn't uncertainty. It's openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.
Tony Schwartz
Knowledge would be fatal. It is the uncertainty that charms one. A mist makes things wonderful.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
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)
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)
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.
Elisabeth Elliot
People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.
Timothy Ferriss (The 4-Hour Workweek)
I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here. I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.
Richard P. Feynman
The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.
Erich Fromm
Wish you could turn off the questions, turn off the voices, turn off all sound. Yearn to close out the ugliness, close out the filthiness, close out all light. Long to cast away yesterday, cast away memory, cast away all jeapordy. Pray you could somehow stop uncertainty, somehow stop the loathing, somehow stop the pain. Act on your impulse, swallow the bottle, cut a little deeper, put the gun to your chest.
Ellen Hopkins (Impulse (Impulse, #1))
Now, as we stand three feet apart and stare at each other, I feel the full distance that comes with spending so much time apart, a moment filled with the electricity of a first meeting and the uncertainty of strangers.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
Normal, in our house, is like a blanket too short for a bed--sometimes it covers you just fine, and other times it leaves you cold and shaking; and worst of all, you never know which of the two it's going to be.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
To live is to have worries and uncertainties. Keep them inside, and they will destroy you for certain--leaving behind a person so callused that emotion can find no root in his heart.
Brandon Sanderson (Elantris (Elantris, #1))
As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
Albert Einstein
I think that all artists, regardless of degree of talent, are a painful, paradoxical combination of certainty and uncertainty, of arrogance and humility, constantly in need of reassurance, and yet with a stubborn streak of faith in their own validity no matter what.
Madeleine L'Engle
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)
To admit uncertainty is to admit to weakness, to powerlessness, and to believe in yourself despite both. It is a frailty, but in this frailty there is a strength: the conviction to live in your own mind, and not in someone else’s.
Tara Westover (Educated)
Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.
Voltaire
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)
So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don't sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we've satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late. - Lee Iacocca
Lee Iacocca
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)
In these times I don't, in a manner of speaking, know what I want; perhaps I don't want what I know and want what I don't know.
Marsilio Ficino (The Letters of Marsilio Ficino, Vol. 3)
My dream is to walk around the world. A smallish backpack, all essentials neatly in place. A camera. A notebook. A traveling paint set. A hat. Good shoes. A nice pleated (green?) skirt for the occasional seaside hotel afternoon dance.
Maira Kalman (The Principles of Uncertainty)
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)
When in doubt, be ridiculous.
Sherwood Smith (Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction)
When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.
Alice Hoffman (Here on Earth)
I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. If we will only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives. We will not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute truth of the day, but remain always uncertain … In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar.
Richard P. Feynman
Risk means 'shit happens' or 'good luck
Toba Beta (Betelgeuse Incident: Insiden Bait Al-Jauza)
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
Wholeheartedness. There are many tenets of Wholeheartedness, but at its very core is vulnerability and worthiness; facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks, and knowing that I am enough.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.
Madeleine L'Engle
There is a stark difference between fear and uncertainty, Sarai. You fear nothing but are uncertain of everything.
J.A. Redmerski (Killing Sarai (In the Company of Killers, #1))
In an era of stress and anxiety, when the present seems unstable and the future unlikely, the natural response is to retreat and withdraw from reality, taking recourse either in fantasies of the future or in modified visions of a half-imagined past.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
To lose yourself: a voluptuous surrender, lost in your arms, lost to the world, utterly immersed in what is present so that its surroundings fade away. In Benjamin’s terms, to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
I brought Hassan’s son from Afghanistan to America, lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
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
in the cold you wrap me. in my uncertainty you listen. in all my joys you celebrate. at every turn you meet me with competence and grace. what a fine dance we have together.
Mary Anne Radmacher
Dive again and again into the river of uncertainty. Create in the dark, only then can you recognize the light.
Jyrki Vainonen
Il n'est pas certain que tout soit incertain. (Translation: It is not certain that everything is uncertain.)
Blaise Pascal (Pascal's Pensees)
The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God. . . Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there's some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us. . . Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves.
Pema Chödrön
It has always seemed that a fear of judgment is the mark of guilt and the burden of insecurity.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
I'm convinced that most men don't know what they believe, rather, they only know what they wish to believe. How many people blame God for man's atrocities, but wouldn't dream of imprisoning a mother for her son's crime?
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.
Robert Burns (Collected Poems of Robert Burns)
Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God idea, not God Himself.
Miguel de Unamuno
It’s a dark place, not knowing. It’s difficult to surrender to. But I guess it’s where we live most of the time. I guess it’s where we all live, so maybe it doesn’t have to be so lonely. Maybe I can settle into it, cozy up to it, make a home inside uncertainty.
Nina LaCour (We Are Okay)
Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.
Carl von Clausewitz
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)
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)
Nobody knows how things will turn out, that's why they go ahead and play the game...You give it your all and sometimes amazing things happen, but it's hardly ever what you expect.
Gennifer Choldenko (Al Capone Does My Shirts (Tales from Alcatraz, #1))
Let go," he advised me, and I loosened my grip on his hands. "No, not of me," he said, smiling. "You can hold on to me as long as you want. Let go of the pain, Sookie. Let go. You need to drift away." It was the first time I had relinquished my will to someone else. As I looked at him, it became easy, and I retreated from the suffering and uncertainty of this strange place.
Charlaine Harris (Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #3))
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)
But what now? What am I supposed to do with all these feelings?
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don't deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.
Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times)
In the high country of the mind one has to become adjusted to the thinner air of uncertainty...
Robert M. Pirsig
Human spirit is the ability to face the uncertainty of the future with curiosity and optimism. It is the belief that problems can be solved, differences resolved. It is a type of confidence. And it is fragile. It can be blackened by fear, and superstition. By the year 2050, when the conflict began, the world had fallen upon fearful, superstitious times.
Bernard Beckett (Genesis)
The bittersweetness of uncertainty: To win or to lose.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
There's only one thing that can save a man from madness and that's uncertainty.
Dmitry Glukhovsky (Metro 2033 (Metro, #1))
Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Mortal or immortal, few really ask. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds -- justifications, confirmations, forms of consolation without which they can't go on. To really ask is to open the door to the whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the question and the questioner.
Anne Rice (The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles, #2))
I looked around. As flock leader, everyone was expecting me to make a decision. Jeb's presence here would bring uncertainty, chaos, probably danger. It would perk up my day.
James Patterson (Angel (Maximum Ride, #7))
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.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty.
Tacitus
And the pleasures and rewards of the intellect are inseparable from angst, uncertainty, conflict and even despair.
Christopher Hitchens (Letters to a Young Contrarian)
It’s the uncertainty of being accepted that creates the drama in our lives.
Elizabeth Eulberg (Take a Bow)
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...We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the neverending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, 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)
If I cease searching, then, woe is me, I am lost. That is how I look at it - keep going, keep going come what may.
Vincent van Gogh (The Letters of Vincent van Gogh)
In physics the truth is rarely perfectly clear, and that is certainly universally the case in human affairs. Hence, what is not surrounded by uncertainty cannot be the truth.
Richard P. Feynman
Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines.
R. Buckminster Fuller
...to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery. And one does not get lost but loses oneself, with the implication that it is a conscious choice, a chosen surrender...
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
If you have a comprehensive explanation for everything then it decreases uncertainty and anxiety and reduces your cognitive load. And if you can use that simplifying algorithm to put yourself on the side of moral virtue then you’re constantly a good person with a minimum of effort.
Jordan B. Peterson
I can't take not knowing what the next day will bring- the uncertainty is sawing me in two. The room is dark. A flickering candle burns on the window ledge a few feet away. I take a deep breath, which is to say, as deep a breath as I can take. "Are you okay?" Sarah asks. I wrap my arms around her. "I miss you," I say. "You miss me? But I'm right here." "That's the worst way to miss somebody. When they' re right beside you and you miss them anyway.
Pittacus Lore (I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1))
And I said, 'That last thing is what you can't get, Carlo. Nobody can get to that last thing. We keep on living in hopes of catching it once and for all.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
Such certainty is beautiful, but uncertainty is more beautiful still
Wisława Szymborska
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)
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)
German is my mother tongue and as such more natural to me, but I consider Czech much more affectionate, which is why your letter removes several uncertainties; I see you more clearly, the movements of your body, your hands, so quick, so resolute, it’s almost like a meeting.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Milena)
Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement. Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose; the level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
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)
Voldemort is playing a very clever game. Declaring himself might have provoked open rebellion. Remaining masked has created confusion, uncertainty, and fear.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
The world is not a solid continent of facts sprinkled by a few lakes of uncertainties, but a vast ocean of uncertainties speckled by a few islands of calibrated and stabilized forms
Bruno Latour (Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory)
Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.
Pema Chödrön (Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion)
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)
If you aren't in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret.
Jim Carrey
There isn't any fear in existence itself, or any uncertainty, but living creates it.
Yukio Mishima (The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea)
Uncertainty is the normal state.
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
A Thousand Mornings All night my heart makes its way however it can over the rough ground of uncertainties, but only until night meets and then is overwhelmed by morning, the light deepening, the wind easing and just waiting, as I too wait (and when have I ever been disappointed?) for redbird to sing
Mary Oliver (A Thousand Mornings)
wisdom isn’t a body of information. It’s the moral quality of knowing what you don’t know and figuring out a way to handle your ignorance, uncertainty, and limitation.
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty.
William Archer
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 it's 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.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
Cooking requires confident guesswork and improvisation-- experimentation and substitution, dealing with failure and uncertainty in a creative way
Paul Theroux (Sir Vidia's Shadow: A Friendship Across Five Continents)
Regardless of your faith, you can never escape uncertainty.
Shannon L. Alder
You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize As the dead carcasses of unburied men That do corrupt my air, I banish you; And here remain with your uncertainty!
William Shakespeare (Tragedy of Coriolanus)
The problem with certainty is that it is static; it can do little but endlessly reassert itself. Uncertainty, by contrast, is full of unknowns, possibilities, and risks. (65)
Stephen Batchelor (Confession of a Buddhist Atheist)
Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder)
It (trying to keep the law) grants you the power to judge others and feel superior to them. You believe you are living to a higher standard than those you judge. Enforcing rules, especially in its more subtle expressions like responsibility and expectation, is a vain attempt to create certainty out of uncertainty. And contrary to what you might think, I have a great fondness for uncertainty. Rules cannot bring freedom; they only have the power to accuse.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
A good piece of fiction, in my view, does not offer solutions. Good stories deal with our moral struggles, our uncertainties, our dreams, our blunders, our contradictions, our endless quest for understanding. Good stories do not resolve the mysteries of the human spirit but rather describe and expand up on those mysteries.
Tim O'Brien
The most self-damaging words in the English language are: try, might, and if. These are words of uncertainty. Will you fail? That is possible. But continue doubting your abilities and you’ll never succeed.
Dannika Dark (Gravity (Mageri, #4; Mageriverse #4))
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)
Hope -- Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us...A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.
Barack Obama
Sometimes when persons say definitely it sounds actually less true.
Emma Donoghue (Room)
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))
The death of God left the angels in a strange position.
Donald Barthelme
When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into it’s dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment
Pema Chödrön (Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change)
When a boy…discovers that he is more given into introspection and consciousness of self than other boys his age, he easily falls into the error of believing it is because he is more mature than they. This was certainly a mistake in my case. Rather, it was because the other boys had no such need of understanding themselves as I had: they could be their natural selves, whereas I was to play a part, a fact that would require considerable understanding and study. So it was not my maturity but my sense of uneasiness, my uncertainty that was forcing me to gain control over my consciousness. Because such consciousness was simply a steppingstone to aberration and my present thinking was nothing but uncertain and haphazard guesswork.
Yukio Mishima (Confessions of a Mask)
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)
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)
She'd preferred the uncertainty, if only because it allowed her to remember him the way he used to be. Sometimes, though, she wondered what he felt when he thought of that year they spent together, or if he ever marveled at what they'd shared, or even whether he thought of her at all.
Nicholas Sparks (The Best of Me)
The uncertainty of my own experience is crushing. I am drowning in an infinite sea. Sinking slowly, the weight of the lightless depths forcing me down, forcing the air from my lungs, squeezing the blood from my heart.
Rick Yancey (The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2))
We each appear to hold within ourselves a range of divergent views as to our native qualities.. And amid such uncertainty, we typically turn to the wider world to settle the question of our significance.. we seem beholden to affections of others to endure ourselves.
Alain de Botton (Status Anxiety)
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)
I cannot have chaos erupting around me until I am prepared for it. I am a collector. I am an observer. I don't participate. My resources, and my standing, must be secure before I can allow the uncertainty of war to crash down upon us.
Derek Landy (Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1))
Christians were never meant to be normal. We’ve always been holy troublemakers, we’ve always been creators of uncertainty, agents of dimension that’s incompatible with the status quo; we do not accept the world as it is, but we insist on the world becoming the way that God wants it to be. And the Kingdom of God is different from the patterns of this world.
Jacques Ellul
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)
The paradox of love is that to have it is to want to preserve it because it's perfect in the moment but that preservation is impossible because the perfection is only ever an instant passed through. Love like travel is a series of moments that we immediately leave behind. Still we try to hold on and embalm against all evidence and common sense proclaiming our promises and plans. The more I loved him the more I felt hope. But hope acknowledges uncertainty and so I also felt my first premonitions of loss.
Elisabeth Eaves (Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents)
Confidence is a feeling, which reflects the coherence of the information and the cognitive ease of processing it. It is wise to take admissions of uncertainty seriously, but declarations of high confidence mainly tell you that an individual has constructed a coherent story in his mind, not necessarily that the story is true.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
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)
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)
A sign of a lover of wisdom is his delight in not running his mouth about things he doesn't know.
Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
The attentions of others matter to us because we are afflicted by a congenital uncertainty as to our own value, as a result of which affliction we tend to allow others' appraisals to play a determining role in how we see ourselves. Our sense of identity is held captive by the judgements of those we live among.
Alain de Botton (Status Anxiety)
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
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))
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
When the uncertain future becomes the past, the past in turn becomes uncertain.
Mohsin Hamid (Moth Smoke)
It is for your own good to love a dare-devil rather than a holy coward. A dare-devil is a unique devil, battling your fears, your pains, conquering your uncertainties, carrying you his arms, and flying out of the corrosive fire. The coward is a trickster serpent, which vanishes in your time of despair, and appears in time of equanimity.
Michael Bassey Johnson
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)
Real danger is nothing more than just living. Of course, living is merely the chaos of existence, but more than that it's a crazy mixed-up business of dismantling existence instant by instant to the point where the original chaos is restored, and taking strength from the uncertainty and the fear that chaos brings to re-create existence instant by instant. You won't find another job as dangerous as that. There isn't any fear in existence itself, or any uncertainty, but living creates it.
Yukio Mishima (The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea)
if something does go wrong, here is my advice... KEEP CALM and CARRY ON.
Maira Kalman (The Principles of Uncertainty)
Don't dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.
Elisabeth Elliot
We live by revelation, as Christians, as artists, which means we must be careful never to get set into rigid molds. The minute we begin to think we know all the answers, we forget the questions, and we become smug like the Pharisee who listed all his considerable virtues, and thanked God that he was not like other men. Unamuno might be describing the artist as well as the Christian as he writes, "Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.
Madeleine L'Engle (Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art)
Beyond all sciences, philosophies, theologies, and histories, a child's relentless inquiry is truly all it takes to remind us that we don't know as much as we think we know.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
I had kissed my share of men, particularly during the war years, when flirtation and instant romance were the light-minded companions of death and uncertainty. Jamie, thought, was something different. His extreme gentleness was in no way tentative; rather it was a promise of power known and held in leash; a challenge and a provocation the more remarkable for its lack of demand. I am yours, it said. And if you will have me, then...
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
Ian closed his eyes. Beth watched emotions flicker across his face, the uncertainty, the stubbornness, the raw pain he’d lived with for so long. He didn’t always know how to express his emotions, but that didn’t mean he didn’t feel them deeply. When Ian slowly opened his eyes, he guided his gaze directly to Beth’s. His golden eyes shimmered and sparkled, pupils ringed with green. He held her gaze steadily, not blinking, or shifting away. “I love you,” he said. Beth caught her breath, and sudden tears blurred her vision. “Love you,” Ian repeated. His gaze bore into hers harder than Hart’s ever could hope to. “Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you, love you…
Jennifer Ashley (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, #1))
They were close enough that he could feel the hurried beat of her heart. He could feel Charlotte's indecision in every word she didn't say and every move she didn't make. She was tense with uncertainty, quivering with irresolution. She might not be leaning into him, but she wasn't pulling away, either.
Lauren Willig (The Temptation of the Night Jasmine (Pink Carnation, #5))
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
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))
Some care is needed in using Descartes' argument. "I think, therefore I am" says rather more than is strictly certain. It might seem as though we are quite sure of being the same person to-day as we were yesterday, and this is no doubt true in some sense. But the real Self is as hard to arrive at as the real table, and does not seem to have that absolute, convincing certainty that belongs to particular experiences.
Bertrand Russell (The Problems of Philosophy)
Ask the Outsider what he ultimately wants,and he will admit he doesn't know.Why? Because he wants it instinctively,and it is not always possible to tell what your instincts are driving towards.
Colin Wilson (The Outsider)
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)
Our knowledge of circumstances has increased, but our uncertainty, instead of having diminished, has only increased. The reason of this is, that we do not gain all our experience at once, but by degrees; so our determinations continue to be assailed incessantly by fresh experience; and the mind, if we may use the expression, must always be under arms.
Carl von Clausewitz
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)
My scientist friends have come up with things like 'principles of uncertainty' and dark holes. They're willing to live inside imagined hypotheses and theories. but many religious folks insist on answers that are always true. We love closure, resolution and clarity, while thinking that we are people of 'faith'! How strange that the very word 'faith' has come to mean its exact opposite.
Richard Rohr
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))
Worry does not keep it from raining tomorrow, but it does keep it from being sunny today.
Shannon L. Alder
I told Ersken, "Lately it's been like living on the knife's edge, never knowing which side I'll fall off on" Ersken clapped me on the shoulder as we stepped into the street. "Cheer up, Beka. Maybe you were going to fall off that razor's edge before, but not today," he said, as good humored as always. "Today we're doing to jump.
Tamora Pierce (Bloodhound (Beka Cooper, #2))
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)
Only I wasn't steering anything, not even myself.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
We stood, separated by space, certainly, in identical conditions of pleasant uncertainty and anticipation, and we both held our hearts in our hands, all pink and palpitating and ready for pleasure and pain, and we were about to throw these hearts in each other's face like snowballs, or cricket balls (How's that?) or, more accurately, like great bleeding wounds: 'Take my wound.
Doris Lessing
History is moving pretty quickly these days and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.
Ian Fleming (Casino Royale (James Bond, #1))
Career is different. Career is the stringing together of opportunities and jobs. Mix in public opinion and past regrets. Add a dash of future panic and a whole lot of financial uncertainty. Career is something that fools you into thinking you are in control and then takes pleasure in reminding you that you aren’t. Career is the thing that will not fill you up and never make you truly whole. Depending on your career is like eating cake for breakfast and wondering why you start crying an hour later.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
With our limited senses and consciousness, we only glimpse a small portion of reality. Furthermore, everything in the universe is in a state of constant flux. Simple words and thoughts cannot capture this flux or complexity. The only solution for an enlightened person is to let the mind absorb itself in what it experiences, without having to form a judgment on what it all means. The mind must be able to feel doubt and uncertainty for as long as possible. As it remains in this state and probes deeply into the mysteries of the universe, ideas will come that are more dimensional and real than if we had jumped to conclusions and formed judgments early on.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
Both the five-year-olds looked at me with bewilderment and a bit of fearful uncertainty. I had a sudden horrifying image of the woman I might become if I'm not careful: Crazy Aunt Liz. The divorcee in the muumuu with the dyed orange hair who doesn't eat dairy but smokes menthols, who's always just coming back from her astrology cruise or breaking up with her aroma-therapist boyfriend, who reads the Tarot cards of kindergarteners and says things like, "Bring Aunty Liz another wine cooler, baby, and I'll let you wear my mood ring...
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
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)
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
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))
And yet here he was, looking at Jem Carstairs, a boy so fragile-looking that he appeared to be made out of glass, with the hardness of his expression slowly dissolving into tentative uncertainty. "You are not really dying," he said, the oddest tone to his voice, "are you?" Jem nodded. "So they tell me." "I am sorry," Will said. "No", Jem said softly. He drew his jacket aside and took a knife from the belt at his waist. "Don't be ordinary like that. Don't say you're sorry. Say you'll train with me." He held the knife to Will, hilt first. Charlotte held her breath, afraid to move. She felt as if she were watching something very important happen, though she could not have said what. Will reached out and took the knife, his eyes never leaving Jem's face. His fingers brushed the other boy's as he took the weapon from him. It was the first time, Charlotte thought that she had ever seen him touch any other person willingly. "I'll train with you," he said.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
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))
You want to hear the rules?" My heart jackhammered as I nodded. That same hand slid around my hip, up under my shirt, and felt warm and perfect against my lower back. I closed my eyes as his lips just barely brushed mine. His touch made me feel brave. It pushed the uncertainty back until it couldn't reach me. "The first one is you can't think too hard about it. The second is you say when you want to stop. The third is you do whatever feels good to you. The fourth is-" "-you stop talking," I said, blindly reaching back to pull the door shut, "and kiss me?
Alexandra Bracken (In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3))
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)
No one ever said that you would live to see the repercussions of everything you do, or that you have guarantees, or that you are not obliged to wander in the dark, or that everything will be proved to you and neatly verified like something in science. Nothing is: at least nothing that is worthwhile. I didn't bring you up only to move across sure ground. I didn't teach you to think that everything must be within our control or understanding. Did I? For, if I did, I was wrong. I fyou won't take a chance, then the powers you refuse because you cannot explain them, will, as they say, make a monkey out of you.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
Be grateful to everyone" is about making peace with the aspects of ourselves that we have rejected... If we were to make a list of people we don't like - people we find obnoxious, threatening, or worthy of contempt - we would discover much about those aspects of ourselves that we can't face... other people trigger the karma that we haven't worked out.
Pema Chödrön (Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion)
Mother, monogamy, romance. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the wild jet. The urge has but a single outlet. My love, my baby. No wonder those poor pre-moderns were mad and wicked and miserable. Their world didn’t allow them to take things easily, didn’t allow them to be sane, virtuous, happy. What with mothers and lovers, what with the prohibitions they were not conditioned to obey, what with the temptations and the lonely remorses, what with all the diseases and the endless isolating pain, what with the uncertainties and the poverty—they were forced to feel strongly. And feeling strongly (and strongly, what was more, in solitude, in hopelessly individual isolation), how could they be stable?
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
We spend so much time defending our choice to do this that it becomes hard to show any vulnerability at all. There's only so many times you can handle someone asking about your fall back for when things don't work before you start thinking that maybe the fall back should just be your plan.
Cora Carmack (Losing It (Losing It, #1))
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))
All right, then,” she snapped, “do as you please! Perhaps afterward we could manage a coherent discussion.” Twisting beneath him, she flopped onto her stomach. Christopher went still. After a long hesitation, she heard him ask in a far more normal voice, “What are you doing?” “I’m making it easier for you,” came her defiant reply. “Go on, start ravishing.” Another silence. Then, “Why are you facing downward?” “Because that’s how it’s done.” Beatrix twisted to look at him over her shoulder. A twinge of uncertainty caused her to ask, “Isn’t it?” His face was blank. “Has no one ever told you?” “No, but I’ve read about it.” Christopher rolled off her, relieving her of his weight. He wore an odd expression as he asked, “From what books?” “Veterinary manuals. And of course, I’ve observed the squirrels in springtime, and farm animals and-” She was interrupted as Christopher cleared his throat loudly, and again. Darting a confused glance at him, she realized that he was trying to choke back amusement. Beatrix began to feel indignant. Her first time in a bed with a man, and he was laughing. “Look here,” she said in a businesslike manner, “I’ve read about the mating habits of over two dozen species, and with the exception of snails, whose genitalia is on their necks, they all—” She broke off and frowned. “Why are you laughing at me? Christopher had collapsed, overcome with hilarity. As he lifted his head and saw her affronted expression, he struggled manfully with another outburst. “Beatrix. I’m . . . I’m not laughing at you.” “You are!” “No I’m not. It’s just . . .” He swiped a tear from the corner of his eye, and a few more chuckles escaped. “Squirrels . . .” “Well, it may be humorous to you, but it’s a very serious matter to the squirrels.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
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)
Um. Charles thinks that his wolf has chosen me as his mate." "In less than one full day?" It did sound dumb when he said it that way. "Yes." She couldn't keep the uncertainty out of her voice, though, and it bothered Charles. He rolled to his feet and growled softly. "Charles also said I was an Omega wolf," she told his father. "That might have something to do with it as well." Silence lengthened and she began to think that the cell phone might have dropped the connection. Then the Marrok laughed softly. "Oh his brother is going to tease him unmercifully about this.
Patricia Briggs (On the Prowl (Alpha & Omega, #0.5))
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)
You didn't think I really liked you? Do you think I really like you now?" He turned toward her, uncertainty in his face."You did go quite a lot of effort to be having this conversation, but... I don't want to read too much of what I hope into that." Val stretched out beside him, resting her head in the crook of his arm. "What do you hope?" He pulled her close, hands careful not to touch her wounds as they wrapped around her. "I hope that you feel for me as I do for you," he said, his voice like a sigh against her throat. And how is that?" she asked, her lips so close to his jaw that she could taste the salt of his skin when she moved them. You carried my heart in your hands tonight," he said. "But I have felt as if you carried it long before that." She smiled and let her eyes drift closed. They lay there together, under the bridge, city lights burning outside the windows like a sky full of falling stars, as they slid off into sleep
Holly Black (Valiant (Modern Faerie Tales #2))
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
Today is an ephemeral ghost... A strange amazing day that comes only once every four years. For the rest of the time it does not "exist." In mundane terms, it marks a "leap" in time, when the calendar is adjusted to make up for extra seconds accumulated over the preceding three years due to the rotation of the earth. A day of temporal tune up! But this day holds another secret—it contains one of those truly rare moments of delightful transience and light uncertainty that only exist on the razor edge of things, along a buzzing plane of quantum probability... A day of unlocked potential. Will you or won't you? Should you or shouldn't you? Use this day to do something daring, extraordinary and unlike yourself. Take a chance and shape a different pattern in your personal cloud of probability!
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
They're both convinced that a sudden passion joined them. Such certainty is beautiful, but uncertainty is more beautiful still. Since they'd never met before, they're sure that there'd been nothing between them. But what's the word from the streets, staircases, hallways-- perhaps they've passed by each other a million times? I want to ask them if they don't remember-- a moment face to face in some revolving door? perhaps a "sorry" muttered in a crowd? a curt "wrong number" caught in the receiver? but I know the answer. No, they don't remember. They'd be amazed to hear that Chance has been toying with them now for years. Not quite ready yet to become their Destiny, it pushed them close, drove them apart, it barred their path, stifling a laugh, and then leaped aside. There were signs and signals, even if they couldn't read them yet. Perhaps three years ago or just last Tuesday a certain leaf fluttered from one shoulder to another? Something was dropped and then picked up. Who knows, maybe the ball that vanished into childhood's thicket? There were doorknobs and doorbells where one touch had covered another beforehand. Suitcases checked and standing side by side. One night, perhaps, the same dream, grown hazy by morning. Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.
Wisława Szymborska (View with a Grain of Sand: Selected Poems)
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)
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)
What is it?” Leigh glanced up with uncertainty, then back to his groin with a sort of horrified fascination. “Well, um… is there something about immortals you haven’t told me?” “What? What do you mean?” he asked with bewilderment. Leigh shook her head, then leaned forward and said “Hello?” to his groin, only to stiffen again and jerk back as if it had hissed at her. “Are you talking to my penis?” Lucian asked with disbelief. “It talked to me first,” she said defensively, and frowned. “You didn’t mention this little skill.” Lucian decided she must be joking and laughed. “So, what did it say?” “It said, ‘Lucian? Lucian, are you there?’” He blinked. “Why would it say that?” “I don’t know. It’s your penis.” That’s when he recalled the cell phone in his pocket. A laugh bursting from his lips, Lucian reached in his pocket to retrieve the phone.
Lynsay Sands (Bite Me If You Can (Argeneau #6))
You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here, and what the question might mean. I might think about it a little bit and if I can't figure it out, then I go on to something else, but I don't have to know an answer, I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is so far as I can tell. It doesn't frighten me.
Richard P. Feynman
Maxon, I hope you find someone you can't love without. I really do. And I hope you never have to know what it's like to have to try and live without them." Maxon's face was a shallow echo of my own pain. He looked absolutely brokenhearted for me. More than that, he looked angry. "I'm sorry, America. I don't..." His face shifted a little. "Is this a good time to pat your shoulder?" His uncertainty made me smile. "Yes. Now would be a great time." He seemed as skeptically as he'd been the other day, but instead of just patting my shoulder, he leaned in and tentatively wrapped his arms around me. "I only really ever hug my mother. Is this okay?" he asked. I laughed. "It's hard to get a hug wrong." After a minute, I spoke again. "I know what you mean, though. I don't really hug anyone besides my family." I felt so drained after the long day of dressing and the Report and dinner and talking. It was nice to have Maxon just hold me, sometimes even patting my hair. He wasn't as lost as he seemed. He patiently waited for my breathing to slow, and when it did, he pulled back to look at me. "America, I promise you I'll keep you here until the last possible moment. I understand that they want me to narrow the Elite down to three and then choose. But I swear to you, I'll make it to two and keep you here until then. I won't make you leave a moment before I have to. Or the moment you're ready. Whichever comes first." I nodded. "I know we just met, but I think you're wonderful. And it bothers me to see you hurt. If he were here, I'd...I'd..." Maxon shook with frustration, then sighed. "I'm so sorry, America." He pulled me back in, and I rested my head on his broad shoulder. I knew Maxon would keep his promises. So I settled into perhaps the last place I ever thought I'd find genuine comfort.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
You ask me why I don’t love you, but surely you must believe I am very fond of you and if to desire to possess a person wholly, to admire and honour that person deeply, and to seek to secure that person’s happiness in every way is to “love” then perhaps my affection for you is a kind of love. I will tell you this that your soul seems to me to be the most beautiful and simple soul in the world and it may be because I am so conscious of this when I look at you that my love or affection for you loses much of its violence.
James Joyce (Pyhä, rivo rakkaus – Kirjeitä Noralle)
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
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
I'm comfortable with the unknown -- that's the point of science. There are places out there, billions of places out there, that we know nothing about. And the fact that we know nothing about them excites me, and I want to go out and find out about them. And that's what science is. So I think if you’re not comfortable with the unknown, then it’s difficult to be a scientist… I don’t need an answer. I don’t need answers to everything. I want to have answers to find.
Brian Cox
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)
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))
I don’t know if I’ve learned anything yet! I did learn how to have a happy home, but I consider myself fortunate in that regard because I could’ve rolled right by it. Everybody has a superficial side and a deep side, but this culture doesn’t place much value on depth — we don’t have shamans or soothsayers, and depth isn’t encouraged or understood. Surrounded by this shallow, glossy society we develop a shallow side, too, and we become attracted to fluff. That’s reflected in the fact that this culture sets up an addiction to romance based on insecurity — the uncertainty of whether or not you’re truly united with the object of your obsession is the rush people get hooked on. I’ve seen this pattern so much in myself and my friends and some people never get off that line. But along with developing my superficial side, I always nurtured a deeper longing, so even when I was falling into the trap of that other kind of love, I was hip to what I was doing. I recently read an article in Esquire magazine called ‘The End of Sex,’ that said something that struck me as very true. It said: “If you want endless repetition, see a lot of different people. If you want infinite variety, stay with one.” What happens when you date is you run all your best moves and tell all your best stories — and in a way, that routine is a method for falling in love with yourself over and over. You can’t do that with a longtime mate because he knows all that old material. With a long relationship, things die then are rekindled, and that shared process of rebirth deepens the love. It’s hard work, though, and a lot of people run at the first sign of trouble. You’re with this person, and suddenly you look like an asshole to them or they look like an asshole to you — it’s unpleasant, but if you can get through it you get closer and you learn a way of loving that’s different from the neurotic love enshrined in movies. It’s warmer and has more padding to it.
Joni Mitchell
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))