Unfortunate Situation Quotes

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Sometimes, just saying that you hate something, and having someone agree with you, can make you feel better about a terrible situation.
Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1))
Having a personal philosophy is like having a pet marmoset, because it may be very attractive when you acquire it, but there may be situations when it will not come in handy at all.
Lemony Snicket (The Grim Grotto (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #11))
Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, they become the worse type of person. Unfortunately, they end up hurting themselves in the long run. They don’t want to hurt other people. It is against their very nature. They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did. Their life is a wave of highs and lows. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings. They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.
Shannon L. Alder
Most people can motivate themselves to do things simply by knowing that those things need to be done. But not me. For me, motivation is this horrible, scary game where I try to make myself do something while I actively avoid doing it. If I win, I have to do something I don't want to do. And if I lose, I'm one step closer to ruining my entire life. And I never know whether I'm going to win or lose until the last second.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn't even something - it's nothing. And you can't combat nothing.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
I've always wanted not to give a fuck. While crying helplessly into my pillow for no good reason, I would often fantasize that maybe someday I could be one of those stoic badasses whose emotions are mostly comprised of rock music and not being afraid of things.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
On a fundamental level, I am someone who would throw sand at children.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Procrastination has become its own solution - a tool I can use to push myself so close to disaster that I become terrified and flee toward success. A more troubling matter is the day-to-day activities that don't have massive consequences when I neglect to do them.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Nobody can guarantee that it's going to be okay, but - and I don't know if this will be comforting to anyone else - the possibility exists that there's a piece of corn on a floor somewhere that will make you just as confused about why you were laughing as you have ever been about why you are depressed.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Тo me, the future doesn’t seem real. It’s just this magical place where I can put my responsibilities so that I don’t have to be scared while hurtling toward failure at eight hundred miles per hour.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Every story has four parts: the beginning, the middle, the almost-ending, and the true ending. Unfortunately, not everyone gets a true ending. Most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, when the situation feels hopeless, but that is where hope is needed most. Only those who persevere can find their true ending.
Stephanie Garber (Finale (Caraval, #3))
I cope with it the best way I know - by being completely unreasonable and trying to force everything else in the world to obey me and do all the nonsensical things I want.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
How am I supposed to like myself if all these shitty things keep happening because I do them???
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
And finally - FINALLY - after a lifetime of feelings and anxiety and more feelings, I didn't have any feelings left. I had spent my last feeling being disappointed that I couldn't rent Jumanji.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
I had tasted cake and there was no going back. My tiny body had morphed into a writhing mass of pure tenacity encased in a layer of desperation. I would eat all of the cake or I would evaporate from the sheer power of my desire to eat it.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Simply put, dramatic irony is when a person makes a harmless remark, and someone else who hears it knows something that makes the remark have a different, and usually unpleasant, meaning. For instance, if you were in a restaurant and said out loud, "I can't wait to eat the veal marsala I ordered," and there were people around who knew that the veal marsala was poisoned and that you would die as soon as you took a bite, your situation would be one of dramatic irony.
Lemony Snicket (The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2))
Fear and shame are the backbone of my self-control. They are my source of inspiration, my insurance against becoming entirely unacceptable. They help me do the right thing. And I am terrified of what I would be without them. Because I suspect that, left to my own devices, I would completely lose control of my life. I'm still hoping that perhaps someday I'll learn how to use willpower like a real person, but until that very unlikely day, I will confidently battle toward adequacy, wielding my crude skill set of fear and shame.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
At first, I’d try to explain that it’s not really negativity or sadness anymore, it’s more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can’t feel anything about anything—even the things you love, even fun things—and you’re horribly bored and lonely, but since you’ve lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you’re stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void without anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
However, I could no longer rely on genuine emotion to generate facial expressions, and when you have to spend every social interaction consciously manipulating your face into shapes that are only approximately the right ones, alienating people is inevitable.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
I'm jealous of your hooks," Kevin replied. "Having no hands is better than having two equally strong hands." Don't be ridiculous," one of the white-faced women replied. "Having a white face is worse than both of your situations." "But you have a white face because you put makeup on," Colette said, as Sunny climbed back out of the trunk and knelt down in the snow. "You're putting powder on your face right now.
Lemony Snicket (The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10))
There I was, casually wishing that I could stop existing in the same way you'd want to leave an empty room or mute an unbearably repetitive noise.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
You lazy, floor banana motherf*****
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Cross your fingers, throw salt over your shoulder, knock on wood...simple folk remedies for unfortunate situations. Silly superstitions...but were they based in truth from a past long forgotten? I didn't know, but it wouldn't hurt to just do it and let the Universe do its job if it was of a mind to. Don't you think?
Madelyn Alt (No Rest for the Wiccan (A Bewitching Mystery, #4))
If you were upset about an ugly pimple on the end of your nose, you might try to feel better by keeping your pimple in perspective. You might compare your pimple situation to that of someone who was being eaten by a bear, and when you looked in the mirror at your ugly pimple, you could say to yourself, 'Well, at least I'm not being eaten by a bear.
Lemony Snicket (The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3))
I have a subconscious list of rules for how reality should work. I did not develop these rules on purpose, and most of them don’t make sense – which is disturbing when you consider that they are an attempt to govern the behavior of reality – but they exist, and they play a large role in determining how I react to the things that happen to me. Large enough that a majority of the feelings I feel are simply a reaction to reality not complying with my arbitrary set of rules. Reality doesn’t give a shit about my rules, and this upsets me.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
You don't have to be a good person to feel like a good person, though. There's a loophole I found where I don't do good, helpful things, but I keep myself in a perpetual state of thinking I might.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
I don't like when I can't control what reality is doing. Which is unfortunate because reality works independently of the things I want, and I have only a limited number of ways to influence it, none of which are guaranteed to work. I still want to keep tabs on reality, though. Just in case it tries to do anything sneaky. It makes me feel like I'm contributing. The illusion of control makes the helplessness seem more palatable. And when that illusion is taken away, I panic.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Sometimes, things are sad and unfortunate. But finding the funny in a situation can make the sad and unfortunate more bearable.
Penny Reid (Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers, #4))
I don't just want to do the right thing. I want to WANT to do the right thing.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
As I’m sure you know, to be in one’s own room, in one’s own bed, can often make a bleak situation a little better.
Lemony Snicket (The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3))
But my experiences slowly flattened and blended together until it became obvious that there's a huge difference between not giving a fuck and not being able to give a fuck. Cognitively, you might know that different things are happening to you, but they don't feel different.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
What I am is constantly thrust into my face while I'm trying to be better than I am. Even if I'm actively doing all the right things, I can't escape the fact that my internal reactions are those of a fundamentally horrible person.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Sophia shrieked and fainted on the ground – I screamed and instantly ran mad. We remained thus mutually deprived of our senses, some minutes, and on regaining them were deprived of them again. For an Hour and a Quarter did we continue in this unfortunate situation – Sophia fainting every moment and I running mad as often. At length a groan from the hapless Edward (who alone retained any share of life) restored us to ourselves.
Jane Austen (Love and Freindship)
I hate it too,” Violet said, and Klaus looked at his older sister with relief. Sometimes, just saying that you hate something, and having someone agree with you, can make you feel better about a terrible situation.
Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1))
Procrastination has become a it's own solution - a tool I can use to push myself so close to disaster that I become terrified and flee towards success.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
I’m still depressed, but how depressed I am varies, which is good. Much of the time, it’s a comfortable numbness that just makes things feel muted. Other times, I’m standing in the shower or something and I can feel the nothingness hurtling toward me at eight thousand miles per hour and there’s nothing I can really do aside from let it happen and wait until it goes away again.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
I couldn't even muster the enthusiasm to hate myself anymore.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
The thing about being an unstoppable force is that you can really only enjoy the experience of being one when you have something to bash yourself against. You need to have things trying to stop you so that you can get a better sense of how fast you are going as you smash through them. And whenever I was inside the dinosaur costume, that is the only thing I wanted to do.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Deciding on the right thing to do in a situation is a bit like deciding on the right thing to wear to a party. [...] The truth is that you can never be sure if you have decided on the right thing until the party is over, and by then it is too late to go back and change your mind, which is why the world is filled with people doing terrible things and wearing ugly clothing.
Lemony Snicket (The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10))
Packing all of your belongings into a U-Haul and then transporting them across several states is nearly as stressful and futile as trying to run away from lava in swim fins.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Beatrix wished she were a swooning sort of female. It seemed the only appropriate response to the situation. Unfortunately, no matter how she tried to summon a swoon, her mind remained intractably conscious.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
. . . she is our dog. And because she is our dog, we can pick out the tiny, almost imperceptible good qualities from the ocean of terrible qualities, and we can cling to them. Because we want to love our dog.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Because, deep down, I know how pointless and helpless I am, and it scares me. I am an animal trapped in a horrifying, lawless environment, and I have no idea what it's going to do to me. It just DOES it to me.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
The beginning of my depression had been nothing but feelings, so the emotional deadening that followed was a welcome relief. I had always viewed feelings as a weakness-annoying obstacles on my quest for total power over myself. And I finally didn't have to feel them anymore.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
One of the few times I’ve ever wished for a penis,” she said to Rae when the bartender stepped up to take the order of yet another male customer. They’d been waiting to be served for over twenty minutes. She’d even worn the red magic boob dress tonight, but unfortunately, its mojo offered no help in this particular situation. “You haven’t had sex in six months,” Rae said. “If I were you, I’d be wishing for penises every night.
Julie James (About That Night (FBI/US Attorney, #3))
Slowly, my feelings started to shrivel up. The few that managed to survive the constant beatings staggered around like wounded baby deer, just biding their time until they could die and join all the other carcasses strewn across the wasteland of my soul.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
But when you're concerned that the miserable, boring wasteland in front of you might stretch all the way into forever, not knowing feels strangely hope-like.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
As I'm sure you know, to be in one's own room, in one's own bed, can often make a bleak situation a little better
Lemony Snicket (The Complete Wreck (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-13))
Tadu,' Sunny murmured solemnly, which probably meant something along the lines of 'it's a loathsome situation in which we find ourselves.
Lemony Snicket (The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2))
One of the most beautiful happenstances of life is the person doing precisely what he knows is intended for him. Unfortunately a rare situation.
Vince Vawter (Paperboy)
Remember how wisely you understand when others face unfortunate situations. Apply the same wisdom when something unfortunate happens to you. Learn to accept whatever happens.
Chuck Chakrapani (The Good Life Handbook: Epictetus' Stoic Classic Enchiridion)
When you start figuring out how full of shit you are, it's like opening a tunnel to all the lies you've ever told yourself. The tunnel is really deep and scary, but you're suspicious about it and you want to see what's down there.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
If you are ever forced to take a chemistry class, you will probably see, at the front of the classroom, a large chart divided into squares, with different numbers and letters in each of them. This chart is called the table of elements, and scientists like to say that it contains all the substances that make up our world. Like everyone else, scientists are wrong from time to time, and it is easy to see that they are wrong about the table of elements. Because although this table contains a great many elements, from the element oxygen, which is found in the air, to the element of aluminum, which is found in cans of soda, the table of elements does not contain one of the most powerful elements that make up our world, and that is the element of surprise. The element of surprise is not a gas like oxygen, or a solid, like aluminum. The element of surprise is an unfair advantage, and it can be found in situations in which one person has sneaked up on another. The surprised person - or, in this sad case, the surprised person - are too stunned to defend themselves and the sneaky person has the advantage of the element of surprise.
Lemony Snicket (The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6))
Unfortunately, I can’t be Tina, because it’s very difficult to lure her into a Freaky Friday– type situation where we could switch bodies, even though in the movies they make it look so easy. Believe me, I’ve tried.
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
His loss. I know a hell of a lot more about headstrong teenage girls than he does.” Colin gave her his most quelling look. “You’re baiting him again.” Ryan studied first one of them and then the other. “What’s going on with you two?” “Nothing.” Unfortunately, they spoke together, automatically making them look like liars. Sugar Beth recovered first and handled the situation in her own way. “Relax, Ryan. Colin’s done his best to get rid of me, but I’m blackmailing him with some unsavory facts I’ve unearthed about his past, which may or may not involve the ritual deaths of small animals, so if my body ends up in a ditch somewhere, tell the police to start their interrogations with him. Plus you might warn everybody to be careful with their cats.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Ain't She Sweet?)
If you were to take a plastic bag and place it inside a large bowl, and then, using a wooden spoon, stir the bag around and around the bowl, you could use the expression 'a mixed bag' to describe what you had in front of you, but you would not be using the expression in the same way I am about to use it now. Although 'a mixed bag' sometimes refers to a plastic bag that has been stirred in a bowl, more often it is used to describe a situation that has both good parts and bad parts. An afternoon at a movie theater, for instance, would be a mixed bag if you favourite movie were showing but if you had to eat gravel instead of popcorn. A trip to the zoo would be a very mixed bag if the weather were beautiful, but all the man- and woman-eating lions were running around loose.
Lemony Snicket (The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6))
Trimming your dogs nails is a traumatic event that requires three people, a beach towel, and a can of spray cheese.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
We're going to play a different game now. It's called "who can yell 'help' the loudest and the most.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
There are men and women who are experts in the field of handwriting analysis. They are called graphologists, and they attend graphological schools in order to get their degrees in graphology. You might think that this situation would call for a graphologist, but there are time when an expert's opinion in unnecessary. For instance, if a friend of yours brought you her pet dog, and said she was concerned because it wasn't laying eggs, you would not have to be a veterinarian to tell her that dogs do not lay eggs and so there was nothing to worry about.
Lemony Snicket (The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3))
The world may or may not need another cookbook, but it needs all the lovers – amateurs – it can get. It is a gorgeous old place, full of clownish graces and beautiful drolleries, and it has enough textures, tastes, and smells to keep us intrigued for more time than we have. Unfortunately, however, our response to its loveliness is not always delight: It is, far more often than it should be, boredom. And that is not only odd, it is tragic; for boredom is not neutral – it is the fertilizing principle of unloveliness. In such a situation, the amateur – the lover, the man who thinks heedlessness is a sin and boredom a heresy – is just the man you need. More than that, whether you think you need him or not, he is a man who is bound, by his love, to speak. If he loves Wisdom or the Arts, so much the better for him and for all of us. But if he loves only the way meat browns or onions peel, if he delights simply in the curds of his cheese or the color of his wine, he is, by every one of those enthusiasms, commanded to speak. A silent lover is one who doesn't know his job.
Robert Farrar Capon (The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection (Modern Library Food))
Because the symptoms and emotions associated with trauma can be extreme, most of us (and those close to us) will recoil and attempt to repress these intense reactions. Unfortunately, this mutual denial can prevent us from healing. In our culture there is a lack of tolerance for the emotional vulnerability that traumatized people experience. Little time is allotted for the working through of emotional events. We are routinely pressured into adjusting too quickly in the aftermath of an overwhelming situation. Denial is so common in our culture that it has become a cliché.
Peter A. Levine (Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma)
People can only get to know each other up to a point and then they make up the rest, until one day, seeing their mistake, they turn their backs on sadness and run away. Would this ever happen, if they stopped believing their dreams and made do with what was possible? If everyone accepted what was natural, then no one would suffer disappointment, no one would curse fate. We have every right to see our situation as pitiful, but we must confine our pity to ourselves. To pity another is to assume superiority and that is why we must never think we are superior to others, or that others are more unfortunate.
Sabahattin Ali (Kürk Mantolu Madonna)
When the soul-penetrating pathos she was beaming at me failed to prevent me from continuing to put things in boxes, the helper dog became increasingly alarmed. Over the ensuing few days, she slowly descended into psychological chaos. The simple dog remained unfazed.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
By now, I’m sure you can see that most of the things you want are stupid and most of the decisions you make are bad.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Stop the pity party! Your sorrow is full and complete when you go through unfortunate circumstances and decide to mourn for life as a result of the unexpected.
Israelmore Ayivor (Daily Drive 365)
There are many expressions to describe someone who is going about something in the wrong way. “Making a mistake” is one way to describe this situation. “Screwing up” is another, although it is a bit rude, and “Attempting to rescue Lemony Snicket by writing letters to a congressman, instead of digging an escape tunnel” is a third way, although it is a bit too specific.
Lemony Snicket (The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7))
There is a lizard called the chameleon that, as you probably know, can change color instantly to blend into its surroundings. Besides being slimy and clod-blooded, Captain Sham resembled the chameleon in that he was chameleonic, a word means 'able to blend in with any situation.
Lemony Snicket (The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3))
And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn't even something-it's nothing. And you can't combat nothing.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Unfortunately, what she had here and now was a nervous and highly principled subordinate to reassure. It wasn’t a leader’s place to cast herself trembling on a junior’s shoulder and confess uncertainty. It wasn’t even a leader’s place to suggest that they might be in an indefensible position and should be grateful for any allies that they could get. It was a leader’s job to project a calm mastery of the situation, while also encouraging subordinates to develop decision-making skills. Assuming that they made the right decisions. A leader’s job was a crock of shit.
Genevieve Cogman (The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, #1))
Life is both beautiful and painful. In whatever situation we find ourselves in, no matter how unfortunate it may seem, there is always something to be thankful for – if we only choose to see it.
Frederick Espiritu (The Path to Awesomeness: Becoming Super, Being Human)
-to me, the future doesn't seem real. It's just this magical place where I can put my responsibilities so that I don't have to be scared while hurtling toward failure at right hundred miles per hour.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
I don't like being inconvenienced, and I especially don't like being inconvenienced too many times in a row. If something I don't like happens, then several more things that I don't like happen directly afterward, that is too many. They shouldn't cluster like that. Unfortunately, that's just how probability works.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Fear and shame are the backbone of my self-control. They are the source of inspiration, my insurance against becoming entirely unacceptable. They help me do the right thing. And I am terrified of what I would be without them. Because I suspect that, left to my own devices, I would completely lose control of my life.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Kshatriya, or the man who is qualified to protect the sufferers, is meant to rule the state. Untrained, lower class men or men without ambition to protect the sufferers cannot be placed on the seat as an administrator. Unfortunately in the age of Kali the lower class men without training occupy the post of a ruler by strength of popular votes and instead of protecting the sufferers, such men create a situation quite intolerable for everyone. Such rulers illegally gratify themselves at the cost of all comforts of the citizens, and thus the chaste mother earth cries to see the pitiable condition of her sons, both men and animals.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Dana Illwind waited at the forest crossroads outside her hometown of North Lights, not happy with her current situation. That was unfortunate given she was responsible for ninety percent of what was happening to her.
Arthur Daigle (Dana Illwind and Growing Shadows (#1))
A fundamental difference between modern dictatorships and all other tyrannies of the past is that terror is no longer used as a means to exterminate and frighten opponents, but as an instrument to rule masses of people who are perfectly obedient. Terror as we know it today strikes without any preliminary provocation, its victims are innocent even from the point of view of the persecutor. This was the case in Nazi Germany when full terror was directed against Jews, i.e., against people with certain common characteristics which were independent of their specific behavior. In Soviet Russia the situation is more confused, but the facts, unfortunately, are only too obvious. On the one hand, the Bolshevik system, unlike the Nazis, never admitted theoretically that it could practice terror against innocent people, and though in view of certain practices this may look like hypocrisy, it makes quite a difference. Russian practice, on the other hand, is even more "advanced" than the German in one respect: arbitrariness of terror is not even limited by racial differentiation, while the old class categories have long since been discarded, so that anybody in Russia may suddenly become a victim of the police terror. We are not concerned here with the ultimate consequence of rule by terror—namely, that nobody, not even the executors, can ever be free of fear; in our context we are dealing merely with the arbitrariness by which victims are chosen, and for this it is decisive that they are objectively innocent, that they are chosen regardless of what they may or may not have done.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Every story has four parts: the beginning, the middle, the almost-ending and the true ending. Unfortunately, not everyone gets a true ending. Most people give up at the part of the story where things are the worst, when the situation feels hopeless, but that is where hope is needed most. Only those who persevere can find their true ending.
Stephanie Garber (Finale (Caraval, #3))
Percy was, by upbringing and inclination, inclined to let ladies lead where matters of adventure were concerned (and this was definitely one of those unfortunate adventure situations). If Arsenic want to relocate, he would relocate.
Gail Carriger (Reticence (The Custard Protocol, #4))
With his supernatural vision he immediately spotted Rhea sitting near the shoreline, her legs stretched out in front of her. Unfortunately she had on clothing. Not that he'd expected her to be naked. Still, a dragon could dream.... After shifting to his human form he let his camouflage drop and headed toward her. Naked. He held onto his clothes, but didn't bother to put them on as he stalked across the sand. Nudity was no big deal to shifters but normally he clothed himself in front of females in socially appropriate situations. Now, the most primal part of him wanted Rhea to see all of him. To see what he had to offer her.
Katie Reus (Into the Darkness (Darkness, #5))
The line between firmness and harshness, between strong leadership and bullying, between discipline and vindictiveness is very fine, but it has to be drawn. Unfortunately, the only line prominently drawn in our country today is between the 'heroes' and the 'zeros'. On one side are a few hundred 'heroes' keeping nine hundred and fifty million people down on the other side. This situation has to be changed.
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Wings of Fire)
There is something about being loved and protected by a parent (or guardian) knowing that I can be loved for who I am, not what I can do, or might one day become. Unfortunately it’s not usually like this in every single situation. From time to time, my parents made mistakes during my childhood. Possibly I was the mistake, or unwanted. But I don’t know. I had every material thing that I could have ever wanted, but there was still something missing, as if I felt distanced from my parents, or misunderstood, in the ways that they treated me. At times, I had felt completely loved and accepted by my parents, but for one reason or another, they were unable to care for me, provide for me, in some ways that would have been very important. Sometimes I feel like I am trying to make up for the experiences in life that were absent when I was a child.
Jonathan Harnisch (Sex, Drugs, and Schizophrenia)
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it is a very unfortunate situation for the batting team. On the other side of the image, although being definitely unfortunatable for the batting team, it is most definitely a glorious silver lining for the bowling team.
Ian B.G. Burns
When people bully me, my teachers would try to make me think I am imagining things, or they would say, “They did not mean it that way.” I always wondered who I was supposed to talk to when I was in a situation like this. Unfortunately, this is the start of my morning most of the time, Monday through Friday.
Charlena E. Jackson (Teachers Just Don't Understand Bullying Hurts)
Deciding on the right thing to do in a situation is a bit like deciding on the right thing to wear to a party. It is easy to decide on what is wrong to wear to a party, such as deep-sea diving equipment or a pair of large pillows, but deciding what is right is much trickier. It might seem right to wear a navy blue suit, for instance, but when you arrive there could be several other people wearing the same thing, and you could end up being handcuffed due to a case of mistaken identity. It might seem right to wear your favorite pair of shoes, but there could be a sudden flood at the party, and your shoes would be ruined. And it might seem right to wear a suit of armor to the party, but there could be several other people wearing the same thing, and you could end up being caught in a flood due to a case of mistaken identity, and find yourself drifting out to sea wishing that you were wearing deep-sea diving equipment after all. The truth is that you can never be sure if you have decided on the right thing until the party is over, and by then it is too late to go back and change your mind, which is why the world is filled with people doing terrible things and wearing ugly clothing, and so few volunteers who are able to stop them.
Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events Complete Collection: Books 1-13: With Bonus Material)
I had spent my last feeling being disappointed that I couldn't rent Jumanji. (...) And thus began a tiny rebelion.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
When you have to spend every social interacting manipulating your face into shapes that are only approximately the right ones, alienating people is inevitable
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
I prepare for my new life as an adult like some people prepare for the apocalypse
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
My ego hates getting out of its tower to deal with this shit.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Sometimes, just saying that you hate something, and having someone agree with you, can make you feel better about a terrible situation. “I
Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events Collection #1-3 with Bonus Material: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events Boxset))
LOOK AT MEEE LOOK I own all the bananas now. Give me a dollar. Fuck you. Help me.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
It’s a loathsome situation in which we find ourselves.
Lemony Snicket (The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2))
And because she is our dog, we can pick out the tiny, almost imperceptible good qualities from the ocean of terrible qualities, and we can cling to them. Because we want to love our dog.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Unfortunately, it will take more than one conversation to unlearn the lies we learned growing up. We learned those lies situation by situation, and I am afraid we’ll have to unlearn them the same way.
Barb Raveling (Taste for Truth: A 30 Day Weight Loss Bible Study (Christian Weight Loss))
On a fundamental level, I am someone who would throw sand at children. I know this because I have had to resist doing it, and that means that it's what I would naturally be doing if I wasn't resisting it.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Moments like modulations come in human relationships: when what has been until then an objective situation, one perhaps described by the mind to itself in semi-literary terms, one it is sufficient merely to classify under some general heading (man with alcoholic problems, woman with unfortunate past, and so on) becomes subjective; becomes unique; becomes, by empathy, instantaneously shared rather than observed.
John Fowles
So Lorenzo grew up in Chile without arms, an unfortunate situation for any child, but he also grew up in Pinochet’s Chile, which turned unfortunate situations into desperate ones, on top of which he soon discovered that he was homosexual, which made his already desperate situation inconceivable and indescribable. Given these circumstances, it is not surprising that Lorenzo became an artist. (What else could he do?)
Roberto Bolaño
Ecco la cosa più avvilente della depressione. Non sempre è qualcosa contro cui puoi lottare armandoti di speranza. Non è nemmeno una cosa, non è niente. E non puoi batterti contro il niente. Non è qualcosa che puoi riempire. Non è qualcosa che puoi coprire. C’è e basta, e nulla ha più senso. E di conseguenza tutti gli incitamenti a essere ottimista e ad agire cominciano a sembrarti totalmente folli di fronte alla reale portata del problema. È come avere in mano una manciata di pesci morti, ma nessuno intorno a te vuole ammettere che quei pesci sono morti. E tutti si offrono di aiutarti a cercare i pesci o a scoprire perché sono spariti.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
You might compare your pimple situation to that of someone who was being eaten by a bear, and when you looked in the mirror at your ugly pimple, you could say to yourself, “Well, at least I’m not being eaten by a bear.
Lemony Snicket (The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3))
But what do you want me to do, Sir?” “My dear young friend, the golden rule is very simple. There are only two errors which would be fatal to one placed in the peculiar situation which certain parts of your previous conduct have unfortunately created for you. On the one hand, anything like a lack of initiative or enterprise would be disastrous. On the other, the slightest approach to unauthorized action—anything which suggested that you were assuming a liberty of decision which, in all the circumstances, is not really yours—might have consequences from which even I could not protect you. But as long as you keep quite clear of these two extremes, there is no reason (speaking unofficially) why you should not be perfectly safe.
C.S. Lewis (That Hideous Strength (The Space Trilogy #3))
When Bruce had used the word "brilliant" about Uncle Monty, he meant "having a reputation for cleverness or intelligence." But when the children used the word—and when they thought of it now, staring at the Reptile Room glowing in the moonlight—it meant more than that. It meant that even in the bleak circumstances of their current situation, even throughout the series of unfortunate events that would happen to them for the rest of their lives, Uncle Monty and his kindness would shine in their memories. Uncle Monty was brilliant, and their time with him was brilliant. Bruce and his men from the Herpetological Society could dismantle Uncle Monty's collection, but nobody could ever dismantle the way the Baudelaires would think of him.
Lemony Snicket (The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2))
You may have control of your life, but you cannot control your environment. You cannot control the economy, trends, family circumstances, accidents, unexpected expenses, and the weather of life. You cannot control other people and their moods, personal situations, or issues. You cannot control biases or changes in your industry of choice. You cannot control jealousy and envy in others. Unfortunately you cannot control everything. However, you can control your own STRENGTH to get back up and START AGAIN.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Culturally, though not theologically, I’m a Christian. I was born a Protestant of the white Anglo-Saxon persuasion. And while I do love that great teacher of peace who was called Jesus, and while I do reserve the right to ask myself in certain trying situations what indeed He would do, I can’t swallow that one fixed rule of Christianity insisting that Christ is the only path to God. Strictly speaking, then, I cannot call myself a Christian. Most of the Christians I know accept my feelings on this with grace and open-mindedness. Then again, most of the Christians I know don’t speak very strictly. To those who do speak (and think) strictly, all I can do here is offer my regrets for any hurt feelings and now excuse myself from their business. “Traditionally, I have responded to the transcendent mystics of all religions. I have always responded with breathless excitement to anyone who has ever said that God does not live in a dogmatic scripture or in a distant throne in the sky, but instead abides very close to us indeed—much closer than we can imagine, breathing right through our own hearts. I respond with gratitude to anyone who has ever voyaged to the center of that heart, and who has then returned to the world with a report for the rest of us that God is an experience of supreme love. In every religious tradition on earth, there have always been mystical saints and transcendents who report exactly this experience. Unfortunately many of them have ended up arrested and killed. Still, I think very highly of them. “In the end, what I have come to believe about God is simple. It’s like this—I used to have this really great dog. She came from the pound. She was a mixture of about ten different breeds, but seemed to have inherited the finest features of them all. She was brown. When people asked me, “What kind of dog is that?” I would always give the same answer: “She’s a brown dog.” Similarly, when the question is raised, “What kind of God do you believe in?” my answer is easy: “I believe in a magnificent God
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
It may be difficult to believe, but, at any given moment, someone somewhere is in a dangerous situation and other people in some other place are dancing and having a good time. The world is often like this. A celebration here; terrible trouble just outside the door.
Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events (Books 1-10))
Trauma is so arresting that traumatized people will focus on it compulsively. Unfortunately, the situation that defeated them once will defeat them again and again. Body sensations can serve as a guide to reflect where we are experiencing trauma, and to lead us to our instinctual resources. These resources give us the power to protect ourselves from predators and other hostile forces. Each of us possesses these instinctual resources. Once we learn how to access them we can create our own shields to reflect and heal our traumas.
Peter A. Levine (Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma)
Family myths are cherished by the people who--however unwittingly--have brought them into being. In my own situation, what my father was really saying to me during that last unfortunate phone call was that I had shattered our family's myth: the myth of a close and tight-knit family in which everyone was in complete agreement about everything, that is, in complete agreement with my father. I had violated one of the tenets of this myth in a way that was unforgivable to him. For that my punishment was to be expelled from the family.
Mark Sichel (Healing from Family Rifts: Ten Steps to Finding Peace After Being Cut Off from a Family Member)
Such situations are often referred to as incidents of ‘peer pressure’, as ‘peer’ is a word or someone with whom you are associating and ‘pressure’ is a word for the influence such people often have. If you are a braeman or a braewoman – a term for someone who lives all alone on a hill – then peer pressure is fairly easy to avoid, as you have no peers except for the occasional wild sheep who may wander near your cave and try to pressure you into growing woolly coat. But if you live among people, whether they are people in your family, in your school, or in your secret organization, then every moment of your life is an incident of peer pressure, and you cannot avoid it any more than a boat at sea can avoid a surrounding storm. If you wake up in the morning at a particular time, when you would rather hide your head under your pillow until you are too hungry to stand it any longer, then you are succumbing to the peer pressure of your warden or morning butler. (…) and if you try to avoid every instance of peer pressure you will end up without any peers whatsoever, (…)
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
Deciding on the right thing to do in a situation is a bit like deciding on the right thing to wear to a party. It is easy to decide on what is wrong to wear to a party, such as deep-sea diving equipment or a pair of large pillows, but deciding what is right is much trickier.
Lemony Snicket (The Slippery Slope (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #10))
But the siblings could scarcely remember when they had been able to relax and do the things they liked to do best. It seemed ages since Violet had been able to sit around and think of inventions, instead of frantically building something to get them out of trouble. Klaus could barely remember the last book he had read for his own enjoyment, instead of as research to defeat one of Olaf's schemes. And Sunny had used her teeth many, many times to escape from difficult situations, but it had been quite a while since she had bitten something recreationally.
Lemony Snicket (The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #9))
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining-board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea-cosy. I can't say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring - I wrote my very best poem while sitting on the hen-house. Though even that isn't a very good poem. I have decided my best poetry is so bad that I mustn't write any more of it. Drips from the roof are plopping into the water-butt by the back door. The view through the windows above the sink is excessively drear. Beyond the dank garden in the courtyard are the ruined walls on the edge of the moat. Beyond the moat, the boggy ploughed fields stretch to the leaden sky. I tell myself that all the rain we have had lately is good for nature, and that at any moment spring will surge on us. I try to see leaves on the trees and the courtyard filled with sunlight. Unfortunately, the more my mind's eye sees green and gold, the more drained of all colour does the twilight seem. It is comforting to look away from the windows and towards the kitchen fire, near which my sister Rose is ironing - though she obviously can't see properly, and it will be a pity if she scorches her only nightgown. (I have two, but one is minus its behind.) Rose looks particularly fetching by firelight because she is a pinkish person; her skin has a pink glow and her hair is pinkish gold, very light and feathery. Although I am rather used to her I know she is a beauty. She is nearly twenty-one and very bitter with life. I am seventeen, look younger, feel older. I am no beauty but I have a neatish face. I have just remarked to Rose that our situation is really rather romantic - two girls in this strange and lonely house. She replied that she saw nothing romantic about being shut up in a crumbling ruin surrounded by a sea of mud. I must admit that our home is an unreasonable place to live in. Yet I love it. The house itself was built in the time of Charles II, but it was grafted on to a fourteenth-century castle that had been damaged by Cromwell. The whole of our east wall was part of the castle; there are two round towers in it. The gatehouse is intact and a stretch of the old walls at their full height joins it to the house. And Belmotte Tower, all that remains of an even older castle, still stands on its mound close by. But I won't attempt to describe our peculiar home fully until I can see more time ahead of me than I do now. I am writing this journal partly to practise my newly acquired speed-writing and partly to teach myself how to write a novel - I intend to capture all our characters and put in conversations. It ought to be good for my style to dash along without much thought, as up to now my stories have been very stiff and self-conscious. The only time father obliged me by reading one of them, he said I combined stateliness with a desperate effort to be funny. He told me to relax and let the words flow out of me.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
Many people today acquiesce in the widespread myth, devised in the late 19th century, of an epic battle between ‘scientists’ and ‘religionists’. Despite the unfortunate fact that some members of both parties perpetuate the myth by their actions today, this ‘conflict’ model has been rejected by every modern historian of science; it does not portray the historical situation. During the 16th and 17th centuries and during the Middle Ages, there was not a camp of ‘scientists’ struggling to break free of the repression of ‘religionists’; such separate camps simply did not exist as such. Popular tales of repression and conflict are at best oversimplified or exaggerated, and at worst folkloristic fabrications (see Chapter 3 on Galileo). Rather, the investigators of nature were themselves religious people, and many ecclesiastics were themselves investigators of nature.
Lawrence M. Principe (The Scientific Revolution: A Very Short Introduction)
Sometimes, and having someone agree with you, can make you feel better about a terrible situation. "I hate everything about our lives right now, Klaus," she said, "but we have to keep our chin up." This was an expression the children's father had used, and it meant "try to stay cheerful." -P. 32
Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1))
The trick is to succumb to enough pressure that you do not drive your peers away, but not so much that you end up in a situation in which you are dead or otherwise uncomfortable. This is a difficult trick, and most people never master it, and end up dead or uncomfortable at least once during their lives.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
Curran rested the back of his head on the edge of the hot tub and closed his eyes. I stared at the way his face looked, etched against the darkness of the wall. He really was a handsome bastard. Poised like this, he seemed very human. Nobody to impress. Nobody to command. Just him, in the hot water, tired, hurting, stealing a few precious moments of rest, and so irresistibly erotic. Well, that last one came out of nowhere. It was the beer. Had to be. Despite all his growling and threats, his arrogance, I liked being next to him. He made me feel safe. It was a bizarre emotion. I was never safe. I closed my eyes. That seemed like the only reasonable way out of the situation. If I couldn’t see him, I couldn’t drool over him. “So you didn’t want to see me hurt?” he said. His voice was deceptively smooth and soft, the deep, throaty, sly purr of a giant cat who wanted something. Admitting that I took his well-being into consideration might have been a fatal mistake. “I didn’t want you to have to kill Derek.” “And if he had gone loup?” “I would have taken care of it.” “How exactly were you planning on pushing Jim aside? He was the highest alpha. The duty was his.” “I pulled rank,” I told him. “I declared that since you had accepted the Order’s assistance, I outranked everybody.” He laughed. “And they believed you?” “Yep. I also glared menacingly for added effect. Unfortunately, I can’t make my eyes glow the way yours do.” “Like this?” he breathed in my ear. My eyes snapped open. He stood inches away, anchored on the tub floor, his arms leaning on the tub wall on each side of me. His eyes were molten gold, but it wasn’t the hard, lethal glow of an alpha stare. This gold was warm and enticing, touched with a hint of longing. “Don’t make me break this bottle over your head,” I whispered. “You won’t.” He grinned. “You don’t want to see me hurt.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
Many unfortunate human situations unfold [. . .] where people who face bad options take desperate gambles, accepting a high probability of making things worse in exchange for a small hope of avoiding a large loss. The thought of accepting the large sure loss is too painful, and the hope of complete relief is too enticing, to make the sensible decision that it is time to cut one's losses.
Daniel Kahneman
In time, the witchers' steel swords earned the name of "swords for men." A foul moniker, though not one conjured out of thin air. A good steel blade is indeed our first line of defense against mankind's hatred, stupidity, or greed. The world is full of those who would happily kill a witcher - out of resentment toward our trade, for fame, or simply to profit by snatching up our hard-earned coin. So the witchers, fully aware of the situation, never hesitated to relieve this world of the burden of dolts who were so thick headed as to threaten their lives. For that reason, in my day we called our steel swords "swords for fools." Unfortunately, seeing as how mendacious the two-faced scoundrels of bitches seem to rule this world, a great many fools have been apparently spared this selection process.
Marcin Batylda (The World of the Witcher: Video Game Compendium)
In truth, blame is just another one of the negative programs that we have allowed our mind to buy because we never stopped to question it. Why must something always be someone’s “fault”? Why must the whole concept of “wrong” be introduced to the situation in the first place? Why must one of us be wrong, bad, or at fault? What seemed like a good idea at the time may not have turned out well. That’s all. Unfortunate events may have just happened
David R. Hawkins (Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender)
Notice in Acts 4 that there were “no needy persons among them.” Why? Because they shared with “anyone one who had need.” The expression of neediness in the community allowed the economy of love to flow. But in churches in America and other places where affluence poses special problems, the situation is very different. These cultures are enslaved to the fear of death and death avoidance holds serious sway. In these cultures the expression of need is taboo and pornographic. What results is neurotic image-management, the pressure to be “fine.” The perversity here is that on the surface American churches do look like the church in Acts 4 - there are “no needy persons” among us. We all appear to be doing just fine, thank you very much. But we know this to be a sham, a collective delusion driven by the fear of death. I’m really not fine and neither are you. But you are afraid of me and I’m afraid of you. We are neurotic about being vulnerable with each other. We fear exposing our need and failure to each other. And because of this fear - the fear of being needy within a community of neediness - the witness of the church is compromised. A collection of self-sustaining and self-reliant people - people who are all pretending to be fine - is not the Kingdom of God. It’s a church built upon the delusional anthropology we described earlier. Specifically, a church where everyone is “fine” is a group of humans refusing to be human beings and pretending to be gods. Such a “church” is comprised of fearful people working hard to keep up appearances and unable to trust each other to the point of loving self-sacrifice. In such a “church” each member is expected to be self-sufficient and self-sustaining, thus making no demands upon others. Unfortunately, where there is no need and no vulnerability, there can be no love.
Richard Beck (The Slavery of Death)
The prominence of causal intuitions is a recurrent theme in this book because people are prone to apply causal thinking inappropriately, to situations that require statistical reasoning. Statistical thinking derives conclusions about individual cases from properties of categories and ensembles. Unfortunately, System 1 does not have the capability for this mode of reasoning; System 2 can learn to think statistically, but few people receive the necessary training.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
As we stated, after their initial conquest, the Milesians began assimilating the gnosis of their predecessors. Of course they were no lovers of the Druids. After all, the British Druids were collaborators with their dire enemies, the Amenists. Nevertheless, returning to the ancient homeland was a most important step for the displaced and despised Atonists. Owning and controlling the wellspring of knowledge proved to be exceptionally politically fortunate for them. It was a key move on the grand geopolitical chessboard, so to speak. From their new seats in the garden paradise of Britain they could set about conquering the rest of the world. Their designs for a “New World Order,” to replace one lost, commenced from the Western Isles that had unfortunately fallen into their undeserving hands. But why all this exertion, one might rightly ask? Well, a close study of the Culdees and the Cistercians provides the answer. Indeed, a close study of history reveals that, despite appearances to the contrary, religion is less of a concern to despotic men or regimes than politics and economics. Religion is often instrumental to those secretly attempting to attain material power. This is especially true in the case of the Milesian-Atonists. The chieftains of the Sun Cult did not conceive of Christianity for its own sake or because they were intent on saving the world. They wanted to conquer the world not save it. In short, Atonist Christianity was devised so the Milesian nobility could have unrestricted access to the many rich mines of minerals and ore existing throughout the British Isles. It is no accident the great seats of early British Christianity - the many famous churches, chapels, cathedrals and monasteries, as well as forts, castles and private estates - happen to be situated in close proximity to rich underground mines. Of course the Milesian nobility were not going to have access to these precious territories as a matter of course. After all, these sites were often located beside groves and earthworks considered sacred by natives not as irreverent or apathetic as their unfortunate descendants. The Atonists realized that their materialist objectives could be achieved if they manufactured a religion that appeared to be a satisfactory carry on of Druidism. If they could devise a theology which assimilated enough Druidic elements, then perhaps the people would permit the erection of new religious sites over those which stood in ruins. And so the Order of the Culdees was born. So, Christianity was born. In the early days the religion was actually known as Culdeanism or Jessaeanism. Early Christians were known as Culdeans, Therapeuts or suggestively as Galileans. Although they would later spread throughout Europe and the Middle East, their birthplace was Britain.
Michael Tsarion (The Irish Origins of Civilization, Volume One)
It touches me to think that in his declining years he [George IV.] actually thought that he had led one of the charges at Waterloo. He would often describe the whole scene as it appeared to him at that supreme moment, and refer to the Duke of Wellington, saying, "Was it not so, Duke ? " " I have often heard you say so, your Majesty," the old soldier would reply, grimly. I am not sure that the old soldier was at Waterloo himself. In a room full of people he once referred to the battle as having been won upon the playing-fields of Eton. This was certainly a most unfortunate slip, seeing that all historians are agreed that it was fought on a certain field situate a few miles from Brussels.
Max Beerbohm (The Bodley Head Max Beerbohm;)
Before embarking on this intellectual journey, I would like to highlight one crucial point. In much of this book I discuss the shortcomings of the liberal worldview and the democratic system. I do so not because I believe liberal democracy is uniquely problematic but rather because I think it is the most successful and most versatile political model humans have so far developed for dealing with the challenges of the modern world. While it might not be appropriate for every society in every stage of development, it has proven its worth in more societies and in more situations than any of its alternatives. So when we are examining the new challenges that lie ahead of us, it is necessary to understand the limitations of liberal democracy and to explore how we can adapt and improve its current institutions. Unfortunately, in the present political climate any critical thinking about liberalism and democracy might be hijacked by autocrats and various illiberal movements, whose sole interest is to discredit liberal democracy rather than to engage in an open discussion about the future of humanity. While they are more than happy to debate the problems of liberal democracy, they have almost no tolerance of any criticism directed at them. As an author, I was therefore required to make a difficult choice. Should I speak my mind openly and risk that my words might be taken out of context and used to justify burgeoning autocracies? Or should I censor myself? It is a mark of illiberal regimes that they make free speech more difficult even outside their borders. Due to the spread of such regimes, it is becoming increasingly dangerous to think critically about the future of our species. After some soul-searching, I chose free discussion over self-censorship. Without criticizing the liberal model, we cannot repair its faults or move beyond it. But please note that this book could have been written only when people are still relatively free to think what they like and to express themselves as they wish. If you value this book, you should also value the freedom of expression.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
In addition to being flat-out hard to do, building effectiveness into an organization often comes into direct conflict with increasing efficiency. This is an unfortunate side effect of optimization, first noted by the geneticist R. A. Fisher, and now referred to as Fisher’s fundamental theorem: “The more highly adapted an organism becomes, the less adaptable it is to any new change.” Fisher’s example was the giraffe. It is highly adapted to food found up among the tree branches, but so unadaptable to a new situation that it can not even pick up a peanut from the ground at the zoo. The more optimized an organism (organization) is, the more likely that the slack necessary to help it become more effective has been eliminated.
Tom DeMarco (Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency)
The fate of India showcased the moral logic of climate change at its most grotesque: expected to be, by far, the world’s most hard-hit country, shouldering nearly twice as much of the burden as the next nation, India’s share of climate burden was four times as high as its share of climate guilt. China is in the opposite situation, its share of guilt four times as high as its share of the burden. Which, unfortunately, means it may be tempted to slow-walk its green energy revolution. The United States, the study found, presented a case of eerie karmic balance: its expected climate damages matching almost precisely its share of global carbon emissions. Not to say either share is small; in fact, of all the nations in the world, the U.S. was predicted to be hit second hardest.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
WARREN: What should the cops do? RUTH TURNER: The police, if they behave in other places like they do here, are unfortunate tools of a power structure which has failed to understand the dynamics of protests, and not understanding anything about the people with whom they deal, have not been able to deal with the situation in any constructive way. That’s why police brutality takes place, and of course, police brutality breeds more violence. I feel that, clearly, the police ought to step in to prevent loss of life and limb, but they should not be there to prevent loss of life and limb on one side only, as had been the case. At Murray Hill, where a mob rioted—a white mob, I’m happy to say—the police made no attempt whatsoever to curb them. This exemplifies the double standard of the police.
Robert Penn Warren (Who Speaks for the Negro?)
The explosion tore away water pipes used to supply coolant into the bottom of the core, preventing the reactor from being fed with water by the mangled pumps. Unfortunately, the operators did not realise this - or were in denial, given the horrifying consequences a reactor explosion would entail - and their lack of understanding lead them down the wrong course of action which served only to exacerbate the situation and throw lives away. Instead, Deputy-Chief Engineer Dyatlov became convinced the explosions had been caused by hydrogen in the Safety Control System’s emergency water tank, and that the reactor must still be intact. Even though he had no real basis for this explanation - and if he had looked out of a window he would have seen that he was wrong - he acted on this belief for hours after.
Andrew Leatherbarrow (Chernobyl 01:23:40: The Incredible True Story of the World's Worst Nuclear Disaster)
It's not really negativity or sadness anymore, it’s more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can’t feel anything about anythingeven the things you love, even fun things—and you’re horribly bored and lonely, but since you’ve lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you’re stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void with-out anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is. ...I noticed myself wishing that nothing loved me so I wouldn’t feel obligated to keep existing. The absurdity of working so hard to continue doing something you don’t like can be overwhelming. And the longer it takes to feel different, the more it starts to seem like everything might actually be hopeless bullshit. I don’t like when I can’t control what reality is doing. Which is unfortunate because reality works independently of the things I want, and I have only a limited number of ways to influence it, none of which are guaranteed to work. I still want to keep tabs on reality, though. Just in case it tries to do anything sneaky. It makes me feel like I’m contributing. The illusion of control makes the helplessness seem more palatable. And when that illusion is taken away, I panic. Because, deep down, I know how pointless and helpless I am, and it scares me. I am an animal trapped in a horrifying, lawless environment, and I have no idea what it’s going to do to me. It just DOES it to me. I cope with that the best way I know—by being completely unreasonable and trying to force everything else in the world to obey me and do all the nonsensical things I want.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
SEVENTY THOUSAND YEARS AGO, HOMO sapiens was still an insignificant animal minding its own business in a corner of Africa. In the following millennia it transformed itself into the master of the entire planet and the terror of the ecosystem. Today it stands on the verge of becoming a god, poised to acquire not only eternal youth, but also the divine abilities of creation and destruction. Unfortunately, the Sapiens regime on earth has so far produced little that we can be proud of. We have mastered our surroundings, increased food production, built cities, established empires and created far-flung trade networks. But did we decrease the amount of suffering in the world? Time and again, massive increases in human power did not necessarily improve the well-being of individual Sapiens, and usually caused immense misery to other animals. In the last few decades we have at last made some real progress as far as the human condition is concerned, with the reduction of famine, plague and war. Yet the situation of other animals is deteriorating more rapidly than ever before, and the improvement in the lot of humanity is too recent and fragile to be certain of. Moreover, despite the astonishing things that humans are capable of doing, we remain unsure of our goals and we seem to be as discontented as ever. We have advanced from canoes to galleys to steamships to space shuttles – but nobody knows where we’re going. We are more powerful than ever before, but have very little idea what to do with all that power. Worse still, humans seem to be more irresponsible than ever. Self-made gods with only the laws of physics to keep us company, we are accountable to no one. We are consequently wreaking havoc on our fellow animals and on the surrounding ecosystem, seeking little more than our own comfort and amusement, yet never finding satisfaction. Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Seventy thousand years ago, homo sapiens was still an insignificant animal minding its own business in a corner of Africa. In the following millennia it transformed itself into the master of the entire planet and the terror of the ecosystem. Today it stands on the verge of becoming a god, poised to acquire not only eternal youth, but also the divine abilities of creation and destruction. . Unfortunately, the Sapiens regime on earth has so far produced little that we can be proud of. We have mastered our surroundings, increased food production, built cities, established empires and created far-flung trade networks. But did we decrease the amount of suffering in the world? Time and again, massive increases in human power did not necessarily improve the well-being of individual Sapiens, and usually caused immense misery to other animals. . In the last few decades we have at last made some real progress as far as the human condition is concerned, with the reduction of famine, plague and war. Yet the situation of other animals is deteriorating more rapidly than ever before, and the improvement in the lot of humanity is too recent and fragile to be certain of. . Moreover, despite the astonishing things that humans are capable of doing, we remain unsure of our goals and we seem to be as discontented as ever. We have advanced from canoes to galleys to steamships to space shuttles – but nobody knows where we’re going. We are more powerful than ever before, but have very little idea what to do with all that power. Worse still, humans seem to be more irresponsible than ever. Self-made gods with only the laws of physics to keep us company, we are accountable to no one. We are consequently wreaking havoc on our fellow animals and on the surrounding ecosystem, seeking little more than our own comfort and amusement, yet never finding satisfaction. . Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
[Refers to 121 children taken into care in Cleveland due to suspected abuse (1987) and later returned to their parents] Sue Richardson, the child abuse consultant at the heart of the crisis, watched as cases began to unravel: “All the focus started to fall on the medical findings; other supportive evidence, mainly which we held in the social services department, started to be screened out. A situation developed where the cases either were proven or fell on the basis of medical evidence alone. Other evidence that was available to the court, very often then, never got put. We would have had statement from the child, the social workers and the child psychologist’s evidence from interviewing. We would have evidence of prior concerns, either from social workers or teachers, about the child’s behaviour or other symptoms that they might have been showing, which were completely aside from the medical findings. (Channel 4 1997) Ten years after the Cleveland crisis, Sue Richardson was adamant that evidence relating to children’s safety was not presented to the courts which subsequently returned those children to their parents: “I am saying that very clearly. In some cases, evidence was not put in the court. In other cases, agreements were made between lawyers not to put the case to the court at all, particularly as the crisis developed. Latterly, that children were sent home subject to informal agreements or agreements between lawyers. The cases never even got as far as the court. (Channel 4, 1997)” Nor is Richardson alone. Jayne Wynne, one of the Leeds paediatricians who had pioneered the use of RAD as an indicator of sexual abuse and who subsequently had detailed knowledge of many of the Cleveland children, remains concerned by the haphazard approach of the courts to their protection. I think the implication is that the children were left unprotected. The children who were being abused unfortunately returned to homes and the abuse may well have been ongoing. (Channel 4 1997)
Heather Bacon (Creative Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: Challenges and Dilemmas)
I had had my own dream of writing. The dream stayed with me on and off, and with Chris working on his book, he encouraged me to work on my own. But my time was tight. I was volunteering at the kids’ school, helping Chris, and just being a mom. Finally, Chris pushed me to get going. “Couldn’t you run to Starbucks for a few hours when I get home and work on it?” he asked. I did that for a while. I’d make dinner before I left, then go out and work. Unfortunately, it was still very hard to be consistent-the kids might get sick, or there were just other interruptions and things that had to be done. Finally, I got to the point where I thought, God is telling me you’ll do it, but not now. Now that I’ve gained some distance from it, I’ve realized that putting it down temporarily was actually a blessing. Not only have I gained a perspective on what I was trying to say, but I’ve also gotten more insights into people and situations that are similar to those I was trying to write about. And I wouldn’t trade the time I spent with Chris for a dozen novels, all of them bestsellers.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
Trump's twisted 'greatness' is that he effectively acts - he is not afraid to break the unwritten (and written) rules to impose his decisions. As we learned (not only) from Hegel, our life is regulated by a thick web of written and unwritten rules, rules which teach us how to practice the explicit (written) rules. While Trump (more or less) sticks to explicit legal regulations, he tends to ignore the unwritten silent pacts which determine how we should practice these rules - the way he dealt with Kavanaugh was just one example of it. Instead of just blaming Trump, the Left should learn from him and do the same. When a situation demands it, we should shamelessly do the impossible and break the unwritten rules. Unfortunately, today's Left is in advance terrified of any radical acts - even when it is in power, it worries all the time:'If we do this, how will the worlds react? Will our acts cause panic?' Ultimately, this fear means: 'Will our enemies be mad and react?' In order to act in politics, one has to overcome this fear and assume the risk, make a step into the unknown.
Slavoj Žižek (Sex and the Failed Absolute)
In certain situations, though, competition will not work: if the dinosaurs are a cartel strong enough to squelch competition; if they have enlisted the state to make the threatening technology illegal, describing it as a predatory encroachment on the “rights” of the old guard rather than aggressive competition; if ingrained prejudices are simply so strong that the potential business benefits take years to become apparent; or if the market has “locked in” on a dominant standard—a technology or an operating system, say—to which new market entrants do not have legal access. In those situations, markets cannot be counted on to self-correct. Unfortunately, and this is a key point, intellectual property policy frequently deals with controversies in which all of these conditions hold true. Let me repeat this point, because it is one of the most important ones in this book. To a political scientist or market analyst, the conditions I have just described sound like a rarely seen perfect storm of legislative and market dysfunction. To an intellectual property scholar, they sound like business as usual.
Anonymous
The Internal Family Systems model subdivides the mind into four main parts. At the core is your Self, the natural leader of the system. Then there is the section called the Exiles, which include pain and trauma you’re not ready to process yet so you have cast aside. Unfortunately, the Exiles need to share their stories. They will continue to act out, in the form of rage, terror, grief and shame, until they are heard. “When the Exiles act up, the next group, the Firefighters, kick into gear. Classic firefighting techniques include drug or alcohol abuse, binge eating, other short-term cover-ups for long-term pain. Finally there are the Managers. This section also tries to keep the Exiles at bay through hypercontrolling every situation. Striving, judging, self-criticizing, all come from the Managers. Basically your exiled pain/trauma causes emotional distress, which in turn goads the Firefighters into various self-destructive acts and the Managers into various repressive acts. And around and around you go, whirling through the dysfunctional cycles of life, caused by the core Self not being the one in charge.” “I
Lisa Gardner (Fear Nothing (Detective D.D. Warren, #7))
Something else changed when querinalo changed. Our immortality began to become—it is difficult to explain. None of us began to age, nor did we lose our vitality. Rather it was as if what was resilient within us began to stiffen. Traits of character became not merely habits, but defining elements. I suppose for me that it was fortunate — or unfortunate, given my current situation as your prisoner — that one of my defining traits has always been curiosity. Curiosity is one of the seeds of creativity, so that remained to me as well, but many of my associates were less fortunate. "Remember that Virim recruited us all because we shared a certain idealism. However, I fear that not much time needs to pass for idealism to become dogmatism. This was the case for many of my associates. They became dogmatic, but not regarding the same things." Firekeeper wondered what dogs had to do with ideas, but thought she understood. Dogs, like wolves, were pack animals, but unlike wolves, dogs retained a juvenile desire to follow. So these spellcasters had been Virim's dogs, and when this stiffening happened, they had become even more doglike. It made sense in a way.
Jane Lindskold (Wolf's Blood (Firekeeper Saga, #6))
The next day we booked a three-hundred pound sow for a most unusual photoshoot. She was chauffeured to Hollywood from a farm in Central Valley, and arrived in style at the soundstage bright and early, ready for her close-up. She was a perfect pig, straight from the animal equivalent of Central casting: pink, with gray spots and a sweet disposition. Like Wilbur from Charlotte's Web, but all grown up. I called her "Rhonda." In a pristine studio with white walls and a white floor, I watched as Rhonda was coaxed up a ramp that led to the top of a white pedestal, four feet off the ground. Once she was situated, the ramp was removed, and I took my place beside her. It was a simple setup. Standing next to Rhonda, I would look into the camera and riff about the unsung heroes of Dirty Jobs. I'd conclude with a pointed question: "So, what's on your pedestal?" It was a play on that credit card campaign: "What's in your wallet?" I nailed it on the first take, in front of a roomful of nervous executives. Unfortunately, Rhonda nailed it, too. Just as I asked, "What's on your pedestal?" she crapped all over hers. It was an enormous dump, delivered with impeccable timing. During the second take, Rhonda did it again, right on cue. This time, with a frightful spray of diarrhea that filled the studio with a sulfurous funk, blackening the white walls of the pristine set, and transforming my blue jeans into something browner. I could only marvel at the stench, while the horrified executives backed into a corner - a huddled mass, if you will, yearning to breath free. But Rhonda wasn't done. She crapped on every subsequent take. And when she could crap no more, she began to pee. She peed on my cameraman, She peed on her handler. She peed on me. Finally, when her bladder was empty, we got the take the network could use, along with a commercial that won several awards for "Excellence in Promos." (Yes, they have trophies for such things.) Interestingly, the footage that went viral was not the footage that aired, but the footage Mary encouraged me to release on YouTube after the fact. The outtakes of Rhonda at her incontinent finest. Those were hysterical, and viewed more times than the actual commercial. Go figure. Looking back, putting a pig on a pedestal was maybe the smartest thing I ever did. Not only did it make Rhonda famous, it established me as the nontraditional host of a nontraditional show. One whose primary job was to appear more like a guest, and less like a host. And, whenever possible, not at all like an asshole.
Mike Rowe (The Way I Heard It)
When we get down to potential versus reality in relationships, we often see disappointment, not successful achievement. In the Church, if someone creates nuclear fallout in a calling, they are often released or reassigned quickly. Unfortunately, we do not have that luxury when we marry. So many of us have experienced this sad realization in the first weeks of our marriages. For example, we realized that our partner was not going to live up to his/her potential and give generously to the partnership. While fighting the mounting feelings of betrayal, we watched our new spouses claim a right to behave any way they desired, often at our expense. Most of us made the "best" of a truly awful situation but felt like a rat trapped in maze. We raised a family, played our role, and hoped that someday things would change if we did our part. It didn't happen, but we were not allowed the luxury of reassigning or releasing our mates from poor stewardship as a spouse or parent. We were stuck until we lost all hope and reached for the unthinkable: divorce. Reality is simple for some. Those who stay happily married (the key word here is happily are the ones who grew and felt companionship from the first days of marriage. Both had the integrity and dedication to insure its success. For those of us who are divorced, tracing back to those same early days, potential disappeared and reality reared its ugly head. All we could feel, after a sealing for "time and all eternity," was bound in an unholy snare. Take the time to examine the reality of who your sweetheart really is. What do they accomplish by natural instinct and ability? What do you like/dislike about them? Can you live with all the collective weaknesses and create a happy, viable union? Are you both committed to making each other happy? Do you respect each other's agency, and are you both encouraging and eager to see the two of you grow as individuals and as a team? Do you both talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk? Or do you love them and hope they'll change once you're married to them? Chances are that if the answer to any of these questions are "sorta," you are embracing their potential and not their reality. You may also be embracing your own potential to endure issues that may not be appropriate sacrifices at this stage in your life. No one changes without the internal impetus and drive to do so. Not for love or money. . . . We are complex creatures, and although we are trained to see the "good" in everyone, it is to our benefit to embrace realism when it comes to finding our "soul mate." It won't get much better than what you have in your relationship right now.
Jennifer James
I’ll tell you what,” she said, prepared to make a deal. “Let’s see how your ‘diplomacy’ would profit us. If you can give me a decent solution to a pretend situation, I’ll agree to have you accompany me instead of Shanks. Although, I don’t know how wise it is to leave a Viidun captain on the Kemeniroc in your absence.” Derian agreed to the test. “Okay, what’s your question?” She thought hard for a moment; her eyes scrunching in concentration, lips pulled down to one side. Then, as a crooked grin spread across her lips, she set up an imagined scenario. “Pretend we’re down on the planet with this King Wennergren when he graciously offers to walk us through his cherished garden. While we’re there he begs me to touch his favorite, award-winning flower, hoping my powers will make it thrive and blossom. But for some strange reason it doesn’t respond to me the way plants do on our world. Instead of thriving, the flower withers and dies right before his shocked and furious eyes. Now pretend he’s easily offended and has a horrible temper…” Derian cut it. “You have no idea what his temperament is like.” “I know. That’s not the point.” Her eyes scolded him for interrupting. “Just pretend that he becomes outraged by my actions, assuming that I purposefully destroyed his prized plant. The angry king orders both of us to be seized and thrown into his deep, dark, inescapable dungeon. But, somehow we manage to dodge his line of soldiers and run into a nearby congested jungle, hiding beneath the foliage from our determined pursuers. “Finally, pretend that we trudge along for hours, so deep within the trees that we begin to hear howling in the distance from dangerous, hungry beasts. They seem to sound off all around us. Every now and then we hear weapon’s fire as King Wennergren’s men fend off these wild animals. This only reminds us that the soldiers are still in pursuit. Far, far buried within the dark jungle we spot a clearing and head for it. Unfortunately, once we reach it we come across an entire pack of ferocious animals who begin to stalk us. So we turn around, only to face a line of soldiers from behind, pointing their weapons our direction. We’re surrounded by danger on both sides, Derian! Now, what do you do?” She looked at him, wide-eyed and expectant. “Eena, you have a terribly overactive imagination,” he said flatly. She rolled her eyes, then impatiently asked him again, “Well? What would you do?” “I’d stop pretending." She fell back in her chair, groaning. “You’re still not going.” “Try and stop me,” he dared. “You know I can,” she reminded him. He glared at her. “When the time comes, we’ll see.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Return of a Queen (The Harrowbethian Saga #2))
decided to move to London while the house was being emptied. At first I stayed in a hotel – the Inn On The Park, the location for the famous story about me ringing the Rocket office and demanding they do something about the wind outside that was keeping me awake. This is obviously the ideal moment to state once and for all that this story is a complete urban myth, that I was never crazy enough to ask my record company to do something about the weather; that I was simply disturbed by the wind and wanted to change rooms to somewhere quieter. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you that, because the story is completely true. I absolutely was crazy and deluded enough to ring the international manager of Rocket, Robert Key, and ask him to do something about the wind outside my hotel room. I certainly didn’t want to change rooms. It was 11 a.m., I’d been up all night and there were drugs everywhere: the last thing I needed was the hotel staff bustling in to help me move to a different floor. I angrily outlined the situation to Robert. To his lasting credit, he gave my request very short shrift. On the other end of the phone, I heard the muffled sound of Robert, with his hand over the receiver, telling the rest of the office, ‘Oh God, she’s finally lost it.’ Then he spoke to me again. ‘Elton, are you fucking insane? Now get off the phone and go back to bed.
Elton John (Me)
Ram finally stood up and said in a voice that was clear and soothing, ‘Know this, Ayodhya is not mine to give or Bharata’s to take; Ayodhya is the responsibility of the Raghu clan, not our property. It will be injustice if the kings of the Raghu clan do not keep their word, it will be injustice if the wishes of Kaikeyi are not fulfilled. My father promised to fulfil her wishes and he is obliged to fulfil them, as am I. Do not blame her for asking what is due to her. Yes, the event is unfortunate but it is but one event in our lives; we can call it a tragedy if we wish. Blaming helps no one; let us take responsibility for it. For nothing in life happens spontaneously: it is the result of past actions. This moment is as it is supposed to be. I am repaying the debt of the past and so are you. We cannot choose the circumstances of our life, but we can make our choices. I have chosen to be true to my clan. My wife has chosen to be true to her role as my wife. My brother has chosen to be true to his feelings. Allow us our choices. Come to terms with our decisions. You are angry not with the queen or her son, or the king, you are angry that life has not turned out the way you thought it would. In a moment, the world you so took for granted has collapsed. Expand your mind and understand that the pain comes from your assumptions and expectations. Choose love over hate, by accepting the fears and fragilities of humanity that lead to situations such as these. This moment is the outcome of some curse, or maybe it is a boon in waiting. Who knows? Varuna has a thousand eyes, Indra a hundred, you and I, only two.
Devdutt Pattanaik (Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana)
With China and Russia, the ideological contrast is clearer. Putin, the commandant of a petro-state that also happens to be, given its geography, one of the few nations on Earth likely to benefit from continued warming, sees basically no benefit to constraining carbon emissions or greening the economy—Russia’s or the world’s. Xi, now the leader-for-life of the planet’s rising superpower, seems to feel mutual obligations to the country’s growing prosperity and to the health and security of its people—of whom, it’s worth remembering, it has so many. In the wake of Trump, China has become a much more emphatic—or at least louder—green energy leader. But the incentives do not necessarily suggest it will make good on that rhetoric. In 2018, an illuminating study was published comparing how much a country was likely to be burdened by the economic impacts of climate change to its responsibility for global warming, measured by carbon emissions. The fate of India showcased the moral logic of climate change at its most grotesque: expected to be, by far, the world’s most hard-hit country, shouldering nearly twice as much of the burden as the next nation, India’s share of climate burden was four times as high as its share of climate guilt. China is in the opposite situation, its share of guilt four times as high as its share of the burden. Which, unfortunately, means it may be tempted to slow-walk its green energy revolution. The United States, the study found, presented a case of eerie karmic balance: its expected climate damages matching almost precisely its share of global carbon emissions. Not to say either share is small; in fact, of all the nations in the world, the U.S. was predicted to be hit second hardest.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
I won’t know where we’re going until we get there.” Skylar was completely unfazed by my snapping. “And once we get there, I probably won’t know why until you guys tell me what’s going on.” “You’re the psychic,” Bethany muttered. “Shouldn’t you be able to figure it out for yourself?” If anything, Skylar seemed enthused by the pointed question. “Reading your minds on command would require being significantly psychic, and I’m not. I never know when I’m going to pick up something, and it comes in pieces and feelings, not in words. So who wants to clue the sophomore in?” Not me. I didn’t want to drag Skylar into this. There was just something about her that screamed protect me! Whoever the men looking for the “anemic cheerleader” were, I was fairly certain I didn’t want them anywhere near the Little Optimist That Could. Unfortunately, Bethany had no such predilection. “Sometime in the past week, I got bitten by a chupacabra. Somehow—no idea how—Kali lured it out of my body and into hers. She’s already far enough gone that medical science can’t do a thing to save her, and she’s got some kind of plan—probably a risky, unreliable one riddled with holes—to get the bloodsucker out.” Bethany blew out a long breath and then glanced back over her shoulder at Skylar. “There. You know what I know about the current situation. So, any time now, feel free to do your whole ‘psychic’ thing and tell me where the bedazzler we’re going, or I might be forced to physically hurt you.” Skylar made a pfft sound with her lips. “Five brothers,” she said, pointing to herself. Then she pointed to Bethany. “Only child. I could totally take you. Turn left.” Bethany slammed on the brakes. “Seriously?” “Please?” Skylar smiled winningly, and after a long moment, Bethany turned left onto an access road that dead-ended into a large parking lot. 
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Every Other Day)
Many people today acquiesce in the widespread myth, devised in the late 19th century, of an epic battle between ‘scientists’ and ‘religionists’. Despite de unfortunate fact that some members of both parties perpetuate the myth by their actions today, this ‘conflict’ model has been rejected by every modern historian of science; it does not portray the historical situation. During the 16th and 17th centuries and during the Middle Ages, there was not a camp of ‘scientists’ struggling to break free of the repression of ‘religionists’; such separate camps simply did not exist as such. Popular tales of repression and conflict are at best oversimplified or exaggerated, and at worst folkloristic fabrications. Rather, the investigators of nature were themselves religious people, and many ecclesiastics were themselves investigators of nature. The connection between theological and scientific study rested in part upon the idea of the Two Books. Enunciated by St. Augustine and other early Christian writers, the concept states that God reveals Himself to human beings in two different ways – by inspiring the sacred writers to pen the Book of Scripture, and by creating the world, the Book of Nature. The world around us, no less than the Bible, is a divine message intended to be read; the perceptive reader can learn much about the Creator by studying the creation. This idea, deeply ingrained in orthodox Christianity, means that the study of the world can itself be a religious act. Robert Boyle, for example, considered his scientific inquiries to be a type of religious devotion (and thus particularly appropriate to do on Sundays) that heightens the natural philosopher’s knowledge and awareness of God through the contemplation of His creation. He described the natural philosopher as a ‘priest of nature’ whose duty it was to expound and interpret the messages written in the Book of Nature, and to gather together and give voice to all creation’s silent praise of its Creator.
Lawrence M. Principe (Scientific Revolution: A Very Short Introduction)
The most unfortunate persons are the impersonalists, who cannot understand the transcendental variegatedness of the spiritual world. They are afraid to talk about the beauty of the Vaikuṇṭha planets because they think that variegatedness must be material. Such impersonalists think that the spiritual world is completely void, or, in other words, that there is no variegatedness. This mentality is described here as ku-kathā mati-ghnīḥ, “intelligence bewildered by unworthy words.” The philosophies of voidness and of the impersonal situation of the spiritual world are condemned here because they bewilder one’s intelligence. How can the impersonalist and the void philosopher think of this material world, which is full of variegatedness, and then say that there is no variegatedness in the spiritual world? It is said that this material world is the perverted reflection of the spiritual world, so unless there is variegatedness in the spiritual world, how can there be temporary variegatedness in the material world? That one can transcend this material world does not imply that there is no transcendental variegatedness. Here in the Bhāgavatam, in this verse particularly, it is stressed that people who try to discuss and understand the real spiritual nature of the spiritual sky and the Vaikuṇṭhas are fortunate. The variegatedness of the Vaikuṇṭha planets is described in relation to the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. But instead of trying to understand the spiritual abode and the spiritual activities of the Lord, people are more interested in politics and economic developments. They hold many conventions, meetings and discussions to solve the problems of this worldly situation, where they can remain for only a few years, but they are not interested in understanding the spiritual situation of the Vaikuṇṭha world. If they are at all fortunate, they become interested in going back home, back to Godhead, but unless they understand the spiritual world, they rot in this material darkness continuously.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda (Srimad-Bhagavatam, Third Canto)
My intention, this time, was to transfer a play to the screen while keeping its theatrical character. It was in some senses a matter of walking, invisibly, around the stage and catching the different aspects and nuances in the play, the urgency and the facial expressions that escape a spectator who cannot follow them in detail from a seat in the stalls. Apart from that, I had noticed how effective a play becomes when you have a bird's-eye view from it, for example from the flies, that is to say from the viewpoint of a voyeur. The Audience is enclosed with the characters in a room lacking its fourth wall and listens to them on equal terms, without the element of my story conferred on scenes of intimacy by the whimsical shape of a keyhole.” “L'aigle à deux têtes is not History. It is a story, an invented story lived out by imaginary heroes, and I should never have dared venture into the realistic world of cinema without being able to rely on the help of Christian Bérard. He has a genius for situating whatever he touches, for giving it a depth in time and space and an appearance of truth that are literally inimitable.” (...) “A drama of this kind would be unacceptable, and almost impossible to tell, unless it was interpreted by superb actors who could instill grandeur and life into it. Edwige Feuillère and Jean Marais, applauded evening after evening in their parts in the play, surpass themselves on the screen and give of themselves, as I suggested above, everything that they cannot give us on the stage.” “George Auric's music and the Strauss waltzes at the krantz ball make up the liquid in this drama of love and death is immersed.” (...) “In L'aigle à deux têtes, I wanted to make a theatrical film.” (...) “I know the faults of the film, but unfortunately the expense of the medium and the constraints of time that it imposes on us, prevent us from correcting our faults, Cinematography costs too much.” (...) “In Les parents terribles (1948), what I determined to do was the opposite of what I did in L'aigle à deux têtes; to de-theatricalize a play, to film it in chronological order and to catch the characters by surprise from the indiscreet angle of the camera. In short, I wanted to watch a family through the keyhole instead of observing its life from a seat in the stalls.
Jean Cocteau (The Art of Cinema)
As strangeness becomes the new normal, your past experiences, as well as the past experiences of the whole of humanity, will become less reliable guides. Humans as individuals and humankind as a whole will increasingly have to deal with things nobody ever encountered before, such as super-intelligent machines, engineered bodies, algorithms that can manipulate your emotions with uncanny precision, rapid man-made climate cataclysms and the need to change your profession every decade. What is the right thing to do when confronting a completely unprecedented situation? How should you act when you are flooded by enormous amounts of information and there is absolutely no way you can absorb and analyse it all? How to live in a world where profound uncertainty is not a bug, but a feature? To survive and flourish in such a world, you will need a lot of mental flexibility and great reserves of emotional balance. You will have to repeatedly let go of some of what you know best, and feel at home with the unknown. Unfortunately, teaching kids to embrace the unknown and to keep their mental balance is far more difficult than teaching them an equation in physics or the causes of the First World War. You cannot learn resilience by reading a book or listening to a lecture. The teachers themselves usually lack the mental flexibility that the twenty-first century demands, for they themselves are the product of the old educational system. The Industrial Revolution has bequeathed us the production-line theory of education. In the middle of town there is a large concrete building divided into many identical rooms, each room equipped with rows of desks and chairs. At the sound of a bell, you go to one of these rooms together with thirty other kids who were all born the same year as you. Every hour some grown-up walks in, and starts talking. They are all paid to do so by the government. One of them tells you about the shape of the earth, another tells you about the human past, and a third tells you about the human body. It is easy to laugh at this model, and almost everybody agrees that no matter its past achievements, it is now bankrupt. But so far we haven’t created a viable alternative. Certainly not a scaleable alternative that can be implemented in rural Mexico rather than just in upmarket California suburbs.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Sadhguru: See, it’s not that the other person is totally bereft of understanding. With your understanding you can create situations where the other person would be able to understand you better. If you’re expecting the other to understand and comply with you all the time while you don’t understand the limitations, the possibilities, the needs and the capabilities of that person, then conflict is all that will happen; it is bound to happen. Unfortunately, the closest relationships in the world have more conflict going on than there is between India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan have fought only four battles. In your relationships, you have fought many more battles than this and are still fighting, isn’t it so? This is because your line of understanding and theirs is different. If you cross this L.O.C., this Line of Control, they will get mad. If they cross it, you will get mad. If you move your understanding beyond theirs, their understanding also becomes a part of your understanding. You will be able to embrace their limitations and capabilities. In everyone, there are some positive things and some negative things. If you embrace all this in your understanding, you can make the relationship the way you want it. If you leave it to their understanding, it will become accidental. If they are very magnanimous, things will happen well for you; if not, the relationship will break up. All I am asking is: do you want to be the one who decides what happens to your life? Whether they are close relationships, professional, political, global or whatever, don’t you want to be the person who decides what happens in your life? If you do, you better include everything and everybody into your understanding. You should enhance your understanding to such a point that you can look beyond people’s madness also. There are very wonderful people around you, but once in a while they like to go crazy for a few minutes. If you don’t understand that, you will lose them. If you don’t understand their madness, you will definitely lose them. If you do, then you know how to handle them. Life is not always a straight line; you have to do many things to keep it going. If you forsake your understanding, your capability will be lost. Whether it’s a question of personal relationships or professional management, in both places you need understanding; otherwise, you won’t have fruitful relationships.
Sadhguru (Mystic's Musings)
Kathy’s teachers view her as a good student who always does her homework but rarely participates in class. Her close friends see her as a loyal and trustworthy person who is a lot of fun once you get to know her. The other students in school think she is shy and very quiet. None of them realize how much Kathy struggles with everyday life. When teachers call on her in class, her heart races, her face gets red and hot, and she forgets what she wants to say. Kathy believes that people think she is stupid and inadequate. She imagines that classmates and teachers talk behind her back about the silly things she says. She makes excuses not to go to social events because she is terrified she will do something awkward. Staying home while her friends are out having a good time also upsets her. “Why can’t I just act like other people?” she often thinks. Although Kathy feels isolated, she has a very common problem--social anxiety. Literally millions of people are so affected by self-consciousness that they have difficulties in social situations. For some, the anxiety occurs during very specific events, such as giving a speech or eating in public. For others, like Kathy, social anxiety is part of everyday life. Unfortunately, social anxiety is not an easily diagnosed condition. Instead, it is often viewed as the far edge of a continuum of behaviors and feelings that occur during social situations. Although you may not have as much difficulty as Kathy, shyness may still be causing you distress, affecting your relationships, or making you act in ways with which you are not happy. If this is the case, you will benefit from the advice and techniques provided in this book. The good news is that it is possible to change your thinking and behavior. However, there are no easy solutions. It takes strong motivation and time to overcome social anxiety. It might even be necessary to see a professional therapist or take medication. Eventually, becoming free of your anxiety will make the hard work well worth the effort. This book will help you understand social anxiety and the impact it can have on your life, now and in the future. You will find out how the disorder is diagnosed, you will receive information on professional guidance, and you will learn ways to cope with and manage the symptoms. Becoming an extroverted person is probably unlikely, but you can become more confident in social situations and increase your self-esteem.
Heather Moehn (Social Anxiety)
Drat. Daisy pulled back with a frown. She felt guilty that she had enjoyed the kiss so little. And it made her feel even worse when it appeared Llandrindon had enjoyed it quite a lot. “My dear Miss Bowman,” Llandrindon murmured flirtatiously. “You didn’t tell me you tasted so sweet.” He reached for her again, and Daisy danced backward with a little yelp. “My lord, control yourself!” “I cannot.” He pursued her slowly around the fountain until they resembled a pair of circling cats. Suddenly he made a dash for her, catching at the sleeve of her gown. Daisy pushed hard at him and twisted away, feeling the soft white muslin rip an inch or two at the shoulder seam. There was a loud splash and a splatter of water drops. Daisy stood blinking at the empty spot where Llandrindon had been, and then covered her eyes with her hands as if that would somehow make the entire situation go away. “My lord?” she asked gingerly. “Did you… did you just fall into the fountain?” “No,” came his sour reply. “You pushed me into the fountain.” “It was entirely unintentional, I assure you.” Daisy forced herself to look at him. Llandrindon rose to his feet, water streaming from his hair and clothes, his coat pockets filled to the brim. It appeared the dip in the fountain had cooled his passions considerably. He glowered at her in affronted silence. Suddenly his eyes widened, and he reached into one of his water-laden coat pockets. A tiny frog leaped from the pocket and returned to the fountain with a quiet plunk. Daisy tried to choke back her amusement, but the harder she tried the worse it became, until she finally burst out laughing. “I’m sorry,” she gasped, clapping her hands over her mouth, while irrepressible giggles slipped out. “I’m so— oh dear—” And she bent over laughing until tears came to her eyes. The tension between them disappeared as Llandrin don began to smile reluctantly. He stepped from the fountain, dripping from every surface. “I believe when you kiss the toad,” he said dryly, “he is supposed to turn into a prince. Unfortunately in my case it doesn’t seem to have worked.” Daisy felt a rush of sympathy and kindness, even as she snorted with a few last giggles. Approaching him carefully, she placed her small hands on either side of his wet face and pressed a friendly, fleeting kiss on his lips. His eyes widened at the gesture. “You are someone’s handsome prince,” Daisy said, smiling at him apologetically. “Just not mine. But when the right woman finds you… how lucky she’ll be.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
Flynn lived in a shiny glass apartment tower on the water in Melbourne. The building looked like hundreds of mirrors reflecting the bright blue sky. He lived at the top of the high-rise. Kope and I stepped off the elevator and looked down the hall at Flynn’s door. We’d been silent. Nodding to each other, we sent our hearing into the apartment. With a quiet gasp, I yanked my auditory sense back to normal. Flynn was busy with company at the moment. Very busy. Kope made a low sound and closed his eyes, shaking his head as if to clear away the sounds he’d heard. My face heated and I shifted from foot to foot, fighting back the nervous smile that always wanted to surface at inappropriate times. I found a small sitting area around the corner with glass walls overlooking the city. We sat, taking in the view. When my stupid urge to smile finally settled, I braved another look at Kope and pointed to myself, using my new, limited sign-language skills to tell him I’d listen. Given the new information about his inclination for lust, it was only fair. I quickly looked away, embarrassed by the crassness of the situation. I wasn’t going to listen the whole time. I’d just pop in for a quick check. Ten minutes passed. Still busy. Half an hour passed. Busy. Forty-five minutes passed. I shook my head to let Kope know they were still at it. He fidgeted and paced, out of his normal, calm comfort zone. An hour and ten minutes passed, and I took a turn at stretching my legs. I was getting hungry. I thought we’d be through with our talk by this time. We could interrupt Flynn, but I didn’t want him to freak out in front of somebody. We needed his guest to leave so we could talk alone. At the hour and a half mark, Kope checked his watch and looked at me. I sent my hearing into the room. Oh, they weren’t in the bedroom anymore. Finally! I wiggled my hearing around until it hit the sound of running water. A shower. This was a good sign. But wait . . . nope. I shook my head, eyes wide. Was this normal? Kope did something uncharacteristic then. He grinned, giving a little huff through his nose. This elicited a small giggle from me and I pressed both hands over my mouth. It was too late, though. At this point, I wouldn’t be able to stop myself. I could feel the crazy, unfortunate amusement rising. I jumped up and ran as spritely as I could to the stairwell with Kope on my heels. We sprinted down several flights before I fell back against the wall, laughter bubbling out. It went on and on, only getting worse when Kope joined in with his deep chuckling, a joyful rumble.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Peril (Sweet, #2))
The textbooks of history prepared for the public schools are marked by a rather naive parochialism and chauvinism. There is no need to dwell on such futilities. But it must be admitted that even for the most conscientious historian abstention from judgments of value may offer certain difficulties. As a man and as a citizen the historian takes sides in many feuds and controversies of his age. It is not easy to combine scientific aloofness in historical studies with partisanship in mundane interests. But that can and has been achieved by outstanding historians. The historian's world view may color his work. His representation of events may be interlarded with remarks that betray his feelings and wishes and divulge his party affiliation. However, the postulate of scientific history's abstention from value judgments is not infringed by occasional remarks expressing the preferences of the historian if the general purport of the study is not affected. If the writer, speaking of an inept commander of the forces of his own nation or party, says "unfortunately" the general was not equal to his task, he has not failed in his duty as a historian. The historian is free to lament the destruction of the masterpieces of Greek art provided his regret does not influence his report of the events that brought about this destruction. The problem of Wertfreíheit must also be clearly distinguished from that of the choice of theories resorted to for the interpretation of facts. In dealing with the data available, the historian needs ali the knowledge provided by the other disciplines, by logic, mathematics, praxeology, and the natural sciences. If what these disciplines teach is insufficient or if the historian chooses an erroneous theory out of several conflicting theories held by the specialists, his effort is misled and his performance is abortive. It may be that he chose an untenable theory because he was biased and this theory best suited his party spirit. But the acceptance of a faulty doctrine may often be merely the outcome of ignorance or of the fact that it enjoys greater popularity than more correct doctrines. The main source of dissent among historians is divergence in regard to the teachings of ali the other branches of knowledge upon which they base their presentation. To a historian of earlier days who believed in witchcraft, magic, and the devil's interference with human affairs, things hàd a different aspect than they have for an agnostic historian. The neomercantilist doctrines of the balance of payments and of the dollar shortage give an image of presentday world conditions very different from that provided by an examination of the situation from the point of view of modern subjectivist economics.
Ludwig von Mises (Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution)
The key point is that these patterns, while mostly stable, are not permanent: certain environmental experiences can add or subtract methyls and acetyls, changing those patterns. In effect this etches a memory of what the organism was doing or experiencing into its cells—a crucial first step for any Lamarck-like inheritance. Unfortunately, bad experiences can be etched into cells as easily as good experiences. Intense emotional pain can sometimes flood the mammal brain with neurochemicals that tack methyl groups where they shouldn’t be. Mice that are (however contradictory this sounds) bullied by other mice when they’re pups often have these funny methyl patterns in their brains. As do baby mice (both foster and biological) raised by neglectful mothers, mothers who refuse to lick and cuddle and nurse. These neglected mice fall apart in stressful situations as adults, and their meltdowns can’t be the result of poor genes, since biological and foster children end up equally histrionic. Instead the aberrant methyl patterns were imprinted early on, and as neurons kept dividing and the brain kept growing, these patterns perpetuated themselves. The events of September 11, 2001, might have scarred the brains of unborn humans in similar ways. Some pregnant women in Manhattan developed post-traumatic stress disorder, which can epigenetically activate and deactivate at least a dozen genes, including brain genes. These women, especially the ones affected during the third trimester, ended up having children who felt more anxiety and acute distress than other children when confronted with strange stimuli. Notice that these DNA changes aren’t genetic, because the A-C-G-T string remains the same throughout. But epigenetic changes are de facto mutations; genes might as well not function. And just like mutations, epigenetic changes live on in cells and their descendants. Indeed, each of us accumulates more and more unique epigenetic changes as we age. This explains why the personalities and even physiognomies of identical twins, despite identical DNA, grow more distinct each year. It also means that that detective-story trope of one twin committing a murder and both getting away with it—because DNA tests can’t tell them apart—might not hold up forever. Their epigenomes could condemn them. Of course, all this evidence proves only that body cells can record environmental cues and pass them on to other body cells, a limited form of inheritance. Normally when sperm and egg unite, embryos erase this epigenetic information—allowing you to become you, unencumbered by what your parents did. But other evidence suggests that some epigenetic changes, through mistakes or subterfuge, sometimes get smuggled along to new generations of pups, cubs, chicks, or children—close enough to bona fide Lamarckism to make Cuvier and Darwin grind their molars.
Sam Kean (The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code)
Christopher entered the room, having to bend his head to pass through the small medieval doorway. Straightening, he surveyed their surroundings briefly before his piercing gaze found Beatrix. He stared at her with the barely suppressed wrath of a man to whom entirely too much had happened. Beatrix wished she were a swooning sort of female. It seemed the only appropriate response to the situation. Unfortunately, no matter how she tried to summon a swoon, her mind remained intractably conscious. “I’m so sorry,” she croaked. No reply. Christopher approached her slowly, as if he thought she might try to bolt again. Reaching her, he took her upper arms in a hard grip that allowed no chance of escape. “Tell me why you did it,” he said, his voice low and vibrant with…hatred? Fury? “No, damn you, don’t cry. Was it a game? Was it only to help Prudence?” Beatrix looked away with a wretched sob. “No, it wasn’t a game…Pru showed me your letter, and she said she wasn’t going to answer it. And I had to. I felt as if it had been written for me. It was only supposed to be once. But then you wrote back, and I let myself answer just once more…and then one more time, and another…” “How much of it was the truth?” “All of it,” Beatrix burst out. “Except for signing Pru’s name. The rest of it was real. If you believe nothing else, please believe that.” Christopher was quiet for a long moment. He had begun to breathe heavily. “Why did you stop?” She sensed how difficult it was for him to ask. But God help her, it was infinitely worse to have to answer. “Because it hurt too much. The words meant too much.” She forced herself to go on, even though she was crying. “I fell in love with you, and I knew I could never have you. I couldn’t pretend to be Pru any longer. I loved you so much, and I couldn’t--” Her words were abruptly smothered. He was kissing her, she realized dazedly. What did it mean? What did he want? What…but her thoughts dissolved, and she stopped trying to make sense of anything. His arms had closed around her, one hand gripping the back of her neck. Shaken to her soul, she molded against him. Taking her sobs into his mouth, he licked deep, his kiss strong and savage. It had to be a dream, and yet her senses insisted it was real, the scent and warmth and toughness of him engulfing her. He pulled her even more tightly against him, making it difficult to breathe. She didn’t care. The pleasure of the kiss suffused her, drugged her, and when he pulled his head back, she protested with a bewildered moan. Christopher forced her to look back at him. “Loved?” he asked hoarsely. “Past tense?” “Present tense,” she managed to say. “You told me to find you.” “I didn’t mean to send you that note.” “But you did. You wanted me.” “Yes.” More tears escaped her stinging eyes. He bent and pressed his mouth to them, tasting the salt of grief. Those gray eyes looked into hers, no longer bright as hellfrost, but soft as smoke. “I love you, Beatrix.” Maybe she was capable of swooning after all.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Cultivate Spiritual Allies One of the most significant things you learn from the life of Paul is that the self-made man is incomplete. Paul believed that mature manhood was forged in the body of Christ In his letters, Paul talks often about the people he was serving and being served by in the body of Christ. As you live in the body of Christ, you should be intentional about cultivating at least three key relationships based on Paul’s example: 1. Paul: You need a mentor, a coach, or shepherd who is further along in their walk with Christ. You need the accountability and counsel of more mature men. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Typically there’s more demand than supply for mentors. Some churches try to meet this need with complicated mentoring matchmaker type programs. Typically, you can find a mentor more naturally than that. Think of who is already in your life. Is there an elder, a pastor, a professor, a businessman, or other person that you already respect? Seek that man out; let him know that you respect the way he lives his life and ask if you can take him out for coffee or lunch to ask him some questions — and then see where it goes from there. Don’t be surprised if that one person isn’t able to mentor you in everything. While he may be a great spiritual mentor, you may need other mentors in the areas of marriage, fathering, money, and so on. 2. Timothy: You need to be a Paul to another man (or men). God calls us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19). The books of 1st and 2nd Timothy demonstrate some of the investment that Paul made in Timothy as a younger brother (and rising leader) in the faith. It’s your job to reproduce in others the things you learn from the Paul(s) in your life. This kind of relationship should also be organic. You don’t need to approach strangers to offer your mentoring services. As you lead and serve in your spheres of influence, you’ll attract other men who want your input. Don’t be surprised if they don’t quite know what to ask of you. One practical way to engage with someone who asks for your input is to suggest that they come up with three questions that you can answer over coffee or lunch and then see where it goes from there. 3. Barnabas: You need a go-to friend who is a peer. One of Paul’s most faithful ministry companions was named Barnabas. Acts 4:36 tells us that Barnabas’s name means “son of encouragement.” Have you found an encouraging companion in your walk with Christ? Don’t take that friendship for granted. Enjoy the blessing of friendship, of someone to walk through life with. Make it a priority to build each other up in the faith. Be a source of sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17) and friendly wounds (Proverbs 27:6) for each other. But also look for ways to work together to be disruptive — in the good sense of that word. Challenge each other in breaking the patterns of the world around you in order to interrupt it with the Gospel. Consider all the risky situations Paul and Barnabas got themselves into and ask each other, “what are we doing that’s risky for the Gospel?
Randy Stinson (A Guide To Biblical Manhood)
Who will have their strength renewed? “Those who wait upon the Lord”. Waiting could signify passivity: being still. Waiting could also indicate action: serving. Waiting — either kind — can be nearly impossible while we are being run by our emotions. In learning to balance your emotions with wisdom, learning to wait upon the Lord in both senses of the word, you will find that your strength is renewed every day in every situation. On the other hand, operating out of emotions can be exhausting. In your Christian walk, the ability to discern seasons is vital. There are times in your life where immediate action is not only unnecessary, it can be damaging. There are situations in which your best course of action is to “be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10). Allowing Him to speak to you in the midst of your storm, finding your peace in Christ when your life seems upside down may be exactly what is needed. There are times when patience is the order of the day, and waiting on the Lord to move or instruct you in the way you are to move is exactly what is needed. Sometimes the most difficult course to take is to wait and allow the Lord to direct your heart “into the love of God and the patience of Christ” (2 Thessalonians3:5). However difficult it may be, practicing waiting will serve you well. “Waiting” can also signify an action. A waitress will wait on you in your favorite restaurant. You may wait on, or serve, your family. In being able to discern the seasons of waiting passively, we must also be able to discern the seasons of waiting actively. Even in times when you might feel unsure of the next step, there are continually ways for you to serve the Lord: prayer, study, service to others being a few examples. In times when everything is going along smoothly, waiting actively on the Lord is always in order. Paul encourages young Timothy to “be diligent to show yourself approved” (2 Timothy 2:15). In learning to wait actively on the Lord, it is good advice for us as well. Applying ourselves to faithful service to the Lord (active waiting) will sustain us through times when the waiting requires patience and stillness. In our Christian walk, both kinds of “waiting” are needed: an active waiting on or serving the Lord, and likewise a passive waiting for the Lord to move on your behalf. As everything in our relationship with the Lord is a partnership or covenant, this waiting is a “two way street”. As we serve the Lord, He is moved to action on our behalf. Psalm 37:3-7 speaks to both kinds of waiting (parentheses mine): “Trust in the LORD (passive), and do good (active); Dwell in the land (passive), and feed on His faithfulness (active). Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD (active), Trust also in Him (passive), And He shall bring it to pass (the Lord’s action). He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday (the Lord’s action). Rest in the LORD (passive), and wait patiently for Him (passive)”. Tremendous and amazing results can come from this kind of waiting. Of course, the Lord in His generous and kind manner will send you opportunities to practice if you want to learn to wait! In His providence, those opportunities are already provided — it is for you to take advantage of them. Will you? Unfortunately, patience is not one of Ahasuerus’ virtues. He is motivated by his emotions, and seems to rush right into whatever comes into his mind without much forethought. Let’s return to Persia, and find out what Ahasuerus is rushing into today. After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided, he remembered... Esther 2:1 “After these things”…. By the beginning of chapter two, four years have passed since King Ahasuerus dethroned Queen Vashti. God was working through this Persian chronicler as he wrote this history
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
The people, unfortunately, are still very ignorant, and are kept in ignorance by the systematic efforts of all the governments, who consider this ignorance, not without good reason as one of the essential condition of their own power. Weighted down by their daily labor, deprived of leisure, of intellectual intercourse, of reading, in short of all the means and a good portion of the stimulants that develop thought in men, the people generally accept religious traditions without criticism and in a lump. These traditions surround them from infancy in all the situations of life, and artificially sustained in their minds by a multitude of official poisoners of all sorts, priests and laymen are transformed therein into a sort of mental and moral habit, too often more powerful even than their natural good sense.
Mikhail Bakunin (God and the State)
The most primitive parts of our brain tell us that safety lies in familiarity (Bowlby 1979). We gravitate to situations we have had experience with because we know how to deal with them. As children, we don’t recognize our parents’ limitations, because seeing our parents as immature or flawed is frightening. Unfortunately, by denying the painful truth about our parents, we aren’t able to recognize similarly hurtful people in future relationships.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents)
Why the Past Repeats Itself? If the lack of emotional connection with emotionally immature parents is so painful, why do so many people end up in similarly frustrating relationships in adulthood? The most primitive parts of our brain tell us that safety lies in familiarity (Bowlby 1979). We gravitate to situations we have had experience with because we know how to deal with them. As children, we don’t recognize our parents’ limitations, because seeing our parents as immature or flawed is frightening. Unfortunately, by denying the painful truth about our parents, we aren’t able to recognize similarly hurtful people in future relationships. Denial makes us repeat the same situation over and over because we never see it coming the next time.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents)
mumbo-jumbo in my head to tell me. And I definitely didn’t need Martina Crowe in there whispering it—she was the one doing the last message, in case you’re wondering. I dislike her enough outside my head, much less inside it. In fact, I think I’ll write an insulting poem about her… although, come to think of it, ‘Martina’ makes for a tricky rhyme.” Reynie, Kate, and Sticky glanced at one another with cautious optimism. Constance seemed to be feeling a little better. They all were, actually. They had spent the evening adjusting to the hidden-message broadcasts (there had been three more since Jillson’s class)—trying not to snarl at one another, or smash their fists on desktops, or slam drawers. Studying had been positively excruciating, like trying to read while someone bangs out an annoying tune on a piano—and with fingers on the wrong keys, at that. But an hour had passed since the last broadcast, and the children’s moods had improved. Which helped them focus on the fact that their situation, unfortunately, had not. The thing to come was getting closer. Mr. Curtain was not broadcasting his
Trenton Lee Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society Series Omnibus)
Like the proverbial Pushmi-pullyu of Hugh Lofting’s Doctor Dolittle stories, Westminster feels itself pulled in two directions at once by two different ‘heads’. One minute it worries about losing powers to Brussels. The next minute it worries about losing powers to Edinburgh. One minute it talks about a referendum on whether the UK stays in the EU. The next minute it agrees to a referendum on whether Scotland should stay in the UK. Caught between the two centres of power it sometimes seems to be paralysed. When the Scots claim that they can stay in the EU after leaving the UK, the Prime Minister is the first to warn them that this may not be so. But when they hear his stern lectures to the EU and about a possible ‘Brexit’ (British exit), they may well feel that leaving the UK is actually the only way of ensuring that they stay in the EU. Paradoxically, the more UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party) calls for the UK to leave the EU, the more Scots may feel that their safest bet is to leave the UK, leaving UKIP presumably to campaign as the Former United Kingdom Independence Party, a situation which at the very least will give it an unfortunate acronym.
Mark Corner
The most primitive parts of our brain tell us that safety lies in familiarity (Bowlby 1979). We gravitate to situations we have had experience with because we know how to deal with them. As children, we don’t recognize our parents’ limitations, because seeing our parents as immature or flawed is frightening. Unfortunately, by denying the painful truth about our parents, we aren’t able to recognize similarly hurtful people in future relationships. Denial makes us repeat the same situation over and over because we never see it coming the next time.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents)
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Donald Micheal
Most people can motivate themselves to do things simply by knowing that those things need to be done. But not me. For me, motivation is this horrible, scary game the I try to make myself do something while I actively avoid doing it. If I win, I have to do something I don't want to do . If I lose. I'm one step closer to ruining my entire life. And I never know whether I'm going to win or lose until the last second.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
The techniques I developed to control potentially dangerous encounters with police officers and how to deescalate the situation by calling 911 were put to the test in the high altitude Denver International Airport in 2022. I was successful in controlling the situation and I walked away without being touched or charged by the three police officers involved. I filed a complaint regarding the unfortunate encounter afterwards to protect future airport travelers there.
Steven Magee
As children, we don’t recognize our parents’ limitations, because seeing our parents as immature or flawed is frightening. Unfortunately, by denying the painful truth about our parents, we aren’t able to recognize similarly hurtful people in future relationships. Denial makes us repeat the same situation over and over because we never see it coming the next time.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents)
to an impaired emotional regulation system, a limited facilitation for empathy, and problems in distinguishing present reality from irrelevant memories. In the long-term there is an increased risk of developing future psychopathologies and personality disorders. As opposed to secure attachments, organized forms of insecure attachments reflect inefficient stragetgies for coping with attachment emotional stress. In cases of avoidant attachment the mother may be averse to physical contact and block her child’s attempt to get close to her. She may be intensely ambivalent about being a mother. Her avoidance of the infant is more than behavioral – psychological harm can occur through the mother who is emotionally unavailable when her infant is distressed, even if she remains in physical contact with her child. In parallel, due to the lack of interactive regulation, the child learns how to disengage from the mother under stress, as well as from his own emotional responses to her rejection. To avoid this, the stressed infant will signal his need to disengage by looking away. On the other hand unpredictable and intrusive mothering often leads to ambivalent-anxious attachment where infants can only cope with a certain limited intensity of emotional arousal before they move beyond their window of tolerance into a state of stressful emotional dysregulation. These infants are overly dependent on the attachment figure (presumably desperately seeking interactive regulation) but also angry with the caregiver’s unpredictable regulation. In the most unfortunate situation, the infant/toddler is exposed to the most intense social stressors, such as physical and/or emotional abuse. This also includes neglect, which is proving to be the most serious threat to the development of the emotional brain. The most severe forms of attachment trauma, both abuse and neglect, create “disorganized-disoriented attachment.” It occurs when an infant has no strategy that will help him to cope with his caregiver, causing the infant to be profoundly confused, physically aroused, yet emotionally paralyzed. This context thus generates
Eva Rass (The Allan Schore Reader: Setting the course of development)
An intolerance for uncertainty is an important contributing factor to all types of anxiety. Those of us who are generally uncomfortable with uncertainty are more likely to experience anxiety in specific situations as well as to have trait anxiety and anxiety disorders. Our anxiety often leads to one of two coping mechanisms: worry or avoidance. Unfortunately, neither of these coping strategies is very effective.
Brené Brown (Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience)
Both the United Nations and the International Criminal Court speak the hegemonic language of the USA and the West as a favoring context. The war in Ukraine reflects a deliberate threat to Russian sovereignty and an attack on its interests by conspirators around the globe. Unfortunately, no one realizes such a reality. Sure Russia has the right to defend its sovereignty and interests; however, war is debatable but not criticizable. The USA and the West are responsible for that grave situation, no one else. Factually, the USA and the West have weapons, but not insight.
Ehsan Sehgal
Grace thought, Perhaps I ought to comment on some news. Unfortunately Grace was one of those people who can become a bore and an irritation to others and an anguish to themselves because their lives are dominated by "ought". "What ought I to do? Do you think I ought to -"... They refuse to let a situation rest; they must tamper with it, adjust it, change it, impose upon it their immediate concern of "ought".
Janet Frame (Towards Another Summer)
Cake is the only thing that matters
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
The four or five people in the restaurant hushed and pressed their ears against the silence that surrounded us. We were suspended in that moment. I’ve Got Dreams to Remember by Otis Redding played on the jukebox and for a moment everything was very much a dream. Our feelings blossomed together. His giant black holes for eyes grew larger as our eyes locked. Certainly, the instinct to run visited my thoughts but any attempt would have been in vain. Unfortunately, we were intertwined by the laws of dignity.
Brandon Cruz (Hope is a Recurring Dream
The four or five people in the restaurant hushed and pressed their ears against the silence that surrounded us. We were suspended in that moment. I’ve Got Dreams to Remember by Otis Redding played on the jukebox and for a moment everything was very much a dream. Our feelings blossomed together. His giant black holes for eyes grew larger as our eyes locked. Certainly, the instinct to run visited my thoughts but any attempt would have been in vain. Unfortunately, we were intertwined by the laws of dignity.
Brandon Cruz (Hope is a Recurring Dream)
Part of coping with mental illness is to see the humor in the unfortunate situation.
Steven Magee
It’s a beautiful and unfortunately rare thing to have someone understand my situation instead of judging it.
Kelly Rimmer (The Things We Cannot Say: A WWII Historical Fiction Novel)
Rejecting Investors If you’re in the fortunate position of having too many interested investors, good work! However, this can be a tricky situation. You want to keep all relationships intact to the best of your ability. If you need to pass on someone, say something along the lines of, “We unfortunately had to move forward with investors with whom we have longstanding relationships, or started talking to earlier. However, you're someone that I think can add tremendous value to our company. I plan to keep you in the loop on progress and well ahead of future raises.
Ryan Breslow (Fundraising)
If you didn’t know much about the Baudelaire orphans, and you saw them sitting on their suitcases at Damocles Dock, you might think that they were bound for an exciting adventure. After all, the three children had just disembarked from the Fickle Ferry, which had driven them across Lake Lachrymose to live with their Aunt Josephine, and in most cases such a situation would lead to thrillingly good times. But of course you would be dead wrong. For although Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire were about to experience events that would be both exciting and memorable, they would not be exciting and memorable like having your fortune told or going to a rodeo. Their adventure would be exciting and memorable like being chased by a werewolf through a field of thorny bushes at midnight with nobody around to help you. If you are interested in reading a story filled with thrillingly good times, I am sorry to inform you that you are most certainly reading the wrong book, because the Baudelaires experience very few good times over the course of their gloomy and miserable lives. It is a terrible thing, their misfortune, so terrible that I can scarcely bring myself to write
Lemony Snicket (The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3))
Because you are reading this book, you probably know that social anxiety has a large impact on your life. It creates problems in school, at work, and in your social life. It hurts your relationships with your classmates, teachers, family, friends, and coworkers. Social anxiety also makes it hard to have fulfilling friendships. You probably find it difficult to meet new people and may feel as though you aren’t very close to the friends you do have. You may think that social anxiety will improve once you graduate from high school, go to college, or get a full-time job. Unfortunately, in most cases, a change in circumstances will not change your social anxiety. A study done by developmental psychologists shows that decisions made by socially anxious teens set patterns for the rest of their lives. Adolescents who are reluctant to enter social situations will have difficulty with the activities required to become spouses, parents, and members of the working world.
Heather Moehn (Social Anxiety)
Nobody can guarantee that it's going to be okay, but- and I don't know if this will be comforting to anyone else- the possibility exists that there's a piece of corn on a floor somewhere that will make you just as confused about why you are laughing as you have ever been about why you are depressed. And even if everything still seems like hopeless bullshit, maybe it's just pointless bullshit or weird bullshit, or possibly not even bullshit. I don't know. But when you're concerned that the miserable, boring wasteland in front of you might stretch all the way into forever, not knowing feels strangely hope-like.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
There were bad situations like “sharing a bed with your drunk mum,” and then there were bad situations like “locked in a castle with a literal death monster.” This was, unfortunately, the latter.
C.N. Crawford (The Fallen (Hades Castle Trilogy, #1))
The terrible, too-easy 'fossilizing' of revolutionary lava is in its apparatus, its facilities. And then the horror of the ready-made, the already done, that which new generations find already finished and receive as compulsory, forces these unfortunates to search for some kind of desperate escape from the situation created for them, and everything that preserves and protects the results of revolution must now systematically occupy a rear guard position, must play a restraining role. It is truly a horror, unnoticed at first, but then ... Lifshits in 'The tragedy of Revolution
Mikhail Lifshits
Case #6 Sandy and Bob Bob is a successful dentist in his community. In the 15 years since he established his own practice, he has established a reliable base of patients and has built a thriving business in a great location. A couple years ago, he brought his wife, Sandy, a business expert with an MBA, on board to help him oversee the business end of the dental practice. She had recently left her job at a financial services firm, and Bob knew that Sandy’s business acumen would be helpful in getting his administrative house in order. She brought on new employees, developed effective new processes, and enhanced the office’s marketing efforts. Within a few months, Sandy’s improvements had managed to make the dental practice a well-oiled machine. Now she could turn her attention to their real estate portfolio. Bob and Sandy owned three small apartment buildings around town, as well as one small commercial center that was home to a nail salon, a chiropractor’s office, a coffee house and a wine shop. Fortunately, Bob’s dental practice was a success and their investments earned a nice passive income for them. Unfortunately, because Bob earned on average $250,000 per year, the couple couldn’t use passive loss, which in their case came to about $100,000, from their investments to offset his high earned income. Eventually, they would be earning sheltered profits—when the mortgages on their properties were paid off and the rentals made pure profit, or if they were to sell a property. When those things eventually happened, they could use their losses to shelter those profits. But until that time, the losses were going unused. Sandy made an appointment with their CPA to discuss the situation and see how they might improve their tax situation. The CPA asked, “What about becoming a real estate professional?” He explained to Sandy that if she spent 750 hours per year, or about 15 hours a week, on the couple’s real estate investments, she would be considered a real estate professional by the IRS. This would enable the couple to write off 100 percent of their passive losses against Bob’s high income, which would bring his taxable income down to $100,000. This $100,000 deduction brought Bob and Sandy into a lower tax bracket, saving them roughly $31,000 in taxes. Sandy already devoted a large percentage of her time to overseeing their investments, and when she saw the tax advantages, her decision became clear: She would file the Section 469(c)(7) and become a real estate professional.
Garrett Sutton (Loopholes of Real Estate: Secrets of Successful Real Estate Investing (Rich Dad's Advisors (Paperback)))
During one selection process, one applicant was poised and confident.  When asked what qualities she had to make the team better, she identified her speaking ability.  And she was correct!  She was a good speaker as she claimed.  Then a curious thing happened after the interview.  Dan’s team always uses a practical exercise to evaluate baseline negotiation ability.  The officer who was a good speaker was given a chance to try out as a good negotiator.  Predictably, when she was put under pressure she defaulted to talking.  She didn’t listen!  She missed critical information and opportunities from the actor.  Her talking caused a negative emotional spiral that she didn’t know how to correct or pause.  As the situation worsened, she ran out of things to say.  Then, she quit. She was a victim of a deeply rooted myth about what great negotiations require.  Speaking ability is good to have provided your listening game is locked in.  Unfortunately, there is a myth that good speakers make good negotiators.  The problem with good speakers is they like to speak too much!  It is what they are comfortable doing.  They also substitute quantity for quality as their speaking ability gets stressed or when their words are not immediately effective.
Dan Oblinger (Negotiation Mythbusters: Rethinking Everything You Know About Building Strong Agreements)
Emma Thompson, ca. Sense and Sensibility: You must cease and desist all such lustful thoughts, you beast. Emma Stone, ca. Zombieland: Over your dead body. Julia Roberts, ca. Pretty Woman: Big mistake. Huge. Cardi B, in any situation: Bitch, please. All of those worked. Unfortunately, what was more likely to come out of her mouth was straight-up Jennifer Lawrence: I volunteer as tribute.
J.R. Ward (The Jackal (Black Dagger Brotherhood: Prison Camp, #1))
The fact that the shadow contains the overwhelming power of irresistible impulse does not mean, however, that the drive should always be heroically repressed. Sometimes the shadow is powerful because the urge of the Self is pointing in the same direction, and so one does not know whether it is the Self or the shadow that is behind the inner pressure. In the unconscious, one is unfortunately in the same situation as in a moonlit landscape. All the contents are blurred and merge into one another, and one never knows exactly what or where anything is, or where one thing begins and ends. (This is known as the “contamination” of unconscious contents.)
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
Time pressure comes largely from forces outside ourselves: from a cutthroat economy; from the loss of the social safety nets and family networks that used to help ease the burdens of work and childcare; and from the sexist expectation that women must excel in their careers while assuming most of the responsibilities at home. None of that will be solved by self-help alone; as the journalist Anne Helen Petersen writes in a widely shared essay on millennial burnout, you can’t fix such problems “with vacation, or an adult coloring book, or ‘anxiety baking,’ or the Pomodoro Technique, or overnight fucking oats.” But my point here is that however privileged or unfortunate your specific situation, fully facing the reality of it can only help.
Oliver Burkeman (Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals)
Once, unfortunately, in a crisis situation (as the Greek poet Archilochus pointed out so long ago) we don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training. Once again, the issue is fear. The more fear in the equation, the fewer options at our disposal. In times of strife, the brain limits our choices to speed up our reaction times. The extreme example being, fight or flight, where the situation is so dire, that the brain gives us only potential actions. Freezing is the third, yet the same thing happens to a lesser degree under any high stress conditions. And the responses we fall back upon under duress, are the ones we fully automatized: those habitual patterns we've executed over and over again.
Steven Kotler (The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer)
are all exceptional cases. We all want to appeal against something! Each of us insists on being innocent at all cost, even if he has to accuse the whole human race and heaven itself. You won’t delight a man by complimenting him on the efforts by which he has become intelligent or generous. On the other hand, he will beam if you admire his natural generosity. Inversely, if you tell a criminal that his crime is not due to his nature or his character but to unfortunate circumstances, he will be extravagantly grateful to you. During the counsel’s speech, this is the moment he will choose to weep. Yet there is no credit in being honest or intelligent by birth. Just as one is surely no more responsible for being a criminal by nature than for being a criminal by circumstance. But those rascals want grace, that is irresponsibility, and they shamelessly allege the justifications of nature or the excuses of circumstances, even if they are contradictory. The essential thing is that they should be innocent, that their virtues, by grace of birth, should not be questioned and that their misdeeds, born of a momentary misfortune, should never be more than provisional. As I told you, it’s a matter of dodging judgment. Since it is hard to dodge it, tricky to get one’s nature simultaneously admired and excused, they all strive to be rich. Why? Did you ever ask yourself? For power, of course. But especially because wealth shields from immediate judgment, takes you out of the subway crowd to enclose you in a chromium-plated automobile, isolates you in huge protected lawns, Pullmans, first-class cabins. Wealth, cher ami, is not quite acquittal, but reprieve, and that’s always worth taking. Above all, don’t believe your friends when they ask you to be sincere with them. They merely hope you will encourage them in the good opinion they have of themselves by providing them with the additional assurance they will find in your promise of sincerity. How could sincerity be a condition of friendship? A liking for truth at any cost is a passion that spares nothing and that nothing resists. It’s a vice, at times a comfort, or a selfishness. Therefore, if you are in that situation, don’t hesitate: promise to tell the truth and then lie as best you can. You will satisfy their hidden desire and doubly prove your affection.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
I have no idea what I’m supposed to do about Abbot. I have to call him back, but what am I supposed to say? Were you going to hang me out to dry last night? Was I going to be bait to bring King Bullet into the open? Do you want me to be bait now that you’re fessing up about a super weapon in your Fortress of Solitude? Even if the Council isn’t planning my unfortunate demise, the situation feels like they want to drag me into a fight while caring fuck all what happens to me. What do I owe the Council? Nothing.
Richard Kadrey (King Bullet (Sandman Slim #12))
Lichtenberg speaks, in one of his aphorisms, Of a tremor: any act, even an exact one, is preceded by a trembling, a haziness of gesture, and it always retains something of it. When this haziness, this tremor, does not exist, when an act is purely operational and is perfectly focused, we are on the verge of madness. And the true image is the one that accounts for this trembling of the world, whatever the situation or the object, whether it be a war photo or a still life, a landscape or a portrait, an art photo or reportage. At that stage, the image is something that is part of the world, that is caught up in the same becoming, in the metamorphosis of appearances. A fragment of the hologram of the world, in which each detail is a refraction of the whole. The peculiar role of photography is not to illustrate the event, but to constitute an event in itself. Logic would demand that the event, the real, occur first and that the image come after to illustrate it. This is, unfortunately, the case most of the time. A different sequence demands that the event should never exactly take place, that it should remain in a sense a stranger to itself. Something of that strangeness doubtless survives in every event, in every object, in every individual. This is what the image must convey. And, to do so, it must also remain in a sense a stranger to itself; must not conceive itself as medium, not take itself for an image; must remain a fiction and hence echo the unaccountable fiction of the event; must not be caught in its own trap or let itself be imprisoned in the image-feedback.
Jean Baudrillard (The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact (Talking Images))
The older I get the more scared I am about my financial situation, unfortunately, I can’t afford to retire right now as I’m worried about my income. I feel bad about my current job, work, and business as it doesn’t do what it was intended and I wish I made different decisions that would lead me somewhere else not where I am now. Frankly speaking my past is characterized by lots of financial ignorance that I am ashamed of, I never had a financial coach or mentor to help me get out of this situation and I feel like it's too late to change my direction. —The Apathy of Financial Ignorance
Dr. Lucas D. Shallua (Average to Abundant: How Ordinary People Build Sustainable Wealth and Enjoy the Process)
I say you are reading to slow. You need to read at least 93.5 mph. According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Around 2.2 million new titles are published worldwide each year. If a book is in average 250 pages. Or 3 cm. That is 66 km of books every year. Or just 180 meters of books every day. If you can spend 4h/day to read you just need to read 45 meters of books an hour or 1500 bph (Books Per Hour). You are probably reading at 0.025-0.1 books per hour. But if you practice, you might have a chance? If each book contains 250 pages. And each page is on average 20 cm tall. And you can spend 4h on average each day reading. That means you have to read text at a speed of 187.5 km/h to keep up. However that is probably a bit too fast, since there is usually some white space on each page of a book so lets round it down to 150km/h. According to Stephen Hawking “if you stacked the new books being published next to each other, at the present rate of production you would have to move at ninety miles an hour just to keep up with the end of the line.” 90mph equals 144.841 km/h. I say, Stephen Hawking was a bit too generous. I calculated the reading speed needed on my own and came to the same approximately the same conclusion as Hawking. Yes I know. Great minds think a like, but since I think my calculation was a bit better. It must mean I'm a bit smarter than him, right? Not that I would want to flatter myself, just a little bit smarter is enough. Now I just need to study physics so I can solve how we may travel back in time to keep up reading all the books or make an alternative world with less authors so we can keep up reading. If you like me, think this situation is unacceptable. You too may sign my petition to forbid anyone from writing more than one book of 250 pages in their entire life for the next 2000-10.000 years. So we can catch up with reading all those books. You will have to excuse me but I tried to set my goal of reading 2.3 million books next year here on goodreads. But it only allowed to set the counter to 99 thousand so unfortunately it will have to wait until they fix this. I suspect the limit is there by intent. Since if everyone read all the books published each year and a few millions more, goodreads would not be needed. Their business model is based on you not reading 150kmbookpages/h. I have contacted customer support, unfortunately they did not take my suggestion seriously, if you could please help me and also email them then hopefully they will come to their senses and fix this once they see there is a demand. (Don't do this, it's just a joke.) In the meantime I will just go back to reading 10-20 books a year.
myself and Stephen Hawking?
The roots of many of the thought and behaviour patterns which characterize us as adults reach back to our childhood days. What is important to recognize, however, is that the patterns that prove harmful in our later years, often served an adaptive function when we first adopted them, helping us to cope with the less than ideal situations of our youth. In other words, very often our current problems are the solutions we devised to previous life problems. This phenomenon of solutions becoming problems or, as Sigmund Freud characterized it, as self-defensive patterns becoming self-handicapping, is extremely pervasive and can help explain why we adopt behaviours and personality traits which, over time, greatly inhibit our ability to flourish. For example, an inability to assert our self, or a crippling degree of shyness, may have been an adaptive trait in our childhood helping us to avoid confrontations with abusive caregivers. This trait only becomes maladaptive if we hold onto it into adulthood and generalize its application to situations where the potential for abuse is absent. It is often the case, therefore, that those who suffer most from neurotic, or even some forms of psychotic functioning, are not so much flawed in any innate sense, but rather are the victims of unfortunate circumstances over which they had little control.
Academy of Ideas
He approached his head to the dismal cavity, and heard, as at a great depth, the sound of a sullen and, as it seemed, subterranean stream. The sunless waves appeared murmuring for their victim. Death is dreadful at all ages; but in the first springtide of youth, with all the feelings of enjoyment afloat, and eager for gratification, to be snatched forcibly from the banquet to which the individual has but just sat down, is peculiarly appalling, even when the change comes in the ordinary course of nature. But to sit, like young Philipson, on the brink of the subterranean abyss, and ruminate in horrid doubt concerning the mode in which death was to be inflicted, was a situation which might break the spirit of the boldest; and the unfortunate captive was wholly unable to suppress the natural tears that flowed from his eyes in torrents, and which his bound arms did not permit him to wipe away. We have already noticed that, although a gallant young man in aught of danger which was to be faced and overcome by active exertion, the youth was strongly imaginative, and sensitive to a powerful extent to all those exaggerations which, in a situation of helpless uncertainty, fancy lends to distract the soul of him who must passively expect an approaching evil.
Walter Scott (Anne of Geierstein)
I noticed Mike sneaking back into the far recesses of the temple. Unfortunately, Catherine noticed him too. “Michael,” she said sternly, “please tell me you’re not heading off to relieve yourself in the temple.” Mike froze, obviously caught in the act. “I’m checking to see if there are any secret passages out of here,” he lied. Catherine sighed heavily. “I understand that this is a dire situation, but I will not have my agents urinating on the antiquities.” “The bad guys are shooting the antiquities!” Mike exclaimed. “I’m just going to pee on them! I’ll bet thousands of ancient Egyptian boys peed on this temple! Maybe it’s really a giant ancient water closet!
Stuart Gibbs (Spy School British Invasion)
her face as she took a cautious step onto the soggy ground in front of her. The mud suctioned around her foot, and she screamed and jumped back, nearly falling when her boot stayed lodged in the sludge. “Seriously,” Stina grumbled, using telekinesis to retrieve her goop-covered shoe. “It’s disgusting.” Sophie definitely wasn’t going to argue with Stina’s assessment of the situation—particularly as she waded another step into the bog and the squishy ground slipped away under her feet, leaving her with the thick, stinky mud now up past her knees. She could feel its curdled texture through the thin fabric of her leggings and was not looking forward to having the same muck directly on her skin. Her gloves stopped at her wrists, and the blue tunic she’d worn was unfortunately sleeveless, leaving lots of exposed arm—and she didn’t even want to think about the fact that she was going to have to dunk her face and head under.… The desert was also glaringly bright and annoyingly windy, and the temperature had to be at least a million degrees
Shannon Messenger (Legacy (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #8))
Her chances of a decent marriage were about to be dashed—and all because of a ferret. Unfortunately Poppy Hathaway had pursued Dodger halfway through the Rutledge Hotel before she recalled an important fact: to a ferret, a straight line included six zigs and seven zags. “Dodger,” Poppy said desperately. “Come back. I’ll give you a biscuit, any of my hair ribbons, anything! Oh, I’m going to make a scarf out of you . . .” As soon as she caught her sister’s pet, Poppy swore she was going to alert the management of the Rutledge that Beatrix was harboring wild creatures in their family suite, which was definitely against hotel policy. Of course, that might cause the entire Hathaway clan to be forcibly removed from the premises. At the moment, Poppy didn’t care. Dodger had stolen a love letter that had been sent to her from Michael Bayning, and nothing in the world mattered except retrieving it. All the situation needed was for Dodger to hide the blasted thing in some public place where it would be discovered.  ... The ferret paused at a corner, checked to make certain he was still being chased, and in his happy excitement, he did a little war dance, a series of sideways hops that expressed pure delight. Even now, when Poppy wanted to murder him, she couldn’t help but acknowledge that he was adorable. “You’re still going to die,” she told him, approaching him in as unthreatening a manner as possible. “Give me the letter, Dodger.” The ferret streaked past a colonnaded lightwell that admitted sunshine from overhead and sent it down three floors to the mezzanine level. Grimly, Poppy wondered how far she was going to have to chase him. He could cover quite a lot of territory, and the Rutledge was massive, occupying five full blocks in the theater district. “This,” she muttered beneath her breath, “is what happens when you’re a Hathaway. Misadventures . . . wild animals . . . house fires . . . curses . . . scandals . . .
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
For AVPs, if they find that they are upset and see a caring spouse become upset with them, it is a release. However, since these are repeated patterns and no stable patterns are maintained, the spouse often becomes more anxious and does hold this anxiety. The AVP is able to see this, at some level. The increased agitation has the effect of keeping the spouse preoccupied and more distant. Nothing is seemingly moving forward. The spouse, like the AVP, can become stuck. June and Doug can both be anxious, distant, or preoccupied. Avoidants have found that they can transfer some of their avoidant and angry responses to other family members. In doing this, their intention is to transfer some of their anxieties to another person to act out or hold for them. This can occur due to living together or can be part of the AVP’s messages that a family member hears and then displays. This effect of transferred anxieties can be experienced by the children, the spouse, and maybe even the family pets. The AVP’s inability to positively confront situations produces many scenarios. Unfortunately, this can often produce in others a negative image of the person acting on behalf of the AVP. This, at some level, registers for the AVP, and shame and guilt become the results of this active/passive position.
Dr. Sandra Smith-Hanen (Hiding In The Light: Understanding Avoidant Personality Disorder)
In retrospect, if our training had been geared to account for Body Alarm Reaction, we would have probably received less physical damage from our attackers. As your mind recognizes a potential threat to your well being, your body will start to react to this stress in a number of ways. One of the first reactions to potential physical harm is the secretion of large amounts of the hormone adrenaline into the bloodstream. Adrenaline is one many hormones that are “dumped” into the body during Body Alarm Reaction.9 Their functions are intended to be biologically protective. Unfortunately, the changes they produce can actually inhibit our ability to physically defend ourselves. The intent of the body’s automatic “call to arms’ is to provide the increases in strength and energy to either fight or run away from the threat. This is sometimes referred to as the “Fight-or-Flight” syndrome. It is a product of our evolution to develop mechanisms that allowed us to survive various physical threats. As the body continues down the path of automatic response the effects of the massive hormone “dump” will manifest itself in several different reactions. There will be an increase in both blood pressure and the heart rate.10 This is designed to increase the blood flow to the brain and the muscles, which will be placed under increased activity levels if you either defend yourself or run away. As blood flow increase to the brain and muscular system, they are the most important to survival at this particular moment, there is a decrease of blood flow to the digestive system, kidneys, liver, and skin. There will be an increase in the respiration rate to assimilate additional oxygen into the system. The increase of blood flow to the brain will induce a higher state of mental alertness and sensory perception. This is with the intent to aid our ability to mentally assess the situation at hand and to decrease our reaction time. It can have some negative effects like tunnel vision, auditory exclusion, and an impaired sense of time. There will be an increase in the level of extra energy in our blood with the higher amounts of cholesterol, fats, and blood sugar. In case we might be injured, our body also raises the level of platelets and blood clotting factors to help prevent hemorrhage. One other reaction, one that has serious implications for the martial artist, is that there will be a general increase in muscular tension. This aspect of Body Alarm Reaction alone has limiting effects on several martial skills. One in particular that we should recognize is that muscular tension equates to reduction of speed. So realistically, if we are in Body Alarm Reaction we can expect to be slower than when we are in a normal relaxed state. We can expect to have reduced ability to defend ourselves due to these automatic responses that are intended to provide assistance, but in actuality can greatly hinder that ability.11
Rand Cardwell (The 36 Deadly Bubishi Points: The Science and Technique of Pressure Point Fighting - Defend Yourself Against Pressure Point Attacks!)
Unfortunately, some in the Church may believe sincerely that their testimony is a raging bonfire when it really is little more than the faint flickering of a candle. Their faithfulness has more to do with habit than holiness, and their pursuit of personal righteousness almost always takes a back seat to their pursuit of personal interests and pleasure. With such a feeble light of testimony for protection, these travelers on life's highways are easy prey for the wolves of the adversary. . . . Some people are weak in their faith and testimonies but are not even aware of how precarious their situation is. Many of them likely would be offended at the suggestion. They raise their right hand to sustain Church leaders and then murmur and complain when a decision does not square with their way of thinking. They claim to be obedient to God's commandments but do not feel at all uncomfortable about purchasing food at the store on Sunday and then asking the Lord to bless it. Some say they would give their lives for the Lord, yet they refuse to serve in the nursery.
Joseph B. Wirthlin (Finding Peace in Our Lives)
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Willow Lane
Mubarak said: I talk to you during critical times that are testing Egypt and its people which could sweep them into the unknown … Those protests were transformed from a noble and civilized phenomenon of practicing freedom of expression to unfortunate clashes, mobilized and controlled by political forces that wanted to escalate and worsen the situation. Leaders of government or corporate leaders finding themselves in such crisis typically employ tactics as they seek to, “distance themselves from their illegitimate behaviours and then create identifications with the public values they are reputed to have violated
Amiso M. George (Case Studies in Crisis Communication: International Perspectives on Hits and Misses)