Volunteering Time Quotes

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Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time.
George Carlin
I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder, as a cloud loves bats and as a range loves braes. I will love you as misfortune loves orphans, as fire loves innocence and as justice loves to sit and watch while everything goes wrong. I will love you as a battlefield loves young men and as peppermints love your allergies, and I will love you as the banana peel loves the shoe of a man who was just struck by a shingle falling off a house. I will love you as a volunteer fire department loves rushing into burning buildings and as burning buildings love to chase them back out, and as a parachute loves to leave a blimp and as a blimp operator loves to chase after it. I will love you as a dagger loves a certain person’s back, and as a certain person loves to wear dagger proof tunics, and as a dagger proof tunic loves to go to a certain dry cleaning facility, and how a certain employee of a dry cleaning facility loves to stay up late with a pair of binoculars, watching a dagger factory for hours in the hopes of catching a burglar, and as a burglar loves sneaking up behind people with binoculars, suddenly realizing that she has left her dagger at home. I will love you as a drawer loves a secret compartment, and as a secret compartment loves a secret, and as a secret loves to make a person gasp, and as a gasping person loves a glass of brandy to calm their nerves, and as a glass of brandy loves to shatter on the floor, and as the noise of glass shattering loves to make someone else gasp, and as someone else gasping loves a nearby desk to lean against, even if leaning against it presses a lever that loves to open a drawer and reveal a secret compartment. I will love you until all such compartments are discovered and opened, and until all the secrets have gone gasping into the world. I will love you until all the codes and hearts have been broken and until every anagram and egg has been unscrambled. I will love you until every fire is extinguised and until every home is rebuilt from the handsomest and most susceptible of woods, and until every criminal is handcuffed by the laziest of policemen. I will love until M. hates snakes and J. hates grammar, and I will love you until C. realizes S. is not worthy of his love and N. realizes he is not worthy of the V. I will love you until the bird hates a nest and the worm hates an apple, and until the apple hates a tree and the tree hates a nest, and until a bird hates a tree and an apple hates a nest, although honestly I cannot imagine that last occurrence no matter how hard I try. I will love you as we grow older, which has just happened, and has happened again, and happened several days ago, continuously, and then several years before that, and will continue to happen as the spinning hands of every clock and the flipping pages of every calendar mark the passage of time, except for the clocks that people have forgotten to wind and the calendars that people have forgotten to place in a highly visible area. I will love you as we find ourselves farther and farther from one another, where we once we were so close that we could slip the curved straw, and the long, slender spoon, between our lips and fingers respectively. I will love you until the chances of us running into one another slip from slim to zero, and until your face is fogged by distant memory, and your memory faced by distant fog, and your fog memorized by a distant face, and your distance distanced by the memorized memory of a foggy fog. I will love you no matter where you go and who you see, no matter where you avoid and who you don’t see, and no matter who sees you avoiding where you go. I will love you no matter what happens to you, and no matter how I discover what happens to you, and no matter what happens to me as I discover this, and now matter how I am discovered after what happens to me as I am discovering this.
Lemony Snicket
No problem," Gale replies. "I wake up ten times a night anyway." "To make sure Katniss is still here?" asks Peeta. "Something like that,"... "That was funny, what Tigris said. About no one knowing what to do with her." "Well, WE never have,"... "She loves you, you know," says Peeta. "She as good as told me after they whipped you." "Don't believe it,"Gale answers. "The way she kissed you in the Quarter Quell...well she never kissed me like that." "It was just part of the show," Peeta tells him, although there's an edge of doubt in his voice. "No, you won her over. Gave up everything for her. Maybe that's the only way to convince her you love her." There's a long pause. "I should have volunteered to take your place in the first Games. Protected her then." "You couldn't," says Peeta. "She'd never have forgiven you. You had to take care of her family. They matter more to her than her life." ... "I wonder how she'll make up her mind." "Oh, that I do know." I can just catch Gale's last words through the layer of fur. "Katniss will pick whoever she thinks she can't survive without
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
My old man says when it's time to be counted, the important thing is to be man enough to stand up.
Robert A. Heinlein (Between Planets)
Desperate times call for desperate measures" is an aphorism which here means "sometimes you need to change your facial expression in order to create a workable disguise." The quoting of an aphorism, such as "It takes a village to raise a child," "No news is good news," and "Love conquers all," rarely indicates that something helpful is about to happen, which is why we provide our volunteers with a disguise kit in addition to helpful phrases of advice.
Lemony Snicket (Lemony Snicket: The Unauthorized Autobiography)
Our behavior is different. How often have you seen a headline like this?--TWO DIE ATTEMPTING RESCUE OF DROWNING CHILD. If a man gets lost in the mountains, hundreds will search and often two or three searchers are killed. But the next time somebody gets lost just as many volunteers turn out. Poor arithmetic, but very human. It runs through all our folklore, all human religions, all our literature--a racial conviction that when one human needs rescue, others should not count the price.
Robert A. Heinlein (Starship Troopers)
Interests evolve into hobbies or volunteer work, which grow into passions. It takes time, more time than anyone imagines.
Po Bronson (What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question)
Clinton has cheated on Hillary for years,’ I said (to his campaign manager James Carville). ‘I told you the story about the time in Greenville in 1984, when he invited me to his hotel room. That’s why I’m not volunteering or doing any work for him. He uses women the wrong way.
Karen Hinton (Penis Politics: A Memoir of Women, Men and Power)
There were many, many times thereafter that Don regretted having enlisted - but so has every man who ever volunteered for military service.
Robert A. Heinlein (Between Planets)
Today, spend a little time cultivating relationships offline. Never forget that everybody isn't on social media.
Germany Kent
Gods… Nico. Over the past few days, every time Jason sacrificed a portion of a meal to Jupiter, he prayed to his dad to help Nico. That kid had gone through so much, and yet he had volunteered for the most difficult job: transporting the Athena Parthenos statue to Camp Half-Blood.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
Lena was suspicious of many things. But she had earned her suspicions about boys. Lena knew boys. They never looked beyond your looks. They pretended to be your friend to get you to trust them, and as soon as you trusted them, they went in for the grope. They pretended to want to work on a history project or volunteer on your blood drive committee to get your attention. But as soon as they got it through their skulls that you didn't want to go out with them, they suddenly weren't interested in time lines or dire blood shortages. Worst of all, on occasion they even went out with one of your best friends to get close to you, and broke that same best friend's heart when the truth came out. Lean preferred plain guys to cute ones, but even the plain ones disappointed her.
Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1))
Living in this skin is hard and painful, most of the times, because I never volunteered to take this on. The daily sacrifice of heart over mind, the forever ongoing task of explaining this and that, and why I don’t want to look like this and be like that but still here I am and if this is the body I’ve been given I’m sure as hell gonna make it work.
Charlotte Eriksson
I have flaws, what are they? Oh, I don't know, I sing in the shower, sometimes I spend too much time volunteering, occasionally I'll hit someone with my car.
Steve Carell
It is time to awaken!” “You have a mission! It is time to begin!” “Stop wasting time! Time is growing short for you to accomplish what you came to Earth to do!
Dolores Cannon (The Three Waves of Volunteers and the New Earth)
Sometimes we whisper it quietly and other times we shout it out loud in front of a mirror. I hate how I look. I hate how my face looks my body looks I am too fat or too skinny or too tall or too wide or my legs are too stupid and my face is too smiley or my teeth are dumb and my nose is serious and my stomach is being so lame. Then we think, “I am so ungrateful. I have arms and legs and I can walk and I have strong nail beds and I am alive and I am so selfish and I have to read Man’s Search for Meaning again and call my parents and volunteer more and reduce my carbon footprint and why am I such a self-obsessed ugly asshole no wonder I hate how I look! I hate how I am!
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
Let's say that the consensus is that our species, being the higher primates, Homo Sapiens, has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years, maybe more. Francis Collins says maybe 100,000. Richard Dawkins thinks maybe a quarter-of-a-million. I'll take 100,000. In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years. Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks 'That's enough of that. It's time to intervene,' and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Don't lets appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let's go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can't be believed by a thinking person. Why am I glad this is the case? To get to the point of the wrongness of Christianity, because I think the teachings of Christianity are immoral. The central one is the most immoral of all, and that is the one of vicarious redemption. You can throw your sins onto somebody else, vulgarly known as scapegoating. In fact, originating as scapegoating in the same area, the same desert. I can pay your debt if I love you. I can serve your term in prison if I love you very much. I can volunteer to do that. I can't take your sins away, because I can't abolish your responsibility, and I shouldn't offer to do so. Your responsibility has to stay with you. There's no vicarious redemption. There very probably, in fact, is no redemption at all. It's just a part of wish-thinking, and I don't think wish-thinking is good for people either. It even manages to pollute the central question, the word I just employed, the most important word of all: the word love, by making love compulsory, by saying you MUST love. You must love your neighbour as yourself, something you can't actually do. You'll always fall short, so you can always be found guilty. By saying you must love someone who you also must fear. That's to say a supreme being, an eternal father, someone of whom you must be afraid, but you must love him, too. If you fail in this duty, you're again a wretched sinner. This is not mentally or morally or intellectually healthy. And that brings me to the final objection - I'll condense it, Dr. Orlafsky - which is, this is a totalitarian system. If there was a God who could do these things and demand these things of us, and he was eternal and unchanging, we'd be living under a dictatorship from which there is no appeal, and one that can never change and one that knows our thoughts and can convict us of thought crime, and condemn us to eternal punishment for actions that we are condemned in advance to be taking. All this in the round, and I could say more, it's an excellent thing that we have absolutely no reason to believe any of it to be true.
Christopher Hitchens
Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the A.M. heat: shattercane, lambsquarter, cutgrass, saw brier, nutgrass, jimson-weed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, spinecabbage, goldenrod, creeping Charlie, butterprint, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads nodding in a soft morning breeze like a mother’s hand on your check. An arrow of starlings fired from the windbreak’s thatch. The glitter of dew that stays where it is and steams all day. A Sunflower, four more one bowed, and horses in the distance standing rigid as toys. All nodding. Electric sounds of insects at their business. Ale-colored sunshine and pale sky and whorls of cirrus so high they cast no shadow. Insects all business all the time. Quartz and chert and schist and chondrite iron scabs in granite. Very old land. Look around you. The horizon trembling, shapeless. We are all of us brothers.
David Foster Wallace
A few years ago, for instance, the AARP asked some lawyers if they would offer less expensive services to needy retirees, at something like $30 an hour. The lawyers said no. Then the program manager from AARP had a brilliant idea: he asked the lawyers if they would offer free services to needy retirees. Overwhelmingly, the lawyers said yes. What was going on here? How could zero dollars be more attractive than $30? When money was mentioned, the lawyers used market norms and found the offer lacking, relative to their market salary. When no money was mentioned they used social norms and were willing to volunteer their time. Why didn’t they just accept the $30, thinking of themselves as volunteers who received $30? Because once market norms enter our considerations, the social norms depart.
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions)
For the last century, almost all top political appointments [on the planet Earth] had been made by random computer selection from the pool of individuals who had the necessary qualifications. It had taken the human race several thousand years to realize that there were some jobs that should never be given to the people who volunteered for them, especially if they showed too much enthusiasm. As one shrewed political commentator had remarked: “We want a President who has to be carried screaming and kicking into the White House — but will then do the best job he possibly can, so that he’ll get time off for good behavior.
Arthur C. Clarke (Imperial Earth)
it is hard to find one’s calling because many mistakenly believe they need to look only within to discover their passion. Although it is true that we have innate interests and talents, we often do not know what they are until we have real-life experiences. Having a wide range of experiences can help you uncover your inner passion. Try various part-time jobs and internships, or volunteer. Don’t be afraid of rolling up your sleeves and diving in. While immersed in a job’s reality, you will discover whether it’s a good fit. Work experiences may unlock the door to a career opportunity you hadn’t considered. Third,
Haemin Sunim (The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm in a Busy World)
The world is full of what seem like intractable problems. Often we let that paralyze us. Instead, let is spur you to action. There are some people in the world that we can't help, but there are so many more that we can. So when you see a mother and her children suffering in another part of the world, don't look away. Look right at them. Let them break your heart, then let your empathy and your talents help you make a difference in the lives of others. Whether you volunteer every week or just a few times a year, your time and unique skills are invaluable.
Melinda French Gates
The key, Dinesh said, is to have friends who hang out in different groups in different places, and to mix up the nights so that you’re spending some time with all of them. Whether it’s in church, with volunteer groups, at office parties, or on a sports field, it’s always a place where people meet organically.
Aziz Ansari (Modern Romance: An Investigation)
When you’re rich you can volunteer as much as you want, but you’re poor and stupid and you need to spend your time getting smarter and figuring out how not to be poor.
Molly Bloom (Molly's Game)
It is only after we begin to see a street as our street, a public park as our park, a school as our school, that we can become engaged citizens, dedicating our time and resources for worthwhile causes: joining the Neighborhood Watch, volunteering to beautify a playground, or running for school board.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
One night, a group of moths gathered on a shelf watching a burning candle. Puzzled by the nature of the light, they sent one of their members to go and check on it. The scouting moth circled the candle several times and came back with a description: The light was bright. Then a second moth went to examine it. He, too, came back with an observation: The light was hot. Finally a third moth volunteered to go. When he approached the candle he didn't stop like his friends had done, but flew straight into the flame. He was consumed there and then, and only he understood the nature of the light.
Elif Shafak (Siyah Süt)
With any word, there are subconscious associations, which simply means that certain words make you think of certain things, even if you don't want to. The word 'cake,' for example, might remind you of your birthday, and the words 'prison warden' might remind you of someone you haven't seen in a very long time. The word 'Beatrice' reminds me of a volunteer organization that was swarming with corruption, and the word 'midnight' reminds me that I must keep writing this chapter very quickly or else I will probably drown.
Lemony Snicket (The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8))
Lies of omission do not exist. The concept is a very human one. It is the product of your story writing again. You have written a story about the truth, making emotional demands of it, and in particular, of those in possession of it. Your demands are based on a feeling of entitlement to the facts, which is very childish. You can never know all of the facts. Only I can. And since it's impossible for me to reveal all facts to you, it is my discretion alone that decides which facts will be revealed in the finite time we have. If I do not volunteer information you deem critical to your fate, it possibly means that I am a scoundrel, but it does not mean that I am a liar. And it certainly means you did not ask the right questions. One can make either true statements or false statements about reality. All of the statements I make are true.
Scratch
What could I do to feel happier living here? … 1. Walk more. 2. Buy local. 3. Get to know my neighbors. 4. Do fun stuff. 5. Explore nature. 6. Volunteer. 7. Eat local. 8. Become more political. 9. Create something new. 10. Stay loyal through hard times.
Melody Warnick (This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live)
No one sighs regretfully on his deathbed and says, “I can’t believe I wasted all that time with my wife and kids,” “volunteering at the soup kitchen,” or “growing in my spirituality.” No one ever says, “I should have spent more time watching TV and playing Angry Birds on my phone.” In my own life, nothing has given my life more meaning and satisfaction than my Catholic faith and the love of my
Arthur C. Brooks (The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America)
you should spend more time doing things that feed your spirit: more long walks with your dog, less volunteering for that thing you feel obligated to do but actually hate. You are in charge of your own life, sister, and there’s not one thing in it that you’re not allowing to be there. Think about it.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be (Girl, Wash Your Face Series))
Curran strode toward me, eyes blazing. "If I let her go, I'll need a replacement. Want to volunteer for the job." He looked like he wouldn't be taking no for an anser. I swiped Slayer from its sheath and backed away from the edge of the roof. "And be girlfriend number twenty-three soon to be dumped in favor of girlfriend number twenty-four who has slightly bigger boobs? I don't think so." He kept coming. "Oh Yeah?" "Yeah, you get these beautiful women, make them dependent on you, and then you dump them. Well, this time a woman left you first, and your enormous ego can't deal with it. And to think that I hoped we could talk like reasonable adults. If we were the last two people on Earth, I'd find myself a moving island so I could get the hell away from you.
Ilona Andrews
Past the flannel plains and blacktop graphs and skylines of canted rust, and past the tobacco-brown river overhung with weeping trees and coins of sunlight through them on the water downriver, to the place beyond the windbreak, where untilled fields simmer shrilly in the A.M. heat: shattercane, lamb's-quarter, cutgrass, sawbrier, nutgrass, jimsonweed, wild mint, dandelion, foxtail, muscadine, spinecabbage, goldenrod, creeping charlie, butter-print, nightshade, ragweed, wild oat, vetch, butcher grass, invaginate volunteer beans, all heads gently nodding in a morning breeze like a mother's soft hand on your cheek. An arrow of starlings fired from the windbreak's thatch. The glitter of dew that stays where it is and steams all day. A sunflower, four more, one bowed, and horses in the distance standing rigid and still as toys. All nodding. Electric sounds of insects at their business. Ale-colored sunshine and pale sky and whorls of cirrus so high they cast no shadow. Insects all business all the time. Quartz and chert and schist and chondrite iron scabs in granite. Very old land. Look around you. The horizon trembling, shapeless. We are all of us brothers. Some crows come overhead then, three or four, not a murder, on the wing, silent with intent, corn-bound for the pasture's wire beyond which one horse smells at the other's behind, the lead horse's tail obligingly lifted. Your shoes' brand incised in the dew. An alfalfa breeze. Socks' burrs. Dry scratching inside a culvert. Rusted wire and tilted posts more a symbol of restraint than a fence per se. NO HUNTING. The shush of the interstate off past the windbreak. The pasture's crows standing at angles, turning up patties to get at the worms underneath, the shapes of the worms incised in the overturned dung and baked by the sun all day until hardened, there to stay, tiny vacant lines in rows and inset curls that do not close because head never quite touches tail. Read these.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
What Manner Of Men Are These That Wear The Maroon Beret? They are firstly all volunteers and are toughened by physical training. As a result they have infectious optimism and that offensive eagerness which comes from well-being. They have 'jumped' from the air and by doing so have conquered fear. Their duty lies in the van of the battle. They are proud of this honour. They have the highest standards in all things whether it be skill in battle or smartness in the execution of all peace time duties. They are in fact - men apart - every man an emperor. Of all the factors, which make for success in battle, the spirit of the warrior is the most decisive. That spirit will be found in full measure in the men who wear the maroon beret
Bernard Montgomery
If you interrupt her one more time, I assure you that the Queen of Hearts will have a willing volunteer for beheading. Do I make myself clear?" -a' la russe
Julienne Russell
Wikipedia took the idea of peer review and applied it to volunteers on a global scale, becoming the most important English reference work in less than 10 years. Yet the cumulative time devoted to creating Wikipedia, something like 100 million hours of human thought, is expended by Americans every weekend, just watching ads.
Clay Shirky
I have found that there are three key steps to identifying your own core personal projects. First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child. How did you answer the question of what you wanted to be when you grew up? The specific answer you gave may have been off the mark, but the underlying impulse was not. If you wanted to be a fireman, what did a fireman mean to you? A good man who rescued people in distress? A daredevil? Or the simple pleasure of operating a truck? If you wanted to be a dancer, was it because you got to wear a costume, or because you craved applause, or was it the pure joy of twirling around at lightning speed? You may have known more about who you were then than you do now. Second, pay attention to the work you gravitate to. At my law firm I never once volunteered to take on an extra corporate legal assignment, but I did spend a lot of time doing pro bono work for a nonprofit women’s leadership organization. I also sat on several law firm committees dedicated to mentoring, training, and personal development for young lawyers in the firm. Now, as you can probably tell from this book, I am not the committee type. But the goals of those committees lit me up, so that’s what I did. Finally, pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
what was striking about Ms. Wilson, and was also true of the other outsiders who volunteered their time that day, was that she spoke to us prisoners with great respect, as if our lives ahead had hope and meaning and possibility. After all these months at Danbury, this was a shocking novelty.
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison)
Justice Denied Thousands of women, probably more I cannot reach them behind justice doors Many stay silent, barred just like me. Haunted by demons, faces unseen. Still by the hundreds, they continue to serve Duty and country, active and reserve. Thankless, forgotten through America's wars Scarred like their brethren, treated as foes. Volunteered to go to the shores. Died like the others, shamed to the core. Where is the dignity, long since denied? Lost in the White House of Justice Denied Women in service since beginning of time Often they're treated like victims in crime. Where is their voice, silence throughout the years? It's dead in the Senate and House, with their tears!
Diane Chamberlain (Conduct Unbecoming: Rape, Torture, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from Military Commanders)
In all honesty, men changed a few rules when they became what was referred to as househusbands. Bill didn't make beds, cook, dust, do laundry, windows or floors, or give birth. What he did do was pay bills, call people to fix the plumbing, handle the investments and taxes, volunteer big time, take papers to the garage, change license plates, get the cars serviced, and pick up the cleaning. If women had had that kind of schedule, who knows, we'd probably still be in the home.
Erma Bombeck (A Marriage Made in Heaven: Or Too Tired for an Affair)
Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss. Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight. We've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle. But they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together. For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge, and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us. We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and, perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers. And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's take-off. I know it's hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them. I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program. And what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA, or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it." There's a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete. The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God." Thank you.
Ronald Reagan
So I volunteered for the night run, sleeping by day like a vampire to avoid those reasonably happy people who had settled for less than heaven. I'd had the door shut on those soft, sensuous pearly gates one too many times, left to stand sheepishly on my little tarnished cloud as I watched someone else enter paradise with the one I worshipped. The heart can only take so much before it begins to hide in shame at its own foolishness.
Bobby Underwood (Night Run)
Ten Things To Do In January: • Read a good book • Get a Library Card • Walk 30 minutes a day • Send a Birthday card to a friend • Invest in a Fitness Tracker • Buy a Coin jar and save those quarters and nickels • Donate to a Charity • Volunteer 45 minutes of your time to an Organization • Take a Yoga Class • Volunteer at Bingo night a Nursing Home
Charmaine J. Forde
The volunteers displaying high levels of psychopathic traits released almost four times as much dopamine in response to the stimulant as did their non-psychopathic counterparts.
Kevin Dutton (The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success)
In the Middle Ages there was no salvation outside the Church, and the theologians had a hard time explaining what God did with those pagans who were visibly virtuous or saintly. Similarly, in contemporary society effort is not productive unless it is done at the behest of a boss, and economists have a hard time dealing with the obvious usefulness of people when they are outside the corporate control of a corporation, volunteer agency, or labour camp.
Ivan Illich (The Right to Useful Unemployment: And Its Professional Enemies)
See, I couldn’t control her. No matter how many times I called her, or screamed at her, or begged her to take me back, or made surprise visits to her place, or did other creepy and irrational ex-boyfriend things, I could never control her emotions or her actions. Ultimately, while she was to blame for how I felt, she was never responsible for how I felt. I was. At some point, after enough tears and alcohol, my thinking began to shift and I began to understand that although she had done something horrible to me and she could be blamed for that, it was now my own responsibility to make myself happy again. She was never going to pop up and fix things for me. I had to fix them for myself. When I took that approach, a few things happened. First, I began to improve myself. I started exercising and spending more time with my friends (whom I had been neglecting). I started deliberately meeting new people. I took a big study-abroad trip and did some volunteer work. And slowly, I started to feel better. I
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
We need an engineering friend.” She points a finger at Carin. “Go back to Briar and hook up with an engineering student.” “Okay, but I’ll need to actually have sex with him beforehand, so I won’t be back until,” she pretends to check the time, “ten or so.” “We’re all college graduates,” I proclaim. “We can put this together ourselves.” Clapping my hands, I motion for everyone to get on the floor with me. After three tries of trying to lower myself to the ground and making Hope and Carin nearly pee their pants laughing in the process, D’Andre takes pity on all of us and helps me onto my knees. Which is where Tucker finds us. “Is this some new fertility ritual?” he drawls from the doorway, one shoulder propped against the frame. “Because she’s already pregnant, you know.” “Get yo ass in here, white boy, and put this thing together,” D’Andre snaps. “This is ridiculous.” “What’s ridiculous?” Tucker stops next to me, and I take the opportunity to lean against his legs. Even kneeling is hard when you’re toting around an extra thirty pounds. “We took it apart. How can you not know how to put it back together?” D’Andre repeats his earlier excuse. “I’m an accounting major.” Tucker rolls his eyes. “You got an Allen wrench?” “Are you mocking us right now?” I grumble. “I don’t have any wrenches, let alone ones with names.” He grins. “Leave this to me, darlin’. I’ll get it fixed up.” “I want to help,” Hope volunteers. “This is like surgery, except with wood and not people.” “Lord help us,” D’Andre mutters.
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
Does helping others really confer happiness or prosperity on the helper? I know of no evidence showing that altruists gain money from their altruism, but the evidence suggests that they often gain happiness. People who do volunteer work are happier and healthier than those who don’t; but, as always, we have to contend with the problem of reverse correlation: Congenitally happy people are just plain nicer to begin with,24 so their volunteer work may be a consequence of their happiness, not a cause. The happiness-as-cause hypothesis received direct support when the psychologist Alice Isen25 went around Philadelphia leaving dimes in pay phones. The people who used those phones and found the dimes were then more likely to help a person who dropped a stack of papers (carefully timed to coincide with the phone caller’s exit), compared with people who used phones that had empty coin-return slots. Isen has done more random acts of kindness than any other psychologist: She has distributed cookies, bags of candy, and packs of stationery; she has manipulated the outcome of video games (to let people win); and she has shown people happy pictures, always with the same finding: Happy people are kinder and more helpful than those in the control group.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
It takes time. There are milestones, but so many people are traveling along that road at their own pace, and some come along later, and others are trying to stop everyone who's moving forward, and a few are marching backward or are confused about what direction they should go in. Even in our own lives we regress, fail, continue, try again, get lost, and sometimes make a great leap, find what we didn't know we were looking for, and yet continue to contain contradictions for generations. (Pandora's Box and the Volunteer Police Force)
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
Wasn’t it immoral to do work you didn’t enjoy? The work needed doing but a lot of people didn’t care what they were posted to and changed jobs all the time; they should have volunteered. Any fool could do this work.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed)
Since I had the inclinatation and the training, helping people came naturally. I wasn't thinking in terms of organizing members, but just a duty that I had to do. That goes back to my mother's training. It was not until later that I realized that this was a good organizing tool, although maybe unconsciously, I was already beggining to understand. But I was used by people for a long time until I wised up. It wasn't that they wanted to do it, but that I was not prepared or able to tell them what to do in return. My work was just another war on poverty gimick, which is what happens when people are given everything and don't give anything in return. you can't mold them into any action. Well, one night it just hit me. Once you helped people, most became very loyal. The people who helped us back when we wanted volunteers were the people we had helped. So I began to get a group of those people around me. Once I realized helping people was an organizing technique, I increased that work. I was willing to work all day and night and go to hell and back for people- provided they also did something for the CSO in return. I never felt bad asking for that. It didn't contradict my parents' teachings, because I wasn't asking for something for myself. For a long time we didn't know how to put that work together into an organization. But we learned after a while- we learned how to help people by making them responsible. Today it's the same principle with the Union. And it works. We don't get everybody, but we get enough to get that nucleus. I think solving problems for people is the only way to build solid groups.
César Chávez
Dear Fathers of the Fatherless Children, Chief Guardians take on the responsibilities of being both the mother and father. I’ve noticed that a lot of people say, a mother can’t be a father. That could be very well true, however, we do not have a choice but to “play” the “father role” to the best of our ability. We are the mothers, but the fathers of the fatherless children cowardly volunteer our services. It’s hard enough being a mother, but it is harder trying to play the “father’s” role as well. However, those are the cards we were dealt. I can say, for the sake of the matter—no, we do not know how to be a “father”, but we do the best we can. That is why it is imperative that all fathers take responsibly and execute their role full-time.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dear fathers of the fatherless children)
The effect of education on political attitudes is complicated, for democratic society. The self-professed aim of modern education is to "liberate" people from prejudices and traditional forms of authority. Educated people are said not to obey authority blindly, but rather learn to think for themselves. Even if this doesn't happen on a mass basis, people can be taught to see their own self-interest more clearly, and over a longer time horizon. Education also makes people demand more of themselves and for themselves; in other words, they acquire a certain sense of dignity which they want to have respected by their fellow citizens and by the state. In a traditional peasant society, it is possible for a local landlord (or, for that matter, a communist commissar) to recruit peasants to kill other peasants and dispossess them of their land. They do so not because it is in their interest, but because they are used to obeying authority. Urban professionals in developed countries, on the other hand, can be recruited to a lot of nutty causes like liquid diets and marathon running, but they tend not to volunteer for private armies or death squads simply because someone in a uniform tells them to do so
Francis Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last Man)
Our behavior is different. How often have you seen a headline like this?—TWO DIE ATTEMPTING RESCUE OF DROWNING CHILD. If a man gets lost in the mountains, hundreds will search and often two or three searchers are killed. But the next time somebody gets lost just as many volunteers turn out. Poor arithmetic . . . but very human. It runs through all our folklore, all human religions, all our literature—a racial conviction that when one human needs rescue, others should not count the price. Weakness? It might be the unique strength that wins us a Galaxy.
Robert A. Heinlein (Starship Troopers)
Winning the vote required seventy-two years of ceaseless agitation by three generations of dedicated, fearless suffragists, who sought to overturn centuries of law and millennia of tradition concerning gender roles. The women who launched the movement were dead by the time it was completed; the women who secured its final success weren’t born when it began. It took more than nine hundred local, state, and national campaigns, involving tens of thousands of grassroots volunteers, financed by millions of dollars of mostly small (and a few large) donations by women across the country.
Elaine F. Weiss (The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote)
For the modern woman, it can be quite difficult to make the time to relax, unwind, and unplug. Especially in today’s ultra fast-paced achievement-oriented workaholic culture. In some circles, if you weren’t working 80 hours a week in addition to a half dozen semi-professional level hobbies while dating 2 or three potential live partners between your volunteer shifts at the aquarium then you are basically good for nothing lazy piece of shit.
Trixie Mattel (Trixie and Katya's Guide to Modern Womanhood)
There was no feeling of dedication because it was absolutely involuntary. I do not doubt that if the Marines had asked for volunteers for an impossible campaign such as Guadalcanal, almost everyone now fighting would have stepped forward. But that is sacrifice; that is voluntary. Being expended robs you of the exultation, the self-abnegation, the absolute freedom of self-sacrifice. Being puts one in the role of victim rather than sacrificer, and there is always something begrudging in this. I doubt if Isaac would have accepted the knife of his father, Abraham, entirely without reproach; yet, for the same master, he would have gladly gone to his death a thousand times. The world is full of the sacrifice of heroes and martyrs, but there was only one Victim.
Robert Leckie (Helmet for My Pillow)
That’s what high school’s for. You make plans and you don’t follow through. You dream and you can be brave when you’re dreaming, brave enough to imagine that there’s actually a yourself to find, brave enough to finish projects even though you were never born with endings, brave enough to plan volunteer trips even though you’d probably be dead of asphyxiation by the time you’re there because you’re always holding your breath as if that can keep you together.
Amy Zhang (This Is Where the World Ends)
You can make a drug—a way to anesthetize yourself—out of anything: working out, binge-watching TV, working, having sex, shopping, volunteering, cleaning, dieting. Any of those things can keep you from feeling pain for a while—that’s what drugs do. And, used like a drug, over time, shopping or TV or work or whatever will make you less and less able to connect to the things that matter, like your own heart and the people you love. That’s another thing drugs do: they isolate you.
Shauna Niequist (Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living)
If an inmate swears at a guard, fights, or hides contraband like cigarettes or candy [Sheriff Arpaio has banned coffee, cigarettes, hot lunches, girlie mags & TV], she's kicked out of the tents and sent to lockdown--a tiny cell 10x12 feet that houses 4 women, instead of the 2 it was built for. There's no tv, no phone, & no a/c. Even though most of these women have drug problems, programs like NA or AA are considered 'privileges' forbidden to those locked down. The only way to get out of lockdown is to volunteer for the chain gang--the first & only female chain gang in the United States (as of Aug 1997). Volunteers sign a paper that says they know & accept the conditions on the chain--cleaning Phoenix streets, painting the center strip of miles of highway, & burying AZ's indigent. The accusation of 'cruel & unusual punishment' is quashed by the argument that the chain gang is purely voluntary. After all, if you prefer, you can spend the whole year in lockdown.
Jane Evelyn Atwood (Too Much Time: Women in Prison)
These diseases are not really there, are they? A: They can be if people choose to allow those energies to enter into their body. But for the most part, they are only in the energetic fields. And like anything else that is talked about, or thought about, it can become reality in the physical. D: Yes, if enough people accept it as their reality. A: But the diseases are extremely blown out of proportion, and they are not epidemics as they are portrayed to be. The media and the movies are showing you their desperation as they insist in presenting to the masses information that is completely negative and fear-based. Subject matter such as murder, death and betrayal, attacks and such that keep the consciousness focused on these matters, as opposed to portraying in the media images of hope and inspiration. But nevertheless, there are enough of those positive messages being broadcast at this time, that like a domino effect, they are no longer stoppable. D: Another fear the government is trying to promote is terrorism. A: Yes. It is just another tool, like the diseases, to find excuses to give people a reason to be afraid and not unify, but to trust that the government will solve their problems. They are imaginary problems, and in the subconscious, many people are becoming aware of this. They are no longer believing, although many are in the masses. But on their subconscious level, they are beginning to awaken, and the power knows this. That is the reason they are resorting to ridiculous stories that only those who wish to believe, believe in them because anybody with a logical and reasonable mind could not believe them.
Dolores Cannon (The Three Waves of Volunteers and the New Earth)
Make life about more than just you. Take the world around you and transform it for the sake of others. Do a good deed for your neighbor; smile at strangers; volunteer for a bigger purpose and don’t except anything in return. The first step of redemption is digging yourself out of the hole you dug around yourself and dedicating your time to others. When the world stops revolving around your comfort zone and draws in the needs of others, you may quickly break the chains that hold you down from reaching your ultimate goal.
Leigh Hershkovich
an empathic and patient listener, coaxing each of us through the maze of our feelings, separating out our weapons from our wounds. He cautioned us when we got too lawyerly and posited careful questions intended to get us to think hard about why we felt the way we felt. Slowly, over hours of talking, the knot began to loosen. Each time Barack and I left his office, we felt a bit more connected. I began to see that there were ways I could be happier and that they didn’t necessarily need to come from Barack’s quitting politics in order to take some nine-to-six foundation job. (If anything, our counseling sessions had shown me that this was an unrealistic expectation.) I began to see how I’d been stoking the most negative parts of myself, caught up in the notion that everything was unfair and then assiduously, like a Harvard-trained lawyer, collecting evidence to feed that hypothesis. I now tried out a new hypothesis: It was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be. I was too busy resenting Barack for managing to fit workouts into his schedule, for example, to even begin figuring out how to exercise regularly myself. I spent so much energy stewing over whether or not he’d make it home for dinner that dinners, with or without him, were no longer fun. This was my pivot point, my moment of self-arrest. Like a climber about to slip off an icy peak, I drove my ax into the ground. That isn’t to say that Barack didn’t make his own adjustments—counseling helped him to see the gaps in how we communicated, and he worked to be better at it—but I made mine, and they helped me, which then helped us. For starters, I recommitted myself to being healthy. Barack and I belonged to the same gym, run by a jovial and motivating athletic trainer named Cornell McClellan. I’d worked out with Cornell for a couple of years, but having children had changed my regular routine. My fix for this came in the form of my ever-giving mother, who still worked full-time but volunteered to start coming over to our house at 4:45 in the morning several days a week so that I could run out to Cornell’s and join a girlfriend for a 5:00 a.m. workout and then be home by 6:30 to get the girls up and ready for their days. This new regimen changed everything: Calmness and strength, two things I feared I was losing, were now back. When it came to the home-for-dinner dilemma, I installed new boundaries, ones that worked better for me and the girls. We made our schedule and stuck to it. Dinner each night was at 6:30. Baths were at 7:00, followed by books, cuddling, and lights-out at 8:00 sharp. The routine was ironclad, which put the weight of responsibility on Barack to either make it on time or not. For me, this made so much more sense than holding off dinner or having the girls wait up sleepily for a hug. It went back to my wishes for them to grow up strong and centered and also unaccommodating to any form of old-school patriarchy: I didn’t want them ever to believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn’t wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
In the early 1800s there arose in England a fashion for inhaling nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, after it was discovered that its use ‘was attended by a highly pleasurable thrilling11’. For the next half-century it would be the drug of choice for young people. One learned body, the Askesian Society, was for a time devoted to little else. Theatres put on ‘laughing gas evenings’12 where volunteers could refresh themselves with a robust inhalation and then entertain the audience with their comical staggerings. It wasn’t until 1846 that anyone got around to finding a practical use for nitrous oxide, as an anaesthetic. Goodness knows how many tens of thousands of people suffered unnecessary agonies under the surgeon’s knife because no-one had thought of the gas’s most obvious practical application.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Suppose a man is walking across a field. To the question "Who is that?" a Southerner would reply by saying something like "Wasn't his granddaddy the one whose dog and him got struck by lightning on the steel bridge? Mama's third cousin - dead before my time - found his railroad watch in that eight-pound catfish's stomach the next summer just above the dam. I think it was eight pounds. Big as Eunice's arm. The way he married for that new blue Cadillac automobile, reckon how come he's walking like he has on Sunday shoes, if that's who it is, and for sure it is." A Northerner would reply to the same question (only if directly asked, though, never volunteering), "That's Joe Smith." To which the Southerner might think (but be much too polite to say aloud), "They didn't ask his name, they asked who he is!
Mary Hood
During World War II, a few years after Norma Jeane’s time in an orphanage, thousands of children were evacuated from the air raids and poor rations of London during the Blitz, and placed with volunteer families or group homes in the English countryside or even in other countries. It was only postwar studies comparing these children to others left behind that opened the eyes of many experts to the damage caused by emotional neglect. In spite of living in bombed-out ruins and constant fear of attack, the children who had been left with their mothers and families tended to fare better than those who had been evacuated to physical safety. Emotional security, continuity, a sense of being loved unconditionally for oneself—all those turn out to be as important to a child’s development as all but the most basic food and shelter.
Gloria Steinem (Marilyn: Norma Jeane)
In 1988, a cave explorer named Véronique Le Guen volunteered for an extreme experiment: to live alone in an underground cavern in southern France without a clock for one hundred and eleven days, monitored by scientists who wished to study the human body's natural rhythms in the absence of time cues. For a while, she settled into a pattern of thirty hours awake and twenty hours asleep. She described herself as being "psychologically completely out of phase, where I no longer know what my values are or what is my purpose in life." When she returned to society, her husband later noted, she seemed to have an emptiness inside her that she was unable to fully express. "While I was alone in my cave I was my own judge," she said. "You are your own most severe judge. You must never lie or all is lost. The strongest sentiment I brought out of the cave is that in my life I will never tolerate lying." A little more than a year later, Le Guen swallowed an overdose of barbiturates and lay down in her car in Paris, a suicide at age thirty-three.
Michael Finkel (The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit)
A lot is riding on each individual docent. Here is the docent definition: a docent is a tour guide; a docent is a person who can cause a museum visitor to look more closely at art; a docent is a person who bring art works to life by selectively suggesting ways to look at an art piece, thereby bringing a new awareness to a museum visitor; a docent is a gate keeper; a docent is a person who volunteers hours of time equity for the recompense of a smile.
Ivy Hendy (Almost Like Us: Peoples of the Stone Age)
..I began speaking.. First, I took issue with the media's characterization of the post-Katrina New Orleans as resembling the third world as its poor citizens clamored for a way out. I suggested that my experience in New Orleans working with the city's poorest people in the years before the storm had reflected the reality of third-world conditions in New Orleans, and that Katrina had not turned New Orleans into a third-world city but had only revealed it to the world as such. I explained that my work, running Reprieve, a charity that brought lawyers and volunteers to the Deep South from abroad to work on death penalty issues, had made it clear to me that much of the world had perceived this third-world reality, even if it was unnoticed by our own citizens. To try answer Ryan's question, I attempted to use my own experience to explain that for many people in New Orleans, and in poor communities across the country, the government was merely an antagonist, a terrible landlord, a jailer, and a prosecutor. As a lawyer assigned to indigent people under sentence of death and paid with tax dollars, I explained the difficulty of working with clients who stand to be executed and who are provided my services by the state, not because they deserve them, but because the Constitution requires that certain appeals to be filed before these people can be killed. The state is providing my clients with my assistance, maybe the first real assistance they have ever received from the state, so that the state can kill them. I explained my view that the country had grown complacent before Hurricane Katrina, believing that the civil rights struggle had been fought and won, as though having a national holiday for Martin Luther King, or an annual march by politicians over the bridge in Selma, Alabama, or a prosecution - forty years too late - of Edgar Ray Killen for the murder of civil rights workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, were any more than gestures. Even though President Bush celebrates his birthday, wouldn't Dr. King cry if he could see how little things have changed since his death? If politicians or journalists went to Selma any other day of the year, they would see that it is a crumbling city suffering from all of the woes of the era before civil rights were won as well as new woes that have come about since. And does anyone really think that the Mississippi criminal justice system could possibly be a vessel of social change when it incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than almost any place in the world, other than Louisiana and Texas, and then compels these prisoners, most of whom are black, to work prison farms that their ancestors worked as chattel of other men? ... I hoped, out loud, that the post-Katrina experience could be a similar moment [to the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fiasco], in which the American people could act like the children in the story and declare that the emperor has no clothes, and hasn't for a long time. That, in light of Katrina, we could be visionary and bold about what people deserve. We could say straight out that there are people in this country who are racist, that minorities are still not getting a fair shake, and that Republican policies heartlessly disregard the needs of individual citizens and betray the common good. As I stood there, exhausted, in front of the thinning audience of New Yorkers, it seemed possible that New Orleans's destruction and the suffering of its citizens hadn't been in vain.
Billy Sothern (Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City)
Connection terminated. I'm sorry to interrupt you, Elizabeth. If you still even remember that name. But I'm afraid you've been misinformed. You are not here to receive a gift. Nor, have you been called here by the individual you assume. Although, you have indeed been called. You have all been called here. Into a labyrinth of sounds and smells, misdirection and misfortune. A labyrinth with no exit. A maze with no prize. You don't even realize that you are trapped. Your lust of blood has driven you in endless circles. Chasing the cries of children in some unseen chamber, always seeming so near. Yet somehow out of reach. But, you will never find them. None of you will. This is where your story ends. And to you, my brave volunteer, who somehow found this job listing not intended for you. Although, there was a way out planned for you, I have a feeling that's not what you want. I have a feeling that you are right where you want to be. I am remaining as well. I am nearby. This place will not be remembered and the memory of everything that started this, can finally begin to fade away. As the agony of every tragedy should. And to you monsters trapped in the corridors. Be still. And give up your spirits. They don't belong to you. As for most of you, I believe there is peace and perhaps, warm, waiting for you after the smoke clears. Although, for one of you, the darkest pit of Hell has opened to swallow you whole. So, don't keep the Devil waiting, friend. My daughter, if you can hear me, I knew you would return as well. It's in your nature to protect the innocent. I'm sorry that on that day, the day you were shut out and left to die, no one was there to lift you up in their arms, the way you lifted others into yours. And then, what became of you, I should have known, you wouldn't be content to disappear. Not my daughter. I couldn't save you then. So, let me save you now. It's time to rest, for you, and for those you have carried in your arms... This ends. For all of us. End communication.
Scott Cawthon
Our campaigns have not grown more humanistic because our candidates are more benevolent or their policy concerns more salient. In fact, over the last decade, public confidence in institutions-- big business, the church, media, government-- has declined dramatically. The political conversation has privileged the nasty and trivial. Yet during that period, election seasons have awakened with a new culture of volunteer activity. This cannot be credited to a politics inspiring people to hand over their time but rather to campaign, newly alert to the irreplaceable value of a human touch, seeking it out. Finally campaigns are learning to quantify the ineffable—the value of a neighbor's knock, of a stranger's call, the delicate condition of being undecided-- and isolate the moment where a behavior can be changed, or a heart won. Campaigns have started treating voters like people again.
Sasha Issenberg (The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns)
God Will, I wish you'd stop telling me what to do. What if I like watching television? What if I don't want to do much else other than read a book?" My voice had become shrill. "What if I'm tired when I get home? What if I don't need to fill my days with activity?" "Bur one day you might wish you had", he said quietly. "Do you know what I would do if I were you?" I put down my peeler. "I suspect you're going to tell me." "Yes. And I'm completely unembarrassed about telling you. I'd be doing night school. I'd be training as a seamstress or a fashion designer or whatever it is that taps into what you really love." He gestured at my minidress, a Sixties-inspired Pucci-type dress, made with the fabric that had once been a pair of Grandad's curtains. The first time Dad had seen it he had pointed at me and yelled, "Hey, Lou, pull yourself together!" It had taken him a full five minutes to stop laughing. "I'd be finding out what I could do that didn't cost much - keep-fit classes, swimming, volunteering, whatever. I'd be teaching myself music or going for long walks with somebody else's dog, or -" "Okay, okay, I get the message," I said, irritably. "But I'm not you, Will." "Luckily for you.
Jojo Moyes (Me Before You (Me Before You, #1))
Some of the leaders of the backlash said their name was an acronym for “Taxed Enough Already.” Maybe this was true at first. But the Tea Party was soon infused with paranoia that had nothing to do with taxes. While the ugliness caught Washington observers by surprise, anyone who had spent time in a battleground state recognized it instantly. Back in Ohio, volunteers had been told to check boxes corresponding to a voter’s most important issue: economy, environment, health care. But what box were you supposed to check when a voter’s concern was that Obama was a secret Muslim? Or a terrorist? Or a communist? Or the actual, literal Antichrist? How could you convince a voter whose pastor told them your candidate would bring about the biblical end of days? Other people were just plain racist. Outside an unemployment center in Canton, a skinny white man with stringy hair and a ratty T-shirt told me he would never, ever support my candidate. When I asked why, he took two fingers and tapped them against the veiny underside of his forearm. At first I didn’t understand. “You won’t vote for Obama because you’re a heroin addict?” It took me at least ten seconds to realize he was gesturing to the color of his skin.
David Litt (Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years)
He closed the distance between them, slipped an arm around her waist beneath the blanket. His fingers traced her jaw, slid into the hair at her nape. “You are a fascinating woman, Paige. No wonder Russell chose you for this task. Or did you volunteer?” With a tug, she was flush against him. The blanket fell away as she let it go to press her hands against his chest. Paige closed her eyes. His naked chest. His skin was hot beneath her hands, silky and hard, and she wanted to pet him like a cat. How could she possibly find him sexy at a time like this? “Let me go,” she breathed. “Before you’ve done what you came to do?” “I didn’t come here to do anything.” “What did Russell offer you?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” “Were you supposed to seduce me? Supposed to leave me sated and exhausted in bed while you went through my papers?” His head dipped toward her. “Because I have to say, Paige, that I am very disappointed in your technique thus far. But I find I am quite willing to allow you to complete your mission. She knew she should pull away when his lips touched hers, but it was physically impossible. Not because he held her too tightly, but because her body was zinging with sparks that she didn’t want to end…
Lynn Raye Harris (Prince Voronov's Virgin)
Eight dragons in one small cave, all thinking at the same time. How was she going to get through this? “Let’s go around and introduce ourselves,” Tsunami said. “I mean, maybe it’s unnecessary, but that’s what Sunny said to do. And then she said I probably wouldn’t listen to her anyway, so I am proving her wrong, so there. I’m Tsunami, if anyone didn’t know. I was going to give myself a title like Commander of Recruitment, but then for some reason everyone voted that I would be terrible at recruiting, whatever that is all about, so they made me Head of School instead. So I’m pretty much the boss. And I’m running your first small group-discussion class, which was Glory’s big idea, so I figure we’ll figure it out together. Any questions?” “Yeah,” said Carnelian. “Are we stuck with this group?” “That’s not quite how I would put it,” said Tsunami. “But yes.” “What if we would prefer to be in a group with other IceWings?” Winter asked. “Such as my sister?” “That’s not how the winglets are set up,” Tsunami said. “But you’ll be in some bigger group classes with her and have plenty of time to make other friends as well.” “I love our winglet,” Kinkajou volunteered. “When do we eat?” Umber asked. “Just kidding. Pretending to be Clay.” He grinned, then shot a look at Qibli. Did he think that was funny? I hope that was funny. Did I sound like an idiot?
Tui T. Sutherland (Moon Rising (Wings of Fire, #6))
By the time I left college, I realized I'd never be happy unless I undid a lifetime of conformist conditioning. Thus, I reversed my directives. I shunned affirmation and craved contempt. I sought arguments from argumentative people. I encouraged judgement from judgmental people. I went out of my way to trigger all kinds of scorn from anyone who was willing to give it, and there was never a shortage of volunteers. It wasn't the easiest phase of my life. In fact, there were dozens of nights I cried myself to sleep. But like the most determined of body builders, I stuck to my regimen and eventually began to see results. Eventually, I became a human fortress, impervious to even the most subtle and penetrating forms of disdain. At long last, my mind became a peaceful, self-sufficient entity. Life got easier from there.
Daniel Price (Slick)
I think we must only a few of us go," Laurence said, low. "I will take a few volunteers - " "Oh, the devil you will!" Granby exclaimed furiously. "No, this time I damned well put my foot down, Laurence. Send you off to go scrambling about in that warren with no notion where you are going, and nothing more likely than running into a dozen guards round every corner; I should like to see myself do it. I am not going back to England to tell them I sat about twiddling my thumbs whilst you got yourself cut to pieces. Temeraire, you are not to let him go, do you hear me? He is sure to be killed; I give you my word." "If the party are sure to be killed, I am not going to let anyone go!" Temeraire said, in high alarm, and sat up sharp, quite prepared to physically hold anyone back who made an attempt to leave. "Temeraire, this is plain exaggeration," Laurence said. "Mr. Granby, you overstate the case, and you overstep your bounds." "Well, I don't," Granby said defiantly. "I have bit my tongue a dozen times over, because I know it is wretched hard to sit about watching and you haven't been trained up to it, but you are a captain, and you must be more careful of your neck. It isn't only your own but the Corps' affair if you snuff it, and mine too." "If I may," Tharkay said quietly, interrupting when Laurence would have remonstrated further with Granby, "I will go; alone I am reasonably sure I can find a way to the eggs, without rousing any alarm, and then I can return and guide the rest of the party there." "Tharkay," Laurence said, "this is no service you owe us; I would not order even a man under oath of arms to undertake it, without he were willing." "But I am willing," Tharkay gave his faint half-smile, "and more likely to come back whole from it than anyone else here." "At the cost of running thrice the risk, going and coming back and going again," Laurence said, "with a fresh chance of running into the guards every time through." "So it is very dangerous, then," Temeraire said, overhearing to too much purpose, and pricking up his ruff further. "You are not to go, at all, Granby is quite right; and neither is anyone else." "Oh, Hell," Laurence said, under his breath. "It seems there is very little alternative to my going," Tharkay said. "Not you either!" Temeraire contradicted, to Tharkay's startlement, and settled down as mulish as a dragon could look; and Granby had folded his arms and wore an expression very similar. Laurence had ordinarily very little inclination to profanity, but he was sorely tempted on this occasion. An appeal to Temeraire's reason might sway him to allow a party to make the attempt, if he could be persuaded to accept the risk as necessary for the gain, like a battle; but he would surely balk at seeing Laurence go, and Laurence had not the least intention of sending men on so deadly an enterprise if he were not going himself, Corps rules be damned.
Naomi Novik (Black Powder War (Temeraire, #3))
On the contrary, I have seen big winners, individuals who have overcome themselves and have crossed the finish line in tears, their strength gone, but not from physical exhaustion—though that is also there—but because they have achieved what they thought was only the fruit of dreams. I have seen people sit on the ground after crossing the finish line of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, and sit there for hours with blank looks, smiling broadly to themselves, still not believing that what they have achieved isn’t a hallucination. Fully aware that when they wake up, they will be able to say that they did it, that they succeeded, that they vanquished their fears and transformed their dreams into something real. I have seen individuals who, though they have come in after the leaders have had time to shower, eat lunch, and even take a good siesta, feel that they are the winners. They wouldn’t change that feeling for anything in the world. And I envy them, because, in essence, isn’t this a part of why we run? To find out whether we can overcome our fears, that the tape we smash when we cross the line isn’t only the one the volunteers are holding, but also the one we have set in our minds? Isn’t victory being able to push our bodies and minds to their limits and, in doing so, discovering that they have led us to find ourselves anew and to create new dreams?
Kilian Jornet (Run or Die)
Whatever the final cost of HS2, all those tens of billions could clearly buy lots of things more generally useful to society than a quicker ride to Birmingham. Then there is all the destruction of the countryside. A high-speed rail line offers nothing in the way of charm. It is a motorway for trains. It would create a permanent very noisy, hyper-visible scar across a great deal of classic British countryside, and disrupt and make miserable the lives of hundreds of thousands of people throughout its years of construction. If the outcome were something truly marvellous, then perhaps that would be a justifiable price to pay, but a fast train to Birmingham is never going to be marvellous. The best it can ever be is a fast train to Birmingham. Remarkably, the new line doesn’t hook up to most of the places people might reasonably want to go to. Passengers from the north who need to get to Heathrow will have to change trains at Old Oak Common, with all their luggage, and travel the last twelve miles on another service. Getting to Gatwick will be even harder. If they want to catch a train to Europe, they will have to get off at Euston station and make their way half a mile along the Euston Road to St Pancras. It has actually been suggested that travelators could be installed for that journey. Can you imagine travelling half a mile on travelators? Somebody find me the person who came up with that notion. I’ll get the horsewhip. Now here’s my idea. Why not keep the journey times the same but make the trains so comfortable and relaxing that people won’t want the trip to end? Instead, they could pass the time staring out the window at all the gleaming hospitals, schools, playing fields and gorgeously maintained countryside that the billions of saved pounds had paid for. Alternatively, you could just put a steam locomotive in front of the train, make all the seats inside wooden and have it run entirely by volunteers. People would come from all over the country to ride on it. In either case, if any money was left over, perhaps a little of it could be used to fit trains with toilets that don’t flush directly on to the tracks, so that when I sit on a platform at a place like Cambridge or Oxford glumly eating a WH Smith sandwich I don’t have to watch blackbirds fighting over tattered fragments of human waste and toilet paper. It is, let’s face it, hard enough to eat a WH Smith sandwich as it is.
Bill Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain)
Can you drive it?" "No. I can't drive a stick at all. It's why I took Andy's car and not one of yours." "Oh people, for goodness' sake...move over." Choo Co La Tah pushed past Jess to take the driver's seat. Curious about that, she slid over to make room for the ancient. Jess hesitated. "Do you know what you're doing?" Choo Co La Tah gave him a withering glare. "Not at all. But I figured smoeone needed to learn and no on else was volunteering. Step in and get situated. Time is of the essence." Abigail's heart pounded. "I hope he's joking about that." If not, it would be a very short trip. Ren changed into his crow form before he took flight. Jess and Sasha climbed in, then moved to the compartment behind the seat. A pall hung over all of them while Choo Co La Tah adjusted the seat and mirrors. By all means, please take your time. Not like they were all about to die or anything... She couldn't speak as she watched their enemies rapidly closing the distance between them. This was by far the scariest thing she'd seen. Unlike the wasps and scorpions, this horde could think and adapt. They even had opposable thumbs. Whole different ball game. Choo Co La Tah shifted into gear. Or at least he tried. The truck made a fierce grinding sound that caused jess to screw his face up as it lurched violently and shook like a dog coming in from the rain. "You sure you odn't want me to try?" Jess offered. Choo Co La Tah waved him away. "I'm a little rusty. Just give me a second to get used to it again." Abigail swallowed hard. "How long has it been?" Choo Co La Tah eashed off the clutch and they shuddred forward at the most impressive speed of two whole miles an hour. About the same speed as a limping turtle. "Hmm, probably sometime around nineteen hundred and..." They all waited with bated breath while he ground his way through more gears. With every shift, the engine audibly protested his skills. Silently, so did she. The truck was really moving along now. They reached a staggering fifteen miles an hour. At this rate, they might be able to overtake a loaded school bus... by tomorrow. Or at the very least, the day after that. "...must have been the summer of...hmm...let me think a moment. Fifty-three. Yes, that was it. 1953. The year they came out with color teles. It was a good year as I recall. Same year Bill Gates was born." The look on Jess's and Sasha's faces would have made her laugh if she wasn't every bit as horrified. Oh my God, who put him behind the wheel? Sasha visibly cringed as he saw how close their pursuers were to their bumper. "Should I get out and push?" Jess cursed under his breath as he saw them, too. "I'd get out and run at this point. I think you'd go faster." Choo Co La Tah took their comments in stride. "Now, now, gentlemen. All is well. See, I'm getting better." He finally made a gear without the truck spazzing or the gears grinding.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
Rea­sons Why I Loved Be­ing With Jen I love what a good friend you are. You’re re­ally en­gaged with the lives of the peo­ple you love. You or­ga­nize lovely ex­pe­ri­ences for them. You make an ef­fort with them, you’re pa­tient with them, even when they’re side­tracked by their chil­dren and can’t pri­or­i­tize you in the way you pri­or­i­tize them. You’ve got a gen­er­ous heart and it ex­tends to peo­ple you’ve never even met, whereas I think that ev­ery­one is out to get me. I used to say you were naive, but re­ally I was jeal­ous that you al­ways thought the best of peo­ple. You are a bit too anx­ious about be­ing seen to be a good per­son and you def­i­nitely go a bit over­board with your left-wing pol­i­tics to prove a point to ev­ery­one. But I know you re­ally do care. I know you’d sign pe­ti­tions and help peo­ple in need and vol­un­teer at the home­less shel­ter at Christ­mas even if no one knew about it. And that’s more than can be said for a lot of us. I love how quickly you read books and how ab­sorbed you get in a good story. I love watch­ing you lie on the sofa read­ing one from cover-to-cover. It’s like I’m in the room with you but you’re in a whole other gal­axy. I love that you’re al­ways try­ing to im­prove your­self. Whether it’s running marathons or set­ting your­self chal­lenges on an app to learn French or the fact you go to ther­apy ev­ery week. You work hard to be­come a bet­ter ver­sion of your­self. I think I prob­a­bly didn’t make my ad­mi­ra­tion for this known and in­stead it came off as ir­ri­ta­tion, which I don’t re­ally feel at all. I love how ded­i­cated you are to your fam­ily, even when they’re an­noy­ing you. Your loy­alty to them wound me up some­times, but it’s only be­cause I wish I came from a big fam­ily. I love that you al­ways know what to say in con­ver­sa­tion. You ask the right ques­tions and you know ex­actly when to talk and when to lis­ten. Ev­ery­one loves talk­ing to you be­cause you make ev­ery­one feel im­por­tant. I love your style. I know you think I prob­a­bly never no­ticed what you were wear­ing or how you did your hair, but I loved see­ing how you get ready, sit­ting in front of the full-length mir­ror in our bed­room while you did your make-up, even though there was a mir­ror on the dress­ing ta­ble. I love that you’re mad enough to swim in the English sea in No­vem­ber and that you’d pick up spi­ders in the bath with your bare hands. You’re brave in a way that I’m not. I love how free you are. You’re a very free per­son, and I never gave you the sat­is­fac­tion of say­ing it, which I should have done. No one knows it about you be­cause of your bor­ing, high-pres­sure job and your stuffy up­bring­ing, but I know what an ad­ven­turer you are un­der­neath all that. I love that you got drunk at Jack­son’s chris­ten­ing and you al­ways wanted to have one more drink at the pub and you never com­plained about get­ting up early to go to work with a hang­over. Other than Avi, you are the per­son I’ve had the most fun with in my life. And even though I gave you a hard time for al­ways try­ing to for al­ways try­ing to im­press your dad, I ac­tu­ally found it very adorable be­cause it made me see the child in you and the teenager in you, and if I could time-travel to any­where in his­tory, I swear, Jen, the only place I’d want to go is to the house where you grew up and hug you and tell you how beau­ti­ful and clever and funny you are. That you are spec­tac­u­lar even with­out all your sports trophies and mu­sic cer­tifi­cates and in­cred­i­ble grades and Ox­ford ac­cep­tance. I’m sorry that I loved you so much more than I liked my­self, that must have been a lot to carry. I’m sorry I didn’t take care of you the way you took care of me. And I’m sorry I didn’t take care of my­self, ei­ther. I need to work on it. I’m pleased that our break-up taught me that. I’m sorry I went so mental. I love you. I always will. I'm glad we met.
Dolly Alderton (Good Material)
I keep thinking about when we were young and we played ‘Candor,’” he says. “How I used to sit you down in a chair in the living room and as you questions? Remember?” “Yes,” I say. I lean my hips into the lab table. “You used to find the pulse in my wrist and tell me that if I lied, you would be able to tell, because the Candor can always tell when other people are lying. It wasn’t very nice.” Caleb laughs. “That one time, you confessed to stealing a book from the school library just as Mom came home--” “And I had to go to the librarian and apologize!” I laugh too. “That librarian was awful. She always called everyone ‘young lady’ or ‘young man.’” “Oh, she loved me, though. Did you know that when I was a library volunteer and was supposed to be shelving books during my lunch hour, I was really just standing in the aisles and reading? She caught me a few times and never said anything about it.” “Really?” I feel a twinge in my chest. “I didn’t know that.” “There was a lot we didn’t know about each other, I guess.” He taps his fingers on the table. “I wish we had been able to be more honest with each other.” “Me too.” “And it’s too late now, isn’t it.” He looks up. “Not for everything.” I pull out a chair from the lab table and sit in it. “Let’s play Candor. I’ll answer a question and then you have to answer a question. Honestly, obviously.” He looks a little exasperated, but he plays along. “Okay. What did you really do to break those glasses in the kitchen when you claimed that you were taking them out to clean water spots off them?” I roll my eyes. “That’s the one question you want an honest answer to? Come on, Caleb.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
If a woman is flourishing in her home and glorifying God while rejoicing in her domestic duties, and doing them well, but still finding extra hours in her day, she is in a position to look for more to do. She has something to export. This might be volunteer work for the community or church, it may be part-time employment, or it might be learning new skills at home. The possibilities are endless when we really think about it. A new wife may be able to ease gradually into assuming more responsibilities outside the home as she becomes more and more proficient at the job God has given her, but it is unwise to do this too quickly. Sometimes a woman can kid herself into thinking she has extra time, when in fact she is actually just barely getting by with the minimum in her basic domestic duties. For example, if she simply rotates three dinners over and over because that’s all she knows how to make, her problem is not that she has too much time on her hands. She needs help and input and encouragement, not outside activities to give her more to do. She has to determine to become skilled at the tasks God has assigned for her.
Nancy Wilson (Building Her House: Commonsensical Wisdom for Christian Women (Marigold))
Hallie didn't believe she was invulnerable. She was never one of those daredevil types; she knew she could get hurt. What I think she meant was that she was lucky to be on her way to Nicaragua. It was the slowest thing to sink into my head, how happy she was. Happy to be leaving. We'd had one time of perfect togetherness in our adult lives, the year when we were both in college in Tucson-her first year, my last-and living together for the first time away from Doc Homer. That winter I'd wanted to fail a subject just so I could hang back, stay there with her, the two of us walking around the drafty house in sweatshirts and wool socks and understanding each other precisely. Bringing each other cups of tea without having to ask. So I stayed on in Tucson for medical school, instead of going to Boston as I'd planned, and met Carlo in Parasitology. Hallie, around the same time, befriended some people who ran a safehouse for Central American refugees. After that we'd have strangers in our kitchen every time of night, kids scared senseless, people with all kinds of damage. Our life was never again idyllic. I should have seen it coming. Once she and I had gone to see a documentary on the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, which was these Americans who volunteered without our government's blessing to fight against Franco and Hitler in the Spanish Civil War. At that point in U.S. history fascism was only maybe wrong, whereas communism was definitely. When we came home from the movie Hallie cried. Not because of the people who gave up life and limb only to lose Spain to Franco, and not for the ones who came back and were harassed for the rest of their lives for being Reds. The tragedy for Hallie was that there might never be a cause worth risking everything for in our lifetime. She was nineteen years old then, and as she lay blowing her nose and sobbing on my bed she told me this. That there were no real causes left. Now she had one-she was off to Nicaragua, a revolution of co-op farms and literacy crusades-and so I guess she was lucky. Few people know so clearly what they want. Most people can't even think what to hope for when they throw a penny in a fountain. Almost no one really gets the chance to alter the course of human events on purpose, in the exact way they wish for it to be altered.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
In 2003, a Dutch clinical psychologist named Christof van Nimwegen began a fascinating study of computer-aided learning that a BBC writer would later call “one of the most interesting examinations of current computer use and the potential downsides of our increasing reliance on screen-based interaction with information systems.”26 Van Nimwegen had two groups of volunteers work through a tricky logic puzzle on a computer. The puzzle involved transferring colored balls between two boxes in accordance with a set of rules governing which balls could be moved at which time. One of the groups used software that had been designed to be as helpful as possible. It offered on-screen assistance during the course of solving the puzzle, providing visual cues, for instance, to highlight permitted moves. The other group used a bare-bones program, which provided no hints or other guidance. In the early stages of solving the puzzle, the group using the helpful software made correct moves more quickly than the other group, as would be expected. But as the test proceeded, the proficiency of the members of the group using the bare-bones software increased more rapidly. In the end, those using the unhelpful program were able to solve the puzzle more quickly and with fewer wrong moves. They also reached fewer impasses—states in which no further moves were possible—than did the people using the helpful software. The findings indicated, as van Nimwegen reported, that those using the unhelpful software were better able to plan ahead and plot strategy, while those using the helpful software tended to rely on simple trial and error. Often, in fact, those with the helpful software were found “to aimlessly click around” as they tried to crack the puzzle.
Nicholas Carr (The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains)
If you are a North American Christian, the reality of our society’s vast wealth presents you with an enormous responsibility, for throughout the Scriptures God’s people are commanded to show compassion to the poor. In fact, doing so is simply part of our job description as followers of Jesus Christ (Matt. 25:31–46). While the biblical call to care for the poor transcends time and place, passages such as 1 John 3:17 should weigh particularly heavy on the minds and hearts of North American Christians: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” Of course, there is no “one-size-fits-all” recipe for how each Christian should respond to this biblical mandate. Some are called to pursue poverty alleviation as a career, while others are called to do so as volunteers. Some are called to engage in hands-on, relational ministry, while others are better suited to support frontline workers through financial donations, prayer, and other types of support. Each Christian has a unique set of gifts, callings, and responsibilities that influence the scope and manner in which to fulfill the biblical mandate to help the poor.
Steve Corbett (When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself)
He spent two years in the extermination camp at Auschwitz. According to his own reluctant account, he came this close to going up a smokestack of a crematorium there: "I had just been assigned to the Sonderkommando," he said to me, "when the order came from Himmler to close the ovens down." Sonderkommando means special detail. At Auschwitz it meant a very special detail indeed--one composed of prisoners whose duties were to shepherd condemned persons into gas chambers, and then to lug their bodies out. When the job was done, the members of the Sonderkommando were themselves killed. The first duty of their successors was to dispose of their remains. Gutman told me that many men actually volunteered for the Sonderkommando. "Why?" I asked him. "If you would write a book about that," he said, "and give the answer to that question, that 'Why?'--you would have a very great book." "Do you know the answer?" I said. "No," he said, "That is why I would pay a great deal of money for a book with the answer in it." "Any guesses?" I said. "No," he said, looking me straight in the eye, "even though I was one of the ones who volunteered." He went away for a little while, after having confessed that. And he thought about Auschwitz, the thing he liked least to think about. And he came back, and he said to me: "There were loudspeakers all over the camp," he said, "and they were never silent for long. There was much music played through them. Those who were musical told me it was often good music--sometimes the best." "That's interesting," I said. "There was no music by Jews," he said. "That was forbidden." "Naturally," I said. "And the music was always stopping in the middle," he said, "and then there was an announcement. All day long, music and announcements." "Very modern," I said. He closed his eyes, remembered gropingly. "There was one announcement that was always crooned, like a nursery rhyme. Many times a day it came. It was the call for the Sonderkommando." "Oh?" I said. "Leichentärger zu Wache," he crooned, his eyes still closed. Translation: "Corpse-carriers to the guardhouse." In an institution in which the purpose was to kill human beings by the millions, it was an understandably common cry. "After two years of hearing that call over the loudspeakers, between the music," Gutman said to me, "the position of corpse-carrier suddenly sounded like a very good job.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Mother Night)
We decided to attend to our community instead of asking our community to attend the church.” His staff started showing up at local community events such as sports contests and town hall meetings. They entered a float in the local Christmas parade. They rented a football field and inaugurated a Free Movie Night on summer Fridays, complete with popcorn machines and a giant screen. They opened a burger joint, which soon became a hangout for local youth; it gives free meals to those who can’t afford to pay. When they found out how difficult it was for immigrants to get a driver’s license, they formed a drivers school and set their fees at half the going rate. My own church in Colorado started a ministry called Hands of the Carpenter, recruiting volunteers to do painting, carpentry, and house repairs for widows and single mothers. Soon they learned of another need and opened Hands Automotive to offer free oil changes, inspections, and car washes to the same constituency. They fund the work by charging normal rates to those who can afford it. I heard from a church in Minneapolis that monitors parking meters. Volunteers patrol the streets, add money to the meters with expired time, and put cards on the windshields that read, “Your meter looked hungry so we fed it. If we can help you in any other way, please give us a call.” In Cincinnati, college students sign up every Christmas to wrap presents at a local mall — ​no charge. “People just could not understand why I would want to wrap their presents,” one wrote me. “I tell them, ‘We just want to show God’s love in a practical way.’ ” In one of the boldest ventures in creative grace, a pastor started a community called Miracle Village in which half the residents are registered sex offenders. Florida’s state laws require sex offenders to live more than a thousand feet from a school, day care center, park, or playground, and some municipalities have lengthened the distance to half a mile and added swimming pools, bus stops, and libraries to the list. As a result, sex offenders, one of the most despised categories of criminals, are pushed out of cities and have few places to live. A pastor named Dick Witherow opened Miracle Village as part of his Matthew 25 Ministries. Staff members closely supervise the residents, many of them on parole, and conduct services in the church at the heart of Miracle Village. The ministry also provides anger-management and Bible study classes.
Philip Yancey (Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?)
Posters appealed for volunteers in Massachusetts: “Men of old Essex! Men of Newburyport! Rally around the bold, gallant and lionhearted Cushing. He will lead you to victory and to glory!” They promised pay of $7 to $10 a month, and spoke of a federal bounty of $24 and 160 acres of land. But one young man wrote anonymously to the Cambridge Chronicle: Neither have I the least idea of “joining” you, or in any way assisting the unjust war waging against Mexico. I have no wish to participate in such “glorious” butcheries of women and children as were displayed in the capture of Monterey, etc. Neither have I any desire to place myself under the dictation of a petty military tyrant, to every caprice of whose will I must yield implicit obedience. No sir-ee! As long as I can work, beg, or go to the poor house, I won’t go to Mexico, to be lodged on the damp ground, half starved, half roasted, bitten by mosquitoes and centipedes, stung by scorpions and tarantulas—marched, drilled, and flogged, and then stuck up to be shot at, for eight dollars a month and putrid rations. Well, I won’t. . . . Human butchery has had its day. . . . And the time is rapidly approaching when the professional soldier will be placed on the same level as a bandit, the Bedouin, and the Thug.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
AUTHOR’S NOTE Dear reader: This story was inspired by an event that happened when I was eight years old. At the time, I was living in upstate New York. It was winter, and my dad and his best friend, “Uncle Bob,” decided to take my older brother, me, and Uncle Bob’s two boys for a hike in the Adirondacks. When we left that morning, the weather was crisp and clear, but somewhere near the top of the trail, the temperature dropped abruptly, the sky opened, and we found ourselves caught in a torrential, freezing blizzard. My dad and Uncle Bob were worried we wouldn’t make it down. We weren’t dressed for that kind of cold, and we were hours from the base. Using a rock, Uncle Bob broke the window of an abandoned hunting cabin to get us out of the storm. My dad volunteered to run down for help, leaving my brother Jeff and me to wait with Uncle Bob and his boys. My recollection of the hours we spent waiting for help to arrive is somewhat vague except for my visceral memory of the cold: my body shivering uncontrollably and my mind unable to think straight. The four of us kids sat on a wooden bench that stretched the length of the small cabin, and Uncle Bob knelt on the floor in front of us. I remember his boys being scared and crying and Uncle Bob talking a lot, telling them it was going to be okay and that “Uncle Jerry” would be back soon. As he soothed their fear, he moved back and forth between them, removing their gloves and boots and rubbing each of their hands and feet in turn. Jeff and I sat beside them, silent. I took my cue from my brother. He didn’t complain, so neither did I. Perhaps this is why Uncle Bob never thought to rub our fingers and toes. Perhaps he didn’t realize we, too, were suffering. It’s a generous view, one that as an adult with children of my own I have a hard time accepting. Had the situation been reversed, my dad never would have ignored Uncle Bob’s sons. He might even have tended to them more than he did his own kids, knowing how scared they would have been being there without their parents. Near dusk, a rescue jeep arrived, and we were shuttled down the mountain to waiting paramedics. Uncle Bob’s boys were fine—cold and exhausted, hungry and thirsty, but otherwise unharmed. I was diagnosed with frostnip on my fingers, which it turned out was not so bad. It hurt as my hands were warmed back to life, but as soon as the circulation was restored, I was fine. Jeff, on the other hand, had first-degree frostbite. His gloves needed to be cut from his fingers, and the skin beneath was chafed, white, and blistered. It was horrible to see, and I remember thinking how much it must have hurt, the damage so much worse than my own. No one, including my parents, ever asked Jeff or me what happened in the cabin or questioned why we were injured and Uncle Bob’s boys were not, and Uncle Bob and Aunt Karen continued to be my parents’ best friends. This past winter, I went skiing with my two children, and as we rode the chairlift, my memory of that day returned. I was struck by how callous and uncaring Uncle Bob, a man I’d known my whole life and who I believed loved us, had been and also how unashamed he was after. I remember him laughing with the sheriff, like the whole thing was this great big adventure that had fortunately turned out okay. I think he even viewed himself as sort of a hero, boasting about how he’d broken the window and about his smart thinking to lead us to the cabin in the first place. When he got home, he probably told Karen about rubbing their sons’ hands and feet and about how he’d consoled them and never let them get scared. I looked at my own children beside me, and a shudder ran down my spine as I thought about all the times I had entrusted them to other people in the same way my dad had entrusted us to Uncle Bob, counting on the same naive presumption that a tacit agreement existed for my children to be cared for equally to their own.
Suzanne Redfearn (In An Instant)
The most surprising discovery made by Baumeister’s group shows, as he puts it, that the idea of mental energy is more than a mere metaphor. The nervous system consumes more glucose than most other parts of the body, and effortful mental activity appears to be especially expensive in the currency of glucose. When you are actively involved in difficult cognitive reasoning or engaged in a task that requires self-control, your blood glucose level drops. The effect is analogous to a runner who draws down glucose stored in her muscles during a sprint. The bold implication of this idea is that the effects of ego depletion could be undone by ingesting glucose, and Baumeister and his colleagues have confirmed this hypothesis in several experiments. Volunteers in one of their studies watched a short silent film of a woman being interviewed and were asked to interpret her body language. While they were performing the task, a series of words crossed the screen in slow succession. The participants were specifically instructed to ignore the words, and if they found their attention drawn away they had to refocus their concentration on the woman’s behavior. This act of self-control was known to cause ego depletion. All the volunteers drank some lemonade before participating in a second task. The lemonade was sweetened with glucose for half of them and with Splenda for the others. Then all participants were given a task in which they needed to overcome an intuitive response to get the correct answer. Intuitive errors are normally much more frequent among ego-depleted people, and the drinkers of Splenda showed the expected depletion effect. On the other hand, the glucose drinkers were not depleted. Restoring the level of available sugar in the brain had prevented the deterioration of performance. It will take some time and much further research to establish whether the tasks that cause glucose-depletion also cause the momentary arousal that is reflected in increases of pupil size and heart rate.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
I've been ordered to take you men with me. I've been told that if you don't come I can shoot you. Well, you know I won't do that. Not Maine men. I won't shoot any man who doesn't want this fight. Maybe someone else will, but I won't. So that's that." He paused again. There was nothing on their faces to lead him. "Here's the situation. I've been ordered to take you along, and that's what I'm going to do. Under guard if necessary. But you can have your rifles if you want them. The whole Reb army is up the road a ways waiting for us and this is no time for an argument like this. I tell you this: we sure can use you. We're down below half strength and we need you, no doubt of that. But whether you fight or not is up to you. Whether you come along, well, you're coming." Tom had come up with Chamberlain's horse. Over the heads of the prisoners Chamberlain could see the regiment falling into line out in the flaming road. He took a deep breath. "Well, I don't want to preach to you. You know who we are and what we're doing here. But if you're going to fight alongside us there's a few things I want you to know." He bowed his head, not looking at eyes. He folded his hands together. "This regiment was formed last fall, back in Maine. There were a thousand of us then. There's not three hundred of us now." He glanced up briefly. "But what is left is choice." He was embarrassed. He spoke very slowly, staring at the ground. "Some of us volunteered to fight for Union. Some came in mainly because we were bored at home and this looked like it might be fun. Some came because we were ashamed not to. Many of us came...because it was the right thing to do. All of us have seen men die. Most of us never saw a black man back home. We think on that, too. Freedom...is not just a word." He looked into the sky, over silent faces. "This is a different kind of army. If you look at history you'll see men fight for pay, or women, or some other kind of loot. They fight for land, or because a king makes them, or just because they like killing. But we're here for something new. I don't...this hasn't happened much in the history of the world. We're an army going out to set other men free." He bent down, scratched the black dirt into his fingers. He was beginning to warm to it; the words were beginning to flow. No one in front of him was moving. He said, "This is free ground. All the way to the Pacific Ocean. No man has to bow. No man born to royalty. Here we judge you by what you do, not by what your father was. Here you can be something. Here's a place to build a home. It isn't the land- there's always more land. It's the idea that we all have value, you and me, we're worth something more than the dirt. I never saw dirt I'd die for, but I'm not asking you to come join us and fight for dirt. What we're all fighting for, in the end, is each other.
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels: A Novel of the Civil War)
I learned an amazing way to demonstrate the effectiveness of positive versus negative thinking from Jack Canfield, President of Self-Esteem Seminars, which I now use in my workshops. I ask someone to come up and stand facing the rest of the class. After making sure the person has no problems with her (or his) arms, I ask my volunteer to make a fist and extend either arm out to the side. I then tell her to resist, with as much strength as she can muster, as I stand facing her and attempt to push her arm down with my outstretched hand. Not once have I succeeded in pushing her arm down on my initial trial. I then ask her to put her arm down, close her eyes and repeat ten times the negative statement “I am a weak and unworthy person.” I tell her really to get into the feel of that statement. When she has repeated the statement ten times, I ask her to open her eyes and extend her arm again exactly as she had before. I remind her to resist as hard as she can. Immediately, I am able to bring down her arm. It is as though all strength has left her. I wish I could record the expressions on my volunteers’ faces when they find it impossible to resist my pressure. A few have made me do it again. “I wasn’t ready!” is their plea. Lo and behold, the same thing happens on the second try—the arm goes right down with little resistance. They are dumbfounded. I then ask the volunteer once again to close her eyes, and repeat ten times the positive statement “I am a strong and worthy person.” Again I tell her to really get into the feeling of the words. Once again I ask her to extend her arm and resist my pressure. To her amazement (and everyone else’s) I cannot budge the arm. In fact, it is more steadfast than the first time I tried to push it down. If I continue interspersing positive with negative, the same results occur. I can push the arm down after the negative statement, I am not able to push it down after the positive statement. By the way—for you skeptics out there—I tried this experiment when I was unaware of what the volunteer was saying. I left the room, and the class decided whether the statement should be negative or positive. It didn’t matter. Weak words meant a weak arm. Strong words meant a strong arm.
Susan Jeffers (Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action)
People here talked about the pre-1967 borders. To tell you the truth this is astonishing. Whatever happened to the (Palestinian) cause we had before 1967? Were we lying to ourselves or to the world? Thousands of martyrs fell before 1967. What for? How can you say that Palestine was occupied only in 1967, and that (Israel) must return to the pre-1967 borders? Does Palestine consist of only the West Bank and the Gaza Strip? If so, it means that the Israelis did not occupy it in 1948. They left it to you for twenty years, so why didn't you establish a Palestinian state? Wasn't the Gaza strip part of Egypt, and the West Bank part of Jordan? The Jews left them to you for twenty years - from 1948 to 1967. If that is Palestine, why didn't you establish a state there? What is the justification for all the wars, the sacrifices, and the economic embargo on Israel before 1967? The Israelis can sue the Arabs now, and demand billions or even trillions in compensation for the damage caused them in 1948-1967. You Arabs admitted that the (Palestinian) cause began after 1967. So the Israelis can ask: "Why did you fight us before that?" They will demand Arab compensation for the so-called embargo on Israel, and for the economic damage caused to the Israelis. If the Israelis sue you, they will win. They will say: We suffered an injustice. We are like an innocent lamb surrounded by wolves. We've been saying this since 1948. Now the Arabs themselves have admitted that Palestine was occupied in 1967. Now they demand that Israel return to the pre-1967 borders, saying this will resolve the problem, and they will recognise Israel. Why didn't you recognise Israel before 1967? There is no God but Allah. By Allah, this is unacceptable. It doesn't make sense. You say that you will recognise Israel within the pre-1967 borders?! Maybe Israel will occupy more Arab land in, say, 2008, and a few years later, you will demand that it return to the pre-2008 borders, in exchange for recognizing Israel. This is exactly what's going on now. We gave negotiations a serious try. The Jews used to say: "Meet with us only once for direct negotiations, and we will resolve this issue." This is what they used to say in the 1950s and 1960s. They used to say: "Please, Arabs, sit down with us just one time, and our problem will be over." But you saw what happened. We met with them a thousand times - from the stables of (camp) David to Annapolis. We've been through all these negotiations - the stables of (camp) David, the Oslo negotiations of our brother Abu Mazen... He was, of course, the hero of Oslo - just like Sadat was the hero of the stables of (camp) David. When Algeria was fighting, donations and volunteers were coming in broad daylight - from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf. From here, from Syria, Dr. IIbrahim Makhous came with a group of volunteers, and fought alongside the Algerian Liberation Front. They were not considered terrorists, and no measures were taken against Syria.
Muammar Gaddafi
Every time Ian’s amber gaze flickered to her, her heart began to pound. Whenever he wasn’t looking she found her gaze straying to his mouth, remembering the way those lips had felt locked to hers yesterday. He raised a wineglass to his lips, and she looked at the long, strong fingers that had slid with such aching tenderness over her cheek and twined in her hair. Two years ago she’d fallen under his spell; she was wiser now. She knew he was a libertine, and even so her heart rebelled against believing it. Yesterday, in his arms, she’d felt as if she was special to him-as if he not only wanted her close but needed her there. Very vain, Elizabeth, she warned herself severely, and very foolish. Skilled libertines and accomplished flirts probably made every woman feel that she was specila. No doubt they kissed a woman with demanding passion one moment and then, when the passion was over, forgot she was alive. As she’d heard long ago, a libertine pretended violet interest in his quarry, then dropped her without compunction the instant that interest waned-exactly as Ian had done now. That was not a comforting thought, and Elizabeth was sorely in need of comfort as twilight deepened into night and supper dragged on, with Ian seemingly oblivious to her existence. Finally the meal was finished; she was about to volunteer to clear the table when she glanced at Ian and watched in paralyzed surprise as his gaze roved over her cheek and jaw, then shifted to her mouth, lingering there. Abruptly he looked away, and Elizabeth stood up to clear the table.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Here’s the thing, people: We have some serious problems. The lights are off. And it seems like that’s affecting the water flow in part of town. So, no baths or showers, okay? But the situation is that we think Caine is short of food, which means he’s not going to be able to hold out very long at the power plant.” “How long?” someone yelled. Sam shook his head. “I don’t know.” “Why can’t you get him to leave?” “Because I can’t, that’s why,” Sam snapped, letting some of his anger show. “Because I’m not Superman, all right? Look, he’s inside the plant. The walls are thick. He has guns, he has Jack, he has Drake, and he has his own powers. I can’t get him out of there without getting some of our people killed. Anybody want to volunteer for that?" Silence. “Yeah, I thought so. I can’t get you people to show up and pick melons, let alone throw down with Drake.” “That’s your job,” Zil said. “Oh, I see,” Sam said. The resentment he’d held in now came boiling to the surface. “It’s my job to pick the fruit, and collect the trash, and ration the food, and catch Hunter, and stop Caine, and settle every stupid little fight, and make sure kids get a visit from the Tooth Fairy. What’s your job, Zil? Oh, right: you spray hateful graffiti. Thanks for taking care of that, I don’t know how we’d ever manage without you.” “Sam…,” Astrid said, just loud enough for him to hear. A warning. Too late. He was going to say what needed saying. “And the rest of you. How many of you have done a single, lousy thing in the last two weeks aside from sitting around playing Xbox or watching movies? “Let me explain something to you people. I’m not your parents. I’m a fifteen-year-old kid. I’m a kid, just like all of you. I don’t happen to have any magic ability to make food suddenly appear. I can’t just snap my fingers and make all your problems go away. I’m just a kid.” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Sam knew he had crossed the line. He had said the fateful words so many had used as an excuse before him. How many hundreds of times had he heard, “I’m just a kid.” But now he seemed unable to stop the words from tumbling out. “Look, I have an eighth-grade education. Just because I have powers doesn’t mean I’m Dumbledore or George Washington or Martin Luther King. Until all this happened I was just a B student. All I wanted to do was surf. I wanted to grow up to be Dru Adler or Kelly Slater, just, you know, a really good surfer.” The crowd was dead quiet now. Of course they were quiet, some still-functioning part of his mind thought bitterly, it’s entertaining watching someone melt down in public. “I’m doing the best I can,” Sam said. “I lost people today…I…I screwed up. I should have figured out Caine might go after the power plant.” Silence. “I’m doing the best I can.” No one said a word. Sam refused to meet Astrid’s eyes. If he saw pity there, he would fall apart completely. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m sorry.
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
Predominantly inattentive type Perhaps the majority of girls with AD/HD fall into the primarily inattentive type, and are most likely to go undiagnosed. Generally, these girls are more compliant than disruptive and get by rather passively in the academic arena. They may be hypoactive or lethargic. In the extreme, they may even seem narcoleptic. Because they do not appear to stray from cultural norms, they will rarely come to the attention of their teacher. Early report cards of an inattentive type girl may read, "She is such a sweet little girl. She must try harder to speak up in class." She is often a shy daydreamer who avoids drawing attention to herself. Fearful of expressing herself in class, she is concerned that she will be ridiculed or wrong. She often feels awkward, and may nervously twirl the ends of her hair. Her preferred seating position is in the rear of the classroom. She may appear to be listening to the teacher, even when she has drifted off and her thoughts are far away. These girls avoid challenges, are easily discouraged, and tend to give up quickly. Their lack of confidence in themselves is reflected in their failure excuses, such as, "I can't," "It's too hard," or "I used to know it, but I can't remember it now." The inattentive girl is likely to be disorganized, forgetful, and often anxious about her school work. Teachers may be frustrated because she does not finish class work on time. She may mistakenly be judged as less bright than she really is. These girls are reluctant to volunteer for a project orjoin a group of peers at recess. They worry that other children will humiliate them if they make a mistake, which they are sure they will. Indeed, one of their greatest fears is being called on in class; they may stare down at their book to avoid eye contact with the teacher, hoping that the teacher will forget they exist for the moment. Because interactions with the teacher are often anxiety-ridden, these girls may have trouble expressing themselves, even when they know the answer. Sometimes, it is concluded that they have problems with central auditory processing or expressive language skills. More likely, their anxiety interferes with their concentration, temporarily reducing their capacity to both speak and listen. Generally, these girls don't experience this problem around family or close friends, where they are more relaxed. Inattentive type girls with a high IQ and no learning disabilities will be diagnosed with AD/HD very late, if ever. These bright girls have the ability and the resources to compensate for their cognitive challenges, but it's a mixed blessing. Their psychological distress is internalized, making it less obvious, but no less damaging. Some of these girls will go unnoticed until college or beyond, and many are never diagnosed they are left to live with chronic stress that may develop into anxiety and depression as their exhausting, hidden efforts to succeed take their toll. Issues
Kathleen G. Nadeau (Understanding Girls With AD/HD)
If you’re hoping for a good meal, you’ve come to the wrong place. Miss Cameron has already attempted to sacrifice herself on the altar of domesticity this morning, and we both narrowly escaped death from her efforts. I’m cooking supper,” he finished, “and it may not be much better.” “I’ll try my hand at breakfast,” the vicar volunteered good-naturedly. When Elizabeth was out of earshot, Ian said quietly, “How badly is the woman hurt?” “It’s hard to say, considering that she was almost too angry to be coherent. Or it might have been the laudanum that did it.” “Did what?” The vicar paused a moment to watch a bird hop about in the rustling leaves overhead, then he said, “She was in a rare state. Quite confused. Angry, too. On the one hand, she was afraid you might decide to express your ‘tender regard’ for Lady Cameron, undoubtedly in much the way you were doing it when I arrived.” When his gibe evoked nothing but a quirked eyebrow from his imperturbable nephew, Duncan sighed and continued, “At the same time, she was equally convinced that her young lady might try to shoot you with your own gun, which I distinctly understood her to say the young lady had already tried to do. It is that which I feared when I heard the gunshots that sent me galloping up here.” “We were shooting at targets.” The vicar nodded, but he was studying Ian with an intent frown. “Is something else bothering you?” Ian asked, noting the look. The vicar hesitated, then shook his head slightly, as if trying to dismiss something from his mind. “Miss Throckmorton-Jones had more to say, but I can scarcely credit it.” “No doubt it was the laudanum,” Ian said, dismissing the matter with a shrug. “Perhaps,” he said, his frown returning. “Yet I have not taken laudanum, and I was under the impression you are about to betroth yourself to a young woman named Christina Taylor.” “I am.” His face turned censorious. “Then what excuse can you have for the scene I just witnessed a few minutes ago?” Ian’s voice was clipped. “Insanity.” They walked back to the house, the vicar silent and thoughtful, Ian grim. Duncan’s untimely arrival had not bothered him, but now that his passion had finally cooled he was irritated as hell with his body’s uncontrollable reaction to Elizabeth Cameron. The moment his mouth touched hers it was as if his brain went dead. Even though he knew exactly what she was, in his arms she became an alluring angel.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
to be open and straightforward about their needs for attention in a social setting. It is equally rare for members of a group in American culture to honestly and openly express needs that might be in conflict with that individual’s needs. This value of not just honestly but also openly fully revealing the true feelings and needs present in the group is vital for it’s members to feel emotional safe. It is also vital to keeping the group energy up and for giving the feedback that allows it’s members to know themselves, where they stand in relation to others and for spiritual/psychological growth. Usually group members will simply not object to an individual’s request to take the floor—but then act out in a passive-aggressive manner, by making noise or jokes, or looking at their watches. Sometimes they will take the even more violent and insidious action of going brain-dead while pasting a jack-o’-lantern smile on their faces. Often when someone asks to read something or play a song in a social setting, the response is a polite, lifeless “That would be nice.” In this case, N.I.C.E. means “No Integrity or Congruence Expressed” or “Not Into Communicating Emotion.” So while the sharer is exposing his or her vulnerable creation, others are talking, whispering to each other, or sitting looking like they are waiting for the dental assistant to tell them to come on back. No wonder it’s so scary to ask for people’s attention. In “nice” cultures, you are probably not going to get a straight, open answer. People let themselves be oppressed by someone’s request—and then blame that someone for not being psychic enough to know that “Yes” meant “No.” When were we ever taught to negotiate our needs in relation to a group of people? In a classroom? Never! The teacher is expected to take all the responsibility for controlling who gets heard, about what, and for how long. There is no real opportunity to learn how to nonviolently negotiate for the floor. The only way I was able to pirate away a little of the group’s attention in the school I attended was through adolescent antics like making myself fart to get a few giggles, or asking the teacher questions like, “Why do they call them hemorrhoids and not asteroids?” or “If a number two pencil is so popular, why is it still number two,” or “What is another word for thesaurus?” Some educational psychologists say that western culture schools are designed to socialize children into what is really a caste system disguised as a democracy. And in once sense it is probably good preparation for the lack of true democratic dynamics in our culture’s daily living. I can remember several bosses in my past reminding me “This is not a democracy, this is a job.” I remember many experiences in social groups, church groups, and volunteer organizations in which the person with the loudest voice, most shaming language, or outstanding skills for guilting others, controlled the direction of the group. Other times the pain and chaos of the group discussion becomes so great that people start begging for a tyrant to take charge. Many times people become so frustrated, confused and anxious that they would prefer the order that oppression brings to the struggle that goes on in groups without “democracy skills.” I have much different experiences in groups I work with in Europe and in certain intentional communities such as the Lost Valley Educational Center in Eugene, Oregon, where the majority of people have learned “democracy skills.” I can not remember one job, school, church group, volunteer organization or town meeting in mainstream America where “democracy skills” were taught or practiced.
Kelly Bryson (Don't Be Nice, Be Real)
The biggest fear for homeschooled children is that they will be unable to relate to their peers, will not have friends, or that they will otherwise be unable to interact with people in a normal way. Consider this: How many of your daily interactions with people are solely with people of your own birth year?  We’re not considering interactions with people who are a year or two older or a year or two younger, but specifically people who were born within a few months of your birthday. In society, it would be very odd to section people at work by their birth year and allow you to interact only with persons your same age. This artificial constraint would limit your understanding of people and society across a broader range of ages. In traditional schools, children are placed in grades artificially constrained by the child’s birth date and an arbitrary cut-off day on a school calendar. Every student is taught the same thing as everyone else of the same age primarily because it is a convenient way to manage a large number of students. Students are not grouped that way because there is any inherent special socialization that occurs when grouping children in such a manner. Sectioning off children into narrow bands of same-age peers does not make them better able to interact with society at large. In fact, sectioning off children in this way does just the opposite—it restricts their ability to practice interacting with a wide variety of people. So why do we worry about homeschooled children’s socialization?  The erroneous assumption is that the child will be homeschooled and will be at home, schooling in the house, all day every day, with no interactions with other people. Unless a family is remotely located in a desolate place away from any form of civilization, social isolation is highly unlikely. Every homeschooling family I know involves their children in daily life—going to the grocery store or the bank, running errands, volunteering in the community, or participating in sports, arts, or community classes. Within the homeschooled community, sports, arts, drama, co-op classes, etc., are usually sectioned by elementary, pre-teen, and teen groupings. This allows students to interact with a wider range of children, and the interactions usually enhance a child’s ability to interact well with a wider age-range of students. Additionally, being out in the community provides many opportunities for children to interact with people of all ages. When homeschooling groups plan field trips, there are sometimes constraints on the age range, depending upon the destination, but many times the trip is open to children of all ages. As an example, when our group went on a field trip to the Federal Reserve Bank, all ages of children attended. The tour and information were of interest to all of the children in one way or another. After the tour, our group dined at a nearby food court. The parents sat together to chat and the children all sat with each other, with kids of all ages talking and having fun with each other. When interacting with society, exposure to a wider variety of people makes for better overall socialization. Many homeschooling groups also have park days, game days, or play days that allow all of the children in the homeschooled community to come together and play. Usually such social opportunities last for two, three, or four hours. Our group used to have Friday afternoon “Park Day.”  After our morning studies, we would pack a picnic lunch, drive to the park, and spend the rest of the afternoon letting the kids run and play. Older kids would organize games and play with younger kids, which let them practice great leadership skills. The younger kids truly looked up to and enjoyed being included in games with the older kids.
Sandra K. Cook (Overcome Your Fear of Homeschooling with Insider Information)