Instead of things I'm good at, it might be faster to list the things I can't do. I can't cook or clean the house. My room's a mess, and I'm always losing things. I love music, but I can't sing a note. I'm clumsy and can barely sew a stitch. My sense of direction is the pits, and I can't tell left from right half the time. When I get angry, I tend to break things. Plates and pencils, alarm clocks. Later on I regret it, but at the time I can't help myself. I have no money in the bank. I'm bashful for no reason, and I have hardly any friends to speak of.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
You’re about to be rich, Kaz. What will you do when there’s no more blood to shed or vengeance to take?”
“There’s always more.”
“More money, more mayhem, more scores to settle. Was there never another dream?”
He said nothing. What had carved all the hope from his heart? She might never know.
Inej turned to go. Kaz seized her hand, keeping it on the railing. He didn’t look at her. "Stay,” he said, his voice rough stone. “Stay in Ketterdam. Stay with me.”
She looked down at his gloved hand clutching hers. Everything in her wanted to say yes, but she would not settle for so little, not after all she’d been through. “What would be the point?”
He took a breath. “I want you to stay. I want you to … I want you.”
“You want me.” She turned the words over. Gently, she squeezed his hand. “And how will you have me, Kaz?”
He looked at her then, eyes fierce, mouth set. It was the face he wore when he was fighting.
“How will you have me?” she repeated. “Fully clothed, gloves on, your head turned away so our lips can never touch?”
He released her hand, his shoulders bunching, his gaze angry and ashamed as he turned his face to the sea.
Maybe it was because his back was to her that she could finally speak the words. “I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
The challenge remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power, the major media. On our side are the people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth.
Truth has a power of its own. Art has a power of its own. That age-old lesson – that everything we do matters – is the meaning of the people’s struggle here in the United States and everywhere. A poem can inspire a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution. Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think, when we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress. We live in a beautiful country. But people who have no respect for human life, freedom, or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back.
Howard Zinn (A Power Governments Cannot Suppress)
A Decalogue of Canons for Observation in Practical Life:
1. Never put off to tomorrow what you can do to-day.
2. Never trouble another with what you can do yourself.
3. Never spend your money before you have it.
4. Never buy a thing you do not want, because it is cheap, it will be dear to you.
5. Take care of your cents: Dollars will take care of themselves.
6. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.
7. We never repent of having eat too little.
8. Nothing is troublesome that one does willingly.
9. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
10. Take things always by their smooth handle.
11. Think as you please, and so let others, and you will have no disputes.
12. When angry, count 10. before you speak; if very angry, 100.
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
There is something about Christmas that requires a rug rat. Little kids make Christmas fun. I wonder if could rent one for the holidays. When I was tiny we would by a real tree and stay up late drinking hot chocolate and finding just the right place for the special decorations. It seems like my parents gave up the magic when I figured out the Santa lie. Maybe I shouldn't have told them I knew where the presents really came from. It broke their hearts.
I bet they'd be divorced by now if I hadn't been born. I'm sure I was a huge disappointment. I'm not pretty or smart or athletic. I'm just like them- an ordinary drone dressed in secrets and lies. I can't believe we have to keep playacting till I graduate. It's a shame we just can't admit that we have failed at family living, sell the house, split up the money, and get on with our lives. Merry Christmas.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
People speak because they are afraid of silence. They speak mechanically whether aloud or to themselves. They are intoxicated by this vocal gruel that ensnares every object and every being. They talk about rain and fine weather; they talk about money, about love, about nothing. And even when they are talking about their most exalted love, they use words uttered a hundred times, threadbare phrases.
Please accept this money to fix the broken window. I’m sure it’s already fixed, considering Lydia’s house pride and her phobia about unconditioned air, but
I can’t begin to explain my actions at Lydia’s – I mean yours and Lydia’s house. When I get to Charleston, I never imagined that you would have
Dear Dad and Lydia,
I apologize to both of you for my irrational behavior. I know it’s all my fault, but if you would have listened to ONE THING I had to say, I might not have
Dear Dad’s new family,
I hope you’ll all be very happy being blond together. May people speak only in inside voices for the rest of your lives.
P.S. Lydia, you wedding dress makes your arms look fat.
Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1))
Here’s to the security guards who maybe had a degree in another land. Here’s to the manicurist who had to leave her family to come here, painting the nails, scrubbing the feet of strangers. Here’s to the janitors who don’t understand English yet work hard despite it all. Here’s to the fast food workers who work hard to see their family smile. Here’s to the laundry man at the Marriott who told me with the sparkle in his eyes how he was an engineer in Peru. Here’s to the bus driver, the Turkish Sufi who almost danced when I quoted Rumi. Here’s to the harvesters who live in fear of being deported for coming here to open the road for their future generation. Here’s to the taxi drivers from Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and India who gossip amongst themselves. Here is to them waking up at 4am, calling home to hear the voices of their loved ones. Here is to their children, to the children who despite it all become artists, writers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, activists and rebels. Here’s to international money transfer. For never forgetting home. Here’s to their children who carry the heartbeats of their motherland and even in sleep, speak with pride about their fathers. Keep on.
Ijeoma Umebinyuo (Questions for Ada)
Honesty is all I've got," she said finally, speaking in a low voice. "I don't have family. I don't have beauty, or a man. I don't have money, and I sure as hell don't have a future. All I've got to prop up my pride is my word." Her chin rose. "When Jenny Jones says something, you can bet your last peso that it's true.
Maggie Osborne (The Promise of Jenny Jones)
Travis walked in and shut the door behind him. “I was mad. I heard you spitting out everything that’s wrong with me to America and it pissed me off. I just meant to go out and have a few drinks and try to figure some things out, but before I knew it, I was piss drunk and those girls…,” he paused. “I woke up this morning and you weren’t in bed, and when I found you on the recliner and saw the wrappers on the floor, I felt sick.”
“You could have just asked me instead of spending all that money at the grocery store just to bribe me to stay.”
“I don’t care about the money, Pidge. I was afraid you’d leave and never speak to me again.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
I love you,” he whispered, rubbing his
jaw against her temple. “And you love me. I can feel it when you’re in my arms.” He felt her stiffen slightly
and draw a shaky breath, but she either couldn’t or wouldn’t speak. She hadn’t thrown the words back in his face, however, so Ian continued talking to her, his hand roving over her back. “I can feel it, Elizabeth, but if you don’t admit it pretty soon, you’re going to drive me out of my mind. I can’t work. I can’t think. I make decisions and then I change my mind. And,” he teased, trying to lighten the mood by using the one topic sure to distract her, “that’s nothing to the money I squander whenever I’m under this sort of violent stress. It wasn’t just the gowns I bought, or the house on Promenade...”
Still talking to her, he tipped her chin up, glorying in the gentle passion in her eyes, overlooking the doubt in their green depths. “If you don’t admit it pretty soon,” he teased, “I’ll spend us out of house and home.” Her delicate brows drew together in blank confusion, and Ian grinned, taking her hand from his chest, the emerald betrothal ring he had bought her unnoticed in his fingers. “When I’m under stress,” he emphasized, sliding the magnificent emerald onto her finger, “I buy everything in sight. It took my last ounce of control not to buy one of these in every color.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
There are blondes and blondes and it is almost a joke word nowadays. All blondes have their points, except perhaps the metallic ones who are as blond as a Zulu under the bleach and as to disposition as soft as a sidewalk. There is the small cute blonde who cheeps and twitters, and the big statuesque blonde who straight-arms you with an ice-blue glare. There is the blonde who gives you the up-from-under look and smells lovely and shimmers and hangs on your arm and is always very tired when you take her home. She makes that helpless gesture and has that goddamned headache and you would like to slug her except that you are glad you found out about the headache before you invested too much time and money and hope in her. Because the headache will always be there, a weapon that never wears out and is as deadly as the bravo’s rapier or Lucrezia’s poison vial. There is the soft and willing and alcoholic blonde who doesn’t care what she wears as long as it is mink or where she goes as long as it is the Starlight Roof and there is plenty of dry champagne. There is the small perky blonde who is a little pal and wants to pay her own way and is full of sunshine and common sense and knows judo from the ground up and can toss a truck driver over her shoulder without missing more than one sentence out of the editorial in the Saturday Review. There is the pale, pale blonde with anemia of some non-fatal but incurable type. She is very languid and very shadowy and she speaks softly out of nowhere and you can’t lay a finger on her because in the first place you don’t want to and in the second place she is reading The Waste Land or Dante in the original, or Kafka or Kierkegaard or studying Provençal. She adores music and when the New York Philharmonic is playing Hindemith she can tell you which one of the six bass viols came in a quarter of a beat too late. I hear Toscanini can also. That makes two of them. And lastly there is the gorgeous show piece who will outlast three kingpin racketeers and then marry a couple of millionaires at a million a head and end up with a pale rose villa at Cap Antibes, an Alfa-Romeo town car complete with pilot and co-pilot, and a stable of shopworn aristocrats, all of whom she will treat with the affectionate absent-mindedness of an elderly duke saying goodnight to his butler.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
A single word can brighten the face
of one who knows the value of words.
Ripened in silence, a single word
acquires a great energy for work.
War is cut short by a word,
and a word heals the wounds,
and there’s a word that changes
poison into butter
Let a word mature inside yourself.
Withhold the unripened thought.
Come and understand the kind of word
that reduces money and riches to dust.
Know when to speak a word
and when not to speak at all.
A single word turns the universe of hell
into eight paradises.
Follow the Way. Don’t be fooled
by what you already know. Be watchful.
Reflect before you speak.
A foolish mouth can brand your soul.
Yunus, say one last thing
about the power of words –
Only the word “I”
divides me from God.
When some people talk about money
They speak as if it were a mysterious lover
Who went out to buy milk and never
Came back, and it makes me nostalgic
For the years I lived on coffee and bread,
Hungry all the time, walking to work on payday
Like a woman journeying for water
From a village without a well, then living
One or two nights like everyone else
On roast chicken and red wine.
Tracy K. Smith (Life on Mars)
This poem is very long
So long, in fact, that your attention span
May be stretched to its very limits
But that’s okay
It’s what’s so special about poetry
See, poetry takes time
We live in a time
Call it our culture or society
It doesn’t matter to me cause neither one rhymes
A time where most people don’t want to listen
Our throats wait like matchsticks waiting to catch fire
Waiting until we can speak
No patience to listen
But this poem is long
It’s so long, in fact, that during the time of this poem
You could’ve done any number of other wonderful things
You could’ve called your father
Call your father
You could be writing a postcard right now
Write a postcard
When was the last time you wrote a postcard?
You could be outside
You’re probably not too far away from a sunrise or a sunset
Watch the sun rise
Maybe you could’ve written your own poem
A better poem
You could have played a tune or sung a song
You could have met your neighbor
And memorized their name
Memorize the name of your neighbor
You could’ve drawn a picture
(Or, at least, colored one in)
You could’ve started a book
Or finished a prayer
You could’ve talked to God
When was the last time you prayed?
This is a long poem
So long, in fact, that you’ve already spent a minute with it
When was the last time you hugged a friend for a minute?
Or told them that you love them?
Tell your friends you love them
…no, I mean it, tell them
Say, I love you
Say, you make life worth living
Because that, is what friends do
Of all of the wonderful things that you could’ve done
During this very, very long poem
You could have connected
Maybe you are connecting
Maybe we’re connecting
See, I believe that the only things that really matter
In the grand scheme of life are God and people
And if people are made in the image of God
Then when you spend your time with people
It’s never wasted
And in this very long poem
I’m trying to let a poem do what a poem does:
Make things simpler
We don’t need poems to make things more complicated
We have each other for that
We need poems to remind ourselves of the things that really matter
To take time
A long time
To be alive for the sake of someone else for a single moment
Or for many moments
Cause we need each other
To hold the hands of a broken person
All you have to do is meet a person
Shake their hand
Look in their eyes
They are you
We are all broken together
But these shattered pieces of our existence don’t have to be a mess
We just have to care enough to hold our tongues sometimes
To sit and listen to a very long poem
A story of a life
The joy of a friend and the grief of friend
To hold and be held
And be quiet
Write a postcard
Call your parents and forgive them and then thank them
Turn off the TV
Create art as best as you can
Share as much as possible, especially money
Tell someone about a very long poem you once heard
And how afterward it brought you to them
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
A zealous man in religion is pre-eminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say that he is earnest, hearty, uncompromising, thorough-going, whole-hearted, fervent in spirit. He sees one thing, he cares for one thing, he lives for one thing, he is swallowed-up in one thing — and that one thing is to please God. Whether he lives — or whether he dies; whether he has health — or whether he has sickness; whether he is rich — or whether he is poor; whether he pleases man — or whether he gives offence; whether he is thought wise — or whether he is thought foolish; whether he gets blame — or whether he gets praise; whether he gets honor, or whether he gets shame — for all this the zealous man cares nothing at all. He burns for one thing — and that one thing is to please God, and to advance God's glory. If he is consumed in the very burning — he is content. He feels that, like a lamp, he is made to burn, and if consumed in burning — he has but done the work for which God appointed him. Such a one will always find a sphere for his zeal. If he cannot preach, and work, and give money — he will cry, and sigh, and pray. Yes, if he is only a pauper, on a perpetual bed of sickness — he will make the wheels of sin around him drive heavily, by continually interceding against it. If he cannot fight in the valley with Joshua — then he will do the prayer-work of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, on the hill. (Exod. 17:9-13.) If he is cut off from working himself — he will give the Lord no rest until help is raised up from another quarter, and the work is done. This is what I mean when I speak of "zeal" in religion.
You walk into a room and flip a switch and the room fills with light. You leave your garbage in bags on the curbside, and a truck comes and transports it to some invisible place. When you're in danger, you call for the police. Hot water pours from faucets. Lift a receiver or press a button on a telephone, and you can speak to anyone. All the information in the world is on the Internet, and the Internet is all around you, drifting through the air like pollen on a summer breeze. There is money, slips of paper that can be traded for anything: houses, boats, perfect teeth. There are dentists. She tried to imagine this life playing out somewhere at the present moment. Some parallel Kristen in an air-conditioned room, waking from an unsettling dream of walking through an empty landscape.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
Don't leave me, Bertie. I'm lost."
"What do you mean, lost?"
"I came out for a walk and suddenly discovered after a mile or two that I didn't know where on earth I was. I've been wandering round in circles for hours."
"Why didn't you ask the way?"
"I can't speak a word of French."
"Well, why didn't you call a taxi?"
"I suddenly discovered I'd left all my money at my hotel."
"You could have taken a cab and paid it when you got to the hotel."
"Yes, but I suddenly discovered, dash it, that I'd forgotten its name."
And there in a nutshell you have Charles Edward Biffen. As vague and woollen-headed a blighter as ever bit a sandwich.
P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves (Jeeves, #3))
When you were making excuses someone else was making enterprise.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
What conclusion is to be drawn from this paradox so worthy of being born in our time; and what will become of virtue when one has to get rich at all cost?
The ancient political thinkers forever spoke of morals and of virtue; ours speak only of commerce and money.
Who asked him to make a gentleman of me? I was happy. I was free. I touched pretty nigh everybody for money when I wanted it, same as I touched you, Henry Higgins. Now I am worrited; tied neck and heels; and everybody touches me for money. It's a fine thing for you, says my solicitor. Is it? says I. You mean it's a good thing for you, I says. When I was a poor man and had a solicitor once when they found a pram in the dust cart, he got me off, and got shut of me and got me shut of him as quick as he could. Same with the doctors: used to shove me out of the hospital before I could hardly stand on my legs, and nothing to pay. Now they finds out that I'm not a healthy man and cant live unless they looks after me twice a day. In the house I'm not let do a hand's turn for myself: somebody else must do it and touch me for it. A year ago I hadn't a relative in the world except two or three that wouldn't speak to me. Now I've fifty, and not a decent week's wages among the lot of them. I have to live for others and not for myself: that's middle class morality.
George Bernard Shaw (Pygmalion)
Mitchell Maxwell’s Maxims
• You have to create your own professional path. There’s no longer a roadmap for an artistic career.
• Follow your heart and the money will follow.
• Create a benchmark of your own progress. If you never look down while you’re climbing the ladder you won’t know how far you’ve come.
• Don’t define success by net worth, define it by character. Success, as it’s measured by society, is a fleeting condition.
• Affirm your value. Tell the world “I am an artist,” not “I want to be an artist.”
• You must actively live your dream. Wishing and hoping for someday doesn’t make it happen. Get out there and get involved.
• When you look into the abyss you find your character.
• Young people too often let the fear of failure keep them from trying. You have to get bloody, sweaty and rejected in order to succeed.
• Get your face out of Facebook and into somebody’s face. Close your e-mail and pick up the phone. Personal contact still speaks loudest.
• No one is entitled to act entitled. Be willing to work hard.
• If you’re going to buck the norm you’re going to have to embrace the challenges.
• You have to love the journey if you’re going to work in the arts.
• Only listen to people who agree with your vision.
• A little anxiety is good but don’t let it become fear, fear makes you inert.
• Find your own unique voice. Leave your individual imprint on the world, not a copy of someone else.
• Draw strength from your mistakes; they can be your best teacher.
Fucking shut up, you whining cow, you didn't mind spending the money!' yelled Simon, his jaw jutting again; and Andrew wanted to roar at his mother to stay silent: she blabbed when any idiot could have told her she should keep quiet, and she kept quiet when she might have done good by speaking out; she never learned, she never saw any of it coming.
J.K. Rowling (The Casual Vacancy)
May I have this damaged bunch for two cents? Speak strongly and it shall be yours for two cents. That is a saved penny that you put in the star bank...Suffer the cold for an hour. Put a shawl around you. Sai, I am cold because I am saving to buy land. That hour will save you three cents' worth of coal... When you are alone at night, do not light the lamp. Sit in the darkness and dream awhile. Reckon out how much oil you saved and put its value in pennies in the bank. The money will grow. Someday there will be fifty dollars and somewhere on this long island is a piece of land that you may buy for that money.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Moderately fast growers (20 to 25 percent) in nongrowth industries are ideal investments. • Look for companies with niches. • When purchasing depressed stocks in troubled companies, seek out the ones with the superior financial positions and avoid the ones with loads of bank debt. • Companies that have no debt can’t go bankrupt. • Managerial ability may be important, but it’s quite difficult to assess. Base your purchases on the company’s prospects, not on the president’s resume or speaking ability. • A lot of money can be made when a troubled company turns around. • Carefully consider the price-earnings ratio. If the stock is grossly overpriced, even if everything else goes right, you won’t make any money. • Find a story line to follow as a way of monitoring a company’s progress. • Look for companies that consistently buy back their own shares.
Peter Lynch (One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In)
Morbid, but not passive. “I was speaking at a film school in Hollywood, and I said to them, ‘Go have a life. Live. Get laid, get into a bar fight. Get knifed in the fucking thorax. Lose all your money. Make all your money back. Jump into a train.’ When I was just a child, I was observing the world, but I lived a lot, too. We used to break into abandoned houses. We explored the entire sewer system of Guadalajara on foot. And then I became really crazy as a teenager.
Guillermo del Toro (Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities)
I have come to learn,
that when people of money and power organize
to set upon to break a person they seek to silence,
and the person seems but a shadow of what they were,
under the endless barrage,
in the end when laid to rest,
the dignity, compassion and presence of the person
and their words awaken to speak clearer than before.
As if torches ignite, when their flame is gone,
and the light of their truth,
Is brilliantly lit and once more born.
I was a terrible dancer. I couldn't carry a tune. I had no sense of balance, and when we had to walk down a narrow board with our hands out and a book on our heads in gym class I always fell over. I couldn't ride a horse or ski, the two things I wanted to do most, because they cost too much money. I couldn't speak German or read Hebrew or write Chinese. I didn't even know where most of the old out-of-the-way countries the UN men in front of me represented fitted in on the map.
For the first time in my life, sitting there in the soundproof heart of the UN building between Constantin who could play tennis as well as simultaneously interpret and the Russian girl who knew so many idioms, I felt dreadfully inadequate. The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn't thought about it.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him.
In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him.
Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him.
The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us.
Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation?
If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed?
Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world?
Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.
Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing.
Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.
If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream.
How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all?
True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity.
When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together.
There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you.
Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him?
Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death?
True love requires sacrifice.
What are you doing right now that requires faith?
God doesn’t call us to be comfortable.
If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one?
Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?”
If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate.
The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives.
What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
An entrepreneur with strong network makes money even when he is asleep.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
There are things you do when you are a teenager, or a dancer, or just a girl, I guess. You cut your food up in special ways, or you cut yourself, or paper dolls. You pretend that there is an invisible audience watching you all the time, and you do things to impress them or pretend that they didn’t see what you just did because their live video feed was interrupted somehow. You steal things or tell lies or speak to strangers in a Russian accent. You have sex with someone you love, or with someone who gets you really drunk. You lie to your parents, your boyfriend, yourself, your therapist. You cheat on your homework or do other people’s homework for money. You get up, you take class, you rehearse, you perform, you go to bed. How do you decide which of these things are truly crazy and which are just being alive?
Meg Howrey (The Cranes Dance)
This was always my trouble when I was learning to speak your language. Every word can defend itself. Just when you go to grab it, it can split into two separate meanings so the understanding closes on empty air. I admire you people. You are like sorcerers and you have made your language as safe as your money.
Chris Cleave (Little Bee)
That I learn of others, I replied, is quite true; but that I am ungrateful I wholly deny. Money I have none, and therefore I pay in praise, which is all I have; and how ready I am to praise any one who appears to me to speak well you will very soon find out when you answer; for I expect that you will answer well. Listen,
Plato (The Republic)
...the novel had reached its apogee with the marriage plot and had never recovered from its disappearance. In the days when success in life had depended on marriage, and marriage had depended on money, novelists had had a subject to write about. The great epics sang of war, the novel of marriage. Sexual equality, good for women, had been bad for the novel. And divorce had undone it completely. What would it matter whom Emma married if she could file for separation later? How would Isabel Archer’s marriage to Gilbert Osmond have been affected by the existence of a prenup? As far as Saunders was concerned, marriage didn’t mean much anymore, and neither did the novel. Where could you find the marriage plot nowadays? You couldn’t. You had to read historical fiction. You had to read non-Western novels involving traditional societies. Afghani novels, Indian novels. You had to go, literarily speaking, back in time.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot)
Try to understand how they feel - put yourselves in their place. Imagine you are in a foreign country with no money, possessions or friends. You cannot speak the language; the culture is completely different to your normal environment; isolated and helpless. You would be dependent on someone supporting you. Think of that when you next meet someone who is autistic...
Michael Braccia (Could it be That Way: Living with Autism)
Different nations speak of the many possible relationships to money when they speak: The French “gain” money (gagner), the English “earn” it, the Americans “make” it, the Russian “works” for it (работать), and in my mother tongue, we “look for” it (keres).
Ernö Rubik (Cubed: The Puzzle of Us All)
Instructions for Dad.
I don't want to go into a fridge at an undertaker's. I want you to keep me at home until the funeral. Please can someone sit with me in case I got lonely? I promise not to scare you.
I want to be buried in my butterfly dress, my lilac bra and knicker set and my black zip boots (all still in the suitcase that I packed for Sicily). I also want to wear the bracelet Adam gave me.
Don't put make-up on me. It looks stupid on dead people.
I do NOT want to be cremated. Cremations pollute the atmosphere with dioxins,k hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide and carbon dioxide. They also have those spooky curtains in crematoriums.
I want a biodegradable willow coffin and a woodland burial. The people at the Natural Death Centre helped me pick a site not for from where we live, and they'll help you with all the arrangements.
I want a native tree planted on or near my grave. I'd like an oak, but I don't mind a sweet chestnut or even a willow. I want a wooden plaque with my name on. I want wild plants and flowers growing on my grave.
I want the service to be simple. Tell Zoey to bring Lauren (if she's born by then). Invite Philippa and her husband Andy (if he wants to come), also James from the hospital (though he might be busy).
I don't want anyone who doesn't know my saying anything about me. THe Natural Death Centre people will stay with you, but should also stay out of it. I want the people I love to get up and speak about me, and even if you cry it'll be OK. I want you to say honest things. Say I was a monster if you like, say how I made you all run around after me. If you can think of anything good, say that too! Write it down first, because apparently people often forget what they mean to say at funerals.
Don't under any circumstances read that poem by Auden. It's been done to death (ha, ha) and it's too sad. Get someone to read Sonnet 12 by Shakespeare.
Music- "Blackbird" by the Beatles. "Plainsong" by The Cure. "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw. "All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands" by Sufian Stevens. There may not be time for all of them, but make sure you play the last one. Zoey helped me choose them and she's got them all on her iPod (it's got speakers if you need to borrow it).
Afterwards, go to a pub for lunch. I've got £260 in my savings account and I really want you to use it for that. Really, I mean it-lunch is on me. Make sure you have pudding-sticky toffee, chocolate fudge cake, ice-cream sundae, something really bad for you. Get drunk too if you like (but don't scare Cal). Spend all the money.
And after that, when days have gone by, keep an eye out for me. I might write on the steam in the mirror when you're having a bath, or play with the leaves on the apple tree when you're out in the garden. I might slip into a dream.
Visit my grave when you can, but don't kick yourself if you can't, or if you move house and it's suddenly too far away. It looks pretty there in the summer (check out the website). You could bring a picnic and sit with me. I'd like that.
OK. That's it.
I love you.
One of the few things that August didn't know about her was that sometimes when she looked at her collection of pictures she tried to imagine and place herself in that other, shadow life. You walk into a room and flip a switch and the room fills with light. You leave your garbage in bags on the curb, and a truck comes and transports it to some invisible place. When you're in danger, you call for the police. Hot water pours from faucets. Lift a receiver or press a button on a telephone, and you can speak to anyone. All of the information in the world is on the Internet, and the Internet is all around you, drifting through the air like pollen on a summer breeze. There is money, slips of paper that can be traded for anything: houses, boats, perfect teeth. There are dentists. She tried to imagine this life playing out somewhere at the present moment. Some parallel Kirsten in an air-conditioned room, waking from an unsettling dream of walking through an empty landscape.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face, and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms.
No, I cannot free myself from you, because I am you, though not completely. And besides, where would I go? Would I establish another? I would not be able to establish it without the same faults, for they are the same faults I carry in me. And if I did establish another, it would be my Church, not the Church of Christ. I am old enough to know that I am no better than anyone else. …)
The Church has the power to make me holy but it is made up, from the first to the last, only of sinners. And what sinners! It has the omnipotent and invincible power to renew the Miracle of the Eucharist, but is made up of men who are stumbling in the dark, who fight every day against the temptation of losing their faith. It brings a message of pure transparency but it is incarnated in slime, such is the substance of the world. It speaks of the sweetness of its Master, of its non-violence, but there was a time in history when it sent out its armies to disembowel the infidels and torture the heretics. It proclaims the message of evangelical poverty, and yet it does nothing but look for money and alliances with the powerful.
Those who dream of something different from this are wasting their time and have to rethink it all. And this proves that they do not understand humanity. Because this is humanity, made visible by the Church, with all its flaws and its invincible courage, with the Faith that Christ has given it and with the love that Christ showers on it.
When I was young, I did not understand why Jesus chose Peter as his successor, the first Pope, even though he abandoned Him. Now I am no longer surprised and I understand that by founding his church on the tomb of a traitor(…)He was warning each of us to remain humble, by making us aware of our fragility. (…)
And what are bricks worth anyway? What matters is the promise of Christ, what matters is the cement that unites the bricks, which is the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of building the church with such poorly moulded bricks as are we.
And that is where the mystery lies. This mixture of good and bad, of greatness and misery, of holiness and sin that makes up the church…this in reality am I .(…)
The deep bond between God and His Church, is an intimate part of each one of us. (…)To each of us God says, as he says to his Church, “And I will betroth you to me forever” (Hosea 2,21). But at the same time he reminds us of reality: 'Your lewdness is like rust. I have tried to remove it in vain. There is so much that not even a flame will take it away' (Ezechiel 24, 12).
But then there is even something more beautiful. The Holy Spirit who is Love, sees us as holy, immaculate, beautiful under our guises of thieves and adulterers. (…) It’s as if evil cannot touch the deepest part of mankind.
He re-establishes our virginity no matter how many times we have prostituted our bodies, spirits and hearts. In this, God is truly God, the only one who can ‘make everything new again’. It is not so important that He will renew heaven and earth. What is most important is that He will renew our hearts. This is Christ’s work. This is the divine Spirit of the Church.
Helen of Troy Does Counter Dancing
The world is full of women
who'd tell me I should be ashamed of myself
if they had the chance. Quit dancing.
Get some self-respect
and a day job.
Right. And minimum wage,
and varicose veins, just standing
in one place for eight hours
behind a glass counter
bundled up to the neck, instead of
naked as a meat sandwich.
Selling gloves, or something.
Instead of what I do sell.
You have to have talent
to peddle a thing so nebulous
and without material form.
Exploited, they'd say. Yes, any way
you cut it, but I've a choice
of how, and I'll take the money.
I do give value.
Like preachers, I sell vision,
like perfume ads, desire
or its facsimile. Like jokes
or war, it's all in the timing.
I sell men back their worst suspicions:
that everything's for sale,
and piecemeal. They gaze at me and see
a chain-saw murder just before it happens,
when thigh, ass, inkblot, crevice, tit, and nipple
are still connected.
Such hatred leaps in them,
my beery worshipers! That, or a bleary
hopeless love. Seeing the rows of heads
and upturned eyes, imploring
but ready to snap at my ankles,
I understand floods and earthquakes, and the urge
to step on ants. I keep the beat,
and dance for them because
they can't. The music smells like foxes,
crisp as heated metal
searing the nostrils
or humid as August, hazy and languorous
as a looted city the day after,
when all the rape's been done
already, and the killing,
and the survivors wander around
looking for garbage
to eat, and there's only a bleak exhaustion.
Speaking of which, it's the smiling
tires me out the most.
This, and the pretense
that I can't hear them.
And I can't, because I'm after all
a foreigner to them.
The speech here is all warty gutturals,
obvious as a slam of ham,
but I come from the province of the gods
where meaning are lilting and oblique.
I don't let on to everyone,
but lean close, and I'll whisper:
My mothers was raped by a holy swan.
You believe that? You can take me out to dinner.
That's what we tell all the husbands.
There sure are a lot of dangerous birds around.
Not that anyone here
but you would understand.
The rest of them would like to watch me
and feel nothing. Reduce me to components
as in a clock factory or abattoir.
Crush out the mystery.
Wall me up alive
in my own body.
They'd like to see through me,
but nothing is more opaque
than absolute transparency.
Look - my feet don't hit the marble!
Like breath or a balloon, I'm rising,
I hover six inches in the air
in my blazing swan-egg of light.
You think I'm not a goddess?
This is a torch song.
Touch me and you'll burn.
Margaret Atwood (Morning in the Burned House)
I am in my mother's room. It's I who live there now. I don't know how I got there. Perhaps in an ambulance, certainly a vehicle of some kind. I was helped. I'd never have got there alone. There's this man who comes every week. Perhaps I got there thanks to him. He says not. He gives me money and takes away the pages. So many pages,so much money. Yes, I work now, a little like I used to, except that I don't know how to work any more. That doesn't matter apparently. What I'd like now is to speak of the things that are left, say my good-byes, finish dying. They don't want that. Yes, there is more than one, apparently. But it's always the same one that comes. You'll do that later, he says. Good. The truth is I haven't much will left. When he comes for the fresh pages he brings back the previous week's. They are marked with signs I don't understand ... Here's my beginning. It must mean something, or they wouldn't keep it. Here it is.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy)
Here we come to the central question of this book: What, precisely,
does it mean to say that our sense of morality and justice is reduced to the language of a business deal? What does it mean when we reduce moral obligations to debts? What changes when the one turns into the other? And how do we speak about them when our language has been so shaped by the market? On one level the difference between an obligation and a debt is simple and obvious. A debt is the obligation to pay a certain sum of money. As a result, a debt, unlike any other form of obligation, can be precisely quantified. This allows debts to become simple, cold, and impersonal-which, in turn, allows them to be transferable. If one owes a favor, or one’s life, to another human being-it is owed to that person specifically. But if one owes forty thousand dollars at 12-percent interest, it doesn’t really matter who the creditor is; neither does either of the two parties have to think much about what the other party needs, wants, is capable of doing-as they certainly would if what was owed was a favor, or respect, or gratitude. One does not need to calculate the human effects; one need only calculate principal, balances, penalties, and rates of interest. If you end up having to abandon your home and wander in other provinces, if your daughter ends up in a mining camp working as a prostitute, well, that’s unfortunate, but incidental to the creditor. Money is money, and a deal’s a deal. From this perspective, the crucial factor, and a topic that will be explored at length in these pages, is money’s capacity to turn morality into a matter of impersonal arithmetic-and by doing so, to justify things that would otherwise seem outrageous or obscene. The factor of violence, which I have been emphasizing up until now, may appear secondary. The difference between a “debt” and a mere moral obligation is not the presence or absence of men with weapons who can enforce that obligation by seizing the debtor’s possessions or threatening to break his legs. It is simply that a creditor has the means to specify, numerically, exactly how much the debtor owes.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
Among us English-speaking peoples especially do the praises of poverty need once more to be boldly sung. We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise any one who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition. We have lost the power even of imagining what the ancient idealization of poverty could have meant: the liberation from material attachments, the unbribed soul, the manlier indifference, the paying our way by what we are or do and not by what we have, the right to fling away our life at any moment irresponsibly—the more athletic trim, in short, the moral fighting shape. When we of the so-called better classes are scared as men were never scared in history at material ugliness and hardship; when we put off marriage until our house can be artistic, and quake at the thought of having a child without a bank-account and doomed to manual labor, it is time for thinking men to protest against so unmanly and irreligious a state of opinion. It is true that so far as wealth gives time for ideal ends and exercise to ideal energies, wealth is better than poverty and ought to be chosen. But wealth does this in only a portion of the actual cases. Elsewhere the desire to gain wealth and the fear to lose it are our chief breeders of cowardice and propagators of corruption. There are thousands of conjunctures in which a wealth-bound man must be a slave, whilst a man for whom poverty has no terrors becomes a freeman. Think of the strength which personal indifference to poverty would give us if we were devoted to unpopular causes. We need no longer hold our tongues or fear to vote the revolutionary or reformatory ticket. Our stocks might fall, our hopes of promotion vanish, our salaries stop, our club doors close in our faces; yet, while we lived, we would imperturbably bear witness to the spirit, and our example would help to set free our generation. The cause would need its funds, but we its servants would be potent in proportion as we personally were contented with our poverty. I recommend this matter to your serious pondering, for it is certain that the prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers.
William James (Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature)
Generally speaking, Americans cussed, smoke, and drank, and the Shamys had it on good authority that a fair number of them used drugs. Americans dated and fornicated and committed adultery. They had broken families and lots of divorces. Americans were not generous or hospitable like Uncle Abdulla and Aunt Fatma; they invited people to their houses only a few at a times, and didn't even let them bring their children, and only fed them little tiny portions of food they called courses on big empty plates they called good china. Plus, Americans ate out wastefully often...
Americans believed the individual was more important than the family, and money was more important than anything. Khadra's dad said Americans threw out their sons and daughters when they turned eighteen unless they could pay rent--to their own parents! And, at the other end, they threw their parents into nursing homes when they got old. This, although they took slavish care of mere dogs. All in all, Americans led shallow, wasteful, materialistic lives.
Mohja Kahf (The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf)
I am leaving this tower and returning home. When I speak with family, and comments are always the same, 'Won't you be glad to get back to the real world?'
This is my question after two weeks of time, only two weeks, spent with prairie dogs, 'What is real?'
What is real? These prairie dogs and the lives they live and have adapted to in grassland communities over time, deep time?
What is real? A gravel pit adjacent to one of the last remaining protected prairie dog colonies in the world? A corral where cowboys in an honest day's work saddle up horses with prairie dogs under hoof for visitors to ride in Bryce Canyon National Park?
What is real? Two planes slamming into the World Trade Center and the wake of fear that has never stopped in this endless war of terror?
What is real? Forgiveness or revenge and the mounting deaths of thousands of human beings as America wages war in Afghanistan and Iraq?
What is real? Steve's recurrence of lymphoma? A closet full of shoes? Making love? Making money? Making right with the world with the smallest of unseen gestures?
How do we wish to live And with whom?
What is real to me are these prairie dogs facing the sun each morning and evening in the midst of man-made chaos.
What is real to me are the consequences of cruelty.
What is real to me are the concentric circles of compassion and its capacity to bring about change.
What is real to me is the power of our awareness when we are focused on something beyond ourselves. It is a shaft of light shining in a dark corner. Our ability to shift our perceptions and seek creative alternatives to the conundrums of modernity is in direct proportion to our empathy. Can we imagine, witness, and ultimately feel the suffering of another.
Terry Tempest Williams
What is so often said about the solders of the 20th century is that they fought to make us free. Which is a wonderful sentiment and one witch should evoke tremendous gratitude if in fact there was a shred of truth in that statement but, it's not true. It's not even close to true in fact it's the opposite of truth.
There's this myth around that people believe that the way to honor deaths of so many of millions of people; that the way to honor is to say that we achieved some tangible, positive, good, out of their death's. That's how we are supposed to honor their deaths. We can try and rescue some positive and forward momentum of human progress, of human virtue from these hundreds of millions of death's but we don't do it by pretending that they'd died to set us free because we are less free; far less free now then we were before these slaughters began. These people did not die to set us free. They did not die fighting any enemy other than the ones that the previous deaths created.
The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper names. Solders are paid killers, and I say this with a great degree of sympathy to young men and women who are suckered into a life of evil through propaganda and the labeling of heroic to a man in costume who kills for money and the life of honor is accepting ordered killings for money, prestige, and pensions. We create the possibility of moral choice by communicating truth about ethics to people. That to me is where real heroism and real respect for the dead lies. Real respect for the dead lies in exhuming the corpses and hearing what they would say if they could speak out; and they would say: If any ask us why we died tell it's because our fathers lied, tell them it's because we were told that charging up a hill and slaughtering our fellow man was heroic, noble, and honorable. But these hundreds of millions of ghosts encircled the world in agony, remorse will not be released from our collective unconscious until we lay the truth of their murders on the table and look at the horror that is the lie; that murder for money can be moral, that murder for prestige can be moral.
These poor young men and woman propagandized into an undead ethical status lied to about what is noble, virtuous, courageous, honorable, decent, and good to the point that they're rolling hand grenades into children's rooms and the illusion that, that is going to make the world a better place. We have to stare this in the face if we want to remember why these people died. They did not die to set us free. They did not die to make the world a better place. They died because we are ruled by sociopaths. The only thing that can create a better world is the truth is the virtue is the honor and courage of standing up to the genocidal lies of mankind and calling them lies and ultimate corruptions.
The trauma and horrors of this century of staggering bloodshed of the brief respite of the 19th century. This addiction to blood and the idea that if we pour more bodies into the hole of the mass graves of the 20th century, if we pour more bodies and more blood we can build some sort of cathedral to a better place but it doesn't happen. We can throw as many young men and woman as we want into this pit of slaughter and it will never be full. It will never do anything other than sink and recede further into the depths of hell. We can’t build a better world on bodies. We can’t build peace on blood. If we don't look back and see the army of the dead of the 20th century calling out for us to see that they died to enslave us. That whenever there was a war the government grew and grew.
We are so addicted to this lie. What we need to do is remember that these bodies bury us. This ocean of blood that we create through the fantasy that violence brings virtue. It drowns us, drowns our children, our future, and the world. When we pour these endless young bodies into this pit of death; we follow it.
What prevents a woman from walking out of an abusive relationship? Old-school feminists will speak about economic independence. A woman is free if she has the money to support herself. With a job, she will find her feet. If she has a job, it will miraculously solve all her problems. A job will give her community. One day she will walk into the office, and they will ask her about the bruise above her eyebrow and she will say she walked into a wall, but they will know it is her husband hitting her, and they will wrap her up in a protective embrace.
Meena Kandasamy (When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife)
You told me," I said, "that I should turn this house into a boardinghouse for students. Well, there are better things I could do with it. I could turn it into a haven for beggars. I could run a soup kitchen and a dormitory. But I don't. Why not? Because the spirit of charity has perished in this country. Because those who accept charity despise it, while those who give give with a despairing heart. What is the point of charity when it does not go from heart to heart? What do you think charity is? Soup? Money? Charity: from the Latin word for the heart. It is as hard to receive as to give. it takes as much effort. I wish you would learn that. I wish you would learn something instead of just lying around."
A lie: charity, caritas, has nothing to do with the heart. But what does it matter if my sermons rest on false etymologies? He barely listens when i speak to him. Perhaps, despite those keen bird-eyes, he is more befuddled with drink than I know. Or perhaps, finally, he does not care. Care: the true root of charity. I look for him to care, and he does not. Because he is beyond caring. Beyond caring and beyond care
J.M. Coetzee (Age of Iron)
I cannot say your worships have delivered the matter well when I find the ass in compound with the major part of your syllables [...] our very priests must become mockers if they shall encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are. When you speak best unto the purpose, it is not worth the wagging of your beards, and your beards deserve not so honorable a grave as to stuff a botcher's cushion or to be entombed in an ass's packsaddle [...] more of your conversation would infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly plebeians. I will be bold to take my leave with you.
William Shakespeare (Coriolanus)
You know, it's such a peculiar thing--our idea of mankind in general. We all have a sort of vague, glowing picture when we say that, something solemn, big and important. But actually all we know of it is the people we meet in our lifetime. Look at them. Do you know any you'd feel big and solemn about? There's nothing but housewives haggling at pushcarts, drooling brats who write dirty words on the sidewalks, and drunken debutantes. Or their spiritual equivalent. As a matter of fact, one can feel some respect for people when they suffer. They have a certain dignity. But have you ever looked at them when they're enjoying themselves? That's when you see the truth. Look at those who spend the money they've slaved for--at amusement parks and side shows. Look at those who're rich and have the whole world open to them. Observe what they pick out for enjoyment. Watch them in the smarter speak-easies. That's your mankind in general. I don't want to touch it.
forgiving our fathers
by dick lourie
maybe in a dream: he's in your power
you twist his arm but you're not sure it was
he that stole your money you feel calmer
and you decide to let him go free
or he's the one (as in a dream of mine)
I must pull from the water but I never
knew it or wouldn't have done it until
I saw the street-theater play so close up
I was moved to actions I'd never before taken
maybe for leaving us too often or
forever when we were little maybe
for scaring us with unexpected rage
or making us nervous because there seemed
never to be any rage there at all
for marrying or not marrying our mothers
for divorcing or not divorcing our mothers
and shall we forgive them for their excesses
of warmth or coldness shall we forgive them
for pushing or leaning for shutting doors
for speaking only through layers of cloth
or never speaking or never being silent
in our age or in theirs or in their deaths
saying it to them or not saying it -
if we forgive our fathers what is left
You big ugly. You too empty. You desert with your nothing nothing nothing. You scorched suntanned. Old too quickly. Acres of suburbs watching the telly. You bore me. Freckle silly children. You nothing much. With your big sea. Beach beach beach. I’ve seen enough already. You dumb dirty city with bar stools. You’re ugly. You silly shopping town. You copy. You too far everywhere. You laugh at me. When I came this woman gave me a box of biscuits. You try to be friendly but you’re not very friendly. You never ask me to your house. You insult me. You don’t know how to be with me. Road road tree tree. I came from crowded and many. I came from rich. You have nothing to offer. You’re poor and spread thin. You big. So what. I’m small. It’s what’s in. You silent on Sunday. Nobody on your streets. You dead at night. You go to sleep too early. You don’t excite me. You scare me with your hopeless. Asleep when you walk. Too hot to think. You big awful. You don’t match me. You burnt out. You too big sky. You make me a dot in the nowhere. You laugh with your big healthy. You want everyone to be the same. You’re dumb. You do like anybody else. You engaged Doreen. You big cow. You average average. Cold day at school playing around at lunchtime. Running around for nothing. You never accept me. For your own. You always ask me where I’m from. You always ask me. You tell me I look strange. Different. You don’t adopt me. You laugh at the way I speak. You think you’re better than me. You don’t like me. You don’t have any interest in another country. Idiot centre of your own self. You think the rest of the world walks around without shoes or electric light. You don’t go anywhere. You stay at home. You like one another. You go crazy on Saturday night. You get drunk. You don’t like me and you don’t like women. You put your arm around men in bars. You’re rough. I can’t speak to you. You burly burly. You’re just silly to me. You big man. Poor with all your money. You ugly furniture. You ugly house. You relaxed in your summer stupor. All year. Never fully awake. Dull at school. Wait for other people to tell you what to do. Follow the leader. Can’t imagine. Workhorse. Thick legs. You go to work in the morning. You shiver on a tram.
The berth belongs to you too. It will always be there when—if you want to come back.”
Inej could not speak. Her heart felt too full, a dry creek bed ill-prepared for such rain. “I don’t know what to say.”
His bare hand flexed on the crow’s head of his cane. The sight was so strange Inej had trouble tearing her eyes from it. “Say you’ll return.”
“I’m not done with Ketterdam.” She hadn’t known she meant it until she said the words.
Kaz cast her a swift glance. “I thought you wanted to hunt slavers.”
“I do. And I want your help.” Inej licked her lips, tasted the ocean on them. Her life had been a series of impossible moments, so why not ask for something impossible now? “It’s not just the slavers. It’s the procurers, the customers, the Barrel bosses, the politicians. It’s everyone who turns a blind eye to suffering when there’s money to be made.”
“I’m a Barrel boss.”
“You would never sell someone, Kaz. You know better than anyone that you’re not just one more boss scraping for the best margin.”
“The bosses, the customers, the politicians,” he mused. “That could be half the people in Ketterdam—and you want to fight them all.”
“Why not?” Inej asked. “One the seas and in the city. One by one.”
“Brick by brick,” he said. Then he gave a single shake of his head, as if shrugging off the notion. “I wasn’t made to be a hero, Wraith. You should have learned that by now. You want me to be a better man, a good man. I—“
“This city doesn’t need a good man. It needs you.”
“How many times have you told me you’re a monster? So be a monster. Be the thing they all fear when they close their eyes at night. We don’t go after all the gangs. We don’t shut down the houses that treat fairly with their employees. We go after women like Tante Heleen, men like Pekka Rollins.” She paused. “And think about it this way…you’ll be thinning the competition.”
He made a sound that might almost have been a laugh.
One of his hands balanced on his cane. The other rested at his side next to her. She’d need only move the smallest amount and they’d be touching. He was that close. He was that far from reach.
Cautiously, she let her knuckles brush against his, a slight weight, a bird’s feather. He stiffened, but he didn’t pull away.
“I’m not ready to give up on this city, Kaz. I think it’s worth saving.” I think you’re worth saving.
Once they’d stood on the deck of a ship and she’d waited just like this. He had not spoken then and he did not speak now. Inej felt him slipping away, dragged under, caught in an undertow that would take him farther and farther from shore. She understood suffering and knew it was a place she could not follow, not unless she wanted to drown too.
Back on Black Veil, he’d told her they would fight their way out. Knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. She would fight for him, but she could not heal him. She would not waste her life trying.
She felt his knuckles slide again hers. Then his hand was in her hand, his palm pressed against her own. A tremor moved through him. Slowly, he let their fingers entwine.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Then the voice - which identified itself as the prince of this world, the only being who really knows what happens on Earth - began to show him the people around him on the beach. The wonderful father who was busy packing things up and helping his children put on some warm clothes and who would love to have an affair with his secretary, but was terrified on his wife's response. His wife who would like to work and have her independence, but who was terrified of her husband's response. The children who behave themselves because they were terrified of being punished. The girl who was reading a book all on her own beneath the sunshade, pretending she didn't care, but inside was terrified of spending the rest of her life alone. The boy running around with a tennis racuqet , terrified of having to live up to his parents' expectations. The waiter serving tropical drinks to the rich customers and terrified that he could be sacket at any moment. The young girl who wanted to be a dance, but who was studying law instead because she was terrified of what the neighbours might say. The old man who didn't smoke or drink and said he felt much better for it, when in truth it was the terror of death what whispered in his ears like the wind. The married couple who ran by, splashing through the surf, with a smile on their face but with a terror in their hearts telling them that they would soon be old, boring and useless. The man with the suntan who swept up in his launch in front of everybody and waved and smiled, but was terrified because he could lose all his money from one moment to the next. The hotel owner, watching the whole idyllic scene from his office, trying to keep everyone happy and cheerful, urging his accountants to ever greater vigilance, and terrified because he knew that however honest he was government officials would still find mistakes in his accounts if they wanted to.
There was terror in each and every one of the people on that beautiful beach and on that breathtakingly beautiful evening. Terror of being alone, terror of the darkness filling their imaginations with devils, terror of doing anything not in the manuals of good behaviour, terror of God's punishing any mistake, terror of trying and failing, terror of succeeding and having to live with the envy of other people, terror of loving and being rejected, terror of asking for a rise in salary, of accepting an invitation, of going somewhere new, of not being able to speak a foreign language, of not making the right impression, of growing old, of dying, of being pointed out because of one's defects, of not being pointed out because of one's merits, of not being noticed either for one's defects of one's merits.
Paulo Coelho (The Devil and Miss Prym)
When they were only a few yards from the stone hull, Inej halted and watched the mists wreathing the branches. “He was going to break by legs,” she said. “Smash them with a mallet so they’d never heal….”
She took a shaky breath. The words came like a string of gunshots, rapid-fire, as if she resented the very act of speaking them. “I didn’t know if you would come.”
Kaz couldn’t blame Van Eck for that. Kaz has built that doubt in her with every cold word and small cruelty.
“We’re your crew, Inej. We don’t leave our own at the mercy of merch scum.” It wasn’t the answer he wanted to give. It wasn’t the answer she wanted.
When she turned to him, her eyes were bright with anger.
“He was going to break my legs,” she said, her chin held high, the barest quaver in her voice. “Would you have come for me then, Kaz? When I couldn’t scale a wall or walk a tightrope? When I wasn’t the Wraith anymore?”
Dirtyhands would not. The boy who could get them through this, get their money, keep them alive, would do her the courtesy of putting her out of her misery, then cut his losses and move on.
“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
The wind rose. The boughs of the willows whispered, a sly, gossiping sound. Kaz held her gaze, saw the moon reflected there, twin scythes of light. She was right to be cautious. Even of him. Especially of him. Cautious was how you survived.
At last she nodded, the smallest dip of her chin.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
It was Napoleon who said that one spy in the right place was worth twenty thousand men in the field. He was speaking of his own spy, Schul-meister, a man of amazing courage, skill, and loyalty. But when the time came to reward Schulmeister for his services it was the same Napoleon who refused him the Legion of Honor for which he had been recommended, and the same Napoleon who commented that money was the only suitable reward for
Eric Ambler (Epitaph for a Spy)
But what did it matter what momins of the community said when they picked apart the behavior of her son? What was a believer meant to be like when all their rituals and practices were stripped away? Amar was kind. If one of his sisters came home carrying heavy textbooks, he rose to help them before they even asked. He was generous. He had very little of his own money but still he would bring home the coffee drinks Huda or Hadia liked, or a bag of cherries for Layla come cherry season, or a candle with a floral scent. Layla gossiped sometimes, everyone did, but she had never heard her son speak ill of anyone. Once when she spoke of someone from their community, he said to her, “You don’t know that, Mumma, don’t say that if you don’t fully know it.” Her heart had swelled. How her son was good in a way that she wasn’t, in a way that could instruct her. Layla had begun to think lately that there was no real way to quantify the goodness of a person—that religion gave templates and guidelines but there were ways it missed the mark entirely. And everything a momin should be in his heart, Amar was.
Fatima Farheen Mirza (A Place for Us)
OLD WOMAN having lost the use of her eyes, called in a Physician to heal them, and made this bargain with him in the presence of witnesses: that if he should cure her blindness, he should receive from her a sum of money; but if her infirmity remained, she should give him nothing. This agreement being made, the Physician, time after time, applied his salve to her eyes, and on every visit took something away, stealing all her property little by little. And when he had got all she had, he healed her and demanded the promised payment. The Old Woman, when she recovered her sight and saw none of her goods in her house, would give him nothing. The Physician insisted on his claim, and, as she still refused, summoned her before the Judge. The Old Woman, standing up in the Court, argued: "This man here speaks the truth in what he says; for I did promise to give him a sum of money if I should recover my sight: but if I continued blind, I was to
Aesop (Aesop's Fables (Illustrated))
When you homeschool your children, you have to make sacrifices: of your time, of your energy, of your money. Speaking of money, you know, when I look back, living on one income all those years meant we didn’t drive expensive cars or go on extended high-end vacations. But that wasn’t important. What was important was that we had time together…nothing can replace that. You can have that time too. Concentrate on the positives, and enjoy your time with your kids. You won’t be sorry.
Barbara Frank (Beginnings (Stages of Homeschooling, #1))
As a matter of fact, one can feel some respect for people when they suffer. They have a certain dignity. But have you ever looked at them when they’re enjoying themselves? That’s when you see the truth. Look at those who spend the money they’ve slaved for—at amusement parks and side shows. Look at those who’re rich and have the whole world open to them. Observe what they pick out for enjoyment. Watch them in the smarter speak-easies. That’s your mankind in general. I don’t want to touch it.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
I was like Robinson Crusoe on the island of Tobago. For hours at a stretch I would lie in the sun doing nothing, thinking of nothing. To keep the mind empty is a feat, a very healthful feat too. To be silent the whole day long, see no newspaper, hear no radio, listen to no gossip, be thoroughly and completely lazy, thoroughly and completely indifferent to the fate of the world is the finest medicine a man can give himself. The book-learning gradually dribbles away; problems melt and dissolve; ties are gently severed; thinking, when you deign to indulge in it, becomes very primitive; the body becomes a new and wonderful instrument; you look at plants or stones or fish with different eyes; you wonder what people are struggling to accomplish with their frenzied activities; you know there is a war on but you haven't the faintest idea what it's about or why people should enjoy killing one another; you look at a place like Albania—it was constantly staring me in the eyes—and you say to yourself, yesterday it was Greek, to-day it's Italian, to-morrow it may be German or Japanese, and you let it be anything it chooses to be. When you're right with yourself it doesn't matter which flag is flying over your head or who owns what or whether you speak English or Monongahela. The absence of newspapers, the absence of news about what men are doing in different parts of the world to make life more livable or unlivable is the greatest single boon. If we could just eliminate newspapers a great advance would be made, I am sure of it. Newspapers engender lies, hatred, greed, envy, suspicion, fear, malice. We don't need the truth as it is dished up to us in the daily papers. We need peace and solitude and idleness. If we could all go on strike and honestly disavow all interest in what our neighbor is doing we might get a new lease on life. We might learn to do without telephones and radios and newspapers, without machines of any kind, without factories, without mills, without mines, without explosives, without battleships, without politicians, without lawyers, without canned goods, without gadgets, without razor blades even or cellophane or cigarettes or money. This is a pipe dream, I know.
Henry Miller (The Colossus of Maroussi)
As UC Berkeley economics professor Brad DeLong put it to me:
You get famine if the price of food spikes far beyond that of some people's means. This can be because food is short, objectively. This can be because the rich have bid the resources normally used to produce food away to other uses. You also get famine when the price of food is moderate if the incomes of large groups collapse.... In all of this, the lesson is that a properly functioning market does not seek to advance human happiness but rather to advance human wealth. What speaks in the market is money: purchasing power. If you have no money, you have no voice in the market. The market acts as if it does not know you exist and does not care whether you live or die.
DeLong describes a marketplace that leaves people to die - not out of malice , but out of indifference.
Annalee Newitz (Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction)
That I learn of others, I replied, is quite true; but that I am ungrateful I wholly
deny. Money I have none, and therefore I pay in praise, which is all I have; and how ready I am to praise any one who appears to me to speak well you will
very soon find out when you answer; for I expect that you will answer well.
Plato (The Republic)
She knew what bothered her at the store. It was the sort of thing she wouldn’t try to tell Richard. It was that the store intensified things that had always bothered her, as long as she could remember. It was the waste actions, the meaningless chores that seemed to keep her from doing what she wanted to do, might have done—and here it was the complicated procedures with money bags, coat checkings, and time clocks that kept people even from serving the store as efficiently as they might—the sense that everyone was incommunicado with everyone else and living on an entirely wrong plane, so that the meaning, the message, the love, or whatever it was that each life contained, never could find its expression. It reminded her of conversations at tables, on sofas, with people whose words seemed to hover over dead, unstirrable things, who never touched a string that played. And when one tried to touch a live string, looked at one with faces as masked as ever, making a remark so perfect in its banality that one could not even believe it might be subterfuge. And the loneliness, augmented by the fact one saw within the store the same faces day after day, the few faces one might have spoken to and never did, or never could. Not like the face on the passing bus that seems to speak, that is seen once and at least is gone forever.
Patricia Highsmith (The Price of Salt)
I have to smile when newspapers--so predictable in their attempt to explain the behaviour of those transgressing social norms or the workings of the deviant mind--speak of the 'double life' led by this furtive criminal or that. In fact the reverse is true. It is normal people who have a 'double life'. On the outside is your everyday life of going out to work and going on holiday. Then there is the life you wish you had--the life that keeps you awake at night with hope, ambition, plans, frustration, resentment, envy, regret. This is a more seething life of wants, driven by thoughts of possibility and potential. It is the life you can never have. Always changing, it is always out of reach. Would you like more money? Here, have more! An attractive sexual partner? No problem. Higher status? More intelligence? Whiter teeth? You are obsessed with what is just out of reach. It is the itch you cannot scratch. Tortured by the principle that the more you can't have something the more you desire it, you are never happy.
Phil Hogan (A Pleasure and a Calling)
What freedom are we to find
when our restless minds
are enslaved under the chains
of human trafficking?
What freedom do we preach
when our females breathe
through enraged wounds?
They are used and abused,
left in caves alienated and bruised.
What is this language we speak of
when we talk about the law,
since the human right clause
is ignored and flawed?
Whom is it protecting
because here we are protesting?
Isn't this law ought to save
the bodies of young females?
Isn't this law ought to be brave
and remove females from sex frames?
Instead, it chooses for women and children to die
leaving their loved ones with no goodbyes.
Human trafficking, I say,
has made enough money for the day.
My tradition of shaving on the final day of hunting season lasted until Duck Dynasty started. Now I keep the beard year-round because we’re filming episodes all the time. The last time I completely shaved my face, my daughter, Mia, was about five years old. I had to go to the barbershop to get my beard shaved off because it was so thick and long. When I walked in, the look on the barber’s face was priceless. We both knew I was fixing to get my money’s worth. When I came home, I walked in the door and Mia started crying. She even took off running! She didn’t know who I was! She wouldn’t speak to me for about a week out of fear. Finally, she realized it really was me. That was the last time my face was ever completely smooth.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
When I fall asleep, and even during sleep,
I hear, quite distinctly, voices speaking
Whole phrases, commonplace and trivial,
Having no relation to my affairs.
Dear Mother, is any time left to us
In which to be happy? My debts are immense.
My bank account is subject to the court’s judgment.
I know nothing. I cannot know anything.
I have lost the ability to make an effort.
But now as before my love for you increases.
You are always armed to stone me, always:
It is true. It dates from childhood.
For the first time in my long life
I am almost happy. The book, almost finished,
Almost seems good. It will endure, a monument
To my obsessions, my hatred, my disgust.
Debts and inquietude persist and weaken me.
Satan glides before me, saying sweetly:
“Rest for a day! You can rest and play today.
Tonight you will work.” When night comes,
My mind, terrified by the arrears,
Bored by sadness, paralyzed by impotence,
Promises: “Tomorrow: I will tomorrow.”
Tomorrow the same comedy enacts itself
With the same resolution, the same weakness.
I am sick of this life of furnished rooms.
I am sick of having colds and headaches:
You know my strange life. Every day brings
Its quota of wrath. You little know
A poet’s life, dear Mother: I must write poems,
The most fatiguing of occupations.
I am sad this morning. Do not reproach me.
I write from a café near the post office,
Amid the click of billiard balls, the clatter of dishes,
The pounding of my heart. I have been asked to write
“A History of Caricature.” I have been asked to write
“A History of Sculpture.” Shall I write a history
Of the caricatures of the sculptures of you in my heart?
Although it costs you countless agony,
Although you cannot believe it necessary,
And doubt that the sum is accurate,
Please send me money enough for at least three weeks.
A single word can brighten the face
of one who knows the value of words.
Ripened in silence, a single word
acquires a great energy for work.
War is cut short by a word,
and a word heals the wounds,
and there's a word that changes
poison into butter and honey.
Let a word mature inside yourself.
Withhold the unripened thought.
Come and understand the kind of word
that reduces money and riches to dust.
Know when to speak a word
and when not to speak at all.
A single word turns the universe of hell
into eight paradises.
Follow the Way. Don't be fooled
by what you already know. Be watchful.
Reflect before you speak.
A foolish mouth can brand your soul.
Yunus, say one last thing
about the power of words --
Only the word "I"
divides me from God.
Yunus Emre (The Drop That Became the Sea: Lyric Poems)
In the second part of life you begin to question yourself. Or rather, you don’t; you avoid such questions, but something in yourself asks them, and you do not like to hear that voice asking “What is the goal?” And next, “Where are you going now?” When you are young you think, when you get to a certain position, “This is the thing I want.” The goal seems to be quite visible. People think, “I am going to marry, and then I shall get into such and such a position, and then I shall make a lot of money, and then I don’t know what.”
Suppose they have reached it; then comes another question: “And now what?”…Then the answer is: “Well, there is nothing ahead. What is there ahead? Death is ahead.” That is disagreeable, you see; that is most disagreeable.
C.G. Jung (C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters)
There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under my jurisdiction. There are certain lottery tickets I can buy, thereby increasing my odds of finding contentment. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I eat and read and study. i can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life - whether I will see them as curses or opportunities (and on the occasions when I can't rise to the most optimistic viewpoint, because I'm feeling too damn sorry for myself, I can choose to keep trying to change my outlook). I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
We have been through a torrid decade and more, where living standards have declined but we are constantly told this one of the longest running economic expansions in history. It's as if truly live in George Orwell's 1984 and the powers that be speak a form of doublespeak. When they say employment is at a record high they fail to say wages have been going down in real terms for decades.
Sam Volkering (Crypto Revolution: Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and the Future of Money)
Whenever I ask my Russian bosses, the older TV producers and media types who run the system, what it was like growing up in the late Soviet Union, whether they believed in the Communist ideology that surrounded them, they always laugh at me.
“Don’t be silly,” most answer.
“But you sang the songs? Were good members of the Komsomol?”
“Of course we did, and we felt good when we sang them. And then straight after we would listen to ‘Deep Purple’ and the BBC.”
“So you were dissidents? You believed in finishing the USSR?”
“No. It’s not like that. You just speak several languages at the same time, all the time. There’s like several ‘you’s.”
Seen from this perspective, the great drama of Russia is not the “transition” between communism and capitalism, between one fervently held set of beliefs and another, but that during the final decades of the USSR no one believed in communism and yet carried on living as if they did, and now they can only create a society of simulations. For this remains the common, everyday psychology: the Ostankino producers who make news worshiping the President in the day and then switch on an opposition radio as soon as they get off work; the political technologists who morph from role to role with liquid ease—a nationalist autocrat one moment and a liberal aesthete the next; the “orthodox” oligarchs who sing hymns to Russian religious conservatism—and keep their money and families in London. All cultures have differences between “public” and “private” selves, but in Russia the contradiction can be quite extreme.
Peter Pomerantsev (Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia)
When you discover in yourself something that is a gift from God, you have to claim it and not let it be taken away from you. Sometimes people who do not know your heart will altogether miss the importance of something that is part of your deepest self, precious in your eyes as well as God’s . . . It is then that you have to speak your heart and follow your deepest calling.19 HENRI NOUWEN
Tommy Brown (The Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You To Handle Money)
My father taught me early in my life that attitude is a conscious choice; it is a currency available even to those with no access to money. No matter what the circumstances, you exercise your power, you demonstrate your worth, when you decide how to act and react in the face of it all. If the world punches you in the gut, that doesn’t define you; it’s what you do next that speaks your truth.
Cory Booker (United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good)
It occurred to him that she had spent these last few years entirely among men, seeing no women apart from a few like Louisa Wogan; she spoke rather as men, and somewhat raffish, moneyed, loose-living men, speak when they are alone together. ‘She has forgotten the distinction between what can and what cannot be said,’ he reflected. ‘A few more years of this company, and she would not scruple to fart.
Patrick O'Brian (The Fortune of War)
When we first listen to depression, we find that the misery is consuming. It doesn’t point anywhere or say anything. It just is. But when we keep listening, it tells stories of loss, rejection, or other events that happened to the person. It speaks of identifiable physiological problems. It points to a culture of irony: the culture with the most peace, money, and leisure is also the one with the most malignant sadness.
Edward T. Welch (Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness)
Normally when Christians go to church, they do not have to prepare to contribute anything other than some money for the tithing plate in their 'Sunday best.' They go to listen and watch those who have done the preparations carry out their professional services. Therefore, there is a hard shift in the concept that assembling according to the New Testament is very different and will require preparation, if the goal is to build up the assembly. Since an assembly's activities depend on member's contributions, if no one prays, sings, or says anything concerning Jesus it will be a very dead and boring gathering -- or the gathering will end up focused on other things. Therefore, a proper assembly requires every member to prepare something to bring and share. This is why 1 Corinthians 14:26 speaks of each one having a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, etc.
Henry Hon (ONE: Unfolding God's Eternal Purpose from House to House)
There are two ways to turn devils into angels: First, acknowledge things about them that you genuinely appreciate. Uncle Morty took you to the beach when you were a kid. Your mom still sends you money on your birthday. Your ex-wife is a good mother to your children. There must be something you sincerely appreciate about this person. Shift your attention from the mean and nasty things they have said or done to the kind and helpful things they have said or done—even if there are just a few or even only one. You have defined this person by their iniquities. You can just as easily—actually, more easily—define them by their redeeming qualities. It’s your movie. Change the script. Perhaps you are still arguing that the person who has hurt you has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. She is evil incarnate, Rosemary’s baby conceived with Satan himself, poster child for the dark side of the Force, destined to wreak havoc and horror in the lives of everyone she touches. A nastier bitch never walked the earth. Got it. Let’s say all of this is true—the person who troubles you is a no-good, cheating, lying SOB. Now here’s the second devil-transformer. Consider: How has this person helped you to grow? What spiritual muscles have you developed that you would not have built if this person had been nicer to you? Have you learned to hold your power and self-esteem in the presence of attempted insult? Do you now speak your truth more quickly and directly? Are you now asking for what you want instead of passively deferring? Are you setting healthier boundaries? Have you deepened in patience and compassion? Do you make more self-honoring choices? There are many benefits you might have gained, or still might gain, from someone who challenges you.
Alan Cohen (A Course in Miracles Made Easy: Mastering the Journey from Fear to Love)
The church must change, Brother,' Gheorg had said one day long ago, back when they were still theology students at the University of Leipzig. Christian faith cannot be the tool of a monarch who sells God's pardon in exchange for money and power. Our Lord speaks to ALL men, Mathias. The Church must be a place where all men can meet and pray, not a place where they must submit to the power of other men. God's word must reach everyone equally.
Riccardo Bruni (The Lion and the Rose)
Most traders divulge whether they are making or losing money by the way they speak or move. They are either overly easy or overly tense. With Meriwether you could never, ever, tell. He wore the same blank half-tense expression when he won as he did when he lost. He had, I think, a profound ability to control the two emotions that commonly destroy traders (fear and greed) and it made him as noble as a man who pursues his self-interest so fiercely can be.
Michael Lewis (Liar's Poker)
This fucking city is full of nothing but thugs, money grubbing porn-bitches, and hustlers. I’m calling the police.” Ex fumed as he struggled to pull his cell from his pocket.
If Syn weren't so damn angry it would’ve been funny as shit the way the man’s jaw dropped when God and Day both pulled their gold badges out from under their shirts. Day smiled that sinister grin and kneeled in front of them, speaking in an official tone, “911, what is your emergency?
It was strange to read about the people he knew in New York, Ed and Lorraine, the newt-brained girl who had tried to stow herself away in his cabin the day he sailed from New York. It was strange and not at all attractive. What a dismal life they led, creeping around New York, in and out of subways, standing in some dingy bar on Third Avenue for their entertainment,watching television, or even if they had enough money for a Madison Avenue bar
or a good restaurant now and then, how dull it all was compared to the worst little
trattoria in Venice with its tables of green salads, trays of wonderful cheeses, and
its friendly waiters bringing you the best wine in the world! ‘I certainly do envy
you sitting there in Venice in an old palazzo!’ Bob wrote. ‘Do you take a lot of gondola rides? How are the girls? Are you getting so cultured you won’t speak to any of us when you come back? How long are you staying, anyway ?
You know, it's such a peculiar thing — our idea of mankind in general. We all have a sort of vague, glowing picture when we say that, something solemn, big and important. But actually all we know of it is the people we meet in our lifetime. Look at them. Do you know any you'd feel big and solemn about? There's nothing but housewives haggling at pushcarts, drooling brats who write dirty words on the sidewalks, and drunken debutantes. Or their spiritual equivalent. As a matter of fact, one can feel some respect for people when they suffer. They have a certain dignity. But have you ever looked at them when they're enjoying themselves? That's when you see the truth. Look at those who spend the money they've slaved for — at amusement parks and side shows. Look at those who're rich and have the whole world open to them. Observe what they pick out for enjoyment. Watch them in the smarter speak-easies. That's your mankind in general. I don't want to touch it."
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
Money is like water. It can be a conduit for commitment, a currency of love. Money moving in the direction of our highest commitments nourishes our world and ourselves. What you appreciate appreciates. When you make a difference with what you have, it expands. Collaboration creates prosperity. True abundance flows from enough; never from more. Money carries our intention. If we use it with integrity, then it carries integrity forward. Know the flow—take responsibility for the way your money moves in the world. Let your soul inform your money and your money express your soul. Access your assets—not only money but also your own character and capabilities, your relationships and other nonmoney resources. We each have the power to shift, change, and create the conversation that shapes our circumstances. The levers and dials of conversation are ours to use. When we listen, speak, and respond from the context of sufficiency, we access a new freedom and power in our relationship with money and life.
Lynne Twist (The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life)
Torrens kicked at the door until it was finally opened. The farm couple and three youngsters had been eating breakfast in the common room. The yard dog would have bounded in had not Torrens kicked the door shut.
'I want a bed. Quilts. A hot drink. I am a doctor. This woman is my patient.'
The farm couple was terrified. The look on the face of Torrens cut short any questions. They did as he ordered. One of the children ran to fetch his medical kit from the cart. The woman motioned for Torrens to set Caroline on a straw pallet. The farmer kept his distance, but his wife, shyly, fearffully, ventured closer. She glanced at Torrens, as if requesting his permission to help. Between them, they made Caroline as comfortable as they could.
Torrens knelt by the pallet. Caroline reached for his hand. 'Leave while you can. Do not burden yourself with me.'
'A light burden.'
'I wish you to find Augusta.'
'You have my promise.'
'Take this.' Caroline had slipped off a gold ring set with diamonds. 'It was a wedding gift from the king. It has not left my finger since then. I give it to you now - ' Torrens protested, but Caroline went on - 'not as a keepsake. You and I have better keepsakes in our hearts. I wish you to sell it. You will need money, perhaps even more than this will bring. But you must stary alive and find my child. Help her as you have always helped me.'
'We shall talk of this later, when you are better. We shall find her together.'
'You have never lied to me.' Caroline's smile was suddenly flirtacious. 'Sir, if you begin now, I shall take you to task for it.'
Her face seemed to grow youthful and earnest for an instant. Torrens realized she held life only by strength of will.
'I am thinking of the Juliana gardens,' Caroline said. 'How lovely they were. The orangerie. And you, my loving friend. Tell me, could we have been happy?'
'Yes.' Torrens raised her hand to his lips. 'Yes. I am certain of it.'
Caroline did not speak again. Torrens stayed at her side. She died later that morning. Torrens buried her in the shelter of a hedgerow at the far edge of the field. The farmer offered to help, but Torrens refused and dug the grave himself. Later, in the farmhouse, he slept heavily for the first time since his escape. Mercifully, he did not dream.
Next day, he gave the farmer his clothing in trade for peasant garb. He hitched up the cart and drove back to the road. He could have pressed on, lost himself beyond search in the provinces. He was free. Except for his promise.
He turned the cart toward Marianstat.
Lloyd Alexander (The Beggar Queen (Westmark, #3))
I want to go much further than that. I want to point out that when Jesus spoke, whether it be of blessing or wealth or prosperity or what-have-you, He was rarely speaking of what is physical, what is tangible, what is seen.
I don’t think Jesus was nearly as concerned with our circumstances as He was with our character.
With Jesus, it’s all about what’s on the inside. It always has been. It always will be. When He promised us blessing and wealth and prosperity, the very last thing He was talking about was money.
Cole Ryan (Money: I Think We've Missed The Point)
Oh, it’s a little worse than that,” he said, nettled. “It makes you the illegitimate son of the senior Republican senator from South Dakota. And the press will eat you alive when it comes out. You, Leta, me, everyone our lives touch. Including Cecily. She’ll make a damned great sidebar, with her anthropology degree!”
“You’ll lose face with your constituents,” Tate said coldly.
“Oh, to hell with that! Maybe I’ll lose my job, so what?” Holden said, glaring at him. “It wouldn’t matter if your mother would speak to me! She cut me off before I got two complete sentences out. She wouldn’t come out here and help me tell you the truth. She hung up on me!”
“Good for her! What a pity she didn’t try that thirty-six years ago.”
The older man’s eyes darkened. “I loved her,” he said very quietly. “I still love her. I made the mistake of my life when I thought money and power would be worth marrying a vicious damned socialite who could help me politically. Your mother was worth ten of my late wife. I never knew what hell was until I tried to live with the devil’s deal I made to get my office.” He turned away again and sat down on the sofa wearily, glancing at the beer. “You shouldn’t drink,” he said absently.
Tate ignored him. He picked up the beer, finished it with pure spite and crushed the empty can.
“Aren’t you leaving now?” he asked the other man with biting contempt.
Holden let out a long breath. “Where would I go? I live in a big empty house with a Jacuzzi and two Siamese cats. Until a few weeks ago, I thought I had no family left alive.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Although while speaking and writing many of us use the words expense and expenditure interchangeably, in accounting they have separate meanings. Expenditure refers to spending, or the outflow of money. We have seen that when money is spent, we either incur an expense or we create an asset.
This makes expenditure broader in scope than expense.
Expenditure encompasses both expenses and assets.
If you thought I had made a loss you probably calculated Profit as Income minus Expenditure instead of Income minus Expense!
Anil Lamba (Romancing The Balance Sheet)
Harriet turned round, and we both saw a girl walking towards us. She was dark-skinned and thin, not veiled but dressed in a sitara, a brightly coloured robe of greens and pinks, and she wore a headscarf of a deep rose colour. In that barren place the vividness of her dress was all the more striking. On her head she balanced a pitcher and in her hand she carried something. As we watched her approach, I saw that she had come from a small house, not much more than a cave, which had been built into the side of the mountain wall that formed the far boundary of the gravel plateau we were standing on. I now saw that the side of the mountain had been terraced in places and that there were a few rows of crops growing on the terraces. Small black and brown goats stepped up and down amongst the rocks with acrobatic grace, chewing the tops of the thorn bushes.
As the girl approached she gave a shy smile and said, ‘Salaam alaikum, ’ and we replied, ‘Wa alaikum as salaam, ’ as the sheikh had taught us. She took the pitcher from where it was balanced on her head, kneeled on the ground, and gestured to us to sit. She poured water from the pitcher into two small tin cups, and handed them to us. Then she reached into her robe and drew out a flat package of greaseproof paper from which she withdrew a thin, round piece of bread, almost like a large flat biscuit. She broke off two pieces, and handed one to each of us, and gestured to us to eat and drink. The water and the bread were both delicious. We smiled and mimed our thanks until I remembered the Arabic word, ‘Shukran.’
So we sat together for a while, strangers who could speak no word of each other’s languages, and I marvelled at her simple act. She had seen two people walking in the heat, and so she laid down whatever she had been doing and came to render us a service. Because it was the custom, because her faith told her it was right to do so, because her action was as natural to her as the water that she poured for us. When we declined any further refreshment after a second cup of water she rose to her feet, murmured some word of farewell, and turned and went back to the house she had come from.
Harriet and I looked at each other as the girl walked back to her house. ‘That was so…biblical,’ said Harriet.
‘Can you imagine that ever happening at home?’ I asked. She shook her head. ‘That was charity. Giving water to strangers in the desert, where water is so scarce. That was true charity, the charity of poor people giving to the rich.’
In Britain a stranger offering a drink to a thirsty man in a lonely place would be regarded with suspicion. If someone had approached us like that at home, we would probably have assumed they were a little touched or we were going to be asked for money. We might have protected ourselves by being stiff and unfriendly, evasive or even rude.
Paul Torday (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen)
When you think about Laos and about not having enough food and those dirty and torn-up clothes, you don't want to think. Here it is a great country. You are comfortable. You have something to eat. But you don't speak the language. You depend on other people for welfare. If they don't give you money you can't eat, and you would die of hunger. What I miss in Laos is that free spirit, doing what you want to do. You own your own fields, your own rice, your own plants, your own fruit trees. I miss that feeling of freeness. I miss having something that really belongs to me.
Anne Fadiman (The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures)
Poem for My Father
You closed the door.
I was on the other side,
It was black in your mind.
Blacker than burned-out fire.
Blacker than poison.
Outside everything looked the same.
You looked the same.
You walked in your body like a living man.
But you were not.
would you not speak to me for weeks
would you hang your coat in the closet without saying hello
would you find a shoe out of place and beat me
would you come home late
would i lose the key
would you find my glasses in the garbage
would you put me on your knee
would you read the bible to me in your smoking jacket after your mother died
would you come home drunk and snore
would you beat me on the legs
would you carry me up the stairs by my hair so that my feet never touch the bottom
would you make everything worse
to make everything better
i believe in god, the father almighty,
the maker of heaven, the maker
of my heaven and my hell.
would you beat my mother
would you beat her till she cries like a rabbit
would you beat her in a corner of the kitchen
while i am in the bathroom trying to bury my head underwater
would you carry her to the bed
would you put cotton and alcohol on her swollen head
would you make love to her hair
would you caress her hair
would you rub her breasts with ben gay until she stinks
would you sleep in the other room in the bed next to me while she sleeps on the pull-out cot
would you come on the sheet while i am sleeping. later i look for the spot
would you go to embalming school with the last of my mother's money
would i see your picture in the book with all the other black boys you were the handsomest
would you make the dead look beautiful
would the men at the elks club
would the rich ladies at funerals
would the ugly drunk winos on the street
would your father leave you when you were three with a mother who threw butcher knives at you
would he leave you with her screaming red hair
would he leave you to be smothered by a pillow she put over your head
would he send for you during the summer like a rich uncle
would you come in pretty corduroys until you were nine and never heard from him again
would you hate him
would you hate him every time you dragged hundred pound cartons of soap down the stairs into white ladies' basements
would you hate him for fucking the woman who gave birth to you
hate him flying by her house in the red truck so that other father threw down his hat in the street and stomped on it angry like we never saw him
to the will of grandpa
bye bye to the family fortune
bye bye when he stompled that hat,
to the gold watch,
mother crying silently, making floating island
sending it up to the old man's ulcer
would grandmother's diamonds
close their heartsparks
in the corner of the closet
yellow like the eyes of cockroaches?
Old man whose sperm swims in my veins,
come back in love, come back in pain.
I. What decides whether a sum of money is good? The money is not going to tell you; it must be the faculty that makes use of such impressions—reason. (Discourses I, 1.5) II. Whenever externals are more important to you than your own integrity, then be prepared to serve them for the remainder of your life. (Discourses II, 2.12) III. Speaking for myself, I hope death overtakes me when I’m occupied solely with the care of my character, in an effort to make it undisturbed, free, unrestricted and unrestrained. (Discourses III, 5.7) IV. The more we value things outside of our control, the less control we have. (Discourses IV, 4.23)
Massimo Pigliucci (A Field Guide to a Happy Life: 53 Brief Lessons for Living)
And is not all of life material- based on the material- permeated by the material? Should not one learn, gladly, to utilize the beauty of the fine material? I do not speak of the gross crudities of soporific television, of loud brash convertibles and vulgar display- but rather of grace and line and refinement- and there are wonderful and exciting things that only money can buy, such as theater tickets, books, paintings, travel, lovely clothes- and why deny them when one can have them? The only problem is to work, to stay awake mentally and physically, and NEVER become mentally, physically, spiritually flabby or over complacent!
Elizabeth Winder (Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953)
You can believe without wavering that in this year, things will turn around for your own good. You can trust and be confident that through faith, that disease has no residence in you. You can believe for a change in your finances as faith was before money. When God created the universe He used faith. He spoke things into existence. Faith is the new currency- it is the new money. Use it to move forward! Declaration Mountains are moving today, hurling themselves into the sea because of my faith. Mountains of sickness are moving, debt Mountains, Poverty Mountains and all sorts of mountains! I speak without fear and doubt, I declare and I will see it come to pass.
Charles Magaiza (40 Days of Fasting & Prayer)
Then Alan looked thoughtful and seemed reluctant to speak, perhaps because he had just written the sequel to the Star Wars novelization that Lucas had sold to Ballantine Books, but in his reserved and gentlemanly fashion he told the audience of a day when he had seen a rough cut of the film and had remarked on just this scientific illiteracy to Lucas. He had even suggested a workable alternative. . .no, two workable alternatives. . .and Lucas had said words to the effect of (approximate quote), "There's a lot of money tied up in this film and people expect to hear a boom when something blows up, so I'll give them the boom." And at that moment, the cynicism showed through.
Harlan Ellison (Harlan Ellison's Watching)
For they have a way of teaching languages in Germany that is not our way, and the consequence is that when the German youth or maiden leaves the gymnasium or high school at fifteen, “it” (as in Germany one conveniently may say) can understand and speak the tongue it has been learning. In England we have a method that for obtaining the least possible result at the greatest possible expenditure of time and money is perhaps unequalled. An English boy who has been through a good middle-class school in England can talk to a Frenchman, slowly and with difficulty, about female gardeners and aunts; conversation which, to a man possessed perhaps of neither, is liable to pall. Possibly,
Jerome K. Jerome (Complete Works of Jerome K. Jerome)
This immense 'negative creativity' constantly nullified the real gains of the machine. The booty brought back from a successful military expedition was, economically speaking, a 'total expropriation.' But it proved to be a poor substitute, as the Romans were later to discover, for a permanent income tax derived annually from a thriving economic organization. As with the later pillage of gold from Peru and Mexico by the Spaniards, this 'easy money' must often have undermined the victor's economy. When such imperial robber-economies became prevalent and preyed on each other, they cancelled out the possibility of one-sided gain. The economic result was as irrational as the military means.
Lewis Mumford (Technics and Human Development (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 1))
Today, we’re talking about food stamps. Everyone speaks earnestly and academically about topics that have no effect on their daily lives. I don’t know if I’m alone in my experience—I can’t be the only one in here who doesn’t come from money—but from the conversation, it sure sounds like it. I nod and pretend that these things don’t matter to me, either. I pretend it doesn’t matter when the girl at the front of the class says that people on food stamps are lazy. I pretend I don’t care when someone talks about how they saw someone buying a fifth of vodka and a bag of candy with EBT. I nod and I smile and I try not to shiver. I tell myself it’s the draft, that it’s my drenched, mud-stained, no-longer-lucky sweater.
Courtney Milan (Trade Me (Cyclone, # 1))
When the culture of any organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of the individuals who serve that system or who are served by that system, you can be certain that the shame is systemic, the money is driving ethics, and the accountability is all but dead. This is true in corporations, nonprofits, universities, governments, faith communities, schools, families, and sports programs. If you think back on any major scandal fueled by cover-ups, you’ll see this same pattern. And the restitution and resolution of cover-ups almost always happens in the wilderness—when one person steps outside their bunker and speaks their truth.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
But actually all we know of it is the people we meet in our lifetime. Look at them. Do you know any you’d feel big and solemn about? There’s nothing but housewives haggling at pushcarts, drooling brats who write dirty words on the sidewalks, and drunken debutantes. Or their spiritual equivalents. As a matter of fact, one can feel some respect for people when they suffer. They have a certain dignity. But have you ever looked at them when they’re enjoying themselves? That’s when you see the truth. Look at those who spend the money they’ve slaved for—at amusement parks and side shows. Look at those who’re rich and have the whole world open to them. Observe what they pick out for enjoyment. Watch them in the smarter speak-easies. That’s your mankind in general. I don’t want to touch it.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
I wish I could answer your question. All I can say is that all of us, humans, witches, bears, are engaged in a war already, although not all of us know it. Whether you find danger on Svalbard or whether you fly off unharmed, you are a recruit, under arms, a soldier."
"Well, that seems kinda precipitate. Seems to me a man should have a choice whether to take up arms or not."
"We have no more choice in that than in whether or not to be born."
"Oh, I like choice, though," he said. "I like choosing the jobs I take and the places I go and the food I eat and the companions I sit and yarn with. Don't you wish for a choice once in a while ?"
She considered, and then said, "Perhaps we don't mean the same thing by choice, Mr. Scoresby. Witches own nothing, so we're not interested in preserving value or making profits, and as for the choice between one thing and another, when you live for many hundreds of years, you know that every opportunity will come again. We have different needs. You have to repair your balloon and keep it in good condition, and that takes time and trouble, I see that; but for us to fly, all we have to do is tear off a branch of cloud-pine; any will do, and there are plenty more. We don't feel cold, so we need no warm clothes. We have no means of exchange apart from mutual aid. If a witch needs something, another witch will give it to her. If there is a war to be fought, we don't consider cost one of the factors in deciding whether or not it is right to fight. Nor do we have any notion of honor, as bears do, for instance. An insult to a bear is a deadly thing. To us... inconceivable. How could you insult a witch? What would it matter if you did?"
"Well, I'm kinda with you on that. Sticks and stones, I'll break yer bones, but names ain't worth a quarrel. But ma'am, you see my dilemma, I hope. I'm a simple aeronaut, and I'd like to end my days in comfort. Buy a little farm, a few head of cattle, some horses...Nothing grand, you notice. No palace or slaves or heaps of gold. Just the evening wind over the sage, and a ceegar, and a glass of bourbon whiskey. Now the trouble is, that costs money. So I do my flying in exchange for cash, and after every job I send some gold back to the Wells Fargo Bank, and when I've got enough, ma'am, I'm gonna sell this balloon and book me a passage on a steamer to Port Galveston, and I'll never leave the ground again."
"There's another difference between us, Mr. Scoresby. A witch would no sooner give up flying than give up breathing. To fly is to be perfectly ourselves."
"I see that, ma'am, and I envy you; but I ain't got your sources of satisfaction. Flying is just a job to me, and I'm just a technician. I might as well be adjusting valves in a gas engine or wiring up anbaric circuits. But I chose it, you see. It was my own free choice. Which is why I find this notion of a war I ain't been told nothing about kinda troubling."
"lorek Byrnison's quarrel with his king is part of it too," said the witch. "This child is destined to play a part in that."
"You speak of destiny," he said, "as if it was fixed. And I ain't sure I like that any more than a war I'm enlisted in without knowing about it. Where's my free will, if you please? And this child seems to me to have more free will than anyone I ever met. Are you telling me that she's just some kind of clockwork toy wound up and set going on a course she can't change?"
"We are all subject to the fates. But we must all act as if we are not, or die of despair. There is a curious prophecy about this child: she is destined to bring about the end of destiny. But she must do so without knowing what she is doing, as if it were her nature and not her destiny to do it. If she's told what she must do, it will all fail; death will sweep through all the worlds; it will be the triumph of despair, forever. The universes will all become nothing more than interlocking machines, blind and empty of thought, feeling, life...
Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1))
I have a proposition for you,” she said, trying for a businesslike tone. “A very sensible one. You see—” She paused to clear her throat. “I’ve been thinking about your problem.”
“What problem?” Cam played lightly with the folds of her skirts, watching her face alertly.
“Your good-luck curse. I know how to get rid of it. You should marry into a family with very, very bad luck. A family with expensive problems. And then you won’t have to be embarrassed about having so much money, because it will flow out nearly as fast as it comes in.”
“Very sensible.” Cam took her shaking hand in his, pressed it between his warm palms. And touched his foot to her rapidly tapping one. “Hummingbird,” he whispered, “you don’t have to be nervous with me.”
Gathering her courage, Amelia blurted out, “I want your ring. I want never to take it off again. I want to be your romni forever”— she paused with a quick, abashed smile—“ whatever that is.”
“My bride. My wife.”
Amelia froze in a moment of throat-clenching delight as she felt him slide the gold ring onto her finger, easing it to the base. “When we were with Leo, tonight,” she said scratchily, “I knew exactly how he felt about losing Laura. He told me once that I couldn’t understand unless I had loved someone that way. He was right. And tonight, as I watched you with him … I knew what I would think at the very last moment of my life.”
His thumb smoothed over the tender surface of her knuckle. “Yes, love?”
“I would think,” she continued, “‘ Oh, if I could have just one more day with Cam. I would fit a lifetime into those few hours.’”
“Not necessary,” he assured her gently. “Statistically speaking, we’ll have at least ten, fifteen thousand days to spend together.”
“I don’t want to be apart from you for even one of them.”
Cam cupped her small, serious face in his hands, his thumbs skimming the trace of tears beneath her eyes. His gaze caressed her. “Are we to live in sin, love, or will you finally agree to marry me?”
“Yes. Yes. I’ll marry you. Although … I still can’t promise to obey you.”
Cam laughed quietly. “We’ll manage around that. If you’ll at least promise to love me.”
Amelia gripped his wrists, his pulse steady and strong beneath her fingertips. “Oh, I do love you, you’re—”
“I love you, too.”
“— my fate. You’re everything I—” She would have said more, if he had not pulled her head to his, kissing her with hard, thrilling pressure.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
You die because you think the gods are looking after you. That's ok for animals, but you should know better."
"We should not trust the gods with our lives?"
"Definitely not. You should trust *yourselves* with your lives. That's the human way to live."
Ishmael shook his head ponderously. "This is sorry news indeed. From time out of mind we've lived in the hands of the gods, and it seemed to us we lived well. We left to the gods all the labor of sowing and growing and lived a carefree life, and it seemed there was always enough in the world for us, because--behold!--*we are here!*"
"Yes," I told him sternly. "You are here, and look at you. You have nothing. You live without security, without comfort, without opportunity."
"And this is because we live in the hands of the gods?"
"Absolutely. In the hands of the gods you're no more important than lions or lizards or fleas--you're nothing special.... As I say, you've got to begin planting your own food.... The gods plant only what you *need*. You will plant *more* than you need."
"To what end? What's the good of having more food than we need?"
"That is the whole goddamned point! When you have more food than you need, then *the gods have no power over you!*"
"We can thumb our noses at them."
"All the same, what are we to *do* with this food if we don't need it?"
"You *save* it! You save it to thwart the gods when they decide it's your turn to go hungry. You save it so that when they send a drought, you can say, 'Not *me* goddamn it! *I'm* not going hungry, and there's nothing you can do about it, because my life is in my own hands now!"
... "So this is what's at the root of your revolution. You wanted and still want to have your lives in your own hands."
"Yes. Absolutely. To me, living any other way is almost inconceivable. I can only think that hunter-gatherers live in a state of utter and unending anxiety over what tomorrow's going to bring."
"Yet they don't. Any anthropologist will tell you that. They are far less anxiety-ridden than you are. They have no jobs to lose. No one can say to them, 'Show me your money or you don't get fed, don't get clothed, don't get sheltered.' "
"I believe you. Rationally speaking, I believe you. But I'm talking about my feelings, about my conditioning. My conditioning tells me -- Mother Culture tells me -- that living in the hands of the gods has got to be a never-ending nightmare of terror and anxiety.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
Completely confused as to who the real criminals were in this case, the jury had voted to wash their hands of everybody and they let him off. That had been the meaning of the conversation I'd had with him that afternoon, but I hadn't understood what was happening at all. There were many moments in the Vine like that one—where you might think today was yesterday, and yesterday was tomorrow, and so on. Because we all believed we were tragic, and we drank. We had that helpless, destined feeling. We would die with handcuffs on. We would be put a stop to, and it wouldn't be our fault. So we imagined. And yet we were always being found innocent for ridiculous reasons.
...We bought heroin with the money and split the heroin down the middle. Then he went looking for his girlfriend, and I went looking for mine, knowing that when there were drugs around, she surrendered. But I was in a bad condition—drunk, and having missed a night's sleep. As soon as the stuff entered my system, I passed out. Two hours went by without my noticing. I felt I'd only blinked my eyes, but when I opened them my girlfriend and a Mexican neighbor were working on me, doing everything they could to bring me back. The Mexican was saying, "There, he's coming around now."
We lived in a tiny, dirty apartment. When I realized how long I'd been out and how close I'd come to leaving it forever, our little home seemed to glitter like cheap jewelry. I was overjoyed not to be dead. Generally the closest I ever came to wondering about the meaning of it all was to consider that I must be the victim of a joke. There was no touching the hem of mystery, no little occasion when any of us thought—well, speaking for myself only, I suppose— that our lungs were filled with light, or anything like that. I had a moment's glory that night, though. I was certain I was here in this world because I couldn't tolerate any other place. As for Hotel, who was in exactly the same shape I was and carrying just as much heroin, but who didn't have to share it with his girlfriend, because he couldn't find her that day: he took himself to a rooming house down at the end of Iowa Avenue, and he overdosed, too. He went into a deep sleep, and to the others there he looked quite dead. The people with him, all friends of ours, monitored his breathing by holding a pocket mirror under his nostrils from time to time, making sure that points of mist appeared on the glass. But after a while they forgot about him, and his breath failed without anybody's noticing. He simply went under. He died.
I am still alive.
Denis Johnson (Jesus’ Son)
I always seek to provide value in the entertainment that I create, but in addition to that, tithing makes every dollar I earn valuable no matter what, because 10 percent of every dollar is going to someone in need. When the Bible speaks of giving back, it tells the story of farmers who, when harvesting from their orchards, always leave something on the vine for those who have nothing. If you have ten apples, you pick nine and leave one. That's what I do. Ten percent of every dollar I make goes to pay for a shelter to help a woman like my mom escape a man like my dad. Ten percent of every dollar I make goes to helping a kid like my childhood friend Chris stay off the streets. Ten percent of every dollar I make goes to helping students get the kind of scholarship that would have allowed me to follow my dream of going to art school. Because I tithe, everything I do has value.
Terry Crews (Tough: My Journey to True Power)
Interestingly, the drunkard-genius is a valorised trope when the imbiber of spirits is from among the upper castes. T.R. Mahalingam, the flautist, is a classic example of someone who was an alcoholic but whose drunkenness is spoken of with much affection. His genius eclipsed everything else, they would say. But Somu, the undisputed champion among woodcrafters, would never be given that leeway—his drunkenness is a defect born of his caste. This hypocrisy of the upper castes, and those aspiring to be like them, is insufferable.
Arulraj from the Thanjavur family had a different interpretation. ‘If they (his father and uncles) had extra money, they would head straight to the liquor store. Immediately, their mood would change.’ He was speaking in the context of how the older generation unquestioningly accepted their social status and the way they were treated. Alcoholism could also have been an escape from reality.
T.M. Krishna (Sebastian and Sons: A Brief History of Mrdangam Makers)
We didn’t speak again for seven years after that phone call. There comes a point where you realize you’re just banging your head against a brick wall: no matter how many times you do it, you’re never going to break through, you’re just going to end up with a constant headache. I still made sure she was looked after financially. When she said she wanted to move to Worthing, I bought her a new house. I paid for everything; made sure she had the best care when she needed a hip operation. She auctioned every gift I’d ever given her – everything from jewellery to platinum discs I’d had specially inscribed with her name – but she didn’t need money. She told the papers she was downsizing, but it was just another way of telling me to fuck off – like hiring an Elton John tribute act for her ninetieth birthday party. I ended up buying back some of the jewellery myself, stuff that had sentimental value to me, even if it no longer had for Mum.
Elton John (Me)
Rumor has it your war is intended to protect the Covenant, but the King insists it was you who was going to break it. Rumor also has it you and your brother said you were going to war for the betterment of Remalna.”
“It’s true, I assure you,” I said. “I mean, about our going to war for the Covenant. The King intends to break it--we have proof of that. And we do want to help the kingdom.”
“Perhaps it is true.” The mother gave me a serious look. “But you must consider our position. Too many of us remember what life was like on the coast during the Pirate Wars. No matter who holds a port, or a point, it is our lands, and houses, that get burned, our food taken for supplies, our youths killed. And sometimes not just the youths. We could have a better king, but not at the cost of our towns and farms being laid waste by contending armies.”
These words, so quietly spoken, astounded me. I thought of my entire life, devoted to the future, in which I would fight for the freedom of just such people as these. Would it all be a waste?
“And if he does raise the taxes again? I know he has four times in the last ten years.”
“Then we will manage somehow.” The man shook his head. “And mayhap the day will come when war is necessary, but we want to put that day off as long as we can; for when it does come, it will not be so lightly recovered from. Can you see that?”
I thought of the fighting so far. Who had died while trying to rescue me? Those people would never see the sun set again.
“Yes. I do see it.” I looked up and saw them both watching me anxiously.
The woman leaned forward and patted my hand. “As he says, we do not speak for everyone.”
But the message was clear enough. And I could see the justice of it. For had I not taken these people’s mare without a thought to the consequences? Just so could I envision an army trampling Ara’s garden, their minds filled with thoughts of victory, their hearts certain they were in the right.
“Then how do we address the wrongs?” I asked, and was ashamed at the quiver in my voice.
“That I do not know,” the man said. “I concern myself with what is mine, and I try to help my neighbors. The greater questions--justice, law, and the rights and obligations of power--those seem to be the domain of you nobles. You have the money, and the training, and the centuries of authority.”
Unbidden, Shevraeth’s voice returned to mind, that last conversation before the journey to Remalna, You might contemplate during your measures of leisure what the purpose of a permanent court serves…And consider this: The only reason you and your brother have not been in Athanarel all along is because the King considered you too harmless to bother keeping an eye on.
I sighed. “And at least three of the said aristocrats are busy looking for me. Maybe it’s time I was on my way.”
There was no mistaking the relief in their faces.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
During the year we interviewed him, Dr. South spent more than $70,000 for his most recent motor vehicle purchase, related sales tax, and insurance. Yet for the same period, how much did he place in his pension plan? About $5,700! In other words, only about $1 in every $125 of his income was set aside for retirement. The amount of time Dr. South took to find the best deal on his car was also counterproductive. We estimated that it took him more than sixty hours to study, negotiate, and purchase his Porsche. How much time and effort does it take someone to place money in a pension plan? A small fraction of this time and energy. It is easy for Dr. South to say he wants to accumulate wealth, but his actions speak much louder than his words. Perhaps that explains why he has lost a considerable amount of wealth through imprudent investing. Investing when one has little or no intellectual basis for one’s decisions often translates into major losses. T
Thomas J. Stanley (The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy)
I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body
and life and money and energy with. I can select what I eat and read and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life—whether I will see them as curses or opportunities (and on the occasions when I can’t rise to the most optimistic viewpoint, because I’m feeling too damn sorry for myself, I can choose to keep trying to change my outlook). I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And
most of all, I can choose my thoughts.
you need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select what clothes you’re gonna wear every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.
Drop everything else but that. Because if you can’t learn to master your thinking, you’re in
deep trouble forever
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Lettuce harvests in Salinas, melons in Brawley, grapes in Parlier, oranges in Ontario, cotton in Firebaugh -- and, finally, Santa Clara, the prune country. And because this place was pleasing to the eye, or because they were tired of their endless migration, Juan Rubio and his wife settled here to raise their children. And, remembering his country, Juan thought that his distant cousin, the great General Zapata, had been right when, in speaking of Juan, he once said to Villa, 'He will go far, that relative of mine.'
Now this man who had lived by the gun all his adult life would sit on his haunches under the prune trees, rubbing his sore knees, and think, Next year we will have enough money and we will return to our country. But deep within he knew he was one of the lost ones. And as the years passed him by and his children multiplied and grew, the chant increased in volume and rate until it became a staccato NEXT YEAR! NEXT YEAR!
And the chains were incrementally heavier on his heart.
José Antonio Villareal (Pocho)
Heidi began to read of the son when he was happily at home, and went out into the fields with his father's flocks, and was dressed in a fine cloak, and stood leaning on his shepherd's staff watching as the sun went down, just as he was to be seen in the picture. But then all at once he wanted to have his own goods and money and to be his own master, and so he asked his father to give him his portion, and he left his home and went and wasted all his substance. And when he had nothing left he hired himself out to a master who had no flocks and fields like his father, but only swine to keep; and so he was obliged to watch these, and he only had rags to wear and a few husks to eat such as the swine fed upon. And then he thought of his old happy life at home and of how kindly his father had treated him and how ungrateful he had been, and he wept for sorrow and longing. And he thought to himself, "I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, 'Father, I am not worthy to be called thy son; make me as one of thy hired servants.' " And when he was yet a great way off his father saw him . . . Here Heidi paused in her reading. "What do you think happens now, grandfather?" she said. "Do you think the father is still angry and will say to him, 'I told you so!' Well, listen now to what comes next." His father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." But the father said to his servants, "Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it; and let us eat and be merry, for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry." "Isn't that a beautiful tale, grandfather," said Heidi, as the latter continued to sit without speaking, for she had expected him to express pleasure and astonishment.
Johanna Spyri (Heidi)
Surely," Siddhartha laughed, "surely I have travelled for my amusement. For what else? I have gotten to know people and places, I have received kindness and trust, I have found friendship. Look, my dear, if I had been Kamaswami, I would have travelled back, being annoyed and in a hurry, as soon as I had seen that my purchase had been rendered impossible, and time and money would indeed have been lost. But like this, I've had a few good days, I've learned, had joy, I've neither harmed myself nor others by annoyance and hastiness. And if I'll ever return there again, perhaps to buy an upcoming harvest, or for whatever purpose it might be, friendly people will receive me in a friendly and happy manner, and I will praise myself for not showing any hurry and displeasure at that time. So, leave it as it is, my friend, and don't harm yourself by scolding! If the day will come, when you will see: this Siddhartha is harming me, then speak a word and Siddhartha will go on his own path. But until then, let's be satisfied with one another.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
All the love that had been accumulating through the lonely years of her childhood was in that kiss-Ian felt it in the soft lips parting willingly for his searching tongue, the delicate hands sliding through the hair at his nape. With unselfish ardor she offered it all to him, and Ian took it hungrily, feeling it moving from her to him, then flowing through his veins and mingling with his until the joy of it was shattering. She was everything he’d ever dreamed she could be and more.
With an effort that was almost painful he dragged his mouth from hers, his hand still cupping the rumpled satin of her hair, his other hand holding her pressed to his rigid body, and Elizabeth stayed in his arms, seeming neither frightened nor offended by his rigid erection. “I love you,” he whispered, rubbing his jaw against her temple. “And you love me. I can feel it when you’re in my arms.” He felt her stiffen slightly and draw a shaky breath, but she either couldn’t or wouldn’t speak. She hadn’t thrown the words back in his face, however, so Ian continued talking to her, his hand roving over her back. “I can feel it, Elizabeth, but if you don’t admit it pretty soon, you’re going to drive me out of my mind. I can’t work. I can’t think. I make decisions and then I change my mind. And,” he teased, trying to lighten the mood by using the one topic sure to distract her, “that’s nothing to the money I squander whenever I’m under this sort of violent stress. It wasn’t just the gowns I bought, or the house on Promenade…”
Still talking to her, he tipped her chin up, glorying in the gentle passion in her eyes, overlooking the doubt in their green depths. “If you don’t admit it pretty soon,” he teased, “I’ll spend us out of house and home.” Her delicate brows drew together in blank confusion, and Ian grinned, taking her hand from his chest, the emerald betrothal ring he had brought her unnoticed in his fingers. “When I’m under stress,” he emphasized, sliding the magnificent emerald onto her finger, “I buy everything in sight. It took my last ounce of control not to buy one of those in every color.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
When we came out of the cookhouse, we found the boy's father, the Indian man who had been grazing the horses in the pasture, waiting for us. He wanted someone to tell his troubles to. He looked about guardedly, afraid that the Señora might overhear him.
'Take a look at me' he said. I don't even know how old I am. When I was young, the Señor brought me here. He promised to pay me and give me a plot of my own. 'Look at my clothes' he said, pointing to the patches covering his body. 'I can't remember how many years I've been wearing them. I have no others. I live in a mud hut with my wife and sons. They all work for the Señor like me. They don't go to school. They don't know how to read or write; they don't even speak Spanish. We work for the master, raise his cattle and work his fields. We only get rice and plantains to eat. Nobody takes care of us when we are sick. The women here have their babies in these filthy huts.'
'Why don't you eat meat or at least milk the cows?' I asked.
'We aren't allowed to slaughter a cow. And the milk goes to the calves. We can't even have chicken or pork - only if an animal gets sick and dies. Once I raised a pig in my yard' he went on. 'She had a litter of three. When the Señor came back he told the foreman to shoot them. That's the only time we ever had good meat.'
'I don't mind working for the Señor but I want him to keep his promise. I want a piece of land of my own so I can grow rice and yucca and raise a few chickens and pigs. That's all.' 'Doesn't he pay you anything?' Kevin asked. 'He says he pays us but he uses our money to buy our food. We never get any cash. Kind sirs, maybe you can help me to persuade the master . Just one little plot is all I want. The master has land, much land.'
We were shocked by his tale. Marcus took out a notebook and pen. 'What's his name?'. He wrote down the name. The man didn't know the address. He only knew that the Señor lived in La Paz.
Marcus was infuriated. 'When I find the owner of the ranch, I'll spit right in his eye. What a lousy bastard! I mean, it's really incredible'. 'That's just the way things are,' Karl said. 'It's sad but there's nothing we can do about it.
Yossi Ghinsberg (Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Survival)
He didn’t speak exclusively on the stimulus bill at all these engagements, but the topic of that bill, and of government spending generally, was never far away at any of them. Why was he so deeply opposed to it? The idea behind the stimulus was to pump large amounts of cash into the economy in order to ignite consumer spending and, in turn, growth. The governor thought that idea was foolish for many reasons, but the two that led him to oppose the policy with all his energy were these: the cash was borrowed, and most of it would pass from the federal government to state governments. He understood the culture and habits of government well enough to know that that federal money wouldn’t be used to spur economic growth but to balance state budgets. Maybe it was a good idea to help states shore up their budgets and maybe it wasn’t, but that wasn’t the justification given for the stimulus, and in any case it would have no effect on economic growth. And he understood that, when the stimulus failed to achieve its purpose, people would remember that it was he who had inveighed against it with greater fervor than anybody else.
Barton Swaim (The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics)
If it’s any consolation,” he murmured, “I had a miserable time last night.”
“Good. You deserved to.” She smiled. “Not that I care one way or the other.”
“Stop pretending that you don’t care,” he said hoarsely. “We both care, and you know it. I care more than you can possibly imagine.”
She wanted to believe him, but how could she? “You say that only to coax me into your bed.”
He smiled mirthlessly. “I don’t need to coax women into my bed, my dear. They usually leap there of their own accord.” His smile faded. “This is the first time I’ve apologized to a woman. I’ve never given a damn what any woman thought of me, though plenty of them tried to make me do so. So please forgive me if I’m not handling this to your satisfaction. It’s not a situation I’m accustomed to.”
He was holding her so tenderly, it made her want to weep. Every move they made was a seduction-his leg advancing as hers went back, his hand gripping her waist, the waltz beating a rhythm that made her want to whirl around the ballroom with him forever. Her mind told her she should resist him, but her heart didn’t want to listen.
Her heart was a fool.
She gazed past his shoulder. “My father used to go to a brothel. He never remarried, so he went there to…er…feed his needs. I had to go fetch him a few times when my cousins were working and my aunt was looking after my grandmother, who lived nearby.”
She didn’t know why she was telling him this, but it was a relief to speak of it to someone. Even her aunt and cousins preferred to pretend it never happened. “It was mortifying. He would…forget to come home, and we would need money for something, so I would have to go after him.”
Her gaze locked with his. “I swore I’d never let myself be put in such a position again.” She tipped up her chin. “That’s why I’m happy to have Nathan as my fiancé. He’s genteel and proper. He would never frequent a brothel.”
Oliver’s eyes glittered darkly at her. “No. He would just abandon you to the tender mercies of men who do.”
She forced a smile. “There’s more than one way to be abandoned. If a woman’s husband is forever at a brothel, he might as well be halfway across the sea. The result is the same.”
A stricken expression crossed his face as he stared at her. Then he glanced away.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
People always feel sorry for you if you’re physically sick. It doesn’t matter if you have cancer or a cold. People always feel sorry for you and ask you if you’re okay. You need money? You got it! You want to meet a celebrity? Of course you can! You want to go to a convention, ComiCon, Disney World, anywhere in the world? You’re going to go there.
That doesn’t happen when you’re mentally ill.
If you’re mentally ill, people look at you differently. People roll their eyes when you talk about how sad you are. People won’t lift a finger to help you. “Get a job,” they’ll tell you. “Stop being so lazy. Be grateful you don’t have cancer. Get over it. It’s in the past. You have no reason to be sad.”
And that isn’t how it works.
But, of course, they wouldn’t know that.
They’ve never been mentally ill, they don’t know how you can be so permanently damaged by your past that your present is painful and your future looks bleak. They don’t understand that most days getting out of bed is a chore. They don’t get that sometimes getting a job is out of the question because you’re just too damn afraid to even speak to anyone.
That isn’t something you can just get over.
But no one knows that because mental illnesses aren’t a real problem apparently.
Apparently, the fact that over 800,000 million people die from suicide each year isn’t a real problem. Apparently, the fact that 15% of the adolescent population self-harms isn’t a real problem either. And, apparently, it isn’t a cause to worry that one in 200 American women suffer from an eating disorder.
And, as I stand on the balcony, staring at the glittering city, thinking about the short time I spent in Paperthin Hearts, meeting all of the damaged children, I wonder how in the world people don’t understand what a mistake they’re making when they assume that having cancer is worse than being depressed or anxious or wanting to starve yourself to the point of death. How is that a mystery to anyone? Cancer patients are told they’re brave. They’re all made out to be martyrs. They’re given everything they need. Almost all of them. Mental health patients? They’re lucky if they get the right treatment they need before their broken, bleeding hearts, desperate only for love, destroy a part of them that can never be repaired.
Annie Ortiz (StarBright (Paperthin Hearts, #2))
She could envision Shakespeare's sister. But she imagined a violent, an apocalyptic end for Shakespeare's sister, whereas I know that isn't what happened. You see, it isn't necessary. I know that lots of Chinese women, given in marriage to men they abhorred and lives they despised, killed themselves by throwing themselves down the family well. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. I'm only saying that isn't what usually happens. It it were, we wouldn't be having a population problem. And there are so much easier ways to destroy a woman. You don't have to rape or kill her; you don't even have to beat her. You can just marry her. You don't even have to do that. You can just let her work in your office for thirty-five dollars a week. Shakespeare's sister did...follow her brother to London, but she never got there. She was raped the first night out, and bleeding and inwardly wounded, she stumbled for shelter into the next village she found. Realizing before too long that she was pregnant, she sought a way to keep herself and her child safe. She found some guy with the hots for her, realized he was credulous, and screwed him. When she announced her pregnancy to him, a couple months later, he dutifully married her. The child, born a bit early, makes him suspicious: they fight, he beats her, but in the end he submits. Because there is something in the situation that pleases him: he has all the comforts of home including something Mother didn't provide, and if he has to put up with a screaming kid he isn't sure is his, he feels now like one of the boys down at the village pub, none of whom is sure they are the children of the fathers or the fathers of their children. But Shakespeare's sister has learned the lesson all women learn: men are the ultimate enemy. At the same time she knows she cannot get along in the world without one. So she uses her genius, the genius she might have used to make plays and poems with, in speaking, not writing. She handles the man with language: she carps, cajoles, teases, seduces, calculates, and controls this creature to whom God saw fit to give power over her, this hulking idiot whom she despises because he is dense and fears because he can do her harm.
So much for the natural relation between the sexes.
But you see, he doesn't have to beat her much, he surely doesn't have to kill her: if he did, he'd lose his maidservant. The pounds and pence by themselves are a great weapon. They matter to men, of course, but they matter more to women, although their labor is generally unpaid. Because women, even unmarried ones, are required to do the same kind of labor regardless of their training or inclinations, and they can't get away from it without those glittering pounds and pence. Years spent scraping shit out of diapers with a kitchen knife, finding places where string beans are two cents less a pound, intelligence in figuring the most efficient, least time-consuming way to iron men's white shirts or to wash and wax the kitchen floor or take care of the house and kids and work at the same time and save money, hiding it from the boozer so the kid can go to college -- these not only take energy and courage and mind, but they may constitute the very essence of a life.
They may, you say wearily, but who's interested?...Truthfully, I hate these grimy details as much as you do....They are always there in the back ground, like Time's winged chariot. But grimy details are not in the background of the lives of most women; they are the entire surface.
Marilyn French (The Women's Room)
Loneliness is one of the most universal human experiences, but our contemporary Western society has heightened the awareness of our loneliness to an unusual degree. During a recent visit to New York City, I wrote the following note to myself: Sitting in the subway, I am surrounded by silent people hidden behind their newspapers or staring away in the world of their own fantasies. Nobody speaks with a stranger, and a patroling policeman keeps reminding me that people are not out to help each other. But when my eyes wander over the walls of the train covered with invitations to buy more or new products, I see young, beautiful people enjoying each other in a gentle embrace, playful men and women smiling at each other in fast sailboats, proud explorers on horseback encouraging each other to take brave risks, fearless children dancing on a sunny beach, and charming girls always ready to serve me in airplanes and ocean liners. While the subway train runs from one dark tunnel into the other and I am nervously aware where I keep my money, the words and images decorating my fearful world speak about love, gentleness, tenderness and about a joyful togetherness of spontaneous people.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life)
It doesn't take ten years of study, you don't need to go to the University, to find out that this is a damned good world gone wrong. Gone wrong, because it is being monkeyed with by people too greedy and mean and wrong-hearted altogether to do the right thing by our common world. They've grabbed it and they won't let go. They might lose their importance; they might lose their pull. Everywhere it's the same. Beware of the men you make your masters. Beware of the men you trust.
We've only got to be clear-headed to sing the same song and play the same game all over the world, we common men. We don't want Power monkeyed with, we don't want Work and Goods monkeyed with, and, above all, we don't want Money monkeyed with. That's the elements of politics everywhere. When these things go wrong, we go wrong. That's how people begin to feel it and see it in America. That's how we feel it here -- when we look into our minds. That's what common people feel everywhere. That's
what our brother whites -- "poor whites" they call them -- in those towns in South Carolina are fighting for now. Fighting our battle. Why aren't we with them? We speak the same language; we share the same blood. Who has been keeping us apart from them for a hundred and fifty-odd years? Ruling classes. Politicians. Dear old flag and all that stuff!
Our school-books never tell us a word about the American common man; and his school-books never tell him a word about us. They flutter flags between us to keep us apart. Split us up for a century and a half because of some fuss about taxing tea. And what are our wonderful Labour and Socialist and Communist leaders doing to change that? What are they doing to unite us English-speaking common men together and give us our plain desire? Are they doing anything more for us than the land barons and the
factory barons and the money barons? Not a bit of it! These labour leaders of to-day mean to be lords to-morrow. They are just a fresh set of dishonest trustees. Look at these twenty-odd platforms here! Mark their needless contradictions! Their marvellous differences on minor issues. 'Manoeuvres!' 'Intrigue.' 'Personalities.' 'Monkeying.' 'Don't trust him, trust me!' All of them at it. Mark how we common men are distracted, how we are set hunting first after one red herring and then after another, for the want of simple, honest interpretation...
H.G. Wells (The Holy Terror)
Suddenly with a single bound he leaped into the room. Winning a way past us before any of us could raise a hand to stay him. There was something so pantherlike in the movement, something so unhuman, that it seemed to sober us all from the shock of his coming. The first to act was Harker, who with a quick movement, threw himself before the door leading into the room in the front of the house. As the Count saw us, a horrible sort of snarl passed over his face, showing the eyeteeth long and pointed. But the evil smile as quickly passed into a cold stare of lion-like disdain. His expression again changed as, with a single impulse, we all advanced upon him. It was a pity that we had not some better organized plan of attack, for even at the moment I wondered what we were to do. I did not myself know whether our lethal weapons would avail us anything. Harker evidently meant to try the matter, for he had ready his great Kukri knife and made a fierce and sudden cut at him. The blow was a powerful one; only the diabolical quickness of the Count's leap back saved him. A second less and the trenchant blade had shorn through his heart. As it was, the point just cut the cloth of his coat, making a wide gap whence a bundle of bank notes and a stream of gold fell out. The expression of the Count's face was so hellish, that for a moment I feared for Harker, though I saw him throw the terrible knife aloft again for another stroke. Instinctively I moved forward with a protective impulse, holding the Crucifix and Wafer in my left hand. I felt a mighty power fly along my arm, and it was without surprise that I saw the monster cower back before a similar movement made spontaneously by each one of us. It would be impossible to describe the expression of hate and baffled malignity, of anger and hellish rage, which came over the Count's face. His waxen hue became greenish-yellow by the contrast of his burning eyes, and the red scar on the forehead showed on the pallid skin like a palpitating wound. The next instant, with a sinuous dive he swept under Harker's arm, ere his blow could fall, and grasping a handful of the money from the floor, dashed across the room, threw himself at the window. Amid the crash and glitter of the falling glass, he tumbled into the flagged area below. Through the sound of the shivering glass I could hear the "ting" of the gold, as some of the sovereigns fell on the flagging. We ran over and saw him spring unhurt from the ground. He, rushing up the steps, crossed the flagged yard, and pushed open the stable door. There he turned and spoke to us. "You think to baffle me, you with your pale faces all in a row, like sheep in a butcher's. You shall be sorry yet, each one of you! You think you have left me without a place to rest, but I have more. My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already. And through them you and others shall yet be mine, my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah!" With a contemptuous sneer, he passed quickly through the door, and we heard the rusty bolt creak as he fastened it behind him. A door beyond opened and shut. The first of us to speak was the Professor. Realizing the difficulty of following him through the stable, we moved toward the hall. "We have learnt something… much! Notwithstanding his brave words, he fears us. He fears time, he fears want! For if not, why he hurry so? His very tone betray him, or my ears deceive. Why take that money? You follow quick. You are hunters of the wild beast, and understand it so. For me, I make sure that nothing here may be of use to him, if so that he returns.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
Oskar Schell: My father died at 9-11. After he died I wouldn't go into his room for a year because it was too hard and it made me want to cry. But one day, I put on heavy boots and went in his room anyway. I miss doing taekwondo with him because it always made me laugh. When I went into his closet, where his clothes and stuff were, I reached up to get his old camera. It spun around and dropped about a hundred stairs, and I broke a blue vase! Inside was a key in an envelope with black written on it and I knew that dad left something somewhere for me that the key opened and I had to find. So I take it to Walt, the locksmith. I give it to Stan, the doorman, who tells me keys can open anything. He gave me the phone book for all the five boroughs. I count there are 472 people with the last name black. There are 216 addresses. Some of the blacks live together, obviously. I calculated that if I go to 2 every Saturday plus holidays, minus my hamlet school plays, my minerals, coins, and comic convention, it's going to take me 3 years to go through all of them. But that's what I'm going to do! Go to every single person named black and find out what the key fits and see what dad needed me to find. I made the very best possible plan but using the last four digits of each phone number, I divide the people by zones. I had to tell my mother another lie, because she wouldn't understand how I need to go out and find what the key fits and help me make sense of things that don't even make sense like him being killed in the building by people that didn't even know him at all! And I see some people who don't speak English, who are hiding, one black said that she spoke to God. If she spoke to god how come she didn't tell him not to kill her son or not to let people fly planes into buildings and maybe she spoke to a different god than them! And I met a man who was a woman who a man who was a woman all at the same time and he didn't want to get hurt because he/she was scared that she/he was so different. And I still wonder if she/he ever beat up himself, but what does it matter?
Thomas Schell: What would this place be if everyone had the same haircut?
Oskar Schell: And I see Mr. Black who hasn't heard a sound in 24 years which I can understand because I miss dad's voice that much. Like when he would say, "are you up yet?" or...
Thomas Schell: Let's go do something.
Oskar Schell: And I see the twin brothers who paint together and there's a shed that has to be clue, but it's just a shed! Another black drew the same drawing of the same person over and over and over again! Forest black, the doorman, was a school teacher in Russia but now says his brain is dying! Seamus black who has a coin collection, but doesn't have enough money to eat everyday! You see olive black was a gate guard but didn't have the key to it which makes him feel like he's looking at a brick wall. And I feel like I'm looking at a brick wall because I tried the key in 148 different places, but the key didn't fit. And open anything it hasn't that dad needed me to find so I know that without him everything is going to be alright.
Thomas Schell: Let's leave it there then.
Oskar Schell: And I still feel scared every time I go into a strange place. I'm so scared I have to hold myself around my waist or I think I'll just break all apart! But I never forget what I heard him tell mom about the sixth borough. That if things were easy to find...
Thomas Schell: ...they wouldn't be worth finding.
Oskar Schell: And I'm so scared every time I leave home. Every time I hear a door open. And I don't know a single thing that I didn't know when I started! It's these times I miss my dad more than ever even if this whole thing is to stop missing him at all! It hurts too much. Sometimes I'm afraid I'll do something very bad.
The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French, and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany. It has declined there by 41% since 1971, and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous, and possibly the least-appreciated, people in all the earth. As long as sixty years ago, when I first started to read newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtze. Well who rushed in with men and money to help? The Americans did, that's who. They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges, and the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the Mississippi is under water and no foreign land has sent a dollar to help. Germany, Japan, and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy, were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of those countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. And I was there -- I saw that. When distant cities are hit by earthquake, it is the United States that hurries into help, Managua,
David Nordmark (Understanding American Exceptionalism)
We had been out for one of our evening rambles, Holmes and I, and had returned about six o’clock on a cold, frosty winter’s evening. As Holmes turned up the lamp the light fell upon a card on the table. He glanced at it, and then, with an ejaculation of disgust, threw it on the floor. I picked it up and read: CHARLES AUGUSTUS MILVERTON, Appledore Towers, Hampstead. Agent. “Who is he?” I asked. “The worst man in London,” Holmes answered, as he sat down and stretched his legs before the fire. “Is anything on the back of the card?” I turned it over. “Will call at 6:30--C.A.M.,” I read. “Hum! He’s about due. Do you feel a creeping, shrinking sensation, Watson, when you stand before the serpents in the Zoo, and see the slithery, gliding, venomous creatures, with their deadly eyes and wicked, flattened faces? Well, that’s how Milverton impresses me. I’ve had to do with fifty murderers in my career, but the worst of them never gave me the repulsion which I have for this fellow. And yet I can’t get out of doing business with him--indeed, he is here at my invitation.” “But who is he?” “I’ll tell you, Watson. He is the king of all the blackmailers. Heaven help the man, and still more the woman, whose secret and reputation come into the power of Milverton! With a smiling face and a heart of marble, he will squeeze and squeeze until he has drained them dry. The fellow is a genius in his way, and would have made his mark in some more savoury trade. His method is as follows: He allows it to be known that he is prepared to pay very high sums for letters which compromise people of wealth and position. He receives these wares not only from treacherous valets or maids, but frequently from genteel ruffians, who have gained the confidence and affection of trusting women. He deals with no niggard hand. I happen to know that he paid seven hundred pounds to a footman for a note two lines in length, and that the ruin of a noble family was the result. Everything which is in the market goes to Milverton, and there are hundreds in this great city who turn white at his name. No one knows where his grip may fall, for he is far too rich and far too cunning to work from hand to mouth. He will hold a card back for years in order to play it at the moment when the stake is best worth winning. I have said that he is the worst man in London, and I would ask you how could one compare the ruffian, who in hot blood bludgeons his mate, with this man, who methodically and at his leisure tortures the soul and wrings the nerves in order to add to his already swollen money-bags?” I had seldom heard my friend speak with such intensity of feeling.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Complete Sherlock Holmes)
Example: a famous-to-economists finding in behavioral economics concerns pricing, and the fact that people have a provable bias towards the middle of three prices. It was first demonstrated with an experiment in beer pricing: when there were two beers, a third of people chose the cheaper; adding an even cheaper beer made the share of that beer go up, because it was now in the middle of three prices; adding an even more expensive beer at the top, and dropping the cheapest beer, made the share of the new beer in the middle (which had previously been the most expensive) go up from two-thirds to 90 percent. Having a price above and a price below makes the price in the middle seem more appealing. This experiment has been repeated with other consumer goods, such as ovens, and is now a much-used strategy in the corporate world. Basically, if you have two prices for something, and want to make more people pay the higher price, you add a third, even higher price; that makes the formerly highest price more attractive. Watch out for this strategy. (The research paper about beer pricing, written by a trio of economists at Duke University in 1982, was published in the Journal of Consumer Research. It’s called “Adding Asymetrically Dominated Alternatives: Violations of Regularity and the Simularity Hypothesis”—which must surely be the least engaging title ever given to an article about beer.)
John Lanchester (How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say-And What It Really Means)
I am speaking, as before, of injustice on a large scale in which the advantage of the unjust is most apparent; and my meaning will be most clearly seen if we turn to that highest form of injustice in which the criminal is the happiest of men, and the sufferers or those who refuse to do injustice are the most miserable—that is to say tyranny, which by fraud and force takes away the property of others, not little by little but wholesale; comprehending in one, things sacred as well as profane, private and public; for which acts of wrong, if he were detected perpetrating any one of them singly, he would be punished and incur great disgrace—they who do such wrong in particular cases are called robbers of temples, and man-stealers and burglars and swindlers and thieves. But when a man besides taking away the money of the citizens has made slaves of them, then, instead of these names of reproach, he is termed happy and blessed, not only by the citizens but by all who hear of his having achieved the consummation of injustice. For mankind censure injustice, fearing that they may be the victims of it and not because they shrink from committing it. And thus, as I have shown, Socrates, injustice, when on a sufficient scale, has more strength and freedom and mastery than justice; and, as I said at first, justice is the interest of the stronger, whereas injustice is a man's own profit and interest.
Plato (The Republic)
He was tired of gossip. God, was he tired of gossip. By the time he sold it, SpeakEasyMedia had fully morphed into the very thing Leo most loathed. It had become a pathetic parody of itself, not any more admirable or honest or transparent than the many publications and people they ruthlessly ridiculed—twenty-two to thirty-four times a day to be exact, that was the number the accountants had come up with, how many daily posts they needed on each of their fourteen sites to generate enough clickthroughs to keep the advertisers happy. An absurd amount, a number that meant they had to give prominence to the mundane, shine a spotlight of mockery on the unlucky and often undeserving—publishing stories that were immediately forgotten except by the poor sods who’d been fed to the ever-hungry machine that was SpeakEasyMedia. “The cockroaches of the Internet,” one national magazine had dubbed them, illustrating the article with a cartoon drawing of Leo as King Roach. He was tired of being King Roach. The numbers the larger media company dangled seemed huge to Leo who was also, at that particular moment, besotted with his new publicist, Victoria Gross, who had come from money and was accustomed to money and looked around the room of Leo’s tiny apartment the first time she visited as if she’d just stepped into a homeless shelter. (“When you said you lived near Gramercy,” she said, confused, “I thought you’d
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney (The Nest)
That same day we drove to Seville to celebrate. I asked someone for the name of the smartest hotel in Seville. Alfonso XIII, came the reply. It is where the King of Spain always stays.
We found the hotel and wandered in. It was amazing. Shara was a little embarrassed as I was dressed in shorts and an old holey jersey, but I sought out a friendly-looking receptionist and told her our story.
“Could you help us out? I have hardly any money.”
She looked us up and down, paused--then smiled.
“Just don’t tell my manager,” she whispered.
So we stayed in a $1,000-a-night room for $100 and celebrated--like the King of Spain.
The next morning we went on a hunt for a ring.
I asked the concierge in my best university Spanish where I would find a good (aka well-priced) jeweler.
He looked a little surprised.
I tried speaking slower. Eventually I realized that I had actually been asking him where I might find a good mustache shop.
I apologized that my Spanish was a little rusty. Shara rolled her eyes again, smiling.
When we eventually found a small local jeweler, I had to do some nifty subcounter mathematics, swiftly converting Spanish pesetas into British pounds, to work out whether or not I could afford each ring Shara tried on.
We eventually settled on one that was simple, beautiful--and affordable. Just.
Love doesn’t require expensive jewelry. And Shara has always been able to make the simple look exquisite.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Is it Randall?” Oscar sounded out the name with care, as if testing dangerous waters. Camille closed her eyes and turned her face away from him, not wanting to have to see him when she said what she needed to say.
“I have a duty, Oscar, just like my mother did. She failed at hers and look what happened; she destroyed so much. My father asked me not to say anything, but if I don’t marry Randall…I’m sorry, Oscar, I just have to.”
Camille tried to edge by him, but Oscar held her back with his arm.
“Do you think I’m a fool, Camille? Don’t try to blame marrying Randall on some duty you think you have.”
She parted her lips to insist he was wrong. He cut her off.
“If this is how you really feel, then you had no right to ask me to stay with you that night. You gave me a taste of what being with you might be like, and now you’re asking me to walk away. Who do you think you are?”
Camille shook her head. He wasn’t listening. He had no idea how difficult it was for her, too, to have that one taste, that single moment of pure bliss to feed off of for the rest of her life.
“I don’t have a choice-“
He slammed his fist against the pantry shelf behind her.
“I don’t have a bank vault filled with money, or ten suits hanging in my closet to choose from each morning. I know I couldn’t give you all the things he could, but I can give you something he’ll never be able to. I love you, Camille,” he said, his mouth so close to hers his breath moistened her lips. “I love you. Not your last name or your pretty face or all the business opportunities you could bring me.” He laid his palm just beneath her neck, his thumb caressing the skin above where her heart lay. “Just you.”
She stared at him, unblinking, unable to breathe, let alone speak. Oscar’s arm fell away.
“You do have a choice, Camille. Or should I already be calling you Mrs. Jackson?”
He stormed from the pantry, Camille on his heels. Promise or no promise to her father, she had to tell Oscar everything.
“Please, Oscar, wait, if you’ll just listen-“
The companionway steps rattled, and Ira bounded into the galley. Oscar scooped up his shirt and shoved his arms inside the sleeves as Ira kicked out a bench at the table and sat down.
“I’ve never been so friggin’ tried in my life,” Ira said, grabbing a mug for coffee. “And I once played a game of poker that lasted two days.
Camille ignored him, Oscar’s anger still stinging. She’d created a massive mass. Ira peered at her, then at Oscar.
“Why’re you two all red in the face?” he asked. Then his cheeks drew up and his teeth glistened. Oscar caught him before he could speak.
“Save it, Ira,” he said, quickly glancing at Camille. She couldn’t plead with him to listen to her explain with Ira there. Oscar buttoned his shirt and left the galley. Ira directed his wily grin toward her.
“Save it, Ira,” she echoed, and resumed scrubbing the floor.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
What about Saint Francis?” “Saint Francis relied on the bounty of farmers, not the bounty of God. Even the most fundamental of the fundamentalists plug their ears when Jesus starts talking about birds of the air and lilies of the field. They know damn well he’s just yarning, just making pretty speeches.” “So you think this is what’s at the root of your revolution. You wanted and still want to have your lives in your own hands.” “Yes. Absolutely. To me, living any other way is almost inconceivable. I can only think that hunter-gatherers live in a state of utter and unending anxiety over what tomorrow’s going to bring.” “Yet they don’t. Any anthropologist will tell you that. They are far less anxiety-ridden than you are. They have no jobs to lose. No one can say to them, ‘Show me your money or you don’t get fed, don’t get clothed, don’t get sheltered.’” “I believe you. Rationally speaking, I believe you. But I’m talking about my feelings, about my conditioning. My conditioning tells me—Mother Culture tells me—that living in the hands of the gods has got to be a never-ending nightmare of terror and anxiety.” “And this is what your revolution does for you: It puts you beyond the reach of that appalling nightmare. It puts you beyond the reach of the gods.” “Yes, that’s it.” “So. We have a new pair of names for you. The Takers are those who know good and evil, and the Leavers are …?” “The Leavers are those who live in the hands of the gods.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit)
When I Have to Confess Something to My Husband Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. JAMES 5:16 THERE ARE TIMES in every wife’s life when she needs to confess something to her husband that will be hard for him to hear. For example, if she has dented the car, or spent too much money, or overdrawn the bank account, or accidentally given away his favorite football shirt—or something even worse—and she knows his reaction to what she has to tell him will not be good, she needs help from above. If this happens to you, the thing to do is pray before you speak. If you have something to tell your husband you know he will not approve of, ask God to help you break it to him in the best way possible. Don’t just blurt it out. Ask God to prepare your husband’s heart to hear hard things without having a bad reaction to them. Ask the Lord to give you the right words to say and the right time to say it. There may be occasions when your husband needs to confess something to you, and you will want to set a good example of calm and patience for him to want to emulate. If you feel your husband overreacts to things, pray that God will give him a compassionate and understanding heart and an even temper. Ask God to plant in him the desire to pray for you instead of criticize or lecture. After you seek your husband’s forgiveness, tell him how effective it would be to pray together about this so that it never happens again. My Prayer to God LORD, help me to speak to my husband about what I know I need to confess to him. Give me the words to say. Open his heart to receive what I need to tell him with a good and godly attitude. If it is something I know I did wrong, help me to not do it again. Give me the wisdom and discernment I need to avoid that in the future. Where it is something I did that I feel was not wrong, but I know he will not be happy about it, help us to talk calmly and peacefully about this issue. Enable us to come to an agreement regarding what should be done in the future. Give my husband and me compassionate attitudes that don’t resort to anger. Help us to talk peacefully and come to a mutual understanding so that we always exhibit respect for each other. Teach us to believe for the best in each other. When I have to confess something that is hard for him to hear, reign in both of our hearts so that our words glorify You. Where there are things that should be confessed to each other but have been hidden because of not wanting to stir up anything negative, I pray You would help us to get these things out in the open honestly. Your Word says that confessing our trespasses—both to You and to each other—can be a prelude to healing, not only of body and soul but also of our relationship and marriage. Enable us to freely confess and freely pray for each other so that we may find the healing we need. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional)
In 1972, Sara Kapp had been living for some time at Karmê Chöling without daring to ask to speak to Chögyam Trungpa. But when a New York modeling agency wanted to sign her as a model, she decided to ask his advice. Posing in front of the camera all day did not seem appropriate for someone who was trying to cut through her ego.
Chögyam Trungpa asked her why she wanted to become a model. She explained how she had experienced some difficulty in sticking to any one thing after finishing college. So she thought that maybe picking out something for a few years might be beneficial.
If that is the reason, he replied, then there’s no problem. He encouraged her to follow her career, and as she continued to hesitate, he told her: “The only obstacle I can see is if you do this work hoping to earn lots of money or to be on the cover of Vogue. That would be sad, because you’d be losing youself in the future. It’s a real shame when people regret not having enough money, or having missed a career opportunity, because they are then fixing themselves in the past. It’s very, very sad.” Then staring into her eyes, he repeated: “It’s very, very, very sad because that way we miss out on the present, and the present is marvelous.” She went on to become one of the best-known runway models of her day. For a period of time, one could find mannequins of Sara Kapp in Saks and other epxensive department stores throughout the United States. Her last major modeling contract was as the first Princes Borghese for Revlon. She now works behind the scenes in the fashion industry in Milan.
Fabrice Midal (Chogyam Trungpa: His Life and Vision)
Richard Lovelace makes a compelling case that the best defense is a good offense. “The ultimate solution to cultural decay is not so much the repression of bad culture as the production of sound and healthy culture,” he writes. “We should direct most of our energy not to the censorship of decadent culture, but to the production and support of healthy expressions of Christian and non-Christian art.”10 Public protests and boycotts have their place. But even negative critiques are effective only when motivated by a genuine love for the arts. The long-term solution is to support Christian artists, musicians, authors, and screenwriters who can create humane and healthy alternatives that speak deeply to the human condition. Exploiting “Talent” The church must also stand against forces that suppress genuine creativity, both inside and outside its walls. In today’s consumer culture, one of the greatest dangers facing the arts is commodification. Art is treated as merchandise to market for the sake of making money. Paintings are bought not to exhibit, nor to grace someone’s home, but merely to resell. They are financial investments. As Seerveld points out, “Elite art of the New York school or by approved gurus such as Andy Warhol are as much a Big Business today as the music business or the sports industry.”11 Artists and writers have been reduced to “talent” to be plugged into the manufacturing process. That approach may increase sales, but it will suppress the best and highest forms of art. In the eighteenth century, the world nearly lost the best of Mozart’s music because the adults in the young man’s life treated him primarily as “talent” to exploit.
Nancy R. Pearcey (Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning)
Sometimes it may be a good thing to debunk envy a little. For example: here is a phrase that we have heard a good deal of late:
“These services (payments, compensations, or what not) ought not to be made a matter of charity. We have a right to demand that they should be borne by the state.”
It sounds splendid; but what does it mean?
Now, you and I are the state, and where the bearing of financial burdens is concerned, the taxpayer is the state. The heaviest burden of taxation is, naturally, borne by those who can best afford to pay. When a new burden is imposed, the rich will have to pay most of it.
Of the money expended in charity, the greater part—for obvious reasons—is contributed by the rich. Consequently, if the burden hitherto borne by charity is transferred to the shoulders of the taxpayer, it will inevitably continue to be carried by people who no longer pay because they want to—eagerly and for love—but because they must, reluctantly and under pain of fine or imprisonment. The result, roughly speaking, is financially the same; the only difference is the elimination of the two detested virtues of love and gratitude.
I do not say for a moment that certain things should not be the responsibility of the state—that is, of everybody. No doubt those who formerly contributed out of love should be very willing to pay a tax instead. But what I see very clearly is the hatred of the gracious act and the determination that nobody shall be allowed any kind of spontaneous pleasure in well-doing if envy can prevent it. “This ointment might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” Then our nostrils would not be offended by any odor of sanctity—the house would not be “filled with the smell of the ointment.” It is the characteristic that it should have been Judas who debunked that act of charity.
Dorothy L. Sayers
The rats at the door had gone away. I drank another bottle of wine. To think I was once rich. I once had money. I had everything but something.
I used to think that all people desire to be cared for; some are so used to it that they take it for granted, others, who never feel it, desire it so much that they constantly
need it. So much in fact, that when they don’t receive it they have outbursts, and in the end they wind up pushing away those people who in the end would have cared for them
as their heart desired within its innermost depths. So they are always alone, always on the edge of society, within it, but at the same time, apart from it. They are like spectators
watching with envy the dance of mankind, wishing for that one feeling that only another’s love can bring. A whisper
that speaks to one and only one and says:
“You truly are worth something.”
They never know that feeling that shines on some.
So they cease to expect and begin looking elsewhere for that…wonderful whisper of…
Love almost seems like war.
The ancient Greeks used to say, ‘Love as if you will one day hate.’
I used to think that meant something very
pessimistic, that love was not real.
But really, man is just an animal anyway.
It’s not just about that though, the Greeks meant more. It’s like, ‘Live as if you will one day die.’ Do not take
for granted life, and for the Greeks, do not take for granted your love. After all, it really is something special. Even if it doesn’t last, it’s the moment that matters. How cliché, but
the problem with most men is that they learn words, rather than the concepts that the words signify. And life, death, love, are these not the most important things, those which
a man should learn before all else. And the moment…what of this, even in misery it still matters. But all we learn are words and a way to be.
God I love wine.
So,” Cole says. “Did you decide on a name yet?”
Before I can answer, everyone starts speaking at once.
“You should name him Jace after your favorite brother.”
Cole shoots Jace a dirty look. “You should name him Cole after your good-looking brother.”
Dylan gives me a rueful grin. “Dylan is a great boy’s name, too. Just saying.”
Sawyer nudges her in the ribs. “So is Sawyer.”
Oakley and I exchange a humorous glance.
“Okay,” Oakley declares, rubbing his hands together. “The bidding starts at fifty dollars.”
After pulling out his wallet, Jace slaps some money on the tray table. “I got a hundred for Jace, right here.”
Cole shoves some bills into Oakley’s hands. “I got two hundred for Cole.”
Wayne reaches inside his pocket. “Do you take credit?”
“Sorry, Pops. Cash only.” Fanning the money in his hand, Oakley looks around the room. “Any more takers?”
Dylan pulls some money out of her bra. “Yup. Four hundred for Dylan.”
“Well, I didn’t bring my checkbook with me.” Smiling smugly, Sawyer pats her stomach. “But we are having a girl and a boy. Perhaps we can work out an exchange.”
Jace glowers. “That’s not fair.”
“It’s called bartering, bro.” Reaching over, Cole high-fives his wife. “And that right there is just one reason I love you so much, Bible Thumper. You’re so fucking smart.”
Oakley’s shoveling the money into his wallet when a nurse waltzes in. “Hi, Bianca. I’m the lactation nurse. Do you think you’re ready to try breastfeeding yet?”
Jace makes a face. “And that’s my cue to leave.”
Cole shakes his head. “Not me. I’m not leaving until I know my nephew’s name is Cole.”
I’m shifting to get into a more comfortable position when I notice the blue, green, orange, and purple butterflies scattered across the nurse’s scrubs.
My chest swells and I look over at Oakley who’s smiling.
There’s only one name that feels right.
“Liam,” we whisper at the same time.
Ashley Jade (Broken Kingdom (Royal Hearts Academy, #4))
When the time comes, & I hope it comes soon, to bury this era of moral rot & the defiling of our communal, social, & democratic norms, the perfect epitaph for the gravestone of this age of unreason should be Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley's already infamous quote:
"I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing... as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”
Grassley's vision of America, quite frankly, is one I do not recognize. I thought the heart of this great nation was not limited to the ranks of the plutocrats who are whisked through life in chauffeured cars & private jets, whose often inherited riches are passed along to children, many of whom no sacrifice or service is asked. I do not begrudge wealth, but it must come with a humility that money never is completely free of luck. And more importantly, wealth can never be a measure of worth.
I have seen the waitress working the overnight shift at a diner to give her children a better life, & yes maybe even take them to a movie once in awhile - and in her, I see America.
I have seen the public school teachers spending extra time with students who need help & who get no extra pay for their efforts, & in them I see America.
I have seen parents sitting around kitchen tables with stacks of pressing bills & wondering if they can afford a Christmas gift for their children, & in them I see America.
I have seen the young diplomat in a distant foreign capital & the young soldier in a battlefield foxhole, & in them I see America.
I have seen the brilliant graduates of the best law schools who forgo the riches of a corporate firm for the often thankless slog of a district attorney or public defender's office, & in them I see America.
I have seen the librarian reshelving books, the firefighter, police officer, & paramedic in service in trying times, the social worker helping the elderly & infirm, the youth sports coaches, the PTA presidents, & in them I see America.
I have seen the immigrants working a cash register at a gas station or trimming hedges in the frost of an early fall morning, or driving a cab through rush hour traffic to make better lives for their families, & in them I see America.
I have seen the science students unlocking the mysteries of life late at night in university laboratories for little or no pay, & in them I see America.
I have seen the families struggling with a cancer diagnosis, or dementia in a parent or spouse. Amid the struggles of mortality & dignity, in them I see America.
These, & so many other Americans, have every bit as much claim to a government working for them as the lobbyists & moneyed classes. And yet, the power brokers in Washington today seem deaf to these voices. It is a national disgrace of historic proportions.
And finally, what is so wrong about those who must worry about the cost of a drink with friends, or a date, or a little entertainment, to rephrase Senator Grassley's demeaning phrasings? Those who can't afford not to worry about food, shelter, healthcare, education for their children, & all the other costs of modern life, surely they too deserve to be able to spend some of their “darn pennies” on the simple joys of life.
Never mind that almost every reputable economist has called this tax bill a sham of handouts for the rich at the expense of the vast majority of Americans & the future economic health of this nation. Never mind that it is filled with loopholes written by lobbyists. Never mind that the wealthiest already speak with the loudest voices in Washington, & always have. Grassley’s comments open a window to the soul of the current national Republican Party & it it is not pretty. This is not a view of America that I think President Ronald Reagan let alone President Dwight Eisenhower or Teddy Roosevelt would have recognized. This is unadulterated cynicism & a version of top-down class warfare run amok. ~Facebook 12/4/17
Nothing you've been through has been wasted. I know at times you feel you've wasted time, moments, and years over what you can't regain again — a job, a marriage, a relationship, your health, the sacrifices, your time and service, and giving up something you love for God, that broke your heart. You sit back and wonder, "Will I ever be happy again? Was everything I've been through worth the pain, the tears, the sleepless nights, the embarrassment." The Lord is saying, "It's just preparation." Where you are now is no accident.
What has happened to you didn't take God by surprise. He already initiated a plan of escape before you were formed; mistakes, setbacks, disappointments, things outside your control.. The plan was already made! I don't know your story but only you and God know your story. He took you from bad company, He took you from suicide, He took you when you were at your lowest, He took you when nobody wanted you, He took you when your money was low, Why? Because He saw potential in you!
As God as my witness it gets lonely at times. Life can be fearful when you don't know what to expect. When you feel everything has been stripped away...When you feel there's no hope... When you wonder how much longer do I have to wait. Who wants to feel rejection or disappointments.. But it's in those moments when we experience the faithfulness of God!
I want to encourage whoever I'm speaking to, to hold on! Before Joseph became Prime Minister of Egypt he was in prison for years because of his brothers. He wasn't expecting that... In other words what God has for you is something bigger than you've imagined. It's so much greater and better than what you had at first. It's something you never thought about or even prayed for because nothing you've been through has been wasted. Your situation is going change suddenly because all it did was reposition you for a blessing. God is getting ready to move! You're frustrated because you're on the verge. You're restless because you're on the verge. Your moment is coming sooner than you think!
The sight of the duke taking liberties had made something boil up inside Jackson that he couldn't suppress. He'd uncharacteristically acted on impulse, and already regretted it.
Because the duke now pulled back with the languid motion of all such men of high rank to fix him with a contemptuous stare. "I don't believe we've met, sir."
Jackson fought to rein in the wild emotions careening through him. Lady Celia was glaring at him, and the duke was clearly irritated. But now that Jackson had stuck his nose in this, he would see it out.
"I'm Jackson Pinter of the Bow Street Office. This lady's brother has hired me to...to..." If he said he'd been hired to investigate suitors, Lady Celia would probably murder him on the spot.
"Mr. Pinter is investigating our parents' deaths," she explained in a silky voice that didn't fool Jackson. She was furious. "And apparently he thinks that such a position allows him the right to interfere in more personal matters."
When Jackson met her hot gaze, he couldn't resist baiting her. "Your brother also hired me to protect you from fortune hunters. I'm doing my job."
Outrage filled the duke's face. "Do you know who I am?"
An imminently eligible suitor for her ladyship, damn your eyes. "A man kissing a young, innocent lady without the knowledge or permission of her family."
Lady Celia looked fit to be tied. "Mr. Pinter, this is His Grace, the Duke of Lyons. He is no fortune hunter. And this is none of your concern. I'll thank you to keep your opinions to yourself."
Jackson stared her down. "As I said the other day, madam, there isn't enough money in all the world for that."
The duke cast him a considering glance. "So what do you plan to do about what you saw, sir?"
Jackson tore his gaze from Lady Celia. "That depends upon you, Your Grace, if you both return to the ballroom right now, I don't plan to do anything."
Was the relief or chagrin he saw on the duke's face? It was hard to tell in this bad light.
"As long as you behave yourself with propriety around Lady Celia in the future," Jackson went on, "I see no reason for any of this to pass beyond this room."
"That's good of you." The duke offered Lady Celia his arm. "Shall we, my lady?"
"You go on," she said coolly. "I need to speak to Mr. Pinter alone."
Glancing from her to Jackson, the duke nodded. "I'll expect a dance from you later, my dear," he said with a smile that rubbed Jackson raw.
"Of course." Her gaze locked with Jackson's. "I'd be delighted.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
The best advice came from the legendary actor the late Sir John Mills, who I sat next to backstage at a lecture we were doing together. He told me he considered the key to public speaking to be this: “Be sincere, be brief, be seated.”
Inspired words. And it changed the way I spoke publicly from then on. Keep it short. Keep it from the heart.
Men tend to think that they have to be funny, witty, or incisive onstage. You don’t. You just have to be honest. If you can be intimate and give the inside story--emotions, doubts, struggles, fears, the lot--then people will respond.
I went on to give thanks all around the world to some of the biggest corporations in business--and I always tried to live by that. Make it personal, and people will stand beside you.
As I started to do bigger and bigger events for companies, I wrongly assumed that I should, in turn, start to look much smarter and speak more “corporately.” I was dead wrong--and I learned that fast. When we pretend, people get bored.
But stay yourself, talk intimately, and keep the message simple, and it doesn’t matter what the hell you wear.
It does, though, take courage, in front of five thousand people, to open yourself up and say you really struggle with self-doubt. Especially when you are meant to be there as a motivational speaker.
But if you keep it real, then you give people something real to take away.
“If he can, then so can I” is always going to be a powerful message. For kids, for businessmen--and for aspiring adventurers.
I really am pretty average. I promise you. Ask Shara…ask Hugo.
I am ordinary, but I am determined.
I did, though--as the corporation started to pay me more--begin to doubt whether I was really worth the money. It all seemed kind of weird to me. I mean, was my talk a hundred times better now than the one I gave in the Drakensberg Mountains?
But on the other hand, if you can help people feel stronger and more capable because of what you tell them, then it becomes worthwhile for companies in ways that are impossible to quantify.
If that wasn’t true, then I wouldn’t get asked to speak so often, still to this day.
And the story of Everest--a mountain, like life, and like business--is always going to work as a metaphor. You have got to work together, work hard, and go the extra mile. Look after each other, be ambitious, and take calculated, well-timed risks.
Give your heart to the goal, and it will repay you.
Now, are we talking business or climbing?
That’s what I mean.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
THE PAYOFF IS EXTRAORDINARY I was giving a seminar in Detroit a couple of years ago when a young man, about thirty years old, came up to me at the break. He told me that he had first come to my seminar and heard my “3 Percent Rule” about ten years ago. At that time, he had dropped out of college, was living at home, driving an old car, and earning about $20,000 a year as an office-to-office salesman. He decided after the seminar that he was going to apply the 3 Percent Rule to himself, and he did so immediately. He calculated 3 percent of his income of $20,000 would be $600. He began to buy sales books and read them every day. He invested in two audio-learning programs on sales and time management. He took one sales seminar. He invested the entire $600 in himself, in learning to become better. That year, his income went from $20,000 to $30,000, an increase of 50 percent. He said he could trace the increase with great accuracy to the things he had learned and applied from the books he had read and the audio programs he had listened to. So the following year, he invested 3 percent of $30,000, a total of $900, back into himself. That year, his income jumped from $30,000 to $50,000. He began to think, “If my income goes up at 50 percent per year by investing 3 percent back into myself, what would happen if I invested 5 percent? KEEP RAISING THE BAR The next year, he invested 5 percent of his income, $2,500, into his learning program. He took more seminars, traveled cross-country to a conference, bought more audio- and video-learning programs, and even hired a part-time coach. And that year, his income doubled to $100,000. After that, like playing Texas Hold-Em, he decided to go “all in” and raise his investment into himself to 10 percent per year. He told me that he had been doing this every since. I asked him, “How has investing 10 percent of your income back into yourself affected your income?” He smiled and said, “I passed a million dollars in personal income last year. And I still invest 10 percent of my income in myself every single year.” I said, “That’s a lot of money. How do you manage to spend that much money on personal development?” He said, “It’s hard! I have to start spending money on myself in January in order to invest it all by the end of the year. I have an image coach, a sales coach, and a speaking coach. I have a large library in my home with every book, audio program, and video program on sales and personal success I can find. I attend conferences, both nationally and internationally in my field. And my income keeps going up and up every year.
Brian Tracy (No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline)
She started to head out, but she passed her room. It was the same as she'd left it: a pile of cushions by her bed for Little Brother to sleep on, a stack of poetry and famous literature on her desk that she was supposed to study to become a "model bride," and the lavender shawl and silk robes she'd worn the day before she left home. The jade comb Mulan had left in exchange for the conscription notice caught her eye; it now rested in front of her mirror.
Mulan's gaze lingered on the comb, on its green teeth and the pearl-colored flower nestled on its shoulder. She wanted to hold it, to put it in her hair and show her family- to show everyone- she was worthy. After all, her surname, Fa, meant flower. She needed to show them that she had bloomed to be worthy of her family name.
But no one was here, and she didn't want to face her reflection. Who knew what it would show, especially in Diyu?
She isn't a boy, her mother had told her father once. She shouldn't be riding horses and letting her hair loose. The neighbors will talk. She won't find a good husband-
Let her, Fa Zhou had consoled his wife. When she leaves this household as a bride, she'll no longer be able to do these things.
Mulan hadn't understood what he meant then. She hadn't understood the significance of what it meant for her to be the only girl in the village who skipped learning ribbon dances to ride Khan through the village rice fields, who chased after chickens and helped herd the cows instead of learning the zither or practicing her painting, who was allowed to have opinions- at all.
She'd taken the freedom of her childhood for granted.
When she turned fourteen, everything changed.
I know this will be a hard change to make, Fa Li had told her, but it's for your own good. Men want a girl who is quiet and demure, polite and poised- not someone who speaks out of turn and runs wild about the garden. A girl who can't make a good match won't bring honor to the family. And worse yet, she'll have nothing: not respect, or money of her own, or a home. She'd touched Mulan's cheek with a resigned sigh. I don't want that fate for you, Mulan.
Every morning for a year, her mother tied a rod of bamboo to Mulan's spine to remind her to stand straight, stuffed her mouth with persimmon seeds to remind her to speak softly, and helped Mulan practice wearing heeled shoes by tying ribbons to her feet and guiding her along the garden.
Oh, how she'd wanted to please her mother, and especially her father. She hadn't wanted to let them down. But maybe she hadn't tried enough. For despite Fa Li's careful preparation, she had failed the Matchmaker's exam. The look of hopefulness on her father's face that day- the thought that she'd disappointed him still haunted her.
Then fate had taken its turn, and Mulan had thrown everything away to become a soldier. To learn how to punch and kick and hold a sword and shield, to shoot arrows and run and yell. To save her country, and bring honor home to her family.
How much she had wanted them to be proud of her.
Elizabeth Lim (Reflection (Twisted Tales))
A striking example from the history of writing is the origin of the syllabary devised in Arkansas around 1820 by a Cherokee Indian named Sequoyah, for writing the Cherokee language. Sequoyah observed that white people made marks on paper, and that they derived great advantage by using those marks to record and repeat lengthy speeches. However, the detailed operations of those marks remained a mystery to him, since (like most Cherokees before 1820) Sequoyah was illiterate and could neither speak nor read English. Because he was a blacksmith, Sequoyah began by devising an accounting system to help him keep track of his customers’ debts. He drew a picture of each customer; then he drew circles and lines of various sizes to represent the amount of money owed. Around 1810, Sequoyah decided to go on to design a system for writing the Cherokee language. He again began by drawing pictures, but gave them up as too complicated and too artistically demanding. He next started to invent separate signs for each word, and again became dissatisfied when he had coined thousands of signs and still needed more. Finally, Sequoyah realized that words were made up of modest numbers of different sound bites that recurred in many different words—what we would call syllables. He initially devised 200 syllabic signs and gradually reduced them to 85, most of them for combinations of one consonant and one vowel. As one source of the signs themselves, Sequoyah practiced copying the letters from an English spelling book given to him by a schoolteacher. About two dozen of his Cherokee syllabic signs were taken directly from those letters, though of course with completely changed meanings, since Sequoyah did not know the English meanings. For example, he chose the shapes D, R, b, h to represent the Cherokee syllables a, e, si, and ni, respectively, while the shape of the numeral 4 was borrowed for the syllable se. He coined other signs by modifying English letters, such as designing the signs , , and to represent the syllables yu, sa, and na, respectively. Still other signs were entirely of his creation, such as , , and for ho, li, and nu, respectively. Sequoyah’s syllabary is widely admired by professional linguists for its good fit to Cherokee sounds, and for the ease with which it can be learned. Within a short time, the Cherokees achieved almost 100 percent literacy in the syllabary, bought a printing press, had Sequoyah’s signs cast as type, and began printing books and newspapers. Cherokee writing remains one of the best-attested examples of a script that arose through idea diffusion. We know that Sequoyah received paper and other writing materials, the idea of a writing system, the idea of using separate marks, and the forms of several dozen marks. Since, however, he could neither read nor write English, he acquired no details or even principles from the existing scripts around him. Surrounded by alphabets he could not understand, he instead independently reinvented a syllabary, unaware that the Minoans of Crete had already invented another syllabary 3,500 years previously.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel)
No, she couldn’t blame this one on him. This one was entirely hers. She’d sent him running away.
Everyone knew it, too, which was nowhere more apparent than in the carriage once they were all settled in and headed off.
Lisette was unusually silent. The duke’s wooden expression said that he wished he could be anywhere else but here. And Tristan was studying her with a cold gaze.
He did that for a mile or so before he spoke. “You’re a cruel woman, Jane Vernon.”
“Tristan!” Lisette chided. “Don’t be rude.”
“I’ll be as rude as I please to her,” he told his sister, with a jerk of his head toward Jane. “That man is mad for her, and she just keeps toying with him.”
Guilt swamped Jane. And she’d thought that spending half a day trapped with Dom would be bad? She must have been dreaming.
“It’s none of our concern,” Lisette murmured.
“The hell it isn’t.” Tristan stared hard at Jane. “Is this about Nancy? About the fact that if she has a child, Dom will lose the title and the estate?”
“No, of course not!” How dared he!
“Tristan, please--” Lisette began.
“That’s why you jilted him years ago, isn’t it?” Tristan persisted. “Because he no longer had any money, and you’d lose your fortune if you married him?”
“I did not jilt him!” Jane shouted.
An unnatural silence fell in the carriage, and she cursed her quick tongue. But really, this was all Dom’s fault for never telling his family the truth. She was tired of being made to look the villainess when she’d done nothing wrong.
“What do you mean?” Lisette asked.
Jane released an exasperated breath. “I mean, I did jilt him. But only because he tricked me into it.” When that brought a smug smile to Tristan’s face, she narrowed her eyes on him. “You knew.”
“Not the details. I just knew something wasn’t right. But since it was clear that neither you nor my idiot brother were going to say anything without being prodded into it, I…er…did a bit of prodding.” He smirked at her. “You do tend to speak your mind when you get angry.”
Jane scowled at him. “You’re just like him, manipulative and arrogant and--”
“I beg to differ,” Tristan said jovially. “He’s just like me. I taught him everything he knows.”
“Yes, indeed,” Lisette said with a snort. “You taught him to be as much an idiot as you.” She glanced from Tristan to Jane. “So, is one of you going to tell me what is going on? About the jilting, I mean?”
Tristan cocked an eyebrow at Jane. “Well?”
She sighed. The cat was out of the bag now. Might as well reveal the rest.
So she related the whole tale, from Dom’s plotting with Nancy at the ball to George’s involvement to how she’d finally discovered the truth.
When she finished, Tristan let out a low whistle. “Hell and thunder. My big brother has a better talent for deception than I realized.”
“Not as good as you’d think,” Jane muttered. “If I hadn’t been so wounded and angry at the time, I would have noticed how…manufactured the whole thing felt.”
Lisette patted her hand. “You were young. We were all more volatile then.” Her voice hardened. “And he hit you just where it hurt, the curst devil. No wonder you want to strangle him half the time. I would have strung him up by his toes if he’d done such a thing to me!
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
ASSERTIVE The Assertive type believes time is money; every wasted minute is a wasted dollar. Their self-image is linked to how many things they can get accomplished in a period of time. For them, getting the solution perfect isn’t as important as getting it done. Assertives are fiery people who love winning above all else, often at the expense of others. Their colleagues and counterparts never question where they stand because they are always direct and candid. They have an aggressive communication style and they don’t worry about future interactions. Their view of business relationships is based on respect, nothing more and nothing less. Most of all, the Assertive wants to be heard. And not only do they want to be heard, but they don’t actually have the ability to listen to you until they know that you’ve heard them. They focus on their own goals rather than people. And they tell rather than ask. When you’re dealing with Assertive types, it’s best to focus on what they have to say, because once they are convinced you understand them, then and only then will they listen for your point of view. To an Assertive, every silence is an opportunity to speak more. Mirrors are a wonderful tool with this type. So are calibrated questions, labels, and summaries. The most important thing to get from an Assertive will be a “that’s right” that may come in the form of a “that’s it exactly” or “you hit it on the head.” When it comes to reciprocity, this type is of the “give an inch/take a mile” mentality. They will have figured they deserve whatever you have given them so they will be oblivious to expectations of owing something in return. They will actually simply be looking for the opportunity to receive more. If they have given some kind of concession, they are surely counting the seconds until they get something in return. If you are an Assertive, be particularly conscious of your tone. You will not intend to be overly harsh but you will often come off that way. Intentionally soften your tone and work to make it more pleasant. Use calibrated questions and labels with your counterpart since that will also make you more approachable and increase the chances for collaboration. We’ve seen how each of these groups views the importance of time differently (time = preparation; time = relationship; time = money). They also have completely different interpretations of silence. I’m definitely an Assertive, and at a conference this Accommodator type told me that he blew up a deal. I thought, What did you do, scream at the other guy and leave? Because that’s me blowing up a deal. But it turned out that he went silent; for an Accommodator type, silence is anger. For Analysts, though, silence means they want to think. And Assertive types interpret your silence as either you don’t have anything to say or you want them to talk. I’m one, so I know: the only time I’m silent is when I’ve run out of things to say. The funny thing is when these cross over. When an Analyst pauses to think, their Accommodator counterpart gets nervous and an Assertive one starts talking, thereby annoying the Analyst, who thinks to herself, Every time I try to think you take that as an opportunity to talk some more. Won’t you ever shut up?
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
I don’t know what to do with you,” he said, his voice growing curt with anger again. “Deceitful little minx. I’m of half a mind to put you to work, milking the goats. But that’s out of the question with these hands, now isn’t it?” He curled and uncurled her fingers a few times, testing the bandage. “I’ll tell Stubb to change this twice a day. Can’t risk the wound going septic. And don’t use your hands for a few days, at least.”
“Don’t use my hands? I suppose you’re going to spoon-feed me, then? Dress me? Bathe me?”
He inhaled slowly and closed his eyes. “Don’t use your hands much.” His eyes snapped open. “None of that sketching, for instance.”
She jerked her hands out of his grip. “You could slice off my hands and toss them to the sharks, and I wouldn’t stop sketching. I’d hold the pencil with my teeth if I had to. I’m an artist.”
“Really. I thought you were a governess.”
“Well, yes. I’m that, too.”
He packed up the medical kit, jamming items back in the box with barely controlled fury. “Then start behaving like one. A governess knows her place. Speaks when spoken to. Stays out of the damn way.”
Rising to his feet, he opened the drawer and threw the box back in. “From this point forward, you’re not to touch a sail, a pin, a rope, or so much as a damned splinter on this vessel. You’re not to speak to crewmen when they’re on watch. You’re forbidden to wander past the foremast, and you need to steer clear of the helm, as well.”
“So that leaves me doing what? Circling the quarterdeck?”
“Yes.” He slammed the drawer shut. “But only at designated times. Noon hour and the dogwatch. The rest of the day, you’ll remain in your cabin.”
Sophia leapt to her feet, incensed. She hadn’t fled one restrictive program of behavior, just to submit to another. “Who are you to dictate where I can go, when I can go there, what I’m permitted to do? You’re not the captain of this ship.”
“Who am I?” He stalked toward her, until they stood toe-to-toe. Until his radiant male heat brought her blood to a boil, and she had to grab the table edge to keep from swaying toward him. “I’ll tell you who I am,” he growled. “I’m a man who cares if you live or die, that’s who.”
Her knees melted. “Truly?”
“Truly. Because I may not be the captain, but I’m the investor. I’m the man you owe six pounds, eight. And now that I know you can’t pay your debts, I’m the man who knows he won’t see a bloody penny unless he delivers George Waltham a governess in one piece.”
Sophia glared at him. How did he keep doing this to her? Since the moment they’d met in that Gravesend tavern, there’d been an attraction between them unlike anything she’d ever known. She knew he had to feel it, too. But one minute, he was so tender and sensual; the next, so crass and calculating. Now he would reduce her life’s value to this cold, impersonal amount? At least back home, her worth had been measured in thousands of pounds not in shillings.
“I see,” she said. “This is about six pounds, eight shillings. That’s the reason you’ve been watching me-“
He made a dismissive snort. “I haven’t been watching you.”
“Staring at me, every moment of the day, so intently it makes my…my skin crawl and all you’re seeing is a handful of coins. You’d wrestle a shark for a purse of six pounds, eight. It all comes down to money for you.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
The second aspect of the moral appeal of the inner-child movement is consolation. Life is full of setbacks. People we love reject us. We don't get the jobs we want. We get bad grades. Our children don't need us anymore. We drink too much. We have no money. We are mediocre. We lose. We get sick. When we fail, we look for consolation, one form of which is to see the setback as something other than failure-to interpret it in a way that does not hurt as much as failure hurts. Being a victim, blaming someone else, or even blaming the system is a powerful and increasingly widespread form of consolation. It softens many of life's blows.
Such shifts of blame have a glorious past. Alcoholics Anonymous made the lives of millions of alcoholics more bearable by giving them the dignity of a “disease” to replace the ignominy of “failure,” “immorality,” or “evil.” Even more important was the civil rights movement. From the Civil War to the early 1950s, black people in America did badly-by every statistic. How did this get explained? “Stupid,” “lazy,” and “immoral” were the words shouted by demagogues or whispered by the white gentry. Nineteen fifty-four marks the year when these explanations began to lose their power. In Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court held that racial segregation in schools was illegal. People began to explain black failure as “inadequate education,” “discrimination,” and “unequal opportunity.”
These new explanations are literally uplifting. In technical terms, the old explanations—stupidity and laziness—are personal, permanent, and pervasive. They lower self-esteem; they produce passivity, helplessness, and hopelessness. If you were black and you believed them, they were self-fulfilling. The new explanations—discrimination, bad schools, lean opportunities are impersonal, changeable, and less pervasive. They don't deflate self-esteem (in fact, they produce anger instead). They lead to action to change things. They give hope.
The recovery movement enlarges on these precedents. Recovery gives you a whole series of new and more consoling explanations for setbacks. Personal troubles, you're told, do not result as feared from your own sloth, insensitivity, selfishness, dishonesty, self-indulgence, stupidity, or lust. No, they stem from the way you were mistreated as a child. You can blame your parents, your brother, your teachers, your minister, as well as your sex and race and age. These kinds of explanations make you feel better. They shift the blame to others, thereby raising self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. They lower guilt and shame. To experience this shift in perspective is like seeing shafts of sunlight slice through the clouds after endless cold, gray days.
We have become victims, “survivors” of abuse, rather than “failures” and “losers.” This helps us get along better with others. We are now underdogs, trying to fight our way back from misfortune. In our gentle society, everyone roots for the underdog. No one dares speak ill of victims anymore. The usual wages of failure—contempt and pity—are transmuted into support and compassion.
So the inner-child premises are deep in their appeal: They are democratic, they are consoling, they raise our self-esteem, and they gain us new friends. Small wonder so many people in pain espouse them.
Martin E.P. Seligman (What You Can Change and What You Can't: The Complete Guide to Successful Self-Improvement)
Men are not content with a simple life: they are acquisitive, ambitious, competitive, and jealous; they soon tire of what they have, and pine for what they have not; and they seldom desire anything unless it belongs to others.
The result is the encroachment of one group upon the territory of another, the rivalry of groups for the resources of the soil, and then war.
Trade and finance develop, and bring new class-divisions. "Any ordinary city is in fact two cities, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich, each at war with the other; and in either division there are smaller ones - you would make a great mistake if you treated them as single states".
A mercantile bourgeoisie arises, whose members seek social position through wealth and conspicuous consumption: "they will spend large sums of money on their wives".
These changes in the distribution of wealth produce political changes: as the wealth of the merchant over-reaches that of the land-owner, aristocracy gives way to a plutocratic oligarchy - wealthy traders and bankers rule the state. Then statesmanship, which is the coordination of social forces and the adjustment of policy to growth, is replaced by politics, which is the strategy of parts and the lust of the spoils of office.
Every form of government tends to perish by excess of its basic principle.
Aristocracy ruins itself by limiting too narrowly the circle within which power is confined; oligarchy ruins itself by the incautious scramble for immediate wealth.
In rather case the end is revolution.
When revolution comes it may seem to arise from little causes and petty whims, but though it may spring from slight occasions it is the precipitate result of grave and accumulated wrongs; when a body is weakened by neglected ills, the merest exposure may bring serious disease.
Then democracy comes: the poor overcome their opponents, slaughtering some and banishing the rest; and give to the people an equal share of freedom and power.
But even democracy ruins itself by excess – of democracy. Its basic principle is the equal right of all to hold office and determine public policy.
This is at first glance a delightful arrangement; it becomes disastrous because the people are not properly equipped by education to select the best rulers and the wisest courses.
As to the people they have no understanding, and only repeat what their rulers are pleased to tell them; to get a doctrine accepted or rejected it is only necessary to have it praised or ridiculed in a popular play (a hit, no doubt, at Aristophanes, whose comedies attacked almost every new idea). Mob-rule is a rough sea for the ship of state to ride; every wind of oratory stirs up the waters and deflects the course.
The upshot of such a democracy is tyranny or autocracy; the crowd so loves flattery, it is so “hungry for honey” that at last the wiliest and most unscrupulous flatterer, calling himself the “protected of the people” rises to supreme power. (Consider the history of Rome).
The more Plato thinks of it, the more astounded he is at the folly of leaving to mob caprice and gullibility the selection of political officials – not to speak of leaving it to those shady and wealth-serving strategists who pull the oligarchic wires behind the democratic stage.
Plato complains that whereas in simpler matters – like shoe-making – we think only a specially-trained person will server our purpose, in politics we presume that every one who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state.
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers)
I was getting my knife sharpened at the cutlery shop in the mall,” he said. It was where he originally bought the knife. The store had a policy of keeping your purchase razor sharp, so he occasionally brought it back in for a free sharpening. “Anyway, it was that day that I met this Asian male. He was alone and really nice looking, so I struck up a conversation with him. Well, I offered him fifty bucks to come home with me and let me take some photos. I told him that there was liquor at my place and indicated that I was sexually attracted to him. He was eager and cooperative so we took the bus to my apartment. Once there, I gave him some money and he posed for several photos. I offered him the rum and Coke Halcion-laced solution and he drank it down quickly. We continued to drink until he passed out, and then I made love to him for the rest of the afternoon and early evening. I must have fallen asleep, because when I woke up it was late. I checked on the guy. He was out cold, still breathing heavily from the Halcion. I was out of beer and walked around the corner for another six-pack but after I got to the tavern, I started drinking and before I knew it, it was closing time. I grabbed my six-pack and began walking home. As I neared my apartment, I noted a lot of commotion, people milling about, police officers, and a fire engine. I decided to see what was going on, so I came closer. I was surprised to see they were all standing around the Asian guy from my apartment. He was standing there naked, speaking in some kind of Asian dialect. At first, I panicked and kept walking, but I could see that he was so messed up on the Halcion and booze that he didn’t know who or where he was. “I don’t really know why, Pat, but I strode into the middle of everyone and announced he was my lover. I said that we lived together at Oxford and had been drinking heavily all day, and added that this was not the first time he left the apartment naked while intoxicated. I explained that I had gone out to buy some more beer and showed them the six-pack. I asked them to give him a break and let me take him back home. The firemen seemed to buy the story and drove off, but the police began to ask more questions and insisted that I take them to my apartment to discuss the matter further. I was nervous but felt confident; besides, I had no other choice. One cop took him by the arm and he followed, almost zombie-like. “I led them to my apartment and once inside, I showed them the photos I had taken, and his clothes neatly folded on the arm of my couch. The cops kept trying to question the guy but he was still talking gibberish and could not answer any of their questions, so I told them his name was Chuck Moung and gave them a phony date of birth. I handed them my identification and they wrote everything down in their little notebooks. They seemed perturbed and talked about writing us some tickets for disorderly conduct or something. One of them said they should take us both in for all the trouble we had given them. “As they were discussing what to do, another call came over their radio. It must have been important because they decided to give us a warning and advised me to keep my drunken partner inside. I was relieved. I had fooled the authorities and it gave me a tremendous feeling. I felt powerful, in control, almost invincible. After the officers left, I gave the guy another Halcion-filled drink and he soon passed out. I was still nervous about the narrow escape with the cops, so I strangled him and disposed of his body.
Patrick Kennedy (GRILLING DAHMER: The Interrogation Of "The Milwaukee Cannibal")
Jackson gaped at her, wondering how this had all turned so terrible wrong. But he knew how. The woman was clearly daft. Bedlam-witted.
And trying to drive him in the same direction. "You can't be serious. Since when do you know anything about investigating people?"
She planted her hands on her hips. "You won't do it, so I must."
God save him, she was the most infuriating, maddening-"How do you propose to manage that?"
She shrugged. "Ask them questions, I suppose. The house party for Oliver's birthday is next week. Lord Devonmont is already coming, and it will be easy to convince Gran to invite my other two. Once they're here, I could try sneaking into their rooms and listening in on their conversations or perhaps bribing their servants-"
"You've lost your bloody mind," he hissed.
Only after she lifted an eyebrow did he realize he'd cursed so foully in front of her. But the woman would turn a sane man into a blithering idiot! The thought of her wandering in and out of men's bedchambers, risking her virtue and her reputation, made his blood run cold.
"You don't seem to understand," she said in a clipped tone, as if speaking to a child. "I have to catch a husband somehow. I need help, and I've nowhere else to turn. Minerva is rarely here, and Gran's matchmaking efforts are as subtle as a sledgehammer. And even if my brothers and their wives could do that sort of work, they're preoccupied with their own affairs. That leaves you, who seem to think that suitors drop from the skies at my whim. If I can't even entice you to help me for money, then I'll have to manage on my own."
Turning on her heel, she headed for the door.
Hell and blazes, she was liable to attempt such an idiotic thing, too. She had some fool notion she was invincible. That's why she spent her time shooting at targets with her brother's friends, blithely unconcerned that her rifle might misfire or a stray bullet hit her by mistake.
The wench did as she pleased, and the men in her family let her. Someone had to curb her insanity, and it looked as if it would have to be him.
"All right!" he called out. "I'll do it."
She halted but didn't turn around. "You'll find out what I need in order to snag one of my choices as a husband?"
"Even if it means being a trifle underhanded?"
He gritted his teeth. This would be pure torture. The underhandedness didn't bother him; he'd be as underhanded as necessary to get rid of those damned suitors. But he'd have to be around the too-tempting wench a great deal, if only to make sure the bastards didn't compromise her.
Well, he'd just have to find something to send her running the other way. She wanted facts? By thunder, he'd give her enough damning facts to blacken her suitors thoroughly.
If you know of some eligible gentleman you can strong-arm into courting me, then by all means, tell me. I'm open to suggestions.
All right, so he had no one to suggest. But he couldn't let her marry any of her ridiculous choices. They would make her miserable-he was sure of it. He must make her see that she was courting disaster.
Then he'd find someone more eligible for her. Somehow.
She faced him. "Well?"
"Yes," he said, suppressing a curse. "I'll do whatever you want."
A disbelieving laugh escaped her. "That I'd like to see." When he scowled, she added hastily, "But thank you. Truly. And I'm happy to pay you extra for your efforts, as I said."
He stiffened. "No need."
"Nonsense," she said firmly. "It will be worth it to have your discretion."
His scowl deepened. "My clients always have my discretion.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
The process of receiving teaching depends upon the student giving something in return; some kind of psychological surrender is necessary, a gift of some sort. This is why we must discuss surrendering, opening, giving up expectations, before we can speak of the relationship between teacher and student. It is essential to surrender, to open yourself, to present whatever you are to the guru, rather than trying to present yourself as a worthwhile student. It does not matter how much you are willing to pay, how correctly you behave, how clever you are at saying the right thing to your teacher. It is not like having an interview for a job or buying a new car. Whether or not you will get the job depends upon your credentials, how well you are dressed, how beautifully your shoes are polished, how well you speak, how good your manners are. If you are buying a car, it is a matter of how much money you have and how good your credit is. But when it comes to spirituality, something more is required. It is not a matter of applying for a job, of dressing up to impress our potential employer. Such deception does not apply to an interview with a guru, because he sees right through us. He is amused if we dress up especially for the interview. Making ingratiating gestures is not applicable in this situation; in fact it is futile. We must make a real commitment to being open with our teacher; we must be willing to give up all our preconceptions. Milarepa expected Marpa to be a great scholar and a saintly person, dressed in yogic costume with beads, reciting mantras, meditating. Instead he found Marpa working on his farm, directing the laborers and plowing his land. I am afraid the word guru is overused in the West. It would be better to speak of one’s “spiritual friend,” because the teachings emphasize a mutual meeting of two minds. It is a matter of mutual communication, rather than a master-servant relationship between a highly evolved being and a miserable, confused one. In the master-servant relationship the highly evolved being may appear not even to be sitting on his seat but may seem to be floating, levitating, looking down at us. His voice is penetrating, pervading space. Every word, every cough, every movement that he makes is a gesture of wisdom. But this is a dream. A guru should be a spiritual friend who communicates and presents his qualities to us, as Marpa did with Milarepa and Naropa with Marpa. Marpa presented his quality of being a farmer-yogi. He happened to have seven children and a wife, and he looked after his farm, cultivating the land and supporting himself and his family. But these activities were just an ordinary part of his life. He cared for his students as he cared for his crops and family. He was so thorough, paying attention to every detail of his life, that he was able to be a competent teacher as well as a competent father and farmer. There was no physical or spiritual materialism in Marpa’s lifestyle at all. He did not emphasize spirituality and ignore his family or his physical relationship to the earth. If you are not involved with materialism, either spiritually or physically, then there is no emphasis made on any extreme. Nor is it helpful to choose someone for your guru simply because he is famous, someone who is renowned for having published stacks of books and converted thousands or millions of people. Instead the guideline is whether or not you are able actually to communicate with the person, directly and thoroughly. How much self-deception are you involved in? If you really open yourself to your spiritual friend, then you are bound to work together. Are you able to talk to him thoroughly and properly? Does he know anything about you? Does he know anything about himself, for that matter? Is the guru really able to see through your masks, communicate with you properly, directly? In searching for a teacher, this seems to be the guideline rather than fame or wisdom.
Chögyam Trungpa (Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism)
But Muslims now find themselves in a world shaped by western theories and western values. If we are to consider how Islamic communities conducted their affairs throughout the greater part of their history, it may be convenient to compare and contrast this way of life with the contemporary western model. Today the Muslims are urged to embrace democracy and are condemned for political corruption, while western scholars debate whether Islam can ever accommodate the democratic ideal. On the whole, they think not. Democracy, they believe, is a sign of political maturity and therefore of superiority. Western societies, since they are seen as democratic, exemplify this superiority. So there is one question that has to be pressed home: what, precisely, is meant by democracy? Let me put forward an imaginary Arab who knows nothing of western ways but would like to learn about them. He is aware that the literal meaning of the word democracy is "mob rule", but understands that this is not what westerners mean by it. He wonders how this meaning has, in practice, been modified and, since his questions are directed to an Englishman, he is not altogether surprised to be told that Britain is the exemplary democracy. He learns that the people—all except children, lunatics and peers of the realm—send their representatives to Parliament to speak for them. He is assured that these representatives never accept bribes to vote against their consciences or against the wishes of their constituents. He enquires further and is astonished to learn that the political parties employ what are known as Whips, who compel members to vote in accordance with the party line, even if this conflicts both with their consciences and with the views of the people who elected them. In this case it is not money but ambition for office that determines the way they vote. "But is this not corruption?" he asks naively. The Englishman is shocked. "But at least the party in power represents the vast majority of the electorate?" This time the Englishman is a little embarrassed. It is not quite like that. The governing party, which enjoys absolute power through its dominance in the House of Commons, represents only a minority of the electorate. "Are there no restraints on this power?" There used to be, he is told. In the past there was a balance between the Crown, the House of Lords and the Commons, but that was seen as an undemocratic system so it was gradually eroded. The "sovereignty" of the Lower House is now untrammelled (except, quite recently, by unelected officials in Brussels). "So this is what democracy means?" Our imaginary Arab is baffled. He investigates further and is told that, in the 1997 General Election, the British people spoke with one voice, loud and clear. A landslide victory gave the Leader of the Labour Party virtually dictatorial powers. Then he learns that the turn-out of electors was the lowest since the war. Even so, the Party received only forty-three per cent of the votes cast. He wonders if this can be the system which others wish to impose on his own country. He is aware that various freedoms, including freedom of the press, are essential components of a democratic society, but no one can tell him how these are to be guaranteed if the Ruler, supported by a supine—"disciplined"—House of Commons enjoys untrammelled authority. He knows a bit about rulers and the way in which they deal with dissent, and he suspects that human nature is much the same everywhere. Barriers to oppression soon fall when a political system eliminates all "checks and balances" and, however amiable the current Ruler may be, there is no certainty that his successors, inheriting all the tools of power, will be equally benign. He turns now to an American and learns, with some relief since he himself has experienced the oppression of absolutism, that the American system restrains the power of the President by that of the Congress and the Supreme Court; moreover, the electe
Kopiaō (labor) means to work to the point of exhaustion. People sometimes tell me that I work too hard. But compared to Paul, I am not working hard enough. It saddens me to hear of pastors or seminary students who are looking for an easy pastorate. When I was a young pastor, a lady (who did not know I was a pastor) advised me to go into the ministry. When I asked her why, she replied that ministers did not have to do anything and could make lots of money. No one would get that idea by observing Paul. Concerning those who denigrated his ministry, he wrote: Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as if insane) I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches. (2 Cor. 11:23-28) No one can successfully serve Jesus Christ without working hard. Lazy pastors, Christian leaders, or laymen will never fulfill the ministry the Lord has called them to. Striving is from agōnizomai, which refers to competing in an athletic event. Our English word agonize is derived from it. Success in serving the Lord, like success in sports, demands maximum effort. Lest anyone misunderstand him, Paul says that he strives according to His power, which mightily works within me. All his toil and hard labor would have been useless apart from God’s power in his life.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Colossians and Philemon MacArthur New Testament Commentary (MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series Book 22))
Laughter, yelling when surprised, crying—all are signaling mechanisms built to tell those around you the truth faster and more honestly than you could consciously through speaking effort.
Richard Heart (sciVive)
In the 1930s, Dr John Brinkley sold a ‘miracle cure’ for impotence. It involved transplanting goat testicles into men’s scrotums. The procedure didn’t work. Brinkley would usually operate drunk, and maimed and killed a lot of his patients. His medical license was revoked, and the authorities took out full page advertisements in the Journal of the American Medical Association, warning the public not to deal with him. None of this stopped Brinkley from becoming — for a time — one of America’s wealthiest and most loved men. He was able to do this because he built an audience of his own, and nurtured it carefully with entertaining stories. You see, Brinkley’s patients did not read the Journal of the American Medical Association. What they did do was listen to the several radio stations that Brinkley controlled. Every day, he would take to the airwaves and speak for hours on end to promote his goat gonad treatments. He’d tell colourful stories that chided impotent men, and cajoled their wives into buying his procedure. (His story is told in the book Charlatan, if you’re interested.) When you have an audience and you have stories that people want to hear, it’s very difficult to stop you. With an audience of your own, you can change things, you can sell things, you can get people to give you money to put goat parts in their testicles. If people want to hear from you, good luck to anybody who gets in your way.
Ian Harris (Hooked On You: The Genius Way to Make Anybody Read Anything)
Y'all know that little gal Kelly Crawford that works down at Tuckers?" Tuckers Jiffy Lube was the only gas station and mechanical shop in town.
Jena Lynn's face contorted in disapproval.
"You referring to that scantily clad girl who runs the register?" I asked as Jena Lynn hopped up to retrieve the coffeepot.
"That's the one." Betsy curled up her lip in disgust.
"That girl is barely legal!" I was outraged.
"I know! I'm going to tell her granny. She'll take a hickory switch to the girl when she finds out what she's been up to. She was all over Darnell." Betsy wiped her nose with the back of her hand. She was right about that. Her granny wasn't the type to spare the rod; she parented old-school style.
Jena Lynn's tone rose as she stirred raw sugar into her coffee. "You caught them?"
"Well, I called him after what happened with poor Mr. Ledbetter---"
We shook our heads.
"---told him I was going to be late 'cause I was taking that extra shift. Guess he thought late meant real late 'cause when I got home, they we're rootin' around on my couch, the one my meemaw gave me last spring when she had her house redecorated."
We sat in stunned silence.
"I threw his junk out last night. And when he still didn't budge from the TV"---she paused for effect---"I set it all on fire, right there in the front yard." She leaned back and crossed her arms over her expansive chest.
"That's harsh." Sam stacked his empty plates. "Maybe it wasn't Darnell's fault." Jena Lynn and I gave him a disapproving glare. He appeared oblivious to his offense, and the moron had the audacity to reach into the container for a cream cheese Danish.
"Sam, if you value that scrawny hand of yours, I'd pull it out real slow or you'll be drawing back a nub," Betsy warned.
"Sheesh!" Sam jerked backward. It was obvious he didn't doubt her for a second. He marched toward the kitchen and dropped the plates in the bus tub with a loud thud.
"He should know better. You don't touch a gal's comfort food in a time of crisis," I said, and my sister nodded in agreement.
Jena Lynn patted Betsy on the arm. "Ignore him, Bets. He's a man."
I stood. "And if I may be so bold as to speak for all the women of the world who have been unfortunate enough to be in your shoes, we applaud you."
A satisfied smile spread across Betsy's lips. "Thank you." She took a little bow. "That's why my eyes look like they do. Smoke got to me." She leaned in closer. "I threw all his high school football trophies into the blaze while he was hollering at me. The whole neighborhood came out to watch."
I chuckled. The thought of Darnell Fryer running around watching all his belongings go up in smoke was hilarious. I wished I'd been there. "Did anyone try to step in and help Darnell?"
"Hell nah. He owes his buddies so much money from borrowing to pay his gambling debts, the ones that came out brought their camping chairs and watched the show while tossing back a few cold ones." She got up from the counter to scoop a glass full of ice and filled it with Diet Coke from the fountain. "Y'all, I gotta lose this weight now I'm back on the market."
Betsy was one of a kind.
Kate Young (Southern Sass and Killer Cravings (Marygene Brown Mystery, #1))
But as he approached fifty, Kenny yearned to do something different. Someone told him that More Than Money—the same inheritors group Jeff Weissglass got involved with—was hiring an executive director. He landed the position and, in short order, discovered that his pregnant teens had at least one thing in common with these young heirs and heiresses: Society defined and stereotyped both groups by how much money they did or didn’t have. The foundations that funded adolescent pregnancy care assumed the girls were getting knocked up because they were poor, “which was not necessarily true,” Kenny says, whereas the inheritors were pegged as “entitled and spoiled and lazy—and there’s no basis for that.” The anti-inheritor bias proved so toxic that some of Kenny’s former colleagues shunned him after he took the new job. “They’re like, ‘What a sellout! What a cop-out! Why would you do that?’ ” he recalls. “What does it say about our culture that everyone wants to win the lottery in some way, shape, or form, and there’s a whole segment of our culture that hates people who win the big payout.” This is indeed a paradox. Oscar Mayer heir Chuck Collins gave away his $500,000 inheritance in 1986, when he was a young man. (Invested in the S&P 500, it would be worth about $14 million today.) He has since dedicated himself, through the Institute for Policy Studies, to educating the American public about inequality. His memoir, Born on Third Base, includes the following scene: Speaking to a crowd of about 350 people, he asks who among them feels rage toward the wealthiest 1 percent. Almost everyone raises a hand. He then asks, “How many of you wish you were in the wealthiest 1 percent?” They laugh, but again, almost everyone. “People are envious,” Kenny says. “And what you end up doing with envy is demeaning whoever it is that you envy, because they have what we think we deserve.” During his time at More Than Money, Kenny grew friendly with Paul Schervish, then the director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, and when Schervish offered him the associate director job, Kenny jumped. He’d seen how inheritors grappled with their unearned fortunes. Now he wanted to better understand their parents. Havens was the numbers guy “and I was in charge of: ‘I’d like to know what these people are thinking, and nobody ever asks them.’
Michael Mechanic (Jackpot: How the Super-Rich Really Live—and How Their Wealth Harms Us All)
It's not good for one's view of human nature, that's for sure. You begin to see, when invitations are coming from festivals and colleges to come read (for an hour for a hefty sum of money), that the institutions are head-hunting for trophy writers. Most don't particularly care about your writing or what you're trying to say. You're there as a human object, one that has won a prize.
Actually If there is someone so called god or avatar or whatever legendary creature he/she/it is, peoples first expectation is that god has to do magics, he has to do paranormal phenomenon. Yes it happens but keep on doing that will stop the peace of the world. When I left Nalanda and visited home, I felt like 23 degree tilt in my heart. What I felt can not be proven by scientific measurements. When i was nalanda I saw many people died, those who were close to my heart cried when i left Nalanda, and I saw that. But the thing is as I said, my subconscious mind controls the universal planetary patterns, no one can predict me but universe. I decide to be good or bad or neutral or crazy to protect nature. But now people has changed at least for today alone, they think that by providing beautiful women, money they can purchase me, haha. And sexual desire is common for men and women, both needs it but the problem is sustaining with so many trust issues and challenges to be faced. How many married people are happy? or how many sexual people are happy? Yes what i do is maturation frankly speaking, and you may think that it is bad. But I am true to myself alone. Sometimes the promises I have given to people can not be fulfilled, and it is not because i forgot you but because time frame shifted. I still remember sarnam singh face when I left nalanda, he cried before my eyes. He is 100% traditional guy, i disrespected him multiple times just because he doesnt like south people much, but the knowledge he has is more than anyone can imagine. In north india also people those who are in relationships are finding it hard and challenging but people that are single face no problems there. And when I visited Vrindhavan forest once from Rajgir, I realized something beautiful, that you should be ready to face the challenges and forget about small promises that can not be kept but think about big challenges that gives reason for your soul. (I talked with someone when I was in Vrindavan forest) - Do not worry she was human.
Not mythic - My history before 3 years
Tell me, sir, I said, the purport of what I have seen, for not yet have I understood how these happy people do their business and pass from hand to hand not a single coin I And he answered, Where greed and ambition and self-love rule, money must be: where there is neither greed nor ambition nor self-love, money is needless. And I asked, Is it then by the same ancient mode of barter that they go about their affairs? Truly I saw no exchange of any sort.—Bethink thee, said my guide, if thou hadst gone into any other shop throughout the whole city, thou wouldst have seen the same thing. I see not how that should make the matter plainer to me, I answered.—Where neither greed nor ambition nor selfishness reigneth, said my guide, there need and desire have free scope, for they work no evil.—But even now I understand you not, sir, I said.—Hear me then, answered my guide, for I will speak to thee more plainly. Wherefore do men take money in their hands when they go where things are?—Because they may not have the things without giving the money.—And where they may have things without giving money, there they take no money in their hands?—Truly no, sir, if there be such a place.—Then such a place is this, and so is it here.—But how can men give of their goods and receive nought in return?—By receiving everything in return. Tell me, said my guide, why do men take money for their goods?—That they may have wherewithal to go and buy other things which they need for themselves.—But if they also may go to this place or that place where the things are the which they need, and receive of those things without money and without price, is there then good cause why they should take money in their hands?—Truly no, I answered; and I begin, methinks, to see how the affair goeth. Yet are there some things still whereupon I would gladly be resolved. And first of all, how cometh it that men are moved to provide these and those goods for the supply of the wants of their neighbours, when they are drawn thereto by no want in themselves, and no advantage to themselves?—Thou reasonest, said my guide, as one of thine own degree, who to the eyes of the full-born ever look like chrysalids, closed round in a web of their own weaving; and who shall blame thee until thou thyself shinest within thyself? Understand that it is never advantage to himself that moveth a man in this kingdom to undertake this or that. The thing that alone advantageth a man here is the thing which he doth without thought unto that advantage. To your world, this world goeth by contraries.
George MacDonald (Thomas Wingfold, Curate)
The Pardoner’s Prologue Here follows the Prologue of the Pardoner’s Tale. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10 “My Lords,” said the Pardoner, “in Churches, when I preach, I take pains to speak with a resounding voice and have my words ring out as loud as a bell, for I know by rote all that I expound. My text is always the same, and ever was—the love of money is the root of all evil.
Geoffrey Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales)
Mary Engelbreit is one of the top-selling illustrators in the world. She reached success over thirty years ago when she developed a popular greeting card line. Later, she went on to license her art for thousands of products. Her colorful illustrations target the niche of women, specifically mothers. Her work is sold on products that mothers buy and in stores where mothers shop. Her illustrations and captions perfectly appeal to her target audience. It’s much easier to reach a target audience when you work within a clearly defined niche. And then, when you reach that target audience, you can use the right language to speak directly to them and entice them to buy. In the case of Mary Engelbreit, she wouldn’t sell her products in men’s stores, nor would she market to teenage girls.
Maria Brophy (Art Money & Success: A complete and easy-to-follow system for the artist who wasn't born with a business mind.)
It is impossible for a bank to issue money with no backing and not run into hyperinflation. History has shown this over and over again to be a FACT, and this is exactly what is going to happen. If you think Bill Gates is the richest man in the world, you are mistaken. There are personal fortunes controlled by the European Rothschild and American Rockefeller clans in the multi-TRILLIONS of dollars, divested into hundreds of tax-free foundations. They wield this wealth and power against us behind the scenes---pulling the puppet strings of our governments and guiding us towards completion of the Great Plan. Money is power, huge money is huge power, and unlimited money is unlimited and omnipotent power. This is what the PRIVATE OWNERS OF THE CENTRAL BANKS OF THE WORLD POSSESS RIGHT NOW---an unlimited money supply for their private owners to use as they wish……….and they are wishing to fulfill the Great Plan of world enslavement. "This present window of opportunity, during which a truly peaceful and interdependent world order might be built, will not be open for too long — We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order." -David Rockefeller, speaking at the United Nations, Sept. 23, 1994 The world’s wealthiest and most powerful banking families banded together in the late 1700’s to monopolize the wealth of the world, and thereby the power, and are attempting to bring all of humanity under a fascist-socialist based one world government that they intend to be masters of forever. This is the gist of the Great Plan today: Dominate the world by controlling all the money. When they crash the United States dollar, and they will, we will
J. Micha-el Thomas Hays (Rise of the New World Order: The Culling of Man)
…The just man does not allow the several elements in his soul to usurp one another's functions; he is indeed one who sets his house in order, by self-mastery and discipline coming to be at peace with himself, and bringing into tune those three parts, tike the terms in the proportion of a musical scale, the highest and lowest notes and the mean between them, with all the intermediate intervals. Only when he has linked these parts together in well-tempered harmony and has made himself one man instead of many, will he be ready to go about whatever he may have to do, whether it be making money and satisfying bodily wants, or business transactions, or the affairs of state. In all these fields when he speaks of just and honorable conduct, he will mean the behavior that helps to produce and preserve this habit of mind; and by wisdom he will mean the knowledge which presides over such conduct. Any action which tends to break down this habit will be for him unjust; and the notions governing it he will call ignorance and folly. (My emphasis.)
David R. Fideler (The Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library: An Anthology of Ancient Writings Which Relate to Pythagoras and Pythagorean Philosophy)
As soon as I got my feet under me, indignant rage bubbled over. “Don’t ever do that again. I’m not your fucking possession,” I hissed at him.
His eyes flashed. “No, you’re not my anything, are you? I’m allowed to touch you as long as I don’t act like it means something, right?”
The emotion on his face twisted my insides. Anguish and despair swirled in his eyes.
I turned back for the bar to escape that look, and his arms were around my shoulders in a second, locking my back against his chest.
His lips went to my ear. “I can see the way you feel about me when you don’t think anyone is looking. I fucking see it, Kristen.” His voice cracked. “I remember what you said to me that night in Vegas. I remember.”
All of the fight drained out of my body in an instant.
He breathed into my ear. “Why won’t you just let me love you?”
A sob burst from my mouth, and I went limp in his arms. He held me up, hugging me to himself, absorbing my surrender.
I turned in the circle of his embrace and buried my crying in his shirt. He put his face into my neck and held me so tightly I couldn’t breathe. But I didn’t want to breathe. I wanted to be his prisoner. I wanted to never escape.
Tears poured out of me. “I can’t, Josh.” I gasped into his chest. “You don’t know it all.”
“Then tell me,” he said. He pulled away from me and spoke to my eyes. “What is it? Because I know you want me. I know you’re acting. Just tell me why.”
How do you share something like that? How could I tell him that my body could never do the one thing he needed it to? I couldn’t. I couldn’t get the words out. I couldn’t bear to see my value drop in his eyes, see him realize I wasn’t actually what he wanted.
Less of a woman.
I shook my head, biting my lips together. “Josh, you should just forget about me. Get serious with one of those other women you see. Have sex with them. Move on.”
He let out a puff of exasperation. “What other women? There are no other women. There never has been. Do you know what I’m doing when you think I’m on dates? I’m at home, alone, wishing I was with you. This is what you’ve made me into. I pretend to see other people because I know if I don’t, you won’t see me anymore. Why?”
“You…you haven’t been seeing anyone else?” I blinked at him.
“Of course not. I’m fucking in love with you.”
And like he couldn’t stand not to for one more second, he grabbed me and kissed me. His lips were pained and desperate, and I hopelessly kissed him back. I climbed him, combing my hands in his hair. I wished I could drown in him. I needed to extinguish the burning disappointment in my soul, and for a few seconds, I did.
And then I pushed him away.
He let me go and I staggered back in the grass, and he stood there, panting.
“Josh, I can’t see you anymore, okay? This is over.” I choked on the words.
I watched what I said hit him like a smack. “Why?”
I wiped my face with the back of my hand and blinked through the tears. “Because you’re obviously taking this way more seriously than you should be. I told you. I told you from day one that this would only ever be sex. I never lied to you.”
His jaw went rigid. “You’re lying to me right now. I know this isn’t what you want. You fucking love me, Kristen. Just stop—” He reached for me and I smacked his hand away.
He stood staring at me, confusion and hurt etched all over his handsome face. “Why aren’t I good enough? Is it because I don’t speak a dozen languages? I don’t have a fucking master’s degree? I don’t make enough money? What is it?”
It’s not you.
I let the tears run down my face, and I clutched at my facade. “You thought you could change me just like you thought you could change Celeste. You’re changing the rules, just like you did to her. Don’t put your shit on me, Josh. You said you could handle this. You said you could—”
“I’m not fucking crazy! Stop acting like I’m making this up!
What, precisely, does it mean to say that our sense of morality and justice is reduced to the language of a business deal? What does it mean when we reduce moral obligations to debts? What changes when the one turns into the other? And how do we speak about them when our language has been so shaped by the market? On one level the difference between an obligation and a debt is simple and obvious. A debt is the obligation to pay a certain sum of money. As a result, a debt, unlike any other form of obligation, can be precisely quantified. This allows debts to become simple, cold, and impersonal—which, in turn, allows them to be transferable. If one owes a favor, or one’s life, to another human being, it is owed to that person specifically. But if one owes forty thousand dollars at 12-percent interest, it doesn’t really matter who the creditor is; neither does either of the two parties have to think much about what the other party needs, wants, is capable of doing—as they certainly would if what was owed was a favor, or respect, or gratitude. One does not need to calculate the human effects; one need only calculate principal, balances, penalties, and rates of interest. If you end up having to abandon your home and wander in other provinces, if your daughter ends up in a mining camp working as a prostitute, well, that’s unfortunate, but incidental to the creditor. Money is money, and a deal’s a deal. From this perspective, the crucial factor, and a topic that will be explored at length in these pages, is money’s capacity to turn morality into a matter of impersonal arithmetic—and by doing so, to justify things that would otherwise seem outrageous or obscene. The factor of violence, which I have been emphasizing up until now, may appear secondary. The difference between a “debt” and a mere moral obligation is not the presence or absence of men with weapons who can enforce that obligation by seizing the debtor’s possessions or threatening to break his legs. It is simply that a creditor has the means to specify, numerically, exactly how much the debtor owes.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
When my father interviewed kids for Candid Camera, his favorite part of his work, he had a challenge. How could he quickly break through the intimidation felt by a little child toward a big unknown adult? He did so by lighting a match and feigning difficulty in blowing it out. Balanced on the edge of a preschool-size chair, he would huff and puff with theatrical overacting, turning finally to the youngster and saying, “Can you help me?” And they would. Moments later, my dad and his new friend would be chatting about guardian angels, the wonders of spaghetti, money, and a host of other delightful topics. The gap my father was closing is called the “power distance,” a concept developed by Professor Geert Hofstede. This phenomenon can cause people to avoid or defer to those they feel are more powerful and, in doing so, to shut down channels of honest communication. By asking for help, my father broke the power distance and opened a gateway to closeness with each and every match blower. If you lead at least a few people, this section is for you. And in order to develop the closeness needed to build a white space team, you’ll need to address the same lopsided dynamics as my father. You must ask for help, step out of having all the answers, and truly enlist a wide spectrum of input to move toward the changes you want. Speak to people about their needs, desires, and enthusiasms. And make it more than a gesture, authentically being open to using the ideas that spring from these conversations. The following steps will show you how.
Juliet Funt (A Minute to Think: Reclaim Creativity, Conquer Busyness, and Do Your Best Work)
You told me, in confidence, that in your prayer you would open your heart to God with these words: “I think of my wretchedness, which seems to be on the increase in spite of the graces you give me. It must be due to my failure to correspond. I know that I am completely unprepared for the enterprise you are asking of me. And when I read in the newspapers of so very many highly qualified and respected men, with talents and money, speaking, writing, organizing in defence of your reign… I look at myself, and see that I’m a nobody: ignorant, poor: so little, in a word. This would fill me with shame if I did not know that you want me to be so. But Lord Jesus, you know how very gladly I have put my ambition at your feet… To have Faith and Love, to be loving, believing, suffering. In these things I do want to be rich and learned: but no more rich or learned than you, in your limitless Mercy, have wanted me to be. I desire to put all my prestige and honour into fulfilling your most just and most lovable Will.” I then said to you: don’t let this remain merely as a good desire.
Josemaría Escrivá (The Forge)
We’re often preoccupied with the developments of our lives that we forget to make time for our significant other. Granted, those bills will not pay themselves. But there has to be a limit. You may be out there hell-bent on chasing the dollar to give your family a better life, but by the time you get your money together, you have no family to speak of. Make it a priority to bond with your partner. Set aside time and observe it as strictly as you observe your work schedule. Spend quality time without your phones or any other distractions. Get to know how each other is doing beyond the surface. You may be assuming that your partner is fine just because he/she is going on with life as normal, but that could be far from it. Discuss deeper matters; mental health, job satisfaction, inner battles, goals, dreams and so on. Go for the holidays. Go for dates. Visit places that are significant to your relationship. Go clubbing and dancing, just as you did when you were younger. That will add a breath of fresh air to your relationship.
MINDFULNESS LODGE May Rowland and Sai Chakra Barti (EMPATH AND PSYCHIC ABILITIES: A Survival Guide for Highly Sensitive People. Guided Meditations to Open Your Third Eye, Expand Mind Power, Develop Intuition, Telepathy, and Clairvoyance)
Broadly speaking, there seem to be two methods for developing combat forces-for successfully cajoling or coercing collections of men into engaging in the violent, profane, sacrificial, uncertain, masochistic, and essentially absurd enterprise known as war. The two methods lead to two kinds of warfare, and the distinction can be an important one.
Intuitively, it might seem that the easiest (and cheapest) method for recruiting combatants would be to...enlist those who revel in violence and routinely seek it our or who regularly employ it to enrich themselves, or both. We have in civilian life a name for such people-criminals...Violent conflicts in which people like that dominate can be called criminal warfare, a form in which combatants are induced to wreak violence primarily for the fun and material profit they derive from the experience.
Criminal armies seem to arise from a couple of processes. Sometimes criminals-robbers, brigands, freebooters, highwaymen, hooligans, thugs, bandits, pirates, gangsters, outlaws-organize or join together in gangs or bands or mafias. When such organizations become big enough, they can look and act a lot like full-blown armies.
Or criminal armies can be formed when a ruler needs combatants to prosecute a war and concludes that the employment or impressment of criminals and thugs is the most sensible and direct method for accomplishing this. In this case, criminals and thugs essentially act as mercenaries.
It happens, however, that criminals and thugs tend to be undesirable warriors....To begin with, they are often difficult to control. They can be troublemakers: unruly, disobedient, and mutinous, often committing unauthorized crimes while on (or off) duty that can be detrimental or even destructive of military enterprise....
Most importantly, criminals can be disinclined to stand and fight when things become dangerous, and they often simply desert when whim and opportunity coincide. Ordinary crime, after all, preys on the weak-on little old ladies rather than on husky athletes-and criminals often make willing and able executioners of defenseless people. However, if the cops show up they are given to flight. The motto for the criminal, after all, is not a variation of "Semper fi," "All for one and one for all," "Duty, honor, country," "Banzai," or "Remember Pearl Harbor," but "Take the money and run."...
These problems with the employment of criminals as combatants have historically led to efforts to recruit ordinary men as combatants-people who, unlike criminals and thugs, commit violence at no other time in their lives....
The result has been the development of disciplined warfare in which men primarily inflict violence not for fun and profit but because their training and indoctrination have instilled in them a need to follow orders; to observe a carefully contrived and tendentious code of honer; to seek glory and reputation in combat; to love, honor, or fear their officers; to believe in a cause; to fear the shame, humiliation, or costs of surrender; or, in particular, to be loyal to, and to deserve the loyalty of, their fellow combatants.
On the thirty-first, Richard listened, over a loudspeaker in the court holding cell he despised so much, as the hearing to poll the jury took place. Clark reiterated the defense’s position. Yochelson stood for the people, saying Ms. Singletary’s murder had happened two weeks earlier. It made no sense to rehash the tragedy and stir things up—after they apparently had been able to put it behind them. Tynan said he thought letting the defense question the jury about Singletary’s death would be a fatal mistake, and he denied the motion. In his cell, pacing back and forth, Richard cursed the judge and told his jailers the trial was a joke; he spit and he cursed and kicked the bars. Daniel told the court, Richard refused also to attend a second motion to be heard on September 5. The judge said it would be all right, but he would have to sign another waiver. Deputy Warden asked to speak to the judge at a sidebar and told Tynan that Richard was cursing and yelling and had stated he’d fight before he allowed deputies to bring him into court. Tynan announced that for security reasons, the defendant would sign the waiver on September 5. The jury’s deliberations moved on. On September 5, when Ramirez was led into court, he was subdued. Doreen was in her usual place, her eyes riveted to him. There was not an empty seat in the house. Ramirez signed the waiver form and was taken to the holding pen. The defense had decided to seek a mistrial based on several points: one, the death of Singletary, the other, that the juror who had replaced her, Mary Herrera, had two brothers in law enforcement who’d been shot to death, which she had failed to mention on her initial questionnaire. The judge refused to grant a new trial, court was recessed, and the jury continued its deliberations. On September 14, court was convened because of Arturo Hernandez. He had been ordered to call the court daily but had failed to do so on the sixth through the fourteenth. Judge Tynan found him in contempt and issued a body attachment with $5000 bail. On the eighteenth, Arturo showed up in court. Tynan bawled him out for not calling in as he had agreed to. He didn’t want to hear any excuses, he just wanted to know how Arturo pled. The lawyer said he was guilty. Tynan fined him $2400 or twenty-four days in jail. He gave him until September 24 to come up with the money. The judge then had Arturo remanded to do a day in jail for a September 1 contempt charge.
Philip Carlo (The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez)
Have you had any recent contact with Oliver?’ She started quickly. ‘Did he reach out to you, to tell you he was in trouble, or—’ ‘We hadn’t heard from him in months…’ He swallowed again, fighting the catch in his throat. ‘The last time we… the last time I spoke to him, he asked me for… God… money.’ Jamie didn’t press him. It was best to just to let people speak sometimes. ‘He wouldn’t tell me what for, but… but we knew that he was… you know… using that stuff…’ Acceptance was hard. He went on. ‘We knew he was. We had a call from the hospital — he’d been admitted for an overdose. That was when we confronted him, and — since, he just… We didn’t know where he was, or…’ His voice was barely a whisper, the words near incoherent. She thought he meant back when Oliver had first started using. But she didn’t interrupt. ‘That was why he left, you know? We thought that… I thought that giving him an ultimatum would… would… make him see, you know?’ She set her jaw, trying to keep perspective. She’d been through this herself. Felt this herself. ‘I know.’ She felt like saying ultimatums don’t work on addicts — they never do. But it’s not your fault for trying. It’s what everyone does. It makes sense to us. But addicts think differently. Their logic works differently. ‘We barely heard from him after he left. Once he turned up at Maggie’s work — you know? Asking for money. Thought that if I wasn’t there… Of course she gave him some — told him to come home for dinner. But that night we had a call from you — the police, I mean — saying that he’d been found… And… Uh… I’m sorry —’ ‘Take your time,’ Jamie said softly. ‘It’s okay.’ ‘So we said that we wouldn’t, you know, help him any more — give him anything else. But that
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson #1))
One overlooked aspect of the matriarchal image is the relationship with other matriarchs or mothers who are the heads of households. Mother-to-mother dependence is another element of African American motherhood. Whereas these women work hard for the money outside of the home, they also lean on each other to share childcare responsibilities. The concept of “other mothering” is a component in the African American maternal tradition. Women taking care of each other’s children helped to establish a form of extended family. If formal childcare is not available or too costly, one mother substitutes for another. Other mothering means that the level of respect and honor a child gives to her or his biological mother is due the neighbor, cousin, aunt, or family friend taking care of the child. In the same vein, this secondary mother has the right to discipline the “son” or “daughter” as she would her own. Such reciprocity promotes a sense of communal responsibility that cross-connects mothers and children. If a child misbehaves, it is not unusual to suffer the wrath of both a community and a biological mother. Although this level of motherly accountability may not be as prevalent today, in some communities African American women still depend on each other to pick up children before and after school, carpool to a practice or game, provide a meal here and there, and just serve as an additional family member and supporter.
Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder (When Momma Speaks: The Bible and Motherhood from a Womanist Perspective)
I have been frequently asked how I felt when I found myself in a free State. I have never been able to answer the question with any satisfaction to myself. It was a moment of the highest excitement I ever experienced. I suppose I felt as one may imagine the unarmed mariner to feel when he is rescued by a friendly man-of-war from the pursuit of a pirate. In writing to a dear friend, immediately after my arrival at New York, I said I felt like one who had escaped a den of hungry lions. This state of mind, however, very soon subsided; and I was again seized with a feeling of great insecurity and loneliness. I was yet liable to be taken back, and subjected to all the tortures of slavery. This in itself was enough to damp the ardor of my enthusiasm. But the loneliness overcame me. There I was in the midst of thousands, and yet a perfect stranger; without home and without friends, in the midst of thousands of my own brethren--children of a common Father, and yet I dared not to unfold to any one of them my sad condition. I was afraid to speak to any one for fear of speaking to the wrong one, and thereby falling into the hands of money-loving kidnappers, whose business it was to lie in wait for the panting fugitive, as the ferocious beasts of the forest lie in wait for their prey. The motto which I adopted when I started from slavery was this--"Trust no man!" I saw in every white man an enemy, and in almost every colored man cause for distrust. It was a most painful situation; and, to understand it, one must needs experience it, or imagine himself in similar circumstances. Let him be a fugitive slave in a strange land--a land given up to be the hunting-ground for slaveholders--whose inhabitants are legalized kidnappers--where he is every moment subjected to the terrible liability of being seized upon by his fellowmen, as the hideous crocodile seizes upon his prey!--I say, let him place himself in my situation--without home or friends--without money or credit--wanting shelter, and no one to give it-- wanting bread, and no money to buy it,--and at the same time let him feel that he is pursued by merciless men-hunters, and in total darkness as to what to do, where to go, or where to stay,--perfectly helpless both as to the means of defence and means of escape,--in the midst of plenty, yet suffering the terrible gnawings of hunger,--in the midst of houses, yet having no home,--among fellow-men, yet feeling as if in the midst of wild beasts, whose greediness to swallow up the trembling and half-famished fugitive is only equalled by that with which the monsters of the deep swallow up the helpless fish upon which they subsist,--I say, let him be placed in this most trying situation,--the situation in which I was placed, --then, and not till then, will he fully appreciate the hardships of, and know how to sympathize with, the toil-worn and whip-scarred fugitive slave.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
5 Thumb Rules to Follow for Outsourcing 3D Character.
Outsourcing has become one of the basic requirements of the digital industry. Be it software, websites, architecture rendering or 3D character modelling, companies look forward to outsource these tasks to reliable names. Reason is simple. When it comes to value for money, 3D Art Outsourcing Service stands to be the most viable option as setting up in-house production often isn’t considered a wise ROI choice.
But, this necessity has also given rise to possible frauds. There are countless companies waiting to gulp your money in the blink of an eye. There are many more who are ready to lure you with lucrative offers when it comes to 3D character modelling concept. Since not everyone is familiar with the technicalities of this field, companies can easily get trapped with fake promises of giving top notch services well within their reach, only to find out that the whole thing was neither worth their time nor money.
However, all the sham can be avoided if companies follow the six thumb rules while Game outsourcing character modelling tasks to animation studios as these will lead them to the right names.
1) Take a Tour of the Website
Although you will find expert comments on not to judge a company by its cover, there is no denying the fact that website plays a decisive role in company’s credibility, especially when it comes to art and animation studios. A studio that claims to offer you state-of-art results must first focus on its own. A clean, crisp website with appropriate content can actually say a lot about the studio’s work. A poor design and inappropriate content often indicate the following things:
- Outdated and poorly maintained
- Negligence towards its virtual presentation
- Poor marketing
A sincere design and animation studio will indeed feature a vibrant website with all its details properly included.
2) Location Matters
Location has a huge impact on hiring charges as it largely decides the price range one can expect. If you are looking forward to countries like India, you expect the range to be well within your budget chiefly because such countries have immense talent, but because of the increasing demand and competition in the field of outsourcing, hiring charges are relatively cheaper than countries like UK or USA. This means that once can get desired expertise without spending a fortune.
3) Know Your Team Inside Out
Since you will be spending your hard earned money, you have every right to know the ins and outs of your team. Getting to know the team can assist you in your decision. Do your part of homework and be ready with your queries. Starting from their names to their works, check everything you can, and if need be, go for one-to-one conversation.
This will not only help you to know them better, but will also give you an idea of their communication, their knowledge about their work and their sincerity. A dedicated one will always answer you up to the point while a confused one with fidget with words or beat around the bush.
4) Don’t Miss Out on the Portfolio
While the website of a studio is its virtual representative, it’s the portfolio which speaks about its execution. Reputed names of 3D modelling and design companies house excellent projects ranging from simple to complex ones. A solid portfolio indicates:
- commitment of the studio towards its projects
- competency of its team
- execution and precision
- status of its expertise
Apart from the portfolio, some animation studios even feature case studies and white papers in their websites which indicate their level of transparency. Make sure to go through all of them.
Consider the experience of buying a stereo system, as conveyed by Shane Frederick, Nathan Novemsky, Jing Wang, Ravi Dhar, and Stephen Nowlis in an aptly named paper, “Opportunity Cost Neglect.” In their experiment, one group of participants was asked to decide between a $1,000 Pioneer and a $700 Sony. A second group was asked to pick between the $1,000 Pioneer and a package deal where for $1,000 they could get the Sony plus $300 to be spent only on CDs. In reality both groups were choosing between different ways of spending that $1,000. The first group chose between spending all of it on a Pioneer or spending $700 on a Sony and $300 on other things. The second group chose between spending all of it on a Pioneer or spending $700 on a Sony and $300 on music. The results showed that the Sony stereo was a much more popular choice when it was accompanied by $300 of CDs than when it was sold without them. Why is this odd? Well, strictly speaking, an unconstrained $300 is worth more than $300 that must be spent on CDs because we can buy anything with the unconstrained money—including CDs. But when the $300 was framed as being dedicated to CDs, the participants found it more appealing. That’s because $300 worth of CDs is much more concrete and defined than just $300 of “anything.” In the $300-for-CD case we know what we’re getting. It is tangible and easy to evaluate. When the $300 is abstract and general, we don’t conjure up the specific images of how we’re going to spend it, and the emotional, motivational forces on us are less powerful. This is just one more example of how when we represent money in a general way, we end up undervaluing it compared to when we have a specific representation of that money.1 Yes, CDs are the example here, which nowadays is like thinking about the gas efficiency of a stegosaurus, but the point remains: People are somewhat surprised when we simply remind them that there are alternative ways to spend money, whether it’s on a vacation or on a pile of CDs. That surprise suggests that people don’t tend to naturally consider alternatives, and without considering alternatives, we can’t possibly take opportunity costs into account. This tendency for neglecting opportunity costs shows us the basic flaw in our thinking.
Dan Ariely (Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter)
It is said that the fear of public speaking is a fear greater than death for most people. According to psychiatrists, the fear of public speaking is caused by the fear of ostracism, the fear of standing out, the fear of criticism, the fear of ridicule, and the fear of being an outcast. The fear of being different prevents most people from seeking new ways to solve their problems. That is why my educated dad said the Japanese valued the power of the mirror the most, for it is only when we look into it that we find truth. Fear is the main reason that people say, “Play it safe.” That goes for anything, be it sports, relationships, careers, or money. It is that same fear, the fear of ostracism, that causes people to conform to, and not question, commonly accepted opinions or popular trends:
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!)
I have to smile when newspapers – so predictable in their attempt to explain the behaviour of those transgressing social norms or the workings of the deviant mind – speak of ‘the double life’ led by this furtive criminal or that. In fact the reverse is true. It is normal people who have a ‘double life’. On the outside is your everyday life of going out to work and going on holiday. Then there is the life you wish you had – the life that keeps you awake at night with hope, ambition, plans, frustration, resentment, envy, regret. This is a more seething life of wants, driven by thoughts of possibility and potential. It is the life you can never have. Always changing, it is always out of reach. Would you like more money? Here, have more! An attractive sexual partner? No problem. Higher status? More intelligence? Whiter teeth? You are obsessed with what is just out of reach. It is the itch you cannot scratch. Tortured by the principle that the more you can’t have something the more you desire it, you are never happy.
Phil Hogan (A Pleasure and a Calling)
throughout my life, using skills or talents or a person’s raw physical power to help them rise to the top of their society came and went. In the beginning, it was the strength in their arms to swing their swords. Then the tongue to sway large groups to accomplish something together. It became those who developed the sciences, and then—to a degree—it was those again who had physical prowess and could run or shoot a ball into a hoop. Yet, it was those who produced the food, built the homes, protected society, or taught the children or young adults who often weren’t supported. They would do their jobs, punch their time cards, and do what needed to get done to keep society going. My suggestion is to consider all work—if done well—equal. Government needs to be in place, but we’ll require some form of service as your debt to society. Perhaps you are a musician but can test into working with an R&D lab in the future. Can that be your service?” “That,” Bethany Anne replied, “could be a nightmare. Just think about the ongoing effort for some of Jean Dukes’ stuff. There’s no way we could place a person into a project for two weeks and then they leave.” Michael tapped a finger on the table. “I understand. However, let me give you a quote from a worker to Jack Welch.” “Who?” Peter interrupted. Stephen answered, “Jack Welch. He was the CEO of General Electric—GE—back on Earth in the twentieth century.” Michael continued, “He was talking to the assembly line workers at one of their businesses and one of the men spoke up, telling Welch that ‘for twenty-five years you paid for my hands when you could have had my brain as well for nothing.’” The table was quiet a moment, thinking about that. Peter was the first to break it. “Makes sense. We use that concept in the Guardians all the time. Everyone has a role to play, but if you have ideas you need to speak up.” “It would,” Addix added, “allow those interacting to bring new ways of thinking to perhaps old and worn-out strategies.” “What about those who truly hated the notion?” Stephen asked. “I can think of a few.” “I’m tempted to say ‘fuck ‘em.’” Bethany Anne snorted. “However, I know people, and they might fuck up the works. What about a ten-percent charge of their annual wealth if they wish to forego service?” “Two weeks,” Michael interjected, “is at best four percent of their time.” “Right,” Bethany Anne agreed, “so I’d suggest they do the two weeks. But if they want to they can lose ten percent of their annual wealth—which is not their annual income, because that shit can be hidden.” The Admiral asked, “So a billionaire who technically made nothing during the year would owe a hundred million to get out of two weeks’ service?” “Right,” Bethany Anne agreed. “And someone with fifty thousand owes five thousand.” “Where does the money go?” Peter asked. Admiral Thomas grinned. “I suggest the military.” “Education?” Peter asked. “It’s just a suggestion, because that is what we are talking about.” Stephen scratched his chin. “I can imagine large corporations putting income packages together for their upper-level executives to pay for this.” “I suggest,” Bethany Anne added, “putting the names of those who opt out on a public list so everyone knows who isn’t working.” “What about sickness, or a family illness they need to deal with?” Stephen countered. “With Pod-docs we shouldn’t have that issue, but there would have to be some sort of schedule. Further, we will always have public projects. There are always roads to be built, gardens to be tended, or military
Michael Anderle (The Kurtherian Endgame Boxed Set (The Kurtherian Endgame #1-4))
When I was choosing between things I wanted to do myself instead of accepting things that people would like me to do for them or being forced to in a role, job, or department. A lot of my friends, colleagues and so many people above me drove me towards fear.
Fear of What if, if things won't work out your way, if you don't make money what you are making now then how or you will be sidelined or you have challenges in front of you which are impossible to address when you choose your own path your way and whatnot.
But I was telling myself what if things work out my way because I choose for myself the path I am creating for myself. and If I am able to make it myself with all my dedication, hard work, knowledge, and abilities then what if things work out and result in creating your own career that you like and love from your inside.
There was silence in the room among the people because no one has ever chosen for themselves anything but rather they have taken what others have given them. So there was no answer for these questions arising out of myself to take a leap of faith.
Now writing these things here have a purpose, a purpose for the people who dream, people who want to become real, and people who want to control their lives and outcomes.
Fear creates an illusion in the minds which has no reality or existence, If fear would have existed in reality then why didn't it show up when I was holding the mic in front of the audience I was speaking to and until I wasn't on stage speaking to the people out there it was there but once I took charge of myself to deliver something to the people there was no fear.
It was me and the people with the message.
Aiyaz Uddin (Science Behind A Perfect Life)
First, let us take a quick pass of the 11 questions. Some of them might seem trite or useless at first glance. . . . But lo! Things are not always what they appear. What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life? What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc. How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure” of yours? If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it—metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions—what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?) What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.) What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love? In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore? What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise? In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips? When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
As perhaps the Russians would tell us, ‘When money speaks, the truth keeps silent.
Karin Slaughter (Pieces of Her)
Call center solutions for small business
What does it mean to develop a call center solutions that is small business friendly? It is unique to each organisation, which necessitates that the design be designed on a case-by-case basis. Do you have a partner who is willing to help you build your solution from the ground up?
Scaling is a crucial aspect of developing a call center solution for a small organisation. Tiny businesses aren't always small businesses. By the end of a single year, a company that accepts a few dozen calls per week may be taking several hundred calls per day — Alternatively, they could remain the same size. It depends on a number of things, one of which is whether they are committed to providing the resources their customers and employees require for organic growth.
Speak with your technology solutions provider about scalability if you want to provide your company the chance to expand. ChaseData offers a variety of scalability alternatives, including solutions that allow for remote agent flexibility, allowing your team to grow and shrink as needed. That way, you'll always be in control of your labour costs, and you'll have the correct number of employees on hand to handle whatever your customer base throws at you!
Small Business Still Be Smart
A prevalent assumption is that small business call center solutions must be limited in terms of features and capabilities. This is absolutely not the case. When it comes to the technology employed in today's call centers, small can be mighty.
One of the most pressing concerns when it comes to increasing efficiency and productivity in a call center – whether large or small – is reducing time spent on repetitive information. Consumers frequently say that they spend several minutes providing simple information to call center personnel, including repeating it several times for verification or because their call has been moved. This process is not only inconvenient for the caller, but it can also be a waste of time and money for your call center!
Using smarter technology to limit the quantity of data that must be transmitted is a wonderful approach to improve productivity, efficiency, and customer happiness. It assists in the reduction
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Of Madeleine, Goldin said, “She presents herself as a social activist but she has been enriched through the addiction of hundreds of thousands of people.” In her view, any Sackler heir who “took the money” and made no effort to speak out was “culpable.” When a reporter from The Guardian asked Madeleine about her family, she replied that she had been working “more than full-time” on her films and her work was her “sole focus.” She did not want to talk about her family.
Patrick Radden Keefe (Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty)
Psalm 15 A psalm of David. 1LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? 2The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; 3whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; 4who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the LORD; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; 5who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
Anonymous (Niv, Once-A-Day: Bible for Women)
Part: 1 July
This one more of how where I remember these days.
Photos online, and cam videos all that are my memories- of me to others.
Part: 2 August
Compare… them then and now- naked slut girl or 1940s modesty.
I remember having the old photo album spread out on the bedroom floor.
Oh! Wow! Look at this one… do you like how she was remembered better than me?
More of the same- I have become a cam-whore!!! Nothing more…
…And yah- a, ah- pics that would make you blush, and hard, you boys would love to see me, now, wouldn’t you?
Making cummie videos is my life.
Coming 7 hours out of the day is taking time away from other things.
…After fraping till- I passed out all hot gross and sweaty, I did not remember falling asleep- with mom and dad- sis and the world seeing me as my door to my trashed bedroom- all jammed open- and’s- and’s- AND’S- did not care at this point. (SAY IT WITH exhausted SLURRING.)
JANUARY yet how- ga-gives- a ________.
E- un- mm- ah- in-n…
I am making 50 G’s in a night… so that makes it okay.
(A photo of me lying in bed with all this money!)
Craziness… look at my life here… all board…
‘I am home,’ I mumbled, confused- not even more.
‘What did I do?’ I felt my face wrinkle. It was so unfair.
My behavior… here is wow…
After that first week… of doing this…
How do I look… which neither of us ever mentioned what we do?
I hadn't missed a day of school or work.
My grades were perfect.
Yet this show is all going to shit- no?
This is what I did here… showing everything that makes me a girl!
Now I am passing down- to her- yah me- is it wrong? I must live with it.
#- A cam video and all these photos of her online now are worth 1,000 words! #-0-okay then what does this one says then?
My little sis- and she is frapping harder than I do- in this- damn, she is my Minnie me! She started younger than me even- yet that is all girls, her age.
Here is one with her dressed wow seem weird to see her with something on anymore-
(Swipe- and the phone in your hand would make a click sound…)
Oh, this one-
She loves these beautiful white lace kid’s girls’ shorts- so girlie- girly- from Wal-Mart, yet she was banned from wearing them in school without anything under them, yet I look around and all other girls do it.
Yet, on Facebook- and Instagram 1, you get one persona and on Google images a whole other- just like Snapchat you have her as your girlfriend for the night yet have- yet she is your striptease only- and the other Instagram- that grammar should never- ever see- yet this is how to get popular- and stay popular.
Besides then there is the community of internet nudists- on MFC. And the profile- she now has too, a legacy to be remembered by, no? Yet, when you have no education to speak of and working for some d*ck head is just out of the question, over they think you’re not worthy of their time- were you're not making anything, and at this point in Pa she too young to work, yet is old enough to have unprotected sex… Um- and then I wonder- yet she needs the money- for school coming up because your mommy and daddy don’t have it, and all for fun, boys, and a girl's night of fun- and partying- and being crazy. Money is everything… and why girls do what they must do…
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh Hard to Let Go)
The time came when they both needed clothes, and one evening Ralph suggested that they spend some of the money they had put aside. Laura refused. When he brought up the subject, she didn’t answer him and seemed not to hear him. He raised his voice and lost his temper. He shouted. She cried. He thought of all the other girls he could have married—the dark blonde, the worshipful Cuban, the rich and pretty one with a cast in her right eye. All his desires seemed to lie outside the small apartment Laura had arranged. They were still not speaking in the morning, and in order to strengthen his position he telephoned his potential employers.
John Cheever (The Stories of John Cheever)
(after Stephen Hawking)
Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity
we once were?
so compact nobody
needed a bed, or food or money—
nobody hiding in the school bathroom
or home alone
pulling open the drawer
where the pills are kept.
For every atom belonging to me as good
Belongs to you. Remember?
There was no Nature. No
them. No tests
to determine if the elephant
grieves her calf or if
the coral reef feels pain. Trashed
oceans don’t speak English or Farsi or French;
would that we could wake up to what we were
—when we were ocean and before that
to when sky was earth, and animal was energy, and rock was
liquid and stars were space and space was not
before we came to believe humans were so important
before this awful loneliness.
Can molecules recall it?
what once was? before anything happened?
No I, no We, no one. No was
No verb no noun
only a tiny tiny dot brimming with
is is is is is
All everything home
church, and I was exhausted. It was nine o’clock at least. In those days, with all the violence and riots going on, you did not want to be out that late at night. We were standing at the corner of Jellicoe Avenue and Oxford Road, right in the heart of Johannesburg’s wealthy, white suburbia, and there were no minibuses. The streets were empty. I so badly wanted to turn to my mom and say, “You see? This is why God wanted us to stay home.” But one look at the expression on her face, and I knew better than to speak. There were times I could talk smack to my mom—this was not one of them. We waited and waited for a minibus to come by. Under apartheid the government provided no public transportation for blacks, but white people still needed us to show up to mop their floors and clean their bathrooms. Necessity being the mother of invention, black people created their own transit system, an informal network of bus routes, controlled by private associations operating entirely outside the law. Because the minibus business was completely unregulated, it was basically organized crime. Different groups ran different routes, and they would fight over who controlled what. There was bribery and general shadiness that went on, a great deal of violence, and a lot of protection money paid to avoid violence. The one thing you didn’t do was steal a route from a rival group. Drivers who stole routes would get killed. Being unregulated, minibuses were also very unreliable. When they came, they came. When they didn’t, they didn’t.
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood)
A small matter," said the Ghost, "to make these silly folks so full of gratitude."
"Small!" echoed Scrooge.
The Spirit signed to him to listen to the two apprentices, who were pouring out their hearts in praise of Fezziwig: and when he had done so, said,
"Why! Is it not? He has spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four perhaps. Is that so much that he deserves this praise?"
"It isn't that," said Scrooge, heated by the remark, and speaking unconsciously like his former, not his latter, self. "It isn't that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.
Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
In the Upper Midwest, newcomers often receive a classic piece of wintertime advice: “The winters will drive you crazy until you learn to get out into them.” Here, people spend good money on warm cloth-ing so they can get outdoors and avoid the “cabin fever” that comes from huddling fearfully by the fire during the long frozen months. If You live here long, you learn that a daily walk into the winter worldwill fortify the spirit by taking you boldly to the very heart of the sea-son you fear.
Our inward winters take many forms – failure, betrayal, depres-sion, death. But every one of them, in my experience, yields to the same advice: “The winters will drive you crazy until you learn to get out into them.” Until we enter boldly into the fears we most want to avoid, those fears will dominate our lives. But when we walk directly into them – protected from frostbite by the warm garb of friendship or inner discipline or spiritual guidance – we can learn what they have to teach us. Then, we discover once again that the cycle of the seasons is trustworthy and life-giving, even in the most dismaying season of all.
Parker J. Palmer (Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation)
shown up. She picked up the note and unfolded it. My dear brother, I wish I could hand you this letter in person or, better yet, speak these words to you. We both know I’m no good when it comes to dealing with the things that really matter in life. I’ll start out by saying that I’m sorry. Sorry for what I put you and the rest of our family through. I’ve never been the man I wanted to be. What a sad statement. I’m going to make one last effort to redeem myself. If I’m successful, then I will be providing a small legacy to you and my niece. I know that you will think I’m being ridiculous. You have been successful while all I’ve been to our family is a great sinkhole for money, time and effort. I want to feel like a success just once in my life. And yes, I want to have something tangible to show that I am worthy of the affection and trust you all have repeatedly given me. Okay, enough wallowing in self pity. If you’ve found this note, then it means I was never able to return to your house. I can only assume that I’m dead. If I’m dead, does that mean I have failed in my endeavor? I’ve planned on the possibility that I won’t survive. See, your old brother
A.E. Howe (Claws (The Baron Blasko Mysteries #3))
Women asked me what my endgame was. I hadn't thought about it. I considered marrying one of the men and sitting with my winnings, but I was too smart to sit. I took their money and went to school. I was hungry and took more. When I gained the faculty to speak my story, I realized I had given men too much.
Terese Marie Mailhot (Heart Berries: A Memoir)
When we say a boy needs a father, we mean, a boy needs someone to teach him how to be a patriarch. Teach him to suppress. Teach him to be unfeeling. Teach him to lead without asking. Teach him solitude. Teach him not to cope. Teach him to explode. All in the name of maintaining the myth. Every lesson my father ever taught me came back to the myth. “One day, when you have a son of your own,” he would say, “you will understand.” I have no son of my own, but I understand. I understand that my father carried the pain of being abandoned by his father and vowed to not be like him. I understand that my father became the type of father he wished he had. I understand that for him a father was meant to set an example of hard work, that he should pass along valuable life lessons about handling money, that he should teach you how to drive and tie a double windsor, that he should come down hard when you lie or fail to live up to your potential. I also understand that as a shy insecure kid who wanted someone to talk to about his fears, there was a distance between me and my father. As someone who needed to know that I would be loved even through my mistakes, my father’s raised eyebrows, and voice, and belt, weren’t reassuring. His way of buying affection without speaking through his feelings made it harder to get close. His cold reactions to some of my proudest moments didn’t ease us toward embrace. When I tell the story of my relationship with my father, the response I hear most often is, “You had it better than most. Be grateful he was there.” And once again the myth prevents us from seeing. I did have it better than most. I’ll never deny that. My father’s sacrifices meant that I never went homeless or hungry, unclothed or unwashed. Materially, I had all that I could ask for and more — he made that possible. I would not be writing these words today if he didn’t. I’m grateful. But it doesn’t mean the strain and tension between us didn’t have an effect on me - on my sense of self. I didn’t like myself for a long time and much of that had to do with never feeling like I could do anything worthy enough to receive my father’s love. Perfection, if I could achieve such a thing, felt inadequate. I know now that it isn’t true. That he loved me in the way he knew how and he always would. But that’s not what shaped me.
Mychal Denzel Smith (Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education)
WHEN I LATER went to work at the prison, I encountered a mass murderer named Alton Darwin who also could do arithmetic in his head. He was Black. Unlike Claudia Roosevelt, he was highly intelligent in the verbal area. The people he had murdered were rivals or deadbeats or police informers or cases of mistaken identity or innocent bystanders in the illegal drug industry. His manner of speaking was elegant and thought-provoking. He hadn’t killed nearly as many people as I had. But then again, he hadn’t had my advantage, which was the full cooperation of our Government. Also, he had done all his killing for reasons of money. I had never stooped to that.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Hocus Pocus)
we have gotten confused about who’s doing what in worship: we think of worshipers as an audience; pastors as entertainers; and God as the prompter. In fact, worshipers are performers; pastors are prompters; and God is the audience. When we gather for worship, whether with a handful in a storefront chapel or with thousands in St. Peter’s Square, we perform a drama with different parts—speaking and singing and praying and giving money and baptizing and eating bread and drinking wine—all for the delight of God.
David Jeremiah (Prayer, the Great Adventure)
Missing the people I loved was a kind of grieving for me, and it was worse, much worse, for the fact that--so far as I knew --they weren't dead. My heart, sometimes, was a graveyard full of blank stones. And when I was alone in my apartment, night after night, that grieving and missing choked me. There was money in bundles on the dressing table, and there were passports freshly forged that could send me ... anywhere. But there was nowhere to go: nowhere that wasn't emptied of meaning and identity and love by the vacuum of those who were missing and lost forever. I was the fugitive. I was the vanished one. I was the one who was missing; missing in action. But inside the slipstream of my flight, they were the missing ones. Inside my exile, it was the whole world I once knew that was missing. The fugitive kind run, trying against their hearts to annihilate the past, and with it every tell-tale trace of what they were, where they came from, and those who once loved them. And they run into that extinction of themselves, to survive, but they always fail. We can deny the past, but we can't escape its torment because the past is a speaking shadow that keeps pace with the truth of what we are, step for step, until we die.
Remember and Share - Variable Reward is the third phase of the Hook Model, and there are three types of variable rewards: tribe, hunt and self. - Rewards of the tribe is the search for social rewards fueled by connectedness with other people. - Rewards of the hunt is the search for material resources and information. - Rewards of the self is the search for intrinsic rewards of mastery, competence, and completion. - When our autonomy is threatened, we feel constrained by our lack of choices and often rebel against doing a new behavior. Psychologists call this “reactance.” Maintaining a sense of user autonomy is a requirement for repeat engagement. - Experiences with finite variability become increasingly predictable with use and lose their appeal over time. Experiences that maintain user interest by sustaining variability with use exhibit infinite variability. - Variable rewards must satisfy users’ needs, while leaving them wanting to re-engage with the product. *** Do This Now Refer to the answers you came up with in the last “Do This Now” section to complete the following exercises: - Speak with five of your customers in an open-ended interview to identify what they find enjoyable or encouraging about using your product. Are there any moments of delight or surprise? Is there anything they find particularly satisfying about using the product? - Review the steps your customer takes to use your product or service habitually. What outcome (reward) alleviates the user’s pain? Is the reward fulfilling, yet leaves the user wanting more? - Brainstorm three ways your product might heighten users’ search for variable rewards using: - Rewards of the Tribe - gratification from others - Rewards of the Hunt - things, money or information - Rewards of the Self - mastery, completion, competency or consistency
Nir Eyal (Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products)