When You Give Importance Quotes

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So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
NO. No no no. I don't want to screw you. I just love you. When did who you want to screw become the whole game? Since when is the person you want to screw the only person you get to love? It's so stupid, Tiny! I mean, Jesus, who even gives a fuck about sex?! People act like it's the most important thing humans do, but come on. How can our sentient fucking lives revolve around something slugs can do. I mean, who you want to screw and whether you screw them? Those are important questions, I guess. But they're not that important. You know what's important? Who would you die for? Who do you wake up at five forty-five in the morning for even though you don't even know why he needs you? Whose drunken nose would you pick?!
John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)
Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can't make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless. "My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action." Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is "T-I-M-E.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her. I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain… I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’ ‘Well,’ I said, slightly nonplussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’ What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate! I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.
J.K. Rowling
Just because it's broken doesn't mean it loses its importance. And I figured I'd give it to you one day when you realized it was okay to make mistakes.
Jessica Sorensen (The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #1))
Sure, we'd faced some things as children that a lot of kids don't. Sure, Justin had qualified for his Junior de Sade Badge in his teaching methods for dealing with pain. We still hadn't learned, though, that growing up is all about getting hurt. And then getting over it. You hurt. You recover. You move on. Odds are pretty good you're just going to get hurt again. But each time, you learn something. Each time, you come out of it a little stronger, and at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There's the little empty pain of leaving something behind - gradutaing, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There's the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expecations. There's the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn't give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life they grow and learn. There's the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens. And if you're very, very lucky, there are a very few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realized that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last - and yet will remain with you for life. Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don't feel it. Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it's a big part, and sometimes it isn't, but either way, it's a part of the big puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you're alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another.
Jim Butcher
We've got a sort of brainwashing going on in our country, Morrie sighed. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that's what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it--and have it repeated to us--over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what's really important anymore. Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. 'Guess what I got? Guess what I got?' You know how I interpreted that? These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship. Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I'm sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
And a refrigerator may hold a basket of strawberries, which would be important if a maniac said to you, "If you don't give me a basket of strawberries right now, I'm going to poke you with this large stick." But when the two elder Baudelaires and Quigley Quagmire opened the refrigerator, they found nothing that would help someone who was wounded, dying of thirst, or being threatened by a strawberry-crazed, stick-carrying maniac.
Lemony Snicket
But, first, remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.
C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7))
Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that's all that's happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness--life's painful aspect--softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody's eyes because you feel you haven't got anything to lose--you're just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We'd be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn't have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.
Pema Chödrön (Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living)
I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty five days a year, I was still in elementary school at the time - fifth or sixth grade - but I made up my mind once and for all.” “Wow,” I said. “Did the search pay off?” “That’s the hard part,” said Midori. She watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. “I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.” “Waiting for the perfect love?” “No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.” “I’m not sure that has anything to do with love,” I said with some amazement. “It does,” she said. “You just don’t know it. There are time in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.” “Things like throwing strawberry shortcake out the window?” “Exactly. And when I do it, I want the man to apologize to me. “Now I see, Midori. What a fool I have been! I should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortcake. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I’ll go out and buy you something else. What would you like? Chocolate Mousse? Cheesecake?” “So then what?” “So then I’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.” “Sounds crazy to me.” “Well, to me, that’s what love is…
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
If you want to be rich, never give up. People tend to give up. If you have persistence, you will come out ahead of most people. More importantly, you will learn. When you do something, you might fail. But that’s not because you’re a failure. It’s because you have not learnt enough. Do it differently each time. One day, you will do it right. Failure is your friend.
Jordan Belfort (The Wolf of Wall Street (The Wolf of Wall Street, #1))
Heroes are important. Heroes tell us who we want to be but when they made this particular hero they didn’t give him a gun, they gave him a screwdriver to fix things. They didn’t give him a tank or a warship or an X-Wing, they gave him a call box from which you can call for help and they didn’t give him a superpower or a heat-ray, they gave him an extra heart. And that’s extraordinary. There will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like the doctor.
Steven Moffat
You know, my young friend, I will be ninety years old next year, and life is still a constant surprise to me. We never know what will happen next, what we will see, and what important person will come into our life, or what important person we will lose. Life is change, constant change, and unless we are lucky enough to find comedy in it, change is nearly always a drama, if not a tragedy. But after everything, and even when the skies turn scarlet and threatening, I still believe that if we are lucky enough to be alive, we must give thanks for the miracle of every moment of every day, no matter how flawed.
Mark T. Sullivan (Beneath a Scarlet Sky)
Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.
Gary Keller (The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
I know there's no way I can convince you this is not one of their tricks, but I don't care, I am me. My name is Valerie, I don't think I'll live much longer and I wanted to tell someone about my life. This is the only autobiography ill ever write, and god, I'm writing it on toilet paper. I was born in Nottingham in 1985, I don't remember much of those early years, but I do remember the rain. My grandmother owned a farm in Tuttlebrook, and she use to tell me that god was in the rain. I passed my 11th lesson into girl's grammar; it was at school that I met my first girlfriend, her name was Sara. It was her wrists. They were beautiful. I thought we would love each other forever. I remember our teacher telling us that is was an adolescent phase people outgrew. Sara did, I didn't. In 2002 I fell in love with a girl named Christina. That year I came out to my parents. I couldn't have done it without Chris holding my hand. My father wouldn't look at me, he told me to go and never come back. My mother said nothing. But I had only told them the truth, was that so selfish? Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch, we are free. I'd always known what I wanted to do with my life, and in 2015 I starred in my first film, "The Salt Flats". It was the most important role of my life, not because of my career, but because that was how I met Ruth. The first time we kissed, I knew I never wanted to kiss any other lips but hers again. We moved to a small flat in London together. She grew Scarlet Carsons for me in our window box, and our place always smelled of roses. Those were there best years of my life. But America's war grew worse, and worse. And eventually came to London. After that there were no roses anymore. Not for anyone. I remember how the meaning of words began to change. How unfamiliar words like collateral and rendition became frightening. While things like Norse Fire and The Articles of Allegiance became powerful, I remember how different became dangerous. I still don't understand it, why they hate us so much. They took Ruth while she was out buying food. I've never cried so hard in my life. It wasn't long till they came for me.It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years, I had roses, and apologized to no one. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch, but one. An Inch, it is small and it is fragile, but it is the only thing the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away. We must never let them take it from us. I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you. I love you. With all my heart, I love you. -Valerie
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
It's hard to talk about the importance of an imaginary hero. But heroes ARE important: Heroes tell us something about ourselves. History tells us who we used to be, documentaries tell us who we are now; but heroes tell us who we WANT to be. And a lot of our heroes depress me. But when they made this particular hero, they didn't give him a gun--they gave him a screwdriver to fix things. They didn't give him a tank or a warship or an x-wing fighter--they gave him a box from which you can call for help. And they didn't give him a superpower or pointy ears or a heat-ray--they gave him an extra HEART. They gave him two hearts! And that's an extraordinary thing. There will never come a time when we don't need a hero like the Doctor.
Steven Moffat
Love is when you find something so great, so... necessary, that it becomes more important to you than your own goals, than your own life - not because your life has no meaning without it, but because it gives your life a meaning it never had before.
Dan Wells (Ruins (Partials Sequence, #3))
All depression has its roots in self-pity, and all self-pity is rooted in people taking themselves too seriously.” At the time Switters had disputed her assertion. Even at seventeen, he was aware that depression could have chemical causes. “The key word here is roots,” Maestra had countered. “The roots of depression. For most people, self-awareness and self-pity blossom simultaneously in early adolescence. It's about that time that we start viewing the world as something other than a whoop-de-doo playground, we start to experience personally how threatening it can be, how cruel and unjust. At the very moment when we become, for the first time, both introspective and socially conscientious, we receive the bad news that the world, by and large, doesn't give a rat's ass. Even an old tomato like me can recall how painful, scary, and disillusioning that realization was. So, there's a tendency, then, to slip into rage and self-pity, which if indulged, can fester into bouts of depression.” “Yeah but Maestra—” “Don't interrupt. Now, unless someone stronger and wiser—a friend, a parent, a novelist, filmmaker, teacher, or musician—can josh us out of it, can elevate us and show us how petty and pompous and monumentally useless it is to take ourselves so seriously, then depression can become a habit, which, in tern, can produce a neurological imprint. Are you with me? Gradually, our brain chemistry becomes conditioned to react to negative stimuli in a particular, predictable way. One thing'll go wrong and it'll automatically switch on its blender and mix us that black cocktail, the ol’ doomsday daiquiri, and before we know it, we’re soused to the gills from the inside out. Once depression has become electrochemically integrated, it can be extremely difficult to philosophically or psychologically override it; by then it's playing by physical rules, a whole different ball game. That's why, Switters my dearest, every time you've shown signs of feeling sorry for yourself, I've played my blues records really loud or read to you from The Horse’s Mouth. And that’s why when you’ve exhibited the slightest tendency toward self-importance, I’ve reminded you that you and me— you and I: excuse me—may be every bit as important as the President or the pope or the biggest prime-time icon in Hollywood, but none of us is much more than a pimple on the ass-end of creation, so let’s not get carried away with ourselves. Preventive medicine, boy. It’s preventive medicine.” “But what about self-esteem?” “Heh! Self-esteem is for sissies. Accept that you’re a pimple and try to keep a lively sense of humor about it. That way lies grace—and maybe even glory.
Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)
The six rules of maybe 1. respect the power of hope and possibilites. Begin with beleif. Hold onto it. 2. If you known where you want to go, you're already half way there. Know what you desire but, more imporantly, why you desire it. Then go. 3. hopes and dreams and heart's desires require a clear path-get out of your own way 4. Place hope carefully in your own hands and in the hands of others 5. Persist, if necessary 6. That said, most importantly-know when you've reached an end, Quit, give up, do it with courage. Giving up is not failing-it's the chance to begin again.
Deb Caletti (The Six Rules of Maybe)
Closing The Cycle One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished. Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill. None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back. Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else. Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important. Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Paulo Coelho
Even with no manager watching to give me a gold star, it was important to do my best. Who cares if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it? The tree still falls. If you believe that what you’re doing will have positive results, it will—even if it’s not immediately obvious. When you hold yourself to the same standard in your work that you do as a friend, girlfriend, student, or otherwise, it pays off.
Sophia Amoruso (#GIRLBOSS)
The most important quality in the man you decide to marry should be the ability to make you laugh. Beauty fades, careers end, money comes and goes, religions change, children grow up and move away, spouses get sick, struggles happen, family members die, senility sets in when your older, but the ability to make you giggle every day is the most precious gift God can give you to get through all of it.
Shannon L. Alder (300 Questions LDS Couples Should Ask Before Marriage)
Of all the questions I have asked my readers this is the most important: What would you do if you weren't afraid? When you finally give wings to that answer then you have found your life's purpose.
Shannon L. Alder
Being a successful couple was learning what you were willing to compromise on, and what you weren't; learning when to stand your ground, and when to give it up; what was truly important enough to fight over, and what was just you being pissy. You learned each other's hot buttons, the places that hurt, or angered, when you pressed them. Love makes you learn where all the pitfalls are, and how to avoid them, or how to set them off.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #21))
Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we've utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy. So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren't born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 “Mother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
When you're having an asthma attack, you don't have any breath. When you don't have any breath, it's hard to speak. You're limited by the amount of air you can spend from your lungs. That's not much, something between three to six words. It gives the word a meaning. You're searching through the piles of words in your head, picking the most important ones. And they have a cost. It's not like the healthy people that take out every word that has accumulated in their head like garbage. When someone, while having an asthma attack, says "I love you" or "I really love you", there's a difference. A word difference. And a word is a lot, because that word could have been "sit", "Ventolin" or even "ambulance".
Etgar Keret (צנורות)
I KNOW THE WAY YOU CAN GET I know the way you can get When you have not had a drink of Love: Your face hardens, Your sweet muscles cramp. Children become concerned About a strange look that appears in your eyes Which even begins to worry your own mirror And nose. Squirrels and birds sense your sadness And call an important conference in a tall tree. They decide which secret code to chant To help your mind and soul. Even angels fear that brand of madness That arrays itself against the world And throws sharp stones and spears into The innocent And into one's self. O I know the way you can get If you have not been drinking Love: You might rip apart Every sentence your friends and teachers say, Looking for hidden clauses. You might weigh every word on a scale Like a dead fish. You might pull out a ruler to measure From every angle in your darkness The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once Trusted. I know the way you can get If you have not had a drink from Love's Hands. That is why all the Great Ones speak of The vital need To keep remembering God, So you will come to know and see Him As being so Playful And Wanting, Just Wanting to help. That is why Hafiz says: Bring your cup near me. For all I care about Is quenching your thirst for freedom! All a Sane man can ever care about Is giving Love!
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So many peoplpe walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep,even when they're busy doing things they think are important. THis is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way to get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives your purpose and meaning
Morrie Schwartz
I believe that this corporate machinery of scripted programs, comprehension worksheets (reproducibles, handouts, printables, whatever you want to call them), computer-based incentive packages, and test practice curriculum facilitates a solid bottom-line for the companies that sell them, and give schools proof they can point to that they are using every available resource to teach reading, but these efforts are doomed to fail a large number of students because they leave out the most important factor. When you take a forklift and shovel off the programs, underneath it all is a child reading a book.
Donalyn Miller
Here are a few important principles to remember with regard to the giving and receiving between males and females. When a male demands, a female reacts; she doesn’t respond. When a male gives, a female responds. When a male commits, a female submits. Nothing is more precious to a female than a committed male. Nothing is no more depressing to a female than an uncommitted male. Here’s the secret, guys: If you want a submitted female, be a committed male. It’s that simple. When a male abuses, a female refuses. Whenever a man abuses a woman, she refuses to respond. When a male shares, a female cares. If you find a man who is willing to share with the woman in his life, you will find a woman who is willing to care for her man. When a male leads, a female follows. When a man carries out his God-given responsibility for leadership, a woman responds by following his lead. Leadership does not mean being bossy, always telling others what to do. No, leadership means going ahead, not putting others in the front. Good leaders lead by example, not by decree. Jesus led by example, and so did Moses, Peter, Paul, and all the other great leaders in the Bible. Leading by example means doing ourselves the things we wish others to do.
Myles Munroe (The Purpose and Power of Love & Marriage)
The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. 2. Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others. 3. Death ends a life, not a relationship. 4. Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. 5. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too-even when you are in the dark. Even when you're falling. 6. As you grow old, you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you'd always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die, its also the positive that you understand you're going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.
Morrie Schwartz
My cousin Helen, who is in her 90s now, was in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. She and a bunch of the girls in the ghetto had to do sewing each day. And if you were found with a book, it was an automatic death penalty. She had gotten hold of a copy of ‘Gone With the Wind’, and she would take three or four hours out of her sleeping time each night to read. And then, during the hour or so when they were sewing the next day, she would tell them all the story. These girls were risking certain death for a story. And when she told me that story herself, it actually made what I do feel more important. Because giving people stories is not a luxury. It’s actually one of the things that you live and die for.
Neil Gaiman
Be brave. Even if you're not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Don't allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It's there for your convenience, not the callers. Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is. Don't burn bridges. You'll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Don't major in minor things. Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. Don't spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly. Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Don't waste time grieving over past mistakes Learn from them and move on. Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best. Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, 'Gee, if I'd only spent more time at the office'. Give people a second chance, but not a third. Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health and love. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. Never cut what can be untied. Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don't want to do. Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out. Spend less time worrying who's right, more time deciding what's right. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it. When facing a difficult task, act as though it's impossible to fail.
Jackson H. Brown Jr.
This book is your anchor. This book is proof that you, too, will find your voice. You are worthy of love, and success, and your dreams coming true. Never stop speaking, even when your voice begins to shake, okay? Never give up on yourself. You are important, you are loved, and your beautiful voice matters.   Brittainy C.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Silent Waters (Elements, #3))
We are social creatures, and the importance of this is clearly seen when one compares the satisfaction people feel in relationships with their overall satisfaction with life. The most important social relationships are close relationships in which you experience things together with others, and experience being understood; where you share thoughts and feelings, and both give and receive support. In one word: hygge.
Meik Wiking (The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well)
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..." "It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself." "The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.” “You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.” “If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.” “If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.” "Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing." "There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark." "But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'” "When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.” “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
To me, nothing can be more important than giving children books, It's better to be giving books to children than drug treatment to them when they're 15 years old. Did it ever occur to anyone that if you put nice libraries in public schools you wouldn't have to put them in prisons?
Fran Lebowitz
He used to tell me there were no bad dreams. Just dreams. That when we call them good or bad, we give importance to them. I know that doesn't make it better, Mac. I know it's easy to talk like that when you're awake. But the fact is, dreams catch us with our armor off.
Victoria Schwab (The Unbound (The Archived, #2))
A good quit feels powerful. Deciding what you won’t have in your life is as important as deciding what you will have. Trying out something you expect to love, realizing you don’t really love it, and giving it back, that takes guts.
Mary Laura Philpott (I Miss You When I Blink: Essays)
It’s loneliness. Even though I’m surrounded by loved ones who care about me and want only the best, it’s possible they try to help only because they feel the same thing—loneliness—and why, in a gesture of solidarity, you’ll find the phrase “I am useful, even if alone” carved in stone. Though the brain says all is well, the soul is lost, confused, doesn’t know why life is being unfair to it. But we still wake up in the morning and take care of our children, our husband, our lover, our boss, our employees, our students, those dozens of people who make an ordinary day come to life. And we often have a smile on our face and a word of encouragement, because no one can explain their loneliness to others, especially when we are always in good company. But this loneliness exists and eats away at the best parts of us because we must use all our energy to appear happy, even though we will never be able to deceive ourselves. But we insist, every morning, on showing only the rose that blooms, and keep the thorny stem that hurts us and makes us bleed hidden within. Even knowing that everyone, at some point, has felt completely and utterly alone, it is humiliating to say, “I’m lonely, I need company. I need to kill this monster that everyone thinks is as imaginary as a fairy-tale dragon, but isn’t.” But it isn’t. I wait for a pure and virtuous knight, in all his glory, to come defeat it and push it into the abyss for good, but that knight never comes. Yet we cannot lose hope. We start doing things we don’t usually do, daring to go beyond what is fair and necessary. The thorns inside us will grow larger and more overwhelming, yet we cannot give up halfway. Everyone is looking to see the final outcome, as though life were a huge game of chess. We pretend it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose, the important thing is to compete. We root for our true feelings to stay opaque and hidden, but then … … instead of looking for companionship, we isolate ourselves even more in order to lick our wounds in silence. Or we go out for dinner or lunch with people who have nothing to do with our lives and spend the whole time talking about things that are of no importance. We even manage to distract ourselves for a while with drink and celebration, but the dragon lives on until the people who are close to us see that something is wrong and begin to blame themselves for not making us happy. They ask what the problem is. We say that everything is fine, but it’s not … Everything is awful. Please, leave me alone, because I have no more tears to cry or heart left to suffer. All I have is insomnia, emptiness, and apathy, and, if you just ask yourselves, you’re feeling the same thing. But they insist that this is just a rough patch or depression because they are afraid to use the real and damning word: loneliness. Meanwhile, we continue to relentlessly pursue the only thing that would make us happy: the knight in shining armor who will slay the dragon, pick the rose, and clip the thorns. Many claim that life is unfair. Others are happy because they believe that this is exactly what we deserve: loneliness, unhappiness. Because we have everything and they don’t. But one day those who are blind begin to see. Those who are sad are comforted. Those who suffer are saved. The knight arrives to rescue us, and life is vindicated once again. Still, you have to lie and cheat, because this time the circumstances are different. Who hasn’t felt the urge to drop everything and go in search of their dream? A dream is always risky, for there is a price to pay. That price is death by stoning in some countries, and in others it could be social ostracism or indifference. But there is always a price to pay. You keep lying and people pretend they still believe, but secretly they are jealous, make comments behind your back, say you’re the very worst, most threatening thing there is. You are not an adulterous man, tolerated and often even admired, but an adulterous woman, one who is ...
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
Do you really keep a diary? I'd give anything to look at it. May I? Oh, no. You see, it is simply a very young girl's record of her own thoughts and impressions, and consequently meant for publication. When it appears in volume form I hope you will order a copy.
Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays)
When you're hurting, sometimes it hurts even more when someone can't give you what you need. At these times it's important to remember that a man can only have as much compassion for another as he has for himself. Everyone is doing the best they can.
Kate McGahan
I want to be able to listen to recording of piano sonatas and know who's playing. I want to go to classical concerts and know when you're meant to clap. I want to be able to 'get' modern jazz without it all sounding like this terrible mistake, and I want to know who the Velvet Underground are exactly. I want to be fully engaged in the World of Ideas, I want to understand complex economics, and what people see in Bob Dylan. I want to possess radical but humane and well-informed political ideals, and I want to hold passionate but reasoned debates round wooden kitchen tables, saying things like 'define your terms!' and 'your premise is patently specious!' and then suddenly to discover that the sun's come up and we've been talking all night. I want to use words like 'eponymous' and 'solipsistic' and 'utilitarian' with confidence. I want to learn to appreciate fine wines, and exotic liquers, and fine single malts, and learn how to drink them without turning into a complete div, and to eat strange and exotic foods, plovers' eggs and lobster thermidor, things that sound barely edible, or that I can't pronounce...Most of all I want to read books; books thick as brick, leather-bound books with incredibly thin paper and those purple ribbons to mark where you left off; cheap, dusty, second-hand books of collected verse, incredibly expensive, imported books of incomprehensible essays from foregin universities. At some point I'd like to have an original idea...And all of these are the things that a university education's going to give me.
David Nicholls (Starter for Ten)
Then teach me. I want the girl I marry to like me, to be happy with me.' Lale's mother sat down, and he took a seat across from her. 'You must first learn to listen to her. Even if you are tired, never be too tired to listen to what she has to say. Learn what she likes, and more importantly what she doesn't like. When you can, give her little treats - flowers, chocolates - women like these things.
Heather Morris (The Tattooist of Auschwitz (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #1))
When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving. Our sense of worthiness—that critically important piece that gives us access to love and belonging—lives inside of our story.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
How do you listen? Do you listen with your projections, through your projection, through your ambitions, desires, fears, anxieties, through hearing only what you want to hear, only what will be satisfactory, what will gratify, what will give comfort, what will for the moment alleviate your suffering? If you listen through the screen of your desires, then you obviously listen to your own voice; you are listening to your own desires. And is there any other form of listening? Is it not important to find out how to listen not only to what is being said but to everything – to the noise in the streets, to the chatter of birds, to the noise of the tramcar, to the restless sea, to the voice of your husband, to your wife, to your friends, to the cry of a baby? Listening has importance only when on is not projecting one’s own desires through which one listens. Can one put aside all these screens through which we listen, and really listen?
J. Krishnamurti (The Book of Life)
Listening is a gift of spiritual significance that you can learn to give to others. When you listen, you give one a sense of importance, hope and love that he or she may not receive any other way. Through listening, we nurture and validate the feelings one has, especially when he or she experiences difficulties in life.
H. Norman Wright
But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want: They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table to figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, 'cause they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. And by the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged, and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people -- white collar, blue collar, it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on -- good honest hard-working people continue -- these are people of modest means -- continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don't care about you at all -- at all -- at all. And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. That's what the owners count on; the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes everyday. Because the owners of this country know the truth: it's called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.
George Carlin
She, of all people, knew the sacred trust that word -- "librarian" -- implied. Because a librarian was supposed to to be a spiritual, intellectual mentor who kept your secrets and didn't give you a funny look when you checked out a book on the care and feeding of pythons...A librarian opened up new doors for you, intellectually, too, without shoving you through them. A librarian was important.
Beth Fantaskey (Buzz Kill)
I don't like cleaning or dusting or cooking or doing dishes, or any of those things," I explained to her. "And I don't usually do it. I find it boring, you see." "Everyone has to do those things," she said. "Rich people don't," I pointed out. Juniper laughed, as she often did at things I said in those early days, but at once became quite serious. "They miss a lot of fun," she said. "But quite apart from that--keeping yourself clean, preparing the food you are going to eat, clearing it away afterward--that's what life's about, Wise Child. When people forget that, or lose touch with it, then they lose touch with other important things as well." "Men don't do those things." "Exactly. Also, as you clean the house up, it gives you time to tidy yourself up inside--you'll see.
Monica Furlong (Wise Child (Doran #1))
And when you give up your dreams, an important part of who you are dies with them, and so does that which makes you unique.
Jeff O'Leary (Footprints in Time: Fulfilling God's Destiny for Your Life)
When you are authentic without an intent to harm others, you give yourself an awesome feeling which is the feeling of self-love.
John Kuypers (What's Important Now: Shedding The Past So You Can Live In The Present)
April 6—Today, I learned, the comma, this is, a, comma (,) a period, with, a tail, Miss Kinnian, says its, importent, because, it makes writing, better, she said, somebody, could lose, a lot, of money, if a comma, isnt in, the right, place, I got, some money, that I, saved from, my job, and what, the foundation, pays me, but not, much and, I dont see how, a comma, keeps, you from, losing it, But, she says, everybody, uses commas, so Ill, use them, too,,,, April 7—I used the comma wrong. Its punctuation…Miss Kinnian says a period is punctuation too, and there are lots of other marks to learn. She said; You, got. to-mix?them!up: She showd? me” how, to mix! them; up, and now! I can. mix (up all? kinds of punctuation— in, my. writing! There” are lots, of rules; to learn? but. Im’ get’ting them in my head: One thing? I, like: about, Dear Miss Kinnian: (thats, the way? it goes; in a business letter (if I ever go! into business?) is that, she: always; gives me’ a reason” when—I ask. She”s a gen’ius! I wish? I could be smart-like-her; Punctuation, is? fun!
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
<…>Tate fell silent. Ty didn't. "Since the day I was released, you knocked yourself out. You had my back, you took care of Lexie when we had our thing then you did what you could to help me sort that. It's important to me that you know I'm grateful. I've been tryin' to figure out how I can show how much but, keep thinkin' on it, nothin' comes to mind and I know why. I get it. You're a man who has everything so there is nothing I can hand you that you want or need. And I get that because I am now that same man. So the only thing I can give you are words and, my guess is, that'll be enough. If it isn't, you name it and it's yours." "Friends do what I did for friends," Tate returned. "No they don't, Tate. You did what you did for me because you're you. That's what I'm talkin' about." Tate ws silent a moment then he said, "Well then, you guessed right. Words are enough." Ty nodded. Tate tipped his head to the side and asked jokingly, "We done with the near-midnight in the middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart?" Ty didn't feel like joking and answered, "No." "Then what -?" "Love you, man," Ty interrupted quietly. "Learned the hard way not to delay in expressing that sentiment so I'm not gonna delay. You call me brother and I got one who's blood who don't mean shit to me and today, all this shit done, rejoicing and reflecting, it hit me that I got two who aren't blood but who do mean something. And you're one of those two." "Ty-" Tate murmured. "I will never forget, until I die, what you did for me and my wife and until that day I will never stop bein' grateful." "Fuck man," Tate whispered. "Now, do those words work so you get what you did mean to me?" Silence then, "Yeah, they work." "Good, then now we're done with our near-midnight, middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart," Ty declared, turned, opened the door to the Viper and started folding in. He stopped with his ass nearly to the seat and looked up over the door when Tate called his name. "I don't have a blood brother," Tate said. "But you should know there's a reason I call you that."<…>
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
I made sure to pay attention to everything I was doing. To be fully in the moment. Because that's all life is, really, a string of moments that you knot together and carry with you. Hopefully most of those moments are wonderful, but of course they won't all be. The trick is to recognize an important one when it happens. Even if you share the moment with someone else, it is still yours. Your string is different from anyone else's. It is something no one can ever take away from you. It will protect you and guide you, because it IS you. What you hold here, in your hand, in this box, this is my string. "Until recently, I thought it was death that gave meaning to life--that having an endpoint is what spurred us on to embrace life while we had it. But I was wrong. It isn't death that gives meaning to life. Life gives meaning to life. The answer to the meaning of life is hidden right there inside the question. "What matters is holding tight to that string, and not letting anyone tell us our goals aren't big enough or our interests are silly. But the voices of others aren't the only ones we need to worry about. We tend to be our own worst critics. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: 'Most of the shadows in this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.' ... Wisdom is found in the least expected places. Always keep your eyes open. Don't block your own sunshine. Be filled with wonder.
Wendy Mass (Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life)
Your daddy is standing in a swimming pool out a little bit from the edge. You are, let’s say, three years old and standing on the edge of the pool. Daddy holds out his arms to you and says, “Jump, I’ll catch you. I promise.” Now, how do you make your daddy look good at that moment? Answer: trust him and jump. Have faith in him and jump. That makes him look strong and wise and loving. But if you won’t jump, if you shake your head and run away from the edge, you make your daddy look bad. It looks like you are saying, “he can’t catch me” or “he won’t catch me” or “it’s not a good idea to do what he tells me to do.” And all three of those make your dad look bad. But you don’t want to make God look bad. So you trust him. Then you make him look good–which he really is. And that is what we mean when we say, “Faith glorifies God” or “Faith gives God glory.” It makes him look as good as he really is. So trusting God is really important. And the harder it seems for him to fulfill his promise, the better he looks when you trust him. Suppose that you are at the deep end of a pool by the diving board. You are four years old and can’t swim, and your daddy is at the other end of the pool. Suddenly a big, mean dog crawls under the fence and shows his teeth and growls at you and starts coming toward you to bite you. You crawl up on the diving board and walk toward the end to get away from him. The dog puts his front paws up on the diving board. Just then, your daddy sees what’s happening and calls out, “Johnny, jump in the water. I’ll get you.” Now, you have never jumped from one meter high and you can’t swim and your daddy is not underneath you and this water is way over your head. How do you make your daddy look good in that moment? You jump. And almost as soon as you hit the water, you feel his hands under your arms and he treads water holding you safely while someone chases the dog away. Then he takes you to the side of the pool. We give glory to God when we trust him to do what he has promised to do–especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. Faith glorifies God. That is why God planned for faith to be the way we are justified.
John Piper
So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
Morrie Schwartz
Does this person value your time? Time is another important boundary and a real eye-opener when it comes to how people value their relationship with you. If they always show up late, cancel last minute, and only drop in your life when they need you, they do not respect your time. This is not a reciprocal relationship. You are being used for your energy! Don’t give any time to people who don’t have time for you.
Florence Given (Women Don't Owe You Pretty)
When dreams become more important than reality, you give up travel, building, creating; you even forget how to repair the machines left behind by your ancestors. You just sit living and reliving other lives left behind in the thought records. -- Vina, "The Menagerie" ("The Cage"), Star Trek, 1966
Gene Roddenberry
If we're lucky, we find the one person who will hold our trust and keep it sacred and safe against all attackers. That one soul who will restore our belief that people are decent and kind, and that life, while messy, is still the most wondrous gift anyone can know. But until that day comes, we have to try and remember that home isn't a specific place or person. It's a feeling we carry inside ourselves. That touch of the divine that lights a fire inside us that burns out the past and consumes the pain until nothing is left but a warmth that allows us to love others more than ourselves. A warmth that only grows when we do right even while others seek to do us wrong. Peace is knowing that one life, no matter how trivial it seems, touches thousands of others, and learningto respect that about all people. While you may not mean much to the world, to those who know and love you, you are their entire world. And it is knowledge that no one can hurt you unless you allow them to. The only power they have isn't something they're taken or demanded. It's what we give them by choice. And while it is imperative that we value the lives of others, it is equally important to value our own.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Time Untime (Dark-Hunter, #21; Hellchaser, #4; Were-Hunter, #7))
I give myself credit for having seen clearly in a number of important situations. In itself, this is not so difficult to achieve, and yet it is rather unusual. To my mind, it is less a question of an exalted or shrewd intelligence, than of good sense, goodwill, and a certain sort of courage to enable one to rise above both the pressures of one's environment and the natural inclination to close one's eyes to facts, a temptation that arises from our immediate interests and from the fear which problems inspire in us. A French essayist has said: 'What is terrible when you seek the truth, is that you find it.' You find it, and then you are no longer free to follow the biases of your personal circle, or to accept fashionable clichés.
Victor Serge
What matters the most is who you love. Because when everything else is a distant memory, the people you love are all that’s left. And love is the single most important thing we can do in our lives. Give it. Receive it. Teach others how to do it-Gran
J. Sterling (The Game Changer (The Perfect Game, #2))
It is important to know when you feel down that many others do also and that their circumstances are generally much worse than yours. And it’s important to know that when one of us is down it becomes the obligation of his friends to give him a lift. I hope that each of us will cultivate a sensitivity toward the feelings of others and when encouragement is needed make an effort to extend it. Be a friend and you will have a friend. God be thanked for wonderful friends.
Gordon B. Hinckley
Teach her about privilege and inequality and the importance of giving dignity to everyone who does not mean her harm—teach her that the household help is human just like her, teach her always to greet the driver. Link these expectations to her identity—for example, say to her “In our family, when you are a child, you greet those older than you no matter what job they do.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions)
Writing is a strange and solitary activity. There are dispiriting times when you start working on the first few pages of a novel. Every day, you have the feeling you are on the wrong track. This creates a strong urge to go back and follow a different path. It is important not to give in to this urge, but to keep going. It is a little like driving a car at night, in winter, on ice, with zero visibility. You have no choice, you cannot go into reverse, you must keep going forward while telling yourself that all will be well when the road becomes more stable and the fog lifts.
Patrick Modiano
To give to one another and receive from one another is the purpose of a relationship. We don’t need a lot of words. When we share time with someone, what is important is to communicate with feelings, not with words. But if we want to share words, we don’t need anything complicated. It’s just three words: “I love you.” That’s it. What makes you happy is not the love that other people feel for you, but the love you feel for other people.
Miguel Ruiz (The Voice of Knowledge: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace)
Footsteps approach the kitchen. Garrett wanders in, wiping sweat off his brow. When he notices Sabrina, he brightens. “Oh good. You’re here. Hold on—gotta grab something.” She turns to me as if to say, Is he talking to me? He’s already gone, though, his footsteps thumping up the stairs. At the table, Hannah runs a hand through her hair and gives me a pleading look. “Just remember he’s your best friend, okay?” That doesn’t sound ominous. When Garrett returns, he’s holding a notepad and a ballpoint pen, which he sets on the table as he sits across from Sabrina. “Tuck,” he says. “Sit. This is important.” I’m so baffled right now. Hannah’s resigned expression doesn’t help in lessening the confusion. Once I’m seated next to Sabrina, Garrett flips open the notepad, all business. “Okay. So let’s go over the names.” Sabrina raises an eyebrow at me. I shrug, because I legitimately don’t know what the fuck he’s talking about. “I’ve put together a solid list. I really think you’re going to like these.” But when he glances down at the page, his face falls. “Ah crap. We can’t use any of the boy names.” “Wait.” Sabrina holds up a hand, her brow furrowed. “You’re picking names for our baby?” He nods, busy flipping the page. My baby mama gapes at me. I shrug again. “Just out of curiosity, what were the boy names?” Grace hedges, clearly fighting a smile. He cheers up again. “Well, the top contender was Garrett.” I snicker loud enough to rattle Sabrina’s water glass. “Uh-huh,” I say, playing along. “And what was the runner-up?” “Graham.” Hannah sighs. “But it’s okay. I have some kickass girl names too.” He taps his pen on the pad, meets our eyes, and utters two syllables. “Gigi.” My jaw drops. “Are you kidding me? I’m not naming my daughter Gigi.” Sabrina is mystified. “Why Gigi?” she asks slowly. Hannah sighs again. The name suddenly clicks in my head. Oh for fuck’s sake. “G.G.,” I mutter to Sabrina. “As in Garrett Graham.” She’s silent for a beat. Then she bursts out laughing, triggering giggles from Grace and eventually Hannah, who keeps shaking her head at her boyfriend. “What?” Garrett says defensively. “The godfather should have a say in the name. It’s in the rule book.” “What rule book?” Hannah bursts out. “You make up the rules as you go along!” “So?
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important. It’s hard to understand failure when you’re going through it, but in the grand scheme of things it’s good to fall down—not because you’re drunk and not near stairs. But it’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.
Ellen DeGeneres (Seriously... I'm Kidding)
Play is really the work of childhood. One of the most important gifts a parent can give a child is the gift of accepting that child's uniqueness. When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.
Fred Rogers (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers)
don’t work yourself to the point of a mental breakdown. give priority to your mental health. you are only a few steps away from completely losing your balance and breaking your mind. take one step back every time you take two steps forward. breathe. be mindful. see through life as it transpires moment by moment. learn when to rest. sleep is important. eating healthily is important. everything you do for the sake of your sanity is important. being kind to your mind is the best self-care there is. if there’s anything that’s lovely about you, it is your mind.
Juansen Dizon (I Am The Architect of My Own Destruction)
You will not remember much from school. School is designed to teach you how to respond and listen to authority figures in the event of an emergency. Like if there's a bomb in a mall or a fire in an office. It can, apparently, take you more than a decade to learn this. These are not the best days of your life. They are still ahead of you. You will fall in love and have your heart broken in many different, new and interesting ways in college or university (if you go) and you will actually learn things, as at this point, people will believe you have a good chance of obeying authority and surviving, in the event of an emergency. If, in your chosen career path, there are award shows that give out more than ten awards in one night or you have to pay someone to actually take the award home to put on your mantlepiece, then those awards are more than likely designed to make young people in their 20's work very late, for free, for other people. Those people will do their best to convince you that they have value. They don't. Only the things you do have real, lasting value, not the things you get for the things you do. You will, at some point, realise that no trophy loves you as much as you love it, that it cannot pay your bills (even if it increases your salary slightly) and that it won't hold your hand tightly as you say your last words on your deathbed. Only people who love you can do that. If you make art to feel better, make sure it eventually makes you feel better. If it doesn't, stop making it. You will love someone differently, as time passes. If you always expect to feel the same kind of love you felt when you first met someone, you will always be looking for new people to love. Love doesn't fade. It just changes as it grows. It would be boring if it didn't. There is no truly "right" way of writing, painting, being or thinking, only things which have happened before. People who tell you differently are assholes, petrified of change, who should be violently ignored. No philosophy, mantra or piece of advice will hold true for every conceivable situation. "The early bird catches the worm" does not apply to minefields. Perfection only exists in poetry and movies, everyone fights occasionally and no sane person is ever completely sure of anything. Nothing is wrong with any of this. Wisdom does not come from age, wisdom comes from doing things. Be very, very careful of people who call themselves wise, artists, poets or gurus. If you eat well, exercise often and drink enough water, you have a good chance of living a long and happy life. The only time you can really be happy, is right now. There is no other moment that exists that is more important than this one. Do not sacrifice this moment in the hopes of a better one. It is easy to remember all these things when they are being said, it is much harder to remember them when you are stuck in traffic or lying in bed worrying about the next day. If you want to move people, simply tell them the truth. Today, it is rarer than it's ever been. (People will write things like this on posters (some of the words will be bigger than others) or speak them softly over music as art (pause for effect). The reason this happens is because as a society, we need to self-medicate against apathy and the slow, gradual death that can happen to anyone, should they confuse life with actually living.)
pleasefindthis
History is ending because the dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley, and as the inevitable chaostrophie approaches, people look for metaphors and answers. Every time a culture gets into trouble it casts itself back into the past looking for the last sane moment it ever knew. And the last sane moment we ever knew was on the plains of Africa 15,000 years ago rocked in the cradle of the Great Horned Mushroom Goddess before history, before standing armies, before slavery and property, before warfare and phonetic alphabets and monotheism, before, before, before. And this is where the future is taking us because the secret faith of the twentieth century is not modernism, the secret faith of the twentieth century is nostalgia for the archaic, nostalgia for the paleolithic, and that gives us body piercing, abstract expressionism, surrealism, jazz, rock-n-roll and catastrophe theory. The 20th century mind is nostalgic for the paradise that once existed on the mushroom dotted plains of Africa where the plant-human symbiosis occurred that pulled us out of the animal body and into the tool-using, culture-making, imagination-exploring creature that we are. And why does this matter? It matters because it shows that the way out is back and that the future is a forward escape into the past. This is what the psychedelic experience means. Its a doorway out of history and into the wiring under the board in eternity. And I tell you this because if the community understands what it is that holds it together the community will be better able to streamline itself for flight into hyperspace because what we need is a new myth, what we need is a new true story that tells us where we're going in the universe and that true story is that the ego is a product of pathology, and when psilocybin is regularly part of the human experience the ego is supressed and the supression of the ego means the defeat of the dominators, the materialists, the product peddlers. Psychedelics return us to the inner worth of the self, to the importance of the feeling of immediate experience - and nobody can sell that to you and nobody can buy it from you, so the dominator culture is not interested in the felt presence of immediate experience, but that's what holds the community together. And as we break out of the silly myths of science, and the infantile obsessions of the marketplace what we discover through the psychedelic experience is that in the body, IN THE BODY, there are Niagaras of beauty, alien beauty, alien dimensions that are part of the self, the richest part of life. I think of going to the grave without having a psychedelic experience like going to the grave without ever having sex. It means that you never figured out what it is all about. The mystery is in the body and the way the body works itself into nature. What the Archaic Revival means is shamanism, ecstacy, orgiastic sexuality, and the defeat of the three enemies of the people. And the three enemies of the people are hegemony, monogamy and monotony! And if you get them on the run you have the dominators sweating folks, because that means your getting it all reconnected, and getting it all reconnected means putting aside the idea of separateness and self-definition through thing-fetish. Getting it all connected means tapping into the Gaian mind, and the Gaian mind is what we're calling the psychedelic experience. Its an experience of the living fact of the entelechy of the planet. And without that experience we wander in a desert of bogus ideologies. But with that experience the compass of the self can be set, and that's the idea; figuring out how to reset the compass of the self through community, through ecstatic dance, through psychedelics, sexuality, intelligence, INTELLIGENCE. This is what we have to have to make the forward escape into hyperspace.
Terence McKenna
My Sabine, I just left your room. You were so beautiful lying there sound asleep that I couldn’t bear to wake you. But I’m not feeling so great and there are things I promised to tell you that I fear I may not get the chance to. I know you had once hoped that I would be the one to pass on your letters to Maddie once you were gone. But, as it turns out, I think it is going to be me who ends up leaving the letters behind. Be mad at me. You should. But after that try to understand that I did what I thought was best. I wanted to tell you. So many times I snuck down to your room planning on telling you everything, but I just couldn’t. Partly it was for you – yes. You needed time and I didn’t want to influence your choices, even once I realised what was happening between us, even more so then. Falling in love with you only made those choices more complicated and I feared that you might choose to stay for me and then, after I was gone, change your mind. I couldn’t let that happen. Partly the choice was selfish, and for that I am sorry. For so long now people have been trying to fix me, but where they failed, you succeeded. You’ve given me more life in the last couple of weeks that I’ve had in years. Being with you, loving you, making memories with you, fearing for you, wanting to show you the beauty of life instead of the terror – it was bittersweet, but more importantly Sabine, it was real. I know this is the part when I beg you to go on, live your life and be happy. But I don’t need to say those things. I know you. Your lives will be extraordinary. You certainly made mine feel that way. Please find it in your heart to forgive me one day. I wish we had more time, but I want to thank you – for giving me life in my time of death. My love for you is eternal. Ethan.
Jessica Shirvington (Between the Lives)
I see the way he looks at you, something I haven't seen in him since the day we lost Ariella. And...I know you love him in a way you can't love me.” He looked away, just for a moment, and took a deep breath. “Jealousy isn't something we deal with well,” he admitted. “But some of us have been around long enough to know when to let go, and what is most important. The happiness of my two best friends should be more important than some ancient feud.” Stepping close, he placed a palm on my cheek, brushing a strand of hair from my face. Glamour flared up around him, casting him in a halo of emerald light. In that moment, he was pure fey, unbound by shallow human fears and embarrassment, a being as natural and ancient as the forest. “I have always loved you, princess,” Robin Goodfellow promised, his green eyes shining in the darkness. “I always will. And I'll take whatever you can give me.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
Then welcome, you poor things! I'm so gald you're here! I never get to talk to anyone except when I'm working, and then I'm supposed to say things like, 'Woe is me' and 'Beware' and 'Uncle Rupert is going to die.' And then they look at me like I have two heads, which I don't because I'm not a troll , and they always say, 'Oh, no, the banshee is here!' Do you know how that makes me feel? Every time I show up, people run screaming and warn everybody else that I'm around. Believe me, I've thought about staying home and sleeping late, but I can't because I care about people. Without me to warn them, people would die unexpectedly, and then where would their relatives be? When I tell them, they have time to make arrangments, say good-bye...you know-important things. I'm actually a very nice person; it's just that no one gives me a chance to prove it.
E.D. Baker (The Frog Princess (The Tales of the Frog Princess, #1))
Betrayal is an important word with this guidepost. When we value being cool and in control over granting ourselves the freedom to unleash the passionate, goofy, heartfelt, and soulful expressions of who we are, we betray ourselves. When we consistently betray ourselves, we can expect to do the same to the people we love. When we don’t give ourselves permission to be free, we rarely tolerate that freedom in others. We put them down, make fun of them, ridicule their behaviors, and sometimes shame them. We can do this intentionally or unconsciously. Either way the message is, “Geez, man.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
Harry’s letter to his daughter: If I could give you just one thing, I’d want it to be a simple truth that took me many years to learn. If you learn it now, it may enrich your life in hundreds of ways. And it may prevent you from facing many problems that have hurt people who have never learned it. The truth is simply this: No one owes you anything. Significance How could such a simple statement be important? It may not seem so, but understanding it can bless your entire life. No one owes you anything. It means that no one else is living for you, my child. Because no one is you. Each person is living for himself; his own happiness is all he can ever personally feel. When you realize that no one owes you happiness or anything else, you’ll be freed from expecting what isn’t likely to be. It means no one has to love you. If someone loves you, it’s because there’s something special about you that gives him happiness. Find out what that something special is and try to make it stronger in you, so that you’ll be loved even more. When people do things for you, it’s because they want to — because you, in some way, give them something meaningful that makes them want to please you, not because anyone owes you anything. No one has to like you. If your friends want to be with you, it’s not out of duty. Find out what makes others happy so they’ll want to be near you. No one has to respect you. Some people may even be unkind to you. But once you realize that people don’t have to be good to you, and may not be good to you, you’ll learn to avoid those who would harm you. For you don’t owe them anything either. Living your Life No one owes you anything. You owe it to yourself to be the best person possible. Because if you are, others will want to be with you, want to provide you with the things you want in exchange for what you’re giving to them. Some people will choose not to be with you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. When that happens, look elsewhere for the relationships you want. Don’t make someone else’s problem your problem. Once you learn that you must earn the love and respect of others, you’ll never expect the impossible and you won’t be disappointed. Others don’t have to share their property with you, nor their feelings or thoughts. If they do, it’s because you’ve earned these things. And you have every reason to be proud of the love you receive, your friends’ respect, the property you’ve earned. But don’t ever take them for granted. If you do, you could lose them. They’re not yours by right; you must always earn them. My Experience A great burden was lifted from my shoulders the day I realized that no one owes me anything. For so long as I’d thought there were things I was entitled to, I’d been wearing myself out —physically and emotionally — trying to collect them. No one owes me moral conduct, respect, friendship, love, courtesy, or intelligence. And once I recognized that, all my relationships became far more satisfying. I’ve focused on being with people who want to do the things I want them to do. That understanding has served me well with friends, business associates, lovers, sales prospects, and strangers. It constantly reminds me that I can get what I want only if I can enter the other person’s world. I must try to understand how he thinks, what he believes to be important, what he wants. Only then can I appeal to someone in ways that will bring me what I want. And only then can I tell whether I really want to be involved with someone. And I can save the important relationships for th
Harry Browne
demanding recognition for something you did and getting angry or upset if you don’t get it; trying to get attention by talking about your problems, the story of your illnesses, or making a scene; giving your opinion when nobody has asked for it and it makes no difference to the situation; being more concerned with how the other person sees you than with the other person, which is to say, using other people for egoic reflection or as ego enhancers; trying to make an impression on others through possessions, knowledge, good looks, status, physical strength, and so on; bringing about temporary ego inflation through angry reaction against something or someone; taking things personally, feeling offended; making yourself right and others wrong through futile mental or verbal complaining; wanting to be seen, or to appear important.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
Seems to me you put too much stock in the affairs of children. It probably didn’t mean anything.” “Yes, it meant something.” Then he said, “Mr. Trask, do you think the thoughts of people suddenly become important at a given age? Do you have sharper feelings or clearer thoughts now than when you were ten? Do you see as well, hear as well, taste as vitally?” “Maybe you’re right,” said Adam. “It’s one of the great fallacies, it seems to me,” said Lee, “that time gives much of anything but years and sadness to a man.” “And memory.” “Yes, memory. Without that, time would be unarmed against us.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
If you merely pretend that you enjoy God or love Him, He knows. You can't fool Him; don't even try. Instead, tell Him how you feel. Tell Him that He isn't the most important thing in this life to you, and that you're sorry for that. Tell Him that you've been lukewarm, that you've chosen ___________ over Him time and time again. Tell Him that you want Him to change you, that you long to genuinely enjoy Him. Tell Him how you want to experience true satisfaction and pleasure and joy in your relationship with Him. Tell Him you want to love Him more than anything on this earth. Tell Him you want to treasure the kingdom of heaven so much that you'd willingly sell everything in order to get it. Tell Him what you like about Him, what you appreciate, and what brings you joy. 'Jesus, I need to give myself up. I am not strong enough to love You and walk with You on my own. I can't do it, and I need You. I need You deeply and desperately. I believe You are worth it, that You are better than anything else I could have in this life or the next. I want You. And when I don't, I want to want You. Be all in me. Take all of me. Have Your way with me'.
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
When people in authority want the rest of us to behave, it matters—first and foremost—how they behave. This is called the “principle of legitimacy,” and legitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice—that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same as the rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another. All good parents understand these three principles implicitly. If you want to stop little Johnnie from hitting his sister, you can’t look away one time and scream at him another. You can’t treat his sister differently when she hits him. And if he says he really didn’t hit his sister, you have to give him a chance to explain himself. How you punish is as important as the act of punishing itself.
Malcolm Gladwell (David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants)
Dear friend…' The Witcher swore quietly, looking at the sharp, angular, even runes drawn with energetic sweeps of the pen, faultlessly reflecting the author’s mood. He felt once again the desire to try to bite his own backside in fury. When he was writing to the sorceress a month ago he had spent two nights in a row contemplating how best to begin. Finally, he had decided on “Dear friend.” Now he had his just deserts. 'Dear friend, your unexpected letter – which I received not quite three years after we last saw each other – has given me much joy. My joy is all the greater as various rumours have been circulating about your sudden and violent death. It is a good thing that you have decided to disclaim them by writing to me; it is a good thing, too, that you are doing so so soon. From your letter it appears that you have lived a peaceful, wonderfully boring life, devoid of all sensation. These days such a life is a real privilege, dear friend, and I am happy that you have managed to achieve it. I was touched by the sudden concern which you deigned to show as to my health, dear friend. I hasten with the news that, yes, I now feel well; the period of indisposition is behind me, I have dealt with the difficulties, the description of which I shall not bore you with. It worries and troubles me very much that the unexpected present you received from Fate brings you worries. Your supposition that this requires professional help is absolutely correct. Although your description of the difficulty – quite understandably – is enigmatic, I am sure I know the Source of the problem. And I agree with your opinion that the help of yet another magician is absolutely necessary. I feel honoured to be the second to whom you turn. What have I done to deserve to be so high on your list? Rest assured, my dear friend; and if you had the intention of supplicating the help of additional magicians, abandon it because there is no need. I leave without delay, and go to the place which you indicated in an oblique yet, to me, understandable way. It goes without saying that I leave in absolute secrecy and with great caution. I will surmise the nature of the trouble on the spot and will do all that is in my power to calm the gushing source. I shall try, in so doing, not to appear any worse than other ladies to whom you have turned, are turning or usually turn with your supplications. I am, after all, your dear friend. Your valuable friendship is too important to me to disappoint you, dear friend. Should you, in the next few years, wish to write to me, do not hesitate for a moment. Your letters invariably give me boundless pleasure. Your friend Yennefer' The letter smelled of lilac and gooseberries. Geralt cursed.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Krew elfów (Saga o Wiedźminie, #1))
Simon told me I should take you home and start making kits. What do you think?” Max looked down at her, love and lust glowing equally in his brilliant smile. “Max?” “What?” His tone was wary; he’d come to expect the unexpected when she used that particular tone of voice. “Will I give birth to a baby or a litter?” “Emma,” he groaned. “I mean, will we be feeding them baby formula or Kitten Chow?” “Emma!” “If they get stuck in a tree, who do we call? Does the fire department do kitten rescues anymore? This is important stuff to know, Lion-O!” “God save me.
Dana Marie Bell (The Wallflower (Halle Pumas, #1))
We've also evolved the ability to simply 'pay it forward': I help you, somebody else will help me. I remember hearing a parable when I was younger, about a father who lifts his young son onto his back to carry him across a flooding river. 'When I am older,' said the boy to his father, 'I will carry you across this river as you now do for me.' 'No, you won't,' said the father stoically. 'When you are older you will have your own concerns. All I expect is that one day you will carry your own son across this river as I no do for you.' Cultivating this attitude is an important part of Humanism--to realize that life without God can be much more than a series of strict tit-for-tat transactions where you pay me and I pay you back. Learning to pay it forward can add a tremendous sense of meaning and dignity to our lives. Simply put, it feels good to give to others, whether we get back or not.
Greg M. Epstein (Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe)
The basic message is this: If you’re losing your cool, you are losing. If you are triggered, it is because you allowed someone else to dictate your emotional state. If you are outraged, it is because you lack discipline and self-control. These are personal defeats, not the fault of anyone else. And each defeat shapes who you are as a person, and in the collective sense, who we are as a people. This book is about actively hardening your mind so that you can be the person you think you should be. It is about identifying who that person is in the first place, and taking responsibility for the self-improvement required to become them. It is about learning what it means to never quit. It is about learning to take a joke and giving others some charity when they make a bad one. It is about the importance of building a society of iron-tough individuals who can think for themselves, take care of themselves, and recognize that a culture characterized by grit, discipline, and self-reliance is a culture that survives.
Dan Crenshaw (Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage)
Knowledge of Self is very important, you can't be living in a world pretending to be someone you're not. No one will ever believe in you, when you don't have the courage to believe in yourself. You can not live to impress others solely not giving thought to express your true being. No one wants to interact with a pretender, a fake, a wannabe.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Sweet Destiny)
While most people whittle their days chasing another buck, or a little bit more fame and attention, or a little bit more assurance that they're right or loved, death confronts all of us with a far more painful and important question: What is your legacy? How will the world be different and better when you're gone? What mark will you have made? What influence will you have caused? They say that a butterfly flapping its wings in Africa can cause a hurricane in Florida; well, what hurricanes will you leave in your wake?
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Writing is difficult. You do it all alone without encouragement and without any certainty that you'll ever be published or paid or even that you'll be able to finish the particular work you've begun. It isn't easy to persist amid all that. [...] Sometimes when I'm interviewed, the interviewer either compliments me on my 'talent', my 'gift' or asks me how I discovered it. [...] I used to struggle to answer this politely, to explain that I didn't believe much in writing talent. People who want to write either do it or they don't. At last I began to say that my most important talent - or habit - was persistence. Without it, I would have given up writing long before I finished my first novel. It's amazing what we can do if we simply refuse to give up.
Octavia E. Butler
Are you able to remain humble and kind when things do not go the way you want or expect? Be kind when you are in pain; be kind even when your life seems to be falling apart around you. Be humble not only when you succeed but also when you fail. Kindness in word and action, and humble in thought and belief. It is important to not only say and do the ‘right’ thing, it is important to also think and believe it - which is being genuine in nature of peace embodiment.
Alaric Hutchinson
Kylie’s not thin. So what? I don’t care. She’s incredibly sexy and I love her figure. I love how lush she is and how much she adores life. Mostly, I love how giving and wonderful she is. I love how when I’m with her, she’s the most important person in the world to me, and I’m the most important to her. That’s what love is, Daphne. It’s not lashing out and then hoping they’ll stick around despite your behavior. It’s trying to be the best person you can to make the other person happy.
Jessica Clare (One Night with a Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club, #6))
What matters the most is who you love. Because when everything else is a distant memory, the people you love are all that’s left. And love is the single most important thing we can do in our lives. Give it. Receive it. Teach others how to do it.
J. Sterling (The Game Changer (The Perfect Game, #2))
It is important to keep one foot in front of the other. As a woman, you have to fake it until you make it. There will be a lot of twists and turns. There will mountains that are steep and seem to be too high to climb. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Giving up isn’t an option. Never-ending obstacles pile up one after another. The process seems to repeat itself over and over again without a solution. You’ve been here before. Where does it end? When does it end? Things seem to stay the same or they become worse than before. How many times do you have to compromise? You cannot continue to carry everyone’s burdens and their side effects as if everything is just fine
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Mr. Trask, do you think the thoughts of people suddenly become important at a given age? Do you have sharper feelings or clearer thoughts now than when you were ten? Do you see as well, hear as well, taste as vitally?” “Maybe you’re right,” said Adam. “It’s one of the great fallacies, it seems to me,” said Lee, “that time gives much of anything but years and sadness to a man.” “And memory.” “Yes, memory. Without that, time would be unarmed against us.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
The Importance of Receiving Receiving often is harder than giving. Giving is very important: giving insight, giving hope, giving courage, giving advice, giving support, giving money, and, most of all, giving ourselves. Without giving there is no brotherhood and sisterhood. But receiving is just as important, because by receiving we reveal to the givers that they have gifts to offer. When we say, "Thank you, you gave me hope; thank you, you gave me a reason to live; thank you, you allowed me to realise my dream," we make givers aware of their unique and precious gifts. Sometimes it is only in the eyes of the receivers that givers discover their gifts.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Cold flu looks nothing in front of cancer...complications in our personal life is like a flu and killing people on name of God or borders or countries is cancer...you can help this planet...there are ways...willingness is an action We are one...the only difference is ...few are awake, few are ready to wake up and few are just ignorant and time is coming when there will be no choice for those who is ignorant because of suffering and pain .... Bigger EGO is always drawn to Bigger Ego so many times Bigger ego ignores the important message being delivered by not a famous person. Love heals...Love not from mind...deep from heart....Mind brings games and play around with relationships...Something sacred deep from heart....L ♥ V E...Unconditional...No business of give and take....unconditional giving.... Don't be afraid and run away from loneliness and start seeking securities....Try to enjoy every part of it and then you will see ...Loneliness turned into something which we never want to loose....investigate your feeling when you feel lonely We always want something in return...we have made LOVE a business...I did it too in the past that's why I know it...this is the reason that we should change...you change, I change....everyone should think again on the way of living life and thinking and specially who thinks they know what life is. 2 births in the same life....physical and spiritual....you break the bondage (psychologically) with physical attributes of life ( detached state of mind) and try to find real "maksad" (purpose) of your existence as Being not Doing If you want to enjoy your relationship with your special one then please keep these tools handy:1) Patience2) Trust3) Freedom4) Honesty5) Respect we are all stars... twinkling with love and when there is love then there is no conflict 4 letters L ♥ V E ..imagine these letters on your hand and try to feel the deep meaning and power of these letters...feel the love you have for this life...start from there and spread love to everyone you see or meet...LOVE
Neeraj Sabharwal
To a significant degree, the commitments we make in life define us. They reveal our interests, passions and goals, and give important clues in discerning meaning and finding happiness in life. While many seem to struggle with the archetypal human question, "who am I?" one simple look at who and what you're devoted to, what takes up your time and fires your imagination can clarify your life direction. It can help you to make authentic decisions that are rooted in your deepest convictions. We are happiest when we are in harmony with our passion.
Monks of New Skete
Don't give me some stupid lecture about war when the person we're talking about losing is you!" I said, surprised by the savagery in my tone. At least my voice didn't shake. His face blurred and I tasted salt on my lips. It was warm, warm like Pritkin's hands coming up and framing my face, his thumbs brushing over my eyelids, soft as his fingers in my hair. "One person is not so important in the scheme of things", he said, and his voice was gentle, gentle when it never was, and that almost broke me. But you are important, I thought. And yet he couldn't see that. In Pritkin's mind, he was an experiment gone wrong, a child cast out, a man valued by his peers only for his ability to kill the things they feared. Just once, I wished he could see what I did. "Then neither is this", I said, leaning in and pressing my mouth to his, the kiss lightened by desperation and weighted down by everything he meant to me.
Karen Chance (Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, #4))
I remember a relative of mine who used to pick on me all the time, constantly ridiculing my every move and making me feel inferior. One day she had a pimple on her face and was devastated. I told her "Why would you let a little thing like that bother you in such a way? It's just a pimple!" And she cried and said "You can say that, because you're perfect and even if you have ten pimples on your face, it wouldn't even matter!" And I never forgot how I felt in that moment, that moment taught me some important things! First, I realized that the whole time she was picking on me, she actually was feeling that I was perfect! And secondly, I realized that when people think you're perfect, they try to make you feel bad about yourself! I was so taken aback in those few minutes— I couldn't even say anything! I just looked at her while all my realizations flooded my mind and I decided that just because you think someone is perfect, doesn't give you the ticket to make them feel bad about themselves.
C. JoyBell C.
A TV show comprises many departments—Costumes, Props, Talent, Graphics, Set Dressing, Transportation. Everyone in every department wants to show off their skills and contribute creatively to the show, which is a blessing. You’re grateful to work with people who are talented and enthusiastic about their jobs. You would think that as a producer, your job would be to churn up creativity, but mostly your job is to police enthusiasm. You may have an occasion where the script calls for a bran muffin on a white plate and the Props Department shows up with a bran cake in the shape of Santa Claus sitting on a silver platter that says “Welcome to Denmark.” “We just thought it would be funny.” And you have to find a polite way to explain that the character is Jewish, so her eating Santa’s face might have negative connotations, and the silver tray, while beautiful, is giving a weird glare on camera and maybe let’s go with the bran muffin on the white plate. And then sometimes Actors have what they call “ideas.” Usually it involves them talking more, or, in the case of more experienced actors, sitting more. When Actors have ideas it’s very important to get to the core reason behind their idea.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
When you have set out the goals that you are claiming is yours in life and, more importantly, relentlessly taking the actions to produce, it’s only a matter of when. We are wired to win. You are wired to win. Define your game. Embrace the challenge. And strive to understand yourself in deeper and more meaningful ways. True understanding of yourself and your personal constraints allows for ever unfolding degrees of freedom and success. The more aware you become of your hard wiring, the more space and opportunity become available in those areas. Step out there. Trust yourself. Give yourself fully to your vast capacity for victory. Set the the challenge of winning in new and exciting ways. Demand your greatness of yourself and repeat after me: I am wired to win.
Gary John Bishop (Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life)
It is hard to talk about the importance of an imaginary hero. But heroes are important. Heroes tell us something about ourselves. History books tell us who we used to be, documentaries tell us who we are now... but heroes, tell us who we want to be. A lot of our heroes depress me. But when they made this particular hero, they didn't give him a gun, they gave him a screwdriver to fix things. They didn't give him a tank or a warship or a X-Wing Fighter, they gave him a phone box from which you can call for help. And they didn't give him a superpower, or pointy ears, or Heat Ray, they gave him an extra heart. They gave him two hearts and that is an extraordinary thing. There will never come a time when we don't need a hero like the Doctor. - The Day of the Doctor Q&A
Steven Moffat
A Persian, a Turk, an Arab, and a Greek were traveling to a distant land when they began arguing over how to spend the single coin they possessed among themselves. All four craved food, but the Persian wanted to spend the coin on angur; the Turk, on uzum; the Arab, on inab; and the Greek, on stafil. The argument became heated as each man insisted on having what he desired. A linguist passing by overheard their quarrel. “Give the coin to me,” he said. “I undertake to satisfy the desires of all of you.” Taking the coin, the linguist went to a nearby shop and bought four small bunches of grapes. He then returned to the men and gave them each a bunch. “This is my angur!” cried the Persian. “But this is what I call uzum,” replied the Turk. “You have brought me my inab,” the Arab said. “No! This in my language is stafil,” said the Greek. All of a sudden, the men realized that what each of them had desired was in fact the same thing, only they did not know how to express themselves to each other. The four travelers represent humanity in its search for an inner spiritual need it cannot define and which it expresses in different ways. The linguist is the Sufi, who enlightens humanity to the fact that what it seeks (its religions), though called by different names, are in reality one identical thing. However—and this is the most important aspect of the parable—the linguist can offer the travelers only the grapes and nothing more. He cannot offer them wine, which is the essence of the fruit. In other words, human beings cannot be given the secret of ultimate reality, for such knowledge cannot be shared, but must be experienced through an arduous inner journey toward self-annihilation. As the transcendent Iranian poet, Saadi of Shiraz, wrote, I am a dreamer who is mute, And the people are deaf. I am unable to say, And they are unable to hear.
Reza Aslan (No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam)
So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
Morrie Schwartz
Many people want God to call them to a big assignment. However, they try to bypass the love relationship...the love relationship is why God created you. That is far more important to Him than what you do. So anticipate that God will start working with you and drawing you to an intimate love relationship that is real and personal. When the love relationship is right, God will be free to begin giving you assignments at His initiative. Whenever you do not seem to be receiving assignments from God, focus on the love relationship and stay there until the assignment comes.
Henry T. Blackaby (Experiencing God: How to Live the Full Adventure of Knowing and Doing the Will of God)
Very Important: During this sensitive postpartum time, you must be very careful not to say anything negative about your wife’s appearance. On the other hand, you must not say anything positive about your wife’s appearance, because she’ll know you’re lying. And whatever you do, do NOT give her the impression that you’re deliberately avoiding talking about her appearance. This might be a good time to enlist in the navy.
Dave Barry (I'll Mature When I'm Dead: Dave Barry's Amazing Tales of Adulthood)
So I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally three hundred and sixty five days a year, I was still in elementary school at the time - fifth or sixth grade - but I made up my mind once and for all.” -“Wow,” I said. “Did the search pay off?” “That’s the hard part,” said Midori. She watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. “I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.” -“Waiting for the perfect love?” “No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortcake. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on your knees and hold this strawberry shortcake out to me. And I say I don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.” -“I’m not sure that has anything to do with love,” I said with some amazement. “It does,” she said. “You just don’t know it. There are time in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.” -“Things like throwing strawberry shortcake out the window?” “Exactly. And when I do it, I want the man to apologize to me. “Now I see, Midori. What a fool I have been! I should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortcake. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I’ll go out and buy you something else. What would you like? Chocolate Mousse? Cheesecake?” -“So then what?” “So then I’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.” -“Sounds crazy to me.” “Well, to me, that’s what love is…
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Life is all about priorities. Year after year, day after day, and even minute after minute you have to embrace what is more important and essential for you and not look back. When others don’t understand or admonish you for your choices don’t give it any energy because they are telling you that their wants are more significant than yours.
Carl Henegan (Darkness Left Undone)
Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God. Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life. The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked. God does not answer vague prayers. The more specific your prayers are, the more glory God receives. Most of us don’t get what we want because we quit praying. We give up too easily. We give up too soon. We quit praying right before the miracle happens. If you don’t take the risk, you forfeit the miracle. Take a step of faith when God gives you a vision because you trust that the One who gave you the vision is going to make provision. And for the record, if the vision is from God, it will most definitely be beyond your means. We shouldn’t seek answers as much as we should seek God. If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you. If your plans aren’t birthed in prayer and bathed in prayer, they won’t succeed. Are your problems bigger than God, or is God bigger than your problems? Our biggest problem is our small view of God. That is the cause of all lesser evils. And it’s a high view of God that is the solution to all other problems. Because you know He can, you can pray with holy confidence. Persistence is the magic bullet. The only way you can fail is if you stop praying. 100 percent of the prayers I don’t pray won’t get answered. Where are you most proficient, most sufficient? Maybe that is precisely where God wants you to trust Him to do something beyond your ability. What we perceive as unanswered prayers are often the greatest answers. Our heavenly Father is far too wise and loves us far too much to give us everything we ask for. Someday we’ll thank God for the prayers He didn’t answer as much or more than the ones He did. You can’t pray for open doors if you aren’t willing accept closed doors, because one leads to the other. Just as our greatest successes often come on the heels of our greatest failures, our greatest answers often come on the heels of our longest and most boring prayers. The biggest difference between success and failure, both spiritually and occupationally, is your waking-up time on your alarm clock. We won’t remember the things that came easy; we’ll remember the things that came hard. It’s not just where you end up that’s important; it’s how you get there. Goal setting begins and ends with prayer. The more you have to circle something in prayer, the more satisfying it is spiritually. And, often, the more glory God gets. I don’t want easy answers or quick answers because I have a tendency to mishandle the blessings that come too easily or too quickly. I take the credit or take them for granted. So now I pray that it will take long enough and be hard enough for God to receive all of the glory. Change your prayer approach from as soon as possible to as long as it takes. Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.
Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears)
A quiet but indomitable voice behind me said, “I believe this is my dance.” It was Ren. I could feel his presence. The warmth of him seeped into my back, and I quivered all over like spring leaves in a warm breeze. Kishan narrowed his eyes and said, “I believe it is the lady’s choice.” Kishan looked down at me. I didn’t want to cause a scene, so I simply nodded and removed my arms from his neck. Kishan glared at his replacement and stalked angrily off the dance floor. Ren stepped in front of me, took my hands gently in his, and placed them around his neck, bringing my face achingly close to his. Then he slid his hands slowly and deliberately over my bare arms and down my sides, until they encircled my waist. He traced little circles on my exposes lower back with his fingers, squeezed my waist, and drew my body up tightly against him. He guided me expertly through the slow dance. He didn’t say anything, at least not with words, but he was still sending lots of signals. He pressed his forehead against mine and leaned down to nuzzle my ear. He buried his face in my hair and lifted his hand to stroke down the length of it. His fingers played along my bare arm and at my waist. When the song ended, it took both of us a min to recover our senses and remember where we were. He traced the curve of my bottom lip with his finger then reached up to take my hand from around his neck and led me outside to the porch. I thought he would stop there, but he headed down the stairs and guided me to a wooded area with stone benches. The moon made his skin glow. He was wearing a white shirt with dark slacks. The white made me think of him as the tiger. He pulled me under the shadow of a tree. I stood very still and quiet, afraid that if I spoke I’d say something I’d regret. He cupped my chin and tilted my face up so he could look in my eyes. “Kelsey, there’s something I need to say to you, and I want you to be silent and listen.” I nodded my head hesitantly. “First, I want to let you know that I heard everything you said to me the other night, and I’ve been giving your words some very serious thought. It’s important for you to understand that.” He shifted and picked up a lock of hair, tucked it behind my ear, and trailed his fingers down my cheek to my lips. He smiled sweetly at me, and I felt the little love plant bask in his smile and turn toward it as if it contained the nourishing rays of the sun. “Kelsey,” he brushed a hand through his hair, and his smile turned into a lopsided grin, “the fact is…I’m in love with you, and I have been for some time.” I sucked in a deep breath. He picked up my hand and played with my fingers. “I don’t want you to leave.” He began kissing my fingers while looking directly into my eyes. It was hypnotic. He took something out of his pocket. “I want to give you something.” He held out a golden chain covered with small tinkling bell charms. “It’s an anklet. They’re very popular here, and I got this one so we’d never have to search for a bell again.” He crouched down, wrapping his hand around the back of my calf, and then slid his palm down to my ankle and attached the clasp. I swayed and barely stopped myself from falling over. He trailed his warm fingers lightly over the bells before standing up. Putting his hands on my shoulders, he squeezed, and pulled me closer. “Kells . . . please.” He kissed my temple, my forehead, and my cheek. Between each kiss, he sweetly begged, “Please. Please. Please. Tell me you’ll stay with me.” When his lips brushed lightly against mine, he said, “I need you,” then crushed his lips against mine.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
The all-powerful Zahir seemed to be born with every human being and to gain full strength in childhood, imposing rules that would thereafter always be respected: People who are different are dangerous; they belong to another tribe; they want our lands and our women. We must marry, have children, reproduce the species. Love is only a small thing, enough for one person, and any suggestion that the heart might be larger than this may seem perverse. When we are married we are authorised to take possession of the other person, body and soul. We must do jobs we detest because we are part of an organised society, and if everyone did what they wanted to do, the world would come to a standstill. We must buy jewelry; it identifies us with our tribe. We must be amusing at all times and sneer at those who express their real feelings; it's dangerous for a tribe to allow its members to show their feelings. We must at all costs avoid saying no because people prefer those who always say yes, and this allows us to survive in hostile territory. What other people think is more important than what we feel. Never make a fuss--it might attract the attention of an enemy tribe. If you behave differently you will be expelled from the tribe because you could infect others and destroy something that was extremely difficult to organise in the first place. We must always consider the look of our new cave, and if we don't have a clear idea of our own, then we must call a decorator who will do his best to show others what good taste we have. We must eat three meals a day, even if we're not hungry, and when we fail to fit the current ideal of beauty we must fast, even if we're starving. We must dress according to the dictates of fashion, make love whether we feel like it or not, kill in the name of our country, wish time away so that retirement comes more quickly, elect politicians, complain about the cost of living, change our hair-style, criticise anyone who is different, go to a religious service on Sunday, Saturday or Friday, depending on our religion, and there beg forgiveness for our sins and puff ourselves up with pride because we know the truth and despise he other tribe, who worship false gods. Our children must follow in our footsteps; after all we are older and know more about the world. We must have a university degree even if we never get a job in the area of knowledge we were forced to study. We must never make our parents sad, even if this means giving up everything that makes us happy. We must play music quietly, talk quietly, weep in private, because I am the all-powerful Zahir, who lays down the rules and determines the meaning of success, the best way to love, the importance of rewards.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
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)
Press on, then, in the exercise of introspection. It is important to know yourself really well. It will not help you a bit if you lie when it comes to yourself. In other words, don’t lie to yourself about you. Know where you’re weak. Know your thoughts. Know the places in your heart that you don’t want to give to the Lord. You must build time into your life to become aware of what’s really going on in your heart, in your mind, and deep inside of you. Constantly ask yourself good diagnostic questions about areas of doubt and disbelief.
Matt Chandler (To Live Is Christ to Die Is Gain)
When they ask how you’re feeling, you tell them you’re feeling like something important died screaming. You tell them you’re feeling like something even more important arrived breathing, something you should probably try feeding. When they ask how you’re living, you tell them you’re living like something important died hissing. You tell them you’re living like something even more important arrived giving, something you should probably try willing.
Aesop Rock
When I consider the people I admire, a quality most of them share is that they’re very good listeners. You can literally see them listening. You notice that they’re thinking too, and only after they think, do they give a reply to the person they’re talking to. Listening is an incredibly important skill, and good listening is an art. One that requires immense discipline. For many of us, we always want to get in edgewise what we feel is more important to say. Yet, if we would learn to listen more than we speak, we could have better conversations and forge deeper connections. Plus, there would be less misunderstandings in the world.
Art Rios (Let's Talk: ...About Making Your Life Exciting, Easier, And Exceptional)
You want the approval of those with whom you come in contact. You want recognition of your true worth. You want a feeling that you are important in your little world. You don’t want to listen to cheap, insincere flattery, but you do crave sincere appreciation. You want your friends and associates to be, as Charles Schwab put it, “hearty in their approbation and lavish in their praise.” All of us want that. So let’s obey the Golden Rule, and give unto others what we would have others give unto us. How? When? Where? The answer is: All the time, everywhere.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
Give your child a compliment and a hug; say, ‘I love you’ more; always express your thanks. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. Friends move away, children grow up, loved ones pass on. It’s so easy to take others for granted, until that day when they’re gone from our lives and we are left with feelings of ‘what if’ and ‘if only.’ …Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey and share our love with friends and family. One day, each of us will run out of tomorrows. Let us not put off what is most important.
Thomas S. Monson
That Little Beast That pretty little beast, a poem, has a mind of its own. Sometimes I want it to crave apples but it wants red meat. Sometimes I want to walk peacefully on the shore and it wants to take off all its clothes and dive in. Sometimes I want to use small words and make them important and it starts shouting the dictionary, the opportunities. Sometimes I want to sum up and give thanks, putting things in order and it starts dancing around the room on its four furry legs, laughing and calling me outrageous. But sometimes, when I'm thinking about you, and no doubt smiling, it sits down quietly, one paw under its chin, and just listens.
Mary Oliver (Felicity)
To avoid beautiful thoughts turning into suffering, she developed a method: when something positive to do with Ralf Hart came into her head - and this could be the fire and the wine, an idea she would like to discuss with him, or simply the pleasurable longing involved in wanting to know when he would come back - Maria would stop what she was doing, smile up at the sky and give thanks for being alive and to be expecting nothing from the man she loved. On the other hand, if her heart began to complain about his absence or about things she shouldn't have said while they were together, she would say to herself: 'Oh, so you want to think about that, do you? All right, then, you do what you like, while I get on with more important things.' She would continue to read or, if she was out, she would focus her attention on everything around her: colours, people, sounds - especially sounds, the sound of her own footsteps, of the pages turning, of cars, of fragments of conversations, and the unfortunate thought would eventually go away.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
The Delores tank rolled on inexorably, “You get a mortgage to buy a house, a larger mortgage than the previous owner because the price of the house has been artificially increased by the market, which is controlled by the banks. Then you live in the house for a few years paying a lot more in mortgage payments than you would if you were renting a similar property. But hey, you ‘own’ it and can ‘do things to it’… things that cost even more money, by the way… so you maintain its upkeep, improve it with say a new kitchen or bathroom; the more salubrious the neighbourhood the more expensive the kitchen would need to be – a Küche & Cucina, say; impressing your cleaner is very important after all and at the end you sell it to someone else for more than you paid for it so they’ll need an even bigger mortgage. And all the while everyone is paying all this money to the banks and the banks give the money to their shareholders, the biggest of whom are the incredibly rich. This, when you boil it all down, means that you’re taking a large sum out of your wages and passing it across to some rich person to live large, whilst you and others like you struggle to make their monthly payments. Basically you’ve been screwed, Doc, but somehow they’ve convinced you that you own a bit of England, when the truth is you don’t really own anything, you’re just renting it at a higher cost and they can take it back from you any time they want. It’s all just a card trick, Doc. All just ‘smoke and mirrors’ and that’s what’s getting to me.
Arun D. Ellis (Corpalism)
The essence of meditation practice in Dzogchen is encapsulated by these four points: ▪ When one past thought has ceased and a future thought has not yet risen, in that gap, in between, isn’t there a consciousness of the present moment; fresh, virgin, unaltered by even a hair’s breadth of a concept, a luminous, naked awareness? Well, that is what Rigpa is! ▪ Yet it doesn’t stay in that state forever, because another thought suddenly arises, doesn’t it? This is the self-radiance of that Rigpa. ▪ However, if you do not recognize this thought for what it really is, the very instant it arises, then it will turn into just another ordinary thought, as before. This is called the “chain of delusion,” and is the root of samsara. ▪ If you are able to recognize the true nature of the thought as soon as it arises, and leave it alone without any follow-up, then whatever thoughts arise all automatically dissolve back into the vast expanse of Rigpa and are liberated. Clearly this takes a lifetime of practice to understand and realize the full richness and majesty of these four profound yet simple points, and here I can only give you a taste of the vastness of what is meditation in Dzogchen. … Dzogchen meditation is subtly powerful in dealing with the arisings of the mind, and has a unique perspective on them. All the risings are seen in their true nature, not as separate from Rigpa, and not as antagonistic to it, but actually as none other–and this is very important–than its “self-radiance,” the manifestation of its very energy. Say you find yourself in a deep state of stillness; often it does not last very long and a thought or a movement always arises, like a wave in the ocean.  Don’t reject the movement or particulary embrace the stillness, but continue the flow of your pure presence. The pervasive, peaceful state of your meditation is the Rigpa itself, and all risings are none other than this Rigpa’s self-radiance. This is the heart and the basis of Dzogchen practice. One way to imagine this is as if you were riding on the sun’s rays back to the sun: …. Of couse there are rough as well as gentle waves in the ocean; strong emotions come, like anger, desire, jealousy. The real practitioner recognizes them not as a disturbance or obstacle, but as a great opportunity. The fact that you react to arisings such as these with habitual tendencies of attachment and aversion is a sign not only that you are distracted, but also that you do not have the recognition and have lost the ground of Rigpa. To react to emotions in this way empowers them and binds us even tighter in the chains of delusion. The great secret of Dzogchen is to see right through them as soon as they arise, to what they really are: the vivid and electric manifestation of the energy of Rigpa itself. As you gradually learn to do this, even the most turbulent emotions fail to seize hold of you and dissolve, as wild waves rise and rear and sink back into the calm of the ocean. The practitioner discovers–and this is a revolutionary insight, whose subtlety and power cannot be overestimated–that not only do violent emotions not necessarily sweep you away and drag you back into the whirlpools of your own neuroses, they can actually be used to deepen, embolden, invigorate, and strengthen the Rigpa. The tempestuous energy becomes raw food of the awakened energy of Rigpa. The stronger and more flaming the emotion, the more Rigpa is strengthened.
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
You will know what steps to take to move up in your life, what to do when conflict develops, and most important, how to get back on course when you feel yourself slipping. You will find your career advancing to the next level, you will get your most creative juices flowing, you will forever alter the way you raise your children and treat your spouse and give back to your community. And you will do all these things not because you feel you ought to, but because you choose, because you want to, because you're ready to push yourself to the limits of your abilities, to defy the naysayers and ultimately to feel that bone-deep of satisfaction that you lived life to its fullest.
Art E. Berg (The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer: Living with Purpose and Passion)
NO. No no no. I don't want to screw you. I just love you. When did who you want to screw become the whole game? Since when is the person you want to screw the only person you get to love? It's so stupid, Tiny! I mean, Jesus, who even gives a fuck about sex?! People act like it's the most important thing humans do, but come on. How can our sentient fucking lives revolve around something that slugs can do. I mean, who you want to screw and whether you screw them? Those are important questions, I guess. But they're not that important. You know what's important? Who would you die for? Who do you wake up at five forty-five in the morning for even though you don't even know why he needs you?
John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)
Memorization has gotten a bad rap recently. Lots of students, and even some educators, say that being able to reason is more important than knowing facts; and besides, why bother committing things to memory when you've got Google? My response to this - after I've finished inwardly groaning - is that of course reasoning is important, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't know facts as well. It's not like you have to choose between one or the other. Besides, facts give you a foundation on which to reason about things.
Stefanie Weisman (The Secrets of Top Students: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Acing High School and College)
So I wish to give to you what I have given to few before.” Her dark eyes shone. “Names are not important. It’s what lies inside of you that matters. I know what you went through in Endovier. I know what my people endure there, day after day. But you did not let the mines harden you; you did not let it shame your soul into cruelty.” The princess traced a mark on her hand, her fingers pressing into Celaena’s skin. “You bear many names, and so I shall name you as well.” Her hand rose to Celaena’s forehead and she drew an invisible mark. “I name you Elentiya.” She kissed the assassin’s brow. “I give you this name to use with honor, to use when other names grow too heavy. I name you Elentiya, ‘Spirit That Could Not Be Broken.’” Celaena
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Relationships never provide you with everything. They provide you with some things. You take all the things you want from a person - sexual chemistry, let's say, or good conversation, or financial support, or intellectual compatibility, or niceness, or loyalty - and you get to pick three of those things. Three - that's it. Maybe four, if you're very lucky. The rest you have to look for elsewhere. It's only in the movies that you find someone who gives you all of those things. But this isn't the movies. In the real world, you have to identify which three qualities you want to spend the rest of your life with, and then you look for those qualities in another person. That's real life. Don't you see it's a trap? If you keep trying to find everything, you'll wind up with nothing.' ...At the time, he hadn't believed these words, because at the time, everything really did seem possible: he was twenty-three, and everyone was young and attractive and smart and glamorous. Everyone thought they would be friends for decades, forever. But for most people, of course, that hadn't happened. As you got older, you realized that the qualities you valued in the people you slept with or dated weren't necessarily the ones you wanted to live with, or be with, or plod through your days with. If you were smart, and if you were lucky, you learned this and accepted this. You figured out what was most important to you and you looked for it, and you learned to be realistic. They all chose differently: Roman had chosen beauty, sweetness, pliability; Malcolm, he thought, had chosen reliability, and competence...and aesthetic compatibility. And he? He had chosen friendship. Conversation. Kindness, Intelligence. When he was in his thirties, he had looked at certain people's relationships and asked the question that had (and continued to) fuel countless dinner-party conversations: What's going on there? Now, though, as an almost-forty-eight-year-old, he saw people's relationships as reflections of their keenest yet most inarticulable desires, their hopes and insecurities taking shape physically, in the form of another person. Now he looked at couples - in restaurants, on the street, at parties - and wondered: Why are you together? What did you identify as essential to you? What's missing in you that you want someone else to provide? He now viewed a successful relationship as one in which both people had recognized the best of what the other person had of offer and had chosen to value it as well.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Listen, when you’re a black man in America you live with the weight of people’s low expectations on your back every day. They can crush you right down to the goddamn ground. Think about it like it’s a race. Everybody else has a head start and you dragging those low expectations behind you. Choices give you freedom from those expectations. Allows you to cut ’em loose. Because that’s what freedom is. Being able to let things go. And nothing is more important than freedom. Nothing. You hear me, boy?” Beauregard said. Javon nodded his head. “Alright
S.A. Cosby (Blacktop Wasteland)
When I was 15 years old, I had a very important person in my life come to me and say “who’s your hero?” And I said, “I don’t know, I gotta think about that. Give me a couple of weeks.” I come back two weeks later, this person comes up and says “who’s your hero?” I said, “I thought about it. You know who it is? It’s me in 10 years.” So I turned 25. Ten years later, that same person comes to me and says, “So, are you a hero?” And I was like, “not even close. No, no, no.” She said, “Why?” I said, “Because my hero’s me at 35.” So you see every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero’s always 10 years away. I’m never gonna be my hero. I’m not gonna attain that. I know I’m not, and that’s just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.
Matthew McConaughey
I am sitting down to write in a state of some confusion; I have been reading a lot of different things that are merging into one another, and if one hopes to find a solution for oneself by this kind of reading, one is mistaken; one comes up against a wall, and cannot proceed. Your life is so very different, dearest. Except in relation to your fellow men, have you ever known uncertainty? Have you ever observed how, within yourself and independent of other people, diverse possibilities open up in several directions, thereby actually creating a ban on your every movement? Have you ever, without giving the slightest thought to anyone else, been in despair simply about yourself? Desperate enough to throw yourself on the ground and remain there beyond the Day of Judgment? How devout are you? You go to the synagogue; but I dare say you have not been recently. And what is it that sustains you, the idea of Judaism or of God? Are you aware, and this is the most important thing, of a continuous relationship between yourself and a reassuringly distant, if possibly infinite height or depth? He who feels this continuously has no need to roam about like a lost dog, mutely gazing around with imploring eyes; he never need yearn to slip into a grave as if it were a warm sleeping bag and life a cold winter night; and when climbing the stairs to his office he never need imagine that he is careering down the well of the staircase, flickering in the uncertain light, twisting from the speed of his fall, shaking his head with impatience. There are times, dearest, when I am convinced I am unfit for any human relationship.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Felice‎ (Schocken Classics))
Kids are tough sometimes. There are moments when I'm so frustrated and don't feel like we understand each other. When I hit a moment like this and words of aggravation are on the tip of my tongue, this is what I say to myself: You have been given the unbelievable honor of taking care of and loving the next generation of people. Your work with them is hands down the most important work you'll ever do. Think about how many people these children will come in contact with in their life time. The messages and love you give them or don't give them will be your voice in the future. Think about that when you're aggravated or tired. Every word you speak over them matters. Your voice and the unspoken energy you're sending them are more powerful than you can possibly imagine. Speak to them as if they are Kings and Queens and you are on stage in front of thousands of people -because that's how they deserve to be treated. Give them the best of you.
Brooke Hampton
I wanna say something that I want you to remember for the rest of your life, OK? I want you to listen closely. I'm giving you a key to life right now, this is the key to life. The key to life, the key to life is running and reading. Oh right? Now listen very seriously, the key to life is running and reading. Right now, why running? When you're running and you are there and you're running there's a little person that talks to you and that little person says "Oh, I'm tired", "My lounge's about to pop", "I'm so hurt", "I'm so tired", "There's no way I can possibly continue". And you wanna quit. Right? That person, if you learn how to defeat that person when you're running you will learn how to not quit when things get hard in your life. Running. Oh right? That's the first key to life. Reading. The reason the reading is so important. There've been millions and billions and billions and gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There's no new problem you can have with your parents, with school, with a bully, with anything, there's no problem you can have that someone hasn't already solved and wrote about it in a book. So they keys to life are running and reading.
Will Smith
If you go back and look at the historical record, it turns out that a lot of important ideas have very long incubation periods. I call this the ‘slow hunch.’ We’ve heard a lot recently about hunch and instinct and blink-like sudden moments of clarity, but in fact, a lot of great ideas linger on, sometimes for decades, in the back of people’s minds. They have a feeling that there’s an interesting problem, but they don’t quite have the tools yet to discover them.” Solving the problem means being in the right place at the right time—available to the propitious moment, the kairos. Perhaps counterintuitively, protecting what is left of this flow from the pressing obligation of new choices gives us a leg up on innovation.
Douglas Rushkoff (Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now)
A man who isn’t into you, isn’t into you.  Don’t force it—let him go.  Maybe he’s already got a partner.  Maybe the timing’s wrong.  Maybe he’s got deep ambivalence about whether he wants a relationship.  Maybe he’s hoping he can use you for sex—then give up in disgust when you aren’t had so easily.  Maybe he just doesn’t love you.  Maybe he’s dealing with anxiety, or job loss, or the ex he can’t forget.    The truth is, none of that matters!  The reason is not the important thing.  The behavior is.  No matter why, when a man doesn’t want you, give up on him—he is saving you from wasting your time and emotions.
Duana Welch (Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do)
He lay wracked with pain and in moral despair; they told him about themselves, and when he felt even worse, he got an answer from God saying, Who on earth do you think you are? Question me? Let me give you a hint of who I am and what I know. But a peek into Divine knowledge was less important than gaining, at last, the Lord's attention. Which...was all Job ever wanted. Not proof of His existence-- he never questioned that. Nor proof of His power- everyone accepted that. He simply wanted to catch His eye. To be recognized not as worthy or worthless, but to be noticed as a life-form by the One who made and unmade it.
Toni Morrison (A Mercy)
First, relax. ... And my second helpful hint is that you should not try to memorize anything you read in this book. ... My two words of advice are exemplified in what I call the Russian Novel Phenomenon. Every reader must have experienced that depressing moment about fifty pages into a Russian novel when we realize that we have lost track of all the characters, the variety of names by which they are known, their family relationships and relative ranks in the civil service. At this point we can give in to our anxiety, and start again to read more carefully, trying to memorize all the details on the offchance that some may prove to be important. If such a course is followed, the second reading is almost certain to be more incomprehensible than the first. The probable result: one Russian novel lost forever. But there is another alternative: to read faster, to push ahead, to make sense of what we can and to enjoy whatever we make sense of. And suddenly the book becomes readable, the story makes sense, and we find that we can remember all the important characters and events simply because we know what is important. Any re-reading we then have to do is bound to make sense, because at least we comprehend what is going on and what we are looking for.
Frank Smith
What we hadn’t known about, back then, was pain. Sure, we’d faced some things as children that a lot of kids don’t. Sure, Justin had qualified for his Junior de Sade Badge in his teaching methods for dealing with pain. We still hadn’t learned, though, that growing up is all about getting hurt. And then getting over it. You hurt. You recover. You move on. Odds are pretty good you’re just going to get hurt again. But each time, you learn something. Each time, you come out of it a little stronger, and at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind—graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There’s the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There’s the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn’t give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There’s the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens. And if you’re very, very lucky, there are a very few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last—and yet will remain with you for life. Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don’t feel it. Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it’s a big part, and sometimes it isn’t, but either way, it’s part of the big puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you’re alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another.
Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
Personal importance, or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about “me.” During the period of our education, or our domestication, we learn to take everything personally. We think we are responsible for everything. Me, me, me, always me! Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world. Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds. Their point of view comes from all the programming they received during domestication. If someone gives you an opinion and says, “Hey, you look so fat,” don’t take it personally, because the truth is that this person is dealing with his or her own feelings, beliefs, and opinions. That person tried to send poison to you and if you take it personally, then you take that poison and it becomes yours. Taking things personally makes you easy prey for these predators, the black magicians. They can hook you easily with one
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
We have a predator that came from the depths of the cosmos and took over the rule of our lives. Human beings are its prisoners. The Predator is our lord and master. It has rendered us docile, helpless. If we want to protest, it suppresses our protest. If we want to act independently, it demands that we don't do so... I have been beating around the bush all this time, insinuating to you that something is holding us prisoner. Indeed we are held prisoner! "This was an energetic fact for the sorcerers of ancient Mexico ... They took us over because we are food for them, and they squeeze us mercilessly because we are their sustenance. just as we rear chickens in chicken coops, the predators rear us in human coops, humaneros. Therefore, their food is always available to them." "No, no, no, no," [Carlos replies] "This is absurd don Juan. What you're saying is something monstrous. It simply can't be true, for sorcerers or for average men, or for anyone." "Why not?" don Juan asked calmly. "Why not? Because it infuriates you? ... You haven't heard all the claims yet. I want to appeal to your analytical mind. Think for a moment, and tell me how you would explain the contradictions between the intelligence of man the engineer and the stupidity of his systems of beliefs, or the stupidity of his contradictory behaviour. Sorcerers believe that the predators have given us our systems of belief, our ideas of good and evil, our social mores. They are the ones who set up our hopes and expectations and dreams of success or failure. They have given us covetousness, greed, and cowardice. It is the predators who make us complacent, routinary, and egomaniacal." "'But how can they do this, don Juan? [Carlos] asked, somehow angered further by what [don Juan] was saying. "'Do they whisper all that in our ears while we are asleep?" "'No, they don't do it that way. That's idiotic!" don Juan said, smiling. "They are infinitely more efficient and organized than that. In order to keep us obedient and meek and weak, the predators engaged themselves in a stupendous manoeuvre stupendous, of course, from the point of view of a fighting strategist. A horrendous manoeuvre from the point of view of those who suffer it. They gave us their mind! Do you hear me? The predators give us their mind, which becomes our mind. The predators' mind is baroque, contradictory, morose, filled with the fear of being discovered any minute now." "I know that even though you have never suffered hunger... you have food anxiety, which is none other than the anxiety of the predator who fears that any moment now its manoeuvre is going to be uncovered and food is going to be denied. Through the mind, which, after all, is their mind, the predators inject into the lives of human beings whatever is convenient for them. And they ensure, in this manner, a degree of security to act as a buffer against their fear." "The sorcerers of ancient Mexico were quite ill at ease with the idea of when [the predator] made its appearance on Earth. They reasoned that man must have been a complete being at one point, with stupendous insights, feats of awareness that are mythological legends nowadays. And then, everything seems to disappear, and we have now a sedated man. What I'm saying is that what we have against us is not a simple predator. It is very smart, and organized. It follows a methodical system to render us useless. Man, the magical being that he is destined to be, is no longer magical. He's an average piece of meat." "There are no more dreams for man but the dreams of an animal who is being raised to become a piece of meat: trite, conventional, imbecilic.
Carlos Castaneda (The Active Side of Infinity)
Men often do that, spreading out their legs on the Tube as though they have an innate need to fill any space that isn't filled, walking down the middle of the narrow pavement and being almost surprised when they career into you, nudging too close in a coffee shop queue as though you'll give way. They don't even notice what they're doing. They are important, their needs are important. You are not as important. You are not important at all. Unless you're attractive to them. Then your space will be occupied in other ways. Men will stand in front of you and block your path to get your attention. They will slow their car down so that you feel uncomfortable as you walk down the street. They will hover over you in bars, touching your arm, grabbing your hand. If you're lucky, it'll just be your hand.
Bella Mackie (How to Kill Your Family)
If God has given you a mission, you must be tough enough to handle what people say and still not be distracted while doing what you were created to do. Are you tough enough? God and the enemy know the truth about you, and remember even great people doing great things for great causes meet negative criticisms. All criticism is not bad, just like all flattery is not good. Many times people don’t criticize you because they are evil; they do it because they have been trained to think anyone who doesn't perceive and see things in the same manner is an enemy. The critic is a prisoner to his own experiences and perspectives, erroneously believing his limited experiences are the sum of all truth. When you acknowledge your critics, you give them your power and validate their words. They are not important until you respond.
T.D. Jakes
we all tend to fill up our days with things that just have to be done and then run around desperately trying to do them all, while in the process not really enjoying much of the doing because we are too pressed for time, too rushed, too busy, too anxious? We can feel overwhelmed by our schedules, our responsibilities, and our roles at times, even when everything we are doing is important, even when we have chosen to do them all. We live immersed in a world of constant doing. Rarely are we in touch with who is doing the doing—or, put otherwise, with the world of being. To get back in touch with being is not that difficult. We only need to remind ourselves to be mindful. Moments of mindfulness are moments of peace and stillness, even in the midst of activity. When your whole life is driven by doing, formal meditation practice can provide a refuge of sanity and stability that can be used to restore some balance and perspective. It can be a way of stopping the headlong momentum of all the doing, giving yourself some time to dwell in deep relaxation and well-being and to remember who you are.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness)
When you come across something that’s hard to discard, consider carefully why you have that specific item in the first place. When did you get it and what meaning did it have for you then? Reassess the role it plays in your life. If, for example, you have some clothes that you bought but never wear, examine them one at a time. Where did you buy that particular outfit and why? If you bought it because you thought it looked cool in the shop, it has fulfilled the function of giving you a thrill when you bought it. Then why did you never wear it? Was it because you realized that it didn’t suit you when you tried it on at home? If so, and if you no longer buy clothes of the same style or color, it has fulfilled another important function—it has taught you what doesn’t suit you. In fact, that particular article of clothing has already completed its role in your life, and you are free to say, “Thank you for giving me joy when I bought you,” or “Thank you for teaching me what
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
You don’t want me to fight? I won’t fight. You want me to break up with Gemma? She’s gone. You want me to quit my shit job, give up my apartment in Charles Town, and move to Maryland? Done. You want to go to college? I’ll make it happen. “I’ve been half d-dead for ten years, Gris, but then you walked back into my life, and I came alive again. You make me want to live. You make me want to be a better man. “I love you, and when I say that, I mean that you’re my reason for breathing, for eating, for drinking, for sleeping, for living. I will never hurt you. I will never leave you. I will always protect you. There is no one more important to me than you, and as long as I live, there never w-will be.
Katy Regnery (Never Let You Go (A Modern Fairytale, #2))
Lee’s hand shook as he filled the delicate cups. He drank his down in one gulp. “Don’t you see?” he cried. “The American Standard translation orders men to triumph over sin, and you can call sin ignorance. The King James translation makes a promise in ‘Thou shalt,’ meaning that men will surely triumph over sin. But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’—that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ Don’t you see?” “Yes, I see. I do see. But you do not believe this is divine law. Why do you feel its importance?” “Ah!” said Lee. “I’ve wanted to tell you this for a long time. I even anticipated your questions and I am well prepared. Any writing which has influenced the thinking and the lives of innumerable people is important. Now, there are many millions in their sects and churches who feel the order, ‘Do thou,’ and throw their weight into obedience. And there are millions more who feel predestination in ‘Thou shalt.’ Nothing they may do can interfere with what will be. But “Thou mayest’! Why, that makes a man great, that gives him stature with the gods, for in his weakness and his filth and his murder of his brother he has still the great choice. He can choose his course and fight it through and win.” Lee’s voice was a chant of triumph. Adam said, “Do you believe that, Lee?” “Yes, I do. Yes, I do. It is easy out of laziness, out of weakness, to throw oneself into the lap of deity, saying, ‘I couldn’t help it; the way was set.’ But think of the glory of the choice! That makes a man a man. A cat has no choice, a bee must make honey. There’s no godliness there. And do you know, those old gentlemen who were sliding gently down to death are too interested to die now?” Adam said, “Do you mean these Chinese men believe the Old Testament?” Lee said, “These old men believe a true story, and they know a true story when they hear it. They are critics of truth. They know that these sixteen verses are a history of humankind in any age or culture or race. They do not believe a man writes fifteen and three-quarter verses of truth and tells a lie with one verb. Confucius tells men how they should live to have good and successful lives. But this—this is a ladder to climb to the stars.” Lee’s eyes shone. “You can never lose that. It cuts the feet from under weakness and cowardliness and laziness.” Adam said, “I don’t see how you could cook and raise the boys and take care of me and still do all this.” “Neither do I,” said Lee. “But I take my two pipes in the afternoon, no more and no less, like the elders. And I feel that I am a man. And I feel that a man is a very important thing—maybe more important than a star. This is not theology. I have no bent toward gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed—because ‘Thou mayest.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
I always instruct my students to write a great deal. Write a journal. Take notes. Write when you are feeling wretched, when your mind is about to break down...who knows what will float up to the surface? I am an unashamed believer in the magical powers of dreams; dreams enhance us. Even nightmares may be marketable -- there is something to be said for the conscious, calculating exorcism of nightmares, if they give to us such works as those of Dostoyevsky, Celine,and Kafka. So the most important thing is to write, and to write nearly every day, in sickness and in health. In a while, in a few weeks or a few years, you can always make sense of that jumble of impressions...or perhaps it will suddenly reveal its sense to you.
Joyce Carol Oates
Ruby and Aaron are both crazy patient; they’re good parents.” “I could be a good dad,” Ivan whispered, still feeding Jess. I could have told him he’d be good at anything he wanted to be good at, but nah. “Do you want to have kids?” he asked me out of the blue. I handed Benny another block. “A long time from now, maybe.” “A long time… like how long?” That had me glancing at Ivan over my shoulder. He had his entire attention on Jessie, and I was pretty sure he was smiling down at her. Huh. “My early thirties, maybe? I don’t know. I might be okay with not having any either. I haven’t really thought about it much, except for knowing I don’t want to have them any time soon, you know what I mean?” “Because of figure skating?” “Why else? I barely have enough time now. I couldn’t imagine trying to train and have kids. My baby daddy would have to be a rich, stay-at-home dad for that to work.” Ivan wrinkled his nose at my niece. “There are at least ten skaters I know with kids.” I rolled my eyes and poked Benny in the side when he held out his little hand for another block. That got me a toothy grin. “I’m not saying it’s impossible. I just wouldn’t want to do it any time soon. I don’t want to half-ass or regret it. If they ever exist, I’d want them to be my priority. I wouldn’t want them to think they were second best.” Because I knew what that felt like. And I’d already screwed up enough with making grown adults I loved think they weren’t important. If I was going to do something, I wanted to do my best and give it everything. All he said was, “Hmm.” A thought came into my head and made my stomach churn. “Why? Are you planning on having kids any time soon?” “I wasn’t,” he answered immediately. “I like this baby though, and that one. Maybe I need to think about it.” I frowned, the feeling in my stomach getting more intense. He kept blabbing. “I could start training my kids really young…. I could coach them. Hmm.” It was my turn to wrinkle my nose. “Three hours with two kids and now you want them?” Ivan glanced down at me with a smirk. “With the right person. I’m not going to have them with just anybody and dilute my blood.” I rolled my eyes at this idiot, still ignoring that weird feeling in my belly that I wasn’t going to acknowledge now or ever. “God forbid, you have kids with someone that’s not perfect. Dumbass.” “Right?” He snorted, looking down at the baby before glancing back at me with a smile I wasn’t a fan of. “They might come out short, with mean, squinty, little eyes, a big mouth, heavy bones, and a bad attitude.” I blinked. “I hope you get abducted by aliens.” Ivan laughed, and the sound of it made me smile. “You would miss me.” All I said, while shrugging was, “Meh. I know I’d get to see you again someday—” He smiled. “—in hell.” That wiped the look right off his face. “I’m a good person. People like me.” “Because they don’t know you. If they did, somebody would have kicked your ass already.” “They’d try,” he countered, and I couldn’t help but laugh. There was something wrong with us. And I didn’t hate it. Not even a little bit.
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
So it's important to remember that our job isn't to solve other people's problems for them, but to help them to discover the ways that are most effective and most practical for them to deal with their own problems. We can't wave a magic wand or open a self-help book to a certain page and say, "There--you're no longer an alcoholic," but we can listen to them and talk to them and help them to find ways to deal with the issues that are driving them to use alcohol. And when they're facing the hardest times in dealing with the problems, we can be there as someone to lean on when they need to lean.
Tom Walsh
This distinction between headspace and the emotion of happiness is an important one. For some reason we’ve come to believe that happiness should be the default setting in life and, therefore, anything different is somehow wrong. Based on this assumption we tend to resist the source of unhappiness – physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s usually at this stage that things get complicated. Life can begin to feel like a chore, and an endless struggle to chase and maintain that feeling of happiness. We get hooked on the temporary rush or pleasure of a new experience, whatever that is, and then need to feed it the whole time. It doesn’t matter whether we feed it with food, drink, drugs, clothes, cars, relationships, work, or even the peace and quiet of the countryside. If we become dependent on it for our happiness, then we’re trapped. What happens when we can’t have it any more? And what happens when the excitement wears off? For many, their entire life revolves around this pursuit of happiness. Yet how many people do you know who are truly happy? And by that I mean, how many people do you know who have that unshakeable sense of underlying headspace? Has this approach of chasing one thing after the next worked for you in terms of giving you headspace? It’s as if we rush around creating all this mental chatter in our pursuit of temporary happiness, without realising that all the noise is simply drowning out the natural headspace that is already there, just waiting to be acknowledged.
Andy Puddicombe (Get Some Headspace: 10 minutes can make all the difference)
In the original form of the word, to worry someone else was to harass, strangle, or choke them. Likewise, to worry oneself is a form of self-harassment. To give it less of a role in our lives, we must understand what it really it is. Worry is the fear we manufacture—it is not authentic. If you choose to worry about something, have at it, but do so knowing it’s a choice. Most often, we worry because it provides some secondary reward. There are many variations, but a few of the most popular follow. Worry is a way to avoid change; when we worry, we don’t do anything about the matter. Worry is a way to avoid admitting powerlessness over something, since worry feels like we’re doing something. (Prayer also makes us feel like we’re doing something, and even the most committed agnostic will admit that prayer is more productive than worry.) Worry is a cloying way to have connection with others, the idea being that to worry about someone shows love. The other side of this is the belief that not worrying about someone means you don’t care about them. As many worried-about people will tell you, worry is a poor substitute for love or for taking loving action. Worry is a protection against future disappointment. After taking an important test, for example, a student might worry about whether he failed. If he can feel the experience of failure now, rehearse it, so to speak, by worrying about it, then failing won’t feel as bad when it happens. But there’s an interesting trade-off: Since he can’t do anything about it at this point anyway, would he rather spend two days worrying and then learn he failed, or spend those same two days not worrying, and then learn he failed? Perhaps most importantly, would he want to learn he had passed the test and spent two days of anxiety for nothing? In Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman concludes that worrying is a sort of “magical amulet” which some people feel wards off danger. They believe that worrying about something will stop it from happening. He also correctly notes that most of what people worry about has a low probability of occurring, because we tend to take action about those things we feel are likely to occur. This means that very often the mere fact that you are worrying about something is a predictor that it isn’t likely to happen!
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
BE STILL IN MY PRESENCE, even though countless tasks clamor for your attention. Nothing is as important as spending time with Me. While you wait in My Presence, I do My best work within you: transforming you by the renewing of your mind. If you skimp on this time with Me, you may plunge headlong into the wrong activities, missing the richness of what I have planned for you. Do not seek Me primarily for what I can give you. Remember that I, the Giver, am infinitely greater than any gift I might impart to you. Though I delight in blessing My children, I am deeply grieved when My blessings become idols in their hearts. Anything can be an idol if it distracts you from Me as your First Love. When I am the ultimate Desire of your heart, you are safe from the danger of idolatry. As you wait in My Presence, enjoy the greatest gift of all: Christ in you, the hope of Glory! Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ROMANS 12 : 2
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
More importantly, I didn’t know then that one day I would genuinely be free. That freedom came out of a thousand small steps of obedience, most of which I took during the waiting or limbo time. The more I learned to lean into Him on a daily basis and simply live out my faith in the everyday elements, the more I was prepared for the bigger steps when they arrived. Not only that, I was given the gift of living my life fully in the present, rather than being fixated and frustrated over some distant time or hope. In the crossroads called limbo, you do arrive at mile markers. You become more mature. More healed. Less surprised by or resistant to or unprepared for the good things God is giving you in the ordinary. Your challenge is to begin to embrace the waiting times as part of the overall journey. Limbo is a key part of the healing process! As you are faithful daily, He is working in you powerfully, and it all counts. Every single moment!
Suzanne Eller (The Mended Heart: God's Healing for Your Broken Places)
What was more important was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into war-fever and leader-worship. The way she put it was: ‘When you make love you’re using up energy; and afterwards you feel happy and don’t give a damn for anything. They can’t bear you to feel like that. They want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. If you’re happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother and the Three Year Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?
George Orwell (1984)
In Rome, I had nearly five thousand volumes in my library. By reading and re-reading them, I discovered that one hundred and fifty books, carefully chosen, give you, if not a complete summary of human knowledge, at least everything that it is useful for a man to know. I devoted three years of my life to reading and re-reading these hundred and fifty volumes, so that when I was arrested I knew them more or less by heart. In prison, with a slight effort of memory, I recalled them entirely. So I can recite to you Thucydides, Xenophon, Plutarch, Livy, Tacitus, Strada, Jornadès, Dante, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Spinoza, Machiavelli and Bossuet; I mention only the most important …’ I have to admit that my historical work is my favourite occupation. When I go back to the past, I forget the present. I walk free and independently through history, and forget that I am a prisoner.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
What was your childhood like? What was your relationship like with each parent—and were there other people with whom you were close as a child? Whom were you closest to and why? I’d ask you to give me several words that described your early relationship with each parent or caregiver, and then I’d ask for a few memories that illustrated each of those words. The questions go on: What was it like when you were separated, upset, threatened, or fearful? Did you experience loss as a child—and if so, what was that like for you and for your family? How did your relationships change over time? Why do you think your care-givers behaved as they did? When you think back on all these questions, how do you think your earliest experiences have impacted your development as an adult? And if you have children I’d ask you these questions: How do you think these experiences have affected your parenting? What do you wish for your child in the future? And finally, when your child is twenty-five, what do you hope he or she will say are the most important things he or she learned from you?
Daniel J. Siegel (Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation)
When we don’t think we’re worth much, we find ways to make our world small. We don’t allow ourselves to hope because we’ve already excepted failure. And this pattern of thinking often determines the outcome of our most important choices. But Sam, I have to tell you that doubt and confidence are both acts of faith. They’re both predictions of our capabilities. We either tell ourselves that we can or that we can’t. And these beliefs are a self-fulfilling prophecy, because we validate our doubts by giving up just as much as we are embolden ourselves by refusing to give in. The only way you can break this cycle is to be brave. You have to ignore your doubts and risk failure. You have to try to achieve something that seems unachievable. This is the best recipe for confidence. And confidence is how we get how we start giving ourselves permission to take up more space in the world, to want more for ourselves, and to feel as though we deserve it.
Craig Silvey (Honeybee)
Like literature, music can overwhelm you with sudden emotion, can move you to absolute sorrow or ecstasy; like literature, painting has the power to astonish, and to make you see the world through fresh eyes. But only literature can put you in touch with another human spirit, as a whole, with all its weaknesses and grandeurs, its limitations, its pettinesses, its obsessions, its beliefs; with whatever it finds moving, interesting, exciting or repugnant. Only literature can give you access to a spirit from beyond the grave – a more direct, more complete, deeper access than you’d have in conversation with a friend. Even in our deepest, most lasting friendships, we never speak as openly as when we face a blank page and address a reader we do not know. The beauty of an author’s style, the music of his sentences have their importance in literature, of course; the depth of an author’s reflections, the originality of his thought certainly can’t be overlooked; but an author is above all a human being, present in his books, and whether he writes very well or very badly hardly matters – as long as he gets the books written and is, indeed, present in them.
Michel Houellebecq (Soumission)
We teach our players, in response to any situation they face, to press pause and ask: What does this situation require of me? Pressing pause gives you time to think. It gets you off autopilot and helps you gain clarity about the outcome you are pursuing, the situation you are experiencing, and the Above the Line action you need to take to achieve the outcome. There are two important benefits of pressing pause: A) It helps you avoid doing something foolish or harmful B) It focuses you on acting with purpose to accomplish your goals A productive pause could last only a split second, which helps you regain your focus and take control of your action. It could last an hour, a day, or longer. The purpose is to take the time necessary to be intentional about the way you think and act. Pressing pause does not come naturally; it is a skill that must be developed. The more you practice, the more skilled you become at being able to identify how and when to use it effectively.
Urban Meyer (Above the Line: Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season)
As a young man, he was already rather pompous and full of himself, concerned with what he would write and with his early (and, later, perennial) hatred of Ireland and the Irish. When he had still written only a few poems, he asked his brother Stanislaus: “Don’t you think there is a certain resemblance between the mystery of the Mass and what I am trying to do? I mean that I am trying in my poems to give people some kind of intellectual pleasure or spiritual enjoyment by converting the bread of daily life into something that has a permanent artistic life of its own…for their mental, moral, and spiritual uplift.” When he was older his comparisons may have been less eucharistic and more modest, but he was always convinced of the extreme importance of his work, even before it existed.
Javier Marías (Written Lives)
As CEO, you should have an opinion on absolutely everything. You should have an opinion on every forecast, every product plan, every presentation, and even every comment. Let people know what you think. If you like someone’s comment, give her the feedback. If you disagree, give her the feedback. Say what you think. Express yourself. This will have two critically important positive effects:   Feedback won’t be personal in your company. If the CEO constantly gives feedback, then everyone she interacts with will just get used to it. Nobody will think, “Gee, what did she really mean by that comment? Does she not like me?” Everybody will naturally focus on the issues, not an implicit random performance evaluation.   People will become comfortable discussing bad news. If people get comfortable talking about what each other are doing wrong, then it will be very easy to talk about what the company is doing wrong. High-quality company cultures get their cue from data networking routing protocols: Bad news travels fast and good news travels slowly. Low-quality company cultures take on the personality of the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wiz: “Don’t nobody bring me no bad news.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
Questioner: I am full of hate. Will you please teach me how to love? KRISHNAMURTI: No one can teach you how to love. If people could be taught how to love, the world problem would be very simple, would it not? If we could learn how to love from a book as we learn mathematics, this would be a marvellous world; there would be no hate, no exploitation, no wars, no division of rich and poor, and we would all be really friendly with each other. But love is not so easily come by. It is easy to hate, and hate brings people together after a fashion; it creates all kinds of fantasies, it brings about various types of cooperation as in war. But love is much more difficult. You cannot learn how to love, but what you can do is to observe hate and put it gently aside. Don’t battle against hate, don’t say how terrible it is to hate people, but see hate for what it is and let it drop away; brush it aside, it is not important. What is important is not to let hate take root in your mind. Do you understand? Your mind is like rich soil, and if given sufficient time any problem that comes along takes root like a weed, and then you have the trouble of pulling it out; but if you do not give the problem sufficient time to take root, then it has no place to grow and it will wither away. If you encourage hate, give it time to take root, to grow, to mature, it becomes an enormous problem. But if each time hate arises you let it go by, then you will find that your mind becomes very sensitive without being sentimental; therefore it will know love. The mind can pursue sensations, desires, but it cannot pursue love. Love must come to the mind. And, when once love is there, it has no division as sensuous and divine: it is love. That is the extraordinary thing about love: it is the only quality that brings a total comprehension of the whole of existence.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Should you tell your mother something if it is important when she is talking to company? I am six. GENTLE READER: Yes, you should (after saying "Excuse me"). Here are some of the things that are important to tell your mother, even though she is talking to company: "Mommy, the kitchen is full of smoke." "Daddy's calling from Tokyo." "Kristen fell out of her crib and I can't put her back." "There's a policeman at the door and he says he wants to talk to you." "I was just reaching for my ball, and the goldfish bowl fell over." Now, here are some things that are not important, so they can wait until your mother's company has gone home: "Mommy, I'm tired of playing blocks. What do I do now?" "The ice-cream truck is coming down the street." "Can I give Kristen the rest of my applesauce?" "I can't find my crayons." "When are we going to have lunch? I'm hungry.
Judith Martin
How to Survive Racism in an Organization that Claims to be Antiracist: 10. Ask why they want you. Get as much clarity as possible on what the organization has read about you, what they understand about you, what they assume are your gifts and strengths. What does the organization hope you will bring to the table? Do those answers align with your reasons for wanting to be at the table? 9. Define your terms. You and the organization may have different definitions of words like "justice", "diveristy", or "antiracism". Ask for definitions, examples, or success stories to give you a better idea of how the organization understands and embodies these words. Also ask about who is in charge and who is held accountable for these efforts. Then ask yourself if you can work within the structure. 8. Hold the organization to the highest vision they committed to for as long as you can. Be ready to move if the leaders aren't prepared to pursue their own stated vision. 7. Find your people. If you are going to push back against the system or push leadership forward, it's wise not to do so alone. Build or join an antiracist cohort within the organization. 6. Have mentors and counselors on standby. Don't just choose a really good friend or a parent when seeking advice. It's important to have on or two mentors who can give advice based on their personal knowledge of the organization and its leaders. You want someone who can help you navigate the particular politics of your organization. 5. Practice self-care. Remember that you are a whole person, not a mule to carry the racial sins of the organization. Fall in love, take your children to the park, don't miss doctors' visits, read for pleasure, dance with abandon, have lots of good sex, be gentle with yourself. 4. Find donors who will contribute to the cause. Who's willing to keep the class funded, the diversity positions going, the social justice center operating? It's important for the organization to know the members of your cohort aren't the only ones who care. Demonstrate that there are stakeholders, congregations members, and donors who want to see real change. 3. Know your rights. There are some racist things that are just mean, but others are against the law. Know the difference, and keep records of it all. 2. Speak. Of course, context matters. You must be strategic about when, how, to whom, and about which situations you decide to call out. But speak. Find your voice and use it. 1. Remember: You are a creative being who is capable of making change. But it is not your responsibility to transform an entire organization.
Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness)
You are in search all over of eyes that can give you a certain meaning. Whenever a woman looks at you she gives you meaning. Now psychologists have discovered that when you enter a room—in a waiting room at the airport, or at a station or in a hotel—if a woman looks twice at you, she is ready to be seduced. But if a woman looks once, don’t bother her, just forget it. They have made films and they have been watching and this is a fact, because a woman looks twice only if she wants to be appreciated and looked at. A man enters a restaurant—the woman can look once, but if he is not worthwhile she will not look another time. And woman-hunters know it well, they have known it for centuries! Psychologists have come to know just now. They watch the eyes—if the woman looks again she is interested. Now much is possible, she has given the hint: She is ready to move with you or play the game of love. But if she doesn’t look at you again then the door is closed; better knock at some other door, this door is closed for you. Whenever a woman looks at you, you become important, very significant; in that moment you are unique. That’s why love gives so much radiance; love gives you so much life, vitality.
Osho (Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships)
When one wishes to play the wit, he sometimes wanders a little from the truth. I have not been altogether honest in what I have told you about the lamplighters. And I realize that I run the risk of giving a false idea of our planet to those who do not know it. Men occupy a very small place upon the Earth. If the two billion inhabitants who people its surface were all to stand upright and somewhat crowded together, as they do for some big public assembly, they could easily be put into one public square twenty miles long and twenty miles wide. All humanity could be piled up on a small Pacific islet. The grown-ups, to be sure, will not believe you when you tell them that. They imagine that they fill a great deal of space. They fancy themselves as important as the baobabs. You should advise them, then, to make their own calculations. They adore figures, and that will please them. But do not waste your time on this extra task. It is unnecessary. You have, I know, confidence in me.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
May you find serenity and tranquility in a world you may not always understand. May the pain you have known and the conflict you have experienced give you the strength to walk through life facing each new situation with courage and optimism. Always know that there are those whose love and understanding will always be there, even when you feel most alone. May a kind word, a reassuring touch, and a warm smile be yours every day of your life, and may you give these gifts as well as receive them. May the teachings of those you admire become part of you, so that you may call upon them. Remember, those whose lives you have touched and who have touched yours are always a part of you, even if the encounters were less than you would have wished. It is the content of the encounter that is more important than its form. May you not become too concerned with material matters, but instead place immeasurable value on the goodness in your heart. Find time in each day to see beauty and love in the world around you. Realize that what you feel you lack in one regard you may be more than compensated for in another. What you feel you lack in the present may become one of your strengths in the future. May you see your future as one filled with promise and possibility. Learn to view everything as a worthwhile experience. May you find enough inner strength to determine your own worth by yourself, and not be dependent on another's judgment of your accomplishments. May you always feel loved.
Sandra Sturtz Hauss
Now, the last one was that the demon king can’t stand either in heaven or on the earth. Urga set the demon on his lap, which means I guess I’ll have to…sit on your back.” Awkward. Even though Ren was a big tiger and it would be like riding a small pony, I was still conscious that he was a man, and I didn’t feel right about turning him into a pack animal. I took off my backpack and set it down wondering what I could do to make this a bit less embarrassing. Mustering the courage to sit on his back, I’d just decided that it wouldn’t be too bad if I sat sidesaddle, when my feet flew out from under me. Ren had changed into a man and swept me up into his arms. I wiggled for a minute, protesting, but he just gave me a look-the don’t-even-bother-coming-up-with-an-argument look. I shut my mouth. He leaned over to pick up the backpack, let it dangle from his fingers, and then said, “What’s next?” “I don’t know. That’s all that Mr. Kadam told me.” He shifted me in his arms, walked over to stand in the doorway again, then peered up at the statue. He murmured, “I don’t see any changes.” He held me securely while looking at the statue and, I have to admit, I totally stopped caring about what we were doing. The scratches on my arm that had been throbbing a moment ago didn’t bother me at all. I let myself enjoy the feeling of being cuddled up close to his muscular chest. What girl didn’t want to be swept up in the arms of a drop-dead gorgeous man? I allowed my gaze to drift up to his beautiful face. The thought occurred to me that if I were to carve a stone god, I’d pick Ren as my subject. This Urga half-lion and half-man guy had nothing on Ren. Eventually, he realized I was watching him, and said, “Hello? Kells? Breaking a curse here, remember?” I just smiled back stupidly. He quirked an eyebrow at me. “What were you thinking about just now?” “Nothing important.” He grinned. “May I remind you that you are in prime tickling position, and there’s no escape. Tell me.” Gads. His smile was brilliant, even in the fog. I laughed nervously. “If you tickle me, I’ll protest and struggle violently, which will cause you to drop me and ruin everything that we are trying to accomplish.” He grunted, leaned close to my ear, and then whispered, “That sounds like an interesting challenge, rajkumari. Perhaps we shall experiment with it later. And just for the record, Kelsey, I wouldn’t drop you.” The way he said my name made goose bumps rise all over my arms. When I looked down to quickly rub them, I noticed the flashlight had been turned off. I switched it on, but the statue remained the same. Giving up, I suggested, “Nothing’s happening. Maybe we need to wait till dawn.” He laughed throatily while nuzzling my ear and declared softly, “I’d say that something is happening, but not the something that will open the doorway.” He trailed soft, slow kisses from my ear down my neck. I sighed faintly and arched my neck to give him better access. With a last kiss, he groaned and reluctantly raised his head. Disappointed that he’d stopped, I asked, “What does rajkumari mean?” He laughed quietly, carefully set me down, and said, “It means princess.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Writing is the hum. Writing is laying track. Writing is the high. Now imagine that hum, that high, that track to be laid is behind a door. And that door is five miles away. Those five miles are just . . . writing crap and doodling and trying to have an idea and surfing the internet and hoping like hell not to get so distracted that you give up. Worse? Those five miles are lined with brownies and cupcakes and episodes of Game of Thrones and Idris Elba waiting to talk to only you and really good novels to read. Every time I sit down to write, I have to mentally run those five miles past all of that to get to that door. It’s a long, hard five-mile run. Sometimes I am almost dead by the time I reach the door. That’s why I have to keep doing it. The more often I run the five miles, the fitter I become. And the fitter I become, the easier the run begins to feel and the less fresh and exciting all that stuff on the side of the road seems. I mean, how long has it been there? More important, as I get fitter, I can run faster. And the faster I can run, the faster I can get to that door. The faster you can too, writers out there. When you sit down to write every day, it becomes easier and easier to tap into that creative space inside your mind. The faster I can get to that door, the quicker I can get to the good stuff.
Shonda Rhimes (Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person)
My recommendation is to keep up the good work. I’m changing your title to senior executive assistant, and giving you a three percent raise effective next payday. Congratulations.” Wow, three percent. I could move up that early retirement plan to age seventy-five now, instead of eighty. Lucky me. Thank you,” I said. “That’s very generous.” You’re quite welcome.” Ms. Saunders nodded and grabbed a gold-plated letter opener to begin attacking her stack of mail. I turned to leave. Didn’t want to outstay my welcome. Damn it!” she exclaimed, and I turned back around. She winced and nodded at the letter opener that she’d dropped to her desktop. “Damn thing slipped. I’m probably going to need stitches now. Can you be a dear and fetch the first-aid kit for me?” She held her left index finger and frowned at the steady flow of blood oozing out. A few small drops of red splashed onto the other letters spread out on the desk. I felt woozy. And suddenly dizzy. I blinked. When I opened my eyes, I was no longer standing by the door about to leave. I was crouched down next to Ms. Saunders’s imported black leather chair, grasping her wrist tightly…… and sucking noisily on her fingertip. I shrieked and let go of her, staggering backward. I grabbed at her desk to keep from falling, but I dropped on my butt, anyhow, taking most of the contents of the top of her desk with me. She held her injured finger far away from her and stared at me, wide-eyed, with a mixture of shock and disgust. I scrambled to my feet and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. What in the holy hell just happened? I… I… uh… I’m so sorry,” I managed. “I don’t know what… I wouldn’t normally do something… I just…” Ms. Saunders pulled her hand close to her chest, perhaps to protect it from further abuse. Get out,” she said quietly. Yeah, I’ll get back to work. Again, I’m so, so sorry. Would you like me to bring you a cup of coffee?” No, not to your desk,” she said evenly, but her volume increased with every word. “Get out of here, you freak. I don’t care what you’ve heard, I’m not into women. You’re fired. Now get out of here before I call security.” But… my job review—” Get out!” she yelled.
Michelle Rowen (Bitten & Smitten (Immortality Bites, #1))
If, by the virtue of charity or the funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts. You will find out that once MA’s Department of Social Services has taken a mother’s children away for any period of time, they can always take them away again, D.S.S ., like at will, empowered by nothing more than a certain signature-stamped form. I.e. once deemed Unfit— no matter why or when, or what’s transpired in the meantime— there’s nothing a mother can do.(...)That a little-mentioned paradox of Substance addiction is: that once you are sufficiently enslaved by a Substance to need to quit the Substance in order to save your life, the enslaving Substance has become so deeply important to you that you will all but lose your mind when it is taken away from you. Or that sometime after your Substance of choice has just been taken away from you in order to save your life, as you hunker down for required A.M. and P.M. prayers , you will find yourself beginning to pray to be allowed literally to lose your mind, to be able to wrap your mind in an old newspaper or something and leave it in an alley to shift for itself, without you.(...)That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. Then that most nonaddicted adult civilians have already absorbed and accepted this fact, often rather early on.(...)That evil people never believe they are evil, but rather that everyone else is evil. That it is possible to learn valuable things from a stupid person. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds.(...)That it is statistically easier for low-IQ people to kick an addiction than it is for high-IQ people.(...)That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.(...)That most Substance -addicted people are also addicted to thinking, meaning they have a compulsive and unhealthy relationship with their own thinking. That the cute Boston AA term for addictive -type thinking is: Analysis-Paralysis. That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good.(...)That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid.(...)That certain sincerely devout and spiritually advanced people believe that the God of their understanding helps them find parking places and gives them advice on Mass. Lottery numbers.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
My Dearest, Can you forgive me? In a world that I seldom understand, there are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them. Sometimes they gust with the fury of a hurricane, sometimes they barely fan one’s cheek. But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore. You, my darling, are the wind that I did not anticipate, the wind that has gusted more strongly than I ever imagined possible. You are my destiny. I was wrong, so wrong, to ignore what was obvious, and I beg your forgiveness. Like a cautious traveler, I tried to protect myself from the wind and lost my soul instead. I was a fool to ignore my destiny, but even fools have feelings, and I’ve come to realize that you are the most important thing that I have in this world. I know I am not perfect. I’ve made more mistakes in the past few months than some make in a lifetime. I was wrong to deny what was obvious in my heart: that I can’t go on without you. You were right about everything. I tried to deny the things you were saying, even though I knew they were true. Like one who gazes only backward on a trip across the country, I ignored what lay ahead. I missed the beauty of a coming sunrise, the wonder of anticipation that makes life worthwhile. It was wrong of me to do that, a product of my confusion, and I wish I had come to understand that sooner. Now, though, with my gaze fixed toward the future, I see your face and hear your voice, certain that this is the path I must follow. It is my deepest wish that you give me one more chance. For the first few days after you left, I wanted to believe that I could go on as I always had. But I couldn’t. I knew in my heart that my life would never be the same again. I wanted you back, more than I imagined possible, yet whenever I conjured you up, I kept hearing your words in our last conversation. No matter how much I loved you, I knew it wasn’t going to be possible unless we—both of us—were sure I would devote myself fully to the path that lay ahead. I continued to be troubled by these thoughts until late last night when the answer finally came to me. Oh, I am sorry, so very sorry, that I ever hurt you. Maybe I’m too late now. I don’t know. I love you and always will. I am tired of being alone. I see children crying and laughing as they play in the sand, and I realize I want to have children with you. I am sick and sad without you. As I sit here in the kitchen, I am praying that you will let me come back to you, this time forever.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
As we were wrapping up the book, I sat down and thought about all the lessons I’d learned over the past two years. I couldn’t list them all, but here are a few: Never complain about the price of a gift from your spouse--accept it with love and gratitude. You can’t put a price on romance. Take lots of videos, even of the mundane. You will forget the sound of your children’s voices and you will miss your youth as much as theirs. Celebrate every wedding anniversary. Make time for dates. Hug your spouse every single morning. And always, ALWAYS, say “I love you.” Believe in your partner. When you hit hard times as a couple, take a weekend away or at least a night out. The times that you least feel like doing it are likely the times that you need it the most. Write love notes to your spouse, your children, and keep the ones they give you. Don’t expect a miniature pig to be an “easy” pet. Live life looking forward with a goal of no regrets, so you can look back without them. Be the friend you will need some day. Often the most important thing you can do for another person is just showing up. Question less and listen more. Don’t get too tied up in your plans for the future. No one really knows their future anyway. Laugh at yourself, and with life. People don’t change their core character. Be humble, genuine, and gracious. Before you get into business with someone, look at their history. Expect them to be with you for the long haul, even if you don’t think they will be. If they aren’t someone you could take a road trip across the country with, don’t do business with them in the first place. Real families and real sacrifices live in the fabric of the Red, White, and Blue; stand for the national anthem.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
I do not think we can ever adequately define or understand love; I do not think we were ever meant to. We are meant to participate in love without really comprehending it. We are meant to give ourselves, live ourselves into love’s mystery. It is the same for all important things in life; there is a mystery within them that our definitions and understandings cannot grasp. Definitions and understandings are images and concepts created by our brains to symbolize what is real. Our thoughts about something are never the thing itself. Further, when we think logically about something, our thoughts come sequentially – one after another. Reality is not confined to such linearity; it keeps happening all at once in each instant. The best our thoughts can do is try to keep a little running commentary in rapid, breathless sequence. . . A certain asceticism of mind, a gentle intellectual restraint, is needed to appreciate the important things in life. To be open to the truth of love, we must relinquish our frozen comprehensions and begin instead to appreciate. To comprehend is to grasp; to appreciate is to value. Appreciation is gentle seeing, soft acknowledgement, reverent perception. Appreciation can be a pleasant valuing: being awed by a night sky, touched by a symphony, or moved by a caress without needing to understand why. It can also be painful: feeling someone’s suffering, being shocked by loss or disaster without comprehending the reason. Appreciation itself is a kind of love; it is our direct human responsiveness, valuing what we cannot grasp. Love, the life of our heart, is not what we think. It is always ready to surprise us, to take us beyond our understandings into a reality that is both insecure and wonderful.
Gerald G. May (The Awakened Heart: Opening Yourself to the Love You Need)
The art of fiction has not changed much since prehistoric times. The formula for telling a powerful story has remained the same: create a strong character, a person of great strengths, capable of deep emotions and decisive action. Give him a weakness. Set him in conflict with another powerful character -- or perhaps with nature. Let his exterior conflict be the mirror of the protagonist's own interior conflict, the clash of his desires, his own strength against his own weakness. And there you have a story. Whether it's Abraham offering his only son to God, or Paris bringing ruin to Troy over a woman, or Hamlet and Claudius playing their deadly game, Faust seeking the world's knowledge and power -- the stories that stand out in the minds of the reader are those whose characters are unforgettable. To show other worlds, to describe possible future societies and the problems lurking ahead, is not enough. The writer of science fiction must show how these worlds and these futures affect human beings. And something much more important: he must show how human beings can and do literally create these future worlds. For our future is largely in our own hands. It doesn't come blindly rolling out of the heavens; it is the joint product of the actions of billions of human beings. This is a point that's easily forgotten in the rush of headlines and the hectic badgering of everyday life. But it's a point that science fiction makes constantly: the future belongs to us -- whatever it is. We make it, our actions shape tomorrow. We have the brains and guts to build paradise (or at least try). Tragedy is when we fail, and the greatest crime of all is when we fail even to try. Thus science fiction stands as a bridge between science and art, between the engineers of technology and the poets of humanity.
Ben Bova
The problem is that the pressure to disprove a stereotype changes what you are about in a situation. It gives you an additional task. In addition to learning new skills, knowledge, and ways of thinking in a schooling situation, or in addition to trying to perform well in a workplace like the women in the high-tech firms, you are also trying to slay a ghost in the room, the negative stereotype and its allegation about you and your group. You are multitasking, and because the stakes involved are high--survival and success versus failure in an area that is important to you--this multitasking is stressful and distracting. ...And when you realize that this stressful experience is probably a chronic feature of the stetting for you, it can be difficult for you to stay in the setting, to sustain your motivation to succeed there. Disproving a stereotype is a Sisyphean task; something you have to do over and over again as long as your are in the domain where the stereotype applies. Jeff seemed to feel this way about Berkeley, that he couldn't find a place there where he could be seen as belonging. When men drop out of quantitative majors in college, it is usually because they have bad grades. But when women drop out of quantitative majors in college it usually has nothing to do with their grades. The culprit, in their case, is not their quantitative skills but, more likely, the prospect of living a significant portion of their lives in a domain where they may forever have to prove themselves--and with the chronic stress that goes with that. This is not an argument against trying hard, or against choosing the stressful path. There is no development without effort; and there is seldom great achievement, or boundary breaking, without stress. And to the benefit of us all, many people have stood up to these pressures...The focus here, instead, is on what has to be gotten out of he way to make these playing fields mere level. People experiencing stereotype threat are already trying hard. They're identified with their performance. They have motivation. It's the extra ghost slaying that is in their way.
Claude M. Steele (Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us)
Physiological stress, then, is the link between personality traits and disease. Certain traits — otherwise known as coping styles — magnify the risk for illness by increasing the likelihood of chronic stress. Common to them all is a diminished capacity for emotional communication. Emotional experiences are translated into potentially damaging biological events when human beings are prevented from learning how to express their feelings effectively. That learning occurs — or fails to occur — during childhood. The way people grow up shapes their relationship with their own bodies and psyches. The emotional contexts of childhood interact with inborn temperament to give rise to personality traits. Much of what we call personality is not a fixed set of traits, only coping mechanisms a person acquired in childhood. There is an important distinction between an inherent characteristic, rooted in an individual without regard to his environment, and a response to the environment, a pattern of behaviours developed to ensure survival. What we see as indelible traits may be no more than habitual defensive techniques, unconsciously adopted. People often identify with these habituated patterns, believing them to be an indispensable part of the self. They may even harbour self-loathing for certain traits — for example, when a person describes herself as “a control freak.” In reality, there is no innate human inclination to be controlling. What there is in a “controlling” personality is deep anxiety. The infant and child who perceives that his needs are unmet may develop an obsessive coping style, anxious about each detail. When such a person fears that he is unable to control events, he experiences great stress. Unconsciously he believes that only by controlling every aspect of his life and environment will he be able to ensure the satisfaction of his needs. As he grows older, others will resent him and he will come to dislike himself for what was originally a desperate response to emotional deprivation. The drive to control is not an innate trait but a coping style. Emotional repression is also a coping style rather than a personality trait set in stone. Not one of the many adults interviewed for this book could answer in the affirmative when asked the following: When, as a child, you felt sad, upset or angry, was there anyone you could talk to — even when he or she was the one who had triggered your negative emotions? In a quarter century of clinical practice, including a decade of palliative work, I have never heard anyone with cancer or with any chronic illness or condition say yes to that question. Many children are conditioned in this manner not because of any intended harm or abuse, but because the parents themselves are too threatened by the anxiety, anger or sadness they sense in their child — or are simply too busy or too harassed themselves to pay attention. “My mother or father needed me to be happy” is the simple formula that trained many a child — later a stressed and depressed or physically ill adult — into lifelong patterns of repression.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
I've thought of myself a girl on several occasions because I like to polish shoes and find household tasks amusing. There was once even a time when I insisted on mending a torn suit with my own hands. And in winter I always light the heating stoves myself, as though this were the natural course of things. But of course I'm not a real girl. Please give me a moment to consider all this would entail. The first thing that comes to mind is the question of whether I might possibly be a girl has never, never, not for a single moment, troubled me, rattled my bourgeois composure or made me unhappy. An absolutely by no means unhappy person stands before you, I'd like to put quite special emphasis on this, for I have never experienced sexual torment or distress, for I was never at a loss for quite simple methods of freeing myself from pressures. A rather curious, that is to say, important discovery for me was that it filled me with the most delightful gaiety to imagine myself someone's servant.... My nature, then, merely inclines me to treat people well, to be helpful and so forth. Not long ago I carried with flabbergasting zeal a shopping bag full of new potatoes for a petit bourgeoise. She's have been perfectly able to tote it herself. Now my situation is this: my particular nature also sometimes seeks, I've discovered, a mother, a teacher, that is, to express myself better, an unapproachable entity, a sort of goddess. At times I find the goddess in an instant, whereas at others it takes time before I'm able to imagine her, that is, find her bright, bountiful figure and sense her power. And to achieve a moment of human happiness, I must always first think up a story containing an encounter between myself and another person, whereby I am always the subordinate, obedient, sacrificing, scrutinized, and chaperoned party. There's more to it, of course, quite a lot, but this still sheds light on a few things. Many conclude it must be terribly easy to carry out a course of treatment, as it were, upon my person, but they're all gravely mistaken. For, the moment anyone seems ready to start lording and lecturing it over me, something within me begins to laugh, to jeer, and then, of course, respect is out of the question, and within the apparently worthless individual arises a superior one whom I never expel when he appears in me....
Robert Walser (The Robber)
I am constantly mystified by what John ends up remembering… I just don’t understand why he’s able to hang on to information like that, while so many other more important memories evaporate. Then again, I suppose so much of what stays with us is often insignificant. The memories we take to the ends of our lives have no real rhyme or reason, especially when you think of the endless things that you do over the course of a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime. All the cups of coffee, hand-washings, changes of clothes, lunches, goings to the bathroom, headaches, naps, walks to school, trips to the grocery store, conversations about the weather—all the things so unimportant they should be immediately forgotten. Yet they aren’t. I often think of the Chinese red bathrobe I had when I was twenty-seven years old; the sound of our first cat Charlie’s feet on the linoleum of our old house; the hot rarefied air around aluminum pot the moment before the kernels of popcorn burst open. I think of these things as often as I think about getting married or giving birth or the end of the Second World War. What is truly amazing is that before you know it, sixty years go by and you can remember maybe eight or nine important events, along with a thousand meaningless ones. How can that be? You want to think there’s a pattern to it all because it makes you feel better, gives you some sense of a reason why we’re here, but there really isn’t any. People look for God in these patterns, these reasons, but only because they don’t know where else to look. Things happen to us: some of it important, most of it not, and a little of it stays with us till the end. What stays after that? I’ll be damned if I know. (pp.174-175)
Michael Zadoorian (The Leisure Seeker)
Follow your doctor’s orders. For me that means antidepressants and behavioral therapy. Exercise thirty minutes a day, six days a week. Get sunlight, or if you can’t, use light therapy. Do not overuse your light therapy lamp even though you want to. Treat yourself like you would your favorite pet. Plenty of fresh water, lots of rest, snuggles as needed, allow yourself naps. Avoid negativity. That means the news, people, movies. It will all be there when you’re healthy again. The world will get on without your seeing it. Forgive yourself. For being broken. For being you. For thinking those are things that you need forgiveness for. Those terrible things you tell yourself? Can you imagine if the person you love most were telling themselves those things? You’d think they were crazy. And wrong. They think the same about you. Those negative things you are thinking are not rational. Remember that depression lies and that your brain is not always trustworthy. Give yourself permission to recover. I’m lucky that I can work odd hours and take mental health days but I still feel shitty for taking them. Realize that sometimes these slow days are necessary and healthy and utterly responsible. Watch Doctor Who. Love on an animal. Go adopt a rescue, or if you can’t, go to the shelter and just snuggle a kitten. Then realize that that same little kitten that you’re cradling isn’t going to accomplish shit but is still wonderful and lovely and so important. You are that kitten. Get up. Go brush your teeth. Go take a hot shower. If you do nothing else today just change into a new pair of pajamas. It helps. Remember that you are not alone. There are crisis lines filled with people who want to help. There are people who love you more than you know. There are people who can’t wait to meet you because you will teach them how unalone they are. You are so worthy of happiness and it will come.
Jenny Lawson (Broken (in the best possible way))
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment. Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units. There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention. Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing. The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure. Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well. If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship. Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability. Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship. Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships. The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance. You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work. Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus? When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)
Bring Cecily home,” he said curtly. “I won’t have her at risk, even in the slightest way.” “I’ll take care of Cecily,” came the terse reply. “She’s better off without you in her life.” Tate’s eyes widened. “I beg your pardon?” he asked, affronted. “You know what I mean,” Holden said. “Let her heal. She’s too young to consign herself to spinsterhood over a man who doesn’t even see her.” “Infatuation dies,” Tate said. Holden nodded. “Yes, it does. Goodbye.” “So does hero worship,” he continued, laboring the point. “And that’s why after eight years, Cecily has had one raging affair after the other,” he said facetiously. The words had power. They wounded. “You fool,” Holden said in a soft tone. “Do you really think she’d let any man touch her except you?” He went to his office door and gestured toward the desk. “Don’t forget your gadget,” he added quietly. “Wait!” Holden paused with his hand on the doorknob and turned. “What?” Tate held the device in his hands, watching the lights flicker on it. “Mixing two cultures when one of them is all but extinct is a selfish thing,” he said after a minute. “It has nothing to do with personal feelings. It’s a matter of necessity.” Holden let go of the doorknob and moved to stand directly in front of Tate. “If I had a son,” he said, almost choking on the word, “I’d tell him that there are things even more important than lofty principles. I’d tell him…that love is a rare and precious thing, and that substitutes are notoriously unfulfilling.” Tate searched the older man’s eyes. “You’re a fine one to talk.” Holden’s face fell. “Yes, that’s true.” He turned away. Why should he feel guilty? But he did. “I didn’t mean to say that,” Tate said, irritated by his remorse and the other man’s defeated posture. “I can’t help the way I feel about my culture.” “If it weren’t for the cultural difference, how would you feel about Cecily?” Tate hesitated. “It wouldn’t change anything. She’s been my responsibility. I’ve taken care of her. It would be gratitude on her part, even a little hero worship, nothing more. I couldn’t take advantage of that. Besides, she’s involved with Colby.” “And you couldn’t live with being the second man.” Tate’s face hardened. His eyes flashed. Holden shook his head. “You’re just brimming over with excuses, aren’t you? It isn’t the race thing, it isn’t the culture thing, it isn’t even the guardian-ward thing. You’re afraid.” Tate’s mouth made a thin line. He didn’t reply. “When you love someone, you give up control of yourself,” he continued quietly. “You have to consider the other person’s needs, wants, fears. What you do affects the other person. There’s a certain loss of freedom as well.” He moved a step closer. “The point I’m making is that Cecily already fills that place in your life. You’re still protecting her, and it doesn’t matter that there’s another man. Because you can’t stop looking out for her. Everything you said in this office proves that.” He searched Tate’s turbulent eyes. “You don’t like Colby Lane, and it isn’t because you think Cecily’s involved with him. It’s because he’s been tied to one woman so tight that he can’t struggle free of his love for her, even after years of divorce. That’s how you feel, isn’t it, Tate? You can’t get free of Cecily, either. But Colby’s always around and she indulges him. She might marry him in an act of desperation. And then what will you do? Will your noble excuses matter a damn then?
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
The papers were always talking about the debt owed to society. According to them, it had to be paid . But that doesn't speak to the imagination. What really counted was the possibility of escape, a leap to freedom, out of the implacable ritual, a wild run for it that would give whatever chance for hope there was. .. Despite my willingness to understand, I just couldn't accept such arrogant certainty. Because, after all, there really was something ridiculously out of proportion between the verdict such certainty was based on and the imperturbable march of events from the moment the verdict was announced. .. How had I not seen that there was nothing more important than an execution, and that when you come right down to it, it was the only thing a man could truly be interested in? If I ever got out of this prison I would go and watch every execution there was. But I think it was a mistake even to consider the possibility. .. But I wasn't being reasonable. It was a mistake to let myself get carried away by such imaginings, because the next minute I would get so cold that I would curl up into a ball under my blanket and my teeth would be chattering and I couldn't make them stop. .. So the thing that bothered me most was that the condemned man had to hope the machine would work the first time. And I say that’s wrong . And in a way I was right. But in another way I was forced to admit that that was the whole secret of good organization. In other words, the condemned man was forced into a kind of moral collaboration. It was in his interest that everything go off without a hitch.
Albert Camus (The Stranger)
Child, you are finally going out to carry out missions. As your teacher, I am extremely relieved, but there are some instructions that I must give you before I can truly be at ease.” “I will definitely be careful, teacher.” I felt extremely moved ; my teacher is truly very concerned about me ! “Yes, child, you must be careful ! Remember, a Sun Knight must always maintain his graceful demeanor, regardless of time and place.” I nodded my head obediently. “Teacher, I will complete my mission very gracefully.” (Back then, I had gone through a lifestyle involving lots of falling down for several months already. On average, I would have to look for a cleric once every three days to cast a high level healing spell on me to cure the wounds I receive from a particularly nasty fall.) My teacher shook his head and said, “Child, completing the mission gracefully is but the basics.” “Then what’s more advanced than that ?” “Child, you must remember, when you have failed your mission and are near death, at that time, you must...” “Pray to the God of Light ?” “No, you must contemplate what sort of pose you will die in, and if that pose will be accompanied by a serene expression or a heroic one. Still more important is the question of whether you will die from a single thrust to the heart from your enemy or if you will slit your own throat, and so on and so forth. Only after all of the important circumstances surrounding your death have been planned out and arranged perfectly can you pass away in as graceful a position as possible ! Even in the face of death, a Sun Knight must die very gracefully !” “...
Yu Wo (騎士基本理論 (吾命騎士, #1))
I rose on still unsteady legs to walk over and shake Mr. Grave’s hand. The doctor simply stared over my head, seeming to notice neither my hand, nor me standing there in front of him. This was explained when Frank said to me scornfully, a second later, “He can’t see you. He’s blind.” “Oh,” I said, feeling mortified. I hadn’t noticed until that point that Mr. Grave’s eyes had a milky-white sheen to them, and that he’d never once looked directly at anyone who was speaking. “I’m so sorry.” “Don’t be,” Mr. Graves said, managing to find my hand anyway and give it a squeeze. “It’s not your fault.” “Actually, it could have been,” Frank said. “It was a Fury that-“ “Frank, the young lady said she’d like to see the captain. Why don’t you go fetch him?” Mr. Graves snapped. To me, he said, “Miss Oliviera, I do apologize. It’s been quite some time since these fellows have been in the company of a young lady.” “Speak for yourself, old man,” Frank said. He came to his feet with sudden alacrity. “Why don’t I just take her to the captain?” “I hardly think that’s a good idea,” Mr. Liu muttered, into his teacup. “His orders were if she showed up, we were to bring her straight to him,” Frank said. Mr. Graves’s face expressed the exact dismay I felt upon being reminded of this. “Just go and fetch the captain, Frank. Or young Henry can do it.” “What?” Henry cried, looking stricken. “I don’t want to go down there. All those dead people. And I’m the one who always gets stuck handing out the blankets-“ “It’s not important,” I said quickly. Blankets? What blankets? What on earth as Henry talking about? “I’ll just wait until John comes back-“ “See?” Henry looked triumphant. “I told you. She’s not the one.” “It doesn’t matter,” Frank said, impatiently. “Either way, we’re stick with her.” This wasn’t a very nice thing to hear about yourself-that people thought of you as someone they were stuck with. Not that I hadn’t been thinking the very same thing about them…and not that I didn’t share Henry’s fear that I wasn’t Queen-of-the-Underworld material.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
The door handle turned. Someone knocked, and a man's voice called, "Uh, hello?" Valkyrie looked at Skulduggery, looked back at the others, looked at Skulduggery again. "Hello," Skulduggery said, speaking loudly to be heard over the alarm. "Hi," said the man. "The door's locked." "Is it?" "Yes." "That's funny" said Skulduggery. "Hold on a moment." He reached out, jiggled the handle a few times, then stepped back. "Yes, it's locked. You wouldn't happen to have the key, would you?" There was a delay in response from the other side. "I'm sorry," the man called, "Who am I speaking with?" Skulduggery tilted his head. "Who am I speaking with?" "This is Oscar Nightfall." "Are you sure?" "What?" "Are you sure you are who you say you are? This is the Great Chamber, after all. It's a very important place for very important people. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that someone, and I'm not saying that this applies to you in particular, but someone could conceivably lie about who they are in order to gain access to this room. I have to be vigilant, especially now. There's a war on, you know." Oscar Nightfall sounded puzzled. Who are you?" "Me? I'm nobody. I'm a cleaner. I'm one of the cleaners. I was cleaning the thrones and the door shut behind me. Now I can't get out. Could you try and find a key?" "What's your name? Give me you name." "No. It's mine." "Tell me your name!" "My name is Oscar Nightfall." "What? No it isn't. That's my name." "Is it? Since when?" "Since I took it!" "You didn't ask me if you could take it. I was using it first." "Open this door immediately." "I don't have the key." "I'll fetch the Cleavers." "I found the key. It was in the keyhole. It's always the last place you look isn't it? I'm unlocking the door now. Here we go." Skulduggery relaxed the air pressure, opened the door, and pulled Oscar Nightfall inside. Valkyrie stuck out her foot, and Oscar stumbled over it and Vex shoved him to Ghastly and Ghastly punched him. Oscar fell down and didn't get up again. Skulduggery closed the door once more.
Derek Landy (Last Stand of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant, #8))
Parent and Teacher Actions: 1. Ask children what their role models would do. Children feel free to take initiative when they look at problems through the eyes of originals. Ask children what they would like to improve in their family or school. Then have them identify a real person or fictional character they admire for being unusually creative and inventive. What would that person do in this situation? 2. Link good behaviors to moral character. Many parents and teachers praise helpful actions, but children are more generous when they’re commended for being helpful people—it becomes part of their identity. If you see a child do something good, try saying, “You’re a good person because you ___.” Children are also more ethical when they’re asked to be moral people—they want to earn the identity. If you want a child to share a toy, instead of asking, “Will you share?” ask, “Will you be a sharer?” 3. Explain how bad behaviors have consequences for others. When children misbehave, help them see how their actions hurt other people. “How do you think this made her feel?” As they consider the negative impact on others, children begin to feel empathy and guilt, which strengthens their motivation to right the wrong—and to avoid the action in the future. 4. Emphasize values over rules. Rules set limits that teach children to adopt a fixed view of the world. Values encourage children to internalize principles for themselves. When you talk about standards, like the parents of the Holocaust rescuers, describe why certain ideals matter to you and ask children why they’re important. 5. Create novel niches for children to pursue. Just as laterborns sought out more original niches when conventional ones were closed to them, there are ways to help children carve out niches. One of my favorite techniques is the Jigsaw Classroom: bring students together for a group project, and assign each of them a unique part. For example, when writing a book report on Eleanor Roosevelt’s life, one student worked on her childhood, another on her teenage years, and a third on her role in the women’s movement. Research shows that this reduces prejudice—children learn to value each other’s distinctive strengths. It can also give them the space to consider original ideas instead of falling victim to groupthink. To further enhance the opportunity for novel thinking, ask children to consider a different frame of reference. How would Roosevelt’s childhood have been different if she grew up in China? What battles would she have chosen to fight there?
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World)
Writing is not always a priority. . . .I only write those things that are necessary for me to write. I love to write, and when I’m not writing, I often feel as if I’m betraying my art, my gift, my calling, but that sensation is probably hubris or neurosis as much as anything else. The problem, and one of the joys of writing poetry, is that none of us can really count on entering the canon. The chances are that none of our work will survive long after we’re gone. That’s just the way it is. To feel otherwise is foolish. we write in competition with the dead for the attention of the unborn. We are writing poems that are trying to take the attention of people away from Sappho, Shakespeare, Whitman, and Baudelaire. Good luck to you! There’s a built-in failure to writing poetry that I find comforting. If you know you’re doomed to failure, then you can work freely. People who think their work is going to last, or that it matters, well . . . I always try to disabuse my students of their desire to write for fame. I ask them, “Who here has read Shakespeare?” Everyone raises his or her hand. We agree that his work is immortal, then I remind them: “he’s still dead. He’s as dead as he’d have been if you hadn’t read him; and you’ll be dead too someday, no matter how well you write.” To sacrifice your life for your art is an appalling notion. On the other hand, I have been called to be a poet, ad it’s an unimaginably rich gift. Like every artist, I know that in order to be a moral, effective human being, I have to give myself wholly to my art. The trick is finding a balance. If you can’t recognize that your art is no more, and no less, important than what you make for dinner, then you should find something else to do.
Tony Leuzzi (Passwords Primeval: 20 American Poets in their Own Words)
At times I can certainly see a subject clearly and distinctly, think my way through it, great sweeping thoughts that I can scarcely grasp but which all at once give me an intense feeling of importance. Yet when I try to write them down they shrivel into nothing, and that's why I lack the courage to commit them to paper - in case I become too disillusioned with the fatuous little as they that emerges. But let me impress just one thing upon you, sister. Wash your hands of all attempts to embody those great, sweeping thoughts. The smallest, most fatuous little essay is worth more than the flood of grandiose ideas in which you like to wallow. Of course you must hold on to your forebodings and your intuitions. They are the sources upon which you draw, but be careful not to drown in them. Just organise things a little, exercise some mental hygiene. Your imagination and your emotions are like a vast ocean from which you wrest small pieces of land that may well be flooded again. The ocean is wide and elemental, but what matter are the small pieces of land you reclaim from it. The subject right before you is more important than those prodigious thoughts of Tolstoy and Napoleon that occurred to you in the middle of last night, and the lesson you gave that keen young girl and Friday night is more important than all your vague philosophizing. Never forget that. Don't overestimate your own intensity; it may give you the impression that you were cut out for greater things than the so-called men in the street, who's inner life is a closed book to you. In fact, you're no more than a weakling and a non-entity adrift and tossed by the waves. Keep your eyes fixed on the mainland and don't flounder helplessly in the ocean.
Etty Hillesum (An Interrupted Life: The Diaries, 1941-1943; and Letters from Westerbork)
I was starting to remember the whole problem now: I hate these fucking people [people at Tea Party rallies, ed]. It's never been just political, it's personal. I'm not convinced anyone in this country except the kinds of weenies who thought student council was important really cares about large versus small government or strict constructionalism versus judicial activism. The ostensible issues are just code words in an ugly snarl of class resentment, anti-intellectualism, old-school snobbery, racism, and who knows what else - grudges left over from the Civil War, the sixties, gym class. The Tea Party likes to cite a poll showing that their members are wealthier and better educated than te general populace, but to me they mostly looked like the same people I'd had to listen to in countless dive bars railing against "edjumicated idiots" and explaining exactly how Nostradamus predicted 9/11, the very people I and everyone I know fled our hometowns to get away from. So far all my interactions at the rally were only reinforcing my private theory - I suppose you might call it a prejudice - that liberals are the ones who went to college, moved to the nearest city where no one would call them a fag, and now only go back for holidays; conservatives are the ones who married their high school girlfriends, bought houses in their hometowns, and kept going to church and giving a shit who won the homecoming game. It's the divide between the Got Out and the Stayed Put. This theory also account for the different reactions of these two camps when the opposition party takes power, raising the specter of either fascist or socialist tyranny: the Got Outs always fantasize about fleeing the country for someplace more civilized - Canada, France, New Zealand; the Stayed Put just di further in, hunkering down in compounds, buying up canned goods and ammo.
Tim Kreider (We Learn Nothing)
I’ve done you a disservice,” he said at last. “It’s only fair to let you know, but you won’t have a normal life span.” I bit my lip. “Have you come to take my soul, then?” “I told you that’s not my jurisdiction. But you’re not going to die soon. In fact, you won’t die for a long time, far longer than I initially thought, I’m afraid. Nor will you age normally.” “Because I took your qi?” He inclined his head. “I should have stopped you sooner.” I thought of the empty years that stretched ahead of me, years of solitude long after everyone I loved had died. Though I might have children or grandchildren. But perhaps they might comment on my strange youthfulness and shun me as unnatural. Whisper of sorcery, like those Javanese women who inserted gold needles in their faces and ate children. In the Chinese tradition, nothing was better than dying old and full of years, a treasure in the bosom of one’s family. To outlive descendants and endure a long span of widowhood could hardly be construed as lucky. Tears filled my eyes, and for some reason this seemed to agitate Er Lang, for he turned away. In profile, he was even more handsome, if that was possible, though I was quite sure he was aware of it. “It isn’t necessarily a good thing, but you’ll see all of the next century, and I think it will be an interesting one.” “That’s what Tian Bai said,” I said bitterly. “How long will I outlive him?” “Long enough,” he said. Then more gently, “You may have a happy marriage, though.” “I wasn’t thinking about him,” I said. “I was thinking about my mother. By the time I die, she’ll have long since gone on to the courts for reincarnation. I shall never see her again.” I burst into sobs, realizing how much I’d clung to that hope, despite the fact that it might be better for my mother to leave the Plains of the Dead. But then we would never meet in this lifetime. Her memories would be erased and her spirit lost to me in this form. “Don’t cry.” I felt his arms around me, and I buried my face in his chest. The rain began to fall again, so dense it was like a curtain around us. Yet I did not get wet. “Listen,” he said. “When everyone around you has died and it becomes too hard to go on pretending, I shall come for you.” “Do you mean that?” A strange happiness was beginning to grow, twining and tightening around my heart. “I’ve never lied to you.” “Can’t I go with you now?” He shook his head. “Aren’t you getting married? Besides, I’ve always preferred older women. In about fifty years’ time, you should be just right.” I glared at him. “What if I’d rather not wait?” He narrowed his eyes. “Do you mean that you don’t want to marry Tian Bai?” I dropped my gaze. “If you go with me, it won’t be easy for you,” he said warningly. “It will bring you closer to the spirit world and you won’t be able to lead a normal life. My work is incognito, so I can’t keep you in style. It will be a little house in some strange town. I shan’t be available most of the time, and you’d have to be ready to move at a moment’s notice.” I listened with increasing bewilderment. “Are you asking me to be your mistress or an indentured servant?” His mouth twitched. “I don’t keep mistresses; it’s far too much trouble. I’m offering to marry you, although I might regret it. And if you think the Lim family disapproved of your marriage, wait until you meet mine.” I tightened my arms around him. “Speechless at last,” Er Lang said. “Think about your options. Frankly, if I were a woman, I’d take the first one. I wouldn’t underestimate the importance of family.” “But what would you do for fifty years?” He was about to speak when I heard a faint call, and through the heavy downpour, saw Yan Hong’s blurred figure emerge between the trees, Tian Bai running beside her. “Give me your answer in a fortnight,” said Er Lang. Then he was gone.
Yangsze Choo (The Ghost Bride)
those who gave me the most pleasure. You know why? Because you’re an idiot, and even to fuck well it takes a little intelligence. For example you don’t know how to give a blow job, you’re hopeless, and it’s pointless to explain it to you, you can’t do it, it’s too obvious that it disgusts you. And he went on like that for a while, making speeches that became increasingly crude; with him vulgarity was normal. Then he wanted to explain clearly how things stood: he was marrying her because of the respect he felt for her father, a skilled pastry maker he was fond of; he was marrying her because one had to have a wife and even children and even an official house. But there should be no mistake: she was nothing to him, he hadn’t put her on a pedestal, she wasn’t the one he loved best, so she had better not be a pain in the ass, believing she had some rights. Brutal words. At a certain point Michele himself must have realized it, and he became gripped by a kind of melancholy. He had murmured that women for him were all games with a few holes for playing in. All. All except one. Lina was the only woman in the world he loved—love, yes, as in the films—and respected. He told me, Gigliola sobbed, that she would have known how to furnish this house. He told me that giving her money to spend, yes, that would be a pleasure. He told me that with her he could have become truly important, in Naples. He said to me: You remember what she did with the wedding photo, you remember how she fixed up the shop? And you, and Pinuccia, and all the others, what the fuck are you, what the fuck do you know how to do? He had said those things to her and not only those. He had told her that he thought about Lila night and day, but not with normal desire, his desire for her didn’t resemble what he knew. In reality he didn’t want her. That is, he didn’t want her the way he generally wanted women, to feel them under him, to turn them over, turn them again, open them up, break them, step on them, and crush them. He didn’t want her in order to have sex and then forget her. He wanted the subtlety of her mind with all its ideas. He wanted her imagination. And he wanted her without ruining her, to make her last. He wanted her not to screw her—that word applied to Lila disturbed him. He wanted to kiss her and caress her. He wanted to be caressed, helped, guided, commanded. He wanted to see how she changed with the passage of time, how she aged. He wanted to talk with her and be helped to talk. You understand? He spoke of her in way that to me, to me—when we are about to get married—he has never spoken.
Elena Ferrante (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay)
. . . I bet I'm beginning to make some parents nervous - here I am, bragging of being a dropout, and unemployable, and about to make a pitch for you to follow your creative dreams, when what parents want is for their children to do well in their field, to make them look good, and maybe also to assemble a tasteful fortune . . . But that is not your problem. Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you're going to live it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it, and find out the truth about who you are . . . I do know you are not what you look like, or how much you weigh, or how you did in school, or whether you start a job next Monday or not. Spirit isn't what you do, it's . . . well, again, I don't actually know. They probably taught this junior year at Goucher; I should've stuck around. But I know that you feel best when you're not doing much - when you're in nature, when you're very quiet or, paradoxically, listening to music . . . We can see Spirit made visible when people are kind to one another, especially when it's a really busy person, like you, taking care of the needy, annoying, neurotic person, like you. In fact, that's often when we see Spirit most brightly . . . In my twenties I devised a school of relaxation that has unfortunately fallen out of favor in the ensuing years - it was called Prone Yoga. You just lay around as much as possible. You could read, listen to music, you could space out or sleep. But you had to be lying down. Maintaining the prone. You've graduated. You have nothing left to prove, and besides, it's a fool's game. If you agree to play, you've already lost. It's Charlie Brown and Lucy, with the football. If you keep getting back on the field, they win. There are so many great things to do right now. Write. Sing. Rest. Eat cherries. Register voters. And - oh my God - I nearly forgot the most important thing: refuse to wear uncomfortable pants, even if they make you look really thin. Promise me you'll never wear pants that bind or tug or hurt, pants that have an opinion about how much you've just eaten. The pants may be lying! There is way too much lying and scolding going on politically right now without having your pants get in on the act, too. So bless you. You've done an amazing thing. And you are loved; you're capable of lives of great joy and meaning. It's what you are made of. And it's what you're here for. Take care of yourselves; take care of one another. And give thanks, like this: Thank you.
Anne Lamott (Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith)
THE WISDOM OF SURRENDER It is the quality of your consciousness at this moment that is the main determinant of what kind of future you will experience, so to surrender is the most important thing you can do to bring about positive change. Any action you take is secondary. No truly positive action can arise out of an unsurrendered state of consciousness. To some people, surrender may have negative connotations, implying defeat, giving up, failing to rise to the challenges of life, becoming lethargic, and so on. True surrender, however, is something entirely different. It does not mean to passively put up with whatever situation you find yourself in and to do nothing about it. Nor does it mean to cease making plans or initiating positive action. SURRENDER IS THE SIMPLE but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life. The only place where you can experience the flow of life is the Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation. It is to relinquish inner resistance to what is. Inner resistance is to say “no” to what is, through mental judgment and emotional negativity. It becomes particularly pronounced when things “go wrong,” which means that there is a gap between the demands or rigid expectations of your mind and what is. That is the pain gap. If you have lived long enough, you will know that things “go wrong” quite often. It is precisely at those times that surrender needs to be practiced if you want to eliminate pain and sorrow from your life. Acceptance of what is immediately frees you from mind identification and thus reconnects you with Being. Resistance is the mind. Surrender is a purely inner phenomenon. It does not mean that on the outer level you cannot take action and change the situation. In fact, it is not the overall situation that you need to accept when you surrender, but just the tiny segment called the Now. For example, if you were stuck in the mud somewhere, you wouldn't say: “Okay, I resign myself to being stuck in the mud.” Resignation is not surrender. YOU DON'T NEED TO ACCEPT AN UNDESIRABLE OR UNPLEASANT LIFE SITUATION. Nor do you need to deceive yourself and say that there is nothing wrong with it. No. You recognize fully that you want to get out of it. You then narrow your attention down to the present moment without mentally labeling it in any way. This means that there is no judgment of the Now. Therefore, there is no resistance, no emotional negativity. You accept the “isness” of this moment. Then you take action and do all that you can to get out of the situation. Such action I call positive action. It is far more effective than negative action, which arises out of anger, despair, or frustration. Until you achieve the desired result, you continue to practice surrender by refraining from labeling the Now
Eckhart Tolle (Practicing the Power of Now: Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises from the Power of Now)
While some of our deepest wounds come from feeling abandoned by others, it is surprising to see how often we abandon ourselves through the way we view life. It’s natural to perceive through a lens of blame at the moment of emotional impact, but each stage of surrender offers us time and space to regroup and open our viewpoints for our highest evolutionary benefit. It’s okay to feel wronged by people or traumatized by circumstances. This reveals anger as a faithful guardian reminding us how overwhelmed we are by the outcomes at hand. While we will inevitably use each trauma as a catalyst for our deepest growth, such anger informs us when the highest importance is being attentive to our own experiences like a faithful companion. As waves of emotion begin to settle, we may ask ourselves, “Although I feel wronged, what am I going to do about it?” Will we allow experiences of disappointment or even cruelty to inspire our most courageous decisions and willingness to evolve? When viewing others as characters who have wronged us, a moment of personal abandonment occurs. Instead of remaining present to the sheer devastation we feel, a need to align with ego can occur through the blaming of others. While it seems nearly instinctive to see life as the comings and goings of how people treat us, when focused on cultivating our most Divine qualities, pain often confirms how quickly we are shifting from ego to soul. From the soul’s perspective, pain represents the initial steps out of the identity and reference points of an old reality as we make our way into a brand new paradigm of being. The more this process is attempted to be rushed, the more insufferable it becomes. To end the agony of personal abandonment, we enter the first stage of surrender by asking the following question: Am I seeing this moment in a way that helps or hurts me? From the standpoint of ego, life is a play of me versus you or us versus them. But from the soul’s perspective, characters are like instruments that help develop and uncover the melody of our highest vibration. Even when the friction of conflict seems to divide people, as souls we are working together to play out the exact roles to clear, activate, and awaken our true radiance. The more aligned in Source energy we become, the easier each moment of transformation tends to feel. This doesn’t mean we are immune to disappointment, heartbreak, or devastation. Instead, we are keenly aware of how often life is giving us the chance to grow and expand. A willingness to be stretched and re-created into a more refined form is a testament to the fiercely liberated nature of our soul. To the ego, the soul’s willingness to grow under the threat of any circumstance seems foolish, shortsighted, and insane. This is because the ego can only interpret that reality as worry, anticipation, and regret.
Matt Kahn (Everything Is Here to Help You: A Loving Guide to Your Soul's Evolution)
Any true definition of preaching must say that that man is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people. If you prefer the language of Paul, he is 'an ambassador for Christ'. That is what he is. He has been sent, he is a commissioned person, and he is standing there as the mouthpiece of God and of Christ to address these people. In other words he is not there merely to talk to them, he is not there to entertain them. He is there - and I want to emphasize this - to do something to those people; he is there to produce results of various kinds, he is there to influence people. He is not merely to influence a part of them; he is not only to influence their minds, not only their emotions, or merely to bring pressure to bear upon their wills and to induce them to some kind of activity. He is there to deal with the whole person; and his preaching is meant to affect the whole person at the very centre of life. Preaching should make such a difference to a man who is listening that he is never the same again. Preaching, in other words, is a transaction between the preacher and the listener. It does something for the soul of man, for the whole of the person, the entire man; it deals with him in a vital and radical manner. I remember a remark made to me a few years back about some studies of mine on “The Sermon on the Mount.” I had deliberately published them in sermonic form. There were many who advised me not to do that on the grounds that people no longer like sermons. The days for sermons, I was told, were past, and I was pressed to turn my sermons into essays and to give them a different form. I was most interested therefore when this man to whom I was talking, and he is a very well-known Christian layman in Britain, said, "I like these studies of yours on “The Sermon on the Mount” because they speak to me.” Then he went on to say, “I have been recommended many books by learned preachers and professors but,” he said, “what I feel about those books is that it always seems to be professors writing to professors; they do not speak to me. But,” he said, “your stuff speaks to me.” Now he was an able man, and a man in a prominent position, but that is how he put it. I think there is a great deal of truth in this. He felt that so much that he had been recommended to read was very learned and very clever and scholarly, but as he put it, it was “professors writing to professors.” This is, I believe, is a most important point for us to bear in mind when we read sermons. I have referred already to the danger of giving the literary style too much prominence. I remember reading an article in a literary journal some five or six years ago which I thought was most illuminating because the writer was making the selfsame point in his own field. His case was that the trouble today is that far too often instead of getting true literature we tend to get “reviewers writing books for reviewers.” These men review one another's books, with the result that when they write, what they have in their mind too often is the reviewer and not the reading public to whom the book should be addressed, at any rate in the first instance. The same thing tends to happen in connection with preaching. This ruins preaching, which should always be a transaction between preacher and listener with something vital and living taking place. It is not the mere imparting of knowledge, there is something much bigger involved. The total person is engaged on both sides; and if we fail to realize this our preaching will be a failure.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Preaching and Preachers)
Mental toughness is the ability to focus on and execute solutions, especially in the face of adversity. Greatness rarely happens on accident. If you want to achieve excellence, you will have to act like you really want it. How? Quite simply: by dedicating time and energy into consistently doing what needs to be done. Excuses are the antithesis of accountability. Important decisions aren’t supposed to be easy, but don’t let that stop you from making them. When it comes to decisions, decide to always decide. The second we stop growing, we start dying. Stagnation easily morphs into laziness, and once a person stops trying to grow and improve, he or she is nothing more than mediocre. Develop the no-excuse mentality. Do not let anything interrupt those tasks that are most critical for growth in the important areas of your life. Find a way, no matter what, to prioritize your daily process goals, even when you have a viable excuse to justify not doing it. “If you don’t evaluate yourself, how in the heck are you ever going to know what you are doing well and what you need to improve? Those who are most successful evaluate themselves daily. Daily evaluation is the key to daily success, and daily success is the key to success in life. If you want to achieve greatness, push yourself to the limits of your potential by continuously looking for improvements. Within 60 seconds, replace all problem-focused thought with solution-focused thinking. When people focus on problems, their problems actually grow and reproduce. When you train your mind to focus on solutions, guess what expands? Talking about your problems will lead to more problems, not to solutions. If you want solutions, start thinking and talking about your solutions. Believe that every problem, no matter how large, has at the very least a +1 solution, you will find it easier to stay on the solution side of the chalkboard. When you set your mind to do something, find a way to get it done…no matter what! If you come up short on your discipline, keep fighting, kicking, and scratching to improve. Find the nearest mirror and look yourself in the eye while you tell yourself, “There is no excuse, and this will not happen again.” Get outside help if needed, but never, ever give up on being disciplined. Greatness will not magically appear in your life without significant accountability, focus, and optimism on your part. Are you ready to commit fully to turning your potential into a leadership performance that will propel you to greatness. Mental toughness is understanding that the only true obstacles in life are self-imposed. You always have the choice to stay down or rise above. In truth, the only real obstacles to your ultimate success will come from within yourself and fall into one of the following three categories: apathy, laziness and fear. Laziness breeds more laziness. When you start the day by sleeping past the alarm or cutting corners in the morning, you’re more likely to continue that slothful attitude later in the day.
Jason Selk (Executive Toughness: The Mental-Training Program to Increase Your Leadership Performance)
Pay attention to everything the dying person says. You might want to keep pens and a spiral notebook beside the bed so that anyone can jot down notes about gestures, conversations, or anything out of the ordinary said by the dying person. Talk with one another about these comments and gestures. • Remember that there may be important messages in any communication, however vague or garbled. Not every statement made by a dying person has significance, but heed them all so as not to miss the ones that do. • Watch for key signs: a glassy-eyed look; the appearance of staring through you; distractedness or secretiveness; seemingly inappropriate smiles or gestures, such as pointing, reaching toward someone or something unseen, or waving when no one is there; efforts to pick at the covers or get out of bed for no apparent reason; agitation or distress at your inability to comprehend something the dying person has tried to say. • Respond to anything you don’t understand with gentle inquiries. “Can you tell me what’s happening?” is sometimes a helpful way to initiate this kind of conversation. You might also try saying, “You seem different today. Can you tell me why?” • Pose questions in open-ended, encouraging terms. For example, if a dying person whose mother is long dead says, “My mother’s waiting for me,” turn that comment into a question: “Mother’s waiting for you?” or “I’m so glad she’s close to you. Can you tell me about it?” • Accept and validate what the dying person tells you. If he says, “I see a beautiful place!” say, “That’s wonderful! Can you tell me more about it?” or “I’m so pleased. I can see that it makes you happy,” or “I’m so glad you’re telling me this. I really want to understand what’s happening to you. Can you tell me more?” • Don’t argue or challenge. By saying something like “You couldn’t possibly have seen Mother, she’s been dead for ten years,” you could increase the dying person’s frustration and isolation, and run the risk of putting an end to further attempts at communicating. • Remember that a dying person may employ images from life experiences like work or hobbies. A pilot may talk about getting ready to go for a flight; carry the metaphor forward: “Do you know when it leaves?” or “Is there anyone on the plane you know?” or “Is there anything I can do to help you get ready for takeoff?” • Be honest about having trouble understanding. One way is to say, “I think you’re trying to tell me something important and I’m trying very hard, but I’m just not getting it. I’ll keep on trying. Please don’t give up on me.” • Don’t push. Let the dying control the breadth and depth of the conversation—they may not be able to put their experiences into words; insisting on more talk may frustrate or overwhelm them. • Avoid instilling a sense of failure in the dying person. If the information is garbled or the delivery impossibly vague, show that you appreciate the effort by saying, “I can see that this is hard for you; I appreciate your trying to share it with me,” or “I can see you’re getting tired/angry/frustrated. Would it be easier if we talked about this later?” or “Don’t worry. We’ll keep trying and maybe it will come.” • If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything. Sometimes the best response is simply to touch the dying person’s hand, or smile and stroke his or her forehead. Touching gives the very important message “I’m with you.” Or you could say, “That’s interesting, let me think about it.” • Remember that sometimes the one dying picks an unlikely confidant. Dying people often try to communicate important information to someone who makes them feel safe—who won’t get upset or be taken aback by such confidences. If you’re an outsider chosen for this role, share the information as gently and completely as possible with the appropriate family members or friends. They may be more familiar with innuendos in a message because they know the person well.
Maggie Callanan (Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Co)
Fifteen years ago, a business manager from the United States came to Plum Village to visit me. His conscience was troubled because he was the head of a firm that designed atomic bombs. I listened as he expressed his concerns. I knew if I advised him to quit his job, another person would only replace him. If he were to quit, he might help himself, but he would not help his company, society, or country. I urged him to remain the director of his firm, to bring mindfulness into his daily work, and to use his position to communicate his concerns and doubts about the production of atomic bombs. In the Sutra on Happiness, the Buddha says it is great fortune to have an occupation that allows us to be happy, to help others, and to generate compassion and understanding in this world. Those in the helping professions have occupations that give them this wonderful opportunity. Yet many social workers, physicians, and therapists work in a way that does not cultivate their compassion, instead doing their job only to earn money. If the bomb designer practises and does his work with mindfulness, his job can still nourish his compassion and in some way allow him to help others. He can still influence his government and fellow citizens by bringing greater awareness to the situation. He can give the whole nation an opportunity to question the necessity of bomb production. Many people who are wealthy, powerful, and important in business, politics, and entertainment are not happy. They are seeking empty things - wealth, fame, power, sex - and in the process they are destroying themselves and those around them. In Plum Village, we have organised retreats for businesspeople. We see that they have many problems and suffer just as others do, sometimes even more. We see that their wealth allows them to live in comfortable conditions, yet they still suffer a great deal. Some businesspeople, even those who have persuaded themselves that their work is very important, feel empty in their occupation. They provide employment to many people in their factories, newspapers, insurance firms, and supermarket chains, yet their financial success is an empty happiness because it is not motivated by understanding or compassion. Caught up in their small world of profit and loss, they are unaware of the suffering and poverty in the world. When we are not int ouch with this larger reality, we will lack the compassion we need to nourish and guide us to happiness. Once you begin to realise your interconnectedness with others, your interbeing, you begin to see how your actions affect you and all other life. You begin to question your way of living, to look with new eyes at the quality of your relationships and the way you work. You begin to see, 'I have to earn a living, yes, but I want to earn a living mindfully. I want to try to select a vocation not harmful to others and to the natural world, one that does not misuse resources.' Entire companies can also adopt this way of thinking. Companies have the right to pursue economic growth, but not at the expense of other life. They should respect the life and integrity of people, animals, plants and minerals. Do not invest your time or money in companies that deprive others of their lives, that operate in a way that exploits people or animals, and destroys nature. Businesspeople who visit Plum Village often find that getting in touch with the suffering of others and cultivating understanding brings them happiness. They practise like Anathapindika, a successful businessman who lived at the time of the Buddha, who with the practise of mindfulness throughout his life did everything he could to help the poor and sick people in his homeland.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World)
Keeping a new church outwardly focused from the beginning is much easier than trying to refocus an inwardly concerned church. In order to plant a successful church, you have to know that you know that you are undeniably called by God. The call to start a new church plant is not the same as the call to serve in an existing church or work in a ministry-related organization. You may be the greatest preacher this side of Billy Graham but still not be called to start a church. If you think you may have allowed an improper reason, voice or emotion to lead you to the idea of starting a new church, back away now. Spend some more time with God. You don’t want to move forward on a hunch or because you feel “pretty sure” that you should be planting a church. You have to be completely certain. “You’re afraid? So what. Everybody’s afraid. Fear is the common ground of humanity. The question you must wrestle to the ground is, ‘Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity?’” When you think of a people group that you might be called to reach, does your heart break for them? If so, you may want to consider whether God is specifically calling you to reach that group for His kingdom. Is your calling clear? Has your calling been confirmed by others? Are you humbled by the call? Have you acted on your call? Do you know for certain that God has called you to start a new church? Nail it down. When exactly were you called? What were the circumstances surrounding your call? How did it match up with the sources of proper calling? Do you recognize the four specific calls in your calling? How? How does your call measure up to biblical characteristics? What is the emerging vision that God is giving you with this call? As your dependence on God grows, so will your church. One of the most common mistakes that enthusiastic and well-meaning church starters make is to move to a new location and start trying to reach people without thinking through even a short-term strategy. Don’t begin until you count the cost. why would you even consider starting a church (the only institution Jesus left behind and the only one that will last forever) without first developing a God-infused, specific, winning strategy? There are two types of pain: the pain of front-end discipline and the pain of back-end regret. With the question of strategy development, you get to choose which pain you’d rather live with. Basically, a purpose, mission and vision statement provides guiding principles that describe what God has called you to do (mission), how you will do it (purpose) and what it will look like when you get it done (vision). Keep your statement simple. Be as precise as possible. Core values are the filter through which you fulfill your strategy. These are important, because your entire strategy will be created and implemented in such a way as to bring your core values to life. Your strategic aim will serve as the beacon that guides the rest of your strategy. It is the initial purpose for which you are writing your strategy. He will not send more people to you than you are ready to receive. So what can you do? The same thing Dr. Graham does. Prepare in a way that enables God to open the floodgates into your church. If you are truly ready, He will send people your way. If you do the work we’ve described in this chapter, you’ll be able to build your new church on a strong base of God-breathed preparation. You’ll know where you are, where you’re going and how you are going to get there. You’ll be standing in the rain with a huge bucket, ready to take in the deluge. However, if you don’t think through your strategy, write it down and then implement it, you’ll be like the man who stands in the rainstorm with a Dixie cup. You’ll be completely unprepared to capture what God is pouring out. The choice is yours!
Nelson Searcy (Launch: Starting a New Church from Scratch)
Yesterday while I was on the side of the mat next to some wrestlers who were warming up for their next match, I found myself standing side by side next to an extraordinary wrestler. He was warming up and he had that look of desperation on his face that wrestlers get when their match is about to start and their coach is across the gym coaching on another mat in a match that is already in progress. “Hey do you have a coach.” I asked him. “He's not here right now.” He quietly answered me ready to take on the task of wrestling his opponent alone. “Would you mind if I coached you?” His face tilted up at me with a slight smile and said. “That would be great.” Through the sounds of whistles and yelling fans I heard him ask me what my name was. “My name is John.” I replied. “Hi John, I am Nishan” he said while extending his hand for a handshake. He paused for a second and then he said to me: “John I am going to lose this match”. He said that as if he was preparing me so I wouldn’t get hurt when my coaching skills didn’t work magic with him today. I just said, “Nishan - No score of a match will ever make you a winner. You are already a winner by stepping onto that mat.” With that he just smiled and slowly ran on to the mat, ready for battle, but half knowing what the probable outcome would be. When you first see Nishan you will notice that his legs are frail - very frail. So frail that they have to be supported by custom made, form fitted braces to help support and straighten his limbs. Braces that I recognize all to well. Some would say Nishan has a handicap. I say that he has a gift. To me the word handicap is a word that describes what one “can’t do”. That doesn’t describe Nishan. Nishan is doing. The word “gift” is a word that describes something of value that you give to others. And without knowing it, Nishan is giving us all a gift. I believe Nishan’s gift is inspiration. The ability to look the odds in the eye and say “You don’t pertain to me.” The ability to keep moving forward. Perseverance. A “Whatever it takes” attitude. As he predicted, the outcome of his match wasn’t great. That is, if the only thing you judge a wrestling match by is the actual score. Nishan tried as hard as he could, but he couldn’t overcome the twenty-six pound weight difference that he was giving up to his opponent on this day in order to compete. You see, Nishan weighs only 80 pounds and the lowest weight class in this tournament was 106. Nishan knew he was spotting his opponent 26 pounds going into every match on this day. He wrestled anyway. I never did get the chance to ask him why he wrestles, but if I had to guess I would say, after watching him all day long, that Nishan wrestles for the same reasons that we all wrestle for. We wrestle to feel alive, to push ourselves to our mental, physical and emotional limits - levels we never knew we could reach. We wrestle to learn to use 100% of what we have today in hopes that our maximum today will be our minimum tomorrow. We wrestle to measure where we started from, to know where we are now, and to plan on getting where we want to be in the future. We wrestle to look the seemingly insurmountable opponent right in the eye and say, “Bring it on. - I can take whatever you can dish out.” Sometimes life is your opponent and just showing up is a victory. You don't need to score more points than your opponent in order to accomplish that. No Nishan didn’t score more points than any of his opponents on this day, that would have been nice, but I don’t believe that was the most important thing to Nishan. Without knowing for sure - the most important thing to him on this day was to walk with pride like a wrestler up to a thirty two foot circle, have all eyes from the crowd on him, to watch him compete one on one against his opponent - giving it all that he had. That is what competition is all about. Most of the times in wrestlin
JohnA Passaro