Wisdom Work Quotes

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The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things..
Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience and Other Essays)
Hide not your talents, they for use were made, What's a sundial in the shade?
Benjamin Franklin
Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
Steve Jobs
Our lives are not as limited as we think they are; the world is a wonderfully weird place; consensual reality is significantly flawed; no institution can be trusted, but love does work; all things are possible; and we all could be happy and fulfilled if we only had the guts to be truly free and the wisdom to shrink our egos and quit taking ourselves so damn seriously.
Tom Robbins
Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world.
Heraclitus (Fragments)
Transformation is my favorite game and in my experience, anger and frustration are the result of you not being authentic somewhere in your life or with someone in your life. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Life can’t work for you if you don’t show up as you.
Jason Mraz
It's a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.
Germany Kent
But that's how memory works," Bitterblue said quietly. "Things disappear without your permission, then come back again without your permission." And sometimes they came back incomplete and warped.
Kristin Cashore (Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3))
The world is 3 days: As for yesterday, it has vanished along with all that was in it. As for tomorrow, you may never see it. As for today, it is yours, so work on it.
al-Hasan al-Basri
All successful people men and women are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.
Brian Tracy (Personal Success (The Brian Tracy Success Library))
Non-judgment quiets the internal dialogue, and this opens once again the doorway to creativity.
Deepak Chopra
A photograph shouldn't be just a picture, it should be a philosophy.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.
Lili St. Crow
Sometimes I wish I could photosynthesize so that just by being, just by shimmering at the meadow's edge or floating lazily on a pond, I could be doing the work of the world while standing silent in the sun.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass)
We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.
Ellen Goodman
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
There are four things that lead to wisdom. You ready for them?' She nodded, wondering when the police work would begin. "They are four sentences we learn to say, and mean." Gamache held up his hand as a fist and raised a finger with each point. "I don't know. I need help. I'm sorry. I was wrong'.
Louise Penny (Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1))
Love and work are to people what water and sunshine are to plants.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
The business of the novelist is not to relate great events, but to make small ones interesting.
Arthur Schopenhauer (The Works of Schopenhauer: The Wisdom of Life and Other Essays)
There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
Thomas Merton (Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander)
Communication is a skill that you can learn. It's like riding a bicycle or typing. If you're willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of very part of your life.
Brian Tracy
It is not until you change your identity to match your life blueprint that you will understand why everything in the past never worked.
Shannon L. Alder
True kindness isn't something we're born with. It's something we have to work at. Not everyone has it. But I think everyone has the potential. Sometimes you just have to look really close before you can tell it's there."-Kyoko
Natsuki Takaya
The Talmud states, "Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.
Bridges McCall
Hard work does not go unnoticed, and someday the rewards will follow
Allan Rufus (The Master's Sacred Knowledge)
The 7 Secrets of Happiness 1. Think positively. 2. Do work you love. 3. Avoid anger. 4. Give generously. 5. Be grateful. 6. Overcome negativity. 7. Develop thick skin.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Don’t overact the story of your name. Overact the story of your work.
Karl Lagerfeld
Kindness and awareness work together. Through awareness we understand the underlying beauty of everything and every being.
Amit Ray (Nonviolence: The Transforming Power)
Then we shan’t regard anyone as a lover of knowledge or wisdom who is fussy about what he studies…
Plato (The Republic and Other Works)
Without waiting for others acknowledge your purpose, remaining balanced when things don’t work out, and uncompromising in your effort; realize that you have a piece of the universe for which she cannot exist without.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
We must not only obtain Wisdom: we must enjoy her.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Selected Works)
Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
Francis Bacon (The Collected Works of Sir Francis Bacon)
Don't you notice that there are particular moments when you are naturally inspired to introspection? Work with them gently, for these are the moments when you can go through a powerful experience, and your whole worldview can change quickly.
Sogyal Rinpoche
I've come to the point where I never feel the need to stop and evaluate whether or not I am happy. I'm just 'being', and without question, by default, it works.
Criss Jami (Diotima, Battery, Electric Personality)
No occupation in this world is more trying to soul and body than the care of young children. What patience and wisdom, skill and unlimited love it calls for. God gave the work to mothers and furnished them for it, and they cannot shirk it and be guiltless.
Isabella MacDonald Alden
Don't live the same day over and over again and call that a life. Life is about evolving mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
Germany Kent
Your body does not eliminate poisons by knowing their names. To try to control fear or depression or boredom by calling them names is to resort to superstition of trust in curses and invocations. It is so easy to see why this does not work. Obviously, we try to know, name, and define fear in order to make it “objective,” that is, separate from “I.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety)
One of the poets, whose name I cannot recall, has a passage, which I am unable at the moment to remember, in one of his works, which for the time being has slipped my mind, which hits off admirably this age-old situation.
P.G. Wodehouse
Dont ever be impressed with goal setting; be impressed with goal getting. Reaching new goals and moving to a higher level of performance always requires change, and change feels awkward. But take comfort in the knowledge that if a change doesn't feel uncomfortable, then it's propably not really a change.
John C. Maxwell (Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work)
I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together. For unity and peace.
Mahatma Gandhi
If you don't have a righteous objective,eventually you will suffer. When you do the right thing for the right reason,the right result awaits.
Chin-Ning Chu (The Art of War for Women: Sun Tzu's Ancient Strategies and Wisdom for Winning at Work)
Resources are hired to give results, not reasons.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
If the giddiness of life and the pressure of time might make us tumble from our tight line, let us inhale the wisdom of our inspiration and reshape our “inner void” into an “inner space” and refurbish it with the fundamental, vital particles of our everyday experience. ("One drink after work.")
Erik Pevernagie
You can only afford to be generous if you actually have some money in the bank to give. In the same way, if your only source of love and meaning is your spouse, then anytime he or she fails you, it will not just cause grief but a psychological cataclysm. If, however, you know something of the work of the Spirit in your life, you have enough love "in the bank" to be generous to your spouse even when you are not getting much affection or kindness at the moment.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
Laa shay'a waqi'un moutlaq bale kouloun moumkine' -the Wisdom of our Creed is revealed through these words - 'We work in the Dark, to serve the Light. We are Assassins.' --Machiavelli
Oliver Bowden (Brotherhood (Assassin's Creed, #2))
If it's knowledge and wisdom you want, then seek out the company of those who do real work for an honest purpose.
Edward Abbey (Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast)
originality and a feeling of one's own dignity are achieved only through work and struggle.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Everybody has a vocation to some form of life-work. However, behind that call (and deeper than any call), everybody has a vocation to be a person to be fully and deeply human in Christ Jesus.
Brennan Manning (The Wisdom of Tenderness: What Happens When God's Fierce Mercy Transforms Our Lives)
Satan dreads nothing but prayer. His one concern is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, he mocks our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.
Samuel Chadwick
The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’ ‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.
Robert A. Heinlein
For us lads of eighteen they ought to have been mediators and guides to the world of maturity, the world of work, of duty, of culture, of progress -- to the future.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
See that I am God. See that I am in everything. See that I do everything. See that I have never stopped ordering my works, nor ever shall, eternally. See that I lead everything on to the conclusion I ordained for it before time began, by the same power, wisdom and love with which I made it. How can anything be amiss?
Julian of Norwich
We love the imperfect shapes in nature and in the works of art, look for an intentional error as a sign of the golden key and sincerity found in true mastery.
Dejan Stojanovic
The least strained and most natural ways of the soul are the most beautiful; the best occupations are the least forced.
Michel de Montaigne
Love is the only answer to every question. It is the only thing that will serve you in every situation. It is the route and the destination. It is medication, liberation and should be at the heart of and expression of your vocation.
Rasheed Ogunlaru
I loved you, so I drew these tides of Men into my hands And wrote my will across the Sky and stars To earn you freedom, the seven Pillared worthy house, That your eyes might be Shining for me When we came Death seemed my servant on the Road, 'til we were near And saw you waiting: When you smiled and in sorrowful Envy he outran me And took you apart: Into his quietness Love, the way-weary, groped to your body, Our brief wage Ours for the moment Before Earth's soft hand explored your shape And the blind Worms grew fat upon Your substance Men prayed me that I set our work, The inviolate house, As a memory of you But for fit monument I shattered it, Unfinished: and now The little things creep out to patch Themselves hovels In the marred shadow Of your gift.
T.E. Lawrence (The Seven Pillars of Wisdom)
Sacrifice is a terribly difficult thing to do, of which you will be asked to do many times along your path. Only with genuine love will you be able to make these sacrifices because often times you will simply want to refuse the sacrifices that the universe asks of you to make. When you close one door, another opens; that is how the universe works and through sacrifice we are given the keys to the next door in life.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil] Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet, When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet; He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how We are working to completion, working on from then to now. Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete, Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet, And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true, And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you. But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn, You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn, What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles; What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles. You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late, But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate. Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight; You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night. I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known. You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'? Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow, There has been a something wanting in my nature until now; I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind, Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind. I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,-- Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life; But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still To the service of our science: you will further it? you will! There are certain calculations I should like to make with you, To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true; And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage, Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age. I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap; But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name; See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame. I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak; Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak: It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,-- God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
Sarah Williams (Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse)
If your workplace was somehow transplanted into the jungle and everyone was forced to survive at a very primitive level, it's safe to say that eventually your boss would rape you.
Scott Dikkers (You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of Wisdom Sure to Ruin Your Day)
We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.
Arianna Huffington (Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder)
Tough love and brutal truth from strangers are far more valuable than Band-Aids and half-truths from invested friends, who don’t want to see you suffer any more than you have.
Shannon L. Alder
We are showered every day with gifts, but they are not meant for us to keep. Their life is in their movement, the inhale and the exhale of our shared breath. Our work and our joy is to pass along the gift and to trust that what we put out into the universe will always come back.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants)
Busy hands achieve more than idle tongues.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Ô, the wine of a woman from heaven is sent, more perfect than all that a man can invent.
Roman Payne (The Love of Europa: Limited Time Edition (Only the First Chapters))
They say you should know your limits and work within them. But how can you really know your limits unless you try to expand them?
Jonathan Cainer
Wrote my way out of the hood...thought my way out of poverty! Don't tell me that knowledge isn't power. Education changes everything.
Brandi L. Bates
In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch-Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
There is a specific feeling that comes about during the dying embers of a relationship. Different from the Monday morning quarrels before work because you two are tired, different from the “I’m not going to talk to you for a while because I am mad at you” silences. Breaks ups happen instantly, yet the process occurs over a gradual period of time, with tear by tear until what was once whole, rips into two. Breakups are the disappointment we feel when we wanted our lover to finish the story with an exclamation mark, but instead are left with a question mark.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
When faced with 2 choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air YOU SUDDENLY KNOW WHAT YOUR HOPING FOR. :)
wisdom quotes
As we enter the path of transformation, the most valuable thing we have working in our favor is our yearning.
Cynthia Bourgeault (The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind)
The right kind of leisure is better than the wrong kind of work.
Baltasar Gracián (The Art of Worldly Wisdom)
Be a worthy worker and work will come.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
To believe in a child is to believe in the future. Through their aspirations they will save the world. With their combined knowledge the turbulent seas of hate and injustice will be calmed. They will champion the causes of life's underdogs, forging a society without class discrimination. They will supply humanity with music and beauty as it has never known. They will endure. Towards these ends I pledge my life's work. I will supply the children with tools and knowledge to overcome the obstacles. I will pass on the wisdom of my years and temper it with patience. I shall impact in each child the desire to fulfill his or her dream. I shall teach.
Henry James
To work and create 'for nothing', to sculpture in clay, to know that one's creation has no future, to see one's work destroyed in a day while being aware that fundamentally this has no more importance than building for centuries- this is the difficult wisdom that absurd thought sanctions. Performing these two tasks simultaneously, negating on one hand and magnifying on the other, is the way open to the absurd creator. He must give the void its colors.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
Happiness is not something that you can find, acquire, or achieve directly. You have to get the conditions right and then wait. Some of those conditions are within you, such as coherence among the parts and levels of your personality. Other conditions require relationships to things beyond you: Just as plants need sun, water, and good soil to thrive, people need love, work, and a connection to something larger. It is worth striving to get the right relationships between yourself and others, between yourself and your work, and between yourself and something larger than yourself. If you get these relationships right, a sense of purpose and meaning will emerge.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
The ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims. The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom. The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called "doublethink," and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call "dissociation." It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms of hysteria which Freud recognized a century ago as disguised communications about sexual abuse in childhood. . . .
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God... It is a strange fact that Christians and even ministers frequently consider their work so important and urgent that they will allow nothing to disturb them. They think they are doing God a service in this but actually they are disdaining God's "crooked but straight path". It is part of the discipline of humility that we must not spare our hand where it can perform service and that we do not assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God.
Brennan Manning (The Wisdom of Tenderness: What Happens When God's Fierce Mercy Transforms Our Lives)
The soul in which philosophy dwells should by its health make even the body healthy. It should make its tranquillity and gladness shine out from within; should form in its own mold the outward demeanor, and consequently arm it with a graceful pride, an active and joyous bearing, and a contented and good-natured countenance. The surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness.
Michel de Montaigne (The Complete Works)
It may take some hard work.But the more you say no to the things that don’t matter, the more you can say yes to the things that do.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
A lock is like a woman,” he’d said blearily. “You have to seduce it into giving up its secrets.” He was one of Per Haskell’s old cronies, happy to talk about better days and big scams, especially if it meant he didn’t have to do much work. And that was exactly the kind of muddled wisdom these old cadgers loved to spout. Sure, a lock was like a woman. It was also like a man and anyone or anything else—if you wanted to understand it, you had to take it apart and see how it worked. If you wanted to master it, you had to learn it so well you could put it back together.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Every society needs particular individuals to do its dirty work for it.
Kevin Dutton (The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success)
Believe in yourself. Under-confidence leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy that you are not good enough for your work.
Roopleen
The supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring. Paintings of Moreau are paintings of ideas. The deepest poetry of Shelley, the words of Hamlet bring our mind into contact with the eternal wisdom; Plato's world of ideas. All the rest is the speculation of schoolboys for schoolboys.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
[All the ancient wisdom] tells us that work is necessary to us, as much a part of our condition as mortality; that good work is our salvation and our joy; that shoddy or dishonest or self-serving work is our curse and our doom. We have tried to escape the sweat and sorrow promised in Genesis - only to find that, in order to do so, we must forswear love and excellence, health and joy. (pg. 44, "The Unsettling of America")
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
The work of God is done on God's timetable. His answers to our prayers come always in time--His time. His thoughts are far higher than ours, His wisdom past understanding.
Elisabeth Elliot (A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael)
Do you understand what I'm saying?" shouted Moist. "You can't just go around killing people!" "Why Not? You Do." The golem lowered his arm. "What?" snapped Moist. "I do not! Who told you that?" "I Worked It Out. You Have Killed Two Point Three Three Eight People," said the golem calmly. "I have never laid a finger on anyone in my life, Mr Pump. I may be–– all the things you know I am, but I am not a killer! I have never so much as drawn a sword!" "No, You Have Not. But You Have Stolen, Embezzled, Defrauded And Swindled Without Discrimination, Mr Lipvig. You Have Ruined Businesses And Destroyed Jobs. When Banks Fail, It Is Seldom Bankers Who Starve. Your Actions Have Taken Money From Those Who Had Little Enough To Begin With. In A Myriad Small Ways You Have Hastened The Deaths Of Many. You Do Not Know Them. You Did Not See Them Bleed. But You Snatched Bread From Their Mouths And Tore Clothes From Their Backs. For Sport, Mr Lipvig. For Sport. For The Joy Of The Game.
Terry Pratchett (Going Postal (Discworld, #33; Moist von Lipwig, #1))
Never regard study as a duty but as an enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later works belong." ~Albert Einstein "Einstein is referring to ones 'legacy' and its intended future recipients as being willfully purposed to benefit them on their journey through this gift of life given to us by God
R. Alan Woods (The Journey Is the Destination: A Book of Quotes With Commentaries)
Even at the time—twenty years old—I said to myself: better to go hungry, to go to prison, to be a tramp, than to sit at an office desk ten hours a day. There is no particular daring in this vow, but I have not broken it and shall not do so. The wisdom of my grandfathers sat in my head: we are born for the pleasure of work, fighting, love, we are born for that and nothing else. (Guy de Maupassant)
Isaac Babel (Red Cavalry and Other Stories)
We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far more confidence in what God can do for every believing soul. He longs to have you reach after Him by faith. He longs to have you expect great things from Him. He longs to give you understanding in temporal as well as in spiritual matters. He can sharpen the intellect. He can give tact and skill. Put your talents into the work, ask God for wisdom, and it will be given you.
Ellen Gould White
If I could I would always work in silence and obscurity, and let my efforts be known by their results.
Emily Brontë
God, grant me the serenity to stop beating myself up for not doing things perfectly, the courage to forgive myself because I’m working on doing better, and the wisdom to know that You already love me just the way I am.
Eleanor Brownn
For my own part, I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await others. I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.
C.S. Lewis (God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics)
As adults we try to relax from the never-ending quest for reason and order by drinking a little whiskey or smoking whatever works for us, but the wisdom isn't in the whiskey or the smoke. The wisdom is in the moments when the madness slips away and we remember the basics.
Willie Nelson (The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart)
You cannot wish for happiness but you can work towards your life goals and create lasting happiness.
Roopleen
Preparation time is necessary for your growth. Trust and believe everything you're going through is preparing you for some request you put out into the Universe.
Germany Kent
I am nothing, yes; I am air and darkness, a word, a promise. I watch in the crystal and I wait in the hollow hills. But out there in the light I have a young king and a bright sword to do my work for me, and build what will stand when my name is only a word for forgotten songs and outworn wisdom, and when your name, Morgause, is only a hissing in the dark.
Mary Stewart (The Hollow Hills (Arthurian Saga, #2))
There is no work-life balance. We have one life. What's most important is that you be awake for it.
Janice Marturano
In meetings philosophy might work, on the field practicality works.
Amit Kalantri
The enemy fights the hardest when you are closest to your breakthrough. Know that your best days are ahead and no weapon formed will prosper.
Germany Kent
The wise are who they are. They work with what they've got and do what they can do.
Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)
The people who work with you as their manager will look to you as one of their sources of wisdom
Kenneth H. Blanchard (The One Minute Manager)
Leo Tolstoy wrote: “One can live magnificently in this world, if one knows how to work and how to love, to work for the person one loves and to love one’s work.”19
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
I am a broken person. And I know exactly where my cracks are and how deep they run. I don't pretend to not be a broken person and therein lies the big difference. Because the truth is, we are all broken in places, but it is those who know exactly where and how they are broken, who also know exactly where and how they are whole! And we may not be whole in all places and in all ways, but we take whatever wholeness that we do have, and we make good of it. And we try hard to work on the broken parts, and we ask for help when we need it.
C. JoyBell C.
Treat all men alike.... give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who is born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognized as men. Let me be a free man...free to travel... free to stop...free to work...free to choose my own teachers...free to follow the religion of my Fathers...free to think and talk and act for myself.
Dee Brown (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West)
The one concern of the Devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayer-less studies, prayer-less work, prayer-less religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.
Samuel Chadwick
Tell the truth. Sing with passion. Work with laughter. Love with heart. 'Cause that's all that matters in the end.
Kris Kristofferson
It is a mistake,” he said, “to suppose that the public wants the environment protected or their lives saved and that they will be grateful to any idealist who will fight for such ends. What the public wants is their own individual comfort.
Isaac Asimov (The Gods Themselves)
Father, You spoke into nothingness and created the world. I speak into this day and declare that it will cooperate with Your plans. Anything sent to frustrate Your purposes for this day is bound now in the name of Jesus and rendered ineffective. I declare that today is pregnant with destiny. Thank You, Father, for divine connections that advance Your kingdom. Lord, give me wisdom and understanding to be more efficient in my work; open doors to new opportunities and new revelation in the name of Jesus. Father, bless the works of my hands; I choose to glorify You in all I do. In the name of Jesus, amen. June
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
One of the reasons you are suffering right now is precisely because the purpose of your struggle is unclear. What are you working toward? What are you fighting for? Who are you going to be?
Eric Greitens (Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life)
In my opinion, the teaching, rearing, and training of children requires more intelligence, intuitive understanding, humility, strength, wisdom, spirituality, perseverance, and hard work than any other challenge we might have in life.
James E. Faust (Stories from My Life)
What’s your favorite flavor of shit sandwich?” What Manson means is that every single pursuit—no matter how wonderful and exciting and glamorous it may initially seem—comes with its own brand of shit sandwich, its own lousy side effects. As Manson writes with profound wisdom: “Everything sucks, some of the time.” You just have to decide what sort of suckage you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not so much “What are you passionate about?” The question is “What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?” Manson explains it this way: “If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands, of times, then you’re done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can’t stand the eighty-hour workweeks, then I’ve got bad news for you.” Because if you love and want something enough—whatever it is—then you don’t really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
It is this nothingness (in solitude) that I have to face in my solitude, a nothingness so dreadful that everything in me wants to run to my friends, my work, and my distractions so that I can forget my nothingness and make myself believe that I am worth something. The task is to persevere in my solitude, to stay in my cell until all my seductive visitors get tired of pounding on my door and leave me alone. The wisdom of the desert is that the confrontation with our own frightening nothingness forces us to surrender ourselves totally and unconditionally to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Way of the Heart: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers)
We were fond together because of the sweep of open places, the taste of wide winds, the sunlight, and the hopes in which we worked. The morning freshness of the world-to-be intoxicated us. We were wrought up with ideas inexpressible and vaporous, but to be fought for. We lived many lives in those whirling campaigns, never sparing ourselves: yet when we achieved and the new world dawned, the old men came out again and took our victory to remake in the likeness of the former world they knew. Youth could win, but had not learned to keep, and was pitiably weak against age. We stammered that we had worked for a new heaven and a new earth, and they thanked us kindly and made their peace.
T.E. Lawrence (Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph)
Or take this girl, for example. At a meeting just outside Paris, a fifteen-year-old girl came up to me and said that she'd been to see [The Double Life of] Véronique. She'd gone once, twice, three times and only wanted to say one thing really - that she realized that there is such a thing as a soul. She hadn't known before, but now she knew that the soul does exist. There's something very beautiful in that. It was worth making Véronique for that girl. It was worth working for a year, sacrificing all that money, energy, time, patience, torturing yourself, killing yourself, taking thousands of decisions, so that one young girl in Paris should realize that there is such a thing as a soul. It's worth it.
Krzysztof Kieślowski (Kieslowski on Kieslowski)
The mistaken and unhappy notion that a man is an enduring unity is known to you. It is also known to you that a man consists of a multitude of souls, of numerous selves. The separation of the unity of the personality into these numerous pieces passes for madness. Science has invented the name schizomania for it. Science is in this so far right as no multiplicity maybe dealt with unless there be a series, a certain order and grouping. It is wrong insofar as it holds that one only and binding lifelong order is possible for the multiplicity of subordinate selves. This error of science has many unpleasant consequences, and the single advantage of simplifying the work of the state-appointed pastors and masters and saving them the labors of original thought. In consequence of this error many persons pass for normal, and indeed for highly valuable members of society, who are incurably mad; and many, on the other hand, are looked upon as mad who are geniuses...This is the art of life. You may yourself as an artist develop the game of your life and lend it animation. You may complicate and enrich it as you please. It lies in your hands. Just as madness, in a higher sense, is the beginning of all wisdom, so is schizomania the beginning of all art and all fantasy.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
Looking back now, I would say that this was one of the first valuable lessons I learned, and one that would be useful in my future line of work. Sometimes things go wrong. It is inevitable. But it is a mistake to waste time and energy worrying about events that you cannot influence. Once they have happened, let them go.
Anthony Horowitz (Russian Roulette (Alex Rider, #10))
It's a wisdom that comes from seeing how things work. Things you want to happen always take a long time.' She pointed one little finger at the meech dragon and shook it in his face. 'You may read books and know bunches, but I have lived life longer than you.
Donita K. Paul (DragonQuest (DragonKeeper Chronicles, #2))
When you say to yourself, 'I am going to have a pleasant visit or a pleasant journey,' you are literally sending elements and forces ahead of your body that will arrange things to make your visit or journey pleasant....Our thoughts, or in other words, our state of mind, is ever at work 'fixing up' things good or bad in advance.
Prentice Mulford (Thoughts Are Things & the Real and the Unreal: The Collected New Thought Wisdom of Prentice Mulford and Charles Fillmore)
Seven Ways To Get Ahead in Business: 1. Be forward thinking 2. Be inventive, and daring 3. Do the right thing 4. Be honest and straight forward 5. Be willing to change, to learn, to grow 6. Work hard and be yourself 7. Lead by example
Germany Kent
Work on your strengths, not your weaknesses. How many of your New Year’s resolutions have been about fixing a flaw? And how many of those resolutions have you made several years in a row? It’s difficult to change any aspect of your personality by sheer force of will, and if it is a weakness you choose to work on, you probably won’t enjoy the process. If you don’t find pleasure or reinforcement along the way, then—unless you have the willpower of Ben Franklin—you’ll soon give up. But you don’t really have to be good at everything. Life offers so many chances to use one tool instead of another, and often you can use a strength to get around a weakness.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
So now you know where to shop. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Stop wasting your money on conspicuous consumption. As a first step, work less, earn less, accumulate less, and “consume” more family time, vacations, and other enjoyable activities.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
A therapist once said to me, “If you face the choice between feeling guilt and resentment, choose the guilt every time.” It is wisdom I have passed on to many others since. If a refusal saddles you with guilt, while consent leaves resentment in its wake, opt for the guilt. Resentment is soul suicide. Negative thinking allows us to gaze unflinchingly on our own behalf at what does not work. We have seen in study after study that compulsive positive thinkers are more likely to develop disease and less likely to survive. Genuine positive thinking — or, more deeply, positive being — empowers us to know that we have nothing to fear from truth. “Health is not just a matter of thinking happy thoughts,” writes the molecular researcher Candace Pert. “Sometimes the biggest impetus to healing can come from jump-starting the immune system with a burst of long-suppressed anger.” Anger, or the healthy experience of it, is one of the seven A’s of healing. Each of the seven A’s addresses one of the embedded visceral beliefs that predispose to illness and undermine healing.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
Said to Mitch Album in "Tuesday's with Morrie": "The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We're teaching the wrong things and you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it! CREATE YOUR OWN!
Morrie Schwartz (Morrie In His Own Words: Life Wisdom From a Remarkable Man)
You think that it’s not magic that keeps you alive? Just ‘cause you understand the mechanics of how something works, doesn’t make it any less of a miracle. Which is just another word for magic. We’re all kept alive by magic, Sookie. My magic’s just a little different from yours, that’s all.
Charlaine Harris
When we don't understand and don't agree with the way life has gone, we are to bow before God and once again confess that we can't understand His wisdom. In faith, we are to accept His wisdom, His Word, and His workings, trusting in Him and obeying His commands.
Elizabeth George
His expression became serious, and his hand almost slipped from mine. "I've had a long time to think about it." "This can't work!" He looked down, then jerked his head up in frustration as his finger tightened on mine. "I'm not asking you to marry me, Rachel. I just ..." My heart pounded, and he stepped closer, so close the scent of cinnamon and wine enveloped me. "I like walking into a room and seeing your face light up when you see me," he said earnestly, the sun from the open window making his hair glow. "I like arguing with Quen over the wisdom of employing a demon to be my security." My throat caught. This wasn't going to happen, but something in me was withering. I wanted more--and I knew I couldn't have it. He touched my hair, and I twitched as he tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. “I want to wake up beside you, see your curls on my pillow. I want a chance at falling in love.” My breath came fast. That was what I wanted too, and it hurt more than I thought was possible to survive.
Kim Harrison (The Undead Pool (The Hollows, #12))
What you must realize, what you must even come to praise, is the fact that there is no right way that is going to become apparent to you once and for all. The most blinding illumination that strikes and perhaps radically changes your life will be so attenuated and obscured by doubts and dailiness that you may one day come to suspect the truth of that moment at all. The calling that seemed so clear will be lost in echoes of questionings and indecision; the church that seemed to save you will fester with egos, complacencies, banalities; the deepest love of your life will work itself like a thorn in your heart until all you can think of is plucking it out. Wisdom is accepting the truth of this. Courage is persisting with life in spite of it. And faith is finding yourself, in the deepest part of your soul, in the very heart of who you are, moved to praise it.
Christian Wiman (My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer)
Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm)
I think we should stop treating ["God works in mysterious ways"] as any kind of wisdom and recognize it as the transparently defensive propaganda that it is. A positive response might be, "Oh good! I love a mystery. Let's see if we can solve this one, too. Do you have any ideas?
Daniel C. Dennett (Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking)
Only for you, children of doctrine & learning, have we written this work. Examine this book, ponder the meaning we have dispersed in various places & gathered again; what we have concealed in one place we have disclosed in another, that it may be understood by your wisdom.
Cornelius Agrippa (De Occulta Philosophia)
There is, in fact, not much point in writing a novel unless you can show the possibility of moral transformation, or an increase in wisdom, operating in your chief character or characters. Even trashy bestsellers show people changing. When a fictional work fails to show change, when it merely indicates that human character is set, stony, unregenerable, then you are out of field of the novel and into that of the fable or the allegory. - from the introduction of the 1986 Norton edition
Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange)
This principle - that your spouse should be capable of becoming your best friend - is a game changer when you address the question of compatibility in a prospective spouse. If you think of marriage largely in terms of erotic love, then compatibility means sexual chemistry and appeal. If you think of marriage largely as a way to move into the kind of social status in life you desire, then compatibility means being part of the desired social class, and perhaps common tastes and aspirations for lifestyle. The problem with these factors is that they are not durable. Physical attractiveness will wane, no matter how hard you work to delay its departure. And socio-economic status unfortunately can change almost overnight. When people think they have found compatibility based on these things, they often make the painful discovery that they have built their relationship on unstable ground. A woman 'lets herself go' or a man loses his job, and the compatibility foundation falls apart.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
In plain words, you’ve got to make up your mind to study whatever you undertake, and concentrate your mind on it, and really work at it. This isn’t wisdom. Any damned fool in the world knows it’s true, whether it’s a question of raising horses or writing plays. You simply have to face the prospect of starting at the bottom and spending years learning how to do it.
Eugene O'Neill
In Ephesians 5, Paul shows us that even on earth Jesus did not use his power to oppress us but sacrificed everything to bring us into union with him. And this takes us beyond the philosophical to the personal and the practical. If God had the gospel of Jesus's salvation in mind when he established marriage, then marriage only 'works' to the degree that approximates the pattern of God's self-giving love in Christ.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
Reading all the quotes in the world won’t make you or me into Plato, Gandhi Or Einstein, just like watching hundreds games of soccer won’t make you a soccer player or taking a yoga class will make u a yogini, or reading a golf book will make you a golfer. We need to put the Knowledge to practice and that is the challenge. Put it to work for you, make the effort to Follow Through
Pablo
Don't shrink from nature's brutal perfection. Take joy in it. Embrace it. Understand it and revel in it. Respect its strength, its wisdom, its brutality and its all-encompassing power. The highest law has always been, and shall be, nature; and the greatest wisdom forever lives in and through nature's eternal Fascism.
Boyd Rice (Standing In Two Circles: The Collected Works Of Boyd Rice)
Consider the capacity of the human body for pleasure. Sometimes, it is pleasant to eat, to drink, to see, to touch, to smell, to hear, to make love. The mouth. The eyes. The fingertips, The nose. The ears. The genitals. Our voluptific faculties (if you will forgive me the coinage) are not exclusively concentrated here. The whole body is susceptible to pleasure, but in places there are wells from which it may be drawn up in greater quantity. But not inexhaustibly. How long is it possible to know pleasure? Rich Romans ate to satiety, and then purged their overburdened bellies and ate again. But they could not eat for ever. A rose is sweet, but the nose becomes habituated to its scent. And what of the most intense pleasures, the personality-annihilating ecstasies of sex? I am no longer a young man; even if I chose to discard my celibacy I would surely have lost my stamina, re-erecting in half-hours where once it was minutes. And yet if youth were restored to me fully, and I engaged again in what was once my greatest delight – to be fellated at stool by nymphet with mouth still blood-heavy from the necessary precautions – what then? What if my supply of anodontic premenstruals were never-ending, what then? Surely, in time, I should sicken of it. “Even if I were a woman, and could string orgasm on orgasm like beads on a necklace, in time I should sicken of it. Do you think Messalina, in that competition of hers with a courtesan, knew pleasure as much on the first occasion as the last? Impossible. “Yet consider. “Consider pain. “Give me a cubic centimeter of your flesh and I could give you pain that would swallow you as the ocean swallows a grain of salt. And you would always be ripe for it, from before the time of your birth to the moment of your death, we are always in season for the embrace of pain. To experience pain requires no intelligence, no maturity, no wisdom, no slow working of the hormones in the moist midnight of our innards. We are always ripe for it. All life is ripe for it. Always.
Jesus I. Aldapuerta (The Eyes: Emetic Fables from the Andalusian de Sade)
Recognize things when they are at their best, in their season, and know how to enjoy them then. The works of nature all amount to a peak of perfection; up to it they wax, beyond it they wane. Only in matters of art have a few gone to the point where they might not be improved. It is the mark of cultivated taste to enjoy everything at its best. But all may not do this, and not all who may, know how. Even the fruits of the spirit have their moment of ripeness, and it is well to recognize this, in order to value it properly and attend to it.
Baltasar Gracián (The Art of Worldly Wisdom)
Wisdom isn’t about finding a quick answer key to life—like turning to the index, finding your problem, and turning to the right page so it all works out. Wisdom is about learning how to work through the unpredictable, uncontrollable messiness of life so you can figure things out on your own in real time. Both
Peter Enns (The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It)
There's that "margin of error" that you allow to exist in your mind, you want to give everything the benefit of the doubt, you want to look at another person and say "maybe we could be friends" and that's all well at first, but then you have to reach that point in your life, wherein you don't have time to live on the margins of error, and you have to say, "so what if there is a margin of error that exists? I don't think that this person and I could walk down the same path together, because she's like that, and I'm like this; I must relieve myself of fearing the error, the 'what could have been'." You know, sometimes we can be so afraid of the "what could have been" that we overlook the right here and now! And end up forsaking who we are and what makes us happy, and what we want and don't want! There is an error that takes place; when living too much for the "what could have been." There comes a time when you must give YOURSELF the benefit of the doubt! Know thyself. Color-in those margins of error with your favorite color; make them your own, make them work for you, let them be in your favor!
C. JoyBell C.
I choose to choose few words each day. Yes! few words that count. Few words that can make impact. Few words that talk much. Few words that can make people ponder to wonder. Few words that are indelible. Few words that can leave distinctive footprints on minds. Though we may fail to mind our words, we shall never fail to mind the works of our words.
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
Children of her type contrive the purest philosophies. Ada had worked out her own little system. Hardly a week had elapsed since Van’s arrival when he was found worthy of being initiated in her web of wisdom. An individual’s life consisted of certain classified things: "real things" which were unfrequent and priceless, simply "things" which formed the routine stuff of life; and "ghost things," also called "fogs," such as fever, toothache, dreadful disappointments, and death. Three or more things occurring at the same time formed a "tower," or, if they came in immediate succession, they made a "bridge." "Real towers" and "real bridges" were the joys of life, and when the towers came in a series, one experienced supreme rapture; it almost never happened, though. In some circumstances, in a certain light, a neutral "thing" might look or even actually become "real" or else, conversely, it might coagulate into a fetid "fog." When the joy and the joyless happened to be intermixed, simultaneously or along the ramp of duration, one was confronted with "ruined towers" and "broken bridges.
Vladimir Nabokov (Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle)
Somewhere along the way, there develops within the soul a yearning that can no longer be ignored, a craving for the great love affair. We feel it drawing ever closer. It is the greatest of them all. It cannot fail. It is all consuming. It is incomparable. It is the love affair with our own true nature and the source from which it comes. The desire is in all of us but, more often than not, it is ignored for other interests. We wrestle with each interest, trying to make it work, growing with each adventure until the light has grown bright enough for us to reach for it.
Donna Goddard (Love's Longing)
The mind must be given relaxation—it will rise improved and sharper after a good break. Just as rich fields must not be forced—for they will quickly lose their fertility if never given a break—so constant work on the anvil will fracture the force of the mind. But it regains its powers if it is set free and relaxed for a while. Constant work gives rise to a certain kind of dullness and feebleness in the rational soul.” —SENECA, ON TRANQUILITY OF MIND,
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
Well, The Year Is Finally Wrapped up, Looking Back, I Made Mistakes Along Just like The Next Man, As a Matter of Fact, I Have Wronged, Disappointed, Been Inpatient a Little Insecure, Been Out of Control and at Times Hard to Bare With. My Prayer Dear Family and Friend is That You Forgive Me and Continue to Bare With Me as I Look Upon Myself and Work on Myself on The Next Coming Years, I Haven't Been The Best of Friends But Sure I Will As I Continue To Seek God's Enlightenment and Wisdom. I Love You All and Bless You In God's Name.
William Nsubuga
A woman's body is a sacred temple. A work of art, and a life-giving vessel. And once she becomes a mother, her body serves as a medicine cabinet for her infant. From her milk she can nourish and heal her own child from a variety of ailments. And though women come in a wide assortment as vast as the many different types of flowers and birds, she is to reflect divinity in her essence, care and wisdom. God created a woman's heart to be a river of love, not to become a killing machine.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Throughout my life, until this very moment, whatever virtue I have accomplished, including any benefit that may come from this book, I dedicate to the welfare of all beings. May the roots of suffering diminish. May warfare, violence, neglect, indifference, and addiction also decrease. May the wisdom and compassion of all beings increase, now and in the future. May we clearly see all the barriers we erect between ourselves and others to be as insubstantial as our dreams. May we appreciate the great perfection of all phenomena. May we continue to open our hearts and minds, in order to work ceaselessly for the benefit of all beings. May we go to the places that scare us. May we lead the life of a warrior.
Pema Chödrön (The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times)
This is man: a writer of books, a putter-down of words, a painter of pictures, a maker of ten thousand philosophies. He grows passionate over ideas, he hurls scorn and mockery at another's work, he finds the one way, the true way, for himself, and calls all others false--yet in the billion books upon the shelves there is not one that can tell him how to draw a single fleeting breath in peace and comfort. He makes histories of the universe, he directs the destiny of the nations, but he does not know his own history, and he cannot direct his own destiny with dignity or wisdom for ten consecutive minutes.
Thomas Wolfe (You Can't Go Home Again)
You can't imagine fame. You can only ever see it from an outsider and comment on it with the rueful wisdom of a non participant. When it happens to you, it doesn't matter what age or how, it is a very steep learning curve. The imprtanot thing to realize in all of it is that life is short, to protect the ones you love, and not expose yourself to too much abuse or narcissistic reflection gazing and move on. If fame affords me the type of ability to do the kind of work I'm being offered, who am I to complain about the downsides. It's all relative. And this are obviously very high class problems. The way privacy becomes an every shrinking island is inevitable but also manageable and it doesn't necessary have to get that way...
Benedict Cumberbatch
The soul, in its loneliness, hopes only for "salvation." And yet what is the burden of the Bible if not a sense of the mutuality of influence, rising out of an essential unity, among soul and body and community and world? These are all the works of God, and it is therefore the work of virtue to make or restore harmony among them. The world is certainly thought of as a place of spiritual trial, but it is also the confluence of soul and body, word and flesh, where thoughts must become deeds, where goodness must be enacted. This is the great meeting place, the narrow passage where spirit and flesh, word and world, pass into each other. The Bible's aim, as I read it, is not the freeing of the spirit from the world. It is the handbook of their interaction. It says that they cannot be divided; that their mutuality, their unity, is inescapable; that they are not reconciled in division, but in harmony. What else can be meant by the resurrection of the body? The body should be "filled with light," perfected in understanding. And so everywhere there is the sense of consequence, fear and desire, grief and joy. What is desirable is repeatedly defined in the tensions of the sense of consequence.
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
When your efforts run in the face of conventional wisdom and accepted mastery, persistence can look like madness. If you succeed in the end, this extreme originality reformulates into a new level of mastery, sometimes even genius; if you fail in the end, you remain a madman in the eyes of others, and maybe even yourself. When you are in the midst of the journey…there’s really no way of knowing which one you are.” (p.129)
Hilary Austen (Artistry Unleashed: A Guide to Pursuing Great Performance in Work and Life)
Sometimes, there are those people whose voices are so strong, you just do what they say. You hold their glasses or keep their purses or buy them dinner because they ask you to do it out of the blue. You don’t ponder if you want to do it or not. Because they don’t give you the time to think. Then, you end up doing it, for you’re too much in the present limbo. It’s a basic manipulation that works on indecisive people. Kusha recognizes it, as Meera has warned her about all sorts of traits to identify any High-Grade con-artist.
Misba (The High Auction (Wisdom Revolution, #1))
Normally, when you challenge the conventional wisdom—that the current economic and political system is the only possible one—the first reaction you are likely to get is a demand for a detailed architectural blueprint of how an alternative system would work, down to the nature of its financial instruments, energy supplies, and policies of sewer maintenance. Next, you are likely to be asked for a detailed program of how this system will be brought into existence. Historically, this is ridiculous. When has social change ever happened according to someone’s blueprint? It’s not as if a small circle of visionaries in Renaissance Florence conceived of something they called “capitalism,” figured out the details of how the stock exchange and factories would someday work, and then put in place a program to bring their visions into reality. In fact, the idea is so absurd we might well ask ourselves how it ever occurred to us to imagine this is how change happens to begin.
David Graeber
He who knows he is a fool is not the biggest fool; he who knows he is confused is not in the worst confusion. The man in the worst confusion will end his life without ever getting straightened out; the biggest fool will end his life without ever seeing the light. If three men are traveling along and one is confused, they will still get where they are going - because confusion is in the minority. But if two of them are confused, then they can walk until they are exhausted and never get anywhere - because confusion is in the majority.
Zhuangzi (The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu)
So you make this deal with the gods. You do these dances and they'll send rain and good crops and the whole works? And nothing bad will ever happen. Right.' Prayer had always struck me as more or less a glorified attempt at a business transaction. A rain dance even more so. I thought I might finally have offended Loyd past the point of no return, like stealing the lobster from frozen foods that time, to get myself fired. But Loyd was just thinking. After a minute he said, 'No, it's not like that. It's not making a deal, bad things can still happen, but you want to try not to cause them to happen. It has to do with keeping things in balance.' In balance.' Really, it's like the spirits have made a deal with us.' And what is the deal?' I asked. We're on our own. The spirits have been good enough to let us live here and use the utilities, and we're saying: We know how nice you're being. We appreciate the rain, we appreciate the sun, we appreciate the deer we took. Sorry if we messed up anything. You've gone to a lot of trouble, and we'll try to be good guests.' Like a note you'd send somebody after you stayed in their house?' Exactly like that. 'Thanks for letting me sleep on your couch. I took some beer out of the refrigerator, and I broke a coffee cup. Sorry, I hope it wasn't your favorite one.
Barbara Kingsolver
The Bible says you should live “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7). God doesn’t want you to neglect your cares; He wants to help you take care of them. He wants to give you wisdom about how to handle them—whether it is a relationship, a project at work, volunteering at your kids’ school, or your passion to see a world issue resolved justly. He wants to give you strength to handle it. He has the wisdom you need to make it right. He wants to see you succeed so that He can be glorified in you.
Cindy Trimm (The Prayer Warrior's Way: Strategies from Heaven for Intimate Communication with God)
Even a moment's reflection will help you see that the problem of using your time well is not a problem of the mind but of the heart. It will only yield to a change in the very way we feel about time. The value of time must change for us. And then the way we think about it will change, naturally and wisely. That change in feeling and in thinking is combined in the words of a prophet of God in this dispensation. It was Brigham Young, and the year was 1877, and he was speaking at April general conference. He wasn't talking about time or schedules or frustrations with too many demands upon us. Rather, he was trying to teach the members of the Church how to unite themselves in what was called the united order. The Saints were grappling with the question of how property should be distributed if they were to live the celestial law. In his usual direct style, he taught the people that they were having trouble finding solutions because they misunderstood the problem. Particularly, he told them they didn't understand either property or the distribution of wealth. Here is what he said: With regard to our property, as I have told you many times, the property which we inherit from our Heavenly Father is our time, and the power to choose in the disposition of the same. This is the real capital that is bequeathed unto us by our Heavenly Father; all the rest is what he may be pleased to add unto us. To direct, to counsel and to advise in the disposition of our time, pertains to our calling as God's servants, according to the wisdom which he has given and will continue to give unto us as we seek it. [JD 18:354] Time is the property we inherit from God, along with the power to choose what we will do with it. President Young calls the gift of life, which is time and the power to dispose of it, so great an inheritance that we should feel it is our capital. The early Yankee families in America taught their children and grandchildren some rules about an inheritance. They were always to invest the capital they inherited and live only on part of the earnings. One rule was "Never spend your capital." And those families had confidence the rule would be followed because of an attitude of responsibility toward those who would follow in later generations. It didn't always work, but the hope was that inherited wealth would be felt a trust so important that no descendent would put pleasure ahead of obligation to those who would follow. Now, I can see and hear Brigham Young, who was as flinty a New Englander as the Adams or the Cabots ever hoped to be, as if he were leaning over this pulpit tonight. He would say something like this, with a directness and power I wish I could approach: "Your inheritance is time. It is capital far more precious than any lands or stocks or houses you will ever get. Spend it foolishly, and you will bankrupt yourself and cheapen the inheritance of those that follow you. Invest it wisely, and you will bless generations to come. “A Child of Promise”, BYU Speeches, 4 May 1986
Henry B. Eyring
Within this Christian vision for marriage, here's what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, "I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, 'I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!'" Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel. Each spouse then should give him- or herself to be a vehicle for that work and envision the day that you will stand together before God, seeing each other presented in spotless beauty and glory.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
People will be jealous of you for anything. Do bad and they will be jealous of you for being bad, do good and they will be jealous of you for being good, pull yourself up out of the ashes and they will be jealous of your strength, work hard and succeed and they will be jealous of your perseverance, buy new shoes and people will want to steal them, grow your hair long and people with want to cut it, laugh out loud and people will be jealous of your reasons for laughing. The truth is that envy is not because of you; but envy is in the eye of the beholder!
C. JoyBell C.
I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me. Insisting on this story was a form of mind control, but for the most part, it worked. Every time I heard a sound of unknown origin or felt something horrible cohering in my imagination, I pushed it away. I simply did not let myself become afraid. Fear begets fear. Power begets Power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn't long before I actually wasn't afraid.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
Harness the imagination: Sometimes curbing her, sometimes giving her rein, for she is the whole of happiness. She sets to rights even the understanding. She sinks to tyranny, not satisfied with mere faith, but demanding works. Thus she becomes the mistress of life itself. She does so with pleasure or with pain, according to the nonsense presented. She makes people contented or discontented with themselves. By dangling before some nothing but the specter of their eternal suffering, she becomes the scourge of these fools. To others she shows nothing but fortune and romance, while merrily laughing. Of all this she is capable if not held in check by the wisest of wills.
Baltasar Gracián (The Art of Worldly Wisdom)
Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn." Benjamin Franklin never said those words, he was falsely attributed on a respected quotation website and it spread from there. The quote comes from the Xunzi. Xun Kuang was a Chinese Confucian philosopher that lived from 312-230 BC. His works were collected into a set of 32 books called the Xunzi, by Liu Xiang in about 818 AD. There are woodblock copies of these books that are almost 1100 years old. Book 8 is titled Ruxiao ("The Teachings of the Ru"). The quotation in question comes from Chapter 11 of that book. In Chinese the quote is: 不闻不若闻之, 闻之不若见之, 见之不若知之, 知之不若行之 It is derived from this paragraph: Not having heard something is not as good as having heard it; having heard it is not as good as having seen it; having seen it is not as good as knowing it; knowing it is not as good as putting it into practice. (From the John Knoblock translation, which is viewable in Google Books) The first English translation of the Xunzi was done by H.H. Dubs, in 1928, one-hundred and thirty-eight years after Benjamin Franklin died.
Xun Kuang
The Cowboy Way Being a Cowboy is doing the right thing; common wisdom born of simple virtues and strong ideals. Above all, it is a strict adherence to honesty even when it is not in our best interests. It is having an inherent sense of justice in a world where the cards are often stacked against us. We try to hold enough common sense to recognize the value of a lost cause and the cost of lost values. Generally speaking, we are quietly reserved in all things except freedom, fresh air and Saturday night. We have a keen eye for a good horse, a good gun,and a good Cowgirl. Constant to friends, we are more so when friends need us, less so when they don't. Familiar with hard work we also know hard knocks and hard roads. Often given to tears when lesser individuals would display indifference; we are as well given to joy in a few places others would only find disdain. We enjoy plain living, not because we relish doing without, but because we have discovered the treasures within. And, finally, we have that elusive emotion called courage which is, at worst, a badly directed sense of conceit and, at best, it is the stuff of which dreams are made. . . .
Charly Gullett
I gladly come back to the theme of the absurdity of our education: its end has not been to make us good and wise, but learned. And it has succeeded. It has not taught us to seek virtue and to embrace wisdom: it has impressed upon us their derivation and their etymology … We readily inquire, ‘Does he know Greek or Latin?’ ‘Can he write poetry and prose?’ But what matters most is what we put last: ‘Has he become better and wiser?’ We ought to find out not who understands most but who understands best. We work merely to fill the memory, leaving the understanding and the sense of right and wrong empty.
Alain de Botton (The Consolations of Philosophy)
If there is anything in us, it is not our own; it is a gift of God. But if it is a gift of God, then it is entirely a debt one owes to love, that is, to the law of Christ. And if it is a debt owed to love, then I must serve others with it, not myself. Thus my learning is not my own; it belongs to the unlearned and is the debt I owe them...My wisdom belongs to the foolish, my power to the oppressed. Thus my wealth belongs to the poor, my righteousness to the sinners... It is with all these qualities that we must stand before God and intervene on behalf of those who do not have them, as though clothed with someone else's garment...But even before men we must, with the same love, render them service against their detractors and those who are violent toward them; for this is what Christ did for us.
Martin Luther (Luther's Works Lectures on Galatians/Chapters 5-6 Chapters 1-6)
One of the greatest glories of growing older is the willingness to ask why and, getting no good answer, deciding to follow my own inclinations and desires. Asking why is the way to wisdom. Why are we supposed to want possessions we don't need and work that seems beside the point and tight shoes and a fake tan? Why are we supposed to think new is better than old, youth and vigor better than long life and experience? Why are we supposed to turn our backs on those who have preceded us and to snipe at those who come after? When we were small children we asked 'Why?' constantly. Asking the question now is more a matter of testing the limits of what sometimes seems a narrow world. One of the useful things about age is realizing conventional wisdom is often simply inertia with a candy coating conformity.
Anna Quindlen (Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake)
Intimacy between people requires closeness as well as distance. It is like dancing. Sometimes we are very close, touching each other or holding each other; sometimes we move away from each other and let the space between us become an area where we can freely move. To keep the right balance between closeness and distance requires hard work, especially since the needs of the partners may be quite different at a given moment. One might desire closeness while the other wants distance. One might want to be held while the other looks for independence. A perfect balance seldom occurs, but the honest and open search for that balance can give birth to a beautiful dance, worthy to behold.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith)
The future of the world no longer disturbs me; I do not try still to calculate, with anguish, how long or how short a time the Roman peace will endure; I leave that to the Gods. Not that I have acquired more confidence in their justice, which is not our justice, or more faith in human wisdom; the contrary is true. Life is atrocious, we know. But precisely because I expect little of the human condition, man's periods of felicity, his partial progress, his efforts to begin over again and to continue, all seem to me like so many prodigies which nearly compensate for monstrous mass of ills and defeats, of indifference and error. Catastrophe and ruin will come; disorder will triumph, but order will too, from time to time. Peace will again establish itself between two periods and there regain the meaning which we have tried to give them. Not all our books will perish, nor our statues, if broken, lie unrepaired; other domes and pediments will rise from our domes and pediments; some few men will think and work and feel as we have done, and I venture to count upon such continuators, placed irregularly throughout the centuries, and upon this kind of intermittent immortality.
Marguerite Yourcenar
If there is any intelligence guiding this universe, philosophy wishes to know and understand it and reverently work with it; if there is none, philosophy wishes to know that also, and face it without fear. If the stars are but transient coagulations of haphazard nebulae, if life is a colloidal accident, impersonally permanent and individually fleeting, if man is only a compound of chemicals, destined to disintegrate and utterly disappear, if the creative ecstasy of art, and the gentle wisdom of the sage, and the willing martyrdom of saints are but bright incidents in the protoplasmic pullulation of the earth, and death is the answer to every problem and the destiny of every soul--then philosophy will face that too, and try to find within that narrowed circle some significance and nobility for man.
Will Durant (The Pleasures of Philosophy)
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
No, dear, but speaking of Father reminded me how much I miss him, how much I owe him, and how faithfully I should watch and work to keep his little daughters safe and good for him. Yet you told him to go, Mother, and didn’t cry when he went, and never complain now, or seem as if you needed any help, said Jo, wondering. I gave my best to the country I love, and kept my tears till he was gone. Why should I complain, when we both have merely done our duty and will surely be the happier for it in the end? If I don’t seem to need help, it is because I have a better friend, even than Father, to comfort and sustain me. My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning and may be many, but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one. The more you love and trust Him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but my become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength. Believe this heartily, and go to God with all your little cares, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your mother.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
The ceremonies that persist—birthdays, weddings, funerals— focus only on ourselves, marking rites of personal transition. […] We know how to carry out this rite for each other and we do it well. But imagine standing by the river, flooded with those same feelings as the Salmon march into the auditorium of their estuary. Rise in their honor, thank them for all the ways they have enriched our lives, sing to honor their hard work and accomplishments against all odds, tell them they are our hope for the future, encourage them to go off into the world to grow, and pray that they will come home. Then the feasting begins. Can we extend our bonds of celebration and support from our own species to the others who need us? Many indigenous traditions still recognize the place of ceremony and often focus their celebrations on other species and events in the cycle of the seasons. In a colonist society the ceremonies that endure are not about land; they’re about family and culture, values that are transportable from the old country. Ceremonies for the land no doubt existed there, but it seems they did not survive emigration in any substantial way. I think there is wisdom in regenerating them here, as a means to form bonds with this land.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass)
a woman who contributes to the life of mankind by the occupation of motherhood is taking as high a place in the division of human labor as anyone else could take. If she is interested in the lives of her children and is paving the way for them to become fellow men, if she is spreading their interests and training them to cooperate, her work is so valuable that it can never be rightly rewarded. In our own culture the work of a mother is undervalued and often regarded as a not very attractive or estimable occupation. It is paid only indirectly and a woman who makes it her main occupation is generally placed in a position of economic dependence. The success of the family, however, rests equally upon the work of the mother and the work of the father. Whether the mother keeps house or works independently, her work as a mother does not play a lower role than the work of her husband.
Alfred Adler (WHAT LIFE COULD MEAN TO YOU (Timeless Wisdom Collection Book 196))
Lies propagate, that's what I'm saying. You've got to tell more lies to cover them up, lie about every fact that's connected to the first lie. And if you kept on lying, and you kept on trying to cover it up, sooner or later you'd even have to start lying about the general laws of thought. Like, someone is selling you some kind of alternative medicine that doesn't work, and any double-blind experimental study will confirm that it doesn't work. So if someone wants to go on defending the lie, they've got to get you to disbelieve in the experimental method. Like, the experimental method is just for merely scientific kinds of medicine, not amazing alternative medicine like theirs. Or a good and virtuous person should believe as strongly as they can, no matter what the evidence says. Or truth doesn't exist and there's no such thing as objective reality. A lot of common wisdom like that isn't just mistaken, it's anti-epistemology, it's systematically wrong. Every rule of rationality that tells you how to find the truth, there's someone out there who needs you to believe the opposite. If you once tell a lie, the truth is ever after your enemy; and there's a lot of people out there telling lies.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
The beauty in correcting our own mistakes; rather than attempting to correct the mistakes in others, is that working upon our own flaws improves us. But working upon the flaws of others not only leaves us unimproved; it actually leaves us being less than we were prior to making those assessments. I believe that the moral of this natural occurrence, is that we are all born to find and fix our own shortcomings; rather than find and fix the shortcomings in others. And if all people were to do this, then we would be a race of creatures looking inward, in order to bring out something better. Now think of what a beautiful race that would be.
C. JoyBell C.
There are two Paths to the Innermost: the Way of the Mystic, which is the way of devotion and meditation, a solitary and subjective path; and the way of the occultist, which is the way of the intellect, of concentration, and of trained will; upon this path the co-operation of fellow workers is required, firstly for the exchange of knowledge, and secondly because ritual magic plays an important part in this work, and for this the assistance of several is needed in most of the greater operations. The mystic derives his knowledge through the direct communion of his higher self with the Higher Powers; to him the wisdom of the occultist is foolishness, for his mind does not work in that way; but, on the other hand, to a more intellectual and extrovert type, the method of the mystic is impossible until long training has enabled him to transcend the planes of form. We must therefore recognize these two distinct types among those who seek the Way of Initiation, and remember that there is a path for each.
Dion Fortune (Esoteric Orders and Their Work and The Training and Work of the Initiate)
it is very telling what we don’t hear in eulogies. We almost never hear things like: “The crowning achievement of his life was when he made senior vice president.” Or: “He increased market share for his company multiple times during his tenure.” Or: “She never stopped working. She ate lunch at her desk. Every day.” Or: “He never made it to his kid’s Little League games because he always had to go over those figures one more time.” Or: “While she didn’t have any real friends, she had six hundred Facebook friends, and she dealt with every email in her in-box every night.” Or: “His PowerPoint slides were always meticulously prepared.” Our eulogies are always about the other stuff: what we gave, how we connected, how much we meant to our family and friends, small kindnesses, lifelong passions, and the things that made us laugh.
Arianna Huffington (Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder)
For this end, we must be knit together in this work as one man, we must entertain each other in brotherly affection, we must be willing to abridge our selves of our superfluities for the supply of others' necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other, make others' conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor, and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, our community as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, the Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us, as His own people and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness, and truth then formerly we have been acquainted with.
John Winthrop
A particularly significant example of brain against body, or measures against matter, is urban man’s total slavery to clocks. A clock is a convenient device for arranging to meet a friend, or for helping people to do things together, although things of this kind happened long before they were invented. Clocks should not be smashed; they should simply be kept in their place. And they are very much out of place when we try to adapt our biological rhythms of eating, sleeping, evacuation, working, and relaxing to their uniform circular rotation. Our slavery to these mechanical drill masters has gone so far and our whole culture is so involved with it that reform is a forlorn hope; without them civilization would collapse entirely. A less brainy culture would learn to synchronize its body rhythms rather than its clocks.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity)
Truth changes with the season of our emotions. It is the shadow that moves with the phases of our inner sun. When the nights falls, only our perception can guess where it hides in the dark. Within every solar system of the soul lies a plan of what truth is--- the design God has created, in our own unique story. This is as varying as the constellations, and as turning as the tide. It is not one truth we live to, but many. If we ever hope to determine if there is such a thing as truth, apart from cultural and personal preferences, we must acknowledge that we are then aiming to discover something greater than ourselves, something that transcends culture and individual inclinations. Some say that we must look beyond ourselves and outside of ourselves. However, we don’t need to look farther than what is already in each other. If there was any great plan from a higher power it is a simplistic, repetitious theme found in all religions; the basic core importance to unity comes from shared theological and humanistic virtues. Beyond the synagogue, mosques, temples, churches, missionary work, church positions and religious rituals comes a simple “message of truth” found in all of us, that binds theology---holistic virtues combined with purpose is the foundation of spiritual evolution. The diversity among us all is not divided truth, but the opportunity for unity through these shared values. Truth is the framework and roadmap of positive virtues. It unifies diversity when we choose to see it and use it. It is simple message often lost among the rituals, cultural traditions and socializing that goes on behind the chapel doors of any religion or spiritual theology. As we fight among ourselves about what religion, culture or race is right, we often lose site of the simple message any great orator has whispered through time----a simplistic story explaining the importance of virtues, which magically reemphasizes the importance of loving one another through service.
Shannon L. Alder
Doing nothing is the hardest torture that a person can put himself through. For he is always brought face to face with his own self, which demands that he gives account for the sun which he uselessly squanders, for the springs of energy in his organism, the gold of wisdom in the mines of his brains. The masses work, slog, forget. They drink the alcohol of their sweat. Work is a flight from responsibility and God. Since the mystic beliefs have been banned from Europe, pillars of glory have been erected to rationality in order to put something in place of the cross: the French Revolution named its goddess reason, the Russians named their Moloch work. But the machine called Europe is running idle: it fills stomachs with fake bread, builds artificial houses with iron paper, the products are bad, the pay meager, and at the end of the six holy work days is the unholy Sunday which one sleeps through out of fear of the great boredom which is infecting Europe. Sunday, the day of idleness, is nowadays a punishment for Christianity, the cities collapse into soulless ruins, nature is just a backdrop for dusty sports. Doing nothing out of principle, my dear, is nowadays the most violent form of revolt.
Iwan Goll
Not only is it a wholly remarkable book, it is also a highly successful one – more popular than the Celestial Home Care Omnibus, better selling than Fifty-three More Things to do in Zero Gravity, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical blockbusters Where God Went Wrong, Some More of God's Greatest Mistakes and Who is this God Person Anyway? In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch-Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
The old adage that people only want what they can’t have or what they can’t tame— is totally primitive. A being of higher origins will know instinctively that life on earth is a series of chances, moments and concepts. That’s really all that you have. So when you find one of these things and it makes you burn, or it makes you feel peace inside, or it makes you look forwards and backwards and here all at the same time— that’s when you know to hold onto it. And you hold onto it with every fiber of your being. Because it’s in the holding on of these chances and moments and concepts that life is lived. Every other kind of living is only in vitro. I don’t care what psychologists say today about how the human mind works. Because one day they will reach this pinnacle and they will see what I see and they will look upon the old ways as primitive. As long and gone. We do not wish to have what we can’t have. We wish to burn in whatever flame we have stepped into.
C. JoyBell C.
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . . If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them. If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing. (Speech was broadcast by ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965)
Paul Harvey
The story that you wanted to write will never be pen down that way, The chapters of incidences will variate, The entrance and exit of characters will alter, The starting of pages might be different, The ending of pages might be unclear, The attractive introduction, The charming ending, Considering the facts in your mind, Concluding with ideas in your heart, The end product will be something else, The same goes with your life, This person is going to be my lover, friend, helper, and well-wisher, or in case some of you decide an enemy, We’re breathing humans, Our thoughts, our minds, our hearts, and our souls, everything works according to our moods, likes, dislikes, etc., There’s a problem with us, There’s a fault in ourselves, When we think that they’ll be there for us, No, they wouldn’t be, Why should they be? They have a different story to live, It’s not their duty to make your story happening, So be delighted with your tale, And enjoy whatever comes your way.
Hareem Ch (Hankering for Tranquility)
Sometimes, we expect life to work a certain way and when it doesn’t we blame others or see it as a sign, rather than face the pain of the choices we should or shouldn’t have made. Real healing won’t begin until we stop saying, “God prevented this or that.” Often in our attempt to protect ourselves from pain, we leave things to fate and don’t take chances. Or, we don’t work hard enough to keep the blessings we are given. Maybe, we didn't recognize a blessing, until it was too late. Often, it is the lies we tell ourselves that keeps us stuck in a delusion of not being responsible for our lives. We leave it all up to God. The truth is we are not leaves blowing toward our destiny without any control. To believe this is to take away our freedom of choice and that of others. The final stage of grief is acceptance. This can’t be reached through always believing God willed the outcomes in our lives, despite our inaction or actions. To think so is to take the easy escape from our accountability. Sometimes, God has nothing to do with it. Sometimes, we just screwed up and guarded our heart from accepting it, by putting our outcome on God as the reason it turned out the way it did. Faith is a beautiful thing, but without work we can give into a mysticism of destiny that really doesn't teach us lessons or consequences for our actions. Life then becomes a distorted delusion of no accountability with God always to blame for battles we walked away from, won or loss.
Shannon L. Alder
The idea that “it takes money to make money” is the thinking of financially unsophisticated people. It does not mean that they’re not intelligent. They have simply not learned the science of money making money. Money is only an idea. If you want more money, simply change your thinking. Every self-made person started small with an idea, and then turned it into something big. The same applies to investing. It takes only a few dollars to start and grow it into something big. I meet so many people who spend their lives chasing the big deal, or trying to amass a lot of money to get into a big deal, but to me that is foolish. Too often I have seen unsophisticated investors put their large nest egg into one deal and lose most of it rapidly. They may have been good workers, but they were not good investors. Education and wisdom about money are important. Start early. Buy a book. Go to a seminar. Practice. Start small. I turned $5,000 cash into a one-million-dollar asset producing $5,000 a month cash flow in less than six years. But I started learning as a kid. I encourage you to learn, because it’s not that hard. In fact, it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. I think I have made my message clear. It’s what is in your head that determines what is in your hands. Money is only an idea. There is a great book called Think and Grow Rich. The title is not Work Hard and Grow Rich. Learn to have money work hard for you, and your life will be easier and happier. Today, don’t play it safe. Play it smart.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
The New Dimension is peaceful, and all work here just as they do on Earth. It’s a place where learning, knowledge and wisdom are essential to that work. It is not corrupt like the Earth Plane, and there they are free from all of the corruption that exists on Earth today. We created this New Dimension for growing and learning, as we did Earth. Minds here are advanced, as the knowledge that was acquired on Earth is now attuned to the minds of New Dimension souls. It is a slow process for all souls’ minds to learn and absorb knowledge and wisdom. Love is the answer for all kinds of souls to advance in the Universe. Through love, knowledge and wisdom are well earned. Critical thinking, the Earth Plane has gotten off track, forgetting or ignoring this most important key to progress. We all here in the Universe is working so hard with Earth souls to remind them that their purpose on Earth is to advance. First, they must love themselves if they are going to love all of those around them, if they are going to love other souls, if they are going to help less fortunate souls with love and kindness. All of this is part of Earth lessons they must learn. Once this is understood, we will attain peace of soul and mind… Progress is all that matters in the Universe!
Solon
A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look at thousands of working people displaced from their jobs with reduced incomes as a result of automation while the profits of the employers remain intact, and say: “This is not just.” It will look across the oceans and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing to prevent us from paying adequate wages to schoolteachers, social workers and other servants of the public to insure that we have the best available personnel in these positions which are charged with the responsibility of guiding our future generations. There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid or day laborer. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum—and livable—income for every American family. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from remolding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (King Legacy))
Wisdom is really the key to wealth. With great wisdom, comes great wealth and success. Rather than pursuing wealth, pursue wisdom. The aggressive pursuit of wealth can lead to disappointment. Wisdom is defined as the quality of having experience, and being able to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting. Wisdom is basically the practical application of knowledge. Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs. Become completely focused on one subject and study the subject for a long period of time. Don't skip around from one subject to the next. The problem is generally not money. Jesus taught that the problem was attachment to possessions and dependence on money rather than dependence on God. Those who love people, acquire wealth so they can give generously. After all, money feeds, shelters, and clothes people. They key is to work extremely hard for a short period of time (1-5 years), create abundant wealth, and then make money work hard for you through wise investments that yield a passive income for life. Don't let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream, and he thinks you're crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you're lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you're greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn't understand. Failure is success if we learn from it. Continuing failure eventually leads to success. Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. Whenever you pursue a goal, it should be with complete focus. This means no interruptions. Only when one loves his career and is skilled at it can he truly succeed. Never rush into an investment without prior research and deliberation. With preferred shares, investors are guaranteed a dividend forever, while common stocks have variable dividends. Some regions with very low or no income taxes include the following: Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, Delaware, South Dakota, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Panama, San Marino, Seychelles, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Curaçao, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Monaco, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bermuda, Kuwait, Oman, Andorra, Cayman Islands, Belize, Vanuatu, and Campione d'Italia. There is only one God who is infinite and supreme above all things. Do not replace that infinite one with finite idols. As frustrated as you may feel due to your life circumstances, do not vent it by cursing God or unnecessarily uttering his name. Greed leads to poverty. Greed inclines people to act impulsively in hopes of gaining more. The benefit of giving to the poor is so great that a beggar is actually doing the giver a favor by allowing the person to give. The more I give away, the more that comes back. Earn as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Invest as much as you can. Give as much as you can.
H.W. Charles (The Money Code: Become a Millionaire With the Ancient Jewish Code)
[The wives of powerful noblemen] must be highly knowledgeable about government, and wise – in fact, far wiser than most other such women in power. The knowledge of a baroness must be so comprehensive that she can understand everything. Of her a philosopher might have said: "No one is wise who does not know some part of everything." Moreover, she must have the courage of a man. This means that she should not be brought up overmuch among women nor should she be indulged in extensive and feminine pampering. Why do I say that? If barons wish to be honoured as they deserve, they spend very little time in their manors and on their own lands. Going to war, attending their prince's court, and traveling are the three primary duties of such a lord. So the lady, his companion, must represent him at home during his absences. Although her husband is served by bailiffs, provosts, rent collectors, and land governors, she must govern them all. To do this according to her right she must conduct herself with such wisdom that she will be both feared and loved. As we have said before, the best possible fear comes from love. When wronged, her men must be able to turn to her for refuge. She must be so skilled and flexible that in each case she can respond suitably. Therefore, she must be knowledgeable in the mores of her locality and instructed in its usages, rights, and customs. She must be a good speaker, proud when pride is needed; circumspect with the scornful, surly, or rebellious; and charitably gentle and humble toward her good, obedient subjects. With the counsellors of her lord and with the advice of elder wise men, she ought to work directly with her people. No one should ever be able to say of her that she acts merely to have her own way. Again, she should have a man's heart. She must know the laws of arms and all things pertaining to warfare, ever prepared to command her men if there is need of it. She has to know both assault and defence tactics to insure that her fortresses are well defended, if she has any expectation of attack or believes she must initiate military action. Testing her men, she will discover their qualities of courage and determination before overly trusting them. She must know the number and strength of her men to gauge accurately her resources, so that she never will have to trust vain or feeble promises. Calculating what force she is capable of providing before her lord arrives with reinforcements, she also must know the financial resources she could call upon to sustain military action. She should avoid oppressing her men, since this is the surest way to incur their hatred. She can best cultivate their loyalty by speaking boldly and consistently to them, according to her council, not giving one reason today and another tomorrow. Speaking words of good courage to her men-at-arms as well as to her other retainers, she will urge them to loyalty and their best efforts.
Christine de Pizan (The Treasure of the City of Ladies)
Well, Pip,’ said Joe, ‘be it so or be it son’t, you must be a scholar afore you can be a oncommon one, I should hope! The king upon his throne, with his crown upon his ed, can’t sit and write his acts of Parliament in print, without having begun, when he were a unpromoted Prince, with the alphabet – Ah!’ added Joe, with a shake of the head that was full of meaning. ‘and begun at A too, and worked his way to Z. And I know what that is to do, though I can’t say I’ve exactly done it.’ There was some hope in this piece of wisdom, and it rather encouraged me. ‘Whether common ones as to callings and earnings,’ pursued Joe reflectively, ‘mightn’t be the better of continuing for to keep company with common ones, instead of going out to play with oncommon ones – which reminds me to hope there were a flag, perhaps?’ ‘No, Joe.’ ‘(I’m sorry there weren’t a flag, Pip.) Whether that might be or mightn’t be, is a thing as can’t be looked into now, without putting your sister on the Rampage; and that’s a thing not to be thought of, as being done intentional. Lookee here, Pip, at what is said to you by a true friend. Which this to you the true friend say. If you can’t get to be oncommon through going straight, you’ll never get to do it through going crooked. So don’t tell no more on ‘em, Pip, and live well and die happy.’ Chapter 9
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
The world, my friend Govinda, is not imperfect, or on a slow path towards perfection: no, it is perfect in every moment, all sin already carries the divine forgiveness in itself, all small children already have the old person in themselves, all infants already have death, all dying people the eternal life. It is not possible for any person to see how far another one has already progressed on his path; in the robber and dice-gambler, the Buddha is waiting; in the Brahman, the robber is waiting. In deep meditation, there is the possibility to put time out of existence, to see all life which was, is, and will be as if it was simultaneous, and there everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. Therefore, I see whatever exists as good, death is to me like life, sin like holiness, wisdom like foolishness, everything has to be as it is, everything only requires my consent, only my willingness, my loving agreement, to be good for me, to do nothing but work for my benefit, to be unable to ever harm me. I have experienced on my body and on my soul that I needed sin very much, I needed lust, the desire for possessions, vanity, and needed the most shameful despair, in order to learn how to give up all resistance, in order to learn how to love the world, in order to stop comparing it to some world I wished, I imagined, some kind of perfection I had made up, but to leave it as it is and to love it and to enjoy being a part of it.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
The Christian soul knows it needs Divine Help and therefore turns to Him Who loved us even while we were yet sinners. Examination of conscience, instead of inducing morbidity, thereby becomes an occasion of joy. There are two ways of knowing how good and loving God is. One is by never losing Him, through the preservation of innocence, and the other is by finding Him after one has lost Him. Repentance is not self-regarding, but God-regarding. It is not self-loathing, but God-loving. Christianity bids us accept ourselves as we really are, with all our faults and our failings and our sins. In all other religions, one has to be good to come to God—in Christianity one does not. Christianity might be described as a “come as you are” party. It bids us stop worrying about ourselves, stop concentrating on our faults and our failings, and thrust them upon the Saviour with a firm resolve of amendment. The examination of conscience never induces despair, always hope…Because examination of conscience is done in the light of God’s love, it begins with a prayer to the Holy Spirit to illumine our minds. A soul then acts toward the Spirit of God as toward a watchmaker who will fix our watch. We put a watch in his hands because we know he will not force it, and we put our souls in God’s hands because we know that if he inspects them regularly they will work as they should…it is true that, the closer we get to God, the more we see our defects. A painting reveals few defects under candlelight, but the sunlight may reveal it as daub. The very good never believe themselves very good, because they are judging themselves by the Ideal. In perfect innocence each soul, like the Apostles at the Last Supper, cries out, “Is it I, Lord” (Matt. 26:22).
Fulton J. Sheen (Peace of Soul: Timeless Wisdom on Finding Serenity and Joy by the Century's Most Acclaimed Catholic Bishop)
The word “coherence” literally means holding or sticking together, but it is usually used to refer to a system, an idea, or a worldview whose parts fit together in a consistent and efficient way. Coherent things work well: A coherent worldview can explain almost anything, while an incoherent worldview is hobbled by internal contradictions. … Whenever a system can be analyzed at multiple levels, a special kind of coherence occurs when the levels mesh and mutually interlock. We saw this cross-level coherence in the analysis of personality: If your lower-level traits match up with your coping mechanisms, which in turn are consistent with your life story, your personality is well integrated and you can get on with the business of living. When these levels do not cohere, you are likely to be torn by internal contradictions and neurotic conflicts. You might need adversity to knock yourself into alignment. And if you do achieve coherence, the moment when things come together may be one of the most profound of your life. … Finding coherence across levels feels like enlightenment, and it is crucial for answering the question of purpose within life. People are multilevel systems in another way: We are physical objects (bodies and brains) from which minds somehow emerge; and from our minds, somehow societies and cultures form. To understand ourselves fully we must study all three levels—physical, psychological, and sociocultural. There has long been a division of academic labor: Biologists studied the brain as a physical object, psychologists studied the mind, and sociologists and anthropologists studied the socially constructed environments within which minds develop and function. But a division of labor is productive only when the tasks are coherent—when all lines of work eventually combine to make something greater than the sum of its parts. For much of the twentieth century that didn’t happen — each field ignored the others and focused on its own questions. But nowadays cross-disciplinary work is flourishing, spreading out from the middle level (psychology) along bridges (or perhaps ladders) down to the physical level (for example, the field of cognitive neuroscience) and up to the sociocultural level (for example, cultural psychology). The sciences are linking up, generating cross-level coherence, and, like magic, big new ideas are beginning to emerge. Here is one of the most profound ideas to come from the ongoing synthesis: People gain a sense of meaning when their lives cohere across the three levels of their existence.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
The thing about being barren is that you’re not allowed to get away from it. Not when you’re in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine? I was still young, there was still plenty of time, but failure cloaked me like a mantle, it overwhelmed me, dragged me under, and I gave up hope. At the time, I resented the fact that it was always seen as my fault, that I was the one letting the side down. But as the speed with which he managed to impregnate Anna demonstrates, there was never any problem with Tom’s virility. I was wrong to suggest that we should share the blame; it was all down to me. Lara, my best friend since university, had two children in two years: a boy first and then a girl. I didn’t like them. I didn’t want to hear anything about them. I didn’t want to be near them. Lara stopped speaking to me after a while. There was a girl at work who told me—casually, as though she were talking about an appendectomy or a wisdom-tooth extraction—that she’d recently had an abortion, a medical one, and it was so much less traumatic than the surgical one she’d had when she was at university. I couldn’t speak to her after that, I could barely look at her. Things became awkward in the office; people noticed. Tom didn’t feel the way I did. It wasn’t his failure, for starters, and in any case, he didn’t need a child like I did. He wanted to be a dad, he really did—I’m sure he daydreamed about kicking a football around in the garden with his son, or carrying his daughter on his shoulders in the park. But he thought our lives could be great without children, too. “We’re happy,” he used to say to me. “Why can’t we just go on being happy?” He became frustrated with me. He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
When those who have been placed in my life to lead me and train me betray me and turn against me, as Saul turned against David, I will follow the example of David and refuse to let hope die in my heart. Holy Spirit, empower me to be a spiritual father or mother to those who need me to disciple, love, support, and encourage them. Father, raise up spiritual leaders in our land who can lead others with justice, mercy, integrity, and love. Allow me to be one of these leaders. When I am cut off from my father [physical or spiritual] through his insecurity, jealousy, or pride, cause me to recognize that as You did with David, You want to complete Your work in my life. Holy Spirit, release me from tormenting thoughts or self-blame and striving for acceptance. Cause me to seek only Your acceptance and restoration. I refuse to allow the enemy to cause me to seek revenge against those who have wronged me. I will not raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed or seek to avenge myself. I will leave justice to You. Father, cause my heart to be pure as David’s was pure. Through Your power, O Lord, I will refuse to attack my enemies with my tongue, for I will never forget that both death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21). I will never seek to sow discord or separation between myself and my Christian brothers and sisters, for it is an abomination to my Lord. I will remain loyal to my spiritual leaders even when they have rejected me or wronged me. I choose to be a man [or woman] after the heart of God, not one who seeks to avenge myself. Holy Spirit, like David I will lead my Christian brother and sister to honor our spiritual leaders even in the face of betrayal. I refuse to sow discord among brethren. I will show kindness to others who are in relationship with the ones who have wronged me. Like David I will find ways to honor them and will not allow offense to cause me to disrespect them. Father, only You are worthy to judge the intents and actions of myself or of those around me. I praise You for Your wisdom, and I submit to Your leading. Lord, I choose to remain loyal to those in a position of authority over me. I choose to focus on the calling You have placed on my life and to refuse to be diverted by the actions of others, even when they have treated me wrongly. Father, may You be able to examine my life and know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my heart toward others (1 Sam.24:11).
John Bevere (The Bait of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense)
As a physician, I was trained to deal with uncertainty as aggressively as I dealt with disease itself. The unknown was the enemy. Within this worldview, having a question feels like an emergency; it means that something is out of control and needs to be made known as rapidly, efficiently, and cost-effectively as possible. But death has taken me to the edge of certainty, to the place of questions. After years of trading mystery for mastery, it was hard and even frightening to stop offering myself reasonable explanations for some of the things that I observed and that others told me, and simply take them as they are. "I don't know" had long been a statement of shame, of personal and professional failing. In all of my training I do not recall hearing it said aloud even once. But as I listened to more and more people with life-threatening illnesses tell their stories, not knowing simply became a matter of integrity. Things happened. And the explanations I offered myself became increasingly hollow, like a child whistling in the dark. The truth was that very often I didn't know and couldn't explain, and finally, weighed down by the many, many instances of the mysterious which are such an integral part of illness and healing, I surrendered. It was a moment of awakening. For the first time, I became curious about the things I had been unwilling to see before, more sensitive to inconsistencies I had glibly explained or successfully ignored, more willing to ask people questions and draw them out about stories I would have otherwise dismissed. What I have found in the end was that the life I had defended as a doctor as precious was also Holy. I no longer feel that life is ordinary. Everyday life is filled with mystery. The things we know are only a small part of the things we cannot know but can only glimpse. Yet even the smallest of glimpses can sustain us. Mystery seems to have the power to comfort, to offer hope, and to lend meaning in times of loss and pain. In surprising ways it is the mysterious that strengthens us at such times. I used to try to offer people certainty in times that were not at all certain and could not be made certain. I now just offer my companionship and share my sense of mystery, of the possible, of wonder. After twenty years of working with people with cancer, I find it possible to neither doubt nor accept the unprovable but simply to remain open and wait. I accept that I may never know where truth lies in such matters. The most important questions don't seem to have ready answers. But the questions themselves have a healing power when they are shared. An answer is an invitation to stop thinking about something, to stop wondering. Life has no such stopping places, life is a process whose every event is connected to the moment that just went by. An unanswered question is a fine traveling companion. It sharpens your eye for the road.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal)
Outsong in the Jungle [Baloo:] For the sake of him who showed One wise Frog the Jungle-Road, Keep the Law the Man-Pack make For thy blind old Baloo's sake! Clean or tainted, hot or stale, Hold it as it were the Trail, Through the day and through the night, Questing neither left nor right. For the sake of him who loves Thee beyond all else that moves, When thy Pack would make thee pain, Say: "Tabaqui sings again." When thy Pack would work thee ill, Say: "Shere Khan is yet to kill." When the knife is drawn to slay, Keep the Law and go thy way. (Root and honey, palm and spathe, Guard a cub from harm and scathe!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! [Kaa:] Anger is the egg of Fear-- Only lidless eyes see clear. Cobra-poison none may leech-- Even so with Cobra-speech. Open talk shall call to thee Strength, whose mate is Courtesy. Send no lunge beyond thy length. Lend no rotten bough thy strength. Gauge thy gape with buck or goat, Lest thine eye should choke thy throat. After gorging, wouldst thou sleep ? Look thy den be hid and deep, Lest a wrong, by thee forgot, Draw thy killer to the spot. East and West and North and South, Wash thy hide and close thy mouth. (Pit and rift and blue pool-brim, Middle-Jungle follow him!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! [Bagheera:] In the cage my life began; Well I know the worth of Man. By the Broken Lock that freed-- Man-cub, ware the Man-cub's breed! Scenting-dew or starlight pale, Choose no tangled tree-cat trail. Pack or council, hunt or den, Cry no truce with Jackal-Men. Feed them silence when they say: "Come with us an easy way." Feed them silence when they seek Help of thine to hurt the weak. Make no bandar's boast of skill; Hold thy peace above the kill. Let nor call nor song nor sign Turn thee from thy hunting-line. (Morning mist or twilight clear, Serve him, Wardens of the Deer!) Wood and Water, Wind and Tree, Jungle-Favour go with thee! [The Three:] On the trail that thou must tread To the threshold of our dread, Where the Flower blossoms red; Through the nights when thou shalt lie Prisoned from our Mother-sky, Hearing us, thy loves, go by; In the dawns when thou shalt wake To the toil thou canst not break, Heartsick for the Jungle's sake; Wood and Water, Wind air Tree, Wisdom, Strength, and Courtesy, Jungle-Favour go with thee!
Rudyard Kipling
Epicurus founded a school of philosophy which placed great emphasis on the importance of pleasure. "Pleasure is the beginning and the goal of a happy life," he asserted, confirming what many had long thought, but philosophers had rarely accepted. Vulgar opinion at once imagined that the pleasure Epicurus had in mind involved a lot of money, sex, drink and debauchery (associations that survive in our use of the word 'Epicurean'). But true Epicureanism was more subtle. Epicurus led a very simple life, because after rational analysis, he had come to some striking conclusions about what actually made life pleasurable - and fortunately for those lacking a large income, it seemed that the essential ingredients of pleasure, however elusive, were not very expensive. The first ingredient was friendship. 'Of all the things that wisdom provides to help one live one's entire life in happiness, the greatest by far is the possession of friendship,' he wrote. So he bought a house near Athens where he lived in the company of congenial souls. The desire for riches should perhaps not always be understood as a simple hunger for a luxurious life, a more important motive might be the wish to be appreciated and treated nicely. We may seek a fortune for no greater reason than to secure the respect and attention of people who would otherwise look straight through us. Epicurus, discerning our underlying need, recognised that a handful of true friends could deliver the love and respect that even a fortune may not. Epicurus and his friends located a second secret of happiness: freedom. In order not to have to work for people they didn't like and answer to potentially humiliating whims, they removed themselves from employment in the commercial world of Athens ('We must free ourselves from the prison of everyday affairs and politics'), and began what could best have been described as a commune, accepting a simpler way of life in exchange for independence. They would have less money, but would never again have to follow the commands of odious superiors. The third ingredient of happiness was, in Epicurus's view, to lead an examined life. Epicurus was concerned that he and his friends learn to analyse their anxieties about money, illness, death and the supernatural. There are few better remedies for anxiety than thought. In writing a problem down or airing it in conversation we let its essential aspects emerge. And by knowing its character, we remove, if not the problem itself, then its secondary, aggravating characteristics: confusion, displacement, surprise. Wealth is of course unlikely ever to make anyone miserable. But the crux of Epicurus's argument is that if we have money without friends, freedom and an analysed life, we will never be truly happy. And if we have them, but are missing the fortune, we will never be unhappy.
Alain de Botton