World Owe Quotes

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Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Mark Twain
Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
The way Gansey saw it was this: if you had a special knack for finding things, it meant you owed the world to look.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
From now on, I'm not doing anything I don't want to do! The world owes me happiness, fulfillment and success.... I'm just here to cash in.
Bill Watterson (Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat (Calvin and Hobbes, #9))
make love like you have no secrets like you’ve never been left never been hurt like the world don’t owe you a single wretched thing.
Warsan Shire
Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift.
Maya Angelou (Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now)
I'd like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living.
John Wayne
..for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
You are there and to their ears, being a Syrian sounds like you’re unclean, shameful, indecent; it’s like you owe the world an apology for your very existence.
Asaad Almohammad (An Ishmael of Syria)
You owe the companies nothing. You especially don't owe them any courtesy. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don't even start asking for theirs.
Banksy (Wall and Piece)
The world owes us nothing; we owe each other the world.
Ani DiFranco
If you think that it would be impossible to improve upon the Ten Commandments as a statement of morality, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures. Once again, we need look no further than the Jains: Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: 'Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being.' Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept. Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured, and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a theologically defensible reading of the Bible.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit. Unfortunately an only son (for many years an only child), I was spoilt by my parents, who, though good themselves (my father, particularly, all that was benevolent and amiable), allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing; to care for none beyond my own family circle; to think meanly of all the rest of the world; to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own. Such I was, from eight to eight and twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
I don’t know what world you live in, but in mine, people only do things for you for one of two reasons. The first is if they want something in return. And the second is if they feel like they owe you something.” “Those aren’t the only reasons people do things for you,” I say. “Sometimes they do them because they love you. Well, maybe not you, but …
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
Inej almost felt sorry for her. Dunyasha really believed she was the Lantsov heir, and maybe she was. But wasn’t that what every girl dreamed? That she’d wake and find herself a princess? Or blessed with magical powers and a grand destiny? Maybe there were people who lived those lives. Maybe this girl was one of them. But what about the rest of us? What about the nobodies and the nothings, the invisible girls? We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing and herever we are going, we owe it to ourselves, to our art, to the world to do it well.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
i do it for the joy it brings because i'm a joyful girl because the world owes me nothing and we owe each other the world
Ani DiFranco
We learn to hold our heads as if we wear crowns. We learn to wring magic from the ordinary. That was how you survived when you weren’t chosen, when there was no royal blood in your veins. When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
People with a grudge against the world are always dangerous. They seem to think life owes them something. I've known many an invalid who has suffered worse and been cut off from life much more . . . and they've managed to lead happy contented lives. It's what's in yourself that makes you happy or unhappy.
Agatha Christie (A Murder Is Announced (Miss Marple, #5))
There are only two kinds of men in this world: Honest men and dishonest men. ...Any man who says the world owes him a living is dishonest. The same God that made you and me made this earth. And He planned it so that it would yield every single thing that the people on it need. But He was careful to plan it so that it would only yield up its wealth in exchange for the labor of man. Any man who tries to share in that wealth without contributing the work of his brain or his hands is dishonest.
Ralph Moody
I don’t know what world you live in, but in mine, people only do things for you for one of two reasons. The first is if they want something in return. And the second is if they feel like they owe you something.
Veronica Roth
Love is neither owed nor earned. It either is or it’s not. I gave you the world. But you wanted the stars.
Beau Taplin
In 1492, the natives discovered they were indians, discovered they lived in America, discovered they were naked, discovered that the Sin existed, discovered they owed allegiance to a King and Kingdom from another world and a God from another sky, and that this God had invented the guilty and the dress, and had sent to be burnt alive who worships the Sun the Moon the Earth and the Rain that wets it.
Eduardo Galeano (Los hijos de los días)
Darling, the world doesn't owe you anything.
Elizabeth Scott (Perfect You)
Now she remembered. He owed her an apology. "Say you're sorry." "For what?" "Just say it." She didn't hear his reply. The world had grown very dark indeed.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Don't go around thinking the world owes you a living. It was here first.
Mark Twain
The world owes you nothing because the universe has already given you everything.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Because loving you saved me. It's made me see myself differently, see the world differently. I owe you everything for that.
Jasmine Warga (My Heart and Other Black Holes)
No, I don't want your money. The world moves less by money than by what you owe people and what they owe you. I don't like to owe anybody anything, so I keep to myself as much on the lending side as I can.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
Take what the world owes you by any means necessary,” Pride had said. “The world has a shit memory. It will never pay its debts unless you force its hand.
Roshani Chokshi (The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1))
Where the world comes in my way—and it comes in my way everywhere—I consume it to quiet the hunger of my egoism. For me you are nothing but—my food, even as I too am fed upon and turned to use by you. We have only one relation to each other, that of usableness, of utility, of use. We owe each other nothing, for what I seem to owe you I owe at most to myself. If I show you a cheery air in order to cheer you likewise, then your cheeriness is of consequence to me, and my air serves my wish; to a thousand others, whom I do not aim to cheer, I do not show it.
Max Stirner (The Ego and Its Own)
I used to think that the world was doing something to me, that the world owed me something. And that either the conservatives or the socialists or the fascists or the communists or the Christians or the Jews or the fascists were doing something to me. And when you're a teeny-booper, that's what you think. I'm 40 now, I don't think that anymore—because I found out it doesn't fucking work. I am part of them. There's no separation. Were all one. "Give peace a chance," not "Shoot people for peace." "All you need is love." I believe it. It's damn hard, but I absolutely believe it.
John Lennon
We must do what we can to mend our lives, we owe that to ourselves – but we need to be careful not to break others while achieving that.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
When the world owed you nothing, you demanded something of it anyway.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Look. Shit happened. Shit's going to keep happening. You don't need me to tell your life isn't fair. You're here because you know it isn't. Life doesn't care what we want out of it; it's up to us to fight for what we want with everything we've got. Seth wanted us to win. He wanted us to make it past the fourth match. I think we owe it to him to perform. Let's show the world what we've got. Let's make this our year.
Nora Sakavic (The Raven King (All for the Game, #2))
The world concerns me only in so far as I have a certain debt and duty to it, because I have lived in it for thirty years and owe to it to leave behind some souvenir in the shape of drawings and paintings – not done to please any particular movement, but within which a genuine human sentiment is expressed.
Vincent van Gogh
I choose to believe that I owe my very life to you--ay--smile, and think it an exaggeration if you will. I believe it, because it adds a value to that life to think--oh, Miss Hale!' continued he, lowering his voice to such a tender intensity of passion that she shivered and trembled before him, 'to think circumstance so wrought, that whenever I exult in existence henceforward, I may say to myself, "All this gladness in life, all honest pride in doing my work in the world, all this keen sense of being, I owe to her!" And it doubles the gladness, it makes the pride glow, it sharpens the sense of existence till I hardly know if it is pain or pleasure, to think that I owe it to one--nay, you must, you shall hear'--said he, stepping forwards with stern determination--'to one whom I love, as I do not believe man ever loved woman before.' He held her hand tight in his. He panted as he listened for what should come.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
And I say to you, Mia Bennett—my photographer, my eyes, the girl of my dreams, the villain in my nightmares—that everything I owe, I owe to the night you let me look into your eyes and see the possibilities the world had to offer.
Claire Contreras (Paper Hearts (Hearts, #2))
Without the existance of people to acknowledge or dispute your greatness, your greatness is irrelevant. You are because they are. Without them, no matter how they treat you, you would not exist. Treat all the world as if you owe it your gratitude, because even the cruel and heartless define who you are.
Jayleigh Cape
My recommendation: don’t be special; don’t be unique. Redefine your metrics in mundane and broad ways. Choose to measure yourself not as a rising star or an undiscovered genius. Choose to measure yourself not as some horrible victim or dismal failure. Instead, measure yourself by more mundane identities: a student, a partner, a friend, a creator. The narrower and rarer the identity you choose for yourself, the more everything will seem to threaten you. For that reason, define yourself in the simplest and most ordinary ways possible.This often means giving up some grandiose ideas about yourself: that you’re uniquely intelligent, or spectacularly talented, or intimidatingly attractive, or especially victimized in ways other people could never imagine. This means giving up your sense of entitlement and your belief that you’re somehow owed something by this world.
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
I've proved my point. I've demonstrated there's no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once, am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Why else would you dress up as a flying rat? You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else... Only you won't admit it! You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that there's some point to all this struggling! God you make me want to puke. I mean, what is it with you? What made you what you are? Girlfriend killed by the mob, maybe? Brother carved up by some mugger? Something like that, I bet. Something like that... Something like that happened to me, you know. I... I'm not exactly sure what it was. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice! Ha ha ha! But my point is... My point is, I went crazy. When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can't you? I mean, you're not unintelligent! You must see the reality of the situation. Do you know how many times we've come close to world war three over a flock of geese on a computer screen? Do you know what triggered the last world war? An argument over how many telegraph poles Germany owed its war debt creditors! Telegraph poles! Ha ha ha ha HA! It's all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for... it's all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side? Why aren't you laughing?
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
The world owes you nothing, and equally you owe it nothing.
Florence Given (Women Don't Owe You Pretty)
Wealth is certainly a most desirable thing, but poverty has its sunny side, and one of the sweet uses of adversity is the genuine satisfaction which comes from hearty work of head or hand, and to the inspiration of necessity, we owe half the wise, beautiful, and useful blessings of the world.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you. You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity. Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.
Banksy
Teach all men to fish, but first teach all men to be fair. Take less, give more. Give more of yourself, take less from the world. Nobody owes you anything, you owe the world everything.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
I am crazy enough to think I owe the world a change.
Michael Davi
The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease. The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits.
Nathaniel Hawthorne
No," I said. "I choose the prophecy. It will be about me." "Why are you saying that?" she cried. "You want to be responsible for the whole world?" It was the last thing I wanted, but I didn't say that. I knew I had to step up and claim it. "I can't let Nico be in any more danger," I said. "I owe that much to his sister. I…let them both down. I'm not going to let that poor kid suffer any more.
Rick Riordan (The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3))
Equally damaging is our insistence that all bodies should be healthy. Health is not a state we owe the world. We are not less valuable, worthy, or lovable because we are not healthy. Lastly, there is no standard of health that is achievable for all bodies.
Sonya Renee Taylor (The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love)
Give no one in all the world the power to deflect you from your goal, your aim in life, which is to express your hidden talents to the world, to serve humanity, and to reveal more and more of God’s wisdom, truth, and beauty to all people in the world. Remain true to your ideal. Know definitely and absolutely that whatever contributes to your peace, happiness, and fulfillment must of necessity bless all men who walk the earth. The harmony of the part is the harmony of the whole, for the whole is in the part, and the part is in the whole. All you owe the other, as Paul says, is love, and love is the fulfilling of the law of health, happiness, and peace of mind.
Joseph Murphy (The Power of Your Subconscious Mind)
Do not bend," Nina snapped. "Do not leap. Do not move abruptly. If you don't promise to take it easy, I'll slow your heart and keep you in a coma until I can be sure you've recovered fully." "Nina Zenik, as soon as I figure out where you've put my knifes, we're going to have words." "The first ones had better be 'Thank you, oh great Nina, for dedicating every waking moment of this miserable journey to saving my sorry life'" Jasper expected Inej to laugh and was startled when she took Nina's face between her hands and said, "Thank you for keeping me in this world when fate seemed determined to drag me to the next. I owe you a life debt." Nina blushed deeply. "I was teasing, Inej." She paused. "I think we've both had enough of debts." "This is one I'm glad to bear.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty. I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master. I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living. I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs. I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order. I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man's word should be as good as his bond, that character—not wealth or power or position—is of supreme worth. I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free. I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual's highest fulfillment, greatest happiness and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will. I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.
John D. Rockefeller
All life includes loss. It's taken me many, many years to learn to deal with that, and I don't expect I'll ever be fully resigned to it. But that doesn't mean we have to turn away from the world, or stop striving for the best that we can do and be. We owe that much to ourselves, at least, and we deserve whatever measure of good may come of it.
Ken Grimwood (Replay)
This world is unforgiving and cruel to those it judges as even the slightest bit outside the norm. If anyone should be kind, understanding, accepting, loving to their fellow outcasts, it’s you. All of you. You are the guardians of the secrets of the universe, beloved of worlds that most will never dream of, much less see … can’t you see where you owe it to yourselves to be kind? To care for one another? No one outside this room will ever understand what you’ve been through the way the people around you right now understand.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1))
the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
This is what I do know: A lie, however well-intended, can't prepare you for reality or change the world... To tell the truth is to provide armament against a world too full of cruelties to be defeated with simple falsehoods... It seems to me we owe the world--more, we owe ourselves--the exchange of comfort for the chance that maybe the truth can do what people always say it can. The truth may, given the opportunity, set us free.
Mira Grant (Deadline (Newsflesh, #2))
I was still owed an explanation, I thought, but so what? What good was it going to do me? It wouldn't have made me any happier. It was like scratching when you have chicken pox. You think it's going to help, but the itch moves over, and then moves over again. My itch suddenly felt miles away, and I couldn't have reached it with the longest arms in the world. Realizing that made me scared that I was going to be itchy forever, and I didn't want that.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
We owe Christ to the world—to the least person and to the greatest person, to the richest person and to the poorest person, to the best person and to the worst person. We are in debt to the nations.
David Platt (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream)
Nina Zenik, as soon as I figure out where you’ve put my knives, we’re going to have words.” “The first ones had better be Thank you, oh great Nina, for dedicating every waking moment of this miserable journey to saving my sorry life.” Jesper expected Inej to laugh and was startled when she took Nina’s face between her hands and said, “Thank you for keeping me in this world when fate seemed determined to drag me to the next. I owe you a life debt.” Nina blushed deeply. “I was teasing, Inej.” She paused. “I think we’ve both had enough of debts.” “This is one I’m glad to bear.” “Okay, okay. When we’re back in Ketterdam, take me out for waffles.” Now Inej did laugh. She dropped her hands and appeared to speculate. “Dessert for a life? I’m not sure that seems equitable.” “I expect really good waffles.” “I know just the place,” said Jesper. “They have this apple syrup—” “You’re not invited
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Sometimes you change your mind about a person. Or your feelings for them change, or they change, or, I don't know, you just want to make a different decision. And that's always okay. You don't owe anyone anything.
Emily Henry (The Love That Split the World)
Maybe it's wrong for us to hold any one person as our whole world. Maybe..." Jihoon trailed off with an odd expression. "Maybe it's wrong of us to owe all of our happiness or sadness to one person.
Kat Cho (Wicked Fox (Gumiho, #1))
You rescue me. I rescue you. That’s how this works. To pay your debts, you had to know who you owed. You had to decide who you were willing to go to war for and who you trusted to jump into the fray for you. That was all there was in this world. No heroes or villains, just the people you’d brave the waves for, and the ones you’d let drown.
Leigh Bardugo (Hell Bent (Alex Stern, #2))
The angry person is acutely sensitive to all they are owed by the world, and blind to all they have received
Jules Evans (Philosophy for Life: And Other Dangerous Situations)
If I ever see the twins again, it looks like I owe them a zombie-girl mud fight.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
The two main criminals are France and the United States. They owe Haiti enormous reparations because of actions going back hundreds of years. If we could ever get to the stage where somebody could say, 'We're sorry we did it,' that would be nice. But if that just assuages guilt, it's just another crime. To become minimally civilized, we would have to say, 'We carried out and benefited from vicious crimes. A large part of the wealth of France comes from the crimes we committed against Haiti, and the United States gained as well. Therefore we are going to pay reparations to the Haitian people.' Then you will see the beginnings of civilization.
Noam Chomsky (Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World)
It is not the truth of Marxism that explains the willingness of intellectuals to believe it, but the power that it confers on intellectuals, in their attempts to control the world. And since...it is futile to reason someone out of a thing that he was not reasoned into, we can conclude that Marxism owes its remarkable power to survive every criticism to the fact that it is not a truth-directed but a power-directed system of thought.
Roger Scruton (A Political Philosophy)
I did everything. Everything I could possibly do," Zafira gasped out. "Why? Why wasn't it enough?" Lana pulled her to her chest, and somehow, the tears fell faster, harder. She was supposed to be the stronger one. The one to hold them together. "The world has no right sitting on your shoulders, yet you've given it more than you will ever owe," Lana whispered. "You've done for it what a sultan would require a throne, a crown, and a thousand men to accomplish.
Hafsah Faizal (We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya, #2))
We owe Clint Eastwood a debt of thanks. Not only because it was truly a hilarious twelve minutes of improvised "awesome" in a week of scripted "blah". But because it advanced our understanding. This president has issues, and there are very legitimate debates about his policies and actions, and successes and or failures as president - I mean, tune in next week. But I could never wrap my head around why the world, and the president republicans describe, bears so little resemblance to the world and the president that I experience. And now I know why : There is a president Obama that only republicans can see
Jon Stewart (Miscellaneous Writings (Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy))
The conviction that the world, and therefore man too, is something which really ought not to exist is in fact calculated to instil in us indulgence towards one another: for what can be expected of beings placed in such a situation as we are? From this point of view one might indeed consider that the appropriate form of address between man and man ought to be, not monsieur, sir, but fellow sufferer, compagnon de misères. However strange this may sound it corresponds to the nature of the case, makes us see other men in a true light and reminds us of what are the most necessary of all things: tolerance, patience, forbearance and charity, which each of us needs and which each of us therefore owes.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Studies in Pessimism: The Essays)
Kids wake up each day believing in the goodness of things, in the magic of what might be. They’re uncynical, believers at their core. We owe it to them to stay strong and keep working to create a more fair and humane world. For them, we need to remain both tough and hopeful, to acknowledge that there’s more growing to be done.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, Thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee, And for thy maintenance; commits his body To painful labor, both by sea and land; To watch the night in storms, the day in cold, Whilst thou li’st warm at home, secure and safe; And craves no other tribute at thy hands But love, fair looks, and true obedience- Too little payment for so great a debt. Such duty as the subject owes the prince, Even such a woman oweth to her husband; And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour, And no obedient to his honest will, What is she but a foul contending rebel, And graceless traitor to her loving lord? I asham’d that women are so simple ‘To offer war where they should kneel for peace, Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway, When they are bound to serve, love, and obey. Why are our bodies soft, and weak, and smooth, Unapt to toil and trouble in the world, But that our soft conditions, and our hearts, Should well agree with our external parts?
William Shakespeare (The Taming of the Shrew)
Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realise the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realise it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented…. In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.
C.S. Lewis (An Experiment in Criticism)
The Tao, which others may call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical Reason or the First Platitudes, is not one among a series of possible systems of value. It is the sole source of all value judgments. If it is rejected, all value is rejected. If any value is retained, it is retained. The effort to refute it and raise a new system of value in its place is self-contradictory. There has never been, and never will be, a radically new judgment of value in the history of the world. What purport to be new systems or…ideologies…all consist of fragments from the Tao itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole and then swollen to madness in their isolation, yet still owing to the Tao and to it alone such validity as they posses.
C.S. Lewis (The Abolition of Man)
You need to control your wife.” “Haven’t you figured it out?” Edward said quietly. “I married her to unleash her on the world, not to keep her under wraps.” James blinked, as if trying to understand that. “I married her because she made me believe in her,” Edward said. “Because I wished her beyond your power, not under mine. You have no idea of the debt I owe her. For her I’d do the unthinkable.” He glanced back at Free. “If she asked me to do it,” he told James, “I’d even forgive you.
Courtney Milan (The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister, #4))
For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood. We invest far-off places with a certain romance. This appeal, I suspect, has been meticulously crafted by natural selection as an essential element in our survival. Long summers, mild winters, rich harvests, plentiful game—none of them lasts forever. It is beyond our powers to predict the future. Catastrophic events have a way of sneaking up on us, of catching us unaware. Your own life, or your band’s, or even your species’ might be owed to a restless few—drawn, by a craving they can hardly articulate or understand, to undiscovered lands and new worlds. Herman Melville, in Moby Dick, spoke for wanderers in all epochs and meridians: “I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas…” Maybe it’s a little early. Maybe the time is not quite yet. But those other worlds— promising untold opportunities—beckon. Silently, they orbit the Sun, waiting.
Carl Sagan
We couldn't bear to be apart. So if Kizuki had lived, I'm sure we would have been together, loving each other, and gradually growing unhappy." Unhappy? Why's that?" With her fingers, Naoko combed her hair back several times. She had taken her barrette off, which made the hair fall over her face when she dropped her head forward. Because we would have had to pay the world back what we owed it," she said, raising her eyes to mine. "The pain of growing up. We didn't pay when we should have, so now the bills are due. Which is why Kizuki did what he did, and why I'm here. We were like kids who grew up naked on a desert island. If we got hungry, we'd just pick a banana; if we got lonely, we'd go to sleep in each other's arms. But that kind of thing doesn't last forever. We grew up fast and had to enter society. Which is why you were so important to us. You were the link connecting us with the outside world. We were struggling through you to fit in with the outside world as best we could. In the end, it didn't work, of course." I nodded. I wouldn't want you to think that we were using you, though. Kizuki really loved you. It just so happened that our connection with you was our first connection with anyone else. And it still is. Kizuki may be dead, but you are still my only link with the outside world. And just as Kizuki loved you, I love you. We never meant to hurt you, but we probably did; we probably ended up making a deep wound in your heart. It never occurred to us that anything like that might happen.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
It is a well-known established fact throughout the many-dimensional worlds of the multiverse that most really great discoveries are owed to one brief moment of inspiration. There's a lot of spadework first, of course, but what clinches the whole thing is the sight of, say, a falling apple or a boiling kettle or the water slipping over the edge of the bath. Something goes click inside the observer's head and then everything falls into place. The shape of DNA, it is popularly said, owes its discovery to the chance sight of a spiral staircase when the scientist‘s mind was just at the right receptive temperature. Had he used the elevator, the whole science of genetics might have been a good deal different. This is thought of as somehow wonderful. It isn't. It is tragic. Little particles of inspiration sleet through the universe all the time traveling through the densest matter in the same way that a neutrino passes through a candyfloss haystack, and most of them miss. Even worse, most of the ones that hit the exact cerebral target, hit the wrong one. For example, the weird dream about a lead doughnut on a mile-high gantry, which in the right mind would have been the catalyst for the invention of repressed-gravitational electricity generation (a cheap and inexhaustible and totally non-polluting form of power which the world in question had been seeking for centuries, and for the lack of which it was plunged into a terrible and pointless war) was in fact had by a small and bewildered duck. By another stroke of bad luck, the sight of a herd of wild horses galloping through a field of wild hyacinths would have led a struggling composer to write the famous Flying God Suite, bringing succor and balm to the souls of millions, had he not been at home in bed with shingles. The inspiration thereby fell to a nearby frog, who was not in much of a position to make a startling contributing to the field of tone poetry. Many civilizations have recognized this shocking waste and tried various methods to prevent it, most of them involving enjoyable but illegal attempts to tune the mind into the right wavelength by the use of exotic herbage or yeast products. It never works properly.
Terry Pratchett (Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind, #3))
There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral - immoral from the scientific point of view.' 'Why?' 'Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of someone else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here ofr. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one's self. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion - these are the two things that govern us. And yet [...] I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream - I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all maladies of medievalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal - to something finer, richer, than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. [...] We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind, and poisons us. ... The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.
Oscar Wilde
I’ve had a lot of sucks in life A lot My parents died almost four years ago, right after I turned seven With every day that goes by I remember them less and less Like my mom…I remember that she used to sing. She was always happy, always dancing. Other than what I’ve seen of her in pictures, I don’t really remember what she looks like. Or what she smells like Or what she sounds like And my Dad I remember more things about him, but only because I thought he was the most amazing man in the world. He was smart. He knew the answer to everything. And he was strong. And he played the guitar. I used to love lying in bed at night, listening to the music coming from the living room. I miss that the most. His music. After they died, I went to live with my grandma and grandpaul. Don’t get me wrong…I love my grandparents. But I loved my home even more. It reminded me of them. Of my mom and dad. My brother had just started college the year they died. He knew how much I wanted to be home. He knew how much it meant to me, so he made it happen. I was only seven at the time, so I let him do it. I let him give up his entire life just so I could be home. Just so I wouldn’t be so sad. If I could do it all over again, I would have never let him take me. He deserved a shot, too. A shot at being young. But sometimes when you’re seven, the world isn’t in 3-D. So, I owe a lot to my brother. A lot of ‘thank you’d’ A lot of ‘I’m sorry’s’ A lot of ‘I love you’s’ I owe a lot to you, Will For making the sucks in my life a little less suckier And my sweet? My sweet is right now.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
A woman owes it to herself to have pretty things. And if she feels good she looks good. You are wrong if you think you cannot live without love. I cannot live without it. I do not mean that I go into a decline, develop odd symptons, became a caricature. I mean that I cannot live well without it. I cannot think or act or speak or write or even dream with any kind of energy in the absence of love. I feel excluded from the living world. I become cold, fish-like, immobile. I implode. My idea of absolute happiness is to sit in a hot garden all day, reading or writing, utterly safe in the knowledge that the person I love will come home to me in the evening. Every evening. I am not a romantic. I am a domesticated animal. I do not sigh and yearn for extravagant displays of passion, for the grand affair, the world well lost for love. I know all that, and know that it leaves you lonely. No, what I crave is the simplicity of routine. An evening walk, arm in arm, in fine weather. A game of cards. Time for idle talk. Preparing a meal together.
Anita Brookner (Hotel du Lac)
And libertarianism is good because it helps conservatives pass off a patently pro-business political agenda as a noble bid for human freedom. Whatever we may think of libertarianism as a set of ideas, practically speaking, it is a doctrine that owes its visibility to the obvious charms it holds for the wealthy and the powerful. The reason we have so many well-funded libertarians in America these days is not because libertarianism has acquired an enormous grassroots following, but because it appeals to those who are able to fund ideas. Like social Darwinism and Christian Science before it, libertarianism flatters the successful and rationalizes their core beliefs about the world. They warm to the libertarian idea that taxation is theft because they themselves don’t like to pay taxes. They fancy the libertarian notion that regulation is communist because they themselves find regulation intrusive and annoying. Libertarianism is a politics born to be subsidized. In the “free market of ideas,” it is a sure winner.
Thomas Frank (The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule)
(Golden Globe acceptance speech in the style of Jane Austen's letters): "Four A.M. Having just returned from an evening at the Golden Spheres, which despite the inconveniences of heat, noise and overcrowding, was not without its pleasures. Thankfully, there were no dogs and no children. The gowns were middling. There was a good deal of shouting and behavior verging on the profligate, however, people were very free with their compliments and I made several new acquaintances. Miss Lindsay Doran, of Mirage, wherever that might be, who is largely responsible for my presence here, an enchanting companion about whom too much good cannot be said. Mr. Ang Lee, of foreign extraction, who most unexpectedly apppeared to understand me better than I undersand myself. Mr. James Schamus, a copiously erudite gentleman, and Miss Kate Winslet, beautiful in both countenance and spirit. Mr. Pat Doyle, a composer and a Scot, who displayed the kind of wild behavior one has lernt to expect from that race. Mr. Mark Canton, an energetic person with a ready smile who, as I understand it, owes me a vast deal of money. Miss Lisa Henson -- a lovely girl, and Mr. Gareth Wigan -- a lovely boy. I attempted to converse with Mr. Sydney Pollack, but his charms and wisdom are so generally pleasing that it proved impossible to get within ten feet of him. The room was full of interesting activitiy until eleven P.M. when it emptied rather suddenly. The lateness of the hour is due therefore not to the dance, but to the waiting, in a long line for horseless vehicles of unconscionable size. The modern world has clearly done nothing for transport. P.S. Managed to avoid the hoyden Emily Tomkins who has purloined my creation and added things of her own. Nefarious creature." "With gratitude and apologies to Miss Austen, thank you.
Emma Thompson (The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film)
Offer me?" A shrill note of indignation entered her voice. "Young man, there are three things that make Britain great. The first is our inability at playing sports." How does that make Britain great?" "Despite the certainty of loss, we try anyway with the absolute conviction that this year will be the one, regardless of all evidence to the contrary!" I raised my eyebrows, but that simply meant I could see my blood more clearly, so looked away and said nothing. "The second," she went on, "is the BBC. It may be erratic, tabloid, under-funded and unreliable, but without the World Service, obscure Dickens adaptions, the Today Program and Doctor Who, I honestly believe that the cultural and communal capacity of this country would have declined to the level of the apeman, largely owing to the advent of the mobile phone!" "Oh," I said, feeling that something was expected. "Oh" was enough. "And lastly, we have the NHS!" "This is an NHS service?" I asked incredulously. "I didn't say that, I merely pointed out that the NHS makes Britain great. Now lie still.
Kate Griffin (A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift, #1))
[How do I do it?] Well, it's always a mystery, because you don't know why you get depleted or recharged. But this much I know. I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential. And I've learned from the Bhagavad-Gita and other teachings of our culture to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep detachment allows me to take on the next challenge, because I don't cripple myself, I don't tie myself in knots. I function like a free being. I think getting that freedom is a social duty because I think we owe it to each not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.
Vandana Shiva
Listen Zeke, i have to go. There's something i have to do, someone i have to find. i owe him a lot, and he's in trouble now. i just wanted to say goodbye." Zeke slept on. i put my hand on his uninjured arm, squeezing gently. My eyes burned, but i ignored them. "you probably won't see me again," i murmured, feeling something hot slide down my cheek. "i got you here, like i promised i would. i wish... i wish i could've seen your Eden, but this place isn't for me. it never was. i have to find my own place in the world.
Julie Kagawa (The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1))
We are not encouraged, on a daily basis, to pay careful attention to the animals we eat. On the contrary, the meat, dairy, and egg industries all actively encourage us to give thought to our own immediate interest (taste, for example, or cheap food) but not to the real suffering involved. They do so by deliberately withholding information and by cynically presenting us with idealized images of happy animals in beautiful landscapes, scenes of bucolic happiness that do not correspond to anything in the real world. The animals involved suffer agony because of our ignorance. The least we owe them is to lessen that ignorance.
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Food)
Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background and your duties in the middle distance and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellow men are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own that probably the only good reason for your existence is not waht you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness - are you willing to do these things for even a day? Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and the desires of little children; to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you and ask yourself whether you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front of you so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open - are you willing to do these things for even a day? Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world, - stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death, - and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas. And if you keep it for a day, why not always? But you can never keep it alone.
Caroline Kennedy (A Family Christmas)
During our brief stay on planet Earth, we owe ourselves and our descendants the opportunity to explore - in part because it's fun to do. But there's a far nobler reason. The day our knowledge of the cosmos ceases to expand, we risk regressing to the childish view that the universe figuratively and literally revolves around us. In that bleak world, arms-bearing, resource-hungry people and nations would be prone to act on their 'low contracted prejudices.' And that would be the last gasp of human enlightenment - until the rise of a visionary new culture that could once again embrace, rather than fear, the cosmic perspective.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
Faith is always coveted most and needed most urgently where will is lacking; for will, as the affect of command, is the decisive sign of sovereignty and strength. In other words, the less one knows how to command, the more urgently one covets someone who commands, who commands severely—a god, prince, class, physician, father confessor, dogma, or party conscience. From this one might perhaps gather that the two world religions, Buddhism and Christianity, may have owed their origin and above all their sudden spread to a tremendous collapse and disease of the will. And that is what actually happened: both religions encountered a situation in which the will had become diseased, giving rise to a demand that had become utterly desperate for some "thou shalt." Both religions taught fanaticism in ages in which the will had become exhausted, and thus they offered innumerable people some support, a new possibility of willing, some delight in willing. For fanaticism is the only "strength of the will" that even the weak and insecure can be brought to attain, being a sort of hypnotism of the whole system of the senses and the intellect for the benefit of an excessive nourishment (hypertrophy) of a single point of view and feeling that henceforth becomes dominant— which the Christian calls his faith. Once a human being reaches the fundamental conviction that he must be commanded, he becomes "a believer." Conversely, one could conceive of such a pleasure and power of self-determination, such a freedom of the will [ This conception of "freedom of the will" ( alias, autonomy) does not involve any belief in what Nietzsche called "the superstition of free will" in section 345 ( alias, the exemption of human actions from an otherwise universal determinism).] that the spirit would take leave of all faith and every wish for certainty, being practiced in maintaining himself on insubstantial ropes and possibilities and dancing even near abysses. Such a spirit would be the free spirit par excellence.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science: With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs)
Whoever seeks higher knowledge must create it for himself. He must instill it into his soul. It cannot be done by study; it can only be done through life. Whoever, therefore, wishes to become a student of higher knowledge must assiduously cultivate this inner life of devotion. Everywhere in his environment and his experiences he must seek motives of admiration and homage. If I meet a man and blame him for his shortcomings, I rob myself of power to attain higher knowledge; but if I try to enter lovingly into his merits, I gather such power. The student must continually be intent upon following this advice. The spiritually experienced know how much they owe to the circumstance that in face of all things they ever again turn to the good, and withhold adverse judgement. But this must not remain an external rule of life; rather it must take possession of our innermost soul.
Rudolf Steiner (How to Know Higher Worlds)
I almost could. I could almost leave and never look back. Like Mr. Bender, I could leave everything I was behind, including my name. Leave because of Allys and all the things she says I am. Leave because of all the things I am afraid that I will never be again. Leave, because maybe I’m not enough. Leave because of Allys, Senator Harris, and half the world knows better than Father and Mother and maybe Ethan, too. Leave. Because the old Jenna was so absorbed in her own needs that she said yes when she knows she should have said no, and the shame of night could be hidden in a new place behind a new name. But friends are complicated. There is the staying. Staying because of Kara and Locke and all that they will never be except trapped. Staying because for them, time is running out and I am their their last chance. Staying for the old Jenna and all she owes Kara and Locke and maybe all the new Jenna owes them, too. Staying because of ten percent and all I hope I might be. Staying because of Mr. Bender’s erased life and regrets. Staying for connection. Staying because two me is enough to make one of me worth nothing at all. And staying because maybe Lily does love the new Jenna as much as the old one, after all. Because maybe, given time, people do change, maybe laws change. Maybe we all change.
Mary E. Pearson (The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #1))
There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral—immoral from the scientific point of view." "Why?" "Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly—that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty hat one owes to one's self. Of course, they are charitable. They feed the hungry and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion—these are the two things that govern us. And yet, I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream—I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal—to something finer, richer than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray (Collector's Edition): Including the Uncensored 13 Chapter Version & The Revised 20 Chapter Version)
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
Harry’s letter to his daughter: If I could give you just one thing, I’d want it to be a simple truth that took me many years to learn. If you learn it now, it may enrich your life in hundreds of ways. And it may prevent you from facing many problems that have hurt people who have never learned it. The truth is simply this: No one owes you anything. Significance How could such a simple statement be important? It may not seem so, but understanding it can bless your entire life. No one owes you anything. It means that no one else is living for you, my child. Because no one is you. Each person is living for himself; his own happiness is all he can ever personally feel. When you realize that no one owes you happiness or anything else, you’ll be freed from expecting what isn’t likely to be. It means no one has to love you. If someone loves you, it’s because there’s something special about you that gives him happiness. Find out what that something special is and try to make it stronger in you, so that you’ll be loved even more. When people do things for you, it’s because they want to — because you, in some way, give them something meaningful that makes them want to please you, not because anyone owes you anything. No one has to like you. If your friends want to be with you, it’s not out of duty. Find out what makes others happy so they’ll want to be near you. No one has to respect you. Some people may even be unkind to you. But once you realize that people don’t have to be good to you, and may not be good to you, you’ll learn to avoid those who would harm you. For you don’t owe them anything either. Living your Life No one owes you anything. You owe it to yourself to be the best person possible. Because if you are, others will want to be with you, want to provide you with the things you want in exchange for what you’re giving to them. Some people will choose not to be with you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. When that happens, look elsewhere for the relationships you want. Don’t make someone else’s problem your problem. Once you learn that you must earn the love and respect of others, you’ll never expect the impossible and you won’t be disappointed. Others don’t have to share their property with you, nor their feelings or thoughts. If they do, it’s because you’ve earned these things. And you have every reason to be proud of the love you receive, your friends’ respect, the property you’ve earned. But don’t ever take them for granted. If you do, you could lose them. They’re not yours by right; you must always earn them. My Experience A great burden was lifted from my shoulders the day I realized that no one owes me anything. For so long as I’d thought there were things I was entitled to, I’d been wearing myself out —physically and emotionally — trying to collect them. No one owes me moral conduct, respect, friendship, love, courtesy, or intelligence. And once I recognized that, all my relationships became far more satisfying. I’ve focused on being with people who want to do the things I want them to do. That understanding has served me well with friends, business associates, lovers, sales prospects, and strangers. It constantly reminds me that I can get what I want only if I can enter the other person’s world. I must try to understand how he thinks, what he believes to be important, what he wants. Only then can I appeal to someone in ways that will bring me what I want. And only then can I tell whether I really want to be involved with someone. And I can save the important relationships for th
Harry Browne
I do not want to be relieved from any obligation,' said he, goaded by her calm manner. 'Fancied, or not fancied - I question not myself to know which - I choose to believe that I owe my very life to you - ay - smile, and think it an exaggeration if you will. I believe it, because it adds a value to that life to think - oh, Miss Hale!' continued he, lowering his voice to such a tender intensity of passion that she shivered and trembled before him, 'to think circumstance so wrought, that whenever I exult in existence henceforward, I may say to myself, "All this gladness in life, all honest pride in doing my work in the world, all this keen sense of being, I owe to her!" And it doubles the gladness, it makes the pride glow, it sharpens the sense of existence till I hardly know if it is pain or pleasure, to think that I owe it to one - nay, you must, you shall hear' - said he, stepping forwards with stern determination - 'to one whom I love, as I do not believe man ever loved woman before.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
Japhy,' I said out loud, 'I don't know when we'll meet again or what'll happen in the future, but Desolation, Desolation, I owe so much to Desolation, thank you forever for guiding me to the place where I learned it all. Now comes the sadness of coming back to cities and I've grown two months older and there's all that humanity of bars and burlesque shows and gritty love, all upsidedown in the void God bless them, but Japhy you and me forever we know, O ever youthful, O ever weeping.' Down on the lake rosy reflections of celestial vapor appeared, and I said 'God I love you' and looked up to the sky and really meant it. 'I have fallen in love with you, God. Take care of us all, one way or the other.' To the children and the innocent it's all the same. And in keeping with Japhy's habit of always getting down on one knee and delivering a little prayer to the camp we left, to the one in the Sierra, and the others in Marin, and the little prayer of gratitude he had delivered to Sean's shack the day he sailed away, as I was hiking down the mountain with my pack I turned and knelt on the trail and said 'Thank you, shack.' Then I hadded 'Blah,' with a little grin, because I knew that shack and that mountain would understand what that meant, and turned and went on down the trail back to this world.
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
ROSE: I been standing with you! I been right here with you, Troy. I got a life, too. I gave eighteen years of my life to stand in the same spot with you. Don't you think I ever wanted other things? Don't you think I had dreams and hopes? What about my life? What about me. Don't you think it ever crossed my mind to want to know other men? That I wanted to lay up somewhere and forget about my responsibilities? That I wanted someone to make me laugh so I could feel good? You not the only one who's got wants and needs. But I held on to you, Troy. I took all my feelings, my wants and needs, my dreams...and I buried them inside you. I planted a seed and watched and prayed over it. I planted myself inside you and waited to bloom. And it didn't take me not eighteen years to find out the soil was hard and rocky and it wasn't never gonna bloom. But I held on to you. I held you tighter. You was my husband. I owed you everything I had. Every part of me I could find to give you. And upstairs in that room...with the darkness falling in on me...I gave everything I had to try and erase the doubt that you wasn't the fines man in the world. And wherever you was going...I wanted to be there with you. Cause you was my husband. Cause that's the only way I was gonna survive as your wife. You always taking about what you give...and what you don't have to give. But you take too. You take...and you don't even know nobody's giving!
August Wilson (Fences (The Century Cycle, #6))
How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face, and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms. No, I cannot free myself from you, because I am you, though not completely. And besides, where would I go? Would I establish another? I would not be able to establish it without the same faults, for they are the same faults I carry in me. And if I did establish another, it would be my Church, not the Church of Christ. I am old enough to know that I am no better than anyone else. …) The Church has the power to make me holy but it is made up, from the first to the last, only of sinners. And what sinners! It has the omnipotent and invincible power to renew the Miracle of the Eucharist, but is made up of men who are stumbling in the dark, who fight every day against the temptation of losing their faith. It brings a message of pure transparency but it is incarnated in slime, such is the substance of the world. It speaks of the sweetness of its Master, of its non-violence, but there was a time in history when it sent out its armies to disembowel the infidels and torture the heretics. It proclaims the message of evangelical poverty, and yet it does nothing but look for money and alliances with the powerful. Those who dream of something different from this are wasting their time and have to rethink it all. And this proves that they do not understand humanity. Because this is humanity, made visible by the Church, with all its flaws and its invincible courage, with the Faith that Christ has given it and with the love that Christ showers on it. When I was young, I did not understand why Jesus chose Peter as his successor, the first Pope, even though he abandoned Him. Now I am no longer surprised and I understand that by founding his church on the tomb of a traitor(…)He was warning each of us to remain humble, by making us aware of our fragility. (…) And what are bricks worth anyway? What matters is the promise of Christ, what matters is the cement that unites the bricks, which is the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of building the church with such poorly moulded bricks as are we. And that is where the mystery lies. This mixture of good and bad, of greatness and misery, of holiness and sin that makes up the church…this in reality am I .(…) The deep bond between God and His Church, is an intimate part of each one of us. (…)To each of us God says, as he says to his Church, “And I will betroth you to me forever” (Hosea 2,21). But at the same time he reminds us of reality: 'Your lewdness is like rust. I have tried to remove it in vain. There is so much that not even a flame will take it away' (Ezechiel 24, 12). But then there is even something more beautiful. The Holy Spirit who is Love, sees us as holy, immaculate, beautiful under our guises of thieves and adulterers. (…) It’s as if evil cannot touch the deepest part of mankind. He re-establishes our virginity no matter how many times we have prostituted our bodies, spirits and hearts. In this, God is truly God, the only one who can ‘make everything new again’. It is not so important that He will renew heaven and earth. What is most important is that He will renew our hearts. This is Christ’s work. This is the divine Spirit of the Church.
Carlo Carretto
The idea of humanity becomes more and more of a power in the civilized world, and, owing to the expansion and increasing speed of means of communication, and also owing to the influence, still more material than moral, of civilization upon barbarous peoples, this idea of humanity begins to take hold even of the minds of uncivilized nations. This idea is the invisible power of our century, with which the present powers — the States — must reckon. They cannot submit to it of their own free will because such submission on their part would be equivalent to suicide, since the triumph of humanity can be realized only through the destruction of the States. But the States can no longer deny this idea nor openly rebel against it, for having now grown too strong, it may finally destroy them. In the face of this fainful alternative there remains only one way out: and that is hypocrisy. The States pay their outward respects to this idea of humanity; they speak and apparently act only in the name of it, but they violate it every day. This, however, should not be held against the States. They cannot act otherwise, their position having become such that they can hold their own only by lying. Diplomacy has no other mission. Therefore what do we see? Every time a State wants to declare war upon another State, it starts off by launching a manifesto addressed not only to its own subjects but to the whole world. In this manifesto it declares that right and justice are on its side, and it endeavors to prove that it is actuated only by love of peace and humanity and that, imbued with generous and peaceful sentiments, it suffered for a long time in silence until the mounting iniquity of its enemy forced it to bare its sword. At the same time it vows that, disdainful of all material conquest and not seeking any increase in territory, it will put and end to this war as soon as justice is reestablished. And its antagonist answers with a similar manifesto, in which naturally right, justice, humanity, and all the generous sentiments are to be found respectively on its side. Those mutually opposed manifestos are written with the same eloquence, they breathe the same virtuous indignation, and one is just as sincere as the other; that is to say both of them are equally brazen in their lies, and it is only fools who are deceived by them. Sensible persons, all those who have had some political experience, do not even take the trouble of reading such manifestos. On the contrary, they seek ways to uncover the interests driving both adversaries into this war, and to weigh the respective power of each of them in order to guess the outcome of the struggle. Which only goes to prove that moral issues are not at stake in such wars.
Mikhail Bakunin