First impressions are rarely worth preserving. Men typically fall short of our expectations.
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First impressions are rarely worth preserving. Men typically fall short of our expectations.

-Renate Linnenkoper

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We are dealing, then, with an absurdity that is not a quirk or an accident, but is fundamental to our character as people. The split between what we think and what we do is profound. It is not just possible, it is altogether to be expected, that our society would produce conservationists who invest in strip-mining companies, just as it must inevitably produce asthmatic executives whose industries pollute the air and vice-presidents of pesticide corporations whose children are dying of cancer. And these people will tell you that this is the way the "real world" works. The will pride themselves on their sacrifices for "our standard of living." They will call themselves "practical men" and "hardheaded realists." And they will have their justifications in abundance from intellectuals, college professors, clergymen, politicians. The viciousness of a mentality that can look complacently upon disease as "part of the cost" would be obvious to any child. But this is the "realism" of millions of modern adults.There is no use pretending that the contradiction between what we think or say and what we do is a limited phenomenon. There is no group of the extra-intelligent or extra-concerned or extra-virtuous that is exempt. I cannot think of any American whom I know or have heard of, who is not contributing in some way to destruction. The reason is simple: to live undestructively in an economy that is overwhelmingly destructive would require of any one of us, or of any small group of us, a great deal more work than we have yet been able to do. How could we divorce ourselves completely and yet responsibly from the technologies and powers that are destroying our planet? The answer is not yet thinkable, and it will not be thinkable for some time -- even though there are now groups and families and persons everywhere in the country who have begun the labor of thinking it.And so we are by no means divided, or readily divisible, into environmental saints and sinners. But there are legitimate distinctions that need to be made. These are distinctions of degree and of consciousness. Some people are less destructive than others, and some are more conscious of their destructiveness than others. For some, their involvement in pollution, soil depletion, strip-mining, deforestation, industrial and commercial waste is simply a "practical" compromise, a necessary "reality," the price of modern comfort and convenience. For others, this list of involvements is an agenda for thought and work that will produce remedies.People who thus set their lives against destruction have necessarily confronted in themselves the absurdity that they have recognized in their society. They have first observed the tendency of modern organizations to perform in opposition to their stated purposes. They have seen governments that exploit and oppress the people they are sworn to serve and protect, medical procedures that produce ill health, schools that preserve ignorance, methods of transportation that, as Ivan Illich says, have 'created more distances than they... bridge.' And they have seen that these public absurdities are, and can be, no more than the aggregate result of private absurdities; the corruption of community has its source in the corruption of character. This realization has become the typical moral crisis of our time. Once our personal connection to what is wrong becomes clear, then we have to choose: we can go on as before, recognizing our dishonesty and living with it the best we can, or we can begin the effort to change the way we think and live.

-Wendell Berry

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Every Woman is UniqueAsalamu Alaikum.Every woman is unique for she bears the complete genes and background of her family. She is defined by her roots if she would live her life within the confines of her family values.However, she can be more than that if she dares her limitations and explores her potentials.Every woman loves differently. There are women who master the art of materialism, hence, they define love as a source of material and financial fulfillment using such belief as their motivation to marriage.There are women whose only life is to nod, follow and submit even if silently they do not like what they do.She was raised to believe that she can be nothing without her man. That she is a failure if she is incapable of marriage.Then there are women of great social status and ancestry, well-educated and proud. To them, they set standards, dividing men according to their qualities and would not accept a man who falls below it. This is the type that men avoid because they often bring pain to those they reject.Then there is one type of woman, whose level I belong. She looks beyond the superficial world and desires to connect with the soul.This type finds it hard to find true love for most value physical beauty and nothing more. While physical attraction is the first step to great connection, later on, she wants more depth and loyalty. Purity that is hard to attain for most men evolve in either surrendering to temptation or just playing with it. Rare is the man who shuns temptation and honor his commitment.That is why, I do not seek. I leave it all to Allah and ask His help to send me the man who meets me soulfully, and who would appreciate me beyond what he sees.If there is none, I would be happy to face my fate.I hope this will answer all questions to me.A princess by blood right like me can only go back to my ancestry as my source of inspiration and I cannot ask for the love that can master my heart if my fate is not for it.Love comes when it is ready and it must be the true love that DOES NOT only expect, command and criticize selfishly, but a love that is pure and UNCONDITIONAL.I would not settle for anything less.But certainly, as a Muslim, I should be led to the same faith because I was born and raised as a Muslim, and I would love to die in the arms of a pure Muslim.

-Princess Maleiha

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A Great Rabbi stands, teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife's adultery, and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death.There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine - a Speaker for the Dead - has told me of two other Rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I'm going to tell you.The Rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him the mob forbears and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. 'Is there any man here,' he says to them, 'who has not desired another man's wife, another woman's husband?'They murmur and say, 'We all know the desire, but Rabbi none of us has acted on it.'The Rabbi says, 'Then kneel down and give thanks that God has made you strong.' He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, 'Tell the Lord Magistrate who saved his mistress, then he'll know I am his loyal servant.'So the woman lives because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder.Another Rabbi. Another city. He goes to her and stops the mob as in the other story and says, 'Which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone.'The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. ‘Someday,’ they think, ‘I may be like this woman. And I’ll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her as I wish to be treated.’As they opened their hands and let their stones fall to the ground, the Rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman’s head and throws it straight down with all his might it crushes her skull and dashes her brain among the cobblestones. ‘Nor am I without sins,’ he says to the people, ‘but if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead – and our city with it.’So the woman died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance.The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startlingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis and when they veer too far they die. Only one Rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation. So of course, we killed him.-San Angelo Letters to an Incipient Heretic

-Orson Scott Card

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