How can one person be more real than any other? Well, some people do hide and others seek. Maybe those who are in hiding – escaping encounters, avoiding surprises, protecting their property, ignoring their fantasies, restricting their feelings, sitting out the pan pipe hootchy-kootch of experience – maybe those people, people who won’t talk to rednecks, or if they’re rednecks won’t talk to intellectuals, people who’re afraid to get their shoes muddy or their noses wet, afraid to eat what they crave, afraid to drink Mexican water, afraid to bet a long shot to win, afraid to hitchhike, jaywalk, honky-tonk, cogitate, osculate, levitate, rock it, bop it, sock it, or bark at the moon, maybe such people are simply inauthentic, and maybe the jacklet humanist who says differently is due to have his tongue fried on the hot slabs of Liar’s Hell. Some folks hide, and some folk’s seek, and seeking, when it’s mindless, neurotic, desperate, or pusillanimous can be a form of hiding. But there are folks who want to know and aren’t afraid to look and won’t turn tail should they find it – and if they never do, they’ll have a good time anyway because nothing, neither the terrible truth nor the absence of it, is going to cheat them out of one honest breath of Earth’s sweet gas.
I think more people would stay active in church, if they didn't get so offended by the actions of members. Sometimes, you have to view places of worship as free mental health clinics, in order to deal with the piety or hypocrisy. Parishioners are a wounded souls in various stages of healing, who are being treated by angels, with credentials from the University of Hard Knocks. Some take their therapy seriously and try to practice what they learned. Yet, others down the sacrament like a healing dose of Prozac, with no other effort required. When you keep this in mind, you won't feel so annoyed by the personalities you encounter.
Some PeopleSome people flee some other people. In some country under a sun and some clouds. They abandon something close to all they’ve got, sown fields, some chickens, dogs, mirrors in which fire now preens. Their shoulders bear pitchers and bundles. The emptier they get, the heavier they grow. What happens quietly: someone’s dropping from exhaustion. What happens loudly: someone’s bread is ripped away, someone tries to shake a limp child back to life. Always another wrong road ahead of them, always another wrong bridge across an oddly reddish river. Around them, some gunshots, now nearer, now farther away, above them a plane seems to circle.Some invisibility would come in handy, some grayish stoniness, or, better yet, some nonexistence for a shorter or a longer while. Something else will happen, only where and what. Someone will come at them, only when and who, in how many shapes, with what intentions. If he has a choice, maybe he won’t be the enemy and will leave them to some sort of life.
My feet," said Montag. "I can't move them. I feel so damn silly. My feet won't move!""Listen. Easy now," said the old man gently. "I know, I know. You're afraid of making mistakes. Don't be. Mistakes can be profited by. Man, when I was young I shoved my ignorance in people's faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been honed to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn.
And so we know the satisfaction of hate. We know the sweet joy of revenge. How it feels good to get even. Oh, that was a nice idea Jesus had. That was a pretty notion, but you can't love people who do evil. It's neither sensible or practical. It's not wise to the world to love people who do such terrible wrong. There is no way on earth we can love our enemies. They'll only do wickedness and hatefulness again. And worse, they'll think they can get away with this wickedness and evil, because they'll think we're weak and afraid. What would the world come to?But I want to say to you here on this hot July morning in Holt, what if Jesus wasn't kidding? What if he wasn't talking about some never-never land? What if he really did mean what he said two thousand years ago? What if he was thoroughly wise to the world and knew firsthand cruelty and wickedness and evil and hate? Knew it all so well from personal firsthand experience? And what if in spite of all that he knew, he still said love your enemies? Turn your cheek. Pray for those who misuse you. What if he meant every word of what he said? What then would the world come to?And what if we tried it? What if we said to our enemies: We are the most powerful nation on earth. We can destroy you. We can kill your children. We can make ruins of your cities and villages and when we're finished you won't even know how to look for the places where they used to be. We have the power to take away your water and to scorch your earth, to rob you of the very fundamentals of life. We can change the actual day into actual night. We can do these things to you. And more.But what if we say, Listen: Instead of any of these, we are going to give willingly and generously to you. We are going to spend the great American national treasure and the will and the human lives that we would have spent on destruction, and instead we are going to turn them all toward creation. We'll mend your roads and highways, expand your schools, modernize your wells and water supplies, save your ancient artifacts and art and culture, preserve your temples and mosques. In fact, we are going to love you. And again we say, no matter what has gone before, no matter what you've done: We are going to love you. We have set our hearts to it. We will treat you like brothers and sisters. We are going to turn our collective national cheek and present it to be stricken a second time, if need be, and offer it to you. Listen, we--But then he was abruptly halted.
To begin with, we have to be more clear about what we mean by patriotic feelings. For a time when I was in high school, I cheered for the school athletic teams. That's a form of patriotism — group loyalty. It can take pernicious forms, but in itself it can be quite harmless, maybe even positive. At the national level, what "patriotism" means depends on how we view the society. Those with deep totalitarian commitments identify the state with the society, its people, and its culture. Therefore those who criticized the policies of the Kremlin under Stalin were condemned as "anti-Soviet" or "hating Russia". For their counterparts in the West, those who criticize the policies of the US government are "anti-American" and "hate America"; those are the standard terms used by intellectual opinion, including left-liberal segments, so deeply committed to their totalitarian instincts that they cannot even recognize them, let alone understand their disgraceful history, tracing to the origins of recorded history in interesting ways. For the totalitarian, "patriotism" means support for the state and its policies, perhaps with twitters of protest on grounds that they might fail or cost us too much. For those whose instincts are democratic rather than totalitarian, "patriotism" means commitment to the welfare and improvement of the society, its people, its culture. That's a natural sentiment and one that can be quite positive. It's one all serious activists share, I presume; otherwise why take the trouble to do what we do? But the kind of "patriotism" fostered by totalitarian societies and military dictatorships, and internalized as second nature by much of intellectual opinion in more free societies, is one of the worst maladies of human history, and will probably do us all in before too long.With regard to the US, I think we find a mix. Every effort is made by power and doctrinal systems to stir up the more dangerous and destructive forms of "patriotism"; every effort is made by people committed to peace and justice to organize and encourage the beneficial kinds. It's a constant struggle. When people are frightened, the more dangerous kinds tend to emerge, and people huddle under the wings of power. Whatever the reasons may be, by comparative standards the US has been a very frightened country for a long time, on many dimensions. Quite commonly in history, such fears have been fanned by unscrupulous leaders, seeking to implement their own agendas. These are commonly harmful to the general population, which has to be disciplined in some manner: the classic device is to stimulate fear of awesome enemies concocted for the purpose, usually with some shreds of realism, required even for the most vulgar forms of propaganda. Germany was the pride of Western civilization 70 years ago, but most Germans were whipped to presumably genuine fear of the Czech dagger pointed at the heart of Germany (is that crazier than the Nicaraguan or Grenadan dagger pointed at the heart of the US, conjured up by the people now playing the same game today?), the Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy aimed at destroying the Aryan race and the civilization that Germany had inherited from Greece, etc.That's only the beginning. A lot is at stake.
I can't - Kestrel, you must understand that I would never claim you. Calling you a prize - my prize - it was only words. But it worked. Cheat won't harm you, I swear that he won't, but you must...hide yourself a little. Help a little. Just tell us how much time we have before the battle. Give him a reason to decide you're not better off dead. Swallow your pride.""Maybe it's not as easy for me as it is for you."He wheeled on her. "It's not easy for me," "You know that it's not. What do you think I have had to swallow these past ten years? What do you think I have had to do to survive?""Truly," she said, "I haven't the faintest interest. You may tell your sad story to someone else."He flinched as if slapped. His voice came low: "You can make people feel so small.
Make peace with others. The only thing you can change about the past is the damage you may have done to relationships. You may need to make amends with some people and say sorry. Sometimes it feels like we have unfinished business if we leave something in a state of tension. Break the ice, admit you were wrong, and then you and the other person can let go of any bitterness and move on. Sometimes God won't let us rest with ourselves and be at peace unless we take care of certain things. The Bible says in Matthew 5, "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering." Another good verse that is related to this is in Mark 11, "Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions." So we need to forgive others and we need to ask for their forgiveness if we have done them wrong. When Jesus was asked how many times we have to forgive others He said 70 times 7, as in, countless times. Joyce Meyer says, "Do yourself a favor and forgive," because you will never truly have peace until you forgive everyone and anyone who has done you wrong. Amen.
There are metaphors more real than the people who walk in the street. There are images tucked away in books that live more vividly than many men and women. There are phrases from literary works that have a positively human personality. There are passages from my own writing that chill me with fright, so distinctly do I feel them as people, so sharply outlined do they appear against the walls of my room, at night, in shadows... I've written sentences whose sound, read out loud or silently (impossible to hide their sound), can only be of something that acquired absolute exteriority and a full-fledged soul.
Life's more important than a living. So many people who make a living are making death, not life. Don't ever join them. They're the gravediggers of our civilization - The safe men. The compromisers. The moneymakers. The muddlers-through. Politics is full of them... so is businesses... so is the church. They're popular. Successful. Some of them work hard, other are slack, but all of them could tell a good story. Never where there such charming gravediggers in the world's history.
If you can't, or won't, think of Seymour, then you go right ahead and call in some ignorant psychoanalyst. You just do that. You just call in some analyst who's experienced in adjusting people to the joys of television, and Life magazine every Wednesday, and European travel, and the H-bomb, and Presidential elections, and the front page of the Times, and God knows what else that's gloriously normal.
Then don't. I can't help you. They say that women dream of danger to those in their care and men of danger to themselves. But I don't dream at all. You say you can't? Then don't do it. That's all. Because I am done with my own whorish heart and I have been for a long time. You talk about taking a stand but there is no stand to take. My heart was ripped out of me the night he was born so don't ask for sorrow now. There is none. Maybe you'll be good at this. I doubt it, but who knows. The one thing I can tell you is that you won't survive for yourself. I know because I would have never have come this far. A person who had no one would be well advised to cobble together some passable ghost. Breathe it into being and coax it along with words of love. Offer it each phantom crumb and sheild it from harm with your body. As for me my only hope is for eternal nothingness and I hope it with all my heart.
One can give or withhold in a manner far more effective, sophisticated, useful, which is quite invisible to people who think that giving or withholding is done by external assessment. If you seek some mark of favour or 'promotion', know that you are not ready for it. Progress comes through capacity to learn, and is irresistible. Nobody can stand between you and knowledge if you are fit for it.
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Why Does He Do That? That's the number one question, isn't it? Maybe it's his drinking, you say. Maybe it's his learning disabilities. It's his job; he hates it. He's stressed. I think he's bipolar. It's his mother's fault; she spoiled him rotten. It's the drugs. If only he didn't use. It's his temper. He's selfish. It's the pornography; he's obsessed. The list could go on and on. You could spend many years trying to pinpoint it and never get a definite answer. The fact is, many people have these problems and they aren't abusive. Just because someone is an alcoholic doesn't mean he is abusive. Men hate their jobs all the time and aren't abusive. Bipolar? Okay. Stressed? Who isn't! Do you see where I am going with this? Off the subject a bit, when someone commits a violent crime, they always report in the news about his possible motive. As human beings, we need to somehow make sense of things. If someone murders someone, do you think it makes the family of the victim feel better to know the murderer's motive? No. Except for self-defense, there really is no excuse for murder. Motive, if there is any, is irrelevant. The same is true of abuse. You could spend your whole life going round and round trying to figure out why. The truth is, the why doesn't matter. There are only two reasons why men commit abuse—because they want to do so and because they can. You want to know why. In many ways, you might feel like you need to know. But, if you could come up with a reason or a motive, it wouldn't help you. Maybe you believe that if you did this or that differently, he wouldn't have abused you. That is faulty thinking and won't help you get better. You didn't do anything to cause the abuse. No matter what you said, no matter what you did, you didn't deserve to be abused. You are the victim and it won't help you to know why he supposedly abused you. No matter what his reason, there is no excuse for abuse. You are not to blame.
Girls aside, the other thing I found in the last few years of being at school, was a quiet, but strong Christian faith – and this touched me profoundly, setting up a relationship or faith that has followed me ever since.I am so grateful for this. It has provided me with a real anchor to my life and has been the secret strength to so many great adventures since.But it came to me very simply one day at school, aged only sixteen.As a young kid, I had always found that a faith in God was so natural. It was a simple comfort to me: unquestioning and personal.But once I went to school and was forced to sit through somewhere in the region of nine hundred dry, Latin-liturgical, chapel services, listening to stereotypical churchy people droning on, I just thought that I had got the whole faith deal wrong.Maybe God wasn’t intimate and personal but was much more like chapel was … tedious, judgemental, boring and irrelevant.The irony was that if chapel was all of those things, a real faith is the opposite. But somehow, and without much thought, I had thrown the beautiful out with the boring. If church stinks, then faith must do, too.The precious, natural, instinctive faith I had known when I was younger was tossed out with this newly found delusion that because I was growing up, it was time to ‘believe’ like a grown-up.I mean, what does a child know about faith?It took a low point at school, when my godfather, Stephen, died, to shake me into searching a bit harder to re-find this faith I had once known.Life is like that. Sometimes it takes a jolt to make us sit and remember who and what we are really about.Stephen had been my father’s best friend in the world. And he was like a second father to me. He came on all our family holidays, and spent almost every weekend down with us in the Isle of Wight in the summer, sailing with Dad and me. He died very suddenly and without warning, of a heart attack in Johannesburg.I was devastated.I remember sitting up a tree one night at school on my own, and praying the simplest, most heartfelt prayer of my life.‘Please, God, comfort me.’Blow me down … He did.My journey ever since has been trying to make sure I don’t let life or vicars or church over-complicate that simple faith I had found. And the more of the Christian faith I discover, the more I realize that, at heart, it is simple. (What a relief it has been in later life to find that there are some great church communities out there, with honest, loving friendships that help me with all of this stuff.)To me, my Christian faith is all about being held, comforted, forgiven, strengthened and loved – yet somehow that message gets lost on most of us, and we tend only to remember the religious nutters or the God of endless school assemblies.This is no one’s fault, it is just life. Our job is to stay open and gentle, so we can hear the knocking on the door of our heart when it comes.The irony is that I never meet anyone who doesn’t want to be loved or held or forgiven. Yet I meet a lot of folk who hate religion. And I so sympathize. But so did Jesus. In fact, He didn’t just sympathize, He went much further. It seems more like this Jesus came to destroy religion and to bring life.This really is the heart of what I found as a young teenager: Christ comes to make us free, to bring us life in all its fullness. He is there to forgive us where we have messed up (and who hasn’t), and to be the backbone in our being.Faith in Christ has been the great empowering presence in my life, helping me walk strong when so often I feel so weak. It is no wonder I felt I had stumbled on something remarkable that night up that tree.I had found a calling for my life.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….You’re not as fat as you imagine. Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing everyday that scares you Sing Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself. Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements. Stretch Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.. Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly. Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go,but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.