“In order to rise
From its own ashes
“Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.
To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.
To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.
To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.
To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.
To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.”
Irrational and blind,
Or fear looms,
Defiant and closed.
“If you want a thing--truly want it, want it so badly that you need it as you need air to breathe, then unless you die, you will have it. Why not? It has you. There is no escape. What a cruel and terrible thing escape would be if escape were possible”
“Kindness eases change.
Love quiets fear.
And a sweet and powerful
And engages each of us
In the greatest,
The most intense
Of our chosen struggles.”
Let the past
Leaders and thinkers.
Let them inspire you,
Give you strength.
God is change.
Past is past.
know the past.
Let it touch you.
Self is body and bodily
perception. Self is thought, memory,
belief. Self creates. Self destroys.
Self learns, discovers, becomes.
Self shapes. Self adapts. Self
invents its own reasons for being.
To shape God, shape Self.”
“We go on having stupid wars that we justify and get passionate about, but in the end, all they do is kill huge numbers of people, maim others, impoverish still more, spread disease and hunger, and set the stage for the next war. And when we look at all of that in history, we just shrug our shoulders and say, well, that’s the way things are. That’s the way things always have been.”
“There seem to be solid biological reasons why we are the way we are. If there weren’t, the cycles wouldn’t keep replaying. The human species is a kind of animal, of course. But we can do something no other animal species has ever had the option to do. We can choose: We can go on building and destroying until we either destroy ourselves or destroy the ability of our world to sustain us. Or we can make”
“I have watched education become more a privilege of the rich than the basic necessity that it must be if civilized society is to survive. I have watched as convenience, profit, and inertia excused greater and more dangerous environmental degradation. I have watched poverty, hunger, and disease become inevitable for more and more people.”
“ Your desires, Whether or not you achieve them Will determine who you become.”
“How much of this nonsense does he believe, I wonder, and how much does he say just because he knows the value of dividing in order to conquer and to rule? Well,”
“In small communities, she believed, people are more accountable to one another. Serious misbehavior is harder to get away with, harder even to begin when everyone who sees you knows who you are, where you live, who your family is, and whether you have any business doing what you’re doing.”
“There must be good marriages somewhere, but to me, marriage had the feel of people tolerating each other, enduring each other because they were afraid to be alone or because each was a habit that the other couldn't quite break.”
“People do blame you for the things they do to you.”
“We keep falling into the same ditches, you know? I mean, we learn more and more about the physical universe, more about our own bodies, more technology, but somehow, down through history, we go on building empires of one kind or another, then destroying them in one way or another. We go on having stupid wars that we justify and get passionate about, but in the end, all they do is kill huge numbers of people, maim others, impoverish still more, spread disease and hunger, and set the stage for the next war. And when we look at all of that in history, we just shrug our shoulders and say, well, that's the way things are. That's the way things always have been.”
“The child in each of us Knows paradise. Paradise is home. Home as it was Or home as it should have been. Paradise is one’s own place, One’s own people, One’s own world, Knowing and known, Perhaps even Loving and loved. Yet every child Is cast from paradise— Into growth and destruction, Into solitude and new community, Into vast, ongoing Change.”
“I have also read that the Pox was caused by accidentally coinciding climatic, economic, and sociological crises. It would be more honest to say that the Pox was caused by our own refusal to deal with obvious problems in those areas. We caused the problems: then we sat and watched as they grew into crises.”
It focuses our dreams,
Guides our plans,
Strengthens our efforts.
And offers us
“I found that I couldn't muster any belief in a literal heaven or hell, anyway. I thought the best we could all do was to look after one another and clean up the various hells we've made right here on earth.”
“As a country, we’ve given up our birthright for even less than bread and pottage. We’ve given it up for nothing—although I’m sure some people somewhere are richer now.”
“Help us to make America great again.”
“Did she struggle for life only out of habit, or because some part of her still hoped that there was something worth living for?”
“he still knows how to rouse his rabble, how to reach out to poor people, and sic them on other poor people. How much of this nonsense does he believe, I wonder, and how much does he say just because he knows the value of dividing in order to conquer and to rule?”
“This was something new. Or something old. I didn’t think of what it might be until after I had let Aubrey go back to the clinic to bed down next to her child. Bankole had given him something to help him sleep. He did the same for her, so I won’t be able to ask her anything more until she wakes up later this morning. I couldn’t help wondering, though, whether these people, with their crosses, had some connection with my current least favorite presidential candidate, Texas Senator Andrew Steele Jarret. It sounds like the sort of thing his people might do—a revival of something nasty out of the past. Did the Ku Klux Klan wear crosses—as well as burn them? The Nazis wore the swastika, which is a kind of cross, but I don’t think they wore it on their chests. There were crosses all over the place during the Inquisition and before that, during the Crusades. So now we have another group that uses crosses and slaughters people. Jarret’s people could be behind it. Jarret insists on being a throwback to some earlier, “simpler” time. Now does not suit him. Religious tolerance does not suit him. The current state of the country does not suit him. He wants to take us all back to some magical time when everyone believed in the same God, worshipped him in the same way, and understood that their safety in the universe depended on completing the same religious rituals and stomping anyone who was different. There was never such a time in this country. But these days when more than half the people in the country can’t read at all, history is just one more vast unknown to them. Jarret supporters have been known, now and then, to form mobs and burn people at the stake for being witches. Witches! In 2032! A witch, in their view, tends to be a Moslem, a Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist, or, in some parts of the country, a Mormon, a Jehovah’s Witness, or even a Catholic. A witch may also be an atheist, a “cultist,” or a well-to-do eccentric. Well-to-do eccentrics often have no protectors or much that’s worth stealing. And “cultist” is a great catchall term for anyone who fits into no other large category, and yet doesn’t quite match Jarret’s version of Christianity. Jarret’s people have been known to beat or drive out Unitarians, for goodness’ sake. Jarret condemns the burnings, but does so in such mild language that his people are free to hear what they want to hear. As for the beatings, the tarring and feathering, and the destruction of “heathen houses of devil-worship,” he has a simple answer: “Join us! Our doors are open to every nationality, every race! Leave your sinful past behind, and become one of us. Help us to make America great again.”
“Gather information. Seek weakness. Watch, wait, and do what you have to to stay alive!”
“Such leaders knew that they could depend on fear, suspicion, hatred, need, and greed to arouse patriotic support for war.”
“His mistake was in seeing her as a young girl. She was already a missile, armed and targeted.”
“Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery. I”
“I mean that if you are not absolutely sure of a thing, it is so difficult to commit yourself to a definite course of action.”
“He was in my nose, my mouth, on my skin, inside my cells, deep in the marrow of my bones. Just then, he was everything to me.”
“Alive is better than dead. Always.”
“When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.”
“Even if a thing is doomed—there is that moment of absurd hope that is worth the fall, that is worth everything.”
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