Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love; and then, for a second time in the history of the world, humans will have discovered fire.
Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us – a meteor shower of synapses firing across the brain – it’s also a choice we make: to pay attention, to extend ourselves. It’s made of exertion, that dowdier cousin of impulse.
Sometimes we care for another because we know we should, or because it’s asked for, but this doesn’t make our caring hollow. The act of choosing simply means we’ve committed ourselves to a set of behaviors greater than the sum of our individual inclinations: I will listen to his sadness, even when I am deep in my own.
On the one hand, everything is preordained. On the other hand, you have complete free will. When you truly grasp that paradox, you’re no longer a slave of your conditioning.
No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.
Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.
If we would have new knowledge, we must get us a whole world of new questions.
What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
Don’t tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.
It comes back to the question, whom are you writing for? Who are the readers you want? Who are the people you want to engage with the things that matter most to you? And for me, it’s people who don’t need it all spelled out because they know it, they understand it. That’s why there’s so much I can’t read because I get so exasperated. Someone starts describing the character boarding the plane and pulling the seat back. And I just want to say, “Babe, I have been downtown. I have been up in a plane. Give me some credit.”
Modern English is the Walmart of languages: convenient, huge, hard to avoid, superficially friendly, and devouring all rivals in its eagerness to expand.