We are born into greatness, every single one of us. You start out with nothing but hopes and dreams of becoming great, of becoming one of the “well-knowns”. Whether you fulfill your hopes and dreams is up to you and you alone. Greatness is a word with little meaning to become great you have to put forth the effort, you can’t just be one of those who does one great thing for one person. To be great does not mean to be famous or known. You have to do great things to help people, to help those less fortunate, or just help those who need help. If something you do leads to you becoming well-known than that is what was supposed to happen. If it doesn’t it doesn’t mean you are not great. It simply means that people didn’t take the time to notice what you have done to become the great person you are. What matters though, is that the people you helped have noticed and that you have made a difference in their lives. Greatness isn’t great unless it is selfless.
f you do something for someone expecting something in return, whether it be becoming famous, monetary gains, or receiving anything for what you did than it is not great and will not lead to greatness. Just remember you are born into greatness but only you can make that greatness into it’s full potential. Only you can show the world what your really here for. If someone has to tell you than you are probably not meant for greatness, but if you get that feeling, that one that makes you feel all warm inside than you know you have done something great and that’s all you need.
“Wisdom doesn’t automatically come with old age. Nothing does - except wrinkles. It’s true, some wines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place.”—Abigail Van Buren (via kari-shma) (via quote-book)
“It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. Yet regardless of where they come from, I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them - with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself. Still illiterate, I was ready for them, committed to all the reading I could give them…”—— Eudora Welty (via teachingliteracy)
“I have always been a reader; I have read at every stage of my life, and there has never been a time when reading was not my greatest joy. And yet I cannot pretend that the reading I have done in my adult years matches in its impact on my soul the reading I did as a child. I still believe in stories. I still forget myself when I am in the middle of a good book. Yet it is not the same. Books are, for me, it must be said, the most important thing; what I cannot forget is that there was a time when they were at once more banal and more essential than that. When I was a child, books were everything. And so there is in me, always, a nostalgic yearning for the lost pleasure of books. It is not a yearning that one ever expects to be fulfilled.”—— Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale) (via teachingliteracy)
“Children deprived of words become school dropouts; dropouts deprived of hope behave delinquently. Amateur censors blame delinquency on reading immoral books and magazines, when in fact, the inability to read anything is the basic trouble.”—— Peter S. Jennison (via teachingliteracy)
Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change, windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind.
“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, everyday, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.”—Christopher Morley (via kari-shma) (via quote-book)
“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”—— Roald Dahl (via teachingliteracy)
“We need to consider how ur actions, in affecting the environment, are likely 2 affect others. This is often difficult to judge but it is clear that we R the only species w power 2 destroy the earth. Birds&insects have no such power, nor does any other mammal. Yet if we’ve capacity 2 destroy the earth, we also have capacity to protect it. I believe we have an urgent responsibility to do so.”—Dalai Lama (via sarnath) (via quote-book)
“Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.”—— Virginia Woolf (via teachingliteracy)
“i went to a tattoo parlor and had YES written onto the palm of my left hand and NO onto my right palm, what can i say, it hasn’t made life wonderful, it’s made life possible, when i rub my hands against each other in the middle of winter i am warming myself with the friction of YES and NO, when i clap my hands i am showing my appreciation through uniting and parting of YES and NO, i signify “book” by peeling open my clapped hands, every book, for me, is the balance of YES and NO, even this one, my last one, especially this one. does it break my heart, of course, every moment of every day, into more pieces than my heart was made of, i never thought of myself as quiet, much less silent, i never thought about things at all, everything changed, the distance that wedged itself between me and my happiness wasn’t the world, it wasn’t the bombs and burning buildings, it was me, my thinking, the cancer of never letting go, is ignorance bliss, i don’t know, but it’s so painful to think, and tell me, what did thinking ever do for me, to what great place did thinking ever bring me? i think and think and think, i’ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.”—Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (via thechocolatebrigade)
“You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you’re not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn’t a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.”—Anaïs Nin (via thechocolatebrigade)
“There is no escape. You can’t be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. Don’t try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen. You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you! How much have you lied! A thousand times, even in your poems and books, you have played the harmonious man, the wise man, the happy, the enlightened man. In the same way, men attacking in war have played heroes, while their bowels twitched. My God, what a poor ape, what a fencer in the mirror man is- particularly the artist- particularly myself!”—Hermann Hesse (via thechocolatebrigade)
“It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.”—Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (via thechocolatebrigade)
“I am a product […of] endless books. My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them. There were books in the study, books in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books (two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kinds reflecting every transient stage of my parents’ interest, books readable and unreadable, books suitable for a child and books most emphatically not. Nothing was forbidden me. In the seemingly endless rainy afternoons I took volume after volume from the shelves. I had always the same certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a man who walks into a field has of finding a new blade of grass.”— C.S. Lewis (via teachingliteracy)
“And, in a broader sense, I wish we weren’t having a conversation about an item that tasks women with rape prevention in the first place. Which is not a criticism of Dr. Ehlers, nor the women who might want to use the Rape-aXe, because they are dealing with an immediate reality of daily life. It’s just so frustrating that all the discussable proposed solutions to a human rights violation as old as humankind are still so heavily skewed toward the victims of that crime, rather than its perpetrators.”—Shakesville: Discussion Thread: Defensive Condom (via clingtomymouth) (via bonesarecoralmade)
They are there to watch and record us. Dozens, hundreds of cameras scattered throughout the city, as if it were not enough that there are vans filled with police, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs) on every block, and the security forces in their checked shirts. They have been installed with an efficiency rarely seen in the execution of any project of public benefit. Their sophisticated structure is the same on streets where half the houses are on the verge of falling down, as in the modern tourist enclaves and on the sumptuous Fifth Avenue. They capture those who traffic in beef, sell drugs, or steal a gold chain; but they also monitor those who don’t keep guns under their beds, but rather opinions in their heads.
When these “fish eyes” began to be installed everywhere, they generated a sense of paralysis among Havanans. I remember looking for blind spots where the crystal globes couldn’t see me. Then I relaxed a little and learned to live with them, though I still felt the itch on the back of my neck of a person who knows they are being observed. Among the speculations about these filming devices is one that they have face-detection programs – including a data base – that read anthropometric measurements. But comments of this kind may well belong to the fantasy catalog generated by everything new.
These public cameras – the embodiment of the Orwellian “telescreen” – have ushered in a new cinematography. Although they basically operate automatically, some hands have leaked their contents to the alternative information networks. Dozens of images are emerging from the police archives and circulating right now, by flash memory. Videos where we see ourselves committing crimes, surviving, stealing and rebelling. Minutes of police beatings, car crashes and images of prostitution between young boys and tourists twice their age. One is a complete and shocking snuff movie, which for weeks jumped from one screen to another, from cell phones to DVD players.
Moreover, the quotation precisely points up the problems of not recognizing the continuum on which violence and non-violence exist. Rigid bifurcations are problematic, both for obvious reasons—is pushing the Israeli soldier at Budrus violence or not?—but also for reasons that are less obvious. Non-violence and violence are only polar opposites in a realm of ideas which demands that they be so.
It is clear that a person, a society, a state, a world created by violence will carry the birth-scars of that fire with it for some time, and we know this neurologically as well as historically. Violence has begeted violence, and wars ended by violence have not ended war.
The thing is, we already live in a world soaked with violence. The notion that we can remove, via spiritual transformation, the scars of violence while still living in a world totally riddled with it suggests that spiritual catharsis will be easier in a world where structural violence is reduced considerably, if not nearly eliminated. And this sort of thinking can move in another direction too—not that we totally reject violence, but that we cocoon ourselves from its damages. Violence will influence the character of the world we wish to create, sure, but it already does so, and if righteous violence can reduce the scale of constant, structural, morally unacceptable violence—the occupation, the siege—why on earth would we on principle reject its use, or morally privilege non-violence?
Here is the problem. I agree that forms of non-violence can, in theory, use carefully, produce a better world than that produced by what Bromwich means by violence. But how to test this theory? How to concretize what must seem like a fantasy to people under horrible oppression? The answer is actually clear. Organize with them. Believe your belief, work to share your belief with the oppressed, make it real.
To that end, the notion that “we” are practicing non-violence when “we” partake of non-violent resistance is unacceptable. Our tax dollars and our passive acquiescence, our quiescence, or quietude, our muted fury—all of this creates complicity in violence, and there is something hypocritical in advocating non-violence while we do not, at least episodically, throw ourselves on the machine that churns out Palestinian and Iraqi and Afghan and African bodies. Violence suffuses our societies, and the privilege we have to write and speak about non-violence is a privilege that is the heritage of historical violence. Let us look at the podium from which our voices and “values” sound out. It is made of bodies, and they are mostly brown.
Moving on from mostly abstract, normative questions, there is a serious tactical discussion to be had on the left: how to resist an army that has abandoned its morality? There is no evidence that militant non-violence can work against a military apparatus that has regressed to bestiality, the blood-and-soil worship of classical fascism, an element of genocidal ideology, as Ben Kiernan has pointed out. There is institution-building that is being done. People work hard to create parallel media apparatuses that can seriously contend with the narratives power produces. People work hard to use what resources they have to send ships to end this blockade, to seriously jam up the siege engines, and build up a critical mass to end the occupation and end Zionism. We Westerners, we white people, we affluent Jews, have the power and privilege to do this in a non-violent way, in our own societies, because of the legacy bequeathed to us by systems of violence and their ideological stabilizers—racism, colonialism, imperialism, capitalism. We seek state support for our goals—a Turkish naval escort, or EU putting pressure on Israel to lift the siege—and what is a state but an instrument created by and dispensing violence? If we want to create a new world relatively unscathed by the scar tissue left behind by violence, at the very least, we can stop inflicting the damage that will leave those scars. Then let’s talk about violence and non-violence, and practice non-violence when we can and violence when we must.
“Can you imagine how it would feel if your heart were open, if everywhere you went, you trusted, were relaxed, and knew that the universe was friendly? How would your life flow if you believed that your inner guidance was gentle and kind, and that people were sending you love wherever you went, and that you yourself broadcast a beam of love like a circle around you to everyone?”—Orin (via oceanofmind) (via quote-book)
“Third, the rule of Empire operates on all registers of the social order extending down to the depths of the social world. Empire not only manages a territory and a population but also creates the very world it inhabits. It not only regulates human interactions but also seeks directly to rule over human nature. The object of its rule is social life in its entirety, and thus Empire presents the paradigmatic form of biopower. Finally, although the practice of Empire is continually bathed in blood, the concept of Empire is always dedicated to peace-a perpetual and universal peace outside of history.”—Empire (via xjustsmokemycigaretteandhush) (via jhnbrssndn) (via ourtropes) (via bonesarecoralmade)
“In a library we are surrounded by many hundreds of dear friends, but they are imprisoned by an enchanter in these paper and leathern boxes; and though they know us, and have been waiting two, ten, or twenty centuries for us,—some of them,—and are eager to give us a sign and unbosom themselves, it is the law of their limbo that they must not speak until spoken to; and as the enchanter has dressed them, like battalions of infantry, in coat and jacket of one cut, by the thousand and ten thousand, your chance of hitting on the right one is to be computed by the arithmetical rule of Permutation and Combination,—not a choice out of three caskets, but out of half a million caskets, all alike.”—— Ralph Waldo Emerson (via teachingliteracy)
“Today, President Obama fired General Stanley McChrystal, saying McChrystal showed poor judgment in his Rolling Stone interview. It turns out when it comes to criticizing the White House, the general’s policy is ‘just ask, and I’ll tell.’”—JIMMY FALLON, Late Night (via inothernews)
“I like not having glasses on when I see a movie and I like seeing a bright immersive image. So, I think at the end of the day I am extremely happy to be putting the film out with 35 mil film prints. Very brightly projected with the highest possible image quality. That’s really what excited me.”— Christopher Nolan on his decision to NOT use 3D. (via kingpinkim) (via hmizzle) (via ketchuprandomness) (via surrenderlove) (via longlivethequeen)
“there was another reason [she] took her books whenever they went away. they were her home when she was somewhere strange. they were familiar voices, friends that never quarreled with her, clever, powerful friends — daring and knowledgeable, tried and tested adventurers who had traveled far and wide. her books cheered her up when she was sad and kept her from being bored.”—— Cornelia Funke (Inkheart) (via teachingliteracy)
“The greatest book is not the one whose message engraves itself on the brain, as a telegraphic message engraves itself on the ticker-tape, but the one whose vital impact opens up other viewpoints, and from writer to reader spreads the fire that is fed by the various essences, until it becomes a vast conflagration leaping from forest to forest.”—— Romain Rolland (via teachingliteracy)
Green I want you green, green wind, green boughs. The two compadres climbed. The long wind was leaving a strange taste in their mouth of basil, gall and mint. “Compadre, where is she? Where is your bitter girl?” “How often she awaited you, how often did she wait, fresh face, black…
“Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours.”—Herman Hesse (via senshuk)
“Borders are the ultimate man-made walls separating and differentiating us beyond our cultures, beyond our beliefs, beyond economic hierarchies.
Borders are subjective, unnatural lines drawn by humans delineating land, water, and air for partisan collective utilization.
If borders were natural, other animals, in fact, all beings would be bound by them.
Obviously, they aren’t.
Indigenous cultures never recognized borders, cognizant of the fact that the land owns us and not the other way around.
Borders lead to war, occupation, and bigotry, even genocide.
Worst of all, borders are a deceptive, yet constant reinforcement of the notion that we are alone, separate from each other and all things around us.
The multi-layered borders of our lives stratify separation in its undignified definition.
There are people dying in Kashmir due to border disputes. Shots are fired daily between North and South Korea over border disputes. The Berlin Wall separated the German people for almost half a century, at the border. Israel and Palestine continue to endure conflict over their borders, and the predecessors of modern-day Turkey (Ottoman Empire) felt they had to carry out genocide to protect their borders.
Borders represent the foundation of civilization, expansionism, abusive capitalism, and presumptive occupation.
Floods don’t recognize borders.
Earthquakes don’t recognize borders.
Diseases, famine, and drought don’t recognize borders.
Why should we?
We deserve to live without the borders of mind, body, and spirit.
Given the unprecedented changes we are witnessing in the world.”—Borders Are… by Serj Tankian (via ihatethismess + chaichangechaos + thingsimreading + criticalfocus) (via bonesarecoralmade)
“That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay… That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain”—
“The unreal is more powerful than the real, because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. stone crumbles. wood rots. people, well, they die. but things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on.”—Chuck Palahniuk (via longlivethequeen)
1. Waldeinsamkeit (German): the feeling of being alone in the woods
2. Ilunga (Tshiluba, Congo): a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time
3. Taarradhin (Arabic): a way of resolving a problem without anyone losing face (not the same as our concept of a compromise – everyone wins)
4. Litost (Czech): a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery 5. Esprit de l’escalier (French): a witty remark that occurs to you too late, literally on the way down the stairs…
6. Meraki (Greek): doing something with soul, creativity, or love
7. Yoko meshi (Japanese): literally ‘a meal eaten sideways’, referring to the peculiar stress induced by speaking a foreign language:
8. Duende (Spanish): a climactic show of spirit in a performance or work of art, which might be fulfilled in flamenco dancing, or bull-fighting, etc.
9. Guanxi (Mandarin): in traditional Chinese society, you would build up good guanxi by giving gifts to people, taking them to dinner, or doing them a favour, but you can also use up your guanxi by asking for a favour to be repaid.
10. Pochemuchka (Russian): a person who asks a lot of questions
11. Tingo (Pascuense language of Easter Island): to borrow objects one by one from a neighbour’s house until there is nothing left
12. Radioukacz (Polish): a person who worked as a telegraphist for the resistance movements on the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain
13. Selathirupavar (Tamil): a word used to define a certain type of absence without official leave in face of duty
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“I felt the unfairness of it, the inarguable injustice of loving someone who might have loved you back but can’t due to deadness.”—John Green - Looking for Alaska (Submitted by todayithought) (via quote-book) (via dustglitterrain)
“This is the problem of so much art being made today and for the past fifty years: too much emphasis on goals. You can’t have goals - you have to have feeling and desire. It seems to me that if artists impose goals upon themselves when they make paintings, their true creative soul will be sabotaged… I do my best work… when my only goal is to create a painting simply because I want to.”—M. Ryden (via imburstingwithfruitflavor) (via wildfrost)