“I think the discomfort that some people feel in going to the monkey cages at the zoo is a warning sign.”

Carl Sagan, The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God

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“We seem to live in a world where forgetting and oblivion are an industry in themselves and very, very few people are remotely interested or aware of their own recent history, much less their neighbours’. I tend to think we are what we remember, what we know. The less we remember, the less we know about ourselves, the less we are.

(Interview with Three Monkeys Online, October 2008)”
Carlos Ruiz Zafón

“I know what it is to hope and pray so hard that you’re sure God will answer your prayer just so you’ll stop asking.” Karen White, The Beach Trees

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“They didn’t know why these things were funny. Sometimes you laugh because you’ve got no more room for crying. Sometimes you laugh because table manners on a beach are funny. And sometimes you laugh because you’re alive, when you really shouldn’t be.”

Terry Pratchett, Nation

“Go where your best prayers take you.” Frederick Buechner

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“Accept the things I cannot change," I said. "And pray for the courage to change the things I can, as well as the wisdom to know the difference."
The thing is… I know this is good advice. It’s called the Serenity Prayer, and it really does put things in perspective (it’s suppose to be for recovering alcoholics, but it helps recovering freakoutaholics, like me, as well).”

Meg Cabot, Forever Princess

“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

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“There are people who are very resourceful, at being remorseful,
And who apparently feel that the best way to make friends is to do something terrible and then make amends.”

Ogden Nash

“Long marriages have ended in ruin over tiny and insignificant grievances that were never properly aired and instead grew into a brittle barnacle of hatred.”

Augusten Burroughs

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“Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another’s control… to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else’s nightmare.”

Lance Morrow, The Chief: A Memoir of Fathers and Sons

“Silence itself—the things one declines to say, or is forbidden to name, the discretion that is required between speakers is…an element that functions alongside the things said…There is no binary division to be made between what one says and what one does not say; we must try to determine the different ways of not saying such things.”

Michel Foucault History of Sexuality Vol. 1

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“It must be admitted frankly that Aunt Becky was not particularly beloved by her clan. She was too fond of telling them what she called the plain truth. And, as Uncle Pippin said, while the truth was all right, in its place, there was no sense in pouring out great gobs of it around where it wasn’t wanted. To Aunt Becky, however, tact and diplomacy and discretion, never to mention any consideration for any one’s feelings, were things unknown.”

L.M. Montgomery, A Tangled Web

“Child, you have to learn to see things in the right proportions. Learn to see great things great and small things small.” Corrie Ten Boom

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“As with all my children, you must find your own path, and through that discovery, you will decide what each earth child must ultimately decide-whether she chooses chaos or love.”

P.C. Cast, Untamed

“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.”

John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

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“If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.”

C.G. Jung

“Children and dogs are the messengers of God some of us do not deserve them” Ginnetta Correli

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“I feel about my dogs now, and all the dogs I had prior to this, the way I feel about children—they are that important to me. When I have lost a dog I have gone into a mourning period that lasted for months.”

Mary Tyler Moore

“This is what the things can teach us: to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness. Even a bird has to do that before he can fly.” Rainer Maria Rilke

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“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”

 Essential Rumi

“In the beginning there was nothing. God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better. ” Ellen DeGeneres

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“When things break, it’s not the actual breaking that prevents them from getting back together again. It’s because a little piece gets lost – the two remaining ends couldn’t fit together even if they wanted to. The whole shape has changed.”

John Green Will Grayson

“Every life deserves a certain amount of dignity, no matter how poor or damaged the shell that carries it.”

Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin’

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“A man is born into this world with only a tiny spark of goodness in him. The spark is God, it is the soul; the rest is ugliness and evil, a shell. The spark must be guarded like a treasure, it must be nurtured, it must be fanned into flame. It must learn to seek out other sparks, it must dominate the shell. Anything can be a shell, Reuven. Anything. Indifference, laziness, brutality, and genius. Yes, even a great mind can be a shell and choke the spark.”

Chaim Potok, The Chosen

“The human heart is a strange vessel. Love and hatred can exist side by side.” Scott Westerfeld

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“Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore benefit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.”

Lao Tzu

“I mean, who wants to trudge through life, doing everything just right? Taking no chances means wasting your dreams.” Ellen Hopkins

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“Life is what you make it. If you think you can’t change the world, then go on and follow the path already carved out for you. But there are other roads to choose, they’re just harder to trudge through. Changing the world isn’t easy, but I sure as hell am going to keep trying. Are you?”

Simone Elkeles, Perfect Chemistry