Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf's job of trimming the herd to fit the range.
He has not learned to think like a mountain.
Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.
~ Aldo Leopold (1949)
We have these brief lives, and our only real choice is how we will fill them. Your attention is precious. Don’t squander it. Don’t throw it away. Don’t let companies and products steal it from you. Don’t let advertisers trick you into lusting after things you don’t need. Don’t let the media convince you to covet the lives of celebrities. Own your attention — it’s all you really have.
- Jonathan Harris
It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world less cruel and heartless.
- L.R. Knost
Most people are afraid. If you’re not, you’ve already won.
If our eyes are always looking for weakness, we begin to lose the intuition to notice the beauty.
- Jay O’Callahan
Will we ever have the tools to control ourselves?
Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, when we arrive safely because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the waters of life, having fallen in love with our little island of security in the midst of the forces of blind recklessness, when we have ceased to dream of the world being whole and do, determinedly, what we know to be right.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas, where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizon of our hopes, and to push us into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.
- Adapted from Francis Drake
You must be willing to change. You must be willing to break the deal you made with the devils within. You must be willing to leave the past and not be tempted to rebound when times are tough. You must be willing to let go of everything and anyone that takes you back to your mistakes. You must be willing to have hope. You must be willing to have hope that you can change and that you will and that you will be better. You must believe you are worthy of change and you are worthy of improvement and you are worthy of being the best. You must be willing to set aside your negative notions about life, about hardships, about people, about things, about yourself. You must be willing to stop feeling sorry for yourself while looking at the world move around you.
Get up and make something of yourself.
- Jack Barakat
You own everything that’s happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.
The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.
- Arthur Miller
When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.
- Kurt Vonnegut
Everytime you grow, you leave something behind. You let go of what you’re hanging onto to keep safe. You cast away habits that you’re comfortable with, that make you numb, that stop you from thinking.
It was not so much that he lied as that there was no truth to tell. He had had his life and it was over and then he went on living it again with different people and more money, with the best of the same places, and some new ones.
You kept from thinking and it was all marvellous. You were equipped with good insides so that you did not go to pieces that way, the way most of them had, and you made an attitude that you cared nothing for the work you used to do, now that you could no longer do it. But, in yourself, you said that you would write about these people; about the very rich; that you were really not of them but a spy in their country; that you would leave it and write of it and for once it would be written by some one who knew what he was writing of. But he would never do it, because each day of not writing, of comfort, of being that which he despised, dulled his ability and softened his will to work so that, finally, he did no work at all.
- Ernest Hemingway
Cities are the key to sustainability, people say. And perhaps while we remain near the double digit billions, a concentration of humans in cities is necessary. But sustainability is impossible among people who have never had a reason to develop love, respect and reverence for ecological mechanisms, and for all forms of life. Ecology needs to be taught as a priority from primary school. The few remaining wilderness areas in the world must persist. Feet must be put down and voices raised against greed in all corners of the world.
Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women were always strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.