parents

Revenge has ears more deaf than adders to the voice of any true decision.

I think he and I should get married!

She says I shall now have one mouth the more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music, and drawing.

As for keeping the attack dogs from nibbling away your courage? My theory, after decades in this business, is that you only give a few people the right to make you feel rotten. You have a handful of chits to give out, penuriously, to those you trust and respect. You don't give them to just anyone with an e-mail address and an epithet.

If women can sleep their way to the top, how come they aren't there?

I was always sweet, at first. Oh, it's so easy to be sweet to people before you love them.

Peace has in it trust in the Lord, that He governs all things, provides all things, and leads to a good end.

In a republic, that paradise of debility, the politician is a petty tyrant who obeys the laws.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all, and sweetest in the gale is heard; and sore must be the storm that could abash the little bird that kept so many warm. I've heard it in the chilliest land and on the strangest sea; yet, never, in extremity, it asked a crumb of me.

What can your kids teach you?' Well, I believe something different about kids. We don't own them, they have their own knowledge. From the start you have to make the choice to listen.

Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-raising, they are unemployed.

It seemed rather incongruous that in a society of super-sophisticated communication, we often suffer from a shortage of listeners.

Thanks to my mother, not a single cardboard box has found its way back into society. We receive gifts in boxes from stores that went out of business twenty years ago.

And so, the question for the science of mental health must be­come an absolutely new and revolutionary one, yet one that re­flects the essence of the human condition: On what level of illusion does one live? We will see the import of this at the close of this chapter, but right now we must remind ourselves that when we talk about the need for illusion we are not being cynical. True, there is a great deal of falseness and self-deception in the cultural causa-sui project, but there is also the necessity of this project. Man needs a "second" world, a world of humanly created meaning, a new reality that he can live, dramatize, nourish himself in. "Illusion" means creative play at its highest level. Cultural illusion is a necessary ideology of self-justification, a heroic dimension that is life itself to the symbolic animal. To lose the security of heroic cultural illusion is to die—that is what "deculturation" of primitives means and what it does. It kills them or reduces them to the animal level of chronic fighting and fornication. Life becomes possible only in a continual alcoholic stupor. Many of the older American Indians were relieved when the Big Chiefs in Ottawa and Washington took control and prevented them from warring and feuding. It was a relief from the constant anxiety of death for their loved ones, if not for themselves. But they also knew, with a heavy heart, that this eclipse of their traditional hero-systems at the same time left them as good as dead.

There is the type of man who has great contempt for "im­mediacy," who tries to cultivate his interiority, base his pride on something deeper and inner, create a distance between himself and the average man. Kierkegaard calls this type of man the "introvert." He is a little more concerned with what it means to be a person, with individuality and uniqueness. He enjoys solitude and with­draws periodically to reflect, perhaps to nurse ideas about his secret self, what it might be. This, after all is said and done, is the only real problem of life, the only worthwhile preoccupation of man: What is one's true talent, his secret gift, his authentic vocation? In what way is one truly unique, and how can he express this unique­ness, give it form, dedicate it to something beyond himself? How can the person take his private inner being, the great mystery that he feels at the heart of himself, his emotions, his yearnings and use them to live more distinctively, to enrich both himself and man­kind with the peculiar quality of his talent? In adolescence, most of us throb with this dilemma, expressing it either with words and thoughts or with simple numb pain and longing. But usually life suck us up into standardized activities. The social hero-system into which we are born marks out paths for our heroism, paths to which we conform, to which we shape ourselves so that we can please others, become what they expect us to be. And instead of working our inner secret we gradually cover it over and forget it, while we become purely external men, playing successfully the standardized hero-game into which we happen to fall by accident, by family connection, by reflex patriotism, or by the simple need to eat and the urge to procreate.

I read library books as fast as I could go, rushing them home in the basket of my bicycle. From the minute I reached our house, I started to read. Every book I seized on, from "Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-a-While" to "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea," stood for the devouring wish to read being instantly granted. I knew this was bliss, knew it at the time. Taste isn't nearly so important; it comes in its own time.

That's why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they're blue in the face and not get it.

As one gets older, litigation replaces sex.

Nothing is hopeless; we must hope for everything.

The wheel enabled man to get ahead - until he got behind it.