Top Helplessness Quotes

Browse top 104 famous quotes and sayings about Helplessness by most favorite authors.

Favorite Helplessness Quotes

1. "Power is fortified not just by what it destroys, but also by what it creates. Not just by what it takes, but also by what it gives. And powerlessness reaffirmed not just by the helplessness of those who have lost, but also by the gratitude of those who have (or THINK they have) gained."
Author: Arundhati Roy
2. "Helplessness induces hopelessness, and history attests that loss of hope and not loss of lives is what decides the issue of war."
Author: B. H. Liddell Hart
3. "The days I'd passed with my mom before she died were still there, it seemed, seared into the corners of my heart.The atmosphere of the station brought it all back. I could see myself running to the hospital, glad to be seeing my mother again. You never know you're happy until later. Because physical sensations like smells and exhaustion don't figure into our memories, I guess. Only the good bits bob up into view.I was always startled by the snatches of memory that I saw as happy, how they came.This time, it was the feeling I got when I stepped out onto the platform. The sense of what it had been like to be on my way to see my mom, for her still to be alive, if only for the time being, if only for that day. The happiness of that knowledge had come back to life inside me.And the loneliness of that moment. The helplessness."
Author: Banana Yoshimoto
4. "Man's first expression, like his first dream, was an aesthetic one. Speech was a poetic outcry rather than a demand for communication. Original man, shouting his consonants, did so in yells of awe and anger at his tragic state, at his own self-awareness and at his own helplessness before the void."
Author: Barnett Newman
5. "Prayer is helplessness plus faith."
Author: Bill Thrasher
6. "His body was as powerful as ever, looking as strong and exciting and cut as it did in my fantasies. He owned me in smooth, explicit strokes. But it was the noises he made that had me aching. The tight grunt each time his hips met mine. There was a helplessness in that plaintive sound. Something that said, Let me in, a plea trying to pass for an order."
Author: Cara McKenna
7. "..a new baby is not uninterrupted bliss. It's joy mixed with terror, fatigue, depression, intense feelings of helplessness, loneliness and inadequacy. And poop."
Author: Carolyn Hax
8. "The suspense: the fearful, acute suspense: of standing idly by while the life of one we dearly love, is trembling in the balance; the racking thoughts that crowd upon the mind, and make the heart beat violently, and the breath come thick, by the force of the images they conjure up before it; the desperate anxiety to be doing something to relieve the pain, or lessen the danger, which we have no power to alleviate; the sinking of soul and spirit, which the sad remembrance of our helplessness produces; what tortures can equal these; what reflections of endeavours can, in the full tide and fever of the time, allay them!"
Author: Charles Dickens
9. "...We leave our homeland, our property and our friends. We give up the familiar ground that supports our ego, admit the helplessness of ego to control its world and secure itself. We give up our clingings to superiority and self-preservation...It means giving up searching for a home, becoming a refugee, a lonely person who must depend on himself...Fundamentally, no one can help us. If we seek to relieve our loneliness, we will be distracted from the path. Instead, we must make a relationship with loneliness until it becomes aloneness."
Author: Chögyam Trungpa
10. "Helplessness is such a rotten feeling. There's nothing you can do about it. Being helpless is like being paralyzed. It's sickness. The cure calls for a monumental effort to stand up and start walking somewhere, anywhere. But that takes some doing."
Author: Chuck Barris
11. "His utter helplessness at the sight of my tears leaked through his confident voice. It was almost funny that such a great warrior as Hasani was reduced to panic at the sight of a stupid tear or two."
Author: Courtney Cole
12. "The physician said some women don't take to childbirth. Something about too much excitement laid upon the female sensibility. She wasn't herself afterward. The female mind is delicate as it is, you know. She changed during her confinement. She was less biddable, more excitable. More given to hysterics."Harcroft shrugged. The gesture conveyed helplessness, and Kate's lip curled. Helpless, Harcroft was not. Kate suppressed the urge to lift the nearby oil lamp with her delicate, female hands. She felt excited and unbiddable right now;why, she might slip and use her own delicate, female sensibility to bash all that heavy brass into his head."
Author: Courtney Milan
13. "[The] term ‘decide' has always seemed to me to be quite wrong…A sinner does not ‘decide' for Christ; the sinner ‘flies' to Christ in utter helplessness and despair saying —Foul, I to the fountain fly,Wash me, Saviour, or I die.No man truly comes to Christ unless he flies to Him as his only refuge and hope, his only way of escape from the accusations of conscience and the condemnation of God's holy law. Nothing else is satisfactory. If a man says that having thought about the matter and having considered all sides he has on the whole decided for Christ, and if he has done so without any emotion or feeling, I cannot regard him as a man who has been regenerated. The convicted sinner no more ‘decides' for Christ than the poor drowning man ‘decides' to take hold of that rope that is thrown to him and suddenly provides him with the only means of escape. The term is entirely inappropriate."
Author: D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
14. "Fuck this.Fuck this wondering. Fuck this trying and trying. Fuck this belief that two people can become one ideal. Fuck this helplessness. Fuck this waiting for something to happen that probably won't ever happen."
Author: David Levithan
15. "I did not imagine anyone reading my rambling, ranting stories. I was writing for myself, trying to shape my life outside my terrors and helplessness, to make it visible and real in a tangible way, in the way other people's seemed real -- the lives I had read about in books."
Author: Dorothy Allison
16. "From the first winter afternoon in the Harvard ball fields, "Oh no--I need you" had become an admission and a clarion call--the tenet of dependency that forms the weft of friendship. We needed each other so that we could count the endless days of forests and flat water, but the real need was soldered by the sadder, harder moments--discord or helplessness or fear--that we dared to expose to each other. It took me years to grasp that this grit and discomfort in any relationship are an indicator of closeness, not it's opposite."
Author: Gail Caldwell
17. "The risks of liberty we must let everyone take; but the risks of ignorance and self-helplessness are another matter."
Author: George Bernard Shaw
18. "I enjoyed the innocence of unhappiness and of helplessness; could I blame myself for a sin which attracted me, which flooded me with pleasure precisely to the extent it brought me to despair?"
Author: Georges Bataille
19. "Perhaps it is only human nature to inflict suffering on anything that will endure suffering, whether by reason of its genuine humility, or indifference, or sheer helplessness."
Author: Honoré De Balzac
20. "In a long life, said many an old man, this is but one more thing. Yet there were others who were young and knew nothing about the helplessness of life's condition. Did they glow with light? They did, but of course, it could not be seen. And all the while, the grinding of bones like machinery, and the light step of tightrope walkers out beyond the windows."
Author: Jesse Ball
21. "Lazy doesn't exist. Lazy is a symptom of something else. The person who can't get up off their butt is just a person who's depressed. It's usually a pervasive lack of self-worth, or a feeling of helplessness."
Author: Jillian Michaels
22. "[U]ntil feminists work to empower femininity and pry it away from the insipid, inferior meanings that plague it - weakness, helplessness, fragility, passivity, frivolity, and artificiality - those meanings will continue to haunt every person who is female and/or feminine."
Author: Julia Serano
23. "I love you," she murmured. The words ... it was as though an entire sun had exploded in his chest.He'd been ridiculous. His thrashing thoughts, his grand confusion and torment and helplessness -- it was only love, had always been love, he supposed. It was no precipice he stood at, or rather precipices have little meaning when one finally acknowledges that one has wings. Connor stepped off."I love you, too."Such grave, inadequate words for what it was he felt."
Author: Julie Anne Long
24. "The God of freedom, the true God, is... not recognized by his power and glory in the history of the world, but through his helplessness and his death on the scandal of the cross of Jesus"
Author: Jürgen Moltmann
25. "I wondered about her chicken-and-egg relationship with Dad. Which came first? Her helplessness or his controlling?"
Author: Justina Chen
26. "Except then I wonder what it's like to feel normal because if you take away the things I've felt all my life--the insecurity, the pain, the loneliness, the absolute dissolution of any sane or rational thought during one of my more manic moods and the helplessness when I realize one of said manic moods is creeping up on me (like right now)--what's left after the fact? Emptiness?"
Author: Kelley York
27. "Thinking of the anguish of his final days and my own helplessness in the face of it, makes everything I have done, everything I want to do, seem as unsubstantial as the little vows you make yourself as you're going to sleep, the ones you've already forgotten by the time you wake up."
Author: Khaled Hosseini
28. "Public truth telling is a form of recovery, especially when combined with social action. Sharing traumatic experiences with others enables victims to reconstruct repressed memory, mourn loss, and master helplessness, which is trauma's essential insult. And, by facilitating reconnection to ordinary life, the public testimony helps survivors restore basic trust in a just world and overcome feelings of isolation. But the talking cure is predicated on the existence of a community willing to bear witness. 'Recovery can take place only within the context of relationships,' write Judith Herman. 'It cannot occur in isolation."
Author: Lawrence N. Powell
29. "Instinct is a makeshift, an admission of helplessness before the problem of reality."
Author: Leo Frobenius
30. "And I could test myself - my own courage - with it, too, because when the doors at either end of the secret staircase were closed, it was impenetrably dark. I hid in the staircase, shivering with terror, telling the narrative: The little girl was in a dark, dark place but she was very brave...Sometimes the door at the bottom opened, and a wedge of light sliced up the stairs; a maid, her arms filled with folded laundry, would find me and ask in amazement what I was doing there.And though I answered lightheartedly that I was playing, the truth is that I was not entirely certain what I was doing there, crouched and frightened in the darkness. Only now, sixty years later, do I see that I was arming myself, rehearsing panic, loss, and helplessness; assessing my own cowardice and courage, and and the same time reassuring myself that the door would always open, that the light would always find its way in."
Author: Lois Lowry
31. "O.K., helplessness is repugnant to me, as a father, as a piece of protoplasm. My parents were activists. I don't believe you can't do anything."
Author: Marshall Brickman
32. "Her feelings of fear and helplessness had reached such a pitch that they were suddenly transformed into their opposites. Having overcome them, she felt corageous and self-confident enough to tackle any power on earth; more precisely, she had ceased to worry about herself."
Author: Michael Ende
33. "J. R. R. Tolkien, the near-universally-hailed father of modern epic fantasy, crafted his magnum opus The Lord of the Rings to explore the forces of creation as he saw them: God and country, race and class, journeying to war and returning home. I've heard it said that he was trying to create some kind of original British mythology using the structure of other cultures' myths, and maybe that was true. I don't know. What I see, when I read his work, is a man trying desperately to dream.Dreaming is impossible without myths. If we don't have enough myths of our own, we'll latch onto those of others — even if those myths make us believe terrible or false things about ourselves. Tolkien understood this, I think because it's human nature. Call it the superego, call it common sense, call it pragmatism, call it learned helplessness, but the mind craves boundaries. Depending on the myths we believe in, those boundaries can be magnificently vast, or crushingly tight."
Author: N.K. Jemisin
34. "These were the companions who justified my principles, who gave me the strength to continue against any foe, real or imagined. These were the companions who fought the helplessness, the rage, and frustration.These were the friends who gave me my life."
Author: R.A. Salvatore
35. "For as men have fists and heads to defend themselves, so women have a gentleness of silence about them, a barrier built of things of the spirit, of pain, of quiet, of helplessness, of grace, of all that is beautiful and womanly an equal part, given to them because they are women in defense of their womaness. And this barrier a man will find against him to turn aside his male attack, keep his arms pinned, stop his mouth, cool his eyes, reduce his heat and restrain his idle imaginings. This barrier it is that women who are women keep always at a height, coming from behind it only when, with knowledge and in light, they trust. You shall see it in their eyes."
Author: Richard Llewellyn
36. "She lay dying, wrapped in invisible robes of martyrdom, presenting her helplessness and passivity to him like adornments, and his dominant feeling was distaste."
Author: Robert Galbraith
37. "I can't afford it' shut down your brain. it didn't have to think anymore. besides, it also brings up sadness. a helplessness that leads to despondency and often depression.'How can I afford it?' opened up the brain. forced it to think and search fro answers. it also opens up possibilities, excitement and dreams and created a stronger mind and dynamic spirit."
Author: Robert T. Kiyosaki
38. "There's no way to escape the fact that we've grown up in a violent culture, we just can't get away from it, it's part of our heritage. I think part of it is that we've always felt somewhat helpless in the face of this vast continent. Helplessness is answered in many ways, but one of them is violence."
Author: Sam Shepard
39. "It's important to investigate the nature of anger because it is such a powerful energy and can be so destructive. When we can face our anger without being afraid of it, or angry about it, or defenseless in the face of it, then we can come close to it. When we are able to look closely at anger, we see the threads of different feelings - the sadness and the fear woven throughout it - and we can see its true nature. When we can uncover the helplessness and powerlessness that often feed anger, we transform them. In being mindful of these feelings, we actually use the sheer energy of anger - without getting lost in it or overcome by its tremendously deluding and fixating quality - to reveal instead the courage and compassion that have been concealed."
Author: Sharon Salzberg
40. "Even though it be true that the conception of God is absolute help, it is also the only help which is absolutely capable of revealing to man his own helplessness."
Author: Søren Kierkegaard
41. "Don't be offended, but you seem to be one of those people who just attract accidents like a magnet. So . . . try not to fall into the ocean or get run over or anything, all right?" He smiled crookedly.The helplessness had faded as he spoke. I glared at him."I'll see what I can do," I snapped as I jumped out into the rain. I slammed the door behind me with excessive force.He was still smiling as he drove away."
Author: Stephenie Meyer
42. "When discouraged some people will give up, give in or give out far too early. They blame their problems on difficult situations, unreasonable people or their own inabilities.When discouraged other people will push back that first impulse to quit, push down their initial fear, push through feelings of helplessness and push ahead. They're less likely to find something to blame and more likely to find a way through."
Author: Steve Goodier
43. "What would any man do with a soggy girl who can't assert herself, who has a weak voice, and whose main personality component is helplessness?"
Author: Steve Martin
44. "With the eeriness of the pounding I couldn't help but think about my nonphysical traits ones known only by me. Much to my relief they rarely appeared. When they did the instability of their power and my helplessness to control them frightened me down to my core."
Author: T.R. Graves
45. "Art altogether is nothing but a survival skill, we should never lose sight of this fact, it is, time and again, just an attempt -- an attempt that seems touching even to our intellect -- to cope with this world and its revolting aspects, which, as we know, is invariably possible only by resorting to lies and falsehoods, to hyprocrisy and self-deception, Reger said. These pictures are full of lies and falsehoods and full of hypocrisy and self-deception, there is nothing else in them if we disregard their often inspired artistry. All these pictures, moreover, are an expression of man's absolute helplessness in coping with himself and with what surrounds him all his life. That is what all these pictures express, this helplessness which, on the one hand, embarasses the intellect and, on the other hand, bewilders the same intellect and moves it to tears, Reger said."
Author: Thomas Bernhard
46. "Greeders who plunder and steal from their people - not only steal their supporters and their childrens' future, but they also smash their mindsets and create learned helplessness that ensures people stay small."
Author: Tony Dovale
47. "Monstrously Remote: "Whenever I start thinking of my love for a person, I immediately draw radii from my love—from my heart, from the tender nucleus of a personal matter—to monstrously remote points of the universe… the dreadful pitfalls of eternity, the unknowledgeable beyond the unknown, the helplessness, the sickening involutions and interpenetrations of space and time." – Speak Memory (1966)"
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
48. "At the age when we are all of us most apt to take our colouring, in the form of a reflection from the colouring of other people, he had been sent abroad, and had been passed on from one nation to another, before there was time for any one colouring more than another to settle itself on him firmly. As a consequence of this, he had come back with so many different sides to his character, all more or less jarring with each other, that he seemed to pass his life in a state of perpetual contradiction with himself. He could be a busy man, and a lazy man; cloudy in the head, and clear in the head; a model of determination, and a spectacle of helplessness, all together. He had his French side, and his German side, and his Italian side--the original English foundation showing through, every now and then, as much as to say, "Here I am, sorely transmogrified, as you see, but there's something of me left at the bottom of him still."
Author: Wilkie Collins
49. "The world (including Drapervilleh is not a nice place, and the innocent and the young have to take their chances. They cannot be watched over, twenty-four hours of the day. At what moment, from what hiding-place, the idea of evil will strike, there is no telling. And when it does, the result is not always disastrous. Children have their own incalculable strength and weakness, and this, for all their seeming helplessness, will determine the pattern of their lives. Even when you suspect why they fall downstairs, you cannot be sure. You have no way of knowing whether their fright is permanent or can be healed by putting butter on the large lump that comes out on their foreheads after a fall."
Author: William Maxwell
50. "The world, whatever we might think about it terrified by its vastness and by our helplessness in the face of it, embittered by its indifference to individual suffering—of people, animals, and perhaps also plants, for how can we be sure that plants are free of suffering; whatever we might think about its spaces pierced by the radiation of stars, stars around which we now have begun to discover planets, already dead? still dead?—we don't know; whatever we might think about this immense theater, to which we may have a ticket, but it is valid for a ridiculously brief time, limited by two decisive dates; whatever else we might think about this world—it is amazing."
Author: Wisława Szymborska

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They would not get closer to the truth that night. They watched a period of hockey in silence. Winkler insisted on doing the dishes. Herman insisted on driving him to the bus stop."
Author: Anthony Doerr

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