Top What Use To Be Quotes

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Favorite What Use To Be Quotes

1. "What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements."
Author: Anaïs Nin
2. "If, you know, all your life you're making films or whatever, and somehow along the way you lose meaning in whatever you're doing when you're making the films, they're just not the same as they used to be to you. That doesn't mean your life is over; it just means maybe go try to live a different life."
Author: Angel Olsen
3. "The skill of the politician consists in guessing what people can be brought to think advantageous to themselves; the skill of the experts consists in calculating what really is advantageous, provided people can be brought to think so. (The proviso is essential, because measures which arouse serious resentment are seldom advantageous, whatever merits they may have otherwise.) The power of the politician, in a democracy, depends upon his adopting the opinions which seem right to the average man. It is useless to urge that politicians ought to be high-minded enough to advocate what enlightened opinion considers good, because if they do they are swept aside for others."
Author: Bertrand Russell
4. "What really moves people to believe in God is not any intellectual argument at all. Most people believe in God because they have been taught from early infancy to do it, and that is the main reason.Then I think that the next most powerful reason is the wish for safety, a sort of feeling that there is a big brother who will look after you. That plays a very profound part in influencing people's desire for a belief in God."
Author: Bertrand Russell
5. "But sleep didn't come. She could hear Jace's soft piano playing through the walls, but that wasn't what was keeping her awake. She was thinking of Simon, leaving for a house that no longer felt like home to him, of the despair in Jace's voice as he said 'I want to hate you', and of Magnus, not telling Jace the truth: that Alec did not want Jace to know about his relationship because he was still in love with him. She thought of the satisfaction it would have brought Magnus to say the words out loud, to acknowledge what the truth was, and the fact that he hadn't said them - had let Alec go on lying and pretending - because that was what Alec wanted, and Magnus cared about Alec enough to give him that. Maybe it was true what the Seelie Queen had said, after all: Love made you a liar."
Author: Cassandra Clare
6. "I was very glad afterwards to have had the interview; for, in her face and in her voice, and in her touch, she gave me the assurance, that suffering had been stronger than Miss Havisham's teaching, and had given her a heart to understand what my heart used to be."
Author: Charles Dickens
7. "...a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. . . We must see all scars as beauty... Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.In a few breaths' time I will speak some sad words to you... You must hear them the way we have agreed to see scars now. Sad words are just another beauty. A sad story means, this storyteller is alive."
Author: Chris Cleave
8. "Misty bit her lip — or at least that was what it looked like with the glamour. Kate could only imagine what she was doing with that mouth full of fangs. 'How do I know I can trust him? Or you?'Kate rose to her feet. 'You don't. You never do, with people. Some things, you have to take on faith.' She turned and headed for the door, then paused and looked back. 'I don't know how much you know about humans. I'm just guessing here, but we probably seem like a bunch of violent, paranoid, back-stabbing monkeys. ‘Cause we are. But the thing is … sooner or later, we all find ways to trust each other, even though we might get burned doing it.'Misty's lip curled into a sneer. 'Because deep down inside, humans are all noble creatures that want to rise above their natures, right?''Oh, hell no,' Kate said. 'It's just better than facing the darkness alone.'Then she turned and walked out, leaving the dumbstruck Misty behind her."
Author: Chris Lester
9. "She said to me, "How is it going, Mitch?" I said, "Okay." But this is not really true, because she did not specify what "it" was and I did not immediately assume "it" referred to any preexisting situation in my life. I'm sure she didn't have any idea what "it" was either. She just said, "How is it going, Mitch," because she wanted to say something aloud in public. Basically, she asked a question she didn't understand, and I gave an affirmative response to that question, even though I did not know what I was responding to. Neither of us cared about what the other person was talking about or how the other person felt. We expressed two ideas that seemed to be interconnected, but neither of them was true. They were just words. They were neither good nor bad. They could have been any words, really.]"
Author: Chuck Klosterman
10. "After she's gone, another brief lull sets in. This one is probably the last. But what good is a lull? It's only a breathing spell in which to get more frightened. Because anticipatory fear is always twice as strong as present fear. Anticipatory fear has both fears in it at once - the anticipatory one and the one that comes simultaneously with the dread happening itself. Present fear only has the one, because by that time anticipation is over.("New York Blues")"
Author: Cornell Woolrich
11. "I will not let you lose your family. I won't let it happen to you." Eve's hands circled his big, tense neck.He shook his head and let out a defeated breath. "I'm so sorry, Eve. I can't even…Well, now I guess I can imagine what I did to you—just a little."Her words had hurt him, knocked him down. That's not what she'd intended. She would have to lay it out."Beckett, I'll save you from that fate because I love you. I love you." She let her hands slip to his chest.His heart. His beautiful heart, surrounded by thorns, guns, and pain."
Author: Debra Anastasia
12. "Why do any of us do what we don't want to do?" I don't respond, unsure what answer he's looking for.He smiles, but it's sad. "Because we're afraid of what will happen if we don't."I always considered fear to be a motivator or a reason not to do something, but I never considered it a reason to continue an ongoing behavior. This opens a vault full or questions about my own life. I've always assumed I'm afraid to engage in activities because I'm afraid of what might happen. But maybe I'm looking at it all wrong. Maybe I should be asking myself if I'm really afraid of leaving what makes me comfortable."
Author: Denise Grover Swank
13. "No one is responsible for what he is nor even for what he does. This is obvious and everyone more or less agrees that it is so. Then why celebrate or denigrate? Because to exist is to evaluate, to emit judgments, and because abstention, when it is not the effect of apathy or cowardice, requires an effort no one manages to make."
Author: Emil Cioran
14. "Apropos of Eskimo, I once heard a missionary describe the extraordinary difficulty he had found in translating the Bible into Eskimo. It was useless to talk of corn or wine to a people who did not know even what they meant, so he had to use equivalents within their powers of comprehension. Thus in the Eskimo version of the Scriptures the miracle of Cana of Galilee is described as turning the water into blubber; the 8th verse of the 5th chapter of the First Epistle of St. Peter ran: ‘Your adversary the devil, as a roaring Polar bear walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.' In the same way ‘A land flowing with milk and honey' became ‘A land flowing with whale's blubber,' and throughout the New Testament the words ‘Lamb of God' had to be translated ‘little Seal of God,' as the nearest possible equivalent. The missionary added that his converts had the lowest opinion of Jonah for not having utilised his exceptional opportunities by killing and eating the whale."
Author: Frederick Hamilton
15. "Why did I accept death? But I will ask,what use was life to me after that revolver had been raised against me by the being I adored?"
Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
16. "The girl with dark hair was coming towards them across the field. With what seemed a single movement she tore off her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside. Her body was white and smooth, but it aroused no desire in him, indeed he barely looked at it. What overwhelmed him in that instant was admiration for the gesture with which she had thrown her clothes aside. With its grace and carelessness it seemed to annihilate a whole culture, a whole system of thought, as though Big Brother and the Party and the Thought Police could all be swept into nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm. That too was a gesture belonging to the ancient time. Winston woke up with the word ‘Shakespeare' on his lips."
Author: George Orwell
17. "The mind is a machine that is constantly asking: What would I prefer? Close your eyes, refuse to move, and watch what your mind does. What it does is become discontent with That Which Is. A desire arises, you satisfy that desire, and another arises in its place. This wanting and rewanting is an endless cycle for which, turns out, there is already a name: samsara. Samsara is at the heart of the vast human carnival: greed, neurosis, mad ambition, adultery, crimes of passion, the hacking to death of a terrified man on a hillside in the name of A More Pure And Thus Perfect Nation--and all of this takes place because we believe we will be made happy once our desires have been satisfied. I know this. But still I'm full of desire... --"Buddha Boy"
Author: George Saunders
18. "I tried to sing 'What's Going On' with Amy Winehouse once at an old cinema in the West End. There was a funk band that had members of both of our bands playing in it, but it was the worst kind of place to sing bad karaoke because everyone there was an amazing singer or musician."
Author: Jamie Cullum
19. "So this is it ? what cost me all that time. A man who turned out to be old, a house that turned out to be empty."
Author: Jennifer Egan
20. "Halt eyed them balefully. They were all being so obvious about not mentioning his sudden reappearance that it was even worse than if they had commented on it...'Oh, go on!' he said. 'Somebody say something! I know what you're thinking!''It's good to see you up and about, Halt,' Selethen said gravely...Halt glared at the others and they quickly chorused their pleasure at seeing him back to his normal self. But he could see the grins they didn't quite manage to hide. He fixed a glare on Alyss.'I'm surprised at you Alyss,' he said. 'I expected no better of Will and Evanlyn, of course. Heartless beasts, the pair of them. But you! I thought you had been better trained!'...'Halt, I'm sorry! It's not funny, you're right... Shut up, Will.' This last was directed at Will as he tried, unsuccessfully, to smother a snigger."
Author: John Flanagan
21. "Speaking of 'things,' Mary tells me that Nick is like a keg of dynamite ready to explode at the first spark. She says you're bearing up under the strain marvelously. You've won her wholehearted approval," he added quietly."I like her too," Lauren said, her eyes clouding at the mention of Nick.Jim waited until she had left to go upstairs,then he picked up his telephone and punched four numbers. "Mary, what's the atmosphere like up there this morning?""Positively explosive," she chuckled."Is Nick going to be in the office this afternoon?""Yes,why?""Because I've decided to light a match under him and see what happens.""Jimmy,don't!" she said in a low, sharp voice."See you a little before five, beautiful," he laughed, ignoring her wanring."
Author: Judith McNaught
22. "If you remember your past too well you start blaming your present for it. Look what they did to me, that's what caused me to be like this, it's not my fault. Permit me to correct you: it probably is your fault. And kindly spare me the details."
Author: Julian Barnes
23. "We can give her what is best, what she deserves. We used to be that man, we can be him again."
Author: K.I. Lynn
24. "I can't stop wanting to help, and by 'help,' I really mean guide, and by 'guide,' I really mean protect. That has nothing to do with you and whether you can take care of yourself. It's about me and what I want, which is to make life easier for you, because I know it isn't easy and it's only getting harder, and I'm scrambling madly to smooth those rough edges before you get hurt."
Author: Kelley Armstrong
25. "I realised from quite early on in my childhood that I saw things differently from other people,' he wrote. 'But, more than not, it's helped me in my life. Psychopathy(if that's what you call it) is like a medicine for modern times. If you take it in moderation it can prove extremely beneficial. It can alleviate a lot of existential ailments that we would otherwise fall victim to because our fragile psychological immune systems just aren't up to the job of protecting us. But if you take too much of it, if you overdose on it, then there can, as is the case with all medicines, be some rather unpleasant side effects."
Author: Kevin Dutton
26. "If you were to take a plastic bag and place it inside a large bowl, and then, using a wooden spoon, stir the bag around and around the bowl, you could use the expression 'a mixed bag' to describe what you had in front of you, but you would not be using the expression in the same way I am about to use it now. Although 'a mixed bag' sometimes refers to a plastic bag that has been stirred in a bowl, more often it is used to describe a situation that has both good parts and bad parts. An afternoon at a movie theater, for instance, would be a mixed bag if you favourite movie were showing but if you had to eat gravel instead of popcorn. A trip to the zoo would be a very mixed bag if the weather were beautiful, but all the man- and woman-eating lions were running around loose."
Author: Lemony Snicket
27. "Oh, it's awful! oh dear, oh dear! awful!" Stepan Arkadyevitch kept repeating to himself, and he could think of nothing to be done. "And how well things were going up till now! how well we got on! She was contented and happy in her children; I never interfered with her in anything; I let her manage the children and the house just as she liked. It's true it's bad HER having been a governess in our house. That's bad! There's something common, vulgar, in flirting with one's governess. But what a governess!" (He vividly recalled the roguish black eyes of Mlle. Roland and her smile.) "But after all, while she was in the house, I kept myself in hand. And the worst of it all is that she's already… it seems as if ill-luck would have it so! Oh, oh! But what, what is to be done?"
Author: Leo Tolstoy
28. "I know what she used to do sometimes. She kept her best cape she wore on the street in there, and she used occasionally to go up there to get it and to take it into her room. She kept a great deal in the guest room drawers."
Author: Lizzie Andrew Borden
29. "Evidently, rigging cables is therapy for the Swiss: or part of their theology. What was it that he used to say? A balanced arc between mountain rows / as servant to his master shows / the power of besieged belief / in something something something, something something something-something to do with ducks, or rainbows."
Author: Mark Helprin
30. "Truth is, I don't know. I don't know... what I'm doing. Or why I'm doing it," he said. Which was the worst excuse in the history of excuses. "I don't know what's up or down anymore. I feel like I'm..." He stopped speaking and winced."Drowning," I said. "You were going to say you feel like you're drowning."He nodded. I wonder how many people I took with me when I feel into the lake. How many sunk with me. I thought I had been alone under the water, but maybe I wasn't."
Author: Megan Miranda
31. "Eating is an agricultural act,' as Wendell Berry famously said. It is also an ecological act, and a political act, too. Though much has been done to obscure this simple fact, how and what we eat determines to a great extent the use we make of the world - and what is to become of it. To eat with a fuller consciousness of all that is at stake might sound like a burden, but in practice few things in life can afford quite as much satisfaction. By comparison, the pleasures of eating industrially, which is to say eating in ignorance, are fleeting. Many people today seem erfectly content eating at the end of an industrial food chain, without a thought in the world; this book is probably not for them."
Author: Michael Pollan
32. "A good pilot knows her skills, has confidence in the machine she is flying, and is aware of what actions are required in case of a hurricane, or in case the wings ice over. Therefore she is confident in her ability to cope with whatever weather conditions may arise—not because she will force the plane to obey her will, but because she will be the instrument for matching the properties of the plane to the conditions of the air."
Author: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
33. "A thoroughgoing paternalist who holds it cannot be dissuaded by being shown that he is making a mistake in logic. He is our opponent on grounds of principle, not simply a well-meaning but misguided friend. Basically, he believes in dictatorship, benevolent and maybe majoritarian, but dictatorship none the less. Those of us who believe in freedom must believe also in the freedom of individuals to make their own mistakes. If a man knowingly prefers to live for today, to use his resources for current enjoyment, deliberately choosing a penurious old age, by what right do we prevent him from doing so? We may argue with him, seek to persuade him that he is wrong, but are we entitled to use coercion to prevent him from doing what he chooses to do? Is there not always the possibility that he is right and that we are wrong? Humility is the distinguishing virtue of the believer in freedom; arrogance, of the paternalist."
Author: Milton Friedman
34. "Is there a more pitiable spectacle than that of a wife contending with others for that charm in her husband's sight which no philters and no prayers can renew when once it has fled forever?Women are so unwise. Love is like a bird's song beautiful and eloquent when heard in forest freedom, harsh and worthless in repetition when sung from behind prison bars.You cannot secure love by vigilance, by environment, by captivity. What use is it to keep the person of a man beside you if his soul be truant from you?"
Author: Ouida
35. "What career? A man's got a body of film of about four movies in about 10 years or something. I do it because I think I can do a good job of something and I'll enjoy it, do it, and sort of vanish. I don't want to be an actor for hire."
Author: Paul Hogan
36. "There is not a name for what I'm feeling. There is no description for it.To call it yearning would be like calling the ocean water.Whatever this thing is, it shoves you inside itself and you can't measure its boundaries because they go too far and you don't have enough time. Or you move toward the boundaries and they move away.There has been an earthquake in my life.Catastrophic, civilization-ending."
Author: R.A. Nelson
37. "I made the choice to be vegan because I will not eat (or wear, or use) anything that could have an emotional response to its death or captivity. I can well imagine what that must feel like for our non-human friends - the fear, the terror, the pain - and I will not cause such suffering to a fellow living being."
Author: Rai Aren
38. "Why don't you just spit it out?" she said sharply. "Just say what I know you're dying to say—‘Eena, I told you so!'" "All I'm trying to say is that if you hadn't used those powers in the first place, Gemdorin would never have known about them, the dragon's heart would never have been uncovered, and consequently you would never have had to abuse those powers to defeat him. Then we wouldn't be in this predicament right now." She summed it up for him concisely. "In other words, ‘I told you so!'"
Author: Richelle E. Goodrich
39. "Honestly, half the reason I like you is because you're so...I don't know. You like life." He looked away from my eyes, amused as his thoughts spun, considering. "You're fearless. Bold. Not afraid to enjoy yourself. You just go out there and do what you want. I like the whirlwind you exist in. I envy it. It's funny, really." He smiled. "I used to think I wanted someone exactly like me, but now I think I'd be bored to death with another version of myself. I'm surprised I don't bore you sometimes."I gaped. "Are you kidding? You're the most interesting person I know. Aside from Hugh maybe. But then, he installs breast implants and buys souls. That's a hard combination to beat. But he's not nearly as cute."
Author: Richelle Mead
40. "She also told me about the night one of her astrophysics friends went to a bar trivia contest where the final question was "What does Kelvin measure?" The winning answer was "heat," but her friend explained that Kelvin measures temperature, not heat, since heat is energy and is measured in energy units like joules or ergs. The astronomer refused to back down, until the battle had to be settled with a chug-off. These astro people are hard-core."
Author: Rob Sheffield
41. "Tony's concern disintegrated. He could not understand C.J.'s determination to court death on a daily basis. Or maybe he did understand, and this was what caused his frustration. So many found the same solution his brother had. Selling death to their own people. The money was a difficult lure to resist. Additionally, the fear elicited from their hard core posturing proved nearly as addictive. They demanded to be heard, even though it didn't seem they had much to say. Perhaps the futility and smallness that characterized their lives was too overwhelming to articulate in any manner other than a primitive, incoherent scream. Maybe it was inevitable that those who felt they had no stake in society would opt to destroy it."
Author: Roy L. Pickering Jr.
42. "...treasure what it means to do a day's work. It's our one and only chance to do something productive today, and it's certainly not available to someone merely because he is the high bidder. A day's work is your chance to do art, to create a gift, to do something that matters. As your work gets better and your art becomes more important, competition for your gifts will increase and you'll discover that you can be choosier about whom you give them to."
Author: Seth Godin
43. "I believe that in our culture of simulation, the notion of authenticity is for us what sex was for the Victorians—threat and obsession, taboo and fascination. I have lived with this idea for many years; yet, at the museum, I found the children's position strangely unsettling. For them, in this context, aliveness seemed to have no intrinsic value. Rather, it is useful only if needed for a specific purpose. Darwin's endless forms so beautiful were no longer sufficient unto themselves."
Author: Sherry Turkle
44. "Sometimes the crime follows the punishment, which only serves to prove the foresight of the Great God.""That's what my grandmother used to say," said Brutha automatically."Indeed? I would like to know more about this formidable lady.""She used to give me a thrashing every morning because I would certainly do something to deserve it during the day," said Brutha."A most complete understanding of the nature of mankind,"
Author: Terry Pratchett
45. "Let us save what remains: not by vaults and locks which fence them from the public eye and use in consigning them to the waste of time, but by such a multiplication of copies, as shall place them beyond the reach of accident."
Author: Thomas Jefferson
46. "He buys Playboy magazines and looks through them once, then gives them to me. That's what it's like to be rich.Here's what it's like to be poor. Your wife leaves you because you can't find a job because there aren't any jobs to find. You empty the jar of pennies on the mantel to buy cigarettes. You hate to answer the phone; it can't possibly be good news. When your friends invite you out, you don't go. After a while, they stop inviting. You owe them money, and sometimes they ask for it. You tell them you'll see what you can scrape up.Which is this: nothing."
Author: Tom Franklin
47. "A scholar's business is to add to what is known. That is all. But it is capable of giving the very greatest satisfaction, because knowledge is good. It does not have to look good or even sound good or even do good. It is good just by being knowledge. And the only thing that makes it knowledge is that it is true. You can't have too much of it and there is no little too little to be worth having. There is truth and falsehood in a comma."
Author: Tom Stoppard
48. "Tris," a low voice says behind me. I don't know why it doesn't startle me. Maybe because I am becoming Dauntless, and mental readiness is something I'm supposed to develop. Maybe because his voice is low and smooth and almost soothing. Whatever the reason over my shoulder. Four stands behind me with his gun slung across his back, just like mine. "Yes?" I say. "I came to find out what you think you're doing." "I'm seeking higher ground," I say. "I don't think I'm doing anything." I see his smile in the dark. "All right. I'm coming." I pause a second. He doesn't look at me the way Will, Christina, and Al sometimes do- like I am too small and too weak to be any use, and they pity me for it. But if he insists on coming with me, it is probably because he doubts me."
Author: Veronica Roth
49. "But then I have long since grown accustomed to the thought that what we call dreams is semi-reality, the promise of reality, a foreglimpse and a whiff of it; that is they contain, in a very vague, diluted state, more genuine reality than our vaunted waking life which, in its turn, is semi-sleep, an evil drowsiness into which penetrate in grotesque disguise the sounds and sights of the real world, flowing beyond the periphery of the mind—as when you hear during sleep a dreadful insidious tale because a branch is scraping on the pane, or see yourself sinking into snow because your blanket is sliding off."
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
50. "We are against ignorance. We feel that you have to educate yourself, no matter what the situation is. People who refuse to educate themselves - people who refuse to find out what something is about, that they're frightened of - find comfort in being ignorant."--Zeena Schreck Interview for KJTV-1990"
Author: Zeena Schreck

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If I can't write it would be as if I died."
Author: Chris Cleave

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