As he told me about his plans, I listened but could not forget that he would not last the week. What folly to be talking of the future, of his future! But once outside, I could not help thinking that after all there is not much difference between a mortal man and a dying man. The absurdity of making plans is only slightly more obvious in the second case.
The day after tomorrow is the third day of the rest of your life.
We’re all doing time. As soon as we get born, we find ourselves assigned to one little body, one set of desires and fears, one family, city, state, country and planet. Who can ever understand exactly why or how it comes down as it does? The bottom line is, here we are. Whatever, wherever, whenever we are, this is what we’ve got. It’s up to us whether we do it as easy time or hard time.
Ah, the sweet sorrow of loving a parent. It is as pure as the taste of a sourball when you are five.
I was as sure as that I was alive, that happiness not only needs no justification, but that it is also the only final test of whether what I am doing is right for me. Only of course happiness is not the same as pleasure, it includes the pain of losing as well as the pleasure of finding.
On some hill of despair the bonfire you kindle can light the great sky — though it’s true of course to make it burn you have to throw yourself in.
Do you change people first or do you change society? I believe this is a false dichotomy. You have to change both simultaneously. If you’re changing only yourslf and have no concern for changing the society, something goes awry. If you’re changing only society but not changing yourself, something goes awry, as tended to happen in the late 1960s. Now, “simultaneously” may be an overstatement because I think there are periods when one has to concentrate on one or the other. And there are periods in a society, in a culture, when the emphasis is appropriate only on one or the other. What I’m trying to say is, never lose sight of either the internal world or the external world, the peace within and the peace based on justice on the outside.
Be open, be available, be exposed, be skinless. Skinless? Dance around in your bones.
The point is to be invisible or blinding, nothing in between.
Who told you that you were permitted to settle in? Who told you that this or that would last forever? Did no one ever tell you that you will never feel at home in the world?
In the face of suffering, one has no right to turn away, not to see. In the face of injustice, one may not look the other way. When someone suffers, and it is not you, he comes first. His very suffering gives him priority. . . . To watch over a man who grieves is a more urgent duty than to think of God.
If we could learn to learn from pain even as it grasps us. . . .
Remember this: all suffering comes to an end. And whatever you suffer authentically, God has suffered from it first.
Do not be afraid.