The study of crime begins with the knowledge of oneself.
Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.
It is impossible to persuade a man who does not disagree, but smiles.
Given a child falling into a river, an old person in a burning building, and a woman fainting in the street, a band of convicts would risk their lives to give aid as quickly at least as a band of millionaires.
You save your soul by saving someone else’s body.
Call the world, if you please, “The Vale of Soul Making.” Then you will find out the use of the world.
Beatniks were conventional anyway. I mean they thought they were getting away from it, which is pretty corny. You never do. You just change one thing for another.
Those who cling to life die, and those who defy death live.
The Uruguayan political prisoners may not talk without permission or whistle, smile, sing, walk fast, or greet other prisoners; nor may they make or receive drawings of pregnant women, couples, butterflies, stars, or birds.
One Sunday, Didako Perez, school teacher, tortured and jailed “for having ideological ideas,” is visited by his daughter Milay, age five. She brings him a drawing of birds. The guards destroy it at the entrance of the jail.
On the following Sunday, Milay brings him a drawing of trees. Trees are not forbidden, and the drawing gets through. Didako praises her work and asks about the colored circles scattered in the treetops, many small circles half-hidden among the branches: “Are they oranges? What fruit is it?” The child puts her finger to her mouth: “Shh.”
And she whispers in his ear: “Silly, don’t you see they’re eyes? They’re the eyes of the birds that I’ve smuggled in for you.”
There is hunger for ordinary bread, and there is hunger for love, for kindness, for thoughtfulness; and this is the great poverty that makes people suffer so much.
Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours.
What a miserable thing life is: you’re living in clover, only the clover isn’t good enough.
Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. Find ways to be with those who are suffering by all means, including personal contact and visits, images, sound. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.
Suffering . . . no matter how multiplied . . . is always individual.
my lifetime listens to yours
You can go only halfway into the darkest forest; then you are coming out the other side.
During Mary’s absence, I have taken over the duty of watering the plants in the apartment, and I find that the dislike I had for one of them because it depressed me with its ailing appearance is changing to affection. I move it to a location favorable to its need for shade, I water it carefully and trim off the dead leaves, and I am reminded of my lifelong conviction that a powerful means of arousing love for someone or something is to do things for that person or object. . . . I would even be willing to believe that self-love is so strong because the self is the person for whom one does the most.
A flower falls, even though we love it, and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.