Diseases have no eyes. They pick with a dizzy finger anyone, just anyone.
There is no human failure greater than to launch a profoundly important endeavor and then leave it half done. This is what the West has done with its colonial system. It shook all the societies in the world loose from their old moorings. But it seems indifferent whether or not they reach safe harbor in the end.
Show me a man or woman alone and I’ll show you a saint. Give me two and they’ll fall in love. Give me three and they’ll invent the charming thing we call “society.” Give me four and they’ll build a pyramid. Give me five and they’ll make one an outcast. Give me six and they’ll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they’ll reinvent warfare.
My uncles . . . are farmers in Minooka, Illinois. I grew up with them and their pickup trucks and mustaches, and to me that was masculinity: big, hairy, sweaty guys who could pick up a bus.
Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives here. See whose face it wears.
Every heart is the other heart. Every soul is the other soul. Every face is the other face. The individual is the one illusion.
Until a few years ago, a man who had no debts was considered virtuous, honest, and hardworking. Today, he’s an extraterrestrial. Whoever does not owe, does not exist. I owe, therefore I am.
Man’s attitude toward nature is today critically important simply because we have now acquired a fateful power to alter and destroy nature. But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.
There are fundamentally two ways you can experience the police in America: [One is] as the people you call when there’s a problem, the nice man in uniform who pats a toddler’s head and has an easy smile for the old lady as she buys her coffee. For others, the police are the people who are called on them. They are the ominous knock on the door, the sudden flashlight in the face, the barked orders. Depending on who you are, the sight of an officer can produce either a warm sense of safety and contentment or a plummeting feeling of terror.