Thomas Hardy quote

"The beggarly question of parentage--what is it, after all? What does it matter, when you come to think of it, whether a child is yours by blood or not? All the little ones of our time are collectively the children of us adults of the time, and entitled to our general care. That excessive regard of parents for their own children, and their dislike of other people's, is, like class-feeling, patriotism, save-your-own-soul-ism, and other virtues, a mean exclusiveness at bottom."

Thomas Hardy

Born: June 2, 1840

Die: January 11, 1928

Occupation: Novelist

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More quotes of Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

Silence has sometimes a remarkable power of showing itself as the disembodied soul of feeling wandering without its carcase, and it is then more impressive than speech.

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Thomas Hardy

And at home by the fire, whenever you look up there I shall be— and whenever I look up, there will be you. -Gabriel Oak

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Thomas Hardy

Did it never strike your mind that what every woman says, some women may feel?

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Thomas Hardy

Let truth be told - women do as a rule live through such humiliations, and regain their spirits, and again look about them with an interested eye. While there's life there's hope is a connviction not so...

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Thomas Hardy

Tis because we be on a blighted star, and not a sound one, isn't it Tess?

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Thomas Hardy

I want to question my belief, so that what is left after I have questioned it, will be even stronger.

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Thomas Hardy

Why is it that a woman can see from a distance what a man cannot see close?

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Thomas Hardy

Once let a maiden admit the possibility of her being stricken with love for some one at a certain hour and place, and the thing is as good as done.

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Thomas Hardy

There are disappointments which wring us, and there are those which inflict a wound whose mark we bear to our graves. Such are so keen that no future gratification of the same desire can ever obliterate...

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Thomas Hardy

We colour and mould according to the wants within us whatever our eyes bring in.

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Thomas Hardy

Let me enjoy the earth no less because the all-enacting light that fashioned forth its loveliness had other aims than my delight.

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Thomas Hardy

Because what's the use of learning that I am one of a long row only - finding out that there is set down in some old book somebody just like me, and to know that I shall only act her part; making me sad,...

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Thomas Hardy

I wish I had never been born--there or anywhere else.

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Thomas Hardy

George's son had done his work so thoroughly that he was considered too good a workman to live, and was, in fact, taken and tragically shot at twelve o'clock that same day—another instance of the untoward...

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Thomas Hardy

It is rarely that the pleasures of the imagination will compensate for the pain of sleeplessness,

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Thomas Hardy

Do you know that I have undergone three quarters of this labour entirely for the sake of the fourth quarter?

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Thomas Hardy

Many of her thoughts were perfect syllogisms; unluckily they always remained thoughts. Only a few were irrational assumptions; but, unfortunately, they were the ones which most frequently grew into deeds

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Thomas Hardy

The business of the poet and the novelist is to show the sorriness underlying the grandest things and the grandeur underlying the sorriest things.

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Thomas Hardy

So do flux and reflux--the rhythm of change--alternate and persist in everything under the sky.

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Thomas Hardy

Where we are would be Paradise to me, if you would only make it so.

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Thomas Hardy

That it would always be summer and autumn, and you always courting me, and always thinking as much of me as you have done through the past summertime!

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Thomas Hardy

But nothing is more insidious than the evolution of wishes from mere fancies, and of wants from mere wishes.

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Thomas Hardy

Sometimes a woman's love of being loved gets the better of her conscience, and though she is agonized at the thought of treating a man cruelly, she encourages him to love her while she doesn't love him...

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Thomas Hardy

You don't talk quite like a girl who has had no advantages.

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Thomas Hardy

--the ethereal, fine-nerved, sensitive girl, quite unfitted by temperament and instinct to fulfil the conditions of the matrimonial relation with Phillotson, possibly with scarce any man...

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Thomas Hardy

You concede nothing to me and I have to concede everything to you.

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Thomas Hardy

The beggarly question of parentage--what is it, after all? What does it matter, when you come to think of it, whether a child is yours by blood or not? All the little ones of our time are collectively...

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Thomas Hardy

He's charmed by her as if she were some fairy!" continued Arabella. "See how he looks round at her, and lets his eyes rest on her. I am inclined to think that she don't care for him quite so much as he...

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Thomas Hardy

Always wanting another man than your own.

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Thomas Hardy

I may do some good before I am dead--be a sort of success as a frightful example of what not to do; and so illustrate a moral story.

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Thomas Hardy

you are absolutely the most ethereal, least sensual woman I ever knew to exist without inhuman sexlessness.

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Thomas Hardy

We ought to have lived in mental communion, and no more.

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Thomas Hardy

You have never loved me as I love you--never--never! Yours is not a passionate heart--your heart does not burn in a flame! You are, upon the whole, a sort of fay, or sprite-- not a woman!

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Thomas Hardy

But his dreams were as gigantic as his surroundings were small.

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Thomas Hardy

All romances end at marriage.

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Thomas Hardy

So each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in; some dream, some affection, some hobby, or at least some remote and distant hope....

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Thomas Hardy

I have felt lately, more and more, that my present way of living is bad in every respect.

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Thomas Hardy

Thoroughly convinced of the impossibility of his own suit, a high resolve constrained him not to injure that of another. This is a lover's most stoical virtue, as the lack of it is a lover's most venial...

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Thomas Hardy

You overrate my capacity of love. I don't posess half the warmth of nature you believe me to have. An unprotected childhood in a cold world has beaten gentleness out of me.

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Thomas Hardy

Beauty lay not in the thing, but in what the thing symbolized.

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Thomas Hardy

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing alive enough to have strength to die. (from "Neutral Tones")

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Thomas Hardy

...the figure near at hand suffers on such occasions, because it shows up its sorriness without shade; while vague figures afar off are honored, in that their distance makes artistic virtues of their stains....

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Thomas Hardy

Don't think of what's past!" said she. "I am not going to think outside of now. Why should we! Who knows what tomorrow has in store?

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Thomas Hardy

Her affection for him was now the breath and life of Tess's being; it enveloped her as a photosphere, irradiated her into forgetfulness of her past sorrows, keeping back the gloomy spectres that would...

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Thomas Hardy

...she moved about in a mental cloud of many-coloured idealities, which eclipsed all sinister contingencies by its brightness.

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Thomas Hardy

Why it was that upon this beautiful feminine tissue, sensitive as gossamer, and practically blank as snow as yet, there should have been traced such a coarse pattern as it was doomed to receive; why so...

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Thomas Hardy

The trees have inquisitive eyes, haven't they? -that is, seem as if they had. And the river says,-'Why do ye trouble me with your looks?' And you seem to see numbers of to-morrows just all in a line, the...

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Thomas Hardy

I. At Tea THE kettle descants in a cosy drone, And the young wife looks in her husband's face, And then in her guest's, and shows in her own Her sense that she fills an envied place; And the visiting lady...

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Thomas Hardy

He wished she knew his impressions, but he would as soon as thought of carrying an odour in a net as of attempting to convey the intangibles of his feeling in the coarse meshes of language. So he remained...

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Thomas Hardy

It appears that ordinary men take wives because possession is not possible without marriage, and that ordinary women accept husbands because marriage is not possible without possession

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Thomas Hardy

We learn that it is not the rays which bodies absorb, but those which they reject, that give them the colours they are known by; and in the same way people are specialized by their dislikes and antagonisms,...

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Thomas Hardy

A blaze of love and extinction, was better than a lantern glimmer of the same which should last long years.

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Thomas Hardy

It was the touch of the imperfect upon the would-be perfect that gave the sweetness, because it was that which gave the humanity

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Thomas Hardy

He Looked and smelt like Autumn's very brother, his face being sunburnt to wheat-colour, his eyes blue as corn-flowers, his sleeves and leggings dyed with fruit-stains, his hands clammy with the sweet...

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Thomas Hardy

Bless thy simplicity, Tess

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Thomas Hardy

You could sometimes see her twelfth year in her cheeks, or her ninth sparkling from her eyes; and even her fifth would flit over the curves of her mouth now and then.

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Thomas Hardy

She was but a transient impression, half forgotten.

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Thomas Hardy

In the ill-judged execution of the well-judged plan of things the call seldom produces the comer, the man to love rarely coincides with the hour for loving

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Thomas Hardy

When yellow lights struggle with blue shades in hairlike lines.

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Thomas Hardy

It was then that the ecstasy and the dream began, in which emotion was the matter of the universe, and matter but an adventitious intrusion likely to hinder you from spinning where you wanted to spin.

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Thomas Hardy

It was terribly beautiful to Tess today, for since her eyes last fell upon it she had learnt that the serpent hisses where the sweet birds sing.

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Thomas Hardy

My eyes were dazed by you for a little, and that was all.

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Thomas Hardy

It was still early, and the sun's lower limb was just free of the hill, his rays, ungenial and peering, addressed the eye rather than the touch as yet.

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Thomas Hardy

You ride well, but you don't kiss nicely at all.

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Thomas Hardy

I agree to the conditions, Angel; because you know best what my punishment ought to be; only - only - don't make it more than I can bear!

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Thomas Hardy

Bathsheba loved Troy in the way that only self-reliant women love when they abandon their self-reliance. When a strong woman recklessly throws away her strength she is worse than a weak woman who has never...

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Thomas Hardy

You, and those like you, take your fill of pleasure on earth by making the life of such as me bitter and black with sorrow; and then it is a fine thing, when you have had enough of that, to think of securing...

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Thomas Hardy

This good fellowship - camaraderie - usually occurring through the similarity of pursuits is unfortunately seldom super-added to love between the sexes, because men and women associate, not in their labors...

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Thomas Hardy

I shall do one thing in this life-one thing certain-this is, love you, and long of you, and keep wanting you till I die.

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Thomas Hardy

Ladies know what to guard against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks…

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Thomas Hardy

Love is a possible strength in an actual weakness.

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Thomas Hardy

Sometimes I shrink from your knowing what I have felt for you, and sometimes I am distressed that all of it you will never know.

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Thomas Hardy

Nobody had beheld the gravitation of the two into one

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Thomas Hardy

The perfect woman, you see [is] a working-woman; not an idler; not a fine lady; but one who [uses] her hands and her head and her heart for the good of others.

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Thomas Hardy

O, you have torn my life all to pieces... made me be what I prayed you in pity not to make me be again!

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Thomas Hardy

Never in her life – she could swear it from the bottom of her soul – had she ever intended to do wrong; yet these hard judgments had come. Whatever her sins, they were not sins of intention, but of...

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Thomas Hardy

He knelt and bent lower, till her breath warmed his face, and in a moment his cheek was in contact with hers. She was sleeping soundly, and upon her eyelashes there lingered tears...

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Thomas Hardy

Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.

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Thomas Hardy

The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes.

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Thomas Hardy

The main object of religion is not to get a man into heaven, but to get heaven into him.

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Thomas Hardy

A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all.

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Thomas Hardy

It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.

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Thomas Hardy

There are accents in the eye which are not on the tongue, and more tales come from pale lips than can enter an ear. It is both the grandeur and the pain of the remoter moods that they avoid the pathway...

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Thomas Hardy

And yet to every bad there is a worse.

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Thomas Hardy

Everybody is so talented nowadays that the only people I care to honor as deserving real distinction are those who remain in obscurity.

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Thomas Hardy

The resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.

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Thomas Hardy

The sky was clear - remarkably clear - and the twinkling of all the stars seemed to be but throbs of one body, timed by a common pulse.

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Thomas Hardy

Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons.

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Thomas Hardy

Some folk want their luck buttered.

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Thomas Hardy

The offhand decision of some commonplace mind high in office at a critical moment influences the course of events for a hundred years.

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Thomas Hardy

If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone.

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Thomas Hardy

A woman would rather visit her own grave than the place where she has been young and beautiful after she is aged and ugly.

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Thomas Hardy

I am the family face; flesh perishes, I live on.

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Thomas Hardy

Aspect are within us, and who seems most kingly is king.

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Thomas Hardy

Give the enemy not only a road for flight, but also a means of defending it.

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Thomas Hardy

Of course poets have morals and manners of their own, and custom is no argument with them.

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Thomas Hardy

Dialect words are those terrible marks of the beast to the truly genteel.

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Thomas Hardy

Like the British Constitution, she owes her success in practice to her inconsistencies in principle.

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Thomas Hardy

Yes; quaint and curious war is! You shoot a fellow down you'd treat if met where any bar is, or help to half-a-crown.

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Thomas Hardy

The value of old age depends upon the person who reaches it. To some men of early performance it is useless. To others, who are late to develop, it just enables them to finish the job.

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Thomas Hardy

There is always an inertia to be overcome in striking out a new line of conduct – not more in ourselves, it seems, than in circumscribing events, which appear as if leagued together to allow no novelties...

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Thomas Hardy

Why didn’t you tell me there was danger? Why didn’t you warn me? Ladies know what to guard against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks; but I never had the chance of discovering...

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Thomas Hardy

Their position was perhaps the happiest of all positions in the social scale, being above the line at which neediness ends, and below the line at which the convenances begin to cramp natural feeling, and...

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Thomas Hardy

They spoke very little of their mutual feeling; pretty phrases and warm expressions being probably unnecessary between such tried friends.

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Thomas Hardy

She was not an existence, an experience, a passion, a structure of sensations, to anybody but herself. To all humankind besides Tess was only a passing thought. Even to friends she was no more than a frequently...

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Thomas Hardy

...our impulses are too strong for our judgement sometimes

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Thomas Hardy

Women are so strange in their influence that they tempt you to misplaced kindness.

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Thomas Hardy

Meanwhile, the trees were just as green as before; the birds sang and the sun shone as clearly now as ever. The familiar surroundings had not darkened because of her grief, nor sickened because of her...

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Thomas Hardy

My weakness has always been to prefer the large intention of an unskilful artist to the trivial intention of an accomplished one: in other words, I am more interested in the high ideas of a feeble executant...

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Thomas Hardy

I forgot the defective can be more than the whole

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Thomas Hardy

By experience", says Roger Ascham, "we find out a short way by a long wandering." Not seldom that long wandering unfits us for further travel, and of what use is our experience to us then?

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Thomas Hardy

Happiness is but a mere episode in the general drama of pain.

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Thomas Hardy

There was now a distinct manifestation of morning in the air, and presently the bleared white visage of a sunless winter day emerged like a dead-born child.

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Thomas Hardy

WEATHERS This is the weather the cuckoo likes, And so do I; When showers betumble the chestnut spikes, And nestlings fly; And the little brown nightingale bills his best, And they sit outside at 'The Traveller's...

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Thomas Hardy

If an offense come out of the truth, better is it that the offense come than that the truth be concealed.

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Thomas Hardy

Many...have learned that the magnitude of lives is not as to their external displacements, but as to their subjective experiences. The impressionable peasant leads a larger, fuller, more dramatic life...

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Thomas Hardy

The beauty or ugliness of a character lay not only in its achievements, but in its aims and impulses; its true history lay, not among things done, but among things willed.

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Thomas Hardy

What is it, Angel?" she said, starting up. "Have they come for me?" "Yes, dearest," he said. "They have come." "It is as it should be," she murmured. "Angel, I am almost glad—yes, glad! This happiness...

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Thomas Hardy

Well, what I mean is that I shouldn't mind being a bride at a wedding, if I could be one without having a husband.

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Thomas Hardy

Men thin away to insignificance and oblivion quite as often by not making the most of good spirits when they have them as by lacking good spirits when they are indispensable.

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Thomas Hardy

Well, these sad and hopeless obstacles are welcome in one sense, for they enable us to look with indifference upon the cruel satires that Fate loves to indulge in.

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Thomas Hardy

Backlock, a poet blind from his birth, could describe visual objects with accuracy; Professor Sanderson, who was also blind, gave excellent lectures on color, and taught others the theory of ideas which...

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Thomas Hardy

This hobble of being alive is rather serious, don’t you think so?

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Thomas Hardy

Clare had studied the curves of those lips so many times that he could reproduce them mentally with ease: and now, as they again confronted him, clothed with colour and life, they sent an aura over his...

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Thomas Hardy

You are Joseph the dreamer of dreams, dear Jude. And a tragic Don Quixote. And sometimes you are St. Stephen, who, while they were stoning him, could see Heaven opened. Oh, my poor friend and comrade,...

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Thomas Hardy

My wicked heart will ramble on in spite of myself. (Arabella)

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Thomas Hardy

Done because we are too many.

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Thomas Hardy

She was of the stuff of which great men's mothers are made. She was indispensable to high generation, hated at tea parties, feared in shops, and loved at crises.

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Thomas Hardy

Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened.

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Thomas Hardy

...Nameless, unknown to me as you were, I couldn't forget your voice!' 'For how long?' 'O - ever so long. Days and days.' 'Days and days! Only days and days? O, the heart of a man! Days and days!' 'But,...

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Thomas Hardy

She was at that modulating point between indifference and love, at the stage called having a fancy for. It occurs once in the history of the most gigantic passions, and it is a period when they are in...

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Thomas Hardy

Some women's love of being loved is insatiable; and so, often, is their love of loving; and in the last case they may find that they can't give it continuously to the chamber-officer appointed by the bishop's...

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Thomas Hardy

...the social mould civilization fits us into have no more relation to our actual shapes than the conventional shapes of the constellations have to the real star-patterns. I am called Mrs. Richard Phillotson,...

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Thomas Hardy

People go on marrying because they can't resist natural forces, although many of them may know perfectly well that they are possibly buying a month's pleasure with a life's discomfort.

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Thomas Hardy

Is a woman a thinking unit at all, or a fraction always wanting its integer?

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Thomas Hardy

To have lost is less disturbing than to wonder if we may possibly have won; and Eustacia could now, like other people at such a stage, take a standing-point outside herself, observe herself as a disinterested...

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Thomas Hardy

Indifference to fate which, though it often makes a villain of a man, is the basis of his sublimity when it does not.

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Thomas Hardy

In the ill-judged execution of the well-judged plan of things the call seldom produces the comer, the man to love rarely coincides with the hour for loving. Nature does not often say 'See!' to her poor...

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Thomas Hardy

How I have tried and tried to be a splendid woman, and how destiny has been against me! ...I do not deserve my lot! ...O, the cruelty of putting me into this ill-conceived world! I was capable of much;...

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Thomas Hardy

Somebody might have come along that way who would have asked him his trouble, and might have cheered him by saying that his notions were further advanced than those of his grammarian. But nobody did come,...

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Thomas Hardy

Remember that the best and greatest among mankind are those who do themselves no worldly good. Every successful man is more or less a selfish man. The devoted fail...

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Thomas Hardy

Black chaos comes, and the fettered gods of the earth say, Let there be light.

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Thomas Hardy

When women are secret they are secret indeed; and more often then not they only begin to be secret with the advent of a second lover.

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Thomas Hardy

A strong woman who recklessly throws away her strength, she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away.

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Thomas Hardy

Did you say the stars were worlds, Tess?" "Yes." "All like ours?" "I don't know, but I think so. They sometimes seem to be like the apples on our stubbard-tree. Most of them splendid and sound - a few...

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Thomas Hardy

But no one came. Because no one ever does.

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Thomas Hardy

Teach me to live, that I may dread The grave as little as my bed. Teach me to die…

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Thomas Hardy

To be loved to madness--such was her great desire. Love was to her the one cordial which could drive away the eating loneliness of her days. And she seemed to long for the abstraction called passionate...

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Thomas Hardy

That mercy towards one set of creatures was cruelty towards another sickened his sense of harmony. As you got older, and felt yourself to be at the center of your time, and not at a point in its circumference,...

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Thomas Hardy

To dwellers in a wood, almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature.

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Thomas Hardy

There's a friendly tie of some sort between music and eating.

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Thomas Hardy

If the story-tellers could ha' got decency and good morals from true stories, who'd have troubled to invent parables?

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Thomas Hardy

Everybody must be managed. Queens must be managed. Kings must be managed, for men want managing almost as much as women, and that's saying a good deal.

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Thomas Hardy

If we be doomed to marry, we marry; if we be doomed to remain single we do.

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Thomas Hardy

Of love it may be said, the less earthly the less demonstrative. In its absolutely indestructible form it reaches a profundity in which all exhibition of itself is painful.

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Thomas Hardy

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

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Thomas Hardy

It may have been observed that there is no regular path for getting out of love as there is for getting in. Some people look upon marriage as a short cut that way, but it has been known to fail.

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The beggarly question of parentage--what is it, after all? What does it matter, when you come to think of it, whether a child is yours by blood or not? All the little ones of our time are collectively...

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Time does not really exist for mothers, with regard to their children. It does not matter greatly how old the child is-in the blink of an eye, a mother can see the child again as they were when they were...

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Confucius

When the perfect order prevails, the world is like a home shared by all. Leaders are capable and virtuous. Everyone loves and respects their own parents and children as well as the parents and children...

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Leo Tolstoy

Patriotism is "a very definite feeling of preference for one's own people or State above all other peoples and States, and a consequent wish to get for that people or State the greatest advantages and...

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Henry D. Moyle

Charity is not a virtue to expect in others only. It is the all-important Christian attribute to be found in ourselves. . . . We believe that charity must begin at home. Can we hope to be charitable to...

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Michael Chabon

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You will notice that what we are aiming at when we fall in love is a very strange paradox. The paradox consists of the fact that, when we fall in love, we are seeking to re-find all or some of the people...

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Richard M. Eyre

We are entitled to personal revelation, especially when it concerns our own or our children's lives and what has been foreordained for them. This is true whether our children number one or ten, and whether...

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Nathan Fillion

Growing up, my parents managed to show me the importance of reading without cramming it down my throat. A difficult task, I'm sure. It breaks my heart to think that there are kids out there, ready to have...

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Eric Cantor

A good place to start is with the kids ... One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents. It is time to provide an opportunity...

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Our jobs determine to a large extent what our lives are like. Is what you do for a living making you ill? Does it keep you from becoming a more fully realized person? Do you feel ashamed of what you have...

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Thomas Merton

After all, what is your personal identity? It is what you really are, your real self. None of us is what he thinks he is, or what other people think he is, still less what his passport says he is And it...

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What do you know about yourself? What are your stories? The ones you tell yourself, and the ones told by others. All of us begin somewhere. Though I suppose the truth is that we begin more than once; we...

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Barack Obama

All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort -- a sustained effort...

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It is important to tell our secrets too because ... it makes it easier for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own, and exchanges like that have a lot to do with what being a family is all...

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“Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

― Dr. Seuss