“I Have Seen Life as it Is”
“I have lived nearly fifty years, and I have seen life as it is.
Pain, misery, hunger … cruelty beyond belief. I have heard the singing from taverns and the moans from bundles of filth on the streets. I have been a soldier and seen my comrades fall in battle … or die more slowly under the lash in Africa. I have held them in my arms at the final moment. These were men who saw life as it is, yet they died despairing. No glory, no gallant last words … only their eyes filled with confusion, whimpering the question, “Why?” I do not think they asked why they were dying, but why they had lived.
When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. To seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!” (Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha, Miguel Cervantes)
“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” (Edith Wharton)
“An old Grandfather, whose grandson came to him with anger at a schoolmate who had done him an injustice, said, ‘Let me tell you a story. I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.’
He continued, ‘It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way. But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.’
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, ‘Which one wins, Grandfather?’
The Grandfather solemnly said, ‘The one I feed.’” (Azriela Jaffe)
“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
“When you understand that what most people really, really want is simply to feel good about themselves, and when you realize that with just a few well-chosen words you can help virtually anyone on the planet instantly achieve this, you begin to realize just how simple life is, how powerful you are, and that love is the key. (signed) The Universe” (Mike Dooley, Notes from the Universe, 9.1.14)
“Are you scared? Or are you not ready? There is a difference.” (Unique Quietness)