Quote Worthy

Quotes that I’ve used interspersed throughout posts from this blog.

“I do not mean this to be an intimidating suggestion. It makes no difference whether you write five paragraphs for a blog, a paper for a professional journal, or a poem for a reading group. Just write. What you write need not achieve perfection. It need only add some small observation about your world. You should not underestimate the effect of your contribution, however modest.”

Atul Gawande, Better

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

J.K. Rowling

“Cass Mastern lived for a few years and in that time he learned the world is all of one piece. He learned that the world is like an enormous spider web and if you touch it, however lightly, at any point, the vibration ripples to the remotest perimeter and the drowsy spider feels the tingle and is drowsy no more but springs out to fling the gossamer coils about you who have touched the web and then inject the black, numbing poison under your hide. It does not matter whether or not you meant to brush the web of things. Your happy foot or your gay wing may have brushed it ever so lightly, but what happens always happens and there is the spider, bearded black and with his great faceted eyes glittering like mirrors in the sun, or like God’s eye, and the fangs dripping.”

Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

“The only noncompliant people are physicians. If the patient doesn’t get better, it’s your own fault. Fix it.”

Paul Farmer, Mountains Beyond Mountains

“No iron can stab the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place.”

Isaac Babel, The Collected Stories of Isaac Babel

“Ten years have passed since a group of mostly educated and middle-class men decided to obliterate themselves, along with three thousand innocents, to gain entrance to an imaginary paradise. This problem was always deeper than the threat of terrorism—and our waging an interminable “war on terror” is no answer to it. Yes, we must destroy al Qaeda. But humanity has a larger project—to become sane. If September 11, 2001, should have taught us anything, it is that we must find honest consolation in our capacity for love, creativity, and understanding. This remains possible. It is also necessary. And the alternatives are bleak.”

Sam Harris

“You have to find what’s good and true and beautiful in your life as it is now. Looking back makes you competitive. And, age is not a competitive issue.”

Morrie Schwartz, Tuesdays with Morrie

“For this was the point, surely: he would be a better doctor for having read literature. What deep readings his modified sensibility might make of human suffering, of the self-destructive folly or sheer bad luck that drive men toward ill health! Birth, death, and frailty in between. Rise and fall–this was the doctor’s business, and it was literature’s too.”

Ian McEwan, Atonement

“A patient, long before he becomes the subject of medical scrutiny, is, at first, simply a storyteller, a narrator of suffering—a traveler who has visited the kingdom of the ill. To relieve an illness, one must begin, then, by unburdening its story.”

Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

“What is a country? A country is a piece of land surrounded on all sides by boundaries, usually unnatural. Englishmen are dying for England, Americans are dying for America, Germans are dying for Germany, Russians are dying for Russia. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting in this war. Surely so many countries can’t all be worth dying for.”

-Joseph Heller, Catch-22

 “Every moment happens twice; inside and outside, and they are two different histories.”

-Zadie Smith, White Teeth

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