The first real unhappiness I remember to have felt was when some one told me, one day, that I did not love God. I insisted, almost tearfully, that I did; but I was told that if I did truly love Him I should always be good. I knew I was not that, and the feeling of sudden orphanage came over me like a bewildering cloud.
When you think of all the conflicts we have – whether those conflicts are local, whether they are regional or global – these conflicts are often over the management, the distribution of resources. If these resources are very valuable, if these resources are scarce, if these resources are degraded, there is going to be competition.
It turns out, all the studies show you invest a little time in another person’s life, often a younger person, and all of us have that capacity to do it, just an hour a week, an hour every couple of weeks, and you can make a tremendous difference in a kid’s life over their lifetime.
Love casts out fear, but we have to get over the fear in order to get close enough to love them.
As minorities and other immigrant groups become more important to our economy, the inner city is a crucible that gives us an early look at phenomena that are going to be spreading more broadly in the economy over time.
Like a pianist runs her fingers over the keys, I’ll search my mind for what to say. Now, the poem may want you to write it. And then sometimes you see a situation and think, ‘I’d like to write about that.’ Those are two different ways of being approached by a poem, or approaching a poem.
Radiation doesn’t recognize borders. A meltdown in Japan or India, say, is a danger to the whole world. Wind circulates the radiation everywhere. Water quality is affected. We all eat the same fish. We use products from all over the world – if something is contaminated, it will cause harm.
Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose – not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.
I wasn’t prepared for the fact that grief is so unpredictable. It wasn’t just sadness, and it wasn’t linear. Somehow I’d thought that the first days would be the worst and then it would get steadily better – like getting over the flu. That’s not how it was.
The characteristic feature of modernity is criticism: what is new is set over and against what is old, and it is this constant contrast that constitutes the continuity of tradition.