One rarely falls in love without being as much attracted to what is interestingly wrong with someone as what is objectively healthy.
There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.
Anyone who isn't embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn't learning enough.
The moment we cry in a film is not when things are sad but when they turn out to be more beautiful than we expected them to be.
The price we have paid for expecting to be so much more than our ancestors is a perpetual anxiety that we are far from being all we might be.
The most boring and unproductive question one can ask of any religion is whether or not it is true.
Far from rejecting outright any hierarchy of success or failure, philosophy instead reconfigures the judging process, lending legitimacy to theidea that themainstream value system may unfairly consign some people to disgrace and others to respectability.
I never wavered in my certainty that God did not exist. I was simply liberated by the thought that there might be a way to engage with religion without having to subscribe to its supernatural content - a way, to put it in more abstract terms, to think about Fathers without upsetting my respectful memory of my own father. I recognized that my continuing resistance to theories of an afterlife or of heavenly residents was no justification for giving up on the music, buildings, prayers, rituals, feasts, shrines, pilgrimages, communal meals and illustrated manuscripts of the faiths.
We don't need to be constantly reasonable in order to have good relationships; all we need to have mastered is the occasional capacity to acknowledge with good grace that we may, in one or two areas, be somewhat insane.
The media insists on taking what someone didn't mean to say as being far closer to the truth than what they did.
The start receives such disproportionate attention because it isn't deemed to be just one phase among many; for the Romantic, it contains in a concentrated form everything significant about love as a whole. Which is why, in so many love stories, there is simply nothing else for the narrator to do with a couple after they have triumphed over a range of initial obstacles other than to consign them to an ill-defined contented future--or kill them off. What we typically call love is only the start of love.
What makes the prospect of death distinctive in the modern age is the background of permanent technological and sociological revolution against which it is set, and which serves to strip us of any possible faith in the permanence of our labours. Our ancestors could believe that their achievements had a chance of bearing up against the flow of events. We know time to be a hurricane. Our buildings, our sense of style, our ideas, all of these will soon enough be anachronisms, and the machines in which we now take inordinate pride will seem no less bathetic than Yorick's skull.
Partially undermining the manufacturer's ability to assert that its work constituted a meaningful contribution to mankind was the frivolous way in which it went about marketing its products. Grief was the only rational response to the news that an employee had spent three months devising a supermarket promotion based on an offer of free stickers of cartoon characters called the Fimbles. Why had the grown-ups so churlishly abdicated their responsibilities? Were there not more important ambitions to be met before Death showed himself on the horizon in his hooded black cloak, his scythe slung over his shoulder?
However powerful our technology and complex our corporations, the most remarkable feature of the modern working world may in the end be internal, consisting in an aspect of our mentalities: in the widely held belief that our work should make us happy. All societies have had work at their centre; ours is the first to suggest that it could be something more than a punishment or a penance. Ours is the first to imply that we should seek to work even in the absence of a financial imperative.
Don't despair: despair suggests you are in total control and know what is coming. You don't - surrender to events with hope.
The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts.
One kind of good book should leave you asking: how did the author know that about me?
In a secularising world, art has replaced religion as a touchstone of our reverence and devotion.
For the rest of history, for most of us, our bright promise will always fall short of being actualised; it will never earn us bountiful sums of money or beget exemplary objects or organisations.... Most of us stand poised at the edge of brilliance, haunted by the knowledge of our proximity, yet still demonstrably on the wrong side of the line, our dealings with reality undermined by a range of minor yet critical psychological flaws (a little too much optimism, an unprocessed rebelliousness, a fatal impatience or sentimentality). We are like an exquisite high-speed aircraft which for lack of a tiny part is left stranded beside the runway, rendered slower than a tractor or a bicycle.
If one felt successful, there'd be so little incentive to be successful.