It is not drawn on any map; true places never are.
Families will not be broken. Curse and expel them, send their children wandering, drown them in floods and fires, and old women will make songs out of all these sorrows and sit on the porches and sing them on mild evenings.
To each other, we were as normal and nice as the smell of bread. We were just a family. In a family even exaggerations make perfect sense.
Happy or unhappy, families are all mysterious. We have only to imagine how differently we would be described — and will be, after our deaths — by each of the family members who believe they know us.
Our society is dedicated almost entirely to the celebration of the ego, with all its sad fantasies about success and power, and it celebrates those very forces of greed and ignorance that are destroying the planet.
Everybody’s always talking about people breaking into houses . . . but there are more people in the world who want to break out of houses.
A man without a home can’t be lost.
In the traditional family structure of Persia . . . one simply cannot discard close relatives just because one does not like them; rather one has to accommodate them, make allowances, and accept them, like misfortune.
They fuck you up, your Mum and Dad They may not mean to, but they do.
The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.
We are born into a family and, at the last, we rejoin its full extension when gathered to the ancestors. Family grave, family altar, family trust, family secrets, family pride.
Family jokes, though rightly cursed by strangers, are the bond that keeps most families alive.
. . . that best portion of a good man’s life, His little, nameless, unremembered acts Of kindness and of love.
The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes. Change is the one quality we can predicate of it. The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development. The error of Louis XIV was that he thought human nature would always be the same. The result of his error was the French Revolution. It was an admirable result.
The Pilgrim Fathers landed on the shores of America and fell upon their knees. Then they fell upon the aborigines.
We are all murderers and prostitutes — no matter to what culture, society, class, or nation one belongs, no matter how normal, moral, or mature one takes oneself to be.
To feel the love of people whom we know is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes from those we do not know — that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being and unites all living things.
Our own pulse beats in every stranger’s throat.