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Quotations

Sunbeams

How can a three-pound mass of jelly that you can hold in your palm imagine angels, contemplate the meaning of infinity, and even question its own place in the cosmos? Especially awe-inspiring is the fact that any single brain, including yours, is made up of atoms that were forged in the hearts of countless, far-flung stars billions of years ago. . . . These atoms now form a conglomerate — your brain — that can not only ponder the very stars that gave it birth but can also think about its own ability to think and wonder about its own ability to wonder.

V.S. Ramachandran

November 2022
Quotations

Sunbeams

Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. . . . Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say, Napoleonic times.

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

October 2022
Quotations

Sunbeams

The roots of a child’s ability to cope and thrive, regardless of circumstance, lie in that child’s having had at least a small, safe place (an apartment? a room? a lap?) in which, in the companionship of a loving person, that child could discover that he or she was lovable and capable of loving in return.

Fred Rogers

September 2022
Quotations

Sunbeams

The emergence of intelligence, I am convinced, tends to unbalance the ecology. In other words, intelligence is the great polluter. It is not until a creature begins to manage its environment that nature is thrown into disorder.

Clifford D. Simak, Shakespeare’s Planet

August 2022
Quotations

Sunbeams

Very few people really care about freedom, about liberty, about the truth, very few. Very few people have guts, the kind of guts on which a real democracy has to depend. Without people with that sort of guts a free society dies or cannot be born.

Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

July 2022
Quotations

Sunbeams

Alcohol, I had learned, was an eloquent if somewhat inaccurate interpreter. I had placed my trust that December night in glass after glass of it, eager not for drink but for a bit of talk.

Monique Truong, The Book of Salt

June 2022
Quotations

Sunbeams

To earn one’s bread by the sweat of one’s brow has always been the lot of mankind. At least, ever since Eden’s slothful couple was served with an eviction notice. The scriptural precept was never doubted, not out loud. No matter how demeaning the task, no matter how it dulls the senses and breaks the spirit, one must work. Or else.

Studs Terkel

May 2022
Quotations

Sunbeams

Eating puts us in touch with all that we share with the other animals, and all that sets us apart.

Michael Pollan

April 2022
Quotations

Sunbeams

They argued about the weather, sports, sex, war, race, politics, and religion; neither of them knew much about the subjects they debated, but it seemed that the less they knew the better they could argue.

Richard Wright, “The Man Who Went to Chicago”

March 2022
Quotations

Sunbeams

It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself.

Rachel Carson

February 2022
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