The nature of compassion isn’t coming to terms with your own suffering and applying it to others: It’s knowing that other folks around you suffer and, no matter what happens to you, no matter how lucky or unlucky you are, they keep suffering. And if you can do something about that, then you do it, and you do it without whining or waving your own fuckin’ cross for the world to see. You do it because it’s the right thing to do.
And I told him that I believed in God because I had seen His opposite. I had seen all that He was not, and been touched by it, and so I could no more deny the possibility of an ultimate goodness to set against such depravity than I could deny that daylight followed darkness, and night the day.
There’s a difference between living and just surviving. Do something you love, and find someone to love who loves that you love what you do.
It is really that simple.
And that hard.
Because to ignore what had happened in the recent and distant pasts, to turn away and look elsewhere because it was easier to do so, was to be an accomplice to the crimes that were committed. To refuse to delve deeper would be to collude with the offenders.
Perhaps it’s true that all men love their fathers, no matter how terrible the things they do to their sons: there is a part of us that remains forever in debt to those responsible for our existence.
The trick was not to stifle the emotions, but to control them. Love, anger, grief – all were weapons in their way, but they needed to be kept in check.
Stories come alive in the telling. (…)They lay dormant, hoping for the chance to emerge. Once someone started to read them, they could begin to change. They could take root in the imagination and transform the reader. Stories wanted to be read.
Evil, unlike good, is constantly at war with those most like itself, and ambition is its spur.
Being shot at for years by men of a particular nationality will tend to impact negatively upon one’s view of them.
After all, no relationship could function or survive under the burden of total honesty.