these are from “gilead,” by marilynne robinson.
“a man can know his father, or his son, and there might still be nothing between them but loyalty and love and mutual incomprehension.”
“people talk about how wonderful the world seems to children, and that’s true enough. but children think they will grow into it and understand it, and i know very well that i will not, and would not if i had a dozen lives.”
“remembering my youth makes me aware that i never really had enough of it, it was over before i was done with it.”
“when you encounter another person, when you have dealings with anyone at all, it is as if a question is being put to you. so you must think, what is the lord asking of me in this moment, in this situation? if you confront insult or antagonism, your first impulse will be to respond in kind. but if you think, as it were, this is an emissary sent from the lord, and some benefit is intended for me, first of all the occasion to demonstrate my faithfulness, the chance to show that i do in some small degree participate in the grace that saved me, you are free to act otherwise than circumstances would seem to dictate. you are free to act by your own lights. you are freed at the same time of the impulse to hate or resent that person. he would probably laugh at the thought that the lord sent him to you for your benefit (and his), but that is the perfection of the disguise, his own ignorance of it.”
this last reminds me of the dali lama teaching that we should be kind whenever possible, and that it is always possible.
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