Andrew Carnegie

I’ve been so thoroughly absorbed in Andrew Carnegie’s autobiography by David Nasaw, that I thought of sharing a snippet from the book –

Being born poor was a virtue, not a deficit, as it forced the young man to be self-sufficient at an early age. “You should be grateful to a kind Providence for fathers who have not burdened you with riches… By bequeathing the necessity to work the poor man leaves a richer heritage to his son than the millionaire can possibly give. Poverty at the beginning of life is a positive blessing.”

Paper Towns

I’ve read a couple of books over the past few months and I always write down the quotes that inspire me the most. Once in awhile I post them up here if I feel strongly to any story or any quote. I didn’t quite understand the restlessness of the main character in Paper Towns initially, but I finally could relate to the following bit: The pleasure isn’t in doing the thing, the pleasure is planning “it”.

Perhaps the feeling of anticipation is better than the actual thing. I remember the anticipation of graduating from college. And then it became “Checked. Meh. What next?” And we move from one goal to another, anticipating the next. What happens when we stop having things to look forward to?

I guess that’s what drove me to embark on my Grand Adventure. So tempted to throw in another John Green quote here. Oh what the hell. I go to seek a Great Perhaps (from Looking for Alaska).

The Timekeeper

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Life has been busy, what with photoshoots almost every week, catching up with random friends before they fly off for the holidays, hanging out with my mom and granny, and squeezing in a run every other day. I also finished reading The Timekeeper some time last week –

Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There’s a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers the paralyzing fear that no other creature endues. A fear of time running out.

“You marked the minutes,” the old man said. “But did you use them wisely? To be still? To cherish? To be grateful? To lift and be lifted?”

Once we began to chime the hour, we lost the ability to be satisfied. There was always a quest for more minutes, more hours, faster progress to accomplish more in each day. The simple joy of living between sunrises was gone.

Maybe it’s a Mitch Albom thing, but The Timekeeper had a similar theme to Tuesdays with Morrie. The tension of opposites.

The Fault in Our Stars

Just got through The Fault in Our Stars and after some speedy Googling, I now feel less of a loser for crying while reading the book (because a ton of people cried too). Finished it in one sitting with a cup of tea followed by a cup of coffee just because it was already midnight and I really wanted to finish the book.

Everyone in this story has a rock solid hamartia: hers, that she is so sick; yours, that you are so well. Were she better or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, “The fault, dear Brutus. is not in our stars/ But in ourselves.”

Without pain, how could we know joy? … But suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not in any way affect the taste of chocolate. (I personally find it so much more meaningful with the entire paragraph, although most just quote the first sentence for how poetic it sounds.)

Okay.

Quotes

Next up on my reading list – The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.

Wallflower

Wow. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was such a good read. So good I might read it again even. Some parts were dark and very thought provoking. Others were simply inspiring. Gosh, I can’t wait to catch the movie! My favorite snippets –

He’s a wallflower. You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.

And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

And all the books you’ve read have been read by other people. And all the songs you’ve loved have been heard by other people. And that girl that’s pretty to you is pretty to other people. And you know that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing “unity”.

The problem with things is that everyone is always comparing everyone with everyone and because of that, it discredits people.

Things change. And friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody.

Some clarity

Today marks the first of many fulfilling me-time Fridays. Randomness led to me ordering Pizza Hut for supper, sipping my hot green tea and reading Tuesdays with Morrie. 2 hours later, I found myself half-drugged (thanks to my drowsy meds) but still with some clarity on life, and death. Snippets, as always –

We’re so wrapped up with egotistical things, career, family, having enough money, meeting the mortgage, getting a new car, fixing the radiator when it breaks — we’re involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going. So we don’t get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, “Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing?”

“Oh if I were young again.” You know what that reflects? Unsatisfied lives. Unfulfilled lives. Lives that haven’t found meaning. Because if you’ve found meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more.

And another one that struck a chord,

Death ends a life, not a relationship.