„In order to protect our jobs, our visas, our profits, our chances of receiving good grades, our sanity, we pretend not to see, we sanitise our own perception, filtering out the pain, pretending that it is not here but out there, far away, in Africa, in Russia, a hundred years ago, in an otherness that, by being alien, cleanses our own experience of all negativity.“

—  John Holloway, Change the World Without Taking Power (2002)
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„We are responsible to ourselves for our own existence; consequently we want to be the true helmsman of this existence and refuse to allow our existence to resemble a mindless act of chance.“

—  Friedrich Nietzsche German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist 1844 - 1900
Untimely Meditations (1876), Wir haben uns über unser Dasein vor uns selbst zu verantworten; folglich wollen wir auch die wirklichen Steuermänner dieses Daseins abgeben und nicht zulassen, daß unsre Existenz einer gedankenlosen Zufälligkeit gleiche. “Schopenhauer as educator,” § 3.1, R. Hollingdale, trans. (1983), p. 128

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„The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.“

—  Sun Tzu ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher from the Zhou Dynasty -543 - 251 a.C.
Chapter VIII · Variations and Adaptability, 故用兵之法,無恃其不來,恃吾有以待之;無恃其不攻,恃吾有所不可攻也。 Translation by Lionel Giles

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„Viewed unsympathetically, this is nothing, a chance association-by-knees; yet if we cherish life, and are not mere creatures of death and sepulcher, deluded by the notion that only our own experience is real and our demise the end of the world, we see in it a reminder that we are all beads on a string — separate yet part of a unity.“

—  Robertson Davies Canadian journalist, playwright, professor, critic, and novelist 1913 - 1995
A Voice from the Attic (1960), Context: An old friend of mine who died recently at a great age was, in infancy, held on the knee of an elderly godmother who had been, in her infancy, held on the knee of yet another godmother who had been held on the knee of Queen Anne, who died in 1714. Viewed unsympathetically, this is nothing, a chance association-by-knees; yet if we cherish life, and are not mere creatures of death and sepulcher, deluded by the notion that only our own experience is real and our demise the end of the world, we see in it a reminder that we are all beads on a string — separate yet part of a unity.

Rod McKuen photo

„If we only have love
We can reach those in pain
We can heal all our wounds
We can use our own names.“

—  Rod McKuen American poet, songwriter, composer, and singer 1933 - 2015
Translations and adaptations, If We Only Have Love (1968)

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„Give us back our suffering, we cry to Heaven in our hearts — suffering rather than indifferentism; for out of nothing comes nothing. But out of suffering may come the cure. Better have pain than paralysis!“

—  Florence Nightingale English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing 1820 - 1910
Cassandra (1860), Context: Give us back our suffering, we cry to Heaven in our hearts — suffering rather than indifferentism; for out of nothing comes nothing. But out of suffering may come the cure. Better have pain than paralysis! A hundred struggle and drown in the breakers. One discovers the new world. But rather, ten times rather, die in the surf, heralding the way to that new world, than stand idly on the shore!

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