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A Punctual Paymaster

  1. “It seems to me that smart people seem to know things and wise people know how to use what they know. Smart is a big help to a man; wise is a big help to lots of men.”  

  2. “It made him wonder if all things taken from their home too soon lost some of their bloom.”

  3. “We learn to love when we’re young. If we learn hating better, it has to go somewhere. We can hate ourselves or we can hate somebody else. Most people would rather hate somebody else.”  

  4. “Fear was like a tick to them. They knew there were times when it was going to crawl on them, but they sure didn’t want it embedded in their skin and sucking their blood.”  

  5. “Porches could be cleaned with a broom in a few minutes, but the soul could not be swept. It had to be shaken. And shaking the loess from a soul took a lifetime and more strength than most people had.”  

  6. “Responsibility is definitely not something you feel; it is something you wear.”  

  7. “Peace, a commodity purchased with friendship and safety and anything comfortable and all things familiar; peace that was a pleasant melody playing through the moments of their day; a chord striking only the notes of security and agreement and understanding and order.”  

  8. “He knew most men only heard what they wanted to hear, and he had no desire to be like most men.”  

  9. “The weak thrive on indulgence.”  

  10. “The only way the meek will ever inherit the earth is when they get ground into it by the heel of someone else’s boot.”  

  11. “Doing without will wear on you until temptation is stronger than character, sometimes.”  

  12. “They understood that brave men could be injured more by pity than by disease.”  

  13. “Winning and losing was suddenly elevated to be about things that had no score and no teams and no uniforms; just one player at a time dealing with his life, his own struggle, his own triumph and torment.”   

  14. “He knew that prejudice was a necessary part of the weak spirit of some men.”  

  15. “Time is not tinder for any flame. It will not gather a spark; it will not smolder. It will not change.”  

  16. “Hope was always hard to find in the darkness.”  

  17. “We who are dreamers and doers want only the chance to dream and do, to have an idea and to try to carry it out without interference.”  

  18. “A government that thinks it can remedy personal failure is an intrusion in everybody’s life. No law is going to cure a human’s lack of physical or mental effectiveness. I’d rather see democracy promote strength than reward weakness.”  

  19. “In this country our principles should not be silent.”  

  20. “There’s nothing wrong with fighting when you have no choice. As a matter of fact, it’s what you should do, but when you fight, fight to win.”  

  21. “As you get older, you have to be willing and able to choose your own path for your life. And once you choose it, you walk it with strength. If you meet evil along the way, know that it is supposed to make you afraid, but it’s not supposed to stop you. You walk through the fear and you walk through the evil, and you don’t let either one become your master.”  

  22. “The world has a way of dragging down our mood.”  

  23. “The power of our country relies on the character that comes out of each of our homes.”  

  24. “There are struggles you cannot win, but a man can meet his own heart if value is found in loss. Give yourself permission to cry.”  

  25. “I wonder if God hears prayers if the only time you make them is when you’re in trouble.”  

  26. “Time does not heal, but it can liberate. A race run well can never be lost.”  

  27. “If the forest has a day of fire and the heat of the flames does not consume a special tree, it will still be changed; charred, but still standing.”  

  28. “There is no end to the hatred in men, but there is an end to the hatred in a man. If your hatred is just, and deeds will get you to the end of it, then go and do what must be done.”  

  29. “Those who show no loyalty give up the right to expect any.”  

  30. “People don’t die so the universe can gauge your reaction. They die because life is finite.”  

  31. “Don’t ever use a shovel to swat a fly.”  

  32.  “You can be spiritual all by yourself. Everybody has a soul. But to be religious, it seems like you need other people, and then sometimes it becomes more about the people than the soul.”  

  33. “Human thought and human caring go on in one brain and one heart at a time. Groups are necessary. Regulations are necessary. Government, I would hope limited government, is necessary. But it all starts with the individual. Everything that is accomplished starts with one person, even if the group steps in and helps; it’s still one brain and one heart at a time.”  

  34. “Governments have absolutely no interest in self-reliance. It defeats one of the purposes for their existence. They encourage and thrive on dependency. The more of it they sell, the more necessary they are, and the more power and money they need.”  

An Enigmatic Escape

  1. “When you’re anonymous, other opinions shrink next to the sounds in your own head.”  From the story, “A Most Contemptible Whisper” 

  2. “Everything will be fine. I’ve heard that my whole life. Everything will be fine. That’s baloney.”  From the story, “A Most Contemptible Whisper”  

  3. “What kind of country has this become? Decent people can’t do anything without being watched.”  From the story, “A Most Contemptible Whisper” 

  4. “Sometimes when the three of us were together on our own, we would have a good time. I was pretty young, but sometimes we would go off in the woods and build forts and fight Indians and I think things were about as close to fine as they ever got right then during those times. In the woods. No parents. No yelling.”  From the story, “A Most Contemptible Whisper” 

  5. “As I have aged, I’ve been lucky never to reach old. Old is always at least five or ten years beyond my current calendar stage.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver” 

  6. “My world was very limited in size and experience. Small things took on extra importance, at least to a child.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver”  

  7. “Memories with laughter are the best ones to keep.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver,” 

  8. “The bones of the oak tree that had stood by the spring branch during my youth were scattered about the ground, pieces of the skeleton of a majestic life that had passed while I was off growing up and old.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver” 

  9. “I had always been a boy in this place, and many of the trees and rocks and streams had been old men when I knew them. Some had died. All had changed. I knew that.  I had changed the most.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver” 

  10. “What a wonderful sadness to miss the one you have loved forever, it seems, and know that she is waiting at home.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver”  

  11. “As an adult I had mastered the art of looking without seeing and listening without hearing and eating without tasting and maybe even existing without living.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver,”  

  12. “Back home. What wonderful words. What a wonderful place.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver,” 

  13. “The answers are in you, not around you.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver” 

  14. “Does the plain, simple beauty of life get buried under society’s so-called required daily activities or is that just true of me? No, I know I’m not alone in that feeling. We all get caught up in the making and spending of money. I know it’s not just me.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver” 

  15. “It’s as close to true freedom as I have come. Not freedom of, but freedom from; freedom from the debris of life that piles up and forces us to dig and dig for our original self, who we were once upon a time, innocent and wonderfully naïve, as authentically pure as a human can be.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver” 

  16. “There ain’t nothin’ you can say about war that ain’t personal. It’s all personal.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver” 

  17. “Sometimes, you need to spit stuff out in words to get it better arranged in your head. I figure if you never talk about it, it just picks its own spot and lays there and festers.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver”

  18. “We shook hands the way men do when they’re trying to say something more than goodbye.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver” 

  19. “The world bein’ so small ain’t always a good thing for those of us who ain’t searchin’ for new and different stuff.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver” 

  20. “How do we keep convincing young people to die in fights they didn’t start for reasons we’re too devious to tell the truth about? It’s way too easy for governments to spend other people’s blood. Maybe only the sons and daughters of those who declare the wars should be allowed to fight and die.”  From the story, “The Covert Carver” 

  21. “There is a silent deference for one another, a distance that is kept, and lines that aren’t crossed, but in their sharing, they each try to pay tribute to the bond in their own way. As often as possible, they open up a little and give what they can.”   From the story, “Mingaud’s Cell” 

  22. “I assumed that looking back reminded older guys of what they had shot at and missed, the what-ifs, the good memories, the bad, the people left behind, the people who moved on.” From the story, “Mingaud’s Cell” 

  23. “I don’t know how a reporter would ever understand a politician. Your job is supposed to be about finding the truth and enlightening people. Right? A politician’s job is about hiding the truth and fooling people. Right? You want us to be better informed so we get smarter. They think we’re dumb and it’s to their advantage to keep us that way.” From the story, “Mingaud’s Cell” 

  24. “Saying it ain’t fair, over and over again while you stand in front of a wrecking ball is kinda senseless, I think.”  From the story, “Mingaud’s Cell” 

  25. “My name Quan. Quan Nguyen. This Kim-Ly, wife. We next door. Do nails. We with Mr. Blaylock. He fight, we fight. We come here from Viet Nam. This good country, but sometimes, good people in good country, have to fight.”  From the story, “Mingaud’s Cell” 

  26. “This country should treat good people better than they do.”  From the story, “Mingaud’s Cell” 

  27. “One of the worst things I’ve learned about getting older is that there seems to be more change that you don’t like than there was when you were younger and you can’t do nothin’ about it.”  From the story, “Mingaud’s Cell” 

  28.  “Our bird of hope was being denied the altitude it sought, just free enough to fly dangerously close to the reality of the treetops.”   From the short story collection, , “Mingaud’s Cell”

  29. “I wonder how long it takes for these people we elect to forget who they work for?”  From the story, “Mingaud’s Cell” 

  30. “It’s a funny thing, one day you’re living and the next day you’re not sometimes, whether you have plans or not. Wishes and wants get trumped by the reaper every time. I don’t even know if I would want a warning if it was my time. I think I’d rather be surprised.”  From the story, “Mingaud’s Cell” 

  31. “Just make sure the day doesn’t pass without sayin’ what’s in your heart. Sometimes you pass up those chances and they’re gone forever.”   From the story, “Mingaud’s Cell” 

  32. “Now, it’s time for me to lock up and go. Listen to me. Lock up an empty building that’s gonna be torn down. Makes no sense. Like an old man tellin’ a lie to his son from his death bed. What’s the point? Who besides yourself are you fooling?”  From the story, “Mingaud’s Cell” 

Monarchs and Mendicants

  1. “Gifford Ulrich didn’t know the distance from despair to hope, but he knew hope didn’t sleep in alleys.”  

  2. “Not interested in scarin’ anybody, but people with good sense are afraid of a man with nothin’ to lose.”  

  3. “If you decide to take somebody on, don’t look behind you, because there won’t be anybody there. You’ll be all alone.”  

  4. “We get so beat down by what we need, sometimes we forget how to want.”  

  5. “Surviving is about need. Living is about want.”  

  6. “If all you do is think about what you need, you’re no better than an animal in the woods, and no smarter either. To be human, you’ve got to want. It makes you smarter and stronger.”   

  7. “I don’t have to save them all, just a few, or one, and then that one has to go out and save another one until this half-dead world begins to climb out of the grave it’s standing in waiting for someone to throw dirt on it.”  

  8. “The true soldier knows nothing but war, and the true soldier, for lack of an enemy, attacks himself.”  

  9. “I need to work. It’s the one time my thoughts will cooperate with me.”  

  10. “Giants bleed like everybody else.”  

  11. “Men who have been in war have a different attitude about being wronged.”  

  12. “Being tough today might cause you to be weak in the future.”  

  13. “Everybody dies. It’s no risk to lose your life. You knew it was lost from the beginning.”  

  14. “I wish but to share your gifts as a young boy on his birthday would excitedly rip open his packages to the view of others.”   

  15. “Fear was the hand of the devil holding a scalding hot branding iron and touching your brain and your stomach and yelling at you to run with leaden feet.”  

  16. “Reading had always been, through bad, boring, or better times, his best connection to humans.”   

  17. “Books required no interchanges of thoughts and feelings, no trading of expectations, no traffic of words, no menace of real loss. Reading books required far less energy than reading people; the pages seldom disappointed him and they never died.”  

  18. “Evil stinks and it doesn’t disappear just because you want it to. You can still smell it with your eyes closed.”   

  19. “Evil won’t leave you alone until you take a stand or until you’re dead.”    

  20. “A silence overtook the odd family in their odd surroundings as loss became the mockery of the moment, and they were caught up in the emotional release that is common in a theater audience after the sudden ending of a tragic movie; the curtain closes and the people are still in their seats, numb and sighing their way back into reality.”   

  21. “A person gets built and stands for a few years and then nature’s demolition team comes in.”   

  22. “Politics is all about dividing up the power. Washington D.C. likes to talk about spreading the wealth, but never spreading the power.”    

  23. “They may not have enough of their own to take a stand, but they can do it if someone shows them how.”  

  24. “I’m not lookin’ to be anybody’s keeper. What I say and do is meant to protect me. If it works for somebody else, that’s okay, but I don’t want people depending on me to save them.”  

  25. “Some people get what they want because they grab the power and swing it and some people don’t.”  

  26. “Despite his best efforts, maintaining dignity in a head attached to an unclean body wrapped in unclean garments was a battle that encouraged surrender.”

  27. “He had no ability to give up. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to quit, he couldn’t. It wasn’t in him. It never had been.”  

  28. “I am not wise enough to know if there is ever purpose in tragedy, if there is ever virtue in resisting it. If it cannot be overcome, then grief has beaten you, and you are right to say so.”  

  29. “We, the beggar class, have little to lose and our expectations are, at best, modest, and when we suffer, it seems we suffer to the depths, for there is nothing in our lives nor in our souls to buoy our hope. Nothing in the way of the blackness. It sinks to the bottom as the lead weight that is despair. We look forward such a short distance that our spirit is myopic, not to be corrected by any lens within our world.”   

  30. “Seek until there is no hope and then seek further. Seek without end. Trudge on without tiring and without fear and without disheartenment. Trudge on, for it is within you to fight any enemy. It is who you are. It is your past and your present and your future. You will not quit. You cannot quit. Your breath is your courage, and as you breathe, so must you hope or you are already dead.”  

  31. “The gear teeth of his mind, the cogs of the brain’s machinery that propelled his thoughts, were grinding to a halt, too long forced to fight against the friction of agony without the aid of hope, the lubricant for the soul.”  

  32. “I can’t tell you what’s in all of God’s plans, but I do know part of them. He empowers you with reason and will. Those are your strengths. That’s what gives you the chance to be great in his sight. He gave you a mind and codes to live by so you could be in charge of your own actions.”  

  33. “It must be great to spend time in a spot and if you walk away, it’s so much better than before because of something you did.”  

  34. “It remains for you to save one before saving others, to lead one before leading others.”   

  35. “Devotion to self is necessary. First, place the mask on yourself and breathe deeply. Then help the others. If you don’t save yourself, they will die.”   

  36. “We lose keys and we find keys and we get new keys. We just have to find the ones that unlock the right doors. Sometimes, we have keys, but we don’t know what door they fit. That can be the hardest part, putting the right key in the right door.”


from the story, "Impressions"
  1. “What you believe ain’t up to me. I told you the truth. What you do with it is your business.”

  2. “Time to learn, boy, it’s all on credit. Ain’t nobody givin’ nothin’ that they don’t expect back, including the Man upstairs. Ever’ durn thing on this earth is on loan. Ever’ durn thing in your life is on loan. Ain’t no gifts.”

  3. “You leave enough footprints, sometimes, you might be surprised who’s followin’ you.”

  4. “Somethin’ that’ll smack you in the face when it’s near too late, yo’ walk on this earth is a short one, a damn short one. ‘Bout to be over ‘fore ya know it. All over but the footprints. Young folk hardly ever get that. Course, they be lots of things young folk don’t get.”

from the story, "A Journal Interrupted"

5. “I recall from my school years, Mr. Cosgrove, my teacher, remarking that we only understand things of significance in retrospect rather than anticipation. Otherwise, he said, wisdom would perish for lack of necessity. I have grown into the meaning of his words, it seems.”

from the story, "The Gettysburg Tweet"

6. There are no varied opinions, however, on the desirability of restricting political speeches, presidential or otherwise, to the aforementioned 140 characters.

from the story, "Walking with Thoreau"

7.  He spent much of his youth in those woods alone after school and on Saturdays and in the summer. It had been a sanctuary, a wonderfully special and private place. Such places were no longer easily found, he thought.

from the story, "It Served Him Well"

8. Of course, he had not been a Golden-Gloves boxer, but it served him well, the knowing how to take a punch.

from the story, “The Flight”

9. He looked up and followed the broken pieces of a vapor trail to a solid stream attached to a jet soaring away toward a secret piece of the horizon. He heard the geese before he saw them. He watched them grow larger until they were overhead. He marveled at their cooperation and relished their freedom and saw them shrink as their formation moved south, and they disappeared into the same distance that had swallowed the airplane.

from the story, “Through the Glass”

10. “You don’t do your best by lying. If the truth is hidden and covered up so long that when it’s finally told, it still feels like a lie, then it’s too late. If you tell the truth at the right time, it’s supposed to feel good.”

from the story, “Ray of Sunshine”

11. “If you believe that what you give the world comes back to you, that’s not always true. If you believe you’re getting what you need because you’re giving the right stuff, that’s not always true.”

from the story, “The Rendezvous”

12. “Do dogs contemplate death?” she asked quietly. “You think they’re aware of their own mortality?” “I hope not,” her husband answered.

from the story, “Mortal Men”

13. When they mourned, it was their habit to throw off questions and cloak themselves in an angry acceptance, waiting for the waters of time to wear away the rock of fear.

from the story, “A Free Lunch”

14. “Life is full of choices. Sometimes, you do it just to experience something new, just to say you did it.”

from the story, “That Figure-Eight Table”

15. In the end, all that remained was the Essence of Mankind, called Soul, seated with the Spirit of Creation, called God, at that figure-eight table, one at each end. Neither spoke, both listened. They belonged to the moment, and it was endless.

from the story, “The Debate”

16. I’m not sure of the exact quote, but it goes something like: ‘History has shown that all conquerors who have allowed their subjects to carry arms have guaranteed their own downfall.’ You know who said that?” “I’m guessing it wasn’t James Madison,” he said. “Adolf Hitler.”

Pianos and Penance

  1. Her mother had been wrong, dead wrong when she offered two choices, either fight or flight. There was a third. You could stand paralyzed, a shackled prisoner of fear. You could freeze, iced over in stiffened time, suspended in horror. You could wait for the inevitable.

  2. The feeblest tree limbs drooped under their white load. The woman stooped from the weight of perceiving things she didn’t understand. Her moment was gone. He was four feet behind and then three and then two.

  3. Like dirt on a coffin, the cocaine was burying his dreams.

  4. Holding a hostile gaze was a habit he had learned early. When he was ten, his mother moved them from the ugly brick high-rise downtown tenement into the ugly little brick rental house on Oklahoma Avenue on the Southside of St. Louis. In that neighborhood, he had learned that when someone wouldn’t back down from the stare, you had better be ready to throw the first punch.

  5. "When I was a kid, my mom was gone a lot. A bar called Spider’s Web was two blocks from our house. Everybody called it the Web. Owned by Kelvin ‘Spider’ Harris. In the evenings, I’d go down there and hang around outside. It was somethin’ to do. I’d listen to all the chatter mixed in with the crack of pool balls from the table in the back."

  6. "Things were different then. Or it was a magic in that place and in those people. Nobody gave much attention to what color you were. We all had poverty in common. That painted everybody gray."

  7. "My mind works better when I’m involved in a project, when I have a goal, a mission. If I’m not focused, my thoughts drag me to a bad place. The structure needed for an assignment is good for me."

  8. "The secret to detective work is making a picture out of dots. The art world calls it pointillism. Trouble is, the investigator has to collect every dot he finds. Some help. Some don’t, but you can’t throw anything away. The goal is to eventually make sense out of seemingly unrelated stuff."

  9. "An investigator probably operates better if mercy is not his main concern."

  10. "Selfish people make mistakes because of ego."

  11. "I wouldn’t know normal unless it was a city in Illinois."

  12. She was twenty-five. He was thirty-two. She felt like fifteen. She wondered what their friendship made him feel. He had a rough childhood. He went to war and came home with more scars inside than out. Fought his way out of homelessness. He had faced death on the battlefield and on the streets. He had lived several lifetimes. She was just getting started.

  13. "You think they blamed Goliath’s death on the slingshot? You think they started licensing slingshots and declaring that they were the evil that was ruining the world. If the world is bein’ destroyed, it’s by people. It’s time the blame goes where it belongs. A lot of things in a man’s hand can become a weapon bad enough to kill."

  14. "The truth’s seldom funny."

  15. "I’ve spent much of my life alone. Not necessarily with no one around, but alone just the same."

  16. "Attractions between people are complicated, not like metal being pulled to a magnet. Both people are magnets. Both people have a north and a south pole, opposite things inside them. Both people have their own force field and respond to other force fields in positive or negative ways. The connection occurs when everything is aligned. Right time, right place. Magic."

  17. “You’re the second person I’ve known named Elvin. When I was a kid, eleven or twelve, we were living in the rental house on Oklahoma. Two guys from the neighborhood, guys I didn’t know real well, brought this new kid to meet me. His name was Elvin. I can remember it like it was yesterday.

  18. “He was about my age, but bigger. Had a scar across his nose. He said he had come to fight me since the other two said I was the toughest kid around. I told him I didn’t want to fight, that I didn’t even know him. He shoved me. I got mad, but I just stared at him. He shoved me again, so I hit him in the mouth as hard as I could. Blood started running down his chin, and he spit out a tooth.” “What happened next?” “Nothing. He sat down on the curb and cried and looked for his tooth.” “Sounds like you didn’t have much choice,” Elvin said. “That’s what I tried to tell myself, but it didn’t work. I felt like crap for days.”

  19. Frustration always made him want to punch something. His response to unwanted emotion was a desire for physical action. He knew it was a long-time scab on his personality that had been scraped by his military training.

  20. "I’ve never gotten to the point where I’m comfortable with the past. I keep replaying it and wanting to go back and change it. You sound angry with yourself. I am, too, angry at coincidence or fate or destiny or evil or whatever kidnapped the people in my life and replaced them with emptiness."

  21. "If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. That’s a load of crap. I’m not dead yet, but I sure don’t feel stronger for my suffering. Surviving ain’t living. Surviving ain’t strength. And without strength, I’m not sure who I am. More than anything, that’s what I’m afraid of. When I’m weak, I can’t find myself. Part of me disappears. I don’t trust myself, and then I don’t know who to depend on."

  22. "High school yearbooks are like a time capsule, things from the past hidden in pages of hope."

  23. "When I’m old, or older, and looking back on high school, I hope I remember the good times and forget the bad, because, like everybody, I’ve had some of each. I figure the future will be hard enough without memories that interfere."

  24. "I think we know ourselves, and we know others better when our lives are simpler. Like when we’re in high school. We’re not afraid to learn. They say wisdom comes from experience, but experience gathers other stuff, too. A lot of pain. A lot of fear. It’s hard to choose what to keep. Mostly, you don’t get to choose. Some things stick whether you want them to or not."

  25. "It’s out of character for me, the opening up, letting the bottom stuff out, you know? The stuff that feels funny when you share it because you’ve always kept it private, you’ve always hidden in some deep, secret spot."

  26. "On her good days, she had been such a good and patient teacher, often saying that playing the piano was her sanity, and she wanted to give that to her son and daughter. The children often wondered and discussed privately if she meant the gift was the joy of playing piano, or sanity."

  27. "Over time, you learn to cope with the things that hurt. I can’t say it makes more sense to me now, but the wounds have scarred over. I’ve got my own life to live."

  28. “My grandfather told me the story. It was about a Hungarian girl in the 1800s. Her name was Rosalia. Her grandfather was very religious, a fanatic. When Rosalia became pregnant without a husband, her grandfather said she had to do penance for her passion. He told her the only thing that would make her pure and allow her the perfection of heaven was to eat nothing but rose petals. That would symbolize her sorrow for her immorality. She obeyed her grandfather and eventually died of starvation. The legend said the following spring, beautiful red roses grew from her grave.”

  29. "That’s the trouble with the news. They keep repeating the same crap to us until everybody takes it as normal. It’s not normal. Enough! People have to stand up and say it. That’s all I’m trying to do. Stand up and say, that’s enough."

  30. "I can always tell the ones that are afraid. It’s their shoulders, you know. They always have that vulnerable, ‘don’t hurt me’ stance. You can pretend you’re not afraid, but your posture will give you away every time. I’ve seen it plenty. I hate fear. Even on other people, I hate fear. Fear is a liability. That’s why I don’t allow it. The best adversaries don’t allow it either."

  31. "Curious is like a rubber band. Stretch it only so far before it snaps back in your face."

  32. "If what you’re doing is successful, people say you’re lucky when it’s really all about hard work and smart decisions. I’ve fought hard for everything I have, and I take it as an insult if somebody even hints it was easy. That’s total disrespect."

  33. "It’s part of who I am. It’s how I’ve always seen myself. I observe. I analyze. I watch. I deduct. I listen. I organize. I look for patterns. I practice. I repeat. I survey, and I learn. It’s the way I’ve always been for as long as I can remember. Those things are survival to me. That’s how I’ve lived. They got me through the hard times. Always. I expect to be good at this stuff."

  34. "Everybody has their own idea about justice. Is it your definition or mine? Is it the definition that the greatest number of people accept, or is it the definition the government brainwashed you with, or your church, or your parents, or some school teacher? What is justice?"

  35. "When he acts like he’s shutting you out, he’s relying on himself, the one thing that has always worked for him. He is his own protector. He’s self-sufficient. It’s always been that way for him. He never felt he had a choice. Being an individual doesn’t have to mean you’re selfish. And it does not mean that in Gifford Ulrich. It’s self-preservation. He can’t save anyone else without saving himself first."

  36. "You are responsible for what happens to you today and every day. Whether you do something great or insignificant, it’s on you."

  37. "Don’t let your team down. The individual endures for the group. That’s how they both win. Before you can win, you’ve got to survive. There is no team without the individual."

  38. "Coping should be more than a habit. It had to have a purpose. There could be no blurring of that scratch on the consciousness separating existence from life, that narrow jagged mark between breathing and yearning."

  39. "It’s not truth you avoid. It’s openness."

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