Desperation

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Desperation can make a person do surprising things.

Allegiant (Divergent Trilogy, Book 3) by Veronica Roth

Perspective and Sadistic Action

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…There is something about knowing that someone is taking pleasure in giving you incredible pain . . . with no remorse. It changes how you see yourself; it changes what you can believe of other people. It changes everything.

Blood of Dragons (Rain Wilds Chronicles Book 4) by Robin Hobb

January is national slavery and human trafficking prevention month.

Life Is Knowing Yourself

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“Every decision is yours to make. The trick is knowing who you are. Are you the kind of person who’d do this, the kind of person who’d do that, or the kind of person who’d do the thing the first two people would think was nuts?…Life can be a bitch, they say, but she’s beautiful, too. Love the beauty without limit, and the bitchy you might learn to love…even if you never understand it.”

The White Magic Five & Dime by Steve Hockensmith, Lisa Falco

Acting on Opportunities of Hope

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“If you think about it, there are hundreds of little ways and chances for us to be that shining light of hope for one another, especially during tough times. We can give money, sure, but we can also give our time, love, attention, creativity, or even just a shoulder of support. If we all looked for and acted on these opportunities, even on days that aren’t Christmas, well…imagine the kind of world that would be.”

Being Santa Claus: What I Learned about the True Meaning of Christmas by Sal Lizard, Jonathan P. Lane

Appearance of Respectability

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“He looked like every Kiwanis member you’ve ever met: a big, doughy pillar of the community. A lot of those pillars are rotten inside, though. Believe me. I’ve seen “respectable” people do things that would shock Genghis Khan.”

The White Magic Five & Dime by Steve Hockensmith, Lisa Falco

Past Becomes Present

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“Good or bad, the past is a fact, and it often holds the keys to who we are in the present, and who we’re likely to become in the future.”

White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise

Children Will Listen

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Children Will Listen

“Careful the things you say,
Children will listen.
Careful the things you do,
Children will see.
And learn.
Children may not obey,
But children will listen.
Children will look to you
For which way to turn,
To learn what to be.
Careful before you say,
“Listen to me.”
Children will listen.”

Into The Woods, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine

We Believe

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“We believe in bravery. We believe in taking action. We believe in freedom from fear and in acquiring the skills to force the bad out of our world so that the good can prosper and thrive. If you also believe in those things, we welcome you.”

Divergent (Divergent Series) by Veronica Roth

Ungrateful Poor

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The virtues of the poor may be readily admitted, and are much to be regretted.  We are often told that the poor are grateful for charity.  Some of them are, no doubt, but the best amongst the poor are never grateful.  They are ungrateful, discontented, disobedient, and rebellious.”

Why should they be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table?  They should be seated at the board, and are beginning to know it.  As for being discontented, a man who would not be discontented with such surroundings and such a low mode of life would be a perfect brute.  Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue.  It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.  Sometimes the poor are praised for being thrifty.  But to recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting.  It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

Man should not be ready to show that he can live like a badly-fed animal.  He should decline to live like that, and should either steal or go on the rates, which is considered by many to be a form of stealing.  As for begging, it is safer to beg than to take, but it is finer to take than to beg.  No: a poor man who is ungrateful, unthrifty, discontented, and rebellious, is probably a real personality, and has much in him.  He is at any rate a healthy protest.”

The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde (Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wild)