This was one thing I agreed with my father about: independence. After spending my childhood in Synanon, I had no trust in any organization to take care of me, and that meant the government and the crooked corporations that Ray and Theresa spoke of, although, at that time, I still had no understanding of what a corporation was. In my mind, I saw corporations as massive cement buildings where the production of vague things were assembled and unleashed onto unsuspecting American citizens. Once, when I’d listened to Allison rant on and on about the promise made by General William Sherman in 1865 of “forty acres and a mule” to displaced freed slaves and how that promise had never been delivered, I’d snapped, “Don’t hold your breath.” She’d had a good laugh over my dry, sarcastic comment, but I was serious.

Synanon Kid Grows Up by C.A. Wittman

The School of Tough Learning


The huge owl blinked in wonder at these young owls. They seemed to know nothing. And yet…He let the thought trail off. Certainly their survival skills must be pretty good if they got out of St. Aggie’s. Still, there was no education like the one he had received. The education of an orphan. The orphan school of tough learning. He had to learn it all himself. How to fly, where to hunt, what creatures to stalk and which to avoid at all costs. No, nothing could compare to figuring out on one’s own the hard rules and schemes of a forest world—a world with uncountable riches and endless perils. It took a tough owl to figure it all out. And that was exactly how Twilight thought of himself. Tough.

The Guardians of Ga’Hoole, Book One: The Capture, by Kathryn N Lasky

True Selfishness


Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.  And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them.

It is not selfish to think for oneself.  A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.

A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose.  It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.

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


Internal Importance


Now, nothing should be able to harm a man except himself.  Nothing should be able to rob a man at all.  What a man really has, is what is in him.  What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance.

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