No one knows if one is dying to laugh or to cry

"Each of us needs something of an island in his life—if not an actual island, at least some place, or space in time, in which to be himself, free to cultivate his difference from others." ― John C. Keats, Of Time and an Island

"It is now certain that the public does know. It is not so certain that the public does care." ― G.K. Chesterton, Autobiography
You do not understand -- no accomplishment overcomes the stigma of being different. [...] I try not to think about it and cannot eat my supper or nothing. I didn't understand it at first. But now I do. You are not different in the way difference is acceptable but in another, bigger way." ― David Adams Richards, Mercy Among the Children

Wild birds kill exotic ones

Don't stand out to be different.Stand out to make a point. ― Anthony T. Hincks

"And I — my head oppressed by horror — said: "Master, what is it that I hear? Who are those people so defeated by their pain?" And he to me: "This miserable way is taken by the sorry souls of those who lived without disgrace and without praise. They now commingle with the coward angels, the company of those who were not rebels nor faithful to their God, but stood apart. The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened, have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them — even the wicked cannot glory in them." ― Dante Alighieri, Inferno

"No obstacle is so big that one person with determination can't make a difference." ― Jay Samit, Disrupt You!: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovatio

"What if in fact there were ever only two really distinct individual people walking around back there in history's mist? That all difference descends from this difference? The whole and the partial. The damaged and the intact. The deformed and the paralyzingly beautiful. The insane and the attendant. The hidden and the blindingly open. The performer and the audience. No Zen-type One, always rather Two, one upside-down in a convex lens." ― David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

"See now, how men lay blame upon us gods for what is after all nothing but their own folly. Look at Aegisthus; he must needs make love to Agamemnon's wife unrighteously and then kill Agamemnon, though he knew it would be the death of him; for I sent Mercury to warn him not to do either of these things, inasmuch as Orestes would be sure to take his revenge when he grew up and wanted to return home. Mercury told him this in all good will but he would not listen, and now he has paid for everything in full."

"To think is to forget a difference, to generalize, to abstract." ― Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones

In the process of helping others, I helped myself. In acting out of my own brokeness I became whole again. It's the kind of strength and determination you find when you have hit rock bottom and you realize you could die right now - and want to, but realize that even death won't make the difference you were hoping for." ― Christina Engela, Blachart

...it would be a very naive sort of dogmatism to assume that there exists an absolute reality of things which is the same for all living beings. Reality is not a unique and homogeneous thing; it is immensely diversified, having as many different schemes and patterns as there are different organisms. Every organism is, so to speak, a monadic being. It has a world of its own because it has an experience of its own. The phenomena that we find in the life of a certain biological species are not transferable to any other species. The experiences - and therefore the realities - of two different organisms are incommensurable with one another. In the world of a fly, says Uexkull, we find only "fly things"; in the world of a sea urchin we find only "sea urchin things." ― Ernst Cassirer, An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture

"I sensed a mutual indifference behind polite smiles and had the overwhelming impression that, more and more frequently, I was watching people who didn't really know why they were living." ― Krzysztof Kieślowski, Kieslowski on Kieslowski

"Only pain can define the meaning of tears."

"A life of hardship and personal suffering is unavoidable. A person must endure many humiliations of the mind and body, and expect persons whom they trusted to someday betray them. People inevitably witness the death of their loved ones. We also witness acts of depravity committed by criminals that lurk in every society and rouge acts of scandal committed by government officials in charge of the public welfare. A person must nonetheless resist personal discouragement, sadness, dejection, and despondency. I must reach an accord with pain, suffering, and anguish, or forevermore be tortured by reality while constantly seeking to escape from the inescapable agony of being." ― Kilroy J. Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls

"What we perceive as dejection over the futility of life is sometimes greed,

which the monastic tradition perceives as rooted in a fear of being vulnerable in a future old age, so that one hoards possessions in the present. But most often our depression is unexpressed anger, and it manifests itself as the sloth of disobedience, a refusal to keep up the daily practices that would keep us in good relationship to God and to each other. For when people allow anger to build up inside, they begin to perform daily tasks resentfully, focusing on the others as the source of their troubles. Instead of looking inward to find the true reason for their sadness - with me , it is usually a fear of losing an illusory control - they direct it outward, barreling through the world, impatient and even brutal with those they encounter, especially those who are closest to them." ― Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women's Work

"We don't live our lives alone, but that doesn't mean we see those alongside whom we live our lives. When Dad moved to Northern Norway and was no longer physically in front of me with his body and his voice, his temper and his eyes, in a way he disappeared from my life, in the sense that he was reduced to a kind of discomfort I occasionally felt when he called or when something reminded me of him, then a kind of zone within me was activated, and in that zone lay all my feelings for him, but he was not there.

Can we speak of reality singular?

Later, in his notebooks, I read about the Christmas when he called from the Canary Islands and the weeks that followed. Here he stands before me as he was, in midlife, and perhaps that is why reading them is so painful for me, he wasn't only much more than my feelings for him but infinitely more, a complete and living person in the midst of his life." ― Karl Ove Knausgård, Min kamp 4

Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. . . If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn't we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it's as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can't explain his to us, and we can't explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication ... and there is the real illness." ― Philip K. Dick

Who was I that made it?"

"All this time I had never been able to consider my own situation, nor could I do so yet. I had not the power to attend to it. I was greatly dejected and distressed, but in an incoherent wholesale sort of way. As to forming any plan for the future, I could as soon have formed an elephant. When I opened the shutters and looked out at the wet wild morning, all of a leaden hue; when I walked from room to room; when I sat down again shivering, before the fire, waiting for my laundress to appear; I thought how miserable I was, but hardly knew why, or how long I had been so, or on what day of the week I made the reflection, or even who I was that made it." ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

"I have often noticed that we are inclined to endow our friends with the stability of type that literary characters acquire in the reader's mind. [...] Whatever evolution this or that popular character has gone through between the book covers, his fate is fixed in our minds, and, similarly, we expect our friends to follow this or that logical and conventional pattern we have fixed for them. Thus X will never compose the immortal music that would clash with the second-rate symphonies he has accustomed us to. Y will never commit murder. Under no circumstances can Z ever betray us. We have it all arranged in our minds, and the less often we see a particular person, the more satisfying it is to check how obediently he conforms to our notion of him every time we hear of him. Any deviation in the fates we have ordained would strike us as not only anomalous but unethical. We could prefer not to have known at all our neighbor, the retired hot-dog stand operator, if it turns out he has just produced the greatest book of poetry his age has seen." ― Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

That was the thing about the world: it wasn't that things were harder than you thought they were going to be, it was that they were hard in ways that you didn't expect." ― Lev Grossman, The Magician King

"none of my art is based on how others think i should have done it."

"When our hopes for performance are not completely met, realistic optimism involves accepting what cannot now be changed, rather than condemning or second-guessing ourselves. Focusing on the successful aspects of performance (even when the success is modest) promotes positive affect, reduces self-doubt, and helps to maintain motivation (e.g., McFarland & Ross, 1982).... Nevertheless, realistic optimism does not include or imply expectations that things will improve on their own. Wishful thinking of this sort typically has no reliable supporting evidence. Instead, the opportunity-seeking component of realistic optimism motivates efforts to improve future performances on the basis of what has been learned from past performances." ― Sandra L. Schneider

We all are unnowable even to ourselves.

"The greatest weapon anyone can use against us is our own mind. By preying upon the doubts and uncertainities that already lurk there. Are we true to ourselves or do we live to the expectations of others? And if we are open and honest, can we ever truly be loved? Can we find the courage to release our deepest secrets? Or in the end are we all unknowable even to ourselves." ― Emily Thorne

"Monotony is the only reward of the cautious"

"It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. " ― Niccolò Machiavelli

"You have grudged the very fire in your house because the wood cost overmuch!" he cried. "You have grudged life. To live cost overmuch, and you have refused to pay the price. Your life has been like a cabin where the fire is out and there are no blankets on the floor." He signaled to a slave to fill his glass, which he held aloft. "But I have lived. And I have been warm with life as you have never been warm. It is true, you shall live long. But the longest nights are the cold nights when a man shivers and lies awake. My nights have been short, but I have slept warm" ― Jack London, To Build a Fire and Other Stories

The prudent man is always sincere, and feels horror at the very thought of exposing himself to the disgrace which attends upon the detection of falsehood. But though always sincere, he is not always frank and open; and though he never tells any thing but the truth, he does not always think himself bound, when not properly called upon, to tell the whole truth. As he is cautious in his actions, so he is reserved in his speech; and never rashly or unnecessarily obtrudes his opinion concerning either things or persons." ― Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiment