Pitiful Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 69 quotes )
Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when that person looks back – and at some point everyone looks back – she will hear her heart saying, “What have you done with the miracles that God planted in your days? What have you done with the talents God bestowed on you? You buried yourself in a cave because you were fearful of losing those talents. So this is your heritage; the certainty that you wasted your life.
I haven't deeply considered the matter [...] but if to look truth in the face and not resent it when it's unpalatable, and take human nature as you find it, smiling when it's absurd and grieved without exaggeration when it's pitiful, is to be cynical, then I suppose I'm a cynic. Mostly human nature is both absurd and pitiful, but if life has taught you tolerance you find in it more to smile at than to weep.[The back of beyond]
Look for some peace organization to join. It will look small at first, and pitiful and helpless, but that’s how movements start. That’s how the movement against the Vietnam War started. It started with handfuls of people who thought they were helpless, thought they were powerless. But remember, this power of the people on top depends on the obedience of the people below. When people stop obeying, they have no power. When workers go on strike, huge corporations lose their power. When consumers boycott, huge business establishments have to give in. When soldiers refuse to fight, as so many soldiers did in Vietnam, so many deserters, so many fraggings, acts of violence by enlisted men against officers in Vietnam, B-52 pilots refusing to fly bombing missions anymore, war can’t go on. When enough soldiers refuse, the government has to decide we can’t continue. So, yes, people have the power. If they begin to organize, if they protest, if they create a strong enough movement, they can change things.
In fact, the sickness I was suffering from was that I had been driven out of the paradise of childhood and had not found my place in the world of adults. I had set myself up in the absolute in order to gaze down upon this world which was rejecting me; now, if I wanted to act, to write a book, to express myself, I would have to go back down there: but my contempt had annihilated it, and I could see nothing but emptiness. The fact is that I had not yet put my hand to the plow. Love, action, literary work: all I did was to roll these ideas round in my head; I was fighting in an abstract fashion against abstract possibilities, and I had come to the conclusion that reality was of the most pitiful insignificance. I was hoping to hold fast to something, and misled by the violence of this indefinite desire, I was confusing it with the desire for the infinite.
They ascribe omnipotence and omniscience to him and I don't know what else; it seems to me so strange that they never credit him with common-sense or allow him tolerance. If he knew as much about human nature as I do he'd know how weak men are and how little control they have over their passions, he'd know how full of fear they are and how pitiful, he'd know how much goodness there is even in the worst and how much wickedness in the best. If he's capable of feeling he must be capable of remorse, and when he considers what a hash he's made in the creation of human kind can he feel anything but that? The wonder is that he does not make use of his omnipotence to annihilate himself. Perhaps that's just what he has done.
He could remember all about it now; the pitiful figure he must have cut; the absurd way in which he had gone and done the very thing he had so often agreed with himself in thinking would be the most foolish thing in the world; and had met with exactly the consequences which, in these wise moods, he had always foretold were certain to follow, if he ever did make such a fool of himself.
I had become a kind of information magpie, gathering to myself all manner of shiny scraps of fact and hokum and books and art-history and politics and music and film, and developing, too, a certain skill in manipulating and arranging these pitiful shards so that they glittered and caught the light. Fool's gold, or priceless nuggets mined from my singular childhood's rich bohemian seam? I leave it to others to decide.
You mean that because I have no name I cannot die and that you cannot be held answerable for death even if you kill me?"That is about the size of it," said the Sergeant. I felt so sad and so entirely disappointed that tears came into my eyes and a lump of incommunicable poignancy swelled tragically in my throat. I began to feel intensely every fragment of my equal humanity. The life that was bubbling at the end of my fingers was real and nearly painful in intensity and so was the beauty of my warm face and the loose humanity of my limbs and the racy health of my red rich blood. To leave it all without good reason and to smash the little empire into small fragments was a thing too pitiful even to refuse to think about.
There is only one real misfortune: to forfeit one's own good opinion of oneself. To have lost one's self-respect: that is what unhappiness is. Oh, I have always known that so well! Everything else is part of the game, an enrichment of one's life; in every other form of suffering one can feel such extraordinary self-satisfaction, one can cut such a fine figure. Only when one has fallen out with oneself and no longer suffers with a good conscience, only in the throes of stricken vanity - only then does one become a pitiful and repulsive spectacle.
I looked at her; I saw a slipshod permanet crumpling her hair into a shapeless mass of curls; I saw a brown overcoat, pitifully threadbare and a bit too shot; I saw a face both unobtrusively attractive and attractively unobtrusive; I sensed in this young woman tranquillity, simplicity and modesty, and I felt that these were qualities I needed; moreover, it seemed to me that we were very much akin: all I had to do was to go up and start talking to her and she would smile as if a long-lost brother had suddenly appeared before her.
Strong Mercy: My desires are many and my cry is pitiful, but ever didst thou save me by hard refusals; and this strong mercy has been wrought into my life through and through. Day by day thou art making me worthy of the simple, great gifts that thou gavest to me unasked---this sky and the light, this body and the life and the mind---saving me from perils of overmuch desire. There are times when I languidly linger and times when I awaken and hurry in search of my goal; but cruelly thou hidest thyself from before me. Day by day thou art making me worthy of thy full acceptance by refusing me ever and anon, saving me from perils of weak, uncertain desire.
In my terms, I settled for the realities of life, and submitted to its necessities: if this, then that, and so the years passed. In Adrian's terms, I gave up on life, gave up on examining it, took it as it came. And so, for the first time, I began to feel a more general remorse - a feeling somewhere between self-pity and self-hatred - about my whole life. All of it. I had lost the friends of my youth. I had lost the love of my wife. I had abandoned the ambitions I had entertained. I had wanted life not to bother me too much, and had succeeded - and how pitiful that was.
The old tree brooded over me silently, a living thing. I heard a mouse snoring in the garden weeds. The rooftops of Berkeley looked like pitiful living meat sheltering grieving phantoms from the enternality of the heavens which they feared to face. By the time I went to bed I wasn't taken in by no Princess or no desire for no Princess and nobody's disapproval and I felt glad and slept well.
When at the typewriter I am no longer where I site but am away across the mountains, in ancient cities or on the Great Plains among the buffalo. Often I think of what pitiful fools are those who use mind-altering drugs to seek feelings they do not have, each drug taking a little more from what they have of mind, leaving them a little less. Give the brain encouragement from study, from thinking, from visualizing, and no drugs are needed.
Naphta loathed the bourgeois state and its love of security. He found occasion to express this loathing one autumn afternoon when, as they were walking along the main street, it suddenly began to rain and, as if on command, there was an umbrella over every head. That was a symbol of cowardice and vulgar effeminacy, the end product of civilization. An incident like the sinking of the Titanic was atavistic, true, but its effect was most refreshing, it was the handwriting on the wall. Afterward, of course, came the hue and cry for more security in shipping. How pitiful, but such weak-willed humanitarianism squared very nicely with the wolfish cruelty and villainy of slaughter on the economic battlefield known as the bourgeois state. War, war ! He was all for it? the universal lust or war seemed quite honorable in comparison.
Wild creatures' eyes, the colonel said,Are innocent and fathomlessAnd when I look at them I seeThat they are not aware of meAnd oh I find and oh I blessA comfort in this emptinessThey only see me when they wantTo pounce upon me at the hunt;But in the tame varietyThere couches an anxietyAs if they yearned, yet knew not whatThey yearned for, nor they yearned for not.And so my dog would look at meAnd it was pitiful to seeSuch love and such dependency.The human heart is not at easeWith animals that look like these.
Valancy herself had never quite relinquished a certain pitiful, shamed, little hope that Romance would come her way yet—never, until this wet, horrible morning, when she wakened to the fact that she was twenty-nine and unsought by any man. Ay, there lay the sting. Valancy did not mind so much being an old maid. After all, she thought, being an old maid couldn’t possibly be as dreadful as being married to an Uncle Wellignton or an Uncle Benjamin, or even an Uncle Herbert. What hurt her was that she had never had a chance to be anything but an old maid.
Then I suddenly had the most tremendous feeling of the pitifulness of human beings, whatever they were, their faces, pained mouths, personalities, attempts to be gay, little petulances, feelings of loss, their dull and empty witticisms so soon forgotten: Ah, for what? I knew that the sound of silence was everywhere and therefore everything everywhere was silence. Suppose we suddenly wake up and see that what we thought to be this and that, ain't this and that at all? I staggered up the hill, greeted by birds, and looked at all the huddled sleeping figures on the floor. Who were all these strange ghosts rooted to the silly little adventure of earth with me? And who was I?