Calamity Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 107 quotes )
The most fortunate of us, in our journey through life, frequently meet with calamities and misfortunes which may greatly afflict us; and, to fortify our minds against the attacks of these calamities and misfortunes should be one of the principal studies and endeavors of our lives. The only method of doing this is to assume a perfect resignation to the Divine will, to consider that whatever does happen, must happen; and that, by our uneasiness, we cannot prevent the blow before it does fall, but we may add to its force after it has fallen. These considerations, and others such as these, may enable us in some measure to surmount the difficulties thrown in our way; to bear up with a tolerable degree of patience under the burden of life; and to proceed with a pious and unshaken resignation, till we arrive at our journey's end.
Then again, you cannot stop the flood of desire as it moves through the world, inappropriate though it may sometimes be. It is the prerogative of all humans to make ludicrous choices, to fall in love with the most unlikely of partners, and to set themselves up for the most predicatable of calamities.
If mankind is to advance there must be installed permanently at the head of its columns proud instances of courage. Acts of daring light the pages of history and the soul of man. The sunrise is an act of daring. To venture, to defy, to persevere, to be true to one's self, to grapple with destiny, to dismay calamity by not being afraid of it, to challenge now unrighteous powers and now victory run wild, to stand fast and hold firm - these are the examples that the peoples need, the spark that electrifies them.
He would never want to diminish that event, that blow. It was nothing less than a calamity. It has shrunk his world, turned him into a prisoner. But escaping death ought to have shaken him up, opened windows inside him, renewed his sense of the preciousness of life. It has done nothing of the sort. He is trapped with the same old self as before , only greyer and drearier. Enough to drive one to drink.
If the empire had been afflicted by any recent calamity, by a plague, a famine, or an unsuccessful war; if the Tiber had, or if the Nile had not, risen beyond its banks; if the earth had shaken, or if the temperate order of the seasons had been interrupted, the superstitious Pagans were convinced that the crimes and the impiety of the Christians, who were spared by the excessive lenity of the government, had at length provoked the divine justice.
Such are the limitations of the human mind, and so thoroughly engrossing are the cares of common life, that only the few among men can discern through the glitter and dazzle of present prosperity the dark outlines of approaching disasters, even though they may have come up to our very gates, and are already within striking distance. The yawning seam and corroded bolt conceal their defects from the mariner until the storm calls all hands to the pumps. Prophets, indeed, were abundant before the war; but who cares for prophets while their predictions remain unfulfilled, and the calamities of which they tell are masked behind a blinding blaze of national prosperity?
We are to regard existence as a raid or great adventure; it is to be judged, therefore, not by what calamities it encounters, but by what flag it follows and what high town it assaults. The most dangerous thing in the world is to be alive; one is always in danger of one's life. But anyone who shrinks from that is a traitor to the great scheme and experiment of being.
Have I mentioned that I expect death around every turn, that every blue sky has a safe sailing out of it, that every bus runs me over, that every low, mean syllable uttered in my direction seems to intimate the violence of murder, that every family seems like an opportunity for ruin and every marriage a ceremony into which calamity will fall and hearts will be broken and lives destroyed and people branded by the mortifications of love?
Insomnia is a variant of Tourette's--the waking brain races, sampling the world after the world has turned away, touching it everywhere, refusing to settle, to join the collective nod. The insomniac brain is a sort of conspiracy theorist as well, believing too much in its own paranoiac importance--as though if it were to blink, then doze, the world might be overrun by some encroaching calamity, which its obsessive musings are somehow fending off.
...I should always find, the calamities of life were shared among the upper and lower part of mankind; but that middle station had the fewest disasters, and was not exposed to so many vicissitudes as the higher or lower part of mankind; nay, they were not subjected to so many distempers and uneasinesses either of body or mind, as those were who, by vicious living, luxury, and extravagances on one hand, or by hard labor, want of necessaries, and mean or insufficient diet on the other hand, bring distempers upon themselves by the natural consequences of their way of living; that the middle station of life was calculated for all kind of virtues and all kind of enjoyments; that peace and plenty were the handmaids of a middle fortune; that temperance, moderation, quietness, health, society, all agreeable diversions, and all desirable pleasures, were the blessings attending the middle station of life...
And yet, just as our body would burst asunder if the pressure of the atmosphere were removed from it, so would the arrogance of men expand, if not to the point of bursting then to that of the most unbridled folly, indeed madness, if the pressure of want, toil, calamity and frustration were removed from their life. One can even say that we require at all times a certain quantity of care or sorrow or want, as a ship requires ballast, in order to keep on a straight course.
And those they love have forgotten them because all their energies are devoted to making schemes and taking steps to get them out of the camp. And by dint of always thinking about these schemes and steps they have ceased thinking about those whose release they’re trying to secure. And that, too, is natural enough. In fact, it comes to this: nobody is capable of really thinking about anyone, even in the worst calamity. For really to think about someone means thinking about that person every minute of the day, without letting one’s thoughts be diverted by anything - by meals, by a fly that settles on one’s cheek, by household duties, or by a sudden itch somewhere. But there are always flies and itches. That’s why life is difficult to live.
This is how people behave when their dailiness is destroyed, when for a few moments they see, plain and unadorned, one of the great shaping forces of life. Calamity fixes them with her mesmeric eye, and they begin to scoop and paw at the rubble of their days, trying to pluck the memory of the quotidian - a toy, a book, a garment, even a photograph - from the garbage heaps of the irretrievable, of their overwhelming loss.
I review all I know, but can synthesize no meaning. When I doze, the Fact, the certain accomplished calamity, wakes me roughly like a brutal nurse. I see it crouching inflexibly in a corner of the ceiling. It comes down in geometrical diagonal like lightning. It says, I remain, I AM, I shall never cease to be: your memory will grow a deathly glaze: you will forget, you will fade out, but I cannot be undone. Thus every quarter hour it puts the taste of death in my mouth, and shows me, but not gently, how I go whoring after oblivion.