Sidelines Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 43 quotes )
A poet’s freedom lies precisely in the impossibility of worldly success. It is the freedom of one who knows he will never be anything but a failure in the world’s estimation, and may do as he pleases. The poet is a man on the sidelines of life, sidelined for life. He belongs to the aristocracy of the outcast, the lowest of the low, below the salt of the earth. A member of the most ancient regime in the world. One that cannot, it seems, be overthrown.
And if they really fuck it up and do make a horrible mistake, which can happen to anyone, from any culture, you still have to sit back and watch from the sidelines. It's their life. What you need is a life of your own. You can't hang on to them forever and live theirs or stop them from making mistakes. That's the deal. Once they grow up, they belong to themselves, not to us.
There are conversations going on about the Church constantly. Those conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what our Church teaches... We are living in a world saturated with all kinds of voices. Perhaps now, more than ever, we have a major responsibility as Latter-day Saints to define ourselves, instead of letting others define us.
I had taken office during a raging intifada, with Yasser Arafat running the Palestinian Authority, Israeli leaders committed to a Greater Israel policy, and Arab nations complaining from the sidelines. By the time I left, the Palestinians had a president and prime minister who rejected terrorism. The Israelis had withdrawn from some settlements and supported a two-state solution. And Arab nations were playing an active role in the peace process.
In every country, those who were against war had been overruled. The Austrians had attacked Serbia when they might have held back; the Russians had mobilized instead of negotiating; the Germans had refused to attend an international conference to settle the issue; the French had been offered the chance to remain neutral and had spurned it; and now the British were about to join in when they might easily have remained on the sidelines.
None of this is important in itself, but I feel somewhere that it has a lot to do with why I have always felt separate, why I have always felt unable to join in, to let go, to become part of the tribe, why I have always sniped or joked from the sidelines, why I have never, ever, lost my overwhelmingly self-conscious self-consciousness. It's not all that bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing - they are not all bad. Those devils have also been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.
Hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.