The Alchemist

"His purpose in life was to travel..." (10)

"The boy could see in his father's gaze a desire to be able, himself, to travel the world- a desire that was still alive, despite his father's having had to bury it...." (12)

"It's the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary" (17).

"It's what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is" (23).

"It's called the principle of favorability. When you play cards the first time, you arealmost sure to win" (31).

"The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon" (35).

"When you want something with all your heart, that's when you are closest to the Soul of the World" (81).

"All things are the manifestation of one thing only" (82).

"They discovered that the purification of the metals had led to the purification of themselves" (84).

"I learned that the world has a soul, and that whoever understands that soul can also understand the language of things" (85).

"But this was the present moment-the party the camel driver had mentioned- and he wanted to live it as he did the lessons of his past and dreams of his future" (88).

"Maybe God created the desert so man could appreciate the date trees..." (89).

"Eat when it is time to eat. And move along when it is time to move along" (92).

"...the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love" (95).

"Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the Language of the World" (115).

"It's not what enters men's mouth that's evil, it's what comes out of their mouths that is" (119).

"Life attracts life" (120).

"You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his Personal Legend. If he abandons that pursuit, it's because it wasn't true love.... the love that speaks the Language of the World" (125).

"One is loved because one is loved...So, I love you because the entire universe has conspired to help me find you" (126).

"If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. And one can always come back. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return" (127).

"People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel they don't deserve them, or that they'll be unable to achieve them" (134).

"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity" (134).

"We, people's hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them" (135).

"What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way" (136).

"When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed" (138).

"Your eyes show the strength of your soul" (141).

"It's not often that money saves a person's life" (146).

"Don't give in to your fears. If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart" (146).

"We were all made by the same hand, and we have the same soul" (151).

"When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there's no need to understand what's happening, because everything happens within you, and even men can turn themselves into the wind" (152).

"So we contemplate each other, and we want each other, and I give it life and warmth, and it gives me my reason for living" (154).

"They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too... Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are" (155).

"'But this payment goes well beyond my generosity,' the monk responded.

'Don't say that again. Life might be listening, and give you less the next time'" (160).

"No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn't know it" (163).


Hillbilly Elegy

 

"Nothing united us with the core fabric of American society...in an economy that failed to deliver us the most basic promise of the American Dream- a steady wage" (189)

"...I knew that better days were ahead because I lived in a country that allowed me to make good choices that others hadn't" (190).

"Many try to blame the anger and cynicism of the working-class whites on misinformation...This is deep skepticisms of the very institutions of our society" (193).

"Social psychologists have shown that group belief is a powerful motivator in performance..." (193)

"His status in life is directly attributable to the choice he's made, and his life will improve only through better decisions" (193).

"What separates the successful from the unsucessful are the expectations they had for their own lives" (194).

"And what turned me into an alien was my optimism" (195).

About Yale Law School: "Our first four classes were graded on a credit/ no credit basis, which made that easy" (200).

"One consequence of isolation is seeing standard metrics of success as not just unattainable but as the property of people not like us" (206).

"One way our upper class can promote upward mobility, then, is not only by pushing wise public policies but by opening their hearts and minds to the newcomers who don't quite belong" (206).

On social capital: "The networks of people and institutions around us have real economic value... The old adage says that it's better to be lucky than good. Apparently having the right network is better than both" (215).

"What mattered was that, with a professor's help, I had closed the information gap. It was like I'd learned to see" (217).

"But social capital is all around us. Those who tap into it and use it prosper. Those who don't are running life's race with a major handicap" (221).

"For me, understanding my past and knowing that I wasn't doomed gave me the hope and fortitude to deal with the demons of my youth" (229).

"My self-image was bitterness masquerading as arrogance" (231).

"I realized in all of the emotions I felt toward my mother-- love, pity, forgiveness, anger, hatred, and dozens of others-- I had never tried sympathy. I had never tried to understand my mom" (231).

"The best way to look at this might be to recognize that you probably can't fix these things. They'll always be around. But maybe you can put your thumb on the scale a little for the people at the margin" (238).

"But I remember the one lesson I took from them, and that was that we could do anything we wanted" (241).


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