Monday, 31 August 2009


'...Jesus did many other miracles like this. Things people thought couldn't happen, that weren't natural.
But it was the most natural thing in all the world. It's what God had been doing from the beginning, of course. Taking the nothing and making it everything. Taking the emptiness and filling it up. Taking the darkness and making it light.'
Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible, p.249.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


'It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by a scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.'
Abigail Adams in David McCullough, John Adams, p.226.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


'Given the vast inequalities we are daily confronted with, perhaps the most notable feature of envy is that we manage not to envy everyone. There are people whose enormous blessings leave us wholly untroubled, others whose minor advantages act as sources of relentless torment. We envy only those whom we feel ourselves to be like; we envy only members of our reference group. There are few successes more unendurable than those of our close friends.'
Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety, p.47.


'Rather than a tale of greed, the history of luxury could more accurately be read as a record of emotional trauma. It is the legacy of those who have felt pressured by the disdain of others to add an extraordinary amount to their bare selves in order to signal that they too may lay a claim to love.'
Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety, p.28.


'The attentions of others might be said to matter to us principally because we are afflicted by a congenital uncertainty as to our own value - as a result of which what others think of us comes to play a determining role in how we are able to view ourselves. Our sense of identity is held captive by the judgments of those we live among. If they are amused by our jokes, we grow confident of our power to amuse. If they praise us, we develop an impression of high merit. And if they avoid our gaze as we enter a room or look impatient after we have revealed our occupation, we may fall into feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness.'
Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety, p.15.


'To be shown love is to feel ourselves the object of concern. Our presence is noted, our name is registered, our views are listened to, our failings treated with indulgence and our needs are ministered to. And under such care, we flourish.'
Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety, p.11.