We compromise ourselves the day we are born. If we are looking for the original sin, there it is- our incapacity to live honestly with ourselves because we are human, because we are shackled by custom, by obligations and we accept compromise only in the light of our conscience, answerable as we are only to ourselves.
F. Sionil JosÃ©
But now we live in a time and in a culture when mystery tends to mean something more answerable, it means a crime novel, a thriller, a drama on TV, usually one where we'll probably find out - and where the whole point of reading it or watching it will be that we will find out - what happened. And if we don't, we feel cheated.
I think it might be better to have the President sort of like the King of England - or the Queen - and have the real business of the presidency conducted by ... a city manager-type, a Prime Minister, somebody who's directly answerable to Congress, rather than a person who moves all his friends into the White House and does whatever he wants for four years.
Hunter S. Thompson
All this talk of equality remains merely on paper. In real life, women are still bound by several psychological shackles and emotional boundaries imposed on them by their families and others. If a girl comes home late, she is asked 100 questions, whereas boys are not answerable for anything. And this prevails across segments.
It is not the bigness of anything in this kind that can hinder its motion, if the motive faculty be answerable thereunto. We see a great ship swims as well as a small cork, and an eagle flies in the air as well as a little gnat. ... 'Tis likely enough that there may be means invented of journeying to the Moon; and how happy they shall be that are first successful in this attempt.
Now you say, alas! Christianity is hard; I grant it; but gainful and happy. I contemn the difficulty when I respect the advantage. The greatest labors that have answerable requitals are less than the least that have no regard. Believe me, when I look to the reward, I would not have the work easier. It is a good Master whom we serve, who not only pays, but gives; not after the proportion of our earnings, but of His own mercy.
As for my own part I care not for death, for all men are mortal; and though I be a woman yet I have as good a courage answerable to my place as ever my father had. I am your anointed Queen. I will never be by violence constrained to do anything. I thank God I am indeed endowed with such qualities that if I were turned out of the realm in my petticoat I were able to live in any place in Christendom.
Elizabeth I Tudor
But that was merely an intellectual decision, taken because he knew that he ought to take it. He did not feel it. In this place you could not feel anything, except the pain and the foreknowledge of pain. Besides, was it possible, when you were actually suffering it, to wish for any reason whatever that your own pain should increase? But that question was not answerable yet.
Genius is answerable only to itself; it is the sole judge of the means, since it alone knows the end; thus genius must consider itself as above the law, for it is the task of genius to remake the law; moreover the man who frees himself from his time and place may take everything, hazard everything, for everything is his by right.
Honore de Balzac
No offense, doll, but that's not something I'm willing to share. I'd prefer to live a long and happy life if it's all the same to you.' 'You can't just throw out vague allegations and then say nothing else!' 'See, that's the good thing about being a fugitive like me. I can do what the hell I like, and I'm not answerable to anyone.' Stepping away from the bars, he stands with his legs stretched out wide. His stance matches his grin. 'Sure looks like that's working out well for you, ' I say, piercing him with a scornful look.
While hereditary chiefs inhabit the apex of our traditional social systems, it would be a mistake to think they hold all the power. They aren't kings. They aren't dictators. They're answerable to their clans and their matriarchs. All decisions that affect our communities require lengthy, deliberate discussions and careful negotiation.
Make your own worlds. Make your own laws. Make your own creations, your own star systems. Don't feel answerable to anyone, or as though you have to create after some preordained model. You don't have to write like myself, or King or Anne Rice: be yourself. Nothing is more wonderful than discovering a new voice, particularly if it happens to be your own.
The Law was given by Moses; the moral law, to discover the extent and abounding sin; the ceremonial law, to point out, by typical sacrifices and ablutions, the way in which forgiveness was to be sought and obtained. But grace, to relieve us from the condemnation of the one, and truth answerable to the types and shadows of the other, came by Jesus Christ.
I think the speaker of the House in Congress should be like the Massachusetts speaker: all-powerful. He should appoint committee chairmen and remove them if they stray from the party line. He should be answerable only to the caucus, which can remove him at any time. I'd throw the seniority system out on its ear in Congress.
Thomas P. O'Neill
No individual life is an end in itself. One can live fully only by participating fully in the succession of the generations, in death as well as in life. Some would say (and I am one of them) that we can live fully only by making ourselves answerable to the claims of eternity as to those of time.
The error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others.
Shake off all the fears and servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in the seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of God, because if there be one, he must approve of the homage of reason rather than that of blindfolded fear...Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable not for the rightness, but the uprightness of the decision.
There's a real question as to what beauty is and why it's important to us. Many pseudo-philosophers try to answer these questions and tell us they're not really answerable. I draw on art and literature, and music in particular, because music is a wonderful example of something that's in this world but not of this world. Great works of music speak to us from another realm even though they speak to us in ordinary physical sounds.
How is it possible for one's heart to be certain that one is going to meet Allah, that Allah sees and hears all that he does, and knows his secret open affairs, and that he will be made to stand before Allah, answerable for all his deeds - how can one be certain and aware of all of this, and yet persist upon things which displease Allah; persist upon abandoning Allah's orders, neglecting His rights, and yet claim that he has good expectation of Allah?
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya
But we had with us, to keep and to care for, more than five hundred bruised bodies of men- men made in the image of God, marred by the hand of man and must we say in the name of God? And where is the reckoning for such things? And who is answerable? One might almost shrink from the sound of his own voice, which had launched into the palpitating air words of order- do we call it? - fraught with such ruin. Was it God's command we heard or His forgiveness we must forever implore?
Christ is to be answerable for all those that are given to Him, at the last day, and therefore we need not doubt but that He will certainly employ all the power of His Godhead to secure and save all those that He must be accountable for. Christ's charge and care of these that are given to Him, extends even to the very day of their resurrection, that He may not so much as lose their dust, but gather it together again, and raise it up in glory to be a proof of His fidelity; for, saith He, "I shall lose nothing, but raise it up again at the last day."
If the Federal Reserve pursues a policy which Congress or the President believes not to be in the public interest, there is nothing Congress can do to reverse the policy. Nor is there anything the people can do. Such bastions of unaccountable power are undemocratic. The Federal Reserve System must be reformed, so that it is answerable to the elected representatives of the people.
There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public engagements; that our appropriations should ever go hand in hand with our promises. To say that the United States should be answerable for twenty-five millions of dollars without knowing whether the ways and means can be provided, and without knowing whether those who are to succeed us will think with us on the subject, would be rash and unjustifiable. Sir, in my opinion, it would be hazarding the public faith in a manner contrary to every idea of prudence.
Nowadays... deals are transactional rather than personal. Instead of placing your faith in a person, you get lawyers to write safeguards into the contract. This is an historic shift from a trust economy to a risk economy. But trust is not a dispensable luxury. It is the very basis of our social life. Many scholars believe that capitalism had religious roots because people could trust other people who, feeling that they were answerable to God, could be relied on to be honest in business. A world without trust is a lonely and dangerous place.
To whom is an international corporation answerable? Often they do not employ workers. They outsource manufacturing to places far away. If wages rise in one place, they can, almost instantly, transfer production to somewhere else. If a tax regime in one country becomes burdensome, they can relocate to another. To whom, then, are they accountable? By whom are they controllable? For whom are they responsible? To which group of people other than shareholders do they owe loyalty? The extreme mobility, not only of capital but also of manufacturing and servicing, is in danger of creating institutions that have power without responsibility, as well as a social class, the global elite, that has no organic connection with any group except itself.
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.
What is this film (Mirror) about?It is about a Man. No, not the particular man whose voice we hear from behind the screen, played by Innokentiy Smoktunovsky. It's a film about you, your father, your grandfather, about someone who will live after you and who is still "you". About a Man who lives on the earth, is a part of the earth and the earth is a part of him, about the fact that a man is answerable for his life both to the past and to the future. You have to watch this film simply, and listen to the music of Bach and the poems of Arseniy Tarkovsky; watch it as one watches the stars, or the sea, as one admires a landscape. There is no mathematical logic here, for it cannot explain what man is or what is the meaning of his life. (Sculpting in Time)
This having learnt, thou hast attained the sum Of wisdom; hope no higher, though all the stars Thou knew'st by name, and all th'ethereal powers, All secrets of the deep, all nature's works, Or works of God in heav'n, air, earth, or sea, And all the riches of this world enjoy'dst, And all the rule, one empire; onlyadd Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add faith, Add virtue, patience, temperance, add love, By name to come called charity, the soul Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess A paradise within thee, happier far.
Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinions high respect; their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his /pleasure, his satisfactions, to theirs/, - and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgement, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure, - no, nor from the law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your Representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinions.
I will say that the cross of materialism is that it never quite succeeds in believing what it preaches, in thinking its own thought. This may sound complicated, but is in fact simple: the materialist says, for example, that we are not free, though he is convinced, of course, that he asserts this freely, that no one is forcing him to state this view of the matter - neither parents, not social milieu, nor biological inheritance. He says that we are wholly determined by our history, but he never stops urging us to free ourselves, to change our destiny, to revolt where possible! He says that we must love the world as it is, turning our backs on past and future so as to live in the present, but he never stops trying, like you or me, when the present weighs upon us, to change it in hope of a better world. In brief, the materialist sets forth philosophical these that are profound, but always for you and me, never for himself. Always, he reintroduces transcendence - liberty, a vision for society, the ideal - because in truth he cannot not believe himself to be free, and therefore answerable to values higher than nature and history.
In his book Real Presences, George Steiner asks us to "imagine a society in which all talk about the arts, music and literature is prohibited." In such a society there would be no more essays on whether Hamlet was mad or only pretending to be, no reviews of the latest exhibitions or novels, no profiles of writers or artists. There would be no secondary, or parasitic, discussion - let alone tertiary: commentary on commentary. We would have, instead, a "republic for writers and readers" with no cushion of professional opinion-makers to come between creators and audience. While the Sunday papers presently serve as a substitute for the experiencing of the actual exhibition or book, in Steiner's imagined republic the review pages would be turned into listings:catalogues and guides to what is about to open, be published, or be released. What would this republic be like? Would the arts suffer from the obliteration of this ozone of comment? Certainly not, says Steiner, for each performance of a Mahler symphony is also a critique of that symphony. Unlike the reviewer, however, the performer "invests his own being in the process of interpretation." Such interpretation is automatically responsible because the performer is answerable to the work in a way that even the most scrupulous reviewer is not. Although, most obviously, it is not only the case for drama and music; all art is also criticism. This is most clearly so when a writer or composer quotes or reworks material from another writer or composer. All literature, music, and art "embody an expository reflection which they pertain". In other words it is not only in their letters, essays, or conversation that writers like Henry James reveal themselves also to be the best critics; rather, The Portrait of a Lady is itself, among other things, a commentary on and a critique of Middlemarch. "The best readings of art are art." No sooner has Steiner summoned this imaginary republic into existence than he sighs, "The fantasy I have sketched is only that." Well, it is not. It is a real place and for much of the century it has provided a global home for millions of people. It is a republic with a simple name: jazz.