Even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task; it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction - purpose and dignity - that afflicts us all. Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion a year, but that Gross National Product ... counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts...
It does not count if you believe in yourself when it's easy to believe in yourself. It does not count if you believe the world can be a better place when the future looks bright. It does not count if you think you're going to make it when the finish line is right in front of you. It counts when it's hard to believe in yourself, when it looks like the world's going to end and you've still got a long way to go. That's when it counts. That's when it matters the most.
There are certain things I can't do, certain pitches I can't hit. You stay away from them. You try to wait for pitches you can hit. The bat speed isn't what it used to be. You make up for it by using your head, working counts, getting ahead in counts and getting pitches to hit and hitting them hard.
Once practice starts, we work hard, and that's the best conditioning there is. Everything counts. Every little thing counts. Run hard, play hard, go after the ball hard, guard hard. If you play soft (what I call signing a 'non-aggression pact' with your teammates), you won't ever get into shape.
I suppose the thing I most would have liked to have known or been reassured about is that in the world, what counts more than talent, what counts more than energy or concentration or commitment, or anything else - is kindness. And the more in the world that you encounter kindness and cheerfulness - which is its kind of amiable uncle or aunt - the better the world always is. And all the big words: virtue, justice, truth - are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness.
If you are happy in a dream, Ammu, does that count? Estha asked. "Does what count?" "The happiness does it count?". She knew exactly what he meant, her son with his spoiled puff. Because the truth is, that only what counts, counts....."If you eat fish in a dream, does it count?" Does it mean you've eaten fish?
The goal in life is the same as in basketball: make the effort to do the best you are capable of doing--in marriage, at your job, in the community, for your country. Make the effort to contribute in whatever way you can. You may do it materially or with time, ideas, or work. Making the effort to contribute is what counts. The effort is what counts in everything.
How Did You Die? Did you tackle that trouble that came your way With a resolute heart and cheerful? Or hide your face from the light of day With a craven soul and fearful? Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce, Or a trouble is what you make it. And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts, But only how did you take it? You are beaten to earth? Well, well what's that? Come up with a smiling face. It's nothing against you to fall down flat, But to lie there - that's disgrace. The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce; Be proud of your blackened eye! It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts; It's how did you fight and why? And though you be done to death, what then? If you battled the best you could; If you played your part in the world of men, Why the critic will call it good. Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce, And whether he's slow or spry, It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts, But only, how did you die?
Edmund Vance Cooke
The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.
Ideally, nothing should be embraced by a consumer firmly, nothing should command a commitment till death do us part, no needs should be seen as fully satisfied, no desires considered ultimate. There ought to be a proviso 'until further notice' attached to any oath of loyalty and any commitment. It is but the volatility, the in-built temporality of all engagements that truly counts; it counts more than the commitment itself, which is anyway not allowed to outlast the time necessary for consuming the object of desire (or, rather, the time sufficient for the desirability of that object to wane).
But Alonso kept smiling that smile and nothing made any sense with that smile looking you in the face. 'Jim, don't tell me that, you know, brother-shit. I have been through it all. Take, you know, advice. There is only one thing and that is the kick, the Now. Nothing else counts. Get yours. Get it because, you know, no one cares and they will always put you down in the end, Jim, and the only word that counts is, you know, Now. Not that foolish brother and bopping jazz, Jim. Now. Because if it all don't go up in any, you know, twenty minutes; up, all gone; then they are going to put you down and keep you down. Now.
If you want to know what love really is, take a look around you... It's giving life that counts. Until you're ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won't keep it turning. Life isn't a 'love in;' it's the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and... ground round instead of roast beef. And I'll tell you something else: it isn't going to a bed with a man that proves you're in love with him; it's getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.