Embrace the faith that every challenge surmounted by your energy; every problem solved by your wisdom; every soul stirred by your passion; and every barrier to justice brought down by your determination will ennoble your life, inspire others, serve your country, and explode outward the boundaries of what is achievable on this earth.
... suffering does not ennoble. It destroys. To resist destruction, self-hatred, or lifelong hopelessness, we have to throw off the conditioning of being despised, the fear of becoming the they that is talked about so dismissively, to refuse lying myths and easy moralities, to see ourselves as human, flawed, and extraordinary. All of us extraordinary
I always felt called to serve, to empower and ennoble as many people as I could, teaching, truth-telling, exposing lies, bearing witness, and being willing to live and die for something bigger than yourself. I had a passion and love of learning and wisdom that was inseparable from a love of music and the arts.
I had thought that I must mirror the outside world, create a carbon copy of white claims to civilization. It was beginning to occur to me to question the logic of the claim itself... I was was only beginning to learn to be wary of my own humanity, of my own hurt and anger - I didn't yet realize that the boot on your neck is just as likely to make you delusional as it is to ennoble.
Even Michelangelo on his deathbed thought he'd done nothing to ennoble art. He wanted to destroy his work-the Pieta! And this from the greatest artist who ever lived. Of course I am not comparing my work to Michelangelo's. But this eternal dissatisfaction of the artist is what I was talking about.
Without courage, honor, compassion, pity, love and sacrifice, as William Faulkner pointed out, we know not of love, but lust. We debase our audience. But we can ennoble and enrich our viewers and ourselves in our journey through this good time, this precious time, this great and wonderful experience we call life.
I can easily believe it. Women of that class have great opportunities, and if they are intelligent may be well worth listening to. Such varieites of human nature as they are in the habit of witnessing! And it is not merely in its follies, that they are read; for they see it occasionally under every circumstance that can be most interesting or affecting. What instances must pass before them of ardent, disinterested, self-denying attachment, of heroism, fortitude, patience, resignation-- of all the sacrifices that ennoble us most. A sick chamber may often furnish the worth of volumes.
I can easily believe it. Women of that class have great opportunities, and if they are intelligent may be well worth listening to. Such varieites of human nature as they are in the habit of witnessing! And it is not merely in its follies, that they are read; for they see it occasionally under every circumstance that can be most interesting or affecting. What instances must pass before them of ardent, disinterested, self-denying attachment, of heroism, fortitude, patience, resignation- of all the sacrifices that ennoble us most. A sick chamber may often furnish the worth of volumes.
Yes, what we are doing is probably mad, and probably it is good and necessary all the same. It is not a good thing when man overstrains his reason and tries to reduce to rational order matters that are susceptible of rational treatment. Then there arise ideals such as those of the Americans or of the Bolsheviks. Both are extraordinarily rational, and both lead to a frightful oppression and impoverishment of life, because they simplify it so crudely. The likeness of man, once a high ideal, is in process of becoming a machine-made article. It is for madmen like us, perhaps, to ennoble it again.
Harvey was not content merely to gather knowledge; he digested and arranged it under the guidance of the faculties which compare and reason. ... Harvey appears to have possessed, in a remarkable degree, the power of persuading and conciliating those with whom he came in contact. In the whole course of his long life we hear nothing either of personal enemies or personal enmities ... one of the great men whom God, in virtue of his eternal laws, bids to appear on earth from time to time to enlighten, and to ennoble mankind.
From day to day, from moment to moment, she increased so much this twofold plenitude that she attained an immense and inconceivable degree of grace. So much so, that the Almighty made her the sole custodian of his treasures and the sole dispenser of his graces. She can now ennoble, exalt and enrich all she chooses. She can lead them along the narrow path to heaven and guide them through the narrow gate to life. She can give a royal throne, sceptre and crown to whom she wishes.
Louis de Montfort
No one can sing well, play well, or write well, without living through moments of the deepest pain and anguish. Every real talent has known times of torturing depression when the heart in its agony has cried out to God: 'Why hast Thou forsaken me? What have I done that I should suffer so?" And then, at the very darkest moment, suddenly, the veil is torn from their eyes! Truth, with her flaming torch, stands before them, and they understand that God sends them suffering to strengthen and ennoble their talent, that it may touch men's hearts and show to tired wanderers on earth glimpses of heaven.
There's blood pounding through the Duke's head. Knighthood is glory, he's thinking, not just grace in the saddle and at swordplay, but courage enough to give your life to defend what you hold dear. A noble reward, for noble men. A badge of honour. He'd never ennoble a merchant. Even Chaucer, whom he admires, but knows to be a fool on a battlefield. Not Chaucer's fault, that; just his merchant blood. Knighthood's not for the likes of these people; for Madame Perrers' brood. He thought she knew her place. But she's overreached herself; she's as grasping as the rest of them, after all. Do these people think they can buy or steal everything?
Our greater beastliness lies not in a penchant for brute force, but in our greater corruption, nihilism, and decadence; in our servitude to the overwhelming systems we create; in the sociopathic rationalism we adopt to master natural forces and to compete with the machines we build;and in the scientistic idolatry that co-opts the religious impulse. Of course the ancients resorted more to brute force: they lacked the infrastructure to punish their enemies and victims in a safer, more sophisticated fashion, with advanced legal regimes and mass-produced, maximum security prisons; with engineered propaganda for social conditioning; and with economic, cyber, and drone warfare. We channel our aggression with more sophisticated instruments, but the use of those instruments doesn't ennoble us.
Our greater beastliness lies not in a penchant for brute force,but in our greater corruption, nihilism, and decadence; in our servitude to the overwhelming systems we create; in the sociopathic rationalism we adopt to master natural forces and to compete with the machines we build;and in the scientistic idolatry that co-opts the religious impulse. Of course the ancients resorted more to brute force: they lacked the infrastructure to punish their enemies and victims in a safer, more sophisticated fashion, with advanced legal regimes and mass-produced, maximum security prisons; with engineered propaganda for social conditioning; and with economic, cyber, and drone warfare. We channel our aggression with more sophisticated instruments, but the use of those instruments doesn't ennoble us.
From the pleasure podium of Ali Qapu, beyond the enhanced enclosure, the city spread itself towards the horizon. Ugly buildings are prohibited in Esfahan. They go to Tehran or stay in Mashhad. Planters vie with planners to outnumber buildings with trees. Attracting nightingales, blackbirds and orioles is considered as important as attracting people. Maples line the canals, reaching towards each other with branches linked. Beneath them, people meander, stroll and promenade. The Safavids' high standards generated a kind of architectural pole-vaulting competition in which beauty is the bar, and ever since the Persians have been imbuing the most mundane objects with design. Turquoise tiles ennoble even power stations. In the meadow in the middle of Naghshe Jahan, as lovers strolled or rode in horse-drawn traps, I lay on my back picking four-leafed clovers and looking at the sky. There was an intimacy about its grandeur, like having someone famous in your family. The life of centuries past was more alive here than anywhere else, its physical dimensions unchanged. Even the brutal mountains, folded in light and shadows beyond the square, stood back in awe of it. At three o'clock, the tiled domes soaked up the sunshine, transforming its invisible colours to their own hue, and the gushing fountains ventilated the breeze and passed it on to grateful Esfahanis. But above all was the soaring sky, captured by this snare of arches.(p378)