Ultimately, leadership is about the strength of one's convictions, the ability to endure the punches, and the energy to promote an idea. And I have found that those who do achieve peace never acquiesce to obstacles, especially those constructed of bigotry, intolerance, and inflexible tradition.
There is no satisfactory explanation of style, no infallible guide to good writing, no assurance that a person who thinks clearly will be able to write clearly, no key that unlocks the door, no inflexible rules by which the young writer may steer his course. He will often find himself steering by stars that are disturbingly in motion.
E. B. White
I knew I was breaking about a dozen laws but I guess I had different attitudes to stuff like that since the war. Laws were for the stupid the immature the irresponsible. The inflexible and the narrow-minded. The prejudiced. The obsessive. The lazy and careless and selfish and spoilt. The violent.
I maintain the importance of an absolute prohibition against torture, while acknowledging that even absolute prohibitions can sometimes be broken. If that is a contradiction, it is a contradiction that ethics has to embrace, or else it becomes like glass: hard, clear, but fatally inflexible.
If the bubble reputation can be obtained only at the cannon's mouth, I am willing to go there for it, provided the cannon is empty. If it is loaded my immortal and inflexible purpose is to get over the fence and go home. My invariable practice in war has been to bring out of every fight two-thirds more men than when I went in. This seems to me Napoleonic in its grandeur.
Why do we resist the mystery that change brings? When we get too rigid and inflexible, rigor mortis of the soul sets in. For proof of this, we need look no further than to those who choose to stay in a relationship or job long after the soul, or life force, that originally brought it passion and joy has vacated the premises.
Dennis Merritt Jones
Men will imitate and admire his unmoved firmness, his inflexible conscience for the right; and yet his gentleness, as tender as a woman's, his moderation of spirit, which not all the heat of party could inflame, nor all the jars and disturbances of this country shake out of its place: I swear you to an emulation of his justice, his moderation, and his mercy.
Henry Ward Beecher
Written things are not for speech; their form is literary; they are stiff, inflexible, and will not lend themselves to happy and effective delivery with the tongue-where their purpose is to merely entertain, not instruct; they have to be limbered up, broken up, colloquialized and turned into common forms of premeditated talk-otherwise they will bore the house and not entertain it.
It's not surprising, therefore, that the [Bisy] Backson thinks of progress in terms of fighting and overcoming. One of his little idiosyncrasies, you might say. Of course, real progress involves growing and developing, which involves changing inside, but that's something the inflexible Backson is unwilling to do.
Poverty is not something people impose on themselves for want of effort and community organisation. It is constructed by divisive and discriminatory laws, inflexible organisations, acquisitive ideologies of wealth, a deeply rooted class system and policies which serve privilege in the short term and destroy society in the long term.
The whole struggle was over, and yet there seemed to have been no moment of victory. You might say, if you liked, that the power of choice had been simply set aside and an inflexible destiny substituted for it. On the other hand, you might say he had delivered from the rhetoric of his passions and had emerged in unassailable freedom. Ransom could not for the life of him, see any difference between these two statements. Predestination and freedom were apparently identical. He could no longer see any meaning in the many arguments he had heart on the subject.
Courage was no that hard to come by for children. No matter the hardships they faced, given a little love and encouragement, their spirits rebounded and thrived. Adults were different. Their habits and experiences made them inflexible, welding their routines into place, cementing their joys and hurts to create expectations of life that were not in line with the new realities. All around her, Cass saw the dazed expressions and the blank weariness.
If it were true that conservatives were racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist, stupid, inflexible, angry, and self-righteous, shouldn't their arguments be easy to deconstruct? Someone who is making a point out of anger, ideology, inflexibility, or resentment would presumably construct a flimsy argument. So why can't the argument itself be dismembered rather than the speaker's personal style or hidden motives? Why the evasions?
At this point in history when all things which concern man and the structure and elements of history itself are suddenly revealed to us in a new light, it behooves us in our scientific thinking to become masters of the situation, for it is not inconceivable that sooner than we suspect, as has often been the case before in history, this vision may disappear, the opportunity may be lost, and the world will once again present a static, uniform, and inflexible countenance.
For many of us it seems that to be a feminist in the way that we have seen or understood feminism is to conform to an identity and way of living that doesn't allow for individuality, complexity, or less than perfect personal histories. We fear that the identity will dictate and regulate our lives, instantaneously pitting us against someone, forcing us to choose inflexible and unchanging sides, female against male, black against white, oppressed against oppressor, good against bad.
I think that it is a fallacy to suppose that helpful cooperation in the future will be assured by the attempted compulsion of an inflexible rule. Rather will such cooperation depend upon the fostering of firm friendships springing from an appreciation of community ideals, interests, and purposes, and such friendships are more likely to be promoted by freedom of conference than by the effort to create hard and fast engagements.
Charles Evans Hughes
Nature will not let us stay in any one place for too long. She will let us stay just long enough to gather the experience necessary to the unfolding and advancement of the soul. This is a wise provision, for should we stay there too long, we would become too set, too rigid, too inflexible. Nature demands change in order that we may advance.
Don Keough's (CEO Coca-Cola) 11 Rules on "HOW TO LOSE": 1. Stop taking risks 2. Be content 3. Never deviate from what the founder did 4. Be inflexible 5. Rely totally on research and experts 6. Concentrate on competitors instead of your customers 7. Put yourself - not the customer - first 8. Solve administrative concerns first 9. Let others do your thinking for example, headquarters 10. Rely on T-G-E: "That's Good Enough" and T-N-M-J: "That's Not My Job!" 11. Rationalize slow growth
These ceremonies and the National Statuary Hall will teach the youth of the land in succeeding generations as they come and go that the chief end of human effort in a sublunary view should be usefulness to mankind, and that all true fame which should be perpetuated by public pictures, statues, and monuments, is to be acquired only by noble deeds and high achievements and the establishment of a character founded upon the principles of truth, uprightness, and inflexible integrity.
Alexander H. Stephens
People who are diagnosed as having "generalized anxiety disorder" are afflicted by three major problems that many of us experience to a lesser extent from time to time. First and foremost, says Rapgay, the natural human inclination to focus on threats and bad news is strongly amplified in them, so that even significant positive events get suppressed. An inflexible mentality and tendency toward excessive verbalizing make therapeutic intervention a further challenge.
To get rich, one must have but a single idea, one fixed, hard, immutable thought: the desire to make a heap of gold. And in order to increase this heap of gold, one must be inflexible, a usurer, thief, extortionist, and murderer! And one must especially mistreat the small and the weak! And when this mountain of gold has been amassed, one can climb up on it, and from up on the summit, a smile on one's lips, one can contemplate the valley of poor wretches that one has created.
Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water. Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it. The soft overcomes the hard; the gentle overcomes the rigid. Everyone knows this is true, but few can put it into practice. Therefore the Master remains serene in the midst of sorrow. Evil cannot enter his heart. Because he has given up helping, he is people's greatest help. True words seem paradoxical.
I always rejoice when I see a tribunal filled with a man of an upright and inflexible temper, who in the execution of his country's laws can overcome all private fear, resentment, solicitation, and even pity it self. Whatever passion enters into a sentence or decision, so far will there be in it a tincture of injustice. In short, justice discards party, friendship, kindred, and is therefore always represented as blind, that we may suppose her thoughts are wholly intent on the equity of a cause, without being diverted or prejudiced by objects foreign to it.
It is thought that the virus is a degeneration from a more complex life form. It may at one time have been capable of independent life. Now has fallen to the borderline between living and dead matter. It can exhibit living qualities only in a host, by using the life of another-the renunciation of life itself, a falling towards inorganic, inflexible machine, towards dead matter
William S. Burroughs
The word 'christian' means different things to different people. To one person it means a stiff, upright, inflexible way of life, colorless and unbending. To another it means a risky, surprised-filled adventure, lived tiptoe at the edge of expectation...If we get our information from the biblical material, there is no doubt that the Christian life is a dancing, leaping, daring life.
Eugene H. Peterson
For a bag of pepper, they could cut each other's throats without hesitation, and would forswear their souls... The bizarre obstinacy of that desire made them defy death in a thousand shapes; the unknown seas, the loathsome diseases; wounds, captivity, hunger, pestilence and despair. It made them great! By heavens! It made them heroic; and it made them pathetic, too, in their craving for trade with the inflexible death levying its toll on young and old
(I)t is highly questionable whether when 'Europe speaks with one voice', as we are so often told it is doing, anyone is really listening. Europe's reputation as a serious player in international affairs is unenviable. It is a feeble giant who desperate attempts to be taken seriously are largely risible. It has a weak currency and a sluggish inflexible economy, still much reliant on hidden protectionism. It has a shrinking, ageing, population and, with the exception of Britain, rather unimpressive armed forces and, not excepting Britain, muddled diplomacy.
What an immature, self-destructive, antiquated mischief is man! How obscure and gross his prancing and chattering on his little stage of evolution! How loathsome and beyond words boring all the thoughts and self-approval of his biological by-product! this half-formed, ill-conditioned body! this erratic, maladjusted mechanism of his soul: on one side the harmonious instincts and balanced responses of the animal, on the other the inflexible purpose of the engine, and between them man, equally alien from the being of Nature and the doing of the machine, the vile becoming!
Only when we see that the way of God's law is absolutely inflexible will we see that God's grace is absolutely indispensable. A high view of the law reminds us that God accepts us on the basis of Christ's perfection, not our progress. Grace, properly understood, is the movement of a holy God toward an unholy people. He doesn't cheapen the law or ease its requirements. He fulfills them in his Son, who then gives his righteousness to us. That's the gospel. Pure and simple.
A man who is furnished with arguments from the mint, will convince his antagonist much sooner than one who draws them from reason and philosophy. - Gold is a wonderful clearer of the understanding; it dissipates every doubt and scruple in an instant; accommodates itself to the meanest capacities; silences the loud and clamorous, and cringes over the most obstinate and inflexible. - Philip of Macedon was a man of most invincible reason this way. He refuted by it all the wisdom of Athens; confounded their statesmen; struck their orators dumb; and at length argued them out of all their liberties.
Our peasant music, naturally, is invariably tonal, if not always in the sense that the inflexible major and minor system is tonal. (An "atonal" folk-music, in my opinion, is unthinkable.) Since we depend upon a tonal basis of this kind in our creative work, it is quite self-evident that our works are quite pronouncedly tonal in type. I must admit, however, that there was a time when I thought I was approaching a species of twelve-tone music. Yet even in works of that period the absolute tonal foundation is unmistakable.
Law and justice are from time to time inevitably in conflict ... . The jury ... adjusts the general rule of law to the justice to the particular case. Thus the odium of inflexible rules of law is avoided, and popular satisfaction is preserved ... That is what jury trial does. It supplies that flexibility of legal rules which is essential to justice and popular contentment.
John Henry Wigmore
Narrow minds devoid of imagination. Intolerance, theories cut off from reality, empty terminology, usurped ideals, inflexible systems. Those are the things that really frighten me. What I absolutely fear and loathe. Of course it's important to know what's right and what's wrong. Individual errors in judgment can usually be corrected. As long as you have the courage to admit mistakes, things can be turned around. But intolerant, narrow minds with no imagination are like parasites that transform the host, change form and continue to thrive. They're a lost cause.
God does not cause our misfortunes. Some are caused by bad luck, some are caused by bad people, and some are simply an inevitable consequence of our being human and being mortal. living in a world of inflexible natural laws. The painful things that happen to us are not punishments for our misbehavior, nor are they in any way part of some grand design on God's part. Because the tragedy is not God's will, we need not feel hurt or betrayed by God when tragedy strikes. We can turn to Him for help in overcoming it, precisely because we can tell ourselves that God is as outraged by it as we are.
Harold S. Kushner
lf the attribute of popular government in peace is virtue, the attribute of popular government in revolution is at one and the same time virtue and terror, virtue without which terror is fatal, terror without which virtue is impotent. The terror is nothing but justice, prompt, severe, inflexible; it is thus an emanation of virtue.
The vocal chorus will be along shortly: I like that part especially and the abrupt manner in which it throws itself forward, like a cliff against the sea. For the moment, the jazz is playing; there is no melody, only notes, a myriad of tiny jolts. They know no rest, an inflexible order gives birth to them and destroys them without even giving them time to recuperate and exist for themselves. They race, they press forward, they strike me a sharp blow in passing and are obliterated. I would like to hold them back, but I know if I succeeded in stopping one it would remain between my fingers only as a raffish languishing sound. I must accept their death; I must even will it. I know few impressions stronger or more harsh.
Men are born soft and supple; dead, they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.
A true Democratic Spirit is up there with religious faith and emotional maturity and all those other top-of-the-Maslow-Pyramid-type qualities that people spend their whole lives working on. A Democratic Spirit's constituent rigor and humility and self-honesty are, in fact, so hard to maintain on certain issues that it's almost irresistibly tempting to fall in with some established dogmatic camp and to follow that camp's line on the issue and to let your position harden within the camp and become inflexible and to believe that he other camps are either evil or insane and to spend all your time and energy trying to shout over them.
David Foster Wallace
She was afraid that it was a moral issue, and that was one of his weaknesses. He was Salander's friend. She knew her brother. She knew that he was loyal to the point of foolhardiness once he had made someone a friend, even if the friend was impossible and obviously flawed. She also the friend was impossible and obviously flawed. She also knew that he could accept any number of idiocies from his friends, but that there was a boundary and it could not be infringed. Where exactly this boundary was seemed to vary from one person to another, but she knew he had broken completely with people who had previously been close friends because they had done something that he regarded as beyond the pale. And he was inflexible. The break was for ever.
if the spring of popular government in time of peace is virtue, the springs of popular government in revolution are at once virtue and terror. Virtue, without which terror is fatal; terror, without which virtue is powerless. Terror is nothing other than justice, prompts, severe, inflexible. It is there an emanation of virtue. It is not so much a special principle as it is a consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most urgent needs... is force made only to protect crime? And is the thunderbolt not destined to strike the heads of the proud?... Are the enemies within not the allies of the enemies without?...
We all know that any emotional bias - irrespective of truth or falsity - can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value... If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction.
But saints and angels behold that glory of God which consists in the beauty of His holiness; and it is this sight only that will melt and humble the hearts of men, wean them from the world, draw them to God, and effectually change them. A sight of the awful greatness of God may overpower men's strength, and be more than they can endure; but if the moral beauty of God be hid, the enmity of the heart will remain in its full strength. No love will be enkindled; the will, instead of being effectually gained, will remain inflexible. But the first glimpse of the moral and spiritual glory of God shining into the heart produces all these effects as it were with omnipotent power, which nothing can withstand.
I remain 'torn' (between a 'hyberbolic' ethical vision of forgiveness, pure forgiveness, and the reality of a society at work in pragmatic processes of reconciliation). But without power, desire, or need to decide. The two poles are irreducible to one another, certainly, but they remain indissociable. In order to inflect politics, or what you just called the 'pragmatic processes', in order to change the law (which, thus, finds itself between the two poles, the 'ideal' and the 'empirical' - and what is more important to me here is, between these two, this universalising mediation, this history of the law, the possibility of this progress of the law), it is necessary to refer to a ''hyperbolic' ethical vision of forgiveness'. Even if I were not sure of the words 'vision' or 'ethics' in this case, let us say that only this inflexible exigence can orient a history of laws, and evolution of the law. It alone can inspire here, now, in the urgency, without waiting, response and responsibilities.
The fantastical idea of virtue and the public good being a sufficient security to the state against the commission of crimes... was never mine. It is only the sanguinary hue of our penal laws which I meant to object to. Punishments I know are necessary, and I would provide them strict and inflexible, but proportioned to the crime. Death might be inflicted for murder and perhaps for treason, [but I] would take out of the description of treason all crimes which are not such in their nature. Rape, buggery, etc., punish by castration. All other crimes by working on high roads, rivers, gallies, etc., a certain time proportioned to the offence... Laws thus proportionate and mild should never be dispensed with. Let mercy be the character of the lawgiver, but let the judge be a mere machine. The mercies of the law will be dispensed equally and impartially to every description of men; those of the judge or of the executive power will be the eccentric impulses of whimsical, capricious designing man.
This, not incidentally, is another perfect setting for deindividuation: on one side, the functionary behind a wall of security glass following a script laid out with the intention that it should be applied no matter what the specific human story may be, told to remain emotionally disinvested as far as possible so as to avoid preferential treatment of one person over another - and needing to follow that advice to avoid being swamped by empathy for fellow human beings in distress. The functionary becomes a mixture of Zimbardo's prison guards and the experimenter himself, under siege from without while at the same time following an inflexible rubric set down by those higher up the hierarchical chain, people whose job description makes them responsible, but who in turn see themselves as serving the general public as a non-specific entity and believe or have been told that only strict adherence to a system can produce impartial fairness. Fairness is supposed to be vested in the code: no human can or should make the system fairer by exercising judgement. In other words, the whole thing creates a collective responsibility culminating in a blameless loop. Everyone assumes that it's not their place to take direct personal responsibility for what happens; that level of vested individual power is part of the previous almost feudal version of responsibility. The deindividuation is actually to a certain extent the desired outcome, though its negative consequences are not.