The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks. See the line from a sufficient distance, and it straightens itself to the average tendency. Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. Act singly, and what you have already done singly will justify you now. Greatness appeals to the future.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The disappointments of life can never, any more than its pleasures, be estimated singly; and the healthiest and most agreeable of men is exposed to that coincidence of various vexations, each heightening the effect of the other, which may produce in him something corresponding to the spontaneous and externally unaccountable moodiness of the morbid and disagreeable.
There are hundreds of millions who believe the Messiah has come. If he did, then it is unfortunately the case that his heroic sacrifice and death have had no effect whatsoever on the very problem his coming might have been expected to address, for history demonstrates, beyond question, that we Christians have been just as dangerous, singly and en masse, as non-Christians.
Inference is founded upon obvious reasons. Regard to reputation has a less active influence, when the infamy of a bad action is to be divided upon a number, than when it is to fall singly upon one. A spirit of faction . . . will often hurry the persons of whom they were composed into improprieties and excesses for which they would blush in a private capacity.
Did you ever hear of a man who had striven all his life faithfully and singly towards an object, and in no measure obtained it? If a man constantly aspires, is he not elevated? Did ever a man try heroism, magnanimity, truth, sincerity, and find that there was no advantage in them,--that it was a vain endeavor?
Henry David Thoreau
Has it been found that bodies of men act with more rectitude or greater disinterestedness than individuals? The contrary of this has been inferred by all accurate observers of the conduct of mankind; and the inference is founded upon obvious reasons. Regard to reputation has a less active influence, when the infamy of a bad action is to be divided among a number than when it is to fall singly upon one.
Thus He whose tender mercies are over all His works hath placed a principle in the human mind, which incites to exercise goodness towards every living creature; and this being singly attended to, people become tender-hearted and sympathizing; but when frequently and totally rejected, the mind becomes shut up in a contrary disposition.
Before all things, the Teacher of Peace and the Master of Unity would not have prayer made singly and individually, as for one who prays only for himself. For we do not say, "My Father, who art in heaven"... Our prayer is public and common; and when we pray, we pray not for one, but for the whole people, because we the whole people are one.
Compare the cinema with theatre. Both are dramatic arts. Theatre brings actors before a public and every night during the season they re-enact the same drama. Deep in the nature of theatre is a sense of ritual. The cinema, by contrast, transports its audience individually, singly, out of the theatre towards the unknown.
How were friendship possible? In mutual devotedness to the good and true; otherwise impossible, except as armed neutrality or hollow commercial league. A man, be the heavens ever praised, is sufficient for himself; yet were ten men, united in love, capable of being and of doing what ten thousand singly would fail in. Infinite is the help man can yield to man.
Indeed, four men like them, four men devoted to each other from their money to their lives, four men always supporting each other, never retreating, performing singly or together the resolutions they had made in common; four arms threatening the four points of the compass or all turning to a single point, must inevitably, be it surreptitiously, be it openly, be it by mines, by entrenchments, by guile, or by force, open a way to the end they wanted to reach, however well defended or far off it might be.
Conversations are like dances. Two people effortlessly move in step with one another, usually anticipating the other person's next move. If one of the dancers moves in an unexpected direction, the other typically adapts and builds on the new approach. As with dancing, it is often difficult to tell who is leading and who is following in that the two people are constantly affecting each other. And once the dance begins, it is almost impossible for one person to singly dictate the couple's movement.
James W. Pennebaker
After experience had taught me that all the usual surroundings of social life are vain and futile; seeing that none of the objects of my fears contained in themselves anything either good or bad, except in so far as the mind is affected by them, I finally resolved to inquire whether there might be some real good having power to communicate itself, which would affect the mind singly, to the exclusion of all else: whether, in fact, there might be anything of which the discovery and attainment would enable me to enjoy continuous, supreme, and unending happiness.
The shift from the perception of the child as innocent to the perception of the child as competent has greatly increased the demands on contemporary children for maturity, for participating in competitive sports, for early academic achievement, and for protecting themselves against adults who might do them harm. While children might be able to cope with any one of those demands taken singly, taken together they often exceed children's adaptive capacity.
But he also knew that, as much as he wanted to aid and console the soldier, he wanted to be alone in his room with the night coming down and a book close by and pen and paper and the knowledge that the door would remain shut until the morning came and he would ne be disturbed. The gap between these two desires filled him with sadness and awe at the mystery of the self, the mystery of having a single consciousness, knowing merely its own bare feelings and experiencing singly and alone it own pain or fear or pleasure or complacency.
Perhaps the greatest reason for missionary work is to give the world it's chance to hear and accept the gospel. The scriptures are replete with commands and promises and calls and rewards for teach the gospel. I use the word command deliberately for it seems to be an insistent directive from which we, singly and collectively, cannot escape...I wonder if we are doing all we can. Are we complacent in our approach to teaching all the world? We have been proselyting now 144 years. Are we prepared to lengthen our stride? To enlarge our vision?
Spencer W. Kimball
Whilst a man is persuaded that he has it in his power to contribute anything, be it ever so little, to his salvation, he remains in carnal self-confidence; he is not a self-despairer, and therefore is not duly humbled before God, he believes he may lend a helping hand in his salvation, but on the contrary, whoever is truly convinced that the whole work depends singly on the will of God, such a person renounces his own will and strength; he waits and prays for the operation of God, nor waits and prays in vain
Thus, experience has ever shown, that education, as well as religion, aristocracy, as well as democracy and monarchy, are, singly, totally inadequate to the business of restraining the passions of men, of preserving a steady government, and protecting the lives, liberties, and properties of the people . . . . Religion, superstition, oaths, education, laws, all give way before passions, interest, and power, which can be resisted only by passions, interest, and power.
Out of a hundred people: Those who always know better- 52 Doubting every step- all the rest Glad to lend a hand if it doesn't take too long- as high as 49 Always good, because they can't be otherwise- 4 maybe 5 Able to admire without envy- 18 Living in constant fear of something or someone- 77 Capable of happiness- 20 something tops Harmless singly, savage in crowds- half at least Wise after the fact- just a couple more than wise before it Taking only things from life- 30 (I wish I were wrong) Righteous- 35, which is a lot Righteous and understanding- 3 Worthy of compassion- 99 Mortal- 100 out of 100 (Thus far this figure still remains unchanged.)
Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens...are a departure from the plan of the holy Author of our religion...No man shall be compelled to frequent or support religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively.
Imagine a vast and glittering ocean seen from a great height. It stretches to the clear curved limit of every angle of horizon, the sun burning on a billion tiny wavelets. Now imagine a smooth blanket of cloud above the ocean, a shell of black velvet suspended high above the water and also extending to the horizon, but keep the sparkle of the sea despite the lack of sun. Add to the cloud many sharp and tiny lights, scattered on the base of the inky overcast like glinting eyes: singly, in pairs or in larger groups, each positioned far, far away from any other set.
Iain M. Banks
What was glimpsed in Aquarius-what was envisioned, believed in, prophesied, predicted, doubted, and forewarned-is made, in Pisces, manifest. Those solitary visions that, but a month ago, belonged only to the dreamer, will now acquire the form and substance of the real. We were of our own making, and we shall be our own end. And after Pisces? Out of the womb, the bloody birth. We do not follow: we cannot cross from last to first. Aries will not admit a collective point of view, and Taurus will not relinquish the subjective. Gemini's code is an exclusive one. Cancer seeks a source, Leo, a purpose, and Virgo, a design; but these are projects undertaken singly. Only in the zodiac's second act will we begin to show ourselves: in Libra, as a notion, in Scorpio, as a quality, and in Sagittarius, as a voice. In Capricorn we will gain memory, and in Aquarius, vision; it is only in Pisces, the last and oldest of the zodiacal signs, that we acquire a kind of selfhood, something whole. But the doubled fish of Pisces, that mirrored womb of self and self-awareness, is an ourobouros of mind-both the will of fate, and the fated will-and the house of self-undoing is a prison built by prisoners, airless, door-less, and mortared from within. These alterations come upon us irrevocably, as the hands of the clock-face come upon the hour.
A swaddled silence would be over the island, nights like that: if they complained, or had to cry for some lesion or cramp, it was baffled by the thick mists and all you heard was the tide, slapping ever sideways along the strand, viscous, reverberating; then seltzering back to sea, violently salt, leaving a white skin on the sand it hadn't taken. And only occasionally above the mindless rhythm, from across the narrow strait, over on the great African continent itself, a sound would arise to make the fog colder, the night darker, the Atlantic more menacing: if it were human it could have been called laughter, but it was not human. It was a product of alien secretions, boiling over into blood already choked and heady; causing ganglia to twitch, the field of night-vision to be grayed into shapes that threatened, putting an itch into every fiber, an unbalance, a general sensation of error that could only be nulled by those hideous paroxysms, those fat, spindle-shaped bursts of air up the pharynx, counter-irritating the top of the mouth cavity, filling the nostrils, easing the prickliness under the jaw and down the center-line of the skull: it was the cry of the brown hyena called the strand wolf, who prowled the beach singly or with companions in search of shellfish, dead gulls, anything flesh and unmoving.
My theme is memory, that winged host that soared about me one grey morning of war-time. These memories, which are my life-for we possess nothing certainly except the past-were always with me. Like the pigeons of St. Mark's, theywere everywhere, under my feet, singly, in pairs, in little honey-voiced congregations, nodding, strutting, winking, rolling the tender feathers of their necks, perching sometimes, if I stood still, on my shoulder or pecking a broken biscuit from between my lips; until, suddenly, the noon gun boomed and in a moment, with a flutter and sweep of wings, the pavement was bare and the whole sky above dark with a tumult of fowl. Thus it was that morning. These memories are the memorials and pledges of the vital hours of a lifetime. These hours of afflatus in the human spirit, the springs of art, are, in their mystery, akin to the epochs of history, when a race which for centuries has lived content, unknown, behind its own frontiers, digging, eating, sleeping, begetting, doing what was requisite for survival and nothing else, will, for a generation or two, stupefy the world; commit all manner of crimes, perhaps; follow the wildest chimeras, go down in the end in agony, but leave behind a record of new heights scaled and new rewards won for all mankind; the vision fades, the soul sickens, and the routine of survival starts again. The human soul enjoys these rare, classic periods, but, apart from them, we are seldom single or unique; we keep company in this world with a hoard of abstractions and reflections and counterfeits of ourselves - the sensual man, the economic man, the man of reason, the beast, the machine and the sleep-walker, and heaven knows what besides, all in our own image, indistinguishable from ourselves to the outward eye. We get borne along, out of sight in the press, unresisting, till we get the chance to drop behind unnoticed, or to dodge down a side street, pause, breathe freely and take our bearings, or to push ahead, out-distance our shadows, lead them a dance, so that when at length they catch up with us, they look at one another askance, knowing we have a secret we shall never share.