Karen wasn't hard, she was soft, too soft. A soft touch. Her hair was soft, her smile was soft, her voice was soft. She was so soft there was no resistance. Hard things sank into her, they went right through her, and if she made a real effort, out the other side. Then she didn't have to see them or hear them, or even touch them.
Are soft-hearted people handicapped in business? You have heard a businessman say of someone else, He's all right, but he's too soft-hearted.... To be soft-hearted may be handicapping, in a sense. But on the whole, a soft heart is to be preferred to a hard heart. Hard-hearted, severe, dominating giants sometimes manage to get further and to amass more money. But they get less genuine joy out of life.... It is the hard-boiled employer, not the soft-hearted species, that incites most of our strikes and does most to endanger the harmonious progress of democracy.
B. C. Forbes
A girl stood before him in midstream, alone and still, gazing out to sea. She seemed like one whom magic had changed into the likeness of a strange and beautiful seabird. Her long slender bare legs were delicate as a crane's and pure save where an emerald trail of seaweed had fashioned itself as a sign upon the flesh. Her thighs, fuller and soft-hued as ivory, were bared almost to the hips, where the white fringes of her drawers were like feathering of soft white down. Her slate-blue skirts were kilted boldly about her waist and dovetailed behind her. Her bosom was as a bird's, soft and slight, slight and soft as the breast of some dark-plumaged dove. But her long fair hair was girlish: and girlish, and touched with the wonder of mortal beauty, her face.
When life begins we are tender and weak When life ends we are stiff and rigid All things, including the grass and trees, are soft and pliable in life and dry in brittle in death So the soft and supple are the companion of life While the stiff and unyielding are the companions of death An army that cannot yield will be defeated A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind Thus by Nature's own decree the hard and strong are defeated while the soft and gentle are triumphant
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.
Most people that derail as leaders in the corporate world, it's not because they couldn't do the math and calculate return on investment properly. The issues are communication and understanding. All of what typically would've been called the 'soft stuff.' You have to be authentic. You have to be dialed into the soft stuff.
There are two things that may happen to a person: the first is that you become so soft that no one and nothing can break you, and the second is that you become so hard that nothing and no one can break you. Either way you go, the path will be very painful. But herein is the great sadness of it all: that anyone must try to become something that cannot be broken (whether the soft or the hard). Why must we be born into a world where we must spend our lives struggling to become unbreakable?
C. JoyBell C.
See now, for a good blade, one that will not betray the man in battle, rods of hard and soft iron must be heated and braided together. Then is the blade folded over and hammered flat again, and maybe yet again, many times for the finest blades... So the hard and soft iron are mingled without blending, before the blade is hammered up to its finished form and tempered, and ground to an edge that shall draw blood from the wind. So comes the pattern, like oil and water that mingle but do not mix. Yet it is the strength of the blade, for without the hard iron the blade would bend in battle, and without the soft iron it would break.
Tomorrow the rush of men, all working for a living, would drown him; but now, at this moment, in this soft green twilight, this soft green Sunday evening, when the heart of the world seemed to lie beating in the palm of his hand, he sat in that huge house upstairs terrified that he would never live.
This is what I want. I want people to take care of me. I want them to force comfort upon me. I want the soft-pillow feeling that I associate with memories of being ill when I was younger, soft pillows and fresh linens and satin-edged blankets and hot chocolate. It's not so much the comfort itself as knowing there's someone who wants to take care of you.
She had felt good for a few moments, racing across the face of the hill on her old bike, but the happy feeling had burned itself out and left behind a thin, cold rage. She was no longer entirely sure who she was angry with though. Her anger didn't have a fixed point. It was a soft whir of emotion to match the soft whir of the spokes.
I hear the Wind Woman running with soft, soft footsteps over the hill. I shall always think of the wind as a personality. She is a shrew when she blows from the north - a lonely seeker when she blows from the east - a laughing girl when she comes from the west - and tonight from the south a little grey fairy.
20 minutes later: a girl on Himmel Street. She looks up. She speaks in whisper. 'The sky is soft today, Max. The clouds are so soft and sad, and... ' She looks away and crosses her arms. She thinks of her papa going to war and grabs her jacket at each side of her body. 'And it's cold, Max. It's so cold...
Patriarchy values the hard over the soft; the tough over the tender; punishment, vengeance, and vindictiveness over compassion, negotiation, and reconciliation. The 'hard' qualities are linked to power, success, and masculinity - and exalted. The 'soft' qualities are identified with weakness, powerlessness, and femininity - and denigrated.
Kiss him back? That seemed like a ridiculously unobtainable goal. She'd only just remembered that the word was kiss, for God's sake. Her eyes were wide and her body had turned to stone and his mouth was so, so soft. Unbearably soft, really. He didn't push, and he didn't pressurize her into anything further, and his lips just molded against hers as though they'd always meant to get around to it.
If Abstract Expression reached for the sublime, Pop turned ordinary imagery into icons. Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol illuminated the transformative power of context and the process of reproduction. Claes Oldenburg's soft ice-cream cones and hamburgers changed sculpture from hard to soft, from stasis to transformation.
There is little hope for us until we become tough-minded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and downright ignorance. The shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of soft mindedness. A nation or a civilization that continues to produce soft minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.
Martin Luther King
My standards are so high because of who I serve but it doesn't put any water on my fire for winning. I'm still an intense person. You can be intense and saved. You can compete and still be saved. You can challenge a guy and still be saved. There was nothing soft about me as a player and there isn't anything soft about me as a coach. You want to be a man of integrity and you want the players to know that you care about them. Whether or not they still like you or not is a whole other deal.
Everything has two handles; the one soft and manageable, the other such as will not endure to be touched. If then your brother do you an injury, do not take it by the hot hard handle, by representing to yourself all the aggravating circumstances of the fact; but look rather on the soft side, and extenuate it as much as is possible, by considering the nearness of the relation, and the long friendship and familiarity between you--obligations to kindness which a single provocation ought not to dissolve. And thus you will take the accident by its manageable handle.
There are two types of understanding in this world. There's the kind that comes from the reading and the hearing, and it doesn't penetrate the skin. It is surface knowledge, like a soft blanket that can be placed over the shoulders. And then there's the understanding that comes from doing. That kind of understanding is not soft. It is water that soaks into the rocks and earth, and makes the seeds grow. It is messy, and painful, and impossible to hold.