To be well used, creatures and places must be used sympathetically, just as they must be known sympathetically to be well known...The "animal scientist" to whom it is of no concern whether or not animals suffer will almost inevitably aid and abet the destruction of the decent old ideal of animal husbandry and, as a consequence, increase the suffering of animals. I hope that my country may be delivered from the remote, cold abstractions of university science.
I would think it odd, he said, that he had never married. I did not, in fact, think it at all odd-the statistical chances against any woman being prepared to endure both the hairiness of his legs and the tedium of his conversation seemed to be negligible. I did not express this view, but said sympathetically that the military life must be difficult to combine with the domestic.
You're only infallible about your own nervous system. You know what's going on in your own nervous system, whatever realities you're creating out of the infinite flux of being. You don't know anything about anybody else's reality unless they tell you about it. You gotta listen very sympathetically in order to understand them. So it's a limited infallibility.
Robert Anton Wilson
Typical of Hell, thought Chen: overdone and ostentatious and overwhelming, designed to cow an already beaten populace. "Wow" he said. The demon grinned sympathetically. "It is a bit excessive, isn't it?" "Who does it belong to?" "My employer is the First Lord of Banking. Head of the Ministry of Wealth.
The individual representation of the object, treated sympathetically or antipathetically, is highly necessary and is an enrichment to the world in form. The elimination of the human relationship causes the vacuum which makes all of us suffer in various degrees - an individual alteration of the details of the object represented is necessary in order to display on the canvas the whole physicals reality.
That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me. She meant to bestow a gift. When I cried inconsolably through my first hour of life, my tears were her inspiration. Shaking her head sympathetically at Mother, the fairy touched my nose. "My gift is obedience. Ella will always be obedient. Now stop crying, child." I stopped.
Gail Carson Levine
To be beneficent when we can is a duty; and besides this, there are many minds so sympathetically constituted that, without any other motive of vanity or self-interest, they find a pleasure in spreading joy around them, and can take delight in the satisfaction of others so far as it is their own work. But I maintain that in such a case an action of this kind, however proper, however amiable it may be, has nevertheless no true moral worth, but is on a level with other inclinations. . . . For the maxim lacks the moral import, namely, that such actions be done from duty, not from inclination.
Even if matter could do every outward thing that God does, the idea of it would not work as satisfactorily, because the chief callfor a God on modern men's part is for a being who will inwardly recognize them and judge them sympathetically. Matter disappoints this craving of our ego, so God remains for most men the truer hypothesis, and indeed remains so for definite pragmatic reasons.
You know what I'm thinking?' Maggie said. I had no idea. 'Nope,' David replied. Apparently David didn't know either. Maggie turned to me with pleading eyes.'Our babysitter has the flu.' 'I'm sorry to hear that,' I replied. Dead silence. I honestly had no idea what Maggie was getting at, so I misread the silence. 'It's not serious, I hope,' I said sympathetically.
A culture-bearing book, like a mule, bears the culture on its back. No one should sit down to write one deliberately. Culture-bearing books appear almost accidentally, like a sudden surge in the stock market. There are books of high quality that are a part of the culture, but that is not the same. They are a part of it. They aren't carrying it anywhere. They may talk about insanity sympathetically, for example, because that's the standard cultural attitude. But they don't carry any suggestion that insanity might be something other than sickness or degeneracy.
Robert M. Pirsig
Will had been taken aback in his confrontation with Arisaka to discover that his name- Chocho- meant "Butterfly"... He was puzzled to know why they had selected it. His friends, of course, delighted in helping him guess the reason. 'I assume it's because you're such a snazzy dresser, ' Evanlyn said. 'You Rangers are a riot of color, after all.'... 'I think it might be more to do with the way he raced around the training ground, darting here and there to correct the way a man might be holding his shield, then dashing off to show someone how to put their body weight into their javelin cast, ' said Horace, a little more sympathetically. Then he ruined the effect by adding thoughtlessly, 'I must say, your cloak did flutter around like a butterfly's wings.
Once the state starts providing, it feels free to hand out the rules, too!" Larch blurted hastily... "In a better world... " she began patiently. "No, not in a better world!" he cried. "In this one-in this world. I take this world as a given. Talk to me about this world!"... "Oh, I can't always be right, " Larch said tiredly. "Yes, I know, " Nurse Caroline said sympathetically. "It's because even a good man can't always be right that we need a society, that we need certain rules-call them priorities, if you prefer, " she said... Always in the background of his mind, there was a newborn baby crying... And they were not crying to be born, he knew; they were crying because they were born.
Steven Erikson is an extraordinary writer. I read Gardens of the Moon with great pleasure. And now that I have read it, I would be hard pressed to decide what I enjoyed more: the richly and ominously magical world of Malaz and Genabackis; the large cast of sympathetically-rendered characters; or the way the story accumulates to a climax that hits like machinegun fire. My advice to anyone who might listen to me is, Treat yourself to Gardens of the Moon. And my entirely selfish advice to Steven Erikson is, write faster.
Stephen R. Donaldson
If Gissing is less compassionately observant than Mrs Gaskell, less overtly polemical than Kingsley, still The Nether World and Demos would be sympathetically endorsed by either of them, or by their typical readers. Yet Gissing does introduce an important new element, and one that remains significant. He has often been called 'the spokesman of despair, ' and this is true in both meanings of the phrase. Like Kingsley and Mrs Gaskell, he writes to describe the true conditions of the poor, and to protest against those brute forces of society which fill with wreck the abysses of the nether world. Yet he is also the spokesman of another kind of despair: the despair born of social and political disillusion. In this he is a figure exactly like Orwell in our own day, and for much the same reason. Whether one calls this honesty or not will depend on experience.
I find myself nursing keen regret at probably not being able to live long enough to explain properly to you what I do not myself pretend to know. But since it has been proved that by an extraordinary chance I have not yet lost my life since that far-off time when, filled with terror, I began the preceding sentence, I mentally calculate that it will not be useless here to construct the complete avowal of my basic impotence, especially when it is a matter (as at present) of this imposing & inaccessible question. It is, generally speaking, a singular thing that the attractive tendency which induces us to seek out (in order to then express them) the resemblances & differences concealed in the natural properties of the most conflicting objects, & on the surface sometimes the least apt to lend themselves to this kind of sympathetically curious combination, which -upon my word -gracefully add to the style of the writer, who for personal satisfaction requites himself with the impossible & unforgettable appearance of an owl grave until eternity.
Comte de Lautreamont
"it's not surprising that in that first group I worked with over 20 years ago I had 2 accounts of Jimmy Savile being an abuser where I did support some people to go to the police but it was seen as something impossible to consider at the time." "We have improved a lot as a society in the last 20 years in accepting the reality of abuse, even though it's still so hard for us." "When we look at adults who were abused in childhood we find that nearly all of them had told somebody... " "The culture of the police has changed dramatically but 20 years ago when even counselors and social workers didn't think the abuse could be so widespread the police were obviously part of that culture too. I mean it's hard to realise that in the 1980s there was a point where it was thought that there were only 486 children on the abuse register. Now the government accepts that 1 in 4 adults will have been abused at some point in their lives. That is a huge change." "This is really different for any survivors listening now if a police officer doesn't listen sympathetically and offer a believing response then something has gone wrong because the police really do have this in their guidelines now." - Dr Valerie Sinason, Clinic for Dissociative Studies, London
No one today is purely one thing. Labels like Indian, or woman, or Muslim, or American are not more than starting-points, which if followed into actual experience for only a moment are quickly left behind. Imperialism consolidated the mixture of cultures and identities on a global scale. But its worst and most paradoxical gift was to allow people to believe that they were only, mainly, exclusively, white, or Black, or Western, or Oriental. Yet just as human beings make their own history, they also make their cultures and ethnic identities. No one can deny the persisting continuities of long traditions, sustained habitations, national languages, and cultural geographies, but there seems no reason except fear and prejudice to keep insisting on their separation and distinctiveness, as if that was all human life was about. Survival in fact is about the connections between things; in Eliot's phrase, reality cannot be deprived of the 'other echoes [that] inhabit the garden.' It is more rewarding - and more difficult - to think concretely and sympathetically, contrapuntally, about others than only about 'us.' But this also means not trying to rule others, not trying to classify them or put them in hierarchies, above all, not constantly reiterating how 'our' culture or country is number one (or not number one, for that matter).
Edward W. Said
Maybe (Taoist story) A classic ancient story illustrates the importance of equanimity and emotional resilience beautifully. Once upon a time, there was a wise old farmer who had worked on the land for over 40 years. One morning, while walking to his stable, he noticed that his horse had run away. His neighbours came to visit and sympathetically said to the farmer, 'Such bad luck'. 'Maybe, ' the farmer replied. The following morning, however, the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. 'Such good luck, ' the neighbours exclaimed. 'Maybe, ' the farmer replied. The following afternoon, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses and was thrown off, causing him to break his leg. The neighbours came to visit and tried to show sympathy and said to the farmer, 'how unfortunate'. 'Maybe, ' answered the farmer. The following morning military officials came to the farmer's village to draft young men into the army to fight in a new war. Observing that the farmer's son's leg was broken, they did not draft him into the war. The neighbours congratulated him on his good luck and the farmer calmly replied, 'Maybe'.
Since I am writing a book about depression, I am often asked in social situations to describe my own experiences, and I usually end by saying that I am on medication. 'Still?' people ask. 'But you seem fine!' To which I invariably reply that I seem fine because I am fine, and that I am fine in part because of medication. 'So how long do you expect to go on taking this stuff?' people ask. When I say that I will be on medication indefinitely, people who have dealt calmly and sympathetically with the news of suicide attempts, catatonia, missed years of work, significant loss of body weight, and so on stare at me with alarm. 'But it's really bad to be on medicine that way, ' they say. 'Surely now you are strong enough to be able to phase out some of these drugs!' If you say to them that this is like phasing the carburetor out of your car or the buttresses out of Notre Dame, they laugh. 'So maybe you'll stay on a really low maintenance dose?' They ask. You explain that the level of medication you take was chosen because it normalizes the systems that can go haywire, and that a low dose of medication would be like removing half of your carburetor. You add that you have experienced almost no side effects from the medication you are taking, and that there is no evidence of negative effects of long-term medication. You say that you really don't want to get sick again. But wellness is still, in this area, associated not with achieving control of your problem, but with discontinuation of medication. 'Well, I sure hope you get off it sometime soon, ' they say.
Information or allegations reflecting negatively on individuals or groups seen less sympathetically by the intelligentsia pass rapidly into the public domain with little scrutiny and much publicity. Two of the biggest proven hoaxes of our time have involved allegations of white men gang-raping a black woman- first the Tawana Brawley hoax of 1987 and later the false rape charges against three Duke University students in 2006. In both cases, editorial indignation rang out across the land, without a speck of evidence to substantiate either of these charges. Moreover, the denunciations were not limited to the particular men accused, but were often extended to society at large, of whom these men were deemed to be symptoms or 'the tip of the iceberg.' In both cases, the charges fit a pre-existing vision, and that apparently made mundane facts unnecessary. Another widely publicized hoax- one to which the President of the United States added his sub-hoax- was a 1996 story appearing in USA Today under the headline, 'Arson at Black Churches Echoes Bigotry of the Past.' There was, according to USA Today, 'an epidemic of church burning, ' targeting black churches. Like the gang-rape hoaxes, this story spread rapidly through the media. The Chicago Tribune referred to 'an epidemic of criminal and cowardly arson' leaving black churches in ruins. As with the gang-rape hoaxes, comments on the church fire stories went beyond those who were supposed to have set these fires to blame forces at work in society at large. Jesse Jackson was quoted was quoted in the New York Times as calling these arsons part of a 'cultural conspiracy' against blacks, which 'reflected the heightened racial tensions in the south that have been exacerbated by the assault on affirmative action and the populist oratory of Republican politicians like Pat Buchanan.' Time magazine writer Jack White likewise blamed 'the coded phrases' of Republican leaders for 'encouraging the arsonists.' Columnist Barbara Reynolds of USA Today said that the fires were 'an attempt to murder the spirit of black America.' New York Times columnist Bob Herbert said, "The fuel for these fires can be traced to a carefully crafted environment of bigotry and hatred that was developed over the last century.' As with the gang-rape hoaxes, the charges publicized were taken as reflecting on the whole society, not just those supposedly involved in what was widely presumed to be arson, rather than fires that break out for a variety of other reasons. Washington Post columnist Dorothy Gilliam said that society in effect was 'giving these arsonists permission to commit these horrible crimes.' The climax of these comments came when President Bill Clinton, in his weekly radio address, said that these church burnings recalled similar burnings of black churches in Arkansas when he was a boy. There were more that 2, 000 media stories done on the subject after the President's address. This story began to unravel when factual research showed that (1) no black churches were burned in Arkansas when Bill Clinton was growing up, (2) there had been no increase in fires at black churches, but an actual decrease over the previous 15 years, (3) the incidence of fires at white churches was similar to the incidence of fires at black churches, and (4) where there was arson, one-third of the suspects were black. However, retractions of the original story- where there were retractions at all- typically were given far less prominence than the original banner headlines and heated editorial comments.