Some lines are just hard to forget. As any reader can attest, you don’t even have to go on a hunt for quotable quotes, some lines just stick with us. The Week asked some readers if they would like to share theirs with us. It’s not like we planned to collect worthy life lessons but their picks this time around just turned out that way.
“Responsibility simply means your ability to respond.” Inner Engineering – A Yogi’s Guide to Joy by Sadhguru
Inner engineering – A yogi’s guide to joy is figuratively and literally a huge thing. It’s not the kind of book that you can quickly read through. It talks about life, even gives advice on little things like sleeping and eating, and so it demands time and attention. However, from the extensive read, this was the line that really hit me hard.
Responsibility is often regarded as an obligation, even a burden that one must shoulder. Most view it as something that we wish we didn’t have to deal with. Personally, I too used to be a very anxious person but this line right here broke it down so effortlessly. Responsibility indeed is our ability to respond to the things that come our way on a day-to-day basis. It’s amazing how simple it actually is. When I read the line, it was like a revelation. I really like this take on responsibility. If we were to change our perspectives in this manner, I think it would be a very practically wise move.
Sumit Bikram Rana
“I have come to understand that life is composed of a series of coincidences. How we react to these – how we exercise what some refer to as free will – is everything; the choices we make within the boundaries of the twists of fate determine who we are.” Confession of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins
Chapter 2, Page 17, it is a little surprising that I came across an elegantly summed up life lesson in an economic book. Confession of an Economic Hit Man is a mandatory read for my class. It is basically an exposé of international corruption, and an inspired plan to turn the tide for future generations. Perkins, the writer, shares his research from his visits to different countries and heavily leans onto politics as well.
But reading it really makes me think about the domino effect. We, youths, especially have the tendency to cite our desire and need to act as per our free will. It’s when we do whatever we want to do that we feel liberated. But the truth is every action has a reaction.
There are consequences to think of. Thus, the domino effect applies in every circumstance. Be it our personal lives or as is referred in the book, the future of a country, what we are deciding to do now shall eventually reap results. The effects, whether positive or negative, shall surface and that’s inevitable. The line serves as an apt reminder of that fact.
“People who study others are wise, but those who study themselves are enlightened.” The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
I’m a person who enjoys her own company, and that’s probably the reason why the line really resonated with me. Though I wouldn’t go as far as calling myself enlightened, I do have a peace of mind. The fact that these sentiments were put down in words in the book backed what I have always felt.
If we take a moment to think about it, it’s really funny how much time we are willing to spend thinking and talking about others. There is just so much interest and curiosity in us about things that, at the end of the day, aren’t really our business. For instance, we might not have the time to go to the gym as we had promised ourselves or read more books, meet more people as we want to but when it comes to Facebook stalking a new acquaintance and gossiping about all that has been going on in their lives, somehow there is also so much time. Our habit is to judge but we don’t self analyze as much as we should. And I think all of this is beautifully put in that one sentence. I read this book three years ago and this quote has stayed with me all this while.
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
These days I am reading more nonfiction, autobiographies, to be specific. But this quote from The Alchemist stands out in my memory. I even found it written in my diary. Over the years, this has served as a source of motivation. It is obviously only natural for us to run after money and other materialistic things but, as Coelho puts it, that isn’t where the real treasure lies. I believe this quote served as a very important line in the story as well. Initially, in the book, no one knows what the treasure is or if the protagonist, Santiago, will be able to overcome the obstacles along the way. But, throughout the book, Coelho goes about justifying the perspective above with many examples. I found it to be really inspiring. Though it is work of fiction, I think there is a lesson there for all of us.
“You are a sea of light. Open your eyes. See yourself.” Salt by Nayyirah Waheed
I have only just recently got into reading poems. With this particular Waheed line, I was caught off guard by how well it resonated with my feelings. I didn’t know how to put them into words but she phrased it so well. Most of the time, we tend to forget about ourselves. We forget that there are possibilities and potentials to be discovered within us. I feel like we need constant reminders like this.
I have realized that I prefer realistic poems. When poets frame all that is going on in their lives so well I think, as readers, we too can relate. That makes their work that much more interesting to read. In Salt, Waheed writes about many things. The collection of poems talks about identities, language, pain, community, celebration, love and so on. But personally, since I am at that stage of my life where I am trying to get to know myself better, I really appreciated these particular lines.