The Power of One

Meaningful lines from

McArthur and Company, Toronto, Canada 1989

  • … and the beginning of the power of one – how I learned that in each of us there burns a flame of independence that must never be allowed to go out. That as long as it exists within us we cannot be destroyed.
  • … survival means never being best at anything except being best at nothing… Mediocrity is the best camouflage known to man.
  • One thing is certain in life. Just when things are going well, soon afterward they are certain to go wrong.
  • There comes a time in everything when you don’t know something.
  • hectic tumbling-out of words
  • Sometimes in life, doing what we shouldn’t do is the emergency.
  • When you stood out in the crowd, trouble was sure to follow.
  • Sadness has a season and will pass… but it isn’t the season for sadness yet.
  • Without a man a woman’s life is more rotten than with one. Because even if it is true, it means nothing but loneliness. Men are pigs who sleep with kaffir women and get drunk and beat you up. But a good beating never hurt, and sometimes it’s the only way those stupid men can show you they love you. It’s stupid, heh?
  • Once I have been a regular chatterbox, but school had changed all that. A person of my status was not expected to talk much, and besides, listening is a good camouflage. I soon discovered that it is also an art. You learn not simply to listen to what people say. It’s what people don’t say that is important. If you listen hard enough you can hear the most amazing things going on behind the speaker’s voice.
  • Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. Courage is what makes you do it.
  • No matter what has happened bad, today I’m finished from being sad.
  • If God would choose a plant to represent him, I think he would choose of all plants the cactus. The cactus has all the blessings he tried, but mostly failed, to give to man… It has humility, but it is not submissive. It grows where no other plant will grow. It does not complain when the sun bakes its back or the wind tears it from the cliff or drowns it in the dry sand of the desert or when it is thirsty… It is the plant of patience and solitude, love and madness, ugliness and beauty, toughness and gentleness.
  • Nothing is unexplained. Nature is a chain reaction. One thing follows the other, everything is dependent on something else.
  • Always you should go to the source, to the face of the rock, to the beginning. The more you know, the more you can control your destiny. Man is the only animal who can store knowledge outside his body. This had made him greater than creatures around him. Everything has happened before; if you know what comes before, then you know what happens now. Your brain has two functions; it is a place for original thought, but also it is a reference library.
  • I learned that the greatest camouflage of all is consistency. If you do something often enough and at the same time in the same way, you become invisible.
  • When a man knows somebody cares, he keeps a small place, a corner maybe of his soul, clean and lit.
  • … in this world are very few things made from logic alone. It is illogical for a man to be too logical. Some things we must just let stand. The mystery is more important than any possible explanation.
  • Cleverness is the shadow, whereas intelligence is the substance.
  • In teaching me independence of thought, they have given me the greatest gift an adult can give to a child besides love.
  • … survival is a matter of actively making the system work for you rather than attempting to survive it.
  • Rebellion is senseless, and being pointedly different only leads to persecution. The only way to control the system is from within it.
  • When men can be build to hope, then they can be made to win.
  • Mystery is what gives us hope and keeps us believing in a force greater than our own significance.
  • It is fun to persecute a pig because it squeals, no fun at all to beat an animal which does not cry out.
  • I was cultivating the habit of winning. Winning is a state of mind that embraces everything you do.
  • … emotion clouds the mind and is its natural enemy.
  • Good conversational debate is an end in itself, and talking for the love of conversation is what makes us human.
  • Greed transcends religion.
  • The power of one was based on the courage to remain separate, to think through the truth, and not to be beguiled by convention or the plausible arguments of those who expect to maintain power.
  • Too much cross-referencing of consequences robs the will of its single-minded concentration to win.
  • The power of one is above all things the power to believe in yourself, often well beyond any latent ability you may have previously demonstrated.
  • The mind is the athlete; the body is simply the means it uses to run faster or longer, jump higher, shoot straighter, kick better, swim harder, hit further, or box better.
  • … all routine no matter how bizarre, soon becomes normal procedure.

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