Robert Kiehn > Robert's Quotes

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  • #1
    Tom Bissell
    “Girlfriends, indeed: the anti-video game.”
    Tom Bissell

  • #2
    Tom Bissell
    “We are no longer worried that children are missing school because of video games, though. We are worried that they are murdering their classmates because of video games.”
    Tom Bissell

  • #3
    Holly Black
    “People said that video games were bad because they made you numb to death, made you register entrails splattering across a screen as a sign of success. In that moment, Val thought that the real problem with games was that the player was suppossed to try everything. If there was a cave, you went in it. If there was a mysterious stranger, you talked to him. If there was a map, you followed it. But in games, you had a hundred million billion lives and Val only had this one.”
    Holly Black, Valiant

  • #4
    “Learning is a deep human need, like mating and eating, and like all such needs it is meant to be deeply pleasurable to human beings.”
    James Paul Gee, Why Video Games Are Good for Your Soul: Pleasure and Learning

  • #5
    Tom Bissell
    “When I play too many video games I begin to feel chubby-minded, caffeinated, bad.”
    Tom Bissell

  • #6
    “The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but
    shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more,
    but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and
    smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees
    but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more
    problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

    We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
    drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too
    little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our
    possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and
    hate too often.

    We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to
    life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but
    have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer
    space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

    We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom,
    but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but
    accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more
    computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we
    communicate less and less.

    These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small
    character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

    These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but
    broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway
    morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything
    from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the
    showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can
    bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share
    this insight, or to just hit delete...

    Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not
    going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks
    up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave
    your side.

    Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the
    only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

    Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most
    of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from
    deep inside of you.

    Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might
    not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to
    share the precious thoughts in your mind.”
    Bob Moorehead

  • #7
    John Green
    “Did you know that for pretty much the entire history of the human species, the average life span was less than thirty years? You could count on ten years or so of real adulthood, right? There was no planning for retirement, There was no planning for a career. There was no planning. No time for plannning. No time for a future. But then the life spans started getting longer, and people started having more and more future. And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future--you go to high school so you can go to college so you can get a good job so you can get a nice house so you can afford to send your kids to college so they can get a good job so they can get a nice house so they can afford to send their kids to college.”
    John Green, Paper Towns

  • #8
    Erma Bombeck
    If I had my life to live over...

    Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything.

    My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind.

    If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more.

    Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

    I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

    I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

    I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace.

    I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

    I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.

    I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains.

    I would have cried and laughed less while watching television ... and more while watching real life.

    I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted.

    I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.

    I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day.

    I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn't show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime.

    When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner."

    There would have been more I love yous ... more I'm sorrys ... more I'm listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.”
    Erma Bombeck, Eat Less Cottage Cheese and More Ice Cream: Thoughts on Life from Erma Bombeck

  • #9
    Shauna Niequist
    “I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin.
    And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin.
    I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies.
    John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat.
    The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies.
    But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.”
    Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life

  • #10
    Chaim Potok
    “Human beings do not live forever, Reuven. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value is there to a human life. There is so much pain in the world. What does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than the blink of an eye?

    I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life.

    It is hard work to fill one's life with meaning. That I do not think you understand yet. A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here.”
    Chaim Potok, The Chosen

  • #11
    Tom Stoppard
    “Because children grow up, we think a child's purpose is to grow up. But a child's purpose is to be a child. Nature doesn't disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into the each moment. We don't value the lily less for not being made of flint and built to last. Life's bounty is in its flow, later is too late. Where is the song when it's been sung? The dance when it's been danced? It's only we humans who want to own the future, too. We persuade ourselves that the universe is modestly employed in unfolding our destination. We note the haphazard chaos of history by the day, by the hour, but there is something wrong with the picture. Where is the unity, the meaning, of nature's highest creation? Surely those millions of little streams of accident and wilfulness have their correction in the vast underground river which, without a doubt, is carrying us to the place where we're expected! But there is no such place, that's why it's called utopia. The death of a child has no more meaning than the death of armies, of nations. Was the child happy while he lived? That is a proper question, the only question. If we can't arrange our own happiness, it's a conceit beyond vulgarity to arrange the happiness of those who come after us.”
    Tom Stoppard, The Coast of Utopia

  • #12
    Michael Cunningham
    “How often since then has she wondered what might have happened if she'd tried to remain with him; if she’d returned Richard's kiss on the corner of Bleeker and McDougal, gone off somewhere (where?) with him, never bought the packet of incense or the alpaca coat with rose-shaped buttons. Couldn’t they have discovered something larger and stranger than what they've got. It is impossible not to imagine that other future, that rejected future, as taking place in Italy or France, among big sunny rooms and gardens; as being full of infidelities and great battles; as a vast and enduring romance laid over friendship so searing and profound it would accompany them to the grave and possibly even beyond. She could, she thinks, have entered another world. She could have had a life as potent and dangerous as literature itself.

    Or then again maybe not, Clarissa tells herself. That's who I was. This is who I am--a decent woman with a good apartment, with a stable and affectionate marriage, giving a party. Venture too far for love, she tells herself, and you renounce citizenship in the country you've made for yourself. You end up just sailing from port to port.

    Still, there is this sense of missed opportunity. Maybe there is nothing, ever, that can equal the recollection of having been young together. Maybe it's as simple as that. Richard was the person Clarissa loved at her most optimistic moment. Richard had stood beside her at the pond's edge at dusk, wearing cut-off jeans and rubber sandals. Richard had called her Mrs. Dalloway, and they had kissed. His mouth had opened to hers; (exciting and utterly familiar, she'd never forget it) had worked its way shyly inside until she met its own. They'd kissed and walked around the pond together.

    It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experience lay in a kiss and a walk. The anticipation of dinner and a book. The dinner is by now forgotten; Lessing has been long overshadowed by other writers. What lives undimmed in Clarissa's mind more than three decades later is a kiss at dusk on a patch of dead grass, and a walk around a pond as mosquitoes droned in the darkening air. There is still that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.”
    Michael Cunningham, The Hours

  • #13
    “I will not die an unlived life.
    I will not live in fear
    of falling or catching fire.
    I choose to inhabit my days,
    to allow my living to open me,
    to make me less afraid,
    more accessible;
    to loosen my heart
    until it becomes a wing,
    a torch, a promise.
    I choose to risk my significance,
    to live so that which came to me as seed
    goes to the next as blossom,
    and that which came to me as blossom,
    goes on as fruit.”
    Dawna Markova, I Will Not Die an Unlived Life: Reclaiming Purpose and Passion

  • #14
    Shane Claiborne
    “I saw a banner hanging next to city hall in downtown Philadelphia that read, "Kill them all, and let God sort them out." A bumper sticker read, "God will judge evildoers; we just have to get them to him." I saw a T-shirt on a soldier that said, "US Air Force... we don't die; we just go to hell to regroup." Others were less dramatic- red, white, and blue billboards saying, "God bless our troops." "God Bless America" became a marketing strategy. One store hung an ad in their window that said, "God bless America--$1 burgers." Patriotism was everywhere, including in our altars and church buildings. In the aftermath of September 11th, most Christian bookstores had a section with books on the event, calendars, devotionals, buttons, all decorated in the colors of America, draped in stars and stripes, and sprinkled with golden eagles.
    This burst of nationalism reveals the deep longing we all have for community, a natural thirst for intimacy... September 11th shattered the self-sufficient, autonomous individual, and we saw a country of broken fragile people who longed for community- for people to cry with, be angry with, to suffer with. People did not want to be alone in their sorrow, rage, and fear.
    But what happened after September 11th broke my heart. Conservative Christians rallies around the drums of war. Liberal Christian took to the streets. The cross was smothered by the flag and trampled under the feet of angry protesters. The church community was lost, so the many hungry seekers found community in the civic religion of American patriotism. People were hurting and crying out for healing, for salvation in the best sense of the word, as in the salve with which you dress a wound. A people longing for a savior placed their faith in the fragile hands of human logic and military strength, which have always let us down. They have always fallen short of the glory of God.
    ...The tragedy of the church's reaction to September 11th is not that we rallied around the families in New York and D.C. but that our love simply reflected the borders and allegiances of the world. We mourned the deaths of each soldier, as we should, but we did not feel the same anger and pain for each Iraqi death, or for the folks abused in the Abu Ghraib prison incident. We got farther and farther from Jesus' vision, which extends beyond our rational love and the boundaries we have established. There is no doubt that we must mourn those lives on September 11th. We must mourn the lives of the soldiers. But with the same passion and outrage, we must mourn the lives of every Iraqi who is lost. They are just as precious, no more, no less. In our rebirth, every life lost in Iraq is just as tragic as a life lost in New York or D.C. And the lives of the thirty thousand children who die of starvation each day is like six September 11ths every single day, a silent tsunami that happens every week.”
    Shane Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical

  • #15
    Doris Lessing
    “You should write, first of all, to please yourself. You shouldn't care a damn about anybody else at all. But writing can't be a way of life - the important part of writing is living. You have to live in such a way that your writing emerges from it.”
    Doris Lessing

  • #16
    Robert   Harris
    “To say she was my girlfriend was absurd: no one the wrong side of thirty has a girlfriend… I suppose I ought to have realize it’s ominous that forty thousand years of human language had failed to produce a word for our relationship.”
    Robert Harris

  • #17
    William Goldman
    “Just because you're beautiful and perfect, it's made you conceited.”
    William Goldman, The Princess Bride

  • #18
    Gary Starta
    “It's hard to be a bright light in a dim world.”
    Gary Starta

  • #19
    Joel Osteen
    “(after listening to people gripe and complain just smile and remember)
    Crows can’t hang with eagles.”
    Joel Osteen

  • #21
    Aristotle
    “Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.”
    Aristotle

  • #22
    Gilda Radner
    “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.
    Delicious Ambiguity.”
    Gilda Radner

  • #23
    W.H. Auden
    “The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.”
    W.H. Auden, Selected Poems

  • #24
    Daphne Gottlieb
    “you can take this mouth
    this wound you want
    but you can't kiss
    and make it
    better.”
    Daphne Gottlieb, Why Things Burn

  • #25
    Charles Bukowski
    “Poetry is what happens when nothing else can.”
    Charles Bukowski

  • #26
    Sylvia Plath
    “I?
    I walk alone;
    The midnight street
    Spins itself from under my feet;
    My eyes shut
    These dreaming houses all snuff out;
    Through a whim of mine
    Over gables the moon's celestial onion
    Hangs high.

    I
    Make houses shrink
    And trees diminish
    By going far; my look's leash
    Dangles the puppet-people
    Who, unaware how they dwindle,
    Laugh, kiss, get drunk,
    Nor guess that if I choose to blink
    They die.

    I
    When in good humour,
    Give grass its green
    Blazon sky blue, and endow the sun
    With gold;
    Yet, in my wintriest moods, I hold
    Absolute power
    To boycott color and forbid any flower
    To be.

    I
    Know you appear
    Vivid at my side,
    Denying you sprang out of my head,
    Claiming you feel
    Love fiery enough to prove flesh real,
    Though it's quite clear
    All your beauty, all your wit, is a gift, my dear,
    From me.

    "Soliloquy of the Solipsist", 1956”
    Sylvia Plath, The Collected Poems

  • #27
    Tim Burton
    “Stick Boy liked Match Girl,
    he liked her a lot.
    He liked her cute figure,
    he thought she was hot.”
    Tim Burton

  • #28
    Tim Burton
    “One person's craziness is another person's reality.”
    Tim Burton

  • #29
    Ayn Rand
    “People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked…The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on…There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.”
    Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

  • #30
    T.S. Eliot
    “Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.”
    T.S. Eliot

  • #31
    “All sacrifice and suffering is redemptive. It is used to either teach the individual or to help others. Nothing is by chance.”
    A.J. Russell



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