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Alan Paton quotes (showing 1-30 of 92)

“Sorrow is better than fear. Fear is a journey, a terrible journey. But, sorrow is at least an arriving. ”
Alan Paton
“I have always found that actively loving
saves one from a morbid preoccupation
with the shortcomings of society.”
Alan Paton
“The tragedy is not that things are broken. The tragedy is that things are not mended again.”
Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country
“But there is only one thing that has power completely, and this is love. Because when a man loves, he seeks no power, and therefore he has power.”
Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country
“Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that's the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing. Nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him if he gives too much.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find that we are turned to hating.”
Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country
“ — This world is full of trouble, umfundisi.
— Who knows it better?
— Yet you believe?
Kumalo looked at him under the light of the lamp. I believe, he said, but I have learned that it is a secret. Pain and suffering, they are a secret. Kindness and love, they are a secret. But I have learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering. There is my wife, and you, my friend, and these people who welcomed me, and the child who is so eager to be with us here in Ndotsheni – so in my suffering I can believe.
— I have never thought that a Christian would be free of suffering, umfundisi. For our Lord suffered. And I come to believe that he suffered, not to save us from suffering, but to teach us how to bear suffering. For he knew that there is no life without suffering.
Kumalo looked at his friend with joy. You are a preacher, he said.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“There is a hard law. When an injury is done to us, we never recover until we forgive. ”
Alan Paton
“Pain and suffering, they are a secret. Kindness and love, they are a secret. But I have learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering. ”
Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country
“I have never thought that a Christian would be free of suffering, umfundisi. For our Lord suffered. And I come to believe that he suffered, not to save us from suffering, but to teach us how to bear suffering. For he knew that there is no life without suffering.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“Sorrow is better than fear. Fear is a journey,a terrible journey, but sorrow is at least an arrival.
When the storm threatens, a man is afraid for his house. But when the house is destroyed, there is something to do. About a storm he can do nothing, but he can rebuild a house.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“The truth is, our civilization is not Christian; it is a tragic compound of great ideal and fearful practice, of loving charity and fearful clutching of possessions.”
Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country
“The Judge does not make the law. It is people that make the law. Therefore if a law is unjust, and if the Judge judges according to the law, that is justice, even if it is not just.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“There is not much talking now. A silence falls upon them all. This is no time to talk of hedges and fields, or the beauties of any country. Sadness and fear and hate, how they well up in the heart and mind, whenever one opens pages of these messengers of doom. Cry for the broken tribe, for the law and the custom that is gone. Aye, and cry aloud for the man who is dead, for the woman and children bereaved. Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end. The sun pours down on the earth, on the lovely land that man cannot enjoy. He knows only the fear of his heart.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“For it is the dawn that has come, as it has come for a thousand centuries, never failing.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“We do not know, we do not know. We shall live from day to day, and put more locks on the doors, and get a fine fierce dog when the fine fierce bitch next door has pups, and hold on to our handbags more tenaciously; and the beauty of the trees by night, and the raptures of lovers under the stars, these things we shall forego. We shall forego the coming home drunken through the midnight streets, and the evening walk over the star-lit veld. We shall be careful, and knock this off our lives, and knock that off our lives, and hedge ourselves about with safety and precaution. And our lives will shrink, but they shall be the lives of superior beings; and we shall live with fear, but at least it will not be a fear of the unknown. And the conscience shall be thrust down; the light of life shall not be extinguished, but be put under a bushel, to be preserved for a generation that will live by it again, in some day not yet come; and how it will come, and when it will come, we shall not think about at all.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“Happy the eyes that can close”
Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country
“because life slips away, and because I need for the rest of my journey a star that will not play false to me, a compass that will not lie.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“Who indeed knows the secret of the earthly pilgrimage? Who indeed knows why there can be comfort in a world of desolation? Now God be thanked that there is a beloved one who can lift up the heart in suffering, that one can play with a child in the face of such misery. Now God be thanked that the name of a hill is such music, that the name of a river can heal. Aye, even the name of a river that runs no more.
Who indeed knows the secret of the earthly pilgrimage? Who knows for what we live, and struggle and die? Who knows what keeps us living and struggling, while all things break about us? Who knows why the warm flesh of a child is such comfort, when one's own child is lost and cannot be recovered? Wise men write many books, in words too hard to understand. But this, the purpose of our lives, the end of all our struggle, is beyond all human wisdom.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“For who can stop the heart from breaking?”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“There is only one way in which one can endure man's inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one's own life, to exemplify man's humanity to man.”
Alan Paton
“When I go up there, which is my intention, the Big Judge will say to me, Where are your wounds? and if I say I haven’t any, he will say, Was there nothing to fight for? I couldn’t face that question. (Ah, But Your Land Is Beautiful)”
Alan Paton
“And were your back as broad as heaven, and your purse full of gold, and did your compassion reach from here to hell itself, there is nothing you can do.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“It is not permissible for us to go on destroying the family life when we know that we are destroying it.”
Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country
“For mines are for men, not for money. And money is not something to go mad about, and throw your hat into the air for. Money is for food and clothes and comfort, and a visit to the pictures. Money is to make happy the lives of children. Money is for security, and for dreams, and for hopes, and for purposes. Money is for buying the fruits of the earth, of the land where you were born.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“I see only one hope for our country, and that is when white men and black men, desiring neither power nor money, but desiring only the good for their country, come together to work for it.
I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“But when that dawn will come, of our emancipation, from the fear of bondage and the bondage of fear, why, that is a secret.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“It was not his habit to dwell on what might have been but what could never be.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“What broke in a man when he could bring himself to kill another? What broke when he could bring himself to thrust down the knife into the warm flesh, to bring down the axe on the living head, to cleave down between the seeing eyes, to shoot the gun that would drive death into the beating heart?”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
“There are voices crying what must be done, a hundred, a thousand voices. But what do they help if one seeks for counsel, for one cries this, and one cries that, and another cries something that is neither this nor that.”
Alan Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country

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