Powerlessness Quotes

Quotes tagged as "powerlessness" Showing 1-30 of 120
Paulo Freire
“Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ”
Paulo Freire

Louise L. Hay
“You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we're not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power.”
Louise L. Hay

Pete Walker
“Perfectionism is the unparalleled defense for emotionally abandoned children. The existential unattainability of perfection saves the child from giving up, unless or until, scant success forces him to retreat into the depression of a dissociative disorder, or launches him hyperactively into an incipient conduct disorder. Perfectionism also provides a sense of meaning and direction for the powerless and unsupported child. In the guise of self-control, striving to be perfect offers a simulacrum of a sense of control. Self-control is also safer to pursue because abandoning parents typically reserve their severest punishment for children who are vocal about their negligence.”
Pete Walker

Judith Lewis Herman
“...repeated trauma in childhood forms and deforms the personality. The child trapped in an abusive environment is faced with formidable tasks of adaptation. She must find a way to preserve a sense of trust in people who are untrustworthy, safety in a situation that is unsafe, control in a situation that is terrifyingly unpredictable, power in a situation of helplessness. Unable to care for or protect herself, she must compensate for the failures of adult care and protection with the only means at her disposal, an immature system of psychological defenses.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Haruki Murakami
“I am living in hell from one day to the next. But there is nothing I can do to escape. I don't know where I would go if I did. I feel utterly powerless, and that feeling is my prision. I entered of my own free will, I locked the door, and I threw away the key.”
Haruki Murakami

Elizabeth Gilbert
“For if there is one thing I have learned over the years about men, it is that feelings of powerlessness do not usually bring forth their finest qualities.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

Erik Pevernagie
“As our life is our main provisional value, ‘taking the time’ to interpret our experiences is a momentous choice. Time, life and choice outline a trilogy that can solve and unite so as to vanquish the powerlessness which we might face on our path. (Could time be patient?)”
Erik Pevernagie

Erik Pevernagie
“Fear is the fruit of powerlessness leading stealthily to exhaustion or aggression. Instead of sheltering and nourishing fear, we must nurture our imagination to foster thus and so sharing and connecting. (“Swimming or sinking")”
Erik Pevernagie

Elizabeth Gilbert
“I do forget sometimes how much it means for certain men—for certain people—to be able to provide their loved ones with material comforts and protection at all times. I forget how dangerously reduced some men can feel when that basic ability has been stripped from them. I forget how much that matters to men, what it represents.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

Judith Lewis Herman
“In situations of captivity the perpetrator becomes the most powerful person in the life of the victim, and the psychology of the victim is shaped by the actions and beliefs of the perpetrator.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Elizabeth Gaskell
“I am so tired - so tired of being of being whirled on through all these phases of my life, in which nothing abides by me, no creature, no place; it is like the circle in which the victims of earthly passion eddy continually.”
Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South

Anthon St. Maarten
“In this lifetime we are like Superman who must remain disguised as the nerdy newspaper journalist Clark Kent, or Harry Potter and his friends who are not allowed to do magic while they are on holiday, away from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry... but even Harry Potter and Clark Kent get to tap into their ‘special powers’ once in a while, especially when the going gets tough.”
Anthon St. Maarten, Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny

Hannah Arendt
“Never has our future been more unpredictable, never have we depended so much on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of common sense and self-interest—forces that look like sheer insanity, if judged by the standards of other centuries. It is as though mankind had divided itself between those who believe in human omnipotence (who think that everything is possible if one knows how to organize masses for it) and those for whom powerlessness has become the major experience of their lives.”
Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Judith Lewis Herman
“Psychological trauma is an affliction of the powerless. At the moment of trauma, the victim is rendered helpless by overwhelming force. When the force is that of nature, we speak of disasters. When the force is that of other human beings, we speak of atrocities. Traumatic events overwhelm the ordinary systems of care that give people a sense of control, connection, and meaning.… Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life.… They confront human beings with the extremities of helplessness and terror, and evoke the responses of catastrophe.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Guy Gavriel Kay
Full moon is falling through the sky.
Cranes fly through clouds.
Wolves howl. I cannot find rest
Because I am powerless
To amend a broken world.


Sima Zian added, "I love the man who wrote that, I told you before, but there is so much burden in Chan Du. Duty, assuming all tasks, can betray arrogance. The idea we can know what must be done, and do it properly. We cannot know the future, my friend. It claims so much to imagine we can. And the world is not broken any more than it always, always is.”
Guy Gavriel Kay, Under Heaven

Vera Nazarian
“It does not take a great supernatural heroine or magical hero to save the world.

We all save it every day, and we all destroy it -- in our own small ways -- by every choice we make and every tiniest action resulting from that choice.

The next time you feel useless and impotent, remember what you are in fact doing in this very moment. And then observe your tiny, seemingly meaningless acts and choices coalesce and cascade together into a powerful positive whole.

The world -- if it could -- will thank you for it.

And if it does not... well, a true heroine or hero does not require it.”
Vera Nazarian

Eiji Yoshikawa
“Her only weapons were her tears.”
Eiji Yoshikawa, Taiko: An Epic Novel of War and Glory in Feudal Japan

Elizabeth Warren
“When you have no real power, go public -- really public. The public is where the real power is.”
Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance

Danny Silk
“make an agreement to exercise mutual control over each other. The unspoken pact between them is, “It’s my job to make you happy, and your job to make me happy. And the best way to get you to work on my life is to act miserable. The more miserable I am, the more you will have to try to make me feel better.” Powerless people use various tactics, such as getting upset, withdrawing, nagging, ridiculing, pouting, crying, or getting angry, to pressure, manipulate, and punish one another into keeping this pact. However, this ongoing power play does nothing to make them happy and mitigate their anxiety in the long term. In fact, their anxiety only escalates by continually affirming that they are not actually powerful. Any sense of love and safety they feel by gaining or surrendering control is tenuous and fleeting. A relational bond built on mutual control simply cannot produce anything remotely like safety, love, or trust. It can only produce more fear, pain, distrust, punishment, and misery. And when taken to an extreme, it produces things like domestic violence.”
Danny Silk, Keep Your Love On: Connection Communication And Boundaries

Alfred Hayes
“I made spasmodic efforts to work, assuring myself that once I began working I would forget her. The difficulty was in beginning. There was a feeling of weakness, a sort of powerlessness now, as though I were about to be ill but was never quite ill enough, as though I were about to come down with something I did not quite come down with. It seemed to me that for the first time in my life I had been in love, and had lost, because of the grudgingness of my heart, the possibility of having what, too late, I now thought I wanted. What was it that all my life I had so carefully guarded myself against? What was it that I had felt so threatened me? My suffering, which seemed to me to be a strict consequence of having guarded myself so long, appeared to me as a kind of punishment, and this moment, which I was now enduring, as something which had been delayed for half a lifetime. I was experincing, apparently, an obscure crisis of some kind. My world acquired a tendency to crumble as easily as a soda cracker. I found myself horribly susceptible to small animals, ribbons in the hair of little girls, songs played late at night over lonely radios. It became particularly dangerous for me to go near movies in which crippled girls were healed by the unselfish love of impoverished bellhops. I had become excessively tender to all the more obvious evidences of the frailness of existence; I was capable of dissolving at the least kind word, and self-pity, in inexhaustible doses, lay close to my outraged surface. I moved painfully, an ambulatory case, mysteriously injured.”
Alfred Hayes, In Love

Paulo Coelho
“it’s that sense of powerlessness that destroyed my soul. i cannot be as good as i would like to be.nor as bad as i think i need to be.i think you have the same doubts that your goodness was not rewarded”
paulo coelho-the devil and miss prym

Mike  Norton
“Risk is the factor of a stratagem measured by what man is powerless to control.”
Mike Norton, White Mountain

Adam Levin
“You can render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, but if you don't keep from Caesar that which is yours, Caesar will take some, and than take some more, and if you don't put a stop to it, though you won't lose everything - you can't lose everything; there's things he can't take, at least one or two - a time will soon come when you'll think you've lost everything, when you'll think all is Caesar's, and by then you'll be too weak to take what's yours back, too tired to remember what was yours to begin with, and you'll end up, perversely, scheming for his leavings and, even more perversely, grateful when you get them.”
Adam Levin, The Instructions

Audre Lorde
“I do not wish my anger and pain and fear about cancer to fossilize into yet another silence, nor to rob me of whatever strength can lie at the core of this experience, openly acknowledged and examined. For other women of all ages, colors, and sexual identities who recognize that imposed silence about any area of our lives is a tool for separation and powerlessness, and for myself, I have tried to voice some of my feelings and thoughts about the travesty of prosthesis, the pain of amputation, the function of cancer in a profit economy, my confrontation with mortality, the strength of women loving, and the power and rewards of self-conscious living.”
Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals

James  Jones
“And let me tell you something else, my friend," she said in the precise enunciation of a trained nurse talking to a worried patient. "It is all very easy for a man to talk about living in the present. Much more so than for a woman, who is liable to get knocked up higher than a kite every time the man enjoys himself in the present. Thats one thing I dont have to worry about, thank God. But there are a lot of others: such as what I am going to do when my husband kicks me out and then my lover throws me over when he has to support me, and me not being trained for anything but to be somebody's wife and having to do all my politicking and achieving and gain what little success I can by getting behind some stupid man and pushing him.”
James Jones, From Here to Eternity

David Park
“Then I discover when you take a step forward, even a small step, the fear doesn’t exercise such a tight grip. It’s still there but it’s somehow reduced and you allow yourself to feel less of a helpless victim because ultimately it’s the sense of powerlessness that does you in.”
David Park, Travelling in a Strange Land

Rebecca Solnit
“I felt hemmed in, hunted. Over and over women and girls were attacked, not for what they'd done, but because they were at hand when a man wished to. To punish is the word that comes to mind but for what might linger as a question. Not for who, but for what they were, we were. But really for who he was, a man who had the desire and believed he had the right to harm women. To demonstrate that his power was as boundless as her powerlessness.”
Rebecca Solnit, Recollections of My Nonexistence: A Memoir

Thom Yorke
“If there is a devil at work then he rests in institutions and not in individuals. Because the beauty of institutions is that any individual can abdicate responsibility. The assumption that we're all utterly powerless, that's the devil at work.”
Thom Yorke

Elizabeth Jane Howard
“It is extraordinarily difficult not to hate someone when one feels powerless with them.”
Elizabeth Jane Howard, Casting Off

Martin Luther King Jr.
“Indeed, one of the great problems that the Negro confronts is his lack of power. From the old plantations of the South to the newer ghettos of the North, the Negro has been confined to a life of voicelessness and powerlessness. Stripped of the right to make decisions concerning his life and destiny, he has been subject to the authoritarian and sometimes whimsical decisions of the white power structure. The plantation and the ghetto were created by those who had power both to confine those who had no power and to perpetuate their powerlessness. The problem of transforming the ghetto is, therefore, a problem of power—a confrontation between the forces of power demanding change and the forces of power dedicated to preserving the status quo.”
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

« previous 1 3 4