“First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love.”
—Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
“I was falling. Falling through time and space and stars and sky and everything in between. I fell for days and weeks and what felt like lifetime across lifetimes. I fell until I forgot I was falling.”
—Jess Rothenberg, The Catastrophic History of You and Me
The higher a man stands on the social ladder, the more people he is connected with and the more power he has over others, the more evident is the predestination and inevitablitlity of his action.
A king is history’s slave.
“Never, never marry, my dear fellow! That’s my advice: never marry till you can say to yourself that you have done all you are capable of, and until you have ceased to love the woman of your choice and have seen her plainly as she is, or else you will make a cruel and irrevocable mistake. Marry when you are old and good for nothing- or all that is good and noble in you will be lost. It will all be wasted on trifles. Yes! Yes! Yes! Don’t look at me with such surprise. If you marry expecting anything from yourself in the future, you will feel at every step that for you all is ended, all is closed except the drawing room, where you will be ranged side by side with a court lackey and an idiot!… But what’s the good?…” and he waved his arm.
The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests. – The Rothschild banking family, to associates in New York, 1863.
This is exactly why Buddha stated the following:
“Don’t blindly believe what I say. Don’t believe me because others convince you of my words. Don’t believe anything you see, read, or hear from others, whether of authority, religious teachers or texts. Don’t rely on logic alone, nor speculation. Don’t infer or be deceived by appearances…Do not give up your authority and follow blindly the will of others. This way will lead to only delusion…Find out for yourself what is truth, what is real. Discover that there are virtuous things and there are non-virtuous things. Once you have discovered for yourself give up the bad and embrace the good.”
The pressure to conform was profound. A doctor who was terrorized during the Cultural Revolution-exiled to the western desert, where his wife committed suicide-later said, “To survive in China you must reveal nothing to others. Or it could be used against you … That’s why I’ve come to think the deepest part of the self is best left unclear. Like mist and clouds in a Chinese landscape painting, hide the private part behind your social persona. Let your public self be like rice in a dinner: bland and inconspicuous, taking on the flavors of its surroundings while giving off no flavor of its own.”
The victimization of the transmigrants in Aceh was an extreme case of local dissatisfaction. But even where transmigrants rubbed along well enough with their neighbours, they carried on speaking their monether tongue, they cultivated the crops they grew back home, they set up the gamelan gong orchestras that mirrored those of Java or Bali. It was more transplantation than transmigration, hardly a homogenizing force.
Suharto grew up as poor as the next villager, dropping out of junior high school and giving up a job in a bank because he fell off his bicycle and ripped his only set of presentable clothes. Continue reading “Quotes from < >”
I thought then that wealth depended mainly on the possession of territory and natural resources, whether fertile land with abundant rainfall for agriculture or forestry, or valuable minerals, or oil and gas. It was only after I had been in office for some years that I recognised that performance varied substantially between the different races in Singapore, and among different categories within the same race. After trying out a number of ways to reduce inequalities and failing, I was gradually forced to conclude that the decisive factors were the people, their natural abilities, education and training. Knowledge and the possession of technology were vital for the creation of wealth.
Ask you about Singapore’s experience with Suzhou. You called it a chastening experience in your memoirs. You would reflect on that of the attempt to transfer Singapore’s experience to a very different culture and how would you have done differently, or would you even consider?