The Winner Stands Alone, quotes

How perverse! Just when everything seems to be in order and as families gather round the table to have supper, the phantom of the Superclass appears, selling impossible dreams: luxury, beauty, power. And the family falls apart. 

Whenever someone dies, a part of the universe dies too. 

 Life sometimes separates people so that they can realize how much they mean to each other. 

Who says that children aren't capable of deciding what they want to do in life?
 Some people opt for revenge and try to be really good at whatever it is the others thought they couldn't do. ''One day, you'll envy me,'' they think.
Most people, however, accept their limitations, and then things tend to go from bad to worse. They grow up insecure and obedient (although they dream of a day when they'll be free and able to do whatever they want), they get married to prove that they're not as ugly as other kids said they were (although deep down they still believe they are), they have children so that no one can say they're infertile (even though they never wanted kids anyway), they dress well so that no one can say they dress badly (although they know people will say that anyway).

People are never satisfied. If they have a little, they want more. If they have a lot, they want still more. Once they have more, they wish they could be happy with little, but are incapable of making the slightest effort in that direction.   

Man loves woman. Man loses woman. man gets woman back. Ninety percent of all films are variations on that same theme. 

...transformations always occur during moments of crisis. 

Try the impossible. Don't start low down because that's where you are now. Climb those rungs quickly before they take the ladder away. If you're afraid, say a prayer, but carry on. 

A forbidden thought. 

 ...but then everyone tells me my dreams are mad too, and yet look where they've got me. 

Yes I'm satisfied, but the problem is you're not, and never will be. You're insecure, afraid of loosing everything you've achieved; you don't know how to quit once you're ahead. You'll end up destroying yourself. 

...we're being forced to do things we never planned to do, and yet even so, are incapable of giving it all up and devoting our days and nights to true happiness, to family, nature, love. 

A diamond is a supreme manifestation of human vanity. 

When society doesn't act to stop crime, men have the right to do whatever they think correct. 

He is disciplined enough to control his feelings. 

The young all have the same dream: to save the world. Some quickly forget this dream, convinced that there are more important things to do, like having family, earning money, traveling, and learning a foreign language. Others, though, decide that is possible to make a difference in society and to shape the world we will hand on to future generations. 

They would have time to garden, read, go to the cinema, and do the simple things that everyone dreams of doing, the only things truly capable of filling anyone's life. 

And I have to say, it was real luck meeting you like that. In just one day, I've experienced, hope, despair, loneliness, and the pleasure of finding a new companion. That's a lot of emotions.

from the book The Winner Stands Alone, by Paulo Coelho


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