"It is said that the Messiah will come at the end of the world. But it was not the end of the world” Grandfather said. “It was. He just did not come.
Why did he not come?
This was the lesson we learned from everything that happened—there is no God.
What if it was a challenge of your faith?” I said.
I could not believe in a God that would challenge faith like this.”
What if it was not in His power?
I could not believe in a God that could not stop what happened.
What if it was man and not God that did all of this?
I do not believe in man, either."
Grandfather and Alex discussing WWII, Nazi Germany and concentration camps in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated
"If there is a God, He will have to beg my forgiveness."
—A phrase that was carved on the walls of a Mauthausen concentration camp cell during WWII by a Jewish prisoner.
"Maturity," Bokonon tells us, "is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything."
—Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
We are gathered here, friends,” he said, “to honor lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya, children dead, all dead, all murdered in war. It is customary on days like this to call such lost children men. I am unable to call them men for this simple reason: that in the same war in which lo Hoon-year Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya died, my own son died.
"My soul insists that I mourn not a man but a child.
"I do not say that children at war do not die like men, if they have to die. To their everlasting honor and our everlasting shame, they do die like men, thus making possible the manly jubilation of patriotic holidays.
"But they are murdered children all the same.
"And I propose to you that if we are to pay our sincere respects to the hundred lost children of San Lorenzo, that we might best spend the day despising what killed them; which is to say, the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind.
"Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns.
"I do not mean to be ungrateful for the fine, martial show we are about to see – and a thrilling show it really will be…"
He looked each of us in the eye, and then he commented very softly, throwing it away, “And hooray I say for thrilling shows.”
We had to strain our ears to hear what Minton said next.
"But if today is really in honor of a hundred children murdered in war," he said, "is today a day for a thrilling show?
"The answer is yes, on one condition: that we, the celebrants are working consciously and tirelessly to reduce the stupidity and viciousness of ourselves and all mankind.""
Horlick Minton in Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
"She hated people who thought too much. At that moment, she struck me as an appropriate representative for almost all mankind."
John (aka Jonah) in Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle
"Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos."
"I shiver, thinking how easy it is to be totally wrong about people, to see one tiny part of them and confuse it for the whole."
Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall
"Life just hurts people and hurts people, until finally it hurts them so that they can’t be hurt ever any more. That’s the last and worst thing it does."
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful And Damned
"Beauty is nothing, beauty won’t stay. You don’t know how lucky you are to be ugly, because if people like you, you know it’s for something else."
—Charles Bukowski, The Most Beautiful Woman in Town
"I don’t want people to matter to me too much. Sometimes it hurts too much to think about them. Ones you love who don’t love you, ones who are dead or hate you, ones who you think about but never get to be with. I like people ok but when I get too close, it fucks me up and I can’t get things done."
—Henry Rollins, Smile, You’re Traveling
"No matter how much I feel, I’m not going to let it out. If I have to cry, I’m gonna cry on the inside. If I have to bleed, I’ll bruise. If my heart starts going crazy, I’m not gonna tell everyone in the world about it. It doesn’t help anything. It just makes everyone’s life worse."
Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close