“Judgments keep us from building a stronger tribe...or from having a tribe in the first place. Our judgment prohibits us from beautiful, life-affirming friendships. Our judgment keeps us from connecting in deeper, richer ways because we’re too stuck on the surface-level assumptions we’ve made.”
“It’s remarkable how a stereotype functions as an actual trap. How many “angry black women” have been caught in the circular logic of that phrase? When you aren’t being listened to, why wouldn’t you get louder? If you’re written off as angry or emotional, doesn’t that just cause more of the same?”
“Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make — bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake — if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble.”
“I sometimes wonder if anyone will ever understand what I mean, if anyone will ever overlook my ingratitude and not worry about whether or not I’m Jewish and merely see me as a teenager badly in need of some good, plain fun.”
“Yet she appeared confident in innocence and did not tremble, although gazed on and execrated by thousands, for all the kindness which her beauty might otherwise have excited was obliterated in the minds of the spectators by the imagination of the enormity she was supposed to have committed.”
To owe life to a malefactor . . . to be, in spite of himself, on a level with a fugitive from justice . . . to betray society in order to be true to his own conscience; that all these absurdities . . . should accumulate on himself—this is what prostrated him.
“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. ‘Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,’ he told me, ‘just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.’”
“And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.”