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  • We're no longer young men. We've lost any desire to conquer the world. We are refugees. We are fleeing from ourselves. From our lives. We were eighteen years old, and we had just begun to love the world and to love being in it; but we had to shoot at it. The first shell to land went straight for our hearts. We've been cut off from real action, from getting on, from progress. We don't believe in those things any more; we believe in the war.
    (Erich Maria Remarque, "All Quiet on the Western Front")
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  • Where did you get the idea you aren't allowed to petition the universe with prayer? You are part of this universe, Liz. You're a constituent--you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So, put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me--it will at least be taken into consideration.
    (Elizabeth Gilbert, "Eat, Pray, Love")
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  • I have since often observed, how incongruous and irrational the common temper of mankind is, especially of youth ... that they are not ashamed to sin, and yet are ashamed to repent; not ashamed of the action for which they ought justly to be esteemed fools, but are ashamed of the returning, which only can make them be esteemed wise men.
    (Daniel Defoe, "Robinson Crusoe")
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  • Matthew kept hinting that his desire - for blood, chiefly- was so strong that it put everything else at risk. But vampires weren't the only creatures who had to manage such strong impulses. Much of what qualified as magic was simply desire in action. Witchcraft was different- that took spells and rituals. But magic? A wish, a need, a hunger too strong to be denied- these could turn into deeds when they cross a witch's mind.
    (Deborah Harkness, "A Discovery of Witches")
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  • If you are deemed insane, then all actions that would oherwise prove you are not do, in actuality, fall into the framework of an insane person's actions. Your sound protests constitute denial. Your valid fears are deemed paranoia. Your survival instincts are labeled defense mechanisms. It's a no-win situation. It's a death penalty really.
    (Dennis Lehane, "Shutter Island")
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  • It is a better world. A place where we ate responsible for our actions, where we can be kind to one another because we want to and becauseit is the right thing to do instead of being frightened into behaving by the threat of divine punishment.
    (Christopher Paolini, "Eldest")
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  • Condoms ribbed for extrasensitivity. The last thing I need is extrasensitivity. Here are condoms lined with a topical anesthetic for prolonged action. What a paradox. You don't feel a thing, but you can fuck for hours. This seems to really miss the point. I want my whole life lined with a topical anesthetic.
    (Chuck Palahniuk, "Survivor")
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  • This is passive-aggression in action.
    (Chuck Palahniuk, "Survivor")
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  • Self satisfaction alone cannot determine if a desire or action is positive or negative. The demarcation between a positive and a negative desire or action is not whether it gives you a immediate feeling of satisfaction, but whether it ultimately results in positive or negative consequences.
    (Dalai Lama, "The Art of Happiness")
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  • There was a man who was worthless, and knew he was worthless, and yet however far down he tried to sink his soul, there was always some part of him capable of great action.
    (Cassandra Clare, "Clockwork Angel")
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  • But Natural Selection, as we shall hereafter see, is a power incessantly ready for action, and is immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art.
    (Charles Darwin, "The Origin of Species")
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  • A display of indifference to all the actions and passions of mankind was not supposed to be such a distinguished quality at that time, I think, as I have observed it to be considered since. I have known it very fashionable indeed. I have seen it displayed with such success, that I have encountered some fine ladies and gentlemen who might as well have been born caterpillars.
    (Charles Dickens, "David Copperfield")
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  • It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot.
    (Charlotte Bronte, "Jane Eyre")
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  • Confucius is like the Torah, rules to follow. And Lao-Tzu is even more conservative, saying that if you do nothing you won't break any rules. You have to let tradition fall sometime, you have to take action, you have to eat bacon.
    (Christopher Moore, "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal")
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  • Calvin: Life's a lot more fun when you aren't responsible for your actions.
    (Bill Watterson, "The Complete Calvin and Hobbes")
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