Sacrifice was nine tenths of parenting.
More Quotes from Zadie Smith:Greeting cards routinely tell us everyone deserves love. No. Everyone deserves clean water. Not everyone deserves love all of the time.
It wasn't like the spare rooms of immigrants - packed to the rafters with all that they have ever possessed, no matter how defective or damaged, mountains of odds and ends - the stand testament to the fact that they have things now, where before they had nothing.
If religion is the opiate of the people, tradition is an even more sinister analgesic, simply because it rarely appears sinister. If religion is a tight band, a throbbing vein, and a needle, tradition is a far homelier concoction: poppy seeds ground into tea; a sweet cocoa drink laced with cocaine; the kind of thing your grandmother might have made.
And the sins of the Eastern father shall be visited upon the Western sons. Often taking their time, stored up in the genes like baldness or testicular carcinoma, but sometimes on the very same day.
Because immigrants have always been particularly prone to repetition - it's something to do with that experience of moving from West to East or East to West or from island to island. Even when you arrive, you're still going back and forth; your children are going round and round. There's no proper term for it - original sin seems too harsh; maybe original trauma would be better.
Generally, women can't do this, but men retain the ancient ability to leave a family and a past. They just unhook themselves, like removing a fake beard, and skulk discreetly back into society, changed men. Unrecognizable.
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The Jews and the Arabs should settle their dispute in the true spirit of Christian charity.