50 Books to Read Before You Die

words to inspire before you expire

Tag: Experience

“It seemed to Jack that if an ordinary human being, his own son, no one particular, could have this purity of mind, then perhaps, the isolated deeds of virtue at which people marveled in later life were not really isolated at all; perhaps they were the natural continuation of the innocent goodness that all people brought into the world at their birth. If this was true, then his fellow-human beings were not the rough, flawed creatures that most of them supposed. Their failings were not innate, but were the result of where they had gone wrong or been coarsened by their experiences; in their hearts they remained perfectible.”

—from Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

“[O]ut of my great pain, I had an illumination. It didn’t come in words; the words I attempted to fit to it were confused and caused the illumination itself to vanish. It seemed to me that men were born only to grow old, to live out their span, to acquire experience. Men lived to acquire experience; the quality of the experience was immaterial; pleasure and pain—and above all, pain—had no meaning; to possess pain was as meaningless as to chase pleasure.”

—from A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul