Forgiveness, Guilt, Compassion

infiltrating “In all that is to come, think on forgiveness. Hold to it, but know too that it must not always be freely given. Sometimes forgiveness must be denied.” p. 92

“Your guilt’s an endlessly rising tide, and that ego of yours is a levee and all you do is keep slapping fresh bricks on it. The wall gets higher and higher, and you’re looking down on the world from a lofty height – with a sneer.” p. 229

“Where resides the comforting knowledge of history’s vast, cyclical sweep, the ebb and flow of wars and of peace? Peace is the time of waiting for war. A time of preparation, or a time of willful ignorance, blind, blinkered, and prattling behind secure walls.” p. 240

“The position demanded both scholarly pursuits and military prowess. While many would hold the two disciplines as distinct, the truth was in fact the opposite. From histories and philosophies and religions came an understanding of human motivation, and motivation lay at the the heart of tactics and strategy. Just as people moved in patterns, so too did their thoughts. The position must predict, anticipate, and this applied to the potential actions of allies as well as enemies.” p. 249

“A soldier cannot be sent away without guidance, cannot be abandoned and left lost in something unrecognizable and indifferent to their lives. Remembrance and honouring the ineffable. What does he or she become? An entire future spent walking backward, eyes on the past – its horrors, its losses, its grief, its sheer heart-bursting living? The ritual is a turning round, a facing forward, a gentle and respectful hand like a guide on the shoulder.“ p. 316

Gods, I wish the world was full of passive, mewling women. On second thought, what a nightmare that’d be. It’s the job of a man to fan the spark into flames, not quench it.” p. 369

We humans do not understand compassion. In each moment of our lives, we betray it. Aye, we know of its worth, yet in knowing we then attach to it a value, we guard the giving of it, believing it must be earned. Compassion is priceless in the truest sense of the word. It must be given freely, in abundance.” p. 958

“I still want to know about old women dreaming up worlds!” p. 960

Memories of Ice, Steven Erikson, 2001

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