Even if you’re not someone who studied creative writing or even excelled in English, you know when you encounter good fiction. Good writing says something true about life, it makes you take a harder look at yourself, at your beliefs, and it crops up again and again to force you to confront those things again.
These people were floored by these 15 quotes from fiction, and reading through them just might leave a mark on you, too.
15. It’s just life.
“It is possible to make no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness; that is life.”
– Captain Picard
I think this is most critical to understand with regard to others.
It’s important to understand this regarding yourself, but it’s also easier to incorporate all context in judgments of yourself. You should forgive yourself for failures and that might take some cognitive effort, but you were also present for the whole situation and know all the facts.
It can be harder, but no less important, to be compassionate to others when they fail, because you may not have all the context for it. And when you don’t have all the context, it’s tempting to write off others’ failures as them just not doing the right things or having the right motivations or whatever. Essentially an extension of the fundamental attribution error.
You can see this all over the internet. Post any story/picture/video/whatever about yourself (or someone else) failing and people will come from all corners of the world to tell you how you did this or that wrong and how the failure was all your fault and how they’ve never had any problems because they were smart/strong/motivated/whatever enough to do things this other way.
14. Deep thoughts.
“Pride is not the opposite of shame, but its source. True humility is the only antidote to shame.”
- Uncle Iroh
13. On feelings.
A man’s emotions are what define him, control is the hallmark of true strength. To lack feeling is to be dead, but to act on every feeling is to be a child.
– Dalinar Kholin
12. A better place.
This is the quote that stuck with me the most: Aang and Iroh were slowly walking together while descending a tunnel, earthbending in front of them as they went, with the intent to reach an underground cave complex to rescue Katara and Zuko. (At this point in the series, Zuko had never been anything but an antagonist to Aang, and because Iroh is Zuko’s uncle, the two hadn’t ever had a real talk.)
Aang: “So, Toph thinks you give pretty good advice… and great tea.”
Iroh: “The key to both is proper aging. What’s on your mind?”
Aang: “Well, I met with this guru who was supposed to help me master the Avatar State and control this great power. But to do it, I had to let go of someone I love… and I just couldn’t.”
Iroh: “Perfection and power are overrated. I think you are very wise to choose happiness and love.”
Aang: “What happens if we can’t save anyone and beat Azula? Without the Avatar State, what if I’m not powerful enough?”
Iroh: “I do not know the answer. Sometimes, life is like this dark tunnel. You can’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you just keep moving…”
(Natural light shines through cracks in the stones in front of them as the tunnel gives way to a large cavern complex full of glowing green crystals…)
Iroh, smiling: “You will come to a better place.”
11. Be curious, not judgemental.
“Guys have underestimated me my entire life. And for years, I never understood why. It used to really bother me. But then one day, I was driving my little boy to school and I saw this quote by Walt Whitman, and it was painted on the wall there. It said, “Be curious, not judgmental.” I like that.
So I get back in my car and I’m driving to work, and all of a sudden it hits me. All them fellas that used to belittle me, not a single one of them were curious. You know, they thought they had everything all figured out. So they judged everything, and they judged everyone. And I realized that their underestimating me… who I was had nothing to do with it.”
10. We all grieve differently.
“You mistake my choice not to feel as a reflection of my not caring, while I assure you the truth is precisely the opposite.”
9. More Ted Lasso.
“And I knew right then and there that I was never gonna let anybody get by me without understanding they might be hurting inside, you know. ‘Cause life … it’s hard. It’s real hard.”
8. Take the next step.
“But if we stop, if we accept the person we are when we fall, the journey ends. That failure becomes our destination. To love the journey is to accept no such end. I have found, through painful experience, that the most important step a person can take is always the next one.”
– Dalinar Kholin, Oathbringer
7. Some people have to go.
“I think there are people that help you become the person that you end up being and you can be grateful for them even if they were never meant to be in your life forever”
– Diane Nguyen, Bojack Horseman
6. The hard part.
“Every day, it gets a little easier. But you have to do it every day, that’s the hard part. But it does get easier.”
5. Simple acts.
“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I have found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… simple acts of kindness and love.”
“There’s some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
4. That’ll make you think.
“What makes a man like Ringo, Doc? What makes him do the things he does?”
“A man like Ringo has got a great big hole, right in the middle of him. He can never kill enough, or steal enough, or inflict enough pain to ever fill it.”
“What does he need?”
3. Not exactly uplifting.
She was the kind of girlfriend God gives you young, so you’ll know loss the rest of your life.
– Oscar Wao
2. This will help you SO much.
“People aren’t thinking about you the way that you’re thinking about you.”
– Alexis Rose
1. The great beyond.
PIPPIN: I didn’t think it would end this way.
GANDALF: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.
PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?
GANDALF: White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.
PIPPIN: Well, that isn’t so bad.
GANDALF: No. No, it isn’t.
I can see that I need to view/read some of these right away.
What’s the fictional quote that’s made the biggest impact on you? Please share it with us in the comments!