Resonating Quotes

I am 214 pages into Jane Fonda's autobiography. There are always quotes I strongly identify with in autobiographies. No matter how different someone else's life is from mine, underneath the details are feelings and reflections I share with the author. Some of what I've read this past week has been especially meaningful because of the timing.

"Not that there weren't happy times, but pain engraves a deeper memory." (p129)

"His vices together with my black-belt co-dependency (put up with everything -- make it better) would bring us both grief." (p148)

"You can't look for something you don't know exists." (p148)

"Why had I not paid more attention and taken action sooner? ... I think it had to do with giving up comfort -- and I don't mean material comfort. I mean the comfort that ignorance provides. Once you connect with the painful truth of something, you then own the pain and must take responsibility for it through action. Of course, there are people who see and then choose to turn away, but then one becomes an accomplice. In Galileo, Bertolt Brecht wrote, 'He who doesn't know is an ignoramus. He who knows and keeps quiet is a scoundrel.' I'm a lot of things, but a scoundrel isn't one of them." (p197)

I love that last quote. I have made many decisions in the last ten years based on my unwillingness to be an accomplice to wrong through indifference. For all of the mistakes I have no doubt made, I am not guilty of apathy or choosing ignorance. I've watched a lot of other people make different choices and I've never been able to understand it except that it enables a person to maintain their personal comfort zone.

I experience tremendous internal conflict over injustice done to others. My convictions upset my comfort zone enough to make indifference and/or ignorance the intolerable and impossible choices.

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