Whatever our official pieties, deep down we all believe in lives. The sternest formalists are the loudest gossips, and if you ask a cultural-studies maven who believes in nothing but collective forces and class determinisms how she came to believe in this doctrine, she will begin to tell you, eagerly, the story of her life.
[T]he relentless note of incipient hysteria, the invitation to panic, the ungrounded scenarios--the overwhelming and underlying desire for something truly terrible to happen so that you could have something really hot to talk about--was still startling. We call disasters unimaginable, but all we do is imagine such things. That, you could conclude mordantly, is the real soundtrack of our time: the amplification of the self-evident toward the creation of paralyzing, preëmptive paranoia.
Oliver, success is usually a feeling of mere relief, where failure is pain. Happiness, you see, lies in neither, but in sticking to a daily ritual and becoming absorbed in something useful. When the war is over, even the greatest warriors do not exult. They go back to their garden or kitchen or library -- or school -- and resume life.(as said by Mrs. Pearson)