Nonetheless, do I have respect for people who believe in the hereafter? Of course I do. I might add, perhaps even a touch of envy too, because of the solace.
People are ready to say, 'Yes, we are ready for single-payer health insurance.' We are the only industrialized country in the world that does not have national health insurance. We are the richest in wealth and the poorest in health of all the industrial nations.
So people are ready. I feel hopeful in that sense.
That's why I wrote this book: to show how these people can imbue us with hope. I read somewhere that when a person takes part in community action, his health improves. Something happens to him or to her biologically. It's like a tonic.
We are the most powerful nation in the world, but we're not the only nation in the world. We are not the only people in the world. We are an important people, the wealthiest, the most powerful and, to a great extent, generous. But we are part of the world.
With optimism, you look upon the sunny side of things. People say, 'Studs, you're an optimist.' I never said I was an optimist. I have hope because what's the alternative to hope? Despair? If you have despair, you might as well put your head in the oven.
All the other books ask, 'What's it like?' What was World War II like for the young kid at Normandy, or what is work like for a woman having a job for the first time in her life? What's it like to be black or white?
I was born in the year the Titanic sank. The Titanic went down, and I came up. That tells you a little about the fairness of life.
I want a language that speaks the truth.
You know, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely? It's the same with powerlessness. Absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely. Einstein said everything had changed since the atom was split, except the way we think. We have to think anew.
Doris Lessing: We simply have no idea of Chicago.. We never think of you as being on a lake, or of the city being beautiful. We think about the gangsters. You do still have gangsters, don't you? Terkel: Yes, but these days they're mostly in business, or politics.
I thought, if ever there were a time to write a book about hope, it's now.
Why are we born? We're born eventually to die, of course. But what happens between the time we're born and we die? We're born to live. One is a realist if one hopes.
Someone who does an act. In a democratic society, you're supposed to be an activist; that is, you participate. It could be a letter written to an editor.
Something was still there, that something that distinguishes an artist from a performer: the revealing of self. Here I be. Not for long, but here I be. In sensing her mortality, we sensed our own.