"For instance, ordinary people want to feel philosophically justified in hating evildoers and viewing them as the ultimate cause of their evil. This moral attitude is always vulnerable to our getting more information about causation—and in situations where the underlying causes of a person’s behavior become too clear, our feelings about their responsibility begin to shift. This is why I wrote that fully understanding the brain of a normal person would be analogous to finding an exculpatory tumor in it. I am not claiming that there is no difference between a normal person and one with impaired self-control. The former will be responsive to certain incentives and punishments, and the latter won’t. (And that is all the justification we need to resort to carrots and sticks or to lock incorrigibly dangerous people away forever.) But something in our moral attitude does change when we catch sight of these antecedent causes—and it should change. We should admit that a person is unlucky to be given the genes and life experience that doom him to psychopathy. Again, that doesn’t mean we can’t lock him up. But hating him is not rational, given a complete understanding of how he came to be who he is. Natural, yes; rational, no."
"Thinking is my fighting."
"I never felt open in any way. I would never impulsively ring people and assume that they’d want to see me, or just go ‘round. I always had to sit down and think very hard before I knocked on anybody’s door. And consequently, I never really knocked."
"Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves."
"All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair."
"I’m never gonna wait that extra twenty minutes to text you back, and I’m never gonna play hard to get when I know your life has been hard enough already. When we all know everyone’s life has been hard enough already, it’s hard to watch the game we make of love, like everyone’s playing checkers with their scars, saying checkmate whenever they get out without a broken heart."
"There is no single, unimpeachable word
for that vague sensation of something
moving away from you."
"You pretend to be a mistake."
"One day you’re going to see her holding hands with someone who took your chance. She won’t even notice you because she’s too busy laughing with the stupid jokes he makes. And it will burn your heart seeing that beautiful smile on her face and realizing that you’re not the reason anymore. And then it will finally hit you: it was her, it was always her."
"…when everything you do, you do too long, and do too late, you can’t expect to find the people still there. The people all are gone."