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Lisa Unger

  • Kindness, I think, comes from learning hard lessons well, from falling and picking yourself up. It comes from surviving failure and loss. It implies an understanding of the human condition, forgives its many flaws and quirks.

  • My uncle Max was a mountain, a shooting star, a big bear of a man, a piggyback ride waiting to happen, his pockets full of candy and, later money, or whatever the particular currency of our ages happened to be. He was rock concerts, baseball games, he was yes when my parents were no, he was a consolation for every disappointment.

  • We can't hold on to anyone or anything, you know. We lose everything except that which we carry within us.

  • Judgment is such a useful shield, isn't it? We can hide behind it, rise above others on its crest, keep ourselves safe and separate.

  • It must be the ultimate punishment, don't you think, to finally gain wisdom, only to realize that the consequences of your actions are irrevocable?

  • Once you've started down that road to self-discovery, no matter how treacherous the path before you, you can't turn back. The universe doesn't allow it.

  • We may say we're looking for love, following dreams, chasing the dollar, but aren't we just looking for a place where we belong? A place where our thoughts, feelings, and fears are understood?

  • Denial: my family heritage. If you don't ask the questions, the truth will never inconvenience you.

  • I don't believe in mistakes. Never have. I believe that there are a multitude of paths before us and it's just a matter of which way we walk home. I don't believe in regret. If you regret things about your life, than I'll bet that you're not paying attention. Regret is just imagining that you know what would have happened if you took that job in California or married your high-school sweetheart or just looked one more time before you stepped out into the street ... or didn't. But you don't know; you can't possibly know.

  • Hope is good. Without it, well, you do the math. But hope has to be like a prayer. Putting it out there to something more powerful than yourself.

  • ... anyone who used the word hip probably wasn't.

  • Isn't it funny how the people least impacted by tragedy are the most eager to move on?

  • Once we've started on the road to truth, there's no turning back. The Universe doesn't like secrets.

  • You can cut the ties that bind but not without losing a part of yourself. You can walk away and hide from the people who made you, but you'll always hear them calling your name.

  • Many people believe that evil is the presence of something. I think it's the absence of something.

  • I think that's the moment when we all grow up, when we stop blaming our parents for the messes we've made out of our lives and start owning the consequences of our actions.

  • A child who's been injured by a parent waits her whole life for some acknowledgment of the wrong that's been done, some validation from him that her pain is real, that he's sorry and will make amends. The child will wait forever, unable to move forward, unable to forgive, without someone to acknowledge the past. In that powerlessness comes a terrible rage.

  • ... you cannot hope for change in others, you can only work toward it in yourself. And that's hard work.

  • More than anything else, resentment was the death of love. It killed slowly.

Lisa Unger, U.S. writer

(1970)