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Attention

  • If one cannot command attention by one's admirable qualities at least one can be a nuisance.

  • Perhaps we wouldn't eat so much, or smoke, or drink so much if we were paying attention to ourselves. Perhaps we wouldn't talk so much if we were paying attention to each other. All these oral activities are trying to meet a need, and perhaps the greatest need is to be seen and heard.

  • I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.

  • In the intellectual order, the virtue of humility is nothing more nor less than the power of attention.

  • The authentic and pure values, truth, beauty, and goodness, in the activity of a human being are the result of one and the same act, a certain application of the full attention to the object. Teaching should have no aim but to prepare, by training the attention, for the possibility of such an act. All the other advantages of instruction are without interest.

  • Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.

  • Friendship ought to be a gratuitous joy, like the joys afforded by art, or life ...

  • ... prayer consists of attention. It is the orientation of all the attention of which the soul is capable towards God. The quality of the attention counts for much in the quality of the prayer. Warmth of heart cannot make up for it.

  • Those who are unhappy have no need for anything in this world but people capable of giving them their attention.

  • The highest ecstasy is the attention at its fullest.

  • Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.

    • Simone Weil,
    • in Simone Petrément, Simone Weil: A Life ()
  • It is better to be looked over than overlooked.

    • Mae West,
    • in Belle of the Nineties ()
  • Mostly every one is needing some one to be one listening to that one being one being one boasting.

  • I am doing something I learned early to do, I am / paying attention to small beauties, / whatever I have — as if it were our duty / to find things to love, to bind ourselves to this world.

  • To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.

    • Mary Oliver,
    • "Yes! No!" Owls and Other Fantasies ()
  • Most people would far rather be seen through than not be seen at all.

  • What holds my attention has my energy.

  • But the sensibility of the writer, whether fiction or poetry, comes from paying attention. I tell my students that writing doesn't begin when you sit down to write. It's a way of being in the world, and the essence of it is paying attention.

    • Julia Alvarez,
    • in Passion and Craft: Conversations With Notable Writers ()
  • ... the truth of a life really has little to do with its quality. The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.

  • To feel as well as hear what someone says requires whole attention.

  • ... life is denied by lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece.

    • Nadia Boulanger,
    • in Nadia Boulanger and Bruno Monsaingeon, Mademoiselle: Conversations With Nadia Boulanger ()
  • ... no matter who you are, your joie de vivre mostly derives from paying attnetion to someone or something that interests you.

  • Our political scene is more volatile and given to sudden switches and memory lapses bordering on soap-opera-type amnesia (epidemic, total and terminal) than any other I know of. We are fickle and we are insatiable in our appetite for new news, new issues, new biases, new clichés ... It's not just (as another cliché, lifted from Andy Warhol, has it) that individuals all seem to get their 15 minutes of celebrity in this country; everything gets only 15 minutes.

  • Attention is a silent and perpetual flattery.

  • Interest begets interest ...

    • Valerie White,
    • in Ann Demarais and Valerie White, First Impressions ()
  • For lack of attention a thousand forms of loveliness elude us every day.

    • Evelyn Underhill,
    • "Sources of Power in Human Life," in Dana Greene, ed., Evelyn Underhill: Modern Guide to the Ancient Quest for the Holy ()