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  • You are discontented with the world because you can't get just the small things that suit your pleasure, not because it's a world where myriads of men and women are ground by wrong and misery, and tainted with pollution.

  • Grandmother belongs to the generation of women who were satisfied to have men retain their vices, if they removed their hats.

  • I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.

  • ... nothing is more common than to mistake the sign for the thing itself; nor is any practice more frequent than that of endeavoring to acquire the exterior mark, without once thinking to labor after the interior grace.

    • Hannah More,
    • "True and False Meekness," Essays on Various Subjects ()
  • Live in your roots, not in your branches.

    • Nancy Willard,
    • "Close Encounters of the Story Kind," A Nancy Willard Reader ()
  • The shallow teapot does the most spouting, and boils dry most quickly!

  • How ruthless we are when we live on the surface of life!

  • ... most of our social and educational institutions are designed to weed out or make over people ... until we produce a world where everyone is a smart, quick-witted, aggressive person living on the surface of the mind without ever looking into the depths.

  • Deep down, I'm pretty superficial.

  • In these days people take up with each other and drop each other too easily. Pleasure is practiced like a sport, and the easy game of love leads to the dissolution of the feeling of love.

  • ... there are people who are born superficial ... They prefer not to have to deal with more than a limited number of oversimplified ideas — they prefer the book reviews to the books, the headlines and the leading paragraph to the full report, the generalization to the facts, and the negative to the positive.

  • Experience had taught her that people seldom wanted to know very much about anything. They wanted short and simple explanations. Sound bites. Surface gloss.

  • [The] clamor for personality stuff touched on an American phenomenon which is to demand that issues, influences, trends, great world movements, be dramatized in the guise of a handful of 'name' people. The tremendous social, psychological, economic, political forces that are on the move throughout the world today must be served up to us in the forms and natures of Churchill, Roosevelt, Chiang Kai-shek, Stalin, the evil geniuses of Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo, for that is the only form in which they can catch our interest in the midst of the busy struggle for existence.

    • Vanya Oakes,
    • "Need for an International Outlook," White Man's Folly ()
  • Our masks, always in peril of smearing or cracking, in need of continuous checks in the mirror or silverware, keep us in thrall to ourselves, concerned with our surfaces.

  • In my art and life, I really strive to reverse the old adage that what you see is what you get. If I can be Coyote and practice my sneak-up, I can engage the viewers from a distance with one image and lure them in for exposure to another layer, which changes the initial view into quite a different reality. After all, that is what ethnic culture is all about — or even an ongoing relationship. What you see on the surface is never the same again one you begin to plumb the depths.

    • Jaune Quick-to-See Smith,
    • in Wilma Mankiller, Every Day Is a Good Day: Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women ()
  • Our shallow culture makes us people of great longing, for we are not always provided with opportunities to live out our most meaningful beliefs.

    • Doris Haddock,
    • with Dennis Burke, Granny D: Walking Across America in My 90th Year ()