"All the time when I speak to you, even now, I’m saying not precisely what I think, but what I think will impress you and make you respond. That’s so even between us —- and how much more it’s so when there are stronger motives for deception. In fact, one’s so used to this one hardly sees it. The whole language is a machine for making falsehoods."
— Iris Murdoch, from her (pre-internet) novel Under the Net
"Why should you think it’s a good thing to do? Why should it make you any happier? There isn’t one kind of happiness, there’s all kinds. Decision is torment for anyone with imagination. When you decide, you multiply the things you might have done and now never can. If there’s even one person who might be hurt by a decision, you should never make it. They tell you, make up your mind or it will be too late, but if it’s really too late, we should be grateful."
— Penelope Fitzgerald, from Offshore
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
— Eleanor Roosevelt