“The important thing about despair is never to give up, never wrap up and put away a sterile life, but somehow keep it open. Because you never can know what’s coming; never. That’s the great thing about life, the crucial thing to remember. You may beat your fists on a stone wall for years and years, and every consideration of common sense will say it’s hopeless, forget it, spare yourself; and then one day your bleeding hand will go through as if the wall were theatrical gauze; you’ll be in another realm where birds are singing and love is possible, and you’d have missed it if you’d given up, because it might be only that one day the wall was not stone.” — Allen Wheelis
” As long as there is injustice, whenever a Targathian baby cries out, wherever a distress signal sounds among the stars, we’ll be there. This fine ship, this fine crew. Never give up… and never surrender! ” — Jason Nesmith
“Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.” — Jane Addams
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” — Anne Lamott
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
— Harriet Beecher Stowe
“Never cease loving a person, and never give up hope for him, for even the prodigal son who had fallen most low, could still be saved; the bitterest enemy and also he who was your friend could again be your friend.” — Soren Kierkegaard
“Oh, you weak, beautiful people who give up with such grace. What you need is someone to take hold of you — gently, with love, and hand your life back to you.” — Tennessee Williams
“Americans have a special horror of giving up control, of letting things happen in their own way without interference. They would like to jump down into their stomachs and digest the food and shovel the shit out.”
— William S. Burroughs
Giving up isn’t bad… just releasing to start again — Personal Tao
Give up sainthood, renounce wisdom,
And it will be a hundred times better for everyone.
Give up kindness, renounce morality,
And men will rediscover filial piety and love.
Give up ingenuity, renounce profit,
And bandits and thieves will disappear.
These three are outward forms alone; they are not sufficient in themselves.
It is more important
To see the simplicity,
To realize one’s true nature,
To cast off selfishness
And temper desire.
— Ta Te Ching, 19
Sometimes we’re afraid of giving up, sometimes we give up because we are afraid. The wisdom comes in knowing the difference. Are you acting out of desire, or out of knowing the rightness of your actions? Giving up desire can be a good thing. Releasing control can be a good thing. If giving up on something makes you feel badly, though, it might be important to keep going. Tao asks us to flow like water. Water is persistent, and tries to keep flowing somehow. But if it stopped, it can turn into a calm lake. Gather enough of it, it is a great ocean. If it is penned up, it can turn into a raging torrent, wearing down anything in its path. If it is controlled, it can generate immense power. It can be a gentle rain, or a damaging flood. It is essential to life, or it can destroy life. Water can be channeled into a useful force, or become a destructive one. The choice is really ours to make.