56. “To dispatch one’s friends to a dictionary from time to time is one of the more sophisticated pleasures of life, but it is one that must be indulged in sparingly: to do it too often may result in accusations of having swallowed one’s own dictionary, which is not a compliment, whichever way one looks at it.”
58. “We can’t afford to be without God,” Feliks continued. “Even if he doesn’t exist, we have to hold on to him. Because if we don’t, then how are we to convince ourselves that we have to go on with this fight? If you take God out of it, then right and justice become small, human things. And weak things, too.”
61. “The realisation of our mortality came slowly, in dribs and drabs, until we bleakly acknowledged that everything was on loan to us for a short time – the world, our possessions, the people we knew and loved. But we could not spend our time dwelling on our mortality; we still had to behave as if the worst would not happen, for otherwise we would not do very much, we would be defeated and give up.”
63. “Not all taxi drivers, Paul had discovered, actually wanted to take passengers to their destination; some of them, he felt, were in it for the arguments, or the opportunity to pontificate, or for the sheer pleasure of driving past those trying to summon them at the road edge. He made up his mind. What was the point of having a bulldozer if you were not going to make at least some use of it?”
65. “The problem, of course, was that people did not seem to understand the difference between right and wrong. They needed to be reminded about this, because if you left it to them to work out for themselves, they would never bother. They would just find out what was best for them, and then they would call that the right thing. That’s how most people thought.”
66. “I was staying in a house beside the machair. In front of this house was a stretch of lawn, and at the edge of the lawn there was a river. By the riverside, its door wide open, was a shed into which I wandered. Inside the shed was a large art nouveau typesetting machine. I was being called, and I turned away from my discovery of the typesetting machine to make my way back to the house and to our hostess. People in dreams do not always have names, but she did. She was called Mrs. MacGregor.”
67. “Africa was full of people in need of help and there had to be a limit. You simply could not help everybody; but you could at least help those who came into your life. That principle allowed you to deal with the suffering you saw. That was your suffering. Other people would have to deal with the suffering that they, in their turn, came across.”
71. “You might imagine that the magic stopped at the airport, and to a great extent it did. When we arrived back in London, the skies were overcast and heavy. The bus driver from the airport was morose and unkempt; the streets seemed run-down and dirty, the people sour-faced. But that, I suspect, is how coming home is for everyone; Parisians probably felt the same when they returned from somewhere else.”
76. “There were plenty of people who did not really believe in God, but who wanted to believe in him, and said that they did. Some people said that these people were foolish, that they were hypocritical, but Mma Ramotswe was not so sure about that. If something, or somebody, could help you to get through life, to lead a life that was good and purposeful, did it matter all that much if that thing or that person did not exist? She thought it did not – not in the slightest bit. BY.”
80. “Chance; pure chance. But chance was a dull explanation because it denied the possibility of the paranormal, and people were often disappointed by dull explanations. Mystery and the unknown were far more exciting because they suggested that our world was not quite as prosaic as we feared it might be. Yet we had to adjure those temptations because they lead to a world of darkness and fear.”
99. “He would sit down and consider the situation carefully. Not only did this help to identify the solution to the problem, but it also gave him the opportunity to remind himself that things were not really as bad as they seemed; it was all a question of perspective. Sitting down and looking up at the sky for a few minutes – not at any particular part of the sky, but just at the sky in general – at the vast, dizzying, empty sky of Botswana, cut human problems down to size.”
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