On Understanding

11 Apr

He put an arm around me, “I know”, “I know” he said. He didn’t know, of course. Not really. And yet, that was what he said, and I was soothed to hear it. For I know what he meant. We all have our sorrows, and although the exact delineaments, weight, and dimensions of our grief are different for everyone, the color of grief is common to us all. “I know,” he said, because he was human and in a way, he did.

-Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale


She had told him that she loved him because she thoroughly understood him, that she knew what he must love and that all that he loved, all of it, was good.

-Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina


The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

-Leonardo Da Vinci


I’ve always believed that a great novelist is able to see the entanglements of the human soul better than any psychiatrist.

-Elie Wiesel, Twilight


He smiled understandingly…it faced -or seemed to face- the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistable prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby



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