„The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care.
I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You're right. Fine.'
I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries--I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that's someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research.
Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery.
To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be.
Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit.
So, I believed.“
— Лэнс Армстронг, It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life
„I loved you so much once. I did. More than anything in the whole wide world. Imagine that. What a laugh that is now. Can you believe it? We were so intimate once upon a time I can't believe it now. The memory of being that intimate with somebody. We were so intimate I could puke. I can't imagine ever being that intimate with somebody else. I haven't been.“
— Raymond Carver American short story author and poet 1938 - 1988
Where I'm Calling From: New and Selected Stories
„I've always been an ironic dreamer, unfaithful to my inner promises.
Like a complete outsider, a casual observer of whom I thought I was,
I've always enjoyed watching my daydreams go down in defeat.
I was never convinced of what I believed in.
I filled my hands with sand, called it gold, and opened them up to let it slide through.
Words were my only truth.
When the right words were said, all was done; the rest was the sand that had always been.“
— Fernando Pessoa Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher and philosopher 1888 - 1935
The Book of Disquiet
— Arnold Schwarzenegger actor, businessman and politician of Austrian-American heritage 1947
Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story
— Bram Stoker Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula 1847 - 1912
— Amy Lee American singer-songwriter and pianist 1981
„I don't care what you do to me, but I don't want you to hurt me. I've had enough hurt already in my life. More than enough. Now I want to be happy.“
— Haruki Murakami Japanese author, novelist 1949
„And once again I believe that nothing that's important really becomes lost. We just delude ourselves, thinking that we own the things, the moments and the others. Still with me are all the dead persons who I loved, all the friends who turned away, all the happy days that faded. I lost nothing but the illusion that everything could be mine forever.“
— Miguel Sousa Tavares Portuguese writer 1952
„It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.“
— Anne Frank victim of the Holocaust and author of a diary 1929 - 1945
The Diary of a Young Girl
„I went deep inside myself. I had time to explore my beliefs and because of that I'm stronger.
Bob Marley (March 1981)“
— Bob Marley Jamaican singer, songwriter, musician 1945 - 1981
— George Carlin American stand-up comedian 1937 - 2008