In No Cure for Being Human, Kate Bowler searches for a way forward as she mines the wisdom (and absurdity) of today’s “best life now” advice industry, which insists on exhausting positivity and on trying to convince us that we can out-eat, out-learn, and out-perform our humanness.
We are, she finds, as fragile as the day we were born.
With dry wit and unflinching honesty, Kate Bowler grapples with her diagnosis, her ambition, and her faith as she tries to come to terms with her limitations in a culture that says anything is possible.
Scroll down and read 30 quotes from No Cure for Being Human by Kate Bowler.
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Quotes from No Cure for Being Human by Kate Bowler
- I want to believe I’m independent, but I am caught in a web, and every choice I make pulls at its threads.
- I look around me and I think, these are the choices I’ve made. The people I’ve loved. No matter how fleeting this was, I need them to believe: everything mattered. This life was enough.
- History is made by people who stared, blinking, into the uncertain future. Their paths were not lit before them by sacred meteors. For most of us, this sounds like good news. We choose and choose and choose again.
- This is what happens to all of us. We fall ill. We get old. We can’t have that baby or keep that relationship. We missed our chance to go to this school or take that job. Our parents die before we know them, and our kids forget our love. We lose people before we can learn to live without them.
But the truth is somewhere inside of me: there is no formula. We live and we are loved and we are gone.
- Good or bad, I will not get what I deserve. Nothing will exempt me from the pain of being human.
- We like to imagine that we are starring in an extended morality play where lessons are learned and the hero never dies. But, in fact, we must make do with the fact that there will be weddings and funerals again this year, and everyone will still spend most of their evenings watching Netflix.
- The great triumph of the “best life now” paradigm was that it neatly summarized the promises of an entire American wellness industry: everything is possible if you will only believe.
- While I believe that there may be rich meaning at every crossroad in our lives—each meeting and departure, car accident or chance encounter—I do not believe that God will provide for every need or prevent every sorrow.
It had not occurred to me, until now, that life’s wide road narrows to a dot on the horizon.
- Harness your mind to change your circumstances. The salvation of health and wealth and happiness is only a decision away.
- We have made bucket lists into a new form of experiential capitalism. Hang gliding. Snorkeling. Times Square on New Year’s Eve and Paris in the spring. A successful life is one that can be completed.
- But it is much easier to count items than to know what counts.
- Living in the moment can make us careless and materialistic, selfish and prone to wanton acts of never taking a multivitamin. Why recycle? Why save for retirement? Tomorrow is nothing but happiness deferred.
Everybody pretends that you only die once. But that’s not true. You can die to a thousand possible futures in the course of a single, stupid life.
- But in this digital age of exhaustion and distraction, the ability to be present-minded has become a rare and valuable commodity.
- In this new strain of heroic individualism, people master the world by conquering their own inner worlds.
- Time is a circle, the Christian story goes. It focuses on an image of God as the ultimate reality beyond time and space, the creator of a past, present, and future where all exists simultaneously in the Divine Mind.
- In my finite life, the mundane has begun to sparkle. The things I love—the things I should love—become clearer, brighter.
Burdened by the past, preoccupied by the present, or worried about the future, I had failed to appreciate the inestimable gift of a single minute.
- Moments like these feel transcendent, the past and the future experienced together in moments where I can see a flicker of eternity. Time is not an arrow anymore, and heaven is not tomorrow. It’s here, for a second, when I could drown in the beauty of what I have but also what may never be.
- The terrible gift of a terrible illness is that it has, in fact, taught me to live in the moment. Nothing but this day matters
- It takes great courage to live. Period. There are fears and disappointments and failures every day, and, in the end, the hero dies. It must be cinematic to watch us from above.
- So often we are defined by the troubles we live with, rather than the things we conquer.
- If we are lucky, we see God in something really mysterious, like a miracle. But mostly we see God in regular surprises like love and forgiveness.
- Sometimes the body is a weight pulling you all the way down. And it’s hard to love the stone that drowns you.
- Our lives are not problems to be solved. We can have meaning and beauty and love, but nothing even close to resolution.
- Someday we won’t need to hope. Someday we don’t need courage. Time itself will be wrapped up with a bow, and God will draw us all into the eternal moment where there will be no suffering, no disease, no email.
- All of our masterpieces, ridiculous. All of our striving, unnecessary. All of our work, unfinished, unfinishable. We do too much, never enough, and are done before we’ve even started. It’s better this way.
Time really is a circle; I can see that now. We are trapped between a past we can’t return to and a future that is uncertain. And it takes guts to live here, in the hard space between anticipation and realization.