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'Zusya, why were you not Zusya?' (quotes)

“Rabbi Zusya of Hanipol used to say, ‘If they ask me in the next world, ‘Why were you not Moses?’ I will know the answer. But if they ask me, ‘Why were you not Zusya?’ I will have nothing to say.”
Martin Buber. Quoted by Ronald S. Miller and the editors of the New Age Journal. As Above, So Below: Paths to Spiritual Renewal in Daily Life. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1992. p. 28.

“My best answer to the question ‘Are you Sam Keen?’ is ‘Not yet.’”
Sam Keen. In the Absence of God: Dwelling in the Presence of the Sacred. New York: Harmony Books, 2010. p. 118.

"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."
Anna Quindlen, quoted in Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Center City, Minn.: Hazelden Publishing, 2010.

"Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself."
William Faulkner, quoted in the AP, quoted in The Week, May 27, 2011, p. 19.

“Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.”
Gloria Steinem, quoted in Elle.com. The Week, April 11, 2014. p. 15.

"Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world. If you do so, you are insulting yourself."
Bill Gates, quoted in United Press International, quoted in The Week, Feb. 5, 2016. p. 19.

"I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do."
Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Center City, Minn.: Hazelden Publishing, 2010.

“But we must not lose our focus on envy as such. As we have just seen, it is a special form of preoccupation with self, but it is anything but solipsistic or narcissistic. It is essentially and intensely comparative. This is what distinguishes it from greed. Greed is directed toward that which I wish to possess. Envy is directed toward the one who possesses what I wish to possess. We acknowledge this without noticing when we say, not I envy her good looks, but I envy her her good looks. Where simple greed is at issue, I can be satisfied merely by coming to possess. But if it is a case of envy my possession must be at your expense.”
Merold Westphal. God, Guilt, and Death: An Existential Phenomenology of Religion. (1984) Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1987. p. 67.

“To be yourself is very difficult, because you think that what you are is ignoble, and that if you could only change what you are into something noble it would be marvelous; but that never happens. Whereas, if you look at what you actually are and understand it, then in that very understanding there is a transformation. … Envy arises because I want to change myself and become like somebody else. But if I say, 'Whatever I am, that I want to understand,' then envy is gone…"
J. Krishnamurti. Think on These Things. ed. by D. Rajagopal. New York: Perennial, 1964. pp. 20, 130.

”It wasn’t a particular habit or virtue, Lax decided, that made you you. It was something more like a cool that seemed to be yours — something simple, indelible, given, and true.”
Michael N. McGregor. Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax. Fordham University Press, 2015.

"All my gifts and gaps and efforts coalesce and coagulate — to use alchemical language — into the unique individual I am. Nicholas of Cusa wrote to a man named Giuliano, 'All things Giulianize in you.'"
Thomas Moore. Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life. (1992) New York: HarperPerennial, 1994. p. 261.

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