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A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League

Ron Suskind

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Nonetheless, the fact remains; he had hope in a better world he could not yet see that overwhelmed the cries of "you can't" or "you won't" or "why bother." More than anything else, mastering that faith, on cue, is what separated him from his peers, and distinguishes him from so many people in these literal, sophisticated times. It has made all the difference.”

“Choose your words meticulously and then let them rumble up from some deep furnace of conviction.”

“You are livin’,” she says in feigned exasperation. “You just don’t see what I see. You got something special. Something you got from your ma. It’s a thing. I mean, I wish I had it. It’s this thing where you know what it’s going to take, and then you get it done. You push yourself and you get there.”

“A boy, if he's lucky, discovers his limitations across a leisurely passage of years, with a self-awareness arriving slowly. That way, at least he has plenty of time to heroically imagine himself first. Most boys unfold in this natural, measured way, growing up with at least one adult on the scene who can convincingly fake being all-powerful, omniscient, and unfailingly protective for a kid's first decade or so, providing an invaluable canopy of reachable stars and monsters that are comfortably make-believe.”

“Trust is something you have to practice. Someday you're going to fall in love with someone, and you need to understand what trust is all about. What you doing now is developing bad practices of betraying people's trust.”

“The key is to put your outrage in a place where you can get it when you need to, but not have it bubble up so much, especially when you're asked to explain new ideas or explain what you observed two people who share none of your experiences.”

“Reaching out to any fellow ghetto kids is an act he puts in the same category as doing drugs: the initial rush of warmth and euphoria puts you on a path to ruin.”

“Once they arrive, affirmative action kids are generally left to sink or swim academically. Brown (University) offers plenty of counseling and tutoring to struggling students, but, as any academic Dean will tell you, it's up to the students to seek it out, something that a drowning minority student will seek to avoid at all costs, fearing it will trumpet a second-class status.”

“He was confronted at an early age with adult-strength realizations about powerlessness, desperation, and distrust, taking his dose right alongside the overwhelmed adults. This steady stream of shocks and realizations leaves so many boys raised in poor, urban areas stumbling toward manhood with a hardened exterior masking deep insecurities.”

“It's exciting to work with the kids so devoid of irony, so unguarded. And also terrifying.”

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Book Keywords:

persuasion, indignation, friendship, belief-in-self, communication, eloquence, success, connections, peer-pressure, crisis, hope, marriage, tutoring, hard-work, discipleship, education, determination, dating, perspective, outrage, vocabulary, leadership, poverty, relationships, parenthood, faith, affirmative-action, mentoring

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