"Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back."
"You know what that reflects? Unsatisfied lives. Unfulfilled lives. Lives that haven't found meaning. Because if you’ve find meaning in your life, you don’t want to go back. You want to go forward."
"When you learn how to die, you learn how to live."
"Death ends a life, not a relationship."
"The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in."
"Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too - even when you’re in the dark. Even when you’re falling."
"When you're in bed, you're dead"
"Death: the only true emotion felt in an apathetic world"
"Love wins. Love always wins."
"As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed as ignorant as you were at twenty-two, you'd always be twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die, it's the positive that you understand you're going to die, and that you live a better life because of it."
"Love each other or perish."
"Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone."
"Don't hang on too long, but don't let go too soon."
"Without love, we are birds with broken wings."
"Is today the day? Am I ready? Am I doing all I need to do? Am I being the person I want to be?"
"If the culture doesn't work, don't buy it."
"If we can remember the feeling of love we once had, we can die without ever going away."
"What is it about silence that makes people uneasy?"
"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."
This is a story about a man named Eddie and it begins at the end, with Eddie dying in the sun. It might seem strange to start a story with an ending. But all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.
No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath a river.
How do people choose their final words? Do they realize their gravity? Are they fated to be wise?
In the stories about life and death, the soul often floats above the goodbye moment, hovering over police cars at highway accidents, or clinging like a spider to hospital room ceilings. These are people who receive a second chance, who somehow, for some reason, resume their place in the world. Eddie, it appeared, was not getting a second chance.
It might have seemed ridiculous to anyone watching, this white-haired maintenance worker, all alone, making like an airplane. But the running boy is inside every man, no matter how old he gets.
"Ah." The Blue Man nodded. "Well people often belittle the place where they were born. But heaven can be found in the most unlikely corners. And heaven itself has many steps. This, for me, is the second. And for you the first."
"Your voice will come. We all go through the same thing. You cannot talk when you first arrive." He smiled. "It helps you listen."
"There are five people you meet in heaven," the Blue Man suddenly said. "Each of us was in your life for a reason. You may not have known the reason at the time, and that is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth."
People think of heaven as a paradise garden, a place where they can float on clouds and laze in rivers and mountains. But scenery without solace is meaningless.
Young men go to war. Sometimes because they are have to, sometimes because they want to. Always, they feel they are supposed to. This comes from the sad, layered stories of life, which over the centuries have seen courage confused with picking up arms, and cowardice confused with laying them down.
Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to.
Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to somebody else.
All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.
Before he can devote himself to God or a woman, a boy will devote himself to his father, even foolishly, even beyond explanation.
Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on. They move away. The moments that used to define them - a mother's approval, a father's nod - are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.
Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.
Lines formed at Ruby Pier - just as a line formed someplace else: Five people, waiting, in five chosen memories, for a little girl named Amy or Annie to grow and to love and to age and to die, and to finally have her questions answered - why she lived and what she lived for. And in that line now was a whiskered old man, with a linen cap and a crooked nose, who waited in a place called the Stardust Band Shell to share his part of the secret of heaven: That each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.
"Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know."
"Life has to end." Marguerite said. "Love doesn't"
"All the people you meet here have one thing to teach you." Eddie was skeptical. His fists stayed clenched. "What?" he said. "That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind."
"Fairness doesn't govern life and death. If it did, no good man would ever die young."
"It is because the spirit knows deep down that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else. And in that small distance, lives are changed."
"One withers, another grows."
"Each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one."
"No life is a waste," the Blue Man said. "The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone."
"That's what heaven is. You get to make sense of your yesterdays."