"Inside each of us is a monster; inside each of us is a saint. The real question is which one we nurture the most, which one will smite the other."
"Power isn't doing something terrible to someone who's weaker than you, Reiner. It's having the strength to do something terrible, and choosing not to."
"Sometimes all it takes to become human again is someone who can see you that way, no matter how you present on the surface."
"You'd be surprised how hard it is to get people to believe the truth," Leo tells me later, as we walk across the parking lot.
But I'm not surprised. Look at how hard I fought Josef, when he tried to tell me who he used to be. "I guess that's because most of the time we don't want to admit it to ourselves."
"That's true," Leo says thoughtfully. "It's amazing what you can convince yourself of, if you buy into the lie."
You can believe, for example, that a dead-end job is a career. You can blame your ugliness for keeping people at bay, when in reality you're crippled by the thought of letting another person close enough to potentially scar you even more deeply. You can tell yourself that it's safer to love someone who will never really love you back, because you can't lose someone you never had.
"Forgiving isn't something you do for someone else. It's something you do for yourself. It's saying, You're not important enough to have a stranglehold on me. It's saying, You don't get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future."
(The Storyteller, Jodi Picoult)