Sometimes, the world isn’t a happy place to be in; it isn’t the fairyland delineated to us through countless movies and books.
We often believe that happy endings exists—and if it is not happy then we haven’t arrived at the end yet.
This idea is flawed, fallacious, and faulty, but we often don’t recognize the distortion until reality starts to kick in. Nobody is that extreme a Panglossian anymore—to believe that each and every little thing will go extremely well.
But at the same time, it is good to be optimistic in life—it is imprudent to be naively optimistic.
In these kind of times, we often look to books to hold up the actual mirror of reality, but most of the time, they fail to do so. Why can’t they show us how real life is? Why do they have to make everything too happy, shiny, bright, pink, and cute?
The era of being unreasonably happy and optimistic is over.
Instead, our youth wishes to see the real side of things, which is not always happy and bright.
That might be the reason why John Green is considered the king of young adult novels—he never feels reluctant to show us the complicated side of things. He does not mend things to make them look happy and peaceful; instead, he presents emotions the exact same, messy, and awful way in which they actually occur.
That is the realness that we seek: seeing someone express their grief or messed up thoughts in a genuine and authentic way. It’s relaxing to know there are people—like us—who feel the exact emotions we feel.
He never fails to put all of those unfeigned emotions into words. The way in which he expresses each and every feeling gives you a sensation of comfort and calmness—the sensation we crave for the most.
It was his novels that made me realize if there is an obstacle in the way, it is not mandatory for you to seek and circumvent it immediately; it is absolutely fine to take your time.
His novels don’t end on an exact positive note, but they teach us how to be happy with whatever we have—even if it’s despair. He taught me how to allow my real emotions to slide in rather than avoid them.
This is the kind of realness that most of us long for; you don’t need to take my word for it.
Here are 13 John Green quotes to keep us company when we’re feeling down:
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you.”
“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”
“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
“My thoughts are stars that I cannot fathom into constellations.”
“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”
“I am like mustard, where some of me is fine, but a lot of me is just…a lot.”
“Books are ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they will wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they will always love you back.”
“The world is not a wish-granting factory.”
“Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.”
“You think you’re the painter, but you’re the canvas.”
“You’re both the fire and the water that extinguishes it. You’re the narrator, the protagonist, and the sidekick. You’re the storyteller and the story told. You are somebody’s something, but you are also your you.”
And these two quotes are my all-time favorites:
“We never really talked much or looked at each other, but it didn’t matter as we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe even more intimate than eye contact. I mean, anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”