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Miscellaneous Quotations


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It's pretty hard to be efficient without being obnoxious. ~Kin Hubbard


Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage


And thus I clothe my naked villainy
With odd old ends stolen forth of Holy Writ
And seem a saint when most I play the devil.
~William Shakespeare, Richard III, 1593


From the satisfaction of desire there may arise, accompanying joy and as it were sheltering behind it, something not unlike despair. ~André Gide, The Counterfeiters, 1925


To live is in itself a value judgment. To breathe is to judge. ~Albert Camus, The Rebel, 1951


Revolutions are not made: they come. A revolution is as natural as an oak tree. It comes out of the past; its foundations are laid far back. ~Wendell Phillips, Address, Anti-Slavery Society, 1852


It is better to emit a scream in the shape of a theory than to be entirely insensible to the jars and incongruities of life and take everything as it comes in a forlorn stupidity. ~Robert Louis Stevenson, "Crabbed Age and Youth," Virginibus Puerisque, 1881


We learn geology the morning after the earthquake. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life, 1860


The sinning is the best part of repentance. ~Arab Proverb


Most men are more capable of great actions than of good ones. ~Montesquieu, Variètès


Some defeats [are] more triumphant than victories. ~Michel de Montaigne, Essays, 1588


Just because you're not uptight doesn't mean you're irresponsible. And vice versa. When will those Conservatives ever learn? ~Carrie Latet, 2006


The passion to get ahead is sometimes born of the fear lest we be left behind. ~Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind, 1954


In every age "the good old days" were a myth. No one ever thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them. ~Brooks Atkinson, Once Around the Sun, 1951


It takes more strength of character to withstand good fortune than bad. ~La Rochefoucauld, Reflections, 1665


The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously. ~Hubert Humphrey, speech, Madison, Wisconsin, 23 August 1965


Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same. ~G.B. Shaw, "Maxims for Revolutionists," 1898


I think the enemy is here before us.... I think the enemy is simple selfishness and compulsive greed.... I think he stole our earth from us, destroyed our wealth, and ravaged and despoiled our land. ~Thomas Wolfe, You Can't Go Home Again, 1949


Is a stolen copyright a copywrong? ~Anonymous


There is a sort of man who pays no attention to his good actions, but is tormented by his bad ones. This is the type that most often writes about himself. ~W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1938


I find my joy of living in the fierce and ruthless battles of life, and my pleasure comes from learning something. ~Auguste Strindberg, Miss Julie, 1888


Men are idolaters and want something to look at and kiss and hug, or throw themselves down before; they always did, they always will; and if you don't make it out of wood, you must make it out of words. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Poet at the Breakfast Table, 1872


We look for some reward of our endeavours and are disappointed; not success, not happiness, not even peace of conscience, crowns our ineffectual efforts to do well. ~Robert Louis Stevenson, "Pulvis et umbra," 1888


Where is Hollywood located? Chiefly between the ears. In that part of the American brain lately vacated by God. ~Erica Jong


Believe me, for certain men at least, not taking what one doesn't desire is the hardest thing in the world. ~Albert Camus


No man likes to have his intelligence or good faith questioned, especially if he has doubts about it himself. ~Henry Adams


We're seldom drawn to a character we admire; only to a personality we like. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


Eloquence is vehement simplicity. ~Richard Cecil


True eloquence forgoes eloquence. ~André Gide


...for here there is no place that does not see you. You must change your life. ~Rainer Maria Rilke, "Archaic Torso of Apollo," about a sculpture, translated by Stephen Mitchell


Sometimes I have to stand on my head to see things as they are, when the world seems so upside-down that this is the only position in which anything makes sense. ~Author Unknown


Girls we love for what they are; young men for what they promise to be. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


If fortune smiles, who doesn't? If fortune doesn't, who does? ~Chinese Proverb


No man is truly great who is great only in his own lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history. ~William Hazlitt, Table Talk, 1822


Few great men could pass personnel. ~Paul Goodman


I have learned the truth of the observation that the more one approaches great men the more one finds that they are men. ~Bernard M. Baruch


No man was ever great without a touch of divine afflatus. ~Cicero


There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great. ~G.K. Chesterton


We have, I fear, confused power with greatness. ~Stewart Udall


It is a mistake to imagine that potentially great men are rare. It is the conditions that permit the promise of greatness to be fulfilled that are rare. What is so difficult to achieve is the cultural background that permits potential greatness to be converted into actual greatness. ~Fred Hoyle, Of Man and Galaxies


I suppose that everyone of us hopes secretly for immortality; to leave, I mean, a name behind him which will live forever in this world, whatever he may be doing, himself, in the next. ~A.A. Milne


The least of man's original emanation is better than the best of a borrowed thought. ~Albert Pinkham Ryder


The mark of highest originality lies in the ability to develop a familiar idea so fruitfully that it would seem no one else would ever have discovered so much to be hidden in it. ~Goethe


An impossibility does not disturb us until its accomplishment shows what fools we were. ~Henry S. Haskins


We talk much more about individualism and liberty than our ancestors. But as so often happens, when anything becomes conscious, the consciousness is compensatory for absence in practice. ~John Dewey


There is a kind way of assisting our fellow-creatures which is enough to break their hearts while it saves their outer envelope. ~Joseph Conrad


Our strength is often composed of the weakness we're damned if we're going to show. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


A curse on every wish that blurs the sight, paralyzes the tongue, cramps the hand, and prevents the truth being seen, said, and written. ~Theodor Haecker


Light comes to us unexpectedly and obliquely. Perhaps it amuses the gods to try us. They want to see whether we are asleep. ~H.M. Tomlinson


It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. ~Upton Sinclair


Understanding a person does not mean condoning; it only means that one does not accuse him as if one were God or a judge placed above him. ~Erich Fromm


The Lord gives us friends to push us to our potential — and enemies to push us beyond it. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


The only time you realize you have a reputation is when you're not living up to it. ~José Iturbi


The mind is seldom quickened to very vigorous operations but by pain, or the dread of pain. We do not disturb ourselves with the detection of fallacies which do us no harm. ~Samuel Johnson


The barrenest of all mortals is the sentimentalist. ~Thomas Carlyle, Sir Walter Scott, in London and Westminster Review, 12 November 1838


Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again. ~Hermann Hesse


The conflict of forces and the struggle of opposing wills are of the essence of our universe and alone hold it together. ~Havelock Ellis


Play not with paradoxes. That caustic which you handle in order to scorch others may happen to sear your own fingers and make them dead to the quality of things. ~George Eliot, Felix Holt, The Radical


I don't say we all ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could. ~Orson Welles


'Tis known by the name of perseverance in a good cause, and obstinacy in a bad one. ~Laurence Sterne


Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy. ~Howard W. Newton


Many people's tombstones should read, "Died at 30. Buried at 60." ~Nicholas Murray Butler


No man thoroughly understands a truth until he has contended against it. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else. ~James M. Barrie


Most people like hard work. Particularly when they are paying for it. ~Franklin P. Jones


There's a mighty big difference between good, sound reasons and reasons that sound good. ~Burton Hillis


We are wide-eyed in contemplating the possibility that life may exist elsewhere in the universe, but we wear blinders when contemplating the possibilities of life on earth. ~Norman Cousins


Originality is the art of concealing your source. ~Franklin P. Jones


I would rather have men ask why I have no statue than why I have one. ~Marcus Porcius Cato


It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive. ~C.W. Leadbeater


Every nation ridicules other nations, and all are right. ~Arthur Schopenhauer


We know nothing about motivation. All we can do is write books about it. ~Peter Drucker


We would often be ashamed of our finest actions if the world understood all the motives which produced them. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault


Fame — the aggregate of all the misunderstandings that collect around a new name. ~Rainer Maria Rilke


I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. ~Henry David Thoreau


He gave her a look you could have poured on a waffle. ~Ring Lardner


Hate the sin and love the sinner. ~Mohandas Gandhi


He not only overflowed with learning, but stood in the slop. ~Sydney Smith


The brighter you are, the more you have to learn. ~Don Herold


We see then how far the monuments of wit and learning are more durable than the monuments of power, or of the hands. For have not the verses of Homer continued twenty-five hundred years or more, without the loss of a syllable or letter; during which time infinite palaces, temples, castles, cities have been decayed and demolished? ~Francis Bacon


Resting is the sort of thing you've got to work up to gradually. It's very dangerous to rest all of a sudden. ~From the movie Topper, 1937


A little learning is not a dangerous thing to one who does not mistake it for a great deal. ~William Allen White


 
 
A society that gives to one class all the opportunities for leisure, and to another all the burdens of work, dooms both classes to spiritual sterility. ~Lewis Mumford


Liberalism... is the noblest cry that has ever resounded in this planet. ~José Ortega y Gasset


The first requisite for immortality is death. ~Stanislaw J. Lec


The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives. ~Albert Schweitzer


The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. ~Author Unknown


A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones. ~Lord Chesterfield


But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps, millions, think. ~Lord Byron, Don Juan, 1819


In my room, the world is beyond my understanding;
But when I walk I see that it consists of three or four hills and a cloud.
~Wallace Stevens


That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. ~Thomas Paine


By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. ~Benjamin Franklin (Thank you, Kyle.)


You can't hold a man down without staying down with him. ~Booker T. Washington


Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. ~George S. Patton


Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower


A writer who wishes to be read by posterity must not be averse to putting hints which might give rise to whole books, or ideas for learned discussions, in some corner of a chapter so that one should think he can afford to throw them away by the thousand. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg


We understand nature by resisting it. ~Gaston Bachelard, La Formation de l'esprit scientifique, 1938


I don't think necessity is the mother of invention — invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble. ~Agatha Christie, An Autobiography, 1977


Novelties please less than they impress. ~Byron, Don Juan, 1824


Order marches with weighty and measured strides; disorder is always in a hurry. ~Napoleon I, Maxims, 1815


Nature has placed man under the government of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. ~Jeremy Bentham, Principles of Morals and Legislation, 1789


The good die young — because they see it's no use living if you've got to be good. ~John Barrymore


It is almost impossible systematically to constitute a natural moral law. Nature has no principles. She furnishes us with no reason to believe that human life is to be respected. Nature, in her indifference, makes no distinction between good and evil. ~Anatole France


Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good. ~Mohandas Gandhi


The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ~Various wordings of this quotation are attributed to Charles F. Aked and Edmund Burke, among others but no author has yet been confirmed as the originator (Thanks, Garson O'Toole of quoteinvestigator.com!)


Probably the most honest "self-made man" ever was the one we heard say: "I got to the top the hard way — fighting my own laziness and ignorance every step of the way." ~James Thom


I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. ~Isaac Newton


I have never for one instant seen clearly within myself. How then would you have me judge the deeds of others? ~Maurice Maeterlinck


The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty, and truth. ~Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions


More good things in life are lost by indifference than ever were lost by active hostility. ~Robert Gordon Menzies


An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. ~James A. Michener, Space


Sometimes the best helping hand you can get is a good, firm push. ~Joann Thomas


Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. ~James Baldwin


There are times when forgetting can be just as important as remembering — and even more difficult. ~Harry and Joan Mier, Happiness Begins Before Breakfast


If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. ~Albert Camus


It is an incredible con job when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for life after death. Even corporations with all their reward systems don't try to make it posthumous. ~Gloria Steinem


Oh, one world at a time! ~Henry David Thoreau, when asked about afterlife


I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders. ~Robert G. Ingersoll


Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. ~Aldous Huxley


If you could eavesdrop on everything said about you, you'd spend most of your time waiting for the subject to come up. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness." ~Dave Barry, Dave Barry Turns Fifty, 1998


To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both hands into life up to the elbows. It is easy to say no. ~Jean Anouilh


Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions. ~Mark Twain


Take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves. ~Lord Chesterfield


Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit. ~Bern Williams


Not to go back is somewhat to advance
And men must walk, at least, before they dance.
~Alexander Pope


A problem well stated is a problem half solved. ~Charles F. Kettering


No matter how big and tough a problem may be, get rid of confusion by taking one little step towards solution. Do something. Then try again. At the worst, so long as you don't do it the same way twice, you will eventually use up all the wrong ways of doing it and thus the next try will be the right one. ~George F. Nordenhold


I didn't know I'd have to be torn down before I could be built up. ~Author Unknown


Every problem contains within itself the seeds of its own solution. ~Edward Somers


Little things console us because little things afflict us. ~Blaise Pascal


People in distress will sometimes prefer a problem that is familiar to a solution that is not. ~Neil Postman


There are three modes of bearing the ills of life: by indifference, by philosophy, and by religion. ~Charles Caleb Colton


The game of life is not so much in holding a good hand as playing a poor hand well. ~H.T. Leslie


Sympathy is never wasted except when you give it to yourself. ~John W. Raper


Self-pity is... a sinkhole from which no rescuing hand can drag you because you have chosen to sink. ~Elizabeth Elliot


Even the cry from the depths is an affirmation: Why cry if there is no hint of hope of hearing? ~Martin Marty


My mother said to me, "If you become a soldier, you'll be a general, if you become a monk you'll end up as the pope." Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso. ~Pablo Picasso


To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor. ~Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus puerisque, 1881


We should scarcely desire things ardently if we were perfectly acquainted with what we desire. ~Francois de La Rochefoucauld


Granting our wish is one of Fate's saddest jokes. ~James Russell Lowell


Beginnings are apt to be shadowy. ~Rachel Carson


A whirl of torrid dust veils the picture. ~Vladimir Nabokov, The Gift, 1963, translated from Russian by Michael Scammell


If a man would move the world, he must first move himself. ~Socrates


Many persons wonder why they don't amount to more than they do, have good stuff in them, energetic, persevering, and have ample opportunities. It is all a case of trimming the useless branches and throwing the whole force of power into the development of something that counts. ~Walter J. Johnston


The guts carry the feet not the feet the guts. ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. ~Frederic Chopin


But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine. ~Thomas Jefferson


The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts. ~Marcus Aurelius Antonius


Today we have a temporary aberration called "industrial capitalism" which is inadvertently liquidating its two most important sources of capital... the natural world and properly functioning societies. No sensible capitalist would do that. ~Amory Lovins


There I am in my younger days, stargazing,
painting picture perfect maps
of how my life and love would be
not counting the unmarked paths of misdirection,
my compass faith in love's perfection
I missed a million miles of road I should have seen.
~Indigo Girls


I shall not let a sorrow die
Until I find the heart of it,
Nor let a wordless joy go by
Until it talks to me a bit.
~Sara Teasdale


A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. ~Chinese Proverb


It is a revenge the devil sometimes takes upon the virtuous, that he entraps them by the force of the very passion they have suppressed and think themselves superior to. ~George Santayana


The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else. ~Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyper Reality, 1986


We owe to the Middle Ages the two worst inventions of humanity — romantic love and gunpowder. ~André Maurois, BBC-TV, January 1958


To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both hands into life up to the elbows. It is easy to say no, even if saying no means death. ~Jean Anouilh, Antigone, 1942


Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: "It might have been!"
~John Greenleaf Whittier, "Maud Muller," 1854


The chief characteristics of the [liberal] attitude are human sympathy, a receptivity to change, and a scientific willingness to follow reason rather than faith. ~Chester Bowles, New Republic, 22 July 1946


Liberal institutions straightway cease from being liberal the moment they are soundly established. ~Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 1888


The thing I am most aware of is my limits. And this is natural; for I never, or almost never, occupy the middle of my cage; my whole being surges toward the bars. ~André Gide, Journals, 4 August 1930


Loyalty in a free society depends upon the toleration of disloyalty. ~Alan Barth, The Loyalty of Free Man, 1951


His designs were strictly honorable, as the phrase is: that is, to rob a lady of her fortune by way of marriage. ~Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, 1749


The absurd is clear reason recognizing its limits. ~Albert Camus, Le Suicide philosophique


When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought
And with old woes new wail my dear times' waste.
~William Shakespeare, Sonnet No. 30


The world more often rewards the appearance of merit than merit itself. ~La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, 1665


It is not always by plugging away at a difficulty and sticking to it that one overcomes it; often it is by working on the one next to it. Some things and some people have to be approached obliquely, at an angle. ~André Gide, Journals, 26 October 1924


The professional military mind is by necessity an inferior and unimaginative mind; no man of high intellectual quality would willingly imprison his gifts in such a calling. ~H.G. Wells, The Outline of History, 1920


It is not reason that gives us our moral orientation, it is sensitivity. ~Maurice Barreès, La Grande Pitié des églises de France, 1914


Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1834


Doubt is not a pleasant state of mind, but certainty is absurd. ~Voltaire, 1767


Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt. ~Herbert Hoover, attributed


To fight aloud, is very brave—
      But gallanter, I know
      Who charge within the bosom
      The Cavalry of Wo—
Who win, and nations do not see—
      Who fall — and none observe —
      Whose dying eyes, no Country
      Regards with patriot love—
We trust, in plumed procession
      For such, the Angels go—
      Rank after Rank, with even feet—
      And Uniforms of Snow.
~Emily Dickinson, c.1859


I identify more with people who ask each day for divine guidance than people equipped with a divine guidance system. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Modern man lives under the illusion that he knows what he wants, while he actually wants what he is supposed to want. ~Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom, 1941


[A] morning-land full of immeasurable hopes encircled him; he stripped his breast, threw himself all aglow into the dripping grass, washed (but not with any higher purpose than girls have) his firm face with liquid June-snow... ~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days: A Biography, translated from German by Charles T. Brooks, 1865


We kill because we are afraid of our own shadow, afraid that if we used a little common sense we'd have to admit that our glorious principles were wrong. ~Henry Miller, The Wisdom of the Heart, 1941


Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Wandering seemed no more than the happiness of an anxious man. ~Albert Camus


Rather perish than hate and fear, and twice rather perish than make oneself hated and feared — this must some day become the highest maxim for every single commonwealth. ~Friedrich Nietzsche


What a pity that the only way to heaven is in a hearse. ~Stanislaw J. Lec


The wicked often work harder to go to hell than the righteous do to enter heaven. ~Josh Billings


The average man, who does not know what to do with his life, wants another one which will last forever. ~Anatole France


The People, though we think of a great entity when we use the word, means nothing more than so many millions of individual men. ~James Bryce


When we lose our individual independence in the corporateness of a mass movement, we find a new freedom — freedom to hate, bully, lie, torture, murder and betray without shame and remorse. ~Eric Hoffer


The new frontier lies not beyond the planets but within each one of us. ~Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Biodynamics


It is often wonderful how putting down on paper a clear statement of a case helps one to see, not perhaps the way out, but the way in. ~Arthur Christopher Benson


However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. ~Henry David Thoreau


None are so blind as those who will not see. ~Author Unknown


"But" is a fence over which few leap. ~German Proverb


For people who live on expectations, to face up to their realization is something of an ordeal. ~Elizabeth Bowen


The goal of all civilization, all religious thought, and all that sort of thing is simply to have a good time. But man gets so solemn over the process that he forgets the end. ~Don Marquis


Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. ~Epictetus


Undoubtedly the desire for food has been and still is one of the main causes of political events. ~Bertrand Russell


Never argue at the dinner table, for the one who is not hungry always gets the best of the argument. ~Richard Whately


A converted cannibal is one who, on Friday, eats only fishermen. ~Emily Lotney


There is more simplicity in the man who eats caviar on impulse than in the man who eats grapenuts on principle. ~G.K. Chesterton


Wine is sure proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. ~Benjamin Franklin


With what a leaden and retarding weight
Does expectation load the wing of time!
~William Mason


When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either. ~Leo Burnett


Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


It is difficult to remember all, and ungracious to omit any. ~Cicero


Spirituality is... the awareness that survival is the savage fight between you and yourself. ~Author Unknown


A man needs self-acceptance or he can't live with himself; he needs self-criticism or others can't live with him. ~James A. Pike


Ruin and recovery are both from within. ~Epictetus


Circumstances are the rulers of the weak; they are but the instruments of the wise. ~Samuel Lover


To have doubted one's own first principles is the mark of a civilized man. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


The only man who can change his mind is a man that's got one. ~Edward Noyes Westcott


To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves. ~Will and Ariel Durant


He was a "how" thinker, not an "if" thinker. ~Author Unknown


I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole man accompanies it. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


To be always ready a man must be able to cut a knot, for everything cannot be untied. ~Henri-Frédéric Amiel


Passion and prejudice govern the world, only under the name of reason. ~John Wesley


Life is not governed by will or intention. Life is a question of nerves, and fibers, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. ~Oscar Wilde


People "died" all the time.... Parts of them died when they made the wrong kinds of decisions — decisions against life. Sometimes they died bit by bit until finally they were just living corpses walking around. If you were perceptive you could see it in their eyes; the fire had gone out... you always knew when you made a decision against life.... The door clicked and you were safe inside — safe and dead. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh


If... you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning. ~Catherine Aird


There is only one thing about which I am certain, and that is that there is very little about which one can be certain. ~W. Somerset Maugham


Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Psalm of Life


Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you're generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make. ~Donald Trump


You're not dumb, or stupid, just thoroughly wrong. ~Jerry Kopke


The best things in life aren't things. ~Art Buchwald


A man dies still if he has done nothing, as one who has done much. ~Homer


I am convinced, the longer I live, that life and its blessings are not so entirely unjustly distributed as when we are suffering greatly we are inclined to suppose. ~Mary Todd Lincoln


Wanting to change, to improve, a person's situation means offering him, for difficulties in which he is practiced and experienced, other difficulties that will find him perhaps even more bewildered. ~Rainer Maria Rilke


The minute a phrase becomes current, it becomes an apology for not thinking accurately to the end of the sentence. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes


Comparison, more than reality, makes men happy or wretched. ~Thomas Fuller


If a man could have just half of his wishes, he would double his troubles. ~Benjamin Franklin


The next best thing to knowing something is knowing where to find it. ~Samuel Johnson


Every man has three characters — that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has. ~Alphonse Karr


Know then thyself, presume not God to scan:
The proper study of mankind is man.
~Alexander Pope, Essay on Man, 1733


Much unhappiness results from our inability to remember the nice things that happen to us. ~W.N. Rieger


If we go down into ourselves, we find that we possess exactly what we desire. ~Simone Weil


There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat. ~James Russell Lowell, Democracy and Other Addresses, 1887


To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man's life. ~T.S. Eliot


It is not how busy you are, but why you are busy — the bee is praised, the mosquito is swatted. ~Author Unknown


The sunrise never failed us yet. ~Celia Thaxter


Bear shame and glory with an equal peace and an ever tranquil heart. ~Bhagavad Gita


Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy they are, who already possess it. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault


[W]hat counts can't be counted. ~Author unknown, c.1956 quoted in Political science in the United States of America: a trend report, UNESCO, see also "[N]ot everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted" by William Bruce Cameron, 1963, commonly attributed to Albert Einstein as "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." (Thanks, Garson O'Toole of quoteinvestigator.com!)


The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. ~Harry Emerson Fosdick


I dwell in Possibility
A fairer house than Prose
More numerous of Windows
Superior — for Doors.
~Emily Dickinson


If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants. ~Isaac Newton, letter to Robert Hooke, 5 February 1675  ("Bernard of Chartres used to say that we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, so that we can see more than they, and things at a greater distance, not by virtue of any sharpness of sight on our part, or any physical distinction, but because we are carried high and raised up by their giant size." ~John of Salisbury, Metalogicon, 1159, translated from Latin)


Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are going. ~Author Unknown


Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday. ~John Wayne


If there's another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.
~Robert Burns, "Epitaph on William Muir"


I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy. ~J.D. Salinger


All she keeps inside isn't on the label. ~Fuel


The greatest evil which fortune can inflict on men is to endow them with small talents and great ambition. ~Luc de Clapiers marquis de Vauvenargues


The self cannot be escaped, but it can be, with ingenuity and hard work, distracted. ~Donald Barthelme


Myths and creeds are heroic struggles to comprehend the truth in the world. ~Ansel Adams


An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less. ~Nicholas Murray Butler


Civilizations have been founded and maintained on theories which refused to obey facts. ~Joe Orton, What the Butler Saw, 1969


Only as high as I reach can I grow
Only as far as I seek can I go
Only as deep as I look can I see
Only as much as I dream can I be.
~Karen Ravn


He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, and he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving. Make every day a holiday and celebrate just living! ~Amanda Bradley


Discretion is being able to raise your eyebrow instead of your voice. ~Author Unknown


There is a fine line between dreams and reality, it's up to you to draw it. ~B. Quilliam


Grow old with me! The best is yet to be. ~Robert Browning


He drew a circle that shut me out — heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win — and we drew a circle that took him in!
~Edwin Markham


It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end. ~Ursula K. Le Guin


I will not die an unlived life.... I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit. ~Dawna Markova


The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire. ~Pierre Tielhard de Chardin


Some people skate to the puck. I skate to where the puck is going to be. ~Wayne Gretzky


Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way. ~Dr. Seuss


It's not enough to have a dream,
unless you're willing to pursue it.
It's not enough to know what's right,
unless you're strong enough to do it.
It's not enough to learn the truth,
unless you also learn to live it.
It's not enough to reach for love,
unless you care enough to give it.
~Author Unknown


Please be patient. God has not finished with me yet. ~Author Unknown


We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic cords of memory will swell when again touched as surely they will be by the better angels of our nature. ~Abraham Lincoln


If God doesn't destroy Hollywood Boulevard, he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology. ~Jay Leno


A part of you has grown in me. And so you see, it's you and me together forever and never apart, maybe in distance, but never in heart. ~Author Unknown


Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me, and just be my friend. ~Albert Camus


My nature is subdu'd
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand.
~William Shakespeare


Be it true or false, what is said about men often has as much influence on their lives, and especially on their destinies, as what they do. ~Victor Hugo


Your best work always seems to have been done by someone else. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


If there were dreams to sell,...
Merry and sad to tell,
And the crier rang the bell,
What would you buy?
~Thomas Lovell Beddoes, Dream-Pedlary


[T]hou art to me a delicious torment. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Friendship"


Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. ~T.S. Eliot


God give me the strength to face a fact though it slay me. ~Thomas Huxley


The way my life goes, I can't tell if there are pits in my cherries or cherries among my pits, philosophically speaking. ~Rhann Morgan


Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal. ~Pamela Vaull Starr


But who shall parcel out
His intellect by geometric rules,
Split like a province into round and square?
~William Wordsworth, The Prelude


Every man is the son of his own works. ~Miguel de Cervantes


Jesus accepts you the way you are, but loves you too much to leave you that way. ~Lee Venden


A woman will do anything to keep a pretty figure, but hardly anything to get one. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


Society is doing a great deal for the workingman, for the lower classes; but it seems to me, sometimes, as if it formed associations to obtain for them toys, and then formed other associations to teach them to play with them. ~John B. Gough


When it comes time to do your own life, you either perpetuate your childhood or you stand on it and finally kick it out from under. ~Rosellen Brown


Often we can help each other most by leaving each other alone; at other times we need the hand-grasp and the word of cheer. ~Elbert Hubbard


Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening. ~Mignon McLaughlin


Every man expects some miracle — either from his mind or from his body or from someone else or from events. ~Paul Valéry


The private lives of the ancients are now the public sport of the moderns. ~Ivor Brown


The age is a vociferous one, and no prophet is without honor who is able to strike an attitude and to speak loud enough to make himself heard. ~Ellen Glasgow


Perhaps this is an age when men think bravely of the human spirit; for surely they have a strange lust to lay it bare. ~Christopher Morley


The present age, for all its cosmopolitan hustle, is curiously suburban in spirit. ~Norman Douglas


A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles. ~Tim Cahill


I cannot help it, — in spite of myself, infinity torments me. ~Alfred de Musset, L'Espoir en Dieu


It has been said that figures rule the world; maybe. I am quite sure that it is figures which show us whether it is being ruled well or badly. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1830, translated


God and the devil lose to a common enemy: inertia. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


Someday perhaps the inner light will shine forth from us, and then we'll need no other light. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


An honorable man will not be bullied by a hypothesis. ~Bergen Evans, "A Tale of a Tub," The Natural History of Nonsense


No healthy civilization can ever be reared on a foundation of devitalized work. ~William Ralph Inge


History is apt to judge harshly those who sacrifice tomorrow for today. ~Harold MacMillan


Is devotion to others a cover for the hungers and the needs of the self, of which one is ashamed? I was always ashamed to take. So I gave. It was not virtue. It was a disguise. ~Anaïs Nin


The first thing to learn in intercourse with others is noninterference with their own peculiar ways of being happy, provided those ways do not assume to interfere by violence with ours. ~William James


Youth is not enough. And love is not enough. And success is not enough. And, if we could achieve it, enough would not be enough. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others. ~Buddha


A man who finds no satisfaction in himself, seeks for it in vain elsewhere. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault


Many are saved from sin by being so inept at it. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


But it seems an irony of creation that man's mind knows how to handle things the better the farther removed they are from the center of his existence. Thus we are cleverest where knowledge matters least.... ~Hermann Weyl


When darkness descends on summer nights, the air around campfires, lanterns and cottage windows becomes filled with swirling moths seemingly intent on self destruction. The suicide fliers are drawn to the flames and light because they normally navigate a straight course by keeping constant the angle of moonlight or sunbeams falling on their eyes. Night lights created by humans disorient moths, causing them to flutter round and round the source without being able to get their bearings. ~Doug Bennet and Tim Tiner, Up North


One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. ~A.A. Milne


Three passions, simple but overwhelming, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. ~Bertrand Russell, Autobiography, 1967


Vain the ambition of kings
Who seek by trophies and dead things
To leave a living name behind,
And weave but nets to catch the wind.
~John Webster


To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and, whatever you hit, call it the target. ~Patrick Toche


All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
~J.R.R. Tolkien


A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. ~Oscar Wilde


A fanatic is one who sticks to his guns whether they're loaded or not. ~Franklin P. Jones


A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. ~Winston Churchill


Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize until you have tried to make it precise. ~Bertrand Russell, The Philosophy of Logical Atomism


Vision is the art of seeing things invisible. ~Jonathan Swift, "Thoughts on Various Subjects," Miscellanies, 1711


There are few who would not rather be taken in adultery than in provincialism. ~Aldous Huxley, Antic Hay, 1923



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