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Quotations about Change



No Work so great, but what admits decay,
No Act so glorious, but must fade away...
Old things must yield to New, Common to Strange,
Perpetual Motion, brings perpetual Change.
~James Miller (1706–1744), Harlequin-Horace: Or, The Art of Modern Poetry, 1731


Change there will be, as there has been throughout these... years. For he who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. ~Harold Wilson, 1967


In this world of change, naught which comes stays, and naught which goes is lost. ~Madame Swetchine, translated by Harriet W. Preston


Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time. ~Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Sometimes you see little changes fluttering their pennons to show you that a great change is on its way. ~Henry Stanley Haskins, "Time and Change," Meditations in Wall Street, 1940


There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse; as I have found in travelling in a stage-coach, that it is often a comfort to shift one's position and be bruised in a new place. ~Geoffrey Crayon (Washington Irving), "To the Reader," Tales of a Traveller, 1836


Every hour proves to us that change and decay are written upon all things earthly. As surely will the proudest monuments of human labor pass away, as the morning mist from among the hills. If we can look upon the past and behold the ravages of time, or on the present and not feel his powerful influence upon ourselves and the things around us, then indeed will our future be dark and cheerless. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840


      Adapt yourself to change as the willow tree adapts itself to the weather. When the harsh winds of circumstance sweep across the landscape of your life, bow gracefully, bend gently, adapt graciously.
      You are wise to study well the ways of the willow. In the face of change, in the throes of adversity, in the midst of conflict and crisis, the willow willingly bends its branches, but refuses to release its roots. ~William Arthur Ward, "The Wisdom of Adapting Yourself"


The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble. ~Henry Miller


...the present is the living sum-total of the whole past. In change, therefore, there is nothing terrible, nothing supernatural: on the contrary, it lies in the very essence of our lot and life in this world. To-day is not yesterday: we ourselves change; how can our works and thoughts, if they are always to be the fittest, continue always the same? Change, indeed, is painful, yet ever needful; and if memory have its force and worth, so also has hope. ~Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881)


Change is inevitable — except from a vending machine. ~Robert C. Gallagher


It is a pleasant feeling to be the first to walk on sands which the tide has just left. It is like being the first to visit a new land. It produces a freshness of sensation something akin to that of early morning, or of spring. It is like entering upon a new stage of life, having a new world before us from which to receive, and upon which to make impressions. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, "Conversation II: Footsteps on the Sand," 1850  [Lyulph speaking —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have trying to change others. ~Arnold H. Glasow (1905–1999)


Keep out of Ruts; a Rut is something which,
If traveled in too much, becomes a Ditch.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Progress," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924


There were no violins or warning bells... no sense that my little life was about to change. But we never know, do we? Life turns on a dime. ~Stephen King, 11/22/63, 2011


I will swear by a thing to‑day, but I will have the courage to denounce it tomorrow, if needs be. The vows of ignorance are not binding upon enlightenment. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


The past is the present, and the present the future, to the non-progressive mind. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


Everything is in a state of flux, including the status quo. ~Robert Byrne, The 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said, 1982


There are tragedies in life that change us forever, the person we once were mistakenly listed among the survivors. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. ~Author unknown


It is strange and wonderful what changes may be wrought by a few fleeting months, on the human frame, and the human heart. ~Elizabeth J. Eames, "An Autumn Reverie," October 1840


When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills. ~Chinese proverb


People and their rituals. They cling to things so hard sometimes. ~Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain, 2008


Much can happen in a day. One's whole life may be made or marred. After all, isn't that life? We go along for an hour, a day, a year, automatically, mere bundles of habit reacting and acting and acting and reacting in the same way. We bump against a new sensation; a new temptation comes to us in an appealing guise; an old temptation flaunts itself in our face: and away go the habits established by years of inhibitions. We start a new direction, upward, maybe, or down. ~George A. Dorsey, Young Low, 1917


For either or both ways all minds are always,
Morning and noon and night, sleeping and waking,
Summer and winter, always always changing...
~James Henry, "Love," 1855 December 26th


What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963


You never have a friend all figured out. Just when you think you know what makes them tick, they tock. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


I will not carry a thing to its culmination simply because I entered in. I may have said I wanted it, but I will have the courage to say, "I have changed my mind." ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


We spend our time searching for security, and hate it when we get it. ~John Steinbeck


Few can accept happiness if it means change. We want the life we have now, only happier. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


We are as clouds that veil the midnight moon;
      How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
Streaking the darkness radiantly!—yet soon
      Night closes round, and they are lost for ever...
We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep;
      Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away:
It is the same!—For, be it joy or sorrow,
      The path of its departure still is free;
Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
      Nought may endure but Mutability.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Mutability"


Little stones that are pelted into the lake of consciousness should not throw the whole lake into commotion. ~Paramahansa Yogananda, God Talks With Arjuna


The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists. ~Japanese proverb


Changes in life are like extra strength Gold Bond Medicated Powder. The burning means it's working. ~John Mayer


Turn, turn, my wheel! All things must change
To something new, to something strange;
      Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
      To-morrow be to-day.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Kéramos"  [the Potter's song —tg]


I'll never get used to anything. Anybody that does, they might as well be dead. ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1958


She looked like autumn, when leaves turned and fruit ripened. ~Sarah Addison Allen, Garden Spells


If we gaze at the clouds, then close our eyes for a few minutes, then re-open them and the clouds are different, we don't freak out about it. So, why do we worry when things shift and change in our lives? New day, new sky, every moment too. ~Terri Guillemets


I felt like a racehorse in a world without racetracks or a champion college footballer suddenly confronted by Wall Street and a business suit, his days of glory shrunk to a little gold cup on his mantel with a date engraved on it like a date on a tombstone. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, 1963


Yes, change is the basic law of nature. But the changes wrought by the passage of time affects individuals and institutions in different ways. According to Darwin's Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment... Applying this theoretical concept to us as individuals, we can state that the civilization that is able to survive is the one that is able to adapt to the changing physical, social, political, moral, and spiritual environment in which it finds itself. ~Leon C. Megginson, 1963  [quoteinvestigator.com]


We do not knowingly choose unhappiness over happiness. Rather we choose security over risk, stability over change, what seems permanent over what seems fleeting. We choose unhappiness because it has a better chance to be lasting. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com, 2019


Sometimes you just need to be open to the universe's alternate plans for you. ~Terri Guillemets


Changing and actually improving are two quite different skills. ~Dr. SunWolf, tweet, 2015, professorsunwolf.com


Sudden resolutions, like the sudden rise of the mercury in the barometer, indicate nothing but the changeableness of the weather. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827


The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor: he took my measure anew every time he saw me, whilst all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected them to fit me. ~Bernard Shaw





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