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Quotations: Miscellaneous #2

Book cover for "Planet Earth: Insane Asylum for the Universe"


Miscellaneous Quotations #2

  • Ego will help you to recognize, remove, and replace your ego: a.k.a. self-esteem.

Note on Source of Quotations

  • This collection of quotations came to me by e-mail from Reza Ganjavi: www.rezamusic.com. Thank you Reza!

Quotations from Various Sources on Various Topics

Organized Alphabetically

“A critic is a man who knows the way but can’t drive the car.” —Kenneth Tynan, 20th-century English art historian and critic

“A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, until the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sin and suffering.” —Thomas Jefferson, 18th-century American Founding Father, early 19th century U.S. president (letter to Samuel Kercheval, 1816)

“A kind word is like a spring day.” —Russian proverb

“A leader is a dealer in hope.” —Napoleon Bonaparte, 19th-century French general and emperor

“A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men.” —Albert Schweitzer

“A moral being is one who is capable of comparing his past and future actions or motives, and of approving or disapproving of them.” —Charles Darwin

“A nation, as a society, forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society.” —Thomas Jefferson, 18th-century American Founding Father, early 19th century U.S. president (letter to George Hammond, 1792)

“A philosophic system is an integrated view of existence. As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought … or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions.” —Ayn Rand

“A politician would do well to remember that he has to live with his conscience longer than he does with his constituents.” —Melvin R. Laird, 20th-century American secretary of defense

“A promise made is a debt unpaid.” —Robert W. Service (in The Cremation of Sam McGee, 1907)

“A regard for reputation and the judgment of the world may sometimes be felt where conscience is dormant.” —Thomas Jefferson, 18th-century American Founding Father, early 19th century U.S. president (letter to Edward Livingston, 1825)

“A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones.” —G.K. Chesterton, 19th-century English essayist and poet

“A wise man knows everything; a shrewd one, everybody.” —Unknown

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” —Emerson

“All progress depends on the unreasonable man.” —George Bernard Shaw, 19th/20th-century Anglo-Irish dramatist and wit

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” —Edmund Burke, 18th-century English political philosopher

“All who would win joy, must share it; happiness was born a twin.” —Lord Byron, 19th-century English poet

“An overdose of praise is like 10 lumps of sugar in coffee; only a very few people can swallow it.” —Emily Post, 20th-century American etiquette advisor and author

“Art is a jealous mistress.” —Emerson

“Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.” —G.K. Chesterton, 19th-century English essayist and poet

“As emperor, Rome is my city and my country; but as a human being I belong to the world.” —Marcus Aurelius

“As yet woman is not capable of friendship. But tell me, ye men, who of you are capable of friendship?” —Friedrich Nietzsche

“Bad administration, to be sure, can destroy good policy; but good administration can never save bad policy.” —Adlai Stevenson, 20th-century American politician, presidential candidate

“Be a philosopher; but amidst all your philosophy, be still a man.” —David Hume

“Be happy. Talk happiness. Happiness calls out responsive gladness in others. There is enough sadness in the world without yours … never doubt the excellence and permanence of what is yet to be. Join the great company of those who make the barren places of life fruitful with kindness … Your success and happiness lie in you … The great enduring realities are love and service … Resolve to keep happy and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” —Helen Keller, 20th-century American Nobel Prize-winning social activist, public speaker and author

“Be patient and calm–for no one can catch fish in anger.” —Herbert Hoover, 20th-century American public servant, U.S. president

“Big egos are big shields for lots of empty space.” —Diana Black

“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, 19th-century English poet (from Canto the Third

“By associating with good and evil persons a man acquires the virtues and vices which they possess, even as the wind blowing over different places takes along good and bad odors.” —The Panchatantra

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” —Helen Keller, 20th-century American social activist, public speaker and author

“Character is power.” —Booker T. Washington, 19th-century American educator

“Character is that which can do without success.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th-century American essayist, public philosopher and poet

“Character is what you are in the dark.” —Unknown

“Charity isn’t a good substitute for justice.” —Jonathan Kozol, 20th-century American journalist and author

“Children need models rather than critics.” —Joseph Joubert

“Compassion is the basis of morality.” —Arnold Schopenhauer, early 19th-century German philosopher

“Courage easily finds its own eloquence.” —Plautus

“Courage is like a muscle; it is strengthened by use.” —Ruth Gordon

“Courage is the price life exacts for peace.” —Amelia Earhart, 20th- century American aviator

“Cowardice . . . is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.” —Ernest Hemingway, 20th-century Nobel Prize-winning American novelist

“Democracy becomes a government of bullies, tempered by editors.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th-century American essayist, public philosopher and poet

“Discovery is the ability to be puzzled by simple things.” —Noam Chomsky, 20th-century American linguist and political activist

“Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life.” —Henry David Thoreau

“Educated men are as much superior to uneducated men as the living are to the dead.” —Aristotle

“Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.” —Gen. Omar N. Bradley, 20th-century American military figure

“Endurance is nobler than strength and patience than beauty.” —John Ruskin, 19th-century British critic and author

“Ethics is a code of values which guide our choices and actions and determine the purpose and course of our lives.” —Ayn Rand, 20th-century Russian/American novelist and philosopher

“Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people’s vanity, ignorance or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.” —Janet Malcolm, 20th-century American journalist and author (The Journalist and the Murderer).

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” —Gertrude Stein, 20th-century American writer

“Frankness invites frankness.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th-century American essayist, public philosopher and poet

“Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else.” —Eleanor Roosevelt, 20th-century American stateswoman, First Lady

“Genius is but fine observation strengthened by fixity of purpose.” —Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 19th-century English novelist

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” —Henry David Thoreau, 19th-century American essayist and nature writer

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” —Cicero (Marcus Tullius), Roman orator, philosopher and statesman

“Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes. Silently and imperceptibly, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or we grow weak, and at last some crisis shows us what we have become.” —Bishop Westcott

“Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important … They do not mean to do harm … They are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” —T.S. Eliot, Nobel Prize-winning 20th-century Anglo-American poet

“Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.” —Count Leo Tolstoy, 19th-century Nobel Prize-winning Russian novelist

“Happy families are all alike. Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” —Count Leo Tolstoy, Nobel Prize-winning 19th-century Russian novelist (from Anna Karenina)

“Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the 20th century.” —Alexander Solzhenitsyn, 20th-century Nobel Prize-winning Russian novelist

“He is poor who does not feel content.” —Japanese proverb

“He that’s cheated twice by the same man is an accomplice with the cheater.” —Thomas Fuller

“He who has a choice has trouble.” —Dutch proverb

“Honesty isn’t a policy at all; it’s a state of mind or it isn’t honesty.” —Eugene L’Hote

“I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.” —Socrates

“I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man’s being unable to sit still in a room.” —Blaise Pascal

“I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others.” —Thomas Jefferson, 18th-century American Founding Father, early 19th century U.S. president (in a letter to A. L. C. Destutt de Tracy, 1811)

“I long to accomplish some great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” —Helen Keller, 20th-century American Nobel Prize-winning social activist, public speaker and author

“I never failed once. It just happened to be a 2000-step process.” —Thomas Edison (19th/20th-century American inventor), responding to a reporter who asked how it felt to fail 2000 times before successfully inventing the light bulb

“I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.” —Booker T. Washington, 19th-century American educator

“If I have seen farther than other men it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.–Isaac Newton, 17th-century English mathematician and physicist

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” —Unknown

“If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.” —Lucy Larcom

“If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.” —Carl Jung, 20th-century Swiss founder of analytical psychology

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principle difference between a dog and a man.” —Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), 19th-century American humorist, author and journalist

“If you think your belief is based upon reason, you will support it by argument, rather than by persecution, and will abandon it if the argument goes against you. But if your belief is based on faith, you will realize that argument is useless, and will therefore resort to force either in the form of persecution or by stunting the minds of the young.” —Bertrand Russell

“If you want to work for world peace, go home and love your families.” —Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 20th-century nun and founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity (Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech)

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” —Albert Einstein, 20th-century Swiss mathematician, physicist and public philosopher

“In a time of social fragmentation, vulgarity becomes a way of life. To be shocking becomes more important–and often more profitable–than to be civil or creative or truly original.” —Al Gore, 20th-century American politician, vice president of the U.S.

“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” —Anne Frank, a victim of the mid-20th century Nazi Holocaust in Europe (from her Diaries

“Indifference is the essence of inhumanity.” —George Bernard Shaw, 19th/20th-century Anglo-Irish dramatist and wit

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” —Chinese proverb

“It is less important to redistribute wealth than it is to redistribute opportunity.” —Arthur Vandenberg, 20th-century American senator

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” —Charles Darwin

“It is with trifles, and when he is off guard, that a man best reveals his character.” —Arthur Schopenhauer, 19th-century German philosopher

“It takes a whole village to raise a child.” —Ashanti proverb

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), 19th-century American humorist, author and journalist

“Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them. They make the impossible happen.” —Dr. Robert Jarvik, 20th-century American heart surgeon

“Liberty means responsibility. That’s why most men dread it.” —George Bernard Shaw, 19th/20th-century Anglo-Irish dramatist and wit

“Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.” —Joseph Campbell

“Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th-century American essayist, public philosopher and poet

“Make no little plans! They have no magic to stir men’s blood.” —Daniel Burnham, 19th-century Chicago architect

“Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral, forty-eight percent indignation, and fifty percent envy.” —Vittorio De Sica, 20th-century Italian filmmaker

“Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the nose.” —Friedrich Nietzsche, 19th-century German philosopher

“Most men sell their souls and live with a good conscience on the proceeds.” —Logan Pearsall Smith

“Nearly all our disasters come of a few fools having the courage of their convictions.” —Coventry Patmore

“Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.” —Marcus Aurelius

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” —Aesop, ancient Greek moralist

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” —Calvin Coolidge, 20th-century American president

“One man with courage makes a majority.” —Andrew Jackson, early 19th-century American military hero and U.S. president

“One must care about a world one will never see.” —Bertrand Russell, 20th-century British mathematician and philosopher

“Only as an aesthetic phenomenon is the world justified.” —Friedrich Nietzsche

“Optimism is the father that leads to achievement.” —Helen Keller, 20th-century American civil rights leader

“Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.” —Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits. It works in the minutest crannies and it opens out onto the widest vistas. No one of us can get along without the far-flashing beams of light it sends over the world’s perspectives.” —William James

“Politics are for the moment. An equation is for eternity.” —Albert Einstein

“Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.” —Henry Adams, 19th-century American historian, memoirist and diplomat

“Prejudice is the child of ignorance.” —William Hazlitt, early 18th-century English essayist and literary critic

“Public virtue is a kind of ghost town into which anyone can move and declare himself sheriff.” —Saul Bellow, Nobel Prize-winning 20th-century American author

“Real intelligence enables us to penetrate to the inside of what we are studying, to reach the very bottom of it, to breathe its spirit, to feel the rhythm of its soul.” —Henri Bergson

“Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” —Helen Keller, 20th-century Nobel Prize-winning, American social activist, public speaker and author

“Sell not virtue to purchase wealth.” —English proverb

“Since the things we do determine the character of life, no blessed person can become unhappy. For he will never do those things which are hateful and petty.” —Aristotle

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.” —Swedish proverb

“The conclusions of passion are the only reliable ones.” —Søren Kierkegaard, early 19th-century Danish philosopher

“The essence of greatness is the perception that virtue is enough.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th-century American essayist, public philosopher and poet

“The foundation of morality is to have done, once and for all, with lying.” —Thomas Henry Huxley

“The gem cannot be polished without friction.” —Chinese proverb

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie–deliberate, contrived, and dishonest–but the myth–persistent, persuasive and realistic.” —John F. Kennedy, 20th-century American president (from the Yale Commencement address, 1962)

“The highest result of education is tolerance.” —Helen Keller, 20th-century American Nobel Prize-winning social activist, public speaker and author

“The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.” —George Bernard Shaw, 19th/20th century Anglo-Irish dramatist and wit

“The moment a man questions the meaning and value of life, he is sick, since objectively neither has any existence; by asking this question one is merely admitting to a store of unsatisfied libido to which something else must have happened, a kind of fermentation leading to sadness and depression.” —Sigmund Freud

“The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear–fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants beyond everything else is safety.” —[author not provided]

“The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.” —Henry David Thoreau

“The perception of beauty is a moral test.” —Henry David Thoreau

“The proper man understands equity, the small man profits.” —Confucius, ancient Chinese sage

“The proper time to influence the character of a child is about a hundred years before he’s born.” —William R. Inge

“The sentiments of men are known not only by what they receive, but what they reject also.” —Thomas Jefferson, 18th-century American Founding Father, early 19th century U.S. president (Autobiography, 1821)

“The words you speak today should be soft and tender … for tomorrow you may have to eat them.” —Unknown

“There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil.” —Alfred North Whitehead

“There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers. To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and truth. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.” —Henry David Thoreau

“There are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.” —Indira Gandhi, 20th-century Indian prime minister

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” —John Ruskin, 19th-century British critic and author

“There is no witness so terrible, no accuser so powerful as conscience which dwells within us.” —Sophocles, ancient Greek dramatist

“[Written about 1637 as he was going blind]: These heavens, this earth, which by wonderful observation I had enlarged a thousand times … are henceforth dwindled into the narrow space which I myself occupy.” —Galileo

“They who give have all things; they who withhold have nothing.” —Hindu proverb

“This sovereignty of the male is a real usurpation, and destroys that nearness of rank, not to say equality, which nature has established between the sexes.” —David Hume

“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.” —Buddha

“Those who pursue an education but stop short of studying philosophy are like the suitors of Penelope; they found it easier to woo the maidservants than to marry the mistress.” —Aristippus of Cyrene

“To describe happiness is to diminish it.” —Henri Stendahl, 19th-century French novelist

“To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th-century American essayist, public philosopher and poet

“To protect those who are not able to protect themselves is a duty which everyone owes to society.” —Edward Macnaghten

“Two things fill my mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” —Immanuel Kant, 18th century Prussian geographer and philosopher

“Unshared joy is an unlighted candle.” —Spanish proverb

“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.” —Albert Schweitzer, 20th-century German Nobel Peace Prize-winning mission doctor and theologian

“Value is that which one acts to gain and/or keep. Virtue is the act by which one aims and/or keeps it.” —Ayn Rand, 20th-century Russian/American philosopher and author

“Virtue has never been as respectable as money.” —Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), 19th-century American humorist, author and journalist

“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 18th/19th-century German statesman, poet, novelist and dramatist

“Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” —Albert Einstein, 20th-century Swiss mathematician, physicist and public philosopher

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” —Epicurus

“What has always made a hell on earth has been that man has tried to make it his heaven.” —Friedrich Holderin

“What is important is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us.” —Jean-Paul Sartre, 20th-century Nobel Prize-winning, French existentialist writer

“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” —Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 18th-century French philosopher

“What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth.” —Jewish proverb

“When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.” —Vietnamese saying

“When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love.” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 20th-century Nobel Prize-winning American civil rights leader

“When people are least sure, they are often most dogmatic.” —John Kenneth Galbraith, 20th-century North American economist, author and diplomat

“When somebody lies, somebody loses.” —Stephanie Ericsson

“Without civic morality communities perish; without personal morality their survival has no value.” —Bertrand Russell, 20th-century British mathematician and philosopher

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” —Goethe, 18th/19th-century German poet, novelist, playwright and philosopher

“You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.” —Albert Einstein, 20th-century Swiss mathematician, physicist and public philosopher

“You can only govern men by serving them.” —Victor Cousin


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