Great Quotes

Great Quotes

It is better to pass boldly into that other world in the full glory of some passion than fade and wither dismally with age – James Joyce

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. -E. M. Forster, novelist (1 Jan 1879-1970)

The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. -Steve Biko, anti-apartheid activist (18 Dec 1946-1977)

Style is time’s fool. Form is time’s student. -Stewart Brand, writer and editor (b. 14 Dec 1938)

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? -Alexander Solzhenitsyn, novelist, Nobel laureate (11 Dec 1918-2008)

Memento Mori

The mind is its own place, and in itself / Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. -John Milton (9 Dec 1608-1674)

If you posses something but you can’t give it away, then you don’t posses it, it possesses you- frank Sinatra

Don’t ask a barber if you need a haircut!
– Tim Ferris

Sunday night is dreams on one hand and reality on the other

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., writer (11 Nov 1922-2007)

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” – Marcus Aurelius

If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth. -Carl Sagan, astronomer and author (9 Nov 1934-1996)

You cannot have a grain of faith, so long as you hold on to a speck of doubt. Iching

Discipline equals freedom.

Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree. -Ezra Pound, poet (30 Oct 1885-1972)

The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly. -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, philosopher (15 Oct 1844-1900)

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment. And sometimes that bad judgement can be pretty horrific!” -Val Geissler, cowboy poet, horse trainer, Unbranded mentor and support crew.

For there is no friend like a sister / In calm or stormy weather; / To cheer one on the tedious way, / To fetch one if one goes astray, / To lift one if one totters down, / To strengthen whilst one stands. -Christina Rossetti, poet (18

Invention requires an excited mind; execution, a calm one. -Johann Peterrmann, poet (21 Sep 1792-1854)

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” –

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation. Tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. -Jean Arp, artist and poet (16 Sep 1887-1948)

Do not confuse comfort with happiness.
Dean Karnazes

The exception proves the rule.
Tim Artabasy

The hero and the coward feel the same thing.

Third, the owners of capital are increasingly remote from their communities. “In the old days, if a company C.E.O. suddenly dumped the defined-benefits pension, you knew who to go see to complain. Today it may be an unseen private equity fund that lobbies for the change.” The virtualization of ownership insulates the privileged from the “devastating consequences” of their decisions.

Pain is a handful of smoke. Bill venz

Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things. -Amelia Earhart, aviator (24 Jul 1897-1937)

There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art, science would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber. Without science, art would become a crude mess of folklore and emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous. -Raymond Thornton Chandler, writer (23 Jul 1888-1959)

Adversity introduces man to himself. ? Tshirt San Fran

To a father growing old, nothing is dearer than a daughter. -Euripides, playwright (c. 480-406 BCE)

A U-boat crew was a Schicksalsgemeinschaft—a community bound by fate.

If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat, and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference. -Robert Fulghum, author (b. 4 Jun 1937)

The heart of class is restraint. Wpm

Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. His character determines the character of the organization. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (25 May 1803-1882)

I feel fairly certain that my hatred harms me more than the people whom I hate. -Max Frisch, architect, playwright, and novelist (15 May 1911-1991)

Neither genius, fame, nor love show the greatness of the soul. Only kindness can do that. -Jean Baptiste Henri Lacordaire, preacher, journalist, and activist

Content thyself to be obscurely good. When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, the post of honor is a private station. -Joseph Addison, essayist and poet (1 May 1672-1719)

The desire of the man is for the woman, but the desire of the woman is for the desire of the man. -Madame de Stael, writer (22 Apr 1766-1817)

O innocent victims of Cupid, / Remember this terse little verse: / To let a fool kiss you is stupid, / To let a kiss fool you is worse. -Yip Harburg, lyricist (8 Apr 1896-1981)

All of life is a foreign country. -Jack Kerouac, author (12 Mar 1922-1969)

In some circumstances, the refusal to be defeated is a refusal to be educated. -Margaret Halsey, novelist (13 Feb 1910-1997)

The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw. -Havelock Ellis, physician, writer, and social reformer (2 Feb 1859-1939)

The great secret of success is to go through life as a man who never gets used up. That is possible for him who never argues and strives with men and facts, but in all experience retires upon himself, and looks for the ultimate cause of things in himself. -Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobelist (14 Jan 1875-1965)

Brooks robinson Baltimore Orioles 3rd baseman. Came down from a higher league.

“The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of life, but that it bothers him less and less.”
Vaclav Havel, quoted in The Wall Street Journal

the sea is only drops of water
from the movie “I am” Desmond Tutu
“Failure is success in progress.”
Albert Einstein, quoted in

Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except the best. -Henry van Dyke, poet (1852-1933)

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. -Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President (1809-1865)

An army of donkeys led by a lion will always defeat an army of lions led by donkey
Ghengis Khan

Seneca in De clemencia about the inverse effect of punishments. He wrote: “Repeated punishment, while it crushes the hatred of a few, stirs the hatred of all … just as trees that have been trimmed throw out again countless branches.” For revolutions feed on repression, growing heads faster and faster as one literally cuts a few off by killing demonstrators.

“When life gives you a lemon …” The excess energy released from overreaction to setbacks is what innovates! Nassim taleb

To be nobody but myself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. -E.E. Cummings, poet (1894-1962)

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. -Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests. -Gore Vidal, author (1925-2012)

You get to your passion through mastery not mastery through your passion – Kevin Kelly

The man who is always waving the flag usually waives what it stands for. -Laurence J. Peter, educator and author (1919-1990)

“The human isn’t perfect”- Lilly McRoberts 20010914

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy. -Ivan Illich, philosopher and priest (1926-2002)

The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little. -Ray Bradbury, science-fiction writer (1920-2012)

Our sincerest laughter With some pain is fraught; Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. -Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet (1792-1822)

It is a perversion of terms to say that a charter gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabitants; but charters, by annulling those rights, in the majority, leave the right, by exclusion, in the hands of a few… They… consequently are instruments of injustice … The fact, therefore, must be that the individuals, themselves, each, in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a contract with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.
Thomas Paine. The Rights Of Man

Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.
Aldous Huxley, quoted in United Press International

There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind. -Hannah Senesh, poet, playwright, and paratrooper (1921-1944)

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. DaVinci

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone- Neale Donald Walsch

Lose ounces in the gym, and pounds in the kitchen.

One is happy as a result of one’s own efforts once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness: simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self denial to a point, love of work, and above all, a clear conscience. -George Sand [pen name of Amantine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin], novelist (1804-1876)

It is always in the benefit of those who impose it upon you. Alpha Israel of Namibia

Somewhere along the line we confused comfort with happiness. Dean Karnazes.

If skill could be learned by watching, every dog would become a butcher- Turkish proverb

Generally speaking a howling wilderness does not howl, it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.

Conspicuous altruism is intrinsically selfish-WPM

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. -William Butler Yeats, writer, Nobel laureate (1865-1939)

Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.
Francis Bacon, quoted in the Houston Chronicle

Never cut what you can untie. -Joseph Joubert, essayist (1754-1824)

Terminal domestication -Wpm

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. -Arthur Conan Doyle, physician and writer (1859-1930)

The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely. -Lorraine Hansberry, playwright and painter (1930-1965)

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about the answers. -Thomas Pynchon, writer (b. 1937)

It is the prospect of death which drives us to greatness.
Hannibal Lecter.

Fiction gives us a second chance that life denies us. -Paul Theroux, novelist (b. 1941)

Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.
Gloria Steinem, quoted in

A melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realization that you can’t make old friends.
Christopher Hitchens, quoted in The Guardian (U.K.)

Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.
Desmond Tutu, quoted in the Montreal Gazette

In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
Philosopher Eric Hoffer, quoted in the Monterey County, Calif., Herald

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be. -Abraham Maslow, psychologist (1908-1970)

The mind is the effect, not the cause. -Daniel C. Dennett, philosopher (b. 1942)

A pedestal is as much a prison as any small space. -Gloria Steinem, activist, editor (b. 1934)

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from that of their social environment. -Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.

And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator,
Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Saviour,
and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide,
be with you and remain with you, this day and forevermore.


Adachi Masahiro (1780-1800): The imperturbable mind is the secret of warfare. [Training the Samurai Mind: A Bushido Sourcebook]

James Hannington, Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa, and his Companions, Martyrs, 1885

Life is short,
And we do not have much time
to gladden the hearts of those who
make the journey with us.
So . . . be swift to love,
and make haste to be kind.
And the blessing of God,
who made us,
who loves us,
and who travels with us
be with you now and forever.

A blessing given at the closing Eucharist of the 2010 convention of the Diocese of Maine, based on the words of Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881).

The only way to pay a debt a gratitude is with loyalty. WPM.

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -Carl Sandburg, poet (1878-1967)

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. -Voltaire, philosopher and writer (1694-1778)

Learning is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily. -Chinese proverb

Running against the wind, planes find flight.
Henry Ford

No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings. -William Blake, poet, engraver, and painter (1757-1827)

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in. -Alan Alda, actor and director (b. 1936)

A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.
Jane Austen, quoted in The Wall Street Journal

The sun keeps coming up even if the curtains are closed.
Brandy Clark

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.
John Quincy Adams, quoted in the Memphis Daily News

Life is about losing everything, gracefully.
Mia Farrow, quoted in The Telegraph (U.K.)

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. -Crowfoot, Native American warrior and orator (1821-1890)

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.”

Men argue; nature acts.
Voltaire, quoted in The Denver Post
And women sneek and stab- hcm

Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.
American missionary Lillian Dickson, quoted in the Associated Press

Trash bags are never clear

Thinking is a momentary dismissal of irrelevancies.
Buckminster Fuller, quoted in The Boston Globe

Since my house burned down / I now own a better view / of the rising moon. -Mizuta Masahide, poet and samurai (1657-1723)

The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge. -Daniel J. Boorstin, historian, professor, attorney, and writer (1914-2004)

Be alone—that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born.
Nikola Tesla, quoted in The Wall Street Journal

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” -Peter Drucker

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars. -Walt Whitman, poet (1819-1892)

I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs. -Joseph Addison, essayist and poet (1672-1719)

If words are to enter men’s minds and bear fruit, they must be the right words shaped cunningly to pass men’s defenses and explode silently and effectually within their minds. -J.B. Phillips, writer and clergyman (1906-1982)

The world, we are told, was made especially for man — a presumption not supported by all the facts… Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation? -John Muir, naturalist and explorer (1838-1914)

Matthew 7:13-14
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

What is the purpose of the giant sequoia tree? The purpose of the giant sequoia tree is to provide shade for the tiny titmouse. -Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. -Albert Schweitzer

Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass. -Confucius, philosopher and teacher (c. 551-478 BCE)

Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. -William Arthur Ward, college administrator, writer (1921-1994)

One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant. -John Locke, philosopher (1632-1704)

Turner would remind Holyfield that “you can’t take a bow today for the performance you gave yesterday.”

Every burned book or house enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

When old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders. -Rabindranath Tagore, poet, philosopher, author, songwriter, painter, educator, composer, Nobel laureate (1861-1941)

Mankind’s true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -Milan Kundera, novelist, playwright, and poet (b.1929)

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” C.S. Lewis

Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences. -Robert Louis Stevenson, novelist, essayist, and poet (1850-1894)

His mother had often said, When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action. She had emphasized the corollary of this axiom even more vehemently: when you desired a consequence you had damned well better take the action that would create it. -Lois McMaster Bujold, writer (b. 1949)

This above all: to thine own self be true, / And it must follow, as the night the day, / Thou canst not then be false to any man. -William Shakespeare, poet and dramatist (1564-1616)

The very meaninglessness of life forces man to make his own meaning.
Stanley Kubrick, quoted in Vice

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.
Emily Dickinson, quoted in the Hanover, Pa., Evening Sun

You know what getting married is? It’s agreeing to taking this person who right now is at the top of his form, full of hopes and ideas, feeling good, looking good, wildly interested in you because you’re the same way, and sticking by him while he slowly disintegrates. And he does the same for you. You’re his responsibility now and he’s yours. If no one else will take care of him, you will. If everyone else rejects you, he won’t. What do you think love is? Going to bed all the time? -Jane Smiley, novelist (b.1949)

Death destroys the body, as the scaffolding is destroyed after the building is up and finished. And he whose building is up rejoices at the destruction of the scaffolding and of the body. -Leo Tolstoy, novelist and philosopher (1828-1910)

Life and death live inside each other. The dog stars.

Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. -Susan Ertz, author (1894-1985)

Deep within the soul of the lonely caged bird / Beats the rhythm of a distant forest / Etched upon its broken heart / The faded memory of flight. -Ginni Bly, poet (b. 1945)

There comes a time in a man’s life when to get where he has to — if there are no doors or windows — he walks through a wall. -Bernard Malamud, novelist and short-story writer (1914-1986)

What is to give light must endure burning. -Viktor Frankl, author, neurologist and psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor (1905-1997)

Men are the devils of the earth and the animals are its tormented souls. -Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher (1788-1860)

Wit is a sword; it is meant to make people feel the point as well as see it.
G.K. Chesterton, quoted in the Los Angeles Review of Books

No man is crushed by misfortune unless he has first been deceived by prosperity.
Seneca, quoted in The Boston Globe

The real problem of humanity is the following: We have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology.
Biologist Edward O. Wilson, quoted in the Monterey County, Calif., Herald

The dream which is not fed with dream disappears.
Poet Antonio Porchia, quoted in The Village Voice

Talent does you no good unless it’s recognized by someone else.
Employment guru Robert Half, quoted in

Vanity is a mortgage that must be deducted from the value of a man.
Otto von Bismarck, quoted in

Children will become what you say they are. Helen McRoberts

When a man realizes his littleness, his greatness can appear.
H.G. Wells, quoted in Forbes .com

Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.
Adam Smith, quoted in

This is a collection of great ideas which have influenced me over time.

Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability.

William Osler

It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.

William Osler

We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life.

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