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beginning quotes

Adrienne Rich:
Life on the planet is born of woman.
George Eliot:
Deep unspeakable suffering may well be called a baptism, a regeneration, the initiation into a new state.
Isaiah Berlin:
Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not.
Ivy Baker Priest:
The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.
Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!Look to this Day!For it is Life, the very Life of Life.In its brief course lie all the Verities and Realities of your Existence.The Bliss of Growth,The Glory of Action,The Splendor of Beauty;For Yesterday is but a Dream,And To-morrow is only a Vision;But To-day well lived makes Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.Look well therefore to this Day!Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!
Lazurus Long:
Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.
Robert Frost:
You're searching, Joe, for things that don't exist; I mean beginnings. Ends and beginnings -- there are no such things. There are only middles.
Wallace Stevens:
Reality is the beginning not the end,Naked Alpha, not the hierophant Omega,Of dense investiture, with luminous vassals.

beauty quotes

Albert Camus:
Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.
Albert Einstein:
The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. . . . The ordinary objects of human endeavour -- property, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible.
Albert Einstein:
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Living Philosophies, 1931
Albert Einstein:
A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Anais Nin:
The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.
Buckminster Fuller:
When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
Candace Bergen:
People see you as an object, not as a person, and they project a set of expectations onto you. People who don't have it think beauty is a blessing, but actually it sets you apart.
Chinese proverb:
When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.
Frederick Turner:
To those who followed Columbus and Cortez, the New World truly seemed incredible because of the natural endowments. The land often announced itself with a heavy scent miles out into the ocean. Giovanni di Verrazano in 1524 smelled the cedars of the East Coast a hundred leagues out. The men of Henry Hudson's Half Moon were temporarily disarmed by the fragrance of the New Jersey shore, while ships running farther up the coast occasionally swam through large beds of floating flowers. Wherever they came inland they found a rich riot of color and sound, of game and luxuriant vegetation. Had they been other than they were, they might have written a new mythology here. As it was, they took inventory.
Georgia O'Keeffe:
I said to myself -- I'll paint what I see -- what the flower is to me but I'll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it -- I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.
Helen Keller:
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched ... but are felt in the heart.
Henry Miller:
The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
Jean Kerr:
I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?
John Keats:
A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
John Ruskin:
Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies, for example.
Kahlil Gibran:
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!Look to this Day!For it is Life, the very Life of Life.In its brief course lie all the Verities and Realities of your Existence.The Bliss of Growth,The Glory of Action,The Splendor of Beauty;For Yesterday is but a Dream,And To-morrow is only a Vision;But To-day well lived makes Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.Look well therefore to this Day!Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!
Kenneth Patton:
The day I see a leaf is a marvel of a day.
Oscar Hammerstein, II:
Do you love me because I'm beautiful, or am I am beautiful because you love me?
Pierre Auguste Renoir:
The pain passes, but the beauty remains.
Rachel Carson:
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
Rachel Carson:
It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
The moral sense reappears today with the same morning newness that has been from of old the fountain of beauty and strength. You say there is no religion now. 'Tis like saying in rainy weather, There is no sun, when at that moment we are witnessing one of its superlative effects.
Robert Louis Stevenson:
It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves.
Rudyard Kipling:
Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not madeBy singing: -- "Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade.
Sir Walter Scott:
Nothing is more the child of art than a garden.
Sophia Loren:
Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got.
Virginia Woolf:
The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.
Willa Cather:
Oh, this is the joy of the rose: / That it blows, / And goes.

awareness quotes

Aldous Huxley:
Every individual is at once the beneficiary and the victim of the linguistic tradition into which he has been born - the beneficiary inasmuch as language gives access to the accumulated records of other people's experience, the victim in so far as it confirms him in the belief that reduced awareness is the only awareness and as it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things.
Anaïs Nin:
We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.
When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine your own self.
David Bohm:
Indeed, to some extent it has always been necessary and proper for man, in his thinking, to divide things up, if we tried to deal with the whole of reality at once, we would be swamped. However when this mode of thought is applied more broadly to man's notion of himself and the whole world in which he lives, (i.e. in his world-view) then man ceases to regard the resultant divisions as merely useful or convenient and begins to see and experience himself and this world as actually constituted of separately existing fragments. What is needed is a relativistic theory, to give up altogether the notion that the world is constituted of basic objects or building blocks. Rather one has to view the world in terms of universal flux of events and processes.
Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.
Denise Levertov:
Very few people really see things unless they've had someone in early life who made them look at things. And name them too. But the looking is primary, the focus.
Eleanor Chaffee:
Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.
Elias Canetti:
People love as self-recognition what they hate as an accusation.
Garrison Keillor:
I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.
Henry David Thoreau:
We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.
Henry David Thoreau:
Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.
Henry Miller:
The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
James Thurber:
Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.
Jessamyn West:
A religious awakening which does not awaken the sleeper to love has roused him in vain. The Quaker Reader, 1962
Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!Look to this Day!For it is Life, the very Life of Life.In its brief course lie all the Verities and Realities of your Existence.The Bliss of Growth,The Glory of Action,The Splendor of Beauty;For Yesterday is but a Dream,And To-morrow is only a Vision;But To-day well lived makes Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.Look well therefore to this Day!Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!
Linda Hogan:
There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.
M. Scott Peck:
The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
Mohandas K. Gandhi:
To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.
Monica Baldwin:
The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn't, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there.
'I have done that,' says my memory. 'I cannot have done that' -- says my pride, and remains adamant. At last -- memory yields.
Rachel Carson:
If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.
Thich Nhat Hanh:
People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.
Thich Nhat Hanh:
May our heart's garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.
Willa Cather:
The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always. (Death Comes for the Archbishop, 1927)

autumn quotes

Albert Camus:
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Albert Camus:
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
Bonaro W. Overstreet:
October is a symphony of permanence and change.

authority quotes

Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn:
You can have power over people as long as you don't take everything away from them. But when you've robbed a man of everything, he's no longer in your power.
Carl Sagan:
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
Cyrus Curtis:
There are two kinds of people who never amount to much: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who can do nothing else.
Cyrus H. Curtis:
There are two kinds of [people] who never amount to much: Those who cannot do what they are told, and those who can do nothing else.
Dwight D. Eisenhower:
You do not lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership.
Georg C. Lichtenberg:
To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation.
HH the Dalai Lama:
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
Henry Steele Commager:
Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.
James Russell Lowell:
He who is firmly seated in authority soon learns to think security, and not progress, the highest lesson of statecraft.
Kenneth Blanchard:
The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.
Leonard H. Robbins:
How a minority,Reaching majority,Seizing authority,Hates a minority!
Leonardo da Vinci:
Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.
Mark Twain:
In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing. Autobiography, 1959
Mark Twain:
Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.
Molly Ivins:
What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority.
Rabindranath Tagore:
Power takes as ingratitude the writhing of its victims.
Stanley Milgram:
The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.

Attitude Quotes

Abraham Lincoln:
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.
Anne Frank:
Then, without realizing it, you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this, it costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn't know it must learn and find by experience that a quiet conscience makes one strong.
Carl Rogers:
If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning.
Carlos Castaneda:
The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.
Colleen C. Barrett:
Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun.
To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.
Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.
Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.
For everything there is a season,And a time for every matter under heaven:A time to be born, and a time to die;A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;A time to kill, and a time to heal;A time to break down, and a time to build up;A time to weep, and a time to laugh;A time to mourn, and a time to dance;A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;A time to seek, and a time to lose;A time to keep, and a time to throw away;A time to tear, and a time to sew;A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;A time to love, and a time to hate,A time for war, and a time for peace.Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Edwin H. Friedman:
The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change. Communication does not depend on syntax, or eloquence, or rhetoric, or articulation but on the emotional context in which the message is being heard. People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them. Even the choices words lose their power when they are used to overpower. Attitudes are the real figures of speech.
Ella Williams:
Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it.
Eric Hoffer:
The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.
Frank Lloyd Wright:
The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.
H.H. the Dalai Lama:
The basic thing is that everyone wants happiness, no one wants suffering. And happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors. If your own mental attitude is correct, even if you remain in a hostile atmosphere, you feel happy.
Helen Keller:
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
Henry David Thoreau:
Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be.
Henry Ford:
If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right. also attributed to Mary Kay Ash
James A. Froude:
You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.
James Yorke:
The most successful people are those who are good at plan B.
M. Scott Peck:
The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
Marcus Aurelius:
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.
Marian Wright Edelman:
No one, Eleanor Roosevelt said, can make you feel inferior without your consent. Never give it.
Marian Wright Edelman:
You really can change the world if you care enough.
Marianne Williamson:
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Martha Washington:
The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances.
Maya Lin:
To fly, we have to have resistance.
Michael Korda:
To succeed, we must first believe that we can.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. 'Tis good to give a stranger a meal, or a night's lodging. 'Tis better to be hospitable to his good meaning and thought, and give courage to a companion. We must be as courteous to a man as we are to a picture, which we are willing to give the advantage of a good light.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
So is cheerfulness, or a good temper, the more it is spent, the more remains.
Richard Bach:
Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.
Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice.
Susan J. Bissonette:
An optimist is the human personification of spring.
Thomas Alva Edison:
Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Jefferson:
I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.
Victor Frankl:
Everything can be taken from a man but ... the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
Viktor Frankl:
We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
William James:
The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.
William James:
The greatest discovery of our generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. As you think, so shall you be.

art quotes

Andrew Kuntz:
I find working with glass meditative, almost therapeutic. I can leave the world behind, and focus... The simplicity of form, the drama of rich, intense colour, the joy of challenge, and the challenge of endurance... The piece, when it is over, is not what is made, but how it is made.
Benjamin Constant:
Art for art's sake, with no purpose, for any purpose perverts art. But art achieves a purpose which is not its own. [1804]
Carl Jung:
Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. To perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human being.
Daniel Barenboim:
Every great work of art has two faces, one toward its own time and one toward the future, toward eternity.
Denise Levertov:
I don't think one can accurately measure the historical effectiveness of a poem; but one does know, of course, that books influence individuals; and individuals, although they are part of large economic and social processes, influence history. Every mass is after all made up of millions of individuals.
Elizabeth Murray:
Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas.
Ezra Pound:
Good art can not be immoral. By good art I mean art that bears true witness, I mean the art that is most precise.
Science and art belong to the whole world, and before them vanish the barriers of nationality.
Helen M. Winslow:
Women, poets, and especially artists, like cats; delicate natures only can realize their sensitive nervous systems.
Jean de La Bruyère:
There are certain things in which mediocrity is intolerable: poetry, music, painting, public eloquence. What torture it is to hear a frigid speech being pompously declaimed, or second-rate verse spoken with all a bad poet's bombast!
John Adams:
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
Joseph Campbell:
The role of the artist I now understood as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul, and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth.
Julia Cameron:
Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite -- getting something down.The Artist's Way
Leonytne Price:
Art is the only thing you cannot punch a button for. You must do it the old-fashioned way. Stay up and really burn the midnight oil. There are no compromises.
Magdalena Abakanowicz:
Art will remain the most astonishing activity of mankind born out of struggle between wisdom and madness, between dream and reality in our mind.
Magdalena Abakanowicz:
Art does not solve problems but makes us aware of their existence. It opens our eyes to see and our brain to imagine.
Oscar Levant:
There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
Pablo Picasso:
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:
All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
Ralph Sockman:
Christmas renews our youth by stirring our wonder. The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion.
Richard Avedon:
There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.
Rita Mae Brown:
Art is moral passion married to entertainment. Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television.
Rollo May:
Creativity arises out of the tension between spontaneity and limitations, the latter (like the river banks) forcing the spontaneity into the various forms which are essential to the work of art or poem.
Sir Walter Scott:
Nothing is more the child of art than a garden.
Theodore Adorno:
A successful work of art is not one which resolves contradictions in a spurious harmony, but one which expresses the idea of harmony negatively by embodying the contradictions, pure and uncompromised, in its innermost structure.
Thomas Moore:
The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don't want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don't have a soul.
Vita Sackville-West:
Every garden-maker should be an artist along his own lines. That is the only possible way to create a garden, irespective of size or wealth.
William S. Burroughs:
Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it "creative observation." Creative viewing.
William Wordsworth:
Laying out grounds may be considered a liberal art, in some sort like poetry and painting.

arrogance quotes

David Hume:
When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities.
Duc de La Rochefoucauld:
The true means of being misled is to believe oneself finer than the others.
Frank Lloyd Wright:
Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change.
Friedrich Nietzsche:
The demand to be loved is the greatest of all arrogant presumptions.
Friedrich Nietzsche:
A person unlearns arrogance when he knows he is always among worthy human beings; being alone fosters presumption. Young people are arrogant because they always associate with their own peers, those who are all really nothing but who would like to be very important.
Friedrich Nietzsche:
One who is unassuming in dealing with people exhibits his arrogance all the more strongly in dealing with things (city, state, society, age, mankind). That is his revenge.
George Eliot:
He was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow.
Laura Teresa Marquez:
Arrogance and rudeness are training wheels on the bicycle of life -- for weak people who cannot keep their balance without them.
Simone de Beauvoir:
No one is more arrogant toward women, more aggressive or scornful, than the man who is anxious about his virility.
Stephen Jay Gould:
The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.
Sydney J. Harris:
Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own.
Theodore Bikel:
All too often arrogance accompanies strength, and we must never assume that justice is on the side of the strong. The use of power must always be accompanied by moral choice.
William Sloane Coffin, Jr.:
Love measures our stature: the more we love, the bigger we are. There is no smaller package in all the world than that of a man all wrapped up in himself.

argument quotes

Abraham Lincoln:
When I'm getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say -- and two-thirds thinking about him and what he is going to say.
My dear sir, they don't debate. Each of them merely issues an ultimatum, and in what a tone! It all goes to show what extraordinary people they are, each more unequivocal than the other. - "The Old Lady and the Bear"
Daniel Dennett:
There's nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.
David Hume:
Truth springs from argument amongst friends.
Edna St. Vincent Millay:
Life is a quest and love a quarrel ...
Gay Hendricks:
One of the first things a relationship therapist learns is that couples argue to burn up energy that could be used for something else. In fact, arguments often serve the purpose of using up energy, so that the couple do not have to take the courageous, creative leap into an unknown they fear. Arguing serves the function of being a zone of familiarity into which you can retreat when you are afraid of making a creative breakthrough.
Jack Lynch:
Arguments over grammar and style are often as fierce as those over IBM versus Mac, and as fruitless as Coke versus Pepsi and boxers versus briefs.
Jonathan Kozol:
Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. On Being a Teacher
Jonathan Swift:
Argument is the worst sort of conversation.
Leonardo da Vinci:
Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.
Marie Ebner von Eschenbach:
Whenever two good people argue over principles, they are both right.
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach:
Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.
Mary Pettibone Poole:
To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,requires brains.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Nor knowest thou what argumentThy life to thy neighbor's creed has lent.All are needed by each one;Nothing is fair or good alone.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Put the argument into a concrete shape, into an image, some hard phrase, round and solid as a ball, which they can see and handle and carry home with them, and the cause is half won.
Sam Adams:
It is no dishonor to be in a minority in the cause of liberty and virtue.
Virginia Woolf:
When an arguer argues dispassionately he thinks only of the argument.

Apathy quotes

Alexander Pope:
In lazy Apathy let Stoics boast,Their Virtue fix'd, 'tis fixed as in a frost.
Elie Wiesel:
It may well be that our means are fairly limited and our possibilities restricted when it comes to applying pressure on our government. But is this a reason to do nothing? Despair is nor an answer. Neither is resignation. Resignation only leads to indifference, which is not merely a sin but a punishment
Elizabeth Cady Stanton:
That only a few, under any circumstances, protest against the injustice of long-established laws and customs, does not disprove the fact of the oppressions, while the satisfaction of the many, if real only proves their apathy and deeper degradation.
Franklin D. Roosevelt:
It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
George Bernard Shaw:
Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of the virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of the vices.
Helen Keller:
Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings.
Henri Frederic Amiel:
Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence.
Jimmy Buffett :
Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care.
Mohandas Gandhi:
The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.
Robert M. Hutchins:
The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.
Thomas Carlyle:
Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstance.
William Lloyd Garrison:
The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead.

anger quotes

Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody's power, that is not easy.
Carl Sandburg:
ChooseThe single clenched fist lifted and ready,Or the open hand held out and waiting.Choose:For we meet by one or the other.
D. H. Lawrence:
The only justice is to follow the sincere intuition of the soul, angry or gentle. Anger is just, and pity is just, but judgement is never just.
Elizabeth Kenny:
He who angers you conquers you.
Elizabeth Kenny:
My mother used to say, "He who angers you, conquers you!" But my mother was a saint.
Epictetus :
Reckon the days in which you have not been angry. I used to be angry every day; now every other day; then every third and fourth day; and if you miss it so long as thirty days, offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.
Eric Hoffer:
The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.
Frederick Buechner:
Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back -- in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.
James Thurber:
Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.
John Dryden:
The intoxication of anger, like that of the grape, shows us to others, but hides us from ourselves.
Louisa May Alcott:
I am angry nearly every day of my life, but I have learned not to show it; and I still try to hope not to feel it, though it may take me another forty years to do it. [Character of Marmee in Little Women]
Marcus Aurelius:
How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.
Thomas a Kempis:
Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.
William Arthur Ward:
Flying off the handle sometimes causes hammers and humans to lose their heads, as well as their effectiveness.
William Blake:
I was angry with my friendI told my wrath, my wrath did end.I was angry with my foe:I told it not, my wrath did grow. A Poison Tree

Agnosticism/Atheism Quotes

Albert Einstein:
I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his [sic] creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious ourselves.
Bertrand Russell:
In conclusion, there is a marvelous anecdote from the occasion of Russell's ninetieth birthday that best serves to summarize his attitude toward God and religion. A London lady sat next to him at this party, and over the soup she suggested to him that he was not only the world's most famous atheist but, by this time, very probably the world's oldest atheist. "What will you do, Bertie, if it turns out you're wrong?" she asked. "I mean, what if -- uh -- when the time comes, you should meet Him? What will you say?" Russell was delighted with the question. His bright, birdlike eyes grew even brighter as he contemplated this possible future dialogue, and then he pointed a finger upward and cried, "Why, I should say, 'God, you gave us insufficient evidence.'" Al Seckel, in Preface to Bertrand Russell on God and Religion
Clarence Darrow:
I do not believe in God because I do not believe in Mother Goose.
Clarence Darrow:
I do not consider it an insult, but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure -- that is all that agnosticism means. Scopes trial, Dayton, Tennessee, July 13, 1925
Dennis McKinsey:
If God kills, lies, cheats, discriminates, and otherwise behaves in a manner that puts the Mafia to shame, that's okay, he's God. He can do whatever he wants. Anyone who adheres to this philosophy has had his sense of morality, decency, justice and humaneness warped beyond recognition by the very book that is supposedly preaching the opposite. [newsletter Biblical Errancy ]
Don Hirschberg:
Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color.
Emma Goldman:
The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation.
Francis Bacon:
Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.
Frederick Douglass:
The church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors.... For my part, I would say, welcome infidelity! Welcome atheism! Welcome anything! in preference to the gospel, as preached by these Divines! They convert the very name of religion into an engine of tyranny and barbarous cruelty, and serve to confirm more infidels, in this age, than all the infidel writings of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Bolingbroke put together have done!
G.K. Chesterton:
I always like a dog so long as he isn't spelled backward.
George Santayana:
My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image to be servants of their human interests.
Gore Vidal:
I'm a born-again atheist.
Henny Youngman:
I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up . . . they have no holidays.
Jane Wagner:
One thing I have no worry about is whether God exists. But it has occurred to me that God has Alzheimer's and has forgotten we exist. The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe, performed by Lily Tomlin, 1986
John Dietrich:
The President of the United States summons the nation to church on Thanksgiving Day to give thanks to "Almighty God" for the abundant harvest and all other blessings. But what has Almighty God -- I have no desire to appear irreverent -- what has Almighty God as a personal being to do with the harvests? If it is he who produces our crops, then being Almighty there should never be a failure of crops. But since crops frequently fail, it follows that there is no Almighty person in charge of them -- unless he brings failure purposely. Therefore, if God is to be thanked for large crops, he must be blamed when the crops are a failure. . . . If God sends the rain and the sunshine which develops and ripens our wheat, who sends the storms and the insects which destroy much of it? And if he sends both, then why not thank him for one and blame him for the other?
John Lovejoy Elliott:
I have known many good people who did not believe in God. But I have never known a human being who was good who did not believe in people. [language slightly modified]
Noam Chomsky:
How do I define God? I don't.... People who find such conceptions important for themselves have every right to frame them as they like. Personally, I don't. That's why you haven't found my "thoughts on this [for you] criticaI question." I have none, because I see no need for them (apart from the -- often extremely interesting and revealing -- inquiry into human culture an history).
This entry continued ...Pearl S. Buck:
When men destroy their old gods they will find new ones to take their place.
Pearl S. Buck:
Believing in gods always causes confusion.
As to the gods, I have no means of knowing either that they exist or do not exist.
Quentin Crisp:
When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, "Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?"
Robert Ingersoll:
My creed:To love justice, to long for the right, to love mercy,to pity the suffering, to assist the weak,
This entry continued ...Robert Ingersoll:
Few nations have been so poor as to have but one god. Gods were made so easily, and the raw material cost so little, that generally the god market was fairly glutted and heaven crammed with these phantoms.
Roman Tombstone:
Do not pass by my epitaph, traveler.But having stopped, listen and learn, then go your way.There is no boat in Hades, no ferryman Charon,No caretaker Aiakos, no dog Cerberus.All we who are dead belowHave become bones and ashes, but nothing else.I have spoken to you honestly, go on, traveler,Lest even while dead I seem loquacious to you.
Sir Julian Huxley:
Today the god hypothesis has ceased to be scientifically tenable ... and its abandonment often brings a deep sense of relief. Many people assert that this abandonment of the god hypothesis means the abandonment of all religion and all moral sanctions. This is simply not true. But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct some thing to take its place. The New Divinity
Susan B. Anthony:
I tell them I have worked 40 years to make the W.S. platform broad enough for Atheists and Agnostics to stand upon, and now if need be I will fight the next 40 to keep it Catholic enough to permit the straightest Orthodox religionist to speak or pray and count her beads upon.on the Women's Suffrage platform
Thomas Jefferson:
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
Wendy Kaminer:
I don't spend much time thinking about whether God exists. I don't consider that a relevant question. It's unanswerable and irrelevant to my life, so I put it in the category of things I can't worry about.

age quotes

Abraham Lincoln:

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

Agatha Christie:

I have enjoyed greatly the second blooming that comes when you finish the life of the emotions and of personal relations; and suddenly find - at the age of fifty, say - that a whole new life has opened before you, filled with things you can think about, study, or read about...It is as if a fresh sap of ideas and thoughts was rising in you.

Albert Einstein:

People like you and I, though mortal of course like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live...[We] never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born. letter to Otto Juliusburger

Alfred Adler:

It is easy to believe that life is long and one's gifts are vast -- easy at the beginning, that is. But the limits of life grow more evident; it becomes clear that great work can be done rarely, if at all.

Alice James:

It is so comic to hear oneself called old, even at ninety I suppose!

Anais Nin:

We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.

Ashley Montagu:

I want to die young at a ripe old age.

Benjamin Franklin:

All would live long, but none would be old.

Billie Burke:

Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese.

Carl Jung:

Among all my patients in the second half of life ... there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life.


As I give thought to the matter, I find four causes for the apparent misery of old age: first, it withdraws us from active accomplishments; second, it renders the body less powerful; third, it deprives us of almost all forms of enjoyment; fourth, it stands not far from death.

Clarence Darrow:

The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, and the second half by our children.

Coco Chanel:

A woman has the age she deserves.

Cornelius Otis Skinner:

There are compensations for growing older. One is the realization that to be sporting isn't at all necessary. It is a great relief to reach this stage of wisdom.

Dr. Johnson:

Every old man complains of the growing depravity of the world, of the petulance and insolence of the rising generation.

Edith Wharton:

There's no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow.

Edna Ferber:

Being an old maid is like death by drowning -- a really delightful sensation after you have ceased struggling.

Elizabeth Arden:

I'm not interested in age. People who tell me their age are silly. You're as old as you feel.

Eric Hoffer:

Perhaps a modern society can remain stable only by eliminating adolescence, by giving its young, from the age of ten, the skills, responsibilities, and rewards of grownups, and opportunites for action in all spheres of life. Adolescence should be a time of useful action, while book learning and scholarship should be a preoccupation of adults.

Florida Scott-Maxwell:

Age puzzles me. I thought it was a quiet time. My seventies were interesting and fairly serene, but my eighties are passionate. I grow more intense as I age.

Florida Scott-Maxwell:

No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld:

The old begin to complain of the conduct of the young when they themselves are no longer able to set a bad example.

H. L. Mencken:

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.

Harriet Beecher Stowe:

So much has been said and sung of beautiful young girls, why don't somebody wake up to the beauty of old women?

Helen Hayes:

The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.

Helen Keller:

It is not possible for civilization to flow backward while there is youth in the world. Youth may be headstrong, but it will advance its allotted length.

Henry David Thoreau:

None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.

Henry David Thoreau:

The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length, the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them.

Horace Rumpole:

There's no pleasure on earth that's worth sacrificing for the sake of an extra five years in the geriatric ward of the Sunset Old People's Home, Weston-Super-Mare.

Jeanne Moreau:

Age does not protect you from love, but love to some extent protects you from age.

Lady Diana Cooper:

First you are young; then you are middle-aged; then you are old; then you are wonderful.

Leonard H. Robbins:

How a minority,Reaching majority,Seizing authority,Hates a minority!

Lionel Trilling:

In the American metaphysic, reality is always material reality, hard, resistant, unformed, impenetrable, and unpleasant.

Madeleine L'Engle:

The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.

Mark Twain - attributed in error:

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

Maurice Chevalier (attributed but unverified):

Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative.

Norman Vincent Peale:

Live your life and forget your age.

Ogden Nash:

Middle age is when you've met so many people that every new person you meet reminds you of someone else.

Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Old age is fifteen years older than I am. (also attributed to Bernard Baruch in slightly different form)

Oliver Wendell Holmes, jr.:

The riders in a race do not stop short when they reach the goal. There is a little finishing canter before coming to a standstill. There is time to hear the kind voice of friends and to say to one's self: "The work is done."

Oscar Wilde:

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

Pearl S. Buck:

Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns to be amused rather than shocked.

Pearl S. Buck:

We should so provide for old age that it may have no urgent wants of this world to absorb it from meditation on the next.

Pearl S. Buck:

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible -- and achieve it, generation after generation.

Pearl S. Buck:

Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.

Pearl S. Buck:

You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in contact with a new idea.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

We are reformers in spring and summer; in autumn and winter, we stand by the old; reformers in the morning, conservers at night.The Conservative

Robert Frost:

A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.

Robert Louis Stevenson:

To hold the same views at forty as we held at twenty is to have been stupefied for a score of years, and take rank, not as a prophet, but as an unteachable brat, well birched and none the wiser.

Robert McAfee Brown:

How does one keep from "growing old inside"? Surely only in community. The only way to make friends with time is to stay friends with people…. Taking community seriously not only gives us the companionship we need, it also relieves us of the notion that we are indispensable.

Sir Arthur Pinero:

Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.

T.S. Eliot:

I don't believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates.

Thomas Alva Edison:

I am long on ideas, but short on time. I expect to live to be only about a hundred.

Thomas Jefferson:

Though an old man I am but a young gardener.

Thomas Jefferson:

Too old to plant trees for my own gratification, I shall do it for my posterity.

Thomas Jefferson:

I see no comfort in outliving one's friends, and remaining a mere monument of the times which are past.


Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that can happen to a man.


In his later years Pablo Picasso was not allowed to roam an art gallery unattended, for he had previously been discovered in the act of trying to improve on one of his old masterpieces.

Virginia Woolf:

One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them.


What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy.

Whitney Young:

Liberalism seems to be related to the distance people are from the problem.

Willa Cather:

The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.

Willa Cather:

Old men are like that, you know. It makes them feel important to think they are in love with somebody.

William James:

How pleasant is the day when we give up striving to be young -- or slender.

advice quotes

Abigail Van Buren:

People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.

Adlai Stevenson:

We should be careful and discriminating in all the advice we give. We should be especially careful in giving advice that we would not think of following ourselves. Most of all, we ought to avoid giving counsel which we don't follow when it damages those who take us at our word.


It is easy when we are in prosperity to give advice to the afflicted.

African proverb:

It takes a village to raise a child.

Agatha Christie:
Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it.
Albert Camus:

I shall tell you a great secret my friend. Do not wait for the last judgement, it takes place every day.

Albert Schweitzer:

Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it.

Alfonso the Wise (attributed):

Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.
13th century

Anna Quindlen:

Recently a young mother asked for advice. What, she wanted to know, was she to do with a 7-year-old who was obstreperous, outspoken, and inconveniently willful? "Keep her," I replied.... The suffragettes refused to be polite in demanding what they wanted or grateful for getting what they deserved. Works for me.

Bessie Stanley (adapted; erroneously attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson):

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

Bill Cosby:

A word to the wise ain't necessary, it's the stupid ones who need the advice.

Carolyn Wells:

Advice is one of those things it is far more blessed to give than to receive.

Charles A. Beard:

All the lessons of history in four sentences:
Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power.
The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small.
The bee fertilizes the flower it robs.
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.

Erica Jong:

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.

Francis Bacon, sr.:

He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.

G. K. Chesterton:

I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.

Georg C. Lichtenberg:

One's first step in wisdom is to question everything - and one's last is to come to terms with everything.

George Burns:

Too bad that all the people who really know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair.

Gloria Steinem:

I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.


Good things, when short, are twice as good.

Harry S Truman:

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

Heinrich Heine:

He only profits from praise who values criticism.

Henri Nouwen:

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.


Whatever advice you give, be brief.

James Callaghan:

A leader must have the courage to act against an expert's advice.

Karl Barth:

Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace.

Lillian Hellman:

If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.

Louisa May Alcott:
When women are the advisers, the lords of creation don't take the advice till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended to do; then they act upon it, and if it succeeds, they give the weaker vessel half the credit of it; if it fails, they generously give her the whole.
in Little Women

Marcus Aurelius:

If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.

Margaret Fuller:
Beware of over-great pleasure in being popular or even beloved.
Mark Twain:

Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest.
message to Young People's Society, Greenpoint Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, New York, February 16, 1901

Nelson Algren:

Never play cards with any man named "Doc."
Never eat at any place called "Mom's."
And never, never, no matter what else you do in your whole life, never sleep with anyone whose troubles are worse than your own.

Oscar Wilde:

The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.

Pamela Glenconner:

Bitter are the tears of a child: Sweeten them.
Deep are the thoughts of a child: Quiet them.
Sharp is the grief of a child: Take it from him.
Soft is the heart of a child: Do not harden it.

Pete Seeger:

"Do-so" is more important than "say-so."

Rabindranath Tagore

He who is too busy doing good finds no time to be good.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Go put your creed into the deed,
Nor speak with double tongue.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (probably erroneously):
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
Ramona L. Anderson:

People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.

Robert Frost:

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.

Samuel Smiles:

It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done.

Thomas Fuller:

If better were within, better would come out.
Thomas Jefferson:

A Decalogue of Canons for observation in practical life:
1. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
3. Never spend your money before you have it.
4. Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.
5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.
6. We never repent of having eaten too little.
7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
8. How much pain have cost us the evils which never have happened.
9. Take things always by their smooth handle.
10. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.
(letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, 1825)

Thomas Jefferson:

Take care that you never spell a word wrong. Always before you write a word, consider how it is spelled, and, if you do not remember, turn to a dictionary. It produces great praise to a lady to spell well.
to his daughter Martha

W. Somerset Maugham:

Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.

Woody Guthrie:

Take it easy -- but take it.

action quotes

Albert Einstein:

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.

Alex Noble:

If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.

Alexander Pope:

Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.

Alfred Adler:

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

Alfred North Whitehead:

We cannot think first and act afterward. From the moment of birth we are immersed in action, and can only fitfully guide it by taking thought.

Anais Nin:

Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.

Anatole France:

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

Ann Radcliffe:

One act of beneficence, one act of real usefulness, is worth all the abstract sentiment in the world.

Annie Dillard:

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.


Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.

Arnold Toynbee:

Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, with takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.

Benjamin Disraeli:

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.

Benjamin Franklin:

There are no gains without pains.

Benjamin Jowett:

We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.

Bishop Desmond Tutu:

We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose.

Cesar Chavez:

The first principal of nonviolent action is that of noncooperation with everything humiliating.

Charlotte Whitton:

Big words seldom accompany good deeds.

Colleen C. Barrett:

When it comes to getting things done, we need fewer architects and more bricklayers.

Cyrus Curtis:

There are two kinds of people who never amount to much: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who can do nothing else.

Danilo Dolci:

It's important to know that words don't move mountains. Work, exacting work moves mountains.


Just as a flower, which seems beautiful has color but no perfume, so are the fruitless words of a man who speaks them but does them not.

Edmund Burke:

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Edmund Burke:

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.

Edmund Burke (attributed):

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edward Ericson:

The cosmos is neither moral or immoral; only people are. He who would move the world must first move himself.

Edward Everett Hale:

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

Edwin Markham:

We have committed the Golden Rule to memory; let us now commit it to life.

Elbert Hubbard:

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

Eleanor Roosevelt:

You must do the things you think you cannot do.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

This entry continued ...
Ella Williams:

Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it.


First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.


In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.

Ernest Hemingway:

Never mistake motion for action.

Franklin D. Roosevelt:

It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

Frederick Douglass:

I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.

Frederick Douglass:

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.

George Bernard Shaw:

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.

George Eliot:

The most solid comfort one can fall back upon is the thought that the business of one's life is to help in some small way to reduce the sum of ignorance, degradation and misery on the face of this beautiful earth.

Georges Bernanos:

A thought which does not result in an action is nothing much,
and an action which does not proceed from a thought is nothing at all.


Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction.


Quite often, as life goes on, when we feel completely secure as we go on our way, we suddenly notice that we are trapped in error, that we have allowed ourselves to be taken in by individuals, by objects, have dreamt up an affinity with them which immediately vanishes before our waking eye; and yet we cannot tear ourselves away, held fast by some power that seems incomprehensible to us. Sometimes, however, we become fully aware and realize that error as well as truth can move and spur us on to action. Now because action is always a decisive factor, something really good can result from an active error, because the effect of all that has been done reaches out into infinity. So although creative action is certainly always best, destroying what has been done is also not without happy consequence.


Knowing is not enough; we must apply!

Harold Nicolson:

We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts.

Helen Keller:

I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.

Helen Keller:

Security is mostly a 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.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

The heights by great men reached and kept / Were not attained by sudden flight, / But they, while their companions slept, / Were toiling upward in the night.

Herman Melville:

We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.

Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC:

Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.

Hugh Prather:

To live for results would be to sentence myself to continuous frustration. My only sure reward is in my actions and not from them.

Jane Addams:

Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.

Jimmy Carter:

I have one life and one chance to make it count for something . . . I'm free to choose what that something is, and the something I've chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands -- this is not optional -- my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.

Joe Hill:

I will die like a true-blue rebel. Don't waste any time in mourning -- organize.

John Andrew Holmes:

Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it often substitutes for both.

John Dewey:

Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates to invention. It shocks us out of sheeplike passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving.

John Dewey:

Arriving at one point is the starting point to another.

John F. Kennedy:

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

John Locke:

I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.

John Wesley:

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.

Kahlil Gibran:

A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.


Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And To-morrow is only a Vision;
But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

Kenneth Patton (adapted):

By the choices and acts of our lives, we create the person that we are and the faces that we wear. By the choices and acts of our lives we give to the world wherein our lives are lived, hoping that our neighbors will find our contributions to be of worth, and hoping that the world will be a little more gracious for our time in it.

Laurence J. Peter:

There are two kinds of failures: those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.

Leo Tolstoy:

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Lin Yutang:

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.

Lloyd Jones:

Those who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try nothing and succeed. (adapted)

Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Thatcher:

If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.

Marian Wright Edelman:

If you don't like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it You just do it one step at a time.

Marian Wright Edelman:

It's time for greatness -- not for greed. It's a time for idealism -- not ideology. It is a time not just for compassionate words, but compassionate action.

Marian Wright Edelman:

A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back -- but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.

Marian Wright Edelman:

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.

Marian Wright Edelman:

You really can change the world if you care enough.

Mark Twain:

There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.

Mary Oliver:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Michael Hanson:

To will is to select a goal, determine a course of action that will bring one to that goal, and then hold to that action till the goal is reached. The key is action.


Our true wealth is the good we do in this world. None of us has faith unless we desire for our neighbors what we desire for ourselves.

Mohandas Gandhi:

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.


It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do.

Noam Chomsky:

The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.

Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it -- but sail we must and not drift, nor lie at anchor.

Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Consciously or unconsciously we all strive to make the kind of a world we like.

Paul Ricoeur:

The moral law commands us to make the highest possible good in a world the final object of all our conduct.

Paulo Freire:

Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.

Pearl S. Buck:

When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail.

Pearl S. Buck:

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible -- and achieve it, generation after generation.

Pearl S. Buck:

You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.

Pete Seeger:

"Do-so" is more important than "say-so."

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Do not believe that possibly you can escape the reward of your action.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Skill to do comes of doing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

The ancestor of every action is a thought.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

The thing done avails, and not what is said about it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Do not say things. What you are stands over you the while, and thunders, so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

It is the duty of men to judge men only by their actions. Our faculties furnish us with no means of arriving at the motive, the character, the secret self. We call the tree good from its fruits, and the man, from his works. (sermon, October 15, 1826)

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (probably erroneously):
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
Reinhold Niebuhr:

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite a virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.

Rita Mae Brown:

Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.

Robert Collyer:

A man's best friends are his ten fingers.

Robert F. Kennedy:

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.

Robert Frost:

The world is filled with willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.

Robert L. Stevenson:

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.

Rudyard Kipling:

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing: -- "Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade.

Talmud (attributed):

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
From a speech given in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1910

Thomas Alva Edison:

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.

Thomas Carlyle:

Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstance.

Thomas H. Huxley:

The great end of life is not knowledge but action.

Thomas Jefferson:

I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

Thomas Jefferson:

It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.

Tom Robbins:

The bottom line is that (a) people are never perfect, but love can be, (b) that is the one and only way that the mediocre and vile can be transformed, and (c) doing that makes it that. We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.
Still Life With Woodpecker

Ursula K. LeGuin:

Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.

Vaclav Havel:

Genuine politics -- even politics worthy of the name -- the only politics I am willing to devote myself to -- is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.

Victor Frankl:

We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by doing a deed; (2) by experiencing a value; and (3) by suffering.

Victor Hugo:

Our acts make or mar us, -- we are the children of our own deeds.

W. Clement Stone:

When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.

Walter Linn:

It is surprising what a man can do when he has to, and how little most men will do when they don't have to.

William James:

He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had tried and failed.

Woody Guthrie:

Take it easy -- but take it.


Do, or do not. There is no try.


This blog contains wise and stupid words others have said. You get to choose which is which. GOOD LUCK!
Thanks for stopping by! -- karim elnabawy


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