My Favorite Quotes

Culled from all over but especially from the daily quotes at A Word A Day

When I can look Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange—my youth.
—Sara Teasdale, poet (1884–1933)
A stiff apology is a second insult. The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.
—G.K. Chesterton, author (1874–1936)
Too many parents make life hard for their children by trying, too zealously, to make it easy for them.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, poet, dramatist, novelist, and philosopher (1749–1832)
Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily; and why older persons, especially if vain or important, cannot learn at all.
—Thomas Szasz, author, professor of psychiatry (1920–)
A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.
—Rabindranath Tagore, poet, philosopher, author, songwriter, painter, educator, composer, Nobel laureate (1861–1941)
Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.
—Rabindranath Tagore, poet, philosopher, author, songwriter, painter, educator, composer, Nobel laureate (1861–1941)
A man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of life getting his living.
—Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817–1862)
Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.
—Leonardo da Vinci, painter, engineer, musician, and scientist (1452–1519)
Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes.
—Edgard Varese, composer (1885–1965)
Give me ambiguity or give me something else.
In the midst of great joy, do not promise anyone anything. In the midst of great anger, do not answer anyone’s letter.
—Chinese proverb
Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, poet, dramatist, novelist, and philosopher (1749–1832)
I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man’s being unable to sit still in a room.
—Blaise Pascal, philosopher and mathematician (1623–1662)
People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea , at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.
—Saint Augustine (354–430)
What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.
—Herbert Alexander Simon, economist, Nobel laureate (1916–2001)
Open source is free like a puppy is free.
—Scott McNealy
Fame is a bee.
It has a song
It has a sting
Ah, too, it has a wing.
—Emily Dickinson, poet (1830–1886)
There is a profound causal relation between the height of a man’s ambition and the depth of his possible fall.
—Dag Hammarskjold, Markings
Everyone confesses that exertion which brings out all the powers of body and mind is the best thing for us; but most people do all they can to get rid of it, and as a general rule nobody does much more than circumstances drive them to do.
—Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionist and novelist (1811–1896)
A myth is a fixed way of looking at the world which cannot be destroyed because, looked at through the myth, all evidence supports the myth.
—Edward De Bono, consultant, writer, and speaker (1933– )
If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. It it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
—E.B. White, writer (1899–1985)
Seven blunders of the world that lead to violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principle.
—Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948)
Whenever people say “We mustn’t be sentimental,” you can take it they are about to do something cruel. And if they add “We must be realistic,” they mean they are going to make money out of it.
—Brigid Brophy, writer (1929–1995)
Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
—George Washington, 1st US president (1732–1799)
If I could go back and redo my twenties, that would be one thing I’d do more of: just try hacking things together. Like many people that age, I spent a lot of time worrying about what I should do. I also spent some time trying to build stuff. I should have spent less time worrying and more time building. If you’re not sure what to do, make something.
—Paul Graham, The Power of the Marginal
The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal.
—Erich Fromm, psychoanalyst and author (1900–1980)
Lots of people think they’re charitable if they give away their old clothes and things they don’t want. It isn’t charity to give away things you want to get rid of and it isn’t a sacrifice to do things you don’t mind doing.
—Myrtle Reed, author (1874–1911)
If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart.
—Socrates (469?–399 B.C.)
The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease. The happy man inevitably confines himself within ancient limits.
—Nathaniel Hawthorne, novelist and short-story writer (1804–1864)