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It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: "And this, too, shall pass away."
Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict [slavery] might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.
Abraham Lincoln (attributed):
You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
Abraham Lincoln (attributed):
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act, as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty; and precisely the same difference prevails today among human creatures.
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.
In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.
When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about.
No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
Joy, sorrow, tears, lamentation, laughter -- to all these music gives voice, but in such a way that we are transported from the world of unrest to a world of peace, and see reality in a new way, as if we were sitting by a mountain lake and contemplating hills and woods and clouds in the tranquil and fathomless water.
There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
Alexander Graham Bell:
When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh:
If one is estranged from oneself, then one is estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others.
The excess of virtue is a vice.
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.
Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work - that goes on, it adds up.
Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.
We are all something, but none of us are everything.
There are truths on this side of the Pyranees, which are falsehoods on the other.
If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.
C. S. Lewis:
The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.
There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year's course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.
The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.
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.
Dom Helder Camara:
When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.
For those who have seen the Earth from space, and for the hundreds and perhaps thousands more who will, the experience most certainly changes your perspective. The things that we share in our world are far more valuable than those which divide us.
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.
The man who is anybody and who does anything is surely going to be criticized, vilified, and misunderstood. This is part of the penalty for greatness, and evey man understands, too, that it is no proof of greatness.
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 ...
Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.
In 1929 the wise, far-seeing electors of my native Hereford sent me to Westminster and, two years later, the lousy bastards kicked me out.
About sacrifice and the offering of sacrifices, sacrificial animals think quite differently from those who look on: but they have never been allowed to have their say.
Georg C. Lichtenberg:
One's first step in wisdom is to question everything - and one's last is to come to terms with everything.
Georg C. Lichtenberg:
Eveyone is a genius at least once a year. A real genius has his original ideas closer together.
George Bernard Shaw:
When a man wants to murder a tiger, it's called sport; when the tiger wants to murder him it's called ferocity.
On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.
We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts.
We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.
The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.
I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days during their early adult life. Darkness would make them more appreciative of sight; silence would teach them the joys of sound.
The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
Henry Ward Beecher:
No man is sane who does not know how to be insane on proper occasions.
Honore De Balzac:
The smallest flower is a thought, a life answering to some feature of the Great Whole, of whom they have a persistent intuition.
[W]hen people thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the Earth was spherical they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the Earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the Earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.
God is on everyone's side … and in the last analysis, he is on the side with plenty of money and large armies.
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.
John Godfrey Saxe:
So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
1887: referring to the Buddhist fable of the Blind Sages and the Elephant, found in the Udana, chapter 6, section 4
What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. On Being a Teacher
It's pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness. Poverty an' wealth have both failed.
Madame de Stael:
Wit lies in recognizing the resemblance among things which differ and the difference between things which are alike.
To nourish children and raise them against odds is in any time, any place, more valuable than to fix bolts in cars or design nuclear weapons.
Every generalization is dangerous, especially this one.
Love vanquishes time. To lovers, a moment can be eternity, eternity can be the tick of a clock.
Is it so small a thing
To have enjoy'd the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved, to have thought, to have done...
Goodness makes greatness truly valuable, and greatness make goodness much more serviceable.
... without darkness
Nothing comes to birth,
As without light
Iâ€™ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. Iâ€™ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times Iâ€™ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. Iâ€™ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.
From the sublime to the ridiculous there is but one step.
Life has a bright side and a dark side, for the world of relativity is composed of light and shadows. If you permit your thoughts to dwell on evil, you yourself will become ugly. Look only for the good in everything so you absorb the quality of beauty.
The past is malleable and flexible, changing as our recollection interprets and re-explains what has happened.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Conservatism stands on man's confessed limitations; reform on his indisputable infinitude; conservatism on circumstance; liberalism on power; one goes to make an adroit member of the social frame; the other to postpone all things to the man himself; conservatism is debonnair and social; reform is individual and imperious.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and adore.
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.
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.
Did St. Francis really preach to the birds? Whatever for? If he really liked birds he would have done better to preach to the cats.
The greatest minds are capable of the greatest vices as well as of the greatest virtues.
All of the places of our lives are sanctuaries; some of them just happen to have steeples. And all of the people in our lives are saints; it is just that some of them have day jobs and most will never have feast days named for them.
Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better.
Robert S. Lynd:
Any of us can achieve virtue, if by virtue we merely mean the avoidance of the vices that do not attract us.
I always try to believe the best of everybody -- it saves so much trouble.
You've got to take the bitter with the sour.
Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn:
The golf links lie so near the mill
That almost every day
The laboring children can look out
And see the men at play.
[from "Through the Needle's Eye," 1916]
Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn:
"The unfit die â€” the fit both live and thrive." Alas, who says so? They who do survive.
Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue; a state of mind; a disposition for benevolence; confidence; and justice.
No garden is without its weeds.
Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything.
The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately. One step above the sublime makes the ridiculous, and one step above the ridiculous makes the sublime again.
Ursula K. Le Guin:
Success is somebody else's failure. Success is the American Dream we can keep dreaming because most people in most places, including thirty million of ourselves, live wide awake in the terrible reality of poverty.
Normal is in the eyes of the beholder.
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)
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.