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Favorite Quotes 


Read one a day, and memorize the best ones. 


Or you could print out this list, cut up each quote, and put the scraps of paper in a jar, and every day, take a new one out and live by it. 






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


-- Madeleine L'Engle, writer (1918- ) 





I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. 


-- James Baldwin, writer (1924-1987) 



"America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life.  If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within." 


-- Joseph Stalin, Soviet communist tyrant (1878-1953) 



Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers. 

-- John Jay, president of the U.S. Continental Congress, 

co-writer of the Federalist Papers, 

and first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1745-1829) 



Men must be governed by God, or they will be ruled by tyrants. 


-- William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania 

and champion of freedom (1644-1718) 





Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it. 


-- Lucius Annaeus Seneca, philosopher (4 BC-65 AD) 





We have room for but one language here, and that is the
English language . .. and we have room for but one sole loyalty
and that is a loyalty to the American people."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President (1858-1919)





Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. 


-- Francis Bacon, essayist, philosopher, and statesman 




In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you. 


-- Mortimer J. Adler, philosopher, educator and author (1902-2001) 



These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. 


-- Gilbert Highet, writer (1906-1978) 



Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. 

They are the engines of change, windows on the world, "Lighthouses" as the poet said "erected in the sea of time." They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind, Books are humanity in print. 


-- Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher (1788-1860) 





I am malicious because I am miserable. . . . If any being felt emotions of benevolence towards me, I should return them a hundred and a hundred fold (words of Frankenstein monster). 


-- Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author (1797-1851) 





We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person. 


-- William Somerset Maugham, writer (1874-1965) 



All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible. 


-- George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952) 






Fame is a vapor, popularity is an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today may curse tomorrow, and only one thing endures - character. 


--Harry S Truman, 23rd U.S. President (1884-1972) 



"Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy."   


-- General Norman Schwarzkopf, commander-in-chief in the 1991 Gulf War (1934- )  



In the small matters trust the mind, in the large ones the heart. 


-- Sigmund Freud, neurologist, founder of psychoanalysis (1856-1939) 



The virtue of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities; and for this reason, the heart should be cultivated with more assiduity than the head. 

-- Noah Webster, lexicographer (dictionary writer), 

"The Father of American Scholarship and Education" (1758-1843)  





Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it. 


-- John D. Rockefeller, businessman-philanthropist (1839-1937)



Proportion your charity to the strength of your estate, or God will proportion your estate to the weakness of your charity. 


-- Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father, 

author, scientist, inventor and diplomat (1706-1790) 



The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. 


-- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President (1882-1945) 





What's done to children, they will do to society. 


-- Karl A. Menninger, psychiatrist (1893-1990) 



There are only two things a child will share willingly: 

communicable diseases, and his mother's age. 


-- Benjamin Spock,pediatrician, author and activist (1903-1998) 





The most certain test by which we can judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities. 


-- Lord Acton (John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton),British historian (1834-1902) 





Words are the soul's ambassadors, who go / Abroad upon her errands to and fro. 


-- James Howell, writer (c. 1594-1666) 



The firmest fayth is found in fewest woordes. 


-- Edward Dyer, courtier and poet (c. 1540-1607) 





Love truth, but pardon error. 


-- Voltaire, philosopher and writer (1694-1778) 



We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer. 


-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christian theologian, 

writer and courageous Nazi opponent (1906-1945) 





To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. 


-- Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president (1809-1865) 





Creative activity could be described as a type of learning process where teacher and pupil are located in the same individual. 


-- Arthur Koestler, novelist and journalist (1905-1983) 





Do what you feel in your heart to be right, 

for you'll be criticized anyway. 


-- Eleanor Roosevel, First Lady and human rights activist (1884-1962) 



Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots. 


Frank A. Clark, writer (1911- ) 





Albert Einstein once said, It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry. 


-- Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist (1879-1953) 





As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death. 


-- Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, engineer, musician, and scientist (1452-1519) 





A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill. 


-- Robert A. Heinlein, science-fiction author (1907-1988) 



The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself. 


-- Archibald MacLeish, poet and librarian (1892-1982) 



If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought - not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate. 


-- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice (1841-1935) 





There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities. 

-- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President (1858-1919)





True education makes for inequality; 

the inequality of individuality, the inequality of success; 

the glorious inequality of talent, of genius; 

for inequality, not mediocrity, 

individual superiority, not standardization, 

is the measure of the progress of the world. 


-- Felix Emmanuel Schelling, American educator and scholar (1858-1945) 



A teacher who is attempting to teach, without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn, is hammering on a cold iron.  


-- Horace Mann, educational reformer (1796-1859) 



One of these days they are going to remove so much of the 'hooey' and the thousands of things the schools have become clogged up with, and we will find that we can educate our broods for about one-tenth of the price and learn 'em something that they might accidentally use after they escape.  

-- Will Rogers, cowboy, comedian, 

social commentator, actor (1879-1935)  





Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.


-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer (1749-1832)



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) 





For every ten people who are clipping at the branches of evil, you're lucky to find one who's hacking at the roots. 


-- Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862) 





The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. 


-- George Baker, Christian evangelist and racial equality activist (1877-1965)  






If you devote your life to seeking revenge, first dig two graves. 


-- Confucius, Chinese philosopher and teacher (c. 551 BC-479 BC) 






The people never give up their liberties, but under some delusion. 


-- Edmund Burke, Irish statesman and writer (1729-1797) 



Emancipation from the bondage of the soil is no freedom for the tree. 


-- Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali philosopher, author, 

songwriter, painter, educator, composer, Nobel laureate (1861-1941) 



If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. 


-- James Madison, fourth U.S. president (1751-1836) 



These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will,
in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the
love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we
obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange
indeed if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated.


      Thomas Paine, American Founding Father, author and radical (1737-1809) 


 "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of freedom."  


-- John F. Kennedy, 35th U.S. President (1917-1963) 


General Douglas MacArthur, a leader I deeply respected, is said to have written
that no man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in
its preservation and vigorous in its defense. Well, it's all up to us now. We are the
heirs of MacArthur, Pershing, Jefferson, and Washington and of those Americans
who put their lives on the line from Bunker Hill to Belleau Wood, from Normandy to
Khe Sanh. We will be vigilant in the preservation of freedom and vigorous in its defense because we will not let down those who came before us or those who will follow.

-- Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President (1911-2004) 






No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. 


-- Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992) 



We should try to be the parents of our future rather than the offspring of our past. 


-- Miguel de Unamuno, writer and philosopher (1864-1936) 







There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else. 


-- General Peyton C. March (1864-1955) 






For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure - one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it. 


-- David Rockefeller, American banker, globalist (1915- ) 





Shadow owes its birth to light. 


-- John Gay, poet and dramatist (1685-1732) 


If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. 


-- Desmond Tutu, South African 

peace activist and clergyman (b. 1931) 





If you wouldn't write it and sign it, don't say it. 


-- Earl Wilson, columnist (1907-1987) 


Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people. 


-- Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, 

"father" of America's nuclear navy (1900-1986) 






The most tyrannical of governments are those which make crimes of opinions, for everyone has an inalienable right to his thoughts. 


-- Baruch Spinoza, philosopher (1632-1677) 



Force without wisdom falls of its own weight. 


-- Horace, poet and satirist (65 BC - 8 BC) 



The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity. 


-- John Quincy Adams, 6th U.S. President (1767-1848) 



In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men,
the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to
control the governed, and next oblige it to control itself.

-- James Madison, 4th U.S. President 

and author of the U.S. Constitution (1751-1836) 



Whenever government assumes to deliver us from the trouble of thinking for ourselves, the only consequences it produces are torpor and imbecility. . . " 


-- William Godwin, English journalist, author and political philosopher (1756-1836) 



A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. 

-- Thomas Jefferson, polymath and 3rd U.S. President (1743-1826) 


If the government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have. 

-- Gerald Ford, 38th U.S. President (1913-2006) 





If we were happy, the less diverted we would need to be. 


-- Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, physicist 

and Christian philosopher (1623-1662) 






A people without a heritage are easily persuaded. 

-- Karl Marx, German philosopher, revolutionary and 

"father of communism" (1818-1883) 





You can out-distance that which is running after you, but not what is running inside you. 


-- Rwandan Proverb 





Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility. 


-- St. Augustine, philosopher and theologian (354-430) 





A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs, jolted by every pebble in the road.


-- Henry Ward Beecher, Christian minister, social reformer 

and abolitionist (1813-1887) 





The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another, and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it. 


-- J.M. Barrie, novelist and playwright (1860-1937) 



For all our conceits about being the center of the universe, we live in a routine planet of a humdrum star stuck away in an obscure corner . . . on an unexceptional galaxy which is one of about 100 billion galaxies. . . . That is the fundamental fact of the universe we inhabit, and it is very good for us to understand that. 


-- Carl Sagan, astronomer and writer (1934-1996) 





The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.


-- William Blake, English poet, painter and printmaker (1757-1827) 





In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language . . . and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.


-- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President (1858-1919)





It is the lone worker who makes the first advance in a subject. The details may be worked out by a team, but the prime idea is due to the enterprise, thought and perception of an individual.


-- Sir Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin (1881-1955) 





The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, "Thus far and no farther." 


-- Ludwig van Beethoven, composer (1770-1827) 


Every day, some ordinary person does something extraordinary. Today, it's your turn. 


-- Lou Holtz, football coach and motivational speaker (1937- ) 





The vast majority of human beings dislike and even dread all notions with which they are not familiar. Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have always been derided as fools and madmen. 


-- Aldous Huxley, British novelist (1894-1963) 


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) 


It is a very lonely life that a man leads, who becomes aware of truths before their times. 


-- Thomas Brackett Reed, politician (1839-1902) 





The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude. 


-- Aldous Huxley, British novelist (1894-1963) 





He who binds to himself a joy, / Does the winged life destroy; / He who kisses the joy as it flies, / Lives in Eternity's sun rise. 


-- William Blake, English poet, engraver, and painter (1757-1827) 





Since when do we have to agree with people to defend them from injustice? 


-- Lillian Hellman, playwright (1905-1984) 





When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people. 


-- Abraham Joshua Heschel, theology professor (1907-1972) 



Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom. 


-- Theodore Rubin, psychiatrist and writer (1923- ) 


Kindness is loving people more than they deserve. 


-- Joseph Joubert, French essayist (1754-1824) 





Knowledge is like a garden: if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.


-- Guinean saying 


Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? 


-- T. S. Eliot, British poet and dramatist (1888-1965) 





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


-- Gore Vidal, writer (1925- ) 


A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as "keeping out of politics". All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. 


-- George Orwell, writer (1903-1950) 





Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed. 


-- Benjamin Franklin, American statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790) 


You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered. 


-- Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th U.S. president (1908-1973) 





I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be. 


-- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. president, architect and author (1743-1826) 





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


-- Chinese Proverb 


They know enough who know how to learn. 


-- Henry Adams, American aristocrat 

who advocated self-directed learning (1838-1918) 





There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration. 


-- Andrew Carnegie, industrialist and philanthropist 

who endowed countless libraries across America (1835-1919) 




Literature encourages tolerance -- bigots and fanatics seldom have any use for the arts, because they're so preoccupied with their beliefs and actions that they can't see them also as possibilities. 


-- Northrop Frye, writer (1912-1991) 

Love must be learned, and learned again and again;
there is no end to it. Hate needs no instruction,
but wants only to be provoked.


-- Katherine Anne Porter, American author (1894-1980) 

No one is such a liar as the indignant man.


-- Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844-1900) 


To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you're wrong, admit it; Whenever you're right, shut up. 


-- Ogden Nash, author and humorist (1902-1971) 





If we desire to insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure
peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it
must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.

-- George Washington, general of the American
Revolutionary Army and 1st U.S. President (1732-1799)





The price we pay for money is paid in liberty. 


-- Robert Louis Stevenson, novelist, essayist, and poet (1850-1894) 



For money you can have everything it is said. No, that is not true. You can buy food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; soft beds, but not sleep; knowledge but not intelligence; glitter, but not comfort; fun, but not pleasure; acquaintances, but not friendship; servants, but not faithfulness; grey hair, but not honor; quiet days, but not peace. The shell of all things you can get for money. But not the kernel. That cannot be had for money. 


-- Arne Garborg, writer (1851-1924) 





What is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious. 


-- Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman statesman, orator, writer (106 BC - 43 BC) 






The woman who creates and sustains a home and under whose hands children grow up to be strong and pure men and women, is a creator second only to God. 


-- Helen Maria Fiske Hunt Jackson 

author and advocate for Native Americans (1830-1885) 



Maternal love: a miraculous substance which God multiplies as He divides it. 


-- Victor Hugo, French author (1802-1885)  



A mother is the truest friend we have when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts. 


-- Washington Irving, American author (1783-1859) 


I remember my mother's prayers; 

They have clung to me all my life. 


-- Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president (1809-1865) 





A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. 


-- John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914) 






News is what people want to keep hidden; everything else is publicity. 


-- Bill Moyers, journalist (1934- ) 





He acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his actions.


-- Confucius, Chinese philosopher (551 - 478 B.C.) 





It is easier to lead men to combat, stirring up their passion, than to restrain them and direct them toward the patient labors of peace. 


-- Andre Gide, French author, Nobel laureate (1869-1951) 



When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.


-- Jimi Hendrix, musician, singer, and songwriter (1942-1970)





When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stone-cutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it would split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before together. 


-- Jacob A. Riis, journalist and social reformer (1849-1914) 


Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will
not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius
will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the
world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination are


-- Calvin Coolidge, 29th U.S. President (1872-1933) 





There are only two ways to live your life: one is as though nothing is a miracle; the other is as though everything is a miracle. 


-- Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955) 





Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. 


-- Robert Frost, poet (1874-1963) 



Poetry is the clear expression of mixed feelings. 


-- W.H. Auden, poet (1907-1973) 





Propaganda is a soft weapon; hold it in your hands too long, and it will move about like a snake, and strike the other way. 


-- Jean Anouilh, playwright (1910-1987) 


Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise. 


-- Francis Bacon, English essayist, 

philosopher, and statesman (1561-1626) 



We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. 

-- Will Rogers, cowboy, comedian, 

social commentator, actor (1879-1935)  






When you feel you cannot continue in your position for another minute, and all that is in human power has been done, that is the moment when the enemy is most exhausted, and when one step forward will give you the fruits of the struggle you have borne. 


-- Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England (1874-1963) 






In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds. 


-- Robert Green Ingersoll, political leader and orator (1833-1899) 



The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. 


-- William Arthur Ward, college administrator, writer (1921-1994) 






There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it. 


-- Dale Carnegie, author and educator (1888-1955) 






Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God's service when it is violating all his laws. 


-- John Adams, 2nd U.S. president (1735-1826) 



Eminent posts make great men greater, and little men less. 


-- Jean de la Bruyere, French essayist and moralist (1645-1696) 






We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. 


-- Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)  






Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. 


-- Joseph Addison, essayist and poet (1672-1719) 



Were we to choose our leaders on the basis of their reading experience and not their political programs, there would be much less grief on earth. 


-- Joseph Brodsky, writer (1940-1996) 





Neither great poverty nor great riches will hear reason. 


-- Henry Fielding, author (1707-1754) 


The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing. 


-- Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, physicist 

and Christian philosopher (1623-1662) 





Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, enemy to none. 


-- Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790) 






It would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official
 act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe. . .
    No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of Providential agency. 

-- George Washington, 1st U.S. President, 

inaugural address (1732-1799) 



The Christian religion is, above all Religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of Wisdom, Virtue, Equity, and Humanity. 

-- John Adams, 2nd U.S. president (1735-1826) 



Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.  

-- Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president (1809-1865) 



Man, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by . . . the word of God, or the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet. 


-- Robert Winthrop, philanthropist and Speaker of the U.S. House of
Representatives (1809-1894)






Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as they are disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise
and good in preference to the flattery of knaves. . . . Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the
more there must be without. . . . It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of
intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.


-- Edmund Burke, Irish statesman and writer (1729-1797) 





Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd. 


-- Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, 

Persian poet and mystic 




There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher. 


-- Henry van Dyke, poet (1852-1933) 


I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. 


--Rabindranath Tagore, Bengali philosopher, author, 

songwriter, painter, educator, composer, Nobel laureate (1861-1941) 





Against diseases here the strongest fence / Is the defensive virtue, abstinence. 

Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790) 





Once you label me you negate me. 


-- Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher (1813-1855) 





Civilizations in decline are consistently characterised by a tendency towards standardization and uniformity. 


-- Arnold Toynbee,English economic historian 





It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way. 


-- Rollo May, psychologist (1909-1994) 





To take from one, because it is thought his own industry . . . has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who... have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it. 


-- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. president, architect and author (1743-1826) 



The collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny. The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful. 


-- Calvin Coolidge, 29th U.S. President (1872-1933) 


Common sense told us that when you put a big tax on something, the people will produce less of it. So we cut the people's tax rates and the people produced more than ever before." 

"Are you entitled to the fruits of your own labor or does government have some presumptive right to spend and spend and spend?" 

"The federal government has taken too much tax money from the people, too much authority from the states, and too much liberty with the Constitution." 

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." 

"Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15."  


-- Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President (1911-2004) 





In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have. 


-- Lee Iacocca, automobile executive (1924- ) 


The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards. 


-- Anatole France, novelist, essayist, Nobel laureate (1844-1924) 






We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run. 


-- Roy Amara, engineer, futurist (1925- ) 





For too long, the world was paralyzed by the argument that terrorism could not be stopped until the grievances of terrorists were addressed. The complicated and heartrending issues that perplex mankind are no excuse for violent, inhumane attacks, nor do they excuse not taking aggressive action against those who deliberately slaughter innocent people. 


-- Ronald Reagan, 40th U.S. President (1911-2004) 





People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind. 


-- William Butler Yeats, Irish poet and dramatist, Nobel laureate (1865-1939) 





Our heads are round so that thoughts can change direction. 


-- Francis Picabia, painter and poet (1879-1953) 



In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die. 


-- Dorothy Sayers, British author (1893-1957) 





Smooth seas don't make good sailors.

-- African proverb 



Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and griefs which we endure help us in our marching onward. 


-- Henry Ford, motor vehicle industrialist 

and inventor of the assembly line (1863-1947) 





To love truth for truth's sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues. 


-- John Locke, English philosopher (1632-1704) 



The high minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think. 


-- Aristotle, Greek philosopher (384-322 BCE) 



I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies. 


-- Pietro Aretino, Italian author and dramatist (1492-1556) 



Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence. 


-- Henri Frederic Amiel, Swiss philosopher and writer (1821-1881) 



Half the truth is often a great lie. 


-- Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790) 



How dreadful knowledge of the truth can be when there's no help in the truth. 


-- Sophocles, Greek tragedian (496 BC - 406 BC) 



It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people. 


-- Giordano Bruno, Italian philosopher (1548-1600) 



Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings. 


-- Patrick Henry, American revolutionary attorney and orator (1736-1799) 



It is almost impossible to carry the torch of truth through a crowd without singeing somebody's beard. 


-- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, German scientist and philosopher (1742-1799) 





Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.  


-- C. S. Lewis, Irish writer and scholar (1898-1963) 





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. 


-- Mohandas Gandhi, political and spiritual leader in India (1869-1948) 



As the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence. 


-- Gandhi, ibid 





Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.


-- Thomas A. Edison, American inventor (1847-1931)






Words are things; and a small drop of ink / Falling like dew upon a thought, produces / That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. 


-- Lord Byron, British poet (1788-1824) 



Good prose is like a windowpane. 


-- George Orwell, writer (1903-1950) 





When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kind of dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt. 


-- Robert T. Pirsig, author and philosopher (1928- ) 





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