Quotes:Quotes of the Year

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Template:QoDBar2017 This page lists all "Quotes of the Day" that have been chosen for the current year.

For the sound and image files used with these see:

January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November

See also: Quote of the day - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 - 2007 - Complete list (latest at top) - Complete list (earliest at top) - QOTD sound & image files (by month) - Quote of the Day proposals (an older archive)

Latest quotations are listed first:

November 2008

  • Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much;
    Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.

    ~ William Cowper ~
  • Statistically the probability of any one of us being here is so small that you would think the mere fact of existence would keep us all in a contented dazzlement of surprise. We are alive against the stupendous odds of genetics, infinitely outnumbered by all the alternates who might, except for luck, be in our places. ~ Lewis Thomas
  • Writing, when properly managed, (as you may be sure I think mine is) is but a different name for conversation. ~ Laurence Sterne
  • Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play on the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter? ~ John Milton in Areopagitica
  • Human feeling is like the mighty rivers that bless the earth: it does not wait for beauty — it flows with resistless force and brings beauty with it. ~ George Eliot
  • If your object is to secure liberty, you must learn to do without authority and compulsion. If you intend to live in peace and harmony with your fellow-men, you and they should cultivate brotherhood and respect for each other. If you want to work together with them for your mutual benefit, you must practice cooperation. The social revolution means much more than the reorganization of conditions only: it means the establishment of new human values and social relationships, a changed attitude of man to man, as of one free and independent to his equal; it means a different spirit in individual and collective life, and that spirit cannot be born overnight. It is a spirit to be cultivated, to be nurtured and reared, as the most delicate flower it is, for indeed it is the flower of a new and beautiful existence. ~ Alexander Berkman
  • A revolution is coming — a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough — But a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character; we cannot alter its inevitability. ~ Robert F. Kennedy
  • Next in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained. ~ James A. Garfield
  • When you can have anything you want by uttering a few words, the goal matters not, only the journey to it. ~ Christopher Paolini
  • We shall all live. We pray for life, children, a good harvest and happiness. You will have what is good for you and I will have what is good for me. Let the kite perch and let the egret perch too. If one says no to the other, let his wing break. ~ Chinua Achebe
  • Who in the same given time can produce more than others has vigor; who can produce more and better, has talents; who can produce what none else can, has genius. ~ Johann Kaspar Lavater
  • To be in good moral condition requires at least as much training as to be in good physical condition. ~ Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. ~ Louis Brandeis
  • In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object. ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • These are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. ~ Abigail Adams
  • The dignity of mankind is in your hands; protect it!
    It sinks with you! With you it will ascend.

    ~ Friedrich Schiller ~

  • Every one of us is precious in the cosmic perspective. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another. ~ Carl Sagan
  • Once and for all
    the idea of glorious victories
    won by the glorious army
    must be wiped out
    Neither side is glorious
    On either side they're just frightened men messing their pants
    and they all want the same thing
    Not to lie under the earth
    but to walk upon it
    without crutches

    ~ Peter Weiss ~

  • Do not be deceived by the way men of bad faith misuse words and names ...Things are set up as contraries that are not even in the same category. Listen to me: the opposite of radical is superficial, the opposite of liberal is stingy; the opposite of conservative is destructive. Thus I will describe myself as a radical conservative liberal; but certain of the tainted red fish will swear that there can be no such fish as that. Beware of those who use words to mean their opposites. At the same time have pity on them, for usually this trick is their only stock in trade. ~ R. A. Lafferty
  • This is our time — to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes we can! ~ Barack Obama
  • I suppose the process of acceptance will pass through the usual four stages:
    (i) this is worthless nonsense;
    (ii) this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view;
    (iii) this is true, but quite unimportant;
    (iv) I always said so.
    ~ J. B. S. Haldane ~
  • On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does. ~ Will Rogers
  • Only the liberation of the natural capacity for love in human beings can master their sadistic destructiveness. ~ Wilhelm Reich
  • You know, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"? It's the same with powerlessness. Absolute powerlessness corrupts absolutely. Einstein said everything had changed since the atom was split, except the way we think. We have to think anew. ~ Studs Terkel

October 2008

  • Date not the life which thou hast run by the mean of reckoning of the hours and days, which though hast breathed: a life spent worthily should be measured by a nobler line, — by deeds, not years... ~ Richard Brinsley Sheridan
  • He who has provoked the lash of wit, cannot complain that he smarts from it. ~ James Boswell
  • Walk a single path, becoming neither cocky with victory nor broken with defeat, without forgetting caution when all is quiet or becoming frightened when danger threatens. ~ Jigoro Kano
  • Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education. ~ Alfred Whitney Griswold
  • After bread, education is the first need of the people. ~ Georges Danton
  • I would prefer to remain in prison for another 20 years than bargain my beliefs for freedom. ~ Samir Geagea
  • We present a dramatically different approach to time management. This is a principle-centered approach. It transcends the traditional prescriptions of faster, harder, smarter, and more. Rather than offering you another clock, this approach provides you with a compass — because more important than how fast you're going, is where you're headed. ~ Stephen Covey
  • We ought to hate very rarely, as it is too fatiguing; remain indifferent to a great deal, forgive often and never forget. ~ Sarah Bernhardt
  • I often observed to my brother, You see now how little nature requires to be satisfied. Felicity, the companion of content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external things; And I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatsoever state he is. This consists in a full resignation to the will of Providence; and a resigned soul finds pleasure in a path strewed with briars and thorns. ~ Daniel Boone
  • You must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow on that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. A wizard's power of Changing and Summoning can shake the balance of the world. It is dangerous, that power. It is most perilous. It must follow knowledge, and serve need. To light a candle is to cast a shadow. ~ Ursula K. Le Guin
  • We're overdue for a dream come true.
    Long time nothing new.
    We're overdue for a dream come true.

    ~ Tom Petty ~

  • To be nameless in worthy deeds exceeds an infamous history. ~ Thomas Browne
  • There's too much of an attempt, it seems to me, to think in terms of controlling man, rather than freeing him. Of defining him rather than letting him go. It's part of the whole ideology of this age, which is power-mad. ~ Arthur Miller
  • The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehoods is with truth. ~ William O. Douglas
  • A nuclear war does not defend a country and it does not defend a system. I've put it the same way many times; not even the most accomplished ideologue will be able to tell the difference between the ashes of capitalism and the ashes of communism. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith
  • I think it's a disgrace for the international community that we have allowed so many conflicts to become frozen, and we are not making a serious effort to solve them. ~ Martti Ahtisaari
  • The concept which assumes that everything in the Church is irrevocably set for all times appears to me to be a false one. It would be naive to disregard that the Church has a history; the Church is a human institution and like all things human, was destined to change and evolve; likewise, its development takes place often in the form of struggles. ~ Edith Stein
  • Your true home is in the here and the now. It is not limited by time, space, nationality, or race. Your true home is not an abstract idea. It is something you can touch and live in every moment. With mindfulness and concentration, the energies of the Buddha, you can find your true home in the full relaxation of your mind and body in the present moment. No one can take it away from you. Other people can occupy your country, they can even put you in prison, but they cannot take away your true home and your freedom. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
  • When there are too many policemen, there can be no liberty. When there are too many soldiers, there can be no peace. When there are too many lawyers, there can be no justice. ~ Lin Yutang
  • Builders and warriors, strengthen the steps.
    Reader, if you have not grasped — read again,
    after a while.
    The predestined is not accidental,
    The leaves fall in their time.
    And winter is but the harbinger of spring.
    All is revealed; all is attainable.

    ~ Nicholas Roerich ~

  • The year of jubilee has come;
    Gather the gifts of Earth with equal hand;
    Henceforth ye too may share the birthright soil,
    The corn, drink the wine and all the harvest-home.

    ~ Edmund Clarence Stedman ~

  • Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us. ~ Steven Erikson
  • It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power. ~ David Brin
  • Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not. ~ Václav Havel
  • The quicker humanity advances, the more important it is to be the one who deals the first blow. ~ Ernst Kaltenbrunner
  • 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
  • I am one of you and being one of you
    Is being and knowing what I am and know.
    Yet I am the necessary angel of earth,
    Since, in my sight, you see the earth again,
    Cleared of its stiff and stubborn, man-locked set
    And, in my hearing, you hear its tragic drone
    Rise liquidly in liquid lingerings,
    Like watery words awash; like meanings said
    By repetitions of half-meanings.

    ~ Wallace Stevens ~

  • Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black. ~ Henry Ford

September 2008

  • If in thirst you drink water from a cup, you see God in it. Those who are not in love with God will see only their own faces in it. ~ Rumi
  • It is sad not to be loved, but it is much sadder not to be able to love. ~ Miguel de Unamuno
  • I don't think there's anything exceptional or noble in being philanthropic. It's the other attitude that confuses me. ~ Paul Newman
  • If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any essential natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave. ~ Samuel Adams
  • All is always now. Words strain,
    Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
    Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
    Will not stay still.

    ~ T. S. Eliot in The Four Quartets ~
  • The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail. ~ William Faulkner
  • At any rate, let us love for a while, for a year or so, you and me. That's a form of divine drunkenness that we can all try. There are only diamonds in the whole world, diamonds and perhaps the shabby gift of disillusion. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger? ~ Thomas Huxley
  • I'm guided by a signal in the heavens,
    I'm guided by this birthmark on my skin
    I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons
    First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.
    ~ Leonard Cohen ~
  • When you come right down to it, the secret of having it all is loving it all. ~ Joyce Brothers
  • Basically I'm an optimist. Intellectually I can see man's balance is about fifty-fifty, and his chances of blowing himself up are about one to one. I can't see this any way but intellectually. I'm just emotionally unable to believe that he will do this. This means that I am by nature an optimist and by intellectual conviction a pessimist, I suppose. ~ William Golding
  • A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still. ~ Samuel Johnson
  • The real crazies who are looking for a messiah... after an hour or so they realise I'm not it and go off and look somewhere else. ~ Ken Kesey
  • Patriotism is proud of a country’s virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country’s virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, "the greatest," but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is. ~ Sydney J. Harris
  • Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it. ~ Roald Dahl
  • If man had more of a sense of humor, things might have turned out differently. ~ Stanisław Lem
  • Although September 11 was horrible, it didn't threaten the survival of the human race, like nuclear weapons do. ... I don't think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I'm an optimist. We will reach out to the stars. ~ Stephen Hawking
  • Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. ~ Cyril Connolly
  • Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here. ~ Leo Tolstoy
  • Soldiers are citizens of death's grey land,
    Drawing no dividend from time's to-morrows.
    In the great hour of destiny they stand,
    Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.

    ~ Siegfried Sassoon ~
  • When a shepherd goes to kill a wolf, and takes his dog to see the sport, he should take care to avoid mistakes. The dog has certain relationships to the wolf the shepherd may have forgotten. ~ Robert M. Pirsig
  • Deep in the minds of the apes was rooted the conviction that Tarzan was a mighty fighter and a strange creature. Strange because he had had it in his power to kill his enemy, but had allowed him to live — unharmed. ~ Edgar Rice Burroughs

August 2008

  • The writer is a spiritual anarchist, as in the depth of his soul every man is. He is discontented with everything and everybody. The writer is everybody's best friend and only true enemy — the good and great enemy. He neither walks with the multitude nor cheers with them. The writer who is a writer is a rebel who never stops. ~ William Saroyan
  • Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. ~ Warren Buffett
  • Mankind has advanced. Human progress is ceaseless. We can ... conclude that building just societies is a fool's errand. We are always, despite our advances, only one sin away from slipping into the abyss of terror and ignorance. But that is not so. Generations upon generations have driven the human race farther and farther from darkness. ~ John McCain
  • To which of the warring serpents should I turn with the problem that now faces me?
    It is easy, and tempting, to choose the god of Science. Now I would not for a moment have you suppose that I am one of those idiots who scorns Science, merely because it is always twisting and turning, and sometimes shedding its skin, like the serpent that is its symbol. It is a powerful god indeed but it is what the students of ancient gods called a shape-shifter, and sometimes a trickster. ~ Robertson Davies
  • In every science, after having analysed the ideas, expressing the more complicated by means of the more simple, one finds a certain number that cannot be reduced among them, and that one can define no further. These are the primitive ideas of the science; it is necessary to acquire them through experience, or through induction; it is impossible to explain them by deduction. ~ Giuseppe Peano
  • A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
  • A few Cobras in your home will soon clear it of Rats and Mice. Of course, you will still have the Cobras. ~ Will Cuppy
  • Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. ~ Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr.
  • A means can be justified only by its end. But the end in its turn needs to be justified. ~ Leon Trotsky
  • There probably is no more important quest in all science than the attempt to understand those very particular events in evolution by which brains worked out that special trick that has enabled them to add to the cosmic scheme of things: color, sound, pain, pleasure, and all the other facets of mental experience. ~ Roger Wolcott Sperry
  • Must I at length the Sword of Justice draw?
    Oh curst Effects of necessary Law!
    How ill my Fear they by my Mercy scan,
    Beware the Fury of a Patient Man.

    ~ John Dryden ~
  • Everything of value about me is in my books. Whatever extra there is in me at any given moment isn't fully formed. I am hardly aware of it; it awaits the next book. It will — with luck — come to me during the actual writing, and it will take me by surprise. That element of surprise is what I look for when I am writing. ~ V.S. Naipaul
  • It is fortunate to be of high birth, but it is no less so to be of such character that people do not care to know whether you are or are not. ~ Jean de La Bruyère
  • A form of government that is not the result of a long sequence of shared experiences, efforts, and endeavors can never take root. ~ Napoleon I of France
  • Life seemed to be an educator's practical joke in which you spent the first half learning and the second half learning that everything you learned in the first half was wrong. ~ Russell Baker
  • It is our hope, that men in proportion as they grow more enlightened, will learn to hold their theories and their creeds more loosely, and will none the less, nay, rather all the more be devoted to the supreme end of practical righteousness to which all theories and creeds must be kept subservient. ~ Felix Adler
  • It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought — that is to be educated. ~ Edith Hamilton
  • There is no slavery but ignorance. Liberty is the child of intelligence. ~ Robert G. Ingersoll
  • We are living in a time of trouble and bewilderment, in a time when none of us can foresee or foretell the future. But surely it is in times like these, when so much that we cherish is threatened or in jeopardy, that we are impelled all the more to strengthen our inner resources, to turn to the things that have no news value because they will be the same to-morrow that they were to-day and yesterday — the things that last, the things that the wisest, the most farseeing of our race and kind have been inspired to utter in forms that can inspire ourselves in turn. ~ Laurence Binyon
  • The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done; men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers, who can be critical and verify, and not accept, everything they are offered. ~ Jean Piaget
  • If I am peaceful, I shall see
    Beauty's face continually;
    Feeding on her wine and bread
    I shall be wholly comforted,
    For she can make one day for me
    Rich as my lost eternity.

    ~ Sara Teasdale ~
  • The question isn't whether you have a good master or a bad master. It's to be your own master. That is the dignity of humanity. ~ Alan Keyes
  • Those works of art which have scooped up the truth and presented it to us as a living force — they take hold of us, compel us, and nobody ever, not even in ages to come, will appear to refute them. ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Throughout American history, there have been moments that call on us to meet the challenges of an uncertain world, and pay whatever price is required to secure our freedom. ~ Barack Obama
  • I have tried at times to place humans in perspective against the vastness of universal time and space. I have been concerned with where we, as a race, may be going and what may be our purpose in the universal scheme — if we have a purpose. In general, I believe we do, and perhaps an important one. ~ Clifford D. Simak
  • Now, it is true that the nature of society is to create, among its citizens, an illusion of safety; but it is also absolutely true that the safety is always necessarily an illusion. Artists are here to disturb the peace. ~ James Baldwin
  • All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event — in the living act, the undoubted deed — there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. ~ Herman Melville in Moby-Dick

July 2008

  • The future of humanity is uncertain, even in the most prosperous countries, and the quality of life deteriorates; and yet I believe that what is being discovered about the infinitely large and infinitely small is sufficient to absolve this end of the century and millennium. What a very few are acquiring in knowledge of the physical world will perhaps cause this period not to be judged as a pure return of barbarism. ~ Primo Levi
  • I don't know you,
    And you don't know me.
    It is this that brings us together.

    ~ Kate Bush ~
  • The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind. ~ National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 creating NASA
  • If I could only give three words of advice, they would be, "Tell the Truth." If I got three more words, I'd add, "All the time." ~ Randy Pausch
  • It was my shame, and now it is my boast,
    That I have loved you rather more than most.

    ~ Hilaire Belloc ~
  • We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect; we apprehend it just as much by feeling. Therefore, the judgment of the intellect is, at best, only the half of truth, and must, if it be honest, also come to an understanding of its inadequacy. ~ Carl Jung
  • Though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities. ~ Eric Hoffer
  • Many have puzzled themselves about the origin of evil. I am content to observe that there is evil, and that there is a way to escape from it, and with this I begin and end. ~ John Newton
  • Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph. ~ Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
  • Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles.

    ~ Emma Lazarus ~
  • Sameness is the mother of disgust, variety the cure. ~ Petrarch
  • Everyone has talent at twenty-five. The difficulty is to have it at fifty. ~ Edgar Degas
  • When I die, my money's not gonna come with me. My movies will live on for people to judge what I was as a person. I just want to stay curious. ~ Heath Ledger
  • Error is a hardy plant; it flourisheth in every soil;
    In the heart of the wise and good, alike with the wicked and foolish;
    For there is no error so crooked, but it hath in it some lines of truth;
    Nor is any poison so deadly, that it serveth not some wholesome use.

    ~ Martin Farquhar Tupper ~
  • Ignorance perpetuates itself just as knowledge does. Men write false documents, they preach false doctrine, and those beliefs survive to inspire wickedness in later generations. ... Conversely, some men write and teach about the truth, only to be declared heretic by the wicked. In such cases evil has the advantage, for it will do anything to suppress truth, but the good man limits what he will do to suppress falsehood.
    One might almost make a rule of it: "Whoever declares another heretic is himself a devil. Whoever places a relic or artifact above justice, kindness, mercy, or truth is himself a devil and the thing elevated is a work of evil magic." ~ Sheri S. Tepper
  • Try to put well in practice what you already know; and in so doing, you will in good time, discover the hidden things which you now inquire about. Practice what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know. ~ Rembrandt
  • The note of hope is the only note that can help us or save us from falling to the bottom of the heap of evolution, because, largely, about all a human being is, anyway, is just a hoping machine, a working machine ... don't worry — the human race will sing this way as long as there is a human to race. The human race is a pretty old place. ~ Woody Guthrie
  • People sometimes tell me that they prefer barbarism to civilisation. I doubt if they have given it a long enough trial. Like the people of Alexandria, they are bored by civilisation; but all the evidence suggests that the boredom of barbarism is infinitely greater. ~ Kenneth Clark
  • To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour. ~ Henry David Thoreau in Walden
  • Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society — things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed. ~ E. B. White
  • Science is but a perversion of itself unless it has as its ultimate goal the betterment of humanity. ~ Nikola Tesla
  • Nature is busy creating absolutely unique individuals, whereas culture has invented a single mold to which all must conform. It is grotesque. ~ U. G. Krishnamurti
  • As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things. To do service, you don't have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn't matter as much as how you do what you do. ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
  • Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect. ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  • I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way. ~ John Paul Jones
  • Take a commonplace, clean it and polish it, light it so that it produces the same effect of youth and freshness and originality and spontaneity as it did originally, and you have done a poet’s job. The rest is literature. ~ Jean Cocteau
  • Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained. Follow some other object, and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness without dreaming of it. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. ~ Franz Kafka
  • There are gains for all our losses,
    There are balms for all our pain:
    But when youth, the dream, departs,
    It takes something from our hearts,
    And it never comes again.

    ~ Richard Henry Stoddard ~

June 2008

Audio & Images
  • Life is a jest, and all things show it,
    I thought so once, and now I know it.

    ~ John Gay ~
  • Here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • We differ, blind and seeing, one from another, not in our senses, but in the use we make of them, in the imagination and courage with which we seek wisdom beyond the senses. ~ Helen Keller
  • Every event has had its cause, and nothing, not the least wind that blows, is accident or causeless. ~ Pearl S. Buck
  • By "nationalism" I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled "good" or "bad." ... By "patriotism" I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseperable from the desire for power. ~ George Orwell
  • All I do is done in love; all I suffer, I suffer in the sweetness of love. ~ John of the Cross
  • We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done. ~ Alan Turing
  • If we glance at the most important revolutions in history, we are at no loss to perceive that the greatest number of these originated in the periodical revolutions of the human mind. ~ Wilhelm von Humboldt
  • For every man who lives without freedom, the rest of us must face the guilt. ~ Lillian Hellman
  • The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear. ~ Aung San Suu Kyi
  • Our security strategies have not yet caught up with the risks we are facing. The globalization that has swept away the barriers to the movement of goods, ideas and people has also swept with it barriers that confined and localized security threats. ~ Mohamed ElBaradei
  • When you're 50 you start thinking about things you haven’t thought about before. I used to think getting old was about vanity — but actually it's about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. ~ Joyce Carol Oates
  • I protect my right to be a Catholic by preserving your right to believe as a Jew, a Protestant, or non-believer, or as anything else you choose. We know that the price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that they might some day force theirs on us. ~ Mario Cuomo
  • True love ennobles and dignifies the material labors of life; and homely services rendered for love's sake have in them a poetry that is immortal. ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • So long as all is ordered for attack, and that alone, leaders will instinctively increase the number of enemies that they may give their followers something to do. ~ William Butler Yeats
  • We are adhering to life now with our last muscle — the heart. ~ Djuna Barnes
  • Talking and eloquence are not the same: to speak, and to speak well, are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks. ~ Ben Jonson
  • We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely. ~ E. O. Wilson
  • Be a clown, be a clown,
    All the world loves a clown.
    Act the fool, play the calf,
    And you'll always have the last laugh.

    ~ Cole Porter ~
  • History does not always repeat itself. Sometimes it just yells, "Can't you remember anything I told you?" and lets fly with a club. ~ John W. Campbell
  • A young man who is unable to commit a folly is already an old man. ~ Paul Gauguin
  • I can be forced to live without happiness, but I will never consent to live without honor. ~ Pierre Corneille
  • Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking. ~ John Maynard Keynes
  • To insist on one's place in the scheme of things and to live up to that place.
    To empower others in their reaching for some place in the scheme of things.
    To do these things is to make fairy tales come true.
    ~ Robert Fulghum ~
  • When government disappears, it's not as if paradise will take its place. When governments are gone, other interests will take their place. ~ Lawrence Lessig
  • The capacity to produce social chaos is the last resort of desperate people. ~ Cornel West

May 2008

Audio & Images
  • Be composed — be at ease with me — I am Walt Whitman, liberal and lusty as Nature,
    Not till the sun excludes you do I exclude you,
    Not till the waters refuse to glisten for you and the leaves to rustle for you, do my words refuse to glisten and rustle for you.

    ~ Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass ~
  • By striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible. ~ Mikhail Bakunin
  • Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. ~ John F. Kennedy
  • In my books I have lifted bits from various religions in trying to come to a better understanding; I've made use of religious themes and symbols. Now, as the world becomes more pagan, one has to lead people in the same direction in a different way... ~ Patrick White
  • Like the wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we are, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment. ~ Harlan Ellison
  • Thunder only happens when it's raining.
    Players only love you when they're playing.
    Say... Women... they will come and they will go.
    When the rain washes you clean... you'll know.

    ~ Stevie Nicks ~
  • Any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with. ~ Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Every failure is a step to success. Every detection of what is false directs us towards what is true: every trial exhausts some tempting form of error. ~ William Whewell
  • Genius will live and thrive without training, but it does not the less reward the watering–pot and pruning–knife. ~ Margaret Fuller
  • Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius. ~ Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The flying Rumours gather'd as they roll'd,
    Scarce any Tale was sooner heard than told;
    And all who told it, added something new,
    And all who heard it, made Enlargements too,
    In ev'ry Ear it spread, on ev'ry Tongue it grew.

    ~ Alexander Pope ~
  • The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. ~ John Stuart Mill
  • Mankind is a single body and each nation a part of that body. We must never say "What does it matter to me if some part of the world is ailing?" If there is such an illness, we must concern ourselves with it as though we were having that illness. ~ Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
  • To save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true. ~ Bertrand Russell
  • I believe, in spite of all, in truth's victory. I believe in the momentous value, hereafter inviolable, of those few truly fraternal men in all the countries of the world, who, in the oscillation of national egoisms let loose, stand up and stand out, steadfast as the glorious statues of Right and Duty. ~ Henri Barbusse
  • Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear. ~ Marcus Aurelius
  • Every child saved with my help and the help of all the wonderful secret messengers, who today are no longer living, is the justification of my existence on this earth, and not a title to glory. ~ Irena Sendler
  • Errors now almost universally exist, and must be overcome solely by the force of reason; and as reason, to effect the most beneficial purposes, makes her advance by slow degrees, and progressively substantiates one truth of high import after another, it will be evident, to minds of comprehensive and accurate thought, that by these and similar compromises alone can success be rationally expected in practice. For such compromises bring truth and error before the public; and whenever they are fairly exhibited together, truth must ultimately prevail. ~ Robert Owen
  • Death and Light are everywhere, always, and they begin, end, strive, attend, into and upon the Dream of the Nameless that is the world, burning words within Samsara, perhaps to create a thing of beauty. ~ Roger Zelazny in Lord of Light
  • I never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself. ~ Florence Nightingale
  • Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars — mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is "mere". I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination — stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern — of which I am a part... What is the pattern or the meaning or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little more about it. ~ Richard Feynman
  • We're one, but we're not the same
    We get to carry each other, carry each other... one.

    ~ Bono ~
  • Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. ~ J. M. Barrie
  • Freedom granted only when it is known beforehand that its effects will be beneficial is not freedom. ~ Friedrich Hayek
  • If nature has been frugal in her gifts and endowments, there is the more need of art to supply her defects. If she has been generous and liberal, know that she still expects industry and application on our part, and revenges herself in proportion to our negligent ingratitude. The richest genius, like the most fertile soil, when uncultivated, shoots up into the rankest weeds; and instead of vines and olives for the pleasure and use of man, produces, to its slothful owner, the most abundant crop of poisons. ~ David Hume
  • Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise. ~ Sigmund Freud
  • If I have ventured wrongly, very well, life then helps me with its penalty. But if I haven't ventured at all, who helps me then? ~ Søren Kierkegaard
  • A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering cold iron. ~ Horace Mann
  • The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves. ~ Niccolò Machiavelli
  • Philosophy can bake no bread; but she can procure for us God, Freedom, Immortality. ~ Novalis
  • What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the human soul. ~ Joseph Addison

April 2008

Audio & Images
  • The Gods do not protect fools. Fools are protected by more capable fools. ~ Larry Niven
  • The advance of science is not comparable to the changes of a city, where old edifices are pitilessly torn down to give place to new, but to the continuous evolution of zoologic types which develop ceaselessly and end by becoming unrecognizable to the common sight, but where an expert eye finds always traces of the prior work of the centuries past. ~ Henri Poincaré
  • The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp. ~ Terry Pratchett
  • The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools. ~ Herbert Spencer
  • I had the good fortune and opportunity to come home and to tell the truth; many soldiers, like Pat Tillman ... did not have that opportunity. The truth of war is not always easy. The truth is always more heroic than the hype. ~ Jessica Lynch
  • The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it. ~ Edward R. Murrow
  • The poem... is a little myth of man's capacity of making life meaningful. And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see — it is, rather, a light by which we may see — and what we see is life. ~ Robert Penn Warren
  • We all were sea-swallow'd, though some cast again:
    And by that destiny, to perform an act
    Whereof what's past is prologue, what to come
    In yours and my discharge.

    ~ William Shakespeare in The Tempest ~
  • There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew. ~ Marshall McLuhan
  • How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places standing alone on the mountaintop it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make — leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents or piled stone — we all dwell in a house of one room — the world with the firmament for its roof — and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track. ~ John Muir
  • The true secret in being a hero lies in knowing the order of things. ... Things must happen when it is time for them to happen. Quests may not simply be abandoned; prophecies may not be left to rot like unpicked fruit; unicorns may go unrescued for a very long time, but not forever. The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story. ~ Peter S. Beagle in The Last Unicorn
  • When you study natural science and the miracles of creation, if you don't turn into a mystic you are not a natural scientist. ~ Albert Hofmann
  • You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free. ~ Clarence Darrow
  • I am not a novelist, really not even a writer; I am a storyteller. One of my friends said about me that I think all sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them, and perhaps this is not entirely untrue. To me, the explanation of life seems to be its melody, its pattern. And I feel in life such an infinite, truly inconceivable fantasy. ~ Karen Blixen
  • All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~ Anatole France
  • Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particle in its tissue. It is the very atmosphere of the mind; and when the mind is imaginative — much more when it happens to be that of a man of genius — it takes to itself the faintest hints of life, it converts the very pulses of the air into revelations. ~ Henry James
  • What really matters is that there is so much faith and love and kindliness which we can share with and provoke in others, and that by cleanly, simple, generous living we approach perfection in the highest and most lovely of all arts. ... But you, I think, have always comprehended this. ~ James Branch Cabell
  • If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. ~ Thomas Jefferson
  • The arts of power and its minions are the same in all countries and in all ages. It marks its victim; denounces it; and excites the public odium and the public hatred, to conceal its own abuses and encroachments. ~ Henry Clay
  • They knew me from the dawn of time: if Hermes beats his rainbow wings,
    If Angus shakes his locks of light, or golden-haired Apollo sings,
    It matters not the name, the land; my joy in all the gods abides:
    Even in the cricket in the grass some dimness of me smiles and hides.

    ~ Æ ~
  • Imagination is the queen of truth, and possibility is one of the regions of truth. She is positively akin to infinity. ~ Charles Baudelaire
  • Look, look, look to the rainbow
    Follow it over the hill and stream
    Look, look, look to the rainbow
    Follow the fellow who follows a dream.

    ~ Yip Harburg ~
  • I always work on the theory that the audience will believe you best if you believe yourself. ~ Charlton Heston
  • I have never looked for dream in reality or reality in dream. I have allowed my imagination free play, and I have not been led astray by it. ~ Gustave Moreau
  • I learned the lesson that great men cultivate love, and that only little men cherish a spirit of hatred. I learned that assistance given to the weak makes the one who gives it strong; and that oppression of the unfortunate makes one weak. ~ Booker T. Washington
  • All we are saying is give peace a chance. ~ John Lennon
  • Stretch or contract me, Thy poor debtor;
    This is but tuning of my breast,
    To make the music better.

    Whether I fly with angels, fall with dust,
    Thy hands made both, and I am there;
    Thy power and love, my love and trust
    Make one place ev'rywhere.

    ~ George Herbert ~

  • Forgiveness is the offspring of a feeling of heroism, of a noble heart, of a generous mind, whilst forgetfulness is only the result of a weak memory, or of an easy carelessness, and still oftener of a natural desire for calm and quietness. Hatred, in the course of time, kills the unhappy wretch who delights in nursing it in his bosom. ~ Giacomo Casanova
  • What is unique about the "I" hides itself exactly in what is unimaginable about a person. All we are able to imagine is what makes everyone like everyone else, what people have in common. The individual "I" is what differs from the common stock, that is, what cannot be guessed at or calculated, what must be unveiled, uncovered, conquered. ~ Milan Kundera

March 2008

Audio & Images
  • Let us roll all our strength and all
    Our sweetness up into one ball,
    And tear our pleasures with rough strife
    Thorough the iron gates of life:
    Thus, though we cannot make our sun
    Stand still, yet we will make him run.

    ~ Andrew Marvell ~
  • Do you know what makes the prison disappear? Every deep, genuine affection. Being friends, being brothers, loving, that is what opens the prison, with supreme power, by some magic force. Without these one stays dead. But whenever affection is revived, there life revives. ~ Vincent van Gogh
  • I have known exile and a wild passion
    Of longing changing to a cold ache.
    King, beggar and fool, I have been all by turns,
    Knowing the body’s sweetness, the mind’s treason;
    Taliesin still, I show you a new world, risen,
    Stubborn with beauty, out of the heart’s need.

    ~ R. S. Thomas ~
  • Just as we cannot stop the movement of the heavens, revolving as they do with such speed, so we cannot restrain our thought. And then we send all the faculties of the soul after it, thinking we are lost, and have misused the time that we are spending in the presence of God. Yet the soul may perhaps be wholly united with Him in the Mansions very near His presence, while thought remains in the outskirts of the castle, suffering the assaults of a thousand wild and venomous creatures and from this suffering winning merit. So this must not upset us, and we must not abandon the struggle, as the devil tries to make us do. Most of these trials and times of unrest come from the fact that we do not understand ourselves. ~ Teresa of Avila
  • At this point in history when all things which concern man and the structure and elements of history itself are suddenly revealed to us in a new light, it behooves us in our scientific thinking to become masters of the situation, for it is not inconceivable that sooner than we suspect, as has often been the case before in history, this vision may disappear, the opportunity may be lost, and the world will once again present a static, uniform, and inflexible countenance. ~ Karl Mannheim
  • People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That's what it's all finally about. ~ Joseph Campbell
  • Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace. Where this is not the case, there is no help in any parliamentary Opposition or any Platonic appeals to the constitution. One compels respect from others when he knows how to defend his dignity as a human being. ~ Rudolf Rocker
  • I do not want art for a few, any more than education for a few, or freedom for a few. ~ William Morris
  • Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
    For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
    ~ Yeshua (Jesus Christ) ~
  • Music and silence... combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music. ~ Marcel Marceau
  • If Spring came but once in a century, instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake, and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change! But now the silent succession suggests nothing but necessity. To most men only the cessation of the miracle would be miraculous and the perpetual exercise of God's power seems less wonderful than its withdrawal would be. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run — and often in the short one — the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative. ~ Arthur C. Clarke
  • Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from none but self expect applause;
    He noblest lives and noblest dies who makes and keeps his self-made laws.

    ~ Sir Richard Francis Burton ~
  • The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one. ~ Wilhelm Stekel
  • Let anyone laugh and taunt if he so wishes. I am not keeping silent, nor am I hiding the signs and wonders that were shown to me by the Lord many years before they happened, who knew everything, even before the beginning of time. ~ Saint Patrick
  • Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments, the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents. ~ James Madison
  • As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of person and property, liberty of conscience, and of the press, it will be worth defending. ~ Andrew Jackson
  • Today we must abandon competition and secure cooperation. This must be the central fact in all our considerations of international affairs; otherwise we face certain disaster. Past thinking and methods did not prevent world wars. Future thinking must prevent wars ... The stakes are immense, the task colossal, the time is short. But we may hope — we must hope — that man’s own creation, man’s own genius, will not destroy him. ~ Albert Einstein
  • Don’t give up! I believe in you all
    A person’s a person, no matter how small!
    And you very small persons will not have to die
    If you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!

    ~ Dr. Seuss ~
  • All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together. ~ Jack Kerouac
  • The world has arrived at an age of cheap complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it. ~ Vannevar Bush
  • We are tired of having a "sphere" doled out to us, and of being told that anything outside that sphere is "unwomanly". We want to be natural just for a change … we must be ourselves at all risks. ~ Kate Sheppard
  • If you're a singer you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer gets more knowledge, and if he's good, the older he gets, the better he writes. ~ Mickey Spillane
  • We do not ask for what useful purpose the birds do sing, for song is their pleasure since they were created for singing. Similarly, we ought not to ask why the human mind troubles to fathom the secrets of the heavens. The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh enrichment. ~ Johannes Kepler
  • Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company you don't even mind if you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game. ~ Gary Gygax
  • You imagine that what you can't understand is either spiritual or does not exist. The conclusion is quite wrong; rather there are obviously a million things in the universe that we would need a million quite different organs to understand ... someone blind from birth cannot imagine the beauty of a landscape, the colors of a painting or the shadings of an iris. He will imagine them as something palpable, edible, audible or olfactory. Likewise, if I were to explain to you what I perceive by the senses you do not have, you would interpret it as something that could be heard, seen, touched, smelled or tasted; but it is not like that. ~ Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Technology adds nothing to art. Two thousand years ago, I could tell you a story, and at any point during the story I could stop, and ask, Now do you want the hero to be kidnapped, or not? But that would, of course, have ruined the story. Part of the experience of being entertained is sitting back and plugging into someone else's vision. ~ Penn Jillette
  • Philosophy is based on speculation, on logic, on thought, on the synthesis of what we know and on the analysis of what we do not know. Philosophy must include within its confines the whole content of science, religion and art. ~ P. D. Ouspensky
  • Consent in virtue knit your hearts so fast,
    That still the knot, in spite of death, does last;
    For as your tears, and sorrow-wounded soul,
    Prove well that on your part this bond is whole,
    So all we know of what they do above,
    Is that they happy are, and that they love.
    Let dark oblivion, and the hollow grave,
    Content themselves our frailer thoughts to have;
    Well-chosen love is never taught to die,
    But with our nobler part invades the sky.

    ~ Edmund Waller ~
  • I'm telling you this 'cause you're one of my friends.
    My alphabet starts where your alphabet ends!
    ... So, on beyond Z!
    It's high time you were shown
    That you really don't know
    All there is to be known.

    ~ Dr. Seuss ~
  • Try to remember this: what you project
    Is what you will perceive; what you perceive
    With any passion, be it love or terror,
    May take on whims and powers of its own.

    ~ Richard Wilbur ~

February 2008

Audio & Images
  • God bless the King! (I mean our faith's defender!)
    God bless! (No harm in blessing) the Pretender.
    But who Pretender is, and who is King,
    God bless us all! That's quite another thing!

    ~ John Byrom ~
  • 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.

    ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~
  • A man is not idle, because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labour and there is an invisible labour. ~ Victor Hugo in Les Misérables
  • Every intelligent child is an amateur anthropologist. The first thing such a child notices is that adults don't make sense. ~ John Leonard
  • When you're young, you look at television and think, "There's a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down." But when you get a little older, you realize that's not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That's a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It's the truth. ~ Steve Jobs
  • There is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know. ~ W. E. B. Du Bois
  • Life is short, and truth works far and lives long: let us speak the truth. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
  • Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death. ~ Anaïs Nin
  • Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must pay for all they get. ~ Frederick Douglass
  • Now that your rose is in bloom,
    A light hits the gloom on the grave,
    I've been kissed by a rose on the grave.

    ~ Seal ~
  • My prayer is not the whimpering of a beggar nor a confession of love. Nor is it the petty reckoning of a small tradesman: Give me and I shall give you. My prayer is the report of a soldier to his general: This is what I did today, this is how I fought to save the entire battle in my own sector, these are the obstacles I encountered, this is how I plan to fight tomorrow. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
  • A voiceless song in an ageless light
    Sings at the coming dawn
    Birds in flight are calling there
    Where the heart moves the stones
    It's there that my heart is calling
    All for the love of you.

    ~ Loreena McKennitt ~
  • Public opinion, or what passes for public opinion, is not invariably a moderating force in the jungle of politics. It may be true, and I suspect it is, that the mass of people everywhere are normally peace-loving and would accept many restraints and sacrifices in preference to the monstrous calamities of war. But I also suspect that what purports to be public opinion in most countries that consider themselves to have popular government is often not really the consensus of the feelings of the mass of the people at all, but rather the expression of the interests of special highly vocal minorities — politicians, commentators, and publicity-seekers of all sorts: people who live by their ability to draw attention to themselves and die, like fish out of water, if they are compelled to remain silent. ~ George F. Kennan
  • Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This our convention understood to be the most oppressive of all kingly oppressions, and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. ~ Abraham Lincoln
  • Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
    When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
    And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. ~ Paul of Tarsus
  • Love has no uttermost, as the stars have no number and the sea no rest. ~ Eleanor Farjeon
  • Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. ~ Charles Darwin
  • In Common Sense Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again. ~ Thomas Alva Edison
  • Our theater must stimulate a desire for understanding, a delight in changing reality. Our audience must experience not only the ways to free Prometheus, but be schooled in the very desire to free him. Theater must teach all the pleasures and joys of discovery, all the feelings of triumph associated with liberation. ~ Bertolt Brecht
  • You've got to get up every morning with a smile on your face
    And show the world all the love in your heart
    The people gonna treat you better,
    You're gonna find, yes you will,
    That you're beautiful as you feel.

    ~ Carole King ~
  • The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion, — all in one. ~ John Ruskin
  • A man acts suitably to his nature, when he conquers his enemy in such a way as that no other creature but a man could be capable of, and that is by the strength of his understanding. ~ Sir Thomas More
  • I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope. We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we're in a time when there are no heroes, they just don't know where to look. ~ Ronald Reagan
  • Let’s talk sense to the American people. Let’s tell them the truth, that there are no gains without pains, that we are now on the eve of great decisions, not easy decisions, like resistance when you're attacked, but a long, patient, costly struggle which alone can assure triumph over the great enemies of man — war, poverty, and tyranny — and the assaults upon human dignity which are the most grievous consequences of each. ~ Adlai Stevenson
  • Mistakes are part of the game. It's how well you recover from them, that's the mark of a great player. ~ Alice Cooper
  • When war is waged it is for the purpose of safeguarding or increasing one's capacity to make war. International politics are wholly involved in this vicious cycle. What is called national prestige consists in behaving always in such a way as to demoralize other nations by giving them the impression that, if it comes to war, one would certainly defeat them. What is called national security is an imaginary state of affairs in which one would retain the capacity to make war while depriving all other countries of it. ~ Simone Weil
  • History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake. ~ James Joyce in Ulysses
  • Reason is the life of the law; nay, the common law itself is nothing else but reason. ~ Edward Coke

January 2008

Audio & Images
  • At this point in history, the most radical, pervasive, and earth-shaking transformation would occur simply if everybody truly evolved to a mature, rational, and responsible ego, capable of freely participating in the open exchange of mutual self-esteem. There is the "edge of history." There would be a real New Age. ~ Ken Wilber
  • We do not see faith, hope, and charity as unattainable ideals, but we use them as stout supports of a nation fighting the fight for freedom in a modern civilization.
    Faith — in the soundness of democracy in the midst of dictatorships.
    Hope — renewed because we know so well the progress we have made.
    Charity — in the true spirit of that grand old word. For charity literally translated from the original means love, the love that understands, that does not merely share the wealth of the giver, but in true sympathy and wisdom helps men to help themselves. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • The fear of freedom is strong in us. We call it chaos or anarchy, and the words are threatening. We live in a true chaos of contradicting authorities, an age of conformism without community, of proximity without communication. We could only fear chaos if we imagined that it was unknown to us, but in fact we know it very well. ~ Germaine Greer
  • For the sincere friend
    Who gives me his frank hand.
    And for the cruel man who pulls out of me
    the heart with which I live,
    I grow neither nettles nor thorns:
    I grow a white rose.

    ~ José Martí ~
  • "In that direction," the Cat said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Hatter: and in that direction," waving the other paw, "lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad."
    "But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
    "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
    "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
    "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
    ~ Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ~
  • Prometheus, I have no Titan's might,
    Yet I, too, must each dusk renew my heart,
    For daytime's vulture talons tear apart
    The tender alcoves built by love at night.

    ~ Philip José Farmer ~
  • If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one, but the wise man is foolish to give them the lie. ~ W. Somerset Maugham
  • Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive. ~ Edith Wharton
  • Almost all our misfortunes in life come from the wrong notions we have about the things that happen to us. To know men thoroughly, to judge events sanely, is, therefore, a great step towards happiness. ~ Stendhal
  • So, we'll go no more a roving
    So late into the night,
    Though the heart be still as loving,
    And the moon be still as bright.

    For the sword outwears its sheath,
    And the soul wears out the breast,
    And the heart must pause to breathe,
    And love itself have rest.

    ~ George Gordon, Lord Byron ~

  • If the general government should persist in the measures now threatened, there must be war. It is painful enough to discover with what unconcern they speak of war and threaten it. They do not know its horrors. I have seen enough of it to make me look upon it as the sum of all evils. ~ Stonewall Jackson
  • I love child things because there's so much mystery when you're a child. When you're a child, something as simple as a tree doesn't make sense. You see it in the distance and it looks small, but as you go closer, it seems to grow — you haven't got a handle on the rules when you're a child. We think we understand the rules when we become adults but what we really experienced is a narrowing of the imagination. ~ David Lynch
  • From childhood's hour I have not been
    As others were — I have not seen
    As others saw — I could not bring
    My passions from a common spring —
    From the same source I have not taken
    My sorrow — I could not awaken
    My heart to joy at the same tone —
    And all I lov'd — I lov'd alone.

    ~ Edgar Allan Poe ~
  • All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity, that the dry, shrivelled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut. Whether this be the case with my history or not, I am hardly competent to judge. I sometimes think it might prove useful to some, and entertaining to others; but the world may judge for itself. Shielded by my own obscurity, and by the lapse of years, and a few fictitious names, I do not fear to venture; and will candidly lay before the public what I would not disclose to the most intimate friend. ~ Anne Brontë
  • I don't want to express alienation. It isn't what I feel. I'm interested in various kinds of passionate engagement. All my work says be serious, be passionate, wake up. ~ Susan Sontag
  • I'm concerned about justice. I'm concerned about brotherhood. I'm concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about these, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer but you can't murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar but you can't establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate. Darkness cannot put out darkness. Only light can do that. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • At no time are we ever in such complete possession of a journey, down to its last nook and cranny, as when we are busy with preparations for it. After that, there remains only the journey itself, which is nothing but the process through which we lose our ownership of it. ~ Yukio Mishima
  • The explorers of the past were great men and we should honour them. But let us not forget that their spirit lives on. It is still not hard to find a man who will adventure for the sake of a dream or one who will search, for the pleasure of searching, not for what he may find. ~ Sir Edmund Hillary
  • Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods. ~ Edmund Burke
  • I do indeed disbelieve that we or any other mortal men can attain on a given day to absolutely incorrigible and unimprovable truth about such matters of fact as those with which religions deal. But I reject this dogmatic ideal not out of a perverse delight in intellectual instability. I am no lover of disorder and doubt as such. Rather do I fear to lose truth by this pretension to possess it already wholly. ~ William James
  • I believe that the Universe is one being, all its parts are different expressions of the same energy, and they are all in communication with each other, therefore parts of one organic whole. This whole is in all its parts so beautiful, and is felt by me to be so intensely in earnest, that I am compelled to love it and to think of it as divine. ~ Robinson Jeffers
  • One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion. ~ Simone de Beauvoir
  • If you cannot make knowledge your servant, make it your friend. ~ Baltasar Gracián
  • You cannot begin to preserve any species of animal unless you preserve the habitat in which it dwells. Disturb or destroy that habitat and you will exterminate the species as surely as if you had shot it. So conservation means that you have to preserve forest and grassland, river and lake, even the sea itself. This is not only vital for the preservation of animal life generally, but for the future existence of man himself — a point that seems to escape many people. ~ Gerald Durrell
  • Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love. ~ Khalil Gibran
  • A dreaded society is not a civilized society. The most progressive and powerful society in the civilized sense, is a society which has recognized its ethos, and come to terms with the past and the present, with religion and science, with modernism and mysticism, with materialism and spirituality; a society free of tension, a society rich in culture. Such a society cannot come with hocus-pocus formulas and with fraud. It has to flow from the depth of a divine search. ~ Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
  • The main Business of natural Philosophy is to argue from Phenomena without feigning Hypotheses, and to deduce Causes from Effects, till we come to the very first Cause, which certainly is not mechanical. ~ Isaac Newton
  • The rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. ~ "Gandalf" in The Lord of the Rings : The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise — even in their own field. ~ Isaac Asimov
  • What is wonderful about great literature is that it transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote, and brings to birth in us also the creative impulse. ~ E. M. Forster

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