It is the Editor's conviction that the quotes presented in this site should be read and thought about one at a time, and not skimmed through in their entirety, if the quotes are indeed to serve as food for thought. Nevertheless, there may be persons who wish to examine the whole list for analysis, review, etc. The complete list is therefore offered here in three segments. The segment below covers from Sept. 1 through December 31.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Ideas that Expand Your Mind ============================================== 0901 "I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody." --Benjamin Franklin 0902 "A man's worst difficulties begin when he is able to do as he likes." --Huxley 0903 "For if that last day does not occasion an entire extinction, but a change of abode only, what can be more desirable? And if it, on the other hand, destroys and absolutely puts an end to us, what can be preferable to having a deep sleep fall on us in the midst of the fatigues of life and, being thus overtaken, to sleep to eternity?" --Cicero 0904 "A true artist is born with a unique voice and cannot copy; so he has only to copy to prove his originality." --Radiguet 0905 "Life is not meaningful to us unless serving an end beyond itself, unless it is of value to someone else." --Abraham J. Herschel 0906 "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself -- and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard Feynman 0907
"One should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life. The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community." --Albert Einstein 0908 "Nobody gets to live life backwards. Look ahead -- that's where your future lies." --Ann Landers 0909 "Don't tell me anything is impossible. Let's try it first." --Joe Papp 0910 "Blindness and error can change a life as surely as judgment and reason can." --M. Morris 0911 "It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing." --Thomas Jefferson 0912 "Imitation is part of finding your own voice." --Raymond Carver 0913 "Fiction is a noble pursuit. Ideally, it profoundly changes the ways in which people perceive their experience." --Norman Mailer 0914 "Excellence is in the details." --Barbara Streisand 0915 "All tastes above pap, in any realm, are acquired; and pap goes down easy because it has no taste." --Jacques Barzum 0916 "If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" --Albert Einstein 0917
"The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish Government, presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established Government." --George Washington 0918 "Lies are the language of control and manipulation." --Anonymous 0919 "I'm not sure there is a difference between aptitude and interest." --Michael Crichton 0920 "Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision." --V. S. Naipaul 0921 "When making personal decisions, listen to what your head says; then listen to what your heart says. If they differ, follow your heart! Whenever you listen to your heart, you listen to that part of you that is most interested in your well-being." --Anonymous 0922 "The difference between what the most and the least learned people know is inexpressibly trivial in relation to that which is unknown." --Albert Einstein 0923 "Whoever sets himself to see things as they are will find himself one of a very small circle; but it is only by this small circle resolutely doing its own work that adequate ideas will ever get current at all." --Matthew Arnold 0924 "My business is not to remake myself, but to make the absolute best of what God made." --Robert Browning 0925 "We are all instantly forgiven; but in order to benefit from this forgiveness, we must in turn forgive others and ourselves." --Anonymous 0926 "The objective of false prophets and teachers of whatever stripe is... the influence and control of the minds of men." --Ron Dart 0927 "It is the minority that has stood in the van of every moral conflict, and achieved all that is noble in the history of the world." --John B. Gough 0928 "The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just." --Abraham Lincoln 0929 "Should one see a wise man who, like a revealer of treasures, points out faults and reproves, let one associate with such a wise person for the benefits he shall receive." --Anonymous 0930 "If you must choose between two paths, either of which will bring death and defeat, then choose the path wherein you die fighting for honour and justice." --Pan Ku 1001 "Millions must plough and forge and dig in order that a few thousand may write and paint and study." --von Treitschke 1002 "It is as hard to take success as it is failure." --Louise Nevelson 1003 "For with slight efforts how should we obtain great results? It is foolish even to desire it." --Euripides 1004 "There's no point in arguing with partisan supporters. Their views are their identity. Nothing you can tell the most phlegmatic follower will shake his faith; it will only make him think worse of you." --Michael Lewis 1005 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits." --Jesus 1006 "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." --Albert Einstein 1007 "Each time we re-read a book we get more out of it because we put more into it; a different person is reading it, and therefore it is a different book." --Muriel Clark 1008 "Great writing is a submission to a creative force that seems to use the writer as an instrument. The writer finds that the words stream out, almost as if someone else were producing them. Writing becomes a process of discovery." --S. O'Brien 1009 "Never [enter] into dispute or argument with another. I never yet saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument. I have seen many on their getting warm, becoming rude and shooting one another. Conviction is the effect of our own dispassionate reasoning, either in solitude or weighing within ourselves dispassionately what we hear from others, standing uncommitted in argument ourselves." --Thomas Jefferson 1010 "If an artist is not able to commit himself totally to his art, how can he expect the world to do so?" --Anonymous 1011
"Hitler and Mussolini were only the primary spokesmen for the attitude of domination and craving for power that are in the heart of almost everyone. Until the source is cleared, there will always be confusion and hate, wars and class antagonisms." --J. Krishnamurti 1012
"You never have a chance for your luck to operate if you don't take risks." --Anonymous 1013 "The purpose of parenting is to provide steady and wide-ranging opportunities for a child. The child does the rest." --Gazzaniga 1014 "As a rule, the man who first thinks of a new idea is so much ahead of his time that everyone thinks him silly, so that he remains obscure and is soon forgotten. Then, gradually, the world becomes ready for the idea, and the man who proclaims it at the fortunate moment gets all the credit." --Bertrand Russell 1015 "Rigidly organized pre-school classrooms, which value obedience more than development, create the deficits in poor children, imposing a self-image of marginality and failure." --Valerie Polakow 1016 "Real art is without irony. Irony distances the author from his material. Irony is a product of something. It's not the reason for doing something. Irony is a cheap shot." --Robert Altman 1017 "Only the refusal to listen guarantees one against being ensnared by the truth." --Nozick 1018 "To mature means to take responsibility for your life, to be on your own. Psychoanalysis fosters the infantile state by considering that the past is responsible for the illness." --Fritz Perls 1019 "Religion is confining and imprisoning and toxic because it is based on ideology and dogma. But spirituality is redeeming and universal." --Deepak Chopra 1020 "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." --Albert Einstein 1021 "Solitude, in the sense of being often alone, is essential to any depth of meditation or of character; and solitude in the presence of natural beauty and grandeur, is the cradle of thought and aspirations which are not only good for the individual, but which society could ill do without." --J.S. Mill 1022 "The maxim that people should not have a right till they are ready to exercise it properly, is worthy of the fool in the old story who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim." --Macaulay 1023 "When I feel bad, I work. When I have problems, when I'm depressed, when I'm bored with life, I sit down to my work. There are probably other prescriptions, but I don't know them. Or they don't work for me. You want my advice? -- here it is: Go and work. Thank God that people like you and me need only paper and pencil to work." --Strugatsky 1024 "The best way to inspire people to superior performance is to convince them by everything you do and by your everyday attitude that you are wholeheartedly supporting them." --Harold Geneen 1025 "People who are tremendously concerned about their identification, their individuality, their self-expression, or their sense of humor, always seem to be missing the very things they pursue." --Walter Lippman 1026 "One who presumes to know the truth stops looking for it." --Anonymous 1027 "Generally speaking, men are influenced by books which clarify their own thought, which express their own notions well, or which suggest to them ideas which their minds are already predisposed to accept." --Carl Becker 1028 "He who does not care for Heaven but is contented where he is, is already in Heaven." --H. P. Blavatsky 1029 "A moment's thought shows that man's feeling of isolation has no foundation, biologically or sociologically. We grow out of the Universe, we are an expression of it. The iron in our blood comes from the high temperature fusion of stars. We constantly interact with our environment. The force of gravity keeps our feet upon the earth and has a vital effect upon our metabolism. The air we breathe comes from the seas and the leaves, and the sun allows the process to take place. Society gives us all that makes us human: our culture, our symbols, our concepts and our values. Without society, the notion of the individual would have no meaning." --Paul Ingram 1030 "... If weakness may excuse,
What Murderer, what Traitor, Parricide,
Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it?
All Wickedness is Weakness: That plea therefore
With God or Man will gain thee no Remission." --John Milton 1031 "If being wealthy is taken to mean having the means to satisfy one's every want, all but the very poor can become rich as though at a single stroke of a magician's wand, simply by ceasing to want more than is really necessary for sustaining life. By being content with little and not giving a rap for what the neighbours think, one can attain a very large measure of freedom, shedding care and worry in a trice." --John Blofeld 1101
ALL SAINT'S DAY
"I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. The scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined on what we thought but what we did." --Benjamin Franklin 1102 "Humanity's survival does not depend on reducing differences to a common identity, but on learning to live creatively with differences." --Anonynmous 1103 "I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right." --Albert Einstein 1104
"It may seem to you conceited to suppose that you can do anything important toward improving the lot of mankind. But this is a fallacy. You must believe that you can help bring about a better world. A good society is produced only by good individuals, just as truly as a majority in a presidential election is produced by the votes of single electors. Everybody can do something toward creating in his own environment kindly feelings rather than anger, reasonableness rather than hysteria, happiness rather than misery." --Bertrand Russell 1105 "The more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt." --Thomas Merton 1106 "To wilful men, the injuries that they themselves procure must be their schoolmasters." --Shakespeare 1107 "The herd instinct seems to be the strongest human emotion, one that the race is constantly breeding off as the mavericks are liquidated. Happiness is running with the crowd." --John Train 1108 "Self-development is the only alternative to dissolution. It is not possible to stand still." --Anonymous 1109 "An individual cannot know what he is till he has made himself real by action." --Anonymous 1110 "Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul." --Thoreau 1111
"I think it every man's indispensable duty to do all the service he can to his country; and I see not what difference he puts between himself and his cattle who lives without that thought." --John Locke 1112 "It is not the young people that degenerate; they are not spoiled till those of mature age are already sunk into corruption." --Montesquieu 1113 "Tolerance is the eager and glad acceptance of the way along which others seek the truth." --Besant 1114 "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what you want them to achieve, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." --George Patton 1115 "The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." --Keynes 1116 "It is the first step of wisdom to recognize that the major advances in civilization are processes which all but wreck the society in which they occur." --Whitehead 1117 "If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut." --Albert Einstein 1118 "Competition between individuals sets one against the other and undermines morale, but competition between organizations builds morale and encourages creativity." --Anonymous 1119 "Ideology is a form of illiteracy. Those addicted to it are unable to understand anything other than what fits their pattern." --John Saul 1120 "Offensiveness is a necessary consequence of opinions strongly held and openly expressed, and free societies should treasure and protect it. An idea that offends no one is not worth entertaining." --Anonymous 1121 "A man of good will with a little effort and belief in his own powers can enjoy a deep, tranquil, rich life -- provided he go his own way. He need not and should not think of making a good living, but rather of creating a good life for himself. To live one's own life is still the best way of life, always was, and always will be." --Henry Miller 1122 "Change comes not from men and women changing their minds, but from the change from one generation to the next." --J. K. Galbraith 1123 "Our institutions and values are in jeopardy as the mores of the market pervade all social life in this country. Loyalty, honesty, courage, discipline, patriotism, and commitment to family are being crowded out by the goals and rules of economic rationality -- do whatever makes the most money." --Barry Schwartz 1124 "Persons who have no desire to live have a very slight chance of recovery. We can continue to extend to them our love, sympathy, and prayers; but ultimately we must respect a person's decision to die." --Michio Kushi 1125 "Our dependency makes slaves out of us, especially if this dependency is a dependency of our self-esteem. If you need encouragement, praise, pats on the back from everybody, then you make everybody your judge." --Fritz Perls 1126 "Western man at present drifts through life obsessed with the desire to obtain an ever higher 'standard of living,' greater status -- and this applies equally to so-called 'capitalist' as to 'communist' countries. It can offer nothing more inspiring as a guide to living than a sterile form of materialism which promotes at every turn the natural conceit, fear, and acquisitiveness of the ego." --Philip M. Eden 1127
"If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty." --Rilke 1128 "Any acceptance of authority is the very denial of truth." --J. Krishnamurti 1129 "There was never in the history of the world a great politician who was not hated by large numbers of inferior men." --Anonymous 1130 "The evolution of consciousness culminates in an all-inclusive consciousness that functions in the context of the infinite and the eternal." --Phiroz Mehta 1201 "Life just isn't worth living unless you're willing to take some big chances and go for broke." --Eliot Wiggington 1202 "Power is never given -- it is only taken." --Tip O'Neal 1203 "The sacrifice which causes sorrow to the doer of the sacrifice is no sacrifice. Real sacrifice lightens the mind of the doer and gives him a sense of peace and joy. The Buddha gave up the pleasures of life because they had become painful to him." --M. K. Gandhi 1204 "Incompetency begets incompetency. The last thing a guy who isn't sure of himself wants is a guy backing him up who is sure of himself." --Lee Iococca 1205 "None can be an impartial or wise observer of human life but from the vantage ground of what we should call voluntary poverty." --Henry David Thoreau 1206 "You are what you do. An individual cannot know what he is until he has made himself real by action." --Anonymous 1207
PEARL HARBOR DAY
"He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder." --Albert Einstein 1208 "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity." --Willy Goff 1209 "Ten percent of a good thing is better than 100% of nothing." --Baron X 1210 "None but a fool could measure his satisfaction by what the world thinks of it." --Goldsmith 1211 "Man is fed with fables through life, and leaves it in the belief he knows something of what has been passing, when in truth he has known nothing but what has passed under his own eye." --Thomas Jefferson 1212 "Science advances through tentative answers to a series of more and more subtle questions which reach deeper and deeper into the essence of natural phenomena." --Louis Pasteur 1213 "There is no legitimate religion apart from truth." --John Calvin 1214 "What makes official censorship so bad is that unofficial censorship, which we have already, is bad enough." --Anonymous 1215
BILL OF RIGHTS DAY
"Let us have justice, and then we shall have enough liberty!" --Joubert 1216 "I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker. The example of great and pure individuals is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus or Ghandi armed with the money-bags of Carnegie?" --Albert Einstein 1217 "Nothing of importance is ever achieved without discipline. I feel myself sometimes not wholly in sympathy with some modern educational theorists, because I think that they underestimate the part that discipline plays. But the discipline you have in your life should be one determined by your own desires and your own needs, not put upon you by society or authority." --Bertrand Russell 1218 "Unsettled political conditions affect the economic climate because most people wouldn't conceive of taking a risk in such an environment." --Anonymous 1219 "Bigotry, which is unreasoning, can be cured only by death." --T. H. White 1220 "People who are too concerned with how well they are doing will be less successful and feel less competent than those who focus on the task itself... Some psychologists call it a conflict between ego-orientation, or between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation... but in all cases, what counts is whether attention is turned away from the task at hand and focused on the self and its future rewards, or whether it is instead trained on the task itself. The latter attitude seems the more fruitful." --Anonymous 1221 "Often sound advice turns out to be totally wrong. Sometimes things turn out in such a way that only a fool would predict. Which is why fools, too, have their place in analysis and debate." --Anonymous 1222 "Freedom means the opportunity to be what we never thought we would be." --Daniel Boorstin 1223 "Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you." --Gombrowicz 1224 "Those who were most successful in later life were those who found what most interested them and then pursued it relentlessly. The less successful... had difficulty focusing on any single interest and in a number of cases floundered in the process of carving out a niche for themselves." --Anonymous 1225
"To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." --Jesus 1226 "It is commonly observed that a sudden wealth, like a prize drawn in a lottery or a large bequest to a poor family, does not permanently enrich. They have served no apprenticeship to wealth, and with the rapid wealth come rapid claims which they do not know how to deny, and the treasure is quickly dissipated." --Emerson 1227 "Science is a mechanism, a way of trying to improve your knowledge of nature. It's a system for testing your thoughts against the universe, and seeing whether they match." --Isaac Asimov 1228 "The man who is completely wise and virtuous has no need of glory, except so far as it disposes and eases his way to action by the greater trust that it procures him." --Plutarch 1229 "Truth is the summit of being; justice is the application of it to affairs." --Emerson 1230 "Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character." --Albert Einstein 1231 "In producers, loafing is productive; and no creator, of whatever magnitude, has ever been able to skip that stage, any more than a mother can skip gestation." --Jacques Barzum
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