Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible. Thich Nhat Hanh
Classics and musings
Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pour them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together, and a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.
Death belongs to life as birth does. The walk is in the raising of the foot as in the laying of it down.
Tagore, Stray Birds CCLXVII
Ten Principles of Craft
Act from principle
Begin where you are
Define your aim simply, clearly and briefly
Establish the possible and move gradually toward the impossible.
Offer no violence
Take out work seriously, but not solemnly.
Without commitment, all rules change
To laugh often and much,
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children,
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends,
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition,
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,
This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door, that we do not see the one that has opened for us.
One of the biggest challenges to a relationship is learning how to say, 'I disagree with you' while still holding hands.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
First attributed to Al-Anon/12-Step Program, October 1981
It is a particularly gruesome characteristic of politicians the world over that, in order to legitimise their own prejudices and self-interest, they place them in the mouth of some shadowy collective constituent. Thus, they lobby the cause of those who pay them in the guise of voicing the fears of those who vote for them.
Ben Elton, This Other Eden
For those who know, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not, no explanation will suffice.
You never do anything that works out the first time, unless you're doing something that's already been done.
When the uncertain experiencing of reality is dawning upon me here, with the every thought of fear and terror or awe for all set aside, may I recognise whatever appears as the reflection of my own consciousness . . . may I not fear the bands of wrathful deities my own thought forms.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong — because someday in life you will have been all of these.
George Washington Carver
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, s/he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert Kennedy from his speech at University of Capetown, South Africa on June 6, 1966
. . . the gross national product includes air pollution and advertising for cigarettes, and ambulances to clear our highway carnage. It counts special locks for our doors, and jails for the people who break them. The gross national product includes the destruction of the redwoods, and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm and missiles and nuclear warheads . . . and includes the broadcasting of television programs that glorify violence to sell goods to our country. And if the gross national product includes all this, there is much that it does not comprehend. It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of public officials . . . the gross national product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.
Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.
Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.
William Bruce Cameron
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.
The truth is that enlightenment is neither remote nor unattainable. It is closer than your skin and more immediate than your next breath. If we wonder why so few seem able to find that which can never be lost, we might recall the child who was looking in the light for a coin he dropped in the dark because "the light is better over there." Humanity has spent ages looking in the light for a coin that awaits for us not in the light nor in the dark, but beyond all oppsites.
What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen.
Henry David Thoreau
If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
A person asked Buddha: "Are you a God?" Buddha replied, "No." To which Buddha was asked, "Are you an angel?" Again, the reply was no. To which Buddha was asked, "Then what are you?" Buddha answered, "I am awake."
If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.
Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1924
Ten lessons from Noah's Ark
Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark
Stay Fit. When you’re 600 years old someone may ask you to do something really big.
Don't listen to critics. Just do what has to be done.
For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
Speed isn't always an advantage; cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.
Don't forget that we're all in the same boat.
Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals.
When you're stressed, float awhile.
Don't miss the boat.
No matter how bleak it looks, keep your eye out for a rainbow.
Alan B Warner
The one who pursues revenge should dig two graves.
It's better to be defeated on principle than to win on lies.
A lie gets halfway around the world before truth has a chance to get its pants on.
We are born soft and supple,
dead we are stiff and hard.
Therefore, whomever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whomever soft and yielding, a disciple of life.
No. 76, Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu
It takes a constant effort of mind to avoid the abundance that life offers naturally.
To realise the value of ten years: Ask a newly divorced couple.
To realise the value of four years: Ask a graduate.
To realise the value of one year: Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realise the value of nine months: Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.
To realise the value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realise the value of one week: Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realise the value of one hour: Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realise the value of one minute: Ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realise the value of one second: Ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realise the value of one millisecond: Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have.
How to stop time: kiss
How to travel in time: read
How to escape time: music
How to feel time: write
How to release time: breathe
If I never came back it wouldn't be a tragedy, because a tragedy would be someone who dies at 80 and had spent 80 years not being satisfied. I was out there doing what I wanted.
Jesse Martin, modern-day adventurer,
after sailing solo around the world, aged 18
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
Instructions for life in the new millennium from the Dalai Lama
Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for all your actions.
Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
When you realise you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
Spend some time alone everyday.
Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honourable life. Then, when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation.
Don't bring up the past.
Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
Be gentle with the earth.
Once a year, go somewhere you've never been before.
Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
Three things you can't recover:
The moment after it's missed
The word after it's said
The time after it's wasted or lost
Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.
Many of life's failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.
Message to the newborn
Be free, be strong, be yourself, be lucky, be proud to be a boy or a girl, be loved and loving. Live among flowers, surrounded by free-flowing waters, live in the sun's warmth, breathing clean air, nourished by moonlight and starlight, know that you are welcome, that you are a precious gift to us, be blessed.
We live here and now. Everything before and in other places is past. Mostly forgotten. What could, what should be done with all the time that lies ahead of us, open and unshaped, feather-light in its freedom and lead-heavy in its uncertainty? Is it a wish? Dream-like and nostalgic, to stand once again at that point in life and be able to take a completely different direction than the one that has made us who we are?
Pascal Mercier, 'Night Train to Lisbon'
The first step in liquidating a people is to erase their memory. Destroy their books, their culture, their history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long that nation
will begin to forget what it is and what it was . . . The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.
Henry David Thoreau, 'Walden'
Project management for work that matters by Seth
Resist the ad hoc. Announce that this is a project, and that it matters enough to be treated as one.
The project needs a leader, a person who takes responsibility as opposed to waiting for it to be given.
Write it down. All of it. Everything that people expect, everything that people promise.
Send a note confirming that you wrote it down, specifically what you heard, what it will cost and when they will have it or when they promised it.
Show your work. Show us your estimates and your procedures and most of all, the work you're going to share with the public before you ship it.
Keep a log, a notebook, a history of what you've done and how. You'll need it for the next project.
Source control matters. Don't change things while people are reviewing them, because then we both have to do it twice.
Slack is your friend. Slack is cheaper, faster and more satisfying than wishful thinking. Your project will never go as well as you expect, and might take longer than you fear.
Identify and obsess about the critical path. If the longest part of the project takes less time than you planned, the entire project will take less time than you planned.
Wrap it up. When you're done, take the time to identify what worked and what didn't, and help the entire team get stronger for next time.
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
A wonderful fact to reflect upon is that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.
You may not think about politics but politics thinks about you.
Aung San Suu Kyi
When I was a child, my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk, you'll end up as the pope.' Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
The Eight Blunders
Cause of all violence in the world
Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Knowledge without character
Commerce without morality
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice
Politics without principles
Rights without responsibilities
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things.
John Chapman aka Johnny Appleseed (1774–1845)
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.
We, the unwilling, led by the unqualified, have been doing so much with so little for so long, that we are now expected to do everything, with nothing, forever.
Konstantin Josef Jireček
The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.
George Bernard Shaw
There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.
Michel de Montaigne
The mark of an 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.
If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
A riot is the language of the unheard.
Martin Luther King Jnr
Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.
William Ralph Inge
People wait for the Big Moment, the Great Event and forget that happiness comes from building steadily on the small daily things of life. People wait for that special moment to express love and forget that love springs from thoughtfulness practised every day. People wait — but waiting is future and now is always the time.
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.
If you can . . .
If you can start the day without coffee
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
If you can overlook when people take things out on you when through no fault of your own, something goes wrong,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can ease tension without medical help,
If you can relax without alcohol,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
Then, you are probably the family dog.
A few paraprosdokians
Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected and is frequently humorous. (Winston Churchill loved them, apparently.)
Where there's a will, I want to be in it.
The last thing I want to do is hurt you . . . but it's still on my list.
If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
War does not determine who is right, only who is left.
I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
In filling out an application, where it says, "In case of emergency, notify . . ." I always write "a doctor”.
I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.
You're never too old to learn something stupid.
I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now.
When I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.
The pleasure was all yours.
These are my principles, and if you don't like them, I have others.
I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
If at first you don't succeed, so much for skydiving.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, five-star general who led Allied forces to victory in World War II, in a 1953 speech
We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.
Louis D. Brandeis
Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.
I don't know what I may seem to the world. But as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself now and then in finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than the ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Cowardice asks the question: is it safe?
Expediency asks the question: is it politic?
Vanity asks the question: is it popular?
But conscience asks the question: is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.
Martin Luther King Jr
Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip, but the really well-trained dog is the one that turns his somersault when there is no whip.
Steven Wright classics
I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize
Borrow money from pessimists, they don't expect it back.
Half the people you know are below average.
99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
If you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with the rain.
All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.
The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
I almost had a psychic girlfriend . . . But she left me before we met.
OK, so what's the speed of dark?
How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?
If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.
Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.
I intend to live forever . . . So far, so good.
If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
A mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."
Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
The hardness of the butter is inversely proportional to the softness of the bread.
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have any film.
I went to a restaurant that serves ’Breakfast At Any Time’. So I ordered French toast during the Renaissance.
When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When government fears the people, there is liberty.
Summer friends melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.
George R R Martin’s grandmother
The brutal humour of W.C. Fields
I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.
It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.
If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.
A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.
Horse sense is the thing a horse has that keeps it from betting on people.
It is funnier to bend things than to break them.
Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.
You can fool some of the people some of the time — and that’s enough to make a decent living.
The story has been told. If it was bad, it was my fault, because I am the storyteller. But if it was good, it belongs to everybody.
The Swahili storytellers
The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
George Eliot, Middlemarch
The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.
You have to imagine yourself as not somebody very special, but somebody very ordinary. If you imagine yourself as somebody really normal and if it makes you laugh, it's going to make everybody laugh. If you think of yourself as something very special, you'll end up a pedant and a bore. If you start thinking about what's funny, you won't be funny, actually. It's like walking. How do you walk? If you start thinking about it, you'll trip.
Carl Reiner, actor/director, on writing comedy
When we walk to the edge of the all the light we have and then step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe one of two thing will happen: there will be something solid for us to stand on, or we will be taught to fly.
Patrick Overton, in The Leaning Tree
The carbon inside you could have existed in any number of creatures or natural disasters before finding you. That particular atom residing somewhere above your left eyebrow? It could well have been a sooth riverbed pebble before deciding to call you home. You are rock and wave and the peeling bark of trees, you are ladybirds and the smell of a garden after the rain.
Ella Frances Sanders
I didn't climb the tree because I was angry at corporations and government; I climbed the tree because when I fell in love with the redwoods, I fell in love with the world. My feelings of connection drive me, not my anger and feelings of being disconnected.
Julia Butterfly Hill, who once spent two years living in a redwood tree, her goal being to save it from being cut down by a logging company
I do not know what I am to the world, but to myself, I am but a small boy, playing on the seashore, searching for an ever more perfect pebble or seashell, while before me lies the great ocean of truth.
Sir Isaac Newton
Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.
Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.
A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.
E. B. White
A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood.
I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
Rainer Maria Rilke in a 1903 letter to his protégé, the 19-year-old cadet and budding poet Franz Xaver Kappus
Your preparation for the real world is not in the answers you’ve learned, but in the questions you’ve learned how to ask yourself.
Calvin and Hobbes (comic strip) creator Bill Watterson
The lesson that life constantly enforces is 'Look underfoot.' You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Don't despise your own place and hour. Every place is the centre of the world.
The great lessons from the true mystics, from the Zen monks, is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's neighbours, friends, and family, in one's backyard, and that travel may be a flight from confronting the sacred. To be looking everywhere for miracles is a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous.
Abraham H. Maslow
That which is not slightly distorted lacks sensible appeal, from which it follows that irregularity — that is to say, the unexpected, surprise and astonishment — is an essential part and characteristic of beauty.
TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More
FEAR = Fantasised Expectation Appearing Real
or Face Everything And Recover
Politicians are a lot like diapers [nappies]. They should be changed frequently and for the same reason.
Privacy is the foundation of all other rights. Arguing that you don't care about privacy because you have nothing to hide, is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say.
The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see.
Alexandra K. Trenfor
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.
Looking at life from a different perspective makes you realise that it's not the deer that's crossing the road, it's the road that is crossing the forest.
He who works with his hands is a labourer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is a an artist.
St Francis of Assisi
No matter how sophisticated and complex and powerful our institutions, we are still exactly as dependent on the earth as the earthworm.
You should sit in nature for twenty minutes a day . . . unless you're busy, in which case you should sit for an hour.
Short ’n’ sweet
To know and not to do, is in fact not to know.
Stephen R. Covey
A ship in port is safe, but that isn’t what ships are for.
If you can do it, then why do it.
Minds are like parachutes — they work best when they’re open.
Some people don't have much to say, but you have to listen a long time to find out.
The earth laughs in flowers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
After the ship has sunk, everyone knows how it might have been saved.
Our faults irritate us most when we see them in others.
Pennsylvanian Dutch proverb
Nice thing about mistakes they don't have to be permanent.
When we stop learning and merely act from the knowledge we have accumulated, disorder comes.
War is wrong, why fight it?
Don’t tell me this is a difficult problem. If it weren’t difficult, it wouldn’t be a problem.
The past is history, the future a mystery, and this moment a gift. That's why this moment is called 'the present'.
A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimension.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Success has many parents, failure is an orphan.
If there was only one way of doing something, there’d only be one person in the world.
The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The anatomy of hate is possible to understand, but indifference . . .
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor
To put the bounty and the health of our land, our only commonwealth, into the hands of people who do not live on it and share its fate will always be an error. For whatever determines the fortune of the land determines also the fortune of the people. If history teaches anything, it teaches that.
Travellers are people who never know where they are going, whereas tourists are those who never know where they've been.
If we do not know what port we are steering for, no wind is favourable.
It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.
If you put your head in the sand, it'll turn to dust.
If you love what you do, you'll never work another day in your life.
United we bargain, divided we beg.
If a person becomes too rich without sharing, like an over-ripe fruit, he or she will fall.
Live never to be ashamed if anything you do or say is published anywhere around the world — even if what is published isn't true.
We are confronted by insurmountable opportunities.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
Those who see all beings in themselves, and their own selves in all beings, lose all fear.
Starhawk, 'The Fifth Sacred Thing'
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
You cannot say you are sorry you stole my pen if you continue to retain possession of it.
Desmond Tutu, on reconciliation and forgiveness
A good example has twice the value of good advice.
Improvement begins with I.
An eye for an eye will make the world go blind.
For those who know, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, no explanation will suffice.
When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.
If you get too close to people, you can catch their dreams, er I mean, germs.
Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit.
Edward R. Murrow
Real generosity is doing something for someone who'll never find out who it was.
Frank A. Clark
The true meaning of generosity is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.
Mary Tyler Moore
The cheapest facelift? A smile.
Life does not cease to be funny when people die, any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
George Bernard Shaw
A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
Old English proverb
You don't feel the bullet you've just dodged.
Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
The heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of.
Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
No wise man ever wished to be younger.
Politicians are the same everywhere: they promise to build a bridge even when there’s no river.
Money can’t buy friends, but it can get you a better class of enemy.
Bless you for your jealousy; it is a sign of empathy.
Your reputation is none of your business.
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
Don’t ever take down a fence until you know why it was put up.
If someone betrays you once, it’s their fault. If they do it twice, it’s your fault.
Principles only mean something when we stick by them when they are inconvenient.
The Contender (movie)
To be great is to be misunderstood.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Waiting for the moment when the moment has been waiting all the time.
Magic is the art of changing consciousness at will.
Cogs in the machine go round in circles, wear out and get replaced.
Waking the Dead
Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.
Art that doesn't attempt the impossible, isn't performing its function.
William Butler Yeats
Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.
We make more money selling the advice than following it.
The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
Expect the unexpected or you won't find it.
Giving money and power to the government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
P J O'Rourke
Poor people have access to the courts in the same sense that Christians had access to the lions
Judge Earl Johnson Jr
History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamour of the bad people but the appalling silence of the good people.
Martin Luther King Jnr
The problem with success is you become what you detest.
If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you have always got.
No one knows enough to be a pessimist.
Be yourself: there's nobody better qualified.
If you follow the herd, you'll end up stepping in shit.
A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
People need to know what you stand for, and what you won't stand for.
The ends don't justify the means. The means shape the ends. You become what you do.
We who have no time for our health today, may have no health for a time tomorrow.
Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world — that is the myth of the Atomic Age — as in being able to remake ourselves.
Gambling is the only business where dissatisfied customers keep coming back for more.
He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake since for him the spinal cord would suffice.
If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.
Lilla Watson, Aboriginal educator/activist
Possess yourself — somebody else will.
It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform.
Theodore H. White
Live as if to die tomorrow. Learn as if to live forever.
If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
General George S. Patton, Jr
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilisation.
George Bernard Shaw
All the flowers on a tree do not produce fruit.
Wolof people saying
When the monkey cannot reach the ripe banana, he says it’s sour.
Bambara people saying
He who is unable to dance says the yard is stony.
In journalism, there has always been a tension between getting it first and getting it right.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
Our job is to become more and more of what we are. The growth of a poet seems to be related to his or her becoming less and less embarrassed about more and more.
Marvin Bell, poet
The safest nuclear reactor in the world is the one that hasn’t been built.
You’ve got to declare yourself openly, otherwise, you’ll stay right where you are.
Carry on Cruising
Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
H. G. Wells
I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.
[Why be] always on the move, but going nowhere fast?
Billie, Boardwalk Empire (TV show)
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said.
After the chess match, the King and the pawn go into the same box.
Fame is the mask that eats away the face
When asked by a British reporter what he thought about western civilisation, Mahatma Gandhi replied: "I think it would be a good idea".
Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it’s useless.
We didn’t all come over on the same ship, but we’re all in the same boat.
Bernard M. Baruch
Acting is the easiest thing in the world, just don't get caught doing it.
Spencer Tracy, on the challenge of acting
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
Don’t go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I imagine God is weary being called down on both sides of an argument.
Cold Mountain (movie)
The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.
The moment you realise you are in the moment takes you out of the moment
Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.
Don’t criticise what you can’t understand. You have never walked in that man's shoes.
Would you believe in what you believe in if you were the only one who believed it?
A sense of humour is common sense dancing.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Abilities wither under faultfinding, blossom under encouragement.
Donald A Laird
The brightest colour crayon isn’t always the sharpest in the box. Many things are bright but that doesn’t mean they're sharp.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.
Only the dead have seen the end of war.
Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.
Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Some people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until seventy-five.
The sun dries without prejudice the clothes of the rich and poor alike.
Life becomes easier when you accept the apology you never got.
A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour.
Pay attention to the cracks, because that’s where the light gets in.
Intelligence is not what one knows . . . but what one does when one does not know.
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to Truth: not going all the way and not starting.
Appeasement is the hope that the alligator will eat you last.
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
Character is simply habit long continued.
Where words fail, music speaks.
Hans Christian Andersen
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C Clarke
War happens when politicians fail.
To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.
Those who never change their minds, never change anything.
To go after what you want in life, you have to silence the critics, starting with the biggest one: you.
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top.
The job of a newspaper is to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.
Finley Peter Dunne
Legal partner to admin assistant, caught talking to another staff member in the toilets: ’’Haven't you got work to do?’’ Admin assistant: ’’Oh yes, but this is what I do best.’’
from The Ally McBeal Show (TV show)
Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don’t want (or need) to impress people they don’t like (or really know).
adapted from Will Rogers
If you think you are too small to make a difference, then you have never been in bed with a mosquito.
Go the extra mile. It's never crowded.
Gambling is the only business where dissatisfied customers keep coming back for more.
Here’s a test to see if your mission on Earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.
Death can’t stop love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
The Princess Bride (movie)
People who have nothing to worry about are usually on their way to the cemetery.
Moonlighting (TV show)
Always love your enemies. Nothing annoys them as much.
Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.
If your horse dies, get off.
W C Fields: ’’I wonder what kind of woman you are?’’
Mae West: ’’I'm sorry I don't give out free samples.’’
from My Little Chickadees (movie)
I never forget a face, but in your case, I'll make an exception.
Look, you can’t keep on blaming yourself. Just blame yourself once, then move on.
You can do anything when you’re famous. That’s why famous people are so dumb.
Jarvis Cocker, Pulp
Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like the condemned man who is proud of his large cell.
If you have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, you’ll shit all over the present.
Queer As Folk (TV show, US version)
The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you hear what is sounding outside of you.
Do what you know is right, but try not to get caught.
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
A committee is a cul-de-sac to which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.
John A Lincoln
Always remember you’re unique . . . just like everyone else
The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else’s rules, while quietly playing by your own.
Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.
Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.
If people don’t know what you're doing, they won't know what you’re doing wrong.
episode Open Government, Yes, Minister (TV show)
Trying is the first step toward failure.
The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, and to have the two as close together as possible.
The best thing about always being honest is you never have to remember what you’ve said.
When ’i’ is replaced by ’we’, ’illness’ becomes ’wellness’.
People know the price of everything but the value of nothing.
Kill one man and you’re a murderer, kill a million and you're a conqueror.
As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind: Every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.
John Glenn, astronaut
A true friend is one who stabs you in the front.
Life isn’t fair, it’s just fairer than death.
The Princess Bride (movie)
If you can’t explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
Some people die at twenty-five, and aren't buried until they're seventy-five.
Officer to motorist: ’’This is a one-way street.’’
Motorist: ’’Well, I'm only going one way.’’
That’s the thing with doctors: the only time the public's safe is when they're on the golf course.
Why size does matter: You can sit on top of a mountain, but you can’t sit on pinhead.
It’s better to keep your mouth shut and give the impression you’re stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.
There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.
Mary Kay Ash
Don’t do something permanently stupid just because you are temporarily upset.
A man who can smile when things go wrong has found someone to blame it on.
Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams, Who looks inside, awakens.
Life is pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something.
The Princess Bride (movie)
You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.
Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go.
Live every day like it’s your last and someday you'll be right.
Woody Allen from Café Society (movie)
Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.
Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.
George Bernhard Shaw
Enlightenment is understanding that there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, and nobody you have to be except exactly who you're being right now.
Neale Donald Walsch
Better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie.
If you're going to do something tonight that you'll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late.
Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self.
A free society is a place where it's safe to be unpopular.
Adlai E. Stevenson Jr
There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle.
You can't fake listening. It shows.
It started off badly, tapered off in the middle, and the less said about the end the better. Other than that it was excellent.
Blackadder, from TV series, reviewing something or other!
Seduction is the art of selling something the other party isn't even sure they want.
Pocket Listing (movie)
Seduction is manipulation disguised as romance.
Retort, same movie
I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy; my reality is just different from yours.
The root of all evil will die if not watered.
Golf is a good walk spoiled.
When you don’t get what you want, you get something better — experience.
What they call you is up to them. What you answer to is up to you.
Give others a second chance to make a first impression.
There’s a time for everything but not always at the same time.
Only you can determine your worth.
When things fall apart, they could actually be falling into place.
Not everything that counts can be counted.
Don’t confuse your work with your worth.
Just because someone isn’t on your path doesn’t mean they’re lost.
No one can drain you without your permission.
Power is an inside job.
Don’t die with your music in you.
Nothing you want is upstream, so stop struggling.
You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.
a collection from Regina Brett
If you don't have a strategy, you're part of someone else's strategy.
The future hurts. But only once. Denying it stings forever.
Take care of your memories, because you can't relive them.
Billionaires paying millionaires to tell the middle class to blame the poor.
a line from The Grinning Barretts' song Plutocrass on the mainstream media
Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.
Want to know what God thinks of money? Look at the people he gave it to.
I have noticed that even people who claim everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.
Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet to see who they really are.
Never follow someone else's path; unless you're in the woods and you're lost and you see a path, then by all means, you should follow that.
The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing, and then they marry him.
I'm a troubleshooter. Whenever there's trouble, they shoot me.
Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
When a thief kisses you, count your teeth.
You cannot waken someone who pretends to be asleep.
Failure is the line of least persistence.
When you listen to a political speech, it is like shooting at a target, you must allow for the wind.
A gift shop is a place where you can see all the things you hope your friends won't send you for Christmas.
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.
One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.
The media won't connect the dots. The dots give them a job.
Maj. Danny Sjurzen (ret.)
Leadership is not a title. Leadership is seeing something that needs doing, and doing it.
Here is a test to determine whether your mission on Earth is finished. If you're still alive, it isn't.
The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.
Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
If con is the opposite of pro, then isn’t Congress the opposite of progress?
The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.
Apologies are a bore. What we want is an explanation.
An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.
What we learn from history is that no one learns from history.
Otto von Bismarck
You don't have to attend every argument to which you're invited.
If you don't pick a day to relax, your body will pick one for you.
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
Bigfoot is sometimes confused with Sasquatch. Yeti never complains.
All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Without order, nothing can exist. Without chaos, nothing can evolve.
If I am to be insulted, I must first value your opinion.
Rather fail with honour than succeed by fraud.
What do you call someone who knows it's all going to shit, but still thinks things will turn out okay? An apocaloptimist.
When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.
If we do not believe in freedom of speech for those we despise, we do not believe in it all.
I have learned that every mortal will taste death, but only some will taste life.
There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.
Don Miguel Ruiz
You can tell a lot about a person by the things they run from and the person they run to.