Quotes

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.

George Eliot

 

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

Robert Fripp

  1. Act from principle

  2. Begin where you are

  3. Define your aim simply, clearly and briefly

  4. Establish the possible and move gradually toward the impossible.

  5. Honour necessity

  6. Honour sufficiency

  7. Offer no violence

  8. Suffer cheerfully

  9. Take out work seriously, but not solemnly.

  10. 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.

Helen Keller

 

One of the biggest challenges to a relationship is learning how to say, 'I disagree with you' while still holding hands.

Alexandra Penney

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.

Unknown

 

You never do anything that works out the first time, unless you're doing something that's already been done.

Amy Dean

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

True measure

. . . 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.

Robert Kennedy

 

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.

Michelangelo

 

The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.

Albert Einstein

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.

Jed McKenna

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

  1. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark

  2. Stay Fit. When you’re 600 years old someone may ask you to do something really big.

  3. Don't listen to critics. Just do what has to be done.

  4. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.

  5. Speed isn't always an advantage; cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.

  6. Don't forget that we're all in the same boat.

  7. Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals.

  8. When you're stressed, float awhile.

  9. Don't miss the boat.

  10. 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.

Chinese proverb

 

It's better to be defeated on principle than to win on lies.

Arthur Caldwell

 

A lie gets halfway around the world before truth has a chance to get its pants on.

Winston Churchill

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.

Stuart Wilde

Time

  • 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.​

 

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.

Plato

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.

Herman Goering

Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.

Aldous Huxley

 

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.

Henry Ford

Instructions for life in the new millennium from the Dalai Lama

  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

  2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

  3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for all your actions.

  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

  6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

  7. When you realise you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

  8. Spend some time alone everyday.

  9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

  11. Live a good, honourable life. Then, when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation.

  14. Don't bring up the past.

  15. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.

  16. Be gentle with the earth.

  17. Once a year, go somewhere you've never been before.

  18. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

  19. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

  20. 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

Unknown

 

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.

Albert Einstein

 

Many of life's failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.

Thomas Edison

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.

Starhawk

 

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 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

  1. Resist the ad hoc. Announce that this is a project, and that it matters enough to be treated as one.

  2. The project needs a leader, a person who takes responsibility as opposed to waiting for it to be given.

  3. Write it down. All of it. Everything that people expect, everything that people promise.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Keep a log, a notebook, a history of what you've done and how. You'll need it for the next project.

  7. Source control matters. Don't change things while people are reviewing them, because then we both have to do it twice.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

Greek proverb

 

A wonderful fact to reflect upon is that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.

Charles Dickens

 

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.

Pablo Picasso

 

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

Winston Churchill

 

The Eight Blunders

Cause of all violence in the world

  1. Wealth without work

  2. Pleasure without conscience

  3. Knowledge without character

  4. Commerce without morality

  5. Science without humanity

  6. Worship without sacrifice

  7. Politics without principles

  8. Rights without responsibilities

Mahatma Gandhi

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.

Winston Churchill

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.

William Stekel

 

If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.

Socrates

 

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.

Maya Angelou

A riot is the language of the unheard.

Martin Luther King Jnr

CONTEXT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Meher Baba

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. 

Alvin Toffler

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.

Groucho Marx

 

You never change something by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

Buckminster Fuller

 

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.)

 

  1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

  2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you . . . but it's still on my list.

  3. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

  4. War does not determine who is right, only who is left.

  5. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

  6. In filling out an application, where it says, "In case of emergency, notify . . ." I always write "a doctor”.

  7. I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.

  8. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

  9. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

  10. When I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.

  11. The pleasure was all yours.

  12. These are my principles, and if you don't like them, I have others.

  13. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

  14. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

  15. Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

  16. 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.

Eleanor Roosevelt

 

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.

Isaac Newton

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.

George Orwell

Steven Wright classics

  1. I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  2. Borrow money from pessimists, they don't expect it back.

  3. Half the people you know are below average.

  4. 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

  5. 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

  6. A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

  7. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

  8. If you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with the rain.

  9. All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.

  10. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  11. I almost had a psychic girlfriend . . . But she left me before we met.

  12. OK, so what's the speed of dark?

  13. How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

  14. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

  15. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

  16. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

  17. Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

  18. Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.

  19. I intend to live forever . . . So far, so good.

  20. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

  21. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

  22. What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

  23. A mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."

  24. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

  25. If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

  26. A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

  27. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

  28. The hardness of the butter is inversely proportional to the softness of the bread.

  29. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

  30. The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

  31. The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

  32. The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.

  33. Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have any film.

  34. 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.

Thomas Jefferson

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

  1. I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.

  2. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.

  3. It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.

  4. If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.

  5. A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.

  6. Horse sense is the thing a horse has that keeps it from betting on people.

  7. It is funnier to bend things than to break them.

  8. Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.

  9. 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.

John Schaar

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

On work

Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.

Chuck Close

 

Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.

Isabel Allende 

 

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.

Tchaikovsky

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. 

John Burroughs

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.

Charles Baudelaire

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.

John Wallner

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.

Grace Hooper

 

If you can do it, then why do it.

Gertrude Stein

 

Minds are like parachutes — they work best when they’re open.

Unknown

 

Some people don't have much to say, but you have to listen a long time to find out.

Mark Twain

The earth laughs in flowers.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

After the ship has sunk, everyone knows how it might have been saved.

Italian proverb

 

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.

Thomas Edison

When we stop learning and merely act from the knowledge we have accumulated, disorder comes.

J. Krishnamurti

 

War is wrong, why fight it?

Unknown

 

Don’t tell me this is a difficult problem. If it weren’t difficult, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Ed Koch

 

The past is history, the future a mystery, and this moment a gift. That's why this moment is called 'the present'.

Numerous claimants

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.

Unknown

 

If there was only one way of doing something, there’d only be one person in the world.

Unknown

 

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.

Wendell Berry

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.

Seneca

 

It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society.

J. Krishnamurti

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.

Confucius

United we bargain, divided we beg.

Unknown

If a person becomes too rich without sharing, like an over-ripe fruit, he or she will fall.

Unknown

 

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.

Richard Bach

We are confronted by insurmountable opportunities.

Pogo

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

George Orwell

 

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.

Winston Churchill

 

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

Mohammed Ali

 

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.

Unknown

 

Improvement begins with I.

Arnold Glasow

An eye for an eye will make the world go blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

 

For those who know, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, no explanation will suffice.

Anonymous

When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion.

Ethiopian proverb

 

If you get too close to people, you can catch their dreams, er I mean, germs.

Preston Tucker

 

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.

Nelson Henderson

 

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.

Unknown

Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.

Jesse Jackson

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Winston Churchill

 

The heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of.

Blaise Pascal

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.

Abraham Lincoln

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt

 

No wise man ever wished to be younger.

Jonathan Swift

 

Politicians are the same everywhere: they promise to build a bridge even when there’s no river.

Nikita Khrushchev

 

Money can’t buy friends, but it can get you a better class of enemy.

Spike Milligan

 

Bless you for your jealousy; it is a sign of empathy.

Yoko Ono

 

Your reputation is none of your business.

Wayne Dyer

 

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

Jimi Hendrix

 

Don’t ever take down a fence until you know why it was put up.

Robert Frost

 

If someone betrays you once, it’s their fault. If they do it twice, it’s your fault.

Unknown

 

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.

Jon Anderson

Magic is the art of changing consciousness at will.

Starhawk

 

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.

André Gide

Art that doesn't attempt the impossible, isn't performing its function.

William Butler Yeats

Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.

Alfred Hitchcock

We make more money selling the advice than following it.

Steve Forbes

The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.

Samuel Johnson

 

Expect the unexpected or you won't find it.

Heraclitus

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.

Jesus Jones

 

If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you have always got.

Anthony Robbins

 

No one knows enough to be a pessimist.

Wayne Dyer

Be yourself: there's nobody better qualified.

Unknown

 

If you follow the herd, you'll end up stepping in shit.

Wayne Dyer

A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.

Unknown

 

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.

Andre Gide

 

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

George Eliot

 

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.

Agnes Repplier

People need to know what you stand for, and what you won't stand for.

Unknown

 

The ends don't justify the means. The means shape the ends. You become what you do.

Starhawk

We who have no time for our health today, may have no health for a time tomorrow.

Unknown

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. 

Mahatma Gandhi

Gambling is the only business where dissatisfied customers keep coming back for more.

Unknown

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.

Albert Einstein

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.

The Fixx

 

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

Herman Melville

 

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.

Mahatma Gandhi

If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.

General George S. Patton, Jr

 

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Bertrand Russell

 

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.

Kenyan proverb

 

In journalism, there has always been a tension between getting it first and getting it right.

Ellen Goodman

 

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

Mahatma Gandhi

 

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.

Unknown

 

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.

John Cage

 

[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.

Mark Twain

 

After the chess match, the King and the pawn go into the same box.

Italian proverb

 

Fame is the mask that eats away the face

John Updike

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.

Thomas Edison

 

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.

Marcel Proust

 

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.

Mark Twain

 

The moment you realise you are in the moment takes you out of the moment

Unknown

 

Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.

C.S. Lewis

 

Don’t criticise what you can’t understand. You have never walked in that man's shoes.

Elvis Presley

 

Would you believe in what you believe in if you were the only one who believed it?

Kanye West

 

A sense of humour is common sense dancing.

Clive James

 

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Theodore Roosevelt

 

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.

TTM

 

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

African proverb

 

The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

Stephen McCranie

 

Only the dead have seen the end of war.

Plato

 

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.

Benjamin Franklin

The sun dries without prejudice the clothes of the rich and poor alike.

Mahatma Gandhi

 

Life becomes easier when you accept the apology you never got.

Robert Bault

 

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour.

Unknown

 

Pay attention to the cracks, because that’s where the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen

 

Intelligence is not what one knows . . . but what one does when one does not know.

Jean Piaget

 

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to Truth: not going all the way and not starting.

The Buddha

 

Appeasement is the hope that the alligator will eat you last.

Winston Churchill

 

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

Benjamin Franklin

 

What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

Christopher Hitchens

 

Character is simply habit long continued.

Plutarch

 

Where words fail, music speaks.

Hans Christian Andersen

 

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C Clarke

 

War happens when politicians fail.

Jesse Ventura

 

To forget one’s ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root.

Chinese proverb

 

Those who never change their minds, never change anything.

Winston Churchill

 

To go after what you want in life, you have to silence the critics, starting with the biggest one: you.

Regina Brett

 

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

Chinese proverb

 

History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Mark Twain

 

Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top.

Edward Abbey

 

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.

Betty Reese

 

Go the extra mile. It's never crowded.

Unknown

 

Gambling is the only business where dissatisfied customers keep coming back for more.

Unknown

 

Here’s a test to see if your mission on Earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.

Richard Bach

 

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.

Oscar Wilde

 

Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.

Grace Hansen

 

If your horse dies, get off.

Unknown
 

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.

Groucho Marx

 

Look, you can’t keep on blaming yourself. Just blame yourself once, then move on.

Homer Simpson

 

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.

Unknown

The intelligent man who is proud of his intelligence is like the condemned man who is proud of his large cell.

Simone Weil

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. 

Dag Hammarskjold

Do what you know is right, but try not to get caught.

Ashleigh Brilliant

 

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

Unknown

 

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

Unknown

 

The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else’s rules, while quietly playing by your own.

Michael Konda

 

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.

Don Marquis

 

Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.

Oscar Wilde

 

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.

Homer Simpson

 

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.

George Burns

 

The best thing about always being honest is you never have to remember what you’ve said.

Anonymous

 

When ’i’ is replaced by ’we’, ’illness’ becomes ’wellness’.

Unknown

 

People know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

Oscar Wilde

 

Kill one man and you’re a murderer, kill a million and you're a conqueror.

Jean Rostand

 

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.

Oscar Wilde

 

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.

Albert Einstein

 

Some people die at twenty-five, and aren't buried until they're seventy-five.

Benjamin Franklin

 

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.

Rami Belson

 

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.

Unknown

 

A man who can smile when things go wrong has found someone to blame it on.

Yeck Brothers

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams, Who looks inside, awakens.

Carl Jung

 

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.

Will Rogers

 

Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go.

Oscar Wilde

 

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.

Mark Twain

These are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.

Groucho Marx

 

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.

Russian proverb

 

If you're going to do something tonight that you'll be sorry for tomorrow morning, sleep late.

Henry Youngman

 

Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self.

Cyril Connolly

 

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. 

Robert Alden

You can't fake listening. It shows.

Raquel Welch

 

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. 

Lewis Carroll

 

The root of all evil will die if not watered.

Unknown

 

Golf is a good walk spoiled.

Mark Twain

 

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.

Alvin Toffler

 

The future hurts. But only once. Denying it stings forever.

Billions (TV series) season 3, episode 4

 

Take care of your memories, because you can't relive them.

Bob Dylan

 

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.

Bob Kerrey

 

Want to know what God thinks of money? Look at the people he gave it to.

Dorothy Parker

 

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.

Stephen Hawking

 

Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet to see who they really are.

Will Ferrell

 

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.

Ellen DeGeneres

 

The trouble with some women is that they get all excited about nothing, and then they marry him.

Cher

 

I'm a troubleshooter. Whenever there's trouble, they shoot me.

Lindsay Rundle

 

Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.

John Lennon

 

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

Wallace Notestein

When a thief kisses you, count your teeth.

Yiddish proverb

You cannot waken someone who pretends to be asleep.

Edward Snowden

Failure is the line of least persistence.

Stephanie Martino

When you listen to a political speech, it is like shooting at a target, you must allow for the wind.

Hugh Allen

A gift shop is a place where you can see all the things you hope your friends won't send you for Christmas.

Jack Woolsey

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.

Alice Walker

One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.

George Eliot

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.

Rachael Robertson

Here is a test to determine whether your mission on Earth is finished. If you're still alive, it isn't.

Unknown

The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.

Oscar Wilde

Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.

Gary Snyder

 

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. 

Pablo Picasso

The plural of anecdote is not data.

Marc Bekoff

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

If con is the opposite of pro, then isn’t Congress the opposite of progress?

Jon Stewart

The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.

Mark Twain

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