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Also see for inspirational quotes about schooling.






Not everything that can be counted counts,

and not everything that counts can be counted.

— Albert Einstein, physicist (1879-1955)






Affliction, like the iron-smith, shapes as it smites.

-- Christian Bovee, lawyer and author (1820-1904)






During times of universal deceit, telling the truth

becomes a revolutionary act.


— George Orwell, British novelist (1903-50)




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


—Abraham Lincoln, 16th President (1809-65)




No army can resist a good idea whose time has come.


—Victor Hugo, French writer (1802-85)




In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its

value is not in its taste, but in its effects.


— J. William Fulbright, U.S. senator (1905-1995)




To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy.


— Hippocrates, physician (460-c.377 BC)



Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing the ground.


— Frederick Douglass,

 abolitionist, editor and orator (1817-1895)






The history of liberty is a history of limitations of government power, not the increase of it.

— Woodrow Wilson


Those who would sacrifice liberty for security

deserve neither.


—Benjamin Franklin


I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences

attending too much liberty

than to those attending too small a degree of it.


— Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. president,

architect and author (1743-1826)






An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.


— James McNeill Whistler, painter (1834-1903)



A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist.


— Louis Nizer, lawyer (1902-1994)



I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.


— Michelangelo Buonarroti, sculptor, painter,

architect, and poet  (1475-1564)



The perfection of art is to conceal art.


— Quintilian (Marcus Fabius

Quintilianus), rhetorician (c. 35-95)







Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family.

— George Bernard Shaw,

dramatist, critic, novelist, and Nobel laureate (1856-1950)



People are like stained glass windows:

they sparkle and shine when the sun is out,

but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed

only if there is a light within.

— Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, psychiatrist and author (1926- )






Nothing ought to be more weighed than the nature of books recommended by a public authority. So recommended they soon form the character of the age.


— Edmund Burke, British political philosopher



One who does not read good books

knows no more than one who cannot read.


 - Mark Twain, American author and humorist (1835-1910)



A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity

and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen

by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.


— Robertson Davies, writer (1913-1995)



A room without books is as a body without a soul.


— Cicero, Roman statesman

 orator and writer (106-43 B.C.)



No man can be called friendless when he has God and the companionship of good books.


— Elizabeth Barrett Browning, poet (1806-1861)



Books are like imprisoned souls till someone takes them down from a shelf and frees them.


— Samuel Butler, writer (1835-1902)



Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen

from one to another mind.


— James Russell Lowell,

poet, essayist, and diplomat (1819-1891)



No two persons ever read the same book.


— Edmund Wilson, critic (1895-1972)



To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you,

and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations -- such is a pleasure beyond compare.


— Kenko Yoshida, essayist (1283-1352)



There is no remedy so easy as books, which if they do not give

cheerfulness, at least restore quiet to the most troubled mind.


— Lady Mary Wortley Montagu,

author (1689-1762)


You think your pains and heartbreaks are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who have ever been alive.

— James Baldwin, writer (1924-1987)



The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our

neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.


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






The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race,  posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.


-- John Stuart Mill, philosopher and economist (1806-1873)






There are two kinds of fool. One says, "This is old, and therefore good." And one says, "This is new, and therefore better."


— John Brunner, science fiction writer (1934-1995)



Our heads are round so that thoughts can change direction.


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






He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves,

and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.


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



Conscience is thoroughly well-bred and soon leaves off talking to those who do not wish to hear it.


—- Samuel Butler, writer (1835-1902)



Gratitude is not only the "greatest of virtues,

but the parent of all others."


— Cicero, Roman orator (106 - 43 B.C.)



No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.


— John Donne, poet (1573-1631)



Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend,

an acquaintance, or a stranger.


— Franklin P. Jones, businessman (1887-1929)



A dose of adversity is often as needful as a dose of medicine.


— Old West pioneer saying



To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes

perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul,

sincerity, earnestness and kindness.


— Confucius, philosopher and teacher (c. 551-478 BC)



It was by perseverance that the snail reached the ark.


— Charles Haddon Spurgeon, English preacher (1834-92)



Life is mostly froth and bubble,

Two things stand like stone,

Kindness in another's trouble,

Courage in your own.


— Adam Lindsay Gordon, poet (1833-1870)



If we escape punishment for our vices, why should we complain if we are not rewarded for our virtues?


— John Churton Collins, literary critic (1848-1908)






The highest exercise of charity is charity towards the uncharitable.


— J.S Buckminster,

clergyman and editor (1797-1812)






What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give.


— P.D. James, writer (1920- )



If you want your children to turn out well,

spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.


— Abigail Van Buren, advice columnist (1918- )



Children are unpredictable.

You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next.


— Franklin P. Jones, businessman (1887-1929)


If you want children to improve,

let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.


— Haim Ginott, child psychologist (1922-73)



The soul is healed by being with children.


-- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, novelist (1821-1881)






(T)he rights of man come not from the generosity of the state,

but from the hand of God.


— John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States (1917-63)






He who establishes his argument by noise and command,

shows that his reason is weak.


— Michel De Montaigne, essayist (1533-1592)



Don't argue with an idiot;

people watching may not be able to tell the difference.


— Anonymous



Eyes are vocal, tears have tongues, /

And there are words not made with lungs.


-- Richard Crashaw, poet (1613-1649)






If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and the fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.


— Louis Dembitz Brandeis, lawyer, judge, and writer (1856-1941)



If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.


— Confucius, philosopher and teacher (c. 551-478 BCE)







Conscience is a dog that does not stop us from passing but that we cannot prevent from barking.


-- Nicolas de Chamfort, writer (1741-1794)



When you battle with your conscience and lose, you win.


-- Henny Youngman, comedian and violinist (1906-1998)





Consensus is the absence of leadership.  


— Margaret Thatcher, British prime minister (1925-    )






As regards intellectual work, it remains a fact, indeed,

that great decisions in the realms of thought and momentous discoveries and solutions of problems are only possible to an individual working in solitude.


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






Men are more often bribed by their loyalties and ambitions

than by money.


— Robert H. Jackson, U.S. Supreme Court justice (1892-1954)



It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary

depends upon his not understanding it.


— Upton Sinclair, novelist and reformer (1878-1968)






Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.

Art is knowing which ones to keep.


— Scott Adams, cartoonist (1957- )



The world in general doesn't know what to make of originality;

it is startled out of its comfortable habits of thought,

and its first reaction is one of anger.


— W. Somerset Maugham, writer (1874-1965)



(On snowflakes): How full of the creative genius is the air in which these are generated! I should hardly admire them more if real stars fell and lodged on my coat.


— Henry David Thoreau, writer and philosopher, Journal, 1856



Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom while discouragement often nips it at the bud.


—      Alex Osborn, advertising executive,

developer of the technique called "brainstorming" (1886-1967)






An open mind, like an open mouth, does have a purpose; and that is, to close it upon something solid. Otherwise, it could end up like a city sewer, rejecting absolutely nothing.


                                — G.K. Chesterton, author (1874-1936)



In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the

humble reasoning of a single individual.


— Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer (1564-1642)



See everything, overlook a great deal, correct a little.


— Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)


How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.

- Benjamin Disraeli, British prime minister (1804-1881)






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


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







I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.


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






Let us enrich ourselves with our mutual differences.


-- Paul Valery, poet and philosopher (1871-1945)





Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance
and the gospel of envy.


— Winston Churchill, British statesman (1874-1965)



Nature uses as little as possible of anything.


— Johannes Kepler, astronomer (1571-1630)



Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation,

and I care not who makes its laws.


— Amschel Mayer Rothschild, banker (1743-1812)



Did you know that the worldwide food shortage that threatens up to 500 million children could be alleviated at the cost of only one day,  only ONE day, of modern warfare.


— Peter Ustinov, actor, writer and director  (1921-2004)






I am always ready to learn,

but I do not always like to be taught.


— Winston Churchill, British statesman (1874-1965)



What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul.


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



What is education? Properly speaking, there is no such thing as education. Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. Whatever the soul is like, it will have to be passed on somehow, consciously or unconsciously, and that transition may be called education. . . . What we need is to have a culture before we hand it down. In other words, it is a truth, however sad and strange, that we cannot give what we have not got, and cannot teach to other people what we do not know ourselves.


— G.K. Chesterton, British author (1874-1936)



Rewards and punishments are the lowest form of education.


— Chuang-Tzu, philosopher (4th c. BC)


Education is not the filling of a bucket,

but the lighting of a fire.


-- W.B.Yeats, Irish poet and Nobel Prize winner (1865-1939)






We aim above the mark to hit the mark.


— Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and

philosopher (1803-1882)



Fall seven times. Stand up eight.


— Japanese proverb






Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.


— Pearl S. Buck, Nobelist novelist (1892-1973)






In everyone's life at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.


— Albert Schweitzer, humanitarian (1875-1965)


We learn as much from sorrow as from joy,

as much from illness as from health,

from handicaps as from advantages - and indeed perhaps more.


— Pearl S. Buck, Nobelist novelist (1892-1973)






Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.


— Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer, philosopher (1803-1882)



None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.


— Henry David Thoreau, writer (1817-1862)



You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. Enthusiasm is the spark in your eyes, the swing in your gait, the grip of your h and, the irresistible surge of your will and your energy to execute your ideas. Enthusiasts are fighters, they have fortitude, they have staying qualities. Enthusiasm is at the bottom of all progress! With it, there is accomplishment. Without it there are only alibis.


— Henry Ford, industrialist (1863-1947)



Those who are fired with an enthusiastic idea and who allow it to take hold and dominate their thoughts find that new worlds open for them. As long as enthusiasm holds out, so will new opportunities.


— Norman Vincent Peale, minister and author (1898-1993)






Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.


— Franklin P. Jones, businessman (1887-1929)



Without your wounds, where would your power be? . . .

In Love's service, only wounded soldiers can serve.


— Thornton Wilder, author and playwright (1897-1975)






I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God

who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect

has intended us to forgo their use.


— Galileo Galilei, physicist and astronomer (1564-1642)



No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.


— Zen saying






A free society is a place where it's safe to be unpopular.


 — Adlai Stevenson, statesman (1900-1965)






All kids are gifted; some just open their packages earlier than others.


-- Michael Carr





There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil

to one who is striking at the root.


 — Henry David Thoreau,

naturalist and author (1817-1862)



As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in theair -- however slight -- lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.


— William O. Douglas, judge (1898-1980)






A patriot must always be ready to defend his country

against its government.


— Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)



The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility on the other.


-- Ronald Reagan, 42nd President (1911 - 2004)



Governments like clocks, go from the motion men give them;

and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men than men upon government.


— William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania (1644-1718)



If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.


— Samuel Adams, American statesman (1722-1803)



We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.


— John Adams, 2nd American president (1735-1826)



It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression . . . that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal judiciary; . . . working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped."


— Thomas Jefferson, 3rd American president (1743-1826)



The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government

strong enough to protect the interests of the people,

and a people strong enough and well enough informed

to maintain its sovereign control over its government.


— Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd US President (1882-1945)






The gem cannot be polished without friction,

nor man perfected without trials.


— Chinese Proverb



Please subdue the anguish of your soul.

Nobody is destined only to happiness or to pain.

The wheel of life takes one up and down by turn.


— Kalidasa, dramatist (c. 4th century)



The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in time of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.


— Dante Alighieri, poet (1265-1321)



His mother had often said, When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action. She had emphasized the corollary of this axiom even more vehemently: when you desired a consequence you had damned well better take the action

that would create it.


— Lois McMaster Bujold, writer (1949-   )



Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment,

and learn again to exercise his will — his personal responsibility

in the realm of faith and morals.


— Albert Schweitzer, humanitarian (1875-1965)



One's age should be tranquil, as childhood should be playful. Hard work at either extremity of life seems out of place. At midday the sun may burn, and men labor under it; but the morning and evening should be alike calm and cheerful.


— Thomas Arnold, educator (1795-1842)



He is the best physician

who is the most ingenious inspirer of hope.


—      Samuel Taylor Coleridge,

poet, critic, and philosopher (1772-1834)



If you are afraid of being lonely, don't try to be right.


— Jules Renard, writer (1864-1910)



Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides.


— Rita Mae Brown, writer, 1944-






I've been on a constant diet for the last two decades. I've lost a total of 789 pounds. By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.


— Erma Bombeck, humorist (1927-1996)






Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.


— Ovid, Roman poet (43 B.C. - A.D. 17?)


If you think health care is expensive now,

wait until you see what it costs when it's free.


— P.J. O'Rourke, writer (1947-   )





History is more or less bunk.


— Henry Ford, industrialist (1863-1947)



Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room;  they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.


— Socrates, philosopher (469 - 399 B.C.)



Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a

noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and

blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and

faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity

all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of

liberty, property, religion, and independence."


— Joseph Story, U.S. judge (1779-1849)






Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.


— Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784)



He who wishes to secure the good of others

has already secured his own.


— Confucius (c. 551-479? BC)



Wrongs are often forgiven, but contempt never is.

Our pride remembers it forever.


— G.K. Chesterfield, statesman and writer (1694-1773)



But man, proud man, /

Drest in a little brief authority, /

Most ignorant of what he's most assured, /

His glassy essence, like an angry ape, /

Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven /

As make the angels weep.


— William Shakespeare, playwright and poet (1564-1616)



The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical

substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.


— Carl Jung, psychiatrist (1875-1961)



Never miss a good chance to shut up.


— Will Rogers, humorist (1879-1935)






The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.


— Thomas Carlyle, writer (1795-1881)






Imagination is more important than knowledge.


— Albert Einstein, scientist (1879-1955)






To be nobody but myself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.


-- E.E. Cummings, poet (1894-1962)





The soundest argument will produce no more conviction in an empty head than the most superficial declamation; as a feather and a guinea fall with equal velocity in a vacuum.


-- Charles Caleb Colton, author and clergyman (1780-1832)





Invention requires an excited mind; execution, a calm one.


-- Johann Peter Eckermann, poet (1792-1854)






Knowledge is like a garden:

if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.


-- Guinean saying





I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.


— Jorge Luis Borges, writer (1899-1986)



The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,

And all the sweet serenity of books.


— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet (1807-1882)



Learning is acquired by reading books; but the much more necessary

learning, the knowledge of the world, is only to be acquired by reading man, and studying all the various editions of them.


— Philip Dormer Stanhope,

statesman and writer (1694-1773)



Only one who bursts with eagerness do I instruct; only one who bubbles with excitement, do I enlighten.


— Confucius, philosopher and teacher (551 - 479 B.C.)



I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth

lay all undiscovered before me.


— Isaac Newton, philosopher

and mathematician (1642-1727)



Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.


— Chinese proverb


Personally, I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.


— Sir Winston Churchill, British prime minister (1874-1965)





I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,

to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn

what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die,

discover that I had not lived.


— Henry David Thoreau,

naturalist and author (1817-1862)



Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do,

something to love, and something to hope for.


— Joseph Addison, writer (1672-1719)




When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth,
think of Algebra.


— Will Rogers, humorist (1879-1935)


Black holes are where God divided by zero.


—  Steven Wright, comedian (1955-  )





Television is altering the meaning of "being informed" by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation. . . . Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information — misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information — information that creates the illusion of knowing something, but which in fact leads one away from knowing.


—  Neil Postman, author, media critic,

professor (1931-2003)






The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training - sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those Divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in His own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of Divine help which alone can sustain him. However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind.


—  Gen. Douglas MacArthur, U.S. general (1880-1964)






Money may be the husk of many things but not the kernel.

It brings you food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; acquaintance, but not friends; servants, but not loyalty;

days of joy, but not peace or happiness.


— Henrik Ibsen, playwright (1828-1906)



The most efficient labor-saving device

Is still money.


— Franklin P. Jones, businessman (1887-1929)






The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.


— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christian theologian

and Holocaust martyr (1906-1945)


Be not too hasty to trust or admire the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels but they live like men.


— Samuel Johnson, lexicographer







A book is a story for the mind. A song is a story for the soul.


-- Eric Pio, poet


I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.


—      George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans),

 British novelist (1819-80)


If music be the food of love, play on. . . .


— William Shakespeare,

English playwright (1564-1616)





Earth laughs in flowers.


— Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and

philosopher (1803-1882)



He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.


— Immanuel Kant, philosopher (1724-1804)



There is pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is rapture in the lonely shore,

There is society where none intrudes,

By the deep sea, and music in its roar:

I love not man the less, but nature more.


— Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)



Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.


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






We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives

teaching them to walk and talk,

and the next twelve years telling them to sit down and shut up.


— Phyllis Diller, comedienne (1917-   )



The best thing to spend on your children is your time.


— Louise Hart, poet, author and photojournalist



Nothing has a stronger influence

psychologically on their environment

and especially on their children

than the unlived life of the parent.


— Carl Jung, psychologist (1875-1961)


The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children.


—      Edward, Duke of Windsor (1894-1972)



A good education

is the next best thing

to a pushy mother.


-- Charles M. Schulz, "Peanuts" cartoonist (1922-2000)





PEDAGOGY (Teaching Methods)


The mind is not a vessel that needs filling

but wood that needs igniting.


-- Plutarch, Greek historian and thinker (A.D. 46-120)







What a strange machine man is! You fill him with bread, wine, fish, and radishes, and out comes sighs, laughter, and dreams.


—  Nikos Kazantzakis, poet and novelist (1883-1957)


To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.


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



Sacred cows make the best hamburger.


— Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)






Little Strokes, Fell great Oaks.


— Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and

inventor (1706-1790)






Poetry is to prose as dancing is to walking.


—  John Barrington Wain, writer (1925-1994)



It is difficult to get the news from poems

yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.


—  William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)



In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.


— Paul Dirac, physicist (1902-1984)



Poetry is indeed something divine. It is at once the centre and circumference of knowledge; it is that which comprehends all science, and that to which all science must be referred. It is at the same time the root and blossom of all other systems of thought; it is that from which all spring, and that which adorns all; and that which,

If blighted, denies the fruit and the seed, and withholds

from the barren world the nourishment

and the succession of the scions of the tree of life.


— Percy Bysshe Shelley, Defence Of Poetry,

 (written 1821, published 1840)






Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.


—  Paulo Freire, educator (1921-1997)



The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves.


—  Plato, philosopher (427-347 BCE)



When money speaks, the truth keeps silent.


—  Russian proverb






You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.


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



For every ten problems you see coming down the road,

nine roll harmlessly into the ditch before they arrive.


— Calvin Coolidge, 30th U.S. President (1872-1933)






Ships that pass in the night and speak to each other in passing;

Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;

So on the ocean of life we pass and speak to one another,

Only a look and a voice; then darkness again and a silence.


— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet (1807-1882)



No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the

Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.


— John Donne, poet (1573-1631)






Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.


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




I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth.


— Martin Luther, German theologian (1483-1546)



Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor

morality without religion.


— Alexis de Tocqueville,  French statesman (1805-1859



A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a

paradox as an honest man without the fear of God.


— Abigail Adams, U.S. First Lady (1744-1818)



The highest flight of charity, devotion, trust, patience, bravery to which the wings of human nature have spread themselves, have been flown for religious ideals.


— Henry James, philosopher (1811-82)



The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.


— Martin Luther King Jr.,

civil rights activist (1929-68)






When one tugs at a single thing in nature,

he finds it attached to the rest of the world.


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



The only solid piece of scientific truth about which I feel totally confident is that we are profoundly ignorant about nature. . . . It is this sudden confrontation with the depth and scope of ignorance that represents the most significant contribution of twentieth-century science to the human intellect.


— Lewis Thomas, physician and writer (1913-93)



The science of life is a superb and dazzlingly lighted hall which may be reached only by passing through a long and ghastly kitchen.


— Claude Bernard ,French physiologist (1813-1878)






A man has to live with himself,

and he should see to it that he always has good company.


— Charles Evans Hughes, jurist (1862-1948)



There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth anew each day:

we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday.

But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything

we are fixed, so to speak, for life.


— Eric Hoffer, writer (1902-1983)



 Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm-- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.


—T.S. Elliot, writer (1888-1965)


Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us

for our own good will torment us without end for they do so

with the approval of their own conscience.


— C. S. Lewis, English writer (1898-1963)



Examine the records of history, recollect what has happened within the circle of your own experience, consider with attention what has been the conduct of almost all the greatly unfortunate, either in private or public life, whom you may have either read of, or hear of, or remember, and you will find that the misfortunes

of by far the greater part of them have arisen

from their not knowing when they were well,

when it was proper for them to set still and to be contented.


— Adam Smith, economist (1723-1790)






The highest exercise of charity is charity towards the uncharitable.


— J.S. Buckminster, clergyman and editor (1797-1812)






Every blade in the field—

every leaf in the forest—

lays down its life in its season

as beautifully as it was taken up.

—      Henry David Thoreau,

writer (1817-1862)



For each thorn, there's a rosebud...

for each twilight—a dawn...

for each trial—the strength to carry on,

For each stormcloud—a rainbow...

for each shadow—the sun...

for each parting—sweet memories

when sorrow is done.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson,

writer (1803-1882)



Look for the rainbow

that gracious thing,

made up of tears and light.

— Samuel Taylor Coleridge,

writer (1772-1834)



Though nothing can bring back the hour

of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower,

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind.


— William Wordsworth,

poet (1770-1850)






I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity

is like a man standing in a bucket

and trying to lift himself up by the handle.


— Winston Churchill, British statesman (1874-1965)



I'm proud to pay taxes in the United States; the only thing is,

I could be just as proud for half the money.


-- Arthur Godfrey, television host, entertainer (1903-1983)






The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little.


--Ray Bradbury, science-fiction writer (1920- )






Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant when they are

incensed, or crushed: for prosperity doth best discover vice,

but adversity doth best discover virtue.


— Francis Bacon, essayist, philosopher, and

statesman (1561-1626)






There are times when we must sink to the bottom of our misery to understand truth, just as we must descend to the bottom of a well to see the stars in broad daylight.


— Vaclav Havel, writer,

Czech Republic president (1936- )






There are three things to be considered about an organization: what it offers to the public, what it offers to its own rank and file, and what it offers to the leaders. The last of these too often, in practice, outweighs the other two.


-- Bertrand Russell, English philosopher (1872-1970)






Just as appetite comes by eating so work brings inspiration.


— Igor Stravinsky, composer (1882-1971)






Easy reading is damned hard writing.


— Nathaniel Hawthorne, writer (1804-1864)



Works of imagination should be written in very plain language; the more purely imaginative they are the more necessary it is to be plain.


— Samuel Taylor Coleridge,

poet and philosopher (1772-1834)



Words are the soul's ambassadors, who go /

Abroad upon her errands to and fro.


— James Howell, writer (c. 1594-1666)



Substitute damn every time you're inclined to write very; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.


— Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)



Words are like money; there is nothing so useless,

unless when in actual use.


— Samuel Butler, writer (1835-1902)



But words are things, a small drop of ink, /

Falling like dew upon a thought, produces /

That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.


— Lord Byron, poet (1788-1824)



The best writing is rewriting.


— E.B. White, writer (1899-1985)



Work on good prose has three steps: a musical stage

when it is composed, an architectonic one when it is built,

and a textile one when it is woven.


— Walter Benjamin, critic and philosopher (1982-1940)


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