The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
― Martin Luther King, Jr.
There are books, that one has for twenty years without reading them, that one always keeps at hand, that one takes along from city to city, from country to country, carefully packed, even when there is very little room, and perhaps one leafs through them while removing them from a trunk; yet one carefully refrains from reading even a complete sentence. Then after twenty years, there comes a moment when suddenly, as though under a high compulsion, one cannot help taking in such a book from beginning to end, at one sitting: it is like a revelation. Now one knows why one made such a fuss about it. It had to be with one for a long time; it had to travel; it had to occupy space; it had to be a burden; and now it has reached the goal of its voyage, now it reveals itself, now it illuminates the twenty bygone years it mutely lived with one. It could not say so much if it had not been there mutely the whole time, and what idiot would dare to assert that the same things had always been in it.
― Elias Canetti, The Human Province
It was much better to imagine men in some smoky room somewhere, made mad and cynical by privilege and power, plotting over the brandy. You had to cling to this sort of image, because if you didn’t then you might have to face the fact that bad things happened because ordinary people, the kind who brushed the dog and told their children bedtime stories, were capable of then going out and doing horrible things to other ordinary people. It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was Us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No-one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.
― Terry Pratchett
To be normal is the ultimate aim of the unsuccessful.
— Carl Jung
But the problem is, I don’t know how to be the glass half full girl, but I also don’t know how to not be the glass half empty girl. Those are two extremes and I feel like I’m somehow caught in the middle.
I’ve noticed before that if you go too long without anyone seeing you, really seeing you, it’s easy to start wondering if you’re really there.
— Maggie Mitchell
Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.
— Douglas Adam
Two important facts about our minds: we can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.
— Daniel Kahneman
Because let’s be very clear: strong men – strong men, men who are truly role models, don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful. People who are truly strong lift others up.
— Michelle Obama
Happy endings are a luxury of fiction.
— Trudi Canavan
Since the United State presidential election is right around the corner, I have been thinking quite a bit about qualities in the head of the executive branch. Here are some quotes I ran across in dwelling so much.
You have to remember one thing about the will of the people: it wasn’t that long ago that we were swept away by the Macarena.
― Jon Stewart
Every election is determined by the people who show up.
― Larry J. Sabato,
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
― Winston S. Churchill
Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.
― Abraham Lincoln
I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
― Alexis de Tocqueville,
We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.
― Thomas Jefferson
Oh God, the terrible tyranny of the majority. We all have our harps to play. And it’s up to you to know with which ear you’ll listen.
― Ray Bradbury,
Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.
― Benjamin Franklin
Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’
― Isaac Asimov
I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
― Thomas Jefferson
What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?
― Mahatma Gandhi
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
― H.L. Mencken
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
― John Adams
I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
― Thomas Jefferson
Just some more collected quotes. See the quotes tag for more.
This one seems particularly applicable during this presidential election year.
“History is moving pretty quickly these days, and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.”
― Ian Fleming
Introverts are collectors of thoughts, and solitude is where the collection is curated and rearranged to make sense of the present and future.
— Laurie Helgoe
Anyone who doesn’t make mistakes isn’t trying hard enough.
— Wess Roberts
I am an old man and have known many troubles, but most of them never happened.
— Mark Twain
There would be no need for love if perfection were possible. Love arises from our imperfection, from our being different and always in need of the forgiveness, encouragement and that missing half of ourselves that we are searching for, as the Greek myth tells us, in order to complete ourselves.
— Eugene Kennedy
It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
One man’s constant is another man’s variable.
— Alan J Perlis
Even a small star shines in the darkness.
— Danish Proverb
If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.
— Lao Tzu
Simple things should be simple, complex things should be possible.
— Alan Kay
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice—but in practice there is.”
— Yogi Berra
When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.
— Will Rogers
My first in person TEDxUGA was last year. I returned again this year. It opened with this spoken word poem to set this year’s theme: Illuminate.
On the Internet, nobody knows if you’re a dog… but everybody knows if you’re a jackass. — stevemb
I am certain there is too much certainty in the world. — Michael Crichton
The men who cannot laugh at themselves frighten me even more than those who laugh at everything. — Anne Perry
It always seems impossible until it’s done. — Nelson Mandela
Anyone can be a barbarian; it requires a terrible effort to remain a civilized man. — Leonard Woolf
Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t. — Bill Nye
Two is company, four is a party, three is a crowd. One is a wanderer. — James Thurber
As long as you seek for something, you will get the shadow of reality and not reality itself. — Shunryu Suzuki
I don’t like people who have never fallen or stumbled. Their virtue is lifeless and it isn’t of much value. Life hasn’t revealed its beauty to them. — Boris Pasternak
None of us really changes over time. We only become more fully what we are. — Anne Rice
A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way. — Caroline Gordon
Sweet words are like honey, a little may refresh, but too much gluts the stomach. — Anne Bradstreet
Nothing is more dangerous than a dogmatic worldview – nothing more constraining, more blinding to innovation, more destructive of openness to novelty. — Stephen Jay Gould (I found this hilarious as dogmatic is how I perceived his books.)
Sometimes people try to destroy you, precisely because they recognize your power — not because they don’t see it, but because they see it and they don’t want it to exist. — Bell Hooks
You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain. — Miyamoto Musashi
Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. ― Franz Kafka
No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. ― Douglas Horton
There’s something ugly about the flawless. ― Dennis Lehane
If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you. ― Leo Tolstoy
Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are. — Niccolò Machiavelli
Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best. — Bernard M. Baruch
When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older, I admire kind people. — Abraham Joshua Heschel
His books were the closest thing he had to furniture and he lived in them the way other men live in easy chairs. — Laura Hillenbrand
Thanks to Janice, heirloomgrit.
The opposite of good is not evil. It’s indifference. — Abraham Joshua Heschel
He wrapped himself in quotations – as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors. — Rudyard Kipling
Crowns do queer things to the heads beneath them. — George R.R. Martin
Digiphrenia – how technology lets us be in more than one place – and self – at the same time. Drone pilots suffer more burnout than real-world pilots, as they attempt to live in two worlds – home and battlefield – simultaneously. We all become overwhelmed until we learn to distinguish between data flows (like Twitter) that can only be dipped into, and data storage (like books and emails) that can be fully consumed. — Douglas Rushkoff – Present Shock
Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars – mere globs of gas atoms. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination – stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one – million – year – old light. A vast pattern – of which I am a part… What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?. — Richard Feynman
While he lives, he must think; while he thinks, he must dream. — Isaac Asimov
Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak just because a baby can’t chew it. ― Mark Twain
We must be the change we want to see. ― Mahatma Gandhi
Thanks to friends who posted quotes. Geoff, Janice, Luther. Also, Goodreads has a quote of the day email which are linked there as a reference.