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Selected quotes of substance

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"To read good books is like holding a conversation with the most eminent minds of past centuries and, moreover, a studied conversation in which these authors reveal to us only the best of their thoughts." -- Rene Descartes

"Language is amber in which a thousand previous and subtle thoughts have been safely embedded and preserved." -- Richard Chenevix Trench

“...a book is more than a verbal structure or series of verbal structures; it is the dialogue it establishes with its readers and the intonation it imposes upon his voice and the changing and durable images it leaves in his memory.” Jorge Luis Borges

"Language is the apparel in which your thoughts parade before the public. Never clothes them in vulgar or shoddy attire." -- George W. Crane 

"Here is where people, one frequently finds, lower their voices, and raise their minds." -- Richard Armour on Libraries

"The world is a book and if you do not travel, you read only one page." -- St.Augustine

"A family library is a breeding-place for character." -- Graham Greene

"Your library is your portrait." -- Holbrook Jackson

"I always imagined Paradise as a kind of library." -- Jorge Luis Borges

"A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone." -- Jo Godwin

"In literature, as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others." -- Andre Maurois

"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all of the miseries of life." -- W. Somerset Maugham

"By words the mind is winged." -- Aristophanes

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read." -- Groucho Marx



"The field of knowledge which even the best of us can master is like an island surrounded by a limitless ocean of mystery. And the larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder." -- Ralph W. Sockman

"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent." -- Ludwig Wittgenstein.

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent." -- Victor Hugo

"There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way and the truth that warms the heart. The first of these is science, and the second is art." -- Raymond Chandler

"We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us." -- Marcel Proust

"Mixing one's wines may be a mistake, but old and new wisdom mix admirably." -- Bertolt Brecht

"it is one thing to show a man that he is in an error, and another to put him in possession of the truth." -- John Locke

"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood." -- Marie Curie

"The evidence from science is overwhelming and indisputable.To deny it is dishonest.To ignore it is foolish." -- Frank Wilczek

"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." -- Christopher Hitchens




"True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture of their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

“We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.” -- Malcolm X

"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both.  Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." -- James Madison

"To give aid to every poor man is far beyond the reach and power of every man. Care of the poor is incumbent on society as a whole." -- Baruch Spinoza

"...we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others." -- John Lewis

"A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury." -- Prof Alexander Tyler, U of Edinburgh, 1787

"You have lost the moment you pick up a gun. When you resort to violence to prove a point, you've just experienced a profound failure of imagination." -- Sherman Alexie (Saint Junior in The Toughest Indian in the World)

"In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments -- there are consequences." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." -- Thomas Pynchon

"Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows." -- Martin Luther King Jr.

"My religion is kindness." -- Dalai Lama

"The vices of the rich and great are mistaken for errors, and those of the poor and lowly for crimes." -- Marguerite Gardiner (Lady Blessington)

"With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own." -- John F. Kennedy

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." -- John F. Kennedy

"Some men see things as they are, and ask, Why? I dream of things that never were and ask, Why not?" -- Robert F. Kennedy

"For all of those whose care has been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." -- Ted Kennedy



"There are many echoes in the world, but only a few voices." -- Goethe

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled." -- Plutarch

"Eloquent speech is not from lip to ear, but rather from heart to heart." -- William Jennings Bryan

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." -- Henry David Thoreau

"A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials." -- Seneca

"Don't stumble over something behind you." -- Seneca

"Invest in the effort, not the result, and you will sleep better." -- Albert Camus 

"...if you want to be truly free, perform all actions as worship." -- Bhagavad Gita

“I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness." -- Joseph Conrad

"What we want is not an exchange of ideas but a mutual tolerance of soliloquies." -- Adam Gopnik

"Cowards die many times before their deaths." Julius Caesar Act 2, Scene 2 -- Shakespeare

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Teach me to feel another's woe, to hide the fault I see, that mercy I to others show, that mercy show to me." -- Alexander Pope

"You must be the change you want to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

"People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living weren't already complicated enough." -- The Shadow of the Wind -- Carlos Ruiz Zafon

"Many people have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." -- Helen Keller

"Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of habit." -- W. Somerset Maugham

"If passion drives, let reason hold the reins." -- Benjamin Franklin

"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me." -- William Shakespeare

"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." -- Theodore Roosevelt

"Your cravings as a human animal do not become a prayer just because it is God whom you ask to attend to them." -- Dag Hammarskjold

"The goal of life is more than material advance; it is now and through all eternity, the triumph of spirit over matter, of Love and liberty over force and violence." -- Adlai Stevenson II

"When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself."— Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)

"... the appalling uselessness of trying to explain anything whatever to anybody whatever." -- Baudelaire

"... the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates." -- Thomas Szasz

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." -- George Carlin

"We do know that no one gets wise enough to really understand the heart of another, though it is the task of our life to try." -- Louise Erdrich

"The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else." -- Martina Navratilova

"More people are ruined by victory, I imagine, than by defeat." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Victory is sweetest when you have known defeat." -- Malcolm S. Forbes

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

"There is no such thing as a minor lapse of integrity." -- Tom Peters

"Thought works in silence, so does virtue. One might erect statues to silence." -- Thomas Carlyle

"The only proper intoxication is conversation." -- Oscar Wilde

"In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous." -- Robert G. Ingersoll

"Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use." -- Charles M. Schulz

"The first duty of love is to listen." -- Paul Tillich

"Self-pity dries up our sympathy for others." -- Mason Cooley

"In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares." -- Abraham Lincoln

"The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time." -- William Butler Yeats

"The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt." -- Bertrand Russell

"Success is never final and failure is never fatal." -- George F. Tilton

"Sports do not build character. They reveal it." -- Heywood Hale Broun

"You can't stop the waves but you can learn to surf." -- Jon Kabat-Zinn



"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading." -- Henny Youngman

"A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours." -- Milton Berle

"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils." -- Hector Berlioz

"The way out of trouble is never as easy as the way in." -- Edgar Watson Howe

"Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home." -- David Frost

Television: "It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome." -- T.S. Eliot

"Our future ain't what it used to be." -- Yogi Bera


Unknown source:

Then, the backyard was your world. Now the world is your backyard. 

Some folks are wise, and some folks are otherwise.

Some folks create happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go.  

Don't just wish for peace, work for justice.

Respect our existence or expect our resistance.

Don't pump fake the money shot.

Society values discretion over morality.

Adversity and pain create the art.

The aim of discussion is not victory, but progress.

You don't pray for strength from somewhere else, you find that strength within yourself.

When you have more than you need, build a bigger dinner table rather than a bigger fence.

Starting with certainty often leads to doubt, and starting with doubt often leads to certainty.

Embrace the life you never expected.



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