Quotations about:
    acceptance


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The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

Alan Watts (1915-1973) Anglo-American philosopher, writer
The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety, ch. 3 (1951)
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Added on 13-Jan-23 | Last updated 14-Jan-23
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          Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it. He died
As one that had been studied in his death
To throw away the dearest thing he owed
As ’twere a careless trifle.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Macbeth, Act 1, sc. 4, l. 8ff [Malcolm] (1606)
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Added on 7-Nov-22 | Last updated 7-Nov-22
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Such is the life of man, nor wholly blest,
Nor wholly wretched; on her votaries Fortune
now smiles, then frowns. Since our prosperity
Is thus unstable, is not an exemption
From grief the greatest pleasure life can yield?

[τοιόσδε ϑνητῶν τῶν ταλαιπώρων βίος’
οὔτ᾽ εὐτυχεῖ τὸ πάμπαν οὔτε δυστυχεῖ,
εὐδαιμονεῖ δὲ καύϑις οὐκ εὐδαιμονεῖ.
τί δῆτ᾽ ἐν ὄλβω μὴ σαφεῖ βεβηκότες
οὐ ξῶμεν ὡς ἥδιστα μὴ λυπούμενοι;]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Antiope [Αντιοπη], frag. 196 (TGF, Kannicht) (c. 410 BC) (Amphion?) [tr. Wodhall (1809)]
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(Source (Greek)). Alternate translation:

Such is the life of wretched mortals;
a man is neither wholly fortunate nor unfortunate;
why then, on entering prosperity which may be insecure,
do we not live as pleasantly as possible, without distress?
[Source]

Such it is, the life of miserable mortals:
neither wholly fortunate nor unfortunate.
He is prosperous and then he is not prosperous.
Why then, when we stand in uncertain happiness,
do we not live as pleasurably as possible, without distress.
[tr. Will (2015)]

 
Added on 13-Sep-22 | Last updated 4-Oct-22
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Galla, deny; and render passion strong:
But, prudent Galla, don’t deny too long.

[Galla, nega: satiatur amor nisi gaudia torquent:
sed noli nimium, Galla, negare diu.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 4, epigram 38 (4.38) [tr. Elphinston (1782), Book 12, ep. 195]
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(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Galla deny, be not too eas'ly gain'd,
For Love will glut with Joys too soon obtain'd.
[tr. Cotton (1686)]

Galla, say "No:" love is soon sated, unless our pleasures are mixed with some pain;
but do not continue, Galla, to say "No" too long.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

Refuse me, Galla; love cloys if its pleasures torture not:
but refuse not, Galla, too long.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Galla, say "no" -- Tease love and you renew it.
But prithee, Galla, do not overdo it.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

A "No" can build love's piquancy,
But don't, too long, say "No" to me.
[tr. Ericsson (1995)]

Galla, say no. Love is satiated unless pleasures torment.
But, Galla, do not say no for too long!
[tr. Williams (2004)]

"No" is enticing; so is wooing slow.
But nothing works till you stop saying "No."
[tr. Wills (2007)]

Galla, say no. Some torment makes love stronger.
But, Galla, don’t keep saying no much longer.
[tr. McLean (2014)]

Galla, tell me "No": love stales unless its joys bring pain.
But, Galla, don't say "No" for very long.
[tr. Nisbet (2015)]

Without a wait
or some hard trial,
love won’t amuse me.
So hesitate
(just for a while ...)
[tr. Juster (2016)]

Galla, say No, for Love will cloy
Without some torments mixed with joy.
But, Galla, do not get me wrong --
Please don’t say No to me too long.
[tr. Barger]

 
Added on 18-Mar-22 | Last updated 18-Mar-22
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Friendship is the gift that goes on giving and is a gift to both the person given to and to the giver as well. But to really make it work, it isn’t enough to give to another person. You also have to let them give to you.

Merle Shain (1935-1989) Canadian journalist and author
When Lovers Are Friends (1978)
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Added on 4-Feb-22 | Last updated 4-Feb-22
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After the first blush of sin comes its indifference; and from immoral it becomes, as were unmoral, and not quite unnecessary to that life which we have made.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American philosopher and writer
“On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” (1849)
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Added on 3-Feb-22 | Last updated 3-Feb-22
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Men are accomplices to that which leaves them indifferent.

George Steiner
George Steiner (1929-2020) Franco-American literary critic, philosopher, writer, educator
“A Kind of Survivor” (1965), Language and Silence: Essays 1958-1966 (1967)
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Added on 27-Jan-22 | Last updated 27-Jan-22
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This is what the prophets discovered. History is a nightmare. There are more scandals, more acts of corruption, than are dreamed of in philosophy. It would be blasphemous to believe that what we witness is the end of God’s creation. It is an act of evil to accept the state of evil as either inevitable or final. Others may be satisfied with improvement, the prophets insist upon redemption. The way man acts is a disgrace, and it must not go on forever.

Abraham Joshua Heschel
Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) Polish-American rabbi, theologian, philosopher
The Prophets, Vol. 1 (1962)
 
Added on 27-Dec-21 | Last updated 27-Dec-21
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What is the new loyalty? It is, above all, conformity. It is the uncritical and unquestioning acceptance of America as it is — the political institutions, the social relationships, the economic practices. It rejects inquiry into the race question or socialized medicine, or public housing, or into the wisdom or validity of our foreign policy. It regards as particularly heinous any challenge to what is called “the system of private enterprise,” identifying that system with Americanism. It abandons evolution, repudiates the once popular concept of progress, and regards America as a finished product, perfect and complete.

Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998) American historian, writer, activist
“Who Is Loyal to America?” Harper’s Magazine #1168 (Sep 1947)
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Reprinted in Freedom, Loyalty, Dissent (1954)
 
Added on 22-Dec-21 | Last updated 22-Jun-22
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The greatest danger that threatens us is neither heterodox thought nor orthodox thought, but the absence of thought.

Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998) American historian, writer, activist
Civil Liberties under Attack (1951)
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Added on 1-Dec-21 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
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Nothing I accept about myself can be used against me to diminish me.

Audre Lorde (1934-1992) American writer, feminist, civil rights activist
“Eye to Eye: Black Women, Hatred, and Anger,” Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (1984)
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Added on 6-Oct-21 | Last updated 6-Oct-21
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Truths that startled the generation in which they were first announced become in the next age the commonplaces of conversation; as the famous airs of operas which thrilled the first audiences come to be played on hand-organs in the streets.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
“Table-Talk”
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Added on 16-Apr-21 | Last updated 19-Apr-21
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There is nothing more agreeable in life than to make peace with the Establishment — and nothing more corrupting.

A. J. P. Taylor (1906-1990) British historian, journalist, broadcaster [Alan John Percivale Taylor]
“William Cobbett” (1953), Essays in English History (1976)
 
Added on 12-Apr-21 | Last updated 19-Apr-21
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The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them. […] In nationalist thought there are facts which are both true and untrue, known and unknown. A known fact may be so unbearable that it is habitually pushed aside and not allowed to enter into logical processes, or on the other hand it may enter into every calculation and yet never be admitted as a fact, even in one’s own mind.

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
“Notes on Nationalism” (May 1945)
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Added on 16-Mar-21 | Last updated 8-Feb-22
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“So, Jeeves!”

“Yes, sir.”

“What do you mean. Yes, sir?”

“I was endeavouring to convey my appreciation of the fact that your position is in many respects somewhat difficult, sir. But I wonder if I might call your attention to an observation of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. He said: ‘Does aught befall you? It is good. It is part of the destiny of the Universe ordained for you from the beginning. All that befalls you is part of the great web.'”

I breathed a bit stertorously.

“He said that, did he?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, you can tell him from me he’s an ass.”

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
The Mating Season, ch. 4 (1949)
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Adapted from Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 4, #26 [tr. Rendall (1901)].

Wodehouse uses in "Ordeal by Golf" (1919) a similar sentiment from Meditations, Book 10, #5, to suggest Marcus Aurelius was a golfer.

Imitate the spirit of Marcus Aurelius. "Whatever may befall thee," says that great man in his "Meditations," "it was preordained for thee from everlasting. Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear." I like to think that this noble thought came to him after he had sliced a couple of new balls into the woods, and that he jotted it down on the back of his score-card.
 
Added on 11-Mar-21 | Last updated 19-Oct-21
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If we look at the techniques of totalitarian government, it is obvious that the argument of “the lesser evil” — far from being raised only from the outside by those who do not belong to the ruling elite — is one of the mechanisms built into the machinery of terror and criminality. Acceptance of lesser evils is consciously used in conditioning the government officials as well as the population at large to the acceptance of evil as such.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
“Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship” (1964)
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Added on 11-Feb-21 | Last updated 11-Feb-21
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Life is a tragic mystery. We are pieced and driven by laws we only half understand. We find that the lesson we learn again and again is that of accepting heroic helplessness.

Florida Scott-Maxwell (1883-1979) American-British playwright, author, psychologist
The Measure of My Days (1968)
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Added on 25-Jan-21 | Last updated 25-Jan-21
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His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools — the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans — and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, “You can’t trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so let’s have a drink.”

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Small Gods (1992)
 
Added on 12-Jan-21 | Last updated 12-Jan-21
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You need to claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all that you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality. When at last age has assembled you together, will it not be easy to let it all go, lived, balanced, over?

Florida Scott-Maxwell (1883-1979) American-British playwright, author, psychologist
The Measure of My Days (1968)
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Added on 16-Nov-20 | Last updated 16-Nov-20
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DEXTER: I’d rather do something and make a mistake, than be frightened into doing nothing. That’s the problem back home. Folks have been conned into thinking they can’t change the world. Have to accept what is. I’ll tell you something, my friends, the world is changing every day. The only question is, who’s doing it?

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, 3×20 “And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place” (14 Oct 1996)
 
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Among other things I think humor is a shield, a weapon, a survival kit. Not only has this brief span of ours been threatened by such perils not of our making such as fire and flood, Tyrannosaurus Rex, the black death, and hurricanes named after chorus girls, but we have been most ingenious in devising means for destroying each other, a habit we haven’t yet learned how to kick.

So here we are several billion of us, crowded into our global concentration camp for the duration. How are we to survive? Solemnity is not the answer, any more than witless and irresponsible frivolity is. I think our best chance lies in humor, which in this case means a wry acceptance of our predicament. We don’t have to like it but we can at least recognize its ridiculous aspects, one of which is ourselves.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
Commencement address at his daughter Linell’s boarding school
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Quoted in Douglas M. Parker, Dana Giaoia, Ogden Nash: The Life and Work of America's Laureate of Light (2005).
 
Added on 4-Sep-20 | Last updated 4-Sep-20
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In youth, it was a way I had
To do my best to please,
And change, with every passing lad,
To suit his theories.

But now I know the things I know,
And do the things I do;
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you!

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) American writer
“Indian Summer,” Enough Rope (1926)
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Added on 4-May-20 | Last updated 4-May-20
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For we hold that the man who is truly good and wise will bear with dignity whatever fortune sends, and will always make the best of his circumstances, as a good general will turn the forces at his command to the best account, and a good shoemaker will make the best shoe that can be made out of a given piece of leather, and so on with all other crafts.

[τὸν γὰρ ὡς ἀληθῶς ἀγαθὸν καὶ ἔμφρονα πάσας οἰόμεθα τὰς τύχας εὐσχημόνως φέρειν καὶ ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων ἀεὶ τὰ κάλλιστα πράττειν, καθάπερ καὶ στρατηγὸν ἀγαθὸν τῷ παρόντι στρατοπέδῳ χρῆσθαι πολεμικώτατα καὶ σκυτοτόμον ἐκ τῶν δοθέντων σκυτῶν κάλλιστον ὑπόδημα ποιεῖν: τὸν αὐτὸν δὲ τρόπον καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους τεχνίτας ἅπαντας.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 1, ch. 10, sec. 13 (1.10.13) / 1101a.1-6 (c. 325 BC) [tr. Peters (1893)]
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(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

For the man who is truly good and sensible bears all fortunes, we presume, becomingly, and always does what is noblest under the circumstances, just as a good general employs to the best advantage the force he has with him; or a good shoemaker makes the handsomest shoe he can out of the leather which has been given him; and all other good artisans likewise.
[tr. Chase (1847), ch. 8]

For we hold that the really good and prudent man will bear all changes of fortune with good grace, and will always, as the case may allow, act most nobly; exactly as a good general will use such forces as are at his disposal most skilfully, and even as a good cobbler will, out of such leather as he may have, make the most perfect show; and of all those who practice any other art the same rule will hold good.
[tr. Williams (1869), sec. 17]

For our conception of the truly good and sensible man is that he bears all the chances of life with decorum and always does what is noblest in the circumstances, as a good general uses the forces at his command to the best advantage in war, a good cobbler makes the best shoe with the leather that is given him, and so on through the whole series of the arts.
[tr. Welldon (1892)]

For the man who is truly good and wise, we think, bears all the chances life becomingly and always makes the best of circumstances, as a good general makes the best military use of the army at his command and a good shoemaker makes the best shoes out of the hides that are given him; and so with all other craftsmen.
[tr. Ross (1908)]

We hold that the truly good and wise man will bear all kinds of fortune in a seemly way, and will always act in the noblest manner that the circumstances allow; even as a good general makes the most effective use of the forces at his disposal, and a good shoemaker makes the finest shoe possible out of the leather supplied him, and so on with all the other crafts and professions.
[tr. Rackham (1934)]

For a truly good and practically-wise person, we think, will bear what luck brings graciously, and, making use of the resources at hand, will always do the noblest actions, just as a good general makes the best uses in warfare of the army he has and a good shoemaker makes the best shoes out of the hides he has been given, and the same with all other craftsmen.
[tr. Reeve (1948)]

For we hold that a truly good and sensible man will bear all fortunes of life with propriety and will always act most nobly under whatever the given circumstances may be, like a good general, who uses a given army most effectively, or a good shoemaker, who makes the best shoes out of a given leather, and likewise with any artist.
[tr. Apostle (1975)]

For we believe that the truly good and wise man bears all his fortunes with dignity, and always takes the most honorable course that circumstances permit, just as a good general uses his available forces in the most militarily effective way, and a good shoemaker makes the neatest shoe out of the leather supplied to him, and the same with all the other kinds of craftsmen.
[tr. Thomson/Tredennick (1976)]

For a truly good and intelligent person, we suppose, will bear strokes of fortune suitably, and from his resources at any time will do the finest action, just as a good general will make best use of his forces in war, and a good shoemaker will produce the finest shoe from the hides given him, and similarly for all other craftsmen.
[tr. Irwin/Fine (1995)]

For the truly good and wise person, we believe, bears all the fortunes of life with dignity and always does the noblest thing in the circumstances, as a good general does the most strategically appropriate thing with the army at his disposal, and a shoemaker makes the noblest shoe out of the leather he is given, and so on with other practitioners of skills.
[tr. Crisp (2000)]

For we suppose that someone who is truly good and sensible bears up under all fortunes in a becoming way and always does what is noblest given the circumstances, just as a good general makes use, with the greatest military skill, of the army he has and a shoemaker makes the most beautiful shoe out of the leather given him. It holds in the same manner with all the other experts as well.
[tr. Bartlett/Collins (2011)]

 
Added on 18-Feb-20 | Last updated 12-Apr-22
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About all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
(Attributed)
 
Added on 14-Oct-19 | Last updated 14-Oct-19
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Reason allows us to determine when our wishes are in irrevocable conflict with reality, and then bids us to submit ourselves willingly, rather than angrily or bitterly, to necessities. We may be powerless to alter certain events, but we remain free to choose our attitude towards them, and it is in our spontaneous acceptance of necessity that we find our distinctive freedom.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 3 “Consolation for Frustration”(2000)
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Added on 10-Oct-19 | Last updated 10-Oct-19
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We don’t exist unless there is someone who can see us existing, what we say has no meaning until someone can understand, while to be surrounded by friends is constantly to have our identity confirmed; their knowledge and care for us have the power to pull us from our numbness. In small comments, many of them teasing, they reveal they know our foibles and accept them and so, in turn, accept that we have a place in the world.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 2 “Consolation For Not having Enough Money” (2000)
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Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) German Lutheran pastor, theologian, martyr
Letter to Renate and Eberhard Bethge (1944)
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Alt. trans.: "It is not the thought but readiness to take responsibility that is the mainspring of action."
 
Added on 21-Aug-17 | Last updated 21-Aug-17
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A wise man weaves a philosophy out of each acceptance life forces upon him.

Elizabeth Bibesco (1897-1945) Romanian-English writer
Haven (1951)
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Added on 25-May-17 | Last updated 25-May-17
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O let us love our occupations,
Bless the squire and his relations,
Live upon our daily rations,
And always know our proper stations.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) English writer and social critic
The Chimes, “The Second Quarter” (1844)
 
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Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Danish philosopher, theologian
(Misattributed)

Misattributed to Kierkegaard by Cyril Connolly, Horizon, vol. 11 (1945). More properly attributed to Jacobus Johannes van der Leeuw (1893–1934), The Conquest of Illusion, ch. 1: "The mystery of life in not a problem to be solved, it is a reality to be experienced."
 
Added on 8-Dec-16 | Last updated 11-Dec-16
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God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please — you can never have both.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Intellect,” Essays: First Series (1841)
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To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click, “I agree.”

Maher - Bible I Agree - wist_info quote

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
(Attributed)
 
Added on 8-Jun-16 | Last updated 8-Jun-16
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To act with common sense according to the moment, is the best wisdom I know; and the best philosophy, to do one’s duties, take the world as it comes, submit respectfully to one’s lot; bless the Goodness that has given so much happiness with it, whatever it is; and despise affectation.

Horace Walpole (1717-1797) English novelist, letter writer
Letter to Horace Mann (27 May 1776)
 
Added on 5-Feb-16 | Last updated 5-Feb-16
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Doesn’t matter how pretty you are. What’s important is how pretty you feel. No one feels pretty when they hear “no” often enough.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Skin Game (2014)
 
Added on 30-Nov-15 | Last updated 30-Nov-15
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Even a feeble-minded man wants to be like other men.

Daniel F. Keyes (1927-2014) American author
Flowers for Algernon (novel) (1966)
 
Added on 9-Nov-15 | Last updated 9-Nov-15
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The main idea in golf as in life, I suppose, is to learn to accept what cannot be altered, and to keep on doing one’s own reasoned and resolute best whether the prospect be bleak or rosy.

Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones, Jr. (1902-1971) American amateur golfer, lawyer
Golf Is My Game (1960)
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Added on 4-Sep-15 | Last updated 4-Sep-15
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However highly we must value courage and steadfastness in war, and however little prospect of victory there is for him who cannot resolve to seek it by the exertion of all his strength, still there is a point beyond which perseverance can only be called desperate folly, and therefore cannot be approved by any critic.

[Wie hoch auch der Wert des Mutes und der Standhaftigkeit im Kriege angeschlagen werden muß, und wie wenig Aussicht der zum Siege hat, der sich nicht entschließen kann, ihn mit der ganzen Kraftanstrengung zu suchen, so gibt es doch einen Punkt, über den hinaus das Verharren nur eine verzweiflungsvolle Torheit genannt und also von keiner Kritik gebilligt werden kann.]

Karl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) Prussian soldier, historian, military theorist
On War [Vom Kriege], Book 4, ch. 9 “The Battle: Its Decision [Die Hauptschlacht. Ihre Entscheidung],” (4.9) (1832) [tr. Jolles (1943)]
    (Source)

(Source (German)). Alternate translations:

However highly we must esteem courage and firmness in war, and however little prospect there is of victory to him who cannot resolve to seek it by the exertion of all his power, still there is a point beyond which perseverance can only be termed desperate folly, and therefore can meet with no approbation from any critic.
[tr. Graham (1873)]

No matter how highly rated the qualities of courage and steadfastness may be in war, no matter how small the chance of victory may be for the leader who hesitates to go for it with all the power at his disposal, there is a point beyond which persistence becomes desperate folly, and can therefore never be condoned.
[tr. Howard & Paret (1976)]

 
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Always expecting this and expecting that. May I recommend serenity to you? A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment. Learn to be one with the joy of the moment.

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, ch. 4 (1988)
 
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It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) English novelist and playwright [William Somerset Maugham]
“The Treasure,” The Mixture as Before (1940)
 
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I’ll not willingly offend,
Nor be easily offended;
What’s amiss I’ll strive to mend,
And endure what can’t be mended.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748) English theologian and hymnodist
Poems, “Moral Songs: #6 Good Resolutions”
    (Source)

In Samuel Johnson, Works of English Poets, vol. 46 (1779)
 
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Happy is he who learns to bear what he cannot change!

Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) German poet, playwright, critic [Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller]
“On the Sublime”
 
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Things past redress are now with me past care.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Richard II, Act 2, sc. 3, l. 175 [York] (1595)
    (Source)
 
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Things cannot always go your way. Learn to accept in silence the minor aggravations, cultivate the gift of taciturnity and consume your own smoke with an extra draught of hard work, so that those about you may not be annoyed with the dust and soot of your complaints.

Sir William Osler (1849-1919) Canadian physician
Counsels and Ideals from the Writings of William Osler (1905)
 
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Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate, or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.

Henry Miller (1891-1980) American novelist
The World of Sex (1940)
 
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For after all, the best thing one can do
When it is raining, is to let it rain.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
Tales of a Wayside Inn, “The Poet’s Tale; The Birds of Killingworth” (1863)
 
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We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. I am the oppressor of the person I condemn, not his friend and fellow-sufferer. I do not in the least mean to say that we must never pass judgment in the case of persons whom we desire to help and improve. But if the doctor wishes to help a human being he must be able to accept him as he is. And he can do this in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself as he is.

Carl Jung (1875-1961) Swiss psychologist
Modern Man In Search of a Soul (1933)
 
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I suppose the process of acceptance will pass through the usual four stages:
1. This is worthless nonsense,
2. This is an interesting, but perverse, point of view,
3. This is true, but quite unimportant,
4. I always said so.

J.B.S. Haldane (1892-1964) English geneticist [John Burden Sanderson Haldane]
“The Truth About Death,” Journal of Genetics, Vol. 58, page 464 (1963)
    (Source)

Review of The Chester Beatty Research Institute Serially Abridged Life Tables, England and Wales, 1841-1960. Referring to the stages a scientific theory goes through.
 
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Make the best of what is in our power, and take the rest as it naturally happens.

Epictetus (c.55-c.135) Greek (Phrygian) Stoic philosopher
The Discourses, 1.1
 
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The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

Buddha (c.563-483 BC) Indian mystic, philosopher [b. Siddharta Gautama]
In Bukkyõ Dendõ Kyõkai, The Teaching of Buddha (1966)

Likely a paraphrase of a variety of the Buddha's teachings.
 
Added on 15-Sep-14 | Last updated 15-Sep-14
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If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let ’em go, because man, they’re gone.

Jack Handey (b. 1949) American humorist
Deeper Thoughts (1993)
 
Added on 11-Sep-14 | Last updated 11-Sep-14
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Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle.

Steve Jobs (1955-2011) American computer inventor, entrepreneur
Commencement Address, Stanford University (2005)
    (Source)
 
Added on 10-Jan-13 | Last updated 27-Aug-20
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If a problem has no solution, it may not be a problem, but a fact, not to be solved, but to be coped with over time.

Shimon Peres (1923-2016) Polish-Israeli politician, statesman
(Attributed)

Widely attributed to Peres in different sources. Quoted in the Wall Street Journal (7 Feb 2001). Donald Rumsfeld says that Peres made the observation to him.
 
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To accept passively an unjust system is to cooperate with that system; thereby the oppressed become as evil as the oppressor. Non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. The oppressed must never allow the conscience of the oppressor to slumber. Religion reminds every man that he is his brother’s keeper. To accept injustice or segregation passively is to say to the oppressor that his actions are morally right. It is a way of allowing his conscience to fall asleep. At this moment the oppressed fails to be his brother’s keeper. So acquiescence — while often the easier way — is not the moral way. It is the way of the coward.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, social activist, preacher
Stride Toward Freedom, ch. 11 “Where Do We Go from Here?” (1958)
    (Source)
 
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I do not know many Negroes who are eager to be “accepted” by white people, still less to be loved by them; they, the blacks, simply don’t wish to be beaten over the head by the whites every instant of our brief passage on this planet. White people will have quite enough to do in learning how to accept and love themselves and each other, and when they have achieved this — which will not be tomorrow and may very well be never — the Negro problem will no longer exist, for it will no longer be needed.

James Baldwin (1924-1987) American novelist, playwright, activist
“Letter from a Region of My Mind,” The New Yorker (17 Nov 1962)

Republished as "Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region in My Mind" in The Fire Next Time (1963)
 
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