Quotations about   attention

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Not listening is probably the commonest unkindness of married life, and one that creates — more devastatingly than an eternity of forgotten birthdays and misguided Christmas gifts — an atmosphere of not loving and not caring.

Judith Viorst (b. 1931) American writer, journalist, psychoanalysis researcher
Yes, Married (1972)
Added on 27-Jan-21 | Last updated 27-Jan-21
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If at a ball, a supper, or a party of pleasure, a man were to be solving, in his own mind, a problem in Euclid, he would be a very bad companion, and make a very poor figure in that company; or if, in studying a problem in his closet, he were to think of a minuet, I am apt to believe that he would make a very poor mathematician. There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once; but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (4 Apr 1747)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Jan-21 | Last updated 14-Jan-21
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I hate to be a kicker,
I always long for peace,
But the wheel that does the squeaking,
Is the one that gets the grease.

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
“The Kicker” (c. 1870)

A "kicker" was idiom in the era for a complainer. This is a common citation for the origin of "the squeaky wheel gets the grease," but the existence of such a poem has never been verified. The earliest documented version of the phrase is in the Wall Street Journal (20 May 1910): "The wheel that squeaks the loudest / Is the wheel that gets the grease." The metaphor itself can be found in various versions back to at least the 15th Century.
Added on 30-Jul-20 | Last updated 30-Jul-20
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A man is what he does with his attention.

John Ciardi (1916-1986) American poet, writer, critic
(Attributed)

A personal maxim, it is mentioned in multiple contexts.
Added on 29-Jul-20 | Last updated 29-Jul-20
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Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.

Simone Weil (1909-1943) French philosopher
Letter to Joë Bousquet (13 Apr 1942)

Quoted in Simone Pétrement, Simone Weil: A Life (1976) [tr. Rosenthal].
Added on 7-Apr-20 | Last updated 7-Apr-20
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The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnified world in itself.

Henry Miller (1891-1980) American novelist
Plexus, ch. 2 (1953)
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Sometimes misquoted as "magnificent world".
Added on 31-Mar-20 | Last updated 31-Mar-20
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LORD, WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN?

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Reaper Man (1991)
Added on 26-Jul-19 | Last updated 26-Jul-19
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Acting is merely the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing.

Ralph Richardson (1902-1983) English actor
In The New York Herald Tribune (19 May 1946)
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Added on 13-Jun-17 | Last updated 13-Jun-17
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Punctuality is the politeness of kings.

[L’exactitude est la politesse des rois.]

Louis XVIII (1755-1824) French monarch (1814-1824) ["Louis the Desired"]
(Attributed)

Attributed in Souvenirs de J. Lafitte (1844)
Added on 15-May-17 | Last updated 15-May-17
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Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.

Brown - reflect the kind of care they get - wist_info quote

H. Jackson "Jack" Brown, Jr. (b. 1940) American writer
Life’s Instructions for Wisdom, Success, and Happiness (2001)
Added on 30-Aug-16 | Last updated 30-Aug-16
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There cannot be mental atrophy in any person who continues to observe, to remember what he observes, and to seek answers for his unceasing hows and whys about things.

Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) Scottish-American scientist, inventor, engineer
(Attributed)

Comment to a reporter a few months before he died, as quoted in the Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers at the Library of Congress.
Added on 31-Mar-16 | Last updated 31-Mar-16
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To do two things at once is to do neither.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 7 [tr. Lyman (1862)]
Added on 9-Sep-09 | Last updated 15-Feb-17
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Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
The Mill on the Floss (1860)
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Added on 14-Aug-07 | Last updated 3-May-19
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