Quotations about   balance

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We repeat: strength of character does not consist solely in having powerful feelings, but in maintaining one’s balance in spite of them. Even with the violence of emotion, judgment and principle must still function like a ship’s compass, which records the slightest variations however rough the sea.

Karl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) Prussian soldier, historian, military theorist
On War [Vom Kriege], Book 1, ch. 3 “On Military Genius” (1832) [tr. Howard/Paret (1976)]
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Alternate translation:

We, therefore, say once more a strong mind is not one that is merely susceptible of strong excitement, but one which can maintain its serenity under the most powerful excitement; so that, in spite of the storm in the breast, the perception and judgment can act with perfect freedom, like the needle of the compass in the storm-tossed ship.
[tr. Graham (1873), "The Genius for War"]
Added on 10-Sep-21 | Last updated 10-Sep-21
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Now and in the time to be, I think it will pay for you to zero in on being precise with your language. Try to build and treat your vocabulary the way you are to treat your checking account. Pay every attention to it and try to increase your earnings. The purpose here is not to boost your bedroom eloquence or your professional success — although those, too, can be consequences — nor is it to turn you into parlor sophisticates. The purpose is to enable you to articulate yourselves as fully and precisely as possible; in a word, the purpose is your balance.

Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) Russian-American poet, essayist, Nobel laureate, US Poet Laureate [Iosif Aleksandrovič Brodskij]
“Speech at the Stadium,” Commencement Address, University of Michigan (18 Dec 1988)
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Added on 1-Jun-21 | Last updated 1-Jun-21
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The man who will not investigate both sides of a question is dishonest.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
(Attributed)
Added on 23-Feb-21 | Last updated 23-Feb-21
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The crucial task of age is balance, a veritable tightrope of balance; keeping just well enough, just brave enough, just gay and interested and starkly honest enough to remain a sentient human being.

Florida Scott-Maxwell (1883-1979) American-British playwright, author, psychologist
The Measure of My Days (1968)
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Added on 28-Sep-20 | Last updated 28-Sep-20
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During the greater part of the nineteenth century the significance of the opposition between the two principles of individual rights and social functions was masked by the doctrine of the inevitable harmony between private interests and public good. Competition, it was argued, was an effective substitute for honesty. Today … few now would profess adherence to the compound of economic optimism and moral bankruptcy which led a nineteenth century economist to say: “Greed is held in check by greed, and the desire for gain sets limits to itself.”

R. H. Tawney (1880-1962) English writer, economist, historian, social critic [Richard Henry Tawney]
The Acquisitive Century, ch. 3 “The Acquisitive Society” (1920)
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Added on 5-Jan-17 | Last updated 5-Jan-17
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[T.E. Lawrence] is one of those great men for whom one feels intensely sorry because he was nothing but a great man.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English novelist, essayist and critic
Letter to Virginia Ocampo (12 Dec 1946)
Added on 4-Nov-15 | Last updated 4-Nov-15
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If individuality has no play, society does not advance; if individuality breaks out of all bounds, society perishes.

T. H. Huxley (1825-1895) English biologist [Thomas Henry Huxley]
“Administrative Nihilism” (1871)
Added on 6-Oct-15 | Last updated 6-Oct-15
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There is — in world affairs — a steady course to be followed between an assertion of strength that is truculent and a confession of helplessness that is cowardly.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
State of the Union Address (2 Feb 1953)
Added on 7-May-15 | Last updated 7-May-15
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Almost every wise saying has an opposite one, no less wise, to balance it.

George Santayana (1863-1952) Spanish-American poet and philosopher [Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruíz de Santayana y Borrás]
The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress, Vol. 5 “Reason in Science,” ch. 8 “Prerational Morality” (1905)
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Added on 19-Mar-14 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
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Perhaps it is impossible for a person who does no good not to do harm.

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) American author
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, ch. 28 “Reunion” (1852)
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Added on 8-Dec-10 | Last updated 17-Dec-13
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A strong mind is one which does not lose its balance even under the most violent excitement.

Karl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) Prussian soldier, historian, military theorist
On War, Book 1, ch. 3 (1832) [tr. J. Graham (1873)]
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Alt. trans.: "A strong character is one that will not be unbalanced by the most powerful emotions." [tr. Howard & Paret (1976)]
Added on 27-Apr-09 | Last updated 3-Apr-20
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It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
(Spurious)

First attributed to Aristotle in Lowell L. Bennion, Religion and the Pursuit of Truth (1989).

Possibly a misinterpretation of Nicomachean Ethics 1094b24: "For it is the mark of an educated person to search for the same kind of clarity in each topic to the extent that the nature of the matter accepts it." [tr. @sentantiq (2018)]

More information: Nope, Aristotle Did Not Say, “It Is the Mark of an Educated Mind to Entertain a Thought Without….” – SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-May-21
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You should not confuse your career with your life.

Dave Barry (b. 1947) American humorist
“25 Things I Have Learned In 50 Years,” #20 (1997)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Oct-14
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When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.

Other Authors and Sources
Chinese proverb
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 11-Feb-20
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It is only a step from victory to disaster. My experience is that, in a crisis, some detail always decides the issue.

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) French emperor, military leader
Letter to Tallyrand (7 Oct 1797)
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Napoleon's Letters [tr. J. M. Thompson (1934)]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-Apr-20
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