Quotations about   burden

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Everything we possess that is not necessary for life or happiness becomes a burden, and scarcely a day passes that we do not add to it.

Robert Brault (b. c. 1945) American aphorist, programmer
(Attributed)
Added on 22-Sep-20 | Last updated 22-Sep-20
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What makes people hard-hearted is this, that each man has, or thinks he has, as much as he can bear in his own troubles.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher
“Pessimism: Further Psychological Observations,” Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer [tr. Saunders (1851)]
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Added on 15-Sep-20 | Last updated 15-Sep-20
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It is with life just as with swimming; that man is the most expert who is the most disengaged from all encumbrances.

[Ad vivendum velut ad natandum is melior qui onere liberior.]

Apuleius (c. 124 - c. 170 AD) Numidian writer, philosopher, rhetorician [Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis]
Apologia; or, A Discourse on Magic [Apologia; seu, Pro Se de Magia], ch. 21 [tr. Bohn’s (1853)]
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Alt. trans.:
  • "We live, just as we swim, all the better for being but lightly burdened." [tr. Butler (1909)]
  • "He is better equipped for life, as for swimming, who has the less to carry."
Added on 15-Jul-20 | Last updated 15-Jul-20
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What stuck in the minds of these men who had become murderers was simply the notion of being involved in something historic, grandiose, unique (“a great task that occurs once in two thousand years”), which must therefore be difficult to bear. This was important, because the murderers were not sadists or killers by nature; on the contrary, a systematic effort was made to weed out all those who derived physical pleasure from what they did. […] Hence the problem was how to overcome not so much their conscience as the animal pity by which all normal men are affected in the presence of physical suffering. The trick used by Himmler — who apparently was rather strongly afflicted by these instinctive reactions himself — was very simple and probably very effective; it consisted in turning these instincts around, as it were, in directing them toward the self. So that instead of saying: What horrible things I did to people!, the murderers would be able to say: What horrible things I had to watch in the pursuance of my duties, how heavily the task weighed upon my shoulders!

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, ch. 6 (1963)
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Added on 7-Jul-20 | Last updated 7-Jul-20
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After all, the saddest thing that can happen to a man is to carry no burden. To be bent under too great a load is bad; to be crushed by it is lamentable, but even in that there are possibilities that are glorious. But to carry no load at all — there is nothing in that. No one seems to arrive at any goal really worth reaching in this world who does not come to it heavy laden.

Edward Sandford Martin (1856-1939) American writer and editor
In a New Century, ch. 21 “Deafness” (1903)

Quoted by Theodore Roosevelt, Speech, New York State Agricultural Association, Syracuse (7 Sep 1903).
Added on 24-Apr-20 | Last updated 24-Apr-20
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To Herbert Westbrook, without whose never-failing advice, help, and encouragement, this book would have been finished in half the time.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
A Gentleman of Leisure, Dedication (1910)
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Added on 5-Sep-19 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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As I walked out the door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred, and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) South African revolutionary, politician, statesman
(Attributed)

On his release from 27 years behind bars. Quoted by Hillary Clinton from a conversation she had with him.
Added on 16-May-17 | Last updated 23-May-17
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Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds a man down or polishes him up, depends on the stuff he’s made of.

Billings - life is a grindstone - wist_info quote

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
(Attributed)

Attributed in Forbes (14 Oct 1922).
Added on 23-Aug-16 | Last updated 23-Aug-16
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I cannot call riches better than the baggage of virtue. The Roman word is better, impedimenta. For as the baggage is to an army, so are riches to virtue. It cannot be spared or left behind, but it hindereth the march: yea, and the care of it, sometimes, loseth the victory.

Bacon - loseth the victory - wist_info quote

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
“Of Riches,” Essays, No. 34 (1625)
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Added on 2-Jun-16 | Last updated 2-Jun-16
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People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.

Shaw - attached to burdens - wist_info quote

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
A Treatise on Parents and Children (1910)
Added on 14-Jan-16 | Last updated 14-Jan-16
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Poverty is the only burden which is not lightened by being shared with others.

Jean-Paul Richter (1763-1825) German novelist, art historian, aesthetician [pseud. Jean-Paul]
(Attributed)
    (Source)

In Maturin M. Ballou, Edge-Tools of Speech (1886)
Added on 7-Jan-16 | Last updated 7-Jan-16
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Cares are often more difficult to throw off than sorrows; the latter die with time, the former grow upon it.

Jean-Paul Richter (1763-1825) German novelist, art historian, aesthetician [pseud. Jean-Paul]
(Attributed)
    (Source)

In Ballou, Treasury of Thought (1884).
Added on 17-Dec-15 | Last updated 17-Dec-15
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None knows the weight of another’s burthen.

Herbert - anothers burden - wist_info quote

George Herbert (1593-1633) Welsh priest, orator, poet.
Outlandish Proverbs, #880 (1640)
Added on 10-Dec-15 | Last updated 10-Dec-15
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Value yourself according to the burdens you carry, and you will find everything a burden.

Richardson - burdens - wist_info quote

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays, # 52 (2001)
Added on 4-Dec-15 | Last updated 4-Dec-15
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Everyone thinks his sack heaviest.

George Herbert (1593-1633) Welsh priest, orator, poet.
Outlandish Proverbs, #748 (1640)
Added on 3-Dec-15 | Last updated 3-Dec-15
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Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.

Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) American author, activist, civil rights leader
Speech, San Francisco (14 Apr 1989)
Added on 17-Nov-15 | Last updated 17-Nov-15
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No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it for any one else.

Dickens - lighten burden - wist_info

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) English writer and social critic
Our Mutual Friend, ch. 9 (1864-65)
Added on 12-Nov-15 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
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Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
“J.B. Runs Things,” Elbert Hubbard’s Selected Writings, Part 14 (1923)
Added on 21-Feb-14 | Last updated 21-Feb-14
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Most people imagine that the rich are in heaven, but, as a rule, it is only a gilded hell. There is not a man in the city of New York with genius enough, with brains enough, to own five millions of dollars. Why? The money will own him. He becomes the key to a safe. That money will get him up at daylight; that money will separate him from his friends; that money will fill his heart with fear; that money will rob his days of sunshine and his nights of pleasant dreams. He cannot own it. He becomes the property of that money. And he goes right on making more. What for? He does not know. It becomes a kind of insanity. No one is happier in a palace than in a cabin.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“A Lay Sermon” (1886)
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Added on 4-Sep-09 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
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God has … ordered things that we may learn to bear one another’s burdens; for there is no man without his faults, none without his burden. None is sufficient in himself; none is wise in himself; therefore, we must support one another, comfort, help, teach, and advise one another.

Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471) German monk, author
The Imitation of Christ, Book 1, ch. 16 (c. 1418) [tr. L. Sherley-Price (1952)]
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Alt trans.: "But God has so ordained, that we may learn to bear with one another's burdens, for there is no man without fault, no man without burden, no man sufficient to himself nor wise enough. Hence we must support one another, console one another, mutually help, counsel, and advise ...."
Added on 1-May-09 | Last updated 14-Sep-16
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If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
Drift-Wood, “Table Talk”
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More discussion of this quotation here.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Sep-19
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