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To oblige persons often costs little and helps much.

[Cuesta a veces muy poco el obligar, y vale mucho.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 226 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]

(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translations:

Sometime the care of engaging costs but very little, and is worth a great deal.
[Flesher ed. (1685)]

To be obliging usually costs but little; yet it is worth much.
[tr. Fischer (1937)]

Pleasing others costs little and is worth much.
[tr. Maurer (1992)]

Added on 24-Oct-22 | Last updated 9-Jan-23
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Unequal societies are not only the most violent; they are also the least productive.

James Gilligan (b. c. 1936) American psychiatrist and author
Preventing Violence, ch. 5 (2001)
Added on 23-Aug-22 | Last updated 23-Aug-22
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Divorce is very expensive, both economically and psychologically as well, but it probably isn’t any more so than living with someone who isn’t really on your side.

Merle Shain (1935-1989) Canadian journalist and author
Some Men Are More Perfect than Others (1973)
Added on 21-Jan-22 | Last updated 21-Jan-22
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It is no defense of superstition and pseudoscience to say that it brings solace and comfort to people, and that therefore we “elitists” should not claim to know better and to take it away from the less sophisticated. If solace and comfort are how we judge the worth of something, then consider that tobacco brings solace and comfort to smokers; alcohol brings it to drinkers; drugs of all kinds bring it to addicts; the fall of cards and the run of horses bring it to gamblers; cruelty and violence bring it to sociopaths. Judge by solace and comfort only and there is no behavior we ought to interfere with.

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) Russian-American author, polymath, biochemist
“The Never-ending Fight,” The Humanist (Mar/Apr 1989)
Added on 12-Aug-21 | Last updated 12-Aug-21
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I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs, Frodo son of Drogo.

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) English writer, fabulist, philologist, academic [John Ronald Reuel Tolkien]
The Lord of the Rings, Vol. 2: The Two Towers, Book 4, ch. 5, “The Window on the West” [Faramir] (1954)

See follow-up.
Added on 4-Oct-11 | Last updated 16-Mar-23
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Life […] is really a constant suffering, or, at any rate, […] a business that does not cover the costs.

[Da das Leben […] eigentlich ein stetes Leiden, oder wenigstens, […] ein Geschäft ist, welches die Kosten nicht deckt.]

Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher
Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung [The World as Will and Representation], Vol. 2, ch. 19 “Vom Primat des Willens im Selbstbewußtseyn [On the primacy of the Will in Self-Consciousness],” § 11 (1844 ed.) [tr. Payne (1958)]

(Source (German)). Usually paraphrased: "Life is a business that does not cover the costs."
Added on 18-Jul-08 | Last updated 3-May-23
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You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.

LBJ - examine legislation light of benefits properly administered wrongs harms if improperly administered - wist.info quote

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) American politician, educator, US President (1963-69)

Widely attributed to Johnson, and in keeping with his reputation as a wily legislator, but no actual source found.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Apr-23
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