Quotations about   essential

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The wise man would rather see men needing him than thanking him.

[El sagaz más quiere necessitados de sí que agradecidos.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], # 5 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
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Alternate translation: "He who is truly shrewd would rather have people need him than thank him." [tr. Maurer (1992)]
Added on 4-Oct-21 | Last updated 4-Oct-21
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Man helps himself by larger generalizations. The lesson of life is practically to generalize; to believe what the years and the centuries say, against the hours; to resist the usurpation of particulars; to penetrate to their catholic sense. Things seem to say one thing, and say the reverse. The appearance is immoral; the result is moral.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Representative Men, Lecture 4 “Montaigne; or, The Skeptic” (1850)
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Added on 12-Nov-19 | Last updated 12-Nov-19
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The graveyards are full of people the world could not do without.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
“The Philistine” (May 1907)
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Sometimes misquoted as:
  • "The graveyards are full of indispensable men"
  • "The cemeteries are full of indispensable men."
  • "The cemeteries are filled with people who thought the world could not get along without them."
Also attributed to Charles DeGaulle, Georges Clemenceau, and many others. More discussion: The Graveyards Are Full of Indispensable Men – Quote Investigator.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Apr-21
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To condemn spontaneous and delightful occupations because they are useless for self-preservation shows an uncritical prizing of life regardless of its contents.

George Santayana (1863-1952) Spanish-American poet and philosopher [Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruíz de Santayana y Borrás]
The Sense of Beauty, Part 1 “The Nature of Beauty,” sec. 4 “Work and Play” (1896)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
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