Quotations about   fear

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence.

Thomas Szasz (1920-2012) Hungarian-American psychiatrist, educator
The Untamed Tongue: A Dissenting Dictionary (1990)
    (Source)
Added on 20-May-22 | Last updated 20-May-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Szasz, Thomas

Democracy can buckle when we give in to fear. So, just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are.

Barack Obama (b. 1961) American politician, US President (2009-2017)
“Farewell Address,” Chicago (10 Jan 2017)
    (Source)
Added on 17-May-22 | Last updated 17-May-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Obama, Barack

When men are ruled by fear, they strive to prevent the very changes that will abate it.

Alan Paton
Alan Paton (1903-1988) South African author, activist
“The Challenge of Fear,” The Saturday Review (9 Sep 1967)
    (Source)

Reprinted in Sheridan Baker, The Essayist (1981).
Added on 3-May-22 | Last updated 3-May-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Paton, Alan

Aghast, astonish’d, and struck dumb with fear,
I stood; like bristles rose my stiffen’d hair.

[Obstupui, steteruntque comae, et vox faucibus haesit.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 2, l. 774ff (2.774) [Aeneas] (29-19 BC) [tr. Dryden (1697)]
    (Source)

Confronting his wife's ghost. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

I stood aghast! my hair rose on end, and my voice clung to my jaws.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

I stood appall'd, my hair erect,
And fear my tongue-tied utterance checked.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Aghast I stood, with hair
Erect: my voice clung to my throat.
[tr. Cranch (1872), ll. 1041-42]

I was motionless; my hair stood up, and the accents faltered on my tongue.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

I stood amazed, my hair rose up, nor from my jaws would pass
My frozen voice.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Aghast I stood, tongue-tied, with stiffening hair.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 104, l. 935]

I quailed, my hair rose, and I gasped for fear.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

I was appalled, my hair stood up, and the voice clave to my throat.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

I was appalled: my hair stood on end, and my voice struck
In my throat.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

I was dismayed;
my hair stood stiff, my voice held fast within
my jaws.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), ll. 1043-45]

Chilled to the marrow, could feel the hair
On my head rise, the voice clot in my throat.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), ll. 1004-5]

I was paralyzed. My hair stood on end. My voice stuck in my throat.
[tr. West (1990)]

I was transfixed,
My hair stood on end, and my voice choked.
[tr. Lombardo (2005), ll. 913-14]

I froze. My hackles bristled, voice choked in my throat.
[tr. Fagles (2006), l. 960]

I was aghast. My hair stood up, my voice stuck in my throat.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

Added on 27-Apr-22 | Last updated 27-Apr-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Virgil

Cynicism is a form of cowardice, a failure of courage to hope.

Merle Shain (1935-1989) Canadian journalist and author
Hearts That We Broke Long Ago, ch. 11 (1983)
    (Source)
Added on 15-Apr-22 | Last updated 15-Apr-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Shain, Merle

When will the churches learn that intolerance, personal or ecclesiastical, is an evidence of weakness? The confident can afford to be calm and kindly; only the fearful must defame and exclude.

Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) American clergyman, author, teacher
“Tolerance,” sec. 3, Adventurous Religion (1926)
    (Source)
Added on 13-Apr-22 | Last updated 13-Apr-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Fosdick, Harry Emerson

When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.

George R R Martin
George R. R. Martin (b. 1948) American author and screenwriter [George Raymond Richard Martin]
A Clash of Kings [Tyrion] (1998)
    (Source)
Added on 22-Mar-22 | Last updated 22-Mar-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Martin, George R. R.

Fear is a prison. But when you combine it with secrets, it becomes especially toxic, vicious. It puts us all into solitary, unable to hear one another clearly.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Peace Talks (2020)
    (Source)
Added on 21-Mar-22 | Last updated 21-Mar-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Butcher, Jim

I do so dearly believe that no half-heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from following the light unflinchingly.

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) English writer, fabulist, philologist, academic [John Ronald Reuel Tolkien]
Letter to Edith Bratt (1913)
    (Source)

Bratt was Tolkien's fiancee, who was apprehensive about the personal and social ramifications of converting to Catholicism. Tolkien's mother's conversion had been similarly difficult.
Added on 17-Mar-22 | Last updated 17-Mar-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Tolkien, J.R.R.

Justice, the touchstone of worth, is rightly esteemed by the world as the noblest of all the virtues. For no one can be just who fears death, pain, exile and want, or who would sacrifice justice to escape these evils.

[Iustitia, ex qua una virtute viri boni appellantur, mirifica quaedam multitudini videtur, nec iniuria; nemo enim iustus esse potest, qui mortem, qui dolorem, qui exsilium, qui egestatem timet, aut qui ea, quae sunt his contraria, aequitati anteponit.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 2, ch. 11 / sec. 38 (44 BC) [tr. Gardiner (1899)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translation:

Justice, which single virtue serves to give men the name and denomination of good, seems much the most admirable to the generality of people; and not without reason, it being impossible for any one to be just who is afraid at the approaches of death, of pain, of banishment, or poverty; or prefers those things which are contrary to these before the great duties of justice and honesty.
[tr. Cockman (1699)]

Justice, from which alone good men receive their appellation, appears the most wonderful to the multitude; and with good reason: For no man can be just, who dreads death, pain, exile, want, or prefers to equity whatsoever is contrary to those.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

Justice, from which single virtue men are called good, appears to the multitude as something marvellous. And with good reason' for no man can be just if he is afraid of death, pain, exile, or poverty, or prefers their contraries to justice.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

Justice, for which one virtue men are called good, seems to the multitude a quality of marvellous excellence, — and not without good reason; for no one can be just, who dreads death, pain, exile, or poverty, or who prefers their opposites to honesty.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

Justice, the possession of which entitles men to be called good, is looked upon by the masses as something miraculous; and rightly so, for no one can be just who fears death, pain, exile, or poverty, or who ranks the opposites of these above equity.
[ed. Harbottle (1906)]

Justice, above all, on the basis of which alone men are called “good men,” seems to people generally a quite marvellous virtue -- and not without good reason; for no one can be just who fears death or pain or exile or poverty, or who values their opposites above equity.
[tr. Miller (1913)]

And justice in particular seems to the mass of people something amazing, and they are not wrong: good men achieve their reputation for goodness form that one virtue alone, and no man can be just who lives in fear of death, pain, exile, or poverty. If a man shuns fair-dealing in order to avoid these evils, he cannot be considered just.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

Added on 3-Mar-22 | Last updated 3-Mar-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

Lift up your hearts!
No more complaint and fear! It well may be
some happier hour will find this memory fair.

[Revocate animos, maestumque timorem
mittite: forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 1, l. 202ff (1.202-203) (29-19 BC) [tr. Williams (1910)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Resume your courage and dismiss your care.
An hour will come, with pleasure to relate
Your sorrows past, as benefits of Fate.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Resume then your courage, and dismiss your desponding fears; perhaps hereafter it may delight you to remember these sufferings.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

Come, cheer your souls, your fears forget;
This suffering will yield us yet
⁠A pleasant tale to tell.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Recall your courage ; banish gloomy fears.
Some day perhaps the memory even of these
Shall yield delight.
[tr. Cranch (1872)]

Recall your courage, put dull fear away. This too sometime we shall haply remember with delight.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

Come, call aback your ancient hearts and put your fears away!
This too shall be for joy to you remembered on a day.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Fear not; take heart; hereafter, it may be
These too will yield a pleasant tale to tell.
[tr. Taylor (1907)]

Recall your courage and put away sad fear. Perchance even this distress it will some day be a joy to recall.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

Call the nerve back; dismiss the fear, the sadness.
Some day, perhaps, remembering even this
Will be a pleasure.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Take heart again, oh, put your dismal fears away!
One day -- who knows? -- even these will be grand things to look back on.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

Call back
your courage, send away your grieving fear.
Perhaps one day you will remember even
these our adversities with pleasure.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 281ff]

Now call back
Your courage, and have done with fear and sorrow.
Some day, perhaps, remembering even this
Will be a pleasure.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 275ff]

So summon up your courage once again. This is no time for gloom or fear. The day will come, perhaps, when it will give you pleasure to remember even this.
[tr. West (1990)]

Recall your courage
And put aside your fear and grief. Someday, perhaps,
It will help to remember these troubles as well.
[tr. Lombardo (2005), l. 238ff]

Call up your courage again. Dismiss your grief and fear.
A joy it will be one day, perhaps, to remember even this.
[tr. Fagles (2006)]

Perhaps one day it will be a joy to remember also these things.
[tr. @sentantiq (2011)]

Summon your spirits back, and abandon your sad fear:
perhaps one day even these things will be a pleasing memory.
[tr. @sentantiq/Robinson (2015)]

Perhaps one day it will be a joy to remember even these things
[tr. @sentantiq (2016)]

One day we’re going to look back on even this and laugh (maybe).
[tr. Tortorelli (2017)]

Perhaps someday it will bring pleasure to recall these things.
[tr. @sentantiq (2020)]

Be brave, let go your fear and despair.
Perhaps someday even memory of this will bring you pleasure.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

Commentary on this passage: A Hope for Better Days to Come – SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE.
Added on 29-Dec-21 | Last updated 30-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Virgil

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
Neil Gaiman’s Journal, “My New Year Wish” (31 Dec 2011)
    (Source)
Added on 28-Dec-21 | Last updated 28-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Gaiman, Neil

The brave dies perhaps two thousand deaths if he’s intelligent. He simply doesn’t mention them.

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) American writer
A Farewell to Arms, ch. 21 [Catherine] (1929)
    (Source)

Referring to a common paraphrase of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (2.2.34) "The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one."
Added on 27-Dec-21 | Last updated 27-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Hemingway, Ernest

All the Sixties were complicated, you know. On the one hand it was funny too, you know; on the other hand it was cruel, you know. The Communists are so cruel, because they impose one taste on everybody, on everything, and who doesn’t comply with their teachings and with their ideology, is very soon labeled pervert, you know, or whatever they want you call it, or counterrevolutionary or whatever. And then the censorship itself, that’s not the worst evil. The worst evil is — and that’s the product of censorship — is the self-censorship, because that twists spines, that destroys my character because I have to think something else and say something else, I have to always control myself. I am stopping to being honest, I am becoming hypocrite — and that’s what they wanted, they wanted everybody to feel guilty, they were, you know… And also they were absolutely brilliant in one way, you know: they knew how effective is not to punish somebody who is guilty; what Communist Party members could afford to do was mind-boggling: they could do practically anything they wanted — steal, you know, lie, whatever. What was important — that they punished if you’re innocent, because that puts everybody, you know, puts fear in everybody.

Milos Forman
Jan Tomáš "Miloš" Forman (1932-2018) Czech-American film director, screenwriter, actor, academic
National Security Archive interview (18 Jan 1997)
    (Source)
Added on 20-Dec-21 | Last updated 20-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Forman, Milos

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Julius Caesar, Act 2, sc. 2, l. 34ff [Caesar] (1599)
    (Source)

The initial phrase has seemingly morphed in the retelling, though still being cited to Shakespeare: "A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once." This is the form most often seen, but is not Shakespeare.

In A Farewell to Arms (1929), Hemingway gives another paraphrase: "The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one."
Added on 24-Nov-21 | Last updated 24-Nov-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Shakespeare, William

So many times I’ve made myself stupid with the fear of being outsmarted.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
“Vectors: 56 Aphorisms and Ten-second Essays,” Michigan Quarterly Review, #17 (Spring 1999)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Nov-21 | Last updated 23-Nov-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Richardson, James

Wretchedness is caused by emotional disturbances, and the happy life by calmness, and disturbance takes two forms — anxiety and fear in expecting evils, ecstatic joy and lustful thoughts in misunderstanding good things, all of which are at variance with with wisdom and reason. Accordingly, if a man possesses self-control and consistency, and is without fear, distress, excitability, or lust, is he not happy? But this is the nature of the wise man always, so he is happy always.

[Atque cum perturbationes animi miseriam, sedationes autem vitam efficiant beatam, duplexque ratio perturbationis sit, quod aegritudo et metus in malis opinatis, in bonorum autem errore laetitia gestiens libidoque versetur, quae omnia cum consilio et ratione pugnent, his tu tam gravibus concitationibus tamque ipsis inter se dissentientibus atque distractis quem vacuum solutum liberum videris, hunc dubitabis beatum dicere? atqui sapiens semper ita adfectus est; semper igitur sapiens beatus est.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 5, ch. 15 / sec. 43 (45 BC) [tr. Davie (2017)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Now since the Disturbances of the Soul render the Life miserable, but the composure of them happy; and there is a double rank of Passions; in that, Discontent and Fear are terminated on Evils conceiv'd; but excessive Mirth and Lust arise from the misapprehension of good things, since all are inconsistent with Advice and Reason, if you shall see any one clear, emancipated, free from these emotions so vehement, so discordant one with the other, and so distracting, can you make any question of calling him Happy? But the Wise man is always so dispos'd, therefore the Wise man is always Happy.
[tr. Wase (1643)]

But as the perturbations of the mind make life miserable, and tranquility renders it happy: and as these perturbations are of two sorts; grief and fear, proceeding from imagined evils, immoderate joy and lust, from the mistake of what is good; and all these are in opposition to reason and counsel; when you see a man at ease, quite free and disengaged from such troublesome commotions, which are so much at variance with one another, can you hesitate to pronounce such a one a happy man? Now the wise man is always in such a disposition: therefore the wise man is always happy.
[tr. Main (1824)]

But when the perturbations render life unhappy, while their repose makes it happy -- and since the mode of perturbation is twofold -- sorrow and fear having birth from reputed evils -- the delirium of joy and desire, from the delusion of good, -- when all these are repugnant to counsel and reason, and you see a man void, exempt, free from these excitements, so vehement, so discordant, so distracted by mutual conflicts, -- will you hesitate to pronounce him happy? But the wise man is always thus, and therefore always happy.
[tr. Otis (1839)]

But as the perturbations of the mind make life miserable, and tranquillity renders it happy; and as these perturbations are of two sorts, grief and fear, proceeding from imagined evils, and as immoderate joy and lust arise from a mistake about what is good, and as all these feelings are in opposition to reason and counsel; when you see a man at ease, quite free and disengaged from such troublesome commotions, which are so much at variance with one another can you hesitate to pronounce such an one a happy man? Now the wise man is always in such a disposition, therefore the wise man is always happy.
[tr. Yonge (1853)]

Now since perturbations of mind create misery, while quietness of mind makes life happy, and since there are two kinds of perturbations, grief and fear having their scope in imagined evils, inordinate joy and desire in mistaken notions of the good, all being repugnant to wise counsel and reason, will you hesitate to call him happy whom you see relieved, released, free from these excitements so oppressive, and so at variance and divided among themselves? Indeed one thus disposed is always happy. Therefore the wise man is always happy.
[tr. Peabody (1886)]

Added on 18-Nov-21 | Last updated 18-Nov-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

“Darkness” is shorthand for anything that scares me — that I want no part of — either because I am sure that I do not have the resources to survive it or because I do not want to find out. The absence of God is in there, along with the fear of dementia and the loss of those nearest and dearest to me. So is the melting of polar ice caps, the suffering of children, and the nagging question of what it will feel like to die. If I had my way, I would eliminate everything from chronic back pain to the fear of the devil from my life and the lives of those I love — if I could just find the right night-lights to leave on.

At least I think I would. The problem is this: when, despite all my best efforts, the lights have gone off in my life (literally or figuratively, take your pick), plunging me into the kind of darkness that turns my knees to water, nonetheless I have not died. The monsters have not dragged me out of bed and taken me back to their lair. The witches have not turned me into a bat. Instead, I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light.

Barbara Brown Taylor (b. 1951) American minister, academic, author
Learning to Walk in the Dark, Introduction (2014)
    (Source)
Added on 12-Nov-21 | Last updated 12-Nov-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Taylor, Barbara Brown

To know all about anything is to know how to deal with it under all circumstances. We feel much happier and more secure when we think we know precisely what to do, no matter what happens, than when we have lost our way and do not know where to turn. And if we have supposed ourselves to know all about anything, and to be capable of doing what is fit in regard to it, we naturally do not like to find that we are really ignorant and powerless, that we have to begin again at the beginning, and try to learn what the thing is and how it is to be dealt with — if indeed anything can be learnt about it. It is the sense of power attached to a sense of knowledge that makes men desirous of believing, and afraid of doubting.

William Kingdon Clifford (1845-1879) English mathematician and philosopher
“The Ethics of Belief,” Part 1 “The Duty of Inquiry,” Lecture, London (11 Apr 1876)
    (Source)
Added on 8-Nov-21 | Last updated 8-Nov-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Clifford, William Kingdon

A person who has no genuine sense of pity for the weak is missing a basic source of strength, for one of the prime moral forces that comprise greatness and strength of character is a feeling of mercy. The ruthless man, au fond, is always a weak and frightened man.

Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986) Anglo-American columnist, journalist, author
“Strictly Personal” column (5 Apr 1962)
    (Source)

Reprinted in On the Contrary (1964).
Added on 5-Nov-21 | Last updated 5-Nov-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Harris, Sydney J.

That person, then, whose mind is quiet through consistency and self-control, who finds contentment in himself, and neither breaks down in adversity nor crumbles in fright, nor burns with any thirsty need nor dissolves into wild and futile excitement, that person is the wise one we are seeking, and that person is happy.

[Ergo hic, quisquis est, qui moderatione et constantia quietus animo est sibique ipse placatus, ut nec tabescat molestiis nec frangatur timore nec sitienter quid expetens ardeat desiderio nec alacritate futtili gestiens deliquescat, is est sapiens quem quaerimus, is est beatus.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 4, ch. 17 / sec. 37 (45 BC) [tr. Graver (2002)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

He therefore, call him by what name you will, who through Moderation and Constancy, hath quiet of mind, and is at Peace with himself; so as neither to fret out of Discontent, nor to be confounded with Fear, who neither is inflam'd with an impatient longing after any thing, nor ravish'd out of himself into the Fools Paradice of an empty Mirth; this is the wise man, after whom we are in quest; this the Happy man.
[tr. Wase (1643)]

Whoever then, through moderation and consistency, is at rest in his mind, and in calm possession of himself, so as neither to pine with care, nor be dejected with fear, neither to be inflamed with desire, nor dissolved by extravagant joy, such a one is the very wise man we enquire after, the happy man.
[tr. Main (1824)]

Therefore the man, whoever he is, who has quiet of mind, through moderation and constancy, and thus at peace with himself, is neither corroded with cares, nor crippled by fear; and, thirsting for nothing impatiently, is exempt from the fires of desire, and, dizzied by the fumes of no futile felicity, reels with no riotous joy: this is the wise man we seek: this man is happy.
[tr. Otis (1839)]

Whoever, then, through moderation and constancy, is at rest in his mind, and in calm possession of himself, so as neither to pine with care, nor be dejected with fear, nor to be inflamed with desire, coveting something greedily, nor relaxed by extravagant mirth, -- such a man is that identical wise man whom we are inquiring for, he is the happy man.
[tr. Yonge (1853)]

Whoever then has his mind kept in repose by moderation and firmness, and is at peace with himself so that he is neither wasted by troubles nor broken down by fear, nor burns with longing in his thirsty quest of some object of desire, nor flows out in the demonstration of empty joy, is the wise man whom we seek; he is the happy man.
[tr. Peabody (1886)]

Added on 4-Nov-21 | Last updated 4-Nov-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

For one’s emotional state is always determined by the oddest and most accidental things, and it is precisely the most superficial factors that often fortify or diminish our courage.

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, biographer
Beware of Pity (1939)
    (Source)
Added on 28-Oct-21 | Last updated 28-Oct-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Zweig, Stefan

To ruminate upon evils, to make critical notes upon injuries, and be too acute in their apprehensions, is to add unto our own Tortures, to feather the Arrows of our Enemies, to lash our selves with the Scorpions of our Foes, and to resolve to sleep no more.

Thomas Browne (1605-1682) English physician and author
Christian Morals, Part 3, sec. 12 (1716)
    (Source)
Added on 27-Oct-21 | Last updated 27-Oct-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Browne, Thomas

All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

James Thurber (1894-1961) American cartoonist and writer
“The Shore and the Sea,”, Moral, Further Fables for Our Time (1956)
Added on 15-Oct-21 | Last updated 15-Oct-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Thurber, James

People who feel safer with a gun than with guaranteed medical insurance don’t yet have a fully adult concept of scary.

William Gibson (b. 1948) American-Canadian speculative fiction novelist and essayist
Twitter (1 Oct 2013)
    (Source)
Added on 29-Sep-21 | Last updated 29-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Gibson, William

It always demands a far greater degree of courage for an individual to oppose an organized movement than to let himself be carried along with the stream — individual courage, that is, a variety of courage that is dying out in these times of progressive organization and mechanization. During the war practically the only courage I ran across was mass courage, the courage that comes of being one of a herd, and anyone who examines this phenomenon more closely will find it to be compounded of some very strange elements: a great deal of vanity, a great deal of fear — yes, fear of staying behind, fear of being sneered at fear of independent action, and fear, above all, of taking up a stand against the mass enthusiasm of one’s fellows.

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, biographer
Beware of Pity (1939)
Added on 9-Sep-21 | Last updated 9-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Zweig, Stefan

Our worst foes are not belligerent circumstances, but wavering spirits.

Helen Keller (1880-1968) American author and lecturer
“My Future As I See It,” Ladies Home Journal (Nov 1903)
    (Source)

Reprinted as an additional chapter in revised editions of The Story of My Life (1904 ed.)
Added on 8-Sep-21 | Last updated 8-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Keller, Helen

Beware:
Ignorance
Protects itself
Ignorance
Promotes suspicion.
Suspicion
Engenders fear.
Fear quails,
Irrational and blind,
Or fear looms,
Defiant and closed.
Blind, closed,
Suspicious, afraid,
Ignorance
Protects itself,
And protected,
Ignorance grows.

Octavia Butler (1947-2006) American writer
Parable of the Talents, ch. 12, epigram (1998)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Sep-21 | Last updated 2-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Butler, Octavia

How very little can be done under the spirit of fear; it is the very sentence pronounced upon the serpent, “Upon they belly shalt thou go all the days of thy life.”

Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) English social reformer, statistician, founder of modern nursing
Letter to Hannah Nicholson (May 1846)
    (Source)
Added on 12-Aug-21 | Last updated 12-Aug-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Nightingale, Florence

But aren’t we, the living, wretched since we must die? What pleasure can there be in life, when day and night we must reflect that we have to die, and at any moment?

[Qui vivimus, cum moriendum sit, nonne miseri sumus? quae enim potest in vita esse iucunditas, cum dies et noctes cogitandum sit iam iamque esse moriendum?]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 1, ch. 7 / sec. 14 [Auditor] (45 BC) [tr. Douglas (1985)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

What say you of us that are alive, can we be other than miserable, since we must die? for what enjoyment can there be in life, when we are to think day and night that die we must of a certain, and it is uncertain whether this or the next Moment?
[tr. Wase (1643)]

What then? we that are alive, are we not wretched, seeing we must die? for what is there agreeable in life, when we must night and day reflect that we may instantly die?
[tr. Main (1824)]

But what? as to us who are alive, are we not miserable? For, what pleasantness can there be in life, when, by night and by day, we have to reflect already, even already, we are to die?
[tr. Otis (1839)]

What then? we that are alive, are we not wretched, seeing we must die? for what is there agreeable in life, when we must night and day reflect that, at some time or other, we must die?
[tr. Yonge (1853)]

Yet are not we who live miserable, seeing that we must die? For what pleasure can there be in life, while by day and by night we cannot but think that we may die at any moment?
[tr. Peabody (1886)]

But how then? Are not we, who live, miserable, seeing that we must die? For what pleasure can there be in life when, night and day, the thought cannot fail to haunt us, that at any moment we must die?
[tr. Black (1889)]

Aren't the living miserable, since we have to die? What joy can there be in life if day and night we are forced to consider the inevitable approach of death?
[tr. Habinek (1996)]

Are we not wretched, we who live though we must die? What joy can there be in life, when we must think day and night that we must at some time die?
[tr. @sententiq (2016)]

Added on 26-Jul-21 | Last updated 13-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

At odd and unpredictable times, we cling in fright to the past.

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) Russian-American author, polymath, biochemist
Foundation’s Edge, Part 1, ch. 1 (1982)
    (Source)
Added on 22-Jul-21 | Last updated 22-Jul-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Asimov, Isaac

Fear, born of that stern matron, Responsibility, sits on one’s shoulders like some heavy imp of darkness, and one is preoccupied and, possibly, cantankerous.

William McFee (1881-1966) English writer
“The Crusaders,” Atlantic (Sep 1919)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Jul-21 | Last updated 2-Jul-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by McFee, William

But it’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.

Judy Blume (b. 1938) American writer
“Judy Blume Talks About Censorship”
    (Source)
Added on 24-Jun-21 | Last updated 24-Jun-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Blume, Judy

It was foolish indeed — thus to run farther and farther from all who could help her, as if she had been seeking a fit spot for the goblin-creature to eat her in at his leisure; but that is the way fear serves us: it always sides with the thing we are afraid of.

George MacDonald (1824-1905) Scottish novelist, poet
The Princess and the Goblin, ch. 14 (1872)
    (Source)
Added on 22-Jun-21 | Last updated 22-Jun-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by MacDonald, George

The worst part of fear is not knowing what to do. And often you have only to ask What would I do if I were not afraid? to know what to do, and do it, and not be afraid.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays, #121 (2001)
    (Source)
Added on 22-Jun-21 | Last updated 22-Jun-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Richardson, James

Pity is aroused by unmerited misfortune, fear by the misfortune of a man like ourselves.

[ἔλεος μὲν περὶ τὸν ἀνάξιον, φόβος δὲ περὶ τὸν ὅμοιον]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Poetics [Περὶ ποιητικῆς, De Poetica], ch. 13 / 1453a (c. 335 BC) [tr. Butcher (1895)]
    (Source)

On the essential elements of tragedy. Original Greek. Alternate translations:

  • "Pity is occasioned by undeserved misfortune, and fear by that of one like ourselves." [tr. Bywater (1909)]
  • "Pity is concerned with unmerited ill-fortune, fear with what happens to one's like." [tr. Margoliouth (1911)]
  • "Pity for the undeserved misfortune, fear for the man like ourselves." [tr. Fyfe (1932)]
  • "We pity those who suffer undeservedly, and feel fear for people who are like ourselves." [tr. Janko (1987)]
  • "The one [pity] is to do with the man brought to disaster undeservedly, the other [terror] is to do with [what happens to] men like us." [tr. Whalley (1997)]
  • "One of these sentiments, namely pity, has to do with undeserved misfortune, and the other, namely fear, has to do with someone who is like ourselves." [tr. Sachs (2006)]
Added on 28-May-21 | Last updated 28-May-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Aristotle

Sometimes it’s a good thing to scare people. Sometimes fear is all that will keep them from doing stupid things.

Octavia Butler (1947-2006) American writer
Adulthood Rites, Part 2, ch. 15 (1988)
    (Source)
Added on 27-May-21 | Last updated 27-May-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Butler, Octavia

Loneliness, insomnia, and change: the fear of these is even worse than the reality.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 10 (1966)
Added on 20-May-21 | Last updated 10-Mar-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by McLaughlin, Mignon

In this age of censorship I mourn the loss of books that will never be written, I mourn the voices that will be silenced — writers’ voices, teachers’ voices, students’ voices — and all because of fear.

Judy Blume (b. 1938) American writer
“Censorship: A Personal View,” Introduction, Places I Never Meant to Be: Original Stories by Censored Writers (1999) [ed. Blume]
    (Source)
Added on 13-May-21 | Last updated 13-May-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Blume, Judy

Failure isn’t about a lack of “natural intelligence,” whatever that is. Instead, failure is born from a messy combination of bad circumstances: high anxiety, low motivation, gaps in background knowledge. Most of all, we fail because, when the moment comes to confront our shortcomings and open ourselves up to teachers and peers, we panic and deploy our defenses instead.

Ben Orlin (b. c. 1988) American math teacher, author
“What It Feels Like to Be Bad at Math,” Slate (29 Apr 2013)
    (Source)

Originally posted on his blog: What It Feels Like to Be Bad at Math – Math with Bad Drawings.
Added on 26-Apr-21 | Last updated 26-Apr-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Orlin, Ben

Two things have always been true about human beings. One, the world is always getting better. Two, the people living at that time think it’s getting worse. It’s because you get older, your responsibilities are different. Now I’m taking care of children instead of being a child. It makes the world look scarier. That happens to everyone.

Penn Jillette (b. 1955) American stage magician, actor, musician, author
“Honest Questions with Penn Jillette,” Interview by Glen Beck, CNN (2 Nov 2007)
    (Source)
Added on 15-Apr-21 | Last updated 19-Apr-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Jillette, Penn

To write in plain, vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox.

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
“The Prevention of Literature,” Polemic (Jan 1946)
    (Source)
Added on 13-Apr-21 | Last updated 19-Apr-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Orwell, George

Perhaps if we saw what was ahead of us, and glimpsed the crimes, follies, and misfortunes that would befall us later on, we would all stay in our mother’s wombs, and there would be nobody in the world but a great number of very fat, very irritated women.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The End (2006)
Added on 7-Apr-21 | Last updated 19-Apr-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Snicket, Lemony

This is love, and the trouble with it: it can make you embarrassed. Love is really liking someone a whole lot and not wanting to screw that up. Everybody’s chewed over this. This unites us, this part of love.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
Adverbs, “Collectively” (2006)
Added on 31-Mar-21 | Last updated 31-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Snicket, Lemony

I believe that censorship grows out of fear, and because fear is contagious, some parents are easily swayed. Book banning satisfies their need to feel in control of their children’s lives. This fear is often disguised as moral outrage. They want to believe that if their children don’t read about it, their children won’t know about it. And if they don’t know about it, it won’t happen.

Judy Blume (b. 1938) American writer
“Judy Blume Talks about Censorship”
    (Source)
Added on 25-Mar-21 | Last updated 25-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Blume, Judy

JERRY: Writing is also one of those things like … I’d rather fill in all the “o”s in the phone book. [Laughs]. You know what I mean? Anything is more fun than trying to write songs.

BOB: I’d rather be in the dentist’s chair. The blank page is the most frightening, most horrifying, the most toothy, snarling, god-awful thing I can imagine.

JERRY: Any excuse to not do it is good enough.

BOB: Man, look at those dishes mounting up. How can I work in this pigsty?

Jerry Garcia (1942-1995) American singer-songwriter and guitarist
Interview of Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir by Jon Sievert, Guitar Player Magazine (20 May 1993)
Added on 19-Mar-21 | Last updated 19-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Garcia, Jerry

Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won’t have as much censorship because we won’t have as much fear. The fear that children’s values will change because they are exposed to other values isn’t valid if there is communication between parent and child.

Judy Blume (b. 1938) American writer
“Blume Speaks Out on Speaking Out,” Interview with Barbara Karlin, Los Angeles Times (18 Oct 1981)
    (Source)
Added on 11-Mar-21 | Last updated 11-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Blume, Judy

The dread of being duped by other nations — the notion that foreign heads are more able, though at the same time foreign hearts are less honest than our own, has always been one of our prevailing weaknesses.

Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) English jurist and philosopher
Principles of International Law, Essay 4 “A Plan for Universal and Perpetual Peace” (1796-89)
    (Source)
Added on 8-Feb-21 | Last updated 8-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bentham, Jeremy

But, of all motives, none is better adapted to secure influence and hold it fast than love; nothing is more foreign to that end than fear. […] For fear is but a poor safeguard of lasting power; while affection, on the other hand, may be trusted to keep it safe for ever.

[Omnium autem rerum nec aptius est quicquam ad opes tuendas ac tenendas quam diligi nec alienius quam timeri. … Malus enim est custos diuturnitatis metus contraque benivolentia fidelis vel ad perpetuitatem.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 2, ch. 7 / sec. 23 (44 BC) [tr. Miller (1913)]
    (Source)

Discussing the fate of tyrants such as Julius Caesar. Original Latin. Alternate translations:

Now of all those methods, which tend to the advancement and maintenance of our interest, there is none more proper and convenient than love, and none more improper and inconvenient than fear. [...] For obedience, proceeding from fear, cannot possibly be lasting; whereas that which is the effect of love will be faithful for ever.
[tr. Cockman (1699)]

Of all means there is none better fitted for supporting and retaining our influence than to be loved; or more foreign to it, than to be feared. [...] Fear is a false and short-lived security, but the love of men is faithful and lasting.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

Now, of all things there is none more adapted for supporting and retaining our influence than to be loved, nor more prejudicial than to be feared. [...] For fear is but a bad guardian to permanency, whereas affection is faithful even to perpetuity.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

But of all things nothing tends so much to the guarding and keeping of resources as to be the object of affection; nor is anything more foreign to that end than to be the object of fear. [...] For fear is but a poor guardian for permanent possession, and, on the other hand, good will is faithful so long as there can be need of its loyalty.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

Added on 25-Jan-21 | Last updated 25-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

Totalitarianism appeals to the very dangerous emotional needs of people who live in complete isolation and in fear of one another.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
Interview with Roger Errera (Oct 1973), The New York Review of Books (26 Oct 1978)
    (Source)
Added on 7-Jan-21 | Last updated 7-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Arendt, Hannah

Too many of us stay walled up because we are afraid of being hurt. We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) First Lady of the US (1933-45), politician, diplomat, activist
Eleanor Roosevelt’s Book of Common Sense Etiquette, ch. 2 (1962)
    (Source)
Added on 6-Jan-21 | Last updated 6-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Roosevelt, Eleanor

There are two kinds of fears: rational and irrational — or, in simpler terms, fears that make sense and fears that don’t. For instance, the Baudelaire orphans have a fear of Count Olaf, which makes perfect sense, because he is an evil man who wants to destroy them. But if they were afraid of lemon meringue pie, this would be an irrational fear, because lemon meringue pie is delicious and would never hurt a soul. Being afraid of a monster under the bed is perfectly rational, because there may in fact be a monster under your bed at any time, ready to eat you all up, but fear of realtors is an irrational fear. Realtors, as I’m sure you know, are people who assist in the buying and selling of houses. Besides occasionally wearing an ugly yellow coat, the worst a realtor can do to you is show you a house that you find ugly, so it is completely irrational to be terrified of them.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Wide Window (2000)
    (Source)
Added on 6-Jan-21 | Last updated 6-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Snicket, Lemony

He [the pseudo-conservative] sees his own country as being so weak that it is constantly about to fall victim to subversion; and yet he feels that it is so all-powerful that any failure it may experience in getting its own way in the world … cannot possibly be due to its limitations but must be attributed to its having been betrayed.

Richard Hofstadter (1916-1970) American historian and intellectual
“The Pseudo-Conservative Revolt” (1954)
    (Source)
Added on 28-Oct-20 | Last updated 28-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hofstadter, Richard

Belligerence is the hallmark of insecurity — the secure nation does not need threat to maintain its position.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
Speech, American Newspaper Publishers Assoc, New York City (25 Apr 1946)
    (Source)

The first part of the above was a common phrase of Eisenhower's.
Added on 30-Sep-20 | Last updated 30-Sep-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Eisenhower, Dwight David

DEXTER: I’d rather do something and make a mistake, than be frightened into doing nothing. That’s the problem back home. Folks have been conned into thinking they can’t change the world. Have to accept what is. I’ll tell you something, my friends, the world is changing every day. The only question is, who’s doing it?

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
Babylon 5, 3×20 “And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place” (14 Oct 1996)

See Straczynski.
Added on 10-Sep-20 | Last updated 14-Feb-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Straczynski, J. Michael "Joe"