Quotations about:
    hardship


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My first job after college was as a teacher in Cotulla, Texas, in a small Mexican-American school. Few of them could speak English, and I couldn’t speak much Spanish. My students were poor and they often came to class without breakfast, hungry. They knew even in their youth the pain of prejudice. They never seemed to know why people disliked them. But they knew it was so, because I saw it in their eyes. I often walked home late in the afternoon, after the classes were finished, wishing there was more that I could do. But all I knew was to teach them the little that I knew, hoping that it might help them against the hardships that lay ahead.
Somehow you never forget what poverty and hatred can do when you see its scars on the hopeful face of a young child.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) American politician, educator, US President (1963-69)
“The American Promise,” speech to a Joint Session of Congress [40:55] (1965-03-15)
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Added on 5-Jan-24 | Last updated 5-Jan-24
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Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 3 (1963)
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Added on 11-May-23 | Last updated 11-May-23
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All things are tolerable which others have borne and are bearing.

[Sed significat tolerabilia esse, quae et tulerint et ferant ceteri.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 3, ch. 23 (3.23) / sec. 57 (45 BC) [tr. Yonge (1853)]
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(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

  • "Those things are in themselves tolerable, which others have born, and do bear." [tr. Wase (1643)]
  • "All things are tolerable which others have borne and can bear." [tr. Main (1824)]
  • "What others have endured and endure must be tolerable." [tr. Otis (1839)]
  • "Things are tolerable which others have borne and are bearing." [tr. Peabody (1886)]
  • "The circumstances at hand are indeed tolerable, since others have tolerated them and continue to do so." [tr. Graver (2002)]
 
Added on 13-Sep-21 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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We’re like a rich father who wishes he knew how to give his son the hardships that made the father such a man.

Robert Frost (1874-1963) American poet
Comment, “Meet the Press” (22 Mar 1959)

When asked by Ernest Lindley whether American civilization had improved or declined in his lifetime. Often misquoted as "Americans are like a rich father who wishes he knew how to give his son the hardships that made him rich."
 
Added on 13-Mar-19 | Last updated 13-Mar-19
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It is the trifles of life that are its bores, after all. Most men can meet ruin calmly, for instance, or laugh when they lie in a ditch with their own knee-joint and their hunter’s spine broken over the double post and rails: it is the mud that has choked up your horn just when you wanted to rally the pack; it’s the whip who carries you off to a division just when you’ve sat down to your turbot; it’s the ten seconds by which you miss the train; it’s the dust that gets in your eyes as you go down to Epsom; it’s the pretty little rose note that went by accident to your house instead of your club, and raised a storm from madame; it’s the dog that always will run wild into the birds; it’s the cook who always will season the white soup wrong — it is these that are the bores of life, and that try the temper of your philosophy.

Ouida (1839-1908) English novelist [pseud. of Maria Louise Ramé]
Under Two Flags, ch. 1 (1867)
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Added on 3-Oct-17 | Last updated 3-Oct-17
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Economic privation proceeds by easy stages, and so long as men suffer it patiently the outside world cares little.

John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946) English economist
The Economic Consequences of the Peace, ch. 6 (1919)
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Added on 17-Jan-17 | Last updated 17-Jan-17
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We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed.

The Bible (The New Testament) (AD 1st - 2nd C) Christian sacred scripture
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 [JB (1966)]
    (Source)

Alternate translations:

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.
[KJV (1611)]

We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
[GNT (1976)]

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
[NRSV (1989 ed.)]

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
[NIV (2011 ed.)]

We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out.
[CEB (2011)]

 
Added on 7-Apr-15 | Last updated 5-Sep-23
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We acquire the strength we have overcome.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Considerations by the Way,” The Conduct of Life, ch. 7 (1860)
 
Added on 7-Oct-14 | Last updated 19-Feb-22
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DUKE SENIOR: Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
As You Like It, Act 2, sc. 1, l. 12ff (2.1.12-14) (1599)
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Added on 20-May-13 | Last updated 17-Jan-24
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Divine Providence sends the chiefest benefits under the mask of calamities.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Fortune of the Republic,” lecture, Boston (1878-03-30)

Final version of a lecture first given in 1863, and his last public speech.
 
Added on 24-Mar-09 | Last updated 27-Mar-23
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Friendship, of itself a holy tie,
Is made more sacred by adversity.

John Dryden (1631-1700) English poet, dramatist, critic
The Hind and the Panther, Part 3, l. 47 (1687)
    (Source)

The actual lines read:

For friendship of it self, an holy tye,
Is made more sacred by adversity.

 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Aug-23
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We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.

Carlos Casteneda (1931-1999) Peruvian-American writer, mystic, anthropologist
The Teachings of Don Juan (1968)

Also attributed to Journey to Ixtlan (1972).
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 19-Sep-16
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