Quotations about   human condition

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Among other things I think humor is a shield, a weapon, a survival kit. Not only has this brief span of ours been threatened by such perils not of our making such as fire and flood, Tyrannosaurus Rex, the black death, and hurricanes named after chorus girls, but we have been most ingenious in devising means for destroying each other, a habit we haven’t yet learned how to kick.

So here we are several billion of us, crowded into our global concentration camp for the duration. How are we to survive? Solemnity is not the answer, any more than witless and irresponsible frivolity is. I think our best chance lies in humor, which in this case means a wry acceptance of our predicament. We don’t have to like it but we can at least recognize its ridiculous aspects, one of which is ourselves.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
Commencement address at his daughter Linell’s boarding school
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Quoted in Douglas M. Parker, Dana Giaoia, Ogden Nash: The Life and Work of America's Laureate of Light (2005).
Added on 4-Sep-20 | Last updated 4-Sep-20
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There are three things which are real: God, human folly, and laughter. Since the first two pass our comprehension, we must do what we can with the third.

Aubrey Menen (1912-1989) English writer
Rama Retold (1954)
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Added on 2-Jul-20 | Last updated 2-Jul-20
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There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness or death.

Fran Lebowitz (b. 1950) American journalist
Metropolitan Life, “Manners” (1978)
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Added on 15-May-17 | Last updated 15-May-17
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Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them — if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.

J. D. Salinger (1919-2010) American writer [Jerome David Salinger]
Catcher in the Rye, ch. 24 [Mr. Antolini] (1951)
Added on 10-Mar-16 | Last updated 10-Mar-16
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The real problem of our existence lies in the fact that we ought to love one another, but do not.

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) American theologian and clergyman
Christian Realism and Political Problems, ch. 8 (1953)
Added on 20-Apr-15 | Last updated 20-Apr-15
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