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When a man boasted in his presence that he was a native of an illustrious city, he said, “That is not what one ought to look at, but whether one is worthy of a great city.”

[πρὸς τὸν καυχώμενον ὡς ἀπὸ μεγάλης πόλεως εἴη, “οὐ τοῦτο,” ἔφη, “δεῖ σκοπεῖν, ἀλλ᾽ ὅστις μεγάλης πατρίδος ἄξιός ἐστιν.”]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Attributed in Diogenes Laërtius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers [Vitae Philosophorum], Book 5, sec. 11 [tr. Yonge (1853)]
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(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

To one who boasted that he belonged to a great city his reply was, "That is not the point to consider, but who it is that is worthy of a great country."
[tr. Hicks (1925), sec. 19]

To a man boasting that he was from a great city, he said “Don’t look at this, but instead who is worthy of a great country.”
[tr. @sentantiq (2016)]

To someone who boasted that he came from a great city, he said, "That is not what one should consider, but who it is that is worthy of a great country."
[tr. Mensch (2018)]

Added on 7-Sep-21 | Last updated 7-Sep-21
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Babies are such a nice way to start people.

Don Herold (1889-1966) American humorist, cartoonist, author
There Ought To Be A Law (1926)
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Added on 12-May-20 | Last updated 12-May-20
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The beginnings of all things are small.

[Omnium rerum principia parva sunt.]

Cicero - beginnings of all things - wist_info quote

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, Book 5, ch. 58

Alt. trans.: "Everything has a small beginning."
Added on 15-Aug-16 | Last updated 15-Aug-16
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A tower of nine storeys begins with a heap of earth.
The journey of a thousand li starts from where one stands.

Lao-tzu (604?-531? BC) Chinese philosopher, poet [also Lao-tse, Laozi]
Tao-te Ching ch. 64 [tr. Wing-Tsit Chan]

Popularized in the west by John F. Kennedy, "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step," announcing the atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty (26 Jul 1963).
Added on 19-Jan-15 | Last updated 6-Apr-17
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Cosmogony and cosmology have always aroused great interest among peoples and religions. The Bible itself speaks to us of the origin of the universe and its make-up, not in order to provide us with a scientific treatise, but in order to state the correct relationships of man with God and with the universe. Sacred Scripture wishes simply to declare that the world was created by God, and in order to teach this truth it expresses itself in the terms of the cosmology in use at the time of the writer. The Sacred Book likewise wishes to tell men that the world was not created as the seat of the gods, as was taught by other cosmogonies and cosmologies, but was rather created for the service of man and the glory of God. Any other teaching about the origin and make-up of the universe is alien to the intentions of the Bible, which does not wish to teach how heaven was made but how one goes to heaven.

Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) Polish-born Catholic Pontiff (1978-2005) [b. Karol Józef Wojtyła]
“Cosmology and Fundamental Physics,” Discourse to the Pontifical Academy of Science (3 Oct 1981)
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Added on 14-Feb-13 | Last updated 14-Mar-18
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