Quotations about   possessions

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No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American clergyman and orator
Life Thoughts: Gathered from the Extemporaneous Discourses of Henry Ward Beecher (1858)
Added on 16-Aug-16 | Last updated 16-Aug-16
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We make ourselves miserable by first closing ourselves off from reality and then collecting this and that in an attempt to make ourselves happy by possessing happiness. But happiness is not something I have, it is something I myself want to be. Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over my body.

Corless - taping sandwiches - wist_info quote

Roger J. Corless (1938–2007) Anglo-American religious academic, Buddhist scholar, ecumenicist
Vision of Buddhism: the Space Under the Tree (1989)

The last sentence is frequently misattributed to George Carlin (with "your body").
Added on 11-Jul-16 | Last updated 11-Jul-16
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How many people have died because they could not abandon their baggage?

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
Added on 3-Nov-15 | Last updated 3-Nov-15
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In our rich consumers’ civilization we spin cocoons around ourselves and get possessed by our possessions.

Maxwell "Max" Lerner (1902-1992) American journalist, columnist, educator
“What Shall I Save?” New York Post (10 Sep 1952)

Reprinted in The Unfinished Country, pt. 1 (1959).
Added on 17-Mar-15 | Last updated 17-Mar-15
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I think if the church put in half the time on covetousness that it does on lust, this would be a better world for all of us.

Garrison Keillor (b. 1942) American entertainer, author
Lake Wobegon Days (1985)
Added on 2-Oct-14 | Last updated 2-Oct-14
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Want is a growing giant whom the coat of Have was never large enough to cover.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Wealth,” The Conduct of Life (1860)
Added on 12-May-14 | Last updated 25-Nov-15
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If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master. The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
(Attributed)

Attributed to Bacon in Alexander Anderson, Laconics: or Instructive Miscellanies, (1827). Attributed to French moralist Pierre Charron (1541-1603) in John Timbs, Laconics: Or, The Best Words of the Best Authors (1829). See also French saying.
Added on 14-Apr-14 | Last updated 16-May-16
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In my eyes riches have a certain place, in yours they have the highest; in fine, I own my riches, yours own you.

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) Roman statesman, philosopher, playwright [Lucius Annaeus Seneca]
Moral Essays, “On the Happy Life” [De Vita Beata]“, 22.5 [tr. Basore (1932)]
Added on 6-Feb-14 | Last updated 6-Feb-14
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We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) German-American psychologist, writer
Man’s Search for Meaning, Part 1 (1959)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 12-Nov-19
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