Quotations about   purpose

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



This was unwise, but if autocrats always acted wisely they would not furnish history with moral lessons.

Tuchman - If autocrats always acted wisely they would not furnish history with moral lessons - wist.info quote

Barbara W. Tuchman (1912-1989) American historian and author
A Distant Mirror, ch. 21 “The Fiction Cracks” (1978)
    (Source)

On young King Richard II's giving substantial offices and lands to his friend and mentor, the Earl of Oxford, in so doing making an enemy of the Duke of Gloucester.
Added on 19-Apr-22 | Last updated 19-Apr-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Tuchman, Barbara

Think of all the smart people who are made stupid by flaws of character. The finest watch isn’t fine long when used as a hammer.

James Richardson (b. 1950) American poet
“Vectors: 56 Aphorisms and Ten-second Essays,” Michigan Quarterly Review, #19 (Spring 1999)
Added on 30-Nov-21 | Last updated 30-Nov-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Richardson, James

When vision fails
Direction is lost.

When direction is lost
Purpose may be forgotten.

When purpose is forgotten
Emotion rules alone.

When emotion rules alone,
Destruction … destruction.

Octavia Butler (1947-2006) American writer
Parable of the Talents, ch. 13, epigram (1998)
    (Source)
Added on 16-Sep-21 | Last updated 16-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Butler, Octavia

It is never until one realizes that one means something to others that one feels there is any point or purpose in one’s own existence.

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, biographer
Beware of Pity (1939)
Added on 16-Sep-21 | Last updated 16-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Zweig, Stefan

Once abandon that firm ground, once plead that history has a “message” or that history has a “social responsibility” (to produce good Marxists or good Imperialists or good citizens) there is no logical escape from the censor and the Index, the OGPU and the Gestapo.

A. J. P. Taylor (1906-1990) British historian, journalist, broadcaster [Alan John Percivale Taylor]
“The Historian,” Manchester Guardian (5 Aug 1938)
    (Source)
Added on 9-Aug-21 | Last updated 9-Aug-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Taylor, A. J. P.

Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose, — a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) English social philosopher, feminist, writer
Frankenstein, Letter 1 (1818)
    (Source)

More discussion of the history of this quotation: Nothing Contributes So Much To Tranquillize the Mind As a Steady Purpose,—a Point On Which the Soul May Fix Its Intellectual Eye – Quote Investigator
Added on 10-May-21 | Last updated 10-May-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Wollstonecraft, Mary

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
(Misattributed)

This is regularly attributed to Emerson, but has not been found in his work. The original appears to be a contest essay written by Bessie A. Stanley of Lincoln, Nebraska in 1905:

He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.

In 1951, Albert E. Wiggam, a newspaper columnist, wrote this similar passage, claiming it was an abridged version of something Emerson wrote:

To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty. To find the best in others; to give one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exaltation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived -- this is to have succeeded.

Variations of both quotations exist, but Wiggam seems to be the source of the Emerson reference. This was later cemented by Ann Landers producing the variation at the top of this post, citing Emerson but not Wiggam. She also at other times attributed it to Harry Emerson Fosdick and Bessie A. Stanley.

More information here:
Added on 3-May-21 | Last updated 3-May-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Boredom therefore can arise from the cessation of habitual functions, even though these may be boring too. It is also the shriek of unused capacities, the doom of serving no great end or design, or contributing to no master force.

Saul Bellow (1915-2005) Canadian-American writer
The Adventures of Augie March (1953)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Apr-21 | Last updated 19-Apr-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bellow, Saul

But no moral philosopher, from Aristotle to Aquinas, to John Locke and Adam Smith, divorced economics from a set of moral ends or held the production of wealth to be an end in itself; rather it was seen as a means to the realization of virtue, a means of leading a civilized life.

Daniel Bell (1919-2011) American sociologist, writer, editor, academic
The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (1976)
Added on 8-Mar-21 | Last updated 8-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Bell, Daniel

It’s a blessing to die for a cause, because you can so easily die for nothing.

Andrew Young (b. 1932) American politician, diplomat, activist
Interview by Peter Ross Range, Playboy (Jul 1977)
    (Source)
Added on 25-Feb-21 | Last updated 25-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Young, Andrew

Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. […] Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.

Stephen King (b. 1947) American author
On Writing (2000)
    (Source)
Added on 4-Feb-21 | Last updated 4-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by King, Stephen

It is of the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.

[ἄπειρος γὰρ ἡ τῆς ἐπιθυμίας φύσις, ἧς πρὸς τὴν ἀναπλήρωσιν οἱ πολλοὶ]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Politics [Πολιτικά], Book 2, ch. 7, sec. 19 / 1267b.4 [tr. Jowett (1885)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alt. trans.:

  • "For it is the nature of our desires to be boundless, and many live only to gratify them." [tr. Ellis (1912)]

  • "For appetite is in its nature unlimited, and the majority of mankind live for the satisfaction of appetite." [tr. Rackham (1924)]

  • "For the nature of desire is without limit, and it is with a view to satisfying this that the many live. [tr. Lord (1984)]
Added on 18-Dec-20 | Last updated 12-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Aristotle

Three kinds of souls, three prayers:
1) I am a bow in your hands, Lord. Draw me, lest I rot.
2) Do not overdraw me, Lord. I shall break.
3) Overdraw me, Lord, and who cares if I break.

Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957) Greek writer and philosopher
Report to Greco, Epigraph (1965) [tr. Bien (1973)]
    (Source)

In the Epilogue, this is repeated: "There are three kinds of souls, three kinds of prayers. One: I am a bow in your hands, Lord. Draw me lest I rot. Two: Do not overdraw me, Lord. I shall break. Three: Overdraw me, and who cares if I break!"
Added on 2-Nov-20 | Last updated 2-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kazantzakis, Nikos

DEXTER: You know, before I got married, Emily used to come by sometimes and help me clean out my apartment. Well, I asked her, “How come you’re so eager to help clean up my place when your place is just as bad?” She said, “Because cleaning up your place helps me to forget what a mess I’ve made of mine, and — when I sweep my floor, all I’ve done is sweep my floor. But, when I help you clean up your place, I am helping you.”

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)
Added on 27-Aug-20 | Last updated 27-Aug-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Straczynski, J. Michael "Joe"

I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven, for nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose — a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) English novelist
Frankenstein, “Letter 1” (1818)
    (Source)
Added on 8-Jun-20 | Last updated 8-Jun-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Shelley, Mary Wallstonecraft

JACK BURTON: I don’t get this at all. I thought Lo Pan —
LO PAN: Shut up, Mr. Burton! You are not brought upon this world to “get it”!

W. D. Richter (b. 1945) American screenwriter, producer, director [Walter Duch Richter]
Big Trouble in Little China (1986) [with Gary Goldman, David Z Weinstein]
Added on 13-May-20 | Last updated 13-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Richter, WD

Good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Wealth,” The Conduct of Life, ch. 3 (1860)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Apr-20 | Last updated 22-Feb-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The universe could have been created ugly, and would have functioned. And yet there is beauty everywhere in creation. Beauty gives us an ache, to be worthy of that creation.

Mary Oliver (1935-2019) American poet
Comments at Wellesley College (20 Oct 2010)
    (Source)

The last phrase is frequently paraphrased, "We need beauty because it makes us ache to be worthy of it."
Added on 25-Feb-20 | Last updated 25-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Oliver, Mary

O’Brien knew everything. A thousand times better than Winston, he knew what the world was really like, in what degradation the mass of human beings lived and by what lies and barbarities the Party kept them there. He had understood it all, weighed it all, and it made no difference: all was justified by the ultimate purpose. What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
    (Source)
Added on 28-Oct-19 | Last updated 28-Oct-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Orwell, George

It is our conviction that if souls were visible to the eyes, we should be able to see distinctly that strange thing, that each one individual of the human race corresponds to some one of the species of the animal creation; and we could easily recognize this truth, hardly perceived by the thinker, that from the oyster to the eagle, from the pig to the tiger, all animals exist in man, and that in each one of them is in a man. Sometimes even several of them at a time.

Animals are nothing else than the figures of our virtues and our vices, straying before our eyes, the visible phantoms of our souls. God shows them to us in order to induce us to reflect.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) French writer
Les Misérables, Part 1, “Fantine,” Book 5, ch. 5 (1862) [tr. Wilbour]
    (Source)

Introducing Javert.

Alt. trans. [Fahnestock/MacAfee]: "It is our belief that if the soul were visible to the eye, every member of the human species would be seen to correspond to some species of the animal world, and a truth scarcely perceived by thinkers would be readily confirmed, namely, that from the oyster to the eagle, from the swine to the tiger, all animals are to be found in men and each of them exists in some man, sometimes several at a time. Animals are nothing but the portrayal of our virtues and vices made manifest to our eyes, the visible reflections of our souls. God displays them to us to give us food for thought."
Added on 31-May-19 | Last updated 31-May-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hugo, Victor

One of the things I like best about animals in the wild is that they’re always off on some errand. They have appointments to keep. It’s only we humans who wonder what we’re here for.

Diane Ackerman (b. 1948) American poet, author, naturalist
“In Praise of Bats,” The Moon by Whale Light (1991)
    (Source)
Added on 28-Dec-18 | Last updated 28-Dec-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Ackerman, Diane

In short, Mort was one of those people who are more dangerous than a bag full of rattlesnakes. He was determined to discover the underlying logic behind the universe. Which was going to be hard, because there wasn’t one.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Mort (1987)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Feb-18 | Last updated 23-Feb-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Pratchett, Terry

There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher. There is a nobler character than that which is merely incorruptible. It is the character which acts as an antidote and preventive of corruption.

Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933) American clergyman and writer
“Salt,” Baccalaureate Sermon, Harvard University (19 Jun 1898)
    (Source)
Added on 13-Dec-17 | Last updated 7-Jan-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Van Dyke, Henry

HAL9000: I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) American film director, screenwriter, producer
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) [with Arthur C. Clarke]
Added on 22-Nov-17 | Last updated 22-Nov-17
Link to this post | 2 comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kubrick, Stanley

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver (1935-2019) American poet
“The Summer Day,” New and Selected Poems, Vol. 1 (1992)
Added on 1-Nov-17 | Last updated 1-Nov-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Oliver, Mary

What Man seeks, to the point of anguish, in his gods, in his art, in his science, is meaning. He cannot bear the void. He pours meaning on events like salt on his food. He denies that life bounces along at random, at the mercy of events, in sound and in fury. He wants it always to be directed, aimed toward a goal, like an arrow.

François Jacob (1920-2013) French biologist, Nobel prize winner in Medicine
The Statue Within: An Autobiography (1987) [tr. Philip (1988)]
    (Source)
Added on 18-Sep-17 | Last updated 18-Sep-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Jacob, Francois

There may be no good reason for things to be the way they are.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 1 “Consolations for Unpopularity,” sec. 4 (2000)
    (Source)
Added on 7-Sep-17 | Last updated 7-Sep-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by De Botton, Alain

Man is so built that he cannot imagine his own death. This leads to endless invention of religions. While this conviction by no means proves immortality to be a fact, questions generated by it are overwhelmingly important. The nature of life, how ego hooks into the body, the problem of ego itself and why each ego seems to be the center of the universe, the purpose of life, the purpose of the universe — these are paramount questions, Ben; they can never be trivial. Science hasn’t solved them — and who am I to sneer at religions for trying, no matter how unconvincingly to me? Old Mumbo Jumbo may eat me yet; I can’t rule him out because he owns no fancy cathedrals. Nor can I rule out one godstruck boy leading a sex cult in an upholstered attic; he might be the Messiah. The only religious opinion I feel sure of is this: self-awareness is not just a bunch of amino acids bumping together!

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land, Part 4, ch. 33 [Jubal] (1961)
    (Source)

In the "uncut" original version (1960): "Self-aware man is so built that he cannot believe in his own extinction ... and this automatically leads to endless invention of religions. While this involuntary conviction of immortality by no means proves immortality to be a fact, the questions generated by this conviction are overwhelmingly important ... whether we can answer them or not, or prove what answers we suspect. The nature of life, how the ego hooks into the physical body, the problem of the ego itself and why each ego seems to be the center of the universe, the purpose of life, the purpose of the universe -- these are paramount questions Ben; they can never be trivial. Science can't, or hasn't, coped with any of them -- and who am I to sneer at religions for trying to answer them, no matter how unconvincingly to me? Old Mumbo Jumbo may eat me yet; I can't rule Him out because He owns no fancy cathedrals. Nor can I rule out one godstruck boy leading a sex cult in an upholstered attic; he might be the Messiah. The only religious opinion that I feel sure of is this: self-awareness is not just a bunch of amino acids bumping together!"
Added on 11-Aug-17 | Last updated 11-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Heinlein, Robert A.

The soul that has no fixed goal loses itself; for as they say, to be everywhere is to be nowhere.

[L’âme qui n’a point de but établi, elle se perd: car comme on dit, c;est n’ètre en aucun lieu que d’être partout.]

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French essayist
Essays, Book 1, ch. 8 “Of Idleness” (1580-88) [tr. Frame (1943)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "The soul that has no established aim loses itself, for, as it is said, 'He who lives everywhere, lives nowhere.'" [tr. Cotton (1877)]

Alt. trans.: "When the soul is without a definite aim, she gets lost; for, as they say, if you are everywhere you are nowhere." [tr. Screech (1987)]

The proverb referenced is Martial.
Added on 14-Jul-17 | Last updated 14-Jul-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Montaigne, Michel de

An aim in life is the only fortune worth the finding; and it is not to be found in foreign lands, but in the heart itself.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Scottish essayist, novelist, poet
The Amateur Emigrant, ch. 4 “Steerage Types” (1895)
    (Source)
Added on 30-Jun-17 | Last updated 30-Jun-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Stevenson, Robert Louis

Let us be content to do little, if God sets us at little tasks. It is but pride and self-will which says, “Give me something huge to fight, — and I should enjoy that — but why make me sweep the dust?”

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) English clergyman, historian, essayist, novelist (pseud. "Parson Lot")
Letter, “To a lady who consulted him about Sisterhoods” (24 Jul 1854)
    (Source)
Added on 13-Jun-17 | Last updated 13-Jun-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kingsley, Charles

It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.

Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) British novelist [pseud. Currer Bell]
Jane Eyre, ch. 12 [Jane] (1847)
    (Source)
Added on 8-Jun-17 | Last updated 8-Jun-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bronte, Charlotte

There is a difference between tragedy and blind brutal calamity. Tragedy has meaning, and there is dignity in it. Tragedy stands with its shoulders stiff and proud. But there is no meaning, no dignity, no fulfillment, in the death of a child.

Walter M. Miller Jr. (1923-1996) American science fiction writer
“The Will” (1953)
Added on 6-Feb-17 | Last updated 6-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Miller, Walter M.

The chances of finding out what’s really going on in the universe are so remote, the only thing to do is hang the sense of it and keep yourself occupied.

Adams - keep yourself occupied- wist_info quote

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, ch. 30 (1979)
Added on 29-Aug-16 | Last updated 29-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Adams, Douglas

Art is not living. It is a use of living.

Lorde - art is not living - wist_info quote

Audre Lorde (1934-1992) American writer, feminist, civil rights activist
“My Words Will Be There”
    (Source)
Added on 22-Feb-16 | Last updated 22-Feb-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Lorde, Audre

The human soul, the world, the universe are laboring on to their magnificent consummation. We are not fashioned thus marvelously for nought.

Emerson - fashioned thus marvelously - wist_info quote

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (Dec 1820)
Added on 13-Jan-16 | Last updated 13-Jan-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

This is the whole of Christianity. There is nothing else. It is so easy to get muddled about that. It is easy to think that the Church has a lot of different objects — education, building, missions, holding services. Just as it is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects — military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden — that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time. In the same way the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. It is even doubtful, you know, whether the whole universe was created for any other purpose.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Mere Christianity, ch. 8 (1952)
    (Source)
Added on 2-Dec-15 | Last updated 18-Apr-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Lewis, C.S.

I am sorry to hear of the little dog’s death. The animal creation is a strange mystery. We can make some attempt to understand human suffering: but the sufferings of animals from the beginning of the world till now (inflicted not only by us but by one another) — what is one to think? And again, how strange that God brings us into such intimate relations with creatures of whose real purpose and destiny we remain forever ignorant. We know to some degree what angels and men are for. But what is a flea for, or a wild dog?

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Letter to Mary Willis Shelburne (26 Oct 1962)
Added on 11-Nov-15 | Last updated 11-Nov-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Lewis, C.S.

The whole fun of living is trying to make something better.

Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958) American inventor, engineer, researcher, businessman
(Attributed)
Added on 9-Oct-15 | Last updated 9-Oct-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Kettering, Charles F.

If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (2001)
Added on 16-Sep-15 | Last updated 16-Sep-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Pratchett, Terry

A great many people (not you) do now seem to think that the mere state of being worried is in itself meritorious. I don’t think it is. We must, if it so happens, give our lives for others: but even while we’re doing it, I think we’re meant to enjoy Our Lord and, in Him, our friends, our food, our sleep, our jokes, and the birds’ song and the frosty sunrise.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Letter to Alan Griffiths (20 Dec 1946)
    (Source)
Added on 5-Aug-15 | Last updated 5-Aug-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Lewis, C.S.

There isn’t a way things should be. There’s just what happens, and what we do.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
A Hat Full of Sky (2004)
Added on 20-May-15 | Last updated 20-May-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Pratchett, Terry

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
Added on 23-Apr-15 | Last updated 23-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Adams, Douglas

Consider and act with reference to the true ends of existence. This world is but the vestibule of an immortal life. Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.

Edwin Hubbell Chapin (1814-1880) American clergyman
(Attributed)
    (Source)

Quoted in Charles Northend, Memory Gems (1890).

Variant: "Every action of your life touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity." ["Advice to the Young," quoted in Charles W. Sanders, Sanders' Union Fourth Reader (1873)]
Added on 20-Apr-15 | Last updated 11-Sep-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Chapin, Edwin Hubbell

The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose; all other things, to reign, to lay up treasure, to build, are, at most, but little appendices and props.

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French essayist
“Of Experience,” Essays, Vol 3, ch. 13 [ed. Hazlitt, tr. Cotton]
    (Source)
Added on 6-Apr-15 | Last updated 6-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Montaigne, Michel de

He achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;
Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
Who has left the world better than he found it,
Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had;
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory a benediction.

Elisabeth-Anne "Bessie" Anderson Stanley (1879–1952) American poet
“Success” (1905)

The essay was written for a poetry contest to answer the question "What is success?" in 100 words or less. It (especially the first 13 words) is often misattributed to Robert Louis Stevenson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, or Elbert Hubbard (the latter probably because the essay appeared in an advertisment in his series of books Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Lovers (e.g.).

More information: Bessie Anderson Stanley - Wikipedia.
Added on 27-Feb-15 | Last updated 3-May-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Stanley, Bessie A.

There is a destiny that makes us brothers:
None goes his way alone:
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back onto our own.

Edwin Markham (1852-1940) American poet
“A Creed To Mr. David Lubin”, st. 1, Lincoln & Other Poems (1901)
Added on 27-Feb-15 | Last updated 27-Feb-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Markham, Edwin

BENDIS: We’re gonna die.
MAL: We’re not gonna die. We can’t die, Bendis. You know why? Because we are so — very — pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die.

Joss Whedon (b. 1964) American screenwriter, author, producer [Joseph Hill Whedon]
Firefly, 1×01 “Serenity” (pilot) (20 Dec 2002)
Added on 29-Jan-15 | Last updated 29-Jan-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Whedon, Joss

Time is a jewel more worth than a world. Time is not yours to dispose of as you please; it is a glorious talent that men must be accountable for as well as any other talent.

Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) English Puritan divine, writer
The Hypocrite Detected, Anatomized (1650)
Added on 24-Dec-14 | Last updated 24-Dec-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Brooks, Thomas

The trouble with organizing a thing is that pretty soon folks get to paying more attention to the organization than to what they’re organized for.

Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) American writer
Little Town on the Prairie (1941)
Added on 4-Dec-14 | Last updated 4-Dec-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Wilder, Laura Ingalls

Life is a biography, not a series of disconnected moments, more or less pleasurable but increasingly tedious and unsatisfying unless one imposes a purposive pattern upon them.

Theodore Dalrymple (b. 1949) English writer, journalist, psychiatrist [pen name for Anthony (A.M.) Daniels]
Life at the Bottom (2001)
Added on 2-Dec-14 | Last updated 2-Dec-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Dalrymple, Theodore

I am an agnostic partly because I don’t think it is part of the human condition ever to have very much certainty about anything but moments of pleasure and of imminent and immanent death. I don’t think we have a language, will ever have a language, that can describe transcendence in any useful way and am aware that transcendence may be nothing more than the illusory aspiration of a decaying piece of meat on a random rock. The thing is to be humble enough to be content with that while acting to other people as generously as if better things were true, and making art as if it might survive and do good in the world. Because what else are we going to do with the few short years of our life?

Roz Kaveney (b. 1949) British writer, critic, poet
“On Good Friday, I may not have faith, but that doesn’t make me an atheist,” The Guardian (29 Mar 2013)
    (Source)
Added on 22-Oct-14 | Last updated 22-Oct-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kaveney, Roz

The struggle which is not joyous is the wrong struggle. The joy of the struggle is not hedonism and hilarity, but the sense of purpose, achievement, and dignity.

Germaine Greer (b. 1939) English reformer, author, educator
The Female Eunuch, Introduction (1970)
Added on 2-Sep-14 | Last updated 2-Sep-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Greer, Germaine

Those people you saw — the realborn — are born without a plan. They’re born because biology tells humans to make more humans; but it doesn’t consider what to do with them after that. Realborn go for years without the slightest clue what they’re going to do with themselves. From what I understand, some of them never actually figure it out. They just walk through life in a daze and then fall into their graves at the end of it. Sad. And inefficient.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
The Ghost Brigades, ch. 5 (2006)
Added on 26-Aug-14 | Last updated 26-Aug-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Scalzi, John

What is the meaning of life? That was all — a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years. The great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one. This, that, and the other….

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) English modernist writer [b. Adeline Virginia Stephen]
To the Lighthouse, Part 3, ch. 3 (1927)
Added on 16-Jun-14 | Last updated 16-Jun-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Woolf, Virginia

  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >