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If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.

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Chinese proverb

Quoted by Amy Tan, The Kitchen God’s Wife (1992).
Added on 11-Feb-20 | Last updated 11-Feb-20
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Reason allows us to determine when our wishes are in irrevocable conflict with reality, and then bids us to submit ourselves willingly, rather than angrily or bitterly, to necessities. We may be powerless to alter certain events, but we remain free to choose our attitude towards them, and it is in our spontaneous acceptance of necessity that we find our distinctive freedom.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 3 “Consolation for Frustration”(2000)
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Added on 10-Oct-19 | Last updated 10-Oct-19
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Don’t agonize, organize.

Florynce "Flo" Kennedy (1916-2000) American lawyer, feminist, civil rights activist
(Attributed)
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Quoted in Gloria Steinem, "The Verbal Karate of Florynce R. Kennedy, Esq.," Ms. (Mar 1973).
Added on 10-Jul-17 | Last updated 10-Jul-17
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“My lord,” said Lar, falling back upon the single statement that a servant may always rely upon when any other response is fraught with peril.

Steven Brust (b. 1955) American writer, systems programmer
The Lord of Castle Black (2003)
Added on 31-Mar-17 | Last updated 31-Mar-17
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To persevere in one’s duty and be silent is the best answer to calumny.

George Washington (1732-1799) American military leader, Founding Father, US President (1789-1797)
Letter to William Livingston (7 Dec 1779)
Added on 11-Jul-16 | Last updated 11-Jul-16
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There is nothing more galling to angry people than the coolness of those on whom they wish to vent their spleen.

Alexandre Dumas, père (1802-1870) French novelist and dramatist
The Black Tulip [La Tulipe Noire], ch. 28 (1850)
Added on 5-Apr-16 | Last updated 21-Jul-16
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Never complain and never explain.

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) English politician and author
(Attributed)

Regarding attacks on him in Parliament. Quoted in John Morley, Life of William Ewart Gladstone (1903).
Added on 28-Mar-16 | Last updated 28-Mar-16
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Calumny is like a wasp which harasses you. Raise no hand against it unless you’re sure of killing it, for otherwise it will return to the charge more furious than ever.

Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
Maxims and Thoughts, #302 (1796)
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Alt. trans.: "Calumny is like the wasp which worries you, which it were best not to try to get rid of unless you are sure of slaying it; for otherwise it will return to the charge more furious than ever."
Added on 29-Feb-16 | Last updated 29-Feb-16
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Silence is the unbearable repartee.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English journalist and writer
The Illustrated London News (30 Sep 1933)
Added on 14-Dec-15 | Last updated 14-Dec-15
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To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation.

François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French epigrammist, memoirist, noble
Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales [Maxims] (1665-1678)
Added on 24-Nov-14 | Last updated 8-Apr-15
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If a donkey bray at you, don’t bray at him.

Other Authors and Sources
English proverb
Added on 16-May-14 | Last updated 16-May-14
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It is always easier to hear an insult and not retaliate than have the courage to fight back against someone stronger than yourself; we can always say we’re not hurt by the stones others throw at us, and it’s only at night — when we’re alone and our wife or our husband or our school friend is asleep — that we can silently grieve over our own cowardice.

Paulo Coelho (b. 1947) Brazilian spiritual writer
The Devil and Miss Prym (2000)
Added on 14-Mar-13 | Last updated 3-Feb-20
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Sir, calumnies are answer’d best with silence.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Volpone, Act 2, sc. 2 (1606)
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Added on 26-Feb-13 | Last updated 2-Aug-17
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In the midst of great joy, do not promise anyone anything. In the midst of great anger, do not answer anyone’s letter.

Other Authors and Sources
Chinese proverb
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 11-Feb-20
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We cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over our heads, but we can refuse to let them build their nests in our hair.

Other Authors and Sources
Chinese proverb
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 11-Feb-20
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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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