Quotations about   self-image

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What is it you want to change? Your hair, your face, your body? Why? For God is in love with all those things and he might weep when they are gone.

Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Italian Catholic mystic, activist, author
(Attributed)
Added on 6-Nov-20 | Last updated 6-Nov-20
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It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.

Marcus Aurelius (121-180) Roman emperor (161-180), Stoic philosopher
Meditations, Book 12, ch. 4 [tr. Hays (2002)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:
  • "I have often wondered how each man should love himself more than any other; and yet make less account of his own opinion concerning himself, than of the opinions of others." [tr. Foulis (1742)]
  • "I have often wondered, whence it comes to pass, that although every one loves himself more than he does any other man, he should yet pay a greater regard to the opinion of other people concerning him than to his own." [tr. Graves (1792)]
  • "I have often wondered how it comes to pass that everybody should love themselves best, and yet value their neighbor's opinion about themselves more than their own." [tr. Collier (rev.)]
  • "I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others." [tr. Long (1862)]
  • "How is it that every person loves themselves more than any other person, yet still gives more value to the opinions of others than the opinion they hold of themselves?" [tr. McNeill (2019)]
Added on 20-Oct-20 | Last updated 20-Oct-20
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We pick our friends not only because they are kind and enjoyable company, but also, perhaps more importantly, because they understand us for who we think we are.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
The Consolations of Philosophy, ch. 4 “Consolation for Inadequacy” (2000)
    (Source)
Added on 30-Jan-20 | Last updated 30-Jan-20
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A man is what he is, not what men say he is. His character no man can touch. His character is what he is before his God and his Judge; and only himself can damage that. His reputation is what men say he is. That can be damaged; but reputation is for time, character is for eternity.

John Bartholomew Gough (1817-1886) Anglo-American social reformer and temperance orator
(Attributed)

Quoted in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
Added on 28-Mar-17 | Last updated 28-Mar-17
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Only the tiniest fraction of mankind want freedom. All the rest want someone to tell them they are free.

Irving Layton (1912-2006) Romanian-Canadian poet [b. Israel Pincu Lazarovitch]
The Whole Bloody Bird, “Obs II” (1969)
Added on 7-Feb-17 | Last updated 7-Feb-17
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Nations are never virtuous, though they might sometimes think they are.

Ian McEwan (b. 1948) English novelist and screenwriter
Solar (2010)
Added on 2-Aug-16 | Last updated 2-Aug-16
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It is a sad fate for a man to die
Too well known to everybody else,
And still unknown to himself.

[Illi mors gravis incubate
Qui notus nimis omnibus
Ignotus moritur sibi.]

Seneca - still unknown to himself - wist_info quote

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) Roman statesman, philosopher, playwright [Lucius Annaeus Seneca]
Thyestes, ll. 401-403 [tr. Bacon]

Lines from the Chorus translated by Francis Bacon, in "Of Great Place," Essays, Part 11. Sometimes incorrectly attributed to Bacon.
Added on 20-May-16 | Last updated 20-May-16
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One lies more to one’s self than to anyone else.

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) English poet
Journal (6 Dec 1813)
Added on 9-Sep-15 | Last updated 9-Sep-15
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It’s what people know about themselves inside that makes them afraid.

Ernest Tidyman (1928-1984) American author and screenwriter
High Plains Drifter (film) (1973)
Added on 14-Jul-15 | Last updated 14-Jul-15
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Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist
“What Life Means to Einstein,” Interview with G. Viereck, Saturday Evening Post (26 Oct 1929)
    (Source)
Added on 4-Mar-15 | Last updated 15-Apr-20
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Our faults and sins seem all the bigger when they are seen by the world against the excessively self-righteous picture that is our official version of ourselves.

Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) American journalist and author
“The Grace of Humility,” New York Herald Tribune (24 Sep 1957)
Added on 12-Jan-15 | Last updated 12-Jan-15
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We have a backstage view of ourselves and a third-row view of everybody else.

Garrison Keillor (b. 1942) American entertainer, author
(Attributed)
Added on 24-Sep-14 | Last updated 24-Sep-14
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“I quite agree with you,” said the Duchess; “and the moral of that is — ‘Be what you would seem to be’ — or, if you’d like it put more simply — ‘Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.'”

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) English writer and mathematician [pseud. of Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson]
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, “The Mock Turtle’s Story” (1865)
Added on 28-Mar-14 | Last updated 28-Mar-14
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