Quotations about   strength

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I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

Mary Oliver (1935-2019) American poet
“Starlings in Winter”
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Added on 16-Apr-19 | Last updated 16-Apr-19
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Vampire super-strength is a poor fit for many of the modern world’s problems — it really doesn’t help you fill in your time-sheet any faster — but when it comes to breaking damp-weakened wooden door frames it’s superb.

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
The Nightmare Stacks (2016)
Added on 12-Sep-17 | Last updated 12-Sep-17
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It is also characteristic of the great-souled man … to be haughty towards men of position and fortune, but courteous towards those of moderate station, because it is difficult and distinguished to be superior to the great, but easy to outdo the lowly, and to adopt a high manner with the former is not ill-bred, but it is vulgar to lord it over humble people: it is like putting forth one’s strength against the weak.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Nicomachean Ethics, Book 4, ch. 3, l. 26 – 1124b.19 [tr. Rackham]
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Sometimes paraphrased: "It is not ill-bred to adopt a high manner with the great and the powerful, but it is vulgar to lord it over humble people."

Alt. trans.: "Towards those in high position and prosperity he bears himself with pride, but towards ordinary men with moderation; for in the former case it is difficult to show superiority, and to do so is a lordly mater; whereas in the latter case it is easy. To be haughty among the great is no proof of bad breeding, but haughtiness among the lowly is as base-born a thing as it is to make trial of great strength upon the weak." [tr. Williams (1869)]
Added on 3-Aug-17 | Last updated 3-Aug-17
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Blessed is he who has never been tempted; for he knows not the frailty of his rectitude.

Christopher Morley (1890-1957) American journalist, novelist, essayist, poet
Inward Ho!, ch. 1 (1923)
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Added on 12-Jun-17 | Last updated 12-Jun-17
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Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength — carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.

Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) Dutch evangelist, concentration camp survivor
He Cares, He Comforts (1977)
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See Spurgeon.
Added on 22-May-17 | Last updated 1-Aug-18
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In general, every evil to which we do not succumb is a benefactor. As the Sandwich Islander believes that the strength and valor of the enemy he kills passes into himself, so we gain the strength of the temptation we resist.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Compensation,” Essays: First Series (1841)
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Added on 22-May-17 | Last updated 22-May-17
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There is nothing softer and weaker than water.
And yet there is nothing better for attacking hard and strong things.
For this reason there is no substitute for it.
All the world knows that the weak overcomes the strong and the soft overcomes the hard.
But none can practice it.

Lao-tzu (604?-531? BC) Chinese philosopher, poet [also Lao-tse, Laozi]
Tao-te Ching, ch. 78 [tr. Wing-Tsit Chan]
Added on 19-Apr-17 | Last updated 19-Apr-17
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Terrorism and deception are weapons not of the strong but of the weak.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian philosopher and nationalist [Mahatma Gandhi]
In Young India (22 Sep 1920)
Added on 28-Nov-16 | Last updated 28-Nov-16
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Individual liberty is individual power, and as the power of a community is a mass compounded of individual powers, the nation which enjoys the most freedom must necessarily be in proportion to its numbers the most powerful nation.

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) US President (1825-29)
Letter to James Lloyd (1 Oct 1822)
Added on 3-Oct-16 | Last updated 3-Oct-16
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“Charm” — which means the power to effect work without employing brute force — is indispensable to women. Charm is a woman’s strength just as strength is a man’s charm.

Havelock Ellis (1859-1939) British sexologist, physician, social reformer [Henry Havelock Ellis]
The Task of Social Hygiene (1912)
Added on 1-Aug-16 | Last updated 1-Aug-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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When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.

Audre Lorde (1934-1992) American writer, feminist, civil rights activist
The Cancer Journals (1997)
Added on 25-Jan-16 | Last updated 25-Jan-16
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Although men are accused of not knowing their own weakness, yet perhaps as few know their own strength. It is in men as in soils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold, which the owner knows not of.

Swift - vein of gold - wist_info

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) English writer and churchman
“Thoughts on Various Subjects” (1706)
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Added on 29-Oct-15 | Last updated 3-Jun-16
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Law and Justice play no role in the relations of peoples of unequal strength.

Gustave LeBon (1841-1931) German psychologist
Aphorisms of Present Times, 2.6 (1913)
Added on 8-Sep-15 | Last updated 8-Sep-15
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The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.

Maxwell "Max" Lerner (1902-1992) American journalist, columnist, educator
The Unfinished Country (1959)
Added on 3-Feb-15 | Last updated 3-Feb-15
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So, why do you write these strong female characters?

Because you’re still asking me that question.

Joss Whedon (b. 1964) American screenwriter, author, producer [Joseph Hill Whedon]
Equality Now Tribute Address (15 May 2006)
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Added on 22-Jan-15 | Last updated 22-Jan-15
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Rain was coming down in sheets. I could hear it, on the concrete outside and on the old building above me. It creaked and swayed in the spring thunderstorm and the wind, timbers gently flexing, wise enough with age to give a little, rather than put up stubborn resistance until they broke. I could probably stand to learn something from that.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Storm Front, ch. 17 (2000)
Added on 6-Jan-15 | Last updated 6-Jan-15
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The weak have one weapon: the errors of those who think they are strong.

Georges Bidault (1899-1983) French politician, diplomat
In The Observer (15 Jul 1962)
Added on 11-Nov-14 | Last updated 11-Nov-14
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Gentle in manner, strong in deed.

[Suaviter in modo, fortirer in re.]

Other Authors and Sources
Latin proverb

Pres. Dwight Eisenhower kept a small wooden sign with this proverb on his desk at the White House.
Added on 4-Nov-14 | Last updated 4-Nov-14
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Man’s greatest strength is shown in standing still.

Edward Young (1683-1765) English poet
The Complaint, 8.912 (1742-45)
Added on 28-Oct-14 | Last updated 28-Oct-14
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When we are strong, we are always much greater than the things that happen to us.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) French-American religious and writer [a.k.a. Fr. M. Louis]
No Man Is an Island, 7.7 (1955)
Added on 21-Oct-14 | Last updated 21-Oct-14
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Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian philosopher and nationalist [Mahatma Gandhi]
In Young India (11 Aug 1920)
Added on 14-Oct-14 | Last updated 14-Oct-14
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We acquire the strength we have overcome.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Considerations by the Way,” The Conduct of Life (1860)
Added on 7-Oct-14 | Last updated 7-Oct-14
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He who has the most friends and the fewest enemies is the strongest.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (11 Nov 1752)
Added on 30-Sep-14 | Last updated 30-Sep-14
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I was too weak to defend, so I attacked.

Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) American military leader
(Attributed)

On his strategy at the Battle of Chancellorsville (1863).
Added on 25-Sep-14 | Last updated 25-Sep-14
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I git thar fustest with the mostest.

Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821-1877) American / Confederate military leader
(Attributed)

Sometimes "corrected" as "I get there firstest with the mostest men," first found in print in a New York Tribune article about Civil War generals. The New York Times (28 May 1918) speculatively corrected this to "Ma'am, I get thar first with the most men." Elsewhere given as "I always make a rule to get there first with the most men."
Added on 28-Aug-14 | Last updated 28-Aug-14
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The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.

Thucydides (c. 460-400 BC) Greek historian
History of the Peloponnesian War, Book 5, ch. 89 [tr. Crawley and Wick (1982)]
Added on 19-Aug-14 | Last updated 19-Aug-14
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The moral dilemma that is presented to the weak in a world governed by the strong: Break the rules or perish.

George Orwell (1903-1950) English writer [pseud. of Eric Arthur Blair]
“Such, Such Were the Joys” (1947)
Added on 12-Aug-14 | Last updated 12-Aug-14
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Let us speak, though we show all our faults and weaknesses — for it is a sign of strength to be weak, to know it, and out with it — not in a set way and ostentatiously, but incidentally and without premeditation.

Herman Melville (1819-1891) American writer
Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne (29 Jun 1851)
Added on 9-Jul-14 | Last updated 9-Jul-14
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It is said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) British Baptist preacher, author [Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon]
The Salt-Cellars (1889)
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Added on 27-Aug-13 | Last updated 1-Aug-18
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He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Timber: Or, Discoveries, “Explorata” (1640)
Added on 22-Apr-13 | Last updated 21-Oct-14
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The superior man is the providence of the inferior. He is eyes for the blind, strength for the weak, and a shield for the defenseless. He stands erect by bending above the fallen. He rises by lifting others.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Liberty”
Added on 11-Jan-12 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
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For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) English writer
“The Law of the Jungle,” The Second Jungle Book (1899)
Added on 8-Feb-08 | Last updated 21-Oct-14
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O, do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks.

Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) American clergyman, hymnist
“Going Up to Jerusalem,” Selected Sermons [ed. William Scarlett (1949)]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 17-Jul-16
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He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who ruleth his spirit than he who taketh a city.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Proverbs 16:32 (KJV)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Oct-18
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We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.

Carlos Casteneda (1931-1999) Peruvian-American writer, mystic, anthropologist
The Teachings of Don Juan (1968)

Also attributed to Journey to Ixtlan (1972).
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 19-Sep-16
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Great blunders are often made, like large ropes, of a multitude of fibers.

[Les fortes sottises sont souvent faites, comme les grosses cordes, d’une multitude de brins.]

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) French writer
Les Misérables, Vol. 2 “Cosette,” Book 5 “A Dark Chase Requires a Silent Hound,” ch. 10 “In Which it is explained how Javert lost the Game” (1862) [tr. Wilbour]

Alt. trans. [N. Denny (1980)]: "The greatest blunders, like the thickest ropes, are often compounded of a multitude of strands. Take the rope apart, separate it into the small threads that compose it, and you can break them one by one. You think, 'That is all there was!' But twist them all together, and you have something tremendous." Full text. Cited as Part 2, ch. 5 "Hunt in the Darkness."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-May-19
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History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
Inaugural Address (20 Jan 1953)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 7-May-15
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