Quotations about   suffering

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



A man has more character in his face at forty than at twenty. He has suffered longer, and the more love, the more suffering, the more character.

Mae West (1892-1980) American film actress
Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It, ch. 21 (1959)
    (Source)
Added on 12-Apr-22 | Last updated 12-Apr-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by West, Mae

Such in the Landes of our world is the poet’s stance;
When he receives no wound, his treasure he’ll retain.
With such deep cut mankind his heart must also lance,
To make him spill his verse, his gold tears’ gushing rain!

[Le poète est ainsi dans les Landes du monde.
Lorsqu’il est sans blessure, il garde son trésor.
Il faut qu’il ait au cœur une entaille profonde
Pour épancher ses vers, divines larmes d’or!]

Théophile Gautier (1811-1872) French poet, writer, critic
“The Pine of Landes [Le Pin des Landes]”, l. 13ff (1840)
    (Source)

The metaphor is of a poet as one of the pine trees used in the reforestation of the Landes of Gascogne, having its sap harvested for turpentine. (Source (French)). Alternate translation:

Landes-like, the poet with his poetry,
Unwounded, holds his treasure well controlled.
But he must bear a deep heart-gash if he
Would spread his verses' heavenly tears of gold!
[tr. Shapiro (2011)]

Added on 1-Apr-22 | Last updated 1-Apr-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Gautier, Theophile

Consequently, happiness is not found in amusement, for it would be also absurd to maintain that the end of man is amusement and that men work and suffer all their life for the sake of amusement. For, in short, we choose everything for the sake of something else, except happiness, since happiness is the end of a man. So to be serious and work hard for the sake of amusement appears foolish and very childish, but to amuse oneself for the sake of serious work seems, as Anacharsis put it, to be right; for amusement is like relaxation, and we need relaxation since we cannot keep on working hard continuously. Thus amusement is not the end, for it is chosen for the sake of serious activity.

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 10, ch. 6, sec. 6 (10.6.6) / 1176b.28ff (c. 325 BC) [tr. Apostle (1975)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

Happiness then stands not in amusement; in fact the very notion is absurd of the End being amusement, and of one’s toiling and enduring hardness all one’s life long with a view to amusement: for everything in the world, so to speak, we choose with some further End in view, except Happiness, for that is the End comprehending all others. Now to take pains and to labour with a view to amusement is plainly foolish and very childish: but to amuse one’s self with a view to steady employment afterwards, as Anacharsis says, is thought to be right: for amusement is like rest, and men want rest because unable to labour continuously. Rest, therefore, is not an End, because it is adopted with a view to Working afterwards.
[tr. Chase (1847), ch. 5]

And, hence it follows, that happiness does not consist in mere amusement. For, it is inconceivable that amusement should be the end and consummation of everything, and that a man should endure a lifetime of labour and suffering, with nothing higher than amusement in view. And this would be the case, were happiness identical with mere amusement. For there is, indeed, nothing whatever upon earth which we do not choose for the sake of something else beyond itself, with the one exception of happiness -- happiness being the one end of all things els. Now, that all earnestness and toil should tend to no higher end than mere amusement, is a view of life which is worse than childish, and fit only for a fool. But the saying of Anacharsis, "play makes us fit for work," would seem to be well spoken; for it would seem that amusement is a species of rest, and that men stand in need of rest, inasmuch as continuous exertion is not possible. And, hence, rest cannot be an end in itself, inasmuch as it is only sought with view to subsequent action.
[tr. Williams (1869)]

Happiness then does not consist in amusement. It would be paradoxical to hold that the end of human life is amusement, and that we should toil and suffer all our life for the sake of amusing ourselves. For we may be said to desire all things as means to something else except indeed happiness, as happiness is the end or perfect state. It appears to be foolish and utterly childish to take serious trouble and pains for the sake of amusement. But to amuse oneself with a view to being serious seems to be right, as Anacharsis says; for amusement is a kind of relaxation, and it is because we cannot work for ever that we need relaxation. Relaxation then is not an end. We enjoy it as a means to activity.
[tr. Welldon (1892)]

Happiness, therefore, does not consist in amusement; and indeed it is absurd to suppose that the end is amusement, and that we toil and moil all our life long for the sake of amusing ourselves. We may say that we choose everything for the sake of something else, excepting only happiness; for it is the end. But to be serious and to labour for the sake of amusement seems silly and utterly childish; while to amuse ourselves in order that we may be serious, as Anacharsis says, seems to be right; for amusement is a sort of recreation, and we need recreation because we are unable to work continuously. Recreation, then, cannot be the end; for it is taken as a means to the exercise of our faculties.
[tr. Peters (1893), 10.6.6]

Happiness, therefore, does not lie in amusement; it would, indeed, be strange if the end were amusement, and one were to take trouble and suffer hardship all one's life in order to amuse oneself. For, in a word, everything that we choose we choose for the sake of something else -- except happiness, which is an end. Now to exert oneself and work for the sake of amusement seems silly and utterly childish. But to amuse oneself in order that one may exert oneself, as Anacharsis puts it, seems right; for amusement is a sort of relaxation, and we need relaxation because we cannot work continuously. Relaxation, then, is not an end; for it is taken for the sake of activity.
[tr. Ross (1908)]

It follows therefore that happiness is not to be found in amusements. Indeed it would be strange that amusement should be our End -- that we should toil and moil all our life long in order that we may amuse ourselves. For virtually every object we adopt is pursued as a means to something else, excepting happiness, which is an end in itself; to make amusement the object of our serious pursuits and our work seems foolish and childish to excess: Anacharsis' motto, Play in order that you may work, is felt to be the right rule. For amusement is a form of rest; but we need rest because we are not able to go on working without a break, and therefore it is not an end, since we take it as a means to further activity.
[tr. Rackham (1934)]

Hence happiness does not lie in amusement, since it would indeed be strange if the end were amusement and we did all the work we do and suffered evil all our live for the sake of amusing ourselves. For, in a word, we choose everything -- except happiness, since end it is -- for the sake of something else. But to engage in serious matters and to labor for the sake of amusement would evidently be silly and utterly childish. On the contrary, "amusing ourselves so as to engage in serious matters," as Anacharsis puts it, seems to be correct. For amusement is like relaxation, and it is because people cannot labor continuously that they need relaxation. End, then, relaxation is not, since it occurs for the sake of activity.
[tr. Reeve (1948)]

It follows that happiness does not consist in amusement. Indeed, it would be paradoxical if the end were amusement; if we toiled and suffered all our lives long to amuse ourselves. For we choose practically everything for the sake of something else, except happiness, because it is the end. To spend effort and toil for the sake of amusement seems silly and unduly childish; but on the other hand the maxim of Anacharsis, "Play to work harder," seems to be on the right lines, because amusement is a form of relaxation, and people need relaxation because they cannot exert themselves continuously. Therefore relaxation is not an end, because it is taken for the sake of activity.
[tr. Thomson/Tredennick (1976)]

Happiness, then, is not found in amusement, for it would be absurd if the end were amusement, and our lifelong efforts and sufferings aimed at amusing ourselves. For we choose practically everything for some other end -- except for happiness, since it is the end; but serious work and toil amed only at amusement appears stupid and excessively childish. Rather, it seems correct to amuse ourselves so that we can do something serous, as Anacharsis says; for amusement would seem to be relaxation, and it is because we cannot toil continuously that we require relaxation. Relaxation, then, is not the end, since we pursue it to prepare for activity.
[tr. Irwin/Fine (1995)]

Happiness, then, does not consist in amusement, because it would be absurd if our end were amusement, and we laboured and suffered all of our lives for the sake of amusing ourselves. For we choose virtually everything for the sake of something else, except happiness, since it is the end; but serious work and exertion for the sake of amusement is manifestly foolish and extremely childish. Rather, as Anacharsis puts it, what seems correct is amusing ourselves so that we can engage in some serious work, since amusement is like relaxation, and we need relaxation because we cannot continuously exert ourselves. Relaxation, then, is not an end, since it occurs for the sake of activity.
[tr. Crisp (2000)]

Added on 9-Feb-22 | Last updated 9-Feb-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Aristotle

The problem of drugs, of divorce, of race prejudice, of unmarried pregnancy, and so on — as if evil were a problem, something that an be solved, that has an answer, like a problem in fifth grade arithmetic. If you want the answer, you just look in the back of the book. That is escapism, that posing evil as a “problem,” instead of what it is: all the pain and suffering and waste and loss and injustice we will meet our loves long, and must face and cope with over and over and over, and admit, and live with, in order to live human lives at all.

Ursula K. Le Guin (b. 1929) American writer
“The Child and the Shadow,” Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress (Apr 1975)
    (Source)

On the difficulty of "realistic fiction" for children to teach morality. First delivered as a speech; later reprinted in The Language of the Night (1979).
Added on 3-Jan-22 | Last updated 3-Jan-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Le Guin, Ursula K.

Long-protracted suffering is apt to exhaust not only the invalid, but the compassion of others; violent emotions cannot be prolonged endlessly.

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, biographer
Beware of Pity (1939)
Added on 30-Sep-21 | Last updated 30-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Zweig, Stefan

Unhappiness makes people vulnerable, incessant suffering unjust. Just as in the relations between a creditor and a debtor there is always an element of the disagreeable that can never be overcome, for the very reason that the one is irrevocably committed to the role of giver and the other to that of receiver, so in a sick person a latent feeling of resentment at every obvious sign of consideration is always ready to burst forth.

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, biographer
Beware of Pity (1939)
Added on 23-Sep-21 | Last updated 23-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Zweig, Stefan

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.

Edwin Hubbell Chapin (1814-1880) American clergyman
Discourses on the Beatitudes, ch. 2 “The Blessing of the the Mourners” (1853)
    (Source)

Preaching on Matthew 5:4. Frequently misattributed to Kahlil Gibran, after it was incorrectly included in The Treasured Writings of Kahlil Gibran (1995).
Added on 3-Sep-21 | Last updated 3-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Chapin, Edwin Hubbell

We two will keep to the shelter here, eat and drink
and take some joy in each other’s heartbreaking sorrows,
sharing each other’s memories. Over the years, you know,
a man finds solace even in old sorrows, true, a man
who’s weathered many blows and wandered many miles.

[νῶϊ δ᾽ ἐνὶ κλισίῃ πίνοντέ τε δαινυμένω τε
κήδεσιν ἀλλήλων τερπώμεθα λευγαλέοισι,
400μνωομένω: μετὰ γάρ τε καὶ ἄλγεσι τέρπεται ἀνήρ,
ὅς τις δὴ μάλα πολλὰ πάθῃ καὶ πόλλ᾽ ἐπαληθῇ.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 15, l. 397ff (15.397) [Eumæus] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Fagles (1996)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

We two, still in our tabernacle here
Drinking and eating, will our bosoms cheer
With memories and tales of our annoys.
Betwixt his sorrows ev’ry human joys,
He most, who most hath felt and furthest err’d.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

Meanwhile let us sit here, and drink and chat,
And stories of our sad adventures tell;
For much contentment there is ev’n in that,
To them that suffer’d have and come off well.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 357ff]

Here let us feast, and to the feast be joined
Discourse, the sweeter banquet of the mind;
Review the series of our lives, and taste
The melancholy joy of evils passed:
For he who much has suffered, much will know,
And pleased remembrance builds delight on woe.
[tr. Pope (1725)]

But we with wine and a well-furnish’d board
Supplied, will solace mutually derive
From recollection of our sufferings past;
For who hath much endured, and wander’d far,
Finds the recital ev’n of sorrow sweet.
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 483ff]

But we two, drinking wine and eating bread,
Will charm our dear hearts each with other's pain.
Past sorrow, and the tears a man hath shed,
Who far hath wandered over earth and main,
Yield comfort.
[tr. Worsley (1861), st. 55]

Let us, meanwhile,
Within this hut potations free enjoy,
And to our full contentment eat, while each
The mem'ry wakens of his own past griefs;
For, let but time enough elapse, the man
Who has sharp trials brook'd, and through the world
A wand'rer rov'd, will on his by-gone woe
Exulting dwell.
[tr. Musgrave (1869), l. 651ff]

We two in the hut a' drinking and a' feasting,
We'll soothe each other with our doleful cares
Recounting them! for even sorrows bring
An after pleasure to the wight, I ween, --
His many woes and many wandrings past.
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]

But let us twain drink and feast within the steading, and each in his neighbour’s sorrows take delight, recalling them, for even the memory of griefs is a joy to a man who hath been sore tried and wandered far.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

But here in the booth we twain at the drink and the banqueting
Shall be merry with the memory of each other's weary woe.
For very grief shall gladden the man that to and fro
Hath wandered wide the world, and suffered sorrow sore.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

But let us drink and feast within the lodge, and please ourselves with telling one another tales of piteous ill; for afterwards a man finds pleasure in his pains, when he has suffered logn and wandered long.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

We too will sit here eating and drinking in the hut, and telling one another stories about our misfortunes; for when a man has suffered much, and been buffeted about in the world, he takes pleasure in recalling the memory of sorrows that have long gone by.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

But we two will drink and feast in the hut, and will take delight each in the other's grievous woes, as we recall them to mind. For in after time a man finds joy even in woes, whosoever has suffered much, and wandered much.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

But we two snugly indoors here may drink and eat and revel in an interchange of sorrows-- sorrows that are memories, I mean; for when a man has endured deeply and strayed far from home he can cull solace from the rehearsal of old griefs.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]

Meanwhile let us two, here in the hut, over our food and wine, regale ourselves with the unhappy memories that each can recall. For a man who has been through bitter experiences and travelled far can enjoy even his sufferings after a time.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

Here's a tight roof; we'll drink on, you and I, and ease our hearts of hardships we remember, sharing old times. In later days a man can find a charm in old adversity, exile and pain.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]

But we two, sitting here in the shelter, eating and drinking,
shall entertain each other remembering and retelling
our sad sorrows. For afterwards a man who has suffered
much and wandered much has pleasure out of his sorrows.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]

Meanwhile let us two have the satisfaction of sharing our unhappy memories over our food and wine here in the hut. For a man who has been through bitter experiences and travelled far enjoys even his sufferings after a time.
[tr. DCH Rieu (2002)]

We two will have our food and drink here in the hut and find pleasure in each other's sad troubles, as we call them to mind; for it is man's way to get enjoyment even from affliction, after the event, if he is a man who has suffered much and roamed far.
[tr. Verity (2016)]

Now let us dine and drink in my home
And take pleasure while we recall to one another
Our grievous pains. For a man may take pleasure even in pain,
Later, when he has suffered and come through so many things.
[tr. @sentantiq (2016)]

But let us, you and I, sit in my cottage over food and wine, and take some joy in hearing how much pain we each have suffered. After many years of agony and absence from one's home, a person can begin enjoying grief.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]

But we two will drink and feast in the hut, and enjoy hearing about each other's wretched misfortunes as we recall them. A man looking back can find pleasure even in grief, one who's suffered and wandered much.
[tr. Green (2018)]

But we two will drink and enjoy each other's sad stories.
[tr. Green (2018), summary version]

We two will drink and feast here in the hut
and enjoy each other’s wretched troubles,
as we recall them. For once they’re over,
a man who’s done a lot of wandering
and suffered much gets pleasure from his woes.
[tr. Johnston (2019), l. 509ff]

As we two drink and dine in this shelter
Let us take pleasure as we recall one another’s terrible pains.
For a man finds pleasure even in pains later on
After he has suffered so very many and survived many too.
[tr. @sentantiq [Joel] (2019)]

Let us take pleasure in calling to mind each other’s terrible pains
while we drink and dine in my home.
For someone may even find pleasure among pains
when they have suffered many and gone through much.
[tr. @sentantiq (2020)]

Added on 11-Aug-21 | Last updated 12-Jan-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Homer

Old women will often bear the lack of food for two or three days. But take food from an athlete for a single day, he will implore the very Olympian Jupiter for whose honor he is in training, and will cry that he cannot bear it. Great is the power of habit.

[Aniculae saepe inediam biduum aut triduum ferunt; subduc cibum unum diem athletae: Iovem, Iovem Olympium, eum ipsum, cui se exercebit, implorabit, ferre non posse clamabit.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 2, ch. 17 / sec. 40 (45 BC) [tr. Peabody (1886)]
    (Source)

Original Latin. Alternate translations:

Weak old Women oftentimes go without eating two or three days together; do but with-hold Meat one day from a Wrestler, he will cry out upon Olympian Jupiter; the same to whose Honor he shall exercise himself. He will cry he cannot bear it. Great is the Power of Custom.
[tr. Wase (1643)]

You may often hear of diminutive old women living without victuals three or four days; but take away a wrestler's provision for but one day, he will implore Jupiter Olympus, the very god for whom he exercises himself: he will cry out, It is intolerable. Great is the force of custom!
[tr. Main (1824)]

Tender old women often support a fast of two or three days. Withdraw his rations for one day from a wrestler; he will appeal to that Olympic Jove himself, for whom he exercises; he will cry out it impossible to bear it. Great is the force of habit.
[tr. Otis (1839)]

You may often hear of old women living without victuals for three or four days: but take away a wrestler's provisions but for one day, and he will implore the aid of Jupiter Olympius, the very God for whom he exercises himself: he will cry out that he cannot endure it. Great is the force of custom!
[tr. Yonge (1853)]

Feeble old women often endure hunger for two or three days. Take food away from an athlete for just one day. He will appeal to Jupiter, that Olympian Jupiter, the very one for whom he will be doing this training -- he will cry out that he can't bear it. Practice has great power.
[tr. Douglas (1990)]

Little old ladies often bear a two or three day period of fasting; but take away an athlete’s food for a day, and he will beg for relief from Jove! Olympian Jove, the one for whom he exercises! And he’ll tell you that he simply cannot bear it.
[tr. @sentantiq (2015)]

Old women regularly endure a lack of food for a period of three or four days; take from an athlete his food for a single day and he will appeal to olympian Jupiter, the very god in whose honor he trains, he will cry out that he can't bear it. The force of habit is considerable.
[tr. Davie (2017)]

Added on 7-Jun-21 | Last updated 7-Jun-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

If the first blow hasn’t knocked all the wits out of the victim’s head, he may realize that turning the other cheek amounts to manipulation of the offender’s sense of guilt, not to speak of his karma. The moral victory itself may not be so moral after all, not only because suffering often has a narcissistic aspect to it, but also because it renders the victim superior, that is, better than his enemy. Yet no matter how evil your enemy is, the crucial thing is that he is human; and although incapable of loving another like ourselves, we nonetheless know that evil takes root when one man starts to think that he is better than another.

Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) Russian-American poet, essayist, Nobel laureate, US Poet Laureate [Iosif Aleksandrovič Brodskij]
Commencement Address, Williams College (24 May 1984)
    (Source)
Added on 25-May-21 | Last updated 25-May-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Brodsky, Joseph

Hell is not in torture.
Hell is in an empty heart.

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) Lebanese-American poet, writer, painter [Gibran Khalil Gibran]
“The Sayings of the Brook [Ma Taqul al-Saqiyah]” [tr. Sheban]
    (Source)
Added on 18-Mar-21 | Last updated 18-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Gibran, Kahlil

One of the first things that a young person must internalize, deep down in the blood and bones, is the understanding that he may encounter many defeats, but he must not be defeated. If life teaches us anything, it may be that it’s even necessary to suffer some defeats. When we look at a diamond, a diamond is the result of extreme pressure. Less pressure, it is crystal; less than that, it is coal; and less than that, it is fossilized leaves or just plain dirt. It is necessary, therefore, to be tough enough to bite the bullet as it is in fact shot into one’s mouth, to bite it and stop it before it tears a hole in one’s throat.

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) American poet, memoirist, activist [b. Marguerite Ann Johnson]
“Maya Angelou Raps,” interview by Jeffrey M. Elliot, Sepia (Oct 1977)
    (Source)
Added on 19-Jan-21 | Last updated 19-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Angelou, Maya

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004) Swiss-American psychiatrist, author
Death: The Final Stage of Growth (1975)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Oct-20 | Last updated 14-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth

One could not stand and watch very long without becoming philosophical, without beginning to deal in symbols and similes, and to hear the hog squeal of the universe. Was it permitted to believe that there was nowhere upon the earth, or above the earth, a heaven for hogs, where they were requited for all this suffering? Each one of these hogs was a separate creature. Some were white hogs, some were black; some were brown, some were spotted; some were old, some young; some were long and lean, some were monstrous. And each of them had an individuality of his own, a will of his own, a hope and a heart’s desire; each was full of self-confidence, of self-importance, and a sense of dignity. And trusting and strong in faith he had gone about his business, the while a black shadow hung over him and a horrid Fate waited in his pathway.

Now suddenly it had swooped upon him, and had seized him by the leg. Relentless, remorseless, it was; all his protests, his screams, were nothing to it — it did its cruel will with him, as if his wishes, his feelings, had simply no existence at all; it cut his throat and watched him gasp out his life. And now was one to believe that there was nowhere a god of hogs, to whom this hog personality was precious, to whom these hog squeals and agonies had a meaning? Who would take this hog into his arms and comfort him, reward him for his work well done, and show him the meaning of his sacrifice?

Perhaps some glimpse of all this was in the thoughts of our humble-minded Jurgis, as he turned to go on with the rest of the party, and muttered: “Dieve — but I’m glad I’m not a hog!”

Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) American writer, journalist, activist, politician
The Jungle, ch. 3 (1906)
    (Source)
Added on 8-Oct-20 | Last updated 8-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Sinclair, Upton

What makes people hard-hearted is this, that each man has, or thinks he has, as much as he can bear in his own troubles.

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher
“Pessimism: Further Psychological Observations,” Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer [tr. Saunders (1851)]
    (Source)
Added on 15-Sep-20 | Last updated 15-Sep-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Schopenhauer, Arthur

I don’t think we injye other people’s suffin’, Hinnissy. It isn’t acshally injyement. But we feel betther f’r it.

[I don’t think we enjoy other people’s suffering, Hennessy. It isn’t actually enjoyment. But we feel better for it.]

Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936) American humorist and journalist
Observations by Mr. Dooley, “Enjoyment” (1902)
    (Source)
Added on 10-Sep-20 | Last updated 10-Sep-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Dunne, Finley Peter

If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) American writer, folklorist, anthropologist
(Attributed)
Added on 17-Apr-20 | Last updated 17-Apr-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Hurston, Zora Neale

He imagined the pain of the world to be like some formless parasitic being seeking out the warmth of human souls wherein to incubate and he thought he knew what made one liable to its visitations. What he had not known was that it was mindless and so had no way to know the limits of those souls and what he feared was that there might be no limits.

Cormac McCarthy (b. 1933) American novelist, playwright, screenwriter
All the Pretty Horses (1992)
    (Source)
Added on 24-Feb-20 | Last updated 24-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by McCarthy, Cormac

We must learn to suffer whatever we cannot avoid. Our life is composed, like the harmony of the world, of discords as well as of different tones, sweet and harsh, sharp and flat, soft and loud. If a musician liked only some of them, what could he sing? He has got to know how to use all of them and blend them together. So too must we with good and ill, which are of one substance with our life. Without such blending our being cannot be: one category is no less necessary than the other.

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French essayist
Essays, Book 3, Essay 13 “On Experience” (1587-88) [tr. Screech (1987)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.
  • [Frame (1943)] "We must learn to endure what we cannot avoid. Our life is composed, like the harmony of the world, of contrary things, also of different tones, sweet and harsh, sharp and flat, soft and loud. If a musician liked only one kind, what would he have to say? He must know how to use them together and blend them. And so must we do with good and evil, which are consubstantial with our life. Our existence is impossible without this mixture, and one element is no less necessary for it than the other."
  • [Source] "We must learn to suffer what we cannot evade; our life, like the harmony of the world, is composed of contrary things -- of diverse tones, sweet and harsh, sharp and flat, sprightly and solemn: the musician who should only affect some of these, what would he be able to do? He must know how to make use of them all, and to mix them; and so we should mingle the goods and evils which are consubstantial with our life; our being cannot subsist without this mixture, and the one part is no less necessary to it than the other."
  • [Florio (1603)] A man must learne to endure that patiently which he cannot avoyde conveniently. Our life is composed, as is the harmony of the world, of contrary things: so of divers tunes, some pleasant, some harsh, some sharpe, some flat, some low, and some high. What would that musitian say that should love but some one of them? He ought to know how to use them severally and how to entermingle them. So should we both of goods and evils which art consubstnatiall to our life; our being cannot subsist without this commixture, whereto one side is no lesse necessary than the other."
Added on 13-Feb-20 | Last updated 13-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Montaigne, Michel de

We call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.

Anna Sewell (1820-1878) English novelist
Black Beauty, Part 4, ch. 36 “Jakes and the Lady” (1877)
    (Source)
Added on 31-Jan-20 | Last updated 31-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Sewell, Anna

I’m not interested in writing short stories. Anything that doesn’t take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.

Cormac McCarthy (b. 1933) American novelist, playwright, screenwriter
“Hollywood’s Favorite Cowboy,” interview with John Jurgensen, The Wall Street Journal (20 Nov 2009)
    (Source)
Added on 21-Jan-20 | Last updated 21-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by McCarthy, Cormac

The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble.

Henry Miller (1891-1980) American novelist
Sexus, ch. 14 (1949)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Jan-20 | Last updated 14-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Miller, Henry

what matters most is
how well you
walk through the
fire.

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
“How Is Your Heart?” (1986)
    (Source)
Added on 4-Sep-19 | Last updated 4-Sep-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bukowski, Charles

There lies at the back of every creed something terrible and hard for which the worshipper may one day be required to suffer.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) English novelist, essayist, critic, librettist [Edward Morgan Forster]
“What I Believe,” The Nation (16 Jul 1938)
    (Source)
Added on 21-Nov-18 | Last updated 21-Nov-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Forster, E. M.

The essence of the Epistles of Paul is that Christians should rejoice at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believe. The projection of a social gospel, in my opinion, is the true witness of a Christian life. This is the meaning of the true ekklesia — the inner, spiritual church. The church once changed society. It was then a thermostat of society. But today I feel that too much of the church is merely a thermometer, which measures rather than molds popular opinion.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
Playboy interview (Jan 1965)
    (Source)
Added on 15-Oct-18 | Last updated 15-Oct-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by King, Martin Luther

Life is not living, but living in health.

[Vita non est vivere, sed valere vita est.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 6, epigram 70, l. 15 (6.70) [tr. Ker (1919)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

  • "It is not life to live, but to be well." [tr. Burton (1621)]

  • "Not all who live long, but happily, are old." [tr. Anon. (1695)]

  • "For life is not to live, but to be well." [tr. Johnson, in The Rambler, #48, cited to Elphinston (1 Sep 1750)]

  • "For sense and reason tell, / That life is only life, when we are well." [tr. Hay (1755)]

  • "To brethe can just not dying give: / But, to be well, must be to live." [tr. Elphinston (1782), 2.115]

  • "For life is not simply living, but living in health." [tr. Amos (1858)]

  • "Life consists not in living, but in enjoying health." [tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

  • "The blunderer who deems them so, / Misreckons life and much mistakes it, / He thinks 'tis drawing breath -- we know / 'Tis health alone that mars or makes it." [tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

  • "To live is not just life, but health." [tr. Shepherd (1987)]

  • "Life's not just being alive, but being well."

Added on 4-Apr-18 | Last updated 12-Nov-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Martial

There’s enough sorrow in the world, isn’t there, without trying to invent it.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) English novelist, essayist, critic, librettist [Edward Morgan Forster]
A Room with a View, ch 2 (1908)
    (Source)
Added on 4-Apr-18 | Last updated 4-Apr-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Forster, E. M.

To our most bitter opponents we say: “We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws because noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. Throw us in jail and we shall still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process and our victory will be a double victory.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“Loving Your Enemies,” Sermon, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery (25 Dec 1957)
    (Source)
Added on 26-Aug-17 | Last updated 26-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by King, Martin Luther

Life is near-death experience.

Alain de Botton (b. 1969) Swiss-British author
‘On Pessimism,” lecture (3 Feb 2013)
    (Source)

Transcript here.
Added on 3-Aug-17 | Last updated 3-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by De Botton, Alain

Don’t agonize, organize.

Florynce "Flo" Kennedy (1916-2000) American lawyer, feminist, civil rights activist
(Attributed)
    (Source)

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
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kennedy, Florynce

Jenneth turned a blind eye to his part in their incipient suffering, a privilege that came with never really having suffered.

Emily Kate (E. K.) Johnston (contemp.) Canadian author
Ahsoka (2016)
Added on 20-Feb-17 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Johnston, E. K.

I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.

whitman-become-the-wounded-person-wist_info-quote

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) American poet
“The Song of Myself” Sec. 33 (1892)
    (Source)
Added on 12-Oct-16 | Last updated 12-Oct-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Whitman, Walt

We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws, because noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. Throw us in jail, and we shall still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“Loving Your Enemies,” sermon, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery (17 Nov 1957)
    (Source)
Added on 30-Sep-16 | Last updated 30-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by King, Martin Luther

A stranger to human nature, who saw the indifference of men about the misery of their inferiors, and the regret and indignation which they feel for the misfortunes and sufferings of those above them, would be apt to imagine that pain must be more agonizing, and the convulsions of death more terrible, to people of higher rank than to those of meaner stations.

Adam Smith (1723-1790) Scottish economist
The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1.3.2 (1759)
Added on 14-Sep-16 | Last updated 14-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Smith, Adam

The first duty towards children is to make them happy. If you have not made them happy, you have wronged them. No other good they may get can make up for that.

Charles Buxton (1823-1871) English brewer, philanthropist, writer, politician
Notes of Thought (1873)
Added on 6-Sep-16 | Last updated 6-Sep-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Buxton, Charles

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.

Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) Dutch Catholic priest and writer
Out of Solitude (1974)
Added on 15-Apr-16 | Last updated 15-Apr-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Nouwen, Henri

All people believe their suffering is greater than others’. Just as they secretly believe they are smarter, and more deserving of fame.

Eric Jong
Erica Jong (b. 1942) American writer, poet
How to Save Your Own Life (1977)
Added on 11-Apr-16 | Last updated 11-Apr-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Jong, Erica

Pain makes man think. Thought makes man wise. Wisdom makes life endurable.

Patrick - pain makes man think - wist_info quote

John Patrick (1905-1995) American playwright and screenwriter
The Teahouse of the August Moon, Act 1, sc. 1 (1957)
Added on 9-Mar-16 | Last updated 10-Mar-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Patrick, John

The history of the Jews also shows that oppression and persecution are far more efficacious in binding a nation together than community of interest and national prosperity. Increase of wealth divides rather than unites a people; but suffering shared in common binds it together with hoops of steel.

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Patriotism,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1915)
Added on 18-Jan-16 | Last updated 18-Jan-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Inge, William Ralph

The more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt. The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers most.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) French-American religious and writer [a.k.a. Fr. M. Louis]
The Seven Storey Mountain (1948)
Added on 23-Dec-15 | Last updated 23-Dec-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Merton, Thomas

One must, in one’s life, make a choice between boredom and suffering.

Germaine de Staël (1766-1817) Swiss-French writer, woman of letters, critic, salonist [Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein, Madame de Staël, Madame Necker]
Letter to Claude Hochet (Summer 1800)

Quoted in J. Christopher Herold, Mistress to an Age: A Life of Madame de Staël (1958). Herold added, "Her decision was emphatically in favor of suffering, which after all was a pleasure compared to boredom."
Added on 15-Dec-15 | Last updated 15-Dec-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by De Stael, Germaine

When evil-doing comes like falling rain, nobody calls out “stop!”
When crimes begin to pile up they become invisible.
When sufferings become unendurable the cries are no longer heard.
The cries, too, fall like rain in summer.

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) German poet, playwright, director, dramaturgist
“When evil-doing comes like falling rain [Wenn die Untat kommt, wie der Regen fällt]” (1935) [tr. Willett]
Added on 19-Nov-15 | Last updated 19-Nov-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Brecht, Bertholt

For all my rational Western intellect and education, I was for the moment overwhelmed by a primitive sense of living in a world ordered by a malign and perverted god, and it coloured my view of everything that afternoon — even the coconuts. The villagers sold us some and split them open for us. They are almost perfectly designed. You first make a hole and drink the milk, and then you split open the nut with a machete and slice off a segment of the shell, which forms a perfect implement for scooping out the coconut flesh inside. What makes you wonder about the nature of this god character is that he creates something that is so perfectly designed to be of benefit to human beings and then hangs it twenty feet above their heads on a tree with no branches.

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) English writer
Last Chance to See, ch. 2 (1990)
Added on 13-Jul-15 | Last updated 13-Jul-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Adams, Douglas

I believe that the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory that is going to be revealed to us. The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s sons and daughters. Creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice — it was the choice of the one who subjected it — but in the hope that the creation itself will be set free from slavery to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of God’s children. We know that the whole creation is groaning together and suffering labor pains up until now. And it’s not only the creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free. We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Romans 8:18-25
Added on 25-Feb-15 | Last updated 25-Feb-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bible

Perhaps the worst thing about suffering is that it finally hardens the hearts of those around it.

Gloria Steinem (b. 1934) American feminist, journalist, activist
Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, “Ruth’s Song” (1983)
Added on 30-Dec-14 | Last updated 30-Dec-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Steinem, Gloria

When the limit of suffering is overpassed, the most imperturbable virtue is disconcerted.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) French writer
Les Misérables, “Saint Denis” (15.1) [tr. Wilbour (1862)]
Added on 16-Dec-14 | Last updated 16-Dec-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hugo, Victor

Complete success alienates a man from his fellows, but suffering makes kinsmen of us all.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
An American Bible [ed. Alice Hubbard] (1918)
Added on 9-Dec-14 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Hubbard, Elbert

Pain is a byproduct of life. That’s the truth. Life sometimes sucks. That’s true for everyone. But if you don’t face the pain and the suck, you don’t ever get the other things either. Laughter. Joy. Love. Pain passes, but those things are worth fighting for. Worth dying for.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
(Attributed)

Often cited to the short story "Vignette" (also known as "Publicity and Advertising"), but not found there.
Added on 9-Dec-14 | Last updated 9-Dec-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Butcher, Jim

Oh, if there is a man out of hell that suffers more than I do, I pity him.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) American lawyer, politician, US President (1861-65)
(Attributed) (1862)

In Emmanuel Hertz, ed., Lincoln Talks: A Biography in Anecdote, "Father Abraham" (1939); a remark following the Army of the Potomac's defeat at Fredericksburg.
Added on 2-Dec-14 | Last updated 2-Dec-14
Link to this post | 1 comment
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Lincoln, Abraham

Suffering cleanses only when it is free of resentment.

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American writer, philosopher, longshoreman
The Passionate State of Mind, #263 (1954)
Added on 25-Nov-14 | Last updated 25-Nov-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Hoffer, Eric

If Afflictions refine some, they consume others.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #2666 (1732)
    (Source)
Added on 18-Nov-14 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Fuller, Thomas (1654)

Things cannot always go your way. Learn to accept in silence the minor aggravations, cultivate the gift of taciturnity and consume your own smoke with an extra draught of hard work, so that those about you may not be annoyed with the dust and soot of your complaints.

Sir William Osler (1849-1919) Canadian physician
Counsels and Ideals from the Writings of William Osler (1905)
Added on 17-Nov-14 | Last updated 17-Nov-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Osler, William

Something about the fact that I made some contribution to either my country, or those who were less well off. I think back to what Camus wrote about the fact that perhaps this world is a world in which children suffer, but we can lessen the number of suffering children, and if you do not do this, then who will do this? I’d like to feel that I’d done something to lessen that suffering.

Robert Francis Kennedy (1925-1968) American politician
Interview with David Frost (1968)

In an interview a month before he was assassinated, about how his obituary should read. See Camus.
Added on 27-Oct-14 | Last updated 27-Oct-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kennedy, Robert F.

Body or mind, heart or soul, we’re all human, and we’re supposed to feel pain. You cut yourself off from it at your own risk.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Small Favor (2008)
Added on 27-Aug-14 | Last updated 27-Aug-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Butcher, Jim

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Declaration of Independence (4 Jul 1776)

As modified and approved by the Continental Congress.
Added on 13-Aug-13 | Last updated 20-Jun-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Jefferson, Thomas

  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >