Quotations about   trouble

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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)]
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Added on 15-Sep-20 | Last updated 15-Sep-20
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Here’s to the crazy ones — the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things, they push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs (1955-2011) American computer inventor, entrepreneur
“To the Crazy Ones,” TV advertisement (1997)
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Often cited as a quotation from Steve Jobs, this was an Apple advertisement developed by Chiat/Day under the direction of Jobs after his return to the company in 1997, under the campaign "Think Different." The ad and its text was created by Chiat/Day talent like Craig Tanimoto, Rob Siltanen, and Ken Segall. (For more information on the ad's development, see Siltanen's article.)

Jobs did narrate the text at least once, but the original 1997 ad was voiced by Richard Dreyfuss.

Note: nearly all transcripts say, "But the only thing you can't do ..." while the word voiced is "About the only thing you can't do ...."
Added on 27-Aug-20 | Last updated 27-Aug-20
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If pleasures are greatest in anticipation, just remember that this is also true of trouble.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Philosophy of Elbert Hubbard (1916)
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Added on 15-Jul-20 | Last updated 15-Jul-20
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Things are never so bad that they can’t get worse. But they’re sometimes so bad they can’t get better.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 5 (1966)
Added on 7-Jul-20 | Last updated 7-Jul-20
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For when the water is up to your neck you must be truly stubborn not to cry for help.

[Che chi ne l’acqua sta fin’alla gola
Ben’e ostinato se merce non grida.]

Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533) Italian poet
Orlando Furioso, Canto 1, st. 50, l. 353 (1532) [tr. Waldman]

Alt. trans.:
  • "For who, when circling waters round him spread / And menace present death, impores not aid?" [tr. Hoole (1807)]
  • "For the poor drowning caitiff, who, chin-deep, / Implores not help, is obstinate indeed." [tr. Rose (1831)]
  • "The drowning man who waits to be exhorted / To cry for help must be a man of pride!" [tr. Reynolds (2006)]
Added on 16-Mar-20 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
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Oh, high is the price of parenthood,
And daughters may cost you double.
You dare not forget, as you thought you could,
That youth is a plague and a trouble.

Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978) American author, poet
“Homework for Annabelle,” New Yorker (15 Mar 1952)
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Reprinted in Love Letters (1954). Full poem.
Added on 12-Feb-20 | Last updated 12-Feb-20
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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)
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Added on 14-Jan-20 | Last updated 14-Jan-20
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In the crisis of this hour — as in all others that we have faced since our Nation began — there are plenty of recommendations on how to get out of trouble cheaply and fast. Most of them in the last analysis really come down to this: Deny your responsibilities.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) American poltician, educator, US President (1963-69)
Speech, Democratic Party Dinner, Washington (7 Oct 1967)
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Sometimes paraphrased "There are plenty of recommendations on how to get out of trouble cheaply and fast. Most of them come down to this: Deny your responsibility."
Added on 17-Jun-16 | Last updated 17-Jun-16
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If someone knows of a problem and conceals it from me, I get more upset from that than from the problem itself. I tell our people time and time again: Bad news first.

Donald Regan (1918-2003) American financier, government executive
In Bernard Weintraub, “How Donald Regan Runs the White House,” New York Times Magazine (5 Jan 1986)
Added on 7-Mar-16 | Last updated 7-Mar-16
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Ya got trouble, folks!
Right here in River City.
Trouble with a capital “T”
And that rhymes with “P”
And that stands for pool!

Meredith Willson (1902-1984) American composer, songwriter, flutist, conductor, playwright
“(Ya Got) Trouble,” The Music Man (1957)
Added on 23-Sep-15 | Last updated 23-Sep-15
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Philosophy easily triumphs over past ills and ills to come, but present ills triumph over philosophy.

François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French epigrammist, memoirist, noble
Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales [Maxims], # 22 (1665-1678) [tr. Tancock (1959)]
Added on 30-Jul-15 | Last updated 30-Jul-15
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They taught me that the truth would make me free but failed to warn me of the kind of trouble I’d get into by trying to tell it — I remain duly grateful.

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939) Canadian writer, literary critic, environmental activist
“Attitude,” Commencement Address, University Of Toronto (14 Jun 1983)
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Added on 22-May-15 | Last updated 22-May-15
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If Afflictions refine some, they consume others.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia, #2666 (1732)
Added on 18-Nov-14 | Last updated 18-Nov-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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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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What’s wan man’s news is another man’s throubles.

[What’s one man’s news is another man’s troubles.]

Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936) American humorist and journalist
“The News of a Week,” Observations by Mr. Dooley (1902)
Added on 26-Oct-11 | Last updated 4-Mar-16
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When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British statesman and author
The Second World War, Vol. 2: Their Finest Hour, ch. 23 “September Tensions” (1949)
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Added on 4-Oct-10 | Last updated 25-Mar-19
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If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) American political philosopher and writer
“The American Crisis” #1 (19 Dec 1776)

Source essay
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Jan-20
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The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) American abolitionist, orator, writer
Speech on West India Emancipation (4 Aug 1857)

Also cited (in part) as a letter to a colleague in 1849. More background here.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 25-Aug-15
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When I have occasionally set myself to consider the different distractions of men, the pains and perils to which they expose themselves at court or in war, whence arise so many quarrels, passions, bold and often bad ventures, etc., I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) French scientist and philosopher
Pensées #139 “Diversion” (1670)
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Alt. trans.: "I have often said that man's unhappiness springs from one thing alone, his incapacity to stay quietly in one room."

Alt. trans.: "All the trouble in the world is due to the fact that a man cannot sit still in a room."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Jun-17
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