Quotations about   uniqueness

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At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique human being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is ever be put together a second time.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) German philosopher and poet
“Schopenhauer as Educator,” ch. 1 (1874) [tr. Collins]
Added on 26-Nov-18 | Last updated 26-Nov-18
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Everybody thought, “this time is different.” In my view, those are the most frightening words in the English language. If you look at the crises that have infected the world, the term, “this time, it’s different” has almost always been the hubris that comes before nemesis.

Andrew Crockett (1943-2012) British banker, economist, author, public servant
Speech, Pomona College, Claremont, Calif. (Apr 2009)

Referring to the period leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.
Added on 3-Aug-17 | Last updated 3-Aug-17
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Being like everybody is like being nobody.

Rod Serling (1924-1975) American screenwriter, playwright, television producer, narrator

Frequently attributed, but never cited. In the Twilight Zone episode, "Number 12 Looks Just Like You" (ep 05x17), the protagonist comments, "But is that good, being like everybody? I mean, isn't that the same as being nobody?" That episode is credited to Charles Beaumont and John Tomerlin.
Added on 10-Apr-17 | Last updated 10-Apr-17
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Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-American physicist

See here for discussion.
Added on 16-Sep-16 | Last updated 16-Sep-16
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Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children in school? We teach them that two and two make four and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. And look at your body — what a wonder it is! Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the ways you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work — we must all work — to make the world worthy of its children.

Pablo Casals (1876-1973) Spanish cellist, conductor, composer
In Joys and Sorrows: Reflections‎ by Pablo Casals as told to Albert E. Kahn (1970)
Added on 13-Sep-16 | Last updated 29-Jan-21
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The more finished the character, the more striking is its individuality.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Trust Yourself,” sermon (1830)
Added on 17-Feb-16 | Last updated 17-Feb-16
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To be one’s self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.

Irving Wallace (1916-1990) American author and screenwriter
Square Pegs: Some Americans Who Dared to Be Different, ch. 1 (1958)
Added on 7-Nov-14 | Last updated 7-Nov-14
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In fact, nothing is ever said that has not been said before.

[Nullum est iam dictum quod non dictum sit prius.]

Terence (186?-159 BC) African-Roman dramatist [Publius Terentius Afer]
The Eunuch [Eunuchus], l. 41, Prologue (161 BC) [tr. Bolton (2019)]

Alternate translations:
  • "In short, there's Nothing say'd , but what before / May have been say'd." [tr. Cooke (1755)]
  • "In fine, nothing can be said now, that may not have been said before." [tr. Patrick (1767)]
  • "Nothing's said now, but has been said before." [tr. Coleman (1768)]
  • "In fine, nothing is said now that has not been said before." [tr. Riley (1853)]
  • "Ah, there is nothing new beneath the sun, / Whatever is, or may be, has been done." [tr. Rose (1870)]
  • "In fact nothing is said that has not been said before." [tr. Sargeaunt (1918)]
  • "The bottom line: you can't say anything that's never been said before." [tr. Christenson (2012)]
  • There's nothing ever said, unsaid before. [tr. Bolton (2019), shortened Prologue]
Added on 15-Sep-10 | Last updated 4-Oct-21
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