Quotes for Events - Human Nature and the Beast Within

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Quotes for human nature and the beast within. Human nature with all its foibles, embraces some pretty fine stuff. It's good to be reminded of our finer aspects on occasion--especially when the world seems to have gone amok. Of course, sometimes our memory seems to have gone amok as well. Here are some plums to rouse the spirit--and give us a good laugh at ourselves.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul -- and sings the tunes without the words -- and never stops at all.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied.
We praise a man who feels angry on the right grounds and against the right persons and also in the right manner at the right moment and for the right length of time.
Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn't permanent.
I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.
Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot.
Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it.
Nobody can tell what I suffer! But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied.
My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.
Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.
Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.
It is better to be looked over than overlooked.
Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.
I've never understood why people consider youth a time of freedom and joy. It's probably because they have forgotten their own.
Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
Idle youth, enslaved to everything; by being too sensitive I have wasted my life.
For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
Is there no way out of the mind?
Faith is a fine invention when Gentleman can see -- but microscopes are prudent in an emergency
To fight aloud is very brave, but gallanter, I know, who charge within the bosom, the Cavalry of Woe.
The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
Fame is a fickle food upon a shifting plate.
Man is the only animal that blushes -- or needs to.
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.
Life is the farce which everyone has to perform.
Someone has to stand up for wimps.
The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility.
Youth smiles without any reason. It is one of its chiefest charms.
Success can make you go one of two ways. It can make you a prima donna, or it can smooth the edges, take away the insecurities, let the nice things come out.
I believe that I am in hell, therefore I am there.
There is no need to waste pity on young girls who are having their moments of disillusionment, for in another moment they will recover their illusion.
You have to be a bastard to make it, and that's a fact. And the Beatles are the biggest bastards on earth.
We live at a time when man believes himself fabulously capable of creation, but he does not know what to create.
I will have nought to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath.
A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.
Virtue, my pet, is an abstract idea, varying in its manifestations with the surroundings. Virtue in Provence, in Constantinople, in London, and in Paris bears very different fruit, but is none the less virtue.
Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.
It is the mind that makes the body.
… my heart is set / On living—I have heroes to beget / Before I die ….
Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater.
The happy ending is our national belief.
I am free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.
I have been on a calendar, but never on time.
There are two great rules in life, the one general and the other particular. The first is that every one can in the end get what he wants if he only tries. This is the general rule. The particular rule is that every individual is more or less of an exception to the general rule.
Jealousy is never satisfied with anything short of an omniscience that would detect the subtlest fold of the heart.
We for a certainty are not the first have sat in taverns while the tempest hurled their hopeful plans to emptiness, and cursed whatever brute and blackguard made the world.
You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long, and the great charm of all power is modesty.
In my opinion, most of the great men of the past were only there for the beer --the wealth, prestige and grandeur that went with the power.
It's them as take advantage that get advantage in this world.
Great crises produce great men, and great deeds of courage.
Any coward can fight a battle when he’s sure of winning; but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he’s sure of losing. That’s my way, sir; and there are many victories worse than a defeat.
I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work … I want to achieve it through not dying.
Eternity. It is the sea mingled with the sun.
There is a cheap literature that speaks to us of the need of escape. It is true that when we travel we are in search of distance. But distance is not to be found. It melts away. And escape has never led anywhere. The moment a man finds that he must play the races, go the Arctic, or make war in order to feel himself alive, that man has begin to spin the strands that bind him to other men and to the world. But what wretched strands! A civilization that is really strong fills man to the brim, though he never stir. What are we worth when motionless, is the question.
Process is the great happiness … while the highly advertised Achievement brings a certain emptiness since it is very hard to experience or even believe.
On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a pleasure.
Conscience does make cowards of us all.
The true manipulator never has a reputation for manipulating.
There are no new truths, but only truths that have not been recognized by those who have perceived them without noticing. A truth is something that everybody can be shown to know and to have known, as people say, all along.
The real sin against life is to abuse and destroy beauty, even one's own --even more, one's own, for that has been put in our care and we are responsible for its well-being.
Youth is something very new: twenty years ago no one mentioned it.
If I can stop one Heart from breaking / I shall not live in vain // If I can ease one Life the Aching / Or cool one Pain // Or help one fainting Robin / Unto his Nest again / I shall not live in Vain.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.... The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them.
Here dead lie we because we did not choose to live and shame the land from which we sprung. Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose; but young men think it is, and we were young.
It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
Success has killed more men than bullets.
… it is a peaceful thing to be one succeeding.
Nothing fails like success; nothing is so defeated as yesterday’s triumphant Cause.
… with a good fortune, a brilliant position, and a weak, indulgent husband, what more could she desire?
People may oppose you, but when they realize you can hurt them, they’ll join your side.
There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.
But, if it be a sin to covet honour, / I am the most offending soul alive.
Sometimes, fame means nobody places any limits on your behavior. And that’s a dangerous thing.
They just elected me Miss Phonograph Record of 1966. They discovered my measurements were 331⁄3, 45, 78!
Life is a compromise between fate and free will.
Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.
It sometimes occurs that memory has a personality of its own and volunteers or refuses its information at its will, not at mine.
Now, I doubt that the imagination can be suppressed. If you truly eradicated it in a child, he would grow up to be an eggplant.
When a man knows that the abstraction ten exists—nothing on earth can stop him from looking for the fact of eleven.
Imagination is not an empirical or superadded power of consciousness, it is the whole of consciousness as it realizes its freedom.
… women like to live on their imagination. // It’s all they can afford, most of them.
… memory is more indelible than ink.
Graciousness has been replaced by surliness in much of everyday life.
Our best destiny, as planetary cohabitants, is the development of what has been called “species consciousness”—something over and above nationalisms, blocs, religions, ethnicities.
The price of peace is to abandon greed and replace it with giving, so that none will be spiritually injured by having more than they need while others in the world still have less than they need.
… what frosty fate’s in store / For the warm blood of man,—man, out of ooze / But lately crawled, and climbing up the shore?
Scientific progress makes moral progress a necessity; for if man’s power is increased, the checks that restrain him from abusing it must be strengthened.
Where we have reasons for what we believe, we have no need of faith; where we have no reasons, we have lost both our connection to the world and to one another.
It’s a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.
They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.
It is a rare privilege to watch the birth, growth, and first feeble struggles of a living mind ….
Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.
There are several good protections against temptations, but the surest is cowardice.
As always happens—sooner or later—to those who shake hands with the devil, they find out too late that what they have given up in the bargain is their soul.
One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.
… the inner voice; the human compulsion when deeply distressed to seek healing counsel within ourselves, and the capacity within ourselves both to create this counsel and to receive it.
Inner space is the real frontier.
Thank God for the head. Inside the head is the only place you got to be young when the usual place gets used up.
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter; / I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker, / And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, / And in short, I was afraid.
She ransacked her mind, but there was nothing in it.
The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. More difficult, because there is no zeitgeist to read, no template to follow, no masks to wear.
It was a pity he couldna be hatched o’er again, an’ hatched different.
The middlebrow is the man, or woman, of middlebred intelligence who ambles and saunters now on this side of the hedge, now on that, in pursuit of no single object, neither art itself nor life itself, but both mixed indistinguishably, and rather nastily, with money, fame, power, or prestige.
Life in itself / Is nothing, / An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
The control of our being is not unlike the combination of a safe. One turn of the knob rarely unlocks the safe. Each advance and retreat is a step toward one’s goal.
Laughter and tears are meant to turn the wheels of the same machinery of sensibility; one is wind-power, and the other water-power; that is all.
When the wayfarer whistles in the dark, he may be disavowing his timidity, but he does not see any more clearly for doing so.
Excess of joy is harder to bear than any amount of sorrow.
As far as your self-control goes, as far goes your freedom.
Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.
If everyone was sincere who says he’s sincere there wouldn’t be half so many insincere ones in the world and there would be lots, lots, lots more really sincere ones!
How quick come the reasons for approving what we like!
Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
Vanity working on a weak head produces every sort of mischief.
We must overcome our fear of each other by seeking out the humanity within each of us. The human heart contains every possibility of race, creed, language, religion and politics. We are one in our commonalities.
I believe there is no devil but fear.
Be as a bird that— / Pausing in its flight— / Alights upon a branch too slight / And feeling that it bends beneath it / Sings—knowing it has wings.
Grief and tragedy and hatred are only for a time. Goodness, remembrance and love have no end.
If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treat his inferiors, not his equals.
There are men who can’t be bought.
It is our time to rise again, to secure our future.
What a joy it is to do a good deed! And this joy is strongest if no one knows that you have done it.
I think that everything he did, feeding the poor, giving money to friends in need, it was all a way of redeeming himself. And that, I believe, is what true redemption is, Amir jan, when guilt leads to good.
The people will live on. / The learning and blundering people will live on. / They will be tricked and sold and again sold. / And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds.
Where there is hope there is life, where there is life there is possibility, and where there is possibility change can occur.
If there is faith that can move mountains, it is faith in your own power.
When hope is taken away from the people moral degeneration follows swiftly after.
A great hope fell / You heard no noise / The Ruin was within.
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope / for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love / For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith / But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
I want to visit Memory Lane, I don’t want to live there.
What a strange thing is memory, and hope; one looks backward, the other looks forward. The one is of today, the other is the Tomorrow. Memory is history recorded in our brain, memory is a painter, it paints pictures of the past and of the day.
The preoccupation with what should be is estimable only when the respect for what is has been exhausted.
Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.
How haughtily he cocks his nose, / To tell what every schoolboy knows.
We have belittled the son of man by giving him foolish and degrading toys, a world of idleness where he is suffocated by a badly conceived discipline.
The more civilized we become, the more horrendous our entertainments ….
Be nobody’s darling; / Be an outcast.
He’s a ragged individualist.
It ain’t no sin if you crack a few laws now and then just so long as you don’t break any.
He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it— namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain.
tomorrow is our permanent address / and there they’ll scarcely find us (if they do, / we’ll move away still further: into now
a man who had fallen among thieves / lay by the roadside on his back / dressed in fifteenthrate ideas / wearing a round jeer for a hat
People could survive their natural trouble all right if it weren’t for the trouble they make for themselves.
It is through suppression that hells are formed in us.
All sin tends to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is what is called damnation.
Self-trust is the first secret of success.
“Maturity,” Bokonon tells us, “is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.”
I was thirty-seven years old and still discovering who I was.
You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.
For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived, and dishonest -- but the myth --persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinions without the discomfort of thought.
Without belittling the courage with which men have died, we should not forget those acts of courage with which men have lived. The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he mustin spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressuresand that is the basis of all human morality. In whatever arena of life one may meet the challenge of courage, whatever may be the sacrifices he faces if he follows his consciencethe loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow meneach man must decide for himself the course he will follow. The stories of past courage can define that ingredientthey can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.
Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself --nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
Imagination, which is the eldorado of the poet and of the novel-writer, often proves the most pernicious gift to the individuals who compose the talkers instead of the writers in society.
How success changes the opinion of men!
If people are highly successful in their professions they lose their senses. Sight goes. They have no time to look at pictures. Sound goes. They have no time to listen to music. Speech goes. They have no time for conversation. They lose their sense of proportion—the relations between one thing and another. Humanity goes ….
The fly sat upon the axel-tree of the chariot-wheel and said, What a dust do I raise!
If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.
The secret of a great success for which you are at a loss to account is a crime that has never been found out, because it was properly executed.
Feeling and longing are the motive force behind all human endeavor and human creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may present themselves to us.
It disturbs me no more to find men base, unjust, or selfish than to see apes mischievous, wolves savage, or the vulture ravenous for its prey.
I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.
A little Madness in the Spring / Is wholesome even for the King, / But God be with the Clown.
Your memory is a monster; you forget—it doesn’t. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you—and summon them to your recall with a will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!
… imagination took the reins, and Reason, slow-paced, though sure-footed, was unequal to a race with so eccentric and flighty a companion.
Bless the gift of memory / that breaks unbidden, released / from a flower or a cup of tea / so the dead move like rain through the room.
Memory is a nutriment, and seeds stored for centuries can still germinate.
Security is essentially elusive, impossible. We all die. We all get sick. We all get old. People leave us. People surprise us. People change us. Nothing is secure. And this is the good news. But only if you are not seeking security as the point of your life.
We are dancing in darkness on the edge of tragedy. And quite literally scared to death.
Being inoffensive, and being offended, are now the twin addictions of the culture.
Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.
That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Law; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.
Particular lies may speak a general truth.
When you turn the corner / And you run into yourself / Then you know that you have turned / All the corners that are left.
Often, the truly great and valuable lessons we learn in life are learned through pain. That’s why they call it “growing pains.” It’s all about yin and yang. And that’s not something you order off column A at your local Chinese restaurant.
Pride is a sweetmeat, to be savoured in small pieces; it makes for a poor feast.
Cheating may or may not be human nature, but it is certainly a prominent feature in just about every human endeavor.
There is nothing so catching as refinement ….
Life is a do-it-yourself kit, so do it yourself. Work. Practice.
The single most important quality you need in order to change the course of your life is courage.
I make bean-stalks, I’m / A builder, like yourself.
It isn’t for the moment you are struck that you need courage, but for the long uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security.
Rosiness is not a worse windowpane than gloomy gray when viewing the world.
Between grief and nothing I will take grief.
When you take the high moral road it is difficult for anyone to object without sounding like a complete fool.
An unrectified case of injustice has a terrible way of lingering restlessly, in the social atmosphere like an unfinished question.
Hope, like faith, is nothing if it is not courageous; it is nothing if it is not ridiculous.
If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.