Quotes on Various Subjects

“The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.” Abraham Lincoln

“A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.” John F. Kennedy

“When we study the biographies of our heroes, we find that most of their lives was spent in quiet preparation, doing tiny decent things, until one historic moment catapulted them to center stage and caused them to tilt empires. And so, in my own imperfect way, I am working on the doing of the tiny decent things.” Judge Timothy S. Black

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” James Baldwin

“The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins. In order for somebody to win an important, major fight 100 years hence, a lot of other people have got to be willing – for the sheer fun and joy of it – to go right ahead and fight, knowing you’re going to lose. You mustn’t feel like a martyr. You’ve got to enjoy it.” I. F. Stone

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt

“If it is true that some degree of talent is necessary to be successful in life, almost never [do] the most talented people reach the highest peaks of success, being overtaken by mediocre but sensibly luckier individuals.” Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and A.E. Biondo

“Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.” Shakespeare

“We cannot insure success, but we can deserve it.” John Adams

“They said it couldn’t be done, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.” Casey Stengel

“On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.” Friedrich Nietzsche

“It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Warren Buffett

“Character is much easier kept than recovered.” Thomas Paine

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” Abraham Maslow

“A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us.” Theodore Roosevelt

“The liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected.” Justice William O. Douglas

“Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.” Albert Einstein

“Even the greatest geniuses can make mistakes, even the greatest artists in language are not always at their best, even Homer takes a nap now and then, even the sun has spots.” Otto Jespersen

“Pride, like laudanum and other poisonous medicines, is beneficial in small, though injurious in large, quantities. No man who is not pleased with himself, even in a personal sense, can please others.” Frederick Saunders

“Every human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us – and we will (without any malice) do the same to them.” Alain De Botton

“Everyone, in some small sacred sanctuary of the self, is nuts.” Leo Rosten

“If you would only recognize that life is hard, things would be so much easier for you.” Louis Brandeis

“What religion a man shall have is a historical accident, quite as much as what language he shall speak.” George Santayana

“Every religion preaches the truth of propositions for which it has no evidence.” Sam Harris

“All knowledge that is not the real product of observation, or of consequences deduced from observation, is entirely groundless and illusory.” Jean Baptiste LaMarck

“Heaven is where those are we love, and those who love us.” Robert Ingersoll

“It seems to me that the bane of our country is a profession of faith either with no basis of real belief, or with no proper examination of the grounds on which the creed is supposed to rest.” James Russell Lowell

“Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities in every department of human life – except religion. . . .” Christopher Hitchens

“The greatest threat to civility – and ultimately civilization – is an excess of certitude. The world is much menaced just now by people who think that the world and their duties in it are clear and simple. They are certain that they know what – who – created the universe and what this creator wants them to do to make our little speck in the universe perfect, even if extreme measures – even violence – are required.” George Will

“Intolerance is the natural concomitant of strong faith; tolerance grows only when faith loses certainty; certainty is murderous.” Will Durant

“. . . Pope John Paul was praised among other things for the number of apologies he had made. . . . [These] did include an apology to the Jews for the centuries of Christian anti-Semitism, an apology to the Muslim world for the Crusades, an apology to Eastern Orthodox Christians for the many persecutions that Rome had inflicted upon them, too, and some general contrition about the Inquisition as well. This seemed to say that the church had mainly been wrong and often criminal in the past, but was now purged of its sin by confession and quite ready to be infallible all over again.” Christopher Hitchens

“The stupid are cocksure, and the intelligent are full of doubt.” Bertrand Russell

“I do not pretend to know where many ignorant people are sure. That is all that agnosticism means.” Clarence Darrow

“Inquiry is fatal to certainty.” Will Durant

“I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.” Thomas Jefferson

“For all our conceits about being the center of the universe, we live in a routine planet of a humdrum star stuck away in an obscure corner . . . on an unexceptional galaxy which is one of about 100 billion galaxies. . . . That is the fundamental fact of the universe we inhabit, and it is very good for us to understand that.” Carl Sagan

“When I hear from people that religion doesn’t hurt anything, I say, really? Well besides wars, the Crusades, the Inquisitions, 9-11, ethnic cleansing, the suppression of women, the suppression of homosexuals, fatwas, honor killings, suicide bombings, arranged marriages to minors, human sacrifice, burning witches, and systematic sex with children, I have a few little quibbles. And I forgot blowing up girl schools in Afghanistan.” Bill Maher

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.” Marcus Aurelius

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag, carrying a cross.” Sinclair Lewis