Saturday, December 31, 2011

#144 The Past as Pedestal

To excel the past we must not allow ourselves to lose contact with it; on the contrary, we must feel it under our feet because we raised ourselves upon it. ~ Jose Ortega y Gasset

Friday, December 30, 2011

#143 Coping with Adversities

There are three modes of bearing the ills of life: by indifference, by philosophy, and by religion. ~ Charles Caleb Colton

Thursday, December 29, 2011

#142 Faith and reason

Reason is the triumph of the intellect, faith of the heart. ~ James Schouler

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Plato: Enlightened Perspectives

Plato (428-347 BC) was a classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. His writings helped to lay the foundation of western philosophy and science.

-Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.

-The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.

-Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination,
and life to everything.

-Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.

-Those who tell the stories rule society.

-Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.

-Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.

-Education is teaching our children to desire the right things.

-When men speak ill of thee, live so that nobody will believe them.

-Necessity is the mother of invention.

Selected by quoteflections.

-Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.

-There are three classes of men: lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, and lovers of gain.

-Let parents then bequeath to their children not riches but the spirit of reverence.

-Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.

-The measure of a man is what he does with power.

- Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.

- Know thyself.

- God is not the author of all things, but of good only.

Labels: best top quotes, quotations, reflections, instructional, inspirational, life lessons, insights, self help, great author series

#141 A Bit of Yourself

Simply give others a bit of yourself; a thoughtful act, a helpful idea, a word of appreciation, a lift over a rough spot, a sense of understanding, a timely suggestion. You take something out of your mind, garnished in kindness out of your heart, and put it into the other fellow's mind and heart. ~ Charles H. Burr

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#140 Marvelously Intricate

Like snowflakes, the human pattern is never cast twice. We are uncommonly and marvelously intricate in thought and action. ~ Alice Childress

Monday, December 26, 2011

#139 Length and Breadth

I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well. ~ Diane Ackerman

Saturday, December 24, 2011

#138 A Crack in Everything

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There's a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen, "Anthem"

Friday, December 23, 2011

William Blake: Visionary Poet, Painter

William Blake (1757-1827) was a British poet, painter, visionary mystic, and engraver of the Romantic era who illustrated and printed his own books.

His father was a successful London hosier who encouraged Blake's artistic talents. Blake was first educated at home, chiefly by his mother. In 1767 he was sent to drawing school, and at the age of 14 apprenticed with an engraver for seven years. Blake has recorded that from his early years, he experienced visions of angels and ghostly monks and that he saw and conversed with them.

Blake engraved and published most of his major works himself. In the "Prophetic Books", Blake expressed his lifelong concern with the struggle of the soul to free its natural energies from reason and organized religion. Among Blake's later artistic works are drawings and engravings for Dante's Divine Comedy and the 21 illustrations to the book of Job, which was completed when he was almost 70 years old.

- He who binds to himself a joy doth the winged life destroy. But he who kisses the joy as it flies lives in Eternity's sunrise.

-If a thing loves, it is infinite.

-Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.

-The most sublime act is to set another before you.

-To See a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

-What is now proved was once only imagined.

-If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.

Selected by quoteflections.

-The glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness.

-I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's.

-Man was made for joy and woe
Then when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.
Joy and woe are woven fine
A clothing for the soul to bind.

-Knowledge is Life with wings.

-Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

-Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.

Labels: best top quotes, quotations, reflections, instructional, inspirational, life lessons, insights, self help, great author series

#137 The Reminder

While I watch the Christmas blaze
Paint the room with ruddy rays,
Something makes my vision glide
To the frosty scene outside.

There, to reach a rotting berry,
Toils a thrush -constrained to very
Dregs of food by sharp distress,
Taking such with thankfulness.

Why, O starving bird, when I
One day's joy would justify,
And put misery out of view,
Do you make me notice you? ~ Thomas Hardy

Thursday, December 22, 2011

#136 Good, Beautiful, and Kind

I am so tired of waiting,
Aren't you,
For the world to become good
And beautiful and kind?
Let us take a knife
And cut the world in two--
And see what worms are eating
At the rind.
~Langston Hughes

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

#135 Filled with Joy

One filled with joy preaches without preaching. ~ Mother Teresa

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

#134 What do you Seek?

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought. ~Matsuo Basho

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dr. Seuss Stands Out!

Theodor Seuss Geisel, known to his avid readers as Dr. Seuss, is the author of such beloved children's books as "Green Eggs and Ham", "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", and perhaps his most famous work, "The Cat in the Hat", which was created as a reader for children and used only 225 words.

Before writing and illustrating these classics, Geisel served as an illustrator and cartoonist, turning out advertising campaigns for Standard Oil for 15 years. At the time of his death in 1991, (born 1904) Geisel had authored and illustrated 44 children's books as well as provided the source materials for 11 children's specials, a Broadway musical and a major motion picture. He is the recipient of two Academy Awards, two Emmys and a Pulitzer.

Many of his works were written in anapestic tetrameter, an engaging, poetic meter for children and adults:

And today the Great Yertle,
that Marvelous he
Is King of the Mud.
That is all he can see...

-Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.

-I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.

-The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.

-Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not."

- You are you. Now, isn't that pleasant?

-You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!"

Selected by quoteflections.

-So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you'll move mountains."

-I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.

-Words and pictures are yin and yang. Married, they produce a progeny more interesting than either parent."

-Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

-You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

-Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.

- If I were invited to a dinner party with my characters, I wouldn't show up.

Labels: best top quotes, quotations, reflections, instructional, inspirational, life lessons, insights, self help, great author series

#133 The Gift of Love

We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it. ~ John Lennon

Saturday, December 17, 2011

#132 Discipline

Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly. ~ Julie Andrews

Friday, December 16, 2011

Quoteflections: Embark on a Journey

The suggestion of a boat having left the dock on a picturesque lake is appropriate. In my quest to find engaging quotes about life, I hope to provide readers with a sampling of the accumulated wisdom through the ages.

Their insights are not always a simple affirmation, but a plea to think about life's intricacies and subtleties. Amidst life's challenges and heartaches, the journey provides wonderful opportunities and delights.

Thanks for joining me through the calm and stormy seas of life. I hope that ultimately the quotes are enriching and rewarding.

#131 Calmness

Tranquility! thou better name
Than all the family of Fame. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Thursday, December 15, 2011

#130 Enemies of the Truth

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie- deliberate, contrived and dishonest- but the myth- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. ~ John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Emerson: Champion of Individualism

(This is my fourth in a series of select quotes by great authors.)

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) was an American essayist, poet, and leader of the Transcendentalist movement in the early nineteenth century. He was a champion of individualism, and a critic of the countervailing pressures of society. Emerson's nature was more philosophical than naturalistic.
He disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.

-To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

-Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

-To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

-Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

-It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

-What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

-Always do what you are afraid to do.

-Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

-Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

Selected by quoteflections.

-Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet.

-The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

-Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

-All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

-Be not the slave of your own past - plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.

-Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.

-There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.

Labels: quotes, quotations, reflections, instructional, inspirational, life lessons, insights, self help, great author series

#129 Looking Within

(I am on an intriguing quest to find 1,000 engaging quotes about life...)

Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself- and thus make yourself indispensable. ~ Andre Gide

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

#128 Find your Voice

Three women who fought injustice, dictatorship and sexual violence in Liberia and Yemen accepted the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Sirleaf, Africa's first democratically elected female president, shared the award with women's rights campaigner Leymah Gbowee, also from Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman, a female icon of the protest movement in Yemen.

My sisters, my daughters, my friends- find your voice. ~ Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

We used our pains, broken bodies and scarred emotions to confront the injustices and terror of our nation... We must continue to unite in sisterhood to turn our tears into triumph. There is no time to rest until our world achieves wholeness and balance, where all men and women are considered equal and free. ~ Leymah Gbowee

This should haunt the world's conscience because it challenges the very idea of fairness and justice. ~ Tawakkul Karman

Monday, December 12, 2011

#127 Right Now

If I had wings and I could fly,
I know where I would go.
But right now I'll just sit here so contentedly
And watch the river flow. ~ Bob Dylan

Saturday, December 10, 2011

#126 Who really lives?

Some have too much, yet still do crave;
I have little, and seek no more.
They are but poor, though much they have.
And I am rich with little store.
They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;
They lack, I leave; they pine, I live. ~ Edward Dyer (1543-1607)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Albert Einstein: Poignant Quotes

Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a German born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity effecting a revolution in physics. In 1921 he won the Nobel Prize in physics. After Hitler came to power in 1933, Einstein moved to the U.S. where he became a citizen in 1940. Einstein wrote more than 300 scientific papers and 150 non-scientific works.

-Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

-Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.

- Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.

-A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.

-Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.

-I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

-Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

-Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.

Selected by quoteflections.

-The best way to cheer yourself is to cheer somebody else up.

-The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

-We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers, we create the dreams.

-It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.

-The search for truth is more precious than its possession.

- A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

- The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms- this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.

Labels: quotes, quotations, reflections, instructional, inspirational, life lessons, insights, self help, great author series

#125 Within Us

Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, which we ascribe to heaven. ~ William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well

Thursday, December 8, 2011

#124 The Waters of the Heart

Light breaks where no sun shines,
Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart
Push in their tides. ~ Dylan Thomas

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

#123 Arrive where we Started

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. ~ T. S. Eliot

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#122 Love Nature More

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but nature more. ~ Lord Byron

Monday, December 5, 2011

Confucius: Perennial Quotes

Confucius (551-479 BC) was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher. His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, and sincerity. His perspectives, often remembered through perceptive aphorisms, still offer timely insights.

-Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.

- Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.

-If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?

- The firm, the enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue.

-Silence is a true friend who never betrays.

-Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

-Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

-Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.

-He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.

Selected by quoteflections.

-Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

-I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

-And remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

-Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.

-Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.

-When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

-Give a bowl of rice to a man and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to grow his own rice and you will save his life.

-They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.

- A gentleman covets the reputation of being slow in word but prompt in deed.

-To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness.

Labels: quotes, quotations, greatest, best, reflections, instructional, inspirational, life lessons, insights, self help, great author series

#121 Kindness and Courage

Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own. ~ Adam Lindsay Gordon

Saturday, December 3, 2011

#120 A Reminder

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. ~ Audrey Hepburn

Friday, December 2, 2011

#119 The Real Voyage

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. ~ Marcel Proust

Thursday, December 1, 2011

#118 Keep a Vision

No vision and you perish;
No ideal, and you're lost;
Your heart must ever cherish
Some faith at any cost.
Some hope, some dream to cling to,
Some rainbow in the sky,
Some melody to sing to,
Some service that is high. ~ Harriet Du Autermont

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#117 Eternity in Each Moment

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this. ~ Henry David Thoreau

See more select quotes by Thoreau in my beginning great author series.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#116 Carry a Big Bat

I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me! ~Dr. Seuss

Monday, November 28, 2011

Great Quotes: Henry David Thoreau

This is the first post in the 'Great Author Series' in which perceptive quotes are selected from pivotal authors through the ages. Hopefully the select quotes are engaging and inspirational, and offer enriching insights.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) wrote over 20 volumes of books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry. He is most noted for his reflections upon simple living in natural surroundings. Many of his quotes still resonate for their passionate desire to understand the essential elements of a vital life without being overwhelmed by the complexities of modernity and tradition.

- Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.

- What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.

- Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.

- As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.

- Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.

- You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.

- I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

- The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

(Pivotal quotes selected by quoteflections.)

- I am a happy camper so I guess I’m doing something right. Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.

- Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.

- If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see.

- I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.

- In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.

- We are constantly invited to be who we are.

- What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?

Labels: quotes, quotations, greatest, best, reflections, instructional, inspirational, life lessons, insights, self help

Recommendations are appreciated.

#115 The Price of Success

I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

Saturday, November 26, 2011

#114 Beyond Self

In real love you want the other person's good. ~ Margaret Anderson

Friday, November 25, 2011

#113 Life is in the Midst

For a long time it seemed to me that real life was about to begin, but there was always some obstacle in the way. Something had to be got through first, some unfinished business; time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. ~ Bette Howland

Thursday, November 24, 2011

#112 The Truth about Self

If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people. ~ Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

#111 What Do You Take For Granted?

Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. ~ Aldous Huxley

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

#110 Inspiration through Work

The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working. Beethoven, Wagner, Bach and Mozart settled down day after day to the job in hand with as much regularity as an accountant settles down each day to his figures. They didn't waste time waiting for inspiration. ~ Ernest Newman

Monday, November 21, 2011

#109 What Makes a Life?

Incident piled on incident no more makes life than brick piled on brick makes a house. ~ Edith Mirrielees

Saturday, November 19, 2011

#108 The Key to a Balanced Life

Believing in our hearts that who we are is enough is the key to a more satisfying and balanced life. ~ Ellen Sue Stern

Friday, November 18, 2011

#107 What's your Gift?

The weakest among us has a gift, however seemingly trivial, which is peculiar to him and which worthily used will be a gift also to his race. ~ John Ruskin

Thursday, November 17, 2011

#106 The Essence of Life

One must never lose time in vainly regretting the past or in complaining against the changes which cause us discomfort, for change is the essence of life. ~ Anatole France

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

#105 One Day at a Time

That person is happiest who lives from day to day and asks no more, garnering the simple goodness of life. ~ Euripides

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

#104 No Need for Certainty

I said here's the river I want to flow on, here's the direction I want to go, and put my boat in. I was ready for the river to take unexpected turns and present obstacles. ~ Nancy Woodhull

Monday, November 14, 2011

#103 Making It Through the Day

Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall.
Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day.
Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down.
And this is all life really means. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson