Wednesday, February 29, 2012

William Shakespeare: 20 Enduring Quotes

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an English poet and playwright and is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. He wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets.

Where does one begin creating a list of memorable lines from his immortalized plays? Rather than choosing some of the famous longer passages, I have selected some shorter lines which provide some perspective on human nature:

-Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

-A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

-This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

-How far that little candle throws his beams. So shines a good deed in a weary world.

-It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.

-Wisely and slow, they stumble who run fast.

-Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

-If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work.

-Be great in act, as you have been in thought.

-In time we hate that which we often fear.

Selected by quoteflections.

-Everything that grows holds in perfection but a moment.

-Love comforteth like sunshine after rain.

-What is past is prologue.

-In thy face I see the map of honor, truth, and loyalty.

-Let me be that I am and seek not to alter me.

-Striving to be better, oft we mar what's well.

-Love comforteth like sunshine after rain.

-Expectation is the root of all heartache.

-Love all. Trust a few. Do wrong to none.

-Of all knowledge the wise and good seek most to know themselves.

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

(Sharing/recommending this post/this blog is appreciated.)

#192 Infinite Yes

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~e.e. cummings

- What yeses surround you?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

#191 A Life of Action

A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction. ~ Rita Mae Brown

Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Monday, February 27, 2012

#190 Excel in the Excellent

One that desires to excel should endeavor in those things that are in themselves most excellent. ~ Epictetus

The greatest virtues are those which are most useful for other persons. ~ Aristotle

- At what things do you excel?
- How can you use these gifts to enrich not only yourself but others?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

#189 20 years from now

20 years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the one’s you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~Mark Twain

- How disappointed are you by the things you didn't do over the last 20 years?
- How happy are you about what has transpired?
- What are several aspirations on your 'bucket list'?

Friday, February 24, 2012

#188 Go Back to Self

This is a very important practice. Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Smile, breathe and go slowly. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

- How often do you 'lose yourself'?
- What brings you back?
- What helps you to achieve contentment and personal peace?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

#187 Reverse the Degradation

Willful waste brings woeful want. ~Thomas Fuller

Human society sustains itself by transforming nature into garbage. ~ Mason Cooley

With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly clear that the strategy of environmental exploitation that characterized the 20th century is reaching the end of its natural life. We are in the early stages of a transition from an attitude that, in Herman Daly's felicitous phrase, 'treats the Earth like a business in liquidation' to one that is committed to preserving the planet's 'natural capital.' The principle underlying this shift is really quite simple: if we want a high quality of life for ourselves and future generations - a high quality of life in all its senses - we cannot continue to degrade the quality of the natural systems of which we are a part. ~ Carl Frankel

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Theme Series: 16 Quotes on Education

Education has been, and is close to my heart as a retired teacher. For most people, there is always an opportunity for learning and teaching.

Here is a select list of quotes exploring the nature of education:

- In education there should be no class distinction. ~ Confucius

- Only the educated are free. ~ Epictetus

- A mind is a fire to be kindled, not a vessel to be filled. ~ Plutarch

- Education is the transmission of civilization. ~ Will and Ariel Durant

- Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. ~ B. F. Skinner

- The best thing for being to learn something. ~ T.H. White

- Nine tenths of education is encouragement. ~ Anatole France

- The job of an educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves. ~ Joseph Campbell

Selected by quoteflections.

- The highest result of education is tolerance. ~ Helen Keller

- What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook. ~ Henry David Thoreau

- I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. ~ Mark Twain

- A University should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

- Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. ~ Robert Frost

- Education costs money, but then so does ignorance. ~ Claus Moser

- Education is the most important weapon which you can use to change the world. ~ Nelson Mandela

...Why is compassion not part of our established curriculum, an inherent part of our education? Compassion, awe, wonder, curiosity, exaltation, humility - these are the very foundation of any real civilization, no longer the prerogatives, the preserves of any one church, but belonging to everyone, every child in every school. ~ Yehudi Menuhin

(Tags: select top quotes, quotations, theme series, self help, life, inspiring, enriching, uplifting, motivational, educational, philosophical.)

(Sharing/recommending this post/this blog is appreciated.)

#186 A Life with Purpose

The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~Benjamin Disraeli

Great minds have purposes, others have wishes. ~Washington Irving

- What drives your thoughts: purposes or wishes?
- How can you cultivate a life with purpose?

- What are several realistic short term purposes for your life?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

#185 On Leadership

Leadership: The art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

To lead the people, walk behind them. ~Lao-Tzu

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what you want them to achieve, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. ~ George Smith Patton, Jr.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Winston Churchill: Pivotal Statesman

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was a British politician, best known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He was Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.

Here are 15 select quotes which reveal several of his incisive perspectives and wit:

-A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

-Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

-History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.

-Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.

-He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

-When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.

-You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

-Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.

Selected by quoteflections.

-Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.

-We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow worm.

-The price of greatness is responsibility.

-All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.

-To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

-Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.

-We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

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

#184 Turn on the Light

It doesn't matter how long we may have been stuck in a sense of our limitations. If we go into a darkened room and turn on the light, it doesn't matter if the room has been dark for a day, a week, or ten thousand years -- we turn on the light and it is illuminated. Once we control our capacity for love and happiness, the light has been turned on. ~ Sharon Salzberg

-To what extent have your limitations subdued your ability to enjoy life?
-How can you nurture more of a capacity for love and daily happiness?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

#183 Veil of Indifference

My continuing passion is to part a curtain, that invisible veil of indifference that falls between us and that blinds us to each other's presence, each other's wonder, each other's human plight. ~ Eudora Welty

- To what extent do you live in a veil of indifference?
- What several people in your life could you show more interest?
- What enrichment may result?

Friday, February 17, 2012

#182 Turbulence as Life Force

Yesterday's post in my Theme Series contains a number of perceptive quotes about change. All the authors agree that change can invigorate and empower. Perhaps the most positive and energizing quote (albeit a little scary) is this:

Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let's love turbulence and use it for change. ~ Ramsay Clark

- Do you find turbulence scary or rejuvenating?
- When have you used turbulence as an opportunity?
- What positive results were achieved?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Theme Series: Ten Perspectives about Change

Depending upon the circumstances, change can be met with excitement, reluctance, or even fear. Here is a select list of quotations which provides some helpful guidance.

- The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

- All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy, for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another. ~ Anatole France

- Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let's love turbulence and use it for change. ~ Ramsay Clark

- Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place...New harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort...The most familiar people stand each moment in some new relation to each other, to their work, to surrounding objects. ~ Henry Ward Beecher

- Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely. ~ Karen Kaiser Clark

Selected by quoteflections.

- When you're through changing, you're through. ~ Bruce Barton

- What is more enthralling to the human mind than this splendid, boundless, colored mutability! Life in the making? ~ David Grayson

- A permanent state of transition is man's most noble condition. ~ Juan Ramon Jimenez

- When in doubt, choose change. -Lily Leung

- When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Victor Frankl

(Tags: select top quotes, quotations, theme series, self help, life, inspiring, enriching, uplifting, motivational, educational, philosophical.)

(Sharing/recommending this post/this blog is appreciated.)

#181 Three Passions

Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness--that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what--at last--I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me. ~ Bertrand Russell

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#180 Be Thyself

"Know Thyself" was written over the portal of the antique world. Over the portal of the new world, "Be Thyself" shall be written. ~ Oscar Wilde

- How well do you know yourself?
- How can you cultivate your strengths to best capture your inner essence?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

#179 Love Yourself

You can't punish yourself into change. You can't whip yourself into shape. But you can love yourself into well-being. ~ Susan Skye

- How much do you punish yourself?
- How much do you love yourself enough to nurture desired outcomes?

(What shapes our lives are the questions we ask, refuse to ask, or never think to ask.
Sam Keen)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Great Author Series: Master of the Haiku

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) was a Japanese poet best known for his poems in haiku style. He renounced the social, urban life of the literary circles to wander the countryside seeking nurture. His poems encapsulate the essence of a scene in a few lines of simple elements.

Here is a select list of his enduring poetry which captures the intensity of life in stirring simplicity. (The required 5/7/5 syllabic lines are often not apparent with the translation.)

With dewdrops dripping,
I wish somehow I could wash
this perishing world

moonless night...
a powerful wind embraces
the ancient cedars

Temple bells die out.
The fragrant blossoms remain.
A perfect evening!

Culture's beginnings:
rice-planting songs from the heart
of the country

A mountain pheasant cry
fills me with fond longing for
father and mother

Selected by quoteflections.

Sick on my journey,
only my dreams will wander
these desolate moors

Spring air --
Woven moon
And plum scent.

The voices of plovers
Invite me to stare into the darkness
Of the Starlit Promontory

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

(Sharing/recommending this post/this blog is appreciated.)

#178 Attention is Vitality

Do stuff, be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager; stay eager. ~ Susan Sontag

- What engaging stuff can you do?
- Where can you show more attention and eagerness?
- What connections await?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

#180 Gratitude showers Peace

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. ~ Melody Beattie

One More Select Quote

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. ~ Oprah Winfrey

Friday, February 10, 2012

#179 Be in Charge of your Attitude

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes. ~ Charles Swindoll

Thursday, February 9, 2012

#178 The Seeds of Today

Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime. ~ W. E. B. DuBois

- What seeds of potential can you plant today?
- What best work can you do?
- What future harvest will you reap from the seeds of today?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Theme Series: 16 Poignant Quotes about Love

I had some fun choosing these enduring perspectives about love. As we approach Valentine's Day 2012, may this select list provide some enlightenment:

- If you want to be loved, be lovable. ~ Ovid

- Love is the poetry of the senses. ~ Honore De Balzac

- Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. ~ Albert Einstein

- Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. ~ I Corinthians 13:4-8

- The first duty of love is to listen. ~ Paul Tillich

-A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you. ~ Elbert Hubbard

Selected by quoteflections.

- Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring. ~ Oscar Wilde

- Love doesn't grow on the trees like apples in Eden- it's something you have to make and you must use your imagination to make it too, just like anything else. It's all work, work. ~ Joyce Carey

- Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

- If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I. ~ Michel de Montaigne

- People who are sensible about love are incapable of it. ~ Douglas Yates

- When love and skill work together expect a masterpiece. ~ John Ruskin

- Candle light, moon light, star light,
The brightest glow is from love light. ~Grey Livingston

Selected by quoteflections.

- Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence. ~ Eric Fromm

- We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person. ~W. Somerset Maugham

-To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable. ~ C. S. Lewis

(Tags: select top quotes, quotations, theme series, self help, life, inspiring, enriching, uplifting, motivational, educational, philosophical.)

(Sharing/recommending this post/this blog is appreciated.)

#177 A Web of Connectness

The important element is the way in which all things are connected. Every thought and action sends shivers of energy into the world around us, which affects all creation. Perceiving the world as a web of connectedness helps us to overcome the feelings of separation that hold us back and cloud our vision. This connection with all life increases our sense of responsibility for every move, every attitude, allowing us to see clearly that each soul does indeed make a difference to the whole. ~ Emma Restall Orr

Questions asked at 365 Quote Quest:

- How separate do you see yourself from nature, from the world?
- How can a feeling of separation from the world cloud one's vision?
- How can you nurture more of a sense of connection with this world?
- What contributions can you make to the whole?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

#176 Relish Small Pleasures

Life is made up of small pleasures. Happiness is made up of those tiny successes. The big ones come too infrequently. And if you don't collect all these tiny successes, the big ones don't really mean anything. ~Norman Lear

Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures. ~H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Great Author Series: Ben Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was an American publisher, author, inventor, scientist and diplomat. He was one of the founding fathers of the U.S., and a major figure in the American Enlightenment. Franklin formed the first public lending library and fire department.

Much of his wisdom is remembered from perceptive maxims which have survived the centuries. Here is a select list of notable quotations:

-The noblest question in the world is, “What good may I do in it?

-All humanity is divided into three classes: those who are immovable, those who are movable, and those who move.

-Well done is better than well said.

-He that lives upon hope will die fasting.

-Early to bed and early to rise make a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

Selected by quoteflections.

-Reading makes a full Man, Meditation a profound Man, Discourse a clear Man.

-Never ruin an apology with an excuse.

-An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

-A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

-Never confuse Motion with Action.

-If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.

-Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.

-When you are finished changing, you're finished.

-When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.

-To be humble to superiors is a duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.

-The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all others, charity.

-If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.

Selected by quoteflections.

-The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.

-Life's biggest tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

-Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.

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

#175 On Relationships

Acceptance is the universal currency of real friendship... It does not warp or shape or wrench a person to be anything other than what they are. ~ Joan Chillister

Relationships are the oxygen of the psyche. ~ Jane Fonda

Saturday, February 4, 2012

#174 Strength in Diversity

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength. ~ Maya Angelou

Our cultural strength has always been derived from our diversity of understanding and experience. ~ Yo-Yo Ma

Friday, February 3, 2012

#173 Friday Exploits

Youth is like a long weekend on Friday night. Middle age is like a long weekend on Monday afternoon. ~ Richard Nelson Bolles

One More Select Quote

People are surprised at how down-to-earth I am. I like to stay home on Friday nights and listen to 'The Art of Happiness' by the Dalai Lama. ~ Carmen Electra

Thursday, February 2, 2012

#172 Be Daring, Be Different

My kids are starting to notice I'm a little different from the other dads. "Why don't you have a straight job like everyone else?" they asked me the other day.

I told them this story:
In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, "Look at me...I'm tall, and I'm straight, and I'm handsome. Look at're all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you." And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, "Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest." So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day. ~Tom Waits

One more select quote:

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. ~Sir Cecil Beaton

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Gandhi: Empowering Message

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) was the preeminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement. He pioneered the rise of nonviolent resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience.

Here is a list of select quotations which offers a glimpse of his enlightened perspectives:

-Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

-An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.

-Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

-Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

-Seven Deadly Sins

Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Science without humanity
Knowledge without character
Politics without principle
Commerce without morality
Worship without sacrifice.

-God has no religion.

-The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

Selected by quoteflections.

-Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.

-You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

-Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.

-Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.

-I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world.

Selected by quoteflections.

-Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.

-In a gentle way, you can shake the world.

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

(Sharing, recommending this post, this blog is appreciated.)

#171 Real Discovery Lies Within

To most of us the real life is the life we do not lead. ~ Oscar Wilde

And one more select quote:

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.
~Marcel Proust