Lovely Gems to Ponder

As you know, I love to collect quotes.  I have leather journals that are packed with them.

If you’re like me, you’ll savor these tidbits, realizing that few words can sometimes say more than many.  Here are some recent acquisitions.

“No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other.”  —Jascha Heifetz, violinist (1901-1987)

“No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self-deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.”  —Miguel de Cervantes

“The average man, who doesn’t know what to do with his life, wants another one which will last forever.”  —Anatole France

“Habit with him was all the test of truth / It must be right: I’ve done it from my youth.”  —George Crabbe

“There is not less wit nor less invention in applying rightly a thought one finds in a book, than in being the first author of that thought.”  —Pierre Bayle

“Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own, which is the chief reason for that kind of reception it meets in the world, and that so very few are offended with it.”  —Jonathan Swift

“There is no greater mistake than the hasty conclusion that opinions are worthless because they are badly argued.”  —Thomas Huxley

“Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one’s mind.”—William Somerset Maugham

“Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.”  —Herman Melville

[This next one devastated me when I read it.  I’ve been thinking about solutions ever since.]

“Think of the poorest person you have ever seen and ask if your next act will be of any use to him.”  —Mahatma Gandhi

“The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time.  It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life.  When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else—we are the busiest people in the world.”  —Eric Hoffer

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.  To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh.  To live is to be willing to die over and over again.  From the awakened point of view, that’s life.  Death is wanting to hold on to what you have and to have every experience confirm you and congratulate you and make you feel completely together.”  —Pema Chödrön

“There are many people who reach their conclusions about life like schoolboys; they cheat their master by copying the answer out of a book without having worked out the sum for themselves.”  —Soren Kierkegaard

“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”  —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

[Post image: To get what I want by OzRock79 on stock.xchng]


  1. Lindsey
    Mar 31, 2011

    Lovely, lovely, lovely. I particularly love that Pema Chodron quote, which I often think about. xox

  2. Sylvia
    Mar 31, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful quotes Elissa.

    • Elissa
      Mar 31, 2011

      You’re welcome, Sylvia. They’re like little poems, so short but so full of wisdom…

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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