Sydney J. Harris

Sydney J.

American Journalist and Syndicated Columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times

Author Quotes

Filth is always a sign of weakness - in the mouth of the user and in the mind of the writer.

The founder of every creed from Jesus Christ to Karl Marx, would be appalled to return to earth and see what has been made of that creed, not by its enemies, but by its most devoted adherents.

Have you ever noticed that it is generally the same people who talk about the need for incentive to make a man work successfully, who resent the idea of incentive to make a man think successfully?

The only way to relieve the world's ills is not by understanding each other, but by each one understanding himself; for there can be no genuine rapport between persons who are ignorant of their own deepest motivations and needs.

If you cannot endure to be thought in the wrong, you will begin to do terrible things to make the wrong appear right.

Those who imagine that the world is against them have generally conspired to make it true.

If you want to know what a man's character is really like... ask him to tell you the living person he most admires – for hero worship is the truest index of a man's private nature.

We can often endure an extra pound of pain far more easily than we can suffer the withdrawal of an ounce of accustomed pleasure.

It may be true that the weak will always be driven to the wall; but it is the task of a just society to see that the wall is climbable.

We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until... we have stopped saying It got lost, and say, I lost it.

The acceptance of ambiguity implies more than the commonplace understanding that some good things and some bad things happen to us. It means that we know that good and evil are inextricably intermixed in human affairs; that they contain, and sometimes embrace, their opposites; that success may involve failure of a different kind, and failure may be a kind of triumph.

The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.

Work and play are an artificial pair of opposites, because the best kind of play contains an element of work, and the most productive kind of work must include something of the spirit of play.

The art of living consists in knowing which impulses to obey and which must be made to obey.

The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong".

Young people know less than we do, but they understand more; their perception has not yet been blunted by compromise, fatigue, rationalization, and the mistaking of mere respectability for morality.

The beauty of spacing children many years apart lies in the fact that parents have time to learn the mistakes that were made with the older ones - which permits them to make exactly the opposite mistakes with the younger ones.

The time to relax is -- when you don't have time for it.

The commonest fallacy among women is that simply having children makes them a mother - which is as absurd as believing that having a piano makes one a musician.

The true test of independent judgment is being able to dislike someone who admires us.

The deepest and rarest kind of courage has nothing to do with feats or obstacles in the outside world; and, indeed, has nothing to do with the outside world — it is the courage to be who you are.

The two words ‘Information’ and ‘communication' are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.

Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.

The difference between faith and superstition is that the first uses reason to go as far as it can, and then makes the jump; the second shuns reason entirely — which is why superstition is not the ally, but the enemy, of true religion.

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.

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Sydney J.
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American Journalist and Syndicated Columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times