Bitterness

For how might sweetness ever have been known to him who never tasted bitterness? Felicity exists for those alone who first have suffered sorrow and distress... By opposites does one in wisdom grow.

To bear up under loss; to fight the bitterness of defeat and the weakness of grief; to be victor over anger, to smile when tears are close; to resist disease and evil men and base instincts; to hate hate and to love love; to go on when it would seem good to die; to look up with unquenchable faith in something ever more about to be - that is what any man can do, and be great.

Much misconstruction and bitterness are spared to him who thinks naturally upon what he owes to others, rather than on what he ought to expect from them.

There are many kinds of smiles, each having a distinct character. Some announce goodness and sweetness, others betray sarcasm, bitterness, and pride; some soften the countenance by their languishing tenderness, others brighten by their spiritual vivacity.

There is a theory that since the child will be obliged in later life to do many things that he does not want to do, he might as well learn how while he is young. The difficulty here seems to be that learning to do one kind of a thing that you do not want to do does not guarantee your readiness to do other kinds of unpleasant things. That art cannot be taught. Each situation of compulsion, unless the spirit is completely broken, will have its own peculiar quality of bitterness, and no guarantee against it can be inculcated.

Ridicule may be the evidence of wit or bitterness and may gratify a little mind, or an ungenerous temper, but it is no test of reason and truth.

I pluck up the goodlisome herbs of sentences by pruning, eat them by reading, digest them by musing, and lay them at length in the high seat of memory by gathering them together; that so, having tasted their sweetness, I may the less perceive the bitterness of life.

When a man is sure that all he wants is happiness, then most grievously he deceives himself. All men desire happiness, but they need something far different, compared to which happiness is trivial, and in the lack of which happiness turns to bitterness in the mouth. There are many names for that which men need - "the one thing needful" - but the simplest is "wholeness."

Familiarity in one's superiors causes bitterness, fir it may not be returned.

You cannot have ecstasy and divine vision without bitterness and despair, and both of these are the property of youth.

Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety. And at such a moment, unable to see and not daring to imagine what the future will now bring forth, one clings to what one knew, or dreamed that one possessed. Yet, it is only when a man is able, without bitterness or self-pity, to surrender a dream he has long cherished or a privilege he has long possessed that he is set free — he has set himself free — for higher dreams, for greater privileges.

Joy has to do with seeing how big, how completely unobstructed, and how precious things are… Resentment, bitterness, and holding a grudge prevent us from seeing and hearing and tasting and delighting.

To give and receive advice – the former with freedom and yet without bitterness, the latter with patience and without irritation – is peculiarly appropriate to genuine friendship.

Human life is a sad show, undoubtedly: ugly, heavy and complex. Art has no other end, for people of feeling, than to conjure away the burden and bitterness.

The world? It is a territory under a curse, where even its pleasures carry with them their thorns and their bitterness… A place where hope, regarded as a passion so sweet, renders everybody unhappy; where those who have nothing to hope for, think themselves still more miserable, where all that pleases, pleases never for long; and where ennui is always most the sweetest destiny and the most supportable that one can expect in it.

The bitterness of studying is preferable to the bitterness of ignorance.

The certainty of a God giving meaning to life far surpasses in attractiveness the ability to behave badly with impunity. The choice would not be hard to make. But there is no choice and that is where the bitterness comes in. The absurd does not liberate; it binds. It does not authorize all actions. Everything is permitted does not mean that nothing is forbidden. The absurd merely confers an equivalence on the consequences of those actions.

The certainty of a God giving meaning to life far surpasses in attractiveness the ability to behave badly with impunity. The choice would not be hard to make. But there is no choice and that is where the bitterness comes in. The absurd does not liberate; it binds. It does not authorize all actions. Everything is permitted does not mean that nothing is forbidden. The absurd merely confers an equivalence on the consequences of those actions.

Love is the sunshine of the soul. Without it we get hard and sour and we never grow into what we could be. Love sweetens the bitterness of experience and softens the core of selfishness that is inherent in human nature.

The rule of life is to be found within yourself. Ask yourself constantly, "What is the right thing to do?" Beware of ever doing that which you are likely, sooner or later, to repent of having done. It is better to live in peace than in bitterness and strife. It is better to believe in your neighbors than to fear and distrust them. The superior man does not wrangle. He is firm but not quarrelsome. He is sociable but not clannish. The superior man sets a good example to his neighbors. He is considerate of their feelings and property. Consideration for others is the basis of a good life, and a good society. Feel kindly toward everyone. Be friendly and pleasant among yourselves. Be generous and fair.