Misfortune

The government's War on Poverty has transformed poverty from a short-term misfortune into a career choice.

The most hateful human misfortune is for a wise man to have no influence.

This great misfortune - to be incapable of solitude.

It can even come about that a created will cancels out, not perhaps the exertion, but the result of divine action; for in this sense, God himself has told us that God wishes things which do not happen because man does not wish them! Thus the rights of men are immense, and his greatest misfortune is to be unaware of them.

But each one of us is guilty insofar as he remained inactive. The guilt of passivity is different. Impotence excuses; no moral law demands a spectacular death. Plato already deemed it a matter of course to go into hiding in desperate times of calamity, and to survive. But passivity knows itself morally guilty of every failure, every neglect to act whenever possible, to shield the imperiled, to relieve wrong, to countervail. Impotent submission always left a margin of activity which, though not without risk, could still be cautiously effective. Its anxious omission weighs upon the individual as moral guilt. Blindness for the misfortune of others, lack of imagination of the heart, inner differences toward the witnessed evil--that is moral guilt.

The supreme misfortune is when theory outstrips performance.

Whether or not we have hope depends on two dimensions of our explanatory style; pervasiveness and permanence. Finding temporary and specific causes for misfortune is the art of hope: Temporary causes limit helplessness in time, and specific causes limit helplessness to the original situation. On the other hand, permanent causes produce helplessness far into the future, and universal causes spread helplessness through all your endeavors. Finding permanent and universal causes for misfortune is the practice of despair... The optimistic style of explaining good events is the opposite of that used for bad events: It's internal rather than external. People who believe they cause good things tend to like themselves better than people who believe good things come from other people or circumstances.

Finding permanent and universal causes for misfortune is the practice of despair.

Finding temporary and specific causes for misfortune is the art of hope: Temporary causes limit helplessness in time, and specific causes limit helplessness to the original situation.

So now, from this mad passion
Which made me take art for an idol and a king
I have learnt the burden of error that it bore
And what misfortune springs from man's desire...
The world's frivolities have robbed me of the time
That I was given for reflecting upon God.

So now, from this mad passion
Which made me take art for an idol and a king
I have learnt the burden of error that it bore
And what misfortune springs from man's desire...
The world's frivolities have robbed me of the time
That I was given for reflecting upon God.

It is how people respond to stress that determines whether they will profit from misfortune or be miserable.

Prudence replaces strength by saving the man who has the misfortune of not possessing it from most occasions when it's needed.

Be innocent, not knowledgeable. Be ignorant. It is better, because in your ignorance you accept the mystery of life. Life cannot be explained. All explanations are very tiny, small, rigid; and life is so vast, so immense — it cannot be contained in any explanation.
Life is there to be lived. Life has no question-mark; it is a mystery, there is no explanation. And it is good that there is none: it would be a great misfortune if there were an explanation. If there were an answer that could satisfy you, just think how flat things would become, how boring, how monotonous — because no answer can answer your questions. Life remains an adventure, it remains a constant search. Searching, one day you come to a point where you understand that you are wasting your energies in searching. The same energies can be put to celebration. You can enjoy.

Man's great misfortune is that he has no organ, no kind of eyelid or brake, to mask or block a thought, or all thought, when he wants to.

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To them ... a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.

Whoever has neither income nor wages has no right to demand anything of others: his misfortune falls on his own head; in the game of fortune, luck has been against him.

As a fresh wound shrinks from the hand of the surgeon, then gradually submits to and even calls for it; so a mind under the first impression of a misfortune shuns and rejects all comfort, but at length, if touched with tenderness, calmly and willingly resigns itself.

It is often a comfort in misfortune to know our own fate.

This feeling for country is essentially noncompetitive; we think of our own people merely as living on the earth's surface along with other groups, pleasant or objectionable as they may be, but fundamentally as sharing the earth with them...The feeling for country would be an uninflatable maximum were it not for the idea of State and Government which are associated with it. Country is a concept of peace, of tolerance, of living and letting live. But State is essentially a concept of power, of competition; it signifies a group in its aggressive aspects. And we have the misfortune of being born not only into a country but into a State, and as we grow up we learn to mingle the two feelings into a hopeless confusion...