Misfortune

Keep the middle path of strength and virtue, lest you be overwhelmed by misfortune or corrupted by pleasant fortune. All that falls short or goes too far ahead, has contempt for happiness, and gains not the reward for labor done. It rests in your own hands what shall be the nature of the fortune which you choose to form for yourself. For all fortune which seems difficult, either exercises virtue, or corrects or punishes vice.

Of all suffering from fortune, the unhappiest misfortune is to have known a happy fortune.

We should not so much esteem our poverty as a misfortune, were it not that the world treats it so much as a crime.

We should not so much esteem our poverty as a misfortune, were it not that the world treats it so.

It is a great misfortune neither to have enough wit to talk well nor enough judgment to be silent.

Despair is the offspring of fear; of laziness, and impatience; it argues a defect of spirit and resolution, and often of honesty too. I would not despair unless I saw my misfortune recorded in the book of fate; and signed and sealed by necessity.

It is harder to find a man who can bear good fortune well than one who can bear misfortune well.

Nothing can be more touching than to behold a soft and tender female, who had been all weakness and dependence, and alive to every trivial roughness while treading the prosperous paths of life, suddenly rising by mental force to be the comforter and supporter of her husband under misfortune, and abiding with unshrinking firmness the bitterest blast of adversity.

To be mistaken is a misfortune to be pitied; but to know the truth and not to conform one's actions to it is a crime which Heaven and Earth condemn.

The great majority of us are required to live a life of constant, systematic duplicity. Your health is bound to be affected, if day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune. Our nervous system isn't just a fiction, it's a part of our physical body, our soul exists in space inside us, like the teeth in our mouth. It can't be forever violated with impunity.

Make not another's misfortune your joy.

Many men, seemingly impelled by fortune, hasten forward to meet misfortune half way.

We do not know either unalloyed happiness or unmitigated misfortune. Everything in this world is a tangled yarn; we taste nothing in its purity; we do not remain two moments in the same state. Our affections as well as bodies, are in a perpetual flux.

The only thought in the world that is worth anything is free thought. To free thought we owe all past progress and all hope for the future. Since when has any one made it appear that shackled thought could get on better than that which is free? Brains are a great misfortune if one is never to use them.

"Keep aloof from sadness," says an Icelandic writer, "for sadness is a sickness of the soul." Life has, indeed, many ills, but the mind that views every object in its most cheering aspect, and every doubtful dispensation as replete with latent good, bears within itself a powerful and perpetual antidote. The gloomy soul aggravates misfortune, while a cheerful smile often dispels those mists that portend a storm.

Life, not death, is man's misfortune. It is death which gives liberty to the soul and permits it to depart to its own pure abode, there to be free from all calamity.

It is counterproductive to assume we have created every misfortune in our life, as if we had made a conscious intention to do so. That kind of thinking leads to guilt and despair. Nevertheless, a sincere willingness to acknowledge that we have certain beliefs that have created our situation will enrich our approach to working through obstacles.

Here is a rule to remember in the future, when anything tempts you to feel bitter: not, “This is a misfortune,” but “To bear this worthily is good fortune.”

After rain comes sunshine; after darkness comes the glorious dawn. There is no sorrow without its alloy of joy, there is no joy without its admixture of sorrow. Behind the ugly terrible mask of misfortune lies the beautiful soothing countenance of prosperity. So, tear the mask!

Those who have had no share in the good fortune of the mighty often have a share in their misfortune.