Every sentence I utter must be understood not as an affirmation but as a question.
Take your duty, and be strong in it, as God will make you strong. The harder it is, the stronger in fact you will be. Understand, also, that the great question her is, not what you will get, but what you will become. The greatest wealth you can ever get will be in yourself. Take your burdens and troubles and losses and wrongs, if come they must and will, as your opportunity, knowing that God has girded you for greater things than these.
Is life worth living? This is a question for an embryo, not for a man.
Don't spend your precious time asking, "Why isn't the world a better place?" It will only be time wasted. The question to ask is, "How can I make it better?" To that question, there is an answer.
Any path is only a path. There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear and ambition. I warn you, look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone one question. It is this: Does the path have a heart? Does this path have a heart is the only question. If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use.
True conservatism is substantial progress; it holds fast what is true and good in order to advance in both. To cast away the old is not of necessity to attain the new. To reject anything that is valuable, lessens the power of gaining more. That a thing is new does not of course commend; that it is old does not discredit. The test question is, "Is it true or good?"
What is the sense of our life? What is the sense of the life of any living being at all? To know an answer to this question means to be religious. You ask: What is the sense of putting this question at all? I answer: He who feels that his own life or that of his fellow-beings is senseless is not only unhappy, but hardly capable of living.
There is one wish ruling over all mankind, and it is a wish which is never in any single instance granted - each man wishes to be his own master. It is a boy's beautific vision, and it remains the grown-up man's ruling passion to the last. But the fact is, life is a service; the only question is, whom will we serve?
The most distinctive mark of a cultured mind is the ability to take another's point of view; to put one's self in another's place, and see life and its problems from a point of view different from one's own. To be willing to test a new idea; to be able to live on the edge of difference in all matters intellectually; to examine without heat the burning question of the day; to have imaginative sympathy, openness and flexibility of mind, steadiness and poise of feeling, cool calmness of judgment, is to have culture.
Every question in philosophy is the mask of another question; and all these masking and masked questions require to be removed and laid aside, until the ultimate but truly first question has been reached. Then, but not till them, it is possible to decipher and resolve the outside mask, and all those below it, which come before us in the first instance.
The question, "Who ought to be boss?" is like asking "who ought to be the tenor in the quartet?" Obviously, the man who can sing tenor.
We try to evade the question [of existence] with property, prestige, power, production, fun, and, ultimately, by trying to forget that we - that I - exist. No matter how often he thinks of God or goes to church, or how much he believes in religious ideas, if he, the whole man, is deaf to the question of existence, if he does not have an answer to it, he is marking time, and he lives and dies like of the million things he produces. He thinks of God, instead of experiencing God.
I don’t see any reason why we should have less confidence in this kind of perception, I.e., in mathematical intuition, than in sense perception, which induces us to build up physical theories and to expect that future sense perceptions will agree with them and, moreover, to believe that a question not decidable now has meaning and may be decided in the future.
If we discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind of God.
If you do not ask the right questions, you do not get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the A-B-C of diagnosis. Only the inquiring mind solves problems.
The silence in our lives is under assault on all fronts: roaring jets and blasting Walkmans, numbing elevator music and blaring headline news. It’s hard to genuflect to the beat of MTV. We are wired, plugged in, constantly catered to and cajoled. After a while we become terrified out of the silence, unaware of what it has to offer. We drown out the simple question of God with the simplistic sound-bites of man.
Poetry is not made out of the understanding. The question of common sense is always: "What is it good for?' a question which would abolish the rose, and be triumphantly answered by the cabbage.
The question for each man to settle is not what he would do if he had means, time, influence and educational advantages, but what he will do with the things he has.
The great question is: can war be outlawed? If so, it would mark the greatest advance in civilization since the Sermon on the Mount.
A politician must often talk and act before he has thought and read. He may be very ill informed respecting a question: all his notions about it may be vague and inaccurate; but speak he must. And if he is a man of ability, of tact, and of intrepidity, he soon find that, even under such circumstances, it is possible to speak successfully.