The people didn't really want to be saints of self-deprivation and hatred of the world. They knew that the world would sooner or later deprive them of all it had given them, but still they liked it.
A person incapable of imaging another world than given to him by his senses would be subhuman, and a person who identifies his imaginary world with the world of sensory fact has become insane.
Acts of injustice done between the setting and the rising sun in history lie like bones, each one.
Noises at dawn will bring freedom for some, but not this peace. No bird can contradict.
Complete success would mean that every individual felt, "I enjoyed the mathematics that I had time to learn. If I ever need or want to learn some more, I shall not be afraid to do so."
As life grows more terrible, its literature grows more terrible.
The heavy trees, the grunting, shuffling branches, the robust, the nocturnal, the antique, the blue-green pines deepen the feelings to inhuman depths.
It is not possible for a man to be elegant without a touch of femininity.
How much, let me note, depends upon trousers; the intelligent head is entirely handicapped by shabby trousers.
We all indulge in the strange, pleasant process called thinking, but when it comes to saying, even to someone opposite, what we think, then how little we are able to convey! The phantom is through the mind and out of the window before we can lay salt on its tail, or slowly sinking and returning to the profound darkness which it has lit up momentarily with a wandering light.
Doing good to others is not a duty, it is a joy, for it increases our own health and happiness.
Javert's ideal was not to be humane, not to be great, not to be sublime; it was to be irreproachable. Now he had just failed.
I did not know whether my wife was alive, and I had no means of finding out (during all my prison life there was no outgoing or incoming mail); but at that moment it ceased to matter. There was no need for me to know; nothing could touch the strength of my love, my thoughts, and the image of my beloved. Had I known then that my wife was dead, I think that I would still have given myself, undisturbed by that knowledge, to the contemplation of her image, and that my mental conversation with her would have been just as vivid and just as satisfying. 'Set me like a seal upon thy heart, love is as strong as death.'
To be sure, man's search for meaning may arouse inner tension rather than inner equilibrium. However, precisely such tension is an indispensable prerequisite of mental health. There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one's life. There is much wisdom in the words of Nietzsche: He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how
What matters is to make the best of any given situation. "The best," however, is that which in Latin is called optimum--hence the reason I speak of a tragic optimism, that is, an optimism in the face of tragedy and in view of the human potential which at its best always allows for (l) turning suffering into a human achievement and accomplishment; (2) deriving from guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better; and (3) deriving from life's transitoriness an incentive to take responsible action.
During war times not only one should himself take part in it but also encourage the courageous to do so by creating awareness, zeal and enthusiasm for the war in the society.
We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.
A vision without resources is an hallucination.
If I were to choose among all gifts and qualities that which, on the whole, makes life pleasantest, I should select the love of children. No circumstance can render this world wholly a solitude to one who has this possession.
America cannot be an ostrich with its head in the sand