Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Charles W. Eliot

American Educator, President of Harvard

"Be unselfish. That is the first and final commandment for those who would be useful, and happy in their usefulness. If you think of yourself only, you cannot develop because you are choking the source of development, which is spiritual expansion through thought for others."

"Cultivate a calm nature, expectant of good."

"Don't think too much about yourselves. Try to cultivate the habit of thinking of others; this will reward you. Nourish your minds by good reading, constant reading. Discover what your lifework is, work in which you can do most good, in which you can be happiest. Be unafraid in all things when you know you are in the right."

"The efficient man is the man who thinks for himself, and is capable of thinking hard and long."

"Whatever deprives a man of personal individual motive for self-improvement and robust exertion will not make him free, but on the contrary more servile and in the long run less intelligent, industrious and free, for freedom is a matter of character and will power."

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends and the most patient of teachers."

"Nobody has any right to find life uninteresting or unrewarded who sees within the sphere of his own activity a wrong he can help to remedy, or within himself an evil he can hope to overcome."

"The fear of losing one's job has kept education in America fifty years behind its possible improvement."

"The best way to secure future happiness is to be as happy as is rightfully possible today."