Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Pearl S. Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu

American Novelist and Humanitarian, Nobel Prize in Literature and Pulitzer Prize Winner

"Hunger makes a thief of any man."

"Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up."

"None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free."

"Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns how to be amused rather than shocked."

"Self-expression must pass into communication for its fulfillment."

"To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind."

"The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration."

"Growth itself contains the germ of happiness."

"Race prejudice is not only a shadow over the colored - it is a shadow over all of us, and the shadow is darkest over those who feel it least and allow its evil effects to go on."

"Effeminacy is not a feminine possession any more than a masculine one. Men or women become effeminate when privilege and lack of responsibility have made them weak. The true female creature, unspoiled, is tough, persistent, and strong."

"Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied."

"I am absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it."

"I do not believe in a child world. It is fantasy world. I believe the child should be taught from the very first that the whole world is his world, that adult and child share one world, that all generations are needed."

"If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday."

"Love dies only when growth stops."

""Men of action," whose minds are too busy with the day's work to see beyond it. They are essential men, we cannot do without them, and yet we must not allow all our vision to be bound by the limitations of "men of action.""

"Nothing in life is as good as the marriage of true minds between a man and woman. As good? It is life itself."

"One faces the future with one's past."

"Order is the shape upon which beauty depends."

"People on the whole are very simpleminded in whatever country one finds them. They are so simple as to take literally, more often than no, the things their leaders tell them."

"Science and religion, religion and science, put it as I may, they are two sides of the same glass, through which we see darkly until these two, focusing together, reveal the truth."

"The basic discovery bout any people is the discovery of the relationship between its men and women."

"The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. No two people - no mere father and mother - as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born."

"Truth is always exciting. Speak it, then. Life is dull without it."

"God is not in the vastness of greatness. He is hid in the vastness of smallness. He is not in the general. He is in the particular."

"The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it."

"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible - and achieve it, generation after generation."

"To know how to do something well is to enjoy it."

"When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail."

"You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings."

"A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent."

"A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and in the way they express their love. "

"A hungry man can't see right or wrong. He just sees food. "

"Anyone who lives within his means suffers from a lack of imagination."

"Hunger makes a thief of any man. "

"I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work."

"I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings. Like Confucius of old, I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and the angels. I have enough for this life. If there is no other life, then this one has been enough to make it worth being born, myself a human being."

"If our American way of life fails the child, it fails us all. "

"If there is no other life, then this one has been enough to make it worth being born myself... a human being. "

"Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness. "

"The test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members. "

"There is an alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmuted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness."

"Life is stronger than death… Life without idealism is empty indeed."

"Love cannot be forced; love cannot be coaxed and teased. It comes out of heaven, unasked and unsought. "

"Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness. "

"No one really understood music unless he was a scientist, her father had declared, and not just a scientist, either, oh, no, only the real ones, the theoreticians, whose language was mathematics. She had not understood mathematics until he had explained to her that it was the symbolic language of relationships. And relationships, he had told her, contained the essential meaning of life."

"None of us is so much better or wiser than any other than he can destroy a single creature without destroying something of himself. "

"Nothing is menial where there is love. "

"Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members."

"Praise out of season, or tactlessly bestowed, can freeze the heart as much as blame."