Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

William Allen White

American Journalist "Sage of Emporia"

"Greatness, generally speaking, is an unusual quantity of a usual quality grafted upon a common man."

"Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others."

"The world is made better by ever man improving his own conduct; and no reform is accomplished wholesale."

"We are apt to say that money talks, but it speaks a broken, poverty-stricken language. Hearts talk better, clearer and with wider intelligence."

"Everyone expects to go further than his father went; everyone expects to be better than he was born and every generation has one big impulse in its heart - to exceed all the other generations of the past in all the things that make life worth living."

"I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today."

"What is a man profited if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"

"Whoever tramples on the plea for justice temperately made in the name of peace only outrages peace and kills something fine in the heart of man which God put there when we got our manhood."

"Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you give it to others."

"A businessman's candidate, hovering around the status quo like a sick kitten around a hot brick."

"A story is a curious thing, that grows with a kind of consciousness of its own."

"A little learning is not a dangerous thing to one who does not mistake it for a great deal."

"Advertising is the genie which is transforming America into a place of comfort, luxury and ease for millions. Advertising is the Archimedean lever that is moving the world. If things were done in another and elder age that advertising is doing now, a whole mythology would gather about it, and we should witness the birth of a young God--powerful, restless, indomitable and wise, dominating. He would flash in the sylvan glades of the want advertisements and disport himself in the sunny whiteness of the department stores' wide spaces. But what a god he would be! How beneficent, how omnipresent, how powerful!"

"All dressed up, with nowhere to go."

"Always remember this: Happiness is from the heart out - not from the world in."

"Any appeasement of tyranny is treason to this republic and to the democratic ideal."

"As a matter of fact student riots of one sort or another, protests against the order that is, kicks against college and university management indicate a healthy growth and a normal functioning of the academic mind."

"Choices make character and character makes happiness."

"Consistency is the paste jewel that only cheap men cherish."

"Democracy is an experiment, and the right of the majority to rule is no more inherent than the right of the minority to rule; and unless the majority represents sane, righteous, unselfish public sentiment, it has no inherent right."

"Dip your pen into your arteries and write."

"Every great movement needs an agitator. Every leader of spiritual ideals need a John the Baptist."

"For 40 to 60 percent of the presidential office is not in administration but in morals, politics, and spiritual leadership."

"For him who would be wise, wisdom is nearer at hand than it was before our generation went to work."

"From 40 to 60 percent of the presidential office is not in administration but in morals, politics, and spiritual leadership. He has to guide a people in the greatest adventure ever undertaken on the planet."

"Happiness and character are inseparable, but how easy it is to be happy in a great, beautiful house; or to be unhappy if it comes to that in a great, beautiful house."

"He knew no better than he did. He talked from the wisdom of his own heart, out of the experience of his own life and out of the vanity of his own hopes."

"I fear vastly more a futile, incompetent old age than I do any form of death."

"I have never been bored an hour in my life. I get up every morning wondering what new strange glamorous thing is going to happen and it happens at fairly regular intervals."

"I have tried to teach people there are three kicks in every dollar: one, when you make it; two, when you have it. The third kick it when you give it away - and it is the biggest kick of all."

"I would rather have written Fables in Slang than be President."

"If each man or woman could understand that every other human life is as full of sorrows, or joys, or base temptations, of heartaches and of remorse as his own... how much kinder, how much gentler he would be."

"If our colleges and universities do not breed men who riot, who rebel, who attack life with all the youthful vim and vigor, then there is something wrong with our colleges. The more riots that come on college campuses, the better world for tomorrow."

"If the world were extremely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world. That makes it hard to plan the day."

"In education, we are striving not to teach youth to make a living, but to make a life."

"In the Barbecue is any four footed animal -- be it mouse or mastodon -- whose dressed carcass is roasted whole... at its best it is a fat steer, and must be eaten within an hour of when it is cooked. For if ever the sun rises upon Barbecue, its flavor vanishes like Cinderella's silks, and it becomes cold baked beef -- staler in the chill dawn than illicit love."

"Kansas is a state of the Union, but it is also a state of mind, a neurotic condition, a psychological phase, a symptom, indeed, something undreamed of in your philosophy, an inferiority complex against the tricks and manners of plutocracy -- social, political and economic."

"Lady Luck has been good to me and I fancy she has been good to everyone. Only some people are dour, and when she gives them the come hither with her eyes, they look down or turn away and lift an eyebrow. But me, I give her the wink and away we go."

"Live for today. Multitudes of people have failed to live for today... What they have had within their grasp today they have missed entirely, because only the future has intrigued them."

"Man is a blowhard. He likes to lie - not in malice but to stimulate his vanity. And, curiously, he doesn't seem to care whether the lie he tells in one hour fits the lie he tells the next."

"My advice to the women of America is to raise more hell and fewer dahlias."

"Never use the word, 'very.' It is the weakest word in the English language; doesn't mean anything. If you feel the urge of 'very' coming on, just write the word, 'damn,' in the place of 'very.' The editor will strike out the word, 'damn,' and you will have a good sentence."

"Only as our hearts react on life, do we get happiness or misery, not from the events that follow the procession of days."

"Peace without justice is tyranny."

"Reason has never failed men. Only force and repression have made the wrecks in the world."

"Rudyard Kipling coined the phrase: 'The female of the species is more deadly than the male.' Well - look at Jeannette Rankin... Probably a hundred men in Congress would have liked to do what she did. Not one of them had the courage to do it. The Gazette entirely disagrees with the wisdom of her position. But, Lord, it was a brave thing!"

"Since others have to tolerate my weaknesses, it is only fair that I should tolerate theirs."

"So, dear friend, put fear out of your heart. This nation will survive, this state will prosper, the orderly business of life will go forward if only men can speak in whatever way given them to utter what their hearts hold - by voice, by posted card, by letter or by press. Reason never has failed men. Only force and repression have made the wrecks in the world."

"The emotion called love and its twin desire hunger, are the two primal passions of life."

"The facts fairly and honestly presented; truth will take care of itself."