Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Margaret M. Butts

Learn to laugh. And most of all, learn to laugh at yourself. The person who can give a riotous account of his own faux pas, will never have to listen to another's embarrassing account of it. He will rarely know the sting of humiliation. His a delight to be with, but more important, he is enjoying his own life, and applying to his ills and errors the most soothing balm the human spirit has devised - laughter.

Character | Important | Laughter | Life | Life | Spirit | Will | Wisdom | Learn |

Sara Davidson

The ability to laugh at life is right at the top, with love and communication in the hierarchy of our needs. Humor has much to do with pain; it exaggerates the anxieties and absurdities we feel, so that we gain distance and through laughter, relief.

Ability | Character | Humor | Laughter | Life | Life | Love | Pain | Right | Wisdom |

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nothing serves better to illustrate a man’s character than the things which he finds ridiculous. the ridiculous arises from a moral contrast which is innocently placed before the senses. The sensual man will often laugh when there is nothing to laugh at. Whatever it may be that moves him, he will always reveal the fact that he is pleased with himself.

Better | Character | Contrast | Man | Nothing | Will |

W. C. Fields, stage name for William Claude Dukenfield

I never saw anything funny that wasn’t terrible. If it causes pain, it’s funny; if it doesn’t, it isn’t. I try to hide the pain with embarrassment, and the more I do that, the better they like it. But that does not mean they are unsympathetic. Oh no, they laugh often with tears in their eyes.

Better | Character | Pain | Tears |

Lin-chi, also Lin-chi Yi-sen, Lin-chi I-hsuan, Rinzai, Rinzai Gigen, Linji, Línjì Yìxuán NULL

When hungry, eat your rice; when tired, close your eyes. Fools may laugh at me, but wise men will know what I mean.

Character | Men | Will | Wise |

J. Russell Lynes

The only graceful way to accept an insult is to ignore it; if you can't ignore it, top it; if you can't top it, laugh at it; if you can't laugh at it, it's probably deserved.

Character | Insult | Insult |

Madame de Motteville, Françoise Bertaut de Motteville

If only man could be induced to laugh more they might hate less, and find more serenity here on earth. If they cannot worship together, or accept the same laws, or tolerate the wonderful diversity of thought and behavior and physique with which they have been blessed, at least they can laugh together.

Behavior | Character | Diversity | Earth | Hate | Man | Serenity | Thought | Worship | Thought |

Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

We can never be despised as much as we deserve. Pity and commiseration are mingled with some esteem for the thing we pity; the things we laugh at we consider worthless. I do not think there is as much unhappiness in us as vanity, nor as much malice as stupidity. We are not so full of evil as of inanity; we are not as wretched as we are worthless.

Character | Esteem | Evil | Malice | Pity | Stupidity | Unhappiness | Think |

Alexander Pope

We ought, in humanity, no more to despise a man for the misfortunes of the mind that for those of the body, when they are such as he cannot help; were this thoroughly considered we should no more laugh at a man for having his brains cracked than for having his brain broke.

Body | Character | Despise | Humanity | Man | Mind |

Logan Pearsall Smith

Don't laugh at a youth for his affections; he is only trying on one face after another to find a face of his own.

Character | Youth | Youth |

William Makepeace Thackeray

We may be pretty certain that persons whom all the treats ill deserve the treatment they get. The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it, and it will turn look sourly upon you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly, kind companion; and so let all young persons take their choice.

Character | Choice | Man | Reflection | Will | World |

Otto Blumenthal

Laughter is man's friend, for it lightens all his burdens... Who cannot laugh stoutly cannot weep stoutly.

Friend | Laughter | Man | Wisdom |

J.M. Barrie, fully Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet

When the first baby laughed for the first time, the laugh broke into a thousand pieces and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.

Beginning | Time | Wisdom |

Gamaliel Bradford

The ultimate test of the laughing instinct is that a man should always be ready to laugh at himself.

Instinct | Man | Wisdom |

Catherine Bowen, née Catherine Shober Drinker

The professors laugh at themselves, they laugh at life; they long ago abjured the bitch-goddess Success, and the best of them will fight for his scholastic ideals with a courage and persistence that would shame a soldier. The professor is not afraid of words like truth; in fact he is not afraid of words at all.

Courage | Ideals | Life | Life | Persistence | Shame | Success | Truth | Will | Wisdom | Words | Afraid |