Great Throughts Treasury

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

Related Quotes

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

Of human life the time is a point, and the substance is in a flux, and the perception dull, and the composition of the whole body subject to putrefaction, and the soul a whirl, and fortune hard to divine, and fame a thing devoid of judgment. And, to say all in a word, everything which belongs to the body is a stream, and what belongs to the soul is a dream and a vapor, and life is a warfare and a stranger’s sojourn, and after-fame is oblivion.

Body | Character | Fame | Fortune | Judgment | Life | Life | Oblivion | Perception | Soul | Time |

Saul Bellow

In every community there is a class of people profoundly dangerous to the rest. I don't mean the criminals. For them we have punitive sanctions. I mean the leaders. Invariably the most dangerous people seek the power. While in the parlors of indignation the right-thinking citizen brings his heart to a boil. In here, the human bosom -- mine, yours, everybody's -- there isn't just one soul. There's a lot of souls. But there are two main ones, the real soul and a pretender soul. Now! Every man realizes that he has to love something or somebody. He feels that he must go outward. 'If thou canst not love, what art thou?' Are you with me?

Art | Character | Heart | Indignation | Love | Man | People | Power | Rest | Soul | Art |

Hugh Blair

Graceful, particularly in youth, is the tear of sympathy, and the heart that melts at the tale of woe; we should not permit ease and indulgence to contract our affections, and wrap us up in selfish enjoyment. But we should accustom ourselves to think of the distresses of human life, of the solitary cottage, the dying parent, and the weeping orphan. Nor ought we ever to sport with pain and distress in any of our amusements, or treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty.

Amusements | Character | Cruelty | Distress | Enjoyment | Heart | Indulgence | Life | Life | Pain | Sympathy | Woe | Youth | Think |

Robert Briffault, fully Robert Stephen Briffault

The full-grown modern human being who seeks but refuge finds instead boredom and mental dissolution, unless he can be, even in his withdrawal, creative. He can find the quality of happiness in the strain and travail only of achievement and growth. And he is conscious of touching the highest pinnacle of fulfillment which his life-urges demand when his is consumed in the service of an idea, in the conquest of the goal pursued.

Achievement | Character | Conquest | Fulfillment | Growth | Life | Life | Service | Happiness |

John Albert Broadus

All the sin that has darkened human life an saddened human history began in believing in a falsehood.

Character | Falsehood | History | Life | Life | Sin |

Stephan Bodian

Give up the notion that there is a final state to attain. Spiritual life consists of ongoing practice undertaken as a lifetime work. This realization breeds humility, especially when we realize that in our initial infatuation with enlightenment, we underestimate the amount of inner work necessary to free us from our addictive patterns of thought and behavior.

Behavior | Character | Enlightenment | Humility | Life | Life | Practice | Thought | Work | Thought |

Hugh Blair

The prevailing manners of an age depend, more than we are aware of, or are willing to allow, on the conduct of the women: this is one of the principal things on which the great machine of human society turns.

Age | Character | Conduct | Manners | Society | Society |

Wernher von Braun, fully Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun

Part of human nature resents change, loves equilibrium, while another part welcomes novelty, loves the excitement of disequilibrium. There is no formula for the resolution of this tug-of-war, but it is obvious that absolute surrender to either of them invites disaster.

Absolute | Change | Character | Excitement | Human nature | Nature | Novelty | Resolution | Surrender | War |

Heywood Broun, fully Matthew Heywood Campbell Broun

The ability to make love frivolously is the thing which distinguishes human beings from the beasts.

Ability | Character | Love |

Christian Nestell Bovee

Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and approximate to the characters we most admire. A generous habit of thought and action carries with it an incalculable influence.

Action | Character | Example | Habit | Influence | Reason | Thought | Thought |

Eldress Harriet Bullard

Do good. This should be the aim of every human being, to make the world better for their having lived.

Better | Character | Good | World |

Frank Borman, fully Frank Frederick Borman, II

Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.

Character | Spirit |

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

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.

Character | Heart | Inspiration | Mind | Will | Wisdom |

Max Brod

The greatness of a nation does not depend on the character of its blood or race... [but] consists of the values it produces.

Character | Greatness | Race |

Thomas Chalmers

Benevolence is not in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth. It is a business with men as they are, and with human life as drawn by the rough hand of experience. It is a duty which you must perform at the call of principle; though there be no voice of eloquence to give splendor to your exertions, and no music of poetry to lead your willing footsteps through the bowers of enchantment. It is not the impulse of high and ecstatic emotion. It is an exertion of principle. :You must go to the poor man’s cottage, though no verdure flourish around it, the gentleness of its murmurs. If you look for the romantic simplicity of fiction you will be disappointed; but it is your duty to persevere in spite of every discouragement. Benevolence is not merely a feeling but a principle; not a dream of rapture for the fancy to indulge in, but a business for the hand to execute.

Benevolence | Business | Character | Duty | Experience | Gentleness | Impulse | Life | Life | Man | Men | Music | Poetry | Simplicity | Truth | Will | Business |