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

Harry Emerson Fosdick

Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.

Character | People | Wisdom |

Mike Gass, fully Michael A. Gass

What are the qualities of Life? It can be shared forever, but cannot be kept forever. When given to another, it brings great joy to all; when taken, the anguish for many is great. It is sometimes maintained by less than the thread of a string and sometimes lost despite the hopes of millions. Its frailty and end are obvious, but its strength and limits endless. So share your life with me while we are together so we can create that which will bring joy to others. When this life is over, let the meaning of our lives be found not on a list of accomplishments, but in the hearts and souls of the people with whom we shared our fragile existence. Let our lives not be measured by what we did for others, but by what we helped people do for themselves.

Character | Existence | Joy | Life | Life | Meaning | People | Qualities | Strength | Will |

François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

There is no more dangerous illusion than the fancies by which people try to avoid illusion. It is imagination which leads us astray; and the certainty which we seek through imagination, feeling, and taste, is one of the most dangerous sources from which fanaticism springs.

Character | Fanaticism | Illusion | Imagination | People | Taste |

E. M. Forster, fully Edward Morgan Forster

One must be fond of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life.

Character | Life | Life | People | Trust |

Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

A small minority are enabled... to find happiness along the path of love; but far-reaching mental transformations of the erotic function are necessary before this is possible. These people make themselves independent of their object’s acquiescence by transferring the main value from the fact of being loved to their own act of loving; they protect themselves against loss of it by attaching their love not to individual objects but to all men equally, and they avoid the uncertainties and disappointments of genital love by turning away from its sexual aim and modifying the instinct which they induce in themselves by this process - an unchangeable, undeviating, tender attitude - has little superficial likeness to the stormy vicissitudes of genital love, from which it is nevertheless derived.

Character | Individual | Instinct | Little | Love | Men | Object | People | Loss | Vicissitudes | Happiness | Value |

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

In all things it is better to hope than to despair.

Better | Character | Despair | Hope | Wisdom |

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Most people work for the greater part of their time for a mere living; and the little freedom which remains to them so troubles them that they use every means of getting rid of it.

Character | Freedom | Little | Means | People | Time | Troubles | Work |

François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

Faults will turn to good, provided we use them to our own humiliation, without slackening in the effort to correct ourselves. Discouragement serves no possible purpose; it is simply the despair of wounded self-love. The real way of profiting by the humiliation of one’s own faults is to face them in their true hideousness, without ceasing to hope in God, while hoping nothing from self.

Character | Despair | Effort | God | Good | Hope | Love | Nothing | Purpose | Purpose | Self | Self-love | Will |

François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

Simplicity is the straightforwardness of a soul which refuses itself any reaction with regard to itself or its deeds. This virtue differs from and surpasses sincerity. We see many people who are sincere without being simple. They do not wish to be taken for other than what they are; but they are always fearing lest they should be taken for what they are not.

Character | Deeds | People | Regard | Simplicity | Sincerity | Soul | Virtue | Virtue |

Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

The only thing that brings a mother undiluted satisfaction is her relation to a son; it is quite the most complete relationship between human beings, and the one that is the most free from ambivalence. The mother can transfer to her son all the ambition which she has had to surpress in herself, and she can hope to get from him the satisfaction of all that has remained to her of her masculinity complex. Even a marriage is not firmly assured until the woman has succeeded in making her husband into her child and in acting the part of a mother towards him.

Ambition | Character | Hope | Husband | Marriage | Mother | Relationship | Woman | Ambition | Child |

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.

Character | People | Wisdom |

Harry Emerson Fosdick

We settle things by a majority vote, and the psychological effect of doing that is to create the impression that the majority is probably right. Of course, on any fine issue the majority is sure to be wrong. Think of taking a majority vote on the best music. Jazz would win over Chopin. Or on the best novel. Many cheap scribblers would win over Tolstoy. And any day a prizefight will get a bigger crowd, larger gate receipts and wider newspaper publicity than any new revelation of goodness, truth or beauty could hope to achieve in a century.

Beauty | Character | Day | Hope | Impression | Majority | Music | Revelation | Right | Truth | Will | Wrong | Beauty | Think |

Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

What can be the aim of withholding from children, or let us say from young people, this information about the sexual life of human beings? Is it a fear of arousing interest in such matters prematurely, before it spontaneously stirs in them? Is it a hope of retarding by concealment of this kind the development of the sexual instinct in general, until such time as it can find its way into the only channels open to it in the civilized social order? Is it supposed that children would show no interest or understanding for the facts and riddles of sexual life if they were not prompted to do so by outside influence? Is it regarded as possible that the knowledge withheld from them will not reach them in other ways? Or is it genuinely and seriously intended that later on they should consider everything connected with sex as something despicable and abhorrent from which their parents and teachers wish to keep them apart as long as possible? I am really at a loss so say which of these can be the motive for the customary concealment from children of everything connected with sex. I only know that these arguments are one and all equally foolish, and that I find it difficult to pay them the compliment of serious refutation.

Character | Children | Concealment | Fear | Hope | Influence | Instinct | Knowledge | Life | Life | Order | Parents | People | Time | Understanding | Will | Loss |

Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington, born Margaret Power

One of the almost numberless advantages of goodness is, that it blinds its possessor to many of those faults in others which could not fail to be detected by the morally defective. A consciousness of unworthiness renders people extremely quick-sighted in discerning the vices of their neighbors; as person scan easily discover in others the symptoms of those diseases beneath which they themselves have suffered.

Character | Consciousness | People |

Fearon NULL

Grief or misfortune seems to be indispensable to the development of intelligence, energy and virtue. The proofs to which the people are submitted, as with individuals, are necessary then to draw them from their lethargy, to disclose their character.

Character | Energy | Grief | Indispensable | Intelligence | Lethargy | Misfortune | People | Virtue | Virtue | Misfortune |

Vardis Fisher, fully Vardis Alvero Fisher

Do people love truth? On the contrary, mankind has employed its subtlest ingenuity and intelligence in efforts to evade or conceal it... Do human beings love justice? The sordid travesties in our courts year after year suggest that they love justice only for themselves. Do they love peace? Can anyone seriously ask the question? Do they love freedom? Only for those who share their views. Love of peace, freedom, justice, truth - this is a myth that has been created by the folk mind, and if the artist does not look behind the myth to the reality, he will indeed wander amid the phantoms which he creates.

Character | Freedom | Ingenuity | Intelligence | Justice | Love | Mankind | Mind | Myth | Peace | People | Question | Reality | Truth | Will | Wisdom | Ingenuity |

Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

Our best hope for the future is that the intellect - the scientific spirit, reason - should in time establish a dictatorship over the human mind. The very nature of reason is a guarantee that it would not fail to concede to human emotions, and to all that is determined by them, the position to which they are entitled. But the common pressure exercised by such a domination of reason would prove to be the strongest unifying force among men, and would prepare the way for further unifications. Whatever, like the ban laid upon thought by religion, opposes such a development is a danger for the future of mankind.

Character | Danger | Emotions | Force | Future | Guarantee | Hope | Mankind | Men | Mind | Nature | Position | Reason | Religion | Spirit | Thought | Time | Danger | Intellect | Thought |

Edgar Z. Friedenberg

Only science can hope to keep technology in some sort of moral order.

Character | Hope | Order | Science | Technology |

Philip Glass

Maybe the purpose of life is not as important as the process of growth that’s integral with being alive... In answering the question “What’s the meaning of life?” maybe the people who have taken the challenges of life as meaningful are the best ones to ask... These are the people who have appreciated and taken advantage of the possibilities life has to offer. They find life precious.

Character | Growth | Important | Life | Life | Meaning | People | Purpose | Purpose | Question |