Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

From the very beginning of a person’s life one learns that the purpose of life is not uninterrupted pleasure. Every infant suffers pains and illnesses. We should not perceive illness and pain as negative. Suffering teaches us humility. We learn that we do not have complete power over ourselves.

Beginning | Character | Humility | Life | Life | Pain | Pleasure | Power | Purpose | Purpose | Suffering | Learn |

Rabbi Akiva, fully Rebbe Akiva ben Yosef NULL

Rejoice in adversity even more than in prosperity, for suffering brings forgiveness of sin.

Adversity | Character | Forgiveness | Prosperity | Sin | Suffering | Wisdom | Forgiveness |

Abraham ben Moses ben Maimon, aka Rabbi Avraham Maimuni, aka Rabbeinu Avraham ben ha-Rambam NULL

Once you are used to something, you feel some suffering if you lack it. Be very careful before making something a habit.

Character | Habit | Suffering |

Arthur Aughey

The chief secret of comfort lies in not suffering trifles to vex us, and in prudently cultivating an undergrowth of small pleasures, since very few great ones are let on long leases.

Character | Comfort | Suffering | Trifles |

Michael Barenbaum

Envy destroys peace of mind and happiness. An envious person’s life is full of suffering and resentment. He is never happy with what he himself has.

Character | Envy | Happy | Life | Life | Mind | Peace | Resentment | Suffering |

Harry Blackmun, fully Harold "Harry" Andrew Blackmun

With our finite minds we cannot presume to know if there is a Purpose. We sense, however, the presence of something greater than we can comprehend, a force as yet unknown to us - perhaps even to be unknown. So we accept our situation, learn from it, and do the best we can, resting on faith, despair, or cynicism, depending on the individual. Overriding all this must be an obligation - self-imposed or externally impressed - to do the best one can for others, to relieve suffering and to exercise compassion. We are all in this together, for life is a common, not an individual, endeavor.

Character | Compassion | Cynicism | Despair | Faith | Force | Individual | Life | Life | Obligation | Purpose | Purpose | Self | Sense | Suffering | Learn |

Chayim of Volozhin, also Chaim ben Yuitzchok of Volozhin or Chaim Ickovits NULL

When you suffer yourself, it is easier to feel the suffering of others.

Character | Suffering |

Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

True compassion is utterly neutral and is moved by suffering of every sort, not tied to right and wrong, attachment and aversion.

Character | Compassion | Right | Suffering | Wrong |

Whittaker Chambers, born Jay Vivian Chambers, aka Jay David Whittaker Chambers

True wisdom comes from the overcoming of suffering and sin. All true wisdom is therefore touched with sadness.

Character | Sadness | Sin | Suffering | Wisdom |

Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

Journey all over the universe in a map, without the expense and fatigue of traveling, without suffering the inconveniences of heat, cold, hunger, and thirst.

Character | Hazard | Honor | Liberty | Life | Life | Man | Suffering | Universe |

Y. Eibeschuetz

Everyone suffers. But many do not take it to heart that the suffering comes as a punishment for transgressions, rather they consider it accidental. The proper attitude is that suffering is an atonement. With this realization a person appreciates that suffering in this world saves him suffering in the next.

Character | Heart | Punishment | Suffering | World |

Avraham Shmuel Finkel

Through accepting suffering one can obtain much benefit. Suffering breaks a person’s arrogance and conceit. It leads him to humility and directs him to accept the sovereignty of the Almighty.

Arrogance | Character | Humility | Suffering |

James William Fulbright

Of all the animals on earth, man has shown himself to be the most cruel and brutal. He is the only animal that will create instruments of death for his own destruction. Man is the only animal on all the earth that has ever been known to burn its young as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of some imaginary deity. He is the only one that will build homes, towns, and cities at such a cost in sacrifice and suffering and turn around and destroy them in war.

Character | Cost | Death | Destroy | Earth | Man | Sacrifice | Suffering | War | Will |

Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so helplessly unhappy as when we have lost our love object or its love.

Character | Love | Object | Suffering |

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 |

Avraham Grodzinski

The purpose of suffering is to arouse a person to improve his ways and this is the greatest good for a person. This love of the Almighty manifest in suffering is not merely to save a person from retribution in the afterlife, but also to elevate a person and assist him in attaining more virtues.

Afterlife | Character | Good | Love | Purpose | Purpose | Suffering |

Avraham Grodzinski

Suffering has the ability to weaken one’s desires. It can separate a person from cleaving to material matters. When one is in the midst of suffering, he can see it is possible for him to live without gratifying his desires, and without honor and approval. Little by little, he becomes free from those things he was previously bound to. His suffering can help him open his eyes to see his true self and internal wealth.

Ability | Character | Honor | Little | Self | Suffering | Wealth |