Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Related Quotes

James Beattie

Let us cherish sympathy. By attention and exercise it may be improved in every man. It prepares the mind for receiving the impressions of virtue; and without it there can be no true politeness. Nothing is more odious than that insensibility which wraps a man up in himself and his own concerns, and prevents his being moved with either the joys or the sorrows of another.

Attention | Character | Man | Mind | Nothing | Sympathy | Virtue | Virtue |

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, born Ferdinand Lewis "Lew" Alcinder, Jr.

The reason we’re here is to exercise personal responsibility, to evolve the higher self and to influence that development in others.

Character | Influence | Reason | Responsibility | Self |

John Abercrombie

The sound and proper exercise of the imagination may be made to contribute to the cultivation of all that is virtuous and estimable in the human character.

Character | Cultivation | Imagination | Sound |

Thomas Adams

He who reforms himself, has done much toward reforming others; and one reason why the world is not reformed, is, because each would have others make a beginning, and never thinks of himself doing it.

Beginning | Character | Reason | World |

Arthur Aughey

There are many seasons in a man’s life - and the more exalted and responsible his position, the more frequently do these seasons recur - when the voice of duty and the dictates of feeling are opposed to each other; and it is only the weak and the wicked who yield that obedience to the selfish impulses of the heart which is due to reason and honor.

Character | Duty | Heart | Honor | Life | Life | Man | Obedience | Position | Reason |

Walter Bagehot

So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise, and their conscience that is wrong.

Character | Conscience | Judgment | Will | World | Wrong |

Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgment of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgment now.

Character | Judgment | Power |

Arthur Aughey

The most generous and merciful in judgment upon the faults of others, are always the most free from faults themselves.

Character | Judgment |

Charles Francis Adams II

More than all, and above all Washington was master of himself. If there be one quality more than another in his character which may exercise a useful control over the men of the present hour, it is the total disregard of self when in the most elevated positions for influence and example.

Character | Control | Example | Influence | Men | Present | Self |

Hugh Blair

Willingness to be taught what we do not know, is the sure pledge of growth both in knowledge and wisdom.

Character | Growth | Knowledge | Wisdom |

Black Hawk, born Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak NULL

My reason teaches me that land cannot be sold. The Great Spirit gave it to his children to live upon and cultivate as far as necessary for their subsistence, and so long as they occupy and cultivate it they have the right to the soil, but if they voluntarily leave it then any other people have a right to settle on it. Nothing can be sold, except things that can be carried away.

Character | Children | Land | Nothing | People | Reason | Right | Spirit | Wisdom |

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 |

Andrei Bitov, fully Andrei Georgiyevich Bitov

Life has neither material nor idealistic secrecy or mystery about it. Life is equal to itself only, hence perceiving its meaning is out of the question... The exaggeration of our mental abilities has given rise to what we perceive as “the problem” of discerning life’s purpose... If it is beyond our powers to disembowel love and beauty - we can only ravish them - it means that they are given to us not for cognition but for reflection. Similarly, the freedom of choice granted to man, a freedom denied the rest of the living species, is man’s task, a duty to exercise and fulfill, not merely an opportune option.

Beauty | Character | Choice | Duty | Exaggeration | Freedom | Life | Life | Love | Man | Meaning | Means | Mystery | Purpose | Purpose | Question | Reflection | Rest | Secrecy | Beauty |

William Blake

The voice of the Devil. All Bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the following errors: 1. That man has two real existing principles; vis; a body and a soul. 2. That energy, called evil, is alone from body, and that reason, called good, is alone from the soul. 3. That God will torment man in eternity for the following energies. But the following contraries to these are true: 1. Man has no body distinct from his soul; for that called body is a portion of soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of the soul in this age. 2. Energy is the only life, and is from the body; and reason is bound or outward circumference of energy. 3. Energy is eternal delight.

Age | Body | Character | Devil | Energy | Eternal | Eternity | Evil | God | Good | Life | Life | Man | Principles | Reason | Sacred | Soul | Will | Following | God |

Susan Fenimore Cooper, fully Susan Augusta Fenimore Cooper

A true history of human events would show that a far larger proportion of our acts are the results of sudden impulses and accidents than of that reason of which we so much boast.

Character | Events | History | Reason | Wisdom |