Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Better

"It is easy to condemn; it is better to pity." - Francis Ellington Abbot

"Prevention is so much better than healing." - Thomas Adams

"There is nothing in the world better for the purification of the soul than the curbing of idle talk." - Agnon Schmuel Yoseph Agnon, pseudonym of Samuel Joseph Czaczkes

"There is no shame in having fallen. Nor any shame in being born into a lowly estate. There is only shame in not struggling to rise. And also shame for not wishing to attain the better. Or not dreaming about it and praying for it." - Samuel Amalu

"Better is bread with a happy heart than riches with vexation." - Amen-em-apt NULL

"Better is the praise and love of men than riches in the storehouse." - Amen-em-apt NULL

"Can you walk on water? You have done no better than a straw. Can you fly in the air? You have done no better than a bluebottle. Conquer your heart; then you may become somebody." - Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Abu Ismaïl Abdullah ibn Abi-Mansour Mohammad or Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat

"When... the thing in which there is good is nobler than the soul itself, in which is the idea understood, by comparison with such a thing the will is higher than the intellect. But when the thing which is good is less noble than the soul, then even in comparison with the thing the intellect is higher than the will. Therefore the love of God is better than the knowledge of God; but, on the contrary, the knowledge of corporeal things is better than the love of them. Absolutely, however, the intellect is nobler than the will." -

"A man who truly wants to make the world better should start by improving himself and his attitudes." - Fred de Armond

"Pampered vanity is a better thing perhaps than starved pride." - Joanna Baillie

"Unrequited love is the meaning of life. We’re here to love but not to be loved, to give but not receive. Our mission in this world is to improve humanity and leave a better history than we found. Only selfless love has such power. Only love without interest or expectation of reward can change human beings... To give love without receiving love is the truest love and brings the greatest happiness there is in life." - Adolfo Barcella

"We must learn that competence is better than extravagance, that worth is better than wealth, that the golden calf we have worshipped has no more brains than that one of old which the Hebrews worshipped. So beware of money and money’s worth as the supreme passion of the mind. Beware of the craving for enormous acquisition." -

"To revenge a wrong is easy, usual, and natural, and, as the world thinks, savors of nobleness of mind; but religion teaches the contrary, and tells us it is better to neglect than to require it." - J. Beaumont

"It is when we detect our own weaknesses that we come to pity or despise mankind. The human nature from which we then turn away is the human nature we have discovered in the depths of our own being. The evil is so well screened, the secret so universally kept, that in this case each individual is the dupe of all: however severely we may profess to judge other men, at bottom we think them better than ourselves. On this happy illusion much of our social life is grounded." - Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

"It is better to decide between our enemies than our friends; for one of our friends will most likely become our enemy; but on the other hand, one of your enemies will probably become your friend." - Bias NULL

"Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit." -

"Whatever study tends neither directly nor indirectly to make us better men and citizens is at best a specious an ingenious sort of idleness; and the knowledge we acquire by it only a credible kind of ignorance, nothing more." - Henry St John, Lord Bolingbroke, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke

"It is better to inspire the heart with a noble sentiment than to teach the mind a truth of science." - Phillips Brooks

"No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle, pure and good, without the world being the better for it, without somebody being helped an comforted by the very existence of that goodness." - Phillips Brooks

"What happiness is, no person can say for another. But no one, I am convinced, can be happy who lives only for himself. The joy of living comes from immersion in something we know to be bigger, better, more enduring and worthier than we are." -

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

"And whatever you lend, let it be your money, and not your name. Money you may get again, and, if not, you may contrive to do without it; name, once lost you cannot get again, and, if you can contrive to do without it, you had better never have been born." -

"When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching." -

"An idle man has a constant tendency to torpidity. He has adopted the Indian maxim - that it is better to walk than to run, and better to stand than to walk, and better to sit than to stand, and better to lie than to sit. He hugs himself into the notion, that God calls him to be quiet." - Richard Cecil

"It is better that a judge should lean on the side of compassion than severity." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"The more discussion the better, if passion and personality be eschewed; and discussion, even if stormy, often winnows truth from error - a good never to be expected in an uninquiring age." - William Ellery Channing

"When a person realizes he has faults, he is in a much better situation than one who does not realize it since he can now work on improving himself." -

"It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." - Christopher Society NULL

"Words cannot express the joy which a friend imparts; they only can know who have experienced. A friend is dearer than the light of heaven, for it would be better for us that the sun were exhausted than that we should be without friends." - John Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom

"By discharging our duty thoroughly and well, subordinating personal desires to principle, and personal ambition to an exalted love of country, we will not only receive the endorsement of the people, but, what is far better, we will deserve their endorsement." - Champ Clark, formally James Beauchamp Clark

"A thorough miser must possess considerable strength of character to bear the self-denial imposed by his penuriousness. Equal sacrifices, endured voluntarily, in a better cause, would make a saint or a martyr." - William Benton Clulow

"Those who despise fame seldom deserve it. We are apt to undervalue the purchase we cannot reach, to conceal our poverty the better. It is a spark which kindles upon the best fuel, and burns brightest in the bravest breast." - Jeremy Collier

"Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better." - Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie

"If men can ever learn to accept their truths as not final, and if they an ever learn to build on something better than dogma, they may not be found saying, discouragedly, every once in so often, that every civilization carries in it the seeds of decay." - Clarence Shepard Day, Jr.

"What is sometimes called an act of self-expression might better be termed one of self-exposure; it discloses character - or lack of character - to others. In itself, it is only a spewing forth." - John Dewey

"It often requires more strength and judgment to resist than to embrace an opportunity. It is better to do nothing than to do other than well." - Sydney Dobell, fully Sydney Thompson Dobell

"Doing is better than saying." - Thomas Draxe

"It is better to give love. Hatred is a low and degrading emotion and is so poisonous that no man is strong enough to use it safely. The hatred we think we are directing against some person or thing or system has a devilish way of turning back upon us. When we seek revenge we administer slow poison to ourselves. When we administer affection it is astonishing what magical results we obtain." - Thomas Dreier

"What I am thinking and doing day by day is resistlessly shaping my future - a future in which there is no expiation except through my own better conduct. No one can save me. No one can live my life for me. If I am wise I shall begin today to build my own truer and better world from within." - Horatio W. Dresser

"The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention." -

"It is better to desire the things we have than to have the things we desire." - Henry Van Dyke, fully Henry Jackson Van Dyke

"There is a better way of doing it. Find it." -

"He who can suppress a moment's anger may prevent a day of sorrow. To rule one's anger is well; to prevent it is still better." - Tyron Edwards

"People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher and better than themselves." - Tyron Edwards

"Preventives of evil are far better than remedies; cheaper and easier of application, and surer of result." - Tyron Edwards

"We never reach our ideals, whether of mental or moral improvement, but the thought of them shows us our deficiencies, and spurs us on to higher and better things." - Tyron Edwards

"Better an ugly face than an ugly mind." -

"A life shot through with the tragedy of death is better - more human, more heroic - than a life of meaninglessness, even though pleasurable and comfortable." - Emil Fackenheim, fully Emil Ludwig Fackenheim

"No man can expect to find a friend without faults; nor can he propose himself to be so to another. Without reciprocal mildness and temperance there can be no continuance of friendship. Every man will have something to do for his friend, and something to bear with in him. The sober man only can do the first; and for the latter, patience is requisite. It is better for a man to depend on himself than to be annoyed with either a madman or a fool." - Owen Feltham

"Perfection is immutable. But for things imperfect, change is the way to perfect them. It gets the name of willfulness when it will not admit of a lawful change to the better. Therefore constancy without knowledge cannot be always good. In things ill it is not virtue, but an absolute vice." - Owen Feltham