Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Character

"Speak not one thing with the mouth and another with the heart." - Abaye NULL

"Just as a tested and rugged virtue of the moral hero is worth more than the lovely, tender, untried innocence of the child, so is the massive strength of a soul that has conquered truth for itself worth more than the soft peach-bloom faith of a soul that takes truth on trust." - Francis Ellington Abbot

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

"The reason we’re here is to exercise personal responsibility, to evolve the higher self and to influence that development in others." - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, born Ferdinand Lewis "Lew" Alcinder, Jr.

"Among today’s adept practitioners, the lie has long since lost its honest function of misrepresenting reality. Nobody believes anybody, everyone is in the know. Lies are told only to convey to someone that one has no need either of him or his good opinion. the lie, once a liberal means of communication, has today become one of the techniques of insolence enabling each individual to spread around him the glacial atmosphere whose shelter he can thrive." -

"The assumption that though profits from decay of the emotions, or even that it remains unaffected, is itself an expression of the process of stupefaction." -

"Candor may be considered as a compound of justice and the love of truth." - 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." - John Abercrombie

"Greed is the root of all sin." - Isaac Aboab de Fonesca

"The best books are those which best teach men how to live." - Israel Abrahams

"Frustration is the wet nurse of violence." - David Abrahamsen

"View each day as a page in a book of your autobiography." - Yehezkel Abramsky, aka Reb Chatzkel Abramsky

"Success depends on faith and good deeds... not upon the knowledge of the proofs which lead to them." - Isaac Abravanel, fully Don Itshak ben Yehouda Abravanel

"The receiver of a gift is not the chooser." - Isaac Abravanel, fully Don Itshak ben Yehouda Abravanel

"The best way of worshipping God is in allaying the distress of the times and improving the condition of mankind." -

"Good and evil lie close together. Seek no artistic unity in character." - Lord Acton, John Emerich Dalberg-Acton

"Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end." - Lord Acton, John Emerich Dalberg-Acton

"Esteeming others merely for their agreement with us in religion, opinion, and manner of living is only a less offensive kind of self-adoration." - Thomas Adam

"Reckon any matter of trial to thee among thy gains." - Thomas Adam

"Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success." - Brian Adam

"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." - Charles Francis Adams II

"No student ever attains very eminent success by simply doing what is required of him; it is the amount and excellence of what is over and above the required, that determines the greatness of ultimate distinction." - Charles Kendall Adams

"To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity." - Douglas Adams, fully Douglas Noel Adams

"You never know what you can do without until your try." - Franklin Pierce Adams, pen name F.P.A.

"Enthusiasm is a kind of faith that has been set afire." - George Matthew Adams

"If we would keep filling our minds with the picture of happy things ahead, many of the worries and anxieties, and perhaps ill health, would naturally melt away... If we lived in the atmosphere of expectancy, so many of our petty problems would be no problems at all! Always expect the best." - George Matthew Adams

"It is indifference which is the cause of most of our unhappiness. Indifference to religion, to the happiness of others, and to the precious gift of freedom, and the wide liberty that is the inheritance of all in a free land. Are we our "Brother's Keeper"? We certainly are! If we had no regard for others' feelings or fortune, we would grow cold and indifferent to life itself. Bound up with selfishness, we could not hope for the success that could easily be ours." - George Matthew Adams

"It's what each of us sows, and how, that gives to us character and prestige. Seeds of kindness, goodwill, and human understanding, planted in fertile soil, spring up into deathless friendships, big deeds of worth, and a memory that will not soon fade out. We are all sowers of seeds - and let us never forget it!" - George Matthew Adams

"One of the great arts in living is to learn the art of accurately appraising values. Everything that we think, that we earn, that we have given to us, that in any way touches our consciousness, has its own value. These values are apt to change with the mood, with time, or because of circumstances. We cannot safely tie to any material value. The values of all material possessions change continually, sometimes over night. The real values are those that stay by you, give you happiness and enrich you. They are the human values." - George Matthew Adams

"There is no such thing as a "self-made" man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success." - George Matthew Adams

"Upon every hand we meet with those who have some secret resentment that is ever being nurtured within their hearts. They resent the success, or happiness of some one whom they think is less deserving than they are. They resent the just recognition that comes to others from work and long effort to excel. Or, they may resent being born poor - or resent the fact that they were even born!... Strive to excel, strive to achieve, where others have failed, and you will find no space within your mind to lodge resentment. Resentment is the child of selfishness, foolish envy, and inactivity... Our life upon this earth is too valuable for resentment of any kind. There is so much to do, so much to learn - so little time in which to live and work it all out." - George Matthew Adams

"Hell is truth seen too late." -

"Friendship needs a certain parallelism of life, a community of thought, a rivalry of aim." - Henry Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams

"From cradle to grave this problem of running order through chaos, direction through space, discipline through freedom, unity through multiplicity, has always been, and must always be, the task of education." - Henry Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams

"The effect of power and publicity on all men is the aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim’s sympathies." - Henry Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams

"What one knows is, in youth, of little moment; they know enough who know how to learn." - Henry Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams

"Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit." - Henry Adams, aka Henry Brooks Adams

"When people say to me: "How do you do so many things?" I often answer them, without meaning to be cruel: "How to you do so little?" It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever."" - Phillip Adams

"An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of learning." - Thomas Adams

"Conscience is God’s deputy in the soul." - Thomas Adams

"Death is as near to the young as to the old; here is all the difference: death stands behind the young man’s back, before the old man’s face." - Thomas Adams

"He that taught them all their tricks kept one to himself." - 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." - Thomas Adams

"No coming to heaven with dry eyes." - Thomas Adams

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

"Faith is the continuation of reason." - William Taylor Adams, pseudonym Oliver Optic

"Illusion and self-deception stand in the way of an honest, penetrating and fearless self-appraisal. Though it would appear that we have access to the innermost core of our individual being, and that there is nothing in the world with which we are on more intimate terms than our own self, the self remains an elusive object of knowledge and understanding." - Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

"True friendship... always involves the dominance of benevolent impulses, tending toward the benefit of the beloved, whereas the counterfeits of friendship spring primarily or purely from acquisitive desire - seeking something for one’s self." - Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren

"When we live habitually with the wicked, we become necessarily either their victim or their disciple; when we associate, on the contrary, with virtuous men, we form ourselves in imitation of their virtues, or, at least, lose every day something of our faults." - Pope Agapet II, aka Pope Agapetus II NULL