Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Childhood

"The educability of a young person as a rule comes to an end when sexual desire breaks out in its final strength. Educators know this and act accordingly; but perhaps they will yet allow themselves to be influenced by the results of psycho-analysis so that they will transfer the main emphasis in education to the earliest years of childhood, from the suckling period onward. The little human being is frequently a finished product in his fourth or fifth year, and only gradually reveals in later years what lies buried in him." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"Life is the childhood of our immortality." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"The childhood of immortality." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Childhood may do without a grand purpose, but manhood cannot." - Josiah Gilbert Holland, also Joshua Gilbert Holland

"We deem those happy who, from the experience of life, have learned to bear its ills, without being overcome by them. A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother’s love endures through all; in good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world’s condemnation, a mother still loves on and still hopes that her child may turn from his evil ways, and repent; still she remembers the infant smiles that once filled her bosom with rapture, the merry laugh, the joyful shout of his childhood, the opening promise of his youth; and she can never be brought to think him all unworthy." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"Black women... are trained from childhood to become workers, and expect to be financially self-supporting for most of their lives. They know they will have to work, whether they are married or single; work to them, unlike to white women, is not a liberating goal, but rather an imposed lifelong necessity." -

"Whatever you have received more than others - in health, in talents, in ability, in success, in a pleasant childhood, in harmonious conditions of home life - all this you must not take to yourself as a matter of course. In gratitude for your good fortune, you must render in return some sacrifice of your own life for another life." - Albert Schweitzer

"Childhood is like a mirror, which reflects in after life the images first presented to it." - Samuel Smiles

"Genius is childhood recaptured." - Charles Pierre Baudelaire

"Extreme old age is childhood; extreme wisdom is ignorance, for so it may be called, since the man whom the oracle pronounced the wisest of men professed that he knew nothing; yea, push a coward to the extreme and he will show courage; oppress a man to the last, and he will rise above oppression." - J. Beaumont

"If the memory is more flexible in childhood, it is more tenacious in mature age; if childhood has sometimes the memory of words, old age has that of things, which impress themselves according tot he clearness of the conception of the thought which we wish to retain." - Carl Victor de Bonstetten

"Extreme terror gives us back the gestures of our childhood." -

"Old ages lives minutes slowly, hours quickly; childhood chews hours and swallows minutes." -

"Religion is an attempt to get control over the sensory world, in which we are placed, by means of the wish-world, which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessities. But it cannot achieve its end. Its doctrines carry with them the stamp of the times in which they originated, the ignorant childhood days of the human race. Its consolations deserve no trust. Experience teaches us that the world is not a nursery. The ethical commands, to which religion seeks to lend its weight, require some other foundations instead, for human society cannot do without them, and it is dangerous to link up obedience to them with religious belief. If one attempts to assign to religion its place in man’s evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"This age of childhood, in which the sense of shame is unknown, seems a paradise when we look back upon it alter, and paradise itself is nothing but the mass-phantasy of the childhood of the individual. This is why in paradise men are naked and unashamed, until the moment arrives when shame and fear awaken; expulsion follows, and sexual life and cultural development begin." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"There is one type of feeling which is above all important to foster in childhood. Children have naturally an abundant faculty for wonder and reverence. There are so many books, so many radio and television hours, so many encyclopedias and, alas, so many teachers whose aim is to import knowledge quickly and easily without any element of that faculty which the Greeks said was the beginning of philosophy – Wonder. It is strange that an age which has discovered so many marvels in the universe should be so conspicuously lacking in the sense of wonder." - A. C. Harwood

"One of the greatest pleasures of childhood is found in the mysteries which it hides from the skepticism of the elders, and works up into small mythologies of its own." -

"Death - the ultimate deadline. The first step in seeing death as an ally of accomplishment is to remove the childhood fears we have concerning death... Death encourages action... Death encourages risk." -

"Is the world all grown up? Is childhood dead? Or is there not in the bosom of the wisest and the best some of the child’s heart left, to respond to its earliest enchantments?" - Charles Lamb

"The four stages of man are infancy, childhood, adolescence and obsolescence." - Art Linkletter, fully Arthur Gordon "Art" Linkletter

"Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies. Nobody that matters, that is." - Edna St. Vincent Millay

"One of the most difficult lessons parents have to learn is this one: Children are only loaned for a brief term of infancy and childhood. Soon they become people, strangers in the home, and instead of children to be directed they are grown-ups to be studied, understood and accepted. The acceptance is never quite complete on either side, but affection will bridge the gap if it is permitted to do so." - Angelo Patri

""Did you have a happy childhood?" is a false question. As a child I did not know what happiness was, and whether I was happy or not. I was too busy being." - Paul Reichmann

"No school is more necessary to children than patience, because either the will must be broken in childhood or the heart in old age." -

"It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins, fully Thomas Eugene "Tom" Robbins

"Almost all men are over-anxious. No sooner do they enter the world than they lose that taste fore natural and simple pleasures so remarkable in early life. Every hour do they ask themselves what progress they have made in the pursuit of wealth or honor; and on they go as their fathers went before them, till, weary and sick at heart, they look back with a sigh of regret to the golden time of their childhood." - Samuel Rogers

"Hold childhood in reverence and do not be in any hurry to judge it for good or ill. Give nature time to work before you take over her tasks, lest you interfere with her method." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"This world is a dream within a dream; as we grow older, each step is an awakening. The youth awakes, as he thinks from childhood; the full-grown man despises the pursuits of youth as visionary; and the old man looks on manhood as a feverish dream. Death - the last sleep? No! it is the last and final awakening." -

"A good scientist is a person in whom the childhood quality of perennial curiosity lingers on. Once he gets an answer, he has other questions." - Frederick Seitz

"One of the principal ingredients in the happiness of childhood is freedom from suspicion - why may it not be combined with a more extensive intercourse with mankind? A disposition to dwell on the bright side of character is like gold to its possessor; but to imagine more evil than meets the eye, betrays affinity for it." - Lydia Sigourney, fully Lydia Huntley Sigourney, née Lydia Howard Huntley

"If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older." - Abraham Sutzkever

"I study much, and the more I study, the oftener I go back to those first principles which are so simple that childhood itself can lisp them." - Madame Swetchine, fully Anne Sophie Swetchine née Sophia Petrovna Soïmonov or Soymanof

"Religion is not a fractional thing that can be doled out in fixed weekly or daily measures as one among various subjects in the school syllabus. It is the truth of our complete being, the consciousness of our personal relationship with the infinite; it is the true center of gravity of our life. This we can attain during our childhood by daily living in a place where the truth of the spiritual world is not obscured by a crowd of necessities assuming artificial importance; where life is simple, surrounded by fullness of leisure, by ample space and pure air and profound peace of nature; and where men live with a perfect faith in the eternal life before them." -

"The most sublime labor of poetry is to give sense and passion to insensate things; and it is characteristic of children to take inanimate things in their hands and talk to them in play as if they were living persons... in the world's childhood, men were by nature sublime poets." - Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

"By exposing them continually to an adult world, which is basically materialistic, we have robbed children of the privilege of childhood. They have been told over and over again that things bring happiness and that happiness is the chief goal in life. We have sold our youth a big lie... Expose hedonism for what it is - a big lie, a mirage that always fades." -

"The more we live, more brief appear our life’s succeeding stages; a day to childhood seems a year, and years like passing ages." - Edward Young

"The period of childhood is a stage on which time and space become entangled." - Yukio Mishima

"The failure to invest greater resources into early childhood programs is almost incomprehensible." - Daniel V. Papero, aka "Dan"

"It is time for you to understand the purpose of your life. You are a chalice for God’s Love and a vehicle for Him to bless the world. Realize your Divine purpose and your will is aligned with His. Goodness is the theme of all life. See the Perfection in your life and you recapture your Childhood Vision. As you give up patterns of evaluation and cynicism, you accept the benevolence of God. Pain is born of resistance, and joy is a function of the acceptance of God’s whole and Holy Love for you. Find purpose in your joy, and you find purpose in God." - Alan Cohen

"It is time for you to understand the purpose of your life. You are a chalice for God’s Love and a vehicle for Him to bless the world. Realize your Divine purpose and your will is aligned with His. Goodness is the theme of all life. See the Perfection in your life and you recapture your Childhood Vision. As you give up patterns of evaluation and cynicism, you accept the benevolence of God. Pain is born of resistance, and joy is a function of the acceptance of God’s whole and Holy Love for you. Find purpose in your joy, and you find purpose in God." -

"It is time for you to understand the purpose of your life. You are a chalice for God’s Love and a vehicle for Him to bless the world. Realize your Divine purpose and your will is aligned with His. Goodness is the theme of all life. See the Perfection in your life and you recapture your Childhood Vision. As you give up patterns of evaluation and cynicism, you accept the benevolence of God. Pain is born of resistance, and joy is a function of the acceptance of God’s whole and Holy Love for you. Find purpose in your joy, and you find purpose in God." -

"From childhood upwards, everything is done to make the minds of men and women conventional and sterile. And if, by misadventure, some spark of imagination remains, its unfortunate possessor is considered unsound and dangerous, worthy only of contempt in time of peace and of prison or a traitor’s death in time of war." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"The power of the world always works in circles and everything tries to be round... The life of a person is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves." - Black Elk, formallly Heȟáka Sápa NULL

"Those whom we call ancients were in truth new in every respect, and actually formed the childhood of man; and since we have added to their knowledge the experience of the succeeding centuries, it is in ourselves that that antiquity can be found which we revere in others." - Blaise Pascal

"Learning stamps you with its moments. Childhood’s learning is made up of moments. It isn’t steady. It’s a pulse." - Eudora Welty

"There is no belief, however grotesque and even villainous, that cannot be made a part of human nature if it is inculcated in childhood and not contradicted in the child’s hearing." - George Bernard Shaw

"There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in." - Graham Greene

"The childhood shows the man, as the morning shows the day." - John Milton

"Mythology is a control system, on the one hand framing its community to accord with an intuited order of nature and, on the other hand, by means of its symbolic pedagogic rites, conducting individuals through the ineluctable psychophysiological stages of transformation of a human lifetime - birth, childhood and adolescence, age, old age, and the release of death - in unbroken accord simultaneously with the requirements of this world and the rapture of participation in a manner of being beyond time. For all the symbolic narratives, images, rites, and festivals by which life within the cultural monad is controlled and defined are of the order of the way of art. Their effect, therefore, is to wake the intellect to realizations equivalent to those of the insights that produced them." - Joseph Campbell

"What is patriotism but the love of the good things we ate in our childhood?" - Lin Yutang