Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"He who asks of life nothing but the improvement of his own nature, and a continuous moral progress toward inward contentment and religious submission, is less liable than anyone else to miss and waste life." -

"Contentment is not happiness. An oyster may be contented." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Temperance is a tree which has for a root very little contentment, and for fruit, calm and peace." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"A strong determination to get the best out of life; a keen desire to enjoy what one has, and no regrets if one fails; this is the secret of the Chinese genius for contentment." -

"Above all, let us never forget that an act of goodness is in itself an act of happiness. It is the flower of a long inner life of joy and contentment; it tells of peaceful hours and days on the sunniest heights of our soul... No reward coming after the event can compare with the sweet reward that went with it." - Maurice Maeterlinck, fully Count Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck

"Contentment furnishes constant joy; much covetousness, constant grief. To the contented, even poverty is joy; to the discontented, even wealth is a vexation." - William Milne

"Contentment furnishes constant joy. Much covetousness, constant grief. To the contented, even poverty is joy. To the discontented, even wealth is a vexation." - Ming Sum Paou Keën

"Contentment is a warm sty for eaters and sleepers." - Eugene O'Neill, fully Eugene Gladstone O'Neill

"It is not for man to rest in absolute contentment. He is born to hopes and aspirations as the sparks fly upward, unless he has brutified his nature and quenched the spirit of immortality which is his portion." - Robert Southey

"The best people need afflictions for trial of their virtue. How can we exercise the grace of contentment, if all things succeed well; or that of forgiveness, if we have no enemies?" - John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury

"Godliness with Contentment - these be the pillars of felicity." -

"The laughter of man is the contentment of God." - John Weiss

"Giving of yourself, learning to be tolerant, giving recognition and approval to others, remaining flexible enough to mature and learn - yields happiness, harmony, contentment and productivity. These are the qualities of a rich life, the bounteous harvest of getting along with people." - Jack C. Yewell

"Familiarity breeds contentment." - George Ade

"We are always looking for pleasure, frantically seeking happiness in many ways, and totally missing the simplest, most fundamental pleasure, which actually is also the greatest pleasure: just being here. When we are really present, the presence itself is made out of fullness, contentment and blissful pleasure... Happiness, value, and pleasure are not he result of anything. These qualities are part of our fundamental nature." - Ali Hameed Almaas

"From labor, health; from health, contentment springs." - James Beattie

"Contentment is the greatest wealth." - Thomas Draxe

"Happiness is not in strength, or wealth, or power, or all three. It lies in ourselves, in true freedom, in the conquest of every ignoble fear, in perfect self-government, in a power of contentment and peace, and the even flow of life, even in poverty, exile, disease, and the very valley of the shadow of death." -

"Civilization, in the real sense of the term, consists not in the multiplication, but in the deliberate and voluntary reduction of wants. This alone promotes real happiness and contentment, and increases the capacity for service." -

"To have health of body, it is necessarie to have contentment of minde." - Stefano Guazzo

"Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment." -

"There is no greater curse than the lack of contentment. No greater sin than the desire for possession. Therefore, he who is contented with contentment shall always be content." -

"If you run after fortune, you may be running away from contentment." - Lazerov NULL

"Contentment is the highest happiness." -

"Solitude is important to man. It is necessary to his achievement of peace and contentment. It is a well into which he dips for refreshment for his soul. It is his laboratory in which he distills the pure essence of worth from the raw materials of his experiences. It is his refuge when the very foundations of his life are being shaken by disastrous events." - Margaret E. Mulac

"Contentment preserves one from catching cold. Has a woman who knew that she was well dressed ever caught a cold? No, not even when she had scarcely a rag on her back." - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

"The noblest mind the best contentment has." - Ichabod Smith Spencer

"If the principles of contentment are not within us, the height of station and worldly grandeur will as soon add a cubit to a man's stature as to his happiness." - Lawrence Sterne, alternatively Laurence Sterne

"The best definition of wealth - the only true definition, I think - is the possession of whatever gives us happiness, contentment or a sense of one's significance in the scheme of things." - Ernest W. Watson

"We are capable of finding unending meaning in a world of constant, shimmering, sometimes threatening change. The task is to keep the question of life in question, and to find in it an unending source of joy and possibility, even in the darkest of times. It is within the constant overcoming of our own limitations and habits, and of the established views of our age, that passive happiness and unreflective contentment are lost, then to be replaced by joyful activity and a glimpse of a broader, more enriching, and more responsible awareness than we have been capable of before." - Robert E. Carter, fully Robert Edgar Carter

"The fountain of contentment must spring up in the mind. He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief which he proposes to remove." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"The sufficiency of contentment is an enduring and unchanging sufficiency." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"[Wisdom is] the science of happiness or of the means of attaining the lasting contentment which consists in the continual achievement of a greater perfection or at least in variations of the same degree of perfection." -

"Comparison is the death of true self-contentment." -

"One often learns more from ten days of agony than ten years of contentment." - Merle Shain

"There are two ways of avoiding war: one is to satisfy everyone’s desire, the other, to content oneself with the good. The former is not possible due to the limitations of the world and therefore there remains this second alternative of contentment." - Unto Tähtinen

"People find happiness both in wisdom and folly, virtue and vice. Contentment is no index of true worth." - Vauvenargues, Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues NULL

"The secret of contentment is never to allow yourself to want anything really badly that reason says you have little or no chance of getting." - Author Unknown NULL

"True contentment depends not upon what we have; a tub was large enough for Diogenes, but a world was too little for Alexander." - Charles Caleb Colton

"The seat of perfect contentment is in the head; for every individual is thoroughly satisfied with his own proportion of brains." - Charles Caleb Colton

"True contentment depends not upon what we have; a tub was large enough for Diogenes, but the world was too little for Alexander." - Charles Caleb Colton

"True contentment depends not on what we have - a tub was large enough for Diogenes, but a world was too little for Alexander." - Charles Caleb Colton

"Contentment is happiness, pleasure has a sting in its tail." - Chinese Proverbs

"When we are unable to find tranquillity (contentment) within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"Fortify yourself with contentment, for this is an impregnable fortress." - Epictetus "the Stoic" NULL

"The mind is a river; upon its water thoughts float through in a constant procession every conscious moment. It is a narrow river, however, and you stand on a bridge over it and can stop and turn back any thought that comes along, and they can come only single file, one at a time. The art of contentment is to let no thought pass that is going to disturb you." - Frank Crane

"The art of contentment is to let no thought pass that is going to disturb you." - Frank Crane

"The rarest feeling that ever lights a human face is the contentment of a loving soul." - Henry Ward Beecher

"Freedom and the consciousness of it as a faculty of following the moral law with unyielding resolution is independence of inclinations, at least as motives determining (though not as affecting) our desire, and so far as I am conscious of this freedom in following my moral maxims, it is the only source of an unaltered contentment which is necessarily connected with it and rests on no special feeling." - Immanuel Kant

"Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and happy purchase." - John Balguy