Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Danger

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." - Michelangelo, aka Michaelangelo Buonarroti, fully Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni NULL

"To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger." -

"When you have overcome one temptation, you must be ready to enter the lists with another. As distrust, in some sense, is the mother of safety, so security is the gate of danger. A man had need to fear this most of all, that he fears not at all." - Thomas Brooks

"The greatest danger in any argument is that real issues are often clouded by superficial ones, that momentary passions may obscure permanent realities." - Mary Ellen Chase

"The danger to America is not in the direction of the failure to maintain its economic position, but in the direction of the failure to maintain its ideals." - Calvin Coolidge, fully John Calvin Coolidge, Jr.

"There is danger in all extremes." -

"Women never really command until they have given their promise to obey; and they are never in more danger of being made slaves than when the men are at their feet." - George Farquhar

"Our best hope for the future is that the intellect - the scientific spirit, reason - should in time establish a dictatorship over the human mind. The very nature of reason is a guarantee that it would not fail to concede to human emotions, and to all that is determined by them, the position to which they are entitled. But the common pressure exercised by such a domination of reason would prove to be the strongest unifying force among men, and would prepare the way for further unifications. Whatever, like the ban laid upon thought by religion, opposes such a development is a danger for the future of mankind." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots." -

"There is a danger in reckless change, but greater danger in blind conservatism." - Henry George

"Moral stimulation is good but moral complacency is the most dangerous habit of mind we can develop, and that danger is serious and ever-present." - Joseph Grew, fully Joseph Clark Grew

"The opportunities of making great sacrifices for the good of mankind are of rare occurrence; and he who remains inactive till it is in his power to confer signal benefits or yield important services is in imminent danger of incurring the doom of the slothful servant." - Robert Hall

"Kindness and intelligence don’t always deliver us from the pitfalls and traps: there are always failures of love, of will, of imagination. There is no way to take the danger out of human relationships." - Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

"The inlet of a man's mind is what he learns; the outlet is what he accomplishes. If his mind is not fed by a continued supply of new ideas which he puts to work with purpose, and if there is no outlet in action, his mind becomes stagnant. Such a mind is a danger to the individual who owns it and is useless to the community." - Jeremiah Whipple Jenks

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Faith alone defends." - Garrison Keillor, fully Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor

"Partiality in a parent is unlucky; for fondling are in danger to be made fools." - Roger L'Estrange, fully Sir Roger L'Estrange

"We are not asking our children to do their own best but to be the best. Education is in danger of becoming a religion based on fear; its doctrine is to compete. The majority of our children are being led to believe that they are doomed to failure in a world which has room only for those at the top." - Eda J. LeShan

"We have kept our children so busy with “useful” and “improving” activities that we are in danger of raising a generation of young people who are terrified of silence, of being alone with their own thoughts." - Eda J. LeShan

"The most precious of all possessions, is power over ourselves; power to withstand trial, to bear suffering, to front danger; power over pleasure and pain; power to follow convictions, however resisted by menace and scorn; the power of calm reliance in scenes of darkness an storms. He that has not a mastery over his inclinations; he that knows not how to resist the importunity of present pleasure or pain, for the sake of what reason tells him is fit to be done, wants the true principle of virtue and industry, and is in danger of never being good for anything." - John Locke

"The greatest danger that faces this country is the danger of moral lassitude - liberty turned to license, rights demanded and duties shirked, the moral sense deteriorating, the traditions and standards of the nation weakened, the spiritual forces within it losing ground." - Robert J. McCracken, D.D.

"We seldom break our leg so long as life continues a toilsome upward climb. The danger comes when we begin to take things easily and choose the convenient paths." -

"The bravery founded on hope of recompense, fear of punishment, experience of success, on rage, or on ignorance of danger, is but common bravery, and does not deserve the name. True bravery proposes a just end; measures the dangers, and meets the result with calmness and unyielding decision." - François de La Noüe

"He is most free from danger, who, even when safe, is on his guard." - Publius Syrus

"He is safe from danger who is on guard even when safe." - Publius Syrus

"The chief danger to our philosophy, apart from laziness and wooliness, is scholasticism, the essence of which is treating what is vague as if it were precise and trying to fit it into an exact logical category." - Frank Plumpton Ramsey

"The rule of law is essentially a negative value. The law inevitably creates a great danger of arbitrary power - the rule of law is designed to minimize the danger created by the law itself. Similarly, the law may be unstable, obscure, retrospective, etc., and thus infringe people’s freedom and dignity. The rule of law is designed to prevent his danger as well. Thus the rule of law is a negative virtue in two senses: conformity to it does not cause good except through avoiding evil and the evil which is avoided is evil which could only have been caused by the law itself." - Joseph Raz

"A timid person is frightened before a danger, a coward during the time, and a courageous person afterwards." -

"Real valour consists not in being insensible to danger, but in being prompt to confront and disarm it." - William Scott, 1st Baron Stowell

"Constant exposure to danger breeds contempt for them." -

"The more secure we feel against our liability to any error to which, in fact, we are liable, the greater must be our danger of falling into it." - Richard Whately

"The brave man is not he who feels no fear, for that would be stupid and irrational; but he whose noble soul subdues its fear, and bravely dares the danger nature shrinks from." - Joanna Baillie

"Children who have been taught, or conditioned, to listen passively most of the day to the warm verbal communication coming from the TV screen, to the deep emotional appeal of the so-called TV personality, are often unable to respond to real persons because they arouse so much less feeling than the skilled actor. Worse, they lose the ability to learn from reality because life experiences are more complicated than the ones they see on the screen, and there is no one who comes in at the end to explain it all. The “TV child”... gets discouraged when he cannot grasp the meaning of what happens to him.... If, later in life, this block of solid inertia is not removed, the emotional isolation from others that starts in front of TV may continue... This being seduced into passivity and discouraged about facing life actively on one’ sown is the real danger of TV." - Bruno Bettelheim

"Anxiety is the poison of human life. It is the parent of many sins, and of more miseries. In a world where everything is doubtful, where you may be disappointed, and be blessed in disappointment,—what means this restless stir and commotion of mind? Can your solicitude alter the cause or unravel the intricacy of human events? Can your curiosity pierce through the cloud which the Supreme Being hath made impenetrable to mortal eye? To provide against every important danger by the employment of the most promising means is the office of wisdom; but at this point wisdom stops." -

"The winning team like the conquering army claims everything in its path and seems to say that only winning is important. Yet like getting into a college of your choice or winning an election or marrying a beautiful mate, victory is fraught with as much danger as glory. Victory has very narrow meanings and, if exaggerated or misused, can become a destructive force." - Bill Bradley, fully William Warren "Dollar Bill" Bradley

"With monstrous weapons man already has, humanity is in danger of being trapped in this world by its moral adolescents. Our knowledge of science has already outstripped our capacity to control it. We have many men of science, too few men of God." -

"Much has been said of the wisdom of old age. Old age is wise, I grant, for itself, but not wise for the community. It is wise in declining new enterprises, for it has not the power nor the time to execute them; wise in shrinking from difficulty, for it has not the strength to overcome it; wise in avoiding danger, for it lacks the faculty of ready and swift action, by which dangers are parried and converted into advantages. But this is not wisdom for mankind at large, by whom new enterprises must be undertaken, dangers met, and difficulties surmounted." - William Cullen Bryant

"War, like other situations of danger and of change, calls for the exertion of admirable intellectual qualities and great virtues, and it is only by dwelling on these, and keeping out of sight the sufferings and sorrows, and all the crimes and evils that follow in its train, that it has its glory in the eyes of man." - William Cullen Bryant

"For the mass public, it is easier to understand problems if they are reduced to black/white dichotomies. It is easier to understand policies if they are attached to individuals who are simplistically labeled as hawks or doves. Yet in today’s world any attempt to reduce its complexities to a single set of ideological propositions, to a single personality, or to a single issue is in itself a distortion. Such a distortion also raises the danger that public emotions could become so strong as to make the management of a genuinely complex foreign policy well-nigh impossible." -

"In extreme danger fear feels no pity." -

"When a regular division of employments has spread through any society, the social state begins to acquire a consistency and stability which place it out of danger from particular divergencies." - Auguste Comte, formally Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier Comte

"The greatest asset of any nation is the spirit of its people, and the greatest danger that can menace any nation is the breakdown of that spirit - the will to win and the courage to work." - George B. Cortelyou, fully George Bruce Cortelyou

"There is far more danger in public than in private monopoly, for when Government goes into business it can always shift its losses to the taxpayers. Government never makes ends meet - and that is the first requisite of business." -

"Doubt, indugled and cherished, is in danger of becoming denial; but if honest, and bent on thorough investigation, it may soon lead to dull establishment in the truth" - Tyron Edwards

"Science has brought forth this danger [atomic energy], but the real problem is in the minds and hearts of men." - Albert Einstein

"Cowards falter, but danger is often overcome by those who nobly dare." - Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra May NULL

"Nature reacts not only to physical disease, but also to moral weakness; when the danger increases, she gives us greater courage." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Whatever therefore is consequent to a tie of war, where every man is enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such a condition, there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." - Thomas Hobbes

"Danger for danger’s sake is senseless." - James Henry Leigh Hunt

"When Goethe says that in every human condition foes lie in wait for us, “invincible only by cheerfulness and equanimity,” he does not mean that we can at all times be really cheerful, or at a moment’s notice; but that the endeavor to look at the better side of things will produce the habit, and that this habit is the surest safeguard against the danger of sudden evils." - James Henry Leigh Hunt

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure." -