Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Events

"Consult duty, not events." -

"There are no little events with the heart. It magnifies everything; it places in the same scales the fall of an empire of fourteen years and the dropping of a woman’s glove, and almost always the glove weighs more than the empire." - Honoré de Balzac

"How strange are the tricks of memory, which, often hazy as a dream about the most important events of a man's life, religiously preserve the merest trifles." - Richard Francis Burton, fully Sir Richard Francis Burton

"Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people." - Hugh C. Cameron

"A true history of human events would show that a far larger proportion of our acts are the results of sudden impulses and accidents than of that reason of which we so much boast." - Susan Fenimore Cooper, fully Susan Augusta Fenimore Cooper

"A true history of human events would show a far larger proportion of our acts are the results of sudden impulses and accident, than of that reason of which we so much boast." - James Fenimore Cooper

"A treaty, in the minds of our people, is an eternal word. Events often make it seem expedient to depart from the pledged word, but we are conscious that the first departure creates a logic for the second departure, until there is nothing left of the word." - Declaration of Indian Purpose NULL

"A return from the over-estimation of the property of consciousness is the indispensable preliminary to any genuine insight into the course of psychic events... The unconscious must be accepted as the general basis of the psychic life. The unconscious is the larger circle which includes the smaller circle of the conscious; everything conscious has a preliminary unconscious stage, whereas the unconscious can stop at this stage, and yet claim to be considered a full psychic function." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"There is no perfect knowledge which can be entitled ours, that is innate; none but what has been obtained from experience, or derived in some way from our senses; all knowledge, at all events, is examined by these, approved by them, and finally presents itself to us firmly grounded upon some preexisting knowledge which we possessed: because without memory there is no experience, which is nothing else than reiterated memory; in like manner memory cannot exist without endurance of the things perceived, and the thing perceived cannot remain where it has never been." - William Harvey

"Our world is a college, events are teachers, happiness is the graduating point, character is the diploma God gives man." - Newell Dwight Hillis

"I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life, than on the nature of those events themselves." -

"Custom is the great guide of human life. It is that principle alone which renders our experience useful to us, and makes us expect, for the future, a similar train of events with those which have appeared I the past. Without the influence of custom, we should be entirely ignorant of every matter of fact beyond what is immediately present to the memory and senses. We should never know how to adjust means to ends, or to employ our natural powers in the production of any effect. There would be an end at once of all action, as well as of the chief part of speculation." - David Hume

"It is universally acknowledged that there is a great uniformity among the actions of men, in all nations and ages, and that human nature remains still the same, in its principles and operations. The same motives always produce the same actions: the same events follow the same causes. Ambition, avarice, self-love, vanity, friendship, generosity, public spirit: these passions, mixed in various degrees, and distributed through society, have been from the beginning of the world, and still are, the source of all the actions and enterprises, which have ever been observed among mankind." - David Hume

"If you had been looking for happiness in people and events, you discovered that it is not there. If you look to outer circumstances for your satisfaction cues, you will stay on an emotion seesaw... True joy is actually part of your nature... Events merely give us an excuse to feel it." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"The greatest events may be often traced back to slender causes." -

"There is little peace or comfort in life if we are always anxious as to future events. He that worries himself with the dread of possible contingencies will never be at rest." -

"Events of great consequence often spring from trifling circumstances." -

"Happiness is not a matter of events; it depends upon the tides of the mind." - Alice Christiana Gertrude Thompson Meynell, born Alice Thompson

"Fear is like fire: If controlled it will help you; if uncontrolled, it will rise up and destroy you. Men's actions depend a great deal upon fear. We do things either because we enjoy doing them or because we are afraid not to do them. This sort of fear has not relation to physical or moral courage. It is inspired by the knowledge that we are not adequately prepared to face the future and the events it may bring - poverty perhaps, or injury, or death." - John F. Milburn

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." - W. H. Murray, fully William Hutchinson Murray

"The greatest events - are not our noisiest, but our stillest hours." -

"Man's mind cannot grasp the causes of events in their completeness, but the desire to find the causes is implanted in man's soul." -

"He that has a "spirit of detail" will do better in life than many who figured beyond him in the university. Such an one is minute and particular. He adjusts trifles; and these trifles compose most of the business and happiness of life. Great events happen seldom, and affect few; trifles happen every moment to everybody; and though one occurrence of them adds little to the happiness or misery of life, yet the sum total of their continual repetition is of the highest consequence." - Daniel Webster

"Any time we become discouraged from unfortunate events in our lives, we are reacting prematurely. Our lowest moments can lead to our greatest fortune." - Yosef Avraham Wolf

"If you have a positive attitude towards the events of your life, even though to an outside observer your life might seem full of suffering, you nevertheless will live a happy life. What to others might seem misfortunes, you will view as opportunities for spiritual growth." - Chayim Efrayim Zaichyk

"The whole object of education is, or should be, to develop mind. The mind should be a thing that works. It should be able to pass judgment on events as they arise, make decisions." - Sherwood Anderson

"Time is like a river made up of the events which happen, and a violent stream; for as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place, and this will be carried away too." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"How many years of fatigue and punishment it takes to learn the simple truth that work, that disagreeable thing, is the only way of not suffering in life, or at all events, of suffering less." - Charles Pierre Baudelaire

"The road is pre-destined, but the way we walk it, the attitude with which we bear our fate, can be of great influence over events." - Richard Beer-Hoffmann

"Anxiety is the poison of human life; the parent of many sins and of more miseries. In a world where everything is doubtful, and where we may be disappointed, and be blessed in disappointment, why this restless stir and commotion of mind? Can it alter the cause or unravel the mystery of human events?" - Hugh Blair

"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." -

"That God is eternal, is agreed by all who possess reason. What then is eternity?... Eternity is the complete and simultaneous possession of endless life in a single whole... God lives ever in an eternal present, his knowledge transcends all movement of time, and abides in the indivisibility of his present; he grasps the past and the future in all their infinite extent, and with his indivisible cognition he contemplates all events as if they were even now taking place." - Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

"The greatest events of an age are its best thoughts. It is the nature of thought to find its way into action." - John Christian Bovee

"There are but three events which concern men: birth, life and death. They are unconscious of their birth, they suffer when they die, and they neglect to live." - Jean de La Bruyère

"In war events of importance are the result of trivial causes." -

"Events are only the shells of ideas; and often it is the fluent thought of ages that is crystallized in a moment by the stroke of a pen or the point of a bayonet." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"A true history of human events would show that a far larger proportion of our acts as the results of sudden impulses and accident, than of the reason of which we so much boast." - Albert Cooper, fully Albert Glen Cooper

"Grand and manifold as were its phases, there is yet no difficulty in understanding the character of Washington. He was no Veiled Prophet. He never acted a part. Simple, natural, and unaffected, his life lies before us - a fair and open manuscript. He disdained the arts which wrap power in mystery in order to magnify it. He practiced the profound diplomacy of truthful speech - the consummate tact of direct attention. Looking ever to the All-Wise Disposer of events, he relied on that Providence which helps men by giving them high hearts and hopes to help themselves with the means which their Creator has put at their service. There was no infirmity in his conduct over which charity must fling its veil; no taint of selfishness from which purity averts her gaze; no dark recess of intrigue that must be lit up with colored panegyric; no subterranean passage to be trod in trembling, lest there be stirred the ghost of a buried crime." - John W. Daniel, fully John Warwick Daniel

"The first principle asserts that at least some mental events interact causally with physical events... The second principle is that where there is causality, there must be a law: events related as cause and effect fall under strict deterministic laws... The third principle is that there are no strict deterministic laws on the basis of which mental events can be predicted and explained... from the fact that there can be no strict psychophysical laws, and without our other two principles, we can infer the truth of a version of the identity theory, that is, a theory that identifies at least some mental events with physical events." - Donald Davidson

"Since changes are going on any way, the great thing is to learn enough about them so that we will be able to lay hold of them and turn them in the direction of our desires. Conditions and events are neither to be fled from nor passively acquiesced in; they are to be utilized and directed." - John Dewey

"We are weak today in ideal matters because intelligence is divorced from aspiration. The bare force of circumstance compels us onwards in the daily detail of our beliefs and acts, but our deeper thoughts and desires turn backwards. When philosophy shall have co-operated with the course of events and made clear and coherent the meaning of the daily detail, science and emotion will interpenetrate, practice and imagination will embrace. Poetry and religious feeling will be the unforced flowers of life. To further this articulation and revelation of the meanings of the current course of events is the task and problem of philosophy in days of transition." - John Dewey

"The power of little things has so often been noted that we accept it as an axiom, and yet fail to see, in each beginning, the possibility of great events." - Tyron Edwards

"Demand not that events should happen as you wish; but wish them to happen as they do happen, and you will go on well." -

"Events will take their course, it is not good our being angry at them; he is happiness who wisely turns them to the account." - Euripedes NULL

"Considering the unforeseen events of this world, we should be taught that no human condition should inspire men with absolute despair." - Henry Fielding

"That man is wise who neither hopes nor fears anything from the uncertain events of the future." - Anatole France, pen name of Jacques Anatole Francois Thibault

"We are living the events which for centuries to come will be minutely studied by scholars who will undoubtedly describe these days as probably the most exciting and creative in the history of mankind. But preoccupied with our daily chores, our worries and personal hopes and ambitions, few of us are actually living in the present." - Lawrence K. Frank

"Young children possess the ability to cut across the customary categories; to appreciate usually undiscerned links among realms, to respond effectively in a parallel manner to events which are usually categorized differently, and to capture these original conceptions in words." - Howard Gardner, fully Howard Earl Gardner

"Surely no man can reflect, without wonder, upon the vicissitudes of human life arising from causes in the highest degree accidental and trifling. If you trace the necessary concatenation of human events a very little way back, you may perhaps discover that a person’s very going in or out of a door has been the means of coloring with misery or happiness the remaining current of his life." -

"A single mind can acquire a fair knowledge of the whole field of science, and find plenty of time to spare for ordinary human affairs. Not many people take the trouble to do so. But without a knowledge of science one cannot understand current events. That is why our modern our modern literature and art are mostly so unreal." - J. B. S. Haldane, fully John Burdon Sanderson Haldane