Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Family

"Vanity is a strong temptation to lying; it makes people magnify their merit, over flourish their family, and tell strange stories of their interest and acquaintance." - Jeremy Collier

"Friendship is held to be the severest test of character. It is easy, we think, to be loyal to family and clan, whose blood is in our own veins. Love between man and woman is founded on the mating instinct and is not free from desire and self-seeking. But to have a friend, and to be true under any and all trials, is the mark of a man!" - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"I sincerely believe that the word "relationships" is the key to the prospect of a decent world. It seems abundantly clear that every problem you will have - in your family, in your work, in our nation, or in this world - is essentially a matter of relationships, of interdependence." - Clarence Francis

"The sort of marriage where the couple never have a row, cannot bear “unpleasantness,” the sort of family that is endlessly and determinedly “happy” cannot lead to growth, nor any genuine form of “being.” “Being” is about acknowledging one’s pain, and not trying to conceal it from oneself, or inflict it upon others." - Monica Furlong

"The best arguments in favor of marriage and family life are not that they promote happiness and reduce loneliness, though at their best they do these things, but that they create a situation in which facing the truth about ourselves - our self-deceiving, touchy, vain, inflated selves - becomes more difficult to avoid than it is anywhere else." - Monica Furlong

"All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others." -

"No man ever knows the few joys of living without some sort of success to his credit. Of all the games worth a candle, success is first. The greatest punishment is to be despised by your neighbors, the world and members of your family." - E. W. Howe, fully Edgar Watson Howe

"Since human beings have a moral conscience, a spiritual self and a physical self, we can choose among various options. And we are responsible for the consequences of our choices. We can put the common interests of humankind above the conflicts of ideological, racial, religious and national groups. We can bring together thought and feeling, politics and moral values, women and men, the underprivileged and the privileged.... The essence of life is to search for happiness. To realize this end, we must become one with the human family, one with the universe... We should live as if we were to die today. We should die as if we live forever." - Petra Kelly, fully Petra Karin Kelley

"Love hates people to be attached to each other except by himself, and takes a laggard part in relations that are set up and maintained under another title, as marriage is. Connections and means have, with reason, as much weight in it as graces and beauty, or more. We do not marry for ourselves, whatever we say; we marry must as much or more for our posterity, for our family. The practice and benefit of marriage concerns our race very far beyond us. Therefore I like this fashion of arranging it rather by a third hand than by our own, and by the sense of other rather than by our own. How opposite is all this to the conventions of love!" - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Modern man - whether in the womb of the masses, or with his workmates, or with his family, or alone - can never for one moment forget that he is living in a world in which he is a means and whose end is not his business." - Alberto Moravia, Pen name of Alberto Pincherle

"Only so far as a man is happily married to himself, is he fit for married life to another, and for family life generally." -

"If you want a place in the sun, you must leave the shade of the family tree." -

"Love, hope and joy, fair pleasure’s smiling train, hate fear and grief, the family of pain; these mix’d with art, and to due bounds confin’d, make and maintain the balance of the mind." - Alexander Pope

"Each person is a one time phenomenon, an occurrence that has never been before and will never be again. You have a unique blend of character traits and personality. You are unique in your particular family constellation, born in a specific time of history and in a specific environment. This uniqueness gives you great importance. Only you can accomplish your unique life tasks." - Rashi, born Shlomo ben Yitzchok, aka Salomon Isaacides, Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki NULL

"I make little account of genealogical trees. Mere family never made a man great. Thought and deed, not pedigree, are the passports to enduring fame." - Mikhail D. Skobeleff or Skobeolev, fully Mikhail Dmitrievich Skobelev

"Mere family never made a man great. Thought and deed, not pedigree, are the passports to enduring fame." - Mikhail D. Skobeleff or Skobeolev, fully Mikhail Dmitrievich Skobelev

"To be honest, to be kind - to earn a little and spend a little less, to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence, to renounce when that shall be necessary and not be embittered, to keep a few friends, but these without capitulation - above all, on the same grim condition, to keep friends with himself - here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy." - Robert Louis Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

"Nothing presents a more mournful aspect than a family divided by anger and animosity." - Heinrich Zachokke, fully Johann Heinrich Daniel Zachokke

"The image of self and the image of family are reciprocally interdependent." - Nathan Ackerman, fully Nathan Ward Ackerman

"Mankind is a creature of space, a space race living on a planet in orbit around a star, as others are also doing. Mankind is not unique, as he fondly imagines. He is merely a part of the vast interstellar human family bred and nurtured by us through the eons of time on planets in different solar systems throughout the galaxy." - Akon NULL

""A family without government," says Matthew Henry, "is like a house without a roof, exposed to every wind that blows." He might better have said, like a house in flames, a scene of confusion, and commonly too hot to live in." -

"Woman is the salvation or the destruction of the family. She carries its destiny in the folds of her mantle." -

"Art and Religion are, then, two roads by which men escape from circumstance to ecstasy. Between aesthetic and religious rapture there is a family alliance. Art and Religion are means similar states of mind." - Clive Bell, fully Arthur Clive Heward Bell

"There is no group so uncongenial as an uncongenial family." -

"The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit. No two people - no mere father and mother - as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child. He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born." - Pearl S. Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu

"Vanity is a strong temptation to lying; it makes people magnify their merit, over-flourish their family, and tell strange stories of their interest and acquaintance." - Jeremy Collier

"Man-made barriers, laws, social customs and prejudices continue to keep a majority of women in an inferior position without full control of our lives and bodies. From infancy throughout life, in personal and public relations, in the family, in the schools, in every occupation and profession, too often we find our individuality, our capabilities, our earning powers diminished by discriminatory practices and outmoded ideas of what a woman is, what a woman can do, and what a woman must be... We lack effective political and economic power We have only minor and insignificant roles in making, interpreting and enforcing our laws, in running our political parties, businesses, unions, schools and institutions, in directing the media, in governing our country, in deciding issues of war or peace. We do not seek special privileges, but we demand as a human right a full voice and role for women in determining the destiny of our world, our nation, our families and our individual lives." - Declaration of American Women NULL

"Partiality is generally supplemented by prejudice, and is most objectionable in family government." - Du Coeur NULL

"Always have a book at hand, in the parlor, on the table, for the family; a book of condensed thought and striking anecdote, of sound maxims and truthful apothegms. It will impress on your mind a thousand valuable suggestions, and teach your children lessons of truth and duty. Such a book is a casket of jewels for your household." - Tyron Edwards

"Wine is the source of the greatest evils among communities. It causes diseases, quarrels, seditions, idleness, aversion to labor, and family disorders... It is s species of poison that causes madness. It does not make a man die, but it degrades him into a brute. Men may preserve their health and vigor without wine; with wine they run the risk of ruining their health and losing their morals." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"It is one of the ironic and yet pathetic aspects of our competitive life that with each step up the ladder of success, the regimentation of the individual and his family becomes more intense and coercive. The goal of competitive striving is to be allowed to submit to these extractions and find fulfillment only in doing as faithfully as possible what others in one's competitive class are doing" - Lawrence K. Frank

"We are all one dying, one immortal family." - Henry Giles

"Abortion almost always symbolizes failure - the failure of a contraceptive, of a relationship, of a family, of a dream, even of a social system. Government need not add an extra lash to the whip." - Soma Golden, fully Soma Golden Behr

"Fun has no limits. It is like the human race and face; there is a family likeness among all the species, but they all differ." - Thomas Haliburton, fully Thomas Chandler Haliburton, pseudonym "Sam Slick"

"Keep clear of personalities in conversation. Talk of things, objects, thoughts. The smallest minds occupy themselves with persons. Do not needlessly report ill of others. As far as possible, dwell on the good side of human beings. There are family boards where a constant process of depreciating, assigning motives, and cutting up character goes forward. They are not pleasant places. One who is healthy does not wish to dine at a dissecting table. There is evil enough in man, God knows. But it is not the mission of every young man and woman to detail and report it all. Keep the atmosphere as pure as possible, and fragrant with gentleness and charity." - John Hall

"In a family argument, if it turns out you are right, apologize at once." - Robert A. Heinlein, fully Robert Anson Heinlein, pen name for Anson MacDonald

"The Family of Man is more than three billion strong. It lives in more than one hundred nations. Most of its members are not white. Most of them are not Christians. Most of them know nothing about free enterprise, of due process of law or the Australian ballot." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"The true security was found to be family unity, not physical safety." - Henry C. Link

"The uprooting of human beings from the land, the concentration in cities, the breakdown of the authority of family, of tradition, and of moral conventions, the complexity and the novelty of modern life, and finally the economic insecurity of our industrial system have called into being the modern social worker. They perform a function in modern society which is not a luxury but an absolute necessity." - Walter Lippmann

"Society's preservation and man's happiness depend on illusion. Nature itself, which certainly represents the will of God, deludes us in many respects, as when it leads us by the cords of love to reproduce the race. If a youth would consider the trouble in rearing a family, not one in a thousand would marry, but nature closes our eyes to the future (and indeed, wherever popular knowledge rises, the birth rate declines). The same is true of the other passions, which nature utilizes to deceive man and goad them toward the attainment of ends which, when attained, turn out to be but vanity." - Samuel David Luzzatto, aka by acronym of SHaDaL or SHeDaL

"The fundamental rights, like the right to existence and life; the right to personal freedom or to conduct one’s own life as master of oneself and of one’s acts, responsible for them before God and the law of the community; the right to the pursuit of the perfection of moral and rational human life; the right to keep one’s body whole; the right to private ownership of material goods, which is a safeguard of the liberties of the individual; the right to marry according to one’s choice and to raise a family which will be assured of the liberties due it; the right of association, the respect for human dignity in each individual, whether or not he represents an economic value for society - all these rights are rooted in the vocation of the person (a spiritual and free agent) to the order of absolute values and to a destiny superior to time." - Jacques Maritain

"[On children] Above all things endeavor to breed them up in the love of virtue, and that holy plain way of it which we have lived in, that the world in no part of it get into my family. I had rather they were homely than finely bred as to outward behavior; yet I love sweetness mixed with gravity, and cheerfulness tempered with sobriety." - William Penn

"The family is more sacred than the state." - Pope Pius XI, born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti NULL

"To tell the truth, however, family and poverty have done more to support me than I have to support them. They have compelled me to make exertions that I hardly thought myself capable of; and often when on the eve of despairing, they have forced me, like a coward in a corner, to fight like a hero, not for myself, but for my wife and little ones." - Philip Bennett Power

"Alcoholism isn't a spectator sport. Eventually the whole family gets to play." -

"The family that prays together stays together." -

"A man cannot leave a better legacy to the world than a well-educated family." - C. P. Scott, fully Charles Prestwich Scott

"This we know. The earth does not belong to man: man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself." -

"No man is nobler born than another, unless he is born with better abilities and more amiable disposition. They who make such a parade with their family pictures, and pedigrees, are, properly speaking, rather to be called noted or notorious than noble persons. I thought it right to say this much, in order to repel the insolence of men who depend entirely upon chance and accidental circumstances for distinction, and not at all on public services and personal merit." -