Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Fighting

"At times, laziness is the root of taking action. When we feel an urge to give in to a desire, we might hear a whisper telling us that something is not right. Laziness, however, prevents us from fighting that desire and we give in to our bad habit." - Chazon Ish, named Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz

"To be nobody-but-myself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting." - e. e. cummings, fully Edward Estlin Cummings

"Personal magnetism is a mixture of rugged Honesty, pulsating Energy, and self-organized Intelligence. I believe, absolutely, that truth is the strongest and most powerful weapon a man can use, whether he is fighting for a reform or fighting for a sale." - Arthur Dunn

"Most of us are like snowflakes trying to be like each other, yet knowing full well that no two snowflakes are ever identical. If we were to devote the same amount of energy in trying to discover the true self that lies buried deep within our own nature, we would all work harmoniously with life instead of forever fighting it." -

"We have lost the power even of imagining what the ancient realization of poverty could have meant; the liberation from material attachments, the unbribed soul, the manlier indifference, the paving our way by what we are and not by what we have, the right to fling away our life at any moment irresponsibly, - the more athletic trim, in short, the fighting shape." - William James

"To attack vices in the abstract, without touching persons, may be safe fighting indeed, but it is fighting with shadows." -

"Nonresistance isn’t passive. Passivity suggests powerlessness. But non-resistance is extremely powerful. It means we’re consciously choosing what we wish to empower. Nonresistance is the action of wisdom that assesses a situation and realizes there is nothing to be gained from fighting it." - Gloria D. Karpinski

"The tongue of a man is his weapon, and speech is mightier than fighting." - Khati I NULL

"Reasoning against a prejudice is like fighting against a shadow; it exhausts the reasoner, without visibly affecting the prejudice." - Arundell Charles St. John-Mildmay

"He who lives by fighting with an enemy has an interest in preservation of the enemy's life." -

"Truth is the strongest and most powerful weapon a man can use, whether he is fighting for a reform or fighting for a sale." - Arthur Dunn

"Let us not be afraid of debate or dissent - let us encourage it. For if we should ever abandon these basic American traditions in the name of fighting Communism, what would it profit us to win the whole world when we have lost our soul?" - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"The practice of perseverance is the discipline of the noblest virtues. To run well, we must run to the end. It is not the fighting but the conquering that gives a hero his title to renown." - Elias L. Magoon

"Physical courage is never in short supply in a fighting army. Moral courage sometimes is." - Matthew B Ridgway, fully Matthew Bunker Ridgway

"If you want a war, nourish a doctrine. doctrines are the most fearful tyrants to which men ever are subject, because doctrines get inside of a man’s own reason and betray him against himself. Civilized men have done their fiercest fighting for doctrines." - William Graham Sumner

"All men have poetry in their hearts, and it is necessary for them, as much as possible, to express their feelings. For this they must have a medium, moving and pliant, which can refreshingly become their own, age after age. All great languages undergo change. Those languages which resist the spirit of change are doomed and will never produce great harvests of thought and literature. When forms become fixed, the spirit either weakly accepts its imprisonment or rebels. All revolutions consists of the “within” fighting against invasion from “without”... All great human movements are related to some great idea." -

"If we fight a war and win it with H-bombs, what history will remember is not the ideals we were fighting for but the methods we used to accomplish them. These methods will be compared to the warfare of Genghis Khan who ruthlessly killed every last inhabitant of Persia." - Hans Albrecht Bethe

"Always remember that the people are not fighting for ideas, nor for what is in men’s minds. The people fight and accept the sacrifices demanded by the struggle in order to gain material advantages, to live better and in peace, to benefit from progress, and for the better future of their children. National liberation, the struggle against colonialism, the construction of peace, progress and independence are hollow words devoid of any significance unless they can be translated into real improvement of living conditions." - Amilcar Cabral

"Giving oneself to God, even in the contemplative life, is no way to get peace of mind, but rather to get into the thick of the fighting." - Jean Daniélou

"Freedom is not worth fighting for if it means no more than license for everyone to get as much as he can for himself." - Dorothy Canfield Fisher

"A king can stand people’s fighting, but he can’t last long if people start thinking." - Will Rogers, fully William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers

"The Taoist solution was to get oneself in harmony with the Way or Tao of the universe, to learn to move through the world with flexibility and fluidity according to the nature of things, rather than fighting it, ourselves, or other people." - Joseph Runzo and Nancy M. Martin

"Revolution is only true revolution if it is a continuous struggle – not just an external struggle against an enemy, but an inner struggle, fighting and subduing all negative aspects which hinder or do damage to the course of the revolution. In this light, revolution is… a mighty symphony of victory over the enemy and over oneself." - Achmad Sukarno, born Kusno Sosrodihardjo

"A more peaceful way to live is to decide consciously which battles are worth fighting and which are better left alone." - Richard Carlson

"As long as our leaders believe they can’t win votes by working to reduce poverty, the media will continue to focus on politician’s efforts to increase safety by fighting terrorism." - Jurriaan Kamp

"Any fool can try to defend his mistakes - and most fools do - but it gives one a feeling of nobility to admit one's mistakes. By fighting, you never get enough, but by yielding, you get more than you expected." - Lawrence G. Lovasik

"Be kind; every man you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Ian Maclaren, pseudonymn of Rev. John Watson

"The foundation of all understanding... is that no static maintenance of perfection is possible. This axiom is rooted in the nature of things. Advance or Decadence are the only choices offered to mankind. The pure conservative is fighting against the essence of the universe." - Alfred North Whitehead

"The responsibility for change… lies with us. We must begin with ourselves, teaching ourselves not to close our minds prematurely to the novel, the surprising, the seemingly radical. This means fighting off the idea-assassins who rush forward to kill any new suggestion on grounds of its impracticality, while defending whatever now exists as practical, not matter how absurd, oppressive, or unworkable it may be. It means fighting for freedom of expression – the right of people to voice their ideas, even if heretical." - Alvin Toffler

"Peace, in international affairs, is a period of cheating between two periods of fighting." - Ambrose Gwinett Bierce

"Why should we all use our creative power? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money." - Brenda Ueland

"When young, beware of fighting; when strong, beware of sex; and when old, beware of possession." - Confucius, aka Kong Qiu, Zhongni, K'ung Fu-tzu or Kong Fuzi NULL

"To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." -

"To be nobody-but-yourself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you somebody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting." -

"A few conquer by fighting, but it is well to remember that more battles are won by submitting." - Elbert Green Hubbard

"All wars are wars among thieves who are too cowardly to fight and who therefore induce the young manhood of the whole world to do the fighting for them." - Emma Goldman

"Wilson said that America’s doughboys fought for the Fourteen Points. Roosevelt said the GI was fighting for the Four Freedoms. Johnson and Humphrey sent men out to die for the planting of dams in Vietnam. Nixon preaches a war of generosity. Each time we have fought in this century, our leaders have denied that we did it for ourselves." - Garry Wills

"When a man argues for victory and not for truth, he is sure of just one ally, that is the devil. Not the defeat of intellect, but the acceptance of the heart is the only true object in fighting with the sword of spirit." - George MacDonald

"Victories that are cheap are cheap. Those only are worth having which come as the result of hard fighting." - Henry Ward Beecher

"When men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas - that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato NULL

"The happiest excitement in life is to be convinced that one is fighting for all one is worth on behalf of some clearly seen and deeply felt good." - Ruth Benedict, born Ruth Fulton

"If we want to know what happiness is we must seek it, not as if it were a part of gold at the end of the rainbow, but among human beings who are living richly and fully the good life. If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double Dahlias in his garden. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar gold button that has rolled under the cupboard in his bed room. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living 24 crowded hours of the day. If you live only for yourself you are always an immediate danger of being bored to death with the repetition of your own views and interests. No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellowmen. If your ambition has the momentum of an express train at full speed, if you can no longer stop your mad rush for glory, power, or intellectual supremacy, try to divert your energies into socially useful channels before it is too late. For those who seek the larger happiness and greater effectiveness open to human beings there can be but one philosophy of life, a philosophy of constructive altruism. The truly happy man is always a fighting optimist. Optimism includes not only altruism but also social responsibility, social courage and objectivity. The good life demands a working philosophy as an orientating map of conduct. This is the golden way of life. This is the satisfying life. This is the way to be happy though human. " - W. Béran Wolfe

"The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other - instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals. " - Edward Paul Abbey

"The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man." - Fyodor Dostoevsky, fully Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky or Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski

"He who lives by fighting with an enemy has an interest in preservation of the enemy's life. " - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

"That is the arrogance of the kind of academic narrowness one too often sees; it is trapped in its own predictable prejudices, its own stale categories. It is the mind dulled to the poetry of existence. It’s fashionable now to demand some economic payoff from space, some reward to prove it was all worthwhile. Those who say this resemble the apelike creatures in 2001. They are fighting for food among themselves, while one separates himself from them and moves to the slab, motivated by awe. That is the point they are missing. He is the one who evolves into a human being; he is the one who understands the future." - Joseph Campbell

"To attack vices in the abstract, without touching persons, may be safe fighting indeed, but it is fighting with shadows." - Junius, psyeudonym of unknown English Political Writer NULL

"Whether our task is fighting poverty, stemming the spread of disease or saving innocent lives from mass murder, we have seen that we cannot succeed without the leadership of the strong and the engagement of all" - Kofi Annan, fully Kofi Atta Annan