Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Growth

"Willingness to be taught what we do not know, is the sure pledge of growth both in knowledge and wisdom." - Hugh Blair

"The goal of all education, preaching, and instruction is the development of mature individuals who will understand that difficulties in life are Divine-ordained challenges to overcome and opportunities for growth, and not excuses for defeat and self-ruination." - Aaron M. Brafman

"The full-grown modern human being who seeks but refuge finds instead boredom and mental dissolution, unless he can be, even in his withdrawal, creative. He can find the quality of happiness in the strain and travail only of achievement and growth. And he is conscious of touching the highest pinnacle of fulfillment which his life-urges demand when his is consumed in the service of an idea, in the conquest of the goal pursued." - Robert Briffault, fully Robert Stephen Briffault

"Every mind was made for growth, for knowledge; and its nature is sinned against when it is doomed to ignorance." - William Ellery Channing

"The only freedom worth possessing is that which gives enlargement to a people's energy, intellect and virtues... Progress, the growth of intelligence and power, is the end and boon of liberty; and, without this, a people may have the name, but want the substance and spirit of freedom." - William Ellery Channing

"In the end, we are all the sum total of our actions. Character cannot be counterfeited, nor can it be put on and cast off as if it were a garment to meet the whim of the moment. Like the markings on wood which are ingrained in the very heart of the tree, character requires time and nurture for growth and development. Thus also, day by day, we write our own destiny; for inexorably we become what we do. This I believe, is the supreme logic and the law of life." - Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, born Soong Mei-ling or May-ling

"Life in this world is a very important reality, but it is not the ultimate reality... True growth in this world always calls for a dying to my own sinfulness, individualism and selfishness so that I might come closer to my true self in relationship to all others and to God. Thus, in the end, life and death are not diametrically opposed. Life involves a dying and dying is a way of life." - Charles Curran

"Fortunate is the person whose ambition is to acquire personal growth that is independent of external factors. Such a person will lead a happy and rewarding life." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"Education as growth or maturity should be an ever-present process." - John Dewey

"The dominant vocation of all human beings at all times is living - intellectual and moral growth." - John Dewey

"A person whose major goal in life is spiritual growth feels love for anyone who suggests ways he can improve." - Dubner Magid, name for Rabbi Jacob ben wolf Krantz

"The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"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

"Maybe the purpose of life is not as important as the process of growth that’s integral with being alive... In answering the question “What’s the meaning of life?” maybe the people who have taken the challenges of life as meaningful are the best ones to ask... These are the people who have appreciated and taken advantage of the possibilities life has to offer. They find life precious." - Philip Glass

"Human happiness is the true odour of growth, the sweet exhalation of work." - David Grayson, pseudonym of Ray Stannard Baker

"Any person who thinks rationally will not feel discouraged in the area of personal growth and obtaining wisdom. He realizes that perfection is impossible and not required of him. Constant improvement is what is required and everyone has the ability to improve." - Avraham Grodzinski

"There are no mistakes... only opportunities for growth." - Susan Jeffers

"Acceptance is such an important commodity, some have called it "the first law of personal growth." Acceptance is simply seeing something the way it is and saying, "that is the way it is." Acceptance is not approval, consent, permission, authorization, sanction, concurrence, agreement, compliance, sympathy, endorsement, confirmation, support, ratification, assistance, advocating, backing, maintaining, authenticating, reinforcing, cultivating, encouraging, furthering, promoting, aiding, abetting or even liking what is." - John-Roger & Peter McWilliams NULL

"We are constantly repeating messages in our minds. If they are negative: “I’m a failure,” “The world is an awful place,” “Nothing ever goes right,” we make our lives miserable. We have the ability to consciously make an effort to repeat to our selves positive messages: “I have the ability to keep improving,” “The world contains many wonderful opportunities,” “Everything that happens to me can be used for growth”... Little by little they will have a positive effect on your personality and emotions." - Ya’akov Dov "Katzele" Katz

"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"Humor simultaneously wounds and heals, indicts and pardons, diminishes and enlarges; it constitutes inner growth at the expense of outer gain, and those who possess and honestly practice it make themselves more through a willingness to make themselves less." - Louis Kronenberger

"Anyone who works on self-improvement will find faults. An honest look at ourselves will show we are not on as high a spiritual level as we thought. Do not be excessively upset about this for it is a universal experience and should not disturb your peace of mind to the degree it will prevent you from further growth." - Yechezkail Levenstein

"Every aspect of our lives is a challenge and a test. With this perspective, life will never be boring or mundane. Every single situation and occurrence is different from each other and each is an opportunity for elevation and growth." - Moshe Chayim Luzzatto, also Moses Hayyim Luzzato, known by Hebrew acronym RaMCHal

"Every occurrence and situation in our lives can be utilized for elevation and growth. When a person’s main focus is growth, he will be able to have peace of mind regardless of what the specific situation is." - Yaakov Neiman

"Perhaps we scarcely notice that in every direction our natural understanding leads us to nothing. We come either to contradiction or to the unknown... We do not think of the growth of a seed in our world in the same way. We cannot imitate growth. Growth is from ‘inside’. Higher dimensions enter our world from inside, from the direction of the most minute." - Maurice Nicoll

"Life is an instinct for growth, for survival, for the accumulation of forces, for power." -

"The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill-temper." -

"The pearl-oyster that contains the precious pearl is in itself of very little value, but it is essential for the growth of the pearl. The shell itself may prove to be of no use to the man who has got the pearl. So ceremonies and rites may not be necessary for him who has attained the Highest Truth - God." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"For centuries and centuries the world has been struggling to divide up economic scarcity, and for the first time we have the tools of abundance with which to meet mankind's basic economic and material needs. If we will use these tools intelligently, with a sense of social and moral responsibility, they will enable us to solve mankind's basic material needs. Then we can devote greater time and energy and effort to the facilitation of man's growth as a social and cultural and spiritual being, which is the real meaning of life on this earth." -

"Since truthfulness, as a conscious virtue and sacrifice, is the blossom, nay, the pollen, of the whole moral growth, it can only grow with its growth, and open when it has reached its height." -

"A person who makes his happiness dependent on material or physical pleasures will never be guaranteed happiness. There is always something that might happen to destroy his happiness and success. The only guarantee for happiness is to find happiness in spiritual growth." - Moshe Rosenstein, fully Moshe ben Chaim Rosenstein

"Education comes to us from nature, from men, or from things. The inner growth of our organs and faculties is the education of nature, the use we learn to make of this growth is the education of men, what we gain by our experience of our surroundings is the education of things. Thus we are each taught by three masters. If their teaching conflicts, the scholar is ill-educated and will never be at peace with himself; if their teaching agrees, he goes straight to his goal, he lives at peace with himself, he is well-educated." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Growth is a never-ending process that can be accomplished under the most adverse circumstances. Growth can be achieved from one's attempts to... "Go for the perfect try."" - Sarah Smeltzer and Joe Petriccione

"The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual; and, exhibited in the lives of many, it constitutes the true source of national vigor and strength. Help from without is often enfeebling in its effects, but help from within invariably invigorates." - Samuel Smiles

"For souls in growth, great quarrels are great emancipators." - Logan Pearsall Smith

"There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trail and error: experimentation. The 'failed' experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately 'works.'" -

"When we accept any discipline for ourselves, we try to avoid everything except that which is necessary for our purpose; it is this purposefulness, which belongs to the adult mind, that we force upon school children. We say, “Never keep your mind alert, attend to what is before you, what has been given you.” This tortures the child because it contradicts nature’s purpose, and nature, the greatest of all teachers, is thwarted at every step by the human teacher who believes in machine-made lessons rather than life lessons, so that the growth of the child’s mind is not only injured, but forcibly spoiled." -

"The physical loss is not sufficient for mourning. Purely on a physical level what would a person gain if he lived many more years? What is the ultimate gain in devouring hundreds more chickens and thousands more loaves of bread? What is the overall difference if the deceased left all this to others? The Torah obligates us to mourn to emphasize the loss of the true value of life; which is the spiritual elevation a person could have gained if he were still alive. The Almighty placed him on this earth for this purpose. The person’s death should remind the mourners to fill their lives with the spiritual growth that they are capable of." - Yechiel Michel Tukatinsky

"Our whole free dynamic society’s future depends upon a continued growth of our sense of responsibility and morality in direct proportion to the increase in our material wealth." - Walter H. Wheeler, Jr.

"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 most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed pint of view kills anybody who has one." - Brooks Atkinson, fully Justin Brooks Atkinson

"Wherever progress ends, decline in variably begins; but remember that the healthful progress of society is like the natural life of man - it consists in the gradual and harmonious development of all its constitutional powers, all its component parts, and you introduce weakness and disease into the whole system whether you attempt to stint or to force its growth." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"Is human love the growth of human will?" -

"The law... must have a principle of growth." -

"Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is." -

"Nothing sublimely artistic has ever arisen out of mere art, any more than anything essentially reasonable has ever arisen out of the pure reason. There must always be a rich moral soil for any great aesthetic growth." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"The fatal metaphor of progress, which means leaving things behind us, has utterly obscured the real idea of growth, which means leaving things inside us." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"The acceptance of women as authority figures or as role models is an important step I female education... It is this process of identification, respect, and then self-respect that promotes growth." -