Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Important

"Man desires to be free and he desires to feel important. This places him in a dilemma, for the more he emancipates himself from necessity the less important he feels." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"Perhaps the most important lesson the world has learned in the past fifty years is that it is not true that "human nature is unchangeable."" - Bruce Bliven

"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

"Learn to laugh. And most of all, learn to laugh at yourself. The person who can give a riotous account of his own faux pas, will never have to listen to another's embarrassing account of it. He will rarely know the sting of humiliation. His a delight to be with, but more important, he is enjoying his own life, and applying to his ills and errors the most soothing balm the human spirit has devised - laughter." - Margaret M. Butts

"The truly important things in life - love, beauty, and one's own uniqueness - are constantly being overlooked." - Pablo Casals, fully Pau Casals i Defilló

"No more important duty can be urged upon those who are entering the great theater of life than simple loyalty to their best convictions." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"How often do we sigh for opportunities of doing good, whist we neglect the openings of Providence in little things, which would frequently lead to the accomplishment of most important usefulness!... Good is done by degrees. However small in proportion the benefits which follow individual attempts to do good, a great deal may thus be accomplished by perseverance, even in the midst of discouragements and disappointments." - George Crabbe

"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

"What is important is to see how we can best lead a meaningful everyday life, how we can bring about peace and harmony in our minds." -

"At all times throughout the world tribes have supplanted other tribes; and as morality is one important element in their success, the standard of morality and the number of well-endowed men will thus rise and increase." - Charles Darwin, fully Charles Robert Darwin

"The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become." - Charles Du Bos

"The Indians were religious from the first moments of life. From the moment of the mother’s recognition that she had conceived to the end of the child’s second year of life, which was the ordinary duration of lactation, it was supposed by us that the mother’s spiritual influence was supremely important. Her attitude and secret meditations must be such to instill into the receptive soul of the unborn child the love of the Great Mystery and a sense of connectedness with all creation. Silence and isolation are the rule of life for the expectant mother... Silence, love, reverence - this is the trinity of first lessons, and to these she later adds generosity, courage and chastity." - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters." - Albert Einstein

"He that succeeds makes an important thing of the immediate task." - William Feather

"Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality." -

"Nothing is more important to our future than building community." - E. Gordon Gee

"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

"There are but two roads that lead to an important goal and to the doing of great things: strength and perseverance. Strength is the lot of but a few privileged men; but austere perseverance, harsh and continuous, may be employed by the smallest of us and rarely fails of its purpose, for its silent power grows irresistibly greater with time." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"The chimerical pursuit of perfection is always linked to some important deficiency, frequently the inability to love." - Bernard Grasset

"Security and equality cannot bring man happiness.. but they can bring him something no less important - dignity - a sense of social value and individual worth." - Hayim Greenberg

"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

"The principles we live by, in business and in social life, are the most important part of happiness. We need to be careful, upon achieving happiness, not to lose the virtues which have produced it." - Harry Harrison

"Jingshen is the Mandarin word for spirit and vivacity. It is an important word for those who would lead, because above all things, spirit and vivacity set effective organizations apart from those that will decline and die." - James L. Hayes

"One of the most important trips a man can make is that involved in meeting the other half way." - Bruce Van Horn

"What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity. In the end there are no certain answers." - Marina Horner

"Where is the reward of virtue? and what recompense has nature provided for such important sacrifices as those of life and fortune, which we must often make to it? O sons of earth! Are ye ignorant of the value of this celestial mistress? And do ye meanly inquire for her portion, when ye observe her genuine beauty?" - David Hume

"A thing is important if anyone think it important." - William James

"In any project the important factor is your belief. Without belief there can be no successful outcome." - William James

"In the practical use of our intellect, forgetting is as important as remembering... A great many people think they are thinking when they are rearranging their prejudices... the difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of cause." - William James

"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

"Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense." -

"In surrender we can both give and receive. Relationships take on a different meaning. We learn to be in someone’s life without being in their dance. A relationship becomes important not because it satisfies personality needs but because it’s the pathway to wholeness." - Gloria D. Karpinski

"It seems essential, in relationships and all tasks, that we concentrate only on what is most significant and important." - Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

"What is important is to free ourselves from ideas, from nationalism, from all religious beliefs and dogmas, so that we can act, not according to a pattern or an ideology, but as needs demand... It is only when the mind is free of idea and belief that it can act rightly... and freedom from ideas can take place only through self-awareness and self-knowledge." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important." - Janet Lane, born Janet Laurie-Anne Lane

"What education is to the individual man, revelation is to the whole human race... Education gives man nothing which he could not also get from within himself; it gives him that which he could get form within himself, only quicker and more easily. In the same way too, revelation gives nothing to the human race which reason could not arrive at on its own; only it has given, and still gives to it, the most important of these things sooner." - Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

"When unable to fulfill a specific desire, we tend to exaggerate its importance for our happiness... Become aware of your tendency to consider something more important than it really is when you lack it." - Yeruchem Levovitz, aka The Mashgiach

"It is a curious paradox that aversion of future harm seems more important than the promise of future benefit. That was not always true. Those who are unwilling to invent in the future haven’t earned one." - Harold Lewis, fully Harold "Hal" Warren Lewis

"One of the most serious thoughts that life provokes is the reflection that we can never tell, at the time, whether a word, a look, a touch, an occurrence of any kind, is trivial or important." - E. V. Lucas, fully Edward Verrall Lucas

"When you determine what you want, you have made the most important decision of your life. You have to know what you want in order to attain it." - Douglas Ellsworth Lurton

"Praise, flattery, exaggerated manners, and fine, high-sounding words were no part of Lakota politeness. Excessive manners were put down as insincere, and the constant talker was considered rude and thoughtless. Conversation was never begun at once, or in a hurried manner. No one was quick with a question, no matter how important, and no one was pressed for an answer. A pause giving time for thought was the truly courteous way of beginning and conducting a conversation." - Chief Luther Standing Bear

"It is more important to listen to questions than to answer them. To listen with full intent, with full openness, with a genuine desire to understand not the question only, but the question behind the question, and to be at one with the questioner - this is an engagement very difficult." - William B. J. Martin

"Respectable men and women content with the good and easy living are missing some of the most important things in life. Unless you give yourself to some great cause you haven't even begun to live." - William P. Merrill, fully William Pierson Merrill

"What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous." - Thomas Merton

"Lack of something to feel important about is almost the greatest tragedy a man may have." - Arthur Ernest Morgan

"Our opinions are less important than the spirit and temper with which they possess us, and even good opinions are worth very little unless we hold them in a broad, intelligent, and spacious way." -

"I believe that being true to the self is the most important thing in life - to have a free heart, a pure soul and a pure mind. We all live, or should live, for the fulfillment of the self. We are all mirror images of each other; whatever we feel in ourselves we feel in others. I believe that we create our own lives... Intuition should play the main role in everything we do. Through the creative source of the mind and the unlimited power of the spirit all our deepest wishes come true. For me the meaning is that we are all one, and the only true reality is the spirit. Believing in the power of spirit is simply to have a passion for life, to learn, to grow, to evolve and most of all to love, and live each day and each moment of the day to the fullest." - Tatjana Patitz

"The force, the mass of character, mind, heart or soul that a man can put into any work is the most important factor in that work." - Andrew Preston Peabody

"Self-acceptance is more important than self-improvement. There is no possibility of self-improvement without the prerequisite of self-acceptance... Interdependence is more important than independence." - Paul Pearsall

"One of the chief reasons for success in life is the ability to maintain a daily interest in one's work, to have a chronic enthusiasm, to regard each day as important." - William Lyon Phelps