Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Infancy

"Man is arrogant in proportion to his ignorance. Man’s natural tendency is to egotism. Man, in his infancy of knowledge, thinks that all creation was formed for him." -

"Self-interest, that leprosy of the age, attacks us from infancy, and we are startled to observe little heads calculate before knowing how to reflect." - Madame Émile de Girardin, Delphine de Girardin, née Gay

"Age, when it does not harden the heart and sour the temper, naturally returns to the milky disposition of infancy. Time as the same effect upon the mind as on the face. The predominant passion, the strongest feature, becomes more conspicuous from the others retiring." - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

"Tenderness is the infancy of love." -

"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

"The four stages of man are infancy, childhood, adolescence and obsolescence." - Art Linkletter, fully Arthur Gordon "Art" Linkletter

"The least and most imperceptible impressions received in our infancy have consequences very important, and of a long duration. It is with these first impressions, as with a river whose waters we can easily turn, by different canals, in quite opposite courses, so that from the insensible directions the stream receives at its source, it takes different directions, and at last arrives at places far distant from each other; and with the same facility we may, I think, turn the minds of children to what direction we please." - John Locke

"The plays of natural lively children are the infancy of art. Children live in a world of imagination and feeling. They invest the most insignificant object with any form they please, and see in it whatever they wish to see." - Adam Gottlob Oehlenschlager

"One of the most difficult lessons parents have to learn is this one: Children are only loaned for a brief term of infancy and childhood. Soon they become people, strangers in the home, and instead of children to be directed they are grown-ups to be studied, understood and accepted. The acceptance is never quite complete on either side, but affection will bridge the gap if it is permitted to do so." - Angelo Patri

"Man has other enemies more formidable, against which he is not provided with such means of defense: these are the natural infirmities of infancy, old age, and illness of every kind, melancholy proofs of our weakness, of which the two first are common to all animals, and the last belongs chiefly to man in a; state of society." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Happily there exists more than one kind of beauty. There is the beauty of infancy, the beauty of youth, the beauty of maturity, and, believe me, ladies and gentlemen, the beauty of age." - George Augustus Sala, fully George Augustus Henry Sala

"If the body is only the vehicle by which the soul can access the experience of physical living, then there is no real physical me. The soul (or life force) is the only real me. If you and I (the souls) want to achieve the most from this earthly lifetime, the more varied the experiences we should seek. That said, it’s too easy for you and me to fall into a comfort zone and try to avoid change. To keep this from happening, the experiences change rapidly as a result of the body moving from infancy though old age. The physical changes help to enhance our learning curve, our ability to serve, and our chance to evolve." - Richard Smolowe, fully Richard Edward Smolowe

"Heaven lies about us in our infancy." - William Wordsworth

"Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison-house begin to close upon the growing boy, but he beholds the light, and whence it flows, he sees it in his joy; the youth, who daily farther from the east must travel, still is Nature’s priest, and by the vision splendid is on his way attended; at length the man perceives it die away, and fade into the light of common day." - William Wordsworth

"If life were measured by accomplishments, most of us would die in infancy." -

"If life were measured by accomplishments, most of us would die in infancy." - Adolph P. Gouthey

"We must soften into a credulity below the milkiness of infancy to think all men virtuous. We must be tainted with a malignity truly diabolical, to believe all the world to be equally wicked and corrupt." - Edmund Burke

"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana

"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness…. When experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it…. This is the condition of children and barbarians, in whom instinct has learned nothing from experience." - George Santayana

"Manners are the root, laws only the trunk and branches. Manners are the archetypes of laws. Manners are laws in their infancy; laws are manners fully grown - or, manners are children, which, when they grow up, become laws." - Horace Mann

"Not to know what has been transacted in former times is to continue always a child. If no use is made of the labors of past ages, the world must remain always in the infancy of knowledge." - Cicero, fully Marcus Tullius Cicero, anglicized as Tully NULL

"All which a man has belongs to those who gave him birth and brought him up, and that he must do all that he can to minister to them, first, in his property, secondly, in his person, and thirdly, in his soul, in return for the endless care and travail which they bestowed upon him of old, in the days of his infancy, and which he is now to pay back to them when they are old and in the extremity of their need." - Plato NULL

"We think our civilization near its meridian, but we are yet only at the cock-crowing and the morning star. In our barbarous society the influences of character is in its infancy." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Habituated from our Infancy to trample upon the Rights of Human Nature, every generous, every liberal Sentiment, if not extinguished, is enfeebled in our Minds." - George Mason

"In the first movement, our infancy as a species, we felt no separation from the natural world around us. Trees, rocks, and plants surrounded us with a living presence as intimate and pulsing as our own bodies. In that primal intimacy, which anthropologists call "participation mystique," we were as one with our world as a child in the mother's womb. " - Joanna Macy, fully Joanna Rogers Macy

"If men can be made to understand that society, with its rigid codes and stratifications, is in its confused infancy rather than in the apex of its development; if they can be made to understand that the conflicts and contradictions of society can only be resolved by scientific long-range planning-then we will succeed in maintaining what civilization we have and drive onward to greater culture." - Joost Meerloo. fully Joost Abraham Maurits Meerlo

"Man is arrogant in proportion to his ignorance. Man’s natural tendency is to egotism. Man, in his infancy of knowledge, thinks that all creation was formed for him." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"Even from their infancy we frame them to the sports of love: their instruction, behavior, attire, grace, learning and all their words azimuth only at love, respects only affection. Their nurses and their keepers imprint no other thing in them." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"In the infancy of societies, the chiefs of state shape its institutions; later the institutions shape the chiefs of state." - Charles De Montesquieu, formally Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"It would be calamitous, indeed, if at this time when the art is in its infancy and the vast majority, not excepting even experts, have no conception of its ultimate possibilities, a measure would be rushed through the legislature making it a government monopoly. …universal evidence unmistakably shows that the best results are always obtained in healthful commercial competition." - Nikola Tesla

"By solemn vision and bright silver dream His infancy was nurtured. Every sight And sound from the vast earth and ambient air Sent to his heart its choicest impulses. " - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"We are so perverted by an education which from infancy seeks to kill in us the spirit of revolt, and to develop that of submission to authority; we are so perverted by this existence under the ferrule of a law, which regulates every event in life — our birth, our education, our development, our love, our friendship — that, if this state of things continues, we shall lose all initiative, all habit of thinking for ourselves. Our society seems no longer able to understand that it is possible to exist otherwise than under the reign of law, elaborated by a representative government and administered by a handful of rulers. And even when it has gone so far as to emancipate itself from the thralldom, its first care has been to reconstitute it immediately. "The Year I of Liberty" has never lasted more than a day, for after proclaiming it men put themselves the very next morning under the yoke of law and authority." - Peter Kropotkin, fully Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin

"Regression to the stage of early infancy is not a suitable method in and of itself. Such a regression can only be effective if it happens in the natural course of therapy and if the client is able to maintain adult consciousness at the same time. " - Alice Miller, née Rostovski

"But from the time I was in college I learned that there is nothing one could imagine which is so strange and incredible that it was not said by some philosopher; and since that time, I have recognized through my travels that all those whose views are different from our own are not necessarily, for that reason, barbarians or savages, but that many of them use their reason either as much as or even more than we do. I also considered how the same person, with the same mind, who was brought up from infancy either among the French or the Germans, becomes different from what they would have been if they had always lived among the Chinese or among the cannibals, and how, even in our clothes fashions, the very thing that we liked ten years ago, and that we may like again within the next ten years, appears extravagant and ridiculous to us today. Thus our convictions result from custom and example very much more than from any knowledge that is certain... truths will be discovered by an individual rather than a whole people." - René Descartes

"He is very sorry that such undesirable things are every now and then cropping up in … and discouraging you in your work, keeping you from devoting all your spare time in teaching the Cause, and spreading its principles. He does not wish you, however, to lose heart from such things. As the Cause grows its difficulties will increase and its problems will become more numerous. The friends, especially the older ones, should therefore try and stand unmoved by them. In fact the more their difficulties will increase the more they have to take courage and try to solve them. The Master has often said that sorrows are like furrows, the deeper they go the more productive the land becomes. If this problem. .. should be settled other problems will arise. Are the friends to become discouraged or are they to follow the footsteps of the Master and consider them more as chances to show their tenacity of belief and spirit of sacrifice?" - Shoghí Effendi, fully Shoghí Effendí Rabbání

"Attention consists of suspending our thought, leaving it detached, empty, and ready to be penetrated by the object; it means holding in our minds, within reach of this thought, but on a lower level and not in contact with it, the diverse knowledge we have acquired which we are forced to make use of." - Simone Weil

"Without faith we are not fit to desire mercy, without humility we are not fit to receive it, without affection we are not fit to value it, without sincerity we are not fit to improve it. Times of extremity contribute to the growth and exercise of these qualifications." - Stephen Charnock

"His whole life is an epigram smart, smooth and neatly penn’d, Plaited quite neat to catch applause, with a hang-noose at the end. " - William Blake

"English is such a deliciously complex and undisciplined language, we can bend, fuse, distort words to all our purposes. We give old words new meanings, and we borrow new words from any language that intrudes into our intellectual environment." - Willard Gaylen

"My vocabulary dwells deep in my mind and needs paper to wriggle out into the physical zone. Spontaneous eloquence seems to me a miracle. I have rewritten, often several times, every word I have ever published. My pencils outlast their erasers." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"So much is asked of parents, and so little is given." - Virginia Satir

"The sun's gone dim, and the moon's gone black. For I loved him, and he didn't love back." - Dorothy Parker

"Consciously or unconsciously, most theists see in gods and devils, heaven and hell, reward and punishment, a whip to lash the people into obedience, meekness and contentment." - Emma Goldman

"God is at the foundation and God is at the boundaries." - Eugene Peterson

"We must extend the boundaries of our lives beyond the dates enclosed by our birth and death and acquire an understanding of God’s way as something larger and more complete than the anecdotes in our private diaries. Otherwise, we will always be “mistaking a sore throat for a descent into hell.”" - Eugene Peterson