Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Insecurity

"If men as individuals surrender to the call of their elementary instincts, avoiding pain and seeking satisfaction only for their own selves, the result for them all taken together must be a state of insecurity, of fear, and of promiscuous misery." - Albert Einstein

"The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure, but to be able to tolerate insecurity." -

"What is called affluence - the consequence of the type of rapid economic development which occurred from about the middle of the nineteenth century - is in a real sense an abundance not just of serious problems which machines cannot solve, but of hopeless poverty: the physical insecurity, personal unhappiness, the intensified morality, the sense of being dwarfed by vast and uncontrollable physical, mechanical and corporate structures, the hatred and contempt of other peoples, the lack of opportunity for contemplation, the loss of community life." - Charles Richard Hensman

"A society in which everyone works is not necessarily a free society and may indeed be a slave society; on the other hand, a society in which there is widespread insecurity can turn freedom into a barren and vapid right for millions of people." -

"It's an old adage that the way to be safe is never to be secure... Each one of us requires the spur of insecurity to force us to do our best." - Harold Willis Dodds

"The farther we get away from the land, the greater our insecurity." - Henry Ford

"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

"It was for the sake of security that the people of ancient ties turned to the Baals and other idols. Today, our oppressors turn to money and military power and to the so-called security forces. But their security is insecurity. We experience their security as intimidation and repression, terror, rape and murder. Those who turn to the idols for security demand our insecurity as the price that must be paid." - Center of Concern NULL

"Jealously is much more about insecurity than love." - Author Unknown NULL

"It is when we all play safe that we create a world of the utmost insecurity." - Dag Hammarskjöld

"It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity." - Dag Hammarskjöld

"A known quantity, even a false sense of security, is more comfortable than facing the truth of our insecurity." - Dennis Genpo Merzel, aka Genpo Merzel Roshi

"The committee system, which is an attempt to reduce the inner insecurity of our top personnel, has the paradoxical consequence of institutionalizing it." - Henry Kissinger, fully Henry Alfred Kissinger

"Life is our reaction to the basic insecurity which constitutes its substance." - José Ortega y Gasset

"The only real security in life lies in relishing life's insecurity." - M. Scott Peck, fully Morgan Scott Peck

"The final test of religious faith... is whether it will enable men to endure insecurity without complacency or despair, whether it can so interpret the ancient verities that they will not become mere escape hatches from responsibilities but instruments of insights into what civilization means." - Reinhold Niebuhr, fully Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity." -

"Insecurity breeds greatness. To get to the top in virtually anything today, you really have to make a superhuman effort. You won't ever find a super-achiever anywhere who wasn't or isn't motivated, at least partially, by a sense of insecurity." - Ted Turner, fully Robert Edward "Ted" Turner III

"We must present democracy as a force holding within itself the seeds of unlimited progress by the human race. By our actions we should make it clear that such a democracy is a means to a better way of life, together with a better understanding among nations. Tyranny inevitably must retire before the tremendous moral strength of the gospel of freedom and self-respect for the individual, but we have to recognize that these democratic principles do not flourish on empty stomachs, and that people turn to false promises of dictators because they are hopeless and anything promises something better than the miserable existence that they endure. However, material assistance alone is not sufficient. The most important thing for the world today in my opinion is a spiritual regeneration which would reestablish a feeling of good faith among men generally. Discouraged people are in sore need of the inspiration of great principles. Such leadership can be the rallying point against intolerance, against distrust, against that fatal insecurity that leads to war. It is to be hoped that the democratic nations can provide the necessary leadership." - George Marshall, fully George Catlett Marshall, Jr.

"Each one of us requires the spur of insecurity to force us to do our best." - Harold Willis Dodds

"Malaise is a consequence of the depersonalization and permanent insecurity of modern life. Yet it has never been felt among people so strongly as in the past few decades. The inchoate protest, the sense of disenchantment, and the vague complaints and forebodings that are already perceptible in late nineteenth century art and literature have been diffused into general consciousness. There they function as a kind of vulgarized romanticism, a Weltschmerz in perpetuum, a sickly sense of disturbance that is subterranean but explosive. The intermittent and unexpected acts of violence on the part of the individual and the similar acts of violence to which whole nations can be brought are indices of this underground torment. Vaguely sensing that something has gone astray in modern life but also strongly convinced that he lacks the power to right whatever is wrong (even if it were possible to discover what is wrong), the individual lives in a sort of eternal adolescent uneasiness." - Leo Lowenthal and Norbert Guterman

"Life is insecurity and nothing is wrong in it. In fact, life cannot be otherwise. Death is secure, life is insecure. Marriage is secure, love is insecure. Marriage is dead, love is alive. The more alive you are the more your life remains in insecurity, because the livelier person will be exploring the unknown, he will be adventurous. It is life’s nature, its law, its very intrinsic soul. But the priest has exploited it. He has given you consolations, securities, insurances, not only for this life but for future lives too. He says, “Don’t be worried. If you follow a certain code of conduct, if you cultivate a certain character, if you follow the commandments given in the scriptures, then you need not be afraid. Then God is going to reward you. You will be punished only if you go against the convention, against the tradition." - Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

"To know life in its insecurity is to know life in its immense beauty, is to know life in its authenticity. To know life in its insecurity, without any fear, is to transcend death, because life never dies." - Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

"You can think of the groundlessness and openness of insecurity as a chance that we're given over and over to choose a fresh alternative. Things happen to us all the time that open up the space. This spaciousness, this wide–open, unbiased, unprejudiced space is inexpressible and fundamentally good and sound. It's like the sky… You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather." - Pema Chödrön, born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown

"A society in which everyone works is not necessarily a free society and may indeed be a slave society; on the other hand, a society in which there is widespread insecurity can turn freedom into a barren and vapid right for millions of people." - Eleanor Roosevelt, fully Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

"It stands to the everlasting credit of science that by acting on the human mind it has overcome man's insecurity before himself and before nature." - Albert Einstein

"People in general attach too much importance to words. They are under the illusion that talking effects great results. As a matter of fact, words are, as a rule, the shallowest portion of all the argument. They but dimly represent the great surging feelings and desires which lie behind. When the distraction of the tongue is removed, the heart listens." - Theodore Dreiser, fully Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser

"The end of the world will be legal." - Thomas Merton

"They [referring to participants in a walk from San Francisco to Moscow plagued with many difficulties] are all concerned about the fact that their own human failings and incompatibilities came out a bit. That is all right, though. It has to be that way. Another form of poverty that we have to accept. We have got to be instruments of God and realize at the same time that we are very poor and defective instruments. It is important to resist the feelings of resentment and impatience we get over our own failings because this makes us project our faults onto other people, instead of bearing their burdens along with our own." - Thomas Merton

"Civilization is the order and freedom is promoting cultural activity." - Will Durant, fully William James "Will" Durant

"When feudalism was overthrown and “free” capitalist society appeared in the world, it at once became apparent that this freedom meant a new system of oppression and exploitation of the working people." - Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"All our emotions and thoughts are conditioned reflexes, reactions." - Vimala Thakar

"Fighting inner darkness in the wrong way is the same as submitting to it. Truth will show you how to truly fight for light." - Vernon Howard, fully Vernon Linwood Howard

"Life may sometimes feel short at a philosophical level, and there is always the chance we may die young. But for most people in well-off countries today, life is not, as the 17th-century political philosopher Thomas Hobbes famously put it, 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short'." - Tom Butler-Bowdon

"This is what intimacy does to us over time. That's what a long marriage can do: It causes us to inherit and trade each other's stories. This, in part, is how we become annexes of each other, trellises on which each other's biography can grow." - Elizabeth Gilbert