Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

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"One of the great arts in living is to learn the art of accurately appraising values. Everything that we think, that we earn, that we have given to us, that in any way touches our consciousness, has its own value. These values are apt to change with the mood, with time, or because of circumstances. We cannot safely tie to any material value. The values of all material possessions change continually, sometimes over night. The real values are those that stay by you, give you happiness and enrich you. They are the human values." - George Matthew Adams

"Upon every hand we meet with those who have some secret resentment that is ever being nurtured within their hearts. They resent the success, or happiness of some one whom they think is less deserving than they are. They resent the just recognition that comes to others from work and long effort to excel. Or, they may resent being born poor - or resent the fact that they were even born!... Strive to excel, strive to achieve, where others have failed, and you will find no space within your mind to lodge resentment. Resentment is the child of selfishness, foolish envy, and inactivity... Our life upon this earth is too valuable for resentment of any kind. There is so much to do, so much to learn - so little time in which to live and work it all out." - George Matthew Adams

"From the very beginning of a person’s life one learns that the purpose of life is not uninterrupted pleasure. Every infant suffers pains and illnesses. We should not perceive illness and pain as negative. Suffering teaches us humility. We learn that we do not have complete power over ourselves." - Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

"In the conduct of life, habits count for more than maxims; because habit is a living maxim, becomes flesh and instinct. To reform one's maxims is nothing: it is but to change the title of the book. To learn new habits is everything, for it is to reach the substance of life. Life is but a tissue of habits." -

"To learn new habits is everything, for it is to reach the substance of life. Life is but a tissue of habits." -

"I cannot teach you the ten principles of service. But a little child and a thief can show you what they are. From the child you can learn three things: He is merry for no particular reason; never for a moment is he idle; when he needs something, he demands it vigorously. The thief can instruct you in seven things: He does his service by night; if he does not finish what he has set out to do, in one night, he devotes the next night to it; he and those who work with him love one another; he risks his life for small gains; what he takes has so little value for him that he gives it up for a very small coin; he endures blows and hardship, and it matters nothing to him; he likes his trade and would not exchange it for any other." - Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, aka Maggid of Mezeritch

"We must learn that competence is better than extravagance, that worth is better than wealth, that the golden calf we have worshipped has no more brains than that one of old which the Hebrews worshipped. So beware of money and money’s worth as the supreme passion of the mind. Beware of the craving for enormous acquisition." -

"Go to the pine if you want to learn about the pine, or to the bamboo if you want to learn about the bamboo. And in so doing you must let go of your subjective preoccupation with yourself.... Your poetry arises by itself when you and the object become one." - Matsuo Bashō, born Matsuo Kinsaku, then Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa

"With our finite minds we cannot presume to know if there is a Purpose. We sense, however, the presence of something greater than we can comprehend, a force as yet unknown to us - perhaps even to be unknown. So we accept our situation, learn from it, and do the best we can, resting on faith, despair, or cynicism, depending on the individual. Overriding all this must be an obligation - self-imposed or externally impressed - to do the best one can for others, to relieve suffering and to exercise compassion. We are all in this together, for life is a common, not an individual, endeavor." - Harry Blackmun, fully Harold "Harry" Andrew Blackmun

"Some will never learn anything because they understand everything too soon." -

"You must learn to know others in order to know yourself." - Ludwig Börne, fully Karl Ludwig Börne

"If you want to earn more - learn more. If you want to get more out of the world you must put more into the world. For, after all, men will get no more out of life than they put into it." - William J. H. Boetcker, fully William John Henry Boetcker

"The more you learn what to do with yourself, and the more you do for others, the more you will learn to enjoy the abundant life." - William J. H. Boetcker, fully William John Henry Boetcker

"To speak well supposes a habit of attention which shows itself in the thought; by language we learn to think and above all to develop thought." - Carl Victor de Bonstetten

"To be happy you must forget yourself. Learn benevolence; it is the only cure of a morbid temper." -

"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

"There is no peace except where I am, saith the Lord... As space spreads everywhere, and all things move and change within it, but it moves not nor changes, so I am the space within the soul, of which the space without is but the similitude and mental image; cometh thou to inhabit me, thou hast the entrance to all life - death shall no longer divide thee from whom thou lovest. I am the sun that shines upon all creatures from within - gazest thou upon me thou shalt be filled with joy eternal. Be not deceived. Soon this outer world shall drop off - thou shalt slough it away as a man sloughs his mortal body. Learn even now to spread thy wings in that other world - the world of equality - to swim in the ocean, my child, of me and my love. (Ah! have I not taught thee by the semblance of this outer world, but its alienations and deaths and mortal sufferings - all for this? For joy, ah! joy unutterable!)" -

"We live in the present, we dream of the future, but we learn eternal truths from the past." - Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, born Soong Mei-ling or May-ling

"If men can ever learn to accept their truths as not final, and if they an ever learn to build on something better than dogma, they may not be found saying, discouragedly, every once in so often, that every civilization carries in it the seeds of decay." - Clarence Shepard Day, Jr.

"We can learn to overcome temptations. The pleasure we derive from physical and material pleasures is to a great extent based on our own imagination. We subjectively build up our feeling of need for those phenomena by greatly exaggerating their inherent pleasure." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"We don’t learn from knowing, we learn from doubting." -

"It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed its way, it will in time disturb one’s spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving. If a child is inclined to be grasping, or to cling to any of his or her little possessions, legends are related about the contempt and disgrace falling upon the ungenerous and mean person... The Indians in their simplicity literally give away all that they have - to relatives, to guests of other tribes or clans, but above all to the poor and the aged, from whom they can hope for no return." - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"Some of the best lessons we ever learn we learn from our mistakes and failures. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future." - Tyron Edwards

"Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs." - Albert Einstein

"It is only in beholding and loving God that we can learn forgetfulness of self, measure duly the nothingness which has dazzled us, and accustom ourselves thankfully to decrease beneath that great Majesty which absorbs all things. Love God and you will be humble; love God and you will throw off the love of self; love God and you will love all that He gives you to love for love of Him." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and griefs which we endure help us in our marching onward." - Henry Ford

"Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, an scarcely in that; for it is true, we may give advice, but we cannot give conduct. Remember this; they that will not be counseled cannot be helped. If you do not hear reason she will rap you over your knuckles." - Benjamin Franklin

"The ancients tell us what is best; but we must learn of the moderns what is fittest." - Benjamin Franklin

"Reverence the highest, have patience with the lowest. Let this day’s performance of the meanest duty be thy religion. Are the stars too distant, pick up the pebble that lies at thy feet and from it learn the all." -

"How shall we learn to know ourselves? By reflection? Never; but only through action. Strive to do thy duty; then shalt thou know what is in thee." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"We do not learn to know men through their coming to us. To find out what sort of persons they are, we must go to them." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Suffering is meant to benefit not only the individual who is personally suffering. It is meant as a teacher to anyone who sees it or hears about it. The suffering of anyone in the world can serve as a tool we can use to learn lessons that will elevate us." - Avraham Grodzinski

"Head knowledge is good, but heart knowledge is indispensable. The training of the hands and feet must be added to make a rounded education. We must all learn these days to become spiritual pioneers if we would save the world from chaos." - Evey Hammond

"We are created by God for union with Himself... That’s really the meaning of heaven too: fulfillment, wholeness... Though no man has seen God, we have to learn how to love God through loving one another." - Trevor Huddleston

"So long as we are on a search for pain-free human relationships, or shifting responsibility for all our hurt and all our fears of abandonment, or seeking ourselves in others, we have not yet found the thread that will lead us toward God, or ourselves. When we learn to accept ourselves - not just our public achievements and private successes, not just the divine being we are evolving into, but also our failures, inadequacies, cowardices and fears - then we will be able to embrace the strangers among us, because we will, finally, have embraced the stranger inside ourselves." - Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

"All beings in the universe, consider’d in themselves, appear entirely loose and independent of each other. ‘Tis only by experience we learn their influence and connexion." - David Hume

"From their own experience or from the recorded experience of others (history), men learn only what their passions and their metaphysical prejudices allow them to learn." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The first thing to learn in intercourse with others is noninterference with their own peculiar ways of being happy, provided those ways do not assume to interfere by violence with ours." - William James

"Let us learn upon earth those things which can call us to heaven." - Saint Jerome, aka Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymous, Hierom or Jerom NULL

"Who studies with a view to teach will have opportunity to learn and to teach; who studies with a view to practice, will have opportunity to learn, teach and practice." - Ishmael ben Johanan ben Baroka

"What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence." -

"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

"We need to suffer that we may learn to pity." - Letitia Elizabeth Landon

"Man is in his actions and practice, as well as in his fictions, essentially a story-telling animal. He is not essentially, but becomes through is history, a teller of stories that aspire to truth. But the key question for men is not about their own authorship; I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question, ‘Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?’ We enter human society, that is, with one or more imputed characters - roles into which we have been drafted - and we have to learn what they are in order to be able to understand how others respond to us and how our responses to them are a part to be construed... Deprive children of stories and you leave them unscripted, anxious strutters in their actions as in their words. Hence there is no way to give us an understanding of any society, including our own, except through the stock of stories which constitute its initial dramatic resource. Mythology, in its original sense, is at the heart of things. Vico was right and so was Joyce. And so too of course is that moral tradition fro heroic society to its medieval heirs according to which the telling of stories has a key part in educating us into the virtues." - Alasdair Chalmers MacIntyre

"Complacency is the enemy of study. We cannot really learn anything until we rid ourselves of complacency." -

"The man who strives to educate himself - and no one else can educate him - must win a certain victory over his own nature. He must learn to smile at his dear idols, analyze his every prejudice, scrap if necessary his fondest and most consoling belief, question his presuppositions, and take his chances with the truth." - Everett Dean Martin

"We come to learn that it does not pay to grieve too much over our errors. Ordinarily we try to do the best we can." - Robert L. Masson

"You can't learn too soon that the most useful thing about a principle is that it can always be sacrificed to expediency." -

"One must learn to endure what can't be escaped." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"One must learn to love oneself... with a wholesome and healthy love, so that one can bear to be with oneself and need not roam." -