Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Man

"There is no such thing as a "self-made" man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success." - George Matthew Adams

"Death is as near to the young as to the old; here is all the difference: death stands behind the young man’s back, before the old man’s face." - Thomas Adams

"A man knows not what is in the heart of his fellow." - Ahikar or Ahiqar NULL

"The beauty of man is in his faithfulness, and his hatefulness is the lying of his lips." - Ahikar or Ahiqar NULL

"The angry man always thinks he can do more than he can." - Albertano of Brescia NULL

"A man is known by the company his mind keeps." - Thomas Bailey Aldrich

"That poverty which is not the daughter of the spirit is but the mother of shame and reproach; it is a disreputation that drowns all the other good parts that are in man; it is a disposition to all kind of evil; it is a man’s greatest foe." - Mateo Alemán, fully Mateo Alemán y de Enero

"Heaven will permit no man to secure happiness by crime." -

"The man without imagination has no wings, he cannot fly." -

"A man may as certainly miscarry by his seeming righteousness and supposed graces as by his gross sins." - Joseph Alleine

"Make no man your idol; for the best man must have faults, and his faults will usually become yours in addition to your own. This is as true in art as in morals." -

"Never expect justice from a vain man; if he has the negative magnanimity not to disparage you, it is the most you can expect." -

"No man knows himself as an original." -

"Every man has three characters - that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has." - Alphonse Kann

"Every man is a tamer of wild beasts, and these wild beasts are his passions. To draw their teeth and claws, to muzzle and tame them, to turn them into servants and domestic animals, fuming, perhaps, but submissive - in this consists personal education." -

"It is not what he has, or even what he does which expresses the worth of a man, but what he is." -

"Nothing is more characteristic of a man than the manner in which he behaves towards fools." -

"The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides. Accept life, and you cannot accept regret." -

"The test of every religious, political, or educational system is the man which it forms. If it injures the intelligence, it is bad; if it injures the character, it is vicious; if it injures the conscience it is criminal." -

"What is an intelligent man? A man who enters with ease and completeness into the spirit of things and the intention of persons, and who arrives at an end by the shortest route." -

"Without faith a man can do nothing. But faith can stifle all science." -

"There is nothing enduring in life for a woman except what she builds in a man's heart." - Judith Anderson, born Frances Margaret Anderson-Anderson, aka Dame Judith Anderson

"Real joy seems dissonant from the human character in its present condition; and if it be felt, it must come from a higher region, for the world is shadowed by sorrow; thorns array the ground; the very clouds, while they weep fertility on our mountains, seem also to shed a tear on man’s grave who departs, unlike the beauties of summer, to return no more; who fades unlike the sons of the forest, which another summer beholds new clothed, when he is unclothed and forgotten." - Dwight Douglas Andrews

"The company of a good man is the light of the soul, of an evil man the poison of life." - Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat, Abu Ismaïl Abdullah ibn Abi-Mansour Mohammad or Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat

"A wise man will always be contented with his condition, and will live rather according to his precepts of virtue, than according to the customs of his country." - Antisthenes NULL

"‘Tis precept and principle, not an estate, that makes a man good for something." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"A great estate is a great disadvantage to those who do not know hot to use it, for nothing is more common than to see wealthy persons live scandalously and miserably; riches do them no service in order to virtue and happiness; it is precept and principle, not an estate, that makes a man good for something." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"A man does not sin by commission only, but often by omission." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"A man's life is what his thoughts make of it." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"A man's true greatness lies in the consciousness of an honest purpose in life, founded on a just estimate of himself and everything else, on frequent self-examinations, and a steady obedience to the rule which he knows to be right, without troubling himself about what others may think or say, or whether they do or do not that which he thinks and says and does." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"In the same degree in which a man’s mind is nearer to freedom from all passion, in the same degree also is it nearer to strength." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Such as are thy habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of thy mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts. Dye it then with a continuous series of such thoughts as these: that where a man can live, there he can also live well." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"What a great deal of ease that man gains who lets his neighbor's behavior alone and takes care that his own actions are honest." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Beware of the man of one book." -

"It is impossible for any created good to constitute man’s happiness. For happiness is the perfect good, which quiets the appetite altogether since it would not be the last end if something yet remained to be desired. Now the object of the will, that is, of man’s appetite, is the universal good, just as the object of the intellect is the universal true. Hence it is evident that nothing can quiet man’s will except the universal good. This is to be found not in any creature, but in God alone, because every creature has goodness by participation. Therefore God alone can satisfy the will of man." -

"It is impossible for man’s happiness to consist in wealth." -

"Man does not choose of necessity... in all particular goods, the reason can consider an aspect of some good, and the lack of some good, which has the aspect of evil; and in this respect, it can apprehend any single one of such goods as to be chosen or to be avoided. The perfect good alone which is Happiness, cannot be apprehended by the reason as an evil, or as lacking in any way. Consequently man wills Happiness of necessity, nor can he will not to be happy, or to be unhappy. Now since choice is not of the end, but of the means... it is not of the perfect good, which is Happiness, but of other particular goods. Therefore man chooses not of necessity, but freely." -

"Man is judged to be good or bad chiefly according to the pleasure of the human will; for that man is good and virtuous who takes pleasure in the works of virtue, and that man evil who takes pleasure in evil works." -

"No being can be spoken of as evil, in so far as it is being, but only so far as it lacks being. Thus a man is said to be evil because he lacks the being of virtue; and an eye is said to be evil because it lacks the power to see well." -

"The happy man needs friends... not, indeed, not make use of them, since he suffices himself, nor to delight in them, since he possesses perfect delight in the operation of virtue, but for the purpose of a good operation, namely, that he may do good to them, that he may delight in seeing them do good, and again that he may be helped by them in his good work." -

"The intellectual soul, because it can comprehend universals, has a power extending to the infinite; therefore it cannot be limited by nature either to certain fixed natural judgments, or to certain fixed means whether of defense or of clothing, as is the case with other animals, the souls of which have knowledge and power in regard to fixed particular things. Instead of all these, man has by nature his reason and his hands, which are the organs of organs, since by their means man can make for himself instruments of an infinite variety, and for any number of purposes." -

"The light of faith makes us see what we believe. For just as, by the habits of the other virtues, man sees what is fitting to him in respect of that habit, so, by the habit of faith, the human mind is directed to assent to such things as are fitting to a right faith, and not to assent to others." -

"The movement of love has a twofold tendency: towards the good which a man wishes to someone, whether for himself or for another; and towards that to which he wishes some good. Accordingly, man has love of concupiscence towards the good that he wishes to another, and love of friendship towards him to whom he wishes good." -

"Through every mortal sin which is contrary to God’s commandments, an obstacle is placed to the outpouring of charity, since from the very fact that a man chooses to prefer sin to God’s friendship, which requires that we should follow His will, it follows that the habit of charity is lost at once through one mortal sin." -

"A man who truly wants to make the world better should start by improving himself and his attitudes." - Fred de Armond

"The worst bankrupt in the world is the man who has lost his enthusiasm. Let a man lose everything else in the world but his enthusiasm and he will come through again to success." - H. W. Arnold

"It is integrity that invests man with immortality, and bestows upon him the privilege of direct communion with God." - Bahya ben Asher ibn Halawa, also known as Rabbeinu Behaye

"The purpose of this discipline is to bring man into the habit of applying the insight that has come to him as the result of the preceding disciplines. When one is rising, standing, walking, doing something, stopping, one should constantly concentrate one’s mind on the act and the doing of it, not on one’s relation to the act, or its character or value. One should think: there is walking, there is stopping, there is realizing; not, I am walking, I am doing this, it is a good thing, it is disagreeable, I am gaining merit, it is I who am realizing how wonderful it is. Thence come vagrant thoughts, feelings of elation or of failure and unhappiness. Instead of all this, one should simply practice concentration of the mind on the act itself, understanding it to be an expedient means for attaining tranquillity of mind, realization, insight and Wisdom; and one should follow the practice in faith, willingness and gladness. After long practice the bondage of old habits become weakened and disappears, and in its place appear confidence, satisfaction, awareness and tranquillity. What is the Way of Wisdom designed to accomplish? There are three classes of conditions that hinder one from advancing along the path to Enlightenment. First, there are the allurements arising from the senses, from external conditions and from the discriminating mind. Second, there are the internal conditions of the mind, its thoughts, desires and mood. All these the earlier practices (ethical and mortificatory) are designed to eliminate. In the third class of impediments are placed the individual’s instinctive and fundamental (and therefore most insidious and persistent) urges - the will to live and to enjoy, the will to cherish one’s personality, the will to propagate, which give rise to greed and lust, fear and anger, infatuation, pride and egotism. The practice of the Wisdom Paramita is designed to control and eliminate these fundamental and instinctive hindrances." - Aśvaghoṣa NULL

"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