Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"Young people imagine there is great value in fame. Those with life experience know that in truth publicity is extremely short-lived. The nature of the world is that every piece of news makes an impression for only a very short time. After those few minutes the impression is erased and quickly forgotten. It is as if it never was." - Yosef Leib Bloch, fully R' Yosef Yehudah Leib Bloch

"He presents me with what is always an acceptable gift who brings me news of a great thought before unknown. He enriches me without impoverishing himself." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"The silence in our lives is under assault on all fronts: roaring jets and blasting Walkmans, numbing elevator music and blaring headline news. It’s hard to genuflect to the beat of MTV. We are wired, plugged in, constantly catered to and cajoled. After a while we become terrified out of the silence, unaware of what it has to offer. We drown out the simple question of God with the simplistic sound-bites of man." - Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

"Evil news flies faster still than good." - Thomas Kyd

"Literature is news that stays news." -

"Let the greatest part of the news thou hearest be the least part of what thou believest, lest the greater part of what thou believest be the least part of what is true. Where lies are easily admitted, the father of lies will not easily be excluded." - Francis Quarles

"It takes your enemy and your friend, working together to hurt you to the heart; the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you." -

"Ill news has many feet, rides apace and needs no spurs." - Stanley Weyman, fully Stanley John Weyman

"[To reporters at beginning of news conference] I am ready for the questions to my answers." -

"Bad news never flows up. The only times I saw anyone struggle to warn his superior of impending trouble… were on those occasions when the superior was sure to find out anyway… When this is multiplied over dozens of departments and hundreds of thousands of employees, the result is a vast conspiracy of self-protection, benign in origin but devastating in effect." - James Fallows

"The press has its own version of Gresham’s Law: the tendency, in the competition for readers, to let the scandalous and sensational drive out serious news." - Anthony Lewis

"Whatever news we get about the scans, I’m not going to die when we hear it. I won’t die the next day, or the day after that, or the day after that. So today, right now, well this is a wonderful day. And I want you to know how much I am enjoying it… That’s the way the rest of my life would need to be lived." - Randy Pausch, fully Randolph Frederick "Randy" Pausch

"The Master responds to falsehood and truth, bad news and good news, inexactly the same way: “Is that so?” He allows the form of the moment, good or bad, to be as it is and so does not become a participant in human drama. To him there is only this moment, and this moment is as it is. Events are not personalized. He is nobody’s victim. He is so completely at one with what happens that what happens has no power over him anymore. Only if you resist what happens are you at the mercy of what happens, and the world will determine your happiness and unhappiness." - Eckhart Tolle, born Ulrich Leonard Tolle

"The 6 o'clock news is a reality-based entertainment devised to titillate more than educate, a cheap confection designed to aggregate eyeballs for advertisers." - Jay Harris

"You will find that the truth is often unpopular and the contest between agreeable fancy and disagreeable fact is unequal. For, in the vernacular, we Americans are suckers for good news." - Adlai Ewing Stevenson

"You will find that the truth is often unpopular and the contest between agreeable fancy and disagreeable fact is unequal. For, in the vernacular, we Americans are suckers for good news." -

"You will find that the truth is often unpopular and the contest between agreeable fancy and disagreeable fact is unequal. For, in the vernacular, we Americans are suckers for good news." -

"Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!" - Anne Frank, fully Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank

"It is said to have been reported to one of the Roman emperors, as a piece of good news, that one of his subjects had invented a process for manufacturing unbreakable glass. The emperor gave orders that the inventor should be put to death and the records of his invention should be destroyed. If the invention had been put on the market, the manufacturers of regular glass would have been put out of business; there would have been unemployment that would have caused political unrest, and perhaps revolution." - Arnold J. Toynbee, fully Arnold Joseph Toynbee

"Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your reputation. Be not apt to relate news, if you know not the truth thereof. Speak no evil of the absent, for it is unjust. Undertake not what you cannot perform, be be careful to keep your promise. There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth, and pursue it steadily. Nothing but harmony, honesty, industry and frugality are necessary to make us a great and happy nation." - George Washington

"Evil news rides post, while good news bates." - John Milton

"No media project succeeds based on “good news only” because good news does not trigger our alert system. Anything good indicates a safe space, the quiet background against which events can play out. The enculturated mind is cued to respond to the negative as a point of focus, which largely screens out or ignores a quiet stable base, and, because it sharpens and maintains our alert awareness, we actually begin to look for the negative." - Joseph Chilton Pearce, aka Joe

"Who would have guessed that, thanks to all the ingenious tie-ins between advertising, entertainment, the popular arts, and the great corporations, the time would come when one of the most obvious aspects of the condition of the average American man is simply this: Most of the news he hears, most of the music he listens to, and most of the drama he witnesses - in fact almost all the intellectual or artistic experience he ever has - is provided by medicine shows." - Joseph Wood Krutch

"The test of the poet is the power to take the passing day, with its news, its cares, its fears, as he shares them, and hold it up to a divine reason, till he sees it to have a purpose and beauty. Then the dry twig blossoms in his hand." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"No man delights in the bearer of bad news." - Sophocles NULL

"Nobody likes the bringer of bad news." - Sophocles NULL

"What need of so much news from abroad, when all that concerns either life or death is all transacting and at work within us?" - William Law

"Literature is news that stays news. " - Ezra Pound, fully Ezra Weston Loomis Pound

"Credibility is a leader's currency. With it, he or she is solvent; without it, he or she is bankrupt. Speak the truth. Transparency breeds legitimacy. Don’t hide bad news. With multiple information channels available, bad news always becomes known. Be candid right from the start. A highly credible leader under-promises and over-delivers. Diligent follow-up and follow-through will set you apart from the crowd and communicate excellence. A trustworthy leader goes the extra mile to remedy strained relationships, even when it doesn’t appear to be required." - John C. Maxwell

"If you are a warrior, decency means that you are not cheating anybody at all. You are not even about to cheat anybody. There is a sense of straightforwardness and simplicity. With setting-sun vision, or vision based on cowardice, straightforwardness is always a problem. If people have some story or news to tell somebody else, first of all they are either excited or disappointed. Then they begin to figure out how to tell their news. They develop a plan, which leads them completely away from simply telling it. By the time a person hears the news, it is not news at all, but opinion. It becomes a message of some kind, rather than fresh, straightforward news. Decency is the absence of strategy. It is of utmost importance to realize that the warrior’s approach should be simple-minded sometimes, very simple and straightforward. That makes it very beautiful: you having nothing up your sleeve; therefore a sense of genuineness comes through. That is decency." - Chögyam Trungpa, fully Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

"Despite current ads and slogans, the world doesn't change one person at a time. It changes when networks of relationships form among people who share a common cause and vision of what's possible. This is good news for those of us intent on creating a positive future. Rather than worry about critical mass, our work is to foster critical connections. We don't need to convince large numbers of people to change; instead, we need to connect with kindred spirits. Through these relationships, we will develop the new knowledge, practices, courage and commitment that lead to broad-based change." - Margaret J. Wheatley, aka Meg Wheatley

"It takes your enemy and your friend, working together to hurt you to the heart; the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you." - Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens

"The very good news is there is quite a number of internal circumstances [...] under your voluntary control. If you decide to change them (and be warned that none of these changes come without real effort), your level of happiness is likely to increase lastingly. " - Martin Seligman, Martin E. P. "Marty" Seligman

"One of the first rules of playing the power game is that all bad news must be accepted calmly, as if one already knew and didn't care." - Michael Korda

"Most of our daily news is inert, consisting of information that gives us something to talk about but cannot lead to any meaningful action." - Neil Postman

"I do not mean to imply that television news deliberately aims to deprive Americans of a coherent, contextual understanding of their world. I mean to say that when news is packaged as entertainment, that is the inevitable result. And in saying that the television news show entertains but does not inform, I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed." - Neil Postman

"The whole problem with news on television comes down to this: all the words uttered in an hour of news coverage could be printed on a page of a newspaper. And the world cannot be understood in one page." - Neil Postman

"The news media's silence, particularly television news, is reprehensible. If we knew as much about Darfur as we do about Michael Jackson, we might be able to stop these things from continuing." - Nicholas D. Kristof, fully Nicholas Donabet Kristof

"I believe this movement will prevail. I don’t mean it will defeat, conquer, or create harm to someone else. Quite the opposite. I don’t tender the claim in an oracular sense. I mean that the thinking that informs the movement’s goals will reign. It will soon suffuse most institutions, but before then, it will change a sufficient number of people so as to begin the reversal of centuries of frenzied self-destructive behavior. Some say it is too late, but people never change when they are comfortable. Helen Keller threw aside the gnawing fears of chronic bad news when she declared, “I rejoice to live in such a splendidly disturbing time!” In such a time, history is suspended and thus unfinished. It will be the stroke of midnight for the rest of our lives. My hopefulness about the resilience of human nature is matched by the gravity of our environmental and social condition. If we squander all our attention on what is wrong, we will miss the prize: In the chaos engulfing the world, a hopeful future resides because the past is disintegrating before us. If that is difficult to believe, take a winter off and calculate what it requires to create a single springtime. It’s not too late for the world’s largest institutions and corporations to join in saving the planet, but cooperation must be on the planet’s terms. The “Help Wanted” signs are everywhere. All people and institutions including commerce, governments, schools, churches and cities, need to learn from life and reimagine the world from the bottom up, based on the first principles if justice and ecology. Ecological restoration is extraordinarily simple: You remove whatever prevents the system from healing itself. Social restoration is no different. We have the heart, knowledge, money and sense to optimize out social and ecological fabric. It is time for all that is harmful to leave. One million escorts are here to transform the nightmares of empire and the disgrace of war on people and place. We are the transgressors and we are the forgivers. “We” means all of us, everyone. There can be no green movement unless there is also a black, brown and copper movement. What is more harmful resides within is, the accumulated wounds of the past, the sorrow, shame, deceit, and ignominy shared by every culture, passed down to every person, as surely as DNA, as history of violence and greed. There is not question that the environmental movement is most critical to our survival. Our house is literally burning, and it is only logical that environmentalists expect the social justice movement to get on the environmental bus. But is actually the other way around; the only way we are going to put out this fire is to get on the social justice bus and heal our wounds, because in the end, there is only one bus. Armed with that growing realization, we can address all that is harmful externally. What will guide us is a living intelligence that creates miracles every second, carried forth by a movement with no name." - Paul Hawken

"Ill news are swallow-winged, but what is good walks on crutches." - Philip Massinger

"Drop, drop, slow tears, and bathe those beauteous feet Which brought from heaven the news and prince of peace. Cease not, wet eyes, his mercies to entreat; To cry for vengeance sin doth never cease; In your deep floods drown all my faults and fears, Nor let his eye see sin but through my tears." - Phineas Fletcher

"At the time of creation the light of G-d flowed from the sphere of the spiritual down to the physical world through a series of vessels or emanations.] But the vessels proved unable to contain the Divine Light. They broke. This primordial catastrophe is called shevirat hakeilim, the Breaking of the Vessels. You can better understand it with an analogy. Think of a man who is deeply troubled and depressed. Suddenly he receives an exhilarating piece of good news. His troubles are over. Instead of jumping for joy, the man will break down crying. The “bright light” of the good news was too much for him. Similarly, shevirat hakeilim means that the vessels broke because they could not encompass the brilliant splendor of the luminescent Divine Light" - Pinchas Shapiro of Koretz, aka Pinchas or Pinchos of Koretz

"The news of a good deed travels far, but the news of a bad one travels even farther." - Polish Proverbs

"The media have just buried the last yuppie, a pathetic creature who had not heard the news that the great pendulum of public consciousness has just swung from Greed to Compassion and from Tex-Mex to meatballs. " - Barbara Ehrenreich, born Barbara Alexander

"Upscale people are fixated with food simply because they are now able to eat so much of it without getting fat, and the reason they don't get fat is that they maintain a profligate level of calorie expenditure. The very same people whose evenings begin with melted goats cheese... get up at dawn to run, break for a mid-morning aerobics class, and watch the evening news while racing on a stationary bicycle. " - Barbara Ehrenreich, born Barbara Alexander

"Luck is always waiting for something to turn up. Labor, with keen eyes and strong will, always turns up something. Luck lies in bed and wishes the postman will bring news of a legacy. Labor turns out at six o'clock and with busy pen or ringing hammer, lays the foundation of a competence. Luck whines. Labor whistles. Luck relies on chance, labor on character." - Richard Cobden

"I want you to stonewall it. (To staff on news of break-in at Watergate)" - Richard Nixon, fully Richard Milhous Nixon

"Once, at night, in the manor wood My Love and I long silent stood, Amazed that any heavens could Decree to part us, bitterly repining. My Love, in aimless love and grief, Reached forth and drew aside a leaf That just above us played the thief And stole our starlight that for us was shining. A star that had remarked her pain Shone straightway down that leafy lane, And wrought his image, mirror-plain, Within a tear that on her lash hung gleaming. "Thus Time," I cried, "is but a tear Some one hath wept 'twixt hope and fear, Yet in his little lucent sphere Our star of stars, Eternity, is beaming." - Sidney Lanier

"Fair is the wedded reign of Night and Day. Each rules a half of earth with different sway, Exchanging kingdoms, East and West, alway. Like the round pearl that Egypt drunk in wine, The sun half sinks i' the brimming, rosy brine: The wild Night drinks all up: how her eyes shine! Now the swift sail of straining life is furled, And through the stillness of my soul is whirled The throbbing of the hearts of half the world. I hear the cries that follow Birth and Death. I hear huge Pestilence draw his vaporous breath: "Beware, prepare, or else ye die," he saith. I hear a haggard student turn and sigh: I hear men begging Heaven to let them die: And, drowning all, a wild-eyed woman's cry. So Night takes toll of Wisdom as of Sin. The student's and the drunkard's cheek is thin: But flesh is not the prize we strive to win. Now airy swarms of fluttering dreams descend On souls, like birds on trees, and have no end. O God, from vulture-dreams my soul defend! Let fall on Her a rose-leaf rain of dreams, All passionate-sweet, as are the loving beams Of starlight on the glimmering woods and streams." - Sidney Lanier

"Being stuck is a position few of us like. We want something new but cannot let go of the old - old ideas, beliefs, habits, even thoughts. We are out of contact with our own genius. Sometimes we know we are stuck; sometimes we don't. In both cases we have to DO something." - Rush Limbaugh