Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Pain

"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

"The human condition is such that pain and effort are not just symptoms which can be removed without changing life itself; they are rather the modes in which life itself, together with the necessity to which it is bound, makes itself felt. For mortals, the "easy life of the gods" would be a lifeless life." -

"To be born is to suffer: to grow old is to suffer: to die is to suffer: to lose what is loved is to suffer: to be tied to what is not loved is to suffer: to endure what is distasteful is to suffer. In short, all the results of individuality, or separate self-hood, necessarily involve pain or suffering." - Subhadra Bhikshu, pen name for Friedrich Zimmermann

"Graceful, particularly in youth, is the tear of sympathy, and the heart that melts at the tale of woe; we should not permit ease and indulgence to contract our affections, and wrap us up in selfish enjoyment. But we should accustom ourselves to think of the distresses of human life, of the solitary cottage, the dying parent, and the weeping orphan. Nor ought we ever to sport with pain and distress in any of our amusements, or treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty." - Hugh Blair

"The fatal fondness of indulging in a spirit of ridicule, and the injurious and irreparable consequences which sometimes attend the too severe reply, can never be condemned with more asperity than it deserves. Not to offend is the first step towards pleasing. To give pain is as much an offence against humanity as against good-breeding, and surely it is as well to abstain from an action because it is sinful, as because it is unpolite." - Hugh Blair

"There is no passion so distressing as fear, which gives us great pain and makes us appear contemptible in our own eyes to the last degree. Fear is in almost all cases a wretched instrument of government, and ought in particular never to be employed against any order of men who have the smallest pretensions to independency." - James Boswell

"Earnestness is the devotion of all the faculties. It is the cause of patience; gives endurance; overcomes pain; strengthens weakness; braves dangers; sustains hope; makes light of difficulties, and lessens the sense of weariness in overcoming them." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Piety and selfless deeds elevate the inhabitants of this earth to exalted spiritual estates... self-serving acts reduce them to the realms beneath, of sorrow and pain, rebirths among birds and vermin, or out of the wombs of pigs and beasts of the wild, or among trees. Action is a function of character, which in turn is controlled by custom. This is the whole substance of the secret. This knowledge is the ferry across the ocean of hell to beatitude. For all the animate and inanimate objects in this world... are transitory, like dream. The gods on high, the mute trees and stones, are but apparitions in the fantasy. Good and evil attaching to a person are perishable as bubbles. In the cycles of time they alternate. The wise are attached to neither." - Brahma-Vaivarta Purana NULL

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought; it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of he who draws the carriage." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"There is no remembrance which time does not obliterate, nor pain which death does not terminate." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"Pleasure and pain, though directly opposite, are yet so contrived by nature as to be constant companions; and it is a fact that the same motions and muscles of the face are employed both in laughing and crying." - Pierre Charron

"Virtue is not the absence of vices or the voidance of moral dangers; virtue is a vivid and separate thing, like pain or a particular smell." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"Prefer a loss to a dishonest gain; the one brings pain at the moment, the other for all time." -

"Do not hate someone who has humiliated you. Although he has transgressed, he has rendered you a service. When a person suffers humiliation in silence, it atones for his misdeeds. The situation is analogous to someone’s preparing a hot bath for you. Although it might cause you some pain, it also cleanses you. Keeping this thought in mind will prevent feelings of hatred." -

"Courage takes many forms. there is physical courage, there is moral courage. Then there is a still higher type of courage - the courage to brave pain, to live with it, to never let others know of it and to still find joy in life; to wake up in the morning with an enthusiasm for the day ahead." - Howard Cosell, fully Howard William Cosell, born Howard William Cohen

"There is no greater pain than to recall a happy time in wretchedness." - Alighieri Dante

"The ability to laugh at life is right at the top, with love and communication in the hierarchy of our needs. Humor has much to do with pain; it exaggerates the anxieties and absurdities we feel, so that we gain distance and through laughter, relief." - Sara Davidson

"View every difficult situation as an opportunity to grow and we will feel pleasure instead of pain from such situations. Failure to do so will cause you needless suffering." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"Happiness is fundamental in morals only because happiness is not something to be sought for, but is something now attained, even in the midst of pain and trouble, whenever recognition of our ties with nature and with fellow-men releases and informs our action." - John Dewey

"A blow struck in anger oft causes less pain than a deliberate act of unkindness." - Charles Noel Douglas

"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

"I never saw anything funny that wasn’t terrible. If it causes pain, it’s funny; if it doesn’t, it isn’t. I try to hide the pain with embarrassment, and the more I do that, the better they like it. But that does not mean they are unsympathetic. Oh no, they laugh often with tears in their eyes." - W. C. Fields, stage name for William Claude Dukenfield

"The sort of marriage where the couple never have a row, cannot bear “unpleasantness,” the sort of family that is endlessly and determinedly “happy” cannot lead to growth, nor any genuine form of “being.” “Being” is about acknowledging one’s pain, and not trying to conceal it from oneself, or inflict it upon others." - Monica Furlong

"[Suicide note] - Human life consists in mutual service. No grief, pain, misfortune, or 'broken heart' is excuse for cutting off one's life while any power of service remains. But when all usefulness is over, when one is assured of an unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one." - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a.k.a. Charlotte Anna (nee Perkins), Charlotte Perkins Stetson

"Pain and pleasure, good and evil, come to us from unexpected sources. It is not there where we have gathered up our brightest hopes, that the dawn of happiness breaks. It is not there where we have glanced our eye with affright, that we find the deadliest gloom. What should this teach use? To bow to the great and only Source of light, and live humbly and with confiding resignation." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Pain is the deepest thing we have in our nature, and union through pain has always seemed more real and holy than any other." -

"Pain is only a second at a time." - Haosher Shebemunah NULL

"Guilt always looks for punishment, and punishment creates pain." - Louise L. Hay

"Be and continue poor, young man, while others around you grow rich by; fraud and disloyalty; be without place or power, while others beg their way upwards; bear the pain of disappointed hopes, while others gain their by; flattery; forego the gracious pressure of the hand, for which others cringe and crawl. Wrap yourself in your own virtue, and seek a friend and your daily bread. If you have, in such a course, grown gray; with unblenched honor, bless God and die." - Richard Heinzelmann

"The way a man speaks lays bare the texture of his mind, the goodness of his heart, the inner pain or the sweet serenity that are his companions in solitude." - Harriet Van Horne

"I began to accept that the meaning of life, even the purpose of the pain that accompanies it, would be found not in the question I asked of life, but in the questions life asked of me." - Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

"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

"When, in our pain, we turn our attention to life’s purpose, we take up pain as a thread through the labyrinth... But when we deny pain, we are denying life itself. When we flee from pain that we cannot escape, we are fleeing from an opportunity to grow." - Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

"Delicacy of taste has the same effect as delicacy of passion; it enlarges the sphere both of our happiness and misery, and makes us sensible to pain as well as pleasures, which escape the rest of mankind." - David Hume

"A large amount of physical pain and suffering is caused by one’s thoughts and behaviors. The desire for food causes people to overeat and consume food that is harmful to their health. Envy, anger, and honor-seeking lead to diseases of the heart, high blood pressure, nervous tension and excessive stress. Moreover, even when you pain is basically caused by physical symptoms, your mental attitude towards the pain can greatly increase or decrease the actual amount of suffering you experience. The pain you suffer from illnesses and injuries is frequently more psychological than physical. A person who learns to master a calm and serene attitude towards life trains himself to tolerate physical pain and the actual suffering is greatly lessened." - Pinchos Hurwitz

"Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself. Never spend your money before you have earned it. Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap. Pride costs more than hunger, thirst and cold. We seldom report of having eaten too little. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly. How much pain evils have cost us that have never happened! Take things always by the smooth handle. When angry, count ten before you speak, if very angry, count a hundred." - Thomas Jefferson

"A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the true value of time, and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain." -

"There are minds so impatient of inferiority that their gratitude is a species of revenge, and they return benefits, not because recompense is a pleasure, but because obligation is a pain." -

"There is no coming to consciousness without pain." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"A person who performs good deeds because he wants to fulfill the Almighty’s wishes will be happy if he hears others are doing even more than him. If, however, one feels pain when hearing others have accomplished more than him in spiritual matters, it shows he is basically motivated by desire for personal aggrandizement." -

"Riches are gotten with pain, kept with care, and lost with grief. The cares of riches lie heavier upon a good man than the inconveniences of an honest poverty." - Roger L'Estrange, fully Sir Roger L'Estrange

"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity." - Frank Leahy, fully Francis William "Frank" Leahy

"After the death of a close relative, thoughts of sorrow and pain frequently enter a person’s mind even after the mourning period. When such thoughts arise, one should try to strengthen oneself to accept the Almighty’s judgment. Every time you successfully conquer self-pitying thoughts, you elevate yourself." - Yechezkail Levenstein

"When your fear touches someone’s pain it becomes pity; when your love touches someone’s pain, it becomes compassion." - Stephen Levine

"Envy and anger, not being caused by pain and pleasure simply in themselves, but having in them some mixed considerations of ourselves and others, are not therefore to be found in all men, because those other parts, of valuing their merits, or intending revenge, is wanting in them. but all the rest [of the passions], terminating purely in pain and pleasure, are, I think, to be found in all men. For we love, desire, rejoice, and hope, only in respect of pleasure; we hate, fear, and grieve, only in respect of pain ultimately. In fine, all these passions are moved by things, only as they appear to be the causes of pleasure and pain, or to have pleasure or pain some way or other annexed to them." - John Locke

"The most precious of all possessions, is power over ourselves; power to withstand trial, to bear suffering, to front danger; power over pleasure and pain; power to follow convictions, however resisted by menace and scorn; the power of calm reliance in scenes of darkness an storms. He that has not a mastery over his inclinations; he that knows not how to resist the importunity of present pleasure or pain, for the sake of what reason tells him is fit to be done, wants the true principle of virtue and industry, and is in danger of never being good for anything." - John Locke

"What is it that determines the Will in regard to our Actions?... we shall find, that we being capable but of one determination of the will to one action at once, the present uneasiness, that we are under, does naturally determine the will, in order to that happiness which we all aim at in all our actions: For as much as whilst we are under any uneasiness, we cannot apprehend ourselves happy, or in the way to it... And therefore that, which of course determines the choice of our will to the next action, will always be the removing of pain, as long as we have any left, as the first and necessary step towards happiness." - John Locke

"Envy comes from foolishness and a lack of understanding. When you are envious of someone, you do not gain anything and o not cause a loss to the person you envy. The only person who loses out is you. There are some people whose foolishness is so strong that whenever they see someone else they know have some good fortune, they feel pain and suffering They are so pained by what others have they derive no pleasure from what they themselves possess." - Moshe Chayim Luzzatto, also Moses Hayyim Luzzato, known by Hebrew acronym RaMCHal

"Love, hope and joy, fair pleasure’s smiling train, hate fear and grief, the family of pain; these mix’d with art, and to due bounds confin’d, make and maintain the balance of the mind." - Alexander Pope