Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Play

"Even the best of men get knocked down many times in a lifetime. Occasional knocks aren't anything to be afraid of. In fact, they make the game of life interesting; they are the hazards and the bunkers and sandtraps that force us to keep our mind on the game and play our best." -

"Laziness begat wearisomeness, and this put men in quest of diversions, play and company, on which however it is a constant attendant; he who works hard, has enough to do with himself otherwise." - Jean de La Bruyère

"There have been men who could play delightful music on one string of the violin, but there never was a man who could produce the harmonies of heaven in his soul by a one-stringed virtue." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour." -

"To converse with Scandal is to play at Losing Loadum; you must lose a good name to him, before you can win it for yourself." - William Congreve

"The great scientific discoveries of the past hundred years have been as child's play compared with the titanic forces that will be released when man applies himself to the understanding and mastery of his own nature." - Melvin James Evans

"Now besides life, knowledge, play, aesthetic experience, friendship, practical reasonableness, and religion, there are countless objectives and forms of good. But I suggest that these other objectives and forms of good will be found, on analysis, to be way or combinations of ways of pursuing (not always sensibly) and realizing (not always successfully) one of the seven basic forms of good, or some combination of them." - John Finnis

"No man can force the harp of his own individuality into the people’s heart; but every man may play upon the chords of the people’s heart, who draws his inspiration from the people’s instinct." - Louis Kossuth, also Lajos Kossuth, fully Lajos Kossuth de Udvard et Kossuthfalva

"Greatness of soul is not so much mounting high and pressing forward, as knowing how to put oneself in order and circumscribe oneself. It regards as great all that is enough and shows its elevation by preferring moderate things to eminent ones. There is nothing so beautiful and just as to play the man well and fitly, nor any knowledge so arduous as to know how to live this life well and naturally; and of all our maladies the most barbarous is to despise our being." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"We are not put here on earth to play around. There is work to be done. There are responsibilities to be met. Humanity needs the abilities of every man and woman." - Alden C. Palmer

"I believe that being true to the self is the most important thing in life - to have a free heart, a pure soul and a pure mind. We all live, or should live, for the fulfillment of the self. We are all mirror images of each other; whatever we feel in ourselves we feel in others. I believe that we create our own lives... Intuition should play the main role in everything we do. Through the creative source of the mind and the unlimited power of the spirit all our deepest wishes come true. For me the meaning is that we are all one, and the only true reality is the spirit. Believing in the power of spirit is simply to have a passion for life, to learn, to grow, to evolve and most of all to love, and live each day and each moment of the day to the fullest." - Tatjana Patitz

"The goal of wisdom is laughter and play - not the kind that one sees in little children who do not yet have the faculty of reason, but the kind that is developed in those who have grown mature through both time and understanding. If someone has experienced the wisdom that can only be heard from oneself, learned from oneself, and created from oneself, he does not merely participate in laughter: he becomes laughter itself." - Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew NULL

"We are not here to play, to dream, to drift; We have hard work to do and loads to lift; Shun not the struggle - face it, 'tis God's gift." - Lord Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury

"While the work or play is on, it is a lot of fun if while you are doing one you don't constantly feel that you ought to be doing the other." - Franklin Pierce Adams, pen name F.P.A.

"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary." - Cecil Beaton, fully Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton

"Wit must be without effort. Wit is play, not work; a nimbleness of the fancy, not a laborious effort of the will; a license, a holiday, a carnival of thought and feeling, not a trifling with speech, a constraint upon language, a duress upon words." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Finding facts in actuality is less rewarded than developing a theory of law that explains the facts, and herein lies an enticement. In making sense out of the unruly substance of nature, and in trying to get there first, a scientist is sometimes tempted to play fast and loose with the facts in order to make a theory look more compelling than it really is." - William J. Broad and Nicholas J. Wade

"In life, as in whist, hope nothing from the way cards may be dealt to you. Play the cards, whatever they be, to the best of your skill." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"There is work that is work and there is play that is play; there is play tht is work and work that is play. And in only one of these lies happiness." - Frank Gelett Burgess

"In play we don't keep score. No one wins or loses. Anyone can play, alone or in a group. There are no sides - we're all on the same side... Play has all sorts of educational, physical and psychological benefits. A happy, fulfilling adult life may even depend upon the intensity and a variety of our play experiences." -

"The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"Poverty teaches a man to play the villain from necessity." - Euripedes NULL

"A life regardful of duty is crowned with an object, directed by a purpose, inspired by an enthusiasm, till the very humblest routine, carried out conscientiously for the sake of God is elevated into moral grandeur; and the very obscurest office, filled conscientiously at the bidding of God, becomes an imperial stage on which all the virtues play. To one who lies thus the insignificant becomes important, the unpleasant delightful, the evanescent eternal." -

"One intellectual excitement has, however, been denied me. Men wiser and more learned than I have discerned in history a plot, a rhythm, a predetermined pattern. These harmonies are concealed from me. I can see only one emergency following another as wave follows upon wave, only one great fact with respect to which, since it is unique, there can be no generalizations, only one safe rule for the historian: that he should recognize in the development of human destinies the play of the contingent and the unforeseen." - Herbert Albert Laurens Fisher

"Arguing is a game that two can play at. But it is a strange game in that neither opponent ever wins." - Benjamin Franklin

"Innately, children seem to have little true realistic anxiety. They will run along the brink of water, climb on the window sill, play with sharp objects and with fire, in short, do everything that is bound to damage them and to worry those in charge of them, that is wholly the result of education; for they cannot be allowed to make the instructive experiences themselves." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"Play is the highest level of child development. It is the spontaneous expression of thought and feeling. It is the purest creation of the child's mind as it is also a pattern and copy of the natural life hidden in man and in all things." - Friedrich Fröbel, fully Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel

"A teacher, like a playwright, has an obligation to be interesting or, at least, brief. A play closes when it ceases to interest audiences." -

"Music is for the betterment and enrichment of the individual, just as education and reading are. When people come together to play music as they do to play bridge, civilization will have taken its longest stride forward since the beginning of time. Music is something to live with always, and children should be taught to regard it as a close and inalienable friend." - Jascha Heifetz

"We are a part of the eternities and have a part to play in their orchestrated symphonic movements." - Emil G. Hirsch, fully Emil Gustav Hirsch

"Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolutely unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well." - Henry Scott Holland

"Play is a sacred thing, a divine ordinance, for developing in the child a harmonious and healthy organism, and preparing that organism for the commencement of the work of life." -

"Play may not have so high a place in the divine economy, but it has as legitimate a place as prayer." -

"Character must stand behind and back up everything - the sermon, the poem, the picture, the play. None of them is worth a straw without it." - Jack Holland

"Although generalizations are dangerous, I venture to say that at the bottom of most fears, both mild and severe, will be found an overactive mind and an underactive body. Hence, I have advised many people, in their quest for happiness, to use their heads less and their arms and legs more... in useful work or play. We generate fears while we sit; we overcome them in action. Fear is nature's warning signal to get busy." - Henry C. Link

"Our chief aim of any true system of education must be to impart to the individual the courage to play the game against any and all odds, the nerve to walk into the ambushes of existence, the hardiness to face the most despicable truth about himself and not let it daunt him permanently; it must armour him with an ultimate carelessness." -

"A person's maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play." -

"Our thoughts are boundless, though our frames are frail, our souls immortal, though our limbs decay; though darken’d in this poor life by a veil of suffering, dying matter, we shall play in truth’s eternal sunbeams." - Margaret Percival

"Alcoholism isn't a spectator sport. Eventually the whole family gets to play." -

"The head does not know how to play the part of the heart for long." -

"As long as man dwells in a state of pure nature (I mean pure and not coarse nature), all his being acts at once like a simple sensuous unity, like a harmonious whole. The senses and reason, the receptive faculty and the spontaneously active faculty, have not been as yet separated in their respective functions; a priori they are not yet in contradiction to each other. Then the feelings of man are not the formless play of chance; nor are his thoughts an empty play of imagination, without any value. His feelings proceed from the law of necessity, his thoughts from reality. But when man enters the state of civilization, and art has fashioned him, this sensuous harmony which was in him disappears, and henceforth he can only manifest himself as a moral unity, that is, as aspiring to unity. The harmony that existed as a fact in the former state, the harmony of feeling and thought, only exists in an ideal state. It is no longer in him, but out of him; it is a conception of thought which he must begin by realizing in himself; it is no longer a fact, a reality of his life." - Friedrich Schiller, fully Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

"The only way to judge an event in life is to look at it from high enough, to see it in the order and dimension of the timeless. When we see pain, suffering and inequalities, we don’t understand or we jump to false conclusions. We see only the broken arc of a complete circle. Instead, life is a field for progress and progressive harmony. Each one of us has a part to play which he alone can execute. This role, based on our real nature - what Hindu scriptures call svabhava - can be discovered. An individual’s aim in life must be to find out the “law of his being” and act according to his svadharma. This discovery is no easy task. Normally, we are aware of our ego, the surface self that is a bundle of contradictory impulses. But we can find the true self, our best self, by a process of standing back and surveying our needs. Abandoning desire and self-assertion, accepting the challenges of life in a state of stable, unwavering peace will result in this supreme revelation. When life’s shocks turn our eyes inward, we rise above contingencies of time and place. Our perspective changes. The greatest sorrows is transformed into a luminous vibration. We see into the life of things. Life itself, a single, immense organism, moves toward a greater and higher harmony as more and more cells become conscious of their uniqueness. Life, then, is not Macbeths’s “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” It is a grand orchestra in which discordant notes contribute to the total harmony." - V. S. Seturaman

"Thoughts are behavior. The mind is like a muscle which can be improved with practice. Many 'habits' are a result of poor thinking skills. We play thoughts over and over which keep us distracted from effective problem solving. When out-of-control thoughts run around inside our heads they cause anxiety. We then focus on unproductive thoughts and ideas." - Richard Smolowe, fully Richard Edward Smolowe

"We all would do well to entertain the possibility of new alternative realities; since it is our definition of reality that decides for each of us what is possible, and what is not possible... Our personal 'reality' is shaped by our thoughts. They determine how we perceive our future, our accomplishments, our relationships. Our emotions are our reactions to these thoughts and perceptions, and mirror our inner consciousness. They play a crucial role in our happiness and physical well-being." - Richard and Greta Smolowe

"The most sublime labor of poetry is to give sense and passion to insensate things; and it is characteristic of children to take inanimate things in their hands and talk to them in play as if they were living persons... in the world's childhood, men were by nature sublime poets." - Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

"Don't play for safety - it's the most dangerous thing in the world." - Hugh Walpole, fully Sir Hugh Seymour Walpole

"Our true age can be determined by the ways in which we allow ourselves to play." - Louis Walsh

"Science seldom proceeds in the straightforward logical manner imagined by outsiders. Instead, its steps forward (and sometimes backward) are often very human events in which personalities and cultural traditions play major roles... [Science moves with][ the spirit of an adventure characterized both by youthful arrogance and by the belief that the truth, once found, would be simple as well as pretty." - James Watson, fully James Dewey Watson

"The poet is the equable man, not in him but off from him things are grotesque, eccentric, fail of their full returns, nothing out of its place is good, nothing in its place is bad, he bestows on every object or quality its fit proportion, neither more nor less, he is the arbiter of the diverse, he is the key... As he sees the farthest he has the most faith, his thoughts are the hymns of the praise of things, in the dispute on God and eternity he is silent, he sees eternity less like a play with a prologue and denouement, he sees eternity in men and women, he does not see men and women as dreams or dots." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"The question, O me! so sad, recurring - What good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here - that life exists and identity, that the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman