Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Position

"If you would know the political and moral condition of a people, ask as to the position of its women." - Louis-Aimé Martin

"There are many seasons in a man’s life - and the more exalted and responsible his position, the more frequently do these seasons recur - when the voice of duty and the dictates of feeling are opposed to each other; and it is only the weak and the wicked who yield that obedience to the selfish impulses of the heart which is due to reason and honor." - Arthur Aughey

"Whatever touches the nerves of motive, whatever shifts man’s moral position, is mightier than steam or caloric or lightning." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"The danger to America is not in the direction of the failure to maintain its economic position, but in the direction of the failure to maintain its ideals." - Calvin Coolidge, fully John Calvin Coolidge, Jr.

"Whatever our place, allotted to us by Providence, that for us is the post of honor and duty. God estimates us not by the position we are in, but by the way in which we fill it." - Tyron Edwards

"Our best hope for the future is that the intellect - the scientific spirit, reason - should in time establish a dictatorship over the human mind. The very nature of reason is a guarantee that it would not fail to concede to human emotions, and to all that is determined by them, the position to which they are entitled. But the common pressure exercised by such a domination of reason would prove to be the strongest unifying force among men, and would prepare the way for further unifications. Whatever, like the ban laid upon thought by religion, opposes such a development is a danger for the future of mankind." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"If you would exchange places with the other fellow, how much more you could appreciate your own position." - Victor E. Gardner, Originally Vittore E. Giardinieri

"A new position of responsibility will usually show a man to be a far stronger creature than was supposed." - William James

"Our belief in truth itself.. that there is a truth, and that our minds and it are made for each other, what is it but a passionate affirmation of desire, in which our social system backs us up? We want to have a truth; we want to believe that our experiments and studies and discussions must put us in a continually better and better position towards it; and on this line we agree to fight out our thinking lives." - William James

"When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of highest virtues." -

"In the hour of death the only adequate consolation is that one has not evaded life, but has endured it. What a man shall accomplish or not accomplish, does not lie in his power to decide; he is not the One who will guide the world; he has only to obey... The point consists precisely in loving his neighbor, or, what is essentially the same thing, in living equally for every man. Every other point of view is a contentious one, however advantageous and comfortable and apparently significant this position may be... yet in the hour of death, he will confidently dare say to his soul: “I have done my best; whether I have accomplished anything, I do not know; whether I have helped anyone, I do not know; but that I have lived for them, that I do know, and I know it from the fact that they insulted me. And this is my consolation, that I shall not have to take the secret with me to the grave, that I, in order to have good and undisturbed and comfortable days in life, have denied my kinship to other men, kinship with the poor, in order to live in aristocratic seclusion, or with the distinguished, in order to live in secret obscurity." - Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

"There is no road to success but through a clear strong purpose. Nothing can take its place. A purpose underlies character, culture, position, attainment of every sort." - Theodore T. Munger

"When a law is proposed in the people’s assembly, what is asked of them is not precisely whether they approve of the proposition or reject it, but whether it is in conforming with the general will which is theirs; each by giving his vote gives his opinion on this question, and the counting of votes yields a declaration of the general will. When, therefore, the opinion contrary to my own prevails, this proves only that I have made a mistake, and that what I believed to be the general will was not so. If my particular opinion had prevailed against the general will, I should have done something other than what I had willed, and then I should not have been free. This presupposes, it is true, that all characteristics of the general will are still to be found in the majority; when these cease to be there, no matter what position men adopt, there is no longer any freedom." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"The crown and glory of life is character. It is the noblest possession of a man, constituting a rank in itself, and estate in the general good will; dignifying every station, and exacting every position in society. It exercises a greater power than wealth and secures all the honor without the jealousies of fame. It carries with it an influence which always tells; for it is the result of proved honor, rectitude and consistency - qualities which, perhaps more than any others, command the general confidence and respect of mankind." - Samuel Smiles

"The infant is born in the same universe where lives the adult of ripe mind. But its position is not like a schoolboy who has yet to learn his alphabet, finding himself in a college class. The infant has it own joy of life because the world is not a mere road, but a home, of which it will have more and more as it grows up in wisdom. With our road that gain is at every step, for it is the road and the home in one; it leads us on yet gives us shelter." -

"If men knew what felicity dwells in the cottage of a godly man, how sound he sleeps, how quiet his rest, how composed his mind, how free from care, how easy his position, how moist his mouth, how joyful his heart, they would never admire the noises, the diseases, the throngs of passions, and the violence of unnatural appetites that fill the house of the luxurious and the heart of the ambitious." - Jeremy Taylor

"People today live without faith. On the one hand, the minority of wealthy, educated people, having freed themselves from the hypnotism of the Church, believe in nothing. They look upon all faiths as absurdities or as useful means of keeping the masses in bondage - no more. On the other hand, the vast majority, poor, uneducated, but for the most part truly sincere, remain under the hypnotism of the Church and therefore think they believe and have faith. But this is not really faith, for instead of throwing light on man’s position in the world it only darkens it." -

"What you think means more than anything else in your life. More than what you earn, more than where you live, more than your social position, and more than what anyone else may think about you." - George Matthew Adams

"While an open mind is priceless, it is priceless only when its owner has the courage to make a final decision which closes the mind for action after the process of viewing all sides of the question has been completed. Failure to make a decision after due consideration of all the facts will quickly brand a man unfit for a position of responsibility. Not all of your decisions will be correct. None of us is perfect. But if you get into the habit of making decisions, experience will develop your judgment to a point where more and more of your decisions will be right. After all, it is better to be right 51 percent of the time and get something done, than it is to get nothing done because you fear to reach a decision." - H. W. Andrews

"When we come to die, we shall be alone. From our worldly possessions we shall be about to part. Worldly friends - the friends drawn to us by our position, our wealth, or our social qualities, will leave us as we enter the dark valley. From those bound to us by stronger ties - our kindred, our loved ones, children, brothers, sister, and from those not less dear to us who have been made our friends because they and we are the friends of the same Savior - from them also we must part. Yet not all will leave us. There is One who “sticketh closer than a brother” - One who having loved His own which are in the world loves them to the end." - Albert Barnes

"In politics, merit is rewarded by the possessor being raised, like a target, to a position to be fired at." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Dignity of position adds to dignity of character, as well as to dignity of carriage. Give us a proud position, and we are impelled to act up to it." - John Christian Bovee

"A man unattached and without wife, if he have any genius at all, may raise himself above his original position, may mingle with the world of fashion, and hold himself on a level with the highest; this is less easy for him who is engaged; it seems as if marriage put the whole world in their proper rank." - Jean de La Bruyère

"A slave has but one master; an ambitious man has as many masters as there are people who may be useful in bettering the position." - Jean de La Bruyère

"Man-made barriers, laws, social customs and prejudices continue to keep a majority of women in an inferior position without full control of our lives and bodies. From infancy throughout life, in personal and public relations, in the family, in the schools, in every occupation and profession, too often we find our individuality, our capabilities, our earning powers diminished by discriminatory practices and outmoded ideas of what a woman is, what a woman can do, and what a woman must be... We lack effective political and economic power We have only minor and insignificant roles in making, interpreting and enforcing our laws, in running our political parties, businesses, unions, schools and institutions, in directing the media, in governing our country, in deciding issues of war or peace. We do not seek special privileges, but we demand as a human right a full voice and role for women in determining the destiny of our world, our nation, our families and our individual lives." - Declaration of American Women NULL

"It is not the position, but the disposition." - J. E. Dinger

"Improvement of one's economic position is helped more by cool persistence than by hot enthusiasm." - William Feather

"No age or time of life, no position or circumstance, has a monopoly on success. Any age is the right age to start doing!" - Paul Géraldy, pen name of Paul Lefevre

"The essence of music is revelation... There is something marvelous in music. I might almost say it is, in itself, a marvel. Its position is somewhere between the region of thought and that of a phenomena; a glimmering medium between mind and matter, related to both and yet differing from either. Spiritual, and yet requiring rhythm; material, and yet independent of space... It is spirit, yet in need of time, rhythm; it is matter, yet independent of space." - Heinrich Heine

"The answer to the accumulating casualties of the welfare state’s “war” on poverty is the home-grown, grass-roots, all-volunteer army of ordinary people armed with food, books, skills and a determination to make a difference. The entrepreneurial creativity that catapulted this nation to a position of global leadership can now be harnessed to do for community what it did for productivity. When we provide imaginative, entrepreneurial alternatives to the welfare state, we won’t need to confront it. It will simply wither away. And the rewards of this work are a bounty of spiritual renewal: an abundance of love, meaning and connectedness." - Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

"No matter what his rank or position may be, the lover of books is the richest and the happiest of children of men." - James Alfred Langford

"Describes the professional artist as a morally suspect, even socially dangerous, conman, who from a deliberately chosen position of spiritual alienation, yet offers the ambiguous, self-serving products of his art, in expectation not only of support and remuneration, but also of social approval and even adoration as genius. [Paraphrased]" - Thomas Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann

"Knowledge is all-knowing, understanding, forgiving; it takes up no position, sets no store by form. It has compassion with the abyss - it is the abyss. So we reject it, firmly, and henceforward our concern shall be with beauty only. And by beauty we mean simplicity, largeness, and renewed severity of discipline; we mean a return to detachment and to form." - Thomas Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann

"The institutions of a country depend in great measure on the nature of its soil and situation. Many of the wants of man are awakened or supplied by these circumstances. To these wants, manners, laws, and religion must shape and accommodate themselves. The division of land, and the rights attached to it, alter with the soil; the laws relating to its produce, with its fertility. The manners of its inhabitants are in various ways modified by its position. The religion of a miner is not the same as the faith of a shepherd, nor is the character of the ploughman so war-like as that of the hunter. The observant legislator follows the direction of all these various circumstances. the knowledge of the natural advantages or defects of a country thus form an essential part of political science and history." - Justus Möser

"All ideas require preparation for their meaning to engage the soul... There is no question whether they are true or not. One buys for oneself. There is no absolute truth. All truth is relative - relative to one’s needs, relative to one’s position in psychological space." - Maurice Nicoll

"We are here because in this part of the universe time is trained to stop... Life cannot survive in time that flows, or while it flows. Life survives only when time stands still... So it could happen someplace, somehow, that eternity and time would meet at a golden intersection. At the very heart of the cross, where eternity and time would connect, time would stop to be blessed by eternity. And that, in fact, is our present. Consequently, the present is the very portion of time that has stopped. Life survives only in the present. The past, therefore, consists of moments during which time has previously stopped; the future, of moments during which time will subsequently stop. So here we are. We are here because in this part of the universe time stops and makes life possible. Perhaps we can imagine a time that is not lined up to intersect eternity, a time that would seem sterile to our way of thinking. In such a region of the universe, we would not be in a position to exist since our dominant features are those of life and death." - Milorad Pavić

"No one reaches a high position without daring." - Publius Syrus

"Old men are fond of giving good advice, to console themselves for being no longer in a position to give bad examples." -

"Whatever your grade or position, if you know how and when to speak, and when to remain silent, your chances of real success are proportionately increased." - Ralph C. Smedley

"Every creation is subject to recurrence. Every thing you meet had a previous existence: whatever you have lost will come again. Every thing comes a second time: all things return to a settled position when they have gone away, all things begin when they have ceased to be. They are brought to an end in order that they may come into being: nothing is lost except that it may be recovered. All this revolving order of things, therefore, is evidence of the resurrection of the dead. God ordained it in works before He commanded it in writing, He proclaimed it by strength before he proclaimed it in words. He first sent you nature as teacher, intending to send you prophecy also, in order that having learnt from nature, you may the more easily believe prophecy." - Tertullian, fully Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullian NULL

"The Constitution of America only guarantees pursuit of happiness - you have to catch up with it yourself. Fortunately, happiness is something that depends not on position but on disposition, and life is what you make it." - Gill Robb Wilson

"Man occupies a middle position in the universe, between the infinitesimal and the infinite: he is an All in the relation to Nothingness, a Nothingness in relation to the All. This middle position of man is the final and dominant fact of the human condition… It is also a perfect image of the finitude of human existence… Man is his finitude." - William Barrett, fully William Christopher Barrett

"We can exist only in progress toward another world; we are not fixed in a permanent position within a crude and self-sufficient universe; we dwell in the midst of mystery." - Nikolai Berdyaev, fully Nikolai Alexandrovich Berdyaev, also spelled Nichlas Berdiaev

"Modern mental hospitals, where every method of control has been euphemistically renamed, can be frightening places. The actions of every staff member – the aide who holds a patient down, the nurse who injects the medication, the doctor who prescribes it – all have been defined as benevolent. Patients who dare to utter the unauthorized reality – that they are prisoners and that their “helpers” are jailers – only provide further evidence that they are indeed ill. Succumbing to brainwashing, accepting reality as defined by one’s captors, differs from a psychiatric “cure” only because in the latter case the accepted reality is the prevailing one. Holding a minority position makes a person a potential subject for psychiatric brainwashing." - Judi Chamberlin, née Ross

"There is nothing more common than to hear of men losing their energy on being raised to a higher position, to which they do not feel themselves equal." - Carl von Clausewitz, fully Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz, also Karl von Clausewitz

"You don't have to hold a position in order to be a leader." - Anthony J. D'Angelo

"The very fact that one can conceive [a]… possible solution may save one from being in the pessimistic position of imagining that there can be no possible purpose in the process at all. Such a defeatist loss of all sense of meaning… is one of the tragic outcomes of the materialism of today." - Alister Hardy, fully Sir Alister Clavering Hardy

"Entitlement as an emotional/psychological position stems from unresolved infantile, narcissistic egocentricity." - David R. Hawkins, fully David Ramon Hawkins

"He who has enough to satisfy what he wants, and nevertheless ceaselessly labors to acquire riches, either in order to obtain a higher social position, or that subsequently he may have enough to live without labor, or that his sons may become men of wealth and importance - all such are incited by a damnable avarice, sensuality and pride." - Henry of Langenstein NULL

"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right." - Martin Luther King, Jr.