Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Problems

"If we would keep filling our minds with the picture of happy things ahead, many of the worries and anxieties, and perhaps ill health, would naturally melt away... If we lived in the atmosphere of expectancy, so many of our petty problems would be no problems at all! Always expect the best." - George Matthew Adams

"What is called affluence - the consequence of the type of rapid economic development which occurred from about the middle of the nineteenth century - is in a real sense an abundance not just of serious problems which machines cannot solve, but of hopeless poverty: the physical insecurity, personal unhappiness, the intensified morality, the sense of being dwarfed by vast and uncontrollable physical, mechanical and corporate structures, the hatred and contempt of other peoples, the lack of opportunity for contemplation, the loss of community life." - Charles Richard Hensman

"Many people are mistaken about how they can improve their situation. They think they will have peace of mind only when they have obtained everything they desire. But this is erroneous. Gratifying desires does not bring lasting satisfaction. The only path to achieve satisfaction is to stop desiring more things. As long as a person is unable to control his desiring, his problems will not be overcome... The only way to find real satisfaction in life is to stop desiring what is beyond your reach." - Yosef Y. Hurwitz

"There is a divinity within you. No matter what your problem appears to be, the real problem is seldom the problem you see. The real problems is your inability or unwillingness to allow this divinity to unfold its plan through you." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"The fruit we wish to pick tomorrow lies hidden in the seed of today. The goals we are to reach and the problems we are to solve tomorrow depend on today's diligence, hope and faith, today's conviction of the almightiness of good." - Ralph E. Johnson

"The tragedy of all political action is that some problems have no solution; none of the alternatives are intellectually consistent or morally uncompromising; and whatever decision is taken will harm somebody." - James Joll

"The experience of another is not valid for the understanding of reality. But the organized religions throughout the world are based on the experience of another and, therefore, are not liberating man but only binding him to a particular pattern that sets man against man. Each one of us has to start anew, afresh, for what we are, the world is. The world is not different from you and me. This little world of our problems, extended, becomes the world and the problems of the world." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"A philosophy is characterized more by the formulation of its problems than by its solution of them." -

"Only by deep involvement in the problems of the greater society can one achieve happiness, or at least, harmony with oneself." - Rita Levi-Montalcini

"The art of leading, in operations large or small, is the art of dealing with humanity, of working diligently on behalf of men, of being sympathetic with them, but equally, of insisting that they make a square facing toward their own problems." - S. L. A. Marshall, Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall

"Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will - his personal responsibility in the realm of faith and morals." - Albert Schweitzer

"When you see ordinary situations with extraordinary insight it is like discovering a jewel in rubbish. If work becomes part of your spiritual practice, then your regular, daily problems cease to be only problems and become a source of inspiration. Nothing is rejected as ordinary and nothing is taken as being particularly sacred, but all the substance and material available in life-situations is used." -

"Books are no substitute for living, but they can add immeasurably to its richness. When life is absorbing, books can enhance our sense of its significance. When life is difficult, they can give us momentary release from trouble or a new insight into our problems, or provide the hours of refreshment we need." - May Hill Arbuthnot

"One of the great problems that must be solved in any attempt to work out a scientific world-view is that of bringing the being who puts forward the world-view within the world-view. By treating man, including his mental processes, as a purely, as a purely physical object, operating according to exactly the same laws as all other physical things, this object is achieved with the greatest possible intellectual economy. The knower differs from the world he knows only in the greater complexity of his physical organization." - David Malet Armstrong, aka D. M. Armstrong

"For the mass public, it is easier to understand problems if they are reduced to black/white dichotomies. It is easier to understand policies if they are attached to individuals who are simplistically labeled as hawks or doves. Yet in today’s world any attempt to reduce its complexities to a single set of ideological propositions, to a single personality, or to a single issue is in itself a distortion. Such a distortion also raises the danger that public emotions could become so strong as to make the management of a genuinely complex foreign policy well-nigh impossible." -

"All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think." - Nicholas Murray Butler

"Man's knowledge of science has clearly outstripped his knowledge of man. Our only hope of making the atom servant rather than master lies in education, in a broad liberal education where each student within his capacity can free himself from trammels of dogmatic prejudice and apply his educational accouterment to besetting social and human problems." - Harry Woodburn Chase

"Progress is the mother of problems." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather that dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities." - Robert Conkin, aka Bob Conkin

"Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "Press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race" - Calvin Coolidge, fully John Calvin Coolidge, Jr.

"I don't understand complicated problems I only understand simple ones." - Richard Deupree, fully Richard Redwood Deupree

"Many adults draw childlike drawings and many children give up drawing at age nine or ten. These children grow up to become the adults who say they never could draw and can't even draw a straight line. The same adults, however, if questioned, often say that they would have liked to learn to draw well, just for their own satisfaction at solving the drawing problems that plagued them as children. But they felt that they had to stop drawing because they couldn't learn how to draw." - Betty Edwards

"Taking an active part in the solution of the problems of peace is a moral duty which no conscientious man can shirk." - Albert Einstein

"The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a mark of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and makes real advances in science." - Albert Einstein

"The pervasive nature of pollution, its disregard of political boundaries including state lines, the national character of the technical, economic and political problems involved, and the recognized Federal responsibilities for administering vast public lands which can be changed by pollution, for carrying out large enterprises which can produce pollutants, for preserving and improving the nation’s natural resources, all make it mandatory that the Federal Government assume leadership and exert its influence in pollution abatement on a national scale." - Environment Pollution Panel NULL

"The most distinctive mark of a cultured mind is the ability to take another's point of view; to put one's self in another's place, and see life and its problems from a point of view different from one's own. To be willing to test a new idea; to be able to live on the edge of difference in all matters intellectually; to examine without heat the burning question of the day; to have imaginative sympathy, openness and flexibility of mind, steadiness and poise of feeling, cool calmness of judgment, is to have culture." - A. H. R. Fairchild, fully Arthur Henry Rolph Fairchild

"Problems always appear big when incompetent men are working on them." - William Feather

"Science, in the very act of solving problems, creates more of them." - Abraham Flexner

"We know well enough how little light science has so far been able to throw on the problems that surround us. But however much ado the philosophers may make, they cannot alter the situation. Only patient, persevering research, in which everything is subordinated to the one requirement of certainty, can gradually bring about a change." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"Most of us think ourselves as standing wearily and helplessly at the center of a circle bristling with tasks, burdens, problems, annoyance, and responsibilities which are rushing in upon us. At every moment we have a dozen different things to do, a dozen problems to solve, a dozen strains to endure. We see ourselves as overdriven, overburdened, overtired. This is a common mental picture and it is totally false. No one of us, however crowded his life, has such an existence. What is the true picture of your life? Imagine that there is an hour glass on your desk. Connecting the bowl at the top with the bowl at the bottom is a tube so thin that only one grain of sand can pass through it at a time. That is the true picture of your life, even on a super busy day. The crowded hours come to you always one moment at a time. That is the only way they can come. The day may bring many tasks, many problems, strains, but invariably they come in single file. You want to gain emotional poise? Remember the hourglass, the grains of sand dropping one by one." - James Gordon Gilkey

"Were we to talk less about the problems which face us, and thought more about facing those problems, the evasive corner which obscured prosperity would be more accessible." - Lowell Gilmore

"Three out of five of the Four Hundred [eminent individuals of the twentieth century] had serious school problems. In order of importance, their dissatisfactions were: with the curriculum; with dull irrational or cruel teachers; with others students who bullied, ignored, or bored them; and with school failure." - Mildred & Victor Goertzel

"All problems become smaller if you don't dodge them but confront them. Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly, and its spines crumble." -

"The times of our lives which hold the deepest meaning for us, from which we learn the most, are very often those when we are face to face with problems which seem too great for our strength, with illness, and with death." - Janet Harrison

"All of us must rid ourselves of the illusion that we can buy our way out of the problems of today by mortgaging the future." - Edward Heath, fully Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath

"Our society is an immense stamping ground for the careless production of underdeveloped and malformed human beings... [not] concerned with moral issues, with serious problems, or with human dignity." - Robert Heilbroner, fully Robert Louis Heilbroner

"If you do not ask the right questions, you do not get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the A-B-C of diagnosis. Only the inquiring mind solves problems." - Edward Hodnett

"Disease is not so much the effect of noxious, external forces - the 'bugs,' both literal and figurative in our lives - as it is the faulty effort of our minds and bodies to deal with them... already reside in our bodies. When our responses to problems in life are excessive or deficient, the central nervous system and hormones act on our immune defenses in such a way that the microbes aid and abet disease. The balance is upset between us and our resident pathogens." - Blair Justice

"Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"Even if for every hundred correct things we did we committed ten thousand mistakes, our revolution would still be - and it will be in the judgment of history - great and invincible; for this is the first time that not a minority, not the rich alone, not the educated alone, but the real masses, the overwhelming majority of the working people are themselves building a new life and are by their own experience solving the most difficult problems of socialist organization." - Nikolai Lenin, aka Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, born Vladimir llyich Ulyanov

"The solution to the problems posed in art do not lie outside in the realms of technique and formula; they reside in the realm of fresh thinking about perennial issues, in honest feelings and awakened spirit." - Peter London

"Take two workers in an organization. One limits his giving by wages he is paid. He insists on being paid instantly for what he does. That shows he is a man of limited imagination and intelligence. The other is a natural giver. His philosophy of life compels him to make himself useful. He knows that if he takes care of other people's problems they will be forced to take care of him to protect their own interests. The more a man gives of himself to his work, the more he will get out of it, both in wages and satisfaction." - Compton Mackenzie, fully Sir Edward Montague Compton Mackenzie

"War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace." - Thomas Mann, fully Paul Thomas Mann

"Violence and war never solve problems; they only make them more acute. They create new dilemmas and new paradoxes." - Frederick Mayer

"What a pity human beings can't exchange problems. Everyone knows exactly how to solve the other fellow's." - Olin Miller

"There are questions whose truth or untruth cannot be decided by man; all the supreme questions, all the supreme problems of value are beyond human reason... To grasp the limits of reason - only this is true philosophy." - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

"There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics... they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago." - Robert Oppenheimer, fully Julius Robert Oppenheimer

"Conservation is the application of common sense to the common problems for the common good. since its objective is the ownership, control, development, processing, distribution, and use of the natural resources for the benefit of the people, it is by its very nature the antithesis of monopoly." - Gifford Pinchot

"All children wear the sign: 'I want to be important NOW.' Many of our juvenile delinquency problems arise because nobody reads the sign." - Dan Pursuit

"Problems are the price you pay for progress." - Wesley Branch Rickey