Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Risk

"Our whole way of life today is dedicated to the removal of risk. Cradle to grave we are supported, insulated, and isolated from the risks of life - and if we fall, our government stands ready with Band-Aids of every size." - Shirley Temple, later Shirley Temple Black, born Shirley Jane Temple

"To win without risk is to triumph without glory. [When there is no peril in the fight there is no glory in the triumph.] [We triumph without glory when we conquer without danger.][To vanquish without peril is to triumph without glory.]" - Pierre Cornielle

"There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge and wisdom. Shall we instead, choose death because we cannot forget quarrels? We appeal, as human beings, to human beings; remember your humanity and forget the rest. If you can do this, the way lies open to a new paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death." - Albert Einstein

"There are one hundred men seeking security to one able man who is willing to risk his fortune." - J. Paul Getty, fully Jean Paul Getty

"To live exuberantly - to fully know and be fully known - we must be prepared to risk lighting a candle to illuminate the darkness of even our most intimate relationships, revealing ourselves and seeing clearly all that is revealed. To grow in our relationships and to expand as individuals within them, we must exchange the glorious unreality of the honeymoon for something even better..." - Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

"Life cannot be controlled. It is a mystery inviting us to participate, to risk, to trust fate, to accept the blank rune stone, the unknown. Surrender teaches us not so much to understand as to inhabit the mystery... Once we can accept the larger mystery of Life, we can consciously create within it." - Gloria D. Karpinski

"Without risk there is no faith. Faith is precisely the contradiction between the infinite passion of the individual’s inwardness and the objective uncertainty. If I am capable of grasping god objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. If I wish to preserve myself in faith I must constantly be intent upon holding fast to the objective uncertainty, so as to remain out upon the deep, over seventy thousand fathoms of water, still preserving my faith." - Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

"To win you have to risk loss." - Jean-Claude Killy

"Fear and risk are different creatures. What some of us fear most - poison in our drinking water, radiation in our air, pesticides on our food - pose hardly any real risk, while some we fear least - driving, drinking and smoking - kill many hundreds of thousands each year." - Harold Lewis, fully Harold "Hal" Warren Lewis

"To be alive at all involves some risk." -

"Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth." - Katherine Mansfield, pseudonymn of Kathleen Beauchamp, Mrs. J. M. Murry

"I never listen to calumnies, because if they are untrue I run the risk of being deceived, and if they be true, of hating persons not worth thinking about." - Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"Each of us was placed here for a special purpose. I believe that it is each person’s responsibility to determine what he or she can do to make the world a better place - and then go out and do it... Take full responsibility for our actions. Risk failure." - Henry Ross Perot

"Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to save it." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Everything is sweetened by risk." - Alexander Smith

"The refusal to rest content, the willingness to risk excess on behalf of one's obsessions, is what distinguishes artists from entertainers, and what makes some artists adventurers on behalf of us all." -

"Excessive distrust is not less hurtful than its opposite. Most men become useless to him who is unwilling to risk being deceived." -

"There is a calculated risk in everything." - Brooks Atkinson, fully Justin Brooks Atkinson

"Universities should be safe havens where ruthless examination of realities will not be distorted by the aim to please or inhibited by the risk of displeasure." - Kingman Brewster, Jr.

"Freedom is not free. Shaping and preserving society necessarily involves personal commitment, costly risk and constant effort; the cultivation of civil liberty can be no more passive than the cultivation of a farm. A man can inherit the land on which he lives, he can even inherit the first crop of produce after he takes over from those who came before him. But then if he stops, everything stops, and begins to crumble. Nothing grows, nothing ripe and rewarding comes to him, unless he plows, plants and tends the soil and unless he keeps it fertile year after year with the chemistry of effort and forethought." - Edmond Cahn, fully Edmond Nathaniel Cahn

"It’s too bad that one has to conceive of sports as being the only arena where risks are, (for) al of life is risk exercise. That’s the only way to live more freely, and more interestingly." -

"Wine is the source of the greatest evils among communities. It causes diseases, quarrels, seditions, idleness, aversion to labor, and family disorders... It is s species of poison that causes madness. It does not make a man die, but it degrades him into a brute. Men may preserve their health and vigor without wine; with wine they run the risk of ruining their health and losing their morals." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"If we are to perceive all the implications of the new, we must risk, at least temporarily, ambiguity and is order." - William J. J. Gordon

"The greater the “risk,” usually the worse the idea." - Robert Heller

"Death - the ultimate deadline. The first step in seeing death as an ally of accomplishment is to remove the childhood fears we have concerning death... Death encourages action... Death encourages risk." -

"During the first period of a man's life the greatest danger is: not to take the risk. When once the risk has really been taken, then the greatest danger is to risk too much. By not risking at first one turns aside and serves trivialities; in the second case, by risking too much, one turns aside to the fantastic, and perhaps to presumption." - Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

"Without risk, faith is an impossibility." - Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

"To be a revolutionary is to love your life enough to change it, to choose struggle instead of exile, to risk everything with only the glimmering hope of a world to win...Woman loves with her whole soul. To woman love is life, to man it is the joy of life." - Andrew David Kopkind

"To be alive at all involves some risk." - Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton

"I never listen to calumnies, because, if they are untrue, I run the risk of being deceived, and if they are true, of hating persons not worth thinking about." - Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"In true friendship, the meaning of life gets enfleshed... The meaning of life breaks in upon us with insistence, making us realize that we can never really be separated from someone we love so long as we carry with us always, as if in a little sack, the other person’s heart... Faith and hope lead to the... most thrilling virtue: unconditional love. It encourages us to risk it all with our whole hears open." - Barry Sanders

"To believe in something not yet proved and to underwrite it with our lives; it is the only way we can leave the future open. Man, surrounded by facts, permitting himself no surprise, no intuitive flash, no great hypothesis, no risk, is in a locked cell. Ignorance cannot seal the mind and imagination more securely." - Lillian Smith, fully Lillian Eugenia Smith

"Every year that I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not given, the power we have not used, the selfish prudence which will risk nothing, and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well." - John B. Tabb, fully John Banister Tabb

"I never varied from the managerial rule that the worst possible thing we could do was to lie dead in the water of any problem. Solve it. Solve it quickly, solve it right or wrong. If you solved it wrong, it would come back and slap you in the face and then you could solve it right. Lying dead in the water and doing nothing is a comfortable alternative because it is without risk, but it is an absolutely fatal way to manage a business." -

"Those who misrepresent the normal experiences of life, who decry being controversial, who shun risk, are the enemies of the American way of life, whatever the piety of the vocal professions and the patriotic flavor of their platitudes." - Henry Merritt Wriston

"Ideas have consequences. If human life is not sacred, it is expendable. It we are mere brutes, then we can be bred for better pedigree like any dog… The eugenic idea is that we do not want to allow “defective stock” to be bred. Today we abort millions of children, often on the basis of a “high risk” of some disorder." - Joe Boot

"No prophet ever sees things under the aspect of eternity. It is always partisan theology, always for the moment, always for the concrete community, satisfied to see only a piece of it all and to speak out that at the risk of contradicting the rest of it." - Walter Brueggemann

"Risk taking only makes sense when you have a core set of values that do not change." - Tom Butler-Bowdon

"In order to live we must decide on one course of action rather than another, moment by moment. We declare our values and take our stands in both small ways and large. Were we to admit that we are never certain that we have chosen correctly, and never reassured that this chosen course was the correct course of action, then we would be open to the unending exploration and revision in our way of living. We would have learned to put our prejudices and assumptions, our convictions and beliefs at risk." - Robert E. Carter, fully Robert Edgar Carter

"Every day I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well." - Mary Cholmondeley

"There’s no risk in preserving the status quo, but there’s no profit, either." - Michael Dell, fully Michael Saul Dell

"If we always live our lives with a view to the worst possible outcome of anything, then we will become a much diminished society. Every human endeavor has risk attached." - Frank Furedi

"There’s no surgery like no surgery! Know how much you’re willing to risk to live the life you want." - Allan J Hamilton

"The married are those who have taken the terrible risk of intimacy and, having taken it, know life without intimacy to be impossible." - Carolyn Gold Heilbrun, pen name Amanda Cross

"Only a marriage with partners strong enough to risk divorce is strong enough to avoid it." - Carolyn Gold Heilbrun, pen name Amanda Cross

"Hesitation increases in relation to risk in equal proportion to age." -

"Faith always contains an element of risk, of venture; and we are impelled to make the venture by the affinity and attraction which we feel in ourselves." - William Ralph Inge

"If things are ever to move upward, someone must be ready to take the first step, and assume the risk of it. No one who is not willing to try charity, to try nonresistance as the saint is always willing, can tell whether these methods will or will not succeed. When they do succeed, they are far more powerfully successful than force or worldly prudence. Force destroys enemies; and the best that can be said of prudence is that it keeps what we already have in safety. But nonresistance, when successful, turns enemies into friends; and charity regenerates its objects." - William James

"The first and greatest imperative of command is to be present in person. Those who impose risk must be seen to share it… It is the spectacle of heroism, or its immediate report, that fires the blood." - John Keegen