Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Struggle

"Originality and the feeling of one's own dignity are achieved only through work and struggle." - Fyodor Dostoevsky, fully Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky or Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski

"Exaggerated respect for athletics, an excess of coarse impressions brought about by the technical discoveries of recent years, the increased severity of the struggle for existence due to the economic crisis, the brutalization of political life: all these factors are hostile to the ripening of the character and the desire for real culture, and stamp our age as barbarous, materialistic and superficial." - Albert Einstein

"Only those who know the supremacy of the intellectual life - the life which has a seed of ennobling thought and purpose within it - can understand the grief of one who falls from the serene activity into the absorbing soul wasting struggle." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"Inside the souls of wealthy men bleak famine lives while minds of stature struggle trapped in starving bodies. How then can man distinguish man, what test can he use? The test of wealth? That measure means poverty of mind; of poverty? The pauper owns one thing, the sickness of his condition, a compelling teacher of evil; by nerve in war? Yet who, when a spear is cast across his face, will stand to witness his companion’s courage? We can only toss our judgments random on the wind." - Euripedes NULL

"Mankind worships success, but thinks too little of the means by which it is attained,--what days and nights of watching and weariness; how year after year has dragged on, and seen the end still far off: all that counts for little, if the long struggle do not close in victory." - Henry Martyn Field

"The habit of virtue cannot be formed in the closet; good habits are formed by acts of reason in a persevering struggle with temptation." - Bernard Gilpin

"In building a firm foundation for Success, here are a few stones to remember: The wisdom of preparation. The value of confidence. The worth of honesty. The privilege of working. The discipline of struggle. The magnetism of character. The radiance of health. The forcefulness of simplicity. The winsomeness of courtesy. The attractiveness of modesty. The inspiration of cleanliness. The satisfaction of serving. The power of suggestion. The buoyancy of enthusiasm. The advantage of initiative. The virtue of patience. The rewards of co-operation. The fruitfulness of perseverance. The sportsmanship of losing. The joy of winning." - Rollo C. Hester

"Good will, solidarity and wretchedness, and the struggle for a better world have now thrown off their religious garb. The attitude of today’s martyrs is no longer patience but action; their goal is no longer their own immortality in the after-life but the happiness of men who come after them for whom they know how to die." - Max Horkheimer

"Ideas are born, they struggle, triumph, change and they are transformed; but is there a dead idea which in the end does not live on, transformed into a broader and clearer goal?" -

"As a rule, the game of life is worth playing, but the struggle is the prize." - William Ralph Inge

"There is an everlasting struggle in every mind between the tendency to keep unchanged, and the tendency to renovate, its ideas. Our education is a ceaseless compromise between the conservative and the progressive factors... Most of us grow more and more enslaved to the stock conceptions with which we have once become familiar, and less and less capable of assimilating impressions in any but the old ways... Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way." - William James

"It is not poverty so much as pretence that harasses a ruined man - the struggle between a proud mind and an empty purse - the keeping up a hollow show that must soon come to an end. Have the courage to appear poor, and you disarm poverty of its sharpest sting." - Anna Jameson

"We are raised on comparison; our education is based on it; so is our culture. So we struggle to be someone other than who we are." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Life is given for wisdom, and yet we are not wise; for goodness, and we are not good; for overcoming evil, and evil remains; for patience and sympathy and love, and yet we are fretful and hard and weak and selfish. We are keyed not to attainment, but to struggle toward it." - Theodore T. Munger

"True rest is not that of torpor, but that of harmony; it is not refusing the struggle, but conquering in it; not resting from duty, but finding rest in it." -

"To abandon the struggle for private happiness, to expel all eagerness of temporary desire, to burn with passion for eternal things - this is emancipation, and this is the free man’s worship." -

"We all have to struggle to be willing to become truly peaceful." - Albert Schweitzer

"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

"When is a man free? Now when he is driftwood on the stream of life... free of all cares or worries or ambitions... He is not free at all... To be free in action, in struggle, in undiverted and purposeful achievement, to move forward towards a worthy objective across a fierce terrain of resistance, to be vital and allow in the exercise of a great enterprise - that is to be free, and to know the joy and exhilaration of true freedom. A man is free only when he has an errand on earth." - Abba Hillel Silver

"Maturity is a quality of personality made up of a number of elements. It is stick-to-itiveness, the ability to stick to a job, to work on it and to struggle through it until it is finished, or until one has given all one has in the endeavor. It is the quality or capacity of giving more than is asked or required in a given situation. It is this characteristic that enables others to count on one; thus it is reliability. Persistence is an aspect of maturity; persistence to carry out a a goal in the face of difficulties. Endurance enters into the concept of maturity; the endurance of difficulties, unpleasantness, discomfort, frustration, hardship. The ability to size things up, make one's own decisions, is a characteristic of maturity. This implies a considerable amount of independence. A mature person is not dependent unless ill. Maturity includes a determination, a will to succeed and achieve, a will to live. Of course, maturity represents the capacity to cooperate; to work with others; to work in an organization and under authority. The mature person is flexible, can defer to time, persons, circumstances. He can show tolerance. He can be patient, and, above all, he has qualities of adaptability and compromise. Basically, maturity represents a wholesome amalgamation of two things: 1) Dissatisfaction with the status quo, which calls forth aggressive, constructive effort, and 2) Social concern and devotion. Emotional maturity is the morale of the individual." - Edward A. Strecker

"We can trade our small-minded struggle for security for a much vaster vision, one of the fearlessness, openness, and genuine heroism." -

"To say that people have a moral sense is not the same thing as saying that they are innately good. A moral sense must compete with other senses that are natural to humans - the desire to survive, acquire possessions, indulge in sex, or accumulate power - in short, with self-interest narrowly defined. How that struggle is resolved will differ depending on our character, our circumstances, and the cultural and political tendencies of the day. But saying that a moral sense exists is the same thing as saying that humans, by their nature, are potentially good." - James Q. Wilson

"We grow because we struggle, we learn and overcome." - R. C. Allen, fully Robert Cameron Allen

"It is the responsibility of free men to trust and to celebrate what is constant - birth, struggle, and death are constant - and so is love, though we may not always think so - and to apprehend the nature of change, to be able and willing to change. I speak of change not on the surface but in the depths - change in the sense of renewal. But renewal becomes impossible if one supposes things to be constant that are not - safety, for example, or money or power. One clings then to chimeras, but which one can only be betrayed, and the entire hope - the entire possibility - of freedom disappears." -

"Any living thing which triumphs in the struggle against its environment destroys itself." - Gregory Bateson

"Love naturally reverses the idea of obedience, and causes the struggle between any; two who truly love each other to be, not who shall command, but who shall yield." - Frances Power Cobbe

"Moral beauty is the basis of all true beauty. This foundation is somewhat covered and veiled in a nature. Art brings it out, and gives it more transparent forms. It is here and that art, when it knows well its power and resources, engages in a struggle with nature in which it may have the advantage." - Victor Cousin

"People sometimes refer to higher education as the higher learning, but colleges and universities are much more than the knowledge factories; they are testaments to man's perennial struggle to make a better world for himself, his children, and his children's children. This, indeed, is their sovereign purpose. They are great fortifications against ignorance and irrationality; but they are more than places of higher learning - they are centers and symbols of man's higher yearning." - William H. Cowley

"The personal issue is whether the things we are doing day by day are done in a conscious and balanced way or are part of a pain ridden struggle. If yours be the latter method, stop!" - Raymond Dart, fully Raymond Arthur Dart

"It is good... to try in imagination to give to any one species an advantage over another. Probably in no single instance should we know what to do. This ought to convince us of our ignorance on the mutual relations of all organic beings; a conviction as necessary as it is difficult to acquire. All that we can do, is to keep steadily in mind that each organic being is striving to increase in a geometrical ration; that each at some period of its life, during some season of the year, during each generation or at intervals, has to struggle for life and to suffer great destruction. When we reflect on this struggle, we may console ourselves with the full belief, that the war of nature is not incessant, that no fear is felt, that death is generally prompt, and that the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply." - Charles Darwin, fully Charles Robert Darwin

"It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life and from use and disuse: a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms, Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and wonderful have been, and are being evolved." - Charles Darwin, fully Charles Robert Darwin

"The most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." - Pierre Frédy, Baron de Coubertin, aka Baron Pierre de Coubertin

"With the seizing of the means of production by society, production of commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the product over the producer. Anarchy in social production is replaced by plan-conforming, conscious organization. The struggle for individual existence disappears... Only from that time will man himself, with full consciousness, make his own history - only from that time will the social causes set in movement by him have, in the main and in a constantly growing measure, the results intended by him. It is the ascent of man from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom." - Friedrich Engels

"The magic of marriage is that it creates meaningful goals to work for, struggle for, sacrifice for. It is the joint struggle that gives the relationship its meaning, and keeps people alive." - Henry Gregor Felsen

"One should only celebrate a happy ending; celebrations at the outset exhaust the joy and energy needed to urge us forward and sustain us in the long struggle. And of all celebrations a wedding is the worst; no day should be kept more quietly and humbly." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"It is interesting to notice how some minds seem almost to create themselves, springing up under every disadvantage, and working their solitary but irresistible way through a thousand obstacles. Nature seems to delight in disappointing the assiduities of art, with which it would rear dullness to maturity; and to glory in the vigor and luxuriance of her chance productions. She scatters the seeds of genius to the winds, and though some may perish among the stony places of the world, and some may be choked by the thorns and brambles of early adversity, yet others will now and then strike root even in the clefts of the rock, struggle bravely up into sunshine, and spread over their sterile birthplace all the beauties of vegetation." - Washington Irving

"“The last word” is the most dangerous of internal machines; and husband and wife should no more fight to get it than they would struggle for the possession of a lighted bombshell." -

"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

"The best soldier does not attack. The superior fighter succeeds without violence. The greatest conqueror wins without a struggle. The most successful manager leads without dictating. This is called intelligent nonaggressiveness. This is called mastery of men." -

"If ever this free people, if this government itself is ever utterly demoralized, it will come from this human wriggle and struggle for office - that is, a way to live without work." - Abraham Lincoln

"Marriage is an opportunity for happiness, not a gift. It is a step bay which two imperfect individuals unite their forces in the struggle for happiness." - Henry C. Link

"Life is one long struggle in the dark." - Lucretius, fully Titus Lucretius Carus NULL

"Every day sees humanity more victorious in the struggle with space and time." - Guglielmo Marconi

"Both the man of science and the man of art live always at the edge of mystery, surrounded by it. Both, as the measure of their creation, have always had to do with the harmonization of what is new and what is familiar, with the balance between novelty and synthesis, with the struggle to make partial order into total chaos... This cannot be an easy life." - Robert Oppenheimer, fully Julius Robert Oppenheimer

"Religion should be the motor of life, the central heating plant of personality, the faith that gives joy to activity, hope to struggle, dignity to humility, zest to living." - William Lyon Phelps

"Spiritual life and secure life do not go together. To save oneself one must struggle and take risks." - Ignazio Silone , original name Secondo Transqulli

"When intuition is developed, it should lead the way into the unknown, with slower-moving reason following behind, evaluating the appropriateness of intuitive insights and inspirations along the way. Thus intuition might inspire us to embark on a new path through life, but rationality can help us with everyday decision-making as we struggle to manifest our vision." - Frances E. Vaughan

"It is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"To strengthen your intuitive ability, you need to become more sensitive to body signals such as stiff necks (which usually indicates your are locked into a power struggle and/or feel overwhelmed by too much to do), headaches, stomachaches, or sleeplessness… Intuition seems to come unbidden from external events… Slowing down and doing less is great for increasing your intuition." - Carol Adrienne