Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Harm

"No people do so much harm as those who go about doing good." -

"Opinion is the main thing which does harm or good in the world. It is our false opinions that ruin us." -

"If thou art master to thyself, circumstances shall harm thee little." - Martin Tupper, fully Martin Farquhar Tupper

"Ere you lie down to sleep in the night, sit still awhile, and nurse again to life your gentler self. Forget the restless, noisy spirit of the day, and encourage to speech the soft voices within you that timidly whisper of the peace of the quiet night; and occasionally look out at the quiet stars. The night will soothe you like a tender mother, folding you against her soft bosom, and hiding you from the harm of the world. Though denied and rejected by men in the light of day, the night will not reject you and in the still of her soft shadows you are free. After the day's struggle there is no freedom like unfettered thoughts, no sound like the music of silence. And though behind you lies a road of dust and heat and discouragement, and before you the challenge and uncertainty of untried paths, in this brief hour you are master of all highways, and the universe nestles in your soul." - Max Ehrmann

"The worship of god is thus symbolically manifested in a systematic summarization of mythological tradition (Überlieferung) and in obedience of solemn ritual habits ... The holiness (Heiligkeit) of incomprehensible deity is transferred to the holiness of comprehensible symbols ... A work of art has its meaning essentially in itself ... A religious symbol, on the contrary, points always above itself, its value is never exhausted in itself ... a winged angel was considered from ancient times to be the most beautiful symbol of god's servant and messenger. Nowadays we will find among anatomically educated believers some, which are prevented by their scientifically educated imagination from considering such physiological impossibility beautiful, despite their best efforts. This circumstance, however, does not cause the slightes harm to their religious attitudes ... But the overestimation of the importance of religious symbols is threatened still by another – much more serious – danger from the side of the movement of atheists (Gottlosenbewegung). One of the most favorite methods of this movement, aiming at undermining of every genuine religiosity, is to direct its attacks against traditional (alteingebürgerten) religious customs and ridiculing or dishonoring them as obsolete institutions. With such attacks against symbols they hope to hit the religion itself, and they have the easier task (Spiel) the stranger and more striking such views and customs look. Many a religious soul (religiöse Seele) has fallen pray to such a tactics. There is no better defense against such peril than to realize that religious symbol ... does never represent an abolute value but is always only a more or less imperfect reference to something higher which is not directly accessible to our senses." - Max Planck, fully Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck

"This New Life is endless, and even after my physical death it will be kept alive by those who live the life of complete renunciation of falsehood, lies, hatred, anger, greed and lust; and who, to accomplish all this, do no lustful actions, do no harm to anyone, do no backbiting, do not seek material possessions or power, who accept no homage, neither covet honor nor shun disgrace, and fear no one and nothing; by those who rely wholly and solely on God, and who love God purely for the sake of loving; who believe in the lovers of God and in the reality of Manifestation, and yet do not expect any spiritual or material reward; who do not let go the hand of Truth, and who, without being upset by calamities, bravely and wholeheartedly face all hardships with one hundred percent cheerfulness, and give no importance to caste, creed and religious ceremonies. " - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"If we suffer in the sufferings of others and feel happy in the happiness of others, we are loving God. If we understand and feel that the greatest act of devotion and worship to God is not to harm any of His beings, we are loving God. To love God in the most practical way is to love our fellow beings. If we feel for others in the same way as we feel for our own dear ones, we love God." - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"If we understand and feel that the greatest act of devotion and worship to God is not to harm any of His beings, we are loving God." - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"There is no greater harm than that of time wasted." -

"At one time I thought a strong argument could be made for compulsory schooling because of the harm which the failure to school your child does to other people.…But the work which Ed West and others have done on the actual development of schools makes it abundantly clear that in the absence of compulsory schooling there would nonetheless be a very high degree of literacy—that self-interest would be sufficient to yield a degree of schooling which would satisfy the social need for a literate society. Consequently, I am no longer in favor of compulsory schooling." - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"Complete free trade is not politically feasible. Why? Because it's only in the general interest and in no one's special interest. The benefits of a tariff are visible. [Union workers] can see they are "protected". The harm which a tariff does is invisible. It's spread widely. There are people that don't have jobs because of tariffs but they don't know it." - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"The proper role of government is exactly what John Stuart Mill said in the middle of the 19th century in On Liberty. The proper role of government is to prevent other people from harming an individual. Government, he said, never has any right to interfere with an individual for that individual's own good. The case for prohibiting drugs is exactly as strong and as weak as the case for prohibiting people from overeating. We all know that overeating causes more deaths than drugs do. If it's in principle OK for the government to say you must not consume drugs because they'll do you harm, why isn't it all right to say you must not eat too much because you'll do harm? Why isn't it all right to say you must not try to go in for skydiving because you're likely to die? Why isn't it all right to say, "Oh, skiing, that's no good, that's a very dangerous sport, you'll hurt yourself"? Where do you draw the line? It does harm a great many other people, but primarily because it's prohibited. There are an enormous number of innocent victims now. You've got the people whose purses are stolen, who are bashed over the head by people trying to get enough money for their next fix. You've got the people killed in the random drug wars. You've got the corruption of the legal establishment. You've got the innocent victims who are taxpayers who have to pay for more and more prisons, and more and more prisoners, and more and more police. You've got the rest of us who don't get decent law enforcement because all the law enforcement officials are busy trying to do the impossible. And, last, but not least, you've got the people of Colombia and Peru and so on. What business do we have destroying and leading to the killing of thousands of people in Colombia because we cannot enforce our own laws? If we could enforce our laws against drugs, there would be no market for these drugs." - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"There is no logical basis for the prohibition of marijuana. $7.7 billion is a lot of money, but that is one of the lesser evils. Our failure to successfully enforce these laws is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people in Colombia. I haven't even included the harm to young people. It's absolutely disgraceful to think of picking up a 22-year-old for smoking pot. More disgraceful is the denial of marijuana for medical purposes." - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"There are many doors to goodness. (Saying) ‘glory to God,’ ‘praise be to God,’ ‘there is no deity but God,’ enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf (until you understand them), leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the weak with the strength of one’s arms – all of these are (forms of) charity prescribed for you." - Muhammad, also spelled Mohammad, Mohammed or Mahomet, full name Muhammad Ibn `Abd Allāh Ibn `Abd al-Muttalib NULL

"Oh man, do not intend harm to others Or it will cause untold harm to you." - Bawa Mahaiyadden, fully Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyaddeen

"Gossip is never fatal until it is denied. Gossip goes on about every human being alive and about all the dead that are alive enough to be remembered, and yet almost never does any harm until some defender makes a controversy. Gossip's a nasty thing, but it's sickly, and if people of good intentions will let it entirely alone, it will die, ninety-nine times out of a hundred." - Booth Tarkington, born Newton Booth Tarkington

"Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children." - Pablo Casals, fully Pau Casals i Defilló

"We have Divine Wisdom in the mortal body.Whatever does harm to the body, ruins the House of the Eternal." - Paracelsus, aka 'Paracelsus the Great', born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim NULL

"I see harm reduction as a way of engaging people as part of that path to recovery." - Paul Ehrlich, fully Paul Ralph Ehrlich

"I believe this movement will prevail. I don’t mean it will defeat, conquer, or create harm to someone else. Quite the opposite. I don’t tender the claim in an oracular sense. I mean that the thinking that informs the movement’s goals will reign. It will soon suffuse most institutions, but before then, it will change a sufficient number of people so as to begin the reversal of centuries of frenzied self-destructive behavior. Some say it is too late, but people never change when they are comfortable. Helen Keller threw aside the gnawing fears of chronic bad news when she declared, “I rejoice to live in such a splendidly disturbing time!” In such a time, history is suspended and thus unfinished. It will be the stroke of midnight for the rest of our lives. My hopefulness about the resilience of human nature is matched by the gravity of our environmental and social condition. If we squander all our attention on what is wrong, we will miss the prize: In the chaos engulfing the world, a hopeful future resides because the past is disintegrating before us. If that is difficult to believe, take a winter off and calculate what it requires to create a single springtime. It’s not too late for the world’s largest institutions and corporations to join in saving the planet, but cooperation must be on the planet’s terms. The “Help Wanted” signs are everywhere. All people and institutions including commerce, governments, schools, churches and cities, need to learn from life and reimagine the world from the bottom up, based on the first principles if justice and ecology. Ecological restoration is extraordinarily simple: You remove whatever prevents the system from healing itself. Social restoration is no different. We have the heart, knowledge, money and sense to optimize out social and ecological fabric. It is time for all that is harmful to leave. One million escorts are here to transform the nightmares of empire and the disgrace of war on people and place. We are the transgressors and we are the forgivers. “We” means all of us, everyone. There can be no green movement unless there is also a black, brown and copper movement. What is more harmful resides within is, the accumulated wounds of the past, the sorrow, shame, deceit, and ignominy shared by every culture, passed down to every person, as surely as DNA, as history of violence and greed. There is not question that the environmental movement is most critical to our survival. Our house is literally burning, and it is only logical that environmentalists expect the social justice movement to get on the environmental bus. But is actually the other way around; the only way we are going to put out this fire is to get on the social justice bus and heal our wounds, because in the end, there is only one bus. Armed with that growing realization, we can address all that is harmful externally. What will guide us is a living intelligence that creates miracles every second, carried forth by a movement with no name." - Paul Hawken

"A Native American taught me that the division between ecology and human rights was an artificial one, that the environmental and social justice movements addressed two sides of a single larger dilemma... The way we harm the earth affects all people, and how we treat one another is reflected in how we treat the earth." - Paul Hawken

"At the heart of all of this is not technology but relationships, tens of millions of people working toward restoration and social justice... No culture has ever honored its environment but disgraced its people, and conversely, no government can say it cares for its citizens while allowing the environment to be trashed... The ultimate purpose of a global immune system is to identify what is not life affirming and to contain, neutralize, or eliminate it. Where communities, cultures, and ecosystems have been damaged, it seeks to prevent additional harm and then heal and restore the damage. " - Paul Hawken

"In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel… In the first place, you shouldn’t believe in promises. The world is full of them: promises of riches, of eternal salvation, of infinite love. Some people think they can promise anything, others accept whatever seems to guarantee better days ahead. Those who make promises they don’t keep end up powerless and frustrated, and exactly the same fate awaits those who believe those promises." - Paulo Coelho

"My whole life, I think about love as a form of voluntary slavery. Well, a lie: freedom only exists when love is present. He brings him or her integrity, perfect, people feel the most freedom lovers with all my heart. And love with all my heart feels free. That's because why, despite what I might experience, do or learn, nothing meaningful at all. I hope this time will pass quickly, so I can start the search for himself - a man who will understand me and did not hurt me. But I'm saying? In love, no one can harm anyone; we must take responsibility for their own feelings and not blame others for what we feel. Being hurt when I gradually beat lost the man I loved. But now, I believe that no one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. It's true experience of freedom: to be the most important things in this world without owning it. " - Paulo Coelho

"At the root of all the harm we cause is ignorance. " - Pema Chödrön, born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown

"The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently. " - Pema Chödrön, born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown

"Organizations can only do damage to themselves and to society if they tackle tasks that are beyond their specialized competence, their specialized values, their specialized functions. The American hospital did a good deal of harm to itself and little good to the community when it attempted to take on the inner city’s social ills by founding inner-city clinics. The American school has failed miserably to produce racial integration. In both cases, the causes are undoubtedly good; they cry out for action. But the action needed or at least the action chosen by these various organizations was beyond such organizations’ focus and function, and totally beyond their competence." - Peter F. Drucker, fully Peter Ferdinand Drucker

"Primum non nocere – first, do no harm – is the first responsibility of a professional, as spelled out in the Hippocratic Oath. As the physicians found out long ago, this apparently modest requirement is far from easy. It requires a far-reaching understanding of the impact of our actions on another person or on a society, and a willingness to think through our effect on others. " - Peter F. Drucker, fully Peter Ferdinand Drucker

"When there is a question of saving souls, or preventing greater harm to souls, We feel the courage to treat with the devil in person." - Pope Pius XI, born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti NULL

"Because a free man ought not to learn anything under duress. Compulsory physical exercise does no harm to the body, but compulsory learning never sticks to the mind. Then don't use compulsion… but let your children's lessons take the form of play. You will learn more about their natural abilities that way. " - Plato NULL

"Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind." - Plato NULL

"There is no harm in repeating a good thing. " - Plato NULL

"Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstaining from flesh? For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of soul or mind the first man did so, touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, he who set forth tables of dead, stale bodies and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had a little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with the sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds?… It is certainly not lions and wolves that we eat out of self-defense; on the contrary, we ignore these and slaughter harmless, tame creatures without stings or teeth to harm us, creatures that, I swear, Nature appears to have produced for the sake of their beauty and grace. But nothing abashed us, not the flower-like tinting of the flesh, not the persuasiveness of the harmonious voice, not the cleanliness of their habits or the unusual intelligence that may be found in the poor wretches. No, for the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by birth and being. " - Plutarch, named Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus after becoming Roman citizen NULL

"Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence. " - Pope John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyła, aka Saint John Paul the Great NULL

"When there is a question of saving souls, or preventing greater harm to souls, We feel the courage to treat with the devil in person." -

"But parents who have had to repress the fact of having been abused [which Alice Miller has admitted was the case with her at the time she was a mother of her young daughter] and who have never consciously relived it can become very confused in this regard where their children are concerned. They will either suppress their genuine feelings of affection for fear of seducing their child or they will unconsciously do the same to the child that was done to them, without having any idea of how much harm they are causing, since they themselves always had to distance themselves from their suffering." - Alice Miller, née Rostovski

"Indeed, the crowning proof of their valor and their strength is that they keep up their superiority without harm to others." - Tacitus, fully Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus NULL

"Man cannot see God on account of his ego. You cannot see the sun when a cloud rises in the sky. But that doesn't mean there is no sun; the sun is there just the same. But there is no harm in the 'ego of a child'." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"Only the ego that is attached to 'woman and. gold' is harmful. But the ego that feels it is the servant of God does no harm to anybody. Neither does the ego of a child, which is not under the control of any guna. One moment children quarrel, and the next moment they are on friendly terms. One moment they build their toy houses with great care, and immediately afterwards they knock them down. There is no harm in the 'I-consciousness' that makes one feel oneself to be a child of God or His servant. This ego is really no ego at all. It is like sugar candy, which is not like other sweets. Other sweets make one ill; but sugar candy relieves acidity. Or take the case of Om. It is unlike other sounds." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"'There is no harm in the "ego of a child" or the "ego of a servant".' "He who has seen God finds that God alone has become the world and all its living beings; it is He who has become all. Such a person is called a superior devotee."" - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"Too much study of the scriptures does more harm than good. The important thing is to know the essence of the scriptures. After that, what is the need of books? One should learn the essence and then dive deep in order to realize God." - Ramakrishna, aka Ramakrishna Paramhamsa or Sri Ramakrishna, born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay NULL

"Oh, ancient god, whatever your name, whispered Ahmed. Help this lost son of a good father, this evil boy who meant no harm but slept in school, ran errands slowly, did not pray from his heart, ignored his mother, and did not hold his family in great esteem. For all this I know I must suffer. But here in the midst of silence, at the desert's heart, where even the wind knows not my name? Must I die so young? Am I to be forgotten without having been?" - Ray Bradbury, fully Ray Douglas Bradbury

"If you're teaching a class, you can think about the elementary things that you know very well. These things are kind of fun and delightful. It doesn't do any harm to think them over again. Is there a better way to present them? The elementary things are easy to think about; if you can't think of a new thought, no harm done; what you thought about it before is good enough for the class. If you do think of something new, you're rather pleased that you have a new way of looking at it." - Richard Feynman, fully Richard Phillips Feynman

"It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?" - Richard Feynman, fully Richard Phillips Feynman

"The questions of the students are often the source of new research. They often ask profound questions that I've thought about at times and then given up on, so to speak, for a while. It wouldn't do me any harm to think about them again and see if I can go any further now. The students may not be able to see the thing I want to answer, or the subtleties I want to think about, but they remind me of a problem by asking questions in the neighborhood of that problem. It's not so easy to remind yourself of these things." - Richard Feynman, fully Richard Phillips Feynman

"The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination - stuck on this carousel my eye can catch one-million-year-old light. It does no harm to the mystery to know a little about it." - Richard Feynman, fully Richard Phillips Feynman

"There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made." - Richard Feynman, fully Richard Phillips Feynman

"What is blasphemy? I will give you a definition; I will give you my thought upon this subject. What is real blasphemy? To live on the unpaid labor of other men — that is blasphemy. To enslave your fellow-man, to put chains upon his body — that is blasphemy. To enslave the minds of men, to put manacles upon the brain, padlocks upon the lips — that is blasphemy. To deny what you believe to be true, to admit to be true what you believe to be a lie — that is blasphemy. To strike the weak and unprotected, in order that you may gain the applause of the ignorant and superstitious mob — that is blasphemy. To persecute the intelligent few, at the command of the ignorant many — that is blasphemy. To forge chains, to build dungeons, for your honest fellow-men — that is blasphemy. To pollute the souls of children with the dogma of eternal pain — that is blasphemy. To violate your conscience — that is blasphemy. The jury that gives an unjust verdict, and the judge who pronounces an unjust sentence, are blasphemers. The man who bows to public opinion against his better judgment and against his honest conviction, is a blasphemer. Why should we fear our fellow-men? Why should not each human being have the right, so far as thought and its expression are concerned, of all the world? What harm can come from an honest interchange of thought? " - Robert Ingersoll, fully Robert Green "Bob" Ingersoll

"There is no object in over-taxing your will power and strength by forcing yourself to do things for the Cause. You should let your mind rest in the thought of the infinite love, Mercy and Forgiveness of Bahá’u’lláh, and cease to fret about whether you are or are not doing your share until you fully recover your health." - Shoghí Effendi, fully Shoghí Effendí Rabbání