Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Ideals

"Dear God, Open the blocked passageways to you, The congealed places. Roll away the heavy stone from the well as your servant Jacob did when he beheld his beloved Rachel Help us open the doors of trust that have been jammed with hurt and rejection. As you open the blossoms in spring, Even as you open the heavens in storm. open us – to feel your great, awesome, wonderful presence." - Sheila Peltz Weinberg

"Remember that every government service, every offer of government - financed security, is paid for in the loss of personal freedom... In the days to come, whenever a voice is raised telling you to let the government do it, analyze very carefully to see whether the suggested service is worth the personal freedom which you must forgo in return for such service." - Ronald Reagan, fully Ronald Wilson Reagan

"The United States has much to offer the third world war." - Ronald Reagan, fully Ronald Wilson Reagan

"The best things in life are appreciated most after they have been lost." - Roy L. Smith, aka Mr. Methodist

"One should not ask what does a person need to know and be able to do for the existing Social order, but rather what gifts does a person possess and how may these be developed. Then it will be possible to bring to society new forces each succeeding generation. Then the social order will be alive with that which fully developed individuals bring with them into life, rather than that each succeeding generation be made to conform to an existing social organization." - Rudolf Steiner, fully Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner

"A strike on any scale is merely a trial of industrial strength, an application of the law of supply and demand, so often quoted by labor's opponents. How can a society based on free contract and free competition object to such a method of determining the comparative strength and endurance of capital and labor?" - Samuel Gompers

"Either the trade unionists are right or they are wrong. If they are wrong, every one of us who counts himself a trade unionist ought to be shunted aside and thrown overboard. If we are right, we ought to stick and fight and take whatever consequences may come, conscious in the knowledge and conviction that the right will prevail." - Samuel Gompers

"Here were these two, bandying little phrases, drawing purses, looking at cards, and both unconscious of how inarticulate all their real feelings were. Neither was wise enough to be sure of the working of the mind of the other. He could not tell how his luring succeeded. She could not realized that she was drifting, until he secured her address. Now she felt that she had yielded something - he, that he had gained a victory. Already he took control in directing the conversation. His words were easy. Her manner was relaxed." - Theodore Dreiser, fully Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser

"In private life there are few beings more obnoxious than the man who is always loudly boasting; and if the boaster is not prepared to back up his words his position becomes absolutely contemptible. So it is with the nation. It is both foolish and undignified to indulge in undue self-glorification, and, above all, in loose-tongued denunciation of other peoples. Whenever on any point we come in contact with a foreign power, I hope that we shall always strive to speak courteously and respectfully of that foreign power." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"Some reformers may urge that in the ages distant future, patriotism, like the habit of monogamous marriage, will become a needless and obsolete virtue; but just at present the man who loves other countries as much as he does his own is quite as noxious a member of society as the man who loves other women as much as he loves his wife. Love of country is an elemental virtue, like love of home." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"There were all kinds of things I was afraid of at first, ranging from grizzly bears to 'mean' horses and gun-fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"We wish to control big business so as to secure among other things good wages for the wage-workers and reasonable prices for the consumers. Wherever in any business the prosperity of the businessman is obtained by lowering the wages of his workmen and charging an excessive price to the consumers we wish to interfere and stop such practices. We will not submit to that kind of prosperity any more than we will submit to prosperity obtained by swindling investors or getting unfair advantages over business rivals." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"Alas! while the body stands so broad and brawny, must the soul lie blinded, dwarfed, stupefied, almost annihilated? Alas! this was, too, a breath of God, bestowed in heaven, but on earth never to be unfolded!" - Thomas Carlyle

"I am earth, earth. My heart's love bursts with hay and flowers. I am a lake of blue air in which my own appointed place, field and valley stand reflected" - Thomas Merton

"In general, it can be said that no contemplative life is possible without ascetic self-discipline. One must learn to survive without the habit-forming luxuries which get such a hold on men today. I do not say that to be a contemplative one absolutely has to go without smoking or without alcohol, but certainly one must be able to use these things without being dominated by an uncontrolled need for them." - Thomas Merton

"You cannot be a man of faith unless you know how to doubt." - Thomas Merton

"India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of mature mind, understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all human beings." - Will Durant, fully William James "Will" Durant

"My biggest problem? Well, I'd say it's been my biggest problem all my life. Money. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true. From the very start it was a problem." - Walt Disney, fully Walter Elias "Walt" Disney

"Or heritage and ideals, our code and standards - the things we live by and teach our children - are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings." - Walt Disney, fully Walter Elias "Walt" Disney

"To me, today, at age sixty-one, all prayer, by the humble or highly placed, has one thing in common: supplication for strength and inspiration to carry on the best human impulses which should bind us together for a better world. Without such inspiration, we would rapidly deteriorate and finally perish. But in our troubled time, the right of men to think and worship as their conscience dictates is being sorely pressed. We can retain these privileges only by being constantly on guard and fighting off any encroachment on these precepts. To retreat from any of the principles handed down by our forefathers, who shed their blood for the ideals we still embrace, would be a complete victory for those who would destroy liberty and justice for the individual." - Walt Disney, fully Walter Elias "Walt" Disney

"Too many people grow up. That`s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget. They don`t remember what it`s like to be 12 years old. They patronize, they treat children as inferiors. Well I won`t do that." - Walt Disney, fully Walter Elias "Walt" Disney

"All men cannot go to college but some men must; every isolated group or nation must have its yeast, must have for the talented few centers of training where men are not so mystified and befuddled by the hard and necessary toil of earning a living, as to have no aims higher than their bellies, and no God greater than Gold." - W. E. B. Du Bois, fully William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

"And yet not a dream, but a mighty reality- a glimpse of the higher life, the broader possibilities of humanity, which is granted to the man who, amid the rush and roar of living, pauses four short years to learn what living means" - W. E. B. Du Bois, fully William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

"One is astonished in the study of history at the recurrence of the idea that evil must be forgotten, distorted, skimmed over. We must not remember that Daniel Webster got drunk but only that he was a splendid constitutional lawyer. We must forget that George Washington was a slave owner . . . and simply remember the things we regard as creditable and inspiring. The difficulty, of course, with this philosophy is that history loses its value as an incentive and example; it paints perfect man and noble nations, but it does not tell the truth." - W. E. B. Du Bois, fully William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

"A sense of security, of well-being, of summer warmth pervades my memory. That robust reality makes a ghost of the present. The mirror brims with brightness; a bumblebee has entered the room and bumps against the ceiling. Everything is as it should be, nothing will ever change, nobody will ever die." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"Even the most seemingly materialistic daydreams - the transformed life we imagine in a new dress, a new car, a new house - allow us to rise above the here and now, projecting ourselves into an idealized future. In the process, we learn truths about who we are, what we desire, and who we might become. Those things may matter only to our minds, but that doesn't make them any less valuable or any less real." - Virginia Postrel

"Many weeks later we found out that even in those last hours fate had toyed with us few remaining prisoners. We found out just how uncertain human decisions are, especially in matters of life and death. I was confronted with photographs which had been taken in a small camp not far from ours. Our friends who had thought they were traveling to freedom that night had been taken in the trucks to this camp, and there they were locked in the huts and burned to death. Their partially charred bodies were recognizable on the photograph." - Viktor Frankl, fully Viktor Emil Frankl

"In his hearth and home, in his palace, upon his soft and comfortable bed, day and night, the flower-girls scatter flower petals; but without the Lord's Name, the body is miserable. Horses, elephants, lances, marching bands, armies, standard bearers, royal attendants and ostentatious displays - without the Lord of the Universe, these undertakings are all useless." - Atharva Veda, or Atharvaveda

"Upon the firm, broad earth, the all-begetting mother of the plants, that is supported by (divine) law, upon her, propitious and kind, may we ever pass-our lives." - Atharva Veda, or Atharvaveda

"A wonderful privilege it was to be thus admitted into the soul of a man of genius, to be allowed to share the ecstasies and the agonies of his inmost life." - Upton Sinclair, fully Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr.

"I intend to do what little one man can do to awaken the public conscience, and in the meantime I am not frightened by your menaces. I am not a giant physically; I shrink from pain and filth and vermin and foul air, like any other man of refinement; also, I freely admit, when I see a line of a hundred policeman with drawn revolvers flung across a street to keep anyone from coming onto private property to hear my feeble voice, I am somewhat disturbed in my nerves. But I have a conscience and a religious faith, and I know that our liberties were not won without suffering, and may be lost again through our cowardice. I intend to do my duty to my country." - Upton Sinclair, fully Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr.

"In late 1989, the profound transformation that took place in this country brought me here to Prague Castle. It all happened so suddenly that I did not even have time to properly consider whether or not I was up to the task, and I was sincerely of the opinion that I would just take it on for a few months until the first free elections." - Václav Havel

"Neutrality is a negative word. It does not express what America ought to feel. We are not trying to keep out of trouble; we are trying to preserve the foundations on which peace may be rebuilt." - Woodrow Wilson, fully Thomas Woodrow Wilson

"The nation's honor is dearer than the nation's comfort; yes, than the nation's life itself." - Woodrow Wilson, fully Thomas Woodrow Wilson

"There was a time when corporations played a minor part in our business affairs, but now they play the chief part, and most men are the servants of corporations." - Woodrow Wilson, fully Thomas Woodrow Wilson

"All the higher, more penetrating ideals are revolutionary. They present themselves far less in the guise of effects of past experience than in that of probable causes of future experience." - William James

"Beauty and hideousness, love and cruelty, life and death keep house together in indissoluble partnership; and there gradually steals over us, instead of the old warm notion of a man-loving Deity, that of an awful power that neither hates nor loves, but rolls all things together meaninglessly to a common doom. This is an uncanny, a sinister, a nightmare view of life, and its peculiar poisonousness, lies expressly in our holding two things together which cannot possibly agree." - William James

"Of all the beautiful truths pertaining to the soul None is more gladdening or fruitful than to know You can regenerate and make yourself what you will." - William James

"That nature will follow to-morrow the same laws that she follows to-day is, they all admit, a truth which no man can know; but in the interests of cognition as well as of action we must postulate or assume it." - William James

"The God of many men is little more than their court of appeal against the damnatory judgement passed on their failures by the opinion of the world." - William James

"The prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers." - William James

"The war-party is assuredly right in affirming and reaffirming that the martial virtues, although originally gained by the race through war, are absolute and permanent human goods. Patriotic pride and ambition in their military form are, after all, only specifications of a more general competitive passion. They are its first form, but that is no reason for supposing them to be its last form. Men are now proud of belonging to a conquering nation, and without a murmur they lay down their persons and their wealth, if by so doing they may fend off subjection. But who can be sure that other aspects of one's country may not, with time and education and suggestion enough, come to be regarded with similarly effective feelings of pride and shame? Why should men not someday feel that is it worth a blood-tax to belong to a collectivity superior in any respect? Why should they not blush with indignant shame if the community that owns them is vile in any way whatsoever? Individuals, daily more numerous, now feel this civic passion. It is only a question of blowing on the spark until the whole population gets incandescent, and on the ruins of the old morals of military honor, a stable system of morals of civic honor builds itself up. What the whole community comes to believe in grasps the individual as in a vise. The war-function has grasped us so far; but the constructive interests may someday seem no less imperative, and impose on the individual a hardly lighter burden." - William James

"There are 2 rules in life: Number 1- Never quit. Number2 - Never forget rule number 1." - Duke Ellington, fully Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington

"The most absurd apology for authority and law is that they serve to diminish crime. Aside from the fact that the State is itself the greatest criminal, breaking every written and natural law, stealing in the form of taxes, killing in the form of war and capital punishment, it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime. It has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of its own creation." - Emma Goldman

"The poor in spirit suffer from none of these embarrassments, either because they never had them, or because they have risen above them on the tide of spiritual understanding. They have got rid of the love of money and property, of fear of public opinion, and of the disapproval of relatives or friends. They are no longer overawed by human authority, however august. They are no longer cocksure in their own opinions. They have come to see that their most cherished beliefs may have been and probably were mistaken, and that all their ideas and views of life may be false and in need of recasting. They are ready to start again at the very beginning and learn life anew." - Emmet Fox

"When we understand that man is the only animal who must create meaning, who must open a wedge into neutral nature, we already understand the essence of love. Love is the problem of an animal who must find life, create a dialogue with nature in order to experience his own being." - Ernest Becker

"The feeling of revolt will grow stronger every day among the peoples subjected to various degrees of exploitation, and they will take up arms to gain by force the rights which reason alone has not won them." - Che Guevara, fully Ernesto “Che” Guevara

"The Founding Fathers understood the principle that “righteousness exalteth a nation”, and helped to bring about one of the greatest systems ever used to govern men. But unless we continue to seek righteousness and preserve the liberties entrusted to us, we shall lose the blessings of heaven. Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” The price of freedom is also to live in accordance with the commandments of God. The early Founding Fathers thanked the Lord for His intervention in their behalf. They saw His hand in their victories in battle and believed strongly that He watched over them." - Ezra Taft Benson

"The world wants to like America." - Feisal Abdul Rauf