Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Neglect

"He who least likes courting favor, ought also least to think of resenting neglect; to feel wounded at being refused a distinction can only arise from an overweening appetite to have it." - Plutarch, named Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus after becoming Roman citizen NULL

"Every industrious man, in every lawful calling, is a useful man. And one principle reason why men are so often useless is, that they neglect their own profession or calling, and divide and shift their attention among a multiplicity of objects and pursuits." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The lie is in the surrender of the man to his appearance; as if a man should neglect himself and treat his shadow on the wall with marks of infinite respect." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things." -

"No man has a right to lead such a life of contemplation as to forget in his own ease the service due to his neighbor; nor has any man a right to be so immersed in active life as to neglect the contemplation of God." -

"The precept “Resist not evil,” was given to prevent us from taking pleasure in revenge, in which the mind is gratified by the sufferings of others, but not to make us neglect the duty of restraining men from sin." -

"Parents should live for their children, but not through them; the parents whose satisfactions are wholly reflections of their children's achievements are as much monsters as the parents who neglect their offspring. Nothing can deform a personality so much as the burden of a love that is utterly self-sacrificing." -

"The world is a thing that a man must learn to despise, and even to neglect, before he can learn to reverence it, and work in it , and for it." - Thomas Carlyle

"There is nothing neutral about the soul. It is the seat and the source of life. Either we respond to what the soul presents in its fantasies and desires, or we suffer from this neglect of ourselves. The power of the soul can hurl a person into ecstasy or into depression. It can be creative or destructive, gentle or aggressive. Power incubates within the soul and then makes influential its influential move into life as the expression of soul. If there is no soulfulness, then there is no true power, and if there is no power, then there can be no true soulfulness." - Thomas Moore

"Suffering forces our attention toward places we would normally neglect." - Thomas Moore

"Never neglect details. When everyone's mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant. " - Colin Powell, fully Colin Luther Powell

"I have arrived at the conviction that the neglect by economists to discuss seriously what is really the crucial problem of our time is due to a certain timidity about soiling their hands by going from purely scientific questions into value questions. " - F. A. Hayek, fully Friedrich August Hayek or von Hayek

"We come to understand the nature of the human person by coming to understand human capacities, which we come to understand by coming to understand human acts, which we come to understand by coming to understand the objects of those acts. The neglect of this methodological principle, a principle announced and applied by St. Thomas from beginning to end of his works, can seriously distort ethical discourse" - John Finnis

"Too many show, in this respect, that they are dead while they live; dead to God, insensible and regardless of their many obligations to him, in whom they live, and move, and have their being. They live without prayer; they offer no praises to the God of their lives, but rise up and lie down, go out and come in, without one reflection on his power, goodness, and providence; even like the beasts that perish. But the awakened soul cannot do so. He trembles to think that he once could neglect that God whom all the hosts of heaven worship; and is convinced, that however fair his character might have been amongst men, he justly deserved to have been struck to hell." - John Newton, fully John Henry Newton

"The organization and constant onward sweep of this movement exemplifies the resentment of the many toward the selfishness, greed and the neglect of the few. " - John L. Lewis, fully John Llewellyn Lewis

"But each one of us is guilty insofar as he remained inactive. The guilt of passivity is different. Impotence excuses; no moral law demands a spectacular death. Plato already deemed it a matter of course to go into hiding in desperate times of calamity, and to survive. But passivity knows itself morally guilty of every failure, every neglect to act whenever possible, to shield the imperiled, to relieve wrong, to countervail. Impotent submission always left a margin of activity which, though not without risk, could still be cautiously effective. Its anxious omission weighs upon the individual as moral guilt. Blindness for the misfortune of others, lack of imagination of the heart, inner differences toward the witnessed evil--that is moral guilt." - Karl Jaspers, fully Karl Theodor Jaspers

"It is the sin of the soul to force young people into opinions - indoctrination is of the devil - but it is culpable neglect not to impel young people into experiences." - Kurt Hahn, fully Kurt Martin "the rod" Hahn

"One man does not assert the truth which he knows, because he feels himself bound to the people with whom he is engaged; another, because the truth might deprive him of the profitable position by which he maintains his family; a third, because he desires to attain reputation and authority, and then use them in the service of mankind; a fourth, because he does not wish to destroy old sacred traditions; a fifth, because he has no desire to offend people; a sixth, because the expression of the truth would arouse persecution, and disturb the excellent social activity to which he has devoted himself. One serves as emperor, king, minister, government functionary, or soldier, and assures himself and others that the deviation from truth indispensable to his condition is redeemed by the good he does. Another, who fulfills the duties of a spiritual pastor, does not in the depths of his soul believe all he teaches, but permits the deviation from truth in view of the good he does. A third instructs men by means of literature, and notwithstanding the silence he must observe with regard to the whole truth, in order not to stir up the government and society against himself, has no doubt as to the good he does. A fourth struggles resolutely with the existing order as revolutionist or anarchist, and is quite assured that the aims he pursues are so beneficial that the neglect of the truth, or even of the falsehood, by silence, indispensable to the success of his activity, does not destroy the utility of his work. In order that the conditions of a life contrary to the consciousness of humanity should change and be replaced by one which is in accord with it, the outworn public opinion must be superseded by a new and living one. And in order that the old outworn opinion should yield its place to the new living one, all who are conscious of the new requirements of existence should openly express them. And yet all those who are conscious of these new requirements, one in the name of one thing, and one in the name of another, not only pass them over in silence, but both by word and deed attest their exact opposites." - Leo Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi

"Our great mistake is to try to exact from each person virtues which he does not possess, and to neglect the cultivation of those which he has." - Marguerite Yourcenar, pseudonym for Marguerite Cleenewerck de Crayencour

"Our time on earth is sacred presence, and we should celebrate every second of it... Over-anxiety ultimately banishes every trace of joy from life… Our contradictions. We are in such a hurry to grow up, and then we long for our lost childhood. We make ourselves ill earning money, and then spend all our money on getting well again. We think so much about the future that we neglect the present, and thus experience neither the present nor the future. We live as if we were never going to die, and die as if we had never lived… Our life is a constant journey, from birth to death. The landscape changes, the people change, our needs change, but the train keeps moving. Life is the train, not the station." - Paulo Coelho

"What is a neglected child? He is a child not planned for, not wanted. Neglect begins, therefore, before he is born." - Pearl S. Buck, fully Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, also known by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu

"In such a culture, material values naturally become paramount, beginning with omnipotent wealth and ending with all the values that satisfy man's physiological needs and material comfort. Sensory utility and pleasure... become the sole criteria of what is good and bad... A further consequence of such a system of truth is the development of a temporalistic, relativistic, and nihilistic mentality. The sensory world is in a state of incessant flux and becoming. There is nothing unchangeable in it - not even an eternal Supreme Being. Mind dominated by the truth of the senses simply cannot perceive any permanency, but apprehends all values in terms of shift and transformation. Sensate mentality views everything from the standpoint of evolution and progress. This leads to an increasing neglect of the eternal values, which come to be replaced by temporary, or short-time, considerations. Sensate society lives in, and appreciates mainly, the present. Since the past is irretrievable and no longer exists, while the future is not yet here and is uncertain, only the present moment is real and desirable." - Pitirim A. Sorokin, fully Pitirim Alexandrovich (Alexander) Sorokin

"A further consequence of such a system of truth is the development of a temporalistic, relativistic, and nihilistic mentality. The sensory world is in a state of incessant flux and becoming. There is nothing unchangeable in it - not even an eternal Supreme Being. Mind dominated by the truth of the senses simply cannot perceive any permanency, but apprehends all values in terms of shift and transformation. Sensate mentality views everything from the standpoint of evolution and progress. This leads to an increasing neglect of the eternal values, which come to be replaced by temporary, or short-time, considerations. Sensate society lives in, and appreciates mainly, the present. Since the past is irretrievable and no longer exists, while the future is not yet here and is uncertain, only the present moment is real and desirable." - Pitirim A. Sorokin, fully Pitirim Alexandrovich (Alexander) Sorokin

"If you neglect your work, you will dislike it; if you do it well, you will enjoy it" -

"Be firm in faith through life's tests and trials. Break not your word of honor whatever may befall. Hold your ideal high in all circumstances. Keep to your principles in prosperity as well as in adversity. Uphold your honor at any cost. Do not neglect those who depend upon you. Observe constancy in love. Blessed are the unselfish friends and they whose motto in life is constancy. Meet the world with smiles in all conditions of life. Bring out the Beloved in others." - Inayat Khan, aka Hazrat Inayat Khan, fully Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan

"Rabbi Meir said: “Engage little in business but occupy yourself with Torah. Be humble in spirit before all men. If you neglect Torah many causes for neglecting it will present themselves to you; but if you labor in Torah then G-d has abundant reward to give you.”" - Pirke Avot, "Verses of the Fathers" or "Ethics of the Fathers" NULL

"Pestilence comes upon the world because of crimes deserving the death penalties enjoined in the Torah that are not brought before the court; and because of the transgressions of the Torahs of the seventh year produce (Leviticus 25:1-7). The sword comes upon the world because of the delaying of justice and the perverting of justice; and because of those that teach Torah not according to the Halakah. Exile comes upon the world because of idolatry and incest and the shedding of blood; and because of neglect to give release to the soil during the sabbatical year." - Pirke Avot, "Verses of the Fathers" or "Ethics of the Fathers" NULL

"And if you follow our precepts you will be received by us as friends, when the hour of destiny brings you hither; but if you neglect our words and are disgraced in your lives, no one will welcome or receive you. This is the message which is to be delivered to our children." - Plato NULL

"We neglect those things which are under our very eyes, and heedless of things within our grasp, pursue those which are afar off." - Pliny the Elder, full name Casus Plinius Secundus NULL

"When someone works for less pay than she can live on — when, for example, she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently — then she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made you a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life. The 'working poor,' as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else. " - Barbara Ehrenreich, born Barbara Alexander

"[It is necessary to assign]... to economic activity itself its proper place as servant, not a master, of society. The burden of our civilisation is not merely, as many suppose, that the product of industry is sill-distributed, or its conduct tyrannical, or its operation interrupted by embittered disagreements. It is that industry itself has come to hold a position of exclusive predominance among human interests, which no single interest, and least of all the provision of the material means of existence, is fit to occupy. Like a hypochondriac who is so absorbed in the processes of his own digestion that he goes to his grave before he has begun to live, industrialised communities neglect the very objects for which it is worth while to acquire riches in their feverish preoccupation with the means by which riches can be acquired." - R. H. Tawney, fully Richard Henry Tawney

"It is no profit to have learned well, if you neglect to do well." - Publius Syrus

"Insensibility, in return for acts of seeming, even of real, unkindness, is not required of us. But, whilst we feel for such acts, let our feelings be tempered with forbearance and kindness. Let not the sense of our own sufferings render us peevish and morose. Let not our sense of neglect on the part of others induce us to judge of them with harshness and severity. Let us be indulgent and compassionate towards them. Let us seek for apologies for their conduct. Let us be forward in endeavoring to excuse them. And if, in the end, we must condemn them, let us look for the cause of their delinquency, less in a defect of kind intention than in the weakness and errors of human nature. He who knoweth of what we are made, and hath learned, by what he himself suffered, the weakness and frailty of our nature, hath thus taught us to make compassionate allowances for our brethren, in consideration of its manifold infirmities." - Richard Mant

"It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary." - Richard Whately

"The best security against revolution is in constant correction of abuses and the introduction of needed improvements. It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary." - Richard Whately

"Perspective is that part of a poem, novel, or play which a writer never puts directly upon paper. It is that fixed point in intellectual space where a writer stands to view the struggles, hopes, and sufferings of his people. There are times when he may stand too close and the result is a blurred vision. Or he may stand too far away and the result is a neglect of important things." - Richard Wright, fully Richard Nathaniel Wright

"The truth is that art does not teach; it makes you feel, and any teaching that may arise from the feeling is an extra, and must not be stressed too much. In the modern world, and in Canada as much as anywhere, we are obsessed with the notion that to think is the highest achievement of mankind, but we neglect the fact that thought untouched by feeling is thin, delusive, treacherous stuff." - Robertson Davies

"Never neglect the charms of narrative for the human heart. " - Robertson Davies

"No one knows what he himself is made of, except his own spirit within him, yet there is still some part of him which remains hidden even from his own spirit; but you, Lord, know everything about a human being because you have made him...Let me, then, confess what I know about myself, and confess too what I do not know, because what I know of myself I know only because you shed light on me, and what I do not know I shall remain ignorant about until my darkness becomes like bright noon before your face." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"Paradise is the love of God, wherein is the enjoyment of all beatitude, and there the blessed Paul partook of supernatural nourishment." - Saint Isaac of Nineveh, also Isaac the Syrian, Isaac of Qatar and Isaac Syrus NULL

"Let us pass to the despotic part of the soul, spirit. We must not eliminate it utterly from the youth nor yet allow him to use it all the time. Let us train boys from earliest childhood to be patient when they suffer wrongs themselves, but, if they see another being wronged, to sally forth courageously and aid the sufferer in fitting measure. –" - John Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom

"Marriage is distinctly and repeatedly excluded from heaven. Is this because it is thought likely to mar the general felicity?" - Samuel Butler

"In the beautiful character of the blessed Jesus there was not a more striking feature than a certain sensibility which disposed him to take part in every one’s affliction to which he was a witness, and to be ready to afford it a miraculous relief. He was apt to be particularly touched by instances of domestic distress, in which the suffering arises from those feelings of friendship growing out of natural affection and habitual endearment, which constitute the perfection of man as a social creature, and distinguish the society of the human kind from the instinctive herdings of the lower animals." - Samuel Horsley

"The present time is seldom able to fill desire or imagination with immediate enjoyment, and we are forced to supply its deficiencies by recollection or anticipation." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"Those writers who lie on the watch for novelty can have little hope of greatness; for great things cannot have escaped former observation." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"When men come to like a sea-life, they are not fit to live on land." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"It has been demonstrated that a species of penicillium produces in culture a very powerful antibacterial substance which affects different bacteria in different degrees. Generally speaking it may be said that the least sensitive bacteria are the Gram-negative bacilli, and the most susceptible are the pyogenic cocci ... In addition to its possible use in the treatment of bacterial infections penicillin is certainly useful... for its power of inhibiting unwanted microbes in bacterial cultures so that penicillin insensitive bacteria can readily be isolated." - Alexander Fleming, fully Sir Alexander Fleming

"But in the case of man, hard as it is for him to learn how to submit to rule, it seems far harder to know how to rule over men, and hardest of all, with this rule of ours, which leads them by the divine law, and to God, for its risk is, in the eyes of a thoughtful man, proportionate to its height and dignity. For, first of all, he must, like silver or gold, though in general circulation in all kinds of seasons and affairs, never ring false or alloyed, or give token of any inferior matter, needing further refinement in the fire; or else, the wider his rule, the greater evil he will be. Since the injury which extends to many is greater than that which is confined to a single individual… nothing is so easy as to become evil, even without any one to lead us on to it; while the attainment of virtue is rare and difficult, even where there is much to attract and encourage us." - Gregory Nazianzen, aka Saint Gregory of Nazianzus or Gregory the Theologian

"Do not become conceited when you have prayed for others and have been heard, for it is their faith which has been active and efficacious... Every virtuous act that we do, and this is particularly true of prayer, should be done with great sensitivity." - John Climacus, fully Saint John Climacus, aka John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites