R | Quote Library


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. — Geo. B. Shaw

Almost all reformers, however strict their social conscience, live in houses as big as they can pay for. — Logan Pearsall Smith

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not just exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. — Jack London


I always keep a stimulant handy in case I see a snake, which I also keep handy. — W.C. Fields


If time is precious, no book that will not improve by repeated readings deserves to be read at all. — Thomas Carlyle

Read no history: read nothing but biography, for that is life without theory. — Benjamin Disraeli, Contrarini Fleming, 1844

Men of power have no time to read; yet the men who do not read are unfit for power. – Michael Foot, 1980

A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read. — Mark Twain

Beware the man of one book. –St. Thomas Aquinas 


Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.” — Shakespeare

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. — William Blake Source: Little Zen Companion, Schiller.

The great religions were first preached and long practiced in a world without chloroform. — C. S. Lewis

This pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. — William Arthur Ward

Jesus promised his disciples three things: They would be absurdly happy, completely fearless, and in constant trouble. — F. R. Maltby

You’ll have fifteen guys who will run through a wall for you, five you hate you and five who are undecided. The trick is to keep the five who hate you away from the five who are undecided.” — Billy Martin, Sports Illustrated, on his formula for leadership

We cannot change anything unless we first accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. — C. G. Jung

We have art in order not to die of the truth — Nietzsche

There’s a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot. — Steven Wright

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. — F. Scott Fitzgerald

The lion and the calf shall lie down together, but the calf won’t get much sleep. — Woody Allen

The statesman who, seeing war inevitable, hesitates to strike first is guilty of a crime against his country. — Karl von Clausewitz

Everything is very simple in war, but the simplest thing is difficult. — Karl von Clausewitz

Some people have built-in filters that screen out the boos and amplify the hurrahs. Those are the people who never know when they’re in trouble. — Tommy David, Venture Capitalist

I tell you Wellington is a bad general, the English are bad soldiers; we will settle this matter by lunch time. — Napoleon Bonaparte, at breakfast with his generals on the morning of the Battle of Waterloo

It’s not what you are that counts. It’s what they think you are. — Andy Warhol

Think of what you can do with what there is. — Ernest Hemingway

I think people do want to hear the gospel in the form of a story. There’s a story at the heart of every sermon. Sermons fail when they take that story, stink it in a corner, and make it into a lecture. — Garrison Keillor, (Christian Century, 10 Apr., 1996, p. 389)

Never wear anything that panics the cat.” — P.J. O’Rourke

Know thyself”? If I knew myself, I’d run away — Goethe

Know thyself?! A maxim as pernicious as it is ugly. Whoever observes himself arrests his own development. A caterpillar who wanted to know itself well would never become a butterfly. — Andre Gide


If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities. — Voltaire

Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts — Voltaire

One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done. — Madame Curie


Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. — Sydney J. Harris


Change agents aren’t loved, so you’d better get centered that you are loved by God, that you’re fabulous. — Ken Blanchard

Religion — Negative

Religion is a fashionable substitute for Belief. — Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

Christian, n. One who believes the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. — Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911

The trouble oftentimes with religious people is that they try to be more spiritual than God himself. — Frederick Buechner

Take Christians. I am surrounded by Christians. They are generally speaking a pleasant and agreeable lot, not noticeably different from other people — even though they, the Christians of the South, the USA, the Western world have killed off more people than all other people put together. Yet I cannot be sure they don’t have the truth. But if they have the truth, why is it the case that they are repellent precisely to the degree that they embrace and advertise the truth? One might even become a Christian if there were few if any Christians around. Have you ever lived in the midst of fifteen million Southern Baptists?… A mystery: If the good news is true, why is not one pleased to hear it? — Walker Percy, The Second Coming

He was dressed go out for a Sunday speech before a large crowd. His mother was sitting beside the front door. As Carlyle passed her on his way out, she said to him, “And where might you be going, Thomas?”

“Mother,” he replied, “I’m going to tell the people what is wrong with the world.”

His mother responded with, “Aye, Thomas, but are you going to tell them what to do about it?”– Herb Miller regarding Thomas Carlyle

Religion — Positive

Men will wrangle for religion;
write for it;
fight for it;
die for it;
anything but live for it. — C.C. Colton

Among all my patients in the second half of my life… there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he lost that which the living religions of every age have given their followers and none of them has really been healed who did not regain his religious outlook. — Carl Jung,

Any revitalization of faith in this country will have to start with prayer, in which we gain a sense of the living presence of God. — George Gallup

Religion is, at its heart, a way of denying the authority of the rest of the world. — Stephen Carter

Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival — to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated. — Stephen Covey, from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years.” — Bertrand Russell

“In real love you want the other person’s good. In romantic love you want the other person.” — Margaret Anderson

“Men talk of ‘finding God,’ but no wonder it is difficult; he is hidden in that darkest hiding-place, your heart. You yourself are a part of him.” — Christopher Morley

You must believe in God, in spite of what the clergy say. — Benjamin Jowett

It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it. — G. K. Chesterton

The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists. — G. K. Chesterton


To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it. — Mother Teresa


Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all. — Carlos Castaneda

God gives where he finds empty hands. – Augustine, Letters to an American Lady, Gr. Rapids, Eerdmans, 1967, p. 71

Repentance is not something God arbitrarily demands of us – it is simply a description of what going back is like. – C.S. Lewis

It is the saints who have a sense of sin, the sense of sin is the measure of a soul’s awareness of God. – Father Danielou


You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot build character by taking away man’s initiative. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. — Abraham Lincoln


Reputations are created every day and every minute. –Christopher Ruel 

You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. –Henry Ford 

Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. — John Wooden

Reputation is character minus what you’ve been caught doing. — Michael Iapoce A clever, imaginative, humorous request can open closed doors and closed minds. — Percy Ross

Everyone is the son of his own works. — Miguel de Cervantes


A clever, imaginative, humorous request can open closed doors and closed minds. — Percy Ross


We can only treat badly those things or people whose souls we disregard. — Thomas Moore

I respect only those who resist me, but I cannot tolerate them. – Charles De Gaulle


The buck stopped before it got to here. — Davin Groupie

This is the bitterest pain among men, to have much knowledge but no power. – Herodotus, 30 B.C.

Liberty means responsibility. That’s why most men dread it. — Geo. Bernard Shaw

Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness. — Geo. B. Shaw

The price of greatness is responsibility. — Winston Churchill


I have so much to do that I am going to bed. — Savoyard proverb


Effective leaders have agendas; they are totally results-oriented. They adopt challenging new visions of what is both possible and desirable, communicate their visions, and persuade others to become so committed to these new directions that they are eager to lend their resources and energies to make them happen. In this way, they build lasting institutions that change the world.” — Burt Nanus, Visionary Leadership


People in the third age should be the glue of society, not its ashes. — Monsignor Charles Fahey

I never read in the Bible where God retired anybody. — Billy Graham

I plan to get very active in the grandchild business. — President George Bush in his concession speech

Anyone who forsakes the child he was is already too old for poetry. — Stanley Kunitz

What is an adult? A child puffed with age. — Simone de Beauvoir, French writer


If a person offends you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick — Mark Twain


Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe. – Theodore Roosevelt, 1913

Every successful revolt is termed a revolution, and every successful unsuccessful one a rebellion. – Joseph Priestly, 1791

Thinkers prepare the revolution; bandits carry it out. – Mariano Azuela, 1918

The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal. – Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom, 1941

A revolution that does not continue to grow deeper is a revolution that is retreating. – Ernesto Guevara, “Che”, 1961

The duty of every revolutionary is to make a revolution. – Fidel Castro, 1969

The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution. – Hannah Arendt, Sept.12, 1970


To love righteousness is to make it grow, not to avenge it. — George MacDonald

If the world could have been saved by good bookkeeping, it would have been saved by Moses, not Jesus. – Robert Farrar Capon.


What men value in this world is not rights but privileges. – H.L. Mencken, 1956


Don’t be afraid to take one large step because you can’t cross a chasm in two small leaps. –Unknown

To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self… And to venture in the highest sense is precisely to become conscious of one’s self. — Kierkegaard

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.

First you jump off the cliff and you build your wings on the way down. — Ray Bradbury

Most people in this country make it a point to stay as far away from danger as possible. They get out of a pool in a thunderstorm. They avoid dark hours in the city. They never ever tear the tag off their mattress lest the mattress police pound on their door. They are terrified by the threat of early withdrawal penalties.” — US News and World Report

To give light we must endure burning. — Viktor Frankl

We must never be afraid to go too far, for the truth lies beyond. — Marcel Proust

The woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those who sang best.” — John James Audubon

“He that leaveth nothing to chance will do few things ill, but he will do very few things.” — Marquis of Halifax

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to be sure to keep it in tact, you must give your heart to no one. Lock it up, safe in the coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless it will change. It will not be broken, but it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.

The only place outside of heaven where you can be safe from all the dangers of love is hell. — C. S. Lewis

Do not be too squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.– Emerson

The spirit of adventure is the spirit of civilization. When you remove it from the civilization it starts to decay.” — Toienby

Whatever happened to your spirit of adventure?” We are afflicted today with what I call “V.S. disease — the Vanilla Syndrome — going to Baskin Robbins 31 flavors and ordering vanilla.” — Redbook magazine

Man was not created to be safe. If there is no risk or danger in his life he will create it somehow.” — Dr. Glen Williams, director of the Maryland Psy. Research Center

I am shocked. I have spent ten years as a Christian, but for some reason I didn’t see the power that is connected with simply serving in small ways in the name of Christ. When I clean toilets hearts are opened. I feel that my life will be divided into two parts — B.T. and A.T. — before toilets, and after toilets!” — German lady, mid 50’s

I have never met a Christian who sat down and planned to live a mediocre life. — Howard Hendricks

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome. — Samuel Johnson

Life forms illogical patterns. It is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return? — Margot Fonteyn

Above all, try something. — FDR

Ready, Fire, Aim — Executive at Cadbury’s

In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering. — Howard Hendricks

Living the good life is frequently dull, flat and commonplace. Our greatest need is to make life fiery, creative, and capable of spiritual struggle. — Nikolai Berdyaev

The Word became flesh — and then through theologians it became words again. — Karl Barth

Where there is no longer any opportunity for doubt, there is no longer any opportunity for faith either. — Paul Tournier

Most people spend their entire life indefinitely preparing to live. — Paul Tournier, The Adventure of Living

If God had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he sure would have meant for us to stick it out. — Arthur Koestler

Instead of reaching people in their cocoons, the church itself is cocooning. Instead of making the church as comfortable as the home, the church is itself constructing fragile fortresses. When the church goes into a cocoon, there is no telling what sort of creatures will emerge from it. — Leonard Sweet

Fear not that your life shall come to an end, but rather that it shall never have a beginning. — John Henry Newman

You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. — Wayne Gretsky

Don’t wait. You’ll end up waiting forever… jump into the now. — Clyde Reid, Celebrate the Temporary

Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there. — Will Rogers

Boldness becomes rarer, the higher the rank. — Karl von Clausewitz

(Or “the nearer to retirement” or “The greater the number of shares in the stock option plan”)

If you spend too much time warming up, you’ll miss the race. If you don’t warm up at all, you may not finish the race. — Grant Heidrich, Runner

It is easier to get forgiveness than permission. — Victor Hugo

It is only by risking our persons from one hour to the next that we live at all. — William James

At least 85% of all problems in an organization can be traced to the top management. This is due, in large part, to the fact that the only ones making any decisions are managers. — W. Edwards Deming

To get profit without risk, experience without danger, and reward without work is as impossible as it is to live without being born. — Harry Truman

A leader is, by definition, an innovator. He does things other people haven’t done or don’t do. He does things in advance of other people. He makes new things. He makes old things new. Having learned from the past, he lives in the present, with one eye on the future. — Warren Bennis

Most of America has become an extension of some committee. Well, you can’t run a company as a democracy. It’s more of a benevolent dictatorship. You set the direction and let people run. — Ralph Burnett

Four things come not back: the spoke word, the sped arrow, the past, the neglected opportunity. — Omar Idn Al-Halif

Progress always involves risk. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first. — Frederick B. Wilcox

Self-confidence is the result of a successfully survived risk. — Jack Gibb

Winners are those people who make a habit of doing the things losers and uncomfortable doing. — Ed Foreman

If you wait until the wind and weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything. — Eccl. 11:4

It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.– Unknown

Life is “trying things to see if they work” — Ray Bradbury Source: The Art of Creative Thinking – book by Robert Olson (1986)

If the creator had a purpose in equipping us with a neck, he surely meant us to stick it out. – Arthur Koestler

Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. –Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), inscription beneath his bust in the Hall of Fame

In wildness is the preservation of the world –Henry David Thoreau, Walking (1862)

Role Models

“If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” – Catherine Aird


Hell, there are no rules here–we’re trying to accomplish something. –Thomas A. Edison 

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. –Thoreau 

Let’s just say I was testing the bounds of society. I was just curious. –Jim Morrison 

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