Favorite Quotes

Guttenberg Bible - 1 JohnI’ve kept a text file of favorite quotes on my PC since 1993. I’ve added surprisingly few quotes to the list in the ensuing years, but here they are:

Asesino alevoso, enemigo del pueblo, y digno del escarnio de todos los hombres es todo aquél que, con el pretexto de guiar a las generaciones futuras, les enseña un sistema aislado de doctrinas y les musita al oído, en lugar del mensaje dulce del amor, el evangelio bárbaro del odio.

-José Martí

Treacherous assassins, enemies of the people, and worthy of everyone’s ridicule are those who, under the pretext of guiding future generations, teach them an isolated system of doctrines and whisper in their ear (instead of the sweet message of love) the barbarous gospel of hate.

-José Martí

You can’t step into the same river twice.
– Heraclitus

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead. His eyes are closed.
-Albert Einstein

Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it.
-John Adams

On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question — is it politic? Vanity asks the question — is it popular? Conscience asks the question — is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, not polite, not popular — but one must take it because it’s right.
– Speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
given at the National Cathedral, Washington D.C.
March 31, 1968.

America was a great force in the world, with immense prestige, long before we became a great military power. That power has come to us and we cannot renounce it, but neither can we afford to forget that the real constructive force in the world comes not from bombs, but from imaginative ideas, warm sympathies, and a generous spirit. These are qualities that cannot be manufactured by specialists in public relations. They are the natural qualities of a people pursuing decency and human dignity in its own undertaking without arrogance or hostility or delusions of superiority toward others; a people whose ideals for others are firmly rooted in the realities of the society we have built for ourselves.

Robert F. Kennedy,
Indiana University,
Bloomington, Indiana,
April 24, 1968

It doesn’t require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.
– Samuel Adams

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead

“Let them call me a rebel and I welcome it, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of demons were I to make a whore of my soul.”
-Thomas Paine

“Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
-Albert Einstein (1875-1955)

“That action injured you and saved me. I will not forget it.”
– LCDR Data to CDR Riker – “The Measure of a Man”

My centre is giving way, my right is in retreat; situation excellent. I shall attack.
– Marshall Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929)

There are 10 kinds of people, the ones that get binary and the ones that don’t.

“Bitterness is like drinking a cup of poison and then waiting for the other person to die.”
– Nelson Mandela

“The best portion of a good man’s life – his little nameless acts of kindness and love.”
– William Wordsworth

“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us “universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
– Albert Einstein

All that is gold does not glitter,
not all those who wander are lost;
the old that is strong does not wither,
deep roots are not reached by the frost.
– J. R. R. Tolkien

Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.
– G.K. Chesterton

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.” – Lloyd Dobler
Say Anything

“Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and not concerned about the city government that damns the soul, the economic conditions that corrupt the soul, the slum conditions, the social evils that cripple the soul, is a dry, dead, do-nothing religion in need of new blood.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.
-CS Lewis

“Our scientific powers have outrun our spiritual powers. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.”
-Carl Sagan

Yes…..you go down a dark hallway alone and I’ll wait here in a dark room alone.”
-Daniel Jackson
The Tomb

The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.
-Arthur Schopenhauer

A Bureaucrat is the most despicable of men, though he is needed as vultures are needed, but one hardly admires vultures whom Bureaucrats so strangely resemble. I have yet to meet a Bureaucrat who was not petty, dull, almost witless, crafty or stupid, an oppressor or a thief, a holder of little authority in which he delights, as a boy delights in possessing a vicious dog. Who can trust such creatures?

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
-Thomas Jefferson,
Notes on Virginia

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
-George Bernard Shaw

What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are.
-C.S. Lewis

If you can’t take a bloody nose, then maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It’s not safe out here. It is wondrous…with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it’s not for the timid.
-Q (Star Trek, Q Who?)

“Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.”
-Winston Churchill

” ‘Master, what’s this I hear? Who can they be, These people so distraught with grief?’ … And he replied: ‘The dismal company of wretched spirits thus finds their reward due Whose lives knew neither praise nor infamy; … Who against God rebelled not, nor to Him Were faithful, but to self alone were true.’ “
-Dante, The Inferno

“By living, no—more—by dying and being damned to hell doth a man become a theologian, not by knowing, reading, or speculation.”
-Martin Luther

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Strength to Love, 1963

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”
– Blaise Pascal

I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.”
– Thomas Jefferson

They washed up the dishes and went to bed. In bed, they made love. Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made all the time, made new. When it was made, they lay in each others’s arms, holding love, asleep.
– Ursula K. LeGuinn
The Lathe of Heaven

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