All the great utterances of man have to be judged not by the letter but by the spirit—the spirit which unfolds itself with the growth of life in history.
—Rabindranath Tagore (Indian Hindu Polymath)
There are four kinds of readers. The first is like the hour-glass; and their reading being as the sand, it runs in and runs out, and leaves not a vestige behind. A second is like the sponge, which imbibes everything, and returns it in nearly the same state, only a little dirtier. A third is like a jelly-bag, allowing all that is pure to pass away, and retaining only the refuse and dregs. And the fourth is like the slaves in the diamond mines of Golconda, who, casting aside all that is worthless, retain only pure gems.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (English Poet)
The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.
—Lady Bird Johnson (American Entrepreneur)
What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.
—Alexander Graham Bell (Scottish-born American Inventor)
How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.
—William James (American Philosopher)
A company has a responsibility beyond making a profit for stockholders; it has a responsibility to recognize the dignity of its employees as human beings, to the well-being of its customers, and to the community at large.
—David Packard (American Businessperson)
We are not the masters. The people are the masters. We are the servants of the people…What the electorate gives, the electorate can take away.
—Tony Blair (British Statesman)
Rather throw away that which is dearest to you, your own life, than turn away a good friend.
—Sophocles (Ancient Greek Dramatist)
Do not appease thy fellow in his hour of anger; do not comfort him while the dead is still laid out before him; do not question him in the hour of his vow; and do not strive to see him in his hour of misfortune.
—The Talmud (Sacred Text of the Jewish Faith)
It is the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.
—Aristotle (Ancient Greek Philosopher)
I like nonsense—it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope… and that enables you to laugh at all of life’s realities.
—Theodor Seuss Geisel (‘Dr. Seuss’) (American Children’s Books Writer)
It is hard, I submit, to loathe bloodshed, including war, more than I do, but it is still harder to exceed my loathing of the very nature of totalitarian states in which massacre is only an administrative detail.
—Vladimir Nabokov (Russian-born American Novelist)
With maturity comes the wish to economize—to be more simple. Maturity is the period when one finds the just measure.
—Bela Bartok (Hungarian Composer, Ethnomusicologist)