The bookful blockhead ignorantly read,|With loads of learned lumber in his head,|With his own tongue still edifies his ears,|And always list’ning to himself appears.|All books he reads, and all he reads assails.
—Alexander Pope (English Poet)
Nothing makes it easier to resist temptation than a proper bringing-up, a sound set of values—and witnesses.
—Franklin P. Jones
I hate intellectuals. They are from the top down. I am from the bottom up.
—Frank Lloyd Wright (American Architect)
A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
—James Joyce (Irish Novelist)
We accept the verdict of the past until the need for change cries out loudly enough to force upon us a choice between the comforts of further inertia and the irksomeness of action.
Genius is often only the power of making continuous efforts. The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it—so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it. How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success. As the tide goes clear out, so it comes clear in. In business sometimes prospects may seem darkest when really they are on the turn. A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.
—Elbert Hubbard (American Writer)
I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged … I had poems which were rewritten so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.
—Erica Jong (American Novelist)
For those who may not find happiness to exercise religious faith, it’s okay to remain a radical atheist, it’s absolutely an individual right, but the important thing is with a compassionate heart—then no problem.
—The 14th Dalai Lama (Tibetan Buddhist Religious Leader)
There is no past that we can bring back by longing for it. There is only an eternally new now that builds and creates itself out of the Best as the past withdraws.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German Poet)
The past is for us, but the sole terms on which it can become ours are its subordination to the present.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (American Philosopher)