Quotes

"Good words to you!" Thus intoned John Ciardi, master poet and linguist. He explored the power of words to entertain while revealing important truths. So I share the following bon mots with you. Some are frivolous. Some are inspiring, even profound. As with the videos, I return to this page when my spirit is flagging. I hope these quotes lift you up as well.

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"The promise of faith is not the absence of suffering but the presence of grace."
     —A paraphrase of various New Testament insights about suffering

"The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you figure out why."
     –Sam Clements

"Primum non nocere."
     –"First, do no harm." Classical Latin phrase of uncertain origin.

"Your body is not a temple. It's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride."
     –Anthony Bourdain

"However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion."
     –George Washington, first President of the United States

"The pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking."
     –Charles Krauthammer

"If I had three hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first hour sharpening the axe."
     –Abraham Lincoln

"Three things you must ask yourself before you say anything:
(1) Does this need to be said?
(2) Does this need to be said by me?
(3) Does this need to be said by me now? "

     –Craig Ferguson

"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time."
     –Mark Twain

"I'll try being nicer if you try being smarter."
     —Anonymous

"Our life evokes our character."
     —Joseph Campbell

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
     —Winston Churchill

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
     —Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places."
     —Ernest Hemingway

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
     —Margaret Mead

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
     —Maya Angelou

"Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket."
     —Eric Hoffer

"And ye shall know the Trueth, and the Trueth shall make you free."
     —King James Bible, John 8:32, 1611 edition

"If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?"
     —Maya Angelou

"It doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world."
     —Rick (Humphrey Bogart) in the 1942 film Casablanca

"Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option."
     —Maya Angelou

"A setback is a setup for a step up."
     —Anonymous

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds ... to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
     —Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865

"Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."
   —Aeschylus

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
     —Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
     —Mark Twain