One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
Maya Angelou (1928 - ) - As quoted in Diversity : Leaders Not Labels (2006) by Stedman Graham, p. 224

Wealth and poverty do not lie in a person's estate, but in their souls.
Antisthenes (445 BC- 365 BC) - Xenophon, Syumposium, iv. 34

Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.
Marcus Aurelius (121- 180) - Meditations (c. 161–180 CE) III, 7

Outward appearances are deemed of little worth, unless accompanied by an inward and unseen beauty of the mind. The greatest ornament is the inward beauty of the mind.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626) - Advice to Rutland, 1595, Quoted in The Shakespeare symphony: an introduction to the ethics of the Elizabethan drama, By Harold Bayley, 1906

Our heart is a treasury; if you pour out all its wealth at once, you are bankrupt.
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) - Le Père Goriot (1835), Translated by Ellen Marriage, Part I.

Troubles are usually the brooms and shovels that smooth the road to a man’s good fortune, of which he little dreams; and many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away hunger; as is seen in the person of a young man, of whom I will tell you.
Giambattista Basile (circa 1575-1632) Stories from the Pentamerone, The Merchant.

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Albert Camus (1913-1960) - Return to Tipasa (1952)

Where there is great love there are always miracles.
Willa Cather (1873-1947) - Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927)

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. By a small sample we may judge of the whole piece.
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15)



If you can’t distinguish people from lap-dogs, you shouldn’t undertake philanthropic work.
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) - The Princess (1886)

There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect.
G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936) - The Defendant (1901) "A Defence of Heraldry"

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
Leonardo da Vinci

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.
Will Durant - The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers (1926) [Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books, 1991, ISBN 0-671-73916-6] Ch. II: Aristotle and Greek Science; part VII: Ethics and the Nature of Happiness: Misattributed to Aristotle becuse Durant's summation of Aristotle's ideas were taken as being the words of Aristotle himself.

Let him go where he will, he can only find so much beauty or worth as he carries.
Variant: Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Essays, "Culture"


Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

. . . the world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.
Albert Einstein - Einstein's tribute to Pablos Casals (30 March 1953), in Conversations with Casals (1957), by Josep Maria Corredor

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
Albert Einstein - Letter to Morris Raphael Cohen, professor emeritus of philosophy at the College of the City of New York, defending the appointment of Bertrand Russell to a teaching position (19 March 1940).

Let no one be slow to seek wisdom when he is young nor weary in the search of it when he has grown old. For no age is too early or too late for the health of the soul.
Epicurus (341 BC - 269 BC)- "Letter to Menoeceus", as translated in Stoic and Epicurean (1910) by Robert Drew Hicks, p. 167

Self-sufficiency is the greatest of all wealth.
Epicurus (341 BC - 269 BC) - The Essential Epicurus : Letters, Principal Doctrines, Vatican sayings, and fragments (1993) edited by Eugene Michael O'Connor, p. 99

If you live according to nature you will never be poor, if according to fancy you will never be rich.
Epicurus (341 BC - 269 BC) - quoted in Lucius Annaeus Seneca, (The Younger) (4BC =- 65AD) Epistolae, XVI., 7.

A poet once said, "The whole universe is in a glass of wine." We will probably never know in what sense he meant that, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe.
Richard Feynman - The Feynman Lectures on Physics (1964)

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
Malcom S. Forbes (1919-1990) -  “The Sayings of Chairman Malcolm,”  Misattributed to Samuel Johnson among others.

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.
Margaret Fuller

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
Galileo Galilei

Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) - Young India (Oct 22, 1925) in Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol 33, p135.

Beauty is not in the face. Beauty is a light in the heart.
Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) - The Eye of the Prophet, 1995, 94.

We who didn't inherit political power nor are made to acquire riches like nothing better than that which expands and solidifies the power of the spirit.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832) - Letter, June 17, 1784, to Charlotte von Stein.

Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it.
Andre Gide (1869-1951) -

But the safety of the world, in some sense, depends on your saying "no" to inhumane ideas. Standing up for one's own integrity makes you no friends. It is costly. Yet defiance of the mob, in the service of that which is right, is one of the highest expressions of courage I know.
Gabrielle Giffords - Commencement address, Scripps College, 2009.

It contributes greatly towards a man's moral and intellectual health, to be brought into habits of companionship with individuals unlike himself, who care little for his pursuits, and whose sphere and abilities he must go out of himself to appreciate.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Henry S. Haskins - Meditations in Wall Street - Author's name originally withheld and later identified by the New York Times as Haskins. Misattributed to Holmes, Thoreau and a host of others. Article here.

What is divine escapes men's notice because of their incredulity.
Heraclitus (535 BC - 435 BC) - Fragments



If there is anything more poignant than a body dying for lack of food it is a mind dying for lack of light.
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) - Les Misérables (1862) (IV.7.iv)

Everything is sweet, quiet, happy and calmed; God looks.
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) - Les Contemplations



There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) - Time must have a Stop, 1944

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
William James (1842-1910)

Imagination is the eye of the soul.
Joseph Joubert - Some of the ‘Thoughts’ of Joseph Joubert (1867), published by William V. Spencer (Boston), translated by George H. Calvert, Chapter III (Of Man, Of Organs, the Soul and the Intellectual Faculties), p. 49

Long ago I became convinced that the seeing see little. . .The panorama of color and action which fills the world is taken for granted. It is human, perhaps, to appreciate little that which we have and to long for that which we have not, but it is a great pity that in the world of light the gift of sight is used only as a mere convenience rather than as a means of adding fullness to life.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) - "Three Days to See," January, 1933, The American Idea: The Best of the Atlantic Monthly

In a mad world only the mad are sane.
Akira Kurosawa (1910-1998) -from the movie Ran, 1985 Jidaigeki film

The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) - Strength to Love, ch. 7 (1963)

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004) - Elizabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation quotes page:


I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Isaac Newton (1642-1746) - Attributed to Newton, however authors Peter Coveney and Roger Highfield assert in The Arrow of Time (1990) that it is unlikely that Newton ever visited a seashore.

If I love a person, I would love that which most makes him a person: the secrecy, the hiddenness, the solitude of his individual being, which God alone can penetrate and understand.
Thomas Merton

Curiosity can take you places ambition could never dream of.
Mari Messer

Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.
James Michener - Chesapeake (1978)

You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.
Olin Miller

Throughout history the world has been laid waste to ensure the triumph of conceptions that are now as dead as the men that died for them.
Henry de Montherlant - Selected Essays, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1960, p268.

In the heart of every apple is an entire orchard waiting only to be planted.
Thorstan Osborne, M.H. - Web site,

The cause is hidden, but the result is known. [Lat., Causa latet: vis est notissima.]
Ovid - Metamorphoses (IV, 287)

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.
Pericles (495 BC -425BC) - quoted in Flicker to Flame : Living with Purpose, Meaning, and Happiness (2006) by Jeffrey Thompson Parker, p. 118


What an immense power over the life is the power of possessing distinct aims. The voice, the dress, the look, the very motion of a person, define and alter when he or she begins to live for a reason.
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

My object is to show what I have found, not what I am looking for.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) - From an interview with Marius de Zayas, 1923



The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.
Plutarch - On Listening to Lectures

Love is space and time measured by the heart. Variant: Love is space and time made tender to the heart.
L'amour, c'est l'espace et le temps rendus sensibles au coeur.
Marcel Proust (1871-1922) - In Search of Lost Time (1913-1927),l Vol. V: The Captive (1923)

When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere. Variant: for tranquility, peace of mind (Repos)
François de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) - Maximes (Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims (1665–1678), 1665, #53


The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves but in our attitude towards them.
Antoine DE Saint-Exupery

The highest knowledge is to know that we are surrounded by mystery.
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965 ) - The Spiritual Life :Selected Writings Of Albert Schweitzer, originally published as Albert Schweitzer: An Anthology, 1947

While all excesses are hurtful, the most dangerous is unlimited good fortune. It excites the brain, it evokes vain fancies in the mind, and clouds in deep fog the boundary between falsehood and truth.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, (The Younger) (4BC =- 65AD) - Moral Essays, Vol 1, On Providence, iv 9-13

There is no pleasure in the possession of any blessing unless we share it with another.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, (The Younger) (4BC =- 65AD)
- Epistolae, VI., 4.

To be always fortunate, and to pass through life with a soul that has never known sorrow, is to be ignorant of one half of nature.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, (The Younger) (4BC =- 65AD) -De Procidentia, IV., 1.

Let us not only scatter benefits, but even strew flowers for our fellow-travellers, in the rugged ways of this wretched world.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773) - letter, Nov. 7, 1765, Chesterfield's Letters to his Son and Others, p. 290, London, Dent (1796).

You will find that reason, which always ought to direct mankind, seldom does; but that passions and weaknesses commonly usurp its seat, and rule in its stead.
Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694-1773) - Letters Written by the Late Right Honourable Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl, Earl of Chesterfield, to his Son, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl, Esq, 5th ed., vol. IV, p. 54, London (1774).

Just as the right to speak and the right to refrain from speaking are complementary components of a broader concept of individual freedom of mind, so also the individual’s freedom to choose his own creed is the counterpart of his right to refrain from accepting the creed established by the majority.
John Paul Stevens

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
Robert Louis Stevenson

The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
Anne Sullivan - Spoken to Helen Keller, recounted by Keller in the book "The Story of My Life," 1905

Bitter for a free man is the bondage of debt. Variant: Debt is the slavery of the free.
Alienum aes homini ingenuo acerba est servitus.
Publilius Syrus, (1st C. B.C.) - Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus,, Maxim 14, Tr. D. Lyman, Barnard & CO, Cincinnati, OH, 1856, p. 14.

A wise man rules his passions, a fool obeys them.
Publilius Syrus, (1st C. B.C.) - Moral Sayings of Publius Syrus,, Maxim 49, Tr. D. Lyman, Barnard & CO, Cincinnati, OH, 1856, p. 16.

There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man.
How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.

Variant - Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
Leo Tolstoy - As quoted in The Artist's Way at Work : Riding the Dragon (1999) by Mark A. Bryan with Julia Cameron and Catherine A. Allen, p. 160

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
Unknown - Attributed to Churchill on the web and in print, but not before 2001. The Churchill Center searched over 2.5 million words by and about Churchill and cannot find any reference that points to Churchill ever having said those words.

Character, not circumstances, makes the man.
Booker T. Washington - "Democracy and Education", speech, Institute of Arts and Sciences, Brooklyn NY (1896-09-30)

There are two ways of spreading light: to be
The candle or the mirror that reflects it.
Edith Wharton - "Vesalius in Zante (1564)", in North American Review (November 1902), p. 631



To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Though we see the same world, we see it through different eyes.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) - Three Guineas (1938), p18.

Sex is the Tabasco sauce which an adolescent national palate sprinkles on every course in the menu.
Mary Day Winn