Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Youth is a cause of hope for three reasons... And these three reasons may be gathered from the three conditions of the good which is the object of hope - namely, that it is future, arduous and possible... For youth has much of the future before it, and little of the past; and therefore since memory is of the past, and hope of the future, it has little to remember and lives very much in hope. Again, youths, on account of the heat of their nature, are full of spirit, so that their heart expands, and it is owing to the heart being expanded that one tends to that which is arduous; therefore youths are spirited and hopeful. Likewise they who have not suffered defeat, nor had experience of obstacles to their efforts, are prone to count a thing possible to them. Therefore youths, through inexperience of obstacles and of their own shortcomings, easily count a thing possible, and consequently are of good hope." -

"The goal of all education, preaching, and instruction is the development of mature individuals who will understand that difficulties in life are Divine-ordained challenges to overcome and opportunities for growth, and not excuses for defeat and self-ruination." - Aaron M. Brafman

"To bear up under loss; to fight the bitterness of defeat and the weakness of grief; to be victor over anger, to smile when tears are close; to resist disease and evil men and base instincts; to hate hate and to love love; to go on when it would seem good to die; to look up with unquenchable faith in something ever more about to be - that is what any man can do, and be great." - Zane Grey Orig. name Pearl Grey

"Defeat serves to enlighten us." - Johann Kaspar Lavater

"If men had only temptations to great sins, they would always be good; but the daily fight with little ones accustoms them to defeat." -

"They say there's nothing sadder than victory except defeat. The young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old have reminiscences of what never happened." -

"There's no defeat in truth, save from within; unless you're beaten there, you're bound to win!" -

"Life cannot defeat a writer who is in love with writing - for life itself is a writer's love until death." - Edna Ferber

"The power of words is immense. A well-chosen word has often sufficed to stop a flying army, to change defeat into victory, and to save an empire." - Madame Émile de Girardin, Delphine de Girardin, née Gay

"Victory and defeat are each of the same price." - Thomas Jefferson

"Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"The limitation of riots, moral questions aside, is that they cannot win and their participants know it. Hence, rioting is not revolutionary but reactionary because it invites defeat. It involves an emotional catharsis, but it must be followed by a sense of futility." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Let a defeat, which is possibly but small, appear undisguised. A fault concealed is presumed to be great." - Martial, full name Marcus Valarius Martialis NULL

"It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man by argument." - William Gibbs McAdoo

"A man's happiness requires a great deal more than any material thing. We all find it out sooner or later. If we live our lives thoughtlessly, we defeat our purpose; because our faith in God becomes shattered and there is no greater loss." - Paramananda, fully Swami Paramananda, born Suresh Chandra Guha-Thakurta NULL

"In victory the very cowards may brag, defeat discredits even the brave." -

"Did we think victory great? So it is - but now it seems to me, when it cannot be helped, that defeat is great and that death and dismay are great." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure." - George Edward Woodberry

"Victory breeds hate, for the conquered is unhappy. He who has given up both victory and defeat, he, the contented is happy." -

"It’s easier to succeed because failure exacts a high price in terms of time when you have to do a job over. It’s easier to succeed because success eliminates the agony and frustration of defeat. It’s easier to succeed because money spent to fail must be spent again to succeed. It’s easier to succeed because a person’s credibility decreases with each failure, making it harder to succeed the second time. And it’s easier to succeed because joy and expressions of affirmation come from succeeding, whereas feelings of discouragement and discontent accompany failure." - S. Truett Cathy

"Victory breeds hatred, for the conquered is unhappy. The calm one is he who has given up both victory and defeat." - Dhammapada NULL

"To overextend yourself is to invite defeat." -

"As always, victory finds a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan." - Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari

"Heroes are made in the hour of defeat. Success is, therefore, well described as a series of glorious defeats." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"It is often much more difficult to learn from victory than from defeat. In defeat, questions are asked abut what went wrong, so that those mistakes will not be made in the future. But victory seldom creates the need to inquire as to its sources." - Gary Hart, born Gary Warren Hartpence

"He must summon his people to be with him – yet stand above, not squat beside them. He must question his own wisdom and judgment – but not too severely. He must hear the opinions and heed the powers of others – but not too abjectly. He must appease the doubts of his critic and assuage the hurts of the adversary – sometimes. He must ignore their views and achieve their defeat – sometimes… He must respect action – without becoming intoxicated with his own. He must have a sense of purpose inspiring him to magnify the trivial event to serve his distant aim – and to grasp the thorniest crisis as if it were the merest nettle. He must be pragmatic, calculating, and earthbound – and still know when to spurn the arithmetic of expediency for the act of brave imagination, the sublime gamble with no hope other than the boldness of his vision" - Emmet John Hughes

"In frontless war where there are no clear lines on the map to show victory and defeat, the only true measure of progress must be political and nonquantifiable: the impact on the enemy’s will to continue the fight." - Edward Luttwak, fully Edward Nicolae Luttwak

"Idleness leads to relaxation, sooner or later bringing about ideological and material corruption, accompanied by lack of discipline, anarchy, chaos and defeat." - Samora Machel, fully Samora Moisés Machel

"The most vital test of a man’s character is not how he behaves after success, but how he sustains defeat." - Raymond Moley, fully Raymond Charles Moley

"The deepest personal defeat suffered by human beings is constituted by the difference between what one was capable of becoming and what one has in fact become." -

"In all conflict with evil, the method to be used is love and not force. When we use evil methods to defeat evil, it is evil that wins." - Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, fully Sir or Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

"We may fight against what is wrong, but if we allow ourselves to hate, that is to insure our spiritual defeat and our likeness to what we hate." - George William Russell

"Important rules to watch in living. Keep life simple. Avoid watching for the knock in your motor. Learn to like work. Have a good hobby. Learn to be satisfied. Like people, say cheerful pleasant things. Turn the defeat of adversity into victory. Met your problems with decision. Make the present moment a success. Always be planning something. Say “nuts” to irritations." - John A. Schindler

"If everything is coming your way, you are probably in the wrong lane. Adversity and defeat are more conducive to spiritual growth than prosperity and victory." -

"The eternal message of the Exodus is not to glory in the defeat of the oppressors or wait until they become the losers and we the victors… The main message is that whichever way you turn in a relationship of exploitation or objectification, you lose." - Sheila Peltz Weinberg

"Disappointment, defeat, despair are the tools God uses to show us the way." - Paul Dirac, fully Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac

"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat." -

"Weapons didn't defeat slavery. Nor did war, nor politics, nor even the Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery fell because it offended the human spirit, broke the human heart, and thus could not stand." - Aaron Freeman

"Each struggle, each defeat, sharpens your skills and strengths, your courage and your endurance, your ability and your confidence."" - Og Mandino

"Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats. Yet each struggle, each defeat, sharpens your skills and strengths, your courage and your endurance, your ability and your confidence and thus each obstacle is a comrade-in-arms forcing you to become better or quit. Each rebuff is an opportunity to move forward; turn away from them, avoid them, and you throw away your future." - Og Mandino

"Though sixteen civilizations may have perished already to our knowledge, and nine others may be now at the point of death, we - the twenty-sixty - are not compelled to submit the riddle of our fate to the blind arbitrament of statistics. The divine spark of creative power is still alive in us, and, if we have the grace to kindle it into flame, then the stars in their courses cannot defeat our efforts to attain the goal of human endeavor." - Arnold J. Toynbee, fully Arnold Joseph Toynbee

"The emergence of a superman or a great mystic or a genius or a superior personality inevitably precipitates a social conflict. The conflict will be more or less acute, according to the degree in which the creative individual happens to rise above the average level of his former kin and kind. But some conflict is inevitable, since the social equilibrium which the genius has upset by the mere fact of his personal emergence has eventually to be restored either by his social triumph or by his social defeat." - Arnold J. Toynbee, fully Arnold Joseph Toynbee

"Our eyes see only by permission of the mind... Truly our minds can be barriers, not because of the knowledge they acquire, but because of the intellectual habit of interpreting the unknown in terms of the known. The spiritual transcendent and the mind not only suffers defeat in trying to interpret it, but also blocks reception of the formless Real" - Arthur W Osborn

"Inner peace is beyond victory or defeat." - Bhagavad Gītā, simply known as Gita NULL

"Emulation looks out for merits, that she may exalt herself by a victory; envy spies out blemishes, that she may lower another by a defeat." - Charles Caleb Colton

"Emulation looks out for merits, that she may exalt herself by victory; envy spies out blemishes, that she may lower another by defeat." - Charles Caleb Colton

"We strive as hard to hide our hearts from ourselves as from others, and always with more success; for in deciding upon our own case we are both judge, jury, and executioner, and where sophistry cannot overcome the first, or later the second, self-love is always ready to defeat the sentence by bribing the mind." - Charles Caleb Colton

"The general of a large army may be defeated, but you cannot defeat the determined mind of a peasant." - Confucius, aka Kong Qiu, Zhongni, K'ung Fu-tzu or Kong Fuzi NULL

"Dejection and despair lead to defeatism and defeat." - Dag Hammarskjöld

"The pursuit of peace and progress cannot end in a few years in either victory or defeat. The pursuit of peace and progress, with its trials and its errors, its successes and its setbacks, can never be relaxed and never abandoned" - Dag Hammarskjöld