Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

People

"What can be the aim of withholding from children, or let us say from young people, this information about the sexual life of human beings? Is it a fear of arousing interest in such matters prematurely, before it spontaneously stirs in them? Is it a hope of retarding by concealment of this kind the development of the sexual instinct in general, until such time as it can find its way into the only channels open to it in the civilized social order? Is it supposed that children would show no interest or understanding for the facts and riddles of sexual life if they were not prompted to do so by outside influence? Is it regarded as possible that the knowledge withheld from them will not reach them in other ways? Or is it genuinely and seriously intended that later on they should consider everything connected with sex as something despicable and abhorrent from which their parents and teachers wish to keep them apart as long as possible? I am really at a loss so say which of these can be the motive for the customary concealment from children of everything connected with sex. I only know that these arguments are one and all equally foolish, and that I find it difficult to pay them the compliment of serious refutation." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"What are the qualities of Life? It can be shared forever, but cannot be kept forever. When given to another, it brings great joy to all; when taken, the anguish for many is great. It is sometimes maintained by less than the thread of a string and sometimes lost despite the hopes of millions. Its frailty and end are obvious, but its strength and limits endless. So share your life with me while we are together so we can create that which will bring joy to others. When this life is over, let the meaning of our lives be found not on a list of accomplishments, but in the hearts and souls of the people with whom we shared our fragile existence. Let our lives not be measured by what we did for others, but by what we helped people do for themselves." - Mike Gass, fully Michael A. Gass

"The usefulness of historical knowledge in philosophy, here as elsewhere, is that the prejudices of our own period may lose their grip on us if we imaginatively enter into another period, when people’s prejudices were different." - Peter Geach, fully Peter Thomas Geach

"One man can completely change the character of a country, and the industry of its people, but dropping a single seed in fertile soil." - John Clayton Gifford

"Maybe the purpose of life is not as important as the process of growth that’s integral with being alive... In answering the question “What’s the meaning of life?” maybe the people who have taken the challenges of life as meaningful are the best ones to ask... These are the people who have appreciated and taken advantage of the possibilities life has to offer. They find life precious." - Philip Glass

"One of the almost numberless advantages of goodness is, that it blinds its possessor to many of those faults in others which could not fail to be detected by the morally defective. A consciousness of unworthiness renders people extremely quick-sighted in discerning the vices of their neighbors; as person scan easily discover in others the symptoms of those diseases beneath which they themselves have suffered." - Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington, born Margaret Power

"Most people work for the greater part of their time for a mere living; and the little freedom which remains to them so troubles them that they use every means of getting rid of it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"What do people mean when they talk about unhappiness? It is not so much unhappiness as impatience that from time to time possesses men, and then they choose to call themselves miserable." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"It is one thing when business is interested in young people as students. Quite another when they are interested in students as consumers. It is one thing when the marketplace supports the schools. Quite another when the schools become a marketplace." - Ellen Goodman

"Our opinion of people depends less upon what we see in them than in what they make us see in ourselves." - Sarah Grand, pseudonymn of Frances Elizabeth Bellenden Clarke McFall

"The character of a people, like the character of a person, should not be measured by its worst, but rather by its best; and reckoned by that rule and by that standard." - David Hummell Greer

"Prejudices are the principles of people we dislike." - John P. Grier

"The biggest gap in the world is the gap between the justice of a cause and the motives of the people pushing it." - John P. Grier

"A person who does not mix with other people will not know how to help others. Such a person lacks knowledge about the way people think, their wants and their desires. Even if he wants to help others, he will not know what is good for them. When he wants to comply with the wishes of others, he will confuse them with his own wishes. Because he lacks knowledge about other people, he will not be able to say what is appropriate and acceptable even if he tries. His obstacle is not a lack of love for his fellow man, but a lack of understanding of others." - Avraham Grodzinski

"There is a great amount of deception in honor giving. Many people who give honor are really takers." - Avraham Grodzinski

"The world is what people make it." - Ralph A. Habas, fully Ralph Alfred Habas

"Some people carry their hearts in their heads; very many carry their heads in their hearts. The difficulty is to keep them apart, yet both actively working together." - Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

"What a person praises is perhaps a surer standard, even than what he condemns, of his own character, information and abilities. No wonder then, that in this prudent country most people are so shy of praising anything." - Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

"Strong people are made by opposition like kites that go up against the wind." - Frank Harris

"[Paraphrase] The most dangerous walls are not political or military boundaries but the walls that mutually divide individual people and that divide our own souls. My presidential agenda would be to bring spirituality, moral responsibility and humility into politics and, in that respect, to make clear that there is something higher above us." -

"The purpose of my existence as I climb is to adapt my personal dimensions to the environment around me at each moment. I become an active player sharing some of the responsibility for my own destiny, achieving a heightened sense of awareness and seeing the direct result of my efforts; either I fall or I reach the top. But the meaning does not come from conquering the rock. Purpose comes from moving in harmony with nature, rather than destroying it or altering it for my immediate satisfaction. What gives life meaning is the fulfillment of directing energy in a way that brings a higher order to, and harmony with, the environment I live in... The ultimate meaning of our lives is relative to how much we have given to others. The ultimate meaning of our lives is connected with death... I would like to know that I have inspired people to go beyond self-limiting stereotypes to experience and nurture the true richness of their passions." - Lynn Hill, aka Lynn Hill-Raffa

"There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting up people." - John Andrew Holmes

"Conceit is just as natural a thing to human minds as a centre is to a circle. But little-minded people’s thoughts move in such small circles that five minute’s’ conversation gives you an arc long enough to determine their whole curve. An arc in the movement of a large intellect does not differ sensibly from a straight line." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"Humility is the first of the virtues - for other people." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"Most people think dramatically, not quantitatively." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"People who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be "consistent."" - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"When there is a lack of honor in government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned." - Herbert Hoover, fully Herbert Clark Hoover

"What people say behind your back is your standing in the community in which you live." - E. W. Howe, fully Edgar Watson Howe

"People tolerate those they fear further than those they love." - E. W. Howe, fully Edgar Watson Howe

"Your true nature is not lost in moments of delusion, nor is it gained at the moment of enlightenment. It was never born and can never die. It shines through the whole universe, filling emptiness, one with emptiness. It is without time or space, and has no passions, actions, ignorance, or knowledge. In it there are no things, no people, and no Buddhas; it contains not the smallest hairbreadth of anything that exists objectively; it depends on nothing and is attached to nothing. It is all-pervading, radiant beauty: absolute reality, self-existent and uncreated. How then can you doubt that the Buddha has no mouth to speak with and nothing to teach, or that the truth is learned without learning, for who is there to learn? It is a jewel beyond all price." - Huang Po, also Huángbò Xīyùn

"People do not lack strength; they lack will." - Victor Hugo

"The spirit of the people must frequently be roused, in order to curb the ambition of the court; and the dread of rousing this spirit must be employed to prevent that ambition. Nothing so effectual to this purpose as the liberty of the press; by which all the learning, wit, and genius of the nation, may be employed on the side of freedom, and every one be animated to its defense." - David Hume

"A large amount of physical pain and suffering is caused by one’s thoughts and behaviors. The desire for food causes people to overeat and consume food that is harmful to their health. Envy, anger, and honor-seeking lead to diseases of the heart, high blood pressure, nervous tension and excessive stress. Moreover, even when you pain is basically caused by physical symptoms, your mental attitude towards the pain can greatly increase or decrease the actual amount of suffering you experience. The pain you suffer from illnesses and injuries is frequently more psychological than physical. A person who learns to master a calm and serene attitude towards life trains himself to tolerate physical pain and the actual suffering is greatly lessened." - Pinchos Hurwitz

"“What thoughts were going through your mind when you received so much honor?” “I imagined that it was my funeral procession and the people were escorting me to the cemetery. This prevented me from feeling arrogant.”" - Pinchos Hurwitz

"Many people are mistaken about how they can improve their situation. They think they will have peace of mind only when they have obtained everything they desire. But this is erroneous. Gratifying desires does not bring lasting satisfaction. The only path to achieve satisfaction is to stop desiring more things. As long as a person is unable to control his desiring, his problems will not be overcome... The only way to find real satisfaction in life is to stop desiring what is beyond your reach." - Yosef Y. Hurwitz

"Most people tend to perform the actions that require least effort, to think the thoughts that are easiest, to feel the emotions that are most vulgarly commonplace, to give the rein to desires that are most nearly animal." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"People always get what they ask for; the only trouble is that they never know, until they get it, what it actually is that they have asked for." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"Too much consistency is as bad for the mind as it is for the body. Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The vast majority of people are slavers to their desires. The true king who deserves a royal crown is only a person who is free from the pressures of his desires." - Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra, also known as Ben Ezra or Abenezra

"On the whole, the unhappiest people seem to be those who have no particular cause for being happy except that they are so." - William Ralph Inge

"The happiest people seem to be those who have no particular cause for being happy except that they are so." - William Ralph Inge

"The happy people are those who are producing something; the bored people are those who are consuming much and producing nothing. Boredom is a certain sign that we are allowing our faculties to rust in idleness. When people are bored, they generally look about for a new pleasure, or take a holiday. There is no greater mistake: what they want is some hard piece of work, some productive drudgery. Doctors are fond of sending their fashionable patients to take a rest cure. In nine cases out of ten a work cure would do them far more good." - William Ralph Inge

"The object of studying philosophy is to know one's own mind, not other people's." - William Ralph Inge

"Study the unusually successful people you know, and you will find them imbued with enthusiasm for their work which is contagious. Not only are they themselves excited about what they are doing, but they also get you excited." - Paul W. Ivey, fully Paul Wesley Ivey

"If you had been looking for happiness in people and events, you discovered that it is not there. If you look to outer circumstances for your satisfaction cues, you will stay on an emotion seesaw... True joy is actually part of your nature... Events merely give us an excuse to feel it." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"Many people are willing to rearrange the outer things in their lives, but few are willing to rearrange the priorities of their inner worlds. If your consciousness doesn’t change, you will continually re-create the same old circumstances." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"Personal relationships are a major cause of unhappiness... Trying to find successful ways of dealing with people according to their personality traits is futile and time-consuming, and it puts the emphasis on outer characteristics rather than where it belongs, which is on the inner... There is an underlying sameness to us all... Operating from the space-time continuum, it is too easy to see others as different from us, to see boundaries, to be exclusive. Operating from our spiritual center, however, is to see others as part of ourselves, to see no boundaries, to be inclusive." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"In civilized life... it has at last become possible for large numbers of people to pass from the cradle to the grave without ever having had a pang of genuine fear. Man of us need an attack of mental disease to teach us the meaning of the word. Hence the possibility of so much blindly optimistic philosophy and religion." - William James

"In ethical, psychological and aesthetic matters, to give a clear reason for one’s judgment is universally recognized as a mark of rare genius. The helplessness of uneducated people account for their likes and dislikes is often ludicrous." - William James