Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

People

"You are not angry with people when you laugh at them. Humour teaches tolerance." -

"Fear makes strangers of people who should be friends." -

"There is no such thing as absolute truth... People are less deceived by failing to see the truth than by failing to see its limits." - Gabriel Sénac de Meilhan

"Love cures people. Both the ones who give it, and the ones who receive it." -

"The worst-tempered people I've ever met were people who knew they were wrong." - Wilson Mizner

"God changes not what is in a people, until they change what is in themselves." -

"The most effective way of attacking vice is to expose it to public ridicule. People can put up with rebukes but they cannot bear being laughed at: they are prepared to be wicked but they dislike appearing ridiculous." - Molière, pen name of Jean Baptiste Poquelin NULL

"Love hates people to be attached to each other except by himself, and takes a laggard part in relations that are set up and maintained under another title, as marriage is. Connections and means have, with reason, as much weight in it as graces and beauty, or more. We do not marry for ourselves, whatever we say; we marry must as much or more for our posterity, for our family. The practice and benefit of marriage concerns our race very far beyond us. Therefore I like this fashion of arranging it rather by a third hand than by our own, and by the sense of other rather than by our own. How opposite is all this to the conventions of love!" - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Through a fatality inseparable from human nature, moderation in great men is very rare: and as it is always much easier to push on force in the direction in which it moves than to stop its movement, so in the superior class of the people, it is less difficult, perhaps, to find men extremely virtuous, than extremely prudent." - Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"The measure of a man is not the number of his servants but in the number of people whom he serves." - Paul Moody, fully Paul Dwight Moody

"Repentance should be with joy. If repentance is sincere, the person will be joyful even though he is humble. If repentance is insincere, the person will be depressed and irritable and will react with anger toward people who speak with him." - Mordechai of Lekhivitz NULL

"Love transcends normal needs and motives, revealing a unity among people and things more fundamental than any differences between them. It is its own reward." - Michael Murphy

"Some people ask why the righteous suffer in this world. To a great extent the question is based on a misconception. Often, the criteria people use to judge whether another person is living a good life or not is by his financial standard of living... A truly righteous person by definition lives a happy life. Such a person has internalized the awareness that all the occurrences in his life are for the good, and he has satisfaction from his life. His life has meaning and purpose. His whole being is focused on spiritual elevation. He deeply feels that the good life is to fulfill the will of the Almighty and hence he feels great pleasure in the good deeds that he performs." - Yaakov Neiman

"People will listen a great deal more patiently when you explain your mistakes than when you explain your success." - Wilbur N. Nesbit

"One secret act of self-denial, one sacrifice of inclination to duty, is worth all the mere good thoughts, warm feelings, passionate prayers in which idle people indulge themselves." -

"An egotist is not a man who thinks too much of himself; he is a man who thinks too little of other people." - Joseph Fort Newton

"People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges." - Joseph Fort Newton

"It is in life that we have to ‘perfect’ ourselves. If we limit ‘this life’ to one single journey between birth and death there is not enough time. People give up trying, just because of this appearance of things. They do not bend the life round in a circle, but leave the whole matter to the ‘hereafter’. We cannot grasp that beyond the ‘end’ lies the beginning... Beyond our life we meet - our life. We cannot turn in any other direction!" - Maurice Nicoll

"The time-man in us does not know now. He is always preparing something in the future, or busy with what happened in the past... All decisions that belong to the life in time, to success, to business, comfort, are about ‘tomorrow’. All decisions about the right thing to do, about how to act, are about tomorrow. It is only what is done in now that counts, and this is a decision always about oneself and with oneself, even though its effect may touch other people’s lives ‘tomorrow’. Now is spiritual... Spiritual values have nothing to do with time." - Maurice Nicoll

""Every man has a price." This is not true. but for every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing. To win over certain people to something, it is only necessary to give it a gloss of love of humanity, nobility, gentleness, self-sacrifice - and there is nothing you cannot get them to swallow. To their souls, these are the icing, the tidbit: other kinds of soul have others." -

"A tablet of virtues hangs over every people." -

"Many people wait throughout their whole lives for the chance to be good in their own fashion." -

"The People have the right to the Truth as they have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not right that they be exploited and deceived with false views of life, false characters, false sentiment, false morality, false history, false philosophy, false emotions, false heroism, false notions of self-sacrifice, false views of religion , of duty, of conduct and manners." - Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Norris

"Half the things that people do not succeed in, are through fear of making the attempt." - James Northcote

"People work for self-expression." - Howard Vincent O'Brien

"The measure of a man is not according to the number of his servants, but according to the number of people whom he serves." -

"A person once came into a room where a few people were sleeping. The sleepers were dreaming nightmares and cried in their sleep. The person who was awake did not join them in their crying for he realized it was merely a dream. Similarly, I realize this world is like a dream. People upset over worldly matters are as in the midst of a nightmare. I am awake and am cognizant of how illusory worldly suffering really is." - Rabbi Eliezer ben Isaac Papo, aka "ha-Kosesh" or "The Saint"

"The earth we live on is so small that even if someone was honored by everyone on our planet it is still insignificant. Also, a person’s lifetime is so short that even if he received honor and approval his entire life, it is so short in comparison with eternity. This is the ultimate success an approval-seeker can hope for, but the reality is that even if you spend you entire life trying to win the approval of others, only a small number of people will know and approve of you. The approval you do gain lasts a very short time and is soon forgotten as if it never was." - Bachya Ibn Pekudah

"Many people fail to enjoy what they have because they keep desiring what they lack. As soon as they obtain one thing, they automatically seek to acquire something else. All the good things they already have are considered as unimportant in their eyes." - Bachya Ibn Pekudah

"Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind. People grow old only by deserting their ideals and outgrowing the consciousness of youth. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. You are as old as your doubt; your fear; your despair. The way to keep young is to keep your faith young. Keep your self-confidence young. Keep your hope young." - Luella F. Phelan

"Disagreement in morals, as in everything else, can occur only among people who, sharing a way of life, hold certain things in common which they do not consider to be in dispute." - D. Z. Phillips and H. O. Mounce

"The rout and destruction of the passions, while a good, is not the ultimate good; the discovery of Wisdom is the surpassing good. When this is found, all the people will sing." - Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew NULL

"There are some people who think that all the world should share their misfortune, although they do not share in the sufferings of anybody else." - Achilles Poincelot

"It is undoubtedly true that some people mistake sycophancy for good nature, but it is equally true that man more mistake impertinence for sincerity." - George Dennison Prentice

"Many good people admire what is bad, but no one condemns what is good." - Quintilian, fully Marcus Fabius Quintilianus, also Quintillian and Quinctilian NULL

"The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we hold of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us." -

"The world is governed by three things - wisdom, authority, and appearance. Wisdom for thoughtful people, authority for rough people, and appearances for the great mass of superficial people who can look only at the outside." - Abbé Raynal

"The rule of law is essentially a negative value. The law inevitably creates a great danger of arbitrary power - the rule of law is designed to minimize the danger created by the law itself. Similarly, the law may be unstable, obscure, retrospective, etc., and thus infringe people’s freedom and dignity. The rule of law is designed to prevent his danger as well. Thus the rule of law is a negative virtue in two senses: conformity to it does not cause good except through avoiding evil and the evil which is avoided is evil which could only have been caused by the law itself." - Joseph Raz

"If you wish to please people, you must begin by understanding them." - Charles Reade

"Love means giving one’s self to another person fully, not just physically. When two people really love each other, this helps them to stay alive and grow. One must be loved to grow. Love’s such a precious and fragile thing that when it comes we have to hold on tightly. And when it comes, we’re very lucky because for some it never comes at all. If you have love, you’re wealthy in a way that can never be measured." - Nancy Reagan, born Anne Frances Robbins

"One cannot properly appreciate the human realities so long as one labors under the adolescent delusion that people get the fates they deserve." - Nicholas Rescher

"Strong feelings do not necessarily make a strong character. The strength of a man is to be measured by the power of the feelings he subdues, not by the power of those which subdue him... Cultivate consideration for the feelings of other people if you would not have your own injured." -

"A society in which everyone works is not necessarily a free society and may indeed be a slave society; on the other hand, a society in which there is widespread insecurity can turn freedom into a barren and vapid right for millions of people." -

"It would be a mistake to found a natural science on ‘what we really think’ ... opinions are interpretations, and often misinterpretations, of sense-experience; and the man of science must appeal from these to sense-experience itself, which furnishes his real data. In ethics no such appeal is possible... the moral convictions of thoughtful and well-educated people are the data of ethics just as sense-perceptions are the data of a natural science." - W. D. Ross, fully Sir William David Ross

"Old men grasp more at life than babies, and leave it with much worse grace than young people. It is because all their labours have been for this life, they perceive at last their trouble lost." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Whoever refuses to obey the general will [of the people] shall be constrained to do so by the whole society; this means nothing else than that he shall be forced to be free." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"When a law is proposed in the people’s assembly, what is asked of them is not precisely whether they approve of the proposition or reject it, but whether it is in conforming with the general will which is theirs; each by giving his vote gives his opinion on this question, and the counting of votes yields a declaration of the general will. When, therefore, the opinion contrary to my own prevails, this proves only that I have made a mistake, and that what I believed to be the general will was not so. If my particular opinion had prevailed against the general will, I should have done something other than what I had willed, and then I should not have been free. This presupposes, it is true, that all characteristics of the general will are still to be found in the majority; when these cease to be there, no matter what position men adopt, there is no longer any freedom." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"I must accept life unconditionally. Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can only be felt if you don't set any condition." - Arthur Rubenstein

"Civilized people cannot fully satisfy their sexual instinct without love." -