Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Right

"There needs but thinking right and meaning well." - Alexander Pope

"Compulsion hardly restores right; love yields all things." - Jane Porter

"Look at me - I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches, but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love." - Red Cloud, fully Maȟpíya Lúta in Lakota NULL

"Responsibility is measured, not by the amount of injury resulting from wrong action, but by the distinctness with which conscience has the opportunity of distinguishing between the right and the wrong." -

"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." -

"No act is ever, in virtue of falling under some general description, necessarily actually right... moral acts often (as every one knows) and indeed always (on reflection we must admit) have different characteristics that tend to make them a the same time prima facie right and prima facie wrong; there is probably no act, for instance, which does good to anyone without doing harm to someone else, and vice versa." - W. D. Ross, fully Sir William David Ross

"Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to save it." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"The fundamental principle of all morals, on the basis of which I have reasoned in all my writings... is that man is naturally good, loving justice and order; that there is absolutely no original perversity in the human heart, and that the first movements of nature are always right." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Right conduct can never, except by some rare accident, be promoted by ignorance or hindered by knowledge." -

"The freedom we should seek is not the right to oppress others, but the right to live as we choose and think as we choose where our doing so does not prevent others from doing likewise." -

"Religion isn’t yours firsthand until you doubt it right down to the ground." - Francis Bowes Sayre

"Every individual character is in the right that is in strict consistence with itself. Self-contradiction is the only wrong." - Friedrich Schiller, fully Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

"Every right has its responsibilities. Like the right itself, these responsibilities stem from no man-made law, but from the very nature of man and society. The security, progress and welfare of one group is measured finally in the security, progress and welfare of all mankind." - Lewis Schwellenbach, fully Lewis Baxter Schwellenbach

"The race of mankind would perish did they cease to aid each other. We cannot exist without mutual help. All therefore that need aid and have a right to ask it from their fellowmen; and no one who has the power of granting can refuse it without guilt." -

"Hesitation is the best cure for anger. Seek this concession from anger right away, not to gain its pardon, but that it may evidence some discrimination. The first blows of anger are heavy, but if it waits, it will think again. Do not try to destroy it immediately. Attacked piecemeal, it will be entirely overcome." -

"The best way to do good to ourselves, is to do it to others; the right way to gather, is to scatter. This is the law of benefits between men; the one ought to forget at once what he has given, and the other ought never forget what he has received." -

"We become wiser by adversity; prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right." -

"Freedom does not mean the right to do whatever we please, but rather to do whatever we ought... The right to do whatever we please reduces freedom to a physical power and forgets that freedom is a moral power." - Fulton Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

"Self-expression can be wrong as well as right... When self-expression is identified with irrational surrender to lower instincts, it ends by making the person a slave to those passions. Self-denial is not a renunciation of freedom; it is rather the taming of what is savage and base in our nature for what is higher and better. It is a release from imprisonment by our lusts and passions." - Fulton Sheen, fully Archbishop Fulton John Sheen

"How can you clarify if you do good deeds because they are right or merely to gain honor and approval? Ask yourself: “Would I do this if I were all alone and no one would ever find out about my good deed?”" - Binyamin Yehoshua Silver

"No man has a right to do as he pleases, except when he pleases to do right." - Charles Simmons

"The difference between failure and success is doing a thing nearly right and doing it exactly right." - Edward C. Simmons

"The great highroad of human welfare lies along the old highway of steadfast well-doing; and they who are the most persistent, and the work in the truest spirit, will invariably be the most successful; success treads on the heels of every right effort." - Samuel Smiles

"The first and only foundation of virtue, or the rule of right living, is seeking one's own true interest." -

"How often do we contradict the right rules of reason in the course of our lives! Reason itself is true and just, but the reason of every particular man is weak and wavering, perpetually swayed and turned by his interests, his passions, and his vices." - Jonathan Swift, pen names, M.B. Drapier, Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff

"The pious sectarian is proud because he is confident of his right of possession in God. The man of devotion is meek because he is conscious of God’s right of love over his life and soul. The object of our possession becomes smaller than ourselves, and without acknowledging it in so many words the bigoted sectarian has an implicit belief that God can be kept secured for certain individuals in a cage which is of their own make. In a similar manner the primitive races of men believe that their ceremonials have a magic influence upon their deities." -

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - S.G. Tallentyre, nom de plume for Evelyn Beatrice Hall

"Right intention is to the actions of a man what the soul is to the body, or the root to the tree." - Jeremy Taylor

"The right relation between prayer and conduct is not that conduct is supremely important and prayer may help it, but that prayer is supremely important and conduct tests it." - William Temple, fully Archbishop William Temple

"Children should be led into the right paths, not by severity, but by persuasion." -

"Tactlessness is a pain-giving failure to hit upon the right moment." - Theophrastus NULL

"Man’s actions proceed from his innate character and the motives acting upon him. What is conscience and the perception of right and wrong in actions that follows from the consciousness of freedom? That is a question for ethics." -

"Even granting the author [Rutherford]... his main principle, ‘That every man’s own happiness is the ultimate end, which nature and reason teach him to pursue’, why may not nature and reason teach him, too, to have some desire to see others happy as well as himself, or give him some delight in doing what seems fit and right, if these things do not interfere with his own happiness?... Why may he not, with the pursuit of that end, join some other pursuits not inconsistent with it, instead of transforming every benevolent affection, every moral view, into self-interest? This surely neither does honour to religion, nor justice to human nature." - Catharine Trotter Cockburn

"Better is the wrong with sincerity, than the right with falsehood." -

"Always do right. This will gratify some and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens

"The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot." - Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens

"Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better." -

"If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon bronze, time will efface it; if we build temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal souls, if we imbue them with just principles of action, with fear of wrong and love of right, we engrave on those tables something which no time can obliterate, and which will brighten and brighten through all eternity." - Daniel Webster

"The greatest right in the world is the right to be wrong. If the Government or majorities think an individual is right, no one will interfere with him; but when agitators talk against the things considered holy, or when radicals criticise, or satirize the political gods, or question the justice of our laws and institutions, or pacifists talk against war, how the old inquisition awakens, and ostracism, the excommunication of the church, the prison, the wheel, the torture-chamber, the mob, are called to suppress the free expression of thought." - Harry Weinberger

"It is only in the stillness and simplicity of presence - when we are aware of what we are experiencing, when we are here with it as it unfolds - that we can really appreciate our life and reconnect with the ordinary magic of being alive on this earth... Our life is unsatisfactory only because we are not living it fully, because instead we are pursuing a happiness that is always somewhere else, other than where we are right now." - John Welwood

"We call the intention good which is right in itself, but the action is good, not because it contains within it some good, but because it issues from a good intention. The same act may be done by the same man at different times. According to the diversity of his intention, however, this act may be at one time good, at another bad." -

"No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit." - Ansel Adams

"Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature." - Samuel Adams

"Tradition is what you resort to when you don't have the time or the money to do it right." - Kurt Herbert Adler

"The whole secret of remaining young in spite of years, and even of gray hairs, is to cherish enthusiasm in oneself, by poetry, by contemplation, by charity, - that is, in fewer words, the maintenance of harmony in the soul. When everything is in its right place within us, we ourselves are in its right place within us, we ourselves are in equilibrium with the whole work of God. Deep and grave enthusiasm for the eternal beauty and the eternal order, reason touched with emotion and a serene tenderness of heart - these surely are the foundations of wisdom." -

"While an open mind is priceless, it is priceless only when its owner has the courage to make a final decision which closes the mind for action after the process of viewing all sides of the question has been completed. Failure to make a decision after due consideration of all the facts will quickly brand a man unfit for a position of responsibility. Not all of your decisions will be correct. None of us is perfect. But if you get into the habit of making decisions, experience will develop your judgment to a point where more and more of your decisions will be right. After all, it is better to be right 51 percent of the time and get something done, than it is to get nothing done because you fear to reach a decision." - H. W. Andrews

"This is a property of the rational soul, love of one’s neighbor, and truth and modesty, and to value nothing more than itself, which is also the property of Law. Thus then right reason differs not at all from the reason of justice." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"Art is right reason in doing of work." -

"Art is simply a right method of doing things. The test of the artist does not lie in the will with which he goes to work, but in the excellence of the work he produces." -