Professor Miller In-class Assignment for Wednesday: One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to reread what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.


At first, Laurie couldn’t decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. “A.S. Harris to Geostation 17,” he said into his transgalactic communicator. “Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far…” But before he could sign off a bluish partical beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship’s cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.

He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. “Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel.” Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth – when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. “Why must one lose one’s innocence to become a woman?” she pondered wistfully.

Little did she know, but she has less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu’udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu’udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. “We can’t allow this! I’m going to veto that treaty! Let’s blow ’em out of the sky!”

This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.

Yeah? Well, you’re a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.





1. A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.

2. A will is a dead giveaway.

3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

4. A backward poet writes inverse.

5. In a democracy it’s your vote that counts; in feudalism, it’s your Count that votes.

6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

7. If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I’ll show you A-flat miner.

10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

11. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

12. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

13. You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.

14. Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under.

15. He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.

16. A calendar’s days are numbered.

17. A lot of money is tainted: ‘Taint yours, and ‘taint mine.

18. A boiled egg is hard to beat.

19. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

20. A plateau is a high form of flattery.

21. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.

22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

23. When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall.

24. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

25. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d dye.

26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

27. Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.

28. Acupuncture: a jab well done.

29. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.

30. The roundest knight at king Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

31. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

32. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.

33. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

34. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

35. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

36. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

37. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

38. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

39. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

40. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, ‘You stay here, I’ll go on a head.’

41. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

42. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’

43. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, ‘No change yet.’

44. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

45. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

46. Don’t join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.



  • An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. — John W. Gardner (1912-2002) 
  • Money is nothing more or less than a commodity to be used wisely for the greatest possible personal and family benefit. Its value lies not in what it is, but in what it can do. — Unknown 
  • The eyes shout what the lips fear to say. — Will Henry [Henry Wilson Allen] (1912-1991) 
  • Don’t spit in a well. You might want to drink from it. — Scottish Proverb 
  • Warum so einfach wenn es so schõn kompliziert geht? Why be so simple when complexity is so beautiful? — German Maxim 
  • The average reader is more interested in fun than in intellectual pursuits. — William A. Katz (1924-2004) 
  • The most complicated task today is finding a way to live a simple life. — W. A. Nance 
  • He who lowers himself to the level of others realizes only then how tall he once stood. — Jeck 
  • We live in a world of unused and misapplied knowledge and skill. — H. G. Wells (1866-1946) 
  • Bigness is constantly confused with virtue. — Peter Gellatly (1969) 
  • Live in the past; it’s cheaper. Live in the future; it’s better. — Magazine Ad 
  • Education in the West, particularly higher education in America, has lost the ability to see the universe from very far away. — Charles Van Doren (1926- ) 
  • Novel: A prose narrative of some length that has something wrong with it. — Randell Jarrell (1914-1965) 
  • A writer begins and ends with language. — Unknown 
  • Sorrow is too great to exist in small hearts. — Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) 
  • The strongest memory is weaker than the palest ink. — Chinese Proverb 
  • English is a funny language. A fat chance and a slim chance are the same thing. — Jack Herbert 
  • An old mountain man’s prayer: “Lord, I don’t ask for a faith that would move yonder mountain. I can take enough dynamite and move it, if it needs movin’. I pray, Lord, for enough faith to move me.” — Norman Allen 
  • The peoples’ Winter will pass away, and then comes the beautiful Spring, and the flowers must surely bloom in the fields, and the brooks will again leap in the valleys. — Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) 
  • Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love. — Erich Fromm (1900-1980) 
  • Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. — Horace Mann (1796-1859) 
  • We are the sons of Sorrow; we are the poets and the prophets and the musicians. — Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) 
  • See deep enough, and you see musically; the heart of Nature being everywhere music, if you can only reach it. — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) 
  • Life is weaker than Death and Death is weaker than Truth. — Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)
  • Thought, true labor of any kind, highest virtue itself, is it not the daughter of Pain? — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) 
  • The very strength that protects the heart from injury is the strength that prevents the heart from enlarging to its intended greatness within. — Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) 
  • ‘Tis sweet to feel by what fine-spun threads our affections are drawn together. — Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) 
  • Parting is all we know of heaven, and all we need of hell. — Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) 
  • What is dignity… what is appearance, if it keeps us from talking together? — Ray Hill 
  • The function of the expert is not to be more right than other people, but to be wrong for more sophisticated reasons. — David Butler (1924- ) 
  • The height of embarrassment is when two sets of eyes meet through a keyhole. — Unknown 
  • No matter how busy a man is, he is never too busy to stop and talk about how busy he is. — Unknown 
  • It is with narrow-souled people as with narrow-necked bottles: the less they have in them, the more noise they make pouring it out. — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) 
  • If a man desires to live a great life, let him remember that evil is always necessary. — Roy L. Smith 
  • The part of a man’s religion which is convenient, that he’ll never drop. — A. A. Horn 
  • It is not true that men prefer foolish women. Rather they prefer women who can simulate foolishness whenever necessary, which is the very core of intelligence. — Paul Eldridge (1888-1982) 
  • Any fool can have bad luck; the art consists in knowing how to exploit it. — Frank Wedekind (1864-1918) 
  • Whenever you hear the word “inevitable”, watch out! An enemy of humanity has identified himself. — Stephen Vizinczey (1933- ) 
  • The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. — Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986) 
  • The devil does a nice business for such a lousy location. — D. Bennett 
  • Too great a sense of identity makes a man feel he can do no wrong. And too little does the same. — Djuna Barnes (1892-1982) 
  • Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress. — Sierra Club Slogan 
  • Leopards! Be ready for a spot check! — Graffiti 
  • A rut is a grave with both ends open. — Carol Hicks 
  • Science has made us gods before we are worthy of being men. — Jean Rostand (1894-1977) 
  • Science has promised us truth an understanding of such relationships as our minds can grasp; it has never promised us either peace or happiness. — Gustave Le Bon (1841-1931) 
  • One holds his job by knowing how. One becomes boss by knowing why. — Perry Tanksley 
  • Bad administration can destroy good policy; but good administration can never save bad policy. — Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965) 
  • Pornography is writing that seeks primarily, even exclusively, to bring about sexual stimulation. This can be done crudely or delicately. In the former case it would be bad literature; in the latter good. — Kenneth Tynan (1927-1980)
  • The richest and most powerful society in history, called to responsibility, if not leadership, in the spherical, scientific, social[ized], secular, dynamic, crowded, and contentious world promised us by the twenty-first century, must develop the facilities for knowing that world as completely as possible. Of these our libraries form not the least important element. — Mortimer Graves (1893-1987)TOP of Page


  • A person is not fully educated until he realizes that there are some questions to which nobody has the answers. — W. A. Nance 
  • We have, for a long time, expended much energy trying to entice people through our doors, only to tell them that what they want to read isn’t good enough to be in our collections. — Doris Bass 
  • Today, serendipity is perhaps the most persuasive reason why our nation must continue with a strong, balanced program of space exploration. — United Technology Center ad 
  • In regard to pornography, we are all only human, each of us with his own hang-up, and we have cause to fear one extreme as well as another. — Wilson Library Bulletin, November 1970, p. 233 
  • Unreasonable distrust of automation in libraries will lead to an abdication of human values to the machine by assuring that humans continue to perform machine-like tasks. — Don Swanson (1924- ) 
  • A library is an external human memory. — Frederick G. Kilgour (1914-2006) 
  • The periodical has added a new terror to research. — Arundell Esdaile (1880-1956) 
  • One Russian to another: As long as their greatest minds are kept occupied trying to define pornography, we’ve still got a good chance! — Writers’ Yearbook, 1967 
  • In January the Americans invent something, in February the Russians say they invented it 20 years ago, in March the Japanese are selling it to the United States. — A.S.I.S. Journal 
  • Sympathy is two hearts tugging at one load. — W. A. Nance (quoting Charles H. Parkhurst? [1842-1933]) 
  • All that men know is almost nothing in comparison to what remains to be known. — Rene Descartes (1596-1650) 
  • Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after. — Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001) 
  • Here I yearn, broken-hearted; came to learn and got outsmarted! — Graffiti 
  • That which benefits human life is God. — Prodicus of Ceos (465-395 BCE) 
  • Opinions are flexible prejudices. — Gerald Horton Bath 
  • Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. — Frank A. Clark (1911-1991) 
  • Excellence must consist in “fittingness”… a sense of resolution and final ease. — Estelle Brodman (1914-2007) 
  • A good woman is like a good book: entertaining, inspiring, and instructive; sometimes a bit too wordy, but when properly bound and decorated, irresistible. — Marcus Long 
  • A gray-haired old woman was preparing to enter a bus at 9th and L Streets; she was large and somewhat crippled. Her arms were loaded with packages. As the bus door opened, a man waiting behind her offered a helping hand. The old lady smiled but shook her head. “I’d best manage alone,” she said. “If I get help today… I’ll want it tomorrow.” My admiration for her grew, and suddenly I knew she had in one clear sentence summed up the welfare tragedy. — from Sacramento Journal 
  • Civilization is a limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities. — Mark Twain (1835-1910) 
  • Man’s power over Nature is really the power of some men over other men, with Nature as their instrument. — C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) 
  • An information system is neutral; it can be harnessed in support of many purposes. — Mary Lee Bundy (1927-1987) 
  • Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. — Rick Warren (1954- ) in The Purpose Driven Life 
  • The one great sin is wasting existence. Never leave moments totally empty. If you’re too tired to read or write or think, do something you’re not too tired to do. The refrigerator. The leaves. The shoes. — Mario Cuomo (1932- )
  • Nietzsche is pietzsche. — Graffiti 
  • We all have to have a self we can live with and the operation of memory is artistic selecting, suppressing, bending, touching up, turning our actions inside out so that we can have not necessarily a likable, merely a plausible identity. — Allen Seager (1906-1968) 
  • We have been tyrannized by the advice of experts telling us how we should make love. — V. Clay 
  • The most efficient way to fix a fact in memory is to see and hear it demonstrated once, adequately, within its context; then to apply it. — R. Straus 
  • Masters and Johnson’s concept of the “family unit” is that if a problem is considered to exist, it cannot be characterized as “his” or “hers” but must be dealt with as “theirs”. — O. M. Lilien 
  • [The family] must be a buffer between him [the father] and the impersonal, emotionally neutral world of work, where he is valued not so much for what he is as for what he can accomplish. — H. Witner & R. Kotinsky 
  • It is increasingly clear that our responsibility is to teach children how to think, rather than to tell them what to think. — W. J. Gadpaille 
  • We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) 
  • Some callers stay longer in an hour than others do in a week. — William Dean Howells (1837-1920) 
  • Lord, a man has to be able to do something with his feelings and ideas, he has to try to give them to somebody and try to share his own understanding of himself and life. — Malcolm Boyd (1923- ) 
  • IT’S MORNING, JESUS. IT’S MORNING, AND HERE’S THAT LIGHT AND SOUND ALL OVER AGAIN. I’ve got to move fast…get into the bathroom, wash up, grab a bite to eat, and run some more. I just don’t feel like it, Lord. What I really want to do is get back into bed, pull up the covers, and sleep. All I seem to want today is the big sleep, and here I’ve got to run all over again. Where am I running? You know these things I can’t understand. It’s not that I need to have you tell me. What counts most is just that somebody knows, and it’s you. That helps a lot. So I’ll follow along, okay? But lead, Lord. Now I’ve got to run. Are you running with me, Jesus? — Malcolm Boyd (1923- ) 
  • There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. — Edith Wharton (1862-1937) from Vesalius in Zante 
  • The man who rears roses in his garden also does a kindness to his neighbors. — F. H. Collier 
  • Between pigeons and politicians, it’s hard to keep the courthouse clean. — Unknown 
  • Professional training is a developing process, never a fait accompli; to stand still is to fall behind. — M. L. Marshall 
  • Library science abounds in irreconcilables. — M. B. Lucas 
  • Administration is the art of getting things done through people. — Louise Darling (1911-1999) 
  • Good Lord, keep us from doing efficiently what doesn’t need to be done at all. — Unknown 
  • Love is the passionate and abiding desire on the part of two or more people to produce together conditions under which each can be and spontaneously express his real self; to produce together an intellectual soil and emotional climate in which each can flourish. — F. Alexander Magoun (1896-??) 
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again; then quit. There’s no use being a damn fool about it. — W. C. Fields (1880-1946) 
  • This library should receive here and now a charge, a mission. Let it be sent forth ever to increase the knowledge of the universe in which man resides, and of man, in whom resides the universe. — S. Adams 
  • If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing. — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) 
  • Let me hear the jokes of a nation and I will tell you what the people are like, how they are getting along, and what is going to happen to them. — Stephen Leacock (1869-1944) 
  • The trouble with a lot of people is they’re lookin’ for a bigger world, and they won’t make the effort to stretch the one they’ve got. — Helen Forrin 
  • The greatest influence on a child begins with the birth of his parents. — Les Crane (1933-2008)
  • Four words describe a truly attractive woman: SERENITY, SIMPLICITY, SINCERITY, SYMPATHY. — Ed DurlingTOP of Page


  • The three great essentials of happiness are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. — W. A. Nance, paraphrasing Joseph Addison [1672-1719] (also attr. to Alexander Chalmers [1759-1834]) 
  • The OPTIMIST proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds and the PESSIMIST fears that is true. — James Branch Cabell (1879-1958) 
  • The laws of nature “discovered” by science are merely mathematical or mechanical models that describe how nature behaves, not why, nor what nature “actually” is. Science strives to find representations that accurately describe nature, not absolute truths. This fact distinguishes science from religion. — George Ogden Abell (1927-1983) 
  • Too many geniuses make for inefficiency. — Unknown 
  • If mankind is to be true to itself, it needs ever new goals, new challenges, and new difficulties. If it is to live instead of sleep, our species will always need new and more difficult problems to solve. — Herbert N. Woodward (1911-2002) 
  • Happiness does not come from a state, but from a change of state. That it is so is illustrated by the total failure of every writer to describe a satisfactory paradise, whether in heaven or on earth. The tedium of eternity has almost become a joke, and the description of the earthly utopias are no better. Most of them fail to recognize that the human mind cannot hold any emotion for long at an even intensity, but that it always degenerates into something much more tepid… But it is not simply a change of state that makes for happiness; there must be something unexpected about it. — Charles G. Darwin (1887-1962) 
  • Science fiction is not just for children. On the contrary, the forward thinkers in that field should engage the attention of us all. — Herbert N. Woodward (1911-2002) 
  • We don’t teach the way we were taught to teach; we teach the way we were taught. — Willard J. Congreve (1921- ) 
  • Only if we speculate on possible futures can we begin to define desirable goals. — Herbert N. Woodward (1911-2002) 
  • There are three ingredients in the good life: Learning, earning and yearning. — Christopher Morley (1890-1957) 
  • There is no trace of any display of productive energy which has not been preceded by a display of expansive energy. — J. D. Unwin (1895-1936) 
  • Ideas are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as guides and following them, reach your destination. — Carl Schurz (1829-1906) 
  • I would rather be able to appreciate things I can not have than to have things I am not able to appreciate. — Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) 
  • A thought should be written instantly or it may be lost forever. — Unknown 
  • The function of a political party is not to discriminate between shades of political opinion but to organize a dominant opinion for action. — J. A. Spender (1862-1942) 
  • It is always necessary to remember that writers are important and are cherished for what they write, not what they are in everyday life. Most of them are discontented with the cosmos; if they weren’t, and could accept it at face value without having to try to give it order and meaning in language, they wouldn’t be writers. — Louis D. Rubin, Jr. (1923- ) 
  • No one, least of all a free public library, has the right to judge what another may or may not read or hear. — Civil Liberties Ad 
  • If an idea is truly dangerous or evil, the best protection against it is a public which has been exposed to it and has rejected it; the worst protection is a public which has been shielded from exposure to it by official or self-appointed guardians. — Civil Liberties Ad 
  • In the event that anyone… should object to the Library’s acquisition or retention of a certain publication on moral, political, religious, or philosophical grounds, the objection should be recognized as an indication that the publication in question may well be of more than routine interest and may be likely to be requested by members of the community who wish to judge its merits and demerits for themselves. — Civil Liberties Ad 
  • The Free Library must stand in the middle of the bewildering turmoil of issues and take no sides but make sure that all sides are represented as well as possible. — from American Libraries, Volume 2, p. 156 
  • Censorship has never been known to stop with one book or category of book. Once the backing down begins, censorship spreads like a brush fire. — from Tennessee Librarian, Volume 22, p. 58 
  • The capacity of the individual to derive information and enlightenment from the printed page varies greatly, and that of the majority is very much lower than that of the fortunate few. — J. S. Smith 
  • The true and lawful end of the sciences is that human life be enriched by new discoveries and powers. — Francis Bacon (1561-1626) 
  • We hold these truths to be self-evident: Management starts free but ends in chains. — IMAC Research Ad
  • People are easily anesthetized by overstatement. — John Maddox (1925-2009) 
  • The way fortunes grow is by losing a little on several items while making a lot on a few. — Paul A. Samuelson (1915-2009) 
  • Everybody wants sympathy but nobody wants people feeling sorry for them. — Beryl Pfizer 
  • Ignorance is a form of environmental pollution. — Frank Freeman (1890-1969) 
  • How often are we offended by not being offered something we do not really want? — Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) 
  • Experience is what you’ve got left after you’ve forgotten her name. — London Schoolboy 
  • After all is said and done, you usually find more was said than done. — Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) 
  • If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled, and no one dares to criticize it. — Pierre Gallois (1911-2010) 
  • If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them. — Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) 
  • God may be subtle but He is not malicious. — Albert Einstein (1879-1955) 
  • Nobody loves anybody like anybody wants to be loved. — Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) 
  • Society takes action only when gangrene sets in. — H. D. Doan 
  • The fact remains that before they are ruined by what is laughingly called education, all normal children have an absorbing interest in and curiosity about the Universe, which if properly developed could keep them happy for as many centuries as they may wish to live. — Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008) 
  • O Time, thou must untangle this, not I;
    It is too hard a knot for me t’ untie. — William Shakespeare (1564-1616) in Twelfth Night 
  • Have courage to face a difficulty, lest it kick you harder than you bargain for. — Stanislaw Leszczynski, King of Poland (1677-1766) 
  • If there are no facts available, a leap of faith is certainly blind and therefore of little real significance. — Bishop James Pike (1913-1969) 
  • To dismiss as impossible something which has not yet been investigated is most unscientific. — Bishop James Pike (1913-1969) 
  • God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please you can never have both. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 
  • Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. — Albert Einstein (1879-1955) 
  • All that you are is the result of what you have thought. — The Buddha (c.563-483 BC) 
  • Begin where you are! Be what you should be where you are! And when you have proven yourself, He will give you better ways! — Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) 
  • Whatever one’s circumstances may be, they are completely appropriate to one’s inner stage of unfoldment. — Gina Cerminara (1914-1984) 
  • Know this: that whatever situation you find yourself in, it is what is necessary for your development. An entity must apply in its associations from day to day a word here and a word there, one today, another tomorrow, and the next day, with the understanding that from such activities in word and deed, self-development will come… When an entity has prepared itself through constant forward movement towards service, the necessary circumstances for change will come about so that he may see the next step, the next opportunity… Haste not and be not over-anxious; for is not the whole of the building of His making? — Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) 
  • According to the reincarnation concept, no effort is ever wasted. — Gina Cerminara (1914-1984) 
  • In the carriages of the past, you can’t go anywhere. — Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) in The Lower Depths
  • It is very easy to be down on what you are not up on. — J. Allen Hynek (1910-1986)TOP of Page


  • Computers are too important to be left to the expert. — L. G. Payne & P. T. S. Brown 
  • Nostalgia is recalling the fun without reliving the pain. — Unknown; attrib. Bette Davis (1908-1989) 
  • I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end. — Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) 
  • By then I knew that everything good and bad left an emptiness when it stopped. But if it was bad, the emptiness filled up by itself. If it was good, you could only fill it by finding something better. — Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) in A Moveable Feast 
  • When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. — Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) 
  • I know that the dissolutions of personal friendship are among the most painful occurrences in human life. — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) 
  • The treasures are in the mind that seeks them. Otherwise they are not recognized. — Loren Eiseley (1907-1977) 
  • Some people who think they are big cheeses only smell like it. — Unknown 
  • Don’t take time to look back. Somethin’ might be gainin’ on you. — Leroy “Satchel” Paige (1906-1982) 
  • There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice. — Mark Twain (1835-1910) 
  • There is no cure for birth and death, save to enjoy the interval. — George Santayana (1863-1952) 
  • Humor is the only thing which stands between us and the dark. — Mark van Doren (1894-1972) 
  • I believe everybody is ignorant… only on different subjects. — Will Rogers (1879-1935) 
  • Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. — Mark Twain (1835-1910) 
  • A day is wasted without laughter. — Sébastien-Roch Nicolas de Chamfort (1740-1794) 
  • This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or grow in its light and be of service to others. But what I do with this day is important because I have exchanged a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. I hope I will not regret the price I paid for it. — W. Heartsill Wilson (1920-1994) 
  • Lord, help me learn not to talk while you are interrupting! — Unknown 
  • There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children: one is roots, the other, wings. — Hodding Carter (1935- ) 
  • Dear Father, hear and bless thy beasts and singing birds, and guard with tenderness small things which have no words. — Eloise Burns Wilkin (1904-1987) 
  • All I want is less to do, more time to do it, and more pay for not getting it done. — Unknown 
  • Pray for a good harvest but keep on hoeing. — Slovenian Proverb 
  • God grant me SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can, and WISDOM to know the difference. — Alcoholics Anonymous 
  • When I works, I works hard; when I sits, I sits loose; and when I thinks, I falls asleep. — Unknown 
  • Back of the bread is the snowy flour
    And back of the flour the mill,
    And back of the mill is the wheat and the shower
    And the sun and the Father’s will. — Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901)
  • O Lord, help my words to be gracious & tender today, for tomorrow I may have to eat them. — Unknown 
  • Guest, you are welcome here,
    Be at your ease.
    Get up when you’re ready,
    Go to bed when you please.We’re happy to share with you
    Such as we’ve got,
    The leaks in the roof
    And the soup in the pot.

    You don’t have to thank us
    Or laugh at our jokes,
    Sit deep and come often…
    You’re one of the folks! — Unknown


  • I’d enjoy the day more if it started later. — Unknown 
  • This is the NOW we’re living in! Do not be distracted by the claims of tomorrow or the worries of yesterday. — Unknown 
  • God Bless America we need all the help we can get! — Unknown 
  • You can fly but that cocoon has to go. — Polish Proverb 
  • Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that You and I together can’t handle. — Alcoholics Anonymous 
  • The greatest unexplored area lies under your hat. — Unknown 
  • Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep. — Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) 
  • Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. — John Lennon (1940-1980) 
  • I finally got it all together but I forgot where I put it! — Unknown 
  • There ought to be a better way of starting the day than by getting up in the morning. — Unknown 
  • To err is human; to really foul things up requires a computer. — Unknown 
  • When in charge, ponder; when in trouble, delegate; when in doubt, mumble. — James H. Boren (1925-2010) 
  • Lord, there’s never enough time for everything. Help me do a little less a little better. — Unknown 
  • God so loved the world that He didn’t send a committee. — Unknown 
  • Lord, help me to know what’s cooking before it boils over. — Unknown 
  • The trouble with half-truths is that people tend to believe the wrong half. — Unknown 
  • Lord, grant me the patience to endure my blessings. — Unknown 
  • All I have seen teaches me to trust all I have not seen. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 
  • Nothing would be done at all if a person waited till he could do it so well that no one could find fault with it. — Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) 
  • Knowing as much as possible about what you’re teaching, bringing enthusiasm for the subject, being interested in students and planning carefully what you are going to say all make a good teacher. — Irby B. Cauthen (1919-1994) 
  • The best solutions are simple ones, so if you really work at a problem, and believe you can solve it, one day you will. — T. W. Stinson 
  • [This was] another case of bureaucratic bungling where getting something done becomes an end in itself. This haste will invariably lead to waste. — Paul Fasana 
  • All too much of our effort up to now seems to have been somehow to automate handling of our data without departing from sanctified formats designed for other means of manipulation, presumably to avoid problems to those with large existing files. [Charles P.] Bourne’s and others’ data seem to show that it is now time to consider a truer systems approach. — Theodore C. Hines (1926-1983)
  • Never underestimate the importance of nastiness to our progress thus far. If intelligence and gentleness were the chief criteria, our planet would be ruled by whales. — John W. Gardner (1912-2002)TOP of Page


  • Man staggers through life yapped at by his reason, pulled and shoved by his appetites, whispered to by fears, beckoned by hopes. — Eric Hoffer (1902-1993), from The Passionate State of Mind 
  • Error depends on understanding, heresy depends on will. — Meister Eckhart [Eckhart von Hochheim, O.P.] (c.1260-c.1327) 
  • Vacations are a little like love: anticipated with relish, experienced with inconvenience and remembered with nostalgia. — from The Pennant 
  • A man driven by greed or envy loses the power of seeing things as they really are, of seeing things in their roundness and wholeness, and his very successes become failures. — E. F. Shumacher (1911-1977) 
  • Whatever my secrets are, remember when I entrust them to you, they are part of me. — John Powell 
  • He who’s not busy living is busy dying. — Bob Dylan (1941- ) 
  • The individual citizen should enjoy maximum freedom, but at the same time he would also have to carry his responsibilities. Both go together. — Ludwig Wilhelm Erhard (1897-1977) 
  • Averages are composed of all abnormalities. — C. VanDenBrink 
  • Establishing what you want to do and who you are is necessary before you can truly believe that commitment to another person does not threaten your own individuality. — Gail Sheehy (1937- ) 
  • If I accept the sunshine and warmth, I must also accept the thunder and the lightning. — Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) 
  • Nothing you become will disappoint me; I have no preconceptions that I’d like to see you be or do. I have no desire to foresee you, only to discover you. You can’t disappoint me. — Mary Haskell 
  • Let mystery have its place in you; do not be always turning up your whole soil with the ploughshare of self-examination, but leave a little fallow corner in your heart ready for any seed the winds may bring, and reserve a nook of shadow for the passing bird; keep a place in your heart for the unexpected guest, an altar for the unknown God. — Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881) 
  • I wondered why somebody didn’t do something. Then I realized that I am somebody. — Unknown 
  • When a person has a real friend, he learns not only to appreciate another human being, but he also learns to understand himself better. — Susan Polis Schutz (1944- ) 
  • I looked for my soul but my soul I could not see. I looked for my God but my God eluded me. I looked for a friend and then I found all three. — William Blake (1757-1827) 
  • If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? — Unknown 
  • Luck is the crossroads where preparation and opportunity meet. — Unknown 
  • Average is the best of the worst and the worst of the best. — Unknown 
  • It is better to establish a good precedent than to follow a bad one. — Unknown 
  • The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose. — William Cowper (1731-1800) 
  • Blessed is the leader who can develop leaders while leading. — Unknown 
  • I realized that you do not find clarity in the mind but in the heart. And the heart will not speak to you unless you quiet yourself and liberate yourself from such masters as greed and envy. But if you can do this you will find, in the stillness that follows, insights of wisdom that are obtainable in no other way. You will begin to see things as they really are. — E. F. Shumacher (1911-1977) 
  • What is now proved was once only imagined. — William Blake (1757-1827) 
  • The realm of the fairy story is wide and deep and high and filled with many things: all manner of beasts and birds are found there; shoreless seas and stars uncounted; beauty that is an enchantment, and an ever-present peril; both joy and sorrow as sharp as swords. In that realm a man may, perhaps, count himself fortunate to have wandered, but its very richness and strangeness tie the tongue of a traveller who would report them. And while he is there it is dangerous for him to ask too many questions, lest the gates should be shut and the keys be lost. — J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973) from On Fairy Stories
  • We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be. — Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) 
  • The mind will absorb only what the seat will endure. — Quoted by Rev. William A. Wright 
  • When you are well, then I am fine. — Roman Letter Closing 
  • Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out alive anyway. — Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) 
  • Because parents may have enough money to permit extravagance does not in my judgement justify them in bringing their children up to be extravagant. — John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874-1960) 
  • Effectiveness is a measure of performance in terms of how near a system… comes to meeting its objectives. Cost-effectiveness is the relationship between level of effectiveness and the costs involved in achieving that level. — Isobel J. Mosley 
  • No human relation gives one possession in another. Every two souls are absolutely different. In friendship or in love, the two side by side raise hands together to find what one cannot reach alone. — Kahlil Gibran (1887-1931) 
  • What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to others? — George Eliot [Mary Ann Evans] (1819-1880) 
  • Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are—chaff and grain together—certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away — George Eliot [Mary Ann Evans] (1819-1880) 
  • Friendship is, strictly speaking, reciprocal benevolence, which inclines each party to be solicitous for the welfare of the other as for his own. — Plato (428-348 BC) 
  • Every friendship that lasts is built of certain durable materials. The first of these is truthfulness. If I can look into the eyes of my friend and speak out always the truthful thought and feeling with the simplicity of a little child, there will be a real friendship between us. — Bertha Conde 
  • The language of friendship is not words, but meanings. It is an intelligence above language. — Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) 
  • As I love nature, as I love singing birds, and gleaming stubble, and flowing rivers, and morning and evening, and summer and winter, I love thee my friend. — Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) 
  • In Chinese, the word for crisis is a combination of two ideographs one of which means “danger”, the other “opportunity”. If I interpret that correctly, those wise Chinese, centuries ago, correctly observed that while a crisis is dangerous (because it challenges beliefs, values, lifestyles, one’s financial security), it also offers the opportunity for growth and greater perspective. — Chuck Cockelreas 
  • We have no art; we do everything the best we can. — Balinese Saying 
  • The question is not how busy we are, but what are we busy about. — Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) 
  • The life that is infused into great music-making is life garnered from the great novels, from watching phosphorescent waves roar against a cliff in a thunderstorm, or from experiencing the sun setting over a mountain; life garnered from curiosity, not life garnered from a cubicle. — Tony Rothman (1953- ) 
  • I see only the ideal. But no ideals have ever been fully successful on this earth. — Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) 
  • The degree to which I can create relationships which facilitate the growth of others as separate persons is a measure of the growth I have achieved in myself. — Carl S. Rogers (1932-2010) 
  • In the sense in which a man can ever be said to be at home in the world, he is at home not through dominating, or explaining, or appreciating, but through caring and being cared for. — Milton Mayeroff (1925-1979) from On Caring 
  • A man cannot be a true father without being a creator of something, something that he wants to flourish before him rather than to have molded in his image. A true father must be an artist, otherwise he becomes a violator of the creative spirit of man, by trying to mold a child to be exactly the way he the man is. — Gregory Zilboorg (1890-1959) 
  • Our purpose is not to fill all the gaps in the learner’s information but rather it is to create spaces in which he can develop his knowledge. — Bernard Chibnall (Paraphrased) 
  • The library that is embedded in educational settings these days is a part of the technology of education. — Howard B. Hitchens 
  • To me, liberation means that I am confident enough of myself that I can give it to another, and love means that I am confident enough about that other that I can trust him with my gift. — Carol Tavris (1944- ) 
  • We ourselves want to be needed. We do not only have needs, we are also strongly motivated by neededness… We are restless when we are not needed, because we feel “unfinished”, “incomplete”, and we can only get completed in and through these relationships. We are motivated to search not only for what we lack and need but also for that for which we are needed, what is wanted from us. — Andras Angyal (1902-1960)
  • Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky. — Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)TOP of Page


  • …the law all laws above, Great Nature hath ordained the heart to love… — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 
  • Every day I ought to get one drop from my brain of clear distilled essence I ought but ah!! — Ellen Louisa Tucker (1811-1831) 
  • …God at first did marry soul to soul
    Though lands divide and seas between them roll. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 
  • Perfect love exists between two people only when each addresses the other with the words, “O Myself!” — Sari-al-Sakadi 
  • Only about ten to 25 percent of the people in any organization do the creative work. The others simply follow established routines. — Walter M. Carlson 
  • If Moses were to come down from the mountain today, the two tablets would be aspirin. — Joe Nyquist 
  • Why, then, do we speculate about the future? Surely, the only sensible answer is that we speculate about the future because such an exercise helps us to think normatively about the present. — Stephen K. Bailey 
  • The higher you go in your work, the more you will become, not superlibrarians, but supermanagers. — Stephen K. Bailey 
  • Helping people, you are generally lucky. — Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007) 
  • I find that the three major administrative problems on a campus are sex for the students, athletics for the alumni and parking for the faculty. — Clark Kerr (1911-2003) 
  • Even when I try to please God, I tend to please my own ambition, His enemy. — Thomas Merton (1915-1968) 
  • Asking what the principal value of the home computer in the everyday home is [is] like asking Gutenberg the principal value of the printing press to the average peasant. — Ted Nelson (1937- ) 
  • Nonsense expands to fill the available space. — Cyril Parkinson [Paraphrased] (1909-1993) 
  • The calibre of a man is found in his ability to meet disappointment successfully, enriched rather than narrowed by it. — Thomas Kelley 
  • Not till the sun refuses you do I refuse you. — Walt Whitman (1819-1892) 
  • God created man because God loves stories. Man tells stories because man loves God. — Elie Wiesel (1928- ) 
  • To him whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning. — Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) 
  • The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 
  • Life is a series of surprises, and would not be worth taking or keeping if it were not. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 
  • The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 
  • For everything you have missed, you have gained something else. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 
  • May you always find three welcomes: In a garden during summer; At a fireside during winter; And whatever the season, in the kind eyes of a friend. — Unknown 
  • To love someone is to stay close enough to touch, leaving space enough to grow. — Unknown 
  • Any teacher who could be replaced by a computer probably should be. — Quoted by Paul W. Marsh
  • We are so accustomed to disguising ourselves from others, that we end by disguising ourselves from ourselves. — Francois La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) 
  • It is easier to be wise for others than to be wise about oneself. — Francois La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) 
  • The most important thing in life is to love someone. The second most important thing in life is to have someone love you. The third most important thing is to have the first two happen at the same time. — Howard “Howie” Schneider (1930-2007) 
  • In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on. — Robert Frost (1874-1963) 
  • [Here’s] what to do when things go wrong. It said you don’t get things from someone else; you get them from within yourself. — Julius Marini 
  • I hate to take advice from him. He needs it so badly himself. — James Dent (1928-1992) 
  • To give without any reward, or any notice, has a special quality of its own. There is something of worship or prayer in laying down an offering at someone’s feet and then going away quickly. The nicest gifts are those left, nameless and quiet, unburdened with love, or vanity, or the desire for attention. — Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001) 
  • The industrial revolution had the effect of standardizing and routinizing life. Microtechnology, with nearly infinite capacities and adaptability, tends on the contrary toward individuality; with computers, people can design their lives far more in line with their own wishes. — from Time Magazine, 2/20/78 
  • Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light, and Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. — St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) 
  • Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can. — John Wesley (1703-1791) 
  • The most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid. — J. D. Salinger (1919-2010) 
  • The worst that being an artist could do to you would be that it would make you slightly unhappy constantly. — J. D. Salinger (1919-2010) 
  • Wisdom is the partner of a patient man. — Unknown 
  • Only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom; and in the end superior ability has its way. — Will & Ariel Durant (1885-1981 & 1898-1981) 
  • By and large the poor have the same impulses as the rich, with only less opportunity or skill to implement them. — Will & Ariel Durant (1885-1981 & 1898-1981) 
  • When you part from your friend, you grieve not. For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain. — Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) 
  • Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see. — Max Clarke 
  • So long as we love, we serve. So long as we are loved by others I would almost say we are indispensable and no man is useless while he has a friend. — Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) 
  • We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over, so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over. — Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) 
  • My coat and I live comfortably together. It has assumed all my wrinkles, does not hurt me anywhere, has molded itself on my deformities, and is complacent to all my movements. And I only feel its presence because it keeps me warm. Old coats and old friends are the same thing. — Victor Hugo (1802-1885) 
  • We always hope: and in all things it is better to hope than to despair. — Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) 
  • They say that if one understands himself, he understands all people. But I say to you, when one loves people, he learns something about himself. — Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) 
  • Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming. — Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) 
  • Dawn begins at midnight. — Leo Jozef Suenens (1904-1996) 
  • Be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars. — Henry van Dyke (1852-1953)
  • When you had gone, the love came. I supposed it would. The supper of the heart is when the guest has gone. — Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)TOP of Page


  • The violets in the mountains can break the rocks, if we believe in them and allow them to grow. — Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) in Camino Real 
  • This is what Yahweh asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God. — The Bible, Micah 6:8 
  • You cannot think what a pleasure it is to be fond of somebody to whom one can talk… To be moved and talkative, unrestrained, one’s own self… — William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) 
  • Everything is good, everything beautiful. Everything is necessary. Each man, each thing, everything in this world has its reason for being. — Unknown 
  • Time flies, suns rise and shadows fall. Let time go by. Love is forever. — Unknown 
  • I always see better with my heart. — Unknown 
  • Do not pray for an easy life. Pray to be a strong person. — Unknown
    Perhaps a variant of: Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. — Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) 
  • The pursuit of truth will set you free even if you never catch up with it. — Clarence Darrow (1857-1938) 
  • Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But turn your attention to other things, it comes and softly sits on your shoulder. — Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) 
  • We do not remember days, we remember moments. — Cesare Pavese (1908-1950) from The Burning Brand 
  • A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. — Socrates (469-399 BC) 
  • Happiness is the art of making a bouquet of those flowers within reach. — Bob Goddard 
  • Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true. — Leo Jozef Suenens (1904-1996) 
  • Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace amid the storm. — Unknown 
  • Happiness is found along the way, not at the end of the road. — Sol Gordon (1923-2008) 
  • To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand. — José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) 
  • Hold to a true friend with both your hands. — Unknown 
  • It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness. — Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) 
  • The more I study, the more I know. The more I know, the more I forget. The more I forget, the less I know. So why study? — Unknown 
  • Be true to your own highest convictions. — William Ellery Channing (1780-1842) 
  • No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. — Aesop (c.620-564 BC) 
  • A dreamer lives forever. — John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-1890) 
  • If you do not understand my silence, you will not understand my words. — Unknown 
  • The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence. — Marianne Moore (1887-1972)
  • It is good to be petted a little, praised a little, appreciated a little. — Unknown 
  • There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much that, while I cannot give, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven. No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take peace. The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within reach, is joy. Take joy. — Fra Giovanni Giocondo (1433-1515) 
  • What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 
  • In every human being there is a special heaven, whole and unbroken. — Carl Jung (1875-1961) 
  • Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in our own sunshine. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 
  • For every complex question there is a simple answer. And it’s wrong. — H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) 
  • If the opposite of “pro” is “con”, then the opposite of progress is congress. — Graffiti 
  • We all think happiness dwells in the village where we are not. — Congolese Saying 
  • A committee is a group which succeeds in getting something done when, and only when, it consists of three members, one of whom happens to be sick and another absent. — Herbert V. Prochnow (1897-1998) 
  • There is always more wretchedness below than there is brotherhood above. — Victor Hugo (1802-1885) 
  • You may have heard that a dean is to a faculty as a hydrant is to a dog. — Alfred E. Kahn (1917-2010) 
  • America has become so tense and nervous that it has been years since I’ve seen anyone asleep in church. — Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993) 
  • The best way to forget your own problems is to help someone else solve theirs. — Unknown 
  • There is so lively an image of her imprinted in my mind, that I shall think of her too often I fear for my peace of mind. — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) 
  • A narrow mind has a broad tongue. — Arabian Proverb 
  • Be obscure clearly. — E. B. White (1899-1995) 
  • No one gets too old to learn a new way of being stupid. — Unknown 
  • Logic is the art of going wrong with confidence. — Morris Kline (1908-1992) 
  • One meets his destiny often in the road he takes to avoid it. — Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) 
  • No question is so difficult as that to which the answer is obvious. — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) 
  • The things most people want to know are usually none of their business. — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) 
  • Fate has a way of happening. — Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) 
  • It is beginnings that matter: love and birth and spring, the first robin, first step, first kiss. — Eleanore Lewis (1932-2010) 
  • I stand in good relation to the earth. I stand in good relation to the gods. I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful. I stand in good relation to you. I am alive. — American Indian Philosophy 
  • The trouble with being a leader today is that you can’t be sure whether people are following you or chasing you. — Unknown
  • Only one man understood me and he didn’t understand me. — Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)TOP of Page


  • I was born without knowing why, I have lived without knowing why, and I am dying without knowing either why or how. — Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655) 
  • God will forgive me… it’s his profession. — Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) 
  • Praise be God! Whatever the time there is somewhere a lovers’ rendezvous. — Countess de Fontaine-Martel (c.1729) 
  • Most of us die with all our music still in us. — Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935) 
  • We can best help others by enabling them to do what they themselves deeply wish to do. — Alfred Benjamin 
  • Library selectors are among the happiest, most fortunate members of the academic community. Their personal rewards are rich. They work independently and develop their own methods and standards. They watch history unfold itself in the books and periodicals coming from the press. Little by little, they acquire a mastery of the records of publication and a feel for their own collection, a practical “erudition” all their own that no power on earth can take away. And they have the joy of placing their accumulated knowledge and acquired skill at the service of their clientele and of seeing in time the results of their work on the shelves of the library. — Robert W. Wadsworth 
  • However subtly, if you pay for access to a book, it does affect the way you use that book. I suspect that this is nearly always true. I also suspect it is true of many library services besides the borrowing of books. — John Berry 
  • Love can teach us nothing about itself except that it is indispensable. — Brendan Gill (1914-1997) 
  • Innovative organizations spend neither time nor resources defending yesterday. — Peter Drucker (1909-2005) 
  • Perhaps the most serendipitous discovery of all is not the finding of unknown continents, but the landfall of the soul once it has found a new home among new ideas. — Doris Lund (1919-2003) 
  • Tough decisions never get easier to make; indecision is the quickest killer of ideas and men. — Willi Unsoeld (1926-1979) 
  • If you are to understand others, and have them understand you, know the big words but use the small ones. — Denys Parsons (1914- ) 
  • My hands are the tools of my soul. — Movie Title 
  • Even at its cruelest, nature is kinder than man touched by evil. — Samuel Pisar (1929- ) 
  • Most human minds rebel at simple concepts… and much prefer complexity. — Jeff Pemberton 
  • I want more than anything to hold one hand in this life. — Claudia Lintz 
  • 99% of us are born healthy and are made sick as a result of personal misbehavior and environmental conditions. — John H. Knowles 
  • Sometimes it is more important to discover what one cannot do, than what one can do. — Lin Yutang (1895-1976) 
  • Without hope men are only half alive. With hope they dream and think and work. — Charles Sawyer (1868-1954) 
  • Romance… cannot always have a sparkling fountain beauty as in the fairy-tales; though be sure neither can it ever be squalid nor ugly; only sometimes perhaps a little sad, because of the fee that has to be paid at the toll-gate. For the kingdom of romance may be freely entered when you are young, but as the years go on, you will not be admitted without paying. They rarely accept anything whole; yet a broken heart, a broken toy, a broken law or a broken home they will take and say: ‘Pass in’. — G. B. Stern (1890-1973) from The Reasonable Shore 
  • There are few things that never go out of style, and a feminine woman is one of them. — Ralston 
  • What, sir, would the people of the earth be without women? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce. — Mark Twain (1835-1910) 
  • The once rambunctious American spirit of innovation and adventurousness is today being paralyzed by the desire to build a risk- free society. Such a desire has always been a sign of decadence. — Henry Fairlie (1924-1990) 
  • Whoever, when he dies, leaves on paper a beautiful line of poetry has left the heavens richer and the earth too. — Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935)
  • On trying to write poetry:’Tis not stringing rhymes together
    With your heart’s blood you must write it,
    Though your cheek grows pale, none knowing.
    So the song becomes worth singing. — Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)


  • [If] you are going to write… Any suffering that you have borne, from the really big things down to a Second in Schools… is only the penalty to be paid… And you don’t pay just in the way of compensation. You pay because you can’t write until you’ve paid. — Winifred Holtby (1898-1935) 
  • There is still, I think, not enough recognition by teachers of the fact that the desire to think which is fundamentally a moral problem must be induced before the power is developed. Most people, whether men or women, wish above all else to be comfortable, and thought is a pre-eminently uncomfortable process; it brings to the individual far more suffering than happiness in a semi-civilized world which still goes to war, still encourages the production of unwanted C3 children by exhausted mothers, and still compels married partners who hate one another to live together in the name of morality. — Vera Brittain (1893-1970) from Testament of Youth 
  • There comes a terrible moment to many souls when the great movements of the world, the larger destinies of mankind, which have lain aloof in newspapers and other neglected reading, enter like an earthquake into their own lives… — George Eliot [Mary Ann Evans] (1819-1880) from Daniel Deronda 
  • It is only be grasping this nettle, danger, that we pluck this flower, safety; those who flee from emotion, from intimacy, from the shocks and perils attendant upon all close human relationships, end in being attacked by unseen Furies in the ultimate stronghold of their spirit. — Vera Brittain (1893-1970) from Testament of Youth 
  • Even when individuals can operate equipment to teach themselves, someone is needed to guide them in knowing what they need to know. — Lana Pipes 
  • Commercial television conditioned Americans to believe that they needed news daily, hourly, even by the minute, like junkies needing a fix. Of course most Americans don’t need news. They get it because the broadcasting industry conned them into thinking that it was good citizenship to consume news at regular intervals; a kind of social hygiene, like regular tooth brushing. — Robert MacNeil (1931- ) 
  • John Cotton Dana’s Twelve Rules on Reading 
        1.  Read.
        2.  Read.
        3.  Read some more.
        4.  Read anything.
        5.  Read about everything.
        6.  Read enjoyable things.
        7.  Read things you yourself enjoy.
        8.  Read, and talk about it.
        9.  Read very carefully, some things.
       10.  Read on the run, most things.
       11.  Don't think about reading, but
       12.  Just read.

    from Library Journal, October 15, 1933, p. 815 

  • There is a rule in sailing where the more maneuverable ship should give way to the less maneuverable craft. I think this is sometimes a good rule to follow in human relationships as well. — Joyce Brothers (1927- ) 
  • Why this passion for shaking people out of ruts? I am devoted to ruts. Moreover, most of the people who are in ruts are much nicer, and much happier, than the people who are not. — Beverly Nichols 
  • I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others, and you can become a leader among men. — Lao-Tse (6th century BC) 
  • Jokes are no laughing matter to the brain. They are a type of release valve that enables us to think the unthinkable, accept the unacceptable, discover new relationships, adjust better and maintain our mental health. They are also funny. Without them we probably would be a dull, dimwitted society, trapped in a harsh world too serious to bear. — Ronald Kotulak 
  • The abuse of a thing does not forbid its use. — Latin Proverb 
  • Youth is given to us. Experience we pay for. — Carolyn G. Heilbron 
  • Love without criticism brings stagnation, and criticism without love brings destruction. — John W. Gardner (1912-2002) 
  • If we simply transfer the austerity-based LC subject heading approach to expensive computer systems, then we have used our computers merely to embalm the constraints that were imposed on library systems back before typewriters came into use! — Marcia J. Bates (1944- ) 
  • If you teach a person what to learn you are preparing for the past; if you teach them how to learn you are preparing for the future. — Quoted by Robert D. Stueart 
  • People will suffer some inconvenience only when necessary; otherwise they fall back on familiar habits. — Jeff Pemberton 
  • There should be no available ugly frames for beautiful souls to be hurried into by carelessness or mistake, and no ugly souls should be suffered to creep, like hermit-crabs, into beautiful shells never intended for them. The outward and visible form should mark the inward and spiritual grace; that it seldom does so is a fact there is no gainsaying… When by Heaven’s grace the very beautiful are also very good, it is time for us to go down on our knees, and say our prayers in thankfulness and adoration; for the divine has been permitted to make itself manifest for a while in the perishable likeness of our poor humanity. — George du Maurier (1834-1896) from Peter Ibbetson 
  • For scents, like musical sounds, are rare sublimators of the essence of memory… and scents need not be seductive in themselves to recall the seductions of scenes and days gone by. — George du Maurier (1834-1896) from Peter Ibbetson 
  • The whole cosmos is in a man’s brains as much of it, at least as a man’s brains will hold; perhaps it is nowhere else. And when sleep relaxes the will, and there are no earthly surroundings to distract attention no duty, pain, or pleasure to compel it riderless Fancy takes the bit in its teeth, and the whole cosmos goes mad and has its wild will of us. Ineffable false joys, unspeakable false terror and distress… chase each other… through the dark recesses of our clouded and imperfect consciousness. And the false terrors and distress, however unspeakable, are no worse than such real terrors and distress as are only too often the waking lot of man, or even so bad; but the ineffable false joys transcend all possible human felicity while they last, and a little while it is! We wake, and wonder… Poor human nature, so richly endowed with nerves of anguish, so splendidly organized for pain and sorrow, is but slenderly equipped for joy. — George du Maurier (1834-1896) from Peter Ibbetson 
  • Each separate unit of our helpless race is inexorably bounded by the inner surface of his own mental periphery, a jointless armor in which there is no weak place, never a fault, never a single gap of egress for ourselves, of ingress for the nearest and dearest of our fellow-units. At only five points can we just touch each other, and all that is… is from the outside. In vain we rack them [our senses] that we may get a little closer to the best beloved and most implicitly trusted; ever in vain, from the cradle to the grave. — George du Maurier (1834-1896) from Peter Ibbetson 
  • Oh, surely, surely, I cried to myself, we ought to find some means of possessing the past more fully and completely than we do. Life is not worth living for many of us if a want so desperate and yet so natural can never be satisfied. Memory is but a poor, rudimentary thing that we had better be without, if it can only lead us to the verge of consummation like this, and madden us with a desire it cannot slake. The touch of a vanished hand, the sound of a voice that is still, the tender grace of a day that is dead, should be ours forever, at our beck and call, by some exquisite and quite conceivable illusion of the senses. — George du Maurier (1834-1896) from Peter Ibbetson 
  • Marriage is a long event of perpetual change in which a man and a woman mutually build up their souls and make themselves whole. — D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930) 
  • When it was a relief from hard work, idleness had character; when it is merely a relief from long hours of leisure, it seems to have none. — Russell Lynes (1910-1991)
  • In order to obtain a university degree it is necessary to stultify oneself by agreeing with the particular clique of fifth rate minds who, having been totally unable to carve out any way in the world, have become sodden in the backwater of a university; and taken up teaching as a profession, because they are incapable of learning. — Aleister Crowley (1875-1947)TOP of Page


  • The rulers of a country make most of their mistakes because the knowledge of detail which is constantly thrust upon them is so great that it blinds them to fundamental considerations. The emergencies of the moment lure them into bypaths in which they become lost… The tendency of all men who are immersed in affairs, whether public or private, is to become concentrated upon tactical problems, and in doing this they lose sight of the principles of strategy. — Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) 
  • Nothing makes a mortal so violently angry as to compel him to think when he does not wish to make the effort. — Henry Clifford Stuart 
  • Like eating and speaking and dressing, making up has well-bred and vulgar possibilities. — Vogue Magazine, 1920 
  • The human heart opens to the heart that opens in return. — Maria Edgeworth (1767-1849) 
  • Fiction, it’s been said, is an attempt to relive an experience you’ve never had. — Edward Mannix 
  • Shyness has nothing to do with modesty; it’s fear of defeat. — John A. Curtis 
  • If in your life you’ve had one blissful thought, it’s something you never forget. I can remember once as a child I was about six, and I’d walked out in the springtime in Virginia and down the road from where we lived was a field of flowers. It was something about the way the sun hit the flowers and the butterfly on my arm, I was just totally, totally happy for about ten seconds. Totally perfectly happy. — Shirley MacLaine (1934- ) 
  • There is no such thing as fear; it only exists if we believe it does. We are a product of our thought. — Shirley MacLaine (1934- ) 
  • If someone attacks me, they’re really attacking their own confusion. — Shirley MacLaine (1934- ) 
  • Diaries are meant to be found in a trunk years later, allowing someone the thrill of reading something never read by anyone else before, creating the illusion of how life once was. — John Perreault (1937- ) 
  • Very nearly everything that happened in history very nearly did not happen. — Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) 
  • What is literature but a record of people doing things they should not do? — E. L. Pearson (Early 20th century) 
  • What men owe to the love and help of good women can never be told. — Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) 
  • Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. — Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) 
  • If one will only exercise the patience to wait, his wants are likely to be fulfilled. — Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) 
  • If sports are supposed to be good for you, how come athletes are over the hill at 31? — Bill Vaughan (1915-1977) 
  • When one is out of touch with oneself, one cannot touch others. — Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001) 
  • There is no distance on earth as far away as yesterday. — Robert Nathan (1894-1985) 
  • What is intimacy? It’s being very open with another person about your innermost feelings, fantasies, fears, doubts and insecurities in the hope that you will be accepted, not for how you appear to the outside world, but for what you really are inside. — Helen Singer Kaplan (1929-1995) 
  • Sandel lacked… wisdom, and the only way for him to get it was to buy it with youth; and when wisdom was his, youth would have been spent in buying it. — Jack London (1876-1916) from A Piece of Steak 
  • If there is an unfortunate aspect to supporting nationalists over Communists, it must lie in the fact that so many of the alternatives to Communist domination are not really very much better, only different. — Lauren Paine 
  • If you have a head, you know the power of the heart. — Malcolm S. Forbes (1919-1990) 
  • My idea of exercise is a good brisk sit. — Phyllis Diller (1917- ) 
  • When you have been thinking very much about something, you feel it is just and even possible; once you have arrived at this point, you are very strong. — Denis Diderot (1713-1784) from The Nun
  • There is a trick to the Graceful Exit. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over and to let go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance in our lives. — Ellen Goodman (1941- ) 
  • We are all still romantics at heart. The romantics give us back our moon, for instance, which science has taken away from us and made into just another airport. Secretly we all want the moon to be what it was before — a mysterious, hypnotic light in the sky. We want love to be mysterious, too, as it used to be, and not a set of psychotherapeutic rules for interpersonal relationships. We crave mystery even as we forge ahead toward the solution of one cosmic mystery after another. — Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) 
  • He was among those who are unfortunately born to practice virtue without feeling its sweetness; they do good out of a spirit of obligation, in the same way as they reason. — Denis Diderot (1713-1784) from The Nun 
  • It is a terrible thing to have just enough talent to recognize one’s own mediocrity. — Jack McDevitt (1935- ) 
  • Inside every adult is a vulnerable part that never really grows up. Most of us are too afraid of disapproval or rejection to express our deeper feelings. We worry that “if you knew all about me, you wouldn’t like me”. We’re certain that others are happier, wiser, more fulfilled. We cannot risk being compared unfavorably. But withholding our emotions makes healthy communication impossible and creates distance in relationships. The part we hold back our authentic selves constitutes the very richness that others would find appealing. There is hidden power, and magnetism, in vulnerability and in the willingness to share deeper feelings, whether to express love or to acknowledge fears and needs. The most difficult time to express vulnerability is when you’re in love. Many are concerned about being too dependent on their partners for attention and love. They have a fear of appearing desperate or ridiculous. This is nonsense. Sharing with others how important they are to you makes them more loving and loyal, more thoughtful about your needs. When you are honest and open, you will find others inviting you into their private worlds. Think about the people you enjoy and admire. They are not superbeings. They err, they cry, they despair. They are real and vulnerable human beings. — Irene C. Kassorla (1941- ) 
  • One and the same evil comes either from God, who is testing us, or from the devil, who is tempting us. — Denis Diderot (1713-1784) from The Nun 
  • “Commit your ways unto the Lord.” But what good is a text like that when you are lying awake at midnight, and you have to decide for your whole life, and other people’s too, whether it shall be yes or no? — Thomas Mann (1875-1955) from Buddenbrooks 
  • What was death? The answer came, not in poor, large-sounding words: he felt it within him, he possessed it. Death was a joy, so great, so deep that it could be dreamed of only in moments of revelation like the present. It was the return from an unspeakably painful wandering, the correction of a grave mistake, the loosening of chains, the opening of doors it put right again a lamentable mischance. End, dissolution! These were pitiable words, and thrice pitiable he who used them! What would end, what would dissolve? Why, this his body, this heavy, faulty, hateful incumbrance, which prevented him from being something other and better. Was not every human being a mistake and a blunder? Was he not in painful arrest from the hour of his birth? Prison, prison, bonds and limitations everywhere! The human being stares hopelessly through the barred window of his personality at the high walls of outward circumstance, till Death comes and calls him home to freedom! Individuality? All, all that one is, can, and has, seems poor, grey, inadequate, wearisome; what one is not, can not, has not, that is what one looks at with a longing desire that becomes love because it fears to become hate. — Thomas Mann (1875-1955) from Buddenbrooks 
  • What sort of men prefer the monotony of the sea? Those, I think, who have looked so long and deeply into the complexities of the spirit, that they ask of outward things merely that they should possess one quality above all: simplicity. — Thomas Mann (1875-1955) from Buddenbrooks 
  • Football combines two of the worst things about American life. It is violence punctuated by committee meetings. — George Will (1941- ) 
  • The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present. — Bill Watterson (1958- ) from Calvin and Hobbes 
  • Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. — Edmund Burke (1729-1797) 
  • The “tale” of one’s life is very marvelous. The teaching that has enabled one, through God’s grace, to teach others! How untrue any biography even an autobiography of any human being must be! How much there is which can never be told except to God, but on which all that is really life has depended. — Elizabeth M. Sewell (1815-1906) 
  • It was his hopeless hope that sometime he would have an experience that would act on his life like alchemy, turning to gold all the dark metals of events, and from that revelation he would go on his way rich with an inextinguishable joy. There had been, of course, no chance of his ever getting it. — Rebecca West (1892-1983) from The Return of the Soldier 
  • Why did her tears reveal to me what I had learned long ago, but had forgotten in my frenzied love, that there is a draught that we must drink or not be fully human? I knew that one must raise to one’s lips the wine of truth, heedless that it is not sweet like milk but draws the mouth with its strength, and celebrate communion with reality, or else walk forever queer and small like a dwarf. — Rebecca West (1892-1983) from The Return of the Soldier 
  • The gods do not visit you to remind you what you know already. — Mary Stewart (1916- ) from The Crystal Cave 
  • The important things in life, you don’t make by forcing them and most of all nobody hands them to you and tells you to put them together in such-and-such a way. You find them. If you’re lucky. Or sometimes, they find you. They come to you in the night, and if you have the courage, you follow them, over the hills and down the valleys, and you never know where they’ll lead, you only know you want to go with them and stay there forever. — Jim Aikin (1948- ) from Statues 
  • Life is scary sometimes. Don’t let anybody tell you it isn’t. And don’t let anybody tell you how to live it, either. You know, everybody has their own ideas on how you ought to live your life. They’ll tell you they know what’s best for you, and they’ll keep after you to try to make you believe them. When times are good, it’s easy enough to do what you’re told. But when things get scary, there’s only one thing you can afford to listen to. You have to listen to your heart. Your heart knows what’s right for you. The trouble is, sometimes your heart doesn’t talk very loud, and everybody else is shouting at you, and you get confused. The thing to do when you get confused about what to do is get real quiet and just listen until you hear your heart. — Jim Aikin (1948- ) from Statues 
  • Except for war, it’s hard to think of any socially sanctioned custom as vicious as a scholars’ debate. — John Tierney (1953- ) 
  • When you die and meet your Creator, you are not going to be asked why you did not become the Messiah or find some cure for a strange disease. You will be asked, “Why didn’t you become yourself?” — Elie Wiesel (1928- ) 
  • Oh God, to reach the point of death only to find that you have never lived at all! — Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) 
  • As a Hopi, you finally achieve adulthood by initiation into a religious society; then you assume the full burden of being accountable to your creator. It is then that you know that everything has a consequence and that if you transgress divine and social law, you do so knowingly. — Abbot Sekaquaptewa ( -1992) 
  • God be thanked, the meanest of his creatures boasts two soul-sides, one to face the world with, one to show a woman when he loves her! — Robert Browning (1812-1889) from Man and Woman 
  • Love is the irresistible desire to be desired irresistibly. — Louis Ginsberg (1896-1976) 
  • How we men, women and children care for our homes is really a miniature reflection of how we must care for Earth, our only home. — Doris Lund (1919-2003)
  • I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others, but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, and do not make success or failure the criteria by which you live, the chances are you’ll be a person worthy of your own respect. — Neil Simon (1927- )TOP of Page


  • When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. — Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) 
  • But the real remained the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare exceedingly real. Of course, in a novel, people’s hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us. There is a most busy and important round of eating, drinking, dressing, walking, visiting, buying, selling, talking, reading, and all that makes up what is commonly called living, yet to be gone through. — Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) from Uncle Tom’s Cabin 
  • Life passes, with us all, a day at a time… so well is the harp of human feeling strung that nothing but a crash that breaks every string can wholly mar its harmony; and, on looking back to seasons which in review appear to us as those of deprivation and trial, we can remember that each hour, as it glided, brought its diversions and alleviations, so that, though not happy wholly, we were not, either, wholly miserable. — Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) from Uncle Tom’s Cabin 
  • There is a kind of beauty so intense, yet so fragile, that we cannot bear to look at it. — Harriet Beecher Stowe, (1811-1896) from Uncle Tom’s Cabin 
  • One intelligent person doesn’t go faster just because twenty fools are nipping at his heels. — Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) from “1-999” in The Union Club Mysteries 
  • I do not consider myself an expert on the matter [of writing] or even knowledgeable about it. I consider myself a “primitive” in that I have had no formal education in the subject, but have, instead, been writing from an early age out of some inner instinct or compulsion, without knowing, precisely, what I am doing. — Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) from Opus 300 
  • Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten. — Julian Morel 
  • Heart and head are focal points of one body, one personality. — Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) 
  • We hope to find an unambiguous “beginning of life” or “definition of death”, although nature often comes to us as irreducible continua. — Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) 
  • It’s frightening to think that you might not know something, but more frightening to think that, by and large, the world is run by people who have faith that they know exactly what is going on. — Amos Tversky (1937-1996) 
  • The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. — Victor Hugo (1802-1885) 
  • Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk. — Doug Larson (1926- ) 
  • Waiting is worse than knowing. Grief rends the heart cleanly, that it may begin to heal; waiting shreds the spirit. — Morgan Llywelyn (1937- ) 
  • Don’t find fault; find a remedy. — Henry Ford (1863-1947) 
  • The meaning of life cannot be told; it has to happen to a person. — Ira Progoff (1921-1998) 
  • There’s a giant asleep in each of us, and when that giant awakes, miracles can happen. — Frederick Faust (1892-1944) 
  • We gain a true place in life only by giving ourselves to others. — Frederick Faust (1892-1944) 
  • If I have an art form of leadership, it is to make as many mistakes as quickly as I can in order to learn. — Unknown Executive 
  • Whenever I make a bum decision, I just go out and make another one. — Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) 
  • Never lie in bed at night asking yourself questions you can’t answer. — Charles M. Schultz (1922-2000) 
  • We do, through our fears, tend to bring about that which we fear the most. — Aaron T. Beck (1921- ) 
  • You don’t ask nobody to give what they can’t give, or be what they can’t be. You’ve learnt that, you got a headstart on heartbreak. — Jack Farris (1921-1998) from The Abiding Gospel of Claude Dee Moran, Jr. 
  • A winning smile is the best accessory any dress ever had. — C. Terry Cline, Jr. (1935- ) 
  • Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out. — Michael Burke
  • Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs. — Pearl Strachan Hurd 
  • The man who has no imagination has no wings. — Muhammad Ali (1942- ) 
  • Ask God’s blessing on your work, but don’t ask Him to do it for you. — Dame Flora Robson (1902-1984) 
  • Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects. — Arnold H. Glasow (1905-1998) 
  • The most important things in life aren’t things. — Anthony J. D’Angelo 
  • There is no substitute for excellence. Not even success. — Thomas Boswell (1947- ) 
  • May those that love us love us; and those that don’t love us, may God turn their hearts; and if he doesn’t turn their hearts, may he turn their ankles so we’ll know them by their limping. — Old Irish Curse 
  • Better be quarreling than lonesome. — Irish Proverb 
  • May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and a smooth road all the way to your door. — Irish Toast 
  • Bring me your troubles early and you have a partner in finding a solution. Bring me a disaster late and you have a judge. — Unknown (Attrib. James A. Preston) 
  • There is a note of pain in spring’s song of joy, a note of sorrow like the whisper of the wind warning that spring is the briefest of the seasons. Poor spring, that frees the bud and sets the time of green things on its way, but will not see the growth and fullness of summer nor the harvest of the fall. Like youth, it is so bursting with life, so wild and blustery, so loud and confused and yet so sweet, so lovely, and like youth so soon gone. Thinking back on what we were and how we were in those long- ago springs, I have to smile. And looking from a window thrown open to welcome winds colder than the winds of fall against which they were shut, I know a moment almost of pity for all the wild, sweet, raw young people at this greening time of year, in their groping, their wondering, their uncertainty. But, oh, that I could join them, just once more. — John Ed Pearce (1917-2006) 
  • Doing as you like always costs you something. — Mary E. Pearce from Apple Tree Lean Down 
  • Education is the ability to read almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. — Robert Frost (1874-1963) 
  • What’s out of reach always seems the best, whether it is or not. — Mary E. Pearce, from The Two Farms 
  • People without hope for tomorrow have a very difficult time living for today. — Doug Kanney (1946- ) 
  • The heart is not a knee that can bend. — Jane Yolen (1939- ) from The White Babe 
  • Nothing on TV or elsewhere has improved on a good story that begins: “Once upon a time…” — William J. Bennett (1943- ) 
  • Perhaps we make marriage too complicated. Ultimately, it’s just a relationship in which human beings try to find release and fulfillment and they don’t ask so very much. Just to come first with someone. To be needed by someone. And to hear an occasional word of appreciation from that someone. — Henry N. Ferguson 
  • Adults tend to repress their pleasure. Sad to say, I think we become adults only through disappointment, grief, and lies. So of course gradually we become tough, less sensitive. — Jean-Louis Gassee (1944- ) 
  • Productivity, if we take it to mean an obsession with large quantities, is not an operative concept in intellectual professions and in the service and communication sectors. — Jean-Louis Gassee (1944- ) 
  • The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. — Elisabeth Foley 
  • There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved. — Charles Morgan (1894-1958) 
  • Manners are the happy way of doing things. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) 
  • Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere. — Carl Sagan (1934-1996) 
  • Education is not training but rather the process that equips you to entertain yourself, a friend, and an idea. — Wallace Sterling (1906-1985) 
  • Each individual should work for himself. Generally speaking, people work harder if they work voluntarily instead of being told to do something. They come to work to enjoy themselves, and that feeling leads to innovation. — Soichiro Honda (1906-1991)



Quotes to Live By

  • It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep may be. – Virgil
  • What the superior man seeks is in himself. What the small man seeks is in others. – Confucius
  • There’s no need to take revenge on mediocre people. Their mediocrity is their own punishment.- John Hawkins
  • You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honor.  – Miyamoto Musashi
  • Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from none but self expect applause; He noblest lives and noblest dies who makes and keeps his self-made laws. – Richard Francis Burton
  • Genius is the power of carrying the feelings of childhood into the powers of manhood.- Samuel Taylor
  • The courage we desire and prize is not the courage to die decently, but to live manfully.- Thomas Carlyle
  • A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job. – John Wayne

  • If unwilling to rise in the morning, say to thyself, ‘I awake to do the work of a man.’–Marcus Aurelius

  • The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.— Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • For the man who makes everything that leads to happiness, or near to it, to depend upon himself, and not upon other men … has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation; this is the man of manly character and of wisdom. –Plato
  • Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so. For glory gives herself only to those who have always dreamed of her. –Charles De Gaulle
  • Men have discovered their distinctive virtues and vices through grappling with the perennial dilemmas and demands of love, courage, pride, family, and country—the five paths whose proper ordering gives us the key to the secret of happiness for a man.– Waller Newell
  • It is not what he has, or even what he does which expresses the worth of a man, but what he is.- Henri-Frédéric Amiel
  • A man should be able to hear, and to bear, the worst that could be said of him.― Saul Bellow
  • Because there is very little honor left in American life, there is a certain built-in tendency to destroy masculinity in American men. – Norman Mailer
  • I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.- George S. Patton

  • Man is so made that when anything fires up his soul, impossibilities vanish. -Jean de la Fontaine
  • A man should be upright, not be kept upright. -Marcus Aurelius
  • When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. -Alexander Graham Bell
  • Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. – John Muir
  • When men speak ill of thee, live so as nobody may believe them.-Plato

  • I came. I saw. I conquered.-Julius Caesar

  • If you’re going through hell, keep going.-Winston Churchill
  • Somewhere along the line I am going to meet with an arm of this octopus, and when I do it will lead me to a head, and when I find that I shall cut it off. – John Drake in “You Are Not in Any Trouble, Are You?”
  • A man is not merely a man but a man among men, in a world of men. Being good at being a man has more to do with a man’s ability to succeed with men and within groups of men than it does with a man’s relationship to any woman or any group of women. When someone tells a man to be a man, they are telling him to be more like other men, more like the majority of men, and ideally more like the men whom other men hold in high regard. -Jack Donovan, The Way of Men
  • Keep company with those who make you better. –English Proverb
  • We are what we consistently do. Excellence is defined by our habits. –Aristotle
  • Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right. –Isaac Asimov
  • Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. –Confucius
  • A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. –Francis Bacon
  • A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is built for. –William Shedd
  • A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner. –English Proverb
  • He who conquers others is strong. He who conquers himself is mighty. –Lao Tzu
  • We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features. – John Muir
  • Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground. –Theodore Roosevelt
  • In order to be effective you need not only virtue but also mental strength. – Aristotle
  • Character is destiny. –Heracltius



facts about love & life

I don’t care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching they are your family.

Please know that there are much better things in life than being lonely or liked or bitter or mean or self conscious. We are all full of shit. Go love someone just because, I know your heart may be badly bruised, or even the victim of numerous knifings but it will always heal even if you don’t want it to, it keeps going. There are the most fantastic, beautiful things and people out there, I promise. It’s up to you to find them.

Don’t ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance, or my kindness for weakness.

People don’t like love, they like that flittery flirty feeling. They don’t love love – love is sacrificial, love is ferocious, it’s not emotive. Our culture doesn’t love love, it loves the idea of love. It wants the emotion without paying anything for it. It’s ridiculous.

Some people will never ‘get you’. Do not spend eternity asking why. People will see you differently, just cherish those who lift your soul.

You’ll meet her, she’s very pretty, even though sometimes she’s sad for many days at a time. You’ll see, when she smiles, you’ll love her.

I’ve never fooled anyone. I’ve let people fool themselves. They didn’t bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn’t argue with them. They were obviously loving somebody I wasn’t.

I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.

You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.

Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.

I am too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take charge of me entirely. No one knows me or loves me completely. I have only myself.

You are not useless. You are not hopeless. And no matter how scared you are, you will never be alone. And deep down, somewhere, in the part of you that decided the good days and your happiness and your health were all worth fighting for, you know that, too. Hold onto that knowledge. It will see you through the worst.

The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.

The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.

I like people who have a sense of individuality. I love expression and anything awkward and imperfect, because that’s natural and that’s real.

Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?

Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.

Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom. The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become. Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become.

You’re the kind of experience most people wait lifetimes for.

I am going to tell you a secret. Every year many, many stupid people graduate from college. And if they can do it, so can you.

Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.

I would love to say that you make me weak in the knees but to be quite upfront and completely truthful you make my body forget it has knees at all.

Two people who were once very close can without blame or grand betrayal become strangers. Perhaps this is the saddest thing in the world.

They say you don’t get over someone until you find someone or something better. As humans, we don’t deal well with emptiness. Any empty space must be filled. Immediately. The pain of emptiness is too strong. It compels the victim to fill that place. A single moment with that empty spot causes excruciating pain. That’s why we run from distraction to distraction and from attachment to attachment.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.

Maybe there’s a universe where I’m the right person for you. Where I adore every nice thing you did for me without starting to resent you. A universe where you actually end up with someone who appreciates you. Where no one becomes a doormat. Where both of us can shed our baggage and curiosity and issues. A universe where we’re happy without wondering if that happiness is some messed-up Jenga game ready to topple at the slightest quiver. A universe where we’re comfortable and sure. Where I don’t second guess everything and I’m not afraid of commitment and of the future and of love. Maybe there’s a universe without all the noise in my head and the pride that makes me so fiercely independent and the coldness in my heart that I can turn on and off like a security fence.

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy.

The thing I’m most afraid of is me. Of not knowing what I’m going to do. Of not knowing what I’m doing right now.

My only relief is to sleep. When I’m sleeping, I’m not sad, I’m not angry, I’m not lonely, I’m nothing.

All the hardest, coldest people you meet were once as soft as water. And that’s the tragedy of living.


Goldman sachs guide to – being a man

    • Stop talking about where you went to college.
    • Always carry cash. Keep some in your front pocket.
    • Rebel from business casual. Burn your khakis and wear a suit or jeans.
    • It’s ok to trade the possibility of your 80s and 90s for more guaranteed fun in your 20s and 30s.
    • Never stay out after midnight three nights in a row… Unless something really good comes up on the third night.
    • You will regret your tattoos.
    • Never date an ex of your friend.
    • Join Twitter; become your own curator of information.
    • If riding the bus doesn’t incentivise you to improve your station in life, nothing will.
    • Time is too short to do your own laundry.
    • When the bartender asks, you should already know what you want to drink.
    • If you perspire, wear a damn undershirt.
    • Hookers aren’t cool, but remember, the free ones are a lot more expensive.
    • When people don’t invite you to a party, you really shouldn’t go.
 And sometimes even when you are invited, you shouldn’t go.
    • People are tired of you being the funny, drunk guy.
    • When in doubt, always kiss the girl.
    • Tip more than you should.
    • You probably use your mobile phone too often and at the wrong moments.
    • Buy expensive sunglasses. Superficial? Yes, but so are the women judging you. And it tells these women you appreciate nice things and are responsible enough not to lose them.
    • Do 50 push-ups, sit-ups, and dips before you shower each morning.
    • Eat brunch with friends at least every other weekend. Leave Rusty and Junior at home.
    • Be a regular at more than one bar.
    • Act like you’ve been there before. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the end zone at the Super Bowl or on a private plane.
    • A glass of wine or two with lunch will not ruin your day.
    • Learn how to fly-fish.
    • No selfies. Aspire to experience photo-worthy moments in the company of a beautiful woman.
    • Own a handcrafted shotgun. It’s a beautiful thing.
    • There’s always another level. Just be content knowing that you are still better off than most who have ever lived.
    • You can get away with a lot more if you’re the one buying the drinks.
    • Ask for a salad instead of fries.
    • Don’t split a check.
    • Pretty women who are unaccompanied want you to talk to them.
    • When a bartender buys you a round, tip double.
    • Be spontaneous.
    • Find a Times New Roman in the streets and a Wingdings in the sheets. She exists.
    • Piercings are liabilities in fights.
    • Do not use an electric razor.
    • Desserts are for women. Order one and pretend you don’t mind that she’s eating yours.
    • Buy a tuxedo before you are 30. Stay that size.
    • One girlfriend at a time is probably enough.
    • #StopItWithTheHastags
    • Your ties should be rolled and placed in a sectioned tie drawer.
    • Throw parties. 
But have someone else clean up the next day.
    • Measure yourself only against your previous self.
    • Take more pictures. With a camera.
    • Place-dropping is worse than-name dropping.
    • Your clothes do not match. They go together.
    • Yes, of course you have to buy her dinner.
    •  Staying angry is a waste of energy.
    • If she expects the person you are 20% of the time, 100% of the time, then she doesn’t want you.
    • Always bring a bottle of something to the party.
    • Don’t use the word “closure” or ever expect it in real life.
    • If you are wittier than you are handsome, avoid loud clubs.
    • Date women outside your social set. You’ll be surprised.
    • If it’s got velvet ropes and lines, walk away unless you know someone.
    • You cannot have a love affair with whiskey because whiskey will never love you back.
    • If you believe in evolution, you should know something about how it works.
    • No-one cares if you are offended, so stop it.
    • Never take an ex back. She tried to do better and is settling with you.
    • Eating out alone can be magnificent. Find a place where you can sit at the bar.
    • Read more. It allows you to borrow someone else’s brain, and will make you more interesting at a dinner party — provided that you don’t initiate conversation with, “So, who are you reading…”
    • Ignore the boos. They usually come from the cheap seats.
    • Don’t ever say, “it is what it is.”
    • Don’t gamble if losing $US100 is going to piss you off.
    • Remember, “rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.”

O Lord what fools we tend to be.
The facts of life we do not see.
In zones of rights each one resides,
When in real life there are no sides.

We’re blinded by our sense of rights
That justifies our deadly fights
Which end it should be plain to see
With one left standing; it is me.

What is the point? We must ask, “why?”
When we’re alone who’ll hear our cry?
We need each other to survive.
“We” is the state to feel alive.

God knows our rights of self are wrong
But cannot modify our song.
Together we must change our tune,
For if we don’t it will end soon. 


There will be doubt that we can change.
Our choice of ‘notes’ yields such a range;
But harmony is not for dreams.
It is within “Our Law” it seems.

Our bodies, minds are all the same
Within new meaning for each name.
Our spirit can leave us all buoyed.
Then, our reactions to the void


Our bodies have three sides in one.
They’re all the same integration
Of realized capacity,
And knowledge and activity.

Our minds are too, three sides in one.
They’re all the same integration
Of realized capacity,
And knowledge and activity.

Regarding every body/mind,
The structure’s sizes we will find
Unique, but they’re identically
Joined shapes with equal sides of three.

In life our spirit is our light.
It’s range can be from dim to bright.
With body/mind it too resides.
The third of all four equal sides. 


The fourth, we to the void react.
The void’s existence is a fact.
A missing fact we can’t deny,
We find it asking the last “why?”

The evidence of our life says
We can react in different ways;
But when unique we cannot be
Our individuality. 


Reactions blend two out of three.
The first is from biology.
“Ideal”, it’s how we came about
In general, it’s “reaching out….”

To ends of our capacity,
To others who we need, to be,
And making life’s ideal tripod
We naturally reach out to God.

This natural activity
Is hard; but living it can be
The only way that we can feel
Innate ‘rewards’ which make life real.

It’s hard since there’s no written ‘light’,
Just faith and hope that it is right.
Then there’s responsibility
To God, to others and to ‘me’.

A sensitivity we need
To God’s spirit and too indeed
To that of others and our own.
Then there’s the caring we must hone.

When facing what we cannot see,
The courage we must have, to be.
To see life’s end we have to wait.
Alone, we must self-motivate.

Although the hardest of the three
Ideal rewards we all shall see.
There’ll be our spirit shining bright
Allowing us to feel the ‘light’.

We’ll feel control, we’ll also sense
Our ‘strings’ knot free, ideally tense.
Frustration, pace and urgency
Three others optimum will be.

A freedom by the ideal bound,
Fulfillment, satisfaction found.
Self-worth, pleasure, joy, elation,
Excitement, anticipation,

Security and happiness
Reward as well, ideal success.
Then too when living the ideal
Faith justified we all will feel.

Among the last we’ll also find
A purpose, meaning, peace of mind,
Unending love; hope from it springs.
Rewards to all, the ideal brings.

Subjective though rewards may seem
The fact is they are not a dream.
The ideal message that they send,
Self-realization is the end. 


The next reaction we can’t live.
It’s absolutely restrictive.
Our death it guarantees yet still
We try in vain the void to fill.

Meaning to life we try to give.
We think this is the way to live.
Though one, to ‘see’ it I must state
Within the one I’ve gathered eight.

The first of eight a name I call
With answers to the question “Why?”
In vain to fill the void we try.

A materialistic one
Gives us a task that can’t be done.
It matters not how much we spend
To fill the void; it will not end.

In romantic ones we’ll find
Supporting notions which are blind.
Love of another we can ‘see’
Will never fill the void in ‘me’.

With our reaction factual
The void within we can’t keep full
Of all the facts we know combined
Nor with key facts we think we’ll find.

The void we also try to fill
With family but never will.
It matters not the family
The emptiness will always be.

If occupational we choose,
The fight to fill the void we’ll lose.
Careers and jobs we think we need
To fill our life will not succeed.

We strive to gain pre-eminence.
Another one of our attempts
To fill the void will also fail
Regardless of the peaks we scale.

The eighth reaction we can pick,
The multi-part anesthetic.
With fixes such as drugs and sex
We fill the void with no effects.

It matters not the ways we choose.
We will not their description lose
By recombining into one
This end restrictive reaction.

Anti ideal in most respects
Are its demands and known effects.
Just where rewards were optimum
Are punishments their maximum.

Activity unnatural
Is trying thus the void to fill.
Resulting from this reaction
Is our active self-destruction. 


The last of three we too can’t live.
It’s absolutely permissive.
It’s giving up so we can’t see
The deadly inactivity.

Rewards we find in the ideal,
None in this absolute we’ll feel.
The dead end of this inaction
Is our passive self-destruction. 


See each reaction as a thread.
With no ideal we would be dead.
So it must be part of the blend.
The other part is either end.

The blends form a continuum
That of reactions is the sum.
From restrictive to permissive,
Are the reactions we can live.

Midway between is the ideal.
To either side life is less real.
The more permissive we can leave.
The more restrictive tints our weave. 


With eight coloured, the ideal clear,
We weave the ‘fabrics’ we hold dear.
Although we weave unique attempts
We can predict the consequence.

The ideal weave we can not see.
It’s natural activity.
As coloured threads we add to it,
We lose the clearness bit by bit.

There is a limit weight and so
When threads we add then some must go.
That’s how the ideal we could live
Becomes one hue, most restrictive.

When down from the ideal we slide
Into the more restrictive side,
Our ‘fabrics’ lose their naturalness
While gaining more restrictiveness.

From reaching out in the ideal
We focus more on what’s less real.
To halfway we see one to eight.
From there, down to the single state.

We reach to God for a hand up
To natural acts that fill our ‘cup’.
We beg from God but are annoyed
There’re no hand-outs to fill the void.

God fills one third of the ideal.
When “reaching…” out then God we’ll feel.
God isn’t in religious thread.
When wound up in it God is dead.

We blend some of these two and get
Reactions that make up a set.
How far we are from the ideal
Dictates amounts of each we feel.

Our knowledge is the facts we seize
While “reaching…” to capacities.
When gathered just the void to fill
The facts become unnatural.

From the ideal to restrictive
Facts change from those we need to live
To those of which it can be said
Are all the ones that leave us dead.

The ideal, in us love creates.
With less ideal, love’s loss dictates.
One living at the restrictive
Consumes all the love we can give. 

Our only right is reaching out
Despite the evidence about
That shows us clinging to our song
We think all right but is part wrong. 

We think we’re right throughout the range
Though the amounts of each thread change,
For while the ideal will decrease
Our sense of right will never cease.

The consequences we last feel
In our reactions more unreal;
Rewards decreasing, complements
The ever growing punishments. 


Our ‘fabrics’ are collectively
The ‘fabric’ of humanity.
It is a ragged, colored hash.
Our actions with all others clash .

We battle for we’re all the same
Though differences we give the blame.
We see the similarity
In where we point activity.

Activity that’s natural
Directs us on lines parallel
To others, our capacity
And out to God, the ideal three.

Unnatural activity
Is all directed inwardly
Toward the void we have within,
Opposed to others’ direction. 

Whatever threads, it matters not
A different weave that we’ve all got.
It is inward direction picked
That puts us all into conflict.

Now getting back to our self-rights
That generate our “deadly fights”,
It’s human rights philosophy
That makes most conflict that we see. 

There is for sure some other thread
In the life ‘fabric’ that we spread.
But in it is our right we say,
To fill the void in our own way.

As long as we defend these rights
We will continue with our fights.
By adding more “rights” thread to it
Our conflict will grow bit by bit.

And even with the status quo
There is no other place to go
But to the self-destructive end.
Our conflict proves this is the trend.

The action that we need to take
In which we all must have a stake,
Is adding clear thread to our weave,
A choice that we just cannot leave.

With choices made we will begin
To see a change that starts within.
From self-destruction we will turn
As ways of the ideal we learn. 

We’ll sense the punishments abate.
For one, we will no longer hate;
And though the void will not be filled,
Ideal rewards will leave us thrilled.

In this “real life” no sides there’ll be.
We all will live in harmony.
Our life lines individual
Will not cross running parallel.

If  “Our Law” states what we’ll become,
We could add up to just one ‘sum’.
We might then find when in our place
Together we reflect God’s face. 



10 of the Most Surprising Findings from Psychological Studies

10. Cognitive dissonance
This is perhaps one of the weirdest and most unsettling findings in psychology. Cognitive dissonance is the idea that we find it hard to hold two contradictory beliefs, so we unconsciously adjust one to make it fit with the other.

In the classic study, students found a boring task more interesting if they were paid less to take part. Our unconscious reasons like this: if I didn’t do it for money, then I must have done it because it was interesting. As if by magic, a boring task becomes more interesting because otherwise I can’t explain my behaviour.

The reason it’s unsettling is that our minds are probably performing these sorts of rationalisations all the time, without our conscious knowledge. So how do we know what we really think?

10 of the Most Surprising Findings from Psychological Studies

9. Hallucinations are common
Hallucinations are like waking dreams, and we tend to think of them as markers of serious mental illness. In reality, however, they are more common amongst ‘normal’ people than we might imagine. One-third of us report having experienced hallucinations, with 20% experiencing hallucinations once a month, and 2% once a week (Ohayon, 2000).

Similarly, ‘normal’ people often have paranoid thoughts, as in this study I reported previously in which 40% experienced paranoid thoughts on a virtual journey. The gap between people with mental illness and the ‘sane’ is a lot smaller than we’d like to think. [Illustration by S. Stalkfleet]

8. The placebo effect
Perhaps you’ve had the experience that a headache improves seconds after you take an aspirin? This can’t be the drug because it takes at least 15 minutes to kick in.

That’s the placebo effect: your mind knows you’ve taken a pill, so you feel better. In medicine it seems strongest in the case of pain: some studies suggest a placebo of saline (salty water) can be as powerful as morphine. Some studies even suggest that 80% of the power of Prozac is placebo.

The placebo effect is counter-intuitive because we easily forget that mind and body are not separate.

10 of the Most Surprising Findings from Psychological Studies

7. Obedience to authority

Most of us like to think of ourselves as independently-minded people. We feel sure that we wouldn’t harm another human being unless under very serious duress. Certainly something as weak as being ordered to give someone an electric shock by an authority figure in a white coat wouldn’t be enough, would it?

Stanley Milgram’s famous study found it was. Sixty-three percent of participants kept giving electric shocks to another human being despite the victim screaming in agony and eventually falling silent. [The test setting is illustrated in the figure shown here, via]

Situations have huge power to control our behaviour, and it’s a power we don’t notice until it’s dramatically revealed in studies like this.

6. Fantasies reduce motivation
One way people commonly motivate themselves is by using fantasies about the future. The idea is that dreaming about a positive future helps motivate you towards that goal.

Beware, though, psychologists have found that fantasising about future success is actually bad for motivation. It seems that getting a taste of the future in the here and now reduces the drive to achieve it. Fantasies also fail to flag up the problems we’re likely to face on the way to our goals.

So what’s a better way to commit to goals? Instead of fantasising, use mental contrasting.

10 of the Most Surprising Findings from Psychological Studies

5. Choice blindness
We all know the reasons for our decisions, right? For example, do you know why you’re attracted to someone? Don’t be so sure. In one study, people were easily tricked into justifying choices they didn’t actually make about who they found attractive. Under some circumstances, we exhibit what is known as choice blindness: we seem to have little or no awareness of choices we’ve made and why we’ve made them. We then use rationalisations to try and cover our tracks.

This is just one example of the general idea that we have relatively little access to the inner workings of our minds. [Photo by Pablo Perez]

4. Two (or three, or four…) heads are not always better than one
Want to think outside the box? Do some blue sky thinking? Want to… [insert your own least-favourite cliché here].

Well, according to psychological research, brainstorming doesn’t work. People in groups tend to be lazy, likely to forget their ideas while others talk, and worry about what others will think (despite the rule that ‘there are no bad ideas’).

It turns out it’s much better to send people off to think up new ideas on their own. Groups then do better at evaluating those ideas.

10 of the Most Surprising Findings from Psychological Studies

3. Trying to suppress your thoughts is counterproductive
When you’re down or worried about something, people often say: “hey, try not to think about it; just put it out of your mind!”

This is very bad advice. Trying to suppress your thoughts is counter-productive. Like trying as hard as you can not to think about pink elephants or white bears. What people experience when they try to suppress their thoughts is an ironic rebound effect: the thought comes back stronger than before. Looking for distractions is a much better strategy.

2. Incredible multi-tasking skills
Despite all the mind’s limitations, we can train it to do incredible things. Take our multitasking abilities, for example — did you know that, with practice, people can actually read and write at the same time?

One study of multitasking trained two volunteers over 16 weeks until they could read a short story and categorise lists of words at the same time. Eventually they could perform as well on both tasks at the same time as they could on each task individually before the study began.

Read a full description of the study, along with potential criticisms, here.

10 of the Most Surprising Findings from Psychological Studies

1. In life, it’s all about the little things
We tend to think that the big events in our lives are the most important: graduation, getting married, or the birth of a child.

But major life events are often not as directly important to our well-being as the little hassles and uplifts of everyday life; major events, on the other hand, mainly affect us through the daily hassles and uplifts they produce. The same is true at work, where job satisfaction is strongly hit by everyday hassles.

What most affects people’s happiness are things like quality of sleep, little ups and downs at work and relationships with our friends and family. In other words: it’s the little things that make us happy.



8 Great Philosophical Questions That We’ll Never Solve

1. Why is there something rather than nothing?

8 Great Philosophical Questions That We'll Never Solve

Our presence in the universe is something too bizarre for words. The mundaneness of our daily lives cause us take our existence for granted — but every once in awhile we’re cajoled out of that complacency and enter into a profound state of existential awareness, and we ask: Why is there all this stuff in the universe, and why is it governed by such exquisitely precise laws? And why should anything exist at all? We inhabit a universe with such things as spiral galaxies, the aurora borealis, and SpongeBob Squarepants. And as Sean Carroll notes, “Nothing about modern physics explains why we have these laws rather than some totally different laws, although physicists sometimes talk that way — a mistake they might be able to avoid if they took philosophers more seriously.” And as for the philosophers, the best that they can come up with is the anthropic principle — the notion that our particular universe appears the way it does by virtue of our presence as observers within it — a suggestion that has an uncomfortably tautological ring to it.

2. Is our universe real?

8 Great Philosophical Questions That We'll Never Solve

This the classic Cartesian question. It essentially asks, how do we know that what we see around us is the real deal, and not some grand illusion perpetuated by an unseen force (who René Descartes referred to as the hypothesized ‘evil demon’)? More recently, the question has been reframed as the “brain in a vat” problem, or the Simulation Argument. And it could very well be that we’re the products of an elaborate simulation. A deeper question to ask, therefore, is whether the civilization running the simulation is also in a simulation — a kind of supercomputer regression (or simulationception). Moreover, we may not be who we think we are. Assuming that the people running the simulation are also taking part in it, our true identities may be temporarily suppressed, to heighten the realness of the experience. This philosophical conundrum also forces us to re-evaluate what we mean by “real.” Modal realistsargue that if the universe around us seems rational (as opposed to it being dreamy, incoherent, or lawless), then we have no choice but to declare it as being real and genuine. Or maybe, as Cipher said after eating a piece of “simulated” steak in The Matrix, “Ignorance is bliss.”

3. Do we have free will?

8 Great Philosophical Questions That We'll Never Solve

Also called the dilemma of determinism, we do not know if our actions are controlled by a causal chain of preceding events (or by some other external influence), or if we’re truly free agents making decisions of our own volition. Philosophers (and now some scientists) have been debating this for millennia, and with no apparent end in sight. If our decision making is influenced by an endless chain of causality, then determinism is true and we don’t have free will. But if the opposite is true, what’s called indeterminism, then our actions must be random — what some argue is still not free will. Conversely, libertarians (no, not political libertarians, those are other people), make the case for compatibilism — the idea that free will is logically compatible with deterministic views of the universe. Compounding the problem are advances in neuroscience showing that our brains make decisions before we’re even conscious of them. But if we don’t have free will, then why did we evolve consciousness instead of zombie-minds? Quantum mechanics makes this problem even more complicated by suggesting that we live in a universe of probability, and that determinism of any sort is impossible. And as Linas Vepstas has said, “Consciousness seems to be intimately and inescapably tied to the perception of the passage of time, and indeed, the idea that the past is fixed and perfectly deterministic, and that the future is unknowable. This fits well, because if the future were predetermined, then there’d be no free will, and no point in the participation of the passage of time.”

4. Does God exist?

8 Great Philosophical Questions That We'll Never Solve

Simply put, we cannot know if God exists or not. Both the atheists and believers are wrong in their proclamations, and the agnostics are right. True agnostics are simply being Cartesian about it, recognizing the epistemological issues involved and the limitations of human inquiry. We do not know enough about the inner workings of the universe to make any sort of grand claim about the nature of reality and whether or not a Prime Mover exists somewhere in the background. Many people defer to naturalism — the suggestion that the universe runs according to autonomous processes — but that doesn’t preclude the existence of a grand designer who set the whole thing in motion (what’s called deism). And as mentioned earlier, we may live in a simulation where the hacker gods control all the variables. Or perhaps the gnostics are right and powerful beings exist in some deeper reality that we’re unaware of. These aren’t necessarily the omniscient, omnipotent gods of the Abrahamic traditions — but they’re (hypothetically) powerful beings nonetheless. Again, these aren’t scientific questions per se — they’re more Platonic thought experiments that force us to confront the limits of human experience and inquiry.

5. Is there life after death?

8 Great Philosophical Questions That We'll Never Solve

Before everyone gets excited, this is not a suggestion that we’ll all end up strumming harps on some fluffy white cloud, or find ourselves shoveling coal in the depths of Hell for eternity. Because we cannot ask the dead if there’s anything on the other side, we’re left guessing as to what happens next. Materialists assume that there’s no life after death, but it’s just that — an assumption that cannot necessarily be proven. Looking closer at the machinations of the universe (or multiverse), whether it be through a classical Newtonian/Einsteinian lens, or through the spooky filter of quantum mechanics, there’s no reason to believe that we only have one shot at this thing called life. It’s a question of metaphysics and the possibility that the cosmos (what Carl Sagan described as “all that is or ever was or ever will be”) cycles and percolates in such a way that lives are infinitely recycled. Hans Moravec put it best when, speaking in relation to the quantum Many Worlds Interpretation, said that non-observance of the universe is impossible; we must always find ourselves alive and observing the universe in some form or another. This is highly speculative stuff, but like the God problem, is one that science cannot yet tackle, leaving it to the philosophers.

6. Can you really experience anything objectively?

8 Great Philosophical Questions That We'll Never Solve

There’s a difference between understanding the world objectively (or at least trying to, anyway) and experiencing it through an exclusively objective framework. This is essentially the problem of qualia — the notion that our surroundings can only be observed through the filter of our senses and the cogitations of our minds. Everything you know, everything you’ve touched, seen, and smelled, has been filtered through any number of physiological and cognitive processes. Subsequently, your subjective experience of the world is unique. In the classic example, the subjective appreciation of the color red may vary from person to person. The only way you could possibly know is if you were to somehow observe the universe from the “conscious lens” of another person in a sort of Being John Malkovich kind of way — not anything we’re likely going to be able to accomplish at any stage of our scientific or technological development. Another way of saying all this is that the universe can only be observed through a brain (or potentially a machine mind), and by virtue of that, can only be interpreted subjectively. But given that the universe appears to be coherent and (somewhat) knowable, should we continue to assume that its true objective quality can never be observed or known? It’s worth noting that much of Buddhist philosophy is predicated on this fundamental limitation (what they call emptiness), and a complete antithesis to Plato’s idealism.

7. What is the best moral system?

8 Great Philosophical Questions That We'll Never Solve

Essentially, we’ll never truly be able to distinguish between “right” and “wrong” actions. At any given time in history, however, philosophers, theologians, and politicians will claim to have discovered the best way to evaluate human actions and establish the most righteous code of conduct. But it’s never that easy. Life is far too messy and complicated for there to be anything like a universal morality or an absolutist ethics. The Golden Rule is great (the idea that you should treat others as you would like them to treat you), but it disregards moral autonomy and leaves no room for the imposition of justice (such as jailing criminals), and can even be used to justify oppression (Immanuel Kant was among its most staunchest critics). Moreover, it’s a highly simplified rule of thumb that doesn’t provision for more complex scenarios. For example, should the few be spared to save the many? Who has more moral worth: a human baby or a full-grown great ape? And as neuroscientists have shown, morality is not only a culturally-ingrained thing, it’s also a part of our psychologies (the Trolly Problem is the best demonstration of this). At best, we can only say that morality is normative, while acknowledging that our sense of right and wrong will change over time.

8. What are numbers?

8 Great Philosophical Questions That We'll Never Solve

We use numbers every day, but taking a step back, what are they, really — and why do they do such a damn good job of helping us explain the universe (such as Newtonian laws)? Mathematical structures can consist of numbers, sets, groups, and points — but are they real objects, or do they simply describe relationships that necessarily exist in all structures? Plato argued that numbers were real (it doesn’t matter that you can’t “see” them), but formalists insisted that they were merely formal systems (well-defined constructions of abstract thought based on math). This is essentially an ontological problem, where we’re left baffled about the true nature of the universe and which aspects of it are human constructs and which are truly tangible.

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