EppsNet Archive: Quotations

Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger. — James Joyce


Privilege

12 Jul 2017 /
Theodore Roosevelt

There can be no grosser example of privilege than that set before us as an ideal by certain socialistic writers the ideal that . . . the man who is vicious, foolish, a drag on the whole community, who contributes less than his share to the common good, should take out what is not his, what he has not earned; that he shall rob his neighbor of what that neighbor has earned. This particular socialistic ideal would be to enthrone privilege in one of its grossest, crudest, most dishonest, most harmful and most unjust forms.

— Theodore Roosevelt, 1908

Justice

10 May 2017 /


The Blindness and the Wretchedness of Man

8 May 2017 /
Blaise Pascal

When I see the blindness and the wretchedness of man, when I regard the whole silent universe, and man without light, left to himself, and, as it were, lost in this corner of the universe, without knowing who has put him there, what he has come to do, what will become of him at death, and incapable of all knowledge, I become terrified, like a man who should be carried in his sleep to a dreadful desert island, and should awake without knowing where he is, and without means of escape. And thereupon I wonder how people in a condition so wretched do not fall into despair. I see other persons around me in conditions of a like nature. I ask them if they are better informed than I am. They tell me that they are not. And thereupon these wretched and lost beings, having looked around them, and seen some pleasing objects, have given and attached themselves to them. For my own part, I have not been able to attach myself to them, and, considering how strongly it appears that there is something else than what I see, I have examined whether this God has not left some sign of Himself.

— Pascal, Pensées

Defend your right to think. Thinking wrongly is better than not thinking at all. — Hypatia of Alexandria, murdered by a Christian mob in the year 415


The Things We Have That Go

10 Mar 2017 /
Sara Teasdale

It was a spring that never came;
But we have lived enough to know
That what we never have, remains;
It is the things we have that go.

— Sara Teasdale, St. Louis poetess, who drowned herself many years ago, circa 1933

Or as Jesus used to say, “For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.”


Keep the Channel Open

6 Mar 2017 /
Martha Graham

Martha Graham, 1948

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urge that motivates you.

Keep the channel open.


Nothing Can Bring You Peace But Yourself

3 Mar 2017 /
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick, or the return of your absent friend, or some other favorable event, raises your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for you. Do not believe it. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance”

Life is like stepping onto a boat which is about to sail out to sea and sink. — Shunryu Suzuki

 

When Was That? I Missed It.

7 Aug 2016 /

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.

— Romans 8:28

A Net For My Steps

31 Jul 2016 /

They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

 

The Man in the Arena

27 Jul 2016 /
Col. Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

— Theodore Roosevelt, from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic,” delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910

George Orwell: “I Told You So”

25 Jun 2016 /

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Associated Press review of the official calendar Hillary Clinton kept as secretary of state identified at least 75 meetings with longtime political donors, Clinton Foundation contributors and corporate and other outside interests that were not recorded or omitted the names of those she met.

Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said that Clinton “has always made an effort to be transparent since entering public life.”

In addition to the unrecorded meetings with donors, this effort at transparency includes setting up a private email server to use as Secretary of State, and giving speeches at $200,000 per to Wall Street banks and investment firms, foreign governments and other special interest groups under a contract that prevents anyone from releasing a transcript of what she said.

Merrill went on to say, “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”


You’re Walking Around With a Mask On

10 Apr 2016 /

You know you’re walking around with a mask on, and you desperately want to take it off and you can’t because everyone else thinks it’s your face.

— Pat Barker, Regeneration

Eat This Scroll

29 Feb 2016 /

Moreover He said unto me, “Son of man, eat what thou findest: eat this scroll, and go, speak unto the house of Israel.”

— Ezekiel 3:1

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when looked at in the right way, did not become still more complicated. — Poul Anderson


A New Use for Churches

13 Dec 2015 /
Church

Granting the existence of God, a house dedicated to Him naturally follows. He is all-important; it is fit that man should take some notice of Him. But why praise and flatter Him for His unspeakable cruelties? Why forget so supinely His failures to remedy the easily remediable? Why, indeed, devote the churches entirely to worship? Why not give them over, now and then, to justifiable indignation meetings?

— H.L. Mencken

Cashing In

12 Dec 2015 /
Joseph Heller

When I look up, I see people cashing in. I don’t see heaven or saints or angels. I see people cashing in on every decent impulse and every human tragedy.

— Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Happy Birthday

7 Dec 2015 /
English: Joseph Conrad

I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more–the feeling that I could last forever, outlast the seas, the earth, and all men.

— Joseph Conrad

The Mad Hatter

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” — Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


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