jwp_logo.gif (3595 bytes)Quotable Quotes

Wisdom for today from the past

presented in no particular order

If you have a quote you would like considered for inclusion please send it to me at 

"Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage." Robert Louis Stevenson
"Life is just a series of trying to make up your mind" -- Timothy Fuller

The following were submitted by Casey Stevens:

"To fail your friends and your mission is worst than death." --Carl St-Hilaire

"Reality is the result of your state of mind, what you believe, is." --Carl St-Hilaire

"One who never tries shall never know the sting of defeat, or taste the glory of victory." --Carl St-Hilaire-------

"To die for a cause, is better than living without one." --Carl St-Hilaire

"All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope." -- Sir Winston Churchill

"Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well. " -- Robert Louis Stevenson

"You're never too old to become younger." -- Mae West

"Live as you will wish to have lived when you are dying. " -- Christian Furchtegott Gellert

"A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails." -- Unknown

"We do not remember days, we remember moments" -- Cesare Pavese, Italian poet

"It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time." -- Sir Winston Churchill

"Freedom of speech and of the press are essential to the enlightenment of a free people and in restraining those who wield power." --Felix Frankfurter, Bridges v. California

"We know next to nothing about virtually everything. It is not necessary to know the origin of the universe: it is necessary to WANT to know. Civilization depends not on any particular knowledge, but on the disposition to crave knowledge." --George Will

"The language of friendship is not words but meanings." -- Henry David Thoreau

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."-- Voltaire

"It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him."-- John Steinbeck

"Never interrupt your enemy while he's making a mistake."- Napoleon Bonaparte

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." - William Penn

"Life is a play. It's not its length, but its performance that counts." - Seneca

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

"He who makes no mistakes makes no attempts." - unknown

"Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are." -- Malcolm Forbes

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

"Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in." -  Andrew Jackson

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."-- Theodore Roosevelt

"The quality of a person's life does not depend on the circumstances of his life as much as the attitude with which he faces those circumstances."-- Javan

"The sages do not consider that making no mistakes is a blessing. They believe, rather, that the great virtue of man lies in his ability to correct his mistakes and continually make a new man of himself." - Wang Yang-Ming

"The glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time you fall." -- Chinese Proverb

" Above all, try something." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"Babe Ruth hit more home runs than anyone; he also struck out more often than anyone." -- Anonymous You have to be willing to try and possibly fail before you can succeed.

"Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win." -- --Jonathan Kozol

"Baloney is flattery laid on so thick it cannot be true, and blarney is flattery so thin we love it." -- Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979), U.S. clergyman, author. Speech, 3 Dec. 1938,

"I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex." -- Oscar wilde

"I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up." -- Mark Twain

" We create our fate every day." - Henry Miller

"Fame is what others give you. Success is what you give yourself" -- Anonymous

" A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something." - Frank Capra

"On the whole human beings want to be good, but not to good and not quite all the time." - George Orwell

"If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live." - Lin Yutang

"Be cheerful -- the problems that worry us most are those that never arrive." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The game of life is not so much in holding a good hand as playing a poor hand well." -- H.T. Leslie

"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it." - William Arthur Ward

" Whether you think you can or think you can't....you're absolutely right "
-- Earl Nightingale

"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn." --  David Russell

"The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." -- Walter Bagehot
I take this to mean accomplishing things other didn't think you could.

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." -- Winston Churchill

" Your wealth is where your friends are." - Plautus

"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow-creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." -- Stephen Grellet

"The courage that counts is the courage of the every day.  Most of life is putting one foot in front of the other.  Big leaps have received too much press." --  Anonymous

" If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live." -- Lin Yutang

"Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing, that we see too late the one that is open."-- Alexander Graham Bell

"Let us not go over the old ground, let us rather prepare for what is to come." --  Cicero.

"Success is never final, failure is never fatal, it's courage that counts." -- Winston Churchill

"Youth is not a time of life-it is a state of mind." - Anonymous

"One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.  'Which road do I take?' she asked.  His response was a question: 'Where do you want to go?'  'I don't know,' Alice answered.  'Then,' said the cat, 'it doesn't matter.' "-- Lewis Carroll
If you don't know where you want to go, how will you figure out how to
get there?

"The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything. Do not be afraid to make mistakes providing you do not make the same one twice." --Theodore Roosevelt

" Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be
first overcome." - Samuel Johnson

"Dream as if you'll live forever... Live as if you'll die today" -James Dean

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger in the long run is no safer than outright exposure. Life is either daring adventure or nothing." - Helen Keller

The most basic rule of survival in any situation is "never look like food."  Park Ranger, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Happiness is a by-product of an effort to make someone else happy.
-Gretta Brooker Palmer

"It's so much more friendly with two" -Winnie the Pooh

"These things we do that others may live."  -Ranger Staff, Civil Air Patrol. The Civil Air Patrol is a non profit volunteer organization. It assists the U.S. Air Force in search and rescue operations for lost aircraft. It also has a cadet program for young people.

"As you journey through life take a minute every now and then to give a thought for the other fellow. He could be plotting something."  -- Hagar the Horrible

"Winners are losers who gave it one more try" --Dennis DeYoung

Special section for quotations from 'experts'. These prove that the experts don't always know all the answers.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."   --Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." --The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957
"But what ... is it good for?" --Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." --Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp.,1977
"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." --Western Union internal memo, 1876.

"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" --David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment
in the radio in the 1920s.

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible." --A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper    proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" --H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary' Cooper." --Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind."

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." --Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment.  The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this." --Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for    3-M  "Post-It" Notepads.

"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us?  Or we'll give it to you.  We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.'  So then we went to Hewlett-Packard and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you.  You haven't got through college yet.'" --Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.

"You want to have consistent and uniform muscle development across all of your muscles?  It can't be done.  It's just a fact of life.  You just have to accept inconsistent muscle development as an unalterable condition of weight training." --Response to Arthur Jones, who solved the "unsolvable" problem by inventing Nautilus.

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." --Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." --Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre.

"Everything that can be invented has been invented." --Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

"Take your pleasures seriously. " -Charles Eames

"Whoever is happy will make others happy too. "    -Anne Frank

"Time is like an addiction, you always want more." --Scott Ishman

"All glory comes from daring to begin. " --William Arthur Ward

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. " --Mark Twain

"We trained very hard -- but it seemed that every time we were beginning '' to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life we tend to meet new situations by reorganizing, and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization."  -- Petronius Arbiter, 66 A.D.


"Minds are like parachutes. The more open they are the better they work." --unknown

"CARPE DIEM" (Seize the Day) --unknown

"Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." -- Plato

"Fortune favors the brave." --Terence (c.185-c.159 BC), a Roman slave who became a successful playwright

"Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn". -- Harriet Beecher Stowe

"Illegitimis non carborundum" - (Don't let the bastards get you down) -- General Joseph Stillwell

"Accept the challenge so you may know the exhilaration of victory" --General George S. Patton

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." --General George S. Patton

"I am not ashamed to confess that I am ignorant of what I do not know." -- Cicero

"The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets." -- Will Rogers

Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up and knows that if he does not outrun the fastest lion he will not survive. Somewhere else in Africa a lion wakes up and knows that if he can not outrun the slowest gazelle he will starve to death. It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or gazelle, come morning you had better be running. -- Anonymous

"ARMA PACIS FULCRA" - (PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH) --Motto of the Queens Honorable Artillery Company

"Creative thinking may simply mean that there is no particular virtue in doing things the way they have always been done." --Rudolph Flesch

"How delightful is the company of generous people, who overlook trifles and keep their minds instinctively fixed on whatever is good and positive in the world around them." --Van Wyck Brooks

"A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled." --Sir Barnett Cocks.

"If you want to make enemies, try to change something." -- Woodrow Wilson

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE -- In response to the questions on how to start a letter to a person whose gender and/or title is unknown, it is common to use in the Netherlands the abbreviation "L.S." This is Latin and means Lectori Salutem (Greetings to the Reader). -- Huub van Helvoort, Huizen, The Netherlands.

"The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress." --Charles F. Kettering

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." --Albert Einstein

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who tries valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and 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." -- Theodore Roosevelt

"It's impossible to get out of a problem by using the same kind of thinking that it took to get into the problem." --Albert Einstein

"One man with courage is a majority." --Andrew Jackson

"You miss 100% of the shots you never take." -- Anonymous

"HEAVEN is where the police are British, the cooks French, the mechanics German, the lovers Italian, and it is all organized by the Swiss. HELL is where the chefs are British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, the police German, and it is all organized by the Italians." -- Anonymous

"Thinking about what you can't control only wastes energy and creates its own enemy." -- Lt. Commander Worf, Star Trek: The Next Generation

"Who Dares Wins." -- Motto of the British Strategic Air Service

"May the most you wish for, be the least you get. May the best times you've ever had be the worst you will ever see." -- An old Irish blessing

"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis retain their neutrality." -- Dante Alighieri, "Inferno"

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

"Statistics: A group of numbers looking for an argument." -- Anonymous

"Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him." --Booker T. Washington

"A bargain is something you can't use at a price you can't resist." --Anonymous

"When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing." --Dwight Eisenhower

"When an institution, organization, or nation loses its capacity to evoke high individual performance, its great days are over." -- John Gardner, from his book "Self-Renewal"

"In a free society the state does not administer the affairs of men. It administers justice among men who conduct their own affairs." -- Walter Lippman, in "An Inquiry into the Principles of a Free Society"

"Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead

"With the right attitude, self imposed limitations vanish" --Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.)

"If it is not seemly, do it not; if it is not true, speak it not" -- Marcus Aurelius (121-180 Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher)

"Say what you have to say, and the first time you come to a sentence with a grammatical ending --sit down--" --Winston Churchill

"Morale is the essence of Achievement." --Anonymous

"The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it." -- Theodore Roosevelt

"Compliments of congratulation are always kindly taken, and cost nothing but pen, ink and paper. I consider them as draughts upon good breeding, where the exchange is always greatly in favor of the drawer." -- Earl of Chesterfield, 1694-1773, English statesman and author

"I am growing very weary of being shown the light by people who can't do what I do, but know I'm not doing it right." -- Dick Johnson, author

"If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world." -- Chinese proverb, from "Chicken Soup for the Soul"

"The budget should be balanced, the treasury refilled, public debt reduced, the arrogance of officialdom tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt." -- Cicero

"The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get into the office." -- Robert Frost

"Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -- Anonymous

"Efficiency is intelligent laziness." --Arnold H. Glasgow

"You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make all of them yourself." --Sam Levinson

"The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success." --David Sarnoff

Never give in -- in nothing great or small, large or petty except to convictions of honor and good sense." -- Winston Churchill

"When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I'll like it or not. Disagreement, at this stage, stimulates me. But once a decision has been made, the debate ends. From that point on, loyalty means executing the decision as if it were your own." -- Colin Powell

"The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it." -- Franklin P. Jones

"Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repairing." -- Billy Rose

"There are two levers for moving men -- interest and fear." -- Napoleon Bonaparte

"It's too bad that one has to conceive of sports as being the only arena where risks are, for all of life is risk exercise. That's the only way to live more freely, and more interestingly." -- William Sloane Coffin Jr.

"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out." --James Bryant Conant)

"In times of change, learners inherit the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to work in a world that no longer exists." --Eric Hoffer

"Each personal limit you exceed, each boundary you cross, verifies that most limits are indeed self imposed. Your potential and possibilities are far greater than you can ever imagine. You are capable of far more than you ever thought." -- Robert Kriegal

Links to other sites with Quotations





http://www.jonno.com/oscariana/oscar.cgi Random quotes from Oscar Wilde

http://www.quoteland.com/index.html Quoteland

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Revised: February 15, 2005