Quotes

There is something about eloquent and meaningful words that captivates me, be it a saying, proverb, song lyrics, movie dialogues, or even an interesting statement made by a friend in a casual conversation. I often revisit them when in need of inspiration, or when I need a bit of mental rejuvenation.

Though there are many websites dedicated to displaying quotes by famous people, I thought I should list a few of my really favorite ones here (a list which will be updated as and when I come across more):

“If you have built castles in the air your work need not be lost, that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau

“The greatest compliment that was ever paid to me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”Henry David Thoreau

“The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.”George Bernard Shaw

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sun-dial in the shade.”Benjamin Franklin

“Two roads diverged in a wood,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost in his poem ‘The Road Not Taken’

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”Martin Luther King, Jr.

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, co-operate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” – Robert A. Heinlein

“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.”Walt Disney

“I never wanted to be the next Bruce Lee. I just wanted to be the first Jackie Chan.”Jackie Chan

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, and to sit down and listen.” – Sir Winston Churchill

“By idolizing someone those whom we honor we do disservice both to them and to ourselves, we fail to recognize the fact that we could go and do likewise.” – Charles V. Willie

“There is no security on this Earth; there is only opportunity.”Douglas MacArthur

“Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.”Jonathan Kozol

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“It takes hundreds of nuts to hold a car together, but it takes only one of them to scatter it all over the highway.”Evan Esar

“One cloud is enough to eclipse all the sun.”Thomas Fuller

‎”If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.”George Bernard Shaw

“Intelligence is not to make no mistakes, but quickly to see how to make them good.”Bertolt Brecht

“Sometimes life hits you on the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”Steve Jobs during his epic speech at the Stanford Commencement Ceremony in 2005.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”Charles Darwin

“One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.”Arthur Miller

“History is the record of an encounter between character and circumstances.”Donald Creighton

“We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them.”William Arthur Ward

A few quotes from the man whom I think was the king of wise one liners, Oscar Wilde

“Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.”Oscar Wilde

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”Oscar Wilde

“We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow.”Oscar Wilde

“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”Oscar Wilde

“There are many things we would throw away if we were not afraid that others might pick them up.”Oscar Wilde

“It is only the auctioneer who can equally and impartially admire all schools of art.”Oscar Wilde

“Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.”Oscar Wilde

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”Oscar Wilde

Some from one of the greatest showmen that has walked the Earth, Sir Charles ‘Charlie’ Chaplin –

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.”Charlie Chaplin

“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.” – Charlie Chaplin

“I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane and a derby hat. Everything a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small, and the shoes large.”Charlie Chaplin (the rest as they say… is history!)

Three of W.H Auden’s finest –

“I and the public know, what all schoolchildren learn,

Those to whom evil is done, do evil in return.” W.H Auden

“What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish.” – W.H. Auden (this one is more applicable for the ‘Reality TV’ of today!)

“Behind the corpse in the reservoir, behind the ghost on the links,

Behind the lady who dances and the man who madly drinks,

Under the look of fatigue, the attack of migraine and the sigh

There is always another story, there is more than meets the eye.”

W.H Auden

Another one of my favorite writers, Ayn Rand –

“Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. Do not count on them. Leave them alone.”Ayn Rand

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.”Ayn Rand in her book ‘The Fountainhead’

“… an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish the truth from the error.” – Ayn Rand in her book ‘Atlas Shrugged’

How could we forget the man who proved us ‘relativity’, Albert Einstein –

“A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.”Albert Einstein

“Common sense is the collection of all prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”Albert Einstein

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”Albert Einstein

A few from random readings and other anonymous sources –

“Luck is probability taken personally.”

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

“You don’t need reasons when you are true towards something.”

“There are two forms of knowledge: to know something, and to know where to look it up.” – (thankfully, Google has given us the solution for the second part of that quote!)

“Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is like expecting a lion not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.”

“Never make someone a priority in your life when you are merely an option in theirs.”

“Love never dies; people move on.”

“Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.”

A few plucked from thoughtful comments from friends –

“We live in consequences.”

“Failure is an event, not a person.”

“Getting to know someone is like investigating a crime scene where the culprit is constantly allowed to re-arrange the evidence.”

“Good things always happen in the end, no matter how or when we reach the end. The bridge might shake a bit, but it will take you to the other side safely; and even if you do not wish to take it, never burn any bridge away because you never know when you might need to go to the other side.”

“You aren’t worthy until you have something that money can’t buy!”

A few of my own –

As I’ve gone about my life and have had good and bad experiences, I too have come up with a few of my own.

“‘Adapting’ is a better policy than ‘Planning’.”

“Things often sound different and stranger than in the way they are actually said. A lot of misunderstandings stem from this fact.”

“All that glitters might not be gold, but it sure gives a great view, and definitely broadens the perspective!”

“Education and knowledge when worn as a cloak, keeps the human ego seething under it; but when drunk as a tonic, has a much better chance of stamping out that ego completely.”

“An opinion that changes over time, be it about a friendship, relationship, person, or thing, was flawed to begin with. More reason for thinking before we get all judgmental.”

“I like long and quiet journeys; they give you ample time to think, reminisce and contemplate.”

“Our choice of clothes may make us attractive, but not beautiful.”

“‘Professionalism’ is over-rated. People could do instead by being knowledgeable, committed, honest, caring & trustworthy.”

“Invention might have its mother in necessity, but it sure has many fathers. ‘Will-power’, ‘Money’ and ‘Marketability’ are foremost among them.”

“If even half of those who invest time in writing their Death Wills also invest an equal amount of time in writing their Bucket List, their life and in turn the whole wide world would be a more exciting object of desire.”

“To see a person and believe in him, that’s trust. To not see a person and still believe in him, that’s faith.”