What Quotes have inspired you? please no religion or politics

PrintDriver just left a great Oscar Wilde quote on another thread and I thought I’d start a thread about quotes. Imo it’s a good way to find inspiration. I only ask, no religion or current politics.

I’ll start with one that I used to use as a mediator.

“You and I are now in confrontation, but I see no violence.”

  • Bantu Stephen Biko

" If, before every action, we were to begin by weighing up the consequences, thinking about them in earnest, first the immediate consequences, then the probable, then the possible, then the imaginable ones, we should never move beyond the point where our first thought brought us to a halt."

– José Saramago

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“It’s better than the alternative.”

– said one designer to another who was complaining that he’s swamped

Hey, careful, man, there’s a beverage here. – The Dude


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, cooperate, 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.
– Lazarus Long

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Caught inside my gilded cage, with an ounce of pain, I wield a tone of rage.

  • Chris Cornell (RIP)
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A true Renaissance Man.

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. – William Morris


‘Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.’

-Erma Bombeck


“I was going to engage you in a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed” don’t remember who

Two quotes: both from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

His second quote might be seen as a bit of a downer, but it also warns of an insidious danger to notice and avoid when it approaches. I’ve always interpreted both quotes as advice on the importance of living one’s life in a personally purposeful, simple and meaningful way, even when doing so sets you apart as being different and out-of-step with others.

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Trust no one.

– I’d like to think it was me, but I’m pretty sure it was not.

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Trust, but verify.
– Old Russian Proverb.

Trust on one is probably just as old. I remember an X-Files episode titled that. Great show.

Would I let some people catch me falling from height in one of those motivational exercises? I don’t think so. No amount of verification could make me think otherwise.

By the way, verification is a given. I’d still proceed with caution.

Reminded me of:
“I ask you to believe nothing that you cannot verify for yourself.” — G.I. Gurdjieff

Which reminded me of another of his:
"A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering.”

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Trust when applied to others is somewhat a different animal than trust applied to information.

I used to have one of those black velvet blacklight posters in my room with screaming orange letters:
I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
–(possibly Rod Coombes, often misattributed to Alan Greenspan.)


“Today, art, as a cultural factor, is more than ever called upon to take a leading place in building and conserving cultural values . . . May the best among us realise fully the significance of what is at stake and their own responsibility, and may we labor creatively and with conviction at the preservation of our cultural civilisation and its restoration to perfectlyt healthy conditions”

“This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.” - Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

One from George Bernard Shaw - “We do not stop playing games because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing games”.

I use that to justify my online gaming habit at 60yrs old.

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I’ve heard this one before - a bit black + white as a philosophy. Useful for journalists and scientists, but precludes faith of any kind (I have no faith but I respect those that do). Also tricky when it comes to quantum physics - and other branches of theoretical physics - a lot of which cannot be explained by what we know and cannot really be verified.

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