Favorite Quotations For Life and Living

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“I put no stock in religion. By the word ‘religion’ I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called ‘the will of God.’ I have seen too much religion in the eyes of too many murderers. Holiness is in right action, and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves.” Kingdom of Heaven

“It has fallen to us, to defend Jerusalem, and we have made our preparations as well as they can be made. None of us took this city from Muslims. No Muslim of the great army now coming against us was born when this city was lost. We fight over an offence we did not give, against those who were not alive to be offended. What is Jerusalem? Your holy places lie over the Jewish temple that the Romans pulled down. The Muslim places of worship lie over yours. Which is more holy? The wall? The Mosque? The Sepulchre? Who has claim? No one has claim. All have claim. We defend this city not to protect these stones, but the people living within these walls.” -‘Kingdom of Heaven,’ Balian’s speech to the army of Jerusalem before the city is lost at the end of the Crusade.

tumblr_m8xpirMb3s1qfb5g6“When I was sixteen, I won a great victory. I felt in that moment I would live to be a hundred. Now I know I shall not see thirty. None of us know our end, really, or what hand will guide us there. A king may move a man, a father may claim a son, but that man can also move himself, and only then does that man truly begin his own game. Remember that howsoever you are played or by whom, your soul is in your keeping alone, even though those who presume to play you be kings or men of power. When you stand before God, you cannot say, “But I was told by others to do thus,” or that virtue was not convenient at the time. This will not suffice. Remember that. ” King Baldwin IV, “Kingdom of Heaven”

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“If you stumble about believability, what are you living for? Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?”
-Yan Martel, “Life of Pi” 

“There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, “Business as usual.” But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. Their faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening. 

These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defense, not God’s, that the self-righteous should rush.” -Yan Martel, “Life of Pi” 

“It is impossible to live your life without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case, you fail by default.” -J.K. Rowling

“Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates.” J.K. Rowling

“Many people prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know. I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do. Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the wilfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.” J.K. Rowling

“We touch other people’s lives simply by existing.” J.K. Rowling

“The way you vote, the way to live, the way you protest, and the pressure you bring to bear on your government has an impact way beyond your borders. That is you privilege and your burden.” J.K. Rowling

“If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” J.K. Rowling

“The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.” -J.K. Rowling

“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared.” J.K. Rowling

“Those who choose not to empathise enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy.” -J.K. Rowling

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’

As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all – the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them. ~J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.’

“You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’

“You place too much importance… on the so-called purity of blood! You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’

It is my belief… that the truth is generally preferable to lies. ~J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’

“People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’

“It was, he thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew -‘ and so do I’, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride,’ and so did my parents’ – that there was all the difference in the world.” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’

“It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’

“You are the true master [of Death], because the true master does not run away from Death. He accepts that he must die and knows that there are far, far worse things in the living world than dying.” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’

“Do not pity the dead, Harry, pity the living. Above all pity those who live without love.” J.K. Rowling, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’

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“When a man understands the art of seeing, he can trace the spirit of an age and the features of a king even in the knocker on a door.” -Victor Hugo’s ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’

“One can no more prevent the mind from returning to an idea than the sea from returning to a shore. In the case of the sailor, this is called a tide; in the case of the guilty, it is called remorse.” – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

“Great blunders are often made, like large ropes, of a multitude of fibers.” -Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

“Not being heard is no reason for silence.” Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

“Happy, even in anguish, is he to whom God has given a soul worthy of love and of grief! He who has not seen the things of this world, and the hearts of men by this double light, has seen nothing, and knows nothing of the truth.” Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

“If there is anything more poignant than a body agonising for want of bread, it is a soul which is dying of hunger for light.” Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

“The pupil dilates in the night, and at last finds day in it, even as the soul dilates in misfortune, and at last finds God in it.” Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.” – Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

“Men judge us by the success of our efforts. God looks at the efforts themselves.” -Charlotte Bronte

“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.” – Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

“I can so clearly distinguish between the criminal and his crime; I can so sincerely forgive the first while I abhor the last.” Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

“Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.” Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

“I don’t think, sir, that you have a right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience” -Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

“The human and fallible should not arrogate a power with which the divine and perfect alone can be safely intrusted.” Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

“I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots. I believe that this life is not all; neither the beginning nor the end. I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.” Charlotte Bronte, Villette

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“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” William Shakespeare, ‘Macbeth’

Something wicked this way comes.
William Shakespeare, ‘Macbeth’

Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell.
William Shakespeare, ‘Macbeth’

The course of true love never did run smooth.
William Shakespeare, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Nought’s had, all’s spent,
Where our desire is got without content.
William Shakespeare, ‘Macbeth’

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet,
to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me –
William Shakespeare, ‘Hamlet’

 

Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puff’d and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads.
And recks not his own rede.
William Shakespeare, “Hamlet”

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O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
Leash’d in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide on man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth;
For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o’er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
William Shakespeare, “Henry V”

“Yet with my nobler reason ‘gainst my fury
Do I take part. The rarer action is
In virtue than in vengeance.”
– William Shakespeare, ‘The Tempest’

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptered sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings;
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then show like God’s
When mercy seasons justice.
-William Shakespeare, ‘The Merchant of Venice’

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call:
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
-William Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

If music be the food of love, play on!
William Shakespeare, ‘Twelfth Night’

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“I know that God will not give me more than I can handle. Sometimes I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” -Mother Teresa

“Let no one come to you without leaving happier.” -Mother Teresa

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.” -Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” -Thomas Jefferson

“When the people fear their government, there it tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.” -Thomas Jefferson

“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” -Abraham Lincoln

“I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and that there is purpose and worth to each and every life.” -Ronald Reagan

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” -Alexander Hamiltion

“The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.” -Margaret Thatcher

“Well behaved women rarely make history.”

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Ghandi

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Ghandi

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that precious right.” Ghandi

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.” Ghandi

“My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.” Jane Austen

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” Jane Austen

“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.” Jane Austen

“It is interesting to me that God made man with a brain and a penis and only enough blood to operate one at a time.” -Robin Williams

“Queen Victoria was one of our more frumpy queens. They’re all a bit frumpy though really, because it’s a bad idea when cousins marry.” -Eddie Izzard

“I can resist everything except temptation.” -Oscar Wilde

“As is a tale, so is life. Not how long it is, but how good it is is what matters.” Seneca

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