Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category

Reading in Fundamental!

December 17, 2016

I remember well the “Reading is FUNdamental” campaign from the mid-60s (and celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year [2016]).  This nonprofit organization was one of the earliest advocates for improving children’s literacy in the United States.  Some quick facts (from

  • 65% = the number of  fourth-graders who can’t read at the 4th-grade level.
  • 80% = the number of low-income children who are “at-risk” of falling behind in school.
  • 8,000 = the number of high school students who dropout each day.

I’m certainly grateful for my literacy and cannot imagine the inability to read.  Here are some of my favorite quotations on the topic of reading.  Enjoy!

“The man who doesn’t read has no advantage over the man who can’t read.” (Author unknown)

“A good book should leave you… slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.”  (William Styron)

“Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” (Author unknown)

“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”  (Paul Sweeney)

“We read in bed because reading is halfway between life and dreaming, our own consciousness in someone else’s mind.”  (Anna Quindlen)

“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”  (Mark Twain)

“It is better to have your nose in a book than in someone else’s business.”  (Adam Stanley)


December 14, 2016

Change is all around us and is a reality of the world . . . but there continues to be great resistance to change by many people.  Whenever I think of change, I’m reminded of a book title (courtesy of — “Change is good . . . you go first!”  Here are few other quotations on the subject of change . . .

“One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain.” – Rick Godwin

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
― Leo Tolstoy

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”  ― Mahatma Gandhi

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”  ― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Stones as Projectiles!

December 7, 2016

When I ran across this quotation today, it got me thinking about “throwing stones” and the other quotable sayings involving stones as projectiles.  Quotations to ponder!

“In this world, some people will always throw stones in your path. It depend on you what you make from those stones… A wall or a bridge!”  — Author Unknown

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”  (Jesus Christ, John 8:7, King James Bible)

“People who live in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones.”  (Proverb)

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”  (Winston Churchill)

Beware of Censorship!

November 16, 2016

No one likes to be censored.  By definition, a censor is “an official who examines books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, political, military, or other grounds.” (Source

So, I thought I would consult my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary (by Aubrey Dillon-Malone) to see what definitions I could find . . .

“A man who knows more that he thinks you ought to.”  (Laurence Peter)

“People who are paid to have dirty minds.”  (John Trevelyan)

“A more depraving and corrupting practice than anything pornography can produce.”  (Tony Smythe)

“A legal corollary of public modesty.”  (Jonathan Miller)

“An excuse to talk about sex.”  (Fran Lebowitz)

“A practice as indefensible as infanticide.”  (Rebecca West)

Source: The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.

An Autobiography By Any Other Name!

November 9, 2016

An autobiography is actually a literary genre and is defined (by Google) as “an account of a person’s life written by that person.”   However, I found some rather interesting alternative definitions in my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary.  Enjoy!

“An obituary in serial form with the last instalment missing.” (Quentin Crisp)

“Alibi-ography.”  (Clare Boothe Luce)

“A book that suggests the only thing wrong with the author is . . . his memory.”  (Franklin P. Jones)

“Books that ought to begin with Chapter Two.” (Ellery Sedgwick)

“Unrivaled vehicles for telling the truth — about others.”  (Philip Guedalla)

“What is now as common as adultery — and hardly less reprehensible.”  (John Grigg)

“The life story of a motor car.”  (Peter Eldin)

Source: The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.

Moral Indignation!

September 7, 2016

When I think of the phrase “moral indignation,” I envision an elderly person exclaiming “why I never” in a most disdainful tone.   According to wikipedia, it “is typically a reactive emotion of anger over perceived mistreatment, insult, or malice. It is akin to what is called the sense of injustice.”

Here are some of my favorite quotations regarding this phrase . . .

” . . . jealousy with a halo.”  (H.G. Wells)

“What is in most cases two percent moral, forty-eight percent indignation, and fifty percent envy.”  (Vittorio de Sica)

“Suspecting other people of not being married.”  (George Bernard Shaw)

“Simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike.”  (Oscar Wilde)


August 24, 2016

Have you ever found yourself reusing a quotation from a movie?  For example: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” [Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), Gone With The Wind].  Well, I do it all the time (circumstances permitting).  Here are a few of my favorites . . .

“What we do in life echoes in eternity.” [General Maximus (Russell Crowe), Gladiator, 2000]

“Tomorrow is promised to no one.” [Luther Whitney (Clint Eastwood), Absolute Power, 1997]

President Asher (Aaron Eckhart): “What are you made of?”
Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler): “Bourbon and poor choices.”
[London Has Fallen, 2016]

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” [Sheriff Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), Jaws, 1975]

John Bridger (Donald Sutherland): “How are you feeling?”
Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg): “Fine.”
John Bridger (Donald Sutherland): “Fine, do you know what ‘fine’ stands for?”
Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg): “Yeah, unfortunately.”
John Bridger (Donald Sutherland): “Freaked out . . . ”
Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg): “Insecure . . . ”
John Bridger (Donald Sutherland): “Neurotic . . . ”
Charlie Croker (Mark Wahlberg): “and Emotional.”
[The Italian Job, 2003]

“You hurt me, I hurt you worse.”  [Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner), Criminal 2016]

“Let’s see if we can’t buy the world another day.” [Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales (Gregory Gadson), Battleship, 2012]

Yesterday vs. Today vs. Tomorrow!

August 17, 2016

You never know what will prompt you to ponder.  For example, when talking about my plans or activities, I’ve long used the following quotation  — “Tomorrow is promised to no one” — spoken by the character Luther Whitney who was played by Clint Eastwood in the movie “Absolute Power.”   This got me thinking about the past, the present, and the future a bit.  Here are some other quotations to help me continue my pondering . . .

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” (Don Marquis)

“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.”  (Bil Keane)

“Today will die tomorrow.”  (Algernon Charles Swinburne)

“Don’t lose today by worrying about tomorrow!!!”  (John F Herbert)

“Plan for tomorrow, but live for today.”   (Joseph Rain)

“Forget about tomorrow; it’s a myth. You only have today to do what you want to do”  (Bangambiki Habyarimana)

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”  (L.M. Montgomery)

“Let’s save tomorrow’s troubles for tomorrow.”   (Patricia Briggs)

“Tomorrow you promise yourself will be different, yet tomorrow is too often a repetition of today.”   (James T. McCay)


Focus on the Positive!

August 10, 2016

As we were growing up, I would hazard to guess that we have all heard the proverb “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  Or similarly, when you feel dejected and think that life is treating you poorly there’s the “Count your blessings” phrase.  So to help us keep things in a positive mood, here are a few more quotations that can help.

“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.”  (Elbert Hubbard)

“You will face your greatest opposition when you are closest to your biggest miracle.”
(Shannon L. Alder)

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”  (Mick Fitzpatrick)

Critics and Criticism!

July 6, 2016

It would seem that in today’s day and age, critics are generally not popular people — no one wants or likes to receive criticism.   Why is it then that everyone seems to be a critic.  An interesting dilemma indeed.  Here are some quotations that drive this point home rather effectively.

“Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they are unable to do it themselves.”  (Brendan Behan)

“You know who the critics are?  The men who have failed in literature and art.”  (Benjamin Disraeli)

“Criticism is a study by which men grow important and formidable at very small expense.”  (Samuel Johnson)

“The lot of critics is to be remembered by what they failed to understand.”  (George Moore)

“At ev’ry word a reputation dies.”  (Alexander Pope)

“Never pay attention to what critics say . . . A statue has never been set up in honour of a critic!”  (Jean Sibelius)

And this conversation between Oscar Wilde and the critic Beerbohm Tree:

WILDE: I shall always regard you as the best critic of my plays.
TREE: But I have never criticized your plays.
WILDE: That’s why.

Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations.