To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
We protest against unjust criticism, but we accept unearned applause.
In order to awaken the people, it is the woman who has to be awakened. Once she is on the move, the household moves, the village moves, the country moves and thus we build the India of tomorrow.
It seldom happens that a man changes his life through his habitual reasoning. No matter how fully he may sense the new plans and aims revealed to him by reason, he continues to plod along in old paths until his life becomes frustrating and unbearable – he finally makes the change only when his usual life can no longer be tolerated.
All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.
Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.
Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. The man who knows how will always have a job. The man who also knows why will always be his boss. As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
It may be urged that every individual man carries, within himself, at least in his adaptation and destination, a purely ideal man. The great problem of his existence is to bring all the incessant changes of his outer life into conformity with the unchanging unity of this ideal.
Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
The millions are awake enough for physical labour; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?
We find frequent instances in literature, where hatred supplies the place of genius, and where small talents appear important, by coming forward as organs of a party. Thus too, in life, we find a multitude of persons, who have not character enough to stand alone; these in the same way attach themselves to a party, by which they feel themselves strengthened, and can at last make some figure.
Stupid people like to delude themselves that while they may not be clever, they were at least able to compensate with feelings and insights denied to the intellectual….It was precisely this kind of false belief that made stupid people so stupid. The truth was the clever people had infinitely more resources from which to make the leaps of connection that the world called intuition. What was ‘intelligence’ after all, but the ability to read into things?
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
I do nothing but go about persuading you all, old and young alike, not to take thought for your persons or your properties, but and chiefly to care about the greatest improvement of the soul. I tell you that virtue is not given by money, but that from virtue comes money and every other good of man, public as well as private. This is my teaching, and if this is the doctrine which corrupts the youth, I am a mischievous person.
Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.
Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity.
I don’t want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me.