I have learned a lot from aphorisms. I like to read and write them because they succinctly express general
principles and truths to live by. Here you’ll find my favorite ones.
Perpetual inspiration is to the soul what perpetual respiration is to the body.
The greatest obstacle to progress is the lack of hope. Pessimism debilitates. Optimism invigorates.
If your will is indomitable, than nothing else is.
Happiness grants a better deal to the simple than the extravagant.
The writer should write not just what he sees before him, but also what he sees within him.
There have been some individuals in history who were simply beyond their contemporary institutions like a unique link, too large to fit in the chain of status quo. It was usually these individuals who forged a new order.
One must go through several interstate highways to reach the destination of enlightenment.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore it to be goodness.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
When Thoreau was thrown in jail for civil disobedience:
Emerson: What are you doing in there?
Thoreau: What are you doing out there?
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
He who would live in peace and ease,
Must not speak all he knows nor judge all he sees.
If what most men admire, they would despise,
‘Twould look as if mankind were growing wise.
The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means of education.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Never regard study as a duty but as an enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later works belong.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
Fear not that your life will come to an end but that it will never have a beginning.
--John Henry Newman
[A man] dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty… They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility than most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else, tomorrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather the will to struggle for something because it is good.
I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
Time lost is time when we have not lived a full human life, time unenriched by experience, creative endeavor, enjoyment, and suffering.
Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.
--Emily Elizabeth Dickinson
"We find greatest joy, not in getting, but in expressing what we are...Men do not really live for honors or for pay; their gladness is not the taking and holding, but in doing, the striving, the building, the living. It is a higher joy to teach than to be taught. It is good to get justice, but better to do it; fun to have things but more to make them. The happy man is he who lives the life of love, not for the honors it may bring, but for the life itself."
--R. J. Baughan
I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.