Kent’s Fave Quotes (a work in progress)

Quotation Man

Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood…. Make big plans… aim high in hope and work.

-Daniel H. Burnham

When despair for the world grows in me, and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be — I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought or grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

– Wendell Berry

I’d rather be smart than a movie star.

-Actress Natalie Portman, Harvard graduate

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

-George Orwell

The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around.

-Gaylord Nelson

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

-Albert Einstein

When heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on any man, it will exercise his mind with suffering, subject his sinews and bones to hard work, expose his body to hunger, put him to poverty, place obstacles in the paths of his deeds, so as to stimulate his mind, harden his nature, and improve wherever he is incompetent.

– Meng Tzu, 3rd cent BCE

Nothing is miserable unless you think it so; and on the other hand, nothing brings happiness unless you are content with it.


Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.

-Helen Keller

He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.

-Albert Einstein

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

-Thomas Merton

We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.

– Frank Tibolt

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.


There are no facts, only interpretations.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

There is no reality, only perception.

-Dr. Phil

Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

-James Joyce

When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong.

  -Eugene V. Debs

You show me pollution and I will show you people who are not paying their own way, people who are stealing from the public, people who are getting the public to pay their costs of production. All environmental pollution is a subsidy.

-Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

-Upton Sinclair

What most people don’t seem to realize is that there is just as much money to be made out of the wreckage of a civilization as from the upbuilding of one.

-Margaret Mitchell

I think a future flight should include a poet, a priest and a philosopher … we might get a much better idea of what we saw.

-Michael Collins

We must cultivate our own garden…. When man was put in the garden of Eden he was put there so that he should work, which proves that man was not born to rest.


Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.


Prepare your hearts for Death’s cold hand! prepare

Your souls for flight, your bodies for the earth;

Prepare your arms for glorious victory;

Prepare your eyes to meet a holy God!

Prepare, prepare!

  -William Blake

Work is and always has been my salvation and I thank the Lord for it.

  -Louisa May Alcott

The blood of Abraham, God’s father of the chosen, still flows in the veins of Arab, Jew, and Christian, and too much of it has been spilled in grasping for the inheritance of the revered patriarch in the Middle East.

  -Jimmy Carter

One of the tests of the civilization of people is the treatment of its criminals.

  -Rutherford B. Hayes

I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively.

  -Golda Meir

A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons.

  -Desmond Tutu

Passion is power, / And, kindly tempered, saves. All things declare / Struggle hath deeper peace than sleep can bring.

  -William Vaughn Moody

Man lives in a world of surmise, of mystery, of uncertainties.

  -John Dewey

There never comes a point where a theory can be said to be true. The most that one can claim for any theory is that it has shared the successes of all its rivals and that it has passed at least one test which they have failed.

  -Sir Alfred Ayer

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

  -Theodore Roosevelt

No trace of slavery ought to mix with the studies of the freeborn man…. No study, pursued under compulsion, remains rooted in the memory.


In externals we advance with lightening express speed, in modes of thought and sympathy we lumber on in stage-coach fashion.

  -Frances E. Willard

What we imagine as order is merely the prevailing form of chaos.

-Kerry Thornley, Principia Discordia, 5th edition

All I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power.

-Ashleigh Brilliant

Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle.

-Ken Hakuta

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.

-Ray Bradbury

Conservation is humanity caring for the future.

-Nancy Newhall

Irrigators guide the water.

Fletchers shape the arrow shaft.

Carpenters shape the wood.

Those of good practices control


-The Rod v.145

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. – Anonymous

Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many

things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield

themselves up when taken little by little. -Plutarch

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of

a buffalo in the winter time. It is the little shadow which runs across the

grass and loses itself in the sunset. – Crowfoot

Everything that elevates an individual above the herd and

intimidates the neighbour is henceforth called evil; and

the fair, modest, submissive and conforming mentality,

the mediocrity of desires attains moral designations and honors

– Nietzsche

The meek shall inherit nothing – Zappa

Never give in-never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to

convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the

enemy. – Winston Churchill

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

-Albert Einstein

Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid. – Frank Zappa

Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive… then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

-Howard Thurman

Many things love to come and live off your plants, including bacteria, bugs, birds, and bunnies. If you don’t control them, entire crops can be ruined. The result of your careful cultivation, in your garden and in your life, can be lost to predators in a short time… Take a look at your life, what toxic relationships, substances and emotions are feeding on your energy and taking away from what you have to give to others. Eliminate them.

– Vivian Elisabeth Glyck, 1997

Those people who work only for the money have a tendency to create debts and installment payments for the things that they have bought in an attempt to give themselves the satisfaction that they miss at work.

-Phil Laut, Money Is My Friend

I recommend my religion, (to those who can bear it) for one reason. It flushes out self-pity, that quintessential and most personal human poison. -Norman Mailer from Living Philosophies, p.164

A part of getting well is the point you start to laugh at yourself.

-Paraphrase from John Cleese on Tom Snyder Interview

01/16/97 1:01 am

Success is a journey, not a destination. -Deepok Chopra from his video, The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success

Attitudes are more important than facts. – Dr. Karl Menninger

If you want the secondary greatness of recognized talent, focus first on primary greatness of character.

-Stephen Covey. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

It’s not necessarily what we don’t know that hurts us, it’s what we do know that ain’t so.

-Josh Billings

Michael Jordan’s Rules:

-Be Focused

-Be Determined

-Be Dedicated

-Be A Winner

(as seen on Fox 31 TV commercial on 05/05/97)

Marriage is not looking into each other’s eyes, but looking in the same direction.-French Proverb

Don’t spend a dime on anything unless you absolutely have to. – Michael LeBoeuf

Peak Performers “…almost all of the world-class athletes and other peak performers are visualizers. They see it; they feel it; they experience it before they actually do it. They begin with the end in mind.”

-Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Know the great void where all things begin. – Rilke

Shopping in America

Consumers spend 2 trillion a year. That’s 20 times more than what is spent on education.

-Dan Rather, 48 Hours, 02/06/97

Sometimes to do a great take you can’t make it happen, you have to let it happen.-James Woods paraphrased on Tom Snyder 03/06/97

The finding of God is the coming to one’s own self.

-Meher Baba from Barnes & Noble Book of quotations, p.143

What is Zen?

Infinite gratitude to all things past.

Infinite service to all things present.

Infinite responsibility to all things future.

-Huston Smith

quoting his Zen Master on Bill Moyer’s series

When speaking of philosophies or religion or politics, people generally do it in the spirit of outquery rather than inquiry; they tell people, instead of listening to people. People need more dialogue with others.

– Me (Kent Byron) 07/30/97 10:59 pm

You are dependent if you allow the weaknesses of other people to ruin your emotional life!

-Stephen Covey, 7 habits

You must realize your non-knowledge, what you don’t know.

The inner attitude if you think you know is quite different from the attitude when you know you don’t know.

You’re much more observant, more alert.

-Ernst F. Schumacher, “Good Work”, p.83

A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.-Baltasar Graciàn

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast. In the pool where you least expect it, will be a fish. -Ovid

Courage is what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.-Eddie Rickenbacker

Every claim creates an obligation. -William James

Fortune favours the bold. -Terence

He did not think his own demands excessive-all he wanted was enough to pay his debts, and freedom from the necessity of composing trash. -Marcia Davenport, Mozart, p.255

I don’t paint to live, I live to paint.-William de Kooning, famous abstract expressionist.

I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge.-Daniel J Boorstin, writer, historian in Living Philosophies, p.24

I went towards the fear.

Shawn Colvin, commenting on the toil she made before achieving fame in music at age 41.

It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.

-Dan Hammarskjold, past Secretary-General of the United Nations, as retold in 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

Nothing is really work… unless you would rather be doing something else.-James Barrie

Talents are best nurtured in solitude: character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world. -Goethe

The fear of life is the favorite disease of the twentieth century.-William Lyon Phelps

from “Working Smart” p.258 Michael LeBoeuf

The first virtue in a soldier is endurance of fatigue; courage is only the second virtue. -Napoleon Bonaparte

The greatest danger invariably arises from the ruthless application, on a vast scale, of partial knowledge such as we are currently witnessing in the application of nuclear energy, of the new chemistry in agriculture, of transportation technology, and countless other things.

-E.F. Schumacher Small is Beautiful, p.33

There can be no joy in living without joy in work.

-Thomas Aquinas

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

– Steven Weinberg

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

– Mahatma Gandhi

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.

– Henry David Thoreau

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.

– George Bernard Shaw

Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.

– R. Buckminster Fuller

The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children.

– King Edward VIII

In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.

– Paul Harvey

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

– Dorothy Parker

The less routine the more life.

– Amos Bronson Alcott

The strongest human instinct is to impart information, the second strongest is to resist it.

-Kenneth Graham

Every man in the world is better than someone else and not as good as someone else.

-William Saroyan

There’s too much going on in this world in my opinion that is aimed at design, aimed at culture, aimed at tradition, but not really aimed at taking care of people. So if something takes care of people in a healthy way and doesn’t harm the planet that we’re on, then I’m for it.

-Michael Reynolds – Architect of Earthships

I believe fear is for people who don’t get out much.

-Rick Steves, Travels with Rick Steves Radio Podcast 10/24/10

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

-Albert Schweitzer

To be able to use leisure intelligently will be the last product of an intelligent civilization.

-Bertrand Russell

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