It is always possible to be thankful for what is given rather than to complain about what is not given.
—Elisabeth Elliot (b.1926) American Christian Author, Speaker
The greatest saint in the world is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives alms, or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice. It is he who is most thankful to God.
—William Law (1686–1761) English Clergyman
If thou covetest riches, ask not but for contentment, which is an immense treasure.
—Sa’Di (Musharrif Od-Din Muslih Od-Din) (c.1213–91) Persian Poet
Contentment is worth more than riches.
He who is contented is rich.
—Laozi (fl.6th Century BCE) Chinese Philosopher, Sage
The covetous man is always poor.
—Claudian (c.370–c.404 CE) Roman Poet
Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
—Charles Dickens (1812–70) English Novelist
You can’t appreciate home till you’ve left it, money till it’s spent, your wife till she’s joined a woman’s club, nor Old Glory till you see it hanging on a broomstick on the shanty of a consul in a foreign town.
—O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) (1862–1910) American Writer of Short Stories
Nothing in excess.
My crown is in my heart, not on my head, Nor decked with diamonds and Indian stones, Nor to be seen: My crown is called content: A crown it is, that seldom kings enjoy.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
If you can’t be thankful for what you receive, be thankful for what you escape.
Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.
—Erich Fromm (1900–80) German-American Psychoanalyst, Social Philosopher
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in Paradise. Love your life.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
If there’s no bread, cakes are very good.
Here’s a sigh to those who love me,
And a smile to those who hate;
And, whatever sky’s above me,
Here’s a heart for every fate.
—Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron) (1788–1824) English Romantic Poet
Think of the ills from which you are exempt.
—Joseph Joubert (1754–1824) French Writer, Moralist
A Christian could even give thanks for Hell, because Hell was a threat and a warning to keep him in the right way.
May God bless you to live as long as you want to; and want to as long as you live!
Let all thy joys be as the month of May,
And all thy days be as a marriage day.
—Francis Quarles (1592–1644) English Religious Poet
Whoever gossips about his relatives has no luck and no blessing.
So long as we can lose any happiness, we possess some.
—Booth Tarkington (1869–1946) American Novelist, Dramatist
Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
—John Ruskin (1819–1900) English Writer, Art Critic
He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
—Epictetus (55–135) Ancient Greek Philosopher
He who limps still walks.
—Stanislaw Jerzy Lec (1909–1966) Polish Aphorist, Poet
We always have enough to be happy if we are enjoying what we do have—and not worrying about what we don’t have.
—Ken Keyes Jr. (1921–95) American Personal Growth Author
Happy thou art not; for what thou hast not, still thou striv’est to get; and what thou hast, forget’est.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
To the lamp of love: may it burn brightest in the darkest hours and never flicker in the winds of trial.
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.
The happiness of any given life is to be measured not by its joys and pleasures, but by the extent to which it has been free from suffering, from positive evil.
—Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) German Philosopher
Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth is unhappy, though he is master of the world.
—Epicurus (c.341–270 BCE) Greek Philosopher
May the holes in your net be no larger than the fish in it.
No evil is without its compensation. The less money, the less trouble; the less favor, the less envy. Even in those cases which put us out of wits, it is not the loss itself, but the estimate of the loss that troubles us.
—Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (c.4 BCE–65 CE) Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Tragedian
Let him who has enough wish for nothing more.
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 BCE) Roman Poet
Be glad of life because it gives you to chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.
—Henry van Dyke Jr. (1852–1933) American Author, Educator, Clergyman
The man who thinks his wife, his baby, his house, his horse, his dog, and himself severely unequalled, is almost sure to be a good-humored person.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809–94) American Physician, Essayist
Welcome everything that comes to you, but do not long for anything else.
—Andre Gide (1869–1951) French Novelist
If we get everything that we want, we will soon want nothing that we get.
—Vernon Luchies (1927–2012) American Clergyman
There is satiety in all things, in sleep, and love-making, in the loveliness of singing and the innocent dance.
—Homer (751–651 BCE) Ancient Greek Poet
The real tragedy of life is not being limited to one talent, but in failing to use that one talent.
—E. W. Howe (1853–1937) American Novelist, Editor
Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–81) Russian Novelist, Essayist, Writer
If one should give me a dish of sand, and tell me there were particles of iron in it, I might look for them with my eyes, and search for them with my clumsy fingers, and be unable to detect them; but let me take a magnet and sweep through it; and how would it draw to itself the almost invisible particles by the mere power of attraction! The unthinkful heart, like my finger in the sand, discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day, and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.
—Henry Ward Beecher (1813–87) American Clergyman, Writer
A wise man cares not for what he cannot have.
A priest blesses his own bread first.
The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.
—Woody Allen (b.1935) American Film Actor, Director
It ain’t so much trouble to get rich as it is to tell when we have got rich.
—Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818–85) American Humorist, Author, Lecturer
Our earnest prayer is that God will graciously vouchsafe prosperity, happiness, and peace to all our neighbors, and like blessings to all the peoples and powers of the earth.
—William McKinley (1843–1901) American Republican Statesman, 25th President
We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it.
—John Steinbeck (1902–68) American Novelist, Short Story Writer, Journalist
Eden is that old-fashioned house we dwell in every day without suspecting our abode until we drive away.
—Emily Dickinson (1830–86) American Poet
Too happy would you be, did ye but know your own advantages.
—Virgil (70–19 BCE) Roman Poet