Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.
—George Burns (1896–1996) American Comedian
Occasionally we all inherit, or are given, or get something or some things that are too good to use for a variety of seemingly sound but really quite silly reasons-they’re heirlooms or too rare or too expensive or too fragile or too pretty. The result is heirloom linen handed down from generation to generation that falls apart when some benighted heiress decides to air it. While I’m glad that past generations saved some things we now enjoy, we are enjoying them by using them instead of carefully storing them for our kids-in turn to store. Unused beautiful things are a waste.
—Malcolm S. Forbes (1919–1990) American Publisher, Businessperson
A mother understands what a child does not say.
I think the ideal situation for a family is to be completely incestuous.
—William S. Burroughs (1914–97) American Novelist, Poet, Short Story Writer, Painter
Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.
—John Locke (1632–1704) English Philosopher, Physician
The scholar without good breeding is a nitpicker; the philosopher a cynic; the soldier a brute and everyone else disagreeable.
—Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773) English Statesman, Man of Letters
As surely as God is good, so surely there is no such thing as necessary evil.
—Robert South (1634–1716) English Theologian, Preacher
He that raises a large family does, indeed, while he lives to observe them, stand a broader mark for sorrow; but then he stands a broader mark for pleasure too.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Good breeding, a union of kindness and independence.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
The roaring of the wind is my wife and the stars through the window pane are my children. The mighty abstract idea I have of beauty in all things stifles the more divided and minute domestic happiness.
—John Keats (1795–1821) English Poet
The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. public employment contributes neither to advantage nor happiness. It is but honorable exile from one’s family and affairs.
—Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) American Head of State, Lawyer
It is not flesh and blood but the heart, which makes us fathers and sons.
—Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805) German Poet, Dramatist
The worst misfortune that can happen to an ordinary man is to have an extraordinary father.
—Austin O’Malley (1858–1932) American Aphorist, Ophthalmologist
A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
—The Holy Bible Scripture in the Christian Faith
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
Like all the best families, we have our share of eccentricities, of impetuous and wayward youngsters and of family disagreements.
—Queen Elizabeth II (1926–2022) Queen of United Kingdom
You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.
—Desmond Tutu (b.1931) South African Clergyman
Adam was the luckiest man; he had no mother-in-law.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
In some families, please is described as the magic word. In our house, however, it was sorry.
—Margaret Laurence (1926–87) Canadian Novelist, Essayist, Academic
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of someone or other of their daughters.
—Jane Austen (1775–1817) English Novelist
The best way to make your spouse and children feel secure is not with big deposits in bank accounts, but with little deposits of thoughtfulness and affection in the “love account”.
—Zig Ziglar (1926–2012) American Author
What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life—to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
The family is the school of duties. But it has this distinguishing excellency, that among those who are linked together by the strong ties of affection duty is founded on love.
—Felix Adler (1851–1933) German-Born American Philosopher
Family is just accident…. They don’t mean to get on your nerves. They don’t even mean to be your family, they just are.
—Marsha Norman (b.1947) American Playwright, Screenwriter, Novelist
In Biblical times, a man could have as many wives as he could afford. Just like today.
—Pauline Phillips (Abigail van Buren) (b.1918) American Columnist
The family is an early expedient and in many ways irrational. If the race had developed a special sexless class to be nurses, pedagogues, and slaves, like the workers among ants and bees, then the family would have been unnecessary. Such a division of labor would doubtless have involved evils of its own, but it would have obviated some drags and vexations proper to the family.
—George Santayana (1863–1952) Spanish-American Poet, Philosopher
Cultivate your own capabilities, your own style. Appreciate the members of your family for who they are, even though their outlook or style may be miles different from yours. Rabbits don’t fly. Eagles don’t swim. Ducks look funny trying to climb. Squirrels don’t have feathers. Stop comparing. There’s plenty of room in the forest.
—Chuck Swindoll (b.1934) American Evangelical Christian Pastor, Author
The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.
—Confucius (551–479 BCE) Chinese Philosopher
I chose my wife, as she did her wedding gown, for qualities that would wear well.
—Oliver Goldsmith (1730–74) Irish Novelist, Playwright, Poet
Certain it is that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as the love of a father to a daughter. He beholds her both with and without regard to her sex.—In love to our wives, there is desire; to our sons, there is ambition; but in that to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express.
—Joseph Addison (1672–1719) English Essayist, Poet, Playwright, Politician