All good things are cheap: all bad are very dear.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
Excessive familiarity breeds contempt. Repeated visits (to anyone) result in disrespect. For instance, on the Malaya mountains (rich in sandalwood trees), the tribal housewife uses sandalwood as a fuel.
—Subhashita Manjari Sanskrit Anthology of Proverbs
Arrogance on the part of the meritorious is even more offensive to us than the arrogance of those without merit: for merit itself is offensive.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
We are merely the stars tennis-balls, struck and bandied which way please them.
—John Webster (1580–1634) English Dramatist, Poet
Nobody knows what a boy is worth. We’ll have to wait and see. But every man in a noble place a boy once used to be.
It’s not what you pay a man, but what he costs you that counts.
—Will Rogers (1879–1935) American Actor, Rancher, Humorist
Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.
—Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773) English Statesman, Man of Letters
No man is much regarded by the rest of the world. He that considers how little he dwells upon the condition of others, will learn how little the attention of others is attracted by himself. While we see multitudes passing before us, of whom perhaps not one appears to deserve our notice or excites our sympathy, we should remember, that we likewise are lost in the same throng, that the eye which happens to glance upon us is turned in a moment on him that follows us, and that the utmost which we can reasonably hope or fear is to fill a vacant hour with prattle, and be forgotten.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
The main things which seem to me important on their own account, and not merely as a means to other account, and not merely as a means to other things, are knowledge, art instinctive happiness, and relations of friendship or affection.
—Bertrand A. Russell (1872–1970) British Philosopher, Mathematician, Social Critic
When the well’s dry, they know the worth of water.
Many a man who now lacks shoe-leather would wear golden spurs if knighthood were the reward of worth.
—Douglas William Jerrold (1803–57) English Writer, Dramatist, Wit
Worth begets in base minds, envy; in great souls, emulation.
—Henry Fielding (1707–54) English Novelist, Dramatist
We are no longer happy so soon as we wish to be happier.
—Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864) English Writer, Poet
An ingenuous mind feels in unmerited praise the bitterest reproof.
—Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864) English Writer, Poet
You must be worthy of the best, but not more worthy than the rest.
—Denis Waitley (b.1933) American Motivational Speaker, Author
There is hardly any one so insignificant that he does not seem imposing to some one at some time.
—Charles Cooley (1864–1929) American Sociologist
Everything that’s really worthwhile in life comes to us.
—Earl Nightingale (1921–89) American Motivational Speaker, Author
Much Ado About Nothing.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
The real price of everything, what everything really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.
—George Goodman (b.1930) American Economist, Author
If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.
—Doug Larson (1926–2017) American Columnist
A crown, if it hurts us, is not worth wearing.
—Pearl Bailey (1918–1990) American Jazz Singer, Actress, Writer
Nothing is worth making that does not make the man.
Speak little and well if you wish to be esteemed a person of merit.
You are important enough to ask and you are blessed enough to receive back.
—Wayne Dyer (1940–2015) American Self-Help Author
No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.
—Henry Ward Beecher (1813–87) American Clergyman, Writer
Where quality is the thing sought after, the thing of supreme quality is cheap, whatever the price one has to pay for it.
—William James (1842–1910) American Philosopher, Psychologist, Physician
I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty. I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master. I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living. I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs. I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order. I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man’s word should be as good as his bond; that character-not wealth or power or position-is of supreme worth. I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free. I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual’s highest fulfillment, greatest happiness and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will. I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.
—John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874–1960) American Philanthropist, Businessperson
Physicists know what’s important, but they don’t know what is true. Mathematicians know what’s true, but they don’t know what is important.
‘Tis not in mortals to command success, But we’ll do more, for we’ll deserve it.
—Joseph Addison (1672–1719) English Essayist, Poet, Playwright, Politician
Merit is often an obstacle to fortune; the reason is it produces two bad effects, envy and fear.
Wealth, religion, military victory have more rhetorical than efficacious worth.
—George Santayana (1863–1952) Spanish-American Poet, Philosopher
We never know the worth of water ’til the well is dry.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian
Beauties in vain their pretty eyes may roll; charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul.
—Alexander Pope (1688–1744) English Poet
Your worth consists in what you are and not in what you have.
—Thomas Edison (1847–1931) American Inventor, Scientist, Entrepreneur
People who matter are most aware that everyone else does, too.
—Malcolm S. Forbes (1919–1990) American Publisher, Businessperson
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
That person proves his worth who can make us want to listen when he is with us and think when he is gone.
One of the most important truths in the world is that there is worth enough in any rascal to cost the spilling of the Precious Blood.
—Austin O’Malley (1858–1932) American Aphorist, Ophthalmologist
Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important … they do not mean to do harm … they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.
—T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) American-born British Poet, Dramatist, Literary Critic
It is more honorable to be raised to a throne than to be born to one. Fortune bestows the one, merit obtains the other.
—Petrarch (1304–74) Italian Scholar, Poet, Humanist