Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks.
Where there are too many policemen, there is no liberty. Where there are too many soldiers, there is no peace. Where there are too many lawyers, there is no justice.
Like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its tone is mellower, its colors are richer, and it is tinged with a little sorrow. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and its content.
A good traveler is one who does not know where he is going to, and a perfect traveler does not know where he came from.
No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.
Today we are afraid of simple words like goodness and mercy and kindness. We don’t believe in the good old words because we don’t believe in good old values anymore. And that’s why the world is sick.
The wise man reads both books and life itself.
Art is both creation and recreation. Of the two ideas, I think art as recreation or as sheer play of the human spirit is more important.
When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set
Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.
The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.
By association with natures enormities, a man’s heart may truly grow big also. There is a way of looking upon a landscape as a moving picture and being satisfied with nothing less big as a moving picture, a way of looking upon tropic clouds over the horizon as the backdrop of a stage and being satisfied with nothing less big as a backdrop, a way of looking upon the mountain forests as a private garden and being satisfied with nothing less as a private garden, a way of listening to the roaring waves as a concert and being satisfied with nothing less as a concert, and a way of looking upon the mountain breeze as an air-cooling system and being satisfied with nothing less as an air-cooling system. So do we become big, even as the earth and firmaments are big. Like the ‘Big Man’ described by Yuan Tsi (A.D. 210-263), one of China’s first romanticists, we ‘live in heaven and earth as our house.’
Topics: Mankind, Man
Probably the difference between man and the monkeys is that the monkeys are merely bored, while man has boredom plus imagination.
Once Confucius was walking on the mountains and he came across a woman weeping by a grave. He asked the woman what here sorrow was, and she replied, We are a family of hunters. My father was eaten by a tiger. My husband was bitten by a tiger and died. And now my only son! Why don’t you move down and live in the valley? Why do you continue to live up here? asked Confucius. And the woman replied, But sir, there are no tax collectors here! Confucius added to his disciples, “You see, a bad government is more to be feared than tigers.”
The three great American vices seem to be efficiency, punctuality, and the desire for achievement and success. They are the things that make the Americans so unhappy and so nervous.
How many of us are able to distinguish between the odors of noon and midnight, or of winter and summer, or of a windy spell and a still one? If man is so generally less happy in the cities than in the country, it is because all these variations and nuances of sight and smell and sound are less clearly marked and lost in the general monotony of gray walls and cement pavements.
Topics: City Life, Cities
Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of the nonessentials.
Topics: Forgiveness, Time Management, Simplicity, Living, Wisdom
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Zhuang Zhou Chinese Taoist Philosopher
- Sun Tzu Chinese Military Leader
- Jianzhi Sengcan Chinese-Buddhist Monk
- Laozi Chinese Philosopher
- Confucius Chinese Philosopher
- Gotthold Ephraim Lessing German Writer
- Orison Swett Marden American New Thought Writer
- e. e. cummings American Poet, Writer, Painter
- Michael Harrington American Socialist
- Ernest Holmes American New Thought Writer