Interest in the lives of others, the high evaluation of these lives, what are they but the overflow of the interest a man finds in himself, the value he attributes to his own being?
—Sherwood Anderson (1876–1941) American Novelist, Short Story Writer
It is only fools who keep straining at high C all their lives.
—Charles Dudley Warner (1829–1900) American Essayist, Novelist
Public opinion is a weak tyrant, compared with our private opinion – what a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates his fate.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
He placed the soul in the body which He had fashioned. He protects the Creation which He has created. With their eyes, they see, and with their tongues, they speak; with their ears, they bring the mind to awareness. With their feet, they walk, and with their hands, they work; they wear and eat whatever is given.
—The Guru Granth Sahib Sacred Text of Sikhism
Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he who finds himself, loses his misery.
—Matthew Arnold (1822–88) English Poet, Critic
You can enjoy encouragement coming from outside, but you cannot need for it to come from outside.
—Vladimir K. Zworykin (1889–1982) Russian-born American Physicist, Television Pioneer
It is enough that I am of value to somebody today.
—Hugh Prather (b.1938) American Christian Author, Minister, Counselor
It may be that we are puppets-puppets controlled by the strings of society. But at least we are puppets with perception, with awareness. And perhaps our awareness is the first step to our liberation.
—Stanley Milgram (1933–84) American Social Psychologist
The way life treats you is a merciless mirror image of your attitude toward life.
To wish to act like angels while we are still in this world is nothing but folly.
—Teresa of Avila (1515–82) Spanish Carmelite Nun, Mystic
No one remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself.
—Thomas Mann (1875–1955) German Novelist, Short Story Writer, Social Critic, Philanthropist, Essayist
The greatest religious problem today is how to be both a mystic and a militant; in other words how to combine the search for an expansion of inner awareness with effective social action, and how to feel one’s true identity in both
—Ursula K. Le Guin (b.1929) American Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer
Rebellion against your handicaps gets you nowhere. Self-pity gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world—making the most of one’s best.
—Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878–1969) American Baptist Minister
The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.
—Thomas Merton (1915–68) American Trappist Monk
Each of us has a day … when he has to accept, finally, the fact that he is a man.
—Jean Anouilh (1910–87) French Dramatist
We expect more of ourselves than we have any right to, in virtue of our endowments
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809–94) American Physician, Essayist
A growing awareness of the depth of popular attachment to the family has led some liberals to concede that family is not just a buzzword for reaction.
—Christopher Lasch (1932–94) American Historian, Moralist, Social Critic
There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. People who do not experience self-love have little or no capacity to love others.
—Nathaniel Branden (1930–2014) American Psychotherapist
Awakening begins when a man realizes that he is going nowhere and does not know where to go.
—Georges Gurdjieff (1877–1949) Armenian Spiritual Leader, Occultist
A human action becomes genuinely important when it springs from the soil of a clear-sighted awareness of the temporality and the ephemerally of everything human. It is only this awareness that can breathe any greatness into an action.
—Vaclav Havel (1936–2011) Czech Dramatist, Statesman
I can’t write a book commensurate with Shakespeare, but I can write a book by me.
—Walter Raleigh (1552–1618) English Courtier, Navigator, Poet
The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.
—Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan (1916–2004) British Sufi Mystic, Religious Leader, Psychologist
Life is a culmination of the past, an awareness of the present, an indication of a future beyond knowledge, the quality that gives a touch of divinity to matter.
—Charles Lindbergh (1902–74) American Aviator, Inventor, Conservationist
Blessed is he who expects no gratitude, for he shall not be disappointed.
—William Bennett (b.1943) American Politician, Political Theorist, Government Official
To see, to hear, means nothing. To recognize (or not to recognize) means everything. Between what I do recognize and what I do not recognize there stands myself. And what I do not recognize I shall continue not to recognize.
—Andre Breton (1896–1966) French Poet, Essayist, Critic
At thirty a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities … And above all, accept these things.
—Albert Camus (1913–60) Algerian-born French Philosopher, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist, Author
Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.
—Malcolm S. Forbes (1919–1990) American Publisher, Businessperson
Of all afflictions, the worst is self-contempt.
—Berthold Auerbach (1812–82) German Novelist
Of all the idiots I have met in my life, and the Lord knows they have not been few or little, I think that I have been the biggest.
—Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) (1885–1962) Danish Novelist, Short-story Writer
We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.
—Anais Nin (1903–77) French-American Essayist