Success isn’t the opposite of failure. A runner may come in last, but if he beats his record, he succeeds.
The longer I live the more keenly I feel that whatever was good enough for our fathers is not good enough for us.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
You will not find what you do not live.
Generations are as the days of toilsome mankind…. What the father has made, the son can make and enjoy but has also work of his own appointed him. Thus all things wax and roll onwards; arts, establishments, opinions; nothing is ever completed, but ever completing.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist
A writer must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid.
—William Faulkner (1897–1962) American Novelist
One day of pleasure is worth two of sorrow.
It’s all that the young can do for the old, to shock them and keep them up to date.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
Older generations are living proof that younger generations can survive their lunacy.
—Cullen Hightower (b.1923) American Humorist
Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy souls diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.
—The Holy Bible Scripture in the Christian Faith
To young people everything looks permanent, established-and in their eyes everything should be, needs to be changed. To older people everything seems to change, and in their view almost nothing should.
—Malcolm S. Forbes (1919–1990) American Publisher, Businessperson
I have had enough experience in all my years, and have read enough of the past, to know that advice to grandchildren is usually wasted. If the second and third generations could profit by the experience of the first generation, we would not be having some of the troubles we have today.
—Harry S. Truman (1884–1972) American Head of State
A match-stick has a head, but it does not have a brain.
From the earliest times the old have rubbed it into the young that they are wiser than they, and before the young had discovered what nonsense this was they were old too, and it profited them to carry on the imposture.
—W. Somerset Maugham (1874–1965) British Novelist, Short-Story Writer, Playwright
The man who sees two or three generations is like one who sits in the conjuror’s booth at a fair, and sees the same tricks two or three times. They are meant to be seen only once.
—Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) German Philosopher
Tradition is not a fetish to be prayed to-but a useful record of experiences. Time should bring improvement-but not all old things are worthless. We are served by both the moderns and the ancients. The balanced man is he who clings to the best in the old-and appropriates the desirable in the new.
—Richard Steele (1672–1729) Irish Writer, Politician
The dead might as well try to speak to the living as the old to the young.
—Willa Cather (1873–1947) American Novelist, Writer
The generations of men run on in the tide of time, but leave their destined lineaments permanent for ever and ever.
—William Blake (1757–1827) English Poet, Painter, Printmaker
To hope is not to demand.
The old know what they want; the young are sad and bewildered.
—Logan Pearsall Smith (1865–1946) American-British Essayist, Bibliophile
In a higher world it is otherwise; but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to change often.
—John Henry Newman (1801–90) British Theologian, Poet
Life is all memory except for the one present moment that goes by so quick you can hardly catch it going.
—Tennessee Williams (1911–83) American Playwright
Every generation, no matter how paltry its character, thinks itself much wiser than the one immediately preceding it, let alone those that are more remote.
—Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) German Philosopher
If you believe in yourself, then nothing can stop you from achieving what you believe in.
Our choices do not begin with an action,
They begin with an idea.
The person, who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.
—Leo Buscaglia (1924–98) American Motivational Speaker
Nothing so dates a man as to decry the younger generation.
—Adlai Stevenson (1900–65) American Diplomat, Politician, Orator
Eighteen might look at thirty-four through a rising mist of adolescence; but twenty-two would see thirty-eight with discerning clarity.
We are dealing with the best-educated generation in history. But they’ve got a brain dressed up with nowhere to go.
—Timothy Leary (1920–96) American Psychologist, Author
Coolidge was known for his terse speech and reticence. A woman bet her friend that she could get Coolidge to speak to her, which was something he was reluctant to do. She went up to him and said: “Hello, Mr. President, I bet my friend that I could get you to say three words to me”. “You lose,” Coolidge replied dryly, and walked away.
A man’s liberal and conservative phases seem to follow each other in a succession of waves from the time he is born. Children are radicals. Youths are conservatives, with a dash of criminal negligence. Men in their prime are liberals (as long as their digestion keeps pace with their intellect). The middle aged run to shelter: they insure their life, draft a will, accumulate mementos and occasional tables, and hope for security. And then comes old age, which repeats childhood—a time full of humors and sadness, but often full of courage and even prophecy.
—E. B. White (1985–99) American Essayist, Humorist