When every blessed thing you have is made of silver, or of gold, you long for simple pewter.
—W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) English Dramatist, Librettist, Poet, Illustrator
We must dream of an aristocracy of achievement arising out of a democracy of opportunity.
—Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) American Head of State, Lawyer
All great work is preparing yourself for the accident to happen.
—Sidney Lumet (1924–2011) American Film Director
Acorns were good till bread was found.
—Francis Bacon (1561–1626) English Philosopher
Justice should remove the bandage from her eyes long enough to distinguish between the vicious and the unfortunate.
—Robert G. Ingersoll (1833–99) American Lawyer, Orator, Agnostic
No man can tell what the future may bring forth, and small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.
—Demosthenes (384–322 BCE) Greek Statesman, Orator
There is no security on this earth. Only opportunity.
—Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964) American Military Leader
Genius and great abilities are often wanting; sometimes, only opportunities. Some deserve praise for what they have done; others for what they would have done.
—Jean de La Bruyere (1645–96) French Satiric Moralist, Author
I look at what I have not and think myself unhappy; others look at what I have and think me happy.
—Philibert Joseph Roux (1780–1854) French Surgeon
I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.
Misfortunes come to all men.
Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
—The Holy Bible Scripture in the Christian Faith
The lesson which life repeats and constantly enforces is ‘look under foot.’ You are always nearer the divine and the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the center of the world.
—John Burroughs (1837–1921) American Naturalist, Writer
Man’s heart is never satisfied; the snake would swallow the elephant.
To most of us the real life is the life we do not lead.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
Ambition, having reached the summit, longs to descend.
—Pierre Corneille (1606–84) French Poet, Dramatist
Everyone has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases.
—Jeremy Collier (1650–1726) Anglican Church Historian, Clergyman
The problem with beauty is that it’s like being born rich and getting poorer.
—Joan Collins (b.1933) English Actress
When a man’s busy, leisure strikes him as a wonderful pleasure; and at leisure once is he? Straightway he wants to be busy.
—Robert Browning (1812–89) English Poet
Pale death with impartial tread beats at the poor man’s cottage door and at the palaces of kings.
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 BCE) Roman Poet
No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
The proper means of increasing the love we bear to our native country is to reside some time in a foreign one.
—William Shenstone (1714–63) British Poet, Landscape Gardener
No one wearies of benefits received.
—Marcus Aurelius (121–180) Emperor of Rome, Stoic Philosopher
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
Those things that are not practicable are not desirable. There is nothing in the world really beneficial that does not lie within the reach of an informed understanding and a well protected pursuit. There is nothing that God has judged good for us that he has not given us the means to accomplish, both in the natural and the moral world. If we cry, like children, for the moon, like children we must cry on.
—Edmund Burke (1729–97) British Philosopher, Statesman
Diogenes was asked what wine he liked best, and he answered, “Somebody else’s”.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist
There is no man in any rank who is always at liberty to act as he would incline. In some quarter or other he is limited by circumstances.
—Hugh Blair (1718–1800) Scottish Preacher, Scholar, Critic
It’s them as take advantage that get advantage i’ this world.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
It is common to overlook what is near by keeping the eye fixed on something remote. In the same manner present opportunities are neglected and attainable good is slighted by minds busied in extensive ranges, and intent upon future advantages. Life, however short, is made shorter by waste of time.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
There is as much confusion in the world of the gods as in ours.
—Euripides (480–406 BCE) Ancient Greek Dramatist