You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.
—Harper Lee (1926–2016) American Novelist
The eye of a human being is a microscope, which makes the world seem bigger than it really is.
—Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931) Lebanese-born American Philosopher, Poet, Painter, Theologian, Sculptor
The dung beetle, seeing its child on the wall, thinks it sees a pearl on a thread.
By speaking, by thinking, we undertake to clarify things, and that forces us to exacerbate them, dislocate them, schematize them. Every concept is in itself an exaggeration.
—Jose Ortega y. Gasset (1883–1955) Spanish Critic, Journalist, Philosopher
Nothing in life is so hard that you can’t make it easier by the way you take it.
—Ellen Glasgow (1873–1945) American Novelist
Stick with your own perception of yourself—living in your own world—and letting your reality, not the reality presented by other people or particular situations, control your performance.
—John Eliot (b.1971) American Psychologist, Academic
Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse.
—George Goodman (b.1930) American Economist, Author
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.
Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities—always see them, for they’re always there.
—Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993) American Clergyman, Self-Help Author
Open-mindedness should not be fostered because, as Scripture teaches, Truth is great and will prevail, nor because, as Milton suggests, Truth will always win in a free and open encounter. It should be fostered for its own sake.
—Richard Rorty (1931–2007) American Philosopher
We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.
—Anais Nin (1903–77) French-American Essayist
Everything is complicated; if that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore.
—Wallace Stevens (1879–1955) American Poet
It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved.
—Niccolo Machiavelli (1469–1527) Florentine Political Philosopher
A journalist is a grumbler, a censurer, a giver of advice, a regent of sovereigns, a tutor of nations. Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.
—Napoleon I (1769–1821) Emperor of France
To be happy is to be able to become aware of oneself without fright.
A man is as unhappy as he has convinced himself he is.
—Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (c.4 BCE–65 CE) Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Tragedian
The beauty that addresses itself to the eyes is only the spell of the moment; the eye of the body is not always that of the soul.
—George Sand (1804–76) French Novelist, Dramatist
What does not destroy me makes me stronger.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
I see mysteries and complications wherever I look, and I have never met a steadily logical person.
—Martha Gellhorn (1908–98) American Novelist, Travel Writer, Journalist
Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it “creative observation.” Creative viewing.
—William S. Burroughs (1914–97) American Novelist, Poet, Short Story Writer, Painter
Psychoanalysis is confession without absolution.
—G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) English Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Poet
All seems infected that the infected spy, as all looks yellow to the jaundiced eye.
—Alexander Pope (1688–1744) English Poet
To perceive means to immobilize… we seize, in the act of perception, something which outruns perception itself.
—Henri Bergson (1859–1941) French Philosopher, Evolutionist
Genuine confidence is a way of thinking about yourself and your abilities. Confidence is your perception of your own potential; it’s a kind of long-term thinking that powers you through the obstacles and tough times, helping you solve problems and putting you in the way of success. Your confidence is quite a separate matter from your social skills.
—John Eliot (b.1971) American Psychologist, Academic
The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.
—Robert Fulghum (b.1937) American Unitarian Universalist Author, Essayist, Clergyman
An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it is also more nourishing.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) American Journalist, Literary Critic
If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.
—William Blake (1757–1827) English Poet, Painter, Printmaker
The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go.
—Martha Washington (1731–1802) American First Lady
Some people see the cup as half empty. Some people see the cup as half full. I see the cup as too large.
—George Carlin (1937–2008) American Stand-up Comedian
In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king.
—Desiderius Erasmus (c.1469–1536) Dutch Humanist, Scholar