We must find our duties in what comes to us, not in what we imagine might have been.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
Reality is the #1 cause of insanity among those who are in contact with it
In the American metaphysic, reality is always material reality, hard, resistant, unformed, impenetrable, and unpleasant.
—Lionel Trilling (1905–75) American Literary Critic
Why is it that reality, when set down untransposed in a book, sounds false?
—Simone Weil (1909–1943) French Philosopher, Political Activist
Comparisons of one’s lot with others’ teaches us nothing and enfeebles the will.
—Thornton Wilder (1897–1975) American Novelist, Playwright
There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.
—Douglas Hugh Everett (1916–2002) British Physical Chemist, Academic
It’s deja vu all over again!
—Yogi Berra (1925–2015) American Sportsperson
No one is content with his own lot.
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 BCE) Roman Poet
May the dreams of your past be the reality of your future
I am not much an advocate for traveling, and I observe that men run away to other countries because they are not good in their own, and run back to their own because they pass for nothing in the new places. For the most part, only the light characters travel. Who are you that have no task to keep you at home?
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
I believe in a real, physical world. I figure if the world existed only in my mind, it would pay more attention to me.
I hate myself on the screen. I want to die… my voice is either too high or too gravelly. I want to dive under the carpet… I’ll love to be tall and willowy… I’m short.
—Elizabeth Taylor (1932–2011) British-born American Actress
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
Every time I close the door on reality, it comes in through the windows.
What is meant by “reality”? It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable—now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying
—Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) English Novelist
Plain women know more about men than beautiful ones do.
—Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003) American Actor, TV Personality
Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
No man will be found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes tyrannize him and thus force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of sober probability.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
What our eyes behold may well be the text of life but one’s meditations on the text and the disclosures of these meditations are no less a part of the structure of reality.
—Wallace Stevens (1879–1955) American Poet
Money is another pressure. I’m not complaining, I’m just Saying that there’s a certain luxury in having no money. I spent 10 years in New York not having it, not worrying about it. Suddenly you have it, then you worry, where is it going? Am I doing the right thing with it?
—Dustin Hoffman (b.1937) American Actor, Filmmaker
In all climates, under all skies, man’s happiness is always somewhere else.
—Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837) Italian Poet, Essayist, Philosopher
Reality is only seen when the mirror is clean
Few people have the imagination for reality.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
There is an objective reality out there, but we view it through the spectacles of our beliefs, attitudes, and values.
—David G. Myers (b.1942) American Psychologist
I have known no man of genius who had not to pay, in some affliction or defect, either physical or spiritual, for what the gods had given him.
—Max Beerbohm (1872–1956) British Essayist, Caricaturist, Novelist
Pray the Gods do not envy your happiness.
—Euripides (480–406 BCE) Ancient Greek Dramatist
Beggars do not envy millionaires, though of course they will envy other beggars who are more successful.
—Bertrand A. Russell (1872–1970) British Philosopher, Mathematician, Social Critic
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
Reality is for people who can’t face drugs.
—Laurence J. Peter (1919–90) Canadian-born American Educator, Author
The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.
—Tom Clancy (1947–2013) American Spy Novelist