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I have always loved quotes, those tiny snippets of other people’s thoughts that inspire, arouse, lift, entertain and move us to reflection. With planetary leadership seemingly devoid of a cohesive or relevant vision, it is up to us to create our own.

My favorite quotes serve as anchors so that I don’t lose my way on the journey. I hope that you find some mental refreshment here as well…

“Every achievement is a bird on the wing.”

— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass—it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

— Anonymous

A Tribute to the Late, Great George Carlin

“May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.”

“If a turtle doesn’t have a shell, is he homeless or naked?”

“By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth.”

— George Carlin, RIP, 1937 - 2008

“As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold the person down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might.”
— Marian Anderson

“Every morning when I wake up, I am torn between the twin desires to reform the world and to enjoy the world and it makes it hard to plan the day.”
— E. B. White

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
— William James

“We need not fear the expression of ideas; we do need to fear their suppression.”
— President Harry Truman

“They may see the good you do as self serving,
Continue to do good.
They may see your generosity as grandstanding,
Continue to be generous.
They may see your warm and caring nature as a weakness.
Continue to be warm and caring.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It never was between you them anyway.”
— Anonymous

“Prohibition… goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes… A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”
— Abraham Lincoln

“The principal mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.”
— Arthur Koestler

“There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”
— Douglas Adams

“The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.”
— Aldous Huxley

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
— Alan Kay

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
— George Bernard Shaw

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence, determination and hard work make the difference.
— Calvin Coolidge

“A desire not to butt into other peoples business is at least 80% of all human wisdom.”
— Jubal Harshaw, Stranger in a Strange Land

“We’ve lasted through the preliminary bouts; the main event is coming up. But it’s not for sissies.”
— Robert Heinlein, The Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein/Intro to Pandora’s Box

“I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”
— Professor Bernardo de la Paz, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

“These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it Now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorius the triumph.”
— Thomas Paine, The Crisis - December, 1776

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadaquate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.”
— Nelson Mandela, Inaugural Speech 1994

“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
— Jack London

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
— Jack London

“It is a luxury to be understood.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Any fool can paint a picture, but it takes a wise man to be able to sell it.”
— Samuel Butler

“A man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”
— Mark Twain

“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”
— Douglas Adams

“Nothing astonishes men so much as common-sense and plain dealing.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful we must carry it with us or find it not.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”
— Herm Albright

“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
— Antoine St. Exupery, The Little Prince

“I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s. I will not reason and compare; My business is to create.”
— William Blake

“There are two kinds of people in the world: those who make excuses and those who get results. An excuse person will find any excuse for why a job was not done, and a results person will find any reason why it can be done. Be a creator, not a reactor.”
— Alan Cohen, A Deep Breath Of Life

“The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else.”
— E. E. Cummings

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
— Henry David Thoreau

“I shall continue to be an impossible person so long as those who are now possible remain possible.”
— Michael Bakunin 1814-1876

“The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitudes.”
— Victor Frankl

“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.”
— Malcom Forbes

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”
— Chinese Proverb

“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
— Douglas Adams

“Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, ‘Where the heck is the ceiling?’”
— Douglas Adams

“Everybody is somebody else’s weirdo.”
— Douglas Adams

“Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.”
— Scott Adams, Dilbert

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

“Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a measure of security deserve neither liberty nor security.”
— Benjamin Franklin

“No one rents space inside my head.”
— Anon

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it not open.”
— Frank Zappa

“So what if some parts of life are a crap shoot? Get out there and shoot the crap.”
— Neil Peart, Rush

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
— Edmund Burke

“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.”

— The Buddha