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Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #32 -- Ideals

Updated on November 12, 2015

Quotations on Ideals

The most sickening condition is a splendid ideal hitched up to a foolish method.

---Carl J.G. Brown, Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, Kan., Oct. 17, 1922.

You cannot have the ideal life apart from living for ideals.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Adair County News, Columbia, Ky., Oct. 6, 1909.

The best way to bring others to our ideals is to get there ourselves.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Duluth Evening Herald, Duluth, Minn., Jan. 11, 1902.

Ideals are the only things that make heroes.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Fulton County News, McConnelsburg, Pa., March 1, 1905.

Effort converts the ideal into the real.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Sausalito News, Sausalito, Calif., Dec. 3, 1898.

Ideals are the most precious things in the world, and even a beggar can purchase them with heart’s desire.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Dec. 13, 1931.

The happiest heart is the heart permanently tenanted with ideals.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Oct. 31, 1937.

To cherish ideals in life is like that fondness for flowers which sees in them the promise of spring.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., March 3, 1940.

Truly to appreciate the good things of life, one must cherish the ideals of living.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 29, 1957.

All too few people realize the common property they have in the heritage of ideals.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Feb. 1, 1959.

Ideals are the most precious of all jewels because they cannot be insured against loss.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Feb. 5, 1960.

The quickening of an ideal is best done by one who has lived the ideal life.

---George R. Gebauer, Duluth Herald, Duluth, Minn., March 30, 1914.

Ideals, like everything else, are likely to fade if not continually retouched.

---George B. Dean, Bryan Democrat, Bryan, Ohio, Aug. 4, 1911.

A man’s ideal is, in reality, the blueprint of his life.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 26, 1936.

A man’s ideal must keep moving forward as he goes forward and grows.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 26, 1936.

No man counts whose life work is a destruction of ideals.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 29, 1930.

If you lack high ideals, pretensions will not last long.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 9, 1930.

We must mold our ideals, or they will mold on us.

---John Wesley Holland, Lima Recorder, Lima, N.Y., Jan. 5, 1939.

Lowering our ideals gives us less to look up to.

---John Wesley Holland, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y., Dec. 2, 1939.

Find the ideals you know you should serve when you are at your bet. Give yourself to those ideals heart and soul. In so doing you will be following the laws of great living. No matter how greatly you desire freedom, you can never be free from the laws of living. Stop straggling. Gather yourselves into your greatest loyalty. In this way you will keep your cleanness, your self-respect untarnished, and you will have the memory of a controlled life. Give yourselves to the highest you know and the highest you know will give yourselves back to you twice over.

---Harry Emerson Fosdick, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, N.Y., June 19, 1925.

Great ideals are indispensable. But they need to be translated into daily behaviors. Never let the littleness of necessary acts be the excuse for omitting them. No acts are little when they are needed to give reality to great purposes. The restraints which we put upon ourselves in order to live like men, the little troubles one must take, cease to be trifles and become immediately precious when we think of them as the only way to give our ideals substance.

---Henry Neumann, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, N.Y., Oct. 27, 1924.

Ideals are needed to take one to higher levels, to keep the good and true in sight and all that is unworthy out of mind. The power to idealize humanity leads one to live more nearly up to those ideals. The man of high ideals has a broader humanity. He is more of an optimist, more cheerful, more hopeful, more trustful. Let us not neglect to cultivate poetry, to stimulate the imagination, to seek the ideal. We shall be better, happier and more useful for thie spirit.

---Lucius W. Nieman, Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wis., June 10, 1912.

Ideal does not mean unreal; it is just a loftier real. The ideal might be termed the parent of the real. Man needs ideals. There must always be something above and beyond, something in the lead, to incite and encourage effort; else progress would cease. In ideality is the principle of leadership. The ideals of yesterday have become the institutions of today; and the ideals of today will be the institutions of tomorrow. Every great project is dreamt of, thought of, before it is consummated. If there were no dreamers, there would be no builders, and consequently no advancement.

—Orson F. Whitney, Improvement Era, Salt Lake City, Utah, August 1927.

The course of individual of community life is determined by ideals. Our acts, and the whole course of human history, may be understood as results of the ideals of mankind. This must be so because ideals are the inner convictions of men. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” An ideal is the soul of every act. Therefore no human problem can be solved except by the establishment of suitable ideals. Ideals are not born full-fledged, overnight; they grow from seeds sown early in life–the earlier the better–into a fulness of value. They obey the laws of life: may be fed or starved, kept alive or destroyed.

—John A. Widtsoe, Improvement Era, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 1940.

The pursuit of true culture is a strenuous endeavor. High as our ideals may be, they will rise with our growth. One summit attained will disclose a loftier one to invite our aspiration and quick our endeavor.

---Hendrik Vossema, Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa., June 10, 1912.

The goodness of a thought is properly measured by its utility in helping men advance toward the ideal.

‑‑‑Waldo Pondray Warren, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Dec. 22, 1907.

We must have high and distinctive goals in life to attain ideals.

---Daniel J. Wetzel, Reading Eagle, Reading, Pa., June 5, 1929.

Man’s life is a composite picture of the choices he has made from babyhood until life ends, each choice related to the last one. Accomplishment depends on the individual’s ideals, and ideals depend upon vision.

—Frank James, The Bend Bulletin, Bend, Ore., May 22, 1925.

An ideal is not a thing of beauty to be admired at a distance. It is a substantial reality to be embodied on canvas, or in marble, in thought, in life and in character. The practical value of an ideal is measured by the possibility of its embodiment. ... It is only as men become the living incarnation of lofty ideals, great spiritual qualities and noble enthusiasms, that they begin to touch the real greatness and triumphs possible to them.

—R.J. Briggs, Austin Daily Statesman, Austin, Texas, June 30, 1913.

If your ideals are low, your hope faints, your vision dims.

—Robert Ellis Thompson, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pa., June 10, 1901.

Most of us start out with great Ideals; some end with the "I," others with "deals," and few achieve greatness.

—Cliff Cole, Glendale News-Press, Glendale, Calif., June 10, 1944.

No man ascends above ideals.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., May 30, 1909.

Life is not a capricious thing, determined by chance or fate or luck. The quality of it, the type of its achievement, the line of its destiny are decided by the ideal of the soul and the principle which controls it. The unknown quantity of your future is simple. What is the ideal, the dominating principle which will determine your line of march as you move on through the years? A very slight difference in the line of life's direction at the beginning will make a great difference in the destination of the life at its end. Two lines are not quite parallel at their commencement. They are not far apart. But let them be projected into space and the distance between them increases as they go. Yonder they are far apart. If projected endlessly, an infinite distance lies between those lines which at the beginning were almost, but not quite, parallel. The true direction of the life line at the beginning is the most profoundly significant fact in all human life.

—Arthur G. Jones, San Antonio Daily Express, San Antonio, Texas, May 17, 1909.

One's sense of "ought" is capable of growth and development. Of, if you please, one's conscience is capable of illumination and transformation. This is true because one's ideal is capable of growth. In everyone there is the consciousness of a better, and even a best man, which he may be. The sense of dissatisfaction which comes to each one of us at times, is a sense of failure to be that best which we could be. Whatever name one may give it, it is a sense of sin, for in its last analysis, sin is a failure to do, or to be, one's best.

—M. Ashby Jones, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., March 22, 1942.

Your ideals are worthwhile only as they help you to better discharge the ordinary duties of life.

—H.W. Knickerbocker, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, Feb. 20, 1928.

Is your realm of ideals a realm of fantasy or a realm of reality? Are your ideals definite, concrete, realizable landmarks? Or are they hazy, intangible, temporary air castles? Better test them and be sure! If they are air-castle ideals they will merely characterize a particular need of your life and will be transitory with that mood. If they are landmark ideals they will be glimpsed in some mood but will permeate the whole of your life. If they are air-castle ideals they soon ascend like bubbles–into oblivion. If they are landmark ideals they are slowly passed into habits–and character. The air-castle kind of ideals fade when you need them most, while the landmark kind are sure guides through the mist and fog. And so, when you reach out for your ideals, are they gone like a dream or are they really there to grasp, to attain, to achieve? Are your ideals merely "visions of the mind" or are they the "makers of men"?

—H. Voas Meredith, The Vision, Independence, Mo., September 1930.

Low ideals never reach lofty climes.

—Dewey O. Miller, Wesleyan Young People's Journal, Syracuse, N.Y., February 1942.

A lofty ideal is something to be sought after–it is that which redeems life from the curse of commonness and imparts a touch of nobility to our personality.

—R.B. Moore, San Antonio Register, San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 3, 1933.

What is the secret of work and influence that will never die? A creative, truly vital and therefore never dying influence is a product of a lifetime of unselfishness. You may review your own lives, and you will find that those men who impressed themselves upon your life and influenced the currents were men devoted to unselfish ideals.

—John R. Mott, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, March 19, 1925.

No man can ever accomplish much without having pure motives and high ideals. About the most pitiable object in this world is the man who has no ideals beating its wings within his breast; no vision beyond the little narrow rounds of daily toil and fleeting pleasure; no pillar of fire going before him by night; no angel looking down upon him while he toils. Show me a man without an ideal in life, and I will show you a tragedy–a man created for the eternal heights, satisfied with a child's toy and willing to be a mere object on the face of the earth. It is usually the men and women who see and dream of their ideals that do the world's work and carry the heaviest burdens.

—Edward T. Poulson, St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla., Feb. 23, 1925.

The greatest curse is to be satisfied with low ideals.

—Earl Riney, Church Management, Cleveland, Ohio, September 1944.

A man's ideal will never be any larger than his faith.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 15, 1936.

Ideals are the “stars” to which we hitch our wagons of life. They lead us on, they guide our lives and shape our destiny.

—Wesley D. Amott, Millennial Star, Liverpool, England, Feb. 20, 1930.

"Hitch your wagon to a star." The ideal should not, however, lift us so high that we are out of touch with the real.

—H.W. Knickerbocker, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, April 22, 1929.

Between sentiment and reality the average man is in a dilemma–whether to live up to his ideals or live down to his income.

—Benjamin Arstein, San Antonio Express, San Antonio, Texas, March 8, 1911.

The ideal is the mold in which the real is cast.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 4, 1906.

An ideal too heavy becomes a drag instead of an inspiration.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Jan. 17, 1909.

The soul that occupies itself with great ideals best performs small duties.

—J. Benjamin Lawrence, Baptist Record, Jackson, Miss., Oct. 15, 1914.

Venturing is the glory of living; without it life is backwash and tepid and pulseless and tideless. Make a map of life, but keep heart courageous to venture out on a trackless path, with only the eternal stars to guide. Let not your wings, I would say to youth, be clipped by the dull shears of prudence; refuse to take in your sails. ... Venture for great ideals, but remember that one must not only have great ideals, but must greatly and nobly attain them. You can't reach a high goal by wallowing through the mire.

—David Lefkowitz, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, June 3, 1923.

Ideals once created remain to serve an anchors and guides in life until replaced by higher and better ones.

—Francis M. Lyman, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 28, 1909.

Often the difference between an idea and an ideal is having a thought and behaving yourself.

—Roberta Lyndon, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., March 1, 1942.

The fellow without ideals rarely makes square deals.

—Edwin E. Naugle, St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla., April 8, 1922.

If men grew as tall as their ideals are high, some of them would never see over the gutter.

—Hamilton G. Park, Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 1941.


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  • Eiddwen profile image


    7 years ago from Wales

    I enjoyed this great hub and a few brought a chuckle.

    thanks for sharing

    take care



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