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Top 100 Favorite Quotations

Updated on January 20, 2017
Colleen Swan profile image

A lover of the written word Colleen has a Master's degree in English literature and enjoys finding unique and poignant quotes

The Beauty of Nature is Quotes Creator

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  • Everything in the world is part of a design. Everything has meaning and purpose and a place in the pattern of existence, only it’s not always possible to understand what that design is. Only God can understand the design, because he invented it. Source: Penmarric by Susan Howatch
  • Everything that has been achieved, for good or for bad, is due to the way humans are. The future will be no different. Whether we reach for the stars or plumb the depths, humans will be responsible. Tom Johnston
  • Let me stand in my age with all its waters flowing round me. If they sometimes subdue, they must finally upbear me, for I seek the universal, and that must be the best. Margaret Fuller
  • Anxiety and conscience are a powerful pair of dynamos. Between them, they have ensured that I will work hard, but they cannot ensure that I will work at anything worthwhile. Arnold J. Toynbee

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  • I cannot help thinking that the death of the young is not in the plan of our being, and that we are ourselves greatly responsible for it. Indeed I believe we are at the beginning only of the art of living. Georgiana Burne-Jones
  • Ours must be the first age whose great goal, on a nonmaterial plane, is not fulfillment but adjustment; and perhaps just such a goal has served as maladjustment’s weapon. Louis Kronenberger
  • Life is full of infinite absurdities, which, strangely enough, do not even need to appear plausible, since they are true. Luigi Pirandello
  • “I want to give you this. A man’s got to have a wallet; that’s the only way anyone knows who you are.” I open it. He says, “What are you looking for? I gave you a wallet, son, not money. Just because someone gives you a wallet doesn't mean he fills it with money for you. That’s your job.” Michael Hainey

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  • The collector walks with blinkers on; he sees nothing but the prize. In fact, the acquisitive instinct is incompatible with true appreciation of beauty. Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • Half of our mistakes in life arise from feeling where we ought to think and thinking where we ought to feel. John Churton Collins
  • Women wish to be loved without a why or a wherefore; not because they are pretty, or good, or well-bred, or graceful, or intelligent, but because they are themselves. Henri-Frederic Amiel
  • In a world as empirical as ours, a youngster who does not know what he is good at will not be sure what he is good for. Edgar Z. Friedenberg
  • What makes people hard-hearted is this, that each man has, or fancies he has, as much as he can bear in his own troubles. Schopenhauer
  • Tender are a mother’s dreams; but her babe’s not what he seems. See him plotting in his mind; to grow up some other kind. Clarence Day

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  • Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those that are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. Descartes
  • Man is able to do what he is unable to imagine. His head trails a wake through the galaxy of the absurd. Rene Char
  • In every age of well-marked transition there is a pattern of habitual dumb practice and emotion which is passing, and there is oncoming a new complex of habit. Alfred North Whitehead
  • We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and as mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. Jean-Paul Sartre
  • It is by universal misunderstanding that all agree. For if, by ill luck, people understood each other, they would never agree. Charles Baudelaire
  • One of the greatest pleasures of childhood is found in the mysteries which it hides from the skepticism of the elders, and works up into small mythologies of its own. Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Court the society of a superior, and make much of the opportunity; for in the company of an equal thy good fortune must decline. Sadi
  • We are doubly willing to jump into the water after someone who has fallen in, if there are people present who have not the courage to do so. Nietzsche

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  • It’s extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it’s just as well; and it may be that it is the very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome. Joseph Conrad
  • Life is very nice, but it lacks form. It’s the aim of art to give it some. Jean Anouilh
  • If the American dream is for Americans only, it will remain their dream and never be their destiny. Rene De Visme Williamson
  • Death either destroys or unhusks us. If it means liberation, better things await us when our burdens gone: if destruction, nothing at all awaits us; blessings and curses are abolished. Seneca
  • There are many kinds of conceit, but the chief one is to let people know what a very ancient and gifted family one descends from. Benvenuto Cellini
  • To no kind of begging are people so averse, as to begging pardon; that is, when there is any serious ground for doing so. Julius Charles Hare & Augustus William Hare

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  • Modern dancers give a sinister portent about our times. The dancers don’t even look at one another. They are just a lot of isolated individuals jiggling in a kind of self-hypnosis and dancing with others only to remind themselves that we are not completely alone in the world. Agnes De Mille
  • Blessed are the peacemakers; for they have freed themselves from sinful wrath. Dante
  • Anger represents a certain power when a great mind, prevented from executing its own generous desires, is moved by it. Pietro Aretino
  • In democracies, nothing is greater or more brilliant than commerce; it attracts the attention of the public, and fills the imagination of the multitude; all energetic passions are directed towards it. Alexis De Tocqueville
  • Where does beauty begin and where does it end? Where it ends is where the artist begins. John Cage
  • To say that a man is vain means merely that he is pleased with the effect he produces on other people. A conceited man is satisfied with the effect he produces on himself. Max Beerbohm

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  • Yes, even amongst wiser militants, how many wounds have been given, and credits slain, for the poor victory of an opinion, or beggarly conquest of a distinction. Sir Thomas Browne
  • Men very seldom change, try though we will, beneath the shifts of exterior doctrine, our hearts so often remain what they were. Murray Kempton
  • A good critic is the sorcerer who makes some hidden spring gush forth unexpectedly under our feet. Francois Mauriac
  • The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person. Frank Barron
  • Some people have an unconquerable love of riddles. They may have the chance of listening to plain sense, or to such wisdom that explains life; but no, they must go and work their brains over a riddle, just because they do not understand what it means. Isak Dinesen
  • Ours is the age of substitutes: instead of language, we have jargon; instead of principles, slogans; and, instead of genuine ideas, bright ideas. Eric Bentley

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  • The aid we can give each other is only incidental, lateral, and sympathetic. Emerson
  • The test, surely, of a creed is not the ability of those who accept it to announce their faith; its test is its ability to change their behavior in the ordinary round of daily life. Judged by that test, I know no religion that has a moral claim upon the allegiance of men. Harold J. Laski
  • Under all that we think, lives all we believe, like the ultimate veil of our spirits. Antonio Machado
  • Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure. Thorsten Veblen
  • Bad company is as instructive as debauchery; one is indemnified for the loss of innocence by the loss of prejudice. Denis Diderot
  • I got my tubes tied last fall, at age 45. . ... After 33 years or so, I struggled to gain control of my reproductive potential and its power over my destiny. Finally, instead of letting nature continue to screw around with me, at least in this one area I engineered a pre-emptive strike. Marion Winik

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  • Every death, even the cruelest death drowns in the total indifference of nature. Nature herself would watch unmoved if we destroyed the entire human race. Peter Weiss
  • Valor is a gift. Those having it never know for sure whether they have it till the test comes. And those having it in one test never know for sure if they will have it when the next test come. Carl Sandburg
  • Comedy naturally wears itself out; destroys the very food on which it lives, and by constantly and successfully exposing the follies and weaknesses of mankind to ridicule, in the end leaves itself nothing worth laughing at. William Hazlitt
  • Attention is like a narrow mouthed vessel; pour into it what you have to say cautiously, and, as it were, drop by drop. Joseph Joubert
  • All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All that are separated from government are compatible with liberty. Henry Clay
  • Charming people live up to the very edge of their charm, and behave just as outrageously as the world will let them. Logan Pearsall Smith

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  • The fate of the worm refutes the pretended ethical teaching of the proverb, which assumes to illustrate the advantage of early rising and does so by showing how extremely dangerous it is. Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  • There is poignancy in all things clear. In the stare of the deer, in the ring of a hammer in the morning; and in seeing a bucket of perfectly lucid water, we fall to imagining prodigious honesties. Richard Wilbur
  • We are connected with our own age if we recognize ourselves in relation to outside events; and we have grasped its spirit when we influence the future. Hans Hoffman
  • One man may hit the mark, another blunder; but heed not these distinctions. Only from the alliance of the one, working with and through the other, are great things born. Saint-Exupery
  • Man thinks of himself as a creator instead of a user, and this delusion is robbing him, not only of his natural heritage, but perhaps of his future. Helen Hoover

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  • The owl, that bird of onomatopoetic name, is a repetitious question wrapped in feathery insulation especially for winter delivery. Hal Borland
  • With three or more people there is something bold in the air; direct things get said which would frighten two people alone and conscious of each inch of their nearness to one another. To be three is to be in public, you feel safe. Elizabeth Bowen
  • In almost any society, I think, the quality of the nonconformists is likely to be just as good as and no better than that of the conformists. Margaret Mead
  • If a man is devout, we accuse him of hypocrisy; if he is not, of impiety; if he is humble, we look on his humility as a weakness; if he is generous, we call his courage pride. Louis Bourdaloue
  • If the best company is that which we leave feeling most satisfied with ourselves, it follows that it is the company we leave most bored. Giacomo Leopardi

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  • In despair there are the most intense enjoyments, especially when one is very acutely conscious of the hopelessness of one’s position. Dostoevsky
  • People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. Adam Smith
  • Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. Aldous Huxley
  • Where there is official censorship it is a sign that speech is serious. Where there is none, it is pretty certain that the official spokesmen have all the loud-speakers. Paul Goodman
  • Constitutions are checks upon the hasty actions of the majority. They are the self-imposed restraints of a whole people upon a majority of them to secure sober action and a respect for the rights of a minority. William Howard Taft
  • Children know the grace of god better than most of us. They see the world the way the morning brings it back to them; new and born and fresh and wonderful. Archibald MacLeish

This quote often appears with the word "Hope" replaced with the word "Anxiety"
This quote often appears with the word "Hope" replaced with the word "Anxiety" | Source
  • Love nothing but that which comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny. For what could more aptly fit your need? Marcus Aurelius
  • It is most absurdly said, in popular language of any man, that he is disguised in liquor; for, on the contrary, most men are disguised by sobriety. Thomas De Quincey
  • Life is not a static thing. The only people who do not change their minds are incompetents in asylums, who can’t, and those in cemeteries. Everett M. Dirksen
  • Generalization is necessary to the advancement of knowledge; but particularity is indispensable to the creations of the imagination. Thomas Babington Macaulay
  • The essence of chastity is not the suppression of lust, but the total orientation of one’s life towards a goal. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever. Eugene O'Neill

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  • Concealment is equated, unknowingly to ourselves, with individuality; the more we conceal the more it seems we are asserting our very personality, resisting a somewhat repellent, unwelcome intrusion of other things into ourselves. Eli Siegel
  • We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect. Aldo Leopold
  • A faithful woman looks to the spring, a good book, perfume, earthquakes, and divine revelation for the experience others find in a lover. They deceive their husbands, so to speak, with the entire world, men excepted. Jean Giraudoux
  • For good and evil, man is a free creative spirit. This produces the very queer world we live in, a world in continuous creation and therefore continuous change and insecurity. Joyce Cary
  • It is not science that has destroyed the world, despite all the gloomy forebodings of the earlier prophets. It is man who has destroyed man. Max Lerner

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  • A man is a critic when he cannot be an artist, in the same way that a man becomes an informer when he cannot be a soldier. Flaubert
  • Curiosity is a free-wheeling intelligence. It endows the people who have it with a generosity in argument and a serenity in their own mode of life which spring from the cheerful willingness to let life take the forms it will. Alistair Cooke
  • Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives. William Dement
  • Man’s destiny lies half within himself, half without. To advance in either half at the expense of the other is literally insane. Philip Wylie
  • What is the use of such terrible diligence as many tire themselves out with, if they always postpone their exchange of smiles with beauty and joy to cling to irksome duties and relations? Helen Keller
  • By dignity, I mean the high place attained only when the heart and mind are lifted, equally at once, by the creative union of perception and grace. James Thurber

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  • No man should dogmatize except on the subject of mythology. Here he can take his stand, and by throwing the burden of proof on the opposition, he is invincible. We have to die to find out whether he is right. Elbert Hubbard
  • Our schools have become vast factories for the manufacture of robots. We no longer send our young to them primarily to be taught and given the tools of thought, no longer primarily to be informed and acquire knowledge; but to be socialized. Robert Linder
  • If a man be discreet enough to take to hard drinking in his youth, before his general emptiness is ascertained, his friends invariably credit him with a host of shining qualities which, we are given to understand, lie balked and frustrated by his one unfortunate weakness. Agnes Repplier
  • Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which is contained. John Stuart Mill
  • Life has not taught me to expect nothing, but she has taught me not to expect success to be the inevitable result of my endeavors. She taught me to seek sustenance from the endeavor itself, but to leave the result to god. Alan Paton

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I hope you enjoyed reading my top 100 quotes and found them fresh and interesting. If you have a favorite quote to share please leave it in a comment.

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    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Yes, I love reading; always have and always will. My childhood was full of books and I was read to every bedtime. I belong to a book club and we get together once a month; it opens us up to a wider selection and our discussions are always interesting.

      You chose your photos well too.

      Ann

    • Colleen Swan profile image
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      Colleen Swan 2 years ago from County Durham

      Hi Ann, What I tend to do is jot down quotes from various things I read in a sort of fun collection. Still, it does take a good deal of research to find a hundred good ones and make them flow together as a unit. Do you enjoy reading? I get the feeling you do, both from your hubs and comments. Books has always been one of the great joys of my life.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I love the 'Children know the grace of god better than most of us' quote, as I do Ella Fitzgerald's and the description of the owl.

      These are all wonderful and give us so much to think about. It must have taken you much research to compile this hub!

      Ann

    • Colleen Swan profile image
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      Colleen Swan 2 years ago from County Durham

      Hi MsDora. Thanks for looking in, glad you enjoyed these. Hadn't heard the Alice Walker quote. It is fun when quotes contain both humor and deeper thoughts.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great quotes and much food for thought--food that can last quite a long while. Thanks for sharing. One of my favorites which comes to mind while I'm looking through my window at my garden is:

      I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. - Alice Walker

    • Colleen Swan profile image
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      Colleen Swan 2 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you Larry, glad you enjoyed these. Fitting the images with text is always a challenge. Apart from the content I want the hub to look nice.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      You put a lot of work into this. Great job!

    • Colleen Swan profile image
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      Colleen Swan 2 years ago from County Durham

      Yes, DJ, I do love quotes which encapsulate thoughts I wish I had written. I find them in unlikely places and enjoy writing them down either for future hubs or my own pleasure and the enjoyment of others.

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      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Hello, Colleen,

      Your list of favorite quotes brought humor, contemplation, joy and

      love. At the same time, many other quotes brought into focus man's disillusionment and greediness. Others gave hopeful promise,

      gratitude and encouragement.

      Yes, I have a notebook of favorite quotes. It is fun to fine a new quote

      that says exactly what I would be trying to express but just could not find the words.

      I admire Ella Fitzgerald's philosophy that you included in your list.

      This is a fine collections of worthy quotes from wise men to entertainers.

      We all have many of the same ideas. We simply have not learned to speak so eloquently.

      Great job, my friend.

      up, interesting and shared