Tag Archives: wisdom quotations

The Measure of a Civilization

Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.

Pearl Buck, My Several Worlds: A Personal Record (1954)


Douplets: The Wisdom Within Us

What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Henry Haskins, Meditations in Wall Street (1940). Often misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, or Henry David Thoreau.

All search is vain, until we begin to perceive that wisdom is within ourselves … then we may know the sun is rising, that the morning is breaking for us.

Swami Vivekananda (1863 – 1902), spiritual leader of Hinduism.

We Are Defined by the Choices We Make

We are all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions. Moral choices. Some are on a grand scale. Most of these choices are on lesser points. But! We define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are in fact the sum total of our choices. Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly, human happiness does not seem to have been included, in the design of creation. It is only we, with our capacity to love, that give meaning to the indifferent universe. And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying, and even to find joy from simple things like their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more.

Woody Allen, Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

Doublets: Youth and Maturity

Thou hast nor youth nor age,
But, as it were, an after-dinner’s sleep,
Dreaming on both

William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure (Act II, Scene 1)

In youth we learn; in age we understand.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Truth and Love

Truth without love is manipulation; love without truth is sentimentality.

Val Peters, S.J. from his lecture on ethics and philosophy.

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