Man’s mind stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809–94) American Physician, Essayist, Academic, Poet
A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.
—Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) American First Lady, Diplomat, Civil Rights Activist, Politician
Being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan’s egg.
—Hans Christian Andersen (1805–75) Danish Author, Poet, Short Story Writer
If you look at your life one way, there is always cause for alarm.
—Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973) Irish Novelist, Short Story Writer
The human mind is so complex and things are so tangled up with each other that, to explain a blade of straw, one would have to take to pieces an entire universe. A definition is a sack of flour compressed into a thimble.
—Remy de Gourmont (1858–1915) French Poet, Novelist, Critic
What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are.
—C. S. Lewis (1898–1963) Irish-born British Children’s Books Writer, Novelist, Academic, Literary Critic, Essayist, Theologian
There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.
—J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–67) American Theoretical Physicist
Pain is a relatively objective, physical phenomenon; suffering is our psychological resistance to what happens. Events may create physical pain, but they do not in themselves create suffering. Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is…The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life as it unfolds.
—Dan Millman (b.1946) American Children’s Books Writer, Sportsperson
Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.
—Miyamoto Musashi (1584–1645) Japanese Buddhist, Swordsman, Samurai
The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go.
—Martha Washington (1731–1802) American First Lady
What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.
—Laozi (b.604BCE–d:Unknown) Chinese Philosopher
love is a place|and through this place of|love move|(With brightness of peace)|all places||yes is a world|and in this world of|yes live|(skillfully curled)|all worlds
—E. E. Cummings (1894–1962) American Children’s Books Writer, Poet, Artist
The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
—Carlos Castaneda (1925–98) Peruvian-born American Anthropologist, Author
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Theoretical Physicist, Philosopher, Author, Activist
There are in life as many aspects as attitudes towards it; and aspects change with attitudes… Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. Life would undergo a change of appearance because we ourselves had undergone a change in attitude.
—Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923) New Zealander Short story
We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.
—Anais Nin (1903–77)
The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.
—Robert Fulghum (b.1937) American Unitarian Universalist Author, Essayist, Clergyman
Nothing in life is so hard that you can’t make it easier by the way you take it.
—Ellen Glasgow (1873–1945) American Novelist