Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
—Maya Angelou (1928–2014) American Poet
Emulation admires and strives to imitate great actions; envy is only moved to malice.
—Honore de Balzac (1799–1850) French Novelist
The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations, and tongues, and kindreds. Nor should this lead us to a war upon property, or the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus, by example, assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
Emulation is a noble and just passion, full of appreciation.
—Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805) German Poet, Dramatist
Example has more followers than reason.—We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and approximate to the characters we most admire.—A generous habit of thought and action carries with it an incalculable influence.
—Christian Nestell Bovee (1820–1904) American Writer, Aphorist
I think it’s an honor to be a role model to one person or maybe more than that. If you are given a chance to be a role model, I think you should always take it because you can influence a person’s life in a positive light, and that’s what I want to do. That’s what it’s all about.
—Tiger Woods (b.1975) American Sportsperson
Imitation is a necessity of human nature.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841–1935) American Jurist, Author
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) American Poet, Educator, Academic
Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
As it is our nature to be more moved by hope than fear, the example of one we see abundantly rewarded cheers and encourages us far more than the sight of many who have not been well treated disquiets us.
—Francesco Guicciardini (1483–1540) Italian Historian, Political leader
Without heroes, we are all plain people and don’t know how far we can go.
—Bernard Malamud (1914–86) American Novelist, Short Story Writer
The action of a fool cannot serve as a precedent.
—The Talmud Sacred Text of the Jewish Faith
Very few men are wise by their own counsel, or learned by their own teaching; for he that was only taught by himself had a fool as his master.
—Ben Jonson (1572–1637) English Dramatist, Poet, Actor
Judgement can be acquired only by acute observation, by actual experience in the school of life, by ceaseless alertness to learn from others, by study of the activities of men who have made notable marks, by striving to analyze the everyday play of causes and effects, by constant study of human nature.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
Is there anyone so wise as to learn by the experience of others?
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist