January 11

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

If men would consider not so much where they differ, as wherein they agree, there would be far less of uncharitableness and angry feeling in the world. ~ Joseph Addison
The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. ~ Alexander Hamilton (born 11 January 1755)
Has it been found that bodies of men act with more rectitude or greater disinterestedness than individuals? The contrary of this has been inferred by all accurate observers of the conduct of mankind; and the inference is founded upon obvious reasons. Regard to reputation has a less active influence, when the infamy of a bad action is to be divided among a number than when it is to fall singly upon one. A spirit of faction, which is apt to mingle its poison in the deliberations of all bodies of men, will often hurry the persons of whom they are composed into improprieties and excesses, for which they would blush in a private capacity. ~ Alexander Hamilton
I do indeed disbelieve that we or any other mortal men can attain on a given day to absolutely incorrigible and unimprovable truth about such matters of fact as those with which religions deal. But I reject this dogmatic ideal not out of a perverse delight in intellectual instability. I am no lover of disorder and doubt as such. Rather do I fear to lose truth by this pretension to possess it already wholly. ~ William James (born 11 January 1842)
Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact. ~ William James
I should esteem it the extreme of imprudence to prolong the precarious state of our national affairs, and to expose the union to the jeopardy of successive experiments, in the chimerical pursuit of a perfect plan. I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man. The result of the deliberations of all collective bodies must necessarily be a compound as well of the errors and prejudices, as of the good sense and wisdom of the individuals of whom they are composed. ~ Alexander Hamilton
We are closer to God when we are asking questions than when we think we have the answers. ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel
When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation. ~ Alexander Hamilton
We must make the best of those ills which cannot be avoided.
~ Alexander Hamilton ~
There is but one indefectibly certain truth, and that is the truth that pyrrhonistic scepticism itself leaves standing, — the truth that the present phenomenon of consciousness exists.
~ William James ~
There is but one unconditional commandment, which is that we should seek incessantly, with fear and trembling, so to vote and to act as to bring about the very largest total universe of good which we can see. Abstract rules indeed can help; but they help the less in proportion as our intuitions are more piercing, and our vocation is the stronger for the moral life. For every real dilemma is in literal strictness a unique situation; and the exact combination of ideals realized and ideals disappointed which each decision creates is always a universe without a precedent, and for which no adequate previous rule exists.
~ William James ~
Men often oppose a thing, merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike. But if they have been consulted, and have happened to disapprove, opposition then becomes, in their estimation, an indispensable duty of self-love. They seem to think themselves bound in honor, and by all the motives of personal infallibility, to defeat the success of what has been resolved upon contrary to their sentiments.
~ Alexander Hamilton ~
There is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord. Life goes wrong when the control of space, the acquisition of things of space, becomes our sole concern.
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel ~
There is immense silent agony in the world, and the task of man is to be a voice for the plundered poor, to prevent the desecration of the soul and the violation of our dream of honesty.
The more deeply immersed I became in the thinking of the prophets, the more powerfully it became clear to me what the lives of the Prophets sought to convey: that morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel ~
Not the individual man nor a single generation by its own power can erect the bridge that leads to God. Faith is the achievement of many generations, and effort accumulated over many centuries. … There is a collective memory of God in the human spirit, and it is this memory which is the main source of our faith.
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel ~
An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the State to the acquisition of wealth. An ambitious man might make his own aggrandizement, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents. The history of human conduct does not warrant that exalted opinion of human virtue, which would make it wise in a Nation to commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind, as those which concern its intercourse with the rest of the world, to the sole disposal of a Magistrate created and circumstanced as would be a President of the United States.
~ Alexander Hamilton ~
I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement. The violent assault on the Capitol — and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress — was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.
~ George W. Bush ~
  • proposed by Kalki; significant statement of a past US President on current issues and recent major events.
My dad went through a sea of deaths. The oldest of six, he buried his four younger brothers and four of his children. Yes, I was it.
His philosophy after grieving was to laugh. To try to bring some joy to others, because life is just so hard sometimes. Because it ends.
My father also had a huge amount of dignity. This Mark Twain quote sums up the way my father and mother felt about life: “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.” … I am very proud of the life I have led so far. I have a lot of love in my life. And a lot of laughs. And I wish that for you all.
I wish that even for the guy in the audience with his arms folded.
~ Bob Saget ~
He whose soul is charged with awareness of God earns his inner livelihood by a passionate desire to pour his life into the eternal wells of love. … We do not live for our own sake. Life would be preposterous if not for the love it confers.
Faith implies no denial of evil, no disregard of danger, no whitewashing of the abominable. He whose heart is given to faith is mindful of the obstructive and awry, of the sinister and pernicious. It is God's strange dominion over both good and evil on which he relies. … Faith is not a mechanical insurance but a dynamic, personal act, flowing between the heart of man and the love of God.
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel ~
Faith is something that comes out of the soul. It is not an information that is absorbed but an attitude, existing prior to the formulation of any creed.
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel ~
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Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint. ~ Alexander Hamilton (day of Birth)

  • Potus23 00:18, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 23:53, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 05:24, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 because a system of checking upon man's excesses is important. The institution of government should therefore rectify and prevent the damage of justice, furthermore constraining those who are intent on harming the government, its ideals, or being governed by their own principles not dictated by the sanctions of law. Zarbon 18:06, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 —This unsigned comment is by Gartamar27 (talkcontribs) .

Real culture lives by sympathies and admirations, not by dislikes and disdain — under all misleading wrappings it pounces unerringly upon the human core. ~ William James (born 11 January 1842)

  • 3 Kalki 23:27, 9 January 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 05:24, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 18:06, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way. ~ William James (born 11 January 1842)

  • 3 Kalki 23:27, 9 January 2007 (UTC) with a strong lean toward 4.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 05:24, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 18:06, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

The normal process of life contains moments as bad as any of those which insane melancholy is filled with, moments in which radical evil gets its innings and takes its solid turn. The lunatic's visions of horror are all drawn from the material of daily fact. ~ William James

Man's chief difference from the brutes lies in the exuberant excess of his subjective propensities — his preeminence over them simply and solely in the number and in the fantastic and unnecessary character of his wants, physical, moral, aesthetic, and intellectual. Had his whole life not been a quest for the superfluous, he would never have established himself as inexpugnably as he has done in the necessary. ~ William James

  • 3 InvisibleSun 05:24, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 14:47, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 18:06, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Away with all cars, they are the devil's work! ~ Kudno Mojesic. He was arrested in the street outside his Belgrade home attacking cars with an axe. Sunday Mirror, London UK: 11TH January 1976.

  • 4 ds238 03:46, 9 June 2008 (PST)
  • 0 Zarbon 06:19, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 0 Kalki 14:11, 6 January 2009 (UTC) obscure statement by an obscure author. I might rank it a 1 if a page for the author could be justified, but I see no strong reason for one, nor for this quote as a quote of the day.

There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult. It demands the same skill, devotion, insight, and even inspiration as the discovery of the simple physical laws which underlie the complex phenomena of nature. ~ C. A. R. Hoare (date of birth)

  • 4 Ningauble 17:20, 29 October 2008 (UTC) (I would also approve using this without the final sentence.)
  • 1 Zarbon 06:19, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 14:11, 6 January 2009 (UTC) but might eventually rank it a 3
  • 3 InvisibleSun 21:45, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

As for myself, my course is clear. A British subject I was born — a British subject I will die. ~ John A. Macdonald

  • 3 Zarbon 06:19, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 14:11, 6 January 2009 (UTC) not much real context to the statement, as it is stated.
  • 1 InvisibleSun 21:45, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Man is a messenger who forgot the message. ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be. ~ Alexander Hamilton (born January 11)

  • 3 because to be frank and blatant is sometimes the best course of action. Zarbon 04:56, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 14:11, 6 January 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 4; despite the major importance of some sense of the need for things to be better, one should not shrink from confronting many forms of existing error, deficiency and stupidity for what they are, including those which primarily or relentlessly focus upon the emphasis of the undesirable aspects of things and people which do have good qualities, and can be improved.
  • 2 InvisibleSun 21:45, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 good but denies the aspect of faith —This unsigned comment is by Gartamar27 (talkcontribs) .

Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. ~ Alexander Hamilton (born January 11)

  • 3 because without some form of punishment, there would be anarchy. Zarbon 04:56, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 14:11, 6 January 2009 (UTC) Not all use the term anarchy simply as a pejorative implying violent oppressive struggles for power. It is used in reference to such thinkers as Leo Tolstoy and others in a ways signifying far more reasonable, moderate, patient struggles for consensus and towards wisdom, and away from far too great a reliance upon the rule of power and laws born of personal or partisan will for power, in favor of those habits and customs which can be established through a far more fundamental and personally transcendent will for Truth and Grace. ~ Kalki 14:11, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 21:45, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use.
~ William James ~

The greatest problem is not how to continue but how to exalt our existence. The call for a life beyond the grave is presumptuous, if there is no cry for eternal life prior to our descending to the grave. Eternity is not perpetual future but perpetual presence. He has planted in us the seed of eternal life. The world to come is not only a hereafter but also a here-now.
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel ~

One must forget many clichés in order to behold a single image. Insight is the beginning of perceptions to come rather than the extension of perceptions gone by. Conventional seeing, operating as it does with patterns and coherences, is a way of seeing the present in the past tense. Insight is an attempt to think in the present. … insight is knowledge at first sight.
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel ~

The time for the kingdom may be far off, but the task is plain: to retain our share in God in spite of peril and contempt. There is a war to wage against the vulgar, the glorification of the absurd, a war that is incessant, universal. Loyal to the presence of the ultimate in the common, we may be able to make it clear that man is more than man, that in doing the finite he may perceive the infinite.
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel ~

Reality is not exhausted by knowledge. Inaccessible to research are the ultimate facts. All scientific conclusions are based on axioms, all reasoning depends ultimately upon faith. Faith is virgin thinking, preceding all transcendent knowledge. To believe is to abide at the extremities of spirit.
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel ~

Only those who are spiritually imitators, only people who are afraid to be grateful and too weak to be loyal, have nothing but the present moment. The mark of nobility is inherited possession. To a noble person it is a holy joy to remember, an overwhelming thrill to be grateful, while to a person whose character is neither rich nor strong, gratitude is a most painful sensation. The secret of wisdom is never to get lost in a momentary mood or passion, never to forget a friendship over a momentary grievance, never to lose sight of the lasting values over a transitory episode.
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel ~

Those of faith who plant sacred thoughts in the uplands of time, the secret gardeners of the Lord in mankind's desolate hopes, may slacken and tarry but rarely betray their vocation.
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel ~

It's very, very dangerous to lose contact with living nature. … In the big cities, there are people who have never seen living nature, all things are products of humans … The bigger the town, the less they see and understand nature.
~ Albert Hofmann ~

The essence of the desert is that you are free to create your own world, your own visionary reality. … Both Burning Man and the Internet make it possible to regather the tribe of mankind.
~ Larry Harvey ~

Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
~ Larry Harvey ~