May 12

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people. ~ Good Omens (by Gaiman & Pratchett)
Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better. ~ Florence Nightingale (born 12 May 1820)
Duty, Honor, Country — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn. ~ Douglas MacArthur, "Duty, Honor, Country" valedictory address to West Point on 12 May 1962.
Unto the furthest flood-brim look with me;
Then reach on with thy thought till it be drown'd.
Miles and miles distant though the last line be,
And though thy soul sail leagues and leagues beyond,—
Still, leagues beyond those leagues, there is more sea.

~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti ~ (born 12 May 1828)
I never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself. ~ Florence Nightingale
I think one's feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results. ~ Florence Nightingale
Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own;
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair, or foul, or rain, or shine,
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not heaven itself upon the past has power;
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.

~ John Dryden, based on "Ode XXIX" of Horace ~
People talk about imitating Christ, and imitate Him in the little trifling formal things, such as washing the feet, saying His prayer, and so on; but if anyone attempts the real imitation of Him, there are no bounds to the outcry with which the presumption of that person is condemned. ~ Florence Nightingale
A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.
~ L. Neil Smith ~
  • proposed by bystander (L Neil Smith born 12 May 1946)
Ignorance is not bliss — it is oblivion. Determined ignorance is the hastiest kind of oblivion.
~ Philip Wylie ~
Education is not a function of any church — or even of a city — or a state; it is a function of all mankind.
~ Philip Wylie ~
Mysticism: to dwell on the unseen, to withdraw ourselves from the things of sense into communion with God — to endeavour to partake of the Divine nature; that is, of Holiness. When we ask ourselves only what is right, or what is the will of God (the same question), then we may truly be said to live in His light.
~ Florence Nightingale ~
What is Mysticism? Is it not the attempt to draw near to God, not by rites or ceremonies, but by inward disposition? Is it not merely a hard word for " The Kingdom of Heaven is within"? Heaven is neither a place nor a time. There might be a Heaven not only here but now. It is true that sometimes we must sacrifice not only health of body, but health of mind (or, peace) in the interest of God; that is, we must sacrifice Heaven. But "thou shalt be like God for thou shalt see Him as He is": this may be here and now, as well as there and then.
~ Florence Nightingale ~
It's often been observed that the first casualty of war is the truth. But that's a lie, too, in its way. The reality is that, for most wars to begin, the truth has to have been sacrificed a long time in advance.
~ L. Neil Smith ~
Perhaps it is not true to speak of God as a judge at all, or of his judgements. There does not seem to be really any evidence that His worlds are places of trial but rather schools, places of training, or that He is a judge but rather a Teacher, a Trainer, not in the imperfect sense in which men are teachers, but in the sense of His contriving and adapting His whole universe for one purpose of training every intelligent being to be perfect. … I think God would not be the Almighty, the All-Wise, the All-Good, if he were the judge, in the sense that the evangelical and Roman Catholic Christians impute judgement to him. … Our business is, I think, to understand, not to judge. What He does is, as far as we know, to rule by law down to the most infinitesimally small portion of His universe, not to judge.
~ Florence Nightingale ~
For a while, I thought of myself as an atheist until I realized it was a belief, too. It's a shame everything has to have a label. I feel that if I was figuratively dropped on the Earth and there was a political line, I would be just left of center. The difference for me is that conservatives are more interested in property values and rights and free markets, and liberals are more interested in human rights. In the end, there are people who don't fit into the marketplace and are not equipped. I believe the government should step in where the free market fails.
~ George Carlin ~
It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a Hospital that it should do the sick no harm.
~ Florence Nightingale ~
When shall we see a life full of steady enthusiasm, walking straight to its aim, flying home, as that bird is now, against the wind — with the calmness and the confidence of one who knows the laws of God and can apply them?
~ Florence Nightingale ~
How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.
~ Florence Nightingale ~
The way to live with God is to live with Ideals — not merely to think about ideals, but to do and suffer for them. Those who have to work on men and women must above all things have their Spiritual Ideal, their purpose, ever present. The "mystical" state is the essence of common sense.
~ Florence Nightingale ~
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And Love, our light at night and shade at noon,
Lulls us to rest with songs, and turns away
All shafts of shelterless tumultuous day.

~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti ~ (date of birth)

None would live past years again,
Yet all hope pleasure in what yet remain;
And from the dregs of life think to receive
What the first sprightly running could not give.

~ John Dryden ~ died on May 12 {May 1 O.S.}, 1700)

To God alone may women complain without insulting Him! ~ Florence Nightingale

  • 2 because to complain to anyone else would in turn backfire and be viewed as an insult. Zarbon 23:48, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 01:05, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 18:09, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

From the fix'd place of Heaven she saw
Time like a pulse shake fierce
Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove
Within the gulf to pierce
Its path; and now she spoke as when
The stars sang in their spheres.

~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti ~

Still we say as we go, —
"Strange to think by the way
Whatever there is to know,
That shall we know one day."

~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti ~

Let every man honor and love the land of his birth and the race from which he springs and keep their memory green. It is a pious and honorable duty. But let us have done with British-Americans and Irish-Americans and German-Americans, and so on, and all be Americans...If a man is going to be an American at all let him be so without any qualifying adjectives; and if he is going to be something else, let him drop the word American from his personal description. ~ Henry Cabot Lodge (born 1850-05-12)

Those who sell their liberty for security are understandable, if pitiable, creatures. Those who sell the liberty of others for wealth, power, or even a moment's respite deserve only the end of a rope. ~ L. Neil Smith

What egotism, what stupid vanity, to suppose that a thing could not happen because you could not conceive it!
~ Philip Wylie ~

The Church is now more like the Scribes and Pharisees than like Christ... What are now called the "essential doctrines" of the Christian religion he does not even mention.
~ Florence Nightingale ~

Religious men are and must be heretics now — for we must not pray, except in a "form" of words, made beforehand — or think of God but with a prearranged idea.
~ Florence Nightingale ~

Newton's law is nothing but the statistics of gravitation, it has no power whatever.
Let us get rid of the idea of power from law altogether. Call law tabulation of facts, expression of facts, or what you will; anything rather than suppose that it either explains or compels.
~ Florence Nightingale ~

Law is the continuous manifestation of God's presence — not reason for believing him absent.
Great confusion arises from our using the same word law in two totally distinct senses … as the cause and the effect. It is said that to "explain away" everything by law is to enable us to do without God.
But law is no explanation of anything; law is simply a generalization, a category of facts. Law is neither a cause, nor a reason, nor a power, nor a coercive force. It is nothing but a general formula, a statistical table. Law brings us continually back to God instead of carrying us away from him.
~ Florence Nightingale ~

Poetry and imagination begin life. A child will fall on its knees on the gravel walk at the sight of a pink hawthorn in full flower, when it is by itself, to praise God for it.
~ Florence Nightingale ~

Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever till the end of time... But He loves you. ~ George Carlin

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
~ John Keats ~

  • I have seen flowers come in stony places
    And kind things done by men with ugly faces,
    And the gold cup won by the worst horse at the races,
    So I trust, too. ~ John Masefield