July 25

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. ~ Albert Einstein
If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern. ~ William Blake
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge (died 25 July 1834)
There seem to be magic days once in a while, with some rare quality of light that hold a body spellbound... Then comes the hard part: how to plan a picture so as to give to others what has happened to you. To render in paint an experience, to suggest the sense of light and color, air and space... ~ Maxfield Parrish (born 25 July 1870)
To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance. ~ Eric Hoffer (born 25 July 1902)
Though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. ~ Eric Hoffer
Good and evil grow up together and are bound in an equilibrium that cannot be sundered. The most we can do is try to tilt the equilibrium toward the good. ~ Eric Hoffer
The central task of education is to implant a will and a facility for learning; it should produce not learned but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society, where grandparents, parents, and children are students together.
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. ~ Eric Hoffer
It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations — past and present — are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual's hunger, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millennia. Thus, we are up against the paradox that the individual who is more complex, unpredictable, and mysterious than any communal entity is the one nearest to our understanding; so near that even the interval of millennia cannot weaken our feeling of kinship. If in some manner the voice of an individual reaches us from the remotest distance of time, it is a timeless voice speaking about ourselves. ~ Eric Hoffer
Free men are aware of the imperfection inherent in human affairs, and they are willing to fight and die for that which is not perfect. They know that basic human problems can have no final solutions, that our freedom, justice, equality, etc. are far from absolute, and that the good life is compounded of half measures, compromises, lesser evils, and gropings toward the perfect. The rejection of approximations and the insistence on absolutes are the manifestation of a nihilism that loathes freedom, tolerance, and equity.
~ Eric Hoffer ~
Where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless. One would rather see the world run by men who set their hearts on toys but are accessible to pity, than by men animated by lofty ideals whose dedication makes them ruthless. In the chemistry of man's soul, almost all noble attributes — courage, honor, hope, faith, duty, loyalty, etc. — can be transmuted into ruthlessness. Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us.
~ Eric Hoffer ~
What counts most is holding on. The growth of a train of thought is not a direct forward flow. There is a succession of spurts separated by intervals of stagnation, frustration, and discouragement. If you hold on, there is bound to come a certain clarification. The unessential components drop off and a coherent, lucid whole begins to take shape.
~ Eric Hoffer ~
The autonomous individual, striving to realize himself and prove his worth, has created all that is great in literature, art, music, science and technology. The autonomous individual, also, when he can neither realize himself nor justify his existence by his own efforts, is a breeding call of frustration, and the seed of the convulsions which shake our world to its foundations.
~ Eric Hoffer ~
The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.
It is not love of self but hatred of self which is at the root of the troubles that afflict our world.
~ Eric Hoffer ~
Rank or add further suggestions…

Quotes by people born this day, already used as QOTD:

Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used.
3 : Very Good - strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good - some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable - but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable - not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.


In a big picture you can see what o'clock it is afternoon or morning if it's hot or cold winter or summer & what kind of people are there & what they are doing and why they are doing it. The sentiments run beyond words. If a man makes a hot day he makes it like a hot day he once saw or is seeing if a sweet face a face he once saw or which he imagines from old memories or parts of memories & his knowledge and he combines never creates but at the very first combination no man & less of all himself could ever disentangle the feelings that animated him just then & refer each one to its right place. ~ Thomas Eakins (born July 25, 1844)

I have but little patience with the false modesty which is the greatest enemy to all figure painting. I see no impropriety in looking at the most beautiful of Nature's works, the naked figure. ~ Thomas Eakins

If by politeness then is meant goodness, it is appreciated by me as I trust it always has been, but if it is to mean the string of ceremonies generally used for concealing ill nature, and which have been found necessary to the existence of every society whose members are wanting in self respect and morality, I detest it more than ever. ~ Thomas Eakins

  • 3 InvisibleSun 09:09, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Aphaia 09:13, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Coyote 20:32, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 06:42, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki (talk · contributions) 09:35, 24 July 2010 (UTC), with a lean toward 3, but would probably prefer to extend it to :
If by politeness then is meant goodness, it is appreciated by me as I trust it always has been, but if it is to mean the string of ceremonies generally used for concealing ill nature, and which have been found necessary to the existence of every society whose members are wanting in self respect and morality, I detest it more than ever.
My prominent idea of a polite man is one who is nothing but polish. It is an unenviable reputation. If there was anything else in him the polish would never be noticed. He is a bad drawing finely worked up, and Gérôme says that every attempt at finish on a bad design serves only to make the work more contemptible. ~ Thomas Eakins

Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. ~ Eric Hoffer

  • 4 Zarbon 06:21, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 23:29, 30 June 2009 (UTC) I might possibly rank this slightly higher if expanded for context to read:
Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus people haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for both.

There are some things that you know to be true, and others that you know to be false; yet, despite this extensive knowledge that you have, there remain many things whose truth or falsity is not known to you. We say that you are uncertain about them. You are uncertain, to varying degrees, about everything in the future; much of the past is hidden from you; and there is a lot of the present about which you do not have full information. Uncertainty is everywhere and you cannot escape from it. ~ Dennis Lindley (born 25 July 1923)

  • 3 Kalki 23:29, 30 June 2009 (UTC) with a very strong lean toward 4
  • 2 Zarbon 18:24, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Uncertainty is a personal matter; it is not the uncertainty but your uncertainty. ~ Dennis Lindley

  • 3 Kalki 23:29, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 18:24, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Genius does not operate according to rules. ~ Dennis Lindley

  • 3 Kalki 23:29, 30 June 2009 (UTC) with a strong lean toward 4
  • 2 Zarbon 18:24, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

In teaching there can be too much emphasis on certainty and a proper appreciation of uncertainty is to be encouraged.~ Dennis Lindley

Whatever way uncertainty is approached, probability is the only sound way to think about it.~ Dennis Lindley

Never believe anything on the authority of a single person but seek confirmation — and reason is the best confirmation.~ Dennis Lindley

You must see the world through probability and that probability is the only guide you need. ~ Dennis Lindley

It is dangerous to attach probability zero to anything other than a logical impossibility.~ Dennis Lindley

Modernistic-Abstractionist-Art... consists of 75% explanation and 25% God knows what! ~ Maxfield Parrish

There is not an idea that cannot be expressed in 200 words. But the writer must know precisely what he wants to say. If you have nothing to say and want badly to say it, then all the words in all the dictionaries will not suffice. ~ Eric Hoffer

If anybody asks me what I have accomplished, I will say all I have accomplished is that I have written a few good sentences. ~ Eric Hoffer

Our passionate preoccupation with the sky, the stars, and a God somewhere in outer space is a homing impulse. We are drawn back to where we came from. ~ Eric Hoffer

A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business. ~ Eric Hoffer

Where freedom is real, equality is the passion of the masses. Where equality is real, freedom is the passion of a small minority. ~ Eric Hoffer

You accept certain unlovely things about yourself and manage to live with them. The atonement for such an acceptance is that you make allowances for others — that you cleanse yourself of the sin of self-righteousness. ~ Eric Hoffer

The awareness of their individual blemishes and shortcomings inclines the frustrated to detect ill will and meanness in their fellow men. Self-contempt, however vague, sharpens our eyes for the imperfections of others. We usually strive to reveal in others the blemishes we hide in ourselves. ~ Eric Hoffer

People whose lives are barren and insecure seem to show a greater willingness to obey than people who are self-sufficient and self-confident. To the frustrated, freedom from responsibility is more attractive than freedom from restraint. ~ Eric Hoffer

It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many. Hatred, malice, rudeness, intolerance, and suspicion are the faults of weakness. The resentment of the weak does not spring from any injustice done to them but from the sense of inadequacy and impotence. They hate not wickedness but weakness. When it is their power to do so, the weak destroy weakness wherever they see it. ~ Eric Hoffer

It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible. What we know as blind faith is sustained by innumerable unbeliefs. ~ Eric Hoffer

The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not. ~ Eric Hoffer

A doctrine insulates the devout not only against the realities around them but also against their own selves. The fanatical believer is not conscious of his envy, malice, pettiness and dishonesty. There is a wall of words between his consciousness and his real self. ~ Eric Hoffer

Some of the worst tyrannies of our day genuinely are "vowed" to the service of mankind, yet can function only by pitting neighbor against neighbor. The all-seeing eye of a totalitarian regime is usually the watchful eye of the next-door neighbor. ~ Eric Hoffer

People unfit for freedom — who cannot do much with it — are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an attribute of a "have" type of self. It says: leave me alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities. The desire for power is basically an attribute of a "have-not" type of self. If Hitler had had the talents and the temperament of a genuine artist, if Stalin had had the capacity to become a first-rate theoretician, if Napoleon had had the makings of a great poet or philosopher they would hardly have developed the all-consuming lust for absolute power.
Freedom gives us a chance to realize our human and individual uniqueness. Absolute power can also bestow uniqueness: to have absolute power is to have the power to reduce all the people around us to puppets, robots, toys, or animals, and be the only man in sight. Absolute power achieves uniqueness by dehumanizing others. ~ Eric Hoffer

The real "haves" are they who can acquire freedom, self-confidence, and even riches without depriving others of them. They acquire all of these by developing and applying their potentialities. On the other hand, the real "have nots" are they who cannot have aught except by depriving others of it. They can feel free only by diminishing the freedom of others, self-confident by spreading fear and dependence among others, and rich by making others poor. ~ Eric Hoffer

One wonders whether a generation that demands instant satisfaction of all its needs and instant solution of the world's problems will produce anything of lasting value. Such a generation, even when equipped with the most modern technology, will be essentially primitive — it will stand in awe of nature, and submit to the tutelage of medicine men. ~ Eric Hoffer

Some people have no original ideas because they do not think well enough of themselves to consider their ideas worth noticing and developing. ~ Eric Hoffer

The sick in soul insist that it is humanity that is sick, and they are the surgeons to operate on it. They want to turn the world into a sickroom. And once they get humanity strapped to the operating table, they operate on it with an ax. ~ Eric Hoffer

Rabid suspicion has nothing in it of skepticism. The suspicious mind believes more than it doubts. It believes in a formidable and ineradicable evil lurking in every person. ~ Eric Hoffer

We usually see only the things we are looking for — so much so that we sometimes see them where they are not. ~ Eric Hoffer

Both absolute power and absolute faith are instruments of dehumanization. Hence absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power. ~ Eric Hoffer

We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay. ~ Eric Hoffer

Our most persistent and spectacular efforts are concerned not with the preservation of what we are but with the building up of an imaginary conception of ourselves in the opinion of others. The desire for praise is more imperative than the desire for food and shelter. ~ Eric Hoffer

Good writing, like gold, combines lustrous lucidity with high density. What this means is good writing is packed with hints. ~ Eric Hoffer

How terribly hard and almost impossible it is to tell the truth. More than anything else, the artist in us prevents us from telling aught as it really happened. We deal with the truth as the cook deals with meat and vegetables. ~ Eric Hoffer

How rare it is to come across a piece of writing that is unambiguous, unqualified, and also unblurred by understatements or subtleties, and yet at the same time urbane and tolerant. It is a vice of the scientific method when applied to human affairs that it fosters hemming and hawing and a scrupulousness that easily degenerates into obscurity and meaninglessness. ~ Eric Hoffer

There is hardly a single instance of cultural vigor marked by moderation in expression. ~ Eric Hoffer

Those who discover things for themselves and express them in their own way are not overly bothered by the fact that others have already discovered these things — have even discovered them over and over again — and have expressed what they found in all manner of ways. ~ Eric Hoffer

The most important point is — and remains — not to take oneself seriously. ~ Eric Hoffer

I am more and more convinced that taking life over-seriously is a frivolous thing. ~ Eric Hoffer

The chief difference between me and others is that I have plenty of time — not only because I am without a multitude of responsibilities and without daily tasks, which demand attention: But also because I am basically without ambition. Neither the present nor the future has claims on me. ~ Eric Hoffer

There is no reason why the profoundest thoughts should not make easy and exciting reading. A profound thought is an exciting thing — as exciting as a detective's deductions or hunches. The simpler the words in which a thought is expressed the more stimulating its effect. ~ Eric Hoffer

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you. ~ Eric Hoffer

Both the revolutionary and the creative individual are perpetual juveniles. The revolutionary does not grow up because he cannot grow, while the creative individual cannot grow up because he keeps growing. ~ Eric Hoffer

That which is unique and worthwhile in us makes itself felt only in flashes. If we do not know how to catch and savor the flashes we are without growth and exhilaration. ~ Eric Hoffer

A war is not won if the defeated enemy has not been turned into a friend. ~ Eric Hoffer

A just society must strive with all its might to right wrongs even if righting wrongs is a highly perilous undertaking. But if it is to survive, a just society must be strong and resolute enough to deal swiftly and relentlessly with those who would mistake its good will for weakness. ~ Eric Hoffer

The only index by which to judge a government or a way of life is by the quality of the people it acts upon. No matter how noble the objectives of a government, if it blurs decency and kindness, cheapens human life, and breeds ill will and suspicion — it is an evil government. ~ Eric Hoffer