Certain old men prefer to rise at dawn, taking a cold bath and a long walk with an empty stomach and otherwise mortifying the flesh. They then point with pride to these practices as the cause of their sturdy health and ripe years; the truth being that they are hearty and old, not because of their habits, but in spite of them. The reason we find only robust persons doing this thing is that it has killed all the others who have tried it. ~ The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today... ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
proposed by MosheZadka, expanded from the first Wikiquote Quote of the Day, selected by Nanobug.
Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Moderation, the Golden Mean, the Aristonmetron, is the secret of wisdom and of happiness. But it does not mean embracing an unadventurous mediocrity: rather it is an elaborate balancing-act, a feat of intellectual skill demanding constant vigilance. Its aim is a reconciliation of opposites. ~ Robertson Davies
To which of the warring serpents should I turn with the problem that now faces me? It is easy, and tempting, to choose the god of Science. Now I would not for a moment have you suppose that I am one of those idiots who scorns Science, merely because it is always twisting and turning, and sometimes shedding its skin, like the serpent that is its symbol. It is a powerful god indeed but it is what the students of ancient gods called a shape-shifter, and sometimes a trickster. ~ Robertson Davies
What is the use of being wise if we are not sometimes merry? The merriment of wise men is not the uninformed, gross fun of ignorant men, but it has more kinship with that than the pinched, frightened fun of those who are neither learned nor ignorant, gentle nor simple, bound nor free. The idea that a wise man must be solemn is bred and preserved among people who have no idea what wisdom is, and can only respect whatever makes them feel inferior. ~ Robertson Davies
The ironist is not bitter, he does not seek to undercut everything that seems worthy or serious, he scorns the cheap scoring-off of the wisecracker. He stands, so to speak, somewhat at one side, observes and speaks with a moderation which is occasionally embellished with a flash of controlled exaggeration. He speaks from a certain depth, and thus he is not of the same nature as the wit, who so often speaks from the tongue and no deeper. The wit's desire is to be funny; the ironist is only funny as a secondary achievement. ~ Robertson Davies
The best among our writers are doing their accustomed work of mirroring what is deep in the spirit of our time; if chaos appears in those mirrors, we must have faith that in the future, as always in the past, that chaos will slowly reveal itself as a new aspect of order.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state, sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
⨀ My name is Harrison Bergeron. I am a fugitive, and a public threat. I am an abomination of the able. I am an exception to the accepted. I am the greatest man you have never known. And for the last six years, I have been held prisoner by the state — sentenced, without trial, to torture without end. They… had hoped to destroy in me any trace of the extraordinary … but the extraordinary, it seems, was simply out of their reach. So now I stand before you today, beaten, hobbled, and sickened … but, sadly, not broken. And I say to you, that if it is greatness we must destroy, then let us drag our enemy out of the darkness, where it has been hiding. Let us shine a light so, at last, all the world can see!
It is mankind's discovery of language which more than any other single thing has separated him from the animal creation. Without language, what concept have we of past or future as separated from the immediate present? Without language, how can we tell anyone what we feel, or what we think? It might be said that until he developed language, man had no soul, for without language how could he reach deep inside himself and discover the truths that are hidden there, or find out what emotions he shared, or did not share, with his fellow men and women. ~ Robertson Davies
3 (leaning toward 2 because of the poor grammar; "one" is singular while "their" is plural) allixpeeke (talk) 08:58, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
I had much rather be myself the slave, And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him. We have no slaves at home–Then why abroad? And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave That parts us are emancipate and loosed. Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs Receive our air, that moment they are free. They touch our country, and their shackles fall. That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then, And let it circulate through every vein Of all your empire; that, where Britain's power Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.
Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man's genetic lineage—the notion that a man's intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors.
Racism claims that the content of a man's mind (not his cognitive apparatus, but its content) is inherited; that a man's convictions, values and character are determined before he is born, by physical forces beyond his control. This is the caveman's version of the doctrine of innate ideas—or of inherited knowledge—which has been thoroughly refuted by philosophy and science. Racism is a doctrine of, by and for brutes.
Piety is not an end but a means to attain by the greatest peace of mind the highest degree of culture. This is why we may say that those who parade piety as a purpose and an aim mostly turn into hypocrites.
All poetry is supposed to be instructive but in an unnoticeable manner; it is supposed to make us aware of what it would be valuable to instruct ourselves in; we must deduce the lesson on our own, just as with life.