May 17

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

Explanations exist; they have existed for all times, for there is always an easy solution to every human problems — neat, plausible, and wrong. ~ H. L. Mencken
I had a stick of Carefree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality. ~ Mitch Hedberg
There is no formula to it because writing every song, for me, is a little journey... It's everything. It's the walk you take in the morning, it's the night before, the meeting with people, landscapes, the chats, all of that evolves in some way into melody, but I'm not sure how it's going to happen. I'm dealing with the unknown all the time and that is exciting. ~ Enya (born 17 May 1961)
We are all, always, the desire not to die. This desire is as immeasurable and varied as life's complexity, but at bottom this is what it is: To continue to be, to be more and more, to develop and to endure. All the force we have, all our energy and clearness of mind serve to intensify themselves in one way or another. We intensify ourselves with new impressions, new sensations, new ideas. We endeavour to take what we do not have and to add it to ourselves. Humanity is the desire for novelty founded upon the fear of death. That is what it is. ~ Henri Barbusse
  • selected by Kalki (born 17 May 1873)
I believe, in spite of all, in truth's victory. I believe in the momentous value, hereafter inviolable, of those few truly fraternal men in all the countries of the world, who, in the oscillation of national egoisms let loose, stand up and stand out, steadfast as the glorious statues of Right and Duty. ~ Henri Barbusse
Yes, there is a Divinity, one from which we must never turn aside for the guidance of our huge inward life and of the share we have as well in the life of all men. It is called the truth. ~ Henri Barbusse
There are cloudy moments when one asks himself if men do not deserve all the disasters into which they rush! No — I recover myself — they do not deserve them. But we, instead of saying "I wish" must say "I will." And what we will, we must will to build it, with order, with method, beginning at the beginning, when once we have been as far as that beginning. We must not only open our eyes, but our arms, our wings. ~ Henri Barbusse
While all brutal forces clash with themselves, all moral forces make mighty harmony together. ~ Henri Barbusse
Affection is the greatest of human feelings because it is made of respect, of lucidity, and light. To understand the truth and make one's self equal to it is everything; and to love is the same thing as to know and to understand. Affection, which I call also compassion, because I see no difference between them, dominates everything by reason of its clear sight. It is a sentiment as immense as if it were mad, and yet it is wise, and of human things it is the only perfect one. There is no great sentiment which is not completely held on the arms of compassion.
~ Henri Barbusse ~
Music is like a mirror in front of you. You're exposing everything, but surely that's better than suppressing. … You have to dig deep and that can be hard for anybody, no matter what profession. I feel that I need to actually push myself to the limit to feel happy with the end result.
~ Enya ~
Is there not glory enough in living the days given to us? You should know there is adventure in simply being among those we love and the things we love, and beauty, too.
~ Lloyd Alexander ~
My view is this: We teach nothing. We do not teach physics nor do we teach students. (I take physics merely as an example.) What is the same thing: No one is taught anything! Here lies the folly of this business. We try to teach somebody nothing. This is a sorry endeavour for no one can be taught a thing.
What we do, if we are successful, is to stir interest in the matter at hand, awaken enthusiasm for it, arouse a curiosity, kindle a feeling, fire up the imagination. To my own teachers who handled me in this way, I owe a great and lasting debt.
~ Julius Sumner Miller ~
Who shall compose the Bible of human desire, the terrible and simple Bible of that which drives us from life to life, the Bible of our doings, our goings, our original fall? Who will dare to tell everything, who will have the genius to see everything?
I believe in a lofty form of poetry, in the work in which beauty will be mingled with beliefs. The more incapable of it I feel myself, the more I believe it to be possible. The sad splendour with which certain memories of mine overwhelm me, shows me that it is possible. Sometimes I myself have been sublime, I myself have been a masterpiece. Sometimes my visions have been mingled with a thrill of evidence so strong and so creative that the whole room has quivered with it like a forest, and there have been moments, in truth, when the silence cried out.
~ Henri Barbusse ~
The understanding of things must be based, not on sentiment, but on reason. There must be justice, not charity. Kindness is solitary. Compassion becomes one with him whom we pity; it allows us to fathom him, to understand him alone amongst the rest; but it blurs and befogs the laws of the whole. I must set off with a clear idea, like the beam of a lighthouse through the deformities and temptations of night.
~ Henri Barbusse ~
The noblest and most fruitful work of the human intelligence is to make a clean sweep of every enforced idea — of advantages or meanings — and to go right through appearances in search of the eternal bases. Thus you will clearly see the moral law at the beginning of all things, and the conception of justice and equality will appear to you beautiful as daylight.
~ Henri Barbusse ~
People have often asked me, "If you weren’t in show business, what would you be doing?" The truth is, I don’t think there’s anything else I could be doing, so the answer would have to be, nothing. Then again, there's nothing I love more than making people laugh, so I guess you could say I’m in the only business I could be in. I was born to enjoy life and I've always wanted everyone to enjoy it along with me.
~ Tim Conway ~
  • proposed by Kalki, in regard to his recent death.
The idea of motherland is not a false idea, but it is a little idea, and one which must remain little.
There is only one common good. There is only one moral duty, only one truth, and every man is the shining recipient and guardian of it. The present understanding of the idea of motherland divides all these great ideas, cuts them into pieces, specializes them within impenetrable circles. We meet as many national truths as we do nations, and as many national duties, and as many national interests and rights — and they are antagonistic to each other.
~ Henri Barbusse ~
All those people who cannot or will not make peace on earth; all those who for one reason or another cling to the ancient state of things and find or invent excuses for it — they are your enemies!
They are your enemies as much as those German soldiers are to-day who are prostrate here between you in the mud, who are only poor dupes hatefully deceived and brutalized, domestic beasts. They are your enemies, wherever they were born, however they pronounce their names, whatever the language in which they lie. Look at them, in the heaven and on the earth. Look at them, everywhere! Identify them once for all, and be mindful for ever!
~ Henri Barbusse ~
They who say, "There will always be war," do not know what they are saying. They are preyed upon by the common internal malady of shortsight. They think themselves full of common-sense as they think themselves full of honesty. In reality, they are revealing the clumsy and limited mentality of the assassins themselves.
The shapeless struggle of the elements will begin again on the seared earth when men have slain themselves because they were slaves, because they believed the same things, because they were alike.
~ Henri Barbusse ~
That society is badly arranged which forces nearly all women to be servants.
~ Henri Barbusse ~
  The infirmity of human intelligence is short sight. In too many cases, the wiseacres are dunces of a sort, who lose sight of the simplicity of things, and stifle and obscure it with formulae and trivialities. It is the small things that one learns from books, not the great ones.
And even while they are saying that they do not wish for war they are doing all they can to perpetuate it. They nourish national vanity and the love of supremacy by force. "We alone," they say, each behind his shelter, "we alone are the guardians of courage and loyalty, of ability and good taste!" Out of the greatness and richness of a country they make something like a consuming disease. Out of patriotism — which can be respected as long as it remains in the domain of sentiment and art on exactly the same footing as the sense of family and local pride, all equally sacred — out of patriotism they make a Utopian and impracticable idea, unbalancing the world, a sort of cancer which drains all the living force, spreads everywhere and crushes life, a contagious cancer which culminates either in the crash of war or in the exhaustion and suffocation of armed peace.
They pervert the most admirable of moral principles. How many are the crimes of which they have made virtues merely by dowering them with the word "national"? They distort even truth itself. For the truth which is eternally the same they substitute each their national truth. So many nations, so many truths; and thus they falsify and twist the truth.
~ Henri Barbusse ~
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Sometimes people mistake the way I talk for what I am thinking. ~ Idi Amin (born May 17)

  • 4 because everyone doesn't say what they think. It's a beautiful admittance to the human thought process and the actual sayings themselves. Zarbon 03:39, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
    • SOURCE: Leaders and Their Followers in a Dangerous World - Page 17 by Jerrold M. Post -Biography & Autobiography - 2004
  • 1 Kalki 14:04, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 19:58, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 4 Ficaia (talk) 09:59, 3 May 2024 (UTC)

In any country there must be people who have to die. They are the sacrifices any nation has to make to achieve law and order. ~ Idi Amin (born May 17)

  • 3 Zarbon 03:39, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
    • SOURCE: 101 People You Won't Meet in Heaven - Page 11 - by Michael Powell - History - 2007
  • 1 Kalki 14:04, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 19:58, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

If we knew the meaning to everything that is happening to us, then there would be no meaning. ~ Idi Amin (born May 17)

You cannot run faster than a bullet. ~ Idi Amin (born May 17)

  • 3 because this is absolutely true. Zarbon 03:39, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
    • SOURCE: The Mammoth Book of Zingers, Quips, and One-Liners - Page 51 - by Geoff Tibballs -Humor - 2004
  • 1 Kalki 14:04, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 19:58, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

I am not a politician but a professional soldier. ~ Idi Amin (born May 17)

  • 3 because the sincerity of being a soldier crosses the boundary of politics and government and becomes a life in itself. Zarbon 03:39, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
    • SOURCE: When Illness Strikes the Leader: The Dilemma of the Captive King - Page 57 - by Jerrold M. Post, Robert S. Robins - Biography & Autobiography - 1993
  • 1 Kalki 14:04, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 19:58, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Child, child, do you not see? For each of us comes a time when we must be more than what we are. ~ Lloyd Alexander

Keep reading. It's one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have. ~ Lloyd Alexander

The universal problem into which modern life, as well as past life, rushes and embroils and rends itself, can only be dispersed by a universal means which reduces each nation to what it is in truth; which strips from them all the ideal of supremacy stolen by each of them from the great human ideal; a means which, raising the human ideal definitely beyond the reach of all those immoderate emotions, which shout together "Mine is the only point of view," gives it at last its divine unity. Let us keep the love of the motherland in our hearts, but let us dethrone the conception of Motherland.
I will say what there is to say: I place the Republic before France. France is ourselves. The Republic is ourselves and the others. The general welfare must be put much higher than national welfare, because it is much higher.
~ Henri Barbusse ~

In the fields of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.
~ Louis Pasteur ~
This quote was already used on 15 May 2004, (and prior to the development of policies and practices favoring quotes with some relevance to the dates for QOTD). ~ ♌︎Kalki ⚓︎ 00:21, 17 May 2020 (UTC)