Quotes to Live By: Best Ever

by Dom Nozzi

The quotes found on this list represent the best words of wisdom I have ever come across. In my view, each is profound, inspiring or otherwise essential to live a better life, or for our society to have a better future.

“Get Nixon.” Last words on his deathbed. – Ansel Adams

The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions. – Alfred Alder

Life is not measured by how many breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away. – Anonymous

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.      – Anonymous

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers. – Anonymous

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. – Anonymous

You are not alone in your feelings. You may be somewhat alone in publicly expressing them. – Anonymous

The ultimate end…is not knowledge, but action. To be half right on time may be more important than to obtain the whole truth too late. – Aristotle

Science is a set of rules to keep us from telling lies to each other. All scientists really have is a reputation for telling the truth.   – Isaac Asimov

Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it. – Sudie Back

When you hesitate, you are acting as though you are immortal. – Richard Bandler & John Grindler

Happiness is good health and a bad memory. – Ingrid Bergman

ACT as men of thought; THINK as men of action. – Henri Bergson

The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect was already in the cause. – Henri Bergson

If they say it can’t be done, it doesn’t always work out that way. – Yogi Berra

What gets us into trouble isn’t what we don’t know; its what we know for sure that just ain’t so. – Yogi Berra

Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded. – Yogi Berra

Friendless, adj. Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.            — Ambrose Bierce

Curiosity, n. An objectionable quality of the female mind. The desire to know whether or not a woman is cursed with Curiosity is one of the most active and insatiable passions of the masculine soul. — Ambrose Bierce

Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility. — Ambrose Bierce

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. — Ambrose Bierce

Distance, n. The only thing that the rich are willing for the poor to call theirs and keep. — Ambrose Bierce

Politics, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. — Ambrose Bierce

Deciding under uncertainty is bad enough, but deciding under an illusion of certainty is catastrophic. – Kenneth Boulding

Partial culture runs to the ornate; extreme culture to simplicity. – Christian Nestell Bovee

The problem is our country isn’t with books being banned, but with people no longer reading. Look at the magazines and newspapers all around us — it’s all junk, all trash, tidbits of “news”. You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. – Ray Bradbury

The most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men is the right to be let alone. – Justice Luis Brandeis

It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.  – Tom Brokaw

Self-control is one of the most exhilarating of pleasures.        — William F. Buckley

I’d rather be a failure at something I enjoy than be a success at something I hate. – George Burns

Maybe it’s just in America, but it seems that if you’re passionate about something, it freaks people out. You’re considered bizarre or eccentric. To me, it just means you know who you are. – Tim Burton

Anybody who believes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach flunked geography.  – Robert Byrne

When I feed the poor, I am called a saint. When I ask why the poor are hungry, I am called a communist. – Dom Helder Camara

Advice is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least. Lord Chesterfield

If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. — Noam Chomsky

Ever since I’ve had any political awareness, I’ve felt either alone or part of a tiny minority. — Noam Chomsky

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.  – Winston Churchill

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. – Winston Churchill

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will get up and walk around it. – Winston Churchill

Anyone may fairly seek his own advantage, but no one has a right to do so at another’s expense. — Cicero

It is not, after all, so very hard to acquire a fortune; the real difficulty is to deserve one. – Chapman Cohen

It’s usually easier to rouse stupidity to action than to arouse wisdom to effort, for wisdom sees alternatives while stupidity lacks the imagination to do this. All sinister interests in a country can depend ultimately upon the strength of stupidity. – Chapman Cohen

Condolences for what is past. Congratulations for what is to come. (words for someone who is splitting with a significant other) – Bob Cole

Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, a society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. In the long run, it creates a generation incapable of appreciating the difference between independence of thought and subservience. – Henry Steel Commanger

The Master said, “The superior man thinks of virtue; the small man thinks of comfort…”       — Confucius

Love is friendship set to music.           — E. Joseph Cossman

Death is not the greatest tragedy in life. The greatest tragedy is what dies inside us while we live. We need not fear death. We need fear only that we may exist without having sensed something of the possibilities that lie within human existence. – Norman Cousins

Fight the battle of being “you” forever because it will always be the greatest battle you will ever have to fight, and its the only battle worth fighting. — e.e. cummings

My advice to a young man seeking deathless fame would be to espouse an unpopular cause and devote his life to it. – George William Curtis

Socialism collapsed because it did not allow the market to tell the economic truth. ‘Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow the market to tell the ecological truth.  — Oystein Dahle

The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.  – Clarence Darrow

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.      – Charles Darwin

Progress in every age results only from the fact that there are some men and women who refuse to believe that what they know to be right cannot be done. — Russel Davenport

It is better to vote for something you want and not get it, than vote for something you don’t want and get it. – Eugene Debs

Capitalism needs and must have the prison to protect itself from the criminals it has created.  – Eugene Debs

Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.      — Benjamin Disraeli

Commandment number one of any civilized society is this: let people be different. – William Douglas

You can tell the ideas of a nation by its advertisements.          — Norman Douglas

The better a man is, the more mistakes he will make, for the more new things he will try. I would never promote into a top-level job a man who was not making mistakes…otherwise he is sure to be mediocre. – Peter Drucker

The only antidote to anger is to eliminate the internal sentence: “If only you were more like me.”      — Wayne Dyer

Show me a thoroughly satisfied man, and I will show you a failure.  – Thomas Edison

Common sense is what tells you the earth is flat.         — Albert Einstein

Only two infinities exist: the universe and the stupidity of the human race. I’m not certain about the former.            — Albert Einstein

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. — Albert Einstein

Perfection of means and confusion of aims is a characteristic of our times. — Albert Einstein

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, & more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.   — Albert Einstein

The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation. — Albert Einstein

Congratulate yourself if you have done something strange and extravagant and have broken the monotony of a decorous age. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Crime and punishment grow out of one stem. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our fear of ideas is probably the greatest dike holding back human knowledge and happiness. – Morris L. Ernst

The quandary of many liberals in America and elsewhere is that they have largely outgrown patriotism but are afraid to face this fact. They are afraid to be called unpatriotic. They are even more afraid to come out openly and say “I am not a nationalist, I don’t give a damn about my country. For me, there are no countries, no sides — only the side of humankind.” – F. M. Esfandiary

The most important thing in a relationship between a man and a woman is that one of them be good at taking orders. – Linda Festa

As you get older, don’t slow down; speed up. There’s less time left.  – Malcolm Forbes

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.      — Henry Ford

Respect the law, but question authority. For this is the paradox upon which democracy rests. E.M. Forster

Liberty is always dangerous, but it is the safest thing we have. – Harry Emerson Fosdick

The First Amendment ensures that public opinion — the common conscience of the time — shall not commit suicide through legislation which chokes off today the free expression of minority views which may become the majority public opinion of tomorrow. – Jerome Frank

The art of diplomacy is being able to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they actually look forward to the trip. – Benjamin Franklin

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing. – Benjamin Franklin

Far more violence has been done in obeying the law than in breaking the law. – Robert Frost

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. – Robert Frost

When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I am finished, it the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. – Buckminster Fuller

Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.  – Mahatma Gandhi

Professionalism really means eliminating risk. Once you become good at something, everyone wants you to repeat it….But the more you eliminate risk, the closer you come to eliminating the act of creative intervention. – Milton Glaser

The wise man is satisfied with nothing.           — William Godwin

If your contribution has been vital there will always be somebody to pick up where you left off, and that will be your claim to immortality. – Walter Gropius

Men will sooner surrender their rights than their customs. – Moritz Geudmann

By ignoring customs, civilization advances. “What will people say if” is a brake, but brakes have never liberated peoples, satisfied hunger, or freed slaves. – Pax Guerrero

“I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. —  Edward Everett Hale

Nothing is work unless you’d rather be doing something else.  – George Halas

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. — Learned Hand

The spirit of liberty is the spirit that’s not too sure it’s right. – Learned Hand

An inveterate pessimist is difficult to endure in the short run, but an irrepressible optimist is intolerable in the long run. – Sydney Harris

Anger is the most unproductive of all emotions, even when it is “righteous” — for its instinct is not to seek redress, but retribution; to inflict a wound more severe than has been suffered and this passion, more often than not, plunges both parties into mutual travail. – Sydney Harris

People who are biggest on “law and order”, if put to the test, would choose order at the expense of law. – Sydney Harris

The real villain in society is not the blatantly bad man, but the man with just enough good in him to appeal to our sense of righteousness, and just enough evil in him to appeal to our instinct for revenge. – Sydney Harris

When people march in step, or sing in unison, they will begin to believe anything; all parades contain the germ of fanaticism. – Sydney Harris

…(Charles) Reich discredits reason because it has been used to justify the war in Vietnam, which is like deciding that because your mother has cooked you a few bad meals you must never eat again. – Molly Haskell

Why endeavor to straighten the road of life? The faster we travel, the less there is to see.      — Helen Hayes

Since when must you agree with people to defend them from injustice?         — Lillian Hellman

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.  – Katherine Hepburn

In this country, we are warned not to waste our time, but we are brought up to waste our lives. – Eric Hoffer

Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without belief in a devil. – Eric Hoffer

Kids must be educated to DISRESPECT authority or else democracy is a farce. – Abbie Hoffman

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.          — Elbert Hubbard

We are not punished for our sins, but by them. — Elbert Hubbard

If you can’t answer a man’s arguments, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names.   — Elbert Hubbard

Every father expects his boy to do the things he wouldn’t do when he was young.     — Kin Hubbard

Our ignorance is not so vast as our failure to use what we know.        — M.K. Hubert

If you haven’t failed, you’re not trying hard enough. – Attila the Hun

It is the fate of all knowledge to begin as heresy and end as superstition.        — Huxley

The only people, scientific or other, who never make mistakes are those who do nothing.     — Thomas Huxley

Chastity: The most unnatural of sexual perversions. – Aldous Huxley

The fact that people are shocked is the best proof that they need shocking. – Aldous Huxley

Do right, not to deny yourself but because you love yourself and because you love others.   — Robert Ingersoll

To be like other people is to be unlike ourselves.        — Robert Ingersoll

Anger blows out the lamp of the mind. — Robert Ingersoll

One man with courage makes a majority.  – Andrew Jackson

Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day. – Thomas Jefferson

I have ever deemed if more honorable and more profitable, too, to set a good example than to follow a bad one. – Thomas Jefferson

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.       — Samuel Johnson

Those who do not feel pain seldom think that it is felt. — Samuel Johnson

Man more frequently needs to be reminded than informed.  — Samuel Johnson

If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone; one should keep his friendships in constant repair.            — Samuel Johnson

We all know what to do, but we don’t know how to get re-elected once we have done it. — Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, on the subject of how elected officials tend to shy away from effective yet politically controversial solutions

Hiring more cops to solve the crime problem is like hiring more ambulance drivers to cure cancer. – Robert Kahle

The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision.  – Helen Keller

Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature…Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. – Helen Keller

My experience in government is that when things are noncontroversial and beautifully coordinated, there is not much going on. – John F. Kennedy

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. – John F. Kennedy

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.      – John F. Kennedy

My interest is in the future, because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.      — Charles Kettering

If you want to kill any idea in the world, get a committee working on it.         — Charles Kettering

People with good intentions but limited understanding are more dangerous than people with total ill will.– Martin Luther King

Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody. — Martin Luther King

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. — Martin Luther King

We are faced with the realization that tomorrow is now.         — Martin Luther King

You must be the change you wish to see in this world. — Martin Luther King

Ask a politician what to do about crime, and he’ll say, “Hire more cops.” Its totally irrelevant. What cops produce are more arrests. We’ve already got more arrests than we can deal with.   — Mark Kleiman

Aggressiveness is not the main trouble with the human species, but rather an excess capacity for fanatical devotion. – Arthur Koestler

To be a revolutionary is to love your life enough to change it, to choose struggle instead of exile.     — Andrew Kopkeiel

The hopeless don’t revolt, because revolution is an act of hope. – Kropotkin

The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth and have it found out by accident.      — Charles Lamb

Rare is the person who can weigh the faults of others without putting his thumb on the scales. – Byran Langenfield

Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties.      — Doug Larsen

He who reforms himself has done more towards reforming the public than a crowd of noisy, impotent patriots.       — J. Lavater

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. – Stanislaw Jerzy Lee

Jargon is the verbal sleight of hand that makes the old hat seem newly fashionable; it gives an air of novelty and specious profundity to ideas that, if stated directly, would seem superficial, stale, frivolous, or false.  The line between serious and spurious scholarship is an easy one to blur, with jargon on your side. – David Lehman

Experience comes from what we have done. Wisdom comes from what we have done badly.  – Theodore Levitt

Established interests are always more vigorously defended than potential interests. – Sherman Lewis

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. – Abraham Lincoln

You say what you think needs to be said. If it needs to be said, there are going to be a lot of people who will disagree with it, or it wouldn’t need to be said. – Herb Lock

The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts. – John Locke

I would rather be a meteor than a sleepy and permanent planet. For man’s true purpose in life is to live, not to waste time merely sustaining himself. – Jack London

Not failure, but low aim, is crime. – James Russell Lowe

There are no hopeless situations, only men who have grown hopeless about them.    — Clare Boothe Luce

Advertising has done more to cause the social unrest of the 20th century than any other single factor. – Clare Boothe Luce

The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out. — Macaulay

It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty will be charged to dangers, real or imagined, from abroad. — James Madison

Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life.  — Naguib Mahfouz

No one is fit to encounter an adversary’s case successfully unless he can make it for a moment his own, unless he can put it more forcibly than the adversary could put it for himself, and take account not only of what the adversary says, but also the best he MIGHT say, if only he had chanced to think it. – W. H. Mallock

Mama always told me not to look into the eye’s of the sun. But mama, that’s where the fun is! – Manfred Mann

Love can be the most dreadful disguise that hate assumes. — William March

I find television very educational. The minute someone turns it on, I go to the library to read a book.  – Groucho Marx

Hate is not the opposite of love; apathy is… – Rollo May

All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility. – John Stuart Mill

Judging by common sense is merely another phrase for judging by 1st appearance…The men who place implicit faith in their own common sense are, w/o any exception, the most wrong-headed and impractical persons. – John Stuart Mill

Who overcomes by force hath overcome but half his foe.      — John Milton

All my means and methods are sane: my purpose is mad.       — Melvin in Moby Dick

There is only one success — to be able to spend your life in your own way. – Christopher Morley

Traditionalists are pessimists about the future and optimists about the past. – Lewis Mumford

In the defense of civil liberties there can be no exceptions, or there will soon be many. – A.J. Muste

When you win, nothing hurts.  – Joe Namath

We are making great progress, but we are going in the wrong direction.          — Ogden Nash

In Germany, they came first for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time, nobody was left to speak up. – Marin Neimoeller

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. – Frederich Nietzsche

You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in contact with a new idea. – John Nuveen

If liberty means anything, it means the right to tell people what they do not like to hear.        — George Orwell

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. – George Orwell

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the thought soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason. – Thomas Paine

Moderation in temper is always a virtue, but moderation in principle is always a vice. – Thomas Paine

He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.        – Thomas Paine

The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.  – Joe Paterno

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. – George S. Patton

The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but to hold hands. – Alexander Penny

Formula for success: under promise and over deliver.  – Tom Peters

The trouble with heart disease is that the first symptom is hard to deal with: Sudden death.  – Michael Phelps, M.D.

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die out and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. – Max Planck

We can easily forgive the child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when we are afraid of the light. — Plato

The rights of the best of men are secure only as the rights of the vilest and most abhorrent are protected. – Cuthbert Pound

The desire for community is a constant of human nature.       — Stephen Price

Liberty is not the daughter of order, but the mother. – Proudhon

Doubt is the key to knowledge.           — Persian Proverb

Absence is to love what wind is to fire, it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great. — Rabutin-Bussy

I think its a mistaken notion to believe that patriotism consists of blind obedience to the government. I think that patriotism is trying to save the better values of the country rather than just blindly obeying the government. I don’t think I would call a German unpatriotic because he was opposed to Hitler and disobeyed the orders of that government.  – David Reed

Love, work and knowledge are the well-springs of life. They should also govern it. – Wilhelm Reich

The fastest growing occupation in the private sector is security guards. The fastest growing occupation in the public sector is prison guards. (1992) — Robert Reich

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. —  Hyman Rickover

Commonplace minds usually condemn what is beyond the reach of their understanding. – Francois de la Rochefoucauld

Understanding is a two-way street. – Eleanor Roosevelt

From time to time, little men will find fault with what you have done…but they will go down the stream like bubbles, they will vanish. But the work you have done will remain for the ages. – Theodore  Roosevelt

Silence is a lie. Silence has a loud voice. It shouts, “Nothing important is happening — don’t worry.” So when something important IS going on, silence is a lie. – A. M. Rosenthal

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. — Jean Jacques Rousseau

My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can’t decide whether to ruin our carpet our ruin our lives. – Rita Rudner

Every advance in civilization has been denounced as unnatural while it was recent. – Bertrand Russell

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. – Bertrand Russell

The good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge. – Bertrand Russell

Having a place in this society is far less important than creating a society in which one would want to have a place. – Mario Savio

Men are a thousand times more intent on becoming rich than on acquiring culture, though it is quite certain that what a man IS contributes more to his happiness than what he HAS. – Arthur Schopenhauer

When a new truth enters the world, the first stage of reaction to it is ridicule, the second stage is violent opposition, and in the third stage, that truth comes to be regarded as self-evident.       – Arthur Schopenhauer

Perhaps we cannot raise the wind. But each of us can put up the sail, so that when the wind comes we can catch it.  – E.F. Schumacher

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.         – Albert Schweitzer

No cause is hopeless if it is just. Errors, no matter how popular, carry the seeds of their own destruction.—John W. Scoville

If you would make a man happy, do not add to his possessions but subtract from the sum of his desires. – Seneca

All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. – George Bernard Shaw

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. – George Bernard Shaw

Indifference is the essence of inhumanity. – George Bernard Shaw

All great truths begin as blasphemies. – George Bernard Shaw

Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel out one another but similars that breed their kind. – George Bernard Shaw

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. – George Bernard Shaw

Social progress takes effect through the replacement of all institutions by new ones; and since every institution involves the recognition of the duty of conforming to it, progress must involve the repudiation of an established duty at every step. – George Bernard Shaw

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. – George Bernard Shaw

Speaking as a man of prejudice, I should say that when you prevent me from doing anything I want to do, that is persecution; but when I prevent you from doing anything you want to do, that is law, order, and morals.      – George Bernard Shaw

At times, it is better to keep your mouth shut and let people wonder if you’re a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. – James Sinclair

One can be committed to conformity or one can be committed to truth, but not both. – George H. Smith

Every man who says frankly and fully what he thinks is doing a public service.  – Leslie Stephen

Paternity is a career imposed on you without any inquiry into your fitness. – Adlai Stevenson

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular. – Adlai Stevenson

The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him.         — Henry L. Stimson

When war comes, reason is regarded as treason.         — I.F. Stone

The more a man knows, the more he forgives. – Catherine the Great

It is not enough to be busy. The question is: What are we busy about? – Henry David Thoreau

In 1848, Thoreau went to jail for refusing, as a protest against the Mexican war, to pay his poll tax. When RW Emerson came to bail him out, Emerson said, ‘Henry, what are you doing in there?’ Thoreau quietly replied, ‘Ralph, what are you doing out there?’  – Henry David Thoreau

If I repent of anything, it is likely to be my good behavior. – Henry David Thoreau

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root. – Henry David Thoreau

We perceive and are affected by changes too subtle to be described. – Henry David Thoreau

I learned this at least by experiment: That if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.            – Henry David Thoreau

When the true criminals are running around free, the only honorable place for a decent human being is in prisons.  – Henry David Thoreau

Leadership: Getting people to do what they don’t want to do and getting them to like it. – Harry Truman

The difference between the right and nearly right word is the same as that between lightning and a lightning bug.     – Mark Twain

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming…’Wow! What a ride!’ — Unknown

For someone who doesn’t care, it is easy to overcome your grief.       — Unknown

Sex is like snow: You never know how many inches you are going to get or how long it’s going to last. — Unknown

If the only tool you have is a hammer, then all the problems look like nails. — Unknown

If you can’t change your mind, are you sure you still have one? — Unknown

If knowledge is unknowable, how do we know this? — Unknown

In America, all that is well said is believed. — Unknown

Knowledge breeds self-awareness; grades breed self-deception. A grade on a transcript has nothing to do with reality. It is a symbol of having conformed.       — Unknown

Revolutions begin when people who are defined as problems achieve the power to redefine the problem. — Unknown

The ability to anticipate the consequences of present acts is a sign of maturity. — Unknown

The essence of good government is knowing how much of the future to put in the present.   — Unknown

The greatest test of character occurs when we witness how an individual uses power that is acquired. — Unknown

The strongest person in the world is the person that stands most alone. — Unknown

A clear conscience is a sign of a bad memory. – Unknown

Only dead fish swim with the stream.  – Unknown

To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is never to have died. — Unknown

Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm. — Unknown

What we do for ourselves dies with us; what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. — Unknown

When you have too much of something, you tax it. When you have too little of something, you subsidize it. — Unknown

When you teach right by force, the only thing that you teach is that force is right.      — Unknown

Tradition is the albatross around the neck of progress. – Bill Veek

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. — Voltaire

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe. – H.G. Wells

Prisons are to crime what greenhouses are to plants. – Harry Whittington

The economist is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. – Oscar Wilde

Spring is nature’s way of saying “let’s party!” – Robin Williams

I have always believed that the freedom of speech was the greatest safety because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise that fact by speaking. – Woodrow Wilson

A life sentence of frustration is the inevitable result of avoiding the effort  to conquer the obstacles we encounter. – Barbara Winter

It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world. – Mary Wollstonecraft

Three things you can always get in America are caffeine, a bible, and a gun. — Yippies

Nothing is illegal if a hundred businessmen band together and do it. – Andrew Young


I urge you to email me (dom@walkablestreets.com) or leave a comment if you have a suggested addition or subtraction from this list. Or if you have any other thoughts about this list.


Each list in this blog contains my own personal opinions based on my personal experiences. I acknowledge that there may be a need to add or subtract from these lists (or to create a new subject list), and I welcome such suggestions. The lists are not ordered from higher to lower quality. Each list is a work in progress.

50 Years Memoir CoverMy memoir can be purchased here:

Paperback = http://goo.gl/9S2Uab Hardcover =  http://goo.gl/S5ldyF

My book, The Car is the Enemy of the City (WalkableStreets, 2010), can be purchased here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-car-is-the-enemy-of-the-city/10905607 Car is the Enemy book cover

My book, Road to Ruin, can be purchased here:


My Adventures blog


My Best-Ever Lists blog


Run for Your Life! Dom’s Dangerous Opinions blog


My Town & Transportation Planning website


My Plan B blog


My Facebook profile


My YouTube video library


My Picasa Photo library


My Author spotlight



About Dom Nozzi

Urban designer, Complete Streets instructor, smart growth specialist, town planner, walkable & bikeable streets & trails specialist, writer, editor, speaker, world adventurer, skier, kayaker, SCUBA diver, bicyclist, hiker, dancer, book reader, urbanist. Make my own beer, wine, pasta, bread. Live by the motto that it is the things we do NOT do that we later regret. Life is too short to not live it to the fullest.
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