Soliciting Quotations
December 26, 2011 9:16 PM   Subscribe

My wife is starting a new blog to kick off the new year, and it's going to be based on an idea that revolves around inspirational quotes, one a week throughout 2012. My daughter and I are in charge of finding the quotes. Care to donate one?

Basically, she wants to be surprised by the quote at the beginning of the week, so she doesn't want to know what they are before each week.

Please contribute your favourite inspirational quote about life, love, time, work, good, evil, pain, or anything. They can be from any source - books, songs, movies, plays, comics, etc.

Thanks, can't wait to read them!
posted by Bobby Bittman to Writing & Language (29 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
My favorite quote: "The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." Saint Augustine
posted by TestamentToGrace at 9:30 PM on December 26, 2011 [3 favorites]

"It's not a question of worrying or of hoping for the best, but of finding new weapons." Gilles Deleuze
posted by facetious at 9:33 PM on December 26, 2011

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized for it anyway." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - Andre Gide

"Sometimes you need to just take a nap and get over it." - Maura Stuard, age 8
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 9:54 PM on December 26, 2011

"We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize." ~Thich Nhat Hanh
posted by headnsouth at 9:58 PM on December 26, 2011

Whatever you are, be a good one.
Abraham Lincoln
posted by vegartanipla at 10:02 PM on December 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Peter's Quotations
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:03 PM on December 26, 2011

"A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things." -- Grace Hopper
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:05 PM on December 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

"In short, the first principle ... when confronting an intractable problem is: bring to bear irrelevant criteria." -- Greg Ulmer
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:06 PM on December 26, 2011

"Call on God, but row away from the rocks." - Hunter S. Thompson
posted by Relay at 10:34 PM on December 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

"Anything mentionable is manageable." - Fred Rogers
posted by DingoMutt at 11:06 PM on December 26, 2011

Bit of a long one, but my personal favorite:

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."

-Henry David Thoreau, from Walden
posted by vohk at 12:26 AM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Some that have inspired me personally:

"A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go though the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain."--Mildred White Struven

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

And vohk's Thoreau quote is on my list too.
posted by pootler at 4:34 AM on December 27, 2011

“Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.”
William Arthur Ward
posted by 2manyusernames at 4:55 AM on December 27, 2011

"Change does not happen in your comfort zone." - Andrea Hess
posted by Mysticalchick at 5:53 AM on December 27, 2011

Here's a bit of a surprising one that I like, sort of about taking on new challenges:
"I shall attack Chemistry, like a Shark!" -Samuel Taylor Coleridge
posted by .kobayashi. at 6:27 AM on December 27, 2011

"I spun some yarn to sell for food
And sold it for two silver coins.
I put a coin in each hand
Because I was afraid
That if I put both together in one hand
This great pile of wealth might hold me back."
– Rabi’a al-Adawiyya
posted by General Malaise at 8:09 AM on December 27, 2011

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
– Plato

Formal courtesy between husband and wife is even more important than it is between strangers.
- Robert A. Heinlein

Patience is the ability to let your light shine after your fuse has blown.
– Bob Levey

Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.
– H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Beware of people who dislike cats.
– Irish proverb
posted by bryon at 9:15 AM on December 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

"Sous les pavés, la plage" - "Underneath the pavement, the beach"

Meaning that beneath the veneer of civilisation, lies the freedom of the natural world. But also, with its origin in Mai '68, suggesting that throwing cobblestones at the French riot police is a legitimate form of political expression.
posted by roofus at 9:37 AM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

For April Fool's:

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
-Groucho Marx
posted by Heretical at 9:37 AM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Something along the lines of "God will never give me more than I can handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much." - Mother Teresa
posted by kat518 at 11:16 AM on December 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

"Sometimes the greatest contribution one can make to a world in turmoil is to be still and do nothing." Unfortunately, I have no idea who said it. I think I read it in a book about Zen or Taoism in 1970. Lord knows I'm doing my part.

"He who does not enjoy his own company is usually right." Coco Chanel

"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" Abraham Lincoln

"The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline, but rather the gradual lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity." Glenn Gould
posted by Corvid at 11:36 AM on December 27, 2011

"Harry, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it. Don't wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee." - Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks)
posted by jbickers at 11:38 AM on December 27, 2011

"A great artist must be shaken by the naked truths that will not be comforted. This divine discontent, this disequilibrium, this state of inner tension is the source of artistic energy." Goethe
posted by La Cieca at 12:38 PM on December 27, 2011

These are my favorites:

"When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step out into darkness, faith is knowing one of two things will happen - there will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly" - attributed to Mother Theresa

"I may not agree with what you said, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -- attributed to Voltaire

"Those who gossip with you will gossip about you" - Persian proverb

Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, "In this world, Elwood, you must be" - she always called me Elwood - "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd (Harvey)
posted by patheral at 1:29 PM on December 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:25 PM on December 27, 2011

"Yesterday you said tomorrow." - from a Nike billboard
posted by aheckler at 3:58 PM on December 27, 2011

"There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level." - Bruce Lee

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'” - Jack Kerouac
posted by fearnothing at 4:57 PM on December 27, 2011

Robert Kennedy, quoting Aeschylus' Agamemnon:

“In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
posted by victory_laser at 2:29 AM on December 28, 2011

By SF Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll:
We do not bury a flower to get another flower. We do not expect happiness to grow from happiness -- only complication grows from happiness. We bury a bulb to get a flower. We take the ugliest part of our lives, the diseased yams and scarred flesh and broken dreams, and we throw them into a pit, taking care to pay attention to every step, and then we wait out the winter.

And then, against all logic: dumb old daffodils, with their eternal message: "You did your best. That's the important thing."
By Adam Gopnick, from an article in the New Yorker:
When you start to cook, as when you begin to live, you think that the point is to improve the technique until you end up with something perfect, and that the reason you haven’t been able to break the cycle of desire and disillusion is that you haven’t yet mastered the rules. Then you grow up, and you learn that that’s the game.
You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.
posted by Lexica at 7:16 PM on December 30, 2011

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