Perspective

There are truths on this side of the Pyranees, which are falsehoods on the other. ~Blaise Pascal
If you do not raise your eyes you will think that you are the highest point. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds. ~Robert Green Ingersoll
Advice to children crossing the street: damn the lights. Watch the cars. The lights ain’t never killed nobody. ~Moms Mabley
The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. ~H.L. Mencken, Minority Report, 1956
Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships. ~Charles Simic
The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. ~Ivy Baker Priest
Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you. ~Richard Brinsley Sheridan
People who look through keyholes are apt to get the idea that most things are keyhole shaped. ~Author Unknown
I am chained to the earth to pay for the freedom of my eyes. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
No object is mysterious. The mystery is your eye. ~Elizabeth Bowen, The House in Paris, 1935
Sin is geographical. ~Bertrand Russell
I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years’. ~Henry Moore
Set out from any point. They are all alike. They all lead to a point of departure. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
Someone said, “The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did.” Precisely, and they are that which we know. ~T.S. Eliot
Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time. ~H.L. Mencken
A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works. ~Bill Vaughan
In order for something to become clean, something else must become dirty. ~Imbesi’s Conservation of Filth Law
If you’re being run out of town, get in front of the crowd and make it look like a parade. ~Author Unknown
Do not call any work menial until you have watched a proud person do it. ~Robert Brault
Chaos is a name for any order that produces confusion in our minds. ~George Santayana
We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions. ~Ian Percy
The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. ~Henry Miller
All honor’s wounds are self-inflicted. ~Andrew Carnegie
The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on. ~Joseph Heller, Catch-22
There’s no such thing as bragging. You’re either lying or telling the truth. ~Al Oliver
I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet. ~Denis Waitely
A penny will hide the biggest star in the Universe if you hold it close enough to your eye. ~Samuel Grafton
Is the glass half empty, half full, or twice as large as it needs to be? ~Author Unknown
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. ~Abraham Maslow
Don’t think of organ donations as giving up part of yourself to keep a total stranger alive. It’s really a total stranger giving up almost all of themselves to keep part of you alive. ~Author Unknown
Be careful how you interpret the world: It is like that. ~Erich Heller
Astronomers always work in the past; because light takes time to move from one place to another, they see things as they were, not as they are. ~Neale E. Howard, The Telescope Handbook and Star Atlas, 1967
Each act is virgin, even the repeated ones. ~René Char
We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. ~Anaïs Nin
The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress. ~Joseph Joubert, Pensées, 1842
The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he will brag a little if he discovers that his great-grandfather was a pirate. ~Bern Williams
No man but feels more of a man in the world if he have but a bit of ground that he can call his own. However small it is on the surface, it is four thousand miles deep; and that is a very handsome property. ~Charles Dudley Warner
The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius. ~Sid Caesar
When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute – and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity. ~Albert Einstein
Feast, n. A festival. A religious celebration usually signalized by gluttony and drunkenness, frequently in honor of some holy person distinguished for abstemiousness. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. ~Arthur Schopenhauer, “Studies in Pessimism,” Psychological Observations, 1851
Efficiency is intelligent laziness. ~David Dunham
It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall. ~Mexican Proverb
If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. ~Carl Sagan
A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying… that he is wiser today than he was yesterday. ~Alexander Pope, in Swift, Miscellanies
Hay is more acceptable to an ass than gold. ~Latin Proverb
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil Gibran
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
Every man regards his own life as the New Year’s Eve of time. ~Jean Paul Richter
All the suns labor to kindle your flame and a microbe puts it out. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
There is no burnt rice to a hungry person. ~Philippine Proverb
If one man offers you democracy and another offers you a bag of grain, at what stage of starvation will you prefer the grain to the vote? ~Bertrand Russell
Dare to turn life on its end, and you may find that topsy-turvy is a truer perspective than turvy-topsy. ~Robert Brault
Nothing is further than Earth from Heaven: nothing is nearer than Heaven to Earth. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
As far as the Moon is concerned, he is always full. ~Terri Guillemets
Nothing in the universe can travel at the speed of light, they say, forgetful of the shadow’s speed. ~Howard Nemerov
How many of our daydreams would darken into nightmares, were there a danger of their coming true! ~Logan Pearsall Smith
Everybody’s talking about people breaking into houses but there are more people in the world who want to break out of houses. ~Thornton Wilder, The Matchmaker, 1955
A statistician made a few calculations and discovered that since the birth of our nation more lives had been lost in celebrating independence than in winning it. ~Curtis Billings
If I had been around when Rubens was painting, I would have been revered as a fabulous model. Kate Moss? Well, she would have been the paintbrush. ~Dawn French
Flowers often grow more beautifully on dung-hills than in gardens that look beautifully kept. ~Saint Francis de Sales
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
~William Blake, “Auguries of Innocence,” 1810
It is seldom indeed that one parts on good terms, because if one were on good terms one would not part. ~Marcel Proust, The Fugitive, Remembrance of Things Past, 1925
The rich would have to eat money if the poor did not provide food. ~Russian Proverb
My play was a complete success. The audience was a failure. ~Ashleigh Brilliant
The tyrant is nothing but a slave turned inside out. ~Herbert Spencer
The bluebird carries the sky on his back. ~Henry David Thoreau
Expectant of greater things,
We try climbing –
Higher
And Higher;
An effort that costs us much,
Leaving us short of breath
To find only
The ground below is much prettier.
~Phillip Pulfrey, “Mountains” Love, Abstraction and other Speculations, www.originals.net
There are those whose sole claim to profundity is the discovery of exceptions to the rules. ~Paul Eldridge
There’s an alternative. There’s always a third way, and it’s not a combination of the other two ways. It’s a different way. ~David Carradine
The violence we do to ourselves in order to remain faithful to the one we love is hardly better than an act of infidelity. ~François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Maxims, 1665
The chains that bind us most closely are the ones we have broken. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
If you see the world in black and white, you’re missing important grey matter. ~Jack Fyock
A boil is no big deal. On someone else’s neck. ~Jewish Saying
I thank Thee first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed. ~Matthew Henry
In the ideal sense nothing is uninteresting; there are only uninterested people. ~Brooks Atkinson
Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision. ~Stevie Wonder
I am not an Athenian or a Greek, I am a citizen of the world. ~Socrates
A “fraternity” is the antithesis of fraternity. The first… is predicated on the idea of exclusion; the second (that is, the abstract thing) is based on a feeling of total equality. ~E.B. White, One Man’s Meat, 1944
If we would see others as they see themselves, our shyness would soon become compassion. ~Robert Brault
Retreat, hell! We’re just advancing in another direction. ~Oliver Prince Smith
Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious. ~Saint Thomas Aquinas
An abridgement may be a bridge: it may help us over the water: but it keeps us from drinking. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
An apology for the Devil: It must be remembered that we have only heard one side of the case. God has written all the books. ~Samuel Butler, Note-Books
All religions issue bibles against him, and say most injurious things about him, but we never hear his side. ~Mark Twain, about the Devil
The shadows: some hide, others reveal. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
No one knows what they’ll do in a moment of crisis and hypothetical questions get hypothetical answers. ~Joan Baez, “What Would You Do If….?”
Daughter am I in my mother’s house;
But mistress in my own.
~Rudyard Kipling, “Our Lady of the Snows,” 1898
What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight. ~Joseph Joubert
With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, “Notebook L,” Aphorisms
A light supper, a good night’s sleep, and a fine morning have often made a hero of the same man who by indigestion, a restless night, and a rainy morning, would have proved a coward. ~Earl of Chesterfield
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my eyes and all is born again.
~Sylvia Plath, “Mad Girl’s Love Song”
I went to a cafe that advertised breakfast anytime, so I ordered French Toast during the Rennaisance. ~Steven Wright
Why assume so glibly that the God who presumably created the universe is still running it? It is certainly conceivable that He may have finished it and then turned it over to lesser gods to operate. ~H.L. Mencken
I can’t say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days. ~Daniel Boone
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. ~William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911
Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is the lightning that does the work. ~Mark Twain
I have scarcely touched the sky and I am made of it. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem. ~G.K. Chesterton
There is no possible line of conduct which has at some time and place been condemned, and which has not at some other time and place been enjoined as a duty. ~William Lecky
What was most significant about the lunar voyage was not that men set foot on the moon but that they set eye on the earth. ~Norman Cousins
I’m right-handed, whereas the fellow in my mirror is left-handed. I start shaving from the left; he starts from the right. Differences only in perception, but religious wars have been fought over such. ~Robert Brault
If you see a whole thing – it seems that it’s always beautiful. Planets, lives… But up close a world’s all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life’s a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. ~Ursula Le Guin
The tyrant dies and his rule ends, the martyr dies and his rule begins. ~Soren Kierkegaard
If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work.
~William Shakespeare, Henry IV
A gifted small girl has explained that pins are a great means of saving life, “by not swallowing them.” ~Charles Edward Montague, Dramatic Values
[E]very saint has a past and every sinner has a future. ~Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance, 1893
Addictions do come in handy sometimes: at least you have to get out of bed for them. ~Martin Amis
If a fanatic is willing to give his life for a cause, he’s probably willing to give yours as well. ~David Gerrold
I’m afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning. ~Andy Warhol
The highest virtue here may be least in another world. ~Kahlil Gibran
Education is indoctrination if you’re white – subjugation if you’re black. ~James Baldwin
I never ask God to give me anything; I only ask him to put me where things are. ~Mexican Proverb
Distance is inspiration’s best hearting. ~E. Marshall
If you cry “Forward,” you must make plain in what direction to go. ~Anton Chekov
A full heart has room for everything and an empty heart has room for nothing. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
The best rose-bush, after all, is not that which has the fewest thorns, but that which bears the finest roses. ~Henry Van Dyke
All men have a reason, but not all men can give a reason. ~John Henry Cardinal Newman
Presence is more than just being there. ~Malcolm S. Forbes, The Further Sayings of Chairman Malcolm
Plagiarists, at least, have the merit of preservation. ~Benjamin Disraeli
The answer to poverty is not charity, the solution to abortion is not laws, the key to saving the environment is not recycling. As Thoreau so wisely noted, we must strike at the root, not hack at the branches. ~Tere Saudavel
Injury, when it is slight, upsets me; when it is strong it calms me. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
A child on a farm sees a plane fly overhead and dreams of a faraway place. A traveler on the plane sees the farmhouse below and dreams of home. ~Robert Brault
Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you. ~Andre Gide

~John Updike, “Mirror,”
Telephone Poles and Other Poems
[A] grass-blade’s no easier to make than an oak. ~James Russell Lowell, A Fable for Critics, 1848
I know what I have given you. I do not know what you have received. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
The judicial mind is too commonly characterized by a regard for a fourth decimal as the equal of a whole number. ~Martin H. Fischer
The enemy of your enemy is your friend. ~Proverb
The ability to reduce everything to simple fundamental laws does not imply the ability to start from those laws and reconstruct the universe. ~Philip W. Anderson, “More Is Different,” Science Magazine
It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how things are in themselves. The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it. ~Carl Jung
Perhaps apathy is a wave of emotions too afraid to burst out of the darkness into the bright light of day. ~Carrie Latet
If a man could have half his wishes, he would double his troubles. ~Benjamin Franklin
For many men, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them. ~Seneca
What’s frustrating about being disliked is that it’s invariably for the wrong reason. ~Robert Brault
An exhibitionist is nothing without a voyeur. ~S.A. Sachs
The same fence that shuts others out shuts you in. ~Bill Copeland
The pyramids will not last a moment compared with the daisy. ~D.H. Lawrence
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ~Marcel Proust
What we see depends mainly on what we look for. ~John Lubbock
An unattempted woman cannot boast of her chastity. ~Michel de Montaigne
When a dog runs at you, whistle for him. ~Henry David Thoreau
Conscience gets a lot of credit that belongs to cold feet. ~Author Unknown
The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but you still have to mow it. ~Author Unknown
And see, no longer blinded by our eyes. ~Rupert Brooke
For a nation which has an almost evil reputation for bustle, bustle, bustle, and rush, rush, rush, we spend an enormous amount of time standing around in line in front of windows, just waiting. ~Robert Benchley, Benchley – or Else!
There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1600
Credulity is the man’s weakness, but the child’s strength. ~Charles Lamb, Essays of Elia, Witches and other Night Fears, 1823
Destiny has two ways of crushing us – by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them. ~Henri Frederic Amiel
The reverse side also has a reverse side. ~Japanese Proverb
‘Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
And robes the mountain in its azure hue.
~Thomas Campbell, Pleasures of Hope
At high tide the fish eat ants; at low tide the ants eat fish. ~Thai Proverb
It takes a while, but eventually we appreciate that the people who were always there for the special occasions of our youth had other things to do. ~Robert Brault
Innocence most often is a good fortune and not a virtue. ~Anatole France
Without the aid of prejudice and custom, I should not be able to find my way across the room. ~William Hazlitt, Sketches and Essays, 1839
The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. ~Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Each moment is a place you’ve never been. ~Mark Strand
There is but an inch of difference between the cushioned chamber and the padded cell. ~Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Now, what is it which makes a scene interesting? If you see a man coming through a doorway, it means nothing. If you see him coming through a window – that is at once interesting. ~Billy Wilder
Finish last in your league and they call you idiot. Finish last in medical school and they call you doctor. ~Abe Lemons
A hole is nothing at all, but you can still break your neck in it. ~Author Unknown
Everything’s got a moral if only you can find it. ~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
To really enjoy the better things in life, one must first have experienced the things they are better than. ~Oscar Holmolka
Perhaps there should be one day a week when you tackle your “Things I Gotta Undo” list. ~Robert Brault
When those waiters ask me if I want some fresh ground pepper, I ask if they have any aged pepper. ~Andy Rooney
If we escape punishment for our vices, why should we complain if we are not rewarded for our virtues? ~John Churton Collins, Aphorisms in the English Review, 1914
We have them just where they want us. ~James T. Kirk
Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not. ~George Bernard Shaw
Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
Chaperons don’t enforce morality; they force immorality to be discreet. ~Judith Martin
Never is a long, long word, but it’s less frustrating than “God knows when.” ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966
Winning is overrated. The only time it is really important is in surgery and war. ~Al McGuire
A woman who sells herself to buy bread for her aged mother or her child, stands upon a higher moral plane than the blushing maiden who marries a money bag, in order to gratify her frivolous appetite for parties and travel. Of two men, he is the less deceived, the more logical and rational, who pays his companion of an hour in cash, each time, than he who gets a companion for life by the marriage contract, whose society was purchased as much as in the former case. Every alliance between man and woman in which either one is influenced by the substantial or selfish advantage to be gained by it, is prostitution. ~Max Nordau, Conventional Lies of Our Civilization
Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch. ~James Baldwin
There’s such a thin line between winning and losing. ~John R. Tunis
There are always three sides to every story: your side, the other side, and the truth. ~Author Unknown
In the life we might have lived, the years never pass. On the person we might have been, time never leaves its mark. How different would seem our might-have-beens if we could picture them as would-be-nows. ~Robert Brault
Necessity is not an established fact, but an interpretation. ~Friederich Nietzsche
It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the grain of sand in your shoe. ~Author Unknown
Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm. ~Ambrose Bierce
In the strict scientific sense we all feed on death – even vegetarians. ~Spock from Star Trek, “Wolf in the Fold”
Emotion has taught mankind to reason. ~Marquis de Vauvenargues
One man’s frankness is another man’s vulgarity. ~Kevin Smith
I don’t see how an article of clothing can be indecent. A person, yes. ~Robert A. Heinlein
How many merits one sees in those one likes! how many faults in those one dislikes! Yet people fancy they see with their eyes. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827
Travelers never think that they are the foreigners. ~Mason Cooley
If anyone were to be willing to trace his descent through an ape as his grandfather, would he be willing to trace his descent similarly on the side of his grandmother? ~Samuel Wilberforce
What is a promiscuous person? It is usually someone who is getting more sex than you are. ~Victor Lownes, Playboy, 1985
Every vice is only an exaggeration of a necessary and virtuous function. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1836
A liberal is a conservative who’s been arrested. A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged. ~Wendy Kaminer
I always thought a yard was three feet, then I started mowing the lawn. ~C.E. Cowman
It is not the man who has little, but he who desires more, that is poor. ~Seneca
Where there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see. ~Dorthea Lange
It is easier for me to see everything as one thing than to see one thing as one thing. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
We’re all hookers. What matters is dignity. ~Mike Farren
A hen is only an egg’s way of making another egg. ~Samuel Butler
There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. ~Chinese Proverb
A sodomite got very excited looking at a zoology text. Does this make it pornography? ~Stanislaw J. Lec
When a guy goes to a hooker, he’s not paying her for sex, he’s paying her to leave. ~Author Unknown
They’ve got us surrounded again, the poor bastards. ~Creighton W. Abrams
Every exit is an entrance somewhere else. ~Tom Stoppard
A pedestal is as much a prison as any small space. ~Gloria Steinem

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