In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.
In this age, the mere example of nonconformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service.
I can remember walking as a child. It was not customary to say you were fatigued. It was customary to complete the goal of the expedition.
No one understands that you have given everything. You must give more.
If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.
Despair is the price one pays for setting oneself an impossible aim. It is, one is told, the unforgivable sin, but it is a sin the corrupt or evil man never practices. He always has hope. He never reaches the freezing-point of knowing absolute failure. Only the man of goodwill carries always in his heart this capacity for damnation.
There are so many things that we wish we had done yesterday, so few that we feel like doing today.
I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.
The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working. Beethoven, Wagner, Bach, and Mozart settled down day after day to the job in hand with as much regularity as an accountant settles down each day to his figures. They didn’t waste time waiting for inspiration.
Talk doesn’t cook rice.
We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.
I have learned to use the word impossible with the greatest caution.
If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be too cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.
Contemplation often makes life miserable. We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.
On May 4, 1897, Duchesse d’Alençon was presiding over a charity bazaar in Paris when the hall accidentally caught fire. Flames spread to the paper decorations and flimsy walls of the booths, and in seconds the place was an inferno. In the hideous panic that followed, many women and children were trampled as they rushed for the exits, while the workmen from a nearby site performed incredible acts of heroism, rushing into the blaze to carry out the trapped women. Some rescuers reached the duchess, who had remained calmly seated behind her booth. “Because of my title, I was the first to enter here. I shall be the last to go out,” she said, rejecting their offer of help. She stayed and was burned to death, along with more than 120 others, mainly women and children.
The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it; but it is also so clear that it is impossible to mistake it.
A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company.
I never thought I’d live this long. Clean living and dirty thoughts probably did it. I don’t believe in adhering to any rules I don’t support and I didn’t vote for. To hell with what people think. Just be who you are and you’ll be happy.