Extra-Special Bonus Aphorisms



"Success: To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
(Ralph Waldo Emerson, submitted by J.P. Bahner)

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
(Theodore Roosevelt, submitted by Kenneth R.)

"To endure is greater than to dare; to tire out hostile fortune; to be daunted by no difficulty; to keep heart when all have lost it -- who can say this is not greatness? (William Makepeace Thackeray, recommended by U.Doran)

"Daydreams of a fair world which would treat him according to his real worth are the refuge of all those plagued by a lack of self-knowledge." (Ludwig von Mises)

"The way of the Tao is reversal." (Lao Tzu)

"Chance favours the prepared mind." (Louis Pasteur)

"It is neither necessary to hope to undertake, nor to succeed to persevere." (William of Orange)

"Economic history is a never-ending series of episodes based on falsehoods and lies, not truths. It represents the path to big money. The object is to recognize the trend whose premise is false, ride that trend, and step off before it is discredited." (George Soros)

"You must have a willingness to do something when everyone else is petrified. You must learn the lesson of following logic over emotion." (Warren Buffett)

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." (Winston Churchill)

"Where there is ruin, there is hope for treasures." (Rumi)

"May a fair road always be open to you." (CHS, April 2, 2006)

"A healthy homecooked family meal and a home garden are revolutionary acts." (CHS, May 2008)

"You don't miss what you no longer want." (CHS, August 2008)

"Food is wealth, health is wealth, energy is wealth; all else is illusion." (CHS, December 15, 2008)

"Meaningful work and meaningful skills make a meaningful life, even if the work is unpaid." (CHS, March 6, 2009)

"If you like eating, begin liking dirt." (CHS, April 6, 2009)

"Either we restrict the foods we eat when we have a choice, or our diet will eventually be restricted by chronic diseases." (CHS, May 9, 2009)

"Greed is a wonderful motivator but fear works much faster." (Riley T., Sept. 2008)

"Democracy can be likened to two wolves and one lamb voting on what to have for lunch." (unknown source, submitted by Tim B.)

"Every effort under compulsion demands a sacrifice of life energy." (Nikola Tesla, submitted by Kenneth R.)

"In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists." (Eric Hoffer, submitted by Angry Saver)

"In times of change, learners will inherit the earth." (Eric Fromm, submitted by Tom P.)

"Just look at us. Everything is backwards; everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the major media destroy information and religions destroy spirituality." Michael Ellner (submitted by Gene M.)

"The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second." John Steinbeck
(submitted by Ken R.)

"Do the thing and you shall have the power." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

"Radical self-reliance begins with rock-solid personal integrity and a willingness to ask cui bono-- to whose benefit?--of every arrangement."
(CHS, October 30, 2009)

"Do you know what amazes me more than anything else? The impotence of force to organize anything." (Napoleon Bonaparte)

"Concentrations of wealth disrupt the ecology of power."
(CHS, March 13, 2010)

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

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." (Leo Tolstoy)

"The path out of darkness begins with those exasperatingly persistent individuals who are constitutionally incapable of capitulation." (Winston Churchill)

"The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty." (James Madison, submitted by Ken R.)

"We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?" (Jean Cocteau)

"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center." (Kurt Vonnegut, via Chinle)

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen." (Mark Twain, via Dublin Mick)

"But we are told that we need not fear; because those in power, being our representatives, will not abuse the powers we put in their hands. I am not well versed in history, but I will submit to your recollection, whether liberty has been destroyed most often by the licentiousness of the people, or by the tyranny of rulers.

I imagine, sir, you will find the balance on the side of tyranny. Happy will you be if you miss the fate of those nations, who, omitting to resist their oppressors, or negligently suffering their liberty to be wrested from them, have groaned under intolerable despotism!

Most of the human race are now in this deplorable condition; and those nations who have gone in search of grandeur, power, and splendor, have also fallen a sacrifice, and been the victims of their own folly. While they acquired those visionary blessings, they lost their freedom."(Patrick Henry)

"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people…. [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and … degeneracy of manners and of morals…. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." (James Madison)

"When sacrifice, trade-offs and accountability are anathema, then so too is liberty." (July 17, 2010, CHS)

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." (Mark Twain)

"You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul. (Mahatma Gandhi, via Ken R.)

"Madison Avenue is a very powerful aggression against private consciousness. A demand that you yield your private consciousness to public manipulation." (Marshall McLuhan)

"...there is a contemporary form of violence to which the idealist fighting for peace by nonviolent methods most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence.

More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his or her work for peace. It destroys one's own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of one's own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful." (Thomas Merton, via Ken R.)

"Experience is a dear teacher, but fools will learn in no other." (Benjamin Franklin, via Eric A.)

"To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness." (Bertrand Russell).

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." (Hunter S. Thompson)

"It's not where you take things from, it's where you take them to." (Jean-Luc Godard)

"The man who has a garden and a library has everything." (Cicero, via Lee Bentley)

"Without health there is no happiness. An attention to health, then, should take the place of every other object." (Thomas Jefferson, 1787, via Ken R.)

"It's hard for bad things to happen when you have no debt." (Howard Lutnick, CEO of Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald)

"I'd rather be condemned than have other people think for me." (reader David C.)

"Our world only cares for unenchanted things." (Li Po, Chinese poet, 701-762 C.E.)

"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power." (Franklin D. Roosevelt, submitted by C. Ikehara)

"A currency is not just stock of ownership in a particular economy. A currency is also the best possible reflection of the quality of supply chain mechanisms within a particular economy." (John Feier)

I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was duty.
I acted and behold, duty was joy.

(Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941, via Dan C.)

"Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority." (Thomas H. Huxley)

"Its not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it." (Aung San Suu Kyi)

"All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns." (Bruce Lee)

"Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it." (Bruce Lee)

"All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun." (Jean-Luc Godard)

"Television is motion sickness of the soul." (Dr. David D.)

"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." (Thomas Jefferson)

"...Suffering to see your youth pass like a drift of smoke, but if it springs up again and comes to life in what you do, nothing has been lost and the power to work is another youth." (Vincent Van Gogh)

"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind." (Henry James, via Lynn B.)

"Reality is just so hard to get past security." (Dan C., "Auntiegrav")

"What we need is not a new technology but a new way of living." (Bernard Rudofsky)

"You do not merely want to be considered just the best of the best. You want to be considered the only one who does what you do.” (Jerry Garcia)

"But I stuck with the practice. The one single way of practice. I made no excuses for myself. I did not allow my practice to fade out in feelings of discouragement. There were rough, rough times. Even times when I thought I was not going to live through it. But I stayed with the practice, no matter what. And this is what each one of you must do. I remember that there were times when I could no longer breathe, times when all went dark before my eyes, times when I thought I was going to pass out. But even then I refused to give in to my old self-centered patterns of behaviour. I did not try to adjust the practice to do it my way. I stuck with the simple practice that was given to me. I cannot stress enough to you the absolute importance of sticking to your practice no matter what. No adjustment is required, no calculation is needed. I went through the same thing that you are going through now, so I can tell you from personal experience what you must do. You must give your life to this, and refuse to let anything, any thoughts, ideas, attitudes, get in your way. Your “yes” must be open. Your resolve must be of steel." (Zen master Harada Tangen Roshi Teisho)

"Victory favors those who take pains." (amat victoria curam)

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." (C.S. Lewis)

"I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone." (Bill Cosby)

"Genius is a non-marketable asset." (CHS, July 17, 2011)

"Progress is not possible without deviation." (Frank Zappa, via Richard Metzger)

"America is in love with Apocalypse. It always has been." (Alexander Cockburn)

"Philosophy is the battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by language." (Wittgenstein, via William S.)

"He who will not risk cannot win." (John Paul Jones)

"When we drink coffee, ideas march in like the army." (Honore de Balzac)

"Don’t underestimate this idea of mine, which calls to mind that it would not be too much of an effort to pause sometimes to look into these stains on walls, the ashes from the fire, the clouds, the mud, or other similar places. If these are well contemplated, you will find fantastic inventions that awaken the genius of the painter to new inventions, such as compositions of battles, animals, and men, as well as diverse composition of landscapes, and monstrous things, as devils and the like. These will do you well because they will awaken genius with this jumble of things. (Leonardo Da Vinci, via Kathy K.)

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing." (Abraham Lincoln)

"I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell." (Harry S. Truman)

"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month." (Theodore Roosevelt)

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." (Thomas Jefferson)

"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." (Calvin Coolidge)

"In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins." (Ulysses S. Grant)

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." (Abraham Lincoln)

"Remember you are just an extra in everyone else’s play." (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." (George Washington)

"Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder." (George Washington)

Lincoln likened the case to that of the boy who, when asked how many legs his calf would have if he called its tail a leg, replied, "Five," to which the prompt response was made that calling the tail a leg would not make it a leg. (source, Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln)

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." (John Quincy Adams)

"Impermanence is swift." (Huaug Po, Tang Dynasty Zen Master, via Lonn V.)

"Some of the worst things in my life never happened." (Mark Twain, via Lonn V.)

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — 'Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood."
(Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self Reliance")

"The function of a writer is to call a spade a spade. If words are sick, it is up to us to cure them. Instead of that, many writers live off this sickness. In many cases modern literature is a cancer of words. There is nothing more deplorable than the literary practice which, I believe, is called poetic prose and which consists of using words for the obscure harmonics which resound about them and which are made up of vague meanings which are in contradiction with the clear meaning." (Jean-Paul Sartre)

There are no apolitical “personal choice” acts; there are only profoundly political acts of resistance or complicity. (CHS, April 2012)

"The function of a committed writer is to reveal the world so that every reader loses her innocence and assumes all her responsibilities in front of it." (Riccardo Pelizzo)

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most adaptable to change." (Charles Darwin)

If we have lost the ability to live within our means and to acknowledge difficult facts, then we have lost everything: our national integrity, our ability to problem-solve, our vigor and our future. (CHS, May 27, 2012)

A reliance on excuses, denial and expediency is the hallmark of adolescence; in adulthood, these are the hallmarks of failure and pathology. (CHS, May 27, 2012)

Incentivize victimhood, fraudulent accounting of income/collateral and gaming the system, and guess what you get? A nation of liars and thieves. (CHS, May 27, 2012)

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." (E.F. Schumacher, via Tom R.)

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries... and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it." (Machiavelli, 1532)

Denial doesn't change reality. It only cripples our response to reality. (CHS, December 14, 2012)

"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things." Leonardo da Vinci)

 
                                                                         
 

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Copyright 2008-2012 Charles Hugh Smith all rights reserved in all media. No reproduction in any media in any format without written permission of the author.