Growing wiser on the wisdom (or stupidity) of others
Released under a Creative Commons license Daniel Johnson, Jr.. Some Rights Reserved.
Everything written here is my personal opinion and not that of any employer or client, past or present.

Friday, January 31, 2003

"Have compassion for yourself when you write. There is no failure -- just a big field to wander in." -- Natalie Goldberg

"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master." -- Ernest Hemingway

"I wanted to tell the world just one word. Unable to do that, I became a writer." -- Stanislaw Lec

"Do the thing and you'll have the power." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Find a subject you care about and which in your heart you feel others should care about. It is the genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style." -- Kurt Vonnegut

"The chief glory of every people arises from its authors." -- Dr. Samuel Johnson : quotes

From one of the original developers of Blogger.

Edmund Burke on How Evil Can Triumph

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." -- Edmund Burke, via

"She got even in a way that was almost cruel. She forgave them." -- Ralph McGill, on Eleanor Roosevelt, via Bene Diction Blogs On!

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." -- Robert McCloskey, via Bene Diction Blogs On!

"You can judge a good listener by asking the talker at the end of the conversation what the listener's position is on the topic. If the talker doesn't know, then the listener has probably done a good job of listening." -- Source Unknown, via Bene Diction Blogs On!

"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 Bene Diction Blogs On!

"Deal with the faults of others as gently as with your own." -- Chinese proverb, via Bene Diction Blogs On!

"We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions." -- Ian Percy, via Bene Diction Blogs On!

"There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great." -- Gilbert K. Chesterton, via Bene Diction Blogs On!

"Never grow a wishbone...where your backbone ought to be." -- Clementine Paddleford, via Bene Diction Blogs On!

"Our website was not being hacked. I wanted to make a difference and put up peace signs on the Dittocam. If that's all you have to do to make a difference, I wanted to get in on the action." -- Rush Limbaugh

''Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.'' -- Proverbs 23:2

"The quarrels of lovers are the renewal of love." -- Terence

"Start your own revolution and cut out the middleman." -- Billy Bragg, "The Great Leap Forward"

"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book." -- Groucho Marx

Thursday, January 30, 2003

"The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents." -- Nathaniel Borenstein

"I talk to God but the sky is empty." -- Sylvia Plath

"The fear of rejection is worse than rejection itself." -- Nora Profit

"There's a difference between writing for a living and writing for life. If you write for a living, you make enormous compromises, and you might not even be able to uncompromise yourself. If you write for life, you'll work hard; you'll do what's honest, not what pays." -- Toni Morrison

"Security depends not so much upon how much you have as upon how much you can do without." -- Joseph Wood Krutch

"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

"The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run." -- Henry David Thoreau

"More people have talent than discipline. That's why discipline pays better." -- Mike Price

"I can lose a friend like that by my death but not by his." -- George Bernard Shaw

"It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous." -- Robert Benchley

"They write for them, but for me, it's like, 'well, okay, you had that experience, but that isn't really that unique and neither is it interesting.'" -Elvis Costello, from Chirp

"There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person." -- G.K. Chesterton, Heretics, Ch. 1, 1905, via Stuart Buck

"Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man." -- Sophocles

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

"The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world; it is God's gift to humanity." -- George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States of America

"An artist's first responsibility is to himself." -- Miles Davis

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Act like you expect to get into the End Zone!" -- Joe Paterno

"Persistence trumps talent and looks every time." -- Aaron Brown

"If you're going to think anyway, you might as well think big." -- Donald Trump

"Man will become better only when you make him see what he is like." -- Chekov

"There is no such thing as rejection, just an article that hasn't sold yet." -- Duane Newcomb, on selling your written work

"Talent is long patience." -- Gustave Flaubert

"Every accomplishment large and small begins with the same decision: I'll try." -- Ted Key

"They've killed it with one fell swoop." -- David E. Kelley, creator of "The Practice", after his legal drama tanked when ABC moved it to a new Monday slot.

"I'm on the periphery of a lot of despair, of course. You'd have to be stupid not to be. I have my moments when I'm not too thrilled about this whole deal. But at the same time, the songs have never come like this, so I'd have to feel more gratitude than anything else. I'm probably in the intensest creative period of my life." -- Warren Zevon, musician who has terminal lung cancer and is working on a new album, quoted in The New York Times Sunday Magazine.

"All the world is getting less safe." -- Andrew Marshall, the Pentagon's venerable "Yoda," on how new technology makes mankind more vulnerable to attack

"It is hope that maintains most of mankind." -- Sophocles

"When I die, I'm going to leave my body to science-fiction." -- Steven Wright

I'm staying in an old hotel. They send me a wake-up letter." -- Steven Wright

"You never know what you have until it's gone. I wanted to know what I had, so I got rid of everything." -- Steven Wright

"I was born. When I was 23 I started telling jokes. Then I started going on television and doing films. That's what I'm still doing. The end." -- Steven Wright, from the autobiography on his web site

"To the audience, it's like I'm changing the subject every five seconds, but to me, my show's almost like a 90-minute song that I know exactly. I wrote every note, and I know exactly where everything is." -- Steven Wright

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." -- Danny Kaye

"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough." -- Albert Einstein

"A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." -- Richard Bach

"When I want to read a good book, I write one." -- Benjamin Disraeli

"Speak the truth and shame the Devil." -- François Rabelais

Monday, January 27, 2003

"It used to be that you would never see somebody like De Niro or Pacino do press junkets. Now they have to sell their movies. It used to be sort of not cool to even show up at the Golden Globes to accept an award." -- Dennis Quaid, on how Hollywood has changed

When will the world learn that a million men are of no importance compared with one man? -- Henry David Thoreau

"Ultimately a hero is a man who would argue with Gods, and so awakens devils to contest his vision." -- Norman Mailer

"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials." -- Scott Johnson

"Employ time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure." -- From, The Portable 7 Habits

"Don't let today's busy work crowd planning time out of your schedule." -- John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Friday, January 24, 2003

"It is well that war is so terrible -- we would grow too fond of it." -- Robert E. Lee

"I do not know what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death." -- Patrick Henry

"All I know is what I read in the papers." -- Will Rogers

"The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman." -- Willa Cather

"I have never found a boy who really wanted to be bad." -- Edward J. Flanagan, founder of Father Flanagan's Boys Home, Boys Town

"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." -- Nathan Hale

"What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar". -- Thomas Riley Marshall, former Vice President of the United States, under Woodrow Wilson

"A clear attentive mind has no meaning but that which sees is truly seen." -- Gary Snyder

Thursday, January 23, 2003

"It was some kind of genetic ham in me that made me do something up there that I couldn't even watch." -- Chuck Barris on his days hosting "The Gong Show."

"The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction." -- Allen Ginsberg

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

"To believe and to understand are not diverse things, but the same things in different periods of growth." -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance." -- George Bernard Shaw, found on the markerboard at the doctor's office

"It is a great poverty to decide that a child must die that you may live as you wish." -- Mother Teresa, via

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

''I've always been the type of fellow to put all my eggs in one basket, and then promptly take a dump in the basket." -- Robert Downey, Jr., Actor

"If the world were a well-tuned instrument played in rhythm, I would not worship the instrument but him who made it and played it." -- Athenagoras

Monday, January 20, 2003

"Gaining access to that interior life is a kind of... archaeology: on the basis of some information and a little bit of guesswork you journey to a site to see what remains were left behind and you reconstruct the world." -- Toni Morrison

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." -- Doctor's office markerboard

"Seeing is of course very much a matter of verbalization. Unless I call my attention to what passes before my eyes, I simply won't see... It's all a matter of keeping my eyes open." -- Annie Dillard

"A person's work is nothing but a long journey to recover, through the detours of art, the two or three simple and great images which first gained access to their hearts." -- Albert Camus

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train." -- Oscar Wilde

"Blest is that nation whose silent course of happiness furnishes nothing for history to say." -- Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, January 19, 2003

"When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace." -- Hyrum Smith

"Learn to say no. It will be of far more use to you than to be able to read Latin." -- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

"A 'no' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'yes' merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble." -- Mahatma Ghandi

Friday, January 17, 2003

"America's present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration." -- Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States of America (1921-1923)

"An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory." -- Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States of America (1850-1853)

"All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse." -- John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States of America (1825-1829)

"When even one American -- who has done nothing wrong-is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth -- then all Americans are in peril." -- Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States of America (1945-1953)

"I have always done my duty. I am ready to die. My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me." -- Zachary Taylor, 12th President of the United States of America (1849-1850)

"The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable." -- James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States of America (1881)

"I knew that my staying up would not change the [election] result if I were defeated, while if elected I had a hard day ahead of me. So I thought a night's rest was best in any event." -- Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States of America (1889-1893)

"The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men." -- James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States of America (1857-1861)

"I look forward to these confrontations with the press to kind of balance up the nice and pleasant things that come to me as president." -- Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States of America (1977-1981)

"The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity." -- Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States of America (1869-1877)

"The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil." -- James Monroe, 5th President of the United States of America (1817-1825)

"Men may die, but the fabrics of free institutions remains unshaken." -- Chester A. Arthur, 21st President of the United States of America (1881-1885)

"The presidency has many problems, but boredom is the least of them." -- Richard M. Nixon, 37th President of the United States of America (1969-1974)

"That's all a man can hope for during his lifetime - to set an example - and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history." -- William McKinley, 25th President of the United States of America (1897-1901)

"One of the lessons of history is that nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say." -- Will Durant

Thursday, January 16, 2003

"A splendid storehouse of integrity and freedom has been bequeathed to us by our forefathers. In this day of confusion, of peril to liberty, our high duty is to see that this storehouse is not robbed of its contents." -- Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States of America (1929-1933)

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States of America (1933-1945)

"For three long years I have been going up and down this country preaching that government . . . costs too much. I shall not stop that preaching." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States of America (1933-1945)

"I know what I am fit for. I can command a body of men in a rough way; but I am not fit to be President." -- Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States of America (1829-1837)

"It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn't." -- Martin van Buren, 8th President of the United States of America (1837-1841)

"A decent and manly examination of the acts of the Government should be not only tolerated, but encouraged." -- William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States of America (1841)

"All human beings seek to locate themselves in the stream of time." -- Carl N. Degler

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

"While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future." -- Ronald W. Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America (1981-1989)

"The taxpayer - that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination." -- Ronald W. Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America (1981-1989)

"I can never consent to being dictated to." -- John Tyler, 10th President of the United States of America (1841-1845)

"No president who performs his duties faithfully and conscientiously can have any leisure." -- James Polk, 11th President of the United States of America (1845-1849)

"The United States is not a nation to which peace is a necessity." -- Grover Cleveland, 24th President of the United States of America (1893-1897)

"No man has ever yet been hanged for breaking the spirit of a law." -- Grover Cleveland, 22nd President of the United States of America (1885-1889)

"A friend in the market is better than money in the chest." -- Thomas Fuller

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

"There is a foolish corner in the brain of the wisest man." -- Aristotle

"Fighting battles is like courting girls: those who make the most pretensions and are boldest usually win." -- Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States of America (1877-1881)

"Don't worry over what the newspapers say. I don't. Why should anyone else? I told the truth to the newspaper correspondents - but when you tell the truth to them they are at sea." -- William H. Taft, 27th President of the United States of America (1909-1913)

"Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose." -- Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States of America (1963-1969)

"With the Union my best and dearest earthly hopes are entwined." -- Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the United States

"Theories are the offspring of the closet; exceptions and qualifications are the lessons of experience." -- James Madison, 4th President of the United States

"Few men have the virtue to withstand the highest bidder." -- George Washington, 1st President of the United States

"Vision is the art of seeing things invisible." -- Jonathan Swift

Monday, January 13, 2003

"Upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary, if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value." -- John Adams, 2nd President of the United States

"God formed us for his pleasure, and so formed us that we, as well as He, can, in divine communion, enjoy the sweet and mysterious mingling of kindred personalities. He meant us to see Him and live with Him and draw our life from His smile." -- A. W. Tozer

"A child's conduct will reflect the ways of his parents." -- Arnold Lobel

"The family is the building block for whatever solidarity there is in society." -- Jill Ruckelshaus

"Civilization is a method of living and an attitude of equal respect for all people." -- Jane Addams

"Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self." -- May Sarton

"Teaching was the hardest work I had ever done, and it remains the hardest work I have done to date." -- Ann Richards

"Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him." -- Booker T. Washington

"He that would govern others,
first should be master of himself."

-- Philip Massinger

"The true worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood." -- Mary McLeod Bethune

"Always be smarter than the people who hire you." -- Lena Horne

"A happy woman has no cares at all. A cheerful woman has cares but has learned how to deal with them." -- Beverly Sills

"We thought we were running away from the grownups, and how we are the grownups." -- Margaret Atwood

"It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter." -- Marlene Dietrich

"Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my Administration has been minding my own business." -- Calvin Coolidge

"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Urgency of NOW

"We have... come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Let us have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it." -- Abraham Lincoln

"Her beauty was like silence in a cup of water." -- Denis Devlin

"It's always too soon to quit!" -- Norman Vincent Peale

"When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life." -- Greg Anderson

"Every man is the architect of his own fortune." -- Sallus

Sunday, January 12, 2003

"Every people should be left free to determine its own policy, its own way of development, unhindered, unthreatened, unafraid, the little along with the great and powerful… These are American principles." -- Woodrow Wilson

"Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." -- Carrie Fisher

"I don't go to the movies to get a social lesson. I go for entertainment." -- Gerald Ford

"If you have heroes, it's better not to meet them." -- George Martin

The final frontier may be human relationships, one person to another." -- Buzz Aldrin

"One day you wake up and you're as old as s**t." -- Chuck Barris

"God? I'm sure there is one, and I hope he likes me." -- The San Diego Chicken

"If the company is pleasant, the wine gets better." -- Summer Redstone

"There are too many people being left behind and left out." -- Ted Kennedy

"Buddha didn't get married because his wife would have said 'What, are you going to sit around like that all day?'" -- Garry Shandling

"Wear the cape; never let the cape wear you." -- Siegfried and Roy

"I hate mineral-water freaks. drink from the tap and take what's coming to you." -- Ralph Steadman

"Anything that got to do with a pig, I ain't eatin'." -- Ice Cube

"There's no such thing as not being afraid." -- Robert DeNiro

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation." -- John Wooden

"Pick very few objects and place them exactly." -- Phillip Johnson

Friday, January 10, 2003

"Democracy gives every man a right to be his own oppressor." -- James Russell Lowell

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Wise Words from Irene the Q

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever." – John Keats

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." - Blaise Pascal, Pensées

"Mistakes are the portals for discovery." -- James Joyce

"Where observation is concerned, chance favors only the prepared mind." -- Louis Pasteur

"Genius? Nothing! Sticking to it is the genius! ... I've failed my way to success." -- Thomas Edison

"It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped." -- Robert Kennedy

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." -- Lady Bird Johnson

"I always say that a successful parent is one who raises a child so that they can pay for their own psychoanalysis." -- Nora Ephron

"Brave men are a city's strongest tower of defense." -- Alcaeus

"Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped." -- Calvin Coolidge

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

"To understand people, I must try to hear what they are not saying, what they perhaps will never be able to say." -- from the markerboard at the therapist's office

"There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, at any time." -- Calvin Coolidge

"The ability to learn is older -- as it is also more widespread -- than is the ability to teach." -- Margaret Mead

"I'm not smart. I try to observe. Millions saw the apple fall but Newton was the one who asked why." -- Bernard Mannes Baruch

Monday, January 06, 2003

"In giving life and love to a child, whether by birth or by adoption, we participate most nearly in what it means to be made in God's image because then we share -- if only to a limited degree -- the chiefest attributes of God the Father himself. Not to offer love to our own children is to miss one of the foretastes of eternity, the grace of posterity as a sacrament of everlasting life." -- D. Bruce Lockerbie

Wish I'd Said That (WIST)

David C. Hill's online collection of quotations.

"When one is a social failure, the reasons are as clear as day." -- Arnold Lobel

"Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world." -- George Bernard Shaw

"The worth of the state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it." -- John Stuart Mill

"In every society some men are born to rule, and some to advise." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I know why families were created, with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed." -- Anaïs Nin

"Memory is a living thing -- it too is in transit. But during its moment all that is remembered joins and lives -- the old and the young, the past and the present, the living and the dead." -- Eudora Welty

"The manner in which one endures what must be endured is more important than the thing that must be endured." -- Dean Acheson

"Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it's holy ground. There's no greater investment." -- Stephen R. Covey

"Once we have identified our special talents it doesn't matter whether or not we find immediate success in them, what does matter is that we take a step each day towards our intended goal!" -- Josh Hinds

"As long as enthusiasm holds out, so will new opportunities." -- Norman Vincent Peale

Saturday, January 04, 2003

"Be still indebted to somebody or other, that there may be somebody always to pray for you." -- François Rabelais

Friday, January 03, 2003

"It is not a bad thing that children should occasionally, and politely, put parents in their place." -- Colette

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." -- Mark Twain

"If you want to be vice president, stand out here in the rain in your underwear and let everybody see what you're made of." -- Nicholas Frederick Brady

"A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." -- Thomas Mann

"The journal is the ideal place of refuge for the inner self because it constitues a counterworld: a world to balance the other." -- Joyce Carol Oates

"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." -- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Thursday, January 02, 2003

"America is best described by one word: freedom." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"We pay a price when we deprive children of the exposure to the values, principles, and education they need to make them good citizens." -- Sandra Day O'Connor

"There's no such thing as a hero -- only ordinary people asked extraordinary things in terrible circumstances -- and delivering." -- Timothy Mo

"What time is it? The same as usual." -- Samuel Beckett

"It's very strange, but the mere act of writing anything is a help. It seems to speed one on one's way." -- Katherine Mansfield

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

"Writing is the axe that breaks the frozen sea within." -- Franz Kafka

"There looms ahead of me the shadow of some kind of form which the diary might attain. I might in the course of time learn what it is that one can make of this loose, drifting material of life: finding another use for it." -- Virginia Woolf

"All serious daring starts within." -- Eudora Welty

Happy New Year!