What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass
and loses itself in the sunset.
~ Crowfoot, Blackfoot Warrior and Orator
Life isn’t about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.
~ George Bernard Shaw
Look at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the the history of our species here — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.
Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The earth is the only world so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes, settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps better no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
~ Carl Sagan (from a public lecture delivered October 13, 1994 . . . also, this quote obviously works better when you imagine it accompanied by a picture of earth taken from deep space.)
There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
~ Albert Einstein
Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.
~ Marie Beyon Ray
Be glad of life
because it gives you
the chance to love
and to work
and to play
and to look at the stars.
~ Henry Van Dyke
The best things in life are the nearest:
Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes,
flowers at your feet, duties at your hand,
the path of right just before you.
Then do not grasp at the stars,
but do life’s plan, common work as it comes,
certain that daily duties and daily bread
are the sweetest things in life.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.
~ Mark Twain
Life is like a movie
write your own ending
keep believing, keep pretending
we’ve done just what we set out to do
thanks to the lovers, the dreamers, and you.
~ The Muppets
Be who you are
and say what you feel
because those who mind don’t matter
and those who matter don’t mind.
~ Dr. Suess
Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.
~ M. Scott Peck
. . . we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
~ Paul Bowles
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.
~ Albert Camus
Living is like licking honey off a thorn.
~ Louis Adamic
He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
~ Muhammad Ali
My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
~ Clarence Buddinton Kelland
Simply the thing I am shall make me live.
~ William Shakespeare
Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
~ James Matthew Barrie
Life isn’t measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced; live your life so that when you die, the world cries and
~ Cherokee Saying
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter to us.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Life is easier than you think. All you have to do is: accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, bear the intolerable, and be able to smile at everything!
Life was meant to be lived and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Life well spent is long.
~ Leonardo Da Vinci
For long you live and high you fly,
for smiles you give and tears you cry,
for all you touch and all you see
is all your life will ever be.
~ Pink Floyd
I have learned this at least by my experiments; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
~ Henry David Thoreau
The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.
~ Henry Miller
Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are sure to miss the future.
~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though it’s hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.
~ Henry Ford
Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
~ Mark Twain
The man who has no inner life is the slave of his surroundings.
~ Henri Frederic Amiel
When I investigate and when I discover that the forces of the heavens and the planets are within ourselves, then truly I seem to be living among.
~ Leon Battista Alberti
A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
~ Walter Bagehot
The life that is unexamined is not worth living.
Remember this: that very little is needed to make a happy life.
~ Marcus Aurelius
. . . and life is what we make it. Always has been, always will be.
~ Grandma Moses
The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.
A human being is part of the whole, called by us the “universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of the consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
~ Albert Einstein
And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
~ Abraham Lincoln
The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.
~ Victor Hugo
Growth is the only evidence of life.
~ John Henry Newman
Find ecstasy in life;
the mere sense of living
is joy enough.
~ Emily Dickinson
Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
~ Helen Keller
Change is not merely necessary to life, it is life.
~ Alvin Toffler
The unique personality which is the real life in me,
I can not gain unless I search for the real life,
the spiritual quality, in others.
I am myself spiritually dead unless I reach out
to the fine quality dormant in others.
For it is only with the God enthroned
in the innermost shrine of the other,
that the God hidden in me,
will consent to appear.
~ Felix Adler
Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think.
~ Jean de la Bruyere
In the attitude of silence
the soul finds the path in a clearer light,
and what is elusive and deceptive
resolves itself into crystal clearness.
Our life is a long and arduous quest after truth.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Life isn’t all beer and skittles.
~ Thomas Hughes
Life is a long lesson in humility.
~ James Matthew Barrie
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
~ Johann Wolfgan von Goethe
It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it’s the journey that matters in the end.
~ Ursula K. LeGuin
Our lives improve only when we take chances — and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
~ Walter Anderson
Life is pure adventure and the sooner we realize this, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.
~ Maya Angelou
However mean your life is, meet it and live it: do not shun it and call it hard names. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friend.
Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.
~ Forrest Gump
The surest way to get a thing in this life is to be prepared. Remember, you are braver than you believe, you are stronger than you seem, and you are smarter than you think.
~ A. A. Milne
I promise to keep on living as though I expected to live forever. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up wrinkles the soul.
~ Douglas MacArthur
In the book of life, the answers of life aren’t in the back.
~ Charlie Brown
The difficulty in life is the choice.
~ George Moore
I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life.
~ Calvin in ‘Calvin & Hobbes’
One cannot have wisdom without living life.
~ Dorothy McCall
In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.
~ Robert Frost
Life is patchwork — here and there, scraps of pleasure and despair. Joined together, hit or miss.
~ Anne Bronaugh
The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more that you try to avoid your
suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt.
~ Thomas Merton
Without discipline, there is no life at all.
~ Katherine Hepburn
Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would just realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful and evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the wisdom to recognize it as such.
~ Henry Miller
Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, not the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.
~ Susan B. Anthony
life 1. The quality or character distinguishing an animal or a plant from inorganic or from dead organic bodies, which is especially manifested by metabolism, growth, reproduction, and internal powers of adaptation to environment.
~ Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary
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[F.Y.I.: some of these quotes may be incorrect or mutilated versions of the originals. I don’t know how far I can trust my inspirational quotation poster. . .]