Some of my favorite quotations

I have been putting together some of my favorite quotations from a variety of sources. I will be adding quotations from time to time.

Quotes on forgiveness
Quotes by Victor Hugo
On Reality

Quotes on forgiveness

Corrie Ten Boom

Forgiveness is a matter of choice not feelings. When we allow ourselves to brood, we have not truly forgiven.
"Forgiveness is an act of the will and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart."

"Forgiveness is the key which unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It breaks the chains of bitterness and shackles of selfishness."

Anne Lamott

"I heard someone say once, that forgiveness is having given up all hope of having had a better past." (from Operating Instructions p.210)
"Everywhere I turned were helpful household hints on loving one's enemies, on turning the other cheek, and on how doing that makes you look in a whole new direction. There were admonitions about the self-destructiveness of not forgiving people, and reminders that this usually doesn't hurt other people so much as it hurts you. In fact, not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die." (from Traveling Mercies p.134)

A definition of forgiveness (source unknown)


W. Ury

During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln made a speech in which he referred sympathetically to the Southern rebels. An elderly lady, a staunch Unionist, upbraided him for speaking kindly of his enemies when he ought to be thinking of destroying them. His reply was classic: "Why, madam," Lincoln answered, "do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends? (from Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People, W. Ury, (Bantam Books, New York/ Toronto London/Sydney, 1991), p. 146.)
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Quotes by Victor Hugo

I first heard this quote on NPR's Morning Edition during one of Bob Edwards "Fridays with Red," when he would interview the legendary baseball broadcaster Red Barber. One New Year's, Bob asked Red if he had any New Year's Resolutions. Red replied that he didn't believe in making New Year's Resolutions, but tried to live his life with the principles revealed in this quote.

Have courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the small ones, and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace, God is awake.
-- Victor Hugo from the book ""The letters of Victor Hugo: from exile, and after the fall of the Empire" This letter was dated 1841.
Click here to hear Red Barber read the above quote

I found the following sets of Victor Hugo quotations on a variety of web sites. I have included links for the sites where I found each set of quotations.

Great QuotationsQuotes) By Victor Hugo To Inspire and Motivate You To Achieve Your Dreams!


Separated lovers cheat absence by a thousand fancies which have their own reality. They are prevented from seeing one another and they cannot write; nevertheless they find countless mysterious ways of corresponding, by sending each other the song of birds, the scent of flowers, the laughter of children, the light of the sun, the sighing of the wind, and the gleam of the stars --all the beauties of creation.

Age and Aging

Forty is the old age of youth, fifty is the youth of old age.


Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause.


We may remark in passing that to be blind and beloved may, in this world where nothing is perfect, be among the most strangely exquisite forms of happiness. The supreme happiness in life is the assurance of being loved; of being loved for oneself, even in spite of oneself; and this assurance the blind man possesses. In his affliction, to be served is to be caressed. Does he lack anything? no. Possessing love he is not deprived of light. A love, moreover, that is wholly pure. There can be no blindness where there is this certainty.

Common Sense

Common sense is in spite of, not as the result of education.


Great perils have this beauty, that they bring to light the fraternity of strangers.


In this world, which is so plainly the antechamber of another, there are no happy men. The true division of humanity is between those who live in light and those who live in darkness. Our aim must be to diminish the number of the latter and increase the number of the former. That is why we demand education and knowledge.


Liberation is not deliverance.


Life's greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved.


There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.


Jesus wept; Voltaire smiled. From that divine tear and from that human smile is derived the grace of present civilization.

Life and Living

Those who live are those who fight.


To love another person is to see the face of God. [Les Miserables]


The greatest blunders, like the thickest ropes, are often compounded of a multitude of strands. Take the rope apart, separate it into the small threads that compose it, and you can break them one by one. You think, "That is all there was!" But twist them all together and you have something tremendous.


Popularity? It's glory's small change.


Let us have compassion for those under chastisement. Alas, who are we ourselves? Who am I and who are you? Whence do we come and is it quite certain that we did nothing before we were born? This earth is not without some resemblance to a gaol. Who knows but that man is a victim of divine justice? Look closely at life. It is so constituted that one senses punishment everywhere.


My tastes are aristocratic, my actions democratic.

Will and Will Power

People do not lack strength; they lack will.

Life is a flower of which love is the honey.

I had a dream my life would be different from this hell I am living, so different from what it seemed. Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

Music expresses that which can not be said about that which it is impossible to be silent.

What is love? I have met in the streets a very poor young man who was in love. His hat was old, his coat worn, the water passed through his shoes and the stars through his soul.

As the purpose is emptied the heart is filled.

Genius is a promontory jutting out into the future.

It is not enough to conquer; one must know how to seduce.

Thought is the labor of intellect, reverie is its pleasure.

The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but the one who causes the darkness.

Sorrow is a fruit. God does not allow it to grow on a branch that is too weak to bear it.

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.

Quote me on it

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labour

An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.

Hell is an outrage on humanity. When you tell me that your deity made you in his image, I reply that he must have been very ugly.

It is not enough to be wicked to prosper.

He who opens a school door, closes a prison.

As the purse is emptied the heart is filled.

Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.

Do not ask the name of the person who seeks a bed for the night. He who is reluctant to give his name is the one who most needs shelter.

Initiative is doing the right thing without being told.

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On Reality

Marvin (from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) on reality.

Jane Wagner, from In Search of Intelligent Life in the Universe

Reality is the leading cause of stress for those who are in touch with it.

I always wanted to be somebody when I grew up. Now I see I should have been more specific.

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Terry Pratchett

"I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it."

Audre Lorde

"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences."

Mark Twain

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime

Auguste Rodin, sculptor (1840-1917)

"Patience is also a form of action."

Bertrand Russell

"The fact that an opinion is widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd."
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Last updated: January 25, 2022