An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown




It is often better to have a great deal of harm happen to one than a little; a great deal may rouse you to remove what a little will only accustom you to endure.


Grenville Kleiser (1868-1953, American author)


People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.


Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004, Swiss-born American psychiatrist)


Should you shield the valleys from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their canyons.


Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004, Swiss-born American psychiatrist)


Even if misfortune is only good for bringing a fool to his senses, it would still be just to deem it good for something.


Jean De La Fontaine (1621-1695, French poet)


Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.


Madame Neckar


Riches, like glory or health, have no more beauty or pleasure than their possessor is pleased to lend them.


Michel Eyquem De Montaigne (1533-1592, French philosopher, essayist)


There are no accidents so unlucky from which clever people are not able to reap some advantage, and none so lucky that the foolish are not able to turn them to their own disadvantage.


Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)


When great men let themselves be cast down by the succession of misfortune, it becomes apparent to us that they were only sustained by ambition, and not by their mind. So with that plus a great vanity, heroes are made like other men.


Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)


Trouble is the common denominator of living. It is the great equalizer.


Ann Landers (1918-, American advice columnist)


Delicious tears! The heart's own dew.


Letitia Elizabeth Landon


I think hearts are very much like glasses. If they do not break with the first ring, they usually last a considerable time.


Letitia Elizabeth Landon


Being disabled gave me an immense advantage. People are kinder to you. It puts you on a different level than if you go into a situation whole and secure.


Dorothea Lange


There could be no honor in a sure success, but much might be wrested from a sure defeat.


Thomas E. Lawrence (1888-1935, British soldier, Arabist writer)


When the going gets tough, the tough get going.


Frank Leahy


There is no victory without pain.


Lolita Lebron


There is nothing the body suffers which the soul may not profit by.


George Meredith (1828-1909, British author)


So long as one does not despair, so long as one doesn't look upon life bitterly, things work out fairly well in the end.


George Moore (1852-1933, Irish writer)


I'm very grateful that I was too poor to get to art school until I was 21.... I was old enough when I got there to know how to get something out of it.


Henry Moore


You never know what events are going to transpire to get you home.


Apollo 13 Movie


I think the years I have spent in prison have been the most formative and important in my life because of the discipline, the sensations, but chiefly the opportunity to think clearly, to try to understand things.


Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964, Indian nationalist, statesman)


Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with.


Robert Leighton (1611-1684, British clergyman)


In terms of the game theory, we might say the universe is so constituted as to maximize play. The best games are not those in which all goes smoothly and steadily toward a certain conclusion, but those in which the outcome is always in doubt. Similarly, the geometry of life is designed to keep us at the point of maximum tension between certainty and uncertainty, order and chaos. Every important call is a close one. We survive and evolve by the skin of our teeth. We really wouldn't want it any other way.


George Leonard


The game of life is not so much in holding a good hand as playing a poor hand well.


H.T. Leslie


What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.


George Levinger


The happy and efficient people in this world are those who accept trouble as a normal detail of human life and resolve to capitalize it when it comes along.


Bertram H. Lewis


Trouble is the thing that strong men grow by. Met in the right way, it is a sure-fire means of putting iron into the victim's will and making him a tougher man to down forever after.


Bertram H. Lewis


It is in the gift for employing all the vicissitudes of life to one's own advantage and to that of one's craft that a large part of genius consists.


Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799, German physicist, satirist)


Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. The gift of grace increases as the struggles increase.


Saint Rose of Lima


Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


Noble souls, through dust and heat, rise from disaster and defeat the stronger.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or by the handle.


James Russell Lowell (1819-1891, American poet, critic, editor)


One day, with life and heart, is more than time enough to find a world.


James Russell Lowell (1819-1891, American poet, critic, editor)


A small trouble is like a pebble. Hold it too close to your eye and it fills the whole world and puts everything out of focus. Hold it at a proper distance and it can be examined and properly classified. Throw it at your feet and it can be seen in its true setting, just one more tiny bump on the pathway of life.


Celia Luce


God left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity still in the cloud, the oil still in the earth. How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource! We go to Him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that the storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven.


George MacDonald (1824-1905, Scottish novelist)


It is only from the belief of the goodness and wisdom of a supreme being, that our calamities can be borne in the manner which becomes a man.


Henry Mackenzie


Usually when people are sad, they don't do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.


Malcolm X (1925-1965, American black leader, activist)


Who hath not known ill fortune, never knew himself, or his own virtue.


Robert Mallett


You may live in an imperfect world but the frontiers are not closed and the doors are not all shut.


Maxwell Maltz (1944-, Canadian-born American plastic surgeon, author of "Psycho-Cybernetics")


Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity.


Og Mandino (1923-1996, American motivational author, speaker)

Author's website:


Remind thyself, in the darkest moments, that every failure is only a step toward success. Every detection of what is false directs you toward what is true, every trial exhausts some tempting form of error, and every adversity will only hide, for a time, your path to peace and fulfillment.


Og Mandino (1923-1996, American motivational author, speaker)

Author's website:


Search for the seed of good in every adversity. Master that principle and you will own a precious shield that will guard you well through all the darkest valley you must traverse. Stars may be seen from the bottom of a deep well, when they cannot be discerned from the mountaintop. So will you learn things in adversity that you would never have discovered without trouble. There is always a seed of good. Find it and prosper.


Og Mandino (1923-1996, American motivational author, speaker)

Author's website:


There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.


Og Mandino (1923-1996, American motivational author, speaker)

Author's website:


Often God has to shut a door in our face, so that He can subsequently open the door through which He wants us to go.


Catherine Marshall


When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.


Peter Marshall (1902-1949, American Presbyterian clergyman)


The difficulties, hardships and trials of life, the obstacles... are positive blessings. They knit the muscles more firmly, and teach self-reliance.


William Matthews


It is somehow reassuring to discover that the word "travel" is derived from "travail," denoting the pains of childbirth.


Jessica Mitford


The slightest breeze that ever blew; Some slender grass has wavered; The smallest life I ever knew Some other life has flavored.


Angela Morgan


I can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. It's all how you look at it.


Kenfield J. Morley


Only entropy comes easy.


Lewis Mumford (1895-1990, American social philosopher)


Give thanks for sorrow that teaches you pity; for pain that teaches you courage -- and give exceeding thanks for the mystery which remains a mystery still - the veil that hides you from the infinite, which makes it possible for you to believe in what you cannot see.


Robert Nathan (1894-1985, American novelist)


A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.


John Neal


One way to break up any kind of tension is good deep breathing.


Byron Nelson (1912-, American golfer)


Stumbling is not falling.


Portuguese Proverb (Sayings of Portuguese origin)


What was hard to bear is sweet to remember.


Portuguese Proverb (Sayings of Portuguese origin)


Do you think that you shall enter the Garden of Bliss without such trials as came to those who passed before you?


Qur'an (Holy book)


In a dark time, the eye begins to see.


Theodore Roethke (1908-1963, American poet)


The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.


Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994, American President (37th))


You can tell who the good seamen are during a storm.


Greek Proverb (Sayings of Greek  origin)


In a way, winter is the real spring, the time when the inner things happen, the resurge of nature.


Edna O'Brien


Disease can be seen as a call for personal transformation through metamorphosis. It is a transition from the death of your old self into the birth of your new.


Tom O'Connor


I think my biggest achievement is that after going through a rather difficult time, I consider myself comparatively sane. I'm proud of that.


Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994, American First Lady)


Those lose least who have least to lose.


Rose O'Neil


Life can be real tough... you can either learn from your problems, or keep repeating them over and over.


Marie Osmond


It is the north wind that lashes men into Vikings; it is the soft, luscious south wind which lulls them to lotus dreams.


Ouida (1838-1908, British writer)


No emotional crisis is wholly the product of outward circumstances. These may precipitate it. But what turns an objective situation into a subjectively critical one is the interpretation the individual puts upon it -- the meaning it has in his emotional economy; the way it affects his self-image.


Bonaro Overstreet


Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way. And don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines.


Leroy Satchel Paige (1906-1982, American baseball player)


I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.


Thomas Paine (1737-1809, Anglo-American political theorist, writer)


Difficulties, opposition, criticism-these things are meant to be overcome, and there is a special joy in facing them and in coming out on top. It is only when there is nothing but praise that life loses its charm and I begin to wonder what I should do about it.


Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (1900-1990, Indian diplomat)


They sicken at the calm that know the storm.


Dorothy Parker (1893-1967, American humorous writer)


They sicken of calm, who know the storm.


Dorothy Parker (1893-1967, American humorous writer)


Great and small suffer the same mishaps.


Blaise Pascal (1623-1662, French scientist, religious philosopher)


Reality is a staircase going neither up nor down, we don't move; today is today, always is today.


Octavio Paz (1914-1998, Mexican poet, essayist)


Cushion the painful effects of hard blows by keeping the enthusiasm going strong, even if doing so requires struggle.


Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993, American Christian reformed pastor, speaker, author)


Part of the happiness of life consists not in fighting battles, but in avoiding them. A masterly retreat is in itself a victory.


Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993, American Christian reformed pastor, speaker, author)


I would never have amounted to anything were it not for adversity. I was forced to come up the hard way.


J. C. (James Cash) Penney (1875-1971, American retailer, philanthropist, founder JC Penny's)


The racism, the sexism, I never let it be my problem, it's their problem. If I see a door comin' my way, I'm knockin' it down. And if I can't knock down the door, I'm sliding through the window. I'll never let it stop me from what I wanna do.


Rosie Perez (1963-, American actress, dancer, choreographer)


It is often hard to distinguish between the hard knocks in life and those of opportunity.


Frederick Phillips


Troubles cured you salty as a country ham, smoky to the taste, thick-skinned and tender inside.


Marge Piercy


That which causes us trials shall yield us triumph: and that which make our hearts ache shall fill us with gladness. The only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve: which could not happen unless we had commence with error, ignorance, and imperfection. We must pass through the darkness, to reach the light.


Albert Pike (1809-1891, American lawyer, Masonic author, historian)


Regression in grief must be seen and supported as a means toward adaptation and health.


Lily Pincus


Patience is the best remedy for every trouble.


Titus Maccius Plautus (BC 254-184, Roman comic poet)


Prosperity tries the fortunate, adversity the great.


Pliny The Elder (c.23-79, Roman neophatonist)


The longest day is soon ended.


Pliny The Elder (c.23-79, Roman neophatonist)


Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends.


Plutarch (46-120, Greek essayist, biographer)


Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.


Plutarch (46-120, Greek essayist, biographer)


The depth of darkness to which you can descend and still live is an exact measure of the height to which you can aspire to reach.


Laurens Van du Post


See how time makes all grief decay.


Adelaide Proctor


The seaman tells stories of winds, the ploughman of bulls; the soldier details his wounds, the shepherd his sheep.


Sextus Propertius (c.48-c.15 BC, Italian Latin elegiac poet)


And I think that's important, to know how the water's gone over the dam before you start to describe it. It helps to have been over the dam yourself.


Annie Proulx


There is no greater misfortune than your own.


Arabian Proverb (Sayings of Arabian origin)


A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


Always take an emergency leisurely.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


Misfortune comes to all men.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


It is a great art to laugh at your own misfortune.


Danish Proverb (Sayings of Danish origin)


A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.


English Proverb (Sayings of British origin)


A stumble may prevent a fall.


English Proverb (Sayings of British origin)


On the gallows, the first night is the worst.


Finnish Proverb


To turn an obstacle to one's advantage is a great step towards victory.


French Proverb (Sayings of French origin)


Comfort is not known if poverty does not come before it.


Irish Proverb (Sayings of Irish origin)


Not everything, which is bad, comes to hurt us.


Italian Proverb (Sayings of Italian origin)


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