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





Great necessities call forth great leaders.


Abigail Adams (1744-1818, American First Lady)


You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.


James Allen (1864-1912, British-born American essayist, author, "As A Man Thinketh")


All your youth you want to have your greatness taken for granted; when you find it taken for granted, you are unnerved.


Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973, Anglo-Irish novelist)


The great must submit to the dominion of prudence and of virtue, or none will long submit to the dominion of the great.


Edmund Burke (1729-1797, British political writer, statesman)


The price of greatness is responsibility.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Great men are true men, the men in whom nature has succeeded. They are not extraordinary -- they are in the true order. It is the other species of men who are not what they ought to be.


Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881, Swiss philosopher, poet, critic)


Greatness is a spiritual condition.


Matthew Arnold (1822-1888, British poet, critic)


The first element of greatness is fundamental humbleness (this should not be confused with servility); the second is freedom from self; the third is intrepid courage, which, taken in its widest interpretation, generally goes with truth; and the fourth -- the power to love -- although I have put it last, is the rarest.


Margot Asquith (1864-1945, British socialite)


We shall never resolve the enigma of the relation between the negative foundations of greatness and that greatness itself.


Jean Baudrillard (French postmodern philosopher, writer)


Because you are a great lord, you believe yourself to be a great genius. You took the trouble to be born, but no more.


Pierre De Beaumarchais (1732-1799, French dramatist)


Because you are a great lord, you believe yourself to be a great genius. You took the trouble to be born, but no more.


Pierre De Beaumarchais (1732-1799, French dramatist)


He is greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


A really great man is known by three signs: Generosity in the design, humanity in the execution, moderation in success.


Otto Von Bismarck (1815-1898, Russian statesman, Prime Minister)


Great people are meteors designed to burn so that the earth may be lighted.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


Greatness be nothing unless it be lasting.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


The herd seek out the great, not for their sake but for their influence; and the great welcome them out of vanity or need.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


The greatness of a man's power is the measure of his surrender.


William Booth (1829-1912, British religious leader, founder of the Salvation Army)


No one who has come to true greatness has not felt in some degree that his life belongs to the people, and what God has given them he gives it for mankind.


Phillips Brooks (1835-1893, American minister, poet)


The pathway to liberation is to live in the present and free yourself from desiring to become anything.


Buddha (568-488 BC, Indian born, founder of Buddhism)


Great men are the guideposts and landmarks in the state.


Edmund Burke (1729-1797, British political writer, statesman)


It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.


Edmund Burke (1729-1797, British political writer, statesman)


Believe in something larger than yourself.... Get involved in some of the big ideas of your time.


Barbara Bush (1925-, American First Lady, wife of George H. Bush)


Sighing that Nature formed but one such man, and broke the die.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


A great person is one who affects the mind of their generation.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


What millions died that Caesar might be great?


Joseph Campbell (1904-1987, American scholar, writer, teacher)


All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


All great men are gifted with intuition. They know without reasoning or analysis, what they need to know.


Dr. Alexis Carrel (1873-1944, French biologist)


Great men are the commissioned guides of mankind, who rule their fellows because they are wiser.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


The difference between Socrates and Jesus? The great conscious and the immeasurably great unconscious.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


Great people are able to do great kindnesses.


Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)


They're only truly great who are truly good.


George Chapman (1557-1634, British dramatist, translator, poet)


I never wanted to be famous. I only wanted to be great.


Ray Charles (1930-, American musician, singer, songwriter)


Let us not disdain glory too much; nothing is finer, except virtue. The height of happiness would be to unite both in this life.


Vicomte De Chateaubriand (1768-1848, French politician, writer)


Great merit, or great failings, will make you respected or despised; but trifles, little attentions, mere nothings, either done or neglected, will make you either liked or disliked in the general run of the world.


Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield (1694-1773, British statesman, author)


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 (1874-1936, British author)


Great and good are seldom the same man.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834, British poet, critic, philosopher)


Some have greatness thrust upon them, but not lately.


Frank Dane


He's the greatest man who ever came out of Plymouth, Vermont. [On Calvin Coolidge]


Clarence Darrow (1857-1938, American lawyer)


Great men are seldom over-scrupulous in the arrangement of their attire.


Charles Dickens (1812-1870, British novelist)


It is a melancholy truth that even great men have their poor relations.


Charles Dickens (1812-1870, British novelist)


Man is only truly great when he acts from his passions.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


At most, the greatest persons are but great wens, and excrescences; men of wit and delightful conversation, but as morals for ornament, except they be so incorporated into the body of the world that they contribute something to the sustentation of the whole.


John Donne (1572-1632, British metaphysical poet)


I can write good songs. I can sing 'em, and I mean it, I mean it deeply, and I pour everything into that. Other than that, I suck.


Adam Duritz (1965-, American musician, singer, songwriter)


Despite everybody who has been born and has died, the world has just gone on. I mean, look at Napoleon -- but we went right on. Look at Harpo Marx -- the world went around, it didn't stop for a second. It's sad but true. John Kennedy, right?


Bob Dylan (1941-, American musician, singer, songwriter)


The reason a lot of people do not recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around wearing overalls looking like hard work.


Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931, American inventor, founder of GE)


A great man stands on God. A small man on a great man.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Great people are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


He is great who confers the most benefits.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Not he is great who can alter matter, but he who can alter my state of mind.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


The essence of greatness is the perception that virtue is enough.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


The measure of a master is his success in bringing all men around to his opinion twenty years later.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


The search after the great men is the dream of youth, and the most serious occupation of manhood.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


To be great is to be misunderstood.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


No great thing is created suddenly.


Epictetus (50-138, Phrygian philosopher)


Bigness comes from doing many small things well. Individually, they are not very dramatic transactions. Together, though, they add up.


Edward S. Finkelstein


I distrust great men. They produce a desert of uniformity around them and often a pool of blood, too, and I always feel a little man's pleasure when they come a cropper.


Edward M. Forster (1879-1970, British novelist, essayist)


There never was a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


It's not what you take but what you leave behind that defines greatness.


Edward Gardner (American businessman, founder of Soft Sheen Products)


The lights of stars that were extinguished ages ago still reaches us. So it is with great men who died centuries ago, but still reach us with the radiations of their personalities.


Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931, Lebanese poet, novelist)


No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


There are no great men, only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet.


William F. Halsey (1882-1959, American admiral)


There would be no great men if there were no little ones.


George Herbert (1593-1632, British metaphysical poet)


Great men are rarely isolated mountain-peaks; they are the summits of ranges.


Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911, American clergyman, writer)


Greatness does not approach him who is forever looking down.


Hitopadesa (600-1100 AD, Sanskrit fable from Panchatantra)


A great man's greatest good luck is to die at the right time.


Eric Hoffer (1902-1983, American author, philosopher)


To have a great man for a friend seems pleasant to those who have never tried it; those who have, fear it.


Horace (BC 65-8, Italian poet)


After a fellow gets famous it does not take long for someone to pop up that used to sit next to him in school.


Kin Hubbard (1868-1930, American humorist, journalist)


There is a sacred horror about everything grand. It is easy to admire mediocrity and hills; but whatever is too lofty, a genius as well as a mountain, an assembly as well as a masterpiece, seen too near, is appalling.


Victor Hugo (1802-1885, French poet, dramatist, novelist)


Great woman belong to history and to self sacrifice.


Leigh Hunt (1784-1859, British poet, essayist)


He was dull in a new way, and that made many think him great.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


No one ever became great by imitation.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


The superiority of some men is merely local. They are great because their associates are little.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


Greatness is defined by someone who is not simply awesome and wonderful in the sport they compete in but goes beyond that and is great in whatever they do off the track or off the court. They can make a difference in the world, whether it's by helping kids or helping people in need.


Marion Jones


Greatness of name, in the father, ofttimes helps not forth, but overwhelms the son: They stand too near one another. The shadow kills the growth.


Ben Jonson (1573-1637, British dramatist, poet)


Dare to do things worthy of imprisonment if you mean to be of consequence.


(Decimus Junius Juvenalis) Juvenal (c.55-c.130, Roman satirical poet)


Greatness is not standing above our fellows and ordering them around -- it is standing with them and helping them to be all they can be.


Arthur G. Keough


Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. you only need a heart full of grace. a soul generated by love.


Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968, American Civil Rights leader, Nobel Prize winner, 1964)


A position of eminence makes a great person greater and a small person less.


Jean De La Bruyere (1645-1696, French classical writer)


Even the most well intentioned of great men should have several scoundrels nearby. After all, there are some things you cannot ask an honest man to do.


Jean De La Bruyere (1645-1696, French classical writer)


False greatness is unsociable and remote: conscious of its own frailty, it hides, or at least averts its face, and reveals itself only enough to create an illusion and not be recognized as the meanness that it really is. True greatness is free, kind, familiar and popular; it lets itself be touched and handled, it loses nothing by being seen at close quarters; the better one knows it, the more one admires it.


Jean De La Bruyere (1645-1696, French classical writer)


There is a kind of greatness that does not depend upon fortune: it is a certain manner that distinguishes us, and which seems to destine us for great things; it is the value we insensibly set upon ourselves; it is by this quality that we gain the esteem of other men, and it is this which commonly raises us more above them, than birth, rank, or even virtue itself.


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


To achieve greatness one should live as if they will never die.


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


The world isn't kept running because it's a paying proposition. (God doesn't make a cent on the deal.) The world goes on because a few men in every generation believe in it utterly, accept it unquestioningly; they underwrite it with their lives.


Henry Miller (1891-1980, American author)


I want to be great, something special.


Sugar Ray Leonard (1956-, American boxer)


Traditionally the great men of our country have sprung from poor environments; that being so, it would appear we have long suffered from a severe lack of poverty.


Gerald F. Lieberman (American writer)


Whatever you are, be a good one.


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


In our society those who are in reality superior in intelligence can be accepted by their fellows only if they pretend they are not.


Marya Mannes (1904-1990, American writer)


You know, sometimes, when they say you're ahead of your time, it's just a polite way of saying you have a real bad sense of timing.


George McGovern (1922-, American democratic politician)


The superior person will prudently pick the community he will live within, and will choose the proper people to associate with.


Mencius (Mengzi Meng-tse) (c.370-300 BC,  Chinese philosopher)


It is always the adventurers who do great things, not the sovereigns of great empires.


Charles De Montesquieu (1689-1755, French jurist, political philosopher)


Let us never forget that the greatest man is never more than an animal disguised as a god.


Francis Picabia (1878-1953, French painter, poet)


Those who intend on becoming great should love neither themselves or their own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by themselves or others.


Plato (BC 427?-347?, Greek philosopher)


Nobody's ever the greatest anything.


Maralyn Polak


In great things it is enough even to have willed.


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


The greatest men of a nation are those it puts to death.


Ernest Renan (1823-1892, French writer, critic, scholar)


Greatness, in order to gain recognition, must all too often consent to ape greatness.


Jean Rostand (1894-1977, French biologist, writer)


Great men never make bad use of their superiority. They see it and feel it and are not less modest. The more they have, the more they know their own deficiencies.


Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778, Swiss political philosopher, educationist, essayist)


Being too good is apt to be uninteresting.


Harry S. Truman (1884-1972, American President (33rd))


A great thing can only be done by a great person; and they do it without effort.


John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)


The greatest thing a human being ever does is to see something and tell what he sees in a plain way.


John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)


The greatest thing a human being ever does is to see something and tell what he sees in a plain way.


John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)


Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


He is not great who is not greatly good.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)

Source: Twelfth Night


The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power.


William Shakespeare (1564-1616, British poet, playwright, actor)


Great men hallow a whole people, and lift up all who live in their time.


Sydney Smith (1771-1845, British writer, clergyman)


Do not despise the bottom rungs in the ascent to greatness.


Publilius Syrus (85 BC- 43BC, Roman writer)


The mountain remains unmoved at seeming defeat by the mist.


Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941, Indian poet, philosopher)


In my opinion, most of the great men of the past were only there for the beer, the wealth, prestige and grandeur that went with the power.


A. J. P. Taylor (1906-1990, British historian)


Great men are not always wise.


The Holy Bible (Sacred scriptures of Christians and Judaism)


Be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.


The Optimists' Creed


In historic events, the so-called great men are labels giving names to events, and like labels they have but the smallest connection with the event itself. Every act of theirs, which appears to them an act of their own will, is in an historical sense involuntary and is related to the whole course of history and predestined from eternity.


Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910, Russian novelist, philosopher)


There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness and truth.


Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910, Russian novelist, philosopher)


Let your heart soar as high as it will. Refuse to be average.


A. W. Tozer (1897-1963, American preacher)


Well, I wouldn't say that I was in the great class, but I had a great time while I was trying to be great.


Harry S. Truman (1884-1972, American President (33rd))


Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.


Author Unknown


If you would attain greatness, think no little thoughts.


Author Unknown


It is not difficult to get away into retirement; and there live upon your own convictions; nor is it difficult to mix with men and follow their convictions; but to enter into the world; and there live firmly and fearlessly according to your own conscience; that is Christian greatness.


Author Unknown


It is the fate of the great ones of this earth, to be appreciated only after they are gone.


Author Unknown


The first step toward greatness is to be honest.


Author Unknown


The key to unlocking my potential is within me. It is the power of my thought, my vision, and my commitment!


Author Unknown


To achieve great things we must live as though we were never going to die.


Marquis De Vauvenargues (1715-1747, French moralist)


Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service and character.


William A. Ward


It is necessary to be slightly under employed if you are to do something significant.


James Watson (1928-, American geneticist)


All my life I have always known I was born to greatness.


Oprah Winfrey (1954-, American TV personality, producer, actress, author)


A good man, is a good man, whether in this church, or out of it.


Brigham Young (1801-1877, American Mormon leader)


None think the great unhappy, but the great.


Edward Young (1683-1765, British poet, dramatist)


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