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





Our ideals are our better selves.


Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888, American educator, social reformer)


Idealism is the despot of thought, just as politics is the despot of will.


Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876, Russian political theorist)


The attainment of an ideal is often the beginning of a disillusion.


Stanley Baldwin (1867-1947, British Prime Minister)


Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality the cost becomes prohibitive.


William F. Buckley (1925-, American writer)


The idealist's program of political or economic reform may be impracticable, absurd, demonstrably ridiculous; but it can never be successfully opposed merely by pointing out that this is the case. A negative opposition cannot be wholly effectual: there must be a competing idealism; something must be offered that is not only less objectionable but more desirable.


Charles Horton Cooley (1864-1929, American sociologist)


Instead of killing and dying in order to produce the being that we are not, we have to live and let live in order to create what we are.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


The actual well seen is ideal.


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


Nearly all the Escapists in the long past have managed their own budget and their social relations so unsuccessfully that I wouldn't want them for my landlords, or my bankers, or my neighbors. They were valuable, like powerful stimulants, only when they were left out of the social and industrial routine.


Willa Cather (1876-1947, American author)


The idealist walks on tiptoe, the materialist on his heels.


Malcolm De Chazal (1902-1981, French writer)


No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism.


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


Why should we strive, with cynic frown, to knock their fairy castles down?


Eliza Cook (1818-1889, British poet)


There is no force so democratic as the force of an ideal.


Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933, American President (30th))


An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous.'


Henry Ford (1863-1947, American industrialist, founder of Ford Motor Company)


I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.


Anne Frank (1929-1945, German Jewish refugee, diarist)


It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet, I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.


Anne Frank (1929-1945, German Jewish refugee, diarist)


Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.


John Galsworthy (1867-1933, British novelist, playwright)


Idealists are foolish enough to throw caution to the winds. They have advanced mankind and have enriched the world.


Emma Goldman (1869-1940, American anarchist)


An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.'


Sidney J. Harris (1917-, American journalist)


What we need most, is not so much to realize the ideal as to idealize the real.


Francis Herbert Hedge (1846-1924, British philosopher)


Ideals are the world's masters.


Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881, American author)


Man is born a predestined idealist, for he is born to act. To act is to affirm the worth of an end, and to persist in affirming the worth of an end is to make an ideal.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.


Herbert Clark Hoover (1874-1964, American President (31st))


We for a certainty are not the first have sat in taverns while the tempest hurled their hopeful plans to emptiness, and cursed whatever brute and blackguard made the world.


A. E. Housman (1859-1936, British poet, classical scholar)


When your dreams tire, they go underground and out of kindness that's where they stay.


Libby Houston (1941-, British poet)


Our ideals, like pictures, are made from lights and shadows.


Joseph Joubert (1754-1824, French moralist)


Don't use that foreign word "ideals." We have that excellent native word "lies."


Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906, Norwegian dramatist)


You should never have your best trousers on when you turn out to fight for freedom and truth.


Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906, Norwegian dramatist)


Our salvation is in striving to achieve what we know we'll never achieve.


Ryszard Kapuscinski (1932, Polish report and foreign correspondent)


Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.


Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968, American attorney general, senator)


When one paints an ideal, one does not need to limit one's imagination.


Ellen Key (1849-1926, Swedish author, feminist)


A perfect human being: Man in search of his ideal of perfection. Nothing less.


Pir Vilayat Khan (1916-, Western philosopher teacher, master, author)


The enemy of idealism is zealotry.


Neil Kinnock (1942-, British politician)


It is the style of idealism to console itself for the loss of something old with the ability to gape at something new.


Karl Kraus (1874-1936, Austrian satirist)


Idealist: a cynic in the making.


Irving Layton (1912-, Canadian poet)


If you are going to build something in the air it is always better to build castles than houses of cards.


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


Some day the soft Ideal that we wooed confronts us fiercely, foe-beset, pursued, and cries reproachful: "Was it then my praise, and not myself was loved? Prove now thy truth; I claim of thee the promise of thy youth."


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


The true ideal is not opposed to the real but lies in it; and blessed are the eyes that find it.


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


Many have dreamed up republics and principalities that have never in truth been known to exist; the gulf between how one should live and how one does live is so wide that a man who neglects what is actually done for what should be done learns the way to self-destruction rather than self-preservation.


Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527, Italian author, statesman)


An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it is also more nourishing.'


H. L. Mencken (1880-1956, American editor, author, critic, humorist)


The idealist is incorrigible: if he is thrown out of his heaven he makes an ideal of his hell.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


Some men can live up to their loftiest ideals without ever going higher than a basement.


Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919,  American President (26th))


The ideal, without doubt, varies, but its enemies, alas, are always the same.


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


I am an idealist. I don't know where I'm going but I'm on my way.


Carl Sandburg (1878-1967, American poet)


Ideals are like the stars: we never reach them, but like the mariners of the sea, we chart our course by them.


Carl Schurz (1829-1906, German-born American senator)


A man gazing on the stars is proverbially at the mercy of the puddles in the road.


Alexander Smith (1830-1867, Scottish poet, author)


When they come downstairs from their Ivory Towers, idealists are very apt to walk straight into the gutter.


Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946, Anglo-American essayist, aphorist)


The true measure of a man is the height of his ideals, the breadth of his sympathy, the depth of his convictions, and the length of his patience.


Author Unknown


Saddle your dreams before you ride 'em.


Mary Webb (1881-1927, British novelist)


A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


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