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





If I could wish for my life to be perfect, it would be tempting but I would have to decline, for life would no longer teach me anything.


Allyson Jones


Be a life long or short, its completeness depends on what it was lived for.


David Starr Jordan (1851-1931, American biologist, educator)


Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.


James Joyce (1882-1941, Irish author)


Who has fully realized that history is not contained in thick books, but lives in our very blood?


Carl Jung (1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist)


It is the eternal truth in the political as well as the mystical body, that, where one members suffers, all the members suffer with it.


Junius (1769-1771, Anonymous British letter writer)


Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come.


Franz Kafka (1883-1924, German novelist, short-story writer)


Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.


Immanuel Kant (1724-1804, German philosopher)


Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others


Helen Keller (1880-1968, American blind/deaf author, lecturer, amorist)


It is vanity to desire a long life and to take no heed of a good life.


Thomas a Kempis (1379-1471, German monk, mystic, religious writer)


Life is unfair.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


There is always inequity in life. Some men are killed in a war, and some men are wounded, and some men are stationed in the Antarctic and some are stationed in San Francisco. It's very hard in military or personal life to assure complete equality.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


We would like to live as we once lived, but history will not permit it.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


All of life is a foreign country.


Jack Kerouac (1922-1969, American author)


Living Life Tomorrow's fate, though thou be wise, Thou canst not tell nor yet surmise; Pass, therefore, not today in vain, For it will never come again.


Omar Khayyam (1048-1131, Persian astronomer, poet)


Life is short; live it up.


Nikita S. Khrushchev (1894-1971, Soviet premier)


It is quite true what Philosophy says: that Life must be understood backwards. But that makes one forget the other saying: that it must be lived -- forwards. The more one ponders this, the more it comes to mean that life in the temporal existence never becomes quite intelligible, precisely because at no moment can I find complete quiet to take the backward-looking position.


Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855, Danish philosopher, writer)


Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.


Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855, Danish philosopher, writer)


Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living.


Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855, Danish philosopher, writer)


Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.


Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855, Danish philosopher, writer)


The art of mastering life is the prerequisite for all further forms of expression, whether they are paintings, sculptures, tragedies, or musical compositions.


Paul Klee (1879-1940, Swiss artist)


To live fully is to let go and die with each passing moment, and to be reborn in each new one.


Jack Kornfield


You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the sky, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.


Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986, Indian theosophist)


If we make our goal to live a life of compassion and unconditional love, then the world will indeed become a garden where all kinds of flowers can bloom and grow.


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


It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.


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


We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always a sketch. No sketch is not quite the right word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch of nothing, an outline with no picture.


Milan Kundera (1929-, Czech author, critic)


To be caught up in the nickel-dime, day-to-day, mundane affairs of everyday life is to lose sight of what life is intended to be.


J. A. Kurtnacker Jr.


I would rather think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to come together and make sense.


Rabbi Harold S. Kushner


If our life is unhappy it is painful to bear; if it is happy it is horrible to lose, So the one is pretty equal to the other.


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


Most men make use of the first part of their life to render the last part miserable.


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


There are three stages in a person's life; birth, their life and death. They are not conscious of birth, submit to death and forget to live.


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


They that have lived a single day have lived an age.


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


To live lightheartedly but not recklessly; to be gay without being boisterous; to be courageous without being bold; to show trust and cheerful resignation without fatalism -- this is the art of living.


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


In all aspects of life, we take on a part and an appearance to seem to be what we wish to be seen as -- and thus the world is merely composed of actors.


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


Life, we learn too late, is in the living, the tissue of every day and hour.


Stephen B. Leacock (1869-1944, Canadian humorist, economist)


Not by gain our life is measured, but by what we've lost 'Tis scored; 'Tis not how much wine is drunken, but how much has been outpoured. For the strength of love never standeth in the sacrifice we bear; he who has the greatest suffering ever has the most to share.


Watchman Nee


We have committed the Golden Rule to memory; let us now commit it to life.


Edwin Markham (1852-1940, American poet and editor)


It's better to be an authentic loser than a false success, and to die alive than to live dead.


William Markiewicz


The finest lives in my opinion are the common model, without miracle and without extravagance.


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


There are people who the world approves of who have no virtue besides the vices they use in social life.


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


We are often quite inexperienced as we reach the different stages of life, and we often lack experience even in spite of the number of our years.


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


Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies.


Ann Landers (1918-, American advice columnist)


Life has a practice of living you, if you don't live it.


Philip Larkin (1922-1986, British poet)


Life and love are life and love, a bunch of violets is a bunch of violets, and to drag in the idea of a point is to ruin everything. Live and let live, love and let love, flower and fade, and follow the natural curve, which flows on, pointless.


D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930, British author)


Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved.


D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930, British author)


We only seem to learn from Life that Life doesn't matter so much as it seemed to do -- it's not so burningly important, after all, what happens. We crawl, like blinking sea-creatures, out of the Ocean onto a spur of rock, we creep over the promontory bewildered and dazzled and hurting ourselves, then we drop in the ocean on the other side: and the little transit doesn't matter so much.


D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930, British author)


Most people think life sucks, and then you die. Not me. I beg to differ. I think life sucks, then you get cancer, then your dog dies, your wife leaves you, the cancer goes into remission, you get a new dog, you get remarried, you owe ten million dollars in medical bills but you work hard for thirty-five years and you pay it back and then -- one day -- you have a massive stroke, your whole right side is paralyzed, you have to limp along the streets and speak out of the left side of your mouth and drool but you go into rehabilitation and regain the power to walk and the power to talk and then -- one day -- you step off a curb at Sixty-seventh Street, and BANG you get hit by a city bus and then you die. Maybe.


Denis Leary


Life is something you do when you can't get to sleep.


Fran Lebowitz (1951-, American journalist)


People find life entirely too time-consuming.


Stanislaw J. Lec (1909-1966, Polish writer)


Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.


Tom Lehrer (1928-, American humorist, singer, song writer)


Life is like a box of chocolates: You never know what you're gonna get.


Forrest Gump Movie


Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans.


John Lennon (1940-1980, British rock musician)


God creates the animals, man creates himself.


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


Where there is life there is wishful thinking.


Gerald F. Lieberman (American writer)


Nature does not demand that we be perfect. It requires only that we grow.


Joshua Loth Liebman


If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.


Yutang, Lin (1895-1976, Chinese writer and philologist)


And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.


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


Life without risk is not worth living.


Charles A. Lindbergh (1902-1974, American pilot, made the first flight from New York to Paris)


The proper function of man is to live -- not to exist.


Jack London (1876-1916, American novelist)


Life is real! Life is earnest! And death is not its goal. Dust thou art, to dust returneth, was not spoken of the soul.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


Like a French poem is life; being only perfect in structure when with the masculine rhymes mingled the feminine are.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


It is not the hours we put in on the job, it is what we put into the hours that counts.


Sidney Madwed


Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find "tomorrow" on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday's defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, "If I had my life to live over again. "Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.


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

Author's website:


The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't.


Joseph L. Mankiewicz


Life never becomes a habit to me. It's always a marvel.


Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923, New Zealand-born British author)


Life is not a matter of place, things or comfort; rather, it concerns the basic human rights of family, country, justice and human dignity.


Imelda Marcos (1929-, Philippines First Lady)


One can go back toward safety or forward toward growth.


Abraham H. Maslow (1908-1970, American psychologist)


Life comes from physical survival; but the good life comes from what we care about.


Rollo May (1931-, American psychologist)


We all live in suspense from day to day; in other words, you are the hero of your own story.


Mary McCarthy (1912-1989, American author, critic)


Life in the twentieth century is like a parachute jump; you have to get it right the first time.


Margaret Mead (1901-1978, American anthropologist)


We live, not as we wish to, but as we can.


Menander of Athens (BC 342-291, Greek dramatic poet)


The business of the people must not be neglected... The way of the people is this: If they have a certain livelihood, they will have a fixed heart. But if they do not have a certain livelihood, they will not have a fixed heart. And if they do not have a fixed heart, they will participate in any kind of self-abandonment, moral deflection, depravity, and wild license. And then when they have thus been involved in crimes and you respond by punishing them, all you have done is trapped them.


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


Life is a dead-end street.


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


The true color of life is the color of the body, the color of the covered red, the implicit and not explicit red of the living heart and the pulses. It is the modest color of the unpublished blood.


Alice Meynell (1847-1922, British poet, essayist)


The true color of life is the color of the body, the color of the covered red, the implicit and not explicit red of the living heart and the pulses. It is the modest color of the unpublished blood.


Alice Meynell (1847-1922, British poet, essayist)


It is only after living a fair portion of one's life that one really knows what are the things that matter, the things that will remain unto the end.


Esther Meynell


Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.


Agnes De Mille (1905-1993, American dancer, choreographer, writer)


Life is constantly providing us with new funds, new resources, even when we are reduced to immobility. In life's ledger there is no such thing as frozen assets.


Henry Miller (1891-1980, American author)


We create our fate every day... most of the ills we suffer from are directly traceable to our own behavior.


Henry Miller (1891-1980, American author)


Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.


John Homer Miller


Life is a tough proposition and the first hundred years are the hardest.


Wilson Mizner (1876-1933, American author)


To live without loving is not really to live.


Jean Baptiste Moliere (1622-1673, French playwright)


How many things are there that we regarded as articles of faith yesterday and that we tell as fables today?


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


My art and profession is to live.


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


The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness. but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed in the change; happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow Up.


Charles Morgan (1894-1958, British writer)


Life is a foreign language: all men mispronounce it.


Christopher Morley (1890-1957, American novelist, journalist, poet)


Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.


Grandma Moses (1860-1961, American artist)


This tattered life is my only robe; the wind my only refuge.


Marian Mountain


Life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for training.


Lewis Mumford (1895-1990, American social philosopher)


Without fullness of experience, length of days is nothing. When fullness of life has been achieved, shortness of days is nothing. That is perhaps why the young have usually so little fear of death; they live by intensities that the elderly have forgotten.


Lewis Mumford (1895-1990, American social philosopher)


Life is given for wisdom, and yet we are not wise; for goodness, and we are not good; for overcoming evil, and evil remains; for patience and sympathy and love, and yet we are fretful and hard and weak and selfish. We are keyed not to attainment, but to the struggle toward it.


Thornton T. Munger (American scientist)


He led a double life. Did that make him a liar? He did not feel a liar. He was a man of two truths.


Iris Murdoch (1919-, British novelist, philosopher)


Life is a great surprise. I don't see why death should not be an even greater one.


Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977, Russian-born American novelist, poet)


Life is not having been told that the man has just waxed the floor.


Ogden Nash (1902-1971, American humorous poet)


Living movements do not come of committees.


John Henry Newman (1801-1890, British religious leader, prelate, writer)


Life at the top is financially rewarding, spiritually draining, physically exhausting, and short.


Peter C. Newman


If you believed more in life you would fling yourself less to the moment.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live.


Anais Nin (1914-1977, French-born American novelist, dancer)


Life is a bridge. Cross over it, but build no house on it.


Indian Proverb (Sayings of Indian origin)


God's greatest act was to make one day follow another.


Puerto Rican Proverb


So let man consider of what he was created; he was created of gushing water issuing between the loins and the breast-bones.


Qur'an (Holy book)


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