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





Passion costs me too much to bestow it on every trifle.


Thomas Adams (1752-1804, American statesman)


The passions are like fire, useful in a thousand ways and dangerous only in one, through their excess.


John Christian Bovee (1820-1904, American author, lawyer)


The fire which enlightens is the same fire which consumes.


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


Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.


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


A willing heart adds feather to the heel.


Joanna Baillie (1762-1851, British Romantic writer)


You cannot contribute anything to the ideal condition of mind and heart known as Brotherhood, however much you preach, posture, or agree, unless you live it.


Faith Baldwin


Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.


Honore De Balzac (1799-1850, French novelist)


To hide a passion totally (or even to hide, more simply, its excess) is inconceivable: not because the human subject is too weak, but because passion is in essence made to be seen: the hiding must be seen: I want you to know that I am hiding something from you, that is the active paradox I must resolve: at one and the same time it must be known and not known: I want you to know that I don't want to show my feelings: that is the message I address to the other.


Roland Barthes (1915-1980, French semiologist)


The deadliest feeling that can be offered to a woman is pity.


Vicki Baum (1888-1960, American writer)


In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity.


Anne Baxter (1923-1985, American actress)


Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.


Willard Beecher


Each of us has some unique capability waiting for realization. Every person is valuable in his own existence, for himself alone... each of us can bring to fruition these innate, God-given abilities.


George H. Bender


Compassion has no place in the natural order of the world which operates on the basis of necessity. Compassion opposes this order and is therefore best thought of as being in some way supernatural.


John Berger (1926-, British actor, critic)


I know the compassion of others is a relief at first. I don't despise it. But it can't quench pain, it slips through your soul as through a sieve. And when our suffering has been dragged from one pity to another, as from one mouth to another, we can no longer respect or love it.


Georges Bernanos (1888-1948, French novelist, political writer)


Out of compassion I destroy the darkness of their ignorance. From within them I light the lamp of wisdom and dispel all darkness from their lives.


Bhagavad Gita (c. BC 400-, Sanskrit poem incorporated into the Mahabharata)


We must bring compassion back to the market place. Social justice is our goal. To achieve it, we all must help create a more tolerant and fair society.


Rave Bird


We must bring compassion back to the market place. Social justice is our goal. To achieve it, we all must help create a more tolerant and fair society.


Rave Bird


The brain is not, and cannot be, the sole or complete organ of thought and feeling.


Antoinette Brown Blackwell


Can I see another's woe, and not be in sorrow too? Can I see another's grief, and not seek for kind relief?


William Blake (1757-1827, British poet, painter)


All of us attain the greatest success and happiness possible in this life whenever we use our native capacities to their fullest extent.... And every life must be chalked up at least a partial failure when it does not succeed in reaching its inherent destiny.


Smiley Blanton (1882-1966, American author)


What is passion? It is surely the becoming of a person. Are we not, for most of our lives, marking time? Most of our being is at rest, unlived. In passion, the body and the spirit seek expression outside of self. Passion is all that is other from self. Sex is only interesting when it releases passion. The more extreme and the more expressed that passion is, the more unbearable does life seem without it. It reminds us that if passion dies or is denied, we are partly dead and that soon, come what may, we will be wholly so.


John Boorman (1933-, British filmmaker)


I don't think I can play any other way but all out. I enjoy the game so much because I'm putting so much into it.


George Brett (1953-, American baseball player)


I am a woman who understands the necessity of an impulse whose goal or origin still lie beyond me.


Olga Broumas


Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television.


Rita Mae Brown (1944-, American writer)


Men live by intervals of reason under the sovereignty of humor and passion.


Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682, British author, physician, philosopher)


I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.


George Burns (1896-1996, American comedy actor)


Simply give others a bit of yourself: a thoughtful act, a helpful idea, a word of appreciation, a lift over a rough spot, a sense of understanding, a timely suggestion. By so doing, you take something out of your mind, garnished in the kindness out of your heart, putting it into the other fellow's mind and heart.


Charles H. Burr


The dew of compassion is a tear.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


There is no such thing as a life of passion any more than a continuous earthquake, or an eternal fever. Besides, who would ever shave themselves in such a state?


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.


Pablo Casals (1876-1973, Spanish cellist, conductor, composer)


All passions exaggerate; it is because they do that they are passions.


Sebastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741-1794, French writer, journalist, playwright)


Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.


Pema Chodron


He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason.


Marcus T. Cicero (c. 106-43 BC, Roman orator, politician)


We can build upon foundations anywhere, if they are well and truly laid.


Ivy Compton-Burnett


The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter.


Norman Cousins (1915-1990, American editor, humanitarian, author)


Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, but God never will.


William Cowper (1731-1800, British poet)


Reform is born of need, not pity.


Rebecca Harding Davis (1831-1910, American author)


Nobody who is somebody looks down on anybody.


Margaret Deland


There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.


Denis Diderot (1713-1784, French philosopher)


The mind is no match with the heart in persuasion; constitutionality is no match with compassion.


Everett M. Dirksen (1896-1969, American representative, senator)


Compassion is the chief law of human existence.


Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881, Russian novelist)


You may call God love, you may call God goodness. But the best name for God is compassion.


Meister Eckhart (1260-1326, German mystic)


You really can change the world if you care enough.


Marian Wright Edelman


It seemed to me pretty plain, that they had more of love than matrimony in them.


Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774, Anglo-Irish author, poet, playwright)


Our passions do not live apart in locked chambers but dress in their small wardrobe of notions, bring their provisions to a common table and mess together, feeding out of the common store according to their appetite.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


We hand folks over to God's mercy, and show none ourselves.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


The same man cannot be skilled in everything; each has his special excellence.


Euripides (BC 480-406, Greek tragic poet)


A man in passion rides a horse that runs away with him.


Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British clergyman, author)


For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.


Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993, American actress, dancer, model)


Passion, though a bad regulator, is a powerful spring.


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


The high prize of life, the crowning fortune of a man, is to be born with a bias to some pursuit which finds him in employment and happiness.


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


Jupiter, not wanting man's life to be wholly gloomy and grim, has bestowed far more passion than reason -- you could reckon the ration as twenty-four to one. Moreover, he confined reason to a cramped corner of the head and left all the rest of the body to the passions.


Desiderius Erasmus (c.1466-1536, Dutch humanist)


It is only when I am doing my work that I feel truly alive. It is like having sex.


Federico Fellini


There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.


Federico Fellini


I am convinced that any feeling of exaltation because we have people under us should be conquered, for I am sure that if we enjoy being over people, there will be something in our manner which will make them dislike being under us.


Mary Parker Follett (1868-1933, American author)


It is the passions that do and undo everything.


Bernard Le Bovier Fontenelle (1657-1757, Scientist, man of letter)


Honesty without compassion and understanding is not honesty, but subtle hostility.


Rose N. Franzblau


The essence of true nobility is neglect of self.


James A. Froude (1818-1894, British historian)


It's compassion that makes gods of us.


Dorothy Gilman


Our passion are the true phoenixes; when the old one is burnt out, a new one rises from its ashes.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Passions are vices or virtues to their highest powers.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Yes, I have doubted. I have wandered off the path, but I always return. It is intuitive, an intrinsic, built-in sense of direction. I seem always to find my way home.


Helen Hayes (1900-1993, American actress)


We may affirm absolutely that nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.


Georg Hegel (1770-1831, German philosopher)


He who has no passion has no principal or motive to act.


Claude A. Helvetius (1715-1771, French philosopher)


Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.


Anne Herbert


Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.


Anne Herbert


You can no more bridle passions with logic than you can justify them in the law courts. Passions are facts and not dogmas.


Alexander Herzen (1812-1870, Russian journalist, political thinker)


There is in most passions a shrinking away from ourselves. The passionate pursuer has all the earmarks of a fugitive.


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


What our age lacks is not reflection, but passion.


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


You've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed.


John Irving (1942-, American author)


Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart.


Phil Jackson


The hole and the patch should be commensurate.


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, American President (3rd))


The wretched have no compassion, they can do good only from strong principles of duty.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


Whatever you attempt, go at it with spirit. Put some in!


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


A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.


Carl Jung (1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist)


Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.


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


The world may take your reputation from you, but it cannot take your character.


Emma Dunham Kelley


It's what you do that makes your soul, not the other way around.


Barbara Kingsolver


Few people have ever seriously wished to be exclusively rational. The good life which most desire is a life warmed by passions and touched with that ceremonial grace which is impossible without some affectionate loyalty to traditional form and ceremonies.


Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970, American writer, critic, naturalist)


There is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one's own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.


Milan Kundera (1929-, Czech author, critic)


One should stick to the sort of thing for which one was made; I tried to be an herbalist, whereas I should keep to the butcher's trade.


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


Absence lessens small passions and increases great ones, just as the wind will blow out a candle but blow in a fire.


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


If we resist our passions, it is more through their weakness than from our strength.


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


In the human heart new passions are forever being born; the overthrow of one almost always means the rise of another.


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


It would be beneficial for us to know what all our passions make us do.


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


Passion makes idiots of the cleverest men, and makes the biggest idiots clever.


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


Passion often makes the cleverest man foolish, and sometimes even makes the most foolish man clever.


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


The passions are the most effective orators for persuading. They are a natural art that have infallible rules; and the simplest man with passion will be more persuasive than the most eloquent without it.


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


The passions are the only orators which always persuade.


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


There is often more pride than goodness in our grief for our enemies' miseries; it is to show how superior we are to them that we bestow on them the sign of our compassion.


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


Private passions tire and exhaust themselves, public ones never.


Alphonse De Lamartine (1790-1869, French poet, statesman, historian)


He submits to be seen through a microscope, who suffers himself to be caught in a fit of passion.


Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741-1801, Swiss theologian, mystic)


Sharing with others is caring for others in action.


Douglas M. Lawson


It is really important that young people find something that they want to do and pursue it with passion. I'm very passionate about filmmaking. It's what I love to do.


Spike Lee (1956-, American film director)


 Back to Daimon Library English Quotes Search Page


website tracking