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





Wisdom comes alone through suffering.


Aeschylus (525-456 BC, Greek dramatist)


Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


I've suffered from all of the hang-ups known, and none is as bad as the telephone.


Richard Armour (1906-1989, American poet)


You are outside life, you are above life, you have miseries which the ordinary man does not know, you exceed the normal level, and it is for this that men refuse to forgive you, you poison their peace of mind, you undermine their stability. You have irrepressible pains whose essence is to be inadaptable to any known state, indescribable in words. You have repeated and shifting pains, incurable pains, pains beyond imagining, pains which are neither of the body nor of the soul, but which partake of both. And I share your suffering, and I ask you: who dares to ration our relief? We are not going to kill ourselves just yet. In the meantime, leave us the hell alone.


Antonin Artaud (1896-1948, French theater producer, actor, theorist)


Suffering is part of the divine idea.


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


It is better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.


Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780, British jurist)


It is by a wise economy of nature that those who suffer without change, and whom no one can help, become uninteresting. Yet so it may happen that those who need sympathy the most often attract it the least.


Francis H. Bradley (1846-1924, British philosopher)


In default of inexhaustible happiness, eternal suffering would at least give us a destiny. But we do not even have that consolation, and our worst agonies come to an end one day.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.


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


For suffering and enduring there is no remedy, but striving and doing.


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


Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.


Kathleen M. Casey


You do not have to suffer to be a poet. Adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.


John Ciardi (1916-1986, American teacher, poet, writer)


No one is more miserable than the person who wills everything and can do nothing.


Claudius (10 BC-AD 54, Roman emperor)


Is suffering so very serious? I have come to doubt it. It may be quite childish, a sort of undignified pastime -- I'm referring to the kind of suffering a man inflicts on a woman or a woman on a man. It's extremely painful. I agree that it's hardly bearable. But I very much fear that this sort of pain deserves no consideration at all. It's no more worthy of respect than old age or illness.


Sidonie Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954, French author)


We cannot live, suffer or die for somebody else, for suffering is too precious to be shared.


Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977, American author, critic)


It is the lot of man to suffer.


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


Affliction is a treasure, and scarcely is any man hath enough of it.


John Donne (1572-1632, British metaphysical poet)


The salvation of the world is in man's suffering.


William Faulkner (1897-1962, American novelist)


One writes of scars healed, a loose parallel to the pathology of the skin, but there is no such thing in the life of an individual. There are open wounds, shrunk sometimes to the size of a pin-prick but wounds still. The marks of suffering are more comparable to the loss of a finger, or the sight of an eye. We may not miss them, either, for one minute in a year, but if we should there is nothing to be done about it.


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940, American writer)

Author's website:


To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.


Roberta Flack (1939-, American singer)


Suffering! We owe to it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity, we owe to it courage, we owe to it all the virtues.


Anatole France (1844-1924, French writer)


We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our own body, which is doomed to decay and dissolution and which cannot even do without pain and anxiety as warning signals; from the external world, which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless forces of destruction; and finally from our relations to other men. The suffering which comes from this last source is perhaps more painful than any other.


Sigmund Freud (1856-1939, Austrian physician, founder of Psychoanalysis)


Great artists suffer for the people.


Marvin Gaye (1939-1984, American soul singer)


Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.


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


A man will renounce any pleasures you like but he will not give up his suffering.


George Gurdjieff (1873-1949, Russian adept, teacher, writer)


I now understand what Christ suffered in Gethsemane as well as any man living.


James Keir Hardie (1856-1915, British politician)


The worst part a man can suffer is to have insight into much and power over nothing.


Herodotus (BC 484-425, Greek historian)


Every age, every culture, every custom and tradition has its own character, its own weakness and its own strength, its beauties and cruelties; it accepts certain sufferings as matters of course, puts up patiently with certain evils. Human life is reduced to real suffering, to hell, only when two ages, two cultures and religions overlap.


Hermann Hesse (1877-1962, German-born Swiss novelist, poet)


If you suffer, thank God! It is a sure sign that you are alive.


Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915, American author, publisher)


You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.


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


Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.


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


There is not much sense in suffering, since drugs can be given for pain, itching, and other discomforts. The belief has long died that suffering here on earth will be rewarded in heaven. Suffering has lost its meaning.


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


Rather suffer than die is man's motto.


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


Oh, fear not in a world like this, and thou shalt know erelong, know how sublime a thing it is to suffer and be strong.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


It is a glorious thing to be indifferent to suffering, but only to one's own suffering.


Robert Lynd (1892-1970, American sociology author)


Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change. So suffering must become Love. That is the mystery.


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


It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering, for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.


W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965, British novelist, playwright)


It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering, for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.


W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965, British novelist, playwright)


How little it takes to make life unbearable: a pebble in the shoe, a cockroach in the spaghetti, a woman's laugh.


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


One must really have suffered oneself to help others.


Mother Teresa (1910-1997, Albanian-born Roman Catholic missionary)


Suffering can become a means to greater love and greater generosity.


Mother Teresa (1910-1997, Albanian-born Roman Catholic missionary)


Without out suffering, our work would just be social work, very good and helpful, but it would not be the work of Jesus Christ, not part of the Redemption. All the desolation of the poor people, not only their material poverty, but their spiritual destitution, must be redeemed. And we must share it, for only by being one with them can we redeem them by bringing God into their lives and bringing them to God.


Mother Teresa (1910-1997, Albanian-born Roman Catholic missionary)


What really raises one's indignation against suffering is not suffering intrinsically, but the senselessness of suffering.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.


George Orwell (1903-1950, British author, "Animal Farm")


Suffering is by no means a privilege, a sign of nobility, a reminder of God. Suffering is a fierce, bestial thing, commonplace, uncalled for, natural as air. It is intangible; no one can grasp it or fight against it; it dwells in time -- is the same thing as time; if it comes in fits and starts, that is only so as to leave the sufferer more defenseless during the moments that follow, those long moments when one relives the last bout of torture and waits for the next.


Cesare Pavese (1908-1950, Italian poet, novelist, translator)


To choose a hardship for ourselves is our only defense against that hardship. This is what is meant by accepting suffering. Those who, by their very nature, can suffer completely, utterly, have an advantage. That is how we can disarm the power of suffering, make it our own creation, our own choice; submit to it. A justification for suicide.


Cesare Pavese (1908-1950, Italian poet, novelist, translator)


We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it in full.


Marcel Proust (1871-1922, French novelist)


Sympathy is a little medicine to soothe the ache in another's heart.


Jewish Proverb (Sayings of Jewish origin)


A cold in the head causes less suffering than an idea.


Jules Renard (1864-1910, French author, dramatist)


I have suffered too much in this world not to hope for another.


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


Suffering by nature or chance never seems so painful as suffering inflicted on us by the arbitrary will of another.


Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860, German philosopher)


A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


It is not suffering as such that is most deeply feared but suffering that degrades.


Susan Sontag (1933-, American essayist)


No one is so miserable as the poor person who maintains the appearance of wealth.


Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892, British Baptist preacher)


Suffering is the ancient law of love; there is no quest without pain; there is no lover who is not also a martyr.


Heinrich Suso


It is good for me that I was afflicted that I may learn Thy statutes.


The Holy Bible (Sacred scriptures of Christians and Judaism)

Source: Psalms 119:71


Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away blessed be the name of the Lord.


The Holy Bible (Sacred scriptures of Christians and Judaism)


There is no true love save in suffering, and in this world we have to choose either love, which is suffering, or happiness. Man is the more man -- that is, the more divine -- the greater his capacity for suffering, or rather, for anguish.


Miguel De Unamuno (1864-1936, Spanish philosophical writer)


If you learn from your suffering, and really come to understand the lesson you were taught, you might be able to help someone else who's now in the phase you may have just completed. Maybe that's what it's all about after all...


Author Unknown


You can't drown your sorrows, they always float to the surface.


Author Unknown


The afflicted are not listened to. They are like someone whose tongue has been cut out and who occasionally forgets the fact. When they move their lips no ear perceives any sound. And they themselves soon sink into impotence in the use of language, because of the certainty of not being heard.


Simone Weil (1910-1943, French philosopher, mystic)


I can sympathize with everything, except suffering.


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


To become a spectator of one's own life is to escape the suffering of life.


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


Don't look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you'll know you're dead.


Tennessee Williams (1914-1983, American dramatist)


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