When we have 'second thoughts' about something, our first thoughts don't seem like thoughts at all - just feelings.
When I hear somebody say 'Life is hard', I am always tempted to ask 'Compared to what?'
When we inform, we lead from strength; when we communicate, we lead from weakness-and it is precisely this confession of mortality that engages the ears, heads and hearts of those we want to enlist as allies in a common cause.
The commonest fallacy among women is that simply having children makes them a mother - which is as absurd as believing that having a piano makes one a musician.
When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?'
The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.
Any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell belongs there.
Real loneliness consists not in being alone, but in being with the wrong person, in the suffocating darkness of a room in which no deep communication is possible.
A famously wise old man in a village was once asked how he came by his wisdom. "I got it from my good judgment," he answered. And where did his good judgment come from? "I got it from my bad judgment."
The two words 'information' and 'communication' are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.
The most important thing in an argument, next to being right, is to leave an escape hatch for your opponent, so that he can gracefully swing over to your side without too much apparent loss of face.
We believe what we want to believe, what we like to believe, what suits our prejudices and fuels our passions.
The acceptance of ambiguity implies more than the commonplace understanding that some good things and some bad things happen to us. It means that we know that good and evil are inextricably intermixed in human affairs; that they contain, and sometimes embrace, their opposites; that success may involve failure of a different kind, and failure may be a kind of triumph.
It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others.
Most people are mirrors, reflecting the moods and emotions of the times; few are windows, bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
Confidence, once lost or betrayed, can never be restored again to the same measure; and we learn too late in life that our acts of deception are irrevocable - they may be forgiven, but they cannot be forgotten by their victims.
The real heretic is not the atheist or agnostic (who are often decent people) but those who murmur "it doesn't matter what you believe, as long as it makes you feel good." This turns religion into a subjective matter, like taste in furnishings, and robs theology of its claim to ultimate truth.
History repeats itself, but in such cunning disguise that we never detect the resemblance until the damage is done.
The deepest and rarest kind of courage has nothing to do with feats or obstacles in the outside world; and, indeed, has nothing to do with the outside world - it is the courage to be who you are.
The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war.
The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, 'I was wrong'.
Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
A winner knows how much he still has to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others; a loser wants to be considered an expert by others before he has learned enough to know how little he knows.
Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
The truest test of independent judgment is being able to dislike someone who admires us, and to admire someone who dislikes us.
Marriages we regard as the happiest are those in which each of the partners believes he or she got the best of it.
Christianity is not a "spiritual" religion, like some religions of the east. It is an intensely "practical" religion, having its moral roots in the practicality of judaism. It was not designed to change the way men think or believe as much as to change the way they act.
Many people know how to work hard; many others know how to play well; but the rarest talent in the world is the ability to introduce elements of playfulness into work, and to put some constructive labor into our leisure.
Once we assuage our conscience by calling something a "necessary evil", it begins to look more and more necessary and less and less evil.
Maturity begins when we're content to feel we're right about something without feeling the necessity to prove someone else wrong.
The reason that truth is stranger than fiction is that fiction has to have a rational thread running through it in order to be believable, whereas reality may be totally irrational.
A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, his is also one who is permanently disappointed in the future.
We can often endure an extra pound of pain far more easily than we can suffer the withdrawal of an ounce of accustomed pleasure.
Self-discipline without talent can often achieve astounding results, whereas talent without self-discipline inevitably dooms itself to failure.
Why do so many people yearn for an eternal life when they don't even know what to do with themselves in this brief one?
This is a lesson mankind has not yet learned. We identify, and stratify, and treat persons largely on the basis of their accidental (physical) characteristics, which have no deeper meaning.
We evaluate others with a Godlike justice, but we want them to evaluate us with a Godlike compassion.
The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.
If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size?