Seventy-Nine

  • A wo/man can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days.
  • Against criticism a wo/man can neither protest nor defend him/herself; s/he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him/her.
  • All truly wise thoughts have been thoughts already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience.
  • Anecdotes and maxims are rich treasures to the wo/man of the world, for s/he knows how to introduce the former at fit place in conversation.
  • Beware of dissipating your powers; strive constantly to concentrate them. Genius thinks it can do whatever it sees others doing, but is sure to repent of every ill-judged outlay.
  • Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one.
  • Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.
  • Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity.
  • How can you come to know yourself? Never by thinking, always by doing. Try to do your duty, and you’ll know right away what you amount to.
  • If any wo/man wish to write in a clear style, let him/her be first clear in his/her thoughts; and if any would write in a noble style, let him/her first possess a noble soul.
  • If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses.
  • Wo/men show their characters in nothing more clearly than in what they think laughable.
  • Nothing is worse than active ignorance.
  • Nothing is worth more than this day.
  • One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
  • Science arose from poetry–when times change the two can meet again on a higher level as friends.
  • So divinely is the world organized that every one of us, in our place and time, is in balance with everything else.
  • That is the true season of love, when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could ever have loved so before us, and that no one will love in the same way after us.
  • The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
  • There is nothing more dreadful than imagination without taste.
  • There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.
  • To be pleased with one’s limits is a wretched state.
  • Treat a man as he appears to be, and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be.
  • We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.
  • We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.
  • Whatever you can do or dream, begin it.
  • When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
  • Whenever I hear people talking about “liberal ideas,” I am always astounded that wo/men should love to fool themselves with empty sounds. An idea should never be liberal; it must be vigorous, positive, and without loose ends so that it may fulfill its divine mission and be productive. The proper place for liberality is in the realm of the emotions.
  • As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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