Life Defined

Bertrand Russell:

Three passions have governed my life:
The longings for love, the search for knowledge,
And unbearable pity for the suffering of humankind.

Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness.
In the union of love I have seen
In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision
Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge.
I have wished to understand the hearts of people.
I have wished to know why the stars shine.

Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens,
But always pity brought me back to earth;
Cries of pain reverberated in my heart
Of children in famine, of victims tortured
And of old people left helpless.
I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot,
And I too suffer.

This has been my life; I found it worth living.


Corita Kent:

Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.

Dorothy Thompson:

Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.

E. B. White:

You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.

Charlotte, "Charlotte’s Web"

Eleanor Roosevelt:

I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.

Emily Dickinson:

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.


Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And To-morrow is only a Vision;
But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

Marcus Aurelius:

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.

Matthew Arnold:

Is it so small a thing
To have enjoyed the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved, to have thought, to have done…

Albert Einstein:

True religion is real living; living with all one’s soul, with all one’s goodness and righteousness.

Barry Lopez:

How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.

Bernice Johnson Reagon:

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.


Wisdom Quotes: Regret


Alexander Graham Bell:

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.

Harriet Beecher Stowe:

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.

Henry David Thoreau:

Make the most of your regrets. . . . To regret deeply is to live afresh.

Katherine Mansfield:

Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can’t build on it; it’s only for wallowing in.

Percy Bysshe Shelley:

Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.

Sydney J. Harris:

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. 

Simply Stated…by Pooh Bear



  • Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
  • Nobody can be un-cheered with a balloon.
  • A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
  • I am a bear of very little brain, and long words bother me.
  • Just because an animal is large, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo.
  • I used to believe in forever, but "forever" is too good to be true.
  • A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.
  • If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together. There is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.
  • When late morning rolls around and you’re feeling a bit out of sorts, don’t worry; you’re probably just a little eleven o’clockish.
  • People who don’t think probably don’t have brains; rather, they have grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake.
  • As Pooh Bear Would Say…


    Many of you may not know this about me but Pooh Bear and Eeyore are near and dear to my heart, especially the classic Pooh.  The wonderful simply-stated things that Pooh Bear says, hold more meaning sometimes than quotes from the most famous people in the world.  I thought I would share a few “Pooh Quotes” with you and if you enjoy them, I’ll post 10 of them each week from Pooh or Eeyore.   


    A Little History

    Winnie-the-Pooh as you would know is really a stuffed toy teddy bear that belonged to Christopher Robin Milne. The original toy bear belonging to Christopher Robin is on display at Donnell Library Center Central Children’s Room in New York City. Winnie the Pooh got his name from Winnipeg, a bear that Christopher & his father Mr. Milne often saw the London Zoo, while ‘Pooh’ was a swan they met while on a vacation. Pooh the swan is there in When We Were Very Young as a separate character.

    During the 1st chapter taken from Winnie-the-Pooh, author A.A. Milne offers an explanation as to why at times Winnie-the-Pooh is also called just “Pooh”. "But his arms were so stiff … they stayed up straight in the air for more than a week, and whenever a fly came and settled on his nose he had to blow it off. And I think – but I am not sure – that that is why he is always called Pooh."  

    Pooh’s birthday date is a matter of some confusion. It is widely accepted that since Winnie-the-Pooh was 1st published on 14th October, 1926 by Methuen therefore this date is Pooh’s birthday and is officially recognized as the day when Pooh celebrates his birthday. In some sections it is thought that since the Pooh teddy bear was presented to Christopher Robin Milne on his first birthday i.e., 21st August, 1921 therefore Winnie-the-Pooh celebrates his birthday on this date.  

    Winnie the Pooh, a bear of very little brain, tends to be a bit on the slow side (his head is full of fluff, you know…a common occurrence among teddy bears) but his heart more than makes up for that. Pooh has a love of honey (or, hunny, as it is sometimes spelled) but he can also do with a smackerel of whatever tiny quantity he can get his hands onto to soothe that insatiable “rumbly in his tumbly”. He often creates little tunes, or hums, about most anything at all.

    There are different names for Winnie the Pooh, he is called Pooh Bear or even Pooh but is never just Winnie. He is gifted with an uncommon, clear-eyed wisdom. What is most important for Pooh is the well being, happiness and feelings of his friends. He is also the inventor of the famous game ‘Poohsticks’ and discoverer of the ‘North Pole’. Almost all the animals in the 100 Acre Wood take part in the ‘Poohsticks’ game, while it is always a matter of friendly competition between Pooh and Christopher Robin. The game takes place over a footbridge and the animals use sticks gathered in the close vicinity of the woodland to play the game. The sticks are then thrown into the underneath flowing river. For his brave actions he is honored as a ‘Hero’ and knighted to ‘Sir Pooh de Bear’ by Christopher Robin.


    Pooh Quotes

    “If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.”


    “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together.. there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart.. I’ll always be with you.”


    “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever”

    “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"”

    “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”


    “Promise me you’ll never forget me because if I thought you would I’d never leave.”


    “Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh," he whispered.
    "Yes, Piglet?"
    "Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw, "I just wanted to be sure of you."

    “If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”


    “Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.”

    “You can’t help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn’t spell it right; but spelling isn’t everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn’t count.”

    Hearts and Minds: Terrorism


    I WISH

    I wish I could hate you
    Bin Laden you BRUTE!
    I’d throw you out of an airplane
    With no parachute!
    I wish I could hate you
    And SHOUT it as you fall
    But I WON’T because HATE
    Is what started this all.
           – Laura de Medici, 13 years old

    Terrorism isn’t insanity. It grows out of social conditions that are well known: poverty, social oppression, dictatorship, and a void of meaning in the lives of ordinary people.
           – Deepak Chopra

    What is it that seduces some young people to terrorism? It simplifies things. The fanatic has no questions, only answers. Education is the way to eliminate terrorism.
           – Elie Wiesel

    While we must remain determined to defeat terrorism, it isn’t only terrorism we are fighting. It’s the beliefs that motivate terrorists. A new ideology of hatred and intolerance has arisen to challenge America and liberal democracy.
           – Senator John Kerry

    This is not a battle between the United States of America and terrorism. It is a battle between the free and democratic world and terrorism.
           – Tony Blair, British Prime Minister

    Terrorism has become the systematic weapon of a war that knows no borders or seldom has a face.
         – Jacques Chirac

    Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint.
          – Christopher Hitchens

    We can’t accommodate terrorism. When someone uses the slaughter of innocent people to advance a so-called political cause, at that point the political cause becomes immoral and unjust and they should be eliminated from any serious discussion, any serious debate.
           – Rudolph Giuliani

    Terrorists harm their own cause, no matter how valid their concerns might be.
           – Bill Blackman

    The fundamental source of conflict in the world today is the socioeconomic deprivation of billions of people across the globe, coexisting with islands of enormous wealth and prosperity within and among countries.
            – Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa

    Most poor people are not terrorists. But social justice still plays a major role in promoting peace.
           – Bill Blackman

    Hearts and Minds: Superstition

     Superstition is born of ignorance and fear, and thrives the most when reason is asleep. 
    – Zarathushtra

    It’s bad luck to be superstitious.
    – Bill Backman









    The best way to predict your future is to create it.
      – Anonymous

    Ignorance and superstition ever bear a close and mathematical relation to each other. 
    – James Fenimore Cooper

    Superstition is great enemy of man but bigotry is worse. 
    – Swami Vivekananda 

    Be strong, get beyond all superstitions, and be free. 
    – Swami Vivekananda 

    Superstition is the religion of feeble minds…Edmund Burke

    Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy: the mad daughter of a wise mother…Voltaire

    The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame…H .L. Menchen

    A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition…Jose’ Bergami’n

    Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom…Bertrand Russell

    Hearts and Minds: Progress


    Unite to move forward.
           – American Proverb

    Progress is the activity of today and the assurance of tomorrow
           -Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Fundamental progress has to do with the reinterpretation of basic ideas.
           -Alfred North Whitehead

    Plan your progress carefully; hour-by hour, day-by-day, month-by-month.
    Organized activity and maintained enthusiasm are the wellsprings of your power.
           -Paul J. Meyer

    If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
           -Frederick Douglass

    People fascinated by the idea of progress never suspect that every step forward is also a step on the way to the end.
           -Milan Kundera

    Change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change. Education is essential to change, for education creates both new wants and the ability to satisfy them.
           -Henry Steele Commager

    If I were required to guess off-hand, and without collusion with higher minds, what is the bottom cause of the amazing material and intellectual advancement of the last fifty years, I should guess that it was the modern-born and previously non-existent disposition on the part of men to believe that a new idea can have value.
           -Mark Twain

    Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation.
           -Oscar Wilde

    The chief obstacle to the progress of the human race is the human race.
           -Don Marquis

    All progress is based upon a universal innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income.
           – Samuel Butler

    Respect the past in the full measure of its desserts, but do not make the mistake of confusing it with the present nor seek in it the ideals of the future.
           – Jose Incenerios

    Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
    – Soren Kierkegaard

    Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.
           – Plato

    Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.
    – Nicholas Murray Butler

    All progress occurs because people dare to be different
    – Harry Milner

    True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice
    – St. Francis of Assisi

    I think this one is my favorite:

    Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
    – Soren Kierkegaard

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