Posts tagged ‘life’



You can observe a lot by watching.

Yogi Berra, title of his book (2009)



A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on. A book that does nothing to you is dead. A baby, whether it does anything to you, represents life. If a bad fire should break out in this house and I had my choice of saving the library or the babies, I would save what is alive. Never will a time come when the most marvelous recent invention is as marvelous as a newborn baby. The finest of our precision watches, the most super-colossal of our supercargo plants, don’t compare with a newborn baby in the number and ingenuity of coils and springs, in the flow and change of chemical solutions, in timing devices and interrelated parts that are irreplaceable. A baby is very modern. Yet it is also the oldest of the ancients. A baby doesn’t know he is a hoary and venerable antique — but he is. Before man learned how to make an alphabet, how to make a wheel, how to make a fire, he knew how to make a baby — with the great help of woman, and his God and Maker.

Carl Sandburg, Remembrance Rock (1948)



We’re actors – we’re the opposite of people.

Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1966)



I think I’m greedy, but I’m not greedy for money – I think that can be a burden – I’m greedy for an exciting life. I want it to be exciting all the time, and I get it, actually. On the other hand, I can find excitement, I admit, in raindrops falling on a puddle and a lot of people wouldn’t. I intend to have it exciting until the day I fall over.

David Hockney in A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney (2011)



Life is a long lesson in humility.

J. M. Barrie, The Little Minister (1891)



I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.

Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl (1944)



Instagram isn’t about reality – it’s about a well-crafted fantasy, a highlights reel of your life that shows off versions of yourself that you want to remember and put on display in a glass case for other people to admire and browse through. It’s why most of the photographs uploaded to Instagram are beautiful and entertaining slices of life and not the tedious time in-between of those moments, when bills get paid, cranky children are put to bed, little spats with friends. Instagram is a yearbook of our most memorable moments, not because they’re the moments worth remembering, but because they’re the moments worth projecting and sharing.

Jenna Wrotham, “Instagram Videos and the Death of Fantasy” (2013)


two lives

We all have two lives. The second begins when you realize you only have one.

original author not known, quoted (in French) by Tom Hiddleston, interview at Nerd HQ (2013)

Note: Soo… today’s my birthday, and this is a new favorite quote of mine! But, I’m having some trouble tracking down the original citation (where Hiddleston got it from). If anyone has any idea, I’d be incredibly grateful!

Update: Some sources say it’s originally from Confucius. No real way to check that, I guess. (My Chinese being what it is…er, isn’t. 🙂



Err in the direction of kindness.

George Saunders, commencement address at Syracuse University (2013)

Note: I’ve linked to the whole speech, which is well, well, well worth a read. Phenomenal.

Note: Another note: I just got engaged!!! I had already scheduled this quote to run today, but it seems even more fitting as advice for married life 🙂



Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential — as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them. To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.

Bill Watterson, Commencement Speech at Kenyon College (1990)



Life is not so idiotically mathematical that only the big eat the small; it is just as common for a bee to kill a lion or at least to drive it mad.

August Strindberg, Preface to Miss Julie (1888)


a third metric

At the moment, our society’s notion of success is largely composed of two parts: money and power. But it’s time for a third metric, beyond money and power – one founded on well-being, wisdom, our ability to wonder, and to give back.

Arianna Huffington, “Redefining Success: 2013 Smith College Commencement Address” (2013)



And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)



Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.

Vincent van Gogh, letter to his brother Theo (1888)

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