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242 of 6,095 quotations related to Character, showing Thornton to Wordsworth

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Thornton, James
Intelligence....is distributed in every society in a way which, when depicted on a graph, appears as a bell-shaped curve. That such a distribution characterizes all societies is not a new discovery by any means. Almost 100 years ago the philosopher Pareto wrote of just such an intelligence bell curve in his Les Systèmes Socialistes, a book intended to expose the dangerous illogic inherent in Marxism.

1995 - from New American II
Thurber, James
This is the posture of fortune's slave: one foot in the gravy, one foot in the grave.

1956 - from "The Mouse and the Money" in Further Fables for Our Time
Trevelyan, George M.
Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading, an easy prey to sensations and cheap appeals.

from English Social History, quoted in The MacMillan Dictionary of Quotations
Tutu, Desmond
If you are neutral in a situation of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has his tail on the foot of a mouse, and you say you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

attributed
Twain, Mark
To arrive at a just estimate of a renowned man's character one must judge it by the standards of his time, not ours.

A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.

The jury system puts a ban upon intelligence and honesty, and a premium upon ignorance, stupidity and perjury. It is a shame that we must continue to use a worthless system because it was good a thousand years ago...I desire to tamper with the jury law. I wish to so alter it as to put a premium on intelligence and character, and close the jury box against idiots, blacklegs, and people who do not read newspapers.

from Roughing It
Unknown
None but a mule denies his family.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

attributed to Ambrose Redmoon
A dog that barks all the time gets little attention.

Argentinian proverb



If things are getting easier, maybe you're headed downhill.

Ghanian proverb
He who lives without discipline dies without honor.

Icelandic proverb
When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.

It is more prudent to choose what one says than to say what one chooses.

In the November 5, 1996 presidential election, the United States citizenry voted 49% for Bill Clinton and 41% for Bob Dole. The day before, in an ABC News poll, Americans were asked if they believed President Clinton was trustworthy. Fifty percent said no, 39% said yes. They were asked in the same poll if they believed it was more important for the President to have good character or to care about them. Fifty percent said being cared about by their President was more important. Thirty-two percent said good character in their President was more important.

quoted by John Seitzler on HISCharacter.com
We are all self-made, but only the rich will admit it.

The purpose of life is a life of purpose.

attributed to Robert Byrne
One does evil enough when one does nothing good.

German proverb
There are four things every person has more of than they know: sins, debt, years, and foes.

Persian proverb
A man of character does not pick and chose when he applies his principles. He applies them in every situation.




von Bismark, Otto
Politics ruins the character.

von Mises, Ludwig
The essential characteristic of Western civilization that distinguishes it from the arrested and petrified civilizations of the East was and is its concern for freedom from the state. The history of the West, from the age of the Greek polis down to the present-day resistance to socialism, is essentially the history of the fight for liberty against the encroachments of the officeholders.

Wallenda, Karl
Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting. Some people think failure is final. Others gain energy and learn from failure.

1968 - quoted in Leadership: Strategies for Taking Charge by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, 1985
Washington, Booker T.
Character is power.

Washington, George
A good moral character is the first essential in a man. It is therefore highly important to endeavor not only to be learned, but virtuous.

I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain (what I consider the most enviable of all titles) the character of an Honest Man.

Aug. 28, 1788 - from a letter to Alexander Hamilton
Watts, J.C.
... character does count. For too long we have gotten by in a society that says the only thing right is to get by and the only thing wrong is to get caught. Character is doing what's right when nobody is looking...

1996 - from a speech to the Republican National Convention
Waugh, Evelyn
I believe that man is, by nature, an exile and will never be self-sufficient or complete on this earth; that his chances of happiness and virtue, here, remain more or less constant through the centuries and, generally speaking, are not much affected by the political and economic conditions in which he lives; that the balance of good and ill tends to revert to a norm; that sudden changes of physical condition are usually ill, and are advocated by the wrong people for the wrong reasons; that the intellectual communists of today have personal irrelevant grounds for their antagonism to society, which they are trying to exploit. I believe in government ordained from God as being better than any other; that the anarchic elements in society are so strong that it is a whole-time task to keep the peace. I believe that inequalities of wealth and position are inevitable and that it is therefore meaningless to discuss the advantages of their elimination; that men naturally arrange themselves in a system of classes; that such a system is necessary for any form of cooperative work, more particularly the work of keeping a nation together. I believe in nationality; not in terms of race or of divine commissions for world conquest, but simply thus: mankind inevitably organizes itself in communities according to its geographical distribution; these communities by sharing a common history develop common characteristics and inspire a local loyalty; the individual family develops most happily and fully when it accepts these natural limits.

1939 - from Mexico: An Object Lesson
Webster, Noah
Republican government loses half its value where the moral and social duties are ... negligently practiced. To exterminate our popular vices is work of far more importance to the character and happiness of our citizens than any other improvements in our system of education.

1828
... society requires that the education of youth should be watched with the most scrupulous attention. Education is a great measurer, [it] forms the moral characters of men and morals are the basis of government.




Welch, Jack
If you don't know how to lose, you'll never know how to win. If you don't know this, you shouldn't be playing.

2001 - reporting his mother's advice to him when he was a boy, in Jack: Straight from the Gut
Whittier, John Greenleaf
What asks our Father of his children, / save Justice and mercy and humility, / A reasonable service of good deeds, / Pure living, tenderness to human needs, / Reverence and trust, and prayer for light to see / The Master's footprints in our daily ways? / No knotted scourge nor sacrificial knife, / But the calm beauty of an ordered life / Whose very breathing is unworded praise!

from "Requirement"
In mercy or in judgment / He shall turn and overturn, / Till the heart shall be his temple / Where all of him shall learn.

1878 - from The Vision of Echard
Whitton, Charlotte  
There is a grave danger of the development, as a matter of course, of a general tendency to reliance on social aid that the inquiry regards with grave disquiet as destructive of personal effort, and self-dependence, and so disruptive of the very basis of initiative, enterprise, and strength of character that must be the greatest resource of any people.

1932 - quoted in Globalization and the Meaning of Canadian Life by William Watson (1998, U. of Toronto Press)
Wilde, Oscar
Indifference is the revenge the world takes on mediocrities.

1883 - from Vera, or the Nihilists
The well-bred contradict other people. The wise contradict themselves.

1894 - from Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young
Wilson, James Q.
In the long run, the public interest depends on private virtue.

1985 - from an essay in Public Interest
Crime is the price society pays for abandoning character.

Sep. 1985 - from "The Rediscovery of Character: Private Virtue and Public Policy" published in The Public Interest
The most important change in how one defines the public interest that I have witnessed ... over the last twenty years has been a deepening concern for the development of character in the citizenry.

Sep. 1985 - from "The Rediscovery of Character: Private Virtue and Public Policy" published in The Public Interest
Character is not the enemy of self-expression and personal freedom, it is their necessary precondition.

1995 - from On Character



Wooden, John
Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

Wordsworth, William
Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop Than when we soar.