The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twister pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement.
The great majority of us cannot listen; we find ourselves compelled to evaluate, because listening is too dangerous. The first requirement is courage, and we do not always have it...If you really understand a person, if you are willing to enter his private world and see the way life appears to him, you run the risk of being changed yourself.
In reality, every reader is, while he is reading, the reader of his own self. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument which he offers to the reader to enable him to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have experienced in himself.
People often go through at least three stages when they deal with the inexplicable: superficial simplicity, confused complexity and profound simplicity.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, nothing is perfect.
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.
Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in (such) terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress...It is this spiritual freedom - which cannot be taken away - that makes life meaningful and purposeful.