Human Nature Quote Archive

All people want is someone to listen. – Hugh Elliott

If there is any possibility of complicating the clear assignment of responsibility, people will use it to confuse it. – Bill Purdin

Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right. – Laurens Van der Post

It’s part of human nature to want to secretly screw things up. – Bill Purdin

By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart. – Confucius

Confusion is always the most honest response. – Marty Indik

Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. – Spanish Proverb

Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing. – William Shakespeare

Wonder is what sets us apart from other life forms. No other species wonders about the meaning of existence or the complexity of the universe or themselves. – Herbert W. Boye

A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world. – John le Carre

Lala land is not such a bad place sometimes. – Bill Purdin

God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages. – Jacques Deval

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. – Bible, Proverbs 23:7

It is so much easier to join the problem than to be the solution. – Bill Purdin

There is nothing either safe or secure in our world. But, we will always think there is. – Bill Purdin

Do not judge men by mere appearances; for the light laughter that bubbles on the lip often mantles over the depths of sadness, and the serious look may be the sober veil that covers a divine peace and joy. – E. H. Chapin

There are too many people, and too few human beings. – Robert Zend If heaven made him, earth can find some use for him. – Chinese Proverb

He not busy being born is busy dying. – Bob Dylan

People hide in amazing ways. – Bill Purdin

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. – Albert Camus

Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid. – Heinrich Heine

Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason. – Orson Welles

Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish. – Euripides

Wake up and smell the species. – Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger), C.S.I. espisode, “The Slaves of Las Vegas”

Only a life lived for others is worth living. – Albert Einstein

In spite of everything, I still believe that people are truly good at heart. – Anne Frank

Be advised that all flatterers live at the expense of those who listen to them. – Jean de La Fontaine

It may be those who do most, dream most. – Stephen Leacock

Everyone rises to their level of incompetence. – Laurence J. Peter “The Peter Principle”

People often grudge others what they cannot enjoy themselves. – Aesop, The Dog in the Manger

We live by encouragement and die without it – slowly, sadly and angrily. – Celeste Holm, American actress

People keep you company and serve you for a motive;
Real friends are hard to find these days.
People are insincere, clever in pursuing their own ends;
Wander alone like the rhinoceros.

verses from a poem entitled, The Rhinoceros Horn, discovered on birch bark fragments in 1996 from perhaps the earliest Buddhist writings. The discovery of these fragile scrolls was compared to that of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is thought that these scrolls date from the first or second century A.D.

Conceit wouldn’t be so terrible if only the right people had it. – Anonymous

The thrill of being right is a drug that few can resist. – Bill Purdin

We come to feel as we behave. – Paul Pearsall

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be. – William Hazlitt

Evil be to him who evil thinks. — Anonymous

It’s a sort of sad truth, but people are going to do whatever the heck they want to do and there’s really nothing you can do about it. – Bill Purdin

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. – Mahatma Gandhi

Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. – John Kenneth Galbraith

I always prefer to believe the best of everybody–it saves so much trouble. – Rudyard Kipling

I am certain and have always stressed that the destination of mankind is to become more and more humane. The ideal of humanity has to be revived. – Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts, and so on. – Aristotle

I conclude that there is as much sense in nonsense as there is nonsense in sense. – Anthony Burgess

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato

Be aware that a halo has to fall only a few inches to be a noose. – Dan McKinnon

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers. – Mignon McLaughlin

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a letter from the Birmingham Jail

A rabbi spoke with God about heaven and hell. “I will show you hell,” God said, and they went into a room which had a large pot of stew in the middle. The smell was delicious, but around the pot sat people who were famished and desperate. All were holding spoons with very long handles which reached to the pot, but, because the handles were longer than their arms, it was impossible to get the stew back into their mouths. “Now I will show you heaven,” God said, and they went into an identical room. there was a similar pot of stew, the smell was delicious, and the people had identical spoons, but they were well-nourished and happy. “It’s simple,” God said. “You see, they have learned to feed one another.” – Medieval Jewish story

People are all alike in their promises. It is only in their deeds that they differ. – Moliere

People wish to be settled. Only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

When people are least sure, they are often most dogmatic. – J. K. Galbraith

During my eighty-seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think. – Bernard Baruch

Most of us are about as eager to be changed as we were to be born, and go through our changes in a similar state of shock. – James Baldwin

If we only wanted to be happy, it would be easy; but we always want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are. – Montesquieu

The best index to people’s character is (a) how they treat people who can’t do them any good, and (b) how they treat people who can’t fight back. – Abigail Van Buren

It is easier to be critical than correct. – Benjamin Disraeli

The only devils in the world are those running in our own hearts. That is where the battle should be fought. – Mahatma Gandhi

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying they made them. — Anonymous What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul. – Jewish proverb

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Men trust their ears less than their eyes. – Herodotus

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. – Albert Camus

The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else. – George Bernard Shaw

Believing ourselves to be possessors of absolute truth degrades us: we regard every person whose way of thinking is different from ours as a monster and a threat and by so doing
turn our own selves into monsters and threats to our fellows. — Octavio Paz

Every promise of the soul has innumerable fulfillments; each of its joys ripens into a new want. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstandings, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate. – Albert Schweitzer

Always extend every courtesy, no matter what. – Bill Purdin

Usually people are down on anything they are not up on. – Anonymous

More than any other human problem, loneliness, the absence of meaningful human connection, drains the joy and sense of purpose from our lives. It explains why people
go to shopping centers when they have no intention of shopping. They just need to be somewhere where other people are, hoping that among the hundreds of strangers passing
by, they will find one familiar face. It explains why people come home from work or school and immediately switch on the television. They are not interested in the program
much of the time, they do not even know what is on. But they are desperate for the sound of another human voice in their lives – Harold Kushner

A person who trusts no one is not to be trusted. – Jerome Blather

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what people say. I just watch what they do. – Andrew Carnegie

It’s hard to detect good luck — it looks so much like something you’ve earned. – Fred A. Clark

If you want to truly understand something, try to change it. — Kurt Lewis

We build statues of snow and weep to see them melt. — Sir Walter Scott

You are what you think. — Anonymous

Everyone is born a genius. — R. Buckminster Fuller

Somme … obtayne gretter rewardis than thei have disserved, and yit grugge, seying they have [too] litill. — Sir John Fortescue, English jurist, sometime around 1499

He who laughs, lasts. — Mary Pettibone Poole

The Ten Rules for Being a Human Being

No one knows who wrote this thought-provoking list, which has been around for years and years.

1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”
4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you may go to the next lesson.
5. Learning does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
6. “There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”
7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
10. You will forget all of this.

What lies before us and what lies behind us … are small matters compared to what lies within us … and when we bring what lies within into the world … miracles happen! – Henry David Thoreau

Perhaps the male has become an artist in the creation of many hidden ways of killing himself. – Herb Goldberg, The Hazards Of Being Male

The real wealth, not only of America, but of the world, is in the resources of the ground we stand on, and in the resources of the humankind. – Norman Cousins

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We must not expect simple answers to far-reaching questions. However far our gaze penetrates, there are always heights beyond which block our vision. – Alfred North Whitehead

Before there can be wonders, there must be wonder. – David Copperfield

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. – Arthur Schopenhauer

The sages do not consider that making no mistakes is a blessing; they believe, rather, that the great virtue of man lies in his ability to correct his mistakes
and continually to make a new man of himself. – Wang Yang-Ming, Chinese Philosopher

There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. – Cynthia Heimel

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you long to return. – Leonardo DaVinci

The reason that most people fail instead of succeed is that they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment. – Unknown

Perhaps once in a hundred years a person may be ruined by excessive praise, but surely once every minute someone dies inside for lack of it. – Cecil G. Osborne

Our attitude toward the world around us depends upon what we are ourselves. If we are selfish, we will be suspicious of others. If we are of a generous nature,
we will be likely to be more trustful. If we are quite honest with ourselves, we won’t always be anticipating deceit in others. If we are inclined to be fair,
we won’t feel that we are being cheated. In a sense, looking at the people around you is like looking in the mirror. You always see a reflection of yourself.
The hardening of the attitudes is the most deadly disease on the face of the earth. – Zig Ziglar

Itzhak Perlman is one of the greatest classical musicians today. As he tells it, before he was four years old, two things happened to him which shaped his future. First,
he was crippled by polio, and second, he heard a recording of the famed violinist Jascha Heifetz. Perlman explained that though polio took away his legs,
Heifetz’s music gave him wings. It gave him a dream that set Itzhak on the road to musical greatness.

As a former President Woodrow Wilson said: “We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day, or in the red fire on a long winter’s evening.
Some of us let these dreams die, but others nourish them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.”

When Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Night Watch, was restored and returned to Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the curators performed a simple, yet remarkable experiment. They asked visitors to submit questions about the painting. The curators then prepared answers to over 50 questions, ranking the questions according to popularity.
Some of these questions focused on issues which curators usually don’t like to include: “How much does the painting cost?” “Has this painting ever been forged?”
“Are there mistakes in the painting?” Other questions focused on traditional artistic issues: “Why did Rembrandt paint the subject?” “Who were the people in the painting?”
“What techniques did Rembrandt pioneer in the particular work?” In a room next to the gallery which held the painting, the curators papered the walls with these questions
(and answers). Visitors had to pass through this room before entering the gallery. The curious outcome was that the average length of time people spent viewing the painting
increased from six minutes to over half an hour. Visitors alternated between reading questions and answers and examining the painting. They said that the questions encouraged
them to look longer, to look closer, and to remember more. The questions helped them create richer ideas about the painting and to see the painting in new ways.
Like a series of magnets, the questions attracted the visitors’ thoughts to fresh ideas. How can questions produce such dramatic results? Essentially, the questions put visitors
into a ready-to-learn frame of mind by stimulating curiosity. The word “question” originates from the Latin root, quaestio, which means “to seek.” Inside the word “question” is the word
“quest,” suggesting that within every question is an adventure, a pursuit which can lead us to hidden treasure. – Tom Wujec, Five Star Mind

A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, his is also one who is permanently disappointed in the future. – Sidney J. Harris

One monster there is in the world, the idle man. – Thomas Carlyle

Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue. – Confucius

The four cornerstones of character on which the structure of this nation was built are: Initiative, Imagination, Individuality, and Independence. – Captain Edward V. Rickenbacker

A man shall never be enriched by envy. – Draxe

Intolerance has been the curse of every age and state. – S. Davies

All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain. – Epictetus

Wickedness is always easier than virtue, for it takes the short cut to everything. – Samuel Johnson

Never trust a man who has not a single redeeming vice. – Winston Churchill

There is however a limit at which forebearance ceases to be a virtue. – Edmund Burke

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. – Sir Winston Churchill

A sense of humor is the one thing no one will admit to not having. – Mark Twain

I believe in dreams. People should have faith in the songs poets sing. – E.B. White

Peace of mind comes from not wanting to change others, but by simply accepting them as they are. True acceptance is always without demands and expectations. – Anonymous

A quiet conscience makes one so serene. – Byron

Democracy don’t work as good in practice as it does in speeches. – Will Rogers

The Master does nothing,
yet he leaves nothing undone.
The ordinary man is always doing things,
yet many more are left undone.
– Tao Te Ching

What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say
about their cause, but what they say about their opponents. – Robert F. Kennedy

You can fool too many people too much of the time. – James Thurber

God made all men, Sam Colt made ’em equal. – Saying of the Old West

Communism is like Prohibition; it’s a good idea but it won’t work. – Will Rogers

Good nature is worth more than knowledge, more than money, more than honor, to the persons who possess it. – Henry Ward Beecher

I get up every morning and read the obituary column. If my name’s not there, I eat breakfast. – George Burns

Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain’t the lead dog, the scenery never changes. – Lewis Grizzard

A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. – Samuel Goldwyn

The saints are the sinners who keep on trying. – Robert Louis Stevenson

I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. – John Wayne

Childhood is the kingdom where no one dies. – Edna St. Vincent Millay

Why Dogs Are Man’s Best Friends!

Dogs love it when your friends come over.
Dogs don’t care if you use their shampoo.
Dogs think you sing great.
Dogs don’t expect you to call when you are running late.
The later you are, the more excited dogs are to see you.
Dogs will forgive you for playing with other dogs.
Dogs don’t notice if you call them by another dog’s name.
Dogs are excited by rough play.
Dogs understand that farts are funny.
Dogs can appreciate excessive body hair.
Anyone can get a good-looking dog.
If a dog is gorgeous, other dogs don’t hate it.
Dogs like it when you leave lots of things on the floor.
Dogs never need to examine the relationship.
A dog’s parents never visit.
Dogs love long car trips.
Dogs understand that instincts are better than asking for directions.
Dogs like beer.
Dogs don’t cry.
Dogs don’t hate their bodies.
Dogs don’t shop.
No dog ever bought a Kenny G album.
Dogs never criticize.
Dogs agree that sometimes you have to raise your voice to get your point across.
Dogs never expect gifts.
Dogs don’t worry about germs.
Dogs don’t want to know about every other dog you ever had.
Dogs like to do their snooping outside as opposed to in your wallet, desk, and the back of your sock drawer.
Dogs don’t let magazine articles guide their lives.
Dogs would rather have you buy them a hamburger dinner than a lobster one.
You never have to wait for a dog. They’re ready to go 24 hours a day.
Dogs have no use for flowers, cards, or jewelry.
Dogs don’t borrow your shirts.
Dogs never want foot-rubs.
Dogs enjoy heavy petting in public.
Dogs find you amusing when you’re drunk.

I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense. – Harold S. Kushner

I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up. – Tom Lehrer

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

He does not seem to me to be a free man who does not sometimes do nothing. – Cicero

A man is a worker. If he is not that he is nothing. – Joseph Conrad

An egotist is a person who thinks too much of himself and too little of others. – Anonymous

Nothing makes a person more productive than the last minute. – Anonymous

If you laid all our laws end to end, there would be no end. – Arthur “Bugs” Baer

What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

People have a way of becoming what you encourage them to be, not what you nag them to be. – Scudder N. Parker

Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another. – 1 Peter 3:8

Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue. – Confucius

The body of the sensualist is the coffin of a dead soul. – Christian Nestell Bovee

Without equality, I say, there cannot be liberty. – Harold Joseph Laski

Bad men are full of repentence. – Aristotle

There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand.
Resolve, then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tiny blasts on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy,
and not only may he be ours, he may be us. – Walt Kelly, Creator of “Pogo”

Traces of nobility, gentleness, and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too,
do those characteristics which are ugly. – Walt Kelly, Creator of “Pogo”

What the multitude says, is so, or soon will be so. – Baltasar Gracian

Man is a social animal. – Seneca

The malignity that never forgets or forgives is found only in base and ignoble natures, whose aims are selfish, and whose means are indirect, cowardly, and treacherous. – George Stillman Hillard

Man is made to create, from the poet to the potter. – Benjamin Disraeli

The child is the father of man. – William Wordsworth

That’s what life is all about: remembering someone and smiling! – Minnie Pearl