Sunday, June 25, 2017


My son is going to college this fall, and I wanted to give him a set of my favorite quotations. As his name is Max, I titled the book 'Maxims.' With only a little work in formatting, I was able to create a paperback and ebook on Amazon, so that I basically did this for the price of the New York Times.  I made it for him, but you can buy it on Amazon for $5, or $3 for the Kindle version (see here).

Obviously, we want our kids to appreciate the things we think are really important. Whether our kids will agree with us is up to them, but we can hope. But as I'm starting to lose him to the real world, I wanted comfort that if I get hit by a truck, he'd have access to some quotes that can help him even if I can't. So, I put a bunch of quotes (around 710) I've been compiling for decades into a book, in 7 sections: Wisdom, Purpose, Virtue, Life, Psychology, Science, Politics. About 15% of the quotes are unattributed, because when I wrote them down, I lost the source, and it doesn't show up in a Google search (some obscure, some probably my artistic license).

Here's a sample:

  • Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment. ~ Barry LePatner
  • Know thyself. ~ Delphic Oracle
  • Only the simplest mind can believe that in a great controversy one side was mere folly. ~ AJ Kane
  • The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook. ~ William James
  • The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. ~ Proverbs 4:7
  • Seek, above all, for a game worth playing.   ~ Robert S. de Ropp
  • The best use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.   ~ William James
  • The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.   ~ William James
  • Purpose is what gives life a meaning.  ~ Charles Henry Parkhurst
  • If you buy the why, the how is infinitely bearable.   ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
  • It’s easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you’re a winner, when you’re number one. What you got to have is faith and discipline when you’re not a winner.   ~ Vince Lombardi
  • Love is joy accompanied by the idea of its cause.  ~
  • Love is the only virtue that is an end in itself.  ~
  • It has been my experience that folks who have not vices have very few virtues.   ~ Abraham Lincoln
  • Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.  ~ Zig Ziglar
  • Many can bear adversity, but few contempt.   ~ Thomas Fuller
  • We all have the strength to endure the misfortunes of others.   ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld
  • All anger is self-righteous anger. There are few cynical opportunists, more often ideologues and moralists.   ~
  • Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.    ~ Bertrand Russell
  • Men need sex more than women, and this gives women power over men.   ~ Midge Decter
  • First one must live, then one may philosophize.  ~ Latin Proverb
  • Criticism is always a kind of compliment.   ~ John Maddox
  • Everything ends badly, otherwise it wouldn't end.   ~ Koglan the Bartender
  • Everything is always decided for reasons other than the real merits of the case.   ~ John Maynard Keynes
  • What is said when drunk has been thought out beforehand.   ~ Flemish proverb
  • When a debater’s point is not impressive, he brings forth many arguments.   ~ The Talmud
  • Real thinking is that which can force you into an answer whether you liked it or not, and fake thinking is that which can argue for anything.   ~
  • The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.   ~ Linus Pauling
  • Laymen feel that facts are easy and theory is difficult. It is often the other way around.   ~
  • Bayes' theorem suggests that given two persuasive speakers, you will find those which most agree with you as most persuasive.   ~ Richard Posner
  • A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.   ~ HH Munro
  • To be free is to be subject to nothing but the laws.  ~ Voltaire
  • Our country's founders cherished liberty, not democracy.   ~ Ron Paul
  • Justice is Equality…but equality of what?.   ~ Aristotle
  • The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates.   ~  Tacitus
  • The most melancholy of human reflections, perhaps, is that on the whole, it is a question whether the benevolence of mankind does more good or harm.   ~ Walter Bagehot
  • Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.   ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

1 comment:

LetUsHavePeace said...

The founders - i.e. the people who actually fought for the American Revolution - saw liberty and democracy as inseparable. That is why they insisted on a Republic. That term has been abused by people who should know better to pretend that democracy was not in people's minds. In 1775 to be for a Republic was to be for popular sovereignty. That is why the Constitution reads "We the People".