Quotes of the day from previous years:

2004
I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him. ~ Booker T. Washington
2005
We take our bearings, daily, from others. To be sane is, to a great extent, to be sociable. ~ John Updike (born 18 March 1932)
2006
The very essence of a free government consists in considering offices as public trusts, bestowed for the good of the country, and not for the benefit of an individual or a party. ~ John C. Calhoun (born 18 March 1782)
2007
I mistake the American people if they favor the odious doctrine that there is no such thing as international morality; that there is one law for a strong nation and another for a weak one, and that even by indirection a strong power may with impunity despoil a weak one of its territory. ~ Grover Cleveland (born 18 March 1837)
2008
The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one. ~ Wilhelm Stekel
2009
Candor is always a double-edged sword; it may heal or it may separate. ~ Wilhelm Stekel
2010
I am inventing a language which must necessarily burst forth from a very new poetics, that could be defined in a couple of words: Paint, not the thing, but the effect it produces. ~ Stéphane Mallarmé
2011
None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.
Courage was mine, and I had mystery;
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.

~ Wilfred Owen ~ (born 18 March 1893)
2012
A leader is one who, out of madness or goodness, volunteers to take upon himself the woe of the people. There are few men so foolish, hence the erratic quality of leadership in the world. ~ John Updike
2013
The Government of the absolute majority instead of the Government of the people is but the Government of the strongest interests; and when not efficiently checked, it is the most tyrannical and oppressive that can be devised.
~ John C. Calhoun ~
2014
From infancy on, we are all spies; the shame is not this but that the secrets to be discovered are so paltry and few.
~ John Updike ~
2015
I do not think discursively. It is not so much that I arrive at truth as that I take my start from it.
~ Nikolai Berdyaev ~
2016
Our brains are no longer conditioned for reverence and awe. We cannot imagine a Second Coming that would not be cut down to size by the televised evening news, or a Last Judgment not subject to pages of holier-than-Thou second-guessing in The New York Review of Books.
~ John Updike ~
2017
We live in a nightmare of falsehoods, and there are few who are sufficiently awake and aware to see things as they are. Our first duty is to clear away illusions and recover a sense of reality. If war should come, it will do so on account of our delusions, for which our hag-ridden conscience attempts to find moral excuses. To recover a sense of reality is to recover the truth about ourselves and the world in which we live, and thereby to gain the power of keeping this world from flying asunder.
~ Nikolai Berdyaev ~
2018 
Rank or add further suggestions…


Quotes by people born this day, already used as QOTD:

Customs and convictions change; respectable people are the last to know, or to admit, the change, and the ones most offended by fresh reflections of the facts in the mirror of art.
~ John Updike ~
used on 27 January 2014, proposed by Kalki (talk · contributions)


Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used. (This is the utmost ranking and should be used only for one quote at a time, per person, for each date.)
3 : Very Good - strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good - some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable - but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable - not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.


SuggestionsEdit

DOB : Nikolai Berdyaev · John C. Calhoun · Neville Chamberlain · Grover Cleveland · Stéphane Mallarmé · Wilhelm Stekel · John Updike


Suspect each moment, for it is a thief, tiptoeing away with more than it brings. ~ John Updike

  • 3 because this is a very nice personification of "moments". The idea that a thief exists, taking more than giving, in the form of time...is but a chiefly grand understanding, for one grows older and physically gains nothing from it. Zarbon 01:09, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 UDScott 20:26, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 09:40, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:20, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Truth is not always the best basis for happiness. There are certain lies which may constitute a far better and more secure foundation of happiness. There are people who perish when their eyes are opened. ~ Wilhelm Stekel

  • 3 because sometimes is is better to live a lie than to open eyes to see the truth. The truth may make things more difficult than they are, hence maintaining a camouflage of one's foundation of happiness will furthermore create happiness for that person. I love this quote. Zarbon 01:14, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 UDScott 20:26, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 09:40, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:20, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

The surrender of life is nothing to sinking down into acknowledgment of inferiority. ~ John C. Calhoun

  • 3 because death is nowhere near as terrible as comparative to being lesser...being pathetic...or best described, unaccomplished. Zarbon 01:18, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 UDScott 20:26, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 09:40, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:20, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

It is harder to preserve than to obtain liberty. ~ John C. Calhoun

  • 3 because obtaining is easier than maintaining, sustaining, and in the long run, preserving. Zarbon 01:18, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 UDScott 20:26, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 09:40, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:20, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

In war, whichever side may call itself the victor, there are no winners, but all are losers. ~ Neville Chamberlain

  • 2 Zarbon 03:04, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 09:40, 13 March 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:20, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

As you know I have always been more afraid of a peace offer than of an air raid. ~ Neville Chamberlain

  • 3 because hidden under a peace offer is an even deadlier strike. - Zarbon 03:04, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 09:40, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:20, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

The world was made in order to result in a beautiful book. ~ Stéphane Mallarmé


Yes, there is a ton of information on the web, but much of it is egregiously inaccurate, unedited, unattributed and juvenile. ~ John Updike


Writers take words seriously — perhaps the last professional class that does — and they struggle to steer their own through the crosswinds of meddling editors and careless typesetters and obtuse and malevolent reviewers into the lap of the ideal reader.
~ John Updike ~

The creative writer uses his life as well as being its victim; he can control, in his work, the self-presentation that in actuality is at the mercy of a thousand accidents.
~ John Updike ~

I'm sure the liars as skillful and persistent and devious as you reach the point where it's the one you are lying to, and not you, who seems like the one with the serious limitations.
~ John Updike ~

Obviously the facts are never just coming at you but are incorporated by an imagination that is formed by your previous experience. Memories of the past are not memories of facts but memories of your imaginings of the facts.
~ John Updike ~

It is not difficult to deceive the first time, for the deceived possesses no antibodies; unvaccinated by suspicion, she overlooks latenesses, accepts absurd excuses, permits the flimsiest patchings to repair great rents in the quotidian.
~ John Updike ~

The fullness ends when we give Nature her ransom, when we make children for her. Then she is through with us, and we become, first inside, and then outside, junk. Flower stalks.
~ John Updike ~

Time is our element, not a mistaken invader.
~ John Updike ~

Ideas used to grab me too. It's not that you get better ideas, the old ones just get tired. After a while, you see that even dollars and cents are just an idea. Finally the only thing that matters is putting some turds in the toilet bowl once a day. They stay real, somehow. Somebody came up to me and said, "I'm God," I'd say, "Show me your badge."
~ John Updike ~

Whenever somebody tells me to do something my instinct's always to do the opposite. It's got me into a lot of trouble, but I've had a lot of fun.
~ John Updike ~

You don't know what you don't know.
~ John Updike ~

Facts are generally overesteemed. For most practical purposes, a thing is what men think it is. When they judged the earth flat, it was flat. As long as men thought slavery tolerable, tolerable it was. We live down here among shadows, shadows among shadows.
~ John Updike ~

Government is either organized benevolence or organized madness; its peculiar magnitude permits no shading.
~ John Updike ~

Writers take words seriously — perhaps the last professional class that does — and they struggle to steer their own through the crosswinds of meddling editors and careless typesetters and obtuse and malevolent reviewers into the lap of the ideal reader.
~ John Updike ~

One of the satisfactions of fiction, or drama, or poetry from the perpetrator’s point of view is the selective order it imposes upon the confusion of a lived life; out of the daily welter of sensation and impression these few verbal artifacts, these narratives or poems, are salvaged and carefully presented.
~ John Updike ~

The creative writer uses his life as well as being its victim; he can control, in his work, the self-presentation that in actuality is at the mercy of a thousand accidents.
~ John Updike ~

Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.
~ John Updike ~

The essential self is innocent, and when it tastes its own innocence knows that it lives for ever.
~ John Updike ~

Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.
~ John Updike ~

Looking foolish does the spirit good. The need not to look foolish is one of youth’s many burdens; as we get older we are exempted from more and more, and float upward in our heedlessness, singing Gratia Dei sum quod sum. [Thanks be to God that I am what I am.]
~ John Updike ~

When we try in good faith to believe in materialism, in the exclusive reality of the physical, we are asking our selves to step aside; we are disavowing the very realm where we exist and where all things precious are kept — the realm of emotion and conscience, of memory and intention and sensation.
~ John Updike ~

Religion enables us to ignore nothingness and get on with the jobs of life.
~ John Updike ~

Who would have thought that the Internet, that's supposed to knit the world into a shining tyranny-proof ball, would be so grubbily adolescent?
~ John Updike ~

Truth should not be forced; it should simply manifest itself, like a woman who has in her privacy reflected and coolly decided to bestow herself upon a certain man.
~ John Updike ~

Existence itself does not feel horrible; it feels like an ecstasy, rather, which we have only to be still to experience.
~ John Updike ~

In the old movies, yes, there always was the happy ending and order was restored. As it is in Shakespeare's plays. It's no disgrace to, in the end, restore order. And punish the wicked and, in some way, reward the righteous.
~ John Updike ~

The papers exaggerate. They exaggerate everything, just to sell papers. The government exaggerates, to keep our minds off what morons they are.
~ John Updike ~

You make your own punishments in life, I honest to God believe that. You get exactly what you deserve. God sees to it.
~ John Updike ~


Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible, early to decay or late to bloom but they dare to go it alone.
~ John Updike ~

I think “taste” is a social concept and not an artistic one. I’m willing to show good taste, if I can, in somebody else’s living room, but our reading life is too short for a writer to be in any way polite. Since his words enter into another’s brain in silence and intimacy, he should be as honest and explicit as we are with ourselves.
~ John Updike ~

The refusal to rest content, the willingness to risk excess on behalf of one's obsessions, is what distinguishes artists from entertainers, and what makes some artists adventurers on behalf of us all.
~ John Updike ~

A leader is one who, out of madness or goodness, volunteers to take upon himself the woe of the people. There are few men so foolish, hence the erratic quality of leadership in the world.
~ John Updike ~

The new religious consciousness rises up against the nihilistic attitude towards the world and mankind. If a religious rebirth be possible, only then on this soil will there be the revealing of the religious meaning of secular culture and earthly liberation, the revealing of the truth about mankind. For the new religious consciousness the declaration of the will of God is together with this a declaration of the rights of man, a revealing of the Divine within mankind. We believe in the objective, the cosmic might of the truth of God, in the possibility according to God to guide the earthly destiny of mankind.
~ Nikolai Berdyaev ~

Spirit is never an object; nor a spiritual reality an objective one. In the so-called objective world there's no such nature, thing, or objective reality as spirit. Hence it is easy to deny the reality of spirit. God is spirit because he is not object, because he is subject.
~ Nikolai Berdyaev ~

Objectification is above all exteriorization, the alienation of spirit from itself.
~ Nikolai Berdyaev ~

What one needs to do at every moment of one's life is to put an end to the old world and to begin a new world.
~ Nikolai Berdyaev ~

I see myself immersed in the depths of human existence and standing in the face of the ineffable mystery of the world and of all that is. And in that situation, I am made poignantly and burningly aware that the world cannot be self-sufficient, that there is hidden in some still greater depth a mysterious, transcendent meaning. This meaning is called God. Men have not been able to find a loftier name, although they have abused it to the extent of making it almost unutterable. God can be denied only on the surface; but he cannot be denied where human experience reaches down beneath the surface of flat, vapid, commonplace existence.
~ Nikolai Berdyaev ~

Fate and freedom alike play a part in history; and there are times, as in wars and revolutions, when fate is the stronger of the two. Freedom — the freedom of man and of nations — could never have been the origin of two world wars. These latter were brought about by fate, which exercises its power owing to the weakness and decline of freedom and of the creative spirit of man. Almost all contemporary political ideologies, with their characteristic tendency to state-idolatry, are likewise largely a product of two world wars, begotten as they are of the inexorability's of fate.
~ Nikolai Berdyaev ~

A real reconciliation of East and West is impossible and inconceivable on the basis of a materialistic Communism, or of a materialistic Capitalism, or indeed of a materialistic Socialism. The third way will neither be "anti-Communist" nor "anti-Capitalist". It will recognize the truth in liberal democracy, and it will equally recognize the truth in Communism. A critique of Communism and Marxism does not entail an enmity towards Soviet Russia, just as a critique of liberal democracy is not entail enmity towards the west. … But the final and most important justification of a "third way" is that there must be a place from which we may boldly testify to, and proclaim, truth, love and justice. No one today likes truth: utility and self interest have long ago been substituted for truth.
~ Nikolai Berdyaev ~

Ethics occupies a central place in philosophy because it is concerned with sin, with the origin of good and evil and with moral valuations. And since these problems have a universal significance, the sphere of ethics is wider than is generally supposed. It deals with meaning and value and its province is the world in which the distinction between good and evil is drawn, evaluations are made and meaning is sought.
~ Nikolai Berdyaev ~

There is absolute truth in anarchism and it is to be seen in its attitude to the sovereignty of the state and to every form of state absolutism. … The religious truth of anarchism consists in this, that power over man is bound up with sin and evil, that a state of perfection is a state where there is no power of man over man, that is to say, anarchy. The Kingdom of God is freedom and the absence of such power... the Kingdom of God is anarchy.
~ Nikolai Berdyaev ~