Thoughtlessness is a term indicating ranges of assertions or actions which are deemed careless, inconsiderate, inattentive, exhibiting marked indifference or lack of due thought, ethical consideration or care, and in their most extreme forms a heedless disregard for other's feelings or for the consequences of one's actions. This page includes quotes on themes of various forms of thoughtlessness, as well as those which prominently feature the terms "thoughtless" or "thoughtlessness."
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- Earnestness is the path of immortality (Nirvana), thoughtlessness the path of death. Those who are in earnest do not die, those who are thoughtless are as if dead already.
- Lamentable mistakes have resulted from the thoughtless enthusiasm with which men have sought inspiration from the worst qualities of remarkable artists because they are unable to reproduce the sublime elements in their work.
- Eugène Delacroix, Journal entry (16 January 1860)
- Everything free and decent in life is being locked away in filthy little cellars by beastly people who don’t care.
- “Catch-22,” the old woman repeated, rocking her head up and down. “Catch-22. Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Yossarian shouted at her in bewildered, furious protest. “How did you know it was Catch-22? Who the hell told you it was Catch-22?”
“The soldiers with the hard white hats and clubs. The girls were crying. ‘Did we do anything wrong?’ they said. The men said no and pushed them away out the door with the ends of their clubs. ‘Then why are you chasing us out?’ the girls said. ‘Catch-22,’ the men said. ‘What right do you have?’ the girls said. ‘Catch-22,’ the men said. All they kept saying was ‘Catch-22, Catch-22.’ What does it mean, Catch-22? What is Catch-22?”
“Didn’t they show it to you?” Yossarian demanded, stamping about in anger and distress. “Didn’t you even make them read it?”
"They don’t have to show us Catch-22,” the old woman answered. “The law says they don’t have to.”
“What law says they don’t have to?”
- All of my hate cannot be found
I will not be drowned by your thoughtless scheming
So you can try to tear me down
Beat me to the ground
I will see you screaming
- You are so thoughtless of me
You say things that make me so blue
You show it in so many little things you do
Or is that just your way of telling me we're through
You're much too much on my mind
I guess that you just shouldn't be
And maybe if I thought less of you, baby,
You wouldn't be so thoughtless of me
- Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now — always, and indeed then most truly when it seems most unsuitable to actual circumstances. Care for distress at home and care for distress elsewhere do but help each other if, working together, they wake men in sufficient numbers from their thoughtlessness, and call into life a new spirit of humanity.
- Albert Schweitzer, in On the Edge of the Primeval Forest (1922), Ch. XI : Conclusion (1956 edition)
- Very little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be attributed to cruel instinct. Most of it comes from thoughtlessness or inherited habit. The roots of cruelty, therefore, are not so much strong as widespread. But the time must come when inhumanity protected by custom and thoughtlessness will succumb before humanity championed by thought. Let us work that this time may come.
- Albert Schweitzer, in Memoirs of Childhood and Youth (1924)
- There slowly grew up in me an unshakable conviction that we have no right to inflict suffering and death on another living creature unless there is some unavoidable necessity for it, and that we ought all of us to feel what a horrible thing it is to cause suffering and death out of mere thoughtlessness. And this conviction has influenced me only more and more strongly with time. I have grown more and more certain that at the bottom of our heart we all think this, and that we fail to acknowledge it because we are afraid of being laughed at by other people as sentimentalists, though partly also because we allow our best feelings to get blunted. But I vowed that I would never let my feelings get blunted, and that I would never be afraid of the reproach of sentimentalism.
- Albert Schweitzer, in The Spiritual Life :Selected Writings Of Albert Schweitzer (1947)
- The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs, and explosions, and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy; and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is, that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.”
- Must then a Christ perish in torment in every age to save those that have no imagination?
- Epimetheus, the being in whom thought follows production, represents nature in the sense of materialism, according to which thought comes later than thoughtless bodies and their thoughtless motions.
- Leo Strauss, in Natural Right and History (1953), p. 117
- I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue.
- Ah, how unjust to Nature and himself
Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man!
- Edward Young, in "Night II", in Night-Thoughts (1742–1745)