My Top Ten Quotes

Tough exercise for me to settle on my top 10!

I’m just plain crazy about inspiring quotations (& have a 130-page Word document chock-full of them ++ many more on my (old) blog & in other Word documents).

& every time I go to that 130-page document, I can get lost for an age … ‘cos there are just so darn many really dynamite quotations there!

So. This was a tough task.

(To be honest, I’d set out to find my top 5, after a friend asked me last summer what my top 5 would be. But I can’t do just 5…)

So here goes. My top 10 … for now.

(Okay, okay, so I go & find the list I’ve made, then I go to the document & had to make it 15.)


Top Quote Ever:

Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it’s the only thing.” – Albert Schweitzer

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Teresa

“The optimism of the action is better than the pessimism of the thought.” – Harold Zindler

4 Rules for Life

“Apology is a lovely perfume; it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift.” – Margaret Lee Runbeck

“A clear conscience is more valuable than wealth.” – Filipino proverb

“It’s one of the secrets of the world. We all have the key to one another’s locks. But until we start to talk, we don’t know it.” – Michael Silverblatt, host of KCRW’s ‘Bookworm’ radio show

“There is only one courage, and that is the courage to go on dying to the past. Not to collect it, not to accumulate it, not to cling to it. We all cling to the past, and because we cling to it we become unavailable to the present.” – Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

“How to get rid of ego as dictator and turn it into messenger and servant and scout to be in your service is the trick.” – Joseph Campbell (more JC quotes)

“We must make our homes centres of compassion and forgive endlessly.” – Mother Teresa

“Energy always flows either toward hope, community, love, generosity, mutual recognition, and spiritual aliveness or it flows toward despair, cynicism, fear that there is not enough, paranoia about the intentions of others, and a desire to control.” ~ Michael Lerner, quoted in 'The Great Turning – From Empire to Earth Community,' by David Korten

“Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“I know what the greatest cure is: it is to give up, to relinquish, to surrender, so that our little hearts may beat in unison with the great heart of the world.” – Henry Miller

“There is not a problem with the system. The system is the problem.” – Source unknown

“Just to live is holy.

To be is a blessing.” – Rabbi Abraham Heschel


++ 2 original Janet quotes I find useful:

“Cut your losses. Go where the energy is.”


“Stay on the path. Don’t look down.”


p.s. on Dec. 23/16: I had plum forgotten this very special gem!

“Life is change...Growth is optional...Choose wisely.” – Karen Kaiser Clark

& this one!!

“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, but it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” ~ Agnes Repplier


OMG, she says, months later: I forgot this one!

“Your wealth is where your friends are.” – Plato

so true so true so true!!!!!!!!


“It’s one of the secrets of the world. We all have the key to one another’s locks. But until we start to talk, we don’t know it.” – Michael Silverblatt, host of KCRW’s ‘Bookworm’ radio show

“Many of the things we all struggle with in love and work can be helped by conversation. Without conversation, studies show that we are less empathic, less connected, less creative and fulfilled. We are diminished, in retreat.” – from Reclaiming Conversation – The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, by Sherry Turkle

“It reminded me of talking, how what is said is never quite what was thought, and what is heard is never quite what was said. It wasn’t much in the way of comfort, but everything has a little failure in it, and we still make do somehow.” – The Yellow Birds, by Kevin Powers

“The cultivation of a stance of invulnerability robs men of a wisdom known to most women in this culture – that people actually connect better when they expose their weakness. Linguist Deborah Tannen, analyzing women’s ‘rapport talk’ versus men’s ‘report talk,’ found that a vital component of conversation between women was what she called ‘trouble talk’ – inviting the listener in by opening up one’s own points of vulnerability. Finally, to the degree to which a man learns to ‘be strong’ and to devalue weakness, his compassion toward frailty not just in himself but also in those around him may be limited or condescending. In this and many other ways, the loss of expressivity and the loss of vulnerability inevitably lead to diminished connection with others.” – from I Don’t Want to Talk About It – Overcoming The Secret Legacy of Male Depression, by Terrence Real

Alexander McCall Smith has the character Angus Lordie say, in the novel Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers, “He [psychiatrist Dr. Macgregor] told me that the solution to so many problems is to talk about them. If you talk freely about a problem, then you take away its power to distress you.”


** Why a whole section of quotations about walking? Because I'm addicted to both quotations & walking! Couldn't function properly without my daily walks. ** on March 18/14: Yet more testimonials on the benefits of walking. It's good for your memory! & a CBC Radio 'Ideas' show on the history of walking - how we are made to walk; many people passionate about walking & their wise words on its history, meaning, benefits. (The segment is called "Walking Matters.")

** on Dec. 13/13: A friend sent me this article: "Why Walking is a Wonder Drug for Your Health." Who knew?? All I knew is I love it & it always always always makes me feel grrrreat…. (Thanks for the link, AB!!)

** Michael Moore on walking!!

There are several walking-related posts here. Here's a partial list that proves what I said - I'm addicted to (& obsessive about the value of!) walking...

** note: while reading these - the links in them may not work ... in fact almost certainly won't! These links to internal postings are from my OLD blog site, & did not transfer over. If you want to find collections of quotations, here in the new Quotation Central is where to find them.


“A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” – Paul Dudley White, physician (1886-1973)

“To be hurt, yet forgive. To do wrong, but forgive yourself. To depart from this world leaving only love; this is the reason you walk.” – Wab Kinew

“…contemplating which way to walk. We’re caught in the pleasant dilemma of having no wrong choices.” – character in the novel A Working Theory of Love, by Scott Hutchins

“If I'm sane at all, it’s because I walk.” – my sister, another addicted walker

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” – C.S. Lewis

“The sum of the whole is this: Walk and be happy, walk and be healthy.  The best way to lengthen our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose.” – Charles Dickens

“I will tell you what I have learned myself. For me, a long five or six mile walk helps. And one must go alone and every day. I have done this for many years. It is at these times I seem to get re-charged. … My explanation of it is that when I walk in a carefree way, without straining to get to my destination, then I am living in the present. And it is only then that the creative power flourishes.” – Brenda Ueland on walking & writing, in If You Want to Write – A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit, pages 42-43

“We are made aware of the proverbial forks in the road of life from an early age. Whether at commencement or from the pulpit, we are told there is a convenient path, and a less traveled road of integrity. From a Buddhist perspective, the adage is infinitely true. We face such forks a million times a day, even in the space of a breath. Life is permeated with possibility at every instant. What distinguishes one life from another is intention, the one thing that we can control. Rosa Parks’s intentions were deep and unswerving, as were King’s, Thoreau’s, and Gandhi’s; so, too, were Jo Ann Robinson’s and Virginia Durr’s. While the events of the world were out of their control, their resolve was not.

Maybe the best way to understand the future implications of the movement’s daily actions is to remember Emerson’s moral botany: corn seeds produce corn; justice creates justice; and kindness fosters generosity. How do we sow our seeds when large, well-intentioned institutions and intolerant ideologies that purport to be our salvation cause so much damage? One sure way is through smallness, grace, and locality. Individuals start where they stand and, in Antonio Machado’s poetic dictum, make the road by walking. Thoreau insisted in Civil Disobedience that if only one man withdrew his support from an unjust government, it would begin a cycle that would reverberate and grow. For him there were no inconsequential acts, only consequential inaction: ‘for it matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever.’” – Paul Hawken in Blessed Unrest – How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being & Why No One Saw it Coming. <Pg. 84-5> [Note: I've added a bunch of quotations from Blessed Unrest. They're here in 'Quotation Central']

“It is solved by walking.” – St. Augustine