Posts Tagged ‘Quotations’

Quotes: Do unto others …

Pres. Lyndon Johnson During Visit to Vietnam, November 4, 1966

When you’re coping with difficult problems, it’s easy to slip into self-absorption. We become so caught up in our troubles that they become the center of our universe. And if we’re not careful, we can start behaving like we should be the center of everyone else’s universe, too.

Few people juggle more problems at one time than the leader of the free world. After taking over the presidency in the worst possible circumstances—the murder of his predecessor in 1963—Lyndon Baines Johnson was managing an escalating war in Vietnam, anti-war protests at home, civil rights battles in the South, the introduction of Medicare, urban riots, the space race, and crises in the Middle East.

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Quotes: What would you risk?

Don't Babble! Keep Your Tongue Behind Your Teeth

In much of the world today, people take for granted the privilege to say what they please … which is why the Internet teems with nearly 160 million public blogs. But in the Soviet Union of the 1970s, citizens paid a price for speaking up.

Mstislav Rostropovich was a master cellist, one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. As such, he and his wife, soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, lived a prosperous life in Moscow, where great artists were treated like royalty. But Rostropovich’s existence was the exception under the Soviets. Increasingly, dissidents were telling the world about the rule. The best known of these dissidents, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, won the Nobel Prize for literature in October 1970, prompting even harsher attacks on his controversial work.

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Quotes: On the bright side

Pollyanna, with Jane Wyman, Richard Egan, Karl Malden, Nancy Olson, and Hayley Mills, 1960

Recently I was debating someone about how to improve a decades-old process that simply doesn’t work. He believes flawed, inadequate procedures are the best we can do, and considers me naive for thinking otherwise.

Pollyanna,” he groused.

If he’d used the term appropriately, I’d have been flattered. The expression comes from the classic 1913 children’s novel by Eleanor H. Porter about a girl who manages to find something positive in the most negative circumstances. Thinking you should try to fix a flat tire instead of driving on doesn’t make you a Pollyanna—it means you have common sense. Thinking when your tire goes flat that you’re blessed to have a car makes you a Pollyanna.   Continue reading...


Quotes on food and cooking

Family at Table for Thanksgiving Feast

The American holiday of Thanksgiving is known for the three fs: family, football, and feasts—with special emphasis on the feasts.

Unfortunately, not every family is equally blessed with members skilled in the culinary arts. One of my friends used to dread her mom’s home-cooked meals. When the poor woman prepared ground beef, she thought the excess grease was gravy. Helen Hayes, an Oscar-winner in the 1930s and longtime grande dame of the stage must have been similarly challenged in the kitchen.

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Quotes on love and friendship

Your are Loved

For many people in the world, this has been another disappointing year. No matter how the economists measure it, in practical terms, the global recession continues. Unemployment, war, poverty, disease, hunger, and homelessness remain universal issues. Divisiveness continues to impede solutions. It gives pause as we head toward America’s annual season of thanks.

If we’re not careful, we can get so caught up in our worries and woes that we forget our blessings. Lately life’s stresses have been weighing me down, but the other day a wise friend reminded me the constant through all my difficulties is that I’ve been loved. And that’s defnitely a reason to be thankful.

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Political quotes and stories

Domestic Cat, 11-Week, Brown Marble and Spotted Bengal Kittens, Play Fighting

We’d make life easier for ourselves—and more pleasant for everyone else—if we could learn to behave like respectful adults, even with the people whose ideology we abhor. But if you think American politics is nastier than ever, maybe you can take small comfort in knowing there’s nothing new under the sun.

Take, for instance, the 1910 elections in Maine. The state’s political machine had long been controlled by popular Sen. Eugene Hale, whose son Col. Frederick Hale was running for Congress. In a blistering editorial in his rural weekly, the Six Town Times, Charles Thornton Libby didn’t stop at criticizing the Hale politicians—he also took aim at the senator’s wife:

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Quotes on emotional needs

Clouds Give Dramatic Backdrop to Russian Space Station Mir, from Space Shuttle Atlantis

Have you ever taken a trip thinking you’d planned everything perfectly only to discover you’d forgotten something critical, such as reservations or directions? In a way, that’s what happened to Dr. Norman E. Thagard.


It was the summer of 1995, and in the 34 years since the Soviets first blasted off Yuri Gagarin, more than 300 American and Russian astronauts had totaled 38 years in space. Finally, the two Super Powers had arranged for their space travelers to spend some quality time together. Thagard would join two Russians for four months aboard the space station Mir. It would be the longest space trip ever undertaken by an American.

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Quotes on seizing the day

The Perfect Interception

It’s a fall Saturday and in the United States that means a day of college football. I’m a devotee of American football, both the college game and the NFL. This weekend, both my teams are coming off losses—and it hasn’t been a terrific week for me, either. So I can’t help wondering how all of us are going to meet the challenge of regrouping.

I tend to spend a lot of time rehashing my mistakes and contemplating how I could have done things differently. But top-flight athletes understand that what’s done is done. In order to reach the pinnacle of the amateur or professional ranks, they must be able to walk away from their failures … to live in the moment.

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Quotes on passion and restraint

All the President's Men, 1976

As my friends know well, I’m a passionate person. Fortunately, though, I have a wide practical streak that helps me hold my passions in check and keeps me from cutting off my nose to spite my face. That practicality is a gift from both parents, but it usually speaks to me in the voice of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, quoting a favorite line from the film The Wrath of Khan: “You must learn to govern your passions; they will be your undoing.

As a reporter for the Washington Post, Carl Bernstein occasionally let passion get the best of him, too. According to author Stephen Bates in his book If No News, Send Rumors, Bernstein dreamed of being the paper’s full-time rock critic. And executive editor Ben Bradlee promised him the job … before giving it to someone else.

Furious, Bernstein decided to quit the job he’d held since 1966. But his inner Spock must have had a word because he didn’t just storm out the door. Instead he quietly applied for Hunter S. Thompson’s recently vacated postion as political writer for Rolling Stone.

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Quotes on speaking with meaning

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Recently my brother and I were swapping stories about our childhood peccadilloes and the punishments that usually followed. One thing was certain: When Mom and Daddy caught us in our misadventures and promised to tend to us later, they kept their word. We not only learned that actions have consequences, we learned our parents meant what they said.

Most people seem to take a more ambiguous approach to life than our parents. They’ve discovered the easiest way to avoid conflict is to avoid making firm commitments or saying anything meaningful. Instead they waffle and warble, acting out the advice Rolling Stones’ front man Mick Jagger once said he picked up from singer Fats Domino: Never sing the lyrics very clearly.

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I'm Deborah, survivor of everything from multiple cancer battles to major business setbacks. Join my search for ways to move the mountains, big & small, that block your path to success.
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