Those are my principles. If you don’t like them, I have others.
No matter how cynical you get, it’s almost impossible to keep up.
. . . and down they forgot as up they grew.
My conscience aches, but it’s going to lose the fight.
If there existed no external means for dimming their consciences, one-half of the men would at once shoot themselves, because to live contrary to one’s reason is a most intolerable state, and all men of our time are in such a state.
You can really learn something about a person when he’s put into circumstances in which civilized values place his own identity, even his very being, in jeopardy. . . . I often think: How would a friend with whom you’ve drunk a lot of vodka and had a lot of fun respond when one morning you plant yourself on his doorstep and say, “Hide me. I’m being chased by the Nazis.”
One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being.
God will not look you over for medals, degrees, or diplomas, but for scars.
A commentary on the times is that the word honesty is now preceded by old-fashioned.
I would rather be the man who bought the Brooklyn Bridge than the man who sold it.
We may argue eloquently that “honesty is the best policy.” Unfortunately, the moment honesty is adopted for the sake of policy it mysteriously ceases to be honesty.
I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my best each and every day.
The naked truth is always better than the best-dressed lie.
Excuse me, sir; I cannot consent to receive pay for services I do not render.
There are few things more disturbing than to find, in somebody we detest, a moral quality which seems to us demonstrably superior to anything we ourselves possess. It augurs not merely an unfairness on the part of creation, but a lack of artistic judgment. Sainthood is acceptable only in saints.
My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am.
I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and really being good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.
If we had done as the kings told us five hundred years ago, we should all have been slaves. If we had done as the priest told us, we should all have been idiots. If we had done as the doctors told us, we should all have been dead. We have been saved by disobedience. We have been saved by the splendid thing called independence, and I want to see more of it. I want to see children raised so that they will have it.
A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi to come back, but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.
Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.
The mountain remains unmoved at seeming defeat by the mist.