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  1. Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when its the only one we have.
       -- Anon.

  2. Every time a man puts a new idea across he finds ten men who thought of it before he did -- but they only thought of it.
       -- Anon.

  3. Ideas, as distinguished from events, are never unprecedented.
       -- Hannah Arendt

  4. Every man with an idea has at least two or three followers.
       -- Brooks Atkinson

  5. You can imprison a man, but not an idea. You can exile a man, but not an idea. You can kill a man, but not an idea.
       -- Benazir Bhutto

  6. It is very a dangerous thing to have an idea that you will not practice.
       -- Phyllis Bottome

  7. One can live in the shadow of an idea without grasping it.
       -- Elizabeth Bowen

  8. There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea.
       -- Percy Williams Bridgman

  9. If you want to get across an idea, wrap it up in a person.
       -- Ralph Bunche

  10. There are well-dressed foolish ideas, just as there are well-dressed fools.
       -- Sebastien Chamfort

  11. Only the wise possess ideas; the greater part of mankind are possessed by them.
       -- Sa,uel Taylor Coleridge

  12. Ideas are the root of creation.
       -- Ernest Dimnet

  13. He was distinguished for ignorance; for he had only one idea, and that was wrong.
       -- Benjamin Disraeli

  14. Ideas must work their way through the brains and arms of men, or they are no better than dreams.
       -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  15. Man's fear of ideas is probably the greatest dike holding back human knowledge and happiness.
       -- Morris Leopold Ernst

  16. An idea is a feat of association, and the height of it is a good metaphor.
       -- Robert Frost

  17. Having ideas is like having chessmen moving forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.
       -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  18. The real Antichrist is he who turns the wine of an original idea into the water of mediocrity.
       -- Eric Hoffer

  19. Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprung up.
       -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

  20. Man's mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.
       -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

  21. An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
       -- Elbert Hubbard

  22. No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come.
       -- Victor Hugo

  23. It is better to entertain an idea than to take it home to live with you for the rest of your life.
       -- Randall Jarrell

  24. To say that an idea is fashionable is to say, I think, that is has been adulterated to a point where it is hardly an idea at all.
       -- Murray Kempton

  25. The power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.
       -- John Maynard Keynes

  26. In a war of ideas it is the people who get killed.
       -- Stanislaw Lec

  27. If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere. You even smell it.
       -- Thomas Mann

  28. An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea.
       -- Don Marquis

  29. An idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it.
       -- Don Marquis

  30. A soul preoccupied with great ideas best performs small duties.
       -- Harriet Martineau

  31. The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.
       -- Karl Marx

  32. No matter how brilliantly an idea is stated, we will not really be moved unless we have already half thought of it ourselves.
       -- Mignon McLaughlin

  33. We cannot take anything for granted beyond the first mathematical formulae. Question everything else.
       -- Maria Mitchell

  34. General notions are generally wrong.
       -- Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

  35. Great ideas are not charitable.
       -- Henry de Montherlant

  36. A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.
       -- Joyce A. Myers

  37. You cannot put a rope around the neck of an idea: you can not put an idea up against a barracks-square wall and riddle it with bullets: you cannot confine it in the strongest prison cell that your slaves could ever build.
       -- Sean O'Casey

  38. To accept an unorthodoxy is always to inherit unresolved contradictions.
       -- George Orwell

  39. If anyone has a new idea in this country, there are twice as many people who keep putting a man with a red flag in front of it.
       -- Prince Philip

  40. It's just as sure a recipe for failure to have the right idea fifty years too soon, as five years too late.
       -- J. R. Platt

  41. A powerful idea communicates some of its power to the man who contradicts it.
       -- Marcel Proust

  42. Very simple ideas lie within the reach only of complex minds.
       -- Remy de Gourmont

  43. An cold in the head causes less suffering than an idea.
       -- Jules Renard

  44. For an idea to be fashionable is ominous, since it must afterwards be always old-fashioned.
       -- George Santayana

  45. A man is infinitely more complicated than his thoughts.
       -- Paul Valery

  46. The history of thought may be summed up in these words: it is absurd by what is seeks and great by what it finds.
       -- Paul Valery

  47. Ideas are the factors that lift civilization. They create revolutions. There is more dynamite in an idea than in many bombs.
       -- John H. Vincent

  48. The vitality of thought is in adventure. Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them. When the idea is new, its custodians have fervor, live for it, and if need be, die for it.
       -- Alfred North Whitehead

  49. An idea is salvation by imagination.
       -- Frank Lloyd Wright

  50. The only people in the world who can change things are those who can sell ideas.
       -- Lois Wyse

Ideals, Idealism

  1. The attainment of an ideal is often the beginning of a disillusion.
       -- Stanley Baldwin

  2. Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality the cost becomes prohibitive.
       -- William F. Buckley, Jr.

  3. Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem.
       -- John Galsworthy

  4. An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.
       -- Sidney J. Harris

  5. What we need most, is not so much to realize the ideal as to idealize the real.
       -- H. F. Hedge

  6. When a man forgets his ideals, he may hope for happiness, but not till then.
       -- John Oliver Hobbes

  7. Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.
       -- Herbert Hoover

  8. Man is born a predestined idealist, for he is born to act. To act is to affirm the worth of an end, and to persist in affirming the worth of an end is to make an ideal.
       -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

  9. The true ideal is not opposed to the real but lies in it; and blessed are the eyes that find it.
       -- James Russell Lowell

  10. Do not use that foreign word 'ideals.' We have that excellent word 'lies.'
       -- Henrik Ibsen

  11. An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
       -- H. L. Mencken

  12. The idealist is incorrigible. If he is turned out of his heaven, he makes an ideal out of his hell.
       -- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

  13. Perfectionism is slow death.
       -- Hugh Prather

  14. Some men can live up to their loftiest ideals without ever going higher than a basement.
       -- Theodore Roosevelt

  15. In our ideals we unwittingly reveal our vices.
       -- Jean Rostand

  16. Ideals are like the stars: we never reach them, but like the mariners of the sea, we chart our course by them.
       -- Carl Schurz

  17. Ideals are thoughts. So long as they exist merely as thoughts, the power in them remains ineffective.
       -- Albert Schweitzer

  18. We build statues out of snow, and weep to see them melt.
       -- Walter Scott

  19. When they come downstairs from their Ivory Tower, idealists are apt to walk straight into the gutter.
       -- Logan Pearsall Smith


  1. Prolonged idleness paralyzes initiative.
       -- Anon.

  2. Laziness grows on people; it begins in cobwebs and ends in iron chains.
       -- Thomas Fowell Buxton

  3. Nine-tenths of the miseries and vices of mankind proceed from idleness.
       -- Thomas Carlyle

  4. Idleness is the only refuge of weak minds, and the holiday of fools.
       -- Lord Chesterfield

  5. We owe most of our great inventions and most of the achievements of genius to idleness--either enforced or voluntary. The human mind prefers to be spoon-fed with the thoughts of others, but deprived of such nourishment it will, reluctantly, begin to think for itself--and such thinking, remember, is original thinking and may have valuable results.
       -- Agatha Christie

  6. Idleness is an inlet to disorder, and makes way for licentiousness. People who have nothing to do are quickly tired of their own company.
       -- Jeremy Collier

  7. An idler is a watch that wants both hands,
    As useless if it goes as it stands.
       -- William Cowper

  8. Absence of occupation is not rest;
    A mind quite vacant is a mind distress'd.
       -- William Cowper

  9. That man is idle who can do something better.
       -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. An idle brain is the devil's workshop.
       -- English Proverb

  11. Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright.
       -- Benjamin Franklin

  12. Purity of mind and idleness are incompatible.
       -- Mahatma Gandhi

  13. Did nothing in particular, and did it very well.
       -- William S. Gilbert

  14. Even if a farmer intends to loaf, he gets up in time to have an early start.
       -- Edgar Watson Howe

  15. The way to be nothing is to do nothing.
       -- Nathaniel Howe

  16. A loafer always has the correct time.
       -- Kin (Frank McKinney) Hubbard

  17. Every man is, or hopes to be, an idler.
       -- Samuel Johnson

  18. To be idle and to be poor have always been reproaches and therefore every man endeavors with his utmost care to hide his poverty from others and his idleness from himself.
       -- Samuel Johnson

  19. It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.
       -- Jerome K. Jerome

  20. Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen.
       -- Jerome K. Jerome

  21. If a soldier or labourer complains of the hardships of his lot, set him to do nothing.
       -- Blaise Pascal

  22. There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it.
       -- J. Raper

  23. It is difficult to keep quiet if you have nothing to do.
       -- Arthur Schopenhauer

  24. Idleness is the stupidity of the body, and stupidity is the idleness of the mind.
       -- Johann G. Seume

  25. A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.
       -- George Bernard Shaw

  26. What am I doing? Nothing. I am letting life rain upon me.
       -- Rahel Varnhagen

  27. To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.
       -- Oscar Wilde

  28. It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.
       -- Virginia Woolf

Idols, Idolatry

  1. We boast our emancipation from many superstitions; but if we have broken any idols, it is through a transfer of idolatry.
       -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. Sacred cows make very poor gladiators.
       -- Nikki Giovanni

    Man is a dog's ideal of what God should be.
       -- Holbrook Jackson

  3. The idol is the measure of the worshipper.
       -- James Russell Lowell

  4. Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
       -- Thomas Paine

  5. Idolatry is in a man's own thought, not in the opinion of another.
       -- John Selden

  6. 'Tis mad idolatry
    To make the service greater than the god.
       -- William Shakespeare

  7. When men have gone so far as to talk as though their idols have come to life, it is time that someone broke them.
       -- Richard H. Tawney

  8. Whatever a man seeks, honors, or exalts more than God, this is the god of his idolatry.
       -- William B. Ullathorne

  9. Rapine, avarice, expense,
    This is idolatry; and these we adore;
    Plain living and high thinking are no more.
       -- William Wordsworth


  1. To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant
       -- Amos Bronson Alcott

  2. Little wit in the head makes much work for the feet.
       -- Anon.

  3. The trouble ain't that people are ignorant: it's that they know so much that ain't so.
       -- Josh Billings

  4. I am not ashamed to confess I am ignorant of what I do not know.
       -- Cicero

  5. What the eye does not see, the heart does not rue.
       -- Mary Collyer

  6. Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon or star.
       -- Confucius

  7. Ignorance gives one a large range of probabilities.
       -- George Eliot

  8. There are many things of which a wise man might wish to be ignorant.
       -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. Ignorance is the necessary condition of life itself. If we knew everything we could not endure existence for a single hour.
       -- Anatole France

  10. He that knows little often repeats it.
       -- Thomas Fuller

  11. Ignorance, if not bliss, often saves a good deal of time.
       -- Anthony Gilbert

  12. He knows so little and knows it so fluently.
       -- Ellen Glasgow

  13. There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.
       -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  14. When an idea is wanting, a word can always be found to take its place.
       -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  15. The most violent element in society is ignorance.
       -- Emma Goldman

  16. Ignorance is the mother of presumption.
       -- Marie de Gournay

  17. Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly to be wise.
       -- Thomas Gray

  18. When we are not sure, we are alive.
       -- Graham Greene

  19. Ignorance is not bliss; ignorance is impotence; it is fear; it is cruelty; it is all the things that make for unhappiness.
       -- Ingrid Holtby

  20. If ignorance is indeed bliss, it is a very low grade of the article.
       -- Tehyi Hsieh

  21. Your ignorance cramps my conversation.
       -- Bob Hope

  22. Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don't know because we don't want to know.
       -- Aldous Huxley

  23. Ignorance cannot always be inferred from inaccuracy; knowledge is not always present.
       -- Samuel Johnson

  24. Art hath an enemy called Ignorance.
       -- Ben Jonson

  25. Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
       -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

  26. Ignorance of the law must not prevent the losing attorney from collecting hid fee.
       -- Legal Maxim

  27. Ignorance is a voluntary misfortune.
       -- Nicholas Ling

  28. The empty vessel giveth a greater sound then the full barrel.
       -- John Lyly

  29. It is a blind goose that cometh to the fox's sermon.
       -- John Lyly

  30. Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge.
       -- Horace Mann

  31. The know-nothings are, unfortunately, seldom the do-nothings.
       -- Mignon McLaughlin

  32. Ignorance is the mother of all evils.
       -- Michel de Montaigne

  33. There is an ABC ignorance which precedes knowledge and a doctoral ignorance which comes after it.
       -- Michel de Montaigne

  34. Ignorance is of a peculiar nature. Once dispelled it is impossible to re-establish it.
       -- Thomas Paine

  35. Ignorance is no excuse, it's the real thing.
       -- Irene Peter

  36. From ignorance our comfort flows,
    The only wretched are the wise.
       -- Matthew Prior

  37. If you are ignorant, you certainly can get into some interresting arguments.
       -- Herbert Prochnow

  38. Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
       -- Will Rogers

  39. Against stupidity the very
    Gods themselves toil in vain.
       -- Friedrich von Schiller

  40. Ignorance is degrading only when found in company with great riches.
       -- Arthur Schopenauer

  41. Ignorance is the curse of God,
    Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.
       -- William Skakespeare, Henry VI

  42. Have the courage to be ignorant of a great number of things, in order to avoid the calamity of being ignorant of everything.
       -- Sydney Smith

  43. Ignorant men
    Don't know what good they hold in their hands until
    They've flung it away.
       -- Sophocles

  44. It may be that the ignorant man, alone, has any chance to mate his life with life.
       -- Wallace Stevens

  45. Blind and naked Ignorance
    Delivers brawling judgements,
       -- Alfred Lord Tennyson

  46. The older we grow the greater becomes our wonder at how much ignorance one can contain without bursting one's clothes.
       -- Mark Twain

  47. I would rather have my ignorance than another man's knowledge, because I have so much of it.
       -- Mark Twain

  48. Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.
       -- Alfred North Whitehead

  49. I do not approve of anything which tampers with natural ignorance.
       -- Oscar Wilde

  50. There is more stupidity around than hydrogen, and it has a longer shelf life.
       -- Frank Zappa


  1. The difficulty with becoming a patient is that as soon as you get horizontal, part of your being yearns, not for a doctor, but for a medicine man.
       -- Shana Alexander

  2. A man's illness is his private territory and, no matter how much he loves you and how close you are, you stay an outsider. You are healthy.
       -- Lauren Bacall

  3. What a strange distance there is between ill people and well ones.
       -- Winifred Holtby

  4. A disease and its treatment can be a series of humiliations, a chisel for humility.
       -- Laurel Lee

  5. Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion.
       -- Florence Nightingale

  6. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.
       -- Susan Sontag

  7. Sickness, like sex, demands a private room, or at the very least, a discreet curtain around the ward bed.
       -- Violet Weingarten

  8. The sick soon come to understand that they live in a different world from that of the well and that the two cannot communicate.
       -- Jessamyn West

  9. There is, let us confess it (and illness is the great confessional), a childish outspokenness in illness; things are said, truths blurted out, which the cautious respectability of health conceals.
       -- Virginia Woolf

  10. Every invalid is a prisoner.
       -- Marguerite Yourcenar


  1. Some of my best friends are illusions. Been sustaining me for years.
       -- Sheila Ballantyne

  2. A pleasant illusion is better than a harsh reality.
       -- Christian Nestell Bovee

  3. We must select the illusion which appeals to our temperament, and embrace it with a passion, if we want to be happy.
       -- Cyril Connolly

  4. It is respectable to have no illusions, and safe, and profitable and dull.
       -- Joseph Conrad

  5. magic lives in curves, not angles.
       -- Mason Cooley

  6. If you ever do a survey, you'll find that people prefer illusion to reality, ten to one. Twenty, even.
       -- Judith Guest

  7. Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
       -- Arthur Koestler

  8. Therefore trust to thy heart, and to what the world calls illusions.
       -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  9. An illusion which makes me happy is worth a verity which drags me to the ground.
       -- Christopher Martin-Wieland

  10. It is dangerous to let the public behind the scenes. They are easily disillusioned and they are angry with you, for it was the illusion they loved.
       -- W. Somerset Maugham

  11. The task of the real intellectual consists of analyzing illusions in order to discover their causes.
       -- Arthur Miller

  12. Better a dish of illusion and a hearty appetite for life, than a feast of reality and indigestion therewith.
       -- Harry A. Overstreet

  13. It takes a lot to wound a man without illusions.
       -- Ellis Peters

  14. Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
       -- Mark Twain

  15. The one person who has more illusions than the dreamer is the man of action.
       -- Oscar Wilde

  16. It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality.
       -- Virginia Woolf


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