Life Quotes

We have collected and put the best Life Quotes from around the world. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

May these Life Quotes on many subjects inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.

See also: Meaning of Life Quotes

Life is a state that distinguishes organisms from non-living objects or dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism and reproduction.

Life is: the most important aim of the universe; and its greatest result; and its most brilliant light; and its subtlest leaven; and its distilled essence; and its most perfect fruit; and its most elevated perfection; and its finest beauty and its most beautiful adornment; and the secret of its undividedness; and the bond of its unity; and the source of its perfections; and in regard to art and nature, a most wondrous being endowed with spirit; and a miraculous reality which makes the tiniest creature like a universe; More…. – Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

Life blossoms during childhood. During youth it grows through inward tension and spiritual struggle on the way of truth. During old age it holds its vital energy with the desire to reunite with  the beloved ones who have already passed away. How wretched it is for the atheists that they perceive life sometimes as comedy and sometimes as tragedy, and thereby stifle the instinct for ardent hope and gratitude in humanity. – M. Fethullah Gulen

The more a person suffers in life and is conscious of the life he or she is living, the more profound his or her feelings become. Those who live unconsciously of the meaning of life and events and have experienced no suffering, can never develop their feelings and faculties. Nor can they feel them­selves as parts of existence. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Life Quotes

Life Quotes

The Meaning of Life Quotes

Meaning of life: to shine a light where there is no light and take responsibility for shining that light. – Noelani Musicaro

The meaning is hidden in man, but it is only man himself who can find it. – Liv-Christine Hoem

The meaning of life can be found in the search. – Reza Farivar

The meaning of life can be revealed but never explained. – Kenneth Rexroth

The meaning of life cannot be told; it has to happen to a person … To speak as though it were an objective knowledge, like the date of the war of 1812, misses the point altogether. – Ira Progoff

The meaning of life cannot be told; it has to HAPPEN to a person. – Ira Progoff

The meaning of life changes as you change dimensional planes. The way human beings perceive the world is only one simple method of seeing. There are many ways to see life. Life has many meanings, and self realization is the understanding of all this. – Frederick Lenz

The meaning of life consists in the fact that it makes no sense to say that life has no meaning. – Niels Bohr

The meaning of life consists in the love and service of God. – Leo Tolstoy

The meaning of life has not much to do with good and evil, right and wrong, duty, honor, country, or any of that. It has to do with cutting the right deal. – Nelson DeMille

The meaning of life is a personal definition, as unique as the individual; that meaning will emerge during one’s lifetime as the major quest for fulfillment, something to act on that will give value to one’s life and leave behind as their greatest legacy. – Joan Jessalyn Cox

The meaning of life is a two-way street”—we have the right to expect certain things from life and strive towards them, but it is not over when we are no longer able to expect anything because life still expects things from us. – Roumen Bezergianov

The meaning of life is basically to be the kind of person you would want to be around. – Alexei Maxim Russell

The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. It is present in the infinity of forms and phenomena that exist in all of creation. – Michael Jackson

The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. – Michael Jackson

The meaning of life is creative love. Not love as an inner feeling, as a private sentimental emotion, but love as a dynamic power moving out in the world and doing something original. – Old Tom Morris

The meaning of life is found by diving deep, deep within. – Vishnudevananda Saraswati

The meaning of life is found in openness to being and “being present” in full awareness. – Thomas Merton

The meaning of life is happiness. – Dalai Lama

The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves. – Alan Watts

The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. – Alan Watts

The meaning of life is life. – Alan Alda

The meaning of life is more than a definition of life. – M..

The meaning of life is not an unquestionable answer; it is an unanswerable question. – Terri Guillemets

The meaning of life is not celebrating your birth, it is celebrating your work. – Amit Kalantri

The meaning of life is not only to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer. – Arnold Schwarzenegger

The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm; on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can. – Paul Kurtz

The meaning of life is pretty clear: Living things strive to pass their genes into the future. The claim that we would not have morals or ethics without religion is extraordinary. Animals in nature seem to behave in moral ways without organized religion. – Bill Nye

The meaning of life is that it ends. – Franz Kafka

The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a patter of systems. – Bruce Lee

The meaning of life is that it is to be lived. – Bruce Lee

The meaning of life is that it stops. – Franz Kafka

The meaning of life is that nobody knows the meaning of life. – Woody Allen

The meaning of life is the acquisition of experiences for the Creator. – Keith J. Caserta

The meaning of life is ‘the ultimate questioner’s vanity.’ – Kedar Joshi

The meaning of life is to adventurously discover our gift. The purpose of life is joyfully share our gift with the world. – Robert John Cook

The meaning of life is to become conscious. The whole evolution of life is to become increasingly more conscious. – Swami Dhyan Giten

The meaning of life is to create meaning for your life. – Tucker Max

The meaning of life is to die living it. – Dominic Riccitello

The meaning of life is to find a purpose to live for. – Aleksandr Sebryakov

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. – S. E. Hinton

The meaning of life is to get meaning for life. – Wayne Dyer

The meaning of life is to give life meaning. – Ken Hudgins

the meaning of life is to help each other get through. The purpose of life is to live, with all 5 senses, and enjoy the gift. – Grant Walker, MD

The meaning of life is to live a meaningful life. – Bill Phillips

The meaning of life is to matter, to have it count that we ever lived at all, to have the world be a better place when they put us in the ground than when they pulled us from our mothers. – Peter F. DiSilvio

The meaning of life is to see. – Huineng

The meaning of Life is whatever we Choose. – Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The meaning of life, Nikodemos, is to live life with meaning. The purpose of life is merely to live it, perhaps to give it. – Janet Morris

The meaning of life. The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: ‘grace.’ – Max Lucado

The meaning of life… I think the meaning of life is, I think it’s love. – Julie Benz

The meaning of things lies not in the things themselves, but in our attitude towards them. – Antoine de Saint Exupery

The meanings of life aren’t inherited. What is inherited is the mandate to make meanings of life by how we live. The endings of life give life’s meanings a chance to show. The beginning of the end of our order, our way, is now in view. This isn’t punishment, any more than dying is a punishment for being born. – Stephen Jenkinson

Meaning of Life Quotes

The only answer to the question of the meaning of life has to begin from the fact of our human finitude, of our vulnerability and our fallibility. – Simon Critchley

The only meaning of life worth caring about is one that can withstand our best efforts to examine it. – Daniel Dennett

The only meaning our lives have is the meaning we give them. – Robert Hellenga

The only path that has any meaning is one that resolves your being in the feeling that your heart is empowered by doing what is necessary for your existence. – Lujan Matus

The only people who think the Internet is a calamity are people whose lives have been hurt by it; the only people who insist the Internet is wonderful are those who need it to give their life meaning. – Chuck Klosterman

The only purpose of our lives consists in waking each other up and being there for each other. – Johanna Paungger

Meaning of Life Quotes

The Purpose of Life Quotes

The pure power of a life can manifest a beatitude, or as an unspeakable, sheer violence… – Jane Bennett

The purpose of life is a life of purpose. – Robert Byrne

The purpose of life is life. – Dejan Stojanovic

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things. – Rainer Maria Rilke

The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better. – Robert F. Kennedy

The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give your gift away. – David Viscott

The purpose of life is to fall in love, and never get caught. – Robert Black

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. – Eleanor Roosevelt

The purpose of life is to matter, to be productive, to have it make some difference that you lived at all. – Leo Rosten

The purpose of life is to reach a point where you can say ‘yes’ to all of it. – Eric Micha’el Leventhal

The purpose of life is to seek harmony. – Robert Gately

The purpose of life is to stay alive. Watch any animal in nature–all it tries to do is stay alive. It doesn’t care about beliefs or philosophy. Whenever any animal’s behavior puts it out of touch with the realities of its existence, it becomes extinct. – Michael Crichton

The purpose of life is to survive,to grow,to accept and adapt changes that happens…And addition to human is to exercise his free will, to learn from experience,to make the most of his time,to live well and to reap what he sow in this life. – Balenti Peco Ramos

The purpose of our lives is to add value to the people of this generation and those that follow. – Buckminster Fuller

The purpose of our lives is to be happy. – Dalai Lama

The purpose of philosophy is not to help men find the meaning of life, but to prove to them that there isn’t any. – Ayn Rand

The purpose of this glorious life is not simply to endure it, but to soar, stumble and flourish as you learn to fall in love with existence. We were born to live my dear not to merely exist. – Becca Lee

Meaning of Life Quotes

Life Quotes

What is life for? he asks himself. What is my life for? – Hanya Yanagihara

What is life?
Life is living in this moment,
experiencing and experimenting
but experience isn’t life.
Life is reflecting and meditating
but reflection isn’t life.
Life is helping and guiding
but philanthropy isn’t life.
Life is eating and drinking
but food isn’t life.
Life is reading and dancing
but art isn’t life.
Life is kissing and pleasuring
but sex isn’t life.
Life is winning and losing
but competition isn’t life.
Life is loving and caring
but love isn’t life.
Life is birthing and nurturing
but children aren’t life.
Life is letting go and surrendering
but death isn’t life.
Life is all these things
but all these things aren’t life.
Life is
always more. – Kamand Kojouri

What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good. – Aristotle

What is the highest good in all matters of action? To the name, there is almost complete agreement; for uneducated and educated alike call it happiness, and make happiness identical with the good life and successful living. They disagree, however, about the meaning of happiness. – Aristotle

What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life. – Albert Einstein

What is the meaning of it, Watson? said Holmes solemnly as he laid down the paper. “What object is served by this circle of misery and violence and fear? It must tend to some end, or else our universe is ruled by chance, which is unthinkable. But what end? There is the great standing perennial problem to which human reason is as far from an answer as ever. – Arthur Conan Doyle

—What is the meaning of life?
—I know, but I won’t tell you. – Mason Cooley

What is the meaning of life? It is too great a phenomenon to fit into any meaning. – Jaggi Vasudev

What is the meaning of life? Life has the meaning that you give it. – Steve Redhead

What is the meaning of life? That was all- a simple question; one that tended to close in on one with years, the great revelation had never come. The great revelation perhaps never did come. Instead, there were little daily miracles, illuminations, matches struck unexpectedly in the dark; here was one. – Virginia Woolf

What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful. – Dalai Lama XIV

What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Philosophers have pondered that question for centuries. I’m afraid the answer is disappointingly simple: Mating. That’s it. – Oliver Markus

What is the meaning of life? Why are we here?
Philosophers have pondered that question for centuries. I’m afraid the answer is disappointingly simple: Mating.
That’s it.
Christians seem to think that life is a test, and that the goal is to get into Heaven. But that’s like saying your job is to get a promotion. No, your job is to work. And then, if you worked hard, then you get promoted. Heaven is supposed to be a reward or promotion, for a job well done. And what’s our job? “Be fruitful and multiply.” We are here to mate and procreate. That’s it. That’s all there’s to it.
That’s the meaning of life. Mating. – Oliver Markus Malloy

What is the meaning of life?
Life has the meaning that you give it. – Steven Redhead

What is the meaning of life?” asked man.
“Seek and ye shall find,” said God. “That was my method.”
The man replied, “How might I do that?”
“Take a setting,” instructed God. “Add some dirt and water, mold it into something likeable. Let there be light to break up the darkness. Plant some trees and fruit. Don’t forget to put in a few animals. Then create a few wild things that are as curious in thought as you, and let them figure the damned thing out. – J. Edward Vance

What is the meaning of life?” She asked me.
“Life has no meaning!” I said.
“Then why do we live?” She asked me.
“To create the meaning!” I said. – Avijeet Das

What is the meaning of life?Whatever you want it to be. – James Frey

What is the meaning of life…to give life meaning. – Clifford Cohen

“What is the meaning of life?” This question has no answer except in the history of how it came to be asked. There is no answer because words have meaning, not life or persons or the universe itself. Our search for certainty rests in our attempts at understanding the history of all individual selves and all civilizations. Beyond that, there is only awe. – Julian Jaynes

Life Quote

Life – a meaningless thing, draped in some moments, that can be given any title or definition. – Neeraj Agnihotri

Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment. This includes every mosquito, every misfortune, every red light, every traffic jam, every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), every illness, every loss, every moment of joy or depression, every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath. Every moment is the guru. – Joko Beck

Life always has some surprises up its sleeve!. – Avijeet Das

Life and all that is in it
is a gift from the infinite mind;
And the only way that life can go wrong
is by the limited finite mind. – Eric Foley Saucier

Life belongs to man, but the meaning of life is beyond him. – Elie Wiesel

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. – Soren Kierkegaard

Life cannot be better than the way it is , can you imagine a better way than this’ – Anonymous

Life cannot find reasons to sustain it, cannot be a source of decent mutual regard, unless each of us resolves to breathe such qualities into it. – Frank Herbert

Life ceases to be so oppressive: we are free to give our own lives meaning and purpose, free to redeem our suffering by making something of it. – Walter Kaufmann

Life defined only as the opposite of death is not life. – Mahmoud Darwish

Life does not have meaning through mere existence or acquisition or fun. The meaning of life is inherent in the connections we make to others through honor and obligation. – Laura Schlessinger

Life does not wait: Whether we spend our lives meaningfully or not, the time will be used up moment by moment. – Dalai Lama

Life doesn’t happen suddenly. It fades in. – M..

Life gives meaning to life. The answer to the meaning of life is hidden right there inside the question. – Wendy Mass

Life has a meaning but do not set out to find out. Just live it out. – Bangambiki Habyarimana

Life has a plan for each of us; we may not understand the whys on our journey but every event is meaningful nonetheless. – Ken Poirot

Life has become easier. Most of us have the means to live an easier life.
But so few of us have the meaning to live for, or a reason to die for. – Manoj Arora

Life has meaning only if one barters it day by day for something other than itself. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Life has no map; it’s made of random events, always caused by something beyond your control. – Bangambiki Habyarimana

Life has no meaning the moment you loose the illusion of being eternal. – Jean-Paul Sartre

Life has no meaning unless one lives it with a will, at least to the limit of one’s will. – Paul Gauguin

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer. – Joseph Campbell

Life has no meaning. We create the meaning! – Avijeet Das

Life has only one equation. The equation of giving. – Amit Ray

Life has only three states-Happiness,Grief and Emptiness.The extreme state of life is emptiness. – Deshwal Sachin

Life has to be given a meaning because of the obvious fact that it has no meaning. – Henry Miller

Life in 5 words, born, eat, poo, procreate, die. Its really simple. – George Banister

Life in itself is so beautiful that to ask the question of the meaning of life is simply nonsense. – Rajneesh

Life is a beautiful journey. And we are here to lead a meaningful life. Some of us may take a longer time than others to pass exams and reach the milestones in life. But that does not mean that we become sad and depressed in life. Life is not a race. There are no winners or losers in life. It does not matter who comes first or last in the journey of life. Live your life in your own way. And always be happy. Spread happiness and kindness wherever you may go! – Avijeet Das

Life is a fairy tale. Live it with wonder and amazement. – Welwyn Wilton Katz

Life is a helluva journey. You face situations. You meet people. You try to understand situations. You try to understand people.
But you will never ever be able to understand people. You will never understand why some things happen. You feel you desperately need someone to support. But you won’t find any support. You feel you need an anchor amidst all these changes. But there won’t be an anchor. And you will feel your feet are giving away. You will feel the weight of life pulling you down and you are drowning in the ocean. And you can’t even shout for help. Everybody is busy living their life to listen to you. You thus you give up on people. You lose faith in people. You lose faith on life.
You just go on living life without feeling anything. You live life in a state of numbness and indifference.
And then one day you look at yourself in the mirror, and you have become a stranger to yourself! – Avijeet Das

Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations. – Oliver Goldsmith

Life is a long journey meant for leaping beyond loneliness to find unchanging freedom and truth. – Ilchi Lee

Life is a long road on a short journey. – James Lendall Basford

life is a mystical art of combination. – Talismanist Giebra

Life is a progress, and not a station. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a River”
Life is a river
zig zag it goes on flowing
myriad memories quench thirst
in the swirling waves of life!
**
Life has its own colour
a mingling of blue, green, black and white
sweeping away all happiness and sadness
in the cascading bubbles of tears and delight
**
Life shares its own wisdom
to keep on flowing is its only zeal
whether it be summer or winter
life will keep on flowing but never still
**
Life is a river
it flows at its own pace
sometimes it may have no direction
and this is life’s story and grace! – Poet Manjushree Mohanty

Life is a series of collisions with the future. – Jose Ortega y Gasset

Life is about making an impact, not making an income. – Kevin Kruse

Life is about warm friendships, memorable moments, and moments of extraordinary beauty. – Avijeet Das

Life is about warm friendships, memorable wanderings, and moments of extraordinary beauty. – Avijeet Das

Life is all about how you handle Plan B. – Anonymous

Life is an abstract art, and it’s up to you to make sense of it. – Talismanist Giebra

Life is an art of mystical combination. – Talismanist Giebra

Life is difficult. Not just for me or other ALS patients. Life is difficult for everyone. Finding ways to make life meaningful and purposeful and rewarding, doing the activities that you love and spending time with the people that you love – I think that’s the meaning of this human experience. – Steve Gleason

Life is half spent before we know what it is. – George Herbert

Life is just a beautiful struggle! – Garima Yonzon

Life is just too beautiful if meaning is attached to it, and useless when meaningless!! – Tripta Arora

Life is less about finding and more about seeking. – Seth Adam Smith

Life is life! The real meaning and definition of life is not wealth, though wealth can define and give meaning to life. – Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you can only spend it once. – Lillian Dickson

Life is like a piano. The white keys represent happiness and the black shows sadness. But as you go through life’s journey, remember that the black keys also make music. – Ehssan

Life is like a poetry, without meaning or purpose – it’s useless. – Jawwad Zafar

Life is like a riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein

Life is like paper; you can throw it away or, you can make something out of it. – TheKatAttack

Life is like theater. Each new day is a new scene with new acts and roles to portray. The sets always change. You come across new dialogue and lines to exchange between others. Scripts are improvised. But the beauty in it is that everyday, you are constantly learning who you are and how others around you are. Express yourself and empathize. It’s okay to wear a mask every now and then but remember that you’ll eventually meet fellow thespians who will find a way to break down your walls and barriers. Remember another thing: this isn’t a dress rehearsal. And God is your ultimate Director. Let Him write your script and call the cuts. Allow Him to provide you with the applause that truly matters. Let Him open up your heart to real self discovery. He is the best playwright that never dies. He lives. And so do you when you learn to let go and step on the stage of life. – Melody Joy

Life is meaningless only if we allow it to be. Each of us has the power to give life meaning, to make our time and our bodies and our words into instruments of love and hope. – Thomas Head Raddall

Life is meaningless, when we take a life we take nothing of value. – Brent Weeks

Life is more than great sex and a nice car.”
Well, yeah. But not a lot more. – Jennifer Crusie

Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. – George Bernard Shaw

Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming. – Myrna Loy

Life is not a hope, but it is all of this !! – Hesham Nebr

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. – Soren Kierkegaard

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain. – Vivian Greene

Life is not somewhere waiting for you, it is happening in you. It is not in the future as a goal to be arrived at, it is herenow, this very moment – in your breathing, circulating in your blood, beating in your heart. Whatsoever you are is your life, and if you start seeking meaning somewhere else, you will miss it. Man has done that for centuries. – Rajneesh

Life is only meaningless if we fail to make a resolute effort at achieving bliss, attaining the active state of oneness that comes to a person whom is attentively alive and mindful of all the beauty and moral sublimity of existence. – Kilroy J. Oldster

Life is plenty pointless. We’re all put here on this earth, such a minuscule thing, really. This tiny Earth, in the midst of an ever-larger universe. We were put here for reasons unbeknownst to us, reasons that may not even exist. And, above all that, we try so hard. People work to discover things, to try to create the greatest new thing, to learn everything, to find answers. But those answers are pointless. Because one day, this world will end. And whatever mark you may have thought you left will vanish, like it was never even there. And that, my friends, is the meaning of life. – Payton Webb

Life is problems. Loving is solving problems. – Raymond E. Feist

Life is rather like a tin of sardines – we’re all of us looking for the key. – Alan Bennett

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. – Confucius

Life is really strange. When we were children we eagerly wanted to grow up and become older. But when we become older, we eagerly wish if we could go back to being children again! – Avijeet Das

Life is such a kind of game where there is no wining or no losing, every one just play his part and the most important is how well a person can adapt his role in this game. – Anonymous

Life is the journey of coming home to ourselves. – Lisa Cypers Kamen

Life is the most exciting opportunity we have. But we have one shot. You graduate from college once, and that’s it. You’re going out of that nest. And you have to find that courage that’s deep, deep, deep in there. Every step of the way. – Andrew Shue

Life is too short to hold grudges, plan vengeance, and be angry for too long. And people say things like that all the time, but words like that only take on their meaning when you experience someone close to you passing away. There are truly not enough minutes, hours, days, months, years, to spend any amount of time on being and doing anything other than going into the direction of your happiness. Acceptance is better than correction and joy is better than revenge. Innocent laughter is better than anger. – C. JoyBell C.

Life is truly lived in the moments of simplicity! – Avijeet Das

Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be…including our perception. Of it. – Anais Nin

Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning. – Joseph Campbell

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. – George Bernard Shaw

Life loses its meaning when you forget your purpose. – Debasish Mridha

Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back to life. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Life never ceases having a meaning for a humble person. The freedom of choice, the sovereignty that we hold over our own souls, enables a person to discover the meaning of his or her own life every day, even in suffering or death. – Kilroy J. Oldster

Life no longer felt meaningless. It felt stressful and terrifying, but it definitely didn’t feel meaningless. – Donald Miller

Life occurs somewhere between our aspirations and our just desserts. – Stewart Stafford

Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner. – Les Brown

Life was never simple, happiness never where you thought you’d left it, and right and wrong no more fixed than clouds in the sky. – Janet Morris

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and being alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You have to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes too near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could. – Louise Erdrich

Life will find a way. – Michael Crichton

Life will only have a meaning once you’ve achieved to find your true passion and love within the limitless boundaries of destiny. – Callum Illman

Life, individual or collective, personal or historic, is the one entity in the universe whose substance is compact of danger, of adventure. It is, in the strict sense of the word, drama. The primary, radical meaning of life appears when it is employed in the sense not of biology, but of biography. For the very strong reason that the whole of biology is quite definitely only a chapter in certain biographies, it is what biologists do in the portion of their lives open to biography. – Jose Ortega y Gasset

Live free, dream loud, be inspired, find your power. – Ben Herr

Live is meaningful only if you gave it a meaning. – T. Harv Eker

Live your life to the fullest. – Shakira

A great part of life consists in contemplating what we cannot cure. – Robert Louis Stevenson

A life without cause is a life without effect. – Barbarella

A man who has work that suits him and a wife, whom he loves, has squared his accounts with life. – Friedrich Hegel

After a lifetime of deep thought, I’ve decided that life is a distraction, but probably not from anything important. – Robert Brault

After many a good time driving nails into our own coffins, we are carted off to the crematory. – Henry Stanley Haskins, “The Silent Majority,” Meditations in Wall Street, 1940

After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn’t it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked—as I am surprisingly often—why I bother to get up in the mornings. – Richard Dawkins

All human things hang on a slender thread, the strongest fall with a sudden crash. – Ovid

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. – Havelock Ellis

Almost everything in life is easier to get into than out of. – Agnes’ Law

And the strongest emotion was that life was as precious as it was puzzling. It was an ecstacy because it was an adventure; it was an adventure because it was an opportunity. – G. K. Chesterton

Anxiety and distress, interrupted occasionally by pleasure, is the normal course of man’s existence. – Joseph Wood Krutch

Any idiot can face a crisis — it’s day to day living that wears you out. – Anton Chekhov

As we struggle to make sense of things, life looks on in repose. – Author Unknown

As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point your way. – Author unknown, c.1948

Beauty is precious, you see, and the more beautiful something is, the more precious it is; and the more precious something is, the more it hurts us that it will fade away; and the more we are hurt by beauty, the more we love the world; and the more we love it, the more we are saddened that it is like finely powdered salt that runs away through the fingers, or is puffed away by the wind, or is washed away by the rain. – Louis de Bernières, Birds Without Wings

Behold he glideth down the banister of life and findeth it strewn with the splinters of torture. – John Collins, “Man,” in The Medical Brief, October 1896

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. – Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum

Chance is always powerful, let your hook always be cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish. – Ovid

Curly:  “Do you know what the secret of life is? One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean [$h¡t].”
Mitch Robbins:  “Yeah, but what’s that one thing?”
Curly:  “That’s what you’ve got to figure out.” – From the movie City Slickers, 1991, written by Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel

Days upon days will be cast into the incinerator. I shall destroy the unmeaning and the unmeant…. I shall have real issues to confront. There shall be happenings in my days. Things shall come to pass. There shall be conflicts and decisions. There shall be loves and hates and burnings. – Muriel Strode

Different shades of life make the painting more beautiful. – Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife

Don’t believe the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. – Robert J. Burdette, 1883  [Thanks, Garson O’Toole of QuoteInvestigator.com! Follow link for details. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Don’t ever say you hate life.  That’s blasphemy.  – Jason Cahill, The Sopranos, “Meadowlands,” original airdate 31 January 1999, spoken by the character Christopher Moltisanti

Don’t think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire. I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drive into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark. – Samuel Johnson

Each day of human life contains joy and anger, pain and pleasure, darkness and light, growth and decay. Each moment is etched with nature’s grand design — do not try to deny or oppose the cosmic order of things. – Morihei Ueshiba

Eating, loving, singing and digesting are, in truth, the four acts of the comic opera known as life, and they pass like bubbles of a bottle of champagne. Whoever lets them break without having enjoyed them is a complete fool. – Gioacchino Rossini

Ever get the feeling that sometime early in life there was a briefing you missed? – Robert Brault

Every creatures stalks some other, and catches it, and is caught. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Every day has a little bit of beauty and a little bit of chaos. – Tanisha, @burlappearlsandboots

Every moment of one’s existence one is growing into more or retreating into less. One is always living a little more or dying a little bit. – Norman Mailer

Everything that occurs in your life is part of God’s plan to wake you up. – Leonard Jacobson

Everything which is properly business we must keep carefully separate from life. Business requires earnestness and method; life must have a freed handling. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Existence rightly considered is a fair compromise between two instincts — the instinct of hoping one day to live, and the instinct to live here and now. – Arnold Bennett (1867–1931)

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian. – Dennis Wholey

Few of us write great novels; all of us live them. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Following straight lines shortens distances, and also life. – Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. – Albert Camus

Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee,
And I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me. – Robert Frost

Fortunately analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself remains a very effective therapist. – Karen Horney, Our Inner Conflicts, 1945, referring to psychoanalysis

fragility of life,
finality of death – Terri Guillemets

Give me that life that is seamed and riven with living. – Muriel Strode

Give us Lord, a bit o’ sun,
A bit o’ work and a bit o’ fun;
Give us all in the struggle and sputter
Our daily bread and a bit o’ butter. – From an inn in Lancaster, England

God asks no man whether he will accept life. That is not the choice. You must take it. The only question is how. – Henry Ward Beecher

God gives you a life and says, Okay, what are you going to do with it? – Alice Cooper, interview with Cal Fussman, 2008 August 2nd, for Esquire’s January 2009 eighth annual Meaning of Life issue

God pours life into death and death into life without a drop being spilled. – Author Unknown

God writes a lot of comedy… the trouble is, he’s stuck with so many bad actors who don’t know how to play funny. – Garrison Keillor

Half of life is [f@%’ing] up, the other half is dealing with it. – Henry Rollins

Have you noticed that life, real honest-to-goodness life, with murders and catastrophes and fabulous inheritances, happens almost exclusively in the newspapers? – Jean Anouilh, The Rehearsal, 1950

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. – Friedrich Nietzsche

He who has nothing to die for has nothing to live for. – Moroccan Proverb

Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t. – Richard Bach

Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. – Frederick Buechner

How gaily a man wakes in the morning to watch himself keep on dying! – Henry Stanley Haskins

How we long to remove the clutter from our lives not realizing that the clutter is our lives. – Robert Brault

How you handle life depends a lot on how you handle plan B, or if you have a plan B. – Nelson DeMille, The General’s Daughter, 1992

However we sail on the ocean of life our course is determined by Nature’s trade-winds and Divinity’s undertow. – James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Human life is the source of deep suffering and gorgeous hope. – Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Ministry of the Beautiful, “Conversation I: The Cavern,” 1850  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

I am in the firing line, in the front ranks. I have elected to be in the fire and the smoke, in the Battle of Being. – Muriel Strode

I ask of life to shine meaning in everyone who is searching. – Aurora Hernandez, January 2012 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter

I ask of life, simply that, Life. – Joselyn Holguin, January 2012 winner of The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter

I ask of life… but it doesn’t always give me what I ask for, so I’ve stopped asking and started enjoying. – Annelize Botha, January 2012 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter

I come ravishing life with a wild riot of bloom. – Muriel Strode (1875–1964), “A Soul’s Faring: XLVII,” A Soul’s Faring, 1921  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

I count life just a stuff
To try the soul’s strength on. – Robert Browning

I do like a little bit of butter to my bread. – A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young

I don’t need to live a long time. I just want to live a good time. – Terri Guillemets, “One year, then another,” 1996

I gave my life to learning how to live.
Now that I have organized it all…
It is just about over. – Sandra Hochman

I have a simple philosophy: Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. Scratch where it itches. – Alice Roosevelt Longworth

I have always preferred the reflection of the life to life itself. – François Truffaut

I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything, and many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here, and what the question might mean. I might think about it a little bit, but if I can’t figure it out, then I go on to something else. But I don’t have to know an answer…. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me. – Richard Phillips Feynman

I have come one step away from everything. And here I stay, far from everything, one step away. – Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it. – Jack Handey

I know what things are good: friendship and work and conversation. These I shall have. – Rupert Brooke

I live! Red life boils in my veins, earth yields beneath my feet, in the glow of love I embrace trees and statues, and they live in my embrace. Every woman is to me the gift of a world. I revel in the melody of her countenance, and with a single glance of my eye I can enjoy more than others with their every limb through all their lives. – Heinrich Heine (d.1856), “Ideas: Book Le Grand,” 1826, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, Pictures of Travel, 1855

I really enjoy life I’m just not good at it. – Daniel, @blindedpoet

I say to my child, I will explain to you as much of life as I can, but you must remember that there is a part of life for which you are the explanation. – Robert Brault

I say, if your knees aren’t green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life. – Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes

I set myself free into the blue-flowing sky,
I melt with the star-mist,
I am one with the moon’s pourings.
I come limpid and easy to life,
Meeting its curves and its undulations, as the shore-line meets the sea,
As the sky meets the indenture of the hills. – Muriel Strode

I sit astride life like a bad rider on a horse. I only owe it to the horse’s good nature that I am not thrown off at this very moment. – Ludwig Wittgenstein

I stood afar off, watching the conflict of humanity, till wise old life came along and tossed me into the arena, saying, “There! take that, pedant, if you would know.” – Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904

I swing like a kid
and fall like an adult;
cry tears of gratitude
and pray in smiles;
hug and love, and later
hide under the covers;
wildly and humbly living
from dawn to the stars,
and ever back again. – Terri Guillemets

I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer. – Jim Carrey

I think I’ve discovered the secret of life — you just hang around until you get used to it. – Charles Schulz

I think miracles exist in part as gifts and in part as clues that there is something beyond the flat world we see. – Peggy Noonan

I wish to die knowing that I took a fleeting instant of eternity and fashioned from it a lifetime. – Robert Brault

I, the atom of creation, have arrived…
I am life. I impinge you. I fall upon you with great weights.
I eviscerate you. I tap your arteries and drain you.
I am the insistent one. You cannot escape me.
I unsettle you. I make you moan over the nights and the days.
I bring you weeping, wringing your hands, crying out to the pale stars, promising an atoning. – Muriel Strode

If a man in the morning hear the right way, he may die in the evening without regret. – Confucius

If life is not an adventure it’s a sad venture, and drear at the price. After all life is after all; it is not what you make it, but what it makes you. – Kenneth Alfred Evelyn Alexander (c.1890–1953), “Live Wires and Dead Marines,” in The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1931 June 1st

If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. – E.B. White, quoted in Israel Shenker, “E.B. White: Notes and Comment by Author,” New York Times, 1969 July 11th

If you stop struggling, then you stop life. – Huey Newton

In life we all have an unspeakable secret, an irreversible regret, an unreachable dream and an unforgettable love. – Diego Marchi

In life we are all rolling stock running on the rails of Destiny, and if we fail to stop when flagged by Fate we miss our freight. On Life’s railroad there is only one set of rails and no turntable. But why turn back; the scene improves as we travel onward; or we appreciate it better; that is, those who keep their eyes to the window. But there are some who would rather sleep than peep, and some who are so occupied with their ingrown eyebrows, their over-investments and under-devestments, the price of lead-headed eye-teeth, and the fate of the fat, that they are blind to the beauty of Being. Life should be like a train — eager, pressing forward as if bent on keeping a tryst with Time round the next bend; taking the grades sturdily, and running to Time…. A train is life in little, existence on distance, a fleeting thought, and a forward move. – Kenneth Alfred Evelyn Alexander (c.1890–1953), “For Wheel or Whoa,” in The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1931 June 1st

In life, as in restaurants, we swallow a lot of indigestible stuff just because it comes with the dinner. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

In masks outrageous and austere
The years go by in single file;
But none has merited my fear,
And none has quite escaped my smile. – Elinor Hoyt Wylie

In small proportions we just beauties see,
And in short measures life may perfect be. – Ben Jonson

In spite of the cost of living, it’s still popular. – Kathy Norris

In such a complicated machine as this world of ours, in spite of our own little contributory efforts, we must, as regards the principal thing, it seems to me, be always gamblers in a lottery. – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908

In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back. – Charlie Brown

In the end, no thought is unthinkable, no problem unshrinkable, no two strangers unlinkable. – Robert Brault

In the map of your life, the best place to be is at the intersection of Here and Now. You can’t get to any other place you want to be without starting from there. – Terri Guillemets

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on. – Robert Frost

It has done me good to be somewhat parched by the heat and drenched by the rain of life. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It is while you are patiently toiling at the little tasks of life that the meaning and shape of the great whole of life dawn on you. – Phillips Brooks

It just seems sometimes that you’ve lived your whole life preparing for an inspection that never happened. – Robert Brault

It may be life is only worthwhile at moments. Perhaps that is all we ought to expect. – Sherwood Anderson

It’s just life. Just live it. – Terri Guillemets

I’ve learned never to be surprised if what must inevitably happen happens right now. – Robert Brault

Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. – Hans Christian Andersen

Let me ask you, O, you men of the time, who are bent upon pleasure… I beg of you, if by some chance this obscure book falls into your hands, do not smile with noble disdain, do not shrug your shoulders; do not be too sure that I complain of an imaginary evil; do not be too sure that human reason is the most beautiful of faculties, that there is nothing real here below but quotations on the Bourse, gambling in the salon, wine on the table, a healthy body, indifference toward others, and the orgies which come with the night.
For some day, across your stagnant life, a gust of wind will blow. Those beautiful trees that you water with the stream of oblivion, Providence will destroy; you will be reduced to despair…. in short I tell you, all frozen as you are, you are capable of loving something; some fiber of your being will be torn and you will give vent to a cry that will resemble a moan of pain. Some day, wandering about the muddy streets, when daily material joys shall have failed, you will find yourself seated disconsolately on a deserted bench at midnight.
O! men of marble, sublime egoists, inimitable reasoners who have never given way to despair or made a mistake in arithmetic, if this ever happens to you, at the hour of your ruin you will remember Abelard when he lost Heloise….
Believe me, when in your distress you think of Abelard you will not look with the same eye… you will feel that the human reason can cure illusions but not sorrows; that God has use for Reason but He has not made her the sister of Charity…. You will look about you for something like hope, you will shake the doors of churches to see if they still swing, but you will find them walled up… destiny will mock at you and for reply give you a bottle of wine…. – Alfred de Musset

Let the days be steeped in color and perfume and music and loveliness; let them glow with all the fire of the opal, and reflect in their many-faceted hours a thousand charms and visions of beauty. Redeem time from cold and narrow calculations, and set it free to be lived with romance and ardor and imaginative intensity. Let it radiate joy, and let the basis of reality be glorified by the superstructure of romance in sympathies, and swift, unerring intuition. While living, let us live, not exist. – Lilian Whiting

Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942, translated from French by Lewis Galantière

Life came past my door and I did not know how to greet it. I came clumsily, all too eager, like a starved bird in the snow. I wanted to come gently. I wanted to touch it lightly, like one touches the breast of a dove.
It is one’s hungry soul that commits absurdities. It comes always stretching its yellow beak like a starved fledgling. – Muriel Strode

Let your faith be bigger than your fear. – Anonymous

Let your faith be bigger than your fear. – Unknown

Life – a meaningless thing, draped in some moments, that can be given any title or definition. – Neeraj Agnihotri

Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment. This includes every mosquito, every misfortune, every red light, every traffic jam, every obnoxious supervisor (or employee), every illness, every loss, every moment of joy or depression, every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath. Every moment is the guru.Joko Beck

Life always has some surprises up its sleeve! – Avijeet Das

Life and all that is in it
is a gift from the infinite mind;
And the only way that life can go wrong
is by the limited finite mind. – Eric Foley Saucier

Life belongs to man, but the meaning of life is beyond him.Elie Wiesel

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. – Soren Kierkegaard

Life cannot be better than the way it is , can you imagine a better way than this’

Life cannot find reasons to sustain it, cannot be a source of decent mutual regard, unless each of us resolves to breathe such qualities into it. – Frank Herbert, Heretics of Dune

Life ceases to be so oppressive: we are free to give our own lives meaning and purpose, free to redeem our suffering by making something of it.Walter Kaufmann

Life defined only as the opposite of death is not life. – Mahmoud Darwish

Life does not have meaning through mere existence or acquisition or fun. The meaning of life is inherent in the connections we make to others through honor and obligation.Laura Schlessinger

Life does not wait: Whether we spend our lives meaningfully or not, the time will be used up moment by moment.Dalai Lama

Life doesn’t happen suddenly. It fades in. – M.., The Meaning(s) of Life: A Human’s Guide to the Biology of Souls

Life gives meaning to life. The answer to the meaning of life is hidden right there inside the question.Wendy Mass

Life has a meaning but do not set out to find out. Just live it out. – Bangambiki Habyarimana, Pearls Of Eternity

Life has a plan for each of us; we may not understand the whys on our journey but every event is meaningful nonetheless. – Ken Poirot

Life has become easier. Most of us have the means to live an easier life.
But so few of us have the meaning to live for, or a reason to die for. – Manoj Arora, Dream On

Life has meaning only if one barters it day by day for something other than itself. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Life has meaning only if one barters it day by day for something other than itself.    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Life has meaning only if one barters it day by day for something other than itself.Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Life has no map; it’s made of random events, always caused by something beyond your control. – Bangambiki Habyarimana

Life has no meaning the moment you loose the illusion of being eternal.    Jean-Paul Sartre

Life has no meaning unless one lives it with a will, at least to the limit of one’s will.Paul Gauguin

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer. – Joseph Campbell

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer. – Joseph Campbell

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.Joseph Campbell

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.Joseph Campbell

Life has no meaning. We create the meaning! – Avijeet Das

Life has only one equation. The equation of giving. –  Amit Ray

Life has only three states-Happiness,Grief and Emptiness.The extreme state of life is emptiness. – Deshwal Sachin

Life has to be given a meaning because of the obvious fact that it has no meaning. – Henry Miller

Life has to be given a meaning because of the obvious fact that it has no meaning.Henry Miller

Life in 5 words, born, eat, poo, procreate, die. Its really simple – George Banister

Life in itself is so beautiful that to ask the question of the meaning of life is simply nonsense.Rajneesh

Life is a beautiful journey. And we are here to lead a meaningful life. Some of us may take a longer time than others to pass exams and reach the milestones in life. But that does not mean that we become sad and depressed in life. Life is not a race. There are no winners or losers in life. It does not matter who comes first or last in the journey of life. Live your life in your own way. And always be happy. Spread happiness and kindness wherever you may go! – Avijeet Das

Life is a fairy tale. Live it with wonder and amazement. – Welwyn Wilton Katz

Life is a fairy tale. Live it with wonder and amazement. – Welwyn Wilton Katz

Life is a fairy tale. Live it with wonder and amazement.    Welwyn Wilton Katz

Life is a fairy tale. Live it with wonder and amazement.Welwyn Wilton Katz

Life is a helluva journey. You face situations. You meet people. You try to understand situations. You try to understand people.
But you will never ever be able to understand people. You will never understand why some things happen. You feel you desperately need someone to support. But you won’t find any support. You feel you need an anchor amidst all these changes. But there won’t be an anchor. And you will feel your feet are giving away. You will feel the weight of life pulling you down and you are drowning in the ocean. And you can’t even shout for help. Everybody is busy living their life to listen to you. You thus you give up on people. You lose faith in people. You lose faith on life.
You just go on living life without feeling anything. You live life in a state of numbness and indifference.
And then one day you look at yourself in the mirror, and you have become a stranger to yourself! – Avijeet Das

Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations. – Oliver Goldsmith

Life is a long journey meant for leaping beyond loneliness to find unchanging freedom and truth. – Ilchi Lee

Life is a long road on a short journey. – James Lendall Basford

life is a mystical art of combination. – Talismanist Giebra

Life is a progress, and not a station. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is a River”
Life is a river
zig zag it goes on flowing
myriad memories quench thirst
in the swirling waves of life!
**
Life has its own colour
a mingling of blue, green, black and white
sweeping away all happiness and sadness
in the cascading bubbles of tears and delight
**
Life shares its own wisdom
to keep on flowing is its only zeal
whether it be summer or winter
life will keep on flowing but never still
**
Life is a river
it flows at its own pace
sometimes it may have no direction
and this is life’s story and grace! – Poet Manjushree Mohanty

Life is a series of collisions with the future.Jose Ortega y Gasset

Life is about making an impact, not making an income. – Kevin Kruse

Life is about warm friendships, memorable moments, and moments of extraordinary beauty. – Avijeet Das

Life is about warm friendships, memorable wanderings, and moments of extraordinary beauty. – Avijeet Das

Life is all about how you handle Plan B. – Unknown

Life is an abstract art, and it’s up to you to make sense of it. – Talismanist Giebra

Life is an art of mystical combination. – Talismanist Giebra

Life is difficult. Not just for me or other ALS patients. Life is difficult for everyone. Finding ways to make life meaningful and purposeful and rewarding, doing the activities that you love and spending time with the people that you love – I think that’s the meaning of this human experience. – Steve Gleason

Life is difficult. Not just for me or other ALS patients. Life is difficult for everyone. Finding ways to make life meaningful and purposeful and rewarding, doing the activities that you love and spending time with the people that you love – I think that’s the meaning of this human experience.Steve Gleason

Life is half spent before we know what it is.George Herbert

Life is just a beautiful struggle! – Garima Yonzon

Life is just too beautiful if meaning is attached to it, and useless when meaningless!! – Tripta Arora

Life is less about finding and more about seeking. – Seth Adam Smith

Life is life! The real meaning and definition of life is not wealth, though wealth can define and give meaning to life. – Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you can only spend it once. – Lillian Dickson

Life is like a piano. The white keys represent happiness and the black shows sadness. But as you go through life’s journey, remember that the black keys also make music.

Life is like a poetry, without meaning or purpose – it’s useless. – Jawwad Zafar

Life is like a poetry, without meaning or purpose – it’s useless. – Jawwad Zafar

Life is like a riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. ― Albert Einstein

Life is like paper; you can throw it away or, you can make something out of it. – TheKatAttack

Life is like theatre. Each new day is a new scene with new acts and roles to portray. The sets always change. You come across new dialogue and lines to exchange between others. Scripts are improvised. But the beauty in it is that everyday, you are constantly learning who you are and how others around you are. Express yourself and empathize. It’s okay to wear a mask every now and then but remember that you’ll eventually meet fellow thespians who will find a way to break down your walls and barriers. Remember another thing: this isn’t a dress rehearsal. And God is your ultimate Director. Let Him write your script and call the cuts. Allow Him to provide you with the applause that truly matters. Let Him open up your heart to real self discovery. He is the best playwright that never dies. He lives. And so do you when you learn to let go and step on the stage of life. – Melody Joy

Life is meaningless only if we allow it to be. Each of us has the power to give life meaning, to make our time and our bodies and our words into instruments of love and hope.Thomas Head Raddall

Life is meaningless, when we take a life we take nothing of value. – Brent Weeks, The Night Angel Trilogy

Life is meaningless, when we take a life we take nothing of value.Brent Weeks

Life is more than great sex and a nice car.”
Well, yeah. But not a lot more. – Jennifer Crusie, Strange Bedpersons

Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.George Bernard Shaw

Life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming.Myrna Loy

Life is not a hope, but it is all of this !! – Hesham Nebr

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. – Soren Kierkegaard

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.

Life is not somewhere waiting for you, it is happening in you. It is not in the future as a goal to be arrived at, it is herenow, this very moment – in your breathing, circulating in your blood, beating in your heart. Whatsoever you are is your life, and if you start seeking meaning somewhere else, you will miss it. Man has done that for centuries.Rajneesh

Life is only meaningless if we fail to make a resolute effort at achieving bliss, attaining the active state of oneness that comes to a person whom is attentively alive and mindful of all the beauty and moral sublimity of existence. – Kilroy J. Oldster

Life is plenty pointless. We’re all put here on this earth, such a minuscule thing, really. This tiny Earth, in the midst of an ever-larger universe. We were put here for reasons unbeknownst to us, reasons that may not even exist. And, above all that, we try so hard. People work to discover things, to try to create the greatest new thing, to learn everything, to find answers. But those answers are pointless. Because one day, this world will end. And whatever mark you may have thought you left will vanish, like it was never even there. And that, my friends, is the meaning of life. – Payton Webb

Life is problems. Living is solving problems. – Raymond E. Feist, Silverthorn

Life is problems. Living is solving problems.Raymond E. Feist

Life is problems. Loving is solving problems. – Raymond E. Feist

Life is rather like a tin of sardines – we’re all of us looking for the key.    Alan Bennett

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.Confucius

Life is really strange. When we were children we eagerly wanted to grow up and become older. But when we become older, we eagerly wish if we could go back to being children again! – Avijeet Das

Life is such a kind of game where there is no wining or no losing, every one just play his part and the most important is how well a person can adapt his role in this game.

Life is the journey of coming home to ourselves. – Lisa Cypers Kamen

Life is the most exciting opportunity we have. But we have one shot. You graduate from college once, and that’s it. You’re going out of that nest. And you have to find that courage that’s deep, deep, deep in there. Every step of the way. – Andrew Shue

Life is too short to hold grudges, plan vengeance, and be angry for too long. And people say things like that all the time, but words like that only take on their meaning when you experience someone close to you passing away. There are truly not enough minutes, hours, days, months, years, to spend any amount of time on being and doing anything other than going into the direction of your happiness. Acceptance is better than correction and joy is better than revenge. Innocent laughter is better than anger. – C. JoyBell C.

Life is truly lived in the moments of simplicity! – Avijeet Das

Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be…including our perception. Of it. Anais Nin

Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning. – Joseph Campbell

Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning. – Joseph Campbell

Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.Joseph Campbell

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. – George Bernard Shaw

Life loses its meaning when you forget your purpose. – Debasish Mridha

Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back to life. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.Eleanor Roosevelt

Life never ceases having a meaning for a humble person. The freedom of choice, the sovereignty that we hold over our own souls, enables a person to discover the meaning of his or her own life every day, even in suffering or death. – Kilroy J. Oldster

Life no longer felt meaningless. It felt stressful and terrifying, but it definitely didn’t feel meaningless. – Donald Miller

Life no longer felt meaningless. It felt stressful and terrifying, but it definitely didn’t feel meaningless. – Donald Miller

Life occurs somewhere between our aspirations and our just desserts. – Stewart Stafford

Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner. – Les Brown

Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.    Les Brown

Life was never simple, happiness never where you thought you’d left it, and right and wrong no more fixed than clouds in the sky.Janet Morris

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and being alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You have to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes too near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could. – Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum

Life will find a way.Michael Crichton

Life will only have a meaning once you’ve achieved to find your true passion and love within the limitless boundaries of destiny – Callum Illman

Life, individual or collective, personal or historic, is the one entity in the universe whose substance is compact of danger, of adventure. It is, in the strict sense of the word, drama. The primary, radical meaning of life appears when it is employed in the sense not of biology, but of biography. For the very strong reason that the whole of biology is quite definitely only a chapter in certain biographies, it is what biologists do in the portion of their lives open to biography.Jose Ortega y Gasset

Live free, dream loud, be inspired, find your power. – Ben Herr

Live is meaningful only if you gave it a meaning. – T. Harv Eker

Live is meaningful only if you gave it a meaning. – T. Harv Eker

Live is meaningful only if you gave it a meaning.Harv Eker

Live your life to the fullest.Shakira

Life can be easy, it is only question of choosing between solutions and illusions. – Didier D’haese

Life consigned us all to the pit, and she knew that there were those who would weep, and go, and those who would laugh at her, and stay. – Muriel Strode

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. – George Bernard Shaw, The Doctor’s Dilemma, 1906

Life has its own hidden forces which you can only discover by living. – Søren Kierkegaard

Life has left its prints all over me. – Terri Guillemets, “Thirty seven sins,” 2010

Life has meaning only if one barters it day by day for something other than itself. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Life has no auto-settings. No batteries. You gots to wind it up! – Jeb Dickerson, jebdickerson.com

Life is a battlefield of broken dreams and pieced-together victories. – Terri Guillemets

Life is a brief opportunity to do something prehumously. – Robert Brault

Life is a cement trampoline. – Howard Nordberg

Life is a collection of moments you would have appreciated more if you had only known they were moments. – Robert Brault

Life is a compromise of what your ego wants to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do. – Bruce Crampton

Life is a foreign language: all men mispronounce it. – Christopher Morley, Thunder on the Left

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can. – Danny Kaye

Life is a horizontal fall. – Jean Cocteau

Life is a long lesson in humility. – James M. Barrie

Life is a long process of getting tired. – Samuel Butler

Life is a long road on a short journey. – James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Life is a mixed blessing, which we vainly try to unmix. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

Life is a mortal maze, and only a few truly find their way. – Terri Guillemets

Life is a mystery…. Where is the goal of this fitful and fretful and feverish existence? Man knoweth not. The untutored savage, and the most highly cultivated intellect of all the ages stand equally mute in the presence of this ever-inviting, this ever-recurring question, What is life? Plato has reasoned, Darwin has investigated, Tyndall has experimented; yet the answer that comes back to our inquiry is but the faintest reverberation of the echo, What is life? – William H. Crogman (1841–1931), baccalaureate address delivered at Clark University, 1895 May 19th

Life is a perpetual give and take with the universe. – Terri Guillemets, “After all,” 2003

Life is a process by which a few desperate longings morph into a thousand meaningless wants. – Robert Brault

Life is a search for the key that opens your own door. – Terri Guillemets

Life is a series of collisions with the future. – José Ortega y Gasset

Life is a series of ever-changing color, and each day has its hue of romance. – James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Life is a series of family photos in which eventually you stop showing up. – Robert Brault

Life is a series of family photos in which you keep moving to the rear until finally you’re a portrait in the background. – Robert Brault

Life is a series of reactions that aren’t what you intend, to situations that aren’t what they seem. – Robert Brault

Life is a sexually transmitted disease and there is a 100% mortality rate. – R.D. Laing

Life is a surprise party. – Terri Guillemets, “Ribbons & shock,” 1988

Life is a ticket to the greatest show on earth. – Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)  [It ends: “As a doctor you’ll have a front seat.” —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Life is a tragedy to those who really live her. – Muriel Strode

Life is a whim of several billion cells to be you for a while. – Author Unknown

Life is a wind tunnel. – Terri Guillemets

Life is abundance, as in nature when all conditions are right the tree bears fruit. – Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife

Life is all too wondrous sweet, and the world is so beautifully bewildered; it is the dream of an intoxicated divinity… – Heinrich Heine (d.1856), “Ideas: Book Le Grand,” 1826, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, Pictures of Travel, 1855

Life is an educational process you can’t opt out of. You either learn the lesson, or you become the lesson. – Robert Brault, 2018

Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like. – Author Unknown

Life is an inconstant mix of aces and jokers, and often one is flipped face up when we’re expecting the other. – Terri Guillemets

Life is an incurable Disease. – Abraham Cowley

Life is beautiful if you flow with its natural beauty. Resistance makes it ugly. – Terri Guillemets

Life is but a mingled song,
Sung in divers keys;
Sweet and tender, brave and strong,
As the heart agrees. – S.J. Adair Fitz-Gerald

Life is cruel? Compared to what? – Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto, 1989

Life is easier than you’d think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable. – Kathleen Norris

Life is great. Don’t let circumstances and society fool you into believing it’s not. – Terri Guillemets

Life is half spent before we know what it is. – George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum, 1651

Life is hard? True — but let’s love it anyhow, though it breaks every bone in our bodies. – Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto, 1989

Life is just a series of trying to make up your mind. – Timothy Fuller, Reunion with Murder, 1941

Life is just a way to distract us from life until we die. – Terri Guillemets, “The business of busy,” 2009

Life is just one damned thing after another! – Author unknown

Life is like a beautiful melody, only the lyrics are messed up. – Author Unknown

Life is like a blanket too short. You pull it up and your toes rebel, you yank it down and shivers meander about your shoulder; but cheerful folks manage to draw their knees up and pass a very comfortable night. – Marion Howard, quoted in Herbert V. Prochnow, Speaker’s Handbook of Epigrams and Witticisms, 1955

Life is like a cobweb, not an organization chart. – H. Ross Perot

Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once. – Lillian Dickson

Life is like a fancy restaurant — it will always try to seat you at the worst table you will accept. – Robert Brault

Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. – Charles Schulz

Life is like an onion; you peel off layer after layer and then you find there is nothing in it. – James Gibbons Huneker

Life is like eating artichokes; you have got to go through so much to get so little. – Thomas Aloysius Dorgan

Life is like running with scissors,
naked through freezing blizzards… – Terri Guillemets

Life is like sailing. You can use any wind to go in any direction. – Robert Brault

Life is little more than a loan shark: It exacts a very high rate of interest for the few pleasures it concedes. – Luigi Pirandello

Life is made up of constant calls to action, and we seldom have time for more than hastily contrived answers. – Learned Hand

Life is more
than just a question
so just keep living—
answers and fresh questionings
will come in turns like waves. – Terri Guillemets

Life is not a final. It’s daily pop quizzes. – Author Unknown

Life is not always fair — sometimes you get a splinter sliding down a rainbow. – Terri Guillemets

Life is not fair, nor has it ever been, but the morning seems determined to dawn until it is. – Robert Brault

Life is not having been told that the man has just waxed the floor. – Ogden Nash

Life is not like a box of chocolates. It’s more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow. – Author Unknown

Life is not so bad if you have plenty of luck, a good physique, and not too much imagination. – Christopher Isherwood

Life is not writ neatly with a steady hand between the prescriptive lines of a uniform, copy-book page; it is chaotic at the core — full of false starts, cross-outs, misspellings, and unsightly blotches. It is inherently messy. – Dr. Idel Dreimer, www.lumpenbangenpiano.com

Life is one big judgment call — and a neverending series of little ones. – Terri Guillemets

Life is simple, it’s just not easy. – Author Unknown

Life is so largely controlled by chance that its conduct can be but a perpetual improvisation. – W. Somerset Maugham

Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light. Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky. Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not, and what beyond is in Eternity. – Seneca

Life is the game that must be played. – Edwin Arlington Robinson

Life is the greatest of blessings and death the worst of evils…. all great, powerful souls love life. – Heinrich Heine (d.1856), “Ideas: Book Le Grand,” 1826, translated from German by Charles Godfrey Leland, Pictures of Travel, 1855

Life is the hyphen between matter and spirit. – Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on the sand,
rise on wings… – Wisława Szymborska

Life is the sum of all your choices. – Albert Camus

Life is tough. If you don’t have fun and smile and goof around, life will bog you down real fast… We should be so thankful what we get to do. We get to breathe everyday and eat everyday. We should be happy about that. – Bubba Watson, 2019 [I attended an event in 2012 where Bubba gave a speech. Many people in the audience were in tears, even men I’ve never known to show that much emotion. This guy is one of the most inspirational people on the planet, as far as I’m concerned. –tg]

Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be. – Grandma Moses

Life is woven of love and death, aches and smiles, persistence and letting go. – Terri Guillemets

Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good. – Author Unknown

Life just seems so full of connections. Most of the time we don’t even pay attention to the depth of life. We only see flat surfaces. – Colin Neenan  [I wonder if this reminds anyone else of Apple’s iOS 7 design or if I’m the only old-fashioned one who misses skeuomorphism. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Life may be defined to be the power of self-augmentation or assimilation, not of self-nurture; for then a steam-engine over a coal-pit might be made to live. – Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Life may have no meaning. Or even worse, it may have a meaning of which I disapprove. – Ashleigh Brilliant

Life never tires of testing the proposition that life must go on. – Robert Brault

Life was a damned muddle — a football game with everyone offside and the referee gotten rid of — everyone claiming the referee would have been on his side. – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Life will always remain a gamble, with prizes sometimes for the imprudent, and blanks so often to the wise. – Jerome K. Jerome

Life winks as it passes me by
And is gone before my own blink of eye. – Terri Guillemets

Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity… – Percy Bysshe Shelley

Life. — Enjoy whatever flowers come with the manure. – Terri Guillemets

Life… is like a box of chocolates — a cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that no one ever asks for, unreturnable because all you get back is another box of chocolates. So, you’re stuck with mostly undefinable whipped mint crap, mindlessly wolfed down when there’s nothing else to eat while you’re watching the game. Sure, once is a while you get a peanut butter cup or an English toffee but it’s gone too fast and the taste is fleeting. In the end, you are left with nothing but broken bits filled with hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts, which, if you are desperate enough to eat, leaves nothing but an empty box of useless brown paper. – The X-Files

LIFE.—A masked ball, where, in struggling through the crowd, and trying to penetrate the disguise of our neighbor, we are apt to forget our own part, until the waning lights warn us of the time to depart. – “A Chapter of Definitions,” Daily Crescent, 1848 June 23rd

Life: A bank-account with so much divine energy at your disposal. – Elbert Hubbard

Life: A compromise between Fate and Freewill. – Elbert Hubbard

Life: An affirmative between two negatives. – Elbert Hubbard

Life: It is about the gift not the package it comes in. – Dennis P. Costea, Jr.

Life: my own little Pyrrhic victory. – Terri Guillemets, “Plundered,” 1994

Life: the insomnia of death. – Elbert Hubbard

Life: The interval between the time your teeth are almost through and you are almost through with your teeth. – Elbert Hubbard

Life: What you choose to make it. – Elbert Hubbard

Lifeless with a heartbeat. – Daniel, @blindedpoet

Life’s a party. Invite yourself. – Gary Johnson

Life’s like a novel with the end ripped out. – Danny Orton and Blair Daly, “Stand”

Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children; life is the other way around. – David Lodge, The British Museum Is Falling Down, 1965

Live for the roots
Love the green
Dance with the blossoms – Terri Guillemets

Living involves tearing up one rough draft after another. – Author unknown

Look, I don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you’ve got to jump around a lot, for life is the very opposite of death, and therefore you must at very least think noisy and colorfully, or you’re not alive. – Mel Brooks

Man often acquires just so much knowledge as to discover his ignorance, and attains so much experience as to regret his follies, and then dies. – William Benton Clulow, Horæ Otiosæ, 1833

Many of us are equal to life’s emergencies who cannot bear its day-after-dayness. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. – Arthur Miller

Mayhap the best thing I ever done in my life was only doing what was easiest for myself. It’s allays been easier for me to work nor to sit still, but the real tough job for me ‘ud be to master my own will and temper, and go right against my own pride…. perhaps nothing ‘ud be a lesson to us if it didn’t come too late. It’s well we should feel as life’s a reckoning we can’t make twice over; there’s no real making amends in this world, any more nor you can mend a wrong subtraction by doing your addition right. – George Eliot, Adam Bede

Most men make the voyage of life as if they carried sealed orders which they were not to open till they were fairly in mid-ocean. – James Russell Lowell

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can. – Cary Grant

My friend asked me the essence of life and I smiled. – Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife

My grandfather always said that living is like licking honey off a thorn. – Louis Adamic

My life has a superb cast but I can’t figure out the plot. – Ashleigh Brilliant

My life is half reality show, half Saturday morning cartoons. – Terri Guillemets, “Real funny,” 2003

My quest for cosmic understanding is a book I have picked up and put down many times, always forgetting to insert a bookmark. – Robert Brault

No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offence. – Thomas Carlyle, Sir Walter Scott, in London and Westminster Review, 12 November 1838

No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made silently. – Agnes de Mille

Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious. – Brendan Gill

Not unfortunately the universe is wild — game-flavoured as a hawk’s wing. – B.P. Blood

Numerous metaphors have been used to describe life. Among them is the metaphor of life as a battle. Try not to think of life in these terms because, if you regard life as a struggle, it will become one, and you will have little joy. It is far better to think of life as a journey in which the difficulties are hills to climb. The hills are there for a reason (even if you don’t know what that reason is), and the sense of satisfaction after climbing the hill is almost always worth the effort. – Richard E. Turner (1937–2011), The Grammar Curmudgeon, a.k.a. “The Mudge,” “An Open Letter to My Grandson,” January 1997

O God, I pray that not too much of calm be mine, but one day let the maddened rush of waters break against my soul. – Muriel Strode

One day can make your life. One day can ruin your life. All life is is four or five big days that change everything. – Riding in Cars with Boys, Beverly Donofrio (book), Morgan Ward (screenplay)

One day…. I shall come into a conscious sense of life, thrilling at its contact, quivering at the touch of its breath. I shall feel it deep in the nerve centers of my bones…. I shall feel it like the sting of bees. – Muriel Strode

One wanders through life as if wandering through a field in the dark of night, wearing a blindfold and very heavy shoes, with a poisonous toad waiting patiently beneath a clump of weeds, knowing full well that eventually you will step on him. – Lemony Snicket

Only a few things are really important. – Marie Dressler

Opportunities and duties are the warp and woof of life. – James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

Our search should not be a flight from life. – TKV Desikachar

Out of a hundred years a few minutes were made that stayed with me, not a hundred years. – Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

People find it hard to be both comic and serious, though life manages it easily enough. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Perhaps I’m old and tired, but I always think that the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say hang the sense of it and just keep yourself occupied. – Douglas Adams

Perhaps we are looking at this from a wrong perspective; this search for the truth, the meaning of life, the reason of God. We all have this mindset that the answers are so complex and so vast that it is almost impossible to comprehend. I think, on the contrary, that the answers are so simple; so simple that it is staring us straight in the face, screaming its lungs out, and yet we fail to notice it. We’re looking through a telescope, searching the stars for the answer, when the answer is actually a speck of dirt on the telescope lens. – Jason Q.

pink roses and gold glitter
barbed wire, withering vines
green hummingbirds, lark nests
avalanches and earthquakes —
Yep, life is like that. – Terri Guillemets

Puritans will never believe it, but life is full of disagreeable things that aren’t even good for you. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966

Reason and justice tell me there’s more love for humanity in electricity and steam than in chastity and vegetarianism. – Anton Chekhov

Red life boils in my veins…. Every woman is to me the gift of a world…. I hear a thousand nightingales…. I could eat all the elephants of Hindostan and pick my teeth with the spire of Strasburg Cathedral…. Life is the greatest of blessings, and death the worst of evils… – Excerpts from Heinrich Heine’s Ideen: Das Buch Le Grand, 1826, translated from German and artfully compiled in Israel Zangwill’s Dreamers of the Ghetto, “From a Mattress Grave,” 1897

Sacrifice is stamped upon every created thing. – James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone, 1882

Serenity of spirit and turbulence of action should make up the sum of a man’s life. – Vita Sackville-West

Shall I redirect my life’s journey because down some sideroad might be some trifle I’m entitled to? – Robert Brault

She did not believe in happy endings… not anymore. There were no endings in life except death. There was only the present moment, the passage of breath into breath, action and reaction, word after word, a story that was still being told. – Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018

Situated in some nebulous distance I do what I do so that the universal balance of which I am a part may remain a balance. – Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Sliding down the banister of life is so much more fun than ambling down the steps. – Terri Guillemets

Sliding down the banister of life, man is stuck with the splinters of disappointment. When he reaches the bottom he is jabbed against the post of destruction. – W.T. McAtee, in The Railway Conductor, April 1916

So much light,
along with the darkness,
it’s life —
just scary and
joyous life! – Terri Guillemets

Some men in their passage through life resemble a frog: they go a little and stop a little—but always by fits and starts, jerks and jumps. – James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone, 1882

Sometimes in the poem of Life
we hit a defective verse.
Don’t bother trying to rewrite it—
move along, don’t make it worse. – Terri Guillemets

Sometimes questions are more important than answers. – Nancy Willard, quoted in The Meaning of Life, compiled by Hugh S. Moorhead

Summing up, it is clear the future holds great opportunities. It also holds pitfalls. The trick will be to avoid the pitfalls, seize the opportunities, and get back home by six o’clock. – Woody Allen, “My Speech to the Graduates,” Side Effects, 1980

Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week. – Joseph Addison

Suppose the world were only one of God’s jokes, would you work any the less to make it a good joke instead of a bad one? – George Bernard Shaw

The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. – Henry Miller

The art of life is the art of avoiding pain. – Thomas Jefferson

The banister of life is full of splinters, and he slideth down it with rapidity. – Scott Way, “Man,” in Puck, 1884 June 25th

The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line. – H.L. Mencken

The blanket of life is kind and warm for those who can find its snuggle. – Terri Guillemets

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. – Flora Whittemore

The fear of life is the favorite disease of the 20th century. – William Lyon Phelps

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature. – Joseph Campbell

The great business of life is to be, to do, to do without, and to depart. – John, Viscount Morley, Address on Aphorisms

The history of man for the nine months preceding his birth would, probably, be far more interesting and contain events of greater moment than all the three score and ten years that follow it. – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The kaleidoscope of colour which is my life, shows the interesting choices I’ve made along the way. – Antie Koekie

The line of life is a snarl of loops and ends. – James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. – Henry David Thoreau

The meaning of life is not an unquestionable answer; it is an unanswerable question. – Terri Guillemets

The meanness of life, but the splendor of its possibilities!
The miserable thing I make of it, but the God-thing it might be!
I might drain it of its dead waters, and plant banks of roses, and glad trees, and buoyant grasses.
I might entice the wanton winds to dance through it, and the moonbeams to caper over it.
I might bring lovers to wander through its twilight fragrance. – Muriel Strode

The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth. – Chinese Proverb

The most important ingredients of a successful life are good health, honesty, love of humanity, intellectual curiosity, and a sense of fun, with the additional mingling of the celestial and diabolic which prevents a human atom from taking himself seriously. – Althea Warren

The movement of life has to rest in its own music. – Rabindranath Tagore

The only way to have a life is to commit to it like crazy. – Angelina Jolie

the perfume of love
the stench of war – Terri Guillemets

The plane of life is a frozen sea, on which all make many slips, and finally break through into eternity. – James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone, 1882

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. – Henry David Thoreau

The promise of heaven is no solace to him who hungers for life. – Muriel Strode

The Song of Love, the Song of Hate,
the Songs of Praise and of Thanksgiving;
I’ve learned them all, but there remains
one called the Melody of Living. – Frederic Ridgely Torrence

The swing on your porch is a better liver of life than the chair in front of your computer. – Terri Guillemets

The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss. – Thomas Carlyle

The tragedy of life is not that man loses, but that he almost wins. – Heywood Broun

The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched. – Henry David Thoreau, Walden

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination. But the combination is locked up in the safe. – Peter De Vries

The world is a grindstone and life is your nose. – Fred Allen

The world is hard and cruel. We are here none knows why, and we go none knows whither. We must be very humble. We must see the beauty of quietness. We must go through life so inconspicuously that Fate does not notice us. – W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, 1919

The world itself is but a series of footnotes to a vast unfinished masterpiece. – Vladimir Nabokov

There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle. Deepak Chopra

There are people who so arrange their lives that they feed themselves only on side dishes. – José Ortega y Gasset

There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic. – Anaïs Nin

There is a lesson we learn early and harmlessly, or late and traumatically — that there are things we can break that our parents can’t fix. – Robert Brault

There is a reason you were born and a bunch of things you’ve got to do today regardless. – Robert Brault

There is a strange reluctance on the part of most people to admit that they enjoy life. – William Lyon Phelps

There is a time early in life when there seem to be countless reasons for happiness, and then you discover your mom is making them up. – Robert Brault

There is a what-the-hell moment in life when you feel you have been pre-punished for every sin you’ll ever commit. – Robert Brault

There is no finish line. – Nike advertisement

There is no wealth but life. – John Ruskin

There is only one difference between a long life and a good dinner: that, in the dinner, the sweets come last. – Robert Louis Stevenson

There were growling days and laughing days and days that mixed them up. – Caron Levis, Ida, Always, 2016

Things almost never turn out as horribly — or as wonderfully — as it seems they will. It’s the occasional exception to this that keeps us on our toes, both in hope and in dread. – David C. Hill, ***Dave Does the Blog (hill-kleerup.org/blog)

This is how we know we’re alive, I guess: we continue to feel pain. – Abby Geni, The Lightkeepers, 2016

This world is just a stage, and we
Must do our stunt of comedy,
Or mouth our tragic little book
Till Death shall murmur “Get the hook!” – James P. Haverson

Thoreau once thought the moon was larger over the United States than over the Old World, the sky bluer, the stars brighter, the thunder louder, the rivers longer, the mountains higher, the prairies vaster, and he mystically concluded that the spirit of man in America should be larger and more expansive “else why was America discovered?” Thoreau was wrong, and Thoreau was right. There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it, and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself. – Lin Yutang, On the Wisdom of America

Though the circular round-and-round of routine be the bulk of life’s affairs, make an occasional jutting diversion — of fun, love, or something that will outlast you — so that the shape and motion of your life shall resemble the lifegiving sun with bright rays shining forth from all directions. – Terri Guillemets

Though we live amid promiscuous pressures, spiritual clutter and forgetfulness, we probably still value the integrity of life. – Baker Brownell, The College and the Community, 1952

‘Tis all a chequer board of nights and days,
Where destiny with men for pieces plays;
Hither and thither, and mates, and slays. – Edward Fitzgerald, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám, 1859

To be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars… – Henry Van Dyke, “The Foot-Path to Peace”

To believe in immortality is one thing, but it is first needful to believe in life. – Robert Louis Stevenson

To drink the sunshine and to dream at night…. – Author Unknown, “The Fall of Man”

To feel life, to have the consciousness of it, as a mother feels the turning of her babe in the womb. – Muriel Strode

To give the reins to life! To loosen it from its leash, and know its free and unrestricted movement. To reach out and out, and feel not the tightening of the thong. – Muriel Strode

To live is like to love — all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct for it. – Samuel Butler

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. – Emily Dickinson

To live remains an art which everyone must learn, and which no one can teach. – Havelock Ellis

To preserve a man alive in the midst of so many chances and hostilities, is as great a miracle as to create him. – Jeremy Taylor

To slake the thirst of being. To drink the draught, deep and cool, and satisfying. – Muriel Strode

To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone. – Reba McEntire

To the student I would say, “Life is principally multiple choice, but at the end there’s a tough essay question.” – Robert Brault

Unbeing dead isn’t being alive. – e.e. cummings

Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work — that goes on, it adds up. – Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

We are born wet, naked, and hungry. Then things get worse. – Author Unknown

We are like people with short-term leases on summer cottages; we can never seem to make our provisions come out even with our stay. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

We humans seem disastrously in love with this thing
(whatever it is) that glitters on the earth—
we call it life. We know no other. – Euripides

We mourn the transitory things and fret under the yoke of the immutable ones. – Paul Eldridge

We should give meaning to life, not wait for life to give us meaning. – Stacy

We tear life out of life to use it for looking at itself. – Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. – Crowfoot, 1890, as quoted in Catch the Whisper of the Wind compiled by Cheewa James

What’s your life’s motto? Write one. And live by it. And revise it when life revises you. – Terri Guillemets, “Don’t cry, — rally!” 2009

When compiling his great dictionary, the young Noah Webster travels to the Himalayas, where he climbs to the cave of the world’s wisest man. “O, great sage,” he says, “tell me the meaning of life.” The sage sits Noah at his feet and, with great solemnity, commences to unfold the meaning of life. When finished, he places a hand on the young man’s shoulder and says, “Do you have any other questions, my son?” Noah flips a page in his notebook and says, “You wouldn’t know the meaning of lift, would you?” – Robert Brault

When everything doesn’t go perfectly as hoped, it isn’t tragedy — it’s life. – Terri Guillemets

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.” – Erma Bombeck

When life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life will be all like, “What?!” – “Phil’s-osophy” by Phil Dunphy (written by Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan, and Dan O’Shannon, Modern Family, “Schooled,” original airdate 2012 October 10th)

When life throws you lemons, make orange juice. It will leave them wondering how the hell you did that. – Author Unknown

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies. – Erich Fromm

Why do critics make such an outcry against tragicomedies? is not life one? – Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Why does a person even get up in the morning? You have breakfast, you floss your teeth so you’ll have healthy gums in your old age, and then you get in your car and drive down I-10 and die. Life is so stupid I can’t stand it. – Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

Why torture yourself when life’ll do it for you? – Author Unknown

Yes, I will try to be. Because I believe that not being is arrogant. – Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

You can hope for a miracle in your life, or you can realize that your life is the miracle. – Robert Brault

You cannot discover the purpose of life by asking someone else — the only way you’ll ever get the right answer is by asking yourself. – Terri Guillemets

You can’t escape history, or the needs and neuroses you’ve picked up like layers and layers of tartar on your teeth. – Charles Johnson

You don’t want to get to the end of life’s journey and discover you never left the interstate. – Robert Brault

You fall out of your mother’s womb, you crawl across open country under fire, and drop into your grave. – Quentin Crisp

You fool,
You have been dangling
For such a long time!
When will you seize the opportunity
Or feel the necessity
To untangle the taut knot
Of your bondage-life? – Sri Chinmoy

You live and learn. At any rate, you live. – Douglas Adams

You live long enough in a world spinning on its axis, you learn to spin in the same direction. – Robert Brault

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. – Albert Camus

…”Sloppy, raggedy-assed
old life. I love it. I never
want to die.” – Dennis Trudell

…the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse. – Walt Whitman, “O Me! O Life!”, Leaves of Grass

[A]ll life budding like a rose and sparkling like its dew. – Edgar Fawcett, “At a Window,” Songs of Doubt and Dream, 1891

[A]s if life were a thunder-storm wherein you can see by a flash the horizon, and then cannot see your hand…. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims, “Inspiration”

[L]ife is a journey and not a destination… the heart must be set upon those matters of character which are eternal and not upon those matters of sensation which pass away. – Lynn H. Hough

[L]ife is just like a big puzzle but you can’t look at it and focus, you’ve… just got to close your eyes and let it come together. – Corey Miller, LA Ink, “LA Ink Grand Opening” (season 1, episode 3, original airdate 2007 August 21st)

[T]hat blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened:—that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,—
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things. – William Wordsworth

[W]ith reference to our trip up the river of life…. How many people, on that voyage, load up the boat till it is ever in danger of swamping with a store of foolish things which they think essential to the pleasure and comfort of the trip, but which are really only useless lumber….
It is lumber, man—all lumber! Throw it overboard. It makes the boat so heavy to pull, you nearly faint at the oars. It makes it so cumbersome and dangerous to manage, you never know a moment’s freedom from anxiety and care, never gain a moment’s rest for dreamy laziness—no time to watch the windy shadows skimming lightly o’er the shallows, or the glittering sunbeams flitting in and out among the ripples, or the great trees by the margin looking down at their own image, or the woods all green and golden, or the lilies white and yellow, or the sombre-waving rushes, or the sedges, or the orchis, or the blue forget-me-nots.
Throw the lumber over, man! Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need—a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.
You will find the boat easier to pull then, and it will not be so liable to upset, and it will not matter so much if it does upset; good, plain merchandise will stand water. You will have time to think as well as to work. Time to drink in life’s sunshine—time to listen to the Æolian music that the wind of God draws from the human heart-strings around us… – Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889

Human life cycle death

Human life cycle

Quotes From Wikiquote

The terrible events of life are great eye-openers. They force us to learn that which it is wholesome for us to know, but which habitually we try to ignore — namely, that really we have no claim on a long life; that we are each of us liable to be called off at any moment, and that the main point is not how long we live, but with what meaning we fill the short allotted span — for short it is at best. – Felix Adler
  • Life is demanding, without understanding.
    • Ace of Base, “The Sign” (1993), The Sign, Arista
  • It is written that the last enemy to be vanquished is death. We should begin early in life to vanquish this enemy by obliterating every trace of the fear of death from our minds. Then can we turn to life and fill the whole horizon of our souls with it, turn with added zest to all the serious tasks which it imposes and to the pure delights which here and there it affords.
    • Felix Adler, Life and Destiny (1913), Section 8: Suffering and Consolation.
  • Let us learn from the lips of death the lessons of life. Let us live truly while we live, live for what is true and good and lasting. And let the memory of our dead help us to do this. For they are not wholly separated from us, if we remain loyal to them. In spirit they are with us. And we may think of them as silent, invisible, but real presences in our households.
    • Felix Adler, Life and Destiny (1913), Section 8: Suffering and Consolation.
  • The bitter, yet merciful, lesson which death teaches us is to distinguish the gold from the tinsel, the true values from the worthless chaff.
    The terrible events of life are great eye-openers. They force us to learn that which it is wholesome for us to know, but which habitually we try to ignore — namely, that really we have no claim on a long life; that we are each of us liable to be called off at any moment, and that the main point is not how long we live, but with what meaning we fill the short allotted span — for short it is at best.

    • Felix Adler, Life and Destiny (1913), Section 8: Suffering and Consolation.
  • If you will do some deed before you die,
    Remember not this caravan of death,
    But have belief that every little breath
    Will stay with you for an eternity.

    • Al-Maʿarri (Abu’l-Ala), as reported in Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 440.
  • We live in deeds, not years: in thoughts, not breaths;
    In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
    We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
    Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.

    • Philip James Bailey, Festus (1839), scene A Country Town.
  • It matters not how long we live, but how.
    • Philip James Bailey, Festus (1839), scene Wood and Water.
  • Life hath more awe than death.
    • Philip James Bailey, Festus (1839), scene Wood and Water.
  • Life! we’ve been long together
    Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
    Tis hard to part when friends are dear,—
    Perhaps ’twill cost a sigh, a tear.
    Then steal away, give little warning.
    Choose thine own time,
    Say not “Good-night,” but in some brighter clime,
    Bid me “Good-morning.”

    • Anna Letitia Barbauld, Life, in Lucy Aikin, ed., The works of Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1825), p. 261.
  • One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion.
    • Simone de Beauvoir, As quoted in Successful Aging : A Conference Report (1974) by Eric Pfeiffer, p. 142.
  • And so Doctor Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap… will be the leap home.
    • Quantum Leap syndicated opening narration, created by Donald P. Bellisario
  • What one needs to do at every moment of one’s life is to put an end to the old world and to begin a new world.
    • Nikolai Berdyaev, The Beginning and the End (1947).
  • LIFE, n. A spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay. We live in daily apprehension of its loss; yet when lost it is not missed. The question, “Is life worth living?” has been much discussed; particularly by those who think it is not, many of whom have written at great length in support of their view and by careful observance of the laws of health enjoyed for long terms of years the honors of successful controversy.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic’s Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil’s Dictionary (1911).
  • For life, with all it yields of joy and woe,
    And hope and fear
     (believe the aged friend),
    Is just our chance o’ the prize of learning love,—
    How love might be, hath been indeed, and is.

    • Robert Browning, A Death in the Desert (1864).
  • The thought occurred to me: ‘When an untaught, run-of-the-mill person, himself subject to death, not beyond death, sees another who is dead, he is horrified, humiliated, & disgusted, oblivious to himself that he too is subject to death, not beyond death. And if I — who am subject to death, not beyond death — were to be horrified, humiliated, & disgusted on seeing another person who is dead, that would not be fitting for me.’ As I noticed this, the living person’s intoxication with life entirely dropped away.
    • Gautama Buddha, Aṅguttara Nikāya 3:8 as translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
  • Reason is Life’s sole arbiter, the magic Laby’rinth’s single clue:
    Worlds lie above, beyond its ken; what crosses it can ne’er be true.

    • Richard Francis Burton, in The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî (1870), VII
  • Everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith.
    • James Branch Cabell, The Cream of the Jest (1917), The Epilogue : Which is the proper ending of all comedies; and heralds, it may be, an afterpiece.
  • Life is a pageant that passes very quickly, going hastily from one darkness to another darkness with only ignes fatui to guide; and there is no sense in it. I learned that, Kerin, without moiling over books. But life is a fine ardent spectacle; and I have loved the actors in it: and I have loved their youth and high-heartedness, and their ungrounded faiths, and their queer dreams, my Kerin, about their own importance and about the greatness of the destiny that awaited them, — while you were piddling after, of all things, the truth!
    • James Branch Cabell, The Silver Stallion : A Comedy of Redemption (1926), Saraïde, in Book Seven : What Saraïde Wanted, Ch. XLVII : Economics of Saraïde.
  • Life is very marvelous … and to the wonders of the earth there is no end appointed.
    • James Branch Cabell, The Silver Stallion : A Comedy of Redemption (1926), The Gander, in Book Seven : What Saraïde Wanted, Ch. XLV : The Gander Also Generalizes.
  • The realization that life is absurd and cannot be an end, but only a beginning. This is a truth nearly all great minds have taken as their starting point. It is not this discovery that is interesting, but the consequences and rules of action drawn from it.
    • Albert Camus, “The Reading Room,” Alger Républicain (1938) critiquing Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre, as quoted in Albert Camus and the Philosophy of the Absurd (2002) by Avi Sagi, p. 43.
  • People who see life as anything more than pure entertainment are missing the point.
    • George Carlin, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? (2004).
  • Well, as you know, there are many things in life that are not fair, that wealthy people can afford and poor people can’t. But I don’t believe that the Federal Government should take action to try to make these opportunities exactly equal, particularly when there is a moral factor involved.
    • Jimmy Carter, answer to a question asking whether it is fair that women who can afford abortions can get them while women who cannot afford them are precluded, news conference, Washington, D.C. (July 12, 1977). Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, 1977, book 2, p. 1237.
  • They cut me down
    And I leapt up high;
    I am the life
    That’ll never, never die;
    I’ll live in you
    If you’ll live in me —
    I am the Lord
    Of the Dance, said he.

    • Sydney Carter, Lord of the Dance (1963)
      • The quotes in Lord of the Dance are from the definitive lyrics to original “Lord of the Dance” song which was written to accompany the Shaker tune of “Simple Gifts” by Joseph Brackett. These were later adapted (in either ignorance or denial of the actual origins) without authorization or acknowledgments in the theatrical play “Lord of the Dance”, and in other adaptations since.
  • Since life is but a continuous series of experiences, everything ultimately helps me towards my final enlightenment.
    • Sri Chinmoy, Ten Thousand Flower Flames Part 1-100 (1979), #4029, Part 41.
  • You try your damnedest, but something always goes wrong. That’s life. If you’re smart, you plan for it.
    • Glen Cook, Shadows Linger (1984), chapter 6
  • Life is but a flicker shouting into the jaws of eternity. But it seems so damned unfair!
    • Glen Cook, The White Rose (1985), chapter 39
  • Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
    • Vicki Corona, Tahitian Choreographies (Aug 1, 1989) Dance Fantasy Productions, p. 36 (Discussion).
  • Still ending, and beginning still.
    • William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book III, line 627.
  • What is it but a map of busy life,
    Its fluctuations, and its vast concerns?

    • William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book IV, line 55.
  • Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.
    • ‘La vie n’est facile pour aucun de nous. Mais quoi, il faut avoir de la persévérance, et surtout de la confiance en soi. Il faut croire que l’on est doué pour quelque chose, et que, cette chose, il faut l’atteindre coûte que coûte.’
      • Marie Curie, As quoted in Madame Curie : A Biography (1937) by Eve Curie Labouisse, p. 69.
  • One is born, one runs up bills, one dies.
    • Richard Curtis (English screenwriter, actor and film director) and Ben Elton (British-Australian comedian and author). Stated by Rowan Atkinson playing Edmund Blackadder in the BBC situation comedy, Blackadder the Third, episode four, ‘Amy and Amiability’, 1987.
  • Life is an urge of the Universe to understand itself.
    • N. S. Dhami, “A Phrase Steps Out of the Past”.
  • For with you is the source of life;
    By light from you we can see light.

    • David Psalms 36:9
  • They don’t mind it: its a reg’lar holiday to them — all porter and skittles.
    • Charles Dickens, Pickwick Papers (1836), Chapter XL, of original edition.
  • Life’s a garden, dig it!
    • Joe Dirt, Joe Dirt (2001).
  • A dream! What is a dream? And is not our life a dream? I will say more. Suppose that this paradise will never come to pass (that I understand), yet I shall go on preaching it. And yet how simple it is: in one day, in one hour everything could be arranged at once! The chief thing is to love others like yourself, that’s the chief thing, and that’s everything; nothing else is wanted — you will find out at once how to arrange it all. And yet it’s an old truth which has been told and retold a billion times — but it has not formed part of our lives! The consciousness of life is higher than life, the knowledge of the laws of happiness is higher than happiness — that is what one must contend against. And I shall. If only everyone wants it, it can be arranged at once.
    • Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (1877), V.
  • Bankrupt of life, yet prodigal of ease.
    • John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (1681), line 168.
  • If it wasn’t disappointing, you wouldn’t know it was life.
    • Rosemary Edghill, A Winter’s Tale, in Denise Little (ed.) The Magic Shop (2004), ISBN 0-7564-0173-9, p. 318
  • Life’s a vast sea
    That does its mighty errand without fail,
    Painting in unchanged strength though waves are changing.

    • George Eliot, Spanish Gypsy (1868), Book III.
  • The purpose of life seems to be to acquaint a man with himself. He is not to live the future as described to him but to live the real future to the real present. The highest revelation is that God is in every man.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals (1822–1863), 8 September 1833. As quoted in: Maurice York and Rick Spaulding (2008): Ralph Waldo Emerson – The the Infinitude of the Private Man: A Biography. Chicago and Raleigh: Wrighwood Press, pages 240 – 241. Derived from: Edward Waldo Emerson and Waldo Emerson Forbes (1909): Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson, with annotations, III, pages 200-201.
  • Sooner or later that which is now life shall be poetry, and every fair and manly trait shall add a richer strain to the song.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims (1876), Poetry and Imagination.
  • When life is true to the poles of nature, the streams of truth will roll through us in song.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims (1876), Poetry and Imagination.
  • So likewise all this life of martall men,
    What is it but a certaine kynde of stage plaie?
    Where men come forthe disguised one in one arraie,
    An other in an other eche plaiying his part.

    • Erasmus, Praise of Folie. Challoner’s translation (1549), p. 43.
  • Sometimes I think life is all one long fucking count: We count the hours, the bulls count us, and the head bulls count counts.
    • Paul Benajmin as English, an inmate at the titular prison in the 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz. Regular counts of inmates are a standard security practice at prisons.
  • The sea is only beautiful if there’s a shore. Life is like the sea. There’ll be a direction to follow even if you sail more than one day or one life… the promise of a new land is your guide, because you know that the sea is a huge world that’s beautiful only if there’s a shore.
    • Patricky Field, as quoted in Beautiful if there’s a shore (2008) song by Patricky Field.
  • O ja, ik wil niet zoals de meeste mensen voor niets geleefd hebben. Ik wil van nut of plezier zijn voor de mensen, die om mij heen leven en die mij toch niet kennen.
    • I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met.
    • Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl (1942 – 1944), 5 April 1944.
  • Wij leven allen, maar weten niet waarom en waarvoor, wij leven allen met het doel gelukkig te worden, we leven allen verschillend en toch gelijk.
    • We’re all alive, but we don’t know why or what for; we’re all searching for happiness; we’re all leading lives that are different and yet the same.
    • Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl (1942 – 1944), 6 July 1944.
    • Variant translation: We all live with the objective of being happy, our lives are all different and yet the same.
  • There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions, as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one’s life.
    • Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, p. 126 in the 1984 Pocket Books edition.
  • I believe that none can “save” his fellow man by making a choice for him. To help him, he can indicate the possible alternatives, with sincerity and love, without being sentimental and without illusion. The knowledge and awareness of the freeing alternatives can reawaken in an individual all his hidden energies and put him on the path to choosing respect for “life” instead of for “death.”
    • Erich Fromm, Credo (1965), First published in English in On Being Human (1994) by Erich From, edited by Rainer Funk, pp. 99-105. Full text online.
  • Human beings desire more than small pleasures in the routines of life. We also seek great challenges in the face of death.
    • Matt Frose, “The Anti-Christian Alt-Right” (2018), First Things
  • In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life — It goes on.
    • Robert Frost, as quoted in The Harper Book of Quotations (1993) edited by Robert I. Fitzhenry, p. 261.
  • Our life runs down in sending up the clock.
    The brook runs down in sending up our life.
    The sun runs down in sending up the brook.
    And there is something sending up the sun.

    • Robert Frost, “West-running Brook
  • Life is a jest; and all things show it.
    I thought so once; and now I know it.

    • John Gay My Own Epitaph, inscribed on Gay’s monument in Westminster Abbey; also quoted as “I thought so once; but now I know it”.
  • The goal, the project of living a human life, a truly human life, is all about self-mastering.
    • Robert P. George, interview with Bill Kristol (April 2016), transcript
  • The pregnant quarry teem’d with human form.
    • Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller (1764), line 138.
  • All the bloomy flush of life is fled.
    • Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village (1770), 128.
  • Life is a reaching out for something or someone. That is its definition. We choose one thing and then another to reach for, climbing to a new rung on the ladder as awareness grows, but they are all only symbols, even human love at its highest and most redemptive.
    • Elizabeth Goudge, The Scent of Water (1963), Ch. XIII.2.
  • It is the law of life that if you are kind to someone you feel happy. If you are cruel you are unhappy. And if you hurt someone, you will be hurt back.
    • Cary Grant, as quoted in “Love – That’s All Cary Grant Ever Thinks About” by Sheilah Graham Westbrook in Motion Picture (June 1964).
  • I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
    • Generally attributed to Stephen Grellet, but not found in his published writings. Same idea found in The Spectator. (Addison). No. I, Volume I. March 1. 1710. Canon Jepson positively claimed it for Emerson. Attributed to Edward Courtenay, due to the resemblance of the Earl’s epitaph. See Literary World, March 15, 1905. Also to Carlyle, Miss A. B. Hageman, Rowland Hill, Marcus Aurelius.
  • He was, first and last, the born fighter, to whom the consciousness of being matched against a great adversary suffices and who can dispense with success. Life for him was an adventure, perilous indeed, but men are not made for safe havens. The fullness of life is in the hazards of life. And, at the worst, there is that in us which can turn defeat into victory.
    • Edith Hamilton, The Great Age of Greek Literature (1942), p. 243. She was referring to Aeschylus.
  • My secret to a long, healthy life is to always keep working. It keeps me busy and happy, and gives me a reason to stay alive.
    • Johannes Heesters (Dutch-German actor, singer, entertainer and media-personality).
  • ‘Life is worth Living
    Through every grain of it,
    From the foundations
    To the last edge
    Of the cornerstone, death.’

    • William Ernest Henley, Rhymes And Rhythms, XIV.
  • Life — life — let there be life!
    Better a thousand times the roaring hours
    When wave and wind,
    Like the Arch-Murderer in flight
    From the Avenger at his heel,
    Storm through the desolate fastnesses
    And wild waste places of the world!

    • William Ernest Henley, Rhymes And Rhythms, XVI.
  • Life — give me life until the end,
    That at the very top of being,
    The battle-spirit shouting in my blood,
    Out of the reddest hell of the fight
    I may be snatched and flung
    Into the everlasting lull,
    The immortal, incommunicable dream.

    • William Ernest Henley, Rhymes And Rhythms, XVI.
  • Life — life — life! ‘Tis the sole great thing
    This side of death,
    Heart on heart in the wonder of Spring!

    • William Ernest Henley, Hawthorn and Lavender (1901), XI.
  • Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
    • Patrick Henry, Speech at the Second Virginia Convention at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia (23 March 1775)
  • One doth but break-fast here, another dine; he that lives longest does but suppe; we must all goe to bed in another World.
    • Joseph Henshaw, Horæ Subcessivæ (1631), p. 80.
  • If you need something to worship, then worship life — all life, every last crawling bit of it! We’re all in this beauty together!
    • Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah (1969).
  • Let all live as they would die.
    • George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651).
  • The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride.’ Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
    • Bill Hicks, Revelations (1993).
  • Death is Certain, Life is not.
    • Augustus Hill, in Oz [specific citation needed]
  • The life so short, the craft so long to learn.
    • Hippocrates, Aphorisms, I. i
      Often translated in Latin as:
      Ars longa, vita brevis.
  • No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
    • Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651), Part I, Of Man, Chapter XVIII.
  • O Damsel Dorothy! Dorothy Q.!
    Strange is the gift that I owe to you;
    Such a gift as never a king
    Save to daughter or son might bring,—
    All my tenure of heart and hand,
    All my title to house and land;
    Mother and sister and child and wife
    And joy and sorrow and death and life!

    • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., “Dorothy Q”., stanza 5, in The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes (1975), p. 187. Dorothy Quincy was Holmes’s great-grandmother, and, as he explained in a head-note to the poem, p. 186–87, “the daughter of Judge Edmund Quincy, and the aunt of Josiah Quincy, junior, the young patriot and orator who died just before the American Revolution, of which he was one of the most eloquent and effective promoters”.
  • We have really lost in our society the sense of the sacredness of life.
    • Basil Hume, The Observer Review (1995)
  • Rather than accept the fantastically small probability of life having arisen through the blind forces of nature, it seemed better to suppose that the origin of life was a deliberate intellectual act.
    • Fred Hoyle, cited in The Watchtower magazine, 1999, 6/15, article: The Creator Can Add Meaning to Your Life.
  • Death’s got to be easy, because life is hard. It’ll leave you physically, mentally, and emotionally scarred.
    • Curtis J. Jackson, “Many Men” (2003), Get Rich or Die Tryin’
  • What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
    • James 4:14, The Bible
  • It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.
    • William James, in “Is Life Worth Living?” The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (1897).
  • Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.
    • William James, in “Is Life Worth Living?” The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (1897).
  • Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
    • Steve Jobs, Address at Stanford University (12 June, 2005).
  • I am the resurrection and the life. The one who exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life; and everyone who is living and exercises faith in me will never die at all.
    • Jesus, John 11:25-26, NWT
  • Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
    • Jesus, John 17:3 (NIV).
    • Variants:
    • And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
      • John 17:3 (KJV)
    • This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.
      • John 17:3 (New World Translation).
  • Life is a pill which none of us can bear to swallow without gilding.
    • Samuel Johnson, Anecdotes of Johnson by Mrs Piozzi.
  • Azazel: You’ve been on the force so long you think you’ve seen it all, but you haven’t. ‘Cause life’s always got one more surprise for you. And sometimes, it’s a big one.
    • Nicholas Kazan, Fallen (1998 film)
  • I compare human life to a large mansion of many apartments, two of which I can only describe, the doors of the rest being as yet shut upon me.
    • John Keats, letter to J. H. Reynolds, 3rd May 1818[specific citation needed]
  • Love will come find you
    Just to remind you
    Of who you are
    […] See that’s the thing about love
    […] Then life
    It will embrace you
    Totally amaze you
    So you don’t give up

    • Alicia Keys, The Thing About Love from the 2007 album As I Am
  • You know how little while we have to stay,
    And, once departed, may return no more.

    • Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1120), Stanza III. FitzGerald’s translation.
  • Ah Love! could you and I with him conspire
    To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire
    Would we not shatter it to bits—and then
    Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire?

    • Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1120), Stanza IX. FitzGerald’s Trans.
  • Think, in this batter’d Caravanserai
    Whose portals are alternate Night and Day,
    How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
    Abode his destin’d Hour and went his way.

    • Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1120), Stanza XVII. FitzGerald’s Trans.
  • I came like Water, and like Wind I go.
    • Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1120), Stanza XXVIII.
  • A Moment’s Halt—a momentary taste
    Of BEING from the Well amid the Waste—
    And, Lo! the phantom Caravan has reach’d
    The NOTHING it set out from. Oh, make haste!

    • Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1120), Stanza XLVIII. FitzGerald’s Trans.
  • But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays
    Upon this Checker-board of Nights and Days;
    Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
    And one by one back in the Closet lays.

    • Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1120), Stanza LXIX. FitzGerald’s translation.
  • And fear not lest Existence closing your
    Account should lose or know the type no more:
    The Eternal Sáki from that Bowl has poured
    Millions of Bubbles like us and will pour.

    • Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1120), FitzGerald’s Translation (In the edition of 1889 the second line reads: “Account and mine, should know the like no more”).
  • Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
    • Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love (1963), Last paragraph of section III of Antidotes for fear, page 122 (see link at top of the section).
  • If you are eating well and your condition is pure and clean, life itself becomes like the dreams or visions that you have when sleeping.
    • Michio Kushi with Edward Esko, Spiritual Journey (1994), p. 64.
  • Oh, Life ! — the wearisome, the vexatious — whose pleasures are either placed beyond our reach, or within it when we no longer desire them — when youth toils for the riches, age may possess but not enjoy ; — where we trust to friendship, one light word may destroy ; or to love, that dies even of itself; — where we talk of glory, philosophical, literary, military, political — die, or, what is much more, live for it — and this coveted possession dwells in the consent of men of whom no two agree about it.
    • Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Romance and Reality (1831) Vol. II, chapter 3
  • Yes! Life is a banquet, and most poor sons-of-bitches are starving to death! Live!
    • Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, Auntie Mame, act II, scene vi (1957). Auntie Mame is speaking. Based on the novel of the same title by Patrick Dennis.
  • Time means a lot to me because, you see, I, too, am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing and simplifying. If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.
    • Bruce Lee, Striking Thoughts (2000), p. 10; Here Lee paraphrases a much older English proverb: If you care for life, don’t waste your time; for time is what life is made of. (as quoted in Bordighera and the Western Riviera (1883) by Frederick Fitzroy Hamilton, p. 189).
  • The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved; it is a reality to be experienced.
    • Jacobus Johannes Leeuw, The Conquest of Illusion (1928), p. 9
  • Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
    • John Lennon, in “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” (1980).
  • Hey, hey, hey. A life. A life, Jimmy. Do you know what that is? It’s the shit that happens while you’re waiting for moments that never come.
    • Lester Freamon to Jimmy McNulty, The Wire.
  • Life — a culmination of the past, an awareness of the present, an indication of a future beyond knowledge, the quality that gives a touch of divinity to matter.
    • Charles Lindbergh, “Is Civilization Progress?” in Reader’s Digest (July 1964)
  • A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it.
    • D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
  • What shall we call this undetermin’d state,
    This narrow isthmus ‘twixt two boundless oceans,
    That whence we came, and that to which we tend?

    • George Lillo, Arden of Feversham (performed in 1759), Act III, scene 2.
  • This life of ours is a wild æolian harp of many a joyous strain,
    But under them all there runs a loud perpetual wail, as of souls in pain.

    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ChristusThe Golden Legend (1872), Part IV, Stanza 2.
  • My life, I live to the limit and I love it.
    • Jennifer Lopez, “I’m Real (Murder Remix)” (2001).
  • In the midst of life we are in death,” said one; it is more true that in the midst of death we are in life. Life is the only reality; what men call death is but a shadow — a word for that which cannot be — a negation, owing the very idea of itself to that which it would deny. But for life there could be no death. If God were not, there would not even be nothing. Not even nothingness preceded life. Nothingness owes its very idea to existence.
    • George MacDonald, From “Life” (Essay).
  • I have very strongly this feeling… that our everyday life is at one and the same time banal, overfamiliar, platitudinous and yet mysterious and extraordinary.
    • Bryan Magee, Heidegger and Modern Existentialism (1977), BBC Productions.
  • Life is a kind of flower, its blooms dying but exquisite.
    • Barry N. Malzberg, There the Lovelies Bleeding, in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, September 1981, p. 107
  • What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.
    • Nelson Mandela on life, 90th Birthday celebration of Walter Sisulu, Walter Sisulu Hall, Randburg, Johannesburg, South Africa (18 May 2002). Source: From Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations © 2010 by Nelson R. Mandela and The Nelson Mandela Foundation
  • Life ain’t great now, but it’s much improved.
    • Warren A. Mathis, “Ugly” (6 August 2001), Dark Days, Bright Nights
  • Life comes from physical survival; but the good life comes from what we care about.
    • Rollo May, Love and Will (1969), p. 290.
  • Life hath set
    No landmarks before us.

    • Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), Lucile (1860), Pt II, Canto V, Stanza 14.
  • When life leaps in the veins, when it beats in the heart,
    When it thrills as it fills every animate part,
    Where lurks it? how works it? * * * we scarcely detect it.

    • Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton), Lucile (1860), Part II, Canto I, Stanza 5.
  • Mongol General: Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.
Mongol General: That is good! That is good.

  • Conan the Barbarian (1982 film) screenplay by John Milius and Oliver Stone
  • For men to tell how human life began
    Is hard; for who himself beginning knew?

    • John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book VIII, line 250.
  • Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou liv’st
    Live well; how long or short permit to heav’n.

    • John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book XI, line 553.
  • Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians.
    • Kenneth Minogue, The Servile Mind, How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life (2010), Encounter Books, p. 3
  • Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.
    • Alan Moore, The Mustard magazine interview (January 2005)
  • The difficulty in life is the choice.
    • George Moore, The Bending of the Bough (1900), Act IV.
  • A narrow isthmus ‘twixt two boundless seas,
    The past, the future, two eternities.

    • Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh (1817), Veiled Prophet. Idea given as a quotation in the Spectator. No. 590, Sept. 6, 1714.
  • There is only one success … to be able to spend your life in your own way.
    • Christopher Morley, Where the Blue Begins (1922).
  • Poco a poco y también mucho a mucho
    me sucedió la vida…

    • Little by little, and also in great leaps,
      Life happened to me…
    • Pablo Neruda, October Fullness (1964)
  • Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
    • Anaïs Nin, D. H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study (1932).
  • We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection. We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it.
    • Anaïs Nin, entry for February 1954, in The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5 as quoted in Woman as Writer (1978) by Jeannette L. Webber and Joan Grumman, p. 38.
  • Life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage.
    • Anaïs Nin, as quoted in French Writers of the Past (2000) by Carol A. Dingle, p. 126.
  • I’m alright. I love you. I love my life. I’m always close to you.
    • Ritsuko Okazaki, I’m Always Close to You, For Ritz
  • To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.
    • Mary Oliver, ‘American Primitive (1983), “In Blackwater Woods”
  • Do not tell people how to live their lives. Just tell them stories. And they will figure out how those stories apply to them.
    • Randy Pausch, in The Last Lecture (2008).
  • We don’t beat the reaper by living longer, but by living well, and living fully — for the reaper will come for all of us. The question is: what do we do between the time we’re born and the time he shows up. Because when he shows up, it’s too late to do all the things that you’re always gonna, kinda get around to.
    • Randy Pausch, Graduation address at CMU (18 May 2008).
  • It is not the things we do in life that we regret on our death bed. It is the things we do not.
    • Randy Pausch, Graduation address at CMU (18 May 2008).
  • You’ve got to understand life, understand it when you’re young.
    • Cesare Pavese, The Beach.
  • It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life.
    • Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Peak Performance” (10 July 1989) by David Kemper.
  • Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment because they’ll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we’ve lived.
    • Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek Generations (1994) story by Brannon Braga, Ronald D. Moore and Rick Berman; On living in the moment.
  • An uneasy rhythm of life
    is more life like than an easy death.

    • Suman Pokhrel, Khorampa
  • I asked none
    why life ends in ways uncertain.

    • Suman Pokhrel, Khorampa
  • Life was running, running
    after a mirage-like desires.

    • Suman Pokhrel, An Encounter with Life
  • I asked my life
    why it carried along my dreams but
    chose to escape me.

    • Suman Pokhrel, An Encounter with Life
  • Still enveloped in a blanket of dreams
    my life continued to lie still, pretending as if
    it was in a deep slumber.

    • Suman Pokhrel, An Encounter with Life
  • Will you please go journeying
    for your own sake,
    till I come living a moment of life?

    • Suman Pokhrel, Entanglements
  • May life remain enamored of its own charm
    • Suman Pokhrel, Song of Soul
  • This ME
    made whole by
    combining countless fragments
    could not live in any one part
    with complete ease.

    • Suman Pokhrel, ‘Song of Soul’
  • May I splinter away from myself
    break into whole units
    and
    live in each with perfection!

    • Suman Pokhrel, ‘Song of Soul’
  • Every moment age is creeping up stealthily,
    but life, life is melting down
    like a candle that is flickering around.

    • Suman Pokhrel, A Birthday Greeting to Myself
  • Life is withering away
    like a candle that is melting down.

    • Suman Pokhrel, A Birthday Greeting to Myself
  • Life incinerates incessantly trying to smile
    and keeps broiling continuously
    pretending to be alive.

    • Suman Pokhrel, A Birthday Greeting to Myself
  • Death is shaping up slowly and quietly
    but life, life is melting down
    like a candle that is flickering all night.

    • Suman Pokhrel, A Birthday Greeting to Myself
  • Unaware about my surrounding, unconscious I live.
    • Suman Pokhrel, I’m in Oblivion
  • It’s not my wish to walk intoxicated; to live for never is not my choice.
    • Suman Pokhrel, I’m in Oblivion
  • A portion of life, every moment gets torn out of me hurting, and flees away.
    • Suman Pokhrel, I’m in Oblivion
  • Let us (since life can little more supply
    Than just to look about us and to die)
    Expatiate free o’er all this scene of man;
    A mighty maze! but not without a plan.

    • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle I, line 1.
  • Placed on this isthmus of a middle state.
    • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle II, line 3.
  • Fix’d like a plant on his peculiar spot,
    To draw nutrition, propagate and rot.

    • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle II, line 63.
  • On life’s vast ocean diversely we sail,
    Reason the card, but passion is the gale.

    • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle II, line 107.
  • Like bubbles on the sea of matter borne,
    They rise, they break, and to that sea return.

    • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle III, line 19.
  • Like following life through creatures you dissect,
    You lose it in the moment you detect.

    • Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35), Epistle I, line 29.
  • See how the World its Veterans rewards!
    A Youth of Frolics, an old Age of Cards;
    Fair to no purpose, artful to no end,
    Young without Lovers, old without a Friend;
    A Fop their Passion, but their Prize a Sot;
    Alive ridiculous, and dead forgot.

    • Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35), Epistle II, line 243.
  • It was said that life was cheap in Ankh-Morpork. This was, of course, completely wrong. Life was often very expensive; you could get death for free.
    • Terry Pratchett in Pyramids (1989).
  • Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
    • Psalms 16:11 (KJV)
    • Variant translation:
    • You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
      • New Living Translation (2007).
  • Participate in your life, don’t just bear witness to the rain washing you away.
    • Thomm Quackenbush, We Shadows (2010).
  • Our Life is nothing but a Winter’s day;
    Some only break their Fast, and so away:
    Others stay to Dinner, and depart full fed:
    The deepest Age but Sups, and goes to Bed:
    He’s most in debt that lingers out the Day:
    Who dies betime, has less, and less to pay.

    • Francis Quarles, Divine FanciesOn The Life of Man (1633). Quoted in different forms for epitaphs.
  • Et là commençay à penser qu’il est bien vray ce que l’on dit, que la moitié du monde ne sçait comment l’aultre vit.
    And there I began to think that it is very true, which is said, that half the world does not know how the other half lives.
    • François Rabelais, Pantagruel (1532), Chapter XXXII.
  • Vivat, fifat, pipat, bibat.
    May he live, fife, pipe, drink.
    • François Rabelais, Pantagruel (1532), Book IV, Chapter 53. Called by Epistemon, “O secret apocalyptique.” It suggests “Old King Cole”.
  • What is life? For the happy a pleasure, for the poor a torture, and to all an expectation of death.
    • Emmanuel Rhoides (1866). Pope Joan. Penguin Books. p. 24-25. ISBN 0-1400-3760-8. Translated by Lawrence Durrell.
  • I bargained with Life for a penny,
    And Life would pay no more,
    However I begged at evening
    When I counted my scanty store;
    For Life is a just employer,
    He gives you what you ask,
    But once you have set the wages,
    Why, you must bear the task.
    I worked for a menial’s hire,
    Only to learn, dismayed,
    That any wage I had asked of Life,
    Life would have paid.

    • Jessie B. Rittenhouse, “My Wage”, The Door of Dreams (1918), p. 25.
  • In short, in life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard; don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard!
    • Theodore Roosevelt, “The American Boy”, published in St. Nicholas 27, no. 7 (May 1900), p. 574
  • Brief and powerless is man’s life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark.
    • Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic, ‘A free Man’s Worship’.
  • Life and hope for the world are to be found only in the deeds of love.
    • Bertrand Russell, Political Ideals (1917), Chapter V: National Independence and Internationalism.
  • To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.
    • Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals (1929),Ch. 19: Sex and Individual Well-Being
  • The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.
    • Bertrand Russell, What I Believe (1925).
  • Sed multi mortales dediti ventri atque somno, indocti incultique vitam sicuti peregrinantes transiere.
    • Yet many human beings, resigned to sensuality and indolence, un-instructed and unimproved, have passed through life like travellers in a strange country.
    • Sallust, Bellum Catilinae, chapter II, (c. 44 BC).
  • Our biggest tragedy is not knowing what to do with our lives.
    • José Saramago, during the opening lecture of the course Literature and Power, Lights and Shadows, at the University Carlos III in Madrid, as quoted in Weissheimer Saramago prega retorno à filosofia para salvar democracia, Agência Carta Maior (19 January 2004).
  • Expectation postponed makes the heart sick, but a desire realized is a tree of life.
    • Solomon, Proverbs 13:12, NWT
  • The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.
    • William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze (1934), Preface.
  • I believe there are ways whose ends are life instead of death.
    • William Saroyan, Antranik and the Spirit of Armenia.
  • Life may change, but it may fly not;
    Hope may vanish, but can die not;
    Truth be veiled, but still it burneth;
    Love repulsed, — but it returneth!

    • Percy Bysshe Shelley, Hellas (1821).
  • Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
    Stains the white radiance of eternity.

    • Percy Bysshe Shelley in Adonais, LII.
  • There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second.
    • Logan Pearsall Smith, Afterthoughts (1931), ‘Life and Human Nature’.
  • People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
    • Logan Pearsall Smith, Afterthoughts (1931), ‘Myself’.
  • Life is nothing more but a grace period for turning the best of our genetic material into the next generation.
    • Solidus Snake Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001).
  • The Lives We try to make never seem to get Us anywhere but Dead.
    • Soundgarden in “The Day I Tried To Live” (1994).
  • “Life is not lost,” said she, “for which is bought
    Endlesse renowne.”

    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book III, Canto XI, Stanza 19.
  • A free man thinks of death least of all things; and his wisdom is a meditation not of death but of life.
    • Variant translation: A free man thinks of nothing less than of death; and his wisdom is a meditation not on death but on life.
    • Baruch Spinoza, Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata (Ethics Geometrically Demonstrated) (published in 1677), Part IV: Of Human Bondage, or the Strength of the Emotions, Prop. 67, Full text online.
  • As an atheist, I believe that all life is unspeakably precious, because it’s only here for a brief moment, a flare against the dark, and then it’s gone forever. No afterlives, no second chances, no backsies. So there can be nothing crueler than the abuse, destruction or wanton taking of a life. It is a crime no less than burning the Mona Lisa, for there is always just one of each. So I cannot forgive.
    • J. Michael Straczynski, Lurker’s Guide to Babylon 5 : “Passing Through Gethsemane : jms speaks” (13 July (2004).
  • Away with funeral music—set
    The pipe to powerful lips—
    The cup of life’s for him that drinks
    And not for him that sips.

    • Robert Louis Stevenson, At Boulogne (1872).
  • All who have meant good work with their whole hearts, have done good work, although they may die before they have the time to sign it. Every heart that has beat strong and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind. And even if death catch people, like an open pitfall, and in mid-career, laying out vast projects, and planning monstrous foundations, flushed with hope, and their mouths full of boastful language, they should be at once tripped up and silenced: is there not something brave and spirited in such a termination? and does not life go down with a better grace, foaming in full body over a precipice, than miserably straggling to an end in sandy deltas?
    • Robert Louis Stevenson, “Aes Triplex” (1878).
  • To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.
    • Robert Louis Stevenson, Familiar Studies of Men and Books (1882).
  • Life into death—life’s other shape; no rupture, only crossing.
    • Dejan Stojanovic in Circling, “Awakening of a Flower” (Sequence: “A Conversations with Atoms”).
  • Cosmos is God, who whispered the syllable of life.
    • Dejan Stojanovic in The Sun Watches the Sun, “Cosmos” (Sequence: “Sky-Motion”).
  • Life is only a flicker of melted ice.
    • Dejan Stojanovic in The Sun Watches the Sun, “Rain of the Absolute” (Sequence “Skywalking”).
  • Creating means living.
    • Dejan Stojanovic in The Shape, “The Life of the Shape” (Sequence: “Happiness of Atoms”).
  • If birth is a manifestation of life, death is another.
    • Dejan Stojanovic in ”Death”

William Shakespeare on Life

  • And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
    Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
    Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

    • As You Like It (c.1599-1600), Act II, scene 1, line 15.
  • I cannot tell what you and other men
    Think of this life; but, for my single self,
    I had as lief not be as live to be
    In awe of such a thing as I myself.

    • William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar (1599), Act I, scene 2, line 93.
  • Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale,
    Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.

    • William Shakespeare, King John (1598), Act III, scene 4, line 108.
  • To be or not to be, that is the question.
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1600–1), Act III, scene 1.
  • Thy life’s a miracle.
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear (1608), Act IV, scene 6, line 55.
  • Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow,
    A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more:
    it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    • William Shakespeare, Macbeth (c. 1605), Act V, Scene 5, line 23.
  • It’s not until they tell you you’re going to die soon that you realize how short life is. Time is the most valuable thing in life because it never comes back. And whether you spend it in the arms of a loved one or alone in a prison-cell, life is what you make of it. Dream big.
    • Stefán Karl Stefánsson, as quoted in “LazyTown’s Stefan Karl Stefansson confirms ‘inoperable’ cancer has returned” (16 March 2018), by Emma Kelly, Metro
  • Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.
    • Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:9; Yerushalmi Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 37a.
  • Life is not as idle ore,
    But iron dug from central gloom,
    And heated hot with burning fears,
    And dipt in baths of hissing tears,
    And batter’d with the shocks of doom,
    To shape and use.

    • Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam A.H.H. (1849), Part CXVIII, Stanza 5.
  • The life that I aspire to live
    No man proposeth me—
    No trade upon the street
    Wears its emblazonry.

    • Henry David Thoreau, “Independence”
  • Germs… share all the attributes that… form the scientific definition of life. Simply put, they are born and they die, and in between they engage in the three processes of metabolism, growth, and reproduction. Metabolism comprises all of the physical and chemical processes… including extracting energy from the environment to fuel growth and reproduction. …All living things on Earth share one more feature. They are made up of cells… The most elementary units of life, cells are bits of cytoplasm bounded by a thin membrane and containing nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), amino acids, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. …In the simplest terms, cells carry genes on their DNA, and the job of genes is to code precise sequences of amino acids, known as peptide chains or peptide sequences, into proteins, the building blocks of life. All living organisms are made up largely of proteins, and the formation of carbohydrates and fats is governed by proteins acting as enzymes. Every cell contains enough genetic information to reproduce itself, and single-celled creatures generally clone themselves by dividing in two. …living material basically consists of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. These fundamental elements of nature… occur throughout the universe… researchers recently identified… a sugar molecule called glycoaldehyde, in a dust cloud near the center of the Milky Way… it is not hard to imagine that glycoaldehyde or a similar sugar molecule, of stellar origin, could easily have formed ribose, the sugar backbone of the nucleic acids…
    • Phillip M. Tierno Jr., The Secret Life of Germs: Observations and Lessons from a Microbe Hunter (2001)
  • Life is something that everyone should try at least once.
    • Henry J. Tillman, as quoted in In Your 60s (2009) by Judy Valon, Wakefield Press; and in Pathological Altruism (2012), edited by Barbara Oakley, Ariel Knafo, Guruprasad Madhavan, and David Sloan Wilson, Oxford University Press
  • The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began,
    Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow if I can,
    Pursuing it with eager feet,
    Until it joins some larger way
    Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say.

    • J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book I (1954).
  • Could it be … that the hero is one who is willing to set out, take the first step, shoulder something? Perhaps the hero is one who puts his foot upon a path not knowing what he may expect from life but in some way feeling in his bones that life expects something of him.
    • P. L. Travers, in “The World of the Hero” (1976).
  • Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full.
    • Leon Trotsky, Trotsky’s Testament (27 February 1940).
  • Life is a wave, which in no two consecutive moments of its existence is composed of the same particles.
    • John Tyndall, Fragments of Science, Vol. II (1879) Vitality
  • Life is totally about losing everything. As life goes on, we lose more than we acquire.
    • Mike Tyson, as quoted in USA Today (2005).
  • Life, too, is like that. You live it forward, but understand it backward.
    • Abraham Verghese, Cutting for Stone.
  • Life is an ulcer on the body of universe.
    • Jerzy Vetulani, Starość okiem przyrodnika, „Psychogeriatria polska”, 2007; 4(3), pages 109–138.
  • Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis.
    • Endure the hardships of your present state,
      Live, and reserve yourselves for better fate.
    • Virgil, Aeneid (29–19 BC), Book I, line 207. (trans. John Dryden).
  • Vivite felices, quibus est fortuna peracta
    Jam sua: nos alia ex aliis in fata vocamur.

    • Live and be blest! ’tis sweet to feel
      Fate’s book is closed and under seal.
      For us, alas! that volume stern
      Has many another page to turn.
    • Virgil, Aeneid, III, 493 (trans. John Conington).
  • Life is a game and true love is a trophy.
    • Rufus Wainwright, “Poses”.
  • Living should be perpetual and universal benediction.
    • Wei Wu Wei in Why Lazarus Laughed: The Essential Doctrine, Zen — Advaita — Tantra (2003).
  • Lo! on a narrow neck of land,
    ‘Twixt two unbounded seas, I stand.
    Secure, insensible.

    • Charles Wesley, Hymn (1749).
  • I desire to have both heaven and hell ever in my eye, while I stand on this isthmus of life, between two boundless oceans.
    • John Wesley, letter to Charles Wesley (1747).
  • Congratulations. You are still alive. Most people are so ungrateful to be alive. But not you. Not anymore.
    • Jigsaw Saw (2004 film) screenplay by Leigh Whannell
  • The essence of life is change, he said, and the essence of eternal life is eternal change.
    • Robert Charles Wilson, Darwinia (1998), Chapter 25
  • When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!
    • Erik Wolpaw, with a line from Cave Johnson in Portal 2.
  • For what are men who grasp at praise sublime,
    But bubbles on the rapid stream of time,
    That rise, and fall, that swell, and are no more,
    Born, and forgot, ten thousand in an hour?

    • Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-1728), Satire II, line 285.
  • While man is growing, life is in decrease,
    And cradles rock us nearer to the tomb:
    Our birth is nothing but our death begun.

    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night V, line 718.
  • That life is long, which answers life’s great end.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night V, line 773.
  • Still seems it strange, that thou shouldst live forever?
    Is it less strange, that thou shouldst live at all?
    This is a miracle; and that no more.

    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VII, line 1,396.
  • Life is an echo. What you send out comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you.
    • Zig Ziglar, See You at the Top, (2000).
  • Life cheap and death is free
    • Warren Zevon and Stefan Arngrim, Transverse City from the 1989 album Transverse City

Anonymous

  • Row, row, row your boat,
    Gently down the stream.
    Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
    Life is but a dream.

    • Anonymous author, in “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, a nursery rhyme dating back to at least 1852; listed as Song #19236 the Roud Folk Song Index

Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 440-55.
  • Spesso è da forte,
    Più che il morire, il vivere.

    Ofttimes the test of courage becomes rather to live than to die.
    • Vittorio Alfieri, Oreste, IV, 2.
  • I know not if the dark or bright
    Shall be my lot;
    If that wherein my hopes delight
    Be best or not.

    • Henry M. Alford, Life’s Answer.
  • Every man’s life is a fairy-tale written by God’s fingers.
    • Hans Christian Andersen, Preface to Works.
  • And by a prudent flight and cunning save
    A life which valour could not, from the grave.
    A better buckler I can soon regain,
    But who can get another life again?

    • Archilochus. See Plutarch’s Morals, Volume I. Essay on the Laws, etc., of the Lacedemonians.
  • There is a cropping-time in the races of men, as in the fruits of the field; and sometimes, if the stock be good, there springs up for a time a succession of splendid men; and then comes a period of barrenness.
    • Aristotle, Rhetoric, II. 15. Par, III. Quoted by Bishop Fraser in a sermon (Feb. 9, 1879).
  • We are the voices of the wandering wind,
    Which moan for rest and rest can never find;
    Lo! as the wind is so is mortal life,
    A moan, a sigh, a sob, a storm, a strife.

    • Edwin Arnold, Light of Asia.
  • Life, which all creatures love and strive to keep
    Wonderful, dear and pleasant unto each,
    Even to the meanest; yea, a boon to all
    Where pity is, for pity makes the world
    Soft to the weak and noble for the strong.

    • Edwin Arnold, Light of Asia.
  • With aching hands and bleeding feet
    We dig and heap, lay stone on stone;
    We bear the burden and the heat
    Of the long day, and wish ’twere done.
    Not till the hours of light return
    All we have built do we discern.

    • Matthew Arnold, Morality, Stanza 2.
  • Saw life steadily and saw it whole.
    • Matthew Arnold, Sonnet to a Friend. (Said of Sophocles).
  • This strange disease of modern life,
    With its sick hurry, its divided aims.

    • Matthew Arnold, Scholar-Gypsy, Stanza 21.
  • They live that they may eat, but he himself [Socrates] eats that he may live.
    • Athenæus, IV. 15. See Aulus Gellius, XVIII. 2. 8.
  • As a mortal, thou must nourish each of two forebodings—that tomorrow’s sunlight will be the last that thou shalt see; and that for fifty years thou wilt live out thy life in ample wealth.
    • Bacchylides
  • I would live to study, and not study to live.
    • Francis Bacon, Memorial of Access. From a Letter to King James I. See Birch’s ed. of Bacon, Letters, Speeches, etc, p. 321. (Ed. 1763).
  • The World’s a bubble, and the Life of Man less than a span:
    In his conception wretched, from the womb so to the tomb;
    Curst from his cradle, and brought up to years with cares and fears.
    Who then to frail mortality shall trust,
    But limns the water, or but writes in dust.

    • Francis Bacon, Life. Preface to the Translation of Certain Psalms.
  • I live for those who love me,
    For those who know me true;
    For the heaven so blue above me,
    And the good that I can do.

    • George Linnæus Banks, My Aim, in Daisies of the Grass, p. 21 (Ed. 1865).
  • Life is a long lesson in humility.
    • J. M. Barrie, Little Minister, Chapter III.
  • Loin des sépultures célebres
    Vers un cimitière isolé
    Mon cœur, comme un tambour voilé
    Va battant des marches funèbres.

    To the solemn graves, near a lonely cemetery, my heart like a muffled drum is beating funeral marches.
    • Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du MalLe Guignon.
  • Our lives are but our marches to the grave.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher, The Humorous Lieutenant, Act III, scene 5, line 76.
  • We sleep, but the loom of life never stops and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up to-morrow.
    • Henry Ward Beecher, Life Thoughts, p. 12.
  • The day is short, the work is much.
    • Saying of Ben Syra. (From the Hebrew).
  • We are all but Fellow-Travelers,
    Along Life’s weary way;
    If any man can play the pipes,
    In God’s name, let him play.

    • John Bennett, Poem in The Century.
  • Life does not proceed by the association and addition of elements, but by dissociation and division.
    • Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution (1907), Chapter I.
  • For life is tendency, and the essence of a tendency is to develop in the form of a sheaf, creating, by its very growth, divergent directions among which its impetus is divided.
    • Henri Bergson, Creative Revolution, Chapter II.
  • Nasci miserum, vivere pœna, angustia mori.
    It is a misery to be born, a pain to live, a trouble to die.
    • St. Bernard, Chapter III.
  • Alas, how scant the sheaves for all the trouble,
    The toil, the pain and the resolve sublime—
    A few full ears; the rest but weeds and stubble,
    And withered wild-flowers plucked before their time.

    • A. B. Bragdon, The Old Campus.
  • For life is the mirror of king and slave,
    ‘Tis just what we are and do;
    Then give to the world the best you have,
    And the best will come back to you.

    • Madeleine Bridges, Life’s Mirror.
  • There are loyal hearts, there are spirits brave,
    There are souls that are pure and true;
    Then give to the world the best you have,
    And the best will come back to you.

    • Madeleine Bridges, Life’s Mirror.
  • Life, believe, is not a dream,
    So dark as sages say;
    Oft a little morning rain
    Foretells a pleasant day!

    • Charlotte Brontë, Life.
  • A little sun, a little rain,
    A soft wind blowing from the west,
    And woods and fields are sweet again,
    And warmth within the mountain’s breastA little love, a little trust,
    A soft impulse, a sudden dream,
    And life as dry as desert dust,
    Is fresher than a mountain stream.

    • Stopford A. Brooke, Earth and Man.
  • I would not live over my hours past … not unto Cicero’s ground because I have lived them well, but for fear I should live them worse.
    • Sir Thomas Browne
  • Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us.
    • Sir Thomas Browne, Hydriotaphia, Chapter V.
  • The long habit of living indisposeth us for dying.
    • Sir Thomas Browne, Hydriotaphia.
  • Whose life is a bubble, and in length a span.
    • William Browne, Britannia Pastorals, Book I, Song II.
  • I know—is all the mourner saith,
    Knowledge by suffering entereth;
    And Life is perfected by Death.

    • Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Vision of Poets, Stanza 321.
  • Have you found your life distasteful?
    My life did, and does, smack sweet.
    Was your youth of pleasure wasteful?
    Mine I saved and hold complete.
    Do your joys with age diminish?
    When mine fail me, I’ll complain.
    Must in death your daylight finish?
    My sun sets to rise again.

    • Robert Browning, At the “Mermaid”, St. 10.
  • I count life just a stuff
    To try the soul’s strength on.

    • Robert Browning, In a Balcony.
  • No! let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers,
    The heroes of old,
    Bear the brunt, in a minute pay glad life’s arrears
    Of pain, darkness and cold.

    • Robert Browning, Prospice.
  • O Life! thou art a galling load,
    Along a rough, a weary road,
    To wretches such as I!

    • Robert Burns, Despondency.
  • O, Life! how pleasant is thy morning,
    Young Fancy’s rays the hills adorning!
    Cold pausing Caution’s lesson scorning,
    We frisk away,
    Like schoolboys, at the expected warning,
    To joy and play.

    • Robert Burns, Epistle to James Smith.
  • Life is but a day at most.
    • Robert Burns, Friars’ Carse Hermitage.
  • Did man compute
    Existence by enjoyment, and count o’er
    Such hours ‘gainst years of life, say, would he name threescore?

    • Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto III (1816), Stanza 34.
  • All is concentred in a life intense,
    Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,
    But hath a part of being.

    • Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto III (1816), Stanza 89.
  • Through life’s road, so dim and dirty,
    I have dragged to three and thirty;
    What have these years left to me?
    Nothing, except thirty-three.

    • Lord Byron, Diary. Jan. 22, 1821. In Moore’s Life of Byron, Volume II, p. 414. First Ed.
  • Our life is two-fold; sleep hath its own world,
    A boundary between the things misnamed
    Death and existence.

    • Lord Byron, Dream, Stanza 1, line 1.
  • The dust we tread upon was once alive.
    • Lord Byron, Sardanapalus, Act IV, scene 1, line 66.
  • Life is with such all beer and skittles.
    They are not difficult to please
    About their victuals.

    • Charles Stuart Calverley, Contentment.
  • Heaven gives our years of fading strength
    Indemnifying fleetness;
    And those of Youth a seeming length,
    Proportioned to their sweetness.

    • Thomas Campbell, A Thought Suggested by the New Year.
  • A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.
    • Thomas Carlyle, Essays, Jean Paul Friedrich Richter.
  • There is no life of a man, faithfully recorded, but is a heroic poem of its sort, rhymed or unrhymed.
    • Thomas Carlyle, Essays, Memoirs on the Life of Scott.
  • One life;—a little gleam of Time between two Eternities.
    • Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship (1840), The Hero as a Man of Letters.
  • How many lives we live in one,
    And how much less than one, in all.

    • Alice Cary, Life’s Mysteries.
  • Bien predica quien bien vive.
    He who lives well is the best preacher.
    • Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, VI. 19.
  • On entre, on crie,
    Et c’est la vie!
    On bâille, on sort,
    Et c’est la mort!

    We come and we cry, and that is life; we yawn and we depart, and that is death!
    • Ausone De Chancel, Lines in an Album (1836).
  • However, while I crawl upon this planet I think myself obliged to do what good I can in my narrow domestic sphere, to all my fellow-creatures, and to wish them all the good I cannot do.
    • Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, in a letter to the Bishop of Waterford (Jan. 22, 1780).
  • Brevis a natura nobis vita data est; at memoria bene reditæ vitæ sempiterna.
    The life given us by nature is short; but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal.
    • Cicero, Philippicæ, XIV. 12.
  • Natura dedit usuram vitæ tanquam pecuniæ nulla præstitua die.
    Nature has lent us life at interest, like money, and has fixed no day for its payment.
    • Cicero, Tusculanarum Disputationum, I. 39.
  • Nemo parum diu vixit, qui virtuis perfectæ perfecto functus est munere.
    No one has lived a short life who has performed its duties with unblemished character.
    • Cicero, Tusculanarum Disputationum, I. 45.
  • To know, to esteem, to love,—and then to part,
    Makes up life’s tale to many a feeling heart.

    • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, On Taking Leave of——.
  • Life is but thought.
    • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Youth and Age.
  • This life’s a hollow bubble,
    Don’t you know?
    Just a painted piece of trouble,
    Don’t you know?
    We come to earth to cry,
    We grow older and we sigh,
    Older still, and then we die!
    Don’t you know?

    • Edmund Vance Cooke, Fin de Siècle.
  • Life for delays and doubts no time does give,
    None ever yet made haste enough to live.

    • Abraham Cowley, Martial. Lib, II. XC.
  • His faith, perhaps, in some nice tenets might
    Be wrong; his life, I’m sure, was in the right.

    • Abraham Cowley, On the Death of Mr. Crashaw, line 56.
  • Life is an incurable disease.
    • Abraham Cowley, To Dr. Scarborough.
  • Men deal with life as children with their play,
    Who first misuse, then cast their toys away.

    • William Cowper, Hope, line 127.
  • Let’s learn to live, for we must die alone.
    • George Crabbe, Borough, Letter X.
  • Shall he who soars, inspired by loftier views,
    Life’s little cares and little pains refuse?
    Shall he not rather feel a double share
    Of mortal woe, when doubly arm’d to bear?

    • George Crabbe, Library.
  • Life’s bloomy flush was lost.
    • George Crabbe, Parish Register, Part II, 453.
  • Life is not measured by the time we live.
    • George Crabbe, Village, Book II.
  • Chaque instant de la vie est un pas vers la mort.
    Every moment of life is a step toward the grave.
    • Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon, Tite et Bérénice, I, 5.
  • Non ò necessario
    Vivere, si scolpire olte quel termine
    Nostro nome: quæsto è necessario.

    It is not necessary to live,
    But to carve our names beyond that point,
    This is necessary.
    • Gabriele d’Annunzio, Canzone di Umberto Cagni.
  • Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
    Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
    Che la diritta via era smarrita.

    In the midway of this our mortal life,
    I found me in a gloomy wood, astray,
    Gone from the path direct.
    • Dante Alighieri, Inferno, I.
  • Questo misero modo
    Tengon l’anime triste di coloro
    Che visser senza infamia e senza lodo.

    This sorrow weighs upon the melancholy souls of those who lived without infamy or praise.
    • Dante Alighieri, Inferno, III. 36.
  • … There are two distinct classes of people in the world; those that feel that they themselves are in a body; and those that feel that they themselves are a body, with something working it. I feel like the contents of a bottle, and am curious to know what will happen when the bottle is uncorked. Perhaps I shall be mousseux—who knows? Now I know that many people feel like a strong moving engine, self-stoking, and often so anxious to keep the fire going that they put too much fuel on, and it has to be raked out and have the bars cleared.
    • William de Morgan, Joseph Vance, Chapter XL
  • Learn to live well, that thou may’st die so too;
    To live and die is all we have to do.

    • Sir John Denham, Of Prudence, line 93.
  • Cette longue et cruelle maladie qu’on appele la vie.
    That long and cruel malady which one calls life.
    • Deschamps.
  • Mr. Wopsle’s great-aunt conquered a confirmed habit of living into which she had fallen.
    • Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, Chapter 16.
  • My life is one demd horrid grind.
    • Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby (1838-39), Volume II, Chapter XXXII.
  • “Live, while you live,” the epicure would say,
    “And seize the pleasures of the present day;”
    “Live, while you live,” the sacred preacher cries,
    “And give to God each moment as it flies.”
    “Lord, in my views let both united be;
    I live in pleasure, when I live to Thee.”

    • Philip Doddridge, “Dum vivimus vivamus.” Lines written under Motto of his Family Arms.
  • So that my life be brave, what though not long?
    • William Drummond of Hawthornden, Sonnet.
  • ‘Tis not for nothing that we life pursue;
    It pays our hopes with something still that’s new.

    • John Dryden, Aureng-Zebe, Act IV, scene 1.
  • When I consider life, ’tis all a cheat;
    Yet, fooled with hope, men favour the deceit;
    Trust on, and think tomorrow will repay.
    Tomorrow’s falser than the former day.

    • John Dryden, Aureng-Zebe, Act IV, scene 1.
  • Like pilgrims to th’ appointed place we tend;
    The World’s an Inn, and Death the journey’s end.

    • John Dryden, Palamon and Arcite, III. 887.
  • Take not away the life you cannot give:
    For all things have an equal right to live.

    • John Dryden, Pythagorean Phil, line 705.
  • The wheels of weary life at last stood still.
    • Dryden and Lee, Œdipus, Act IV, scene 1.
  • Living from hand to mouth.
    • Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, Divine Weekes and Workes, Second Week, First Day, Part IV.
  • A little rule, a little sway,
    A sunbeam in a winter’s day,
    Is all the proud and mighty have
    Between the cradle and the grave.

    • John Dyer, Grongar Hill, line 89.
  • A man’s ingress into the world is naked and bare,
    His progress through the world is trouble and care;
    And lastly, his egress out of the world, is nobody knows where.
    If we do well here, we shall do well there;
    I can tell you no more if I preach a whole year.

    • John Edwin, The Eccentricities of John Edwin (second edition), Volume I, p. 74. Quoted in Longefellow’s Tales of a Wayside Inn, Part II. Student’s Tale.
  • Life is short, and time is swift;
    Roses fade, and shadows shift.

    • Ebenezer Elliot, Epigram.
  • Life’s like an inn where travelers stay,
    Some only breakfast and away;
    Others to dinner stop, and are full fed;
    The oldest only sup and go to bed.

    • Epitaph on tomb in Silkstone, England, to the memory of John Ellis. (1766).
  • Life’s an Inn, my house will shew it;—
    I thought so once, but now I know it.

    • Epitaphs printed by Mr. Fairley. Epitaphiana. (Ed. 1875). On an Innkeeper at Eton. The lines that follow are like those of Quarles.
  • This world’s a city full of crooked streets,
    Death’s the market-place where all men meet;
    If life were merchandise that men should buy,
    The rich would always live, the poor might die.

    • Epitaph to John Gadsden, died 1739, in Stoke Goldington, England. See E. R. Suffling, Epitaphia, p. 401. On P. 405 is a Scotch version of 1689. Same idea in Gay. The Messenger of Mortality, in Ancient Poems, Ballads, and Songs of the Peasantry. A suggestion from Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale, line 2,487. Shakespeare and Fletcher. Two Noble Kinsmen, Act I, scene 5, line 15. Waller, Divine Poems.
  • Nulli desperandum, quam diu spirat.
    No one is to be despaired of as long as he breathes. (While there is life there is hope).
    • Erasmus, Colloq. Epicureus.
  • There is one thing alone that stands the brunt of life throughout its course: a quiet conscience.
    • Euripides, Hippolytus (428 B.C.), l. 435.
  • Life is short, yet sweet.
    • Euripides, quoted in Fielding Select proverbs of all Nations (1824), p. 206.
  • For like a child, sent with a fluttering light
    To feel his way along a gusty night,
    Man walks the world. Again, and yet again,
    The lamp shall be by fits of passion slain;
    But shall not He who sent him from the door
    Relight the lamp once more, and yet once more?

    • Edward FitzGerald, translation of Attar’s Mantik-ut-Tair (Bird Parliament). In Letters and Literary Remains of FitzGerald, Volume II, p. 457.
  • The King in a carriage may ride,
    And the Beggar may crawl at his side;
    But in the general race,
    They are traveling all the same pace.

    • Edward FitzGerald, Chrononoros.
  • Were the offer made true, I would engage to run again, from beginning to end, the same career of life. All I would ask should be the privilege of an author, to correct, in a second edition, certain errors of the first.
    • Benjamin Franklin, in his Life.
  • Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
    • Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard.
  • We live merely on the crust or rind of things.
    • James Anthony Froude, Short Studies on Great Subjects, Lucian.
  • The old Quaker was right: “I expect to pass through life but once. If there is any kindness, or any good thing I can do to my fellow beings, let me do it now. I shall pass this way but once.”
    • W. C. Gannett, Blessed be Drudgery.
  • How short is life! how frail is human trust!
    • John Gay, Trivia, Book III, line 235.
  • Lebe, wie Du, wenn du stirbst,
    Wünschen wirst, gelebt zu haben.

    Live in such a way as, when you come to die, you will wish to have lived.
    • C. F. Gellert, Geistliche Oden und LiederVom Tode.
  • We are in this life as it were in another man’s house…. In heaven is our home, in the world is our Inn: do not so entertain thyself in the Inn of this world for a day as to have thy mind withdrawn from longing after thy heavenly home.
    • Gerhard, Meditations, XXXVIII (c. 1630).
  • Die uns das Leben gaben, herrliche Gefühle,
    Erstarren in dem irdischen Gewühle.

    The fine emotions whence our lives we mold
    Lie in the earthly tumult dumb and cold.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, I. 1. 286.
  • Grau, theurer Freund, ist alle Theorie
    Und grün des Lebens goldner Baum.

    My worthy friend, gray are all theories
    And green alone Life’s golden tree.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, I. 4. 515.
  • Ein unnütz Leben ist ein früher Tod.
    A useless life is an early death.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Iphigenia auf Tauris, I, 2, 63.
  • Singet nicht in Trauertönen.
    Sing it not in mournful numbers.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm MeisterPhiline.
  • I would live the same life over if I had to live again,
    And the chances are I go where most men go.

    • Adam Lindsay Gordon
  • Life is mostly froth and bubble;
    Two things stand like stone:
    Kindness in another’s trouble
    Courage in our own.

    • Adam Lindsay Gordon, Ye Weary WayfarerFinis Exoptatus.
  • Along the cool sequestered vale of life,
    They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.

    • Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard, Stanza 19.
  • Qui n’a pas vécu dans les années voisines de 1789 ne sait pas ce que c’est le palisir de vivre.
    • Whoever did not live in the years neighboring 1789 does not know what the pleasure of living means.
    • Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord to François Guizot, reported in Guizot, Memoirs pour Servir a l’histoire de nous Temps, Volume I, p. 6.
  • Life’s little ironies.
    • Thomas Hardy, title of a collection of stories.
  • [George Herbert] a conspicuous example of plain living and high thinking.
    • Haweis, Sermon on George Herbert, in Evenings for the People.
  • Who but knows
    How it goes!
    Life’s a last year’s Nightingale,
    Love’s a last year’s rose.

    • William Ernest Henley, Echoes, XLV.
  • Life is a smoke that curls—
    Curls in a flickering skein,
    That winds and whisks and whirls,
    A figment thin and vain,
    Into the vast inane.
    One end for hut and hall.

    • William Ernest Henley, Of the Nothingness of Things.
  • I made a posy, while the day ran by:
    Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie
    My life within this band.
    But time did beckon to the flowers, and they
    By noon most cunningly did steal away,
    And wither’d in my hand.

    • George Herbert, Life.
  • Life is not to be bought with heaps of gold;
    Not all Apollo’s Pythian treasures hold,
    Or Troy once held, in peace and pride of sway,
    Can bribe the poor possession of the day.

    • Homer, The Iliad, Book IX, line 524. Pope’s translation.
  • For Fate has wove the thread of life with pain,
    And twins ev’n from the birth are Misery and Man!

    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book VII, line 263. Pope’s translation.
  • Vitæ summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare longam.
    Jam te premet nox, fabulæque Manes,
    Et domus exilis Plutonia.

    The short span of life forbids us to spin out hope to any length. Soon will night be upon you, and the fabled Shades, and the shadowy Plutonian home.
    • Horace, Carmina, I. 4. 15.
  • Ille potens sui
    Lætusque deget, cui licet in diem
    Dixisse Vixi; cras vel atra
    Nube polum pater occupato,
    Vel sole puro, non tamen irritum
    Quodcunque retro est efficiet.

    That man lives happy and in command of himself, who from day to day can say I have lived. Whether clouds obscure, or the sun illumines the following day, that which is past is beyond recall.
    • Horace, Carmina, III. 29. 41.
  • Vivendi recte qui prorogat horam
    Rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis; at ille
    Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis ævum.

    He who postpones the hour of living as he ought, is like the rustic who waits for the river to pass along (before he crosses); but it glides on and will glide on forever.
    • Horace, Epistles, I. 2. 41.
  • Nec vixit male qui natus moriensque fefellit.
    Nor has he spent his life badly who has passed it in privacy.
    • Horace, Epistles, I. 17. 10.
  • Exacto contentus tempore vita cedat uti conviva satur.
    Content with his past life, let him take leave of life like a satiated guest.
    • Horace, Satires, I. 1. 118.
  • Life isn’t all beer and skittles; but beer and skittles or something better of the same sort, must form a good part of every Englishman’s education.
    • Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown’s School Days, Part I, Chapter 2.
  • The great end of life is not knowledge but action.
    • Thomas Henry Huxley, Technical Education (1877).
  • The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us.
    • Huxley, Liberal Education. In Science and Education.
  • There is but halting for the wearied foot;
    The better way is hidden. Faith hath failed;
    One stronger far than reason mastered her.
    It is not reason makes faith hard, but life.

    • Jean Ingelow, A Pastor’s Letter to a Young Poet, Part II, line 231.
  • Study as if you were to live forever. Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
    • Isidore of Seville
  • A fair, where thousands meet, but none can stay;
    An inn, where travellers bait, then post away.

    • Soame Jenkyns, Immortality of the Soul. Translated from the Latin of Isaac Hawkins Browne.
  • All that a man hath will he give for his life.
    • Job, II. 4.
  • I would not live alway.
    • Job, VII. 16.
  • The land of the living.
    • Job, XXVIII. 13.
  • Learn that the present hour alone is man’s.
    • Samuel Johnson, Irene, Act III, scene 2, line 33.
  • Reflect that life, like every other blessing,
    Derives its value from its use alone.

    • Samuel Johnson, Irene, Act III, scene 8, line 28.
  • The drama’s laws the drama’s patrons give.
    For we that live to please must please to live.

    • Samuel Johnson, Prologue to opening of Drury Lane Theatre (1747).
  • “Enlarge my life with multitude of days!”
    In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays:
    Hides from himself its state, and shuns to know,
    That life protracted is protracted woe.

    • Samuel Johnson, Vanity of Human Wishes, line 255.
  • In life’s last scene what prodigies surprise,
    Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise!
    From Marlborough’s eyes the streams of dotage flow,
    And Swift expires a driveller and a show.

    • Samuel Johnson, Vanity of Human Wishes, line 315.
  • Catch, then, oh! catch the transient hour,
    Improve each moment as it flies;
    Life’s a short summer—man a flower;
    He dies—alas! how soon he dies!

    • Samuel Johnson, Winter, An Ode, line 33.
  • Our whole life is like a play.
    • Ben Jonson, Discoveries de Vita Humana.
  • Festimat enim decurrere velox
    Flosculus angustæ miseræque brevissima vitæ
    Portio; dum bibimus dum serta unguenta puellas
    Poscimus obrepit non intellecta senectus.

    The short bloom of our brief and narrow life flies fast away. While we are calling for flowers and wine and women, old age is upon us.
    • Juvenal, Satires, IX. 127.
  • A sacred burden is this life ye bear,
    Look on it, lift it, bear it solemnly,
    Stand up and walk beneath it steadfastly;
    Fail not for sorrow, falter not for sin,
    But onward, upward, till the goal ye win.

    • Fanny Kemble, Lines to the Young Gentlemen leaving the Lennox Academy, Mass.
  • I have fought my fight, I have lived my life,
    I have drunk my share of wine;
    From Trier to Coln there was never a knight
    Led a merrier life than mine.

    • Charles Kingsley, The Knight’s Leap. Similar lines appear under the picture of Franz Hals, The Laughing Cavalier.
  • La plupart des hommes emploient la première partie de leur vie à rendre l’autre misérable.
    Most men employ the first part of life to make the other part miserable.
    • Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, XI.
  • Life will be lengthened while growing, for
    Thought is the measure of life.

    • Charles Godfrey Leland, The Return of the Gods, line 85.
  • Love is sunshine, hate is shadow,
    Life is checkered shade and sunshine.

    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha (1855), Part X. Hiawatha’s Wooing, line 265.
  • Life hath quicksands, Life hath snares!
    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Maidenhood, Stanza 9.
  • Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
    Life is but an empty dream!

    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, A Psalm of Life, Stanza 1.
  • Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
    And our hearts, though stout and brave,
    Still, like muffled drums, are beating
    Funeral marches to the grave.

    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, A Psalm of Life, Stanza 4.
  • Thus at the flaming forge of life
    Our fortunes must be wrought;
    Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
    Each burning deed and thought!

    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Village Blacksmith, Stanza 8.
  • Live and think.
    • Samuel Lover, Father Roach.
  • Truly there is a tide in the affairs of men; but there is no gulf-stream setting forever in one direction.
    • James Russell Lowell, Among my Books. First Series. New England Two Centuries Ago.
  • Our life must once have end; in vain we fly
    From following Fate; e’en now, e’en now, we die.

    • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 3, 1093. (Creech tr).
  • Vita dum superest, bene est.
    Whilst life remains it is well.
    • Mæcenas, quoted by Seneca the Younger, Epigram 101.
  • An ardent throng, we have wandered long,
    We have searched the centuries through,
    In flaming pride, we have fought and died,
    To keep its memory true.
    We fight and die, but our hopes beat high,
    In spite of the toil and tears,
    For we catch the gleam of our vanished dream
    Down the path of the Untrod Years.

    • Wilma Kate McFarland, The Untrod Years. Pub. in Methodist Journal (July, 1912).
  • Victuros agimus semper, nec vivimus unquam.
    We are always beginning to live, but are never living.
    • Marcus Manilius, Astronomica, IV, 899.
  • Sera nimis vita est crastina: vive hodie.
    Tomorrow’s life is too late. Live today.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), I. 15.
  • Non est, crede mihi sapientis dicere “vivam.”
    Sera nimis vita est crastina, vive hodie.

    It is not, believe me, the act of a wise man to say, “I will live.” To-morrow’s life is too late; live to-day.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), I. 16. 11.
  • Cras vives; hodie jam vivere, Postume, serum est.
    Ille sapit, quisquis, Postume, vixit heri.

    To-morrow I will live, the fool does say;
    To-day itself’s too late, the wise lived yesterday.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), V. 58. Cowley’s translation. Danger of Procrastination. Quoted by Voltaire in Letter to Thieriot.
  • He who thinks that the lives of Priam and of Nestor were long is much deceived and mistaken. Life consists not in living, but in enjoying health.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book VI.
  • Ampliat ætatis spatium sibi vir bonus: hoc est vivere bis, vita posse priore frui.
    A good man doubles the length of his existence; to have lived so as to look back with pleasure on our past existence is to live twice.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), X. 23. 7.
  • On the long dusty ribbon of the long city street,
    The pageant of life is passing me on multitudinous feet,
    With a word here of the hills, and a song there of the sea
    And—the great movement changes—the pageant passes me.

    • John Masefield, All ye that pass by!
  • While we least think it he prepares his Mate.
    Mate, and the King’s pawn played, it never ceases,
    Though all the earth is dust of taken pieces.

    • John Masefield, Widow in the Bye Street, Part I. Last lines.
  • Man cannot call the brimming instant back;
    Time’s an affair of instants spun to days;
    If man must make an instant gold, or black,
    Let him, he may; but Time must go his ways.
    Life may be duller for an instant’s blaze.
    Life’s an affair of instants spun to years,
    Instants are only cause of all these tears.

    • John Masefield, Widow in the Bye Street, Part V.
  • Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction.
    • Matthew, VII. 13.
  • Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life.
    • Matthew, VII. 14.
  • Life is a mission. Every other definition of life is false, and leads all who accept it astray. Religion, science, philosophy, though still at variance upon many points, all agree in this, that every existence is an aim.
    • Mazzini, Life and Writings, Chapter V.
  • Il torre altrui la vita
    È facoltà commune
    Al più vil della terra; il darla è solo
    De’ Numi, e de’ Regnanti.

    To take away life is a power which the vilest of the earth have in common; to give it belongs to gods and kings alone.
    • Metastasio, La Clemenza di Tito, III. 7.
  • A man’s best things are nearest him,
    Lie close about his feet.

    • Richard Monckton Milnes (Lord Houghton), The Men of Old, Stanza 7.
  • Were I to live my life over again, I should live it just as I have done. I neither complain of the past, nor do I fear the future.
    • Michel de Montaigne, Essays, On Repentance, Book III, Chapter II.
  • La vie est vaine:
    Un peu d’amour,
    Un peu de haine—
    Et puis-bonjour!
    La vie est brève:
    Un peu d’espoir,
    Un peu de rêve—
    Et puis—bon soir!

    Life is but jest:
    A dream, a doom;
    A gleam, a gloom—
    And then—good rest!Life is but play;
    A throb, a tear:
    A sob, a sneer;
    And then—good day.
    • Leon de Montenaeken, Peu de Chose et Presque Trop. (Nought and too Much). English translation. by Author. Quoted by Du Maurier in Trilby.
  • ‘Tis not the whole of life to live;
    Nor all of death to die.

    • James Montgomery, The Issues of Life and Death.
  • In my opinion, the existence of life is a highly overrated phenomenon.
    • Doctor Manhattan Watchmen volume XII, written by Alan Moore
  • Vain were the man, and false as vain,
    Who said, were he ordained to run
    His long career of life again
    He would do all that he had done.

    • Thomas Moore, My Birthday. In a footnote Moore refers to Fontenelie, “Si je recommençais ma carrière, je ferai tout ce que j’ai fait”.
  • The longer one lives the more he learns.
    • Thomas Moore, Dream of Hindoostan.
  • Life is a waste of wearisome hours,
    Which seldom the rose of enjoyment adorns,
    And the heart that is soonest awake to the flowers,
    Is always the first to be touch’d by the thorns.

    • Thomas Moore, Oh! Think not My Spirits are always as Light.
  • Nor on one string are all life’s jewels strung.
    • William Morris, Life and Death of Jason, Book 17, line 1,170.
  • I would not live alway; I ask not to stay
    Where storm after storm rises dark o’er the way.

    • William A. Muhlenberg, I would not Live Alway.
  • Our days begin with trouble here, our life is but a span,
    And cruel death is always near, so frail a thing is man.

    • New England Primer (1777).
  • Wile some no other cause for life can give
    But a dull habitude to live.

    • John Oldham, To the Memory of Norwent, Paragraph 5.
  • My life is like the summer rose
    That opens to the morning sky,
    But ere the shade of evening close
    Is scatter’d on the ground to die.

    • Claimed by Patrick O’Kelly. The Simile. Pub. 1824. Authorship doubted. The lines appeared in a Philadelphia paper about 1815–16, attributed to Richard Henry Wilde.
  • Id quoque, quod vivam, munus habere dei.
    This also, that I live, I consider a gift of God.

    • Ovid, Tristium, I. 1. 20.
  • This life a theatre we well may call,
    Where very actor must perform with art,
    Or laugh it through, and make a farce of all,
    Or learn to bear with grace his tragic part.

    • Palladas. Epitaph in Palatine Anthology. X. 72. As translated by Robert Bland. (From the Greek). Part of this Sir Thomas Shadwell wished to have inscribed on the monument in Westminster Abbey to his father, Thomas Shadwell.
  • There is only one pleasure—that of being alive. All the rest is misery.
    • Cesare Pavese, This Business of Living1946-09-16
  • Condition de l’homme, inconstance, ennui, inquietude.
    The state of man is inconstancy, ennui, anxiety.
    • Blaise Pascal, Pensées (1669), Article VI. 46.
  • On s’eveille, on se léve, on s’habille, et l’on sort;
    On rentre, on dine, on soupe, on se couche, et l’on dort.

    One awakens, one rises, one dresses, and one goes forth;
    One returns, one dines, one sups, one retires and one sleeps.
    • Pierre-Antoine-Augustin de Piis
  • Natura, vero nihil hominibus brevitate vitæ præstitit melius.
    Nature has given man no better thing than shortness of life.
    • Pliny the Elder, Historia Naturalis, VII. 51. 3.
  • She went from opera, park, assembly, play,
    To morning walks, and prayers three hours a day.
    To part her time ‘twixt reading and bohea,
    To muse, and spill her solitary tea,
    Or o’er cold coffee trifle with the spoon,
    Count the slow clock, and dine exact at noon.

    • Alexander Pope, Epistle to Miss Blount on Leaving Town, line 13.
  • Learn to live well, or fairly make your will;
    You’ve play’d, and lov’d, and ate, and drank your fill:
    Walk sober off, before a sprightlier age
    Comes titt’ring on, and shoves you from the stage.

    • Alexander Pope, Second Book of Horace, Epistle II, line 322.
  • Through the sequester’d vale of rural life
    The venerable patriarch guileless held
    The tenor of his way.

    • Beilby Porteus,Death, line 109.
  • Amid two seas, on one small point of land,
    Wearied, uncertain, and amazed we stand.

    • Matthew Prior, Solomon on the Vanity of Human Wishes, Part III, line 616.
  • Who breathes must suffer; and who thinks, must mourn;
    And he alone is bless’d who ne’er was born.

    • Matthew Prior, Solomon on the Vanity of the World, Book III, line 240.
  • So vanishes our state; so pass our days;
    So life but opens now, and now decays;
    The cradle and the tomb, alas! so nigh,
    To live is scarce distinguish’d from to die.

    • Matthew Prior, Solomon on the Vanity of the World, Book III, line 527.
  • Half my life is full of sorrow,
    Half of joy, still fresh and new;
    One of these lives is a fancy,
    But the other one is true.

    • Adelaide Anne Procter, Dream-Life.
  • Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.
    • Psalms, XXXIX. 4.
  • As for man his days are as grass; as a flower of the field so he flourisheth.
    • Psalms. CIII. 15.
  • The wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
    • Psalms. CIII. 16.
  • Man’s life is like a Winter’s day:
    Some only breakfast and away;
    Others to dinner stay and are full fed,
    The oldest man but sups and goes to bed.
    Long is his life who lingers out the day,
    Who goes the soonest has the least to pay;
    Death is the Waiter, some few run on tick,
    And some alas! must pay the bill to Nick!
    Tho’ I owed much, I hope long trust is given,
    And truly mean to pay all bills in Heaven.

    • Epitaph in Barnwell Churchyard, near Cambridge, England.
  • The romance of life begins and ends with two blank pages. Age and extreme old age.
    • Jean Paul Richter
  • Der Mensch hat hier dritthalb Minuten, eine zu lächeln—eine zu seufzen—und eine halbe zu lieben: denn mitten in dieser Minute stirbt er.
    Man has here two and a half minutes—one to smile, one to sigh, and a half to love: for in the midst of this minute he dies.
    • Jean Paul Richter, Hesperus, IV.
  • Jeder Mensch hat eine Regen-Ecke seines Lebens aus der ihm das schlimme Wetter nachzieht.
    Every man has a rainy corner of his life out of which foul weather proceeds and follows after him.
    • Jean Paul Richter, Titan, Zykel 123.
  • Die Parzen und Furien ziehen auch mit verbundnen Händen um das Leben, wie die Grazien und die Sirenen.
    The Fates and Furies, as well as the Graces and Sirens, glide with linked hands over life.
    • Jean Paul Richter, Titan, Zykel 140.
  • Nur Thaten geben dem Leben Stärke, nur Maas ihm Reiz.
    Only deeds give strength to life, only moderation gives it charm.
    • Jean Paul Richter, Titan, Zykel 145.
  • I bargained with Life for a penny,
    And Life would pay no more,
    However I begged at evening
    When I counted my scanty store.

    • Jessie B. Rittenhouse, My Wage.
  • I worked for a menial’s hire,
    Only to learn, dismayed,
    That any wage I had asked of Life,
    Life would have paid.

    • Jessie B. Rittenhouse, My Wage.
  • In speaking to you men of the greatest city of the West, men of the state which gave to the country Lincoln and Grant, men who preeminently and distinctly embody all that is most American in the American character, I wish to preach not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, at the Appomattox Day celebration of the Hamilton Club of Chicago (April 10, 1899).
  • This life is but the passage of a day,
    This life is but a pang and all is over;
    But in the life to come which fades not away
    Every love shall abide and every lover.

    • Christina G. Rossetti, Saints and Angels.
  • Life’s but a span, or a tale, or a word,
    That in a trice, or suddaine, is rehearsèd.

    • The Roxburghe BalladsA Friend’s Advice, Part II. Edited by William Chappell
  • Vita ipsa qua fruimur brevis est.
    The very life which we enjoy is short.
    • Sallust, Catilina, I.
  • Ignavia nemo immortalis factus: neque quisquam parens liberis, uti æterni forent, optavit; magis, uti boni honestique vitam exigerent.
    No one has become immortal by sloth; nor has any parent prayed that his children should live forever; but rather that they should lead an honorable and upright life.
    • Sallust, Jugurtha, LXXXV.
  • Say, what is life? ‘Tis to be born,
    A helpless Babe, to greet the light
    With a sharp wail, as if the morn
    Foretold a cloudy noon and night;
    To weep, to sleep, and weep again,
    With sunny smiles between; and then?

    • John Godfrey Saxe, The Story of Life.
  • Wir, wir leben! Unser sind die Stunden
    Und der Lebende hat Recht.

    We, we live! ours are the hours, and the living have their claims.
    • Friedrich Schiller, An die Freude, Stanza 1.
  • Nicht der Tummelplatz des Lebens—sein Gehalt bestimmt seinen Werth.
    ‘Tis not the mere stage of life but the part we play thereon that gives the value.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Fiesco, III. 2.
  • Nicht seine Freudenseite kehrte dir
    Das Leben zu.

    Life did not present its sunny side to thee.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Marie Stuart, II. 3. 136.
  • Wouldst thou wisely, and with pleasure,
    Pass the days of life’s short measure,
    From the slow one counsel take,
    But a tool of him ne’er make;
    Ne’er as friend the swift one know,
    Nor the constant one as foe.

    • Friedrich Schiller, Proverbs of Confucius. E. A. Bowring’s translation.
  • Des Lebens Mai blüht einmal und nicht wieder.
    The May of life blooms once and never again.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Resignation, Stanza 2.
  • O’er Ocean, with a thousand masts, sails forth the stripling bold—
    One boat, hard rescued from the deep, draws into port the old!

    • Friedrich Schiller, Votive Tablets. Expectation and Fulfilment.
  • I’ve lived and loved.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Wallenstein, Part I. Piccolomini. Song in Act II, scene 6. Coleridge’s translation.
  • Das Spiel des Lebens sieht sich heiter an,
    Wenn man den sichern Schatz im Herzen trägt.

    The game of life looks cheerful when one carries a treasure safe in his heart.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Wallenstein, Part I. Piccolomini, Act III. 4.
  • Sein Spruch war: leben und leben lassen.
    His saying was: live and let live.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Wallenstein’s Lager, VI. 106. 110.
  • From a boy
    I gloated on existence. Earth to me
    Seemed all-sufficient and my sojourn there
    One trembling opportunity for joy.

    • Alan Seeger, SonnetI Loved.
  • Tota vita nihil aliud quam ad mortem iter est.
    The whole of life is nothing but a journey to death.
    • Seneca the Younger, Consol. ad Polybium, 29.
  • Vita, si scias uti, longa est.
    Life, if thou knowest how to use it, is long enough.
    • Seneca the Younger, De Brevitate Vitæ, II.
  • Exigua pars est vitæ quam nos vivimus.
    The part of life which we really live is short.
    • Seneca the Younger, De Brevitate Vitæ, II.
  • Si ad naturam vivas, nunquam eris pauper; si ad opinionem, numquam dives.
    If you live according to nature, you never will be poor; if according to the world’s caprice, you will never be rich.
    • Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XVI.
  • Molestum est, semper vitam inchoare; male vivunt qui semper vivere incipiunt.
    It is a tedious thing to be always beginning life; they live badly who always begin to live.
    • Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XXIII.
  • Ante senectutem curavi ut bene viverem, in senectute (curo) ut bene moriar; bene autem mori est libenter mori.
    Before old age I took care to live well; in old age I take care to die well; but to die well is to die willingly.
    • Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, LXI.
  • Non vivere bonum est, sed bene vivere.
    To live is not a blessing, but to live well.
    • Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, LXX.
  • Atqui vivere, militare est.
    But life is a warfare.
    • Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XCVI.
  • Propra vivere et singulos dies singulas vitas puta.
    Make haste to live, and consider each day a life.
    • Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, CI.
  • Non domus hoc corpus sed hospitium et quidem breve.
    This body is not a home, but an inn; and that only for a short time.
    • Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, CXX.
  • Quomodo fabula, sic vita: non quam diu, sed quam bene acta sit, refert.
    As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.
    • Seneca the Younger, Epistles, LXXXVII.
  • Prima quæ vitam dedit hora, carpit.
    The hour which gives us life begins to take it away.
    • Seneca the Younger, Hercules Furens, VIII. 74.
  • Life was driving at brains—at its darling object: an organ by which it can attain not only self-consciousness but self-understanding.
    • Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903), Act III.
  • J’ai vécu.
    I have survived.
    • Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès; after the Reign of Terror, when asked what he had done.
  • We have two lives;
    The soul of man is like the rolling world,
    One half in day, the other dipt in night;
    The one has music and the flying cloud,
    The other, silence and the wakeful stars.

    • Alexander Smith, Horton, line 76.
  • Yes, this is life; and everywhere we meet,
    Not victor crowns, but wailings of defeat.

    • Elizabeth Oakes Smith, SonnetThe Unattained.
  • To be honest, to be kind—to earn a little and to spend a little less, to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence, to renounce when that shall be necessary and not be embittered, to keep a few friends but these without capitulation—above all, on the same grim condition to keep friends with himself—here is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy.
    • Robert Louis Stevenson, Christmas Sermon.
  • Man is an organ of life, and God alone is life.
    • Emanuel Swedenborg, True Christian Religion, Par. 504.
  • Gaudeamus igitur,
    Juvenes dum sumus
    Post jucundam juventutem.
    Post molestam senectutem.
    Nos habebit humus.

    • Let us live then, and be glad
      While young life’s before us
      After youthful pastime had,
      After old age hard and sad,
      Earth will slumber over us.
    • Author Unknown. John Addington Symonds’ Trans.
  • O vita, misero longa! felici brevis!
    O life! long to the wretched, short to the happy.
    • Syrus, Maxims.
  • Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.
    • Rabindranath Tagore, Gardener, 45.
  • … The wise man warns me that life is but a dewdrop on the lotus leaf.
    • Rabindranath Tagore, Gardener, 46.
  • So his life has flowed
    From its mysterious urn a sacred stream,
    In whose calm depth the beautiful and pure
    Alone are mirrored; which, though shapes of ill
    May hover round its surface, glides in light,
    And takes no shadow from them.

    • Thomas Noon Talfourd, Ion, Act I, scene 1, line 138.
  • For life lives only in success.
    • Bayard Taylor, Amran’s Wooing, Stanza 5.
  • Our life is scarce the twinkle of a star
    In God’s eternal day.

    • Bayard Taylor, Autumnal Vespers.
  • The white flower of a blameless life.
    • Alfred Tennyson, Dedication to Idylls of the King.
  • I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
    Life to the lees.

    • Alfred Tennyson, Ulysses, line 6.
  • Life is like a game of tables, the chances are not in our power, but the playing is.
    • Terence, Adelphi; also Plato, Commonwealth. Quoted by Jeremy Taylor, Holy Living, Section VI. Of Contentedness.
  • No particular motive for living, except the custom and habit of it.
    • William Makepeace Thackeray. Article on Thackeray and his Novels in Blackwood’s Mag. Jan. 1854.
  • My life is like a stroll upon the beach.
    • Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.
  • The tree of deepest root is found
    Least willing still to quit the ground;
    ‘Twas therefore said by ancient sages,
    That love of life increased with years
    So much, that in our latter stages,
    When pain grows sharp, and sickness rages,
    The greatest love of life appears.

    • Hester L. Thrale, Three Warnings.
  • We live not in our moments or our years:
    The present we fling from us like the rind
    Of some sweet future, which we after find
    Bitter to taste.

    • Richard Chenevix Trench, To.——.
  • Life let us cherish, while yet the taper glows,
    And the fresh flow’ret pluck ere it close;
    Why are we fond of toil and care?
    Why choose the rankling thorn to wear?

    • J. M. Usteri, Life let us Cherish.
  • Pour exécuter de grandes choses, il faut vivre comme si on ne devait jamais mourir.
    To execute great things, one should live as though one would never die.
    • Marquis de Vauvenargues
  • Qu’est-ce qu’une grande vie? C’est un rêve de jeunesse réalisé dans l’âge mûr.
    What is a great life? It is the dreams of youth realised in old age.
    • Alfred de Vigny, quoted by Louis Ratisbonne in an article in the Journal des Débats, (Oct. 4, 1863).
  • Ma vie est un combat.
    My life is a struggle.
    • Voltaire, Le Fanatisme, II. 4.
  • Life is a comedy.
    • Horace Walpole, letter to Sir Horace Mann, Dec. 31, 1769. In a letter to same, March 5, 1772. “This world is a comedy, not Life”.
  • Life is a game of whist. From unseen sources
    The cards are shuffled, and the hands are dealt.
    Blind are our efforts to control the forces
    That, though unseen, are no less strongly felt.I do not like the way the cards are shuffled,
    But still I like the game and want to play;
    And through the long, long night will I, unruffled,
    Play what I get, until the break of day.

    • Eugene F. Ware, Whist.
  • Since the bounty of Providence is new every day,
    As we journey through life let us live by the way.

    • Walter Watson, Drinking Song.
  • Yet I know that I dwell in the midst of the roar of the Cosmic Wheel
    In the hot collision of Forces, and the clangor of boundless Strife,
    Mid the sound of the speed of worlds, the rushing worlds, and the peal the thunder of Life.

    • William Watson, Dawn on the Headland.
  • Our life contains a thousand springs,
    And dies if one be gone.
    Strange! that a harp of thousand strings
    Should keep in tune so long.

    • Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Book II. Hymn XIX.
  • Long and long has the grass been growing,
    Long and long has the rain been falling,
    Long has the globe been rolling round.

    • Walt Whitman, Exposition, I.
  • I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall be complete,
    The earth remains jagged and broken only to him or her who remains jagged and broken.

    • Walt Whitman, Song of the Rolling Earth, 3.
  • Our lives are albums written through
    With good or ill, with false or true;
    And as the blessed angels turn
    The pages of our years,
    God grant they read the good with smiles,
    And blot the ill with tears!

    • John Greenleaf Whittier, written in a Lady’s Album.
  • The days grow shorter, the nights grow longer,
    The headstones thicken along the way;
    And life grows sadder, but love grows stronger
    For those who walk with us day by day.

    • Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Interlude.
  • Our lives are songs; God writes the words
    And we set them to music at pleasure;
    And the song grows glad, or sweet or sad,
    As we choose to fashion the measure.

    • Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Our Lives, Stanza 102. Claimed for Rev. Thomas Gibbons. Appears in his 18th Century Book. See Notes and Queries (April 1, 1905), p. 249.
  • Ah! somehow life is bigger after all
    Than any painted angel could we see
    The God that is within us!

    • Oscar Wilde, Humanitad, Stanza 60.
  • The Book of Life begins with a man and a woman in a garden.
    It ends with Revelations.

    • Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance (1893), Act I.
  • We live by Admiration, Hope, and Love;
    And, even as these are well and wisely fixed,
    In dignity of being we ascend.

    • William Wordsworth, Excursion, Book IV.
  • Plain living and high thinking are no more.
    • William Wordsworth, sonnet dedicated to National Independence and Liberty. No, XIII. Written in London (Sept. 1802).
  • A narrow isthmus betwixt time and eternity.
    • Edward Young, On Pleasure, Letter, III

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • Man’s life is so interwoven with the grand life of his Maker that it admits of no adequate or rational interpretation except when the Creator as Supreme and the creatures of His hand as subordinate, are seen working in unison.
    • Charles H. Anthony, p. 382.
  • Life is great if properly viewed in any aspect; it is mainly great when viewed in connection with the world to come.
    • Albert Barnes, p. 382.
  • While we seek to fill up life in a way that will best secure the ends of our existence here, our whole plan and course of action should be such as will not hinder but serve our preparation for a future world.
    • Albert Barnes, p. 383.
  • Pray for and work for fullness of life above every thing; full red blood in the body; full honesty and truth in the mind; and the fullness of a grateful love for the Saviour in your heart.
    • Phillips Brooks, p. 383.
  • There is no life so humble that, if it be true and genuinely human and obedient to God, it may not hope to shed some of His light. There is no life so meager that the greatest and wisest of us can afford to despise it. We cannot know at what moment it may flash forth with the life of God.
    • Phillips Brooks, p. 381.
  • Life is rather a state of embryo, a preparation for life; a man is not completely born till he has passed through death.
    • Benjamin Franklin, p. 381.
  • And thus does life go on, until death accomplishes the catastrophe in silence, takes the worn frame within his hand, and, as if it were a dried-up scroll, crumbles it in his grasp to ashes. The monuments of kingdoms, too, shall disappear. Still the globe shall move; still the stars shall burn; still the sun shall paint its colors on the day, and its colors on the year. What, then, is the individual, or what even is the race in the sublime recurrings of Time? Years, centuries, cycles, are nothing to these. The sun that measures out the ages of our planet is not a second-hand on the great dial of the universe.
    • Henry Giles, p. 384.
  • This is life’s greatest moment, when the soul unfolds capacities which reach beyond earth’s boundaries.
    • Isaac Hecker, p. 385.
  • Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment uncertain, and judgment difficult.
    • Hippocrates, p. 384.
  • Life is before you,— not earthly life alone, but life— a thread running interminably through the warp of eternity.
    • Josiah Gilbert Holland, p. 380.
  • Life as we call it, is nothing but the edge of the boundless ocean of existence when it comes upon soundings.
    • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., p. 380.
  • The highest life is a broken column; the fairest life, a tar nished gem; the richest life, an unripened fruit.
    • John Humpstone, p. 385.
  • God help us! it is a foolish little thing, this human life, at the best; and it is half ridiculous and half pitiful to see what importance we ascribe to it, and to its little ornaments and distinctions.
    • Francis Jeffrey, p. 381.
  • Act as if you expected to live a hundred years, but might die to-morrow.
    • Ann Lee, p. 383.
  • A few years hence and he will be beneath the sod; but those cliffs will stand, as now, facing the ocean, incessantly lashed by its waves, yet unshaken, immovable; and other eyes will gaze on them for their brief day of life, and then they, too, will close.
    • Henry Liddon, p. 384.
  • O thou child of many prayers!
    Life hath quicksands, Life hath snares!
    Care and age come unawares!

    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, p. 380.
  • Life and religion are one, or neither is any thing.
    • George MacDonald, p. 382.
  • Oh, I believe that there is no away; that no love, no life, goes ever from us; it goes as He went, that it may come again, deeper and closer and surer, and be with us always, even to the end of the world.
    • George MacDonald, p. 384.
  • A picture without sky has no glory. This present, unless we see gleaming beyond it the eternal calm of the heavens, above the tossing tree tops with withering leaves, and the smoky chimneys, is a poor thing for our eyes to gaze at, or our hearts to love, or our hands to toil on.
    • Alexander Maclaren, p. 382.
  • Let the current of your being set towards God, then your life will be filled and calmed by one master-passion which unites and stills the soul.
    • Alexander Maclaren, p. 382.
  • There is no human life so poor and small as not to hold many a divine possibility.
    • James Martineau, p. 382.
  • They waste life in what are called good resolutions—partial efforts at reformation, feebly commenced, heartlessly conducted, and hopelessly concluded.
    • Charles Maturin, p. 384.
  • Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou livest,
    Live well; how long, or short, permit to Heaven.

    • John Milton, p. 383.
  • The grand question of life is, Is my name written in heaven?
    • Dwight L. Moody, p. 380.
  • This earth will be looked back on like a lowly home, and this life of ours be remembered like a short apprenticeship to duty.
    • William Mountford, p. 385.
  • As one climbs a mountain roadway, and looks off on the landscape through the forest trees or from some overtopping crag, at each step he sees more and more of the outlying beauty of field and lake and forest and hill and river, till he reaches the summit, where the whole vast scene opens to the view, and enthuses his soul with delight. So life should be a constant lookout, through the gray mists, through the falling shadows, through the running tears, till he comes to the shining top of life in God Himself, where the fogs lift, and the shadows fall, and the view is all undisturbed.
    • Theodore Bayard Romeyn, p. 381.
  • The end of life is to be like unto God; and the soul following God, will be like unto Him.
    • Socrates, p. 380.
  • I believe that we cannot live better than in seeking to become better.
    • Socrates, p. 382.
  • I would not choose to go where I would be afraid to die, nor could I bear to live without a good hope for hereafter.
    • Charles Spurgeon, p. 383.
  • Making their lives a prayer.
    • John Greenleaf Whittier, p. 382.
  • It is infamy to die, and not be missed.
    • Carlos Wilcox, p. 384.

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations

  • What is life but the angle of vision? A man is measured by the angle at which he looks at objects. What is life but what a man is thinking of all day? This is his fate and his employer. Knowing is the measure of the man. By how much we know, so much we are.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Natural History of Intellect”, part 1, Natural History of Intellect and Other Papers (vol. 12 of The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson), p. 10 (1921).
  • … the giver of life, who gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness.
    • Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Monroe (May 20, 1782); in Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (1952), vol. 6, p. 186.
  • There is always inequity in life. Some men are killed in a war and some men are wounded, and some men never leave the country, and some men are stationed in the Antarctic and some are stationed in San Francisco. It’s very hard in military or in personal life to assure complete equality. Life is unfair.
    • John F. Kennedy, news conference, March 21, 1962. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, p. 259.
  • Life involves suffering and transitoriness. No person can choose his age or the condition of his time. The past may rob the present of much joy and much mystery. The generation of Buchenwald and the Siberian labor camps cannot talk with the same optimism as its fathers. The bliss of Dante has been lost in our civilization.
    • Henry Kissinger, “The Meaning of History: Reflections on Spengler, Toynbee and Kant”, senior thesis at Harvard College, as quoted in The New York Times, April 5, 1976, p. 20.
  • Unrest of spirit is a mark of life; one problem after another presents itself and in the solving of them we can find our greatest pleasure.
    • Karl Augustus Menninger, “Take Your Choice”, This Week Magazine, October 16, 1949, p. 2.
  • This is a world in which each of us, knowing his limitations, knowing the evils of superficiality and the terrors of fatigue, will have to cling to what is close to him, to what he knows, to what he can do, to his friends and his tradition and his love, lest he be dissolved in a universal confusion and know nothing and love nothing.
    • J. Robert Oppenheimer (1955), The Open Mind, p. 144.
  • Life is not so important as the duties of life.
    • John Randolph of Roanoke. “Randolph’s best epigram”.—William Cabell Bruce, John Randolph of Roanoke, 1773–1833, vol. 2, chapter 7, p. 205 (1922, reprinted 1970).
  • A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.
    • Carl Sandburg, Remembrance Rock, chapter 2, p. 7 (1948).
  • The great fault of all ethics hitherto has been that they believed themselves to have to deal only with the relations of man to man. In reality, however, the question is what is his attitude to the world and all life that comes within his reach. A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, and that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help. Only the universal ethic of the feeling of responsibility in an ever-widening sphere for all that lives—only that ethic can be founded in thought…. The ethic of Reverence for Life, therefore, comprehends within itself everything that can be described as love, devotion, and sympathy whether in suffering, joy, or effort.
    • Albert Schweitzer, Out of My Life and Thought, An Autobiography, trans. C. T. Campion, chapter 13, p. 188 (1933).
  • Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me. It is an uncomfortable doctrine which the true ethics whisper into my ear. You are happy, they say; therefore you are called upon to give much.
    • Albert Schweitzer, Civilization and Ethics, chapter 26.—The Philosophy of Civilization, trans. C. T. Campion, part 2, p. 321 (1949, reissued 1981).
  • Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all that life really means.
    • Attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson by Senator Sam Ervin in his last newsletter, Senator Sam Ervin Says, January 2, 1975, p. 2. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
  • If a man is alive, there is always danger that he may die, though the danger must be allowed to be less in proportion as he is dead-and-alive to begin with. A man sits as many risks as he runs.
    • Henry David Thoreau, Walden, chapter 6, conclusion (vol. 2 of The Writings of Henry David Thoreau), p. 170 (1906, reprinted 1968). Originally published in 1854.
  • Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
    Look to this Day!
    For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
    its brief course lie all the
    Verities and Realities of your Existence;
    The Bliss of Growth,
    The Glory of Action,
    The Splendor of Beauty;
    For Yesterday is but a Dream,
    And To-morrow is only a Vision:
    To-day well lived makes
    Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
    And every To-morrow a Vision of Hope.
    Look well therefore to this Day!
    Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

    • Author unknown. From the Sanskrit, “The Salutation of the Dawn”. Masterpieces of Religious Verse, ed. James Dalton Morrison, p. 301 (1948). Attributed in some sources to Klidsa, Hindu dramatist and lyric poet of the fifth century, A.D.

Misattributed

  • Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
    • Vicki Corona, Tahitian Choreographies, Dance Fantasy Productions, August 1, 1989, page 36. See also talk page.
    • Anonymous saying, attributed to various people:
    • Claimed by Erica Frandsen in Kochmer, Casey; Erica Frandsen (2002). JSP and XML: Integrating XML and Web Services in Your JSP Application. Addison-Wesley Professional. pp. p. xv. ISBN 0672323540. Retrieved on 2008-01-23..
    • Attributed to George Carlin in:
      • McCollister, John (2004). Echoes From The Smithsonian: America’s History Brought to Life. Sports Publishing LLC. pp. p. 73. ISBN 1582612455. Retrieved on 2008-01-23..
      • Conklin, Todd (2004). Simple Revolutionary Acts: Ideas To Revitalize Yourself And Your Workplace. iUniverse. pp. p. xiv. ISBN 0595320651. Retrieved on 2008-01-23..