Quotes arranged by Author, N

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Nader, Ralph
  • Information is the currency of democracy. (from The Quotable Teacher, comp. by Howe)


Naisbitt, John

  • The most reliable way to anticipate the future is by understanding the present. (Megatrends)

  • One of the best kept secrets in America is that people are aching to make a commitment, if they only had the freedom and environment in which to do so.

  • Strategic planning is worthless--unless there is first a strategic vision. (Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives)

  • We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge. (Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives)


Nance, W. A. (Reverend)

  • Failure can be divided into those who thought and never did and into those who did and never thought.


Nagarjuna, Siddha

  • The teachings of elegant sayings
    Should be collected when one can.
    For the supreme gift of words of wisdom,
    Any price will be paid.


Napoleon I (Napoleon Bonaparte)

  • Ability is of little account without opportunity.

  • Fools have a great advantage over the wise; they are always self-satisfied. (Correspondence)

  • A leader is a dealer in hope.

  • To become a good man, one must have faithful friends, or outright enemies.

  • Victory belongs to the most persevering.


Narosky, Jose

  • In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.


Narrimore, Clyde M.

  • When you see the value of continued growth, the circumstances around you become stepping stones.


Nash, Ogden

  • The cow is of the bovine ilk;
    One end is moo, the other milk. ("The Cow")

  • A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.

  • How are we to survive? Solemnity is not the answer, any more than witless and irresponsible frivolity is. I think our best chance lies in humor, which in this case means a wry acceptance of our predicament. We don't have to like it but we can at least recognize its ridiculous aspects, one of which is ourselves.

  • How confusing the beams from memory's lamp are;
    One day a bachelor, the next a grampa.
    What is the secret of the trick?
    How did I get so old so quick? ("Preface to the Past" You Can't Get There from Here)

  • I think that I shall never see
    A billboard lovely as a tree.
    Indeed, unless the billboards fall
    I'll never see a tree at all.

  • Progress might have been alright once, but it has gone on too long.

  • There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball,
    And that is to have either a clear conscience or none at all. (I'm a Stranger Here Myself)

  • To keep your marriage brimming,
    With love in the loving cup,
    Whenever you're wrong, admit it;
    Whenever you're right, shut up. ("A Word to Husbands" in Marriage Lines)


Navanitam, Kaivalya

  • If you go near a tree you will get shade; if you go near a fire you will be relieved of coldness; if you go to the river and drink, your thirst will be quenches; if you go near God you will get His grace.

Navratilova, Martina
  • The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else.


Neal, Patricia

  • A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.


Near, Holly

  • All my life I have gone out on a limb, but I have turned the limb into a bridge, and there is cool, clear water flowing under.

  • Something happens to me when I witness someone's courage. They may not know I'm watching and I might not let them know. But something happens to me that will last me for a lifetime. To fill me when I'm empty, and rock me when I'm low.


Necker, Susanne Curchod

  • Too many wish to be happy before becoming wise.


Needham, Richard J.

  • Strong people make as many and as ghastly mistakes as weak people. The difference is that strong people admit them, laugh at them, learn form them. This is how they become strong.

  • What is success in this world? I would say it consists of four simple things -- to live a lot, to love a lot, to laugh a lot, and from it all, to learn a lot.


Neftzger, Amy

  • A library is the only single place you can go to learn something new, be comforted, terrified, thrilled, saddened, overjoyed, or excited all in one day. And for free.


Nehru, Jawharlal

  • Action itself, so long as I am convinced that it is right action, gives me satisfaction.

  • A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new; when an age ends; and when the soul of a nation long suppressed finds utterance.

  • We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.


Neiman, Susan

  • As long as your ideas of what's possible are limited by what's actual, no other idea has a chance. (Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists)


Neiswanger, David

  • If each of us can be helped by science to live a hundred years, what will it profit us if our hates and fears, our loneliness and our remorse will not permit us to enjoy them? What use is an extra year or two to the man who "kills" what time he has?


Nelms, Cynthia

  • Nobody really cares if you are miserable, so you might as well be happy.


Nelson, Gaylord

  • The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.


Nepo, Mark

  • To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear. (The Exquisite Risk: Daring to Live an Authentic Life)


Nerburn, Kent

  • It is much easier to become a father than to be one. (Letters to My Son: Reflections on Becoming a Man)


Neruda, Pablo

  • The books that help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty

  • Green was the silence, wet was the light,
    the month of June trembled like a butterfly. (100 Love Sonnets)


Ness, Patrick

  • I was a hugely unchaperoned reader, and I would wander into my local public library and there was the world, waiting for me to look at it, to find out about it, to discover who I might be inside it.

  • Librarians open up the world. Knowledge is useless if you don't even know where to begin to look. How much more can you discover when someone can point you in the right direction, when someone can maybe even give you a treasure map, to places you may not have even thought you were allowed to go? This is what librarians do. (UK Carnegie acceptance speech, June 23, 2011)


Nevelson, Louise

  • In the first grade, I already knew the pattern of my life. I didn't know the living of it, but I knew the line... From the first day in school until the day I graduated, everyone gave me one hundred plus in art. Well, where do you go in life? You go to the place where you got one hundred plus.


Nevill, Dorothy

  • The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.


Newcomb, Charles B.

  • The ebb and flow of will is like the movements of the tides...if we cease our vain struggles and lamentations long enough to look away from the personal self...we realize life is going well with us after all.

  • If we are not responsible for the thoughts that pass our doors, we are at least responsible for those we admit and entertain.


Newcomer, Carrie

  • To words and how they live between us, to us and how we live between the words.


Newell, John Philip

  • Eriugena and other Celtic teachers speak of Christ as our memory, as the one who leads us to our deepest identity, as the one who remembers the song of our beginnings…. (Christ of the Celts: the Healing of Creation)

  • For the quiet that surrounds me and your promise of peace deep within me, for the stillness of sleep for my body and the hope of healing for my soul, thanks be to you, O God.

  • God is to be found not by stepping aside from the flow of daily life into religious moments and environments, or by looking away from creation to a spiritual realm beyond, but rather by entering attentively the depths of the present moment. There we will find God… (The Book of Creation: An Introduction to Celtic Spirituality)

  • [Grace] is given not to make us something other than ourselves but to make us radically ourselves. Grace is given not to implant in us a foreign wisdom but to make us alive to the wisdom that was born with us in our mother’s womb. Grace is given not to lead us into another identity but to reconnect us to the beauty of our deepest identity. And grace is given not that we might find some exterior source of strength but that we might be established again in the deep inner security of our being and in learning to lose ourselves in love for one another to truly find ourselves. (Christ of the Celts: the Healing of Creation)

  • The greatest obstacle to compassion is not hatred. It is the habitual patterns of narrow self-interest. It is a way of seeing in which we pretend that we can be well simply by looking after ourselves. (The Rebirthing of God)

  • Just as we prayerfully ponder the words of the Bible in Christian practice, and as other traditions study their sacred texts, so we are invited to listen to the life of creation as an ongoing, living utterance of God. (Christ of the Celts)

  • To truly love is to work for a just equity of power between nations, races, and genders, and in our day-to-day relationships and transactions. It is to oppose all patterns of power over one another. (Rebirthing of God)

  • Too often in the past our approach to truth has been to assume that we have it and others do not. Consequently, we have thought that our role is to tell people what to believe. We are being invited instead into a new humility, to serve the holy wisdom that is already stirring in the hearts of people everywhere... (The Rebirthing of God: Christianity's Struggle for New Beginnings)


Newhart, Bob

  • Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.


Newman, John Henry (Cardinal)

  • Ability hits the mark where presumption overshoots and diffidence falls short

  • If we insist on being as sure as is conceivable... we must be content to creep along the ground, and can never soar.

  • In a higher world it is otherwise; but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to change often.

  • Let us take things as we find them: let us not attempt to distort them into what they are not.... We cannot make facts. All our wishing cannot change them. We must use them.

  • A man would do nothing, if he waited until he could do it so well that no one would find fault with what he has done.

  • Nothing would be done at all if one waited until one could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.


Newman, Windred

  • There are no hopeless situations, only people who think hopelessly.


Newsome, Natasha

  • In order to make your dreams come true, you must awaken and take charge.


Newton, Isaac (Sir)

  • I do not know what I appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on a seashore, and diverting myself now and then by finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.


Newton, John

  • Many have puzzled themselves about the origin of evil. I am content to observe that there is evil, and that there is a way to escape from it, and with this I begin and end.


Newton, Joseph Fort

  • We cannot tell what may happen to us in the strange medley of life. But we can decide what happens in us--how we can take it, what we do with it--and that is what really counts in the end. How to take the raw stuff of life and make it a thing of worth and beauty--that is the test of living.


Newton-John, Olivia

  • Once you face your fear, nothing is ever as hard as you think.

  • There's a balance in my life, there's reality and there's the part that looks really glamorous, but we're all just people in the end.


Nhat Hahn, Thich

  • At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.--Thich Nhat Hanh

  • Hatred and fear blind us. We no longer see each other. We see only the faces of monsters, and that gives us the courage to destroy each other. (Love in Action)

  • If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.

  • The situation of the world is still like this. People completely identify with one side, one ideology.... Reconciliation is to understand both sides, to go to one side and describe the suffering being endured by the other side, and then to go to the other side and describe the suffering being endured by the first side. Doing only that will be a great help for peace.\

  • To educate people for peace, we can use words or we can speak with our lives. (Love in Action)

  • Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing.

  • When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce.
    Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument.
    That is my experience.
    If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.

  • Wisdom and joy arise when you learn to exist now rather than in the nonexistent past or future.


Nichol, F. W.

  • When you get right down to the root of the meaning of the word "succeed," you find that it simply means to follow through.


Nichols, Beverly

  • Every moment of this strange and lovely life from dawn to dusk, is a miracle. Somewhere, always a rose is opening its petals to the dawn. Somewhere, always, a flower is fading in the dusk. (The Fool Hath Said)


Nichols, Michael P.

  • He says, "You're always late."
    She says, "You're always rushing me."
    One point for him.
    One point for her.
    Total score: zero. (The Lost Art of Listening)


Nicolosi, Dick

  • Slaying sacred cows makes great steaks.


Niebuhr, Reinhold

  • Forgiveness is the final form of love.

  • Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.

  • Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love.


Nielson, G. K.

  • Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard and then succeed on purpose.


Niemoeller, Martin

  • In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

  • A man doesn't realize how much he can stand until he is put to the test. You can stand far more than you think you can. You are much stronger than you think you are.


Nietzsche, Friedrich

  • The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.

  • Art is the proper task of life.

  • He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance, one cannot fly into flying.

  • On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.

  • One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil.

  • Nothing ever succeeds which exuberant spirits have not helped to produce.

  • Perhaps this is why it is man alone who laughs: he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.

  • What upsets me is not that you lied to me, but that from now on I can no longer believe you.

  • Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.


Niffenegger, Audrey

  • We laugh and laugh, and nothing can ever be sad, no one can be lost, or dead, or far away: right now we are here, and nothing can mar our perfection, or steal the joy of this perfect moment. (The Time Traveler's Wife)


Nightingale, Earl

  • Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.

  • A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.

  • Ideas are elusive, slippery things. Best to keep a pad of paper and a pencil at your bedside, so you can stab them during the night before they get away.

  • Mistakes are a natural part of growing up. They're to be expected and made light of. But children bloom like spring flowers under praise. They want so much to be noticed and appreciated, to excel and have that excellence noticed.

  • Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.

  • Our attitude toward life determines life's attitude towards us.

  • Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.

  • People are where they are because that is exactly where they really want to be--whether they will admit that or not.


Nightingale, Florence

  • I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel.

  • I think one's feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.

  • So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.


Nilsson, Kristy

  • Dance - no translation needed.

  • Dancing is the world's favorite metaphor.

  • It is not the movements that make a dance beautiful; it is the emotions that inspired the movements that make it beautiful.

  • Musicality is when the dancers' movements appear to create the music - and not the other way around.


Nin, Anais

  • And then the day came,
    when the risk
    to remain tight
    in a bud
    was more painful
    than the risk
    it took
    to Blossom.--Anais Nin ("Risk" from The Diary of Anais Nin)

  • The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.

  • Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

  • If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it. ("The New Woman" The White Blackbird)

  • It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.

  • Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.

  • Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live.

  • We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.

  • When I cannot bear outer pressures any more, I begin to put order in my belongings… As if unable to organize and control my life, I seek to exert this on the world of objects.


Nishah, Hussein

  • Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned, not given.


Nixon, Richard Milhous

  • Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have a vested interest in the chaos in which they exist.

  • Defeat doesn't finish a man--quit does. A man is not finished when he's defeated. He's finished when he quits.

  • Let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth--to see it like it is, and tell it like it is--to find the truth, to speak the truth, and to live the truth.

  • Reading not only enlarges and challenges the mind; it also engages and exercises the brain. Today's youth who sits mesmerized by a television screen is not going to be tomorrow's leader. Television watching is passive. Reading is active. (Leaders)


Nochlin, Linda

  • The miracle is, in fact, that given the overwhelming odds against women, or blacks, that so many of both have managed to achieve so much sheer excellence in those bailiwicks of white masculine prerogatives like science, politics or the arts.


Noonan, Peggy

  • I think miracles exist in part as gifts and in part as clues that there is something beyond the flat world we see. (What I Saw at the Revolution)


Nordau, Max

  • It is well to be alone. It fertilizes the creative impulse.


Norman, Greg

  • Know your strengths and take advantage of them.


Normile, Patricia P.

  • The inner life of peace means acting from a deep conviction about who we are, that each one of us is a beloved child of God, a human being called to love and serve other human beings. (John Dear on Peace)


Norris, Kathleen

  • In any free society, the conflict between social conformity and individual liberty is permanent.

  • It isn't the things that happen to us, it's the things we think are going to happen to us that drive us almost crazy.

  • Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.

  • There seems to be so much more winter than we need this year. (Bread Into Roses)


Norton, Caroline

  • A child's eyes, those clear wells of undefiled thought—what on earth can be more beautiful? Full of hope, love and curiosity, they meet your own.


Norton, Isabel

  • In my friend, I find a second self.


Nourot, Patricia

  • If I get to pick what I want to do, then it's play...if someone else tells me that I have to do it, then it's work.


Nouwen, Henri J. M.

  • Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all of us love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour--unceasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.

  • Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. It is a choice based on the knowledge that we belong to God and have found in God our refuge and our safety and that nothing, not even death, can take God away from us. Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing--sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death--can take that love away.

  • Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.

  • Much violence is based on the illusion that life is a property to be defended and not to be shared.

  • Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. (Bread For the Journey)

  • The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it.

  • When we give generously, with an abundance mentality, what we give away will multiply.


Nuveen, John

  • You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in contact with a new idea.


Nyland, Larry

  • You get criticized most when you deserve it least. (Nyland's Law)

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