The enterprise that does not innovate

The enterprise that does not innovate ages and declines. And in a period of rapid change such as the present, the decline will be fast.

Peter Drucker

Thanksgiving has wings

Be grateful in your own hearts. That suffices. Thanksgiving has wings, and flies to its right destination.

Victor Hugo

Gratitude can transform common days

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

William Arthur Ward

Gratitude

Gratitude is a quality similar to electricity: It must be produced and discharged and used up in order to exist at all.

William Faulkner

Appreciation

Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

Voltaire

Reflect

Reflect upon your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

Charles Dickens

I awoke this morning

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Talent

Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.

John Wooden

Holy Men

Holy men tell us life is a mystery.
They embrace that concept happily.
But some mysteries bite and bark
and come to get you in the dark.

Dean Koontz

The Mystery Story

The mystery story is two stories in one: the story of what happened and the story of what appeared to happen.

Mary Roberts Rinehart

Reading was like a drug

Reading was like a drug, a dope. The novels created moods in which I lived for days.

Richard Wright, Black Boy

Men can starve

Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.

Richard Wright, Native Son

My reflections

My reflections amount to a love story that is mostly made up, from memories that are mostly false, between people who were mainly not there. The things for which she was not there have her in them now more deeply because of her absence, and her effect on my way of seeing them. Anytime I note her absence from a thing, she arrives at once, as if summoned, entrenching herself more deeply than she exists in my memories of times when she was there, so that time, the sequence of what really happened, seems to curve around her.

Olivia Sudjic, Sympathy

Some Editors

Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.

T.S. Eliot

Gossip

All literature is gossip.

Truman Capote

This is the fairest picture

This is the fairest picture on our planet, the most enchanting to look upon, the most satisfying to the eye and the spirit. To see the sun sink down, drowned on his pink and purple and golden floods, and overwhelm Florence with tides of color that make all the sharp lines dim and faint and turn the solid city to a city of dreams, is a sight to stir the coldest nature, and make a sympathetic one drunk with ecstasy.

Mark Twain, Autobiography 1892

Among the four old bridges

Among the four old bridges that span the river, the Ponte Vecchio, that bridge which is covered with the shops of Jewellers and Goldsmiths, is a most enchanting feature in the scene. The space of one house, in the centre, being left open, the view beyond, is shown as in a frame; and that precious glimpse of sky, and water, and rich buildings, shining so quietly among the huddled roofs and gables on the bridge, is exquisite.

Charles Dickens, Pictures from Italy 1846

Honest Broker

I do not regard the procuring of peace as a matter in which we should play the role of arbiter between different opinions…more that of an honest broker who really wants to press the business forward.

Otto von Bismarck

In my first publication

In my first publication I might have claimed that I had come to the conclusion, as a result of serious study of the literature and deep thought, that valuable antibacterial substances were made by moulds and that I set out to investigate the problem. That would have been untrue and I preferred to tell the truth that penicillin started as a chance observation. My only merit is that I did not neglect the observation and that I pursued the subject as a bacteriologist. My publication in 1929 was the starting-point of the work of others who developed penicillin especially in the chemical field.

Sir Alexander Fleming

But nothing of a nature foreign to the duties of my profession [clergyman]

But nothing of a nature foreign to the duties of my profession [clergyman] engaged my attention while I was at Leeds so much as the, prosecution of my experiments relating to electricity, and especially the doctrine of air. The last I was led into a consequence of inhabiting a house adjoining to a public brewery, where first amused myself with making experiments on fixed air [carbon dioxide] which found ready made in the process of fermentation. When I removed from that house, I was under the necessity making the fixed air for myself; and one experiment leading to another, as I have distinctly and faithfully noted in my various publications on the subject, I by degrees contrived a convenient apparatus for the purpose, but of the cheapest kind. When I began these experiments I knew very little of chemistry, and had in a manner no idea on the subject before I attended a course of chymical lectures delivered in the Academy at Warrington by Dr. Turner of Liverpool. But I have often thought that upon the whole, this circumstance was no disadvantage to me; as in this situation I was led to devise an apparatus and processes of my own, adapted to my peculiar views. Whereas, if I had been previously accustomed to the usual chemical processes, I should not have so easily thought of any other; and without new modes of operation I should hardly have discovered anything materially new.

Joseph Priestley

A conclusion

A conclusion is the place where you got tired thinking.

Martin H. Fischer

A drug

A drug is a substance which, if injected into a rabbit, produces a paper.

Otto Loew

I have told you more than I know

(1) I have told you more than I know about osteoporosis.

(2) What I have told you is subject to change without notice.

(3) I hope I raised more questions than I have given answers.

(4) In any case, as usual, a lot more work is necessary.

Fuller Albright

Farming is a matter of dirt and dung

Farming is a matter of dirt and dung. It is not the kind of thing we look to to find the meaning of human life. It is too ordinary, too inescapably a part of life to be interesting. We know that it has to be done, but see no reason to pay much attention to it. But it is just because farming is inescapably a part of human life that it may provide a clue to what is most basically human, and so a clue to our place within the cosmos.

Stephanie Nelson

The ultimate goal of farming

The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.

Masanobu Fukuoka

When tillage begins

When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.

Daniel Webster

No race can prosper

No race can prosper until it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.

Booker T. Washington

August Rain

August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.

– Sylvia Plath

First they came

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller

A green hunting cap squeezed

A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once. Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs. In the shadow under the green visor of the cap Ignatius J. Reilly’s supercilious blue and yellow eyes looked down upon the other people waiting under the clock at the D.H. Holmes department store, studying the crowd of people for signs of bad taste in dress. Several of the outfits, Ignatius noticed, were new enough and expensive enough to be properly considered offenses against taste and decency. Possession of anything new or expensive only reflected a person’s lack of theology and geometry; it could even cast doubts upon one’s soul.

First paragraph of A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole