Better to Have Said Nothing

Sunday, January 26, 2014 – Better to Have Said Nothing

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. ~ Benjamin Franklin

I like people who refuse to speak until they are ready to speak. ~ Lillian Hellman

I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it. ~ Mae West

One should not lose one’s temper unless one is certain of getting more and more angry to the end. ~ William Butler Yeats

Discipline and concentration are a matter of being interested. ~ Tom Kite

Discipline is remembering what you want. ~ David Campbell

Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

The first attribute that characterizes the greater man from the moron is his thicker layer of inhibition. ~ Martin H. Fischer

Not being able to govern events, I govern myself, and apply myself to them, if they will not apply themselves to me. ~ Michel de Montaigne

How like herrings and onions our vices are in the morning after we have committed them. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

What makes resisting temptation difficult for many people is they don’t want to discourage it completely. ~ Franklin P. Jones

Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to. ~ Oscar Wilde

It’s all right letting yourself go, as long as you can get yourself back. ~ Mick Jagger

Why are we so full of restraint? Why do we not give in all directions? Is it fear of losing ourselves? Until we do lose ourselves there is no hope of finding ourselves. ~ Henry Miller

If we resist our passions, it is more because of their weakness than because of our strength. ~ La Rochefoucauld

Most people want to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch. ~ Robert Orben

Nothing makes it easier to resist temptation than a proper bringing-up, a sound set of values – and witnesses. ~ Franklin P. Jones

An element of abstention, of restraint, must enter into all finer joys. ~ Vida D. Scudder

A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is…. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. ~ C. S. Lewis

You are a puppet, but in the hands of the infinite, which may be your own. ~ Antonio Porchia

Abstainer, n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. ~ Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911

Punishment may make us obey the orders we are given, but at best it will only teach obedience to authority, not a self-control which enhances our self-respect. ~ Bruno Bettelheim

Self-control means wanting to be effective at some random point in the infinite radiations of my spiritual existence. ~ Franz Kafka

You must have discipline to have fun. ~ Julia Child

Self-command is the main elegance. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact. ~ George Eliot

It is impossible to persuade a man who does not disagree, but smiles. ~ Muriel Spark

Nothing could bother me more than the way a thing goes dead once it has been said. ~ Gertrude Stein

As a rule, I am very careful to be shallow and conventional where depth and originality are wasted. ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery

Be blind. Be stupid. Be British. Be careful. ~ Virginia Graham

I have been cautioned to talk but be careful not to say anything. I do not consider this a difficult task. ~ Mark Twain

You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there. ~ Yogi Berra

Be prepared, and be careful not to do your good deeds when there’s no one watching you. ~ Tom Lehrer

Intelligent or not, we all make mistakes and perhaps the intelligent mistakes are the worst, because so much careful thought has gone into them. ~ Peter Ustinov

There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method. ~ Herman Melville

I can have incredible self-discipline. But see, I think it’s obviously a form of stupidity. ~ John Malkovich

Look wise, say nothing, and grunt. Speech was given to conceal thought. ~ Sir William Osler

Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute. ~ Josh Billings

An inability to stay quiet is one of the most conspicuous failings of mankind. ~ Walter Bagehot

Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Accustomed to the veneer of noise, to the shibboleths of promotion, public relations, and market research, society is suspicious of those who value silence. ~ John Lahr

Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation… tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation. ~ Jean Arp

I have often lamented that we cannot close our ears with as much ease as we can our eyes. ~ Richard Steele

Nowadays most men lead lives of noisy desperation. ~ James Thurber

Now all my teachers are dead except silence. ~ W. S. Merwin

The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence. ~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Silence is as deep as eternity; speech, shallow as time. ~ Thomas Carlyle

Silence is a text easy to misread. ~ A. A. Attanasio

As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Her hearing was keener than his, and she heard silences he was unaware of. ~ D. M. Thomas

A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. We provide the music, and you provide the silence. ~ Leopold Stokowski

Music is the silence between the notes. ~ Claude Debussy

There are many types of silence. There is a silence before the note, there is a silence at the end and there is a silence in the middle. ~ Daniel Barenboim

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. ~ Aldous Huxley

A small silence came between us, as precise as a picture hanging on the wall. ~ Jean Stafford

Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them. ~ Charles Simic

Absolute silence leads to sadness. It is the image of death. ~ Jean Jacques Rousseau

And they write innumerable books; being too vain and distracted for silence: seeking every one after his own elevation, and dodging his emptiness. ~ T. S. Eliot

Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men’s imperfections, and conceal your own. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness. ~ Samuel Beckett

It is tact that is golden, not silence. ~ Samuel Butler

Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer. ~ Muhammad Ali

Silence is not only golden, it is seldom misquoted. ~ Bob Monkhouse

Silence is so accurate. ~ Mark Rothko

Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Silence moves faster when it’s going backward. ~ Jean Cocteau

Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune. The talkative parrot is shut up in a cage. Other birds, without speech, fly freely about. ~ Saskya Pandita

Speech and silence. We feel safer with a madman who talks than with one who cannot open his mouth. ~ Emile M. Cioran

The water in a vessel is sparkling; the water in the sea is dark. The small truth has words which are clear; the great truth has great silence. ~ Rabindranath Tagore

You haven’t partied until you’ve partied at dawn in complete silence with Buddhist monks. ~ Cameron Diaz

I believe in the discipline of silence and could talk for hours about it. ~ George Bernard Shaw

We should silence anyone who opposes the right to freedom of speech. ~ Boyle Roche

Speech may be barren; but it is ridiculous to suppose that silence is always brooding on a nestful of eggs. ~ George Eliot

Blessed are they who have nothing to say, and who cannot be persuaded to say it. ~ James Russell Lowell

Men fear silence as they fear solitude, because both give them a glimpse of the terror of life’s nothingness. ~ Andre Maurois

My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence. ~ Edith Sitwell

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. ~ Ansel Adams


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s