On Being Surprised and Amazed

Sunday, November 16, 2008 – On Being Surprised and Amazed


Society is always taken by surprise at any new example of common sense. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Go and surprise the whole country by doing something right. ~ Mark Twain


Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him. ~ Charles De Gaulle


The most important American addition to the World Experience was the simple surprising fact of America. We have helped prepare mankind for all its later surprises. ~ Daniel J. Boorstin


The future is bound to surprise us, but we don’t have to be dumbfounded. ~ Kenneth Boulding


When we got into office, the thing that surprised me most was to find that things were just as bad as we’d been saying they were. ~ John F. Kennedy


Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise. ~ Alice Walker


Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us. ~ Boris Pasternak


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


Which death is preferably to every other? The unexpected. ~ Julius Caesar


A Scout is never taken by surprise; he knows exactly what to do when anything unexpected happens. ~ Sir Robert Baden-Powell


I doubt whether the world holds for any one a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice-cream. ~ Heywood Broun


Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable. ~ Jane Austen


I am often surprised by the cleverness, and now and again by the stupidity of my dog; and I have similar experiences with mankind. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer


There are two kinds of taste, the taste for emotions of surprise and the taste for emotions of recognition. ~ William James


Ignorance makes for weakness and fear; knowledge gives strength and confidence. Nothing surprises an intellect that knows all things with a sense of discrimination. ~ Magdeleine Sable, Maximes et pensées diverses, 1678


There can never be surprises in logic. ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein


What a surprise to find you could shift the contents of your head like rearranging furniture in a room. ~ Lisa Alther


Statistically, the probability of any of us being here is so small that you’d think the mere fact of existing would keep us all in contented dazzlement of surprise. ~ Lewis Thomas


As North, South, East and West form the directions of our physical reality, and cannot be taken away, Surprise, Delight, Inspiration and Challenge form the directions of our psychological reality, and cannot be taken away. ~ Laura Teresa Marquez


I was in yoga the other day. I was in full lotus position. My chakras were all aligned. My mind is cleared of all clatter and I’m looking out of my third eye and everything that I’m supposed to be doing. It’s amazing what comes up, when you sit in that silence. “Mama keeps whites bright like the sunlight, Mama’s got the magic of Clorox 2.” ~ Ellen DeGeneres


Also surprising:


Sometimes the mind, for reasons we don’t necessarily understand, just decides to go to the store for a quart of milk. ~ Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider


It is better for civilization to be going down the drain than to be coming up it. ~ Henry Allen


Why does the Air Force need expensive new bombers? Have the people we’ve been bombing over the years been complaining? ~ George Wallace


One of the serious obstacles to the improvement of our race is indiscriminate charity. ~ Andrew Carnegie


Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies. ~ Woody Allen


I’m a jerk to everyone. Best way to protect yourself from lawsuits. ~ David Hoselton


Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. ~ Albert Camus