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Quote of the day July 1–24, 2021

Top quotes for this month, selected by Wikiquote contributors.

July 24

We're all children. We invent the adult facade and don it and try to keep the buttons and the medals polished. We're all trying to give such a good imitation of being an adult that the real adults in the world won't catch on. Each of us takes up the shticks that compose the adult image we seek. I'd gone the route of lazy, ironic bravado, of amiable, unaffiliated insouciance. Tinhorn knights of a stumbling Rocinante from Rent-A-Steed, maybe with one little area of the heart so pinched, so parched, I never dared let anything really lasting happen to me. Or dared admit the the flaw... The adult you pretend to be convinces himself that the risk is worth the game, the game worth the risk. Tells himself the choice of life style could get him killed — on the Daytona track, in the bull ring, falling from the raw steel framework forty stories up, catching a rodeo hoof in the side of the head. Adult pretenses are never a perfect fit for the child underneath, and when there is the presentiment of death, like a hard black light making panther eyes glow in the back of the cave, the cry is, "Mommy, mommy, mommy, it's so dark out there, so dark and so forever."

~ John D. MacDonald ~

July 23

I am a writer, and there comes a time when that which I write has to belong to me, has to be written alone and in silence, with no one looking over my shoulder, no one telling me a better way to write it. It doesn't have to be great writing, it doesn't even have to be terribly good. It just has to be mine.

~ Raymond Chandler ~

July 22

Our earth is but a small star in the great universe. Yet of it we can make, if we choose, a planet unvexed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear, undivided by senseless distinctions of race, color or theory. Grant us that courage and foreseeing to begin this task today that our children and our children's children may be proud of the name of man.

~ Stephen Vincent Benét ~

July 21

When it comes to space, I see it as my job to build infrastructure the hard way — I'm using my resources to put in place heavy-lifting infrastructure so the next generation of people can have a dynamic, entrepreneurial explosion into space. … I want thousands of entrepreneurs doing amazing things in space, and to do that we need to dramatically lower the cost of access to space.

~ Jeff Bezos ~

July 20

The people we lost in Aurora loved, and were loved. They were mothers and fathers; husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters; friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future and dreams that were not yet fulfilled. And if there's anything to take away from this tragedy, it's a reminder that life is fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters in the end are not the small and trivial things which often consume our lives. It's how we choose to treat one another, and love one another. It's what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose. That's what matters. That's why we're here.

~ Barack Obama ~

July 19

When I'm gone, people will no doubt remember me for Queen, but I would much rather be remembered for attempting to change the way we treat our fellow creatures.

~ Brian May ~

July 18

Fiction is based on reality unless you're a fairy-tale artist, you have to get your knowledge of life from somewhere. You have to know the material you're writing about before you alter it.

~ Hunter S. Thompson ~

July 17

First-time novelists have a tough row to hoe. Our publishers don't have a lot of promotional budget to throw at unknown factors like us. Mostly, we rise and fall based on word-of-mouth.

~ Cory Doctorow ~

July 16

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.

~ J. D. Salinger in The Catcher in the Rye ~

July 15

All purposeful manifestations of life, including their very purposiveness, in the final analysis have their end not in life but in the expression of its nature, in the representation of its significance.

~ Walter Benjamin ~

July 14

The people are building a peaceful world, and when the job is done That'll be the biggest thing that man has ever done.

~ Woody Guthrie ~

July 13

The eye instinctively looks for analogies and amplifies them, so that a face imagined in the pattern of a wallpaper may become more vivid than a photograph.

~ Kenneth Clark ~

July 12

We're here to make space more accessible to all. We want to turn the next generation of dreamers into the astronauts of today and tomorrow. We've all us on this stage have had the most extraordinary experience, and we'd love it if a number of you can have it, too. … If you ever had a dream, now is the time to make it come true — and I'd like to end by saying welcome to the dawn of a new space age.

~ Richard Branson ~

July 11

Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth. They accept, almost without question, anything you present them with, as long as it is presented honestly, fearlessly, and clearly.

~ E. B. White ~

July 10

By art alone we are able to get outside ourselves, to know what another sees of this universe which for him is not ours, the landscapes of which would remain as unknown to us as those of the moon. Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world, our own, we see it multiplied and as many original artists as there are, so many worlds are at our disposal, differing more widely from each other than those which roll round the infinite and which, whether their name be Rembrandt or Vermeer, send us their unique rays many centuries after the hearth from which they emanate is extinguished. This labour of the artist to discover a means of apprehending beneath matter and experience, beneath words, something different from their appearance, is of an exactly contrary nature to the operation in which pride, passion, intelligence and habit are constantly engaged within us when we spend our lives without self-communion, accumulating as though to hide our true impressions, the terminology for practical ends which we falsely call life.

~ Marcel Proust ~

July 9

I cherish the mercy and the grace of women’s work. But I know there is new work that we must undertake as well: that new work will make defeat detestable to us. That new women’s work will mean we will not die trying to stand up: we will live that way: standing up. I came too late to help my mother to her feet. By way of everlasting thanks to all of the women who have helped me to stay alive I am working never to be late again.

~ June Jordan ~

July 8

Purity of heart will not make us poor. The exaltation of poverty as a spiritual virtue is of the ego, not the spirit. A person acting from a motivation of contribution and service rises to such a level of moral authority, that worldly success is a natural result. Give all your gifts away in service to the world. If you want to paint, don’t wait for a grant. Paint a wall in your town that looks drab and uninviting. You never know who’s going to see that wall. Whatever it is you want to do, give it away in service to your community.

~ Marianne Williamson ~

July 7

I would be disappointed if everything I saw turned out to be something Western Electric will build once Bell Labs works the bugs out. There ought to be some magic, somewhere, just for flavor.

~ Robert A. Heinlein in Glory Road ~

July 6

I am optimistic that the ancient values that have sustained mankind are today reaffirming themselves to prepare us for a kinder, happier twenty-first century. I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend, that together we succeed in building a better world through human understanding and love, and that in doing so we may reduce the pain and suffering of all sentient beings.

~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama ~

July 5

The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First, society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails, they try to poison you. If this fails too, they finish by loading honors on your head.

~ Jean Cocteau ~

July 4

All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.

~ Thomas Jefferson ~

July 3

The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual. That is why the revolutionary spiritual movements that declare all former things worthless are in the right, for nothing has yet happened.

~ Franz Kafka ~

July 2

The doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught.

~ Hermann Hesse ~

July 1

Astronomy is perhaps the science whose discoveries owe least to chance, in which human understanding appears in its whole magnitude, and through which man can best learn how small he is.

~ Georg Christoph Lichtenberg ~
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