Misfortune

Eric Hoffer Page

“They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor.”

- Eric Hoffer

Source/Notes: Between the Devil and the Dragon: The Best Essays and Aphorisms of Eric Hoffer (Harper & Row, 1982), p. 67
Fyodor Dostoevsky Page

“Even if we are occupied with important things and even if we attain honor or fall into misfortune, still let us remember how good it once was here, when we were all together, united by a good and a kind feeling which made us perhaps better than we are.”

- Fyodor Dostoevsky

Netana Whakaari of Waimana Page

“You may lose your most valuable property through misfortune in various ways. You may lose your house, your wife and other treasures. But of your moko, you cannot be deprived except by death. It will be your ornament and companion until your last day.”

- Netana Whakaari of Waimana

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Page

“Do not pursue what is illusory - property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade and can be confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life - don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn after happiness; it is after all, all the same: the bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing.”

- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Plato Page

“It is better to be unborn than untaught: for ignorance is the root of misfortune.”

- Plato

Source/Notes: As quoted in "Antiquity: Or The Wise Instructor" (1773), p. 70

Advertisement

William James Page

“Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.”

- William James

Jean de la Bruyere Page

“It is a great misfortune not to possess sufficient wit to speak well, nor sufficient judgment to keep silent.”

- Jean de la Bruyere

Emmet Fox Page

“It is the Law that any difficulties that can come to you at any time, no matter what they are, must be exactly what you need most at the moment, to enable you to take the next step forward by overcoming them. The only real misfortune, the only real tragedy, comes when we suffer without learning the lesson.”

- Emmet Fox

Washington Irving Page

“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.”

- Washington Irving

Source/Notes: Philip of Pokanoket : An Indian Memoir. - The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon (1819–1820)
Oscar Wilde Page

“To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

- Oscar Wilde

Advertisement

Boris Pasternak Page

“The great majority of us are required to live a life of constant, systematic duplicity. Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike and rejoice at what bring you nothing but misfortune. Our nervous system isn't just a fiction, it's part of our physical body, and our soul exists in space and is inside us, like teeth in our mouth. It can't be forever violated with impunity.”

- Boris Pasternak

Source/Notes: Doctor Zhivago
Aldous Huxley Page

“Actual happiness looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contended has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.”

- Aldous Huxley

Saskya Pandita Page

“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

Ludwig van Beethoven Page

“My misfortune is doubly painful to me because it will result in my being misunderstood. For me there can be no recreation in the company of others, no intelligent conversation, no exchange of information with peers; only the most pressing needs can make me venture into society. I am obliged to live like an outcast.”

- Ludwig van Beethoven

Source/Notes: Beethoven's will, written on October 6, 1802
Socrates Page

“Remember, no human condition is ever permanent. Then you will not be overjoyed in good fortune nor too scornful in misfortune.”

- Socrates

Advertisement

Franz Kafka Page

“Don Quixote's misfortune is not his imagination, but Sancho Panza.”

- Franz Kafka

Source/Notes: Wedding preparations in the country: and other posthumous prose writings, Secker and Warburg, 1954
Frank Sinatra Page

“Rock 'n Roll: The most brutal, ugly, desperate, vicious form of expression it has been my misfortune to hear.”

- Frank Sinatra