On Whether There Is Meaning in Life
“Life, under any circumstances, never ceases to have a meaning.” — Viktor E. Frankl
“My life is my message.” — Mahatma Gandhi
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” — Proverb
“Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.” — Morihei Ueshiba
"I think you can say that life is a system in which proteins and nucleic acids interact in ways that allow the structure to grow and reproduce. It's that growth and reproduction, the ability to make more of yourself, that's important." — Andy Knoll, paleontologist and professor of biology at Harvard University
"Meaning can only ever exist within the confines of the human mind, and in this way the meaning of life is not somewhere out there but right between our ears." — Stephen Hawking
“People grow through experiences if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
“That all our knowledge begins with experience there can be no doubt.” — Immanuel Kant
“All knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it.” — Albert Einstein
“The significance of man is not in what he attains, but rather in what he longs to attain. . . . We are all climbing toward the summit of our hearts' desire.” — Kahlil Gibran
“Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.” — Ella Fitzgerald
“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” — Henry Ford
“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.”— Arnold Schwarzenegger
Dychtwald, Ken. “Powers of Mind: A New Age Interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger.” New Age, Jan. 1978, pp. 38–52.
“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.” — William James
To paraphrase the Chinese philosopher Laozi, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
(Note: literally translated as, “A journey of a thousand li starts beneath one's feet,” while commonly translated as, “The journey of a thousand li commenced with a single step.”)
“Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you.” — Roger Ebert
“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
“I say [happiness] is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing or that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.” — John Butler Yeats
(Note: This quotation is commonly attributed to W.B. Yeats but originates from his father)
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” — The Golden Rule
Gensler, Harry J. Ethics and the Golden Rule. New York, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2013.
(Note: The Golden Rule comes in many forms; this source lists many versions of it used throughout history and quotes this version as the most common form in use in 2013)
“Let me give you a definition of ethics: It is good to maintain and further life; it is bad to damage and destroy life.” — Albert Schweitzer
“Alone we can do so little. Together, we can do so much.” — Helen Keller
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton
“No man is an island,” wrote John Donne.
Donne, John. Devotions upon Emergent Occasions and Severall Steps in My Sicknes: Digested into, 1. Meditations upon Our Human Conditions, 2. Expostulations, and Debatement with God, 3. Prayers, upon the Severall Occasions, to Him. Printed for Thomas Jones, 1624.
“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.” — Dr. Hugh Akston in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” — Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”
“If then whereas we wish for our end, the means to our end are matters of deliberation and choice, it follows that actions dealing with these means are done by choice.” — Aristotle
On Proceeding with This Understanding
"Three things are necessary to man for salvation, that is to say: 1. a knowledge of what he must believe; 2. a knowledge of what he must desire; 3. a knowledge of what he must do.” — St. Thomas Aquinas
Thomas, and H. A. Rawes. St. Thomas Aquinas on the Two Commandments of Charity: and the Ten Commandments of the Law. Translated, with Prayers Added, by Father Rawes, D.D. London, Burns and Oates, 1879.
“Well, life for none of us has been a crystal stair, but we must keep moving. We must keep going. And so, if you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl, but, by all means, keep moving.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.