Impactful Quotes

I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.

–Andrew Bernard

In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.

–Jimmy Carter

If God created man in His own image, we have more than reciprocated.


From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose, as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then, your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not, they’re going to happen. And whether you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes.

–U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts

[T]he din of arms made it impossible for him to hear the voice of the laws.

–Hugo Grotius, War, Peace, and the Law of Nations

[It] is meet for the nature of man, within the limitations of human intelligence, to follow the direction of a well-tempered judgment, being neither led astray by fear or the allurement of immediate pleasure, nor carried away by rash impulse.

–Hugo Grotius, War, Peace, and the Law of Nations

There can be no equal justice where the kind of trial a man gets depends on the amount of money he has.

–U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, Griffin v. Illinois, 373 U.S. 12, (1964)

For consistency of results, a man needs conscious knowledge of the kind of result he has the job of gunning for—else again and again, and quite unpredictably, he fails to aim or aims in the wrong direction.

–Karl Llewellyn, The Bramble Bush, 157-158 (1951)

It is the task of the law to form and project, as well as mirror and reflect.

–J. John Harlan

Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth…. The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he though within himself, saying ‘What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?’ And he said, ‘This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou has much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.’ But God said unto him, ‘Thou fool ….’ So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

–Jesus, Luke 12

Love thy neighbour as thyself.

–Jesus, Matthew 22

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

–Victor Frankl

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.

–John Muir

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.

–John Muir

We need wilderness preserved–as much of it as is still left, and as many kinds–because it was the challenge against which our character as a people was formed…. We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.

–Wallace Stegner

True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.

–Clarence Darrow

Too much of today’s discourse is characterized by name-calling, character assassination, and gratuitous insults directed at those who disagree with the speaker. Are not ad hominem attacks the most childish and least informative of one’s views? We needn’t agree with everyone, but we should acknowledge that there are more than a single side to a story, and more than one way to reach a desired end.

–Alexander B. Morrison

Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.

–Adlai Stevenson

The Constitution is not fully-grown. It must grow and develop to meet the changing needs of an advancing world.

–J. Reuben Clark

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which,if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

–C.S. Lewis