Leo Rosten Biography | Inspiration Quotations | Motivation Quotes

Leo Rosten
Leo Rosten

Leo Rosten Motivational Quotations:

  • “I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.”

  • Happiness comes only when we push our brains and hearts to the farthest reaches of which we are capable.”

  •  “We see things as we are, not as they are.”

  • “I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong.”

  •  “The purpose of life is to matter, to be productive, to have it make a difference that you lived at all-using the talents that God has given you for the betterment of others.”

  •  “O, to be sure, we laugh less and play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults, but beneath the costume is the child we always are, whose needs are simple, whose daily life is still best described by fairy tales.

  •  “I sometimes think there is a dimension beyond the four of experience and Einstein: insight, that fifth dimension which promises to liberate us from bondage to the long, imperfect past.”

  •  “The purpose of life is not to be happy, the purpose of life is to matter.”

  •  “If at first you don't succeed, before you try again, stop to figure out what you did wrong.”

  •  “Happiness, in the ancient, noble sense, means self-fulfillment—and is given to those who use to the fullest whatever talents God … bestowed upon them.”

  •  “Money can't buy happiness, but neither can poverty.”

  •  “Where was it ever promised us that life on this earth can ever be easy, free from conflict and uncertainty, devoid of anguish and wonder and pain? Those who seek the folly of unrelieved 'happiness'-who fear moods, who shun solitude, who do not know the diginity of occasional depression-can find bliss easily enough: in tranquilizing pills, or in senility. The purpose of life is not to be happy.”

    Leo Rosten

  •  “A conservative is one who admires radicals centuries after they're dead.”

  •  “Words must surely be counted among the most powerful drugs man ever invented.”

  •  “Proverbs often contradict one another, as any reader soon discovers. The sagacity that advises us to look before we leap promptly warns us that if we hesitate we are lost; that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but out of sight, out of mind.”

  •  “You can learn much about life from a checker game: surrender one to take two; don't make two moves at one time; move up, not down; and when you reach the top, you may move as you like.”

  •  “The writer wants to be understood much more than he wants to be respected or praised or even loved. And that, perhaps, is what makes him different from others.”

  •  “Courage is the capacity to confront what can be imagined.”

  •  “Everyone, in some small sacred sanctuary of the self, is nuts.”

  •  “The first printed mention of bagels... is to be found in the Community Regulations of Kracow, Poland, for the year 1610 which stated that bagels would be given as a gift to any woman in childbirth.”

  •  “A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood.”

  •  “The only thing I can say about W. C. Fields ... is this: Any man who hates dogs and babies can't be all bad.”

  •  “Thinking is harder work than hard work.”

  •  “Extremists think 'communication' means agreeing with them.”

  •  “Dogs are getting bigger, according to a leading dog manufacturer.”

  •  “The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it.”

  •  “People say: idle curiosity. The one thing that curiosity cannot be is idle.”

  •  “I never cease being dumbfounded by the unbelievable things people believe.”

  •  “Humor is the affectionate communication of insight.”

    Leo Rosten


  • “If you are going to do something wrong, at least enjoy it.”

  •  “Words sing. They hurt. They teach. They sanctify. They were man's first, immeasurable feat of magic. They liberated us from ignorance and our barbarous past.”

  •  “Where there is too much, something is missing.”

  •  “Acting is a form of deception, and actors can mesmerize themselves almost as easily as an audience.”

  •  “For some not to be martyrs is martyrdom indeed.”

  •  “Some things are so unexpected that no one is prepared for them.”

  •  “First-rate people hire first-rate people; second-rate people hire third-rate people.”

  •  “Every writer is a narcissist. This does not mean that he is vain; it only means that he is hopelessly self-absorbed.”

  •  “If a picture is worth a thousand words, please paint me the Gettysburg Address.”

  •  “Where was it ever promised us that life on this earth can ever be easy, free from conflict and uncertainty, devoid of anguish and wonder and pain? … The purpose of life is to matter, to be productive, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.”

  •  “I came to believe it not true that "the coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave man only one." I think it is the other way around: It is the brave who die a thousand deaths. For it is imagination, and not just conscience, which doth make cowards of us all. Those who do not know fear are not truly brave.”

  •  “You understand people better if you look at them-no matter how old or impressive or important they may be-as if they were children. For most men never mature; they simply grow taller.”

  •  “It is not that which is beautiful that pleases us, but that which pleases is is called beautiful.”

  •  “In the dark colony of night, when I consider man's magnificent capacity for malice, madness, folly, envy, rage, and destructiveness, and I wonder whether we shall not end up as breakfast for newts and polyps, I seem to hear the muffled cries of all the words in all the books with covers closed.”

  •  “The hardest part of growing up is learning how to wait.”

  •  “There was no answer, no solution, no sop, no deliverance. What, then, did I do? I read faster.”

  •  “The love of money is the source of an enormous amount of good; the fact that the good is a by-product of the selfish pursuit of riches has nothing to do with its indisputable value.”

  •  “The fellow who laughs last may laugh best, but he gets the reputation of being very slow-witted.”

  •  “Hope is ambiguous, but fear is precious.”

  •  “Why did God give me two ears and one mouth? So that I will hear more and talk less.”

  •  “Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games - but not with pleasure.”



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