Lin Yutang Quotes
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Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.
Happiness has always seemed like a bluebird, and consists of moments.
A man who has to be punctually at a certain place at five o'clock has the whole afternoon ruined for him already.
Those who are wise won't be busy, and those who are too busy can't be wise.
When Small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.
Neckties strangle clear thinking.
Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.
There is so much to love and to admire in this life that it is an act of ingratitude not to be happy and content in this existence.
I have a hankering to go back to the Orient and discard my necktie. Neckties strangle clear thinking.
The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
The man who has not the habit of reading is imprisoned in his immediate world.
I have done my best. That is about all the philosophy of living one needs.
The Chinese do not draw any distinction between food and medicine.
Instead of holding on to the Biblical view that we are made in the image of God, we come to realize that we are made in the image of the monkey.
There is nothing more beautiful in this world than a healthy, wise old man.
There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.
We should not expect people to be good, but should make it impossible for them to be bad.
Sometimes it is more important to discover what one cannot do, than what one can do.
If one's bowels move, one is happy, and if they don't move, one is unhappy. That is all there is to it.
Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks.
Let us face ourselves bravely as we are. For only a philosophy that recognizes reality can lead us into true happiness, and only that kind of philosophy is sound and healthy.
The busy man is never wise and the wise man is never busy.
Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother
Happiness for me is largely a matter of digestion.
What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?
In the West, the insane are so many that they are put in an asylum, in China the insane are so unusual that we worship them.
I do not think that any civilization can be called complete until it has progressed from sophistication to unsophistication, and made a conscious return to simplicity of thinking and living.
Where there are too many policemen, there is no liberty. Where there are too many soldiers, there is no peace. Where there are too many lawyers, there is no justice.
The world I believe is far too serious, and being far too serious ... it has need of a wise and merry philosophy.
Alas, our rulers are not gods, but puny, fallible men, like the kings who constantly forget their parts, and we common men should be their prompters.
I rather despise claims to objectivity in philosophy; the point of view is the thing.
The wise man reads both books and life itself.
Only he who handles his ideas lightly is master of his ideas, and only he who is master of his ideas is not enslaved by them.
Anyone who reads a book with a sense of obligation does not understand the art of reading.
This I conceive to be the chemical function of humor: to change the character of our thought.
True peace of mind comes from accepting the worst. Psychologically, I think it means a release of energy.
Such is human psychology that if we don't express our joy, we soon cease to feel it.
The best that we can hope for in this life is that we shall not have sons and grandsons of whom we need to be ashamed.
The only test of a soul's salvation is its inward happiness.
Probably the difference between man and the monkeys is that the monkeys are merely bored, while man has boredom plus imagination.
Today we are afraid of simple words like goodness and mercy and kindness. We don't believe in the good old words because we don't believe in good old values anymore. And that's why the world is sick.
The three great American vices seem to be efficiency, punctuality, and the desire for achievement and success. They are the things that make the Americans so unhappy and so nervous.
Only friendship which can stand occasional plain speaking is worth having.
It is important that man dreams, but it is perhaps equally important that he can laugh at his own dreams.
Of all the unhappy people in the world, the unhappiest are those who have not found something they want to do.
No child is born with a really cold heart, and it is only in proportion as we lose that youthful heart that we lose the inner warmth in ourselves.
All women's dresses, in every age and country, are merely variations on the eternal struggle between the admitted desire to dress and the unadmitted desire to undress.
A tendency to fly too straight at a goal, instead of circling around it, often carries one too far.
Simplicity is the outward sign and symbol of depth of thought.