Sydney J. Harris Quotes
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The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.
The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?'
Happiness is a direction, not a place.
History repeats itself, but in such cunning disguise that we never detect the resemblance until the damage is done.
The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, 'I was wrong'.
There's no point in burying a hatchet if you're going to put up a marker on the site.
Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
The two words 'information' and 'communication' are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.
The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.
There are always too many Democratic congressmen, too many Republican congressmen, and never enough U.S. congressmen.
If the devil could be persuaded to write a bible, he would title it, "You Only Live Once."
We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we have stopped saying 'It got lost,' and say, 'I lost it.'
Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own.
"Terrorism" is what we call the violence of the weak, and we condemn it; "war" is what we call the violence of the strong, and we glorify it.
Why do so many people yearn for an eternal life when they don't even know what to do with themselves in this brief one?
The deepest and rarest kind of courage has nothing to do with feats or obstacles in the outside world; and, indeed, has nothing to do with the outside world - it is the courage to be who you are.
An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.
We evaluate others with a Godlike justice, but we want them to evaluate us with a Godlike compassion.
A winner rebukes and forgives; a loser is too timid to rebuke and too petty to forgive.
If you cannot endure to be thought in the wrong, you will begin to do terrible things to make the wrong appear right.
The most important thing in an argument, next to being right, is to leave an escape hatch for your opponent, so that he can gracefully swing over to your side without too much apparent loss of face.
If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size?
Middle Age is that perplexing time of life when we hear two voices calling us, one saying, 'Why not?' and the other, 'Why bother?'
As WArden Lawes once said of convicts, no man can be called a failure until he has tried something he really likes, and fails at it.
We believe what we want to believe, what we like to believe, what suits our prejudices and fuels our passions.
Maturity begins when we're content to feel we're right about something without feeling the necessity to prove someone else wrong.
Every morning I take out my bankbook, stare at it, shudder - and turn quickly to my typewriter.
The primary purpose of a liberal education is to make one's mind a pleasant place in which to spend one's leisure.
If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem, but the perpetual human predicament is that the answer soon poses its own problems.
Enemies, as well as lovers, come to resemble each other over a period of time.
Real loneliness consists not in being alone, but in being with the wrong person, in the suffocating darkness of a room in which no deep communication is possible.
A loser says that's the way it's always been done. A winner says there ought to be a better way.
The best combination of parents consists of a father who is gentle beneath his firmness, and a mother who is firm beneath her gentleness.
We can often endure an extra pound of pain far more easily than we can suffer the withdrawal of an ounce of accustomed pleasure.
Honesty consists of the unwillingness to lie to others; maturity, which is equally hard to attain, consists of the unwillingness to lie to oneself.
The commonest fallacy among women is that simply having children makes them a mother - which is as absurd as believing that having a piano makes one a musician.
We truly possess only what we are able to renounce; otherwise, we are simply possessed by our possessions.
Nuclear war is inevitable, says the pessimists; Nuclear war is impossible, says the optimists; Nuclear war is inevitable unless we make it impossible, says the realists.
The reason that truth is stranger than fiction is that fiction has to have a rational thread running through it in order to be believable, whereas reality may be totally irrational.
Elitism is the slur directed at merit by mediocrity.
Good teaching must be slow enough so that it is not confusing, and fast enough so that it is not boring.
Why do most Americans look up to education and down upon educated people?
Being yourself is not remaining what you were, or being satisfied with what you are. It is the point of departure and far from the goal.
The art of living consists in knowing which impulses to obey and which must be made to obey.
Never let your fears be the boundaries of your dreams. Happiness is a direction, not a place.
The greatest enemy of progress is not stagnation, but false progress.
Perseverance is the most overrated of traits, if it is unaccompanied by talent; beating your head against a wall is more likely to produce a concussion in the head than a hole in the wall.
The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught.