The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.— Sydney J. Harris
The most belligerent Sydney J. Harris quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you
The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.
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?'
It is surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feeling toward themselves, and if you are not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others.
The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war.
Happiness is a direction, not a place.
There's no point in burying a hatchet if you're going to put up a marker on the site.
History repeats itself, but in such cunning disguise that we never detect the resemblance until the damage is done.
It's surprising how many persons go through life without ever recognizing that their feelings toward other people are largely determined by their feelings toward themselves, and if you're not comfortable within yourself, you can't be comfortable with others.
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.
When we have 'second thoughts' about something, our first thoughts don't seem like thoughts at all - just feelings.
A famously wise old man in a village was once asked how he came by his wisdom.
"I got it from my good judgment," he answered. And where did his good judgment come from? "I got it from my bad judgment."
There are always too many Democratic congressmen, too many Republican congressmen, and never enough U.S. congressmen.
We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we have stopped saying 'It got lost,' and say, 'I lost it.'
If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size?
"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.
Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own.
When we inform, we lead from strength;
when we communicate, we lead from weakness—and it is precisely this confession of mortality that engages the ears, heads and hearts of those we want to enlist as allies in a common cause.
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?
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.
A winner rebukes and forgives; a loser is too timid to rebuke and too petty to forgive.
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.
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.
If you cannot endure to be thought in the wrong, you will begin to do terrible things to make the wrong appear right.
Ninety per cent of the world's woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves -- so how can we know anyone else?
Ninety per cent of the world's woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves - so how can we know anyone else?
We evaluate others with a Godlike justice, but we want them to evaluate us with a Godlike compassion.
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.
Good teaching must be slow enough so that it is not confusing, and fast enough so that it is not boring.
The greatest enemy of progress is not stagnation, but false progress.
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.
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.
Maturity begins when we're content to feel we're right about something without feeling the necessity to prove someone else wrong.
The pessimist sees only the tunnel; the optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel; the realist sees the tunnel and the light - and the next tunnel.
Ancient boundaries are meaningless, except for political purposes;
old divisions of clan and tribe are sentimental remnants of the pre-atomic age; neither creed nor color nor place of origin is relevant to the realities of modern power to utterly seek and destroy.
Elitism is the slur directed at merit by mediocrity.
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 truly possess only what we are able to renounce;
otherwise, we are simply possessed by our possessions.
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.
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.
A loser says that's the way it's always been done. A winner says there ought to be a better way.
Confidence, once lost or betrayed, can never be restored again to the same measure; and we learn too late in life that our acts of deception are irrevocable - they may be forgiven, but they cannot be forgotten by their victims.
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.
Sometimes the best, and only effective, way to kill an idea is to put it into practice.
The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught.
Intolerance is the most socially acceptable form of egotism, for it permits us to assume superiority without personal boasting.
People who won't help others in trouble "because they got into trouble through their own fault" would probably not throw a lifeline to a drowning person until they learned whether that person fell in through his or her own fault or not.
It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, 'the greatest', but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is.