Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters.
— meaningless quotation by John Wooden
Freedom of speech and freedom of action are meaningless without freedom to think. And there is no freedom of thought without doubt.
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
- The Hollow Men
Clutter is the disease of American writing.
We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.
Practice without improvement is meaningless.
The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause... A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding; when it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business.
Literature is the expression of a feeling of deprivation, a recourse against a sense of something missing. But the contrary is also true: language is what makes us human. It is a recourse against the meaningless noise and silence of nature and history.
More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads.
One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.I speak, by the way, not with any sense of futility, but with a panicky conviction of the absolute meaninglessness of existence which could easily be misinterpreted as pessimism. It is not. It is merely a healthy concern for the predicament of modern man.
One of the grotesqueries of present-day American life is the amount of reasoning that goes into displaying the wisdom secreted in bad movies while proving that modern art is meaningless. They have put into practice the notion that a bad art work cleverly interpreted according to some obscure Method is more rewarding than a masterpiece wrapped in silence.
At birth man is offered only one choice --the choice of his death.
But if this choice is governed by distaste for his own existence, his life will never have been more than meaningless.
The danger of the past was that men became slaves.
The danger of the future is that men may become robots. True enough, robots do not rebel. But given man's nature, robots cannot live and remain sane, they become Golems, they will destroy their world and themselves because they cannot stand any longer the boredom of a meaningless life.
We have created an industrial order geared to automatism, where feeble-mindedness, native or acquired, is necessary for docile productivity in the factory; and where a pervasive neurosis is the final gift of the meaningless life that issues forth at the other end.
Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.Meaning doesn't lie in things. Meaning lies in us. When we attach value to things that aren't love - the money, the car, the house, the prestige - we are loving things that can't love us back. We are searching for meaning in the meaningless. Money, of itself, means nothing. Material things, of themselves, mean nothing. It's not that they're bad. It's that they're nothing.
Unable to create a meaningful life for itself, the personality takes its own revenge: from the lower depths comes a regressive form of spontaneity: raw animality forms a counterpoise to the meaningless stimuli and the vicarious life to which the ordinary man is conditioned. Getting spiritual nourishment from this chaos of events, sensations, and devious interpretations is the equivalent of trying to pick through a garbage pile for food.
All your life you are told the things you cannot do.
All your life they will say you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly.AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES.
The trouble with Reason is that it becomes meaningless at the exact point where it refuses to act.
Everyone in our culture wants to win a prize.
Perhaps that is the grand lesson we have taken with us from kindergarten in the age of perversions of Dewey-style education: everyone gets a ribbon, and praise becomes a meaningless narcotic to soothe egoistic distemper.
What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.
You must have failed deeply on some level or experienced some deep loss or pain to be drawn to the spiritual dimension. Or perhaps your very success became empty and meaningless and so turned out to be a failure.
No man or woman is an island. To exist just for yourself is meaningless. You can achieve the most satisfaction when you feel related to some greater purpose in life, something greater than yourself.
We were that generation called silent, but we were silent neither, as some thought, because we shared the period's official optimism nor, as others thought, because we feared its official repression. We were silent because the exhilaration of social action seemed to many of us just one more way of escaping the personal, of masking for a while that dread of the meaningless which was man's fate.
The first myth to dispel is that Africa is not a country.
It's made up of 53 different countries. So to say 'invest in Africa' is a no-go. It's meaningless.
Academics act like they are important, but when something is academic it is meaningless. People say, 'It's academic, now let's get work done.'
Awards are meaningless to me, and I have nothing but disdain for anyone who actively campaigns to get one.
If you're just saying, hey, I'm doing this.
I'm working to make money. I'm working to increase my status. If that's all there is, I think you will find out that it's meaningless.
All the crap that we've encumbered our lives with, it's really meaningless.
Punishment is now unfashionable... because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.