June 1

  • If the mind is to emerge unscathed from this relentless struggle with the unforeseen, two qualities are indispensable: first, an intellect that, even in the darkest hour, retains some glimmerings of the inner light which leads to truth; and second, the courage to follow this faint light wherever it may lead.

    Carl von Clausewitz (born 1 June 1780) Prussian general and influential military theorist
  • There are times when the utmost daring is the height of wisdom.

    Carl von Clausewitz (born 1 June 1780) Prussian general and influential military theorist
  • There is a legend about a bird that sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. Dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of the great pain. … Or so says the legend.

    Colleen McCullough (born 1 June 1937) Australian author

June 2

  • The Poet's License! — 't is the right,
    Within the rule of duty,
    To look on all delightful things
    Throughout the world of beauty. To gaze with rapture at the stars
    That in the skies are glowing;
    To see the gems of perfect dye
    That in the woods are growing, —
    And more than sage astronomer,
    And more than learned florist,
    To read the glorious homilies
    Of Firmament and Forest.

    John Godfrey Saxe (born 2 June 1816) American poet
  • The capacity to produce social chaos is the last resort of desperate people.

    Cornel West (born 2 June 1953) African-American scholar and public intellectual
  • The ancient pulse of germ and birth
    Was shrunken hard and dry,
    And every spirit upon earth
    Seemed fervourless as I. At once a voice arose among
    The bleak twigs overhead
    In a full-hearted evensong
    Of joy illimited;
    An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
    In blast-beruffled plume,
    Had chosen thus to fling his soul
    Upon the growing gloom.So little cause for carolings
    Of such ecstatic sound
    Was written on terrestrial things
    Afar or nigh around,
    That I could think there trembled through
    His happy good-night air
    Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
    And I was unaware.

    Thomas Hardy (born 2 June 1840) English novelist, short story writer and poet

June 3

  • It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little.

    Sydney Smith (born 3 June 1771) English clergyman, critic, and philosopher
  • When government disappears, it's not as if paradise will take its place. When governments are gone, other interests will take their place.

    Lawrence Lessig (born 3 June 1961) American academic and political activist
  • You can't incent a dead person. No matter what we do, Hawthorne will not produce any more works, no matter how much we pay him.

    Lawrence Lessig (born 3 June 1961) American academic and political activist

June 4

  • I recall an old Sufi story of a good man who was granted one wish by God. The man said he would like to go about doing good without knowing about it. God granted his wish. And then God decided that it was such a good idea, he would grant that wish to all human beings.
    And so it has been to this day.

    Robert Fulghum (born 4 June 1937) American author
  • To insist on one's place in the scheme of things and to live up to that place.
    To empower others in their reaching for some place in the scheme of things.
    To do these things is to make fairy tales come true.

    Robert Fulghum (born 4 June 1937) American author
  • Knowledge is meaningful only if it is reflected in action. The human race has found out the hard way that we are what we do, not just what we think. This is true for kids and adults — for schoolrooms and nations.

    Robert Fulghum (born 4 June 1937) American author

June 5

  • It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.

    John Maynard Keynes (born 5 June 1883) British economist
  • Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking.

    John Maynard Keynes (born 5 June 1883) British economist
  • The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.

    John Maynard Keynes (born 5 June 1883) British economist

June 6

  • Do your duty, and leave the rest to heaven.

    Pierre Corneille (born 6 June 1606) French tragedian
  • I can be forced to live without happiness, but I will never consent to live without honor.

    Pierre Corneille (born 6 June 1606) French tragedian
  • I will keep faith with death in my heart, yet will remember that faith with death and the dead is only wickedness and dark voluptuousness and enmity against humankind, if it is given power over our thought and contemplation. For the sake of goodness and love, man shall let death have no sovereignty over his thoughts. And with that, I wake up.

    Thomas Mann (born 6 June 1875) German novelist, short story writer and social critic

June 7

  • Our earth is round, and, among other things, that means that you and I can hold completely different points of view and both be right. The difference of our positions will show stars in your window I cannot even imagine. Your sky may burn with light, while mine, at the same moment, spreads beautiful to darkness. Still we must choose how we separately corner the circling universe of our experience. Once chosen, our cornering will determine the message of any star and darkness we encounter.

    June JordanAfrican-American political activist, writer and poet
  • A young man who is unable to commit a folly is already an old man.

    Paul Gauguin (born 7 June 1848) French Post-Impressionist painter
  • Art hurts. Art urges voyages — and it is easier to stay at home.

    Gwendolyn Brooks (born 7 June 1917) American poet

June 8

  • The scientist has marched in and taken the place of the poet. But one day somebody will find the solution to the problems of the world and remember, it will be a poet, not a scientist.

    Frank Lloyd Wright (born 8 June 1867) American architect
  • History does not always repeat itself. Sometimes it just yells, "Can't you remember anything I told you?" and lets fly with a club.

    John W. Campbell (born 8 June 1910) American science fiction editor and writer
  • Our civil laws will never be supple enough to fit the immense and changing variety of facts. Laws change more slowly than custom, and though dangerous when they fall behind the times are more dangerous still when they presume to anticipate custom.

    Marguerite Yourcenar (born 8 June 1903) Belgian-born French novelist

June 9

  • In olden days a glimpse of stocking
    Was looked on as something shocking
    But now, Heaven knows,
    Anything goes.

    Cole Porter (born 9 June 1891) American composer and songwriter
  • Be a clown, be a clown,
    All the world loves a clown.
    Act the fool, play the calf,
    And you'll always have the last laugh.

    Cole Porter (born 9 June 1891) American composer and songwriter
  • Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above.
    Don't fence me in.
    Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
    Don't fence me in. Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze
    And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
    Send me off forever but I ask you please
    Don't fence me in.

    Cole Porter (born 9 June 1891) American composer and songwriter

June 10

  • Most joyful let the Poet be;
    It is through him that all men see.

    William Ellery ChanningUnitarian preacher in the United States
  • We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.

    E. O. Wilson (born 10 June 1929) American entomologist, researcher and biologist
  • Apparently the rise of consciousness is linked to certain kinds of privation. It is the bitterness of self-consciousness that we knowers know best. Critical of the illusions that sustained mankind in earlier times, this self-consciousness of ours does little to sustain us now. The question is: which is disenchanted, the world itself or the consciousness we have of it?

    Saul Bellow (born 10 June 1915) Canadian-born American writer

June 11

  • There is nothing ugly; I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may, — light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful.

    John Constable (born 11 June 1776) English Romantic painter
  • Talking and eloquence are not the same: to speak, and to speak well, are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.

    Ben Jonson (born 11 June 1572) English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor
  • Drink to me only with thine eyes,
    And I will pledge with mine;
    Or leave a kiss but in the cup
    And I'll not look for wine.

    Ben Jonson (born 11 June 1572) English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor

June 12

  • My knowledge of pain, learned with the sabre, taught me not to be afraid. And just as in dueling when you must concentrate on your enemy's cheek, so, too, in war. You cannot waste time on feinting and sidestepping. You must decide on your target and go in.

    Otto Skorzeny (born 12 June 1908) Austrian Lieutenant Colonel in the German Waffen-SS during World War II
  • We are adhering to life now with our last muscle — the heart.

    Djuna Barnes (born 12 June 1892) American novelist, poet, and playwright
  • Everyone's got the same insecurities as you
    Believe me it is true
    Do not be afraid
    To show people the real you.

    Justin Heazlewood (born 12 June 1980) Australian writer, humourist and musician

June 13

  • A line will take us hours maybe;
    Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,
    Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
    Better go down upon your marrow-bones
    And scrub a kitchen pavement, or break stones
    Like an old pauper, in all kinds of weather;
    For to articulate sweet sounds together
    Is to work harder than all these, and yet
    Be thought an idler by the noisy set
    Of bankers, schoolmasters, and clergymen
    The martyrs call the world.

    William Butler Yeats (born 13 June 1865) Irish poet, dramatist and mystic
  • So long as all is ordered for attack, and that alone, leaders will instinctively increase the number of enemies that they may give their followers something to do.

    William Butler Yeats (born 13 June 1865) Irish poet, dramatist and mystic
  • I am content to follow to its source
    Every event in action or in thought;
    Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
    When such as I cast out remorse
    So great a sweetness flows into the breast
    We must laugh and we must sing,
    We are blest by everything,
    Everything we look upon is blest.

    William Butler Yeats (born 13 June 1865) Irish poet, dramatist and mystic

June 14

  • The Zen disciple sits for long hours silent and motionless, with his eyes closed. Presently he enters a state of impassivity, free from all ideas and all thoughts. He departs from the self and enters the realm of nothingness. This is not the nothingness or the emptiness of the West. It is rather the reverse, a universe of the spirit in which everything communicates freely with everything, transcending bounds, limitless. … The disciple must, however, always be lord of his own thoughts, and must attain enlightenment through his own efforts. And the emphasis is less upon reason and argument than upon intuition, immediate feeling. Enlightenment comes not from teaching but through the eye awakened inwardly. Truth is in "the discarding of words", it lies "outside words".

    Yasunari Kawabata (born 14 June 1899) Japanese short story writer and novelist
  • True love ennobles and dignifies the material labors of life; and homely services rendered for love's sake have in them a poetry that is immortal.

    Harriet Beecher Stowe (born 14 June 1811) American abolitionist and writer, famous for "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
  • Fiction has to be plausible. All history has to do is happen.

    Harry Turtledove (born 14 June 1949) American novelist and historian

June 15

  • The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps cool.

    William McFee (born 15 June 1881) British writer
  • I protect my right to be a Catholic by preserving your right to believe as a Jew, a Protestant, or non-believer, or as anything else you choose. We know that the price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that they might some day force theirs on us.

    Mario Cuomo (born 15 June 1932) American lawyer and politician
  • There are some men whom a staggering emotional shock, so far from making them mental invalids for life, seems, on the other hand, to awaken, to galvanize, to arouse into an almost incredible activity of soul.

    William McFee (born 15 June 1881) British writer

June 16

  • A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals to discovery.

    James Joyce in "Ulysses"Irish novelist and poet
  • When you're 50 you start thinking about things you haven’t thought about before. I used to think getting old was about vanity — but actually it's about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial.

    Joyce Carol Oates (born 16 June 1938) American author
  • It is as painful perhaps to be awakened from a vision as to be born.

    James Joyce in "Ulysses"Irish novelist and poet

June 17

  • Whether one believes in evolution, intelligent design, or Divine Creation, one thing is certain. Since the beginning of history, human beings have been at war with each other, under the pretext of religion, ideology, ethnicity and other reasons. And no civilization has ever willingly given up its most powerful weapons. We seem to agree today that we can share modern technology, but we still refuse to acknowledge that our values — at their very core — are shared values.

    Mohamed ElBaradei (born 17 June 1942) Egyptian diplomat
  • Our security strategies have not yet caught up with the risks we are facing. The globalization that has swept away the barriers to the movement of goods, ideas and people has also swept with it barriers that confined and localized security threats.

    Mohamed ElBaradei (born 17 June 1942) Egyptian diplomat
  • The result of the struggle between the thought and the ability to express it, between dream and reality, is seldom more than a compromise or an approximation.

    M. C. Escher (born 17 June 1898) Dutch artist

June 18

  • The history of a battle, is not unlike the history of a ball. Some individuals may recollect all the little events of which the great result is the battle won or lost, but no individual can recollect the order in which, or the exact moment at which, they occurred, which makes all the difference as to their value or importance.

    Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of WellingtonAnglo-Irish soldier and statesman
  • Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.

    Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of WellingtonAnglo-Irish soldier and statesman
  • It is an interesting law of romance that a truly strong woman will choose a strong man who disagrees with her over a weak one who goes along. Strength demands intelligence, intelligence demands stimulation, and weakness is boring. It is better to find a partner you can contend with for a lifetime than one who accommodates you because he doesn't really care.

    Roger Ebert (born 18 June 1942) American Chicago Sun-Times film critic

June 19

  • The wellspring of courage and endurance in the face of unbridled power is generally a firm belief in the sanctity of ethical principles combined with a historical sense that despite all setbacks the condition of man is set on an ultimate course for both spiritual and material advancement. At the root of human responsibility is the concept of perfection, the urge to achieve it, the intelligence to find a path towards it, and the will to follow that path if not to the end at least the distance needed to rise above individual limitations and environmental impediments. It is man's vision of a world fit for rational, civilized humanity which leads him to dare and to suffer to build societies free from want and fear. Concepts such as truth, justice and compassion cannot be dismissed as trite when these are often the only bulwarks which stand against ruthless power.

    Aung San Suu Kyi (born 19 June 1945) Burmese non-violent pro-democracy social activist
  • The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.

    Aung San Suu Kyi (born 19 June 1945) Burmese non-violent pro-democracy social activist
  • The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution of the spirit, the forces which produced the iniquities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance and fear.

    Aung San Suu Kyi (born 19 June 1945) Burmese non-violent pro-democracy social activist

June 20

  • Humor — it helps to make the vibe better — it loosens up the vibrations.

    Brian Wilson (born 20 June 1942) American pop musician, founding member of "The Beach Boys"
  • For every man who lives without freedom, the rest of us must face the guilt.

    Lillian Hellman (born 20 June 1905) American playwright
  • The Tennessee stud was long and lean
    The color of the sun and his eyes were green.
    He had the nerve and he had the blood
    And there never was a hoss like the Tennessee stud.

    Jimmy Driftwood (born 20 June 1907) American folk songwriter and musician

June 21

  • God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Reinhold Niebuhr (born 21 June 1892) American Protestant theologian
  • Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact.

    Ralph Waldo EmersonAmerican lecturer, essayist and poet
  • There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet. … To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food.

    Ralph Waldo EmersonAmerican lecturer, essayist and poet

June 22

  • This earth is one of the rare spots in the cosmos where mind has flowered. Man is a product of nearly three billion years of evolution, in whose person the evolutionary process has at last become conscious of itself and its possibilities. Whether he likes it or not, he is responsible for the whole further evolution of our planet.

    Julian Huxley (born 22 June 1887) English evolutionary biologist, author and humanist
  • If we glance at the most important revolutions in history, we are at no loss to perceive that the greatest number of these originated in the periodical revolutions of the human mind.

    Wilhelm von Humboldt (born 22 June 1767) German philosopher, founder of Humboldt Universität in Berlin, Germany
  • In tradition and in books an integral part of the individual persists, for it can influence the minds and actions of other people in different places and at different times: a row of black marks on a page can move a man to tears, though the bones of him that wrote it are long ago crumbled to dust. In truth, the whole progress of civilization is based upon this power.

    Julian Huxley (born 22 June 1887) English evolutionary biologist, author and humanist

June 23

  • I've woven them a garment that's prepared
    out of poor words, those that I overheard,
    and will hold fast to every word and glance
    all of my days, even in new mischance,
    and if a gag should bind my tortured mouth,
    through which a hundred million people shout,
    then let them pray for me, as I do pray
    for them, this eve of my remembrance day.

    Anna Akhmatova (born 23 June 1889) Russian poet
  • We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.

    Alan Turing (born 23 June 1912) British mathematician and cryptographer
  • As a white stone in the well's cool deepness,
    There lays in me one wonderful remembrance.
    I am not able and don't want to miss this:
    It is my torture and my utter gladness. I think, that he whose look will be directed
    Into my eyes, at once will see it whole.

    Anna Akhmatova (born 23 June 1889) Russian poet

June 24

  • Guilt, n. The condition of one who is known to have committed an indiscretion, as distinguished from the state of him who has covered his tracks.

    Ambrose Bierce (born 24 June 1842) American satirist, critic, short story writer, editor and journalist
  • All I do is done in love; all I suffer, I suffer in the sweetness of love.

    John of the Cross (born 24 June 1542) Spanish Carmelite mystic and poet
  • Acquaintance, n. A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.

    Ambrose Bierce (born 24 June 1842) American satirist, critic, short story writer, editor and journalist

June 25

  • If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

    George Orwell (born 25 June 1903) British novelist, essayist, and journalist, famous for "Animal Farm"
  • By "nationalism" I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled "good" or "bad." … By "patriotism" I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseperable from the desire for power.

    George Orwell (born 25 June 1903) British novelist, essayist, and journalist, famous for "Animal Farm"
  • We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men. … Bully-worship, under various disguises, has become a universal religion, and such truisms as that a machine-gun is still a machine-gun even when a "good" man is squeezing the trigger … have turned into heresies which it is actually becoming dangerous to utter.

    George Orwell (born 25 June 1903) British novelist, essayist, and journalist, famous for "Animal Farm"

June 26

  • Heal the world, make it a better place,
    For you and for me and the entire human race,
    There are people dying, but if you care enough for the living,
    Make a better place for you and for me.

    Michael JacksonAmerican recording artist, entertainer, most famous for "Thriller"
  • Every event has had its cause, and nothing, not the least wind that blows, is accident or causeless.

    Pearl S. Buck (born 26 June 1892) prolific American writer
  • An intelligent, energetic, educated woman cannot be kept in four walls — even satin-lined, diamond-studded walls — without discovering sooner or later that they are still a prison cell.

    Pearl S. Buck (born 26 June 1892) Prolific American writer

June 27

  • Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope.

    Helen Keller (born 27 June 1880) American writer and social activist
  • We differ, blind and seeing, one from another, not in our senses, but in the use we make of them, in the imagination and courage with which we seek wisdom beyond the senses.

    Helen Keller (born 27 June 1880) American writer and social activist
  • The bulk of the world’s knowledge is an imaginary construction.

    Helen Keller (born 27 June 1880) American writer and social activist

June 28

  • Never dream of forcing men into the ways of God. Think yourself, and let think. Use no constraint in matters of religion. Even those who are farthest out of the way never compel to come in by any other means than reason, truth, and love.

    John Wesley (born 28 June 1703) English preacher, and founder of the Methodist movement
  • Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (born 28 June 1712) Franco-Swiss philosopher of Enlightenment
  • Good laws lead to the making of better ones; bad ones bring about worse.

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (born 28 June 1712) Franco-Swiss philosopher of Enlightenment

June 29

  • What makes the desert beautiful … is that somewhere it hides a well.

    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in "The Little Prince" (born 29 June 1900) French writer, poet and aviator
  • Here is my secret. It is very simple. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.

    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (born 29 June 1900) French writer, poet and aviator
  • What though our eyes with tears be wet?
    The sunrise never failed us yet. The blush of dawn may yet restore
    Our light and hope and joy once more.
    Sad soul, take comfort, nor forget
    That sunrise never failed us yet!

    Celia Thaxter (born 29 June 1835) American writer of poetry and stories

June 30

  • I think that I am here, on this earth,
    To present a report on it, but to whom I don't know.
    As if I were sent so that whatever takes place
    Has meaning because it changes into memory.

    Czesław Miłosz (born 30 June 1911) Polish poet and essayist
  • Life is a jest, and all things show it,
    I thought so once, and now I know it.

    John Gay (born 30 June 1685) English poet and dramatist
  • Before the five senses were opened, and earlier than any beginning
    They waited, ready, for all those who would call themselves mortals,
    So that they might praise, as I do, life, that is, happiness.

    Czesław Miłosz (born 30 June 1911) Polish poet and essayist
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