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Quotations about Attitude

If you had a choice, and you do, would you rather go through life feeling entitled or blessed? ~Robert Brault,

I may not overcome the inevitable, but O, it is mine to see that the inevitable does not overcome me. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1995

At any rate, I remain cheerful — if only through some inner necessity. Cheerfulness will prevail. I believe it in my bones... While there is a chance of the world getting through its troubles I hold that a reasonable man has to behave as though he was sure of it. If at the end your cheerfulness is not justified, at any rate you will have been cheerful. ~H. G. Wells, Apropos of Dolores, 1938

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

With dawn will come the sun and a new day — how often we forget the wonder of that simply because we are accustomed to it! ~Cid Ricketts Sumner, "Come out, come out, whoever you are!," A View from the Hill, 1957

The great thing about a positive attitude is that it creates its own ambiance. It is its own scenic overlook, its own cozy fire, its own sunset on the water. ~Robert Brault,

To be interested in the changing seasons is... a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring. ~George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1905

Occasionally it's good to pause, take a moment and remind yourself of the things in your life that are just fine. ~Robert Brault,

Heredity is much, environment is much, but I am much more. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

I've decided that the stuff falling through the cracks is confetti and I'm having a party! ~Betsy Cañas Garmon, @wildthyme, tweet, 2009,

Pain can make you give up completely, or pain can make you start over again. It's totally up to you. ~James Jones, My 600-lb Life [S2, E7, 2014]

Out from the rut, and on to the foothills, up toward the mountain; out from defeat, out from disaster; out, out, out!... Rise, rise from the ashes, rise from the ruins, rise from chaos, rise from the wreck... Are your eyes upon the mountain, and have you a purpose? Well, then, prepare for a struggle, for the heights do not give up their secrets easily. ~Charles F. Raymond, "Excelsior!," Just Be Glad, 1907

Above all, don't go gunning for gloom. It was a pious thought that got loose when that guy wrote "Laugh and Grow Fat," to which might be added — Grin and grow gracious. ~James P. Haverson (1880–1954), "The Hunch — A Preface," Sour Sonnets of a Sorehead & Other Songs of the Street, 1908

The most real thing is one's own soul. That may be set down as an axiom; and being true, the real business of life is to keep one's soul in the state of harmony, of love, of joy, in which along is the condition of creative activity. As the most real thing is the soul, so the most unreal thing is any quality opposed to spiritual states, — as envy, hatred, or despair. The circumstances or events that throw us into any of these conditions render us negative to true advancement. And so, measuring life by the ideal, one has no moral right to let himself be so disappointed or depressed or disturbed as to be in any wise turned aside from his real business, — the right living. ~Lilian Whiting (1847–1942), "To Clasp Eternal Beauty: The True Realities," The World Beautiful: Second Series, 1896

When you want to do something, your energy kicks in. ~Hoda Kotb, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, to Ellen, airdate 2020 January 29th

I do not bemoan misfortune. To me there is no misfortune. I welcome whatever comes; I go out gladly to meet it. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers," in The Open Court, August 1903

Scorn not thy narrow task. For He who made
The brilliant stars and moon to gild the night,
Placed the small glow-worm in earth's woodland shade,
And bade her too shed forth her tiny light.
~Fanny Charlotte Wyndham Montgomery (1820–1893), "When with a tired soul," 1846

Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. ~Bahá’u’lláh

The only disability in life is a bad attitude. ~Scott Hamilton

It is observed that a depression of spirits develops the germs of a plague in individuals and nations. It is an old commendation of right behavior, "Aliis lætus, sapiens sibi," which our English proverb translates, "Be merry and  wise." I know how easy it is to men of the world to look grave and sneer at your sanguine youth, and its glittering dreams. But I find the gayest castles in the air that were ever piled, far better for comfort and for use, than the dungeons in the air that are daily dug and caverned out by grumbling, discontented people. I know those miserable fellows, and I hate them, who see a black star always riding through the light and colored clouds in the sky overhead: waves of light pass over and hide it for a moment, but the black star keeps fast in the zenith. But power dwells with cheerfulness; hope puts us in a working mood, whilst despair is no muse, and untunes the active powers. A man should make life and Nature happier to us, or he had better never been born. When the political economist reckons up the unproductive classes, he should put at the head this class of pitiers of themselves, cravers of sympathy, bewailing imaginary disasters. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Considerations By the Way," The Conduct of Life, 1860

Talk happiness.  The world is sad enough
      Without your woe. No path is wholly rough.
      Look for the places that are smooth and clear,
      And speak of them to rest the weary ear
      Of earth; so hurt by one continuous strain
      Of mortal discontent and grief and pain...
Talk health.  The dreary, never-ending tale
      Of mortal maladies is worn and stale;
      You cannot charm or interest or please
      By harping on that minor chord, disease.
      Say you are well, or all is well with you,
      And God shall hear your words and make them true.
~Ella Wheeler Wilcox, "Speech," Poems of Power, 1901

It is much more exciting to do hard things; anybody can do easy things. ~Freda Pepper, c. 1940  [a little altered —tg]

I'd sooner smile
      Than weep,
      A heap.
I'd rather laugh
      Than fret,
      You bet.
~James P. Haverson (1880–1954), Sour Sonnets of a Sorehead & Other Songs of the Street, 1908

I am a mortal being living in a vast, timeless universe. If today I am happy — or, indeed, if today I am sad — then of course I am blowing something out of proportion. ~Robert Brault,, 2019

Think you to‑morrow when the fulness of life's treasure is mine, that it will hold aught that is new or strange to me? I tell you that I long have known each masterpiece that hangs upon the walls of my To Be, and each royal robe that I shall wear was spun from starshine in my dreams; and not a jewel shall rest upon my brow but whose strange light has long enchanted me, and not a strain shall rise to charm my ear but whose far melody has long been playing in my soul. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904

Whatever is, is best. ~Ella Wheeler Wilcox, "My Faith"

Once you see yourself as a victim of circumstance, there will always be, in the way of everything you might achieve, a circumstance. ~Robert Brault,

Try to look on the bright side of things; if the bright side is not immediately evident, keep looking. It is better to be busy than depressed. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,

The day returns and brings us the petty round of irritating concerns and duties. Help us to play the man, help us to perform them with laughter and kind faces, let cheerfulness abound with industry. Give us to go blithely on our business all this day, bring us to our resting beds weary and content and undishonoured, and grant us in the end the gift of sleep. ~Robert Louis Stevenson, "At Morning," Prayers Written at Vailima, 1890

You come to realize that life's daily irritations are just things that happen. They only become irritations if you supply the irritability. ~Robert Brault,

Better than tiaras — the diadem of freedom.
Better than broad acres — a garden of heartsease.
Better than mines of gold — a mint of dreams.
Better than bars of molten silver — the silver of a laugh.
Better than strings of pearls — the crystal of a tear.
Better than bands of choristers — a lute in the soul.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers," in The Open Court, August 1903

Ridicule is only a shower; hoist your umbrella and let it rain. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

Umbrellas that are up when Days are duller,
Instead of being Dark should glow with Color.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Cheeriness," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

Oft expectation fails and most oft there
Where most it promises, and oft it hits
Where hope is coldest and despair most fits.
~William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, c.1602  [II, 1, Helena]

No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent. ~William Ellery Channing, 1838

Grit is It. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

Staying positive is one of the hardest fights, though I'm happy I'm in it. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet, tweet, 2010

What is possible? What you will. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

To-day the wind blows bleak and chill,
The sun is hid behind the mist,
But, with the morn, each dale and hill
Shall with his glad'ning beams be kissed—
And so, my dear, cheer up—you'll find
Each sombre cloud is silver lined...
~Kimball Chase Tapley, "To-day and To-morrow," 1800s

Sometimes life's Hell. But hey! Whatever gets the marshmallows toasty. ~J. Andrew Helt

A happy tear, sweet, sad,
a moment when your heart is bursting
with sunrays to drown out all that's bad.
~Gunda Fijnje-Nolan, @godutch, September 25th 2009 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden

...what counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight — it's the size of the fight in the dog. ~Dwight Eisenhower, address to Republican National Committee, 1958

Resolve is what makes a man manliest; — not puny resolve, not crude determination, not errant purpose, — but that strong, and indefatigable will, which treads down difficulties and danger, as a boy treads down the heaving frost-lands of winter; — which kindles his eye and brain, with a proud pulse-beat toward the unattainable. Will makes men giants. ~Ik Marvel (Donald Grant Mitchell, 1822–1908), Dream Life: A Fable of the Seasons

I knew it, too, but my resolve was taken, the world was wide, and I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum. ~Frances E. Willard, Glimpses of Fifty Years: The Autobiography of an American Woman, 1889

Two people can have a middling day, but one rounds up and the other rounds down. ~Robert Brault,

Am I the victim of misplaced zeal, or misdirected force and energy? I dig and sweat in the furrows, when there are sky-furrows awaiting the kiss of my plow's bright steel.... I have minded spigots, when it was mine to tend the seas. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring" (XV & XVII), A Soul's Faring, 1921  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

I will have a care lest my burden rest all too long where my wings might have grown. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

When you decide to graduate from your regrets and disappointments, there is a brilliant career waiting for you called LIFE. ~Dodinsky

Pilgrim, look up!... Look up in the early morning when the sun comes peeping, greeting you with a smile... Look up when you see the even star, when the heavens are brilliant with nature's good-night kiss. ~Charles F. Raymond, "Look Up," Just Be Glad, 1907

Like that Rare Stone of Alchemists of old,
Good Humor turns the Dross of Life to Gold.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Hardihood," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

That some good can be derived from every event is a better proposition than that everything happens for the best, which it assuredly does not. ~James K. Feibleman, The Way of a Man: An Autobiography, 1969

Positive thinking does not mean trying to create something that is not there. Real positive thinking acknowledges that good already exists — indeed it is all that exists. ~Alan Cohen, 1987

Nothing so absurd as to sit down and wring your hands because all the good which may happen to you in twenty years has not taken place at this precise moment. ~Sydney Smith, "A Little Moral Advice: A Fragment on the Cultivation and Improvement of the Animal Spirits"

In a day and age when all manner of things are believed against contrary evidence — hey, why not believe there's a little good in everyone. ~Robert Brault, 2017,

If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. ~Roald Dahl, The Twits, 1980

Don't waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

      Try it.
      Find the good. It's all around you. Find it, showcase it and you'll start believing in it. And so will most of the people who come into contact with you.
      Showcase the good.
      Believe in it.
      It's real, baby.
~Jesse Owens with Paul G. Neimark, "Showcase the Good," Blackthink: My Life as Black Man and White Man, 1970

You can't count the bad things that happen. They don't count against life. They are life. Only count the good things. Let every blessing strengthen you. ~Terri Guillemets

If you can wear the hard times of your life as furrows on your brow, you can wear the good times as a twinkle in your eye. ~Robert Brault,

A car can't operate without the mechanical systems working, but it can operate with a few dents and scratches..., you are the same. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2009

They may destroy your rose gardens, but no harm has been done, so that they have not destroyed your urge for roses. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Much in a Basket: VIII," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

The light is always shining, to see it we must stop focusing on the shadows it casts. ~Kim Clarkin, @Kimberleyhaa, December 2009 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden

Be the light in the dark, be the calm in the storm and be at peace while at war. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2009

If you allow momentary defeats to find shelter in your heart, you are allowing your most beautiful dreams to become homeless. ~Dodinsky

Two kinds of things that should not vex a Man,
Are Those he cannot help — and Those he can.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Health," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

Belief in defeat has defeated many men. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

It rests with me whether I sit sifting through the night, or rise up and ride away in the chariot drawn by the white steeds of my yearning. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: XIV," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

Win or lose, every time you do something in life be positive about it, be proud of the progress you're making. ~Troy Mullins, 2018

I will not endeavor to forget my sorrow by belittling it. Let my sorrow remain what it is, but O lift me up to mightier proportions. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904

And yet we go on living, day by day, in a grind which has the inexorable "More" set as an iron-lash task master over it, when we might, by the exercise of a little wise discretion change it to the smiling goddess "Enough," in whose hand is the unfailing horn of plenty. ~William Ellis, 1899

What if, for a change, you let the same old things make you happy and insisted that the things that make you sad be new and different? ~Robert Brault,

A nasty day! A nasty day!
'Twas thus I heard a critic say
Because the skies were bleak and gray—
And yet it somehow seemed to me
The day was all that it should be.
I looked it very closely o'er;
Its hours still were twenty-four,
With sixty minutes each—no less—
For deeds of good and helpfulness;
And every second full of chance
To give the day significance;
And every hour full of growth
For everybody but the sloth—
I couldn't see it quite that way,
For though the skies were bleak and gray
The day itself, it seemed to me,
Was all a day could rightly be.
~John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922), "A Protest" (February Fourteenth), The Cheery Way: A Bit of Verse For Every Day, 1920

One needs a light spirit to bear a heavy fate. ~Danish proverb

Fast or slow, I'll reach the top!
Birds that cannot Fly can Hop.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Self-Reliance," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

Pluck... That means having the courage to do hard things and the things that are right. ~J. F. Cowan, "What Ailed Bob's Luck?," in Christian Work, 1899

O Brother, you are essentially thought,
All the rest of you is bone and sinew,
If your thoughts are rose-like, you are a rose-garden
If they are thorn-like, you are fuel for the furnace.
~Rumi, translated by Edward Henry Whinfield

To‑day I am a serf, but to‑morrow is the day of manumission. To‑day I will make a survey, but to‑morrow I will reset the stakes. To‑day I slash in the shallows, but to‑morrow I will pass the danger line and swim the infinite sea. To‑day I walk the confines, but to‑morrow I will swing out into the illimitable. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904

Things turn out for the best for those who make the best out of the way things turn out. ~Author unknown, c.1961  []

On and on you will hike.
And I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are...
~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!, 1990

I like the man who takes the stones
Upon his rocky road
With smiling lips instead of groans,
Whate'er his heavy load
Who seizes each as on he goes,
And neatly crumbles it,
And turns his share of pebbly woes
To stores of inner grit.
~John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922), "Transformation" (February Fifteenth), The Cheery Way: A Bit of Verse For Every Day, 1920

...being flexible ensures that you meet with no limitations. It is often in the things you cannot change that you discover life's power to guide you. In a concrete world of mechanical sounds, you may forget that you are a natural creature in the great river of life. When a floating leaf encounters an obstacle, it begins to move in a circle. The potential power captured in the latent energy of the leaf as it turns in circles, reveals how you can access enormous energy by simply letting go. Let go and simply fall back into the great river; sometimes a necessary deluge is required to release you. Before philosophy and organized religion, nature was our only teacher. The greatest inspiration that nature can offer is how it transcends limitations. "Unattached, nothing can ever block your way." ~Kari Hohne (Taoist wisdom)

A river never beats its head against obstacles. It always goes around, and it always gets to the sea. ~Robert Brault,

An obstacle is not a roadblock — it is an inspiration for creative detours. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,

This is the best day the world has ever seen; tomorrow will be better. ~R.A. Campbell, quoted in Journal of Education, vol. 81, Boston University, 1915

I heard a fellow say, this morn, "I've had hard luck since I was born." Yet he was fixed with hands and feet, and health so good 'twas hard to beat. While he bemoaned his gloomy fate, and tried to keep his grouch on straight, and while some maudlin tears he shed, an ailing cripple forged ahead, ambition glowing in his eyes, and gathered in a handsome prize. A blind man, groping in the dark, in human annals made his mark. A sick man, toiling with his pen, produced a book that drew from men so loud a burst of honest praise, as cheered the balance of his days. A thousand brave, undaunted chaps, borne down by grievous handicaps, were struggling up life's rugged steep, too full of hopeful plans to weep. How pitiful the man who stands, with active lungs and idle hands, complaining of the luck he's had, since he was but a knee-high lad! ~Walt Mason (1862–1939), "The Luckless Man"

Care not what they say about the color of your skin let the brilliant light of your soul blind them. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2009

Only cheerful people know how to build Castles in the Air: gloomy folks rather build Caverns in the Earth... ~Thomas Clark Henley, A Handful of Paper Shavings, 1861 is going to be hard, terribly hard, to do these things quietly, steadily and patiently day after day and week after week, and if need be, as perhaps it will, year after year. That is the thing that is going to be hard, but we can do hard things, and let us do our part. ~Convention of the Colorado Bankers' Association, 1917

Don't mind the... daily road though it is rather dusty, but remember the brooks and the hills... ~Emily Dickinson, letter to brother, 1854

Life is life, until it is what we make of it. Hemp is hemp, — until it is a life-line or a hangman's rope. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad…
you should do what I do!
Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you're really quite lucky!
Some people are much more…
oh, ever so much more…
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!
~Dr. Seuss, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?, 1973

When it rains, it pours. You decide what comes down. ~Justin Uyehara

The harder you kick the other fellow the more you will hurt your foot. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

Once in a while we find those people who can be overwhelmed by nothing. They are really luminaries, and the dictionary defines a luminary as a body that gives off light. Some people are pitched head forward into a sea of trouble and come up smiling and strike out for the shore. ~Earl L. Douglas, "Don't eat your heart out," November 1963

We always think we'd be happier in some faraway place, as if you could catch a plane to a state of mind. ~Robert Brault,

So many problems, so many snags
      To untangle every day;
      So many perplexing things in life
      That keep us from being gay!
So many days that are drab and dull
      That we're filled with deepest woe,
      And we give way to discouragement,
      Our dangerous, mortal foe.—
A foe to our joy and happiness,
      A foe to our peace of mind,—
      It's something we all have to conquer
      If contentment we would find!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Our Mortal Foe," 1940s

A thousand snares are laid to catch our tripping feet
But Lord, if thou us shield, harm never shall us meet.
If but Thy grace will guide us, lead us on our way,
No thief can steal our peace of mind, our light of day.
~Rumi, translated by James William Redhouse

A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition. ~William Arthur Ward, For This One Hour, 1969

The real "it is well" is something I say from the ground, having fallen. ~Antonio Porchia (1886–1968), Voces, 1943–1966, translated from the Spanish by W.S. Merwin (1927–2019), c.1968

The world hasn't time for the gelatine-spined,
For the timid, the weak, or the negative kind;
It looks to the man with the positive force,
With the courage that comes from a positive source.
So think then and act in a positive way,
And you'll learn that the things that had brought you dismay
Will leave, as all negative bugaboos do,
When they meet with the strength that is latent in you.
~W. Dayton Wegefarth (1885–1973), "Positive–Negative," Rainbow Verse: A Book of Helpful Sunny Philosophy, 1919

There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate. ~Robert Brault,

Conditions may make some men, but some men can make conditions. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

Since the house is on fire let us warm ourselves. ~Proverb

Since my house burned down,
I now own a better view
of the rising moon.
~Masahide, translated by Harry Behn, 1964

You can raise a fine crop of trouble from the seeds of discontent. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly. ~Thomas Jefferson, 1825

Long ago I decided that if I get a second life, I will be beautiful and clever and rich, and that has allowed me to focus on this life. ~Robert Brault,

Alas! man was made, 'tis a truth we well know,
      To feel the inflictions engendered below —
      The keen pang of Anguish, the chill hand of Want,
      The sting which Remorse in the bosom can plant,
      And all the sad ills which, in Misery's train,
      Come to sicken the heart, and to madden the brain.
But is there no sunshine to burst through the gloom?
      Yes! yes! there are times when the spirits are gay,
      And heart-gnawing sorrows relinquish their sway;
      When a glance of the eye and a smile on the cheek
      Are the telltales of raptures no mortal can speak;
      When life's heavy cares have deserted the brain,
      And moments of bliss cancel ages of pain.
For man, the sun shines on his gold-burnished throne,
      And the Seasons strew gifts as they visit each zone;
      While every thing lovely on earth and in sky,
      Seems formed by enchantment to ravish his eye—
      Look, look on the sky—look, look on the earth,
      Spring-flower blooms and forest-oak green bursts forth,
      There is joy—there is joy—there is exquisite bliss,
      When we tranquilly muse on scenes such as this.
To the bright side of life let us ever then turn,
      Man was made to rejoice as well as to mourn!
~Henry Heavisides (1791–1870), "Man Was Made to Mourn"  [A little altered. Mr Heavisides credits and quotes Mr Burns at the start of the poem, for the inspiration and title. —tg]

You can awaken each day to obligations you never chose, or you can decide today to choose them. ~Robert Brault, 2017,

It's not as though I've had great disappointments, or hopes that didn't work out: I didn't expect anything much and because of that I'm the least bitter woman I know. ~Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993)

Reach for the stars, even if you have to stand on a cactus. ~Susan Longacre

...he who can look at the loveliness of the world and share its sorrow, and realise something of the wonder of both, is in immediate contact with divine things, and has got as near to God's secret as any one can get. ~Oscar Wilde, De Profundis, 1905

We find things where we look for them, which is why I never look for a golf ball out of bounds. ~Robert Brault,

One man takes his work as a stone around his neck and sinks to apathy. Another takes it as a stepping-stone and mounts to success. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, George Horace Lorimer, editor, as reprinted in Poor Richard Jr's Almanack, 1906

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ~M. Kathleen Casey, as quoted in Karen Casey and Martha Vanceburg, The Promise of a New Day, 1983

When you have the strength to survive starvation, you never again send back a steak simply because it's underdone. ~Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993)

Yes, sometimes we fall short, but you don't normally climb a ten-step staircase without falling short nine times. ~Robert Brault,, 2018

There lives a Voice within me, a guest-angel of my heart,
And its bird-like warbles win me, till the tears a-tremble start;
Up evermore it springeth, like some magic melody,
And evermore it singeth this sweet song of songs to me—
"This world is full of beauty, as other worlds above,
And, if we did our duty, it might be as full of love."

~Gerald Massey (1828–1907), "This World Is Full of Beauty"

The Cynic is one who never sees a good quality in man, and never fails to see a bad one... A man will be what his most cherished feelings are. If he encourage a noble generosity, every feeling will be enriched by it; if he nurse bitter and envenomed thoughts, his own spirit will absorb the poison; and he will crawl among men as a burnished adder, whose life is mischief, and whose errand is death... He who hunts for flowers, will find flowers; and he who loves weeds, may find weeds. ~Henry Ward Beecher, Lectures to Young Men, on Various Important Subjects, 1844

The Skillful Bowman and the Man of Action
Aim high, allowing for the Earth's Attraction.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Order," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

While the black slough mud can send forth lilies to blossom on its breast, I shall not despair. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

You can bear your troubles or shrug them off. They're your shoulders. ~Robert Brault,

As to the idea of considering myself a "breast cancer survivor," I have a hard time with that concept. I feel that the term survivor is being overused to the point of losing impact.... I feel that we are all survivors of something every day that we wake up. If it isn't breast cancer, it's accidents, old age, poverty, joblessness, or any other condition of the human race. I don't want to be singled out or made an example of or commended because of my behavior during a crisis or a lifetime. The behaviors that make breast cancer survivors are the same behaviors that make survivors in any situation. ~Jean Maynard, 1993, in Straight from the Heart: Letters of Hope and Inspiration from Survivors of Breast Cancer, edited by Ina Yalof, 1996

Each day, awakening, are we asked to paint the sky blue? Need we coax the sun to rise or flowers to bloom? Need we teach birds to sing, or children to laugh, or lovers to kiss? No, though we think the world imperfect, it surrounds us each day with its perfections. We are asked only to appreciate them, and to show appreciation by living in peaceful harmony amidst them. The Creator does not ask that we create a perfect world; He asks that we celebrate it. ~Robert Brault,

Nor lone nor sad is he who walks all day
With Pleasant Thoughts for Comrades on the Way.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Trails and Roads," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

There is nothing that so deviously siphons the joy from our lives, so unfailingly destroys the capacity of anything to make us happy, as a sense of entitlement. ~Robert Brault,

In this great age, people who say it can't be done are interrupted by people who are doing it. ~Arnold H. Glasow (1905–1999)

Where the loser saw barriers, the winner saw hurdles. ~Robert Brault,

"This has been a dull, prosy day," yawned Phil, stretching herself idly on the sofa, having previously dispossessed two exceedingly indignant cats... "It has been a prosy day for us," Anne said thoughtfully, "but to some people it has been a wonderful day. Some one has been rapturously happy in it. Perhaps a great deed has been done somewhere to-day — or a great poem written — or a great man born..." ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915

The whole world is a mess, but we have to keep laughing. ~Gewoon Vrienden, 2018, written by Henk Burger

And so of cheerfulness, or a good temper, the more it is spent, the more of it remains. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Considerations By the Way," The Conduct of Life, 1860

      There's many a trouble
      Would break like a bubble,
And into the waters of Lethe depart,
      Did not we rehearse it,
      And tenderly nurse it,
And give it a permanent place in the heart.
~Georgiana C. Clark, "Don't Take It to Heart," 1876

      There's many a sorrow
      Would vanish to-morrow,
Were we not unwilling to furnish the wings;
      So sadly intruding
      And quietly brooding,
It hatches out all sorts of horrible things.
~Georgiana C. Clark, "Don't Take It to Heart," 1876

Let us dwell on thoughts that lift and live. ~Charles F. Raymond, "A Petition," Just Be Glad, 1907

If you have been dwelling solely on the evil that is in man, or on the special evil which you think is in your church, your nation, or your age, see whether that habit has not blinded your intelligence and weakened your strength. It has cast you down upon your face. Stand up... stand up upon your feet! Believe in man! Soberly and with clear eyes believe in your own time and place. There is not, and there has never been, a better time or a better place to live in. Only with this belief can you believe in hope and believe in work. ~Phillips Brooks (1835–1893), "The Need of Self-Respect"

Essential to happiness, I believe, is the ability to discard your regrets once they have served their purpose. ~Robert Brault,

That which is around me does not affect my mood; my mood affects that which is around me. ~Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain, 2008

Success comes in cans, not can'ts. ~Author unknown, c. 1910

Am I sorry for me; are you sorry for you;
      And do we grieve for ourselves all the long day through?
      Do we feel that there's no one whom we've ever known
      Who has had so much sorrow, who's been so alone?...
...I will try not to be too sorry for me;
      For, when the shadows fall, God will help me to see.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Am I Sorry for Me?," 1940s

Always remember lost, so that you don't take for granted found. ~Terri Guillemets

My environment may be making me what I am, but I am permitting the environment. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means. ~Author unknown

The will to live! — Dare one crave so much?
To live yearning — and to die yearning still.
Never to have abandoned the thing...
To carry into age the zest and faith of youth...
To die buoyantly — to the end on winged feet!
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: III," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

We come before Thee, O Lord, in the end of thy day with thanksgiving... the service of the day is over, and the hour come to rest. We resign into thy hands our sleeping bodies, our cold hearths, and open doors. Give us to awake with smiles, give us to labour smiling. As the sun returns in the east, so let our patience be renewed with dawn; as the sun lightens the world, so let our loving-kindness make bright this house of our habitation. ~Robert Louis Stevenson, "Evening," Prayers Written at Vailima, 1890

Having worked with at risk youth... I noticed that when I was intentionally positive by looking beyond their "fog" and to their light they responded with their genius. ~Joe Tassinari

Let us have done with vain regrets and longings for the days that never will be ours again. Our work lies in front, not behind us; and "Forward!" is our motto. Let us not sit with folded hands, gazing upon the past as if it were the building: it is but the foundation. Let us not waste heart and life, thinking of what might have been, and forgetting the may-be that lies before us. Opportunities flit by while we sit regretting the chances we have lost, and the happiness that comes to us we heed not because of the happiness that is gone. ~Jerome K. Jerome, "On Memory," The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow: A Book for an Idle Holiday, 1890

No road is paved with gold unless you make it your own treasure. ~Alvaro Velasco

Not one holy day, but seven.
Worshipping, not at the call of a bell, but at the call of my soul.
Singing, not at the baton's sway, but to the rhythm in my heart.
Loving because I must.
Giving because I cannot keep.
Doing for the joy of it.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "My Creed," 1904

Perhaps your sun may rise in the evening when the work is done. Perhaps it will be in a cozy corner at home. It may be in the call of a friend, the smile of a wife, the prattle of a child, but we may all find the sunshine somewhere. ~Charles F. Raymond, Just Be Glad, 1907

The world is filled with great beauty
      For all God's children to see;
      But many things pass unheeded
      If man holds to jealousy!
All jealousy and all hatred,
      And great bitterness of mind
      Will keep mortal man from searching,
      Nature's loveliness, to find!
His vision becomes distorted;
      He sees only what he thinks:
      If he thinks in terms of darkness,
      Shadows to himself he links!...
He surrounds himself with armor
      That keeps away rainbow lights
      And all harmony of color
      That could make his world so bright!
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Vibration of Music and Color," 1940s

Optimist: someone who isn't sure whether life is a tragedy or a comedy but is tickled silly just to be in the play. ~Robert Brault,

He rarely Hits the Mark or Wins the Game,
Who says, "I Know I'll Miss!" while taking Aim.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Slackness," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

I ask of life the innocence of yesteryears, the happiness of the present time and the peace of mind of future. ~Papiha Ghosh, January 2012 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter

When the dawn comes forth I wonder
Will our sad, sad hearts awaken,
And the grief we labored under
From the new-in-joy be shaken?
~Æ (George William Russell), "Waiting," Homeward Songs by the Way, 1894

What the light of the sun is to the life of plants and flowers, mental sunshine is to the life and health of the body; therefore, sift your thoughts — call in the bright ones — drive out the dark ones. Set apart one cozy corner of your brain as a mental sunshine room, upon the walls of which hang the beautiful pictures of the pleasant recollections of the past. Make that your living room. Bid your soul sing sweet melodies of joy and peace, of gratitude and praise... "Count your blessings," past and present... Send to the burial ground of forgetfulness all your old troubles, whether they be real or imaginary. If you keep these old carcasses about you, they will poison and destroy your life. "Go bury your sorrows," and do not dig them up again. ~J. W. Blosser, M.D., Health Secrets, 1907

How can something bother you if you won't let it? ~Terri Guillemets

Every day is a wonderful day. Every morning is beautiful. I guess I'm one of these guys who appreciate life. Going to Canada, seeing geese flying in formation, that's a sermon. ~Carl L. Moldovan (1921–1992)

A chronic kicker always ends by landing on himself. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1908, George Horace Lorimer, editor

I am breast to breast with the great import;
Stepping the stride of the infinite intent;
Measuring myself against the utmost possibility.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of the Strong: XXVIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921

It is possible, if you never look up, to live a dull gray life under a blue sky. ~Robert Brault,

Cheer up! These may be the old days you'll be sighing for 20 years hence. ~Arnold H. Glasow (1905–1999)

They can betray me, but I choose not to betray my peace of mind. ~Dodinsky

For every day that there is sunshine, there will be days of rain,
it's how we dance within them both that shows our love and pain.
~Joey Tolbert

Our bodies let go when it's time to let go — it's called death. We ought to let go of the little burdensome things each day — that's called living. ~Terri Guillemets, "Anew," 2006

In Work or Sport, at grips with Grief or Sin,
Pray not for Victory, but Strength to Win.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Prayer," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

The best way to dispel negative thoughts is to require that they have a purpose. ~Robert Brault,

      I will have the feel of abundance in my life, if it is only an abundance of sunshine and leaves and grasses.
      The look of poverty and woe is not an outer condition that I put on like a garment, but an inner condition that I exude with my breath.
      I will come like roses in their prolific season, like cherry blossoms in May, like fields where countless daisies grow...
      I will scatter myself over the earth, life's caster of seed. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XLII," A Soul's Faring, 1921

Sometimes I'll find myself getting a little bit wound up about something, and I'll just have to talk myself down. Try to surround yourself with strong, upbeat, positive friends and people, and realize that every day in life is a choice between creating your own happiness or creating your own unhappiness. And I don't want to be unhappy. ~Hannah Aitchison, LA Ink, "Kat's in Love" (season 1, episode 10, original airdate 2007 October 9th)

it's not that the people
with nice shiny attitudes
haven't been banged up —
but they buff out their
dings and scratches with
gratitude and positivity
perspective and grace
resilience and courage
with purpose and faith
~Terri Guillemets, "How to shine," 2019

The myriad things that are mine, had I but the capacity to contain them. The paucity of life is not in the things, but in me. Where in all my life have I room for the stature of an hour? For the pulsings of night and day? The meagerness is in my own being, in my own incapacity to open and receive. Life is rich and abundant — I am the sparsity. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XLV," A Soul's Faring, 1921  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

If all the World looks drear, perhaps the meaning
Is that your Windows need a little Cleaning.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Cheeriness," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

An old gentleman got up once in a meeting and said he had lived nearly all his life on Grumble Street, but not long ago he had moved over on Thanksgiving street. ~D.L. Moody, "Power in Prayer," address delivered in the Northfield Auditorium July 23 and 24, 1895

Today's what-if:  "What if you opened a line of communication between the thinking part of your brain and the believing part of your brain?" ~Robert Brault,

I am the unsheltered life...
I am the fearlessness of him who has encountered many foes...
I am the strength of him who has had much to combat.
I am the ruggedness of him who has grown up through rocks.
I am the unsheltered life.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. ~Jack Layton

What if, for one day, you forgot what you always wanted and let what you have be enough? ~Robert Brault,

      His mother shrugged his troubles from her shoulders and left him to ferment in his own vinegar. But Willie was not happy. He was getting what he asked for, and it was not what he wanted. Perhaps he had never been truly happy in his whole existence. He had been amused at times, but usually then with a cynical delight in somebody's misfortunes or mistakes.
      How could he have been thoroughly happy when he had never been truly well? What health he had was a negation, a convalescence; it was at best a not being sick. He was of a fabric that broke down and wore through constantly. He could understand the definition of happiness as "having a splinter in your finger and getting it out."
      But the joy that comes from bounding arteries, glowing skin, a galloping heart, a volcanic desire to laugh because the soul is bursting with laughter, or to sing for mere song's sake, or to be an instrument in the symphonic universe when it is playing one of its mighty ensembles — that cosmic happiness was unknown to Willie Enslee.
      When he found a rapture he always found something the matter with it; there was a worm in the apple, a slug in the salad, a fly in the ointment, a flaw in the diamond. ~Rupert Hughes, What Will People Say?, 1914

      A person cannot coast along in old destructive habits year after year and accept whatever comes along. A person must stand up on her own two legs and walk. Get off one bus and go get on another. Climb out of the ditch and cross the road. Find the road that's going where you want to go...
      A person can grab hold of her life and change things for the better... We are not chips of wood drifting down the stream of time. We have oars. ~Garrison Keillor, Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon, 2007,

is the world's motivation,
the student's constant companion.
On the college campus
      it soars with the pass
            and plunges with the tackle...
Enthusiasm is at the same time
a reason in itself for being...
It is born,
                  activates in purpose.
It is a fire of inspiration,
Enthusiasm is there
Leading the way to satisfaction and achievement.
      enthusiasm remains
            its own reward.
~Arizona State University 1967 Sahuaro yearbook, edited by Pamela Sisk, et al.

Enthusiasm gives wings to our words, thrust to our thoughts, and momentum to our message. ~William Arthur Ward (1921–1994)

If you keep a sunny attitude, you will glow like a rainbow when life gets stormy. ~Terri Guillemets, "Inner light," 2006

No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide. ~Fight Club, 1999, screenplay by Jim Uhls, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk

As important as keeping a grasp on reality is keeping a grasp on possibility. ~Robert Brault,, 2018

You can't get overwhelmed by the thought of all the weeds if there are flowers in your soul. ~Terri Guillemets

I do not come with charted countries, — I bring you plains that are trackless, seas that have never known sail...
I am the doer of things that cannot be done.
I chant impossibilities.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of the Strong: IV," A Soul's Faring, 1921

Whatever my day may have lacked, yet I have tonight's pearl moon. ~Dr. SunWolf, tweet, 2011,

Life does not have a stop sign, only a speed limiter. ~Harshit Bhattaram

Do not allow the noise of negativity to smother the whisper of your heart. ~Dodinsky

Reach up (to accept blessings)
Bend down (to respect humbly)
Reach out (to give freely)
~Terri Guillemets

I have made oath to put my arms around the universe, to embrace all that is. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing: X," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

I'm embracing the struggle — because I think it makes you appreciate what you get that much more. ~Nyla Gibson, on Extreme Weight Loss, S2, E5, 2012

What's the use of kickin'
      In an aimless sort of way?
      What's the use of knockin'?
      If you've nothin' good to say,
            Shut up!
What's the use complainin'
      That the game ain't on the square?
      There's mighty few will listen,
      An' fewer still will care —
            Shut up!
What's the use of talkin'
      Of the "good old days gone by"?
      There's lots to do preparin'
      Fer them that's drawin' nigh.
            Shut up!
Get out an' study laughin'
      Go on an' learn to smile;
      You might even tackle singin'
      If you practised fer a while —
            Tune up!
~James P. Haverson (1880–1954), "Shut Up!", Sour Sonnets of a Sorehead & Other Songs of the Street, 1908

O-be-easy. — To sing O be easy, to appear contented when one has cause to complain. ~Slang and its Analogues: A Dictionary of Heterodox Speech, John S. Farmer and W. E. Henley, 1890s

I don't think then of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains. ~Anne Frank, March 1944

Don't be mean when you've had a bad day. Be nice, and your day will get better. ~Terri Guillemets

Grow antennas, not horns. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book, 1995,

Never mind the odds against you. If you doubled your effort, what would the odds against you do — send for reinforcements? ~Robert Brault, "Sparsely Sage, Mostly Rosemary and Thyme,"

Your attitude is your life, more so than even your body. ~Terri Guillemets

Life is bare because we never plant it with seed. We never till its long rows... ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XLVIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921

If your storm has lightning and rainbows —
Be glad, be glad.
~Terri Guillemets

Practical philosophy is not to want anything enough to be disappointed when you don't get it. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

My joy may be diminished now, but I am still alive to be more joyful ahead. ~Ankam Nithin Kumar, @nithinankam, April 2012 winner of The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden

Give goodness to the day and before you know it, the day will be giving goodness to you. ~Terri Guillemets

God, set me free with dragon-flies, and wasps, and dusty-millers — unclaimed, unespoused, but free!...
Denied, protested, but living their wings.
Let me but grasp half so much of life as despised things, as purslane, and mullen, and wort
Growing there in their God-corner, unmindful of the world's disdain,
Eating the clean earth with their roots, drinking the light with their leaves —
God-things of opprobrium — but God's!
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Much in a Basket: XIV," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Our wingspan is measured not in inches but in spirit. ~Terri Guillemets, "Infinite reach," 1992

If you fail to look at the Brightside of life,
You will fail to succeed at leaving the Darkside of life.
~Amir Al-Rubai

A bad attitude is a fog over your whole body. ~Terri Guillemets

What you often notice about people you meet on the street is that they seem to be having the same sort of day you are. ~Robert Brault,

Focus on the simple, good things in life and breathe your way through the minor struggles. ~Terri Guillemets, "Re-learning life," 2002

O, that way madness lies; let me shun that!
No more of that.
~William Shakespeare, King Lear, c.1605  [III, 4, Lear]

Keep your spirits up. Good things will come to you and you will come to good things. ~Terri Guillemets

When Life holds keener Woe than Death can give,
The Great Soul deems it Manlier to Live.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Character," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

If you are rich you can afford to be good-natured, and if you are poor you can't afford not to be. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1908, George Horace Lorimer, editor

I said I was living life, but I was misliving it. What I called life was death. I was putting the grave-clothes on everything worth while.
Knowing that the thing I live is not life, but death; not truth, but falsity; not nature, but distortion; will I rise up and do the thing, or am I but one more coward of being? ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXXV," A Soul's Faring, 1921

If it's worth getting upset over, then go ahead, but is it really?  ~Terri Guillemets

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows will fall behind you. ~Maori proverb

Each morn, as I get out of bed,
      These thoughts keep running through my head:
      "Another day to do my work,
      To do it well and not to shirk;
"Another day to laugh and sing
      That joy to others I may bring;
      Another day of hopes and fears,
      Of happy hours—perhaps, some tears!"
And when, at night, I go to bed,
      I'm always hoping I have shed
      Some sunshine, as I lived the day,
      To help another on his way.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "Another Day," 1940s

Even when the future's not certain, our hearts can still be certain — of love and happiness and all that's good. ~Terri Guillemets

Either way, things are a lot better — either a lot better than they were or a lot better than they're going to be. ~Robert Brault,

Thou hast a jewel prison'd in thy breast
That God hath breathed on with the breath of love,
The brightest gift,—the most endear'd bequest,
The purest relic from our Home above.
It is thy Talisman of good below...
It will not live but in a loving heart...
It will not stay where scorn and doubt have part...
~Fanny Charlotte Wyndham Montgomery (1820–1893), "When with a tired soul," 1846

If you absolutely can't stay positive, don't go negative — just cruise neutral for a while until you can get back up. ~Terri Guillemets, "Drift," 2009

A bird ran up the onyx steps of night,
      Seeking the moon upon her silver throne;
But stars confused him with their insolent light
      And left him in the friendless skies, alone.
He watched the winds, disheveled and awry,
      Hurling the clouds, like pillows from their beds;
He saw the mountain-peaks that nudged the sky,
      Take off the wreaths of sunset from their heads.
He heard the storms, a troupe of headstrong boys,
      Locked up as punishment for petulant tears,
Beat on the ebony doors with such a noise,
      That all the angels had to hold their ears.
Frightened, he left the halls of thundering sound
      For a less dazzling height, a lowlier dream;
And, perching on a watery bough, he found
      The moon, her white laugh rippling from the stream.
~Louis Untermeyer, "Fantasy," The New Adam, 1920

There is no law that says the things that brighten your day can't be every bit as trivial as the things that ruin it. ~Robert Brault,

The trouble with letting trivial things ruin your life is that they keep getting more trivial. ~Robert Brault,

Dolores is all the other way. Years ago I said my luckiest day was the day when I was born. She has never forgotten that. She still quotes it against me at lunches or dinners and suchlike social occasions. Her birth, she holds, was a wrong done to her, a tragedy. Somewhere she has caught up the phrase 'I was sentenced to life'. ~H. G. Wells, Apropos of Dolores, 1938

One day I shall come through Fields of Peace, up past the Hills of Joy. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

So what? So plenty! ~From the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961, screenplay by George Axelrod, based on the novella by Truman Capote, spoken by the character Paul Varjak

Mr. Dumby:  I don't think we are bad. I think we are all good except Tuppy.
Lord Darlington:  No, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan: A Play About a Good Woman, 1892

Linda:  How's that saying go? We're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars?
Lucifer:  The stars are just gas bags. And I never would've fed Oscar that line had I known how much I'd have to hear people quote it back to me.
~Lucifer, "Chloe Does Lucifer," 2017, written by Julia Fontana  [S3, E8]

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published 1998 Mar 18
revised 2020 Dec 31
last saved 2024 Apr 14