The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Generations

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It is one of nature's ways that we often feel closer to distant generations than to the generation immediately preceding us. ~Igor Stravinsky

Every old man complains of the growing depravity of the world, of the petulance and insolence of the rising generation. ~Samuel Johnson

There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is no respect for age — I missed it coming and going.  ~J.B. Priestly

People who don't cherish their elderly have forgotten whence they came and whither they go.  ~Ramsey Clark

Generation Gap:  A chasm, amorphously situated in time and space, that separates those who have grown up absurd from those who will, with luck, grow up absurd.  ~Bernard Rosenberg, Dictionary for the Disenchanged, 1972

That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in another.  ~Adlai Stevenson

They say genes skip generations.  Maybe that's why grandparents find their grandchildren so likeable.  ~Joan McIntosh

Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.  ~Lewis Mumford, The Brown Decades

The older generation thought nothing of getting up at 5 o'clock in the morning — and the younger generation doesn't think so much of it either. ~Author unknown, c.1944

First we are children to our parents, then parents to our children, then parents to our parents, then children to our children.  ~Milton Greenblatt

A father lives after death in his son.  ~Sanskrit

For each generation must find the wisdom of the ages in the form of its own wisdom. ~Erik H. Erikson, "Human Strength and the Cycle of Generations," Insight and Responsibility, 1964

As is the generation of leaves, so is that of humanity.
The wind scatters the leaves on the ground, but the live timber
Burgeons with leaves again in the season of spring returning.
So one generation of men will grow while another dies.
~Homer, Iliad

The sap of another generation
fingering through a broken tree
to push fresh branches
towards a further light,
a different identity.
~John Montague (b.1929), from "The Living & The Dead"

We're the middle children of history.... no purpose or place.  We have no Great War, no Great Depression.  Our great war is a spiritual war.  Our great depression is our lives.  ~From the movie Fight Club, about Generation X

When women feel they have learned to forgive their mothers — and men, their fathers — all it usually means is that they've decided to allow themselves the same kind of behavior.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

The first half of our lives is usually ruined by our parents, the second half by our children. ~Newspaper joke from the mid-1940s

Parents often talk about the younger generation as if they didn't have anything to do with it.  ~Haim Ginott

Fewer and fewer Americans possess objects that have a patina, old furniture, grandparents' pots and pans, the used things, warm with generations of human touch, essential to a human landscape.  Instead, we have our paper phantoms, transistorized landscapes.  A featherweight portable museum.  ~Susan Sontag

It's hard for me to get used to these changing times.  I can remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty.  ~George Burns

The healthiest among us is not exempt from hereditary disease. The most symmetrical, athletic, and long-lived is a being inexpressibly inferior to what he would have been had not the unnatural habits of his ancestors accumulated for him a certain portion of malady and deformity.... Can a return to nature, then, instantaneously eradicate predispositions that have been slowly taking root in the silence of innumerable ages? — Indubitably not. ~William Andrus Alcott (1798–1859), Vegetable Diet: As Sanctioned by Medical Men, and by Experience in All Ages, 1838

Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves. ~D.H. Lawrence, Classical American Literature, 1922

[A]t present my chief work is on the manuscripts of the library—a blessed lot, as nothing could be more interesting, as bringing me into close touch with the ancients, to whom I now belong. ~James L. Whitney, "Reminiscences of an Old Librarian," November 1909  #oldsoul

Old customs are easy to forget with the flashing of events in our lives. Easy to forget, like the heavy clothing we once wore to survive the winters. It is an old custom, the handing down of things. A good knife, a well-made pipe, a heavy robe. Tradition falls prey to constant change, and creativity becomes so revered that the past is a relic, only to be admired. But in this coat, I was held to the earth, pulled to the past by its weight. ~Craig Childs, The Animal Dialogues: Uncommon Encounters in the Wild, 2007  [about his grandfather's coat —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

In my day, we didn't have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned. ~Jane Haddam

My generation is not strong. My grandfather fought in World War II.  I had a panic attack during the series finale of Breaking Bad. ~Matt Donaher

Some men so dislike the dust kicked up by the generation they belong to, that, being unable to pass, they lag behind it. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

There is nothing wrong with today's teenager that twenty years won't cure.  ~Author Unknown

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