Perspective Quotes


The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.

If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.

The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden

One person's craziness is another person's reality.

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.

We're so self-important. So arrogant. Everybody's going to save something now. Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save the snails. And the supreme arrogance? Save the planet! Are these people kidding? Save the planet? We don't even know how to take care of ourselves; we haven't learned how to care for one another. We're gonna save the fuckin' planet? . . . And, by the way, there's nothing wrong with the planet in the first place. The planet is fine. The people are fucked! Compared with the people, the planet is doin' great. It's been here over four billion years . . . The planet isn't goin' anywhere, folks. We are! We're goin' away. Pack your shit, we're goin' away. And we won't leave much of a trace. Thank God for that. Nothing left. Maybe a little Styrofoam. The planet will be here, and we'll be gone. Another failed mutation; another closed-end biological mistake.

Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty.
I see a glass that's twice as big as it needs to be.

Closed in a room, my imagination becomes the universe, and the rest of the world is missing out.

Art    Artist    Artistic    Contemplating    Dreams    Experience    Fantasy    Fun    Imagination    Life    Perception    Perspective    Poetry    Reading    Reality    Solitude    Songwriting    Thinking    Thoughts    Universe    Vicarious    Writing

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.

Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, "What else could this mean?

Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.

Dark    Humour    Joke    Perspective    Stories    Writing

It does not matter how long you are spending on the earth, how much money you have gathered or how much attention you have received. It is the amount of positive vibration you have radiated in life that matters,

The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.

We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails. And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of f-ing Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.
The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!
We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.
The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, Why are we here?
Plastic… asshole.

When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

On the fifth day, which was a Sunday, it rained very hard. I like it when it rains hard. It sounds like white noise everywhere, which is like silence but not empty.

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

Ape    Cosmology    Digital    Earth    Galaxy    Humour    Perspective    Primitive    Unfashionable    Watches

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.

Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.

It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.

It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say 'It's as plain as the nose on your face.' But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?

I, Robot

Isaac Asimov

I, Robot

There’s a fine line between support and stalking and let’s all stay on the right side of that.

Fan    Fanatic    Humor    Lines    Perspective    Stalking    Support    Wit

When you're socially awkward, you're isolated more than usual, and when you're isolated more than usual, your creativity is less compromised by what has already been said and done. All your hope in life starts to depend on your craft, so you try to perfect it. One reason I stay isolated more than the average person is to keep my creativity as fierce as possible. Being the odd one out may have its temporary disadvantages, but more importantly, it has its permanent advantages.

I believe that there is an equality to all humanity. We all suck.

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.

What I need is perspective. The illusion of depth, created by a frame, the arrangement of shapes on a flat surface. Perspective is necessary. Otherwise there are only two dimensions. Otherwise you live with your face squashed up against a wall, everything a huge foreground, of details, close-ups, hairs, the weave of the bedsheet, the molecules of the face. Your own skin like a map, a diagram of futility, criscrossed with tiny roads that lead nowhere. Otherwise you live in the moment. Which is not where I want to be.

The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. ... In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.

Artists    Botanists    Farmer    Flowers    Fossils    Game    Geologists    Inspirational    Perspective    Seeing    Sight    Sportsmen

When good people consider you the bad guy, you develop a heart to help the bad ones. You actually understand them.

There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.

Often it isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the little pebble in your shoe.

The fear of appearances is the first symptom of impotence.

Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crime and Punishment

If someone does not want me it is not the end of the world. But if I do not want me, the world is nothing but endings.

Inspirational    Lessons    Life    Love    Perspective    Self    Thoughts

The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close up.

Our society tends to regard as a sickness any mode of thought or behavior that is inconvenient for the system and this is plausible because when an individual doesn't fit into the system it causes pain to the individual as well as problems for the system. Thus the manipulation of an individual to adjust him to the system is seen as a cure for a sickness and therefore as good.

The alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus.
The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.
But this was not how the author of the book ended the story.
He said that when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.
'Why do you weep?' the goddesses asked.
'I weep for Narcissus," the lake replied.
'Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,' they said, 'for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.'
'But... was Narcissus beautiful?' the lake asked.
'Who better than you to know that?' the goddesses asked in wonder. 'After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!'
The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said:
'I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.'
'What a lovely story,' the alchemist thought.

The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist

The optimist sees the doughnut, the pessimist sees the hole.

If we climb high enough, we will reach a height from which tragedy ceases to look tragic.

A poet should be so crafty with words that he is envied even for his pains.

Accidents    Adversity    Artist    Craftiness    Craftsmanship    Crafty    Creativity    Disaster    Envy    Hardships    Illness    Imperfections    Loneliness    Lyrics    Pain    Perspective    Poetry    Poets    Sadness    Suffering    Tragedy    Wit    Words

Fairy Tales always have a happy ending.' That depends... on whether you are Rumpelstiltskin or the Queen.

Briar Rose

Jane Yolen

Briar Rose

Is someone different at age 18 or 60? I believe one stays the same.

People live their lives bound by what they accept as correct and true. That’s how they define Reality. But what does it mean to be correct or true? Merely vague concepts… Their Reality may all be a mirage. Can we consider them to simply be living in their own world, shaped by their beliefs?

The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.

Guns    Humor    Hunting    Perspective    Shooting

I know that the molecules in my body are traceable to phenomena in the cosmos. That makes me want to grab people on the street and say: ‘Have you HEARD THIS?

Poets are damned… but see with the eyes of angels.

Angels    Beauty    Eyes    Hope    Perspective    Poetry    Poets    Sight    Vision

Cordelia: I personally don't think it's possible to come up with a crazier plan.
Oz: We attack the Mayor with hummus.
Cordelia: I stand corrected.
Oz: Just keeping things in perspective.

For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success

While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.

I'm always happy when I'm surrounded by water, I think I'm a Mermaid or I was a mermaid.
The ocean makes me feel really small and it makes me put my whole life into perspective… it humbles you and makes you feel almost like you’ve been baptized. I feel born again when I get out of the ocean.

Born again    Humbles    Life    Mermaid    Ocean    Perspective    Water

If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and adore.

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