Selected Quotes about Suffering

A misery is not to be measured from the nature of the evil, but from the temper of the sufferer. -- Joseph Addison

You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering. -- Henri-Frédéric Amiel

To perceive is to suffer. -- Aristotle

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. -- Marcus Aurelius

One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it unless it has all been suffering, nothing but suffering. -- Jane Austen

I think that taking life seriously means something such as this: that whatever man does on this planet has to be done in the lived truth of the terror of creation, of the grotesque, of the rumble of panic underneath everything. Otherwise it is false. Whatever is achieved must be achieved with the full exercise of passion, of vision, of pain, of fear, and of sorrow. How do we know ... that our part of the meaning of the universe might not be a rhythm in sorrow? -- Ernest Becker

I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy! -- Louise Bogan

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer. -- Albert Camus

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seamed with scars; martyrs have put on their coronation robes glittering with fire, and through their tears have the sorrowful first seen the gates of Heaven. -- Edwin Hubbell Chapin

But a somewhat more liberal and sympathetic examination of mankind will convince us that the cross is even older than the gibbet, that voluntary suffering was before and independent of compulsory; and in short that in most important matters a man has always been free to ruin himself if he chose. -- G. K. Chesterton

But there is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it's better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you're fighting for. -- Paulo Coelho

Suffering is nothing. It's all a matter of preventing those you love from suffering. -- Alphonse Daudet

My life closed twice before its close; / It yet remains to see / If Immortality unveil / A third event to me, / So huge, so hopeless to conceive, / As these that twice befell. / Parting is all we know of heaven, / And all we need of hell. -- Emily Dickinson

Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need of hell. -- Emily Dickinson

How fair is a garden amid the toils and passions of existence. -- Benjamin Disraeli

So long as little children are allowed to suffer, there is no true love in this world. -- Isodore Duncan

Deep unspeakable suffering may well be called a baptism, a regeneration, the initiation into a new state. -- George Eliot

We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by doing a deed; (2) by experiencing a value; and (3) by suffering. -- Victor Frankl

What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him. -- Victor Frankl

But penance need not be paid in suffering ... It can be paid in forward motion. Correcting the mistake is a positive move, a nurturing move. -- Barbara Hall

Bart Giamatti did not grow up (as he had dreamed) to play second base for the Red Sox. He became a professor at Yale, and then, in time . . . president of the National Baseball League. He never lost his love for the Boston Red Sox. It was as a Red Sox fan, he later realized that human beings are fallen, and that life is filled with disappointment. The path to comprehending Calvinism in modern America, he decided, begins at Fenway Park. -- David Halverstam

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. -- Thich Nhat Hanh

A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair. -- Abraham Joshua Heschel

You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation...and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else. -- Hermann Hesse

If suffer we must, let's suffer on the heights. -- Victor Hugo

Whenever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first suffering, how we can turn it into good. So shall we take occasion, from one bitter root, to raise perhaps many flowers. -- Leigh Hunt

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols. -- Aldous Huxley

It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust. -- Samuel Johnson

Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. -- Helen Keller

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. -- Helen Keller

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. -- Helen Keller

The world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it. -- Helen Keller

Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed. -- Corita Kent

Know how sublime a thing is to suffer and be strong. -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle. -- James Russell Lowell

Man has to suffer. When he has no real afflictions, he invents some. -- Jose Marti

I knew that suffering did not enoble; it degraded. It made men selfish, petty and suspicious. It absorbed them in small things...it made them less than men; and I wrote ferociously that we learn resignation not by our own suffering, but by the suffering of others. -- W. Somerset Maugham

The truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt. -- Thomas Merton

The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven. -- John Milton

The mind grows sicker than the body in contemplation of it's suffering. -- Ovid

Never to suffer would never to have been blessed. -- Edgar Allan Poe

I shall know by the gleam and glitter Of the golden chain you wear, By your heart's calm strength in loving, Of the fire you have had to bear. Beat on, true heart, forever; Shine bright, strong golden chain; And bless the cleansing fire And the furnace of living pain! -- Adelaide Proctor

In reality, in love there is a permanent suffering which joy neutralizes, renders virtual, delays, but which can at any moment become what it would have become long earlier if one had not obtained what one wanted, atrocious. -- Marcel Proust

We are healed of a suffering only by expressing it to the full. -- Marcel Proust

Where there is love, there is pain. -- Spanish proverb

...when we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all beings. -- Sogyal Rinpoche

In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying. -- Bertrand Russell

All the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals. -- Peter Singer

Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. -- Hindu Spiritual

Most things break, including hearts. The lessons of life amount not to wisdom, but to scar tissue and callus. -- Wallace Stegner

Power takes as ingratitude the writhing of its victims. -- Rabindranath Tagore

The sufferings that fate inflicts on us should be borne with patience, what enemies inflict with manly courage. -- Thucydides

There is no true love save in suffering, and in this world we have to choose either love, which is suffering, or happiness. . . . Man is the more man -- that is, the more divine -- the greater his capacity for suffering, or rather, for anguish. -- Miguel de Unamuno

The capacity to give one's attention to a sufferer is a very rare and difficult thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle. -- Simone Weil

I have learned two lessons in my life: first, there are no sufficient literary, psychological, or historical answers to human tragedy, only moral ones. Second, just as despair can come to one another only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings. -- Elie Wiesel

Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person. ln those transparent moments we know other people's joys and sorrows, and we care about their concerns as if they were our own. -- Fritz Williams

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