A Moment’s Pause

These are the quotes selected for the “A Moment’s Pause” panel on the left side of most of our pages. Not all of the quotes are from Unitarians, but they all reflect Unitarian values. Learn more about notable Unitarians.

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  • “The soul is healed by being with children.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin
  • “There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humour.” – George Santayana
  • “We should try to be the parents of our future, rather than the offspring of our past.” – Miguel de Unamuno
  • “Inquiry is fatal to certainty.” – Will Durant
  • “Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits.” – Dan Barker
  • “The test of a democracy is not the magnificence of buildings or the speed of automobiles or the efficiency of air transportation, but rather the care given to the welfare of all the people.” – Helen Adams Keller
  • “Optimism doesn’t wait on facts. It deals with prospects. Pessimism is a waste of time.” – Norman Cousins, Unitarian
  • “I am not a lover of lawns. Rather would I see daisies in their thousands, ground ivy, hawkweed, and even the hated plantain with tall stems, and dandelions with splendid flowers and fairy down, than the too-well-tended lawn.” – William Henry Hudson
  • “To know how to say what other people only think is what makes men poets and sages; and to dare to say what others only dare to think, makes men martyrs or reformers, or both.” – Elizabeth Rundle Charles
  • “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Hundred Teilhard de Chardin
  • “A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Unitarian Minister
  • “There is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen
  • “We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we move from the passive voice to the active voice – that is, until we have stopped saying ‘It got lost,’ and say, ‘I lost it.’” – Sydney J. Harris
  • “Happiness is when what you say, what you think and what you do are in harmony.” – Gandhi
  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
  • “I can assure you that there is the greatest practical benefit in making a few failures early in life.” – Thomas H. Huxley
  • “You are never too old to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)
  • “Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness.” – May Sarton, Unitarian
  • “Why is it that one can look at a lion or a planet or an owl or at someone’s finger as long as one pleases, but looking into the eyes of another person is, if prolonged past a second, a perilous affair?” – Walker Percy