Quotations for Daily Use


A good dancer will dance and leave the place for others to dance. A saying

"Age puzzles me. I thought it was a quiet time. My seventies were interesting and fairly serene, but my eighties are passionate. I grow more intense as I age." Florida Scott-Maxwell, (14 September 1883 - 6 March 1979) was a playwright, author and psychologist

"Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life." Composer Daniel Francois Esprit Auber, (29 January 1782 May 1871) was a French composer.

"Apart from a five-minute stretching exercise in the shower, and the normal walking-about on errands, I do no formal exercise. I have friends my age contemplating triathlons, or who play tennis, singles, for 90-minute stretches. My own greatest athletic accomplishment at 80 is that I can still put on my trousers while standing up. When others speak of staying in shape, I wonder what shape it is precisely they have in mind." Joseph Epstein writing about turning 80 for The Weekly Standard

"As a white candle in a holy place, so is the beauty of an aged face." Joseph Campbell, "The Old Woman"

"At eighty I believe I am a far more cheerful person than I was at twenty or thirty. I most definitely would not want to be a teenager again. Youth may be glorious but it is also painful to endure. Moreover, what is called youth is not youth; it is rather something like premature old age." Henry Miller, (1891–1980), US novelist; full name Henry Valentine Miller

"At my age, Father, one doesn't permit oneself two things - young wine and small trees." Character Andrew Gregory in Out to Canaan by Jan Karon.

"But Stuart had caught 'a glimpse of the living spirit shining through the feeble and decrepit body. He saw the old man at one of those happy moments when the intelligence lights up the wasted envelope.' " Written about Gilbert Stuart in observation of John Adams as taken from John Adams by David McCullough.

"Come take a walk with me
Before my life has passed.
There are beautiful things to see and do,
So we must not walk too fast.

Come walk along with me;
We will share so many things.
There are paths that need exploring,
Where our spirits can soar on wings.

The beauty of life is precious,
A gift to be cherished each day.
So as you stroll along with me,
Enjoy the treasures along the way.

If you come and walk with me
Through the pages of my mind,
We will take away nothing but memories - -
And leave only footprints behind."


"Did you ever think that just when people grow old and have so much to tell, that's when people want them to hush? I hope when you grow old, there'll be someone to listen to you ramble." Character Miss Sadie Baxter in At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon

"Even the best dancer on the stage must retire sometime." African Proverb

"Everyone wants to live long but no one wants to be called old." Icelandic proverb

"Five or six years ago, a famous journalist told a friend of mine that that very day was his 80th birthday, but he wasn't telling anyone. He, the journalist, specialized in the status life and on being with-it in a high-powered way, and 80, by its very nature, carried with it more than a mere suggestion of being out of it. I have no such problem. I rather like the notion of being out of it and am closing in on achieving the blessed state. I know the names of fewer and fewer movie stars . . . Once a regular moviegoer, I now almost never go to the movies and am content to wait six months, a year, or longer for the arrival of a promising (of which there seem to be fewer and fewer) movie to come out in DVD. I have scant interest in any movie about people under 40. I have almost arrived at the condition of a friend who, emerging from another disappointing contemporary movie, announced, "I never want to see another movie I haven't seen before."" Joseph Epstein writing about turning 80 in The American Standard

"Good days are to be gathered like sunshine in grapes, to be trodden and bottled into wine and kept for age to sip at ease beside the fire. If the traveler has vintaged well, he need trouble to wander no longer; the ruby moments glow in his glass at will." Dame Freya Madeline Stark, (31 January 1893 – 9 May 1993) was a British explorer and travel writer.

"Grow old along with me! . . . The best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made. Our times are in His hand." from the poem Rabbi Ben Ezra by Robert Browning, (1812–89), English poet

"Growing old - it's not nice, but it's interesting." Johan August Strindberg, 22 January 1849 – 14 May 1912) was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter.

"Happiness is a fool's goal; contentment is a more reasonable expectation." Joseph Epstein writing about turning 80 in The Weekly Standard

"I am delighted to find that even at my age great ideas come to me, the pursuit and development of which should require another lifetime." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, (1749–1832), German poet, playwright, novelist, philosopher, and scientist

"I read a story once of a group of Jews who were escaping the Nazis. They were walking over a mountain, and they carried with them the sick and the old and the children. A lot of old people fell by the wayside and said, 'I'm a burden; go on without me.' They were told, 'The mothers need respite, so instead of just sitting there and dying, would you take the babies and walk as far as you can?' Once the old people got the babies close to their bosom and started walking, they all went over the mountain. They had a reason to live." Ruby Dee, (October 27, 1922 – June 11, 2014) was an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and activist

"I'm just the same age I've always been."Carolyn Well, (June 18, 1862 – March 26, 1942) was an American author and poet

"If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should not grow old." 20th USA President James A. Garfield

"In youth we learn; in age we understand." Baroness Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, September 13, 1830 – March 12, 1916) was an Austrian writer

"It is assumed that young folks know best, and old folks are fogies. It may be so, but old folks may be as right about new fangles as young folks are about fogy ways. Make business first, pleasure afterward, and that guarded." Bishop Milton (November 17, 1828 – April 3, 1917) was the father of aviation pioneers Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright, and a Bishop of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.

"It is really something of a feat to have lived seventy-five years, in spite of illnesses, germs, accidents, disasters, and wars. And now every fresh day finds me more filled with wonder and better qualified to draw the last drop of delight from it." Maurice Goudeket who was married to the famous French novelist, Colette.

"It is too late! Ah, nothing is too late
Till the tired heart shall cease to palpitate . . .

Chaucer, at Woodstock with the nightingales,
At sixty wrote the Canterbury Tales;

Goeth at Weimar, toiling to the last,
Completed Faust when eighty years were past.

These are indeed exceptions, but they show
How far the gulf-stream of our youth may flow
Into the Arctic regions of our lives."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, (1807–82), US poet - This excerpt is from "Moriture Salutamus," The Masque of Pandora

"Last night I had a typical cholesterol-free dinner: baked squash, skimmed milk, and gelatin. I'm sure this will not make me live any longer, but I know it's going to seem longer."Groucho Marx, (October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977) was an American comedian and film and television star. His full name was Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx

"Let us cherish and love old age; for it is full of pleasure, if you know how to use it. The best morsel is reserved for last." Lucius Annaeus Seneca, ( c.4 bc – ad 65), Roman statesman, philosopher, and playwright; known as Seneca the Younger

"Let us have ambition enough to keep our simplicity, our frugality, and our integrity, and transmit these virtues as the fairest of inheritance to our children." John Adams, (1735–1826), 2nd president of the US 1797–1801

"Life is no brief candle to me. It is sort of a splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations." George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, and polemicist.

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body but rather to skid in sideways, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "Woo-Hoo, what a ride!" Unknown

"Men are like wine, some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age." Pope Saint John XXIII, 25 November 1881 – 3 June 1963) reigned from 28 October 1958 to his death in 1963; His name when he was born was Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli

"Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul." Samuel Ullman (April 13, 1840 – March 21, 1924) was an American businessman, poet, humanitarian. "

"Old age is like climbing a mountain. You climb from ledge to ledge. The higher you get, the more tired and breathless you become, but your views become more extensive." Ingrid Bergman, (1915–82), Swedish actress

"Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young." Fred Astaire, (1899–1987), US dancer, singer, and actor; born Frederick Austerlitz

" . . . parting with a father who had so long watched over our best interests in childhood and in riper age and who was so kind and affectionate to all his children and had grown venerable with time [will] not be a thing of light moment." William Donelson, 1756 - 1820

"Perhaps one has to be . . . old before one learns how to be amused rather than shocked." Pearl S.Buck, (1892–1973), US writer; full name Pearl Sydenstricker Buck

"Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, 'I find no pleasure in them' -" Ecclesiastes 12:1

"Retiring had been precisely what he wanted to do, and yet, when he did it, it had felt awkward and unreal, as it must feel to walk for the first time with a wooden leg." The character Father Tim's thoughts as written in A New Song by Jan Karon

"That's the thing about wisdom. The wise don't have to press. They don't have to fob off or foist their faith on anyone. They just leave it behind. Wherever they go and whatever they do, they sow seeds of righteousness that spring up in others to eternal life. This is the lasting legacy of the wise. It is the way they make their mark on the world." Growing Slowly Wise by David Roper

"The best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made. Our times are in His hand." from the poem Rabbi Ben Ezra by Robert Browning, (1812–89), English poet

"The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been." Madeleine L'Engle, (1918–2007), US writer; full name Madeleine Camp L'Engle

"The love we have in our youth is superficial compared to the love that an old man has for his wife." Historian Will Durant, (November 5, 1885 November 7, 1981) was an American writer, historian, and philosopher

"The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration but its donation." Corrie ten Boom, April 1892 – 15 April 1983 ) was a Dutch Christian who, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II

"The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet."

Bilbo in The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkine, 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor; His real name was John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"There are dreams of love, life, and adventure in all of us. But we are also sadly filled with reasons why we shouldn't try. These reasons seem to protect us, but in truth they imprison us. They hold life at a distance. Life will be over sooner than we think. If we have bikes to ride and people to love, now is the time." Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, (1926–2004), US psychiatrist, born in Switzerland

"Things are more like they are now than they ever were before." Dwight D. Eisenhower, (1890–1969), US general and 34th president of the US 1953–61; nicknamed Ike

"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset." Last words of Blackfoot warrior Crowfoot, 1830 – 25 April 1890) or Isapo-Muxika was a chief of the Siksika First Nation; He was a Blackfoot warrior, and these were his last words.

"What I hate most in life are people who are not really the peach of the day but who want to be young and sexy. You can fool nobody. There is a moment when you have to accept that somebody else is younger and fresher and hotter. Life is not a beauty contest." Karl Lagerfield, (born 10 September 1933) is a German fashion designer, artist, and photographer based in Paris

"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."Pericles, c. 495 – 429 BC) was arguably the most prominent and influential Greek statesman, orator and general of Athens during the Golden Age— specifically the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars.

"When I passed the long mirror this morning, I was astonished to glimpse my father looking back. I felt an instant's joy at seeing him, then realized the truth." From the journal of Cormac Padraigin Fintan O'Donnell in the book In the Company of Others by Jan Karon

"When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire thoughtful people." Abraham Joshua Heschel, (January 11, 1907 – December 23, 1972) was a Polish-born American rabbi and one of the leading Jewish theologians and Jewish philosophers of the 20th century

"When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out." George Santayana, (1863–1952), Spanish philosopher and writer; born Jorge Augustin Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana

"Which of you is going to step up and put me out to pasture?" John Wayne, (1907–79), US actor; born Marion Michael Morrison; known as the Duke

"You can't stop yourself from getting old, but you can always be immature."  Unknown

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