Hannah Arendt on Doing Nothing

“I will admit that there are other people who are primarily interested in doing something. I am not. I can very well live without doing anything. But I cannot live without at least trying to understand whatever happens.”

~ Hannah Arendt, 1972

John Blakemore on Photography

“…I realised that for the past forty years approximately ninety percent of my photographs have been made in my domestic space, my house or my garden.”

~ John Blakemore / March 29th, 2020


Cato on Speech

“Consider in silence whatever any one says: speech both conceals and reveals the inner soul of man.”

~ Cato

Hannah Arendt on Life

This is the precept by which I have lived: Prepare for the worst; expect the best; and take what comes.

~ Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt on Evil

The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.

~ Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt on Thinking

There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.

~ Hannah Arendt

Psalm 37 / Wrongdoers

Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass.

~ Psalm 37: 1-2

Psalm 37 / Fretting

Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

~ Psalm 37: 7-8

Paul Theroux on Power

The curfew — three years into my time in Africa — was my initiation into the misuse of power, of greed, cowardice and selfishness; as well as, also, their opposites — compassion, bravery, mutual aid and generosity.

~ Paul Theroux / NYT, 30th March 2020

Dragan Todorović on Patience

Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.

~ Dragan Todorović

Michael Mosley on Money

What is the most important lesson you’ve learnt about money?
That you need to adapt your lifestyle to your income — and to remember that it really doesn’t make that much difference so long as you can afford the basics.

~ Michael Mosley / Times, 29th March 2020

Werner Herzog on Writing

I’ve hardly ever written longer than five days on a screenplay because of the vehemence with which these projects come at me.

~ Werner Herzog / NYT, 23rd March 2020

Werner Herzog on Trying

The universe is indifferent. But just trying, itself, is something I should do.

~ Werner Herzog

Seneca on Misfortune

“Others have been plundered, indiscriminately, set upon, betrayed, beaten up, attacked with poison or with calumny — mention anything you like, it has happened to plenty of people.”

~ Seneca

Edward Luce on Leadership

“Plagues, like all crises, reveal character; none more so than in leaders. Its critical traits are honesty, courage and decency.”

~ Edward Luce / FT

Thomas Cranmer on Kindness

I pray you learn and bear well away this one lesson, To do good to all men as much as in you lieth, and to hurt no man, no more than you would hurt your own natural and loving brother or sister.

~ Thomas Cranmer

Kevin Bacon on Life

Don’t count on anyone to give you things in life. You pick up your toolbox and you try to make it yourself before you ask someone else to do it for you.

~ Kevin Bacon

Seneca on Calm

“To bear trials with a calm mind robs misfortune of its strength and burden.”

~ Seneca

Alain de Botton on Imperfection

What’s the most enlightening conclusion you’ve drawn about life so far?
That imperfection is built into the structure of human endeavour.

~ Alain de Botton / Times, 5th February, 2012

Seneca on Burdens

“If you want to escape the burdens that oppress you, you should not be somewhere else, but someone else.”

~ Seneca