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Quotes of the day: Leo Tolstoy

Published Monday, September 09, 2013 @ 6:09 AM EDT
Sep 09 2013

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (September 9, 1828 - November 20, 1910), also known as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself. The larger the denominator, the smaller the fraction.

All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.

All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Because of the self-confidence with which he had spoken, no one could tell whether what he said was very clever or very stupid.

Boredom: the desire for desires.

Debates conceal rather than reveal the truth. Truth is revealed in solitude.

Don't seek God in temples. He is close to you. He is within you.

Error is the force that welds men together; truth is communicated to men only by deeds of truth.

Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us.

Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.

Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them.

History would be a wonderful thing- if it were only true.

If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.

If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.

If you look for perfection, you'll never be content.

In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.

In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.

It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.

It's hard to love a woman and do anything.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games- but not with pleasure.

Not only does the action of Governments not deter men from crimes; on the contrary, it increases crime by always disturbing and lowering the moral standard of society.

Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of intelligent women.

Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.

The best stories don't come from 'good vs. bad' but 'good vs. good.'

The happiness of men consists in life. And life is in labor.

The moral progress of mankind is due to the aged. The old grow wiser and better.

The more we live by our intellect, the less we understand the meaning of life.

The strongest of all warriors are these two- Time and Patience.

The struggle with evil by means of violence is the same as an attempt to stop a cloud, in order that there may be no rain.

The vocation of every man and woman is to serve other people.

There are no conditions to which a person cannot grow accustomed, especially if he sees that everyone around him lives in the same way.

There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.

We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.

We lost because we told ourselves we lost.

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.

Where there is law, there is injustice.

Writing laws is easy, but governing is difficult.

Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.

Categories: Leo Tolstoy, Quotes of the day


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