Lin Yutang quotes

  • The busy man is never wise and the wise man is never busy.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Wise #Men #Busy

  • Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Motivational #Art #Inspirational Life

  • Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Inspirational #Encouraging #Faith

  • Those who are wise won't be busy, and those who are too busy can't be wise.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Wise #Busy #Being Wise

  • No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Beautiful #Travel #Home

  • I have done my best. That is about all the philosophy of living one needs.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Appreciation #Philosophy #Needs

  • The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Wisdom #Essentials #Elimination

  • When Small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Business #Mean #Men

  • The purpose of a short story is ... that the reader shall come away with the satisfactory feeling that a particular insight into human character has been gained, or that his (or her) knowledge of life has been deepened, or that pity, love or sympathy for a human being is awakened.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Character #Feelings #Purpose

  • If one's bowels move, one is happy, and if they don't move, one is unhappy. That is all there is to it.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Moving #Unhappy #Bowels

  • There is so much to love and to admire in this life that it is an act of ingratitude not to be happy and content in this existence.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #This Life #Existence #Admire

  • There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Tea #World #Quiet

  • Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Food #Cooking #Lap

  • Peace of mind is that mental condition in which you have accepted the worst.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Mind #Peace Of Mind #Accepted

  • The wise man reads both books and life itself.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Wise #Book #Reading

  • Happiness for me is largely a matter of digestion.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Matter #Digestion

  • India was China's teacher in religion and imaginative literature, and the world's teacher in trignometry, quandratic equations, grammar, phonetics, Arabian Nights, animal fables, chess, as well as in philosophy, and that she inspired Boccaccio, Goethe, Herder, Schopenhauer, Emerson, and probably also old Aesop.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Teacher #Philosophy #Animal

  • I do not think that any civilization can be called complete until it has progressed from sophistication to unsophistication, and made a conscious return to simplicity of thinking and living.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Thinking #Civilization #Simplicity

  • Anyone who reads a book with a sense of obligation does not understand the art of reading.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Art #Book #Reading

  • However vague they are, dreams have a way of concealing themselves and leave us no peace until they are translated into reality, like seeds germinating underground, sure to sprout in their search for the sunlight.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Dream #Reality #Way

  • All women's dresses, in every age and country, are merely variations on the eternal struggle between the admitted desire to dress and the unadmitted desire to undress.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Country #Struggle #Age

  • Like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its tone is mellower, its colors are richer, and it is tinged with a little sorrow. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and its content.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Summer #Spring #Autumn

  • The history omankind seems like kite flying; sometimes, when the wind is favorable, we let go the string a little and the kite soars a little higher; sometimes the wind is too rough and we have to lower it a little, and sometimes it gets caught among the tree branches; but to reach the upper strata of pure bliss-ah, perhaps never.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Letting Go #Men #Wind

  • Only he who handles his ideas lightly is master of his ideas, and only he who is master of his ideas is not enslaved by them.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Light #Ideas #Masters

  • The Chinese do not draw any distinction between food and medicine.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Medicine #Chinese #Distinction

  • What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Children #Patriotism

  • A tendency to fly too straight at a goal, instead of circling around it, often carries one too far.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Goal #Tendencies

  • Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Mother #Parenting #Rights

  • Such is human psychology that if we don't express our joy, we soon cease to feel it.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Positive #Joy #Psychology

  • When we demand liberty of a person as a constitutional right, we are taking away from the officials their liberty to chop off people's heads.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #People #Liberty #Demand

  • The age calls for simple statements and restatements of simple truths. The prophets of doom are involved, those who would bring light must be clear.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Simple #Light #Age

  • Since the invention of the flush toilet and the vacuum carpet cleaner, the modern man seems to judge a man's moral standards by his cleanliness, and thinks a dog the more highly civilized for having a weekly bath and a winter wrapper round his belly.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Dog #Winter #Men

  • The only part of Christian teachings which will be truly accepted by the Chinese people is Christ's injunction to be "harmless as doves" but "wise as serpents.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Christian #Wise #Teaching

  • Once [China] had a destiny. Once she was a conqueror. Now her greatest destiny seems to be merely to exist, to survive.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Destiny #China #Conqueror

  • Alas, our rulers are not gods, but puny, fallible men, like the kings who constantly forget their parts, and we common men should be their prompters.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Kings #Men #Common

  • Best behavior means the same thing as the most uncomfortable behavior.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Mean #Behavior #Uncomfortable

  • Business men who are busy the whole day and immediately go to bed after supper, snoring like cows, are not likely to contribute anything to culture.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Men #Bed #Culture

  • All human happiness is sensuous happiness.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Happiness #Humans

  • Let him cry whoever feels like crying, for we were animals before we became reasoning beings, and the shedding of a tear, whether of forgiveness or of pity or of sheer delight at beauty, will do him a lot of good.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Animal #Tears #Delight

  • A man who has to be punctually at a certain place at five o'clock has the whole afternoon ruined for him already.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Men #Afternoon #Clock

  • In the West, the insane are so many that they are put in an asylum, in China the insane are so unusual that we worship them.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Insane #Asylums #West

  • The end of living is the true enjoyment of it.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Life #Ends #Enjoyment

  • The greater success a man has made, the more he fears a climb down.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Men #Made #Climbs

  • All I know is that if God loves me only half as much as my mother does, he will not send me to Hell.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Mother #Doe #Half

  • The best that we can hope for in this life is that we shall not have sons and grandsons of whom we need to be ashamed.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Son #Needs #Life Is

  • The human mind is a curious thing. It can take just so much and no more.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Mind #Curious #Humans

  • A vague uncritical idealism always lends itself to ridicule and too much of it might be a danger to mankind, leading it round in a futile wild-goose chase for imaginary ideals.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Might #Too Much #Danger

  • I distrust all dead and mechanical formulas for expressing anything connected with human affairs and human personalities. Putting human affairs in exact formulas shows in itself a lack of the sense of humor and therefore a lack of wisdom.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Personality #Sense Of Humor #Affair

  • My faith in human dignity consists in the belief that man is the greatest scamp on earth. Human dignity must be associated with the idea of a scamp and not with that of an obedient, disciplined and regimented soldier.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Men #Ideas #Soldier

  • To me personally the only function of philosophy is to teach us to take life more lightly and gayly than the average businessman does, for no businessman who does not retire at fifty, if he can, is in my eyes a philosopher.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Philosophy #Eye #Average

  • A solemn funeral is inconceivable to the Chinese mind.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Funeral #Chinese #Mind

  • If there is anything we are serious about, it is neither religion nor learning, but food.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Serious #Culinary

  • As for international understanding, I feel that macaroni has done more for our appreciation of Italy than Mussolini.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Appreciation #Understanding #Done

  • The fonder you are of your ideals, the greater your heartbreaks.
    -- Lin Yutang

  • The humour of the Chinese people in inventing gunpowder and finding its best use in making firecrackers for their grandfathers' birthdays is merely symbolical of their inventiveness along merely pacific lines.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #People #Chinese #Grandfather

  • Somewhere in [China's] soul lurks the cunning of an old dog, and it is a cunning that is strangely impressive. What a strange old soul! What a great old soul!
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Dog #Soul #Strange

  • The world I believe is far too serious, and being far too serious ... it has need of a wise and merry philosophy.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Wise #Philosophy #Believe

  • China is the greatest mystifying and stupefying fact in the modern world.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #World #Facts #Modern

  • Winter in Peking is insurpassable, unless indeed it is surpassed by the other seasons in that blessed city. For Peking is a city clearly marked by the seasons, each perfect in its own way and each different from the others.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Blessed #Winter #Cities

  • Nobody is ever misunderstood at a fireside; he may only be disagreed with.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Misunderstood #May

  • It is not dirt but the fear of dirt which is the sign of man's degeneration, and it is dangerous to judge a man's physical and moral sanity by outside standards.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Men #Judging #Dirt

  • Everything has its place and time. We men of the nineteen-forties can smile at the mistakes of the nineteen-thirties, and, in turn, the men of the nineteen-fifties will laugh at the mistakes of the nineteen-forties. It is this historical perspective that shall save us.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Mistake #Men #Laughing

  • We (the Chinese) eat food for its texture, the elastic or crisp effect it has on our teeth, as well as for fragrance, flavor and color.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Color #Chinese #Teeth

  • I have a hankering to go back to the Orient and discard my necktie. Neckties strangle clear thinking.
    -- Lin Yutang

    #Thinking #Neckties #Clear

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