Arnold Advises

“The supreme accomplishment is to blue the line between work and play.” Arnold Toynbee

Today, April 14, is the birthday of Arnold Toynbee, the world-renowned English philosopher and writer—he was born in 1889. Taking the long view of history was one of his gifts. A gathering of his wisdom may lift us all up today:

“Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor.”

“America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its tail it knocks over a chair.”

“Write regularly, day in and day out, at whatever time of day you find that you write best. Don’t wait until you feel that you are in the mood. Write, whether you are inclined to write or not.”

“It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.“

“No being can be what he is unless he is putting his essence into action in his field.”

“The human race’s prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenseless against tigers that they are today when we have become defenseless against ourselves.”

“History not used is nothing, for all intellectual life is action, like practical life, and if you don’t use the stuff well, it might as well be dead.”

“Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: First, an ideal, which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.”

“I do not believe that civilizations have to die because civilization is not an organism. It is a product of wills.”

“Do not let yourselves be discouraged or embittered by the smallness of the success you are likely to achieve in trying to make life better. You certainly would not be able, in a single generation, to create an earthly paradise. Who could expect that? But, if you make life ever so little better, you will have done splendidly, and your lives will have been worthwhile.”

“Human dignity can be achieved only in the field of ethics, and ethical achievement is measured by the degree in which our actions are governed by compassion and love, not by greed and aggressiveness.”

“Love’s way of dealing with us is different from conscience’s way. Conscience commands; love inspires. What we do out of love, we do because we want to.”

And now, inspired and emboldened, let’s all write on!

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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