All the stories and descriptions of that time without exception peak only of the patriotism, self-sacrifice, despair, grief, and heroism of the Russians. But in reality it was not like that...The majority of the people paid no attention to the general course of events but were influenced only by their immediate personal interests.
("War and Peace")
More Quotes from Leo Tolstoy:He looked at her as a man might look at a faded flower he had plucked, in which it was difficult for him to trace the beauty that had made him pick and so destroy it
In quiet and untroubled times it seems to every administrator that it is only by his efforts that the whole population under his rule is kept going, and in this consciousness of being indispensable every administrator finds the chief reward of his labor and efforts. While the sea of history remains calm the ruler-administrator in his frail bark, holding on with a boat hook to the ship of the people and himself moving, naturally imagines that his efforts move the ship he is holding on to. But as soon as a storm arises and the sea begins to heave and the ship to move, such a delusion is no longer possible. The ship moves independently with its own enormous motion, the boat hook no longer reaches the moving vessel, and suddenly the administrator, instead of appearing a ruler and a source of power, becomes an insignificant, useless, feeble man.
In the best, the friendliest and simplest relations flattery or praise is necessary, just as grease is necessary to keep wheels turning.
Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels?
The more mental effort he made the clearer he saw that it was undoubtedly so: that he had really forgotten and overlooked one little circumstance in life - that Death would come and end everything, so that it was useless to begin anything, and that there was no help for it, Yes it was terrible but true
If you want to be happy, be.
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Running an airline is a normal job. Racing is more.
Out in the lonely woods the jasmine burns Its fragrant lamps, and turns Into a royal court with green festoons The banks of dark lagoons.
Every one of our passions and affections hath its natural stint and bound, which may easily be exceeded; whereas our enjoyments can possibly be but in a determinate measure and degree.