Top Insignificance Quotes

Browse top 45 famous quotes and sayings about Insignificance by most favorite authors.

Favorite Insignificance Quotes

1. "Fellow-citizens, we can not escape history. We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation."
Author: Abraham Lincoln
2. "Why do you love the woman you're in love with? Because she is. And that, after all, is God's own definition of Himself; I am that I am. The girl is who she is. Some of her isness spills over and impregnates the entire universe. Objects and events cease to be mere representations of classes and become their own uniqueness; cease to be illustrations of verbal abstractions and become fully concrete. Then you stop being in love, and the universe collapses, with an almost audible squeak of derision, into its normal insignificance."
Author: Aldous Huxley
3. "Humans were so preoccupied with love. They were all desperate to form an attachment to one person they could refer to as their other half. It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloveds entire world. The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again. Only when they were together could really see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray. I lay in bed, wondering about the intensity of this emotion that was so irrational and so irrefutably human. What if a persons face was so sacred to you it was permanently inscribed in your memory? What if their smell and touch were dearer to you than life itself?"
Author: Alexandra Adornetto
4. "Why do you style yourself "your worth- less and insignificant brother"? You recognize your insignificance? . . . Recognize it before God; perhaps, too, in the presence of beauty, intel- ligence, nature, but not before men. Among men you must be conscious of your dignity. Why, you are not a rascal, you are an honest man, aren't you? Well, respect yourself as an honest man and know that an honest man is not something worthless. Don't confound "being humble" with "recognizing one's worthlessness." . . ."
Author: Anton Chekhov
5. "On bad days the orange walls held hands and bent over him, inspecting him, like malevolent doctors, slowly, deliberately, squeezing the breath out of him and making him scream. Sometimes they receded of their own accord, and the room he lay in grew impossibly large, terrorizing him with the specter of his own insignificance. That too made him cry out."
Author: Arundhati Roy
6. "To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget."
Author: Arundhati Roy
7. "Unable to attribute misfortune to chance, unable to accept their ultimate insignificance within the greater scheme, the people looked for monsters in their midst."
Author: Bernard Beckett
8. "We are social animals. We like to feel a part of something of beauty and power that transcends our insignificance. It can be a religion, a political party, a ball club. Why not also Nature? I feel a strong identity with the world of living things. I was born into it; we all were. But we may not feel the ties unless we gain intimacy by seeing, feeling, smelling, touching and studying the natural world. Trying to live in harmony with the dictates of nature is probably as inspirational as living in harmony with the Koran or the Bible. Perhaps it is also a timely undertaking."
Author: Bernd Heinrich
9. "Simply raising the theme of animals in the Third Reich means that our narrative is no longer only an account of what human beings have done to one another, but also about our relations with the natural world. If,viewed against the magnitude and terror of historical events, our personal lives appear almost trivial, the lives of animals may seem more so, and evento raise the subject can at first seem either insensitive or pedantic. At thesame time, this new dimension places the events in an even vaster perspective still, one in which even the greatest battles and horrendouscrimes can begin to fade into insignificance. This is the standpoint of evolutionary time, in which humankind itself may be no more than arelatively brief episode. Perhaps the focus on animals may help us to finda more harmonious balance between the personal, historic, and cosmiclevels, on which, simultaneously we conduct our lives."
Author: Boria Sax
10. "As is so often the case with a legend, every incident has two possible interpretations, the plausible and the one that is molded to suit the making of the myth. Man is a romantic at heart and will always put aside dull, plodding reason for the excitement of an enigma. As Doc had pointed out, mystery, not logic, is what gives us hope and keeps us believing in a force greater than our own insignificance."
Author: Bryce Courtenay
11. "The earthquake, however, must be to every one a most impressive event: the earth, considered from our earliest childhood as the type of solidity, has oscillated like a thin crust beneath our feet; and in seeing the laboured works of man in a moment overthrown, we feel the insignificance of his boasted power."
Author: Charles Darwin
12. "Your memory does me more honour than my insignificance deserves."
Author: Charles Dickens
13. "I have lost patience with the idea of an insignificant human being standing up above the rest of us--whether he is called Reverend or Doctor or Judge--and shouting at us all about this thing or that. As soon as someone starts to pontificate in this way, I am apt to cut him off or leave the room, or, if this can't be done gracefully, I simply arrange that sweet vapid smile on my face that was so useful during the trial but that so infuriates Dr. Cole. After all, I have already taken the measure of my own insignificance, and I survived."
Author: Charlotte Rogan
14. "If humans did not manufacture some of their own to appear like better people, people would not aspire to be someone else. They would stop dreaming. And if people didn't dream, they would be awake to discover the wonderful misery of being. There are no singular great people. There is only a small percentage of people manufactured to look significant, for the purpose of creating the feeling of mass insignificance."
Author: Craig Stone
15. "How important can it be that I suffer and think? My presence in this world will disturb a few tranquil lives and will unsettle the unconscious and pleasant naiveté of others. Although I feel that my tragedy is the greatest in history—greater than the fall of empires—I am nevertheless aware of my total insignificance. I am absolutely persuaded that I am nothing in this universe; yet I feel that mine is the only real existence."
Author: Emil Cioran
16. "Unspoiled by education, frank and unsuspecting as young an8imals, they came up to school from their meadows, their games, and their dreams. The simple law of life was alone valid for them; the most vital, the most forceful among them was leader; the rest followed him. But little by little, with the weekly portions of tuition, another, artificial set of values was foisted upon them: he who knew his lesson best was termed excellent and ranked foremost, and the rest must emulate him. Little wonder, indeed, if the more vital of them resist it! But they have to knuckle under, for the ideal of the school is the good scholar.--But what an ideal! What ever came of the good scholars in the world?--In the hothouse of the school they do enjoy a short semblance of life, but only the more surely to sink back afterward into mediocrity and insignificance. The world has been bettered only by the bad scholars."
Author: Erich Maria Remarque
17. "A mountain is the best medicine for a troubled mind. Seldom does man ponder his own insignificance. He thinks he is master of all things. He thinks the world is his without bonds. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Only when he tramps the mountains alone, communing with nature, observing other insignificant creatures about him, to come and go as he will, does he awaken to his own short-lived presence on earth."
Author: Finis Mitchell
18. "Well, yes, yes, to be enslaved to you is a pleasure. There is, there is pleasure in the ultimate degree of humiliation and insignificance!" I went on raving. "Devil knows, maybe there is in the knout, too, when the knout comes down on your back and tears your flesh to pieces...But maybe I want to try other pleasures as well."
Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
19. "The force that played havoc with the cortisol in my blood was the same force that helped my body recover; if I felt better one day and worse the next, it was unchanged. It chose no side. It gave the girl next to me in the hospital pneumonia; it also gave her white blood cells that would resist the infection. And the atoms in those cells, and the nuclei in those atoms, the same bits of carbon that were being spun into new planets in some corner of space without a name. My insignificance had become unspeakably beautiful to me. That unified force was a god too massive, too inhuman, to resist with the atheism in which I had been brought up. I became a zealot without a religion."
Author: G. Willow Wilson
20. "I believe that around us there is only one word on all sides, one immense word which reveals our solitude and extinguishes our radiance: Nothing! I believe that that word does not point to our insignificance or our unhappiness, but on the contrary to our fulfillment and our divinity, since everything is in ourselves."
Author: Henri Barbusse
21. "...he began to fear whether in the presence of far greater events, all his acts would not fade into insignificance, just as a drop of rain disappears into the sea."
Author: Henryk Sienkiewicz
22. "I have every luxury imaginable, I own acres of land, and have enough money to buy the moon were it for sale. Though people think I have everything, it sometimes feels like my possessions own me; towering over me and reducing me into a small bundle of insignificance."
Author: J. Matthew Nespoli
23. "A community is only being created when its members accept that they are not going to achieve great things, that they are not going to be heroes, but simply live each day with new hope, like children, in wonderment as the sun rises and in thanksgiving as it sets. Community is only being created when they have recognized that the greatness of man is to accept his insignificance, his human condition and his earth, and to thank God for having put in a finite body the seeds of eternity which are visible in small and daily gestures of love and forgiveness. The beauty of man is in this fidelity to the wonder of each day."
Author: Jean Vanier
24. "As I squat to pee I look upward at the billions of stars and planets in the heavens and somehow my own insignificance no longer terrifies me as it once did, but comforts me, makes me feel a part, however tiny, of the whole complete and perfect universe. . . and when I die the wind will still blow and the stars still shine, for the place I occupy on earth is no more permanent than the water I now make, absorbed by the the sandy soil, dried instantly by the constant prairie wind . . ."
Author: Jim Fergus
25. "For boredom speaks the language of time, and it is to teach you the most valuable lesson of your life - the lesson of your utter insignificance."
Author: Joseph Brodsky
26. "Three hours later they watched the Ile de France slip out toward the flat blue distance of the open sea and sky. How astouding, Andras thought, that a ship that size could shrink to the size of a house, and then to the size of a car; the size of a desk, a book, a shoe, a walnut, a grain of rice, a grain of sand. How astounding that the largest thing he'd ever seen was still no match for the diminishing effect of distance. It made him aware of his own smallness in the world, his insignificance in the face of what might come, and for a moment his chest felt light with panic."
Author: Julie Orringer
27. "I was an intruder, at best a visitor, and would be even in my home, in my misremembered history, until the glow of phosphorescence in the Chesapeake I had longed to swim inside again someday became a taunt against my insignificance, a cruel trick of light that had always made me think of stars. No more. I gave up longing, because I was sure that anything seen at such a scale would reveal the universe as cast aside and drowned, and if I ever floated there again, out where the level of the water reached my neck, and my feet lost contact with its muddy bottom, I might realize that to understand the world, one's place in it, is to be always at the risk of drowning."
Author: Kevin Powers
28. "Every general and every soldier was conscious of his own insignificance, aware of being but a drop in that ocean of men, and yet at the same time was conscious of his strength as a part of that enormous whole."
Author: Leo Tolstoy
29. "How good it would be to know where to look for help in this life and what to expect after it, there, beyond the grave! How happy and calm I'd be, if I could say now: Lord, have mercy on me! ... But to whom shall I say it? Either it is an indefinable, unfathomable power, which I not only cannot address, but which I cannot express in words - the great all or nothing...or it is that God of whom Princess Marya has sewn in here, in this amulet? Nothing, nothing is certain, except the insignificance of everything I can comprehend and the grandeur of something incomprehensible but most important!"
Author: Leo Tolstoy
30. "Looking into Napoleon's eyes, Prince Andrei thought about the insignificance of grandeur, about the insignificance of life, the meaning of which no one could understand, and about the still greater insignificance of death, the meaning of which no one among the living could understand or explain."
Author: Leo Tolstoy
31. "How good is it to remember one's insignificance: that of a man among billions of men, of an animal amid billions of animals; and one's abode, the earth, a little grain of sand in comparison with Sirius and others, and one's life span in comparison with billions on billions of ages. There is only one significance, you are a worker. The assignment is inscribed in your reason and heart and expressed clearly and comprehensibly by the best among the beings similar to you. The reward for doing the assignment is immediately within you. But what the significance of the assignment is or of its completion, that you are not given to know, nor do you need to know it. It is good enough as it is. What else could you desire?"
Author: Leo Tolstoy
32. "The person with a secular mentality feels himself to be the center of the universe. Yet he is likely to suffer from a sense of meaninglessness and insignificance because he knows he's but one human among five billion others - all feeling themselves to be the center of things - scratching out an existence on the surface of a medium-sized planet circling a small star among countless stars in a galaxy lost among countless galaxies. The person with the sacred mentality, on the other hand, does not feel herself to be the center of the universe. She considers the Center to be elsewhere and other. Yet she is unlikely to feel lost or insignificant precisely because she draws her significance and meaning from her relationship, her connection, with that center, that Other."
Author: M. Scott Peck
33. "The tea ritual: such a precise repetition of the same gestures and the same tastes; accession to simple, authentic and refined sensations, a license given to all, at little cost, to become aristocrats of taste, because tea is the beverage of the wealthy and the poor; the tea ritual, therefore, has the extraordinary virtue of introducing into the absurdity of our lives an aperture of serene harmony. Yes, the world may aspire to vacuousness, lost souls mourn beauty, insignificance surrounds us. Then let us drink a cup of tea. Silence descends, one hears the wind outside, autumn leaves rustle and take flight, the cat sleeps in a warm pool of light. And, with each swallow, time is sublimed."
Author: Muriel Barbery
34. "There's so much humanity in a love of trees, so much nostalgia for our first sense of wonder, so much power in just feeling our own insignificance when we are surrounded by nature...yes, that's it: just thinking about trees and their indifferent majesty and our love for them teaches us how ridiculous we are - vile parasites squirming on the surface of the earth - and at the same time how deserving of life we can be, when we can honor this beauty that owes us nothing."
Author: Muriel Barbery
35. "The massive bulk of the earth does indeed shrink to insignificance in comparison with the size of the heavens."
Author: Nicolaus Copernicus
36. "Man may deceive his fellow-men, deception may follow deception, and the children of the wicked one may have power to seduce the foolish and untaught, till naught but fiction feeds the many, and the fruit of falsehood carries in its current the giddy to the grave; but one touch with the finger of his love, yes, one ray of glory from the upper world, or one word from the mouth of the Savior, from the bosom of eternity, strikes it all into insignificance, and blots it forever from the mind. (Messenger and Advocate Oct 1934 pp 14-16)"
Author: Oliver Cowdery
37. "For me, science is already fantastical enough. Unlocking the secrets of nature with fundamental physics or cosmology or astrobiology leads you into a wonderland compared with which beliefs in things like alien abductions pale into insignificance."
Author: Paul Davies
38. "Men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God"
Author: R.C. Sproul
39. "From a long view of the history of mankind, seen from, say, ten thousand years from now, there can be little doubt that the most significant event of the 19th century will be judged as Maxwell's discovery of the laws of electrodynamics. The American Civil War will pale into provincial insignificance in comparison with this important scientific event of the same decade."
Author: Richard P. Feynman
40. "When old friends get together, everything else fades to insignificance."- War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death"
Author: Robert Lynn Asprin
41. "If man merely sat back and thought about his impending termination, and his terrifying insignificance and aloneness in the cosmos, he would surely go mad, or succumb to a numbing sense of futility. Why, he might ask himself, should he bother to write a great symphony, or strive to make a living, or even to love another, when he is no more than a momentary microbe on a dust mote whirling through the unimaginable immensity of space? Those of us who are forced by their own sensibilities to view their lives in this perspective — who recognize that there is no purpose they can comprehend and that amidst a countless myriad of stars their existence goes unknown and unchronicled — can fall prey all too easily to the ultimate anomie. The world's religions, for all their parochialism, did supply a kind of consolation for this great ache."
Author: Stanley Kubrick
42. "I think astronomy is a bad study for you. It makes you feel human insignificance too plainly."
Author: Thomas Hardy
43. "I took to writing at an early age to escape from meaninglessness, uselessness, unimportance, insignificance, poverty, enslavement, ill health, despair, madness, and all manner of other unattractive, natural and inevitable things."
Author: William Saroyan
44. "Anyone who thinks they're important is usually just a pompous moron who can't deal with his or her own pathetic insignificance and the fact that what they do is meaningless and inconsequential."
Author: William Thomas
45. "Questions of personal priority, however interesting they may be to the persons concerned, sink into insignificance in the prospect of any gain of deeper insight into the secrets of nature."
Author: William Thomson

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My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it. An agnostic is somebody who doesn't believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I'm agnostic."
Author: Carl Sagan

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