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+ 322 Our systems, perhaps, are nothing more than an unconscious apology for our faults, a gigantic scaffolding whose object is to hide from us our favorite sin.

+ 330 This truth is a remedy against spiritual pride, namely, that none should account himself better before God than others, though perhaps adorned with greater gifts, and endowments. Johann Arndt

+ 347 If we remind ourselves of the fact that every fifth American today rightly points and perhaps also with a certain degree of pride to his German ancestry or her German ancestry, we can safely say that we, indeed, share common roots. Angela Merkel

+ 297 'Pride and Prejudice' - perhaps more than any other Jane Austen book - is engrained in our literary consciousness. Seth Grahame-Smith

+ 245 Pampered vanity is a better thing perhaps than starved pride. Joanna Baillie

+ 301 I tried to keep both arts alive, but the camera won. I found that while the camera does not express the soul, perhaps a photograph can! Ansel Adams

+ 389 ...if, I say now, when, as I conceive and imagine, God orders me to fulfill the philosopher's mission of searching into myself and other men, I were to desert my post through fear of death, or any other fear; that would indeed be strange, and I might justly be arraigned in court for denying the existence of the gods... then I would be fancying that I was wise when I was not wise. For this fear of death is indeed the pretense of wisdom, and not real wisdom, being the appearance of knowing the unknown; since no one knows whether death, which they in their fear apprehend to be the greatest evil, may not be the greatest good. ...this is the point in which, as I think, I am superior to men in general, and in which I might perhaps fancy myself wiser than other men — that whereas I know but little of the world below, I do not suppose that I know: but I do know that injustice and disobedience to a better, whether God or man, is evil and dishonorable, and I will never fear or avoid a possible good rather than a certain evil.

+ 323 And how is not this the most reprehensible ignorance, to think that one knows what one does not know? But I, O Athenians! in this, perhaps, differ from most men; and if I should say that I am in any thing wiser than another, it would be in this, that not having a competent knowledge of the things in Hades, I also think that I have not such knowledge.

+ 362 If you kill such a one as I am, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me. Meletus and Anytus will not injure me: they cannot; for it is not in the nature of things that a bad man should injure one better than himself. I do not deny that he may, perhaps, kill him, or drive him into exile, or deprive him of civil rights; and he may imagine, and others may imagine, that he is doing him a great injury: but in that I do not agree with him; for the evil of doing what Anytus is doing — of unjustly taking away another man's life — is greater far.

+ 405 So now, Athenian men, more than on my own behalf must I defend myself, as some may think, but on your behalf, so that you may not make a mistake concerning the gift of god by condemning me. For if you kill me, you will not easily find another such person at all, even if to say in a ludicrous way, attached on the city by the god, like on a large and well-bred horse, by its size and laziness both needing arousing by some gadfly; in this way the god seems to have fastened me on the city, some such one who arousing and persuading and reproaching each one of you I do not stop the whole day settling down all over. Thus such another will not easily come to you, men, but if you believe me, you will spare me; but perhaps you might possibly be offended, like the sleeping who are awakened, striking me, believing Anytus, you might easily kill, then the rest of your lives you might continue sleeping, unless the god caring for you should send you another.

+ 362 If I am to live longer, perhaps I must live out my old age, seeing and hearing less, understanding worse, coming to learn with more difficulty and to be more forgetful, and growing worse than those to whom I was once superior. Indeed, life would be unliveable, even if I did not notice the change. And if I see the change, how could life not be even more wretched and unpleasant?

+ 282 Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad. James Madison

+ 314 Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. James Madison

+ 283 A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce, or a tragedy, or perhaps both. James Madison

+ 518 Accounts of outrages committed by mobs form the every-day news of the times. They have pervaded the country from New England to Louisiana, they are neither peculiar to the eternal snows of the former nor the burning suns of the latter; they are not the creature of climate, neither are they confined to the slaveholding or the non-slaveholding States. Alike they spring up among the pleasure-hunting masters of Southern slaves, and the order-loving citizens of the land of steady habits. Whatever then their cause may be, it is common to the whole country. [...] Such are the effects of mob law, and such are the scenes becoming more and more frequent in this land so lately famed for love of law and order, and the stories of which have even now grown too familiar to attract anything more than an idle remark. But you are perhaps ready to ask, "What has this to do with the perpetuation of our political institutions?" I answer, "It has much to do with it." Its direct consequences are, comparatively speaking, but a small evil, and much of its danger consists in the proneness of our minds to regard its direct as its only consequences. Abraham Lincoln

+ 456 "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." At the hazard of being thought one of the fools of this quotation, I meet that argument — I rush in — I take that bull by the horns. I trust I understand and truly estimate the right of self-government. My faith in the proposition that each man should do precisely as he pleases with all which is exclusively his own lies at the foundation of the sense of justice there is in me. I extend the principle to communities of men as well as to individuals. I so extend it because it is politically wise, as well as naturally just: politically wise in saving us from broils about matters which do not concern us. Here, or at Washington, I would not trouble myself with the oyster laws of Virginia, or the cranberry laws of Indiana. The doctrine of self-government is right, — absolutely and eternally right, — but it has no just application as here attempted. Or perhaps I should rather say that whether it has such application depends upon whether a negro is not or is a man. If he is not a man, in that case he who is a man may as a matter of self-government do just what he pleases with him. But if the negro is a man, is it not to that extent a total destruction of self-government to say that he too shall not govern himself. When the white man governs himself, that is self-government; but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-government — that is despotism. If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that "all men are created equal," and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man's making a slave of another. Abraham Lincoln

+ 340 We believe … in obedience to, and respect for the judicial department of government. We think its decisions on Constitutional questions, when fully settled, should control, not only the particular cases decided, but the general policy of the country, subject to be disturbed only by amendments of the Constitution as provided in that instrument itself. More than this would be revolution. But we think the Dred Scott decision is erroneous. … If this important decision had been made by the unanimous concurrence of the judges, and without any apparent partisan bias, and in accordance with legal public expectation, and with the steady practice of the departments throughout our history, and had been in no part, based on assumed historical facts which are not really true; or, if wanting in some of these, it had been before the court more than once, and had there been affirmed and re-affirmed through a course of years, it then might be, perhaps would be, factious, nay, even revolutionary, to not acquiesce in it as a precedent. Abraham Lincoln

+ 407 While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing perfect equality between the negroes and white people. While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me, I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I can just let her alone. I am now in my fiftieth year, and I certainly never had a black woman for either a slave or a wife. So it seems to me quite possible for us to get along without making either slaves or wives of negroes. I will add to this that I have never seen, to my knowledge, a man, woman, or child who was in favor of producing a perfect equality, social and political, between negroes and white men. Abraham Lincoln

+ 294 Perhaps the happiest moment of my life was then, when I saw that our line didn’t break and that the enemy’s did. Rutherford B. Hayes

+ 330 No doubt this great change has caused serious disturbance to our Southern communities. This is to be deplored, though it was perhaps unavoidable. But those who resisted the change should remember that under our institutions there was no middle ground for the negro race between slavery and equal citizenship. There can be no permanent disfranchised peasantry in the United States. Freedom can never yield its fullness of blessings so long as the law or its administration places the smallest obstacle in the pathway of any virtuous citizen. James A. Garfield

+ 377 The truth is that there is only one terminal dignity - love. And the story of a love is not important - what is important is that one is capable of love. It is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity. Helen Hayes

+ 276 I do not believe that civilization will be wiped out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two-thirds of the people of the earth will be killed. Albert Einstein

+ 303 Every man knows that in his work he does best and accomplishes most when he has attained a proficiency that enables him to work intuitively. That is, there are things which we come to know so well that we do not know how we know them. So it seems to me in matters of principle. Perhaps we live best and do things best when we are not too conscious of how and why we do them. Albert Einstein

+ 366 In my opinion, condemning the Zionist movement as "nationalistic" is unjustified. Consider the path by which Herzl came to his mission. Initially he had been completely cosmopolitan. But during the Dreyfus trial in Paris he suddenly realized with great clarity how precarious was the situation of the Jews in the western world. And courageously he drew the conclusion that we are discriminated against or murdered not because we are Germans, Frenchmen, Americans, etc. of the "Jewish faith" but simply because we are Jews. Thus already our precarious situation forces us to stand together irrespective of our citizenship. Zionism gave the German Jews no great protection against annihilation. But it did give the survivors the inner strength to endure the debacle with dignity and without losing their healthy self respect. Keep in mind that perhaps a similar fate could be lying in wait for your children. Albert Einstein

+ 420 The world needs new moral impulses which, I'm afraid, won't come from the churches, heavily compromised as they have been throughout the centuries. Perhaps those impulses must come from scientists in the tradition of Galileo, Kepler and Newton. In spite of failures and persecutions, these men devoted their lives to proving that the universe is a single entity, in which, I believe, a humanized God has no place. The genuine scientist is not moved by praise or blame, nor does he preach. He unveils the universe and people come eagerly, without being pushed, to behold a new revelation: the order, the harmony, the magnificence of creation! And as man becomes conscious of the stupendous laws that govern the universe in perfect harmony, he begins to realize how small he is. He sees the pettiness of human existence, with its ambitions and intrigues, its 'I am better than thou' creed. This is the beginning of cosmic religion within him; fellowship and human service become his moral code. And without such moral foundations, we are hopelessly doomed. Albert Einstein

+ 371 I cannot conceive of anything after my physical death—perhaps it will end it all. The knowledge that I am now on this earth and a mysterious part of eternity is enough for me. My death will be an easy one, too, for since early youth I have always detached myself from family, friends, and surroundings. And should I live on, I have no fear of the next life. Whatever good I did helped to free me from myself. What a miserable creature man would be if he were good not for the sake of being good, but because religion told him that he would get a reward after this life, and that if he weren't good he'd be punished. Albert Einstein

+ 270 Leave alone your sorrow
Don’t regret about the years
that passed.
Expect that one day, perhaps,
The better days will last.
Alexander Alpeev

+ 300 You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime. Dale Carnegie

+ 270 Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing. Sylvia Plath

+ 346 Although Samuel had a depraved imagination—perhaps even because of this—love, for him, was less a matter of the senses than of the intellect. It was, above all, admiration and appetite for beauty; he considered reproduction a flaw of love, and pregnancy a form of insanity. He wrote on one occasion: "Angels are hermaphrodite and sterile." Charles Baudelaire

+ 318 Perhaps the history of the errors of mankind, all things considered, is more valuable and interesting than that of their discoveries. Truth is uniform and narrow; it constantly exists, and does not seem to require so much an active energy, as a passive aptitude of the soul in order to encounter it. But error is endlessly diversified; it has no reality, but is the pure and simple creation of the mind that invents it. In this field the soul has room enough to expand herself, to display all her boundless faculties, and all her beautiful and interesting extravagancies and absurdities. Benjamin Franklin, from his report to the King of France on Animal Magnetism, 1784

+ 224 If a feeling or concern keeps recurring, then perhaps it’s wise to share it. John Amodeo, PhD, MFT

+ 289 “When I look up at the night sky, and I know that, yes, we are part of this Universe, we are in this Universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the Universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up — many people feel small, ’cause they’re small and the Universe is big, but I feel big, because my atoms came from those stars.” -Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson

+ 319 I believe that through discipline, though not through discipline alone, we can achieve serenity, and a certain small but precious measure of the freedom from the accidents of incarnation, and charity, and that detachment which preserves the world which it renounces. I believe that through discipline we can learn to preserve what is essential to our happiness in more and more adverse circumstances, and to abandon with simplicity what would else have seemed to us indispensable; that we come a little to see the world without the gross distortion of personal desire, and in seeing it so, accept more easily our earthly privation and its earthly horror — But because I believe that the reward of discipline is greater than its immediate objective, I would not have you think that discipline without objective is possible: in its nature discipline involves the subjection of the soul to some perhaps minor end; and that end must be real, if the discipline is not to be factitious. Therefore I think that all things which evoke discipline: study, and our duties to men and to the commonwealth, war, and personal hardship, and even the need for subsistence, ought to be greeted by us with profound gratitude, for only through them can we attain to the least detachment; and only so can we know peace. Robert Oppenheimer

+ 289 Equality may perhaps be a right, but no power on earth can ever turn it into a fact. Honore de Balzac

+ 334 Rabbi Eliezer would say: The honor of your fellow should be as precious to you as your own, and do not be easy to anger. Repent one day before your death. Asked his disciples: Does a man know on which day he will die? Said he to them: So being the case, he should repent today, for perhaps tomorrow he will die; hence, all his days are passed in a state of repentance. Indeed, so said Solomon in his wisdom (Ecclesiastes 9:8): 'At all times, your clothes should be white, and oil should not lack from your head'" (Talmud, Shabbat 153a). Pirkei Avot 2:10

+ 301 He would also say: Make that His will should be your will, so that He should make your will to be as His will. Nullify your will before His will, so that He should nullify the will of others before your will. Hillel would say: Do not separate yourself from the community. Do not believe in yourself until the day you die. Do not judge your fellow until you have stood in his place. Do not say something that is not readily understood in the belief that it will ultimately be understood [or: Do not say something that ought not to be heard even in the strictest confidence, for ultimately it will be heard]. And do not say "When I free myself of my concerns, I will study,'' for perhaps you will never free yourself. Pirkei Avot 2:4

+ 248 Whip those who make fun of wisdom, and perhaps foolish people will gain some wisdom. Correct those with understanding, and they will gain knowledge. Mishlei 19:25

+ 324 Wild eyes were another sign. It is something I have seldom seen — the expression of an ecstatic state — though much is foolishly written of them, as if they grew like Jerusalem artichokes along the road. The eyes are black, right enough, whatever their normal color is; they are black because their perception is condensed to a coal, because the touch and taste and perfume of the lover, the outcry of a dirty word, a welcome river, have been reduced in the heat of passion to a black ash, and this unburnt residue of oxidation, this calyx, replaces the pupil so it no longer receives but sends, and every hair is on end, though perhaps only outspread on a pillow, and the nostrils are flared, mouth agape, cheeks sucked so the whole face seems as squeezed as a juiced fruit; I know, for once Lou went into that wildness while we were absorbing one another, trying to kiss, not merely forcefully, not the skull of our skeleton, but the skull and all the bones on which the essential self is hung, kiss so the shape of the soul is stirred too, that's what is called the ultimate French, the furtherest fuck, when a cock makes a concept cry out and climax; I know, for more than once, though not often, I shuddered into that other region, when a mouth drew me through its generosity into the realm of unravel, and every sensation lay extended as a lake, every tie was loosed, and the glue of things dissolved. I knew I wore the wild look then. The greatest gift you can give another human being is to let them warm you till, in passing beyond pleasure, your defenses fall, your ego surrenders, its structure melts, its towers topple, lies, fancies, vanities, blow away in no wind, and you return, not to the clay you came from — the unfired vessel — but to the original moment of inspiration, when you were the unabbreviated breath of God. William H. Gass, The Tunnel

+ 254 The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention… A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words. Rachel Naomi Remen

+ 268 Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing. Sylvia Plath

+ 285 Perhaps we would do well to listen to the likes of Rabbi Harold Kushner, who contends that God is not really as powerful as we have claimed. Tony Campolo

+ 257 Fashion takes its inspiration from society and everyday life, which is the same for everyone, and this is perhaps the reason why certain elements recur. Stefano Gabbana

+ 259 When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself. Karen Blixen

+ 218 Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road. Karen Blixen, Out of Africa

+ 317 The first Matrix I designed was quite naturally perfect, it was a work of art, flawless, sublime. A triumph equaled only by its monumental failure. The inevitability of its doom is apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being. Thus, I redesigned it based on your history to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature. However, I was again frustrated by failure. I have since come to understand that the answer eluded me because it required a lesser mind, or perhaps a mind less bound by the parameters of perfection. Thus, the answer was stumbled upon by another, an intuitive program, initially created to investigate certain aspects of the human psyche. If I am the father of the Matrix, she would undoubtedly be its mother. The Architect

+ 349 It is not a dream, it is a simple feat of scientific electrical engineering, only expensive — blind, faint-hearted, doubting world! . . . Humanity is not yet sufficiently advanced to be willingly led by the discover's keen searching sense. But who knows? Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted, be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence — by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantry, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the heartless strife of commercial existence. So do we get our light. So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle. Nikola Tesla

+ 309 I am credited with being one of the hardest workers and perhaps I am, if thought is the equivalent of labour, for I have devoted to it almost all of my waking hours. But if work is interpreted to be a definite performance in a specified time according to a rigid rule, then I may be the worst of idlers. Every effort under compulsion demands a sacrifice of life-energy. I never paid such a price. On the contrary, I have thrived on my thoughts. Nikola Tesla

+ 290 In one of the sinking spells [due to Cholera] which was thought to be the last, my father rushed into the room. I still see his pallid face as he tried to cheer me in tones belying his assurance. "Perhaps," I said, "I may get well if you will let me study engineering." "You will go to the best technical institution in the world," he solemnly replied, and I knew that he meant it. A heavy weight was lifted from my mind.… I came to life like Lazarus to the utter amazement of everybody. Nikola Tesla

+ 301 For a while I gave myself up entirely to the intense enjoyment of picturing machines and devising new forms. It was a mental state of happiness about as complete as I have ever known in life. … When natural inclination develops into a passionate desire, one advances towards his goal in seven?league boots. In less than two months I evolved virtually all the types of motors and modifications of the system which are now identified with my name, and which are used under many other names all over the world. It was, perhaps, providential that the necessities of existence commanded a temporary halt to this consuming activity of the mind. Nikola Tesla

+ 235 The invention of the wheel was perhaps rather obvious; but the invention of an invisible wheel, made of nothing but a magnetic field, was far from obvious, and that is what we owe to Nikola Tesla. Reginald Kapp

+ 277 I am credited with being one of the hardest workers and perhaps I am, if thought is the equivalent of labour, for I have devoted to it almost all of my waking hours … Nikola Tesla

+ 265 Of the various branches of electrical investigation, perhaps the most interesting and immediately the most promising is that dealing with alternating currents. Nikola Tesla

+ 193 And Sarai said to Abram, Behold now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing; please come to my handmaid; perhaps I will be built up from her. And Abram hearkened to Sarai's voice. Bereshit 16:2

+ 162 Perhaps there are fifty righteous men in the midst of the city; will You even destroy and not forgive the place for the sake of the fifty righteous men who are in its midst? Bereshit 18:24

+ 169 Perhaps the fifty righteous men will be missing five. Will You destroy the entire city because of five? And He said, I will not destroy if I find there forty-five. Bereshit 18:28

+ 154 And he continued further to speak to Him, and he said, Perhaps forty will be found there. And He said, I will not do it for the sake of the forty. Bereshit 18:29

+ 158 And he said, Please, let the Lord's wrath not be kindled, and I will speak. Perhaps thirty will be found there. And He said, I will not do it if I find thirty there. Bereshit 18:30

+ 150 And he said, Behold now I have desired to speak to the Lord, perhaps twenty will be found there. And He said, I will not destroy for the sake of the twenty. Bereshit 18:31

+ 165 And he said, Please, let the Lord's wrath not be kindled, and I will speak yet this time, perhaps ten will be found there. And He said, I will not destroy for the sake of the ten. Bereshit 18:32

+ 168 And the servant said to him, Perhaps the woman will not wish to go after me to this land. Shall I return your son to the land from which you came? Bereshit 24:5

+ 162 And I said to my master, Perhaps the woman will not follow me? Bereshit 24:39

+ 176 Perhaps my father will touch me, and I will appear to him as a deceiver, and I will bring upon myself a curse and not a blessing. Bereshit 27:12

+ 180 And you shall say, Also, behold, your servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease his anger with the gift that is going before me, and afterwards I will see his face, perhaps he will favor me. Bereshit 32:21

+ 147 And take double the money in your hands, and the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks you shall return in your hands, perhaps it was an error. Bereshit 43:12

+ 151 Now Joseph's brothers saw that their father had died, and they said, Perhaps Joseph will hate us and return to us all the evil that we did to him. Bereshit 50:15

+ 120 It came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people: You have committed a grave sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I will obtain atonement for your sin. Shemot 32:30

+ 85 So now, please come and curse this people for me, for they are too powerful for me. Perhaps I will be able to wage war against them and drive them out of the land, for I know that whomever you bless is blessed and whomever you curse is cursed. Bamidbar 22:6

+ 85 Behold the people coming out of Egypt, a nation, has covered the 'eye' of the earth. Come and curse them for me, perhaps I will be able to fight against them and drive them out. Bamidbar 22:11

+ 73 Balaam said to Balak, "Stand beside your burnt offering, and I will go. Perhaps the Lord will happen to appear to me, and He will show me something that I can tell you," and he went alone. Bamidbar 23:3

+ 80 Balak said to Balaam, Come now, I will take you to a different place. Perhaps it will please God, and you will curse them for me from there. Bamidbar 23:27

+ 101 Perhaps there is among you a man, woman, family, or tribe, whose heart strays this day from the Lord, our God, to go and worship the deities of those nations. Perhaps there is among you a root that produces hemlock and wormwood. Devarim 29:17

+ 86 I have made the tough decisions, always with an eye toward the bottom line. Perhaps it's time America was run like a business. Donald Trump

+ 92 He gave her a bright fake smile; so much of life was a putting off of unhappiness for another time. Nothing was ever lost by delay. He had a dim idea that perhaps if one delayed long enough, things were taken out of one's hands altogether by death. Graham Greene, The Heart of the Matter

+ 120 I believe in giving as honest an answer as I can. Because perhaps if people spent more time being honest with each other, especially with children, there would be less unhappiness in the world. Jane Lotter, The Bette Davis Club

+ 120 She wanted nothing that he could offer her, except perhaps his absence. Clive Barker, The Hellbound Heart

+ 141 Protestations of happiness could sound almost boasting to those whose happiness is incomplete. One did not boast of perfect skin to one affected by dermatitis; for the same reason, perhaps, one should take care in proclaiming one's happiness. Alexander McCall Smith, The Right Attitude to Rain

+ 321 Just for fun I recently asked Erin, “Now that the kids are in summer school, don’t you think it’s about time you went out and got yourself a job?  I hate seeing you wallow in unemployment for so long.” She smiled and said, “Wow.  I have been unemployed a really long time.  That’s weird…  I like it!”

Neither of us have had jobs since the ’90s (my only job was in 1992), so we’ve been self-employed for quite a while.  In our household it’s a running joke for one of us to say to the other, “Maybe you should get a job, derelict!” It’s like the scene in The Three Stooges where Moe tells Curly to get a job, and Curly backs away, saying, “No, please… not that!  Anything but that!” It’s funny that when people reach a certain age, such as after graduating college, they assume it’s time to go out and get a job.  But like many things the masses do, just because everyone does it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  In fact, if you’re reasonably intelligent, getting a job is one of the worst things you can do to support yourself.  There are far better ways to make a living than selling yourself into indentured servitude.

Here are some reasons you should do everything in your power to avoid getting a job:

1. Income for dummies.

Getting a job and trading your time for money may seem like a good idea.  There’s only one problem with it.  It’s stupid!  It’s the stupidest way you can possibly generate income!  This is truly income for dummies.

Why is getting a job so dumb?  Because you only get paid when you’re working.  Don’t you see a problem with that, or have you been so thoroughly brainwashed into thinking it’s reasonable and intelligent to only earn income when you’re working?  Have you never considered that it might be better to be paid even when you’re not working?  Who taught you that you could only earn income while working?  Some other brainwashed employee perhaps?

Don’t you think your life would be much easier if you got paid while you were eating, sleeping, and playing with the kids too?  Why not get paid 24/7?  Get paid whether you work or not.  Don’t your plants grow even when you aren’t tending to them?  Why not your bank account? Who cares how many hours you work?  Only a handful of people on this entire planet care how much time you spend at the office.  Most of us won’t even notice whether you work 6 hours a week or 60.  But if you have something of value to provide that matters to us, a number of us will be happy to pull out our wallets and pay you for it.  We don’t care about your time — we only care enough to pay for the value we receive.  Do you really care how long it took me to write this article?  Would you pay me twice as much if it took me 6 hours vs. only 3?

Non-dummies often start out on the traditional income for dummies path.  So don’t feel bad if you’re just now realizing you’ve been suckered.  Non-dummies eventually realize that trading time for money is indeed extremely dumb and that there must be a better way.  And of course there is a better way.  The key is to de-couple your value from your time. Smart people build systems that generate income 24/7, especially passive income.  This can include starting a business, building a web site, becoming an investor, or generating royalty income from creative work.  The system delivers the ongoing value to people and generates income from it, and once it’s in motion, it runs continuously whether you tend to it or not.  From that moment on, the bulk of your time can be invested in increasing your income (by refining your system or spawning new ones) instead of merely maintaining your income.

This web site is an example of such a system.  At the time of this writing, it generates about $9000 a month in income for me (update: $40,000 a month as of 10/31/06), and it isn’t my only income stream either.  I write each article just once (fixed time investment), and people can extract value from them year after year.  The web server delivers the value, and other systems (most of which I didn’t even build and don’t even understand) collect income and deposit it automatically into my bank account.  It’s not perfectly passive, but I love writing and would do it for free anyway.  But of course it cost me a lot of money to launch this business, right?  Um, yeah, $9 is an awful lot these days (to register the domain name).  Everything after that was profit. Sure it takes some upfront time and effort to design and implement your own income-generating systems.  But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel — feel free to use existing systems like ad networks and affiliate programs.  Once you get going, you won’t have to work so many hours to support yourself.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be out having dinner with your spouse, knowing that while you’re eating, you’re earning money?  If you want to keep working long hours because you enjoy it, go right ahead.  If you want to sit around doing nothing, feel free.  As long as your system continues delivering value to others, you’ll keep getting paid whether you’re working or not.

Your local bookstore is filled with books containing workable systems others have already designed, tested, and debugged.  Nobody is born knowing how to start a business or generate investment income, but you can easily learn it.  How long it takes you to figure it out is irrelevant because the time is going to pass anyway.  You might as well emerge at some future point as the owner of income-generating systems as opposed to a lifelong wage slave.  This isn’t all or nothing.  If your system only generates a few hundred dollars a month, that’s a significant step in the right direction.

2. Limited experience.

You might think it’s important to get a job to gain experience.  But that’s like saying you should play golf to get experience playing golf.  You gain experience from living, regardless of whether you have a job or not.  A job only gives you experience at that job, but you gain “experience” doing just about anything, so that’s no real benefit at all.  Sit around doing nothing for a couple years, and you can call yourself an experienced meditator, philosopher, or politician.

The problem with getting experience from a job is that you usually just repeat the same limited experience over and over.  You learn a lot in the beginning and then stagnate.  This forces you to miss other experiences that would be much more valuable.  And if your limited skill set ever becomes obsolete, then your experience won’t be worth squat.  In fact, ask yourself what the experience you’re gaining right now will be worth in 20-30 years.  Will your job even exist then?

Consider this.  Which experience would you rather gain?  The knowledge of how to do a specific job really well — one that you can only monetize by trading your time for money — or the knowledge of how to enjoy financial abundance for the rest of your life without ever needing a job again?  Now I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the latter experience.  That seems a lot more useful in the real world, wouldn’t you say?

3. Lifelong domestication.

Getting a job is like enrolling in a human domestication program.  You learn how to be a good pet.

Look around you.  Really look.  What do you see?  Are these the surroundings of a free human being?  Or are you living in a cage for unconscious animals?  Have you fallen in love with the color beige? How’s your obedience training coming along?  Does your master reward your good behavior?  Do you get disciplined if you fail to obey your master’s commands?

Is there any spark of free will left inside you?  Or has your conditioning made you a pet for life? Humans are not meant to be raised in cages.  You poor thing…

4. Too many mouths to feed.

Employee income is the most heavily taxed there is.  In the USA you can expect that about half your salary will go to taxes.  The tax system is designed to disguise how much you’re really giving up because some of those taxes are paid by your employer, and some are deducted from your paycheck.  But you can bet that from your employer’s perspective, all of those taxes are considered part of your pay, as well as any other compensation you receive such as benefits.  Even the rent for the office space you consume is considered, so you must generate that much more value to cover it.  You might feel supported by your corporate environment, but keep in mind that you’re the one paying for it. Another chunk of your income goes to owners and investors.  That’s a lot of mouths to feed. It isn’t hard to understand why employees pay the most in taxes relative to their income.  After all, who has more control over the tax system?  Business owners and investors or employees? You only get paid a fraction of the real value you generate.  Your real salary may be more than triple what you’re paid, but most of that money you’ll never see.  It goes straight into other people’s pockets. What a generous person you are!

5. Way too risky.

Many employees believe getting a job is the safest and most secure way to support themselves. Morons.

Social conditioning is amazing.  It’s so good it can even make people believe the exact opposite of the truth. Does putting yourself in a position where someone else can turn off all your income just by saying two words (“You’re fired”) sound like a safe and secure situation to you?  Does having only one income stream honestly sound more secure than having 10?

The idea that a job is the most secure way to generate income is just silly.  You can’t have security if you don’t have control, and employees have the least control of anyone.  If you’re an employee, then your real job title should be professional gambler.

6. Having an evil bovine master.

When you run into an idiot in the entrepreneurial world, you can turn around and head the other way.  When you run into an idiot in the corporate world, you have to turn around and say, “Sorry, boss.”

Did you know that the word boss comes from the Dutch word baas, which historically means master?  Another meaning of the word boss is “a cow or bovine.”  And in many video games, the boss is the evil dude that you have to kill at the end of a level.

So if your boss is really your evil bovine master, then what does that make you?  Nothing but a turd in the herd. Who’s your daddy?

7. Begging for money.

When you want to increase your income, do you have to sit up and beg your master for more money?  Does it feel good to be thrown some extra Scooby Snacks now and then?

Or are you free to decide how much you get paid without needing anyone’s permission but your own?

If you have a business and one customer says “no” to you, you simply say “next.”

8. An inbred social life.

Many people treat their jobs as their primary social outlet.  They hang out with the same people working in the same field.  Such incestuous relations are social dead ends.  An exciting day includes deep conversations about the company’s switch from Sparkletts to Arrowhead, the delay of Microsoft’s latest operating system, and the unexpected delivery of more Bic pens.  Consider what it would be like to go outside and talk to strangers.  Ooooh… scary!  Better stay inside where it’s safe.

If one of your co-slaves gets sold to another master, do you lose a friend?  If you work in a male-dominated field, does that mean you never get to talk to women above the rank of receptionist?  Why not decide for yourself whom to socialize with instead of letting your master decide for you?  Believe it or not, there are locations on this planet where free people congregate.  Just be wary of those jobless folk — they’re a crazy bunch!

9. Loss of freedom.

It takes a lot of effort to tame a human being into an employee.  The first thing you have to do is break the human’s independent will.  A good way to do this is to give them a weighty policy manual filled with nonsensical rules and regulations.  This leads the new employee to become more obedient, fearing that s/he could be disciplined at any minute for something incomprehensible.  Thus, the employee will likely conclude it’s safest to simply obey the master’s commands without question.  Stir in some office politics for good measure, and we’ve got a freshly minted mind slave. As part of their obedience training, employees must be taught how to dress, talk, move, and so on.  We can’t very well have employees thinking for themselves, now can we?  That would ruin everything. God forbid you should put a plant on your desk when it’s against the company policy.  Oh no, it’s the end of the world!  Cindy has a plant on her desk!  Summon the enforcers!  Send Cindy back for another round of sterility training!

Free human beings think such rules and regulations are silly of course.  The only policy they need is:  “Be smart.  Be nice.  Do what you love.  Have fun.”

10. Becoming a coward.

Have you noticed that employed people have an almost endless capacity to whine about problems at their companies?  But they don’t really want solutions — they just want to vent and make excuses why it’s all someone else’s fault.  It’s as if getting a job somehow drains all the free will out of people and turns them into spineless cowards.  If you can’t call your boss a jerk now and then without fear of getting fired, you’re no longer free.  You’ve become your master’s property.

When you work around cowards all day long, don’t you think it’s going to rub off on you?  Of course it will.  It’s only a matter of time before you sacrifice the noblest parts of your humanity on the altar of fear:  first courage… then honesty… then honor and integrity… and finally your independent will.  You sold your humanity for nothing but an illusion.  And now your greatest fear is discovering the truth of what you’ve become.

I don’t care how badly you’ve been beaten down.  It is never too late to regain your courage.  Never!

Still want a job?

If you’re currently a well-conditioned, well-behaved employee, your most likely reaction to the above will be defensiveness.  It’s all part of the conditioning.  But consider that if the above didn’t have a grain of truth to it, you wouldn’t have an emotional reaction at all.  This is only a reminder of what you already know.  You can deny your cage all you want, but the cage is still there.  Perhaps this all happened so gradually that you never noticed it until now… like a lobster enjoying a nice warm bath. If any of this makes you mad, that’s a step in the right direction.  Anger is a higher level of consciousness than apathy, so it’s a lot better than being numb all the time.  Any emotion — even confusion — is better than apathy.  If you work through your feelings instead of repressing them, you’ll soon emerge on the doorstep of courage.  And when that happens, you’ll have the will to actually do something about your situation and start living like the powerful human being you were meant to be instead of the domesticated pet you’ve been trained to be.

Happily jobless

What’s the alternative to getting a job?  The alternative is to remain happily jobless for life and to generate income through other means.  Realize that you earn income by providing value — not time — so find a way to provide your best value to others, and charge a fair price for it.  One of the simplest and most accessible ways is to start your own business.  Whatever work you’d otherwise do via employment, find a way to provide that same value directly to those who will benefit most from it.  It takes a bit more time to get going, but your freedom is easily worth the initial investment of time and energy.  Then you can buy your own Scooby Snacks for a change. And of course everything you learn along the way, you can share with others to generate even more value.  So even your mistakes can be monetized.

One of the greatest fears you’ll confront is that you may not have any real value to offer others.  Maybe being an employee and getting paid by the hour is the best you can do.  Maybe you just aren’t worth that much.  That line of thinking is all just part of your conditioning.  It’s absolute nonsense.  As you begin to dump such brainwashing, you’ll soon recognize that you have the ability to provide enormous value to others and that people will gladly pay you for it.  There’s only one thing that prevents you from seeing this truth — fear.

All you really need is the courage to be yourself.  Your real value is rooted in who you are, not what you do.  The only thing you need actually do is express your real self to the world.  You’ve been told all sort of lies as to why you can’t do that.  But you’ll never know true happiness and fulfillment until you summon the courage to do it anyway.

The next time someone says to you, “Get a job,” I suggest you reply as Curly did:  “No, please… not that!  Anything but that!”  Then poke him right in the eyes.

You already know deep down that getting a job isn’t what you want.  So don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.  Learn to trust your inner wisdom, even if the whole world says you’re wrong and foolish for doing so.  Years from now you’ll look back and realize it was one of the best decisions you ever made.

Final thoughts

While I wouldn’t recommend starting an online business for everyone, for many people it’s one of the best ways to generate income without a job. It has certainly worked disgustingly well for me. If you’re interested in learning more about this option, please check out Build Your Own Successful Online Business for details.

About the author:

Steve Pavlina calls himself “the most intensely growth-oriented individual you will ever meet.” While sitting in a jail cell at age 19, Steve decided to dedicate his life to the pursuit of personal growth. Passionate about sharing what he learned with anyone who desires self-improvement, he has written more than 700 articles and has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and Self Magazine. As a result of giving away all his best ideas for free, Steve’s Website quickly became the most popular personal development site in the world, receiving more than 2 million visitors per month.

+ 100 Sustaining the World

by Avraham Shoar

In his youth, the writer, Avraham Shoar, was the chavruta (study partner) of Rav Kook in the beis medrash of Lutzin. He tells that young Avraham Yitzchak’s diligence was extraordinary. If a short amount of time passed without learning Torah, he felt real anguish: a actual physical pain:

One day (tells Avraham Shoar), he told me: “I have decided that two nights a week, we should learn mishmar (extended learning). Two nights a week, let us learn until dawn.”

I remember one such mishmar night, typical of the character of this extraordinary man. We were learning Chulin from the Talmud together. We were engaged in halachic dispute. I stood my ground, and we argued at length until we at last came to a shared understanding.

It was late. We were learning at the bimah. Around us was silence. In the adjoining dormitory, all the students were already asleep. Before us, burning above the holy ark, was the ner tamid—the eternal light. And we took a short rest from our toil and sat and conversed.

He said to me in a secretive voice: “Do you know, perhaps just the two of us are now sustaining the entire world. Perhaps the Holy One, blessed be He, is judging the world right now. And mankind’s sins are being considered, and they outweigh the good.

“Now the angel Michael, the one defender out of a thousand, picks up the words of our Torah learning and places them on the scale, and our words of Torah help outweigh the other side. If so, we have merited to sustain the entire world. And we are still just children. This is the first year that I am wearing tefillin, and as for you, you are not even bar mitzvah.”

As he spoke, I was lifted to the highest worlds. I could see, almost with my own eyes, the heavenly host: the fiery scale, the angels and cherubim. They were weighing the acts of humanity, and behold, they placed upon the scale the page of Chulin that we were learning, with the commentaries of Rashi, Tosafot and the Maharsha. And this page gave merit to the entire world.”

As I sat, submerged in my visions, Avraham Yitzchak’s voice continued. I heard him say with great simplicity: “A day will come when and I will be great in Torah. And then...” He touched me so that I would turn to him, and I saw his face burning, his eyes brilliant and sparkling like fiery coals set in milk. And he whispered: “I will go to the land of Israel, to the holy city of Jerusalem, and I will found a yeshiva there, like Kerem Beyavneh. And students from all over the world will gather there, and ‘from Jerusalem will come forth Torah.’”

These were the youthful dreams of Rav Kook.

These were his desires and yearnings when he had just become bar mitzvah.

Malachim Kivnei Adam, pp. 4-5