Norman Cousins

Quote Topics Cited
[John F.] Kennedy was a great listener. As he listened his eyes got larger, and he looked at you, and you knew you had been looked at and listened to. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Freedom of religion, as the Founding Fathers saw it, was not just the right to associate oneself with a certain denomination but the right to disassociate without penalty. Freedom & Liberty
Government in the U.S. today is a senior partner in every business in the country Business, Commerce & Finance
History is a vast early warning system. History
President Nixon's motto was, if two wrongs don't make a right, try three. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The nation had come into existence, historically, as a device for protecting the lives, the institutions, and the property of its people, at least in those states in which property existed. And the function of the state had been just that, which is to provide a means of protecting the group, an extension of the tribal philosophy. But with atomic weapons, no nation was able any longer to perform its historic function. And yet we persisted in thinking that it did. The form existed but the ability to fulfill that particular function was annihilated along with the city of Hiroshima. Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
The presidency is a place that is hemmed with all sorts of constraints and limitations. I don't think the American people quite know that the presidency is really a juggling act of competing pressures. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The trouble with this wide-open pornography ... is not that it corrupts but that it desensitizes; not that it unleashes the passions but that it cripples the emotions; not that it encourages a mature attitude but that it is a reversion to infantile obsessions; not that it removes the blinders but that it distorts the view. Progress is proclaimed but love is denied. What we have is not liberation but dehumanization. Taxes
There is a tendency to mistake data for wisdom… Miscellaneous
War is an invention of the human mind. The human mind can invent peace with justice. War & Peace
A book is like a piece of rope; it takes on meaning only in connection with the things it holds together.
A human being fashions his consequences as surely as he fashions his goods or his dwelling. Nothing that he says, thinks or does is without consequences.
A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Life ;History
A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas - a place where history comes to life. Life ;History ;Fame
Cynicism is intellectual treason.
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. Life ;Death ;Sympathy
Government in the U.S. today is a senior partner in every business in the country. Government ;Business, Commerce & Finance
He who keeps his cool best wins.
Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Hope is independent of the apparatus of logic. Hope
If something comes to life in others because of you, then you have made an approach to immortality. Life
If the United Nations is to survive, those who represent it must bolster it; those who advocate it must submit to it; and those who believe in it must fight for it.
It is reasonable to expect the doctor to recognize that science may not have all the answers to problems of health and healing. Health, Healthcare & Medicine ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
It makes little difference how many university courses or degrees a person may own. If he cannot use words to move an idea from one point to another, his education is incomplete. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Just as there is no loss of basic energy in the universe, so no thought or action is without its effects, present or ultimate, seen or unseen, felt or unfelt.
Laughter is inner jogging.
Life is an adventure in forgiveness. Life
Man is not imprisoned by habit. Great changes in him can be wrought by crisis - once that crisis can be recognized and understood.
My reason nourishes my faith and my faith my reason. Religion & God
Optimism doesn't wait on facts. It deals with prospects. Pessimism is a waste of time. Time
People are never more insecure than when they become obsessed with their fears at the expense of their dreams.
Respect for the fragility and importance of an individual life is still the mark of an educated man. Life ;Respect
The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started. Life ;Hope
The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness.
The human body experiences a powerful gravitational pull in the direction of hope. That is why the patient's hopes are the physician's secret weapon. They are the hidden ingredients in any prescription. Hope ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine
The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter.
The main failure of education is that it has not prepared people to comprehend matters concerning human destiny. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Failure
The only security for the American people today, or for any people, is to be found through the control of force rather than the use of force.
The tragedy of life is in what dies inside a man while he lives - the death of genuine feeling, the death of inspired response, the awareness that makes it possible to feel the pain or the glory of other men in yourself. Life ;Death
The way a book is read, which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it.
We will not have peace by afterthought. War & Peace
What was most significant about the lunar voyage was not that men set foot on the moon but that they set eye on the earth.
Where is the indignation about the fact that the US and USSR have thirty thousand pounds of destructive force for every human being in the world?
Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.
Your heaviest artillery will be your will to live. Keep that big gun going. Motivation