Norman Cousins

1912 - 1990

A Quote by Norman Cousins on pessimism

No one really knows enough to be a pessimist.

Norman Cousins (1912 - 1990)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Norman Cousins on conflict, conscience, generations, humanity, nations, needs, peace, privacy, prosperity, and security

If there is a conflict between the security of the sovereign state and the security of the human commonwealth, the human commonwealth comes first. If there is a conflict between the well-being of the nation and the well-being of humanity, the well-being of humanity comes first. If there is a conflict between the needs of this generation and the needs of all later generations, the needs of the later generations come first. If there is a conflict between public edict and private conscience, private conscience comes first. If there is a conflict between the easy drift of prosperity and the ordeal of peace, the ordeal of peace comes first.

Norman Cousins (1912 - 1990)

Source: Place of Folly, 1962.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Norman Cousins on ability, action, anthropology, architecture, art, death, editors, education, engineering, evolution, facts, history, humanity, individuality, intelligence, knowledge, language, liberty, literature, mathematics, medicine, peac

Humanity today is not safe in the presence of humanity. The old cannibalism has given way to anonymous action in which the killer and the killed do not know each other, and in which,indeed, the very fact of mass death has the effect of making mass killing less reprehensible than the death of a single individual. In short, we have evolved in every respect except our ability to protect ourselves against human intelligence. Our knowledge is vast but does not embrace the workings of peace. . . . We study history, philosophy, religions, languages, literature, art, architecture, political science . . . anthropology, biology, medicine, psychology, sanitation . . . chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics. But we have yet to make peace basic to our education. The most important subject in the world is hardly taught at all. In the spirit of this passage, the editor has taken the liberty of editing Mr. Cousins' language to make it more gender inclusive.

Norman Cousins (1912 - 1990)

Source: Place of Folly, 1962.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Norman Cousins

The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.

Norman Cousins (1912 - 1990)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Norman Cousins on adventure, forgiveness, and life

Life is an adventure in forgiveness.

Norman Cousins (1912 - 1990)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Norman Cousins on books and meaning

A book is like a piece of rope; it takes on meaning only in connection with the things it holds together.

Norman Cousins (1912 - 1990)

Source: Saturday Review, 15 AprIL 1978

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Norman Cousins on birth, fame, history, ideas, libraries, life, and metaphor

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.

Norman Cousins (1912 - 1990)

Source: American Library Association "Bulletin," October 1954

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Norman Cousins on birth, books, fame, history, ideas, libraries, life, literature, metaphor, and worship

The library is not a shrine for the worship of books. It is not a temple where literary incense must be burned or where one's one devotion to the bound book is expressed in ritual. 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.

Norman Cousins (1912 - 1990)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Norman Cousins on education, ideas, and words

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.

Norman Cousins (1912 - 1990)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Norman Cousins on compassion, indifference, and individuality

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.

Norman Cousins (1912 - 1990)

Contributed by: Zaady

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