Sydney J. Harris Quotes

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When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?'
Sydney J. Harris (Strictly Personal, 1953)
Courage comes in many forms.
Sydney J. Harris (Majority of One, 1957)
The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.
Sydney J. Harris
The deepest and rarest kind of courage has nothing to do with feats or obstacles in the outside world; and, indeed, has nothing to do with the outside world — it is the courage to be who you are.
Sydney J. Harris (Leaving the Surface, 1968)
Ninety per cent of the world's woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves - so how can we know anyone else?
Sydney J. Harris
Those obsessed with health are not healthy; the first requisite of good health is a certain calculated carelessness about oneself.
Sydney J. Harris (Last Things First, 1961)
The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
Sydney J. Harris (Pieces of Eight, 1982)
Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
Sydney J. Harris
Success is just a little more effort.
Sydney J. Harris (Pieces of Eight, 1982)
Self-discipline without talent can often achieve astounding results, whereas talent without self-discipline inevitably dooms itself to failure.
Sydney J. Harris (Pieces of Eight, 1982)
An idealist believes the short run doesn’t count. A cynic believes the long run doesn’t matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run.
Sydney J. Harris (Reader’s Digest, 1979)
Superior people are only those who let it be discovered by others; the need to make it evident forfeits the very virtue they aspire to.
Sydney J. Harris (Pieces of Eight, 1982)
Perseverance without self-criticism is a form of suicide. The world is full of people who are patiently trying to do well what they shouldn't be trying to do at all. 
Sydney J. Harris (Strictly Personal, 1953)
A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past; he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.
Sydney J. Harris (On the Contrary, 1962)
The principal difference between love and hate is that love is an irradiation, and hate is a concentration. Love makes everything lovely; hate concentrates itself on the object of its hatred. All the fearful counterfeits of love — possessiveness, lust, vanity, jealousy — are closer to hate: they concentrate on the object, guard it, suck it dry.
Sydney J. Harris (Strictly Personal, 1953)
Agnosticism is a perfectly respectable and tenable philosophical position; it is not dogmatic and makes no pronouncements about the ultimate truths of the universe. It remains open to evidence and persuasion; lacking faith, it nevertheless does not deride faith.
Sydney J. Harris (Pieces of Eight, 1982)
The art of living consists in knowing which impulses to obey and which must be made to obey.
Sydney J. Harris (For the Time Being, 1972)
If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size?
Sydney J. Harris
More persons have perished by persevering too long at the wrong things than by quitting too soon.
Sydney J. Harris (On the Contrary, 1962)
Happiness is a direction, not a place.
Sydney J. Harris
People who think they’re generous to a fault usually think that’s their only fault.
Sydney J. Harris (On the Contrary, 1962)
Love is not a trance but a transformation; ... A love that goes outward can always grow; a love that turns inward soon becomes an emotional parasite, feeding on itself, and inevitably dying for lack of nourishment.
Sydney J. Harris (Strictly Personal, 1953)
Sometimes the best, and only effective, way to kill an idea is to put it into practice.
Sydney J. Harris (For the Time Being, 1972)
The greatest enemy of progress is not stagnation, but false progress.
Sydney J. Harris
The difference between faith and superstition is that the first uses reason to go as far as it can, and then makes the jump; the second shuns reason entirely — which is why superstition is not the ally, but the enemy, of true religion.
Sydney J. Harris (Strictly Personal, 1953)
Any philosophy that can be put in a nutshell belongs there.
Sydney J. Harris
This is the beauty of doing work you enjoy, so that while it is a chore in one respect, it is a pleasure in another.
Sydney J. Harris (Pieces of Eight, 1982)
The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, "I was wrong."
Sydney J. Harris (Pieces of Eight, 1982)
The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.
Sydney J. Harris
Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.
Sydney J. Harris
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Sydney J. Harris Biography

Born: September 14, 1917
Died: December 8, 1986

Sydney J. Harris was an American journalist and essayist. He worked as a journalist for the Chicago Daily News and later on in his career at the Chicago Sun-Times.

Notable Works

Strictly Personal (1953)
Majority of One (1957)
On the Contrary (1962)
Leaving the Surface (1968)
For the Time Being (1972)
Pieces of Eight (1982)
Clearing the Ground (1986)