Any man, in the right circumstances, can be dehumanized by panic
(…) after that, like any clumsy criminal caught in a thickening web of deception, he had panicked.
And panic was something that Bowman understood better than he had any wish to, for he had known it twice during his life. The first rime was as a boy, when he had been caught in a line of surf and nearly drowned; the second was as a space-man under training, when a faulty gauge had convinced him that his oxygen would be exhausted before he could reach safety. On both occasions, he had almost lost control of all his higher logical processes; he had been within seconds of becoming a frenzied bundle of random impulses. Both times he had won through, but he knew well enough that any man, in the right circumstances, could be dehumanized by panic.
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity... It is, in short, the subject of the history of the Grail. Only a predestined being has the ability to ask another: what is your torment? And he doesn't have it when he enters life. He has to go through years of dark night.
Source: Letter to the poet Joë Bousquet, 1942
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
Source : LIFE magasine, May 2, 1955
A squirrel dying in your front yard may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.
Beauty always has an element of strangeness. I do not mean a deliberate cold form of strangeness, for in that case it would be a monstrous thing that had jumped the rails of life. But I do mean that it always contains a certain degree of strangeness, of simple, unintended, unconscious strangeness, and that this form of strangeness is what gives it the right to be called beauty. It is its hallmark, its special characteristic. Reverse the proposition and try to imagine a commonplace beauty! (…) This element of strangeness which constitutes and defines individuality, without which there is no beauty, plays in art (and may the precision of this comparison excuse its triviality) the role of taste or flavouring in cookery; if the individual usefulness or the degree of nutritious value they contain be excepted, viands differ from each other only by the idea they reveal to the tongue.