If This Isn't Nice, What Is? Quotes

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If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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If This Isn't Nice, What Is? Quotes (showing 1-30 of 55)
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“It is a tragedy, perhaps, that human beings can get so much energy and enthusiasm from hate. If you want to feel ten feet tall and as though you could run a hundred miles without stopping, hate beats pure cocaine any day. Hitler resurrected a beaten, bankrupt, half-starved nation with hatred and nothing more. Imagine that.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“My Uncle Alex, who is up in Heaven now, one of the things he found objectionable about human beings was that they so rarely noticed it when times were sweet. We could be drinking lemonade in the shade of an apple tree in the summertime, and Uncle Alex would interrupt the conversation to say, "If this isn't nice, what is?"

So I hope that you will do the same for the rest of your lives. When things are going sweetly and peacefully, please pause a moment, and then say out loud, "If this isn't nice, what is?”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“Don’t give up on books. They feel so good—their friendly heft. The sweet reluctance of their pages when you turn them with your sensitive fingertips. A large part of our brains is devoted to deciding what our hands are touching, is good or bad for us. Any brain worth a nickel knows books are good for us.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“The function of the artist is to make people like life better than before,”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“Whenever my children complain about the planet to me, I say 'Shut up, I just got here myself'.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“And don’t try to make yourself an extended family out of ghosts on the Internet. Get yourself a Harley and join the Hell’s Angels instead.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“One sort of optional thing you might do is to realize there are six seasons instead of four. The poetry of four seasons is all wrong for this part of the planet, and this may explain why we are so depressed so much of the time. I mean, Spring doesn’t feel like Spring a lot of the time, and November is all wrong for Fall and so on. Here is the truth about the seasons: Spring is May and June! What could be springier than May and June? Summer is July and August. Really hot, right? Autumn is September and October. See the pumpkins? Smell those burning leaves. Next comes the season called “Locking.” That is when Nature shuts everything down. November and December aren’t Winter. They’re Locking. Next comes Winter, January and February. Boy! Are they ever cold! What comes next? Not Spring. Unlocking comes next. What else could April be?”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“Any brain worth a nickel knows books are good for us.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
tags: books
“Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“There’s only one rule I know of—Goddam it, you’ve got to be kind.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“I hope you know that television and computers are no more your friends, and no more increasers of your brainpower, than slot machines. All they want is for you to sit still and buy all kinds of junk, and play the stock market as though it were a game of blackjack.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“A show of hands, please: How many of you have had a teacher at any stage of your education, from the first grade until this day in May, who made you happier to be alive, prouder to be alive, than you had previously believed possible? Good! Now say the name of that teacher to someone sitting or standing near you. All done? Thank you, and drive home safely, and God bless you all.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“Your government does not exist and should not exist in order to keep you or anybody else, no matter what color, no matter what race, no matter what religion, from getting your damn fool feelings hurt.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED OF THE EXISTENCE OF GOD WAS MUSIC.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“...if you were to bother to read my books, to behave as any educated person would, you would learn that they are not sexy, and do not argue in favor of wildness of any kind. They beg that people be kinder and more responsible than they often are. It is true that some of the characters speak coarsely. That is because people speak coarsely in real life. Especially soldiers and hardworking men speak coarsely, and even our most sheltered children know that. And we all know, too, that those words really don’t damage children much. They didn’t damage us when we were young. It was evil deeds and lying that hurt us.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“The atomic bomb which we dropped on the people of Hiroshima was first envisioned by a woman, not a man. She was, of course, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. She didn't call it an "atomic bomb." She called it "the monster of Frankenstein.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“One more optional piece of advice: If you ever have to give a speech, start with a joke, if you know one.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“And what did the great British historian Edward Gibbon have to say about the human record so far? He said, “History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.” The same can be said about this morning’s issue of The New York Times.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“Men want a lot of pals—and they don’t want people to get mad at them.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“And only well-informed, warm-hearted people can teach others things they’ll always remember and love. Computers and TV don’t do that. A computer teaches a child what a computer can become. An educated human being teaches a child what a child can become.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“A former locomotive man, Eugene Debs ran for president of the United States four times, the fourth time in 1920, when he was in prison. He said, "As long as there is a lower class, I'm in it. As long as there is a criminal element, I'm of it. As long as there's a soul in prison, I am not free." Some platform.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“Don’t give up on books. They feel so good—their friendly heft. The sweet reluctance of their pages when you turn them with your sensitive fingertips. A large part of our brains is devoted to deciding whether what our hands are touching is good or bad for us. Any brain worth a nickel knows books are good for us.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“Although some graduating classes will have a “handful of celebrities” who move on to the national stage, he pointed out that most would find themselves “building or strengthening your communities. Please love that destiny, if it turns out to be yours—for communities are all that’s substantial about the world.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“as a member of a zippier generation, with sparkle in its eyes and a snap in its stride, let me tell you what kept us as high as kites a lot of the time: hatred. All my life I’ve had people to hate—from Hitler to Nixon, not that those two are at all comparable in their villainy. It is a tragedy, perhaps, that human beings can get so much energy and enthusiasm from hate. If you want to feel ten feet tall and as though you could run a hundred miles without stopping, hate beats pure cocaine any day. Hitler resurrected a beaten, bankrupt, half-starved nation with hatred and nothing more. Imagine”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“Popular as he was as a graduation speaker, Vonnegut never graduated from college.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“I have several children—seven, to be exact—too many children for an atheist, certainly. Whenever my children complain about the planet to me, I say, “Shut up! I just got here myself. Who do you think I am—Methuselah? You think I like the news of the day any better than you do? You’re wrong.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“What is it artists do?” And I mumbled something. “They do two things,” he said. “First, they admit they can’t straighten out the whole universe. And then second, they make at least one little part of it exactly as it should be. A blob of clay, a square of canvas, a piece of paper, or whatever.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“How many of you have had a teacher at any level of your education who made you more excited to be alive, prouder to be alive, than you had previously believed possible? Hold up your hands, please. Now take down your hands and say the name of that teacher to someone else and tell them what that teacher did for you. All done? If this isn’t nice, what is?”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young
“What did The Battle Hymn of the Republic and Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and all that have to do with our present enthusiasm for women’s rights? Not that much, really. Women just got lucky this time.”
Kurt Vonnegut Jr., If This Isn't Nice, What Is?: Advice for the Young

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