Mortality Quotes

Quotes tagged as "mortality" Showing 1-30 of 645
Albert Camus
“Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”
Albert Camus

Ayn Rand
“I could die for you. But I couldn't, and wouldn't, live for you.”
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Ernest Hemingway
“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

Markus Zusak
“Humans, if nothing else, have the good sense to die.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Rick Riordan
“Life is only precious because it ends, kid.”
Rick Riordan, The Son of Neptune

Markus Zusak
“A small fact:
You are going to die....does this worry you?”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Voltaire
“I have wanted to kill myself a hundred times, but somehow I am still in love with life. This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?”
Voltaire, Candide: or, Optimism

Cassandra Clare
“No one can say that death found in me a willing comrade, or that I went easily.”
Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Princess

H. Rider Haggard
“Yea, all things live forever, though at times they sleep and are forgotten.”
H. Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure

Albert Camus
“There is not love of life without despair about life.”
Albert Camus, Lyrical and Critical Essays

Neil Gaiman
“Everybody going to be dead one day, just give them time.”
Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys

Chuck Palahniuk
“On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.”
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Mikhail Bulgakov
“Yes, man is mortal, but that would be only half the trouble. The worst of it is that he's sometimes unexpectedly mortal—there's the trick!”
Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

Carl Sagan
“The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”
Carl Sagan

Paul Kalanithi
“Will having a newborn distract from the time we have together?" she asked. "Don't you think saying goodbye to your child will make your death more painful?"

"Wouldn't it be great if it did?" I said. Lucy and I both felt that life wasn't about avoiding suffering.”
Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air

Christopher Hitchens
“To be the father of growing daughters is to understand something of what Yeats evokes with his imperishable phrase 'terrible beauty.' Nothing can make one so happily exhilarated or so frightened: it's a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else's body. It also makes me quite astonishingly calm at the thought of death: I know whom I would die to protect and I also understand that nobody but a lugubrious serf can possibly wish for a father who never goes away.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Caitlin Doughty
“Accepting death doesn't mean you won't be devastated when someone you love dies. It means you will be able to focus on your grief, unburdened by bigger existential questions like, "Why do people die?" and "Why is this happening to me?" Death isn't happening to you. Death is happening to us all.”
Caitlin Doughty, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory

Cassandra Clare
“Humans were so stupid. They had something so precious, and they barely safeguarded it at all. They threw away their lives for money, for packets of powder, for a stranger's charming smile.”
Cassandra Clare, City of Bones

Chuck Palahniuk
“You have to give up! you have to give up!
You have to realize that someday you will die,
Until you know that, you are useless!”
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

“The curse of mortality. You spend the first portion of your life learning, growing stronger, more capable. And then, through no fault of your own, your body begins to fail. You regress. Strong limbs become feeble, keen senses grow dull, hardy constitutions deteriorate. Beauty withers. Organs quit. You remember yourself in your prime, and wonder where that person went. As your wisdom and experience are peaking, your traitorous body becomes a prison.”
Brandon Mull, Fablehaven

Ptolemy
“I know that I am mortal by nature, and ephemeral; but when I trace at my pleasure the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies I no longer touch the earth with my feet: I stand in the presence of Zeus himself and take my fill of ambrosia”
Ptolemy, Ptolemy's Almagest

David Levithan
“We do not start as dust. We do not end as dust. We make more than dust.

That's all we ask of you. Make more than dust.”
David Levithan, Two Boys Kissing

Marcus Aurelius
“Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.”
Marcus Aurelius, The Emperor's Handbook

Lord Byron
“I know that two and two make four - and should be glad to prove it too if I could - though I must say if by any sort of process I could convert 2 and 2 into five it would give me much greater pleasure.”
Lord George Gordon Byron

Thomas Bernhard
“Whatever condition we are in, we must always do what we want to do, and if we want to go on a journey, then we must do so and not worry about our condition, even if it's the worst possible condition, because, if it is, we're finished anyway, whether we go on the journey or not, and it's better to die having made the journey we're been longing for than to be stifled by our longing.”
Thomas Bernhard, Concrete

Anthony Marra
“There is something miraculous in the way the years wash away your evidence, first you, then your friends and family, then the descendants who remember your face, until you aren’t even a memory, you’re only carbon, no greater than your atoms, and time will divide them as well.”
Anthony Marra, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

“Real dishes break. That's how you know they're real.”
Marty Rubin

Mitch Albom
“The story of my recent life.' I like that phrase. It makes more sense than 'the story of my life', because we get so many lives between birth and death. A life to be a child. A life to come of age. A life to wander, to settle, to fall in love, to parent, to test our promise, to realize our mortality- and in some lucky cases, to do something after that realization.”
Mitch Albom, Have a Little Faith: a True Story

Lance Armstrong
“The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care.

I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You're right. Fine.'

I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries--I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that's someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research.

Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery.

To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be.

Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit.

So, I believed.”
Lance Armstrong, It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life

Donna Tartt
“Whenever you see flies or insects in a still life—a wilted petal, a black spot on the apple—the painter is giving you a secret message. He’s telling you that living things don’t last—it’s all temporary. Death in life. That’s why they’re called natures mortes. Maybe you don’t see it at first with all the beauty and bloom, the little speck of rot. But if you look closer—there it is.”
Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch

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