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Discontent

  • The splendid discontent of God / With chaos, made the world, / ... / And from the discontent of man / The world's best progress springs.

  • Discontent and disorder were signs of energy and hope, not of despair.

  • These ways to make people buy were strange and new to us, and many bought for the sheer pleasure at first of holding in the hand and talking of something new. And once this was done, it was like opium, we could no longer do without this new bauble, and thus, though we hated the foreigners and though we knew they were ruining us, we bought their goods. Thus I learnt the art of the foreigners, the art of creating in the human heart restlessness, disquiet, hunger for new things, and these new desires became their best helpers.

  • ... happiness makes us older, less romantic, less in need of dreams. Discontent, not happiness, is the food of youth and poetry.

  • I used to think I had ambition ... but now I'm not so sure. It may have been only discontent. They're easily confused.

  • [James R.] Lowell is a man deeply pervaded with fine discontents. I do not believe the most favorable circumstances would improve him.

    • Annie Fields,
    • 1868, in M.A. DeWolfe Howe, Memories of a Hostess: A Chronicle of Eminent Friendships ()
  • Tragedy is chic but discontent is dowdy.

  • I am profoundly in the D's — discouraged, depressed, disheartened, disgusted.

    • Alice Dunbar-Nelson,
    • 1930, in Gloria T. Hull, ed., Give Us Each Day: The Diary of Alice Dunbar-Nelson ()
  • Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.

  • ... it is only through a wholesome discontent with things as they are, that we ever try to make them any better.

    • Susan B. Anthony,
    • letter, 1883, in Lynn Sherr, ed., Failure Is Impossible: Susan B. Anthony in Her Own Words ()
  • We despise what we have, and covet that which we cannot get.