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People

  • Some people make it hard for me to believe in universal evolution.

    • Natalie Clifford Barney,
    • "Scatterings" (1910), in Anna Livia, ed., A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney ()
  • The know-nothings are, unfortunately, seldom the do-nothings.

  • We are irritated by rascals, intolerant of fools, and prepared to love the rest. But where are they?

  • You know, almost everyone is an irritant to me. I think people have forgotten what the word 'public' means. 'Public' means you're going to be irritated. It's a natural consequence of leaving one's home. You go outside, and there are people who are irritating. I'll be standing on the sidewalk, and someone berates me for smoking. I look at the person and think, but what about your shoes? How can you wear shoes like that and have the confidence to accost someone like me?

  • The tragedy of life is that people do not change.

  • I did not come here for society / In these years / When every meeting is collision, / The impact huge, / The reverberations slow to die down.

    • May Sarton,
    • "Gestalt at Sixty," Selected Poems of May Sarton ()
  • I love humanity but I hate people.

  • There's a thin line between collectivity and chaos...

  • In the turbulence of this anxious and active world many people are leading uneventful, lonely lives. To them dreariness, not disaster, is the enemy. They seldom realize that on their steadfastness, on their ability to withstand the fatigue of dull repetitive work, and on their courage in meeting constant small adversities depend in great measure the happiness and prosperity of the community as a whole. ... The upward course of a nation's history is due in the long run to the soundness of heart of its average men and women.

  • Today, we have less and less of a sense that people count; we have greater respect for technology than for the people who create it.

  • I cannot love people in the country, I discover, because there is always this danger that they may be acquaintances, with all the perils and choleras of acquaintance implicit in them; but in London they seem as charming as rabbits.

  • All people are made alike. / They are made of bones, flesh and dinners. / Only the dinners are different.

  • Errands of mercy — errands of sin — did you ever think where all the thousands of people you daily meet are bound?

  • The world seemed to be inhabited with three kinds of people — the sheep and the goats, and a few, a very few, lambs.

  • Is there anything more frightening than people?

  • The way we act toward 'others' is shaped by the way we imagine them. ... the human capacity to injure other people is very great precisely because our capacity to imagine other people is very small.

    • Elaine Scarry,
    • "The Difficulty of Imagining Other People," in Martha C. Nussbaum, For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism ()