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Margery Wilson

  • Charm lies in complete forgetfulness of self.

  • The hope of any nation lies in the personal qualities of its individual members.

  • Women will not, for many a year, perhaps never, descend again to the status of toys.

  • If you happen to find it hard to have sustained conversations, try keeping your voice up at the end of the sentence. There is a charming graciousness in doing so, for it seems to say that you do not think your remarks are the last words to be said on the subject. It prevents you from seeming opinionated. How men dislike an opinionated woman! No one really likes her! To keep your voice up sounds as though you are interested in other people's ideas. The subject is still open!

  • Speaking of opinions, the charming woman does not air hers very freely. The crude woman is eager to let you know what she thinks of every matter, person or object that bobs up. She comments on every passing item — even in public, as you may have noticed. Not only is it bad taste for her to be so desperately interested in her own reactions and opinions — but she throws away the precious aura of reserve and mystery that makes a woman attractive.

  • To be alive is sufficient evidence that we are needed in the world. Otherwise we wouldn't be here.

  • People make life. The more people, the more life.

  • Flirting is a cheap, dangerous shortcut to get something you can't hold after you get it.

  • People will invite you and seek you constantly if you learn how to give them the extreme pleasure of being clever. People adore the one who encourages them to display their conversational wares and admires the display.

  • Confidences! the most dangerous pleasures on earth!

  • The very thing that seems to impede your progress can often be turned to account for you.

  • Conversation is much like a tennis game except that in tennis you try to put the ball in the most difficult position for the one who must hit it — while in conversation you must try to put it where it will be easy to hit.

  • So few people can think and talk at the same time.

  • ... a diplomat ... is not worthy of the name unless he can say 'no' and make the other person like it — or at least not be offended by it.

  • You can never be free from limitation until you are willing to recognize that you and you alone are responsible for what you are. After you have passed infancy you are not a victim of anything but your own thinking.

  • Life pulls at bewildered humanity in so many ways! Blessed is the woman who makes her life a career of stimulating the courage of others.

  • If Democracy should fail, it would be because we had been so lacking in self-discipline that our personal problems had taken all our substance and energies, leaving us nothing of value to contribute to the commonwealth.

  • Probably one of the reasons why gushing is so unattractive is that it leaves nothing for the listener to do.

  • Try to think of your thoughts as boomerangs — that is actually what they are — except that our thoughts multiply and each returns to us with a brood like itself.

  • The steadily inward look leads us all to death, nations as well as persons, and is equally infantile in them all. Perhaps the most useful thing I have learned in my lifetime is that the process of maturing gradually turns the mind away from the small-self to the greater-self that is only served by serving others.

  • ... any fair-minded person will agree that humanity hasn't the faintest inkling, at this time, of the powers and laws that will, sometime, be known and used.

  • All life is a delusion of the senses.

  • No one could have been more surprised than I at my successes, and yet deep within me there was acknowledgment that had I not succeeded, I would have been equally surprised.

  • ... they're the sort of people one invites to lunch or tea, but never to dinner.

  • Time is a friend — perhaps the best one we shall ever have. ... Time is a now — and there is only now. Memories look backward. Hope looks ahead. But there is in reality only now.

Margery Wilson, U.S. writer

Real name: Sara Barker Strayer.