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  • Few — very few — of our attainments are so profound that they are valid for always; even if they are so, they need adjustment, a straightening here, a loosening there, like an old garment to be fitted to the body ...

  • Things good in themselves ... perfectly valid in the integrity of their origins, become fetters if they cannot alter.

  • ... nearly all great civilizations that perished did so because they had crystallized, because they were incapable of adapting themselves to new conditions, new methods, new points of view. It is as though people would literally rather die than change.

  • Thea was still under the belief that public opinion could be placated; that if you clucked often enough, the hens would mistake you for one of themselves.

  • ... if I can't get what I want — well, I'll want what I can get.

  • All our footsteps, set to make / Metric advance, / Lapse into arcs in deference / To circumstance.

  • ... the strongest will is the will that knows how to bend.

  • ... if you cannot get what you want, common sense suggests that you should put your mind to wanting what you can get.

  • I entered beauty pageants in much the same spirit most people enter politics — with high ideals and ambitions. Similarly, I had to make some adjustments here and there along the way.

  • Unadaptability is often a virtue.

  • Adaptable as human beings are and have to be, I sometimes sympathize with the chameleon who had a nervous breakdown on a patchwork quilt.

  • ... children ... will put up with nothing that is unpleasant to them, without at least making a noise, which I do detest and dread; though I know mothers ought to 'get used to such things.' I have heard that eels get accustomed to being skinned, but I doubt the fact.

  • It's a lot easier to get your way if you have more than one way.

  • It is wonderful how quickly you get used to things, even the most astonishing.

  • ... human beings have an almost infinite capacity for adapting to the expectations around us — which is both the good news and the bad news.