Why is it that when we grab for heaven—­socialist or capitalist or even ­religious—we so often produce hell?Margaret Atwood, quoted in The American Conservative

Reality is one of the possibilities I cannot afford to ignore.Leonard Cohen, quoted in Esquire.com

We experience pain and difficulty as failure instead of saying, I will pass through this, everyone I have ever admired has passed through this, music has come out of this, literature has come out of it.Novelist Marilynne Robinson, quoted in TheParisReview.org

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.Oscar Wilde, quoted in The Wall Street Journal

Politeness is an avowedly false coin, with which it is foolish to be stingy.Arthur Schopenhauer, quoted in TheBrowser.com

As long as human beings aspire, they will be capable of corrupting the object of their aspiration.Philosopher Charles Taylor, quoted in The New Yorker

If any two people could ever really get inside each other’s head, it would scare the pee out of both of them.Mystery writer John D. MacDonald, quoted in The New York Times