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Ihara Saikaku

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To make a fortune some assistance from fate is essential. Ability alone is insufficient.
--
Book III, ch. 4

 
Ihara Saikaku

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There is something that is much more scarce, something finer far, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability. The sternest comment that can be made against employers as a class lies in the fact that men of Ability usually succeed in showing their worth in spite of their employer, and not with his assistance and encouragement.

 
Elbert Hubbard
 

To believe that human things, especially their material constitution, are ordered not only by celestial beings but by the celestial bodies is a reasonable and true belief. Reason shows that health and sickness, good fortune and bad fortune, arise according to our deserts from that source. But to attribute men's acts of injustice and lust to fate, is to make ourselves good and the Gods bad. Unless by chance a man meant by such a statement that in general all things are for the good of the world and for those who are in a natural state, but that bad education or weakness of nature changes the goods of Fate for the worse. Just as it happens that the Sun, which is good for all, may be injurious to persons with ophthalmia or fever.

 
Sallustius (or Sallust)
 

I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations. If I were an atheist of the other sect, who believe or pretend to believe that all is ordered by chance, I should believe that chance had ordered the Jews to preserve and propagate to all mankind the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise, almighty sovereign of the universe, which I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization.

 
John Adams
 

It is the coward and the fool who says, This is my fate so says the Sanskrit proverb. But it is the strong man who stands up and says, I will make my own fate. It is people who are getting old who talk of fate. Young men generally do not come to astrology.

 
Swami Vivekananda
 

It was no different with my own life, and with Gertrude's and that of many others. Fate was not kind, life was capricious and terrible, and there was no good or reason in nature. But there is good and reason in us, in human beings, with whom fortune plays, and we can be stronger than nature and fate, if only for a few hours. And we can draw close to one another in times of need, understand and love one another, and live to comfort each other. And sometimes, when the black depths are silent, we can do even more. We can then be gods for moments, stretch out a commanding hand and create things which were not there before and which, when they are created, continue to live without us. Out of sounds, words, and other frail and worthless things, we can construct playthings songs and poems full of meaning, consolation and goodness, more beautiful and enduring than the grim sport of fortune and destiny. We can keep the spirit of God in our hearts and, at times, when we are full of Him, He can appear in our eyes and our words, and also talk to others who do no know or do not wish to know Him. We cannot evade life's course, but we can school ourselves to be superior to fortune and also to look unflinchingly upon the most painful things.

 
Hermann Hesse
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