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About Norman Cousins

Norman Cousins (1915 – 1990) was an American political journalist, author, professor, and world peace advocate. Wikipedia


Quotes by Norman Cousins

Norman Cousins (quotes)

  • The essence of man is imperfection.
  • Life is an adventure in forgiveness.
  • History is a vast early warning system.
  • Each patient carries his own doctor inside him.
  • The control center of your life is your attitude.
  • Don’t defy the diagnosis, try to defy the verdict.
  • Laughter is a powerful way to tap positive emotions
  • Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.
  • Assume responsibility for the quality of your own life
  • Time given to thought is the greatest time saver of all.
  • Drugs are not always necessary. Belief in recovery always is.
  • Progress begins with the belief that what is necessary is possible.
  • Second only to freedom, learning is the most precious option on earth.
  • The starting point for a better world is the belief that it is possible.
  • Never deny a diagnosis, but do deny the negative verdict that may go with it.
  • The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness.
  • The human body experiences a powerful gravitational pull in the direction of hope
  • War is an invention of the human mind. The human mind can invent peace with justice.
  • Optimism doesn’t wait on facts. It deals with prospects. Pessimism is a waste of time.
  • All things are possible, once enough human beings realize that everything is at stake.
  • The purpose of education is to enable us to develop to the fullest that which is inside us
  • You are younger today than you will ever be again. Make use of it for the sake of tomorrow.
  • Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
  • The growth of the human mind is still high adventure, in many ways the highest adventure on earth.
  • If something comes to life in others because of you, then you have made an approach to immortality.
  • Respect for the fragility and importance of an individual life is still the mark of an educated man.
  • People are never more insecure than when they become obsessed with their fears at the expense of their dreams.
  • Pain is part of the body’s magic. It is the way the body transmits a sign to the brain that something is wrong.
  • If there is a conflict between the easy drift of prosperity and the ordeal of peace, the ordeal of peace comes first.
  • Ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep.
  • It is reasonable to expect the doctor to recognize that science may not have all the answers to problems of health and healing.
  • Hope, purpose and determination are not merely mental states. They have electrochemical connections that affect the immune system.
  • Laughter is a form of internal jogging. It moves your internal organs around. It enhances respiration. It is an igniter of great expectations.
  • The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started.
  • The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter.
  • A human being fashions his consequences as surely as he fashions his goods or his dwelling. Nothing that he says, thinks or does is without consequences.
  • The heart of the matter is that some people like to cause injury or death to living things. And many of those who do not are indifferent to those who do.
  • Laughter serves as a blocking agent. Like a bullet-proof vest, it may help protect you against the ravages of negative emotions that can assault you in disease.
  • It makes little difference how many university courses or degrees a person may own. If he cannot use words to move an idea from one point to another, his education is incomplete.
  • The human body experiences a powerful gravitational pull in the direction of hope. That is why the patient’s hopes are the physician’s secret weapon. They are the hidden ingredients in any prescription.
  • The greatest force in the human body is the natural drive of the body to heal itself – but that force in not independent of the belief system. Everything begins with belief. What we believe is the most powerful option of all.
  • Death is not the greatest tragedy in life. The greatest tragedy is what dies inside us while we live. We need not fear death. We need fear only that we may exist without having sensed something of the possibilities that lie within human existence.
  • The main trouble with despair is that it is self-fulfilling. People who fear the worst tend to invite it. Heads that are down can’t scan the horizon for new openings. Bursts of energy do not spring from a spirit of defeat. Ultimately, helplessness leads to hopelessness.
  • Silence must be comprehended as not solely the absence of sound. It is the natural environment for serenity and contemplation. Life without silence is life without privacy. The difference between sanity and madness is the quality of our thoughts. Silence is on the side of sanity.
  • I’ve learned that next to the atomic bomb, the greatest danger is defeatism, despair, and inadequate awareness of what human beings possess. I feel that any problem that can be defined is capable of being resolved. Out of this has come my conviction that no person knows enough to be a pessimist.
  • To be able to rise from the earth; to be able, from a station in outer space, to see the relationship of the planet earth to other planets; to be able to contemplate the billions of factors in precise and beautiful combination that make human existence possible; to be able to dwell on an encounter of the human brain and spirit with the universe
  • On the quality of life: #1. Realize that each human being has a built-in capacity for recuperation and repair. #2. Recognize that the quality of life is all-important. #3. Assume responsibility for the quality of your own life. #4. Nurture the regenerative and restorative forces within you. #5. Utilize laughter to create a mood in which the other positive emotions can be put to work for yourself and those around you. #6. Develop confidence and ability to feel love, hope and faith, and acquire a strong will to live.