Quotes

10 Best Lin Yutang Quotes and Sayings

Lin Yutang (October 10, 1895 – March 26, 1976) was a Chinese writer, translator, linguist and inventor. His informal but polished style in both Chinese and English made him one of the most influential writers of his generation, and his compilations and translations of classic Chinese texts into English were bestsellers in the West.

To celebrate his 121st birthday, we’ve compiled 10 of his best quotes.

1. The wise man reads both books and life itself.

2. No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.

3. A good traveller is one who does not know where he is going to, and a perfect traveller does not know where he came from.

4. If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.

5. Today we are afraid of simple words like goodness and mercy and kindness. We don’t believe in the good old words because we don’t believe in good old values anymore. And that’s why the world is sick.

6. Society can exist only on the basis that there is some amount of polished lying and that no one says exactly what he thinks.

7. Where there are too many policemen, there is no liberty. Where there are too many soldiers, there is no peace. Where there are too many lawyers, there is no justice.

8. This I conceive to be the chemical function of humor: to change the character of our thought.

9. Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.

10. Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.

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