Quotes about indecision

A collection of quotes on the topic of indecision.

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Allen Ginsberg photo

„I don't do anything with my life except romanticize and decay with indecision.“

—  Allen Ginsberg American poet 1926 - 1997

Source: The Book of Martyrdom and Artifice: First Journals and Poems 1937-1952

Jonathan Stroud photo
T.S. Eliot photo
Anne Rice photo
Bertrand Russell photo
Bertrand Russell photo
Jimmy Buffett photo

„Indecision may or may not be my problem.“

—  Jimmy Buffett American singer–songwriter and businessman 1946

John Ashbery photo
Kamila Shamsie photo
Maya Angelou photo

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T.S. Eliot photo

„Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.“

—  T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915)
Context: There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands,
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

E.E. Cummings photo
Bertrand Russell photo

„One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.“

—  Bertrand Russell logician, one of the first analytic philosophers and political activist 1872 - 1970

Part I: Man and Nature, Ch. 1: Current Perplexities, pp. 4–5
1950s, New Hopes for a Changing World (1951)
Context: Consider MacArthur and his Republican supporters. So limited is his intelligence and his imagination that he is never puzzled for one moment. All we have to do is to go back to the days of the Opium War. After we have killed a sufficient number of millions of Chinese, the survivors among them will perceive our moral superiority and hail MacArthur as a saviour. But let us not be one-sided. Stalin, I should say, is equally simple- minded and equally out of date. He, too, believes that if his armies could occupy Britain and reduce us all to the economic level of Soviet peasants and the political level of convicts, we should hail him as a great deliverer and bless the day when we were freed from the shackles of democracy. One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.

Darren Shan photo
Elizabeth Gilbert photo
Vātsyāyana photo
Lyndall Urwick photo
Antonin Scalia photo

„The outcome of today's case will doubtless be heralded as a triumph of judicial statesmanship. It is not that, unless it is statesmanlike needlessly to prolong this Court's self-awarded sovereignty over a field where it has little proper business, since the answers to most of the cruel questions posed are political, and not juridical -- a sovereignty which therefore quite properly, but to the great damage of the Court, makes it the object of the sort of organized public pressure that political institutions in a democracy ought to receive. […] Ordinarily, speaking no more broadly than is absolutely required avoids throwing settled law into confusion; doing so today preserves a chaos that is evident to anyone who can read and count. Alone sufficient to justify a broad holding is the fact that our retaining control, through Roe, of what I believe to be, and many of our citizens recognize to be, a political issue, continuously distorts the public perception of the role of this Court. We can now look forward to at least another Term with carts full of mail from the public, and streets full of demonstrators, urging us -- their unelected and life-tenured judges who have been awarded those extraordinary, undemocratic characteristics precisely in order that we might follow the law despite the popular will -- to follow the popular will. Indeed, I expect we can look forward to even more of that than before, given our indecisive decision today. […] It was an arguable question today whether [Section] 188.029 of the Missouri law contravened this Court’s understanding of Roe v. Wade, and I would have examined Roe rather than examining the contravention. […] Of the four courses we might have chosen today -- to reaffirm Roe, to overrule it explicitly, to overrule it sub silentio, or to avoid the question -- the last is the least responsible. On the question of the constitutionality of [Section] 188.029, I concur in the judgment of the Court and strongly dissent from the manner in which it has been reached.“

—  Antonin Scalia former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States 1936 - 2016

Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment), 492 U.S. 490 https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/492/490#writing-USSC_CR_0492_0490_ZC1, No. 88-605 ; decided July 3, 1989
1980s

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