„What is the worth of anything we do? The worth is in the act. Your worth halts when you surrender the will to change and experience life“

Source: Eragon

Last update May 22, 2020. History
Christopher Paolini photo
Christopher Paolini169
American author 1983

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Cormac McCarthy photo

„Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.“

—  Cormac McCarthy American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter 1933

The Wall Street Journal, November 20, 2009, "Hollywood's Favorite Cowboy" http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704576204574529703577274572.html by John Jurgensen <!--accessed: November 17, 2009-->
Variant: I’m not interested in writing short stories. Anything that doesn’t take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.
Context: I'm not interested in writing short stories. Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.

Theodore Roosevelt photo

„The life that is worth living, and the only life that is worth living, is the life of effort, the life of effort to attain what is worth striving for.“

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919

1900s, Address at the Prize Day Exercises at Groton School (1904)
Context: Of course, the worst of all lives is the vicious life; the life of a man who becomes a positive addition to the forces of evil in a community. Next to that and when I am speaking to people who, by birth and training and standing, ought to amount to a great deal, I have a right to say only second to it in criminality comes the life of mere vapid ease, the ignoble life of a man who desires nothing from his years but that they shall be led with the least effort, the least trouble, the greatest amount of physical enjoyment or intellectual enjoyment of a mere dilettante type. The life that is worth living, and the only life that is worth living, is the life of effort, the life of effort to attain what is worth striving for.

Ray Bradbury photo

„Space travel is life-enhancing, and anything that's life-enhancing is worth doing. It makes you want to live forever.“

—  Ray Bradbury American writer 1920 - 2012

Playboy interview (1996)
Context: If NASA's budgeters could be convinced that there are riches on Mars, we would explode overnight to stand on the rim of the Martian abyss. We need space for reasons we have not as yet discovered, and I don't mean Tupperware. … NASA feels it has to justify everything it does in practical terms.
And Tupperware was one of the many practical products that came out of space travel. NASA feels it has got to flimflam you to get you to spend money on space. That's B. S. We don't need that. Space travel is life-enhancing, and anything that's life-enhancing is worth doing. It makes you want to live forever.

Oliver Wendell Holmes photo

„A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.“

—  Oliver Wendell Holmes Poet, essayist, physician 1809 - 1894

Source: The Professor at the Breakfast Table (1859), Ch. X.
Context: Poets are never young, in one sense. Their delicate ear hears the far-off whispers of eternity, which coarser souls must travel towards for scores of years before their dull sense is touched by them. A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience.

Jonathan Safran Foer photo

„I wondered, for the first time in my life, if life was worth all the work it took to live. What exactly made it worth it?“

—  Jonathan Safran Foer, book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Source: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005)
Context: I felt that night, on the stage, incredibly close to everything in the universe, but also extremely alone. I wondered, for the first time in my life, if life was worth all the work it took to live. What exactly made it worth it? What's so horrible about being dead forever, and not feeling anything, and not even dreaming? What's so great about feeling and dreaming? (p. 145)

Arthur Miller photo
Bob Dylan photo

„They tell you "Time is money," as if your life was worth its weight in gold.“

—  Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and artist 1941

Song lyrics, Slow Train Coming (1979), When You Gonna Wake Up

George Bernard Shaw photo
Bob Marley photo

„Your life is worth much more than gold.“

—  Bob Marley Jamaican singer, songwriter, musician 1945 - 1981

Jamming, from the album Exodus (1977)
Song lyrics

Lewis Carroll photo

„One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.“

—  Lewis Carroll English writer, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer 1832 - 1898

This is a paraphrase of statement in a thank you note from Carroll to a childhood friend, the actress Ellen Terry, published in Ellen Terry, Player in Her Time (1997), p. 126 https://books.google.com/books?id=2PkzZ9KaRlwC&lpg=PA126&vq=%22do%20for%20others%22&pg=PA126#v=snippet&q=%22do%20for%20others%22&f=fals by Nina Auerbach: "... and so you have found out that secret — one of the deep secrets of Life — that all, that is really worth the doing, is what we do for others?"
Disputed

Theodore Roosevelt photo

„Life can mean nothing worth meaning, unless its prime aim is the doing of duty, the achievement of results worth achieving.“

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919

1900s, A Square Deal (1903)
Context: Among ourselves we differ in many qualities of body, head, and heart; we are unequally developed, mentally as well as physically. But each of us has the right to ask that he shall be protected from wrong-doing as he does his work and carries his burden through life. No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing; and this is a prize open to every man, for there can be no better worth doing than that done to keep in health and comfort and with reasonable advantages those immediately dependent upon the husband, the father, or the son. There is no room in our healthy American life for the mere idler, for the man or the woman whose object it is throughout life to shirk the duties which life ought to bring. Life can mean nothing worth meaning, unless its prime aim is the doing of duty, the achievement of results worth achieving.

Brian Greene photo
Jean Paul Sartre photo

„To know what life is worth you have to risk it once in a while.“

—  Jean Paul Sartre French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary cri… 1905 - 1980

Source: No Exit and Three Other Plays

Johnny Depp photo
William Beebe photo

„The isness of things is well worth studying; but it is their whyness that makes life worth living.“

—  William Beebe American ornithologist, marine biologist, entomologist, and explorer 1877 - 1962

As quoted in On Aggression by Konrad Lorenz (1963)

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