„We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial—I believe we are lost.“

Source: All Quiet on the Western Front

Last update June 3, 2021. History
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Erich Maria Remarque63
German novelist 1898 - 1970

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„We are as forlorn as children lost in the woods. When you stand in front of me and look at me, what do you know of the griefs that are in me and what do I know of yours?“

—  Franz Kafka author 1883 - 1924

Letter to Oskar Pollak (8 November 1903); cited from Briefe, 1902-1924 (1958) edited by [Max Brod]], p. 27<!-- New York: Schocken --> ; translation from Franz Kafka, Representative Man (1991) by Frederick R. Karl, p. 98 <!-- New York: Ticknor & Fields -->
Context: We are as forlorn as children lost in the woods. When you stand in front of me and look at me, what do you know of the griefs that are in me and what do I know of yours? And if I were to cast myself down before you and weep and tell you, what more would you know about me than you know about Hell when someone tells you it is hot and dreadful? For that reason alone we human beings ought to stand before one another as reverently, as reflectively, as lovingly, as we would before the entrance to Hell.

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„People like you and me never grow old. We never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

In a letter to Otto Juliusburger, September 29, 1942. Available in Einstein Archives 38-238
1940s
Variant: Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.
Context: People like you and I, though mortal of course like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live... [We] never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.

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„We are like pygmies lost in a maze of haze. We are not at war, we are having a nervous breakdown, again.“

—  Hunter S. Thompson American journalist and author 1937 - 2005

2000s, Kingdom of Fear: Loathsome Secrets of a Star-crossed Child in the Final Days of the American Century (2004)

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„Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.“

—  George Lucas American film producer 1944

Source: The Empire Strikes Back

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„We did not yet have laws or order. We were like children just learning to walk.“

—  Pol Pot former General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea 1925 - 1998

On the Democratic Kampuchea period, as reported by David Ashley (1995) and quoted in David P. Chandler, Brother Number One (1999)
Attributed

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„We felt that the public, and especially the children, like animals that are cute and little. I think we are rather indebted to Charlie Chaplin for the idea.“

—  Walt Disney American film producer and businessman 1901 - 1966

Stating that the development of the Mickey Mouse character was inspired by Charlie Chaplin's character "the Tramp", as quoted in How to Be Like Walt : Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life (2004) by Pat Williams and Jim Denney, p. 52
Context: We felt that the public, and especially the children, like animals that are cute and little. I think we are rather indebted to Charlie Chaplin for the idea. We wanted something appealing, and we thought of a tiny bit of a mouse that would have something of the wistfulness of Chaplin — a little fellow trying to do the best he could.

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