Merit Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 298 quotes )
What Dad taught me above all else, and did so utterly unconsciously, was why people like him became Tories. He had been poor. He was working class. He aspired to be middle class. He worked hard, made it on his merits, and wanted his children to do even better than him. He thought? as did many others of his generation? that the logical outcome of this striving, born of this attitude, was to be a Tory. Indeed, it was part of the package. You made it; you were a Tory: two sides of the same coin. It became my political ambition to break that connection, and replace it with a different currency. You are compassionate; you care about those less fortunate than yourself; you believe in society as well as the individual. You can be Labour. You can be successful and care; ambitious and compassionate; a meritocrat and a progressive. These are entirely compatible ways of making sure progress happens; and they answer the realistic, not utopian, claims of human nature.
There was terror in each and every one of the people on that beautiful beach and on that breathtakingly beautiful evening. Terror of being alone, terror of the darkness filling their imaginations with devils, terror of doing anything not in the manuals of good behavior, terror of God’s judgment, of what other people would say, of the law punishing any mistake, terror of trying and failing, terror of succeeding and having to live with the envy of o ther people, terror of loving and being rejected, terror of asking for a rise in salary, of accepting an invitation, of going somewhere new, of not being able to speak a foreign language, of not making the right impression, of growing old, of dying, of being pointed on because of one’s defects, of not being pointed out because of one’s merits, of not being noticed either for one’s defects or one’s merits. Terror, terror, terror. Life was a reign of terror, in the shadow of the guillotine. (the devil’s words)
Well, the fact is," said Celia, in a burst of girlish frankness, "Irather think I've killed George."Killed him, eh?"It was a solution that had not occurred to me, but now that it waspresented for my inspection I could see its merits. In these days ofnational effort, when we are all working together to try to make ourbeloved land fit for heroes to live in, it was astonishing that nobodybefore had thought of a simple, obvious thing like killing GeorgeMackintosh. George Mackintosh was undoubtedly better dead, but it hadtaken a woman's intuition to see it. I killed him with my niblick," said Celia. I nodded. If the thing was to be done at all, it was unquestionably aniblick shot.
It is true that the path of human destiny cannot but appal him who surveys a section of it. But he will do well to keep his small personal commentarie to himself, as one does at the sight of the sea or of majestic mountains, unless he knows himself to be called and gifted to give them expression in artistic or prophetic form. In most other cases, the voluminous talk about intuition does nothing but conceal a lack of perspective toward the object, which merits the same judgement as a similar lack of perspective toward men.
There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.
Nearly all bookish people are snobs, and especially the more enlightened among them. They are apt to assume that if a writer has immense circulation, if he is enjoyed by plain persons, and if he can fill several theatres at once, he cannont possibly be worth reading and merits only indifference and disdain.
Politics is the business of getting power and privilege without possessing merit. A politician is anyone who asks individuals to surrender part of their liberty - their power and privilege - to State, Masses, Mankind, Planet Earth, or whatever. This state, those masses, that mankind, and the planet will then be run by . . . politicians.
My dear man,’ said Lymond, ‘he was keeping the numbers down. If we hadn’t taken precautions the whole of the noble Order of St John would be disporting itself at St Mary’s under the delusion that it was earning merit by converting us to the Cross. As it is, another half dozen are due any day. Alec, now you’ve kept us right, I’d be grateful if you would see if the head of the column knows what the hell it’s doing without you. Jerott, it won’t help us in an ambush if the rearguard is agonizing silently over Joleta’s jeopardized soul. Forget the brat. Remember, we’re common, coarse fighting-men, not a heavenly host in our shifts.
How can we judge fairly of the characters and merits of men, of the wisdom or folly of actions, unless we have . . . an accurate knowledge of all particulars, so that we may live as it were in the times, and among the persons, of whom we read, see with their eyes, and reason and decide on their premises?
In private life do we not see hypocrisy, servility, selfishness, folly, and impudence succeed, while modesty shrinks from the encounter, and merit is trodden under foot? How often is 'the rose plucked from the forehead of a virtuous love to plant a blister there!' What chance is there of the success of real passion? What certainty of its continuance? Seeing all this as I do, and unravelling the web of human life into its various threads of meanness, spite, cowardice, want of feeling, and want of understanding, of indifference towards others, and ignorance of ourselves,? seeing custom prevail over all excellence, itself giving way to infamy? mistaken as I have been in my public and private hopes, calculating others from myself, and calculating wrong; always disappointed where I placed most reliance; the dupe of friendship, and the fool of love;? have I not reason to hate and to despise myself? Indeed I do; and chiefly for not having hated and despised the world enough.