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American author (1866-1942)

All kinds of evil flourish in suspicion. It is a perpetual breeder of the qualities that instantly work for evil, including secrecy and resentment.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Being Suspicious," Reactions and Other Essays

Society makes. Then society rewards and punishes her handiwork.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Prisoners of Prejudice," Reactions and Other Essays

The truth is that most of us see what we are looking for in this world. If we are looking for evil we find it. The reason is not merely that evil exists all around us. There is another reason, far more potent. By looking for evil in our fellow creatures we bring out evil either from them or from ourselves, perhaps from both.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "The Imaginary People," Reactions and Other Essays

To get away from self is really the secret of all striving. And yet, most of us fail woefully. The more many of us try the more tightly we seem to be bound.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Self," Reactions and Other Essays

The people who keep back change are often exasperating. But they have their work to perform, highly important work, too. Their very opposition, besides helping to weed out the weak ideas, gives the true ideas greater strength. For an idea is not worth much unless it can sturdily make its way through opposition and display toughness of fiber.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Change," Reactions and Other Essays

Good ideas do not need to be shouted. They can take care of themselves.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Self," Reactions and Other Essays

Those who object to what is new are controlled by the love of what is old.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Change," Reactions and Other Essays

Society is the mother of us all.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "The Perfect Mother," Reactions and Other Essays

The success of today may be the disaster of tomorrow and of other days to be. The failure of today may be an everlasting success.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "The Dead," Reactions and Other Essays

Loneliness is one of the bugbears of mankind. With some people, it is a constant source of unhappiness. They make plans, sometimes exceedingly complex, to keep it at bay. They think that it lies outside. It really lies within their own consciousness.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Loneliness," Reactions and Other Essays

Fine as justice is, as an every day quality, it is not winning. It is lacking in warmth. We need something better. We need sympathy with the other fellow and kindness.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Getting On With People," Reactions and Other Essays

Often silence is a powerful weapon. If we only knew how valiantly it could serve us in defense we should use it more. Under abuse or attack it may be the sign of guilt; but it may also be a proof of innocence and an unmistakable evidence of nobility.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Silence," Reactions and Other Essays

Dying makes what is left of living seem precious. The dying, and those about to die, feel that these last moments must be made beautiful. The cannot be permitted to include the bitterness and the enmities of the living that seem so inexhaustible. So often we hear people who, in dying, resign the old enmities and ask and grant forgiveness. Through such forgiveness they help to make dying beautiful. And, incidentally, they offer a lesson to those who go on living the apparently inexhaustibel life.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "The Dead," Reactions and Other Essays

If we think we have found truth for ourselves, above all things, let us not impose it on one another. Let us lock upon it all the doors of consciousness. For however inspiring it may be to us, however ennobling, when once we try to impose it on another it becomes a poison.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Truth," Intimations

Most sins ... are only perverted virtues.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Perquisites of Sin," Intimations

Anger is a form of madness. The words we apply to it show that human beings have long recognized its character. We still speak of angry people as mad. We sometimes say that they are "furious" or "in a fury." Some people are led by anger into the most violent excesses. Anger is one of the commonest causes of murder and it often leads to the infliction of blows, mental or physical, that might easily occasion murder. Oftener still it commits murder without loss of life, by doing to minds and souls mischief irreparable. In one respect anger is like drunkenness. It tends to destroy prudence. Where the intoxication of anger is complete, prudence disappears altogether. Then the way is clear for infamy. There are some people who, when they have once yielded to anger, lose all control. They snatch any weapon within reach. If they cannot strike with things they will strike with words, often far more terrible in their effect. They will make statements that can never be atoned for, that will sting and burn to the end of life.


We can't go far in morality before realizing that right is a relative thing and that those who disagree with us may be striving for it as earnestly as we are ourselves. It is the spirit that counts.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Reformers," Intimations

We occasionally hear of "righteous anger." We mean anger that is justified by circumstances. But, in a sense, all anger is righteous. That is, all anger justifies itself in the mind of the person who feels the anger. In another sense, there is no such thing as righteous anger. For no anger can really justify itself.


For as we all know, real love is altruism. It is finding oneself through giving up oneself.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Love", Reactions and Other Essays Discussing Those States of Feeling and Attitude of Mind That Find Expression In Our Individual Qualities

Suspicion is creative in its nature. It can bring out and develop the very evils it conceives.

JOHN DANIEL BARRY, "Being Suspicious," Reactions and Other Essays


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