quotations about perfection
Possessing the ideal makes a person nervous: you sense the inevitable decline just ahead.
GARRISON KEILLOR, "The Art of Travel", A Prairie Home Companion, July 28, 2009
Call it the Absolute, the Ideal, Perfection, Sanctity, Decency, or what you will, but strive toward it or you will smother in the morass.
AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought
The saddest thing in the world was that human beings, for all their ardent striving and desire, could never achieve physical, emotional, or intellectual perfection. The species was doomed to imperfection; it thrashed forever in despair or denial of that fact.
DEAN KOONTZ, Dark Rivers of the Heart
You tell me of degrees of perfection to which human nature is capable of arriving, and I believe it, but at the same time lament that our admiration should arise from the scarcity of the instances.
ABIGAIL ADAMS, letter to John Adams, November 27, 1775
Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache.... Whoever tries to imagine perfection simply reveals his own emptiness.
GEORGE ORWELL, Why Socialists Don't Believe in Fun
Perfection is terrible, it cannot have children.
SYLVIA PLATH, "The Munich Mannequins", Ariel
What is Perfected hereafter, must be begun here.
BENJAMIN WHICHCOTE, Moral and Religious Aphorisms
There's no such thing as a perfect guy. I think it would be strange if somebody was absolutely everything you always wanted, because then there'd be no challenge. Also, you'd feel inferior. If somebody is that perfect, how can you not think of yourself as being so imperfect next to him? I think people are perfect in their imperfections.
JESSICA ALBA, Maxim, November 2003
Perfection falls not to the share of mortals.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to John Jay, August 1, 1786
We see but in dreams the ideal.
HENRI CAZALIS, "Always"
The perfection of her face created a sense of emptiness--like a house with no curtains in the window.
JEFF ABBOTT, Black Jack Point
True perfection consists in the love of God and our neighbour, and the better we keep both these commandments, the more perfect we shall be.
TERESA OF AVILA, The Interior Castle
From the moment perfection is attained, 'tis gone.
IVAN PANIN, Thoughts
When a man says that he is perfect already, there is only one of two places for him, and that is heaven or the lunatic asylum.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit
Practice makes perfect.
Various are men's dispositions and abilities, and by their different characters, they discover different degrees of perfection.
WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine
Only gods can safely risk perfection ... it's a dangerous thing for a man.
FRANK HERBERT, Dune Messiah
Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.
VINCE LOMBARDI, attributed, Vince Lombardi: His Words
Perfection is an undiscovered jewel.
EDWARD COUNSEL, Maxims
All perfect things are saddening in effect.
The autumn wood robed in its scarlet clothes,
The matchless tinting on the royal rose
Whose velvet leaf by no least flaw is flecked.
Love's supreme moment, when the soul unchecked
Soars high as heaven, and its best rapture knows,
These hold a deeper pathos than our woes,
Since they leave nothing better to expect.
ELLA WHEELER WILCOX, "Perfectness"