Fellow from LIFE called up wanting me to tell him "the meaning of life" for a survey he's conducting. He'd written me about it. "I haven't been able to write anything," I tell him.
"Perhaps," he says, "you could tell me on the phone."
"The phone's probably tapped, " I tell him, "and I'd get in deep trouble telling Everything, and spilling the beans, so to speak, like a mole in the inner office."
"I'd keep a secret," he tells me, with a question mark in his voice.
"But that's just it," I tell him. "That's why nobody can tell you the Meaning. It's a secret."

--Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A life is not important, except in the impact it has on other lives.

--Jackie Robinson

Paolozzi's sculpture of William Blake's "Newton" (British Library)

Our greatest need & most difficult achievement is to find meaning in our lives. When we expose our hearts and minds to the fruitful contemplation of life experiences (ours and those of others), we become gifted with an invaluable measure of vision and understanding that can ultimately dazzle the imagination and stir the passions...

--Bruno Betelheim

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.

--Horace Mann, U.S. educator (1796 - 1859)

"Wanderer in the Mists" (1818) by Caspar David Friedrich

Top 10 Reasons We're Here

David Letterman

10. To invent, perfect and mass-produce the Sneaker Phone
9. So dogs and cats don't have to work for a living
8. To tremble at the terrible beauty of the stars, to shed a tear at the perfection of Beethoven's symphonies...and to crack a cold one now and then
7. To give the porpoises someone to feel superior to
6. To convert useless oxygen into valuable carbon dioxide
5. To provide cheap entertainment for the Neptunian Telescope People
4. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
3. To purchase the fine books and magazines of Time Warner, Inc.
2. I think it has something to do with proteins or amino acids or something
1. To polka, baby, polka

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'".

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Success is to be measured so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed."

--Booker T. Washington.