Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves. Edwin Way Teale (Many consider Teale the best nature writer of his generation. He has been compared to Thoreau. Another Teale quote:  "Time and space - time to be alone, space to move about - these may well become the great scarcities of tomorrow")

Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. Thoreau

You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled. Charles Haddon Spurgeon

It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly. Thoreau

My greatest gift is to want but little. Thoreau

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.  Thoreau

The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury. Charlie Chaplin

The tighter you squeeze, the less you have. Thomas Merton ("Let go. Let God." Alcoholics Anonymous saying)

There is something perverse about more than enough. When we have more, it is never enough. It is always somewhere out there, just out of reach. The more we acquire, the more elusive enough becomes. Unknown

More than you need is never enough. Alan Archibald

You cry over spilled champagne! Your complaints are not over the lack of necessities, but the abundance of benefits. You bellyache over the frills, not the basics. Over benefits not essentials. The source of your problem is your blessing.  Unknown  ("Wow." That's all Mr. Slinger could say. "Wow.")

"The medical campaign to eliminate pain overlooks the connection between pain and happiness. As we decrease our sensitivity to pain we also decrease our ability to experience the simple joys and pleasures of life. The result is that stronger and stronger stimuli - drugs, violence, horror - are needed to provide people in an anesthetic society with a sense of being alive. Increasingly, pain-killing promises an artificually painless life and turns people into unfeeling spectators of their own decaying selves. The very idea of having pain killed by somebody else, rather than facing it, was alien to traditional cultures because pain was a part of man's participation in a marred universe. Its meaning was cosmic and mythic, not individual and technical. Pain was the experience of the soul's evolution, and the soul was present all over the body. The doctor could not eliminate the need to suffer without doing away the patient."  Ivan Illich

Much of our activity these days is nothing more than a cheap anesthetic to deaden the pain of an empty life. Unknown

Materialism is the only form of distraction from true bliss. Doug Horton

The most terrible thing about materialism, even more terrible than its proneness to violence, is its boredom, from which sex, alcohol, drugs, all devices for putting out the accusing light of reason and suppressing the unrealizable aspirations of love, offer a prospect of deliverance. Malcolm Muggeridge


We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. Cynthia Ozick

The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.  G. K. Chesterton

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. Thornton Wilder

Gratitude consists of being more aware of what you have than what you don’t. Unknown

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.  Cicero

Only a stomach that rarely feels hungry scorns common things. Horace

The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!  Henry Ward Beecher

A full belly does not believe in hunger. Italian proverb

How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child's personality. A child is resentful, negative—or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people.  Sir John Templeton

Gratitude ... goes beyond the "mine" and "thine" and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy. Henri J. M. Nouwen

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.  H.U. Westermayer

Some complain that roses have thorns—others rejoice that thorns have roses!  Unknown

O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!  William Shakespeare

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.  G.K. Chesterton

You say, 'If I had a little more, I should be very satisfied.' You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled. Charles Haddon Spurgeon