Leo Rosten Quotes

Most popular Leo Rosten Quotes

Satire is focused bitterness.

satire

Humor is the affectionate communication of insight.

humor insight

Conservative: One who admires radicals a century after they're dead.

conservatives funny

First-rate men hire first-rate men; second-rate men hire third-rate men.
— Leo Rosten

management

A conservative is one who admires radicals centuries after they're dead.
— Leo Rosten

conservatives

Words must surely be counted among the most powerful drugs man ever invented.
— Leo Rosten

language

First-rate people hire first-rate people; second-rate people hire third-rate people.
— Leo Rosten

managing people management excellence

Every writer is a narcissist. This does not mean that he is vain; it only means that he is hopelessly self-absorbed.

self-centered narcissist writers

The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.
— Leo Rosten

happiness purpose of life

Chutzpah is that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.
A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood.

communication

I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.
— Leo Rosten

happiness purpose of life

Yiddish is the Robin Hood of languages.  It steals from the linguistically rich to give to the fledgling poor.  It shows not the slightest hesitation in taking in houseguests—to whom it gives free room and board regardless of genealogy, faith, or exoticism.

Yiddish

The purpose of life is not to be happy.  The purpose of life is to matter, to be productive, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.  Happiness, in the ancient, noble sense, means self-fulfillment—and is given to those who use to the fullest whatever talents God or luck or fate bestowed upon them.  Happiness, to me, lies in stretching, to the farthest boundaries of which we are capable, the resources of the mind and heart.

happiness