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The following syllabus page is a three column layout with a header that contains a quicklinks jump menu and the search CSUN function. Page sections are identified with headers. The footer contains update, contact and emergency information.

Welcome to Dr. Masequesmay's Page of Favorite quotes!

Instructor Information

Picture of Dr. Gina Masequesmay


Picture of two Vietnamese women from North and South holding hands

Books for the Soul

Shorter Lines

This section has 3 parts:

On Practical Living

On Existence & Metaphysics


Favorite Quotes

Sometime in graduate school, I started writing down little sayings that I like. Here is a listing of some of the ones that I like. The longer ones are in the middle. The shorter ones are on the right. For the longer quotes, there are 2 sections:

Once a blue moon, when I have a chance, I will update this page. Also, If you know of other cool quotes, please let me know so I can add them here. Just added a quote by Arundhati Roy, one of my favorite activists.

Thanks! GM 09-29-09


If you let go a little, you'll have a little peace.
If you let go a lot, you'll have a lot of peace.
If you let go completely, you'll have complete peace.
--Ajahn Chah

"The only dream worth having is to dream that you will live while you are alive, and die only when you are dead. To love, to be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of the life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget." - Arundhati Roy

Comes The Dawn
After awhile you learn the subtle difference.
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn't mean security
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And learn to build all your roads
On today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain for plans, and futures have
A way of faling down in mid-flight.
After awhile you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure...
That you are really strong
And you really do have worth.
An you learn and learn...
With every goodbye you learn.
-- Veronica A. Shoftstall, 1971 --

Expect the worst.
You will slide an incredible distance
before you stop.
Much may be damaged.
Small bones break easily
and heal untrue.
Anticipate corners and snaking way. Brake.
It is the force, the physics, of such shapes
that do not allow guessing, heroics,
or turning back.
Do no rely upon landmarks. Surely
they will vanish in the ferocity of what
may occur.
Whatever happens, do not panic.
If you do not arrive,
keep your hands in your pockets, the tips
of your ears covered,
your heart bundled.
Do not sleep.
Do not allow yourself to be buried
in the howling
of what might have been.
-- Sharon M. Van Sluys.

To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy; not respectable, and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly;
to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart;
to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions,
hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common. This is to be my
-- William H. Channing

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or does it fester like a sore --
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat
Or crust and sugar over --
Like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
Like a heavy load?
Or does it explode?
-- Langston Hughes, Harlem.

My wish is to ride the tempest, 
tame the waves, 
kill the sharks. 
I want to drive the enemy away
to save our people. 
I will not resign myself to the usual lot of women 
who bow their heads and become concubines.
Trieu Thi Trinh, 248 A.D.

“In Germany the Nazis first came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the homosexuals, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a homosexual. Then they came for the Catholics, but I did not speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.” -- Modified from Martin Niemoeller, Lutheran pastor arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Dachau concentration camp in 1938; the Allied forces freed him seven years later.

As dawn broke, an old man was walking down the beach and spotted a young man flinging starfish into the sea. The old man asked the youth why he was doing that. The answer was that they'd die if left to the sun. "But the beach goes for miles and there are millions of them," the old man countered. "What difference is it going to make?" The young man looked at the starfish and said, as he threw it to safety, "It makes a difference to this one."  -- The Famous Starfish Story - anonymous

"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters...Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."- Frederick Douglas

"I am totally confident not that the world will get better, but that we should not give up the game before all the cards have been played. The metaphor is deliberate; life is a gamble. Not to play is to foreclose any chance of winning. To play, to act, is to create at least a possibility of changing the world."- Howard Zinn


Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-- Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken.

I never saw a Moor --
I never saw the Sea --
Yet know I how the Heather looks
And what a Billow be.
-- Emily Dickinson.

One is truth. A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before [her] I may think aloud. . . The essence of friendship is entireness, a total magnanimity and trust. It must not surmise or provide for infirmity. It treats its object as a god, that it may deify both. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friendship.

Come, I will make the continent indissoluble;
I will make the most splendid race the Sun ever yet shone upon;
I will make divine magnetic lands,
With love of comrades
With the life-long love of comrades...
-- Walt Whitman, A Song.

I DREAM'D in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the attacks of
the whole of the rest of the earth;
I dream'd that was the new City of Friends;
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love -- it led
the rest;
-- Walt Whitman, I Dream'd In A Dream.


What piece of work is a man,
how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties
in form and moving, how express and admirable in action,
how like angel in apprehension, how like a
god! the beauty of the world; the paragon of animals;
and yet to me what is this quintessence of dust?
-- Shakespeare, Hamlet IIii 303.

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word,
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
-- Shakespeare, Macbeth, Vv 23.

To consider them behind, is glory,
To consider them before, is humility.
To fall on the sudden, is disposition to weep.
To see another fall, is disposition to laugh.
Continually to be out-gone, is misery.
Continually to out-go the next before, is felicity.
And forsake the course, is to die.
-- Hobbes, Leviathan.

It Went By Me
something very beautiful
just went by me
something not to tell
in words in feelings
so fragile so wild
something yet to tell
is no longer
why and when it left
i can't tell.
by Trinh T. Minh-Ha


The world would be a disappointment once we kill our mystic side. There'd be nothing else to wonder about if the secret of the universe is all there is to know. What motivates and inspires us all is grasping the unreachable. If by a cosmic accident we learned the universal secret, then like Adam & Eve, we would be damned forever with such knowledge.


To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep--
No more, and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to; 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep--
To sleep perchance to dream--ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause, there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of depis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin; who would this fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards (of us all)
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'ver with the pale cast of thought,
An enterprises of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action. -- Soft you now,
The fair Ophelia. Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins rememb'red.
-- Shakespeare, Hamlet IIIi 55

I lived in the first century of world wars.
Most mornings I would be more or less insane.
The news would pour out of various devices
The newspapers would arrive with their careless stories,
Interrupted by attempts to sell products to the unseen.
I would call my friends on other devices;
They would be more or less mad for similar reasons.
Slowly I would get to pen and paper,
Make my poems for others unseen and unborn.
In the day I would be reminded of those men and women,
Brave, setting up signals across vast distances,
considering a nameless way of living, of almost unimagined values.
As the lights darkened, as the lights of night brightened,
We would try to imagine them, try to find each other,
To construct peace, to make love, to reconcile
Waking with sleeping, ourselves with each other,
Ourselves with ourselves. We would try by any means
To reach the limits of ourselves, to reach beyond ourselves,
To let go the means, to wake.
I lived in the first century of these wars.
-- Muriel Rukeyser