Quotes by Leo Tolstoy

If you want to be happy, be.
- Leo Tolstoy
Boredom: the desire for desires.
- Leo Tolstoy
Music is the shorthand of emotion.
- Leo Tolstoy
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Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal.
- Leo Tolstoy
We lost because we told ourselves we lost.
- Leo Tolstoy
True life is lived when tiny changes occur.
- Leo Tolstoy
The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.
- Leo Tolstoy
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
- Leo Tolstoy
Without knowing what I am and why I am here, life is impossible.
- Leo Tolstoy
It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.
- Leo Tolstoy
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In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.
- Leo Tolstoy
All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.
- Leo Tolstoy
Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us.
- Leo Tolstoy
There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.
- Leo Tolstoy
Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six.
- Leo Tolstoy
He never chooses an opinion; he just wears whatever happens to be in style.
- Leo Tolstoy
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
- Leo Tolstoy
If so many men, so many minds, certainly so many hearts, so many kinds of love.
- Leo Tolstoy
Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.
- Leo Tolstoy
All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
- Leo Tolstoy
Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them.
- Leo Tolstoy
One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between Man and Nature shall not be broken.
- Leo Tolstoy
Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.
- Leo Tolstoy
War is so unjust and ugly that all who wage it must try to stifle the voice of conscience within themselves.
- Leo Tolstoy
We must not only cease our present desire for the growth of the state, but we must desire its decrease, its weakening.
- Leo Tolstoy
And all people live, Not by reason of any care they have for themselves, But by the love for them that is in other people.
- Leo Tolstoy
All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.
- Leo Tolstoy
Man lives consciously for himself, but is an unconscious instrument in the attainment of the historic, universal, aims of humanity.
- Leo Tolstoy
Our body is a machine for living. It is organized for that, it is its nature. Let life go on in it unhindered and let it defend itself.
- Leo Tolstoy
The greater the state, the more wrong and cruel its patriotism, and the greater is the sum of suffering upon which its power is founded.
- Leo Tolstoy
The chief difference between words and deeds is that words are always intended for men for their approbation, but deeds can be done only for God.
- Leo Tolstoy
Faith is the sense of life, that sense by virtue of which man does not destroy himself, but continues to live on. It is the force whereby we live.
- Leo Tolstoy
War on the other hand is such a terrible thing, that no man, especially a Christian man, has the right to assume the responsibility of starting it.
- Leo Tolstoy
Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.
- Leo Tolstoy
An arrogant person considers himself perfect. This is the chief harm of arrogance. It interferes with a person's main task in life - becoming a better person.
- Leo Tolstoy
A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite.
- Leo Tolstoy
The law condemns and punishes only actions within certain definite and narrow limits; it thereby justifies, in a way, all similar actions that lie outside those limits.
- Leo Tolstoy
The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life.
- Leo Tolstoy
To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can't eat it.
- Leo Tolstoy
In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.
- Leo Tolstoy
I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means - except by getting off his back.
- Leo Tolstoy
If there existed no external means for dimming their consciences, one-half of the men would at once shoot themselves, because to live contrary to one's reason is a most intolerable state, and all men of our time are in such a state.
- Leo Tolstoy

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