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Life is a state that distinguishes organisms from non-living objects or dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism and reproduction.


  • All who have meant good work with their whole hearts, have done good work, although they may die before they have the time to sign it. Every heart that has beat strong and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind. And even if death catch people, like an open pitfall, and in mid-career, laying out vast projects, and planning monstrous foundations, flushed with hope, and their mouths full of boastful language, they should be at once tripped up and silenced: is there not something brave and spirited in such a termination? and does not life go down with a better grace, foaming in full body over a precipice, than miserably straggling to an end in sandy deltas?

  • Brief and powerless is man's life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark.

  • I compare human life to a large mansion of many apartments, two of which I can only describe, the doors of the rest being as yet shut upon me.
    • John Keats, letter to J. H. Reynolds, 3rd May 1818.

  • Life is a pill which none of us can bear to swallow without gilding.

  • Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
    • Anaïs Nin, in D. H. Lawrence : An Unprofessional Study (1932)

  • 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.

  • Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
    • Claimed by Erica Frandsen in
        • Attributed to George Carlin in:
                    • Commonly attributed to "Unknown"

                  • Life is the distance between dreams and reality.
                    • Leonid S. Sukhorukov, All About Everything (2005)

                  • Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

                  • Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage.
                    • Anaïs Nin, as quoted in French Writers of the Past (2000) by Carol A. Dingle, p. 126

                  • Living should be perpetual and universal benediction.
                    • Wei Wu Wei in Why Lazarus Laughed : The Essential Doctrine, Zen — Advaita — Tantra (2003)

                  • The life so short, the craft so long to learn.
                    • Hippocrates, Aphorisms, I. i
                      Often translated in Latin as:
                      Ars longa, vita brevis

                  • The sea is only beautiful if there's a shore. Life is like the sea. There'll be a direction to follow even if you sail more than one day or one life... the promise of a new land is your guide, because you know that the sea is a huge world that's beautiful only if there's a shore.
                    • Patricky Field, as quoted in Beautiful if there's a shore (2008) song by Patricky Field

                  • To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.

                  • We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection. We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it.
                    • Anaïs Nin, entry for February 1954, in The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5 as quoted in Woman as Writer (1978) by Jeannette L. Webber and Joan Grumman, p. 38

                  Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

                  Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
                  • Life as we call it, is nothing but the edge of the boundless ocean of existence when it comes upon soundings.
                    • Oliver Wendall Holmes, p. 380.

                  • Life is before you,— not earthly life alone, but life— a thread running interminably through the warp of eternity.

                  • O thou child of many prayers!
                    Life hath quicksands, Life hath snares!
                    Care and age come unawares!

                  • The grand question of life is, Is my name written in heaven?

                  • The end of life is to be like unto God; and the soul following God, will be like unto Him.

                  • God help us! it is a foolish little thing, this human life, at the best; and it is half ridiculous and half pitiful to see what importance we ascribe to it, and to its little ornaments and distinctions.

                  • There is no life so humble that, if it be true and genuinely human and obedient to God, it may not hope to shed some of His light. There is no life so meager that the greatest and wisest of us can afford to despise it. We cannot know at what moment it may flash forth with the life of God.

                  • Life is rather a state of embryo, a preparation for life; a man is not completely born till he has passed through death.

                  • As one climbs a mountain roadway, and looks off on the landscape through the forest trees or from some overtopping crag, at each step he sees more and more of the outlying beauty of field and lake and forest and hill and river, till he reaches the summit, where the whole vast scene opens to the view, and enthuses his soul with delight. So life should be a constant lookout, through the gray mists, through the falling shadows, through the running tears, till he comes to the shining top of life in God Himself, where the fogs lift, and the shadows fall, and the view is all undisturbed.
                    • Theodore Bayard Romeyn, p. 381.

                  • A picture without sky has no glory. This present, unless we see gleaming beyond it the eternal calm of the heavens, above the tossing tree tops with withering leaves, and the smoky chimneys, is a poor thing for our eyes to gaze at, or our hearts to love, or our hands to toil on.

                  • Life is great if properly viewed in any aspect; it is mainly great when viewed in connection with the world to come.

                  • There is no human life so poor and small as not to hold many a divine possibility.

                  • Let the current of your being set towards God, then your life will be filled and calmed by one master-passion which unites and stills the soul.

                  • Man's life is so interwoven with the grand life of his Maker that it admits of no adequate or rational interpretation except when the Creator as Supreme and the creatures of His hand as subordinate, are seen working in unison.
                    • Charles H. Anthony, p. 382.

                  • I believe that we cannot live better than in seeking to become better.

                  • While we seek to fill up life in a way that will best secure the ends of our existence here, our whole plan and course of action should be such as will not hinder but serve our preparation for a future world.

                  • Pray for and work for fullness of life above every thing; full red blood in the body; full honesty and truth in the mind; and the fullness of a grateful love for the Saviour in your heart.

                  • Act as if you expected to live a hundred years, but might die to-morrow.

                  • Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou livest,
                    Live well; how long, or short, permit to Heaven.

                  • We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
                    In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
                    We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
                    Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.

                  • I would not choose to go where I would be afraid to die, nor could I bear to live without a good hope for hereafter.

                  • Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment uncertain, and judgment difficult.

                  • A few years hence and he will be beneath the sod; but those cliffs will stand, as now, facing the ocean, incessantly lashed by its waves, yet unshaken, immovable; and other eyes will gaze on them for their brief day of life, and then they, too, will close.

                  • They waste life in what are called good resolutions—partial efforts at reformation, feebly commenced, heartlessly conducted, and hopelessly concluded.

                  • And thus does life go on, until death accomplishes the catastrophe in silence, takes the worn frame within his hand, and, as if it were a dried-up scroll, crumbles it in his grasp to ashes. The monuments of kingdoms, too, shall disappear. Still the globe shall move; still the stars shall burn; still the sun shall paint its colors on the day, and its colors on the year. What, then, is the individual, or what even is the race in the sublime recurrings of Time? Years, centuries, cycles, are nothing to these. The sun that measures out the ages of our planet is not a second-hand on the great dial of the universe.

                  • Oh, I believe that there is no away; that no love, no life, goes ever from us; it goes as He went, that it may come again, deeper and closer and surer, and be with us always, even to the end of the world.

                  • The highest life is a broken column; the fairest life, a tar niahed gem; the richest life, an unripened fruit.
                    • John Humpstone, p. 385.

                  • This earth will be looked back on like a lowly home, and this life of ours be remembered like a short apprenticeship to duty.

                  • This is life's greatest moment, when the soul unfolds capacities which reach beyond earth's boundaries.

                  • Life! we've been long together
                    Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
                    Tis hard to part when friends are dear,—
                    Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear.
                    Then steal away, give little warning.
                    Choose thine own time,
                    Say not "Good-night," but in some brighter clime,
                    Bid me "Good-morning."
                    • Anna Letitia Barbauld, p. 385.


                  • It's all about options. Once one disappears, there are many others.
                    • Dinesh Ranasinghe

                  • I grew up knowing I could have had a million different lives. It makes your life mysterious and your imagination go wild.

                  • Life is a waterfall; we're one in the river and one again after the fall.

                  • A man is like a spark. Some will start a fire, but most will burn out quickly.
                    • J. Michael Delaney, 1923

                  • Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

                  • Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.

                  • Every day is my best day; this is my life. I'm not going to have this moment again.

                  • I love life so much sometimes it just brings a tear to my eye... Losing my mind was definetly the best thing to ever happen to me. Vincent James Alia, American Philosopher & Psychologist

                  • Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see the beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead.

                  • Life is like pizza, When it's good, It's really good. When it's bad, it's still pretty good.
                    • Unknown

                  • Life is measured not in time but by the memory of special moments.
                    • Leonid S. Sukhorukov

                  • Life isn't what you want it to be, it's what you make it become.

                  • The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.

                  • The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

                  • I'm alright. I love you. I love my life. I'm always close to you..

                  • I am waiting for a sign that will indicate to me what meaning I must give to my life, but right now my existence is satisfactory.

                  • I've created my own path and I'm content with that.

                  • It is never too late to be what you might have been.

                  • Let us endeavor to live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

                  • Let's live today, let's live tomorrow, and let's live the day after that - even if it means living in eternal pain.
                    • Vash the Stampede (Trigun)

                  • Life is a challenge, meet it; life is love, share it; life is a dream, realize it; life is a game, play it.
                    • [Sri Sathya Sai Baba ]]

                  • Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression, and violence, and enjoy it to the full.

                  • Life is like riding a bicycle. You don't fall off unless you plan to stop pedaling.

                  • Live all you can - it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that, what have you had?

                  • Live to love life, and love to live life
                    • Sammy Gouti

                  • Man is happy only as he finds work worth doing — and does it well.

                  • Man performs and engenders so much more than he can or should have to bear. That's how he finds that he can bear anything.

                  • Purpose of mankind: To better yourself and all that you know by seeking knowledge and truth, while at the same time never forgetting that all life is as equally important as your own.
                    • Jeffrey C. Keene II

                  • The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.

                  • Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

                  • You are alive. So live.
                    • Tomi Miyasaki

                  • You don't love a woman because she is beautiful, but she is beautiful because you love her.
                    • Ebrahim Ajmal

                  • When nothing is sure, everything is possible.

                  • Humans can choose the type of life they want to live. The important thing is that you choose life...and then...live!

                  • Life is a sequence of moments, live each moment to its fullest and you're bound to live a happy life
                    • Clive Helleputte

                  • I am on the side of the unregenerate who affirm the worth of life as an end in itself.
                    • Oliver Wendell Holmes


                  • Life Is Hell
                    • Owais Rizvi

                  • Life is a dead-baby joke.
                    • Vincent James Alia

                  • Life is a bad game, imperfect and unfair. Let us play it well.
                    • Bilal Said

                  • Life comes with lousy odds. You wouldn't want to bet on it.

                  • Life is strange. If you don't believe me, just live longer.
                    • Andre L. Noel

                  • Life... is like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable, because all you get back is another box of chocolates. You're stuck with this undefinable whipped-mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there's nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in a while, there's a peanut butter cup, or an English toffee. But they're gone too fast, the taste is fleeting. So you end up with nothing but broken bits, filled with hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts, and if you're desperate enough to eat those, all you've got left is a... is an empty box... filled with useless, brown paper wrappers.

                  • Life — and I don't suppose I'm the first to make this comparison — is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal.

                  • There have to be clouds for there to be silver linings.
                    • Emily Potter

                  • Anger is a wind which blows the lamp of the mind.
                    • Fabian Lawrence

                  • After all we can do....life is still a terminal disease.

                  • All you have is existence, that's all there is to it.
                    • Swami Raj

                  • The meaningless absurdity of life is the only incontestable knowledge accessible to man.

                  • It is not true that life is one damn thing after another — it's one damn thing over and over.

                  • Yes, that's the worst of living — you get older every day
                    • Reverend P. F. How

                  • Life is like a butterfly: it doesn't last long.

                  Philosophical: in relation to death

                  • The primary question about life after death is not whether it is a fact, but even if it is, what problems that really solves.

                  • Let us endeavor so to live that, when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.

                  • Live by the gun, Die by the gun.
                    • Tupac Amaru Shakur

                  • Do not seek death; death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment.

                  • The inevitability of death is the greatest affirmation of life.
                    • Aaron Leonardi

                  • Must not all things in the last be swallowed by death?

                  • I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.

                  • I'm not afraid of death. It's the stake one puts up in order to play the game of life.

                  • Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest — whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories — comes afterward. These are games; one must first answer.

                  • Sometimes, dead is bettah

                  • We are born with two incurable diseases, life, from which we die, and hope, which says maybe death isn't the end.

                  • We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.

                  • What a folly to dread the thought of throwing away life at once, and yet have no regard to throwing it away by parcels and piecemeal.

                  • While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.

                  • Such a long, long time to be gone and a short time to be there.
                    • Robert Hunter

                  • What else can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the Reaper Man?

                  • Risk many things in life. But not life itself.
                    • Stephane Decker

                  • When you believe in eternity, life is irrelavent.
                    • Nosliw Leahkim

                  • We do what we must because we can, for the good of all of us (except the ones who are dead) but there's no use crying over every mistake, you just keep on trying until you run out of cake, and the science gets done and you make a neat gun for the people who are still alive'
                    • Still Alive from Portal