Top 100

Top 300 Alexander McCall Smith Quotes (2023 Update)
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Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “As a writer, you have to realize that people want to like the characters, so you have to be careful to keep them involved.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “She remembered love, though, and a feeling of warmth. It was like remembering light, or the glow that sometimes persists after a light has gone out.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “You must not think that because one thing happens after another thing, then it is the first thing that causes the second thing. You must not think that, because it might not be true.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Angus thought about this. She was right. That was why our national conversation was so bad. Courtesy had been abandoned in favour of the put-down, the attack, the calculated sound bite. What sort of national conversation was that? The answer came to him immediately: none.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “She had always worked as hard as she could, at everything she did, and she simply did not understand how anybody could do otherwise. How could they sit there, as they did, and stare into the space in front of their desks when they could be adding up figures or checking the drivers’ returns?”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “That place is the place we have always been, and if you think that where you have been is where you should be, then why go to another place that you do not know at all and may not be as good as the place you were in before somebody came along and said to you that you must go forwards – which is not what you wanted to do?”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Neighbours are given to us on the same basis as we are given our families. There is no element of choice involved – none at all.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Writers obviously have to bear witness to the harsh face of the age.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “The size of one’s house might bear a relationship to the size of one’s opinion of oneself, but it had nothing to do with one’s real worth.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Although she was not a great reader, Mma Potokwane was a firm believer in the power of the book. The more books that Botswana had, in her view, the better. It would be on books that the future would be based; books and the people who knew how to use them.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Of course you could not allow yourself to think too much about these issues. One had to get on and to attend to the day-to-day business of living.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “We can’t have moral obligations to every single person in this world. We have moral obligations to those who we come up against, who enter into our moral space, so to speak. That means neighbors, people we deal with, and so on.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “It was, he thought, his gesture against the whole pro-euthanasia movement that talked so glibly of choice without realising the fire with which one played when tinkering with fragile taboos against killing others. Yes, he thought, Mrs Bates’s life did not seem to amount to much, but to her it was all she had.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Such men knew their worth, but did not flaunt it. Such men could look anybody in the eye without flinching; even a poor man, a man with nothing, could stand upright in the presence of those who had wealth or power. People did not know, Mma Ramotswe felt, just how much we had in those days – those days when we seemed to have so little, we had so much. She.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “The trouble with this country... is that we are utterly surrounded by busybodies trying to stop us doing things. Or telling us what to do... Big Brother, with his ubiquitous closed-circuit cameras-which now monitored, it seemed, every square inch of public space-and his condescending imprecations and warnings, was everywhere... In his view, it was up to the individual whether or not to approach a cliff edge; it was not the Government’s business.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “If you punish somebody harshly, she said, then you are simply inflicting more pain on the world. You are also punishing not only that person, but his family and the people who love him. You are punishing yourself, really, because we are all brothers and sisters in this world, whether we know it or not; we are all citizens of the same village.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “It just did not make sense; unless, of course, as she had suggested, we all have a weak point, an area of intellectual or emotional vulnerability that may be quite out of keeping with out character.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “I just focus on getting the first scene right, with a few lines about the overall plot, and then the book grows organically.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “This had happened because she had been able to make that sudden imaginative leap that lies at the heart of our moral lives: the ability to see, even for a brief moment, the world as it is seen by the other person. It is this understanding that lies behind all kindness to others, all attempts to ameliorate the situation of those who suffer, all those acts of charity by which we make our lives something more than the pursuit of the goals of the unruly ego.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “I am just saying that we have to have some things that we like, otherwise we shall be very unhappy. And if you are very unhappy you can die – we all know that.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “And a coffee cup, as we all know, is not something that it pays to look into if one is searching for meaning beyond meaning; coffee, in all its forms, looks murky and gives little comfort to one who hopes to see something in it. Unlike tea, which allows one to glimpse something of what lies beneath the surface, usually more tea.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “To be able to imagine the ohter, and the experience of the other was what wisdome was all about; but nobody talked about wisdom very much anymore, nor virtue perhaps because wisdom was nto appreciated in a world of glitz and effect.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “We act out our lives to a soundtrack, thought Isabel, the music that becomes, for a spell, out favourite and is listened to again and again until it stands for the time itself. But that was about all the scripting that we achieved; the rest, for most of us, was extemporising.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “She was, he reflected, one of his closest friends, in a rather curious, slightly old-fashioned way.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “It was a warm evening, at least by the standards applied in Scotland, where summer is sometimes no more than a promise, an aspiration.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “There was a great deal of progress being made, right under their noses, particularly in Africa, and this progress was good. Life was much harder for tyrants than it had been before.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “The ordinary you, the you that has to go to work every morning, the you that has to run a household, pay bills, do all of those things – that you is somehow changed into an exciting, artistic, fully alive you. That’s what Paris does.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “If you did not keep your yard in reasonable order, then your whole life would be similarly untidy. A messy yard told Mma Ramotswe everything she needed to know about its owner.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “All of us had hard choices, she thought; the greatest of us and the least of us, and we had to feel our way through them and accept that there would sometimes be regrets.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “Down below, amongst children, ice cream and chocolate are the bargaining chips supreme, as powerful as money and military force are amongst adults.”
Alexander McCall Smith Quote: “I think that we’ve made great moral progress in the second half of the 20th century in many respects, and particularly in relation to human rights but I think that we are losing sight of some of the values of concern for others, and self-respect and respect for others.”
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