No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.
While there are many experts in the psychoanalysis of individuals, there seems to be little active authority or understanding in the matter of the persistent shared madness in everyday life. It's as if collective mental illness doesn't exist except in the vernacular and in contemporary folk myth, where it remains trapped and politically useless.
There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind useless.
If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.
The conceptual artist Ai WeiWei illustrates the schizoid society that rapid change has produced - sometimes by reassembling Ming-style furniture into absurd and useless arrangements, or by carefully painting and antiquing a Coca-Cola logo on an ancient Chinese pot.
What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.
The SAT is not perfect. We all know smart, knowledgeable people who do badly on standardized tests. But neither is it useless. SAT scores do measure both specific knowledge and valuable thinking skills.
Character is greater than talent, genius, fame, money, friends - there is nothing to compare with it. A man may have all these and yet remain comparatively useless - be unhappy - and die a bankrupt in soul.
I'm sure the feeling of fear, as long as you can take advantage of it and not be rendered useless by it, can make you extend yourself beyond what you would regard as your capacity. If you're afraid, the blood seems to flow freely through the veins, and you really do feel a sense of stimulation.
It is a useless life that is not consecrated to a great ideal. It is like a stone wasted on the field without becoming a part of any edifice.