Use what talent you possess the woods

Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.  ~Author unknown, quoted in The Ladies Repository: A Monthly Periodical, Devoted to Literature, Arts, and Religion, September 1874, commonly misattributed to Henry Van Dyke and Henry David Thoreaualso sometimes misquoted as Use the talents you possess – for the woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except for the best.

The human story does not always unfold

The human story does not always unfold like a mathematical calculation on the principle that two and two make four.  Sometimes in life they make five or minus three; and sometimes the blackboard topples down in the middle of the sum and leaves the class in disorder and the pedagogue with a black eye.  ~Winston Churchill, quoted in F.B. Czarnomski, The Wisdom of Winston Churchill, p59, speech, London, 7 May 1946HM