better to light one candle than to curse the darkness

The motto of the American Christopher Society (founded 1945), said by the society to derive from ‘an ancient Chinese proverb’.

1962 Adlai Stevenson in New York Times 8 Nov. 34 She [Eleanor Roosevelt] would rather light a candle than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world.

2000 Straits Times (online ed.) 26 Aug. He is certainly one who believes it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

2002 Spectator 12 Jan. 26 A fortnight ago, protesters..wound their way on a candlelit walk through deep snow from the forest up into the citadel. ‘There is an English saying,’ one of them..told me. ‘It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.’


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  • The Christophers — The Maryknoll Convent School in Hong Kong. Motto It s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. Formation 1945 …   Wikipedia

  • light — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) I adj. airy (see levity); frivolous, jesting, jocular, lightsome; giddy, dizzy, flighty; wanton; nimble, agile; flippant, pert, insouciant; humorous; trivial. See cheerfulness, unimportance, impurity,… …   English dictionary for students

  • better — see better a century of tyranny than one day of chaos better a dinner of herbs than a stalled ox where hate is better a good cow than a cow of a good kind better are small fish than an empty dish better be an old man’s darling, than a young man’s …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • candle — see better to light one candle than to curse the darkness Candlemas day, put beans in the clay; put candles and candle sticks away …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • light — adjective see many hands make light work adverb see light come, light go verb see better to light one candle than to curse the darkness …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • curse — noun see curses, like chickens, come home to roost verb see better to light one candle than to curse the darkness …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • darkness — see better to light one candle than to curse the darkness …   Proverbs new dictionary

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  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary

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