Quotations of Wisdom

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George Washington Carver

When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. [Q316]

John Kenneth Galbraith

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. [Q1595]

Douglas Adams

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. [Q1000]

Dante Alighieri

I love to doubt as well as know. [Q1510]

Tupac Shakur

I'm a reflection of the community. [Q1308]


Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do. [Q63]

Yunus Emre

If I told you about a land of love, friend, would you follow me and come? [Q1923]

Art Spiegelman

With any work worth its salt, you have to trust the author enough to take its measure. And if you apply too many preconceptions, you are not taking its measure. [Q465]

Mary McAleese

The extent to which all people in our society are made to count, and believe that they count, is not just a measure of decency; it makes sound economic sense. [Q456]

George Washington

... there is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness. In one in which the measures of government receive their impression so immediately from the sense of the community as in ours, it is proportionably essential. To the security of a free constitution it contributes in various ways: by convincing those who are entrusted with the public administration, that every valuable end of government is best answered by the enlightened confidence of the people; and by teaching the people themselves to know and to value their own rights; to discern and provide against invasions of them; to distinguish between oppression and the necessary exercise of lawful authority; between burthens proceeding from a disregard to their convenience, and those resulting from the inevitable exigences of society; to discriminate the spirit of liberty from that of licentiousness—cherishing the first, avoiding the last; and uniting a speedy but temperate vigilance against encroachments, with an inviolable respect to the laws. [Q1834]

Senator Paul Simon

Some, like Thomas Jefferson, are persons of outstanding ability, but the majority are not. Most changes in history are not made by intellectual giants who sweep across the pages of our history books but rather by people who do not "seem fitted to stand foremost in a great struggle"; they simply have certain beliefs and are willing patiently but firmly and courageously to support them. [Q1895]

Isaac Newton

Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy. [Q369]

Blaise Pascal

It is not good to be too free. It is not good to have everything one wants. [Q591]

Winston Churchill

History is written by the victors. [Q90]


Myself acquainted with misfortune, I learn to help the unfortunate. [Q1585]


Homer has taught all other poets the art of telling lies skillfully. [Q845]

Elijah P. Lovejoy

I have sworn eternal opposition to slavery, and by the blessing of God I will never turn back. [Q2050]

Nikola Tesla

What has the future in store for this strange being, born of a breath, of perishable tissue, yet Immortal, with his powers fearful and Divine? What magic will be wrought by him in the end? What is to be his greatest deed, his crowning achievement? [Q1684]

Ronald Reagan

There you go again. [Q2015]


You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity. [Q808]

Wendell Berry

The most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war, but have not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and less wasteful. [Q1329]

Adlai Stevenson

To act coolly, intelligently and prudently in perilous circumstances is the test of a man - and also a nation. [Q1655]

Miles Davis

Don't play what's there, play what's not there. [Q2052]

Benjamin Disraeli

The world is governed by different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes. [Q1969]

Kurt Gödel

It is a mistake to argue rather than report. This is the same mistake the positivists make: to prove everything from nothing. A large part is not to prove but to call attention to certain immediately given but not provable facts. It is futile to try to prove what is given. [Q1964]

Thor Heyerdahl

In my experience, it is rarer to find a really happy person in a circle of millionaires than among vagabonds. [Q1536]

Leah Ward Sears

We need to in this country begin again to raise civil discourse to another level. I mean, we shout and scream and yell and get very little accomplished, but you can disagree very much with the next guy and still be friends and acquaintances. [Q1380]

Herbert Hoover

It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own. [Q997]

David S Allen

As historians and social critics have noted, inherent in corporate liberalism is the idea that the corporation, not the individual, is at the center of protection. — Democracy, Inc — Introduction Page 7. [Q238]

Adlai Stevenson

There is a spiritual hunger in the world today - and it cannot be satisfied by better cars on longer credit terms. [Q1653]

The Rum Diaries

No matter how much I wanted all those things that I needed money to buy, there was some devilish current pushing me off in another direction -- toward anarchy and poverty and craziness. That maddening delusion that a man can lead a decent life without hiring himself out as a Judas Goat. [Q2046]

René Descartes

The two operations of our understanding, intuition and deduction, on which alone we have said we must rely in the acquisition of knowledge. [Q1125]

Pablo Picasso

The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do? [Q606]

Clarence Darrow

Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. [Q1106]

Robert Dale Owen

There is a measure needing courage to adopt and enforce it, which I believe to be of virtue sufficient to redeem the nation in this its darkest hour: one only; I know of no other to which we may rationally trust for relief from impending dangers without and within. [Q1160]

Walter Cronkite

I think it is absolutely essential in a democracy to have competition in the media, a lot of competition, and we seem to be moving away from that. [Q498]

Dalai Lama

Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. [Q691]

Buckminster Fuller

All of humanity now has the option to "make it" successfully and sustainable, by virtue of our having minds, discovering principles and being able to employ these principles to do more with less. — Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth [Q124]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. [Q1083]

Contact the Movie

Because I can't. I... had an experience... I can't prove it, I can't even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever... — Ellie Arroway [Q1410]


Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the Gods. [Q1619]

Herbert Simon

Maybe we ought to have a world in which things are divided between people kind of fairly. [Q644]


Don't take life too seriously. Noone gets out alive. [Q1066]

Gautama Buddha

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? [Q3]

Thomas Mann

Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them. [Q1528]


Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live. [Q763]

Marshall McLuhan

A typewriter is a means of transcribing thought, not expressing it. [Q1446]

Adlai Stevenson

Public confidence in the integrity of the Government is indispensable to faith in democracy; and when we lose faith in the system, we have lost faith in everything we fight and spend for. [Q1650]

Scott Nesler

There is no right to be heard. [Q97]

Galileo Galilei

By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox. [Q931]

Benjamin Franklin

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing. [Q1880]

Yunus Emre

Ask those who know...

Ask those who know, what's this soul within the flesh? Reality's own power. What blood fills these veins?

Thought is an errand boy, fear a mine of worries. These sighs are love's clothing. Who is the Khan on the throne?

Give thanks for His unity. He created when nothing existed. And since we are actually nothing, what are possessions, houses, shops?

God sent us here to come and see the world. This world itself is not everlasting. What are all of Solomon's riches?

Ask Yunus and Taptuk what the world means to them. The world won't last. What are You? What am I


David Lehman

Words can have no single fixed meaning. Like wayward electrons, they can spin away from their initial orbit and enter a wider magnetic field. No one owns them or has a proprietary right to dictate how they will be used. [Q547]

G. K. Chesterton

He who strikes the first blow confesses that he has run out of ideas. The mere proposal to set the politician to watch the capitalist has been disturbed by the rather disconcerting discovery that they are both the same man. We are past the point where being a capitalist is the only way of coming a politician, and we are dangerously newer the point where being a politician is much the quickest way of becoming a capitalist. [Q1848]

Caine and Master Kan

Caine - What is my duty to the law? Master Kan - You must assist the law to serve justice. Caine - I have seen a law broken. Would I serve justice if I let it go unpunished? Master Kan - What is the purpose of this law? Caine - Discipline. Master Kan - And who is served by this discipline? Caine - Each one who obeys the law. Master Kan - Then to break the law of self discipline denies justice only to one's self. Caine - The same with all laws? Master Kan - Consider if you break the law, do you deny justice only to your self? — - "Kung Fu" Empty Pages of a Dead Book 1973 Season 2, Episode 13 [Q616]

Pete Seeger

I have sung for Americans of every political persuasion, and I am proud that I never refuse to sing to an audience, no matter what religion or color of their skin, or situation in life. [Q347]

Robert W McChesney

Basically what they're saying is, if you want to be on TV, if you want to be a credible candidate, you've got to buy ads. And if you're not buying ads, you're not a credible candidate, we don't cover you. [Q166]

Adlai Stevenson

We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on it's vulnerable reserves of air and soil, all committed, for our safety, to it's security and peace. Preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and the love we give our fragile craft. [Q1656]

Julian Assange

If journalism is good it is controversial by its nature. [Q1210]

Dante Alighieri

The more perfect a thing is, the more susceptible to good and bad treatment it is. [Q1515]

Thor Heyerdahl

Civilization grew in the beginning from the minute that we had communication - particularly communication by sea that enabled people to get inspiration and ideas from each other and to exchange basic raw materials. [Q1532]

Virginia Nygard

Someone I know wrote that when he attended Harvard, his business school professor said success in business demanded an entrepreneur to start a business, a manager to develop the business, and a manager to run the day-to-day business; and that very rarely was one person capable of performing his best in all three areas. I think that's true of writing, too. I love the writing, the creating, and hate the business of selling. Sure, I'd love to have my 'fifteen minutes of fame'...but for now, a minute at a time is okay by me. [Q1044]

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of laborers, the genius of it scientists, and the hopes of its children. [Q1219]

Master Kan

If we have the wisdom to learn, all may teach us their virtues. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q517]

Robert Heinlein

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. [Q1207]

Thomas Paine

Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, … it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon that the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel. [Q1228]

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

Look at that document, read it carefully, nothing in human life brings us perfection... What is the alternative for 308 million who think different things trying to live together. It can't be war among men and therefore it is law among them ... You don't like what is going on, I can't tell you what to do, if I had a shot at it, I would say go out and participate. Try to persuade people, try to understand, and when you can't persuade people to your point of view, then you try again ... I can't tell you what kind of life to lead, but I can tell you this because I've worked with this document, the Constitution for seventeen years in the Supreme Court. If you don't participate in your communities and get out there and try to persuade people. If you don't do that, this document won't work. [Q1600]

Thomas Jefferson

Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper. [Q1661]


Such are the heights of wickedness to which men are driven by religion. [Q1564]

Ralph Johnson

Software is not limited by physics, like buildings are. It is limited by imagination, by design, by organization. In short, it is limited by properties of people, not by properties of the world. [Q248]

Nikola Tesla

To conquer by sheer force is becoming harder and harder every day. Defensive is getting continuously the advantage of offensive, as we progress in the satanic science of destruction. [Q1681]

Václav Havel

We have to accept this legacy as a sin we committed against ourselves. If we accept it as such, we will understand that it is up to us all, and up to us alone to do something about it. We cannot blame the previous rulers for everything, not only because it would be untrue, but also because it would blunt the duty that each of us faces today: namely, the obligation to act independently, freely, reasonably and quickly. Let us not be mistaken: the best government in the world, the best parliament and the best president, cannot achieve much on their own. And it would be wrong to expect a general remedy from them alone. Freedom and democracy include participation and therefore responsibility from us all. [Q1789]

Buckminster Fuller

Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable. [Q110]

Marshall McLuhan

As technology advances, it reverses the characteristics of every situation again and again. The age of automation is going to be the age of 'do it yourself.' [Q1454]

Jack Bowman

I believe that I understand gangs better than others. Because they're formed out of necessity. They're formed by people to keep from being suppressed. [Q994]

Master Kan

Each man has the right to choose his enemies and his friends. He may choose unwisely, but the decision is his alone, to make. Then he must live with the consequences. And so must his enemies, and his friends. — "Kung Fu" The Crossties 1974 Season 2 [Q629]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The clever reader who is capable of reading between the lines what does not stand written in them but is nevertheless implied will be able to form some conception. [Q1181]

Margaret Mead

Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited. [Q1428]

Leo Tolstoy

The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. [Q1061]


Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty. [Q879]

Scott Nesler

You can't force a point of view. You can only guide it with the clarity of your perspective. [Q181]


Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always. [Q1025]

William Lyon Phelps

The belief that youth is the happiest time of life is founded on a fallacy. The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts, and we grow happier as we grow older. [Q1054]

Margaret Mead

It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age. [Q1423]

Price David

Our country's political discourse and debate are enriched by discussions of the political implications of our faith traditions, whether they are taking place in our communities, at our dinner tables, or in our places of worship. [Q1377]

Meister Eckhart

God expects but one thing of you, and that is that you should come out of yourself in so far as you are a created being made and let God be God in you. [Q1625]


In fact men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable. [Q1405]

Albion W. Small

Modern sociology is virtually an attempt to take up the larger program of social analysis and interpretation which was implicit in Adam Smith's moral philosophy, but which was suppressed for a century by prevailing interest in the technique of the production of wealth. [Q999]

Albert Einstein

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. [Q25]


The greatest wealth is to live content with little, for there is never want where the mind is satisfied. [Q1565]

Gabrielle Gifford

For example, we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action. [Q1261]

Mohandas Gandhi

The moment there is suspicion about a person's motives, everything he does becomes tainted. [Q569]

Marshall McLuhan

Mass transportation is doomed to failure in North America because a person's car is the only place where he can be alone and think. [Q1465]

Winston Churchill

Great and good are seldom the same man. [Q12]

Václav Havel

Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it. [Q1749]

Henry Drummond

As long as the pre-requisite for that shining paradise is ignorance, bigotry, and hate.....I say to Hell with it! — Inherit the Wind [Q100]


If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. [Q1028]

Buckminster Fuller

Synergy means behavior of whole systems unpredicted by the behavior of their parts taken separately. [Q204]

David Brooks

When you cover politics, you realize that knowing how to talk about character matters more and more. The way we hold ideas is more important than the ideas. [Q470]

David S Allen

The "consumer" has replaced the "citizen" in American society. — Paraphrase of passage from page 10 of Democracy, Inc. [Q241]

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