Quotations of Wisdom

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Robert Louis Stevenson

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. [Q1312]

George Carlin

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. [Q7]

Thomas Jefferson

Promote in every order of men the degree of instruction proportioned to their condition and to their views in life. [Q538]

Roger von Oech

Most people think of success and failure as opposites, but they both are products of the same process. [Q581]


Our sins are more easily remembered than our good deeds. [Q770]

Robert F Kennedy

Few will have the greatness to bend history; however, each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance [Q1954]

Martin Luther King

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. [Q40]

David Hume

Eloquence, at its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection, but addresses itself entirely to the desires and affections, captivating the willing hearers, and subduing their understanding. [Q1356]

Ward Cunningham

You are always taught to do as much as you can. Always put checks in. Always look for exceptions. Always handle the most general case. Always give the user the best advice. Always print a meaningful error message. Always this. Always that. You have so many things in the background that you’re supposed to do, there’s no room left to think. I say, forget all that and ask yourself, “What’s the simplest thing that could possibly work?” I think the advice got turned into a command: “Do the simplest thing that could possibly work.” That’s a little more confusing, because there isn’t this notion that as soon as you’ve done it, we’ll evaluate it. [Q1013]


The misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool. [Q805]


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


Let your hook always be cast. In the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish. [Q671]

Charles Lindbergh

Decades spent in contact with science and its vehicles have directed my mind and senses to areas beyond their reach. I now see scientific accomplishments as a path, not an end; a path leading to and disappearing in mystery. [Q1941]

Robert H. Schuller

You can often measure a person by the size of his dream. [Q466]

Senator Paul Simon

Religion is a powerful force for evil — and a powerful force for good. Religion kills, and religion heals. [Q1688]

Scott Nesler

Can we fathom more than a subatomic point of view? [Q144]

Marshall McLuhan

The name of a man is a numbing blow from which he never recovers. [Q1478]

Jim Lehrer

As I say, I'm a discourse advocate. What form it comes is less important to me than the fact that there is discourse. [Q480]

Scott Nesler

My hope is in the average citizen's desire for freedom and democracy. It is within these individuals true patriotism exist and where the voice of humanity can be heard. [Q1553]


The good is the beautiful. [Q898]

Adlai Stevenson

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

Herman Hesse

In Germany I have been acknowledged again since the fall of Hitler, but my works, partly suppressed by the Nazis and partly destroyed by the war; have not yet been republished there. [Q996]

Gustave Flaubert

Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times. [Q704]

David S. Allen

Reliance on expert knowledge does not come without cost, however. Not only does it devalue the role of the public in democracy, it also leads to the formation of powerful occupational groups that attempt to secure for themselves an area of knowledge that will insure their power. — Democracy, Inc (Page 52) [Q290]

Napoleon Hill

Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another. [Q686]

Walter Cronkite

Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine. [Q623]

Thomas Carlyle

A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. [Q1616]

Dale Carnegie

Your purpose is to make your audience see what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Relevant detail, couched in concrete, colorful language, is the best way to recreate the incident as it happened and to picture it for the audience. [Q282]

Marie Curie

Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas. [Q326]

Ibni Sina

The knowledge of anything, since all things have causes, is not acquired or complete unless it is known by its causes. [Q1921]


The years have been good. Quiet and measured. Flowing slowly like water. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q514]

George Carlin

It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. [Q1597]


A tragedy is a representation of an action that is whole and complete and of a certain magnitude. A whole is what has a beginning and middle and end. [Q835]

Theodore Roosevelt

A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. [Q1279]

Margaret Sanger

Diplomats make it their business to conceal the facts. [Q1667]

Carl Sagan

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. [Q227]

Michel de Montaigne

Ignorance is the softest pillow on which a man can rest his head. [Q1172]

Anna Quindlen

Ignorant free speech often works against the speaker. That is one of several reasons why it must be given rein instead of suppressed. [Q995]


Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing. [Q96]

Marshall McLuhan

We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror. [Q1487]

Richard P. Feynman

The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones you can really contribute something to. ... No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it. [Q972]


Happy is he who can trace effects to their causes. [Q1579]

L. Frank Baum

Imagination has brought mankind through the dark ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. [Q502]

Noam Chomsky

Education must provide the opportunities for self-fulfillment; it can at best provide a rich and challenging environment for the individual to explore, in his own way. [Q153]

Marshall McLuhan

One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There's always more than you can cope with. [Q1468]


I could not say what I did not see. — "Kung Fu" Empty Pages of a Dead Book 1973 Season 2, Episode 13 [Q615]

Margaret Mead

I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world. [Q949]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. [Q1217]


Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity. [Q1036]

Václav Havel

My dear fellow citizens, For forty years you heard from my predecessors on this day different variations on the same theme: how our country was flourishing, how many million tons of steel we produced, how happy we all were, how we trusted our government, and what bright perspectives were unfolding in front of us. I assume you did not propose me for this office so that I, too, would lie to you. [Q1784]

Clarence Darrow

I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of. [Q1097]

Stephen Hadely

Initial reports are encouraging. In the end of the day, it's going to be deeds, not words, that matter. [Q1201]

Senator Paul Simon

Religion is the only field where many leaders assume all truth has been revealed. In chemistry and mathematics and all other areas, truths are build upon truths. In mathematics, for example, whoever came up with the formula that two and two are four did not say, "I have found the truth. Let's stop here." The search for the truth is continued, building on the base of knowledge already acquired. [Q1698]

Jeremy Bentham

It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong. [Q447]

Milton S Hershey

We should deal with one another not as classes but as persons, as brothers. The more closely we work together, the more effectively can we contribute to the better health of all mankind; this should be our common objective and its achievement would make the world a happier place in which to live. [Q1390]


Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope. [Q817]

David S Allen

The structure of public life seems so entirely natural to most Americans that few question the fundamental assumptions of modern corporate ideology, including the idea that media content should be driven solely by questions of popularity, that larger corporations will provide better and more efficient service than smaller corporations, that technology can solve society's problems, and that an ideological individualism that values confrontation, winning, and capitalism is prefereable to an ideological community that values discourse and understanding. — Democracy, Inc. - Introduction - Page 7 [Q237]

J. William Fulbright

Our elected representatives ... study and analyze public attitude by sophisticated new techniques, but their purpose has little to do with leadership. ... Their purpose, it seems, is to discover what people want and fear and dislike, and then to identify themselves with those sentiments. They seek to discover which issues can be safely emphasized and which are more prudently avoided. This approach to politics is the opposite of leadership; it is followership, for purpose of self-advancement. ... [Q1821]


The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, they show disrespect to their elders.... They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and are tyrants over their teachers. — Attributed to by Plato — 380 BC [Q1388]

Donald Norman

I think there is a tendency in science to measure what is measurable and to decide that what you cannot measure must be uninteresting. [Q442]

Václav Havel

The real test of a man is not how well he plays the role he has invented for himself, but how well he plays the role that destiny assigned to him. [Q1774]

Alcee Hastings

Not just Christians and Jews, but also Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and the followers of many other religions believe in values like peace, respect, tolerance and dignity. These are values that bring people together and enable us to build responsible and solid communities. [Q1499]

Ward Cunningham

Wiki helped define the category of social software. [Q1016]

Swami Vivekananda

If faith in ourselves had been more extensively taught and practiced, I am sure a very large portion of the evils and miseries that we have would have vanished. [Q1138]

J. Robert Oppenheimer

No man should escape our universities without knowing how little he knows. [Q321]

Václav Havel

Classical modern science described only the surface of things, a single dimension of reality. And the more dogmatically science treated it as the only dimension, as the very essence of reality, the more misleading it became. Today, for instance, we may know immeasurably more about the universe than our ancestors did, and yet, it increasingly seems they knew something more essential about it than we do, something that escapes us. [Q1802]

Mohandas Gandhi

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problem. [Q568]

Václav Havel

None of us know all the potentialities that slumber in the spirit of the population, or all the ways in which that population can surprise us when there is the right interplay of events. [Q1750]

Marshall McLuhan

Publication is a self-invasion of privacy. [Q1471]

Alberto Giacometti

In every work of art the subject is primordial, whether the artist knows it or not. The measure of the formal qualities is only a sign of the measure of the artist's obsession with his subject; the form is always in proportion to the obsession. [Q445]

Herbert Simon

The world is vast, beautiful, and fascinating, even awe-inspiring - but impersonal. It demands nothing of me, and allows me to demand nothing of it. [Q650]

Brian Greene

The boldness of asking deep questions may require unforeseen flexibility if we are to accept the answers. [Q741]

Ward Cunningham

Scott — You seem to have a technical solution to what I might call "dysfunctional divergence" of thought. Blogs encourage divergence, perhaps to the point of dysfunction. Wikis encourage convergence, else edit wars produce dysfunction. There is surely opportunity to invent in the middle ground. — In reference to the Do Good Gauge [Q243]

Ward Cunningham

Top down hierarchies make communication work when it is expensive, I hope that wiki can be a flagship in this move in the industry to produce computer support for this kind of work and evolve organizational forms. [Q1012]

Senator Paul Simon

The Illinois State Journal some time ago carried an editorial titled 'The Right to Know' suggesting Illinois enact a law similar to one in California requiring actions and deliberations of government bodies of that state be conducted in public ... I stressed over and over that the public had the right to know what decisions a public body reached and how they reached it. [Q1721]

Guglielmo Marconi

Every day sees humanity more victorious in the struggle with space and time. [Q324]

Mustafa Kemal

Today, our most important and most productive task is the national education [unification and modernization] affairs. We have to be successful in national education affairs and we shall be. The liberation of a nation is only achieved through this way. [Q1930]

Nikola Tesla

The scientists from Franklin to Morse were clear thinkers and did not produce erroneous theories. The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane. [Q1675]

Swami Vivekananda

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul. [Q1146]

Master Kan

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


A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers. [Q871]


The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal. [Q865]

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]

Clarence Darrow

The law does not pretend to punish everything that is dishonest. That would seriously interfere with business. [Q1108]

Clarence Darrow

Depressions may bring people closer to the church but so do funerals. [Q1094]

Adloph Hitler

What good fortune for governments that the people do not think. [Q41]

Albert Einstein

Measured objectively, what a man can wrest from Truth by passionate striving is utterly infinitesimal. But the striving frees us from the bonds of the self and makes us comrades of those who are the best and the greatest. [Q293]

Anne Rice

Morality is what matters to me, it's being a good person and when you put forward a religion that says belief in Christ alone saves and has nothing to do with morality, well to me that is immoral. [Q1911]

Barbara Deming

We believe, in fact, that the one act of respect has little force unless matched by the other, in balance with it. The acting out of that dual respect I would name as precisely the source of our power. [Q1394]

René Descartes

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. [Q1118]

Michel de Montaigne

I write to keep from going mad from the contradictions I find among mankind - and to work some of those contradictions out for myself. [Q1170]

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]

Krista Tippett

Moses, Jesus, Buddha, St. Francis of Assisi, Gandhi; These kind of people are geniuses of the art of living, more necessary to the dignity, security, and joy of humanity than the discoverers of objective knowledge. — TED - Reconnecting with Compassion - Paraphrasing Albert Einstein. [Q1399]

Scott Nesler

Truth is found in the journey. Facts are often road blocks. When the answer is traversed it is discovered the question was never asked in the first place. [Q2023]

Friedrich Nietzsche

"Faith" means not wanting to know what is true. [ [Q1525]

Theodore Roosevelt

The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency. [Q1288]

Edward Teller

The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things, everything is becoming simpler. [Q739]

The Holy Bible

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. — Matthew 5,6, and 7 - Sermon on the Mount - YouTube [Q1611]

John Searle

Where questions of style and exposition are concerned I try to follow a simple maxim: if you can't say it clearly you don't understand it yourself. [Q1187]

Edward de Bono

Experience has shown that reason and logic can never change perception, emotions, prejudices, and beliefs. Yet we continue in the pious hope that if everyone would 'see reason' the world would be so much better. As we shall see later, there are very good reasons why logic will never affect emotions and beliefs. The only way to do this is through perception. But we have totally failed to develop an understanding of perception. (from the book, I am Right, you are Wrong. Pg 40) [Q2009]

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