Quotations of Wisdom

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Nikos Kazantzakis

By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired. [Q302]

Julian Assange

And to some degree it is of such scope that it eclipses the economic ability of the press to go through it. It’s going to require not just the press but all interested parties to understand this material. [Q1209]

Robert J Gula

Before one can use one's reason, one should know the traps that are always awaiting the untutored mind. — Nonsense, Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows: How We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language. [Q1184]


Fear is proof of a degenerate mind. [Q1577]

Thor Heyerdahl

Those who have experienced the most, have suffered so much that they have ceased to hate. Hate is more for those with a slightly guilty conscience, and who by chewing on old hate in times of peace wish to demonstrate how great they were during the war. [Q1542]

Michel de Montaigne

I quote others only in order the better to express myself. [Q1169]

René Descartes

Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems. [Q1114]

Stephen Jay Gould

The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos. [Q1810]

Mohandas Gandhi

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. [Q563]

Sheldon Lee Glashow

Today's thinking habits cannot be based on word-play or belief systems but must be attuned to the latest developments in neuroscience and matched to 'the way the human brain creates perception'. Dr de Bono is motivated because 'in democracies it is everyone's business that everyone should think better'. — Prologue to Edward de Bono's I am Right You are Wrong. [Q1989]

Senator Paul Simon

There is no scarcity of people who are oppressed. There is only a scarcity of men and women with eyes clear enough to see and hearts big enough to act. [Q1898]

Carl Sagan

We have learned to value careful observations, to respect the facts, even when they are disquieting, when they seem to contradict conventional wisdom ... We see further than they, only because we stand on their shoulders. We build on what they knew. We depend on free inquiry and free access to knowledge. [Q1240]


Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them. [Q840]

Kurt Gödel

Learn to act correctly: everybody has shortcomings, believes in something wrong, and live to carry out his mistakes. [Q1967]

Václav Havel

Of course, in politics, just as anywhere else in life, it is impossible and it would not be sensible always to say everything bluntly. Yet that does not mean one has to lie. What is needed here are tact, instinct and good taste. [Q1766]

Charles Schulz

There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker. [Q56]

Carl Jung

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. [Q255]

Richard Bach

Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully. [Q469]

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]

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]


Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant. [Q810]

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]

Scott Nesler

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


Those who gave thee a body, furnished it with weakness; but He who gave thee Soul, armed thee with resolution. Employ it, and thou art wise; be wise and thou art happy. [Q1257]

John Adams (HBO Miniseries)

Our first step would be to incur a national debt. The greater the debt, the greater the credit. And to that end I have recommended to the president that Congress adopt all the debts incurred by the individual states during the war through a national bank. The idea being that if the states owe Congress money, then other nations will feel more inclined to lend it to us. — (Unite or Die[5]) Alexander Hamilton [Q1134]

Ronald Reagan

Democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. [Q1222]

Charles Lindbergh

If one took no chances, one would not fly at all. Safety lies in the judgment of the chances one takes. [Q1944]

Henry David Thoreau

I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, to life itself than this incessant business. [Q147]

Thomas Jefferson

Every folly must run its round; and so, I suppose, must that of self-learning and self-sufficiency: of rejecting the knowledge acquired in past ages, and starting on the new ground of intuition. When sobered by experience, I hope our successors will turn their attention to the advantages of education. I mean of education on the broad scale. [Q539]

Scott Nesler

In the non answer is the answer. [Q1953]

Gregor Mendel

My scientific studies have afforded me great gratification; and I am convinced that it will not be long before the whole world acknowledges the results of my work. [Q1429]

Wole Soyinka

See, even despite pious statements to the contrary, much of the industrialized world has not yet come to terms with the recognition of the fallacy of what I call the strong man syndrome. [Q1052]

Edward de Bono

Sometimes it is not enough just to be against something. Pressure groups can be powerful in bringing something to an end. But in many cases there is also a need for constructive ideas. (from the book, I am Right, you are wrong. page 22) [Q2000]

Benito Mussolini

Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. [Q1048]

Lily Tomlin

Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past. [Q1945]

John Steinbeck

It has always seemed strange to me... the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second. [Q1369]

Alfred de Vigny

I think, then, that man, after having satisfied his first longing for facts, wanted something fuller, some grouping, some adaptation to his capacity and experience, of the links of this vast chain of events which his sight could not take in. [Q1735]


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

Buckminster Fuller

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

Clarence Darrow

History repeats itself, and that's one of the things that's wrong with history. [Q1096]

Margaret Mead

As long as any adult thinks that he, like the parents and teachers of old, can become introspective, invoking his own youth to understand the youth before him, he is lost. [Q1417]


What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly - that is the first law of nature. [Q1505]

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]

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]

Albert Einstein

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. [Q26]


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

Marshall McLuhan

For tribal man space was the uncontrollable mystery. For technological man it is time that occupies the same role. [Q1458]


To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle. [Q15]

Edward de Bono

For the first time in history we can now have an idea of how the brain is organized to give rise to mind. We may not know all the details, but we do know enough about the broad system behaviour to re-examine our traditional thinking habits and to be able to develop new ones. We can come to see how the thinking habits of the last Renaissance emphasized some of the worst habits of mind. We can come to see why the thinking and language systems we developed and now esteem so highly are good at logic but poor at perception. We can see how that failure to deal with perception gives rise to inadequacies and of our current thinking. We can see how these habits were responsible for much human misery in the past and why they are not adequate for the constructive steps that are necessary in the future. — Page 4, Chapter: Introduction: The New Renaissance - I Am Right You Are Wrong [Q1990]

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]

Albert Einstein

Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. [Q23]

Ward Cunningham

In the months before I made wiki, we had been having an argument. I think Kent Beck and I were on one side. People who had a lot of faith in the prevailing dogma of software engineering were on the other side. We said, “Collective code ownership is good.” They said, “That’s ridiculous. You’ll never get responsibility. You’ll never get quality if you don’t have responsibility. And the only way you’ll get responsibility is ownership. You have to pin the bugs back on somebody if you want them to ever rise above producing bugs.” And I said, “Well that’s wrong.” [Q1011]

Barbara Deming

We learn best to listen to our own voices if we are listening at the same time to other women whose stories for all our differences turn out, if we listen well, to be our stories also. [Q1397]

The Jungle

It was all so painfully obvious to Jurgis! It was so incomprehensible how a man could fail to see it! Here were all the opportunities of the country, the land, and the buildings upon the land, the railroads, the mines, the factories, and the stores, all in the hands of a few private individuals, called capitalists, for whom the people were obliged to work for wages. The whole balance of what the people produced went to heap up the fortunes of these capitalists, to heap, and heap again, and yet again – and that in spite of the fact that they, and every one about them, lived in unthinkable luxury! And was it not plain that if the people cut off the share of those who merely "owned," the share of those who worked would be much greater? That was as plain as two and two makes four; and it was the whole of it, absolutely the whole of it; and yet there were people who could not see it, who would argue about everything else in the world. They would tell you that governments could not manage things as economically as private individuals; they would repeat and repeat that, and think they were saying something! They could not see that "economical" management by masters meant simply that they, the people, were worked harder and ground closer and paid less! They were wage-earners and servants, at the mercy of exploiters whose one thought was to get as much out of them as possible; and they were taking an interest in the process, were anxious lest it should not be done thoroughly enough! Was it not honestly a trial to listen to an argument such as that? - Chapter 30 - Page 387 of 428 - Published 1906 [Q1901]

Senator Paul Simon

While I am a Democrat, and proud of the affiliation, most problems do not involve political philosophy. They are nuts-and-bolts problems for which people of good will should sit around a table and find solutions. [Q1730]

Alexis de Tocqueville

The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people. [Q964]

Mohandas Gandhi

You've got to be the change you want to see in the world. [Q593]

Swami Vivekananda

The will is not free - it is a phenomenon bound by cause and effect - but there is something behind the will which is free. [Q1143]

Woodrow Wilson

Liberty does not consist in mere general declarations of the rights of men. It consists in the translation of those declaration into definite actions. The philosophy of conduct is what every wise man should wish to derive from his knowledge of the thoughts and the affairs of the generations that have gone before him. We are not put into this world to sit still and know; we are put into it to act. [Q1837]

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]

Václav Havel

Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not. [Q1741]

Napolean Hill

Action is the real measure of intelligence. [Q432]


Healing in a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity. [Q1027]

Thomas Jefferson

The object [of my education bill was] to bring into action that mass of talents which lies buried in poverty in every country for want of the means of development, and thus give activity to a mass of mind which in proportion to our population shall be the double or treble of what it is in most countries. [Q530]

Carl Sagan

If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits? [Q222]

Miles Davis

You can dominate a game if you dominate on the line... We're just going to have to go out there and work hard and blow people off the ball, and let our runners do what they do best. [Q2057]

Senator Paul Simon

I did not oppose closing any and all postal offices, but I believed strongly — and still believe — that small communities need encouragement, that the flight from rural areas to the cities is often not healthy either for the rural areas or the cities. [Q1727]

Dante Alighieri

Consider your origins: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge. [Q1508]

Margaret Mead

Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation. [Q954]

Henry Drummond

Then why did God plaint us with the power to think? Mr. Brady, why do you deny the one faculty of man that raises him above the other creatures of the earth: the power of his brain to reason? — Inherit the Wind [Q105]

George Washington Carver

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. [Q315]

E. B. White

Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar. [Q2078]

Buckminster Fuller

While it takes but meager search to discover that many well-known concepts are false, it takes considerable search and even more careful examination of one's own personal experiences and inadvertently spontaneous reflexing to discover that there are many popularly and even professionally unknown, yet nonetheless fundamental, concepts to hold true in all cases and that already have been discovered by other as yet obscure individuals. That is to say that many scientific generalizations have been discovered but have not come to the attention of what we call the educated world at large, thereafter to be incorporated tardily within the formal education processes, and even more tardily, in the ongoing political-economic affairs of everyday life. Knowledge of the existence and comprehensive significance of these as yet popularly unrecognized natural laws often is requisite to the solution of many of the as yet unsolved problems now confronting society. Lack of knowledge of the solution's existence often leaves humanity confounded when it need not be. — The Wellspring of Reality [Q178]


In a fearful nation the king is law. [Q1176]

Leo Tolstoy

There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth. [Q1062]

Isaac Newton

To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction. [Q370]


An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics. [Q773]

Jonas Salk

When things get bad enough, then something happens to correct the course. And it is that sense I speak of evolution as an error-making and error-correctiong process. And if we can be ever so much better — ever so much slightly better — at error correcting than at error making, then we'll make it. [Q489]


It were better to have no opinion of God at all than such a one as is unworthy of him; for the one is only belief - the other contempt. [Q779]

Michael Morpurgo

It is really important that focusing on things such as spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting doesn't inhibit the creative flow. When I was at school there was a huge focus on copying and testing and it put me off words and stories for years. [Q2083]

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]

Václav Havel

If every day a man takes orders in silence from an incompetent superior, if every day he solemnly performs ritual acts which he privately finds ridiculous, if he unhesitatingly gives answers to questionnaires which are contrary to his real opinions and is prepared to deny his own self in public, if he sees no difficulty in feigning sympathy or even affection where, in fact, he feels only indifference or aversion, it still does not mean that he has entirely lost the use of one of the basic human senses, namely, the sense of humiliation. [Q1761]

Friedrich Nietzsche

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


The eyes of the soul of the multitudes are unable to endure the vision of the divine. [Q897]

Clarence Darrow

The world is made up for the most part of morons and natural tyrants, sure of themselves, strong in their own opinions, never doubting anything. [Q1109]

Václav Havel

People who live in the post-totalitarian system know only too well that the question of whether one or several political parties are in power, and how these parties define and label themselves, is of far less importance than the question of whether or not it is possible to live like a human being. [Q1781]


I am puzzled. — Master Po — That is the beginning of wisdom. — "Kung Fu" The Hoots 1973 Season 2, Episode 10 [Q596]

Nikola Tesla

The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter — for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way. He lives and labors and hopes. [Q1680]

Russell Simmons

I'm not a politician. I only want to help relieve the suffering in communities, and I want to help people see their community in each other. [Q1310]


Perhaps the day may come when we shall remember these sufferings with joy. [Q1586]

Scott Nesler

Science is a method of study using approximation. Typically there are more than one answer. Truth or right are not as important as understanding the winner is chosen based on a thorough knowledge of available information and the quest to explore new frontiers. [Q1608]

Jonas Salk

Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun? — In answer to Edward R. Murrow's question, who owns the patent on this vaccine? [Q484]


Music can change the world because it can change people. [Q635]

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]


Do not talk a little on many subjects, but much on a few. [Q925]

Master Po

Even one of the royal house, should not punish an old man twice for the same offense. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q515]

Napoleon Bonaparte

What is history but a fable agreed upon? [Q93]

Kathryn Schulz

Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we're wrong about that? [Q1398]

Sam Ewing

When you finally go back to your old home, you find it wasn't the old home you missed but your childhood. [Q2076]

George Carlin

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

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