Quotations of Wisdom

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Senator Paul Simon

I also came face to face with real people and real problems and it gradually occurred to me that these difficult human situations don't fit into neat order. [Q1827]

H. L. Mencken

A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier. [Q1213]

Mohandas Gandhi

Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear. [Q570]

Senator Paul Simon

People in a small town want to read in their weekly newspaper the stories about a family visiting their friends in New Orleans, about a birth, about an automobile accident, about the myriad small things that never make the news of a metropolitan newspaper but are the lifeblood of community of 1,200. [Q1717]

Maurice Strong

One of the things that I've always thought I would like to do is to develop an environmental index. Then people can measure their own environmental performance on an index as they do in other ways. [Q452]

Jay Inslee

Tolerance is carved into the rostrum of the U.S. House of Representatives and intolerance should not be carved into the U.S. Constitution. [Q1504]

Margaret Sanger

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

Václav Havel

There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world. In other words, I can only recommend perspective and distance. Awareness of all the most dangerous kinds of vanity, both in others and in ourselves. A good mind. A modest certainty about the meaning of things. Gratitude for the gift of life and the courage to take responsibility for it. Vigilance of spirit. [Q1770]


It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risk everything. [Q778]

Franz Kafka

By imposing too great a responsibility, or rather, all responsibility, on yourself, you crush yourself. [Q303]

Master Po

Superstition is like a magnet. It pulls you in the direction of your belief. [Q55]

Henry Ford

The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debt. [Q1970]

Carl Jung

Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not. [Q257]

John Maynard Keynes

The biggest problem is not to let people accept new ideas, but to let them forget the old ones. [Q34]

Dorothy Parker

You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think. [Q2030]

Jimmy Wales

My original concept was to provide a free encyclopedia for every single person in the world. [Q217]


The only safety for the conquered is to expect no safety. [Q1588]

Jean de La Fontaine

Let ignorance talk as it will, learning has its value. [Q714]

Jim Morrison

I'm interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos, especially activity that appears to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road toward freedom. [Q525]

Richard P. Feynman

It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is a hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn't get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man. [Q735]

Pete Seeger

I have sung in hobo jungles, and I have sung for the Rockefellers, and I am proud that I have never refused to sing for anybody. [Q348]

Mustafa Kemal

To the women: Win for us the battle of education and you will do yet more for your country than we have been able to do. It is to you that I appeal.

To the men: If henceforward the women do not share in the social life of the nation, we shall never attain to our full development. We shall remain irremediably backward, incapable of treating on equal terms with the civilizations of the West.


René Descartes

It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well. [Q1119]

John F. Kennedy

...if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children`s future. And we are all mortal. [Q1276]

Caine and Master Kan

Caine, “We swore an oath of friendship, master.” Master Kan, “You are speaking of disciple Han?” Caine, “Yes, master.” Master Kan, “And he no longer feels bound by this oath?” Caine, “Because of the contest yesterday, between us, in which he was defeated.” Master Kan, “And you feel as though you have lost something?” Caine, “I do.” Master Kan, “What will you do now with your oath?” Caine, “Is not an oath eternal?” Master Kan, “But how can you control such a thing as a friendship? Which requires the assent of two persons. It is well to consider deeply, before binding yourself to an ideal, cause, or a man. But what is an oath worth that binds a man to an unachievable task?” Caine, “He is still angry, it troubles me. I do not know how to answer to his hatred.” Master Kan, “How else, but with love. One cannot always keep a friend. When that friend believes that one has wronged him.” Caine, “But, I have not wronged him. He is mistaken.” 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 [Q628]

Vince Lombardi

Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will be judged by only one thing-the result. [Q2062]


Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered. [Q841]

Lawrence Krauss (Quantum Man)

I'd rather not understand things than be certain of something which is wrong. — Attributed to Richard Feynman [Q1366]

Douglas Adams

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

Thomas Jefferson

Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital. [Q1192]

Max Born

I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actually philosophy. [Q1268]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents. [Q471]

Michel de Montaigne

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

Thomas Jefferson

The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object. [Q194]

Missouri Constitution of 1820

...free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man, and that every person may freely speak, write, and print, on any subject... [Q1883]

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]

E. B. White

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

James Q Wilson

At root in almost every area of important concern, we are seeking to induce persons to act virtuously, whether as schoolchildren, applicants for public assistance, would-be lawbreakers or voters and public officials [Q1907]


Everything in excess is opposed to nature. [Q1026]

Marshall McLuhan

Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it. [Q1456]

Senator Paul Simon

Paul Simon on Newt Gingrich, "When Newt is good he is very, very good and when he is bad, he is horrid." [Q1729]

Stephen Hawking

I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road. [Q727]

Buckminster Fuller

We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody. [Q115]

Václav Havel

There's always something suspect about an intellectual on the winning side. [Q1757]


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

T.S. Elliot

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. [Q339]

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]

Senator Paul Simon

Beecher and two others had been tried for heresy in the local presbytery in 1833 for "their liberal theology." Central to the charge was their antislavery stand. [Q1887]

Jimmy Wales

Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing. [Q216]

Alan Greenspan

The true measure of a career is to be able to be content, even proud, that you succeeded through your own endeavors without leaving a trail of casualties in your wake. — June 1999 — Harvard University Commencement Address [Q459]

Flannery O'Connor

I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else's. But behind all of them there is only one truth and that is that there's no truth. [Q613]

Thomas Paine

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. [Q274]

Adlai Stevenson

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

Freeman Dyson

The progress of science requires the growth of understanding in both directions, downward from the whole to the parts and upward from the parts to the whole. A reductionist philosophy, arbitrarily proclaiming that the growth of understanding must go only in one direction, makes no scientific sense. Indeed, dogmatic philosophical beliefs of any kind have no place in science. [Q1913]

Antonio Damasio

The autobiographical self is built on the basis of past memories and memories of the plans that we have made; it’s the lived past and the anticipated future. [Q1978]

Carl Sagan

Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense. [Q226]

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]

Henry Lawson

We shall never be understood or respected by the English until we carry our individuality to extremes, and by asserting our independence, become of sufficient consequence in their eyes to merit a closer study than they have hitherto accorded us. [Q429]


Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved. [Q856]


Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach. [Q867]

Scott Nesler

The human species lives in a world where understanding partners with conflict. [Q594]

Marshall McLuhan

I don't necessarily agree with everything I say. [Q1459]

Václav Havel

As soon as man began considering himself the source of the highest meaning in the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its human dimension, and man began to lose control of it. [Q434]

Kevin Eubanks

If you do the right thing for the right reasons and you keep a cool head while doing it ... it will all work out. — Interview on NPR Talk of the Nation. [Q550]

Swami Vivekananda

Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth. [Q1139]

Noam Chomsky

Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune. [Q154]

Andrew Cohen

It is not enough to be well-intentioned; one must strive to put those intentions into action in a capable way. One must consider the effect his actions will have on others. Looked at like this, to persist in ignorance is itself dishonorable. [Q719]

King of Jordan Hussein I

Let me say this loud and clear. There is a world of difference between terrorist acts and the Islamic Shari'a. Islam is not only a religion, but a way of life. And at its heart lie the sacred principles of tolerance and dialogue. [Q1498]

Scott Nesler

Sometimes we become so focused on the syntax of words that meaning is lost. Understanding is an iterative process often involving fuzzy logic. Don't let words get in the way of understanding. [Q400]


Mind moves matter. [Q1584]

Steven Spielberg

We have to realize that people are not born with hatred. They acquire it. We have the responsibility to listen to the voices of history so that future generations never forget what so few lived to tell! [Q1221]

Swami Vivekananda

The Vedanta recognizes no sin it only recognizes error. And the greatest error, says the Vedanta is to say that you are weak, that you are a sinner, a miserable creature, and that you have no power and you cannot do this and that. [Q1142]

Scott Nesler

The task of doing good is subjective, requiring refinement to reach its highest potential. [Q1179]

Miles Davis

Do not fear mistakes. There are none. [Q2055]

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]

Claude Pepper

Life is like riding a bicycle; you don't fall off unless you stop pedaling. [Q1641]

Edward de Bono

The to-and-fro of political argument has little constructive or creative force. This is because argument was never intended to be creative or constructive. Argument is meant to reveal the truth, not create it. Argument can oppose a bad idea and can modify, and thereby improve, a good idea. But it does not design new ideas any more than garden shears grow a garden. Politicians, however, do not have to be creative. For ideas they listen to their advisers and analysts. (from the book, I am Right, you are wrong. Page 22. [Q2002]


Truth is the beginning of every good to the gods, and of every good to man. [Q908]

Gustav Mahler

If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music. [Q634]

Guy Debord

Quotations are useful in periods of ignorance or obscurantist beliefs. [Q713]

Meister Eckhart

What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action. [Q1636]

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]

Thomas Jefferson

This I hope will be the age of experiments in government, and that their basis will be founded in principles of honesty, not of mere force [Q541]

Jesse Jackson

It is time for us to turn to each other, not on each other. [Q1550]

Maya Angelou

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders. [Q689]

Jean-Paul Marat

God has always been hard on the poor. [Q1520]

Howard Zinn

Americans have been taught that their nation is civilized and humane. But, too often, U.S. actions have been uncivilized and inhumane. [Q383]

Isaac Newton

We build too many walls and not enough bridges. [Q602]


There is no harm in repeating a good thing. [Q902]

Ramana Maharshi

The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measures to gauge spiritual progress. [Q1041]

Thomas Paine

Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. [Q271]

Jeremy Bentham

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

Graham Nelson

Writing a really general parser is a major but different undertaking, by far the hardest points being sensitivity to context and resolution of ambiguity. [Q1260]

Bo Derek

It's really difficult for me. Language, I am sorry that I haven't. I think I just always expected that you learn a word in place of a word and when I discovered how difficult the grammar was and learning that was very discouraging for me. [Q2080]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. [Q417]

Woodrow Wilson

If there are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States, they are going to own it. [Q746]

George Carlin

They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting f#@ked by a system that threw them overboard 30 f@#$%n’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your f@#$%n' retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. [Q1642]

Isaac Newton

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people. [Q367]

Dante Alighieri

He listens well who takes notes. [Q1509]

Frederick Douglass

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. [Q697]

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