Sunday, 13 May 2012

Wisdom Quotes


Quotations for a variety of occasions: shed light, help keep perspective, inspire, energize, or just make me think. I try to be selective in picking quotes, including only those quotes that I find challenging or inspiring or interesting. Sorted by topic and author. Thanks for spreading the word!

Tryon Edwards: “Some of the best lessons we ever learn we learn from our mistakes and failures. The error of the past is the wisdom of the future.”

Laozi (Lao Tzu, Lao Tse, Lao Tsu): “Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. ”

Dee Hock: “We are now at a point in time when the ability to receive, utilize, store, transform and trasmit data -- the lowest cognitive form -- has expanded literally beyond comprehension. Understanding and wisdom are largely forgotten as we struggle under an avalanche of data and information.”

Laozi (Lao Tzu, Lao Tse, Lao Tsu): “Those who know are wise. Those who know themselves are enlightened.”
Thich Nhat Hanh: “Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others.”

Annie Dillard: “Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle, curved tunnels of leaf miners on the surface of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what's going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Men are what their mothers made them.”

Joseph Campbell: “People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances without own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”

Anna Jarvis: “A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother -- and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.”   

Andrea Polard: “Happiness is a complex path that becomes easy only as we walk it.”   

Mary Oliver: “To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.”  

Marge Piercy: “Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding the third.”

Hannah Arendt: “The right to marry whoever one wishes is an elementary human right compared to which ‘the right to attend an integrated school, the right to sit where one pleases on a bus, the right to go into any hotel or recreation area or place of amusement, regardless of one’s skin or color or race’ are minor indeed. Even political rights, like the right to vote, and nearly all other rights enumerated in the Constitution, are secondary to the inalienable human rights to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence; and to this category the right to home and marriage unquestionably belongs.”  

Jesse Pender: “From where we are there is always a path toward love. What takes discipline is continually choosing that path.”

Corita Kent: “Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.”

Michael Korda: “In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take on responsibility.”

Louise Bogan: “I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!”

Baruch Spinoza: “I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.”

Carl Schurz: “I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves ... too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: ‘Our country, right or wrong!’ They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country -- when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.’”   

Zig Ziglar: “Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”

J. R. R. Tolkien: “It will not do to leave a live dragon out of your plans if you live near one.”   

Wayne Dyer: “Enjoy everything that happens in your life, but never make your happiness or success dependent on an attachment to any person, place or thing.”

Seth Godin: “The real shortage we face is dreams, and the wherewithal and the will to make them come true.”

Henry David Thoreau: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Thomas C. Haliburton: “When a man is wrong and won't admit it, he always gets angry.”

Laurence J. Peter: “There is no stigma attached to recognizing a bad decision in time to install a better one.”

Leonard Cohen: “Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act.”

Wayne Dyer: “Failure is a judgment, an opinion. It stems from your fears, which can be eliminated by love -- love for yourself, love for what you do, love for others, and love for your planet.” 

Joyce Brothers: “If your energy is as boundless as your ambition, total commitment may be a way of life you should seriously consider.”

Kahlil Gibran: “Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh....”

Stephen Vincent Benet: “We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom.”

William Butler Yeats: “Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.”

William Ellery Channing: “Even in evil, that dark cloud which hangs over the creation, we discern rays of light and hope, and gradually come to see in suffering and temptation proofs and instruments of the sublimest purposes of wisdom and love.”

Bo Lozoff: “The cause of all our personal problems and nearly all the problems of the world can be summed up in a single sentence: Human life is very deep, and our modern dominant lifestyle is not.”

Albert Einstein: “It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.”

Madame de Stael: “As we grow in wisdom, we pardon more freely.”

Kahlil Gibran: “The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”

Benjamin Franklin: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

Heinrich Heine: “Talking and eloquence are not the same: to speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.”

Benjamin Franklin: “The world is full of fools and faint hearts; and yet everyone has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the affairs, of his neighbor.”

Naguib Mahfouz: “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.”

Walter Lippmann: “It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.”

Buddha: “Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox. Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to a form.”


Abraham Lincoln: “I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. ”

David Starr Jordan: “Wisdom is knowing what to do next; Skill is knowing how to do it, and Virtue is doing it.”

Plato: “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”


George Santayana: “The hunger for facile wisdom is the root of all false philosophy.”

John Naisbitt: “Strategic planning is worthless -- unless there is first a strategic vision.”

Samuel Johnson: “Memory is the mother of all wisdom. ”

Francis Bacon: “A prudent question is one half of wisdom.”

Thomas Jefferson: “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”

Oprah Winfrey: “Follow your instincts. That's where true wisdom manifests itself.”

Baltasar Gracian: “Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit.”

Arthur Ashe: “A wise person decides slowly but abides by these decisions.”

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: “The truest greatness lies in being kind, the truest wisdom in a happy mind.”

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