Eric Hoffer

Eric Hoffer

Eric Hoffer (July 25, 1898 – May 21, 1983) was an American moral and social philosopher. He was the author of ten books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 1983. His first book, The True Believer (1951), was widely recognized as a classic, receiving critical acclaim from both scholars and laymen, although Hoffer believed that The Ordeal of Change was his finest work.

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It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor.

We do not really feel grateful toward those who make our dreams come true, they ruin our dreams.

Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion, even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.

Sometimes we feel the loss of a prejudice as a loss of vigor.

Nationalist pride, like other variants of pride, can be a substitute for self-respect.

Charlatanism of some degree is indispensable to effective leadership.

We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents.

In times of change learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

Self-esteem and self-contempt have specific odors, they can be smelled.

Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy - the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.

The savior who wants to turn men into angels is as much a hater of human nature as the totalitarian despot who wants to turn them into puppets.

It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents.

Every new adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem.

Call not that man wretched who, whatever ills he suffers, has a child to love.

It almost seems that nobody can hate America as much as native Americans. America needs new immigrants to love and cherish it.

It sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents.

Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us.

Every intense desire is perhaps a desire to be different from what we are.

There is no loneliness greater than the loneliness of a failure. The failure is a stranger in his own house.

Craving, not having, is the mother of a reckless giving of oneself.

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