Wisdom Quotes

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No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.

If you judge investigate.

Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.

He who molds the public sentiment... makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to make.

What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain.

It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.

Nothing will come of nothing.

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?

Everybody likes a compliment.

The beginning of wisdom, as they say. When you're seventeen you know everything. When you're twenty-seven, if you still know everything, you're still seventeen.

All generalizations are false including this one.

...for the lesser evil is reckoned a good, in comparison with the greater evil, since the lesser evil is rather to be chosen, than the greater...

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what's right.

Turn your wounds into wisdom.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

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

Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.

He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.

Wisdom is better than wit, and in the long run will certainly  have the laugh on her side.

Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

Dalai Lama

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character give him power.

A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.

Don’t gain the world and lose your soul. Wisdom is better than silver and gold.

Truth never damages a cause that is just.

Anyone can become angry - that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way - that is not within everyone's power and that is not easy.


Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.

Brevity is the soul of wit.

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.

I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

You ain't gonna miss your water until your well runs dry.

I read less and less. I have not forgiven books for their failure to tell me the truth and make me happy.

Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.

Facts are many but the truth is one.

Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.

Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.

Some rise by sin and some by virtue fall.

Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.

Wisdom is knowing when you can't be wise.

Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.

Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.

I am not young enough to know everything.

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

Imitation is the sincerest flattery.

Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else ... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.

Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.

Beware the hobby that eats.

At twenty years of age the will reigns, at thirty the wit, and at forty the judgment.

Meditation brings wisdom, lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back and choose the path that leads to wisdom.

For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.

We are, therefore, out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. 

I think therefore I am. I think.

He that can have patience can have what he will.

It is the eye of other people that ruin us. If I were blind I would want neither fine clothes, fine houses or fine furniture.

Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.

Don't limit a child to your own learning for he was born in another time.

Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.

All experiences are preceded by mind, having mind as their master, created by mind.

For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?

Discipline divorced from wisdom is not true discipline, but merely the meaningless following of custom, which is only a disguise for stupidity.

In matters of conscience the law of the majority has no place.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.

Words may show a man's wit but actions his meaning.

Patience is the companion of wisdom.

Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.

Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh and too selfish to seek other than itself.

Morality is contraband in war.

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget, falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.


Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.

More gold has been mined from the thoughts of men than has been taken from the earth.

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.

When anger rises think of the consequences.

Philosophy will clip an angel's wings.

I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.

Never use a cannon to kill a fly.

The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

When I am getting ready to reason with a man I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say, and two-thirds about him and what he is going to say.

Poverty is the worst form of violence.

Teach you children poetry, it opens the mind, lends grace to wisdom and makes the heroic virtues hereditary.

More than any other time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

Seek not every quality in one individual.

There's a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.

The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.

Beware of false knowledge, it is more dangerous than ignorance.

But what is liberty without wisdom and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils, for it is folly vice and madness without tuition or restraint.

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing doing nothing and being nothing.

Conceit causes more conversation than wit.

Questions are never indiscreet, answers sometimes are.

How quick come the reasons for approving what we like!

I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.

There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.

We are sometimes as different from ourselves as we are from others.

Give thy thoughts no tongue.

Reason is the natural order of truth, but imagination is the organ of meaning.

The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.

Words are the voice of the heart

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.

What is the price of experience? Do men buy it for a song? Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price of all the man hath, his house, his wife, his children.

Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.

One can survive everything nowadays, except death, and live down everything, except a good reputation.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands, you need to be able to throw something back.

Few people have the wisdom to prefer the criticism that would do them good to the praise that deceives them.

Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this.

Nobody can tell what I suffer! But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied.

It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.

The more things are forbidden the more popular they become.

Does wisdom, perhaps, appear on the earth as a raven, which is inspired by the smell of carrion?

The man of upright life is obeyed before he speaks.

There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.

Another possible source of guidance for teenagers is television, but television's message has always been that the need for truth, wisdom and world peace pales by comparison with the need for a toothpaste that offers whiter teeth and fresher breath.

Dave Barry

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

For those whose wit becomes the mother of villainy, those it educates to be evil in all things.

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

Violent men have not been known in history to die to a man. They die up to a point.

A peace is of the nature of a conquest, for then both parties nobly are subdued and neither party loser.

Hear reason, or she'll make you feel her.

They must change who would be constant in happiness and wisdom.

The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.

Necessity never made a good bargain.

Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.

When we see men of a contrary character we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

It is well to be up before daybreak for such habits contribute to health, wealth and wisdom.

A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.

Good has two meanings: it means that which is good absolutely, and that which is good for somebody.

The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful and then only for a short while.

I heard the old old men say 'all that's beautiful drifts away like the waters.'

Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies.

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher's stone.

Honesty is the best policy.

Preachers in pulpits talked about what a great message is in the book. No matter what you do somebody always imputes meaning into your books.

Dr. Seuss

Listen to many, speak to a few.

All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

First have a definite clear practical ideal, a goal an objective. Second have the necessary means to achieve your ends, wisdom, money, materials and methods. Third adjust all your means to that end.

It's easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.

We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.

If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it from him.

Wit is the salt of conversation, not the food.

William Hazlitt

When we turn to one another for counsel, we reduce the number of our enemies.

It is only when the rich are sick that they fully feel the impotence of wealth.

The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear.

The doors of wisdom are never shut.

He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.

The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil.

I am not bound to win but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right and stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth.

The man of wisdom has no perplexity, the man of humanity has no worry, the man of courage has no fear.

Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.

The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.

No light is brighter than wisdom - wisdom is the light in the world.

I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.

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.

Martyrdom covers a multitude of sins.

To know that you know and to know that you don't know - that is the real wisdom.

Admiration is the daughter of ignorance.

Virtue is more to man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue.

When angry - count to four; when very angry - swear.

There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest.

One today is worth two tomorrows.

Those that won't be counseled can't be helped.

Listen carefully to what country people call mother wit. In those homely sayings are couched the collective wisdom of generations.

Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants and the other is getting it.

Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.

The proper man understands equity, the small man profits.

Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.

Truth stands even if there be no public support. It is self-sustained.

Buy land, they're not making it anymore.

Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste.

The pride of the peacock is the glory of God. The lust of the goat is the bounty of God. The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God. The nakedness of woman is the work of God.

When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.

Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First by reflection which is noblest, Second by imitation which is easiest, and third by experience which is the bitterest.

Confidence contributes more to conversation than wit.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding.

It takes huge effort to free yourself from memory.

Paulo Coelho

Gray hairs are signs of wisdom if you hold your tongue, speak and they are but hairs as in the young.

Your true character is most accurately measured by how you treat those who can do 'nothing' for you.

Wisdom is not wisdom when it is derived from books alone.


As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it.

To lose patience is to lose the battle.

The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.

When prosperity comes do not use all of it.

There's many a man has more hair than wit.

There are people who can do all fine and heroic things, but one - keep from telling their happiness to the unhappy.

Madness, in a higher sense, is the beginning of all wisdom.

The man of power is ruined by power, the man of money by money, the submissive man by subservience, the pleasure seeker by pleasure.

He had loved and had found himself. But most people love to lose themselves.

Opinions mean nothing; they may be beautiful or ugly, clever or foolish, anyone can embrace or reject them.

Youth ends when egotism does; maturity begins when one lives for others.

Whatever is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness and benefit.

Memory is the mother of all wisdom.


Most people who ask for advice from others have already resolved to act as it pleases them.

He that won't be counseled can't be helped.

For having lived long I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information or fuller consideration to change opinions, even on important subjects which I once thought right but found to be otherwise.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it is time to pause and reflect.

The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different.

Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be.

I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one or the other.

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind, he can find the way to Enlightenment and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.

Good nature is more agreeable in conversation than wit, and gives a certain air to the countenance, which is more amiable than beauty.

Joseph Addison

Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.

Wit is a dangerous weapon even to the possessor, if he knows not how to use it discreetly.

Nothing ever exists entirely alone, everything is in relation to everything else.

A hero is born among a hundred; a wise man is found among a thousand; but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men.

Men always talk about the most important things to perfect strangers. In the perfect stranger we perceive man himself, the image of a God is not disguised by resemblances to an uncle, or doubts of wisdom of a mustache.

Wisdom, compassion and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.

Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.

He who studies books alone will know how things ought to be and he who studies men will know how they are.

Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to.

Observe the life by cause and consequence. Explore the life by wisdom. Treat the life by equality. Complete the life by love.

Though we may know Him by a thousand names, He is one and the same to us all.

Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.

It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.

I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me 'I love you'. There is an African saying which is: 'Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt'.

People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.

The human race is a race of cowards, and I am not only marching in that procession, but carrying a banner.

Illusion is the first of all pleasures.

We should take care not to make the intellect our god, it has of course powerful muscles but no personality.

The thorn from the bush one has planted, nourished and pruned, pricks more deeply and draws more blood.

We shape our dwellings and afterwards our dwellings shape us.

Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.

He who praises everybody praises nobody.

Politics have no relation to morals.

The direction of the mind is more important than its progress.

Where does discontent start? You are warm enough but you shiver. You are fed yet hunger gnaws you. You have been loved but your yearning wanders in new fields. And to prod all these there's time the Bastard Time.

John Steinbeck

Those who govern, having much business on their hands, do not generally like to take the trouble of considering and carrying into execution new projects. The best public measures are therefore seldom adopted from previous wisdom but forced by the occasion.

Do not differentiate on the basis of race, caste, creed or country.

All this worldly wisdom was once the unamiable heresy of some wise man.

There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.

Follow your instincts. That's where true wisdom manifests itself.

Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of face within a comparatively short time but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.

Calvin Coolidge

All that we do is done with an eye to something else.

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.

A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.

Morality is the basis of things and truth is the substance of all morality.

The figure a poem makes. It begins in delight and ends in wisdom... in a clarification of life - not necessarily a great clarification such as sects and cults are founded on but in a momentary stay against confusion.

Robert Frost

How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?

It is wisdom in prosperity when all is as thou wouldn't have it to fear and suspect the worst.

They would need to be already wise in order to love wisdom.

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

Doubt is the vestibule through which all must pass before they can enter into the temple of wisdom.

Wisdom is knowledge which has become a part of one's being.

Wisdom has its root in goodness not goodness its root in wisdom.

Learning sleeps and snores in libraries but wisdom is everywhere wide awake on tiptoe.

If I am fool it is at least a doubting one, and I envy no one the certainty of his self-approved wisdom.

All the crap that they tell you about ... getting joy and having a kind of wisdom in your golden years -- it's all tripe ... I've gained no wisdom no insight no mellowing. I would make all the same mistakes again today.

To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.

Though sages may pour out their wisdom's treasure There is no sterner moralist than Pleasure

Let us live and move in harmony. Let us grow together. Let us cherish the wisdom that we have acquired together. Let us live in complete harmony without any misunderstanding.

I learned some valuable lessons about the legislative process the importance of bipartisan cooperation and the wisdom of taking small steps to get a big job done.

I am thinking of taking a fifth wife. Why not? Solomon had a thousand wives and he is a synonym for wisdom.

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Fear is the main source of superstition and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

And I love that even in the toughest moments when we're all sweating it - when we're worried that the bill won't pass and it seems like all is lost - Barack never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise. Just like his grandmother he just keeps getting up and moving forward... with patience and wisdom and courage and grace.

The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom...for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.

The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one.

The wisdom of age: don't stop walking.

Rebellion without truth is like spring in a bleak arid desert.

Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack. We give it orders which make no sense.

I will give you a definition of a proud man: he is a man who has neither vanity nor wisdom one filled with hatreds cannot be vain neither can he be wise.

The wisdom of man never yet contrived a system of taxation that would operate with perfect equality.

Wisdom allows nothing to be good that will not be so forever, no man to be happy but he that needs no other happiness than what he has within himself, no man to be great or powerful that is not master of himself.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers and political power, and philosophy thus come into the same hands.

The older I get the more wisdom I find in the ancient rule of taking first things first. A process which often reduces the most complex human problem to a manageable proportion.

Without courage wisdom bears no fruit.

The road to perdition has ever been accompanied by lip service to an ideal.

Raising children is an incredibly hard and risky business in which no cumulative wisdom is gained: each generation repeats the mistakes the previous one made.

Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.

Albert Einstein

We must expect reverses even defeats. They are sent to teach us wisdom and prudence to call forth greater energies and to prevent our falling into greater disasters.

Robert E. Lee

It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

We don't receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

Thomas Jefferson

Wisdom is the abstract of the past but beauty is the promise of the future.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Great wisdom is generous, petty wisdom is contentious.


He who requires much from himself and little from others will keep himself from being the object of resentment.

Pain and foolishness lead to great bliss and complete knowledge, for Eternal Wisdom created nothing under the sun in vain.

Kahlil Gibran

The Almighty in His infinite wisdom did not see fit to create Frenchmen in the image of Englishmen.

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.

Back of every mistaken venture and defeat is the laughter of wisdom if you listen.

The basis of optimism is sheer terror.

Oscar Wilde

Clearly older women and especially older women who have led an active life or elder women who successfully maneuver through their own family life have so much to teach us about sharing patience and wisdom.

The hours of folly are measured by the clock but of wisdom no clock can measure.

All the crap they tell you about... getting joy and having a kind of wisdom in your golden years - it's all tripe

Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.

Books are but waste paper unless we spend in action the wisdom we get from thought - asleep. When we are weary of the living we may repair to the dead who have nothing of peevishness pride or design in their conversation.

Wisdom has never made a bigot but learning has.

The sum of wisdom is that time is never lost that is devoted to work.

To make no mistakes is not in the power of man, but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.


I look forward to a great future for America - a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint its wealth with our wisdom its power with our purpose.

John F. Kennedy

It is the wisdom of the crocodiles that shed tears when they would devour.

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness.

Wisdom outweighs any wealth.

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