Wise Quotes

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In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.

Between friends there is no need of justice.

The actuality of thought is life.

If you judge investigate.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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

Abraham Lincoln

Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.


It is a wise father that knows his own child.

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.

Mark Twain

Life's Tragedy is that we get old to soon and wise too late.

To understand everything is to forgive everything


Memory is the scribe of the soul.

My best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my own sake.

Everybody likes a compliment.

Abraham Lincoln

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.


Who is wise? He that learns from everyone.

The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.

...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...

Fear has its use, but cowardice has none.

It is better to travel well than to arrive.

We are only as blind as we want to be.

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

Lao Tzu

It is from books that wise people derive consolation in the troubles of life.

Victor Hugo

Nothing is permanent.

As irrigators lead water where they want, as archers make their arrows straight, as carpenters carve wood, the wise shape their minds.

When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.

The virtues, like the Muses, are always seen in groups. A good principle was never found solitary in any breast.


Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.

Oscar Wilde

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.

Abraham Lincoln

Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.

The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.

The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.

The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly.

You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts.

All that glisters is not gold.

If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.

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

Abraham Lincoln

A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.

Facts are stubborn but statistics are more pliable.

Mark Twain

A man can die but once.

I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety.

Wisdom is knowing when you can't be wise.

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.

If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule – never lie to yourself.

Nobody minds having what is too good for them.

I trust that everything happens for a reason, even when we’re not wise enough to see it.

It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

In heaven an angel is nobody in particular.

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Mark Twain

Close some doors today. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere.

Whoever counters the malicious with malice can never be free, but one who feels no maliciousness pacifies those who hate. Hate brings misery to humanity, so the wise man knows no hatred

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.

Herman Hesse

God has given me no control over the following moment. I am concerned about taking care of the present.

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

All get what they want; they do not always like it.

I think therefore I am. I think.

George Carlin

Learn what is to be taken seriously and laugh at the rest.

I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.

We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us.

The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure but to avoid pain.

I am one who loved not wisely but too well.

William Shakespeare

To be wise and love, exceeds man’s might.

We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. 

Wrong is wrong only when you are at liberty to choose.

Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.

It is better to know how to learn, than to know.

Remember there's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.

Strange that the vanity which accompanies beauty - excusable perhaps when there is such great beauty, or at any rate understandable - should persist after the beauty was gone.

No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.

When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself.

Paulo Coelho

One can measure the greatness and the moral progress of a nation by looking at how it treats its animals.

The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.

The false can never grow into truth by growing in power.

Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart, for his purity by definition is unassailable.

Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.

Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.

To be idle is a short road to death, and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently, but he is willing in great crises to give even his life - knowing that under certain conditions it is not worth-while to live.

A wise traveler never despises his own country.

In matters of conscience, first thoughts are best. In matters of prudence, last thoughts are best.

I saw some piglets suckling their dead mother. After a short while they shuddered and went away. They had sensed that she could no longer see them and that she wasn't like them any more. What they loved in their mother wasn't her body but whatever it was that made her body live.

An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.

Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.

Good men abandon lusting after things, they take no pleasure in sensual speech, when touched by happiness or sorrow, the wise show no elation or dejection.

Desire of having is the sin of covetousness.

People with virtue must speak out, People who speak are not all virtuous.

Don't tell fish stories where the people know you, but particularly don't tell them where they know the fish.

You CAN have it all. You just can't have it all at once.

There are five things which no one is able to accomplish in this world: first, to cease growing old when he is growing old; second, to cease being sick; third, to cease dying; fourth, to deny dissolution when there is dissolution; fifth, to deny non-being.

The skillful employer of men will employ the wise man, the brave man, the covetous man, and the stupid man.

When a man has pity on all living creatures then only is he noble.

You only lose what you cling to.

One's past is what one is. It is the only way by which people should be judged.

Reality is merely an illusion albeit a very persistent one.

It is a wise father that knows his own child.

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.

Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.

The mother of revolution and crime is poverty.

There is nothing so unthinkable as thought, unless it be the entire absence of thought.

Conflict cannot survive without your participation.

The pleasantness of an employment does not always evince its propriety.

A person who is gifted sees the essential point and leaves the rest as surplus.

Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced and the inconvenience is often considerable.

A wise system of education will at last teach us how little man yet knows, how much he has still to learn.

He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.

Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than the one that comes after it.

A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.

An overflow of good converts to bad.

No man is so foolish but he may sometimes give another good counsel, and no man so wise that he may not easily err if he takes no other counsel than his own. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.

Hunter S. Thompson

All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.

Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.

Travel makes a wise man better, and a fool worse.

Thomas Fuller

It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid.

George Bernard Shaw

The superior man understands what is right, the inferior man understands what will sell.

Fortune pays you sometimes for the intensity of her favors by the shortness of their duration. She soon tires of carrying any one long on her shoulders.

A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.

It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.

Vanity, working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.

He that displays too often his wife and his wallet is in danger of having both of them borrowed.

Sometimes what works 40 years ago doesn't work today.

Those who know how to think need no teachers.

The disciple should associate with a wise friend who detects and censures his faults and who points out virtues as a guide tells of buried treasures. There is happiness not woe to him who associates with such an intelligent friend.

Those who own much have much to fear.

A fool thinks himself to be wise but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.

A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice.

Bill Cosby

When people do not respect us we are sharply offended, yet in his private heart no man much respects himself.

My great religion is a belief in the blood, the flesh, as being wiser than the intellect. We can go wrong in our minds. But what our blood feels and believes and says is always true. The intellect is only a bit and a bridle.

The more you explain it, the more I don't understand it.

Mark Twain

What is the unmistakable mark of a wise man? It is Love, Love for all humanity.

Sai Baba

When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it's a sure sign you're getting old.

Mark Twain

My sore throats are always worse than anyone's.

The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation, rather than upon mere survival.

To refuse awards is another way of accepting them, with more noise than is normal.

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

Search well and be wise, nor believe that self-willed pride will ever be better than good counsel.

Being a blockhead is sometimes the best security against being cheated by a man of wit.

Learning is an ornament in prosperity, a refuge in adversity and a provision in old age.

He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.

It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and only one bad one to lose it.

Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous, you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.

There is a foolish corner in the brain of the wisest man.


From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other.

Each of us has that right that possibility to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself she will be invented. So to be bodacious enough to invent ourselves is wise.

A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.

We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.

We should aim rather at leveling down our desires than leveling up our means.

When the storytelling in a culture goes bad, the result is decadence.

Age considers, youth ventures.

I like not fair terms and a villain's mind.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but a little want of knowledge is also a dangerous thing.

Rather go to bed without dinner than to rise in debt.

The wise are wise only because they love. The fool are fools only because they think they can understand love.

I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.

He who learns but does not think is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.

The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.

Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she laid an asteroid.

He that speaks much is much mistaken.

Where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong?

Talk well of the absent whenever you have the opportunity.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain you gain all, if you lose you lose nothing. Wager then without hesitation that He exists.

Blaise Pascal

Self-pity is our worst enemy, and if we yield to it we can never do anything wise in this world.

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake.

A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.

Unity can only be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and the idea of Unity are already two.

The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply.

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!

A well-spent day brings happy sleep.

Every judgement of conscience, be it right or wrong, be it about things evil in themselves or morally indifferent, is obligatory in such wise that he who acts against his conscience always sins.

Vices are sometimes only virtues carried to excess!

We should meet abuse by forbearance. Human nature is so constituted that if we take absolutely no notice of anger or abuse, the person indulging in it will soon weary of it and stop.

The wine of youth does not always clear with advancing years, sometimes it grows turbid.

A bad man can do a million times more harm than a beast.

The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity, and the brute by instinct.

Those who do not complain are never pitied

Don't complain about the snow on your neighbor's roof when your own doorstep is unclean.

No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger.

If two friends ask you to judge a dispute don't accept, because you will lose one friend, on the other hand if two strangers come with the same request, accept, because you will gain one friend.

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count, everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.

Education n.: That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.

Ambrose Bierce

The more you own the more you know you don't own.

What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.

Emancipation from the bondage of the soil is no freedom for the tree.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.

Think simple, as my old master used to say - meaning reduce the whole of its parts into the simplest terms, getting back to first principles.

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

A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do you know that his future will not be equal to our present?

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.

A fool despises good counsel but a wise man takes it to heart.

Nearly everything you do is of no importance, but it is important that you do it.

Mine is better than ours.

One's own religion is, after all, a matter between oneself and one's Maker, and no one else's.

Saints need sinners.

'Tis better to bear the ills we have, than fly to others that we know not of.

He does not preach what he practices till he has practiced what he preaches.

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth.

Where an opinion is general, it is usually correct.

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.

Bertrand Russell

Having abandoned the ways of darkness, let the wise follow the light. Having come from home to homelessness, let him enjoy the bliss of solitude so difficult to achieve.

No enemy is worse than bad advice.

'Tis best to weigh the enemy more mighty than he seems.

Make everything as simple as possible but not simpler.

Happiness seems to require a modicum of external prosperity.

One's real life is so often the life that one does not lead.

The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief.

Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.

The post office has a great charm at one point of our lives. When you have lived to my age you will begin to think letters are never worth going through the rain for.

One swallow does not make a spring nor does one fine day.

So near is falsehood to truth that a wise man would do well not to trust himself on the narrow edge.

It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods.

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

The people who are absent are the ideal, those who are present seem to be quite commonplace.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today's events.

Albert Einstein

An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.

A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.

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

Jerry Seinfeld

What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

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

The cautious seldom err.

The moment there is suspicion about a person's motives, everything he does becomes tainted.

He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another than he whom you yourself have obliged.

How do you know what it's like to be stupid if you've never been smart?

Lou Holtz

The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve.

I have not been that wise. Health I have taken for granted. Love I have demanded perhaps too much and too often. As for money, I have only realized its true worth when I didn't have it.

Hedy Lamarr

Love and doubt have never been on speaking terms.

Action expresses priorities.

He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year.

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

When in doubt, don't.

How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the disputants had dared to define their terms.

An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.

If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?

Rescue someone unwilling to look after himself and he will cling to you like a dangerous illness.

It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.

All that one gains by falsehood is not to be believed when he speaks the truth.

There is more to life than increasing its speed.

Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.

It is much easier to suppress a first desire than to satisfy those that follow.

Benjamin Franklin

I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born.

The way of the superior person is threefold, virtuous they are free from anxieties, wise they are free from perplexities, and bold they are free from fear.

It is better to meet danger than to wait for it. He that is on a lee shore and foresees a hurricane, stands out to sea and encounters a storm to avoid a shipwreck.

Avoid popularity if you would have peace.

As every divided kingdom falls so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself.

Wherever there is danger there lurks opportunity, whenever there is opportunity there lurks danger. The two are inseparable. They go together.

Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.

Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up.

Better a broken promise than none at all.

Let me embrace thee sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.

The fool wanders, a wise man travels.

Thomas Fuller

Society is like the air, necessary to breathe, but insufficient to live on.

Think not lightly of evil, saying 'It will not come to me.' Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the fool gathering it little by little, fills himself with evil.


I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.

Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.

A church debt is the devil's salary.

One who drinks the nectar of the Good Law lives happily with a tranquil mind. The wise man ever delights in the Dhamma as realized by the Noble Ones.

To write well express yourself like common people, but think like a wise man. Or think as wise men do, but speak as the common people do.

The tongue like a sharp knife... Kills without drawing blood.

If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way. You become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions brave by performing brave actions.

It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.

A wise man recognizing that the world is but an illusion does not act as if it is real so he escapes the suffering.

A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well.

What we have forgotten is that thoughts and words are conventions, and that it is fatal to take conventions too seriously. 

I'm afraid that sometimes you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you.

Dr. Seuss

The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

Silence is golden when you can't think of a good answer.

No matter how you treat him, the man will never be satisfied.

Bob Marley

Truth uttered before its time is always dangerous.


If it were not for the company of fools, a witty man would often be greatly at a loss.

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it.

Tempt not a desperate man.

William Shakespeare

Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides: Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.

William Shakespeare

Even when laws have been written down they ought not always to remain unaltered.

A mind lively and at ease, can do with seeing nothing, and can see nothing that does not answer.

Chi Wen Tzu always thought three times before taking action. Twice would have been quite enough.

Compliments win friends, honesty loses them.

What you are you do not see, what you see is your shadow.

No civilized society can thrive upon victims, whose humanity has been permanently mutilated.

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Don’t waste your time with explanations, people only hear what they want to hear.

A man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.

Mark Twain

Neither a wise man, nor a brave man, lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.

I never approve, or disapprove, of anything now. It is an absurd attitude to take towards life. We are not sent into the world to air our moral prejudices. I never take any notice of what common people say, and I never interfere with what charming people do.

Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.

If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.

Mark Twain

Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.

The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose.

To Thales the primary question was not what do we know, but how do we know it.

I never think of the future - it comes soon enough.

A person is never entirely holy or entirely sinful.

The opposite of every truth is just as true.

Herman Hesse

No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which anyone can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance.

Henry Miller
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