People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.
The most gifted members of the human species are at their creative best when they cannot have their way, and must compensate for what they miss by realizing and cultivating their capacities and talents.
Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.
The uncompromising attitude is more indicative of an inner uncertainty than a deep conviction. The implacable stand is directed more against the doubt within than the assailant without.
To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance.
People unfit for freedom - who cannot do much with it - are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an attribute of a "have" type of self. It says: leave me alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities. The desire for power is basically an attribute of a "have not" type of self.
We can remember minutely and precisely only the things which never really happened to us.
The poor on the borderline of starvation live purposeful lives. To be engaged in a desperate struggle for food and shelter is to be wholly free from a sense of futility.
It is probably true that business corrupts everything it touches. It corrupts politics, sports, literature, art, labor unions and so on. but business also corrupts and undermines monolithic totalitarianism. Capitalism is at its liberating best in a noncapitalist environment.
There are similarities between absolute power and absolute faith: a demand for absolute obedience, a readiness to attempt the impossible, a bias for simple solutionsto cut the knot rather than unravel it, the viewing of compromise as surrender. Both absolute power and absolute faith are instruments of dehumanization. Hence, absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.
We feel free when we escape -- even if it be but from the frying pan to the fire.
The Paleolithic hunters who painted the unsurpassed animal murals on the ceiling of the cave at Altamira had only rudimentary tools. Art is older than production for use, and play older than work. Man was shaped less by what he had to do than by what he did in playful moments. 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.
We find it hard to apply the knowledge of ourselves to our judgment of others. The fact that we are never of one kind, that we never love without reservations and never hate with all our being cannot prevent us from seeing others as wholly black or white.
A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past.
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity
The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.
The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.
All leaders strive to turn their followers into children.
We often use strong language not to express a powerful emotion but to evoke it in us.
We have rudiments of reverence for the human body, but we consider as nothing the rape of the human mind.
The Greeks invented logic but were not fooled by it.
Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.
However much we talk of the inexorable laws governing the life of individuals and of societies, we remain at the bottom convinced that in human affairs everything in more or less fortuitous. We do not even believe in the inevitability of our own death. Hence the difficulty of deciphering the present, of detecting the seeds of things to come as they germinate before our eyes. We are not attuned to seeing the inevitable.
It is a sign of a creeping inner death when we no longer can praise the living.
The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
To most of us nothing is so invisible as an unpleasant truth. Though it is held before our eyes, pushed under our noses, rammed down our throats- we know it not.
The wise learn from the experience of others, and the creative know how to make a crumb of experience go a long way.
No one is truly literate who cannot read his own heart.
It is easier to love humanity as a whole that to love one's neighbor.
The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.
We cannot be sure that we have something to live for unless we are ready to die for it.
Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet.
We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential. Hence the fact that many inventions had their birth as toys.
It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable.
Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
We have perhaps a natural fear of ends. We would rather be always on the way than arrive. Given the means, we hang on to them and often forget the ends.
When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbors as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant of others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.
It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities.
There is probably an element of malice in our readiness to overestimate people - we are, as it were, laying up for ourselves the pleasure of later cutting them down to size.
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.
He who has nothing and wants something is less frustrated than he who has something and wants more.
Retribution often means that we eventually do to ourselves what we have done unto others.
In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.
Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.
We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.
The nature of society is largely determined by the direction in which talent and ambition flow-by the tilt of the social landscape.
Action is at bottom a swinging and flailing of the arms to regain one's balance and keep afloat.
Take man's most fantastic invention- God. Man invents God in the image of his longings, in the image of what he wants to be, then proceeds to imitate that image, vie with it, and strive to overcome it.
To grow old is to grow common. Old age equalizes - we are aware that what is happening to us has happened to untold numbers from the beginning of time. When we are young we act as if we were the first young people in the world.
They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor.
One might equate growing up with a mistrust of words. A mature person trusts his eyes more than his ears. Irrationality often manifests itself in upholding the word against the evidence of the eyes. Children, savages and true believers remember far less what they have seen than what they have heard.
Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus people haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for both.