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Gems of Wisdom
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Gems of Wisdom

Abraham Lincoln


Albert Camus

Albert Einstein

Albert Schweitzer

Alexander Humboldt

Alexandre Dumas


Anne Frank


Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Shopenhauer

Aung San Suu Kyi

Ayn Rand

Bertrand Russell

Bill Gates

Bob Hope

Boris Pasternak

Brian Adams




Carl Jung


Carl Sagan


Charles Darwin

  • A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.
  • A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.
  • A moral being is one who is capable of reflecting on his past actions and their motives - of approving of some and disapproving of others.
  • An American monkey, after getting drunk on brandy, would never touch it again, and thus is much wiser than most men.
  • Animals, whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equal.
  • As for a future life, every man must judge for himself between conflicting vague probabilities."
  • At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly… replace the savage races throughout the world.
  • Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress”
  • But when on shore, & wandering in the sublime forests, surrounded by views more gorgeous than even Claude ever imagined, I enjoy a delight which none but those who have experienced it can understand.
  • Doing what little one can to increase the general stock of knowledge is as respectable an object of life, as one can in any likelihood pursue.
  • False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness.
  • I am a strong advocate for free thought on all subjects, yet it appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against Christianity & theism produce hardly any effect on the public; and freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds, which follows from the advance of science. It has, therefore, been always my object to avoid writing on religion, and I have confined myself to science. I may, however, have been unduly biased by the pain which it would give some members of my family, if I aided in any way direct attacks on religion.
  • During these two years (March 1837 - January 1839) I was led to think much about religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality. I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come by this time (i.e. 1836 to 1839) to see the Old Testament, from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rain-bow as a sign, &c., &c., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindus, or the beliefs of any barbarian.... Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother, and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished.  And this is a damnable doctrine.
  • Early in 1856 Lyell advised me to write out my views pretty fully, and I began at once to do so on a scale three or four times as extensive as that which was afterwards followed by my Origin of Species; yet it was only an abstract of the materials which I had collected, and I had got through about half the work on this scale. But my plans were overthrown, for early in the summer of 1858 Mr. Wallace, who was then in the Malay Archipelago, sent me an essay "On the tendency of varieties to depart indefinitely from the original type"; and this essay (arrived June 18th) contained exactly the same theory as mine. Mr. Wallace expressed the wish that if I thought well of his essay, I should send it to Lyell for perusal. The circumstances under which I consented at the request of Lyell and Hooker to allow an extract from my own M.S., together with a letter to Asa Grey dated September 5 1857, to be published at the same time with Wallace's essay, are given in the Journal of the Linnean Society 1858 p.45. I was at first very unwilling to consent, as I thought that Mr. Wallace might consider my doing so unjustifiable, for I did not then know how generous and noble was his disposition... Nevertheless our joint productions excited very little attention.
  • I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions. / My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts.
  • I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.
  • I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection.
  • I have no great quickness of apprehension or wit which is so remarkable in some clever men, for instance Huxley.
  • I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me.
  • I love fools' experiments. I am always making them.
  • I was a young man with uninformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything; and to my astonishment the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them.”
  • I asked for some time to consider (becoming a parson), as from what little I had heard and thought on the subject I had scruples about declaring my belief in all the dogmas of the Church of England; though otherwise I liked the thought of becoming a country clergyman. Accordingly I read with great care Pearson on the Creeds and a few other books on divinity; and as I did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible, I soon persuaded myself that our Creed must be fully accepted.
  • If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.
  • Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
  • In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.
  • It is a cursed evil to any man to become as absorbed in any subject as I am in mine.
  • It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
  • Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits. Man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped, probably arboreal in its habits.
  • Man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system- with all these exalted powers- Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.
  • Man tends to increase at a greater rate than his means of subsistence.
  • On seeing the marsupials in Australia for the first time and comparing them to placental mammals: "An unbeliever . . . might exclaim 'Surely two distinct Creators must have been at work.'"
  • On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, we gain no scientific explanation.
  • The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.
  • The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.
  • To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.
  • We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universes, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act.
  • We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities... still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.


Charles Dickens


Chief Seattle

  • The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth.


Christopher Reeve


Clarence Darrow


Che Guevara


Cleveland Amory




Dag Hammarskjold


Dalai Lama


David Brinkley


Doris Day


Dwight Eisenhower


Eleanor Roosevelt


Emily Dickinson


Enrico Fermi


Erica Jong




Florence Nightingale


Franklin D. Roosevelt


Fred Hoyle


Friedrich Engel


Friedrich Nietzsche


Galileo Galilei


George Bernard Shaw

·        A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.

·        A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

·        A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

·        A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it; it would be hell on earth.

·        A man ought to be able to be fond of his wife without making a fool of himself about her.

·        All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.

·        All great truths begin as blasphemies.

·        Americans adore me and will go on adoring me until I say something nice about them.

·        An Englishman thinks he is moral when he is only uncomfortable.

·        Animals are my friends, and I don't eat my friends.

·        Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.

·        Beware of the man whose God is in the skies.

·        Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.

·        Churches must learn humility as well as teach it.

·        Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius.

·        Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.

·        Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.

·        Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.

·        "Do you know what a pessimist is?" "A man who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it."

·        Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.

·        Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.

·        He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.

·        He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.

·        Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.

·        Home life as we understand it is no more natural to us than a cage is natural to a cockatoo.

·        I make a fortune from criticizing the policy of the government, and then hand it over to the government in taxes to keep it going.

·        I never resist temptation because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.

·        I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.

·        I showed my appreciation of my native land in the usual Irish way by getting out of it as soon as I possibly could.

·        If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.

·        If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.

·        If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

·        If you can't appreciate what you've got, then you had better get what you can appreciate.

·        If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

·        Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.

·        In order to fully realize how bad a popular play can be, it is necessary to see it twice.

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

·        It is most unwise for people in love to marry .

·        It took me twenty years of studied self-restraint, aided by the natural decay of my faculties, to make myself dull enough to be accepted as a serious person by the British public.

·        I’d like to be the person I could have been but never was.

·        Lack of money is the root of all evil.

·        Let a short Act of Parliament be passed, placing all street musicians outside the protection of the law, so that any citizen may assail them with stones, sticks, knives, pistols, or bombs without incurring any penalties.

·        Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

·        Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

·        Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage - it can be delightful.

·        Life would be tolerable but for its amusements.

·        Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.

·        Martyrdom is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.

·        My main reason for adopting literature as a profession was that, as the author is never seen by his clients, he need not dress respectably.

·        My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity.

·        No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.

·        Nothing ever is done in this world until men are prepared to kill one another if it is not done.

·        Nothing is worth doing unless the consequences may be serious.

·        One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven't and don't.

·        Parentage is a very important profession, but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children.

·        Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.

·        People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.

·        Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing.

·        Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.

·        Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.

·        The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

·        The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.

·        The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed but that he cannot believe anyone else.

·        The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.

·        The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time.

·        The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.

·        The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.

·        The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

·        The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

·        The trouble with him/her is that he/she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.

·        The world is populated in the main by people who should not exist.

·        The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.

·        There are no secrets better kept than the secrets that everybody guesses.

·        There are scores of thousands of human insects who are ready at a moment's notice to reveal the will of God on every possible subject.

·        There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.

·        There is no satisfaction in hanging a man who does not object to it.

·        There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.

·        This is the true joy in life -- being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one...

·        To be clever enough to get a great deal of money, one must be stupid enough to want it.

·        Virtue is insufficient temptation.

·        We must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.

·        What God hath joined together no man shall put asunder: God will take care of that.

·        When a man wants to murder a tiger, it's called sport; when the tiger wants to murder him it's called ferocity.

·        When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.

·        When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.

·        While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?

·        You are going to let the fear of poverty govern your life and your reward will be that you will eat, but you will not live.

·        You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"

·        Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.

·        Youth, which is forgiven everything, forgives itself nothing: age, which forgives itself everything, is forgiven nothing.

·        You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.


George Eliot


George Orwell


George S. Patton

Don't be a fool and die for your country. Let the other sonofabitch die for his.

Fatigue makes cowards of us all.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.

Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.

The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.

There is a great deal of talk about loyalty from the bottom to the top. Loyalty from the top down is even more necessary and much less prevalent.


George Santayana


Helen Keller


Henry Ford


Ian Fleming


Isaac Asimov


Jay Leno


Jerry Seinfeld

A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.

I had a dream last night that a hamburger was eating ME!

It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.

There is no such thing as "fun for the whole family."

There's very little advice in men's magazines, because men think, I know what I'm doing. Just show me somebody naked.

Where lipstick is concerned, the important thing is not color, but to accept God's final word on where your lips end.


Joan of Arc


Jodi Foster


John Adams


John D. Rockefeller


John F. Kennedy


John le Carre


Kahlil Gibran


Lao Tzu


Lee Iacocca


Linus Pauling


Louis Pasteur


Ludwig von Beethoven


Mahatma Gandhi


Margaret Mead


Margot Fonteyn


Mark Twain


Marlene Dietrich


Martin Luther King


Michael J. Fox


Miguel de Cervante


Oscar Wilde


Paul Gauguin




Poul Anderson


Ralph Waldo Emerson


Ray Bradbury


Richard Dawkins


Richard Feynman


Robert Redford


Rosa Parks


Sigmund Freud


Simone de Beauvoir




Stephen Hawking


Stephen King


T.S. Eliot


Thomas Edison


Thomas Jefferson


Victor Hugo




Wayne Gretzky


Will Durant


Will Rogers


William Faulkner


William Shakespeare


Winston Churchill

You may download a copy of Gems Of Wisdom  as an MSWord document.

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