Quotations: Wisdom

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?
— Jean-Jacques Rousseau, French philosopher (1712-1778)

Fear is an instructor of great sagacity, and the herald of all revolutions.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, public philosopher and poet (1803-1882)

He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.
— Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet), French author, wit and philosopher (1694-1778)

Expedients are for the hour, but principles are for the ages.
— Henry Ward Beecher, American preacher (1813-1887)

All receive advice. Only the wise profit from it.
— Publilius Syrus, Roman epigrammatist (fl. 42 B.C.)

If thou thinkest twice before thou speakest once, thou wilt speak twice the better for it.
— William Penn, Quaker and founder of Pennsylvania (1644-1718)

A wise man knows everything; a shrewd one, everybody.
— Unknown

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
— Francis Bacon, English philosopher of science and essayist (1561-1626)

The Way of the Sage is to act but not to compete.
— Lao-Tzu, Chinese philosopher (fl. 6th century B.C., possibly apocryphal), in the Tao Te Ching

Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.
— Cato the Elder, Roman censor (234-149 B.C.)

Never kick a man when he’s up.
— Thomas Tip ONeill, American politician, speaker of the House of Representatives (1912-1994)

Whatever your grade or position, if you know how and when to speak, and when to remain silent, your chances of real success are proportionately increased.
— Ralph C. Smedley, American founder of Toastmasters International (1878-1965)

To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, public philosopher and poet (1803-1882)

Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.
— Henri Bergson, French philosopher (1859-1941)

To sensible men, every day is a day of reckoning.
— John W. Gardner, American nonprofit leader, founder of Common Cause (1912-2002)

Always imitate the behavior of the winner when you lose.
— Unknown

Charity never made poor, stealing never made rich, and wealth never made wise.
— English Proverb

Making a thousand decisions, even the wise will make a mistake.
— Chinese proverb

The last, if not the greatest, of the human freedoms: to choose their own attitude in any given circumstance.
— Bruno Bettelheim, Austrian-born American psychologist and writer (1903-1990)

Wise people care not for that which they cannot have.
— Italian proverb

The way to overcome the angry man is with gentleness, the evil man with goodness, the miser with generosity and the liar with truth.
— Indian proverb

Don’t approach a goat from the front, a horse from the back, or a fool from any side.
— Jewish proverb

Control of mental conduct, not skill, is the sign of a matured samurai.
— Japanese proverb

Doubt is the key to knowledge.
— Persian proverb

The greatest cunning is to have none at all.
— French proverb

Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery.
— Dr. Joyce Brothers, psychologist, TV personality, and advice columnist