The following quotes represent a sizable portion of the world’s collective wisdom. If your taste is more Asian, I suggest you check out this collection of Chinese proverbs. And before you start reading, please reflect for a moment on the meaning of the word “wisdom.”

  1. Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of humans. Proverbs, 27:20
  2. The best way to do something is to do it. Joseph Eagle
  3. I know not with what weapons World War Ill will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. Albert Einstein.
  4. No matter how a war starts, it always ends in mud. US General “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, during World War II
  5. The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. Henry David Thoreau
  6. ‘When the whites came to our country, we had the land and they had the Bible, now we have the Bible and they have the land.” Unknown African source.
  7. When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing. Enrique Jardiel Poncela
  8. Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater. Gail Godwin
  9. People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive. Blaise Pascal, The Art of Persuasion
  10. The future’s already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet. William Gibson
  11. It’s a business doing pleasure with you. Disneyland
  12. I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time. Blaise Pascal
  13. Personality is a strategy for getting out of childhood alive. Frank Sulloway
  14. “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.” —Albert Einstein — To Fred Wall, 1933.
  15. We have to learn how to live without truth. Nietzsche.
  16. Due to current economic conditions, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off. (Anonymous.)
  17. You are a hero just like us: Therefore, sacrifice yourself to the sum of all zeros: society. Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil.
  18. “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” Oscar Wilde
  19. “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” Oscar Wilde
  20. “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” Oscar Wilde
  21. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde
  22. Thinking for myself takes a lot of time. Unknown.
  23. Better to see the face than to hear the name. Zen Saying
  24. Wake up and smell the permafrost. Highway Graffiti in San Francisco
  25. We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
  26. I have said to you to speak the truth is a painful thing. To be forced to tell lies is much worse. Oscar Wilde
  27. It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Sir Francis Darwin
  28. Life is like riding a bicycle, in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
  29. The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist knows it is. J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904 – 1967)
  30. They can because they think they can. Virgil
  31. The most incomprehensible fact about nature is that it is comprehensible. Albert Einstein
  32. ‘The invention of the ship was also the invention of the shipwreck. Paul Virilio
  33. Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go. T.S. Eliot
  34. A man holding a cat by the tail is getting forty times the experience of a cat than a man watching him hold a cat. Mark Twain.
  35. The great way is not difficult. Do not seek the truth; Just cease cherishing opinions. — Seng-Ts’an, 6th century Zen Ancestor.
  36. Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world. Arthur Schopenhauer
  37. The future ain’t what it used to be. Yogi Berra
  38. SORRY! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock. —- Banksy
  39. “There are four basic human needs; food, sleep, sex and revenge.”   — Banksy
  40. “Nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful people with talent, leave the house before you find something worth staying in for. ” — Banksy
  41. “I need someone to protect me from all the measures they take in order to protect me. ” — Banksy
  42. “If you want to say something and have people listen then you have to wear a mask. If you want to be honest then you have to live a lie.” — Banksy
  43. “Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.” — Banksy (Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall)
  44. “A wall is a very big weapon. It’s one of the nastiest things you can hit someone with.” — Banksy (Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall)
  45. “A lot of mothers will do anything for their children, except let them be themselves.” — Banksy (Wall and Piece)
  46. The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It’s people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages” — Banksy
  47. ‘When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized God doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and prayed for forgiveness.’ Emo Philips
  48. If I go on long enough calling that my life I’ll end up by believing it. It’s the principle of advertising. Samuel Beckett
  49. ‘People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. ‘  –Søren Kierkegaard
  50. ‘Thinking isn’t agreeing or disagreeing. That’s voting.’ –Robert Frost
  51. “Thinking is, indeed, essentially the negation of that which is immediately before us.”  Georg Hegel
  52. Philosophy is the art of forming, inventing, and fabricating concepts. Deleuze, in: What is Philosophy? p. 7
  53. Even change changes. Unknown.
  54. “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the wickedest of men will do the wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes
  55. A guilty conscience is a hidden enemy. Native American Proverb
  56. Her favorite position is being beside herself, and her favorite sport is jumping to conclusions. Danny Kaye
  57. The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. Anatole France
  58. “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” Dom Hélder Câmara
  59. An intellectual is somebody who found out that there is something more interesting than sex. Aldous Huxley
  60. “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different, will voluntarily go into a psychiatric hospital.” Nietzsche: Thus spoke Zarathustra, Introduction.