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Wisdom

  • It is not possible to love and be wise.

  • It's easy to get a reputation for wisdom. It's only necessary to live long, speak little and do less.

  • Learning without wisdom is a load of books on a donkey's back.

  • The perfection of wisdom, and the end of true philosophy, is to proportion our wants to our possessions, our ambitions to our capacities.

  • ... curiosity is the beginning of wisdom.

  • All things that were, and now are, and shall be / Graven upon thy heart, have made thee wise ...

  • Eyes of youth have sharp sight, but commonly not so deep as those of elder age ...

    • Elizabeth I,
    • in Leah S. Marcus et al., eds., Elizabeth I: Collected Works ()
  • People are never so near playing the Fool as when they think themselves wise.

  • We can be wise from goodness and good from wisdom.

  • To be brave in misfortune is to be worthy of manhood; to be wise in misfortune is to conquer fate.

  • Information can be passed from one to another, like a silver dollar. There's absolutely no wisdom except what you learn for yourself.

  • Wisdom — meaning judgment acting on experience, common sense, available knowledge, and a decent appreciation of probability.

    • Barbara W. Tuchman,
    • "An Inquiry Into the Persistence of Unwisdom in Government," Esquire ()
  • The trouble with being an activist is you end up like Eve and you get kicked out of the Garden of Eden. You know, Eve was the first person who thought for herself. And she still gets a bad rap. I named my daughter after her.

  • At fifteen life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice.

  • I endeavor to drink deep of philosophy, and to be wise when I cannot be merry, easy when I cannot be glad, content with what cannot be mended, and patient where there is no redress. The mighty can do no more, and the wise seldom do as much. ... I am resolved to make the best of all circumstances around me, that this short life may not be half lost in pains ... Between the periods of birth and burial, I would fain insert a little happiness, a little pleasure, a little peace: to-day is ours, yesterday is past, and to-morrow may never come.

  • Lots of old people don't become wise, but you don't get wise unless you age.

    • Joan Erikson,
    • in Gretchen B. Dianda and Betty J. Hofmayer, eds., Older and Wiser ()
  • To read the hearts of those she loved — that was as easy to Fru Lagerlöf as reading a book ...

  • I hold those wise who know how to be happy.

  • Occasionally there is a moment in a person's life when he takes a great stride forward in wisdom, humility, or disillusionment. For a split second he comes into a kind of cosmic understanding. For a trembling breath of time he knows all there is to know. He is loaned the gift the poet yearned for — seeing himself as others see him.

  • Wisdom can boast no higher attainment than happiness.

  • It seems to take a lifetime for us to learn that wisdom consists largely in a graceful acceptance of things that do not immediately concern us.

  • Silence and reserve will give anyone a reputation for wisdom.

  • Only those are unwise who have never dared to be fools.

  • Be happy. It's one way of being wise.

    • Colette,
    • letter, in Robert Phelps, ed., Belles Saisons: A Colette Scrapbook ()
  • Youth is harmed by having wisdom thrust upon it. Youth must gather wisdom slowly, in laughter and tears.

  • Humanity has to travel a hard road to wisdom, and it has to travel it with bleeding feet.

  • ... people get wisdom from thinking, not from learning ...

  • There is no greater fool than the man who thinks himself wise; no one is wiser than he who suspects he is a fool.

    • Marguerite de Valois,
    • in J. De Finod, ed., A Thousand Flashes of French Wit, Wisdom, and Wickedness ()
  • Wisdom not gained from within is only someone else's knowledge.

  • In the middle / God said, / Let there be Wisdom, / and the universe echoed / with peals of laughter, / and wisdom trickled down / the corridors once carved by light / and filtered into the cracks / of all broken hearts / and made them whole.

  • ... there is no wisdom equal to that which comes after the event.

  • ... age is other things, too. It is wisdom, if one has lived one's life properly. It is experience and knowledge. And it is getting to know all the ways the world turns, so that if you cannot turn the world the way you want, you can at least get out of the way so you won't get run over.

  • How can those who count pennies calculate their worth? / They may carve monuments yet lack all understanding.

    • Ban Zhao,
    • "Needle and Thread" (1st cent.), in Jane Hirshfield, ed., Women in Praise of the Sacred ()
  • Most folks are weak and wisdom is harder to do than it is to know.

    • Yula Moses,
    • in John Langston Gwaltney, Drylongso ()
  • There was a higher power and God give me wisdom. Motherwit, common sense. Wisdom come from on high. You got it and you cain't explain how you got it yo'self. It's motherwit.

    • Onnie Lee Logan,
    • with Katherine Clark, Motherwit: An Alabama Midwife's Story ()
  • ... there is no gateway to maturity; there is no line that is crossed. Maturity is like a maze, one path leading to another; it is like a great building full of corridors, one turning into another. Did anybody ever reach the end, so there was a clear way ahead, so he could say, now I am rich with knowledge, now I know all the answers?

  • [Responding to trick query about whether she believed herself in a state of grace:] If I am not, may it please God to bring me into it; if I am, may He preserve me in it.

  • Get wisdom, but with all your getting, get wealth.

  • ... I was a long time learning that wisdom and experience are things apart; that to taste life is not to be confused with understanding what life is really all about.

  • Wisdom does not automatically come with old age. Nothing does — except wrinkles.

  • I wish there were shortcuts to wisdom and self-knowledge: cuter abysses or three-day spa wilderness experiences. Sadly, it doesn't work that way. I so resent this.

  • Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.