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150 George Bernard Shaw Quotes to Enliven Your Soul

2. “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do what I can for it.”

3. “Life is a first draft with no rewrites.”

4. “Write your sad times in sand, write your good times in stone.”

5. “The longer I live, the more convinced I am that this planet is used by other planets as a lunatic asylum.”

6. “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

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

8. “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, likes it.”

9. “Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.”

10. “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

11. “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”

12. “Progress is impossible without change.”

13. “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

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

15. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

16. “You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.”

17. “The things most people want to know about are usually none of their business.”

18. “This is the true joy in life—being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

19. “A elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner—inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, ‘The one I feed the most.’”

20. “Don’t wait for the right opportunity. Create it.”

21. “The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people.”

22. “Those who can’t change their minds can’t change anything.”

23. “Some people look at the world and say, ‘Why?’ Some people look at the world and say, ‘Why not?’”

24. “He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.”

25. “Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.”

26. “Success does not consist in never making mistakes, but in never making the same one a second time.”

27. “The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.”

28. “The only person who acts sensibly is my tailor. He takes my measure anew every time he sees me. Everyone else goes by their old measurements.”

29. “It is the first duty of every man not to be poor.”

30. “Remember that the progress of the world depends on you knowing better than your elders.”

31. “Our lives are shaped not as much by our experiences as by our expectations.”

32. “People expect too much of one year and too little of ten.”

33. “As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.”

34. “I really don’t think I could consent to go to Heaven if I thought there were no animals there.”

35. “An Englishman does everything on principle—he fights you on patriotic principles; he robs you on business principles; he enslaves you on imperial principles.”

36. “Man can climb to the highest summits, but he cannot dwell there long.”

37. “Imagination is the beginning of creation.”

38. “Life contains but two tragedies—one is not to get your heart’s desire; the other is to get it.”

39. “The harder I work, the more I live.”

40. “Do not try to live forever. You will not succeed.”

41. “I like a state of continual becoming, with a goal in front and not behind.”

42. “You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.”

43. “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.”

44. “What right has any human being to talk of bringing up a child? You do not bring up a tree or a plant. It brings itself up. You have to give it a fair chance by tilling the soil.”

45. “Martyrdom, sir, is what these people like—it is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.”

46. “We veneer civilization by doing unkind things in a kind way.”

47. “All great truths begin as blasphemies.”

48. “I dread success. To have succeeded is to have finished one’s business on earth—like the who is killed by the female the moment he has succeeded in his courtship.”

49. “The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.”

50. “A socialist is somebody who doesn’t have anything, and is ready to divide it up equally among everybody.”

51. “A cigarette is a pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool at the other.”

52. “Now that we have learned to fly in the air like birds, swim underwater like fish, we lack one thing—to learn to live on earth as human beings.”

53. “Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”

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

55. “Power doesn’t corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”

56. “Doing what needs to be done may not make you happy, but it will make you great.”

57. “Man is the only animal of which I am thoroughly and cravenly afraid. There is no harm in a well-fed lion. It has no ideals, no sect, no party.”

58. “The best way to get your point across is to entertain.”

59. “Beware of the man who does not return your blow—he neither forgives you nor allows you to forgive yourself.”

60. “Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men’s imperfections, and conceal your own.”

61. “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.”

62. “The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.”

63. “It is not enough to know what is good—you must be able to do it.”

64. “A man never tells you anything until you contradict him.”

65. “The test of a man or woman’s breeding is how they behave in a quarrel.”

66. “Do not do unto others as you expect they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.”

67. “Principles without programs are platitudes.”

68. “Our prejudices are so deeply rooted that we never think of them as prejudices but call them common sense.”

69. “I am afraid we must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy.”

70. “Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”

71. “It is not disbelief that is dangerous to our society; it is belief.”

72. “Men are not governed by justice, but by law or persuasion. When they refuse to be governed by law or persuasion, they have to be governed by force or fraud, or both.”

73. “The greatest of evils and the worst of crimes is poverty.”

74. “A pessimist is a man who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.”

75. “The great secret is not having bad manners or good manners, but having the same manner for all human souls.”

76. “There is nothing more dangerous than the conscience of a bigot.”

77. “Make it a rule never to give a child a book you would not read yourself.”

78. “Man gives every reason for his conduct save one, every excuse for his crimes save one, every plea for his safety save one; and that one is his cowardice.”

79. “A learned man is an idler who kills time by studying.”

80. “Don’t lose faith. Promise yourself that you will be a success story, and I promise you that all the forces of the universe will unite to come to your aid; you might not feel today or for a while, but the longer you wait the bigger the prize.”

81. “The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.”

82. “Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.”

83. “Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

84. “People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.”

85. “Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby.”

86. “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.”

87. “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.”

88. “If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth, beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals. Would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other animals?”

89. “When he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.”

90. “Discussing vaccination with a doctor is like discussing vegetarianism with a butcher.”

91. “It is easy—terribly easy—to shake a man’s faith in himself. To take advantage of that to break a man’s spirit is the .”

92. “Tradition will accustom people to any atrocity.”

93. “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.”

94. “Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature!”

95. “I believe in the discipline of silence, and could talk for hours about it.”

96. “You cannot learn to skate without making yourself ridiculous—the ice of life is slippery.”

97. “Revolutions have never lightened the burden of tyranny; they have only shifted it to another shoulder.”

98. “Beware of the man whose God is in the skies.”

99. “Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.”

100. “No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat. Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.”

101. “Experience fails to teach where there is no desire to learn.”

102. “If at age 20 you are not a Communist, then you have no heart. If at age 30 you are not a Capitalist, then you have no brains.”

103. “The only time my education was interrupted was when I was in school.”

104. “Where there is no knowledge, ignorance calls itself science.”

105. “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.”

106. “The more I see of the moneyed classes, the more I understand the guillotine.”

107. “War does not decide who is right, but who is left.”

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

109. “It is not that I am so clever; it is that everyone else is so stupid.”

110. “When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.”

111. “We must always think about things, and we must think about things as they are, not as they are said to be.”

112. “The truth is the one thing that nobody will believe.”

113. “The surest way to ruin a man who doesn’t know how to handle money is to give him some.”

114. “Grain by grain, a loaf. Stone upon stone, a palace.”

115. “There is not one single established religion that an intelligent, educated man can believe.”

116. “What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.”

117. “I like to quote myself frequently and often, it makes me sound much more intelligent than I actually am.”

118. “The businessman—the man to whom age brings golf instead of wisdom.”

119 “Only fools repeat the same things over and over, expecting to obtain different results.”

120. “Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn.”

121. “Islam is the best religion and Muslims are the worst followers.”

122. “Most people do not pray; they only beg.”

123. “Hatred is the coward’s for being intimidated.”

124. “Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage—it can be delightful.”

125. “The person I miss most is the one I could have been.”

126. “Old men are dangerous—it doesn’t matter to them what is going to happen to the world.”

127. “No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says—he is always convinced that it says what he means.”

128 “Being a means that your heart is no longer yours; it wanders wherever your children do.”

129. “If there were twenty ways of telling the truth and only one way of telling a lie, the government would find it out. It’s in the nature of governments to tell lies.”

130. “Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.”

131. “The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation, but not the power of speech.”

132. “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”

133. “Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.”

134. “Treat a friend as a person who may someday become your enemy; an enemy as a person who may someday become your friend.”

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

136. “The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.”

137. “If you begin by sacrificing yourself to those you love, you will end by hating those to whom you have sacrificed yourself.”

138. “We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”

139. “First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.”

140. “The man with a toothache thinks everyone is happy whose teeth are sound. The poverty-stricken man makes the same about the rich man.”

141. “I want to be all used up when I die.”

142. “Our necessities are few, but our wants are endless.”

143. “A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.”

144. “If you can’t appreciate what you’ve got, you’d better get what you can appreciate.”

145. “Clever and attractive women do not want to vote; they are willing to let men govern as long as they govern men.”

146. “Life at its noblest leaves mere happiness far behind; and indeed cannot endure it.”

147. “If there was nothing wrong in the world, there wouldn’t be anything for us to do.”

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