Philosophizing can be stupidly long winded. I know from personal experience: I can blather with the best of them (just watch some of my earliest podcasts).
Here, I begin collecting some of my favorite short but sweet quotes so you, my good brothers & sisters of the Ether, can see some of the best thinkers in history getting to the heart of things in a few words.
- Reading after a certain age diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking…
- I believe in intuitions and inspirations. I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am.
- I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
- My religion consists of an humble admiration for the vast power which manifests itself in that small part of the universe which our poor, weak minds can grasp!
- A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving…
Mohandas K. Gandhi:
- A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.
- Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.
- The only tyrant I accept in this world is the “still small voice” within me. And even though I have to face the prospect of being a minority of one, I humbly believe I have the courage to be in such a hopeless minority.
- Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.
- It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
- True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.
- Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.
- The time is always right to do what’s right.
- A riot is the language of the unheard.
- We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
Henry David Thoreau:
- I heartily accept the motto, “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
- To speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.
- Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one.
- I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject.
- The rich man… is always sold to the institution which makes him rich.
Now, I have been developing the short but sweet aphorism for text messages and twitter. Can you say something potent, uplifting, enlightening, and/or wise in 140 to 160 characters? I call these textimonies. You see these on here every few days. The quotes above are just a few of those that inspire me to get-to-the-point.
Mix and match a few thinkers for yourself.
Learn from their rhetorical prowess.