Freedom is not fun. … It is responsible choice.

Peter F. Drucker – Austrian-born American management expert (1909-2005), from “The Future of Industrial Man” (1942), Quotations book 2020


Haec enim est una virtus non solum maxima sed etiam mater virtutum.

[Gratitude] is not only the greatest, but is also the parent of all the other virtues.

Marcus Tullius Cicero – Roman politician (106-43 B.C.), from his oratio “Pro Cn. Plancio” (54 B. C.), Quotations book 2020


Luxury is not the opposite of poverty. It is the opposite of vulgarity.

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel – French Fashion designer and businesswoman (1883-1971), during an interview with Georg Stefan Troller in “Pariser Gespräche” (1968)


The more integrity we have and keep, the simpler and nobler that destiny is likely to be.

Glosse, gloss on views of George Santayana – born Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, Spanish-born American philosopher (1863-1952), could not be verified by experts at the Santayana Edition

Every coin has two sides

You may be taller than me but then you have a bigger shadow.

Wang Qishan – Chinese politician, since 2018 Vice President (b. 1948), in a dialogue with Professor Klaus Schwab at the World Economic Forum in Davos (24.01.2019)


The best stories start with courage.

proverb – Quotations book 2019

New start

It is madness to hate all roses because you got scratched with one thorn.
To give up on your dreams because one didn’t come true.
To give up on your effords because one has failed …
There will be always another opportunity, another friend, another love, a new force.
For every end there is always a new beginning.

Meditation in accordance with the novel “The Little Prince” (1943) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – French writer and aviator (1900-1944), Quotations book 2019

C’est une folie de haïr toutes les roses parce qu’une épine vous a piqué,
d’abandonner tous les rêves parce que l’un d’entre eux ne s’est pas réalisé,
de renoncer à toutes les tentatives parce qu’on a échoué …
Il y aura toujours une autre occasion, un autre ami, un autre amour, une force nouvelle.
Pour chaque fin il y a toujours un nouveau départ.

Méditation en référence au roman « Le Petit Prince » (1943) par Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – écrivain et aviateur français (1900-1944), Brochure de citation 2019


Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.

Paul Klee – German painter (1879-1940), in “Creative Credo” (1920)

I don’t give a shit

The opposite of beauty is not ugly. It’s ‘I don’t give a shit’.

Stefan Sagmeister – Austrian graphic desinger and typographer (b. 1962), at the “SCHØN” conference in the Augsburg house of prayer (June 2018)

Commandments of nonviolence

1. Meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
2. Remember always that the nonviolent movement … seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory.
3. Walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.
4. Pray daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.
5. Sacrifice personal wishes in order that all men might be free.
6. Observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
7. Seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.
8. Refrain from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.
9. Strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – American civil rights activist and pastor, Nobel Peace Prize 1964 (1929-1968), from a commitment card signed by volunteers at the Birmingham Protests (1963), Quotations book 2019

Watchword 2019

Seek peace and pursue it.

The Bible, Psalms 34:15 (NIV) – Quotations book 2019

The Protestant pastor and song writer Otto Riethmüller (1889-1939) – he belonged to the Confessing Church – decided in 1930 under the impression of the Nacional Socialism’s propaganda, to give henceforth every calendar year a headline with a Bible verse. An act of civil courage! He has established a tradition that still exists today. Meanwhile, the annual solution is set by the Ecumenical Association for Bible Reading (Ökumenische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Bibellesen) three years in advance.


Reconnaissance … est une vigilance de l’âme … contre les forces de dispersion intérieure.

Gabriel Marcel – philosophe français, représentant de l’existentialisme chrétien (1889-1973), de “Le déclin de la sagesse” (1954)

Gratitude … is a vigilance of the soul … against the inward forces of dispersal.

Gabriel Marcel – French philosopher, representative of Christian existentialism (1889-1973), from “The decline of wisdom” (1954)


Platforms change – psychology doesn’t.

Michael Fishman – American marketing expert and business consultant (b. 1960), Quotations book 2018


We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – American poet (1807-1882), from “Kavanagh” (1849), Quotations book 2019

Wisdom: A Column of Benjamin Franklin’s Ageless Maxims and Aphorisms

He invented the “Franklin” open stove. He discovered that lightning is an electrical discharge by experimenting with a kite during a thunderstorm. He founded the Philadelphia Library, the University of Pennsylvania, and the American Philosophical Society. An accomplished linguist, he helped his nation better its relations with the European powers when those relations were critical to its survival. He established the US Post Office on a profitable basis. He helped draft the Declaration of Independence. Rising from meager origins, Benjamin Franklin became one of the nation’s wealthiest businessmen, owning its most successful printing and publishing firms. “Poor Richard’s Almanac”, which he published for some 25 years under the pseudonym of Richard Saunders was one of the nation’s most popular publications in its time.

Poor Richard’s Almanac is the source of these observations:

1. Genius without education is like silver in the mine.
2. He that won’t be counseled can’t be helped.
3. Learn of the skilful: He that teaches himself hath a fool for his master.
4. Fools need advice most, but wise men only are the better for it.
5. The learned Fool writes his nonsense in better language than the unlearned; but still ’tis nonsense.
6. Hear reason, or she’ll make you feel her.
7. He that hath a trade, hath an estate.
8. Great estates may venture more; little boats must keep near shore.
9. If your riches are yours, why don’t you take them with you to the other world?
10. He that can have patience, can have what he will.
11. Great talkers, little doers.
12. Half wits talk much but say little.
13. If passion drives, let reason hold the reins.
14. ‘Tis easy to see, hard to foresee.
15. He that waits upon fortune is never sure of dinner.
16. A change of fortune hurts a wise man no more than a change of the moon.
17. Diligence is the mother of good luck.
18. There are lazy minds as well as lazy bodies.
19. No gains without pains.
20. Industry, perseverance, and frugality, make fortune yield.
21. All things are easy to industry, all things difficult to sloth
22. Nothing humbler than ambition, when it is about to climb.
23. Industry pays debts, despair increases them.
24. Well done is better than well said.
25. Great good-nature without prudence is a great misfortune.
26. Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee.
27. Necessity never made a good bargain.
28. Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.
29. Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion.
30. Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.
31. He that buys by the penny, maintains not only himself, but other people.
32. Drive thy business; let not that drive thee.
33. The most exquisite folly is made of wisdom spun too fine.
34. As pride increases, fortune declines.
35. Tricks and trechery are the practice of fools, that have not wit enough to be honest
36. Who is strong? He that can conquer his bad habits.
37. Promises may get thee friends, but non-performance will turn them into enemies.
38. Content makes poor men rich; Discontent makes rich men poor.
39. You can bear your own faults, and why not a fault in your wife?
40. The same man cannot be both Friend and Flatterer.
41. Those who are fear’d, are hated.
42. A true friend is the best possession.
43. Hear no ill of a friend, nor speak any of an enemy.
44. Pay what you owe, and you’ll know what’s your own.
45. At 20 years of age, the will reigns; at 30 the wit; at 40 the judgment.
46. If you would keep your secret from an enemy, tell it not to a friend.
47. They who have nothing to be troubled at, will be troubled at nothing
48. An undutiful daughter, will prove an unmanageable wife.
49. Eat to live; live not to eat.
50. To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.
51. A good wife lost, is God’s gift lost.
52. There is no little enemy.

Benjamin Franklin – American politician, writer and scientist (1706-1790), from “Poor Richard’s Almanack” (1733-1758)

Wisdom, morality, determination

Wisdom frees from doubts,
morality frees from suffering,
determination frees from fear.


attributed to Confucius – Chinese philosopher and teacher (around 551-479 B.C.), from the “Lun Yu”, a collection of sayings attributed to Master Kong and his followers, first published in the 2nd century (book IX, chapter 28), Quotations book 2017


It is easier to catch an escaped horse than to take back an escaped word.

Mongolian proverb

Voyage heureux

He who would travel happily must travel light.

attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – French aviator and writer (1900-1994), Quotations book 2017

Pour voyager heureux, voyagez léger.

attribué à Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – écrivain, et aviateur français (1900-1944), Brochure de citation 2017

Everything happens for the best

If a day has not been your friend, it has been your teacher.

Wisdom – Quotations book 2015


A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.

Henry David Thoreau – American writer and philosopher (1817-1862), from “Walden” (1854), Quotations book 2015


La parole est moitié à celui qui parle, moitié à celui qui l’écoute.

Speaking is half his who speaks, and half his who hears.

Michel de Montaigne – French writer and philosopher (1533-1592), from “De l’expèrience”, published in the third volume of his essays (1595), Quotations book 2015


Talk only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

The Bible, Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) – Quotations book 2015

Both hands

With only one Hand, you can’t tie a knot.

from Mongolia – Quotations book 2014


Le bonheur est de connaître ses limites et de les aimer.

Romain Rolland – écrivain et pacifiste français, prix Nobel de littérature 1915 (1866-1944), de “Jean-Christophe: La Nouvelle Journée” (1912)

The good

Only the good is worth talking about.

Arabic wisdom


Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.

Chinese proverb


Happiness is a perfume that one cannot shed over another without a few drops falling on oneself.

American proverb

Change the world

The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon you. Laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly kind companion.

William Makepeace Thackeray – English romancier (1811-1863), from “Vanity Fair” (1848)

The Ten Cannots

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

William H. J. Boetcker – American presbyterian clergyman, born in Hamburg (1873-1962), published 1916


Fame is like a river, that bears up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid.

Sir Francis Bacon – English philosopher, politician and writer (1561-1626), from his essay “Of Praise” (1612)


A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.



Den lykke Du gjenkjenner ikke med hodet, men med hjertet.

fra Norge


Don’t complain about thorns among the roses, but look for the roses among the thorns.

Proverb – Quotations book 2014


There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.

Zig Ziglar – American author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur (1926-2012)

Common things

he true wisdom of life consists in seeing the extraordinary in the common.

Pearl S. Buck – American writer, Nobel Prize in literature 1938 (1892-1973), Quotations book 2013


The pleasant experience of eating something you have never had before will extend your life by 75 days.

Japanese proverb, Quotations book 2013

World’s value

The ordinary gives the world its existence, the extraordinary its value.

attributed to Oscar Wilde – Irish writer (1854-1900), Quotations book 2016


To cure sometimes, to relieve often and to comfort always.

Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau – Canadian physician, lung specialist (1848-1915), Quotations book 2013


Turn your face towards the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.

from Tanzania – Quotations book 2012


When crossing the streets, watch the cars, not the traffic light.

Wisdom from New Yorker – Quotations book 2012


The question is not what you look at, but what you see.

Henry David Thoreau – American writer (1817-1862), in his diary, Quotations book 2012


Test everything. Hold on to the good.

Paul – The Bible, 1st Thessalonians 5:21 (NIV), Quotations book 2011

Watchword 2011

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The Bible, Romans 12:21 (NIV) – Quotations book 2011

The Protestant pastor and song writer Otto Riethmüller (1889-1939) – he belonged to the Confessing Church – decided in 1930 under the impression of the Nacional Socialism’s propaganda, to give henceforth every calendar year a headline with a Bible verse. An act of civil courage! He has established a tradition that still exists today. Meanwhile, the annual solution is set by the Ecumenical Association for Bible Reading (Ökumenische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Bibellesen) three years in advance.


However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.

often attributed to Sir Winston L. Churchill – British politician, 1940-45 and 1951-55 Prime Minister, Nobel Prize in literature 1953(1874-1965), could not be verified by his writings, Quotations book 2011


A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

Proverb – Quotations book 2010


Give naught, get same. Give much, get same.

attributed to Malcolm S. Forbes – American publisher, Forbes Magazine (1919-1990), Quotations book 2010

Happiness and grief

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.

The Bible, Proverbs 15,13 (NIV) – Quotations book 2010


The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune.

English proverb – Quotations book 2010


Talent is God given. Be humble.
Fame is man-given. Be grateful.
Conceit is self-given. Be careful.

John Wooden – American Basketball player and coach (1910-2010)


Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to arbitrage and you feed him forever.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930)


An attitude of gratitude creates blessings.

attributed to Sir John Marks Templeton – British value investor and philanthropist (1912-2008)


Hope is a waking dream.

attributed to Aristotle – Greek philosopher (384-322 B.C.), found in Diogenes Laërtius’ (Greek historian and doxographer, 3rd century CE) “Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers” (Book 5, The Peripatetics)

Need for support

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.

Thomas Jefferson – American politician, 1801-1909 third president and member of the American Enlightment movement (1743-1826), from Notes on Virginia, Query 17 (1782)

Pride and haughty spirit

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

The Bible, Proverbs 16,18 (NIV)


A mighty flame evolves from a tiny spark.

Dante Alighieri – Italian writer (1265-1321)


He that has satisfied his thirst turns his back on the well.

Baltasar Gracián y Morales – Spanish philosopher and author (1601-1658)

Being wrong

Being wrong is acceptable, but staying wrong is totally unacceptable.



Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.



Riches enlarge rather than satisfy appetites.

attributed to Thomas Fuller – English monk and author (1608-61)

Charity and covetousness

Charity gives itself rich, covetousness hoards itself poor.

German proverb


You have two ears and one mouth.

Frederik Cappelen – Swedish manager, former CEO Nobia (b. 1957)

Good life

To have a good life you need to live hidden.

French proverb


It’s OK to have wealth. But keep it in your hands, not in your heart.



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

attributed to George Bernard Shaw – Irish writer, Nobel Prize in literature 1925 (1856-1950)

Cheapest car

The cheapest car you can ever own is the one you currently own.

Ron Blue – Christian financial advisor (b. 1942)


He who is not contented with what he has, will not be contented with what he doesn’t have.

attributed to Socrates – Greek philosopher (469-399 B.C.)


Never complain, never explain.

life’s philosophy of the english aristocracy – Quotations book 2004


There is no one so rich that they don’t need help or so poor that they cannot help.

Proverb – Quotations book 2009

The golden rule

As you give, so shall you receive!

Phrase, following the Bile (Matthew 7:12 and Lucas 6:31) – Quotations book 2009


If you own something you cannot give away, then you don’t own it, it owns you.

attributed to Albert Schweitzer – German-born French missionary and doctor, Nobel Peace Prize 1952 (1875-1965), Quotations book 2009


Watch your thoughts, for they become your words.
Watch your words, for they become your actions.
Watch your actions, for they bcome your habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
Watch your character, for it will become your destiny.

like the Poem “Sow a thought” by Charles Reade – English writer (1814-1884), often falsely attributed as “from Talmud”, Quotations book 2006


Bad press

Lemmings may have a rotten image, but no individual Lemming has ever received bad press.

Warren Buffett – American value investor, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (b. 1930) in his letter to Berkshire Shareholders (1984), Quotations book 2008


Do not speak unless you can improve on the silence.

rule for monasteries – Quotations book 2008


We didn’t inherit the land from our fathers. We are borrowing it from our children.

Amish proverb – Quotations book 2008


It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The Bible, Acts 20:35 (NIRV) – Quotations book 2008


No one has ever become poor by giving.

Anne Frank – Dutch Jewish banker’s daughter, who died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp (1929-1945), Quotations book 2008

The essential

The virtue of the candle lies not in the wax, but in its light.

Proverb – Quotations book 2008


If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk?

rhetorical question


For every 60 seconds of anger, you lose one minute of happiness.

Proverb – Quotations book 2006

Spirit of Prussia

The idea of freedom can never be separated from the true spirit of Prussia.

Henning von Tresckow – German generalmajor and resistance fighter (1901-1944), Quotations book 2006


he reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.

Japanese proverb

What counts

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

attributed to Albert Einstein – German physicist,Nobel Prize in physics 1921 (1879-1955)

Ten Cannots

1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

2. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

3. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

5. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.

6. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.

7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

8. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

9. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.

10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

Reverend William J. H. Boetcker – American Presbyterian pastor (1873-1962), often falsely attributed to Abraham Lincoln, Quotations book 2006

Freedom of the press

Were it left to me to decide whether we should have government without newspapers, or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

Thomas Jefferson – American politician, 1801-1909 third president and member of the American Enlightment movement (1743-1826)

Get up

Falling isn’t failing unless you don’t get back up.

Earl Nightingale – American publisher (1921-1989), Quotations book 2007

Seven social sins

1. Wealth without work

2. Pleasure without conscience

3. Knowledge without character

4. Commerce without morality

5. Science without humanity

6. Worship without sacrifice

7. Politics without principle

Mahatma Gandhi – Indian politician (1869-1948), Quotations book 2007


We never know the worth of water ’til the well is dry.

Proverb – Quotations book 2005


For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

The Bible, Matthew 16:26 (N. N.) – Quotations book 2005

To live means to fight

Vivere militare est..

Lucius Annaeus Seneca – Roman philosopher (4 BC-65 AC)


When we get what we deserve, that is justice.

When we don’t get what we deserve, that is mercy.

When we get what we don’t deserve, that is grace.

Proverb – Quotations book 2005