- 1 Quotes
- 2 Unsourced
- 3 Classical/ancient
- 4 Medieval/Renaissance/Enlightenment
- 5 Later 18th and 19th century
- 6 Modern era (20th/21st centuries)
- 7 Unattributed/anonymous
- 8 Uncategorized
- 9 Disputed
- 10 External links
- Get wisdom, because it is better than gold: and purchase prudence, for it is more precious than silver.
- The Bible, The Book of Proverbs 16:16
- But these are foolish things to all the wise,
And I love wisdom more than she loves me;
My tendency is to philosophise
On most things, from a tyrant to a tree;
But still the spouseless virgin Knowledge flies,
What are we? and whence come we? what shall be
Our ultimate existence? What's our present?
Are questions answerless, and yet incessant.
- It is certainly a good thing always to forgive with generosity, but it is no doubt just never to forget the wrongs received: they belong to the route that leads to inner maturity.
- It seems the part of wisdom.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book IV, line 336.
- Knowledge is proud that he has learn'd so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book VI, line 96.
- Man thinks
Brutes have no wisdom, since they know not his:
Can we divine their world?
- George Eliot, The Spanish Gypsy (1868), Book II.
- Wisdom makes but a slow defence against trouble, though at last a sure one.
- Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), Chapter XXI.
- Ripe in wisdom was he, but patient, and simple, and childlike.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847), Part I, III, line 11.
- Though wisdom wake, suspicion sleeps
At wisdom's gate, and to simplicity
Resigns her charge, while goodness thinks no ill
Where no ill seems.
- But to know
That which before us lies in daily life,
Is the prime wisdom.
- Socrates * * *
Whom, well inspir'd, the oracle pronounc'd
Wisest of men.
- Tell (for you can) what is it to be wise?
'Tis but to know how little can be known,
To see all other's faults, and feel our own.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle IV, line 260.
- Afin que ne semblons es Atheniens, qui ne consultoient jamais sinon après le cas faict.
- So that we may not be like the Athenians, who never consulted except after the event done.
- François Rabelais, Pantagruel (1532), Chapter XXIV.
- I am interested in a phase that I think we are entering. I call it "teleological evolution," evolution with a purpose. The idea of evolution by design, designing the future, anticipating the future. I think of the need for more wisdom in the world, to deal with the knowledge that we have. At one time we had wisdom, but little knowledge. Now we have a great deal of knowledge, but do we have enough wisdom to deal with that knowledge?
- Full oft we see
Cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly.
- Wisdom and fortune combating together,
If that the former dare but what it can,
No chance may shake it.
- Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise.
- To that dauntless temper of his mind,
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour
To act in safety.
- Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.
- Nor is he the wisest man who never proved himself a fool.
- Alfred Tennyson, Locksley Hall Sixty Years After (1886), Stanza 124.
- Wisdom is oftimes nearer when we stoop
Than when we soar.
- William Wordsworth, The Excursion (1814), Book III, line 232.
- On every thorn, delightful wisdom grows,
In every rill a sweet instruction flows.
- Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-28), Satire I, line 249.
- Be wise to-day; 'tis madness to defer;
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night I, line 390.
- Wisdom, though richer than Peruvian mines,
And sweeter than the sweet ambrosial hive,
What is she, but the means of happiness?
That unobtain'd, than folly more a fool.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 496.
- The man of wisdom is the man of years.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night V, line 775.
- But wisdom, awful wisdom! which inspects,
Discerns, compares, weighs, separates, infers,
Seizes the right, and holds it to the last.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VIII, line 1,253.
- Teach me my days to number, and apply
My trembling heart to wisdom.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IX, line 1,312.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 878-82.
- To speak as the common people do, to think as wise men do.
- Roger Ascham, Dedication to All the Gentlemen and Yeomen of England.
- A wise man is out of the reach of fortune.
- Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici. Quoted as "That insolent paradox".
- The wisdom of our ancestors.
- Edmund Burke, Observations an a Late Publicatian on the Present State of the Nation, Volume I, p. 516. Also in the Discussion on the Traitorous Correspondence Bill. (1793). Cicero, De Legibus, II. 2. 3. Lord Eldon—On Sir Samuel Romilly's Bill. 1815. Sydney Smith, Plymley's Letters. Letter V. Bacon said to be first user of the phrase. Ascribed also to Sir William Grant, in Jennings' Anecdotal History of Parliament.
- Wisdom and goodness are twin-born, one heart
Must hold both sisters, never seen apart.
- William Cowper, Expostulation, line 634.
- Some people are more nice than wise.
- William Cowper, Mutual Forbearance.
- But they whom truth and wisdom lead
Can gather honey from a weed.
- William Cowper, Pine-Apple and Bee, line 35.
- Who are a little wise the best fools be.
- John Donne, The Triple Fool.
- In much wisdom is much grief.
- Ecclesiastes. I. 18.
- The words of the wise are as goads.
- Ecclesiastes, XII. 11.
- Nequicquam sapere sapientem, qui ipse sibi prodesse non quiret.
- No one could be so wise as Thurlow looked.
- Charles James Fox. See Campbell's Lives of the Lord Chancellors, Volume V, p. 661; also 551. Said also of Webster.
- Some are weather-wise, some are otherwise.
- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard (1735).
- Die Weisheit ist nur in der Wahrheit.
- Wisdom is only found in truth.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Sprüche in Prosa, III.
- The heart is wiser than the intellect.
- Josiah Gilbert Holland, Kathrina, Part II, Stanza 9.
- Chiefs who no more in bloody fights engage,
But, wise through time, and narrative with age,
In summer-days like grasshoppers rejoice,
A bloodless race, that send a feeble voice.
- Homer, The Iliad, Book III, line 199. Pope's translation.
- For never, never, wicked man was wise.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book II, line 320. Pope's translation.
- In youth and beauty wisdom is but rare!
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book VII, line 379. Pope's translation.
- How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise!
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book XIII, line 375. Pope's translation.
- Utiliumque sagax rerum et divina futuri.
- Sagacious in making useful discoveries.
- Horace, Ars Poetica (18 BC), 218.
- Sapere aude.
- Dare to be wise.
- Horace, Epistles, I. 2. 40.
- Quis nam igitur liber? Sapiens qui sibi imperiosus.
- Who then is free? The wise man who can govern himself.
- Horace, Satires, II. 7. 83.
- He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
- Job. V. 13.
- Wisdom shall die with you.
- Job, XII. 2.
- The price of wisdom is above rubies.
- Job, XXVIII. 18.
- Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
- Job, XXXII. 7.
- Great men are not always wise.
- Job, XXXII. 9.
- Away, thou strange justifier of thyself, to be wiser than thou wert, by the event.
- Ben Jonson, Silent Woman, Act II, scene 2. "Wise after the event." Quoted by Sir George Staunton in speech replying to Sir James Graham's resolution condemning the Melbourne ministry, House of Commons, April 7, 1840. Homer—Iliad, XVII. 32. Hesiod—Works and Days. V. 79 and 202. Sophocles—Antigone. V. 1270; and 1350. Fabius—Liv, XXII. 39. Erasmus—Epitome Chiliadum Adagiorum. (Ed. 1528), p. 55; 295.
- Victrix fortunæ sapientia.
- Wisdom is the conqueror of fortune.
- Juvenal, Satires, XIII. 20.
- Il est plus aisé d'être sage pour les autres, que pour soi-même.
- It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.
- François de La Rochefoucauld, Maximes.
- Quisquis plus justo non sapit, ille sapit.
- Whoever is not too wise is wise.
- Martial, Epigrammata, XIV. 10. 2.
- * Be wise;
Soar not too high to fall; but stoop to rise.
- Philip Massinger, Duke of Milan, Act I, scene 2, line 45.
- Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
- Matthew. X. 16.
- Wisdom is justified of her children.
- Matthew, XI. 19; Luke, VII. 35.
- A little too wise they say do ne'er live long.
- Thomas Middleton, The Phenix, Act I, scene 1.
- Il est bon de frotter et limer notre cervelle centre celle d'autrui.
- It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.
- Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book I, Chapter XXIV.
- The most manifest sign of wisdom is a continual cheerfulness: her state is like that of things in the regions above the moon, always clear and serene.
- Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book I, Chapter XXV.
- Le sage vit tant qu'il doibt, non pas tent qu'il peut.
- A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can.
- Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book II, Chapter III.
- Qui aura esté une fois bien fol ne sera nulle aultre fois bien sage.
- He who has once been very foolish will at no other time be very wise.
- Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book III, Chapter VI.
- Seven wise men on an old black settle,
Seven wise men of the Mermaid Inn,
Ringing blades of the one right metal,
What is the best that a blade can win?
- Alfred Noyes, Tales of The Mermaid Tavern, II.
- Some men never spake a wise word, yet doe wisely; some on the other side doe never a wise deed, and yet speake wisely.
- Sir Thomas Overbury, Crumms fal'n from King James Talk. In Works.
- When swelling buds their od'rous foliage shed,
And gently harden into fruit, the wise
Spare not the little offsprings, if they grow
- John Philips, Cider, Book I.
- Feliciter sapit qui alieno periculo sapit.
- He gains wisdom in a happy way, who gains it by another's experience.
- Plautus, Mercator, IV. 7. 40.
- Nemo solus satis sapit.
- No man is wise enough by himself.
- Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, III. 3. 12.
- Nemo mortalium omnibus horis sapit.
- No one is wise at all times.
- Pliny the Elder, Historia Naturalis, VII. 41. 2.
- Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the street.
- Proverbs. I. 20.
- Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.
- Proverbs, IV. 7.
- Wisdom is better than rubies.
- Proverbs, VIII. 11.
- Be wisely worldly, but not worldly wise.
- Francis Quarles, Emblems, Book II. Em. 2.
- Ce n'est pas être sage
D'être plus sage qu'il ne le faut.
- It is not wise to be wiser than is necessary.
- Quinault, Armide.
- The power is yours, but not the sight;
You see not upon what you tread;
You have the ages for your guide,
But not the wisdom to be led.
- Edwin Arlington Robinson, Cassandra.
- Wouldst thou wisely, and with pleasure,
Pass the days of life's short measure,
From the slow one counsel take,
But a tool of him ne'er make;
Ne'er as friend the swift one know,
Nor the constant one as foe.
- Friedrich Schiller, Proverbs of Confucius, E. A. Bowring's translation.
- The Italian seemes wise, and is wise; the Spaniard seemes wise, and is a foole; the French seemes a foole, and is wise; and the English seemes a foole and is a foole.
- Quoted as a common proverb by Thomas Scot, in The Highwaies of God and the King, p. 8. (1623).
- Wisdom does not show itself so much in precept as in life—in a firmness of mind and mastery of appetite. It teaches us to do, as well as to talk; and to make our actions and words all of a color.
- Seneca, Epistles, XX.
- Nulli sapere casu obtigit.
- No man was ever wise by chance.
- Seneca, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, LXXVI.
- Melius in malis sapimus, secunda rectum auferunt.
- We become wiser by adversity; prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right.
- Seneca, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XCIV.
- A short saying oft contains much wisdom.
- Sophocles, Aletes, Frag. 99.
- Happy those
Who in the after-days shall live, when Time
Hath spoken, and the multitude of years
Taught wisdom to mankind!
- Robert Southey, Joan of Arc, Book I.
- The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.
- Charles Spurgeon, Gleanings among the Sheaves, The First Lesson.
- By Wisdom wealth is won;
But riches purchased wisdom yet for none.
- Bayard Taylor, The Wisdom of Ali.
- "The Prophet's words were true;
The mouth of Ali is the golden door
When his friends to Ali bore
These words, he smiled and said: "And should they ask
The same until my dying day, the task
Were easy; for the stream from Wisdom's well,
Which God supplies, is inexhaustible."
- Bayard Taylor, The Wisdom of Ali.
- Isthuc est sapere non quod ante pedes modo est
Videre sed etiam illa, quæ futura sunt
- True wisdom consists not in seeing what is immediately before our eyes, but in foreseeing what is to come.
- Terence, Adelphi, III. 3. 32.
- The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.
- I Timothy, XVI. 8.
- Wisdom alone is true ambition's aim
Wisdom the source of virtue, and of fame,
Obtained with labour, for mankind employed,
And then, when most you share it, best enjoyed.
- William Whitehead, On Nobility.
- Wisdom sits alone,
Topmost in heaven:—she is its light—its God;
And in the heart of man she sits as high—
Though grovelling eyes forget her oftentimes,
Seeing but this world's idols. The pure mind
Sees her forever: and in youth we come
Fill'd with her sainted ravishment, and kneel,
Worshipping God through her sweet altar fires,
And then is knowledge "good."
- Nathaniel Parker Willis, The Scholar of Thibet. Ben Khorat, Part II, line 93.
- Wisdom is the gray hair unto men, and an unspotted life is old age.
- Wisdom of Solomon, IV. 8.
- And he is oft the wisest man
Who is not wise at all.
- William Wordsworth, The Oak and the Broom.
- It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish. ~ Aeschylus
- Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own. ~ Aesop
- Wise men profit more from fools than fools from wise men; for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools, but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise. ~ Cato
- By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. ~ Confucius
- There are many who know many things, yet are lacking in wisdom. ~ Democritus
- The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man. ~ Euripides
- To the fool, he who speaks wisdom will sound foolish. ~ Euripides
- Better Weight
a traveller cannot carry.
The poor man's strength
in a strange place,
worth more than wealth. ~ Hávamál, The Sayings of the Vikings.
- Men who love wisdom should acquaint themselves with a great many particulars. ~ Heraclitus
- Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. ~ Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:16).
- Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong. ~ Lao Zi (Lao-Tzu)
- Wise men hear and see as little children do. ~ Lao-Tzu.
- Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children.
- Luke 7:35, Bible: New Testament
- The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. ~ Proverbs 9:10.
- Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
- Proverbs 24:4, Bible (KJV)
- Wisdom begins in wonder. ~ Socrates
- Variant: Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.
- And in knowing, that you know nothing, makes you the smartest of all. ~ Socrates
- My son, if you will receive my sayings and treasure up my own commandments with yourself, so as to pay attention to wisdom with your ear, that you may incline your heart to discernment; if, moreover, you call out for understanding itself and you give forth your voice for discernment itself, if you keep seeking for it as for silver, and as for hid treasures you keep searching for it, in that case you will understand the fear of Jehovah, and you will find the very knowledge of God. For Jehovah himself gives wisdom; out of his mouth there are knowledge and discernment. ~ Solomon ~ Proverbs 2:1-6 ; New World Translation
- Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness. ~ Sophocles.
- Much wisdom often goes with brevity of speech. ~ Sophocles (497–406/5 BC), Greek tragedian. Fragments, l. 89 (Aletes).
- In the wisdom of his heart a wise man ought to adorn himself with wise precepts. ~ Anglo-Saxon Proverb from 'A Collection of Proverbs', Anglo-Saxon Prose, translated by Michael Swaton, J. M. Dent (1993).
- A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. ~ Francis Bacon
- There is no great concurrence between learning and wisdom. ~ Francis Bacon
- A prudent question is one-half of wisdom. ~ Francis Bacon
- Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, fitter to bruise than polish. ~ Anne Bradstreet
- Time ripens all things; no man is born wise. ~ Miguel de Cervantes
- It should be noted that the seeds of wisdom that are to bear fruit in the intellect are sown less by critical studies and learned monographs than by insights, broad impressions, and flashes of intuition. ~ Carl von Clausewitz
- The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotations. ~ Isaac D'Israeli
- All human wisdom is summed up in two words - wait and hope. ~ Alexandre Dumas
- A wise man will desire no more than what he may get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly. ~ Benjamin Franklin
- He's a fool who cannot conceal his wisdom. ~ Benjamin Franklin
- In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence; the second, listening; the third, remembering; the fourth, practicing; the fifth, teaching others. ~ Ibn Gabirol
- Wisdom, properly so called, is nothing else but this: the perfect knowledge of the truth in all matters whatsoever. ~ Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), British philosopher. From the dedication, in De Cive (1642).
- A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ~ David Hume
- Wisdom denotes the pursuing of the best ends by the best means. ~ Francis Hutcheson, Inquiry into the Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue, I. v.
- Honesty is the first chapter in the Book of wisdom. Let it be our endeavor to merit the character of a just nation. ~ Thomas Jefferson
- To keep your secret is wisdom; to expect others to keep it is folly. ~ Samuel Johnson
- Wisdom hath her excesses, and no less need of moderation than folly. ~ Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592), French essayist and aphorist. Upon Some Verses of Virgil, Bk. 3, Ch. 5, Essays, translated by John Florio (1588).
- He who lives without folly isn't as reasonable as he thinks he is. ~ François de La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680).
- Wisdom is the daughter of experience. ~ Leonardo da Vinci
Later 18th and 19th century
- The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough. ~ William Blake
- Be humble, if thou would'st attain to Wisdom. Be humbler still, when Wisdom thou hast mastered. ~ Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
- Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- Knowledge and Wisdom, far from being one,
Have oft-times no connexion, Knowledge dwells
in heads replete with thoughts of other men,
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.
- Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book VI, "Winter Walk at Noon", l. 96.
- The fool wonders, the wise man asks. ~ Benjamin Disraeli
- In our age... men seem more than ever prone to confuse wisdom with knowledge, and knowledge with information, and to try to solve problems of life in terms of engineering. ~ T.S. Eliot
- The wise through excess of wisdom is made a fool. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), American essayist, poet, aphorist. "Experience", Essays, Second Series (1844).
- The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature, Ch. 8 (1836).
- We judge of man's wisdom by his hope. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is to you. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
- It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
- Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. ~ Immanuel Kant
- The hunger for facile wisdom is the root of all false philosophy. ~ George Santayana (1863-1952), American philosopher, essayist. Reason in Religion, Ch. 2 (1945).
- Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.
- Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, letter to his son, November 19, 1745.
- To hold the same views at forty as we held at twenty is to have been stupefied for a score of years, and take rank, not as a prophet, but as an unteachable brat, well birched and none the wiser. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
- Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
- Alfred Tennyson, Locksley Hall (1842), St. 71.
- With wisdom we shall learn liberality. ~ Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), American author. Walden (1854).
- Our live is frittered away by detail.... Simplify, simplify. ~ Henry David Thoreau
- As I slowly grow wise I briskly grow cautious.
- We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it— and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again— and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore. ~ Mark Twain
- Re-examine all you have been told . . . Dismiss what insults your Soul. ~ Walt Whitman
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- Be wise to-day; 'tis madness to defer.
- Edward Young, p. 616.
- What is it to be wise?
Tis but to know how little can be known,
To see all other's faults, and feel our own.
- Alexander Pope, p. 616.
- The heart is wiser than the intellect.
- Josiah Gilbert Holland, p. 616.
- For knowledge to become wisdom, and for the soul to grow, the soul must be rooted in God: and it is through prayer that there comes to us that which is the strength of our strength, and the virtue of our virtue, the Holy Spirit.
- William Mountford, p. 616.
- The question is, whether, like the Divine Child in the Temple, we are turning knowledge into wisdom, and whether, understanding more of the mysteries of life, we are feeling more of its sacred law; and whether, having left behind the priests and the scribes and the doctors and the fathers, we are about our Father's business, and becoming wise to God.
- Frederick William Robertson, p. 617.
- The wise man is but a clever infant, spelling letters from a hieroglyphical prophetic book, the lexicon of which lies in eternity.
- Thomas Carlyle, p. 617.
- What in me is dark, Illumine, what is low, raise and support.
- John Milton, p. 617.
Modern era (20th/21st centuries)
- The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. ~ Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988).
- Never regret something you've done, even if it was wrong, it still can be a great piece of memory that someday made you smile, or made you cry. ~ Feras Yaghmour
- Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner. ~ General Omar Bradley
- A man doesn't begin to attain wisdom until he recognizes that he is no longer indispensable. ~ Admiral Richard E. Byrd
- When you understand what you see, you will no longer be children. You will know that life is pain, that each of us hangs always upon the cross of himself. And when you know that this is true of every man, woman and child on earth, you will be wise. ~ Whittaker Chambers
- Wisdom is the constant questioning of where you are. And when you stop wanting to know, you're dead. ~ Billy Connolly, Daily Express, 29th October 2008.
- Wisdom is founded on memory; happiness on forgetfulness. ~ Mason Cooley (1927-2002), U.S. aphorist. City Aphorisms, Sixth Selection (1989).
- A word to the wise ain't necessary. It's the stupid ones who need the advice. ~ Bill Cosby
- Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences. ~ Norman Cousins, Saturday Review magazine, 15th April 1978.
- It takes humility to seek feedback. It takes wisdom to understand it, analyze it, and appropriately act on it. ~ Stephen Covey
- Philosophy is harmonized knowledge making a harmonious life; it is the self-discipline which lifts us to serenity and freedom. Knowledge is power, but only wisdom is liberty. ~ Will Durant
- Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the life-long attempt to acquire it. ~ Albert Einstein
- After wisdom comes wit. ~ Evan Esar
- Wisdom is meaningless until our own experience has given it meaning...and there is wisdom in the selection of wisdom. ~ Bergen Evans
- A poet begins in delight and ends in wisdom. ~ Robert Frost
- Sometimes out of ignorance childish wisdom spills out. ~ Stephen Fry, British comic actor, author and presenter. A comment on one of his guests' answers, in the BBC 2 television programme, QI XL, 23rd January 2010.
- Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. ~ Jimi Hendrix
- The wisdom of others remains dull till it is writ over with our own blood. ~ Eric Hoffer (1902–1983), American philosopher. The Passionate State of Mind (1955).
- If Wisdom was before all, and through wisdom all things are ordered, then Wisdom is the true verdict of morality in view of eternity. For that which was before time, by nature, transcends all things temporal. And that which is above, exposes those things that are below, as vapors rising fleetingly before the Sun. ~ Elika S. Kohen
- Wisdom is an inheritance which a wastrel cannot exhaust. ~ Karl Kraus (1874–1936), Austrian satirist ansd aphorist. Sprüche und Widersprüche, Ch. 4 (1909).
- The wise man doesn't give the right answers, he poses the right questions. ~ Claude Levi-Strauss
- It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf. ~ Walter Lippman
- A wise person is the result of Godly training, but foolish person an outcome of pride. Stanley Matthew Mayalil
- The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom. ~ H. L. Mencken
- Information isn't wisdom. Information isn't learning. If information were learning, you could be educated by memorizing the world almanac. If you did that, you wouldn't be educated. You'd be weird ~ David McCullough
- Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two. ~ Octavio Paz (b. 1914), Mexican poet. The Times (UK) newspaper, 8th June 1989
- I think that wisdom is the ability to cope. ~ Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury
- More wisdom is latent in things as they are than in all the words men use. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- The wisest mind has something yet to learn. ~ George Santayana
- The most basic inherent constraint is that neither time nor wisdom are free goods available in unlimited quantity. This means that in social processes, as in economic processes, it is not only impossible to attain perfection but irrational to seek perfection— or even to seek the "best possible" result in each separate instance. ~ Thomas Sowell
- A man never reaches that dizzy height of wisdom when he can no longer be led by the nose. ~ Mark Twain
- A man with wisdom is better off than a stupid man with any amount of charms and superstition. ~ Feras Yaghmour
- Life is to be lived, not to be understood. ~ Feras Yaghmour
- Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. Lin Yutang
- I distrust all dead and mechanical formulas for expressing anything connected with human affairs and human personalities. Putting human affairs in exact formulas shows in itself a lack of the sense of humor and therefore a lack of wisdom.
- The Importance of Living (1937), Ch. I : The Awakening
- To act with common sense according to the moment, is the best wisdom I know and the best philosophy is to do one's duties, take the world as it comes submit respectfully to one's lot; bless the goodness that has given us so much happiness with it, whatever it is; and despise affectation. ~ Horace Walpole
- To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid
- A counsellor who understands proverbs soon sets matters right. ~ Anonymous
- A man may be born to wealth, but wisdom comes only with length of days. ~ Anonymous
- Age doesn't always bring wisdom. Sometimes age comes alone. ~ Unknown
- Don't fix it if it ain't broken. ~ Anonymous American saying
- Variant: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. (Note the deliberate omission of the 'n' after 'broke'.).
- Know thyself better than he who speaks of thee. ~ Anonymous
- Knowledge cuts up the world. Wisdom makes it whole. ~ Brazilian proverb
- Not to know is bad, not to wish to know is worse. ~ Anonymous
- Humility and knowledge breed wisdom. ~ Anonymous
- There is wisdom in knowing what you need to know, and being wise enough to keep it to yourself. ~ Anonymous
- A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something. ~ Frequently attributed to Plato, but not apparently found in his work
- There is no greater sorrow than knowing everything, because we humans live for the questions. ~ Anonymous
- Knowledge is a gift, those who have it give, those who don't, recieve. ~ Anonymous
- Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. ~ Lin Yutang
- Even stupid things should be done wisely. ~ Jacek Bukowski.
- Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit. ~ Elbert Hubbard
- For as it is the chief concern of wise men to retrench the evils of life by the reasonings of philosophy; it is the employment of fools to multiply them by the sentiments of superstition. ~ Joseph Addison
- Humility is the only true wisdom by which we prepare our minds for all the possible changes of life. ~ George Arliss
- In that the wisdom of the few becomes available to the many, there is progress in human affairs; without it, the static routine of tradition continues. ~ Jospeh Jastrow
- It is astonishing with how little wisdom mankind can be governed, when that little wisdom is its own. ~ W. R. Inge
- It is for the wise people who delight in humanity, praise justice, despise their flatterers, and respect the truth. ~ Jeanne-Marie Roland
- It is no longer enough to be smart— all the technological tools in the world add meaning and value only if they enhance our core values, the deepest part of our heart. Acquiring knowledge is no guarantee of practical, useful application. Wisdom implies a mature integration of appropriate knowledge, a seasoned ability to filter the inessential from the essential. ~ Doc Childre and Bruce Cryer in Chaos to Coherence.
- It's not what you've been given, it's what you do with what you've got. ~ Eddi Reader
- It is wisdom that is seeking for wisdom. ~ Shunryu Suzuki
- Make men wise, and by that very operation you make them free. Civil liberty follows as a consequence of this; no usurped power can stand against the artillery of opinion. ~ William Godwin
- Men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all the other alternatives. ~ Abba Eban
- Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience. ~ James Boswell
- Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living, the other helps you make a life. ~ Sandra Carey
- One's first step in wisdom is to question everything— and one's last is to come to terms with everything. ~ Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
- Preconcieved notions are the locks on the door to wisdom. ~ Merry Browne
- Some folk are wise, and some are otherwise. ~ Tobias Smollett
- Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy. ~Howard W. Newton
- The biggest difficulty with mankind today is that our knowledge has increased so much faster than our wisdom ~ Frank Whitmore
- The plainest sign of wisdom is a continual cheerfulness: her state is like that of things in the regions above the moon, always clear and serene. ~ Michel de Montaigne
- Variant: The highest of wisdom is continual cheerfulness: such a state, like the region above the moon, is always clear and serene.
- The wise learn from the experience of others, and the creative know how to make a crumb of experience go a long way. ~ Eric Hoffer
- The wise man is he who knows the relative value of things. ~ William Ralph Inge
- Truth never plays false roles of any kind, which is why people are so surprised when meeting it. Everyone must decide whether he wants the uncompromising truth or a counterfeit version of truth. Real wisdom consists of recommending the truth to yourself at every opportunity. ~ Vernon Howard
- We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me. ~ Jack Handy
- Wisdom: acting on what knowledge you have. ~ Zach Zeisler
- Wisdom and goodness are twin-born, one heart Must hold both sisters, never seen apart. ~ William Cowper
- Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it. ~ David Starr Jordan
- Wise anger is like fire from a flint: there is great ado to get it out; and when it does come, it is out again immediately. ~ Matthew Henry
- Wise living consists perhaps less in acquiring good habits than in acquiring as few habits as possible. ~ Eric Hoffer
- Knowledge is knowing that the street is one way, wisdom is looking both directions anyways. ~ Anonymous.
- For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. ~ Solomon
- Wise men say nothing in dangerous times. ~ Aesop
- When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. ~ Mark Twain
- I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be. ~ Thomas Jefferson
- Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
- It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf. ~ Walter Lippmann
- All I know is that I know nothing. ~ Socrates
- Above all else, the greatest gift and the most wondrous blessing hath ever been and will continue to be Wisdom. ~ Bahá'u'lláh
- It is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. ~ Thoreau
- Lack of tact merely underlies the absence of wisdom. ~ Cyril Alvarez Adriaansen
- I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. ~ Thomas Carlyle
- He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom. ~ Gandalf, from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, in The fellowship of the Rings, Bk. II, Ch 2.
- The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook. ~ William James (1842-1910).
- Some folks are wise and some otherwise. ~ Josh Billings