The wise are not wise because they make no mistakes. They are wise because they correct their mistakes as soon as they recognize them.
Every day all people judge all other people. The question is whether we judge wisely.
There can be no greater honor to a parent than to have a child who is greater.
People revealed themselves most when they were vaguely anxious, and few things brought out nonspecific anxieties like being in the presence of a person who never speaks.
Groups are even stupider than individuals — and yet by keeping so many fools engaged in pretending to be intelligent, they still come up with some of the same results that an intelligent species would come up with.
When you have wisdom that another person knows that he needs, you give it freely. But when the other person doesn’t yet know that he needs your wisdom, you keep it to yourself. Food only looks good to a hungry man.
A real god doesn’t care about control. A real god already has control of everything that needs controlling. Real gods would want to teach you how to be just like them.
Even if the vast majority of them are wrong, even if ninety-nine of every hundred is stupid and wrong, out of ten thousand ideas that still leaves them with a hundred good ones. That’s how they make up for being so stupid and having such short lives and small memories.
If you tell what you know, everybody is wiser. If you keep a secret, than everyone is a fool.
You're only so sure you're right because they're so sure you're wrong.
When have you ever seen someone who had no doubts who was also correct about anything?
He had the decency to be appalled by his own brutality.
Why did I come? I didn't come. I went. I wasn't coming here, to meet these people. I was leaving there. Getting away. Only I tricked myself.
Yes, she was opinionated, headstrong, bossy, and quick to reach conclusions. But she could also listen to an opposing view, change her mind when she needed to. She could listen, and so he could speak. Perhaps with her he could still be [himself].
You've done all this thinking, you've seen all the possibilities for the future - good ones and bad ones alike — and yet the only ones you are willing to believe in, the imagined future that you seize upon as the foundation for all your moral judgments, is the only future in which everyone that you and I have ever loved and everything we'd ever hoped for must be obliterated.
I’m trying to conceive of something inconceivable. I'm trying to find answers to questions that humans beings have never even tried to ask.
To stop a human being from doing something, you must find a way to make this person stop wanting to do it.
Who is more cursed, the one who dies, unknowing until the very moment of his death or the one who watched his destruction as it approached, step by step, for days and weeks and years?
No matter how well you know what a person has done and what he thought of what he was doing when he did it and what he now thinks of what he did, it is impossible to be certain of what he will do next.
She might be protective and possessive with her children whom she thought of as needing her, but with the people she needed, she was the opposite. If she feared they would be taken from her, she withdrew from them; she stopped permitting herself to need them.
We pretend to be whatever we must in order to survive.
Because everybody dies, you'll always feel cheated. But you're the cheat... You're the one who uses our love for you to try to control us.
The mob still had anger in it, some of them at least. Yet there were so many who were sick of it all, many who were already ashamed, already discovering in their hearts the terrible acts they had performed tonight, when their souls were given over to the will of the mob.
We never forbid where we do not also have the power to prevent.
If you act as the enemy of life, then life will become your enemy.
Happiness can depend as easily on useless things as on useful ones.
If you treat me this way, then I will treat you like a great lord, and if you do not detect the irony in my actions, then who of the two of us is the fool?
"A male does his best, reproductively, if he wanders and copulates as widely as possible." "I’ve done the wandering. Somehow I missed out on the copulating."
I looked for perfection, and I found something better.
She's so full of pain, she's incapable of taking anyone else's pain seriously.
Failing to try and stop a murder that you might easily stop — how is that not murder?
Only you have the power to kill me completely. Only you have the power to make it so my death means nothing, so that all my people die after me and there is no one left to remember. Why shouldn't I leave my testament with you alone? Only you will decide whether or not it has any worth.
I suspect there may be someone who cares what happens to us. That's one step better than merely wishing. And one step below hoping.
"When you don't understand the consequences of your acts, how can you be blamed for them?" "You don't take the blame. But you still take the responsibility. For healing the wounds you caused."
If you think that everybody around you is a puppet, why bother talking to them at all? Why even try to plan anything or create anything, since everything you plan or create or desire or dream of is just acting out the script your puppeteer built into you?
We knew everything there was to know before... Now we discover that there are so many ways of knowing the same things that we'll never find them all.
They never know anything. They don't have enough years in their little lives to come to an understanding of anything at all.
No doubt it was all an elaborate pretense at normality, but in Valentine's experience, normality was always a pretense, people acting out what they thought were their expected roles.
We spend our lives guessing at what's going on inside everybody else, and when we happen to get lucky and guess right, we think we "understand." Such nonsense. Even a monkey at a computer will type a word now and then.