— Ba Jin Chinese novelist 1904 - 2005
As quoted "Literary witness to century of turmoil" in China Daily (24 November 2003)
— Robert A. Heinlein American science fiction author 1907 - 1988
Context: Democracy can't work. Mathematicians, peasants, and animals, that's all there is — so democracy, a theory based on the assumption that mathematicians and peasants are equal, can never work. Wisdom is not additive; its maximum is that of the wisest man in a given group.
„We are apt to run from one extreme into another. To anticipate & prevent disasterous contingencies would be the part of wisdom & patriotism.“
— George Washington first President of the United States 1732 - 1799
Context: If you tell the Legislatures they have violated the treaty of peace and invaded the prerogatives of the confederacy they will laugh in your face. What then is to be done? Things cannot go on in the same train forever. It is much to be feared, as you observe, that the better kind of people being disgusted with the circumstances will have their minds prepared for any revolution whatever. We are apt to run from one extreme into another. To anticipate & prevent disasterous contingencies would be the part of wisdom & patriotism. What astonishing changes a few years are capable of producing! I am told that even respectable characters speak of a monarchical form of government without horror. From thinking proceeds speaking, thence to acting is often but a single step. But how irrevocable & tremendous! What a triumph for the advocates of despotism to find that we are incapable of governing ourselves, and that systems founded on the basis of equal liberty are merely ideal & falacious! Would to God that wise measures may be taken in time to avert the consequences we have but too much reason to apprehend. Retired as I am from the world, I frankly acknowledge I cannot feel myself an unconcerned spectator. Yet having happily assisted in bringing the ship into port & having been fairly discharged; it is not my business to embark again on a sea of troubles. Nor could it be expected that my sentiments and opinions would have much weight on the minds of my Countrymen — they have been neglected, tho' given as a last legacy in the most solemn manner. I had then perhaps some claims to public attention. I consider myself as having none at present. Letter to John Jay (15 August 1786) http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents/constitution/1784/jay2.html
„But we must not forget that in our country are evangelists and zealots of many different political, economic and religious persuasions whose fanatical conviction is that all thought is divinely classified into two kinds — that which is their own and that which is false and dangerous.“
— Robert H. Jackson American judge 1892 - 1954
American Communications Association v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382, 438 (1950)
„We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, an effort which no one can spare us.“
— Marcel Proust French novelist, critic, and essayist 1871 - 1922
Ch. IV: "Seascape, with a Frieze of Girls"
„Leadership means that a group, large or small, is willing to entrust authority to a person who has shown judgement, wisdom, personal appeal, and proven competence.“
— Walt Disney American film producer and businessman 1901 - 1966
Ch. 4 : Animated Leadership, p. 102 Unsourced variant: Leadership implies a strong faith or belief in something. It may be a cause, an institution, a political or business operation in which a man takes active direction by virtue of his faith and self-assurance. And, of course, leadership means a group, large or small, which is willing to entrust such authority to a man — or a woman — in judgment, wisdom, personal appeal and proven competence.
— Ramakrishna Indian mystic and religious preacher 1836 - 1886
Context: God laughs on two occasions. He laughs when the physician says to the patient's mother, "Don't be afraid, mother; I shall certainly cure your boy." God laughs, saying to Himself, "I am going to take his life, and this man says he will save it!" The physician thinks he is the master, forgetting that God is the Master. God laughs again when two brothers divide their land with a string, saying to each other, "This side is mine and that side is yours." He laughs and says to Himself, "The whole universe belongs to Me, but they say they own this portion or that portion." p. 105
„(...) When we are absorbed in other things, in the not-self, we forget the self. There is nothing unnatural about it. But, why forget the self through excess of attachment? Wisdom lies in never forgetting the self as the ever-present source of both the experiencer and his experience.“
— Nisargadatta Maharaj Indian guru 1897 - 1981