- WIST is my personal collection of quotations, curated for thought, amusement, turn of phrase, historical significance, or sometimes just (often-unintentional) irony.Please feel free to browse and borrow.
- 16,757 quotes and counting ...
Topic Cloudaction age America belief books change character Christianity creation death democracy education ego evil faith fear freedom future God government happiness history honesty humanity integrity justice leadership liberty life love morality perspective politics poverty power religion science society success truth virtue war wealth wisdom writing
- I've been adding topics/tags since 2014, so not all quotes have been given one. Full topic list.
- * Visual quotes (graphics, memes) only
- “Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National… (5,707)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (5,649)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (5,435)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,817)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (4,422)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (3,710)
- “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of… (3,532)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (3,471)
- “Hallowed Ground” (1825) (2,975)
- “The Historian as Participant,” Daedalus… (2,937)
Most Quoted Authors
Author CloudAdams, John • Bacon, Francis • Bible • Bierce, Ambrose • Billings, Josh • Butcher, Jim • Chesterton, Gilbert Keith • Churchill, Winston • Einstein, Albert • Eisenhower, Dwight David • Emerson, Ralph Waldo • Franklin, Benjamin • Fuller, Thomas (1654) • Gaiman, Neil • Galbraith, John Kenneth • Gandhi, Mohandas • Goethe, Johann von • Hazlitt, William • Heinlein, Robert A. • Hoffer, Eric • Huxley, Aldous • Ingersoll, Robert Green • James, William • Jefferson, Thomas • Johnson, Lyndon • Johnson, Samuel • Kennedy, John F. • King, Martin Luther • La Rochefoucauld, Francois • Lewis, C.S. • Lincoln, Abraham • Mencken, H.L. • Orwell, George • Pratchett, Terry • Roosevelt, Eleanor • Roosevelt, Theodore • Russell, Bertrand • Seneca the Younger • Shakespeare, William • Shaw, George Bernard • Stevenson, Adlai • Stevenson, Robert Louis • Twain, Mark • Watterson, Bill • Wilde, Oscar
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
- 14-Oct-19 - Address to the Massachusetts legislature (9 Jan 1961) | WIST on Luke 12:48 (NIV).
- 30-Sep-19 - Chamblee54 on Poor Richard’s Almanack (1755).
- 23-Sep-19 - Chamblee54 on A Course of Popular Lectures, Lecture 3, “Of the more Important Divisions and Essential Parts of Knowledge” (1829).
- 5-Sep-19 - Erewhon, ch. 20 (1872) | WIST on 1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV).
- 4-Sep-19 - "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution," sermon, National Cathedral, Washington, DC (31 Mar 1968) | WIST on Letter from Birmingham Jail (16 Apr 1963).
- 16-Aug-19 - Dave on About WIST.
Quotations about achieve
Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.
I had applied for the nuclear submarine program, and Admiral Rickover was interviewing me for the job. It was the first time I met Admiral Rickover, and we sat in a large room by ourselves for more than two hours, and he let me choose any subjects I wished to discuss. Very carefully, I chose those about which I knew most at the time, current events, seamanship, music, literature, naval tactics, electronics, gunnery and he began to ask me a series of questions of increasing difficulty. In each instance, he soon proved that I knew relatively little about the subject I had chosen.
He always looked right into my eyes, and he never smiled. I was saturated with cold sweat.
Finally, he asked a question and I thought I could redeem myself. He said, “How did you stand in your class at the Naval Academy?” Since I had completed my sophomore year at Georgia Tech before entering Annapolis as a plebe, I had done very well, and I swelled my chest with pride and answered, “Sir, I stood fifty-ninth in a class of 820!”
I sat back to wait for the congratulations, which never came. Instead, the question: “Did you do your best?” I started to say, “Yes, sir,” but I remembered who this was and recalled several of the many times at the Academy when I could have learned more about our allies, our enemies, weapons, strategy, and so forth. I was just human. I finally gulped and said, “No, sir, I didn’t always do my best.”
He looked at me for a long time, and then turned his chair around to end the interview. He asked one final question, which I have never been able to forget or to answer. He said, “Why not?”
I sat there for a while, shaken, and then slowly left the room.
Added on 3-Feb-15 | Last updated 3-Feb-15
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Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
“Day of Affirmation,” address, University of Capetown, South Africa (6 Jun 1966)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 22-Sep-14
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