Quotations about   provocation

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Spiritual strength and passion, when accompanied by bad manners, only provoke loathing.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) German philosopher and poet
The Will to Power, Part 1, “Critique of Religion,” Sec. 175 [tr. Ludovici] (1888)
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Added on 7-Jun-18 | Last updated 7-Jun-18
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Bad temper is an indication of a man’s character; every man can be judged by the things which make him mad.

Fulton Sheen (1895-1979) American Catholic archbishop, preacher, televangelist
Love One Another (1944)
Added on 7-Nov-17 | Last updated 7-Nov-17
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A thick skin is a gift from God.

Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) German politician
New York Times (30 Dec 1959)
Added on 26-Jul-16 | Last updated 26-Jul-16
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War is mankind’s most tragic and stupid folly; to seek or advise its deliberate provocation is a black crime against all men. Though you follow the trade of the warrior, you do so in the spirit of Washington — not of Genghis Khan. For Americans, only threat to our way of life justifies resort to conflict.

Dwight David Eisenhower (1890-1969) American general, US President (1953-61)
Speech, Graduation Exercises, US Military Academy, West Point (3 Jun 1947)
Added on 8-Mar-16 | Last updated 8-Mar-16
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To avoid dissensions we should ever be on our guard, more especially with those who drive us to argue with them, with those who vex and irritate us, and who say things likely to excite us to anger. When we find ourselves in company with quarrelsome, eccentric individuals, people who openly and unblushingly say the most shocking things, difficult to put up with, we should take refuge in silence, and the wisest plan is not to reply to people whose behavior is so preposterous.

Those who insult us and treat us contumeliously are anxious for a spiteful and sarcastic reply: the silence we then affect disheartens them, and they cannot avoid showing their vexation; they do all they can to provoke us and to elicit a reply, but the best way to baffle them is to say nothing, refuse to argue with them, and to leave them to chew the cud of their hasty anger. This method of bringing down their pride disarms them, and shows them plainly that we slight and despise them.

St. Ambrose (339-397) Roman prelate, Bishop of Milan [Aurelius Ambrosius]
De Officiis Ministrorum, ch. 5
Added on 22-Feb-16 | Last updated 22-Feb-16
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It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.

Samuel Adams (1722-1803) American revolutionary, statesman
(Spurious)

Frequently attributed to Samuel or John Adams, but not found before the 1990s. See here and here for more information.
Added on 23-Mar-15 | Last updated 23-Mar-15
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Miss Manners’ meager arsenal consists only of the withering look, the insistent and repeated request, the cold voice, the report up the chain of command, and the tilted nose. Also the ability to dismiss inferior behavior from her mind as coming from inferior people. You will perhaps point out that she will never know the joy of delivering a well-deserved sock in the chops. True — but she will never inspire one either.

Judith Martin (b. 1938) American author, journalist [a.k.a. Miss Manners]
“Miss Manners,” syndicated column (18 May 1980)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 23-Mar-17
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