Quotations about   stakes

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If you aren’t at the table, you’re on the menu.

Ann Richards (1933-2006) American politician [Dorothy Ann Willis Richards]
(Attributed)

Richards regularly used the phrase, but it's unclear if she originated it. See here for more discussion.
Added on 5-Nov-20 | Last updated 15-Nov-20
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Everyone loves a witch hunt as long as it’s someone else’s witch being hunted.

Walter Kirn (b. 1962) American novelist, literary critic, essayist
Twitter (10 Jan 2011)
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Added on 26-Aug-17 | Last updated 5-Sep-17
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Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

Kennedy - war end of mankind - wist_info quote

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Speech, United Nations (23 Sep 1961)

Speech written by Theodore "Ted" Sorensen.
Added on 25-May-16 | Last updated 25-May-16
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You have greatly ventured, but all must do so who would greatly win.

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) English poet
Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice, Act 1, sc. 1 (1821)
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Added on 18-Mar-15 | Last updated 18-Mar-15
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Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride … all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.

Steve Jobs (1955-2011) American computer inventor, entrepreneur
Commencement Address, Stanford University (2005)
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Added on 29-Aug-11 | Last updated 27-Aug-20
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The chessboard is the world; the pieces are the are the phenomena of the universe; the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that his play is always fair, just, and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance. To the man who plays well, the highest stakes are paid, with that sort of overflowing generosity with which the strong shows delight in strength. And one who plays ill is checkmated — without haste, but without remorse.

T. H. Huxley (1825-1895) English biologist [Thomas Henry Huxley]
“A Liberal Education and Where to Find It” (1868)
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Added on 24-Sep-10 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
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Everything matters more than we think it does, and, at the same time, nothing matters so much as we think it does. The merest spark may set all Europe in a blaze, but though all Europe be set in a blaze twenty times over, the world will wag itself right again.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
The Note-Books of Samuel Butler, “Sparks” (1912)
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Added on 2-Apr-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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Never contend with a man who has nothing to lose.

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], #172 (1647) [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
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Added on 17-Oct-05 | Last updated 31-Jan-20
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The politics of the university are so intense because the stakes are so low.

Wallace Sayre (1905-1972) U.S. political scientist, academic
Sayre’s Third Law

One of several formulations of the same sentiment, which has also been attributed to Richard Neustadt, Jesse Unruh, Henry Kissinger ("University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small"), Charles Philip Issawi ("In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake. That is why academic politics are so bitter"), Lawrence Peter, C.P. Snow, and others, with antecedents by Samuel Johnson and Woodrow Wilson. Most of the attributions come in the early-mid 1970s, though Herbert Kaufman, a colleague, claimed Sayres had used the phrase for decades.

See also Quote Investigator, Quote Verifier, and Wikipedia for more discussion.
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 24-Mar-19
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