George Bernard Shaw Quotes


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them.
Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.
You see things; and you say, "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
Custom wil reconcile people to any atrocity; and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom.
The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.
We have not lost faith, but we have transferred it from God to the medical profession.
My father must have had some elementary education for he could read and write and keep accounts inaccurately.
The world is populated in the main by people who should not exist.
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.
A life making mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it.
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.
I never resist temptation, because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.
Lack of money is the root of all evil.
Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity.
Human beings are the only animals of which I am thoroughly and cravenly afraid.
Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.
A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it; it would be hell on earth.
Here there is no hope, and consequently no duty, no work, nothing to be gained by praying, nothing to be lost by doing what you like. Hell, in short, is a place where you have nothing to do but amuse yourself.
Hell is paved with good intentions, not with bad ones. All men mean well.
He who has never hoped can never despair.
If you must hold yourself up to your children as an object lesson, hold yourself up as a warning and not an example.
Chess is a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever when they are only wasting their time.
Find enough clever things to say, and you're a Prime Minister; write them down and you're a Shakespeare.
Do not try to live forever. You will not succeed.
Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty; what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness.
No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious.
Reviewing has one advantage over suicide: in suicide you take it out on yourself; in reviewing you take it out on other people.
What is the use of straining after an amiable view of things, when a cynical view is most likely to be the true one?
If you value a man's regard, strive with him. As to liking, you like your newspaper -- and despise it.
The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those who don't have it.
Do you know what a pessimist is? A man who thinks everybody as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.
She had lost the art of conversation, but not, unfortunately, the power of speech.
Great art is never produced for its own sake. It is too difficult to be worth the effort.
I believe in Michelangelo, Velasquez, and Rembrandt; in the might of design, the mystery of color, the redemption of all things by Beauty everlasting, and the message of Art that has made these hands blessed. Amen. Amen.
Englishmen never will be slaves: they are free to do whatever the Government and public opinion allow them to do.
A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.
You have a choice between the natural stability of gold and the honesty and intelligence of the members of government. And with all due respect for those gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the capitalist system lasts, vote for gold.
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.
He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
Criminals do not die by the hands of the law. They die by the hands of other men.
My way of joking is to tell the truth. It is the funniest joke in the world.
All great truths begin as blasphemies.
Though I can make my extravaganzas appear credible, I cannot make the truth appear so.
The truth is, hardly any of us have ethical energy enough for more than one really inflexible point of honor.
People who are hard, grasping and always ready to take advantage of their neighbors become very rich.
Rich men without convictions are more dangerous in modern society than poor women without chastity.
The fickleness of the women I love is only equalled by the infernal constancy of women who love me.
In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.
The things most people want to know about are usually none of their business.
What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.
Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.
The liars punishment is, not in the least that he cannot be believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.
I never thought much of the courage of a lion-tamer. Inside the cage he is at least safe from people.
There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
Love is the gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everyone else.
The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post.
Great Britain and the United States are nations separated by a common language.
Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is Genius.
A man of great common sense and good taste--meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage.
The man with toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound.
This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can.
Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
Life would be tolerable but for its amusements.
Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.
Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.
You don't learn to hold your own in the world by standing on guard, but by attacking, and getting well-hammered yourself.
If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well dance with it.
A family is a tyranny ruled over by it's weakest member.
The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself.
Martyrdom is the only way a man can become famous without ability.
Never waste jealousy on a real man: it is the imaginary man that supplants us all in the long run.
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will.
Beauty is all very well at first sight; but whoever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?
Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.
We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.
Life at its noblest leaves mere happiness far behind; and indeed cannot endure it. Happiness is not the object of life: life has no object: it is an end in itself; and courage consists in the readiness to sacrifice happiness for an intenser quality of life.
How can you dare teach a man to read until you've taught him everything else first?
He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.
I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while.
Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing.
If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience!
Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.
As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.
Give a man health and a course to steer, and he'll never stop to trouble about whether he's happy or not.
Cruelty would be delicious if one could only find some sort of cruelty that didn't really hurt.
Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.
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