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What is wisdom? Is it an encyclopediadic knowledge of the world? Is it common sense? Is it an ability to think and analyze? There are so many different types of wisdom that the definition changes not only from era to era, but often from book to book. Browse through this potpouri of wise ideas and decide which ones are true and which are faulty. These quotations can be used quite effectively to begin many different types of essays.

  • “Everything is funny as long as it is happening to Somebody Else” (Will Rogers).

  • “Let not a man guard his dignity, but let his dignity guard him” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

  • “The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you have lost” (George Schultz).

  • “What we think, we become” (The Buddha).

  • “God enters by a private door into every individual” (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

  • “Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge” (Shakespeare).

  • “Do what you feel in your heart is right anyway – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, damned if you don’t” (Eleanor Roosevelt).

  • “Not all who wander are lost” (J. R. R. Tolkein).

  • “Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody” (Mark Twain).

  • “It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities” (J. K. Rowling).

  • “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today” (Will Rogers).

  • “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up” (Mark Twain).

  • “Do not offer a complement and ask a favor at the same time. A complement that is charged for is not valuable” (Mark Twain).

  • “History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon” (Napolean).

  • "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools" (Martin Luther King, Jr.).

  • “Little by little, one travels far” (J. R. R. Tolkein).

  • “Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes” (Benjamin Franklin).

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Copyright © 2007 by Catherine M. Wishart. All rights reserved.