Rodney Ohebsion

Quotes and Proverbs

Propaganda cannot create something out of nothing. It must attach itself to a feeling, an idea; must build on a foundation already present in the individual. ... Never make a direct attack on an established, reasoned, durable opinion or an accepted cliche, a fixed pattern. ...Existing opinion is not to be contradicted, but utilized. Each individual harbors a large number of stereotypes and established tendencies; from this arsenal the propagandist must select those easiest to mobilize, those which will give the greatest strength to the action he wants to precipitate.Jaques Ellul

Propaganda is of no use to the politician unless he has something to say which the public, consciously or unconsciously, wants to hear. - Edward Bernays

Petty people are difficult to deal with. If you're familiar with them, they're disrespectful/immodest; if you maintain a distance, they're resentful. - Confucius, Analects 17:25

The art of being sometimes audacious and sometimes very prudent is the secret of success. - Napoleon Bonaparte

With a helmsman [i.e. leader] that is not nervous, the passengers [i.e. followers] [will feel] secure. - Chinese Proverb

Establishing one's resolve is half of learning. - Chinese Proverb

Why so anxiously and busily manage so many evil matters? Drop them all and become a good man. - Chinese Proverb

Wait till the Yellow River becomes clear, and how old will you be? - Chinese Proverb

[Even] with half of the Analects [put into use], the country can be [well] ruled. - Chinese Proverb

Before the thought has arisen, the gods know it. - Chinese Proverb

Man reasons in a thousand ways; the spirits only in [the right] one. - Chinese Proverb

A good heart influences Heaven and Earth. - Chinese Proverb

One sincere thought can influence Heaven and Earth. - Chinese Proverb

Heaven knows and Earth knows—how can I alone know? - Chinese Proverb

The smallest desire to do good is—though not seen by man—certainly known to Heaven. - Chinese Proverb

You may deceive people. You cannot deceive Heaven. - Chinese Proverb

A little nonsense now and then / Is relished by the wisest men. [As human beings, we all need a little nonsense in our lives from time to time. It's important for us on an emotional level.] - Joseph Addison

General Grant had a simple, childlike [recipe] for meeting life ... “I am terribly afraid, but the other fellow is afraid, too.” - Sherwood Anderson

A little experience often upsets a lot of theory. - Samuel Parkes Cadman

Remember that the wit, humor, and jokes, of most mixed companies are local. ... Every company is differently circumstanced, has its particular cant and jargon; which may give occasion to wit and mirth within that circle, but would seem flat and insipid in any other. - Lord Chesterfield / Philip Stanhope

It’s hard to detect good luck—it looks so much like something you’ve earned. Frank A. Clark

Every great batter works on the theory that the pitcher is more afraid of him than he is of the pitcher. - Ty Cobb

Duke Ai of Lu said to Confucius, "In running the state, I aim to avoid 'getting confused due to a lack of advice.' And yet, I've found that when I consult more people, I encounter more disorder." Confucius said, "... [All of your ministers] publicly parrot the biased opinions of [the wealthy and powerful] Mr. Chi Sun. So no matter how many of them you consult, the state cannot help but become disorderly." (Han Fei Tzu)

[My disciples are superior to me in many ways.] Take Yen Hui. He is [superior to me in that he is] very compassionate. On the other hand, he is also inflexible about it. Tzu Kung is a phenomenal speaker. On the other hand, he does not know when to stop talking. Tzu Lu is very brave. On the other hand, he lacks prudence. Tzu Chang is very dignified. On the other hand, he is unpleasant in social interaction. ... Even if I could, I wouldn't exchange their virtues for my own. And that's why they're intent on learning from me. Confucius, Lieh Tzu

If you don't love learning, then... your love of knowledge/wisdom will be beclouded by vagueness, speculation, and superficial generalization... your love of straightforwardness will be beclouded by rudeness... and your love of persistence will be beclouded by stubbornness. Confucius, Analects 17:8

Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm--but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it; or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves. - TS Eliot

Do not condemn alone that which pleases all. There must be something good in a thing that pleases so many—even if it cannot be explained it is certainly enjoyed. Peculiarity is always hated and, when in the wrong, laughed at. Baltasar Gracian, 270

People often become so consumed with the idea that someone else wronged them, that they sacrifice honor and money in order to get revenge. ... Pay more attention to what people will do based on their disposition and habits, and less attention to what's reasonable for them to do. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 150, 151

When people see you in a position where you have no choice but to do what they want, they'll think little of you and treat you accordingly. ...You should flee this humiliation as you'd flee fire. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 196

How true is that ancient saying "Place/position reveals the man!" Nothing so clearly reveals a person’s qualities so much as to give him place and power. How many are there who speak well, yet do not know how to do! And how many are there in the streets and marketplaces who seem to be capable people, but turn out to be shadows when employed! ... [Moreover,] power reveals someone's true bent of mind and character. The higher someone's position is, the less there is stopping him from indulging his natural temper. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 163, 253

My experiences in government have shown me that when trying to bring about an agreement or compromise, it's good to move in after letting both sides have a lengthy discussion and debate. They'll both grow tired, and then beg you to come in and settle the matter.Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 43

When ambassador in Spain, I observed that whenever the Catholic King, Don Ferdinand of Aragon, a most prudent and powerful prince, wanted to do something new, he'd go about it in such a way so that even before his intention was made public, the whole court and people would be crying out and urging him to do it. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 77

People are greatly influenced by courteous manners and pleasing words. And this because they all believe they deserve to be greatly esteemed, and thus will feel hurt if they find you aren't giving them the deference they're convinced they're due. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi

We often see the advantages of having a good name and reputation. And these advantages are hardly anything compared to those that are unseen. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 158

We only see a small percentage of the advantages that come from friends and family. After all, occasions when you need their help are rare in comparison with the day-to-day benefits of knowing you can have their support when you will. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 87

Since friends are so valuable, never lose a chance to make them—for people are brought into constant contact with one another, and friends help and foes hinder at times and in places where you least expect it. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 14

If you want to conceal or misrepresent one of your intentions, try to show others—with the strongest and gravest reasons possible—that you intend the opposite. When people think you're convinced that it makes sense to do something, they'll readily persuade themselves that you'll base your decisions on what reason dictates. (Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 199

Though you have much to gain by being secretive, you have even more to gain by not appearing secretive to your friends. After all, most people feel slighted and offended when they see you unwilling to impart your affairs to them. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi

One who has sound sense can make great use of another who has fine parts; much more so than the other can make of him. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi

For many things we must decide and act quickly. On the other hand, when we are surrounded by difficulties and trouble, procrastinating and gaining time can either extricate ourselves from troubles, or at least allow us to understand them better. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 79

In matters of business, take this as a maxim: it's not enough to give things their beginning, direction, or impulse; we must also follow them up and continue our efforts until completion. People who conduct business this way contribute greatly to finishing things, while those who follow a different plan will often assume things are finished they've actually just begun, and their difficulties haven't been encountered yet ; such are the heedlessness, futility, and perversity of men, and such the lets and hindrances that things present in their own nature. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 192

Both in wars and in many other important matters, I have often seen preparations neglected due to impression that they were too late, and yet it has been seen afterwards that they would have been in time, and that the omission to make them has caused much loss. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 162

[If you are] found on the winning side... you will be credited even for what you had no part in. Francesco Guicciardini, Ricordi 176

When you have learned to control yourself you will have found the “World Within” which controls the world without; you will have become irresistible; men and things will respond to your every wish without any apparent effort on your part. Charles F. Haanel

Mental strength is secured in exactly the same way that physical strength is secured, by exercise. Charles F. Haanel

The truly upright is that which flows out of your genuine innermost self as a result of the sincerity shown by the kami [gods]; on all occasions, you must exert this sincerity to the utmost, even in the most minor of your activities. - Moshimasa Hikita (Records of the Divine Wind)

The great mass of people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than a small one. - Adolph Hitler

The art of leadership... consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention. - Adolph Hitler

The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category. - Adolph Hitler

I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few. - Adolph Hitler

Sooner will a camel pass through a needles eye than a great man be discovered by an election. - Adolph Hitler

People are more likely to care about the suffering of others in a distant place if that misfortune evokes a fear of their own. - Adam Hochschild

There is a Principle of Creation that is uncreated; there is a Principle of Change that is unchanging. The Uncreated is able to create life; the Unchanging is able to effect change. The created cannot but continue creating; the changed cannot but continue evolving. Hence, there is constant creation and constant changing. The law of constant creating and of constant changing at no time ceases to operate. So is it with the Yin and the Yang, so is it with the Four Seasons. Hu Tzu, Lieh Tzu 1

Rob/deprive the average man of his life-illusion and you rob him also of his happiness. - Ibsen

Many a true word is spoken in jest. - Italian Proverb

Every man, however hopeless his pretensions may appear to all but himself, has some project by which he hopes to rise to reputation; some art by which he imagines that the notice of the world will be attracted; some quality, good or bad, which discriminates him from the common herd of mortals, and by which others may be persuaded to love, or compelled to fear him. Samuel Johnson, Rambler 164

I have often known very severe and lasting malevolence excited by unlucky censures, which would have fallen without any effect, had they not happened to wound a part remarkably tender. Gustulus, who valued himself upon the nicety of his palate, disinherited his eldest son for telling him that the wine, which he was then commending, was the same which he had sent away the day before as not fit to be drunk. Proculus withdrew his kindness from a nephew, whom he had always considered as the most promising genius of the age, for happening to praise in his presence the graceful horsemanship of Marius. And Fortunio, when he was privy counsellor, procured a clerk to be dismissed from one of the publick offices, in which he was eminent for his skill and assiduity, because he had been heard to say that there was another man in the kingdom on whose skill at billiards he would lay his money against Fortunio’s. Samuel Johnson Rambler 40

The pride of singularity is often exerted in little things, where right and wrong are indeterminable. - Samuel Johnson Adventurer 131

It is not often that any man can have so much knowledge of another as is necessary to make instruction useful. - Samuel Johnson, Rambler 7

A request made with diffidence and timidity is easily denied, because the petitioner himself seems to doubt its fitness - Samuel Johnson, Rambler 166

I have now spent fifty-five years in resolving: having, from the earliest time almost that I can remember, been forming plans of a better life. I have done nothing. - Samuel Johnson, Prayers

[A crowd] knows neither doubt nor uncertainty. … A suspicion transforms itself as soon as announced into incontrovertible evidence. [Crowds have a tendency to be sure about everything--to the point where they'll take a suspicion, and quickly regard it as proof.] - Gustave Le Bon

The opinions, ideas, and beliefs suggested to them [members of a crowd] are accepted or rejected as a whole, and considered as absolute truths or as not less absolute errors. This is always the case with beliefs induced by a process of suggestion instead of engendered by reasoning. - Gustave Le Bon

In your normal life you have too much "I"--that is your problem. Then you practice the spiritual path and you try to make less "I", then you have your own life and you have a spiritual life. Many people practice the spiritual path and they create more "I". They do not realize the root of the problem. Who does not allow you to become a spiritual person? Nobody, only your "I". That means always, any moment, any time you practice no matter what you practice on the spiritual path, when you feel more "I" then you need to realize this is not the right way of the practice. Tulku Lobsang

Who can make less "I"? You can, nobody but you can. - Tulku Lobsang

Most people won't really [be inspired] and exert themselves unless they have a [positive example with high status, like King] Wen. But true aspirants will put forth their strength and exert themselves even if there is no Wen. - Mencius, 7:1:10

In my whole life I have only known ten or twelve persons with whom it was pleasant to speak—i.e., who keep to the subject, do not repeat themselves, and do not talk of themselves; men who do not listen to their own voice, who are cultivated enough not to lose themselves in commonplaces, and, lastly, who possess tact and good taste enough not to elevate their own persons above their subjects. - Klemens von Metternich

A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good, and a real one. - J. Pierpont Morgan

Due to wrong faith, the attitude of a person becomes perverted. Religion is as unattractive to him as sweet juice to a person suffering from fever, for he cannot relish it. - Pancastikaya 1:6

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I can change. - Carl Rogers

After the war, many heroes present themselves. - Romanian Proverb

Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk. - Joaquin Setanti

A single prayer of makoto moves Heaven. You will surely realize the divine presence through makoto prayer. - Shinto Teaching

If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be useless. Therefore, soldiers must be treated in the first instance with humanity, but kept under control by means of iron discipline. This is a certain road to victory. - Sun Tzu 9:42-43

Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death. If, however, you are lenient, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder; then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children—they are useless for any practical purpose. - Sun Tzu 10:25-26

When the general is weak and without authority; when his orders are not clear and distinct; when there are no fixed duties assigned to officers and men, and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner, the result is utter disorganization. Sun Tzu 10:18

Most illnesses do not, as is generally thought, come like a bolt out of the blue. The ground is prepared for years through faulty diet, intemperance, overwork, and moral conflicts, slowly eroding the subject’s vitality. - Paul Tournier

The enemy of your belly: 40 years. [If you take away someone's food or livelihood, he'll hold it against you for 40 years.] - Tunisian Proverb

By telling the truth, your head will be cracked. - Tunisian Proverb

If you see someone riding a bamboo-cane/log, tell him “What a lovely horse!” - [Allow others to enjoy their own fantasies] - Tunisian Proverb

Everyone has a game plan until you get hit in the mouth. - Mike Tyson

Though others sleep [i.e. are unvigilant], be awake [i.e. vigilant]! Like a wise man, trust nobody, but always be on the alert; for time is dangerous, and the body is weak. Be ever watchful, like the [two-headed] Bharunda bird. Uttaradhyayana Sutra 4:6

"If he does not get it [victory] early, he will get it afterwards"--such reasoning assumes the eternity of human life. But such a person will despair when his life draws to its close, and the dissolution of his body approaches. Uttaradhyayana Sutra 4:9

I have cut off all my fetters, these are destroyed by right means. Now I am wholly free from these, being light, I move and happily live. Uttaradhyayana Sutra 23:41


Flattery fits in the parlor when plain dealing is kicked out of doors.

He is no wise man that cannot play the fool upon occasion.

If you're a jester, keep your wit till you have use for it.

Dangers are overcome with dangers.

Fear can keep a man out of danger, but only courage can support him in it.

No one can always stand his ground.

Prosperous people seldom mend their faults.

Man would've perished long ago, had it not been for public spirited people.

Do all you can to be good, and you’ll be so.

Heaven is a cheap purchase, whatever it cost.

Even doubtful accusations leave a stain behind them.

There's no defense against the wildfire of the mob.

Argument seldom convinces anyone contrary to his inclinations.

He that would right understand a person must read his whole story.

People's actions aren't to be judged at first sight.

Do as most do, and people will speak well of you.

Do as others do, and few will mock you.

Singularity always seems to have a spice of arrogancy in it.

Men generally look more upon decency than virtue.

Patience and pusillanimity are two [different] things.

More Quotes

Yoritomo Tashi Quotes

One must not forget the profound egotism that characterizes all imaginary invalids; they are so full of themselves that their ills seem to them to acquire high importance. They can not admit then that the whole world is not interested in their aches and pains, and the importance they themselves attach to them is a subject of development for their malady.

Intensity of determination, when it reaches a certain point, possesses a dazzling influence which few ordinary mortals can resist, for it envelops them before they are aware of it and thus before they have dreamt of endeavoring to withdraw themselves from it. Moreover, the man who retains the power of influencing rarely needs to exert himself, in order to exercise it effectually, for the need of protection from it is non-existent in most persons. They are rare who are morally sufficient for themselves and who pass through life without feeling the need of resting their weakness on a supporting and directing force. Still less numerous are those who accept with courage the consequences of their acts and do not seek to place the responsibility for these acts on an outside influence, which, however, they are ready to repudiate if they are successful.

Influence over others is acquired especial by perseverance of the will and concentration of thought, the undulations of which, project around us, come to reach the minds that we wish to impress.

With perseverance, you succeed in causing effectively to penetrate the minds of your hearers the thoughts the emission of which will attract similar thoughts, and their undulations returning to affect you will increase your conviction, giving you thus the more power to spread it around you.