Socrates (469 BC-399 BC)

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”

“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.”

“To find yourself, think for yourself.”

“By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”

“Be slow to fall into friendship, but when you are in, continue firm and constant.”

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

“The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.”

“Know thyself.”

“If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”

“Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.”

“Every action has its pleasures and its price.”

“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”

“I am not an Athenian nor a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”

“Let him who would move the world first move himself.”

“Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.”

“Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.”

“Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.”

“We cannot live better than in seeking to become better.”

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”

“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

“Envy is the ulcer of the soul.”

“Thou shouldst eat to live; not live to eat.”

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.”

“Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”

“If you want to be a good saddler, saddle the worst horse; for if you can tame one, you can tame all.”

“Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.”

“From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.”

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

“Be nicer than necessary to everyone you meet. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle.”

“The hottest love has the coldest end.”

“Be as you wish to seem.”

“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”

“I pray Thee, O God, that I may be beautiful within. ”

“understanding a question is half an answer.”

“Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannise their teachers.”

“If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be content to take their own and depart.”

“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live. Which of these two is better only God knows.”

“Be of good cheer about death, and know this of a truth, that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.”

“Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions; but those who kindly reprove thy faults.”

“The greatest blessing granted to mankind come by way of madness, which is a divine gift.”

“Esteemed friend, citizen of Athens, the greatest city in the world, so outstanding in both intelligence and power, aren’t you ashamed to care so much to make all the money you can, and to advance your reputation and prestige — while for truth and wisdom and the improvement of your soul you have no care or worry?”

“Virtue does not come from wealth, but. . . wealth, and every other good thing which men have. . . comes from virtue.”

“Through your rags I see your vanity.”

“In all of us, even in good men, there is a lawless wild-beast nature, which peers out in sleep.”

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