George Bernard Shaw - Quotes

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Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.

Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

There is no sincerer love than the love of food.

There is no sincerer love than the love of food.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.

Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.

Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness, but it is greatness.

Science never solves a problem without creating ten more.

Science never solves a problem without creating ten more.

Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can't sleep with the window open.

Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can't sleep with the window open.

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.

Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world. ---->>>

Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.

Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.

If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance.

If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance.

A happy family is but an earlier heaven.

A happy family is but an earlier heaven.

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.

A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out. ---->>>

When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.

When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.

The golden rule is that there are no golden rules. ---->>>

We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. ---->>>

You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul. ---->>>

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. ---->>>

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react. ---->>>

You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?' ---->>>

It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics.

It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics.

The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it. ---->>>

The great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life.

The great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life.

Every man over forty is a scoundrel.

Every man over forty is a scoundrel.

Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life. ---->>>

First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity. ---->>>

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get. ---->>>

Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive.

Statistics show that of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive.

A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.

A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.

Miracles, in the sense of phenomena we cannot explain, surround us on every hand: life itself is the miracle of miracles. ---->>>

Socialism is the same as Communism, only better English. ---->>>

If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion.

If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion.

The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else. ---->>>

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

Youth is wasted on the young.

Youth is wasted on the young.

Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody reads. ---->>>

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

Oh, the tiger will love you. There is no sincerer love than the love of food. ---->>>

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.

The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people. ---->>>

I'm an atheist and I thank God for it. ---->>>

Clever and attractive women do not want to vote; they are willing to let men govern as long as they govern men.

Clever and attractive women do not want to vote; they are willing to let men govern as long as they govern men.

Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else. ---->>>

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can't find them, make them. ---->>>

People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.

People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.

Some look at things that are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not? ---->>>

I would like to take you seriously, but to do so would be an affront to your intelligence.

I would like to take you seriously, but to do so would be an affront to your intelligence.

If you must hold yourself up to your children as an object lesson, hold yourself up as a warning and not as an example. ---->>>

Give a man health and a course to steer, and he'll never stop to trouble about whether he's happy or not.

Give a man health and a course to steer, and he'll never stop to trouble about whether he's happy or not.

I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.

I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.

There is nothing more dangerous than the conscience of a bigot. ---->>>

Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.

Marriage is popular because it combines the maximum of temptation with the maximum of opportunity.

He's a man of great common sense and good taste - meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage. ---->>>

In a battle all you need to make you fight is a little hot blood and the knowledge that it's more dangerous to lose than to win.

In a battle all you need to make you fight is a little hot blood and the knowledge that it's more dangerous to lose than to win.

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity. ---->>>

Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn. ---->>>

The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.

The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.

Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire. ---->>>

Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart's desire; the other is to get it. ---->>>

Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die; do not outlive yourself.

Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die; do not outlive yourself.

Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power. ---->>>

Kings are not born: they are made by artificial hallucination. ---->>>

Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve. ---->>>

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.

Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship. ---->>>

What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.

What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.

Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. ---->>>

Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men's imperfections, and conceal your own. ---->>>

Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends.

Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends.

Do not do unto others as you expect they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same. ---->>>

It is a curious sensation: the sort of pain that goes mercifully beyond our powers of feeling. When your heart is broken, your boats are burned: nothing matters any more. It is the end of happiness and the beginning of peace.

It is a curious sensation: the sort of pain that goes mercifully beyond our powers of feeling. When your heart is broken, your boats are burned: nothing matters any more. It is the end of happiness and the beginning of peace.

The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not. ---->>>

The man with a toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound. The poverty-stricken man makes the same mistake about the rich man. ---->>>

The test of a man or woman's breeding is how they behave in a quarrel. ---->>>

Beware of the man who does not return your blow: he neither forgives you nor allows you to forgive yourself.

Beware of the man who does not return your blow: he neither forgives you nor allows you to forgive yourself.

An asylum for the sane would be empty in America. ---->>>

Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.

Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.

Lack of money is the root of all evil.

Lack of money is the root of all evil.

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. ---->>>

We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.

We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.

There are no secrets better kept than the secrets everybody guesses. ---->>>

Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous.

Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous.

A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell. ---->>>

My reputation grows with every failure.

My reputation grows with every failure.

We are the only real aristocracy in the world: the aristocracy of money. ---->>>

You can always tell an old soldier by the inside of his holsters and cartridge boxes. The young ones carry pistols and cartridges; the old ones, grub. ---->>>

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.

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.

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.

There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it. ---->>>

Hell is full of musical amateurs.

Hell is full of musical amateurs.

Beauty is all very well at first sight; but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?

Beauty is all very well at first sight; but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?

Never fret for an only son, the idea of failure will never occur to him. ---->>>

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. ---->>>

Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family. ---->>>

Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force. ---->>>

The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post. ---->>>

Find enough clever things to say, and you're a Prime Minister; write them down and you're a Shakespeare. ---->>>

He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches. ---->>>

Nothing is worth doing unless the consequences may be serious. ---->>>

Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman, but believing what he read made him mad. ---->>>

We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.

We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.

A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic. ---->>>

You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.

You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.

Which painting in the National Gallery would I save if there was a fire? The one nearest the door of course. ---->>>

Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history. ---->>>

Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.

Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended.

Human beings are the only animals of which I am thoroughly and cravenly afraid. ---->>>

Property is organized robbery. ---->>>

In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it. ---->>>

A man never tells you anything until you contradict him. ---->>>

All my life affection has been showered upon me, and every forward step I have made has been taken in spite of it. ---->>>

The minority is sometimes right; the majority always wrong. ---->>>

You have learnt something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something. ---->>>

Very few people can afford to be poor.

Very few people can afford to be poor.

Virtue is insufficient temptation. ---->>>

A veteran journalist has never had time to think twice before he writes. ---->>>

The truth is, hardly any of us have ethical energy enough for more than one really inflexible point of honor. ---->>>

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.

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.

He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career. ---->>>

If women were particular about men's characters, they would never get married at all.

If women were particular about men's characters, they would never get married at all.

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

Independence? That's middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.

Independence? That's middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.

I am afraid we must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy. ---->>>

When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.

When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.

Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't!

Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't!

All great truths begin as blasphemies. ---->>>

An election is a moral horror, as bad as a battle except for the blood; a mud bath for every soul concerned in it. ---->>>

I never resist temptation, because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me. ---->>>

A broken heart is a very pleasant complaint for a man in London if he has a comfortable income. ---->>>

The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation. ---->>>

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. ---->>>

The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech. ---->>>

Parentage is a very important profession, but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children.

Parentage is a very important profession, but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children.

The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship. ---->>>

You cannot be a hero without being a coward. ---->>>

No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect. ---->>>

A man of great common sense and good taste - meaning thereby a man without originality or moral courage. ---->>>

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. ---->>>

What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which he habitually acts. ---->>>

Cruelty would be delicious if one could only find some sort of cruelty that didn't really hurt. ---->>>

I am a Christian. That obliges me to be a Communist. ---->>>

There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it. ---->>>

I never thought much of the courage of a lion tamer. Inside the cage he is at least safe from people.

I never thought much of the courage of a lion tamer. Inside the cage he is at least safe from people.

If you leave the smallest corner of your head vacant for a moment, other people's opinions will rush in from all quarters. ---->>>

Only on paper has humanity yet achieved glory, beauty, truth, knowledge, virtue, and abiding love.

Only on paper has humanity yet achieved glory, beauty, truth, knowledge, virtue, and abiding love.

The only secrets are the secrets that keep themselves. ---->>>

England and America are two countries separated by the same language. ---->>>

A little learning is a dangerous thing, but we must take that risk because a little is as much as our biggest heads can hold. ---->>>

I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation. ---->>>

Most people do not pray; they only beg. ---->>>

Political necessities sometime turn out to be political mistakes. ---->>>

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. ---->>>

I have to live for others and not for myself: that's middle-class morality. ---->>>

The things most people want to know about are usually none of their business. ---->>>

It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid. ---->>>

We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth. ---->>>

Old men are dangerous: it doesn't matter to them what is going to happen to the world. ---->>>

One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven't and don't.

One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven't and don't.

We should all be obliged to appear before a board every five years and justify our existence... on pain of liquidation. ---->>>

It's so hard to know what to do when one wishes earnestly to do right. ---->>>

There is no subject on which more dangerous nonsense is talked and thought than marriage.

There is no subject on which more dangerous nonsense is talked and thought than marriage.

Home life is no more natural to us than a cage is natural to a cockatoo.

Home life is no more natural to us than a cage is natural to a cockatoo.

I want to be all used up when I die. ---->>>

In heaven an angel is nobody in particular. ---->>>

The fickleness of the women I love is only equalled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me. ---->>>

Better never than late. ---->>>

She had lost the art of conversation but not, unfortunately, the power of speech. ---->>>

Do not try to live forever. You will not succeed. ---->>>

Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.

Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.

Virtue consists, not in abstaining from vice, but in not desiring it. ---->>>

While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal living conditions on this earth? ---->>>

No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious. ---->>>

When a man says money can do anything, that settles it: he hasn't got any. ---->>>

An index is a great leveller. ---->>>

Beauty is a short-lived tyranny. ---->>>

I enjoy convalescence. It is the part that makes the illness worth while. ---->>>

Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing. ---->>>

Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience. ---->>>

The frontier between hell and heaven is only the difference between two ways of looking at things. ---->>>

Those who do not know how to live must make a merit of dying. ---->>>

If there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn't be anything for us to do. ---->>>

Man can climb to the highest summits, but he cannot dwell there long. ---->>>

Nothing is ever done in this world until men are prepared to kill one another if it is not done. ---->>>

Until the men of action clear out the talkers we who have social consciences are at the mercy of those who have none. ---->>>

You are going to let the fear of poverty govern you life and your reward will be that you will eat, but you will not live. ---->>>

An Englishman thinks he is moral when he is only uncomfortable. ---->>>

The faults of the burglar are the qualities of the financier. ---->>>

Life levels all men. Death reveals the eminent. ---->>>

We must always think about things, and we must think about things as they are, not as they are said to be. ---->>>

Americans adore me and will go on adoring me until I say something nice about them. ---->>>

Syllables govern the world.

Syllables govern the world.

Marriage is good enough for the lower classes: they have facilities for desertion that are denied to us. ---->>>

The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and about all time. ---->>>

What Englishman will give his mind to politics as long as he can afford to keep a motor car?

What Englishman will give his mind to politics as long as he can afford to keep a motor car?

Every person who has mastered a profession is a skeptic concerning it. ---->>>

Fashions, after all, are only induced epidemics. ---->>>

Few of us have vitality enough to make any of our instincts imperious. ---->>>

General consultant to mankind. ---->>>

It's easier to replace a dead man than a good picture. ---->>>

Life would be tolerable but for its amusements. ---->>>

The British soldier can stand up to anything except the British War Office. ---->>>

The heretic is always better dead. And mortal eyes cannot distinguish the saint from the heretic. ---->>>

The natural term of the affection of the human animal for its offspring is six years. ---->>>

Why, except as a means of livelihood, a man should desire to act on the stage when he has the whole world to act in, is not clear to me. ---->>>

Martyrdom: The only way a man can become famous without ability. ---->>>

It is most unwise for people in love to marry. ---->>>

Men have to do some awfully mean things to keep up their respectability. ---->>>

The art of government is the organisation of idolatry. ---->>>

What is virtue but the Trade Unionism of the married? ---->>>

If you injure your neighbour, better not do it by halves. ---->>>

The love of economy is the root of all virtue. ---->>>

A man who has no office to go, to I don't care who he is, is a trial of which you can have no conception. ---->>>

There is no satisfaction in hanging a man who does not object to it. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: Irish
Born: July 26, 1856
Birthplace:
Die: 11-02, 1950
Occupation: Dramatist
Website:

George Bernard Shaw (; 26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright (who held both British and Irish citizenship), critic and polemicist whose influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond (wikipedia)