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Gizmotude Quotation Archives



Our lives improve only when we take chances--and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves. ~~ Walter Anderson


A commentary on the times is that the word "honesty" is now preceded by "old-fashioned." ~~ Larry Wolters


I have always thought that Machiavelli derives his bad name from a too transparent honesty. Less direct minds would have found high-sounding ethical sanctions in which to conceal the real intent… Machiavelli's morals are not one bit worse than the practices of the men who rule the world today. ~~ Walter Lippmann


Our great error is that we suppose mankind to be more honest than they are. ~~ Alexander Hamilton


An honest man in politics shines more than we would elsewhere. ~~ Mark Twain


My garden is an honest place. Every tree and every vine are incapable of concealment, and tell after two or three months exactly what sort of treatment they have had. The sower may mistake and sow his peas crookedly: the peas make no mistake but come and show his line. ~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


There is not one in a hundred of either sex who is not taken in when they marry … It is, of all transactions, the one in which people expect most from others, and are least honest themselves. ~~ Jane Austin


The true secret of giving advice, is after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not and never persist in trying to set people right. ~~ Hannah Whitall Smith


Honest Winter, snow-clad, and with the frosted beard, I can welcome not uncordially: But that long deferment of the calendar's promise, that weeping gloom of March and April, that bitter blast outraging the honor of May how often has it robbed me of heart and hope? ~~ George Gissing


Honesty and wisdom are such a delightful pastime at another's expense! ~~ Nathaniel Hawthorne


'Tis my opinion every man cheats in his own way, and he is only honest who is not discovered. ~~ Susannah Centlivre


You cannot adopt politics as a profession and remain honest. ~~ Louis McHenry Howe


To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand. ~~ William Shakespeare


I am going to make a common-sense, intellectually honest campaign. It will be a novelty and it will win. ~~ Harry S Truman


To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves … Nothing is often a good thing to say, and always a clever thing to say. ~~ Will Durant


Honesty pays, but it don't seem to pay enough to suit some people. ~~ Kin Hubbard


Well, I tell you, if I have been wrong in my agnosticism, when I die I'll walk up to God in a manly way and say, Sir, I made an honest mistake. ~~ H. L. Mencken


He is not an honest man who has burned his tongue and does not tell the company that the soup is hot. ~~ Yugoslav proverb


I had to fight hard against loneliness, abuse, and the knowledge that any mistake I made would be magnified because I was the only black man out there. Many people resented my impatience and honesty, but I never cared about acceptance as much as I cared about respect. ~~ Jackie Robinson


An honest heart being the first blessing, a knowing head is the second. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for any public office. ~~ H. L. Mencken


Early in life I had to choose between arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change. ~~ Frank Lloyd Wright


The weight of great power crushes the goodness of the man who rules and the honesty of those who are ruled. ~~ Roman Baldorioty de Castro


Basic anxiety can be roughly described as a feeling of being small, insignificant, helpless, deserted or endangered in a world that is out to abuse, cheat, humiliate, betray, envy… And special in this is the child's feeling that the parents' love, their Christian charity, honesty, generosity… may be only a pretense. ~~ Karen Horney [The Neurotic Personality of Our Time]


Putting trust in people will produce trustworthy people. That is the foremost of the many reasons against the widespread and routine use of lie detector tests. Management through fear and intimidation is not the way to promote honesty and protect security. ~~ George P. Shultz


Cynicism is the intellectual cripple's substitute for intelligence. It is the dishonest businessman's substitute for conscience. It is the communicator's substitute, whether he is advertising man or editor or writer, for self-respect. ~~ Russell Lynes


It takes a wise man to handle a lie. A fool had better remain honest. ~~ Norman Douglas


Take note, take note, O world! To be direct and honest is not safe. ~~ William Shakespeare


He that resolves to deal with none but honest men, must leave off dealing. ~~ Thomas Fuller


Elvira always lied first to herself before she lied to anybody else, since this gave her a conviction of moral honesty. ~~ Phyllis Bottome


If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering, outspoken, honest fellow--but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much. ~~ Philip Gilbert Hamerton


Dishonesty, cowardice, and duplicity are never impulsive. ~~ George A. Knight


There are still some honest people left in the world, but they never seem to find anything you lose. ~~ Joe Moore


Honesty is the best policy--when there is money in it. ~~ Mark Twain


Set up as an ideal the facing of reality as honestly and as cheerfully as possible. ~~ Dr. Karl Menninger


If parents want honest children, they should be honest themselves. ~~ R. G. Ingersoll


Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory. ~~ Douglas MacArthur


Pretty much all the honest truthtelling there is in the world is done by children. ~~ Unattributed


Let none of us delude himself by supposing that honesty is always the best policy. It is not. ~~ Dean William R. Inge


We do many things at the federal level that would be considered dishonest and illegal if done in the private sector. ~~ Donald Regan


The man who is brutally honest enjoys the brutality quite as much as the honesty. Possibly more. ~~ Richard J. Needham


All happily married people have managed to accept the fact that marriage is no better and no worse than any other human institution. Also, perhaps even more important, they have learned to accept themselves and each other for what they really and honestly are. ~~ Ernest Havemann


Necessity makes an honest man a knave. ~~ Daniel Defoe


I think dogs were put in this world to remind humanity that love, loyalty, devotion, courage, patience, and good humor are the qualities that, with honesty, are the essence of admirable character and the very definition of a life well lived. ~~ Dean Koontz [Seize the Night]


Do not forget your culture. Do not do something just because I am around. Education and honesty are two of the most important things that you should have. ~~ Dagem Hailemarian


Don't place too much confidence in a man who boasts of being as honest as the day is long. Wait until you meet him at night. ~~ Robert Chambers (Bob) Edwards


A large part of altruism, even when it is perfectly honest, is grounded upon the fact that it is uncomfortable to have unhappy people about one. ~~ H. L. Mencken


There are two modes of establishing our reputation: to be praised by honest men, and to be abused by rogues. ~~ C. C. Colton


I suspect that many an ailurophobe hates cats only because he feels they are better people than he is--more honest, more secure, more loved, more whatever he is not. ~~ Winifred Carriere


We older women who know we aren't heroines can offer our younger sister, at the very least, an honest report of what we have learned and how we have grown. ~~ Elizabeth Janeway


Wealth makes everything easy--honesty most of all. ~~ Comtesse Dianne (Marie de Beausacq)


The most important thing in acting is honesty. Once you've learned to fake that, you're in. ~~ Samuel Goldwyn


No honest poet can ever feel quite sure of the permanent value of what he has written: he may have wasted his time and messed up his life for nothing. ~~ T. S. Eliot


I chose honest arrogance over hypocritical humility. ~~ Frank Lloyd Wright


[On the 1960s:] I don't miss the anarchy … but I do miss the innocence and the honesty. ~~ Eldridge Cleaver


A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not. ~~ Ernest Hemingway


It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. ~~ Noel Coward


Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: "A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others. ~~ Eleanor Roosevelt


A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is. It has nothing to do with the fact that other people want what they want. Indeed, the moment that an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist, and becomes a dull or an amusing craftsman, an honest or a dishonest tradesman. ~~ Oscar Wilde


Where is there dignity unless there is honesty? ~~ Marcus Tullius Cicero


Honesty is better than policy. ~~ Immanuel Kant


Barring that natural expression of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough. ~~ Mark Twain


No matter how brilliant a man may be, he will never engender confidence in his subordinates and associates if he lacks simple honesty and moral courage. ~~ J. Lawton Collins


Jimmy talks too much, but at least he's honest. ~~ Rosalyn Carter


Marrying for love may be a bit risky, but it is so honest that God can't help but smile on it. ~~ Josh Billings


The honester the man, the worse luck. ~~ John Ray


People who honestly mean to be true, really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be "consistent." ~~ Oliver Wendell Holmes


Whenever a knave is not punished, an honest man is laughed at. ~~ Marquis of Halifax


There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served. ~~ Jane Jacobs


Unfaithfulness in the keeping of an appointment is an act of clear dishonesty. You may as well borrow a person's money as his time. ~~ Horace Mann


But living in peace and plenty, she could honor her father's memory only through the small heroics of daily life: by doing her job well and paying her way in the world, by commitment to her marriage in good times and bad, by giving all possible support to her friends, by having true compassion for life's walking wounded… while living with honesty and truthfulness and enough self-respect to avoid becoming one of them. These small heroics, never acknowledged with awards and stirring marches, are the fuel and the lubrication that keep the machine of civilization humming, and in a world rife with temptations to be self-indulgent, self-centered, and self-satisfied, there are surprisingly more small heroes than might be expected. ~~ Dean Koontz [False Memory]


The mischief of flattery is not that it persuades any man that he is what he is not, but that it suppresses the influence of honest ambition, by raising an opinion that honor may be gained without the toil of merit. ~~ Samuel Johnson


Honesty has come to mean the privilege of insulting you to your face without expecting redress. ~~ Judith Martin


An honest politician is one who when he is bought will stay bought. ~~ Simon Cameron


It is a trick among the dishonest to offer sacrifices that are not needed, or not possible, to avoid making those that are required. ~~ Ivan Goncharov


There's one way to find out if a man is honest--ask him. If he says "Yes," you know he is crooked. ~~ Groucho Marx (See Said Who?)


But even a politician who is honest in the highest sense may be very harmful; one may take George III as an illustration. Stupidity and unconscious bias often work more damage than venality. ~~ Bertrand Russell


If you are honest because you think that is the best policy, your honesty has already been corrupted. ~~ Sydney J. Harris


Think what we would have missed if we had never… used a mobile phone or surfed the Net--or, to be honest, listened to other people talking about surfing the Net. ~~ Elizabeth II


Though it be honest, it is never good
To bring bad news. ~~ William Shakespeare


People deserve better. They deserve truth. They deserve honesty. The best music … is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with. ~~ Bruce Springsteen


Many people today don't want honest answers insofar as honest means unpleasant or disturbing. They want a soft answer that turneth away anxiety. ~~ Louis Kronenberger


The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and just not think about your age. ~~ Lucille Ball


Honest statesmanship is the wise employment of individual meannesses for the public good. ~~ Abraham Lincoln


We should face reality and our past mistakes in an honest, adult way. Boasting of glory does not make glory, and singing in the dark does not dispel fear. ~~ Hussein, King of Jordan


Don’t demand respect, as a parent. Demand civility and insist on honesty. But respect is something you must earn--with kids as well as with adults. ~~ William Attwood


You've got to be willing to stay committed to someone over the long run, and sometimes it doesn't work out. But often if you become real honest with yourself and honest with each other, and put aside whatever personal hurt and disappointment you have to really understand yourself and your spouse, it can be the most wonderful experience you'll ever have. ~~ Hillary Rodham Clinton


So long as the body is affected through the mind, no audacious device, even of the most manifestly dishonest character, can fail of producing occasional good to those who yield to it an implicit or even a partial faith. ~~ Oliver Wendell Holmes


I've done more harm by the falseness of trying to please than by the honesty of trying to hurt. ~~ Jessamyn West


Unless you're ashamed of yourself now and then, you're not honest. ~~ William Faulkner


The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker. ~~ Helen Keller


One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest. ~~ Maya Angelou


Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom. ~~ Thomas Jefferson


Honesty may be the best policy, but it's important to remember that, apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second best policy. Second is not all that bad. ~~ George Carlin


There is no greater indictment of judges than the fact that honest men are afraid to go into court, while criminals swagger out its revolving doors. ~~ Thomas Sowell


Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile, some have a sad expression, some are pensive and diffident, others again are plain, honest, and upright. ~~ Henry Ward Beecher


Women are repeatedly accused of taking things personally. I cannot see any other honest way of taking them. ~~ Marya Mannes


It's no good starting out by thinking one is a heaven-born genius--some people are, but very few. No, one is a tradesman--a tradesman in a good honest trade. You must learn the technical skills, and then, within that trade, you can apply your own creative ideas, but you must submit them to the discipline of form. ~~ Agatha Christie


It's dishonest to simplify anything that isn't simple. ~~ Florence Sabin


The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. ~~ John F. Kennedy


Every man who expresses an honest thought is a soldier in the army of intellectual liberty. ~~ Robert G. Ingersoll


A man can build a staunch reputation for honesty by admitting he was in error, especially when he gets caught at it. ~~ Robert Ruark


Flattery is never so agreeable as to our blind side; commend a fool for his wit, or a knave for his honesty, and they will receive you into their bosom. ~~ Henry Fielding


Let all your views in life be directed to a solid, however moderate, independence; without it no man can be happy, nor even honest. ~~ Junius


I am afraid we must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy. ~~ George Bernard Shaw


I wish to become rich, so that I can instruct the people and glorify honest poverty a little, like those kind-hearted, fat, benevolent people do. ~~ Mark Twain


Managing a business requires a great deal of frankness and openness and you actually lead by being very honest with people. ~~ Sir Michael Edwardes


One day posterity will remember
This strange era, these strange times, when
Ordinary common honesty was called courage. ~~ Yevgeny Yevtushenko


Many married couples separate because they quarrel incessantly; but just as many separate because they were never honest enough or courageous enough to quarrel when they should have. ~~ Sydney J. Harris


Hatred of dishonesty generally arises from fear of being deceived. ~~ Marquis de Vauvenargues


The spirituality of my childhood is the one I would most like to have restored. It was pure and fresh and honest. I read God everywhere! ~~ Macrine Wiederkehr


I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don't trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance any day of the week, if there is anything to be got by it. ~~ Charles Dickens


Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them. ~~ Bertrand Russell


Take a winter as you find him and he turns out to be a thoroughly honest fellow with no nonsense in him: and tolerating none in you, which is a great comfort in the long run. ~~ James Russell Lowell


A good writer of history is a guy who is suspicious. Suspicion marks the real difference between the man who wants to write honest history and the one who'd rather write a good story. ~~ Jim Bishop


Level with your child by being honest. Nobody spots a phony quicker than a child. ~~ Mary MacCracken