It is always when the world is undergoing a metamorphosis, when certainties are collapsing, when the lines are becoming blurred, that there is greatest recourse to fundamental reference points….
Boutros Boutros Ghali, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, to the World Conference on Human Rights, 1993
I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible.
The noble art of Losing Face
May sometimes save the Human Race
Piet Hein, Dane of many talents, quoted by Torsten Őrn, Swedish diplomat, in Varfŏr diplomati? (Why Diplomacy)
'Freedom from fear' could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights.
….[S]ound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late.
G.K. Chesterton, Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State
COLONEL PICKERING: Excuse the straight question, Higgins. Are you a man of good character where women are concerned?
HENRY HIGGINS: Have you ever met a man of good character where women are concerned?
George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion
The special skill of the politician consists in knowing what passions can be most easily aroused, and how to prevent them, when aroused, from being harmful to himself and his associates...Moreover, since politicians are divided into rival groups, they aim at similarly dividing the nation…They cannot pay attention to anything difficult to explain, or to anything not involving division (either between nations or within the nation), or to anything that would diminish the power of politicians as a class.
-Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays
"Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!"
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
And as water has no constant form, there are in war no constant conditions
-Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Nothing is wrong with our stars. It is just that some men misread the skies.