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Random Quote
"That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way."
Doris Lessing
Eric Hoffer Quotes
A great man's greatest good luck is to die at the right time.
Eric Hoffer

A grievance is most poignant when almost redressed.
Eric Hoffer

A man by himself is in bad company.
Eric Hoffer

A nation without dregs and malcontents is orderly, peaceful and pleasant, but perhaps without the seed of things to come.
Eric Hoffer

Action is at bottom a swinging and flailing of the arms to regain one's balance and keep afloat.
Eric Hoffer

Animals often strike us as passionate machines.
Eric Hoffer

Call not that man wretched, who whatever ills he suffers, has a child to love.
Eric Hoffer

Charlatanism of some degree is indispensable to effective leadership.
Eric Hoffer

Children are the keys of paradise.
Eric Hoffer

Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us.
Eric Hoffer

Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.
Eric Hoffer

Craving, not having, is the mother of a reckless giving of oneself.
Eric Hoffer

Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature.
Eric Hoffer

Dissipation is a form of self-sacrifice.
Eric Hoffer

Every intense desire is perhaps a desire to be different from what we are.
Eric Hoffer

Every new adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem.
Eric Hoffer

Facts are counterrevolutionary.
Eric Hoffer

Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know.
Eric Hoffer

However much we guard ourselves against it, we tend to shape ourselves in the image others have of us. It is not so much the example of others we imitate, as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words.
Eric Hoffer

I hang onto my prejudices, they are the testicles of my mind.
Eric Hoffer

In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
Eric Hoffer

In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
Eric Hoffer

It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak.
Eric Hoffer

It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor.
Eric Hoffer

It is not actual suffering but the taste of better things which excites people to revolt.
Eric Hoffer

It is not so much the example of others we imitate as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words.
Eric Hoffer

It is not the wickedness of the old regime [the masses] rise against but its weakness.
Eric Hoffer

It is often the failure who is the pioneer in new lands, new undertakings, and new forms of expression.
Eric Hoffer

It is remarkable by how much a pinch of malice enhances the penetrating power of an idea or an opinion. Our ears, it seems, are wonderfully attuned to sneers and evil reports about our fellow men.
Eric Hoffer

It is the around-the-corner brand of hope that prompts people to action, while the distant hope acts as an opiate.
Eric Hoffer

It is the awareness of unfulfilled desires which gives a nation the feeling that it has a mission and a destiny.
Eric Hoffer

It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents.
Eric Hoffer

It is the malady of our age that the young are so busy teaching us that they have no time left to learn.
Eric Hoffer

It is the stretched soul that makes music, and souls are stretched by the pull of opposites - opposite bents, tastes, yearnings, loyalties. Where there is no polarity - where energies flow smoothly in one direction - there will be much doing but no music.
Eric Hoffer

It sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents.
Eric Hoffer

Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.
Eric Hoffer

Man is eminently a storyteller. His search for a purpose, a cause, an ideal, a mission and the like is largely a search for a plot and a pattern in the development of his life story - a story that is basically without meaning or pattern.
Eric Hoffer

Man is the only creature that strives to surpass himself, and yearns for the impossible.
Eric Hoffer

Man staggers through life yapped at by his reason, pulled and shoved by his appetites, whispered to by fears, beckoned by hopes. Small wonder that what he craves most is self-forgetting.
Eric Hoffer

Many of the insights of the saint stem from their experience as sinners.
Eric Hoffer

Men weary as much of not doing the things they want to do as of doing the things they do not want to do.
Eric Hoffer

Nature is a self-made machine, more perfectly automated than any automated machine. To create something in the image of nature is to create a machine, and it was by learning the inner working of nature that man became a builder of machines.
Eric Hoffer

No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are.
Eric Hoffer

Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity.
Eric Hoffer

Old age equalizes - we are aware that what is happening to us has happened to untold numbers from the beginning of time. When we are young we act as if we were the first young people in the world.
Eric Hoffer

One of the marks of a truly vigorous society is the ability to dispense with passion as a midwife of action - the ability to pass directly from thought to action.
Eric Hoffer

Our frustration is greater when we have much and want more than when we have nothing and want some. We are less dissatisfied when we lack many things than when we seem to lack but one thing.
Eric Hoffer

Our sense of power is more vivid when we break a man's spirit than when we win his heart.
Eric Hoffer

Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.
Eric Hoffer

People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.
Eric Hoffer

Perhaps our originality manifests itself most strikingly in what we do with that which we did not originate. To discover something wholly new can be a matter of chance, of idle tinkering, or even of the chronic dissatisfaction of the untalented.
Eric Hoffer

Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength.
Eric Hoffer

Self-esteem and self-contempt have specific odors; they can be smelled.
Eric Hoffer

Social improvement is attained more readily by a concern with the quality of results than with the purity of motives.
Eric Hoffer

Someone who thinks the world is always cheating him is right. He is missing that wonderful feeling of trust in someone or something.
Eric Hoffer

The beginning of thought is in disagreement - not only with others but also with ourselves.
Eric Hoffer

The education explosion is producing a vast number of people who want to live significant, important lives but lack the ability to satisfy this craving for importance by individual achievement. The country is being swamped with nobodies who want to be somebodies.
Eric Hoffer

The fear of becoming a 'has-been' keeps some people from becoming anything.
Eric Hoffer

The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle.
Eric Hoffer

The greatest weariness comes from work not done.
Eric Hoffer

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
Eric Hoffer

The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the mature imagination of a man is healthy; but there is a space of life between, in which the soul is in a ferment, the character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the ambition thick-sighted: thence proceeds mawkishness.
Eric Hoffer

The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.
Eric Hoffer

The misery of a child is interesting to a mother, the misery of a young man is interesting to a young woman, the misery of an old man is interesting to nobody.
Eric Hoffer

The necessary has never been man's top priority. The passionate pursuit of the nonessential and the extravagant is one of the chief traits of human uniqueness. Unlike other forms of life, man's greatest exertions are made in the pursuit not of necessities but of superfluities.
Eric Hoffer

The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.
Eric Hoffer

The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical athiest but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a God or not.
Eric Hoffer

The pre-human creature from which man evolved was unlike any other living thing in its malicious viciousness toward its own kind. Humanization was not a leap forward but a groping toward survival.
Eric Hoffer

The real Antichrist is he who turns the wine of an original idea into the water of mediocrity.
Eric Hoffer

The real persuaders are our appetites, our fears and above all our vanity. The skillful propagandist stirs and coaches these internal persuaders.
Eric Hoffer

The remarkable thing is that it is the crowded life that is most easily remembered. A life full of turns, achievements, disappointments, surprises, and crises is a life full of landmarks. The empty life has even its few details blurred, and cannot be remembered with certainty.
Eric Hoffer

The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.
Eric Hoffer

The self-styled intellectual who is impotent with pen and ink hungers to write history with sword and blood.
Eric Hoffer

The suspicious mind believes more than it doubts. It believes in a formidable and ineradicable evil lurking in every person.
Eric Hoffer

There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet.
Eric Hoffer

There is always a chance that he who sets himself up as his brother's keeper will end up by being his jail-keeper.
Eric Hoffer

There is in most passions a shrinking away from ourselves. The passionate pursuer has all the earmarks of a fugitive.
Eric Hoffer

There is no loneliness greater than the loneliness of a failure. The failure is a stranger in his own house.
Eric Hoffer

There is probably an element of malice in our readiness to overestimate people - we are, as it were, laying up for ourselves the pleasure of later cutting them down to size.
Eric Hoffer

There is sublime thieving in all giving. Someone gives us all he has and we are his.
Eric Hoffer

There would be no society if living together depended upon understanding each other.
Eric Hoffer

Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true.
Eric Hoffer

Though dissenters seem to question everything in sight, they are actually bundles of dusty answers and never conceived a new question. What offends us most in the literature of dissent is the lack of hesitation and wonder.
Eric Hoffer

Thought is a process of exaggeration. The refusal to exaggerate is not infrequently an alibi for the disinclination to think or praise.
Eric Hoffer

To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are.
Eric Hoffer

To spell out the obvious is often to call it in question.
Eric Hoffer

To the excessively fearful the chief characteristic of power is its arbitrariness. Man had to gain enormously in confidence before he could conceive an all-powerful God who obeys his own laws.
Eric Hoffer

We are least open to precise knowledge concerning the things we are most vehement about.
Eric Hoffer

We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand.
Eric Hoffer

We do not really feel grateful toward those who make our dreams come true; they ruin our dreams.
Eric Hoffer

We feel free when we escape - even if it be but from the frying pan to the fire.
Eric Hoffer

We find it hard to apply the knowledge of ourselves to our judgment of others. The fact that we are never of one kind, that we never love without reservations and never hate with all our being cannot prevent us from seeing others as wholly black or white.
Eric Hoffer

We have perhaps a natural fear of ends. We would rather be always on the way than arrive. Given the means, we hang on to them and often forget the ends.
Eric Hoffer

We have rudiments of reverence for the human body, but we consider as nothing the rape of the human mind.
Eric Hoffer

We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.
Eric Hoffer

When people are bored it is primarily with themselves.
Eric Hoffer

When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
Eric Hoffer

When we believe ourselves in possession of the only truth, we are likely to be indifferent to common everyday truths.
Eric Hoffer

Whenever you trace the origin of a skill or practices which played a crucial role in the ascent of man, we usually reach the realm of play.
Eric Hoffer

Where everything is possible miracles become commonplaces, but the familiar ceases to be self-evident.
Eric Hoffer

Wise living consists perhaps less in acquiring good habits than in acquiring as few habits as possible.
Eric Hoffer

With some people solitariness is an escape not from others but from themselves. For they see in the eyes of others only a reflection of themselves.
Eric Hoffer

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
Eric Hoffer

You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy.
Eric Hoffer

Type:
Writer
Date of Birth:
1902-07-25
Year of Death:
1983
Nationality:
American
 

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