Chamblee54

Seven Brilliant Quotes Part Two

Posted in Book Reports, Commodity Wisdom, Race by chamblee54 on September 4, 2012





Welcome to part two of the Chamblee54 due diligence report on the Seven Brilliant Quotes. In part one, we checked out the first three. At no time was a source for the quote found. All three are suspect, with “misunderstanding” indicated in the Albert Einstein quote. It is amazing how quickly accepted these sayings are by the inspiration hungry public.

The seven quotes, in a copy friendly format, are:
William Shakespeare – Never play with the feelings of others because you may win the game but the risk is that you will surely lose the person for a life time.
Napoleon Bonaparte – The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people.
Albert Einstein – I am thankful to all those who said NO to me. Its because of them I did it myself.
Abraham Lincoln – If friendship is your weakest point then you are the strongest person in the world.
Martin Luther King Jr. – We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools.
Mohandas Gandhi – The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Dr. Abdul Kalam – It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone.

Getting back to business, did Abraham Lincoln say “If friendship is your weakest point then you are the strongest person in the world.” There are lots of links to this quote, in a variety of fonts and colors. Some have spectacular photography in the background. However, none of these links has a source for this quote, or any indication of the context.

Wikiquotes has 43,444 words about Abraham Lincoln. PG copied these words, and did a search for the word “friendship”. There were three quotes.

The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships. Letter to Joseph Gillespie 13 July 1849.

By such things the feelings of the best citizens will become more or less alienated from it, and thus it will be left without friends, or with too few, and those few too weak to make their friendship effectual.
The Lyceum Address  1838

A civil war occurring in a country, where foreigners reside and carry on trade under treaty stipulations is necessarily fruitful of complaints of the violation of neutral rights. All such collisions tend to excite misapprehensions, and possibly to produce mutual reclamations between nations which have a common interest in preserving peace and friendship. Second State of the Union address 1862.
This type of research can be frustrating. Being inspired by beautiful words can give you strength and purpose. It can also make you feel foolish, when the lovely words are revealed to be lies. Being a cynic gets lonely. Children of all ages don’t like to be told that there is no Santa Claus.

The good news is that number five is for real. Martin Luther King gave a speech at Western Michigan University in 1963. There is a probably his standard speech, given many times. The second section of the speech is “Call for action.”

“The world in which we live is geographically one. Now we are challenged to make it one in terms of brotherhood. Now through our ethical and moral commitment, we must make of it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools. This is the great challenge of the hour. This is true of individuals. It is true of nations. No individual can live alone. No nation can live alone.”

“I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. [W]e’re challenged after working in the realm of ideas, to move out into the arena of social action and to work passionately and unrelentingly to make racial justice a reality.”

“[W]e must never substitute a doctrine of Black supremacy for white supremacy. For the doctrine of Black supremacy is as dangerous as white supremacy. God is not interested merely in the freedom of black men and brown men and yellow men but God is interested in the freedom of the whole human race, the creation of a society where all men will live together as brothers.”

PG has written about the problem of quoting Mohandas Gandhi before. Supposedly he said “I love your Christ, but I dislike your Christianity.” PG thinks this is a fabrication.

The quote on the poster is “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Wikiquotes has a link to Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi Online. The next stop is page 302 of this section. Mr. Gandhi gave an “Interview to the press” in Karachi, on March 26, 1931. A freedom fighter named Bhagat Singh had been executed by the British three days earlier.

Do you not think it impolitic to forgive a government which has been guilty of a thousand murders?
I do not know a single instance where forgiveness has been found so wanting as to be impolitic.
But no country has ever shown such forgiveness as India is showing to Britain?
That does not affect my reply. What is true of individuals is true of nations. One cannot forgive too much. The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

The bottom line is from Dr. Abdul Kalam. (The name is misspelled on the poster.) The phrase is “It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone.” Many viewers have no idea who this person is. Once again, Wikiquotes comes to the rescue. “Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (born 15 October 1931) Indian scientist and engineer; 11th President of India; generally referred to as Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.” The quotes are from Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam.

A search for the word “defeat” did not show results. A search for “win” shows a few.

“the best way to win was to not need to win. The best performances are accomplished when you are relaxed and free of doubt.” (p. 31) “Happiness, satisfaction, and success in life depend on making the right choices, the winning choices. There are forces in life working for you and against you. One must distinguish the beneficial forces from the malevolent ones and choose correctly between them.” (p. 106)
“Life is a difficult game. You can win it only by retaining your birthright to be a person. And to retain this right, you will have to be willing to take the social or external risks involved in ignoring pressures to do things the way others say they should be done.” (p. 176)

The phrase on the poster also credited to John Keats. There is also the story of the student who argues with an atheist professor, and ultimately wins. The student is sometimes said to be Albert Einstein. In this version, Argumnent : What, Who is GOD?, the coda is “This seems to be a true story, and the student was none other than APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India “.

The research for part one consisted of entering the quote into a search engine. It was not until the Lincoln investigation that the method of copying wikiquote, and searching for a key word, was discovered. Out of a sense of fairness, the first three quotes will be investigated using this method.

For William Shakespeare, the search word was risk. There were no results. For Napoleon Bonaparte, the search word was violence. There was one result. “There is no such thing as an absolute despotism; it is only relative. A man cannot wholly free himself from obligation to his fellows. A sultan who cut off heads from caprice, would quickly lose his own in the same way. Excesses tend to check themselves by reason of their own violence. What the ocean gains in one place it loses in another. ” For Albert Einstein, the search word was thankful. There were no results.

So, there are seven quotes in the motivational poster. Only two of the seven have a apparent source.
Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.




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6 Responses

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  1. [...] anyone worry if an actor gave his speech for him. This is enough fun for one day. There will be a part two soon, and it will probably be full of number two. Pictures today are from The Library of [...]

  2. RomanHans said, on September 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Ohmigod, this is really pissing me off. An, er, optimistic friend posted another alleged Einstein quote on Facebook:

    “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

    Sigh. Just preposterous. If all I knew of Einstein were these ridiculous quotes I’d think he was a writer for Reader’s Digest.

    • chamblee54 said, on September 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      I just checked the wikiquptes file on Albert the Ein. The search term was fish. There were five results. Four of the five showed fish as part of selfish. The fifth quote was “What is significant in one’s own existence one is hardly aware, and it certainly should not bother the other fellow. What does a fish know about the water in which he swims all his life?”

  3. Yossarian Part Six « Chamblee54 said, on September 5, 2012 at 8:03 am

    [...] Quotes. Knowing the dubious veracity of internet knowledge, PG decided to investigate. A two part series was the result. In the end, only two of the SBQ had clear cut sources. The other five are [...]

  4. Seven Brilliant Quotes | Chamblee54 said, on September 5, 2013 at 6:33 am

    […] anyone worry if an actor gave his speech for him? This is enough fun for one day. There will be a part two soon, and it will probably be full of number two. Pictures today are from The Library of […]


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