25 quotes by George Bernard Shaw to get you thinking

Quotes by George Bernard Shaw

Photo Credit: Alfred Stieglitz Collection

Today I thought it would be interesting to explore some of the many quotes by George Bernard Shaw.

George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, critic, and political activist.

His influence on Western theatre, culture, and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and indeed beyond.

Shaw was born in Dublin but moved to London in 1876, at the age of 20.

While he struggled to establish himself as a writer and novelist, he embarked on a rigorous process of self-education.

Views publicly expressed by Shaw were often contentious, and he courted unpopularity by denouncing both sides in the First World War (WW1).

Though not a Republican, he was also critical of British policy on Ireland in the post-WW1 period.

Shaw continued to write prolifically until shortly before his death, at the age of 94, and he left us with a legacy of interesting observations.

So, today I offer you 25 such observations in the form of quotes by George Bernard Shaw, all of which will make you think, I’m sure.

Take a few minutes to read these quotes and be inspired.

And please feel free to share them.

And if you’re on the move, take a look at the video version of the quotes below.

Quotes by George Bernard Shaw (1-15):

  1. Youth is wasted on the young.
  2. Lack of money is the root of all evil.
  3. All great truths begin as blasphemies.
  4. He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.
  5. The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.
  6. A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.
  7. Science never solves a problem without creating ten more.
  8. Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
  9. Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.
  10. There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.
  11. Take care to get what you like, or you’ll be forced to like what you get.
  12. We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
  13. The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
  14. A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
  15. You see things and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were, and I say, ‘Why not?’

Quotes by George Bernard Shaw (16-25):

  1. The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.
  2. Success does not consist in never making mistakes, but in never making the same one a second time.
  3. A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
  4. Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
  5. Choose silence of all virtues, for by it you hear other men’s imperfections and conceal your own.
  6. When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So, I did ten times more work.
  7. The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.
  8. The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it and become blind to the arguments against it.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Video with audio commentary:

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