In which I discover some memorable quotes by George Bernard Shaw

I was searching for a quote by Robert Kennedy. I remember seeing it on a billboard in Boston several years ago. It was one of those things that for some reason — the air, the moment, the sky, something — has always stayed on the edge of my thoughts. Whenever I am wandering, wondering what is happening, or how, or why, or feeling lost or worried or confused or desperate, this quote floats into my head. It was something like,

Some men look at what is and ask, ‘Why?’ I choose to look at what could be and ask, “Why not?”

It just seems very powerful to me, this concept. Hope.

So I thought about it this morning and I decided to see if I could find the exact quote on the web. I found a few variations and most were accompanied by a note that Kennedy was paraphrasing Shaw.

Too much ado?

Without further, here are a few other good George Bernard Shaw quotes:

  • “The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.”
  • “Life does not cease to be funny when people die; any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”
  • “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
  • “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”
2024-02-01: Broken links in this post have been removed and/or updated.

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What Is This? is the personal weblog of me, David Vincent Gagne. I've been publishing here since 1999, which makes this one of the oldest continuously-updated websites on the Internet.

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