"We study the injustices of history for the same reason that we study genocide, and for the same reason that psychologists study the minds of murderers and rapists... to understand how those evil things came about."
Jared Diamond, American geographer, historian, and author. You probably know him for his best-seller "Guns, Germs, and Steel."
"Man fears time, but time fears the pyramid."
an Arabic-Egyptian saying. It is unclear who or when it was first said, but it dates at least to the 1800s, and it probably much older.
"History never says goodbye. History says, 'See you later.'"
Eduardo Galeano (1940 - 2015), a Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist. He was particularly famous for writing about soccer/football.
"Life isn't fair. It's just fairer than death, that's all."
William Goldman (1931 - 2018). He was an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. Goldman first came to prominence in the 1950s as a novelist, before turning to screenwriting. He won two Academy Awards for his screenplays, first for the western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and again for All the President's Men (1976). He also wrote, among other things, a thriller novel Marathon Man (1974) and comedy-fantasy novel The Princess Bride (1973), both of which Goldman adapted for film.
"We are not makers of history. We are made by history."
Written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a sermon from his book Strength to Love (1963).
"Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return’d it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death."
Benjamin Franklin, on how he made friends with a rival legislator in the Pennsylvania statehouse.
This is a real psychological phenomenon. Humans tend to value more people whom they have helped -- and conversely, devalue more people whom they have wronged. It seems that we like to be consistent, and so justify our actions after-the-fact by telling ourselves we like that person we helped, or we do not like that person we wronged.
"To read good books is like holding a conversation with the most eminent minds of past centuries and, moreover, a studied conversation in which these authors reveal to us only the best of their thoughts."
René Descartes, Discourse on the Method, 1637
"It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time."
This quote is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, but it is unclear if he ever said it.
"History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul."
Lord Acton, an English historian
"Time is what we want most, but what, alas! we use worst; and for which God will certainly most strictly reckon with us, when Time shall be no more"
William Penn, from "Some Fruits of Solitude" 1693.