Quotes about understanding

A collection of quotes on the topic of understanding, can, doing, people.

Best quotes about understanding

Albert Einstein photo

„If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

Blaise Pascal photo

„To understand is to forgive.“

—  Blaise Pascal French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and Christian philosopher 1623 - 1662

Albert Einstein photo

„If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

Variant: If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

Aristotle photo

„Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.“

—  Aristotle Classical Greek philosopher, student of Plato and founder of Western philosophy -384 - -321 BC

This and many similar quotes with the same general meaning are misattributed to Aristotle as a result of Twitter attribution decay. The original source of the quote remains anonymous. The oldest reference resides in the works of George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903): "Maxims for Revolutionists", where he claims that “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.”. However, the related quote, "Those who can, do. Those who understand, teach" likely originates from Lee Shulman in his explanation of Aristotlean views on professional mastery: Source: Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4 - 14. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1175860
Misattributed
Variant: Those who can, do, those who cannot, teach.

Elbert Hubbard photo

„He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.“

—  Elbert Hubbard American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher fue el escritor del jarron azul 1856 - 1915

Leonardo Da Vinci photo

„The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.“

—  Leonardo Da Vinci Italian Renaissance polymath 1452 - 1519

Ernest Hemingway photo
Jane Austen photo

„I have not the pleasure of understanding you.“

—  Jane Austen, book Pride and Prejudice

Source: Pride and Prejudice

Confucius photo

„I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.“

—  Confucius Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher -551 - -479 BC

Xunzi in the Xunzi (book)
Misattributed, Chinese

Albert Einstein photo

„Any fool can know. The point is to understand.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

All quotes about understanding

Total 7382 quotes understanding, filter:

Citát „Modern paintings are like women, you'll never enjoy them if you try to understand them. “
Freddie Mercury photo
Claude Monet photo
Mwanandeke Kindembo photo
Mwanandeke Kindembo photo
Tim Burton photo
John Lennon photo

„When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.“

—  John Lennon English singer and songwriter 1940 - 1980

Variant: When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.

Robert Downey Jr. photo
Rick Riordan photo
Freddie Mercury photo
Tyler Joseph photo
Kobe Bryant photo
Christine de Pizan photo
Aleister Crowley photo
Bodhidharma photo
Jane Goodall photo

„Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall they be saved.“

—  Jane Goodall British primatologist, ethologist, and anthropologist 1934

Reported in Patti Denys, Mary Holmes, Animal Magnetism: At Home With Celebrities & Their Animal Companions (1998), p. 106
Source: Jane Goodall: 40 Years at Gombe

Tupac Shakur photo
Ozzy Osbourne photo
Muhammad Ali photo
Vladimir Putin photo

„We will find them anywhere on the planet and punish them. Our Air Force’s military work in Syria must not simply be continued. It must be intensified in such a way that the criminals understand that vengeance is inevitable.“

—  Vladimir Putin President of Russia, former Prime Minister 1952

2015-11-17, vowing to retaliate against the Islamic militants responsible for the destruction of a Russian airliner over the Sinai on October 31, 2015. Tribune India, http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/russians-up-strikes-in-french-fury/159736.html (17 November 2015)
2011 - 2015

Mwanandeke Kindembo photo
Kurt Gödel photo
Tupac Shakur photo
Franz Kafka photo
Bertrand Russell photo
Andrew Taylor Still photo

„An osteopath is only a human engineer, who should understand all the laws governing his engine and thereby master disease.“

—  Andrew Taylor Still Founder of Osteopathic Medicine 1828 - 1917

Autobiography of A.T. Still, page 253.

Bartolomé de las Casas photo
Osamu Dazai photo
Chrysippus photo
Joseph Goebbels photo

„The worker in a capitalist state—and that is his deepest misfortune—is no longer a living human being, a creator, a maker. He has become a machine. A number, a cog in the machine without sense or understanding. He is alienated from what he produces.“

—  Joseph Goebbels Nazi politician and Propaganda Minister 1897 - 1945

Written by Joseph Goebbels and Mjölnir, Die verfluchten Hakenkreuzler. Etwas zum Nachdenken (Munich: Verlag Frz. Eher, 1932).Translated as “Those Damned Nazis: Why a Workers Party?

“Those Damn Nazis: Why Are We a Workers’ Party?” https://research.calvin.edu/german-propaganda-archive/haken32.htm written by Joseph Goebbels and Mjölnir, Die verfluchten Hakenkreuzler. Etwas zum Nachdenken, Nazi propaganda pamphlet (Munich: Verlag Frz. Eher, 1932)
1930s

Kobe Bryant photo
Charbel Makhlouf photo

„Persevere in prayer without ceasing.. to understand and live according to his will, not to change it.“

—  Charbel Makhlouf Lebanese Maronite monk and saint 1828 - 1898

Love is a Radiant Light: The Life & Words of Saint Charbel (2019)

„Photography is not only an art, it is an international language that everybody understands.“

—  NasserTone Nasser Ali Albahrani is a director, cinematographer, photographer, producer, & YouTuber, who was born on April 3, 1994,… 1994

Amasi Program, Sharjah TV Interview (March 1, 2016)

George Orwell photo

„The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.“

—  George Orwell English author and journalist 1903 - 1950

This is often attributed to George Orwell book 1984. We cannot find it inside. Perharps this is post-mortem paraphrase of his quote "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past".

Orson Scott Card photo
Jeff Buckley photo
Nikola Tesla photo

„What we now want is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth, and the elimination of egoism and pride which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife… Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment…“

—  Nikola Tesla Serbian American inventor 1856 - 1943

My Inventions (1919)
Context: While I have not lost faith in its potentialities, my views have changed since. War can not be avoided until the physical cause for its recurrence is removed and this, in the last analysis, is the vast extent of the planet on which we live. Only though annihilation of distance in every respect, as the conveyance of intelligence, transport of passengers and supplies and transmission of energy will conditions be brought about some day, insuring permanency of friendly relations. What we now want most is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth and the elimination of that fanatic devotion to exalted ideals of national egoism and pride, which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife. No league or parliamentary act of any kind will ever prevent such a calamity. These are only new devices for putting the weak at the mercy of the strong.

Flannery O’Connor photo

„I love a lot of people, understand none of them…“

—  Flannery O’Connor American novelist, short story writer 1925 - 1964

Source: The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor

Michio Kaku photo

„Physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an attempt by an atom to understand itself.“

—  Michio Kaku American theoretical physicist, futurist and author 1947

Source: Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos

Arthur Rimbaud photo

„I understand, and not knowing how to express myself without pagan words, I’d rather remain silent“

—  Arthur Rimbaud French Decadent and Symbolist poet 1854 - 1891

Source: A Season in Hell/The Drunken Boat

Maya Angelou photo
Eleanor Roosevelt photo

„You always admire what you really don't understand.“

—  Eleanor Roosevelt American politician, diplomat, and activist, and First Lady of the United States 1884 - 1962

Neale Donald Walsch photo

„Enlightenment is understanding that there is nowhere to go, nothing to do, and nobody you have to be except exactly who you're being right now.“

—  Neale Donald Walsch American writer 1943

Source: Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 1

Carl Sagan photo

„You have to know the past to understand the present.“

—  Carl Sagan American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science educator 1934 - 1996

Bobby Fischer photo

„First of all, we have to understand what communism is. I mean, to me, real communism, the Soviet communism, is basically a mask for Bolshevism, which is a mask for Judaism.“

—  Bobby Fischer American chess prodigy, chess player, and chess writer 1943 - 2008

Press Conference, September 1 1992 http://www.mark-weeks.com/chess/92fs$$.htm
1990s

Arthur Ashe photo
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu photo
Jürgen Habermas photo

„The speaker must choose a comprehensible [verständlich] expression so that speaker and hearer can understand one another.“

—  Jürgen Habermas German sociologist and philosopher 1929

Habermas (1979) cited in: Werner Ulrich (1983) Critical heuristics of social planning. p. 123

Bawa Muhaiyaddeen photo
Jean-Claude Juncker photo

„We decide on something, leave it lying around and wait and see what happens. If no one kicks up a fuss, because most people don't understand what has been decided, we continue step by step until there is no turning back.“

—  Jean-Claude Juncker Luxembourgian politician 1954

referring to his colleagues in the European Council
Jean-Claude Juncker, quoted by Dirk Von Kock 'Die Brüsseler Republik' http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-15317086.html in Der Spiegel (2000), then by Florian Eder 'Junckers Tricks in den langen Brüsseler Nächten' http://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article112948572/Junckers-Tricks-in-den-langen-Bruesseler-Naechten.html in Die Welt (2012).
1999

Hans-Hermann Hoppe photo
Richard Wurmbrand photo
Cannonball Adderley photo

„There's no future without the past and anybody who doesn't really understand where jazz has come from has no right to try to direct where it's going.“

—  Cannonball Adderley American jazz alto saxophonist 1928 - 1975

Interviewed by the "Chicago SEED", November 1968

Harry Styles photo

„Brooklyn saw me, empty at the news
There's no water inside this swimming pool
Almost over, had enough from you
And I've been praying, I never did before
Understand I'm talking to the walls
I've been praying ever since New York“

—  Harry Styles English singer, songwriter, and actor 1994

"Ever Since New York", written by Harry Styles, Mitch Rowland, Jeff Bhasker, Ryan Nasci, Alex Salibian, Tyler Johnson
Lyrics, Harry Styles (2017)

Grigori Rasputin photo

„I write and leave behind me this letter at St. Petersburg. I feel that I shall leave life before January 1st. I wish to make known to the Russian people, to Papa, to the Russian Mother and to the children, to the land of Russia, what they must understand. If I am killed by common assassins, and especially by my brothers the Russian peasants, you, Tsar of Russia, have nothing to fear, remain on your throne and govern, and you, Russian Tsar, will have nothing to fear for your children, they will reign for hundreds of years in Russia. But if I am murdered by boyars, nobles, and if they shed my blood, their hands will remain soiled with my blood, for twenty-five years they will not wash their hands from my blood. They will leave Russia. Brothers will kill brothers, and they will kill each other and hate each other, and for twenty-five years there will be no noblers in the country. Tsar of the land of Russia, if you hear the sound of the bell which will tell you that Grigory has been killed, you must know this: if it was your relations who have wrought my death then no one of your family, that is to say, none of your children or relations will remain alive for more than two years. They will be killed by the Russian people…I shall be killed. I am no longer among the living. Pray, pray, be strong, think of your blessed family.“

—  Grigori Rasputin Russian mystic 1869 - 1916

Grigory Rasputin in a letter to the Tsarina Alexandra, 7 Dec 1916

Jean Piaget photo

„If children fail to understand one another, it is because they think they understand one another.“

—  Jean Piaget Swiss psychologist, biologist, logician, philosopher & academic 1896 - 1980

The Language and Thought of the Child (1923) Tr. Marjorie and Ruth Gabain (1926)
Context: If children fail to understand one another, it is because they think they understand one another. The explainer believes from the start that the reproducer will grasp everything, will almost know beforehand all that should be known, and will interpret every subtlety. Children are perpetually surrounded by adults who not only know much more than they do, but who also do everything in their power to understand them, who even anticipate their thoughts and desires. Children, therefore... are perpetually under the impression that people can read their thoughts, and in extreme cases, can steal their thoughts away. It is obviously owing to this mentality that children do not take the trouble to express themselves clearly... This mentality does not contradict ego-centric mentality. Both arise from the belief of the child, the belief that he is the centre of the universe. These habits of thought account... for the remarkable lack of precision in the childish style.

Steve Jobs photo

„It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.“

—  Steve Jobs American entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple Inc. 1955 - 2011

As quoted in Fortune (9 November 1998); also quoted in "TIME digital 50" in TIME digital archive (1999) http://web.archive.org/web/20000612103032/http://www.time.com/time/digital/digital50/08.html
1990s
Context: Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.

Mwanandeke Kindembo photo
Mwanandeke Kindembo photo
Marie Curie photo

„Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.“

—  Marie Curie French-Polish physicist and chemist 1867 - 1934

As quoted in Our Precarious Habitat (1973) by Melvin A. Benarde, p. v

Tamora Pierce photo
Andrei Tarkovsky photo
Jean Piaget photo
Stephen Hawking photo

„We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.“

—  Stephen Hawking British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author 1942 - 2018

Der Spiegel (17 October 1988)

Dr. Seuss photo
Charles Bukowski photo
Lenny Bruce photo
Haruki Murakami photo
Marshall McLuhan photo

„A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and
understanding.“

—  Marshall McLuhan, book The Gutenberg Galaxy

Source: The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man

„(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.“

—  Mary Oliver American writer 1935 - 2019

Variant: Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.
Source: Thirst

John Keats photo
John Cage photo

„I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.“

—  John Cage American avant-garde composer 1912 - 1992

Quoted in Richard Kostelanetz (1988) Conversing with Cage
1980s

Dan Brown photo
Sylvia Plath photo

„Aphrodite makes us understand why women have drowned their babies.“

—  P. C. Cast, book Untamed

Source: Untamed

Stephen R. Covey photo

„Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.“

—  Stephen R. Covey, book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Source: The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People (1989), p. 239
Source: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Alvin Toffler photo
Christopher Paolini photo
C.G. Jung photo

„Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.“

—  C.G. Jung, book Memories, Dreams, Reflections

ii. America: The Pueblo Indians http://books.google.com/books?id=w6vUgN16x6EC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Jung+Memories+Dreams+and+Reflections&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LLxKUcD0NfSo4APh0oDABg&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false (Extract from an unpublished ms) (Random House Digital, 2011).
Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1963)
Context: We always require an outside point to stand on, in order to apply the lever of criticism. This is especially so in psychology, where by the nature of the material we are much more subjectively involved than in any other science. How, for example, can we become conscious of national peculiarities if we have never had the opportunity to regard our own nation from outside? Regarding it from outside means regarding it from the standpoint of another nation. To do so, we must acquire sufficient knowledge of the foreign collective psyche, and in the course of this process of assimilation we encounter all those incompatibilities which constitute the national bias and the national peculiarity. Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. I understand England only when I see where I, as a Swiss, do not fit in. I understand Europe, our greatest problem, only when I see where I as a European do not fit into the world. Through my acquaintance with many Americans, and my trips to and in America, I have obtained an enormous amount of insight into the European character; it has always seemed to me that there can be nothing more useful for a European than some time or another to look out at Europe from the top of a skyscraper. When I contemplated for the first time the European spectacle from the Sahara, surrounded by a civilization which has more or less the same relationship to ours as Roman antiquity has to modem times, I became aware of how completely, even in America, I was still caught up and imprisoned in the cultural consciousness of the white man. The desire then grew in me to carry the historical comparisons still farther by descending to a still lower cultural level.

On my next trip to the United States I went with a group of American friends to visit the Indians of New Mexico, the city-building Pueblos...

Tamora Pierce photo
Paulo Freire photo

„Looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they can more wisely build the future.“

—  Paulo Freire, book Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Source: Pedagogia do oprimido (Pedagogy of the Oppressed) (1968, English trans. 1970), Chapter 2

Sadhguru photo
Margaret Fuller photo

„All around us lies what we neither understand nor use. Our capacities, our instincts for this our present sphere are but half developed.“

—  Margaret Fuller American feminist, poet, author, and activist 1810 - 1850

"Good Sense" in a dialogue between Free Hope, Old Church, Good Sense, and Self -Poise. p. 127.
Summer on the Lakes, in 1843 (1844)
Context: All around us lies what we neither understand nor use. Our capacities, our instincts for this our present sphere are but half developed. Let us confine ourselves to that till the lesson be learned; let us be completely natural; before we trouble ourselves with the supernatural. I never see any of these things but I long to get away and lie under a green tree and let the wind blow on me. There is marvel and charm enough in that for me.

Viggo Mortensen photo
Isaiah Berlin photo

„To understand is to perceive patterns.“

—  Isaiah Berlin Russo-British Jewish social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas 1909 - 1997

Edward O. Wilson photo
Carl Sagan photo

„Understanding is a kind of ecstasy“

—  Carl Sagan, book Broca's Brain

Source: Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science

Albert Einstein photo

„I don't pretend to understand the universe — it's much bigger than I am.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

Nancy Mitford photo
Stephen King photo
Edward Bernays photo
Albert Einstein photo

„You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

Earliest published version found on Google Books with this phrasing is in the 1993 book The Internet Companion: A Beginner's Guide to Global Networking by Tracy L. LaQuey and Jeanne C. Ryer, p. 25 http://books.google.com/books?id=sP5SAAAAMAAJ&q=meowing#search_anchor. However, the quote seems to have been circulating on the internet earlier than this, appearing for example in this post from 1987 http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.c/msg/cc89abb5e065d23f?hl=en and this one from 1985 http://groups.google.com/group/net.sources.games/browse_thread/thread/846af15b5a38c35/3d6d5a639c24bba3. No reference has been found that cites a source in Einstein's original writings, and the quote appears to be a variation of an old joke that dates at least as far back as 1866, as discussed in this entry from the "Quote Investigator" blog http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/02/24/telegraph-cat/#more-3387. A variant was told by Thomas Edison, appearing in The Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison (1948), p. 216 http://books.google.com/books?id=NXtEAAAAIAAJ&q=edinburgh#search_anchor: "When I was a little boy, persistently trying to find out how the telegraph worked and why, the best explanation I ever got was from an old Scotch line repairer who said that if you had a dog like a dachshund long enough to reach from Edinburgh to London, if you pulled his tail in Edinburgh he would bark in London. I could understand that. But it was hard to get at what it was that went through the dog or over the wire." A variant of Edison's comment can be found in the 1910 book Edison, His Life and Inventions, Volume 1 by Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin, p. 53 http://books.google.com/books?id=qN83AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA53#v=onepage&q&f=false.
The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat.
Variant, earliest known published version is How to Think Like Einstein by Scott Thorpe (2000), p. 61 http://books.google.com/books?id=9yrYQxBgIYEC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA61#v=onepage&q&f=false. Appeared on the internet before that, as in this archived page from 12 October 1999 http://web.archive.org/web/19991012152820/http://stripe.colorado.edu/%7Ejudy/einstein/advice.html
Misattributed

Hermann Göring photo

„The Jew must clearly understand one thing at once, he must get out!“

—  Hermann Göring German politician and military leader 1893 - 1946

Speech in Vienna after the Austrian Anschluss (1938); when asked at the Nuremberg trials whether he meant what he said in this speech he replied "Yes, approximately." As reported from testimony in the Imperial War Museum, Folio 645, Box 156, , (20 October 1945), pp. 5-6

Yuval Noah Harari photo

„Endurance is composed of four attributes: eagerness, fear, piety and anticipation (of death). so whoever is eager for Paradise will ignore temptations; whoever fears the fire of Hell will abstain from sins; whoever practices piety will easily bear the difficulties of life and whoever anticipates death will hasten towards good deeds.
Conviction has also four aspects to guard oneself against infatuations of sin; to search for explanation of truth through knowledge; to gain lessons from instructive things and to follow the precedent of the past people, because whoever wants to guard himself against vices and sins will have to search for the true causes of infatuation and the true ways of combating them out and to find those true ways one has to search them with the help of knowledge, whoever gets fully acquainted with various branches of knowledge will take lessons from life and whoever tries to take lessons from life is actually engaged in the study of the causes of rise and fall of previous civilizations.
Justice also has four aspects depth of understanding, profoundness of knowledge, fairness of judgment and dearness of mind; because whoever tries his best to understand a problem will have to study it, whoever has the practice of studying the subject he is to deal with, will develop a clear mind and will always come to correct decisions, whoever tries to achieve all this will have to develop ample patience and forbearance and whoever does this has done justice to the cause of religion and has led a life of good repute and fame.
Jihad is divided into four branches: to persuade people to be obedient to Allah; to prohibit them from sin and vice; to struggle (in the cause of Allah) sincerely and firmly on all occasions and to detest the vicious. Whoever persuades people to obey the orders of Allah provides strength to the believers; whoever dissuades them from vices and sins humiliates the unbelievers; whoever struggles on all occasions discharges all his obligations and whoever detests the vicious only for the sake of Allah, then Allah will take revenge on his enemies and will be pleased with Him on the Day of Judgment.“

—  Ali, book Nahj al-Balagha

Nahj al-Balagha

Adam Weishaupt photo
Peter Handke photo

„The main thing:… not to let myself be defined by history, not to take it as an excuse—despise it in those who hide their personal insignificance behind it—and yet know it, in order to understand people and above all to see through them“

—  Peter Handke Austrian writer, playwright and film director 1942

my hatred of history as a refuge for be-nothings
Source: Das Gewicht der Welt [The Weight of the World], p. 11

Charles Manson photo