„You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.“

Last update Jan. 30, 2022. History
John Lydgate photo
John Lydgate22
monk and poet 1370 - 1450

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Abraham Lincoln photo

„You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865

This is probably the most famous of apparently apocryphal remarks attributed to Lincoln. Despite it being cited variously as from an 1856 speech, or a September 1858 speech in Clinton, Illinois, there are no known contemporary records or accounts substantiating that he ever made the statement. The earliest known appearance is October 29, 1886 in the Milwaukee Daily Journal http://anotherhistoryblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/fooling-people-earlier.html. It later appeared in the New York Times on August 26 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30817FF3E5413738DDDAF0A94D0405B8784F0D3 and August 27 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00E15FF3E5413738DDDAE0A94D0405B8784F0D3, 1887. The saying was repeated several times in newspaper editorials later in 1887. In 1888 and, especially, 1889, the saying became commonplace, used in speeches, advertisements, and on portraits of Lincoln. In 1905 and later, there were attempts to find contemporaries of Lincoln who could recall Lincoln saying this. Historians have not, generally, found these accounts convincing. For more information see two articles in For the People: A Newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association, "'You Can Fool All of the People' Lincoln Never Said That", by Thomas F. Schwartz ( V. 5, #4, Winter 2003, p. 1 http://abrahamlincolnassociation.org/Newsletters/5-4.pdf) and "A New Look at 'You Can Fool All of the People'" by David B. Parker ( V. 7, #3, Autumn 2005, p. 1 http://abrahamlincolnassociation.org/Newsletters/7-3.pdf); also the talk page. The statement has also sometimes been attributed to P. T. Barnum, although no references to this have been found from the nineteenth century.
Variants:
You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
You can fool all the people some time, you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can not fool all the people all the time.
Disputed

„You can't please all the people all the time. And yesterday, all those people were at my show.“

—  Mitch Hedberg American stand-up comedian 1968 - 2005

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Bob Marley photo
Paulo Coelho photo

„Beware of anyone who tries to please you all the time.“

—  Paulo Coelho, book Manuscript Found in Accra

Source: Manuscript Found in Accra

Will Durant photo

„you can’t fool all the people all the time,” but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.“

—  Will Durant American historian, philosopher and writer 1885 - 1981

Source: The Lessons of History

Nigel Cumberland photo

„The choice is yours. As much as you might want to be loved and thanked, you can’t please everyone in your life all the time without causing one person to suffer – you.“

—  Nigel Cumberland British author and leadership coach 1967

Your Job-Hunt Ltd – Advice from an Award-Winning Asian Headhunter (2003), Successful Recruitment in a Week (2012) https://books.google.ae/books?idp24GkAsgjGEC&printsecfrontcover&dqnigel+cumberland&hlen&saX&ved0ahUKEwjF75Xw0IHNAhULLcAKHazACBMQ6AEIGjAA#vonepage&qnigel%20cumberland&ffalse, 100 Things Successful People Do: Little Exercises for Successful Living (2016) https://books.google.ae/books?idnu0lCwAAQBAJ&dqnigel+cumberland&hlen&saX&ved0ahUKEwjF75Xw0IHNAhULLcAKHazACBMQ6AEIMjAE

Ayn Rand photo
John Wesley photo

„Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as you ever can.“

—  John Wesley Christian theologian 1703 - 1791

Variant Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can.
In the sermon titled "The Use of Money" Wesley said, "Employ whatever God has entrusted you with in doing good, all possible good, in every possible kind and degree . . . to all men." This sermon is in the collection titled "Wesley's Standard Sermons." They are called "standard" because all Methodist preachers were instructed to read them and use them in interpreting the Christian faith.
Disputed
Variant: Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.
Source: According to Richard Heitzenrater, Professor of Church History and Wesleyan Studies at Duke Divinity School, there is no evidence that John Wesley ever wrote the rule that is attributed to him.

Alice Walker photo
Michelle Obama photo

„The thing that I want you all to remember: please, please, don’t base your vote, this time, on fear. Base it on possibility. Think. Listen. The game of politics is to make you afraid so that you don’t think.“

—  Michelle Obama lawyer, writer, wife of Barack Obama and former First Lady of the United States 1964

2000s, To Live Beyond Our Fear (2007)
Context: The thing that I want you all to remember: please, please, don’t base your vote, this time, on fear. Base it on possibility. Think. Listen. The game of politics is to make you afraid so that you don’t think. And what we need right now isn’t political rhetoric, it isn’t game-playing. We need leadership; we need people with judgment; we need decent people, people with common sense, people with strong family values. People who understand the world.

Jeffrey R. Holland photo
Michael McIntyre photo
W.C. Fields photo
Lee Kuan Yew photo

„Please do not assume that you can change governments. Young people don’t understand this.“

—  Lee Kuan Yew First Prime Minister of Singapore 1923 - 2015

MM Lee Kuan Yew, after 2006 Elections http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/singapore-tries-to-imagine-a-future-without-lee-kuan-yew/2015/03/18/b12acc7c-cbe7-11e4-8730-4f473416e759_story.html
2000s

Louis-ferdinand Céline photo
Alice Walker photo
Henry Adams photo

„You can read out of it whatever else pleases your youth and confidence; to me, this is all.“

—  Henry Adams journalist, historian, academic, novelist 1838 - 1918

The closing lines of the book. In a letter to William James (17 February 1908), Adams wrote with customary self-deprecation: "If you will read my Chartres,— the last chapter is the only thing I ever wrote that I almost think good." (J. C. Levinson et al. eds., The Letters of Henry Adams, Volume VI: 1906–1918. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1988, p. 121)
Mont Saint Michel and Chartres (1904)
Context: p>Granted a Church, Saint Thomas's Church was the most expressive that man has made, and the great gothic Cathedrals were its most complete expression.Perhaps the best proof of it is their apparent instability. Of all the elaborate symbolism which has been suggested for the gothic Cathedral, the most vital and most perfect may be that the slender nervure, the springing motion of the broken arch, the leap downwards of the flying buttress,— the visible effort to throw off a visible strain,— never let us forget that Faith alone supports it, and that, if Faith fails, Heaven is lost. The equilibrium is visibly delicate beyond the line of safety; danger lurks in every stone. The peril of the heavy tower, of the restless vault, of the vagrant buttress; the uncertainty of logic, the inequalities of the syllogism, the irregularities of the mental mirror,— all these haunting nightmares of the Church are expressed as strongly by the gothic Cathedral as though it had been the cry of human suffering, and as no emotion had ever been expressed before or is likely to find expression again. The delight of its aspirations is flung up to the sky. The pathos of its self-distrust and anguish of doubt, is buried in the earth as its last secret. You can read out of it whatever else pleases your youth and confidence; to me, this is all.</p

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