All This Conflict

Sunday, May 4, 2008 – All This Conflict


I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: ‘The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.’ In these words he epitomized the history of the human race. ~ Bertrand Russell, Education and the Social Order 


There is no squabbling so violent as that between people who accepted an idea yesterday and those who will accept the same idea tomorrow. ~ Christopher Morley


My dear sir, they don’t debate. Each of them merely issues an ultimatum, and in what a tone! It all goes to show what extraordinary people they are, each more unequivocal than the other. ~ Colette, “The Old Lady and the Bear”


But the greatest menace to our civilization today is the conflict between giant organized systems of self-righteousness – each system only too delighted to find that the other is wicked – each only too glad that the sins give it the pretext for still deeper hatred and animosity. ~ Herbert Butterfield


There are three ways of dealing with difference: domination, compromise, and integration. By domination only one side gets what it wants; by compromise neither side gets what it wants; by integration we find a way by which both sides may get what they wish. ~ Mary Parker Follett


If you ain’t never pick up the sword, you ain’t never have to worry about fallin’ on it. ~ Meldrick Lewis


The greatest horrors of our world, from the executions in Iran to the brutalities of the IRA, are committed by people who are totally sincere. ~ John Mortimer


Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. ~ William Pitt


The difficult part in an argument is not to defend one’s opinion, but rather to know it. ~ Andre Maurois


I dislike arguments of any kind. They are always vulgar, and often convincing. ~ Oscar Wilde


Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional. ~ Max Lucade


In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. ~ Tao Te Ching


The peak efficiency of knowledge and strategy is to make conflict unnecessary. ~ Sun Tzu


Never [enter] into dispute or argument with another. I never yet saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument. I have seen many on their getting warm, becoming rude and shooting one another. ~ Thomas Jefferson


I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect. ~ Edward Gibbon


Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he’s talking about. ~ Sam Ewig


Hey, you wanna hear my philosophy of life? Do it to him before he does it to you. ~ Marlon Brando


The best time I ever had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? ~ Bette Davis


The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know. ~ Napoleon I


Heat and animosity, contest and conflict may sharpen the wits, although they rarely do; they never strengthen the understanding, clear the perspicacity, guide the judgment, or improve the heart. ~ Walter Savage Landor


I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left. ~ Margaret Thatcher


I know of no more disagreeable situation than to be left feeling generally angry without anybody in particular to be angry at. ~ Frank Moore Colby


What if nothing exists and we’re all in somebody’s dream? Or what’s worse, what if only that fat guy in the third row exists? ~ Woody Allen