On Being Experienced and Qualified

Sunday, September 7, 2008 – On Being Experienced and Qualified


No man undertakes a trade he has not learned, even the meanest; yet everyone thinks himself sufficiently qualified for the hardest of all trades – that of government. ~ Socrates


In the school of political projectors, I was but ill entertained, the professors appearing, in my judgment, wholly out of their senses; which is a scene that never fails to make me melancholy. These unhappy people were proposing schemes for persuading monarchs to choose favorites upon the score of their wisdom, capacity, and virtue; of teaching ministers to consult the public good; of rewarding merit, great abilities, and eminent services, of instructing princes to know their true interest, by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people; of choosing for employment persons qualified to exercise them; with many other wild impossible chimeras, that never entered before into the heart of man to conceive; and confirmed in me the old observation, that there is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some philosophers have not maintained for truth. ~ Jonathan Swift


Men are qualified for civil liberties in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their appetites: in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity. ~ Edmund Burke


Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. ~ Tom Robbins


If you go to Heaven without being naturally qualified for it, you will not enjoy yourself there. ~ George Bernard Shaw


Don’t give your opinions about Art and the Purpose of Life. They are of little interest and, anyway, you can’t express them. Don’t analyze yourself. Give the relevant facts and let your readers make their own judgments. Stick to your story. It is not the most important subject in history but it is one about which you are uniquely qualified to speak. ~ Evelyn Waugh


A person however learned and qualified in his life’s work in whom gratitude is absent, is devoid of that beauty of character which makes personality fragrant. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan


Thus no member of the commonwealth can have a hereditary privilege as against his fellow-subjects; and no-one can hand down to his descendants the privileges attached to the rank he occupies in the commonwealth, nor act as if he were qualified as a ruler by birth and forcibly prevent others from reaching the higher levels of the hierarchy through their own merit. He may hand down everything else, so long as it is material and not pertaining to his person, for it may be acquired and disposed of as property and may over a series of generations create considerable inequalities in wealth among the members of the commonwealth. But he may not prevent his subordinates from raising themselves to his own level if they are able and entitled to do so by their talent, industry and good fortune. If this were not so, he would be allowed to practice coercion without himself being subject to coercive counter-measures from others, and would thus be more than their fellow-subject. ~ Immanuel Kant


I feel I’m as qualified for office as any of the other comedians who are running. ~ Grace Hansen


Magic Johnson, former basketball player, may run for mayor of LA in the next election. Remember the good old days when only qualified people ran for office like actors and professional wrestlers. ~ Jay Leno


Critics say Arnold has no previous government experience, but advisers say he’s clearly the most qualified Austrian, ex-Mr. Universe in the race. ~ Craig Kilborn


Those that have done nothing in life are not qualified to judge of those that have done little. ~ Samuel Johnson


Bush gave an interview and he said people will vote for him because “They’ve seen me weep, they’ve seen me laugh, and they’ve seen me hug.” These are the same qualifications for a Tickle Me Elmo. ~ Bill Maher


Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes along. ~ Samuel Butler, “Speech at the Somerville Club,” 27 February 1895


Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the whole girl. ~ Stephen Leacock, Literary Lapses, 1910


Experience is what allows us to repeat our mistakes, only with more finesse, ~ Derwood Fincher


I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. ~ Patrick Henry


In almost everything, experience is more valuable than precept. [Nam in omnibus fere minus valent praecepta quam experimenta.] ~ Quintilian, De Institutione Oratoria (II, 5, 5)


Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. ~ Douglas Adams


Experience teaches only the teachable. ~ Aldous Huxley


If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can’t be done. ~ Peter Ustinov