An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Man knows much more than he understands.


Alfred Adler (1870-1937, Austrian psychiatrist)


We never understand how little we need in this world until we know the loss of it.


James M. Barrie (1860-1937, British playwright)


The world only goes round by misunderstanding.


Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867, French poet)


To understand is to perceive patterns.


Sir Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997, Latvian philosopher, historian of ideas)


Perhaps I am doomed to retrace my steps under the illusion that I am exploring, doomed to try and learn what I should simply recognize, learning a mere fraction of what I have forgotten.


Andre Breton (1989-1966, French surrealist)


I don't understand you. You don't understand me. What else do we have in common™?


Ashleigh Brilliant (1933-, British-American humorist)

Author's website:


If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.


Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973, American novelist)


The key to why things change is the key to everything.


James E. Burke (American businessman, chairman of Johnson & Johnson)


A blind man knows he cannot see, and is glad to be led, though it be by a dog; but he that is blind in his understanding, which is the worst blindness of all, believes he sees as the best, and scorns a guide.


Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


Seek first to understand and then to be understood.


Stephen R. Covey (1932-, American speaker, trainer, author of "The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People")


No person was every rightly understood until they had been first regarded with a certain feeling, not of tolerance, but of sympathy.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


If you do not understand a man you cannot crush him. And if you do understand him, very probably you will not.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


People in high life are hardened to the wants and distresses of mankind as surgeons are to their bodily pains.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


Health and good estate of body are above all gold, and a strong body above infinite wealth. Apocrypha Every man is the architect of his fortune.


Appius Claudius (340 BC-273 BC, Roman statesman, general)


It has taken me all my life to understand it is not necessary to understand everything.


Rene Coty (1882-1962, French statesman, President)


How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.


Stephen R. Covey (1932-, American speaker, trainer, author of "The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People")


Nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first known.


Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519, Italian inventor, architect, painter, scientist, sculptor)


The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.


Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519, Italian inventor, architect, painter, scientist, sculptor)


You do evil if you praise what you do not understand, but worse if you condemn it.


Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519, Italian inventor, architect, painter, scientist, sculptor)


I started out with nothing. I still have most of it.


Michael Davis


What better way is there to make men love one another than to make men understand one another? True charity comes only with clarity -- just as "mercy" is but justice that understands. Surely the root of all evil is the inability to see clearly that which is.


William J. Durant (1885-1981, American historian, essayist)


The fact that you are willing to say, "I do not understand, and it is fine," is the greatest understanding you could exhibit.


Wayne Dyer (1940-, American  psychotherapist, author, lecturer)

Author's website:


An idea is something that won't work unless you do.


Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931, American inventor, founder of GE)


The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


No man thoroughly understands a truth until he has contended against it.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


In youth we learn; in age we understand.


Marie E. Eschenbach


You don't need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding.


Guy Finley


There are three things I have loved but never understood. Art, music and women.


Bernard Le Bovier Fontenelle (1657-1757, Scientist, man of letter)


It is better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.


Anatole France (1844-1924, French writer)


In the long course of history, having people who understand your thought is much greater security than another submarine.


James W. Fulbright (1905-1995, American democratic politician)


If you don't understand yourself you don't understand anybody else.


Nikki Giovanni (1943-, American poet)


So long as you live and work, you will be misunderstood; to that you must resign yourself once and for all. Be silent!


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


The man of understanding finds everything laughable.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


To know someone here or there with whom you can feel there is understanding in spite of distances or thoughts expressed -- That can make life a garden.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Whatever you cannot understand, you cannot possess.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Before we can forgive one another, we have to understand one another.


Emma Goldman (1869-1940, American anarchist)


If the secret of being a bore is to tell all, the secret of pleasing is to say just enough to be -- not understood, but divined.


Remy De Gourmont (1858-1915, French novelist, philosopher, poet, playwright)


Understanding is nothing else than conception caused by speech.


Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679, British philosopher)


The thing is plain. All that men really understand, is confined to a very small compass; to their daily affairs and experience; to what they have an opportunity to know, and motives to study or practice. The rest is affectation and imposture.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


You have not only the power to think -- but what is a thousand times more important still -- you have the power to control your thoughts and direct them to do your bidding!


Napoleon Hill (1883-1970, American speaker, author, "Think And Grow Rich")


You have not only the power to think -- but what is a thousand times more important still -- you have the power to control your thoughts and direct them to do your bidding!


Napoleon Hill (1883-1970, American speaker, author, "Think And Grow Rich")


When I want to understand what is happening today or try to decide what will happen tomorrow, I look back.


Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935, American judge)


We are slaves to whatever we don't understand


Vernon Howard (1935-1992, American author, speaker)


A man who pretends to understand women is bad manners. For him to really to understand them is bad morals.


Henry James (1843-1916, American author)


If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool.


Carl Jung (1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist)


A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.


Franz Kafka (1883-1924, German novelist, short-story writer)


The better you understand yourself the less cause you will find to love yourself.


Thomas a Kempis (1379-1471, German monk, mystic, religious writer)


There is a great difference between knowing and understanding: you can know a lot about something and not really understand it.


Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958, American engineer, inventor)


It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand, and what those things are. Human understanding has vulgarly occupied itself with nothing but understanding, but if it would only take the trouble to understand itself at the same time it would simply have to posit the paradox.


Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855, Danish philosopher, writer)


Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill-will.


Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968, American Civil Rights leader, Nobel Prize winner, 1964)


No one is going to turn down a good meal because he does not understand the digestive mechanism.


V. I. Klassen


When we talk about understanding, surely it takes place only when the mind listens completely -- the mind being your heart, your nerves, your ears -- when you give your whole attention to it.


Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986, Indian theosophist)


Folks never understand the folks they hate.


James Russell Lowell (1819-1891, American poet, critic, editor)


The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.


Lao-Tzu (BC 600-?, Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism)


You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.


Harper Lee (1926-, American author)


If you want truly to understand something, try to change it.


Kurt Lewin


How could I have been anyone other than me?


Dave Matthews


When a man begins to understand himself he begins to live. When he begins to live he begins to understand his fellow men.


Norvin McGranahan


I think for anyone who's gone through a crisis, there comes a turning point, an epiphany, that marks the beginning of the end.


Deborah Norville


And, most important, we have to shift our understanding of ourselves as separate individuals, each seeking our own welfare, to an understanding of how we fit into social, biological, and physical environments.


Robert E. Ornstein


'Tis better to understand, than to be understood.


Prayer of St. Frances


I understand people's suffering, people's pain, more than you will every know yourself.


Princess Diana (1961-1997, British Princess)


I want my boys to have an understanding of people's emotions, their insecurities, people's distress, and their hopes and dreams.


Princess Diana (1961-1997, British Princess)


If I am to care for people in hospital I really must know every aspect of their treatment and to understand their suffering.


Princess Diana (1961-1997, British Princess)


No matter how much care is taken, someone will always be misled.


Burmese Proverb


What we do not understand, we cannot control.


Charles Reich


Understanding is a two-way street.


Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962, American First Lady, columnist, lecturer, humanitarian)


Let me urge that we keep clear of two besetting sins -- hardness of heart and softness of head.


Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919,  American President (26th))


I still understand a few words in life, but I no longer think they make a sentence.


Jean Rostand (1894-1977, French biologist, writer)


Is an intelligent human being likely to be much more than a large-scale manufacturer of misunderstanding?


Philip Roth (1933-, American novelist)


The theoretical understanding of the world, which is the aim of philosophy, is not a matter of great practical importance to animals, or to savages, or even to most civilized men.


Bertrand Russell (1872-1970, British philosopher, mathematician, essayist)


If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.


Zen Saying


Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand.


Homer Simpson


It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.


Upton Sinclair (1878-1968, American novelist, social reformer)


I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them.


Baruch Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677, Dutch philosopher and theologian)


The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.


Baruch Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677, Dutch philosopher and theologian)


Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.


St. Augustine (354-430, Numidian-born bishop of Hippo, theologian)


We can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to the present.


Adlai E. Stevenson (1900-1965, American lawyer, politician)


Where I am not understood, it shall be concluded that something very useful and profound is couched underneath.


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745, Anglo-Irish satirist)


He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbor but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.


The Holy Bible (Sacred scriptures of Christians and Judaism)

Source: Proverbs 11:12


We shall see but little way if we require to understand what we see. How few things can a man measure with the tape of his understanding! How many greater things might he be seeing in the meanwhile!


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


Everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.


Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910, Russian novelist, philosopher)


Return to the root and you will find the meaning.


Author Unknown


The key to understanding others is to first understand yourself


Author Unknown


Understanding brings control.


Author Unknown


UNDERSTANDING does not necessarily mean AGREEMENT.


Author Unknown


It is not the language but the speaker that we want to understand.


Veda Upanishads (c. BC 800-, Hindu poetic dialogues on metaphysics)


We should strive to understand the weakness of others.


Ellen Gould White (1827-1915, American seventh-day Adventist leader)


Furious activity is no substitute for understanding.


H. H. Williams


Know well that a hundred holy temples of wood and stone have not the value of one understanding heart.


Zoroaster (BC 628-551, Persian religious leader, founder of Zoroastrianism)


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