Fyodor Dostoevsky Quotes

Right or wrong, it's very pleasant to break something from time to time. The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive but in finding something to live for. Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery. To love someone means to see them as God intended them. The soul is healed by being with children. Man is sometimes extraordinarily, passionately, in love with suffering... You can be sincere and still be stupid. Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him. The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness. Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid. Destroy my desires, eradicate my ideals, show me something better, and I will follow you. The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month. The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. People speak sometimes about the "bestial" cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel. Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others. It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas. Man is a mystery. It needs to be unravelled, and if you spend your whole life unravelling it, don't say that you've wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being. Every man has some reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has others which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But finally there are still others which a man is even afraid to tell himself, and every decent man has a considerable number of such things stored away. That is, one can even say that the more decent he is, the greater the number of such things in his mind. Compassion is the chief law of human existence. There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it. Realist do not fear the results of their study. We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken. Happiness does not lie in happiness but in the achievement of it. It is not possible to eat me without insisting that I sing praises of my devourer? A real gentleman, even if he loses everything he owns, must show no emotion. Money must be so far beneath a gentleman that it is hardly worth troubling about. One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man's laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man. Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad. The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions. It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man's life is made up of nothing, but the habits he has accumulated during the first half. Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. Only one thing matter, one thing; to be able to dare! There is only one thing that I dread: not to be worthy of my sufferings. Love a man, even in his sin, for that love is a likeness of the divine love, and is the summit of love on earth.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

1821 - 1881