For good or bad, and believe it or not (my friend doesn’t believe this) one person alone is able to change our entire world. We can be that powerful as individuals, and if you doubt it just think how different our lives or history could have been without people like Gandhi, Hitler, Mohammed, and Martin Luther King Jr., among many others (remember I said for good or bad).
But I like to focus on the good vibes, and I share with you a compilation of the Top Eight Philosophies and Philosophers of the world.
*Disclaimer: not everyone on the list was actually a philosopher, but to me they were at heart.
Nepali/Nepalese religious leader. Although I do not agree with the Buddhist notion of God, and some of the views on love, the Buddha has shared his thoughts and wisdom with us during thousands of years. It is worth your time.
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
“However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?”
“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”
“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”
“Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
“Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.”
“He is able who thinks he is able”
Greek/Athenian philosopher. He was the student of Socrates (my favorite philosopher of all times) and the teacher of Aristotle. Most of what we know about the life and teachings of Socrates are thanks to Plato. He founded the Academy in Athens (one of the first “universities” in the West), and left amazing writings on various subjects of philosophy.
“Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil.”
“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”
“Thinking is the talking of the soul with itself.”
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
“A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men.”
6. Mahatma Gandhi
Indian anti-war activist. He led Indians during the independence movement from Great Britain. He believe in resisting tyranny through “mass civil disobedience, based on total nonviolence” (http://www.biography.com/people/mahatma-gandhi-9305898 ).
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
“In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.”
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.”
“A man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks he becomes.”
“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”
“A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.”
“Everyone who wills can hear the inner voice. It is within everyone.”
“Faith must be enforced by reason. When faith becomes blind it dies.”
“What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.”
“Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and stars.”
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”
“What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.”
“Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”
“When you know a thing, to hold that you know it; and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it – this is knowledge.”
“Actually, we have no problems; we have opportunities for which we should give thanks… An error we refuse to correct has many lives. It takes courage to face one’s own shortcomings and wisdom to do something about them.”
“He who understands nature walks close with God.”
“Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.”
“From what may anyone be saved? Only from themselves! That is, their individual hell. They dig it with their own desires.”
“You can never lose anything that really belongs to you, and you can’t keep that which belongs to someone else.”
3. Martin Luther King Jr.
American civil rights activist, minister. I admire this man enormously for his courage and benevolence. Thanks to him, the imposed segregation and much of the racism in the U.S.A. came to an end. He was a true light in the world.
“Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.”
“At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”
“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Greek/Athenian philosopher. He is my favorite philosopher, as well as the father of Western philosophy. His unusual ideas made him a target, and he was sentenced to death by the Athenians (he was about 71 years old at the time of his death).
“The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.”
“Happiness is unrepentant pleasure.”
“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.”
“To find yourself, think for yourself.”
“An unexamined life is not worth living.”
Israeli Biblical Figure. Many argue that he never existed. But whatever the truth is, the message found in the philosophies of this man is radical and truthful. Although there is little (and questionable to many) historical evidence of Jesus, to me he is real. But if you don’t believe in him, don’t despair, just read the nice quotes and enjoy them, because they are still worth your time.
“Judge not, that you be not judge. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies.”
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”