Elbert Hubbard Not Just for Historians


Elbert Hubbard is a little known American writer who died in 1915 but his writings still provide a window on modern America. Here are some selected Hubbard quotes that I feel provide instruction for living even today.

Old Age: Do not take life too seriously you will never get out of it alive.

Genius: One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men, no machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.

Understanding: He who does not understand your silence probably does not understand your words

Success: What I aspired to be and was not comforts me.

Principal: To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

Freedom: Responsibility is the price of freedom.

Heaven: God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars.

America: The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home and these are ignorance, superstition and incompetence.

Politics: Never explain – your friends don’t need it and you enemies will not believe you anyway. And If you can’t answer a man’s arguments all is not lost: you can still call him vile names

Reality: Every man is a damn fool for at least 5 minutes every day; wisdom consists of not exceeding the limit.

Memories: A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness.

Friendship: In order to have friends you must be one.

Application: A man is not paid for having a head and hands but for using them.

Failure: The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it: so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it.

Change: The world is moving so fast today that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.

Injustice: Reversing the treatment of the man you have wronged is better than asking his forgiveness

Education: The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without the teacher.

Character: Many a man’s reputation would not know his character if they met on the street.

Political Correctness: The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: Be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge and an idea that is not dangerous is unworthy to be called and idea at all.

Religion: Christianity ( and other religions my addition) supplies a Hell for the people you disagree with and a heaven for your friends.

Attitude: We awaken in others the same attitude of we hold toward them.

Science and Religion: The church saves sinners but science seeks to stop their manufacture

The Media: Editor is defined as a person employed by a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff and to see that the chaff is printed.

Truth: Genius may have its limits but stupidity is not thus handicapped

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About safrisri

I have been a teacher since 1971 and have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. My writings will reflect on my past mistakes and successes and what my students have taught me about education.
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