Men get opinions as boys learn to spell by reiteration chiefly.
—Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–61) English Poet
The measure of a master is his success in bringing all men around to his opinion twenty years later.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
American public opinion is like an ocean — it cannot be stirred by a teaspoon.
—Hubert Humphrey (1911–78) American Head of State, Politician
Public opinion contains all kinds of falsity and truth, but it takes a great man to find the truth in it. The great man of the age is the one who can put into words the will of his age, tell his age what its will is, and accomplish it. What he does is the heart and the essence of his age, he actualizes his age. The man who lacks sense enough to despise public opinion expressed in gossip will never do anything great.
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) German Philosopher
Altered opinions do not alter a man’s character (or do so very little); but they do illuminate individual aspects of the constellation of his personality which with a different constellation of opinions had hitherto remained dark and unrecognizable.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do. That is character.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
The feeble tremble before opinion, the foolish defy it, the wise judge it, the skillful direct it.
—Madame Roland (1754–93) French Writer, Revolutionary
Differences of opinion give me but little concern; but it is a real pleasure to be brought into communication with any one who is in earnest, and who really look to God’s will as his standard of right and wrong, and judges of actions according to their greater or less conformity.
—Thomas Arnold (1795–1842) English Educationalist
Do not despise the opinion of the world; you might as well say you do not care for the light of the sun, because you can use a candle.
—Tryon Edwards American Theologian
Do not seek the truth; only cease to cherish your opinions.
—Zen Proverb Japanese School of Mahayana Buddhism
Maternity is a matter of fact; paternity is a matter of opinion.
Opinions have vested interests just as men have.
Impossibility is an opinion, not a fact.
The public buys its opinions as it buys its meat, or takes in its milk, on the principle that it is cheaper to do this than to keep a cow. So it is, but the milk is more likely to be watered.
A flatterer is a man that tells you your opinion and not his own.
The person who has no opinion will seldom be wrong.
A lawyer’s opinion is worth nothing unless paid for.
Be it ever so humble, there’s no opinion like one’s own.
This imputation of inconsistency is one to which every sound politician and every honest thinker must sooner or later subject himself. The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinion.
—James Russell Lowell (1819–91) American Poet, Critic
This is the true joy in life: Being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
Opinions are like nails: the more often you hit them the deeper they penetrate.
Broad-minded is just another way of saying a fellow is too lazy to form an opinion.
—Will Rogers (1879–1935) American Actor, Rancher, Humorist
Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.
—Plato (428 BCE–347 BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Mathematician, Educator
One of the mistakes in the conduct of human life is to suppose that other men’s opinions are to make us happy.
—Richard Burton (1925–84) Welsh Actor
If a man should register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, etc., beginning from his youth, and so go on to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last.
—Jonathan Swift (1667–1745) Irish Satirist
I could never divide myself from any man upon the difference of opinion be angry with his judgment for not agreeing in that from which, within a few days, I might dissent myself.
—Thomas Browne (1605–82) English Author, Physician
Opinions are a private matter. The public has an interest only in judgments.
It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest. He is a fellow who thoroughly enjoys his work, just as people who take bird walks enjoy theirs. Each excursion of the essayist, each new attempt, differs from the last and takes him into new country. This delights him. Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays. There are as many kinds of essays as there are human attitudes or poses, as many essay flavors as there are Howard Johnson ice creams. The essayist arises in the morning and, if he has work to do, selects his garb from an unusually extensive wardrobe: he can pull on any sort of shirt, be any sort of person
—E. B. White (1985–99) American Essayist, Humorist
A man who trims himself to suit everybody will soon whittle himself away.
—Charles M. Schwab (1862–1939) American Businessperson