Enduring Wisdom: Rudyard Kipling

Portrait of Rudyard Kipling
by John Collier, 1891
I have posted on Rudyard Kipling before. He's right up there with Ben Franklin on the quotability scale.  


On Self
“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” 

“Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves.” 


“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”


“Everyone is more or less mad on one point.”


“We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.”



On Others
“I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.”

“All the people like us are we, and everyone else is They.”

“It's clever, but is it Art?”




On Words
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

“He wrapped himself in quotations – as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors.” 

“We're all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.” 

“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.” 

“Gardens are not made by singing 'Oh, how beautiful,' and sitting in the shade.”



On Women
“A woman's guess is much more accurate than a man's certainty.” 

“The silliest woman can manage a clever man; but it needs a very clever woman to manage a fool.”

“An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.”



On Travel
“I have struck a city – a real city – and they call it Chicago. The other places don’t count. Having seen it, I urgently desire never to see it again. It is inhabited by savages” 

“San Francisco is a mad city – inhabited for the most part by perfectly insane people whose women are of a remarkable beauty.”

“Asia is not going to be civilized after the methods of the West. There is too much Asia and she is too old.”

“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.”

“Down to Gehenna or up to the throne, he travels the fastest who travels alone.”

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