Talent does what it can; genius does what it must.
Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hope of its children.
Every child is a genius, but is enslaved by the misconceptions of self-doubt of the adult world, and spends much of his or her time having to unlearn that perspective.
Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.
Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.
The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement. Yet, almost no one gets the encouragement they need to grow to their full potential. If everyone received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond the wildest dreams.
Every positive value has its price in negative terms; the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.
Innocence in genius, and candor in power, are both noble qualities.
When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in confederacy against him.
An idiot repeats his mistakes. A smart man learns from his mistakes. But a genius learns from the mistakes of others.
Success is more a function of consistent common sense than it is of genius.
The time and study, the genius, knowledge, and application requisite to qualify an eminent teacher of the sciences, are at least equal to what is necessary for the greatest practitioners in law and physic. But the usual reward of the eminent teacher bears no proportion to that of the lawyer or physician... The inequality is upon the whole, perhaps, rather advantageous than hurtful to the public. It may somewhat degrade the profession of a public teacher; but the cheapness of literary education is surely an advantage which greatly overbalances this trifling inconveniency.
There was never a genius without a tincture of insanity.
The emergence of a superman or a great mystic or a genius or a superior personality inevitably precipitates a social conflict. The conflict will be more or less acute, according to the degree in which the creative individual happens to rise above the average level of his former kin and kind. But some conflict is inevitable, since the social equilibrium which the genius has upset by the mere fact of his personal emergence has eventually to be restored either by his social triumph or by his social defeat.
Compared with the short span of time they live, men of great intellect are like huge buildings, standing on a small plot of ground. The size of the building cannot be seen by anyone, just in front of it; nor, for an analogous reason, can the greatness of a genius be estimated while he lives. but when a century has passed, the world recognizes it and wishes him back again.
Virtue is as little to be acquired by learning as genius; nay, the idea is barren, and is only to be employed as an instrument, in the same way as genius in respect to art. It would be as foolish to expect that our moral and ethical systems would turn out virtuous, noble, and holy beings, as that our aesthetic systems would produce poets, painters and musicians.
Death is the true inspiring genius, or the muse of philosophy... Indeed, without death man would scarcely philosophize.
Compared with the short span of time they live, men of great intellect are like huge buildings, standing on a small plot of ground. The size of the building cannot be seen by anyone, just in front of it; nor, for an analogous reason, can the greatness of a genius be estimated while he lives. But when a century has passed, the world recognizes it and wishes him back again.